Tonight’s YouGov poll for the Sunday Times has topline figures of CON 33%, LAB 42%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 8%, exactly the same as Thursday’s YouGov poll for the Sun. As usual I will do a proper update sometime tomorrow once the tables are published.

79 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 33, LAB 42, LD 9, UKIP 8”

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  1. No comment.

  2. I told you.

    Will widen after the games and party conferences.

  3. I detect polldrums. Or it could be the calm before the storm (EZ problems looming). Looking forward to conference season.

  4. KeithP: “looking forward to the conference season.

    I’d see your GP: the NHS are great at such things and will have you thinking “footy” in no time.

  5. Good Evening All.
    No comment either, except on the Lib Dem outlier, and also the very good TIMES article by Matthew Parris today on the Coalition.

  6. Given the dominance that the Olympic coverage will have over the next wee while, it seems unlikely that political issues will predominate in most people’s thinking.

    Continuing polldrums (@ Amber) seems the likely prospect.

  7. Will be interesting to see if the Olympics helps boost the government polling. Two mechanisms in which this might operate would be a general feel good factor and opportunities for PM/ministers to be seen doing positive things. The second is just by crowding out any bad news.

    Of course, the second could also work in reverse – and crowd out other good news, but overall I would be surprised if there was a long term shift in opinion from the games. I think this could have happened, had we been at a tipping point in the recovery. Had there been signs of an end to recession with the public mindset not quite catching up with better economic news, this kind of event could have been more of a trigger for a more long term uplift in confidence. As it is, it’s difficult to see how this could currently translate into a permanent shift in polls, if indeed it has any political effect.

  8. Alec

    I doubt whether Manx political attitudes will be altered by Mark Cavendish’s “failure” in the cycling today.

    I still haven’t seen any evidence that sporting success/failure and the consequent feel good/bad factor has ever had any political effect – despite the mythology.

  9. More on the US right wing response to the NHS section in the Olympics opening ceremony –

    (Paul Croft – all these individuals probably think that their response is normal or typical. We are free to disagree!)


    Lib Dem outlier????

  11. I did have a thought at the end of my 10k run tonight.

    We could not have done Olympic 2012 without Mrs T’s revolution, IMHO


    Yes, LD figure seems very high.

  13. CHRISLANE1945

    Mrs T and the Olympics – your reasoning?

    If you are suggesting that handing over so much to corporate business as being the factor, you may well be right.

  14. I think that Mrs T did get rid of the declinist ethos, and got back the ‘can do’ culture/

  15. CHRISLANE1945

    OK. Back to the need for understanding of other people’s semantics!

    What do you mean by “declinist ethos”?


    Oh…. right.

  17. CL1945

    Je comprends at least.

  18. OLD NAT.
    Before bed.
    Ethos you understand, Headmaster.

    Declinist means: accepting decline… (not decline as in Latin, which state school pupils are de facto forbidden to study)

    Laudate Mecum Ante Omnia

  19. OLDNAT

    Thanks for sharing the link on right wing US reaction.

    Good quote in the Times the other dayfrom Adelai Stevenson when running for president in 1956. A woman came up to him and said “Governor Stevenson, all thinking Americans are supporting you”. A.S. replied, “Sorry, madam. That is not enough. I need a majority”.

  20. Mrs T did get rid of the declinist ethos, and got back the ‘can do’ culture…
    May I just begin & end the car crash pantomime by saying:

    Oh no she didn’t!

    Exciting discoveries in the North Sea, together with the awesome technology needed to access them, was the only thing which prevented Thatcher’s government reigning over one of the biggest economic catastrophes in UK history.

    The ‘can-do’ came from engineers & workers who risked their lives in & above the North Sea turning the 1969 discovery into economic reality.

  21. Interesting job opportunity has arisen, that might suit some of you.

    Taxpayers across the UK will pay you to expound “the benefits Scotland derives from the UK.”

    I’m not quite sure how this appointment squares with the Civil Service Code paragraph 4.4.11 – “Civil servants must not take part in any political activity when on duty, or in uniform, or on official premises” but presumably it is part of getting rid of the declinist ethos and thus overrides such arcane concepts as civil service impartiality.

  22. CHRISLANE1945

    Sleep well.

    My school continued to teach Latin and Classical Studies (and still does) – you really must beware of applying your own limited experience to everywhere else!

    More importantly, what are you suggesting was the “decline” that was being accepted – economy? empire? other?

    I do understand that there are some who see the UK being no longer the dominant world power as “decline”, but I wouldn’t have expected you to be one of those.


    Love the Stevenson quote! :-)

  24. @ Old Nat

    That sounds like a job for me – but they can’t afford me ;-)

  25. Amber

    Don’t be silly!

    North Sea oil was a minimal contribution to the UK economy and it is actually damaging for an economy to have access to oil revenues.

    It’s much better to rely on financial services as the driver of the economy. That never fluctuates.

  26. OLDNAT

    Just googled him and found this selection of quotes. He was obviously quite a wit.

  27. Amber

    I did have you in mind when I posted that advert!

    While every government uses the civil service to develop policy for them (that’s actually their job), this seems a strangely politicised appointment.

    I don’t think there has been a similar post created by any government which only covers the length of a political campaign, and pre-defines the political attitude of the successful candidate.

  28. @ Old Nat

    Joking aside, if I thought the position you linked to was genuinely open, as opposed to being advertised when there’s probably already a short-list, I’d consider taking the quite substantial pay cut to do it.

    I think that despite being a Brit-Scot who’d like the UK to stay together, I’d approach it with academic rigour, ethics & genuine open-mindedness regarding the possible outcomes.

  29. Amber

    We are in agreement that this position isn’t genuinely open. The Treasury could easily transfer one of its existing staff to fill such a position, were it genuinely needed.

    That they see a need to advertise it suggests that it is earmarked as a political appointment designed for someone they have in mind.

    Whoever they appoint, I do think you would probably be a better choice. Despite your political predispositions, I think you would approach the job with more honesty than will actually happen.

    What astonishes me is the openly partisan position that is being taken in advertising this post. I really can’t think of an equivalent.

  30. @ Old Nat

    “We are in agreement that this position isn’t genuinely open. The Treasury could easily transfer one of its existing staff to fill such a position, were it genuinely needed.

    That they see a need to advertise it suggests that it is earmarked as a political appointment designed for someone they have in mind.

    Whoever they appoint, I do think you would probably be a better choice. Despite your political predispositions, I think you would approach the job with more honesty than will actually happen.

    What astonishes me is the openly partisan position that is being taken in advertising this post. I really can’t think of an equivalent.”

    I’m just surprised that they’re posting something like that online. And being open about the position (rather than just having someone else in a different position operate that way).

    Btw, you guys have me watching the Olympics now.

  31. SoCal
    “Instead I look at it as fascinating how different political ideologies and completely different methodologies can arrive at a similar result.”
    I think that it depends where you start – if we assume political ideology to be circular (as Schwartz suggests)[1], then people who’re ‘pure-left’ start from the ideology that all men are born equal. So they seek to equalise – rights, property, etc.
    I don’t start from a pure-left ideological standpoint – I start from an anarchist [2] standpoint but lean toward the left – so I will come to the same conclusions as someone who takes the anarchist [2] standpoint but leans to the right. (Who in their extreme would be objectivists).

    To give an esoteric analogy [3]-
    In esoteric thought there are left-hand and right-hand path faiths or methods.
    The right-hand path sees that the way to enlightenment is through finding your place in the universe and fulfilling it. So what Crowley called ‘the Will’, what Taoists call Tao, etc
    In Christianity, you find your place in the universe through recognition of your place under God.
    If everybody fulfilled their roles, then there would be peace in the world.
    Anybody who deviates from the straight and narrow is a deviant and seeks to create chaos.
    This applies just as much to certain forms of marxism, etc – if we can create order, we can create a perfect world. And hence why anarchy = chaos.

    The left-hand path flips the whole narrative on it’s head.
    For the left-hand path the way to enlightenment is effectively through the phrase ‘non serviam’
    So functionally order (in the right-hand sense) can only be imposed through violence – if I were to take something from you, the police would come and use proportional force to take me away.
    But then all non-self defensive violent acts (murder, etc) are functionally the same as order – an act where you want someone to do something and you use force to make them.
    So if ‘non serviam’ is the ultimate good, authority is the ultimate evil.

    So my instincts are toward the left-hand path – that all authority is evil and we should seek political liberty. I then take the pragmatic attitude that a limited government is required to have a monopoly on non-self defensive violence as a necessary evil to protect against non-government authority (what those on the right-hand path fear as chaos).
    So I will share many political views with the American right, many of whom are right-libertarians and start with the left-hand path (not to be confused with tea-party Christian types who seek right-hand order) but my leanings toward the left give me a different perspective on property.
    Where they seek protection of *personal gain* as a pragmatic good (so property is absolute), I view property as a means to an end for equality (but I reject ‘big state’ as the solution).

    Hope that makes things a bit more concrete for you.

    @All –
    Approval –
    Cameron -25 (-2)
    Miliband -27 (-7)
    Clegg -54 (-1)
    Massive drop for Miliband is a bit strange, given Cameron’s (within MOE) drop.
    So Cameron goes back in to the lead, despite falling approval.

    State of the economy -77 (-4)
    That’s a pretty grim figure, but IIRC it’s been lower.

    Who do you trust on the economy?
    DC & GO – 34 (-2)
    EM & EB – 31 (+3)
    Extremely close figures.

    What is most to blame for recession?
    Labour government – 27 (+4)
    Global factors – 26 (-7)
    Government policy – 24 (+5)
    Banks not lending – 13 (nc)

    What should the government do?
    Reverse spending cuts to –
    Should – 32
    Shouldn’t – 48
    George Osborne sighs with relief.

    Cut taxes to encourage business –
    Should – 41
    Shouldn’t – 43

    Spend more on infrastructure even if that means borrowing more –
    Should – 46
    Shouldn’t – 37

    Reduce spending more –
    Should – 24
    Shouldn’t – 60

    Should Osborne be replaced?
    Shouldn’t – 19 (-2)
    Should – 52 (+3)

    Who would make the best replacement?
    Cable – 28 (+6)
    Hague – 15 (-1)
    Clarke – 9 (nc)
    May – 2 (nc)
    Hammond – 2 (-1)
    Clegg – 2 (nc)
    Again – this needs to be taken with a bit of skepticism – Cable’s support is boosted heavily by Labour voters. This could be caused by ‘Not a Tory and Not Clegg’ rather than active support.
    The fact that there are only two LibDems to choose from, make it less likely for a split-vote (whereas Tories have loads of choices).
    Perhaps YouGov should do an AV poll on it? ;)

    Some say ONS figures are wrong because of the job figures –
    Job figures are a better indicator – 18 (Cons 39)
    The economy is as bad as ONS suggests – 61 (Cons 38)

    Interesting how when you change how the question is phrased (spending more on infrastructure implies more cuts or slowing the pace of deficit reduction), you get a different answer.

    [1] Imagine a compass. North is Liberty. East is Equality. South is Order/Authority. West is Self-Gain.
    Now take a magnet and put it somewhere around the compass and it’ll force the needle to point at the magnet.
    So the nation’s ideology tends to form around the needle, so most people fall to the ‘left’ (on one end) or the ‘right’ (on the other end).
    As the Overton Window (what is acceptable to both ends of the ideology) shifts, it’s like moving the magnet (and thus the needle). Hence why in politics, we tend to form diametrically opposed groups with few at the fringes.
    I could be wrong about the psychology of ideology – but I think that’s probably one of the best models so far.
    [2] I should point out that by ‘starting from an anarchist standpoint’, I don’t mean that I’m an purist. I mean that my ideological instincts are anarchist but that I then feed my instincts through rational thought until I come up with a pragmatist solution – hence why I believe in limited and not abolished government.
    [3] If religion isn’t true, then we learn something about human psychology (as religion would be a projection – microcosm to macrocosm) and if religion is true then we learn something about reality. Either way, we learn something about human perception.
    [4] Not to be confused with left and right in politics – see N and S on our ideology compass.

  32. Just realised that I may have confused the compass analogy – since I put what we’d usually call ‘the left’ (equality) to the East (aka the right) and the opposite to the West (aka the left).
    So when trying to imagine the geometry (since it’s a circle, it doesn’t matter which way you view it really), it might help if you switch them around, so they make more sense?


    I can’t see anything particularly interesting tn the tables, as they are in line with the general trends we have seen for months.

    Tingedfringes post 7.48am must be the longest in UKPR history. So long, they became lost with their bearings !

    In regard to politics outside of the UK, if left of centre parties win elections in many of the major G20 countries, this could have any affect on the UK. We have seen some of this already in France and in Germany Merkels party have been gradually losing seats. So fhere coud be a left turn happening, with a rejection of right centred ‘market centered’ austerity driven programmes, with people wanting more state control.

  34. @Chrislane1945 – “We could not have done Olympic 2012 without Mrs T’s revolution, IMHO”

    Indeed. How else would we have had enough devastated urban area to redevelop into the Olympic Park. (Smiley thing)

    More seriously, I think you are completely and utterly wrong. Thatcher did no such thing, and you ought to remember that she left us (thrown out by her own party, no less) during another one of her deep and very painful recessions.

    Indeed, the Thatcherite mentality that she left us with, which clearly infected New Labour heavily, was one of not letting the state get involved. It was this that very nearly stopped Blair from backing the games, so if we really had taken on Thatcher’s legacy, we wouldn’t even have bothered to bid for them, let alone won the bid.

    So much nonsense from one so young.

  35. “The fact that there are only two LibDems to choose from, make it less likely for a split-vote (whereas Tories have loads of choices).”
    To make this clearer –
    Total LibDems – 30
    Total Tories – 28
    So the Tory split-vote could mean that Cable’s lead against a single Tory would but much smaller – but we can’t test that unless YouGov (or another pollster) do an AV poll or a pairwise comparison (So Cable vs Hague, Cable vs Clarke, Hagus vs Clarke, etc).

  36. ALEC.
    Top of the Morning to you, lovely by the beach again DG.

    At the age of 57, it is nice to be called young. (smiley face).

    I have to disagree about the Thatcher legacy, I am sorry.

    IMHO (!), the peoples of the UK believed that decline was inevitable before 1983-1985, and she changed our self perception.

    Even the Six Counties (Northern Ireland) problem was addressed by her, despite the Brighton Bomb. The Anglo-Irish Agreement, and secret talks with the man who shook James Bond’s acquaintance in the film about the Olymoics, were under her watch.
    Britain’s share of world trade rose and no PM can now say:’Get your tanks of my lawn Hughie’ as Harold said to Scanlon.

    OLD NAT.
    Thank you. In England state school pupils are almost universally deprived of classical languages and Saturday school sport.

  37. I would be astounded if there is not some temporary jubilee-like slippage of the Lab lead during the Olympics as people are distracted from their usual lives, especially if Team GB bring in a shed load of medals.

    I’m guessing the polls will be around +5 Lab lead by the time of the conferences.

  38. @CL1945 – I agree about the Irish angle, and there were some economic achievements also, but you clearly write from a southern perspective. Up here in the north, Thatcher’s legacy was what introduced the ‘declinist ethos’.

    Her legacy is most definitely that it isn’t the states job to do big projects, and the Olympics would not have happened had she still been in charge.

  39. Adrian B,I think that a shed load of medals may be a touch over optimistic
    And all those empty seats yesterday have caused considerable annoyance.

  40. @chrislane1945

    Totally agree about Thatcher, she was truly inspirational and gave the UK self belief again, at least those people who were prepared to put in the hard work.

    [Snip – starting a conversation like that is only ever going to lead one way, isn’t it? – AW]

  41. I’ve been trying to make sense of the GDP numbers and the tax receipts to see if there is any reconciliation between the fall in one and rise in the other.

    Apart from anything else, I have assumed that the tax receipt numbers are increased by inflation, but there were three specific taxes I found interesting.

    Landfill tax ( a tax on dumping waste) the aggregates levy (tax on building aggregates extraction) and the climate change levy (tax on non domestic electricity and gas consumption) are all relatively minor parts of the tax take, but are more directly linked to economic activity – directly so in the case of the CCL and aggregates levy.

    In the year to June 2012, the landfill tax declined by 1.75%, despite a 21% increase in the rate in April this year. This could be the result of better recycling, and isn’t a direct link to production, but is interesting nonetheless.

    Over the same period the aggregates levy (which was fixed over the period at £2 per tonne) shrank by 3.4%. This would be consistent with a fall in construction activity.

    The CCL actually increased in terms of the tax raised by 2.6%, but as this is raised each April in line with inflation, this appears to represent something like a 2-3% reduction in actual energy consumption in the commercial and industrial sectors. Again, some of this will be down to the long term trend to more energy efficient operation, but this isn’t sufficient to fill the gap. It’s seems clear from these figures that there must be lower production, as energy consumption closely mirrors overall activity. Given that space heating demand over the last winter was well below the previous period, we have to discount any seasonal effects here as well.

    Another interesting snippet is the fall in fuel duty income over the same period of 1.7%. I’ve lost track of the duty increases and freezes, but I don’t think there have been any changes to the fuel duty rates over this time, and as these are fixed sums per litre, they are not affected by inflation, so again here this suggests reduced mileage which also tends to suggest a shrinking economy.

    While the overall tax take is up, and taxes on labour and spending appear to be rising, much of this could be accounted for by price rises pushing up the taxes due. Looking at taxes on input resources, the decline in tax take over the last 12 months looks much more consistent with a shrinking economy.

  42. R HUCKLE

    @”Tingedfringes post 7.48am must be the longest in UKPR history.”

    It is.

    33.5 inches long-followed by an explanatory post !

    If this continues alongside SOCAL’s posts ,scrolling through stuff you don’t want to read on UKPR is going to take much longer than actually reading anything.


  43. “If this continues alongside SOCAL’s posts ,scrolling through stuff you don’t want to read on UKPR is going to take much longer than actually reading anything.”
    Perhaps I should just stick to the polling?

  44. @Chrislane1945 – thinking further on your view of Thatcher’s legacy, I actually think you are right in one highly restricted way – a way which leads directly to our current problems.

    She did engender a belief amongst a small section of society that they can go out and do things they want to do – namely among the rich and wealthy. By freeing up this section of the populace, she helped sowed the seeds of our current predicament, as we can see from the actions of media moguls and financial institutions.

    Among the squeezed middle, who have seen little of the gains, I don’t detect any great sense of uplift, and you perhaps should ask those people in the soup kitchens you often mention whether they feel an end to the declinist ethos has occurred? [Oddly enough, homelessness and soup kitchens were big in the 80’s. One of the reasons we threw Thatch out].

  45. @AW

    Fair enough i just wanted to redress the balance a touch.


    We did not throw Thatcher out, she was let down by some very stupid people in the Conservative party. I would suggest she injected strong believe amongst the majority, hence her repeated election victories.


    Hitchens was a hoot this morning.

    Another snippet-pace ChrisLane’s comment :-

    “I half expected the giant Voldemort to transform itself into a menacing Thatcher figure trampling, slashing and cutting every nurse in sight , and tossing bedsteads out of the stadium with a callous sneer”

    Hilarious………..would have loved to have seen that actually :-)


    I think you have a point -the pre-Thatcher union barons would have made corporatist control of London 2012 seem like charitable giving.

    The Budget-and the “Olympic Bonuses” would have bankrupted the country.

    And can you imagine the opening ceremony?-Red Square Parade on Ice with the massed ranks of TUC membership saluting the half-glowing rings of steel on which were etched the latest production statistics of British Steel, British Leyland & British Coal, whilst overhead the whole Royal family were thrown out of a British Airways helicopter.


  47. oldnat

    I doubt whether Manx political attitudes will be altered by Mark Cavendish’s “failure” in the cycling today.

    I must admit that, while disappointed, I felt a slight bit of relief that at least we wouldn’t have the spectacle of our local pols seeking to claim credit for a gold medal. However they just issued the same pre-prepared press releases with a few words changed, so we weren’t spared the cringing after all.

    Still at least having a Kazakhstani winner will give us chance to see what national anthem they play.

    And I suppose you could argue that the failure of the road race ‘Team GB'[1] was because they didn’t have a ‘Plan B’. Whether that has any political implications I couldn’t possibly say.

    [1] A name that manages to ignore the possibility that anyone from Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands, etc should be part of it. Yet another remnant of Anglo-Scottish-Welsh colonialism. :P

  48. TOH,
    Thatcher had -46 approval by the end of her term. (25 satisfied /71 dissatisfied). This can be compared to Brown’s popularity at the height of the worst recession since the 30s. (-50 (20/70))

    Major’s approval was +15 as soon as he took over (37/22) and was at +12 (51/39) by the 1992 election.
    His approval was -27 at the 1997 general election (32/59)
    Blair was at -27 at the end of his term (33/60) and Brown at -24 (35/59).

    So if we assume that the leader can be a drag on voting (although I don’t assume it’s as large as others do), Thatcher’s major unpopularity was the reason the Conservatives kicked her out of power.

    Source: MORI.

  49. The above post isn’t to say that Thatcher was always unpopular – clearly she was very popular for a long time.
    But her popularity hit rock bottom when she was kicked out of office.

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