Two new polls tonight – the daily YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 33%, LAB 42%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 6%, so no significant change there.

There is also a new TNS BMRB poll, which has almost identical topline figures of CON 32%(+2), LAB 42%(nc), LDEM 10%(nc), Others 16%(-1). Changes are from their last poll a month ago.

264 Responses to “New YouGov and TNS BMRB polls”

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  1. NICK P.
    Maybe Labour doing well because they have been quiet!

    It reminds me when I was off work due to illness, and the students just used my printed notes, and they did just as well as when I was there, in the a level exams.

  2. I think that Lab should continue to just oppose with broad brush statements about moral capitalism.

    They should also distance themselves from privatised utilities, profiteering outsourcing and look again at subsidised, nationalised railways. I think printing money should be redirected towards directly funding infrastructure projects.

    As a public sector worker I think I could have swalloed the pay freeze more easily if genuine attempts had been made to avoid compulsory redundancies. Surely the declared aim of the Government to privatise as much Government work as possible is now discredited?

  3. oh, and if Ed does get in, day one should include getting shot of Mervyn King from the BoE.

  4. @Paul Croft

    “The Sun:
    45/23 ……
    Oh…. hang on. That’ the beginning of some young lady’s measurements.
    She seems nice.”

    This one made me chuckle. I think you may be supplanting OldNat as the sharpest resident wit on UKPR!

    As for the YouGov poll showing a 12% Labour lead, it could be a MOE blip signifying little or it could be an early hint at a widening gap. I’m still more intrigued by the Tory VI rather than Labour’s. 32% is low by YouGov standards but pretty much in line with what most other pollsters, bar ICM, have had them on for four or five months now.

    What’s beyond doubt, though, is that the March budget, and ensuing omni-shambles, has been the second key opinion shifter and game-changer to occur in this Parliament. The first was the diaspora of LD voters to Labour that occurred late 2010, but I think we can now safely say that Osborne’s budget has shaken the political kaleidoscope a second time. Depending on which poll you look at, 5-7% of the pre-March Tory vote has gone walkies and, certainly for now, they show no sign of wanting to return.

    Some good news for the Government today, perhaps? Looks like the Quarter 2 growth figures will be revised upwards a notch or two but I wonder whether this will be eclipsed in the news by the growing row on the GCSE results and the Nadir donation. I sense a government whose luck may be running out.

  5. Good Morning again.
    The ‘Squeezed Middle’ are angry I think.

    The ‘children’ going to university must still have a massive parental contribution to living and housing costs. We can avoid that, and get a grant, if we legally separate.

    At the age of 12/14 our children become adults when it comes to contraception and abortion rights. They remain ‘children’ at 19-23 when they go to university.

    Rant over, but it explains, in part, why the tory natural voter aint happy.

  6. @carfrew – “Yeah they’re blowing his cover. Cameron doesn’t announce his policies (to return us to the halcyon days before Labour existed). He announces the opposite…. Then when in power, he does what he meant to do all along,”

    Oh dear, It sounds so cynical when you put it like that. Lol.

  7. @NickP
    “As a public sector worker I think I could have swalloed the pay freeze more easily if genuine attempts had been made to avoid compulsory redundancies. Surely the declared aim of the Government to privatise as much Government work as possible is now discredited?”

    Not at all, there are plenty of people like me who want a lot more privatisation starting with the NHS.

  8. the other howard

    “Not at all, there are plenty of people like me who want a lot more privatisation starting with the NHS.”

    I accept that. There’s just not enough to get a majority to actually do it. Or wouldn’t be if the LDs weren’t supporting them.

  9. Well that was a disappointment wasn’t it? I was expecting at least Paul Croft’s longed-for 15 point lead. The only unusual thing in these figures is that Labour have a 7 point lead in the over-60s, but that’s probably just random variation. Mind you the Labour lead in 40-59 is unusually low, so maybe they just got all the people who lie about their age.

    I vaguely wonder if the Sun had got YouGov to ask about their publishing of the Harry photos and to hold back the tables till this morning. They then discovered that most people thought they shouldn’t print them (in so far as they cared at all) on a general “What goes on in Vegas way…” basis. No doubt the results may limp out in a few weeks time – presumably if nothing is published about a poll, there’s no need to put up the tables.

    Still, judging by the realms of pious blather on the Sun’s website, to misquote Billy Bragg, it’s all about the freedom of the Press/To print pictures of Princes in states of undress.

  10. Further to the discussion about the movement of voters from Labour voting inner cities to Tory/swing suburbs, don’t the most recent census returns point to a slowing/reversal of this process? Demographically speaking the fastest growing areas were local authorities wholly or partially comprised of inner city districts (Tower Hamets, Newham, Manchester). Electorally speaking the effect could be limited as these new residents are likely to be in groups who don’t (or can’t) vote in great numbers, but could we be approaching a point of transition where the inbuilt Labour advantage caused by urban to suburban migration swings partly back to the benefit of the Tories?

  11. Disappointing? Could be MOE but , on these figures, the basic swingometer on this site shows a Lab majority of 120, which for reds is perhaps tolerable.
    Con 220 (-36)
    Lab 385 (+127)
    LD 21 (-36)

  12. That probably should have been “reams of pious blather”. Though given the context…

    One general point about polling. Remember that the percentages that parties are getting at the moment are not as comparable with General Election results as might first appear. This is because a lot of people are currently saying they don’t know how they will vote or that they won’t bother. 20% of those who voted Conservative last time say this (and an even higher proportion of those who voted Lib Dem). This means the percentages aren’t really of quite the same thing.

    Of course most of these non-voters may well go back home – ICM’s corrections are based on that – but it’s not guaranteed.

  13. @Roger M

    Agreed that there’s a good chance that the Con voters will go back home. However, what will happen to the even greater proportion of 2010 LD dont knows is another matter. If they do vote at all, surely Labour stands a good chance of picking up a fair chunk of them, just as it has with the 2010 LD decideds.

    I don’t have a problem per se with the principle of the adjustments by ICM and Populus, but the narrowing they build into their polls must be exaggerated if I’m right about the final destination of those LDs.

    Incidentally (as no-one commented on it at the time) the Labour lead in Ashcroft’s Corby poll was 20% before Populus narrowed it to 15% by such a “spiral of silence” adjustment.

  14. Interesting to see that Mr Branson has managed to get an e-petition up to the magic 100,000* mark in a few days. Perhaps the Government taking on the Virgin brand wasn’t such a great idea after all.

    This is likely to add to the omnishambles feeling around the Government, and puts them in a difficult position. Change the decision and look stupid. Don’t change the decision and look stupid.

    *Standing at 99, 453 as I type (onboard a Virgin Pendolino), probably there in 30 minutes or so…

  15. @R Huckle – That article and headline I feel is a bit misleading. It seems to be based on the notion that pensioners are all asset holders, which just isn’t the case.

    What I think we need to take from the BoE report on QE is that the impacts really need to be judged not on age cohorts, but wealth cohorts. As they clearly state, holders of assets have done well, with the largest asset holders having done best. In general, this means older people, but the link is between QE and assets, not QE and age.

    The really shocking thing about the findings is that QE has made the poorest 10th of the population £800 a year worse off. As a policy intervention, I find this simply unacceptable. Intuitively I would imagine that this section of the population are broadly speaking blameless in terms of the origins of the crisis – they would not have been borrowing and spending, wrecklessly or otherwise, yet Mervyn King favoured a policy response that punished them more than any other group.

    On the GDP revision to -0.5%. Welcome and expected, but of no additional significance. If the announcement on the day had still been 0.5% it would still have been a dreadful figure. I’m increasingly confident that my prediction of a year long recession will come to pass.

  16. @Roger Mexico ” …comparable with General Election results”

    Looking at the late YouGov poll.

    GE 2010 Con vote: 36.1%.
    Current VI:
    don’t knows/wnvs 7.22%
    [28.88% remaining]
    Con 22.24%
    Lab 2.88%
    UKIP 2.59%
    LD 0.86%.

    GE 2010 Lab vote: 29%.
    Current VI:
    don’t knows/wnvs 2.32%
    [26.68% remaining]
    Lab 24.54%
    Con 0.8%
    LD 0.26%
    UKIP 0.26%.

    GE 2010 LD vote: 23%
    Current VI:
    don’ knows/wnvs 6.21%
    [16.79% remaining]
    LD 6.54%
    Lab 6.38%
    Con 1.67%
    Grn 1.17%
    UKIP 0.67%

    Therefore, roughly…

    Con 25%, Lab 34%, LD 8%, UKIP 7%,

    18% are undecided. If all undecideds went back to their former party: Con 32%, Lab 36%, LD 12%.

    From that perspective should Cameron go for a share of the LD 6% undecideds, or concentrate on the 2-3% he has lost to UKIP?
    Not much in it either way.

  17. That should be – LDs on 14% if all their undecideds return.

  18. Can any of the many well-informed and industrious participants on this site answer the following three questions?

    1) Although retired I have recently had to register as unemployed in order qualify for a small consultancy a University wished to give me. Am I thereby liable to be counted as creating a new job in the private sector?

    2) The son-in-law of a friend has been employed by an agency as a dustman. In the past this has meant full-time work but he is now working 1 day a week on average and his family can’t make ends meet. Is he also counted as holding down a private sector job?

    3) If the answer to either of these questions is ‘yes’, how large an effect does this way of counting have on the headline employment statistics?

    thanks in advance!

  19. @Charles

    I’m afraid I can’t answer your specific questions, but the issues you raise may go some way to explaining why improving employment numbers aren’t feeding into any sort of feelgood factor and why, perhaps, falling unemployment during a recession isn’t as contradictory as some may think.

    I’ve banged on for some time about the changing nature of employment in this country and how many of the new jobs that the economy is creating are casual, part-time and agency based, more often than not insecure, poorly paid and devoid of the sorts of basic employment conditions and benefits that those of us who gained our first jobs over 20 years ago took for granted.

    The social side-effects of this sea change in the nature of modern waged employment are only just becoming apparent.

  20. CB11
    “The social side-effects of this sea change in the nature of modern waged employment are only just becoming apparent.”

    And there are direct tax and social security implications.

    There will be an increasing move to indirect taxation so that the low paid pay more in indirect taxes. The moves to increase tax thresholds (eg £10k pa income tax allowances, with related NICs earnings thresholds) mean that there will be an increase in low paid employments directly affecting tax revenue.

    Rather than reducing the tax payable by high earners, ie over £150K pa, there should be progressive taxation with a return to 90p in the £ as the top rate. All IMO, of course.

  21. @Mike N

    “And there are direct tax and social security implications.”

    Interesting points that I hadn’t considered.

  22. @MikeM

    “Rather than reducing the tax payable by high earners, ie over £150K pa, there should be progressive taxation with a return to 90p in the £ as the top rate. All IMO, of course.”

    Well done that should ensure that all the major wealth creators in the UK leave! What we actually need is a maximum income tax rate of 40% and much lower company taxation, and the way to pay for that is further cuts in the bloated public sector.

  23. @The Other Howard

    In almost all cases if they are willing to leave, and able to leave while still maintaining their personal assets, then they were not creating wealth in the UK but only taking rent on capital. And that can actually result in destroying wealth.

    Do we want to keep “High earners” in this country who have done nothing but bring on further economic disasters?

  24. TOH

    You’re entitled to yr views. I suspect you also consider GB workers to be lazy and workshy; and that they shoudl be lucky to have a job, and should touch their forelock when in the presence of a bloated fat cats I suggest your path to a glorious society would lead to widespread unrest in the UK.

  25. Paul Croft

    MP = Member of Parliament

    MSP= Member of Scottish Parliament

    Father of the Nation = aka “The Gannett” for his dietary habits. He shared with me c 1954-56 his vision for a “Home Rule Parliament” as it was then called. In every important aspect from the Founding Principles to the seating arangements it is what we have today.

    Billy Bob

    In Labour constituencies there is rivalry between MPand MSP. MP’s have lost the constituency workload because things people used to write to their MP about are devolved.

    My Libdem MP has lost his MSP colleague on whom he relied for photo-ops.

    List MSP’s, if not ministers or spokespersons are expected to take the geater part of the workload on committees and some have special knowledge or skills. An unfortunate result of the election is that the MSP who had a special interes in road and rail safety has now got a constituency.

    The SNP has a man whose grandfather campaigned for independence in India. If a cultural association for people originating in any Commonwealth country want someone to give a speech on the merits of self determination on the national day, he’s waiting for the invitation. That’s his task.

    They’ve got an Italian MSP too.

  26. @Mike N

    “. I suspect you also consider GB workers to be lazy and workshy;……… ”

    Not at all, I am sure the majority of workers in this country, work hard as do most managers and directors. I want to see growth in the economy just as much as you but it is not going to happen while we maintain a public sector we cannot afford.

    The economic problems of this country are a direct result of years of bad economic government which encouraged ordinary people to borrow more than they could afford to ever repay, aided by bankers who took their eyes off the ball to make short term profits. I was talking about real wealth creators.

  27. ToH
    I guess the lack of reply and disagreement to my other observations could be construed by some as agreement on yr part.

  28. @Mike N

    Wrong again, I do not think my solution would lead to social unrest, far from it. I believe it would lead to strong economic growth and wealth for all those prepared to work for it, with adequate safety nets for those who through illness or incapacity could not. The workshy would not be very happy though.

  29. TOH

    @” I want to see growth in the economy just as much as you but it is not going to happen while we maintain a public sector we cannot afford.”

    “a public sector we cannot afford” is an alien concept in some quarters-not translatable.

    I think of it as the Bob Crowe principle-he said ( re public services & the public sector)-“If a job was important yesterday it’s important today”.

    I expect you can spot the clever agenda here-according to this principle you can only add public sector employees, and once added , you can never get rid of them.

    Neat eh ?


  30. @Colin

    Typical Crowe, the error of course is that the job was not important yesterday either!

  31. TOH

    I am sure you are sincere in yr beliefs.

    Indeed, if I believed that the ideas you propose would lead to a stable, equal and fair society I might well support them. But I sincerely believe you are mistaken.

    The fat cats would get fatter. And the people of the UK would be enslaved. ‘Trickle down’ of wealth and benefits would be weak and dwindle. The disparity between rich and poor, have and have nots would become even more marked.

  32. TOH

    Exactly-but there is a huge lobby in & on behalf of the public sector-which maintains that public sector jobs are somehow vested with a special significance which makes them permanently & irrevocably necessary.

    I cannot believe that VC is causing problems on an initiative like this :-

    Schroder’s Agenda 2010 transformed the German economy after 2003. We forget how recently Germany was the Sick Man of Europe.

    Schroder was a Social Democrat for God’s sake.

    What is it that Vince Cable does actually believe in ?

  33. @Mike N

    I am sure that you are also sincere but wrong. If we continue to try and maintain a public sector we cannot afford the result will be economic collapse as we have seen in Greece. This would likely lead to an extreme government of either right or left depending on who the army wanted to support. Then you really would get fat cats with all the wealth (the political elite and army) and the rest of the population would truly be slaves.

    I would have left the UK long before that happened. I exaggerate but I am sure you get my drift.

  34. @Colin

    I have always considered that Vince Cable is a left wing socialist.

    As you say the German experience makes the point eloquently although I would probably go further than the Germans.

  35. Would you head off to Greece TOH?

  36. Of course, what we can “afford” or not depends on the totality and variety of our expenditure. Perhaps we should stop pretending we can afford to invade other countries and save money AND lives that way.

  37. @TOH, Jayblanc, Mike N and Colin – the debate on tax rates for the well off is a bit sterile, in my view, and I think we all need to be a bit bigger and step back a little from our inherent political prejudices.

    Personally speaking, my principles are such that I’d love to see a 90% top tax rate on the super rich, but I know it’s not going to happen, nor would it be effective when all considerations are calculated.

    Taxes have to operate by consent, or we face all kinds of complications with evasion and avoidance, along with social and political pressures on the system if taxes are seen as too punitive. For the left, a 90% tax rate might sound great, but the level of political antagonism would be such that the resulting backlash would greatly damage progressive politics.

    We would also undoubtedly see movements of earning offshore and overseas. @TOH describes this as a loss of wealth creators, which is where his particular prejudice comes in. While some of them will be, many won’t be and will be more akin to @jayblancs rent takers, but nonetheless, losing their income and capital would be disruptive.

    For my part, I think it’s pointless trying to construct a tax system that prevents people from getting rich. I would rather see a system that treats wealth more equally within the tax system, and provides incentives and encouragement for those with spare wealth, however earned, to put it to good use.

    I suspect we are trapped inside a traditional view of tax and tax rates. Rather than talk about which individual sections of the income scale should pay more or less salary taxes, I think we ought to be focused more on what the role of the state should be (which will generally define what % of GDP is required to fund it, within the variations caused by alternative efficiency scenarios) and then what the tax base should be. From this, we can start to construct reasonable tax rates across the income and wealth scale. tax rates themselves, become the last part of the puzzle to be discussed.

    As @Colin implies, on the left we have to accept that there is a level of public spending that the economy cannot support, while on the right, there needs to be an acceptance that there is also a minimum level of public spending below which the economy cannot function. Try running a business without any roads or police forces.

    Between these points there remain acres of political battlefield, and there are similar wide areas of potential debate over the construction of the tax base.

    By restricting yourselves in this mini debate to how much the rich and poor should pay in salary taxes, both sides get maneuvered into a very cramped zone where there is little room for alternative solutions that remain practical.

    Indeed, this remains one of the biggest problems with the UK tax system. We’ve restricted the tax base to such a degree that the implications of public spending on those currently paying the taxes becomes really quite frightening.

    Through treating wealth more leniently than income or spending, and through several decades of very lax treatment of tax havens and weak globalised systems for monitoring capital flows and resultant tax gathering, we have allowed the tax base to shrink.

    There is no need for a 90% income tax if we addressed the real issues, and I’m personally certain that if we did, we would be able to solve our deficit problems and maintain a reasonable rate of public spending at around 40 – 43% of GDP without any long term difficulties.

  38. TOH

    It seesm to me yr idea/concept/belief/notion is that the public sector is unproductive and a bar to economic growth – so cutting it will lead to some economic miracle wherein the private sector suddenly grows rapidly and generates considerably more wealth.

    There is no reason (but perhaps simply faith) to believe that destruction of the public sector will lead to such growth.

    This is my last comment on this particular topic.

  39. @TOH – “What we actually need is ……. much lower company taxation”

    This is an example of where I think the debate is wrong.

    Lower Corporation Tax would encourage more companies to an extent, but it also encourages profit taking and the ensuing concentration of wealth, which in practice means a large proportion of the wealth is moved out of reach of the exchequer. Long term, such accumulations of wealth mean the tax base shrinks, and we can no longer afford what we used to afford, unless those remaining tax payers pay more.

    I would argue that what we need is a reasonable CT regime, but not necessarily a very low rate. It would be preferable to direct the tax reductions towards socially and economically beneficial purposes, such as incentives for investment and training.

    Long term, this will create more jobs, increase earnings, broaden wealth distribution, broaden the tax base, and enable lower rates of tax to be levied while protecting state spending.

    In my humble opinion.

  40. I think we need very low or no taxes for the low paid together with inwork benefits. I agree that taxes over 50% for the highest earners would be deemd punitive. In aby case the very rich don’t pay income tax, we need to tax their property somehow.

    What we need is a first class infrastructure, health, schools, services, roads, rail, etc all of which costs public money. That’ll keep people here more than cutting top rate tax.

    There’s no easy ways back, folks. But divisive policies that scapegoat parts of society, be they bankers, disabled, public sector workers, landlords or unemployed ain’t the answer.

    Let’s look at fairness without the namecalling (and I own up to having done some of that).

  41. Alec:

    No chance you taking over from ole George is there?

  42. @Alec

    You might be surprised to find i agree with much that have written above……..”For my part, I think it’s pointless trying to construct a tax system that prevents people from getting rich. I would rather see a system that treats wealth more equally within the tax system, and provides incentives and encouragement for those with spare wealth, however earned, to put it to good use. ”

    I agree with that (as I hope you mean it) and that is why I would like to see business taxes reduced. I would also like inheritance tax eliminated as the wealth passed on could be used to grow the economy provided there were adequate incentives as you suggest.

  43. @Alec

    One area we do not agree is what a reasonable level of public spending is. I would suggest a level of 30-35% is what is required. To my mind 40-43%is exactly what i mean when I talk about a bloated public sector.

  44. @TOH – “You might be surprised to find i agree with much that have written above…”

    I’m actually not surprised to be honest. I suspect we will however, have some disagreements on policy detail.

    I personally think we could reduce the net level of business taxes, but not by simple reductions as you suggest – see my last post. I think you need to treat tax cuts as in effect spending, and when spending you want to ensure you get best value. So a simple cut in a tax rate is a relatively blunt instrument that doesn’t necessarily buy you much benefit. A series of targeted tax breaks can get you much better value however.

    My example in this case would be the observation that a straight cut in corporation tax would benefit the lap dancing club as much as the engineering workshop. I’d far rather spend the same amount of money (or foregone revenue, if you prefer it in these terms) on encouraging the engineering firm to invest in high efficiency production tools and skilled apprenticeships for young women. This will earn the exchequer and the economy a far better return in the long run.

    On inheritance tax, I wouldn’t object to abolishing it, but only if the main residence was subject to capital gains tax like other assets. Otherwise you are treating unearned capital appreciation on a difference basis to earned salaries. This is a tax base issue as previously discussed. By addressing it in these terms, we might be able to reduce income tax for everyone.

    Whatever we do with IT, we also need to address the way many people avoid it via trust funds. If we tackled this, we could reduce IT to a level that didn’t trouble people.

  45. @TOH – we might even be able to agree on 30 – 35%. If we get this right, certain areas of public spending fall – like benefit payments, for example. I’ve no doubt we could get away with a lower % if we get tax policy right, but a higher level would bee perfectly tolerable and might bring some other social advantages.

  46. TOH

    @”I have always considered that Vince Cable is a left wing socialist.”

    I don’t care what he is so long as he supports sensible initiatives to get the economy moving.

    If the report that he is fighting an initiative on Schroder like “Mini_Jobs” is true, then I can only conclude that for CAble ANYTHING proposed by a Conservative member of the Coalition is bad.

    This man needs to be moved from his present job.

    I hope that DC is able to get Laws in there-but I suppose NC would insist on some other high profile job for Cable.

  47. NICKP

    @”But divisive policies that scapegoat parts of society, be they bankers,………………………………. ain’t the answer.”

    :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-)


  48. @Alec

    I have no problem with your suggestion of applying CGT to the main residence as long as IT is abolished. It is a awful example of triple taxation and no wonder people put their mind to avoiding it. Of course if we get public spending down to 30-35% we could probably cut CGT tax rates as well!

  49. @Colin

    I suggest Minister for Star Gazing with a budget of £20 per annum.

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