The weekly YouGov results for the Sunday Times are now online here. Topline voting intention figures are CON 34%, LAB 43%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 6% – still very much in line with the 9-10 Labour leads that YouGov have been averaging about of late. The rest of the poll dealt mainly with the economy and the photos of Prince Harry.

Economic figures remain extremely bad. 80% of people think the economy is in a bad state and only 9% expect it to get better over the next twelve months. On George Osborne himself, only 14% think he is doing a good job as Chancellor and only 18% think David Cameron should keep him in the role, compared to 54% who want him replaced. Answers to the latter question remain very split along partisan lines – a majority of Labour and Lib Dem voters want Osborne replaced, amongst the Conservative party’s own supporters 29% think that Osborne should go, 47% that he should stay.

On the deficit, 75% of people think that it is very or fairly important that the government reduces it, but only 22% of people think that the government are doing well at this so far (60% think they are not).

Asked about various measures to address the deficit or improve the economy, the most popular is a reduction in regulation (probably because it doesn’t come with an direct economic cost so looks like an “easy” option compared to the others presented), this is followed by borrowing more to spend on large infrastructure projects. Least popular would be increasing taxes, or borrowing money to cut taxes.

Turning to the Prince Harry photos, 60% of people said the papers were right NOT to publish the photos, with 28% saying they should have been published.

68% say Harry’s behaviour was acceptable for a young single man having fun on a private holiday and the photo does not appear to have done any damage to public perceptions of him. 13% say it makes them think more negatively about him, but 12% say it makes them think more positively about him. 71% say it makes no difference to their view. Overall 75% say they have a positive opinion of Harry, compared to 20% who have a negative opinion. More generally 45% of people say the press report too much of the royal family’s private lives, 10% that they give them too much privacy and don’t report stories that are of legitimate public interest, 35% think the balance is about right.

Finally on opening hours, 44% would support abolishing Sunday opening rules, 37% support going back to the usual rules after the Paralympics, 11% would support a complete ban on large shops opening on Sundays.

There is also a Survation poll in the Mail on Sunday – their topline figures are CON 30%(+1), LAB 37%(nc), LDEM 10%(-3), UKIP 12%(nc), Others 10%(nc). Changes are from their previous poll at the beginning of June. The high level of UKIP support looks eyebrow raising, but is pretty typical for Survation and is due to methodological reasons (Survation include UKIP in the main prompt alongside the Conservatives, Labour and Liberal Democrats).

170 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 34, LAB 43, LD 10, UKIP 6”

1 2 3 4
  1. @John Pilgrim

    I enjoyed hearing Ziauddin Sardar explain why it is that, although Star Trek is set thousands of years in the future, the Klingons still fight with a saracen sword… “the future is continually being colonised by our imagination.”

    Which is one reason why I tend to think that expunging religion (for example) is not the magic fix which will free the world from faulty thinking. A closer more meditative, and less one-dimensional examination of our belief systems would help.


    I don’t know if this will do it for you, but she does at least make the effort:


  2. @Colin – I just picked up your post on moral hazard that has come out of mod. I have to say I agree with every word of it. I’m well aware of what moral hazard means, but the point I was making was that ‘the system’ permits repeated action to rescue the banks, with all the moral hazard that brings, yet baulks at the notion of relieving the debts of ordinary people.

    If we are to have moral hazard, then I believe it would be socially better to have it at the bottom end of the scale, rather than for the benefit of the top 10% as at present.

    I’m completely at one with you regarding the splitting of banking, and I was somewhat baffled that Labour hasn’t gone for this either. Seems an obvious requirement to me.

    The other thing I would really like to see is an acceptance from share holders of risk. I’m sick and tired of groups like the Northern Rock shareholders mounting court cases against all and sundry as they lost money. Bad investment, didn’t read the small print, gambled and lost = last in the queue in my view.

  3. @Carfew

    “I have yet to hear a Labour politician communicate successfully why slower cuts is a good idea… whenever I see them try they make a dogs breakfast of it. It IS a harder sell because ;ess intuitive than the TOry position. But Clinton was much better at this sort of thing.”

    I tend to agree, sadly. She seems clever and pleasant, but I’m been a little underwhelmed by Rachel Reeves whenever I’ve seen her interviewed or in discussion with political opponents. She’s surprisingly hesitant and unassertive and not as articulate as I would expect from a front bench spokesman. Balls is an intellectual heavyweight and a political bruiser by trade who prefers to bludgeon opponents rather than use the more subtle tools of argument. Accordingly, his style can grate which is a pity because, as Alec has observed, he is manifestly winning the economic argument with Osborne.

    The Labour economics spokesman who is quietly impressing me is Chris Leslie. He’s clearly still learning on the job but, rather like Chuka Umunna, another effective communicator, he’s discovering that gentle ridicule is one of the most effective of all the political tools. Leslie may be a man to watch in Labour circles, methinks.

  4. Prompting for UKIP (and other minor parties) as Survation does, at least for UKIP, (do they mention all of them?) reveals a bias in the other methods which seems an unwelcome one.

    The results appear to be a support for PR (or something like). I wonder what would be the result, if voters were asked how they would vote in a truly proportional system. One would have to have questions posed later on to discover if voters actually knew what that meant, but with the removal of those ignorami’s VI, would be a useful guide to parties as to who was floating and who firm.

  5. @Crossbat

    On Chris Leslie, yes he impressed me too with his understatement, always a good tactic, whether disguised or genuine. I wondered, as a near neighbour is Ken Clarke, whether he had learned anything from him.

    Come to think of it, they all seem canny around there. Vernon Coaker bucked the trend in 2010. His seat was supposed to be a marginal target.

  6. What Labour’s Economic spokespeople are rarely acknowledging is that under their plans the deficit will rise in the short term. EB in one interview acknowledged this but said over 2-3 years it would be no bigger with less social impact etc due higher growth.
    Those of us who agree with the short term boost and have even a basic understanding of macro-economics know that it will take much longer for the numbers to come around to produce a medium term lower deficit due to higher Growth (Colin – this is the argument adopted and I know many don’t agree but this is Labours position).

    They are clearly scared of ‘the lot who got us in to this mess by spending too much want to spend even more money we don’t have, do you trust them’

    The ‘cut to reduce the deficit’ position is an simpler one to make but I would like to see a little more honesty and vigour in Labours stance. They could start by getting the Coalition to ackowledge that there is a pace that thgey think is too far too fast as that is the logic of their policies; the debate is then about degree and priorites within the macro-economic framework.

  7. JIM JAM

    Thanks for the note addressed to me.

    It is typical of you that you took the trouble.

    Your posts are the most measured and thoughtful of those from the left here, and always a pleasure to read.

  8. Interesting and challenging article on the G spot: “The Tory Ten Commandments – keep these and thou shalt get re-elected”

  9. What’s the G Spot?

    (wife sighs in disappointment)

    I don’t want to google it, have you got a link?

  10. oh you meant the Guardian.

    *slopes away foolishly*

  11. Speaking of the Guardian the new ICM is out and the holiday relief have gone and posted the tables up on the paper’s own website:

  12. @NickP

    “to me it seems straightforward. Con might get back to their 2010 vote, but Lab will take a chunk of LD vote that is anti-Tory. This means that Con won’t improve on 2010 but Lab will. How much will Lab improve? Seems likely to be circa 10% or more. Comfortable majority territory.”


    ” I feel the desertion of left leaning voters from Lib Dem to Labour in Lib Dem/Lab marginals is a permanent one”

    @Jim Jam

    “Here is one LP member who does not expect a Lab majority in 2015.”

    Make that two- as I’ve been commenting since winter 2010 the same as you. IMHO there is no way for the Conservatives to win a working majority (either HoC seat configuration) even if- as seems very unlikely- they get some modest growth by late 2013 and start to be on course to fulfil their structural deficit target (both of which are currently way off course). They have simply been too divisive for enough people not to be able to reach that level of support (circa 40%).

    On the other hand the inability of Labour to break the 10 point lead barrier for any respectable length of time is telling- they do but they never have any legs (are gone within a week to ten days): and we hardly ever see a 13 or a 14 and when we do they really are infrequent once-in-a-while’ers. Moreover hovering around a 10 point lead at the zenith of this governments fortunes (official mid point) with no policies of their own to be compared with and very few poll respondents really thinking clearly about Labour as a government when answering the poll question. All of this means we have seen- over the last three months- the likely ceiling for the Labour poll number (its medium term trend not individual daily results).

    I also have been saying that as Labours policies appear (should have already done so but it seems Cruddas will be releasing over the coming 12 months), some of the ‘we have our party back’ (red) brigade may well be dismayed enough to go back to supporting the Greens or- given their 2010 “liberal anti war” yellow vote is now deemed beyond the pale- even Islamist rhetoricicans, er, totalitarian leftist demagogues and their ‘party’. Furthermore, “Ed versus the other leaders as a potential PM” will also eat into the Labour lead as we get nearer an election and these ‘personality’ and ‘presentational’ comparisons exercise the minds of voters/ poll respondents largely disinterested in politics….for the very reasons that Ed Balls ‘sources’ have been briefing about today and in the last week!!!

    To be as sweeping as @NickP was when projecting a ‘comfortable’ Labour majority:

    * the above latter ‘caveat emptor” over EdM as the election approaches and voters make a closer inspection will reduce the Labour vote and increase both yellow and blue poll numbers as the erstwhile DKs/ no responders become preferences in polls

    * the above former ‘lefty disillusion’ will boost the greens, fringe trots and Stalinists, and also the party of “I’m bloody well staying at home and not voting for these class traitors” (these latter spartists can be read on Labourlist practically everyday decrying the party and – still after all these years- Tony Blair).

    Ergo IMHO (and with @NickP ‘esque confidence) the most likely *floor* of the Blues is their 2010 vote- even now they are within 3 points of it on trend and by next GE it will be bolstered by a lot of the local election and YG poll UKIP’ers holding their nose for the making of the ‘X’ on the GE ballot paper. I think Labour- from their current/ recent high point of 42/44- will lose to both trends/ forces above and end up at best 8 points higher than they were in 2010 (circa 37% that is 1 point ahead of the Tories with the Lib Dems circa 14).

    Which- on both seat totals (given that the new boundaries are not dead yet)- makes them the largest party but not in a majority. So- as ever- by far the most likely scenario for the next election result (2013-2015) continues to be a hung parliament.

    Labour needs to prepare for a coalition with the (surviving) liberals: I am with Peter Hain on that one ;-)

  13. Headline figures are:

    Conservative 34%
    Labour 39%
    Liberal Democrat 15%
    Other 12%

    CATI Fieldwork : 24th-26th August 2012

    Percentages derived from the responses of 706 respondents.

    Others are SNP 4%, PC 1%, Green 2%, UKIP 4%, BNP 1%. Other 1%

  14. Pre-adjustment for Don’t Know and Refusers the figures are somewhat different:

    Conservative 33%

    Labour 42%

    Lib Dem 12%

    (other figures unadjusted)

  15. ICM figures in a GE:

    Con 239 seats (-67)
    Lab 352 seats (+94) 54 maj
    LD 34 seats (-23)

    Proposed boundaries:

    Con 237 seats (-69)
    Lab 314 seats (+56) 28 maj
    LD 26 seats (-31)

    Before adjustments: Con 33%, Lab 42%, LD 12%.

  16. Interesting example of actual democracy. Icelanders get 6 questions in their referendum on a new constitution.

  17. @alec

    @Carfrew – “I have yet to hear a Labour politician communicate successfully why slower cuts is a good idea… ”

    I disagree. When I heard ‘too far and too fast’ for the first time, I thought it was a brilliantly simply concept/message. Pre election I was completely convinced that Tory policy would lead to furtherecession, as this is what happens when you apply austerity during a credit crunch – any fule noe that – and setting up this message by Labour was very well conceived.

    Labour ministers might need some polishing on how they present the more detailed analysis, but simply stating a few truths would do. If they said, very few countries have ever tried to cut budget deficits this quickly, those that have balanced tax rises against spending cuts, those who managed something similar and were reasonably successful did it at times of a rapidly expanding global economy, and anyone who tried it in similar circumstances to the present time ended up in depression.


    Now, see, there’s the thing Alec. I don’t think “too far and too fast” works all that well as a soundbite. It gives no indication as to WHY. Why is it too far and too fast? It does not have the essential qualities of a no-brainer: that it is so self-evidently true and all-embracing that it settles the debate.

    The Tories tend to be better at this. For instance, the “You don’t get out of a debt crisis by taking on more debt” thing. Now actually, this is a flawed analysis, but superficially, it sounds like it makes perfect sense. If you have a debt crisis, why in the hell would you take on more debt???? You have to drill down into it to challenge it, and of course the minute that happens you risk leaving the realms of the no-brainer and losing your audience.

    This is why Tories use household analogies: often flawed, because the household budget is not like an economy. But they are simple and resonate. Clinton was better at dealing with this sort of thing. Republicans repeatedly tried to brand him as being all about “Tax and Spend”. Clinton reframed this simply as “Invest and Grow”.

    If one follows your suggestion, e.g. “but simply stating a few truths would do. If they said, very few countries have ever tried to cut budget deficits this quickly, those that have balanced tax rises against spending cuts, those who managed something similar and were reasonably successful did it at times of a rapidly expanding global economy, and anyone who tried it in similar circumstances to the present time ended up in depression.”

    You see the problem? Your making SEVERAL points, many of which are contingent on circumstances… you’re stoking doubt in the audience who may not know the history, and they have to piece things together. Easy to challenge via FUD. I mean, your argument has a lot to commend it, but as a tool of persuasion, it is too easy to mess with by your opposition.

    The no-brainer response to the Tory gambit really has to be centred on ideas like:
    – you don’t pay off your debts by killing off your income.
    – If you’re in debt, you don’t cut costs by selling your car so that you can’t work any more
    – It’s not wasteful spending, it’s investment to earn more


  18. @Crossbat

    Yeah, Reeves is up and down. She has moments of lucidity, and then it all goes a bit pear-shaped. And she talks too fast. Leslie is much better, but again offers too much detail at times, and gets a bit put-off by Tory interjections. Chukka’s the best of the three IMO. I do think the tone these people strike will help… they do sound measured. Sometimes the Tories interject the soundbites with a somewhat shrill note of desperation.

    All of these Labourites struggle when asked about how much more they’d spend, though.

    Balls tends to reply by attacking the Tories rather than putting his own position in a no-brainer nutshell. He is quite good as an attack dog, and it’s funny how he gets right up Cameron’s nose…

  19. The next poll that matters is not the one taken by YouGov and published in the Sunday Times of a tiny number, however representative the pollsters may claim it to be.

    It is the Corby By-election, date to be announced shortly.

    How will PM David Cameron play this one? The Tories of Corby must be more than a little frustrated, if not annoyed, with Louise Mensch who has thrown-in the towel half way through the parliament she was elected to serve in by a majority of the constituents.

    We are sure to be able to look forward to a well-orchestrated and an aggressive campaign [Snipped campaigning, sigh – AW]

  20. Have just heard on Radion 4 that the tories are only 5 points behind Labour – do they always use the ICM poll or just the one that is worse for Labour?

1 2 3 4