This morning’s YouGov results for the Sun had topline figures of CON 33%, LAB 45%, LD 8%, UKIP 6%. It’s been a funny week of YouGov polls, with some 12 points leads and some 6 point ones. There have been rather more of the former than the latter, but I’m still not sure what the underlying picture will turn out to be when things settle down a bit. Meanwhile the latest figures from TNS-BMRB, who are now doing weekly voting intention polls, have topline figures of CON 31%(nc), LAB 43%(+3), LDEM 10%(-1), Others 17%(-1).

I will off at EPOP2012 this weekend (or Glastonbury for political scientists, as my colleague Joe Twyman calls it) so won’t be posting much on the weekend polls.

164 Responses to “New YouGov and TNS polls”

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  1. @ChrisLane1945

    Good evening to you too. As a landlocked Midlander, I’m unable to reciprocate with greetings from the coast, but I can assure you that Worcestershire was at its splendid, bucolic best today in the warm, early autumnal sunshine. Not many MUFC fans to report in these parts but plenty of morose Villa supporters and smug Albion fand around, I’m afraid.

    It’s an interesting point you raise about a possible sea change in the public perception of this government. I recall the widely reported Callaghan and Donohue conversation you allude to in your post. Allegedly it took place in Callaghan’s prime ministerial car during the election campaign of 1979. An astute reader of the political weather, Callaghan had sensed he was heading for defeat. As his car drove him round Parliament Square he turned to his fellow passenger Donoughue: “You know, there are times, perhaps every 30 years, that there is a sea change in politics. I suspect that there is now such a sea change – and it is for Mrs Thatcher.”.How right he was.

    As for sea changes now, I’m less sure. 1979 saw the end of a period, starting in 1964, of almost solid Labour Government for 15 years and Thatcher rode an anti-corporatist, anti-union and anti-statist wave. Callaghan was right to detect the change in the air at that time in the same way that Blair sensed that the tide had gone out for Toryism in 1997. Rather than those sorts of political tectonic plates shifting now, I think we’ve just got a particularly unpopular government with leading figures that grate with large sections of the population. How terminal this is, I’m not sure.

  2. Howard I’m no Ukiper but to call them anti Muslim is rather unfounded.

    Wilders is much more BNP than Ukip


    Have you no sense of appropriateness?

    Such comments are only permitted when the Saltire flies in the thread header!

  4. @Crosbat11 “Rather than those sorts of political tectonic plates shifting now, I think we’ve just got a particularly unpopular government with leading figures that grate with large sections of the population.”
    I think you are right. Equally, I think May 2010 was exactly the same. This makes it harder for the tories/coalition to succeed in 2015 as I don’t think there is any momentum away from or towards a particular type of politics. I suspect that voters will simply want to change the faces at the top.

  5. ON – here is one English person hoping Andy Murray can pull it off on Monday. For Scotland and Britain.

  6. JIM JAM

    Fine by me.

    Doubtless the other parts of Britain, not in the UK, will want him to do well too, so you are right to include them.

    Mind you, I suspect many in Ireland (on both sides of the border) might also be hoping that he wins.

  7. I think the tectonic plates have been shifting since Thatcher all right. The Tories have moved away from a party who can gain a majority and after the next election they might have to break up altogether.

    I think they are going down. The political landscape is changing. It’s possible Labour are going the same way, only slower. Certainly they are the only remotely national party now.

  8. CB11/CL45 (You sound like a pair of HMRC forms…)

    I’d take a more strategic view of the “30 year shift” thing. It’s about more than who is in power. It’s about how the public views the interaction between politics, economics and business.

    At the risk of stating the bleeding obvious, we had 30 years or so of a mildly left-of-centre, collectivist consensus from 45-early 70s. We then had a collapse in confidence in that model. We replaced that by a broadly right-of-centre, individualist agenda. That, perhaps, ran into its own crisis 4-5 years back. We are probably still in the transition phase in looking for its replacement.

    Observation one: Which party was in power in 45-75 or 79-09 didn’t matter so much. Both parties bout into the basic premise of the dominant ethos. The party in power was a second order influence, but the first order effect was the agreement on the fundamentals. I suspect that THIS is what Callaghan was referring to when he looked at how the times were a-changing.

    Observation two: The scene for the UK debate will, as ever, be set by events over the pond. Just as the apparent success of Reaganomics bolstered The UK’s acceptance of Thatcherism in the 80s, I suspect that a win for Obama and a re-invigorated left-ish, collectivist, non-tax-cuts-for-the-rich approach to pulling the USA out Depression will very much colour the run up to 15 here. Especially if the US economy continues to perform far better than ours, and the bond vigilantes and the inflation ogre don’t appear. That scenario would make the Tories’ vision of what the future should look like, difficult to sell.

  9. “Bout” = “Bought”. Bloody iPad.

    I forgot to add a healthy dose of scepticism over whether Callaghan actually said that. It smacks of a failed politicians wishing posterity to see him as a visionary. File under “Lord Grey: Lights going out”.

  10. NICKP

    In any political system, there will always be one party (or more) that represents entrenched interests. That party might change in the future – as it has in the past.

    If the Conservative Party breaks up, there will still be “Tories” – they may simply have a different label.


    We will soon see if the sea has turned.

  12. ON – I was not trying to make any point other than many in Britain (England and Wales) will be supporting Murray as well as Scots; sadly a few English idiots don’t due to some football comment he made a few years ago.

    If I had was trying to be clever I could have said UK.

    i think by ‘ Doubtless the other parts of Britain, not in the UK, will want him to do well too, so you are right to include them’ you may be meaning the British Isles as all parts of Britain are in the UK.

  13. @Howard.
    ‘So TV dbates can produce this hysteria.

    2015 here will be definitely an X factor election.’

    I suspect you are assuming too much here. It’s far from certain that there will be debates in 2015 – certainly not in the 2010 format.

  14. It’s interesting, Old Nat. You want Scotland to be independent, but 2/3rds of your countrymen don’t.

    You never question whether you might just work within the UK, no, you just think the mission is to persuade the majority you are right and they are wrong. It’s not like it’s a political philosophy or even a religious belief. It’s just that old thing…jingoism.

    I hope Scotland stick with the UK. We’d be worse without you. It makes me a wee bit sad that you feel so differently.

  15. @ Crossbat11.
    ‘Callaghan was right to detect the change in the air at that time in the same way that Blair sensed that the tide had gone out for Toryism in 1997.’
    I have to disagree. Blair carried on with watered- down Thatcherism post 1997.The country was ready for a change, but when nothing substantial occurred the resultant disillusionment showed itself in the collapse in turnout at the 2001 election.

  16. JIM JAM

    “all parts of Britain are in the UK.”

    So where are you putting the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands, if not in Britain? Arguably, the Channel Islands are geographically part of France, but I doubt that their inhabitants would agree.

    While your original comment was doubtless meant kindly, the lack of awareness, of what constitutes the current political union that we are in, does tend to cause confusion.

    Probably, the language of your political leaders which interchangeably use “this country” to refer to England only, England and Wales, GB, UK, or UK together with the Crown dependencies is to blame.

    If their language is sloppy, you can expect no better of their thinking.

  17. NICKP

    Strange that you know better what I think than I do.

    Your perspicacity is truly amazing – nay supernatural!

    Alas, your awareness of political terminology fails to match that insight.

    “Jingoism is extreme patriotism in the form of aggressive foreign policy”.

    You may care (more accurately) to attach that label to UK politicians and their supporters, rather than to the leaders of the SNP, SSP, Solidarity, Scottish Greens and their supporters.

  18. I forgot to add the SDA and FSP to that list.

  19. NICKP

    “We’d be worse without you.”

    Economically – that’s true. The reverse isn’t.

  20. @Old Nat

    I think Nicola will do a better job for you than Salmond has. I have never heard her propose a devo-max option or second question.

    Nicola’s message seems much clearer: The people of Scotland are going to have to make a huge decision; we need to be thinking clearly about it – about the challenges & opportunities which would arise – not wondering if we should first dip our toe in the water to see how it feels.

    Nicola will be much bolder than Salmond; I think the yes campaign will benefit greatly from that.

  21. You are right, old nat, about the meaning of jingoism. Your nationalism doesn’t extend as far as sabre rattling.

    If you would be worse off economically outside the UK, would you want to stay?

    The etymology of the word is interesting. Google and wiki tells me in come from “by jingo!”:

    We don’t want to fight but by Jingo if we do

    We’ve got the ships, we’ve got the men, we’ve got the money too

    We’ve fought the Bear before, and while we’re Britons true

    The Russians shall not have Constantinople.

    The chorus of a song by G. H. MacDermott (singer) and G. W. Hunt (songwriter) commonly sung in British pubs and music halls around the time of the Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878) gave birth to the term.

    You are entitled to any views you like. I’m entitled to be a wee bit sad about them, no?

  22. Latest YouGov/Sunday Times results 7th-9th Sept – CON 33%, LAB 43%, LD 10%, UKIP 7%; APP -38

    Is there a tradition for weekend results to vary? Cos this looks nailed on as the polling average but it could be deceptive.

  23. CROSSBAT11
    “Sea Change”
    This one may be different, in that till the early ‘nineties there was an assumption of stability in banking and mortgage institutions as givens in relation to government economic policy management, though already shaken by the Lawson high interest rates and repossessions of the late ‘eighties, which has now been destroyed. In consequence public expectations of government and VI are hinged much more on specific policy and structural change which have still to be decided and acted on to resolve a UK and global economic crisis, and so jobs, housing, NHS and social security long-term.
    For a parallel, have a look at the collapse of the Soviet banking and central planning system which ceased to finance agricultural production and industry as well as health, welfare and housing systems under Gorbachev’s feet in 1989. There simply wasn’t anywhere to go with the old or even a reformed system.
    In the west in the twenty-tens, we have a damaged but much stronger and more diverse banking system, less joined at the hip with government, but shown to fight for its own survival rather than responding to needs for jobs, businesses and welfare, and thus demanding a challenge from the political system to be able to reform.

  24. @ Billy Bob

    “Where the Republican conference was sparse, the DNC was acres bigger, overflowing with energy and stand-out speakers, all the way from a laughing Ted Strickland feeding off the audience (W Post “Strickland goes for Romney’s throat”) through Kamala Harris, Christina Saralegui, the Castro twins, Sandra Fluke, Karen Pantone-Eusanio from the auto-workers, to another master-class from Bill Clinton.”

    I missed Kamala Harris’s speech. It did not get good reviews though. I’m curious to get your opinion since you apparently watched it. I would say that Wednesday night was the best in terms of absolute red meat. Warren’s speech was great (I hope Richard in Norway saw it). I have repeatedly said that on a scale of 1 to 10, she gets a 25. Deval Patrick’s speech was better than Julian Castro’s IMHO on Tuesday night. Bill Clinton was absolutely masterful. If enough undecided voters watched, that would help reelect the President. The one I really liked was the mother who’s child had an illness and who was greatly helped by Obamacare. Loved seeing Lily Ledbetter too.

    I think even most conservative commentators were pointing out that even many of the second tier speeches at the DNC were better than the headliners at the RNC.

    Oh and what did you think of Antonio Villaraigosa’s performance? He was the first political candidate who ever captured my heart and passion.

    “The only time he sounded worried was when he warned about the Repubilcan war-chest and voter disenfranchisement campaigns.”

    Be glad that on the second part that you don’t have Tories up to those kinds of tactics (and most would find them absolutely disgraceful).

    “Labour in this country also suffers from the turnout problem – UK commentators tend to find it difficult to see beyond the differences in our two political cultures, they like to be a bit sniffy about the showbiz schmaltz and overblown patriotism – but as a result they sometimes miss out on depth of commitment and enthusiasm on display, they don’t always pick up on the underlying common themes.”

    I’m surprised that anyone watches or pays attention to these things outside the United States. I’m surprised that there are British politicos who even try and attend conventions.

  25. #NICKP,
    There’s a tradition that weekend polls vary,, but according to Mr Wells it isn’t a true one.

    I can’t help thinking it would have been better if the Russians had taken Constantinople, and the Eastern Question had been resolved in the 1850s instead of 1918. Were we on the wrong side, by jingo?

  26. Approval:
    Cameron -28 (-2)
    Miliband -22 (+7)
    Clegg -58 (-2)

    Thanks for the update.

  27. Old Nat – I have no lack of awareness of what constitutes the UK, Gt Britain or Britain.

    Britain refers to England&Wales and goes back to Roman times, with a similar derivation to Brittany.

    The Romans did not conquer, Scotland of course but also not the IoM; and, the Channel Isle to them (I am guessing) being closer to France did not get included in their idea of Brittain.

    I did this is Primary School History, I have just checked in case my school gave 10 year olds a simpler but incorrect version and it seems they did not.

    It really is a shame that you often try to point score unnecessarily and in this case inaccurately.

    My dad used to make a joke about Australians being well balanced because they have a chip on each shoulder, for some reason it came to mind.

  28. Just read the Daily Mail article referred to by Martyn, and I have to say I am astonished by the tone of the comments posted by readers. Note sure if they are representative of DM readers but the anti-DC comments from a section of joe public that I would have considered to be Con supporters are perhaps indicative of a sea-change in perception of DC.

    I had thought that the booing of GO etc at the Paralympic events were just about expressing discontent about changes to benefists for disabled claimants but I now wonder whether they may also indicate a growing disapproval of this gov and in particular the Cons.

  29. I wonder whether, as opposed to the Queen’s Jubliee, the olympics and then the paras have played against the Government?

    There’s various issues: state funding of a succesful event, the group four debacle, Jeremy Hunt, the NHS etc in the opening ceremony, the shattering of the disabled as scroungers mythology and the cynical attempt to be present at GBgold medal events which started badly with DC chasing possibly winners and turned into spectacular own goals with Osborne, May and Hunt roundly booed.

    Labour doesn’t have to do much, it seems, except not be the Tories.

  30. A few months ago I posted on a thread here that I woudl be surpirsed if DC was still post as leader of the Cons by May 2013.

    The reports about stalking horses and BoJo neing parachuted into ann election in Richmond would seem to indicate moves are afoot in the Cons party. Of course, it’s nonsense that DC could be the victim of a coup, isn’t it? Last year, DC apparently bought hmself time with Con MPs by asserting the EU veto that was not a veto. It could well be that Tory grandees decide that the Cons need a new leader if they are to have any chance of winngn the next GE, whenever that might be.

  31. As far as Leadership coups go – we’re in an interesting time because all three established leaders could be gone by the next general election, but I think it’s less likely they’ll be outed the closer we get to the next election.

    While it would probably be electorally wise to get rid of Clegg before the next election, and for all the internal party grumblings, the LibDem members and representatives have been surprisingly loyal when push comes to shove.
    Even when they’ve voted, as a party, against legislation, they’ve not punished any leadership figures as a result of them voting for it.

    I think Boris, the only real contender for Cameron’s job, would wait until after the next election to challenge him – the risk of taking over now is that you’re humiliated when you lose the leadership battle or that you take over a troubled economy (for whatever reason) and you become as unpopular as the person you challenged.

    So that leaves Miliband. I suspect we’ll find out late 2013-early 2014.
    If Labour have fallen back in the polls, I think Labour will oust him.

  32. “Even when they’ve voted, as a party, against legislation, they’ve not punished any leadership figures as a result of them voting for it.”
    By ‘voted as a party’ I mean ‘voted at the party conference’ – the situations were members have voted for one thing, and due to the constraints of the coalition, the representatives have voted for something else.


    Todays poll is very bad news for the Tories, if it shows a trend. Labour up to 37% in rest of south, with Tories dropping to 39%. That is the only bit, where the Tories are show as being ahead of Labour.

    I sense that next weeks polls could show much larger Labour leads of up to 15%. The cabinet reshuffle may actually be seen as a negative. Not sure putting Jeremy Hunt in the NHS role, was a good idea. There is a lot of media coverage in local/national press about problems in the NHS, with increasing waiting times in A&E and about operations being cancelled.

    Gladstone argued that we should not back the Ottomans v Russia, in his emotional campaigns.

    Disraeli riposted that he did not mind Gladstone winning at cards, or that the ‘GOM’ put the cards up his sleeves.. He did say that he minded when Gladstone claimed that God put those cards up his sleeves. LOL.

    Of course post Yalta, we sent the enemies of Russia/Stalin back to be slaughtered, from those Balkan lands.

  35. Tory MP crashes his Mercedes into portable toilet and Poundland store before careering into parked cars and bollard

    Banbury MP Sir Tony Baldry lost control of his car after he opened his door to pick up a dropped parking ticket
    He hit a portable toilet before careering into a Poundland store wall, a van, three stationary cars and a concrete bollard

    Toilet paper was plastered to the car
    Sir Baldry said it was ‘a very scary incident’
    He returned a negative breath test to police.

    I wonder if this will have a “negative impact” on the opinion polls? ;)

  36. At last, a larger poll.

    Noting the averages of the samples prior to the last three (two small, one large) and comparing them to the recent poll:

    UK, 1724, 1860
    Lon, 248, 253
    RoS, 577, 621
    Mid, 341, 368
    Nor, 401, 441
    Sco, 157, 177

    More of the same please! :)

    Haha. God gave Dizzy all the best jokes – like he gave the Devil all the best tunes.

  38. Allan Christie

    Tory MP crashes his Mercedes into portable toilet and Poundland store before careering into parked cars and bollard.

    Banbury MP Sir Tony Baldry lost control of his car after he opened his door to pick up a dropped parking ticket
    He hit a portable toilet before careering into a Poundland store wall, a van, three stationary cars and a concrete bollard

    Toilet paper was plastered to the car

    I wonder if this will have a “negative impact” on the opinion polls?

    No. But it’s one hell of a metaphor.

  39. AnMary
    I should have characterised Wilders PVV (it really is a one man party, so that at least has national socialist similarities) as ‘UKIP -anti muslim- culture-invasion” as Wilders did make his name about complaining about the latter issue.

    He is the third to try this tack in a decade. The first was the populist young professor Pim Fortuyn , which fizzled after a few months, not least due to his assassination just prior to teh 2002 election.

    Then there was Rita Verdonk, one of these that started off as a left winger (nicknmae was ‘Red Rita’!) who suddenly has a Damascus moment and joined the VVD, who were so enamoured, they made her a minister (for integration!!!!). You can read the rest but she eventually fizzled as they all do.

    Of course the deep mistrust of at least a third of the Dutch for foreign culture dilution of their ‘polder’ or ‘island’ type culture, keeps the fire burning for whoever steps forward to lead the reaction.

    We often hear the prospects for UKIP discussed here and the FPTP system does do it no favours, clearly. However, I think that if UKIP got a genuinely persuasive figure (as Kilroy Silk almost became) they could make a splash,as I think the worries of the Dutch are similarly echoed here.

    Thinking back to the ex TV presenter who came out disastrously at Bristol as an anti-Tory candidate, I suspect if Jeremy Kyle tried his luck, he could succeed.

    Someone like that. The problem with charisma is that they are all nine day wonders, a bit like (er) Clegg was.

    @Graham. I am interested why you think there will not be the debates next time. What is your evidence, as I can hardly believe that anyone will be able to get away with that from now on?

  40. Statgeek – They’ve obviously been trying something out over the last few days. Hence the two lowish samples – though still perfectly decent sized for most valid purposes[1].

    The most notable technical thing about this poll however is that YouGov have managed to get a decent sample size for the under-25s. Compared to the last age group sample of 52(!), 199 is far more than they have had for a long time and not that far from target (224 in this case).

    If they can keep this improved representation up, we may see a lessening of the big swings in headline VI it has caused.

    [1] Which does not include regional cross-breaks. Ever. :P

  41. The sentence with Clegg should have ended with a question mark. Naturally his charisma is still abundantly evident in the polls. :-)

    Sorry about my typos. I check them through but suspect my spelling checker is grossly corrupted with acceptance of earlier mistakes.

  42. Howard, I think the Labour Party’s position would be that a 3 leaders debate with 2 Government representatitves versus one opposition (even if we have up to 12 months of C&S) would not be balanced and fair.
    IMO there could be debates but more likely a round robin of two headers.

  43. Interesting question in todays YouGov: “which PM is Cameron most like”? I don’t usually look beyond VI. Is this a new thing or have they asked before?

    Odd that Major pipped Thatcher and Blair at the post. I can’t see the likeness at all. I suppose Major is the only male Tory PM recently, which is probably as far as most pollees could go in comparing, but oldies with longer memories went for Major too.

    I would go for Wilson: as slippery as an eel, great communicater, media savvy, relaxed about delegating to the point of disinterest, full of himself – the list goes on, right down to “managing Britain’s decline”. Can’t see Cam in a Gannex mack though he may have smoked a pipe or two at Oxford.


    LOL. :)

  45. Jim Jam

    I would have thought a Debate with both Clegg and Cameron defending the past 5 years would be a godsend to the Labour Party leader.

    Unless of course the economic situation is transformed for the better for Mr Average by then. Then I take your point.

    Weak though isn’t it?


    “I would have thought a Debate with both Clegg and Cameron defending the past 5 years would be a godsend to the Labour Party leader.”


    I hope that UKIP’s Nigel Farage get the chance to be in the Leadership Debates before the 2015 Election. With his sensible fiscal policies (less debt, less spending and less tax), energy policies and of leaving the EU (and its mound of regulations) there is a fair chance he would wipe the floor with David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg!!!

    But again, that’s probably a reason why nigel Farage won’t be invited (despite UKIP often polling ahead of the Lib Dems)!

  47. TV debate, why?
    So the best distorter of the truth can gain support, I think the media need to highlight what was said at the last debate and compare with what has actually happened, before any other so called debate…

    it is language management not debate and nor do we need USA style debates unless of course we are going to have a UK mayor/president which then should be a separate election altogether…

    our GE elect a government
    To be honest one main party needs to say “no thanks”.

    We need honesty from our politicians not language management…

  48. @Ian P

    You don’t think those two comments were just a wee bit, how shall we say, partisan?

    Still the cat’s away, and I hope you strengthened the resolve of the possibly two other UKIP contributors here to keep the faith.

    Why do people do this on here? Who do they think they are converting?

    Over to The Other Howard. It’s 1130 and he hasn’t written to tell us to vote Tory yet.

  49. Tojim
    ‘We need honesty from our politicians not language management’

    Now there’s a novelty. Pointless people making speeches then I suppose.

    Is it because it’s Sunday? Is everyone high on religion or something?

    Roger M – much appreciated.

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