The full details of the YouGov/Sunday Times poll are now up here. Topline figures are CON 34%, LAB 43%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 8% – so a nine point lead and pretty much in line with YouGov’s recent polls (the seven point lead some people were tweeting last night comes from hypothetical match ups, of which we’ll come to later).

The regular leaders approval ratings stand at minus 21 for Cameron, minus 29 for Miliband and minus 63 for Clegg, this is Clegg’s worst score so far (although only marginally down from minus 61 last week, which itself was a record low).

As I mentioned, YouGov asked several hypothetical voting intention questions. I should start with the normal caveats about these type of questions – they are quite low information, so while they can give us a steer on whether politicians who are very well known, respondents don’t know what policies those politicians would actually put in place if they were leader, what their priorities would be, how the media would react to them as leader and so on.

If the leaders remain as they are now at the next election (which YouGov ask as a control question) people’s voting intentions would be CON 34, LAB 41, LDEM 9 (when asked this way it consistently shows a slightly smaller Labour lead than usual – probably the effect of mentioning Ed Miliband in the question).

If the Liberal Democrats replaced Nick Clegg with Vince Cable they would increase their vote by a third, taking support from Labour – CON 34(nc), LAB 39%(-2), LDEM 12%(+3). If the Conservatives replaced David Cameron with Boris Johnson they would increase their support by four percentage points, wiping out Labour’s lead – CON 38%(+4), LAB 38%(-3), LDEM 9%(nc). And if you combine both changes and the leaders at the next election were Boris, Ed and Vince, voting intentions become – CON 39%(+5), LAB 35%(-6), LDEM 11%(+2): a Conservative lead. As I said, extremely hypothetical and I expect many people are projecting onto Boris and Vince whatever they would like their ideallised Tory or Lib Dem leader to do.

On the Liberal Democrats and the coalition, with the benefit of hindsight 34% of people think entering the coalition was the right thing for the Liberal Democrats to do, compared to 48% who think it was the wrong decision. A majority (52%) think the decision to go into coalition has turned out to be bad for Britain. Asked what they would like to happen in the future, 30% would prefer to see a Labour/Lib Dem coalition, 26% a minority Conservative government, 19% for the coalition to continue. More interesting are the breakdowns amongst party supporters – slightly more Tory supporters would prefer a minority government (49%) than the present coalition (44%), amongst remaining Lib Dem supporters only 38% support the coalition, 26% would prefer a coalition with Labour, 16% would prefer a minority Conservative government. A hefty majority (63%) of Labour supporters would naturally prefer a Lab-LD coalition.

Turning to Nick Clegg himself, he is seen as indecisive by 66% (decisive 14%), untrustworthy by 58% (trustworthy 24%), weak 75% (strong 11%)… but is still seen as likeable by 42% (dislikeable by 38%). Attitudes to the apology are mixed – while people say it had made Clegg look weaker (by 41% to 21%), they are evenly split on whether they feel more positive or negative about him as a result of it – 16% of people say it has made them more positive about Clegg, 17% more negative. They are also quite evenly split on whether the apology was genuine – 35% think it was, 40% think it was not.

Better results for Clegg are that people do at least think he apologised for the right thing – 47% think his mistake was to make a promise he couldn’t keep, compared to 31% think the bigger mistake was to back the policy. 7% think he needed have apologised for either.

Moving on to policing, 64% would oppose the routine arming of police officers, with only 24% in support. A majority (57%) would support the death penalty for the murder of a police officer. There are also majorities in support of the death penalty for terrorist murders, multiple murders and the murder of a child but people were narrowly opposed to the death penalty for all murders, by 42% to 38%. Apart from a slight increase in support for the death penalty for the murder of a police officer, these are pretty much unchanged since the last time YouGov asked.

The figures from the Survation poll last night have also shown up, topline figures there are CON 29%, LAB 41%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 12%.


156 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 34, LAB 43, LD 8, UKIP 8”

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  1. Thanks Anthony.

  2. ChrisLane:

    Your analysis that “the polls are tightening” [presumably made by choosing just one of the number that have just come out] is quite bizarre.

    What’s the point? Anthony did an excellent job a couple of days ago showing just the opposite and demonstrating just how consistent they actually are.

    “The Cons can’t be written off” is tediously obvious.

  3. Taking a crude average of these 5 latest polls (and yes I know the ICM poll is a “Wisdom Index”) gives:

    Lab 40.4
    Con 31.8
    LD 10.8
    UKIP 9.5

    Based on current boundaries this would produce a Labour landslide with a majority of 100+.

    Leaving out the ICM Wisdom Index from the average gives much the same GE result but sees the Lib Dems drop behind UKIP in vote share (9% vs 9.5%).

    Combined with the polling indicating Clegg’s net approval rating has dropped to a record low, these are not good polls for the Lib Dems.

    GE now (“only”) 138 weeks away and Lib Dems are likely to leave the coalition around 6 months before then so only 112 weeks of the Coalition left…..

  4. SWEBB:

    How many shopping days till xmas?

  5. SWEBB

    “Based on current boundaries this would produce a Labour landslide with a majority of 100+.
    __________

    Yet despite 60% of people not voting for Labour I find this ludacris.

  6. Allan Christie: FPTP is ludicrous ********. Are you not use to that yet? What percentage of voters wanted a Lib/Con coalition? Or Thatcher? Or Blair despite huge victories?

    By the way this millionaire tax is an absolute nonsense and a beaurocratic nightmare. Why not tax people for having bought very expensive cars? The whole idea is daft.

    ***** spelling

  7. Polldrums. Apart from a small 1-2% drift back from UKIP to Con, there has been no change at all in the polls for 5 months. Absolutely everything in that time has been sampling error.

    I’m not expecting party conference season to have any effect at all. Why would it? It didn’t do anything last year.

  8. It is a year since Toby Young got his “Plan B for Boris Johnson” on to the front page of the Spectator. It feels like we are going to be fed this stuff reheated ad nauseam

    Tim Montgomerie at ConHome after spending a year of so carefully outlining all the intricate whys and wherefores of what Conservatives need to do to win a majority in 2015 seems to have given up. Boris + blue collar Conservatism + pact with UKIP is the only hope now.

    Meanwhile the Mail on Sunday hides the Survation poll away in a little piece about Ed Davey being told he can’t replace Nick Clegg as leader until he’s lost a bit of weight.

  9. PAULCROFT

    Indeed ” ludicrous” Auto spell check is now off!!

    ……

    Allan Christie: FPTP is ludicrous ********. Are you not use to that yet? What percentage of voters wanted a Lib/Con coalition? Or Thatcher? Or Blair despite huge victories?”
    ______

    No as it happens I’m not used to FPTP and never will be and a minority of voters wanted all of the above so none of the parties can claim a moral victory.

    ….
    By the way this millionaire tax is an absolute nonsense and a beaurocratic nightmare. Why not tax people for having bought very expensive cars? The whole idea is daft”
    _____

    I couldnt care less!! :)

    Oh and btw it’s “bureaucratic ” *******spelling. ;)

  10. not the way i spell it its not.

  11. Yeah well that’s obvious!!

  12. Even though it’s perfectly logical, I can’t help but be surprised how right wing the remaining Lib Dem voters are. Who’d have thought that such a large majority would prefer a Tory-led government to a Labour-led one?

    The hypothetical effect of replacing Clegg with Cable is actually much bigger than it appears at first sight because they lose a lot of voters to the Tories as well as gaining many from Labour.

    In a parallel universe where Brown didn’t do quite so badly, I wonder whether the Lib Dems would be forever trying to drag them to the right to avoid losing votes to the Tory opposition.

  13. BBC: “Nick Clegg has insisted the coalition will not make further spending cuts “on the backs of the poor”.

    But then they go on to quote him as saying :

    “I’m not saying something as big as welfare is immune from further savings but I’m saying that the burden has to be spread fairly.”

    Bind moggling. Not sure which version NC will stand by, but I think this is more fanciful stuff from his wish list and I expect there will be a benefits freeze and more benefit cuts.

  14. @AW

    I know this may be either unpractical or unscientific however given the polls for the last 6 months have basically been identical is it not possible for YouGov to do some analysis on the constituencies based on that polling?

    For me there are some important analysis from that re the marginals. In your write up of different leaders (and taking into account that if it actually happened people might then see the new leaders different to expectations) it shows the Labour lead slipping. My question would be OK the Libs take votes from Labour but where are those votes. Is that spread evenly or is it just that tacticals in Tory-Lib marginals are willing to give the Lib Dem candidate another chance.

    In a similar vein I would be very interested to know if the 10% Lib Dem vote is spread evenly or if it is higher in Lib Dem-Tory marginals and lower in Lib Dem-Labour marginals.

    To know what is going on Lib Dem-Tory marginals and Lib Dem-Labour marginals IMHO is vital to final result.

  15. PAUL CROFT.
    I did not mean to be tedious, and the Cons do seem to have picked up in some polls.

    I missed Anthony’s recent analysis.

  16. When I re-read my last post I felt like it might need clarification.

    What I was suggesting was that in each opinion poll the chances are you have two people sampled from each constituency but over a 6 month period of static polls you might have 200 sampled from one constituency which is getting closer to an acceptable sample size. If these were then grouped (5 Lib Dem Tory marginals in the South 5 Lab-Tory marginals in the North) then you get an accurate sample size and meaningful data could be produced.

  17. statgeek

    “Clegg’s Scotland ratings are quite shocking.”

    … but no surprise, considering that it was mostly an anti-Con vote and only a small loyal Liberal vote. Add to that that there is another electable option in Scotland which is, except in Glasgow, a better buy for the anti-Con voter.

    The three UK parties need either Bavarianisation (as Labour are belatedly realising) or independence.

    UK Libdem leaders made no attempt to hold on to their anti-Con vote in Scotland and the 2010 result was exacerbated by retirals of long service MSP’s with huge personal votes and a reputation in their constituencies which was not matched by the party’s appreciation of their worth.

    That had its consequences for the list vote.

    You wouldn’t want these people running anything important, would you?

  18. @Bill Patrick – fpt

    Thanks for yolur comments, I note that your interpretation of an electoral pact at the next general election entails representation for UKIP in the next parliament.

  19. @chrisland1945 – your ‘polls are tightening’ claim was clearly tedious, and drearily predictable. Quite bizarre, as @Paulcroft suggest, as we’ve now had two of the four polls showing a disaster of a number for the Tories and another showing the position static.

    You clearly don’t read The Teachings of the Saintly Anthony.

    On other matters;

    Clegg has come out with some kind of plan for using pension pots to back up childrens housing purchases. On the face of it, a valid idea, although I would be loathe to recommend people risk their pension pots to guarantee their offsprings house buying. The downside however, is that it could well serve to entrench inequality, with asset rich families moving ahead of the rest.

    I would rather see moves to help people use housing assets for their own pensions.

  20. I’m sure my teachings had something about not continuing discussions from past threads on new ones. One good reason not to is that you can actually see what people wrote.

    ChrisLane never said the polls were tightening – he said the position is tighter than some of the polls last week (presumably thinking of the 13 and 15 point jobbies) suggested, which is entirely true, since a broader look suggests the lead is actually around about 10.

    Paul, and now you, are criticising him for something he didn’t say.

  21. Anthony: Its your site but in my opinion “the polls are tightening” conjures up a much more dramatic image than the reality. Any difference is surely too marginal to be worth commenting on.

  22. It really is time to include ukip in the polling averages, looks like we have a 4 party system

  23. Love this LibDem Conference. You would think they are the Opposition given the number of times they attack Cons. Haven’t heard them mention Labour at all.

    They really are all screwed up about who they are & what they are for.

    AW-since you seem to be around-UKPR is loading slowly for me the last few days. The last thing it is “waiting for” is always ” r.twimg.com”. Does that signify with you at all ?-thanks.

  24. Colin
    “Love this LibDem Conference. You would think they are the Opposition given the number of times they attack Cons. Haven’t heard them mention Labour at all.”

    One of the first things Clegg said last night was that Ed M should apologise for Iraq. Seeing as Ed M did so in his very first conference speech & did so despite not even being an MP when the Iraq invasion took place, I think Clegg looks ridiculous every time he attacks Labour.

  25. Richard in Norway
    It really is time to include ukip in the polling averages, looks like we have a 4 party system
    ______

    Tory, Labour, UKIP and the Greens…. totaly agreed!!

  26. @Paul Croft

    I agree with Anthony’s comments and I also think that the answers to the hypothetical questions show just how flaky the Labour lead is.

  27. Hollande heading in a Ed-ward direction:-

    “French President François Hollande’s approval rating has slumped by one of the biggest margins in recent times, according to a poll published on Sunday, confirming voter impatience at high unemployment and the rising cost of living.

    An IFOP survey for the weekly Journal du Dimanche (JDD) had the Socialist president, elected in May 2012, down 11 points in one month with an approval rating of 43%.

    It is one of the worst popularity plunges for a French leader since IFOP began polling for the JDD in 1958. Hollande’s score has been beaten just twice.

    In 1962 Charles de Gaulle lost 13 points in the wake of the catastrophic Algerian War, while Jacques Chirac lost 12 points in 2005 after voters dealt a mortal blow to his presidential credibility by rejecting the European Constitutional Treaty.”

    France24

  28. @colin

    As I predicted when EdM’ites on here were championing Hollande as the ideal example.

    Major lesson is you can’t over promise nor under estimate the pain: hope the two Eds are taking note and get out some realistic not utopian polices SOON.

  29. ROB SHEFFIELD

    @”Major lesson is you can’t over promise nor under estimate the pain: hope the two Eds are taking note and get out some realistic not utopian polices SOON.”

    Agreed.

    They do seem to be keeping you waiting-but I guess they don’t want to spoil that OP lead.:-)

  30. Allen Christie


    Richard in Norway It really is time to include ukip in the polling averages, looks like we have a 4 party system ______

    Tory, Labour, UKIP and the Greens…. totaly agreed!!”

    Very funny

  31. @Richard in Norway

    Since when did you go Green?

  32. I find the thing with Greens, is that you are guaranteed ‘ wind’ !

    Great energy saving as well. After Brussel Sprouts, I have no need of central heating. :)

    The Lib Dems have for a long time been keen on Green issues, but I am guessing that RIN, has had enough of Lib Dems not pushing enough in government for their own policies.

  33. The way that Labour are criticising ALL the cuts and government policies, I’m beginning to think that a Lab coalition with the Libs (which would likely have much worse arithmetic than the current Con-LIb coalition) will actually not be a bad thing for the Conservatives. I agree with Rob that Labour has to be careful not to promise too much only to keep many/all of the same cuts after 2015 in a weak coalition/small majority situation. Otherwise, the electorate will expect tuition fees/welfare cuts to all/mostly be abandoned in the case of a Lab coalition/majority government and the anger will likely do significant damage to their chances at a subsequent GE.

  34. Ed’s already said it would be crackers to promise to restore cuts such as EMA.

  35. @Wolf,

    But the problem for Labour is that as it has been heavily criticising the government for public sector and welfare cuts, tuition fee rises and public sector pay cuts, many voters (probably) assume that Labour would reverse many of these policies, especially as Ed and Labour have repeatedly declared since 2010 that they wouldn’t cut ‘as hard or as fast’ as they don’t think massive cuts work. Can they live up to this? We’ve already seen how Hollande has failed to in France.

  36. @ Rob, Colin, Ambivalent

    It’s interesting that you’d like Labour to make the same assumptions as you 3 make:

    1. The government will stick with plan A;
    2. The ‘green shoots’ are a figment of certain people’s imagination & there’ll be no return to robust growth; &
    3. That majority of the electorate give a spit for the detail of economic policy & would take the time to understand it this far out from an election.

    It is now looking like George Osborne may be forced to abandon his deficit target in the coming autumn statement. That could be a seam of pure gold for Labour to mine. Had Labour already signed up to e.g. matching Osborne’s targets, they’d have squandered a great opportunity to hammer home the message that austerity isn’t working.

    Labour are doing the correct thing by holding back on economic policy detail.
    8-)

  37. @Amber,

    I agree that they are doing the right thing in holding back on detail…you misunderstand me. It’s the only way they can win in 2015. If Labour revealed that they’d cut massively too (i.e. the truth Alistair Darling-style), the public simply wouldn’t vote them in.

    But that doesn’t mean that it won’t be problematic should they win in 2015, especially if they only manage a coalition government or a small majority.

  38. “a Lab coalition with the Libs (which would likely have much worse arithmetic than the current Con-LIb coalition)”
    Maybe not?
    Con+Lib have a majority of 39 (364 seats)

    If we take the Wisdom Index, 31/39/18 (which is the best for the Libs), we’d end up with Labour on 368 – large majority.
    So how about the ComRes poll, lead of only 4? 35/39/10
    Labour on 346 – still a majority.

    To have numbers worse than the Con+Lib coalition, Lab would have to do worse than the Cons in 2015 – if they do better, even marginally, they’ll have a very small majority of seats on their own.
    Thanks FPTP.

  39. @Amber
    “It is now looking like George Osborne may be forced to abandon
    his deficit target in the coming autumn statement.”

    Maybe he already has? Merv King did his loyal bit the other day to pave the way. Perhaps the problem for GO now is how to complete the U-turn whilst dressing it up as something else?

  40. @AW – “I’m sure my teachings had something about not continuing discussions from past threads on new ones.”

    Indeed – we are all unworthy.

    @Colin – I too am struck by the tone of the Lib Dem conference. Realistically, it’s was always going to be the way they approached 2015, but there is also a real sense of frustration among Lib Dems at Cameron’s inability to deliver on his promises. They have rightly seized on the legacy of ‘the greenest government ever’ as a particular example of the Tories saying one thing but doing the diametric opposite, so I really don’t think Tories can complain if Lib Dems wish to give them a kicking on this set of issues.

    @Amberstar – absolutely agree that detailed policy commitments needs to the be left as long as possible. Clearly, some flesh gradually needs to be added, but I believe the reason why we currently don’t have a Tory majority is that we were fed detailed ‘policy commitments’ far too early, that consequently had to be withdrawn.

    ‘Cast iron pledges’ spring to mind. Shooting too early risks your credibility, and this is what sunk Cameron.

  41. TOH:

    I am shocked that you disagree with me but am sure AW will be excited about your support.

    Let’s see where things stand after the conferences and see how far the lead has “flaked”.

  42. @Paulcroft – do you get wafers with that?

  43. To put it another way (Labour’s FPTP bonus) –
    If we end up on
    Con – 37 (nc), Lab 36 (+6), Lib 17 (-6) then the only coalition possible is a Lib/Lab one on 339 seats, despite Conservatives being the largest party.
    If we reverse these numbers –
    Con – 36, Lab 37, Lib 17, then we have Lib/Lab as the only coalition, with 357 seats.

    So thanks to Labour’s ‘bonus’, the numbers will almost always be better for Lib/Lab than Lib/Con with comparable numbers, based on national swing.

  44. RICHARD IN NORWAY

    You look great in your green attire .. :)

  45. 30/37/23 (equal to 2010 – Lab and Con reversed) gives us Lib/Lab of 426, a difference of 62 seats.
    The new boundaries would do little to fix the overall problem caused by FPTP, but it would be better for the Cons.

    So it’s important to convince the LibDems to abandon their plans to block the new boundaries (perhaps with that mansion tax?).

  46. @ Ambivalent

    Labour are not going to have to cut massively when (ok, if) they win in 2015. They may have to borrow to invest in the UK’s infrastructure to create demand led jobs for two or three years until the world economy settles into a new phase.

    And, IMO, Labour’s ‘serious thinkers’ are willing to privately take the view that the economy is going to swing westwards from around 2015 as the cumulative effects of UK, US & ‘disguised’ euro QE melt away China’s surplus. China will be struggling to cope with the outflow of the hot money & the social consequences of an artificially engineered capital boom/ bust in a communist country. The consequences thereof & lack of room to manouvere have been exacerbated by the physical size of China. They will not be pulling the world’s economic strings in the future.

    I’ve been saying this for a couple of years now; & also saying that despite Mrs Merkel’s protestations, the euro would be supported by a version of QE (I got mocked for saying it; Martyn & I were the only two who said the eurozone was certain to survive). And I’ve also said in the past, this euro QE would be to the disadvantage of China which holds much of the euro denominated debt.

    By 2017, a Labour government could well see a return to fairly robust ‘west-world’ growth; & it could be a very different kind of growth to that which we saw in the Reaganomics/ Thatcherite era.

    Labour will face a very different set of challenges to the ones which we are expected to assume they will face, when/if they are elected in 2015.
    8-)

  47. AMBER

    @” That could be a seam of pure gold for Labour to mine.”

    Could be-let’s see-umm-
    ” The Government have cut public spending more quickly than we would have done, and put taxes up more than we would have done-and still taken longer to bring the deficit down than they hoped.

    So we will reduce VAT, slow down spending cuts, ( but we can’t promise to reverse them mind) -and take even longer about it.”

    ….yep -that could work :-)

  48. @ Ozwald

    Maybe he already has? Merv King did his loyal bit the other day to pave the way.
    ——————
    Yes, I was trying to be a bit cautious; it may be a bate & switch but I don’t really think it is. I think Osborne will have to admit ‘deficit defeat’ in his autumn statement.
    8-)

  49. Billy Bob,

    I never realised how much electoral potential UKIP had until I went to the south of England and failed to find a single Tory who didn’t prefer them to Cameron’s lot. For someone from Scotland, where Europhilia is tied up with middle-class liberalism, that was a big shock.

    I’m sure there are plenty seats in England that UKIP would win if the Tories weren’t also standing, because Labour are as toxic there as the Tories in Glasgow.

  50. ALEC

    @” there is also a real sense of frustration among Lib Dems at Cameron’s inability to deliver on his promises. ”

    Well I’ve watched a fair bit of it-and my overiding impression is that they ( ie the delegates) have a sense of frustration at Cameron’s inability to deliver on THEIR promises . I fully expect Conservative delegates to me making the same complaint at their conference. :-)

    Actually-just watched NC respond to a ” why have you been so right wing in public finances policy) question.

    It was a blistering put down & simple explanation of some facts ( including the operation of fiscal & time related stabilisers ) -I wished it had been DC saying it actually -maybe he will !

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