This week’s YouGov results for the Sunday Times are now up here. Voting intention is CON 33%, LAB 43%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 6%. As ever, it is wrong to judge by a single poll, but this one is very much back to the normal holding position. We had a couple of 14 point leads after Labour conference and a couple of 7 points straight after Tory conference, but if other polls this week are like this they have all cancelled each other out and we are back to normal.

The leader approval ratings are minus 24 for Cameron (from minus 20 last week), minus 14 for Miliband (from minus 9 last week) and minus 58 for Clegg. Miliband’s boost from his party conference last week has started to unwind, while Cameron has only a small boost from his own conference – far less than the one Miliband enjoyed.

On economic policy 34% of people said the government should stick to its current course (up from 29% last time YouGov asked), 38% said it should change strategy to concentrate on growth (down from 42%). This is the smallest lead for changing course since back in April.

While Cameron has a slight increase in his ratings and in support for the government’s economic policy, public perceptions of the conference are that it made very little difference – 59% say it made no difference to their views of David Cameron (10% more positive, 12% more negative), 46% say it made no difference to the Conservative’s chances of winning the next election (11% more likely, 13% less likely). Of the three main party leaders Ed Miliband is perceived as having had the most successful conference – 32% think his was the most successful, 22% David Cameron, 3% Nick Clegg.

On the details of the Conservative conference, people think Cameron’s “aspiration nation” is the right vision for Britain by 49% to 27%, and he leads Ed Miliband by 35% to 27% as the leader people would most trust to help Britain to swim rather than sink.

People are evenly split on the principle of cutting an extra £10 billion off the welfare bill (43% support, 43% oppose) but they support the specific ideas floated at the party conference – 51% support stopping housing benefit for most under 25s and 67% support stopping unemployed parents from receiving extra benefits when they have another child. They would, however, have been even more supportive of the mansion tax that George Osborne ruled out – 73% say they are in favour of a new tax on homes worth over £2 million.

Finally in the conference questions, people think that Boris would be a better leader than Cameron by 36% to 34%. Amongst the Conservative party’s own voters Cameron has a large lead – ahead of Boris by 58% by 29%. Looking at the hypothetical voting intention questions, the control question with the current leaders has the parties at CON 33%, LAB 42%, LD 10%. Asking how people would vote if Boris replaced Dave the figures switch to CON 38%, LAB 40%, LDEM 10% – so the figures still suggest Boris would win over more voters than Dave.

60% of people said they think there should be a referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU (although to add the usual caveat, people support a referendum on almost anything you ask them about, given it is the equivalent of asking whether people would like to have a say on something or let politicians do it!). 32% of people say they would vote to remain a member of the EU, 48% say they would vote to leave (pretty typical YouGov’s recent results for this question).

UPDATE: It doesn’t look as though there was an Opinium poll in the Observer today – when they announced the link up they said they would move to fortnightly polls following conference season, so presumably this is the “off-week”. There is, however, a “Vision Critical” poll in the Sunday Express. Vision Critical are the parent company of Angus Reid, so I am assuming this is just a differently branded Angus Reid poll – topline figures there, with changes from the last Angus Reid poll back in August, are CON 31%(+1), LAB 43%(+2), LD 8%(-3), UKIP 8%.


375 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 33, LAB 43, LD 10, UKIP 6”

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  1. britain as “aspiration nation”

    surely people in all countries aspire to better things?

    and, presumably, their respective governments – whatever their political persuasion – put policies in place to achieve that for their people.

  2. really cannot see the point of having daily polls as it all seems like a waste of time and money.
    Fortnightly polls are sufficient.

  3. “…really cannot see the point of having daily polls as it all seems like a waste of time and money.
    Fortnightly polls are sufficient.”

    Spoilsport.

  4. Interesting that there is such a huge differential in the conservative vote when prompted for Boris but still the Labour vote remains relatively unchanged.Probably due to the leftie votes being united.

    But with a gung-ho News International campaign,Boris could upstage Miliband in 2015,aka 1992.Perhaps Labour should ease off on Cameron for a while.

  5. Although to an extent we’re back to polldrums after the party confs effect, could one argue that in fact the Lab VI is pretty solid – far more so than some have previously contended?

  6. @ THAT OLD BLOKE

    Or as Mark Serwotka said: ‘David Cameron calls this the “aspiration nation”. It is. Where once we had rights to housing, healthcare, education, welfare, decent pay and pensions, now we can only aspire to them.’

  7. Have the Tories managed to steal some votes back from ukip, will be interesting to keep an eye on it but somehow I doubt that it last long

  8. Surely the ‘Boris bounce’ is a lot of people thinking he’d be a laugh as a party leader? As a leader, wouldn’t a lot of people start remembering the adultery (and children resulting therefrom), unfortunate remarks etc?

  9. @That Old Bloke –

    Sunday morning.

    It’s ‘Aspirin Nation’.

  10. @Smukesh

    I recall pre-2007 polling suggested Brown would be better placed as PM…

  11. The only conclusion I can draw from those agree/disagree statements, is that people are confused.

  12. In the past, I think Labour used to lose VI when the current leaders’ names were mentioned; & the Tories used to gain a fair few percent.

    Now, it makes scarcely a difference. Con remains 33% & Labour drops just a fraction to 42% from 43%.

    Even the ‘mighty’ Boris cannot overhaul Labour’s lead post conference; his Olympic honeymoon is now over.

    Personally, I’ve always found Boris’s popularity to have been built upon right-leaning rhetoric & left-leaning policies. When folks stop laughing & start listening, he’ll do only a little better than David Cameron would.
    8-)

  13. I see David Nicholson, chief executive of the NHS, fears the NHS reforms will end in failure. He said high-profile, politically driven changes almost always end in disaster.

    This is strong expressions of concerns and criticism of the reforms.

    It will be interesting to see how much airtime this gets and what if any the effect will be on VI.

    I think the next six months will severely test this gov.

  14. @ WasTorynow labour On daily polls.

    Well it’s jobs for the boys & no doubt a few girls.

    I regret that the non-standard questions are a bit unimaginative: the “would you vote for Boris” ones are done to death.

    I’d more interested, eg, in finding out what the 2010 Lib-Dem defectors to Labour are thinking, as this is the major national change in VI since the last election. Regional stuff is always interesting, when it appears, which is almost never.

  15. Boris for leader – bring on the clowns.

  16. @JAYBLANC

    I am not so sure…My impression is that polls were telling us that Brown was a liability.Hopefully someone in the know could confirm either way.

  17. wastorynowlabour

    really cannot see the point of having daily polls as it all seems like a waste of time and money.
    Fortnightly polls are sufficient.

    Actually most polls are “daily” polls in that they are taken over a 24-hour or so period – maybe two or three days at most. The point about having more frequent polls is that you can both see movement in the polls and see if it is genuine. If they are only once or twice a month, you have no way of knowing if a particular poll showed a real change in public opinion or was just a fluke.

    Of course you can compare polls from different pollsters to get higher frequency, but apart from the problem that these tend to end up clustered rather than evenly spread, they all have different “house effects” (and may in fact be measuring slightly different things) so they are only broadly comparable.

  18. Good Afternoon All.

    I think that Labour should fear a Boris coup, repeating what was done in 1990.

  19. @Norbold
    That’s a great response, certainly beats the Tories “one notion” in any case.

    @That Old Bloke
    I think the phrase “no-one’s owed a living” inclusion stops it from being a no-brainer.

  20. @ Chris Lane

    The 1990 coup against Thatcher was successful because it was done so swiftly she barely had time to mount a defence.

    Boris can’t do a ‘quick & dirty’ coup. He’s mayor until 2016 & he’s not currently an MP so Cameron would see it coming from a mile away.

    Until now, Cameron has been careful to support Boris as mayor of London & an asset to the Tory Party. Things would change immediately, were Boris to stand as an MP.
    8-)

  21. What impact on the outcome of the next GE will the National Health Action Party have, I wonder? I’m guessing that it will mainly target seats that are Con or LD held.

  22. @AMBER STAR

    Reports are that 14 MP`s have requested a Tory leadership challenge and if that rises to 46,then an automatic leadership challenge is triggered.

    The two questions the MP`s might have on their mind is whether having Cameron as their leader would increase or decrease their chances of keeping their seat and whether their party continues to enjoy power.And as we get ever closer to 2015 if the polls continue to disappoint,then there is chance Boris may appear more attractive to Tory MP`s.

  23. I suspect that a Boris leadership would do some interesting things to polling: he might enable the Tories to win back more London seats without necessarily making a big difference in other marginal seats. In a close election that might make a difference.

    It certainly seems that opinions of him are very varied around the country (I doubt there are any votes for him in Liverpool, but that would probably make to difference).

  24. chrislane1945

    I think that Labour should fear a Boris coup, repeating what was done in 1990.

    But in 1990, most people saw Mrs Thatcher as the problem, so replacing her meant that the Conservatives could start afresh. Here the problem isn’t with Cameron but with the Party itself. Despite the Westminster Bubble’s longing for presidential politics putting Boris on top won’t make much difference.

  25. in 1992:

    Con got 42% of the vote. This was a couple of points down on the 1979 result. There is no chance whatsoever of Con getting a 6% gain on its 2010 performance to match that. 36% is the ceiling.

    Lab got 34% and LD got 18% of vote Some of that LD is going Lab, question is, how much? Do you really see Con outpolling Lab next time out?

    If Con max is currently 36%, then Lab only need 38% for a narrow majority. As they go over 40% it gets comfortable.

  26. @ wastorynowlabour

    If you have fornightly then each poll becomes more significant than it would otherwise be and you get all sorts of random sampling errors treated as fact.

    However I would love to see them make one of the weekday polls different- 3 a week is enough and the other one could do some polling on marginals.

    We are desperately short of information on marginals and as I have said before I especially want to know how the Lib Dem vote is spread. Will they hold their Lib Dem/Tory marginals? Will they lose all the Lab-Lib Dem marginals? Where Labour is second to the Tories are Lib Dems deserting to Labour in larger numbers or is the Lib Dem loss of support evenly spread?

  27. @Mike N
    “What impact on the outcome of the next GE will the National Health Action Party have, I wonder? I’m guessing that it will mainly target seats that are Con or LD held.”

    If they get a significant number of votes won’t it split the anti-coalition vote and hence make Conservative seats safer?

    That’s assuming that they don’t attract many Con voters of course.

    LibDem seats are more difficult to predict because they appear to be going to lose many votes anyway.

  28. There was an interestingly (Freudian?) slip on tingedfringe’s otherwise impeccable summary:

    Which party would best help Britain sink or swim?
    Cameron – 35
    Miliband – 27
    Clegg – 5

    In fact the question was Which of the main party leaders would you trust most to help Britain to swim rather than sink?, [my bold] but it does rather illustrate how badly worded questions can mislead even the wisest of heads. That makes you wonder how much trust you put in some of the results.

    Actually this question (which was introduced with “This week the Conservative party held their annual party conference in Birmingham” which might have acted as a bit of a prompt) and the rest of the ST poll did contain quite a bit of what I’ve called “directed polling” particularly in terms of question ordering. For example:

    If more savings are required in order to cut the country’s deficit, do you think they should mainly be funded through more tax increases, more spending cuts, or should the country borrow more?

    Comes after a series of questions nearly all of which advocate popular spending cuts. There’s also the problem that the options are only all-of-one, while many people would prefer a mixture perhaps biased one way. (This is at least the third time that YouGov has done this). Interestingly a high “Don’t Know” on this (23%) may indicate a lot of panelists were unhappy about this.

    Some of the wording is also effectively slanted. For example the statement:

    It is wrong that many young people who go out to work have to save up into their 20s to afford to move into their own home when young people on benefits can get a home paid for by the state

    is misleading because the people who are saving are doing so to buy their own home, not move into one. If they’re having to save up for the deposit of a rented property, they will almost certainly be needing housing benefit the subsequent rent. And of course that also reminds us that you can also be “on benefits” and “go[ing] out to work” – indeed most “on benefits” are (from housing benefit and/or tax credits).

  29. Thanks for the usual excellent summary AW. It looks as though we are back to the average 10% lead that Labour had before the conference season. It will be interesting to see what happens as the economy slowly improves.

    The sink or swim question suggests that the Tories are still ahead on economic confidence when it matters.

  30. TOH today :-
    “The sink or swim question suggests that the Tories are still ahead on economic confidence when it matters.”

    YouGov today:
    Do you think the coalition government is managing the economy well or badly?
    Total well 29%
    Total badly 62%

    Should have gone to Specsavers

  31. @ the other howard

    “It will be interesting to see what happens as the economy slowly improves.”

    Shouldn’t that be phased ‘it would be interesting to see what happens if the economy improves”

    If the economy improves I think the Tories do have a serious chance. My prediction of a Labour landslide is based on a firm belief that it will not. I also predict it could be a one term Labour government in 2015 as I think the economy has changed on a semi permanent basis and globilisation together with government debt will still be around in 2020!

  32. Re destination of the LD vote: I think that’s the million dollar question. Much will surely go to Labour – some of it merely going home after defecting due to unhappiness with Blair and Brown. That should win Labour some seats in LD-Lab marginals. In LD-Con marginals it may let Cons in and so hurt Labour.

    Some will go Green; some LD protest votes may go UKIP. I doubt if either UKIP or LD will gain any seats though it will help them overall; in terms of GE result this will help both Con and Lab depending on who is the main challenger to LD.

    I don’t see much going Tory. Surely most unhappy LD [ex]-voters are unhappy with the govt being, in their view, too Tory? On his basis much of the strongest area of LD support, in south and SW england, is a battle with the Tories. Fighting an election on the basis that its a 2-way battle with the Tories and chasing the centre left vote seems a sound strategy for most of those LD seats and I think in last local elections the LD vote held up better than nationally in those areas.

    I can’t see how the strategy of tying the LDs in with the Tories, reported on front of today’s Indie, is going to help with that – could lead to a swing to Labour in LD heartlands which will mainly benefit the Tories giving LDs at best a weakened position in a coalition and at worst fatally undermining their core vote.

    NB I refer to England only – too ignorant to comment on LD voters in Wales or Scotland

  33. Anthony,

    “67% support stopping unemployed parents from receiving extra benefits when they have another child”

    Isn’t that a very leading question? Did you ask a control question, e.g. “Would you support denying child benefit to children whose parents are unemployed and have elder siblings?”

    Christian

  34. @Roger Mexico

    Very good post at 12.47pm.

    It takes close analysis to decode these slanted questions. We might query how valuble they are… though AW has suggested (in connection with the Populus Conservative polling) that they are helpful in so far as they test the effectiveness of different approaches to framing a political narrative.

  35. “It is wrong that many young people who go out to work have to save up into their 20s to afford to move into their own home when young people on benefits can get a home paid for by the state”

    Very disappointing to see a poll question where the facts are portrayed incorrectly.

    The whole debate around benefits has been skewed by untruths & deliberate skewing of fact but Cameron has mastered in this & has been coupled with no questioning by reporters who should do much more to arm themselves with some facts so that they report fact, not fiction.

    The fact is that of all new HB claims, 93% are in work & the reason for needing HB is crap wages. The building & social housing foundation has this week released a report to back up the figures.
    http://www.bshf.org/published-information/publication.cfm?thePubID=5E017604-15C5-F4C0-99F1DFE5F12DBC2A

    Hopefully yougov will ask the same question next week but reword it to ask:

    “Seeing as 93% of housing benefit claimants are in work, is it fair that the benefit should be removed because the claimant is under 25yrs of age”

    Then again…..

  36. “73% say they are in favour of a new tax on homes worth over £2 million”
    __________

    I don’t get this? Someone living in a £2 million property in London, ie a penthouse, could be on an income of £500,000 a year and someone living in a Scottish estate (inherited) could have a modest income of around £45,000.

  37. allan

    It’s not a tax on income it’s a tax on wealth.

  38. Billy Bob – seeing whether people buy arguments is one of the few things agree/disagree statements are useful for. Two of the statements in the grid are essentially the arguments put forward by Cameron and Osborne in favour of the benefit cuts, the other two are essentially criticisms that have been put forward by charities like CPAG and Shelter.

    You can’t “debias” them, as the point is that politicans make arguments in a biased way – George Osborne doesn’t stand up and say “The current situation is unfair and we are changing things – it might also increase homelessness but what the hell!”, he just tries to frame the argument his way.

    Questions like this don’t tell you if people support or oppose the policy (hence that being asked separately first before people have seen the arguments), it only tells you whether they agree or disagree with an argument. Of course, people can (and in this case, clearly do) think there are good arguments on both sides. Some people think that the current situation is unfair when it is presented in the sort of way the Conservatives present it…. but they *also* think that the Conservative solution would increase homelessness. No doubt some of them think the former is more important than the latter and others vice-versa.

    Hence if you test arguments this way you MUST include arguments on both sides, otherwise you get a very biased picture. You also need to interpret them in that context – taking a pro-statement out of context doesn’t tell you much unless you also look at the anti-statements.

    I still don’t like them even when I write them – let those questions out in the wild and people take them out of context and misinterpret them – but there are not really better ways of testing public responses to political arguments that are, by definition, not worded in fair and balanced ways.

    Ozwald – mote and beam, mote and beam. A question asking whether the government is good or bad at something is not the same as one asking people which party is best at something. People can think a party is rubbish at something… but still better than the alternative.

    Questions on preference on the economy are quite nuanced. Asked which party they trust more on the economy there is little in it, best party on the current economic situation the Tories tend to do a bit better, which leader they trust more on the economy Cameron beats Miliband. Which broad economic policy they prefer without identifying them by party or politician you get mixed results (the wording YouGov use, as in the start of this poll, tends to show Labour’s approach is preferred, but Populus have a slightly different version that tends to show the Conservative policy preferred).

    I tend to summarise when asked by saying the parties are pretty much neck-and-neck on the economy!

  39. Adam
    “I can’t see how the strategy of tying the LDs in with the Tories, reported on front of today’s Indie, is going to help with that – could lead to a swing to Labour in LD heartlands which will mainly benefit the Tories giving LDs at best a weakened position in a coalition and at worst fatally undermining their core vote.”

    As someone who voted LD in 2010, the pact between Clegg & Cameron is the one thing that guaranteed my vote will go to Labour in 2015.

    Cosying up to Cameron is suicidal for the LDs IMO because as far as I can tell, the ‘leftie’ side of the LDs loathe the tories & Cameron yet look at the LDs in the Cabinet – all orange bookers – that’s no coincidence.

    Clegg, Alexander, Cable & Laws would sit very happily with the tories yet not one of them has the guts to openly join them [Snip… and Vince Cable??? – AW]

  40. @ Nick P, Allan Christie

    It’s not a tax on income it’s a tax on wealth.
    ————————-
    It’s a house tax which has been proposed, not an estate tax. Nobody has mentioned taxing the value of land which is adjacent to the house but not included with the title deeds of the house. I’d think that most people who have an estate, of the type which I think Allan C was alluding to, will likely have already arranged their affairs so that the house & land are not treated as a single entity for tax purposes.
    8-)

  41. NICKP

    Sorry my last comment was a bit vague and as you say it’s not a tax on income but on wealth… the point I was trying to make was that some people living in a 2 million pound home might not be as wealthy as we think.

    Look at the many programs we see on the TV, especially the one with Ruth Watson (Country house rescue I think) and all of the properties featured on that program are worth over 2 million but the people who own them struggle with the up keep.

    So I’m thinking that a mansion tax is an extra burden on people who (on paper) might look wealthy but in reality are not.

    I think it’s better to tax extra on income rather than a large pile of bricks.

  42. a pure wealth tax would be better, including all assets

  43. ALLAN CHRISTIE

    I assumed you were trying to make this point.

    It is known as the “little old lady” defence.

    The response by Lefties here has , in the past, been-she has to move to a smaller house, which she can support.

    If we are talking “mansion tax” rather than “Wealth tax” -the Little Old Lady will avoid it by such a move.

  44. allan

    Let’s say we taxed property worth over £2m at 1% per annum. If you have a house worth £2m and no income and you get a bill for £20,000 …what are your options?

    Sell the property and pay the tax bill, use the balance to buy somewhere you can afford to maintain.

    Borrow against the property (with no income this might be silly)

    Rent out some space in your pile and use the rental income to pay the tax

    Get a job.

  45. @AW
    “Mote and Beam”

    Accepted. Please note that my post was in response to partisan cherry-picking of today’s stats – which is hardly in the spirit of this site. But II should have ignored it. My previous two posts were critical of all parties including ‘my team’.

  46. COLIN

    That is exactly the point I’m trying to make and you can already see the unfairness of such a tax. :)

  47. @ Allan Christie

    Sorry my last comment was a bit vague and as you say it’s not a tax on income but on wealth… the point I was trying to make was that some people living in a 2 million pound home might not be as wealthy as we think.
    —————-
    May I be the first to say that they are exactly as wealthy as we think they are. They have a £2M asset.

    Let’s say somebody has a car – which they may well need to get to work etc – & are struggling with the upkeep. Do they get to escape paying the road tax or insurance? No, they don’t.

    The public are losing patience with special pleading on behalf of the wealthy, don’t you think? 73% supporting a mansion tax seems to indicate that they are.
    8-)

  48. NICKP

    “allan

    Let’s say we taxed property worth over £2m at 1% per annum. If you have a house worth £2m and no income and you get a bill for £20,000 …what are your options?

    Sell the property and pay the tax bill, use the balance to buy somewhere you can afford to maintain.

    Borrow against the property (with no income this might be silly)

    Rent out some space in your pile and use the rental income to pay the tax

    Get a job”
    __________

    Okay that is all very well but not everyone can rely on the resources of Ruth Watson to come to the rescue!! ;)

    I honestly think the tax is a daft idea. People see a £2 million home and immediately think..tax tax tax without taking into account the true wealth of the individual.

  49. @ Allan Christie

    There would probably be discounts for the ‘poor’ little old ladies who are living all alone in their £2M houses with no income but their state pension.
    8-)

  50. AMBER STAR

    Okay so they have a £2 million asset which they are paying for but adding an extra tax on the property because it is valued at £2 million or over in my eyes is daft. It’s punishing someone who is already paying through the roof for the upkeep of the property for a tax which to be honest ain’t going to make a huge difference to the beaks at the Treasury

    “The public are losing patience with special pleading on behalf of the wealthy, don’t you think? 73% supporting a mansion tax seems to indicate that they are”
    …..

    Of course it’s all in the terminology of the question. ;)

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