The weekly YouGov results for the Sunday Times are now online here, mostly covering the BBC and Jimmy Savile, topics which I’ll leave to another day. Topline voting intention results are CON 35%, LAB 42%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 7%. The seven point Labour lead is lower than YouGov normally show, but not by so much that it couldn’t be just normal sample variation.

There does appear to be some impact from the end of the recession though – there are very significant shifts on many of the economy trackers. 36% of people think that the government is managing the economy well, up 5 points from last week and their highest score since before the budget. Overall perceptions of the economy remain dire of course… but are less dire than they have been for a long time. 64% think the economy is in a bad state, the lowest since the general election. The feel good factor (the proportion of people who expect their financial situation to get better in the next 12 months minus those who think it will get worse) is up to minus 34, its highest since May 2010.

It may be a very short term effect from the good economic news, and made fade away again in coming weeks, but right now people are less pessimistic about the economy than they have been for 2 years. With that said, the large majority of people still expect the economic troubles to last a long time – 58% expect them to last another three years or more.

163 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 35, LAB 42, LD 9, UKIP 7”

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  1. The tories seem to have more picked up votes from UKIP than Labour. But now if there is any increase in crime it will be laid at the conservatives door, any problems with the NHS will be down to Landsley’s health care reforms and any further quarters of negative growth will test the patients of many swing voters.

    It has been an unrelentingly grim 6 months for the conservatives, largely self inflicted. A bit of not bad news may have seen some UKIPers float back to the tories. It is going to take something a lot more seismic than that to get a tory majority under the current system.

  2. (I posted this above but it got caught in modding. So I’m reposting it delinked)

    @SoCalLib FPT

    Proceed as follows
    * select your online betting site
    * open an account
    * give them your bank details
    * select your bet
    * transfer money to them to cover your maximum loss
    * wait for the event.
    * transfer any remaining money out of your account

    Sites in UK and Ireland that cover US politics are:
    * h ttp://
    * h ttp://

    You will need a similar site in the US, such as
    * h ttp://

    @Amber FPT
    Thanks for the link

    @DrunkenScouser FPT
    Thank you

    Regards, Martyn

  3. Bill Patrick

    I’d never considered the weighting factor. Does that mean that the SNP is doing better than the yougov column would suggest?

    I’ve a feeling that YouGov do make a separate weighting adjustment for SNP/PC which effectively will help the Scottish figures be more accurate. The main losers appear to be Labour.

    For example I found a Scottish poll from May:

    with Westminster VI:

    Con 14
    Lab 40
    Lib Dem 5
    SNP 35
    UKIP 2

    the Scotland column in the only YouGov daily for the same period has:

    Con 23
    Lab 30
    Lib Dem 5
    SNP 34
    UKIP 1

    Remember of course that these are Westminster, so SNP rating will be lower than it would be for the SP.

  4. Alec,I agree completely with your post regarding Ash trees.However George
    Monbiot wrote a searing incitement of the governments procrastination over
    This and the next day they said they would introduce a ban.Maybe coincidence
    Or not.Incitement should be incitement.This I pad will not let me type what I
    Want.Same with government.Sorry.

  5. Roger- we mainly asked that question to look at the cross-break of Lib Dem voters as a pointer towards tactical voting…. the crossbreak of Lib Dem voters is so small these days its not as interesting!

    Anyway, we’ve asked it more recently than May. I think we did around conference time. I’ll try and dig it out.

  6. ALEC

    There are strong suggestions that the Chalara fraxinea spores are reaching our east coast on the wind.

    Norfolk , Suffolk & Kent are the centres of infection.

    Ash has been nearly wiped out in Denmark & the fungus is widespread in central Europe.

    If this is the case, a ban on imports-“late ” or not -will not stop it.

    DEFRA have burned 100,000 trees since it was discovered here.

    It will certainly make a hole in UK woodland-as did Dutch Elm disease, which defeated all attempts to halt it’s spread . ( I have an elm dying in my hedge right now. It was infected in June & will be dead by Christmas.The LA are not interested-it is no longer notifiable)

    But Ash accounts for only 13% of UK broadleaf woodland. Other species will fill the niche & different habitats will arise-that’s how evolution works.

  7. Alec,a little more on Ash trees.We are fortunate to have a 200 year old
    Grove of Ash trees on our property.They are also hme to a thriving rookery.
    What makes me cross is that thousands of Ash trees on infected sites have
    Been felled and burnt,so obviously people knew there was a problem.By the way why do we import Ash trees anyway.Here I spend my life pulling up Ash

  8. A final note on Ash trees and then I will shut up.I do not know their value to
    The timber industry which could be substantial as they grow very quickly.
    However they are one of the finest logs for burning,possible green,but superb
    If seasoned.If times are hard those of us with wood burners or fires will have
    Lost a major source of fuel.Ditto also with Elm ,a superb fuel log.

  9. Hurricane Sandy sounds a bit of a nighmare. They are expecting a storm surge of water in Manhattan of up to 11 feet !

    If you have any shares in Insurance companies, sell them in the morning !

  10. Ann in Wales

    ‘By the way why do we import Ash trees anyway.Here I spend my life pulling up Ash Seedlings!’

    I agree totally. I have several ash trees in my garden; however there were also a large number of self sown ash and it was a bit of a problem. So, indeed what were we doing importing them.

  11. Maybe the fight in the US isn’t over after all.

    A polling company called Ohio News Organization has Romney and Obama tied on 49% each. Which would give Romney the momentum. But I know nothing about this organisation or how reliable it is, or any biases it may have.

  12. Henry and Ann

    Same here in our garden, we often say ‘come friendly disease and destroy all Ash trees’. They are a pain to dig out, even as seedlings.

    Colin as usual made a defence of government, and very effective it was too. Wise King Canute sprang to mind. That of course will not stop people blaming the government, as once they have decided the government is not wanted, that’s how it goes.

    Gordon Brown saved the world and his sidekick achieved growth, but it didn’t help him or Darling.

  13. @SoCalLiberal

    Thanks for the link to the Desert Sun editorial endorsement of Dr Raul Ruiz – that must be quite a coup. Reading their evenhanded coverage I felt they had been fair him, but didn’t realise they would go so far as to give him their blessing.

    As for the joint venture with KMIR TV, it should have been a showcase media event for them… Mary Bono Mack dragging down the tone really was the height of bad manners (and they point out she has form on this from previous campaigns).

  14. A major difference between the Elm and the Ash is that the certainly the English Elm regrows by vegetative propagation from the rootstock in the ground. Therefore, if nature kills off the beetles that transmit the spores from semi-mature tree to semi-mature die out or are greatly reduced in numbers for some reason the Elm will eventually one day recover. So far they have been re-infected once they reach a semi-mature state with a trunk girth of about 20″ but in each case by the beetles, not on the wind – but one day the Elms could potentially come back. Sadly, this is not so with the Ash which re-generates itself by seed, and seems to get infected on the wind. Hopefully, a bank of uninfected Ash seeds will be kept fresh for a day when they can be re-introduced?

  15. @Robert Newark

    “I am genuinely puzzled that there are still some who believe that Labour’s lead is not soft.”

    And I’m puzzled that you’re puzzled. Lots of people have made comments that ‘Labour’s lead’ or ‘Labour’s vote’ is soft. But there isn’t a lot of evidence for it.

    The level of Labour support in polls over this summer has been pretty consistent. There has been a little variation, but essentially it seems to be hovering in the early 40s.

    Similarly the Tory support has been steady between the low to mid 30s. Their vote seems to be more volatile, but not a lot. The Olympics has come and gone, we have had numerous small scandals etc, but the vote remains in the same range.

    So what makes you think the lead is soft (in the near future)? It looks unlikely that Labour votes will leave, so where will the Tories gain votes from? Probably not the LD – their votes have already migrated. That leaves either UKIP voters or DKs. UKIP might help, but you have no reason to think that DKs would do anything other than split along the same lines as those who state an intention.

    So, bluntly, provide your evidence. And remember that without data it’s just an opinion.

  16. One obvious caveat that should be applied to this weekend’s YouGov poll is that we’ve had one or two 7% Labour leads before, the last one as recently as 17 days ago (October 11th Cons 35 Labour 42) and quite a few 8%s even more recently than that where the Tories have hit the 34% mark. All of these polls took place prior to the publication of the GDP figures and while a 7% lead is very much in the bottom range of MOE, it really isn’t sticking out like a sore thumb in the way a “game-changing” shift in opinion would register itself.

    That’s why I can’t quite see the point people are making about it providing evidence of the softness of Labour’s support . If the Labour VI was soft in the sense that it was susceptible to sudden and sharp reductions in response to anything vaguely favourable happening for the Government, then one would have thought something like the statistical announcement of a return to growth would have shaved more that a percentage point of their VI. Labour seem pretty solid around the 42-44% range and have done so for quite a few months now. Can’t quite see the evidence of softness there, although it will be interesting to see if the improved (less dire!) perceptions of the government’s economic competence are sustained and, if they are, whether or not this feeds through to voting intention.

    The next few polls will be fascinating but if the latest growth figures were as politically significant as some have claimed, and the Labour VI as soft as some would like it to be, then I’d have expected something a bit more spectacular than a C 35 Lab 42 opinion poll this weekend, I have to say. That’s a modest twitch not a sea change!

    My sense is that opinion of this government’s performance is pretty entrenched and that they have a long haul ahead of them if they are to change the public’s jaundiced perception of them. I spy no quick fix or rapid escape from the political hole in which they reside; a hole dug deep by the Chancellor in March and deepened further by a host of other leading coalition figures who appear only too willing to assist with the spadework!

  17. All we seem to be seeing is the Labour vote stuck just above 40%, and the Conservative vote wobbling around between 31-35%. Nothing much else, beyond a few really big Labour leads, perhaps when something goes wrong or the headlines are particularly terrible for the government, or the lead tightening sometimes, perhaps when someone suggests Boris Johnson for PM.

    A firm but modest Labour lead seems reasonable given the circumstances. ie, difficult times, Labour thrown out 2 years ago and the replacement not doing hugely better or different in many people’s perceptions.

  18. Don’t forget the “weekend factor”. Only rich old people in the south can be bothered with weekend polls and this shows up as higher than expected Con VI on Saturdays.

    This is a proven fact, so I won’t have to back it up with any actual evidence, except that there are a lot of abc, old and southern people on the latest poll.

  19. Tony Dean,hopeful comments.I believe that the English Elm is less resistant
    Than the Wych Elm,which perhaps eventually could fight back.However the
    Ash is a different case,as we all have experienced its prolific seeding!Not
    Sure about this wind blown theory,buy hope that it is true as our prevailing
    Winds come from the West.

  20. Nick P,I love you! Just when all seemed lost.

  21. nickp

    Don’t forget the “weekend factor”. Only rich old people in the south can be bothered with weekend polls and this shows up as higher than expected Con VI on Saturdays.

    Except that the YouGov Sunday polls are collected Thursday 6pm to Friday 3pm (as you know full well :P ).

    Still at least it means they can fill them in before they drive down to their weekend cottage/stately home.

  22. @The Sheep

    I do not mean to infer that the Labour lead is soft in the context that it will fluctuate weekly, or even monthly. I mean soft, in that it may well have evaporated in 2015, for the reasons I state.
    My points form a logical arguement but as you state (as did I) are my opinion.
    Only time will tell who is right. Yes DC has a lot to prove but so does EM and if the economy is heading the right way…who knows?
    The difference this time round, compared to 1992-97, is that that time the tories caused the problem (ERM etc) and they faced Blair, who was a man on a mission, this time round they are clearing up someone else’s mess and EM is no Blair.

  23. Robert,EdM is no Blair,indeed he is not,thank God.

  24. Roger M
    ‘Still at least it means they can fill them in before they drive down to their weekend cottage/stately home.’

    Ah, those country suppers. It always amazes (and entertains) how much discussion can arise here from a ‘within MOE’ poll. I suspect the toffs are spreading the Ash spores down the M4 so that even if Ann’s west wind were blowing, it would be to no avail.

  25. Ann I’m surprised to hear you say that, I’ve had you down as left of centre, I thouht you’d be in favour of Blair. I was never old enough to vote while he was in office, but apart from coming across a bit arrogant, and I didn’t like the immigration policy, I thought he did a pretty good job and would probably have voted for him all 3 times.

  26. Of course the Labour vote is soft.

    It will melt away just as soon as the chancellor fixes the economy by turning water into wine and exporting it to France.

  27. I’ve only just noticed that UKPR is one hour ahead of us, ever the leading light of polling.,

  28. MIM,A woman should always have a certain mystery or she becomes boring
    And predictable,Hence you puzzlement at my political stance.

  29. This bloody contraption is driving me mad.The spelling mistakes are beyond my control,at least I think so.

  30. Left of centre hardly describes mulit millionaire Tony Blair, mr middle – even based on your very own millionaire’s formula, and certainly not on my own “historical analysis” method either.

  31. I was hoping to get a twenty-five hour kip in today but have been disturbed a couple of times already.

    Life’s tough for us pensioners.

  32. I’m guessing your a Brownite then.

  33. Re whom are you guessing?

  34. Originally I was guessing Ann.

    Tony Blair as I understand took the Labour party more into the middle ground, but he was still left of centre, he wasn’t bang on the middle, and he certainly wasn’t right wing.

    Also you can be a millionaire and left wing, Mr sugar etc.

  35. Anthony

    Roger- we mainly asked that question to look at the cross-break of Lib Dem voters as a pointer towards tactical voting…. the crossbreak of Lib Dem voters is so small these days its not as interesting!

    Admittedly when you started it at the start of 2011, the Lib Dem VI was in the range 7 – 10%. Whereas now…

    Actually I was thinking that it would be useful because of the apparent reversion to two-party politics. It might show which way undecided voters might go, given a choice between the two (though still giving some opt out with Don’t Know).

    It also gives the stark Party + Leader choice which many commentators claim to be what the next election is all about, but for which actual polling is surprisingly lacking. Of course such evidence might actually put a stop to reams of profitable speculation and propaganda, which would never do.

  36. Of course such evidence might actually put a stop to reams of profitable speculation and propaganda, which would never do.
    Nah, we’d just speculate about whether the polling mattered or not.

    Labour’s lead is soft; Ed Miliband is never going to be PM; the boundary changes will happen; Scotland will vote for independence; Dave will be replaced with Boris; etc! ;-)

    And, signs of economic recovery are bad for Labour.

    Of course they bl–dy aren’t. Ed will take over a self-confident Britain, with a reduced deficit, and with the banks willingly providing small enterprise loans for new start-ups including for university graduates, combined with advice from well-paid retirees under Ed’s pre-distributive traing/research/apprenticeship scheme, with German industrial technical assistance. LD supporters, led by Shirley, will continue to flock back to Labour, recognising it as the natrual party of government and gazing out with glowing complexions to the sunlit uplands.

  38. John Pilgrim

    “gazing out with glowing complexions to the sunlit uplands.”

    Nothing beats a 1940s poster!

  39. John Pilgrim

    “gazing out with glowing complexions to the sunlit uplands.”

    Of course the continuing commitment to WMD systems might mean that the complexions only glow initially – till the flesh is burnt off the bone,

  40. @ Billy Bob

    PPP polls out tonight show Obama taking the lead (albeit within the margin of error) in Florida and taking the lead in Ohio. Polls from yesterday and Friday show Obama maintaining his lead in Nevada, expanding his lead in Virginia, Iowa, and Wisconsin, taking the lead in Colorado and New Hampshire, and tying Romney in North Carolina. In just about every state, he was deemed the winner of the 2nd and 3rd debates and is winning Independents. It would appear that the Colin Powell endorsement may be having an effect (Obama gained in the national tracking poll for RAND). There has been massive turnout in early voting in Florida. (I honestly hate these long lines: they’re good for Obama, terrible for democracy).

    Now PPP tends to be very accurate but live by PPP, die by PPP. Their national tracking numbers have shown a tied race but with Obama holding a 44% approval rating. I honestly think that is an outlier but if it’s correct, that is atrocious and really bad news for his reelect. What a tied race means in that case with the President far outperforming his approval means that a number of voters would rather eat their own puke before they vote for Romney. That’s dangerous ground for the President. Hopefully, it is an outlier but something to be aware of.

    I’m feeling excited tonight because I’ve been assigned my precinct on election day for voter protection. I’ve started reading my Victory Counsel handbook (trust me, I will be prepared on election day). :)

  41. @ Old Nat

    How is your vacation (or holiday) in the U.S. treating you?

    Have you ever been to Independence Hall (and the surrounding park) in Philadelphia? I don’t know where you’re travelling this year but if you’re in the Baltimore area, Philly is a very short and not too expensive trainride away (and Amtrak has become downright Swiss in their punctuality). Philly has great food too (as good as Chicago and San Francisco).

  42. SoCalLiberal

    Just been discussing the PPP poll with my son. He’s waiting till election day to decide whether to vote Green, or tactically for Obama in NC.

  43. SoCalLiberal

    Not really a vacation.

    I was visiting my dying brother in NY. Now I’m in NC with son and grandsons, before going back to NY for last goodbye.

    Fortunately, I left NY on Saturday before all transportation closed down with the imminent storm.

    I know Philly reasonably well, as I’ve stayed with relatives there a few times.

    Separatist Hall and park I have visited – after all the local minister from my wee town (John Witherspoon) went on to sign your Declaration of Separation.

  44. @ Old Nat

    “Just been discussing the PPP poll with my son. He’s waiting till election day to decide whether to vote Green, or tactically for Obama in NC.”

    Wait, I thought that your NC relatives were the right wingers and that it was your MD and CA relatives who were the liberals like you.

    I don’t know you or your son (though I’m sure your son is quite smart if he’s anything like you) but if there is anything I could say or do or find to get your son to vote tactically for Obama, please let me know.

    Election Day voting is made for folks like your son. If he is thinking of voting tactically but isn’t sure, I don’t know if he follows British politics but if I can give but here’s a good across-the-pond comparisson I can give. North Carolina 2012 = Eastwood 2001 (yes, you knew I would find a JM reference somewhere). I think it would have been easy to write off that constituency as going back to the Tories in 01′ simply based on the narrowness of the victory in 97′ and the swing against Labour (from a 14% victory in 97′ to a 10% victory in 01′) that year. Only it didn’t. There were a number of other constituencies that Labour held that year too that were similar: narrow upset victories in 97′, expanded victory margins in 01′ despite the national swing going the opposite direction. Like Shipley and Enfield Southgate.

    Anyway, NC is being written off. It shouldn’t be. The voters who Obama has struggled the most with are white blue collar voters. In 08′, the northern ones voted for him, perhaps reluctantly. The southern ones voted against him. In fact, among southern blue collar whites, Obama did worse in the south than Kerry and Gore did. The reason that Obama won three southern states though is that he built a Bradley Coalition enabling him to win. Those Bradley Coalition voters have stuck by him throughout his Presidency and are still voting for him over Romney. And despite pollsters claiming these voters aren’t going to vote, many of them are turning out and voting anyway. In NC, Obama really doesn’t have many blue collar whites to lose in the first place. And with polls being tied (according to PPP, YouGov, and Civitas), NC will come down to who has the better GOTV program.

    So NC is definitely in play and it’s definitely worth tactically voting for the President instead of voting for Jill Stein.

  45. @ Old Nat

    Here’s something I would share with your son. I assume he’s an environmentalist and is concerned about global climate change, among other pollution problems.

    One thing that will be critical in the coming years is that we have federal courts stacked with judges willing to interpret environmental legislation as broadly and proactively as possible. Additionally, we need federal judges who are going to get rid of conservative ivory tower philosophies that prevent lawsuits to enforce environmental laws and codes. There is a 2007 Supreme Court case, where the Court broadened its definition of standing to allow a lawsuit by the state against the EPA for gllobal warming and rising sea levels. It was a significant victory for environmentalism. Afterall, if conservative pie-in-the-sky judges find ways to make environmental laws and regulations unenforceable (as they so often have), we won’t be able to solve our environmental problems let alone the great problem of global warming. Because conservative ideologues reared in the halls of Harvard and Yale will simply decide they do not like them and they don’t comport to their pro-business or 18th century views of the Constitution. That was a 5-4 decision. Fragile.

    Imagine what might happen if Romney gets elected and one of the Justices in that 5 Justice majority retires or dies. It could happen, Anthony Kennedy is 76. Ruth Bader Ginsburg will be 80 soon and she’s got pancreatic cancer. Romney would be sure to appoint a conservative ideologue, someone who could undercut whatever weak laws we already have. You can count on it.

    Also, if your son is disappointed about the failure of Waxman-Markey to pass, have him remember the following. Not a single Republican voted for it. The Republicans filibustered it from becoming law in the Senate even though it may have had the votes to pass. Had they not done that and let the legislation pass, Obama would have signed it into law. The U.S. would be leading the way towards combatting climate change right now (as opposed to Australia led by their bigoted and ultra hypocritical joke of a leader).

    A vote for Obama is a vote to give another try for Waxman-Markey and to fight global climate change.

  46. @Maninthecentreright

    You’re (rightly) in the minority of that view I’m afraid; most people see Blair as centrist to slightly right of centre when polled. I think it’s a fitting testament to how well he solidified Thatcherism that with all his right-wing stances (like managing to lead one of the most right-wing governments in Europe even at a time when the European centre-right were in power) he’s considered centrist.

  47. For those who may not notice – Ed Miliband is to announce some policies today, to do with better mental health care.

    Unfortunately, it’s close to the US election, a massive hurricane which is set to cause massive damage, riots in San Francisco and the Jimmy Savile scandal in ongoing – so nobody’s going to be listening.

  48. @ Old Nat

    “Not really a vacation.

    I was visiting my dying brother in NY. Now I’m in NC with son and grandsons, before going back to NY for last goodbye.”

    I’m very sorry to hear that. I hope that you and your brother at least had a pleasant visit notwithstanding the circumstances. My thoughts and prayers are with both of you.

    “Fortunately, I left NY on Saturday before all transportation closed down with the imminent storm.”

    That is good fortune. I say these types of storms can be a lot of fun. Get some good food, get some fun DVDs, and sit back with the people you like and enjoy the storm. Well, that works as long as you have power.

    Three things are for certain in the District of Columbia no matter what havoc the storm wreaks:

    1. Pizza places will be open and pizza men will be making deliveries to hungry urbanites.

    2. The power will stay on in inner city Washington even as the power goes out in parts of suburban Maryland and Virginia (perhaps for weeks).

    3. Someone will be out jogging or otherwise exercising when newscasters are out pointing to how terrible the catastrophe is.

    “I know Philly reasonably well, as I’ve stayed with relatives there a few times.”

    I’d never been before until this month and really enjoyed it (probably wouldn’t want to live there though).

    “Separatist Hall and park I have visited – after all the local minister from my wee town (John Witherspoon) went on to sign your Declaration of Separation.”

    Lol. Only you would come up with something like that. Separatist Hall. That’s a classic.

  49. @Colin – “There are strong suggestions that the Chalara fraxinea spores are reaching our east coast on the wind.”

    As far as I can make out, these ‘strong suggestions” have been coming from press briefings in Defra, with no scientific basis, and appear to be solely to allow people like you to offer some modest support to the government on discussion boards like this. All the arboriculturalists I’ve seen have expressed strong doubts that the fungus can be transported by air for such long distances, against the prevailing winds.

    There have been cases reported in Scotland, Co Durham and the Peak District, with the geographical spread of cases highly suggestive of a self inflicted import of infected specimens. It is astonishing that they found infection on imported saplings 8 months ago, but still didn’t ban them.

    Only a few weeks ago you were in awe and wonder about Defra’s decision not to ban carburforan and we’ve had the hugely incompentent mis use of science and organisational farce of the badger cull, and now this dreadful response threat to our most numerous tree species, so I really don’t think there is any defence to make for Defra.

  50. I left defra back in 2004 and the department seemd to be clawing itself back into order after the Foot and Mouth episode.

    I suspect (and I have no insider knowledge) that this stems from the natural tendency of the new Goverment not to “interfere” with commerce and to avoid regulation where possible.

    Which when it comes to disease control can be a problem.

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