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. A Greek journalist has published a list of rich Greek tax avaders with money stashed away in Swiss accounts.

    The authorities have reacted by arresting him.

    A battle that needs fighting everywhere, I think.

  2. Craig @ 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’d love to see a meaningful Scottish cross break on that, especially by partry.

  3. I can’t comment on how hard or soft the Labour lead is, but I can give an idea of the trends:

    VI lead of over 65 polls: ttp://

    MAD lead of over 65 polls: ttp://

    (The MAD lead is simply a record of “What is the MAD today? Make a note of it.” It is not some lead calculated by VI leads.)

    65 polls = 13 weeks = 3 months.

  4. NICKP

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

    Are you saying that this problem was caused by the change in regulation since June 2010 followed by the import of infected trees, followed by our trees becoming infected? Seems a short timescale to me, although I am no tree expert.

  5. henry

    Dunno. The Mail says, “Ministers have been criticised for failing to act earlier when the parasite was first detected in a nursery in February. It is now feared to have spread to 20 sites.”

    But as you say, I expect the Mail is no more a tree expert than me or you.

  6. OLD NAT
    WMD and inner glow…..OMG, I shall never be able to look at another 1940’s building society poster or get the same kick from our gallant Land Girls again.

  7. Blair introduced the minimum wage, gave Scotland, Wales and NI devolution. Poured money into education and the NHS, He presided over an expansion of the welfare state, increased National Insurance payments, just to mention a few, I think that’s definitely left of centre. Trying to claim he was right wing is hyperbole on some people’s parts here.

  8. Can I make an early attempt at most pedantic comment of the week and point out that we should be referring to Hymenoscyphus pseudoalbidus not Chalara fraxinea. These are actually the same things, but Hp is the fruiting body (ie the bit you see – technically called teleomorphs) while Cf is the bit that hides in the tree or whatever (anamorphs). In the past these have tended to be discovered and named separately, but molecular biology means that you can now link the two parts of the life cycle together, resulting in a lot of fungi with two names.

    Experts are trying to sort this out and according to Wikipedia:

    At present, Article 59 of the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature permits mycologists to give asexually reproducing fungi (anamorphs) separate names from their sexual states (teleomorphs) but this practice will be discontinued as of January 1, 2013.

    So anyone using “Chalara fraxinea” after New Year’s Eve will be beaten up by marauding mycologists.

  9. You’re pointing to a minority of the things he done, and even then with little context. The pouring of money into health and education came with increased marketisation, individualisation of costs in the case of tertiary education, and was barely above the OECD average with all said and done. Not to mention these were done with horrendously wasteful PFI contracts built on free-market dogma, and faith schools were rolled out around the country. Even then that’s picking holes in his supposed leftist areas, with the economy, policing and defence little changed from Thatcher (who most certainly was right-wing). There’s a reason why she regards him as her greatest legacy, and why the likes of Colin and frontbench Tories supported him, and it weren’t because he was left of centre. As I say, YG polling shows your left of centre label puts you in a minority for appraisals of Blair.

  10. I apologise if this has been posted before…

    The G spot carries a report “Chancellor takes unusual step of commissioning a survey which highlights backing for move to slash childcare costs for well off”

    Apparently the report is due out this week.

  11. mike

    I don’t think it’s a new poll, it’s the same one they did just after the budget …and before it was clear that implementing the policy would involve a great deal more expense and self assessment than not doing so.

  12. no, sorry you are right.

    “The polling was conducted by Populus between 24-26 October, and the full tables were released by the polling company.”

    Seems most people weren’t in favour of cutting tax for the most highly paid either!

  13. NickP

    That’s not quite how it comes over in the G article – but I’ll go read again.

    I recall Gordon’s u-turn on the withdrawal of tax relief for (part of) the costs of childcare provision by employers provide for their employees. This ended up with the same level of tax relief being obtained whether the employee was a basic, higher or additional rate taxpayer. Sounds fine in theory…but the actual delivery is administrativell messy.

    There are probably other simialr policy changes that have been a pain to implement.

  14. Cameron facing bullets from both his own Party and Labour ahead of EU talks looks like his short term boost from economic news could be very short lived

  15. This is coming from someone generally pro European, but I think all Cameron has to do is wield his veto again. There will be cries of condemnation from all political sides, including some pro eu conservaties, but it will boost him in the polls.

    This could become a yearly occurance, Cameron should ask for the next election to be November/December 2014 instead of May 2015.

  16. But if he just wields the veto, as I understand it, the current years budget is rolled over & that includes an automatic increase each year. So no freeze & certainly no cut. I’m afraid DC is between a rock & a hard place. Dammed if he does & dammed if he doesn’t. If only we hadn’t joined in 1973 but then that is a bit like saying, if I hadn’t got married & had kids, I would have been a multi millionaire now with a Ferrari or two.
    Whether he goes up in the polls on this depends very much on the handling & the negotiation, or rather, how it is spun.

  17. re the EU Budget…hasn’t Merkel said there will be no meeting of the Member States’ Finance Ministers (or sumfink like that) unless DC drops his demand for no increase to the Budget?

    So, surely if there is a meeting DC will be seen to have accepted that there will be an increase?

    And if there is no meeting DC will be seen as intransigent and will come under a huge amount of pressure within and outwith the UK?

    Sounds like a fiendishly clever ruse to gain support of joe public !?

  18. How often can politicans play the Europe card? every time its used the anti-Europe feeling grows, it must end with the UK leaving the EU. That might not be a bad thing but if DC doesn’t want to leave the EU then he shouldn’t stir up more anti Europe sentiment which will make avoiding an in/out ref almost impossible and makes it more likely that the vote will be out when we get the ref. Of course we could have the EU ref at the same time as the Scottish independence ref. I mean its really long overdue and the only hope the pro-Europe folk have of winning is to hold it as soon as possible

  19. The fine details that you mentioned don’t get passed down to joe public. All the moaning last time about “oh you’ve isolated the UK” and the fact that the treaty went ahead pretty much anyway, didn’t stop Cammy receiving a bounce, as the electorate just take in snap shots, ie “Cameron used veto”

    I think the EU card is becoming similar to Argentina’s Falkland card. Just play it whenever the government is in trouble to try and get people to rally round.

  20. Good Afternoon All.
    Interesting article about the economy in The Times; suggesting a fall in growth is coming.

    Very good speech by Ed Miliband about mental health.

  21. Cl45

    The Times are beyond irresponsible, I think anyone left right centre etc knows that continually trying to destroy consumer confidence are going to keep the economy grinding along at the bottom.

    Agree with EdM about more focus and attention on helping those with mental health issues, that’s an issue very close to me as I’ve a family member who suffers with mental health problems so I applaud Milliband for taking up this stance.

  22. @ Chris Lane

    Interesting article about the economy in The Times; suggesting a fall in growth is coming.
    Did it mention that spending is being paid for by borrowing?

    “Consumers in the UK took on £1.7bn of debt in September – almost three times the average of the previous six months – driven by the biggest surge in unsecured borrowing in more than four-and-a-half years.”

  23. I am expecting another recession; triple-dip to use the popular phrase. :-(

  24. Amber:

    can I have raspberry with mine this time please?


    It s speeches like that that make a nonsense if “if we come out of recession that’s it Surely government has more to say to people than that??

  25. I thought I was the first out with the triple dip concept, I should have patented it, I see it being used by everyone

  26. R i N

    I have already patented quadruple dip.

    One has to remain pessimistic.

  27. Hello MitM (and anyone else who is interested),

    Here’s another way of looking at the likelihood of the outcomes in the US Election.

    Of all the 50 states (+ DC) there are just 9 that any serious commentators and observers perceive to be in any doubt. There are 23 states that are sure to vote Romney giving a total of 191 ECVs; just 18 states (+DC) are dead certs for Obama, but many are more populous and so have a larger number of ECVs – their total is 237.

    Here is a list of the battleground nine along with the number of ECVs they bring to the table:

    North Carolina – 15
    Florida – 29
    Colorado – 9
    Virginia – 13
    New Hampshire – 4
    Iowa – 6
    Ohio – 18
    Nevada – 6
    Wisconsin – 10

    I have put them in this order for a reason: 538 currently has NC as the most likely to go with Romney, and WI most likely to vote Obama.

    However, let’s leave the probable leanings of individual states to one side for a moment. It is possible to arrange these 9 states in 512 distinct ways – everything from taking none of them through to capturing all nine:

    Number of states Combinations
    0 1
    1 9
    2 36
    3 84
    4 126
    5 126
    6 84
    7 36
    8 9
    9 1

    In addition to the 191 he is certain to win, Romney needs another 79 ECVs to become president. Out of all 512 combinations, there are just 76 that give him at least 79 ECVs – roughly 14.8%. The vast majority involve Romney winning Ohio. Of those that don’t all but one require him to win Wisconsin – which you will note is the least likely of the nine for him to take. That one combination is the instance where Romney wins all 7 of the others.

    As some of the combinations are massively unlikely, involving as they do Romney taking very bizarre mixes of states that have never been seen in any results historically, I would assert that 538’s current forecast, giving Romney a roughly 25% chance of victory, is actually very generous to him.

    PS: Five of the combinations (<1%) give Romney 78 ECVs and so lead to an exact tie. None of them are especially likely.

    PPS: I have not taken into consideration the possibility of partial allocation of ECVs from Nebraska and Maine, as the former is solidly Republican and the latter solidly Democrat – this is extremely unlikely to be a factor.

  28. Paulcroft

    Well I’m going for premadip

  29. Regarding the latest YouGov poll (sorry if this has already been written)

    OK there are some sudden movements in the data about the economy, that is not more than I expected, however, what I think should worry the Tories is this. VI is 7 well within the margin of error and not at all unusual for a weekend Sunday Times poll. Labour still in the low 40s Tories still in low 30s. If public have moved on economy ( and sorry Anthony those figures still look pretty dire to me) and not on VI, this means the public is not only thinking of the economy and it is only a sudden and huge improvement of fortunes that could actually win the Tories the next election, and even then they would have their work cut out.

    This is not a partisan post, it is just the way it looks to me, obviously I’m nowhere near you poll geeks on here for polling knowledge, so I dare say you will point out where I may be going wrong.


    “Blair introduced the minimum wage, gave Scotland, Wales and NI devolution. …”

    There were commentators from all three parties, and in England, Scotland and Wales at least who could not explain why Blair agreed to Devolution for Scotland other than by saying that TB didn’t understand it.

    It would have been the easiest choice of his career to make Donald Dewar SoS. What he may not have realised was that Donald had been working on the details for many years and had it all worked out by the time he was 15 years old Also he had spent the previous decade persuading the TUC and Churches and others outwith his own party.

    David Steel tells how he was concerned for the outcome because of Donalds claim that it was a great struggle to persuade the cabinet and senior civil servants that the scheme was viable, but he was assured by the civil servants who were going to London with him that Donald was winning all the arguments.

    No wonder. He had been arguing the case for 44+ years.

    George Robersoon said that it would “see off the SNP” and Tam Dalyell said it was “a motorway to independence with no exits.”

    I don’t thing it was either, but the exit was the reform of Westminster on the model of the Scottish Parliament, Donald’s ultimate objective, and w have missed it.

  31. The Times article is from a Bank of England economist.

  32. Man in the Middle.

    Ditto on your comments on mental health treatment; here in Poole/Bournemouth we have a very good Gateway service.

  33. @Man in the Middle

    The “Fine Details” of the-veto-that-never-was did indeed eventually get to “the public”, because the press reported on them, and eventually “the public” all realised that the “Veto” wasn’t what DC said it was. And then, a funny thing happened to that Poll Bounce. There’s a reason we call it a Bounce in retrospect (or in foresight for a few of us) is that it went down after it went up.

    The chance of repeating the same effect twice, now that “the public” have already seen that trick back-fire on us, is poor. DC would probably be best if he decided to organise EU decisions on a cross-party basis… then the blame can be evenly spread.


    “Blair introduced the minimum wage, gave Scotland, Wales and NI devolution.”

    What’s this “Gave”?

    It is like ” Universal Benefits”

    I have just complained to my MSP, a member of the SNP cabinet, about his muddled thinking caused by adopting the terminoligy of his opponents.

    There are no “Benefits” in Scotland.

    Alex Salmond frequently tells us that in Scotland, soverignty comes from the people, not from the Queen in parliament.

    Free tertiary education is not a benefit, and nor is it a right. It is the collective will of the people.

    A “benefit” (cognate with benefice) is something voluntarily and arbitarily bestowed by grace and favour of a soverign, landowner, factor or bishop.

    If my boss takes his staff out for a round of drinks at the end of a project, that’s a benefit.

    If a group of colleagues go out together and set up a kitty, that’s a collective purchasing agreement.

    Secondary education isall that is needed for English plebs to fill jobs that service the rich (otherwise they might get uppity).

    In Scotland we have in the past placed great weight on an erroneus interpretation of the Parable of the Talents. We think we all “benefit” from educating all our people – young and old – to the limit of their potential.

    It used to be a duty, to take advantage of such opportunities as life brought you, and a sin if you failed to do so.

  35. Jayblanc can you prove that it was the finer details making their way into the public conscious that made the bounce evaporate? I always perceived it as a bounce, but thought it just wore off naturally rather than any great realisation.

    Plus it does seem to work twice, Cameron’s making all these Eurosceptic speeches and is dangling the prospect of a referendum, and his support is starting to climb slowly, mainly from UKIP, albeit cautiously.

    As for the supporters that are either saying they won’t vote, or swing voters that have gone to Labour, only economic recovery will bring them back permanently.

    Back to the US now, there are only 2 maybe 3 things both unlikely that could save Romney now, first of all, unemployment data released on the 1st Nov, if it goes up then that could really hammer Obama, however, with the news that Americas economy grew 2% last quarter, unemployment going up seems a bit unlikely. Secondly, if Obama is seen to handle the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy badly that could hurt him, and finally if anything new comes out about what went on in Libya that’s damaging for the President.

    Aside from any of those happening I think Obama has it in the bag now, it will be narrow in terms of numbers, but I think that he will win nonetheless.

  36. I just saw this comment on an American site

    ” I’m going Green too—while I’m a liberal, I’m sick of the Democratic Machine in my area while the GOP have gone into far-right orbit.

    If literally and impossibly my vote costs Obama the election, I don’t care.

    I’d rather be shot in the face by Romney and the GOP than stabbed in the back by the Democrats.”

    Not good news for Obama I guess.

  37. Privilege Spread, Quadra Dip & Perma Dip – my shopping trolley is filling up nicely. ;-)

  38. Alec

    THe suggestion derives from the discovery of the disease in mature woodland in the south eastern counties-as opposed to the diverse locations associated with nursery sourced ash.

    You are quite wrong about winds in the South East. Our climate is strongly linked to the Continent.

    THis extract is from the Met Office description of Climate in SE England :-

    “Spring time tends to have a maximum frequency of winds from the north-east. This seasonal effect is due to high pressure building over Scandinavia at this time ”

    I can testify to the Met Office’s accuracy by the number of migrant invertebrate species which I am able to witness every year-such as Vanessa cardui, and Scaeva pyrastri.

    Sadly , diseases like Schmallenberg virus which has afflicted our local sheep flocks looks likely to be arriving by the same means.

    My “modest support” for the government varies directly , but contrary to your consistent willingness to find fault in everything it does.

    My view on the Badger Cull & the decision not to proceed this winter , differs diametrically to yours.

  39. NICKP

    ‘But as you say, I expect the Mail is no more a tree expert than me or you.’

    Thanks for that. As a Lib Dem and Coalition supporter I don’t read the Mail.

  40. @ Old Nat

    Hope you’re staying safe/having fun down in North Carolina. Here’s more evidence for your son that would point towards him voting tactically.

    Lastest poll of North Carolina shows Obama and Romney are tied among Likely Voters, Obama leads by 3% among Registered Voters.

  41. Amber:

    I like my privilege spread with champagne bestist.

  42. @Richard in Norse land
    I just saw this comment on an American site
    ” I’m going Green too—while I’m a liberal, I’m sick of the Democratic Machine in my area while the GOP have gone into far-right orbit.
    If literally and impossibly my vote costs Obama the election, I don’t care.
    I’d rather be shot in the face by Romney and the GOP than stabbed in the back by the Democrats.”
    Not good news for Obama I guess.

    Hmm… But it’w been a long time (a very very long time) since the Dems were a leftwing party. You probably have to go back to FDR. So it suprises me that the quotee should have only just lost patience. They seem to be harking back to a past that rarely (if ever) existed.

  43. NICKP

    That story looks like it is linked to the story that French & German authorities provided Greece with a list of Greek tax dodgers, and the Greek government “lost” it before it could be acted on.

    IN fact this may be be the same data.

    It is painfully clear that the Greek Tax authorities are not willing to act against the abuse of Greek Tax regulations because they are , in essence, a country wide cultural practice-at all levels of income. Parliamentarians would be among the first to be hit.

    When will the external taxpayers who are currently funding Greek Public “Servants” , realise that Greece will never reform it’s tax collection because everyone is on the tax fiddle, that GReece will never complete it’s reduction of Public Spending because their people won’t put up with it ; and the budgeted sale of State businesses will never be accomplished because no one in their right minds would buy a former Greek State enterprise. ?

  44. Raf

    That’s the way it goes with two party politics in a FPTP system. For the sake of balance I should say I’ve seen similar comments from right wingers particularly libertarians but never so elegantly phrased

  45. Oh god, so now the liberal party in America isnt even centre left anymore. Do you have to be quoting verses from Mao’s little red book before anyone will consider you slightly left of centre anymore?

    In other news

    President Blair anyone?

  46. As observed by the Telegraph Blog-interesting to hear EM urging a reduction in EU spending, whilst doing the very opposite in UK

  47. @ Martyn

    Thanks for your advice. I’ll try and figure it out before election day and place a few bets (I’m good at predicting political races, might as well make some profit off of it).

    @ Tinged Fringe

    A few drunk idiots acting out of control does not equal a riot.

  48. @Colin – ” …high pressure building over Scandinavia”

    I’m glad you mentioned that.
    There was an MIT study recently about how many early deaths would result from the expansion of Heathrow vs a new airport east of London. I took exception to this comment:

    “If you instead had an airport in the Thames Estuary, that pollution would get blown over the English Channel and North Sea.”


    The Thames corridor already has pently of heavy industry and power generation to contend with. When there is an extended period of high pressure at any time of the year, the north European pollution cloud slips across the channel and settles over the area. In my expirience, when the weather does change, the first rain brings a greasy black soot which coats everything. The Medway Towns for instance, have a particularly high incidence of childhood respiratory diseases.

  49. Ash tree alert,according to the Ring Cycle,when the ash tree,Ygssdradil,is
    Felled,then the world order,will be changed.You have been warned.

  50. @MITM

    “Oh god, so now the liberal party in America isnt even centre left anymore. Do you have to be quoting verses from Mao’s little red book before anyone will consider you slightly left of centre anymore?”

    Socially liberal – yes. But then even right wingers can be socially liberal. But are the Dems an social democratic party economically? I think many within the, rank and file are, but not at all in Congress. Obama is a centrist by US standards, but a moderate economic liberal by European standards. In no way is he an economic social democrat. There aren’t any, parliamentary economic social democratic parties in,the,US.

    We can have a whole separate discussion over whether Obama has governed as himself.

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