The weekly YouGov poll for the Sunday Times is online here – topline figures are CON 33%, LAB 44%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 8% – all very much in line with the usual picture. I haven’t had chance to go through the ad hoc questions, this week covering the BBC and tax avoidance, but there are a couple of interesting findings in the regular trackers.

On the leader ratings David Cameron is on minus 17 (from minus 16 last week), Ed Miliband is on minus 21 (from minus 18 last week). It’s worth noting that both of them seem to have consolidated the increases they got from their party conferences. Prior to the Tory party conference David Cameron’s ratings were pretty consistently in the negative mid-twenties, since the conference they have been pretty steady in the negative mid-to-high teens. Ed Miliband’s ratings pre-conference were also in the negative mid-twenties and while they have declined from the immediate post-conference peak, they seem to be settling in the negative high-teens/low-twenties.

While there does appear to have been a real change in the party leader approval ratings, the same can’t be said for the economic trackers. We saw an increase in the percentage of people thinking their economic circumstances after the GDP figures came out last month and for a brief period the public were the most optimistic they’d been for two years. It has not lasted – the economic trackers are back to the sort of pessimism we saw before the GDP figures. Asked how they see the economy, 38% think things are still getting worse, 35% think things have stopped getting worse, but there is no sign of any recovery, 21% think there are signs of recovery, just 2% think that the economy is on the way to full recovery.

103 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 33, LAB 44, LD 9, UKIP 8”

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  1. Somebody on these pages recently asked, rhetorically, I suspect, whether our MPs are “still at it” in terms of highly dubious expense claiming. It would appear that Channel 4 is running a programme on this theme tonight and one of the early casualties may well be the Equalities Minister: –

    We’ve had some cause celebres (Morley, McShane, the Good Lords Hanningfield and Taylor, Moran etc), but I’ve always thought that an awful lot of others have strayed so close to criminality that it’s almost semantics to argue whether it’s rule-bending or a crime. These people have tended to get away scot free so far, with reputations mysteriously still intact in many cases, and there are some people still holding down ministerial jobs who have flown extraordinarily close to the wind. Channel 4 may well be smoking some of them out tonight by the sound of it

  2. Colin,

    “If that’s what you want you should go”

    I am happy with that, it’s what democracy is for.

    “It would stop the endless carping & anti-English rhetoric”.

    well it isn’t coming from me or to be honest most of the SNP, I think you have been reading the Mail to much. We have issues with UK government, be it Tory or Labour and think the UK is to London centric, but we aren’t anti English. Thats a bit like saying you are anti American because you think the UN is ineffective and it is based in New York.

    “It would make a Conservative majority in rUK more likely.”

    Initially perhaps but as with Scottish politics. I think there would be fairly rapid realignments in both. At it’s most basic there would be a shift to the centre of gravity which would be most notable for those furthest from it.

    In Scotland I would expect Labour to move slightly to the centre but the Tories to moderate most probably going for a Heath style one nation approach.

    In the UK I think the Tories would stay more or less where they are but UKIP might grow to it’s right while Labour would move to be far more like the left wing of the Tory party, potentially swallowing the Libdems and going for an orange logo.

    In a way you might well have perminant Tory governments but like with Blair, just the Labour Party in power.


    “I would have thought that the SNP should point out that if Scots don’t vote for independence the English will cut off extra payments as soon as the oil runs out.

    I think it is sort of tempting, but no.

    True, despite what they say about being “Better Together” none of them are or can guarentee the Barnet Formula or anything else, but We are fighting on a positive call for self determination and that we are the best people to make decisions about Scotland. We are leaving the scare tactics to the other side.

    “The choice of whether Scotland is part of Europe is not their own as long as Scotland is part of the UK”

    True again. But it is only in the last month the the media in Scotland have noticed the contradiction that politicians in Holyrood are arguing over the SNP not being able to guarentee EU membership when it seems a majority of Scots might well not want to be in it.

    That takes us back to The point I made to Colin, I could well se post 2014 Scotland staying in the EU but “Greater Britain” leaving.

    “I think “Greater Britain” sounds better than RoUK.


  3. I’m absolutely certain that England will chose to leave in a referendum

  4. John Curtice on decreased willingness to vote – and not just in PCC elections.

  5. Its an absolute disgrace that Scotland is allowed to determine its consitutional future while we in England are not, despite subsidising their way of life.

    If they get a vote we should too. West Lothian question no. 2.

  6. Don’t think any of the UK will leave EU. We are a moany nation but when three main party leadership and virtually all business want to stay in I think the public will be persuaded quite quickly.

    As to English “independence” I suppose the argument against is that, as Scots observers point out, the whole balance is towards London/England anyway.

    Personally I dislike the idea of it and, in a long term view, it would seem a bit of a cheek – to put it mildly – to duff up the Welsh, Irish and Scots, create a “United” Kingdom and then bugger off.

    Not for me: but if Scotland choose to leave then I will wish the Scots well. It may well be the very best thing for them mais je ne sais pas………………….

  7. Joe,

    But you are able to change it any time you want, any time you want.

    Out of 650 MP’s England has 533, that’s over 80%.. You outvote the Scots, Welsh and Irish four to one.

    If they 533 MP’s that the people of England elect won’t do what people in England want that is hardly the fault of Scotland.

    We are determining our constitutional future because that is what we told the MSP’s we elected to do.

    As to subsidiesing us, although I think the full difference is marginal, you could change that tomorrow as well, if that is what you want.

    But again that is only as long as the people you elected will carry out your wishes.


  8. @OldNat

    I agree with most of Curtice’s analysis, particularly when he says that there was much more active opposition to the concept of Police Commissioners going on than some think and that a good deal of the non-voting wasn’t caused by general apathy or any lack of information on the choices offered, but because people didn’t think that the post needed to be createdt. The number of spoilt papers, much higher than average, supports this view too.

    I thought Rawnsley in his latest Observer column was good on the more general malaise of low turnout. Cutting through all the various theories as to why people don’t vote, his view was that it was difficult to avoid the conclusion that the main reason for the non-participation was that a good proportion of the population weren’t interested in politics and, more to the point, were never likely to be. Whilst that is a disturbing conclusion to draw for someone like me who is semi-obsessed with politics, I have to conclude that, sadly, it is almost certainly true.

  9. Crossbat11,

    I think given the choice between;

    A) Do you want to create more new politicians to do something new that is already being done by existing politicians


    B) Do you want existing politicians to concentrate on doing what they are supposed to do better.

    That the B’s would romp it!


  10. @Peter Cairns

    You put it extraordinarily well and I think a good many of the non-voters last Thursday, and those like me who spoilt their papers, were, in their own little ways, voting for your Option B.


    @”well it isn’t coming from me or to be honest most of the SNP, I think you have been reading the Mail to much.”

    I love the eternal resort to the DM.

    No-actually my impressions are gained from Alec Salmond & UKPR-perhaps neither are representative :-)

  12. As one interested in politics my own non-vote last week was considered. Just don’t see the need for the post and when expenditure is being cut from serious social welfare I don’t see how it can be justified here.

  13. @oldnat

    “is there a particular reason why you are going to be delivering food and blankets to the old folk in your community”

    I’ll be salting a few paths, clearing snow if necessary, and probably bleeding radiators for a few. It’s no bother to me at all.

    Do I detect a hint of sarcasm?


    Moi? :-)

    Good for you though.

  15. Will this approach endear Ed to Middle England?

    “Ed Miliband has likened himself to Margaret Thatcher as he tries to emulate her appeal as a “conviction politician” at the next general election.”

  16. Is Ed turning Labour into the Old Conservatives?

    We’ve already had them pinch the One Nation label. Now Ed is like Thatcher, they are becoming more Eurosceptic. I can’t see people in the South falling for it, but I can see it alienating the North and Scotland.

  17. Colin,

    “No-actually my impressions are gained from Alec Salmond…”

    Would you care to cite an example of him being Anti-English?


  18. oldnat

    1/ london based toffs

    2/ deliberate and wilful use of jock accent


    Do we all look the same to you? :-)

  20. I meant “Laird Snooties”


    “becoming euro-sceptic”

    What? Speaking up to say its ESSENTIAL that we don’t leave?

    I hardly think so and EM/Lab’s position is entirely logical.

    i.e. Essential to remain part of EU/essential to sort out the dafter areas – of which there are many, for example funding to breed square pigs to make bacon sarnies easier to make.


    Square pigs in a round whole?

  22. Okay did I miss something did I really read EM is comparing himself to Thatcher and he actually opposes something about the EU. I know he is trying to align his party with middle England and he is eager to be seen as a conviction politician but the truth is none of the currant bunch of political leaders are conviction politicians all of them blow about in the wind and are only to eager to jump on the nearest bandwagon in hope it may secure them a few more votes.
    No wonder the public have given up even pretending there interested in anything any politician has to say just grey men/women in grey suits circulating in there own bubble at Westminster. Sadly for somebody who thinks politics are important this currant bunch of political elite are so similar and have such similar back grounds and values they could easily fit into each other’s parties without ruffling a feather.

  23. ON: Square pigs ion a round whole-meal would be brilliant!

  24. PS “Look the same” ?

    In kilts ginger ones definitely do.

    When I first met my Scots brother-in-law in the 60’s he kept taliking to me in a forrun accent which I suspected was actually English and, after feeling really embarrassed and “southern” for continually saying “sorry?” “pardon?” etc thought I’d go for a non-committal smile and nod.

    I ended up with a double bacardi and coke and have tried to avoid talking to Scots people ever since – apart from the doctors who’ve moved south to jolly ole England of course.

  25. Turk:

    I don’t agree at all. Are yoiu suggesting that Osborne and Balls could simply swap parties and just fit in without anyone noticing.

    Je ne pense pas monsieur.

  26. ICM/Sunday Telegraph Wisdom Index – Nov 2012

    “the ‘Wisdom’ prediction is now showing a consistent trend toward narrowing of the Labour lead over the Tories, from a high of 8% to a low of 5% now. Indeed, the projected Labour share is itself the cause of this, having dropped from 39% in the first published Wisdom poll to a new low of 36% now.”

  27. @PaulCroft

    Speaking as somebody who sits next to somebody from Fife[1] I can testify to the incomprehensibility of some Scots accents. However this doesn’t apply to all of them: famously, Edinburgh lockjaw is clearly comprehensible. Given that and the fact you are flirting a little too closely with an ethnic slur, you may be best advised to desist with this line of humour.


    [1] Or even fae Fife. But not Fay Fife. Although she was fae Fife. And that joke only works if you’re Scottish.

  28. MARTYN

    Great Norwegian site and charity video on stereotyping Africa, and how it damages everyone.


    Here are a few which seem to fit the bill. Forgive the lack of dates or precise quotations. etc.

    Lord Snooty’s. ( were the POlice asked to look at this ? )

    Britishness is an identity of “thugs and racists,” and Englishness an “aristocratic, almost medieval concept”.

    I think he accused THatcher of being in charge of a “government of occupation”-and referred to UK taxation of oil revenues from the N Sea as an “act of international larceny” -or words to that effect.

    Doubtless you will respond that some of these remarks are addressed to “The Tories” rather than “The English”.

    Whatever, His “tone” is pretty consistent. Actually I have assumed at least some part of it is intended to pi** us of so much that we just want shot of you.

    In that regard I think he has been a resounding success-sadly it will not be the English deciding whether you leave, but your countrymen.

  30. @oldnat.

    That wisdom poll for the telegraph has the lib dems on 18%!

    They must be using some strange methodology to have them that high.

    All the bi election results very much suggest that you gov (and most other polls) are correct in having the lib dems on under 10%.

  31. Did you guys see this?

    I don’t know how the tube map aligns with the parliamentary constituencies but it seems like the different tube stations were in constituencies all held by the three main British political parties.

    @ Old Nat

    You’re welcome.

  32. COLIN

    “Lord Snooties” about the Cabinet?

    Ah, yes – the Private Eye cartoon strip “Dave Snooty and his New Pals” – created by that well known anti-English bigot Ian Hislop (after all he had a Scottish father and his Mum came from the Channel Islands)! :-)


    The “Wisdom” poll doesn’t measure the aggregate of what individual will do – but what they think others will do.

  34. Labourite (and Yougov) analyst Peter Kellner’s verdict on the Corby result and the current state of play:-

    “That’s the past record: what of future prospects? The very existence of the Conservative-Lib Dem coalition means that we are in uncharted territory. For example, none of us can be sure whether the Lib Dems will achieve their usual campaign gains during the 2015 elections, or whether they will be unable to escape the odium of their record in power. It probably depends in part on whether Nick Clegg fights the next election as their leader.

    Likewise, will UKIP hold on to their gains (buoyed by their likely success in the June 2014 elections to the European Parliament)? Or will the party cede them back to the Tories when voters are choosing who should govern Britain rather than using polls and by-elections to record their unhappiness with David Cameron’s performance?

    My own best guess – no money-back guarantees here – is that UKIP support will slip back to some degree to the Tories and Labour won’t be able to hold on to all their mid-term gains from the Lib Dems. That is why, as things now stand, 2015 looks like providing us with another closely-fought contest.

    However, all this could change if the wall between Left and Right starts to crumble, and voters start to move between the two sides in significant numbers. Then all bets would be off. But if the wall holds, Cameron will find it extremely hard to achieve his ambition of an outright victory for the Tories at the next election. Far more likely is another hung parliament or, at most, a very small majority for Ed Miliband.”

    I have to say I agree wholeheartedly with his summary. Like a few on here (including polling/political expert Peter Kellner himself), I still think a hung parliament is the likeliest scenario in 2015.

  35. @SOCAL

    Westminster and Bank stations are both in Cities of London and Westminster – a Tory seat. Aldgate East, where London Metropolitan University, has a campus, is in Labour held Bethnal Green and Bow.

    I wonder where that American bar is in London?

  36. ON:

    Given how little interest most people take in politics or know about opinion polls the “wisdom” index could more usefully be called the stupidity index.

  37. COLIN

    Presumably you were reading Bagehot in the Economist?

    You might at least have quoted that accurately – even though Bagehot misquoted..

    “The issue of English identity is a very pressing issue because of the confusion between Britishness and Englishness, and the claiming of Britishness by thugs and racists and football fans.

    “The claiming of Englishness as an aristocratic, almost medieval concept, is one of the great problems in English society.”

    That you assumed that “Lord Snooties” equated to Englishness suggests he has a point.

    It may be that because many in England have used “English” and “British” interchangeably, that we do the same. We don’t.

  38. Socal
    A while back I asked a Q about Senator (elect) Warren and I may have missed your reply.

    Did you do one? If so i’ll search back for it. It was about her campaign against the filibuster.

  39. I would say that if one party is going to get a majority in 2015, it is more likely to be Labour.

    The problem is that a majority of anything less than, say, 20 or 25 seats isn’t likely to produce a stable government in the current climate. Especially as Labour seem to (rightly IMO) be opposing virtually all government spending cuts and getting popularity from their anti-austerity message. The problem will start if they have a small majority and have to keep many of the government cuts (i.e. keep higher student fees, public sector worker pension/pay cuts, cuts to the disabled etc.). Under such circumstances, it would be hard to see how such a slender majority with an (already) unpopular leader would last anywhere near the full term. This is why Labour really needs to push hard for a more stable majority of 30+ seats…then they can feel safe in the knowledge that even though they will likely become unpopular in office, they at least have the arithmetic to survive the full term and see it through.

    The same, of course, goes for the Conservatives….another coalition government is likely to be fraught with more difficulties next time, especially as the Libs will likely see some sort of significant reduction in the number of seats they will hold post-2015. I don’t think a ConDem or LabDem coalition will be as stable, or indeed, last the full 5 years next time round.

    It is my opinion that we are now entering a new era in politics…one where one party will struggle to dominate beyond one or two terms in office for the next 3 or 4 decades or so. With growth likely to be sluggish for some time, and living standards likely to stagnate over the next 4 or 5 decades….I can only see an angry public getting more dissatisfied with its politicians and the political parties they represent.



    However, perceptions matter a lot in politics. If people think that other people are likely to vote in particular ways, that can affect their own behaviours.

    No one claimed that voters are necessarily wise!

  41. MiM

    wow, no one has ever managed to be more pessimistic than me!!

    Well done grasshopper

  42. ON: No, that wouldn’t be wise.

    Thing is, people take morte interest in actual opinion polls as a general election approaches, which is why I said earlier that if Labour have a lead going into 2015 it may well feed on itself.

  43. @SoCalLiberal

    The first two stops (Westminster and Bank) would be in the Cities of London and Westminster constituency… Tory 52%, Lab 22%, LD 20% last time.

    Aldgate East would be in Poplar and Limehouse, Lab 40%, Con 27%, Respect 17%, LD 11%. When Peter Shore was the MP (Stepney and Poplar) he polled over 80% at one point, but there has been a lot of gentrification from the 1980’s onwards in areas near to the City and along the Thames.

    The borough is Tower Hamlets and it gets reorganised into different constituencies regularly. Phil Piratin was a Communist MP for Stepney, and led opposition to Mosley’s blackshirts (and their chaperones the Met Police) at the nearby Battle of Cable Street in 1936.

  44. The whole “English Snob” thing is a typical left wing AND
    Scottish red herring. You only have to look at the current posh boy / rich boy / Eton boy / Tory boy PM. His surname is Cameron. Not a clan from the Surrey Highlands, as far as I am aware. The carpet baggers who came south with the Stuarts and since, have certainly added their seed to the Posh end of the gene pool.
    There is a Fforbes- Fforbes – Leslie – MaClean, for every
    De Hane – Critchley, or Spencer – Montague.

  45. Roland

    Are you saying that for every Scot in the ruling classes there a frenchman, those names were suspiciously froggy


    There are English, Scots, Welsh and Irish snobs, as well as folk from all these places who aren’t.

  47. RIN
    When William the Bastard formed the Common Market, he infiltrated English society with his dodgy Norman types.
    A damned typical trick from your Frenchie.

  48. Roland

    Lol, so we are still under occupation since 1066

  49. Paulcroft

    Balls holds no real socialist conviction nor does Osborne hold any real conservative conviction, both want to cut public spending the only difference is one wants to go slower than the other whatever that means to achieve the same end using the same methods. Hardly a huge difference so yes I think they could change rolls certainly the public wouldn’t notice any real change which was my point.

  50. ONE HUNDRED !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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