This week’s YouGov poll for the Sunday Times is now online. Topline figures are CON 33%, LAB 44%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 8%. The rest of the poll mostly covered the EU summit (all the fieldwork was completed before the summit broke up without agreement)

On the EU budget 41% of people think that David Cameron was right and realistic to request a freeze in the budget, 35% think he was not ambitious enough and should have called for a cut, 10% think it is unrealistic to expect a freeze and that he should have accepted some level of increase in the budget. 59% of people think he should be willing to use the veto if other countries do not agreed to a freeze..

Looking at broader attitudes towards Europe, in a referendum on EU membership 49% of people say they would vote to leave, 32% would vote to stay and 19% wouldn’t vote or don’t know. Asked a less black-and-white question, 19% of people say they would like to see Britain’s relationship with the EU stay as it is, 46% would prefer Britain to stay in the EU but with a more detached relationship that is little more than free trade, 26% would like to see Britain leave completely.

YouGov asked about a series of areas and how much power the European Union should have. On most areas (justice, the economy, farming, fisheries and employment rights) a majority of people think the EU should have fewer powers. The two exceptions are the environment and relations with foreign countries outside the EU.

The public remain hostile towards the idea of giving prisoners the vote. 32% of people think that some prisoners should be given the vote (with them tending to opt for the most limited option of only those serving sentences under 6 months). 63% oppose giving any prisoners the vote.

78% of people think that the Church of England should allow women bishops and 76% of people consider the church to be out of touch, this includes 71% of people who identify themselves as Anglicans (though of course, many people identify as Anglican without actually attending church or even believing in God – a more interesting measure would probably be churchgoing Anglicans… but the incidence is too small in a standard sample). Despite support for female bishops, the public do not support Parliament intervening to overrule the general synod. Only 34% would support Parliament intervening compared to 49% who think the Church should be left to decide for itself.

On the related issue of gay marriage people think the church is wrong to oppose it by 48% to 38%. Asked specifically about David Cameron’s support for gay marriage people are evenly split over whether this makes them think more positively or more negatively about the Conservative party. 19% say it makes them think more positively about the Tories, 20% less positively, 52% no difference. There is a strong age skew here – younger people are far more likely to think more positively about the Conservatives because of it, older people are more likely to think more negatively about them.

Finally on wind farms 61% of people think they are good for the environment, 23% bad for the environment. People would, however, much rather they were build offshore than onshore.

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

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  1. @Crossbat
    “Miliband would very likely recommend staying in and, if the referendum went the other way, […] he’d probably be toast.”

    I would guess that both Cameron and Millband would adopt the Wilson approach, i.e. let the others slug it out and don’t take a definitive stance either way.

    P.S. As Scotland, Wales & NI would most likely be the most affected by an EU exit, it would be interesting to see how things develop in the future if they vote in but the UK leaves as a result of the English vote.

  2. The wind farm result do you think the wrong question was asked ,of course wind farms are seen as good for the environment as apposed to say a coal fired power station.
    To me the real question as an engineer is not are they environmentaly sound any windmill would be, but are the any good at producing power in that area the jury is still out .

  3. They can produce power but not all the time and not very cheaply. Until someone can develop reliable storage they’re a luxury item.
    Seems weird to me, this Government worries about global warming then frets that it’s getting less money from petrol tax. Obviously car emissions don’t count.


    “P.S. As Scotland, Wales & NI would most likely be the most affected by an EU exit, it would be interesting to see how things develop in the future if they vote in but the UK leaves as a result of the English vote”

    Scotland, Wales and NI already have a government because of the “English vote”…nothing new there!!

  5. @Turk, Wolf

    I often hear that stated.

    The problem is, it just isn’t true.

    “In 2009, eight American and three European authorities, writing in the leading electrical engineers’ professional journal, didn’t find “a credible and firm technical limit to the amount of wind energy that can be accommodated by electricity grids”. In Fact, not one of more than 200 international studies, nor official studies for the eastern and western U.S. regions, nor the International Energy Agency, has found major costs or technical barriers to reliably integrating up to 30% variable renewable supplies into the grid, and in some studies much more.” – Reinventing Fire, A.Lovins, 2011.

    While Wind Power is indeed variable, that variation is very predictable, and is in general compensated for by sourcing from different areas so that the variation is smoothed out. There is no technical production reason to continue to leave wind farms a tiny sliver of electricity production.

  6. @Socaliberal

    I’m not sure that for the most part gentrification has made many constituencies more Conservative, or at least not outside parts of London. The more common pattern seems to have been for them to become more Lib Dem, although I suspect this trend has stopped for the moment given that parties anaemic levels of support.

    There has been gay gentrification, but there are very few seats it would affect to tell whether it’s a large enough phenomenon to make an electoral difference.

  7. @Christopher Mars

    Oh, gentrification certainly does not lead to Conservative voting. Otherwise Islington would be a Conservative Safe Seat!

    One could argue that Contented Moderately-Rich and even Very-Rich People tend to actually be relatively left wing. It’s the discontented Rich people who think they would be richer if not for government_meddling_here, who tend to be right wing.

    And of course, if left wing parties were promoting industries and sectors that were generating rich people, those rich people might not support parties that would damage those industries and sectors.

    It’s related to how the Conservative party is no longer the party of the Businessman. Because it turns out you don’t have to be right wing to make money.

  8. A poor stuttering performance by Ed Balls in response to Osborne’s announcement of teh new governor of the BoE.

    However, good to see that both sides of the house are in agreement with the apointment of Mark Carney (current Governor of the Bank of Canada)

  9. Jayblank

    Having read numerous technical report’s on both sides of the wind power argument not just the pro ones it’s quite apparent the biggest problem with wind power is it’s a very inefficient way to produce electrical power.
    It requires a huge amount of pylons to be built at enormous cost with a huge impact on the landscape to produce relatively small amounts of electrical power.
    The problem is there is no way on a commercial scale to store the electricity at present, so when there’s no wind or it’s blowing to hard the wind grid would be off line. It’s a pity it stole a march on wave and tidal power as a way of generating electrical power, but the biggest problem was it enabled the last couple of governments a way out of making a decision over building Nuclear power stations by holding up the false dawn of wind power as a viable alternative for power generation.
    Which in turn has left us with ever rising energy bills and the very real prospect of power outages in the near future.

  10. And Goldman Sachs marches on, yet another major central bank falls under its control, now they have 3 of the big 4.


    @”A poor stuttering performance by Ed Balls in response to Osborne’s announcement of teh new governor of the BoE.”

    EB has a well known speech impediment with which he struggles manfully. Some days are more difficult than others for him, Today seemed to be one of the more difficult ones- despite which he did what he always does-press on with courage & conviction.

    He is to be admired for coping so well with such an awkward problem -not have it used as some measure of his “performance”.

    Actually his response was supportive of the appointment & GO thanked him for keeping politics out of it.

  12. @Turk

    “The problem is there is no way on a commercial scale to store the electricity at present”…

    I assume you meant to say other than pumped-storage hydroelectricity, which is quite economical when combined with existing hydroelectric facilities.

    Which we happen to have in the UK.

    And is in fact what we currently use to even-out wind farm production.

    Additionally, the amortized cost of wind power is currently slightly cheaper than coal power. The significant thing there isn’t the cost of wind power, but the market price of coal which dips up and down above and below the cost of wind power. Of course, the cost of Coal power excludes the much greater environmental impact.

    Additionally, it has never been a choice between building wind-power or nuclear. Wind farms can be put in place a lot lot faster than nuclear, and are really a replacement option to building or replacing gas powered and coal for the medium term.

    And as we now know, the actual amortised cost of a nuclear power plant was vastly under-estimated by failing to understand the true long term maintenance and decommissioning costs. New nuclear is going to cost a lot lot more in real terms than the plants built in the 50s and 60s, because of needing to fix design errors that lead to maintenance and decommissioning problems.

  13. This is Goldman Sachs take on what the possible effect of having a former goldamite as governor of the BoE.

    ” . It is difficult to speculateon thepolicy implicationsof an appointment such as this, not least because Mr. Carney will have only one vote (of nine) on the MPC. But the BoC Governor has a reputation for being a policy pragmatist and innovator (under his tenure, the BoC was the first G7 central bank to introduce the conditional rate commitment in 2009). Relative to the conservative approach towards credit easing that the BoE has adopted under Governor King’s stewardship, it is also possible that Governor Carney may be prepared to engage in more ‘unconventional’ forms of QE. Mr. Carney is also perceived in some quarters as being a dove, although this perception may simply be ‘state dependent’ (i.e. his relatively dovish stancereflected theweakstateof theglobal economy during his tenure at the BoC).”

    Unconventional forms of QE means buying “risky” (ie nuclear) assets from banks at book value. QE to 1 trillion by next Xmas


    If you want to understand the reality of unpredictably variable & intermittent generation fed into a grid at significant levels ( which we don’t yet have thank god) look at Denmark & Germany.

    In DK over the last eight years West Denmark has exported (couldn’t use), on average, 57 percent of the wind power it generated and East Denmark an average of 45 percent. Denmark sells this power to its neighbours at almost no cost, asking only that its neighbours sell some of their baseload power back to Denmark on the frequent occasions in which the wind does not blow there. Much of this dumping is to Norway & Sweden where it displaces zero carbon hydro output.

    In Germany, power outages resulting from high level wind generation into the grid have become a national joke. They too dump excess on reluctant eastern europeans like Poland .

    Germany’s crazy abandonment of nuclear & headlong rush to wind now sees them building coal fired power stations again.
    Their power set up is in chaos.

    Germany & Denmark have the highest electricity prices in Europe,

  15. Good Evening All.

    Thank you for your sensitive remarks about Ed Balls, in response toPeter Bell. The stammer disability is quite debilitating.

    On an older thread: the motivating role of religion, some examples, not in any order:
    Fry, Shaftesbury, Benenson, Wilberforce, Wesley brothers, Temple, Fr.Matthew, Octavia Hill, Chad Varah, Florence Nightingale and Mary ann Seacole, Leo xiii.

  16. @Colin

    Considering that Germany didn’t change track on Nuclear replacement till late last year, that’s a quick time for the country to be plunged into chaos by building new wind power. Germany’s concentration at the moment is in upgrading existing wind farms with more modern, more efficient turbines.

    Also, excess electricity trading happens in mainland Europe with *all* electricity production. Nuclear *in particular*, because Nuclear plants can not be quickly shifted in production to match demand.

  17. Conservatives and UKIP to form a coalition??

    It would be like teaming up Mr Magoo with Nick Griffen.


    You might be interested in these :-

    h ttp://

  19. Even if UKIP do manage to poll at 7-10 percent at GE I wonder how many seats they would actually pick up? More than than two or three would surprise me. I think they will cost the Tories the election. Not become the 4th party of power, more dispower.

  20. @Colin

    Yep, and I note the following… There’s a jump in logic being made by those two journalists and campaigners to say “There have been anecdotal incidences of industry having problems because of out of acceptable band line noise” to “So Windfarms must be to Blame”. Existence of A does not imply B caused A.

    Blaming this on “Germany’s shift to Wind Power away from Nuclear” is particularly preposterous as even the Spiegel article has to say this is a process that won’t be completed till 2022!

    Germany is also currently upgrading and expanding it’s aging power grid. And I think that it’s much much more likely that the issue was in a brief failure in the grid transition. Which is something that still occurs even when you only have Gas, Coal and Nuclear power in the supply mix.

    And with all due respect Colin, are you really asking me to accept an opinion piece article that includes the line “shamelessly promoting global warming alarmism” as fact?

  21. Mr Carney has the feel of poacher turned gamekeeper.

    Looks like quite a coup for GO.


    I shouldn’t have responded to you really.

    We clearly have differing opinions on a subject which is very complex & replete with bucketloads of numbers.

    Attempting to exchange views on the basis of shorthand was a mistake.

    We both know the topic is awash with online resource & can draw our own conclusions.

  23. Labour getting in a muck sweat with the new Mayor in Bristol.

    Democracy in action :-)

  24. @Bail

    More than zero would surprise me! They just don’t seem to be able to target.

    I sometimes wonder whether Labour might not object to UKIP winning in Rotherham. Obviously embarrassing for Labour and a few bad headlines on the day, but most people have forgotten Bradford and anything that ups the UKIP status might end up being very damaging for the Tories if UKIP can start saying it’s not a wasted vote (even if it is!).

  25. Colin

    How amusing, Mr carney replaced Mario draghi as chairmanship of the Financial Stability Board when Mario became head of the ECB. And what do these two men have in common. They are both ex Goldman Sachs. Poachers turned gamekeepers??! I wonder, odd that all the gamekeepers used to be poachers. I wonder what we would think about a prison run by former criminals and in that situation what we would think about a mass breakout, but then again if the crooks were running the prisons would we know about any escapes? Sometimes your naiveity amazes me.

  26. Re: wind power – heaven only knows why a nation surrounded by water such as ours did not opt in a much bigger way for the hydro option. Are our tides just too darn placid?

  27. RAF

    EMEC and its partners have made a lot of progress in wave and tidal energy technologysince 2003.

  28. @RiN

    “….And what do these two men have in common. They are both ex Goldman Sachs. Poachers turned gamekeepers??! I wonder, odd that all the gamekeepers used to be poachers….”

    This and other posts seem to imply that there is some kind of conspiracy or secret hidden agenda between everyone who ever worked at Goldman Sachs. Why on earth would that be? I’ve worked at loads of places, and though I think of some of them fondly, there’s no way that I would pursue their goals after I moved on.

    Or is Goldman Sachs supposed to be some sort of capitalist Common Purpose?

  29. @OldNat

    Well, if I was to pick an ideal hydro site in the UK, the Northern Isles would probably be right up there. Who gets the income generated from the power if Scotland votes Yes to Independence in 2014?

    Did you follow the regional elections in Catalunya yesterday? The CiU lost seats to the even more pro-Independence Radical Left, but there was little change in the overal pro/anti Indepence balance. The centre-left anti Independence Catalan Socialist vote broke off towards the smaller United Left/Green coalition, and a newish Citizens Party.

  30. I really can’t see UKIP winning Rotherham.

    Labour will win it. Con is playing with fire to talk up UKIP. The worst result for them would be a comfortable lab victory with UKIP in 2nd place, however distant.

  31. RAF

    It’s no different from other energy producers, and their suppliers – except that the Crown Estate revenues will stay in Scotland.

    As for Catalunya, I was just reading an article by a Galician columnist which chimes with my own thoughts.

    From the point of view of the radical independentista, the Catalan election results were a good outcome. The pro-independence parties retain the same overall strength, but the right-wing cuts and austerity agenda of the CiU has been held in check and there has been greatly increased representation for more radical pro-independence parties like the ERC and CUP – who are far less likely to sell out to Madrid.

  32. RAF

    The Bristol Channel as the second highest tide in the World.

  33. @RAF, OLDNAT
    A big electoral night yesterday in Southern Europe. Final results in Catalonia give 50 seats to CiU (-12, second worst result ever), 21 to ERC, the Catalan Republican Left (+11, second best result), 13 to Green Initiative-United Left (+3, also second best result), 3 to the newly-founded extreme-left CUP and 0 (-4) to the independenist Solidarity. So the pro-indepence camp gets 87 seats (+1), a very slight increase. What is, therefore, more important is the radicalization and “leftization” of the anti-unionist vote. As far as the unionist camp is concerned, the Socialists get 20 seats (-8, all time low), the Popular right 19 (+1, all time high) and the Citizens group (very pro-union) 9 (+6). Here we have a very light decrease (1 seat), but most of all a “rightization” of the pro-Union camp. Bottom line: moderate forces in both camps are defeated, the more radical ones have won, Mas has shot his own leg and now he is at the mercy of the fiercely independentist ERC, so he has to really go on with independence, and not just as a wild card for his negotiations with the governing Spanish PP. “You wanted it, you’ve got it”, we say in Greece. On the other hand, in Italy, there was an open primary for the leadership of the center-left alliance “Italy Common Good” in view of the forthcoming GE in early 2013. P. Bersani, leader of the Democratic Party, won 45% of the more than 3 million voters (a neat success), M. Renzi, mayor of Florence and internal opponent of Barsani 35%, N.Vendola, leader of the leftish SEL and president of Apulia region, 16% and the minor candidates 4%. It is a clear victory of the more left-inclined forces, since Renzi represents the socially conservative (although modernizing in its discourses) fraction of the Demorcats. Runoff is on December 2,and Bersani will almost certainly get elected by means of the support of Vendola, who will either explicitly endorse Bersani or at least will call for a vote against Renzi. Meanwhile both Italian and French right are at disarray, Berlusconi threatens to come back as the leader of the right-wing PDL and than says the opposite, his party is now below 15% in the VI polls, and in France the leadership battle in the UMP is more and more ferocious, Cope was proclaimed the winner, after 8 whole days of counting and recounting, but the Fillon camp does not accept the result, A. Juppe, the founder of the party in the name of Chirac has resigned from his reconciling mission and a split is now closer than ever…


    Thanks for that. I’d noted the centre-left internal election in Italy, but hadn’t followed through to the result. I didn’t realise there was to be a run-off election.

  35. @OLDNAT
    It will be, indeed, the first time that a runoff will be necessary, because in 2005 Prodi had won with 70%, but this was largely expected and the attention was focused only to participation, whereas now the contest was really open, so nobody got 50%. Personally I dislike Renzi, not only because of his rather conservative views on social issues but most of all because I think that he is a “media product” who just “sells” an image, and he has also been very arrogant against Vendola. For me Vendola is the candidate with the most solid social program and the most clearly defined agenda both on financial, political and social issues, but many of his potential supporters, especially in the South, emitted a tactical vote for Bersani just to avoid a frist place of Renzi (I would do so myself if I was a citizen of my “original” country), that’s way Bersani triumphed in the South, with more than 50% in all Southern regions except Apulia, where he got 45, against 35 of Vendola and 15 of Renzi.

  36. Chief election strategist and vice-chairman Michael Fabricant pops up in the morning:
    We’re doomed! Can we please have a pact with UKIP?

    Nigel Farage: Not while Cameron is leader.

    Grant Shapps (party chairman): Over my dead body.

    John Curtice, Strathclyde University: Conservative voters aren’t defecting to UKIP because of Europe so much, it’s the general air of incompetence in government… can’t vote Lib Dem, there’s nowhere else to go really.

    Funny day for the Tories.

  37. RAF

    British tidal waters are suitable for electric generation and as mentioned the Bristol channel has an experimental submerged turbine already in place, like all things renewable it is the scale that counts. The tide being a very reliable energy source that would work well in combination with nuclear power again a very reliable power source.
    Sadly we continue to waste huge amounts of money on the dream of wind power, and watch it’s progress as it scar’s the landscape with it’s noise and huge pylons not to mention gradually slicing up what’s left of British bird life.

  38. PETEB

    @”his and other posts seem to imply that there is some kind of conspiracy or secret hidden agenda between everyone who ever worked at Goldman Sachs. ”

    It is more than implication Pete.

    It is what Richard believes. It is not possible to understand Richard’s posts without realising that.

    The world is run by evil Bankers.

  39. Absolutely agree about tidal power. It’s very reliable and predictable. Wave power is also very good, if not quite so predictable. Both of them seem far more reliable and less intrusive than wind power.

    A question though – I remember seeing the French Rance scheme in the 1960s, yet they never seem to have built another one. Are there big snags that aren’t very well-known?

  40. New thread available

  41. First time poster

    Re: Rotherham by-election.

    A fascinating by-election which throws up so many questions.

    The bookies have Respect neck and neck with UKIP for second place. Could any rivalry between the two add to the Labour vote in terms of anti-UKIP/anti-Respect votes?

    And where will the Lib Dem vote go? Labour, UKIP or Respect?

    Will people who voted BNP last time round move to UKIP this time, or do they prefer the BNP’s harder line on immigration?

    We could even see the Lib Dems and the Tories coming in behind: Labour, Respect, Ukip, the BNP and the English Democrats!

  42. @ Colin, @Chris Lane

    Appreciate your comments about Ed Balls. Although I had noticed a slight hesitancy in the past, I was not aware it was due to an impediment. He was obviously a lot worse today which was why I made the comment.

  43. Colin and Pete B

    Adam smith said that whenever you get a group of business men together they will conspire against the public good, of course what he mean was they would follow their own interests. Like hank paulson maybe the former Goldman boss that was finance secretary at the time of the AIG bailout, why did they need bailing out, because they had wrote CDS contracts on dodgy mortgages that they couldn’t honor. Who was the counterparty for those contracts, I see you guessed it already, it was Goldman. The us govt gave 20 billion dollars to AIG and AIG paid it over to Goldman. Nice to have friends in high places!! How many of the technocrats that have been installed in European nations are ex Goldman? All of them!!!! It is not fair to say that there is a Goldman conspiracy but everywhere you look, every dodgy deal, every shady bit of practise you will find a Goldman finger, and you can’t find a finance ministery in Europe without a key position filled by an ex goldmanite. It’s probably coincidence but the revolving doors make me nervous

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