This morning’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 31%, LAB 43%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 11%. The poll suggests an increase in UKIP support on the back of the EU summit, the child fostering row and the coverage of Michael Fabricant’s calls for a Con-UKIP pact. YouGov has occassionally shown UKIP ahead of the Lib Dems in the past, but their support in YouGov polls over the last month has typically been at around 7% or 8%. 11% is the highest they have shown them to date.

On the subject of the UKIP fostering row, YouGov also asked some more detailed questions about fostering children. 50% of respondents thought that people with extreme political views should not usually (32%), or never (18%) be allowed to foster children.

However, this was clearly not thought to apply to UKIP. Asked if people who were members of several named political parties should be allowed to foster children only 4% of people thought that UKIP members shouldn’t be able to foster (55% said there was nothing wrong at all with it, 27% said they disliked UKIP’s views but it shouldn’t be a block to their members fostering children). Figures were very similar for the Respect party, with 4% saying a Respect party member should not be allowed to foster children.

In comparison 36% of people said that members of the BNP should not be allowed to foster children (and only 18% said there was nothing wrong with a BNP member being a foster parent). As a control YouGov asked about the three main parties too – the Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats. Only 1% of people said that their party members should not be able to foster children.

Yesterday we also had the weekly TNS BMRB poll. Topline figures are CON 31% (nc), LAB 41% (+2), LDEM 8%(-3), UKIP 8%(+1), OTHER 10%(-1).

Finally I’ve been meaning to write something about Leveson and polling on press regulation for a week or so, but have been distracted by gay marriage, UKIP and so on. Luckily Peter Kellner has done it for me here.

435 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – CON 31, LAB 43, LD 9, UKIP 11”

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  1. Labour also won a council by-election near Stratford upon Avon last night.

    Labour gain, a surprise, win in Shipston on Stour (Stratford-upon-Avon) by-election from Conservatives Labour 613 Lib Dem 575 Con 331

    Tories in 3rd place is what I would have thought would be a solid area of support for them.

    I am suspecting that Cameron will change his mind on Leverson, as he risks a backlash from Celebs and campaigners. Not sure the print media will stick with Cameron, once they realise that some form of regulation will have to be imposed on them.

  2. “I am suspecting that Cameron will change his mind on Leverson, as he risks a backlash from Celebs and campaigners.”

    In the fine print, Cameron has left himself a get-out clause. He has not actually opposed the statutory regulation proposed by Leveson, merely that we should be “careful”. That leaves open the option later of saying that he’s examined the difficulties and is now satisfied it won’t be a problem.

    My suggestion for a compromise is to start off going down the Irish route. Set up the PCC+ as envisaged by Leveson (that’s no involvement from serving editors etc.) and see how it works. If it’s going fine, we can then safely write it into law. As far as I’m aware, the only reason for writing this into law was as a way of stopping papers who opt out of the new regulatory system completely or ignore its rulings. That issue will need addressing eventually, but the first thing that needs doing is setting up this body.

  3. “Try this. I agree that as things stand the Lib Dems are heading in the direction of a taxi load or two of members in 2015. This view is based on the polling facts, not by election results in safe Labour seats.”

    The Lib Dems would have to get 5-6% in the general election to go down to two taxi loads. The opinion polls are bad, but not that bad.

  4. Good Afternoon All.

    Labour, I think, did much better in these seats than they did in most of the 1979-1987 by elections.

    I think N.Clegg will go to a European post in 2014.

  5. Latest Yougov has UKIP at 18% for over 60s amongst a pretty healthy* number of oldies (over 500).

    *That’s the number that’s hale and hearty, no idea about the oldsters themselves.

  6. “I think N.Clegg will go to a European post in 2014.”

    Interesting scenario.

    On the plus side, it would be a good face-saving way of changing the Lib Dem leader, for both him and the party.

    On the other hand, it could lead to even more uproar than ever that “failed politicians” are rewarded with cusht jobs in Brussels. Especially if they’re seen to be EU sycophants, whose popularity is sandwiched between Rabies and Jimmy Saville.

  7. CHRISLANE1945″
    “I think N.Clegg will go to a European post in 2014.”

    Would that be to consolidate an existing area of poor policy making in the Commission or to establish a new one?

  8. Have the political parties leant on the BBC to avoid covering by-elections?

  9. Wolf

    Good question, I was pondering that one myself, its seems evident that BBC impartiality is dead, now they are so frightened of govt that they don’t dare to upset them.

  10. The COVENTRY TELEGRAPH reports the Labour win in Stratford upon Shakespeare, and also that there was in fact a small swing to Labour from Lib Dems in the east London by election in the seat occupied by Venerable Simon Hughes.

  11. The big question affecting how many seats the LDs will get in E&W is how many ABTs who voted LD in 2010 will do so again in LD seats with a con challlenger.

    When push comes to shove I expect most of these to go LD to keep the Tory Out. . I know Liz H disagrees and she is one such voter but I expect the LDs to hold most of their seats v Cons and lose most v Lab, the exception being where they have a long standing entrenched MP (e.g Simon Hughes).

    ON and PC may comment but I think many LD seats in Scotland above will go SNP.

    Lay off the BBC by the way, I am a member of the labour party and can’t reaise much interest in the By-Elections and there was a piece on DP about it.

  12. JIM JAM

    2015 in Scotland is unpredictable, as the referendum result will have a big effect – whichever way it goes.

    Seems probable, though that former LD seats will go SNP or Labour – far too early to predict who gets what.

  13. Just done a Cardiff South & Penarth by-election review. Manc Central and more recent others to follow early next week.

  14. Colin,

    Why are you so keen to talk about the celebrity victims of the press? We also have 7/7 victims, the Dowlers, the McCanns, dead soldiers, the guy accused of Jo Yeates murder etc…

    Not covered by Leveson, but surely not irrelevant is the Hillsborough case as well, where the press was used to lie about fans.

    I get the feeling that some of the right are just being defensive about this. What Leveson has proposed (despite Turk’s misrepresentation) is simply an independent regulator which has legal standing. Which is like an Ombudsman, not a state censor.

    I think a lot of people who have been shocked by the way that some of the press, some of the police and some politicians (of all sides) have behaved in this area will not look kindly on Cameron’s self-serving congratulations and premature exoneration of Hunt (reading Leveson makes it clear he has a case to answer on Ministerial Code). Acting as if he wants to reject the key finding, or as Maria Miller suggested today, create a messy bill to discredit the idea will not sit well.

    Leveson may have said there’s not ‘deal’, but the last 48 hours look a lot like the press getting what they want from the PM – yet another free pass after a major scandal.

  15. *not been a deal*

  16. On the politics of Leveson, I think Cameron has managed to appear on the wrong side of the issue over the last 24hrs, but I don’t think he has done any undue harm to himself in the longer term.

    Had the press been opposed to any change in the regulatory system, this line would have been completely untenable and they, and Cameron, would have suffered relentless and thoroughly deserving attacks from Milliband and the various campaigners.

    However, within the industry there is widespread recognition that things have to change, and it’s highly likely they will set up a Leveson type system for themselves. Cameron will probably be able to claim the system has changed without the need for legislation, so I don’t think many votes will be lost directly from this at the next GE. Labour for it’s part will be happy to see a properly functioning system, but the problems would start if this broke down, like the previous 7 attempts at self regulation. Perhaps having a draft bill in the locker, ready to bring to parliament, might make this outcome less likely?

    I think the bigger risk for Cameron remains not with the technicalities of press control, but with the sight of his former friends in court facing criminal proceedings.

  17. @Danvion – I did post yesterday about my sneaking suspicion that if the print media were largely owned by big unions, historically supported the Labour party and had a record of viscerally trashing the Tories, we might have seen some alternative reactions to the same Leveson report.

  18. @Danivon,

    I think it is probably a good thing that any hint of state interference in newspapers causes some people’s hearts to skip a beat. Personally I think that a law can probably be designed that doesn’t put the freedom of the press at risk, but I don’t think it is necessarily knee-jerk rightwing reactionism to be opposed to it. Nor do I think it is evidence of a conspiracy between Cameron and the media barons, although it will no doubt be portrayed that way and will have a negative effect on his standing.


    @”Why are you so keen to talk about the celebrity victims of the press? ”

    Because they get on my t*ts.

    I think you ( & me) need to ask why DC has called down the opprobrium of “victims” upon his head, given EM yet another chance to grandstand his motherhood & apple pie approach to life in general, & disagreed in HoC with his Deputy…….rather than do an ED & say-yeah lets implement every word of it -now?

    Perhaps because he really perceives a risk to free speech & a vigorous Press in the proposed OFCOM role?

    …..Given that EM has now , having thought about it for more than a minute or two , I understand, also said that OFCOM is not necessarily the right approach……..could there be a genuine risk to a Free Press in that area.

    Also-now that the detail is being absorbed and commented on today-are Leveson’s proposals on constraints to police/journalist interaction ( no drink-no “off the record briefings”), and the Data Protection Act as it applies to journalists also an area of concern?

    I don’t know the answer to these questions-but might it not be a helpful thing that DC has allowed himself to be pilloried by Hacked Off today, in order to encourage time to answer them?

    As I understand it, DC has asked for a draft Bill to implement Leveson, so that everyone can assess what it would actually look like in practice.

    According to ones taste, this move is either a cynical piece of delaying tactic whilst the PCC get their new arrangement in place-or it is a genuine attempt to test Leveson in practice.

  20. Nice to see NickP so chipper today.

    I love these days when it all overwhelms him again & he just cannot contain his conviction that Labour are going to win BIG & EASY.

    I picture him dancing round the office with a huge smile on his face.

  21. I think Lab will be nudging the high 40s and Con the low 30s whenever that next election comes.

    To quote the bard…you do the math.


    Meant to draw your attention to this as well

    “Changes to two laws could means journalists could face prison over the way they handle sources and access information, writes Owen Boycott.

    The inquiry chairman suggests significant alterations to both the 1998 Data Protection Act and the 1984 Police and Criminal Evidence Act (Pace). One could make journalists liable to prison sentences, the other might require sources to sign written agreements.

    Leveson calls for an increase in the maximum penalty available under section 55 of the Data Protection Act which governs data theft and makes it an offence “knowingly or recklessly” to obtain or disclose personal data.

    Cameron referenced the Data Protection Act speaking in the Commons yesterday:

    We must consider this very carefully – particularly the impact this could have on investigative journalism. While I have only been able to make preliminary investigations about this since reading the report, I am instinctively concerned about this proposal.”

    The Guardian.


    It’s “mathS” in this country -not bloody “Math”.

  23. most of the anti labour press were gleefully hoping and predicting that ukip would push labour close,particularly with the carefully timed leak of the fostering row, and maybe even win in rotherham. it wasn’t even close. even eds critics now have to admit that labour are a formidable opponent. the arrogance was not on the labour side. even i thought the handsome charismatic cameron would destroy browns labour in 2010 and do to him what blair did to major. cameron has so much going for him but the tories aren’t making any progress, now ukip are attacking from their right. no one can predict the 2015 election but i wouldn’t bet my mortgage on a tory majority.

  24. @ Colin

    Labour should win big at a 2015 election, but probably won’t, as once the debate is started on economic plans, people may decide they are not offering an alternative that adds up. They may still win, but only with a slim majority say 30-50. If I were a betting man, that is what I would put my money on.

    This coalition will probably end sometime between Autumn 2014 and Spring 2015. I think both LD’s and Tories will want a period where they can set out their separate identities. The Tories will continue in government, with the LD’s offering confidence and supply until May 2015.

  25. Colin re DC you might be correect with

    ”Perhaps because he really perceives a risk to free speech & a vigorous Press in the proposed OFCOM role?”

    Or it could be that he has to keep Gove, Johnson and others on board and party management is taking over.

    When he want to be PM ‘ because I would eb good at it’ one wonders if he does much out of conviction and I think he is generally OK.

  26. r huckle you think 30 to 50 is a slim majority? if you gave clegg,cameron miliband that size majority they would be jubilant. don’t forget many so called commentators were predicting labour would be out of power for a generation,even more so with the murdoch press now back in the tory fold.

  27. @Leveson

    I feel this is a mistake by Cameron who is on the wrong side of public opinion on this who want to see some retribution.

    He may feel that in the longer term,being on the press` side may lead to better coverage.Also it is clear that Miliband will not let this lie and force a vote.A loss on this issue would be terribly embarrasing and is real possibility given Lib Dems,SNP and DUP support a change in status quo.So I wouldn`t rule out a `U` turn in a few months

  28. I wonder where legislation on Leveson’s lines would have left The Telegraph when it published MPs’ expense claims? Not all the press’s “dirty work” is necessarily a bad thing.


    According to the Belfast Telegraph, the DUP is against any kind of statutory framework.

    In Scotland, the Parliament would need to pass a Legislative consent motion, to allow Westminster to apply any reforms in Scotland. Currently, Scottish parties are looking at what regulation would be appropriate here.

  30. @ CHRISLANE1945 (2.25)

    “I think N.Clegg will go to a European post in 2014.”

    Make my day by telling me he is taking Laws and Alexander with him. :)

  31. @NickP,

    Labour high 40s, Tories low 30s? The math, under our current *fair and balanced* electoral system? I expect Labour would probably have 95% of the seats and the Tories about five.

  32. @OLDNAT

    I am sorry I have the wrong information…Odd that the DUP MP was asking Cameron why he couldn`t implement the Leveson findings then.

    I thought the SNP position was that the Irish system should be implemented where some form of statutory underpinning has been present since 2009?

  33. @Neil A (5.59)

    “Labour high 40s, Tories low 30s? The math, under our current *fair and balanced* electoral system? I expect Labour would probably have 95% of the seats and the Tories about five.”

    Neil, perhaps your party should have agreed with the LDs to go for full PR then :)


    That DUP MPs can be “odd” doesn’t surprise me. :-) I was just going on the Belfast Telegraph report .

    The SNP hasn’t suggested what system would be appropriate for rUK, just that the Irish model could well be appropriate for Scotland. We do need a Scottish judge to look at how any arrangements would fit with Scots Law.

  35. Love these “Planning Applications” in Brighton! :-)

  36. Looking at last night’s by-elections, there are a number of questions that I have.

    1. If the Conservatives’ share of the vote has fallen to 5-10% in many Labour strongholds, what is their likely share in more marginal constituencies and Conservative strongholds? Could a big divergence between party performances in different seats be the cause of the quite big changes in YouGov polls from day to day that seem to have happened periodically in recent weeks?

    2. If UKIP really are doing well in the North and this has some influence on the Midlands and South, would Michael Fabricant’s idea of an electoral pact for the Conservatives with UKIP benefit both parties or just UKIP? (My own view is that I’d rather see the Conservatives secure a continued coalition with the Liberal Democrats through the next election but, failing that, a pact with UKIP might be better than no electoral pact of any type.)

    3. To what extent does success breed success? Will UKIP’s strong showing in these three by-elections help it to recruit members and get more votes at the next mainland by-election, wherever that is?

    4. Do other contributors think that fear of the abyss could drive the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives into a deeper alliance? Might this Parliament be a catalyst that creates an Australian-style political set-up, with a centre-right alliance facing a centre-left single party (though UK Labour is actually an alliance with the Co-op Party)?

  37. @OLDNAT

    Nigel Dodds in Parliament
    `We absolutely support press freedom but there must be a form of redress to victims of the press.The prime minister says he doesn`t agree with Leveson and wants to look at alternative options.Can he give us a flavour of what the options might be?`

    Perhaps he was just exploring alternative options and I was wrong to make the connection that they support Leveson recommendations.


    Could be.

  39. @Colin – I had a post at 10.49pm yesterday slip into auto mod for some reason, before finally appearing sometime today.

    In it, I made the point that there is some strange philosophy at work here among those who claim that any statutory press regulation would harm the free press, while also insisting that there are perfectly good laws that regulate press behaviour at present.

    It’s kind of like saying that statutory regulation is unnecessary as we already have statutes that regulate the press.

    A very strong point was made last night on Newsnight by a media lawyer, who said that the entire legal profession is governed via the bar council, so designated under the Courts and Legal Services Act of 1990 – a statutory act.

    Worse than that, the entire basis for appointing the judiciary has always been on a statutory basis. It was formerly done by the Lord Chancellor – an actual member of the government – but since 2006 by the Judicial Appointments Commission, established by the Constitutional Reform Act 2005.

    As far as I am aware, no one has ever claimed that solicitors, lawyers or barristers have been suppressed by government or prevented from doing their job due to political interference, and there is plenty of evidence from the courts (on an almost daily basis it sometimes seems) that the judiciary maintains a fierce and formidable independence, despite being governed by statutory selection and regulation.

    We can say similar things for the police, the army, doctors and health professional, teachers, child minders, dog walkers, anonymous bloggers…and on…and on….

    It seems that it is only the gentlemen and women of the press who are so terminally delicate and fragile, that they are unable to function if the merest whiff of regulation comes their way.


  40. @RichardW – “I wonder where legislation on Leveson’s lines would have left The Telegraph when it published MPs’ expense claims?”

    Leveson specifically references the Telegraph’s investigation into MP’s expenses in his report – the executive summary can be found here:


    He has this to say about reports that the the aim of the inquiry, or the likely effect of the inquiry, is to jeopardise the freedom of the press: “… even to suggest it is to grossly misrepresent what has been happening over the last sixteen months.”

  41. @Richardw – this would be well worth a read –

    This is from a leading investigative journalist who helped break the hacking scandal, and he believes that Leveson is, in the main, good for journalism.

    Like @Colin, he has identified a couple of minor details within the recommendations that would potentially harm investigations and could easily be left out of any legislation without affecting the central benefits. But his central view on this is that the press has nothing to fear from Leveson, and actually has a lot to like within the report.

    Davies actually says “From a reporter’s point of view, there is no obvious problem with the core of Leveson’s report, his system of “independent self-regulation”.”

    Later on, he also says “There is a nightmare here, but it is for the old guard of Fleet Street. To lose control of the regulator is to lose their licence to do exactly as they please.”, which is rather the point of campaigners on this issue.

    As with my previous post, I remain completely baffled as to why anyone would think the Leveson recommendations would prevent a free press. Only the editors and owners think this, and it is clearly, as Nick Davies observes, not because of any real fears about press freedoms and their impact on democracy, but merely that they wish to be entitled to carry on doing as they please, unhindered by any obligations to decency and fairness.

  42. @Charles Stuart – “If the Conservatives’ share of the vote has fallen to 5-10% in many Labour strongholds, what is their likely share in more marginal constituencies and Conservative strongholds?”

    I think you raise a good point about the sample variations we see from time to time.

    Thinking about Corby from the evidence of a byelection we can’t really say that the Conservatives are holding up better in marginals. Ashcroft in his polling of marginal seats from Sept 2011 noted that he had found a larger Con>Lab swing in those seats compared to the national trend, and he gave some suggestion as to why that may be so.

    The ‘likelihood to vote’ measure (which by and large bolsters Con VI) is probably more relevant to general elections than byelections, but again, how reliable we can’t be totally sure. If the Tories start to lose some of their turnout advantage over Labour, in conjunction with falling behind in the polls, that could present real problems for them.

  43. If the Tories are not careful, their voteshare might dip below 30 in 2015 because of the pincer movement between the left and right.

  44. NickP

    “Oldies – [over 500] ”

    Now they are old buggers………..

  45. The details of MP’s expenses were obtained by FOI. (What – more nanny legislation? :-) ) In fact it was already known that MPs were encouraged to claim stuff to bring up their salaries to that which they had been afraid to admit they should have. It was the detail of the ludicrous claims that caused the scandal, particularly because some MPs could not bring themselves to do so and some others went bonkers. Only those who actually committed outright fraud were eventually dealt with, which, as Neil A has said about a lot of misdemeanours, was in the hands of the police anyway.

  46. @Chris Lane (3pm)

    ” The COVENTRY TELEGRAPH reports the Labour win in Stratford upon Shakespeare, and also that there was in fact a small swing to Labour from Lib Dems in the east London by election in the seat occupied by Venerable Simon Hughes.”

    I’m sure the good people of Southwark and or Bermondsey or their environs (the constituency changes quite a bit) would be aghast to think you consider that they reside in east London, when they in fact live in south London – or as they tend to pronounce it – “saauf”

  47. @Alec

    Barristers are regulated by the Bar Council; solicitors by the Law Society.

  48. Colin:

    maffs/rithmuttic/math/sums/mathematics etc

    Any English person using the term “math” should be shot: Americans one can excuse ‘cos they know no better.

    While I’m at it, some tricky ones.

    Leveson is spelt “Leveson” [without either the silent R or N]

    Osborne is spelt “”Osborne” without the redundant U [or alternatively Lord Snooty if you are Scotch]

  49. Peter Kellner popped up BBC R4’s More or Less today. Their team of statisticians had noticed some glaringly different results in recent polling by YouGov on Leveson.

    Surprise, surprise, clients (Hacked Off/Media Standards Trust/The Sin… typo, that should read Sun) had opted for different questions, including or leaving out words like ‘Parliament’, ‘MPs’ and ‘independent’ as it suited them.

    More or Less is generally good at noting the abuse of statistics, but Kellner does a better job at decifering what the polls tells us:



    The pronunciation of “Leveson” does, however, depend on its origin. Is it the English medieval “Loosen”, or the Jewish version?

    Does UKIP have a view on whether immigrants should have influential positions?

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