This morning’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 31%, LAB 43%, LD 11%, UKIP 10%.

I’m always wary of reading too much into small movements in polls, but four of the last five YouGov polls have had Labour leads of 12 or more, so it is beginning to look as if the Labour lead has increased slightly. This seems to be down to a drop in Conservative support and an increase for UKIP, rather than any shift in Labour support, presumably due to the publicity UKIP have recieved in recent weeks from the Rotherham adoption case, the speculation about a Conservative-UKIP pact and their strong performance in last week’s by-elections.

There is also a new poll by Angus Reid, whose British polls are becoming increasingly infrequent. Topline figures there are CON 28%(-1), LAB 42%(-3), LDEM 10%(+1), UKIP 11%(+3). Changes are since March, the last time Angus Reid did a British voting intention poll. The fourteen point lead for Labour, while large in comparison to other companies, is actually a drop from Angus Reid’s previous poll – for whatever reason, they tend to show by far the largest Labour leads of any pollster.


378 Responses to “New YouGov and Angus Reid polls”

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  1. AMBER

    @”Osborne is including 2013 forecast revenue (the auction will happen in 2013) as 2012 revenue.”

    Perhaps it escaped your attention-IN government accounting “Fiscal years” run to 5h April.

    The Ofcom auction in Jan/Mar of next year , thus falls in FY 2012/13-the current one-which is where OBR have put the proceeds.

  2. HOODED

    It would certainly be an interesting new accounting convention, that henceforth all regulated/public fiscal forecasts should contain the value of no anticipated transaction in the year being forecast , after the date at which the forecast is made.

    :-) :-) :-)

    Evan Davis tried-unsuccessfully -to focus on the 4G revenue this morning with GO on R4.

    In general Balls has not received a good press this morning & GO has not repeated the mistakes of his last budget presentation.

    But the numbers are very tight. OBR’s downgrading of prior Corporation tax forecasts are eye watering.

    GO clearly constructed the 1% cap to welfare increases as a political trap, by putting it into a separate Bill to be debated. His calculation is that this policy aligns with popular opinion & that EM will vote against it.

  3. @Colin – “In general Balls has not received a good press this morning & GO has not repeated the mistakes of his last budget presentation.”

    To be honest, I think that you take on this is looking at it a little too much from your own side.

    To be sure, there has been much criticism of Ball’s HoC performance, but frankly, how many real voters saw or care about that? TV news last night referenced this but didn’t dwell on it, preferring to focus on some pretty unrelenting bad news. The key message of the coverage appears to be not the trick with B&B and Northern Rock profits being brought onto Treasury books to show a declining deficit this year against the odds, but that Osborne has missed his targets and we have another 6 years of austerity ahead of us, even if we can believe the OBR figures.

    Newsnight last night ran a story about why OBR figures are always wrong, the headline in todays mail is an angry piece about 400,000 people now being caught by high rate income tax, and there is much reporting about the impacts on the poorest and the working poor.

    I would actually suggest that Osborne has repeated many of the mistakes made previously. He ducked and weaved to avoid one central bombshell of a rising deficit, but he has made so many hostages to fortune and already there is growing analysis of his sleight of hand and highly politicized use of financial maneuvers. I suspect this budget statement will turn out to be another problem, and it will be very interesting to see the actual out turn for the deficit next spring.

  4. @COLIN

    “GO clearly constructed the 1% cap to welfare increases as a political trap”

    There is nothing to admire in someone who will use the poorest and most vulnerable in society as a ‘political trap’

    I think people are beginning to see through the victmise the victims as a tactic.

  5. @ Colin

    I believe it is up to the Treasury whether they include the sale proceeds of things like 4G in the accounts for the period in which the transaction occured or the period in which the money is received. The Treasury will not receive the money straight away. I believe the ONS will only include the revenues in the period when they are received.

    The OBR said that all the projections of PSBR are just guesses. They are just as likely to wrong as correct. I think Robert Chote in a interview said you can only ever know the real situation, when the actual numbers are in.

    My instinct is that the growth and PSBR numbers will be prove to be optimistic. From what I have heard, there is a general slow down in spending around the world, as countries deal with their debts. This morning I was listening to BBC World Service and there was a debate about debt problems in parts of China, which will affect their growth. The US will be cutting spending to avoid hitting the debt ceiling. Europe will be in a mess for many years to come.

    Austerity is here to stay and there will be a deficit going into the 2020’s. Sometimes I think people are little too focused on day to day UK politics and they are not looking at what is happening elsewhere in the world which will affect the UK. Are people aware for example that in parts of Spain Healthcare has been withdrawn for British citizens living there and every week many of these are returning to the UK. Many if these are pensioners who thought they could retire to the sun. All adds to the pressure on budgets.

  6. ALEC

    @”but frankly, how many real voters saw or care about that? ”

    Very few………….did I say they would.

    I merely mentioned Press reaction.

    By the way, the B&B adjustment is hardly a “trick”-the DEficit effect is less than £1bn pa-& some of that negative, whilst Total DEbt now INCLUDES B&B’s liabilities. It pushes Total Debt UP by £70bn

  7. R HUCKLE

    @”My instinct is that the growth and PSBR numbers will be prove to be optimistic”

    Who could argue weith you at this juncture?

    Certainly not me-I’m plumb out of “instinct” on the economy.

    Next year will be interesting ….gulp!

  8. COUPER2802

    @”There is nothing to admire in someone who will use the poorest and most vulnerable in society as a ‘political trap’

    Remember that GB thing-crowing that he had reduced standard rate income tax-shot the Con fox………..but omitted to say what had happened to the 10% band ?

    It’s politics mate.

  9. On the whole a good statement yesterday. I liked the 1% reduction in CGT and the tax relief for SME’s on the first £250,000 of investment spending. However I was very disappointed to see how cautious he was. Government spending as a percentage of GDP just planned to fall from 48% to 39.5%. He should have been aiming for 35% in the medium term and 30% in the longer term

  10. Maybe GO can get away with pulling income figures forward – but has he done exactly the same thing with expenditure?

    Has he applied the opposite logic and shunted into next year some items he receives invoices for in this year, only treating them as ‘real’ when payment is actually made (next year) ?

    I have never taken budget day headline stats seriously, no matter who is in power. It seems that the real truth trickles out bit by bit much later.

  11. TOH

    I don’t disagree with your comments on state spending-particularly central Departmental costs.

    CBI were certainly more pleased than they have been-but that infrastructure spend has to be implemented pronto to have any chance of impact in the time left.

  12. Lefty,

    Yes indeed, HAL goes mad with the stress of withholding information about the true purpose of the mission. Hmmm.

    Strange that the Chancellor should stress deficit reduction when what is actually required at this point in the economic cycle is an increase in the deficit.

  13. “GO clearly constructed the 1% cap to welfare increases as a political trap, by putting it into a separate Bill to be debated.”

    Perhaps it requires primary legislation to alter the statutory basis on which some if not all welfare benefits are annually uprated? If so, then there is no political trap, just legal necessity.

  14. “deficit reduction” and “deficit increase” are the same thing in newspeak.

  15. Osborne gave a strong performance yesterday given he was delivering bad news, it’s true to say he was helped by a rather poor effort from Balls.
    What I did detect is a shift by the Tories to take a leaf out of the Balls attack dog mode, which in full flow is rather good, and challenge Labour more strongly over how exactly it would manage the economy.
    Osborne made a strong reference to the up coming welfare bill which may back Labour into a bit of a corner, and in Osborne’s reply to Balls he challenged Miliband and Balls to say if they would reverse the 45% tax rate for the higher paid which of course they declined to answer because they won’t.
    If the Tories want to win the next election they need to again take a leaf out of Labours book and challenge Labour at every opportunity over there economic handling of the economy under Balls years all be it Brown dominated fiscal spending.
    The other thing Osborne did yesterday was to readjust austerity time lines which may play in his favour in the long run by setting back the time line he is making room for the Tory party to manoeuvre come GE time by claiming that they’ve made some inroads in the deficit but will need a couple of more years to complete the deficit plan and to change course to Labours spending plans in effect start again would be a bad idea.

  16. @Colin

    Thanks for the link, an excellent if frightening article. Certainly spells out how truly awful the last government was economically and criticizes the current government as i do. It also points out how ordinary people have brought much of the woe on themselves, something i have said a number of times on this site.

  17. @ Couper 2802
    “There is nothing to admire in someone who will use the poorest and most vulnerable in society as a ‘political trap’”

    You are right of course.

    It also means that the Lib Dems’ support for the policy will be highlighted: Clegg sits there in the debate nodding his support [like one of those toy poodles people used to have in the backs of their cars] for a policy he once deplored. Punishing the poor may win votes for the Tories, but will lose them for the Lib-Dems. Their sense of tactics seems weak; they are the ones in the trap of the Gradgrind agenda..

  18. TOH

    Thought you would appreciate it’s view :-)

  19. @Colin – that link is quite interesting and has a lot of good sense in it, but the first line is a bit of a giveaway – “As things stand, Britain is going bust.”

    With a debt to GDP ratio of under 80%, we really need to remember that we ended WW2 with the figure at 800%, and for more that two thirds of our history we have had a debt ratio higher than today. Perhaps markets are less prepared to accept modest national debt levels these days, but there’s no question that our understanding of national debt has changed in recent decades.

    What I do find interesting is the obsession with a balanced budget. This is not necessary, and even under Osborne’s plans, once the debt ratio starts to fall, even if we are still running a deficit, with relative debt falling we are clearly going to be on the mend.

    Of course it is sensible to throw in a few years of surplus, as this helps reduce debt quickly so we can face the next downturn in better shape, but repaying net debt is very bad for pensions and may well not be the best use of resources in terms of the lost opportunity cost. If we were ever able to ensure the rate of deficit growth was always 1% less than GDP growth (ie running constant deficits year in and year out) we would get progressively better off year on year, no matter how big the actual debt number got.

    I would fully back the comments on consumerism, and was very pleased to see Osborne’s move on capital allowances – reversing his earlier mistake of sharply cutting these, a move which I think personally was partly responsible for a huge slump in investment.

    In the same vein, I’m less taken by the cut in corporation tax. I understand the need to encourage businesses, but a increasing profits often means higher dividends and bonuses, and it something of a blunt weapon. Help for R&D, investment and infrastructure is much better targeted spending.

    However, I do think the article is correct in that we will not be told the full truth by either side in politics – the message is just too difficult and switching the focus away from consumerist to productive benefit is not a message modern voters want to hear.

  20. We can have a discussion about the measures taken to ensure the deficit will probably come down this year but I guess Labour would have done something similar in a similar situation and it is largely academic with typical voters caring not a jot.
    The 1% benefit increase is intruguing and I don’t know how Labour should react.
    Superficially we know that benefits have gone up by much more than average earnings in the last 5 years so why should this not be rebalanced a little. The problem fore the Government is that this hits low wage working families hard with insufficient coverage from the threshhold increase.

    My instinct is that we face a Rob S moment in that Lab will propose a couple of minor amendments, possibly around maternity pay, but not vote against the 1% measure on principle, annoying some of its’ current support.
    The Government may be tempted to agree to modest amendments to make it hard for Labour to vote against.

    Labour’s get out will be if they have amendments declined they can vote against and have a defence against the ‘voted against every cut’ line.

  21. it’s = it is

  22. Hal

    So you advocate borrow lots in the good times when debt is cheap and borrow even more in bad times to get back to the good times? Given than between 2003-2007 the cost of getting growth was borrowing over 3x the amount of growth generated, how much additional growth would you suggest buying at this price?

  23. its’ does not exist

  24. Debt is only a problem when it cannot be serviced.

    The one sure way to bankruptcy is to shut down the company so that you have no income at all. Especially if you still have the debts to service.

  25. @Colin

    So good it should be compusory reading for every adult who has a vote. Kills off once and for all that we had real growth under Brown and Blair, it was just a debt funded illusion!

  26. @Lefty Lambton
    “I lost any passing interest .. in far left politics when I was told by a RWP member in the mid 80s that he voted for Thatcher because it was only by the workers’ plight being made worse that revolution would come.”

    The RAF [Baader Meinhof] held an extreme version of this theory, reasoning that if you blew things up the resutling state oppression would provoke revolution: conveniently forgetting that Germany’s oppressive government, 33-45, and most of those since, merely caused .. er .. repression.

    John Sullivan wrote [1980?] a v. funny & knowing pamphlet about the Trot groups, “Go Fourth and multiply”, which identified each of their USPs [no apostrophe required]. Now on the internet.

  27. It’s funny how those graphs shoing debt and GDP always start in 1997!

    Try extending the graph back a few decades.

  28. @ Colin

    I believe it is up to the Treasury whether they include the sale proceeds of things like 4G in the accounts for the period in which the transaction occurred or the period in which the money is received. The Treasury will not receive the money straight away. I believe the ONS will only include the revenues in the period when they are received.
    —————————-
    R Huckle has already made the point which I would’ve made, in response to your comment about UK government financial years.
    8-)

  29. “So good it should be compusory [sic] reading for every adult who has a vote. Kills off once and for all [sic] that we had real growth under Brown and Blair” blah blah.

    I have contacted that lad who hacked into the Pentagon computers. For a small fee he has agreed to hack this site, impersonate AW, and eliminate all grossly partisan posts. Can I depend on you for a contribution?

  30. @NickP

    “its’ does not exist”

    that that that – Blue
    it it it – Red
    the the the – Yellow

    The its’ colour is red :-)

    @JimJam

    Labour’s get out is that the 1% increase applies to benefits paid to those deemed incapable of work (i.e. long term sick etc). They can put up an amendment to remove the relevant benefits from the legislation and then, when that is defeated, vote against the whole measure on the grounds that it is indiscriminate and is simply targeting the poor.

  31. ‘ Perhaps markets are less prepared to accept modest national debt levels these days, but there’s no question that our understanding of national debt has changed in recent decades. ‘

    ‘Markets’ used not to have too much choice about it. They were obliged to buy or sell back govt bonds, or at least that is what I was taught at school. Primary dealers were obliged to buy or sell bac UK bonds to govt. They got a preferential rate of interest and monopoly rights to resell or buy from the secondary market.

    A series of ‘reforms’ since the late 80s early 90s have handed power to the markets and primary dealers were abolished. Similar story with many interest rates where they used to be set by govt but at some point the govt ‘could see no reason’ why they shouldn’t be set solely by market demand.

    We gave away control of bond issuance and it shouldn’t really be any surprise that the markets now hold the whip hand and dictate to govts rather than the other way round. AS you point out, our historical level of debt is low, but the amount of leverage these markets now have on our govt is high.

  32. @ROBBIEALIVE

    Try reading the article it criticizes all politicians as I do if you read my blogs this morning, so not partisan.

    @Amber Star
    Would love to hear how you respond to the article Colin has posted.

  33. @ NickP
    “its’ does not exist”

    There is no point in me coming on this site if you are going to start policing “apostrophe retardation”. It”s’s a waste of time: the poor dear’s just ca’nt get its’.
    If you ever need a refresher ,see the Apostrophe Defence Society: http://www.apostrophe.org.uk/

  34. @NickP
    “Try extending the graph back a few decades.”

    http://falseeconomy.org.uk/cure/how-big-is-the-problem

    .

  35. The UK would not have won the war if it had had to depend on private bond markets for its debt.

  36. If individuals have more debt than they can service they go bust, leading normally to debt write-off. Same with companies.

    If too many individuals and companies cannot repay their debts, banks start to fall. To prevent this artificiallly low interest rates and printed money to the banks keep them afloat and the companies and individuals stagger on because the banks don’t want them to default.

    What happens in the end? One way or another, somebody is not getting his her or their money back. We can’t just print it forever without devaluing it to the point of stupidity.

    Can we?

  37. ozwald

    Yours is the link that should be “compulsory reading” for voters, starting with Colin and The Other Howard.

  38. @Ozwald and Nick P

    just confirms the point. How was the huge debt brought down after 45? Answer by really really tough austerity! I remember those years well.

  39. ‘So good it should be compusory reading for every adult who has a vote. Kills off once and for all that we had real growth under Brown and Blair, it was just a debt funded illusion!’

    Isn’t this all a bit partisan?

    In any case, while I’m sure the article is a wonderful vindication of right-wing beliefs, it was a fundamental crisis of capitalism made worse by the capital’s freedom to cross borders and ‘invest’ in any bubble in the world. And it still is.

    It’s not a question of particularly good or bad management of the economy by any particular group of leaders. It’s over-accumulation of capital and the crisis resulting therefrom.

    It’s much worse this time because much more capital has been allowed to accumulate as investment money than ever before due partly to low taxes on wealth and unearned income, which always looks for higher return as investment and drives the bubbles as soon as returns drop in the real economy.

  40. @NickP
    “compulsory reading”

    Cheers. I certainly learned from it. But if some folk insist on believing the propaganda of their favourite team they will learn nothing.

  41. ‘just confirms the point. How was the huge debt brought down after 45? Answer by really really tough austerity!’

    Surely not.

    It was broght down by progressive taxation and controls on capital which was used to invest in productive industry.

    That really is a perverse interpretation of history. Austerity was unavoidable because the UK was broke, but it was dealt with by controlling and taxing private capital, investment and redistribution. Interpreting austerity as a deliberate policy in and of itself is really daft.

  42. Can we not have an “exchange of partisan articles” battle please! I’m sure we can all track down articles that agree with our own political prejudices and bung them up as being a great summary of the situation.

    It might actually be useful if it was an attempt to help people to understand how people on the other side of the argument see things (because you’re never going to understand public opinion if you only understand the views of people who agree with you!), but in this case that doesn’t appear to be the way things are going…

  43. Alan,

    No – the government should borrow lots in bad times to stimulate demand and let borrowing fall as a percentage of GDP during good times.

    The second part of the bargain was kept pretty well – government borrowing was at historic lows (around 40%) for the entire period 1975-2007. See h ttp://www.ukpublicspending.co.uk/uk_national_debt_chart.html

    But it is madness to suppose it has to stay there in the prolonged depression we are currently in (see HAL).

  44. crossbat11 @ Howard

    ” How on earth he has allowed himself to be seen for so long as some unwitting and obedient dupe, totally subservient to Cameron, is a complete and utter mystery to me. I fear he and his party will pay a heavy political price for his craven behaviour.”

    And many good and long seving former councillors and Highland MSP’s could tell you about that.

    Sherlock Holmes?

    How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?”

    “Occam’s razor?

    He’s thick..

  45. @ Robin
    “it it it – Red
    the the the – Yellow” [ergo]
    “The its’ colour is red”

    But in your example “its” must = “the its” & thus must = a proper noun or name? Therefore the “its” have to be capitalized as in “The Its’ colour is red.” So you have not proved that “its'” exists.

  46. @ The Other Howard

    @Amber Star
    Would love to hear how you respond to the article Colin has posted.
    —————————-
    No, you really wouldn’t. Because I could easily eviscerate every part of Dr Tim Morgan’s article. But it would simply extend the ‘he says, she says’ which Anthony doesn’t want.

    So, I will leave you to imagine that I am dumbstruck by Tim Morgan’s insightful response to the Autumn Statement; & that I am entirely unable to see that it is simply a rehash of much more articulate & unbiased articles already written by others! :roll:

  47. @AW

    Sorry if you think i was being partisan, although i have to say it surprises me as I criticize both this and the last government quite clearly in my blogs this morning. I was just trying to point out the economic way forward. I do not need to understand where other posters are coming from as i am sure i already understand. I just do not agree with those who think increasing debt would help. However i bow to your judgment as always and will go and do something else.

  48. @AW
    “Can we not have an “exchange of partisan articles” battle please!”

    hmmm. The first post along these lines was at 10.54 by Colin as I recall. It is still up there.

    [So is everything else, I haven’t moderated anything, or anyone’s comments – AW]

  49. I think it interesting that there is an obsessive focus on one side of the balance sheet, the debt, particularly when it comes to reporting private and public debt together. It tends to get lumped into a huge figure – 450% to 1000% of GDP – oh calamity, we are bust already!

    This obviously doesn’t take into account the assets that the debt has financed, it is much harder to find figures on the asset side. Every now and again you might get a story – eg UK property worth £7tn – but it is uncommon and never linked to the prevailing argument on how we cannot afford the future.

    The same happens with pension liabilities – people focus on the increasing liability and the increasing amounts we will have to pay rather than noting that due to an increasing birth/immigration rate we will be in a better position than much of the world (including China, Germany, Italy, Japan, France, US – although for slightly different reasons) when it comes to weathering the storm of an aging population. It will be tough for everyone but less tough for us than some.

    Lets be a little more positive eh?

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