This week’s YouGov polling for the Sunday Times has topline figures of CON 33%, LAB 42%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 9%. No sooner had a posted that it looked as though the Labour lead in YouGov’s daily was consolidating around 12 points, we’ve had polls showing a ten and nine point lead. Such is life!

The rest of the poll concentrated upon the Autumn Statement and the royal baby. All the economic figures remain extremely pessimistic. 77% think the economy is in a bad state, 57% expect their financial situation to get worse next year. 33% of people say they have confidence in the government to get the country out of the current economic crisis, down on when YouGov last asked in January. However, the Conservatives are still preferred to the alternative. 37% trust Cameron & Osborne more on the economy, compared to 26% for Miliband and Balls.

On YouGov’s semi-regular question about economic strategy people are evenly split – 36% think the government should continue to prioritise the deficit, 37% think they should prioritise growth instead. Turning to the specifics of the statement:

  • 36% of people think they personally will be worse off compared to only 6% who think they will benefit.
  • 33% of people think that it was right to limit increases in benefits to 1%, 19% think the government should have gone further and frozen benefits completely, 35% think they should, at least, have been increased in line with inflation.
  • On tax evasion and avoidance, 73% of people think the government should be doing more
  • There is a fairly even split over teachers pay – 47% think they should be paid on national scales, 43% think they headteachers should pay them on performance.
  • The cut in Corporation tax is supported by 43% and opposed by 26%. More generally 51% think it is a good thing for the country to have low corporation tax, 25% a bad thing.
  • Shale Gas also produces a fairly even split – 34% think it is right to give more financial incentives to extract it, 32% think it wrong, 34% don’t know.

Moving to the royal questions, people overwhelmingly think it is right that the law is to be changed to treat men and women equally in the line of succession (87% think the law should be changed, 6% do not). There is similarly overwhelming support for a change to the laws governing the succession of other titles (81% support).

Prince William is seen as the member of the Royal Family who has done most to improve perceptions of the Royal Family, picked by 33% of people, followed by the Queen on 27%. 47% of people think he should remain in the armed forces once his commission expires next year. Finally, of the bookies’ favourites for royal baby names people prefer George (17%) and Diana (21%) as names.

While I am here, yesterday morning YouGov also publishing polling on the X Factor for the Sun. For historical reasons, the political department at YouGov always do polling on the X Factor (essentially when YouGov were first starting to do polling, well before my time, they did a really good poll predicting the 2001 election for the Sunday Business… that didn’t really get them noticed at all. Then they did a poll predicting that Will Young would beat Gareth Gates in Pop Idol and suddenly the calls started coming on. The rest is history). The poll had Christopher Maloney coming in third, whch has indeed happened, and has James Arthur beating Jahmene Douglas in a run-off between the two of them: James Arthur 45%, Jahmene Douglas 38%, Decide who to vote for on the night 14%….

288 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times and X Factor”

1 4 5 6

    “What happens in Canada?”

    I imagine that, as in everywhere else that Lizzie is Queen, that the official position is total indifference as to what the English want to do in their wee bit of the Commonwealth.

    No doubt, individuals who are either Catholic or simply concerned with human rights consider such discrimination either abominable or part of the English establishment – or both.

    Since changes to succession law require unanimity among Commonwealth Realms, and England appears to be immune to reasonable change, then others probably shrug their shoulders.

  2. yes we all know how weirdly unfair FPTP is to smaller parties (ie, less than 25% support or so), however I think 16% UKIP support might just get them a seat or two – they’d need the swing to be quite non-uniform to help them. Much good that would do them with Labour winning nearly 400 seats and not the faintest need for a coalition.

    surely an outlier, or do these oddities sometimes point in the direction of travel?

  3. Keith p

    ” surely an outlier, or do these oddities sometimes point in the direction of travel?”

    I remember that question being asked when we had a rogue poll putting ukip in double figures, I would say that on past evidence its a blip but don’t discount it being repeated, after all double figures have become common for ukip now

  4. Welsh Borderer @ Ann in Wales @ Baltus.

    There are some ministers in CoS who take the view that it is going to happen and people should just shut up and get on with it, like it or not.

    It will be taken up by surprisingly few, and be a continuing concern to surprisingly few. It will be accepted quicker than the seat belt ban, the breathalyser and the smoking ban. Before you know it, people who are against it today will deny that it was so.

    When you think how far we have come in matters of religion and sexgender in less than 60 years this seems a small step.The steps have got quicker. The CoS has had its first female Moderator.

    60 years ago the language was different.” Living in sin”;” b a starred”; “queer” etc. was it a white wedding?”; pre-marital sex etc etc

    A decade ago Jack McConnell said “there is no place for the word “illegitimate” in a modern Scotland”

    He was right. It was nem con to that.

    The Quakers were again first to step out of line by concluding that pre-marital sex was NOT ALWAYS wrong. What a shock!

    Not many thunderbolts.

    Humanist weddings exceeded Catholic weddings in 2010 and are counted as religious weddings.

    The antis are right about one thing: there are other bigger, more difficult issues. All the fuss(women bishops too) is due to the anomalous position of the CoE and its duty to marry parishioners.

    The EU law issue is specious nonsence.Nobody pushing that one deserves to be taken seriously – on any issue, ever. Jjust like some of the NO propaganda.

  5. Welsh Borderer

    […] we need to face up to the uncomfortable fact that the other David Davies MP probably speaks for the silent majority of suburban and rural Britain. Most people think its potty to insist in law that gay civil partnerships =marriage and to put unwilling churches at risk of challenge at the ECJ.

    All together now children – “Oh no he doesn’t!”. Anthony did one his weary-to-the point-of-becoming-psychotic posts on this a couple of weeks ago (24 Nov) which ended with the words:

    Why do I keep coming back to this? I think its mostly the consistently credulous and one-sided reporting of polls on gay marriage in some sections of the press. Readers of some newspapers could be forgiven for thinking that the polling showed that the public were opposed to gay marriage, when any fair minded look at the broad range of polling on the issue would show that the balance of opinion is broadly positive towards it.

    I assume this was prompted by a particularly dishonest set of polling from ComRes (no surprise there) here:

    on behalf of something called “Coalition 4 Marriage”[1]. This was a long list of loaded questions that seemed more designed to get answers that could be spun in the Press than understand public opinion. Some were repeats of questions that had been asked and criticised as unprofessional before.

    But even that really failed – as Anthony pointed out voters actually agreed with the key statement “Legalising same-sex marriage is important because keeping Civil Partnership and marriage separate and distinct worsens public attitudes towards gay people” by 44% to 38%. This not shows that people are in favour of gay marriage but think it is important that the legislation happens.[2]

    I know I’ve said this before, but what really flummoxes me about this issue is why social conservatives and religious groups have chosen this particular issue to make a stand on. Over the last decades, public opinion in no area has shifted more dramatically than on gay rights and the movement has been accelerating. And you are always going to look stupid if you go on about how wonderful marriage is and then say it’s not available to some people.

    If you want to see how disastrous the issue has been for social and religious conservatives, you only have to look at the ComRes poll. They asked if people dis/agreed with the statement “Opponents of legalising same-sex marriage are mostly just bigots who should be ignored”, no doubt hoping for sympathy for people who were being so abused. They did get disagreement – but only by 45% to 38% – and those under 35 actually agreed by a large margin. To convince a large section of the public that you are irrelevant bigots doesn’t sound like successful campaigning to me.

    [1] Obviously that “4” loses them any slight authority they might ever had had to talk about any standards about anything.

    [2] It has really become the last desperate defence against change to say that “other things are more important” (we saw this with House of Lords reform for example). As if passing laws and running the country at the same time wasn’t what governments had been doing for centuries.

  6. Keith P
    “yes we all know how weirdly unfair FPTP is to smaller parties (ie, less than 25% support or so),”

    It was a huge benefit to the LDs that (prior to coalitioning with the toxic Tories) they got significant support in certain areas of Scotland (and elsewhere in GB).

    FPTP benefits parties that attract a lot of support in certain constituencies. Sometimes that disadvantages big UK parties. Hooray!

  7. YouGov
    Con 32 Lab 42 LD 10 UKIP 8

    Con 33 Lab 42 LD 10 UKIP 8
    Lab lead at 9 points…

  9. So…somebody is getting the Con/UKIP balance wrong. Yougov or TNS?

  10. StatGeek
    “the rich would employ their own police/army”
    It’s an interesting idea – we did try that once.
    But what tended to happen was the strongest private army came along and defeated all the other private armies. That person then called their private army ‘the state’.

    Eventually the only relatively wealthy got sick of paying these ‘taxes’ without representation – and they realised that their combined power was greater than the power of the state – so they overthrew the state and set up their own army, and they called that ‘the state’.

    Eventually ‘the people’ decided that they were sick of paying these ‘taxes’ without representation – and they realised that their combined power was greater than the power of the state.. luckily at that point, the establishment classes state realised that it’d probably be in their best interests not to have a proletarian revolution and let the people have a say.

    So most likely, a system of ‘private armies’ wouldn’t work to provide a decent judicial framework (which is what the argument was) – it’d likely result in one group, perhaps collectively, using their power to oppress everybody else.

    Which is probably a good reason for the rich to support Social Democracy – because it keeps the proletariat from revolting (which hasn’t usually turned out very well, historically speaking).

    But you probably wouldn’t argue against that – I think you were just trying to make a point. ;)

  11. “somebody is getting the Con/UKIP balance wrong. Yougov or TNS?”
    Given that TNS is way out of line with all the other pollsters – and YouGov have a pretty good track record at elections, I’d say TNS, probably.

  12. “establishment classes state”
    Should read “establishment classes of the state” obviously.

    Since the current liberal-capitalist-state apparatus is self-perpetuating (through establishment classes) but doesn’t imply conspiracy – more a natural sociological reaction.


    @” The I’m Alright Jack charicature, was funny and kindly in the original, and its use in tory demonisation of the unions was as close to ideological warfare as anything we have experienced in UK poltitics post-war. ”

    What a load of precious nonsense.

    The film is a SATIRE John .

    It satirises EVERYONE in british industrial life at the time:- Grasping ,devious, incompetent owners; hopeless second generation hangers on; , shop stewards ( not unions actually) , workers, time & motion study ( remember that ?)

    Actually, if there is a hero-it is Windrush ( Ian Carmichael) , the upper class twit nephew of the owner, who reveals ,on live tv the self interest & underhand motivations of all concerned.

    And very funny it was-until you walked out of the cinema into real life again.

  14. Colin

    I guess the reaction on these boards shows how the other side think, even a harmless satire appears to be an attack striking at the heart of the trade union movement to them.

    If a simply comedy really resulted in the downfall of the trade union movement that would say a lot about the strength of the trade union movement.

    It seems to me that the weakening of the unions was due to getting rid of the closed shop, secondary picketing and no longer the threats of reprisals against those who choose not to participate in strikes. The fact that the Labour party has seemingly abandoned reintroducing the closed shop and secondary picketing seems to indicate that both parties are relatively happy with the current strength of the unions.

    It’d be interesting to see numbers on the popularity of these measures to see if there is public appetite to increase the strength of trade unions.

    I for one am glad I am free to join or not join a union in order to get a job.

  15. Rather amusing to note the panic ensuing from the prospect of an unelected former Goldman Sachs banker being replaced as Italian PM, by an elected politician.

    At least this former Banker knows how to make other people pay their taxes-so maybe Italian voters will be pleased to see him go & the ancien regime restored.

    Meanwhile, another former Goldman Sachs banker moves ever closer to regulating every bank in the EZ (all 6000 of them.) , commencing the serious removal of fiscal sovereignty from millions of voters.

    It’s a funny old world.


  16. Colin

    Your absolutely right re the film it was a very good satire.
    Lampooning all sides.
    Having worked in ship building during the late 60’s and 70’s I do remember it as a time of some conflict with poor wages, strict lines of demarcation on what trade did what, and a fairly inflexible work force and management.
    It’s also fair to say the shop steward had a lot more influence in day to day matters than today, some good as in health and safety matters, being a focal point for pay negotiations and grievances and some not so good as enforcing those strict demarcation lines between different trades which could delay work unnecessarily and creating problems with management more for show than good of it’s members.
    The other thing that is forgotten these days is the large number of different unions there were in a ship yard you could have a boilermakers,electrical,plumbers,engineering,shipwrights union and many more all working along side each other all with there own shop stewards, you could understand why it was such a problem for management to negotiate with all these different unions.
    There were a number of factors that led to the decline of heavy industry in this country we had a highly skilled work force that was poorly led by Politicians Management and Unions and undercut by foreign competitors, instead of looking to the future, self interest, failing to invest in new plant, greed, and shear bloody mindless behaviour prevailed from all sides and that as they say was that,.

  17. ALAN


    It is a pity that models like Sweden & Germany, where unions have managed to co-operate with management in a way which enhances economic performance could not have been replicated here.

    I was reading a comparison with UK experience pre-Thatcher. THere were far more Trades Unions here, and they competed with each other as well as the employers . THe business of maintaining “differentials” was a key element in pay/prices escalation.

    Sweden’s trades unions do not fight for jobs which become economically unsustainable. They concentrate on those which are & push for good conditions in them.

    One has to repeat also, that UK management back then was hopelessly out of date, unprepared for the new global economic order, and complacent about it too.

    Today’s union movement is essentially a representative of public sector workers, and so a balance seems to have been lost.

  18. TURK

    Snap ! :-)

  19. Colin

    I think it says more about the confidence the Italians have in the people they elect than anything.

    I read an interesting article which seems to indicate that Rome is considering reclaiming South Tyrol (formerly part of Austria and German speaking) from it’s semi autonomous status (in order to get something from one of it’s richer regions). Naturally this will fuel an independence/”let’s leave the sinking ship and rejoin Austria” debate.

    I suspect it’s bluster and nothing much will change but who knows how badly an Italian PM can screw things up?

  20. Colin

    “Meanwhile, another former Goldman Sachs banker moves ever closer to regulating every bank in the EZ (all 6000 of them.) , commencing the serious removal of fiscal sovereignty from millions of voters. ”

    ummm…in what way do I get to vote for my bank? Do you mean I can change from barclays to HMRC?

  21. Census:

    The number of people living in England and Wales has risen 7% to 56.1 million, with more than half the rise down to migration, the 2011 census shows.

    The most common birthplaces outside of the UK for residents were India, Poland and Pakistan. The number of ethnic white British dropped by 7%.

    One in six people – or 9.2 million – was aged 65 or over, while 13% (7.5 million) of usual residents were born outside the UK; up nearly three million in 10 years.

  22. COLIN

    SATIRE, eh, Colin? Who’da thought it.

    Lines from the film:
    Sellers: “We do not and cannot accept the principle that incompetence justifies dismissal. That is victimisation”
    Liz Frazer: “Are those your own teeth? They’re so perfect, I thought they were denturres.”

    Most reviiewers in my quick scan seem to agree with tne Amercian reviewer who wrote: This is light comedy – with a twist of the knife… It still strikes home, because it’s all what brought on the “Out Sourcing” of our time.


    It’d be interesting to see numbers on the popularity of these measures [secondary picketing, threats of reprisals against blacklegs etc} to see if there is public appetite to increase the strength of trade unions.

    The retention of these outdated and unloved practices is not the same thing as a public appetite to increase the strength of the unions. This is in in any case to misstate the heart of the discussion on this thread, directed mainly to debating the justification and impact of outsourcing, especially – from the standpoint I and others have taken – as a factor in unemployment and underemployment. The position of the unions in the case I cited concerning the defense industry in the West was to take up with the management of this industries, with whom they were historically close – intellectually, as well as in terms of material interest (this actually is rocket science!) the loss of the skill-base as well as the loss of manpower and its teamwork, which out-sourcing was bringing; as well as the distress and impoverishment it was causing.
    My criticism was of the parody used in Tory attacks on the unions based on Sellers, not on the satire, which I repeat was gentle even if biting.

  23. NICKP
    “in what way do I get to vote for my bank? Do you mean I can change from barclays to HMRC?”

    Actually, Nick. no need to change. You can, a probably do, belong to both; though Her Majesty’s Revenues and Customs would no doubt welcome any additional transfers you may have in mind.

  24. John Pilgrim

    I agree sometimes outsourcing can be short sighted and damaging. To outsource to please investors for next years figures is bad business practice (often encouraged by the structure of bonuses. If your bonus is paid out on short term targets, people will take short term views as that is the criteria that has been set for “success”)

    At other times it can be essential to the viability of a business, if your competitors are sourcing a particular component much cheaper than you can produce in house and you don’t have the resources available to match their level of expertise, to continue to produce that component in house purely to preserve those jobs could end up threatening the viability of the whole business.

    Apple don’t produce their own screens, they outsource that to another company who can do a better job. The investment it would take for Apple to produce a screen with the same quality and cost as LG would be stupid to pursue that line.

  25. ALAN
    Good points. It would take an intellectual and communication effort perhaps beyond what the Civil Service or industry could manage to see which industries and which combinations of components and design add up to a gain in long-term and sustained profitablitiy;. I imagine Apple, for example, went through that process with specific products and workforces in mind, as, for example, might Cadbury’s in the old days; including the gain they have both got from customer and popular perception and from their historical place as institutions.

  26. @Alan

    “Apple don’t produce their own screens, they outsource that to another company who can do a better job.”

    No, that is supply chain, not outsourcing. Outsourcing takes functions that you already do, and puts them out for other organisations to bid for and operate. The outsourcing that Apple do is getting companies like Foxconn to assemble the iPad.

  27. The Sheep

    The only distinction being a historical one then?

    If Apple originally produced their screens and realised they weren’t good enough/cheap enough so went elsewhere instead of continuing down the same path would be outsourcing and therefore bad?

    Either it’s good for a company to produce their own components (via investment to get the tools/experience needed to compete) or it isn’t historical significance might mean that the gap is smaller than if you were starting from scratch, it still might mean that the gap is too large to try and do everything.

    John Pilgrim

    I agree and that is where having a trade union that works with the management to determine where the company can match it’s competitors and where it can’t would be better for everyone. There does seem to be a default position of “no job cuts anywhere” as the starting position for negotiations. It’s not only management that can be guilty of short term bad decisions, preserving jobs now at the expense of jobs later due to keeping a company uncompetitive is not good for the workers as a whole.



    “Vlad the Impaler, like moi, was much misunderstood and actually, again like moi, a very nice bloke indeed.

    Yes, he impaled a few people and threw others of the top of castles but this was never done in a nasty way – and there was no press censorship about it either”

    ” Actually I just googled him and he wasn’t as nice as I had thought. I think he may have deterred the bankers quite well though”

    I’m sure you are a nice bloke and when you googled him did you notice our Vlad was the original Dracula? Some people thought the ordinal was Michael Howard. ;)

    Anyway most people in Edinburgh think Vlad the Impaler is the current owner of Heart of Midlothian football club. :)

  29. #original

    Con 33 Lab 42 LD 10 UKIP 8
    Lab lead at 9 points.

    That’s much better. A few of tjhem wee lefties were giving it high five with regards to another poll.

  30. Latest coffee polling showing a swing of 7% from Starbucks to Costa! Dig down in the tables though and it may not be so obvious as Costa seems to have been growing anyway even before the Starbucks omnishambles. Plus it’s a biased poll coming from Costa PR department.

  31. There is a new thread from Anthony.

  32. NICKP

    You get to vote for a government to regulate your countries Banks.

    When Draghi has these powers at ECB-EZ voters will lose your ability to do that.

  33. Shevii

    Costa is definitely better than starbucks

  34. JOHN

    NIce pick from the film.

    ……there are others -just depends how myopic you are.

  35. ALAN
    One of the big differences between Apache helicopters and Warrior Armoured Vehicles on the one hand and IPads on the other is size and numbers. Hypothesis: Research based skills development, integration and retention is hugely necessary and profitable in the former and involves continuous R&D within the company; the limited numbers in production don’t permit out-sourcing without costs to the skills base and to innovative development in the work place; R&D in the latter can be done separately from the work place, and based on supplier and manufacturer control of marketing and design based demand development. The limited and local labour force will be hugely impacted by management decisions in the former, needing very close involvement of their representative with management. The widely dispersed labour force in the latter can be retained and supported by pre-product development supply planning. Carthorses for courses.

  36. John Pilgrim

    Fully agree that there are situations when R&D is critical as it’s that that separates you from the competition. If you get rid of that and are left with doing the nuts and bolts, you are vulnerable to someone doing the nuts and bolts better than you.

    In that regard it’s best to keep the R&D in house and outsource the nuts and bolts (If you can no longer compete at doing the nuts and bolts).

    If you start outsourcing the things that makes your company different you will lose your competitive edge and are headed for disaster.

    If you refuse to outsource things that can be done cheaper and are commonly done else where by specialist companies that are more efficient at that particular task, you aren’t going to be as competitive in the marketplace.

    In all aspects, the longer strategic view should always be taken into account when considering whether to outsource, it might cost a certain amount to keep skills within a company, which may or may not be a price worth paying depending on how valuable those skills are in the future.

  37. @Tinted

    “But you probably wouldn’t argue against that – I think you were just trying to make a point. ”

    Nah, the point I was making was that it’s far better to have a system where the police/army are at least semi-accountable.

    Private armies and police? Sounds too much like 1920/30s Germany / USSR.

  38. A bold claim but you may be right. My CoS contact probably would agree.

1 4 5 6