This morning’s YouGov poll for the Sun had topline figures of CON 31%, LAB 44%, LDEM 12%, UKIP 9%. The twelve percent support for the Liberal Democrats is the highest that YouGov have shown since way back in April 2011. All the usual caveats apply about unusual poll findings apply – more often than not they are just blips – however this is part of a wider pattern in recent YouGov polling, that has shown the Lib Dems sneaking up into double figures on an increasingly regular basis. Eight out of nine YouGov polls in December have shown the Lib Dems at 10 or above, compare that to 5/21 polls in November and 5/23 in October.

If is it sustained it will be worth looking at exactly where the support is coming from and trying to work out what is driving it, but the Lib Dems have been increasingly differentiating themselves from the Conservatives over recent months – that would certainly be a potential cause worth looking at.

240 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – CON 31, LAB 44, LD 12, UKIP 9”

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  1. I think Peter Bell (and Paul Croft) are making a category error in discussing gay marriage. They are seeing marriage as a religious institution, but it isn’t. It’s mainly a social and legal one (actually the Church’s involvement came fairly late in its history).

    So it is for society and the state to decide what a valid marriage is. It may well decide to outsource the performance of the ceremony to other bodies – traditionally the established church in England and Wales. But it may also decide to involved other specifies denominations, bring the work back in-house as with civil ceremonies (themselves recently widened as to location), or be not particularly fussed about how and when – as traditionally was the case in Scotland.

    You could argue that a lot of society is already treating civil partnerships[1] as marriage and the law is now just formalising it. Of course individuals may continue to believe that marriage is just between a man and a woman and regard those that aren’t as not ‘proper’ – just as some religious people may regard the remarriage of those divorced as not ‘proper’ marriages. But that is personal opinion, not the law of the land.

    [1] One intriguing questions is what now happens to CP legislation. Is it still an option and, if so should it be extended to cover male-female partnerships as well. In France when CPs were introduced this was possible and I believe that now 95% of CPs are between people of different sexes.

  2. Rog:

    I never make mistakes.

    Re the church my point is simple: for those of us who think that building your life around something that is a matter of “faith” rather than fact is odd, then it seems obvious that the state should not get involved in that in any way. Yet states DO get involved all the time, allowing faith schools for example and using religion on state occasions when it suits them.

    Given that the state accepts and works with so many of religion’s myths then I can’t see why it should get involved in trying to rule on their attitudes to marriage. After all its easy enough for people to get married without using a church and most of us do exactly that.

  3. ps

    Am I right in thinking that individual churches can refuse to marry people who are not churh-goers or who are divorced?

    Its not an issue I’ve spent a lot of time considering but I believe that used to be the case and was not subject to legal, or any other, appeal – peopole just chose a different church.

  4. Amber:

    European/British/Scots/Frae Leadhills/wottever

    Surely at the moment you are a British citizen and, because of that fact, you are also a citizen of Europe, holders of the Ryder “get-in-the-hole” Cup?

    If you renounce British citizenship to become Scottish citizens then that is exactly what you will be; unless you then go on to become European citizens afterwards.

    Key word is AFTERWARDS.

  5. Good Afternoon All.

    The ‘State’ knows that ‘Faith Schools’ (Christian/Anglicans/Catholics/Jewish: are normally over subscribed.

    Leaders of ‘the State’ send their children to these ‘odd’ constructs.

    BTW, as kids say, apparently, the new, and young, Catholic Bishop of Portsmouth has delivered a highly political attack on Cameron in his letter to all parishes this weekend.

  6. Oldnat

    I see Richard Lochhead is getting some help.

    He has understandably gained a few pounds since his job has been promoting local healthy (often organic) quality Scottish Food.

    I didn’t know what the article says about the Slow Food movement being founded in response to the opening of the Venice McDonalds.

    It’s just round the corner from the Micky Mouse shop.

  7. Roger Mexico

    I agree with your distincton and that it is important.

    I don’t see why people can’t say, (Mixed or same sex) “we had a Christian/Protestant /Jewish /Humanist etc religious wedding. Many of the religious think other religions don’t do a proper wedding.

    There may be a generational element here as is shown by the polls. When I wasin hospital, one of the youngest nurses said to a female colleague “That’s your wife on the ‘phone,” as naturally as if her colleaue had been male.

    Anecdotal, yes, but she is in the same place as my CoS minister friend, 73, who thinks the debate (like it or not) is over and he stands ready to do his duty when asked, when the “i’s” are dotted and the”t’s” crossed.

    I’m sure he is right. The only issue once the legislation is passed will be the enhanced irrelevance of the CoE as an estabished church.

    Quite possible we in Scotland will be off soon enough dumping nearly all Westminster’s other archaic constitutional anomalies for a bespoke modern PR parliament fit for purpose.

  8. @Nickp -“Isn’t there going to be a residency qualification?”

    Truth is, I don’t think anyone knows yet, but on reflection I don’t think there can be in any practical terms. If you are entitled to live here, I assume you would entitled to benefits, which, if over 65/66/67/93 would be the state pension age. Making it contributory gets us back to where we are now, whereas the stated aim was for universality to end ‘the iniquity of means testing’.

    @Everyone talking about Scottish independence and the EU.

    I think the SNP seem to have greatly underestimated this issue. @Martyn is correct, in that all 27 members states must agree to a ‘new’ member, and while it is likely that they would do so, we have already had one major European government stating they would completely refuse. That’s a problem that the SNP have ignored.

    The key point though, is that this is a negotiation. Scotland will be offered what it wants, in return for what the rest of Europe wants. For example, my understanding is that new member states must join the EZ. OK – some countries have agree to ‘join’ the EZ on the never never, but this won’t do – Scotland wants EU membership too badly, and I can’t see any prospect they will be able to join without taking on the Euro.

    I’m also sure various UK opt outs and special treatments won’t be allowed to stand. I’m sure a deal will be offered, but Scotland’s need for the EU is far greater that the EU’s need for Scotland. What isn’t very clear to me is how popular this will be with Scottish voters.

  9. alec

    wouldn’t that mean that somebody could move here from Europe age a year till retirement and when they reach retirement age, get the full flat rate pension?

    Will this be reciprocal?

  10. Far too early to say whether the LD rise is another blip.

    Its coincidence with LDs’ first significant run of local government by-election successes since May 2010 certainly differs a lot from their last poll rise, and includes one gain from Labour on a big swing (in N.Tyneside), and 6 – 8 gains from the Tories, mainly on big swings. Three or four of the gains from the Tories were in the north of England, their first there for a year.

  11. Chris

    Not sure what point you are making. The fact that the schools are popular or that politicians send their own children to them doesn’t affect my own point of view in the slightest.

    Many people are uncomfortable that schools which are based on faith rather than fact are not only allowed but actively supported by the state.

  12. Hey guys.

    Haven’t posted in ages as I’ve been busy with my job (that’s right, I got it,)

    Thank you to those of you that wished me luck in getting it.

    On the topic of Scotland in the EU, to me it just seems obvious, the EU is treaties are treaties between 27 countries, the names are on the list, for example, the Lisbon treaty, there is no Scottish signatory.

    Also something as important as the number of members is still a veto issue, and a few countries would want a say on this. And somewhat unfortunately, the views of Spain are taken in higher regard than those of Scotland due to size.

    On the topic of faith schools. I went to a grammar school, the left, and even the tories are trying to wipe them out. My school gave me a much better education than I would have got at the local comp, if politicians of all stripes continue to wage a war on grammar schools and if I can’t afford private school, then despite being atheist I would try and get my children into a religious school because at least I know they’d have a good education.

  13. @ Paul C

    If you renounce British citizenship to become Scottish citizens…
    Nobody has said that it will be necessary to renounce UK citizenship in favour of Scottish citizenship in the event there is a ‘yes’ to independence.

    There is nothing in place which would force citizens of the UK who were born in Scotland or who reside there to renounce their UK citizenship. At the moment it is possible (but not probable) that Scotland, having voted for independence, could find that a majority of its residents prefer to remain UK citizens.

    That would be an interesting political situation, would it not?

  14. @MIM



    @Peter Bell
    “……while I accept civil union of gays (homosexuals are entitled to all the legal benefits enjoyed by heterosexuals), as a commited christian I am against gay marriage as I believe marriage to be an act of union between man and woman. However it seems (according to Will Self et al) that I am not allowed to hold that point of view. So much for free speech….

    John Boswell Christianity Social Tolerance and Homosexuality and his later Same-Sex Unions in premodern Europe pretty much sets out the academic historical case for thinking our preconceptions both about love and marriage are not straightforwardly all we simply believe them to be; let alone that they are often informed by much more recent ideas than we acknowledge. If history teaches us anything it is that what we believe is simple and straightforwardly true, rarely is so on closer examination.

  16. @ Paul Croft @ MIM

    Despite being strongly agnostic (scientifically I cannot prove someone doesn’t exist) I don’t have much of a problem with mainstream church schools, they generally have a reasonable moral stance and don’t do any harm. I think the biggest thing though is to say that children who go to church have priority over every other child apart from special needs. This does cause problems for children not getting in at oversubscribed schools that may we far more local for them.

    @ MIM

    I went to a grammar school but in all honesty I have no problem with them disappearing. I didn’t think it was very good that circumstances at age 10 (having a good teacher at primary and a focus on the 11 plus) meant I got to go to the ‘best’ school in the area which then shaped my future life chances despite not being obviously any brighter than any other kid at that age.

  17. The single biggest change to traditional marriage happened in the 19th century when it became lawful to get married in a registry office.

    the other big change was it gradually became an alliance of equals made under their own free will as opposed to a the parents arranging it and where the women was seen as the fathers property to be given away.

    Like many people I find it difficult to see how allowing same sex marriages undermines anything other than the churches perceived right to dictate how other people live their lives.

    The best advice for I can give to people who oppose same sex marriage is try and make sure you don’t marry someone of the same sex.

  18. @MiM

    “…I’ve been busy with my job (that’s right, I got it,)…”

    Congratulations. Don’t worry if it’s hard: it gets better after about 50 years… :-) :-)


  19. @Reggieside

    “…where the women was seen as the fathers property to be given away…”

    It sounds ludicrous to modern ears, but that was in fact the case: the wife legally became the husband’s property on marriage and could own nothing in her own right nor inherit wealth. See


  20. MITM
    Very pleased to hear of your success. Did you have any competition from immigrants (perhaps you are not aware of that)?

    I almost put ‘immigrants’ in quotes. I mean, someone from Manchester could be competing with someone from Inverness and that latter person will be an immigrant in 2015, perhaps.

    This is why I cannot take the immigrant issue very seriously.

  21. @ M.I.M

    Haven’t posted in ages as I’ve been busy with my job (that’s right, I got it,)
    Nice 1! Well done & I wish you all the best.

  22. @Amber

    I am a sentimental or ancestral Scot (i.e. I have a Scottish name, support Scotland at sport and when young was dressed in a kilt). I live in England, should I want Scottish Citizenship would I be able to take it up despite not living there?

  23. Charles:

    No. You’ll have to be English.

    Dunno why you’re asking Amber wither: she’s not in charge of the details.

  24. “wither” = either.

    Dunno why they put w and e so close on my laptop, seems silly to me.

  25. @ Howard

    This is why I cannot take the immigrant issue very seriously.
    I await the Sunday Media’s comment pieces because so far, the world has failed to come off its axis as a result of Ed’s speech & Dave’s response.

    Who’d have thought the UK population in general cared so little about this issue? (eye rolling smiley, I think of you often & miss you terribly!)

  26. @ Charles

    I am a sentimental or ancestral Scot (i.e. I have a Scottish name, support Scotland at sport and when young was dressed in a kilt). I live in England, should I want Scottish Citizenship would I be able to take it up despite not living there?
    Citizenship proposals haven’t been finalized. I think there’s proposed criteria re: birth, residency & property ownership each entitling people to apply for citizenship. Ancestry, no criteria yet as far as I’m aware.

  27. Thank you Amber, and Shevii! :)

    Howard funny you should mention it, I did have competition, from an immigrant, what makes the victory sweeter was she had 3 degrees.

    Oh and there was a girl who was going to commute from Portsmouth every day (the job is in outer london)

    My problem with immigration is not with race, although the fact british white is now a minority in London was a little upsetting.

    My problem is simply numbers. To phrase it better, a racist would probably favour a white, american, canadian, australian, new zealand, to a black or asian person getting a job.

    I’m arguing the complete that opposite, that a black british male who is unemployed has more right to a job, than a white immigrant.

    There are not enough jobs, health services, or education as it is, so I don’t think we should be taking in more people.

    Like a nightclub, when its full, they don’t let anymore people in, when people start to leave and it empties, they let more in.

    Immigration can be a good thing, but you can have too much of a good thing.

    I think the best policy would be to say when one person emigrates out, another is allowed to immigrate in.

  28. Charles:

    Oh – perhaps she IS in charge of the details.

  29. MinM


    You make it sound as simple as a multi-storey car park with a neat queue of cars in line outside.

  30. In regards to citizenship, surely precedents have been set. I don’t know what these precedents are but surely people in former USSR countries, can’t have citizenship for all 15 countries, similar story with former Yugoslavia.

    What criteria did those countries use? They obviously didn’t use the proposed property ownership thing, as they could have if they had property in all 15 soviet republics at the time of break up.

    I think Scots would probably lose citizenship upon independence, otherwise theres nothing to stop them simply moving back into UK when things go pear shaped in Scotland, which at some point in history will happen, its the economic cycle.

  31. @ Paul C

    Oh – perhaps she IS in charge of the details.
    It’s a tough job but somebody’s got to do it. :-)

  32. Well Paul.

    Surely the gov has a list of people applying to live work in the UK., although this incompetent gov wouldnt surprise me if they didnt.

    Keeping track of emigration may be slightly harder, but I’m sure there is a way of keeping track after all to calculate net migration, they must have figures for emigration.

  33. “as they could have all 15 citizenships if they had property in all 15 soviet republics at the time of break up.”

    Surely upon breakup, you will just have to state where your primary residence is, and then base your citizenship on that, or perhaps if you do have 2 houses, choose which one you will have citizenship for.

  34. Amber:

    And a jolly fine job you are making of it.


    Congrats on job.

    Re in/out I imagine Mr Jobsworth letting half a family in and then bellowing:

    “Stand back now – that’s it till someone leaves.”

  35. minM

    You do realise, of course, that if you DID decide to leave the UK for, say, New Zealand you would be allowed back in.

    I think that demonstrtates just one area where your system is flawed.

    Probably needs Amber to police the borders.

  36. There is no such thing as “EU Citizenship”. There is only citizenship of an EU member state.

    This counters the SNP argument that “The EU can’t remove EU Citizenship from the population of Scotland.” because no such thing exists in the first place. You only get the benefits of EU Member State citizenship, if you’re the citizen of a member state. There’s no such thing as an EU Passport.

  37. Paul

    That continues my night club example, once you have a stamp you are allowed back in.

    It just means that when the next person leaves, that space isn’t handed out.

    Anoter alternative would be to become a country where to gain 1 citizenship you can’t have another, and possibly ending the automatic right to return.

  38. Also Jay, playing along with the SNP for a moment, say EU citizenship does exist, then I think the EU would have the right to take away such a thing similar to how countries can revoke citizenship of their citizens.

    What Scotland has to remember is that it gets EU benefits as long as its part of an EU member state, once it leaves that state, and the UK is declared as the successor state, the UK inherits all the assets of the former state, (personally I think this would extend to north sea oil as well as it is under British ownership, not scottish ownership and as the Argies know, being close to something does not mean you own it)

  39. New thread new Tory sub-30% poll.

  40. Good question, I think we are very close, what interesting to me is the strange relationship between the state and the market. Some days it looks like we have rule by markets, even though the state is constantly intervening to prop up the markets, would it be too far to suggest that its difficult to know where the market ends and the state begins, seems to me that its become like one of those mythical creatures. Half of one thing half of another but still one animal, but with lots of personality problems.

    Yes, the reason I asked was the similarity between the support being provided by the Soviet central and clearance banks to housing (and transport, kindergartens etc, as subsidised payments for production by collectives and state enterprises – till the money ran out overnight in 89; they hadn’t read out QE, but did it anyway the structures look remarkably similar; on your analogy to the parts of one animarl read Herbert Spencer et al. on the functional relationship of institutions in society, and its similarity to the functioning of organs in the human body; and thus to structuralist theory ……..

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