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. NICKP
    Or like the poll tax?

  2. @ALEC

    I am expecting at some point in the future for ‘a’ government to lift the state pension age to above 70 years of age. There will be many people who will retire before the state pension age, due to no work or health and have to rely on any company/private pensions they may have. For those that have no private pensions, they will be going through the DWP benefit system.

    Future Governments will have a massive increase in benefit claimants and pension claimants, due to population growth. As technology gradually reduces employment and globalisation affects where jobs are required, I am expecting Governments to make changes, as they could not afford the cost of benefits/pensions, if the current arrangements continued. I am expecting the main political parties to drop all targets in regard to poverty.

    I really feel sorry for those under say 35, who have not been able to afford to buy their own homes or put aside any money into a private/company pensions. Many of these will not be able to buy their own homes until they are in their 40’s and could be working into their 70’s, possibly still paying a mortgage. There are people in this position already and I am expecting this to become the norm. If these people are currently renting and paying ever increasing bills, they are probably struggling to put money aside for a house deposit and to pay into a pension.

  3. @NickP – “It appears that there will be a downward adjustment to the £140 to account for periods “opted out” in contracted out schemes. I assume you are presumed to have had the benefit of the money, although if it is a Government scheme, in fact the Government has kept the money.”

    Can’t really see that – it would therefore cease to be the basic state pension.

  4. alec

    my understanding is that to get even the basic state pension you need 30 years NI credits. To get SP2 you need to be paying extra NI contributions.

    So they could downgrade the new flat rate on the basis of reduced number of “extra” contributions which have been paid towards the company scheme.

    Not sure if you can qualify by getting 30 years of contributions elsewhere. It seems odd that a credit from receiving a benefit would buy you the full flat rate pension, but working all your life in a company pension will not.

    Even more unfair, it appears that those who opted out of serps into a private pension will get that plus the full flat rate pension, so opting out that way will NOT lead to a decreased flat rate pension.

    sigh

  5. Colin,

    ‘Bernanke , in a masterpiece of indecipherable policy announcement, appears to have said rates will stay low “at least as long” as unemployment remains above 6.5 percent and if the Fed projects inflation of no more than 2.5 percent one or two years in the future.

    This is the first time US monetary policy will have been targeted at a specific level of unemployment.’

    He says that if unemployment stays high AND inflation remains low. That’s not specifically targetting unemployment, it is just traditional NAIRU in a new crisis setting.

  6. Gay Marriage and Ministers of God and Ministers of State.

    I see the Archbishop of Wales has made the point I tried to about the province wishing to run its own business in its own way. It appears the government did not consult any Welsh bishop – clearly taking the view that the disestablished province could be spoken for by the established English Church.

    That this should have happened doesn’t speak that well of the department’s civil servants let alone the minister. Perhaps not as obviously headline grabbing as the pasty tax and other administrative debacles but it just speaks badly of the government. I’m surprised the palace did not explain to the minister that the Episcopal church in Wales was not in her majesty’s remit.

  7. Mikems

    You might have missed that he’s commited himself to 85 billion a month in asset purchases per month until god knows when, that’s 40 billion of mortgages and 45 billion of bonds per month that the fed is buying up. This is no longer considered unusual and now there is talk of extending QE to other assets?? Our new chairman is keen on “unconventional monetary measures” god alone knows what that means but I suspect that it means leaning money directly to small businesses taking the losses if they fail and selling the loans on to the banks at a cut price rate if they succeed. Maybe even more unconventional than that

  8. Remember that vince was talking about sercuritizing small business loans, which if the govt was a garrrenteed buyer would be a nice little earner for financial institution’s

  9. MIKEMS

    I think it is-and indeed a specific number-6.5%.

    I think you will find that the caveats about accompanying inflation rates are subsidiary to the unemployment target-which is a first.

    As RiN says-their Asset Purchase programme makes our look like chicken feed. And the Fed is buying mortgage bonds as well as Treasury Bills.

  10. News alert

    Another mass school shooting. 27 reported dead in Connecticut.

    There now seems to be several of these shootings every year, somewhere in the world. Is this on the increase or has there always been these murder sprees ?

  11. Colin/ RiN

    Re: asset purchases and a target maximum unemployment rate

    We need to be thankful that the worlds biggest economy is underpinning the global capitalist system in this activist interventionist way.

    Deploying Laissez Faire or alternatively (but conceptually quite similarly) anarcho- libertarianism would cause a meltdown of economic and social chaos that would make the last 5 years seem a veritable picnic.

    Elsewhere…

    Am I really one of the few on the left side of the centre of politics who thinks EdMs switch to a tougher migration policy along with public sector employment English language requirements is both no big deal but also nonetheless to be welcomed?

  12. ^ I agree.

    watching newsnight last night, it further convinced me that there is a significant movement on the liberal left of politics to portray people with certain centre right political views as bigots in an attempt to marginalise their position. The ridiculous irony around free speech seems to be lost on this group. Therefore I applaud Ed M for at least allowing a grown up discussion on some of these policies and not capitulating to the liberal left movement.

  13. ROB

    I wasn’t criticising the Fed-though:-

    a) I think targeting a specific unemployment number with monetary policy, and marginalising inflation targeting in the process takes them into uncharted waters,
    b) $2 Trillion is one helluva lot of QE to unwind on the markets at some point in the future.

    If I think our Public Finances are becoming very worrying ( which I do)-there’s are of a different magnitude entirely.

    Re your “elsewhere”, I was just thinking how quiet it was on the immigration front today on UKPR.

  14. I meant question time!

  15. ROB SHEFFIELD

    I presume that Ed’s policy on “English language requirements” applies only to those public sector workers under the control of the UK Government – ie in England and certain functions elsewhere?

    Does he intend to apply that to Defence? If so, does that include the Ghurkas, for example?

    Wouldn’t it be more appropriate for employers in the public sector to ensure that their employees have the appropriate language skills for the communities they serve, and the functions they carry out?

    Why should mono-lingual English speakers be assumed to be preferable to those with appropriate community languages, if their English skills fall below some arbitrarily defined competence level – and how will that level of competence be defined?

    Without such specificity, it sounds more like Gordon Brown’s “British jobs for British workers” mantra.

  16. Bernanke’s announcement needs ti be seen in the light of Krugman’s analysis of why QE failed in Japan.

    We are in a situation where companies prefer to get effectively zero return on their savings, than to risk investing and losing. They are prepared to get zero return because they expect inflation to stay very low for the foreseeable future. So their money, even at near-zero interest, will retain its
    QE is supposed to raise the rate of inflation and hence “encourage” firms to invest their money rather than lose out on zero-interest savings. That would kick start the economy.

    But as Krugman points out. It only works if companies believe that inflation will be high well into the future. If they think that the central bank will be responsible and damp down inflation the moment that it starts to rise, they will keep their money in the bank.

    It’s a looking glass world where virtuous, responsible central bank policy is disastrous and keeps us in depression. Bernanke is gently suggesting that he is going to implement policy that would have been seen as irresponsible over the last 30 years.

  17. John Murphy,I did reply but I have been moderated,for joking in the Hebrew
    Translation of Babylonian,would you believe! I hope you had a lovely evening.

  18. Lefty

    But the central banks position is still that wage inflation won’t be tolerated as long as that’s the case they are pushing on a string

  19. ANN IN WALES

    LOL – Heavens knows what Anthony’s software translates as Daniel’s translation of what the moving finger wrote before moving on….but there’s a curious symmetry to the prohibition!!!

    Back to Mince pies and Dundee cake for me – no respite in the galleys of Christmas present as Dickens might have said!

  20. Any statement yet by the US gun lobby accepting their part in the culpability in the massacre of innocents in Connecticut?

    As supposed Christians, they must recognise the relevance of the timing.

  21. Oldnat

    You are joking, you know that the gun lobby would say that if everyone had a gun the the gunman would have been shot dead before he could killed that many

  22. RICHARD IN NORWAY

    Appalling BBC News guy asking someone in Newtown whether the teachers should have been armed!

    However, you are probably right. The US gun lobby are probably arguing that every kindergarten kid should have an AK47 tucked into their satchel.

  23. OLD NAT
    “Wouldn’t it be more appropriate for employers in the public sector to ensure that their employees have the appropriate language skills for the communities they serve, and the functions they carry out?”

    I imagine his deployment of an English language requirement and means to assist the communities concerned is because he intends it to be a counter to ghettoisation. Am I missing something in your reasoning?

  24. JOHN PILGRIM

    What you imagine and what he means may both be somewhat vague.

    Are you suggesting that groups of people with poor English should be dispersed from where they live to monoglot areas to further integration? Or am I missing something in your reasoning?

  25. RICHARD IN NORWAY
    “40 billion of mortgages and 45 billion of bonds per month that the fed is buying up. This is no longer considered unusual and now there is talk of extending QE to other assets?? Our new chairman is keen on “unconventional monetary measures” god alone knows what that means but I suspect that it means leaning money directly to small businesses taking the loss…”

    Suppose we add these measures in the UK to the Government’s takeover of Northern Rock and RBS, how close would we be getting to state management of the housing market and employment?

  26. Obama visibly & movingly affected; fighting for self control.

    Thoughts are with the poor victims ,& the distraught parents for whom Christmas has forever been tarnished.

    The shooter’s mother-a teacher-and all of her class. What in god’s name was this for?

  27. OLD NAT
    There are problems and dangers in minority ghettos which don’t need spelling out, and which poor English would exacerbate.
    For example, unequal access to health services with the majority population, or problems of access of the police or social services, or the consolidation of attitudes to or the practice of women’s rights not according to UK law, or very high unemployment rates and difficulties of access to employment opportunity, and related high levels of dependency on and cost to benefits. A language barrier to communication with the majority population would be a likely cause of resentment on both sides of a minority-majority divide.

  28. @Rich (6.57 & 7.03)

    Totally agree. I consider myself as left of centre (as regular readers will be aware I am now to the left of the Lib Dems or should I say they have moved to the right of me) but watching last night’s QT program I felt totally isolated. 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!!

    It also seems that, on the basis of some of last night’s comments, the liberal left are happy to allow the UK to be totally overpopulated when our public services are already struggling to cope.

  29. @ Old Nat

    Are you suggesting that groups of people with poor English should be dispersed from where they live to monoglot areas to further integration? Or am I missing something in your reasoning?
    ——————–
    I recommend reading Ed’s entire speech; then it becomes clear that John Pilgrim’s view is much closer to what Ed meant.

  30. The gunman: twenty years old [is that about the age they are permitted to drink?]

    The weapon: a .223 calibre RIFLE.

    Over a hundred rounds fired.

    Until the US, as a nation, wakes up then some are crying crocodile tears. its time to change course from the 19th century wild west

  31. There is a reason Ed Miliband is Labour leader and his brother isn`t.

    Miliband is rightly acknowledging that Labour made mistakes on immigration but too much dog-whistling on this may alienate the ethnic minority vote which has stood solidly behind Labour for decades,IMO.

  32. JOHN PILGRIM

    Good English tends to be of benefit wherever you are, which is why it is sensible to learn it – as the Chinese well know, having such a huge number of the world’s English speakers.

    That, however, is nothing to do with the reality that immigrant communities sensibly group together due to family and cultural support systems.

    Nor does it have any relationship with prioritising English competence among public sector workers.

    Amber

    No doubt, you will give me a link to Ed’s speech. My initial response was to Rob Sheffield’s portrayal of it.

    What does ed have to say about the Ghurkas and the other questions I raised with Rob?

  33. For reasons one can only speculate on, Alex Salmond has a lower popularity rating with women voters.

    English readers may not be aware that there is one politician in Scotland with an even higher positive approval rating who it is thought to be particularly attractive to females.

    http://www.thescottishfarmer.co.uk/shows/politician-elected-as-the-best-once-again.19544291

  34. JBD:

    He gets my vote: very handsome.

  35. Is it right for a PM to pre-empt the result of official enquiries into cabinet ministers? I’m thinking of Ms Miller as an example.

  36. John Murphy

    “It appears the government did not consult any Welsh bishop – clearly taking the view that the disestablished province could be spoken for by the established English Church.

    That this should have happened doesn’t speak that well of the department’s civil servants let alone the minister. ”

    Without a thousand such acts of ineptitude and ignorance over most of my lifetime, the SNP would be a tiny clique of impractical romantics.

    The same sort of people are running the NO campaign.

  37. PAULCROFT

    I thought Cameron sounded exactly like the chairman of a football club, when the media are asking about his future.

    However, politics are probably nothing like football. No doubt competence isn’t demanded of politicians.

  38. @ John Pilgrim

    About the US government buying various assets. I think this is actually the only option to put money into the financial system and stop stagnation for decades. Some of these assets purchased have actually produced a profit. e.g AIG.

    There is so much debt in the US on the back of a bust housing market. Since the 2008 financial crash, there have been over 4 million home repossessions in the US, with something like 15 million homes under threat of repossession. The rate of repossession has come down over the two years, but I believe there is still a projected level of over half a mllion home likely to be repossessed per year, over the next few years. Before the crash, repossessions were running at about 250k per year.

  39. JOHN B DICK

    Regardless of the ignorance level of English MPs acting as Secretary of State for Wales, it’s difficult to imagine Scottish Secretaries such as Malcolm Rifkind or Ian Lang not having a quiet word with an English Minister about the unwisdom about legislating for the Church in Wales.

    Whether Michael Moore is equally ignorant, lacks any clout, or has no role in UK policy making would have to be a matter of conjecture.

  40. @ Old Nat

    What does ed have to say about the Ghurkas and the other questions I raised with Rob?
    ————————–
    I don’t know whether Ed has made a statement or been asked about the special circumstances with regard to the Ghurka pensioners.

    Ed’s speech:
    http://www.labour.org.uk/building-a-britain-that-works-together

  41. OLDNAT

    The two you mention may have been better / less inefective / had more clout, but the cons have been hardly spoilt for choice.

    Mundell seems more popular in the constituency than the party, much to his credit.

    That may be because of unwelcome efforts to inform colleagues that their plans did not take account of what matters were devolved. I gatherd that he welcomed the LibDems into the coalition because that job was heavy lifting, work for more than one person.

  42. AMBER

    Interesting that the text of Ed’s speech (Ta for that) doesn’t seem to have much resonance with what Rob Sheffield seemed to assume it said.

    Rob’s comments appear to focus on “So we should extend the requirements in many professions for English proficiency to all publicly-funded, public-facing jobs.” and “But older people of different backgrounds often say that the limited English skills of some care workers present them with difficulties.”

    If your own party supporters distort what he said, then you shouldn’t be surprised that the message received isn’t what he hoped would be sent!

  43. Ipsos-MORI poll

    http://www.ipsos-mori.com/Assets/Docs/Polls/Dec2012_tables_release2.pdf

    A majority of the British public do not agree with the Chancellor’s plans, announced as part of the Autumn Statement last week, to increase working-age benefits including Job Seekers Allowance and Child Benefit by less than inflation. Six in ten Britons (59%) think benefit payments should rise in line with inflation and a further 10% think they should rise by more than inflation, although a quarter (27%) think they should rise by less than inflation or not at all.

    Not sure that the term “middle class” in the questions has any recognised meaning.

  44. Oldnat

    I’ve always regarded SLAB’s portrayal of AS as a control freak personally responsible for every utterence of every minister as not credible and reflecting the leader worship and sofa government in their own authoritarian cult.

    From what I see it looks as if AS is either too clever, or too lazy to go down that road.

    I raised a matter with the party chairman CC to my constituency MSP who had an interest himself as a minister, but the proper person to deal with it seems to be the DFM.

    It looks to me as if a ministers job is to get on with their own departments causing as little fuss as possible and that policy and communication with media and public on any topic is now the task of the YES minister.

    It reminds me of the wartime attitude where every government minister’s efforts, personal and party rivalries, policy initiatives were all measured by their effect on the war effort.

    Do I read too much into too little?

  45. SMukesh

    Miliband is rightly acknowledging that Labour made mistakes on immigration but too much dog-whistling on this may alienate the ethnic minority vote which has stood solidly behind Labour for decades,IMO.

    Probably not. I think polling shows that desire for integration is even greater among immigrants and their descendants than among the longer-settled population. Also the people worst affected by current immigration are often those whose parents were immigrants – especially with increasing pressure on jobs and housing.

    In particular, the latest wave from Eastern Europe has given rise to suspicions that the more recent (white) arrivals are being preferred over the black and asian children of previous incomers.

  46. JOHN B DICK

    “Do I read too much into too little?”

    Maybe a little.

    What I suspect the opposition parties fail to understand about the SNP is their concept of multiple/shared leadership.

    While wider strategy in securing parliamentary supremacy was the key objective, then Alex as the widely recognised strategist played the key role.

    Now that the concentration is on the detail, Nicola has moved to the pivotal role – she is better on these issues.

    That there is an overarching purpose for the Scottish Government is fairly obvious, but it’s difficult to see how Richard Lochead’s work, for example, would conflict with that purpose.

  47. Bad enough that I have family in the USA! Fortunately, none of them are in Michigan

    http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2012/12/sweeping_changes_in_michigans.html

    Aside from allowing concealed pistols in schools and other places, a number of measures are aimed at streamlining a permit process critics say remains far from uniform statewide.

  48. Now that the concentration is on the detail, Nicola has moved to the pivotal role – she is better on these issues.
    —————-
    Yes, she is.

    The most compelling argument regarding the EU sounds loud & clear when Nicola articulates it. Basically, if we are EU citizens then we should not have to trade-in our EU citizenship for Scottish citizenship.

    The EU needs to stop being silly. It’s not in the best interests of the EU to assert that EU citizenship can be arbitrarily withdrawn; for the EU to imply that we are nothing more than economic units in a trading bloc makes the case for leaving the EU far more strongly than UKIP or the anti-EU wing of the Tories could hope to do!

  49. AMBER

    Alas, politicians – whether EU, UK or Scotland do tend to be silly. :-(

    (I’m going to use smilies even if AW has condemned them to oblivion in dictatorial fashion! And he hasn’t even made the trains run on time.)

    On my side of the debate, their has been a more sensible articulation of how the inevitable uncertainty is likely to be resolved, and overstatement withdrawn..

    That Alastair Darling continues to mount somewhat hysterical arguments appears a little foolish.

    There are critical issues which will affect how the majority of Scots (who lie somewhere between your position and mine) will decide what happens.

    Hopefully we are beginning to move into that phase of the debate.

  50. It now appears that not only did the Church in Wales not know or want the legal ban on them marrying same sex couples, but neither did the Church of England:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/dec/13/anglican-church-protests-gay-marriage-ban

    So it’s not just the usual Anglo-parochialism, it’s an even worse mess-up that that.

    I actually suspect this of being yet another example of government being unable to think further than the front of tomorrow’s Daily Mail (and we thought Blair was bad). Some spotty SpAd thinks of something that may make a good headline and it becomes law – irrespective of its effects on real people or whether it will work at all.

    Cameron and his government seem to regard politics rather loftily. Details are something for the servants to work out (along with those nice people at KPMG), while their betters deal with “presentation”.
    The way that the Anglican churches are putting a great distance between themselves and these proposals suggests more than that returning unwanted Christmas presents has started early this year. They’re obviously realising the disaster that the way this subject has been handled has been for religious groups – alienating them from the public at large, including potential members, especially among the young. The latest YouGov poll on the subject confirmed previous figures that a sizable minority (and a majority of those under 35) actually put the right to gay marriage above that of religious freedom. A thousand Richard Dawkins couldn’t have caused the damage to religions that they have inflicted on themselves.

    Of course the real problem for the Churches isn’t so much the issue itself, but the way it has become totemic of what many people see as undue influence of religion and its lack of sympathy with how people live their lives.

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