This morning’s YouGov poll for the Sun is here and has topline figures of CON 33%, LAB 43%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 10%. Once again, the Lib Dems remain in double figures.

Yesterday Opinium also put up an interesting article clarifying their methodology and pondering why it could be that they consistently show some of the highest levels of support for UKIP. First, it confirms that Opinium use two-stage prompting in their voting intention question, asking people if they’d vote Con, Lab, Lib Dem or Other, and then only giving the options of BNP, Green and UKIP to people who say other (this is the same as YouGov and in contrast to Survation, who prompt for UKIP in their main question).

Opinium’s guess seems to be that their higher UKIP scores are down to not politically weighting their sample. As regular readers will know, the majority of polling companies use some sort of political weighting. In most cases they weight their samples so that respondents’ recalled 2010 voting behaviour roughly matches what actually happened in 2010, with some allowances made for faulty memory, though YouGov instead weight using party identification. The two exceptions are Ipsos MORI and Opinium.

Ipsos MORI do not weight by past vote because they worry that the levels of false recall can change in response to changing public opinion, in particular they worry about people aligning their recollection of how they voted in May 2010 with how they’d vote now. Other companies like ICM and Populus acknowledge the reality of false recall, but think it is basically pretty constant and changes only slowly over time. In practice it means that MORI’s samples are sometimes more Labour inclined than those of other companies, and can be more volatile (although MORI would argue that this is genuine volatility that weighting by recalled vote is disguising).

Anyway, Opinium are the other company that do not politically weight and suggest in their article that this could be why they are showing a higher level of UKIP support than most other companies. This is certainly feasible. As I’ve written before, the two most obvious explanations for the difference between online and phone polls in terms of UKIP support is either interviewer bias (people are embarrassed to admit to a human interviewer that they are supporting a party outside the main three, less so to a computer screen) or if people who are online are more likely to vote UKIP than those who are not (or, of course, a combination of the two factors). If online panels do get a disproportionately large proportion of the sort of people who’d vote UKIP, then not using some sort of political weighting to control for this could easily produce much higher levels of UKIP support.


182 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – CON 33, LAB 43, LD 10, UKIP 10”

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  1. PS: And interestingly, the Tory figures dropped by a similar amount at pretty much the same time.

    Between mid-Oct and mid-Nov, the Tory five-point average was 32.8-34.4. Since the start of Dec it has been in the range 31.2-32.4.

    I said at the time that I thought Leveson would lead to a small movement from Con to LD. Seems plausible looking at these numbers.

  2. Steve “It is probably appropriate to look at alternative accommodation arrangements for MP’s who actually need a London base. I believe in Sweden MP’s are provided with furnished accommodation which IMO would be the way to go.”

    I agree with this. I also think they don’t actually get well paid when one considers the duties involved so I would support a raise on basic salary but suspect I’m in a minority.

    I think the public get really angry because MPs get what looks like a reasonable salary but then they claim almost the same amount in expenses, mostly because of accomodation choices. If accomodation was provided as opposed to selected, expenses would be hugely reduced. I see no reason why they each need to choose their own accomodation – surely a flat is all they need and it should be theirs for as long as they hold the post and given up when the seat is lost, to then become the flat for the next MP.

    The whole shebang around second homes is what gave rise to the expenses scandal in the first place so it seems entirely reasonable to let a flat be chosen that will remain in the ‘estate’ and is for the exclusive use of the sitting MP until such times as they are no longer in post. I have never seen why they need a whole house for their entire family when they should be returning to their constituencies every week and a 1 or 2 bed flat should be sufficient.

  3. @leftylampton

    “There was a marked improvement in YG LD VI from the last week in Nov”

    Until the 16th, the Lib Dems were getting 8s, 9s and 10s. From the 18th until the 28th, it was 9s and 10s, then from the 29th onwards it was mostly 10s and 11s with a few 9s and a 12 thrown in. I’m taking the change to have started from around the 18th.

    Clegg started a more agressive differentation, including the leaked / published “attack the tories” note that was emailed to the press. Maybe that’s having some effect too.

  4. LD revival
    ‘There is no such thing as ‘bad publicity’. On that basis the home counties will start to shew improved LD ratings after NC’s onesie performance.

    We did have the Chancellor’s so-called Autumn Statement but that was in December rather than late November.

    I don’t see how we can attribute the lift to ‘returning LDs from Labour’ since Labour’s score has not suffered.

    My gut feeling is that UKIP, for instance, derives more support increase from DKs than straight from another party, while party support migrates to DK. One would have to be more of a poll anorak than I to find whether that has any validity.

    We do tend to discuss movements in terms of ‘straight switch’ here whereas there is a case for drift.

  5. Did clegg get a new haircut at the end of Nov, I don’t notice such things but they have more effect on vi than any of the other explanations for the slight improvement in libdem fortunes

  6. RinN
    I thought that side photo of him grinning at Cameron would have a very severe effect on VI (it did on mine).

  7. I’m still of the opinion that pay for mp’s should be linked to either average pay or minimum wage or even a mix of the two, plus a travel allowance based on distance from Westminster.

    Has any media outlet picked up on the fact that Tory mp’s want a much bigger pay rise than other mp’s, the DT didn’t report that but instead tarred them all with the same brush. Perhaps it’s understandable that Tory mp’s are feeling the pinch more(lol) seeing as they are more likely to be living on the south, but if reported the more than 25% difference between what the Tory mp’s want and what labour mp’s want would be a bog and damaging story. if it remains unreported then I think this story will damage labour more

  8. Unbelievable, the mp’s want a huge pay rise story has disappeared from the DT.

  9. Oh my

    “It also disclosed that the prominent Tory backbench 1922 Committee and Parliamentary Labour Party had voiced “strong opposition” to fixing salaries as a multiple of national average earnings”

    Well that’s y idea out the window

  10. Just done a YouGov VI survey with a Euro election VI question as well. That’ll be interesting tomorrow if they publish both. We’ll be able to see what portion of each party’s vote are willing to swich for Euro elections.

  11. Couper

    ‘ It is paying back the debt that causes pain and that pain will start in earnest for many in April.’

    Particularly when it is someone else’s debt. In this case workers who don’t, by and large, have mortgages or credit cards are having to pay for high private and govt debts.

  12. Mikems

    What’s worse is that all that debt was pretend money. Makes me really angry

  13. Liam Fox is saying that gay marriage is ‘divisive’.

    That’s one way of putting it, I suppose, but marriage looks more like uniting people to me.

    Perhaps he has his own marriage in mind? I wonder what his best man thinks?

  14. RiN

    ‘What’s worse is that all that debt was pretend money.’

    It’s real enough when it is being repaid.

    It’s what papa Karl called ‘fictitious capital’ in that it isn’t based on real production and value, but inflated values and gambling on the future productivity of the real economy. It’s a part of capitalism that fictitious capital comes to dominate markets when returns from real investment fall over time. This leads to an eventual collapse as the values claimed are exposed as false and when people cannot pay them back with real wealth.

    That’s where we are now and why these false values are being propped up – in the final analysis – by you and me. The alternative is real values in real markets and the sudden collapse in wealth and power of many in our ruling elites.

  15. MIKEMS

    @”The alternative is real values in real markets ”

    …and only buying stuff you can pay for without borrowing.

    ….ie the end of the modern consumer society & aspirant working & lower middle classes.

    Western Society EXISTS on debt & what you describe as ” gambling on the future productivity of the real economy. “.

  16. Colin,

    That’s how Marx describes it, not me. And fictitious capital is not the same as debt per se.

    It is capital that is invested in secondary markets, as I said, and gets its returns from secondary values and trading, such as speculation on futures etc. It is anything that is tradeable in markets without real commodities changing hands. It comes to dominate and blow up bubbles in the real economy too : the housing market in the USA and UK for example.

    Debt isn’t necessarily capital at all. It is only capital if it is invested in some business or other economic activity in expectation of an increased return.

    Also debt by itself is not the basis of modern western society. The basis of western society is accumulated capital that can be invested in real businesses and secondary markets. Before that we had feudalism with rent as the basis of economy and debts raised on the basis of future income from rents. Back then there was no market value on a peasant’s hovel and no one speculated on the future prices of gruel.

    You should read Capital vol 3 which gives a good picture of how capitalism works as a whole, including the banking and credit systems, relatively primitive as they were when Marx was observing them.

  17. richard in norway

    Unbelievable, the mp’s want a huge pay rise story has disappeared from the DT

    It’s vanished off the front page and even the front page of the Politics section, but it’s still available. To be fair they did run a second story on the topic later in the evening (which did mention the difference in Party expectation):

    We are underpaid and deserve a rise of £20,000, say MPs

    plus a column from the voice of privileged New Labour, Dan Hodges, who thinks that even £86k would be far too little for the job (which does link from the front page.

  18. @ Colin

    Western Society EXISTS on debt & what you describe as ” gambling on the future productivity of the real economy. “.
    ——————
    Indeed; & that is why QE is monetizing wealth not debt as I attempted to explain in previous comments. To put it simply: The banks created debt by lending to people based on the people’s future productivity. As the people produce wealth without taking on additional debt, the wealth which they are creating must be monetized so that they can use the money to settle their debts.

    The difficulty is in judging how much real wealth has been created & deserves to be monetized compared to the faux ‘wealth’ which was created by scams such as PPI.

  19. Given that during the AV debate MP’s from all sides were keen to stress the importance of the vital link between them and their “Constituents” wny not use that to decide their salary.

    You could;

    Pay them on the number of constituents say £1 a vote.
    On that basis the MP for the Isle of Wight would get £109k and the Western Isles £22k.

    You could use the turnout, £1 for every vote cast or even £1 or £2 for every vote the winning candidate got.

    The way to get more money would be to become a more popular MP.

    Of course you could also charge people £10 to vote with the constituency total paying the winners wages.. then we would really find out what people though they were worth!

    Peter.

  20. On the subject of MPs pay there was an interview with one on the PM programme yesterday:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01ppn8n

    from about 33 minutes in.

    There was a very revealing moment where he implied that “the vast majority of the public” would not feel that the current salary was “a lot of money”. He also complained that the “average salary” in Westminster was over £100k.

  21. QE is designed to spread investment capital away from gilts and into other securities and investments. That’s what the BoE says, anyway.

    It is obvious that these values are being propped up by QE. The rationale is that without QE a liquidity trap would develop and a flight to gilts would cause a collapse in other tradeable values and that capital would flood to gilts even at negative yields. Those values are also, purely by coincidence you understand, the claimed wealth of our ruling class.

  22. @ Mike MS

    QE is designed to spread investment capital away from gilts and into other securities and investments. That’s what the BoE says, anyway.
    —————-
    They are being economical with the truth. It is not ‘spreading investment capital’, it is creating necessary liquidity in an illiquid system due to banks having over-traded in the past.

  23. I’ve always interpreted “injecting liquidity into the system” as “buying bad debt to prop up insolvent banks”.

  24. I just thought it was topping up the boiler.

  25. @Mikems

    You should read Capital vol 3 which gives a good picture of how capitalism works as a whole, including the banking and credit systems, relatively primitive as they were when Marx was observing them.
    —————————————————————————
    That’s how Marx describes it, not me.
    —————————————————————————

    I’m interested as to how you reconcile the ‘good picture’ drawn by Marx, with your distancing yourself from it?

  26. @Richard In Norway

    What’s worse is that all that debt was pretend money. Makes me really angry
    —————————————————————————

    Me too!

  27. Re MPs accomodation, now the anti-war demo has gone why can’t they camp on that bit of land themselves? Not as though they turn up that often.

  28. @Amber

    Indeed; & that is why QE is monetizing wealth not debt as I attempted to explain in previous comments. To put it simply: The banks created debt by lending to people based on the people’s future productivity. As the people produce wealth without taking on additional debt, the wealth which they are creating must be monetized so that they can use the money to settle their debts.
    ————————————————————————–

    Very well put. Do you expect the QE bought-back gilts to be resold as Osborne/ Mervyn King insist, or to be quietly allowed to expire?

  29. Really quite a grim day on the economic news. Honda shed 800 jobs at Swindon, NIESR forecast Q4 GDP of -0.3%, and the Visa consumer spending survey is predicting a 0.9% fall on the quarter, with December being 1.7% down year on year. As this covers all spending, it avoids issues with high street/online, so is a real worry.

  30. Alec

    Most forecasts of US q4GDP were slashed today after shocking trade defiect numbers, but not to worry Japan just announced another Mega stimulus package.

  31. Good Evening All.
    On the polls: My view has been consistent. They are exaggerating the Lib Dem position.

    The economy looks cloudier, as is the sky on our beach.

    The April budget changes look like being unpopular, especially since Governments are rarely thanked for any good they do.

  32. If MPs do not realise that any increase in their remuneration at this time would be a proposal in extremely bad taste, then it shows that they are not only out of touch, but very stupid.

    Therefore a flat rate of £1,000 per IQ point should produce an objective valuation and a substantial saving.

  33. @ The Sheep

    “I’ve spoken with David Miliband, and he is very sharp and a nice guy to talk to. I’ve also met Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and Peter Mandelson (luck and timing, not any kind of political judgement!). As individuals, regardless of your view on policy, they were all very nice to talk to. Gordon Brown even sponsored me for the London Marathon…”

    That’s really cool. I have their books. Very nice of Gordon Brown to sponsor you for the London Marathon. Milliband seems like a sharp guy but sometimes the reputations of politicians for being smart or likeable are unearned. Sometimes though, it’s a liability for a politician to be too smart. They can come off as arrogant and turn off average voters.

    “Sometimes we can forget that politicians are also people,.”

    I know. It’s actually a problem for me. See I tend to get more starstruck by politicians far more than I do by actual celebrities. It’s something I’m working to get over. If you want to work for politicians or deal with them, you have to become more comfortable around them and not as speechless and tongue tied or nervous.

  34. I am reading Seldon’s 2005 Edition of the biog of Tony Blair, who won three GE’s in a row, I think.

    Very interesting angle Seldon has on St TB

  35. Ooh, I dunno Chris, I’m nir sure that’s fair. I think the bankers are probably very pleased. People working for companies hoping to cash in on free schools and NHS commissioning aren’t complaining either. And a lot of babyboomers who aren’t going to suffer the pensions and benefits cuts seem happy enough if you look at the VI. It’s mostly the people who are taking the hit for the failings of others, or those who care about them, who aren’t so pleased.

    In any event, what matters is if the April changes are fair, and good for the economy. Good luck with that…

  36. MIKEMS

    @” The rationale is that without QE a liquidity trap would develop and a flight to gilts would cause a collapse in other tradeable values and that capital would flood to gilts ”

    180 degrees wrong.

    It is QE which supports the buoyant Gilt market now, because holders know there is a willing buyer-BoE.

    If/When QE stops , the opposite of what you state will happen-the Gilt market will soften & yields will drift up.

    You are beginning to see it already-a more confident FTSE-money moving back into equities-UK gilt yields on 2yr+ maturities edging up (around 0.25% higher than a month ago.)

    The markets sense a combination of Bond Market indigestion/ inflation in the wind / economic growth in 2013 in USA & UK / QE end game ……

  37. Alec.

    On the subject of NIESR, their regularly-updated Recovery (sic) from Recession graph is turning into ideal Labour election campaign material for GE15.

    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-vynzPm3k8H4/UPAn7SM8q-I/AAAAAAAAANE/cwszy58748o/s1600/gdp+to+december+2012.jpg

    All the Labour folk have to do is find a crayon a put a big arrow pointing to where May 2010 is on the time axis…

  38. Alec
    -0.3% for Q4 2012 isn’t actually that bad given that it’s following a ‘boom’ quarter.
    You should expect -0.2%-ish if underlying growth is flat, so that’d indicate -0.1% underlying.
    Wait for Q1 2013 to see if there’s any further dipping – that’d be when it’s time to start worrying (and again, if Qs following Q1 are negative).

    Q4 2012 being -0.3% on Q3 2012 is 0% growth for the year, which is what the underlying growth for the past 2 years has really been (despite the ups and downs caused by events) – flat.

    So taking the one Q out of the context of the whole would make it seem much worse than it currently indicates – just like taking the 0.9% Q growth and using it as proof of the return to growth.

  39. The median salary in the UK is £21 000.

  40. Wolf,

    “The median salary in the UK is £21 000.”

    Is that full time or full and part time. If it is only full time then the actual figure when you add in par timers particularly women would probably bring it down below £20k.

    There are of course people with more than one full time job, so a better measure would be incomes as that includes students, pensioners, the unemployed and the disabled, as well as those like housewives who don’t usually show in the figures.

    Peter.

  41. @Colin – I’ve read various suggestions that anyone close to retirement should not take the normal things and switch into gilts for safety, as some are predicting a major gilts slump. These forecasts suggest that the increase in yields and actuarial rates would be more than offset by the collapse in value, with some predicting pensions payable will slump by 30%.

  42. @Tinged – accept the point, but shrinkage of any size is poor for a post recession period, as @lefty’s graph shows really rather well.

    @Chrislane1945 – “The April budget changes look like being unpopular, especially since Governments are rarely thanked for any good they do.”

    I’m intrigued by Osborne’s attempts to do good things. He has chosen to spend a good deal of potential income on things like freezing council tax and delaying/cancelling fuel duty rises.

    While these will generally be welcomed, he won’t earn any credit (or votes) whatsoever from these. No one gets excited about not having to pay a tax they aren’t already paying.

    While I accept that allowing such increases would bring difficulties, at least it would mean in principle that there was more room for largesse at some stage closer to an election. The classic government approach of bribing voters with their own money.

    Osborne’s a cleverer fellow than I, so he must know what he’s doing, but I remain doubtful that these helpful measures were particularly good politics for his party.

  43. ALEC

    Gilt yields & Gilt prices always move in opposition-so I don’t think Pension Funds & their Actuaries will be dealing with anything new.
    I think Fund Values at a point in time are of less significance than the Present Value of Future Income streams vs PV of Pension Liabilities.

    In general though , there does seem to be a market sentiment moving back to equities & away from Gilts.

  44. ALEC

    …but of course for someone with a stand alone DC pot -rather than a DB Scheme member-what you suggest may well be good advice-on the other hand the Equity Markets could stall & the flight to “safety” in Gilts resume.

    Wouldn’t want to be betting my Pension Pot on that just now.

  45. WOLF

    A point well made.

    MPs will get no sympathy from the public for a raise.

    Thank goodness they don’t fill their own trough these days & have to deal with IPSA-which they all seem to hate with a vengeance.

  46. TF

    One of the motifs of Japan’s Lost Decade was the continual lowering if expectations. If we are saying that flat growth after 30 months of flat growth is not so bad, then we really are a long way into our own Lost Decade.

  47. @ Mikems

    “Liam Fox is saying that gay marriage is ‘divisive’”

    Did he also say something about ministerial code?

  48. Lefty
    I didn’t imply that it was a good situation – but we could be in a much worse situation.
    Flat growth is far better than return to a ‘proper’ recession.
    Fingers crossed that doesn’t happen.

  49. Alec:

    “Council Tax rises frozen.”

    Odder than that he has frozen them for everybody but will be charging a part, for the first time, to the less well-off.

    Very strange.

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