This week’s YouGov/Sunday Times tables are online here. Topline voting intention is CON 31%, LAB 44%, LDEM 11%, UKIP 8%. In line with the increased level of Lib Dem support Nick Clegg’s approval figures are also up slightly – his net approval is minus 45, still extremely bad, but his least bad figures since March.

Most of the rest of the survey dealt with the subject of Europe, and like ComRes’s poll last nights showed hints of a shift in public opinion towards remaining in the EU.

As usual a majority of people (59%) support the idea of a referendum on Europe – people will almost always say they support a referendum on anything we ask about. On how they would vote in a referendum on the EU membership, people would vote to leave by 42% to 36%. This is a significantly lower lead for leaving the EU than YouGov usually find, indeed, they ask it as a monthly tracker and only last week found a 15 point lead for leaving the EU. This could easily be a blip, but could also be a sign of the intervention of the US Embassy and Richard Branson’s comments already having an effect.

Asked if there should be a straight referendum or the renegotiation then a referendum that David Cameron is likely to announce, people prefer the latter by 48% to 22%. Were David Cameron to renegotiate Britain’s relationship with EU and then recommend people vote to stay in, in the way Wilson did in 1975 and Cameron is likely to say he’ll do later this month, then people say they would vote to stay in by 50% to 25%. This too is a shift from the last time YouGov asked the question in July 2012, when people said they’d vote to stay in by 42% to 34%.

The contrast between how people would vote in a straight referendum now and how people would vote in a post-negotiation referendum with Cameron recommending a vote to stay in is mostly a switch of Conservative voters, who say they would vote 51%-33% to leave in a straight referendum now, but would vote 64%-21% to stay if Cameron recommended a yes vote on renegotiated terms.

Asked about the potential impacts of leaving the European Union, by 40% to 9% people think Britain would have less influence if we left the EU and think our relationship with the USA would be worse by 24% to 10%. They are far more divided on the potential economic impacts of Britain leaving the EU – 29% think the country would be better off outside the EU, 34% worse off. 27% think leaving the EU would be good for employment, 30% bad for employment. 18% think they personally would be better off, 20% worse off.

187 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 31, LAB 44, LD 11, UKIP 8”

1 2 3 4
  1. @ Colin

    I can’t speak for Peter but I disagree with Hilton that the way in which Civil Servants spend their time is a big problem. It seems to me that Hilton simply lacks understanding of governing. I really should go & look at what his comparative experience is, unless you can help by telling us which other governments Hilton has been involved with. If so, please do share!

  2. RE: The Working Time Directive

    The Working Time Directive is the best piece of EU legislation I’d say ever and needs to be fully implemented in the UK, and is one of the biggest plus points in staying in, that if our own government refuses to protect workers and put businesses first at least the EU will protect us.

  3. @ Colin

    I agree with you that the big issue for big business is tarriff free. However i do think that cheap Labour is an issue as there are many jobs that come with this that have a need for unskilled Labour but in any event skilled Labour is also cheaper when imported from Eastern Europe. In my humble opinion building work for example is still skilled Labour and then for unskilled Labour there are all manner of jobs that keep their costs down from cleaning to shopwork etc etc.

    I hate being Colin’s defender and politically disagree with a lot of what he says but I have to say I find it odd that a lot of people seem to have a go at him for saying things not appropriate to this site when everyone else seems to do the same thing!

  4. CLARE

    @”This suggests to me that the anti-European sentiment is softer than it looks”

    I would like to suggest that phrases like “anti EU” & “pro-EU” do not get to the substance of this debate,

    There are three strands imo :-

    Europhiles-those who are entirely content with the terms of our current membership of EU, and who presumably see no need to be concerned about adverse effects of changes in EZ governance , on our membership of EU . These appear to me to include people like Hezza, Clarke , Kennedy etc. Some of these people indeed, still favour our membership of EZ.

    Europhobes- those who want us to leave the EU.
    These would include UKIP members & , it is said, around 30 to 40 Con MPs

    Eurosceptics-those who do not want to be part of “ever closer” political union, or the single currency, and favour repatriation of given competencies. THese people anticipate that the changes taking place in EZ will so change the relationship of the 10 “outs” & the 17 “ins” that a fresh look at UK’s membership terms arises naturally. This is where DC is imo-and the majority of Con MPs. Much of UK INdustry too-with the proviso that some seem very nervous at even asking the question-if it by some mishap or other results in us leaving the Single Market. I suspect EM is in this latter group too.

    It would be interesting to know Labour’s breakdown across those three groups.



  6. CLARE
    @”This suggests to me that the anti-European sentiment is softer than it looks”
    I would like to suggest that phrases like “anti EU” & “pro-EU” do not get to the substance of this debate,

    -Well for what it’s worth when it comes to VI for the Europeans the response is 70% for Parties whose stated position is to remain in the EU for GE this figure rises to around 90%.

    I appreciate Farage et al have achieved media breakthrough but even on the most optimistic analysis they will come a poor Second to Labour in the EU polls and be lucky to exceed the number of GREEN MP’s at the GE .

    If Labour do achieve 35%+ in the Euros it is a tremendous improvement on 2009.

  7. UKIP have slipped by 2%- wonder if this is a result of some UKIP sackings/resignations that have come into the public domain in recent days; i.e the UKIP Youth leader Olly Neville being made to resign for comments supportive of gay marriage??

    I am sad to see that The Daily Mirror has gone to town over it all- and produced an article interpreting these events in a manner as to portray UKIP as full of racist and homophobic elements. Just how much of a hit UKIP will take in the polls (and for how long) remains to be seen, personally I just hope they can recover the lost ground quickly.

    Ian Pennell

  8. @Colin

    “Actually, this is a site for posting whatever AW decides is appropriate to leave on view.”

    So, you’re entitled to disregard the comments policy, on the grounds it’s perfectly reasonable to expect AW to use his spare time to trawl back through a hundred or so posts a day, retrospectively chosing which to delete?

  9. Categorising people who support UK membership of the EU as meaning they are therefore entirely content with EVERYTHING is rather silly. As I pointed out before you don’t have to be entirely content with all aspects of Britain to still be happy to be a UK citizen.

    Approving of something in general does NOT make you blind to bits you don’t approve of in particular. One would assume that to be be bleedin’ obvious.

  10. Regarding James Landale,he did get out three interesting facts:
    1)Labour doesn`t support a referendum on Europe.
    2)Balls has Miliband`s support as shadow chancellor.
    3)Miliband is going to go after international companies which avoid tax in the UK.

    Not that bad on outcome.


    “3)Miliband is going to go after international companies which avoid tax in the UK.”

    Did he say how?

  12. @ Old Nat

    Appointing extra inspectors & a head of the Inland Revenue who allows them to actually use the transfer pricing, anti-avoidance & place of control regulations which already exist would be a good start.

    I think the Starbucks farce was the tipping point. The UK tax & VAT system is not a church collection plate! The buying of coffee indeirectly through a subsidiary means there is almost certainly a transfer pricing case for Starbucks to answer under existing legislation.

  13. @OLDNAT

    Did he say how?

    He says he will end tax secrecy and thereby the profitable income will be adequately declared and thereby correctly taxed

  14. @NickP

    “Landale was educated at Eton College…and was a contemporary of London Mayor Boris Johnson and Prime Minister David Cameron”

    Ah yes, another one of the glitterati whose rise to the top of their chosen profession owes everything to pure ability and nothing to who they might know and what school they attended. Bravo to our meritocracy; alive and well as ever! lol

    As for Landale himself, he appears a genial and likeable fellow, and always seems extremely pleased, rather like an obedient puppy, to be able to tag along on Cameron’s overseas trips, but he’s a journalistic mediocrity as proved on Marr’s programme this morning. The licence payer deserves better.

  15. Amber & Smukesh


  16. Eurosceptic and Europhobic candidates took a serious blow in recent Czech presidential election, the first to be organized as a direct popular vote. Eurosceptic candidate P. Sobotka, former President of the Senate and official candidate of conservative ODS (senior gvt partner and ally of the Tories in EP) received 2.5% and was 8th among 9 candidates (his party had 20.2 in 2010 GE), whereas the overtly Europhobic J. Bobosikova, candidate of the extreme right Suverenita party (3.7 in 2010) was last with 2.4. The junior partner of the gvt, Europhilic center-right TOP09 (member of EPP) did much better: its leader and candidate K. Schwarzenberg, actual Minister of Foreign Affairs garnered 23.4 (16.7 in 2010) and made it to the runoff. He will face former Soc.Dem. PM M. Zeman, who came first with 24.2. The Soc.Dem vote was split in this election: the official CSSD (the Czech Soc.Dem. party) candidate J. Dienstbier received 16.1 and came fourth. So the total of SD vote was 40.3 (22.1 in 2010), a clear confirmation of center-left turn in the whole of ex-communist Eastern Europe (after 2012 Slovak, Lithuanian and Romanian GE, Slovenian PE, Czech Regional and Senatorial Elections and Romanian local election). Independent candidates also did well, a token of a general anti-party sentiment,garnering between them 23.3. A slight increase also of extra-pariamentary Greens (3.2, + 0.8) and Christian Democrats (4.9, + 0.6), but these numbers, if repeated in a GE, leave them still out of Parliament (5% threshold). All candidates apart from the two that finished in 8 and 9 place are pro-EU. The runoff in a week is now a center-right vs center-left battle. Zeman, who is the most probable winner, has already received the endorsement of Dienstbier and the CSSD, as wall as of the Communist Party (11.5 in 2010, no official candidate in PE of 2013, its voters split between the 2 Soc.Dem, candidates, mostly Zeman, and independent Fischer, 16.4%, former member of Comm. Party).

  17. It would be weirdly contrary to the tabloid ‘angry brigade’ if Labour support goes up from supporting both social security & the EU.

    Early indications are that the welfare vote ‘trap’ hasn’t worked against Labour VI. I can’t think of the circumstances in which it will be useful for the Tories in an election campaign, given it seems to have had no adverse impact now.

    The EU position, I’ll just have to wait & see whether it is a vote loser.

    If the EU isn’t a vote loser, Labour will likely begin to feel more confident that their lead isn’t just a mid-term, anti-government vote. It will confirm that a plurality share Labour’s values. Then it will all be down to the economy!


    Ed Miliband has become quite confident I think…The rejection of EU referendum is a way of avoiding problems and concentrating on real issues if they get into power.

  19. “Multiple sources say Number 10 very worried it can’t meet sky high expectations for Europe speech without enraging LDs, EU leaders, CBI etc.” Tim Montgomerie

  20. I am sad to see that The Daily Mirror has gone to town over it all- and produced an article interpreting these events in a manner as to portray UKIP as full of racist and homophobic elements.

    -Actually One of the Positive things (in fact possible the Only Positive thing) that can be said for UKIP is that compared to some of the truly unpleasant and truly racist and homophobic extreme right parties emerging in Europe, UKIP appears a pillar of moderation and Liberal thinking by comparison.

    “3)Miliband is going to go after international companies which avoid tax in the UK.”
    Did he say how?

    -He mentioned Denmark as an example any one know how They do it?

  22. @ Amber

    Actually I think the economy is almost linked to views on the EU. Everything going well and no-one seems to care much about the EU aside from those straight bananas (many hardcore eurosceptics still refuse to eat them!). Poor economy and people look for something or someone to blame.

    It will be interesting to see polls over the next couple of days to see if EM’s statement has made any difference. The weird thing is the mainstream parties really aren’t that different on the EU, all wanting to renegotiate but all wanting to stay in. The public ought to be judging them on what their different approaches to the renegotiation is but if the sections of the public that do care will probably only be satisfied if they get a referendum.

    I do wonder if EM’s rejection of a referendum might be his Blair moment and some big business money going into Labour coffers as opposed to the Tories. Will damage him with the press but might just help with funding.


    This is a jolly good new idea of mine to offer mutual advice and earn money at the same time. [I am expecting Anthony to offer £10 per published tip – which is nice]

    TIP NO. !

    When shaking out your duvet [when its got all lumpy] take it to the top of the stairs and dangle it over the banister, shaking vigorously but taking care not to topple over as that takes a bit of explaining.

    This saves you having to lift your arms above your head.

    I have more.

  24. @ Steve

    I would suggest that it is homophobic if the party sacks a candidate for supporting gay marriage. It seems such an inconsequential issue in the scheme of things to take such a firm line on something that most parties would more or less leave to individual conscience. How many other things would UKIP sack a candidate for (other than aupporting the EU!)? Unless they have some sort of SWP policy of having to toe party line on all issues once it has been agreed by the party I don’t see that is justifiable.


    Is there polling evidence as to the best way to hold the duvet?

    Is your advice discriminatory against bungalow dwellers?

  26. Shevii – that’s something that’s crossed my mind too, though I haven’t tried crunching the numbers to test it. We’ve seen public opinion move against the EU over the last couple of years, which people have generally assumed was linked to the Eurozone crisis (i.e. “the EU are a basketcase, let’s keep our distance), but I’m conscious that there was also a peak in anti-EEC feeling around 1981-1982 which was also a time of recession.

    It would be interesting to crunch the figures more and see if anti-EU feeling does have a correlation with recession, or if those two instances are just a co-incidence.

  27. @Amber Star – “Multiple sources say Number 10 very worried… ”

    Gary Gibbon:

    “There is an unease sometimes tipping into panic amongst some loyal Tory MPs and PPSs I spoke to this week… ”


  28. Smukesh,

    Time to revisit the idea of a Turnover Tax?

    Collected directly from companies, as with Corporation Tax, instead of at the point of sale (to separate it from VAT) and with variable tax allowances/thresholds to protect small businesses.

    I have a vague recollection that a rate of 4-5% would equal Corp Tax revenues…’s very vague, in fact.

  29. STEVE2

    South Africa has a Turnover Tax option.

    I’m hazy about the arguments for and against.

  30. Steve2

    The problem with a turnover tax is that it will make it extremely hard for companies that make a loss one year, or a very small margin of profit. Tax on turnover could tip more firms into bankruptcy. If loss-making firms are exempt, you get the same problem we have now – that whether a profit is made or not is susceptible to creative accounting practices.

  31. @ Paul C, Old Nat

    From when my son was aged about 4, I would get him to crawl inside the duvet cover & put the corners of the duvet into the corners of the cover then crawl out again. I used to say that I’d hire him out to the neighbours. When he was a bit older, he said: The world is much improved. Kids being ‘duvet stuffers’ is much better than children being sent up chimneys.

    Anyways, his top tip now he is much too big to crawl inside the duvet cover is: Turn the cover inside out, reach inside until your hands are in the corners (you can play glove puppet duvet for a few minutes, if you’re as daft as him) then take hold of the corners of the duvet, dangle it all over the balustrade (if you have one, like Paul does), give it a shake & the cover slides neatly over the duvet. You need only tuck the other 2 corners in & fasten it!

    He tells me this method meets all the EU’s duvet stuffing regulations.

  32. OdNat:

    Firmly is my advice.***

    For bungalows pop outside and then up on the roof. If you like you can shake it to that awful song by wotsisname, “Up On The Roof.” This isn’t essential though.

    *** By the open end otherwise the bugger falls out.

  33. If we do leave the EU why don’t we join the South American thingy? Since we are part of the Malvinas we must be eligible.


    I hope you are going to share Anthony’s tenner with your son.

  34. TIP No 2.

    To save time only get up every OTHER day and not at all at weekends. This is also a good wheeze for missing xmas.

  35. A turnover tax would favour companies with relatively low turnover but big margins over ones with high turnover but low margins.

    Porsche would probably like it more than Ford, particularly because they don’t manufacture here.

    I wonder how it would effect utilities and how they would push the cost of any increase on to customers.

    Would Councils, public agencies and voluntary organisations need to pay it too?


  36. Amber

    Edinburgh (I think the rest of Scotland, as well as Germany) didn’t use climbing boys. That was a vice restricted to southern climes such as Italy, Belgium, France and England.

    Auld Reekie’s lums were swept by lowering bundles of rags tied to an iron ball down from the roof – a system still being used in my young days.

  37. paulcroft @ ACADEMIC:

    .”….on that basis we might as well vote to stop being British as there are a quite a few things wrong here too.”

    There are a few people round here who have got that idea already.


    Think you are absolutely correct about the so-called ‘trap’ Osbourne set Labour on capping welfare rises. By the time of the vote the tories were on the back foot and no one was talking about people asleep with their blinds drawn whilst their neighbours were heading off to work.

    Can someone please remind me – what is it that GO has ever done to earn this tag of Master Political Strategist???

  39. You’l miss us when you’re gone John; and it’ll get colder.

  40. I’m very worried about the thoughts of some labour partisans here that eds commitment to staying in the EU and opposing a ref will lead to big business donations. While I appreciate that running election campaigns is an expensive business I would worry that business does not hand over money without expecting a ROI and doubt that the euro position would be considered enough, I for one will be quite hesitant to vote labour if there are too many high profile large donations from big business


    Poll details out tomorrow, but Ipsos-MORI poll suggests that Britain won’t be “gone”.

  42. @ RIN

    I think it was only me who said that… and I’m not a Labour partisan being generally a bit more of a Green leftie!

    Sure, and I agree with you if it is a strings attached basis. I was more making the point that opposition to a referendum might not be so bad for Labour and that often politics seems to be about power groups such as big business, Unions or newspapers and individuals with vested interests. If one of these groups (big business) sees a policy that they are really worried about then it might not work out favourably for those with that policy either by restricting funds to them or by even giving funds to the other party.

  43. Just running the swingometer on today’s YG poll, shews that Lab does not get much extra out of its increase from 41 to 44%.

    So this is as good as it gets, it would seem, thus I can quite understand EM keeping low profile. It does no harm and to do otherwise could do damage.

  44. Labour could and should “Kiss”!

    “Keep it Simple Stupid”

    That means saying nothing more than;

    “The Tories and their hangers on are making a pigs ear of this and we would be better. ”

    “The pain isn’t being shared fairly and the Coalition is trying to scapegoat the poor and hardworking to protect the rich and privileged.”

    “We can’t give details till we see the books and how much damage these idiots have done.”

    Meanwhile they just hope that the tories pile on the pain and that most of the knife work is done before they take over.

    Ed wouldn’t be the first PM to benefit from his unpopular predecessors work.

    Blair benefitted from what Kinnock had done to reform Labour and Major had done to recover from the ERM debacle.


  45. @HOWARD
    `So this is as good as it gets, it would seem, thus I can quite understand EM keeping low profile`

    I put the Youguv poll results on 8th May,2008 into the swingometer and got a 256 seat Conservative majority.We all know the real results.

  46. Oldnat

    He is a Glaswegian, but from his appearance he could be a typical Highland small business SNP donor.

    He is right in his conclusion of course, if the British Government is to be believed.

    Do you believe them? I don’t. The civil service will be working on it without involving ministers.

  47. AW/Shevii

    Anecdotal thought.

    80/81 anti-EU feeling was a housewives issue, (based on the feeling that joining the Common Mkt had put up inflation) plus the left wing dislike of the Rich Capitalist Club.

    Current anti-EU feeling is focused on a more nationalistic feeling in the UK (or, perhaps more accurately, prediminantly in the southern and older half of the UK).

    Little similarity on issues. Which is not to say that there’s not a similar catalyst (ie recession) igniting the discontent.


    Not to consider the implications of possible changes would be utterly incompetent.

    That doesn’t seem to be a label that one could reasonably attach to the senior levels of the GB Civil Service.

  49. These new pension reforms look interesting in polling terms. I remain of the view that by scrapping SP2, Osborne is reducing the amount that future low earners can get from the state pension, but the current headlines are very positive.

    Briefings have announced a pension of £144 or £160 pw, but while there are various good news stories out there for future pensioners, current pensioners – the ones who vote in large numbers – seem not to be getting the benefit.

    There are also reports that Osborne will increase the qualifying period from 30 to 35 years, reversing the move under Labour for a much reduced period.

    Overall, the reforms appear to introduce a much greater level of simplicity, which is to be applauded. Against this, the potential pension that could be earned by hard workers has been greatly reduced, but this is a change to a future potential income not yet realised, so I doubt it will feature on many voters minds in reality.

    More salient to VI is whether current workers think very much about their pension. Just as the potential cut in total entitlement is not likely to anger many, the headline gains in X years time may equally not excite. The treatment and reaction of current pensioners is likely to be of more interest, so I really don’t know how this story could affect the polls.

  50. Alec

    If you are talking about low paid workers then yes they don’t think about pensions, why should they? We know we ain’t going to get one unless we live and work abroad!!!

1 2 3 4