This morning’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 33%, LAB 42%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 10% – another single figure lead for Labour. In the past few week YouGov’s daily polls have shown increasingly frequent 11, 12 even 13 point leads, and had looked as though the Labour lead may have been inching upwards, but now we are back down in the 10 point sort of area.

The poll also asked voting intention in an EU referendum – the result is not as striking as the Sunday Times poll that had people saying they would vote to stay in (that one came after some other questions on referendums and Europe, so there could have been an order effect), but it confirms the turnaround in public opinion. 40% said they would vote to leave, 37% said they would vote to stay – a three point lead for leaving. Compare this to the twenty-one point lead for leaving YouGov found in October and November last year.

Meanwhile the full tables for yesterday’s ICM poll are now up on their website here. As usual the re-allocation of don’t knows reduced Labour’s lead, in this case from eight points to five points – so despite the apparent contradiction, ICM and YouGov are actually recording a very similar Labour lead, eight points and nine points. The difference in their topline reported figure is because the two companies make different assumptions about what don’t knows will do (YouGov ignore them, ICM assume a proportion will go back to their previous parties).


270 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – CON 33, LAB 42, LD 10, UKIP 10”

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  1. Good Morning All.
    tory catch up I think ishappening.

  2. [Snip – AW] As @Tingedfringe has already pointed out on the last thread, single digit leads have been a regular feature of the polling landscape for months now. It’s also worth bearing in mind that a Tory score of 33% represents no change, and remains an election losing score.

    The Tories may well recover at some stage, but just because you keep saying it, it doesn’t mean it has happened.

  3. @Chrislane 1945

    Possibly…But they have to be about 6 points in front of Labour for a majority which means a swing of about 8% from now till the election under current boundaries…It looks quite difficult…The news is that because a Tory majority is looking unlikely,the Germans will only pay lip-service to Cameron in his quest for repatriation of powers.

  4. SMUKESH.
    Thanks for the post. A no-overall-majority situation is likely, I agree. Rachel Reeves on BBC News at the moment concerning National Debt,

    ALEC: I agree that single digit leads are frequent. ICM seems very close.

  5. The latest opinion polls on possibly exiting the EU are very interesting and seem to confirm that when a topic is actually talked about at great length in the media, the general public begin to really think about the pros and cons. The generally held assumption that the UK electorate would vote to leave the EU looks a very shaky one at the moment.

  6. There is further bad news for the government this morning on the deficit, with December figures coming in slightly higher than anticipated and higher than last year. Stripping out the one off effect of the Royal Mail pension fund, the like for like deficit comparison shows a year on year increase of 7% and the debt to GDP ratio has also increased from 66% – 70% over the year. This is despite downward revisions to the previous months figures by the ONS.

    While the December figures are only marginally above Dec 2011, on any level, these cumulative figures are extremely bad for the government. Commentators this morning suggest this heightens the risk of losing AAA status. Theoretically this shouldn’t trouble the markets, who should already have priced this in, but I suspect it will play big in the media and impact upon the public consciousness. I said at the time I felt Osborne had made a strategic error by pinning so much credibility on a metric controlled by the markets.

    The additional risk is that of timing. While I don’t doubt that last year we could have lost AAA without much market impact, the situation now could be different. There is much talk today of over valued bonds and capital flight from UK gilt markets, and others are also talking of a good old fashioned sterling crisis. Although I’m no expert, my impression is that market sentiment is formed by logic but driven by sentiment, with certain events serving as dramatic sentiment triggers if the background logic landscape is sensing change.

    If an AAA downgrade comes now, it could well have a larger market hit than some expect. While rapid changes in currency and bond markets carry with them all kinds of ramifications, both positive and negative, the impression given to the ordinary voter is one of crisis and government failure. Recall that the crash landing from the ERM in 1992 was just what the economy needed and heralded over a decade and a half of uninterrupted economic growth, but is still seen as a humiliation for the Tories that destroyed their hopes of power for the best part of twenty years.

    Who know how markets will (mis)behave, but I sense some difficult months ahead for Osborne.

  7. @NorthernStar

    “..that when a topic is actually talked about at great length in the media, the general public begin to really think about the pros and cons..”

    And thank God for that! If you have spend any time at all living in continental Europe, you will soon see that many countries there have plenty to teach us. We should be celebrating having with such decent neighbours instead of always whinging about them.

  8. Yeah, should have proof-read first….try again.

    And thank God for that! If you spend any time at all living in continental Europe, you will soon see that many countries there have plenty to teach us. We should be celebrating having such decent neighbours instead of always whinging about them.

  9. More and more the Markets are with its usual hypocrisy and short memory of what it was preaching in 2010 calling for stimulus and end to austerity which is now considered “damaging”.

    George Osborne did exactly what the markets wanted and now they will punish him for it.

    Should have listened to Ed Balls…

  10. @NickP – I think there is some truth in what you say. having said that, in 2010 markets were genuinely worried in terms of Labour and their deficit reduction plans. Again, this was far more sentiment than logic – we know this, as people like @Colin repeatedly highlighted the very marginal differences between the speed of cuts in arguments about how draconian the Tories would be in comparison to Labour. But sentiment matters, and markets did not seem to have confidence in Brown.

    The problem now is indeed precisely as Balls predicted, in that the growth rate is the problem. It does seem logical to imagine that markets would be much more tolerant today if we has slightly higher deficit and debt, but stronger growth, as this would enable a clearer path to deficit reduction to be plotted. I would add though, that I think markets do need a sense of what will happen after the deficit is reduced with regard to public spending.

    There are no easy answers to how you manage markets, and what is acceptable now might not have been in 2010.

  11. @ Nick P, Alec

    I doubt there will be a downgrade or flight from UK gilts. The speculation that there will be has been driven by suggestions that the QE program will cease at £375Bn.

    The BoE Committee will look at the risks & oblige with a proposal of further QE in the future. IMO, ‘the market’ has expectations of QE hitting £500Bn during 2013.

  12. £500 billion?

    That would have provided quite a stimulus to the economy…as long as you aren’t stupid enough to just hand it over to (probably insolvent) banks.

  13. AMBER

    I think you are right re the reason for the Gilt market’s nervousness .

    But whilst Funding For Lending is showing signs of increasing credit ( albeit in the mortgage market, rather than for SME borrowing) then I think think more QE is still not a certainty.

    ““Most members of the (BoE MPC ) committee are probably pretty happy to keep things as they are and see how the FLS evolves and how the economy picks up,”
    Vicky Redwood,
    Capital Economics.

    …then we have Mr Carney & his new broom to come ??

  14. “…how the economy picks up?”

    Or spirals down.

  15. “It’s all very well David Cameron bemoaning the fact that we are facing a new global threat from Islamist militants in North Africa, but he is conveniently overlooking the fact that he has helped to create it by his ill-judged decision to overthrow the regime of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi in the summer of 2011…

    “As any Algerian will tell you, getting rid of Gaddafi was a monumental mistake. He may have been a deranged dictator, but he was our ally in the war against al-Qaeda. By removing him Mr Cameron has helped to create enormous instability throughout North Africa which is now being actively exploited by Islamist militants to attack the West. As Evan Davis remarked to Mr Hague this morning, this is a cock-up of monumental proportions.”
    ———–
    I am surprised to find the Telegraph’s defence editor is in agreement with my thoughts on the subject. I ‘banged on’ about the folly of backing the Libyan insurgency at the time.

    So, what could be the consequences, in terms of polling? None, directly, IMO. But it feeds the on-going narrative that the government has poor judgement.

  16. @Steve2

    “And thank God for that! If you spend any time at all living in continental Europe, you will soon see that many countries there have plenty to teach us. We should be celebrating having such decent neighbours instead of always whinging about them.”

    What, Johnny Foreigner being able to teach us anything; perish the very thought! More seriously, having travelled quite extensively in Western Europe during the last 30 years or so, I couldn’t agree with you more. We shouldn’t have any inferiority complex, but there are many things, not least public transport systems, health services, education and the general levels of civic pride they have, where I think, regrettably, they’ve stolen quite a march on us over the last 30 years.

    These are essentially quality of life issues that probably play more to happiness index metrics rather than dry economic facts and figures.

    Talking of happiness indices, did anyone else see that rather depressing statistic released today that the suicide rate in 2012 is at a ten year high and is rising for the first time for many a year. Worrying.

  17. @NickP

    Does anyone seriously listen to Ed Balls after his record in the Blair/Brown Government?

  18. Obviously not in the Govrnment. But it turns out they should have, wouldn’t you say?

  19. Ground Hog Day

    Will it remain like this until 2015?

  20. The belief in logical markets is touching although somewhat childish, almost on a par with the great beard in the sky. As the star trek doctor would have said, “it’s logic Jim but not as we know it”

  21. @TOH
    What do you have to say about the government`s plans to cut borrowing which are inreasing borrowing?

  22. Amber

    We had to get rid of gadaffi, because he was going to start selling oil in gold, which was a super dangerous idea for paper currencies.

  23. @RIN

    Am starting to think there may be merit in your assertions…But clearly without the Arab spring,Gaddhafi would still be there selling oil for old

  24. NickP and TOH,

    The problem with Balls is that his only solution is a return to that Labour stalwart of ‘debt-funded economic stimuli’, the exact same economic policy that left us with the highest deficit in the EU and the last Labour government borrowing 25% of its budget.

    “Insanity is repeating the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” – Julius Caeser.

  25. @ Steve2

    Insanity is turning your back on your friends because they might stick a knife in it.

  26. steve2

    eh?

    Labour’s spending plans were based upon pre-crash income. The crash left us with a deficit. Lack of growth is ensuring we keep a deficit (in fact it’s getting bigger).

    Do you want us to stop borrowing? Perhaps only spend what we collect in taxes?

    How will we collect those taxes without any sort of workforce or planning?

  27. Markets are logical ruthlessly so.

    At the time of the last elections the markets thought austerity was the best short term way to protect their interests and it probably was.

    Now we are through the worst of the crisis period the focus is away from prospects of melt down the consequences of what the markets asked for aren’t so good so the markets aren’t happy.

    The markets do what is in their immediate interest even if that dire consequences in the real world. If austerity preserves their positions they will back it.

    They don’t need to look long term or take a hit for the greater good they just try to do what is best for them at the time.

    Markets are unthinking they flow like water, and as the terrain changes they flow with it, they don’t have to be thinking or calculating they just react.

    They move in line with individual investors doing what is in their own interests, nothing more nothing less.

    Peter.

  28. @Smukesh

    Can you be specific as to which proposals the Government has made to cut borrowing that will increase it? After all UK Governments have made errors in the past and this one looks like it needs all the help it can get. I do feel however that when a Government has increased borrowing and got nowhere an opposition that argues for what appears to be a failing policy may run in to problems

  29. @ Nick P

    According to the Indie, the plan is to aggressively pursue the middle-class tax dodgers.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/cps-launches-crackdown-on-middleclass-tax-evaders-8460891.html

    Ignore the corporates & wealthy because they can run away to another haven. Put the fear of prosecution into the middle-classes who can’t so easily make a run for it.

    Middle-class individuals tend not to have in-house tax accountants or lawyers so that gives the domestic financial services industry a nice boost too as Worried of Tunbridge Wells rushes to consult a tax accountant &/or lawyer.

  30. @WOLF

    I am not an economist…I was alluding to the fact that the government staked it`s reputation on cutting borrowing and yet borrowing is increasing on last year.This is exactly what Balls predicted in 2010.

  31. @ Wolf

    Cuts in public sector spending have resulted in redundancy pay outs + higher pay & agency costs after the government cuts. Here’s an article from the Telegraph:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/9813361/Hospital-pays-1800-a-day-for-a-nurse-in-NHS-staff-crisis.html

    “The bill for temporary workers has risen by more than 20 per cent in just one year, with private agencies receiving more than seven times the rate paid to nurses on the pay roll.”
    ———————————–
    Companies domiciled outside the UK are making a fortune from the tax payer; how can we reduce spending & cut the deficit by paying up to 7xs more for essential staff?

  32. @NickP: “Do you want us to stop borrowing? Perhaps only spend what we collect in taxes?

    How will we collect those taxes without any sort of workforce or planning?”

    Yeah, you have gone over the side.

    Let’s examine the two strategies:

    In the Blue/Orange corner: Cut back on state spending, remove the structural deficit (let’s not forget that Labour annually borrowed ~10% of its budget as a matter of routine, with no sign of any intent to ever start repaying), reduce the size of the state, set the government’s finances up to eventually run on a sustainable balanced budget and wait for the world to wake up. Also cut taxes where prudent to stimulate growth (tax cuts are preferable to spending programmes as the benefit is spread across the entire country. Whereas a new whatever in Bristol has little effect on Newcastle etc.)

    Worst case scenario: Sustained slow growth while waiting for the global economy to recover.

    In the Red corner: Borrow up to £200bn (Labour won’t say but that’s a rumoured amount) over five years (ditto) and spend on capital investment programmes with the aim of stimulating growth, albeit based on new debt.

    Worst case scenario: What happens if the global economy hasn’t recovered by the time the stimulus programme finishes? The government is left with a much larger debt, with larger debt repayments leading to even greater spending cuts/tax rises/both, almost certainly forcing the government to borrow just to service debt repayments…..bankruptcy and IMF bailout?

    This floating voter will stick with swallowing the bitter pill now, thank you.

  33. @ Peter Cairns

    Markets are logical ruthlessly so.
    ————–
    This & the rest of your comment is irony, isn’t it?

    Because chaps like Warren Buffet reckon they’ve made their fortunes because much of ‘the Market’ is ruthlessly illogical & can be induced to stampede in the wrong direction when provided with any old excuse to do so.

  34. “Let’s examine the two strategies:

    In the Blue/Orange corner: Cut back on state spending, remove the structural deficit (let’s not forget that Labour annually borrowed ~10% of its budget as a matter of routine, with no sign of any intent to ever start repaying), reduce the size of the state, set the government’s finances up to eventually run on a sustainable balanced budget and wait for the world to wake up. Also cut taxes where prudent to stimulate growth (tax cuts are preferable to spending programmes as the benefit is spread across the entire country. Whereas a new whatever in Bristol has little effect on Newcastle etc.)

    Worst case scenario: Sustained slow growth while waiting for the global economy to recover.

    In the Red corner: Borrow up to £200bn (Labour won’t say but that’s a rumoured amount) over five years (ditto) and spend on capital investment programmes with the aim of stimulating growth, albeit based on new debt.

    Worst case scenario: What happens if the global economy hasn’t recovered by the time the stimulus programme finishes? The government is left with a much larger debt, with larger debt repayments leading to even greater spending cuts/tax rises/both, almost certainly forcing the government to borrow just to service debt repayments…..bankruptcy and IMF bailout?

    This floating voter will stick with swallowing the bitter pill now, thank you.”

    You’ll stick with Plan A which is a mixture of small state ideology and counter-cyclical “cut for growth” wrongness, EVEN WHEN IT ISN’T WORKING!

    As I asked Colin, how long will continue to stare at the evidence as it mounts and continue to say stuff like “cut taxes where prudent to stimulate growth” after raising VAT on purchases and cutting income tax on the very wealthy, which is the EXACT OPPOSITE of prudence in the current economy?

  35. @STEVE2

    That`s an interesting analysis I must admit.But Osborne is borrowing 158 billion more than he promised.That`s pretty close to the 200 billion Labour *might* borrow over 5 years.So the worst-scenario for the coalition is not that different to the worse case-senario for the Reds.

    Besides Brown/Darling`s plans did work for the two years after the recession set in and the country didn`t collapse.So it is possible that we may have had a more sustained recovery with better tax receipts if George had not planned to eliminate the deficit in 4 years.

  36. Anyway, regardless of what you or I think, before long the Government will be forced into dramatic stimulus, and probably stopping the reckless cuts in jobs and services too.

    The real question for this site is, will the Government (yellow and blue) get a polling boost or the opposite becase they were forced into a U-Turn?

    Or is all the bluster factored in, and everybody is just going to vote tribally?

  37. @NickP

    Not in a million years, it would be a disaster.

  38. I suspect that George Osborne is betting the house on Mark Carney,BOE chief who takes up his post in July.Apparently he has some aggressive ideas up his sleeve and I think we are going to see some experiments on the economic front.

  39. @Nickp, Plan A is working in that the public sector is being reduced to a sustainable level. It isn’t perfect but it doesn’t have the extreme risk that Balls’ plan carries.

    @Smukesh, I suspect much of Labour’s proposed extra borrowing would be on top of current Coalition borrowing. It has to be, if you think about it.

  40. @SMukesh

    As I have said many times on here they should have cut much deeper and use some of the savings generated to stimulate growth.

  41. Steve2

    “Worst case scenario: Sustained slow growth while waiting for the global economy to recover.”

    All very admirable but it’s not working – at all !

    2.5yrs in and we have no growth and an ever increasing debt is not a measure of success in my book.

  42. steve2

    With respect, much of the Government spending since 2010 has been a complete waste…redundancy payments, huge amounts spent reorganising the NHS etc…and the notion that “the public secor” needed to be made “sustainable” is just ideology from people who just kinda, like feel in the gut that the public sector is, well, it’s bad, isn’t it?

    If you hadn;t spent so much money on reorganising the NHS then you’d have that to spend on the NHS, and if you ar going to print ove £300bn in QE, don’t tell me that we couldn’t have provided stimulus.

    By the time this lot has finished or u-turned, it will be very like 1945, and we’ll need some similar thinking from whoever takes over.

  43. CROSSBAT 11.
    Good Afternoon to you.
    Europe; Apart from better transport, schools, public services, football teams, food, wine and football managers, what have the Europeans got to offer us?

    OK: economic growth being higher from 1950-2012

  44. And yes, in the end massive stimulus will have to happen. Your lot, or mine, or somebody.

    Doesn’t really matter what we say. Every opinion that matters is changing to stimulus and jobs and away from austerity and cuts.

  45. @Steve2

    “This floating voter will stick with swallowing the bitter pill now, thank you.”

    Why are you floating? On reading your paen to the Coalition’s economic policy, and disdain for Labour’s, what on earth, may I ask, are you floating between? The Tories and UKIp, possibly?

    @Chrisl L 1945

    “Europe; Apart from better transport, schools, public services, football teams, food, wine and football managers, what have the Europeans got to offer us?

    OK: economic growth being higher from 1950-2012”

    Lol and touche!

  46. @ Steve2

    There is a third strategy which is, allegedly, espoused by Mark Carney who will take over from Mervyn King at the Bank of England in July.

    This has been named: Nominal GDP Targeting.

    How it works: You cease any efforts to contain inflation whilst holding BoE base interest rates down. Businesses & individuals realise their deposits & savings are being inflated away.

    Businesses & individuals become more afraid of inflation than recession & unemployment. They begin to spend again. If the chancellor & banks are lucky, their spending will be as deposits on big ticket investments & items so they’ll need topped up by some borrowing at a wide interest rate differential. Ta Dah! Job done, nominal growth by doing nothing except ignoring rising inflation.

    For those with leverage, profits & pay should increase to off-set the impact of inflation. The people without leverage (small businesses, people with fixed non-state pensions &/or savings which they do not want to spend, public sector workers, people on un-pegged social security) they will take the pain.

    IMO, The un-pegging of some social security from inflation is an indication that Osborne is going to support Nominal GDP Targeting, at least to some extent.

  47. The logic of plan A seems to be that we keep cutting the workforce until we balance the books or everyone is unemployed [except politicians and bankers] whichever comes first.

    Then begin cutting pensions I suppose.

    There seems to be a flaw somewhere.

  48. @Richard in Norway – “The belief in logical markets is touching although somewhat childish, almost on a par with the great beard in the sky. As the star trek doctor would have said, “it’s logic Jim but not as we know it””

    To be honest, I think that remark is a little condescending and not of your normal standard. If you read my original post carefully, I actually wrote that markets are “…formed by logic but driven by sentiment”, and I would maintain that this is correct.

    Market players all wish to make money, so they take decisions based on their internal logic to try and do this. An illogical market would be one where trades are carried out knowing they will lose money.

    I added a large dollop of sentiment, which I thought would have made clear that the sentiment can at times override the logic – something we have all witnessed on many occasions.

    The entire thrust of my post was that markets were wrong to insist on rapid budget cuts in 2010, but the sentiment of the day hid this fairly obvious fact. I would have thought that my first post made it quite clear that markets had indeed behaved ‘illogically’.

  49. The Speech is to be delivered at 8am tomorrow.

    Yes, you read that right – 8am !!

  50. @AMBER STAR

    That`s very interesting…thanks

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