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. @Peter Cairns

    Probably about as logical as leaving one political union (UK) and joining another political union (EU)……

  2. The Other Howard,

    And how much of that record number of 27m making up 71% are down to the increase in the population due to Labours immigration policies.

    Peter.

  3. TOH,

    And a higher than expected deficit figure. Looks like a large deficit is a requirement for employment growth.

  4. “”It is time for the British people to have their say. It is time to settle this European question in British politics.”
    Can anyone explain the parsing of “this European question in British Politics” ?
    Is it that a European question should be settled in British politics?
    Or that a European question in British politics needs to be settled?
    In either case what is the question, or is it undefined, a bit like the Turking question in late 19th Century poltics, i.e. ‘what are we to do with these damned Europeans?”

  5. TOH

    Only jesting. I knew what you meant.

    Seriously, the employment numbers seem to back up what Jonathan Portes among others has been banging on about. There is no great supply side labour market problem. Our labour market has been remarkably flexible and this has limited the extent of unemployment.

    But there is a very scary issue in the numbers.

    If our employment levels are going up, but GDP is stagnating, what does that mean for our long-term productivity and growth potential positions?

    Put simply, we have more people working but we’re producing no more. The only conclusion can be that people are working in less productive jobs.

    The figures show that the flexible labour market may be mitigating some of the worst unemployment effects. But God help us if we build our future on highly skilled graduates working as baristas.

  6. @Lefty

    “The only conclusion can be that people are working in less productive jobs.”

    Or that the produce (wages) are being spent on necessary goods, such as food, fuel and bills, and an increasing amount of the difference is being spent on reducing personal debt (while the interest rates are low). A reduced ratio being spent on luxuries items or services in comparison to pre-2007.

  7. @PeterCairns

    How sad that you cannot be pleased with the emplyment figures released today.

  8. I am not impressed with Cameron`s referendum offer…Seems his main aim is to take away worker`s rights…Ed Miliband being bold though to reject a referendum…Can he withstand the onslaught of the right wing papers?

    Clear demarcation lines emerging for 2015…

  9. Statgeek

    Forgive me, but I don’t follow you (I’m just an interested amateur).

    I was talking about production. I don’t see what consumption has to do with production. Either we are producing the same amount with more workers or we’re not, surely?

  10. Lefty/Statgeek,

    As I said yesterday, this ‘Productivity Puzzle’ is evident across Europe. Even Germany and France are seeing it.

    The significantly lower output from our financial sector, dragging down the UK average, may contribute to our own edition.

  11. Lefty
    A quick round of some 20 neighbour and friend families revealed that many of their children and grandchildren (especially in the 22 -28 age group), all post grad, were doing exactly that, low paid unskilled cheap labour. There were no ‘media studies’ types among them (perhaps better for them if there were); all were science and business graduates..

    I know we eschew anecdote here, I do, but it does seem extraordinary to have so many examples within what is essentially a random sample in this case -these people are placed far and wide and there were in addition US and Oz examples (old friend’s children we heard about in the Xmas round robins).

    None of our acquaintance are other than Ashcroft’s ‘strivers’.

    I don’t know where to go for reliable stats -anyone have a link please?

  12. I find it genuinely difficult to assess what this mornings speech will add in terms of polling impacts. In general, I suspect a Tory boost of some level, but I’m not so certain it will be as big as many predict, nor as sustained as it needs to be. More important to me will be to watch whether there is any negative pressure on Labour VI – this is far more important I feel, as this is the score that will define who wins in 2015.

    I’m notoriously inaccurate in my predictions of VI (although I will take credit for holding out against a Tory majority in 2007 – 2010 – my one and only predictive success) but my sense is that Cameron has already played the EU card, with each successive play getting a little weaker, and he has already promised a referendum and ducked it. The other critical issue, which I felt was well illustrated at PMQs, is that there is real confusion about what Cameron wants. At which point in the negotiations will his recommendation for a Yes turn into a No? This kind of story becomes relevant – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financialcrisis/9820327/France-ready-to-roll-out-the-red-carpet-for-British-exit-from-EU.html

    At present, it really doesn’t look like the rest of the EU are interested in renegotiating anything with the UK. France certainly isn’t, and Germany is losing patience. Perhaps more importantly, nations with which we may have had some historic affinity, such as Holland and the Swedes, do not appear to be backing us up, and newer entrants, like Poland, are becoming increasingly pivotal in the 27 and are dead set against any watering down of the agreements. Indeed, the former eastern bloc nations see the EU as the only way to preserve what has been their longest period of independence in history, and are calling for more integration in the main, not less.

    Wherever you look in European governments, there seems to be little appetite for what Cameron wants – even in debt ridden countries of the south.

    I suspect this speech will go down well this week, but in a year or so it will get increasingly hard to define just what Cameron stands for. You can’t just stand for a referendum – you’ve got to stand for a policy. Cameron will come under increasing pressure to name his red lines, and, by implication, the point at which his Yes should turn to No. It clearly won’t, so as EU partners increasingly make it clear that his red lines won’t be negotiated, he will left holding a dead duck in the run up to 2015, and I suspect this policy of a vote on an unknown negotiation with little prospect of success, will actually increase pressure on him, not reduce it.

  13. The Other Howard,

    Oh I am delighted that unemployment isn’t rising, But I am not going to hang the bunting out over 37k off of 2.5m.

    My main point was that if you are praising 71% then that is an employment rate that we have reached before and often at times when there were far fewer part time jobs so it isn’t spectacular.

    If you are praising 27m then it has to be viewed in the context of the population being 60m as opposed to 55m twenty years ago.

    I tend to think that one months figures tell us little and that what is more interesting is that the labour market is changing.

    We are seeing a continuation of the trends of the last decade more casual and part time jobs and women at work and fewer full time permanent jobs.

    It’s a bit like a forest;

    Grandad takes his grand son to the top of a hill and looks down on the wood below saying;

    ” When I was your age son my grandad brought me up here to look down on that wood, it’s just like it was then, lets go down and i’ll show you where I used to play”

    They go down into the wood and get lost.

    Because in the intervening 70 years all the old trees have gone and been replaced. The wood is still roughly in the same place and the same size but it has altered hugely inside.

    Peter.

  14. Gary Gibbon notes Richard Ottoway’s reaction to Cameron’s speech:

    “Mr Ottoway is on No. 10?s radar as the man most likely to stand down in his Commons seat to create a vacancy for Boris Johnson to parachute back into parliament and run for the party leadership.”

    h
    ttp://blogs.channel4.com/gary-gibbon-on-politics/cameron-speech-germanys-not-clapping/21926

  15. And at last…

    “Ed Vaizey, the culture minister, has called on BSkyB to scrap the millions of pounds it charges public service broadcasters including the BBC to carry TV and radio channels on its pay-TV services, and hinted at regulation if a deal cannot be hammered out.

    Vaizey said BSkyB needed to cut its retransmission fees to make it a “level playing field” among broadcasters – PSBs the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 do not pay to be carried by pay-TV rival Virgin Media.

    “Public service broadcasters and licence fee payers have paid large amounts to satellite providers for the content to be carried,” he said, speaking at the Oxford Media Convention on Wednesday morning. “We recognise this situation has evolved over time in a way we never intended.”

    It is thought BSkyB makes about £10m a year in retransmission fees from PSBs.

    Any chance of BSkyB being made to pay that money back?

  16. Steve2

    What’s the source for your numbers. The figures I’ve got indicate that since the depth of the recession, German GDP has gone up by 7-8% and it’s number of employed people by about 2.5%.

    That sounds like they have pulled up their GDP primarily by higher productivity.

  17. @Steve2 – “The significantly lower output from our financial sector, dragging down the UK average, may contribute to our own edition.”

    I picked you up on this yesterday. I can’t see the financial sector having much bearing on this if you actually look at the figures.

    I made an error yesterday when I detailed the October productivity stats, as these always lag by a quarter, so where the June stats. Today we have the picture up to October.

    These show a slight increase in productivity for the whole economy in terms of output per worker from the last quarter (Q2) but a big yoy fall, and reduced output per hour in both columns. The big news is a worsening productivity position in manufacturing, with falls of over 4 and 5% in the two measures, and a very hefty 6% in crease in unit wage costs. Clearly something is going wrong in manufacturing.

    Services are faring a little better in terms of output per job, but still showing annual and quarterly declines in output per hour.

    Given that manufacturing accounts for two and a half times the financial sector, and is clearly in deep trouble in terms of productivity, I don’t think the claim that this is being led by the finance sector stacks up. Indeed, given the fact that significant job numbers have been shed in the city and profits appear to be up, I’m tempted to say that your analysis is completely false.

    It’s industry that is having the real problems, and unless output starts to rise soon, I don’t think these good employment numbers can last.

  18. Steve2. Pressed SEND too early..,

    We on the other hand, over the last 3 years have had less than 1.5% GDP growth but 2% employment growth.

    I don’t see any “puzzle” at all. We have an extremely (some would say “overly”) flexible labour market and people are downscaling their expectations, taking on lower level, lower productivity work.

    Howard’s anecdotes almost certainly DO reflect genuine data. I could chuck in examples of Disinction- grade engineering graduates of Russell Group Universities that I know of working in bars and supermarkets.

    It’s not a healthy position for the individuals or the country to slap ourselves on the back and tell ourselves that the employment figures mean that all is fine. There is a festering long-term problem that we are ignoring.

  19. “”Germany, and I personally, want Britain to be an important part and an active member of the European Union,” Merkel told reporters.

    “We are prepared to talk about British wishes but we must always bear in mind that other countries have different wishes and we must find a fair compromise. We will talk intensively with Britain about its individual ideas but that has some time over the months ahead,” said Merkel.”

    Reuters

  20. Lefty,

    Well, there was an Economist article a little while back that went into some detail on this, which I can’t find now, but scroll down to the second half of this article instead:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-19981498

    This author suggests the UK’s productivity shortfall is markedly worse than our EU peers…although the graph suggests there’s very little difference, esp with Germany.

  21. Falling productivity could be explained by businesses not investing in replacing plant and instead using more labour intensive alternatives. This actually makes since in a flexible labour market as new plant investment can’t be undone if things take a turn for the worse but workers can be laid off without cost. This is in fact the British disease and always has been, a preference for cheap labour over long-term investment.

  22. German labour market stats?

    “http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-11-29/german-unemployment-increased-for-an-eighth-month-in-november.html”

    Their economy probably declined by around 0.5% in 2012 Q4., leaving 2012 growth around 0.7% ( 2011 3%)

    Current forecasts for German growth 2013-around 0.7%

  23. @Colin : Merkel: ‘We are prepared to talk about British wishes but we must always bear in mind that other countries have different wishes ”

    And that’s precisely DC’s idea of an EU which is more flexible, adaptive and accepting of member states’ different needs and requirements.

  24. @Steve2 – “@Colin : Merkel: ‘We are prepared to talk about British wishes but we must always bear in mind that other countries have different wishes ”

    And that’s precisely DC’s idea of an EU which is more flexible, adaptive and accepting of member states’ different needs and requirements.”

    Unless those other wishes are that the UK should get no special dispensations…..

  25. Steve2,

    You cut it off at;

    “and we must find a fair compromise”.

    That suggest the opposite of your;

    “accepting of member states’ different needs and requirements”

    and suggests that we will only get a return of powers that everybody wants returned, not ones we alone want returned.

    Peter

  26. @Lefty

    “I don’t see what consumption has to do with production. ”

    Suggest you read:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gross_domestic_product#Determining_GDP

  27. Cameron takes a very risky position.

    He won’t get his package of reforms as it undermines existing EU members.

    If he was being honest he’d simply skip the faffing around which wont lead anywhere anyhow and go straight for the referendum.

  28. @Leftylampton

    Thanks for your response and i agree with much of your reply. However I also think that the GDP figures continue to understate the present real position as I expect to be shown by the longer term adjustments.
    Productivity decline is a real worry but i do no think it fully explains the abnormal relationship we are seeing in the GDP and employment figures.

  29. @Alec

    “I find it genuinely difficult to assess what this mornings speech will add in terms of polling impacts. In general, I suspect a Tory boost of some level, but I’m not so certain it will be as big as many predict, nor as sustained as it needs to be. More important to me will be to watch whether there is any negative pressure on Labour VI – this is far more important I feel, as this is the score that will define who wins in 2015.”

    I think a Tory boost is a certainty. One only has to look at the headlines in todays papers and how they cheered – all before Dave had uttered one word !
    The nuance of the proposal will be ignored however. The story will be spun as a straightforward in/out whereas what he actually said was referendum on any renegotiation he managed to secure (such renegotiation is doubtful IMO).

    As for Labours VI – there may well be a short term effect but there’s too much that will happen between now and 2015 for this to damage the VI.

    Liam Fox is on Sky right now behaving exactly as I thought – vote for us and you’ll get a referendum. No mention of the necessary renegotiation before such referendum will happen !

    It’s begun :-(

  30. @PeterCairns

    Thanks for your reply. One of the reasons i was pleased about the latest figures was the reduction in part time jobs and the big increase in full time jobs.

  31. Good to see a sensible response fron Angela Merkel following David Camerons speech today.

    Mrs Merkel, the German Chancellor, said she wants to see a “fair compromise” after David Cameron called for radical EU reforms and promised a public vote on Britain’s membership.

    “Germany, and I personally, want Britain to be an important part and an active member of the European Union,” she said today.

    “We are prepared to talk about British wishes but we must always bear in mind that other countries have different wishes and we must find a fair compromise. We will talk intensively with Britain about its individual ideas but that has some time over the months ahead.”

  32. Surprised no-one has picked up on my thought that, in the extremey unlikely event that DC heads a majority Tory govt in 2015 it is very easy then to imagine circumstances in which he would be chalenged from within [Boris vis a bye-election] for example] and suddenly we have a new OM arguing that the UK should LEAVE the EU with all of the levers at its disposal, plus a right wing press, to convince the British electorate that this is a good idea.

    A jolly good job then that it isn’t going to happen and that, paradoxically, Cameron’s wizard wheeze is probably going to make it less, not more, likely.

  33. “Liam Fox is on Sky right now behaving exactly as I thought – vote for us and you’ll get a referendum. No mention of the necessary renegotiation before such referendum will happen !”

    I think Fox will be proven right on that one. After this morning there is no way the Tories could ever avoid an In/Out referendum in the next parliament (should they still be in office) irrespective of any negotiations that might or might not be successful.

    That IMO is the long term risk for Cameron in all this. He is hoping to lance the EU boil that is deeply embedded in his parties skin. He better be careful he doesn’t drown in the puss though which is sure to ooze out.

  34. @PaulCroft

    From what evidence do you draw that conclusion from?

  35. Steve2

    @”And that’s precisely DC’s idea of an EU which is more flexible, adaptive and accepting of member states’ different needs and requirements.”

    TOH

    @”Good to see a sensible response fron Angela Merkel following David Camerons speech today.”

    Indeed it is.

  36. @Paul Croft

    “Surprised no-one has picked up on my thought that, in the extremey unlikely event that DC heads a majority Tory govt in 2015 it is very easy then to imagine circumstances in which he would be chalenged from within [Boris vis a bye-election] for example] and suddenly we have a new OM arguing that the UK should LEAVE the EU with all of the levers at its disposal, plus a right wing press, to convince the British electorate that this is a good idea.
    A jolly good job then that it isn’t going to happen and that, paradoxically, Cameron’s wizard wheeze is probably going to make it less, not more, likely.”

    Maybe I am just naive but even under your imagined scenario I just dont see us voting for “OUT” in any EU referendum.

    All the caterwauling of the right wing press in the world isn’t going to change the fact that there is too much at stake for us to leave.

    There is a reason why stridently anti-EU political positions within parties have struggled to get past 35% of VI in the past 2 decades.

  37. TOH

    At its most simple what I have said before: we are an increasingly liberal country and the Tories are out of tune with that and with a steadily declining vote share.

    I see no reason to expect that to change – and certainly not for this ludicrous “Its time for the British people to have their say [but not for five years]” nonsense to stop the rot.

  38. EU finance ministers gave their approval at a meeting in Brussels, allowing 11 states -Germany, France, Italy , Spain , Austria, Portugal, Belgium, Estonia, Greece, Slovakia and Slovenia.to pursue a levy on financial transactions.

    Guardian Tuesday.

    Flexible Europe in action-some do -some don’t.

  39. Oh I’m fed up writing and then being told my captcha code can’t be read.

    Sod it.

  40. @Paul Croft

    I continue to think the Tories will win the next election so we will have to disagree again. No doubt one of us will have a smile after the next 2015 election.

  41. I can see the Tories actually losing support due to Camerons speech today. Many people if asked in polling are going to say that now is not the time to pick fights with the EU, as there are many more important matters to sort out e.g. the economy.

    The Tories current polling of around 32% already includes those likely to be happy with Camerons speech. The 4% or so who may have switched to UKIP are unlikely to change their VI back to the Tories as a result of one speech. They would want to see what powers Cameron is looking to take back from the EU. Also many want out of the EU and Cameron will probably back a Yes vote to stay in the EU.

    The only hope for Cameron is that some of the people in the ‘don’t know’ which party to support liked what he had to say and will back the Tories. I think this is unlikely, as the EU may not be the biggest issue in their lifes.

  42. Farage is claiming this is a “Victory for UKIP”, what a pickle if this strengthens UKIP polling because people think voting for UKIP will force the Conservatives to do things.

  43. @PaulCroft: “this ludicrous “Its time for the British people to have their say [but not for five years]” nonsense…”

    The five-year wait is to allow re-negotiations of powers and competencies to take place.

    The referendum is to then let the electorate decide if they want this new deal or to leave the EU.

    Why do so few people understand that??

  44. I also note that Cameron’s “I want a more flexible Europe” is pretty similar to Merkel’s “We will listen to the UK’s ideas”, in that they sound nice while providing nothing of actual meaning. About the only concrete idea about what the EU should do differently is “allow doctors to work longer hours”, which they already *allow* but I think Cameron means “allow us to force doctors to work longer hours”.

  45. “In the Netherlands, there was a much more positive response, with Mark Verheijen, Europe spokesman for the governing Liberal party, saying Mr Cameron would find a partner in the Netherlands. “We want a Europe that remains limited to its core tasks. He’s framing the debate sharply,” he said.”

    FT

  46. Provided the Tory party gives Cameron a free hand to take the constructive approach to compromise which Merkel’s CDU party is calling for, everything should be plain sailing…

  47. Steve 2

    When will we know what we are going to be voting on in this ref, before the election? Or after? When are the transformations going to start?

  48. Renegotiations *

  49. I’m puzzled at tha lack of comment on the possibility that increased employment is a good thing in its own right and that the changing incidence of part-time and women’s employment may reflect a long-term readjustment both in the structure of the labour market and in the pricing of labour in production. if you were to compare this with the price and structure of labour in SE Asia and China, you might think that this is a global trend, and that the UK has learned to lower its aspirations through a, perhaps semi-consious, leftist inclination towards full-employment, and, in the European context, labour migration. Strangely enough,, this may be the fight that DC suggests we should be fighting, but not with the weaponry he suggests, against the rise of Chinese and Indian production and trading systems, but also against the moral and political vacuum which they currently represent. History may show that these adjustments are essential in the survival and further development of Western industrial but also cultural and idelogical leadership, and that UK flexibility and the broader vision of our politics in general, operating within the EU rather than in some arthritic separation, played a role, both in this global process and in the sustainability of a European poltical influence and tradition. It would be nice to think, wouldn’t it, that actually what is taking place is the moral and cultural basis of the continuation and strengthening of a European industria and post-industrial democracy?

  50. @ Smukesh

    I am not impressed with Cameron`s referendum offer…Seems his main aim is to take away worker`s rights.
    ——————
    Correct & this is why the Labour Party can win on standing against Cameron’s referendum plan. It is Hobson’s choice for the majority of voters. Vote In & lose employment protection or vote Out & lose EU membership.

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