Yesterday we had two polls conducted partially after the referendum announcement, from YouGov and TNS, neither of which showed any boost for the Conservatives. Today’s YouGov is the first conducted entirely after the referendum announcement and has topline figures of CON 33%, LAB 43%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 9% – so no obvious impact at all.

Personally speaking this is a slight surprise, while Europe is not an issue that particularly excites voters (even UKIP voters are actually driven more by things like immigration and the economy),  I thought a temporary boost from Cameron looking on top of things and the exceptionally good press coverage of the last few days was likely. In the event Cameron’s own ratings have indeed improved – YouGov repeated their leader attributes question yesterday and Cameron got his best ratings since last April,  with particular increases in strength and being good in a crisis. However these don’t appear to have translated into voting intention. Normal caveats apply, it is just one poll and others may paint a different picture, but so far the big gamechanging speech doesn’t appear to have changed public opinion much.

YouGov’s poll also asked voting intention in a referendum – the figures remain extremely close, 40% would vote to leave, 38% would vote to stay, confirming again the drastic narrowing in the lead of those wanting to leave since last year. Populus also had a poll out this morning in today’s Times which found almost identical figures – 40% saying leave, 37% saying stay.


235 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – CON 33, LAB 43, LD 10, UKIP 9”

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  1. I presume Lab 34% is a typo, otherwise Others have picked up massively!

  2. Something wrong here??

  3. Is this irony or a typo? – ” … so no obvious impact at all.”

  4. Good news for Natalie Bennett by the look of it. ;)

  5. Typo chaps, don’t panic! Was my first attempt at writing a post on the train on the new phone.

  6. The referendum is a sop to the wobblers on the right of the Tory Party, and so a means to shore up his support. I cannot envisage it attracting new support.

  7. No change – not too surprising, since the basic logic makes no sense.

    Anyone in favour of IN does not need a referendum, since that is what we have already. Leadership dictates that the IN camp don’t go for a referendum (Well spotted, Ed).

    For anyone in favour of OUT the referendum is great news – but then there is Cameron proposing to stay IN! Why would anyone be attracted to that position?

  8. Perhaps the unchanged VI indicates that most people have spotted Cameron’s ploy. Get people talking about something that may or may not happen at some undefined point in the future. Maybe they’ll forget to get angry about what’s happening now.

  9. @crossbat

    (From previous thread)

    I think you might be correct. From what I can gauge (completely unscientific of course)the general reaction seems to be one of cynicism. Perhaps a general erosion in trust of with politicians and their “pledges”. Time will tell I suppose…

  10. I wonder if the GDP dip will end in a voter’s backlash against the Tory (and Cameron’s) obsession with Europe and pointless referendums?

    We’ll know from mext week’s polls. Clegg admitting “too far, too fast” is a watershed, I think.

  11. “Maybe they’ll forget to get angry about what’s happening now.”

    And this is what is happening now – -0.3% in GDP figures.

  12. @BOBBY501

    “Good news for Natalie Bennett by the look of it. ;)”

    You got my hopes up for a second there :-(

  13. “The economy is now 3.3% smaller than its peak in the first quarter of 2008, recovering only about half the output lost during the financial crisis – a worse performance than other major economies.”

    From the Graun…

    @Alan FPT

    Very much agree that much can change in six months. But here’s the problem. If you were to ask people what were the main areas for a government not to cause disappointment on, you might find things like the budget, NHS and economy were quite high on the list for many.

    So what do you – or anyone – think the government can do in the next six months to offset all of that? And get VI above where it was in the election?

  14. I mentioned on Wednesday that Cameron’s speech only peaked at No. 5 on the BBC website’s ‘Most read’ news articles.
    Todays poor GDP figures have gone straight in at No.1

    A lesson here for the tories on what people really care about?

  15. I can’t understand why you’d promise a referendum on one issue – and one which many people do not care about – but not on other issues?

    Why not have them on things like spending cuts too?

    Why not have them on boundary changes? And lowering the voting age?

    Being in NATO? Nuclear power? Wind power?

    The list goes on…

  16. @NickP

    Not at all, the Governments program will continue as planned. Nobody is surprised by the GDP figures, not least because of the reduced North Sea Oil production. I am sure Osborne will not be deflected by minor apparent setbacks, even a triple dip. I say apparent as I believe that the GDP figures do not acuurately reflect the actual economic position.
    The Footsie continues to rise and as i said yesterday this is a leading indicator of economic activity. The Labour lead may increase but who cares this far away from an election.

  17. TOH

    “Not at all, the Governments program will continue as planned. Nobody is surprised by the GDP figures, not least because of the reduced North Sea Oil production. I am sure Osborne will not be deflected by minor apparent setbacks, even a triple dip. I say apparent as I believe that the GDP figures do not acuurately reflect the actual economic position.
    The Footsie continues to rise and as i said yesterday this is a leading indicator of economic activity. The Labour lead may increase but who cares this far away from an election.”

    Denial, in ordinary English usage, is asserting that a statement or allegation is not true.[1] The same word, and also abnegation, is used for a psychological defense mechanism postulated by Sigmund Freud, in which a person is faced with a fact that is too uncomfortable to accept and rejects it instead, insisting that it is not true despite what may be overwhelming evidence.[2][3] The subject may use:

    simple denial: deny the reality of the unpleasant fact altogether
    minimisation: admit the fact but deny its seriousness (a combination of denial and rationalization)
    projection: admit both the fact and seriousness but deny responsibility by blaming somebody or something else.

    The concept of denial is particularly important to the study of addiction. The theory of denial was first researched seriously by Anna Freud. She classified denial as a mechanism of the immature mind, because it conflicts with the ability to learn from and cope with reality.

  18. I too am very surprised that there doesn’t appear to have been any movement in the polls after the EU speech. It felt like a few Labour posters on here were shuffling their feet nervously and talking more in terms of no long term gain from the speech even if the Lab lead drops in the next coupel of weeks.

    In fact there appears to be no short term gain at all. Obviously this is a work in progress but unless Cameron is able to wave a bent banana at the electorate in 2015 saying ‘we have got these back for you’ then it’s difficult to see how this will give him a boost- especially if it turns out the only concessions are on employment law. The only other possible boost I can see is that on election day the potential UKIP voters say ‘well we can waste our vote or at least get a referendum’- that and if Europe in 2015 looks like a basket case.

  19. Needless to say – the latest polls are great news for Labour. I expected a modest shift in public opinion, but it looks as though the Labour lead (and vote) is holding firm.

    Labour’s chances in 2015 look a lot better after the last few polls.

  20. @NickP

    Sorry, no idea what you are talking about. If you do not like my views just say you disagree. What I was pointing out was that in my view the Government will not change policy because of minor blips in figures.
    It would be madness to do so in my opinion.

    You imply I want to live in an unreal world as far as the economy is concerned. If that was so i would not have sold my riskier investments in 2006, nor would i have bought when the market was at the bottom so that my wealth is substantially greater now than it was before the crash.

  21. Did the sample only include British citizen who would be eligible to vote in a referendum?

  22. Personally, I think any comparison with Q3 2012 is meaningless. That quarter’s GDP was always going to be artificially high because of the Olympics. It was right to not get too excited about the rise between Q2 and Q3, so I don’t see much cause for alarm about Q3 and Q4. If you compare Q2 figures to Q4 figures, that’s a 0.6% rise over two quarters, which averages at 0.3% over two quarters. That’s not too bad.

    Now, there might be a case to make that when you look more closely at the figures, there are underlying signing that things are getting worse. Or better. We could argue all day over that. I’m more inclined to wait and see what happens in Q1 2013 myself. We’ll have a better idea what’s going on once we’ve got the Olympics out of the way.

  23. @ TOH

    The Footsie continues to rise because people are fed up of the low returns on government bonds and because having money in companies is the lesser of any of the other evils. The footsie is also, to an extent, based on global trade of which there is growth.

    In any simple economic model, clearly if companies are not worth as much because the economy is contracting then their share price would go down. If there were green shoots that valued these companies on likely growth in the future then agreed, but that is not the impression you get from ‘experts’.

  24. Another interesting (and for Tories worrying) result from the Populus polling in the Times today was – Does Cameron’s speech make you more or less likely to vote conservative at the next election.

    – No Difference 71%
    – More likey 13%
    – Less likely 16%

    i.e a nett impact of -3% more likely to vote tory after the speech.

  25. @ NickP

    I should have added that I am taking some profits now in anticipation of a triple dip but I remain convinced that the Governments stategy is better than the Oppositions, although as i have said many time on here i would have cut back much deeper earlier and used the savings to improve growth.

  26. So basically Labour’s growth was fake, and the lack of growth subsequently, that’s fake too and actually we’re growing. Phew, that’s a relief, no need to worry after all…

  27. @ Chris

    Some truth in what you say. I believe the ONS said 0.2% re Olympics and much of the growth in Q3 (0.5%) was catch up from one extra Bank holiday in Q2 (yes I don’t really understand that either!).

    The snow really does have the ability to affect Q1 and, along with PMi’s for December showing drops in the services sector (backed up by the ONS figures), which is the main component of the GDP figures I would say the chances of triple dip are higher than 50%. So if we are talking about polling effect then ‘triple dip’ does have significance in the minds of voters regardless if it is just the case we are bumping around at the bottom sometiems higher, sometimes lower.

  28. @Shevvi

    “I too am very surprised that there doesn’t appear to have been any movement in the polls after the EU speech. It felt like a few Labour posters on here were shuffling their feet nervously and talking more in terms of no long term gain from the speech even if the Lab lead drops in the next coupel of weeks.”

    I suspect the posters you are referring to are those who are very quick to spot and identify perceived Labour weaknesses, particularly if they can be attributed to Miliband’s leadership. They’ll usually seize on an isolated poll or event and claim it proves what they have always postulated; Miliband was the wrong choice of Leader and Labour are on course to lose the next election. Despite the circumlocution and convoluted arguments they employ, that’s more or less the long and short of it.

    It’s all about the desire to be proved right trumping all else, even if that extends to subliminally hoping for a Conservative victory. You’ll see it time and time again on these pages and it’s a behaviour pattern exhibited almost exclusively by alleged Labour supporters. All very strange.

  29. The way I see it is an unbiased observer…

    Is the government’s economic strategy/policy working?…no way. Look at the latest GDP stats. Both Cameron and Osborne seem incapable of getting even very modest (or any!) growth back to the UK economy. The economy is in a sorry state.

    Would Labour’s economic strategy/policy work? What strategy/policy? The answer is noooo, the economy would be s*rewed, especially with Miliband and Balls at the helm. There’s a good reason why only Labourites trust them (and even a lot of Labour votes don’t!).

    All in all, it seems all the three main parties (Labour pre-2010) and the Tories and Libs (2010-present) seem totally incompetent. I wouldn’t trust any of them.

  30. Corkscrew – topline figures on questions like that are of dubious worth, because you get people who would vote Tory anyway saying more likely, people who wouldn’t vote for them anyway saying less likely.

    In this instance, 94% of people who told Populus it made them less likely to vote Tory are not Tory voters presenting – mostly they are Labour supporters. I suspect most are people who would never vote Tory, just giving the most “anti-Tory” answer.

    At the other end of the scale 60% of the people who said it would make them more likely to vote Tory are already voting Tory, so unless they are planning on voting twice that’s not of too much use.

    I hate “more or less likely to vote” questions. They really don’t tell you the answer to the question. Ignore them, and watch the the topline voting intention figures. In this case, of course, the topline voting intention figures are also showing no real movment, but even a stopped clock tells the right time twice a day.

  31. I find this interesting comment by AW:

    “…and Cameron got his best ratings since last April, with particular increases in strength and being good in a crisis. However these don’t appear to have translated into voting intention….”

    Doesn’t this suggest that the ‘preference’ for DC over EM will not be major factor in the next GE?

  32. toh

    It’s true that there are enough confounding and compilcating factors to prevent any definitive verdict on the current slash and burn the public sector strategy, but I wonder when the “good” outputs are likely to appear from it, if it is a viable approach?

    We will never know whether the current approach, though not working, at least not so far, is better than any alternative strategy that Labour suggested. Labour would have had the advantage of flexibility as they wouldn’t have nailed their colours to a “austerity only Plan A no u-turn” approach which means any change of direction is painted as failure.

    But I still think to pretend that the current policy is working, and the latest figures some sort of blip on otherwise upward trajectory, is to deny the evidence that is plain to see.

  33. ANTHONY WELLS

    Thanks for that – I get your point.

  34. Whilst negative growth in Q1 2013 is technically a triple dip recession, in practice it would be better to consider it a continuation of the second dip. Ultimately, counting the number of negative growth quarters that happen to be next to another negative growth quarter doesn’t tell us much.

    But, yes, what counts politically is what the public makes of this. And that won’t necessarily have any relation to what’s actually going on in the economy.

  35. @AmbivalentSupporter

    Lot of truth in what you say I just happen to think that the Governments strategy is better than the alternatives on offer, not that that is saying much.

  36. Actually, I do sense there is a tendency for many people on here to talk down their party’s polling in the short-term, especially after a political event which they feel is likely to reduce their support. I guess it’s a way of managing disappointment, and (more importantly) a means in which they can brush it off casually by saying/thinking it’s only a short-term trend, and one that will fade going forward. That way, they can still talk up their party’s chances in 2015 and claim that it will have no bearing on long-term polling trends (a very weak argument IMO, but still…)

    A bit like when Tories and Labourites on here deliberately underestimate how well they are likely to do in local, council or bi-elections so that they can claim some semblence of victory if their party falls short of what they really hope them to achieve.

  37. @Corkscrew

    “Another interesting (and for Tories worrying) result from the Populus polling in the Times today was – Does Cameron’s speech make you more or less likely to vote conservative at the next election.
    – No Difference 71%
    – More likey 13%
    – Less likely 16%
    i.e a nett impact of -3% more likely to vote tory after the speech.”

    Now that is an interesting bit of data that I wasn’t aware of and I’m surprised Anthony didn’t draw our attention to it in his preamble when he referred to some of the sub-data in the YouGov and Populus polls. It’s far more significant than what the increased publicity has temporarily done for Cameron’s personal approval ratings because it goes to the heart of what may be the electoral fall out from Cameron’s Referendum pledge. This data supports what I long suspected; the EU is just not a game changer, no matter how long and hard the tabloid press and Tory backbenchers keep banging on about it.

    I don’t think any serious politician beyond Farage will go into the 2015 election saying “It’s the EU stupid”, do you? lol

  38. @NickP

    Thanks for sensible reply. I think I cover your point in my post to AmbivalentSupporter.

    As for the effect on voting intentions,I suspect there will be a rise in short term Labour support. This may or may not hold until the election. If it does Labour will get in if not then the Tories will get in.

    On the question of the EU and the referendum Camerons stategy may not have a short term gain but I think it will be a positive for the Tories come 2015.

  39. @AmbivalentSupporter

    “Would Labour’s economic strategy/policy work? What strategy/policy? The answer is noooo, the economy would be s*rewed, especially with Miliband and Balls at the helm. There’s a good reason why only Labourites trust them (and even a lot of Labour votes don’t!).”

    Neither unbiased nor ambivalent in my view! lol

  40. @Mike M,

    Not necessarily, it just means it isn’t important at the moment. That might change come a GE or GE campaign when personalities and leadership qualities often become more important. This doesn’t mean Labour still can’t achieve a majority with Miliband, however.

  41. @CrossBat,

    I criticised all the three main parties equally, as I always do. I hate all three in equal measure, as I have often said.

  42. Besides, I was merely relating what polls show; that very few think the Libs and Cons are competent or running the economy well; very few think Labour would do a good job with Miliband and Balls at the helm.

    I am like most of the British public – I vote, but have no strong political allegiance and think that all the main parties are largely incompetent. Doesn’t mean I don’t like politics, or find it interesting though (especially the election/polling aspect).

  43. @CROSSBAT

    Anthony’s post at 10:47 answers all our points.

  44. *uninteresting

  45. Cameron has now announced that he intends to campaign for remaining in the EU, and that he would *require the resignation from cabinet of any member of government who did not support him*.

    Meanwhile, just a short time after whipping his party to support the benefits cut, Clegg has decided to tell the press that it might be a good idea if Government gave those on low incomes more money because of the economy.

    Oh to be a fly on the wall in Cabinet at the moment…

  46. From the Beeb. .

    “MPs have voted in favour of a proposal to lower the voting age in all UK elections from 18 to 16.

    A backbench motion calling for the change was passed by the Commons by 119 to 46, a majority of 73.

    However, the result is not binding on the government – the Conservatives are opposed to the move.”

    Haven’t seen this discussed recently, forgive me if I missed it but if this goes through what’s the likely effect? I imagine it wouldn’t affect all parties equally. Tories are opposed, so I’m guessing they might not do well out of it.

    Seems like we’re now in an era of battling over shifting the electoral system to favour one party over another. .

  47. Mike N – no. Cameron’s lead over Miliband as Best PM is self-evidently not a big issue on the voting intention front at the moment. Well, it could be preventing an even bigger Labour lead I suppose, but it is self-evidently not something that is preventing Labour building up a healthy lead in voting intention because they’ve got one!

    The question on that front is whether it becomes more of an issue in the run up to an election. No polling now can answer that question.

  48. @TOH I am delighted to learn of your financial sagacity and consequent wealth. I am interested, however, to hear what general lessons you draw from this. Clearly one important one is that you do not believe current political hype. So you didn’t believe ‘no more boom and bust’ and you don’t believe that the current policy is working in its own terms. Hence you sold at the top of the boom. bought again at the bottom and are now deciding to sell in anticipation of a triple dip.

    So isn’t actually possible that chancellors of whatever persuasion actually have very little if any influence over major economic fluctuations? The wise man (such as yourself whatever your Freudian foibles) looks at underlying factors, ignores politicians and acts accordingly, And if so it is as unfair to blame Gordon Brown for the problems that now afflict the entire Western World as it is to blame Osborne for a possible triple dip that mirroirs figures from much of Europe.

    That said, I do think that to some extent possible to make a bad situation worse (holes and digging come to mind). And it is certainly possible to mitigate the consequences of macro-economic factors (people being unemployed or taking insecure low paid work through no fault of their own). And one can through training and infrastructure projects prepare for the good times,.if and when they return.

    So personally I would like to see less name calling about who was or was not responsible for growth and recession. By contrast I would like to see more debate about how we can afford a decent health service, and cope with the economic consequences on individuals of where we are.

  49. The polls bear out that combined Tory + UKIP support is just over the no. who would vote to leave EU and some Tory voters who don’t want to leave are now less likely to vote Tory. It appears that Cameron may have appeased his backbenchers to his detriment and looks as if Miliband took the right decision to oppose an in/out referendum. I suppose that, given the recent history of euro scepticism, most euro sceptics were more likely to already be Tory/ UKIP. ( I am not discounting the Euro sceptic Labour wing, but party policy has not been euro sceptic in/out of late, so if that is of primary importance they would probably already have decided to vote Tory/ UKIP. )

  50. Re: Personal ratings,

    I think a lot will also depend on the margin of any leadership preference. At the moment, despite leading on the leadership front, Cameron is still not a popular figure. Most people still dislike him, The question will be how Miliband and Cameron are perceived relative to each other closer to the next election; if Cameron becomes more popular and Miliband’s popularity stagnates or falls, then it could become a problem for Labour. But if things stay as they are, Cameron may not be popular enough (i.e.inspire enough enthusiasm) to stave off a good Labour majority.

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