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. @Amberstar – do you have a sister, Amberwarning? She’s been very active on the TV weather forecasts recently.

  2. @ Colin

    President Obama has had to go through all the nay-saying that President Hollande is now having to put up with. The US auto-industry was saved by the state. Did you think that was a mistake at the time too?

  3. @ Alec


  4. @ Colin

    Regarding Spain’s banking system, I LOL’d when people were giving it as an example which the UK banks should have followed. I may be misremembering but I think you were in the ‘all hail the Spanish banks’ camp at the time. ;-)

  5. Apologies if someone else has already said this, I’ve got a busy evening, so don’t have the time to read through all the previous comments.

    I find it interesting that Anthony regards this as a surprise for the simple reason that I would argue that this is a bounce. By this I mean to say that the speech was leaked in advance for a week or so, and at the same time we have seen a shift towards the Tories over this time – I.e. the lead has shrunk from around 12 points to around 9.5-10.

    Of course if the weekend polls prove me wrong then so be it, but I would imagine that even if I am wrong, the poor GDP figures + questions of Osbonre’s strategy would most likely hide this, if not push the leed back up to 12ish points anyway.
    We shall have to see

  6. Terrible govt publicity on BBC TV all night – from all quarters.

    Interesting to hear Ed Balls quote Clegg positively – this is a first surely? Something is changing quite dramatically.

  7. Emily Maitlis really having a go at David Gauke (Exchequer Sec to the Treasury) on Newsnight re this morning’s GDP news .

    Having just opened UKPR having been out walking all day I am now looking forward to some of the comments re the situation.

  8. I think my long awaited 45/30 is coming soon. The majority of the public are utterly bemused by what this government is doing and an assumption that they must surely know what they are doing is disappearing very quickly – and probably permanently..

  9. @Paul Croft
    I wouldn’t be surprised if it happened this weekend to be honest: I’m not expecting it, but I think 15 point lead is a real possibility.
    That said, I also think there is a possibility that 10 point leads will continue this weekend….

  10. In order to support a claim that it was stuff like our credit card debt which caused the crash, it would be useful if you provided an actual case in support. I’ve been providing a rationale.

    In order to function, banks need liquidity. Much of their money is tied up in longer-term loans and investments and like other businesses, they need ready money available to pay wages, settle accounts etc.

    Banks get a lot of this liquidity by making short-term loans to each other. And like with other loans they want to know how safe a bet it is. So they need to know the exposure to loans etc. of the bank they are lending to. Toxic debt – those inscrutable debt packages from the States – screwed this up. Because the banks couldn’t tell how badly they were exposed… so, afraid of the risk they stopped lending to each other.

    Consequently banks struggled to fund daily operations, and because they couldn’t function properly they cut back support to business customers, curtailed overdraft facilities etc. Now business couldn’t function and we lost seven percent of the economy in short order.

    Crucial features of this:
    – it wasn’t simply conventional debt going bad that was the problem. It was the uncertainty that made it so toxic
    – it wasn’t simply a case of banks having to write off some bad credit card debt. Take a hit to profits and move on, as in a normal recession. This was much worse: Banks lost liquidity and couldn’t function
    – in turn this hit the economy badly. Normally it’s the other way around. Economic downturn, people lose jobs, default on loans, banks take a hit. That’s not what happened this time. This time banks bought dodgy debt from abroad, took a hit, and then the economy took a hit.

    The economy was not in recession before the banking crash. I’m not aware of our own mass defaulting on debt leading up to the crash. Even if it had been our credit card debt defaulting, it wouldn’t have been toxic, because it wasn’t hidden debt. The problem of sub-prime loans and toxic debt is not exactly a secret; feel free to provide evidence in support of the idea that actually we had mass credit card defaults etc., Leading to a liquidity crisis…

  11. Mr Wells: you show the date white on light grey, with an affectation of reflection over the upper part of the day of the month. Remove this obscuring distraction and make the date easy to read.

  12. I do wonder how much of a difference the latest GDP figures will make to VI.

    On the one hand, it’s more bad news, and Clegg’s admission might have an effect.

    On the other, it’s more a continuation of the slump, rather than a big surprise. And a fair number of the Tory core vote are relatively insulated from the economy. They complain rather more about QE which erodes pensions.

    Some will be in protected sectors and some will even be able to make money out of it. It’s caused a wry smile at times elsewhere when debating the economy with someone who seems quite comfortable with it all. Then they mention that they are an insolvency practitioner or something…

    Wonder what the remaining LibDems make of Clergy’s admission…

  13. “Clergys admission” …………..

    Has he turned to god now?? Worth a try I s’pose.

  14. If it’s Clergy’s admission it’s more likely they’ve turned to Dawkins….

  15. @Carfrew
    “I do wonder how much of a difference the latest GDP figures will make to VI.”

    Good question. Very little IMHO. Perhaps the growing number of vacant shops will have more impact than stats and graphs. Or maybe not.

  16. @Danny Sweeney – Hello – not sure I’ve read you before, but I think you make an excellent point. We knew the speech was coming from way back, and the lead dipped marginally over that time.

    On GDP – it’s not just Clegg – Boris has got wide coverage for his comments, which rather mirror much of what some said on here regarding the language of austerity. The difference between Osborne’s plans and Darling’s budget projections was not great.

    What was different was the radical approach to the language of cuts and austerity by Osborne. From March 2010 we saw consumer confidence slide, largely (in my view) due to the language being used. This was political, and design to paint Labour in a bad light, but Osborne ended up talking into recession and destroying what fragile confidence there was, all so he could seek to pin blame on Labour in 2015.

  17. Looking at the headline Yougov Labour lead over the last two months, by fortnight:

    Frequency: 8%(1), 9%(2), 10%(1), 11%(1), 12%(4), 13%(1)

    Frequency: 9%(2), 10%(2), 12%(4), 13%(1), 14%(1)

    Frequency: 8%(1), 9%(1), 10%(2), 11%(3), 12%(2), 13%(1)

    Frequency: 9%(3), 10%(2), 11%(1), 12%(2), 13%(2).

    So far post-speech we have had one solitary 10% Labour lead.

    The element of the system which was allowed to contribute significantly to the banking collapse was the supposed regulatory status of sub-prime credit rating agencies, which combined with money sloshing about in the hands of banks and institutions, investing in the understanding that they were taking a measured risk. In the commercial market their credentials would have been more quickly spotted as fraudulent.

  19. Should events have any marginal impact on the next YouGov poll, they are just as likely to reflect the latest dire economic news as to reflect continuing fallout from Cameron’s speech and Labour’s response to it. So it’ll be harder to gain further insights into the polling impact of the latter specifically.

  20. @PaulCroft

    No nothings happening, I believe Osborne will continue with his strategy and the economy will benefit in the long term, whether or not it comes in time for the election is difficult to predict. There are a number of good signs in the economy already. I would have like a tougher strategy but Osbornes is better than the alternatives i’ve seen postulated on here. In my opinion of course, before you say it.

  21. AMBER

    @”I may be misremembering but I think you were in the ‘all hail the Spanish banks’ camp at the time. ;-)”

    You don’t misremember.

    I was concentrating too much on Santander.

    I had no idea about the cajas disaster.

    Should have read more thoroughly.

  22. Regardless of whether it will happen or not,wouldn`t it be funny if Labour get 15 point leads in the same week that a referendum on Europe is announced?

  23. I think the reason we are not seeing the Conservative VI going shooting up due to DC’s speech is due two factors: one the referendum is not tommorow, but way off in the future, nay in a future where he is still in power. And two, he has a credibility gap over Europe referenda, cast iron and all that.

    If you really want out, I think UKIP is still a strong choice. Or if you are a voter who is fed up with the dire situation the country is in and wants to vote for “someone else”, who has never been in power and thus cannot be at all blamed for our current economic woes. The GDP announcement didn’t help either. If we are going to see those 15% labour leads, they are probably going to come this year sometime.

  24. AMBER

    RE Obama.

    Looks like Nature laid the Golden Egg for him.

    Unless it’s all hype Shale Gas is an international game changer :-

    US self sufficient in energy.

    Gas prices diving to a ten year low.

    Steel & Chemical manufacturing coming back from overseas for low energy costs.

    THe geo-political aspects too :- If Gulf Oil is no longer an existential necessity, why be the world’s policeman any more ?
    Russia & Gazprom watch their grip on gas supply go down the plughole as US no longer needs to import LPG. ( Ukraine & BP have just signed a mega deal on Shale Gas extraction to free that country from Russian supply) .

    Meanwhile France puts an embargo on fracking, UK just plays with it -& Germany is going to power the enginehouse of EZ economy with windmills.

    Things looking good for Obama I think.

  25. Colin

    Very good except that at current prices the fracking companies are losing money. And the ones fracking for oil need a 100 dollar a barrel just to break even. Then there is the whole question of reserves, which have been hopelessly miscalculated, the big plays that were supposed to last for years are already tapped out in some cases yielding only 10% of the estimated reserves. So it seems like it’s mostly hype, most of the reduction in US oil imports is accounted for by the shocking reduction in the transport sector and the reduction in private driving, that folk chose not to drive so much when petrol prices are so high ain’t surprising but for an economy that’s supposedly recovering the amount of goods being transported is eyeopening.

  26. Long term predicition:

    Tories wil lose in 2015 badly – the right will then pin the blame on DCs vagueness and insist they would have won with a determined OUT strategy. All hell will then break loose and it will be jolly good fun to watch.

  27. Long Term prediction

    Tories win by 30 seats. Labour blame EdM and EB.

  28. Paul Croft
    “Interesting to hear Ed Balls quote Clegg positively – this is a first surely? Something is changing quite dramatically”

    And have you noticed how popular Michael Hesiltine is with the left now as well? I don’t remember it being the case when he was swinging the mace around 30 years ago & his views are similar now to what they were then. Perhaps it’s an example of how far rightwards the Labour party has moved in the time?

    Of course with Clegg, it’s just a bit of opportunism to try & regain some credibility.

    Amber/Colin re: the Spanish banks, if I remember correctly, at the time of the sub prime crash, the Spanish banking system was held up as a good example because they were forbidden to buy sub prime debt & so hadn’t got involved in it. So initially they were little effected by the initial crash. The fact that Spain had legislation was held up as an example (at the time) of what Brown & Balls should have put in place in the UK.
    It then subsequently transpired that the Spanish banks had been on an orgy of dubious property lending, mixed up with political corruption at local levels & they got a crash all of there own. The net result isn’t a lot different at the end of the day of course.

  29. @PaulCroft

    I should have added that i will only be mildly amused as I only vote Conservative to keep Labour out. A 100 seat UKIP majority would probably suit me better but only if UKIP had people of real quality to put through their policies

  30. Hal asked me, “You advocate staying in the EU but are happy to accept a significant risk of leaving if the vote goes the wrong way, all for the sake of some tactical party advantage??”

    I agree that there is a risk but I strongly believe that a sufficiently good deal can be reached that the risk will be insignificant. I think that what so many fail to realize is the importance of the UK to the EU. I think that Angela Merkel truly realizes the importance of keeping Britain in and that François Hollande will in time realize that UK membership is worthwhile. This is half the battle to getting a reasonable deal thrashed out.

    I think that too many Europhiles are brainwashed into thinking that nothing can change in the way the European Union is constituted. Of course it can! It just takes a lot of hard work and persuasion to convince all member states to accede to change. Over the next few years I think that Britain has a chance to force the pace and everyone and, most importantly, democracy will come out stronger as a result.

    In my post about change that I’d like to see, I should have made it clear that my idea of a European Cabinet would replace the Commission, which I see as a remarkably undemocratic and bureaucratic organization.

  31. I should think both PC’s and TOH’s predictions are capable of becoming true.

    I’m pretty good at this prediction business you know.

  32. @ Charles Stuart

    I hope you’re right but I am not convinced Hollande will budge. The changes achieved would have to be major for me to vote to stay in. As I see things at the moment the EU area is in terminal decline economically and unless the issues causing that are dealt with there are strong reasons for getting out.

  33. @Howard

    Well said, I was responding tongue in cheek to Paul’s oulandish claim.

  34. @TheOtherHoward

    “I should have added that i will only be mildly amused as I only vote Conservative to keep Labour out.”

    That’s what I like to hear; a man driven by conviction, belief and wholly positive motivations. “I have a dream that one day there won’t be a Labour Government…” Inspiring stuff.

    @Robert Newark

    “And have you noticed how popular Michael Hesiltine is with the left now as well? I don’t remember it being the case when he was swinging the mace around 30 years ago…”

    Really? If so, I haven’t noticed any Heseltine love-in around these parts of the left. Personally, I found him a fairly unlovely personality and politician and when he was dispatched from his stately pile and arboretum to “sort out the inner cities” for Thatcher, I always thought it was one most ludicrously funny moments in British politics. Almost beyond irony, but then again I don’t think Maggie did irony, did she?

  35. @crossbat11

    Oh I have a dream all right and if you have read enough of my blogs you would know what i believe in.

    I have voted positively Conservative during the Thatcher years.

  36. TOH

    “nothing’s happening”

    Ah…..I must have imagined all the negative news, stories and interviews.

    Another masterstroke by DC is that his opposition – on both sides – now have over two years to develop arguments against his somewhat early announcement of a 2018 referendum.

  37. crossbatt
    Well I have lost count of the number of times labour people, including EM have quoted him/held his views up as a shining example, both in the HOC & on progs such as DP. Perhaps you don’t watch the same programmes as me?

  38. Alec
    “What was different was the radical approach to the language of cuts and austerity by Osborne. ”


    I don’t really buy the claim that the language killed confidence and led to the permaslump. But the language WAS crucially important. Osborne skilfully set the terms of the debt and Austerity debate from 08/09 onwards. He drove Darling into an Austerity-lite plan because for Labour to have done otherwise would have been utter suicide.

    But! Darling’s Austerity-lite was always put forward as a pragmatic approach, and in the counter factual universe, Chancellor Darling in 11/12 would have been able to relax the fiscal tightening without taking a terminal political hit.

    Osborne, by contrast, bet the house on Austerity as TINA. And so the slow motion car crash of an economic catastrophe has to continue. Because of Osborne’s being hung by his own clever petard, there really IS no alternative for him. Even when the whole world is no telling him that he has got it badly wrong, he has no alternative but to continue on the path that his language in 08/09 determined for him.

    Hubris and Nemesis. Make a grand play one day.

  39. TOH

    “I was responding tongue in cheek to Paul’s outlandish claims”

    I’m telling me Mum.

  40. “Hubris and Nemesis”

    I think they’re a jolly good folk duo actually.

  41. @Colin – “Should have read more thoroughly.”

    That’s what I really like about you (or at least your online persona you create). There aren’t many people on here who choose to remember what they said previously if it turns out to be wrong, and fewer still who admit to it. Many posters carry on regardless, tying themselves up into ever tighter knots just trying to argue black is white merely to save face, rather than simply admit they called one wrong.

    Also – regarding your post on shale gas and the US. I’m unsure about this, but @Richard in Norway is dead right – when oil drops below around $110, US shale gas fields start to lay off staff and cut production. It isn’t going to usher in what we would currently think of as cheap energy, although it should obviously help protect against price rises.

    The issue about reserves is really complex. It’s a new method, and is very difficult and expensive, and so although the reserves are identified (estimated at least) there really is a question mark as to how much of these can be accessed. While new techniques will probably help drive down costs, usually in the extraction industries this tends to mean that a higher proportion of reserves can be accessed, as extraction costs for the hard to reach stuff has fallen. It doesn’t usually translate into cheaper fuel, as the cheap stuff has already been secured.

    The other really significant issue is the nexus of geopolitics and multinational business interests. Both producer countries and extraction companies have an acute vested interest in exaggerating reserves. It’s been suspected for a long while that much of the official Middle East oil reserve figures have been deliberately enhanced, as this is critical for Western allies to place themselves as beneficiaries of western largesse.

    Likewise, the US will be very keen to see the faces of Russian strategic planners when they say that the US is going to be energy self sufficient.

    The truth is that those who say peak oil has been and gone are probably wrong, and those who say shale gas will usher in a new age of cheap energy and economic boom times are almost certainly over optimistic.

    But I could be wrong.

  42. @TOH:

    What’s your blog?

  43. No nothings happening, I believe Osborne will continue with his strategy and the economy will benefit in the long term, whether or not it comes in time for the election is difficult to predict.

    If we are in the prediction Game I strongly suspect when Osborne is ex Chancellor in 2016 He will be able to add to his CV First C of E to reside over a Triple Dip Recession ever.

    With Both Clegg and Johnson effectively saying Balls was right and Osborne wrong the Government’s financial credibility will come under increasing pressure.

    I am sure you are also correct that any upturn, which IMO, will have nothing to do with the Government’s policies and everything to do with improvements in the World and European Economies (US Self sufficient in Power by 2016) will come too late for the Government to try and claim credit for it.

  44. How long does the gap between recessions have to be before they are considered separate recessions rather than double/triple dip?

  45. @Alex Harvey

    I should have posts rather than blogs of course.

  46. Richard & Alec


    I did enter a caveat re hype.

    Not convinced that shale gas is the biggy everyone is getting excited about-but not convinced that it is the damp squib you both seem to indicate either.

    A recent report in FT calculated extractable reserves equivalent to 90 years US consumption of natural gas..

    Truth is , to date, it is transforming sectors of USA manfacturing like Steel & Chemicals , which have been dead-as indicated in reports like this :-

    THe geo-political effects are already being seen-There is a widespread understanding that Gazprom’s decision to pull the plug on Shtokman, a huge Arctic gas field was prompted by increasing US reliance on shale.

    The Ukraine /BP deal is clearly aimed at loosening Russia’s grip on gas supply.

    THen there is China-which claims to have the biggest reserves of shale gas in the world. Investment in the sector is gathering pace there too.

  47. MiM

    The whole concept of a recession is a near-meaningless convention, originating, so it’s said by LBJ’s adviser to allow him to claim that a single-quarter dip wasn’t “officially” a recession.

    What is far more useful as an indicator of prolonged downturn is how long it takes an economy to get back to pre-dip output levels. By that measure, we are in an appalling slump, worse by far than the 1930-34 Depression.

  48. @Paul Croft

    Nothing new is happening , we have had negativity from many sources for months now. What I meant of course is that Osborne will not change his approach because he fundamentally believes his right. Fortunately he is Chancellor so he will be able to carry on until at least 2015. Then we shall see.


    Soros seems convinced that the liquidity introduced to the system by printing will have to be removed or risk inflation and higher interest rates.

    I am not so convinced. I’m not sure our Government think inflation is our enemy.

  50. LEFTY

    @”What is far more useful as an indicator of prolonged downturn is how long it takes an economy to get back to pre-dip output levels.”

    It’s only useful if you believe that economic growth has some pre-destined uniformity about it -like climbing stairs, and that if you go down a few steps, then turn round , you will eventually reach the same place .

    If, on the other hand, you believe that there is nothing uniform , or pre-destined about it-and indeed that there are features of the pre-recession growth which cannot & should not be repeated-then you might feel it is an absolutely pointless indicator, which mitigates against understanding what has been happening in western economies over the last thirty years .

    Certainly , if you read stuff like this :-

    you tend to be circumspect about “getting back”

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