The weekly YouGov poll for the Sunday Times is now up here. Topline figures are CON 31%, LAB 42%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 11%, so pretty much normal. The fieldwork of the poll straddled Thursday and Friday so was partially after the Eastleigh result, but I wouldn’t necessarily expect any significant impact until next week’s polling.

On the other trackers there is a drop in approval ratings for both David Cameron and Ed Miliband. Cameron’s approval rating is at minus 23, the first time he has dropped below minus 20 this year. Ed Miliband’s rating is at minus 31, the first time he has dropped below minus 30 since last August.

Economic figures remain extremely bad. On the government’s policy 31% support the government’s basic policy of prioritising the reduction of the deficit, 40% prefer what is essentially the Labour party’s alternative message of prioritising growth in the economy. Looking more specifically at the cuts, 49% think that the government are cutting too much and should reduce or slow the cuts, 35% think they should either speed them up (15%) or that the current balance is about right (20%).

33% of people say they have confidence in Cameron and the coalition to get the country out of the current economic mess, 61% do not. Just 20% of people say they would like to keep George Osborne as Chancellor (very low, but actually marginally up from when YouGov asked the same question last September!). A majority (53%) would like to see him replaced. Amongst Conservative voters a narrow majority (53%) want Osborne to remain.

There were also some questions on Clegg and the Rennard affair. It remains to be seen whether Eastleigh has moved the political narrative on from Rennard – for the last two days it looked as if the story had died a death, but this morning’s Marr show is full of it again. Anyway, for what its worth only 14% of people think that Nick Clegg has been open and honest and only 7% think the Lib Dems have handled the issue well but, as we’ve seen in voting intention polls over the last week, it doesn’t really seem to have had any impact on Lib Dem support. Asked about Nick Clegg’s own future 39% think he should resign, 32% think he should remain… but those thinking he should go are mostly opponents of other political parties. 63% of Lib Dem supporters think Clegg should stay.


242 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 31, LAB 42, LDEM 10, UKIP 11”

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  1. @ Couper2802

    There is inflation in spite of the chocked demand and the low lending (stagflation at a moderate rate partly because the crisis was deeper than in the 1970s and we are still in the depression phase). Plus both exports and imports are struggling, so the effects are rather dampened (when we are talking about paying off Italy’s external debt through printing money, we are probably talking about 60% devaluation).

  2. Laszlo

    I think it depends on what the bondholders do with that money

  3. @ RiN

    Yes, but it is important that there are two different types of money in the circulation (two different behaviours) while they are indistinguishable.

    Money supply has grown faster than the GDP (not opening a discussion about my view that GDP measures a lot of things but not growth), especially if those components that are controlled by the BoE – not surprising as banks don’t lend – some compensation, but rather dangerous.

    There are limits to the volume of money commercial banks can create (print) money, but these are weaker in the case of the UK partly because of the regulators, partly because of the foreign transactions (in a way the same hole City is off shore). The time specific reason for the increased ability of commercial banks to create money is the way in which they were bailed out. This in combination with QE made them very liquid both in cash and in securities.

  4. Buying property in Italy?

  5. LASZLO
    @ Couper2802
    There is inflation in spite of the chocked demand and the low lending (stagflation at a moderate rate partly because the crisis was deeper than in the 1970s and we are still in the depression phase). Plus both exports and imports are struggling, so the effects are rather dampened (when we are talking about paying off Italy’s external debt through printing money, we are probably talking about 60% devaluation).

    ————

    Well yes, “there is inflation” but it’s only a few percent. Devaluation has not had that much effect . And when you factor in QE as well, even less effect.

    And the reason is as your evidence suggests. There are currently Deflationary pressures which QE and devaluation are offsetting. Which is a good thing.

  6. COUPER2802
    @LAZLO
    “So why isn’t that happening to us? We have devaluation but not inflation. Why would Italy be different?”

    ————

    People who worry unduly about inflationary effects of pumping more money into the economy tend to focus overmuch on inflationary effects and neglect the counter-inflationary.

    Thus it is true to say that if you pump money into the economy via an infrastructure project, there may be an inflationary effect. You have more money chasing the same amount of goods, hence prices tend to rise.

    However, there may also be counter-inflationary effects to balance things out. Building infrastructure (by supplying a healthier, better educated workforce, better transport links etc.) tends to make the economy more productive. Which assists in growth, but also means that business can produce more goods for the same cost. Thus you are increasing the supply of goods. Thus you have more money, but now chasing more goods, helping to stabilise prices.

    Of course capital spending can also increase supply and resist inflation more directly. An obvious example is… using the money to assist with building a new efficient factory, which increases the supply of goods. Another is housing. Build more homes, increasing the supply of homes, and watch as house prices and rents fall.

    Housing would also cut our housing benefit bill. I’ve yet to see the right put an argument against it. But neither Labour nor Coalition are keen, possibly because it wouldn’t happinate the baby-boomers many of whom would benefit from as much house-price inflation as possible. It’s inflation that risks eroding their savings they worry about.

  7. Laszlo

    I suppose it would be too much to ask that the bondholders use the newly created money to invest in industry, i mean thats really risky. Myself i would prefer to burn the bondholders 100%

  8. I see there was some rather disappointing news on bank lending today too. The Bank of England has announced that net lending fell by £2.4bn in the final quarter of last year compared with the previous three months and considering the Government’s “Funding for Lending Scheme (FLS)” started way back in August, this is worrying. Some sources claim that bank lending is notoriously slow in the last three months of the year, and that early signs are of some better figures in the first quarter of this year, but much of this improvement is lending to home-buyers rather than to small and medium sized businesses. Apparently the banks themselves are confirming that lending to business is still in decline, although they think it’s a demand rather than a supply issue. In other words, they’re claiming that most loans are approved and the reduced lending is due to a decline in loan applications. If that’s true, then all the indications are that key sectors of our economy, like retail, are still stagnating or even contracting and that confidence remains fragile.

    Of course, others would say that the banks are still swallowing up most of the Government funding they’ve received to repair their balance sheets rather than lending to boost economic growth. Government pushing at a string again as all the money injected, despite the intention, is having no real impact on business investment and growth.

    Am I being naive to think that all this balance sheet repair work going on in the banking sector will result in reduced dividends, salaries and bonuses this year? Lend to business and home-buyers or reward ourselves and our shareholders for increased profitability? Tough call.

  9. CB 11

    @”Of course, others would say that the banks are still swallowing up most of the Government funding they’ve received to repair their balance sheets rather than lending to boost economic growth. ”

    Considerable variance between banks:-

    Q4 net lending £bn

    Barclays +£1.9
    Nationwide +£1.8
    Others + £2.3
    Lloyds -£3.1
    SAntander -£2.8
    RBS -£1.7
    Others -£0.8

    Total -£2.4

  10. A norwegian billionaire industralist is making headlines saying that the finance sector is out of control and needs to be reduced in size dramatically in order for industry to have room to grow, he has decribed calls for more free trade and market theories as silly 80s style dogma which doesnt work in practice!! I’ve been saying for a long time that the interests of industry and finance are diverging rapidly, this seems to prove my point

  11. Ah, Shevii, you tempted me. The May local elections may indeed bring some headlines, probably the Unitary results, if any, but my point is they will not mean anything, just like the Eastleigh by-election.

    I suppose if UKIP scraped together a few candidates and targeted a few areas (Cornwall or Wiltshire perhaps?) they could split the Tory vote and let in the Lib Dems, but then again, that’s Eastleigh all over again, isn’t it? I hope Nick Clegg added Diane James to his Valentine’s card list.

  12. This quote is brilliant

    “De 0,1 prosent på toppen er ikke nødvendigvis innovatører og verdiskapere. De er ofte karrierefolk som har åla seg inn i et finansielt system der de sitter sammen med kompisene sine og tapper systemet for enorme verdier.”

  13. Here is the link

    http://www.manifesttidsskrift.no/finansterrorisme/

    He goes on to say that excessive speculation is stealing from the real economy, it might be legal but its still stealing. Wow!

  14. Howard

    I suppose if UKIP scraped together a few candidates and targeted a few areas (Cornwall or Wiltshire perhaps?) they could split the Tory vote and let in the Lib Dems, but then again, that’s Eastleigh all over again, isn’t it?

    It wouldn’t be. According to Lord A’s figures, in Eastleigh the Lib Dems lost more votes to UKIP than the Tories did. They also lost twice as many votes to Labour as they gained from them (the churn between the coalition Parties about balanced). The Lib Dems only just hung on because they were far enough ahead to start with.

    Now it may be that outside the special circumstances of a by-election, the voters’ desire to annoy the main Parties will apply less, but equally the Lib Dems won’t have the same GOTV advantage, while Conservatives usually do well at low polling elections. The seats up this year were last contested on the same day as the Euro elections which probably added another 4 points to turnout).

  15. @RC – “So, having accounted for two thirds of the contraction (the remaining 0.1% being statistically insignificant and very likely to be revised away), you’re telling me that my explanation is “nonsense”?”

    Yes.

    First of all, the mantra that negative GDP numbers ‘will be revised away’ is typical of right leaning people in recent years, but somewhat inconveniently, the numbers are revised down as much as they are up.

    Secondly, your entire approach is misguided. If a fall in a single sector of the economy equating to 0.2% of the GDP total is sufficient to push us into negative territory, then things must be really bad.

    You could just as well blame negative growth on the service sector not growing as fast as it should, or on manufacturing being too negative, or badgers spending too much time eating hedgehogs and fighting with weasels.

    The economy shrank in Q4, not by much, but it shrank. If it had grown by 0.1% it would have grown, but not by much. Either way, we’re in a mess as growth is far too weak. 0.2% either way makes naff all difference, so even if North Sea production was excellent last quarter, we would still be in a mess, and it’s pointless trying to pretend that but for this everything is fine.

  16. @Alec

    You had me at ‘Yes’.

  17. @Roger Mexico
    “The seats up this year were last contested on the same day as the Euro elections which probably added another 4 points to turnout).”

    It also means that the UKIP vote that year was higher than it would otherwise have been., so UKIP’s poll surge will have less effect on the results than otherwise. It also means that they are defending more council seats than normal.

  18. How much does growth in the economy measured in GDP or otherwise need to outpace the growth in the population that we would be actually getting any richer? How the population pyramid and the cohorts moving into and out of working age or migrating in looks I don’t have an idea but population growth in 2011 was 0.7% per the World Bank.

  19. Roger M
    Thanks – i guess they simply had more to lose to start with than the others. I had predicted a loss of 2000 votes due to Rennardgate. It is, by the way, a common fallacy that LD voters are not racist or parochial. Being human, may are.

  20. Poll Alert!
    TNS-BMRB (Fieldwork 28th Feb-4th March)
    Con 29 (nc), Lab 38 (nc), Lib 11 (nc), UKIP 14 (+2)
    Seems like the by-election had a huge effect.

  21. “How much does growth in the economy measured in GDP or otherwise need to outpace the growth in the population that we would be actually getting any richer?”
    GDP isn’t a great indicator of wealth (‘getting richer’), because GDP is effectively the measure of exchange (or the total money in circulation multiplied by it’s velocity) within an economy.
    This is especially apparent when it comes to services – if I paid you to laugh in my face and then reported that to the government, it would count toward GDP, even though no actual wealth has actually been produced.

    It’s a fairly good indicator of economic activity, because most economic activity [1] is capitalist in the west (i.e involves the exchange of money), but wealth not so much.

  22. TF
    ‘Seems like the by-election had a huge effect.’

    Con 29 (nc), Lab 38 (nc), Lib 11 (nc), UKIP 14 (+2)

    Many smileys. I assume you were TIC.

  23. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/mar/04/10-steps-kickstart-uk-economy

    A 10 point plan to kick-start the economy – because that appears to be the topic of conversation here today.

  24. Howard
    I was just waiting for somebody to come in with ‘UKIP up by 2, by-election bounce!’

  25. Amber

    It sounds so radical but it ain’t, I notice he wants to take banks into the public sector is that all banks? The only thing that needs to be done with banks is to take away their ability to fraudulently create money out of nothing. If they want more money to lend out they should borrow it from the currency owner ie us

  26. @RiN
    “The only thing that needs to be done with banks is to take away their ability to fraudulently create money out of nothing.”

    Agreed – that’s the government’s job!

  27. Pete B

    Yes it is the govts job, but it it should be done honestly.

  28. I was implying that they don’t do it honestly.

  29. Pete B

    Agreed

  30. Pete B.

    Forgive me for being unforgivably naive, but if Govts are in charge of economic levers and handle them dishonestly or maladroitly, I can vote against them.

    What precisely can I do if banks have the same powers and failings? The answer appears to be “shut the f*** up and pay more tax to sort out the bloody mess they leave while they carry on doling out million quid bonuses.”

  31. Interesting, if unrealistic Scottish cross-break in the last poll.

    Just a hallo folks. Very busy this week.

  32. @ RiN

    Banking remains dominated by the big ?ve – Santander, HSBC, Barclays, RBS/NatWest, and Lloyds/HBOS. It is public ownership of these that is the key to transforming the banking sector.

    Proposal is to swap government (QE?) bonds for bank shares which the government does’t already own so that e.g. pension funds which hold bank shares don’t lose out too badly. For private individuals who hold shares (e.g. Stephen Hester?), there could be a ceiling to the amount of government bonds which they would receive for their total shareholding.

    So, again, it is not radical; it’s not a ‘grab-for-free’ nationalisation which is being mooted.

  33. @Bob Milton

    “Andrew Rawnsley has called Farage’s supporters ‘Kippers’.
    This used to be used to describe a person who has the same number of faces a kipper has.”

    I find ‘UKIPer’ to be a tad unwieldy so hopefully that catches on. It might be a tough sell as a mascot though.

  34. CROSSBAT11
    “The only voters to turn out will be the voters who always turn out and they mostly won’t have a clue what they are voting about. My evidence is garnered from standing as candidate in both District and County and testing what people knew about this. The answer was nearly always bugger all.

    1994 European Parliamentary Election, well-dress housewife in Taunton High Street: “What’s this one about, then?”

  35. well dressed, even

  36. I thought I had coined the term kippers, but I never meant it to be offensive

  37. Amber

    I’m really not sure about a fully nationalized banking industry, it would probably just make the problem of cronyism worse

  38. @ RiN

    How much worse do you think cronyism could get than it is already?

  39. CROSSBAT11
    Am I being naive to think that all this balance sheet repair work going on in the banking sector will result in reduced dividends, salaries and bonuses this year? Lend to business and home-buyers or reward ourselves and our shareholders for increased profitability? Tough call

    And what impact does this have on the stability or reality of self-employed in the employment figures?

  40. Latest YouGov / The Sun results 4th March –
    CON 31%, LAB 40%, LD 12%, UKIP 12%; APP -35

  41. A small point of interest from today’s poll in one of the regular trackers, And who do you think is most to blame for the spending cuts:

    Con-Lib Coalition 30% (highest to date).
    Labour 35% (lowest to date is 34%).

    Does anybody think that cross-over will follow fairly soon after the March 20th budget?

  42. Good Morning All, off to school soon on a sunny cold spring day.
    AMBER.
    Did you see Tim Montgomerie’s article in the TIMES yesterday; pointing out two things. First Labour’s weakness in terms of poll lead. He also argues that the Cons need to tack a bit to get the UKIP voters.

    35% is Labour’s core vote, he says.

  43. @Shevii is on standby for the PMI service sector figures, due out at 9.30am this morning, and these will be interesting.

    Some snippets suggest a difficult to predict number. The BRC retail survey has suggested the fastest growth in retail spending since late 2009, but the regular Markit survey of household finances suggests February was a bad month, with falls recorded in all income groups, but particularly the poorest households.

    A negative number this morning greatly increases the chance of a headline triple dip when the figures are announced in April. The GDP figures from the first couple of months of a quarter are better quality than the final month, which is always heavily estimated and prone to revision. If February is very bad, then even if there is a recovery in March, it’s likely that Osborne will face some very bad headlines. Even if this is subsequently revised away, the impact on voters will be very bad.

    A positive figure this morning still won’t guarantee we avoid triple dip, as I would expect construction and manufacturing to post poor figures again next month as the new orders element of their PMIs were very poor, but it would be a big relief in the service sector at least was growing.

    Another one to watch is the impact on the pound. I think we are vulnerable to devaluations, so if we get nasty figures this morning, expect petrol prices to rise in a week or two.

  44. @ Chris Lane

    35% is Labour’s core vote, he says.
    ————–
    Did he mean core or ‘real’ level of support? Because 35% any UK Party with 35% core in these anti-politics times is doing rather well, I’d say.

  45. 29% is Lab’s core vote…see 2010.

  46. @Nickp – that’s what I thought.

    I don’t really take Tim M too seriously. After all, he spent the last few years telling us what a good chap Cameron would be.

    I guess the other point would be that if Labour’s core support is 35%, then they’ve pretty much won the next election, with only the issue of whether or not they get a majority left to decide.

  47. “29% is Lab’s core vote…see 2010.”
    Perhaps not at the moment, depending on how ‘sticky’ the ex-Lib to Lab transfer is.
    If that 6% is ‘permanent’, then the core vote has risen to 35%.

    And a ‘core vote’ of 35% for Lab should really worry the Cons, because it effectively denies them a majority in 2015 – meaning that they can’t just turn against the LibDems in the electoral campaign.

    Of course, if the argument is that the ‘real’ level of support is 30-35%.. we’ve heard that for the past 3 years, that ‘in the next few months’ Labour support would just melt away because ‘it’s soft’, but polling has remained fairly consistent for Labour (even if they haven’t benefited from a decline in Tory support).
    Of course, if this were true it would imply that the LibDems will regain support, making a Lib-Lab coalition the much more likely outcome of 2015. Also bad news for the Tories.

  48. If the Tories get desperate enough, there’s always also proportional representation and a pre-election coalition agreement with UKIP.
    If they were clever enough, they’d push for the Italian system, with bonus seats (up to 55% of the total) for the largest pre-election coalition.
    That way, if the Libs formed a pre-election coalition with Labour, the anti-Lab Libs would split off to form their own party (a more classic liberal one) or just vote Conservative.

  49. Two things strike me when reading through the press coverage of NHS access to large numbers of immigrants.

    When you read through the methods used by France, Italy, Germany & Spain, they are all policed by using the record of contributions to a mandatory State Insurance scheme as entitlement trigger.

    We don’t have a scheme like this. THe left in this country would scream” privatisation” if it were proposed.We are presumably left with the impossible task of asking hard pressed GPs & NHS staff to make complex enquiries about residence status, if we wish to restrict entitlement.

    This resonates so much with Frank Field’s criticism that our welfare system has moved from entitlement based on contribution, to means tested universal entitlement regardless of contribution.

    IT makes one realise, that despite all the brave reforms being introduced by IDS, he is tinkering with a system which is structurally flawed , out of date & out of line with other EU countries.

    And an increasingly uncontrollable cost.

    Absolutely shocking UK data from a report in the Lancet on comparative international death rates from illness. The edge of the blanket of unthinking obeisance to the doctrine of NHS as perfection , is slowly being lifted.

  50. Can’t help thinking the Italian system is going to be a hard sell at the present time.

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