This morning’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 32%, LAB 41%, LDEM 11%, UKIP 11%. Looking across the figures for the week there were three polls in a row with UKIP on 12%, a height they had never previously reached with YouGov, suggested that while UKIP did genuinely benefit from the Eastleigh publicity, the effect was pretty minor. Other than that, all remained largely static, with the lead once again sticking within the margin of error of around 10 or 11 points.

I’ve not had chance to look at it properly, but Lord Ashcroft also has a good chunk of polling out on his websitehere, this time segmenting up the Liberal Democrats support.


152 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – CON 32, LAB 41, LD 11, UKIP 11”

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  1. Lord Ashcroft’s comments on his poll do not smack of someone planning to abandon the Conservative Party any time soon!

  2. Oh dear cammy has been acused of telling porkies by the head of OBR a quango that he set up, some folk have no loyalty

  3. @RiN

    Government spending as a percentage of GDP was 34.3 in 2011 in Australia. I said I would be happy with 30-35%, if the Aussies can do it so can we. Mind i probably don’t agree with how the Aussie government apportions its spend.

  4. @ RiN

    Nobody except political geeks paid any attention to David Cameron’s speech on the economy. It was barely covered by the media because, in their opinion, it contained little of any substance & nothing new to report.

    Therefore, I think the OBR’s contradiction will not cause much comment either. IMO, It is simply a warning shot ahead of the Chancellor’s budget that the OBR will expect greater accuracy in Osborne’s speech.

  5. Thank you Amber. Can we please not treat the comments here as “bad news for party I don’t like show-and-tell”

  6. @RiN

    For Switzerland the percentage is 32%. I would be very happy with that in the UK and I do not have memories of beggers on every street corner last time i was in Switzerland!

  7. The Aussies have a lot of natural resources. On account of being a continent. So do the Americans. We are not a continent. During the industrial revolution we happened to have a lot of coal and iron which was rather handy and the resources of empire on top of that. Thatcher had our peak oil in the eighties. Generally neoliberalism rather depends on such a resource glut to support it.

    Even then take a look at the US GDP per capita. Not always that impressive now is it. Other countries can outperform using public sector investment.

  8. On Switzerland

    Some small countries can prosper by focusing on a niche like banking. Belgium etc can also do well. Not so easy with a bigger population to support and a niche leaves you vulnerable eg banking shocks. ..

  9. @Carfrew

    So Labours unrestricted immigration policy has made things much worse by increasing our population significantly. Now there’s a surprise.

  10. @ Amber

    Whilst I agree with you that only geeks will notice the OBR comments, the BBC news programmes late yesterday evening made quite a feature of the return of TINA in Cameron’s speech – likening Cameron to Thatcher’s “No! No! No!” era with images of her morphing into him and back again at the end of Nick Robinson’s piece. All rather naff and silly in presentation I thought….but it got their point across. Hardly, nobody paying any attention, as you suggest.

    What effect will this have on VI? You are right that this probably will be minimal in the great scheme of things. But Cameron being likened to adopting a Thatcheresque stance will do him no harm with those who were Conservative fans of Mrs Thatcher who might have begun to regard him as a bit limp and liberal-metropolitan in style for their tastes. The types who might be tempted by the hard image of UKIP perhaps?

  11. AW

    Apologies for my intemperate choice if phrase earlier, resulting in moderation. For the record, I was musing in politicians in general (not just the one in the current breaking story) twisting facts to the extent that their integrity is questioned. I just don’t understand why they do it, because they only more themselves in months or years of defensive battles afterwards. Whether it is Clinton’s office habits, Blair’s dossier claims or Ryan’s marathon times, they surely cannot imagine that they will get away with claims that are on barely nodding terms with the truth.

    As for the present case, Cameron made a decent speech yesterday, but by baldly misrepresenting the OBR’s opinion (and it is utterly unambiguous in their reports) he has ruined any benefit that he might have gained. The weekend headlines are now going to be not about the fortitude of a TINA approach, but about whether the Prime Minister’s claims can be trusted at face value.

  12. Howard

    Thats interesting do you have any breakdowns of those numbers. It would be interesting to see how their spending differs from ours

  13. Bloody iPhone

    of, on and mire…

  14. @Tony Dean

    Agree absolutely.

  15. THE OTHER HOWARD
    @Carfrew
    “So Labours unrestricted immigration policy has made things much worse by increasing our population significantly. Now there’s a surprise.”

    ——————

    Haha, well Labour seem to be rowing back on the immigration thing a bit. The immigration thing is complex. ..more population can grow an economy. Immigrants may start new businesses etc.

    Previous debates here cited figures on how immigration made a net contribution. This was challenged on the grounds that it may not have included the impact of displacing the indigenous population from jobs and up welfare costs.

    I didn’t see that this matter was resolved. The question of the impact of immigration economically is therefore still rather open.

    The impact on housing and services of course, is a more obviously bigger deal.

  16. Lefty

    It time you got rid of your iphone!!

  17. Took quite a long look at the Ashcroft LibDem stuff. Not a lot of surprises there I think. The evidence that “LibDem defectors to Labour” are much less likely to return to the LDs than “LibDem defectors to the Tories” confirms my intuition, but may be news to some.

    Ashcroft’s conclusion that the LDs should look right (to win back those more persuadable defectors), and that the Tories should centre (to stop them) is logical – but his conclusion holds only if both parties are trying to maximise their own seats.

    But if they’re trying to maximise total seats for the Coalition they”d be better off doing the reverse, i.e. Clegg trying to win back the lost left, Cameron trying to get back the UKIP Tendency. An ironic position as Cameron would please his right wing, and Clegg would please his left wing while, in effect, working for a result that would please neither side!

  18. AW – to me it seems as if UKIP have been on 11 or 12 in all the YouGov polls this last week, whereas they hardly ever register more than a 9 in all of those recorded on the Latest Voting Intention chart. So I think they appear to have gained about two and a half points? Or am I missing something?

  19. Richard in Norway

    I can tell you one thing the Swiss don’t spend much on defence the Army still use crossbows and knifes.

  20. Roger

    Those swiss army knives cost almost as much as trident

  21. On the proportion of GDP devoted to public spending.

    Switzerland have a good deal higher GDP than us. So they can be spending roughly similar amounts to us on the public sector for their size of population but the proportion of GDP is less.

    Just because your GDP is higher, doesn’t mean you need more schools and police. So they may be spending much the same as us per person on the public sector. It’s just that they are selling more watched and stuff. ..

  22. Watches

  23. (And GDP per capita, not just GDP, obviously)

  24. @Postageincluded

    I too have had a good look at the Ashcroft LibDem findings. I agree that on the face of it the decision which way to “pull” for each of the coalition parties is bizarre when trying to maximise their support.

    However, that is “on the face of it”. What we need to bear in mind is that the LDs need to successfully squeeze back those who have drifted to Labour in seats where they are challenged by Tories. The net effect of left voters going to Labour in these seats would be to add to the number of Conservative MPs, giving the Conservatives a better chance of being the largest single party, even if elsewhere Labour gains a small number of seats from the Conservatives.

    We saw this effect in the first round of local elections after the coalition was formed whereby the Tories gained about the same number of seats from the LDs as Labour gained from the Tories – and this was almost exclusively due to an unwinding of Labour tactical voting for LDs in Con V LD marginal wards. The result was next to no Tory losses overall. The same could happen in a GE.

    If it were a very tight fight in a GE, who ends up the largest single party in the HoC is very important since the largest party has first option to form a Govt. It would therefore be very counter-productive for Labour if Labour gained votes from disgruntled left-leaning LD voters in LD V Con marginals, as it could increase the likelyhood of the Tories remaining the largest party in the HoC.

    Yet, it seems the instincts of disappointed left-leaning 2010 LD voters is to do just that – switch to Labour. In a tight situation that might allow the Tories to stay in office.

    How the parties play with this bizarre conundrum of FPTP will be fascinating…..

  25. @ Tony Dean
    ‘If it were a very tight fight in a GE, who ends up the largest single party in the HoC is very important since the largest party has first option to form a Govt. ‘

    That is not actually true in constitutional terms. In the event of a Hung Parliament the incumbent PM has the first opportunity to form a Government – regardless of whether he heads the largest party inthe House of Commons.. He is not obliged to resign simply because another party has won more seats but can opt to present a Queen’s Speech and challenge the House to vote it down.

  26. @Tony Dean

    All rather naff and silly in presentation I thought….but it got their point across.
    —————–
    The point it got across was that the news media were not taking the speech seriously, which I think is what I said in my previous comment.

  27. Carfrew

    But the swiss wages will be higher, of course capital expenditure will be lower as a % of gdp so things like xray machines will seem cheaper but nurses won’t. Saying that I have no idea if the swiss have a public health system

  28. @Graham

    You are absolutely right about the legal constitutional position. However, since the LDs have made it clear that they will always offer the largest party first option to form a government with their support, either confidence & supply or in coalition, De Facto this alters constitutional practice in favour of the largest single party – whichever that is!

  29. Can anyone enlighten me on what proportion of GDP the Scandinavian countries devote to their public sectors? Despite the rather chilling picture of Denmark presented in the killing, it seems to me the kind of society in which I would quite like to live and incidentally economically reasonably efficient.

    More generally I find it a pity that all these debates seem to be about economics rather than the kind of society that we want. And this is particularly so because I doubt if there is any clear rule of thumb about what proportion of GDP is economically best (itself a rather value laden concept).

    So while I do not agree with TOH (to whom I very much wish continuing and vigorous good health) I do value the links he makes between his moral stance and his dire economic predictions.

  30. @ Tony Dean

    “What we need to bear in mind is that the LDs need to successfully squeeze back those who have drifted to Labour in seats where they are challenged by Tories. The net effect of left voters going to Labour in these seats would be to add to the number of Conservative MPs, giving the Conservatives a better chance of being the largest single party, even if elsewhere Labour gains a small number of seats from the Conservatives.
    We saw this effect in the first round of local elections after the coalition was formed whereby the Tories gained about the same number of seats from the LDs as Labour gained from the Tories – and this was almost exclusively due to an unwinding of Labour tactical voting for LDs in Con V LD marginal wards. The result was next to no Tory losses overall. The same could happen in a GE.
    If it were a very tight fight in a GE, who ends up the largest single party in the HoC is very important since the largest party has first option to form a Govt. It would therefore be very counter-productive for Labour if Labour gained votes from disgruntled left-leaning LD voters in LD V Con marginals, as it could increase the likelyhood of the Tories remaining the largest party in the HoC.
    Yet, it seems the instincts of disappointed left-leaning 2010 LD voters is to do just that – switch to Labour. In a tight situation that might allow the Tories to stay in office.
    How the parties play with this bizarre conundrum of FPTP will be fascinating…..”

    Interesting analysis.

    My own belief is that when previous Lab leaning tactical LD voters actually get in the ballot box for 2015 the vast majority will (with huge reluctance and a great deal of nose holding) put their cross in the LD box.

    Indeed I believe they will do this in spite of telling pollsters, right up to polling day, categorically and vociferously they will be switching from those “treacherous” LDs to Lab for definites.

    This will happen IMO because of the “own goal” circumstances you outline above. There is evidence it is already happening – in the Eastleigh by election, in some of the souths local elections in 2012, and a wide range of local by elections around the country in the last 6 months.

    Since the LDs are mostly defending their seats against the Cons I remain pretty confident that they can hold the bulk of them. Say rather closer to 40 than 30. They will get slaughtered in Scotland (4 seats maybe), Wales (2 seats) and anywhere where Lab is their challenger. Their vote will evaporate in seats where they are the distant 3rd challenger.

    Unlike many others however I sadly dont think there will be any chance of another coalition. I really cannot fail to see how at this point anything other than a Lab majority can ensue given the LD-Lab defections that have happened and the Con-UKIP defections that have happened. Both would seem irreversible to a greater or less extent. And under FPTP both trends hand Lab an enormous advantage.

    Interestingly I was playing around with the swingometer yesterday. If you put in extreme VI percentages of Con 10, Lab 36, LD 13, UKIP 36, Others 6 you end up with a seat distribution of:
    Con – 104,
    Lab – 439
    LD – 76
    Others – 28
    Whilst it may say something about AWs swingometer it also shows what a horrible system FPTP is but I laugh to see the LDs actually benefitting from it (having so often got the wrong end of the stick) and in particular any possible Con collapse.

  31. RiN
    OECD stats 2010:
    Gov spending as % of GDP by function –
    UK –
    Total – 50.2%
    Defence – 2.7%
    Public Order – 2.6%
    Health – 8.2%
    Education 6.9%
    Social Protection (benefits/pensions/etc) – 17.9%

    Switzerland –
    Total – 33.1% (-17.1)
    Defence – 1% (-1.7)
    Public Order – 1.7% (-0.9)
    Health – 2% (-6.2)
    Education – 5.9% (-1)
    Social Protection – 13.1% (-4.8)

    So all we have to do is bring welfare down to Switzerland’s level and problem solved.. err.. that only gets us down to 45.4% of GDP (2010 figures).
    But I would agree to halving the defence budget, if we’re going to try to get down to those sorts of figures.

  32. I’m too lazy to look it up, but is Swiss government spending as a proportion of GDP low because a lot of spending is at the cantonal level and so not included?

  33. Roger
    OECD has data which includes all levels of government (national, state, local) so I assume it includes the cantons in that.

  34. @TonyDean, Grhinports

    I think Ashcroft’s work on Eastleigh did show that some 2010 LibDems voted Labour, some didn’t. It’s important not to forget that Labour’s loss to the LDs in 2010 and before was not just tactical voting.

    Ashcroft is right. I’m sure, to say that a fair number of Labour supporters voted LibDem as a safe option for getting rid of Gordon Brown and were horrified to find it wasn’t a safe option at all, and of course a lot of Labour supporters defected from 2005 in protest against the Iraq War. Clegg is unlikely to retain many of these voters.

    How much the loss of the Labour-but-anti-New-Labour vote will harm the LDs is a difficult call. Yes, the Tories may gain in LD/Tory marginals. But Labour will surely gain marginals from both the coalition parties from it. May 2015 could end up being a very interesting election night.

  35. ….And I mean intersting in the detail – even if the overall result looks like a foregone conclusion. I expect that everyone in every party will get a Portillo moment or two.

  36. Given that the Swiss host Dignatas Maybe that explains the lower pension spend.

    Peter.

  37. Charles

    Well I live in a country which has very high levels of public spending. Possibly the highest in the non communist world. Its probably only affordable because of the oil wealth but folk still believe that it should be more, well most folk want less taxes, a lot less taxes but they also want more spending. A common refrain is ‘ in the worlds richest land we should be able to afford……’ but what we get for the money is quite incredible, elderly care looks amazing to me of course it varies from place to place because a lot of spending is very decentralized but here there is a very modern care home build right beside the doctors surgery. Its very light and airy with lots of open space and appears to have plenty of staff and includes its own heated swiming pool(a small one). Care in the community is a totally different idea that the reagan/thatcher one with well designed apartment blocks in the middle of the community with constant supervision and activities. Many of these folk work in local businesses often with a personal superviser. Of course its not efficient but the special needs folk dolike it very much and it means they are not hidden aaway.my son has apsbergers and he get a lot of care and attention, god only knows how much hes costing the state, but their whole focus is to keep him in the normal school system. Yes it does seem quite wasteful to me but for the people involed its money well spent. As I have probably mentioned before my freind says he pays his taxes with pleasure and then thumps his chest, he had a heart attack at work some years ago, the ambulance come within 10 mins and took him to the local school playing field where the helicopter was waiting to take him to the local hospital(which is about 1 hour driving time away, it difficult with mountains and fjords) he then had a pacemaker installed. His belief is that in any other country he would have died, maybe maybe not but he makes the best argument for high taxes ive heard. Of course things dont always work the way they should and scandals pop up from time to time unfortunately that life

  38. It also may not be completely fair to compare 2010’s data, given the problems of recession (GDP shrinks, so spending automatically rises plus the cost of automatic stabilisers) – if we’re talking ideal state size.
    Perhaps better to compare pre-crash 2007?
    UK –
    Total: 43.7%
    Defence – 2.3%
    Public Order – 2.5%
    Health – 7.1%
    Education – 6.1%
    Social Protection – 15.3%

    Switzerland –
    Total: 32.1% (-11.6)
    Defence – 0.9% (-1.4)
    Public Order – 1.6% (-0.9)
    Health – 1.9% (-5.2)
    Education – 5.6% (-0.5)
    Social Protection – 12.7% (-2.6)

    So if we’re trying to match Switzerland’s state size, reducing welfare to their level is only going to get us 22% of the way there.
    We’d have to effectively abolish the NHS and make huge cuts everywhere else – and the armed forces (one of the big areas we’d have to cut) are as much a sacred cow to the public as the NHS is.

  39. Tinged

    If the swiss are only spending 2% on health then most of their healyh care must be private. It would only be fair to add most of that spend to public spending because its not discretionary spending. A point that many seem to forget. Water used to be part of the public sector and any capital investment increasef the national debt, but just because its now privitized doesnt mean that it no longer needs to invest and its still the public that payes for that investment because you cant live without water

  40. Switzerland?
    It is very hard to equate UK and Switzerland. Defence spending is in fact huge but leans heavily on hidden subsidies from business which pays for much time spent on military service. To be an officer it is almost essential to work for an employer able to support you. Also many social benefits especially health rely on compulsory insurance which operates similar to tax but doesn’t appear in the figures. A major surprise is that despite the bumper GDP, Switzerland out siide of finance is not a huge wage country but an exceptionally long hours country. Textiles, light engineering and food processing are major employers.
    In any case the whole of Switzerland is in a huge social experiment in an effort to do anything to prevent the rise in value of the currency

  41. Just looked up the swiss health care and it looks like you are forced to buy private insurance which is heavily regulated the fiugre qouted is 8% of earnings which is basically a tax in all but name so we can add that to their public spending

  42. Barney

    Lol

  43. These arguments that water and health costs have to be spent, so they should count as public spending are spurious.
    Everyone has to eat and have their hair cut and be buried etc (not necessarily a causal relationship!), does that mean that those things should be classed as public spending?

    On the polls. Though Eastleigh may not have made a huge difference, UKIP do seem pretty well settled at 10%+ now.

  44. RiN
    Two minds with but one thought!

  45. RiN, that’s a good point –
    2007 % of GDP spent on health –
    UK – 8.1%
    Switzerland – 10.6% (Gov spending – 1.7%, Social Security funds – 4.5%, Private insurance – 1%, Out of pocket spending – 3.3%)
    No full data for UK.
    No idea why it gives different % of GDP for gov spending in each database, or why it doesn’t count SS funds for health in the main gov spending database.

  46. @Tony Dean
    I am aware that the LibDems made such a statement in 2010 but am not sure that they have repeated it with regard to 2015. Moreover, I would suggest that it was Clegg – rather than the Libdems as a party – that laid down that stipulation last time.. It is far from clear that he would have the same authority amongst his parliamentary colleagues next time to carry them with him – particularly if the LDs have lost 20 – 30 seats. Somehow I cannot imagine the likes of Charles Kennedy and others being quite so docile again .

  47. Pete

    The spending occurs whether the provision is private or public. The only way round it is lots of folk dying from water borne diseases and lack of medical care. If you look at public spending you have to look at the other side which is what you are getting for your money. As far as I know there is no country which provides food to all its people

  48. The devil is also in the detail for welfare spending –
    UK – % of GDP (2007)
    Old Age Benefits – 5.7%
    Incapacity – 2.5%
    Family – 6.9%
    Unemployment – 0.2%
    Housing – 1.1%

    Switzerland –
    Old Age – 6.3%
    Incapacity – 3%
    Family – 5.6%
    Unemployment – 0.6%
    Housing – 0.1%

    So if we want to be more like the Swiss, we should really abolish housing benefit, cut benefits for families and increase out of work benefits.
    Not really vote winning policies. ;)

  49. Just for the record, Swiss TOTAL expenditure on health is higher than ours as a proportion

  50. Take 2 – Bloody iPhone.

    Just for the record, Swiss TOTAL expenditure on health is higher than ours as a proportion of GDP (11.4% compared with 9.8% in 2011 according to OECD figures).

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