This morning’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 28%, LAB 42%, LDEM 12%, UKIP 11%. The Conservative figure is the lowest YouGov have shown since the election… though normal caveats apply, almost by definition record breaking polls are the ones that turn out to be rogues and outliers!

While there are sensible responses in the comments here (I would expect nothing less!), it has naturally released a glut of excitement elsewhere about the effect of Thatcher’s death on the polls. So far there have only been two opinion polls asking voting intention since the death of Margaret Thatcher (ICM also did a quick poll for the Guardian, but it did not include voting intention). TNS-BMRB published a poll earlier in the week, but it was conducted wholly before Thatcher’s death so doesn’t tell us anything.

YouGov’s poll on Wednesday morning had figures of CON 33%, LAB 41%, LDEM 10%
YouGov’s poll on Thursday morning had figures of CON 28%, LAB 42%, LDEM 12%

Now, as I hope everyone reading this knows, opinion polls have a margin of error of around about plus/minus 3 points (it is actually both more complicated than that, and a bit artificial since no polls use a pure random sample, but plus/minus 3 points is a good rule of thumb). Therefore both these polls are within the normal margin of error of CON 30.5%, LAB 41%, LDEM 11%: the average of YouGov’s polls over the last month.

It may be that in coming days we get lots more polls showing Labour leads up in low teens, there is a genuine drop in Tory support and Wednesday morning’s poll turns out to have been a rogue. It may equally be that we get lots more polls showing Labour’s lead dropping into single figures, the Tories recover and this morning’s poll turns out to be a rogue. It may also end up that the average continues to bump along at around 10-11 points and that both of these are just normal sample variation. Any of the three are possible (though my expectation is the last one!).

Anyway, if any change is a Thatcher effect (as opposed to a welfare cuts effect or something else), it wouldn’t actually be that important anyway. Almost by definition, it would be a short term boost from positive coverage of Thatcher, negative comparisons with Thatcher or reminding people of their negative opinions of Thatcher – nothing of long term importance.

As ever, in writing and interpreting polls I point people back to what I wrote last year about how not to do it. Don’t cherry pick polls you like and assume the others must be wrong, don’t forget there is a margin of error that – more often than not – ends up explaining away the polls that people on Twitter wet their pants over.

677 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – CON 28, LAB 42, LD 12, UKIP 11”

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  1. Richard in Norway

    If you know any MP’s in Norway can you get some of them to spend more of that oil money on some of Norways roads. I picked up some machinery from the port at Trondheim to take to my oldests sons house in a small villiage just outside Borlange in Sweden in November last year and managed to break the rear spring on his trailer after hitting a enormous pot hole.
    I mean you expect that sort of thing in the UK but not in oil rich Norway.
    Oh and by the way get them to something about the scenery it’s far to, well scenic especially if you like trees.

  2. The Cameron/Merkel meeting seems to have gone very well.

    The prospect of getting concessions on repatriation of powers is a big plus for DC.

    And for AM an ally in pushing the competitiveness agenda seems the objective.

    An Anglo German power base would be very good for both of these politicians-but will they both stay in power to operate it?

  3. So Two Scot’s Grandparents ,One Irish, One Italian and Born in England. Mother Scottish and Father Irish

    What nationality does that make me with an Independent Scotland?

    Answers on a Post Card to :

    “I don’t want to be a bloody Foreigner when Visiting my Family”

    This Islands Too Small to be Mucking About getting even Smaller.


    @”Well this is a different argument but isn’t the BoE maintaining it’s bond buying program at 375 billion, buying new bonds to replace the retired ones?”

    Yes they are.

    THat is a BoE policy decision.

    But the procedure helps explain how-without a decision to re-invest, the liquidity created when the Gilts were purchased , is withdrawn.

    Double Entry Bookeeping restores BoE Balance Sheet.

  5. Turk

    The govt recently announced a major road building program on the west coast, it will have twenty bridges and tunnels including a few in the top 10. but it’s true that roads in Norway outside of the area around Oslo are horrible. I shouldn’t think that there is much traffic going from Trondheim to Sweden so it won’t be high priorty

  6. STEVE.
    good evening to you. Irish you are. As to where you are born, remember the Duke of Wellington’s response when reminded he was born in Ireland.

    I was born in Plymouth to parents who come from south Wales, and their parents came from Cork and Kerry.

    ANDREW NEIL has an interesting clip on the BBC about Mrs T and Mr Blair knowing the price of milk and of bread- saying they understood the aspirations of the lower middle classes and the workers.

  7. @ Phil Haines

    Please don’t tar us with those guys. They aren’t businessmen in the sense I meant, they were highly paid employees of corporates apparently taking huge risks with all of our money.

    I’m talking about the smaller business owner’s who risk their own money in their own business, not answerable to shareholders but to his / her performance.

  8. @ Peter Cairns

    A multiplicity of power sources which are effective overall with the benefits & costs spread throughout the country (whichever country!) should surely be the objective of a ‘wise’ energy strategy. There is a need for forward thinking, central planning of utilities; leaving it to ‘the markets’ is, IMO, a recipe for future ‘disasters’.

  9. Sounds like any protest today is nothing at all. More police than protestors according to The Guardian.

  10. I didn’t go. Bit too rainy…

  11. @Alec

    Agree. It’s the Tories baby, whether they like it or not (I know Blair started it but only in a very limited way).

  12. @Rich

    Are you surprised?

  13. @Rich

    I’ve largely steered clear on the MT debate.

    In fact the best article i’ve read about the matter was penned by none other than Russell Brand! It may explain why the protestors are so low in number.

  14. @ Colin

    But the procedure helps explain how-without a decision to re-invest, the liquidity created when the Gilts were purchased , is withdrawn.
    No it doesn’t. Recycling QE via buying existing bonds which are due for repayment doesn’t unwind QE; it defers it unwinding.

    The entries (in summary) are:
    1a. QE ‘Cash’ credit £6Bn to retire the bonds (QE now £369Bn)
    1b. Bonds on issue debit £6Bn bonds retired
    2a. QE ‘Cash’ debit £6Bn to create new bonds (QE back to £375Bn)
    2b. Bonds on issue credit £6Bn new bonds.

    That’s pretty much all there is to it. The Treasury doesn’t have to put its hand in its pocket for ‘real’ cash with which to retire the 1b bonds & QE ends at exactly the same level. There has been no expansion of the QE but it hasn’t unwound either!

  15. I don’t think she really has died, her physical body Yes but otherwise she is very much alive. Not really much point protesting a dead body!!

  16. Millwall fans kicking off at Wembley and losing 2-0 it is being reported.

  17. @Bantams

    I could see what you were getting at in your original point, and wasn’t taking issue directly with that. The problem is that “business” is nowadays very largely defined by the activities of corporate PLCs which dominate the economy of the UK. Small businesses are very much at the margins of the economy by comparison. (At least, that’s my understanding – if anyone has stats to the contrary I’d obviously stand corrected).

    For UK PLCs, the personal risks aren’t being taken by those running them, but by those shareholders who have in practical terms little say in their doing so. (How often are chief execs ousted in shareholder revolts?) And that effectively means anyone with a FTSE-linked stocks and shares ISA.

  18. STEVE,

    Well it’s up to you really you could apply to be Scottish and would qualify on your mothers side, but if you want to remain a British Citizen thats fine too, although technically under the UK’s unwritten constitution you are a subject not a citizen.

    As to being a foreigner that’s more a state of mind, I got to France most summers and I don’t feel particularly out of place… well not until I try to order food and make a fool of myself.

    The French just laugh at me and take pity when I do my idiot grin…..

    I think we will have the same open border that they have between North Ireland and the republic and I don’t think most people feel that works fine.

    The ones who think it makes them “foreign” tend to be ones who have a definite view on where Irelands future lies.


    A sensible energy mix is a good idea and it is better to be planned than left to the market, although you can use incentives to steer the market rather than controlling it.

    However within that you still have to be rational about what goes in to the mix.

    Just because we have lots of coal doesn’t mean it should be part of the mix if there are better ways to deliver the same outcome.


  19. Phil –

    Stats are here:

    About half of total private sector turnover is small and medium sized companies, about half larger companies. Over half of private sector employment is in small and medium companies (though a significant chunk of that is sole proprietors, who make up a significantly smaller chunk of turnover)

  20. I watch the rise and fall of Mrs T on TV last night and it brought back my fondest memory of her. This was the women who chewed up Cabinet members and spat out Union Bosses the Iron Lady, coming out of No10 crying like a little girl because she did not get her own way. It made me think what a bunch of public school wimps the men in the Tory party must have been to let her become their leader men with no balls.

  21. Before this thread comes to an end, I just wanted to say that both it, and its predecessor, have been comedy gold. Keep it up, chaps – there are few enough good laughs around at the moment.

  22. Aw

    But most people think of big business when politicians talk about being business friendly, I know I do

  23. Cockneyrebel

    All threads are comical, we are a bunch of folk that take ourselves way too seriously

  24. RiN – that’s my guess too. Unless politicians actually say “small businesses” I think people assume they are talking about big companies. That said, I don’t have any actual evidence to support it, so it could be a complete crock of s___

  25. New thread :-)

  26. Rogerrebel

    Are you suggesting that because a political party elects a female leader somehow the men are a bunch of wimps, just because they didn’t elect a man. With that attitude no wonder the left have never had a female leader.

  27. AMBER

    @”The Treasury doesn’t have to put its hand in its pocket for ‘real’ cash with which to retire the 1b bonds ”

    It does.

    It is mandatory to redeem Gilts at maturity.

    When the holder is BoE that takes those funds/liquidity out of circulation.

    BoE may decide to re-invest-but that is merely another time limited cycle of liquidity .

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