The Sun have tweeted out tonight’s YouGov figures and they confirm the UKIP boost we saw in yesterday’s poll. Topline voting intention is CON 27%, LAB 38%, LDEM 11%, UKIP 17%.

The 17 points for UKIP is, obviously, once again their highest. This has a knock on effect for Labour and the Conservatives: the Labour score of 38% is the lowest that YouGov have shown them at for over a year (the last time they were that low was February 2012), the Conservative score of 27% is the lowest YouGov have shown them this Parliament (and, indeed, ever – you have to go back to before YouGov started regular polling in 2002 to find that sort of level of Tory support).


504 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – CON 27, LAB 38, LD 11, UKIP 17”

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  1. I don’t think stay-at-home mums are put off from being so just for financial reasons, and because, as Amber said above, they are seen by many as scroungers – though these are both undoubtedly significant reasons – but also because many women are now pressurised into being all things (i.e. having to balance a successful career and family). Anything less and they are often seen as a failure by others (including other women too) and, so, often feel a failure themselves.

    I think we need to educate girls/women into thinking they have every right in the modern age to chose which path they want their life to take, free of pressure from others.

  2. I’m quite sure any new Labour Government will simply reverse anything and everything they have opposed over the last few years if they believe in something strongly enough! ;)

  3. @ Ambi

    I have to say Cameron has gone back on his promise to help and support stay-at-home mums….if anything, he has made it significantly harder. The benefit system is really against them – a bit like carers too!
    ————-
    Well, IMO he has made things significantly harder for working mothers too. So it seems mums, at least, are all in it together!

  4. The thing that some people just can’t get their heads round is the fact that if someone ‘chooses’ to have children, isn’t it THEIR responsibilty to bring them up and look after them including the finance side of things – why is it presumed that the tax payer should keep paying out for these kind of things?
    Thats simply a talking point not neccessarily my point of view by the way.

  5. @Mark

    The EU obstructs changing some stuff back (eg privatisation) and Tories are piling on the debt which will also make it harder…

    Plus, it’s a lot easier to wreck/get rid of stuff than to rebuild.

  6. @Mark

    But what if government policy raises the costs so much (eg privatised utilities, fuel taxes, maintaining high house prices and rents), and high unemoyment depressing wages? Oh and whacks big tuition fees on as well…

  7. @Amber,

    Boarding schools are alive and well in the 21st century. I went to a boarding school but only as a day pupil (i.e. normal school hours), but many boarders there hardly ever saw their parents.

    Personally, I’m a great believer in at least one parent staying at home to look after the children during their younger years – whether it be a mother or father, it doesn’t matter IMO. Children need that love, emotional and practical support during their formative years. I had it from my parents, and am forever grateful. It’s worth so much more than money and things – kids don’t really care if their parents have the latest car/gadgets etc.

  8. @Carfrew – erm, didn’t the last Labour Government pile up the debt higher than any other Government in living memory.
    Correct me if i’m wrong but apart from the Greedy Bankers (and Greedy Footballers, + lots of other Greedy sods) isn’t the Trillion pound debt actually Labours doing or is that Margaret Thatchers fault too?

  9. Note: Though the time in question, regarding the boarding school, was late 1990s! I’m an oldie.

  10. What piled up the debt was the banking crash. There was this crash cos the banks bought dodgy debt from the US, you see. And the banks stopped lending and took out seven percent if the economy. Which hit tax revenues and welfare payments, hence the deficit.

    Then Labour got us back to growth which the Tories killed off with cuts, so piling on the debt for little benefit.

    Though you are rather changing the subject…

  11. It is partly Thatcher’s fault for ending the split between retail and investment banking. Not that Labour did much about it…

  12. @ Ambi

    I agree very much that the trade-off between having more money & time with your children should fall on the side of spending the time; of course this is after you &/or society have ensured they are fed, vaccinated, treated for health issues, clothed, housed & educated to a good standard.

    When Ed M or Ed B say things like you & I have said (i.e. it’s not just about money & things) they are castigated for not understanding ‘aspiration’. This is what yesterday drew from me the comment that aspiration & avarice (or acquisition, if you prefer) are not the same things.

    Indeed, society can (& IMO, should) aspire to ensuring all children have the necessities which I listed; also that their parents are encouraged & can afford to spend time with them. That, to me, is a collective aspiration worth pursuing!

  13. @Amber,

    “I agree very much that the trade-off between having more money & time with your children should fall on the side of spending the time; of course this is after you &/or society have ensured they are fed, vaccinated, treated for health issues, clothed, housed & educated to a good standard.

    When Ed M or Ed B say things like you & I have said (i.e. it’s not just about money & things) they are castigated for not understanding ‘aspiration’. This is what yesterday drew from me the comment that aspiration & avarice (or acquisition, if you prefer) are not the same things.

    Indeed, society can (& IMO, should) aspire to ensuring all children have the necessities which I listed; also that their parents are encouraged & can afford to spend time with them. That, to me, is a collective aspiration worth pursuing!”

    I totally agree.

  14. @Ambi

    “I think we need to educate girls/women into thinking they have every right in the modern age to chose which path they want their life to take, free of pressure from others.”

    Why is this discussion focussing on women? That’s about as big an indictment of our supposedly equal society as you can get. Why isn’t the questions phrased:

    “I think we need to educate boys/men into thinking they have every right in the modern age to chose which path they want their life to take, free of pressure from others.”?

  15. @ Colin

    The Co-op Group has about 7 billion. Moody has always had a problem with interpreting UK conglomerate structures (very different from the US).

  16. Robin,

    Of course any discussions should be focussed equally on both genders….my point was that a lot of the pressure regarding stay-at-home mums comes from other women too…so we need to tell girls/women from an early age that they can pursue whichever goals in life they wish. In other words, we need to let them know that they have/should have a choice regarding motherhood and/or pursuing careers i.e. that it’s not a bad thing if they want to be a stay-at-home instead, if that is what they want.

  17. @ CARFREW

    UK Banks were not heavily invested in US mortgage based debt; they were heavily invested in commercial property loans in the UK, Ireland and southern Europe (or in RBS’ case buying a Dutch investment bank at massively over the odds). No better in effect, but all within the purview of UK regulators.

    The problem with credit derivative and structured MBS was not excessive risk, as the risk level is unchanged by securitisation and derivitisation, but that no-one had any clue who the end-holder of the risk was, hence leading to a liquidity crisis and a lending shut-down.

    This was then exacerbated by the regulators requirement for massively increased capital ratios and the forced disposal of ‘bad’ assets.

    IMHO a much-understated issue that has turned recession into depression is that many large companies have been sitting on huge and growing cash piles – holding back on investment – because they don’t see where the demand is coming from, due to Euro crisis leading to continental depression, slow down in the far east’s rapid expansion, and US and domestic stagnation. Hopefully this cycle is just starting to turn, but I’m loathe to claim ‘green shoots’ just yet!

  18. @ Mark J

    The thing that some people just can’t get their heads round is the fact that if someone ‘chooses’ to have children, isn’t it THEIR responsibility to bring them up and look after them including the finance side of things
    ——————-
    The core of this debate hinges upon:
    1. Are children the property & responsibility of their parents?
    or
    2. Are they citizens; i.e. members of society with a claim on us all for their collective well-being?

    We have legislated that children may not work; & they must attend school but will not be paid a minimum wage for doing so. Therefore we, as a society, have taken a collective decision that the children themselves are to be economically inactive.

    Having thus ensured that children have no choice but to be financially dependant on others, society now has a responsibility to ensure that their needs are met, do we not?

    The alternative is to guarantee that the financial position of the parent(s) will never deteriorate from the situation which pertains when a child is conceived; or to legislate that nobody may have children unless they have e.g. savings of £50,000 per child which they may only access by showing it is needed for the child’s expenses. I am sure we can imagine society’s horror when the feckless, who have only £50,000 savings, conceive triplets & irresponsibly refuse to allow two of them to be adopted by would-be parents with the obligatory £50,000 per adoptee.

  19. @NBill Patrick – ” …a staunch voice of sensible pro-Europeanism”

    Can you point me to any statements he made in the 1980s?

    In Time of My Life Healey describes how his “pragmatism” made him no friends with either the Euro-fanatics or the extremist antis. He took a position against the second application to join the Common Market, and went to some lengths to appear neutral over the referrendum. He seemed more concerned with the internal Labour politics of the question… and he largely discounts the idea of the EU having an impact on his foreign policy concerns.

    Nothing I can find contradicts this career long theme of self declared agnosticism. The latest statment – no doubt to get a bothersome journo off his phone – “I wouldn’t object strongly to leaving the EU” is quite consistent with all previous statements I have seen. From the recent interview which he did grant to the New Statesman (Michael Crick was turned down), at 95 years of age he takes only a marginal interest in politics.

  20. @BFR

    I don’t think we’re in that much disagreement. The crisis originated in the US then spread. And yes what made it so bad was the packages of debt being so opaque banks couldn’t gauge their exposure. Hence the debt was toxic. Pretty much what I said last time.

    Point is this wasn’t the government’s fault.

    The crash had already taken out seven percent of the economy by the time they insisted on higher capital ratios etc.

    I’ve mentioned myself business is sitting on cash. And yes due to lack of demand, but not just due to Europe, but due to the cuts which killed domestic demand. Growth fell in advance of the eurozone slowdown…

  21. More proof that the cuts helped kill growth was the way domestic construction fell…

  22. Part of the problem is also that there is a stigma against stay-at-home dads. It is still seen as un-masculine and wimpy (and lazy, as with stay-at-home mums), despite the number of stay-at-home dads rising to around 227,000 in the UK last year (compared to 2.1 million stay-at-home mums).

    I think we need to educate girls/boys to see fatherhood/stay-at-home dads differently too, so that future generations see it as socially acceptable. Maybe a change in the law, making it more likely that stay-at-home dads would get full custody in the case of a divorce or separation (than at present) will also help to encourage more and more men to take a more active role with fatherhood IMO.

  23. @Mark

    I replied to your post about the debt above but neglected to address it to you. In case you missed it…

  24. I really think it cannot be repeated enough times: the recession made PAST losses manifest. These were not created by the recession and somebody had to pay for them (investors, government, banks). Because of the leverage structure it ended up with the banks (they got off very lightly in 2001) and the government essentially underwrote them (with this they gained time – I don’t think it was the right decision). Yet, the banks’ balance sheets are still awful and the government has lots of tax revenue from the financial sector.

    The whole national account system and political narratives cover up the fact that the natural growth pattern of the capitalist economy is cyclical and time to time the accumulated (and previously invisible) losses have to be paid off by someone (mainly through destruction of assets and liabilities). Any stuff about sustainable growth rate, natural growth/interest/unemployment, etc are pure fantasy or political manipulation. Since not a single factor in the economy is constant, there cannot be intrinsic growth rate and since firms are interested in covering their cost and gaining cash flow demand is a consequence and not a cause (just try to estimate demand without presupposing distribution of income and you will see how low the logical construction of mainstream economics is and it’s hat used to justify completely arbitrary interventions).

  25. @CARFREW

    OK, I confess, I do agree with pretty much everything you’ve said, but that makes for dull discussion!

    Well, I agree except for two points:
    – I do think the then government should have been running at flat to small budget surplus in 2007/8, given where we were in the economic cycle.
    – I think regulation of the property loan sector should have been much stricter; when you look at the details of HBOS’ or Ulster Bank’s indebtedness it is just ludicrous what was permitted – classic bubble conditions.

    I also fully accept that growth was falling before the Euro crisis, but I think that crisis has had a real effect in suppressing investment spending recovery.

    If I was to level another criticism, it would be that Labour cut investment spending plans more sharply than current spending in its final budgets, an approach stuck to and then accelerated by the Coalition in its first two years. I think this was barking madness, frankly…

  26. @Laszlo

    I think you have a point but a key feature of the crash is that because the banks couldn’t trust each other and stopped lending to each other they suddenly stopped lending to business, even for cash flow, which took out a chunk of the economy. This is distinct from the debt that had built up That you are talking about…

  27. @Bigfatron

    I agree most of what you wrote. Having said that firms do spend their money: buying their shares back (in the US the net equity issue has been negative since 1994) and the elites are busy in issuing corporate bonds.

    But no, as you said, they don’t spend on investment. It is not a demand but profit problem. The government could copy some of Reagan’s policies, though it may create a bubble.

  28. @BFR

    Labour’s deficit wasn’t very big before the crash… It QUADRUPLED due to the crash. Running a modest deficit is a way to ensure continuing growth. Plus if you follow MMT, if the government runs a surplus it forces the private sector into deficit.

    I agree regulation could have been stricter but let’s face it, if the banks themselves couldn’t figure out their exposure to what they had bought, pretty hard for a regulator. This is why we had a split in the first place. It’s very hard to regulate.

    I don’t doubt Europe had an effect but that’s even mire reason not to pursue cuts that make it worse. Worth adding Labour didnt have just a slowdown but full blown recession in many of our trading partners. Still got us back to growth though.

    Yes, the coalition have claimed Labour cut the infrastructure. To date I’ve not seen proof either way, so I dunno. Coalition did cut school building though which was not ideal given we needed more school places.

  29. @ Carfrew

    The banking crisis was a mere mechanism. The non-financial firms have been in serious trouble since at least 2004. The whole thing was a big Ponzi. Getting money for M&As that had no chance of creating value but propped up revenue. From 2005 many firms managed to maintain cash flow from loans. From 2006. In addition Basel III was successfully postponed so banks had massive borrowing demand too and they hence had to expand lending.

    The crisis wasn’t because of greed of bankers or because managers suddenly became incompetent, employees became lazy and unproductive – it is the nature of the economic system. To restore the rate of return you have to destroy assets – assets that were pumped up earlier to maintain cash flow. Once the cash doesn’t flow, the bucket stops – but it’s not the bankers fault (even if they are pretty good in making money even if there’s a recession).

  30. @Laszlo

    “It is not a demand but profit problem”

    Are you saying demand doesn’t affect profits?

  31. @Laszlo

    You don’t seem to be taking into account the toxic debt, resulting liquidity crisis and misselling of toxic debt in the first place.

  32. The thing that some people just can’t get their heads round is the fact that if someone ‘chooses’ to have children, isn’t it THEIR responsibilty to bring them up and look after them including the finance side of things – why is it presumed that the tax payer should keep paying out for these kind of things?

    However, it isn’t the child’s choice who happens to be their parents.

    A fact rather lost on some of our more elitist politicians.

    Many of whom will be going on about paying for their own eduction when actually they mean getting someone else to pay for it, normally their parents, who often were similar beneficiaries of inherited wealth and privilidged education, themselves

  33. ‘The market’ in the shape of the ratings agencies does not like friendly societies, mutuals & co-operatives. They don’t like that kind of business model; at best, they make no effort to understand it (as Laszlo mentioned); at worst, they wilfully misunderstand the individual entities because they dislike the model.

    One example being: When a ‘privateer’ drew attention to Standard Life’s friendly society model, it was soon after downgraded.

    Ed Miliband has a good case when he says that corporate governance structures, rating agencies etc. stifle the development of a mixed &/or balanced economy.

  34. @Re Children,

    I think vulnerable children in our woefully inadequate care system should also be top priority. I remember a while back the ITV news was comparing our care system with that of Denmark’s…and needless to say ours didn’t compare favourably. As a society, we tend to only think of those children who are fortunate to have parents….but there are many who are orphaned or have been abandoned etc.

  35. @carfrew,

    Still a highly selective interpretation. and why else did the economy crash 7 per cent?, because Labour had it so heavily leverage towards stretched borrowing and consmer credit that was on the edge of what people could afford (and way higher than the European average). Multiple credit cards, loans, equity release, 4-5 times salary and self cert mortgages, a milked housing market. That was what our growth was in part underpinned by, cheap and over stretched credit, sadly. No effort was made to mitigate this risk, hence when the banks crashed and credit tightened, we were hit way harder than most of Western Europe.

    Of course without the crash we might have continued merrily on, but the fundamentals were never particularly good, and of course, despite been ‘advocates’ of Keynesian, Labour were still borrowing £40bn at the height of the Blair ‘boom’, which quite frankly is scary, as if you can’t build up a surplus then, then just forget Keynesian as a concept.

  36. @ Carfrew

    Toxic debt are two big words and meaningless – meant to awoke associations. It needs proper explanation. Anyway, every recession is proceeded by inflation of debt (the tightening may proceed the actual drop in output).

    Indeed profits have nothing to do with demand. Demand is a pure derivative of processes of production. As I said earlier, in reality it is impossible to define demand without presuming income distribution – and profit is a form of income.

    Demand, GDP are tautologies. All experts know it, but they don’t say it and it’s not taught at universities (just as it’s not taught to MBA students and consultants don’t tell clients that NPV (net present value) is a flawed way for investment justification).’So, everybody uses them.

  37. @ Amber

    Rating agencies don’t like mutuals – I agree and they had problems with them in the US back in the 1980s. But Co-op financial arm had serious revenue problems relative to the cost structure, which suggests business model problem.

  38. @Rich

    Not at all selective. It’s just that you’re not differentiating cause and effect etc.

    Our debt did not cause the crisis. There were no mass defaults on credit cards and mortgages here. The US saw defaults on sub prime mortgages.

    The crisis was caused by toxic debt as BFR and I have explained. However, it is fair to say our high levels of debt didn’t aid recovery. However, despite this Labour proved it was not a barrier to getting back to growth.

    We weren’t hit harder because of our consumer debt because our debt didn’t cause the crash. We were hit harder because we have a lot more banking here than in many other countries.

    There are many of these myths spread about and another is that Keynesianism requires a surplus in the good times. In any event our deficit before the crash was perfectly normal. You have to adjust fir inflation and GDP to fairly compare.

    It was less than 40Bn and only about 2.5% of GDP. Which is sod all really…

  39. LASZLO

    First of all , it’s parent is not flogging other assets to fund the CooP Bank for the fun of it.

    Moody’s downgrade ( which was seven times as severe as UKs!) followed the CoOP Groups own initiative to recapitalise the Bank.

    Finally , PRA will adjudicate on it’s capital ratios.That is what they are there for.

    So-I don’t know what you mean by “has £7bn”. All banks have cash resources -and liabilities.

    Of the two classic problems-solvent but illiquid & Liquid but with solvency risks-this case appears to be in the latter category.

    And when you look at their last Balance Sheet you can see why .(1)

    Assets £82bn
    Liabilities £77bn
    Net Assets £5bn

    Being a Cooperative, and not accessing the equity markets for capital-it’s permanent share capital is absolutely tiny-£70m of “members” share capital. So Net Assets consist entirely of retained earning-and those are currently being depleted by operating losses.

    Moody’s report therefore makes it clear that the potential for further asset impairment ( mainly in the Brittania BS portfolio) and weak internal capital generation could reduce those Net Assets below the various regulatory capital ratios required of it. In fact Moody’s report states they are already below various Basel & UK FPC acceptable ranges.

    So this is a solvency issue-not a liquidity issue.

    One intriguing comment in Moody’s report could have wider implications.

    Because this Bank has no access to equity funding, its net assets are supported by bond holders.

    Moody’s downgraded those securities too with this comment :-

    “The ratings assigned to the bank’s subordinated and junior subordinated debt reflect the possibility that losses may be imposed on holders of these securities in order to achieve the capitalisation levels that the UK regulators require.”

    THe last Balance Sheet shows ( notes 31 & 32 to the Balance Sheet) £5.96bn of Debt securities in issue.

    It isn’t possible to tell who owns them currently-but whoever they are must be chewing their nails as they contemplate the status of their -now B2/B3=”speculative & high credit risk”-and the possibility of a hair cut.

    (1)http://www.co-operative.coop/Corporate/PDFs/Annual-Report/2012/TCG_Annual-Report-2012.pdf

  40. LASZLO
    @ Carfrew
    Toxic debt are two big words and meaningless – meant to awoke associations. It needs proper explanation. Anyway, every recession is proceeded by inflation of debt (the tightening may proceed the actual drop in output).

    ———–

    Nah, sorry Lazslo, we have explained it above and on numerous other occasions. Banks bought debt which was structured to hide dodgy components. When banks found this out they couldn’t price risk so stopped lending to each other the money they need for daily operations. So they couldn’t function and stopped lending to business. This is not exactly controversial.

  41. @Rich

    “because Labour had it so heavily leverage towards stretched borrowing and consmer credit that was on the edge of what people could afford (and way higher than the European average).”

    True – which is why I find it rather worrying that that’s the route Dave & George have decided to go to revive the economy…

  42. @Laszlo

    “Indeed profits have nothing to do with demand. Demand is a pure derivative of processes of production. As I said earlier, in reality it is impossible to define demand without presuming income distribution – and profit is a form of income.”

    ———–

    That’s a claim, not an explanation. Can you why demand does not affect profits.

  43. Can you explain why demand doesnt affect profits?

  44. @carfrew,

    I still think Labour spent too much when the money was rolling in, and spent it inefficiently!!

  45. @Rich

    Yeah, I’m not a fan of Labour’s approach prior to the crash.

  46. Finally signed over the Farm land and equipement today to my youngest daughter and her business partner, and although I’ve retained a few acres of pasture and woodland and of course the Farm house that’s the end of looking after 260 Hectares for the last 25yrs, although I still retain the right to stick my nose in and offer helpful advice and mutter “in my day”.

    Although we built the farm into a viable and successful business over the years I wonder where we would have been without various EU farm subsidies especially when we were switching over from part stock to wholly arable farming in the early days.
    I think we would have managed without the subsidies just, but it certainly made life easier,but having said that to be honest the EU farming policy is an expensive wasteful mess.

    It gives subsidies to farmers regardless of need, infact the bigger you are the more you get, it supports unprofitable farms regardless of the likely hood of success, it has made European produced food some of the most expensive in the world, it encourages over producion which in turn leads to either the food being destroyed or sold to third world countries at a cheap price which underminds that country’s own farming.

    The EU it’s a hugely bureaucratic monolith that has developed a momentum all of it’s own which few people understand and even fewer know how to change. Yes it is a major trading partner but it’s so wasteful the real power being concentrated in the hands of a handful of countries who dominate policy, particularly the Farming policy.

    I want to support the EU ,preferential trading within a large trading block must be a good idea, but my small dealings with trading within the EU had led me to believe it might be good for business but not for it’s citizens in the context of lowering prices for ordinary people who’s taxes fund the whole enterprise.

  47. Spot on Turk. Farming subsidies still an incredible 38% of the entire budget, £380 billion euros.

  48. New thread

  49. Turk

    Congratulaions.

  50. “The thing that some people just can’t get their heads round is the fact that if someone ‘chooses’ to have children, isn’t it THEIR responsibilty to bring them up and look after them including the finance side of things – why is it presumed that the tax payer should keep paying out for these kind of things?”

    I’m a large % of people dont choose to have children, sometimes it just happens, and then you can’t “undo” a child and some people dont want to destory life.

    I had 2 children, wife was on the pill, she got pregnant with twins, not sure how, maybe when she was sick. So what should the state do? not support them?

    Even if it was a choice for a person to have a child and a parent cant afford to feed a child, does the child choose to starve? Would you want a baby to be given no support from the state?

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