Sunday polls

This week’s YouGov poll for the Sunday Times is now up on their website here. Topline figures are CON 33%, LAB 38%, LDEM 11%, UKIP 11%. The five point Labour lead is their lowest this year (the last time YouGov’s Labour lead was this small was back in November 2012). Obviously it could be a bit of a blip – polls have a margin of error – but it fits in with the recent trend of Labour’s lead narrowing a bit as UKIP come off the boil.

The rest of the poll had some interesting questions on immigration. 56% of people think that immigration into Britain has been bad for the economy, with only 19% thinking it has been a positive factor. However, on balance immigrants are seen as harder working than people who are born in Britain. 32% of people think that immigrants who come to work here are harder working, 12% less hard working, 46% much the same.

Asked about various groups of immigrants, 70% of people think we should allow fewer (or no) low skilled workers to come to Britain, 59% think that we should allow fewer relatives of people already living in Britain to come here to join relatives. People are actually far more positively disposed towards other immigrant groups – only 28% want to see a reduction in high skilled immigrants looking for well paid jobs, only 27% want to see a reduction in foreign students coming to study in British universities. Asylum seekers split opinion – 42% want to see a reduction in the number of people fleeing persecution allowed to come here, 47% are content with present numbers or would allow more.

Viewed as a whole it suggests people are far more positive about some types of immigration that you would think. It’s one of those times that, in hindsight, you wished you’d asked an extra question – in this case to find out what proportion of total immigration people think is made up of those groups. Given overall public hostility towards immigration I imagine they think it is mostly unskilled and relatives, rather the skilled workers and students they are apparently well disposed to, but it would be good to test.

Asked about specific government policies on immigration, views are once more the typical anti-immigration responses: 71% support requiring a £3000 bond for visitors from high risk countries, 84% support the idea of forcing benefit claimants to learn English or risk losing benefits.

In the Sunday papers there was also a new Opinium poll for the Observer, which had topline figures of CON 27%(nc), LAB 37%(+1), LDEM 7%(nc), UKIP 19%(-1). No sign of a narrowing in the polls there, although worth noting that the higher level of UKIP support is normal (Opinium are typically one of the companies that show the highest levels of UKIP support, something that they have said is probably due to them not using any political weighting).

Finally there was an ICM poll in the Sunday Telegraph, largely covering recent benefit changes and the spending review. 87% of people supported stopping benefits if people won’t learn English, 53% supported making people wait 7 days for benefits. 64% support a cap on the cost of benefits that excludes the state pension, 23% think it should include the state pension. However, 56% would also support means testing age related benefits like the winter fuel payment and free television licence. ICM don’t ask voting intention for the Sunday Telegraph, instead asking respondents to predict what they think the shares of the vote will be at the next election – answers this month were Conservatives 29%, Labour 34%, Lib Dems on 15% and UKIP on 13%.

250 Responses to “Sunday polls”

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  1. “If oil goes down to 50 dollars a barrel then a lot of [shale oil] folk will be going bankrupt…..”

    Repeat when questioned; When oil prices fell below $100, US shale producers laid off staff.

    If it ever does fall below $50, that’s probably the end of shale exploitation, as this is an expensive way to get hydrocarbons.

    @colin – I can appreciate that there are localities with specific issues with predators. However, you’ve probably been fooled by the foxes (they are very cunning) but the other issue is that habitat loss now squeezes once abundant bird populations into tiny refuges, making local predation appear highly destructive.

    We had badgers and foxes long before we experienced massive species declines, so the key problem really does come from elsewhere.

    @Woodsman – on reflection, 5 an hour is a bit optimistic – I’ve probably managed 4 1/2 or so, but only if they’ve got a good rise and they have horns and undocked tails.

  2. Alec
    You are doing it all for me today and with such panache as well as knowledge.. Most grateful.

    I don’t see what any of this has to do with the Sunday polls though.

  3. Alec

    It’s not just the shale oil folk that would be shut down by 50 dollar oil, a lot of conventional wells were reopened after the prices rises because it became economic to extract the last drops of oil

  4. RinN and Alec
    I understand the USA coal industry is now dumping its produce anywhere it can. I understand such development is undercutting what is left of our own coal industry leading to its bankruptcy in Scotland and the Midlands.

    ‘It’s an ill wind’ or the opposite, depending on what your view is.

  5. ALEC

    The people who run the reserve know exactly what is happening , and how.Your opinions are irrelevant.

    With regard to the foxes-it is they who have been fooled this year-the island on which the Avocets breed can be reached by a swimming fox. However if it is surrounded by a wire mesh fence, foxes can’t swim & jump at the same time!

    It was wet work erecting it-but a dozen or more successful broods of Avocet were a satisfying result & a welcome change to last year’s carnage.

    The Avocet parents walked there young to the feeding grounds on the adjacent salt marsh-where around 50% of the chicks were thought to have survived badger predation.

    A great result-but could be so much better.

  6. Strangely, on the topic of MPs’ salaries I agree 100% with Neil. A developing cross-party consensus?

    The public need to grow up and accept that if they expect MPs to have a home in their constituency and show up there every Friday for a surgery, yet work the other four days a week in London, they need to have their travel and the expense of a London flat reimbursed and a reasonable London-based professional-class salary on top of that. There is no alternative.

    If you pay peanuts you are going to get monkeys, specifically monkeys wholly owned by the business interests or unions that are paying their real salaries. If the public want their MPs to work for them, they need to be the ones who pay their wages. I can’t understand why people have so much trouble grasping this; it would be intuitively obvious in any other profession.

  7. TURK

    Another straw? :-

    ” British manufacturing recorded its strongest growth in more than two years in June and new orders rose even faster, in a fresh sign of momentum in the economy just as the Bank of England gets a new governor.

    The Markit/CIPS Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) jumped to 52.5 from an upwardly revised 51.5 in May, data showed on Monday, beating analysts’ forecasts for a reading of 51.5.”


  8. Do we get a YouGov tonight? I am liking the way things are moving…

  9. Tomorrow hopefully Rich.

    I am anticipating a return to 8 ish.

    The big question for me is-how often will 5 start to appear ?

  10. @Colin – I just noticed the manufacturing figures. This does start now to sound much more positive, especially since services are doing OK as well. I think I’m correct in saying that this is the first time we’ve had half decent growth from both sectors at the same time, so it’s got to be good news.

    On the avocets, I’ve certainly never been in favour of blanket bans on predator control – we’ve gone far too far down the road of disrupting nature to then protect one layer of feeders within the food chain without creating even more disruption elsewhere. There are going to be instances when it’s worth controlling some common wildlife for the sake of species made rare by human actions.

    A better alternative would be to reduce our (human) numbers and pressure on the environment, and allow more space for nature, but I accept that this isn’t going to happen quickly, if at all. In the meantime, we face awkward choices.

  11. On MPs pay, I have said this for a long time, but they are hugely underpaid for the level of responsibility they have. The problem is, is that it’s political poison to push through a pay rise, and in addition it looks hypocritical, more so for the MPs on the left. They should be effectively made more mandatory in terms of full time, them have the pay increased. It was in some ways low pay that appears to have caught out a lot of them with expenses, which were obviously for many years seen as some sort of top up to pay, or at the very least a perk.

    Same goes for cabinet ministers and the PM, the pay is woefully low compared to a top private sector FTSE MD, but again it’s political poison to suggest an increase. People might say that it opens lots of doors to well paid other work, ala Blair, but that’s missing the point, the roles are underpaid.

    Many heads of local councils now earn more than the PM, and with the greatest respect, are making decisions like whether to have weekly or fortnightly bin collections. Not quite the same responsibility as PM…

  12. ALEC

    @” In the meantime, we face awkward choices.”

    I don’t think they are awkward at all.

    Conservation work in this crowded island will always require the wonderful organisations which carry it out to be clear about their key objectives. On any one site, or habitat, one cannot have too many-or you are simply faced with a bunch of competing demands.

    If your site is devoted to species protection rather than general habitat conservation, you have to focus on those species , and act in their interests.

    This will mean acting against the interests of certain other species.

    But not all species are at critical risk in this country -so it is not as difficult as it seems.

  13. @Colin – some of them are awkward – like pine martens and Scottish wildcats versus capercallie. As one side increases, the other side dips, and I personally wouldn’t fancy calling that one.

    The other difficulty is something that wildlife organisations have faced for many years now. Once the principle of culling is introduced, which may be for very good and sound scientific reasons, non nature lovers will see this as cause to argue for culls to suit their own commercial interests, turning the argument from culling vs no culling to a debate on the level of a cull. In such circumstances, it gets harder to set the protective boundaries that wildlife needs.

    You and I are basically in agreement on wildlife issues, perhaps with you having a particular concern with a specific site where these conflicts are significant. For my part, I live in an area that is heavily keepered, so we rarely see foxes, stoats or weasels, and as a result we are over run with waders in any fields not silaged. I see the results of control.

    The B side of this is that I rarely see birds of prey. That’s another awkward conflict that hasn’t yet been resolved.

  14. colin

    “I am anticipating a return to 8 ish.”

    Have you no faith in my puppy-poll wuffing method ??

  15. Alec
    “…A better alternative would be to reduce our (human) numbers and pressure on the environment, and allow more space for nature, but I accept that this isn’t going to happen quickly, if at all…”

    Would you prefer that this was done by euthanasia, withdrawal of medical services, or by limiting reproduction rates?

    The latter sounds most palatable to me, but it would mean a huge number of old people being looked after by relatively few young people.

    I suppose there is another option – a really major war.

  16. Or a really major disease

  17. @Howard
    “I don’t see what any of this has to do with the Sunday polls though.”

    Indeed. But perhaps this might serve to change the subject:
    “Sun Politics Twitter. YouGov/Sun poll tonight: second day in a row Labour lead cut to just 5 points – CON 33%, LAB 38%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 12%. A big Ed-ache”

    Wasn’t Labour’s decision to parrot Osborne’s spending plans supposed to bring electoral dividends? Where are they?

  18. My puppies have got a real nose for politics see earlier prediction of another five] – I.m surprised Anthony hasn’t approached me about using them but I s’pose he prefers his old-fashioned-asking-people-method.

    Me pups would be cheaper.

    Not sure what LDs have done to deserve 8% although as the perpiscacious analyst CL1945 would say, it seems a bit high.

  19. Seems to leave room for a high end score for the Greens or SNP.

  20. @Phil Haines/@Paul Croft

    As long as Labour can stay in the high 30s, that should be enough for them. The Tories have eked out a point or two from UKIP and the LDs, but Labour is still much where they were (just a little down)

    If we accept that governing parties almost always poll lower than when they first one power, we can safely assume the Tories will struggle to,reach 35%, even in a,best case scenario. Also, it is difficult to see Labour falling back below 35%, even in a worst case scenario.

  21. raf

    My girls are sure of a lab win in 2015.

    It is tricky at the moment with DC highly visible and nothing EM can do about that. Same later this week with EU debate which will be largely reported in an anti lab/LD way by the media, however silly an idea is being presented

  22. Good Morning All.

    5% again, and Peter Kellner’s blog has gloomy thoughts for Reds everywhere.

  23. I wouldn’t be surprised if this apparent narrowing of the polls became the norm. Osbourne’s welfare squeezes gained a lot of positive press and allegedly have a lot of public support, whilst Labour’s muted opposition will have cost them the anti-austerity vote.

  24. Latest YouGov / The Sun 1st July – Con 33%, Lab 38%, LD 8%, UKIP 12%; APP -31

  25. Hmmm, another 5 tomorrow would be clear but it is the cons improving now Lab still 38 or slightly higher on average.

  26. Phil re:-
    ‘Wasn’t Labour’s decision to parrot Osborne’s spending plans supposed to bring electoral dividends? Where are they?’

    I think the truth is that announcements that disappoint some temporary supporters are always likely to lose a little support whenever they are made, one of the reasons oppositions fall back 15-20% from any high point that held for a few months.

    With Labour this was 43% (possibly pushing 44%) which is why I have felt for a long time we are on course for 35-37% depending on whether the drop is 15 or 20%.

    The decision for EM was always about timing and his calculation must be that it is better to get some of the disappointment out of the way now. The aim (hope) is that the perceived greater credibility will firm up other support and that getting the overall spending message out early will allow the focus to shift to the differences with the Tories in terms of the fairness debate.

    We will see?

  27. Phil re:-
    ‘Wasn’t Labour’s decision to parrot Osborne’s spending plans supposed to bring electoral dividends? Where are they?’

    -Was there an election I missed?

    Personally I don’t think Labour should have bought into the nihilistic cuts agenda as I don’t think it is economically or
    politically advantageous but I can understand why they did and why they did it now.

  28. Neil A
    and others
    I wasn’t proposing cutting MP’s pay in fact UK MP’s receive some of the lowest pay rates in Western Countries it’s higher in Germany France and the USA AND 3 Times as High in Japan.
    Of course all of these countries mange with considerably less representatives than are present in the UK parliament with in most cases far larger populations.

  29. Miliband and Balls have a difficult transition to make. Most of their political life they have been junior advisors to established politicians… today in their interactions with journalists and commentators, the tone still seems to be one of pleading their case.

    During this parliament they have been pleading the case for a different economic approach from the government. The impression recently has been one of reluctantly accepting the goverment’s spending framework. By 2015, the Labour team needs to have developed an authoritative and consistent message… also a way of conveying that message which inspires respect from the commentariat, and confidence from the electorate.

  30. Colin

    The ecomomic news is beginning to have a much more positive feel about it, given it’s coming from a very low point, and from our point of view another encouraging poll from Yougov.

    I’m not sure how or if it’s possible but I would like to see much more investment by the government in manufacturing, with the second largest defeceit in the world we really have to address the poor manufacturing base in this country .

    I’m certainly beginning to have second thoughts about the new high speed rail link I wonder if those billions would be better spent supporting UK manufacturing.
    To be honest I’m not convince of the economic benefits of the rail link. do you have any thoughts on the matter.

  31. Sorry “deficit “not the new word I made up.

  32. Labour 10% lead over Tories among Women and level with Tories among Men.

    Think this latest Sun YG poll has attracted a load of grumpy old Men.

    Still think that Labour have a slightly bigger lead that these polls suggest of around 7%.

  33. This is an interesting debate you’re having on pay raises and one that sounds awfully familiar to me.

    I actually favor them (when appropriate). Legislators should make enough to be comfortable and pay should be high enough to attract talented people who want to serve in these positions. If you think about it, it’s not easy. They’re positions that put you in a public eye, they come with great responsibility, they come with extra work hours, and they’re positions that don’t come with job security. Plus for many, it requires the purchase of a second home and spending a lot of time away from one’s family (of course there’s the whole expenses thing). They also should be high enough to discourage corruption. On the other hand, these positions shouldn’t be so highly paid as to insulate members or take up a disproportionate amount of the budget.

    Here’s a question. Do you have any local governments who’s City Councilmen are paid more in annual salary than MPs?

    @ Amber Star

    You never answered my question from earlier but yesterday I donned a full suit and tie (a dark suit) and went and sat out in 100 degree heat for the Inauguration (or 38 celsius). Well fortunately, it was 6 pm and so it had cooled down a little bit. Plus it’s a dry heat so I wasn’t perspiring too much. Still, the swelter was worth it.

  34. It’s clear that the Eds are playing the long game, although at this point it’s a bit of a gamble.

    I suspect that having seen the way that the Tories successfully framed a narrative about Labour overspending and financial irresponsibility that neutral parties are increasingly showing was not necessarily justified, they’re looking to do something similar once they get in.

    The scenario is probably intended to play out like this: Labour win victory and enter office. Shortly afterwards, senior Labour figures sorrowfully announce that the Coalition covered up how weak the UK’s position was and as a result economic growth was illusory and the finances are far worse than expected. Osborne, and whoever is the new Tory leader will, naturally, be given an especially large helping of blame (and whoever is in charge of the Lib Dems if they’re not needed for Coalition). Labour figures will shake their heads sadly and murmur that if you will elect Tories, then, well, you know.

    Horrible spending squeezes will be announced – ‘we told you we needed to do this, but thanks to our mighty foresight, it’s not going to be as bad as it could be’. As the finances recover thanks to Labour’s wisdom (ie the finances not being as bad as they led people to believe), the grateful nation sweeps them to electoral victory.

    It’s not a bad plan, which is basically why it was Osborne’s, and he can hardly complain if Labour try to use it to end his political career.

    Of course, it falls apart if, first, the groundwork leads to Labour not actually winning, or if it goes as it has for Osborne and the expected growth doesn’t materialise when it should.

  35. The daily YouGov is indeed suggesting a slight revival in Tory fortunes, although a few 33%s has more of the “dead cat bounce” feel about it rather than an indication of a significant surge in support. YouGov, even in the dark ominshambles days hardly ever had the Tories below 30% and it may be that the slightly more sympathetic methodology that YouGov employ is inflating Tory support. The narrowing gap seems mainly down to a reduction in the Labour VI, now regularly in the high 30s rather than the low 40s. That said, if the latest weekend Opinium poll is to be believed, the Tory VI hasn’t revived at all although, with more optimistic economic indicators now popping up, we should keep an eye on the trajectory. It’s possible that we may be witnessing the early signs of a significant Tory revival but, as yet, I’ve seen scant polling evidence to suggest that.

    The fall in Labour’s support, now being picked up by all the pollsters, hence more persuasive, is interesting in terms of what might be causing it. Defections to UKIP appear to have dried up and I see no evidence of any return to the Lib Dems. Their 8% in today’s YouGov suggests that they are still firmly anchored where they’ve been for most of this Parliament. Equally, there’s no real sign of former Labour voters drifting to the Tories who appear to be benefiting from some UKIP returnees rather than any significant gains from Labour. That suggests to me that some Labour voters may well have gone into the DK/abstention camp, maybe temporarily to one day return or, possibly, defect elsewhere on polling day.

    My verdict? There’s some interesting twitching being recorded by YouGov that may lead to something more substantial and significant in the mid to long term, but I’m not detecting any tectonic plates on the move. A little event here or there and I could easily see a reversion to the familiar old polldrums!

  36. Morning Everyone,

    So it looks as though we are settling down at around 5% lead.
    @R HUCKLE – what you actually mean is 7% is your preferred lead rather than 5% -lol
    We all find things to suit our own leanings – and i’m no different!

  37. TURK


    I haven’t dug into the fine detail on HS2, but from what I have read, I’m not convinced.

    And the timescales are so extended, frankly I don’t think the project will ever get off the ground.

    This morning’s 5 was a surprise to me. If MOE was operating on the first one, I assumed we would see an 8 ( assuming a 2 to be too much to ask for!)

    But another 5 does have the hint of a step change.

    As ever-we wait to see-but the prospect of getting back to pre Pasty/Granny days ( not to mention double/triple dip stuff) is certainly encouraging.

    Falkirk looks interesting too-if Unite make an issue of this & it receives national publicity , it could have VI effect I think.

  38. Sine Nomine
    Don’t Tell Turk and Colin you would like to see a 7% Labour Lead.
    They will drum you out of the club!


    @”Have you no faith in my puppy-poll wuffing method ??”

    An anthropomorphic attitude to animals , which seems so prevalent in this country, fills me with disdain.

    It is a brake on sensible , objective approaches to nature conservation in this country, because Conservation bodies dare not upset their Bunny Hugging, Badger Stroking, Fox feeding membership.

    Dogs do not understand politics. It is a figment of your sad , delusional mind, I’m afraid.

    I am sure they like you, and wish to please you-but you really must try not to engage them in political discourse.

    I fear we will soon hear of dogs being signed up by Unite before long.

  40. “However, on balance immigrants are seen as harder working than people who are born in Britain. 32% of people think that immigrants who come to work here are harder working, 12% less hard working, 46% much the same.”

    Erm no it doesn’t, it shows the opposite !

    32% say they work harder
    46% the same
    12% less hard working

    In other words the majority think they are the same or less hard working !

  41. @Steve,

    LOL – You get funnier by the day Steve,

    I would rather see a Conservative lead of even 1% never mind 7% – even 1% would be really ‘funny’ !!

  42. @Colin

    “I fear we will soon hear of dogs being signed up by Unite before long.”

    In fairness to dogs they do at least care/empathize with other people – which is more than you can say for the majority of Westminster.

  43. “fills me with disdain.”

    ….and how well that emotion seems to suit you Colin.

  44. @ SoCal

    You never answered my question from earlier…
    Sorry, I must’ve missed your question. Please ask again because I can’t find it.

  45. @ Pete B

    “The latter sounds most palatable to me, but it would mean a huge number of old people being looked after by relatively few young people.”

    This is something that is cited a lot and almost an excuse for population growth. The problem with this is of course that then we will need even more young people to cope with even more old people 50 years down the line.

    Currently we have at least 2.5 million people who should be working or want to work but aren’t. Obviously most of these people may not be suitable/qualified for caring roles and minimum wage, depending where you live in the country, is insufficient to have any sort of normal life. However, although the issue is complex, I’d argue it is a total failure of the economic system we have that doesn’t allow for a vital job like carer to be so unrewarded or that, apparently, we are worried there are not enough people to do the jobs.

    I think this is economic and cultural rather than lack of availability of people.


    You are too kind.


    @”In fairness to dogs they do at least care/empathize with other people ”

    But would they be told which Labour candidate they had voted for?

  48. colin


    You are too kind”

    I know Col: we all have our faults and that is my one.

  49. I am sick and tired of having to cover for our tardy noo fred monitors.

    Is one

  50. Agree with this poll emphatically.

    I have always said it is the low skilled immigration that harms us the working class, but high skilled immigration is something to be encouraged.

    Also the 87% figure for requiring English will make the Labour and Green Labour parties uneasy for sure. Considering the country is only 85% British now, that means at least some immigrants agree that you should learn English before receiving benefits.

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