This week’s YouGov poll for the Sunday Times is now up online here. Topline voting intention is CON 33%, LAB 39%, LDEM 11%, UKIP 12%

The leaders approval ratings are minus 20 for Cameron (from minus 17 last week), minus 34 for Miliband (from minus 31 last week) and minus 51 for Clegg (from minus 49). On the regular economic trackers optimism continues to creep upwards – the feel good factor (those thinking things will get better minus those who think things will get worse) is now minus 26, now the best (or least worst) figure since April 2010.

Much of the rest of the poll dealt with Ed Miliband and the Trade Unions. Most of Ed Miliband’s ratings remain poor, and if anything are getting worse rather than improving. Only 20% think he would be up to the job of Prime Minister (down from 25% in May). Only 18% think he has provided an effective opposition to the government. Only 10% think he is a strong leader, 47% a weak leader (even amongst Labour voters only 22% think he is strong, 26% weak).

I’ve written about Ed Miliband’s poor polling figures here several times before, so won’t repeat the same discussion at length. The short version is that yes, they are pretty bad… but Labour have a lead in the polls despite Miliband’s poor figures. The question, which cannot currently be answered, is whether they’ll matter more as we get closer to an election and people’s choice is (perhaps) as much about a choice between alternate governments as a verdict on the incumbent.

29% of people think that Ed Miliband has been too close to the Unions, 13% too distant and 22% about right. 36% say don’t know. Despite all the coverage of Falkirk, the Unite row and Tom Watson’s resignation (which happened just before fieldwork started), this is almost unchanged from when YouGov asked the same question last month, suggesting that in terms of if Labour are seen as close to the Unions the row has has not made any real difference yet. Of course, that’s not just what it’s about – the Conservatives are very clearly using it to try and make Miliband look weak. Depending on what does happen it is both a risk and opportunity for Miliband. Depending on the action he takes he could end up looking weaker… or stronger.

Looking more specifically at Labour’s links to the Trade Unions, 26% think they are good thing (including a narrow majority – 53% – of Labour voters), 35% think they are a bad thing (though this only includes 9% of Labour voters). 41% of people think the unions have a lot of influence in Labour, and this is mainly seen as a bad thing (35% bad, 6% good). 33% think they do not have much influence (21% think that’s a good thing, 12% a bad thing). By 46% to 27% people take a negative view of the amount of funding Labour receives from the Unions, and by 42% to 32% people think it is unacceptable for Labour MPs to be sponsored by Unions. Once again, Labour voters take a more supportive stance – 56% think there is nothing wrong with Labour’s funding from the Unions, 60% think it is acceptable for MPs to be sponsored by Trade Unions.

Is that any different to the way funding from businesses or rich individuals would be viewed? No, probably not. Polling last year found opinions of Labour’s relationship with donors was much the same as opinions about the Conservatives, and views about a cap on donations from unions was much the same as views about a cap on donations from business.


265 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 33, LAB 39, LD 11, UKIP 12”

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  1. Paul I really doubt your point about most politicians being in it for the right reasons.

    I agree there are some, across all parties who genuinely do it as a form of self services, but I think others do it mainly for power, prestige and financial benefits whether either direct (pay and expenses) or indirect (influence over laws to suit your interests)

    The current 3 are all career politicians who I, and I believe most of the public VIEW as being in it for themselves.

    Whereas Politicians like Caroline Lucas, Nigel Farage, Alan Johnson and the woman off QT for the tories last week, I think most likely are in it for the right reasons.

  2. OZWALD

    You said :-
    “By adding together ‘neither’ plus ‘weak’ plus don’t know you concoct a misleading figure of 78% being unfavourable towards EM.”

    I said:-”( 10% “Strong”)

    ???

  3. @MiM

    2008/9 figures and excluding NS oil revenues.

    Here is the link to the GERS Report just in case you are interested in the facts:

    http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Economy/GERS/GERS2013pdf

  4. Oldnat: do make sure that you include all expenditure – not just “identifiable expenditure” – it makes a big difference.

    Such as the bank bailouts?

  5. B Combie – Murray takes much less in endorsements than his peers (have you ever seen him in an advert, I haven’t?) and I thinkhe is not at all Boorish a great example of someone who is proud to be Scottish and British.

    Agree Novak was very dignified.

    Allan C – re Ed Milliband was the first Labour leader to be selected purely as a result of being the most popular among the trade unions.

    Slightly misleading in that the union part of the electoral college vote is divided proportionate to the votes of the members; the below is more accurate imo.

    Ed Miliband was the first Labour leader to be selected in part as a result of being the most popular among the trade unions members

  6. Oldnat: do make sure that you include all expenditure – not just “identifiable expenditure” – it makes a big difference.

    Such as the bank bailouts?

  7. @Steve2

    The GERS Report takes account of the bank bail out costs.

  8. Jim Jam

    So what?

    Why is it ‘Great for Britain’ as someone said above?

    It is good for him as an individual and you obviously like him more than I do as your right. I don’t know him, don’t particularly like him from what I have seen and don’t support him just because he is British. I have no idea if he is proud to be British or not – Nigel Farage is also proud to be British but I don’t like him from what I see either

    Should I support him just because he is British? I have always found this an ‘interesting’ concept

    As for endorsements, £30 million to wear Adidas seems quite a good deal – have you a link to show that he is any less well paid than his peers?

  9. @bcrombie,

    I wouldn’t say I was a huge Murray fan, but it just adds a bit to the feel good factor coming back. Weather great, Lions winning, Murray winning, cricket next. IMF upgrading our growth forecasts, great result for May.

    All good at the moment, or certainly better than this time last year.

    Rich

  10. PAULCROFT

    “allan

    “Well done Andy Murray and commiserations to Paul Croft.”

    For what? I didn’t enter and I was born in Scotland. [I’ve said all this before – I left at the age of two ‘cps it was bleedin’ freezing and I coudn’t understand the language]

    I am molto pleased for Andy M – Plimpiks and Wimblebot in one year is impressive”
    _____________

    Indeed you have mentioned you were born in Scotland before as I have also mentioned that I was born in England too.

    England’s loss and Scotland’s gain in my case but I suppose in your case it’s more Scotland’s relief and England’s pain. -;)

    Anyway my Scottish granny and a host of Scots celebrities have often commented on some Scots moving down south and becoming more English than the English and then talk about coming back up to visit the peasants…of course I wouldn’t put you in this category!!

  11. Steve2

    Oldnat: do make sure that you include all expenditure – not just “identifiable expenditure” – it makes a big difference.

    Such as the bank bailouts
    ______
    I think you might find the majority of the toxic assets in the the UK arm of RBS are linked to the over inflated house prices of the South East and the negative equity.

    RBS has paid far more into the UK coffers in tax than the price of Gordon Brown’s bail out so over all RBS has still been a Net contributor to the UK economy.

  12. JIM JAM

    “Allan C – re Ed Milliband was the first Labour leader to be selected purely as a result of being the most popular among the trade unions.

    Slightly misleading in that the union part of the electoral college vote is divided proportionate to the votes of the members; the below is more accurate imo.

    Ed Miliband was the first Labour leader to be selected in part as a result of being the most popular among the trade unions members”
    _______

    Okay lets just call it the “Union Dividend”

  13. Allen

    No bank can be a net contributor to the economy, they are leaches which use their power to create money out of thin air to extract real value from the economy

  14. RICHARD IN NORWAY

    I’m no fan of RBS or any other large banking group and you’re right when you compare them to leaches.

    If DC has any credibility about him then he will break up RBS and stop banks trashing the economy again but my point still stands….RBS has contributed more to UK coffers than the price of the bail out when Gordon Brown saved the world.

  15. allan

    “Anyway my Scottish granny and a host of Scots celebrities have often commented on some Scots moving down south and becoming more English than the English and then talk about coming back up to visit the peasants…of course I wouldn’t put you in this category!!”

    I’m amused at the idea of a “host” of Scotch celebrities [Andy Stewart and his dad Rod spring to mind after much effort] but you are right – I won’t be heading up there any time soon.

  16. allan

    “I’m no fan of RBS or any other large banking group and you’re right when you compare them to leaches.”

    It is LEECHES. [Leaches is a verb which you will be studying at BIG SKOOL soon]

    Try not to be influenced by the poor spelling of ole Richard in future.

  17. …………… he even spells your name wrong.

  18. BCROMBIE

    I agree with you that Murray was there as an individual – as were all the others. Also that it’s good to have international sides like the Lions or the Ryder Cup team – or even Team GB in the Olympics.

    Spending public money to support elite sports people in order to boost medal tables has always been one of the more distasteful aspects of nationalism.

  19. Paul Croft,

    Maybe he meant “leachers” i.e. people who leach soil?

  20. wolf wrote: “Heard a story recently about local government from a friend. She left her part-time job at the library ( two and a half hours every Saturday). The library decided to advertise it externally and 68 people applied. The library then decided to convene a panel as if it was a management position. This is a little part-time job we’re talking about.”

    I think recruitment processes are ridiculously convoluted nowadays, in both the private and public sectors. Why, for example, do application forms insist on you detailing every job you’ve ever had in your entire working life, when you started/finished, your salary and the name and address of your employer?

    Let’s say you’re applying for a consultancy post today. Is it really important that you spent 2 weeks working for Woolworths 15 years ago? What relevance does the salary you received then have to your present application? And even if you can remember the exact name and address of every employer you’ve ever worked for (and they are still in business), what does it matter – someone you worked for 15 years ago aren’t going to be your referees and nobody is going to contact them.

    I feel sorry for jobseekers who must waste hours and hours filling in lengthy application forms and often getting no replies. When I was young, it was a much simpler process.

    Just wanted to get that off my chest. Rant over.

    On a more relevant note, Labour’s proposals to reform (but not abolish) the union link (including the possible use of open primaries) sound sensible. Just need to come up with a few policies and they’re back in business!

  21. @Jack “State funding of political parties is needed – and all other funds banned.

    No funding for any party getting less than 5%; all funding being based on how many votes a party got in the previous election. Not seats, just votes…”

    So small parties and new parties would be banned from having money? That would make it impossible for them to win so much as a parish council seat, and ensure that whichever parties had over 5% of the vote when the rule came in had a lock on power forever.

  22. (reposted because I got the links wrong)

    @Oldnat

    Oldnat!I thought you were dead!…:-)

    rgdsm

    (Of course, if you don’t remember “Cheers” and “Escape from New York”, this isn’t as funny as I thought it was…)

  23. There is a bit more to banking than just being leeches. Banks perform several useful functions – not least by acting as insurance for depositors when money is lent.

    I’m not saying there aren’t problems with the banking industry, but to say the world would be a better place with no banks is to misunderstand the problem.

  24. Labour and other left wing posters trying to pin the roots of our difficulties on the banks as usual,
    when they set up a split Bamk of England with a remit which didn’t monitor inflation properly
    and hence contributed directly to the excess lending which they willingly went along with because they thought the impossible had been achieved.

  25. JJB

    “Labour and other left wing posters trying to pin the roots of our difficulties on the banks as usual, when they set up a split Bamk of England with a remit which didn’t monitor inflation properly”

    I can’t say I remember setting that up but you may be confusing me with Gordon Brown – easily done.

    The idea that if one vaguely, or even ardently, supports one party over another you are then not permitted to criticise a single thing they did is rather obviously stupid.

    It was however banks and their managers and employees who took the decision to loan at over 100% of value so it seems fair to believe they bear some responsibility for what ensued.

  26. Top tip for any left-wingers: Any time a Conservative blames you for disastrous things the last Labour government did, make sure to congratulate them for David Cameron’s achievement in legalising gay marriage.

  27. @MiM

    “The basic facts are that Scotland accounts for 8.4% of the UK population, 8.3% of the UK’s total output but 9.2% of total UK public spending.”

    Simple wiki facts (why dig deeper if they are that easy to understand?):

    UK GDP: $2.375 trillion
    Scottish GDP: $235 billion

    Scotland accounts for 9.9% of UK GDP.

    Regional GVA per capita rankings:

    Rank Place GVA per capita in pounds

    1 Greater London 34,200 ($52,776)
    2 South East England 20,923 ($32,287)
    3 East of England 18,591 ($28,689)
    4 South West England 18,211 ($28,102)
    5 East Midlands 17,349 ($26,772)
    6 North West England 17,263 ($26,639)
    7 West Midlands 16,788 ($25,906)
    8 Yorkshire and the Humber, England 16,569 ($25,568)
    9 North East England 15,621 ($24,106)

    1 England 20 442 ($31,545)
    2 Scotland 19 744 ($30,468)
    3 Northern Ireland 15 795 ($24,374)
    4 Wales 14 842 ($22,903)

    “Excluding the effects of North Sea Oil and Gas (officially included in the Extra-regio), England has the highest Gross value added (GVA) with Scotland close behind, though Scotland has a higher figure, estimated as approximately £24 000 per capita in 2009, once a geographical share of oil and gas is assigned.”

  28. Re: Banks – the problem was that they weren’t allowed to go bust. This will encourage more reckless behaviour in future.

    Re: Party funding. If it is done by the taxpayer, then instead of having unwitting and/or unwilling union members or shareholders paying for a political party, ALL taxpayers will be unwilling payers to ALL political parties. Is that an improvement?

  29. BTW, I forgot to add…

    Welcome back Oldnat. :)

  30. @Pete B

    Perhaps a cap on the amount a party can spend on a constituency. Cap the spending, and the parties are forced to actually…wait for it…employ candidates who can win elections based on ability, personal charm, and party policies.

    Perish the thought.

  31. “ALL taxpayers will be unwilling payers to ALL political parties. Is that an improvement?”

    Actually many [including me] think it is the only sensible method and most tax payers dislike paying any tax at all for anything, and are specificaly unhappy about any number of things.

    So, to answer your question – yes, a big improvement.

  32. Another straw:-

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/upbeat-jobs-data-adds-to-carney-cheer-8694447.html

    Wonder what the hierarchy is ?

    Straw
    Sheaf
    Bale
    Stack.

    I think we may be moving to sheaf.

  33. Wonder what the hierarchy is ?
    Straw
    Sheaf
    Bale
    Stack.
    —-
    -Consumption
    Compost?

  34. Banking crisis…

    We will never know what would of happened if the banks had been allowed to go bust, we witnessed the northern bank as customers withdrew cash, closed accounts asap, now imagine that at every bank… just how long do you think it would have been before riots ensued, from average people… if we could not access cash and credit and debit cards useless as banks close

    The country would have gone into anarchy meltdown in a matter of hours; within 24 hrs we would have had troops on the streets (if we have any left in the country) to control the populace…

    Imagine British people being shot on our own streets as the government tried to regain control… we are not the people we once were, we once thought about caring and sharing 50s,60s, but since the 80s we have turned into a selfish people, I am alright jack so screw you attitude…

    But the government bank bailout probably saved us from our own shortcomings, it could have been 1929 all over again only in an age where instant news plays a massive roll… a massive disaster on an epic scale, and thank god we did not go there…

    Yes it is easy to say we should of let the banks go bust…
    maybe if they separate consumer banking from the risk side, then yes we could let the failed sections go bust without too much risk, until we do that, the risk is anarchy on an epic scale…

  35. @jim,

    It’s a tough call. I hate the concept of TBTF (too big to fail), but there are clearly special circumstances where society and the public need protecting. I do think throughout the financial crisis, that a few more big institutions should have been allowed to go to the wall.

    rich

  36. @Colin,

    Any more good news and we will have our own farm! Where’s @Turk?

    Rich

  37. @Jim,

    I agree entirely. Except that I don’t think that it is quite so easy to seperate “risky” from “non-risky” banking.

    The credit crunch was largely down to failings in the retail banking world (ie the “non-risky” banking was done at huge risk).

    We were not brought low by a leveraged buyout or a merchant banking swindle. We were brought low by runaway house prices and a wilful blindness to the concept of bad debt.

  38. Well, let’s talk sport before getting on to politics, although I thought Salmond’s flag waving antics behind Cameron at Wimbledon yesterday were a blatant attempt to mix the two! What a weekend and, as an Englishman, I have to thank both the Welsh and the Scots for my my vicarious triumphalism at the Lions and Murray victories. I may also have to doff my cap towards South Africa soon if things go well in the Ashes because where would we be without Trott, Pieterson and Prior? It’s in danger of getting very confusing because, from a sporting point of view, I usually get most pleasure from the English sticking it to the Welsh and Scottish, as they quite obviously do in reverse, but the weekend encouraged us all to delight once again in these Isles of Wonder. In fact, in the case of the Lions, with the likes of Sexton and Bowe donning the red shirts, we were extending the isles to include a completely independent and foreign country. I wonder how ambivalent the Irish feel about the Lions? The players are obviously keen on the concept, but do we know about the people? That said, the Ryder Cup gets us all cheering for Europe so sport is obviously capable of bridging all divides! lol

    Interesting times politically because events would suggest a significant movement in the polls is in the offing. Good times, at last, from a Tory point of view with Labour squirming on the Falkirk and Unite hook, some unity breaking out within the party over Europe, Quatada’s deportation and signs that, finally, some sort of economic recovery might, at long last be under way. The weekend YouGov provides further evidence that the Tory VI may be inching upwards a bit, but there’s no evidence yet that the Labour VI is crumbling. This week’s polls will tell us more, but if I was a Tory strategist I’d be hoping to be make some real inroads into the Labour lead over the coming days. The political weather has been as kind to them over the last 10 days as it has been since the early days in the formation of the Coalition and, if they can’t get significant polling momentum now then the question has to be; if not now, when?

    The next few days should tell us a lot about the strength or weakness of the Tory brand.

  39. Pete B

    We are talking about very small amounts of money, the difference between private funding and public funding is that private funding will always have strings attached . Invariably it’s business interests or parties that are funded by business interests which complain about the cost of public funding, but this is only because it will make corruption less easy

  40. @Anthony Wells

    On the Radio 4 Today programme this morning, a recent YouGov poll of Tory Party members got a lot of airplay. James Landale, who reported on the item, said that over 850 Tory Party members had been polled and some of the findings suggested a deep rift between the grass roots and leadership. Most of the members confessed to very low or even non-existent levels of activism, many doing no work for the Party at all, only 19% thought the Tories would get an overall majority at the next election and some 30% or more could countenance voting UKIP. A clear majority opposed gay marriage and thought Britain should leave the EU.

    Are you planning to do a piece on this poll because it sounded fascinating stuff?

  41. Yes, I heard that too, Crossbat, so I came on here eagerly awaiting Turk, Colin and Rich’s views on the poll.None so far, so I’ll have to come back a bit later.

  42. Jim,

    Britain didn’t have a financial crisis in 1929, in the sense of bank failures.

  43. @Colin

    “I think we may be moving to sheaf.”

    The Economist, perhaps ironically, is being pessimistic though:

    h ttp://www.economist.com/news/britain/21580478-britain-growing-againbut-perplexing-and-unsustainable-ways-wing-and-credit-card

  44. @ Jim (TOO)

    The problem with the banking bailout wasn’t that they were saved, but that existing shareholder interests weren’t declared void.

    Considering the awful financial state of nonfinancial firms after 2002 (but many since 1993), I don’t really know how banks could be blamed alone. The “real” economy was running a Ponzi and then banks joined in, so it was a double Ponzi

  45. “The weekend YouGov provides further evidence that the Tory VI may be inching upwards a bit, but there’s no evidence yet that the Labour VI is crumbling. This week’s polls will tell us more, but if I was a Tory strategist I’d be hoping to be make some real inroads into the Labour lead over the coming days.”

    —————

    Is there any polling to gauge to what extent an economic improvement will impact VI?

    Given examples such as under Major, where an improving economy did not in fact result in re-election.

    I mean, could we ask people whether an improving economy might cause them to change their vote?

    While also perhaps asking for more detail. Eg whether they would be impressed by an economic recovery, as opposed to it being too little too late, or simply fixing what they broke, or outweighed by other concerns, whether the EU or things like the bedroom tax etc.

    Now I know there’s always the oft-cited warning that people aren’t always reliable gauges of their own opinion but one almost wonders why we poll at all if that’s the case and given the import surely it’s worth a go…

  46. @Norbold

    “Yes, I heard that too, Crossbat, so I came on here eagerly awaiting Turk, Colin and Rich’s views on the poll.None so far, so I’ll have to come back a bit later.”

    I’ve no doubt that Anthony will cover it when he gets the chance. It sounds like a very significant piece of polling that his employers have conducted and I shall be amazed if we don’t get a thread devoted to its findings very soon. If yet another Ashcroft commissioned Populus poll on Boris Johnson merits its own thread, then a YouGov poll of Tory Party members is an absolute shoo-in, isn’t it?

  47. @Anarchists Unite – that’s a very interesting Economist article, but to be perfectly honest, nothing more than I’ve been saying since the start of the recovery.

    There is an enormous amount of excitement among some Tory posters at the slew of ‘good news’ stories about economic performance of late, but the most rudimentary analysis of economic performance since the start of 2012 and the basis of the current growth should give us all cause to hold back a little on the unbridled optimism.

    What we are witnessing is nothing more or less than the total trashing of Osborne’s entire economic strategy, and the beginnings of yet another credit fed unsustainable boom. A general rule of thumb is that when the media starts to report rising house prices, and framing this as ‘good news’ when houses are already still historically overprices, you can be sure that there is a credit boom lurking in the not too distant future.

    I am really, genuinely, wanting to see a proper economic recovery in the UK. Forget politics – that can all go hang for all I care. Real people get hurt and haves their lives wrecked by economic collapses and recessions. We have to deliver the conditions for long term and sustainable growth, and boosting house prices, handing out (taxpayer underwritten) cheap credit and seeing falling savings and consumer spending led recovery, is the last thing the UK needs now. This is almost as bad as letting the recession trickle on.

    The key disaster area lies in the right hand graph on the first chart in the Economist piece – where you can see abundantly clearly what has happened to investment. This is what should have been leading us out of recession.

    Oddly enough, for a leftie, I’m now increasingly concerned about inflation. Carney is apparently much more sanguine about this than the previous BoE incumbent, but a looser attitude to inflation, coupled with a completely unbalanced recovery, now risks igniting an inflationary rout, potentially undoing work to change people’s perceptions of prices going right back to John Major’s day.

    I think that if Tories were in opposition right now, they would be screaming blue murder about unsustainable booms, profligate credit fueled consumption and inflationary threats – and they would be dead right.

  48. @Carfrew – “Given examples such as under Major, where an improving economy did not in fact result in re-election.”

    I think the key difference is the time since the opposition was in power. An improving economy now will certainly help Tories, as it contrasts with a recent Labour failure. So far, Labour haven’t done enough to rebuild their credibility when measured against a successful government, so are relying on the government appearing unsuccessful.

    Within this framework there are nuances, so a really bad economic situation in 2015 might not be best for Labour either.

    Linking with my last post, I think an election 12 months or so from now would be best for Cameron – much longer and the risk of a reversal increases greatly.

  49. Alec
    “Linking with my last post, I think an election 12 months or so from now would be best for Cameron – much longer and the risk of a reversal increases greatly.”

    Shame he made a fixed year Parliament an act of law then isn’t it.

    *chuckles*

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