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. *fixed 5 year*

  2. @Alec

    I share your concerns (though I posted the Economist article out of the amusement that they have been some of the biggest champions of austerity during the bad times and now that some good news begins to trickle in they’re suddenly very pessimistic).

    In truth I find the obsession with growth and achieving growth to be worrying. Yes it is a good thing now, but we really do need to get around the habit of always looking to that to fix the problem, as well as not discriminating between a good and bad growth. I lean towards the Green end on this, in thinking that growth can’t go on forever and the fix needs to start happening soon.

    Paul Krugman made a comment a few days ago that has been worrying me – by pointing out that many commentators/politicians etc. are growing comfortable with the notion of their being high unemployment rates as a necessary for taming the market. At times it really does seem like we’ve never advanced from the age of ritual sacrifice…

    Osborne’s problem is that, even though I doubt he really believes in his policies anymore, he’s invested far too much capital in those policies to be able to step back from them (hence the farce of always finding ways to intervene, whilst fitting it in line with plan A, and the continual accounting jiggery-pockery that always seems to find the money he needs to fund such policies from behind the back of the sofa).

    @Chordata

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

    Cameron, or his advisers, were astute enough to notice how well the ‘things are going wrong – you should call an election, its what the people want’ line played against Brown and he would surely be damned if he let it be used against him. So he took the Lib Dem policy and extended it by one year – that way he could get out of the scenario by semi-legitimately claiming that he could not call an election.

    The gamble was that the good news would begin rolling in at the end, to which he would ride to an electoral victory. The gamble may yet pay off, but for strategy purposes he’s missed a good opportunity if the good news comes and goes on his own watch (or even if the good news comes and stays but he fails to do anything productive with it).

  3. @alec

    Certainly, Labour are tarnished by the crash (or their response to it) in the eyes of a fair few, but not all, and crucially in the eyes of some, many of whom may be floating voters the question becomes one of who’s worse.

    Polling shows a fair few finger Labour, but equally it shows a goodly number not enamored with the Coalition response either.

    So yes, it isn’t as clear cut as in ’92, which is why it’d be interesting to see some polling it. Of those not enamored with the Coalition approach currently, how many might be prepared to change their vote given an improving economic situation?

    Currently there are people who overall are backing Labour in VI, despite the crash on their watch, is the point. While others are on the fence. And the question is how many may change their mind given better economic blah.

    Out of interest, not saying you’re wrong, but what are your reasons for thinking an economic reversal more likely past 12 months hence?

  4. Abu Qatada
    Must try harder
    He might start
    An Intifada

    Pack his bags
    And send him to Jordan
    Should’ve happened
    Under Tony or Gordon

    So Theresa has
    Her legal way
    With 7/7
    The chosen day

    She would surely
    Be able to capture
    A tidal wave
    Of media rapture

    But her calculations
    Were double faulted
    By a dour Scotsman
    Who is now exalted

    Her political ambitions
    Go on and on
    But she suffered the curse
    Of Wimbledon

    So what for us
    Do we now feel safer?
    Do we worship Theresa
    And do we rate her?

    While the lawyers gorged
    On the public purse
    Our fear of terror
    Just gets worse

    The case was like
    A legal torture
    That should have been
    Painless and shorter

    We suffered fear and distress
    From afar
    So I’ll take a case
    To the ECHR

  5. I should add that it took a bit of time before growth was choked off after the election. And yet despite this, Labour’s VI soon began to rise after the election as the libdems fell.

    In other words, people were shifting to Labour BEFORE the economy flatlined under the coalition. Which raises the question as to why they would go back if the economy improves again…

  6. @ Carfrew

    Out of interest, not saying you’re wrong, but what are your reasons for thinking an economic reversal more likely past 12 months hence?
    ———————
    The huge cuts in public spending which Osborne has pencilled in for 2015/6 & the looming EU referendum may well depress business & consumer confidence as the time for them draws nigh.

    If these looming events don’t depress confidence then, as a consequence, there is likely to be rising inflation which will further undermine the living standards of voters with static incomes.

    Maybe Mark Carney can help Osborne thread the needle so that neither scenario affects the economy badly enough (in the 2014/15 short-term) for it to be an election issue. I’d imagine that’s what Osborne is relying on.

  7. There once was a young man named Tony,
    who’s now rather friendless and lonely.
    Was the media’s child,
    but became quite reviled,
    when he justified war with baloney.

    Imma poet too.

  8. The recovery under Brown 2009 – 2010 did not seem to boost Labour much at the 2010 election!

  9. Is not ‘economy’ too big a term?

    Surely we need the simpler ‘hip pocket’ nerve which impacts on voting…

  10. RICH

    Yes-that would be nice.

  11. Alec
    I just go by YouGov’s feel good factor. AW reports that this is the best since 2010 in the latest poll. Alright, minus 26 is nothing to get excited about, but it got me wondering what % is a good one politically – 0% for example?

  12. Nigel Farage seems anxious about UKIP being regarded as a Tory splinter group.

    According to BBC News :

    “An online survey of UKIP councillors elected in May, carried out by ComRes for the Sunday Politics, found that 70% had previously been Conservative voters, 7% Labour voters and 1% Lib Dem voters.”

    Dunno how reliable this survey is but it contradicts the claim that UKIP have taken support equally from the major parties.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-23217121

  13. Oswald

    No it doesn’t, it just shows that most of their councillors are ex Tory, but their supporters might not be

  14. It’ll be a bit of a downer for Theresa May’s image if the charges against Abu Qatada collapse or he’s found to be not guilty & Jordan sends him back to the UK.

  15. UKIP’s support was discussed on this site some time ago; this was a link that appeared here then:

    http://www7.politicalbetting.com/index.php/archives/2012/12/04/the-rise-of-ukip-what-does-it-all-mean/

    Inter alia, “…research I have done with colleagues on UKIP loyalists suggests many come from working class, Labour leaning backgrounds, and are deeply hostile to all the establishment parties…”

  16. @Carfrew,

    I think a fair chunk of previous LD support (probably the anti-war element and the tactical voters) switched to the Labour column pretty much as soon as the ink was dry on the Coalition Agreement. They didn’t hang about to wait for economic news.

    I think the additional votes that Labour has piled on since are mostly ordinary “everything’s gone to s***, what’s the government doing about it?” floating voters.

    Those will be the voters the Tories will be hoping to win back with an “It’s Hurting But It’s Working” message.

  17. Amber,

    Whatever happens to Abu Qatada’s trial, Jordan won’t be able to send him back here. His grounds for opposing extradition were all about being convicted, not acquitted.

    The big question is what happens to his family. Usually, if children reach the age of 7 in the UK then they are able to apply to stay permanently on the grounds that moving abroad would be too much of an adjustment. It’s not set in stone though, and I’d have thought the government might have a case that his children are less well “adjusted” to British culture than some other children of the same age.

  18. @ Neil A

    Indeed the court has a high degree of discretion. Even to claim that there is a defined British culture.

  19. @Richard In Norway
    “No it doesn’t, it just shows that most of their councillors are ex Tory, but their supporters might not be”
    ———————————-
    Strange that you think that there is unlikely to be a link between councillors ‘crossing the floor’ to join UKIP and the previous leanings of their supporters. Whatever floats your boat.

  20. The last l’read on here UkIP voters were ex Tory LD and Labour in the ratio 18 6 2. So thats a bigger prob for the Tories than Lab. The majority of recent council by-elections seem to bear this out. Remaining LD voters getting moe of a squeeze than Lab too. r

  21. Graham

    The recovery under Brown 2009 – 2010 did not seem to boost Labour much at the 2010 election!

    It did seem to stop a Tory OM

  22. Oswald

    Sorry I was just pointing out a logic problem with your post, not meant into be rude. I would guess that Ukip supporters are mainly ex Tory but the fact that most Ukip councillors are ex Tory does not prove it

  23. How do we feel about China embarking on an austerity program? Might be the biggest news not being reported by the western media

  24. R i N’
    No need to guess that most UKIP voters are ex Tories, the figures I quoted emanate from this very website, around the time of the local elections lIRC.

  25. RiN

    Xi Xi Jinping is stamping hard on corruption . In China that means State Officials .A Chinese court sentenced former railway minister Liu Zhijun to death for bribery and abuse of power but suspended the sentence for two years, -that will mean life in goal.

    The “austerity” programme is similarly focused on organs of the State. China’s Finance Ministry has told central government agencies to cut expenditures by 5 percent this year.

    A ministry circular ordered spending cuts in a range of areas, including the building and renovation of government offices, meetings, domestic and overseas trips, vehicles and official receptions.

    It sounds eminently sensible-the waste & corruption had clearly reached unacceptable levels.

  26. ………..even the mighty PLA have been told to sort themselves out :-

    http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/xi-takes-self-criticism-campaign-to-military-top-brass-113070800794_1.html

    We could learn something from Xi’s methods & approach to reform of the Government Machine.

    Perhaps Francis Maude will be taking notes?

  27. “but suspended the sentence for two years, -that will mean life in goal.”

    Gordon Banks got the same sentence for far less!

  28. @Richard In Norway
    I accept your point. In this iffy world of opinion polls we make grand assumptions about the likely voting habits of millions of folk, from a base of only a thousand or two. I was staking my (very limited) pocket money on the chances of grass-roots members having similar views to their defecting councillors. Of course I accept I could be completely wrong.
    Regards
    Ozwald

  29. Gordon Banks OBE?-the goal keeper???

    Eh?

    These were Liu Zhijun’s crimes-they include alleged culpability in 40 rail crash fatalities.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jul/08/liu-zhijun-sentenced-death-corruption

  30. @ Colin

    Either you missed your typo or my joke wasn’t very funny or both!

    In my view life in goal should mean life in goal- not released early to do some midfield work….

  31. @Neil

    Thing is, if you look at AW”s graph of VI since the election, and choose the “all” option…

    http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/voting-intention-2

    …. You can see that Labour had already gone past the Tories and above forty percent some time before the end of 2010.

    I.e., Labour had made most of its gains before the economy had gotten to flatlining.

    So the component potentially more influenced by economic news might be rather small…

  32. Ladbrokes latest
    Scottish Independence referendum latest odds: 1/7 NO 9/2 YES

    @mikesmithson

  33. @Amber

    The huge cuts in public spending which Osborne has pencilled in for 2015/6 & the looming EU referendum may well depress business & consumer confidence as the time for them draws nigh.

    If these looming events don’t depress confidence then, as a consequence, there is likely to be rising inflation which will further undermine the living standards of voters with static incomes.”

    ———-

    Yes, I can see these being depressive effects, but I suppose we should take positive pressures into account as well, eg the government’s measures to boost the housing market, possible US revival etc…

  34. On the relationship between Labour’s vote share and the economic figures, I’ve not looked at the timing myself, but are we accounting for the fact that some economic figures are actually lagging indicators of what’s happening in the real world?

  35. SHEVII

    Both I’m afraid !

  36. SHEVII

    Ah-spelling-that’s why I didn’t get it.

    Yes-very funny-sorry to have been a bit dim.

  37. Mike Smithson says Betfair odds on a Hung Parliament & A Labour Majority now equal.

    Not much joy for Cons in that. A hung Parliament probably means Labour largest party -which means Lab/Lib coalition.

  38. Good Evening everyone.
    Gordon Banks replaced by Peter Bonnetti on the Sunday before Harold lost to Heath.

    Bonnetti let all those goals in, and later went to live in Germany, I think.

  39. @Colin,

    We really need to see a further narrowing this week given the good news for the Conservatives and feel good factor over the last few weeks, not to mention the pretty wretched news period for Labour. If polls are still roughly the same all through this week, I would be quite disappointed, and it would point to a reasonably robust Labour 38-39%.

    Thoughts?

    rich

  40. Just wanted to extend my belated Congratulations to Andy Murray for winning Wimbeldon. It’s about time he won. He’s an incredible athlete. Hope his victory brought some in some good feelings of national pride.

  41. @COLIN

    I’ve been sorting through a load of stuff, and happened across an Economist from a while back, talking about the pros and cons of “State Capitalism”, given the current fashion for it. They indicated it has certain strengths but corruption was considered one of its weaknesses…

  42. @ Carfrew

    Yes, I can see these being depressive effects, but I suppose we should take positive pressures into account as well, eg the government’s measures to boost the housing market, possible US revival etc…
    —————
    Those positive pressures (if they continue to be positive) will contribute to that inflation risk which I mentioned – so thanks for expanding on it with such good examples.

  43. @Amber Star
    ” It’ll be a bit of a downer for Theresa May’s image if the charges against Abu Qatada collapse or he’s found to be not guilty & Jordan sends him back to the UK.”

    1. Mr Othman, Jordan, the UK, you, me and everyone else on UKPR all know that’s not going to happen. He’ll be tried and convicted whether he’s guilty or not.

    2. For Mr Othman it appears it was a matter or principle. He never objected to returning to face trial, as long as his convictions were oberturned and he got a retrial. Now he’s innocent and,he, must be proven guilty on non-torture trained evidence.

    3. He will never return to the UK in any event. The,HS does not,and, would not allow him in.

  44. @ChrisLane1945

    Ah yes, “the Cat” had a calamitous game against West Germany in that World Cup Quarter Final in Mexico in 1970. Mind you, a certain Gerd Muller had a bit to do with it. Best predatory finisher I’ve ever seen and I have a feeling that the Germans may have prevailed even with the great Banks between the sticks. What a tournament that was, eventually won by that sublime Brazilian side of Pele Carlos Alberto, Gérson, Jairzinho, Rivelino, and Tostão, Alf Ramsay always maintained that his 1970 side was better than the one that won in 1966 but the world game had gone up a notch or two in the intervening four years. I was a 14 year old lad when that tournament took place and I became bewitched by the beautiful game as I watched from afar via fuzzy and grainy TV pictures.

    This weekend’s sporting triumphs made me think wistful thoughts about the moribund state of our national game. The England football team, sinking ever lower in the national rankings, will probably never enjoy the success and glory that our national Rugby and Cricket sides have enjoyed, or our athletes, cyclists, golfers and tennis players in recent years. In fairness, the football team competes in a truly global game with the international tournaments much harder to win than in most other sports, but the nation still expects. 17 million viewers watched Murray’s final on Sunday yet 22 million watched England’s hapless exit from Euro 12 against Italy. Can anyone imagine the national eruption if they were ever to come anywhere near to winning anything?

    Football is the nation’s one truly unrequited love and, alas, I suspect it will ever be so. We must leave it to less popular sports to fill some of the void.

  45. @SoCalLiberal

    Yeah, Andy Murrary, we can all walk a little taller now, blah, blah.

    Btw, how glad are you that you don’t live in Texas?
    Belatedly I’ve been catching up on the Wendy Davis filibuster, and checked out some of her other campaigns etc on YouTube… now there’s someone who can inspire people.

  46. @ Crossbat

    I was 7 at the time of that game. Wasn’t allowed to watch it on account of having cried my eyes out when England lost to Brazil in the qualifying group and was not to be consoled with the fact that we still qualified- it was the thought that England could ever lose a football match that was foremost in my mind I think! By the time of that game I think I would have been used to the idea of England losing and been fine.

    Yes- I genuinely believe that if England did ever win the World Cup again that would be a good time for anyone in power to hold an election, although SNP would do exceptionally well as every Scot would be sick to the teeth of the English!

  47. ‘Football is the nation’s one truly unrequited love and, alas, I suspect it will ever be so. We must leave it to less popular sports to fill some of the void.’

    There are many like myself who absolutely despise the game – and I am always delighted when the home teams are ejected from the World Cup and European Cup competitions. It’s not that I support any other team – I have zero interest – but it is the only way of bringing the hype and hysteria to an end. I really resent the assumption by the media that ‘everyone’ is interested – and at work I object to any attempt to litter the place with flags etc. In 2010 I recall booking a meal at an Indian restaurant for 15 people – most of whom were non fans like myself. On my way to work on the morning of the proposed meal I noticed that the restaurant had put out England flags – which struck me as somewhat vulgar. After consulting some fellow diners , I had the pleasure of calling the restaurant at lunchtime and proceeded to cancel the booking -and giving the reason for doing so.Hopefully it helped convey the message that slavish adherence to mob hysteria can cost business as well as pull it in.
    It’s the sheer ‘in your face’ nature of football that makes it so abhorrent. I would have no issues at all were it to be covered in the same way as Rugby and Cricket competitions – but the reality is so far removed from that.

  48. RICH

    We certainly need to see 5s appearing regularly.
    I don’t think next week is necessarily a must. I see it more as a slow build through this year.

    Where I am still at a loss is trying to imagine a feasible combination of VI which produces a hung parliament, but which does not leave Labour as largest party.

    So I guess I’m just looking for signs of a sustainable improvement in Cons’ VI. without being too specific about numbers.

    Momentum will be important I think, the nearer we get to the GE.

  49. @Oswald RE: UKIP councillors ex-Tories

    The thing to remember is that the May elections were held predominantly in Tory heartlands, so it is not surprising that so many of the councillors were ex-Tories. If the elections had been held in a more balanced demographic it is likely that UKIP would be shown to take support from all parties, certainly closer to national polling.

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