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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    “”Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely”

    John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton, 1st Baron Acton, KCVO, DL

  2. SOCAL

    @” Hope his victory brought some in some good feelings of national pride.”

    The greatest pride, I suspect was in his home town, Dunblane.

    I didn’t realise , until this evening’s UK tv documentary on him, that he was a child in that school on 13th March 1996. It was only providence which dictated that he was not in the gymnasium.

    His mother was one of the many who rushed to learn the names of the dead.

    The family knew the murderer, who was local.

  3. Does anyone think its too late to buy the film rights for the life of Andy Murray? That lad is going to rake in some serious Wonga with that background story, the Hollywood film just writes itself and is sure to be a box office hit


    “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.”


    Lol, inflation can be a double-edged sword, Amber. It erodes the value of debt and there may be quite a few boomers and others who’d welcome a surge in the value of their property.

    PLUS, inflation may take a while to establish and only hit after the election, and anyway they can do things to compensate like row back on QE.

  5. Richard in Norway,

    I’d rather than such a film was not made, or at least I wouldn’t want to see it, because they’d inevitably and understandably cover what happened in 1996, and that’s still too intense a memory.

    Most of the important moments of his life that are the public’s business are already on film for folk to see.

  6. There are ways to write such things. Personally if I was scripting it, I’d probably start the story immediately after the shootings – with a frantic Mrs Murray hearing the news on the car radio or something.

    No need to show visuals.


    ” there may be quite a few boomers and others who’d welcome a surge in the value of their property.”

    Many of us boomers did extremely well out of the massive inflation in the 70s, at the expense of the savings of our parents’ generation.

    However, we are a selfish lot and seem not to be concerned about screwing the future for our children’s generation too (while carefully protecting our own offspring).

    Time for a bit of inter-generational adjustment!

  8. Looks like Ed M is going to make some big announcements on the unions after all. Even talk on the BBC of changes to party funding.

  9. So long as the entire Murray family have American accents I shall be happy.

    Maybe “Andy” could even say “Gee Mom, if I’d a had a repeating rifle instead a my ole raquet I coulda saved those kids.”

    Or, put another way, I don’t like biopics and especially one about a person still living through his own bio very capably.

  10. More to keep Ed Miliband busy:

    Not sure if that’s a new one, or more of the Falkirk-related ‘other incidents’, so sorry if I’m re-churning old news. I suppose he might as well get all the bad things out of the way at once, rather than a drip effect.

  11. @PC

    So very not PC.

  12. @Oldnat

    “Many of us boomers did extremely well out of the massive inflation in the 70s, at the expense of the savings of our parents’ generation.”


    I was a bit too young to benefit myself directly, but of course my parents did. They sold their property in circa ’74 for about seven times what they paid for it about a dozen years earlier.

    Admittedly, my mother’s rather canny approach to property played a part in upping the value, but it nonetheless shows the scale of the inflation in that era and how much boomers could benefit.

    My parents weren’t boomers though. And of course, oil prices had a big part to play in inflation after they quadrupled, but a lot of the property inflation predated this. Heath played his part of course…

  13. statty


    So very not PC.”

    Yes I know, but I merely point out how American films work. First Robin Hood is American, the next thing it’s Andy Murray.


    ” They sold their property in circa ’74 for about seven times what they paid for it about a dozen years earlier.”

    Not that that would have made much difference if the next property they bought was also seven times more expensive than it would have been a dozen years earlier.

    The real benefit comes about in their notional current wealth (based on their property value having appreciated more rapidly than inflation) having been funded by paying interest at a much lower rate than the boom in house prices in that area.

    Sensible people choose to be born into families where that differential was at its highest, and hope that the preceding generations don’t live too long, or borrowed on the assumed value of their property – which they claimed to have been entirely due to having put up a shelf or two.

    Silly people chose to be born into families in the unimportant bits of England where London government had decreed that they should live on “trickle-down” from the wealthy. (OK. That last point is a little [but only a little] overstretched). :-)

  15. Paul Croft

    “Robin Hood is American”

    So is William Wallace.

    Why would you want to deny the heritage of our American cousins?

    Didn’t they win WWII single-handedly?

    Heroes are interchangeable commodities – King Arthur, Finn McCool, Andy Murray ……

  16. What on earth is going on in Romford ?

    “Cllr Michael Armstrong (Pettits) on Monday alleged 13 serving councillors had been “removed” and added he had “serious questions” about the association’s activities.

    Mayors past and present, five cabinet members and two former committee chairs are among the councillors who will not be running in Romford, which covers seven of Havering’s 18 wards.

    All seven are currently Tory-controlled.”

    I look forward to Bob Neil appearing on our TV screens talking about reporting any irregularities to the Police just as he did at the weekend….then again, the likelihood of that happening is just over zero.


    From the image, a formerly detached house is becoming a semi. Don’t they flat big houses in Romford to accommodate the overcrowding in that area?

    If people want to live in overcrowded areas, surely dividing big properties into bedsits would solve their problems?

  18. @ Carfrew

    Inflation only erodes debt (for households) when wages are rising – so I was careful to make it clear in my comment that we are living through a period of static wages. It’s not debt which is being inflated away. It’s ‘ordinary’ people’s ability to pay their bills which is being eroded.

  19. @oldnat

    Well, there are other ways to gain besides the method you mention. For a start, they could instantly clear the mortgage after just 12 years. Especially handy with interest rates set to rise alarmingly.

    Secondly you can take on a bigger mortgage in the first place, and watch inflation make the mortgage progressively less of a concern. Then they could downsize a bit and have a nice lump sum along with no mortgage.

    Came in handy for school fees and stuff…

    @ Carfrew
    “Inflation only erodes debt (for households) when wages are rising – so I was careful to make it clear in my comment that we are living through a period of static wages. It’s not debt which is being inflated away. It’s ‘ordinary’ people’s ability to pay their bills which is being eroded.”


    Yes I know that Amber!! Did you miss all my chats about inflation with Colin in my earliest days here? I am not saying that there will be a good recovery, or that everyone will benefit. I’m not saying there won’t be, either.

    Just exploring the possibilities, the pros and cons. Sure, if wages don’t rise in a recovery, then inflation is worse news. But if they do, then there is a counter to your concern.

    Reality is that wages may rise more for some than others… The question is who and how many when it comes to VI.

    And of course house price inflation can continue to go up regardless of wages.

  21. My knees givin’ me oe gyp.

    Gurls say back up to 7 or 8 – I lost count of the wuffs.

    I really should tape them but if I did then when I played them back they would start wuffing again so there’s no point really.

    Wed’s PMQs will be interesting: Rosie says if “Davey” is rude to Ed again she wil never vote for him. {I haven’t told her she can’t anyway.]

    “Reality is that wages may rise more for some than others… The question is who and how many when it comes to VI.”

    Not only that, but also (i) how this is reflected in the response of the unions to seeking to protect public sector and low-income workers, and its reverberations in the unions relationship with Labour; and (ii) (to take the issue back into the absorption of inflation in house values) how low or diminishing incomes will need to be reflected in social housing: as Old Nat (nice to see yar) infers in his comment on flatisation of big old houses in Romford, but also how to take the stigma and cost out of affordable sheltered or other housing and care for the elderly. There’s a need for a cultural shift in dealing with housing as an aspect of generational wealth and the respectifve roles in managing this cyclical aspect of the economy of the banks and government.

  23. Good Morning All, hot this morning.

    Labour lead at 6% but 40% is healthy. Only minus 25% approval, shows, maybe, things may be improving.

    LD and UKIP flat lining at ten per cent.

    Ed making a good move today, I tink.

  24. I know small samples etc, but – CON polling above 20 in Scotland in the last 7 polls in a row. I don’t normally pay attention to crossbreaks, but am I right in thinking that’s not normal?

  25. Full results from latest YG
    Con 34%, Lab 40%, LD 10%, UKIP 10%; APP -25

    The steady closing continues perhaps and as per Chris L the approval must be the best for a good while (least bad).

  26. Approval -25

    A distinct improvement.

    Labour pretty sold though.

  27. From what I hear, Tory loyalists have been putting in a lot of hard work to convince constituency waverers that a vote for UKIP is effectively handing Ed M the keys to Number 10. I suspect that may be having an effect – that, and anecdotally, Farage’s offshore antics have played badly.

  28. Jim Jam

    As the YouGov poll shows the Labour level of Support rising not falling the change falls elsewhere.

    First time for a while UKIP and LD’s are neck and neck.

    If Labour can retain a vote share IRO 38-40% then the base for 2015 looks pretty sound.

  29. @Chris Riley

    That’s a good move by them. But if UKIP does poll 10% nationally, the Tories will still be in trouble.

  30. Good Morning All, again. Back from long beach run.
    Cons will take more LD and UKIP votes, I think.

    Looks like old fashioned, pre 1974 two horse race.

    I hope Ed does well today, and brings back Alistair Campbell or someone of that calibre.

  31. Really looking forward to the polls this week, am expecting some interesting stuff. Good figures for Conservatives again for mid parliament, but in fairness the Labour vote is holding up well. If it remains 38-40% this week I think that shows some good resilience for them.

    @Chrislane1945, please not Campbell, and if so, I don’t ever want to hear a single word of moaning about Crosby again!

  32. @RAF

    It’s their most sensible move, but were I a betting man, I’d expect something bearing the mark of Crosby to target UKIP after the Euro-elections (why waste a good smear campaign on the Euros) just to seal the deal.

    The Tories have to take on UKIP to stand a chance of winning – doing a deal just kicks the can down the road.

  33. RICH

    I hope they do bring him back.

    I suspect their are parts of the media who would relish the opportunity to get even.

  34. It will be interesting to see what happens in the polls regarding trust if Labour move to a system where most of their funding come in the form of £3-10 (transparently) voluntary donations from ordinary working people, in reality it already does but the transparency is what is needed, while the Conservatives are to a considerable extent funded by Hedge Fund Mangers and with Wonga from Wonga.

    This could play either way and could if Miliband gets it right without too much hysteria from the more Jurassic of Union Leaders be the clincher for Labour.

    Of course it could all end in tears (which the Media will love) in which case the Tories might make some capital on this.

  35. Chrislane,

    I cannot see the LibDems dropping below 10% in a General Election – it has never happened before when fielding a full slate of candidates.

  36. STEVE
    “Of course it could all end in tears (which the Media will love)”

    And invent or contribute substantially too, the crocodiles among them laying up stocks of onions for the purpose.

  37. If we are talking tennis films I thoroughly recommend “when Billie beat Bobby” based on the true life battle of the sexes when Billie Jean King challenged Bobby Riggs to a match and (spoiler alert!) beat him. Sadly only on region 1.

    If you only went on today’s poll I guess it is UKIP down Tory up and LIb Dem’s still down and lab still up a bit. Definitely a change over the last couple of months and Lab must be hoping their vote is solid.

    ICM today?

  38. “This could play either way and could if Miliband gets it right without too much hysteria from the more Jurassic of Union Leaders be the clincher for Labour.”

    I think a bit of union hysteria would play Ed’s very well for him.

  39. Billy Hayes mentions “ordinary working people” once, maybe twice in every sentence this morning on Today. When will trades union leaders wake up to the fact that all people are now extraordinary?

    “Normal” is I suppose a positive association of the word ordinary, “uninteresting or commonplace” not so much.

    “Of no exceptional ability, degree, or quality; average; of inferior quality; second-rate…” definitely not something it is fashionable to associate with nowadays.

    Would it be neccessary to pass a motion in order to adopt the Americanism “regular”? Any better alternatives come to mind?

  40. John and Alec
    Entirely Agree all be it it is important not to alienate the majority of trade unionists.

    By removing the automatic financial link associated with affiliation there is also the possibility of extending the base to those unions and trade associations that are not currently affiliated (more than half of them) and it also opens up opportunities for recruiting talent outside of the normal areas.

  41. I think the ICM poll come out around the middle of the Month

  42. @john pilgrim

    Seems to me that the best plan for Labour regarding upping pay is, once again job creation, which will reduce pressure on unions to strike and hence reduce conflict with Labour who aren’t keen on endorsing strikes these days. Course they have to be in power to do that. In opposition seems like basically unions say they’ll strike, Labour disapprove and unions do their thing anyway.

    Job creation has to be done right and Montomery’s recent suggestions chime with the way I think it could best be done.

    As for housing, yep, huge issue. Labour have talked of a housebuilding programme but seeing is believing for me on that one, given the boomer hegemony etc.

  43. Continuing my message from the last few months, which is:

    A) Why are you all celebrating? The Lab vote isn’t going anywhere.
    B)The UKIP vote is going to come back, largely for the Euros and when new nations join the EU.

  44. @COLIN

    “”Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely”

    John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton, 1st Baron Acton, KCVO, DL


    Wise words, though I do tend towards the view at times that it’s the already flawed who seek power. Or more particularly, absolute power.

    It’s a chicken-and-egg tbing.

  45. @Steve,

    No sign of any significant decrease in the Labour vote in the latest YouGov and, to be absolutely frank, that does pleasantly surprise me a tad. I thought they’d take a hit from the recent negative publicity for them and positive news for the Government, not mortal damage but inevitable transitory polling collateral as events swing hither and thither. The only movement seems to be another upward twitch for the Tories but no obvious surge at the expense of Labour. All in all, nerves will be calmed in Labour High Command and Miliband now has a solid and stable backdrop to get on with his radical recasting of his party’s financial and organisational relationship with the Unions.

    I’d say in fact that Miliband has a uniquely benevolent and propitious political climate to tackle this thorny and, hitherto, implacable internal Labour issue. He’s not home and dry on it by any means, and his speech today will need to well crafted and meaty, but I’m starting to wonder whether our man Ed might be one of those leaders who Lady Luck takes a bit of a shine to. The Falkirk fiasco has dropped a political nugget in his lap. He needs to polish it now.

  46. “The UKIP vote is going to come back, largely for the Euros and when new nations join the EU.”


    This immigration thing’s potentially quite handy for Labour. Others will have the data but people do say that Immigrants are more likely to vote Labour. And then if on top of that it encourages Tories to vote Ukip…

  47. Ooh, Ukip on 10% And the first Tory 34% since February.

    Still don’t see how the unions can afford to make the political levy opt-in overall, but it seems like it wouldn’t be that hard to pass around “Do you want your political levy to go to Labour? Y/N” slips. It’s actually a nice bargain for the unions, since they haven’t been getting value for money from Labour for decades and this way they’ll get to keep most of the affiliation fee for their own campaigning. Labour can hardly complain, since it’s their own brilliant idea.

    Although I do hope the Blairites calling for this change are planning to dip into their very deep pockets to make up the funding difference…

  48. @mrnameless,

    I don’t see any celebrating?

    Cons vote showing improvement, Labour vote showing strong resilience. That’s where we are.

  49. Morning Everyone,

    @ everyone – lol
    Tories have reached 34% – point by point they are creeping up to the 37% they got at the 2010 GE.

    The Labour vote is still holding steady at 38-40% and they will be quite pleased with that BUT lets wait until the end of the week before we start getting too excited.

    I think any VI that has returned to the Cons for whatever reason will stick for now – unless there is some really bad news or big ‘event’ they should inch back up towards 36-38% by the end of this year.
    That would be quite a feat for a mid term government that is supposedly very unpopular!

    As with all comments on here – anything could happen to swing it either way – but at least its more exciting now we have a bit of movement!

  50. Mr Nameless
    If the Labour Support is still at around 40% in May 2015 That will be the time (if you are that way inclined) to put out the bunting

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