YouGov’s daily poll for the Sun this morning has topline figures of CON 34%, LAB 40%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 10%. For the record the 34% for the Conservatives is the highest since early February.

Out yesterday there were also some more results from YouGov’s poll of Conservative party members for Tim Bale and Paul Webb – the new results are here and I’ve written about them in more detail over on Huffington Post here.

Also worth reading this morning is Peter Kellner’s take on Miliband’s latest polling figures and Labour’s relationship with the Unions here.

202 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – CON 34, LAB 40, LD 10, UKIP 10”

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  1. Some of the sub-samples look a bit weird, e.g. Cons 22% in Scotland and SNP 18%? Cons even with Labour with ABC1s? I’d want to see a trend of this before I concluded anything about the Tories doing better.

  2. Both links for the Conservative members poll are taking me to the figures, neither directs me to the Huffington Post.
    Is this the case, or is it just my internet/browser playing up?

  3. The links in para 2 go to the same place?

  4. Should be working now!

  5. @ Bill,

    It probably is a rogue poll- that Ukip 10% is also improbably low- but even so, for 34% to be within MoE the Tory range must be moving up a bit.

    @ Amber (from the previous thread),

    Yeah, I know. But I find Mandelson or Blair marginally preferable as Prime Minister to Cameron, and Labour needs to remain solvent if it’s going to win elections. So if this is going to happen I’d prefer it happen in a way that doesn’t bankrupt the party.

    (I think you could also make a case that the affiliation fees are better spent by the unions than by the Labour Party itself, especially now that the party line is to back austerity. It’s a bit like Ukip- the unions can push at the boundaries of the Overton window in a way that a mainstream party is unable or unwilling to.

    Mind you, the dazzling competence displayed in Unite’s candidate selection strategy does not inspire much confidence in the efficacy of their campaigning…)

  6. Time for Tories to take a short and very cold shower.

    ONS figures this morning (real figures, not the Markit PMI Survey stuff) show UK manufacturing output fell 0.8% in May – much worse than expected, and a deteriorating performance. The trade deficit also widened, while the Telegraph talks of this being ‘the wrong kind of growth’, quite correctly, as the figures increasingly show.

    I’ve often mused on here about why we often see differences between PMI surveys and actual economic numbers, with PMI data seemingly moving faster with greater extremes than ONS data. While I can’t be certain, my suspicion is that the PMI data is a survey, and may be clouded by the general feeling of sentiment, rather than hard numbers, so perhaps people with stronger views up or down, tend to respond differentially to surveys. Who knows.

    Either way, these numbers help to solidify the view that the recovery is based on sand, and is totally counter to Osborne’s stated policy objectives. If a recovery can ever be a policy failure, then this is it.

    Meanwhile, Blair hails Ed’s move on the unions, while headlines in the DT and Mail talk about a bold gamble.

  7. Question for AW:

    I’ve had a look around your site, but haven’t spotted any mention of the weighting of newspaper readership (and specifically those that choose “no paper”).

    Is there a link I can get for that?

  8. Alec

    Lets wait and see how the Future pans out before you start your usual rain dance.

    “Commenting on the latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures, Lee Hopley. of the EEF manufacturers’ organisation, said: “Output gains in electrical equipment and transport sectors weren’t enough to offset bigger contractions in pharmaceuticals and metals.

    “We did, however, see some growth in exports and signs of stabilisation in Europe providing a slight lift for overseas sales.

    “While the ONS data suggest industry’s contribution to growth in the second quarter is likely to be limited, there are signs that confidence is returning and growth should start to resume as we move into the second half of the year.”


  9. @Colin – I haven’t the remotest doubt that if we had a Labour government managing an economy where investment was on the floor and the recovery was down to consumer spending, falling savings and increased use of cheap credit, and government underwriting of mortgage lending that was stoking a house price boom, you would not be supportive of the policy framework.

  10. It just never seemed right to me that you could be a Tory or LD voter (or any other or none for that matter) and be a member of a trade union BUT some of your membership fee went direct to the Labour party which you never liked or supported!
    That is just not right!
    I remember in the mid 1970s when I first started work as an apprentice electrician i was quite literally FORCED to grovel before the union brothers to join a union before I was allowed to work in certain places such as the old Daily Express Building in Manchester.

    While I accept the unions can be force for good and stand by its members – that very incident turned me away from the whole Trade Union movement and Labour for the rest of my life – and they all lived happily ever after -lol – True Story by the way!

  11. I note this sentence in PK’s article to which AW refers:

    “When a party is kicked out after a long spell in power, voters take time before they are willing to review their verdict.”

    EM has his detractors, but I think it would not be much different whoever was leading Lab at this time.

  12. @ Bill,
    It probably is a rogue poll- that Ukip 10% is also improbably low- but even so, for 34% to be within MoE the Tory range must be moving up a bit.

    -Why its more than 3 Times their showing at the last GE?

  13. In the what are you worried about questions in the YG poll, unbelievably (?), far more retired people (61%) are *personally* worried about foreign factories or immigrant labour doing work more cheaply. Bizarrre.

    The only conclusion that I draw from this sort of response is that either people don’t understand what they have been asked (the significance ‘what worries *you*’ questions may be lost by the third one for instance) or that we are seeing news media and commentary influence here.

    Peter Kellner thinks this sort of external influence was at work in the Miliband run off election with union organisers stuffing Ed-only leaflets in the ballot envelopes.

    By the way AW i hope the Huff post was an NLE for you, congratulations.

  14. The moves by Ed look very interesting. I remain ambivalent about primaries, as I really can’t decide whether this is a gimmick or a useful way to reinvigorate politics and open up party politics to more human influences.

    On the union links, I think it looks like he has almost been waiting for a Falkirk, although I suspect this isn’t the case – this is just a reaction to events, and trying to turn an electoral weakness into something more positive.

    The real point of interest is the funding. If Ed really is prepared to cap direct union payments to £50K, with additional individual union member contributions done in a more transparent manner, then I think he has scored a bullseye with voters, although not necessarily with his own party. It’s a very logical move, although potentially risky, but the pressure will now be heaped on Cameron and his city financed chums. I rather suspect Clegg and the Lib Dems will warm significantly to Ed’s move, so this has real implications for politics in general, rather than just internal Labour affairs. For a bit of internal party housekeeping, this really could have significant implications.

    Will this affect VI? In itself, I rather doubt it. What may be more likely to have an impact is the reaction to it.

    I’m fairly sure there will be steam rising in the Unite HQ at present, and while union leaders and some Labour members and MPs may be upset by this, I suspect electorally that won’t really matter – where else would they go, with no UKIP of the left?

    Already Blair has thrown a few juicy soundbites into the approval hat, and as @Chrislane1945 reminds us, Blair won three elections with votes in areas Labour previously struggled to touch. Love him or loathe him, his endorsement, and the endorsement of his supporters still remaining in the party, helps project an impression to voters in those same areas.

    It’s already clear that right leaning commentators see this as significant, and aren’t too sure how to play this – they like what they see, and this worries them.

    If those media outlets catch the ball that Ed has kicked to them, and start asking about Tory party funding, with no counter balance of mass union payments to beat Labour with, then VI might move, or at least solidify.

    It’s all in the detail, and the reactions.

    It just never seemed right to me that you could be a Tory or LD voter (or any other or none for that matter) and be a member of a trade union BUT some of your membership fee went direct to the Labour party which you never liked or supported!
    That is just not right!

    – Really No one is forced to join a Union they do so because it offers them collectively greater protections and provides support in times of need. I don’t see why Conservatives would not want this. There are plenty of active Conservative Trade Unionists.

    The BMA a Union and a powerful One has over Half of it’s members who vote Conservative, more than 60% of Unions including the 6th Largest in the Country (The RCN) are not affiliated to any political party.

    The proportion of the membership fee going to Labour from affiliated trade Unions is in the region of 10p-20p a week but Miliband is right it should be up to individuals to decide if they wish to make this contribution.
    It was a clever move to link this with the question of a limit on individual donations.

  16. “What I do support is ordinary working people, our members, trade unionists, playing an active role in the Labour party … The vision that [Miliband] has set forward, that this would attract literally tens of thousands of trade unionists into active participation in the Labour party is something that I would 100% support …

    “What you are asking me today is what did I think of his speech. I thought it was very brave, very positive, and it’s something which I am absolutely committed to engaging in.”

    Len McCluskey during an interview with the BBC following Ed’s speech (as reported by the graun).

  17. @STEVE
    “more than 60% of Unions including the 6th Largest in the Country (The RCN) are not affiliated to any political party.”

    Indeed. My own union, PCS, is the 5th largest and is not affiliated either.

  18. sine nom

    Are you ok? You made a post without any ubiquitous “lols”. I hope that doesn’t mean you’ve stopped chortling at everyone else’s views on the world.

    Concerned from Barney.

  19. ALEC

    You keep equating the 77% of GDP which has been growing for three years, and which ONS call “Services SEctor” with “consumer spending.

    Do have a look at the actual sub-sectors included.

  20. McCluskey says the speech was “very brave, very positive”.

    He says he is “very comfortable” with where Miliband is taking the party.

    Q: Tony Blair describes this as an act of leadership?

    McCluskey says Blair is “spot on”. He does not often agree with Blair, he says, but he does on this.

    He says he wants Miliband to show he is on the side of ordinary working people.

    Q: Will any of this tame the power of people like you?

    McCluskey says he does not know whether that is the intention but he [Len] has never sought power so he does not mind if people think he is losing some.
    I’d say the above is definitely not the reaction which the media expected from Len.

  21. AMBER

    Yes-I saw it.

    But LM corrected the BBC interviewer when he said there was no proposal to alter the political levy.

    I’, a bit confused.

  22. @Steve,
    I notice you only selected the paragraph that suited you.
    Why did you miss out the rest of it that really linked into what i was trying to say – certainly about my own personal experience?

  23. @Paulcroft

    Now now Paul – i was being serious in my comment for once!
    It was a personal experience that linked into what I was trying to say.
    – Hope you are ok too- lol

    LOL at my LOL

  24. Miliband is doing what he’s done consistently throughout his leadership when he had the chance to do so… Stay ahead of the story. Dictate when and what the story would be about.

    Had AC still been there, I’m of no doubt that the whole Falkirk thing would have been squashed in private, with no announcements and direction to keep it out of the public view.

    Miliband however knows and understands that it would have come out. And that taking steps to “make it right” in 2013 is a lot better than it being a big scandal in 2015. And now the story isn’t about Falkirk, but about Party Funding. And you can bet that Miliband is letting the conservatives light their petards, knowing something is coming along to hoist them. Doesn’t even have to be a new Conservative Party funding scandal, introduce ‘deeper issues and new evidence’ into one of the old ones. Loudly call for a bill that would do what Labour now wants, that provides party funding for the Lib Dems, but would hurt the Conservatives… The Conservatives laid the traps for a party funding bill, but they laid them in a circle.

    It also allows for expectation management. The slump in the Labour lead was coming, due to “good economic news” having a feel good effect. However, it’s not likely this slump will last, but he can take advantage by moving now on something drastic. If/when economic confidence drops once standard of living fails to increase along with the ‘recovery’, then Labour’s poll lead will grow again. But a narrative can be built up saying it rose because of Miliband’s “decisive leadership”.

  25. Sine

    It’s not the 1970’s any more and there are no closed shops now.
    I thought others could read your own words regarding your trip down memory lane.

    Back in the 1970’s When I joined the Met Police I would have quite liked to have joined a Union rather than the largely ineffective Police Federation but it was and continues to be against the Law.

  26. Colin – political levy and the affiliation fee are not one and the same. People who join a trade union can pay into the political fund (or opt out of it), this funds all the Unions political campaigning activity. For the Unions affiliated to Labour, that includes paying the affiliation fees to the party… but also other political campaigning too.

    EM didn’t say anything in particular about Union’s political funds, he said that the didn’t want Trade Union member’s to pay to affiliate to Labour unless they opted into it. Presumably that’s what LM meant.

    In theory, a solution that could emerge from EM’s speech is that Unions still have political funds as they do now, with people having to opt out if they wish, but each person’s contribution to the political fund only being used to pay an affiliation fee to Labour if they specifically opt-in.

  27. footy news

    “Newcastle manager Alan Pardew is willing to sacrifice centre-half Steven Taylor”

    Blimey!!! What’s wrong with just using a goat or something?

  28. @Amber

    “I’d say the above is definitely not the reaction which the media expected from Len.”

    Indeed. Perhaps he’s been talked to behind closed doors about the electoral impact of a Labour / union split.

  29. @AW – unless I misheard it, what seemed to be clear from Ed’s speech is that he is calling for a £50K limit to all payments to parties “from individuals, companies and other organisations” , as I recall his words.

    This would seem to indicate that he will be happy to restrict union payments from their political levy to £50K, but he made clear in the Q&A that this would have to be agreed across all parties – ie he won’t do this unilaterally.

    It also seems clear that his views are that individual union members can continue to affiliate, but this should be done more openly by opting in, not out, and such individual fees would not be covered by the £50K cap.

  30. @Steve,

    Well there you are – we are all different with different sets of circumstances.
    I can only tell you my experience and how it affected my own thinking.
    Yes, I know its not the 1970s thank goodness but it still affected me even unto this day 35 years later.
    If everyone thought exactly the same way and wanted exactly the same things in life – wouldn’t it be a boring world and we would of course live in a one party state – what a horrifying thought!

  31. AW


    More complicated than it seems.

    THe Guardian covered the nuances actually :-

    “1.52pm BST
    In his Guardian article today Len McCluskey, the Unite general secretary, suggested that he was opposed to any attempt to introduce an opt-in affiliation system. This is what he wrote:

    Switching to an “opt-in” for the political levy wouldn’t work – it would require Labour to unite with the Tories to change the law, would debilitate unions’ ability to speak for our members and would further undermine unions’ status as voluntary, and self-governing, organisations.

    But he clarified his position on the World at One. When it was put to him that Ed Miliband did not want any individuals to be paying money to Labour through affiliation fees unless they wanted to, McCluskey said he agreed with this in principle. He said that he was making a different point in his Guardian article.

    That was completely different. I was talking about the difference between opting into a political levy as opposed to opting out. Ed … made it clear that the political levy would stay as it is. What he’s talking about is those of our members who pay the political levy, he wants them to have a second option, as it were, to see whether they want to opt in to becoming associate members of the Labour party. And it would be on that basis that unions would pay the affiliation …

    The principle of what he’s saying, about making certain that individual trade unionists actually take a conscious decision to opt in to being active in the Labour party, is something that I would welcome.”

    Room for interpretation there I suggest.

    There is also some disagreement on whether he intended to propose a cap on donations from any one Union.

    No doubt Ray Collins will sort it all out .

  32. @Colin – “You keep equating the 77% of GDP which has been growing for three years, and which ONS call “Services SEctor” with “consumer spending.”

    No I’m not. I’m saying that with investment levels still really poor, and rising trade deficits, the growth that we have is clearly still being funded largely from deficit spending on the basis of cheap credit. Exports of goods are falling, while imports are rising. If we are not seeing an increase in investment, then it’s a fair bet that most of these rising imports are likely to be linked to the consumer sector, which is backed up by positive numbers from the retail sector.

    I’m well aware that the services sector is broader than just the consumer sector, and also that we retain a healthy trade surplus in services, but the point still stands – this is the wrong kind of growth, is diametrically oppose to what Osborne said he would do, is being described as such by right leaning commentators, and would be similarly called by you if Osborne was a Labour chancellor.

  33. @Alec

    “If those media outlets catch the ball that Ed has kicked to them, and start asking about Tory party funding, with no counter balance of mass union payments to beat Labour with, then VI might move, or at least solidify.”

    It’s already happening, certainly in those few non Tory supporting newspapers. Aditya Chakrabortty has written a very interesting piece on Tory Party funding in today’s Guardian. Very interesting indeed. Do you think Cameron’s opened up a bit of a Pandora’s Box here?

    @Sine Nomine

    “It just never seemed right to me that you could be a Tory or LD voter (or any other or none for that matter) and be a member of a trade union BUT some of your membership fee went direct to the Labour party which you never liked or supported!”

    Of course, there is a bit of a parallel with Tory Party funding here. What if you were a Labour supporting shareholder in a Company that made regular donations to the Tory Party. Do you get a say in where that money goes?

  34. ALEC

    I’m glad we agree that ONS’s “SErvices” sector includes large chunks of Industrial, Commercial, Scientific & Professional support activity, both domestic & overseas.

    As to falling industrial investment levels-they will presumably increase as confidence improves that general demand levels are picking up……….including household consumption , which you constantly single out for criticism .

    So far as house prices are concerned-I see no evidence yet of a problem. It seems reasonable to expect the new regulators at BoE-after all we have been through-to scream loud & clear if they see any sign of a bubble.

    THe Help to BUy initiative-being available only on new build is actually increasing housing supply. Bovis is the most recent of a string of housebuilders reporting that take up on the scheme has been dramatic.

    So far as FFL is concerned, I agree that there is every sign that Banks have chanelled take up of this cheap funding into low cost mortgages rather than commercial credit. I think that is regrettable.
    FFL has also collapsed the interest rates on offer to savers as deposit takers have to work less hard to meet their requirements.

    So far as the elements of UK economic growth are concerned, you really do need to wait & see what the numbers are looking like later this year before you pronounce upon it. It is very early days.

  35. @CB11

    “Of course, there is a bit of a parallel with Tory Party funding here. What if you were a Labour supporting shareholder in a Company that made regular donations to the Tory Party. Do you get a say in where that money goes?”

    Of course. AGM voting.

  36. AW

    I think Miliband made reference to the fact that Unions may use their political funds for campaigning activity such as the Living Wage which while not being a donation to Labour might in many cases be consistent and supportive of Labour’s own position on this issue.

    Unions may spend the money paid voluntarily by their members where ever they like but the point I think was that that He would only want to see direct payments to the Labour party from those who had actively requested payment into the political affiliation fee. It’s normally only £3-10 a year but 3 million of these payment add up.

    This and the Cap on individual payments could pose strains on Labour’s finances in the short term but a Cap on Individual Donations and restricting outside interests have far greater implications for the Tories and their MP’s.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Conservatives suddenly changing tack on Public Money for Political Parties.

  37. Just as a By the Way Sir Anthoy Bamford as an ilustration the Owner of JCB and regular guest for Lasagne at No 10 contributes more to the Conservative Party than Unite does to Labour

  38. Ian Martin , in that piece says :-

    “He proposes a change to the relationship with the unions, with members having to choose to opt in to the political levy that funds Labour. ”

    So EM has got the headline he wants.

    But when you actually read the detail, and listen to the Delphic utterances of LM, I think that headline may unravel a bit as Ray Collins starts “negotiations”.

    If the detailed delivery, or indeed EM’s capacity to deliver , on the headline he has engineered falls short of the sound byte-he will pay the price for it.

  39. Thanks Statgeek you answered that for me :)

    ‘They’ always try to divert attention away from this issue by trying to paint a parallel picture when it really isn’t the same thing!
    Of course the only way to end all this silly who does what to who is have it all funded from the Tax System – that would go down well with a public that can’t even stand our Politicians and Politics in general.

  40. @Statgeek – “Of course. AGM voting.”

    Really? Last time a shareholders AGM hit the headlines was when some of the bog boards were being criticised for large bonuses. Shareholders voted no in some cases, but guess what – the votes were not binding.

    I really don’t think shareholder democracy holds a candle to union ballots, in terms of fair representation. I don’t even think political donations from companies are ever even put to the vote.

    It really is a sharp contrast that Tories would do very well to keep quiet about, as they don’t come out at all well in the comparison.

  41. @Alec

    Thanks Alec you answered that for me :)

  42. @Statgeek & @Sine Nomine – just done a quick search, and discovered that political donations by companies have to be approved by the general meeting, which theoretically backs up your claim.

    However, in reality, pension trusts and other groups generally hold the balance of shares in trust for individual voters, and these bodies tend not to vote on such issues. The majority of individual investors therefore don’t get a chance to vote on such matters.

    This is very close to the position of union members paying a subscription, only to see their elected leaders throw large sums of money at a political party without the direct approval of members. Technically it’s democratic, but most of us find it inappropriate.

    A more direct comparison would be that for any membership based investor, like a pension fund, to approve a political payment from a company they hold shares in, they should first ballot their own members to gain approval.

    Only then I think you could go toe to toe with union donations.

  43. @ Alec

    I agree.
    As I mentioned a day or so ago, I belong to a trade union. I’ve opted out of the political levy. I would be happy to pay into a political fund for general campaigning; I don’t want to contribute financially to the Labour Party, and the majority of members of my union (who have bothered to vote) do wish to be affiliated to Labour. So I make my choice and am able to remain a member without paying for something I don’t want to pay for.

    I also have some shares. I have no say, for the reasons you gave, in whether the company donates to a political party. I also don’t have the option of asking them to donate less and give me a (minutely) bigger dividend, which I think would be the situation analogous to the political levy. If it bugged me enough, I could sell the shares.

  44. Question for those knowledgeable about the Libdems.

    How keen are Lib Dems on reforming party funding? If Labour press ahead with it, how much impact would it have on LD voters? Might a few more be swayed towards Labour?

    Or at the very least might it help persuade LDs who moved to Labour not to return to LDs before the election?

    Has there been any polling on the matter?

  45. @Steve

    The Chakrabortty article has some startling revelations about Bamber’s donations to the Tory Party. His array of family members and business off-shoots has given very nearly £4 million to the Conservatives. This is how he does it: –

    “Take the JCB billionaire Sir Anthony Bamford, one of Cameron’s favourite businessmen and a regular guest on the PM’s trade missions abroad. Between 2001 and summer 2010, Wilks-Heeg and Crone found donations from Anthony Bamford, Mark Bamford, George Bamford, JCB Bamford Excavators, JCB Research, and JCB World Brands. Tot that up and you get a contribution to the Conservative party from the Bamford family of £3,898,900. But you’d need to be an expert sleuth with plenty of time and resources to tot it up.”

    It’s clever in the sense that Bamber can claim that his personal donation is relatively modest but, in reality, he’s giving vast sums of money to the Tories. Roses under a variety of other names.

  46. @ Alec

    That was aimed at your first post (though I don’t disagree with your second); as so often by the time I posted several other contributions had intervened.

  47. @everyone

    Well now all thats sorted I think I may as well put the cat amongst the pigeons and let you all know what the result of the 2015 GE will be well in advance -:)

    Con 40 Lab 34 LD 12 UKIP 5

    Small Tory Majority of between 10-30

    There, now argue about that between yourselves!

  48. “There, now argue about that between yourselves”

    Why? It’s hardly relevant is it?

  49. I have argued it amongst myself and the consensus of opinion is Is hould be smoking whatever you are!

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