A quick round of of today’s polls. The weekly YouGov poll for the Sunday Times is here, and has topline figures of CON 33%, LAB 39%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 11%. YouGov’s daily polling appears to be showing an average Labour lead of around about six points.

The rest of the poll deals mainly with the economy and the royals. Economic optimism continues to get slightly less pessimistic, the “feel good factor” (those thinking their economic situation will get better in the next twelve months minus those who expect it to get worse) is minus 27. Asked more specifically about the recent GDP figures, 38% think that it shows the economy is now on the mend and will continue to grow, 49% think it is bouncing along the bottom. Looking at the crossbreaks shows quite how much people’s opinions on the economy are shaped by their pre-existing views of the government and politics: three-quarters of Conservatives think the economy is now on the mend, three-quarters of Labour supporters think it shows things bouncing along the bottom.

George Osborne continues to have a negative rating as Chancellor – only 25% think he is doing a good job, 45% a bad job. However the widespread desire for Cameron to replace him that YouGov found back in March has declined somewhat – back then people wanted Osborne sacked by 51% to 17%, it’s now a less overwhelming 42% to 30%. He also has better ratings than Ed Balls, and people think Osborne would make a matter Chancellor than Balls by 35% to 27%. By 43% to 32% people think the economy would have been worse if Labour had won the last election.

On the monarchy 17% of people think Britain should become a republic, 75% that we should continue to have a monarchy. A new ComRes poll for the Sunday Telegraph found a similar pattern – 66% think Britain is better off as a monarchy, 17% that it would be better off as a republic. The Sunday Telegraph article has a rather overblown headline of “Confidence in British monarchy at all time high, poll shows” which is a bit silly on various grounds (the monarchy predates opinion polling by hundreds of years so we don’t have anything to judge by, and as far as I can tell the survey did not ask questions that have a long train of past tracking data to compare to).

The best long term tracker data on attitudes to the monarchy is probably MORI’s collection here. Even there things are a bit hamstrung by the fact that lots of polling on the royal family started in the early nineties when the monarchy was at a low ebb in the wake of the the failure of the marriages of Charles, Andrew and Princess Anne and the Queen’s annus horribilis – so most current polling does show the royal family being held in higher regard than in the 1990s…but those few trends that stretch back into the 1980s show much more positive ratings. I suspect the reality is “confidence in British monarchy higher than it has been for twenty years or so”… but we don’t have the data to be sure.

Finally the Sunday Times had a new Panelbase poll on the Scottish Independence referendum, which had YES on 37%(+1), NO on 46%(+2). Past polls on the independence referendum are here, and it’s worth noting the consistent differences between pollsters. Panelbase tend to show a relatively tight race, Ipsos MORI and TNS tend to show a much bigger lead for the NO campaign.

342 Responses to “Sunday polling round up”

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  1. @ Jay,

    Good point. But Monaco would again pass the test.

    London offers things that other European cities cannot: a preexisting concentration of other financial institutions, an English-speaking environment, proximity to the entry-point of the transatlantic cables into Europe. The first two are barriers to forming a new financial centre that could be overcome, and they will be if doing business in London becomes too onerous. But they are real, substantial barriers. The Government has room to maneuver here and they should be taking advantage of it, not easing up on the bankers to keep their party funding flowing.

  2. @Colin,

    I think Jay means in a much wider historical context. For example in the 18th and 19th centuries the population of England was exploding but immigration was relatively small compared to post-war levels. And population growth rates in the past 30 years are relatively low historically (although they are accelerating fast).

    I think it is a coincidence, frankly. The developments in economics, geo-politics and transport that leave us with high levels of net immigration have come about at the same time as developments in economics, geo-politics and family planning which have reduced birth-rates.

    The big (unanswerable) question would be what the long term effect of much lower levels of migration have been on “Big Takers” like the States, Australia or New Zealand? If we’d never landed in New Zealand, would there now be 4.5m people (all Maori) living there? Or would it be 1m (due to no immigration)? Or would it be 10m (due to larger families and less access to family planning and Western socio-economic models)?

    Whatever the historic figures may be, we can’t get away from the fact that inviting 1m new people into a country means you have 1m new people in the country.

  3. @Colin

    Yes, well done, a paper shows that net migration contributed to the growth level. That’s… well, obvious. But it still doesn’t explain *why there is no apparent correlation on a historical and international level*. Why is the US growth rate declining to below ours when they’ve had more net migration? Why did France go for years having a higher growth rate than us with less net migration? That indicates that there’s a decoupling between growth rates over-all and migration, and yes that’s weird and counter intuitive, but it’s what is.


    I have no idea about France & USA.

    I thought you were talking about UK-where the paper I linked to , quantifies the relationship.

    Sorry I misunderstood you.

  5. John Pilgrim

    I’m somewhat at a loss as why you think your post to Amber is relevant, the fact that I understand you was not my point, it was the use by governments of sound bite words that have little meaning or understanding to the general public.

    As to predistribution I’m with Rob Marchant from the Labourist (sept 8th 2012) “eight reasons why Labour should think twice about Predristribution”, and Tim Worstall from the Telegraph (29 July 2013) “Why predistribution probably wont work”.

    Predistribution is one of those things which on the face of it seems attractive to some on the left, but when you look for a more detailed set of policies of how this would work in practise even Labour have gone quite on that one, I’ve certainly to hear one of there front bench mention it of late, but I conceed I may have missed a recent speech on the matter from EM or one of his team,but I look forward to it being in there manifesto.

  6. Isn’t “predistribution” just a new way of saying “social democracy?”

  7. re pop. growth, is it not a fact that many migrants to this country tend to have more children? One imagines that, over a long period of time, we could become a majority musim country in that case.

    That would be rather different than the laissez-fare, lip-service and cups of tea and buns, c of e tradition.

  8. @Paulcroft

    People reporting their profession as “Elvis impersonator” has doubled over the last decade. If this trend continues, most people in the UK will be employed as Elvis Impersonators.

  9. jb

    i was hoping for a more intelligent answer.

  10. PaulC,

    Your scenario would most likely lead to a lot of lapsed Muslims, in same way that C of E or Jedi Warriors are, historically speaking, lapsed Catholics.

  11. @ Turk,

    Every time the Labour front bench talk about falling living standards, underemployment, or the unevenly distributed benefits of the recovery they’re talking about pre-distribution. Ed Balls did it just now in his response to the GDP figures. They’re just not saying “pre-distribution” anymore because someone in their press office has finally figured out what an awful, awful term it is.

    What’s missing, as you say, are any concrete policies to implement it. (Unless you count the retention/resurrection of the Agricultural Wages Board by the Welsh Government, but I don’t think we can really credit the Westminster Labour leadership for that one.)

  12. @Paul Croft

    Just pointing out how silly your statement was. Extending a trend projection beyond rational expectations is a bad thing to do, and clearly either just political rhetoric or complete misunderstanding.

    To actually use a real example, the Jewish population of the United Kingdom much more than quintupled over the 40 years between 1880 and 1920. This trend hasn’t continued. In fact, the 2001 census showed those self identifying as Jewish was actually barely above that in 1920.

    To say things like “One imagines that, over a long period of time, we could become a majority musim country” betrays either a certain attitude, repetition of political rhetoric, or gross ignorance.

    That, and even if we did accept the absurdest position of just plotting out a trend to infinity… We’ll end up a nation of Agnostics and Atheists.

  13. I thought predistribution was a fancy way to say we ain’t socialists anymore

  14. According to Wiki “Predistribution” is :-

    ” a neologism coined by Yale University Professor Jacob Hacker in a paper called The Institutional Foundations of Middle Class Democracy published by the think tank Policy Network.] Pre-distribution is the idea that the state should try to prevent inequalities occurring in the first place rather than ameliorating inequalities through the tax and benefits system once they have occurred as occurs under redistribution.”

    I presume these “inequalities” are in respect of income.

    So one presumes the role of the state in avoiding the current system of “redistribution” by tax & welfare , can only be to increase the level of pay at lower levels which is currently giving rise to income top up by the State .

    ie – Higher minimum pay , legally enforced on employers.

    The only question remains-what figure avoids redistribution.?

  15. Do you think that one of the main contractors pulling out of the NHS 111 service have an effect on Tory V1

  16. jb

    shame you are so bleedin’ rude – it somewhat spoils your points.

    I actually asked a polite question and continued with a theoretical outcome: if that constitutes gross ignorance then you have a strange way of judging such things.

    I have read figures but, no more than that, that the current population increase, is predominanty down to the children immigrants to this country. I understood thet to be a fact, not a decaration of a poitical standpoint.

    If you know that is not the case I would have welcomed the figures. If. like Hal, you feel that, in any case, there would then be no correlation between a very devout religion with increasing numbers, and that religion expending then, again, a simple rationae would suffice.

    Your Presley comparison was, frankly, pathetically juvenile.


  17. …………of course there is another question too :-

    What figure militates against employment?

  18. Rogerrebel – of course not. Nothing matters very much, few things matter at all.

    It’s the same answer for almost all events. Hardly anything has any effect at all – budgets sometimes do, changes of leadership, party conferences, elections… otherwise it’s broad perceptions. Most people will barely notice the story anyway, those that do will view it through their existing perceptions of the parties anyway – people who have a negative opinion of the government already will view it as a great negative, people who have a positive view of the government will just see it as one of those things.

    In this case people don’t particularly trust the Conservatives on the NHS and think the NHS is getting worse under the Conservatives *anyway*, so its already factored into the price anyway, as it were.

    Governments lose support over time because they get the blame for whatever goes wrong on their watch. Individual events are obviously part of that… but only as a collective whole. Unless it’s something like Black Wednesday, they don’t have any discernible effect on their own.

  19. Powhatan: “If these longknives keep arriving at this rate, they’ll be the majority here in 50 years”.

    Pocahontas:”Don’t be silly daddy, you can’t just extrapolate from existing trends to a distant point in the future. Meet my boyfriend Johnny”.

  20. @ RiN

    On a personal note, does any one think I shouldn’t be worried about my missus putting our 6 year old daughter on a diet, it’s really freaking me out..
    When your missus makes your daughter go out hunting & gathering her own food, you should freak out. Until your missus goes to that ‘extreme’, she is merely counteracting the diabolical eating habits which are ruthlessly promoted by pretty much everybody in the advertising & food industry.

    I am mindful of what I eat & drink almost all of the time. I weight 35lbs less than the ‘average’ British woman of my height (which is 155lbs! if the BBC report is to be believed).
    Your missus is doing good by your daughter, provided it is geared towards establishing a lifelong habit of moderate, sensible eating.

  21. @TOH – “Your last post is very interesting and makes the point i was trying to make in a much better way. Thanks for that very illuminating.”

    Well with my talk of light pollution as a measure of a crowded country, I was rather hoping to be somewhat less illuminating…..

  22. @Neil A

    You do know that the population over-take by American settlers was due to the migrants bringing with them diseases that almost wiped out the native populations? Seriously, the second wave of settlers were confused as to why they found lots of abandoned villages and untended farm lands on the east coast of the US. It was for a long time assumed that they belonged to first wave settlers, but they had actually been native settlements entirely wiped out by diseases brought by the first wave of settlers.

    In fact, the very image that the native population of America were all hunter nomads, is because diseases wiped out most of the native farmers.

  23. Colin

    Interesting question about what level of minimum wage will negatively affect employment but first you have to accept that unemployment in normal times is an economic tool to suppress wages and thereby inflation, so the better question to ask is how high do wages have to rise before we have no unemployment and will the inflation it produces be acceptable . You could also question if inflation goals are consistent with a free market economy

  24. Amber


  25. What miserable polling.

    The 3 main parties as a total are on the rise.
    Scots aren’t gonna leave the Union
    Liz and her family seem to be here to stay.

    My dream of the Republic of England is looking more and more distant :/

    One thing I was shocked at, new citizens are required to swear an oath of loyalty to the Queen and her descendants which seems odd to me, are they saying Republicans can’t become citizens? Isn’t Republicanism just an alternative political view? Why don’t we add in an oath to be loyal to the Free Market system while we’re at it?

    I don’t think you should have to swear allegiance to something you don’t agree with, you can still be a perfectly good and useful member of society without believing in the queen’s divine right to rule.

  26. Too much reductio ad absurdum today? Whatever manipulation of figures is done it is meaningful that the population density in England is overtaking the low countries. What is remarkable about England is not the fact that people live concentrated in cities as they do in most parts of the world (and probably soon in all parts) but that quite so many live in and around London which does defy all norms.
    There is a geographic term called Zipff’sLaw, if I have the spelling right, that gives an attractive eqation for the population of cities saying that any city is two thirds the size of the next biggest in that country.
    No one knows why this tends to be true but it does except for London and therefore the UK.
    London is quite simply the world’s number one city and it is way ahead. Thats why the bankers, unlesss really draconian measures are taken, will continue to be there.
    Its dominance isn’t a problem because problems have solutions. It is a difficulty to be lived with and be adapted to.
    One proposal made earlier was to move all government jobs out of London to other places. This has been tried in the UK in the case of my own city. There are almost no government jobs in Aberdeen. Even our prison is due to move for purely political reasons. The main effect is to put the private sector on steroids as you can read in today’s New York Times, “Aberdeen, a city with one foot on the sea floor”
    I love Switzerland but as someone said in the Financial Times, working in Zug is great as long as you never want to have fun or be visited by a non-European friend. We forget just how attractive the UK is.

  27. Prince George fades from the news… Parliament in recess… MPs on holiday… waiting for the party conferences. Politics has well and truly left the news in every sense in form so what shall we discuss?

    I think this is the sort of mood on this site at the moment. Anybody have any idea of anything that might happen to change this?

  28. AW

    “Nothing matters very much, few things matter at all.”

    This is a good view to hold about everything in life but you need to be abe to balance it, as required, to the opposite so that what you are engaged on at any one time, whether it is a simple drawing, reading a book, fingering a Bach fugue for the guitar [especially that] takes over your entire focus.

    Then, if it goes wrong, change gear to option one, “we’ll all be dead in the end anyway” and don’t worry about it.

  29. @Barney Crockett

    There was an on going process of using public sector hiring to try and start a little bit of rebalancing. Swansea et al being the start.

    Of course, Austerity has had the side effect of reversing this…

  30. @Amber Star

    Apologies for the lack of reply, I had to got a meeting and and then head home for the evening…

    On your last point, yes, the US and Japan can protect their domestic trading activity and so could we, i.e. for UK retail customers (at least, to the extent the EU lets us). But no-one gets bonuses for trading UK equities on behalf of retail customers anyway!

    Unfortunately well over 95% of business done in the UK is international, so would not be able to be legislated for by the UK government. There is no way Balls can tell a Brazilian state corporation doing a swap with JP Morgan that it has to do so through a UK domiciled vehicle – it is simply outside UK jurisdiction.

    So the vast majority of activity transacted in London is truly mobile – it is based in London through historical accident and our history as a mercantile nation, not because it in any way has to be here.

  31. I thought comments weren’t supposed to be partisan on here; so what to we have to lead by example – an unashamed sideswipe at the Sunday Telegraph perhaps? Don’t dress up an excuse. An idiot can see it. Still such a newspaper is completely in contrast to desperately touted Guardian, it’s still by far the most read Broadsheet newspaper in the UK. Nevertheless, congratulations should be offered to both the BBC and Google for their in-yer-face support for their fringe left-wing rambling paper….

  32. @Barney Crockett

    I don’t know about decentralisation attempts in any other countries beside the Republic of Ireland, but in RoI it was an enormously expensive failure. The Fianna Fail/Progressive Democrat coalition government (which was *exactly* the equivalent of a Con/UKIP coalition!!!) tried to force decentralisation in 2003 and it was officially abandoned in 2012. Essentially, even though the RoI is tiny country (relatively speaking) the plan failed because a) appropriate infrastructure in the designated devolved areas was lacking and in the end took too much time and money to set up, and more importantly b) the skilled and experienced employees of the Dublin departments didn’t want to re-locate no matter what the incentives. Of the few departments that were eventually relocated many were simply brought back to Dublin in the end.

    It’s a good idea, but I don’t think it would work in the UK either as the majority of highly skilled, experienced public sector employees that would be needed to run the departments like living in London (or Edinburgh), appreciate the proximity of everything that the great capital cities offer them and wouldn’t want to move to a smaller, less exciting and diverse area. And as BFR mentioned here earlier (can’t find it now to quote) London has the infrastructure and facilities in place which are impossible to replicate without serious investment in smaller cities which is no part of Plan A. :-)

  33. @ BFR

    So the vast majority of activity transacted in London is truly mobile – it is based in London through historical accident and our history as a mercantile nation, not because it in any way has to be here.
    No it isn’t. It is transacted here because of our legal, stock-market, banking & accounting systems. It is transacted here because we have contract laws which are enforceable & rigorously enforced; we have trade treaties with almost every state on earth & we nurse them with great wodges of public cash (civil servants, diplomats & ‘spies’ are layered around our contracts & treaties like a giant, human tea cosy!); we have regulations & anti-cyber crime laws & compensation schemes & bloody great armies so we’re very unlikely to be seriously threatened by terrorists, another state etc. We are also part of the EU etc. etc.
    New economies like Singapore & Brazil cannot provide any of that.

    Really, the banks clamour to do business via the UK because it is, from their perspective, one of the safest places to do so.

  34. Shariet

    We could just move the capital city, perhaps York would like to be capital again

  35. RiN

    @”first you have to accept that unemployment in normal times is an economic tool to suppress wages and thereby inflation,”

    I don’t.

    You may invite me to do so,

    But I may decline because I have a different view.

    …….the other question which occurred to me is-if elements of State income redistribution are to be discontinued ( because employers have been forced by law to increase minimum pay) -then the tax revenues required for that redistribution are no longer required.

    So predistribution will relieve the State of elements of redistribution , therefore it will lower the tax take accordingly.

    Presumably , since predistribution now eliminates inequalities at the lower income scales, all those tax reductions will be for higher incomes-the people whose income was being redistributed by the State.


    Thanks for the link. Although a wee bit out of date but just last year the First Minister had a approval rating of +62%.

    Even the late Kim Il-sung of the DPRK never had approval ratings this high. ;-)


    “In a media-driven world, what the media says tends to dictate how the people react.

    The ‘sophistication of the electorate’ can’t stop that. I’m looking forward to the debates in 2014. The sort of debates where Salmond faces off against other party leaders (will Cameron, Clegg or Miliband give AS the satisfaction, or will they delegate to Lamont/Darling etc?)”

    Absolutely agreed and I doubt very much we will see DC on the same podium as AS.

    I think when the Yes Scotland camp really open up the salvos then we are all in for a tasty debate.

    In the words of Wendy Gate…. “Bring it on”

  38. @ Amber Star

    Honestly, these firms already have really big trading operations in Singapore & New York – the idea they wouldn’t move more business there is plain wrong, of course they would.

    There are lots of good, important things for the next government to do in order to improve banking regulation (and, incidentally, I have no confidence whatsoever in the Tories doing them, based on past history) – however a bonus tax is just grand-standing and would be almost certainly counter-productive in terms of tax revenue.

    However, I guess we will have to agree to disagree – roll on another poll!

  39. Andrew

    I would guess that, like me. no-one has a clue what you are on about – and aren’t too bothered to find out either.


    Pups back from a weekend at the coast and it’s a seven wuffs prediction.

  40. richard in norway

    Ok, it might be if we exclude all the little tiny states, then it’s a toss up between England and Holland. Which surprises me a lot

    Holland is not a country but it is part of the Netherlands.

    Sorry to be pedantic. ;-)

  41. “I thought comments weren’t supposed to be partisan on here; so what to we have to lead by example – an unashamed sideswipe at the Sunday Telegraph perhaps? Don’t dress up an excuse. An idiot can see it. Still such a newspaper is completely in contrast to desperately touted Guardian, it’s still by far the most read Broadsheet newspaper in the UK. Nevertheless, congratulations should be offered to both the BBC and Google for their in-yer-face support for their fringe left-wing rambling paper….”

    You can’t have been reading the Guardian recently. Unbelievably, and to the horror of readers like me, it is now moving towards supporting the Tories.

    While the Telegraph is way ahead on sales, The Guardian website is second only to the Daily Mail in terms of its online readership.

  42. The Global Financial Centres Index is a ranking of the competitiveness of financial centres based on over 26,000 financial centre assessments from an online questionnaire together with over 80 indices from organisations such as the World Bank, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the Economist Intelligence Unit. It is compiled and published twice a year by Z/Yen Group and sponsored by the Qatar Financial Centre Authority.

    The ranking is an aggregate of indices from five key areas: people, business environment, market access, infrastructure and general competitiveness.

    As of March 2013,-UK was number one, with a rating of 807.
    Singapore was number four with a rating of 759-ie 6% less than UK.

  43. Chordata

    New Populus poll:

    Lab 39 (nc)
    Cons 34 (+2)
    LD 11 (nc)
    UKIP 8 (-2)

    Evidence Cons are increasing their share at the expense of UKIP ?

    Very interesting because I think most people would had thought the UKIP VI would had lasted well up until the next GE.

  44. @RiN,

    Personally I favour a properly federal United Kingdom, with a purpose built new UK parliament on Merseyside (spitting distance from each of the four federal countries).

    London would retain most of the machinery of (English) government, and would of course continue to be the financial and business centre, but the Northwest, North Wales (and probably Ireland) would all gain.

  45. neil a “liddypool”

    “spitting distance from each of the four federal countries”

    If I could pick me spot I’d have a go from England. I’ll leave the rest to you.

  46. @ Allan,

    I doubt very much we will see DC on the same podium as AS

    Certainly not. The NO campaign are trying to win the referendum, after all!

  47. Colin

    I’m afraid you are going to have accept it because it’s a fact. Now I notice you side stepped my question on inflation targeting, is that consistent with a free market, shouldn’t the market decide what rate inflation should be at?


    “Certainly not. The NO campaign are trying to win the referendum, after all!”

    Maybe DC is Blair Jenkins secret weapon. If you ken what I mean!!

  49. In terms of over crowding, the country does have space, but as some have said, we tend to crowd in to the same areas. The real problem is the ability to provide services and infrastructure for additional people.

  50. Neil A


    Personally I favour a properly federal United Kingdom, with a purpose built new UK parliament on Merseyside

    Would have Cilla Black as speaker?

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