This week’s YouGov poll for the Sunday Times is online here. Topline voting intention figures are CON 32%, LAB 38%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 13%, echoing the six point Labour lead that YouGov’s daily polls seem to be averaging around.

Given we are now getting into silly season the rest of the poll was rather a mixed bag of issues. On fracking people back the extraction of shale gas by 41% to 33%, with 26% saying they don’t know. 68% of people think shale gas would be very or fairly good for the economy, outweighing the 47% who think it would be very or fairly damaging to the environment and the 36% who think it would not be safe. However people would be less favourable about fracking taking place in their own local area – 43% think this would be a bad thing, only 25% a good thing.

65% of respondents said that social media sites should take action to prevent abusive or offensive comments in general, with 20% saying that people should just block users if they find them offensive. Asked more specifically about comments that threaten violence or rape, 87% of people think that social media websites should take action to prevent them. 85% of people support the criminal prosecution of people who make comments threatening violence or rape on social media sites.

The only hard politics in there really was on the House of Lords – only 19% of people support the current appointed House of Lords. 47% would prefer a chamber that was partially or wholly elected, 16% would like to see it abolished entirely. Only 9% think it is acceptable for parties to appoint people who have donated money as members of the House of Lords and 60% would support a ban on donors being given peerages.

There was also a new Survation poll in yesterday’s Mail on Sunday. Topline figures were CON 28%(nc), LAB 36%(nc), LDEM 11%(+2), UKIP 18%(-2). Little change there, though as with TNS earlier in the week it’s worth noting that the downwards trend in UKIP support is now showing up more broadly (Survation had them peaking at 22% back in May, though some of the decline could be due to a weighting tweak) – there is still a difference between pollsters using different methods, but the trend is the same. Tabs are here.


98 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 32, LAB 38, LD 10, UKIP 13”

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  1. JOHN PILGRIM

    THanks.

    The reports are as available to you as to me.

    I was particularly struck by the closure of surplus industrial capacity on such a scale-and the ban on new government buildings-just goes to show how hell for leather spending on “infrastructure” can go wrong.

    I think you are right about the attempt to strengthen the “domestic” economy by encouraging wider consumer spending-but the price seems to be pretty brutal closure of many state establishments & the potential bankruptcy of some businesses.

    THe clamp down on corruption, which saw the Railways chief sentenced to death ( commuted) has of course embroiled some western companies too-including our own GSK plc.

    I think the “west” will indeed see new-or different -opportunities-but there are losers -the suppliers of basic commodities ( metals etc)

  2. @ Colin

    I think the “west” will indeed see new-or different -opportunities.
    —————-
    No, the ‘west’ won’t “see new – or different – opportunities” because China will now use what it has learned to service its own (comparatively small) local market of urban consumers.

    There never was any intention by the Chinese government of putting in place the infrastructure to allow mass consumerism throughout China (regardless of what potential investors were told) & there is certainly no plans by the Chinese government to do so now.

  3. And lest anybody think I am being nasty about China, I think it is an amazing nation & its people are extremely welcoming & kind. The Chinese government is trying to do what is required to meet the needs of its population – if they have ‘fooled’ anybody, it was those who were eager & willing to be ‘fooled’.

    All nations are not the same. Attempts to exactly copy our UK/USA models of government, finance, trade & culture into other nations will surely fail.

  4. @ Anthony

    Has YG polled on this issue for the Labour Party – & (if yes) will the tables be published?

    http://www.theguardian.com/business/2013/aug/04/labour-focus-economic-growth-bypass-families

    “Labour will this week attempt to shift the political focus to its claim that the start of an economic recovery will bypass most of the population by saying that working people are on average £1,350 worse off in real terms under David Cameron.

    “It has also published findings from a specially commissioned poll showing 70% believe recent improvements in the economy have not benefited middle and lower income families, with just 10% saying they have.”

  5. So ed ‘s slogan is going to be “you’re never had it so bad”?

  6. Have the tax threshold rises (past and future) been factored into those numbers?

  7. “Asked more specifically about comments that threaten violence or rape, 87% of people think that social media websites should take action to prevent them. 85% of people support the criminal prosecution of people who make comments threatening violence or rape on social media sites.”

    A bit of non-knee-jerk thinking is needed here.

    There are so many Twitter and Facebook posts made every second, let alone every day, that the only “solution” would have to be software-based. And software is notoriously bad at understanding language. Sure, it could auto-delete any post containing the word “rape”, but this would prevent victims mentioning it, or people reporting court cases etc. And when it comes to violence, the number of synonyms, let alone euphemisms, is so great that half the posts made would fail the test. (Including this post, which includes two references to “rape” and two to “violence”). And on top of everything else, as soon as a word is banned a euphemism appears; that’s how language works.

    So if automatic software filters don’t fill the bill, what about the software alerting the website (or police, or government) human staff of a potential violation. No go: the volumes would still be so great that huge armies of staff would be required…. and who is going to pay for them?

    Moderating works fine on this site, as it’s a LOW VOLUME site and one man can police it. Facebook and Twitter aren’t. In sheer practical terms we just have to live with the unfortunate fact that if one in 10,000 people are obnoxious, and 10 million posts are made a day, then there will be 1,000 obnoxious posts that day.

    In the very small number of cases where there is criminally actionable incitement to rape or violence (there, I’ve said them three times now), it’s up to the offended party to report it to the police. Neither the websites nor the government can be nursemaid.

  8. It would be interesting to see whether the tax threshold has been factored in. From a polling perspective though, it’s the perception rather than the facts which make the different. 70% thinking the economy isn’t working for the bottom and middle is a big red flag for the Conservatives.

    You can be sure that Labour will do their best to keep that red flag flying there.

    *tumbleweeds*

  9. @ MiserableOldGit

    Twitter are adding a ‘report abuse’ button. They are taking on additional staff to block the accounts of people sending Tweets containing illegal threats & will immediately follow up when presented with a court order, instead of dragging their feet & trying to preserve the anonymity of the threatening Tweeter. This is a significant – & welcome – change in attitude by Twitter; it’s a victory for campaigners.

  10. http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2013/aug/05/zero-hours-contracts-cover-1m-uk-workers

    This seems more like a survey than a poll.

    @ Anthony

    Are there expert definitions of survey & poll so that geeks like us can feel smug about knowing the difference?

  11. I’ll pop five virtual notes on the ‘report abuse’ feature being abused by the trolling types. Day 1.

  12. Interesting survey today which might lead some wait to the case that the “recovery” hasn’t benefited most working people.

    More than a million UK workers are on zero-hours contracts with no guarantees of shifts or work patterns – four times official estimates, research suggests.

    A survey of 1,000 employers by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development indicated 3-4% of the whole workforce were on such contracts.

    Some 14% of affected staff could not earn a basic standard of living.

    I would have thought this might rather undermine official unemployment figures to.

  13. Peter Capaldi has been chosen as the next Dr Who.

    Some have suggested that He looks too old, personally I think He is looking pretty good for 908.

    I would love him to perform as a Malcolm Tucker ( The Thick of It.)

    “Dr What is it”

    “It’s a ********* Omni-shambles”

  14. Do we still live in a democracy?

    http://www.comres.co.uk/polls/The_4th_Agenda_5_July_2013.pdf

    47% don’t believe their vote counts in general elections, 42% think it does

    76% don’t believe politicians have any principles anymore, 13% think they do.

    60% say all parties offer the same policies, 29% think they offer different policies

  15. AMBER

    We will have to disagree.

    It seems to me , from reports that I read, that China specifically wishes to increase imports of consumer goods . This is an extract from a China Daily report back in 2011 :-

    “………..her optimism comes from news that China plans to increase imports of consumer goods over the coming five years.

    The plan is written in the draft of the country’s 12th Five-year Program (2011-2015), which has been delivered to legislators for reviewing.

    The draft document said China will “increase consumer goods imports in a proper manner” as part of its efforts to optimize imports to achieve a more balanced trade and economic growth.”

    So I do see opportunities for western economies in this policy change-different ones to those experienced during China’s period of importing basic commodities.

    China’s problem however, is unsurprising-you cannot suddenly tighten monetary policy in that way at the same time as halting infrastructure spending, & closing surplus industrial capacity without effecting consumer confidence :-

    http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/business/chinadata/2013-06/25/content_16657614.htm

    It remains to be seen whether Xi Jinping can deliver on his objective of rebalancing China’s economy, without growth falling below 7% pa-seems a tall order.

    I was struck by your remark about “copying” other models. There are so many amusing comparisons in the China story currently -GO trying to rebalance away from consumer spending towards exports & manufacturing, whilst China does the polar opposite.

    And of course the credit expansion and construction boom which crashed the economies of Spain & RoI , causing their banks to be rescued by the State-whilst China commits similar expansionary errors , but simply writes the whole thing off because it’s banks belong to the State.

  16. Colin

    Spain and Ireland could have written those debts off very easily, it’s called bankruptcy. The banks were bust they should have been allowed to go under

  17. It seems to me that the figures that Steve and Amber give on zero hours contracts and income from work might give Labour a powerful weapon against the conservatives and one which would chime with the personal experience and fears of a lot of people. However, they would need to show that the figures are robust (e.g. income after tax) and that they have the policies to do something about them. They would then need to go on about them as often as the conservatives go on about ‘the mess that labour left us’.

  18. RiN

    I tend to agree.

  19. @ Colin

    You can disagree with facts if you want to.

    China has no consumer infrastructure. China is ceasing to spend on infrastructure therefore they cannot become a consumer nation.

    To keep growth at a level close to 7%, whatever consumption there is will need to be of locally manufactured goods & local services. Imports will be restricted to essential components required for manufacturing which China cannot make in-house (mainly tool maintenance spares).

    I’m looking forward to you wholeheartedly believing the next Labour government’s PR press releases in the way that you believe those issued by the Chinese government. :-)

  20. @ Statgeek

    I’ll pop five virtual notes on the [Twitter] ‘report abuse’ feature being abused by the trolling types. Day 1.
    ——————-
    I hope they do. They’ll get their accounts blocked all the sooner.

  21. I’m not sure that it is good strategy by Labour, the Tory retort is that these things have happened because of the mess that Labour made of the economy. it seems it just gives the Tories a chance to trot out their line which is accepted as fact now with the added disadvantage that Labour is emphasizing the damage it did when they supposedly screwed up the economy

  22. Amber

    Lol

  23. Amber

    “I’m looking forward to you wholeheartedly believing the next Labour government’s PR press releases in the way that you believe those issued by the Chinese government. :-)”

    Lol lol

  24. “@ richard in norway

    Colin

    Spain and Ireland could have written those debts off very easily, it’s called bankruptcy. The banks were bust they should have been allowed to go under”

    Writting off debts is never easy because of the knock on effects. Many UK banks have exposure to European debts either directly or indirectly. RBS at one time owned about half of the Spanish student debt market and owned various other assets there.

    Before you would even consider debt write offs, you would have to have full analysis of the interconnectivety of the finances of instituitions. If you did not do this, it would not just be Ireland or Spain that would be facing bankruptcy.

  25. “@ richard in norway

    Colin

    Spain and Ireland could have written those debts off very easily, it’s called bankruptcy. The banks were bust they should have been allowed to go under”

    Writting off debts is never easy because of the knock on effects. Many UK banks have exposure to European debts either directly or indirectly. RBS at one time owned about half of the Spanish student debt market and owned various other assets there.

    Before you would even consider debt write offs, you would have to have full analysis of the interconnectivety of the finances of instituitions. If you did not do this, it would not just be Ireland or Spain that would be facing bankruptcy.

    Spain is bankrupt because they borrowed money to build things, which would not generate sustainable income.

  26. @ RH

    Spain is bankrupt because they borrowed money to build things, which would not generate sustainable income.
    ————–
    Spain is ‘bankrupt’ because it can’t unilaterally create more of its own currency in the way that the UK & China can.

  27. That £1,350 figure seems to be in the right ball park, given what we know about earnings v inflation and the full rather than selective picture of changes to tax and tax credits since 2010. Surprising that some here are questioning it.

    http://www.theguardian.com/business/economics-blog/2013/jun/12/uk-workers-inflation-wage-growth
    “Despite the latest encouraging jobs figures, an economy where earnings have failed to keep pace with inflation for 40 straight months shows little reason for optimism”

    and this bit might interest poll watchers:

    “But for politicians hoping for a return of the feelgood factor – or economy watchers pinning their hopes on a revival in consumer spending – there is, as yet, little reason for optimism. As Resolution’s James Plunkett puts it, “we know that this trend is almost certain to continue through 2014 and into 2015 before there’s a realistic prospect of wages beginning to recover. Even then it is likely to be several years before wages return to levels seen before the recession.””

  28. My Daughter has just been seeking Her first full job in an area with significantly below average unemployment all jobs available to Her were zero hours contracts most on minimum or just above minimum wage.

    She Has 4 A Levels A Level 3 Diploma (professional equivalent to anther 3 A Levels) and is Doing a BA via the OU and worked part time since She was 15

    If this is all that is available to a well qualified and relatively experienced young woman I think it indicates that this is a genuine growing problem.

  29. I think I’m getting a handle on what the political strategy Labour are using actually is now. There has long been the idea that Ed M is never following through enough on his attacks, or allows the Conservatives too much space to defend themselves.

    And then I realised what they’re doing. Rope-A-Dope. Make occasional jabs, let the Conservatives make a furious defence, then switch to something else to attack on… then switch again… then switch again…

    If they continue, by 2015, the Conservatives arguments in their defence will all already be known. Most of them will already be blunted, if not in tatters. The Conservatives compound this, by trying to stay popular now by making announcements and policy shifts that would have been better reserved for 2015.

    Meanwhile, Labour can just bring out stronger versions of the same attacks they used before, which they already know the defences to, and which the low information voters weren’t paying attention to outside of an election period.

    Potential down sides… Controversy fatigue might set in, with people just accepting that “all politicians are bad”.

  30. I imagine that GO believes that a smaller state and lower taxes for the better off will benefit everyone. I imagine that Labour believes that such policies do not produce a net benefit but rather lower growth, more insecure and low paid jobs, and some richer people.

    So logically Labour has to point to anything that supports their case and this would seem to include the growth of zero hour contracts and worse living standards for most people since the conservatives came in.

    Obviously the conservatives will say that these things have nothing to do with their policies except in so far as they needed to take certain steps in order to clear up the mess etc. And that things are actually improving

    They’ll say this anyway, so I don’t think that Labour needs to worry about pointing to these ‘facts’ if that is what they are. What they should do is say how they would deal with them.

  31. Good article from Roger Bootle about the German economy compared to others.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/rogerbootle/10221867/The-Germans-are-walking-tall-in-the-eurozone-but-just-how-rich-are-they.html

    Makes you think that Germany may not actually be the main powerhouse economy in Europe that we think it is.

  32. CHARLKES

    @”I imagine that GO believes that a smaller state and lower taxes for the better off will benefit everyone. ”

    I guess you just forgot about the removed Income Tax for the lower paid-I think GO believes that to be a benefit to those people too.

  33. AMBER

    @”You can disagree with facts if you want to.”

    lol.

  34. ” @Amber Star

    @ RH

    Spain is bankrupt because they borrowed money to build things, which would not generate sustainable income.
    ————–
    Spain is ‘bankrupt’ because it can’t unilaterally create more of its own currency in the way that the UK & China can.”

    Yes you have a point to a certain extent, although I would hate to think about the inflation rate and problems down the road, if they did this. The amount of money they would have to create would be enormous compared to the size of the economy.

  35. My mum works for a conservation charity and her wages (about £22,000) haven’t risen since 2008. Her brother, on the other hand, works in the City of London and gets about £300,000pa. She’s always voted Labour but has taken quite a step to the left in the past few years.

    I suspect there are a lot of people like her – who Ed Miliband calls the squeezed middle – who aren’t desperately poor but were doing okay and are now struggling. They see bankers being given enormous salaries while they do productive work and, it seems, aren’t rewarded.

    That’s the angle of attack Labour seem to be going for because it’s a demographic they have plenty of opportunities to tap into.

    Jayblanc’s comment is quite astute. Labour’s strategy is attrition. They force the Tories to bring out their arguments now, then slowly chip away at them over time.

  36. R HUCKLE

    Of course-there would be a price to pay for bank bankruptcies-it was the main thing which states like RoI, Spain-& UK were concerned about.

    I was just agreeing with Richard’s suggestion that the rules of capitalism could have been allowed to operate. -failed companies go bust & shareholders bear the cost.

  37. One of the Problems with the German Economy is it is becoming too similar to that of the UK and USA.

    The disparity between the money received by the average employee in Germany and CEO’s has historically been only a third of that in the UK and the USA Since the UK began the remorseless growth in disparity beginning incomes starting in the 1980’s and now accelerating.

    In 1980 The average CEO in private companies earned 25 Times the average company wage The disparity now is in the region of 170 Times.

    This hasn’t happened in the public sector where the difference between the average and the highest paid hasn’t significantly changed and remains around 15 Times.

    The reduction of Public Sector jobs and the growth of zero hours contracts means that since 2010 nationally the disparity is growing at the fastest rate ever.

    The fact that Germany was relatively egalitarian meant that there was no need for minimum wage legislation as there was a tradition of fairness in employment .

    Things are changing there for the worse as executive pay takes off and over 9 million Germans now work at less than the UK minimum wage.

  38. @Colin – He may well believe that and so (perhaps even more strongly) do the lib dems and so I guess do Labour. The lines of division, I guess, are more about what is the effect of shrinking the state and reducing taxes on the better off.

    Practically there is an issue of whether the reduced taxes on the less well off have adequately counterbalanced all the other things that have been going on in that neck of the woods. Which is why I feel that Labour needs to show that its sums are credible. There is then another issue about whether there is anything to be done about the matter if the sums are credible.

  39. Charles
    I suppose not permitting zero hours contracts unless there were exceptional circumstances and encouraging paying the living wage, both of which are Labour Policies would have an impact.

  40. Steve

    I agree but I have not heard too much about them. Is that Labour holding its fire, the press suppressing what Labour say, or everyone going off on holiday and thinking about other things/

  41. CHARLES

    @”The lines of division, I guess, are more about what is the effect of shrinking the state and reducing taxes on the better off.”

    I think your phrase” Shrinking the State” has to be defined if you wish t to mean something. On purely fiscal grounds I think you will find that Total Public Spending as & GDP will not fall below the pre-credit crash level-and I don’t recall concerns about the size of “the state” then.
    Of course there are arguments about the areas of state expenditure which have been reformed-but if you mean the welfare spend for example, I was under the impression that those reforms receive a large degree of popular support.

    Regarding the reduction in the higher rate of IT-I think DC has already adequately dealt with Labour’s attack-in essence his response is that Labour only increased the rate in the dying days of their administration, and the current rate is higher than it was throughout most of Labour’s time in office.

    I don’t think any of these issues are “lines of division”-at least not ones which resonate with voters.

    Cost of Living on the other hand is definitely fertile ground for Labour.

  42. “encouraging paying the living wage”

    Steve: I imagine an interview in which they say:

    “We are delighted to tell you we are offering you the post. As for salary we shall be paying you a wage which is not sufficient for you to live on. We are also happy to guarantee you a contract for zero hours per week.

    Congratuations.”

  43. The thread is dead, long live the thread

  44. 9% supporting the nomination of Party supporters as peers is strikingly low when all the parties are doing just the opposite.

    The House of Lords has got to the stage where it is bringing Westminster politics into disrepute.

    I can’t help thinking that the Greens in particular would have done better to oppose the nomination of peers altogether rather than to join the gravy train.

    When will a party emerge that opposes this sort of thing? Of course, the problem is that they wouldn’t get enough funding.

    By the way, I work on a zero hours contract. Far too many people are working on these contracts but I am not sure what can be done about it as some workers genuinely like the flexibility, for instance actors filling in between work and people with intermittent caring responsibilities. Perhaps a bigger issue is to ensure that people can get a living wage. This includes sensible levels of benefits for those genuinely in need as well as review of the workings of the minimum wage. But the psephological point about this is that there appears to be a wide disparity between voters’ perceptions at a political level and their appreciation of their everyday lives.

  45. Why were people not asked about a hereditary upper chamber? This would be the traditional, and clearly the superior option. Fantastic independence from parties, and the installation of a historical mentality – and idea of lifelong service by duty – at the heart of the constitution. Give me that over a chamber of appointed stooges or yet more elected professional party politicians anyday.

  46. ‘Why were people not asked about a hereditary upper chamber? This would be the traditional, and clearly the superior option. Fantastic independence from parties, and the installation of a historical mentality – and idea of lifelong service by duty – at the heart of the constitution. Give me that over a chamber of appointed stooges or yet more elected professional party politicians anyday.’

    April 1 surely? If not it’s a totally laughable idea.

    Why not a democratic chamber of fully elected people? That’s what the rest of the world runs on (bar for some states which only have one elected chamber). I believe in democracy.

  47. AMBER
    There are two points which might bear on your argument that the encouragement of growth in China’s consumer market does not mean that this is accessible to western suppliers:
    first that it would only need a small percentage of the market to provide a whopping benefit to the west;
    secondly that there is an already well established market in high value western brands.
    I do not have the figures, but think they will be worth watching, and that UK entities operating in the market will include such sectors as tourism, English language and higher education.

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