This week’s YouGov poll for the Sunday Times is up here, topline figures are CON 32%, LAB 38%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 13% – in line with the average YouGov Labour lead of six points or so. The rest of the poll was very much August fare (when a poll comes along with a big chunk of questions on whether TV presenters should have beards you know you are deep in silly season), though there were some repeats of YouGov’s semi-regular questions on how Ed Miliband is doing as Labour leader. As usual they are not very complementary.

I’ve written about the strange anomaly of Ed Miliband’s poor ratings several times (normally voting intention and best PM are far more closely correlated, and being ahead in voting intention tends to be accompanied with an opposition leader having more positive ratings. The sharp contrast between Ed Miliband’s poor personal ratings and Labour’s long-term lead in voting intention is unusual). I see how it resolves itself is one of the great unanswered questions of the next general election – whether Labour continue to do well despite Miliband’s poor ratings (as the Conservatives did despite Thatcher’s poor ratings in 1979), or whether the negative perceptions of Miliband weigh more heavily on the public as we get closer to a general election and a choice between who they want to form the next government, and Labour support is consequently dragged down. We cannot tell.

What we can tell is that perceptions of Miliband seem to be heading in the wrong direction. Today’s YouGov poll has the proportion of people thinking he is a weak leader up to 51% (from 47% in July and 37% last September), the percent thinking he is not up to the job of Prime Minister is up to 62%, from 57% in July, 51% in May. Whether this actually matters or not is a different question – personally I find the evidence of repeated British Election Studies that perceptions of the party leader are an important factor driving voting intention compelling… but that doesn’t mean that they can’t be outweighed by other factors that are presumably responsible for Labour having been in the lead now for over 18 months.


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

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  1. I seem to remember that there was an oddity with Swiss health insurance that although you had no choice about it it was still counted as private spending, I believe the same is true of Australia. A legal requirement to use a certain proportion of your income on health insurance sounds like state interference to me

  2. The size of the state even if restricted to a few chosen areas really depends on what you want from those services.

    Eritrea spends 21% on defence alone. Israel over 6% but Switzerland 1%.

    In theory if it is only for defence, police and looking after those who really need it then rich safe democracies should have lower spends that poor unsafe dangerous ones but it is the rich west that tends to spend more.

    As they are democracies it is hard not to argue that this is what the public have asked for.

    Peter.

  3. Amber Star

    Do you mean the people who support labour consider the Tory party, the nasty party what amout the majority who don’t vote Labour. How do you think they see the Labour party, you see it’s all silly partisan nonsense which ever way you spin it.

  4. MARTYN

    I see stuff there about shareholders & bondholders.

    And talk of depositors over the protected limit.

    But nothing about unwinding Deposit Guarantee Schemes.

  5. RIN

    “A legal requirement to use a certain proportion your income on health insurance sounds like state interference to me”

    Your joking of course.

  6. @ Turk

    Labour consistently outpolls all the other Parties re ‘having its heart in the right place’ regardless of whether it leads on VI or not.

  7. Hells Bells,

    Shakhter Karagandy 2-0 Celtic

    That’s ruined my day.

    Peter.

  8. @Peter Cairns

    Totally agree with that, especially your third paragraph. It’s why I go on about the size of the State so much. The trouble is people have been brainwashed and bribed by successive governments over many decades that they need this service and that service etc etc when all they need is more of their own money to spend as they need.

    Enough said back to the pleasures of watering the allotments, very necessary at the moment. Have a good evening all.

  9. RICHARD IN NORWAY

    @”What is all this “I agree with Nick” stuff today, is it really necessary to congratulate posters that share your opinion on a job well done? ”
    1.27pm

    @”Swampmongrel
    Excellent post”
    3.50pm

    What changed in 2hrs & 23 mins.?

  10. Turk

    No I’m not, the state demands that we all have car insurance, that’s interference and market rigging, but I don’t say that it’s wrong. Any action the state takes is interference, that’s what the state is for, a demand from the state that I must buy a certain product is effectively a tax, that’s purely logical reasoning

  11. Colin

    Either you have no sense of humour or you are having me on

    Swampmongrel said

    “Everybody going around in circles over whether Miliband’s carpiness will affect Labour’s chances is a bit boring IMHO.”

    Then he said

    “@SWAMPMONGREL

    Totally agree. Excellent post!!”

    Referring to my earlier post, then I said

    “Swampmongrel

    Excellent post”

    Making a joke of his joke about my post complaining about folk agreeing with each other

  12. ToH,

    There you go again, stating your opinions as facts when the facts don’t suit you.

    “The trouble is people have been brainwashed and bribed by successive governments”

    We get the Governments we vote for and therefore deserve. You don’t like how much governments spend so you blame them rather than the public that voted for these things.

    As ever you’d rather play the victim than accept the responsibility. It’s yet again not our fault because a big politician did it and ran away.

    We spend this much because it is what the majority have demanded but you don’t like what it costs so rather than accept you are in the minority you convince yourself that everyone else has been duped by the Evil Secret Elite!

    Peter.

  13. Re: State size – it seems to me that having a small state undermines the value of democracy. The less government does, the less voting can influence the way the country works. That’s nightmarish to me because it sounds like handing power to the Bransons and the Murdochs of the world at the expense of voters.

  14. RIN

    But specifically in health which you refered to, what is the difference in taking money directly through taxes to fund health or taking it through compulsary insurance sceme, nether option has a opt out clause.

    Or are you saying that any tax you have to pay is interference and should have an opt out clause. I assumed that tax payers in UK or Norway accept the principle that tax is necessary as one of the corner stones of government to supply services and defence to the population.

    These things are obvious I’m just not sure what point you were trying to make.

  15. AW

    You’ll pardon me if I suggest that you need your head looking at. When on holiday it is a rule of mine never to even look at politics in general, far less this polling report. It is never condusive to a good break.

    Hope you enjoy it anyhow.

  16. @TOH

    “I suggest Switzerland is a good example of a smaller state sector and a very stable country.”

    Perhaps – Australia is a bit of a dubious one, but I’ll grant Switzerland. Be that as it may, its one example of a smaller state sector and a stable country, but that isn’t an argument for why a smaller state equals a more stable country, or what your reasons are for believing this to be the case. I could equally point to the examples of the Nordic countries to show a relation between larger state and stability of the country in the same way, and to Chile under Pinochet as an example of a smaller state equalling instability.

    And, if I may say, your statement of people being “brainwashed” and “bribed” into believing a certain set of things is a surprisingly Marxist view for a conservative to hold.

    @PeterCairns

    “As they are democracies it is hard not to argue that this is what the public have asked for.”

    Well I think one can argue against that on the grounds that I don’t think anyone was specifically asked to vote on how much they wanted spent on defence.

    If people on their tax returns could opt-out of spending on certain government policies, then if the defence budget remains the same then that would be an indication. The fact that no party is really offering to reduce defence spending in a wholesale way, doesn’t then lead to the conclusion that the majority of people want that much spent on defence.

  17. Big Government students might like to study Detroit.

    Government ( albeit dysfunctional) is all they have left-no tax revenue to pay for it though.

    Half it’s $18bn public debt is accounted for by unfunded public sector employment benefits .

    Now they have lost one million taxpayers, have 78,000 vacant buildings, rampant crime & vandalism.

    Big Government is OK if you can hang on to Big Taxes-but when adverse change occurs in your industrial base-carrying on regardless & not adjusting to it leaves you bust-like Detroit.

    Without strong , job-creating businesses the welfare bills rise-taxes rise further & faster.

    And you can end up like Detroit.

  18. RiN

    @”Either you have no sense of humour or you are having me on”

    Neither-I just thought it was amusing-but forget about it if it upsets you.

  19. PETER CAIRNS

    @”Evil Secret Elite!”

    Oh not Public Schools again…….pulleese!

  20. MRNAMELESS
    Re: State size – it seems to me that having a small state undermines the value of democracy. The less government does, the less voting can influence the way the country works. That’s nightmarish to me because it sounds like handing power to the Bransons and the Murdochs of the world at the expense of voters.

    Totally disagree. You could easily argue the opposite, and say big Govt takes power away from people and enhances the arrogance of officialdom.

  21. Turk

    You are ascribing to me an argument that I never made. My point was that there is no difference between a tax and a compulsory requirement to buy a product be it a tv licence, car insurance or health insurance or indeed a driving licence. I most certainly did not say that everyone should have an opt out clause but that it is misleading to say that a country is low tax if that country forces it’s citizens to buy a product that other countries provide from taxation

  22. COLIN
    “…MARTYN. I see stuff there about shareholders & bondholders. And talk of depositors over the protected limit. But nothing about unwinding Deposit Guarantee Schemes…”

    Those are nearly haikus…

    You are correct, and the 100K figure for guarantees crops up a lot (100K EUR in EU, 100K USD in US). But there are two points:

    * The paranoia sites hypothesise that “extraordinary circumstance” clauses can be used to override the 100K guarantees, and/or withdrawal limits (~100EUR per day) imposed to sidestep them
    * My point (global capital confiscation abilities prevent currency movements to escape repressionomics) isn’t vitiated by saying they don’t apply to deposits 20yrs), induced inflation can be relied upon to degrade the usefulness of 100K protection

    rgdsm

  23. (reposted because “greater than” sign was misinterpreted as a tag)

    @COLIN

    “…MARTYN. I see stuff there about shareholders & bondholders. And talk of depositors over the protected limit. But nothing about unwinding Deposit Guarantee Schemes…”

    Those are nearly haikus…

    You are correct, and the 100K figure for guarantees crops up a lot (100K EUR in EU, 100K USD in US). But there are two points:

    * The paranoia sites hypothesise that “extraordinary circumstance” clauses can be used to override the 100K guarantees, and/or withdrawal limits (~100EUR per day) imposed to sidestep them
    * My point (capital confiscation abilities prevent currency movements to escape repressionomics) isn’t vitiated by saying they don’t apply to deposits <100K. Since repressionomics is a long-term thing (greater than 20yrs), induced inflation can be relied upon to degrade the usefulness of 100K protection

    rgdsm

  24. @Colin

    ”Evil Secret Elite!”

    Oh not Public Schools again…….pulleese!”

    Did you not understand anything Peter was saying!?

  25. Just dropped by and decided not to bother trying to catch up on the thread.

    I have picked up one story of minor interest, with the Telegraph reporting £1.7B of bonus payments have been delayed in order to avoid the 50% top rate tax.

    By my reckoning, this accounts to £85,000,000 or so of lost revenue directly (the lost 5%) plus the shifting of around £0.8B of tax revenue from the 50% tax rate year to the 45% year.

    These numbers are really quite significant, as the overall tax take from income tax will be used to justify why a lower top rate is better, without any regard to how the change over period was accounted for, as has happened in the past.

    Osborne appears to have lost the treasury millions in revenue by the way he announced the change, plus the rescheduling of income will distort the annual tax take figures, but as ever in politics, I don’t expect the facts to stand in the way of a story.

  26. @ Colin (sn),

    Surely the lesson of Detroit is that capitalism, when left to its own devices, tends to concentrate single industries in a way that leaves regional economies extremely vulnerable to collapse if the industry collapses (see also the Valleys and large swathes of northern England). The only solution is much stronger state planning to diversify regional economies so that big employers are either less concentrated or can be replaced with alternatives when they fail. It’s an argument for Big Government if ever there was one!

  27. This place today reminded me of when the teacher walks out of class and the kids go mental…..but with plenty of agreeing thrown in :-)

  28. @Colin
    “Big Government students might like to study Detroit.”
    —————–
    Are you suggesting that the collapse of their motor industry was due to Big Government ?

  29. @Red Rag

    I disagree :P

  30. Test

  31. Ah, there is a certain country in eastern Africa the name of which triggers auto mod, this is a country renowned for its small state amongst other things

  32. MARTYN

    @”The paranoia sites hypothesise”

    I have no doubt they do.

    I agree that “allowing” a “degree” of inflation will be a weapon in the arsenal of Central Bankers.

  33. @Peter Cairns

    No Peter you get me wrong, I blame the people who look for the soft option all the time and the successive governments who pander to them.

    I don’t for a moment ever expect to get a Government that meets my idea of good government but it wont stop me wanting it or believing I am right in wanting it.

  34. NORBOLD

    @”Did you not understand anything Peter was saying!?”

    Through a glass darkly usually-I expect it’s the language barrier.

  35. The other Howard

    “I don’t for a moment ever expect to get a Government that meets my idea of good government but it wont stop me wanting it or believing I am right in wanting it.”

    I know how you feel

  36. Anarchist Unite

    I am not a Conservative as i have said many times the only reason I tend to vote for them is because it helps to keep Labour out.

  37. SPEARMINT

    That isn’t the lesson I take from reading the Detroit story.

    But it’s all on the public record-so just have to form ones own opinion.

  38. Ozwald

    A very good point

  39. @ Amber

    Switzerland is probably one of the most militarised countries in Europe and a major armament exporter in some subsectors

  40. @TOH

    Ah, sorry: once again I shouldn’t be assuming. Silly actually because the original wording of my sentence was that it was quite a Marxist position for someone on the right to hold – should have stuck with that!

  41. @RiN

    Nice to sort of agree on something!

  42. OZWALD

    Nope-I’m suggesting that Big Government gave them costs which were not sustainable.

    Other US cities have overcome industrial change & historic dependency on single sectors-Pittsburgh & Cleveland are examples.

    And why decline in car manufacturing in Detroit , when it is expanding elsewhere in USA?

  43. @TOH & R in N

    “I don’t for a moment ever expect to get a Government that meets my idea of good government but it wont stop me wanting it or believing I am right in wanting it.”

    “I know how you feel”

    So do I – and that’s why I don’t want one :P

  44. R in N
    The role would be ‘reserve moderator’ (obviously) and I willing to put forward my candidature.

    On that subject, as with everything else, we need a poll

  45. @LAZLO

    Marx got something right then.

  46. @ Colin

    I’ll consider your point regarding Detroit, if you can explain to me why the shareholders of companies should enjoy limited liability & be shielded, relatively speaking, from the consequences of changes in the economy.

    Otherwise, I’ll be forced to assume that you’re in favour of protectionist policies for those with capital & harsh reality for everybody else.

  47. Martyn and Colin

    The problem with financial repression is that in the modern money system it can’t possibly work, nearly all money today is created as debt, the only money which isn’t created as debt is notes and coins but we use them less and less, inflation requires more money which means more debt. In the past when there was inflation the govt had to print new money in the form of notes so that trade could continue, that money was debt free and so reduced the debt burden of the economy. It is no accident that the start of the huge credit inflation coincided with the advent of digital money and the reduced need for cash, neither is it coincidental that the pace of debt increase mirrors the extension of electronic payment system

  48. AMBER

    I believe shareholders should be exposed to the risk associated with owning equity in a company-ie total loss.

    Which is what happens when a listed company fails.

    Seems like you have an example in mind of shareholders being bailed out?

  49. @ ToH

    Many things…

    Engels has an interesting article on how to occupy (militarily) Switzerland (well wage a modern (then) war in such terrain and defence structures).

  50. @ Laszlo

    I take your point but… aren’t only 5% of Switzerland’s army full-time professional soldiers? Most are conscripts & reservists are they not? Thus Switzerland is not paying for only an elite force; they are including the ‘ordinary people’ in their army, thereby maintaining the idea that the army is there to protect the whole population not just the privileged.

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