I’m on leave this week so don’t expect much posting. For the record Monday’s twice-weekly Populus poll had topline figures of CON 32%, LAB 38%, LDEM 12%, UKIP 11%, while YouGov’s daily poll for Tuesday morning had figures of CON 31%, LAB 38%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 14%. Both are pretty much in line with the two companies’ recent averages.

Meanwhile there was also some ICM polling in the Daily Mirror this morning – no voting intention, just some questions on attitudes towards Ed Miliband – the headline finding was that 34% of 2010 Labour voters thought Miliband should not lead Labour into the next election, 46% thought that he should. The rest of the survey asked which leader people preferred on various measures, finding the leaders usual strengths and weaknesses – Cameron leads Miliband on making tough decisions and running the economy, Miliband is seen as more in touch, honest and interested in helping the poorest. Clegg doesn’t do well anywhere.

(For the avoidance of doubt given how late I’m posting today, those YouGov figures are the Monday night/Tuesday morning figures, NOT a sneak preview of Tuesday night/Wednesday morning figures!)

589 Responses to “Latest YouGov, Populus and ICM polling”

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  1. @toh

    The idea you don’t need to intervene in markets is a joke. In some sectors it’s less necessary, because there are natural barriers to business creating an hegemony, eg when resources are not very limited.

    Much if the time though, business seeks to stack the deck and seek to eliminate competition, and leave consumers with insufficient real choice and workers likewise. So the debate is about the best way to intervene.

    Yes, I know you’re trying to make it about a single sector… It’s a common gambit to try and render the effects of general unemployment moot. Doesn’t work though. In an era of mass employment people can retrain such as to keep wages depressed in a sector…

  2. Carfrew,

    My question was simply a request for clarification, because if you ask “Do you prefer doing X or Y?” then one’s first thought should be “To do what?”

    Anyway, the best single way right now to raise wages would be to cut unemployment down to what economists call the “natural rate” i.e. to make up for the shortfall in demand we’ve had over the past four years. The best way to do that would be to have the Bank of England have an expansionary monetary policy until average nominal GDP (growth + inflation) growth over (say) 2008-2015 equalled 5%.

    (There are lots of ways of reducing the natural rate of unemployment once we get there (though they involve taking on special interests) but we’re well off the point where that’s our problem.)

    Falling unemployment will lead to higher real wages. So, in that sense, I’m on the “pro-demand” side for the time being, although the best way to get that demand is not to have governments spend on the politically profitable causes of the day, but to have expansionary monetary policy.

    I don’t really fit in with the left or the right on this issue: I’m fine with fiscal austerity, but only if coupled with monetary stimulus. The left is indifferent-to-hostile on monetary policy and the right is just plain hostile, which is why I anticipate that we’ll continue the mistakes of the 1920s and 1930s.

  3. HS2 doesn’t get as far as the North East, never mind Scotland. It won’t let you go straight to Europe either – you will have to change trains and stations in London. And we’re promised that it will create additional demand, not free up capacity on existing lines, so no freight bonus there.

    Of course if we wanted to do something faster, with less environmental damage, and that was cheaper (and actually ground breaking rather than just playin catch up) then there is an alternative: http://www.dailynews.com/technology/20130823/elon-musks-hyperloop-travel-idea-gains-fans-if-not-backers

  4. I appreciate that Laszlo, RiN and co. will disagree with concepts like the natural rate of unemployment, but I’ll just say in advance that I don’t plan on debating them.

  5. @Carfrew

    You may think my reply is a joke, you have aright to your opinion but I really do not believe in intervening in the way you suggest. I agree that staking the deck to eliminate competition is wrong, it’s why I am dead against nationalised industries. If private industries try to establish monopolies it’s up to the legislators to do something about that.

    Meeting your second point the above says nothing about a specific sector i was just pointing out that not all industries will be in the same position even in period of slow growth and high unemployment.

  6. Can I suggest that we take a couple of steps back and breathe deeply, re entering the site to talk in a non partisan way about opinion polls?

    I get the sense that the thread is veering towards a period of non polling grumpiness, and all that will happen is that posters will get upset and AW has to start cracking the whip.

    I’m afraid whenever I see posters write things like “I seldom lose an argument…..” I know we’re in trouble.

    [Hint: ‘Winning’ an argument actually means persuading the other side that you are correct. On this basis, the person who posted this has almost never won, at least not on UKPR. Winning isn’t really the point though – we’re here to talk about polls, not to win arguments, however you might choose to define that].

  7. @Thesheep – I think tyhe lack of a direct connection to Europe is one of the biggest drawbacks with HS2.

    I’m still interested in what people’s views of the potential polling impact on this could be. Has anyone checked to see how many constituencies are affected, and whether any of these are or could become marginals?

  8. Alec,

    May we argue about polls?

  9. I know that HS2 affects Leeds and Manchester, where there are very few marginal constituencies, though the LDs’ seats in those areas are either marginals or will become marginals in 2015.

  10. @Alec

    From my point of view I am very happy to leave my discussion with Carfrew I agree with you it is not what AW wants. I gave an aswer which was not accepted hense the discussion.

    As to your comment about winning or losing an argument that lies in the views of the protagonists and the viewers. If i “think ” I have won an argument then in my eyes i have won it. If you don’t think i have won an argument then in your eyes i havn’t. To the individual its there own perception that counts. I am sure Galileo often thought that.

    Going for a walk with my wife so have a good evening all.

  11. HS2 seems generally a good idea in that enabling people and goods to get from one part of a country to another, key cities at that, is a mark of an advanced developed country. (I do accept that the plans are expensive and by no means perfect.)

    One way of looking at this sort of idea is to imagine looking back in time. Would we be better off it the Eurostar did not exist, or rail electrification, or the M25, or the London Underground? Will people in 20 years be relieved if HS2 is never built?

    How this issue might affect polling is yet to be seen, or perhaps I have missed something?

  12. No direct connection between HS1 and HS2? Um… Goes to show how little those arguing against it actually know about the project. The HS1-HS2 connecting link has been part of the plan from the start, it doesn’t make much sense otherwise. HS2 it’s self will terminate at Euston, but there will be a branch line from Old Oak Common that joins up with HS1 allowing direct train passage from HS2 to HS1.

  13. @Bill

    Thanks. I’m not against expansionary monetary policy per se, although as discussions between Colin, RiN et al indicate it very much matters how you do it.

    The problem is that just expanding the money supply etc leaves some problems open. Business does not always invest where we need it. It tends to invest where it’ll get the greatest return more quickly, which may often align with our interests, but not always.

    There are things we may need or benefit from which is not liable to come from business. Things which may have longer lead times, or are a bit risky, or which only government can marshall resources for, or which run counter to profts (eg creating cures versus continuing to treat symptoms).

    The Internet on which we are debating arose from long term public investment. Right now housing would be useful but business may make more money by constraining supply.

    So I wouldn’t dismiss all government investment as mere political expediency. As for the left being down on monetary policy, they weren’t in the Seventies when they had to control inflation owing to the oil price hikes.

  14. Bless you, Other Howard,

    On polls and politics you can ”think” what you like, but this:

    ”If i “think ” I have won an argument then in my eyes i have won it. If you don’t think i have won an argument then in your eyes i havn’t. To the individual its there own perception that counts. I am sure Galileo often thought that.”

    … is from Alice in Wonderland.

    Logic aside, Alec is also wise to suggest that talking of ‘winning’ arguments like Test Matches is dangerous indeed. Pascal advised that in argument you should never suggest to a fellow human being that his or her reasoning is inadequate. Rather you should always suggest that he or she has not considered certain material facts. That way two people can sometimes resolve an argument together.

  15. RE: HS2 and constituencies – I just Photoshopped together this overlay of the HS2 route with a map of the UK by parliamentary constituency – Seems the first stage is right through true blue country…


  16. @toh

    I know you don’t believe in intervening. I’m just putting some reasons forward as to why it’s sadly a bit more tricky to escape than it may seem, and hence it may come down to what you might consider unpalatable choices.

    I’m more a “fix the problem at source” kinda guy, rather than the mess of trying to manage the systems. And government intervention doesn’t have to mean wholesale nationalisations.

    We need to create some pressure on business to behave more the way we would prefer (and to fill some gaps we can’t reasonably expect business to fill). So you can have state-backed businesses that can scale up when business is taking the mick or is unable to cope because of a market shock, then you scale back the state provision when things are better.

    Frankly we could have really used that in the banking crisis.

    I agree not all businesses will be in the same position. In some sectors, it may be hard to find as many employees as you might use, because skills are hard to acquire. Their wages are unlikely to suffer from being depressed though. There may be many sectors other sectors where this does not apply however…

  17. “manage the systems” = manage the symptoms

  18. @Jayblanc

    Well the connection will be a nice way to move rolling stock, but I think we’ll see almost every single service terminate at Euston. And realistically it will still be far quicker and cheaper to take the plane from BHX-CDG (then the lovely RER) than take a train.

    As for polling, there are a number of marginal constituencies, such as mine in NW Leics where this could have a big impact. There is also the destabilising effect of relatively safe seats where although there is no absolute risk we will see MPs wasting time and money placating annoyed local associations.

  19. There are many ways to expand the money supply, some of the good and some of them extremely bad, depending on your viewpoint as to the natural rate of unemployment, is that the rate that gives the highest corporate profits?

  20. @Colin Davis

    As a Director who managed in the 70’s when Trade Unions had a stronger hold on business I have plenty of experience of resolving differences between parties in dispute. Since I was promoted several times during those times I was probably very good at it.

    In reality on a site like this you can have as much discussion as you like but opinions held both on the right and left are very deeply held so in there is little chance in changing opinions in any significant way.

    Incidently I cannot remember that piece in Alice in Wonderland. Who says it?

  21. @ Colin

    She [that’s me, Amber] isn’t talking about competing on labour costs-she is talking about import controls on her “loads of stuff” , and UK manufacture of said stuff by workers whose pay is dictated by the State.


    But back to the topic: Are River Island, Burberry, JohnLewis, M&S etc. all now stocking garments made in the UK because the current government has put import controls in place? Probably not; so perhaps Colin & Peter simply have ‘low expectations’ for our people (pace Ed Miliband’s comment). I, on the other hand, believe there’s very few things which we can’t do every bit as effectively as any other nation.

    Here’s one article about the direction the clothing trade is going in:


    And this is just the beginning; the return of local manufacturing is just getting started but there are many advantages (e.g. not finding your labels’ Autumn designs in other stores before you’ve cleared your Summer stock is just one benefit of UK manufacture).

  22. Carfew

    I’ve been trying to follow your last post but I must admit I can’t tell if your joking or not, if your not.

    Are you suggesting that when a company starts to make what you think is an unreasonable profit the government then steps in to take the company over, or if a company is poorly managed the state steps in.

    What evidence do you have that the state is even capable of managing large busineses, certainly there is no sign of that in the NHS or MOD for example or in other public run industries such as the BBC,all of which are characterised by inefficiency and waste.

    And who are all these experts on running business in government certainly not the civil service, business is about risk taking and it’s not for the government to take on the mantle of business supremo, governments are very good at spending money, but absolutely rubbish at creating it other than through ever rising taxes.

  23. AMBER STAR…………’And this is just the beginning; the return of local manufacturing is just getting started….! All the more reason to vote Tory, it’s happening under our watch, thanks for the acknowledgement.

  24. Amber

    “just one benefit of UK manufacture”

    Are you saying that these benefits would only come from UK manufacture?

    If so, why would production in one of the Crown Dependencies, Ireland, France – or any other part of the EU not deliver the same benefits?

  25. @TOH…….Thanks. EdM has been working on his conference speech for the past couple of weeks, yet another inspirational call to follow the path to yet another Socialist Utopia, whether or not the Labour brand is sufficiently rehabilitated for the Great British public to trust, after the last promised land turned to desert, we’ll see.

  26. @ Ken

    I’m delighted to see it happening on anybody’s watch. We need them to encourage it. We need more of it. And we need the minimum wage rising to a living wage so that everybody involved benefits from it.

    I’m not Colin or Peter; I believe that any government can choose to encourage UK manufacturing; can choose to encourage – or even legislate for – a living wage; I think any ‘colour’ of government has an opportunity to make the UK a fair wage, production led economy. I hope this government makes that choice i.e. to ignore the naysayers & get on with making it happen!

  27. @Ken

    Indeed we will.

  28. AMBER STAR…….Manufacturers don’t need encouragement or motivation, just support, and that doesn’t come from imposing artificially high costs to win votes. Although I do agree that the State has a role to play, I don’t think that interference for political gain is part of it.

  29. @ Old Nat

    If so, why would production in one of the Crown Dependencies, Ireland, France – or any other part of the EU not deliver the same benefits?
    I hope they choose to do the same. There is enough work to go around. China, India etc. should be growing their economies on the same basis i.e. serving their domestic market, putting their efforts into designing, making, building things which meet local needs as well as incomer/ export needs. They know this already; they must action it. We all need balanced trade; not surpluses & deficits & hot money flipping around the globe. You know that, yes? You just wanted to see it written down. ;-)

  30. ken

    There is not much to choose between stated Labour and Conservative economic policy right now.

    Philosophically. Labour believe in fairer wealth distribution. Of course, “fairer” is the sort of word that can be used and abused forever. But the Tories/coalition may have capped welfare rises at 1% for the time being but so far they haven’t suggested doing away with it.

    What would change under a Labour government? You seem to think bankruptcy. But that is tribalism speaking. Just as when I say the opposite about the Tories. The language of the Tories is all about small state anti-union private sector boosting…but I think there ain’t much going on that wouldn’t be happening under Brown if he had formed a coalition with Clegg.

    I’m a socialist. Believe me… you don’t have to worry about Labour doing ANYTHING that I would do.

  31. AMBER STAR……….’party political gain………’

  32. Amber

    Thanks. You had me worried for a bit there!

    With a domestic market of over 500 million, that means a lot of work to go around.

  33. NICKP…………..You are, ‘ Citizen Smith’ and I claim my £25 Co-op voucher. :-)

  34. @ Ken

    Although I do agree that the State has a role to play, I don’t think that interference for political gain is part of it.
    But it is political; we are living through a time when every government in the world is putting its finger on the scales; so it’s merely a question of how – & to what extent – they interfere.

  35. neo-fred

  36. New thread.

  37. Others have got here before but…

    In my view,HS2 will not get much support generally for several reasons, and VI could be affected a little.

    It is expensive and little benefit will be seen for many years. Before a shovel is first planted, there will be a huge number of locally planning battles on the route.

    As Mr Nameless has kindly demonstrated, these seats are largely true blue Conservative shires. I think we will see the same behaviour as observed when concentrating hospital services. MPs often understand the rationale, especially when a Minister explaining the policy. However, when it affects their own backyard, they are strangely less keen.

    These seats will Conservative until the world stops turning, so there will be no danger of a sudden Labour revival on the back of it. UKIP’s position on HS2 is here:

    htt p://www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/apr/29/tory-heartland-ukip-hs2

    This could be an issue they look to exploit well in strong Tory seats. Tory MPs in these seats could have a tough time with local associations.

    What will support be like once/if the benefits are delivered, probably over budget and over time? Give me a crystal ball that works 20 years ahead and I might be able to guess.

  38. @Amber

    “…I, on the other hand, believe there’s very few things which we can’t do every bit as effectively as any other nation…”

    Unfortunately, those things we can’t do by ourselves are somewhat vital. We have no native way of producing helium, boron, chromium nor uranium, and that’s just four of the 5 things I thought of straight away (you’ll be pleased to know we can produce the 5th, magnesium). If you want an economy circa, say, 1910 you could become totally self-sufficient, but after that you’d be pushing it.

    I know this isn’t exactly what you meant, but the whole repatriate-exports, devalue-currency, high-inflation repressionomics thing is becoming (has become?) the cross-party consensus and it’s pretty depressing…:-(


  39. @ Martyn

    Sure, we don’t have all the natural resources which we’d like to have.

    So, we either effectively design around it (i.e. design alternative products) or effectively design through it (i.e. find a way of creating it or an acceptable or better alternative e.g. ‘we’ invented synthetic rubber, because ‘we’ can’t grow enough rubber trees) or we trade surpluses of the things which we have or can do so that we can get the things which we need.

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