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. TURK

    Thanks-we certainly need to get our economy motoring to stop that Debt/GDP % heading towards 90.

  2. Colin

    “TURK
    Thanks-we certainly need to get our economy motoring to stop that Debt/GDP % heading towards 90.”

    Right. This time even *I* can see your mischievous grin. I’m not biting!

  3. @ RiN

    Thank you. It would be interesting (though no necessarily good) if the voting would be even more dispersed than in 2009. The main questions (I could be very wrong – I don’t follow Norwegian politics and my ability to read Norwegian – using my Swedish knowledge – is rather rusty) the votes Labour is loosing (compared to 2009) and to whom and if any party (apart from the CP) fails to get through the threshold.

  4. LEFTY

    Spoilsport !

    Anyway-looking forward to hearing the details Ed’s “different kind of economy” which doesn’t have to compete globally.

    That sounds a lot like subsidies all over the shop , which rhymes with tax rises.

  5. If that’s the Nordic Model I think I spy right on the horizon, I’ll be a happy person.

  6. @ Turk

    Using GDP for pre-1960 (especially pre 1947) is wrong. It should be GNP (not to mention the methodological flaws – how many B&W TV sets are equal to a colour one?).

  7. Another blow to the Independence “Yes” campaign. This one might do real damage….

    http://www.bbc.scotlandshire.co.uk/

    Peter.

  8. @ Peter Cairns

    Very funny (the rest of the site too). Thanks.

  9. Laszlo

    If the socialist party doesn’t make it over the threshold then it will make forming a right wing govt easier because they will gain a few extra seats, the reverse of what happened in 09 when the liberals failed to get 4% and gifted the red/greens a majority, at the moment there are 5 small parties that are just over the threshold

  10. Peter

    I love the way they call no campaigners “pro dependency campaigners”

  11. Amber, lovely news about EM .

  12. Simple average of the four Borough Council elections yesterday:-

    Labour: 35.9%
    Conservative: 24.7%
    UKIP: 23.7%
    Lib Dem: 8.9% (3 elections only)

  13. COLIN
    “Anyway-looking forward to hearing the details Ed’s “different kind of economy” which doesn’t have to compete globally. That sounds a lot like subsidies all over the shop , which rhymes with tax rises.”
    Your subtle “doesn’t have to compete globally” are words put in EM’s mouth. His statement, as I read it, was to do with shifting the balance of export oriented services and production towards high value activities which do not complete with, but rather supply and support, developing counttry economies; thus to take an obvious example, the role of UK leading design and brand industries in relation to low cost garment production; or language, technical skills and management training in relation to administrative and commercial capacity building; high-end automotive industry; or technical assistance in agriculture, health and education – all areas in which we have been preeminent, but have lost ground in recent years.

  14. JOHN

    If that’s what he meant-I see no reason to disagree. GO would agree with every word-and business men everywhere would nod in agreement.-UK’s auto industry for example is a world beater.

    I see that Ed mentioned “investment based”. He must have seen the recent encouraging signs on business investment.

    If your interpretation is correct then-not a cigarette paper between EM & GO on UK plc.

  15. JOHN

    are these the sort of things you had in mind ?

    http://news.bis.gov.uk/Press-Releases/New-push-to-grow-UK-s-17-5-billion-education-exports-industry-690a3.aspx

    ht t p://www.buildingbetterhealthcare.co.uk/news/article_page/New_body_will_increase_export_opportunities_for_UK_healthcare_companies/83234

    h t tps://www.gov.uk/government/news/160-million-technology-boost-for-uk-agricultural-industries

  16. Labour have fallen off a cliff.

    -The Cliff they have fallen off leaves their VI 14% Higher than at this time before the next election August 2008
    and the Conservative recovery leaves their VI 14% Lower

    Is it possible to fall up a Cliff?

  17. I of course meant last election I was still laughing over the failure of Alex Salmond to secure membership of the Klingon Empire

  18. Although I can’t find the full text of EM’s Edinburgh speech, the reports indicate where he will focus his economic policy now.

    Ball’s reaction to the ONS numbers yesterday-( a broadbased recovery across all sectors, with investment & exports strongly contributing )-was another indicator.

    Ball’s reaction -“good news-we’ve waited far too long for this to happen”.

    Unless EM believes that there is political mileage in ” it would have been quicker under us” ( which I doubt) , this marks the point which was bound to arrive-the end of the road for Ball’s economic narrative-and the start of a narrative around how the economic recovery impacts particular groups.

    EM is reported by BBC as follows :-

    “Mr Miliband attacked Mr Cameron’s claim Britain is in a “global race” with emerging nations, saying the country could not hope to compete with them on wages or employment rights and should concentrate instead on building a different kind of economy, with more investment and higher wages for the “working poor”.”

    I think the remarks about global competition could leave EM open to attack on a number of counts-but putting that aside, the remark seems to me to be a non-sequitur , with which to amplify a point about wage levels.

    A point which is more fully reported by the Guardian :-

    “Labour should back demands for a national living wage that paid more than the minimum wage, he said. “It’s a priority for us. It’s important because frankly it’s terrible that one of the richest countries in the world hasn’t just a huge child poverty problem, but a growing child poverty problem, including for people who are in work.”

    The Guardian also reports EM’s remarks about rising energy costs.

    So it looks very much as though Labour will now switch from the speed & depth of fiscal tightening, and the speed of the recovery-to how the economic recovery is “distributed”.

    Mandatory increases in Minimum Wage ( aka Living Wage) , Government interventions in Energy Prices & Rents………..this looks like the emerging policy narrative.

    “”Our job here and across the country is to show that only Labour can tackle the cost-of-living crisis.”

    BBC

  19. Or to put the battleground another way…

    “The reason the Tories are satisfied and they think things are going well is that they have incredibly low expectations about what can be achieved for people”

    Ed Miliband

  20. Darling’s withdrawal of support for HS2, and Balls’ equivocation on Labour support is a challenge for Cons.

    The initial reaction is defensive & supportive of the project.

    There can’t be many potential new Labour votes in the Chilterns-but does a story about cost escalation & many billions of pounds to get business people to London more quickly have wider support for Labour.

    This looks like a rock & a hard place for DC-a U-turn on a flagship infrastructure project-vs a story about wasted billions.

  21. CARFREW

    Thanks-I read that & wanted to quote it.

    Yes-that was code too-for a national LIving Wage, and State intervention in energy costs & rents.

    Clear Red Water emerging .

  22. Meanwhile, indications of what the Tories would like the battleground to be is indicated by their launch of the “cost of labour” website…

  23. @colin,

    Yeah, I forgot to include the Tory counter: the new website.

    Yep, things becoming a little clearer…

  24. @COLIN

    I might be wrong but HS2 seems to be a `white elephant` with too much to spend for little to gain.For example,journey times from York to London is cut by 30 minutes,Newcastle to London cut by 38 minutes,Glasgow to London cut by 30 minutes and Edinburgh to London by 45 minutes.Worth it?

    http://www.hs2.org.uk/phase-two/facts-figures

    The question for Labour is whether they`ll lose support in the Northern cities if they withdraw support.These are where they won most of their seats in 2010.

  25. Frankly, it seems like Labour can afford to lose some support in the Northern cities, since with the LD collapse they’ve basically got them locked down.

    They could also probably win that support (and more) back by saying the money could be better spent renationalising and lowering fares on existing rail services.

  26. @Mr NAMELESS

    That`s the choice that Labour needs to make.If it looks like HS2 is a no-goer from across the spectrum and costs are burgeoning,then it could be easier for Labour to ditch it and land Osborne in a pickle.

    Having said that,the second phase from 2026-2033 seems to really cut journey times from the Northern cities to Birmingham.

  27. COLIN
    I have not been able to download the sites but yes, and so it should be. Any party in government will be dealt the same hand of institutions and expertise in these areas, which have been established over many years – (Kew, TOH, as maybe you told your grandchildren, since being establshed as a genetic material repository for oil palm, rubber and the like from Latin America, now covering much of SE Asia.
    My own main experience has been in agriculture, in the SU and post-Soviet countries and in South Asia. Much of the drive and investment has, for several decades been from the petro-chemical sectors, which took over the seeds and crop chemical industries and research, and tractor makers – about $50 million a year in Massey Ferguson tractors to Pakistan alone under World Bank financing during the 80’s.
    The potential for exports of crop systems and related chemicals and plant to both communist and free-world nations has been huge. (The ICI nominated Chairmen of the Anglo-Soviet Working Group on Agriculture and JCB were furious at having to cancel the helicopter flights for the Soviet delegation for the opening of the grouse season when the Gorbachev regime fell in 1989 )
    The points of main interest to me will be to what extent post-GE Government policy for this development of trade in material and expertise is directed towards strengthening domestic employment; secondly to what extent will it row back from the Thatcher government cuts in agricultural and overseas research to provide investment in continued R&D in the UK and in the aid program and capacity building within the developing countries.

  28. @ Colin

    Re Ed Milibands speech. The problem of competition with cheaper labour countries is affecting all of the old western economies. There was an article the other day which I provided a link to, about German wages rates being forced down and causing millions of people to struggle to afford the basics.

    From memory I also believe the US government and EU have raised concern about China under-cutting their industries in a few areas, threatening to apply further import tariffs. I think the concern has been that Chinese companies have been selling at below manufacturing cost, swamping their markets with certain products e,g solar panels and therefore forcing US/EU companies out of business.

    Therefore I think you must recognise any comments in Ed M’s speech in an international context. Any Tory, Labour or coalition government will be facing the same issues and they will have to come up with solutions that work for both business and workers. A living wage set at a realistic level accross the board, is something that will work, as the minimum wage introduction proved. Businesses can become more competitive while paying a decent rate of pay to their employees.

    People are concerned about the various costs of living and they will want a government that is willing to look at solutions, not just allow market competition to deliver for them. As has been discussed on here on numerous occasions, there is no such thing as free market competition that is fair to workers, consumers of businesses. For businesses it must be very concerning for them, that they may be paying their full share of corporation tax, where some large companies have sought legal avoidance. This is unfair to them, their shareholders and employees.

    Labour will I think find success electorally and in polling, if they follow a ‘fairness’ agenda, discussing policies that could make a difference. Both the Lib Dems and Tories will follow a similar agenda towards May 2015.

  29. I’m looking forward to the conference season manly to see if the main parties come forward with policies that will form part of there next election manifesto’s

    Regarding Labour’s conference this must be the one when EM will have to firm up on his election ideas, mainly because of the pressure from his own side to get Labour idea’s out to the public in more detail, another conference talking in general vague terms won’t satisify his own party or change the public perception of him.

    If EM needs proof of the media’s lack of interest at the moment, look no further than his speech in Edinburgh the other day, on the same day Darling made his comments on HS2, it was Darling who made the headlines, EM efforts in Edinburgh were rather sidelined.

    However a good party conference full of new idea’s and properly funded manifesto commitments can overcome EM problems with a poor press and hopefully show us political watchers a clear picture of the battle ground on the lead up to the next GE.

    Of course just for balance the above equally applies to all political parties.

  30. Like others, I’m very interested in the apparent slow turn of Labour against HS2. Ths is the kind of big infrastructure project that Old Labour would have drooled over, and so this reversal, with Tories arguing for state sponsored pump priming investment while Labour argues that it’s a waste of taxpayers money is an intriguing side show.

    On the issue itself, I’m with Darling on this. I suspect the age of mass movement of people is over – we needed high speed trains in the 1970’s, but in the 2030’s I rather suspect that the movement of data will be far more relevant. I also think that faster north – south networks will only serve to suck more investment south – as Darling says, trains run in both directions, and there is little evidence to show that better transport links differentially benefit the north, which really is the key aim if we are talking about economic revival.

    As far as I can guess, the future needs unlimited transfer of data, alongside the cheaper movement of goods. I would think that Labour should focus on using a fraction of the budget for HS2 to develop digital links, and look at a greatly improved network of train connections between northern cities. On top of this, get new, low cost freight rail capacity heading south and into Europe from the north – this doesn’t need to be super fast, just available and cost effective.

    I think @Colin is correct, and Osborne is in a bit of a pickle over this one if Labour do officially oppose it.
    I also think electorally this could be of some note. If we have Labour as the only main party opposing HS2 in 2015, I really don’t see them winning those southern seats most affected.

    However, if those denizens in the Chilterns and elsewhere believe Cameron will ruin their constituencies if he is re elected, there will be plenty of reasons for them not to turn out, or to toy with UKIP as an alternative, and attempts to frighten them with ‘you’ll let Labour in’ must just make them even more determined to ditch the Tories this time round.

  31. One could be forgiven for entertaining the idea that maybe competing globally isn’t such a good idea. That indeed, we might instead try not competing.

    That’s the way a lot of business seems to see it. They try and find a niche, a space to themselves with no immediate rivals to compete with them.

    Failing that, they try and avoid competition by buying up rivals, stacking the deck via lobbying, locking things up with patents or cornering key resources.

    Thus quite often, to the extent that they compete, they compete to be in a position where they no longer have to compete…

  32. HS2 might not be ideal politically for Labour… It spreads London’s influence further North…

  33. I trust that Ed Miliband will cut the cost of living by eliminating agricultural subsidies, leaving the EU and having unilateral free trade, reducing barriers to entry for new businesses, reforming, permanently cutting VAT, relaxing planning laws, rejecting the Community Investment Levy tax on construction, cut petrol taxes, embrace natural gas, cut government measures that raise energy prices (green taxes are planned to be 33% of energy costs by 2020) and cut the deficit that imposes massive future costs in debt payments on my generation.

    Or he could try the traditional way of increasing his power through counter-productive interventions like rent controls and raising labour costs. First create a “cost of living crisis” through taxation and second use it as a justification for increasing the power of the government.

    Call me crazy, but I don’t see Miliband even considering any of the options in my first paragraph.

  34. As for HS2: I don’t live in the south of England or the north of England, so I struggle to see why I should pay for it. Is the problem in our country really that the south of England lacks investment?

  35. I’m also changing my mind on HS2, it is a lot of money for something that is going to be 50 years out of date by the time it’s built, it should have been built in the 80s. Now I think we should wait until there is a new better technical solution, maybe this hyper loop will be something

  36. Business case for HS2: Increased freight capacity from the Midlands to Europe, reducing passenger traffic on other mainlines.

    No other business cases needed. Getting distracted by “speed of getting to London” is irrelevant to the point, what’s needed is more capacity in the midland corridor. You should question anyone who is not talking about rail development in terms of capacity.

    And yes, I think Darling is flat wrong, as is talk that “The Age of the Commuter is over”. The Midland corridor is hitting the limits on what it can be upgraded for, but passenger use is increasing not decreasing!

    The Midland lines are problematic in that to put in any further significant capacity upgrades would mean knocking down buildings and remodelling some city centres, and diverting a canal or two. Realistic upgrade of capacity beyond what is already being done, which isn’t enough to keep up with passenger increases, means making a new line *anyway*, so it may as well be a high speed line.

  37. It’s worth pointing out that support for HS2 has been falling over the last 18 months – always a bad sign if people turn against something the more they find out about it. Also looking at the most recent polling:

    http://cdn.yougov.com/cumulus_uploads/document/wxed2kxr97/YG-Archive-HS2-results-040713.pdf

    not only is there now a clear majority against (it was a rough tie earlier in the year) but every region is against except London.

  38. RiN:

    The Hyperloop is… not going to happen. Sorry, but the ‘reduced air pressure tube train’ isn’t even a new idea. There are huge engineering and practicality issues that Musk hasn’t offered a single solution on.

  39. I think there’s an argument to be made for using the money in a more creative way – namely, investing in getting high-speed internet rolled out to nearly 100% of the country.

    The old model of commuters driving 80-100 miles a day to get to their jobs is counterproductive and environmentally damaging. I do think we’re inevitably going to move into a society where work is something done as a remote network through information transfer and it seems the only jobs that remain physical will be those that actually involve physical interaction – construction, the ever-shrinking retail sector and services.

    How much would it cost for internet provision nationwide?

  40. Bill Unless He has become a Member of the UK Isolationist Party Bongo Bongo Loons I think it unlikely .

  41. Jayblanc

    And as we all know if something is difficult to do it isn’t worth doing.

  42. It also seems incredibly short-sighted to cut fuel costs by cutting the fuel levy and fracking ’til we’re an archipelago. It might bring fuel costs down in the short term but I want my eventual offspring to live in a world that hasn’t flooded.

  43. @Steve

    I’m not saying Hyperloop would be “difficult” I’m saying that there are hard physical engineering problems that have no solutions yet. For instance, how do you stop the cars picking up a spin inside the tube that could either be simply nausia inducing rocking or a g-force centrifuge that kills the passengers. No hint of a solution to that, or any other of the big hard engineering problems.

    Putting off building HS2 now, in the hope of making “pipe dreams” work in the future is bad policy.

  44. @Jayblanc

    If you call something High Speed 2,is it surprising that people will concentrate on the speed of travel,rather than capacity!

  45. Steve,

    Or unless Miliband has become serious about cutting the cost of living, which is equally unlikely.

  46. @MrNameless

    There seem to be huge social and behavioural issues that prevent this from happening. It’s been perfectly possible for us to have transitioned to telecommuting for the past decade and a half, we haven’t.

    Businesses *like* having their office workers all in one office. There are reasons for them to do so, many based around making sure their office workers are actually working. If this is productive or not, this seems to be built in to human behaviour.

    That, and we’ve substantially under-estimated how many jobs *can* be completely duplicated from home. Anything with expensive equipment is out right away, even if they could take them home, no company would leave it to their workers to keep them securely locked away. That wipes out an awful lot of Information Technology work for a start… You actually have to have people at the Data centres looking after that expensive equipment that telecommuters would use.

    Again, there is simply no indication that the age of the commuter is ending. And with the way housing is continuing to go, having to live far away from your work place is increasingly going to be the norm for the middle class.

  47. World over,freight is the one which travels the slowest.it`s bizarre if we need High Speed trains to move freight!

  48. I was never convinced by HS2 at any point.

    The big problem the UK is the centralisation of business activity in the south east. To make links from the regions ‘easier’, it just looks like an attempt to divert more of the country to the south east. This does not address the key problem, in my view.

    What is required is to create business hubs in the regions, rather that divert the businesses in the regions to London. For example, I would suggest Manchester and the north east (say Newcastle, Sunderland and Middlesbrough) have plenty of brown field sites perfect for development. These areas have significantly lower cost bases than London with regards to wages, available labour and housing costs.

    Of course, there is a need for infrastructure spending to prepare the areas. Improved airports, some roads and rail and perhaps the upgrading of some ports (for Manchester you could use Liverpool). Investment in education would be good too, focussed on the skills the new businesses would need.

    This is a big long term plan, but the HS2 money would be a great start. It would result in the more equal sharing of wealth across the country, and reduce the pressure on the south east.

  49. SMUKESH

    I’m beginning to think the same-but haven’t looked at it in any detail.

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