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. R HUCKLE

    Lets wait & see how committed EM is to “Living Wage”.

    A mandatory approach across the board would take us back to good old Incomes Policy days-add in state interventions on energy & rents & you could be looking at Prices & Incomes Boards again.

    I don’t think he is daft enough to go that far ( though I’m sure UNite will be pushing him).

    I agree that a narrative on cost of living & pay levels has mileage for Labour-but it will ( imo) be a very fine line between sensible & effective-and unworkable & economically destructive.

    The detail is key.

  2. BILL

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

    You’re crazy.

  3. @Catmanjeff

    If you want to rejuvenate manufacturing for export in the North East there needs to be a cheaper way of getting those exports to Europe. Putting a bigger deep-sea port in Liverpool is a silly idea. Why would you want people to go the long way around to get to Europe?

    There already is plenty of container port capacity in the North East, it’s the Port of Grimsby and Immingham, and it’s the highest ranking port in terms of tonnage in the UK. What it isn’t, is the cheapest or most reliable way we could be exporting from the North East. And yes, that would be to increase rail freight capacity. Eurotunnel freight is the most economical freight path, hands down.

    Complaining that HS2 is linking to London is spurious. It’s linking that way to get a freight corridor to the Eurotunnel. It’s not some plot to suck out the essential bodily fluids of northerners. It’s taking freight south, because that’s where France is.

  4. RiN
    If HS2 can be linked up with the Edinburgh tramway system, Edinburgh can be designated the Fifth London Airport. It will save billions.

  5. @Jayblanc – if the real point of HS2 is merely to increase freight capacity, then just increase freight capacity – that was my point entirely. The costs of engineering HS2 are way beyond the cost of a new dedicated freight network, so if speed of passenger service isn’t an issue, build new freight only routes where these are needed, moving freight off existing lines and thereby freeing up much greater passenger capacity.

    If we are talking mainly of freight, which you are, we then have a whole host of alternative, and much cheaper options to also consider. For example, Port of Tyne is seeking to expand, but has been knocked back on a couple of occasions with government grant applications. Shipping freight by coastal shipping is something that used to be prevalent in a bygone age, and forming better direct links between the NE and Europe would be an excellent start point up here.

    You mention canals being diverted. Why not look at further canal development for slow freight transport. Capacity would always be somewhat limited, but certain links and routes, particularly from the east coast inland would be highly beneficial.

    We also have an established motorway network with falling usage (surprising – motor traffic levels have been falling for years now). There are further options to consider longer and slower freight ‘caravans’, possibly limited to certain off peak hours, as a more imaginative use of motorway capacity.

    Transport network capacity is always defined by peak time demand, so pass a law dictating differential working hours for businesses and services in peak transport areas (London). Why does everyone start between 8.30 – 9.00am? Extend the rush hour to a 3 hour window, and you’ve solved most of your peak capacity issues.

    Invest in a state backed network of video conference facilities throughout the country.

    There are so many ideas for cheaper and more effective alternatives to HS2, that meet our current perceived needs as well as offer far greater flexibility for any future unforeseen development. I’m not saying all of these ideas are valid, but we seem to be stuck in a mindset that says we must spend billions upon billions developing HS2 and third runway at Heathrow, and that these will solve all our problems.

    I rather suspect that these thoughts are the result of typical government ‘big project’ mentality, backed up by the capture of government by multinational construction interests, who love nothing more than endless feasibility studies and open ended financial commitments from the taxpayer to huge construction projects.

    Think differently, and the ideas will come.

  6. @Colin

    Your post points to the issue that New Labour had with the economy.

    They were in practice happy for the broad economic rule book that the Conservatives wrote post 1979 to remain, but tried to paper over the cracks that were the result. For example, income inequality increased, so New Labour introduced tax credits and the minimum wage.

    Low wages, unemployment and job insecurity at the bottom were the by-product of the neoliberalism. Yet rather than change the rule book (the root cause) they just dealt with the symptoms.

    For me, if you don’t like the symptoms of something, be brave and honest enough to offer an alternative.

  7. CATMANJEFF

    We’ll see how “brave & honest ” he is then !

  8. @Colin

    Is Ed a man or a mouse?

    Squeak.

  9. @Alec

    Invest in a state backed network of video conference facilities throughout the country.

    Sadly we need to change business culture for this to work.

    As part of my job, I deal with customer complaints. I have been dragged out on 9 hour round trips for something quite trivial, that could have been dealt with by video conference.

    The inconvenience of such trips is used as part of pain you feel.

    In general terms many of the site visits I perform are not required, but just accepted current practice.

  10. CATMANJEFF
    “Low wages, unemployment and job insecurity at the bottom were the by-product of the neoliberalism. Yet rather than change the rule book (the root cause) they just dealt with the symptoms.”
    Could you explain further? It was neoliberalism, it was the market system, it was the employment structure, for example,, part-time jobs, contract employment, just-in=time procurement, immigration of low waged high skilled workers from Eastern Europe. Which bit of the rule book would you have changed?

  11. @John Pilgrim

    The whole deregulation and privatisation agenda was wrong. The default position was (and still is) private is best, regardless.

    You can certainly reverse this (renationalise the railways, rather than have a broken up, patch work system). The free market in things like energy never really worked, and just delivered opaque monopolies.

    Our deregulated employment laws made it harder for workers. Look at the way the minimum wage was fought tooth and nail, with dire warnings that simply did not materialise once the policy was implemented. I think employment laws are now too much in favour of business (large corporates in particular) , with endless pressure push that envelope even further.

    The shifting tax base led to the rich becoming richer, and the most ordinary people not keeping up. We have scope to change where we derive taxation from.

    We had an unsustainable asset bubble in house prices. Given recent events, it looks like we haven’t learned one thing and look to repeat it. The housing market can be changed by different regulation on the credit side, and on the supply side ensuring more houses are built for rent and sale.

    We could do things differently, with the political will.

  12. Great post Catmanjeff agree with all will ad rent control to stop London boroughs farming out tenants to outer boroughs.

  13. @Catmanjeff – “Sadly we need to change business culture for this to work.”

    Indeed, that is my point. Those campaigning for HS2 believe business culture will never change, and that therefore we will always need to do what we have always done, except faster.

    The point is that business cultures are continually changing, and that traditionally policy makers struggle to keep up. We may well see billions spent on HS2, only to find that the world of commerce wakes up to the fact that people can live in the north, with far bigger houses, better gardens, and nicer neighbours, while ‘working’ in the south, via modern IT systems. HS2 would end up providing a faster way to travel to Wembely for the rugby league challenge cup final – nice, but not essential.

    @Jayblanc – “There already is plenty of container port capacity in the North East, it’s the Port of Grimsby and Immingham,….”

    Err – that’s not the north east. We’re that desolate corner further north than the M62.

  14. I think there’s an argument to be made for using the [HS2] money in a more creative way – namely, investing in getting high-speed internet rolled out to nearly 100% of the country.
    —————-
    I think we need to do both!

  15. “Invest in a state backed network of video conference facilities throughout the country.”

    Is that someone’s idea of a joke.

    I am just back from Tescos and for just over £250 you can get a 24″ TV with built in Skype!

    Talk about back to the future.

    Peter.

  16. @ Smukesh/ Colin

    World over, freight is the one which travels the slowest. It`s bizarre if we need High Speed trains to move freight!
    —————–
    We’re going to move the people faster on HS2 & the capacity increase will allow more goods freight to be transported by ‘slow’ rail.

  17. I see Alec & Jay have already responded to Smukesh/ Colin; I didn’t realise that we were onto P11 when I added my comment.

  18. Let’s be clear, the UK imports loads of stuff which could be manufactured cost effectively in the UK by UK workers who were being paid a living wage.

  19. Amber,

    “Let’s be clear, the UK imports loads of stuff which could be manufactured cost effectively in the UK by UK workers who were being paid a living wage.”

    Such as?

    We do make a lot of things that we both export and import such as cars. But much of what we import like computers and clothes have a high percentage of the costs made up by labour.

    If the cost of a product is made up of equal parts of materials, manufacture and labour if all else is equal and their Labour costs are half yours they can undercut you by 15%.

    Equally if you have higher employment costs through things like employee and employer national insurance and a higher rate of business taxation that makes it difficult.

    If we are going to make “loads of stuff which could be manufactured cost effectively” you need to be a bit more specific about what kind of goods we are talking about and I don’t think it is dish clothes in the pound shop.

    Peter.

  20. Peter

    Against the Labour costs you have to offset transport costs.

  21. @ Steve,

    Is it possible to fall up a Cliff?

    Well, I’ve managed to fall up stairs.

    It’s certainly true that the Tories are in big trouble, as those yearly August 23rd figures show. The limited economic recovery has so far enabled them to… almost tread water relative to their position last year. Ambi has his compelling “long-term decline” graph, backed up by their membership figures, which are terrible even for a modern political party and falling. They didn’t win a majority at the last general election. 57% of the public don’t like them. They now have a challenger on the right.

    Nevertheless, I don’t think it’s too much of a reach to say that a 5%-of-the-electorate drop between this year and last means Labour have cocked something up. It’s not electing Ed Miliband- he was leader last year and the year before. So what is it?

  22. Spearmint,

    “Nevertheless, I don’t think it’s too much of a reach to say that a 5%-of-the-electorate drop between this year and last means Labour have cocked something up. It’s not electing Ed Miliband- he was leader last year and the year before. So what is it?”

    Maybe it’s a matter of losing the angry brigade? For a brief time, Labour was the party for people who were fed up with it all, had few political principles, and had therefore naturally supported the Lib Dems in the past.

  23. There does seem to have been a 4% Lab>UKIP swing which has no justification ideologically. I reckon that anti-establishment vote may well be the thing.

  24. @ Catmanjeff,

    Is Ed a man or a mouse?

    I thought we’d established he’s a carp?

    But I agree with everything else you’re saying.

    And I’m not sure why Colin is so against Wage Boards. If we accept that the minimum wage is a good idea, it seems eminently sensible to adjust it by sector to take into account differing profit margins and the fact some jobs can be outsourced and are subject to international wage competition but many can’t. Having a flat rate is unfair on the taxpayer and on all the companies operating on thin margins, who are being forced to subsidise the companies that could be paying their workers more but choose not to.

  25. Richard,

    That’s fine if all the materials are readily available here but most aren’t. Equally bulk transport by sea is the cheapest way to move goods particularly large volume low value ones.

    An odd example of how this works is that it is cheaper for Tesco’s to fly flowers from Kenya in winter than grow them in heated greenhouses here.

    The reason I asked the question is that if you are going to claim we can do it here it has to be based one more than just because you want it to be true.

    Even with transport costs,aAs long as places like India and China have far lower wages than us and lower business taxes because they don’t provide things like the NHS, I need more than assertion to convince me that we can substitute domestic manufactured goods for imported ones on any great scale.

    Peter

  26. PETER CAIRNS

    @”As long as places like India and China have far lower wages than us and lower business taxes because they don’t provide things like the NHS, I need more than assertion to convince me that we can substitute domestic manufactured goods for imported ones on any great scale.”

    Of course you are correct-because you are thinking in terms of global competitiveness.

    But go back & see what Amber actually said :-

    “Let’s be clear, the UK imports loads of stuff which could be manufactured cost effectively in the UK by UK workers who were being paid a living wage.”

    She 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.

    This stuff will be “cost effective” because the UK consumer won’t be able to buy it anywhere else .

    You are thinking of UK plc in 2013-Amber is thinking of
    The National Enterprise Board in Fortress Britain in 1975.

  27. Adonis says it would be “act of national self-mutilation” for Labour to cancel the High Speed 2 rail line.

    Darling v Adonis-which way does EM jump?

    Liberal Democrat conference will consider policies such as a compulsory living wage for public workers.

    Note the word “compulsory”.

  28. Colin,

    “Amber is thinking of The National Enterprise Board in Fortress Britain in 1975.”

    That would be the National Enterprise Board of Fortress Britain 2015, established after we leave the EU and the WTO thanks to the decisive actions of the new Labour/UKIP coalition Government.

    Miliband and Farrage the new dream team!

    Peter.

  29. “Liberal Democrat conference will consider policies such as a compulsory living wage for public workers.”

    And does this resolution cover exactly how it is to be paid for.?

    Contracting out all the cleaners and cooks to private companies?
    Ending the Council Tax freeze to pay for it?

    And will anyone believe them anyway?

    Peter.

  30. Perhaps this would be the appropriate time to re-float Clause 4, ( Mk 2) I’m sure it would be appreciated at Labour conference, it would certainly be welcomed by our Leftie friends on here. :-)

  31. @Ken

    Good to see you back.

    It seems that the Left, as usual want more controls, regulations taxes etc etc. Why not go the whole hog and adopt a Soviet approach……………………except I seem to remember it failed!

  32. PETER

    @”That would be the National Enterprise Board of Fortress Britain 2015, established after we leave the EU and the WTO ”

    Yep-I think that’s the one.

    @”And does this resolution cover exactly how it is to be paid for.?”

    A mere detail.

  33. Personally I love the idea behind fully developed HS2. Edinburgh, Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham (and why not Bristol too) straight through to Europe? Wonderful. But not – for me – until we have re-nationalised the railways, so this service can work for everyone, with decently subsidised fares; and not be just an expenses plaything cum tax dodge for the rich, who – except in a few, isolated instaces – don’t need to travel on it at all. Skype is much easier to arrange and much cheaper! And priority? Now? When (as others have noted) we can invest in infrastructure of so much more social value? For me this is right now a no-no-no!

    rates, as it should.

  34. TOH

    Thanks for that informative and constructive comment. Can we have a counterpart to Godwin’s Law which states that the first person to compare Labour supporters to Marxist-Leninists loses the argument?

  35. Mr Nameless,

    I’d prefer a rule against misinterpreting Godwin’s Law.

  36. @MrNameless

    I seldom lose an argument but as it happens I wasn’t arguing with anybody. I was just trying to be helpful by suggesting that some of the economic ideas posted recently seem to lead in one direction.

    If you think i have gone too far why not say you disagree and spell out clearly why you disagree.

  37. Good flutterings in the dofecot, metninks.
    Does this not recall the brouhaha which accompanied the introduction of the minimum wage, hugely effectrve and with minimal political or financial difficulty (including to industry.and to SMEs, in fact to the great benefit of the latter

  38. Good flutterings in the d??ecot, metninks.
    Does this not recall the brouhaha which accompanied the introduction of the minimum wage, hugely effectrve and with minimal political or financial difficulty (including to industry.and to SMEs, in fact to the great benefit of the latter

  39. @Colin et al

    If you had to choose between wage controls, and instead incentivising wage rises via creating jobs in useful things like housing, flood defence, immigrant vans etc.

    Which would you pick?

  40. @Carfrew

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

    or Labour’s influence further South?

    (if I’m interpreting your post correctly?)

    The nation needs faster communications and travel if it is to attract business, growth and so on.

  41. @THE OTHER HOWARD

    “If you think i have gone too far why not say you disagree and spell out clearly why you disagree.”

    ——-

    How can he do that when according to you it’ll just be his opinion, unspecified economists may disagree, he may get modded and anyway he has an allotment to tend to?

  42. @statgeek

    Well, HS2 makes more of the North commutable, thus allowing economic policy that neglects the North more viable electorally. This might lose some natural Labour supporters.

    Of course, if the economic benefits first occurred under Labour they might benefit, but thereafter, they might lose some of the core support and be unable to count on it.

  43. @Carfrew

    Would not choose either. Wages will rise in an industry when demand for Labour with the right skills starts to outstrip supply in that industry.

  44. @toh

    But if you had to, which is preferable?,
    And with mass unemployment, that rather keeps a lid in wage rises as supply is less likely to be outstripped

  45. @Carfrew

    I’m quite happy if he doesn’t reply.

    Mind if he has an allotment to attend to he sounds a good bloke.

  46. @Carfrew

    Not a rational choice so I cannot answer your question.

  47. @ToH,

    There’s nothing irrational about making a choice between attending to the demand side or supply side, Howard…

  48. Carfrew,

    “If you had to choose between wage controls, and instead incentivising wage rises via creating jobs in useful things like housing, flood defence, immigrant vans etc.”

    To achieve what?

    If “creating jobs” includes removing barriers to jobs, helping people to have marketable skills, and providing income-supplements such that even very low-paid jobs become enough for the basics, then the latter has more merits for a wide range of goals.

  49. “To achieve what?”

    ———

    You can’t see any value in more housing, less damage due to floods, and upping wages a bit via more demand for Labour (and hence passing on some of the proceeds of growth) rather than messing with wage boards or having to tax more to fill the gap via welfare?

  50. @Carfrew

    This is an argument going nowhere. I actually answered you question at 5.11. I was very careful to talk about labour with the right skills for a particular industry. With unemplyment relatively high this will only apply to industries where demand for the product is on the rise. Elsewhere wages will not rise or may even fall. I am not in favour of artificially raising wages by any means

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