This week’s YouGov Sunday Times poll results are here, and have topline Voting intentions of CON 33%, LAB 38%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 12%. As you’d expect, the poll has questions on the Liberal Democrats for their conference, as well as some about Ed Miliband and the Unions.

By 45% to 34% people think it was the wrong decision for the Lib Dems to go into coalition with the Conservatives, though this is mainly driven by Labour voters. Amongst the remaining Liberal Democrat supporters three-quarters still think it was the right thing to do, but of course that’s largely because those opposed to the coalition are no longer voting Liberal Democrat! On the principle of coalition, 22% of people think it is better to have coalition governments that force parties to compromise, 53% think that a single party government is better.

22% think that the Liberal Democrats have been a positive influence on government, 25% a negative influence and 43% don’t think they’ve had much influence either way. Asked more specifically about Clegg’s claim that the Lib Dems have prevented the Conservatives from being more right wing, 46% think this is true (30% think it’s a good thing, 16% a bad thing). Asked which best reflects their view, 36% think that by entering coalition Clegg was doing what he thought was best for the country, 44% that he was betraying his principles for power regardless of the interests of the country.

Turning to Labour and the Unions, on balance people still think that Ed Miliband is too close to the Unions (32% think he is too close, 17% too distant, 20% about right, 31% don’t know). Miliband’s proposals to change how trade unions affiliate members to Labour are widely supported and by 43% to 14% people think he is right to try and reduce Labour’s links with the Unions (although a further 20% think that he isn’t actually trying to do this). Despite this overall he is not seen as handling his party’s relationship with the Unions well – only 25% think he’s done it well, 46% badly.

Only 16% of people think Miliband is ever likely to be Prime Minister, 70% think it is unlikely. Even amongst Labour supporters only 42% think he is likely to be Prime Minister, 45% unlikely. This is a strange finding given Labour’s consistent lead in the polls and when polls ask people which party they expect to win the election, far more tend to say Labour. I suspect this is speaking more of people’s difficulty in visualising Ed Miliband as Prime Minister, rather than their considered prediction.

Also buried away in the poll was a repeat of the “bedroom tax” question from back in March. Back then YouGov found more people supported the policy than opposed it, since then opinion has switched round, and there are more people opposed (48%) than in support (40%).

As I mentioned yesterday, there was also a second Scottish poll in the Sunday papers, Panelbase in the Sunday Times. They had topline figures of YES 37%, NO 47%, practically unchanged from their last Sunday Times poll which had topline figures of YES 37%, NO 46% (it also demonstrates pretty conclusively that the answers to referendum voting intention in the Panelbase poll for the SNP were influenced by the two preceeding questions). Panelbase have done the most regular Scottish polling over the last year and a bit, and leaving aside that SNP poll have shown very consistent figures, with YES support between 34%-37%, NO support between 44%-47% and no obvious trend in either direction. I’ve updated the page on Scottish referendum polls so far here.

193 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 33, LAB 38, LD 9, UKIP 12”

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  1. The Scottish Lib Dems have now fallen to 5th place, behind the Greens. First time I can ever recall seeing this.

    Panelbase/Sunday Times
    Scottish Parliament voting intention
    Sample size: 1002
    Fieldwork: 30 August – 5 September 2013
    (+/- change from Scottish GE 2011)

    Constituency vote

    SNP 45% (n/c)
    Lab 32% (n/c)
    Con 12% (-2)
    LD 5% (-3)

    List vote

    SNP 46% (+2)
    Lab 28% (+2)
    Con 12% (n/c)
    Grn 6% (+2)
    LD 4% (-1)

  2. Stuart

    How does that translate to seats

  3. Let me guess, it doesn’t translate at all

  4. SNP 66 (-3)
    Lab 39 (+2)
    Con 15 (n/c)
    LD 3 (-2)
    Grn 5 (+3)
    Ind 1 (n/c)

    SNP one short of Maj.

  5. @Tony Dean

    There’s also a fair chance of a short term Labour minority government next time, with a second GE being held within a year, much as in 1974. A governing minority party can still effectively engineer a GE under current legislation by making issues votes of confidence and, when it eventually loses one, acting to block the formation of any alternative government.

    In those circumstances the perception of Miliband at the second GE should be less unfavourable. And in such a 2nd election, Labour might also stand a better chance by virtue of having seen off the LDs to claim the mantle of a clear 2nd place and thus being perceived as the main challenger in several more Conservative seats.

  6. A lot of the debate concerning a Tory revival at the next election seems to basically boil down to the idea of voters being rather fickle. Indeed, polling with its reallocations and stuff can at times take a similar view.

    Thus, the idea is that UKippers won’t vote UKip after all, and will instead return to the Tory fold, and similarly, LibDem defectors to Labour will return to LibDems. Maybe a goodly number of Labour voters will additionally turn blue?

    Various reasons are given for this: people registering a temporary protest vote, people afraid of letting Labour back in, underlying loyalty in the past causing people to return… these are what we might call evergreen reasons that can apply in any election.

    Then there are additional reasons that are more specific to this current situation: People will be swayed by the Ed is carp thing, by an economic improvement, by new Tory MPs benefiting from incumbency etc.

    In fact, there may be many such reasons one may come up with in arguing for voters to switch back again, and taken together, they may seem to add up to something pretty compelling. And it’s not like voters haven’t switched back in the past, which is a reason polling companies reallocate.

    But all this assumes that the switchers aren’t all that committed, that they haven’t switched for a fundamental reason or reasons that outweigh conventional temptations to return to the fold. There have been such “red line” issues in the past, e.g. over Iraq.

    So the question, then, becomes this: are things like Austerity, the 2012 budget, the bedroom tax etc. so abhorrent to Labour’s remaining vote that there is little chance of shifting those who remain?

    Similarly, are things like the u-turn on Austerity, tuition fees, NHS, settling for the “miserable compromise” of AV etc. so abhorrent to the Lib Dem switchers to Labour that they too are unlikely to switch back?

    And are things like SSM, Europe, immigration etc. etc. so important to UKippers that many of those won’t return either?

    Even in the event of economic recovery, or pre-election freebies (which didn’t do much for Brown or Major either).

  7. Autoschmod strikes again!! Any party that promises to get rid of autoschmod might actually persuade me to vote…

  8. Been away for the weekend, so apologies for commenting belatedly on the Ashcroft poll.

    Regarding the 8 Conservative seats which Ashcroft classifies as Con-Lib Dem battlegrounds, I’m surprised that Ashcroft has lumped in 3 seats held until fairly recently by Labour with 5 that are more clearly exclusive Con-LD contests.

    Based on the responses to both his standard question and also the “thinking about your constituency and candidates” question, on the standard swings cited by Ashcroft Labour would gain 1 of these 8 (Watford).

    And on the swings in the standard question, Labour would also be in clear 2nd and just 2% from winning Camborne and just 4% from winning St Albans.

    Given this, I’m a bit sceptical about whether the “thinking about your constituency” question is all it’s cracked up to be. As a second question, it almost seems to be asking “are you sure”, as a challenge to the first response. If it were asked as the sole question, Ashcroft would have better grounds for using it as the basis for his main analysis.

  9. Blimey, that thread on the Ashcroft poll wasn’t up for long, was it? A few hours and then it’s rapidly superseded by a dedicated thread on a YouGov poll pouring another dollop of doo-doo all over Miliband.

    Haven’t we all rehearsed the arguments about the poor personal ratings of Miliband a thousand times before, for Gawd’s sake? A dialogue of the deaf threatens to break out again, although I suspect it’s music to some ears..

    The Ashcroft poll findings, on the other hand, provide probably the most significant indicator of the outcome of the next GE that we’ve had for some time. They focus on key electoral battlegrounds where the next election will be won and lost and while they show Labour not progressing much from their 2012 showing in an equivalent poll, they show the Tories suffering grievously at the hands of UKIP, something we’ve all speculated on at length on these very pages. Now, thanks to Lord Ashcroft, we have hard evidence that UKIP present a mortal threat to the Tories, something not entirely proved by intermittent national polls where many have argued that Labour were as threatened by them as the Tories. The Ashdown poll suggests au contraire.

    Still, forget all that fluff and nonsense, let’s get back to discussing Ed’s nose job! lol

  10. New survey of the female vote

    Well worth a read, shows Tories have lost 28%-31% of their vote, Labour have lost 17-21% of their 2010 vote, LD have lost 61-62% of their 2010 vote across men and women. I’m not sure how that relates to historical levels, but I’m surprised at how much movement there has been.

    Are the days of people sticking with one party over a long timespan drawing to a close?

    Much more in there, well worth a read..

  11. The report also has this statement:

    “The polls show that Labour has a strong lead among female voters overall, as well as on the key territories
    of the economy, unemployment, education and health.”

    That’s now the second time in 2 days I have seen a poll mentioning Labour with a clear lead on the economy (the Ashcroft poll being the other one.)

    Are the Tories starting to lose the argument on the economy, which is supposed to be their magic bullet to return them to power in 2015?

  12. @Richard (20.16)

    Comments in the media and on this site re Lab being rubbish on the economy surprise me (in the sense that anyone believes them). IIRC, LAB had ten years where the economy did well – certainly in the sense that the vast majority of people were better off. The subsequent problems were due to a banking collapse. Any argument that better government regulations could have prevented this can be countered by the fact that Cons wanted even lighter regulations.

    In the last few months up to 2010 the economy was starting to grow again. Thus, at least 10 good years out of 13.

    I would suggest that this is significantly better than 0 out of 3 from Cons. So who are best in handling the economy?

  13. Had an interesting conversation with someone who said he was a ‘quantitative analyst’ with a bank. Hadn’t met one of those before and he had much of interest to say. To me his most interesting comment was that give or take a bit, banks have to hold four times as much capital to lend to an SME as they do to lend on a house. (If you want to build your own house you count as an SME). So they have a major interest in high house prices and in lending for mortgages rather on things that might actually create jobs and wealth. In these circumstances it seems economically speaking we need help to lend like a hole in the head. Politically, however, it may be a different case and this would certainly be so in the part of London in which my informant lives.

  14. @Stuart Dickson

    Is the independent Margo MacDonald, and if so, would that be effectively an SNP majority, given that she’s the closest thing to the SNP outside of the party?

    Or would it be 66 SNP and either 3 LD or 6 Green? Not sure which would be best for Alex Salmond, as both have had their drawbacks for previous government North and South of the border.

    I find this slightly worrying from a purely electoral perspective:

    SNP 45% (n/c)
    Lab 32% (n/c)

    SNP 46% (+2)
    Lab 28% (+2)

    SNP 66 (-3)
    Lab 39 (+2)

    The SNP have no constituency change and a 2% list increase and lose three seats. Something screwy there.

  15. I see that there are several posts about how UKIP will hurt the Tories. This may be true in the south, but UKIP have finished second to Labour in by-elections in South Shields, Middlesbrough and Rotherham in this parliament. Sometimes a very distant second, but it’s interesting that they are stronger than Tories in these areas. This suggests that they do attract voters from across the political spectrum, including those who would rather die than vote Tory.
    They might affect the results of seats all over England at the next GE.
    Because of this, the next GE could be very interesting and difficult to predict.

  16. I don’t think the by elections results you cite suggest the UKIP drew support ‘across the political spectrum’ – or at least not equally across the spectrum.

    For example, in South Shields, the Conservatives were down 10%, the Lib Dems 12.8% and Labour just 1.5%.

    YouGov’s cross breaks continue to show far more Con>Ukip than Lab>Ukip movement. For instance the latest one shows 18% of 2010 Con supporters going to UKIP but just 3% of those who voted Labour.

  17. @ Stuart Dickson

    66 seats in a 129 member Holyrood would be a majority of 3.


    It’s what I would have expected. The collapse of the LD vote is enough to swing a couple of Fife marginal constituency seats from SNP to Lab.

    Even without the Bill Walker factor, the SNP wouldn’t hold Dunfermline at a GE – much less at a by election.

    The switch from LD to Green would be enough to change the order of allocating List seats. The Greens would take 2 List seats from the LDs and 1 from the SNP,

  19. Statgeek,

    Previous experience suggests that minority government and deals with the LDs and/or Greens and/or Tories works best for the SNP. I doubt that they would go into a formal arrangement with any of them, though the Greens would be the least bad of the lot if the SNP somehow decided that a formal arrangement was a good idea.

    The Scottish Parliament has a long record and popular of not doing much of major consequence, so a minority government that doesn’t do much isn’t just acceptable, it’s a positive (see 2011).

  20. One big unknown in the 2014 referendum will be the turnout. The last Holyrood election had a turnout of 50%, i.e. “none of the above” won a majority of the electorate over. The SNP landslide was based on less than 25% of voters opting to vote for the SNP. 2010 was similarly dire. Can the decline of democracy in Scotland be reversed and will the future of Scotland be decided by more than just 65-70% of the electorate?

  21. While the Americans weren’t polled about independence back in the 18th century, historians have often guessed that around a third were in favour of independence, a third against, and a third were unconcerned one way or the other.

    Turn out will depend on how many people have been persuaded by the campaigns that the result will influence their lives.

    It may also depend on the weather! I well remember trying to get the vote out during the appalling weather of 1 March 1974. If the weather is as bad on 14th September 2014 as it was yesterday, it may be a similar struggle!

  22. Sorry – 1 March 1979

  23. Postal voting.

  24. @Hoofhearted – hello – we’ve not ‘met’ before, but you made a claim not backed up by evidence. @Bcrombie asked for evidence, and you’ve apparently disappeared.

    I don’t wish to imply you aren’t completely kosher, but I would advise that in general, people on here are good, and very capable of sniffing out bullsh!t. [snip]

  25. Anthony

    I’ve updated the page on Scottish referendum polls so far here.

    Any reason why you’ve left of this poll for Devo Plus?

    Is the pollster a bit dodgy or something?

    [Oh buggery, it was there. I copied over it with TNS. Bah, will have to go and add it back on now – AW]


    I was just on John Curtice’s blog and found this

    “less Scots voted in that election (50.0%) than in the 2010 Westminster election (62.8%), so you have to weight 20% fewer people according the their political preferences.” from a RogerMexico_UK.

    Last time I looked 62.8 – 50 = 12.8, not 20. :-)

    But then you’re from Mann, not the UK so it couldn’t have been you.

    What I haven’t seen any research on is what % of the Holyrood electorate vote for Westminster but not Holyrood because they see Scottish decisions as being something they have no stake in. I’m particularly thinking of those voters from the EU, Commonwealth or other parts of the UK – if they are only short term residents, and intend to return home in the near future.

  27. Nice to see John Curtice getting the recognition he so fully deserves.

  28. Scotsman reveals 2nd half of the ICM poll.

    “The survey also shows that one in ten No voters may be swayed to vote Yes if they conclude those powers are unlikely to head north.

    But the detail of today’s poll reveals the central importance of the economy to next year’s decision, and shows that whichever campaign wins that battle is likely to emerge victorious, with questions over the currency, pensions and family income central to the outcome.

    That is revealed in questions asked by ICM in which people were asked to assume independence would make them £500 better or worse off. Under the latter scenario, only 18 per cent of voters say they will support independence, with 66 per cent saying they will say no. Such a result would represent a crushing loss for Alex Salmond and the pro-independence cause.

    However, the better-off scenario shows support up to 47 per cent, fully 29 points higher.

    When people were asked to assume independence would make no difference, they opted to remain with the status quo. In this scenario, 39 per cent said they would support independence, compared to 44 per cent who will oppose it.”

  29. @OldNat

    I feel sorry for the voters. Reading this it seems many of the real questions will be up for negotiation after independence.

    So how can you vote properly if you don’t know
    – what currency you will end up using
    – what share of the national debt you will be left with
    – what percentage of the north sea oil income you will get
    – if you will still be part of the EU or not

    So many unknowns….they should have sorted out the big issues before the referendum so at least people know what they are voting for.


    But that would have required Westminster to discuss these matters in advance. They didn’t because it wasn’t in their interests to do so.

    Will we still be in the EU or not? Are you guaranteeing that staying in the UK means staying in the EU?

    It’s not just share of the national debt, but share of the national assets as well. The negotiations will be hard headed on both sides.

    While the exact maritime border may be renegotiated at some point (there is an area around the current border which would probably be jointly administered) we do actually know what the share of the continental shelf would go to each country.

  31. OldNat

    I was just on John Curtice’s blog and found this

    “less Scots voted in that election (50.0%) than in the 2010 Westminster election (62.8%), so you have to weight 20% fewer people according the their political preferences.” from a RogerMexico_UK.

    Last time I looked 62.8 – 50 = 12.8, not 20. :-)

    But then you’re from Mann, not the UK so it couldn’t have been you.

    62.8 – 20% (of 62.8%) = 50% (50.24% to be exact). In other words for every five people who voted for Holyrood six voted for Westminster.

    If I meant points I’d have said points.

    As to my appearance chez Curtice, obviously I was in disguise. (I set up the Disqus id in a hurry, found there was already a Roger Mexico, put down anything thinking I could change how it displayed later and then found I couldn’t. So sue me).

  32. CROSSBAT`11
    “Haven’t we all rehearsed the arguments about the poor personal ratings of Miliband a thousand times before, for Gawd’s sake?”

    Yes it would be nice if this went away, but even nicer if what is basically corrupt practice in the press was also eradicated. I just read the Mirror report on Ed’s speech to the TUC, which was largely given over to plainly fictitious reporting of statements by a “Labour Party insider” – you can guess the rest. It is a parody, but, as fictitious and slanderous attacks on Gordon Brown showed, is too widely read and believed not to be toxic.

  33. please DFTT

    let it go

  34. @ Hoofhearted

    Re your claims about LibDem gains from Labour in the 2013 local elections. I and another poster have asked you where this happened. Any chance that you can now name the place?

  35. Wow. Good argument.

  36. @Hoofhearted – to offer some assistance, here’s your post from yesterday that was queried –
    “The LD’s have done amazingly well in many council elections, despite their low polling, that shows locally they are doing well.

    In my town the LD’s took councillors from Labour in 2013 because locally they are strong despite losing out in 2011. This is a seat Ld’s could take from Labour in 2015! I really hope not because the candidate is a typical stuck up his own ass, career politician.”

    All I was suggesting was that name the town, so other contributors can check the veracity of your claims – nothing further than that. Please don’t take offence so readily – it’s entirely unnecessary.

    If you also read my comments, you’ll understand that I wasn’t making criticism of you. I was merely stating that posters on here in general are of a very high standard, and they really don’t miss much. A general rule I work to is there is always someone on here cleverer and better inform than I am.

    We work on evidence, not opinions (at least not individual opinions) and while we all sometimes falter in that objective, it’s what the site generally strives for.

  37. @ Alex

    You have faltered on this one. Really surprised you missed it !

    There are so many council by-elections during the year, that these are not always reported nationaly and results may be down to very local issues.

  38. Huckle

    “You faltered on this one”

    Absolutely priceless, that’s burst a few balloons of pomposity from certain posters .

  39. Apparently the boss of the NSA is a big star trek fan and has kitted out his office to look like the bridge on the starship enterprise, complete with the captain’s seat where he can sit and pretend that he’s Jean luc Picard. Which leads to this amusing intro for the NSA

    Privacy: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the NSA, as it enters every computer and pries whatever data can be stolen and recorded in perpetuity. Its ongoing mission: to explore the internet and all TCP/IP packets, to seek out new emails, phone records, backdoors, webcams and bank accounts, to boldly go where no man with or without a search warrant has gone before.

  40. @RHuckle

    Lib Dem overturned those two Maghull wards by a combined margin of 68… so only another 16,201 votes to find before they overturn Labour’s 43.9% majority in Knowsley North & Sefton East.

  41. Anthony – on the age old question of Lab lead, EM’s popularity, whether he is a drag on their lead, whether it matters etc. etc. etc. surely the best indicator on whether this really matters would be to take the “leader + party” question as the best indicator (which of course is just as likely to fluctuate and change as we near election day). For this is surely what people are voting for – people know that a Lab govt would be led by EM and a Con govt would be led by DC.

    There doesn’t seem to be an archive on this page for that question, but from memory I know that when people are asked “would you vote for Con led by DC or Lab led by EM” the Lab lead pretty much disappears.

    Have you got a link to the most recent poll??

  42. @Turk – “Absolutely priceless, that’s burst a few balloons of pomposity from certain posters .”

    Not quite sure what you mean here. Also not quite sure if @Rhuckle’s post refers to ‘Alex’ or ‘Alec’.

    Worth making a couple of points, however. I haven’t seen any pomposity on here – just a number of requests that claims are backed up by evidence, and some compliments to the general standard of contributors on here.

    Secondly – we’ve no way of knowing if @RHuckle’s report is the same constituency as @Hoofhearted’s reported observations. I’d guess probably not, as it’s perfectly true – there are numerous elections all the time, so it’s highly likely Lib Dems will win some from Labour. In this particular town council election, local Lib Dems themselves say –
    “Why did Labour come unstuck? Very public internal squabbles that caused the 3 Labour councillors to resign, a hugely unpopular Green Bin tax proposal and their voting to build on Maghull’s Green Belt.”

    These issues may or may not translate into special local factors that could confound national polls, but in the Sefton constituency Lib Dems would need a swing against Labour of about 11% to win, overtaking Con in the process (they need a swing against Con of about 7% to take second place). Seems unlikely.

    Speaking for myself, and I suspect for others, the main query of Hoofhearted claims wasn’t the by election – we appreciate these move around a bit – it was the idea that there is a Labour parliamentary seat that Lib Dems are likely to take in 2015. That’s really pretty big news I’d suggest, and we’d love to know which constituency we are talking about so we could all chip in.

  43. Looks like I’ve got the wrong constituency….

  44. R Huckle

    I think you will find that I mentioned Maghull in my original post in response to Hoof Hearted.

    The seat Sefton Central sees Labour over 20% ahead of the LD, and in fact the Tories come second. There is also some crossover with the Knowsley seat

    The LD have also used to hold all the seats in Maghull in the past as well.

    I see absolutely no indication that the LD are on the verge of taking either of these seats from Labour – in one there is a 20% lead over the LD (with Tories in second) and in the other it is 57%.

    To Turk and RHuckle I would say that these results were spotted and mentioned earlier, and they do not back up the claims made by the original postefr – perhaps he confirm where he was talking about?

  45. Adrian B – we asked it for the Times last week, it was 41% to 41%. It doesn’t really answer that question though, since it’s a forced choice, a lot of the gap closing is from Lib Dem and UKIP voters preferences. The better question for what you want is probably the control question we ask when we do hypothetical questions about different party leaders (the one asking how people would vote if DC, EM and NC were still the party leaders at the next election). We haven’t asked that for ages, but it used to normally shrink Labour’s lead a bit.

  46. AW what do you think?
    It seems to me that UKIP are pulling the traditional Thatcherite swing voters. The ones that went to Blair in 1997. Labour’s lead entirely down to Lib Dem switchers, hardly any have switched from Tory to Labour. As such, this is not so much a swing from Tory to UKIP, but rather from Tory 2010 voters to UKIP, but these are swing voters anyhow. They are also blue collar workers/ Mondeo man (or whatever moniker they are now called) and that is why they also see the Tories as being out of touch millionaires who don’t represent their interests. This makes marginals polling very interesting. They are not switching to Labour, as they did in the past, because of (European) immigration taking low skilled jobs. So, I think the next election won’t follow traditional patterns.

  47. Alec
    I’m allowed an opinion thank you, and I have a life so don’t have the time to read back through hundreds of posts on this site.
    Your comment shows you have a pea brain and no class, i have got 4 children to sort and a life, you clearly don’t.

    If a comment like the above is allowed and my one word, ironic riposte is deleted then my understanding of moderation of offensive posts is nil.

  48. Thanks Anthony, but isn’t that the point – the GE is a forced choice … you are no longer using the hypothetical VI question to say which party you support or lean towards (or even simply that you can’t stand the govt at this point in the parlt cycle), but saying which govt would you elect to govern (which includes PM as part of it).

    As such, it seems to me, this has to be the best statistical indicator (rather than my own subjective hunch) of the Ed Milliband “is he hurting/helping” question.

  49. Am I reading a different thread in an alternative universe?

    There seems to be reference to posts I don’t see…..

  50. TURK

    Have been on grandchildren duty for five days-a quick run through the posts on Ashcroft’s Poll certainly had the corks popping on the Labour side. Abandoning all pretence at balance & caution the general feeling seems to be GE won-end of story.

    And there was me getting mildly enthused by a few sub-5 %pt Labour leads.

    Looks like Cons need a lead of about 15% now then , ??

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