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”

1 2 3 4
  1. My mistake, Maghull is now in the Sefton Central constituency.

  2. Adrian, I mean more that in a general election you can still vote Lib Dem or UKIP if you wish. In a question that forces people to pick DC & Con, or EM & Lab, you can’t.

  3. Oldham East and Saddleworth could be a Lib Dem gain, if they can squeeze the Tories enough (a big if)

    Mind you, that’s the 2010 result – on the byelection result the Libs would need to gain several thousand votes off the Tories, which would essentially wipe them out in OE&S.

    Sheffield Central would be very hard for them, as it’s 39% (!) student.

    Ashfield would be interesting:

    Gloria de Piero was parachuted in and almost wiped out a majority of 10,000, but she’s proven to be an effective communicator (doesn’t hurt that, for a politician, she is very attractive indeed.)

    Edinburgh South would be, to quote Chaucer ‘an inpossible’ as it’s in Scotland, where the Lib Dems are about as popular as an acid dealer at UKIP conference.

    Chesterfield is possible, as to quote Monty Python on the Labour majority “It’s only wafer thin,” but there’s only a 16% Tory vote to squeeze.

    Lib Dem’s best chance would be in Hampstead & Kilburn, as Glenda’s stepping down (presumably realised she’d given birth to Dan Hodges and lost the will to go on)

    So yeah, I can think of one seat the Libs could snatch from Labour, going by majority size. After that we move North, which is where most of the Lib Dems are left-er.

  4. Wait, linking to UKPR still sets off automod? :o

  5. One thing about these lower Labour leads is that it does make them more dependent on us saying “No” next year in order to get an overall majority. Labour have 41 seats in Scotland and can expect to gain at least several more in 2015, whereas the Lib Dems only have 11 Scottish seats and the Tories famously have 1.

    It’s unlikely that a loss of Scotland would tip the balance between Labour and Tory after 2015, but it could easily deprive Labour of an overall majority, especially if they do better in Scotland than in England and Wales in terms of their increase in votes.

  6. Can you unmod my long post please Anthony? :)

  7. @ Alec & other

    When I searched for Lib Dem wins over Labour in council elections, I only found the 2 seats in Maghul (Sefton).

    It may be the case that Hoofhearted comes from the North West area or subscribes to Lib Dem voice. When they won the seats in July, it was heralded as showing that the Lib Dems can win against Labour in their heartlands. In truth I believe that in the Merseyside area, there is quite a lot of animosity between Labour and the Lib Dems. Therefore it may be that Lib Dems from that area, think that a couple of wins there, indicates something more widespread than it is. In truth the Lib Dems have done far better in council seats around the country against the Tories than they have done against Labour

  8. Am I more likely to get a post out of automod if I write it on behalf of my cats?

    Bill regarding the Possible referendum vote next year if there is a Yes vote Scotland would remain in the UK until 2016 and presumably People in Scotland including 500,000 English People and the 800,000 Scots who live in England will be able to vote in it.

    Raises some very tricky constitutional issues if Labour gets to be the government only based on the majority produced from Scotland what Happens in 2016 does it trigger another General Election?

  9. @BCrombie – “There seems to be reference to posts I don’t see…..”

    Moderation in action. It’s a sign that AW wants us to exert some self discipline.

    @R Huckle – thanks – that seems to settle the geographical question, and would tend to suggest that the idea first proposed of a likely Lib Dem gain from Lab in 2015 remains somewhat fanciful in that particular case.

    @Alex – thanks for that round up of potential target seats. I would imagine that given the level of Lib Dem – Lab switchers, most people don’t expect much of a challenge to Labour from this quarter, but you are absolutely correct in your implication that sometimes there are local factors and personalities that affect results.

    I guess one other key factor is party targeting. I might be wrong, but I imagine the Lib Dems will be looking at 2015 in a more defensive mind set, with the pressing need to defend what they’ve currently got. With their limited resources, I think it would be a brave call to pour effort into Lab seats in the hope of snatching one against the strong national current. They, above all parties, have a need to focus effort on a restricted number of seats, so I still feel these gains would remain unlikely, but I’d never say impossible.

  10. New Populus Voting Intention figures: Lab 40 (-1); Cons 33 (-1); LD 11 (+1); UKIP 9 (+2); Oth 6 (-2)

    Not much change there, except for UKIP.

  11. The way they reweight UKIP, a 9% in a Populus poll would be what, 35% unweighted? Haha.

  12. The weighting does seem to have chopped off precisely 50% of the UKIP VI.

  13. @Mrnameless

    ‘The weighting does seem to have chopped off precisely 50% of the UKIP VI.’

    that would be 9%, so UKIP should be on 18%. What would be the figures for Cons, Lab, LD’s and Others if that is the case? They would have to be lower otherwise the percentage adds up to 108%.

  14. Unweighted percentages:

    Con: 30.7%
    Lab: 36.5%
    LD: 8.0%
    UKIP: 17.2%
    Oth: 7.6%

  15. Just listened to St. Vince’s Conference speech, which he graciously agreed to give at the last minute.

    Jeez-how he hates the Tories !

  16. @ Alex Harvey

    Edinburgh South would be, to quote Chaucer ‘an impossible’ as it’s in Scotland, where the Lib Dems are about as popular as an acid dealer at UKIP conference.
    Ian Murray currently holds that seat for Labour & Labour’s Keith Robson recently won a council by-election (following the death of the well respected SNP councillor, Tom Buchanan).

    Edinburgh South is more likely to be a Labour/SNP contest in 2015 than a seat in which the LDs can mount a challenge.

    The LDs will likely throw all their local effort into holding Edinburgh West (Mike Crockart). This is also a Labour target seat & the 2010 candidate, Cammy Day, has just been re-selected. I think this is a seat which Labour can win from the LDs in 2015.

  17. Thanks for the local knowledge Amber :)

  18. Panelbase/ST tables now published.

    The churn in voting pattern shows that the SNP are the party to have kept the largest share of their 2011 vote.

    For the two major parties, and the two largest minor parties –

    SNP keep 81% with 8% going Lab, 1% Con, 0% LD and 7% DK.
    Lab keep 76% with 8% going SNP, 1% Con. 2% LD and 7% DK.
    Con keep 67% with 7% going SNP, 5% Lab. 3% LD and 14% DK.
    LD keep 31% with 8% going SNP, 18% Lab, 13% Con and 19% DK.


    This feeds into a number of posts I’ve made regarding whether the manufactured credit boom here in the UK will see the government through until 2015, or whether it erupts before then.

    This link really does make for sobering reading. When one of the few people to predict the 2008 crash say things like “…the five years since Lehman have largely been wasted, leaving a global system that is even more unbalanced…” and “…the world has become addicted to easy money, with rates falling ever lower with each cycle and each crisis. There is little ammunition left if the system buckles again…”, I think we should listen.

    In a UK context, we would really have to say that policy has failed to address the central concerns. As Osborne always planned, despite the rhetoric, indebtedness as a whole is rising rapidly across the whole UK economy. Any notion that he is, or wanted to be, a debt reducing chancellor is scotched by his own numbers. He openly planned for increased household debt, but no one picked him up on it, and help to buy and the maintenance of ultra low rates have just made it all much worse.

    Reading this, you might get the feeling that the banking crisis hasn’t really gone away – just been buried under another pile of debt and fancy banking footwork.

  20. Steve,

    The loss of Irish Free State seats in 1921 didn’t trigger an election (though that actually positively impacted the government’s majority) so I don’t see why there ought to be an election in 2016, at least provided a government that can win votes of confidence can be formed.

  21. (Post-2016 would be a natural time to change constituency sizes, as almost all of the island seats are in Scotland and the Isle of Wight is MORE than large enough in its electorate. Of course, that won’t happen until there’s a majority Conservative government, which probably won’t happen until constituency sizes are adjusted…)

  22. ” @COLIN

    Just listened to St. Vince’s Conference speech, which he graciously agreed to give at the last minute.

    Jeez-how he hates the Tories ! ”

    Vince is a man of great commonsense and his views are normally expressed in a very balanced way.

    I think polling reveals that there is no clear view on the correct economic policies that should be followed by a UK government. Quite honestly most people woud not have a clue about much that is debated. e.g. What is the structural deficit and how is this different from debt ?

    The polling reveals that a majority think that the spending cuts were too deep and also reveals that Labour are blamed more than the coalition government. Ask them whether they supported plan A (Osborne) or plan B as proposed by Labours Ed Balls and you would probably have a majority supporting plan A. The problem is that people polled would not know the difference between plan A and plan B. The polling question would be answered purely on the basis of which party/government they supported.

    Personally I think the coalition have put off some of the difficult decisions on cuts and tax increases. Some cuts have been made, but nothing like those seen in Greece, Ireland or Spain. From 2015 onwards, whoever is in government will be faced with massive challenges, of what spending cuts can be made and what tax changes can be made that will assist growth. By May 2015 the deficit is likely to still be running at about 6% and with debt getting towards £1.5 trillion. The cost of serving that debt will be about £60 billion a year, which is more than we spend on Education or Defence.


    “IYHO is the increased swing to Labour in Con-Lab marginals down to the sense that voters sense that there is a tangible chance of achieving a change? Do Lord A’s statistics provide any evidence of that?”


    Well, one might expect Labour supporters, or ABT, to make more effort where there’s more of a chance of effecting change, but I think one also has to take into account how government policies affect different regions.

    The South are affected less by public sector cuts etc., and benefit most from protection of employment in the banking sector and by QE seeping out from the City of London etc., but the South is already heavily Tory.

    Meanwhile the North is more heavily affected by government action in terms of a hit to benefits, public sector employment, services etc., but they already tend to vote Labour more heavily than Tories.

    So in both those cases, government action is somewhat moot.

    The marginals, where the voting’s more evenly split to begin with, one might expect to be particularly sensitive to government policy. Marginals can be sited somewhat on the cusp of the City’s influence, so they may get less insulation from government cuts etc. than the South. Which is a greater motivation to vote against the government…

    The effects of QE etc. haven’t leached far enough North to help the Tories, and this may be why so keen on HS2, to assist with that in future. The North/South divide, in practice, is roughly demarcated by a two-hour commute to London.

    The question now is whether the funding for housing will sufficiently impact the marginals…

  24. R HUCKLE

    @”Vince is a man of great commonsense and his views are normally expressed in a very balanced way.”

    Right-he must have decided to do something different today then.

  25. Colin

    No, you just did not like what he said

  26. Amber

    On the Scottish VI figures for Westminster in the Panelbase poll, Lab 45% : SNP 26% : Con 15% : LD 7%,
    Edinburgh West should be a fairly easy take for Labour.

  27. @ Colin,

    he must have decided to do something different today

    He just voted to back Osborne’s austerity policy and then made a speech denouncing it as economically illiterate and disastrous… so pretty much a normal day at work for him.

  28. Phil Haines – Did we find out who won the competition to see the average for the Labour lead?

  29. @ Old Nat

    Labour certainly intend to get Edinburgh West, it’s fairly high on the target list.

    Regarding Holyrood, Labour have just selected a candidate, Cara Hilton, to try to win Bill Walker’s seat (Dunfermline). I don’t know her personally but she seems to be a very good candidate. Have the SNP selected a candidate yet, do you know?

  30. Colin

    I bet Clegg keeps remembering those words of Henry 11 re Tomas Becket “Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest” I expect he could find a few LD’s or Tories to carry out the work.

    If he had any courage of conviction he would resign form his post instead of working against the coalition, you might understand it if it was for the LD’s, but it’s all about his ego a rather silly self important man IMO of course for those supporters.

    Incidently have you viewed the raising of the Concordia on BBC’s live link, now thats a real piece of engineering hope all goes well.

  31. ALEC

    @” indebtedness as a whole is rising rapidly across the whole UK economy.”

    July 2010:-
    Secured ( mortgage ) lending £ 1239 bn
    Unsecured ( consumer) credit £ 217 bn
    Total Household Debt £ 1456 bn
    Total no. Households 25 m
    Average Household Debt £57,789

    July 2013
    Secured ( mortgage) lending £ 1268 bn
    Unsecured ( consumer) credit £ 158 bn
    Total Household Debt £ 1426 bn.
    Total no. Households 26 m
    Average Household Debt. £54110

    % Change
    Secured ( mortgage) lending +2.3%
    Unsecured ( consumer) credit -27.2%
    Total Household Debt -2.0%
    Average Household Debt -6.3%

    CPI change +10.0%


    Yes-it was the venom which struck me though.


    I agree with your view of him.

    Yes-an incredible feat. Truly amazing.

  33. Amber

    I haven’t heard who the SNP have/will select, but I’d be amazed if it’s anyone other than Shirley Ann Somerville.

    Not that it makes much difference though. Even without the Bill Walker scandal, the slide in the LD vote in Dunfermline should mean a Labour win, I’d have thought.

  34. If he had any courage of conviction he would resign form his post instead of working against the coalition

    When Turk and I agree 100% about something you know it must be true…

  35. @ Old Nat

    The circumstances causing the by-election were unfortunate, to say the least! But fair play to the SNP for ‘forcing’ Walker’s resignation, knowing it could cost them the seat.

    But, IMO, It’s not a foregone conclusion. And it will be very interesting to see whether the LD vote in Holyrood will go Labour, SNP, stay with the LDs or stay at home & not vote!

  36. @Colin

    “Just listened to St. Vince’s Conference speech, which he graciously agreed to give at the last minute.
    Jeez-how he hates the Tories !”

    Don’t be surprised, he does belong to a different political party. I think it’s called the Liberal Democrats, or something along those lines. It certainly isn’t the Conservatives. They can’t all be like Clegg, Alexander and Browne, you know!!

    Talking of disillusioned Lib Dems, has anyone else noticed that Richard Grayson, the party’s former Director of Policy (1999 to 2004) and PPC for Hemel Hempstead up to the last election, has recently joined the Labour Party? An interesting development because quite often where one goes others follow. He also has some complimentary things to say about Miliband and for anyone interested in a less than derisory and condemnatory assessment of Miliband, Grayson’s article in today’s Guardian is well worth a read. It certainly adds a bit of balance to the debate.

    I thought Lord Adonis was excellent on Clegg in yesterday’s Observer. A nice counterbalance to an interview with Lord Ashdown on the same page! Both sides of the argument on the same sheet of paper. Full marks to the Observer and, Rupert, it can be done you know!! lol

  37. @Isaac

    “On GDP some argue our current debt GDP ratio including all unfunded obligations is 900% of GDP.”


    Ah, this old chestnut. When you say “some argue”, who do you mean, ‘cos I’ve seen right-wing think tanks push this line, but not much else.

    The argument they put forward is based on counting FUTURE expenditure as current debt. So, they bundle in, for example, pension costs years, even decades into the future, as if we owe it now.

    Using that kind of argument, younger readers of this board may be alarmed to discover they are already hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions in debt, owing to the idea that if they make it into their sixties and beyond, they will of course likely have to pay for food and bills and other costs for the decades up to that point and beyond, hence they already “owe” this money.

    That’s the kind of scafemongering we get over debt these days.

  38. Colin

    “Jeez-how he hates the Tories !”

    I think the feeling is mutual

  39. Amber

    We know from the nScottish election Study that of the 2007 LD voters, in 2011 37% voted SNP, 35% LD, 22% Lab 22% & Con 6%. On that basis, you would expect that the SNP had taken most of what they would get from the LD pool.

    Indeed the figures from the Panelbase poll that I quoted above would seem to confirm that.

    Of their 2011 voters, LD keep 31% with 8% going SNP, 18% Lab, 13% Con and 19% DK.

  40. God, people listen to the Libdems? To Vince’s speech? When the cricket’s on??

    Did he say anything new, or was it the usual line that all the bad stuff is the Tories fault, and Libdems put a brake on it… By forming a coalition that let the Tories do the bad stuff. And that the economic policy should involve investment and stuff, things that were suddenly dropped as an idea the minute they entered coalition.

    If, instead of going for the miserable compromise of AV, Libdems had used their bargaining power to ensure some investment to offset the depressed demand due to cuts, they’d be in a more credible position now…

  41. Typo there! Lab didn’t get two lots of 22% in 2011! :-)


    “I suspect outside the safety net of The Guardian, which for some reason not many people read you will struggle to find much favourable regarding Miliband.”


    The Guardian isn’t that much of a safety net, being rather more of a LibDem paper, that backed LDs in the last election.

    They have the odd lefty commentator, like they have the odd right-wing commentator. They even had Cameron’s speech writer for a while…

  43. @ Old Nat

    Typo there! Lab didn’t get two lots of 22% in 2011! :-)
    LOL. I think that was obvious from the 2011 results ;-)

  44. CB11

    @”he does belong to a different political party.”

    You miss the point.

    All LDs in the government “belong to another party”.

    They all stress what the LD component of policy is , and how their stance differs , where it does.

    But none of them resort to the bile , venom & abuse of their coalition partners which Cable is so ready to deploy.

    Spearmint & Turk are right-if you really hate a group of people that much-you shouldn’t be working with them.

    Mind you, we must aim off a little,to take account of VC’s desire to show a bit of leg to the LD left-and the Labour leadership. Forward planning , I think it’s called.

  45. Ahem, troll feeding hour is over ladies and gents.

  46. Oh, sorry Antony. Please don’t delete me post, I spent minutes researching it!

  47. If we’re going off A-level results, nearly all my friends are smarter than the prime minister. Hurrah!

  48. Which troll are we not supposed to feed?

    [At the end of troll feeding hour I’m afraid the troll is ushered back under his bridge, and his posts deleted. Sorry – AW]

  49. Dick Grayson was my local PPP for the last two elections frankly He had about as much chance of unseating the popular Mike Penning A working class, Yes there is One ,Tory and ex fire fighter and actually a decent local MP as He had of becoming Batman’s New Side Kick

1 2 3 4