Following on from last night’s YouGov poll showing the Conservatives and Labour neck and neck on 36%, tonight’s again has them very close. The topline figures are Con 34%, Lab 35%, Lib Dems 11%, UKIP 11%. I rather expected that last night’s figures would turn out to be an outlier and we’d be back to a three or four point lead today, but it looks like something might be afoot.

It is, of course, conference season and 11% is at the top end of YouGov’s recent range for the Lib Dems. Perhaps what we’re seeing is a slight Lib Dem conference bounce at Labour’s expense (or perhaps the conference of one of the two governing parties has helped them both!). Either way, polls during conference season go and up down and it rarely pays to get too excited about them. The faltering lead is hardly a good start for Labour’s conference, but next week they’ll probably get their own boost from their own conference publicity.

370 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – CON 34%, LAB 35%, LD 11%, UKIP 11%”

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  1. @ R Huckle

    Your prediction of a sudden Labour recovery in VI for as early as tomorrow surprises me. You might be right, but I suspect it will take just a little longer for Milliband’s first cast iron promise to sink in.

    I am also not that certain that it will have that much traction. Although people might be sympathetic to the plight of the disabled, in particular, facing reduced benefits because they store their equipment in the “spare” bedroom – it doesn’t actually affect that many “swing” voters personally – and that is what moves VI.

    My worry generally with Labour’s plans over the next 18 months is that they may back policies which “look” as if they are popular because they are “kind, gentle and generous” to deserving cases!

    Whereas for all their Machiavellian carry-on we might disapprove of, New Labour strategists did know how to come up with policies that “bribe” swing voters with self-interest at heart – this is what wins elections – not being “Rainbow Righteous” as Labour was in the 80s!

  2. Sunday prediction:

    Con 33.7%
    Lab 37.0%

  3. @KeithP

    Well if socialism is the medicine for inequality, there is a rapidly increasing number of people who see inequality/poverty as one of the main issues facing us today

    See slide 16

    So I would assume it is a vote winner for them.

    I’m sure there are plenty of people who think all of their taxes going to pay the idle (not my comments, just reading the comments on the Telegraph article) will disagree.

    So if it is seen as fair, it will be popular, if it is seen as a handout for the idle it won’t be.

    So Labour need to communicate and target it properly. So far by targeting the most unfair cuts – bedroom tax, and I see now ATOS, it looks like they are getting the balance right – comments in newspaper articles for the last 2 years condemning those policies as unfair have been voted up significantly on the Daily Mail, which is not an audience that supports benefits, so it looks like they are getting the balance right. I expect a big improvement in Labour VI by the end of next week.

  4. Wood

    I’m afraid your wrong, no full time worker needed housing benefit in the 70s now there are millions that do, what does that tell you?

  5. Richard

    The first thing I would do if I was Labour is to lead by example and promise to cut any public pay over 100k by 20% and say that while we can’t legislate to apply the same in the privatized utilities, we expect them to match that

  6. @ Richard

    I agree targeting the the two benefit cutting devices seen to be the most “unfair” even by Conservative supporters is a good start for Labour. However, as per my last post of a few minutes ago, Labour also need to appeal to “swing” voters self-interests too – being “fair” to deserving cases is never enough to move votes in the privacy of the ballot box – it takes a good dollop of self-interest too IMO!

  7. That we’re a lot more crowded than we were in the 70s.
    No-one had personal computers or mobile phones in the 70s. Many didn’t have colour tv or cars. Or 24/7 electricity.
    Now they’re all almost universal in the UK. What does that tell you? Only really about those things, but it applies to almost everything. Any way you cut it, quality of life is far far better than it was in the 70s.

    Also, it’s you’re. Although given you’ve got ‘Norway’ in your username mebe I should let ya off :p

    Also, millions? Total housing benefit is 5 mil, and the majority definitely ain’t full time workers. ~ half are on jobseekers as well, and I think ~2mil on disability? I’m not sure, mebe it is a couple of million, but I wouldn’t be certain of that.

  8. My prediction of a 7% lead for Labour is based on what we have seen before. You get a few polls showing a certain trend and then you see another that bucks this It is only a few weeks ago that Labour had an average lead of about 6%, so if my prediction is proved correct, then it should not be seen as an odd poll.

  9. A little factchecking: there are ~900,000 people in work claiming housing benefit but not other benefits, and some of those are part time. Can’t get figures for ‘working, claiming housing benefit & other benefits’, but they’d be pretty much exclusively part timers anyway.

  10. @Tony

    being “fair” to deserving cases is never enough to move votes in the privacy of the ballot box – it takes a good dollop of self-interest too IMO!
    I’m sure you are right! On that one, I’m not sure what policies would work when there is no money left.

    I guess we can measure it from this question from a poll out today

    Do you think you and you family would be better off under a Conservative government or a Labour
    government, or do you think it would make no difference?

    Labour 23%, Conservative 22%, no difference = 52%

    So all to play for if someone can figure out a policy to move that.

  11. Wood

    Remove tax credits and see what happens

  12. I have just surprised myself using the the Basic Swingometer on this site.

    I assumed that Labour fails to build up its case and the polls drift towards the Conservatives ending up with the Conservatives just shy of 40 at 39 – which if things go really well for them with no hitches is just about in the reals of possibility. I assume Labour drift downwards, but ended up at 33 – just about their floor I think when they are not actually “unpopular” as when led by Foot or Brown. I also adjusted the LDs to 17 – not that I think they will get that nationally, but their fortresses do seem to withstand UNS a bit more than other parties, so the effect of say a 14 result is like 17 in a Basic Swingometer program.

    My surprise was that 39/33/17 ended up with 8 Tory gains, 18 Labour gains, and the LDs STILL HOLDING THE BALANCE!

    What on earth must the Tories do to win outright – it seems beyond imagination unless there is a total Labour meltdown.

    I knew it was difficult but I hadn’t realised the Cameron mountain to an OM was such an Everest!!!

  13. @RiN Tax credits already aren’t counted in the figure I quoted. If you have different numbers let me know, but I can’t find anything to suggest more than an absolute max (and likely to be less but no-one seems to keep track of which are full/part) of ~900k in 2012. Either way, doesn’t change my point….no way in hull are we worse off than we were in the 70s.

    @TD, aye, out of date boundaries are really messing the tories.

  14. @ Richard in Norway

    “I’m very much in favour of free meals for all children, I was a recipient of free School meals in the early 80s, everyone knew who was getting the free meals because of the way the cafeteria system worked. One day a fellow pupil said to me that “you should give me your dessert because it’s my father that payed for it” I will never forget that as long as I live, the tone of her voice and her expression.”

    That’s awful. I’m sorry you had to experience that. No one should but especially not a kid.

    This reminds me of one of the things I am actually grateful towards the rich kids private prep school I went to. There were a lot of students there on scholarship or who depended on financial aid to attend. So at the student store where all students had to buy things for class as well as meal cards, no purchases were conducted using money. Instead students would just use their ID cards to purchase whatever they needed. The bill would then go to their parents or it would be paid for by student aid. But the point was that no one had to know who was on financial aid and who wasn’t. It helped prevent the type of situations you went through (or at least reduced them). At the very least, it allowed some social mixing at what was otherwise an elitist and exclusive institution.

    I wonder if it ever occurs to people who complain about welfare that they might one day need it themselves.

  15. @ Tony Dean

    But that is based on a uniform swing, plus the current swingometer does not handle the UKIP dimension.

    Labour are apparently up to 10% ahead of the Tories in the marginal seats they need to win. ( I think this is what Ashcrofts polling revealed). If this is the case, then your summary of the mountain for the Tories to win is actually far worse. Add UKIP taking say a modest 5% of the Tories 2010 votes and you could see Labour winning a majority with around 35% of the vote.

    There is also some polling which reveals the likelyhood of tactical voting by Labour voters to help the LD’s beat the Tories. The LD’s may well keep many of their seats, where their main opponent is a Tory.

  16. Wood

    Maybe not you, you might well be in the two thirds which have done well out of the last 40 years. My point is how many hours someone has to work to roof over their heads and food on the table and my contention is that for the bottom third of the British population that has increased since the 70s while it was decreasing before then. I’m going by how my family experiences life now compared to what I have heard or remember from that time. You can’t claim that technology advances that would have happened anyway shows that neo liberalism provides a better standard of living, if you could then you could say the same about the Keynesian mixed economy where we went from almost nobody having an 8 inch black and white tv after the war to most folk having a 20 inch or bigger color tv 40 years later

  17. @ R Huckle

    You are absolutely right! I was idly imagining the very, very best case scenario for the Tories – and when I did they still couldn’t win!

  18. @RiN

    The incident you described with regard to free school meals suddenly reminded me of what they used to do at my “enlightened” comprehensive in Paddington in the late 60s. All those having school meals had to form up outside the dining hall at 12.30pm. Those who paid formed one queue, and were served first. We who paid also got the pick of the deserts if there was a choice. Those who had free school meals formed a second queue, and went up to the counter after us, and had what was left!

    And this was the system in egalitarian ILEA!

  19. New thread :-)

  20. WOOD, I think the figure for in-work Housing Benefit claims is about 1 million, maybe a bit less. And thats just claimants so you need to add their family members as well. But most of those will have children and if they’ve got children will almost certainly be will be claiming other benefits most likely Child and Working Tax Credits.
    In fact I would think there would be very few in-work Housing Benefit claims with children that were not in receipt of some form of tax credits. It generally makes up a significant part of their income, especially if they have 2 or more children.
    For example a single parent working 16 hours per week earning about £100 pw and with 3 children could expect to get child and working tax credits of about £200 to £250 per week.

    I’ll try and dig some stats out for you, but its saturday evening and just about to order a take out!

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