The Sun have tweeted tonight’s YouGov voting intention figures – toplines are CON 32%, LAB 41%, LD 8%, UKIP 11%. The Labour lead is up to nine points, the biggest for three weeks or so, and suggests a positive reaction to the conference announcements.

Usual caveats for any poll showing interesting movements apply, especially for the sometimes up and down polls of conference season (some years it doesn’t have much effect on polls, some years they are up and down like a rollercoaster after each conference). Last week we had a narrowing of the Labour lead following the Lib Dem conference, this week a boost in the Labour lead following their conference. Next up we have the Conservative conference – will the Labour conference boost be sustained so they end up the net beneficiaries of conference season? Or will it fade away again once the immediate publicity passes? Or indeed will the Conservatives get their own conference boost next week?


462 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – CON 32, LAB 41, LD 8, UKIP 11”

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  1. RIN
    V. interesting to see Rohani asking for an international nuclear agreement within 4 months as the basis of the forthcoming UN meeting.
    Along with the Syrian regime’s initiative towards a cease fire, abandonment of its chemical weapons, and a potential stand down in Israeili its anti-rocketry defense against Iran, these are historic developments in an ME detente.
    While no one’s going to, or needs to, hand out plaudits, the role of the UK parliamentary process and defeat of a motion to go to war alongside the US, acknowledged by Obama in his submission of the US process to Congress, his joining with Putin, and the hammering out of a deal between Kelly and the Russian Foreign Minister, illustrate one thing: events and individual initiatives by politicians – vis. Nixon in China – can change history.

    I am amazed, BTW, at how weasledom in the media has adopted persuasive omission as a tactic when faced with uncomfortable fact.
    Thus, for example, Landon’s ““Ed Miliband is gambling that the battle in 2015 will be over which party has the best answer to what he calls the cost of living crisis. If he is right, his energy price cut might prove highly effective. But if voters think the more important question is which party will best secure the economic recovery, then a battle with business might not be what all voters are looking for.“

    For an economic policy editor,, who must be well aware of the relevance to popular understanding of the economy – in terms of employment, house repossessions, the weekly food bill, rents, rail fares and energy costs – to not acknowledge that voters with ask what parts of the economy affects them and their families, and which party is likely to make things better, is not just bizarre. It is to present what appears to an intentional smoke-screen on the meaning and relevance of recovery to the electorate. FTSE, the pound-dollar exchange rate, GDP? I don’t think so.

  2. Ed Miliband has improved his ratings in the question – Which of these would be the best prime minister by 5 points.from 21 to 26.

    The rise comes from Labour supporters changing the split Ed M/Don’t know from 62/32 to 71/21 and a small improvement amongst UKIP supporters.

    If he can get up to David C levels of Con supporters split 92/6 with Lab supporters, then I reckon Ed M would have the same rating as David C.

  3. Assuming the Yougov polls of Sunday and today are reasonably correct, Labour has also firmed up its support amongst 2010 the LD switchers .

    It is only one poll though, i wonder how long it will last, maybe Cons will get back some 2010 Cons from UKIP next week.

  4. @John Pilgrim
    “Landon’s ““Ed Miliband is gambling that the battle in 2015 will be over which party has the best answer to what he calls the cost of living crisis. If he is right, his energy price cut might prove highly effective. But if voters think the more important question is which party will best secure the economic recovery, then a battle with business might not be what all voters are looking for.“

    According to YouGov http://yougov.co.uk/news/2013/09/25/energy-prices-economic-threat/ voters think energy prices are the biggest threat to the economy and therefore a cut as proposed by Labour should be could for recovery.

  5. could = good

  6. A posting of mine from a couple of days back:

    “@Old Nat
    Why don’t you wait for tomorrow? The fine detail of the speech when made could be peppered with the qualification “except in Scotland” at every turn. Alternatively, Lamont may react positively to the speech, accept that many of those proposals are good ones that ought also to take effect in Scotland in so far as devolved powers apply, and state her ambition to see that happen.”

    And lo, it happened thus…..

    http://www.scotsman.com/news/uk/scottish-labour-exploring-ed-miliband-land-plan-1-3112179

  7. The power of populist politics.

  8. JOHN PILGRIM

    @”For an economic policy editor,, who must be well aware of the relevance to popular understanding of the economy – in terms of employment, house repossessions, the weekly food bill, rents, rail fares and energy costs – to not acknowledge that voters with ask what parts of the economy affects them and their families, and which party is likely to make things better, is not just bizarre. It is to present what appears to an intentional smoke-screen on the meaning and relevance of recovery to the electorate. FTSE, the pound-dollar exchange rate, GDP? I don’t think so.”

    But he did so acknowledge :-

    “Ed Miliband is gambling that the battle in 2015 will be over which party has the best answer to what he calls the cost of living crisis. If he is right, his energy price cut might prove highly effective. ”

    But he suggested another possibility:-

    “But if voters think the more important question is which party will best secure the economic recovery, then a battle with business might not be what all voters are looking for.“

    You may not like the alternative suggestion, but it is perfectly valid-though this morning’s poll suggests it is wrong.

  9. The Full table is now up on YouGov Update: Labour lead at 9 oddly there doesn’t appear to be a supplementary question on the public’s opinion on the key policy announcements by Ed

    However His personal approval rating has risen significantly.

    It would be refreshing to think that the Media might move on from the Isn’t Ed Carp drivel and onto policy differences, especially as we now have some, but I won’t hold my breath with people like Paul Dacre and Lynton Crosby are about .

  10. Lizh

    “therefore a cut as promised by Labour”

    As I understand it Labour are not promising to cut any energy bills the promise is to freeze energy bills.

    The average family will save about £120 pounds over 17months is a figure based on pass energy increases figures, so that £1-76p a week saving is not a cut, otherwise your bill would go down by that amount every week, as it is your bill will remain the same.

    As to EB rebalancing the energy markets so that comsumers will benefit from any reduction in energy prices we will see how that works out, with his insistance of carbon reduction which will increase cost for the energy providers that might be a difficult balancing act, and of course nobody has a clue were interest rates will be or what world energy prices will be in 4yrs time so can you make promises about controlling energy market prices this far away we willl see.

    I’m sure as we see in today’s polls for the moment freezing energy prices will be popular with the voter how long that last’s we will see, but the trouble with populist policies is you better be sure you can deliver or like tuition fee’s for LD it can be pretty disasterous for your party in the long run.

  11. Just found the Separate YouGov Poll on energy

    “Energy prices seen as biggest threat to economy by UK consumers
    83% feel energy suppliers maximise profits at expense of customers
    91% expect energy prices to rise over next 12 months
    56% agree “energy companies treat people with contempt”

    It identifies that the Public feel Energy prices are the single biggest thereat to the economy ,Immigration and public debt levels don’t appear in the top Six (assuming the answers weren’t limited to the choices shown Anthony can you help out with that?)

  12. The answered question is whether it will really benefit customers…will, for instance, energy companies merely increase (massively?) energy prices before the freeze comes into effect? Or after? That way they could soak up and even undo any losses they have to make if this policy were to be implemented.

  13. *unanswered*

  14. Turk,

    I agree with all you say and I will add Miliband has tied his horse to be the man to sort “the cost of living crisis”. Energy is one area most people rightly think they are ripped off, if he makes good his promise great, however if fuel duty, council tax, mortgage interest, NI, Water and all the rest in or out of his control rise the effect is lost.

    His record personally when in government on Energy prices will come under fire, as will the last Labour Government on most of the rest.

    The argument will be intense, this sort of populist policy may help get him to Downing Street, further on than that it may be very difficult for Labour, with the financial outlook still so dire.

  15. whatever happened to Cameron’s promise that energy companies put their customers on their best tariff?

    Perhaps if he had acted he would have got the poll boost.

  16. @ Ambivalentsupporter

    That would be an open declaration of war on the government and the energy companies would loose that war (and the shareholders wouldn’t like bellicose behaviours). I don’t know any advanced country where for a similar measure utility companies responded in the suggested way.

  17. Seeing the reaction of the right wing press on the energy price freeze is staggering – it’s something high on the agenda of every household in the country, something most have campaigned or at least ran stories but when Labour decide to do something about it, it becomes 1970?s economic vandalism – they don’t realise how their partisan agenda makes them look utterly ridiculous – wonder how different the reaction would have been if DC announced this?!?!

  18. Is it me, or does it seem as though the press is declaring open war on Miliband? It seems that whatever he does, whatever policy he announces, the press will oppose it in the strongest terms possible!

  19. Three excellent posts illustrating the correct usage of “populist” as meaning, “pandering to the masses rubbish idea” – but Colin’s:

    “The power of populist politics.”

    wins for being succinct [turk’s was a bit rambling for our taste] and with the added attraction of alliteration.

    You have to remember that populist policies may be popular but should NEVER be referred to as such.

  20. Links not allowed to be posted but search for centrica energy profits and marvel at the hypocrisy now shown by the Mail and telegraph to name but 2.

  21. I see another bad result for the Tories last night in Kent:

    Canterbury Sealsalter.

    UKIP 644 (38.5; +38.5)

    Con 522 (31.2; -28.7)

    Lab 307 (18.3; -9.2)

    LD 147 (8.8; +3.8)

    Green 54 (3.2; +3.2)

  22. @Lazslo,

    You may well be right. It’s just that being a total cynic, I was sure that the energy companies would concoct some plan to undo any/most of the losses. I certainly hope not!

  23. AS

    I’m a cynic like yourself with regard these energy companies. It is capitalism after all.

  24. TURK

    Good post.

    I think if he gained power on the back of this , his first two years would be consumed by the Energy agenda-and it could get very messy.

    But we have to acknowledge that energy companies have as much credibility with consumers as bankers.

    The sooner DC gets that legislation through on tariffs the better.

    I expect a response from the Big 6 highlighting the chutzpah of a politician who loaded consumers’ bills with green taxes & subsidies when in power, complaining about high bills when in opposition.

  25. @ Ambivalent

    Ed Miliband already responded to the suggestion that energy companies would simply hike their prices in advance of the 2015 election; if they do, a Labour government will legislate to cut them to a level which compensates customers for the over charging.

  26. “I see that the lovely former member for Corby has applied for US citizenship, what a loss for the country!!”

    Louise :(

  27. @Amber Star,

    I see. Thanks.

  28. @ Turk

    “I’m sure as we see in today’s polls for the moment freezing energy prices will be popular with the voter how long that last’s we will see”

    I’m very interested to see how long this lasts although any poll movement is going to be subject to MOE and the various stages of party conferences so we may never quite know what, if anything, prompted changes in polling.

    As someone who wants to see a Lab win next time, there is a depressing pattern emerging. The vote on Syria, which I think the vast majority of people, including Tory supporters, think turned out to be an excellent result had possibly a two day bounce for Miliband before the press laid into him- “good result, awful scheming man” type thing.

    First policy announcements on bedrooms etc- press laid into him flinging about figures of £27b black hole projections which may as well have been taken out of thin air and failing to contextualise as we are currently running a £100b black hole anyway.

    Now the policy on energy companies (so far minor in my opinion) has had a storm of negative publicity in the media with the BBC in particular taking the energy company line without question and showing footage of 1970’s candles in blackouts and of course our psyche associates all of this will Old Labour (even if the blackouts were under Heath- well still the unions innit). Part of this is understandable- lights going out is always going to be a good story that will hold viewers attention but no deep questioning of energy companies who are able to make these soundbites without having to stand by them with facts and figures as to what investment would be cut and why would this affect power supplies.

    All of this done on the Tories behalf before they have even had to formulate a response (even if that response is contained in the press briefings)

    So anyway, there was a lot of negative publicity yesterday and it would not at all surprise me to see the same kind of immediate narrowing we had after the Syria vote. If it doesn’t narrow then that maybe means that there are enough voters who are not phased by left wing announcements and not phased by relentless anti-Miliband reporting and that maybe these announcements are exactly what the soft Labour vote has been waiting for. If they do narrow I think it looks really dodgy for Labour as it means people are going to be influenced by the media narrative and are worried about a Lab government.

    In the 1980’s Lab plus a good proportion of Lib-SDP alliance voters (there were 25% of them in 1983) would have kept Thatcher out. Obviously doubts about which way all of those Lib-SDP voters would have swung in a two horse race and it’s not a dissimilar situation now.

  29. I read this morning Miliband is set to make some changes in his shadow cabinet. Burnham, Twigg and Byrne set for the chop.

    Very smart move if he does this, of course depending on who he brings in but this could be a very important move as the election comes closer.

  30. @Colin

    The consensus amongst the more thoughtful commentators is that Miliband has seized his moment and the companies will blink.

    Smaller energy companies are delighted with the move as – and let’s be honest here – the big 6 have been allowed to operate as a cartel, and this might open it up.

    Furthermore, the big 6 have already asked for ‘private talks’ with Miliband – doubtless to lobby like crazy. This is not the action of a group confident that they can win this fight. You have to remember that this is one sector that the recession barely touched. They are not skint.

    Threatening blackouts was an extremely poor move – and the Tory response was equally poor. As a lot of people have pointed out, if a union had threatened anything like what the energy companies have threatened, the Government would have been screaming about it. The energy companies should think of it as a mere 20 months restraint – something most of us have had to endure for far longer – take their lumps, and behave better in future.

    There is tacit shock that they’ve got away with it for so long; the assumption is that they’ll have to bend their heads and accept that the good times are probably temporarily over. The markets certainly seem to think so, and no matter how much you’d like to keep energy bills going up to make Miliband look bad, I think he’s probably pulled a clever move here. It also appears to have shifted VI, which, obviously, has sent the Tories into panic mode. The lack of a coherent Tory response has been telling.

  31. Labour is again showing the power & responsibility of opposition. The energy companies – &/or the current government – will likely respond with energy price initiatives which help people now to ‘spoil’ Labour’s policy. I really hope they do! Lower bills, right now, are what’s needed by people whose wages or benefits (including pensions) are frozen.

  32. @Shevii

    Not sure about this one. The tabs have already moved on to the next story, and the DT and Mail are hardly going to give Miliband the time of day anyway.

    The BBC’s behaviour is a little more alarming – Nick Robinson was especially weak yesterday and I think he’s stopped even pretending to be neutral. But, to be fair, the Tories haven’t actually got any policies at the moment to pick apart, and maybe if they make policy announcements at conference, they’ll get the same treatment.

    I doubt they’ll announce anything so bold or eyecatching as an energy price freeze, though, and don’t forget that the reason the companies have got away with it for so long is that they are exceptionally good lobbyists. It’s hardly surprising that they’ll do almost anything to keep their hands in our pockets.

  33. “Voters: Energy prices are Number One Threat”

    http://yougov.co.uk/news/2013/09/25/energy-prices-economic-threat/

    I think we can see why the Tories are rattled. Miliband looks to have picked the right fight.

  34. Shevii,

    I suspect Miliband has work to do convincing the masses he is a man of steel and vision. He is depicted by large chunks of the media as an opportunist, who will do what it takes for short-term gain.

    Syria reinforced this, if he said he was against it right from the start, he would have got more credit from that.

    I suspect the same may happen here, when the Tories highlight his record on bills as Energy Secretary.

  35. @ Edward

    I read this morning Miliband is set to make some changes in his shadow cabinet. Burnham, Twigg and Byrne set for the chop.
    ———————
    I’d say that the likelihood of Andy Burnham getting ‘the chop’ is slim. He’s very popular with the ‘grassroots’ of the Labour Party & there’d likely be an outcry.

  36. The closest comparison to the energy price freeze I can see was the EU decision to cut international roaming fees.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/article-2108177/EU-votes-cut-mobile-roaming-charges-summer-eventually-scrap-altogether.html

    Industry response looks the same:
    “But the decision has caused anger among phone companies, with one threatening that they will stop investing in networks if the EU continues to impose cuts.”

    Conservative response a little different:
    “But Conservative MEP Giles Chichester argued: ‘Too many people have suffered excessive charges when using their mobile phones abroad, and for too long.”

    I searched for a Daily Mail editorial saying that Europe was going result in us all losing our phone service, but could not find one. There were a number of consumer stories championing the decision as a win for consumers.

    On the undeveloped Land tax, I see Boris Johnson has been asking for that, and some form of Land tax/ land auction has been asked for by cross party mp’s and been under discussion since 2010. It looks like Eric Pickles quashed the land auction idea after David Cameron had already announced it, and that wasn’t a lot different from Labours undeveloped land tax.

    In summary, it seems all this noise is just usual politics and not really about issues. Someone yesterday asked about polls about what peoples responses would be if another party proposed a policy. I think we are seeing it in action here?

  37. @Shevii

    Worth also pointing out that the Metro – at least in Manchester – led today with Osborne spending £1m taxpayers money to challenge capping banker’s bonuses whilst Michael Spencer, former Tory treasurer, cops a massive fine for Libor rigging.

    A lot of people read that paper, and it’s definitely a juxtaposition that the Tories won’t want right about now with Miliband’s words about them “standing up for the strong against the weak” probably the bit that’s really ringing in party strategists ears.

  38. @Edward

    Large chunks of the media will throw whatever mud they can at Miliband and some of it will stick.

    When he backed Leveson, he knew he was irrevocably making some of the worst enemies you can make in public life.

  39. CHRIS

    I have no desire to “keep energy bills going up”-believe me they are an increasing cause of strife in my house .

    I hear what you say & we will see how it pans out of course.

    I hold no brief for the Energy Companies at all-but like you, I know that energy policy in this country has been abject in it’s strategic thinking-for years.

    We have a serious energy gap approaching-and unless EM really intends to start re-nationalising the sector-someone has to start agreeing plans for adequate capacity in this country quickly-with the Energy Companies.

    Two other thoughts :-

    This sector needs new entrants-any policy which facilitates that is good in my book-I don’t think EM’s does.

    The folly of the overzealous green agenda , when applied to electricity generation is exampled in Germany :-

    In a country where the Greens have much greater representation than in UK, nuclear has been abandoned entirely, and wind embraced big time.
    THe result-a capacity shortfall being filled by coal. Imports of coal in Q1 &2 of 2013 are up 15% on py.
    US shale has collapsed coal prices, whilst the price of carbon permits in the shambolic , dysfunctional EU system is at a record low.

    EON & RWE have both gained from this-perhaps it helps to offset the prospect of an ED Miliband Energy policy in UK ?

  40. Chris

    There are sections (huge chunks) of the Media for which Ed Can do nothing right.

    If Ed Saved a Drowning Man from a Lake the headlines would be disaster for Labour as Miliband proves himself wet.

  41. Colin

    “I expect a response from the Big 6 highlighting the chutzpah of a politician who loaded consumers’ bills with green taxes & subsidies when in power, complaining about high bills when in opposition.”

    And there lies the hypocracy of EM. Get rid of those ridiculous green taxes. Insulate every home in the land and we will use less anyway.

    It is populist, it will gain votes but I would add, people should be careful what they wish for.

    He would be much better advised to work with the industry, rather than against it.

  42. Amber Star,

    Burnham may be popular with Labour grassroots but he has a lot of mud coming his way over Stafford.

    Health is an area Labour need to attack harder on as the Election gets closer. Miliband may see with some justification Burnham obstructs this.

    I think it would be great move for Miliband, it would also show steel and a man not afraid to make tough choices, as he claims. Burnham could be easily replaced as could Twigg and Byrne.

  43. “This sector needs new entrants-any policy which facilitates that is good in my book-I don’t think EM’s does.”

    Reckon the splitting of generators from suppliers is a decent step in the right direction.

  44. Chris Riley

    I’m sure your right that the Tories know that the timing of Osbornes challenge to the EU bankers Bonus Legislation is unfortunate. The good thing IMO is that they are pressing ahead with it. If the Government don’t win the argument what will happen is that Bankers basic saleries will be raised to off set any loss of bonus. I suspect we would both agree that this is not desirable but it will happen (I understand is happening). The banks will do this to ensure they do not loose key workers. Whether we like it or not the UK economy is heavily dependant on the City and the financial sector and is likely to remain so for a long time.

  45. ROBERT

    I agree with your last sentence.

    But ” I am on your side against the Big Vested Interests (1)-and David Cameron isn’t ” may be somewhat short on vision & gravitas , but at present it is a powerful message.

    DC has to find a response to it.

    (1)-excluding the trades unions.

  46. Robert Newark

    Totally agree, a saving of £120 over twenty months may be eye-catching for a short while but the damage inflicted is already becoming apparent.

  47. @ToH

    Personally, I think that a cap on banking bonuses is pointless for the reason you state.

    I do however think that the Chancellor has better things to do and better ways to spend the money. And, politically, it sends an inadvisable message.

  48. TOH

    Would there ever have been a fortunate time to come out and bat (using tax payers money) for unrestricted banker bonuses?

    Possibly 3 am in the Morning on Christmas Day when no one was looking ?

    I thought if the Banker Greed Driven Recession taught us anything it was that the UK was far too dependent on the banking sector and an unrestricted bonus culture was a disaster waiting to happen.

  49. Chris Riley

    I hope the Tories don’t announce any gimmicks at their conference. I just want then to carry on dealing with the deficit, and reforming education the NHS and welfare and getting immigration under control.

  50. WOOD

    Yes-in theory.

    But I would like to see some informed commentary on the idea-no doubt it will be forthcoming .

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