YouGov’s weekly results for the Sunday Times are out here and show Labour continuing to enjoy a boost from their conference. Topline voting intention figures are CON 31%, LAB 42%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 13%, the first double-digit Labour lead this month. Ed Miliband’s own ratings are also up – 30% now think he is doing a good job as Labour lead, up from 22% last week. In YouGov’s polls at least there appears to be a real change from Labour’s conference – what remains to be seen is whether it lasts, or is rapidly cancelled out by the Conservative conference next week.

For now though let’s look at the post-Labour party conference polling. 50% think it is true to say that Miliband has moved his party to the left, but they are divided over whether this is a good or bad thing – 23% see it as a positive, 27% see it as a negative. More empirically (since people aren’t very good at comparing their views now to their views in the past), YouGov asked people to place the parties on a left-right scale, from very left wing to very right wing. 34% now see Labour as very or fairly left wing, up from 26% last year and the highest since YouGov started asking this question back in 2006 (under Blair and Brown it tended to be around 20%). Note however that the Conservatives are seen as very or fairly right wing by 39%, so Labour may been seen as having moved more to the left, but it does NOT mean they are seen as less centrist than the Conservatives are.

Looking at some of the specific policies Labour promised at their conference, 63% support the energy price freeze, but the most widely supported policies were actually increasing the minimum wage (71%) and increasing corporation tax for big companies and cutting rates for small firms (71%). There was majority support for seizing land from developers who don’t use it (53%) and making firms offer an apprenticeship for each immigrant they employ (52%). The only major announcement from the conference that people did not support was giving the vote to 16 year olds, opposed by 61%.

Looking more specifically at the energy promise, while people support the principle of it, there are some doubts about whether it would actually work. Asked it if would actually deliver better value and no big prices rises for ordinary people 42% think it likely would, 47% that it’s unlikely it would. While only 27% of people thought it likely there would be power cuts and shortages because of a price freeze, 58% thought it was likely that it would lead to less investment in renewable and green energy. 53% did think it would likely reduce the profits of the energy firms (while the poll made no judgements as to whether that was a positive or negative outcome, I suspect many respondents would have seen it as a plus!)

Another worry for Labour is while people support the policy announcements, there seems some doubt about whether they are actually affordable – 52% think Labour are making promises the country can’t afford, 23% disagree. To put that in context only 35% think the Conservatives are making unaffordable promises, 36% do not (though who knows what they’ll announce in the week ahead that might change that).


321 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 31, LAB 42, LD 9, UKIP 13”

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  1. Anarchists – if you mean, if you think they are leading or biased, then yes, of course they would (or should!)

    If they are offensive is slightly different. We wouldn’t normally ask questions about things that are subjudice, at risk of contempt of court (in the Huhne case his defence did submit polls showing people thought he was guilty as part of a claim he couldn’t get a fair trial!)

    Things that are just offensive, well, it depends. I’m sure there are cases were pollsters would turn things down on those grounds, but there are also cases where they would do them. For example, YouGov does a lot of work with Matt Goodwin at Nottingham University, who specialising in studying the support of the far-right, EDL activists and things like that. That has involved polling measuring if far-right activists hold very racist views, or think there are international Jewish conspiracies, if the holocaust is a hoax, etc… and of course, we’ve done polls of the general public as a control. Some people would consider those questions themselves to be offensive… but I think it is perfectly acceptable to asking them for serious academic purposes like Matt’s.

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  2. It doesn’t really matter if help to buy is popular or not, the fact is that rising house prices are good for the VI of the governing party, my belief is that all of the narrowing of the polls during the summer has been caused by the numerous reports of rising house prices. Help to buy could be 100% unpopular but still increase Tory support if it raises house prices, many voter will say that rising house prices won’t affect their vote but they are all less than truthful

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  3. I caught the Con conference headlines in the car. I wrote last week that I would await to see how many sweets were doled out this week, to counter those from Labour, before I made a prediction for Friday. So far I would guess a couple of points could be rowed back to Con but I am less sure that they would be so rowed back at Lab’s expense. Just a gut feeling at present but let’s see if more goodies are to emerge.

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  4. ANTHONY WELLS
    Can we please skip the posts saying “X’s speech was wonderful”. It only invites “no it was rubbish”, and before we know it we’re into a tired partisan back-and-forth.

    If only you had sent this note out last week!

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  5. @ AW

    Were those opinions on ‘help to buy’ around the time the first announcement was made several months ago? It didn’t sound from your comment that this was related to any recent polling.

    I know that forums are not good guides but looking at BBC, DT and Guardian at the weekend I could not find one positive comment about ‘help to buy’. I was aware that the first time it came up there was very little negative reaction (except among economists) but since that time the narrative of ‘housing boom’ has taken off and I would be amazed if those polling figures were not reversed.

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  6. Shevii – they were from when it was first announced at the budget, I strongly suspect there will be new figures in the next few days!

    (Though as ever, don’t for God’s sake take the opinion of the crackpots howling at the moon in newspaper comment sections as representative of anything!)

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  7. @Spearmint

    Re You Gov Question
    “Thinking about David Cameron, which animal do
    you think he is most similar too?” (sic)
    ———————————————-

    A Sausage Dog (Dachshund) – seriously, always thought so!

    http://static.ddmcdn.com/en-us/apl/breedselector/images/breed-selector/dogs/breeds/dachshund-standard_01_lg.jpg

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  8. @ Paul,

    A bit too svelte for him after this summer’s towel revelations, surely?

    I always saw him as more of an Akita: http://dog.blog.abc101.com/files/2011/01/Akita.jpg

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  9. RICH

    lol !!

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  10. Fascinating looking through the figures for this YouGov. Particularly the 1% of Labour supporters who are ‘very right wing’ (Hi, Tony!) and the 2% of Tories who are more likely to vote Labour since Ed Miliband said he was bringing back socialism.

    Also, rather fascinating one: Conservatives slightly oppose making firms hire apprentices for each foreign employee – I thought they were anti-immigration?

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  11. MRNAMELESS

    “Conservatives slightly oppose making firms hire apprentices for each foreign employee – I thought they were anti-immigration?”

    Maybe (though probably not) they are aware that such apprenticeships could not be restricted to UK citizens. They might envisage a flood of Romanians taking up these apprenticeships. :-)

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  12. Oldnat,

    I would suggest it’s an Ed Miliband idea and they’re reacting to that fact. I reckon if Cameron had suggested it the opinions would be flipped!

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  13. Tories close the gap to just 4% in the latest ComRes phone poll for Independent
    See pic.twitter.com/wgUB2D4CWx

    Mike Smithson

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  14. I seem to have hit a nerve with my light-hearted remark about politicians’ appearance. One or two picked up on my jocular intent. To those who took it seriously, sorry if you were upset in some way.

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  15. Cloudspotter

    The last tweet by Smithson was hours ago when he said

    “ust a reminder of last week’s YouGov polling that showed that main beneficiary of CON-UKIP pact would be LAB”

    There’s nothing about a ComRes poll

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  16. Clever of GO to cut fuel duty. Increases the deficit though so slightly counter-intuitive.

    It does though beg the question of what will happen in next year’s Conference season. Have the parties forgotten we now have five year fixed term parliaments?

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  17. Chordata – there was earlier, presumably he must have spotted the embargo after the event!

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  18. “edward, Colin,

    Super speech from Theresa May, she really is a very impressive performer.”

    Agreed, superb speech.

    ………………………………………………………………………………..

    We thought it was a sooper, soooooooooooooooooooper speech.

    REALLY SOOPER !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

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  19. Ooops! Our mistake – we didn’t hear it.

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  20. Ms Star

    “@ Anthony

    Was my humour to ‘dark’ for UKPR?”

    Owr dad says it’s “too” in England.

    Anyway, what was the joke? We could do with a laugh.

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  21. @ Rosie&Daisie

    I noticed the missing o (from too) as soon as I posted. If I repeated the ‘dark’ humour comment, Anthony would just moderate it again. :-(
    I don’t think I could slip it past him on this thread even though there’s a NEW THREAD.

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