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. @Norwold

    The data shows that a key part of Labour winning in 2015 is getting the vote out.

    If they are motivated and turnout on election day, Ed should do well.

    I suspect that as we get closer to 2015, a core vote strategy will really kick in. The energy price freeze is just a part of this I think. A core vote strategy for Labour has no fear of policy critics from big business, banks and corporates. For many Labour voters upsetting these groups is a badge of honour.

  2. Norbold,

    That statistic shows us one very important thing: 48% of the country are quite silly!

  3. @Catmanjeff
    Ta for link to an Interesting poll. One of the comments in the report was :-

    “The rapid spread of the internet, digital technology and social media is providing new avenues for political engagement and expression.”

    Hmmm. So more and more folk are/ will be getting their political “fix” online. Fewer relying on newspapers.

    Nah it will never catch on and Mr Murdoch would have less influence. The very idea of spending ages reading/writing blogs and stuff instead of doing the chores ? :-)

    Errr – coming dear. I’m not on that UKPR site again, honest!!

  4. Watching these UK conferences, I’m reminded of this wise observation –

    “The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum….” ? Noam Chomsky, The Common Good

  5. Hey Old Nat.
    That is my essay title for discussion tomorrow.

  6. Just an impression but it looks as if most of the Labour boost has come from LD identifiers and Labour identifying DKs (groups they’ve been losing recently). The Tories need to win their defectors to UKIP and DK back too. Though post-conference-season things may revert to what they were, the degree to which these target groups are biddable is an indication of what might happen come the election. If Cameron can’t get a substantial boost from the conference, preferably a bigger boost than Labour, his yacht looks holed.

  7. CHRISLANE1945

    Good choice!

  8. @Oldnat

    Do you have this in mind? (Tweet from Norman Smith, BBC Reporter):

    Unfortunately security at #cpc13 won’t allow us to film #nhs299 demo outside conference centre #magnacarta #gloriousrevolution

  9. I’m reading Lord Ashcroft’s “smell the coffee”, explaining why the Tories failed to win in 2005.

    http://lordashcroftpolls.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/smell-the-coffee.pdf

    “We learned that while other parties’ supporters had a similar profile to Britain as a whole,
    Conservatives did not. Not surprisingly, their attitudes to contemporary social and cultural issues
    were often different to those of other people, and their view of the Conservative Party’s prospects was
    wildly divergent from that of the swing voters whose support the Conservatives needed to attract.
    Though none of the parties inspired the devoted admiration of the public, the Conservatives were
    thought less likely than their opponents to care about ordinary people’s problems, share the values of
    voters or deliver what they promised. Majorities in key marginal seats thought the party was out of
    touch, had failed to learn from its mistakes, cared more about the well-off than have-nots, and did not
    stand for opportunity for all.”

    “The Conservative Party’s problem is its brand. Conservatives loathe being told this but it is an
    inescapable fact.”

    Looking at that yougov poll and their current polling numbers, nothing has changed. If the Tories want to win again they will need to re-invent themselves.

  10. CATMANJEFF

    I was thinking of other issues, but that would fit as well.

  11. The data shows that a key part of Labour winning in 2015 is getting the vote out.

    -Labour have 60,000 more members (rising) than Conservatives(falling|)with an average age 25 Years Younger so seems promising

  12. AW,

    That link by Ben looks like an ad for UKIP.

  13. catmanjeff,
    So I presume we will not be seeing any sign of 50,000 protestors outside the
    Tory Party Conference on the BBC tonight.

  14. @Ann in Wales

    Twitter and Facebook is going crazy on this.

    I think that this pressure may mean some coverage may have to be shown.

    I feel some what surprised that it appears the security at a party conference security can stop the BBC reporting a protest by 50,000+ people.

  15. Correction

    @Ann in Wales

    Twitter and Facebook are going crazy on this.

    I think that this pressure may mean some coverage may have to be shown.

    I feel some what surprised that it appears the security at a party conference security can stop the BBC reporting a protest by 50,000+ people.

  16. Catman

    What gave it away? Was it the Ukip logo at the beginning?

  17. @RIN

    It was the ‘UKIP Media’ name indeed.

    Perhaps AW should charge UKIP for each time the link is clicked on?

  18. As to the number of those protesting, I’d guess that the police estimate will tally with the number that they have deployed officers for, as opposed to the actual attendance.

  19. The Sheffield Socialist Students had a bus to this lined up – I would have gone, but instead I’m stuck inside on this lovely sunny day doing endless shorthand exercises.

  20. “Looking at that [Ashcroft poll and] yougov poll and their current polling numbers, nothing has changed. If the Tories want to win again they will need to re-invent themselves.”(Richard).

    Yes, this is true on the current figures, and the only possible mitigating factor is the higher tutnout among older people, even this reduced as these disappear into the great blogosphere in the sky.

    Can intelligent Conservatives – please, there are plenty, and someone has alluded to David Willetts recently on this site – respond accordingly?

    The fact that we cannot be sure of the answer to this question is what makes politics so interesting.

  21. Looking at the education questions further down the pdf file for today’s poll, does anyone else find it a little disturbing that 41% actually think reciting times tables, poems and the names of monarchs actually amous to a proper educationt that will turn kids into interesting, well-rounded adults.

    It seems as though there’s still a backward strain of anti-intellectualism around with significant numbers of people still not understanding just how important a long & varied education is, and also that education just for the sake of it is A Good Thing.

  22. turnout !

  23. @OldNat
    Do I detect a veteran marcher?

  24. @Richard

    The Tories have needed to reinvent themselves since 1997 and they’re little nearer to doing it now than they were then.

    Lord Ashcroft’s 2005 document is, unfortunately for the party, still entirely relevant.

    Here are some of his key recommendations:

    We must target our resources more effectively.

    • We must campaign hardest on the things that matter most to people, rather than things we hope
    can be made to matter.

    • With a number of other parties competing for votes we must never assume that Labour’s unpop-
    ularity will translate directly into support for the Conservatives.

    • We must realise that appealing to the conservative or even reactionary instincts of people who in reality are never going to support the Conservatives in large numbers prevents us from connect- ing with our real core vote and means we will never attract the support of minority communities that we should seek to serve too.

    • We must recreate that real core vote – the election-winning coalition of professionals, women, and aspirational voters without whom the party risks becoming a rump.

    I think that list from 2005 speaks for itself.

  25. POSTAGEINCLUDED

    Been on a few in my time! Though the legs don’t allow it now. Last week I cheated. Stayed on the bus till it parked near the rally point.

    However, I’ve noticed the same phenomenon of strangely low police estimates on marches that I’ve had no involvement with. While march organisers have an interest in placing the numbers as high as possible, the police should have no interest in underestimating them.

    It was a retired police inspector who suggested what their motivation was.

  26. @MrNameless when I was at Sheffield doing my journalism degree Shorthand was the first class to go in the bin…

    A comment on minority government. If the result in 2015 is Labour the largest party but short of a majority can I point out that constitutionally Cameron won’t resign unless there is a viable government to replace him. Brown had to keep his government in place until it was clear the opposition would deal, otherwise he could have put up a Queens Speech and challenge parliament to vote it down.

    It will be the same with Cameron if he loses the election but doesn’t lose by enough to give Labour a majority. I suggest he would look first to another LD coalition, then minority Tory rule, and only then resigning his government in favour of a minority Labour administration.

  27. Drunken scouser

    Why is education for its own sake a good thing in itself?

  28. There is amusing Tory conf stuff going on Twitter
    First lots of complaints that the BBC were not reporting the NHS march.
    Then BBC say they are not allowed to film by G4S security -howls of absolute outrage.
    Now G4S saying they have never told BBC they couldn’t film

  29. …and 42 per cent say they would never vote Conservative.
    —————
    That’s an awful lot; I wonder how many would never vote UKIP.

  30. @ Ian,

    If the result in 2015 is Labour the largest party but short of a majority can I point out that constitutionally Cameron won’t resign unless there is a viable government to replace him.

    I doubt the Lib Dems would be able to form another Lib-Con coalition if Labour were the largest party- Clegg could never get consent from his party for it. And a Tory minority government wouldn’t be viable under those circumstances because it would fall on the first supply vote. Labour can more or less be assumed to have a unspoken pact with the Nats to chuck the Tories out of Downing Street the instant their numbers make it viable.

  31. @Couper2802

    Organising parties and breweries springs to mind…

  32. COUPER2802

    According to the Herald “The march went through Manchester city centre ending at Whitworth Park for the rally where a large stage was set up,”

    On what possible grounds could Sky & the BBC think that a security firm could tell them not to film that?

  33. I guess maybe the Lib Dems could be persuaded to do confidence and supply for Cameron. It doesn’t sound very stable, though.

  34. Perhaps AW should charge UKIP for each time the link is clicked on?
    ————-
    LOL, he’ll be able to buy himself a penny chew. ;-)

  35. SPEARMINT

    “Labour can more or less be assumed to have a unspoken pact with the Nats to chuck the Tories out of Downing Street the instant their numbers make it viable.”

    Yet again, there is absolutely no point in speculating about the post-referendum positioning of Scots MPs until we know the result and the winning margin.

  36. On what possible grounds could Sky & the BBC think that a security firm could tell them not to film that?

    Sky did film the march, unless what I watched a while back was a hallucination caused by drinking too much coffee today….perhaps the Len McClusky interview was also a figment of my imagination…

  37. CATMANJEFF (repost – sorry AW!)

    Thanks for the clarification. I don’t get Sky and was relying on Twitter reports that Sky had said the same thing.

    No doubt the BBC will explain, in due course.

  38. Anthony

    Surely my second version thanking CATMANJEFF for clarification doesn’t breach guidelines?

  39. Ed Miliband is going to have a reply published in Tuesday’s Mail in response to their article about Ralph Miliband entitled “The Man Who Hated Britain.”

    In addition to the accusation that Ralph Miliband, who served in the Royal Navy and would have died if not for Britain, openly loathed it, they caption a picture of Ed and his dad with this gem:

    “Ed, pictured with Ralph in 1989, is determined to bring about his father’s vision of socialism.”

    If I was Ed Miliband, I wouldn’t be publishing a reply, I’d be suing for libel.

    I will be interested to hear what he has to say to Paul Dacre though.

  40. @CatmanJeff

    Re UKIP link

    Better than the hair transplant ads AW’s site is advertising me now. What I want to know is how do they know I need one :-) Hands up all those who are a bit short on hair and we can find out how well targeted his Ads are!!!!

  41. Austria had a GE today. No, I didn’t know either, thanks wonderful UK isolated news media. Apparently exit polls display almost the same result as Germany. A Con /Lab coalition survives. This proves the politics are immaterial as long as everyone has a job.

  42. You have bitten the Beeb – the NHS demo is now headline news, well done UKPR.

  43. My last was TIC but it would be nice to think such influence existed. I have to say that Mrs H and I have been astonished at some of the coverage of the news and current affairs recently.

    The little bloke with the dog got better coverage and he wasn’t responsible for that.

  44. Is it fair to assume from this that Ed’s promise to freeze fuel prices has been well received by the electorate?

  45. No need to assume- Anthony and company asked! (And the answer is yes, yes it was.)

  46. A lot of Labour Party political broadcasts on here today. Lets look at polling after all three conferences have finished…please.

  47. It was the twitter storm that caused the change in NHS march reporting. I rest my case on social media being far more important than the mainstream media in 2015

  48. Having returned for the weekend, here are a couple of belated thoughts.

    For once, YouGov made the national headlines, with Labour’s 11% poll lead on the Sunday Times front page and in the press preview on TV late last night. And the Observer today has a headline referring to “Miliband’s poll bounce”. The narrative couldn’t be more different than that from just over a week ago. It’s the Conservatives on the defensive now.

    Both of the headline grabbing policies unveiled by the Conservatives so far will I think backfire on them in time.

    Labour will pledge to repeal tax relief for marriage but has the opportunity to reallocate the funds to something of more universal appeal – perhaps to restore the coalition’s cuts in child benefit on the grounds that families have been particularly hard hit by this government. And anyway I doubt if tax relief for marriage will sway many votes when it wasn’t in place for 59 of the 60 months this government is planning to last.

    LIkewise, Labour would I think welcome a debate on the need to invest in new social housing and what better use could be made of Help to Buy 1 and 2 funding. It certainly will keep housing up there as a prominent issue. And Help to Buy 2 is attracting such criticism, from across the spectrum, that I doubt whether it will directly help the Conservatives’ polling anyway. Osborne may well realise this and I suspect that he is more interested in the indirect polling boost arising from the short term impact on economic growth.

  49. COUPER2802

    ” I rest my case on social media being far more important than the mainstream media in 2015″

    And the year before that as well. :-)

  50. One thing on education I like that has happened under the Tories is they have started to teach WW2 in primary school. My daughter is fascinated by this and was talking to me about Churchill and Hitler and children sent to the country with genuine enthusiasm on history. I would imagine its pretty likely this will be removed by a left wing Labour Govt, which I personally think is a real shame.

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