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. RosieandDaisie

    You want to watch them pigs – clever things you know.

    I read a book the other day where they took over a farm – there was a nice old horse in it as well……

  2. R in N,
    Blood and guts and gore.Well I did begin by mentioning the Archers at
    Agincourt .Did you know that they were the original sans culottes because their
    Dysentery was so bad that they did not where trousers.Also the origin of the
    Two fingers is that if an English archer was captured by the French,they cut off
    The fingers that pulled the bowstring .I could go on……

  3. Just a thought on LD 9%. If we had some form of PR, the LDs would hold their present number of MPs on 9%. So, for those LDs with little ambition, it would not have been a big deal to go from 23% in 2010 down to this level now, if a party, not achieving an OM in 2015, decided to throw in the towel on FPTP and go for PR.

  4. Oh god.Wear not where .What do they teach them in schools these days.

  5. Looking at the tables, I’m loving the way 3% see Labour as very or fairly right wing, and 3% see the Tories as very or fairly left-wing. Particularly when one then looks at the Libdem figures: 10% see them as very or fairly left wing, and 6% as very or fairly right-wing…

  6. Ann in Wales
    I gather that was the subject, but I suspect the answer is ‘summut’.

  7. Aw cmon Howard, it’s so much better coming from the horse’s mouth.

    Ann in Wales
    l always thought that most of the archers were Welsh,did the French cut off their fingers too?

  8. Carfrew
    You see, we have at least twice the appeal.

  9. And now for the (alleged) actual 2015 Tory election strategy

    “In the runup to 2015 Crosby believes the Tories should focus on four issues: the economy, welfare, the strength of the prime minister (and weakness of Ed Miliband), and immigration”

    “Extensive – and highly expensive – polling is used to identify the “salient” issues, how voters feel about them and which messages resonate. One Crosby fan, who says he has an instinctive feel for ordinary voters, says: “Lynton’s forensic polling makes the UK polling industry look like a Skoda – no, not even Skoda. It makes it look like a Trabant.”

  10. EL
    Godwin’s law is so well known in really would be painful for others to have to read it for the nth time.

    Thinking about archers, surely it would be the thumb and index finger that was removed? I know the story (despite primary ‘education’) but think about it.

  11. @Ann in Wales

    I wish more people were educated more about the guts, gore and misery of war.

    Maybe we wouldn’t be so keen to pursue them then…..

  12. Ewen Lightfoot,firstly I do hope you aren’t comparing me with a horse which
    Would be most impolite.Secondly yes there were a lot of Welsh bowmen at
    Agincourt and many English too.Captured by the French their treatment would
    Have been exactly the same.

  13. Howard,my husband is an archer,it is the first two fingers.

  14. AW

    I apologise unreservedly for my intemperate language.

    I have heard too many times the trite comment that Labour supporters are somehow unpatriotic, cowardly blackguards. It trips out on a regular basis. I lost it when Rich made a comment which seemed clearly to be along these lines. I ought to have ignored it. I do usually ignore such comments (one, a few months ago crowing that the police who cracked miners’ heads at Orgreave should be knighted took some particular effort to ignore since my cousin’s head was one of the ones in question, but I did ignore it and the post still exists unmoderated). Tonight I bit and I apologise for that.

  15. Ann in Wales

    I bow to your (or rather your husband’s) knowledge. Good job you are teaching the kids (sorry, children).

    I only went up to OC (the LP) before O level. That was considered quite risque enough by my history teacher. I mean, he won.

  16. Howard,sorry to go ,but,two fingers is an insult,therefore the bowmen who
    Had not had their fingers cut off would wave them at the French.Voila!

  17. Howard
    As to your comment about PR and the Libdems, if my uncle wore a dress,she’d be my aunty!

  18. Ladies should have the last word. I just wanted to explain that when I played with my bow (and now [lay with that of my grandson) I grip the string with the arrow feather end in my thumb and index finger. Perhaps that is my I am a danger to all nearby.

  19. EL
    You really don’t have google? How on earth do you educate yourself?.

  20. The Cheshire longbowmen were also a major part of that feared force.

    My late grandfather, a proud son of Cheshire, treasured a motto that he had framed from a French historian of the time, and which took the form of a prayer, ending ‘And pray God preserve us from the wild men of Cheshire’.

    I leave it as an exercise to the reader to determine whether the current Cheshire menfolk (of whom I am one) constitute a similar threat to life and limb.

  21. It is good that the gentlemen on this thread are so pleasant.Slightly paraphrasing Henry V.
    However back to the nitty gritty.Manchester police reporting one of the largest
    Demonstrations they have had to police.Two old soldiers removed from the
    Conference hall.A rather troubled beginning

  22. Tomorrow’s prediction, for what it’s worth:


  23. Austria – 97% votes counted: SPÖ 26.6%(52 seats) ÖVP 24%(47) FPÖ 20.7%(40) GRN 12.2%(23) Stronach 5.8%(11) NEOS 5.2%(10) BZÖ 3.6%(0)

    Though I need Virgilio to tell me what it means!
    Grand Coalition parties down, with gains for Greens & Libs?

  24. Looks likely to be another Grand Coalition in Austria.

  25. @HOWARD
    “You see, we have at least twice the appeal.”


    Lol, Howard. Personally I found it interesting that the Libdems are placed rather more centrally than Tories or Labour across the left/right spectrum by the public, who also place themselves spread about the centre too. The left-right profile that the public give the LDs is one that most closely matches the profile the public give themselves overall.

  26. “Tomorrow’s prediction, for what it’s worth:

    Oth:6 ”

    Not a lot – there’s no poll.

  27. Howard
    Of course l have Google, and bookes too,but when l get the chance l like to hear an expert expound on summat he knows about,like you and the Godwin thingy.

    A in W,no of course not, it’s Howard whose mouth is like unto a horse,metaphorically that is.

  28. Politicians can do some things – freeze some prices or back some mortgages for example. Other things (e.g. rebalancing the economy or improving the NHS) are arguably more important but harder to bring about. It seems to me that as people’s opinion of politicians goes down, they may become quicker to blame them for things that have gone wrong while also doubting their ability to deliver anything of importance. In such circumstances it would be rational for politicians to concentrate on negative campaigning and clearly deliverable bribes. How far do these considerations explain the movement in the polls and the behaviour of the politicians themselves?

  29. Cameron seemed a little downbeat with Marr earlier. He even referred to Ed Miliband as ‘Ed’. He should not take on Mr Miliband in a TV debate. The latter is rather more gifted at that, and thinks very quickly on his feet.

  30. Even,thank goodness for that.Howard is such a gentleman I presume he won’t
    Mind his mouth being compared to a horse .On the other hand……

  31. Sorry dogs, I meant next poll’s prediction. I’m tired! Off to bed now because I’m up for 6 for shorthand, so enjoy your discussions about carp and wuffs.

  32. “Ewen Lightfoot

    Of course l have Google, and bookes too,”

    We spect you mean “two books” but can’t spell proper.

  33. lefty


    I apologise unreservedly for my intemperate language. ”


  34. Ann in Wales,

    Neigh, a pleasure.

  35. At Ann,

    Hmm, just saw the news. Looks like a union rally chanting ‘Tory scum’. Classy…

  36. Carfrew
    “Looking at the tables, I’m loving the way 3% see Labour as very or fairly right wing, and 3% see the Tories as very or fairly left-wing. Particularly when one then looks at the Libdem figures: 10% see them as very or fairly left wing, and 6% as very or fairly right-wing…”

    That’s exactly why I dislike the terms. It all depends where the interviewee himself stands. Thus to an extreme ‘leftist’ Labour would look like a right-wing party, and similarly with extreme ‘rightist’ and the Tories. I suppose we should all be glad that there are apparently only 3% of each.

    P.S. AW – sorry if any of my posts were the subject of your admonishment.

  37. OldNat
    While we await our sage Virgilio, the present right left centre ‘grand coalition’ just holds on to its majority but the Austrian ‘UKIP’ (FPO) did well (better than ours).

  38. @ Richard,

    “In the runup to 2015 Crosby believes the Tories should focus on four issues: the economy, welfare, the strength of the prime minister (and weakness of Ed Miliband), and immigration”

    Crosby needed expensive polling to discover those were the Tories’ strengths? Maybe he isn’t such a genius after all. We could have told him that for free!

    @ Howard and Carfrew,

    Lord Ashcroft did some polling on the Lib Dem political spectrum question a while back. It turns out that they wind up in the centre because leftwing voters place them on the right, and rightwing voters place them on the left! So not perhaps the political strength it might appear at first glance…

  39. HOWARD

    Thanks – but what do you mean by “ours”, paleface? :-)

  40. OldNat
    Haven’t you got any up there?

    A very interesting (and seemingly rather brave) report on Golden Dawn by Paul Mason (now C4 by the way).

  41. Howard

    Thanks for the link. Interesting.

    As for UKIP, Margo McDonald got more votes by herself than all the UKIP candidates combined. We do have Rangers FC, though (ducks for cover).

  42. @Spearmint

    I suppose the difference between Crosby and Ashcroft is focus. Ashcroft seems to be pointing out that the core base is not big enough and needs to be expanded. Crosby is just focused on the core base.

    How much of a base does economy,welfare, I’m a better prime minister and immigration give you? How would you work that out?

    For immigration we can look at Ashcroft’s analysis in “smell the coffee” that I linked to earlier. Page 39-42 cover that. I believe his summary was it lost as many voters as it gained, and although a big issue for the country, was not a big issue for your family personally so did not drive voting decisions. Which is exactly the same as where it sits now. Of course that was 2005, it will now be 2015, and we have UKIP and more immigrants so not sure if it will be different.

    I don’t know if we can assess what percentage of the vote you get with the remaining issues? We can expect some announcements on people being made to work for benefits and no benefits for immigrants if the early news this week is accurate, so that may help us see how those play out.

    On the DC is a better PM, that seems to be fading somewhat now that Ed actually has some policies (and with his intervention on Syria).

    I think they should be following the Ashcroft strategy personally, if anything the Crosby strategy would make their vote shrink in my opinion – if you raise immigration as an issue, UKIP as the anti immigration party benefit, and you lose the centre, and the whole focus on benefits seems to be adding to the ‘out of touch’ label.

    That leaves the economy, which is the real battleground. Labour seems to be reframing that away from who is going to fix the deficit, and I’m not sure how Osborne comes back with ‘but the deficit is still enormous’ when his whole claim is that the conservatives are reducing the deficit?

  43. Oldnat
    I’d heard of Margo McDonald, but not much detail, so I looked her up. Do you know why she was expelled from the SNP? Wikipedia doesn’t say.

  44. She stood as an independent in the 2003 Scottish Parliament elections, which was against party rules.

    Interesting when we recall that Lib Dem council candidate who stood as an independent recently.

    (I can’t sleep)

  45. Thanks Mr N

  46. PETE B

    Essentially she, and her husband Jim Sillars fell out with Alex Salmond.

    Both Margo and Alex remain popular in Scotland though. Maybe we just like disputatious politics. :-)

  47. Thanks Oldnat. My intensive research has also shown that her daughter is married to one of the Proclaimers. Very impressive!

  48. Rosie. Daisie.

    Give us a break lasses. I’m on the edge of a ban here.

  49. rosieanddaisie

    Blimey!! We never knew pigs had wars

    Loads of them.

  50. @PETE B

    “That’s exactly why I dislike the terms. It all depends where the interviewee himself stands. Thus to an extreme ‘leftist’ Labour would look like a right-wing party, and similarly with extreme ‘rightist’ and the Tories. I suppose we should all be glad that there are apparently only 3% of each.”


    Yes, you’re right, but to me at least it’s still useful, interesting data. Like, how big is the tail of the curve? For Labour and Tories, about 3%. For Libdems though, it’s rather more.

    Spearmint gives a reason why, and to me it’s a kind of irony. That despite having the most centrist profile overall, they don’t benefit so much from that…

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