This morning’s YouGov poll for the Sun had topline voting intention figures of CON 32%, LAB 38%, LDEM 11%, UKIP 13%. Full tabs are here.

There was also some polling about which party people trusted the most on the economy for the Times. Over the last few months the Conservatives have opened up a clear lead on the economy in general, presumably a knock-on effect of more positive economic news and increasing economic optimism. At the beginning of the year the two parties were typically neck and neck – the first time YouGov asked the question in January they found Labour one point ahead on the economy. Since then the Conservatives have gradually pulled away. By June and July they were starting to show a lead of around 5 points, in the last couple of polls YouGov have had them 10 and 12 points ahead on the economy.

In today’s Times poll they asked the question in a bit more detail – the economy, after all, isn’t just a blob, it encompasses all sorts of things like jobs, inflation, interest rates, growth and so on. The question wasn’t quite the same as the trackers above (the Times version was a forced choice between a Cameron-led Tory government and a Miliband-led Labour one, whereas the regular trackers give Lib Dems and “other” as options) but it does show us the parties different strengths and the clear battle lines where they’ll seek to fight the economic argument at the next election.

Labour & Ed Miliband actually have a 8 point lead over the Conservatives & Cameron if you ask specifically about providing jobs, a 6 point lead on keeping prices down and a 9 point lead on improving living standards. However, Cameron and the Conservatives have stronger leads in thier better areas – on helping people onto the housing ladder they lead by 11 points, on tackling the deficit they lead by 22 points and the general management of the economy they lead by 15 points.

There is an obvious conclusion here – on perceptions of general economic competence and ability to manage the economy well the Conservatives have a significant and growing advantage. However, on standards of living and keeping down prices Labour are ahead. Recent announcements by the government on things like rail fares are an obvious attempt to try and counter that, but there will also be a battle to control the debate and the narrative, from the Conservatives to make the economic argument at the next election about economic competence and management, from Labour to make it about the cost of living.

147 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – CON 32, LAB 38, LD 11, UKIP 13”

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  1. COLIN
    “One wonders how other countries manage to stop “health tourism” with such apparent ease-possibly because they have no qualms about the personal insurance element in their systems-and you either have an insurance policy-or you don’t ?”

    I routinely pay $100 as a consultation fee, plus anything for treatment involving addtional time of the doctor, at international clinics in the countries where I work. The clinics work on the basis of asking if you have insurance and tend to reduce the fee if you’re not insured. It isn’t complicated. The girl on the desk does it. It also is not particularly expensive and falls within a normal tourist or overseas work budget. If I have a more expensive health problem, I go home to sort it.

    “I veer on the side of scepticism when it comes to attaching great significance to answers given to sub-questions in opinion polls,”

    Ditto, and to the point of your post, ones which use the word economy or managing the economy, I find entirely suspect, on language grounds alone. The economy in all BBC, CNN and other tele reporting is the stock market, exchange rates, inflation, GDP. The wot?
    Who are best at it? The people who run it, of course. Nothing to do with me and the missus.

  3. LEFTY
    ” We’re highly precise where precision is necessary, and we dismiss precision with size 11 hob-nail boots where it isn’t.”

    Or use a Birmingham screwdriver.

  4. @Crossbat

    “I veer on the side of scepticism when it comes to attaching great significance to answers given to sub-questions in opinion polls,”

    me too

    I take it these subset questions were asked as part of the Yougov poll showing a 6pt Lab lead. The people had already answered who they are going to vote for, so even if they thought the Con were better at managing the economy than Lab, they are still going to vote for Lab or LD or UKIP at the moment anyway.

    The only purposes I can see is for tacticians in the different parties to use the results to tempt voters away from other parties.

    1 The results of these polls would show the best areas to do the tempting.

    2 The result might show who has the softer vote.

    for example the 42% of UKIP voters who think the Cons are better at managing the economy than Lab, might be tempting to vote Con to stop Lab.

  5. PB

    Sorry you feel that precision in language is unnecessary. No wonder there are so many misunderstandings in the world.”

    Bit harsh to blame ole Lefty for it all.

  6. Here is a way to cut the rise in electricity bills

    from The Independent

    ‘…adding around £100 to a typical bill. But the company claims that this rise could have been restricted to around £50 if it was not forced to spend £300m a year subsidising energy efficiency improvements for poor households (the Energy Companies Obligation ECO)

    ‘Lib Dem sources said they would fight off any attempt to scrap or downgrade the measure, warning it was “essential that vulnerable people got the assistance they needed to keep their home warm’

    If you try to cut bills somebody somewhere has to pay for it, the choice is always who. It is usually those without a voice, but we will see.

  7. WHERE’S YOUGOV??????

  8. Nick P – Just thinking the same.

  9. The BBC seem to have abandoned all pretence at balanced news coverage these days. Last night on the BBC News Channel’s Papers Review, Nicholas Owen proclaimed that the Royal Mail sell off was supported by everyone including the Labour Party. Though he did add as an afterthought that the union didn’t support it.

  10. The BBC seem to have abandoned all pretence at balanced news coverage these days. Last night on the BBC News Channel’s Papers Review, Nicholas Owen proclaimed that the Royal Mail sell off was supported by everyone including the Labour Party. Though he did add as an afterthought that the union didn’t support it.

    The Green Party also opposed it.

    Perhaps Aunty needs send all it’s staff a definition of ‘everyone’.

  11. Reports that Lib Dems finished last of seven in that Manchester by-election, behind the BNP and the Pirate Party.

  12. panic over

    Latest YouGov / The Sun results 10th October – Con 33%, Lab 40%, LD 10%, UKIP 11%; APP -25

  13. Ancoats and Clayton, Manchester City Council:

    Labour 1,239 (70.5%) -3.8%
    UKIP 166 (9.4%) +9.4%
    Green 89 (5.1%) -3.5%
    Conservative 82 (4.7%) -2.2%
    Pirate 79 (4.5%) +1.5%
    BNP 58 (3.3%) +3.3%
    Lib Dems 44 (2.5%) -1.5%

  14. After looking at the Ancoats and Clayton result, I bet the heady hights of 11% in todays Yougov looks like a stunning victory for Clegg and his party.

  15. In other news […] Labour is at 40%.


    “Ancoats and Clayton, Manchester City Council:
    Labour 1,239 (70.5%) -3.8%
    UKIP 166 (9.4%) +9.4%
    Green 89 (5.1%) -3.5%
    Conservative 82 (4.7%) -2.2%
    Pirate 79 (4.5%) +1.5%
    BNP 58 (3.3%) +3.3%
    Lib Dems 44 (2.5%) -1.5%”

    This shows UKIP is a real threat to Labour in teh norf!!1one

  17. Before we tear into the LDs too much, let’s remind ourselves the Pirates were three votes off beating the Tories too.

  18. This from the Sun Politics this morning:

    “MORE than half a million ordinary Brits could miss out on a small fortune after a huge stampede to snap up Royal Mail shares by City fatcats.”

    When did the Sun get taken over by Socialist Worker?

  19. MrNameless
    The Sun is a populist conservative newspaper – it knows that it’s readership is also (small-c) conservative, not necessarily right-wing, so it has to plug that angle first.

    I agree with Statgeek over the Glasgow result – it’s no surprise.

    Speaking of crossbreaks, has anybody been tracking the 2010-LibDem vote?
    It’d be interesting to see if the Lib-Lab switchers declined during the general pre-conference Lab decline and are back now, or if they were a stable group, on average, over time and the loss was from elsewhere.

  20. YouGov
    Lab 40
    Con 33
    LD 10
    UKIP 11

  21. @ Mr. Nameless,

    Before we tear into the LDs too much, let’s remind ourselves the Pirates were three votes off beating the Tories too.

    I’m rooting for them. A freeze on rum prices! A parrot on every shoulder!

    We should get them into the televised leader’s debates.

    @ Red Rag,

    Not sure you can blame the BBC for stuff Adam Afriyie says. Not even sure you can blame the Conservative leadership for that…

    @ Tingedfringe,

    I keep meaning to do the flux graphs and then not getting around to it. I’ll try to get it up some time this weekend.

  22. “Ancoats and Clayton, Manchester City Council:

    Conservative 82 (4.7%) -2.2%

    I trust every one of these miscreants will be named and shamed. lol

  23. Morning everyone,

    So the latest YouGov Poll is showing a 40% for Labour – obviously an outlier -lol

    Tories are at least 32-35% in almost every poll now.

    As soon as the LD support starts to increase (if it ever will that is) it will eat into the Labour vote – but the Tories can really only go up now (wishful thinking I hear you say) but that is my view of things.

  24. @ Howard

    “Just look at the history of Hollywood actors.”

    You are absolutely right about that. I went to an Alf Garnett show once and he was telling the story of how someone got turned down for a contract purely on the basis of his name. The bloke was a really good actor and versatile, could do pure acting, song and dance etc and they were ready to offer him a contract but when he gave them his name- Penis van Lesbian- he was turned down flat. It had a happy ending though and a week later he came back after he had changed his name and he got the job- changed it to Dick Van Dyke.

    Not sure this will make it past automod but might give AW a giggle!

  25. I think the Tories are slightly higher than recent polls suggest. I would put them at about 35%. I have been saying for awhile now that I think that Labour will be at 40%+ and the Tories 35% up to near the 2014 EU elections. I then expect the Tories and Labour to dip a bit, as UKIP receive more coverage.

  26. 200 million Royal Mail shares allocated by the government

    08.57 Within an hour of the open, 100 millions shares have changed hands.

    The Telegraph

  27. @Robert Newark – “Mr Milliband was Energy Minister he cared nothing for people’s cost of living, when he was gaily lobbing on green taxes, right left and centre.”

    Cameron was rather keen on green taxes at the time.

    The Spectator has a piece “The green taxes that add £112 to your energy bill”… and runs through them to see which can be pinned on Ed.

    There’s the small matter of home improvements for the fuel poor – adds £47 to the average bill – which the coalition loved so much it renamed and repackaged as their own creation.

    Green taxes the Spectator exclusively pins on Miliband:
    Permits to pollute – adds £8 to the average bill.
    Feed-in Tariffs – adds £7 to the average bill.
    Smart Meters and Better Billing – adds £3 to the average bill.

    That compares to a £148 rise in the average energy bill from 2010-2011.

  28. sine

    “@CROSSBAT – what would you have to say if I did exactly the same thing in a by-election that is in a Conservative stronghold with Labour Polling the same low figure?

    You would hit back no doubt – naughty :)”

    Ole batty was talking about thse who had deserted the cons – not those who stick with them nobly.

  29. sine

    “Tories are at least 32-35% in almost every poll now.”


    “at least” ????? What’s that mean?

    Average 33% for October so far with nothing [nothing] above 35% and the two 35s matched by two 31s.

    You remind me of the troll in the Ladybird story of the Billy Goats Gruff that I used to read my daughter many years ago.

  30. @Rosieanddaisey – lol – :) – good one!

  31. Ahh, imprecise use of language again.

    The one that gets my goat is media folk saying that a given event is “one of the only times this has ever happened.”

    Well yeah. Information content, precisely zero.

    Or the other one (betraying an utter lack of knowledge about the relevance of precision). You’ll get some bod presenting technical information about, say high-speed trains that will “travel at speeds of approximately 186mph”. What this means is that they will travel at approximately 300kph, someone has done a conversion into mph and kept the “approximately” in. That term was entirely justified for the ball-park 300kph figure, but looks daft against the rather precise 186mph figure. When I see “approx 300kph” I think, “ok…280-320kph maybe”. When I see “approx 186mph” I think, “185.6? 186.2?”.

    (NB: Pete B – I didn’t say that I didn’t think precision in language was unnecessary; I said insisting on precision when precision was unnecessary was unnecessary. There’s an example above. Here’s another simple example: If I am designing a bridge, I take a standard value for the loading that will be imposed on the bridge in the worst realistically possible case. That is a guesstimate, no more. We think, from experience that it is safely conservative and not too high as to make the design uneconomical. But it is absolutely NOT the precise load that the bridge will actually experience.

    If I then present calculations to 20 decimal places, that is the precise answer for the assumptions that I have made, but it is a precision that is utterly unjustified in the real world.

    On that score, my inclusion of the definite article before “hoi polloi” may have betrayed some degree of ignorance on my part, but did not lead to an erroneous impression being given of the content of what I said. So it is (as with a great deal of grammatical issues – split infinitives, use of possessive pronouns with gerunds) an level of precision that is unnecessary for the substantive issue of communication, but instead used to determine one’s level of gentlemanly education.

    Phew: And to think this started off as a joke…

  32. Rosie&Daisie – is that many years ago in dog years?

  33. @R&D – I shouldn’t have used the word ‘least’ – my mind keeps going back to the one off 36% some weeks ago!

    Anyway the Conservatives are polling usually between 32-35% – but they usually poll higher than that when the chips are down because of ‘shy Tories’ -lol
    So lets put them on 37% just to put a smile on some peoples faces -lol

  34. Anybody else find that the End of Britain and Chinese Bride Purchase ads on here have been replaced by ads for solar panels since yesterdays meander?

    It’s rather unsettling isn’t it?

  35. Can we have a day where everyone tries to include the word “gerund” in their posts, and see what Google makes of that?

  36. Lefty
    This bridge
    It is the one Sine would sit under
    As mentioned by RnD?!

  37. @Lefty

    Yes, I started getting solar panel ads since yesterday. Google is watching!. But it makes a pleasant change from the end of Britain, Jimmy Choo and hair removal ads I normally get :) Can I tell Google that Richard is a man’s name?

    Populus is out early today

    Populus [email protected] 1h
    New Populus Voting Intention figures: Lab 39 (-1); Cons 34 (+1); LD 12 (+2); UKIP 8 (-2); Oth 7 (=) Tables:

    Not sure it tells us much though with their strange weighting.

  38. Sine Nomine,

    “Tories are at least 32-35% in almost every poll now.”

    A minimum cannot be a range.

  39. @Sine

    “So lets put them on 37% just to put a smile on some peoples faces -lol”

    Not just a smile, that’s borderline hilarious when you consider that they haven’t actually polled that figure in a General Election for 21 years!

    Thrice lol!

  40. Some really quite significant news from the ONS August construction figures – a 0.1% fall on the month.

    This goes alongside some really rather poor retail sales and industrial output data, and other signs from industry surveys that August showed a slow down in the rates of increase across all sectors.

    What is also extremely notable is the clear disparity emerging between retrospective hard numbers and predictive surveys. Surveys look uncompromisingly promising, while the actual numbers are now telling a significantly different story across many sectors.

    Once again, I’ll reference my thoughts on this disparity, with the survey data possibly being distorted by general media driven sentiment – I really don’t know. However, it does seem increasing clear that parts of the economy slipped quite heavily in August. We don’t yet have service sector data, which I expect will remain quite strong for August, but at present it looks like the mini surge for the last quarter or so looks to be running out of puff.

  41. On energy bills; I find it absolutely incomprehensible that the Tories are apparently targeting the ECO scheme for cuts, with the obvious collusion of the energy companies.

    The central objective of this scheme is demand reduction, focused on the poorest 15% of households. We all need demand reduction, as this cuts overall energy production costs, and there are immense spin offs to the taxpayer through improved health outcomes. The cost to the NHS of fuel poverty related health outcomes is immense.

    If Tories are concerned about the costs to consumers of ECO, the solution is simple – remodel the energy supply market as the water market, where prices are negotiated between the regulator and the private supply companies, such that required investment is balanced against profits as well as prices.

    If the government really wants to look at energy costs, the FITs regime should be the one to look at. FITs has been very good at encouraging renewables development, but because FITs are not compatible with grants, in effect there is now no capital grant support for renewables installations.

    The result of this is that the vast majority of FITs budget is being given to companies, middle class households and wealthy individuals who have have access to thousands of pounds already to invest. They have received very healthy returns compared to conventional investments, so FITs has effectively served as a transfer of wealth from low earners to the wealthy. Worse than that – by removing capital grant support, FITs has actually made it much harder for community groups and low earners to develop renewables.

    We have around 30,000 excess winter deaths in the UK every winter – that’s the equivalent of 10 World Trade Centre terrorist attacks – yet we let it happen, year in and year out. Cutting ECO would be a crazy idea, but for the Greenest Government Ever it’s obviously an easy decision.

  42. I’m a bit behind the times, I know, but looking back at the ‘Cons are trusted more on the economy, Lab on the cost of living,’ discussions, I wonder if the economy-plus for the Cons is actually worth much.

    Before anyone says ‘wishful thinking’ there, let me give my reasoning. To the average respondent, ‘safer with the economy, but not so good on the cost of living’ means ‘more attentive to the national debt situation, will watch the spending on the credit card etc., but in hard times less likely to spread the pain, and more likely to load it on the common Joe’. ‘Better at dealing with the cost of living,’ by contrast, means ‘more likely to spread the pain of hard times away from the common Joe, but maybe equally more likely to increase debt.’

    Now, by and large, the debt situation is not widely understood. It’s feared as a monster in the closet that could come out to bite us if we don’t mind the locks on the cupboard door. The pain of hard times, however, is an immediate concern to one and all. In fact, for all those likely to feel the pressure of hard times – which over the period of this last government is a lot of people – it will be the concern that trumps worries about the wider, and only partially understood, economy.

    On top of that, there are two other major factors in people’s thinking, I suggest. (1) is the fact that the wider economy is – like international law – something that appears to have some rather fluid rules. Fail to pay your credit card bill and ‘they’ are on to you in a flash. Mess about with national debt repayments and there seem to be all manner of ways to pass the problem parcel along the line a bit. In the world of ‘them’, there’s a lot more flexibility than there is in the world of ‘us’.

    (2) is the fact that, by selecting the energy companies as their prime target, and hinting at the railways after that, Lab have suggested to people that you can address the pain of everyday living without exacerbating the debt problem. Their previous argument, to the effect that increasing debt could actually be the best way to lower it, may or may not have been correct (I skirt the issue so as not to be partisan in any way) but it carries with it a paradox, which makes people anxious. The attack on the energy companies, by contrast, has caused a palpable flutter in the government’s dovecot!

    ‘Better on the economy’, therefore, is unlikely to carry the same weight as ‘better at addressing the cost of living’. In fact, when Clinton said, ”It’s the economy, stupid!” I would suggest he actually meant, ”It’s addressing the cost of living that counts, every time!”

  43. Also worth mentioning re ECO – that £47 cost on the average bill is misleading.

    Most of the big 6 (British Gas are the best example of this) have their own division of installers and fitters. These trade as separate financial entities, which allows the companies to refer work under ECO to their own companies, which the parent company funds.

    The installer completes the work at a profit, which is paid for by the consumer. So a decent chunk of that £47 pounds isn’t going to help poor households, but to build profits for the big 6.

  44. New thread

  45. Alec

    “What is also extremely notable is the clear disparity emerging between retrospective hard numbers and predictive surveys. Surveys look uncompromisingly promising, while the actual numbers are now telling a significantly different story across many sectors.”

    It’s even worse with the numbers coming out of Europe and the states

  46. All the YouGov polls are seriously flawed and there has been no way that Labour has sustained a large lead over the Tories. One thing the YouGov polls do not take account of is the ‘don’t knows’ so where the 35-40% support for Labour is a complete myth especially if the Tories are seem far more competent than Labour on the economy.

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