The weekly YouGov poll for the Sunday Times is here. Topline voting intention figures are CON 34%, LAB 39%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 11%, so a five point lead for Labour. The rest of the poll had some questions on social mobility, the security services and Royal Mail privatisation.

32% of people think that society has become more mobile over the last thirty years, 44% that it’s become less mobile. This does not translate into support for universities giving lower entrance requirements to people from deprived backgrounds (34% would support this, 49% would be opposed), nor for an expansion of grammar schools (37% would support this, 21% would support keeping but not expanding grammar schools, 25% oppose them entirely).

Only 19% of people think that the security services have too many surveillance powers, most think their powers are either about right or should be increased. However, in contrast to this 46% think they shouldn’t be allowed to store the details of ordinary people’s communications, 38% think they should. Asked which statement best reflected their views of recent leaks about security service methods, 35% thought the leaks were a good thing that helped hold the security services to account, 43% that it was a bad thing that helped Britain’s enemies.

5% of people say they have applied to buy Royal Mail shares (this is actually quite a bit higher than the figures Vince Cable has reported, but I expect this is largely because of people saying yes when it is actually their spouse or another family member who has applied, and partly because the most disengaged and marginal members of society tend to be under-represented in polls). 21% of people think it is right for the government to sell shares in the Royal Mail, 56% think it is wrong. 43% think it has been sold for less than it is worth.

There is also a Survation poll in the Mail on Sunday, which has topline voting intention figures of CON 27%(-2), LAB 37%(nc), LDEM 11%(nc), UKIP 18%(+1). Changes are from their previous poll back in August. They also asked about voting intention in the European elections. I think its largely pointless to poll on secondary elections like Europe so far in advance, but for the record the figures are CON 21%, LAB 35%, LDEM 11%, UKIP 22%.

191 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 34, LAB 39, LD 9, UKIP 11”

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  1. UKIP & Polish PIS?

    There has to be a joke in there somewhere but I’m too busy today.

  2. Very interested in the reaction of the left to Reeves yesterday and this also from todays DT –

    Milliband will love both of them, I suspect.

    What I’ve always found slightly odd about the lefts general reaction to a tough welfare message (and I really am generalising here, so please no one take this remotely personally – I love all of you) is that I’ve always thought it absolutely obvious that the left should hate the idea of welfare dependency for all but those few who really cannot work through age or infirmity.

    The idea that anyone else who can work, even a bit, should be supported in basic state funded idleness should be a complete anathema to the left – that’s how I’ve always seen things.

    Where I see the difference between the left and right is that the right believes markets will deal with the issue, which we know of course is nonsense – low wages and unemployment are tools of capitalism, states exist to protect citizens against the economic abuse that free markets rely on.

    But I really don’t see anything wrong with a Labour government declaring in effect an end to welfare, if they are talking about putting able bodied people back to work.

    The key questions really should be how it works, what it costs, what market distortions will it bring and are these acceptable, and can it be constructed in such a way to give permanent benefit to the long term unemployed, as opposed to another initiative based temporary response.

    One thing I always thought Blair scored a direct hit with was his early speech when he said Labour governments lost their way by thinking they should be judged on how big the welfare state was. They should be instead be judging themselves on how small it was- not because they just cut benefits, but because they created a better system where benefits were less necessary.

    I’m with Labour on this one, tone and all, and just because some right wing commentators are happy with it won’t stop me. I suspect there’s a bit of concern within Tory strategy ranks now about this as well, and I’m feeling they are beginning to sense that Ed isn’t quite as carp at this politics thing as they once thought.

  3. @Alec

    The Labours job pledge is a vote winner I think. Pledging a real job or training is exactly what the majority of unemployed want. It is costly to deliver well but brings dividends longer term with lower welfare bills and a better trained and more productive workforce.

  4. @ Colin

    ( hope you & your family are well Sue)

    Thanks for the best wishes and likewise.. let me know if you see anymore interesting parasitoids :)

  5. Sue

    Will keep an eye out !!

  6. Alec

    It was only when Labour moved to the right that they became the party of welfare

  7. @Alec

    The reason lefties so often flinch at messages like that is simple. It’s because over the years it has been associated with sticks rather than carrots, ie cutting off all support but without guaranteeing a job or training, or blaming unemployment on the unemployed.

    Now of course Labour are guaranteeing a job and it’s a policy that has the potential to make a big difference, however as I said on the previous page I wish Labour would use more positive language to sell it. The job guarantee dangles a juicier carrot and wields a bigger stick than anything the Tories have ever come up with, however if Labour place too much emphasis on the stick they risk getting their supporters’ backs up unnecessarily.

  8. @Alec

    I agree with a lot of what you say and I think the key to success, and credibility, for Labour in the area of Welfare reform is to couch the argument in completely different terms and language to the Conservatives. They’ll never win, nor should they ever want to , a “we’ll bash the scroungers harder than you” type of debate, but if they were to concentrate on arguing that decent, well paid and secure employment is a basic human need, and key to feeling a valued member of society, then I think they can then present themselves as credible shrinkers of the welfare budget.

    Decent benefits for those who have no alternative source of income and secure and well paid employment for all those that are able to work. A virtuous double whammy that all centre left governments should aspire to.

  9. This is when HOWARD comes on and complains about “PPBs”

    …………….or maybe not.

  10. Crossbat

    “They’ll never win, nor should they ever want to , a “we’ll bash the scroungers harder than you” type of debate,”

    Labour seem to be giving it a good go though.

  11. When I saw the Nobel prize for economics had been shared I did wonder whether it might have been Colin and Alec but no it was 3 Americans :-(

  12. ‘The left’ have always been in favour of full employment. Keynes’s ‘dig holes & fill them in’ may have been one of the least positive or productive versions but his basic idea is not wrong.

  13. “Keynes’s ‘dig holes & fill them in’ ”

    We did that on the beach in Cornwall but we never got paid for it.

    Daisie was the quickest – her little legs were like lightning.

  14. COLIN

    “This is when HOWARD comes on and complains about “PPBs”


    To be fair they are mostly talking about what Labour OUGHT to do, to counter a possible VI threat, much as we have done regarding Tories/Ukip in the past..

  15. @ TURK

    ‘”They’ll never win, nor should they ever want to , a “we’ll bash the scroungers harder than you” type of debate,”

    Labour seem to be giving it a good go though.’

    Have you not read any of this thread?

  16. @ Rosie&Daisie


    You always make me smile.

  17. TURK

    Norbold means that the consensus view here is that neither Reeves nor Hunt meant what they said.

    Hunt won’t help parents get new Free Schools-and Reeves won’t be tougher than IDS.

    They have both been put in place to make existing Labour Policy sound like the things people said they wanted in Labour’s Focus Groups-but only to win the Election.

    CB11 thinks this is a brilliant ploy which shoots lots of Tory Foxes-& I presume he anticipates major changes in VI as a result.

    I’m still writing down small chinks in this idea-don’t know what you think?

    Not asking mind you-Con supporters musn’t talk about policy matters. lol.

  18. @Rosie&Daisie –

    ““Keynes’s ‘dig holes & fill them in’ ”

    We did that on the beach in Cornwall but we never got paid for it.”

    Yes, but that’s because you’re not meant to leave a turd in the bottom of the hole.

  19. ICM out

    Lab 38 Con 34 LD 12 UKIP 8

  20. Colin, nteresting interpretation that leaves a few important bits out. Eg, that people seem to think that Labour may actually be tougher on Welfare, they did introduce the ATOS thing after all, but leaven with more jobs. And the shooting foxes thing is less about increasing VI but neutralising attack points to avoid slipping in VI…


    I’m just reading what people wrote here Carfrew.

  22. Talking about Labour shooting Tory foxes, how is Ed going to respond to calls for a relaxation of laws about hunting with dogs?

    In this particular case, it really is far more efficient and humane to shoot the fox……

  23. @Colin

    I know, I was just filling in the bits you didn’t seem to read, plus alternative considerations re foxes. Another interesting element is the jobs angle, following the moves on apprentices at conference. Unemployment is an important aspect of welfare and is important too in issue trackers. How should Tories respond?

  24. is there any polling on whether the great British public gives a toss about foxes one way or the other? Myself I think it’s a VI loser because it’s time wasting, it was when Labour banned it and will be if the coalition reverses the ban

  25. Carfrew

    Well one thing the Tories must not do is admit that they want unemployment, mind you I’m not sure that Labour has moved on from the “unemployment is good” philosophy

  26. Colin
    Just had another day off. My idea of a UKPR PPB is
    ‘so and so (fill in party favourite) has just announced /made a deal with / showed some metal / resisted the temptation to’ (and so it goes on. No relation to anything other than promotion of said ‘so and so’ or party.

    It is succeeded with a response from a partisan colleague a few minutes later with ‘spot in’ ‘quite so’ or even ‘when will voters see see the light?’ type comment.

    I didn’t see any today, just a jumble about the boring subject of education. Jolly good show, jolly jolly good show.

    On polling, the report of the ICM poll seems to indicate ICM is coming in line – a changed method perhaps?

  27. @ Howard

    “On polling, the report of the ICM poll seems to indicate ICM is coming in line – a changed method perhaps?”

    Or just MOE for them!

  28. Decent benefits for those who have no alternative source of income and secure and well paid employment for all those that are able to work. A virtuous double whammy that all centre left governments should aspire to.


    I hardly think the above sentence applies to the last few govst. My own view is that there needs to be a mix of incentive and some strictness as society simply isn’t as disciplined as 40-50 years ago. We have a celebrity get rich quick culture, money and wealth is all around at the click of a button, and for whatever reason, yes, we don’t have as many routes in to employment for the young and it’s rough. But, it may be exaggerated, or it may not be, but there are a volume of people who are happy not to work and spend a life on benefits. I have seen evidence of this myself.

    What doesn’t help the argument is some on the liberal left who deny the problem at all and say its a Tory masterplan to turn people against each other. It’s ridiculous, and no better than people on the right who exaggerate the problem. It’s going to be incredibly difficult and complex to ever crack this problem now given the changing world, globalisation, population etc. (just look at youth employment in parts of Europe and even rich countries in the Middle East.

  29. @RiN

    Yes, there’s an argument that both may benefit from unemployment politically, though I’m glad you made that point, not me…

  30. @RIN
    “Well one thing the Tories must not do is admit that they want unemployment, mind you I’m not sure that Labour has moved on from the “unemployment is good” philosophy

    I think that is going to be the problem when the public realise that our government want unemployment to be around 5%- 7% to keep wage costs down, then the question arises if our government are keeping unemployment at certain levels, then why are they persecuting the unemployed.

    That is going to really hurt when it does make the headlines and eventually it will and if there is an unspoken collusion between governments it could get really messy.
    It would bring a new meaning to “nasty party” the media need to ask the questions and if they do not they too will be held responsible…

    The labour party should be asking the questions as well, forcing the issue if they have to…

  31. Carfrew

    Well it’s a sad fact that about half of the country benefits greatly from unemployment, especially those all important floating voters

  32. Amber

    As far as I’m aware, Keynes never said that people should be paid to dig holes and fill them in. He said “If the Treasury were to fill old bottles with banknotes, bury them at suitable depths in disused coalmines which are then filled up to the surface with town rubbish, and leave it to private enterprise on well-tried principles of laissez-faire to dig the notes up again (the right to do so being obtained, of course, by tendering for leases of the note-bearing territory), there need be no more unemployment and, with the help of the repercussions, the real income of the community, and its capital wealth also, would probably become a good deal greater than it actually is. It would, indeed, be more sensible to build houses and the like; but if there are political and practical difficulties in the way of this, the above would be better than nothing.”

  33. Laszlo

    During my unilateral furlough (hope I’m not on a fizzer from Rosie and Daisie) I have now looked back and caught your link to the OECD site with deficits and debt stats. Thank you and I will study them.

    When one thinks that these factors (whether correctly reported or otherwise; we all remember the Greek porkies, told for them by some London City consultancy IIRC) led to the Greek crisis, it would seem important for anyone interested in EU politics to get gen’d up.

    So I will, thanks.

  34. I’m not going to tell you about the new thread cos it’s rubbish

  35. Jim/RiN

    There’s a very big debate going on at the moment among economists about whether wage inflation WILL start to rise when unemployment comes down.

    From my passing acquaintance with the debate, it seems to be based on this. One of the big features of the Great Recession has been the fact that wages of those in work didn’t fall as much as they ought to have done (or, for the most part, at all in nominal terms) if the market had worked as it should. In past times, this would have been blamed on unions holding companies to ransom, but that explanation doesn’t really hold water these days. So the simple relationship between economic growth/contraction and wage inflation/deflation hasn’t held.

  36. Colin

    “Not asking mind you-Con supporters musn’t talk about policy matters. lol.”

    Or post quotes from newspapers don’t forget, especially the Telegraph although I think the Gaurdians all right because I’ve seen loads of those.

    Having watch the daily politic’s show today and listening to Hunt apoligising over some of his comments on free schools and yummie mummies, and Meg Hellier being backed into a corner as to whether she supported free schools, which it turned out she did, I don’t think this particular question is going to bother the Tories very much.

    I not sure what Labours alternative is, I believe unless it’s changed they want something like free schools but with a different name.

    What I don’t see is how Hunt not helping parents to get free schools is somehow a vote winner, as I understand it free schools are very popular with parents and there is a demand amongst parents for new ones to be opened.

    Again with welfare Labour have been behind the wave in welfare reforms brought in by IDS. Reeves retoric seems to be we are going to further than IDS on some welfare reform if we take there work gaurantee for 6mths policy for the long term youth unemployed I think this effects about 125,000 people, what we havan’t heard is what these jobs are going to be and how there going to be created and as they will be compulsary what the penalties will be if you refuse the job offered.

    I was told although I’m not sure it’s true that the funding they will get from pensions will go to an employer to create a job for a placement for 6mths, so not a real job as in a employer looking to expand there business and taking on extra staff, but more as a way of getting 6mth casual labour with the government picking up the wages tab.

    Having said that any proposal to get the long term youth unemployment figures down is a good idea, but Labour will have to answer those questions of what jobs, how are they going to be created and if you have high numbers of youth unemployment in small geographical areas like some parts of the north are you going to be forced to move to take up a job elsewhere.

    We will see how much of a VI winner this will be once Labour flesh out there proposal and any votes won might be negated by those they lose amongst the unemployed.

  37. Well shooting foxes.Who can say who will do best with that.However shooting
    Real foxes.Not sure that is wise for the Tories going down that route.

  38. HOWARD

    @”I didn’t see any today,”


  39. TURK


  40. RIUCH
    ” It’s going to be incredibly difficult and complex to ever crack this problem now ”

    I agree, and as Turk says (and thanked for it hy Colin, so must be good), especially among the young unemployed.

    I see no reason to suppose that Reeves’ statement on the Labour position is intended as rhetoric or primarily as a “vote winner”, tho’ that matters in poltics . What will be really worth watching is how and in what areas of the economy – public sector or private, housing, retail-related, linked to bank credit or public sector investment, and indeed to a readiness to get on your bike, by incentives rather than penalites, etc – the jobs will be created. Secondly what, indeed, is regarded as an acceptable level of unemployment – I mean from a welfare standpoint, rather than as a lever – is 4 to 5% in the active work force, and 7-8% among young entries to the work force, a level which would represent an acceptable margin on people between jobs and between school and jobs?

  41. ‘This does not translate into support for universities giving lower entrance requirements to people from deprived backgrounds (34% would support this, 49% would be opposed)’

    In Victoria, Australia, the Universities look at the overall long term average score for each school and – in essence – award a small premium for those students achieving significantly above their school’s long term average score in the pre-university exams. This means those who come from deprived backgrounds – and who have shown their ability to achieve – get a slight boost to their result to counter those who come from the top private schools with much smaller classes and much better facilities.

    It is worth noting such students achieve better at Universities than those from private schools as these students are far more highly motivated. This is, of course, another reason why the Universities are happy to give them a small bonus to their overall grades.

    Of course this only works as they have a sane system where the University offer only is given after the pre-University results are actually known.

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