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. @ Colin,

    I don’t have it to hand, I’m afraid. I think it was a YouGov though, so Anthony might know where to find it?

    I’ve still got to add all the YouGovs since August into my dataset, so I’ll keep an eye out for it. (I think it might be from that period because has that “conference policy comparison polling” vibe to it.) If I come across it I’ll post the link.

  2. @Norbold
    “The sooner people realise they don’t need solicitors the better in my opinion!”
    Hmm – tell that to the DWP – they get legal support at taxpayers expense. It is good that some folk can handle their own cases without solicitors. Since legal aid has been removed in so many cases, many people will have no choice. In many cases they simply give up, which is no doubt the intention.

    Unfortunately some claimants are not equipped to cope alone, especially those with depression and mental illnesses in varying degrees. Others who have suffered form severe domestic abuse / violence have often lost any confidence they ever had.

    Apart from that, it is completely unfair that the DWP will be legally represented at all stages ( including tribunals ) – and at taxpayers expense – whilst the claimant is denied any legal support or advice. The dice could not be any more loaded against vulnerable people.

  3. Looks like Osborne and Boris are doing a good job over in China to drum up investment. Massive link to jobs back home, especially in the automobile industry.

  4. @ Richard,

    To be fair Labour are now trying to deal with the systemic causes of the welfare bill a bit, in a feeble half-hearted sort of way- housebuilding programme that will build more (but still not nearly enough) homes to get the housing benefit bill down, “strengthening” the minimum wage, some tentative movements toward the living wage for government and government contractors.

    I have a vague hope that Ed Miliband is trying to change incentive structures, though. That seems to be the underlying goal of his trade union funding reforms: if there’s no automatic affiliation fee then the party can no longer take trade union money for granted and will have to actually offer things to attract voters.

    When you think about it, the jobs guarantee does the same thing. If the government has to employ the long-term unemployed at the minimum wage, the only practical way to reduce that expenditure is to create more jobs in the private economy to get those people off the government payroll and onto someone else’s. It’s vastly more expensive than maintaining people on JSA for years, so there’s a huge incentive for the Treasury to get those people into real, long-term work. Unemployment goes from “a price worth paying” to completely unaffordable.

    (Although Labour probably don’t mind that the compulsory job-takers will immediately disappear from both the unemployment figures and the benefits bill, seeing as how they are now “in work”…)

  5. Strange… over the last few polls it seems that the Cons vote fluctuates more with margin of error than Labour’s does. I wonder what could be causing that?

  6. Well, I agree with Rich regarding the potholes.I posted regarding this last year
    When the lane I live on was virtually destroyed by the terrible weather in the
    Winter.It has been patched up but it is a very bumpy ride now.It may not be
    Significant economically,but a country that does not repair its roads so that they resemble something from the third world can hardly claim to be a “land of
    hope and……what was that word?

  7. Ann in Wales

    I don’t know where you live but some of the worst roadsI have been on are in South Bucks dreadfu, but they keep their rates down you get what pay for

  8. @Rich
    “Looks like Osborne and Boris are doing a good job over in China to drum up investment.”

    I’ll save my applause for the municipal socialists of Manchester in the form of MAG (registered office, Manchester Town Hall, 65% local authority majority shareholding) who are the UK partners in the deal with the Chinese to develop the business park around Manchester Airport.

    MAG are already doing a pretty good job of running Manchester, East Midlands and Bournemouth airports and have just acquired Stansted. Given their current pace of expansion I wonder if they could be persuaded to next complete the renationalisation of the railways (apart from the bits already run by DOR and Arriva aka state-owned Deutsche Bundesbahn).


    OK-thanks very much.

  10. While Labour’s VI seems broadly consistent ( somewhere in the high ’30s) across all polls, the Tories seem higher in YouGov while UKIP are higher in Survation, for example – this seems to account for the differences in Labour lead over the Tories. Any explanations for this?

  11. Ann in wales/Rich

    I agree with you that there could be a rich vein of votes at least for local MP’s campaigning on the issue. The problem is the weather change over recent years has led to a increase in the problem to the point that it’s almost impossible to keep up with repairs,it’s a bit unfair when the press criticise councils over pot hole repairs, in most cases they try to keep up.

    But with councils on tight budgets and with more important priorities it’s easy to see why repairs can take time to do. Which is a shame if like Anne your suffering as a direct consequence of a road in bad repair.

    Whether it would be possible or even advisable to take the repair or at least the cost of repair away from local authorities is another question.

  12. The long term unemployed already are extremely expensive. 5bn spent on the Work Programme for some extremely poor results. It’s just the claimant sees very little of it while the likes of Ingeus, a4e and Serco get thousands per claimant rained upon them for doing very little at all (worse outcomes than doing literally nothing according to reports). I’d rather that goes to the unemployed person even if could only subside a short term contract.

  13. MAG run East Midlands? Interesting that it’s Manchester council that’s kept me awake for fifteen years of my life!

  14. Roger Rebel,well in that case We pay a hell of a lot and get zilch.No street lights,pot holes and seem to spend a deal of time taking stuff to the tip because of an erratic or alternatively crazy recycling system.Plus fly tipping so
    We end up clearing up other peoples rubbish.Enough moaning but it is pretty
    Tiresome .

  15. I seem to be fortunate on the pothole front, living in East Sussex :-

    Scotland seems to be quite holy :-

  16. TURK

    Just heard Grant Shapps on the Labour schools announcement.
    His line was-no change-same policy as before-ie a load of barriers for parents wanting to set a Free School up.

    So no sign of ,” Labour now agree with us”-so much for my pontificating !

  17. @ Rich

    Looks like Osborne and Boris are doing a good job over in China to drum up investment.
    And to think, if it hadn’t been for the Ed Miliband led opposition, we’d be having a ‘face-off’ with China & Russia over Syria. Instead we are strengthening trading links!

  18. @Colin,

    Agreed. The Chinese are vitally important partners for UK job creation now, no doubt about it. It’s a simple factor of the globalised world. Anybody who looks down their nose at the arrangement or just wants to criticise isn’t facing up to the economic reality of the situation.

  19. RICH


    Looks like they are last man standing in the “who will build us some nuclear power plants ” competition.

  20. @amber,

    Yes Ed was 100% right there. Whether it was done for the right reasons is still perhaps a matter for debate, but he did effectively end up dictating major international policy from the opposition benches!

  21. How is making folk with jobs unemployed in order that the long term unemployed can be forced to do those jobs for nothing the same as creating EXTRA minimum wage jobs for the unemployed?

  22. Beginning to think that Amber’s claim of “spin” relates to Tristram as well:-

    Toby Young in DT writes :-

    “I just spoke to a BBC journalist who’d just spoken to the new shadow education secretary. He told her that, pending the outcome of David Blunkett’s review into local “oversight” of schools, Labour will grant councils the power of veto over free schools in their boroughs. That is, it will be up to the local authority to decide whether a free school is allowed to open in its ballywick and, if so, what type of school it will be.”

    ie the Gordon Brown strategy for killing Academies.

    …ah well, my naivety embarrasses me-& I thought young Tristram was ” a pretty strait sort of guy “.

  23. @Amber

    On the topic of Rachel Reeves, I agree that absolutely nothing new has been announced.

    What continues to surprise me is why a “jobs guarantee scheme” through which a Labour government would essentially end involuntary long term unemployment, is somehow being viewed as a move to the right. It strikes me more as a move to the left, being an attempt to build on the success of previous interventionist policies such as the Future Jobs Fund. It is also a reasonable quid-pro-quo to end benefits if the offer of work at the statutory minimum wage is turned down.

    There is a world of difference between that and workfare, which offers nothing but work for existing benefits.

  24. Simple question

    For must people, would they save more on car repairs than the spent on extra council tax to have the pot holes sorted out

    Another question, why haven’t I read about any bodybuilding firms being sued for substandard work

  25. Phil

    Haven’t you heard, left is the new right

    Wait a mo, maybe it was right is the new left

  26. @Colin

    Thanks – I overlooked to mention that plaudits are also due to the Greater Manchester (Local Authority) Pension Fund for going putting up the UK share of the equity, going where private UK venture capital fears to tread (at a reasonable price at least).

  27. Re; schools – once the genie is out of the bottle, you can’t very well just close schools if children are attending them, because you don’t agree with the policy that allowed them to be opened.

    That’s why you have to be really, really careful with education policy, because if you do a thing like free schools, there is nothing anyone can ethically do unless they are all very obviously failing badly, and it is much too early to tell if the experiment is successful or not. We won’t know for at least a decade if free schools were a roaring success or a failure.

    Labour should not and cannot reverse the policy – but they can tighten up the rules about who can open them and where.

  28. @Phil Haines

    It does help that MAG are exceptionally well run and capable. Ironically for a lot of politics’ most tedious arguments, there is an awful lot conventional private industry could learn from the way they have done their business over the years.

  29. “Yes Ed was 100% right there. Whether it was done for the right reasons is still perhaps a matter for debate,”

    I think we can take that as read Rich, otherwise that would have been very good indeed.

  30. @Anarchists Unite
    “Strange… over the last few polls it seems that the Cons vote fluctuates more with margin of error than Labour’s does. I wonder what could be causing that?

    No answer, I see. This was even more the case for several weeks around midsummer, when the Conservative VI figure behaved just as it should if the VI was constant but the poll results were subject to a random fluctuation within about 3 points. Meanwhile the Labour VI remained virtually constant. That ought to fluctuate as well, unless something in the methodology or the weighting holds it constant.

  31. @howard,

    Not sure what notes you are referring to.

    Perhaps if they had any voters left we would have some Liberal PPBs…

  32. @ Phil Haines

    There is a world of difference between that and workfare
    I agree; the actual policy does not reflect what the Observer’s headline said about it!

  33. Rosieand daisie

    There you are just to keep you happy if thats possible.



    Somehow the Conservative Party see Labours announcement on offering the unemployed a job as “abandons slobs” or to give it their full Conservative Home name “the slob on the sofa”.

    And they wonder why they have not been in front in the polls since Red Ed took over.

    With the Royal Mail privatisation fiasco and next week another energy company announcing more price rises it looks like there will be a few more 40%+ polls for Labour for the foreseeable.

  35. @ Howard

    You asked the other day about my comments about the comparability of public finance figures. This is a good starting point:

    htt p://;jsessionid=1lou0hfyy9zan.x-oecd-live-02

    Essentially Japan is not comparable with anyone, neither is the US nor Germany and to some degree France (but for different reasons). For historical reasons the UK is also unique.

    But nobody cares really and economists make the assumption that the differences are negligible.

  36. @Chris Riley
    “It does help that MAG are exceptionally well run and capable. Ironically for a lot of politics’ most tedious arguments, there is an awful lot conventional private industry could learn from the way they have done their business over the years.”

    Yes, and that’s as it should be – the more capable expand, the others don’t. It can work with public sector arms length ownership structures too.

    What is so ironic given that the deal is being lauded by Osborne is that MAG is about as close as you can get to a UK example of a successful independent Chinese state corporation. A difference is that, given the hostility of the UK state to any such model for the last 40 years, a collective group of local authorities has provided the alternative to state ownership.

    @”Thanks – I overlooked to mention that plaudits are also due to the Greater Manchester (Local Authority) Pension Fund for going putting up the UK share of the equity”

    Yep-I remember GO announcing the initiative to get Pension Funds investing directly in infrastructure-it must be at least a year ago.
    This is the first big one I have read about.

  38. What is a PPB Rich?……….or Howard

  39. Party Political Broadcast!

  40. Ah-thanks MrN.

    Subtle !

  41. @ Richard in Norway,

    How is making folk with jobs unemployed in order that the long term unemployed can be forced to do those jobs for nothing the same as creating EXTRA minimum wage jobs for the unemployed?

    Well, clearly they’re not the same for the compulsory job-taker, who has a choice between doing the work for the minimum wage or doing the work for JSA (or starving, of course), and for the Government, which has a choice between paying the minimum wage or paying JSA.

    They may, however, be identical in their direct effect on the labour market. If the Government is paying someone minimum wage to stack shelves in Poundland, it’s just as much of an incentive for Poundland to sack their own workers and replace them with taxpayer-subsidised forced labour as it is if the Government is paying someone JSA to do it. Possibly more of an incentive, since the workers paid the minimum wage will be warmer and better fed, and therefore presumably a healthier, more effective forced labour force. Likewise if councils sack all their rubbish collectors and replace them with forced labourers, although that would be a clever way of recapturing some money from central government.

    We await the detail, but I have moral hazard concerns about all these compulsory work policies.

  42. On free schools, not too sure if people picked the news report about the 27 year head teacher with no teaching qualifications who has just walked out on her newly opened London free school after a few weeks, saying she wasn’t up to the job.

    Personally, I find it incredible that you can run a free school with no proper educational training – staggering, really – so if Labour’s policy is to allow them to operate but with a few more controls and standards, then all well and good.

  43. turk

    “There you are just to keep you happy if thats possible.”


    You’ve lost me – unless you are suggesting that my gentle critique means you feel I must be incapable of happiness?

    Can’t be that though ‘cos that would be silly of course.

  44. @Colin
    Nor can I think of anything of substance until now. If I recall, there wasn’t any legislation as such, just words of encouragement to pension funds that they really ought to be doing this sort of thing.

    The Manchester case is I think the exception because almost uniquely there is a successful major local authority arms length enterprise wanting to expand around its core business and a pension fund for the same local authorities with the capital to facilitate it, both being no doubt overseen by boards which include elected councillors very mindful of the need to promote the economic well being of the local people who elected them. Given the shared municipal thread that links them, it’s difficult to envisage that they needed much encouragement from Osborne.

  45. There’s something odd about the many thousands of people who get trampled to death, or die in other ways, on a pilgrimage to their “god” I think, it happens so regularly.

    Its almost as if there really isn’t one or, if there is, s/he doesn’t care very much.

  46. @ Amber Star

    I just learned that Ed Milliband demoted my favorite UK politician from his role of Shadow Defense Secretary. Apparently this was like a week ago, but I’ve been so focused on politics at home (i.e. a band of crazed Teabaggers attempting to push my country into economic default and the federal government being shutdown for 13 days now…….have friends who are furloughed), I hadn’t noticed. But count me as one who’s saddened and disappointed by the news.

    Oh well, I’m still not giving up on him becoming your party’s leader.

  47. @ SoCal

    I guess only Jim Murphy can really say whether he considers it a demotion.

    Personally, I think it is not a demotion but a challenge to him to raise the profile of Development & International Co-operation above Defence. I think he is an excellent choice as the best person to achieve that objective.

  48. @Amber Star

    Murphy has always been a little hawkish for my liking, but maybe now he’s at Int. Dev. he can channel those instincts better and put them to a genuinely humanitarian use.

    As for the whole brouhaha about Hunt & Reeves’ comments, I think the Guardian sub-editors should hang their heads in shame. Nothing has been said that we don’t already know or that hasn’t been said before. There’s now a big and potentially demoralising stink among the rank and file about some imaginary policy & rhetorical shift to the right, whereas there’s been no change, which means policy & rhetoric were always to the right of where I and most other grassroots Labour people would like it to be and still are.

    I’ve always thought the job guarantee has the potential to be a genuinely transformation policy, and it has always frustrated me that Labour are still so keen to stress the punitive elements of it. Instead of saying ‘No one the dole for more than two years’ they should say ‘No one on the scrapheap for more than two years.’

    There’s a great chance here to really change the tone of the conversation, and to be fair to Labour they’ve made a start in some respects, like placing more emphasis on the root causes of spending on housing benefit, tax credits etc. However changing the debate is like turning around an ocean liner, so much bile has been spouted over the years, and I’m convinced Labour could and should be bolder.

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