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. @Rosie and Daisie

    Not sure what that question has to do with polling, but listening to these videos may help you see a different point of view

  2. @ DrunkenScouser

    I absolutely agree with your comment.

    IMO, the Graun/Observer continues to support the LibDems & it is trying to make it seem like there is no difference between the Labour Party & the LDs; their intention being that the ‘lost LDs’ will go back to supporting Clegg’s crew.

  3. @ Drunken Scouser

    I completely agree with your comment ‘policy & rhetoric were always to the right of where I and most other grassroots Labour people would like it to be and still are.’

    It seems to me that, the a big difference between New Labour and real socialism, is that New Labour fits/fitted its policies to match the focus groups i.e. is/was reactive, whereas socialists would argue the case for those policies that they believe to be best for the community i.e. are proactive.

    The major downside of being reactive (with IMO a wrong-headed view to creating electability) is that the New Labourites hand over a huge amount of power to the mainstream media .. because (other than personal experience) where else can the ‘normal’ (not obsessed with politics) voter get their information. So inevitably, ‘reactive’ politicians will produce relatively more rightwing policies because of the bias of the relatively more ‘rightwing’ media… or as you say ‘ always to the right of where I and most other grassroots Labour people would like it to be and still are.’

    Like you, I’m also convinced Labour could and should be bolder.

  4. ALEC
    ” it’s not possible to have everyone consistently moving upwards – social mobility is as much about people slipping down to make way for the climbers.”

    If you broaden the catchment area of a class, notably of the middle class in the UK, by reference to income, higher or technical education, access to health services, annual holdays, and housing, say,- as I believe has been the case – then this is not at the expense of others slipping down in class.

  5. RICH
    “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!”

    It perhaps needs to be on the record that he took the actions he did by the right process – as did Obama, stating this to be on the example of the UK parliamentary action – that is, by the parliamentary democratic rule-book, first listening to the Government’s position and intentions, then taking the written memorandum back for discussion in the Labour inner shadow cabinet, and then to a statement of opposition to any alliance in military action, and to a partlamentary vote. So his and the shadow cabinet’s reasons were stated in Parliament and formed the basis of a democratic parliamentary debate and vote. That’s a pretty good bit of history. No reasons for his reasons to be debated outside the process.

  6. “Not sure what that question has to do with polling”

    Yes you are: nothing. Like many other posts by many other posters.

    I have always found it sad and somewhat paradoxical to read of the many thousands who die whilst on a “pilgrimage” to pray at some reputedly holy place.

    As to videos about “god” and his purpose for us – thanks but no thanks.

  7. @ Chris Lane 1945

    I’ve got to give you some sports news updates (because I love doing that given your excitement in giving us all sports updates).

    It’s the baseball playoff season. My beloved Dodgers won the NL West crown and got back into the playoffs after a 4 year absence. And we managed to advance to the National League Championship series (where we currently trail the St. Louis Cardinals 2-0) after winning the first round 3-1 over the Atlanta Braves. Game 4 against the Braves was a great clincher. For whatever reason, our manager freaked out and despite a 2-1 series lead, decided to start our lefthanded ace, Clayton Kershaw, on 3 days rest for the first time. Kershaw pitched well but our offense stumbled and our defense stumbled too (Kershaw left the game with a 2-2 tie but the runs for Atlanta were unearned). Our relief pitchers gave up a run. And with a frustrated offense, it looked like the Braves would win 3-2 and get a tied series back to Atlanta for a decisive Game 5.

    But then in the bottom of the 8th inning, Juan Uribe (after failing to get down a bunt) hit a clutch two homerun (all the way to Silverlake) to put the Dodgers up 4-3, winning the game and the series.

    And more baseball drama between the Boston Red Sox and the Detroit Tigers in the American League Championship Series (and you should be a Red Sox fan……they are the team of New England like your true favorite team, the Celtrics). Detroit won Game 1 in Boston 1-0. In Game 2, they were seemingly on cruise control with their ace Max Scherzer no-hitting the Red Sox for over 5 innings, ultimately pitching 7 innings and giving up only one run. He left the game and Detroit’s normally strong bullpen was in the game and seemingly had it on lock with a 5-1 lead. Until the bottom of the 8th.

    Wouldn’t you know it, Boston managed to load the bases with two out when David “Big Papi” Ortiz stepped up to the plate, longtime hero of the Red Sox. Detroit then brought in its closer, Joaquin Benoit. On the first pitch, Big Papi hit a grand slam to tie the game 5-5. This set up the Red Sox for game winning single in the bottom of the 9th to win 6-5.

    This could be quite the series and will be entertaining even if my Dodgers can’t get their act together and come back against the Cards. Of course, whoever wins, I’ll be required to root against.

    Here’s one thing I love about the Red Sox. Whenever they win games at Fenway Park (at least in the playoffs), they play the 60’s song ‘Dirty Water’ by the Standells. It’s got a great beat of course but I enjoy the lyrics because it describes a seedy Boston that no longer exists and has been cleaned up. You can’t be a liberal, an environmentalist, and a new urbanist and not like that song. You just can’t.

  8. @ Amber Star

    “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.”

    Well he wouldn’t say it was a demotion if it was. I think he’s too smart for that. If I’m not mistaken, isn’t Defense Secretary one of the 4 great state offices in the UK below that of Prime Minister? I know you’ve got the the Foreign Secretary, the Home Secretary, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and then the Defense Secretary. Those seem to be the coveted spots.

    I’ve got no doubt that he can raise the profile of his new portfolio. He’s done that with just about every position he’s held.

    I still say that he needs to campaign with David Cameron though against the referendum for Scottish Independence. You know, act like Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), be a general diva, and just make himself the biggest pain in the rear to Cameron and the Tories that he possibly can.

  9. Socal

    Sorry but baseball is boring, can we have football news instead, how is it going with the niners?

  10. @ Drunken Scouser

    “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.”

    He is quite hawkish. I wonder if that led to Milliband moving him. It’s weird, maybe this is just how prone to military action that the U.S. is, I think of myself as generally dovish. I’m not against all war but I had suspicions about Iraq from the beginning and turned against it and I hate the chicken hawks. Yet, I haven’t really disagreed with anything Murphy has said when it comes to foreign intervention. Only when he defends going into Iraq but it’s almost a moot point right now. My own Congressman, a leftwinger who I love and adore, voted for the Iraq War Resolution (which he’s termed his greatest mistaken vote) and I don’t hold it against him. I can’t hold it against Murphy either.

  11. England v Poland on Tuesday. The ghosts of Domarski, Hunter, Shilton etc from 73.

    Now, it’s Roons, Wels, StevieG and Lamps with some new kid called Andros.


  12. @ Richard in Norway

    “Sorry but baseball is boring, can we have football news instead, how is it going with the niners?”

    Baseball is most certainly NOT boring. And certainly tonight’s game wasn’t.

    The 49ers are 4-2 apparently and 2nd place in the NFC West. So not bad this year. I guess I’m a quasi-Niners fan. I don’t really follow or care for football.

  13. We have baseball in the UK.

    It’s called rounders and played by girls.

  14. PHIL

    THanks-if that thought makes you happy-great.

    For me -its a fantastic co-operative venture involving local & central government & the private sector.

    By the way-we need to remember there are two UK equity providers-Carillion plc is one of them.

  15. SYZYGY

    @”(with IMO a wrong-headed view to creating electability)

    The concept of a right headed view to creating un-electability takes us back a few years in Labour’s history.

    Are you suggesting Labour try it again?

    ( hope you & your family are well Sue)

  16. Socal
    “I still say that he needs to campaign with David Cameron though against the referendum for Scottish Independence.”

    In the interests of keeping Scotland in the UK, I think it’s best if Cameron stays away from any debate / campaign in Scotland.

  17. Here in the UK we’re often embarrassed and ashamed by the behaviour of our Politicians- but it could be much worse, our Politicians could behave like some of those in the US now that really would be something to be ashamed of.

  18. @Alec

    Difficult to comment on that 27-year old free school head story here as her original appointment was so very transparently political.

    The school wasn’t subscribed to the level expected, so this would be a sad story all round if it weren’t for the bit where it made Toby Young look silly.

  19. Read a tweet from Dennis MacShane saying the government have signed up to Schengen for Chinese visas. Is this true? What will the UKIP tendency think?

    Also note a headline from the Telegraph saying ministers are looking to relax the fox hunting ban. I find this a weird choice of actions in polling terms, unless their sole aim is fighting UKIP.

    I have my own views on the matter, but I would be quite astonished if Tory strategists thought this would help the mood music for them, at a time when the key attack on them is regarding how in touch with ordinary people they are.

  20. Learnt yesterday that my MP for Sheffield Central used to manage the Students Union. Does that count as having a proper prior job?

  21. Also, as China is mentioned, I spent my summer there working in Beijing, before travelling for a month or so – what I can say is that we should not fear it, and Osbourne and BJ seem to be doing the right thing at the moment!

    Anyone who hasn’t been there should seriously consider doing so.

  22. @Chris Riley

    “The school wasn’t subscribed to the level expected, so this would be a sad story all round if it weren’t for the bit where it made Toby Young look silly.”

    A silver lining amidst the clouds indeed!

    I must admit that I’ve found the slightly synthetic furore around Tristram Hunt’s recent comments on free schools slightly amusing. All he’s doing is a bit of clever political positioning, the sort of thing that politicians who quite like winning elections tend to do. No surprises there then. Think politicians of all parties who, in the past, have made sure that they don’t mess around with popular initiatives brought in by their opponents. Sure, develop a better all round education policy, and that shouldn’t be difficult after four years of Goveian meddling, but why pick localised fights where much bigger fish need to be fried elsewhere? This was the rationale behind Cameron’s pledge, made in the heat of the TV debates in 2010, that he wouldn’t get rid of the winter fuel allowance and free TV licences for pensioners. He probably didn’t want to do so but spied a Labour fox that he thought needed to be shot. Identical politics to what Hunt is doing now.

    Now this political expediency may offend those who vehemently object to the free schools policy, but in politics, which is the ultimate art of the possible remember, it’s always sensible to pick your fights and, where possible, choose your battleground.

    I expect a fair few more Tory foxes to be shot before May 2015 too!

  23. Lot of negative reaction on social media to Rachel Reeves/Tristram Hunt over the weekend; I wonder how much of this filters through into voting intention. Probably very little…

  24. marvo

    We have baseball in the UK.

    It’s called rounders and played by girls.

    Yes but the girls don’t throw the ball at 98mph

  25. A polling question

    But are polls a reflection of public opinion today or a prediction of the 2015 GE?

    YouGov: GE tomorrow who are you going to vore for
    Voter: UKIP
    YouGov: No you are not you are going to vote Con

    Now YouGov are more than likely right but it seems the poll is trying to predict the next GE rather than reflect current public opinion.

  26. @Crossbat – I too am surprised by the reaction. I thought it was pretty obvious what Tristram was saying. In effect, he has positioned Labour to take advantage with some of the more ridiculous examples of current free school policy – unqualified head teachers who walk out on the job after a few weeks, schools where pupils are forced to wear religious clothing etc – while enabling Labour to still be seen to support popular free schools where they are seen as doing a good job.

    ‘We’ll do it better’ is a classic opposition attack, with ‘we’ll scrap it’ only reserved for those issues where there is clear public support.

  27. @socal

    I’m a ‘convert’ to baseball and have been disappointed to see the Red Sox winning this summer. I haven’t forgotten my football (soccer) roots. Red Sox owner Henry owns Liverpool. Therefore, I decided to support the one team that least likes the Red Sox – the Yankees. Anyway, for now, #letsgotigers

  28. @Alec

    Spot on.

  29. @Chris Riley

    That would be Toby Young, author of How to Lose Friends and Alienate People… and assorted tweets about “serious cleavage” on the Labour benches?

  30. @ CHORDATA

    I think David Cameron has kept his distance, he took flak from some quarters for refusing to debate issues live on TV with Salmon. Give him some credit!

  31. Couper – a reflection of public opinion today, not a prediction.

    The exception is the reallocation of don’t knows used by a couple of pollsters (primarily ICM and Survation), which I suppose veres into prediction… but even then, it only applies to people who say don’t know (who ICM will estimate a vote for based on their vote in 2010), people who give a voting intention are taken at face value.

  32. @Billy Bob

    That would be Toby Young who is paid actual money to have controversial opinions by the Daily Telegraph and who harbours hopes to stand as a Member of Parliament.

    @Alec, Crossbat

    It is not merely unrealistic but also unethical for people to expect Labour to close free schools.

    An experiment in education has begun – the question is, does Labour continue it or cease it, and I think it’s both an interesting question and one the electorate is entitled to have a say in.

  33. Also, as China is mentioned, I spent my summer there working in Beijing, before travelling for a month or so – what I can say is that we should not fear it,

    -Survivors and friends and families of the hundreds (possibly Thousands) Massacred in Tiananmen Square would probably disagree with you.

  34. Populus :

    Lab 39 (nc)
    CON 34 (nc)
    LD 12 (nc)
    UKIP 8 (nc)

  35. @Crossbat

    The only bit of your post I’d disagree with is that free schools aren’t hugely popular with the public. I’ve only seen a couple of YouGov polls on the matter but in the last one slightly more people opposed than supported them. They will however be very popular with parents who send their kid to the better ones and so a policy of abolishing them all could still be a net vote-loser., especially as these parents won’t all be rusted-on Tory voters by a long shot.

    I’d happily go along with a policy of only allowing them in areas with a long-standing shortage of places that can’t be fixed in the short-term, requiring them to employ qualified teachers, stipulating that they must be entirely community-led with no dodgy ‘sponsors’ and must make a major effort to make sure their intake is fairly representative of the local community.

    I place a lot of blame on New Labour’s public sector reform agenda, as this has laid much of the groundwork for much of what the Tories are doing to the public sector and social security. Politicians generally go for options that fit within the Overton Window of the day, and the last government shifted the window. If thy hadn’t done that there’d be nowhere near as much political momentum behind the present government’s agenda.

  36. BB

    “assorted tweets about “serious cleavage” on the Labour benches….”

    Blimey! Don’t tell owr dad – he’ll want to become a tory mp.

  37. Love this advert for a lute recital: seems very “English” somehow:

    “Location: Hunterian Museum, Royal College of Surgeon, 35-43 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London WC2A 3PE

    It is very rare for us to hold a live music event of this sort and we are hoping to attract a different audience than usually attend our surgically-themed events.”


    “Populus :
    Lab 39 (nc)
    CON 34 (nc)
    LD 12 (nc)
    UKIP 8 (nc)”

    Well, that’s boring.

  39. @Alex – exactly what I thought -lol

    Have to wait for tomorrows YouGov!

  40. CB11

    @”All he’s doing is a bit of clever political positioning, the sort of thing that politicians who quite like winning elections tend to do.”

    I agree-having got this completely wrong, not having seen the Marr interview.

    You are right-he apologises to the “yummy mummies” & says parents who want Free Schools will be helped by Labour-“in an area of need”.

    ie unless there is a shortage of places [when free schools would not be allowed. Let’s not get into a silly back and forth – AW]

  41. @Socal

    You want exciting? Tuesday 15th – 8pm GMT, Scotland v Croatia.

    No really! :))

  42. @Jack R

    General Manager of the students union was/is an administrative post, responsible for managing an organisation with a substantial turnover (£8.5M in 2011) and employing many staff (264 in 2011), providing facilities and support for 24,000 students. Whether that is a “real” job depends on your point of view.

  43. @Drunkenscouser

    “The only bit of your post I’d disagree with is that free schools aren’t hugely popular with the public. ”

    I’m sure you’re right but if I understand what Hunt is saying, he isn’t proposing to make the establishment of free skills the centre plank of his education policy in the way that Gove has done, quite the opposite I think, but is merely stating that where individual free schools have been a success he has no intention of dis-inventing them. In fact, in a strictly controlled and qualified way, he may even let a few more come into existence.

    In so doing, the fox he’s shot is the potential Tory May 2015 campaign soundbite; “Don’t let Labour shut your kids school.” If your saw Mr Schapps face on news bulletins yesterday, you could see that he was desperately, yet ultimately forlornly, trying to disinter the deceased fox. When he realises that it’s ceased to be, he will have to look again at his potential election poster campaign!

    Now all that potential nonsense has been neutered, Hunt can get ahead and develop a Labour education policy that transforms the life chances of all our children. That should be his guiding light from hereon in.

    Meanwhile, I get the sense that Miliband is slowly assembling a team of front bench spokesmen and backroom strategists who are giving a growing impression that they sort of understand what winning elections is all about. Nervous twitching in the Crosby camp, do you think, as the supply of Labour own goals appears to be drying up?

  44. @Crossbat11

    I think the Tories might ultimately come to think that they started the opening salvoes of the 2015 campaign a touch too early. It’s important to get the troops ready for what promises to be an long (interminable!) campaign, but I think that having had success in effectively establishing a simple narrative about the Brown Government through heavy use of key messages, they may have rather been over-relying on the same scheme for a potential Miliband Government. The problem is that it relies on getting your attack lines very well established by the time polling comes around, and it gives Labour plenty of time to counter them.
    The initial attack lines on Miliband are now dust, and at the moment, Labour seem to be on the front foot and will probably remain so until the Tories switch strategy. The Tories have a capable team, and may be able to turn it round, but they have a series of energy-sapping internal battles to fight (there will be all sorts of fun and games with the 2015 manifesto, especially over Europe) in the coming months.

    Although we are going through the very acme of polldrums, there are all sorts of interesting things going on. Labour have much the easier job from here, though. The reshuffles mean that both sides have probably amassed their campaign teams, and “all” Labour now have to do is not lose much VI. The Tories have to gain it, and I think that they need a serious vote-losing Labour gaffe to pull it off, whilst avoiding the same themselves. Not impossible, of course, but every week Labour are solidly in the high 30s makes it harder and harder.

  45. George Osbornes haircut ? Looks a bit funny to me. He should probably let people know which barber he visits, so they can avoid.

    Not really political betting related, but I just wondered if other people had the same thoughts ?

  46. This is from Sue Marsh, who used to blog on this site I believe. She doesn’t sound very happy with Lab

    h ttp://

    I think it was the tone of the shadow minister yesterday, more than the content. The wrong emphasis she feels.

  47. @Robin

    I would call it a proper job personally, yes. Nowadays, Sheffield SU is regarded as the best (voted twice in a row I believe) – one would suspect he plays some role in that in previous years.

    In early 2011 when I first visited the Uni, the SU was the best that I had seen by a long way, and now it’s due to be re-opened after a huge investment by the University, to make it even better.

    Steve – I meant economically speaking. Even while I was out there, there was tales of what was happening in the west of the country. Generally, where I could be understood, I was treated with nothing but friendship and kindness.

    From an Economics point of view, we should be all for China. Hopefully their investment into Mancy airport will mean there will be direct flights from there soon. Much needed.

  48. Alex Harvey

    Polling is an alround bore at the moment it would seem. I was looking for some interesting polls that might have been done in the past. When was the last one done on capital punishment? Have they ever done one on how many people believe the A-bomb attacks on Japan were the right decision (or wrong)?

  49. As a “liaison” of sorts for EU matters in this site, I would like to comment upon the findings of the European Election VI poll. If (and of course this is a big “if”) the actual results in the UK are similar to those indicated by the poll, Labour will have more than 30 seats. This means that the group of Socialists and Democrats in the EP will almost certainly be the strongest, ahead of the EPP. According to my calculations, in the 27 remaining countries the EPP will have 5 to 25 seats more than the SD, therefore a Labour result of this kind gives the latter the first place. (Actually the EPP has 75 seats more than the SD). This means that the next president of the European Commission will be a Socialist (most probably the actual EP President Martin Schulz).
    Furthermore, the news are very bad for the European Conservatives and Reformists Group. This group is composed mainly of three “big” parties, the Tories, the Czech ODS and the Polish PIS, plus some minor parties from 5 other countries. Yet the ODS (EE 2009: 32%, first place, 9 seats out of 22) is actually on the brink of political extinction. All VI polls for the forthcoming GE (26 October) have it at single digits and 5th place (after the Socialists, the Communists, the center-right pro-Euro TOP 09, member of EPP, and the new center-right party ANO). So, if the Tories’ vote share also diminish, resulting in less seats than they actually have (26) the group will most probably lose 5th place in the EP to the Radical Left (GUE-NGL). In this case the PIS, the only party of the group in good electoral health, might decide to leave the group (they are as Euro-skeptical as the Tories, but they have very different views in social matters such as gay marriage etc.) and form a new group with other hardline anti-Euro parties, leading the ECR to dismantlement.
    Finally, the EFD group, that of UKIP, has also, paradoxically, many problems (despite UKIP’s rise). Three of his member parties (namely in Slovenia, Slovakia and Greece) are almost extinct and ousted from national Parliaments, and the second strongest party (after UKIP), the infamous Northern League of Italy, known for its racist and xenophobic positions, is on a declining trend (in recent GE it fell from 8.5 to 4%) and faces serious in-fighting. A possible development would be a rapprochement between PIS and UKIP, but the question is whether this new group would accept partners that are even more far-rightist, such as the French FN, the Austrian FPOE and the Dutch VVD, all three on the rise and expected to send many more MEPs in the EP than they actually have (all three are now in the Non Inscrits, i.e. Unaffiliated).
    To summarize, the EE trend indicated in the poll tend 1. To the rise of SD to first place and 2. To the possible recomposition of the whole Euro-skeptical and Euro-phobic right-wing of EP.

  50. Correction (6th line from the end): the Dutch PVV.

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