This morning’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 32%, LAB 39%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 11%. It comes after an eight point lead yesterday, and a couple of six points leads at the end of last week, so we’ve had a couple of polls in a row with leads at the top of the normal range. I’m always wary of reading too much into polls that could be explained by normal sample variation, but it could be that the price hikes from British Gas and the renewed prominence of energy prices as an issue over the last few days has given Labour a bit of a boost. Or it’s just random sample error – keep watching the trend.

There were also some YouGov questions in the Times on Free Schools, which found a significant drop in support since YouGov last asked in September. A month ago 36% of people in England supported free schools, 40% were opposed… a pretty even split. Now 27% of people support free schools, 47% are opposed. I suspect the shift is more to do with the coverage of the dysfunctional Al-Madinah free school in Derby than Nick Clegg’s recent comments, but looking specifically at his comments 66% of people agree that schools should only be able to employ qualified teachers, 56% that all schools should have to follow the national curriculum.

488 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – CON 32, LAB 39, LD 9, UKIP 11”

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  1. AMBER
    I absolutely did, but hadn’t noticed this – it could be a chapter in the book or PhD . And the number of the lower classes who get above themselves and get there come-uppance. It’s all to do with what happens when you are a social imposter, but basically aimed at confirming the suspicions of don’s and bishop’s wives and the housewives of Pinner about what they are missing out on.

  2. RiN
    I think you’ll find, if you venture North of Berwick, that as you venture further north there are long-haired cattle dimly visible in the mist, staring at you mournfully through their forelocks – not to be confused with the rarer Tousled Mophead,,itself not to be mistaken for the long-haired Cherryblair (smaller hindquarters).

  3. Latest You Gov

    Sun October 27, 6 a.m. GMT

    Latest YouGov / The Sunday Times results 25th October – Con 33%, Lab 39%, LD 9%, UKIP 12%; APP -32

  4. latest YF/ST – Con 33%, Lab 39%, LD 9%, UKIP 12%; APP -32.

    4 in a row now with 6-7 point lead due to Lab holding and con down a touch along with approval

  5. @Jim Jam

    And despite those good GDP figures on Friday. The question how good/bad is the UK economy at the moment -43 (last week -46).

    The next 12 months, your financial situation -32 (last week -36)

    Only a small change.

    And by 41 to 34 people don’t believe the economy is growing even though it is and why is this?

    Because in their area 22 to 55 say it is not growing and look how high those negatives are in Midlands/Wales, north of England and Scotland 61, 64, 68 compared with the London and the rest of the south 39 and 47

    And compare the ABC1 -24 and C2DE -46

    Showing precisely the problem of imbalance in the perception of growth between different areas and classes.

    Interestingly young age groups are more optimistic than older age groups. I have no idea why that is.

  6. What is the lag time between indicators of economic growth and its benefits being felt in household income or employment, and how does this vary between classes and between areas? Anyone able to provide figures?

  7. @ John Pilgrim

    I was wondering what the indicators of growth are to members of the public

    What they are told on the news

    More people out shopping

    Busier at work

    because 0.8% increase means nothing on its own

  8. @Floating Voter

    There is not only a difference in the perception of growth – there is a real difference in growth.

    There are parts of the country and parts of society (the C2DEs) you refer to, who remain in the most transient and under pressure part of the economy. This group does not get any real benefit from when an economy grows – they remain unemployed or in insecure low paid work, and live in the worst housing.

    This group has become seriously detached from the rest of the economy and no matter how much the south east service sector grows by, or house prices grow above inflation, it is an irrelevance to their real lives.

    It is within this detachment of whole parts of the country and whole population groups where the seeds of justifiable resentment and iniquity will fester and grow into something more.

    If we want to know why our political system is held in poor regard, and one third of people can’t be bothered vote, look no further.

  9. @ Catmanujeff

    I think your post is really good and should be taken on board by politicians of all parties.

  10. @postageincluded

    I’ll stick with psophology as the study of “inarticulate sound” or “noise”, which is the meaning in Homer and Euripedes, at least according to Middle Liddell. The point is to distinguish the signal from the noise, pseph- from psophology. We all strive for the former, of course, and accuse others of the latter.

    And I think you should. It is an excellent coinage, excellently explained. I hope we all use it frequently,

  11. FV/Catmanjeff – not C2DEs as a whole. C2 is skilled manual (and manual with managerial responsibility), it is the plumbers, electricians and carpenters of the world, and they tend to very well when the economy grows.

    It isn’t really the Es either, who are wholly dependent upon state benefit (that’s how the E group is defined), so are not directly impacted by the economy at all (other than whether it means the govt cuts benefits).

    People in the most insecure and transitory part of the economy are in group D (although these days some will be in C1 too – things like call centre roles would count as as unskilled non-manual, and fall there)

  12. Given that the overwhelming majority of the population support green measures such as windfarm, – even in their own areas – I think Cameron’s suggestion of cutting green levies on fuel prices is a dangerous move for him.

    Even if the cuts are fully made up for by money from central government it will be seen as a movement from his ‘green’ claims in the past, and a panic response to the Utilities recent price rises.

    The labour proposal for a freeze plays much better with the general population. Probably a promise to renationalise would go down even better. The whole privatisation exercise has merely resulted – as predicted – in low investment, high prices and the threat of blackouts due to inadequate generating capacity.

  13. On Survation and Energy policy.

    The questions that should be ignored:
    “Would you like a tax cut?”

    Mmmm tricky one.

  14. Floating Voter‘

    “Cons lose fight to cut bills’ Boo! no boost!”

    If the LD’s fight “tooth and nail” over green taxes and stop DC cutting energy prices it will be a bit of a gift to the Tories.
    Come 2015 they will say the LD’s stopped us cutting your energy bills and want to increase them more through green taxes, vote Labour you get a freeze on your bills for 20 months but also EM is committed to increase in the amount you pay in green taxes , vote Tory and we will actually cut your cut your energy bill by up to a £100 a year by scrapping most of the green taxes from you energy bill by putting some of them on general taxation so their impact is less on poorer people.

    .I will be interested to see the detail in EM regulation plans and exactly how energy prices will be forced down by his claim of resetting the market as it will be the Tory plans for cutting green taxes.

    Lets not kid ourselves no government can control world energy prices and all these new energy companies will be buying on the same world market at the same prices and all of them will have share holders who will want to make a profit.

  15. @Floating Voter

    Yesterday someone posted something about the falling turnout and the impact on our political system (essentially that it would end up being subject to radical and dramatic overhaul, akin to what Russell Brand spoke about).

    It was brilliant, and ties in with my own feelings.

    How long can our system run while ignoring a large chunk of the population, seeming running to respond to global-level systems, not local or national ones?

    I used to think that the system was okay, so I got involved with one of the main parties (the change from the inside myth). This clearly doesn’t work.

    I now support a smaller party that has the use of direct peaceful action in it’s constitution. I hold the systems and institutions of the UK in such low esteem as responding to change, I think peaceful direct action (even if technically illegal) is a tool I would use and should be used.

    What happens when that doesn’t work?

    I listen to a Radio 4 programme on Terrorism, relating to the ANC, when they moved from just peaceful protest to an armed struggle. Would black South Africans have the vote if they had waved banners and had sit in protests? No, as the forces against them used lethal force to get their way (think of Sharpesville).

    I’m not saying we will get to armed struggle, but if I, a middle-aged family man who pays my mortgage on time and tries to be a good citizen, feels the system can’t respond to the political demands from ordinary people, as a nation we are in trouble.

    If we get a critical mass of people who think like me, serious civil unrest is coming I think.

  16. I do not think growth figures per se will define the outcome of the election. just as in the 1980’s when the Thatcher government was reelected in 1983 with still pretty poor economic data unlike in 87 in the midst of the Lawson Boom. Similarly The conservatives lost office in 1997 after a sustained period of rather high economic growth by historical standards.

    There surely is no question that good statistics always help since they frame a discussion but there is an odd alchemy beyond pure statistics.

    Here AW’s consistent comment on the findings about Labour’s fitness to govern and the competence of EM to be PM I believe have a better historical pedigree in being a auger for the next GE. Together they’re a sort litmus test of overall economic and political competence – that other economic measure actually Labour is doing surprising well for a party who lost an election so very heavily.

    But again I am not convinced Mrs T in my recollection, far from infallible, ever beat Sunny Jim Callaghan on the PM stakes. Heath never beat Wilson in 66 or 70 though Heath won in 1970. I don’t think Wilson ever beat Heath on that measure after Heath became PM though it was very close.

    Put it this way history teaches consistently that a party that looses as badly as Labour lost in 2010 often takes at least 2 elections to recover. That said, History also teaches that when a party system is decaying – as our three party system in England has been (and Scotland and Wales are both their own story) and maybe decaying into a four party system all sorts of results can happen under FPTP.

    I know most of us are political and many of us party political but no matter what outcome one would like to see sometimes one has to see the broad trend.

    Two things really strike me: the relative stability of the Conservative vote. One that basis I think it might unwise to imagine that their vote will not be IRO of 2010. The other thing is that movement in the Labour vote after 2010. Two things here strike me; first, it added around 7-8% to the Labour %. and secondly it has stuck there.

    Many of those votes were ones garnered in areas where Liberals made great progress between 2003 and 2010. They also seem genuinely angered by the coalition outcome which was not the coalition they wanted. That of course may fade but Clegg remains a powerful symbol of this decision.

    I go rather back to autumn of 2011 when one looked at all the usual indicators noce said Romney was on to a winner. Moreover the hearts and minds of the GOP embraced Romney because he was a winner not because he stood for their values. Yet it always seemed to me that Obama was able to hold together the coalition that first elected him. It is always a measure of a party’s electoral pull when its regional base holds. Obama was elected remarkably comfortably .

    I think this next election will be more like the 1974 elections or if UKIP and SNP do well more like the 1920’s elections….reinforced by the fact that we have the old boundaries and FPTP. It all these things hold the balance of favours are Labour as the largest party. But all these things could melt like snow in summer before May 2015 and the old received wisdoms be proved true.

  17. @AW

    Sorry for the generalisation about C2DEs.

  18. What Chris said. Also, world energy prices plus “green” taxes put together have not risen by anything like the amount the Big Six have added to the bils. That’s why rebalancing the market and more regulation as proposed by the Labour Party is much more of a long term solution than the quick fix of a populist cutting green taxes measure.


    Don’t know if this has been discussed before but I think the probability of Lab getting a small overall majority on 35% nationally is now/still quite high in 2015 if these poll findings in marginals are roughly accurate:

    It’s also interesting see the gap shrinking between the LDs and tories in a handful of target seats which the LDs are targeting due to Con>UKIP defections.

  20. Catmanjeff

    Why apologise to AW – he was giving his view, and it is not necessarily based on polling but is his opinion

    For example, the view that plumbers etc do well when the economy grows is only true to a point – we are still seeing very low house building and my BiL who is in the trade says that wages for carpenters and plumbers are still massively down on pre 2008 and a lot of people have left the industry.

    The issue is that the concept of growth is actually a fairly poor measure of what is happening in reality, it all depends what is or is not growing. Here in the Midlands we are not seeing much sign of benefits from growth

  21. YouGov

    Most popular policy price freeze 39%, cut green taxes 28%, profits tax (my personal favourite) 23%.

    Support for a profits tax 73% to 19%
    Support for freezing energy prices 72% to 19%

  22. Cutting Green taxes is crazy.

    Every £1 we don’t spend on moving to renewables and de-carbonising will mean we have to spend £2 later when the tish hits the fan.

  23. @ Catmanjeff

    Sorry for the generalisation about C2DEs.
    Why apologize? The polling firms make pretty sweeping generalizations about them. And if C2, D & E vote in response to very different ‘triggers’, why group them together?

  24. Support for cutting ‘green taxes’ is based largely on ignorance of what they really are.

  25. @Roger H

    Indeed. I posted a link to the breakdown a few days ago.

  26. COUPER2802

    Yougov come up with quite different findings for the energy debate to Survation.
    Maybe that is because Survation asked:

    Do you agree with cutting green taxes?
    Do you agree with freezing energy prices that the energy companies will get round anyway?

    No suggestion that the energy companies might not pass the tax cuts onto customers. Survation up to its usual standards.

  27. “Do you agree with freezing energy prices that the energy companies will get round anyway”

    If that was the question used, that is utterly disgraceful.

  28. @Nick P

    Especially as NO energy company offers to fix prices at current rates. The fixed rates available arw at higher rates initially.

    As to the argumenr that energy companies will simply recoup monies lost in Ed’s freeze by inceasing prices before and afterwards, there’s no evidence of this so far – the rates of increases recently have,mirrored,last year’s increases – no more, no less.

  29. @Cloud Spotter

    Perhaps for balance Survation.should have asked, “do you agree that green taxes should be paid for in general taxation”

    “ANC….. moved from just peaceful protest to an armed struggle. Would black South Africans have the vote if they had waved banners and had sit in protests? No, as the forces against them used lethal force to get their way (think of Sharpesville).”

    Hold on, before you start locking yourself to the railings in Downing Street, or knocking off policemen’s helmets. Prof. Tom Smith, who was Professor of Civil Law at Cape Town, and similarly at Edinburgh, and with whom I discussed the question, was a strong supporter of the anti-Apartheid Movement and of ANC’s armed struggle and the international campaign against the Pass Law. Prof Smith, made the clear distinction between the use of violence against a legitimate government and that which he said could be used (with international recognition of its legitimacy) against one which had, as Sharpesville showed, took illegitimate violent action against its citizens. . You are wrong to think that that is the case in the UK, or that other areas of failure of government or the decay of its institutions justifies violence or other illegal action against any UK government. It would be dangerous and foolish to advocate it, in a State where there are major and effective non-parliamentary means, supported by strong independent organisations, for protest against the Government and for advocating alternative actions and policies.

  31. An enjoyable and readable post, John Murphy. Basically, I (personally) think it’s hitting the relevant nails on the head.

    I wondered about, ”Put it this way history teaches consistently that a party that loses as badly as Labour lost in 2010 often takes at least 2 elections to recover. That said… all sorts of results can happen under FPTP.”

    Labour did lose badly (-ish), but was still in with an outside chance of forming a governing coalition if the LD’s hadn’t gone into cahoots with the Tories – and they got their re-building job done very quickly too. The downside for them was that they let the coalition sell its ‘Labour messed up the economy, so we have to inflict the pain on you – generally – but not on the wealthy’ story, despite the fact that everyone knew it wasn’t true, and they had to weather years of ”Ed Who?” in the wake of that. Their pointing out (correctly) that the economy was flatlining under Plan A, although correct, didn’t avert the general feeling communicated by the coalition story, i.e. ”We have had our fun and now we must take our punishment;” and being on the back foot in this way, Labour didn’t stress the all-important corollary of what they were saying, that the pain of Plan A was being inflicted on the most vulnerable people.

    Interestingly, however, a large (and I think ‘moral’, although I know that’s contentious) segment of society has accepted that corollary throughout, and (‘moral’ or not, choose as suits your own thinking) they have proved solid, as you say. This, plus the fact of Labour’s swift and successful (again, amend as suits your own thinking) reconstruction, makes me think history’s lesson is unlikely to apply this time.

  32. Ridiculous

  33. CHRIS

    Sorry, but what is?

  34. @Turk – 1 ) green taxes make a fraction of the total bill
    2) Cameron voted for every increase labour brought in.
    3) indeed they have added more with osbourne’s carbon tax.

    Snipped the last bit

  35. ole nat

    “That’s no way to talk about Mrs Nat! (Thank goodness she doesn’t read the drivel on here] ”

    She doesn’t proof-read for you then?

  36. I don’t want to trample on the new thread so my question goes here on this dog-eared one!

    We have already had a few MPs declare their intention to stand down at the next GE. This enables their local party to select a replacement candidate in good time. But how late can others reasonably leave it before they jump overboard , bearing in mind that a new candidate would want some time to set up their stall and try to make an impact?

    Maybe some existing members with small majorities are doing their sums and working out what chance they would have of being re-elected? If it looks like a lost cause then best to quit and avoid the slog months of hard campaigning?

  37. @Ozwald,

    I can’t answer that question directly, not being a politician, but I can offer an anecdote from 2007 that may shed some light.

    In 2007 I was at Snaresbrook Crown Court with a trial when the speculation about GB calling “the snap election that never was” was at it’s highest. Several of the barristers who were at court were former Tory MPs or former candidates (including Jerry Hayes). There was a lot of “barrack room” conversation between the barristers about frantic phone calls from CCHQ asking them if they were interested in standing as candidates. Obviously there were a number of seats where the selection process hadn’t started yet, or where the sitting MP was expected to turn down the opportunity to defend their seat.

    So, the Tories at least seemed quite able to muster “reserve troops” from their old dependables and fill vacant spots at short notice. I know they maintain an approved candidate list and if someone decided a couple of months before May 2015 that they’d had enough, I’m sure they would parachute someone in pretty sharpish.

  38. @Neil A
    Thanks, that’s interesting. I will make a note of those who bale out during the coming months, and check their majorities just out of interest.

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