Tables for the weekly YouGov/Sunday Times poll are now up here. Topline voting intention figures are CON 34%, LAB 39%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 11%. In the lack of any really big news stories this week, the rest of the poll was a bit of a grab bag of issues – Labour and Falkirk, accident and emergency, cyclists going through red lights…

The ongoing Falkirk story still doesn’t seem to be having a particular impact with the general public. Only 26% of people said they were following the story very or fairly closely – 48% were not following it at all or were totally unaware of it. On most of the questions YouGov asked they found a high level of don’t knows – for example, 19% think Miliband has handled Falkirk well, 36% badly, but 45% don’t know.

On wider trade union issues, 55% would support changing the law so strike ballots required the support of 50% of eligible members, not just of those voting. 65% think the “leverage tactics” used by Unite in Grangemouth were unacceptable and 54% would support a ban on trade unions involved in a dispute protesting outside the private homes of directors.

Moving to the NHS, amongst people who have used their local A&E in the past few years 82% say they received a good service. 18% thought their local A&E services had got better, 23% worse. However 41% thought waiting times had got longer. More generally 50% are confident that A&E will be able to meet people’s needs this winter, 38% are not. If they had to choose, 46% would prefer retaining A&E services even if it meant resources were stretched, 26% would prefer fewer but better resourced A&E.

Finally 44% of people have personally seen a cyclist go through a red light in the last month, 43% have not. 63% think it is fairly or very common for cyclists to go through red lights. 87% of people think this is unacceptable even when a cyclist can see the way ahead is clear and 78% think cyclists who go through red lights should be prosecuted. Amongst regular cyclists themselves (that is, people who say they cycle at least once a week), 18% say they have gone through a red light in the last six months. 24% think it is acceptable to go through a red light if they can see the way ahead is clear and 69% would support the prosecution of people who cycle through red lights.

146 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 34, LAB 39, LD 10, UKIP 11”

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  1. 1961 isn’t a long time ago for anyone on the right

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  2. Now, on this elite thing. It’s becoming increasingly salient. I alluded to it a while back, after coming across some stuff, in particular an article in the New Scientist on the matter. Research revealing how we get cycles in which elites become progressively dominant, then disruption occurs as things screw up as a result.

    In particular, what tends to occur as things become more polarized, is the middle gets squeezed. So you are either in the elite, or struggling. This in turn naturally results in an over-populated elite, with too many striving for the limited attractive positions on offer.

    As competition for these positions intensifies, we see more and more disruption, including politically, as attaining/maintaining an elite position becomes more important than the national interest. A classic example is what’s been happening in the US over the budget.

    Another example, is what’s been happening in China. More and more parents getting into more and more debt trying to give their kids a good start in life. Initially, they might just pay for some extra tuition. But then others respond, and send them to crammers. Then others go further and try and send them to study abroad. Others compete, by paying to send them to Hong Kong to prepare for US SATS tests and pay for agents to find them degree places abroad. Meanwhile, tuition now starts in primary school…

    So more people try and help their kids to escape to the elite, competition intensifies, costs rise and rise and… There aren’t enough roles available, so we see graduates unable to get appropriate jobs. While parents sell their apartments to cover the debt.

    Makes one think also, about our growth in internships etc.

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  3. Paul Croft

    I don’t mind what you point out. (That’s AW’s business.)

    I have noticed that having a background colour here leads to a yellow mist descending on fellow contributors. All kinds of false assumptions, none of which could derive from what I wrote, have been posted recently.

    Perhaps AW could advise how we may remove the colour please? When I am asked to log in, about once a month, it says I will be uncoloured, but it still comes up yellow (I prefer ‘golden’).

    I don’t mind, as I just thought it was ‘up front’, but if it leads to this somewhat strange effect, perhaps better removed.

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  4. My only prob with orangey yellow is with that dodgy referee decision against the Dutch Howard.

    We wuz robbed.

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  5. Carfrew
    “Research revealing how we get cycles in which elites become progressively dominant”

    Is this back on about bikes again?

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  6. @Howard

    LOL, I’ve been trying to avoid getting involved in the bikes thing, even though Robert’s “girlie lycra” comment offers many avenues in reply…

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  7. Carfrew – There are some Marxists who believe in “accelerationism”. The idea is that you allow the elites to do as they wish, you don’t protest, you don’t vote, that way capitalism will reach it’s tipping point faster than if you try to reform it and revolution will be accelerated.
    BTW, Despite my moniker I’m not a Trotskyist, I support Bolton Wanderers.

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  8. @Trots57

    “Despite my moniker I’m not a Trotskyist, I support Bolton Wanderers.”

    I’m trying to decide which is the worst offence! lol

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  9. @Trots

    Well, according to the research, this has happened numerous times before, and it doesn’t automatically result in the overthrow of capital. Someone like Keynes, for example, can come along and save capitalism…

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  10. @bigfatron – “I see pedestrians blithely ignoring the traffic lights to cross in front of vehicles and bikes that have right of way.”

    Perhaps they think they are moving around in what should be a “living street” or woonerf (living yard)… in such areas pedestrians do have priority over bikes and cars.

    I got interested this and persuaded my local council to reintroduce zebra-crossings… to replace the cattle-pen two-stage pedestrian crossings, where often enough people press the button, cross in a gap in traffic, and afterwards a red light comes on to halt the traffic.

    By “making it unclear who has right of way, drivers reduce their speed, and everyone reduces their level of risk compensation”:


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  11. How does this look?

    I logged out and discovered there was an extra page of parameters where I now say Political Party supported’ is now set to ‘none’ thus I join the rest of you who are f*bbing.i

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  12. We ain’t f*bbing H. To paraphrase M Luther King we prefer to be judged on the content of our contributions , rather than the colour of our backgrounds !

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  13. Final (for the time being) Occasional note on Cycling, No. 326

    I have often posted on cycling in the past & was led to do again by the flawed Yougov polling.
    Instead of posing questions about cyclists in a professional, i.e., neutral fashion, the poll prompted the respondents to criticise cyclists.
    The poll reflected an anti-cyclist attitude & — what a surprise! — generated “evidence” that justified that attitude. By A. Wells’s own rules of thumb, therefore, the cycling section of the poll was pretty much worthless.

    What is interesting is not whether cyclists wear lycra etc, or go thru red lights, but why the (right-wing) media (obsessively) report far more anti-cycling than anti-motorist stories, although it’s motorists not cyclists who damage people.
    My guesses would be that cyclists (a) are to some degree non-conformists (b) adopt by far the least consumerist form of transport (c) move about in a fairly liberated/free sort of way.

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  14. Crossbat,
    Good grief,what a nightmarish vision you evoke of “something stirring in John
    Majors loins”.

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  15. “something stirring in John Majors loins”

    Pass the brain bleach.

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  16. A in W and Chordata

    Ooo er Mrs !

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  17. @Ann in Wales/Chordata

    I apologise unreservedly for my appalling metaphor and I promise never to mention John Major’s loins again, let alone what might be stirring therein!!

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  18. I know it is theoretically, and mathematically a very safe Tory seat, but how safe *is* Mid Beds under its current incumbent?

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  19. Poor John Major deserved better than the (1990s) Tory party. He had an excellent vision (formulated with Chris Patten and some others of the same mindset) of how the post-Thatcher Tory party could progress in the early 1990s. The 1992 general election win counts as the biggest ever upset in my book, given how many huge mistakes the Tories had made (from almost anyone’s perspective) since 1987.

    One member of the public said on Question Time back in 1997 (when Major brought himself up for questioning) something like “Can we have you, but not the rest of the Tories?” That idea still seems attractive to me.

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  20. @Bill Patrick

    “He had an excellent vision (formulated with Chris Patten and some others of the same mindset) of how the post-Thatcher Tory party could progress in the early 1990s. ”

    You’re obviously referring to the Cones Hotline here, I assume.

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    h ttp://

    Two timely stories regarding earlier discussions. Both might serve to remind people that we all need to live together, and that moving at speed, on bikes or in cars, can be unsettling for others and sometime catastrophic.

    There really is a need to stop polarizing these debates into Group X vs Group Y and start understanding that all groups have rights and responsibilities, and that the biggest battle we need to win is the battle on anger and frustration that seems to lie at the heart of so many of the more tragic events.

    A bit more respect all round would be better, I feel.

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  22. alec

    “A bit more respect all round would be better, I feel.”

    Sod off.

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  23. Meanwhile, the Guardian is reporting on a Russian performance artist who has nailed his own scrotum to the ground in protest at apathy and political indifference.

    I’m struggling with than one.

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  24. I am continually baffled by the way Chris Patten has gone from a hero of the Tories for his key role in the 1992 victory – at the cost of his own seat – to a figure of hatred and ridicule for the Right, all apparently because he’s not Eurosceptic enough.

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  25. @Alec

    “Meanwhile, the Guardian is reporting on a Russian performance artist who has nailed his own scrotum to the ground in protest at apathy and political indifference.”

    Has anybody suggested this to Jeremy Paxman yet?

    Or do you think that he’s already doing it and this is the reason why he sounds so angry all the time?

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  26. Mid Bedfordshire would need an 11% Con>Lab swing to take off Nadine Dorries – a task probably made easier by grabbing some 2010 Lib Dems.

    A very tall order though, even if stranger things have happened in by-elections.

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  27. Crossbat11,

    Insofar as it did little harm, that was one of the least unsuccessful policies in the past 65 years.

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  28. Cones Hotline…

    We’ll be reminiscing next about the minister who advised us to clean our teeth in the dark.

    Nostalgia’s not what it used to be.

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  29. Do the conservatives have a women problem? No

    “David Cameron’s “problem with women voters” – widely reported two years ago – was based on a misreading of opinion polls, according to new research”

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  30. Do the conservatives have a women problem – Yes

    So what is the truth?

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  31. When the true situation in the NHS becomes clear the Tories will be punished severely. The issue will be the defining one in 2015.

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  32. Richard
    It seems to me that the quoted polling proves that whilst women like a strong ‘personality’, they do want a man who is in touch with their issues.

    DC wins on the first, but loses big time on the second. So I think that gives EM the large lead he enjoys with them.

    I don’t think that EM should resort to bearing chest like the Russian short-*rse.

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  33. Is there still a cones hotline? If so, they need to be alerted to the dangerous practice of Glasgow Council in removing the cone from the Duke of Wellington’s head!

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  34. November ICM poll for Guardian CON 30 (-4) Lab 38 (nc) LD 13 (+1) UK UKP 10 (+2) Others 10 (+2)

    So what’s happening to the Tories? A 31 and a 30 is unusually low.

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  35. @Steve M

    The issue on today’s news about the closure of NHS walk in clinics is potentially toxic for the government, given that it’s a case of shutting down one of the more popular things the last government did, and an action which will demonstrably add to the pressure on A&E departments at weekends, as if that wasn’t enough already.

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  36. Apologies for my rather crass comments on cyclists. As ever in our society, there is always a minority who spoil it for the majority. It’s just that with cyclists, the minority are always in front of ME!

    A right winger eh? Wrong – that’s BNP/UKIP loony land but roc certainly.

    Bill Patrick – I agree with you re: JM – with the unruly bunch he had as MP’s, he was always going to have a difficult time. It was almost as though some Tory MP’s then had a death wish. ie they would rather be in opposition than in power. A little like the LD’s who criticise NC etc for helping form the coalition, when forming a coalition was clearly in the interests of the country, given the GE result in 2010.

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  37. @ Mr Nameless

    That’s a scary ICM poll for the Tories, if it represents a trend change, because ICM is usually quite ‘kind’ to the Coalition duo.

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  38. Tom Clark at the Graun has written the ICM poll up & has included the paragraph:

    “The poll also shows that the party leader, Ed Miliband, is outperforming David Cameron on several personal scores – but not on the crucial question of who makes the best prime minister.”

    What makes the ‘best PM’ as far as polling goes ? How can ‘best PM’ be assessed from the Opposition benches ?


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  39. Howard. Ref Dutch cyclists.

    I honestly can’t imagine a single Dutch person of any social class (or political persuasion – not that I know the politics of most) who wouldn’t be seen dead near a bicycle. Certainly here (The Hague) all social classes, from society ladies to low income recent immigrants can be seen regularly on two wheels.

    We must have had different experiences…possibly a rural/urban distinction.

    I agree with your point that cycling and cyclists are seen as a bit odd in the UK this isn’t helped by the fact that the normal everyday cycling that we experience here aren’t as common. I think if cyclists weren’t viewed as ‘different’ there would be less antagonism on the roads.

    Incidentally, like your daughter, we’re also looking to get a bakfiets to transport our baby around in. After years of driving in the UK I would hate to have to buy a car again.

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  40. @Richard

    Interesting that you mention Dave’s ‘women problem’

    The ICM poll tonight says that among men, Labour and the Conservatives are tied on 32% each, but among women Labour enjoys a large lead – 45% versus 26%.

    so yes, it would appear from this poll that he does indeed have a problem with appealing to women.

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  41. My reaction to that ICM poll can be summed up as ‘Meh.’ Peter Kellner had a pop at ICM the other month for basing their headline figures on a sample of about 500 people, meaning volatility is inevitable. The gender sumsamples will probably be based on not much more than 250 people.

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  42. Chordata,
    I would guess that DCs problem is that he seems er,patrician.Also those put-downs in the commons didn’t help!

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  43. Austerity has seemed to affect women more than men, for example having to work until much older than previously to receive the state pension, and having to fund nursery care from precarious part-time incomes.

    Above all local government has been cut sharply, and women are a large majority of workers in this sector.

    This may be part of the reason Conservatives are less popular among women.

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  44. As usual, one awaits the ICM tables, but it is clear we have an effective two point move to the Labour Party, without it having to increase its own support much, and this conforms with the last results from YG and Populus.

    One gets this feeling of the same situation (the references today to John Major reinforced it) of awaiting the inevitable as we all thought in 1995.

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  45. As one of those who ‘stayed up for Portillo’ I can remember that feeling.

    That is one scenario, that after a short interruption of five years of Con-LD coalition Labour government resumes. The coalition would have made austerity cuts and paid the price at the polls. Normal service will be resumed. (Will Labour reverse the cuts?)

    But that is not the only possible scenario. Prediction is quite difficult, or at least complicated, with a strong nationalist presence in Scotland, and a strong UKIP showing at least possible in southern England and possibly in the east midlands and north as well. Above a certain level UKIP support hurts Labour as well.

    None of the three main parties is really popular, and maybe none is really addressing the needs of the really underprivileged, mentioned a few times by Jim (TOO). Perhaps one day this group will start voting in high numbers, and the results might surprise us.

    We need Statgeek to inform us, but statistically I think anything can happen, and one day will.

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