The weekly YouGov/Sunday Times poll is up online here. Topline figures are CON 33%, LAB 39%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 12%. There is little change in the leaders doing well/badly figures – 37% think Cameron is doing well, 56% badly, a net score of minus 19 (from minus 18 last week). Miliband’s net score is minus 32 (from minus 28 last week), Clegg’s minus 54 (unchanged).

Most of the rest of the poll was mostly filled up with Christmas, though there were a batch of questions on immigration.. UKIP continue to lead the mainstream parties on the issue – 25% would trust UKIP the most, compared to 17% for the Conservatives, 13% for Labour. There is little difference in attitudes towards immigrations from inside or outside the EU, in both cases around 70% would like to see tougher limits.

Looking specifically at EU immigration, 22% of people think there is nothing wrong with EU immigration into the UK, 20% think it is damaging, but that Britain has no practical choice but to accept it. 42% think that Britain should act to limit EU immigration even if it means breaking EU law or British citizens losing their own right to live elsewhere in Europe.


364 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 33, LAB 39, LD 10, UKIP 12”

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  1. Perhaps Anthony Might be able to cast some light on the reason why YouGov appears to consistently overrate the support for the Conservatives amongst the Under 24’s?

    Another Poll today Showing a Conservative lead today in this age Group 10%+ out of sinc with other pollsters and indeed with YouGov itself just 3 Days ago.

    Is it because the sample size is very small or perhaps because many in this age group are more interested in single issue politics rather than tribal affiliation?

  2. Delighted to see the investigation into trade Union behaviour. The behaviour of Unite certainly needs investigation, large scale demonstrations outside managers houses have no place in aq civilized society.

    Nice to see you back TOH pity no mention of latest polls, and when are we going to have an inquiry into price rigging by the big 6 this is just another stunt.

  3. ” There is little change in the leaders doing well/badly figures”
    _______

    I’m sorry but I had to laugh at this. Don’t you mean “How badly they are doing?” Any negative poll rating is bad and all 3 of them or beyond poor, according to YouGov.

  4. #are

  5. @ Turk

    Good luck in Texas and hope you still visit the site as I’m pretty sure they have internet there :-) You might get a bit out of touch out there so we can let you know who we think is going to win the next election if you like :-)

    Worth a visit to the space centre in Houston if that is not too far from you. I went when I was there- phoned them up to see if there were any buses that stopped there and they said no, so I had a complicated journey with buses and cab for the final bit of the journey only to find there was a bus stop right outside the entrance! They can get rockets to Mars but they don’t know about buses from their place to the City Centre!

    @ Colin

    Only just caught up on posts and sorry to hear about your daughter and hope she makes a good recovery. I have missed your posts, especially on the economy. Obviously it’s your choice whether to post or not. I’ve got to say I didn’t really see much wrong with the posts at the time that you stopped posting but I guess you saw it differently. It’s a shame though as you provided good balance to the forum and it’s not the same without you.

  6. @Steve
    That’s an interesting point that you raise. I agree that there does seem to be a pattern with YouGov whereby we quite frequently see polls with questionably high Con support amongst the 18-24s.

  7. @Steve
    That’s an interesting point that you raise. I agree that there does seem to be a pattern with YouGov whereby we quite frequently see polls with questionably high Con support amongst the 18-24s.

  8. Sorry folks.

  9. @ Steve

    My guess re YG and the under 24’s, is that it is to do with the way YG operate. They have 400k (?) who have signed up for online polling on any subject. Perhaps these people are more interested in business/politics and come from middle class backgrounds, where their politics are party shaped by their parents.

    If this is correct, then you will get samples where the Tories score better than polls conducted randomly with the British public.

    There is also the likelyness to vote issue and how this is handled by pollsters. Again online polling may not drill down likelyness to vote, as well as other polling methods.

    Perhaps at some point, Anythony could do an article on current polling methods and how these affect the results. I suspect some of the methodology has changed over the past year, as pollsters look to make them more accurate.

  10. Also an ICM ‘wisdom’ index which isn’t a proper bus- more like one of those city hopper type buses but seems to have come along at the same time as the other buses:

    Lab 33 Con 31 LD 16 UKIP 12.

    This is what people think the result of the next election will be.

  11. R Huckle – small cross breaks (and once you take out don’t knows and non-voters under 25s is often tiny) will unavoidably produce odd results at regular intervals and are best ignored. They do not have any undue impact on overall figures as samples are weighted at a national level (so if one sub-group had, for example, too many Labour identifiers, it wouldn’t mean that the overall sample had too many Labour identifiers, it would just mean that other sub-groups had correspondingly fewer).

    The only significant difference between YouGov’s treatment of under 25s and what other companies do that I’m aware of is that YouGov factor in education when sampling (back in 2010 young people included far too many graduates and students, and not enough who’d left school without going to uni – there’s now specific quotas for non-students/graduates)

    (Oh, and polls are sampled by social class, so as long as they are weighted properly all polls will be equally middle-class and working-class)

  12. Re: The economy stupid.

    Stepping away from partisan discussion over blame for the crash and the anaemic post-crash performance, there was a fascinating and thought-provoking presentation by Larry Summer last week. Really struck a chord with me. I’ve been musing for years on the paradox of how we had two massive bubbles in the period 95-08, yet no obvious inflation problem or very low unemployment.

    Summers is musing that perhaps the economy (he’s talking of the USA but it applies to us over this side as well) went into stagnation some time ago and that only bubbles kept it growing. In the absence of a bubble, we go into stagnation.

    Well worth a quarter of an hour of your time.

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=KYpVzBbQIX0&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DKYpVzBbQIX0

  13. @Anthony Wells

    Fair enough and given that today’s 25 to 39 group looks a bit too pro Labour it’s plain enough how the swings and roundabouts might work in practice.

    My reservation is more that the 18-24 group is invariably increased substantively by weighting, whereas other groups aren’t. So a normal sample error in the 18-24 group will be exaggerated compared to those in other groups, hence they won’t necessarily compensate. If any pattern of apparent sample errors in the 18-24 group starts to emerge then that could be a (smallish) problem.

  14. @AW

    Having just done a bit of maths with the last 5 YouGov polls, it does suggest (contrary to my point earlier) that there’s no apparent pattern and it’s just a matter of sampling.

    Mean Lab lead: overall 7.8%, amongst 18-24s 10.8%. Reasonably close to expectations.

    Interesting though that the highest Lab lead (10%) came when the 18-24 Lab lead was highest (+37%) and the lowest Lab lead (6% today) came when the 18-24 lead was lowest (-1%). That is consistent with the idea that the effect of weighting in exaggerating random variation in the 18-24 group might be driving a bit of the daily fluctuations.

  15. Telegraph reporting that Tories ‘losing ground’ in the north in their latest ICM poll. Can’t get the story, but wondering if anyone else has.

  16. @ AW

    If a lower voting age is brought in I look forward to you having to ask questions to 11 year olds- I suggest you leave a box where they can write their opinions as to what would make them vote for a candidate- “the one that stops my brother nicking all my chocolate”.

  17. @ Alec

    It was the wisdom index I mentioned above. Not much in the article that is worth reporting and I suspect it was just the usual take one (Wisdom) poll in isolation and come up with an article.

  18. @RR

    “Delighted to see the investigation into trade Union behaviour. The behaviour of Unite certainly needs investigation, large scale demonstrations outside managers houses have no place in aq civilized society.”

    Indeed. I was shocked to read the BBC’s article, which included the following:

    “The union has defended its use of so-called leverage tactics, where managers are directly targeted as part of a protest, and argued that bad employers should have “nowhere to hide”.”

    Bad employees would be victimised though, if the roles were reversed. This sort of union tactics do nothing for employee / employer relations. It turns things into ‘them and us’, and reduces the unions’ potential influence when fighting the right fight.

  19. An interesting set of polls this weekend all showing a single digit Labour lead and UKIP well over 10%. Not looking good for either Coalition party (though we Lib Dems always like the ICM wisdom index). I think there are two reasons why it is too early for Labour to start celebrating:

    1) I think a substantial proportion of those currently saying they will vote UKIP won’t do so when it comes to a General Election. UKIP supporters are inherently conservative. They want to take the UK back to the pre-EU days of the 50s and 60s. Those were also the days when General Elections were simple: a choice between a Labour or Conservative Government. I think many of those voters who are happy to say they will support UKIP and will vote for them in local and European elections will not be prepared to vote in a General Election for a party with no MPs and no prospect of any influence in the Commons after the election. I think what happened in 2009-10 gives strong support for this view. A stunningly strong UKIP performance in the 2009 Euro elections did not lead to any UKIP breakthrough in 2010. I think a substantial chunk of current UKIP support will revert to the Tories making the 2015 GE much tighter than current polls suggest.

    2) Lib Dems will do much better in their held seats than in the country as a whole. People currently don’t like Nick Clegg but when asked to re-elect their popular hard-working local Lib Dem MP the response will be different. I’m not the first person to observe on this site that voting Labour in Tory/LD marginals will help the Tories – not something left-leaning voters will want to do. I suspect the ICM wisdom index is picking up something that the conventional polls are missing.

    Overall verdict: far from the oft-predicted LD meltdown, we could still see the LDs remaining in a Coalition Government for another five years post 2015.

  20. ““the one that stops my brother nicking all my chocolate”.”
    ——————————–
    I will vote for whoever brings back Magic Roundabout :-)

  21. Alec – the article is here and is nonsense of the highest order

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/conservative/10454436/Tories-in-decline-in-northern-England-ICMTelegraph-poll-finds.html

    It is based on the fact that the predicted Tory share of the vote at the next election amongst people in the North has fallen from 31% to 29%.

    This not of any particular significance, as people were predicting the overall GB share of the vote, not the GB vote in their area, so even if one thinks such questions are meaningful, it wasn’t asking about Tory support in the North.

    It’s all cack:

    “The poll, conducted between last Wednesday and Friday, suggests the Tories are now as weak in northern areas as they are in Scotland, where the party has struggled for many years.”

    No, it doesn’t. It shows people in the North don’t expect the Tories to do any better in GB as a whole than people in Scotland expect them to do in GB as a whole. People are not predicting their own areas, they are predicting GB as a whole. They are not interchangable (unless one thinks the Tories will only do around 2 points less well in Scotland than in the South!)

    The whole article is riddled with this sort of error, taking a poll asking people to predict the general election result as if it were a poll of their own intentions. Even if it does have predictive value for vote shares, it is clearly not the same thing.

    So for example…

    “The ICM Wisdom Index also shows that the Conservatives are expected to win less support from women than men, while for Labour the position is reversed, with more women predicted to vote for Ed Miliband’s party.”

    Which unless they did ask extra questions alone these lines is the wrong way round completely – what it will actually be showing is that men predict a higher level of support for the Conservatives OVERALL, not amongst just men.

  22. david

    “Overall verdict: far from the oft-predicted LD meltdown, we could still see the LDs remaining in a Coalition Government for another five years post 2015”

    eh?

    I grant that LD might hold some of their seats despite national meltdown in support due to incumbency factors and tactical voting by anit-Cons, but the chances of a hung parliament look remote to me.

    How exactly will Lab fail to get a majority?

  23. @David

    I’m happy for you and other Lib Dems to continue with that impression right up to May 2015, if such complacency over your party’s prospects is necessary to dissuade your party from moving against Clegg.

  24. David
    I detect a small chink in the armour of your first point on UKIP voters ‘returning’ to Con. If we take today’s poll with Con at 33 and UKIP at 12, if most of the latter ‘return’ to Con the Cons will score about 5 points more than they did in 2010.

    It doesn’t add up I am afraid, unless someone can pick the above point of mine apart.

    Still it makes a change from ‘excellent post David, first class’.

  25. David
    “will not be prepared to vote in a General Election for a party with no MPs and no prospect of any influence in the Commons after the election.”

    Umm, none of the parties would ever have an MP if having MP’s was the criteria that decides how one should vote.

    You only have to look back to 2010 & Caroline Lucas for evidence that your sentence above has been proven to be untrue.

    @ Colin – sorry to hear about your daughter. I hope she recovers quickly & without any lasting side-effects.

    @ Turk – have a great time in Texas. It has become of my regrets that I didn’t move over there when I had the opportunity many years ago.

  26. No one agrees with gangs outside bosses houses,but some would call it direct action.It looks bad,and the media spin on it will make unions look bad.These things shouldn’t be viewed in isolation,of course.Many things happen behind closed doors,that aren’t given this amount of publicity.Cause and effect comes into play here.

  27. “Overall verdict: far from the oft-predicted LD meltdown, we could still see the LDs remaining in a Coalition Government for another five years post 2015?
    ——————–
    Or maybe they will be back in the wilderness for a generation or so ?

    Current figures on this site’s swingometer suggest LD are likely to lose half of their MPs. My money is on some of them announcing their intention not to run again and, if I am right, this will happen in the first few weks of 2014. We shall see.

  28. opps! weks = weeks.

  29. @David

    I can’t see the LibDems going into coalition with the Tories again even if they had the numbers. Too many core issues that will divide them, e.g. ECHR. As for UKIP, even if the party evaporated it can’t be assumed that all its support would switch to the Conservatives.

  30. I am sorry that, recently, some correspondents on the right have felt there was unpleasantness in the air. I think we all notice barbs from those who disagree with us, especially in areas where people feel strongly, such as politics. But I didn’t noticed much in the way of an argy-bargy going on, other than the usual rough and tumble – in which the right, the centre, and the left can all be enthusiastic participants. (Very sorry, though, to hear of Colin’s daughter’s ‘accident’. Speed on the roads, don’t get me going, but my thoughts are with her, you and your family, Colin.)

    Polls and policy-wise, what’s really to say, other than that DC has announced he’ll be tackling the Labs as high tax and high spend, like John Major did? Isn’t that a bit panicky? High taxes (even if they happen) aren’t going to bite so hard when wages are falling back and tax allowances have risen, and high spends might well seem attractive to the desperate and the squeezed if they lead to proper jobs – surely? I could be wildly wrong there, but – right or wrong – I can’t see that slogan altering perceptions unduly.

    [“usual rough and tumble – in which the right, the centre, and the left can all be enthusiastic participants”, not here they can’t, since political “rough and tumble” is specifically the sort of thing that’s against the comments policy – AW]

  31. @Colin Davis,

    That’s because you’re filtering the announcement through your own prism of beliefs and values. You personally presumably believe that high spending is a good thing because it brings more benefit than it “costs”. For people who share that view, they will react the same way you do. For people who don’t, they won’t. Cameron will be gambling that there are enough people who are receptive to the idea that high public spending is, in the long run, costly to the UK economy.

    “Taxes” is a slightly more complex issue as there are so many to choose from that “higher taxes” in itself doesn’t mean very much. In the terms of this debate, I suspect he is preparing the ground for a fight over higher rate income tax and, maybe, tax thresholds (although I don’t think Labour will have any problem agreeing to keep the increased thresholds).

    If Labour declared new taxes on gold-plated Ferraris, Yachts over 200 feet long and Premier League transfer fees, I don’t suppose the public would give a hoot. If they increase taxes on income, the public might worry about it. (Although as I’ve said before, people’s perception of how affected they may personally be by any given tax increase is often hopelessly inaccurate).

  32. “Cooper was on £140,000 a year in Downing Street, but a top pollster can earn far more in the private sector.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2508496/JAMES-FORSYTH-The-big-freeze-George-cosies-voters.html?ico=home^editors_choice

    Well for all those students on this site, take note of where a good career choice lies…

  33. @ David

    Agree with your point about the Unions. It seems a very specific, political based, enquiry rather than looking at those tactics which were invented and used by animal rights/protest groups for the last 20 years.

    Of course with Unions there is more chance of holding someone responsible than loose groupings without funds but there are laws against intimidation and injunctions available which have been used in many cases against animal rights groups. If that needs tightening then it’s just a case of bringing a law prohibiting home demonstrations and maybe they could bundle up journalists camped outside people’s houses while they are about it.

  34. Once again, YouGov’s 2% showing for the Greens seems odd. They were showing the Green’s at 3% consistently not far back, yet now show among the lowest Green scores and put the Greens as falling where over the last 7 polls, the Greens have been displaying a clear rise. What is going on here?

  35. An interesting nugget from the Independent poll yesterday and with reference to the Daily Mail’s attack on EM’s father: it looks like the Daily Mail got it seriously wrong this time at least.

    Q. The fact that Ed Miliband’s father was a Marxist makes it harder for him to be a good prime minister for the whole country
    Agree 16%
    Disagree 55%
    Don’t know 29%

    I don’t suppose there is any polling data on opinions pre the DM’s attack? It would be interesting to know whether/how much effect the DM’s article ultimately had on public opinion and perceptions and whether this has trickled down to VI.

    I haven’t seen anywhere near as many references to Red Ed since then.

    A question for the wiser bods here. It seems to me that the Government appears to favour and is encouraging mutual societies/organisations, crowd-sourcing, employee buy-in and investment structures, etc…aren’t these, if not formally socialist, at least underpinned by socialist philosophy? [NB: I grew up in the US when the word socialist was a Bad Word and didn’t really learn what it was until moving to Ireland in 1980 and I’m still not entirely clear.]

  36. David
    On the UKIP voters, today’s tables display 17% of Con, 5% of Lab and 10% of LD 2010 voters going to UKIP. In my minds eye, I regard these voters (in a 2015 GE) almost as one would independents. Clearly there is a right voting bias but it just takes Con up a couple of points (extra to the other two parties) as one could not expect there to be any more chance that one UKIP voter would ‘return’ than another.

    That is also assuming they would ‘return’ anyway. I notice that in other questions asked, the UKIP voters have a very decided view on anything (ergo my independents comment).

    Do they know they are probably wasting their vote? Well, if so, someone had better tell all the millions of voters who at every election trot out and vote for the party with no chance in their constituency whatsoever.

  37. “david

    No one agrees with gangs outside bosses houses,but some would call it direct action.It looks bad,and the media spin on it will make unions look bad.”

    The BBC certainly did. They apparently took video footage, without permission of the owners, from a Unite demonstration in London over illegal blacklisting of union members in the construction industry in the last decade or so and ran it as footage of this Grangemouth demonstration.

    http://reelnews.co.uk/reel-news-statement-on-bbc-copyright-abuse-7-11-13/

  38. @ David,

    1) I think a substantial proportion of those currently saying they will vote UKIP won’t do so when it comes to a General Election

    This is almost certainly true. However, Ukip scored 3.1% in the last election without even putting up a candidate in every GB seat. It seems unlikely that after 5 years of intense media attention and extreme Tory dissatisfaction with Cameron and the Tory leadership they will do worse than they did in 2010. Ukip’s support is drawn from across the political spectrum, but it’s disproportionately Tory and it’s likely to shave a percentage or two off the Tory vote share compared to 2010.

    2) Lib Dems will do much better in their held seats than in the country as a whole.

    Sure, they’ll probably keep their deposits there. But it’s worth looking at the Eastleigh by-election.

    Eastleigh is a Lib Dem stronghold and they brought their entire activist base down to campaign. Chris Huhne’s criminality and the Rennard scandal didn’t seem to have much influence on local voting intention. Nevertheless, the swing against the Lib Dems was 14.4%, almost identical to the national swing.

    Of course, the Lib Dems are a government party and that was a by-election; they’re likely to do a little better in a general election. But they’ll have to spread their activists across 57 seats (or 50, if they decide to write off the most obvious Labour gains), and most of those seats don’t have the resilient councillor base that Eastleigh does.

    Meanwhile, the Lib Dems have behaved in government in such a way that it’s far more palatable both to the Labour leadership and to Labour members for Ed Miliband to negotiate with the Nats or with John McDonnell and Dennis Skinner than with Nick Clegg.

  39. Joshc. Perhaps if the demonstrators sing Christmas carols,it won’t intimidate the bosses so much.My main point was,bosses can’t expect to be agents for the company all day,and then at five o clock be free of any responsibility for what’s gone before.Of course the boss in his house has got the money,the worker outside hasn’t.

  40. @ Chordata Brighton Pavillion was THE Green target in 2010. If course their victory was an important breakthrough but I think they did badly everywhere else and I think most people agree that the best they can hope for in 2015 is for Caroline Lucas to cling on in Brighton Pavillion ( and presumably Labour will fight very hard to get it back). I see no evidence that the Greens are in contention anywhere else. Our electoral system ( which I detest) makes it incredibly difficult for insurgent parties to break through. I think UKIP are in an even worse position than the Greens were in 2010. I am not aware of any constituency where they are in serious contention.

    This helps deal with Howard’s comment about wasted votes. Of course millions of voters vote Lab, Con or LD constituencies where they have no hope of winning. But voting for a party that has no hope of winning anywhere at all seems to me a rather different proposition.

    Finally while I agree that not all UKIP supporters are ex-Tories I think UKIP is basically an anti-immigration party. If the three competitive parties in England the Tories are perceived as the most anti-immigrant so seem to me best placed to catch returning UKIP supporters.

  41. @ Nick P
    Calling the GE for Labour 18 months from polling day in the back of single digit poll leads seems to me extraordinarily premature.

    @ Spearmint
    I’m not saying that UKIP won’t hurt the Tories. I am saying that the current polls are flattering to Labour because UKIP are scoring much better now than they will at a GE.

    Re centre party MPs holding on in unpropitious circumstances I refer you to 1979. A bad year for the Liberals nationally but the majority of sitting Liberal MPs held on. Using uniform swing to predict LD performance in 2015 is seriously misguided.

  42. david

    “Calling the GE for Labour 18 months from polling day in the back of single digit poll leads seems to me extraordinarily premature.”

    Why not? You did.

    Only difference is that I have polling evidence on my side.

  43. By the way, you get 5-1 odds against a Con-LD coalition after next election. Looks a bit ungenerous to me!

    You can also get 6-4 against Lab. I think that is very generous and if it persists into next year I might tie up a few quid for a while.

  44. David,the one with the Golden glow.

    You may be right about not sicking too close to UNS as far as predicting numbers of LD seats in 2015 is concerned. However ,this cuts both ways this time around, you envisage voters staying loyal to ,’popular,hard-working LD MPs ‘ and maybe they will. But what of the main ‘Collaborators’ such as Laws, Alexander and of course, Clegg?

    In seats such as these where Labour or SNP is the ‘Insurgent’ the size of their majorities will just become a target to aim for, not something to be intimidated by. Laws in Yeovil, in particular, may be the ‘Portillo’ moment of 2015.

  45. David,the one with the Golden glow.

    You may be right about not sicking too close to UNS as far as predicting numbers of LD seats in 2015 is concerned. However ,this cuts both ways this time around, you envisage voters staying loyal to ,’popular,hard-working LD MPs ‘ and maybe they will. But what of the main ‘Collaborators’ such as Laws, Alexander and of course, Clegg?

    In seats such as these where Labour or SNP is the ‘Insurgent’ the size of their majorities will just become a target to aim for, not something to be intimidated by. Laws in Yeovil, in particular, may be the ‘Portillo’ moment of 2015.

  46. @ David,

    In 1979 the Liberals were the people who voted out the Government, not half of it. Somewhat different circumstances.

    I certainly don’t think the Lib Dems are going to get 8% in 2015. They may even hold all their Tory-facing seats, although the Eastleigh example suggests otherwise. I just don’t see a Tory plurality or a thawing of Lib-Lab relations on the horizon, and without either of those it’s “Go back to your constituencies and prepare for Opposition.”

  47. sorry, bl**dy i-phone

  48. Er, that’s an “I don’t think the Lib Dems are going to get 8% because it will probably be 12% or 15%”, not “Lib Dems look too high.”

  49. the lib dems have been nailed on 10% for three years. Nothing has shifted that. I’m increasingly convinced they will not do any better come the GE.

    That is not ‘mid-term blues’ – its political death.

    Why are the lib dems so complacent about this?

  50. @colin
    So sorry to hear about your daughter. I use a wheelchair when I’m out . We are very vulnerable

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