There are two GB polls in the Sunday papers. Opinium’s fortnightly poll in the Observer has topline figures of CON 28%(nc), LAB 35%(-2), LDEM 8%(-1), UKIP 19%(+3). Meanwhile the weekly YouGov poll in the Sunday Times has topline figures of CON 30%, LAB 38%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 15%.

Opinium normally produce higher levels of UKIP support than other companies, but even by their standards the UKIP score is the highest since July. For YouGov the UKIP score is the highest since June, and follows on from a 14% yesterday. As ever, once can never be completely sure about the reasons behind poll movements (nor certain they aren’t just blips) but it’s tempting to link these figures with the recent prominence of Eastern European immigration in the news. This is a useful reminder of how public opinion can be a lot more complicated than “popular policy => more support”. The YouGov poll finds that the policies David Cameron has suggested on EU immigration (putting residency requirements and time limiting benefits for EU migrants and, deporting EU migrants sleeping rough) are very popular – all received over 80% support. However the short-term impact in the polls does not appear to be more Conservative support, but to push the immigration issue up the agenda and, therefore, increase support for UKIP.

Then again, shutting up about it probably may not have been much better either – the media were shouting about Romanian and Bulgarian immigration anyway, and will likely do so even more as January approaches, and would also have spent their time demanding Cameron did something. It’s not really as if Cameron could had kept it off the agenda if he’d wanted to – not doing anything at all could have been even better for UKIP!

Following the publication of the white paper on Scottish Independence I’m expecting some new Scottish polls measuring if there has been any impact on referendum voting intention. In the event there only seems to be one in the Sunday papers – a Progressive Scottish Opinion poll in the Scottish Mail on Sunday. They have YES on 27%(nc), NO on 56%(-3), Don’t know on 17%(+3). Changes are from their previous poll in September. Progressive are not BPC members, so we have limited information on what they do, but suffice to say the poll does not show a massive change from prior to the white paper. I’m hoping there will be more Scottish polling in the next week or two on the back of the white paper, so we shall see if it paints a consistent picture.


524 Responses to “Sunday YouGov and Opinium polls”

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  1. Neil A

    What exactly do you mean by ‘can’t socialize’? I have a number of Muslims – I assume they’re Muslims by their country of origin – working for me and, one of them especially, are very lively, humorous and generally quite ‘sociable’ people.

  2. @Carfrew,

    I don’t think the UK is going to face a supply shortage of second hand goods anytime soon. Not for nothing are we called the “Throwaway Society”. There is a very deep pool of resources that are currently discarded that we can dip into before people genuinely have to do without.

    I’m not suggesting that any of this is particularly desirable. I can afford new possessions and I’d like to live in a country where even the poorest can do so (at least from time to time). But I do raise an eyebrow at the media stories (OK, the Daily Mirror stories) about families who can only afford a tin of beans for their Christmas dinner etc. (Or should that be Christmas lunch? Tea? Supper? Oh I dunno….)

  3. @NEIL A

    Lol, you’ve been taking lessons from Howard I see. I didn’t say people were not “permitted” to socialise. I said that putting up the price of alcohol can make socialising more expensive, with a knock on effect for those who don’t drink alcohol.

    Thus, even if you don’t drink alcohol, it can make socialising more expensive, thus constraining it.

  4. @Reg,

    What? They manage to be lively, humorous and sociable without alcohol? They should give lessons….

  5. @Carfrew,

    There are ways to socialize without going to the pub. And without alcohol (I may be speaking as a slightly bitter former drinker with a – non-alcohol related- liver condition)….

    The point is that it is still discretionary, not essential.

  6. Neil A

    It might be said that you are bordering on racist with that comment.
    To be honest I don’t know that they are Muslims, but I do know that they are first-generation immigrants from Pakistan. What is the proportion of Muslims to other faiths in that country?

  7. @NEIL A

    “I don’t think the UK is going to face a supply shortage of second hand goods anytime soon. Not for nothing are we called the “Throwaway Society”. There is a very deep pool of resources that are currently discarded that we can dip into before people genuinely have to do without.”

    ———

    Yeah, it’s not all about the supply of second-hand goods, though I think you can see that increased demand has at least the potential to up prices.

    But it is also about the time cost, about the things you can’t easily get second-hand that are still essential, and how price rises on these can eclipse savings made in other areas…

  8. cardrew

    “More essentials that attract VAT…”

    Classical Guitars.

  9. @NEIL A

    “There are ways to socialize without going to the pub. And without alcohol (I may be speaking as a slightly bitter former drinker with a – non-alcohol related- liver condition)….
    The point is that it is still discretionary, not essential.”

    ———-

    I know, you don’t have to drink alcohol to socialise, or even go to the pub. But if the price of alcohol goes up, then that can drag up the price of other social activities along with it. Coffee shops can charge more than before, in the same way that if you put up the price of road travel, rail can get away with charging more.

    Putting up the price of something, can drag up the price of alternatives…

  10. Sorry, carFRew…

    Was thinking of Cardew the Cad

    [Blimey, that must be a long time ago!]

  11. @Reg.

    Please read the whole conversation and don’t take my comment out of context. I am not in any way impugning Muslims. There’s nothing I miss quite so much about London as the company of Turks.

    @Carfrew,

    There will be a section of the poorest quintile who are time-poor, I grant you, but they are probably a minority of that minority. I think you exaggerate the extent to which sourcing second hand goods is time-consuming, though. If I needed to I could make a phone call now and within an hour I could have collected, on foot, several free items from Recycle.Org. And many of the shopping parades in poorer areas consist of row upon row of charity shops (and betting shops, pubs, Bargain Booze and tobacco shops…)

    As for increased demand putting up prices – well yes where the supply is limited. The more demand, the less choosy I might have to be about what free/cheap stuff I wanted. But I don’t think you could ever reach the point where free/cheap stuff wasn’t available (not in our economy anyway).

  12. Guys I know that I’m a few days late and a couple of pounds short but I just wanted to express my condolences to you guys on the Glasgow Bar helicopter crash. I’m sorry about the terrible news.

    @ Old Nat

    “I’m reminded of my New York nephew asking for a “skinny latte” in a Baltimore cafe and being told that his choice was “Coffee, or no coffee”.”

    I’ve been there. Not to that cafe but metaphorically. Try ordering avacado in one’s sandwich in a Shasta County, CA IHOP. Not fun. Of course I’ve also tried ordering traditional American fare in some fine European establishments and caused some problems.

    Just some free nutritional advice to your nephew though, he should avoid the skinny lattes. Just have the real thing.

  13. Paul Croft
    (unless the dogs are playing guitars now)

    You just reminded me about those civil servant-ish expressions

    – ‘attract VAT’ as though the objects themselves had an intrinsic property to cause their new owners, imposed expense.

  14. @ROSIEANDDAISIE
    cardrew
    “More essentials that attract VAT…”

    Classical Guitars.

    ———–

    Exactly. My Gibson (Ok, it’s not a classical guitar, it’s a semi, but still….) costs double now what I paid in the Nineties… Never mind VAT, it should be subsidised. Put VAT on allotments instead…

  15. @ROSIEANDDAISIE

    “Sorry, carFRew…
    Was thinking of Cardew the Cad
    [Blimey, that must be a long time ago!]”

    ——-

    Too long ago for me Paul, lol…

  16. @SoCaL

    Thank you. Did you know that Jim Murphy was one of the passers-by who helped survivors get out of the building? It was brave of him & all the others who rushed to help because it was potentially dangerous.

  17. @Paul,

    Surely you’ve been shopping in Denmark Street at some point in your life?

  18. Some clarification of my point, which was directed at changes in the 20% VAT rate.
    Murphy takes the very poorest to be the bottom 20%, saying “By chance the VAT and total direct tax burdens on the bottom 20% of households ranked by their income is the same.”
    I am taking the very poorest to be at most those below the bottom tax threshold. Raising that threshold is no help to those already below it. In general they cannot afford to buy any significant quantity of goods rated at 20% VAT, but if they need them can buy second hand (including Carfrew a very wide range of tools at car boot sales). They do certainly pay VAT, at 5% on energy, but can (must) avoid indirect taxes on tobacco and alcohol.
    From the government’s point of view, what matters is not the percentage of a person’s income which is taken in VAT, but the amount raised, and that cannot be significant unless a significant fraction of the person’s income is spent on VAT rated goods. In general, greater clarity is achieved by avoiding comparing percentages, and concentrating on actual figures. It is not ‘discetionary’ to avoid buying alcohol if you do not have the money (although I have known people who beg for money for that purpose and make themselves incapable of making any sensible discretionary decisions – but that is a different issue)
    @Carfrew
    “PLUS, there can be a time cost to seeking out second-hand goods, which in turn can translate into an income cost, or less time to invest in saving money in other ways…” Lots of charity shops, car boot sales where the savings compared to buying new are very marked.
    “I’m serious about saving a bit of time, here and there…” People who are really poor very often have time on their hands. Do you know any?

  19. @Neil A

    At your suggestion I’ve looked for trousers in my size on ebay and am amazed that people are putting up an opening bid of ten quid for their cast-offs, plus £2.50 – £4.50 postage.

    Somewhat shamed to say that freecycle in my area seems to be full wanted ads… tap dancing shoes (size 4 or 4 1/2), fishtank (due to my snail having sooo many babies)… plus the odd offer for a pair of VW rear seats, fridgefreezer (fridge not working but may be useful for parts), washing machine (old and rusty but works as far as I know, up narrow alley) etc.

    On the broader point, I’ll need some convincing that S/H inflation is not outstripping RPI.

  20. Socal
    I just read (in the Belgian press) of the auction of Jesse Owen’s 1936 gold medal.

    That led me to linked articles and I read there that although Owens was mobbed in Germany by their fans (so not all nazis then) and could stay with white athletes in the hotels (which he could not in his own country), after he returned, he was given a NY tickertape welcome. Nevertheless, at the Waldorf hotel reception, he could not enter through the front door, but had to come up at the back in the goods lift (freight elevator).

    I did not know of John Woodruff and the other black athletes who won gold, as we here have only ever been told about Owens in newsreels and of course the documentary film.

    Apparently Woodruff died 6 years ago at 92. None of the athletes made any money as, being black, there was no opportunity for them. Apparently Roosevelt did not even send a telegram to Owen. There may be conflicting versions of these stories of course.

    The lesson for me (see Carfrew, I can be serious) is that we must all be careful of what we absorb from the news media.

    The voters aren’t though, generally, so most of them can be fooled, most of the time.

  21. @Neil A

    This idea, that free/cheap stuff is always available… Reminds me if the time you suggested that in the early Nineties that services would always rehouse the homeless if asked (not true from what I witnessed).

    But the general point, is that even if people can make savings in some areas, that can be eroded in other areas where they cannot shop around so much to any useful effect.

    (And can be eroded further by government cuts etc.)

  22. I can’t see the relevance of whether an item is discretionary or not. You’re introducing value judgements into what should be an objective calculation of the actual effect of a tax.

    Statistically the poor pay the most VAT as a proportion of household income and that proportion falls as household income increases. That is a verifiable fact confirmed by official statistics. It is therefore a regressive tax. QED.

    No amount of massaging of the figures by neoliberal pressure groups such as the IFS or moral judgements on the retail choices of the deserving or undeserving poor changes that fiscal fact.

  23. @Dave
    ““PLUS, there can be a time cost to seeking out second-hand goods, which in turn can translate into an income cost, or less time to invest in saving money in other ways…” Lots of charity shops, car boot sales where the savings compared to buying new are very marked.
    “I’m serious about saving a bit of time, here and there…” People who are really poor very often have time on their hands. Do you know any?”

    ———

    Even if we accept that the idea that we live in a utopia where much is not only free but is virtually delivered to your door incurring no time penalty at all, the problem is that the savings can be eroded by the essentials you can’t get second-hand, eg rent, energy, transport etc.

    And the comment about saving time concerned time posting, rather ironically. Still, Howard is now taking issue with usage of the word “attract”… Seems to keep him busy…

  24. neil a

    “@Paul,

    Surely you’ve been shopping in Denmark Street at some point in your life?”

    ….err…. yes [??]

  25. I had forgotten that school fees, private healthcare and private planes do not ‘attract VAT’.
    Why?

  26. @RogerH

    ———

    Yeah, the “value judgement” angle won’t work either.

    It’s not a value judgement. Some things you need to survive, or ensure your well-being, like food, Clothing, energy, shelter etc… These are essentials in practice, not some choice made on values…

  27. With school fees and healthcare I expect it is because they save the government money. With planes I don’t know. I would imagine you would pay VAT on a new plane that you bought in the UK (but why would anyone do that when you can buy it somewhere else and fly it here?) Air fuel is tax free for weird international reasons which should probably be tackled collectively.

  28. carfrew

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/CARDEW-THE-CAD-ROBINSON-HAND-SIGNED-AUTOGRAPHED-6×4-PHOTO-/400547588938

    Seem to remember he featured in an hysterically funny [not] comic strip in the 50s. Perhaps the Radio Times [when it just dealt with radio – must have been a small weekly paper that!]

    Clearly his autographs are remarkably valuable.

  29. I’ve been to Rod Argents in Denmark Street back in the time when it was a keyboard shop, if that helps any…

  30. @RogerH,

    So we should cut tax on alcohol and cigarettes, to be progressive?

    @Carfrew,

    Not sure which conversation re: the homeless you’re referencing (I’m too old to remember things from more than 10 minutes ago) but I expect it was to do with my pal who is an outreach worker in London and who would frequently tell me that the problem was persuading the street homeless to take a place in a shelter, rather than finding a place to offer them.

  31. @Neil

    Yep, that was it, though it went further than that. I can believe some homeless may be difficult to persuade. But the comment at the time was along the lines that it was effectively a choice to be homeless, because there were always places available…

  32. Let’s be honest, however VAT was conceived, it’s a mess now. VAT on muesli bars, but not flapjack. Millionaire’s shortcake VAT free, but leave out the caramel and you pay VAT (typical – millionaires get all the breaks).

    The list goes on if you want a laugh: http://bit.ly/9TcYpe

  33. Many moons ago I had the pleasure of wrestling with Vat in a car dealers: secondhand cars – special scheme for vat on the profit margin, oil zero rated, MOT outside the scope, radios higher rate, service standard rate. And I remember the VAT News which dealt with fur coats – how to tell a rabbit (standard rate) from a chinchilla (or whatever) higher rate. I also remember doing VAT theory at university before it was introduced. Everybody thought it was quite mad.
    And I never heard of Cardew Robinson until he came and did a quiz at my school and all I remember from that is the very hilarious way he introduced himself:

    My name’s Cardew Robinson…
    Cardew do?

  34. YouGov/Sun poll tonight: Labour lead still at 6: CON 32%, LAB 38%, LD 10%, UKIP 12%

    Looks like Labour small bounce is no more.

  35. China is the second largest economy in the world and the UK the 8th.

    In just 3 years China’s economy grew by the equivalent of the entire UK economy. No wonder Cameron is over in China with the begging bowl.

  36. RogerH 9.18. pm

    Beautifully and simply expressed. Even I didn’t think of that powerful contribution. Yes, just stick to the maths.

    I am not saying it’s wrong mind (VAT). If I were Chancellor, it would be my quick fix method (dampen here, let it rip there) whereas the progressive taxes are a bit boring aren’t they? The only failure to gather VAT is when the man in the market asks for cash (‘no income tax, no VAT’ Del). Every other person just coughs up at the tills. In fact, quite a lot of the time, so does the market man, now I come to think of it.

  37. @HOWARD

    “RogerH 9.18. pm
    Beautifully and simply expressed. Even I didn’t think of that powerful contribution. Yes, just stick to the maths.”

    ———

    Well, you can stick to the maths if you use it correctly.

    The data may show VAT is regressive overall. This doesn’t mean there aren’t particular anomalies where in those cases, there isn’t much of a regressive effect.

  38. R Huckle

    Gosh you jumped to a conclusion rather quickly there IIMSS.

    I’d say no change of significance. No wonder we wander off into subjects tangential.

  39. @ROSIEANDDAISIE

    “carfrew
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/CARDEW-THE-CAD-ROBINSON-HAND-SIGNED-AUTOGRAPHED-6×4-PHOTO-/400547588938
    Seem to remember he featured in an hysterically funny [not] comic strip in the 50s. Perhaps the Radio Times [when it just dealt with radio – must have been a small weekly paper that!]”

    ———-

    Yes, I figured it might not be a flattering comparison!! Colin got in way ahead of you though, he was messin’ with my username from when I first arrived…

  40. “@ howard

    R Huckle

    Gosh you jumped to a conclusion rather quickly there IIMSS.

    I’d say no change of significance. No wonder we wander off into subjects tangential. ”

    Not really. Labour were headed towards 40% average, but are back down to 38% (ish)

    I am sure one of the guys who like their stats will confirm this.

  41. guymonde

    “And I never heard of Cardew Robinson until he came and did a quiz at my school and all I remember from that is the very hilarious way he introduced himself:

    My name’s Cardew Robinson…
    Cardew do?”

    They just don’t make ’em like that any more. That sort of wit is dangerous – especially for the young: they could die laughing.

  42. @NeilA: No, you raise a larger proportion of revenue through progressive (direct) taxes – such as income tax – and a smaller proportion through regressive (indirect) taxes – such as VAT. Since 1970 the proportion of UK tax raised through indirect taxes has increased from around 30% to 45%. It’s one of the primary reasons that inequality has grown in the UK.

  43. AW Paul, you carry on like this and even Chordata will see through it when you play the victim…

  44. Data from the badger culls looks seriously embarrassing for Owen Patterson. It really does look like it’s been a complete disaster, pretty much in line with most experts expectations.

    The initial target (which they were _very_ confident of hitting) was ‘at least’ 70% killed in 6 weeks, but despite extending the cull to 11 weeks they now appear only to have managed 39%. The minimum target of 70% was set as this is the limit below which it is thought culling increases, with the 6 week timescale set similarly to minimise disruption and the ‘perturbation’ effect.

    Indeed, so embarrassingly poor has the culling been, than Natural England revoked the extension license 3 weeks early as no badgers were being shot. Given the enormous political pressure they have been put under by Patterson, this is quite spectacular.

    The experts are now predicting an increase in bTB cases as a result of the cull, but to be fair, they were predicting this before the cull commenced. Additionally, they say that the huge cost of the cull would have been sufficient to fund a 4 year volunteer led vaccination programme.

    In a wearily wry way I’m quite tickled by the inevitability of all this. So utterly predictable and predicted. I also can’t help grimly smiling when I hear that my own county has had it’s first recorded case of bTB since 2008. This has been traced by Defra to movements of cattle from – yes, you’ve guessed it – an area of high incidence of bTB.

    So while Patterson is ignoring all the experts on culling, he is similarly ignoring all the animal health experts who are telling him to ban all cattle movements in and out of infected areas.

    I just feel sorry for all the badgers killed in a misguided attempt to solve a problem created by the farm industry.

  45. @Alec

    Poor Badgers. Not even their fault. I bet Patterson gets promoted.

  46. @ Alec

    Do you know what has happened to the dead Badgers ? I would have thought that they would be tested for TB, to see what percentage had TB. Or perhaps not, just in case it were revealed that only a small percentage had TB.

  47. No, they weren’t tested.

    One argument against vaccination was that trapping was too expensive. In the event it was only by trapping first that it was possible to kill as many as they did.

  48. r huckle

    “@ Alec

    Do you know what has happened to the dead Badgers ?”

    Sleeping policemen??

  49. carfrew

    “AW Paul, you carry on like this and even Chordata will see through it when you play the victim”

    Chordata knows the score.

  50. Ma! I’m top a the page !!

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