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. Brilliant – even if I say so myself.

  2. @RHuckle

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

    Unite have probably added them to the list of Labour members in Falkirk.

  3. I understand they make very good shaving brushes?

  4. “@ rogerrebel

    I understand they make very good shaving brushes? ”

    There you have it. Nothing to do with TB. It was toffy Tories wanting Badger shaving brushes to remove their Movember facial hair.

  5. Rog

    !I understand they make very good shaving brushes?

    Not when they’re dead surely?

    I wouldn’t trust one to make me a shaving brush if it was still fit enough to do its woodland police work.

    Squirrels are the boys: industrious and patient in equal measure.

  6. @CB11

    Nah, they got their postal votes ahead of time.

  7. @OLDNAT

    “…I’m afraid that saying that the smallest unit unit of currency available to you is a tenner, probably categorises you as a banker (yes I said banker) in some communities…”

    Much as I would “like” to pose as a scion of the decadent plutocracy that do such sterling work of sponsoring the cocaine and prostitution industries, the simple fact is that I need the fivers and shrapnel for the bus.

  8. @Rosie and Dasie

    You finally got to the top of the page… And it blew right up in your face

  9. Labour lead at 6

    Latest YouGov / The Sun results 2nd Dec
    Con 32%
    Lab 38%
    LD 10%
    UKIP 12%

    APP -30

  10. Yep – as per R Huckle lab seems to have dropped 1% or so over the last week – still that 38% is looking more and more solid as every month passes by.

    Will Thursday be game changing – probably not but may move some short term VI.

  11. Very strange Scottish cross-breaks (this and previous).

    Sunday: Lab 30, SNP 30

    Today: Lab 32, SNP 32

    That would account for the 1% drop in Labour’s national polling.

  12. @Rosieand Daisie

    “Squirrels are the boys: industrious and patient in equal measure.”

    Are you talking red or grey here? I’ve always found grey squirrels unreliable characters, prone to acts of unspeakable barbarity. I once had one particularly impudent little grey squirrel who used to come and take a dip in our garden water feature. At first, I didn’t mind this and, during hot summer afternoons, it was quite entertaining to see the furry blighter dousing himself in the water and shadow boxing with my garden gnome. Then things took a sinister turn and he started to take a shine to the imitation toad I had positioned on the water’s edge. I shan’t go into detail about the antics I witnessed but suffice to say it caused me to confront the bushy tailed rodent with the intention of frightening him off. It was then that I discovered their aggressive and bellicose tendencies as the animal turned on me and chased me back into the house. He appeared very reluctant to give up his outrageous antics and, regrettably, I had no choice but to remove the imitation toad, now badly damaged and no longer fit for purpose (well, my purpose anyway, maybe not the squirrel’s).

    As in most things in life and politics, the reds are much nicer animals!!

  13. “There you have it. Nothing to do with TB.”

    Oh, I’m sure SOMEONE will find the malign hand of Blair behind it…

  14. Today’s Yougov looks like the same polling we have had since the conference season.

    Labour 38-39 and Conservative 32-33 looks very solid indeed.

  15. Test

  16. The BoE is reporting the biggest drop in saving last year since the 1970’s. They reckon around £23B has been withdrawn by households.

    I think this must be quite a startling figure, and it really does beg the question of whether we really are out of the woods yet. Dipping into savings is temporary, one time only measure, so it will be very interesting to see how long this trend continues, and what effect any change might have on growth.

  17. The Cloud just asked me if I was a real person.
    Hang on I’ll check!

  18. Morning Everyone,

    Re: Latest YouGov Poll – I suppose you could say at this point Labour Should really be further ahead than they are and on the other hand you could also say because of the slightly improving economy and other things the Conservatives should be at least a more consistent 35-36% and neither is true!
    Lets see what happens after the ‘Autumn’ statement (more like a winter statement) and the calm of the Christmas/New Year period.

  19. There seems to be something of a lather going on about David Cameron not meeting his immigration targets. His problem is that he cannot do what would actually help with this. All the noise thus generated will help UKIP. Then we’ve got all those Eastern Europeans coming soon. It’s looking as if the Conservative vote will stay partially eroded by UKIP, leaving Labour not exactly soaring ahead but enough ahead to win. Assuming immigration is not such an issue for the centre-left voters.

    I did see that savings drop and wondered whether it’s about spending money due to economic improvement or just due to income squeeze. Or something more concerning, worries about bank stability?

  20. If the improvement in the economy (albeit modest and patchy) is based on spending savings, then surely that is not sustainable.

    Incomes are being squeezed, so it logically make sense that if spending is up, it must come from savings, increased debt. or both.

    I know a record level of personal debt was reported this week.

    Have we learned nothing?

  21. cn11

    Reds are the boys for designing and making yer brushes.

  22. Is anyone else getting captcha codes now?

  23. @Catmannjeff

    Yes. Loathsome isn’t it.

  24. MARTYN

    “I need the fivers and shrapnel for the bus.”

    Well taking the Boris Johnson line – it’s really your own fault for choosing to be born into a generation that doesn’t (and probably will never) get a free bus pass.

  25. @Catmanjeff

    “Incomes are being squeezed, so it logically make sense that if spending is up, it must come from savings, increased debt. or both.”

    Fazackerley.
    This is not a real recovery. Investment is dire as are exports; balance of payments dreadful.
    However lots of subsidy to mortgages is beginning to ‘pay off’ and we’re back in the heady days of yore when everybody (in London and the South East anyway) is spending the notional increase in their house value on consumption. Bank of England have cottoned on to the disaster waiting to happen and are restricting Funding for Lending (aka subsidy for mortgages) to productive investment (which is what it was announced as in the first place). Meanwhile they are not allowed to do anything about ‘Help to Buy’ (or Inflate) until next September.
    I guess what we should all hope for is that animal spirits will get going, real incomes start to increase (some economists think they already are because people are getting more hours, second jobs etc) and it turns into the real thing. I wouldn’t put my subsidised mortgage on it though.

  26. We need to be a little careful in chasing headlines on debt and savings.

    It could be that people are spending savings as they are more confident. Savings rose sharply at the start of the crisis, as people drew their horns in and prepared for a bumpy ride, and this counter cycle between savings and confidence is quite normal.

    However, we now appear to be seeing savings depletion accelerating as confidence declines, and it’s also true to say that confidence has never been up – it’s only been less down. Given the stats on household finances, it’s clear that on average, householders have been getting progressively worse off, so I think we can be reasonably confident that a large element of the savings data is down to financial stress, rather than increased confidence.

    We do, however, need to be careful about assuming household debts are at a peak. In gross cash terms, they are, but in terms of proportion of income, they have actually fallen – the debt headlines were thoroughly misleading in the main. Households are actually less indebted now that in 2008, although it is worth noting that from around July time, debt levels started to rise again. I suspect that a part of this was indeed due to a more confident outlook, but I don’t think there is ever a single reason to explain significant stats like these.

    The big question will be whether the recent slide in confidence continues, and if this is reflected in continuing falls in retail spending.

  27. One of several oddities with today’s poll is that the gender gap appears to have reversed with a 10 point Labour lead in men but only one point among women. So I wouldn’t start proclaiming a blue dawn just yet.

  28. The reduction was in “Long Term ” SAvings.
    You need to see where the money went to assess the net position.

    If you looked at my own personal example, the answer is-to UNit TRusts. What is the point of a cash deposit at these interest rates?

    Other homes for the cash might be :-

    Short Term Cash deposits-might as well have ready access if there is no better rate for a time deposit.

    Paying down Mortgage Debt-the last figures I saw indicated a net pay-down.

    Spending-might as well beat inflation with it.

  29. “I discovered their aggressive and bellicose tendencies as the animal turned on me and chased me back into the house”

    At the risk of bringing down the intended scholarly tone of this site…. Ha! Ha! Crossbat got sorted by a squirrel!

    To be fair not dissimilar things have happened to me with similar sized mammals.

  30. Let’s hope the RBS Nat West thing doesn’t happen again any time soon or we could see a run on the banks, people are very jittery and the Folly of crowds soon kicks in.

  31. I have a badger shaving brush, bought as a kind gift. It’s soft but doesn’t really get into the bristles. My existing one, also a gift, was from Body Shop and I strongly suspect (made in Thailand) is dog. It is much better at working up a lather and when the first donor comes to stay, I have to take out her badger one and hide the dog one for the duration until she departs, just in case.

    I am afraid I have been led astray by these ruminations and –

    ooh look, there’s Crosbat11’s squirrel!

  32. Keith
    re ‘Then we’ve got all those Eastern Europeans coming soon’
    Of course this may not happen as this time there is more than UK, Ireland and Sweden available and Romanian and Bulgarians are perhaps less attracted to the UK than Poles for historical reasons.

  33. Looking at the OECD Pisa test results published today, again showing us stagnating vis-a-vis the performance of some of our key competitors, not least in the Far East, it would appear that, looking at Shanghai’s extraordinary results, a little communism might be the answer: –

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-25090034

    Red Ed will be pleased!

  34. CROSSBAT11

    Interpreting the data is the problem. PISA data not really useful for producing a league table based on mean scores.

    Useful (and brief) note of some of the problems by an Australian academic

    https://www.cis.org.au/images/stories/issue-analysis/ia136.pdf

  35. @howard – “I have a badger shaving brush…..”

    Never having shaved a badger, I’ll sit this one out.

    For the discerning water colour artist though, the sable brush is the only weapon of choice.

  36. I am not a “fluffy bunny” kind of “bambi loving” sentimentalist, however, I have always been baffled by the logic behind a 70% cull of a species prone to infection in the infected area.

    Surely logic dictates that if you cull a random 70% of infected and non-infected wild animals, the same percentage of the remaing 30% population will still be infected?

    When the population grows again naturally to fill the vacuum left by the culled animals, won’t the replacement population be equally proportionally infected?

    Or am I missing something?

    Can someone explain the long term benefit of the science behind this to me please?

  37. @Tony Dean

    I think that the ‘logic’ was around infection pools – if you reduce the population sufficiently there aren’t enough badgers for the disease to take hold. The same principle works for immunisation – once the vulnerable population drops below a certain level the disease can’t spread.

    Of course they weren’t counting on the badgers moving the goalposts…

  38. The obvious difference between vaccinating 70% of the populution and culling 70% of the population is that the 30% behave differently if there are suddenly 70% gone instead of still occupying space.

    The survivors move around more and this increases the contact rate. Higher contact rate means higher incidence of disease. This is even worse if you only take out lower perecntages of the population.

    This is known science. In Ireland they snared huge numbers, many years back over here they used to gas the lot in their setts. It’s pretty impossible to do either of those things humanely.

    As Alec says, cattle movements and poor biosecurity are the real culprits. But farmers might have to accept restrictions and/or expense to address those.

    I remember a defra vet suggesting that one cattle farmer put a door on his barn. The farmer’s reply?

    “Who’s going to pay for that, then?”

  39. Good Evening All.

    Is a lead of six points solid enough at this stage of the cycle for Labour? I think not.

  40. Solid enough for me.

  41. @ChrisLane1945

    I’ve spent some time looking at old election data, and I think we are in uncharted territory.

    Sine Nomine posted earlier:

    Re: Latest YouGov Poll – I suppose you could say at this point Labour Should really be further ahead than they are and on the other hand you could also say because of the slightly improving economy and other things the Conservatives should be at least a more consistent 35-36% and neither is true!
    Lets see what happens after the ‘Autumn’ statement (more like a winter statement) and the calm of the Christmas/New Year period.

    I think Sine sums it up well.

    A period of coalition Government, with effectively only one opposition party has changed everything.

    I think all previous norms can be junked, as the observations in no way match the theory.

  42. ‘Looking at the OECD Pisa test results published today, again showing us stagnating vis-a-vis the performance of some of our key competitors, not least in the Far East, it would appear that, looking at Shanghai’s extraordinary results, a little communism might be the answer: -‘

    Or a serious look at home background. A friend just returned from an academic trip to China visiting secondary education – key points are
    1) everyone has home tutors
    2) Parents are fully supportive of schools and
    3) teachers have massive independence and not the paperwork of the UK – we spend too much time testing and not enough time teaching

    all of which is picked up in Robert Peston’s article today.

    What the tests have shown – once again – is the importance of home background to academic achievement of schools.

    My way to improve reading? Do what everyone else has done and DROP cultural heritage compulsory reading in secondary schools and have schools teach literature which kids want to read. Primary schools should be about learning to read, secondary schools should be about making reading a habit but no we make kids read material which should be kept for tertiary study. Result? It puts kids off reading…

  43. Our two children are home educated, and the maths packages we use are based in the ‘Singapore method’. I recognised them from how the method was described this morning.

    Both of my children are doing very well, as use purchased books to benchmark them vs the key stages.

    They are both ahead of the level their age suggests they need to be at.

  44. @CROSSBAT11

    No. No. And more no.

    SHANGHAI was tested. China was not. China also only allowed certain schools to be tested and they prepared for it.

    We should aim to be like Finland. We should not aim to be like China and Korea, where youth suicide is the highest in the world and kids don’t even get a childhood because they spend all their time in school!

  45. One difficulty for Tories, is that if Labour’s core vote is around 36%, then they can’t pinch much from Labour, benefiting from a 2-4-1 effect, where as they gain one Labour also lose one. The rise of Ukip has helped push parties closer to core vote.

    Another problem, is that some gains Tories might count on for a boost, incumbency etc., are rather offset by the boundary thing. A third concern for them, is that elections tend to raise the profile of Ukip and Ukip’s consequent VI, which may also not help in the GE.

    Still, it’s doable in principle… If they need, for example, 42%, a rate of increase of half-a-point a month could do it on average. As each month goes by, the required “run rate” increases though. Autumn Statement on Thursday may give an indication…

  46. @NickP

    ” I remember a defra vet suggesting that one cattle farmer put a door on his barn. The farmer’s reply?

    “Who’s going to pay for that, then?” ”

    Quite right. If they said yes to everything suggested from regulators and politicians we wouldn’t have farmers for very long.

  47. For what it’s worth, the last time the Conservatives polled 30% on a Yougov poll was the 12th of July.

  48. Statgeek

    Yes that regulation is so terrible isn’t it – much better to shoot wild animals than regulating things.

    Tell you what why don’t we throw out all regulations in order to make things cheaper

    We should pay farmers (or rather those nice supermarkets should) so they can afford proper disease management and other controls

  49. @ Chris Lane,

    Is a lead of six points solid enough at this stage of the cycle for Labour? I think not.

    What are you talking about? We all know the Lib Dems are “too high”, and where else do you think those voters are going to go? :p

    @ Catmanjeff,

    No disrespect to your kids or your choice of maths curriculum, but maybe the 2-1 student-teacher ratio has something to do with it as well?

  50. Here’s another snippet from the BBC article, for those interested in the nanny state thing…

    “Teachers call up parents at least fortnightly, they ring them on their mobile to check on how their children are working. They also tell them how to improve their parenting,” he says.”

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