YouGov’s weekly results for the Sunday Times are now up here. Voting intention figures are CON 34%, LAB 39%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 11%, suggesting that Thurday’s odd 12 point lead was indeed the outlier I think most people assumed it was (the five point lead is itself a bit lower than usual, but I wouldn’t read anything into that yet either)

There is nothing suggesting a big impact from the Autumn statement itself, but attitudes to the economy and the government’s economic management remain on a longer term upwards trend – essentially the statement itself doesn’t seem to have done much (it was probably overshadowed by the death of Nelson Mandela anyway), but the growth of the economy is dragging up these figures anyway.

43% of people now think the economy is showing signs of recovery or is well on the way to recovery, up from 37% in August and just 14% in April. 51% of people still think the economy shows no signs of recovery or is getting even worse. Asked how much the government has contributed to this, 36% now think the government’s actions helped the economy (up 4 from August), 30% that they made it worse (down 4), 24% that they made no difference either way.

The coalition have a healthy lead over Labour on dealing with the deficit (by 35% to 21%) and improving the economy (35% to 25%), but trail behind Labour on keeping down living costs, where the opposition lead by 33% to 25%. Turning to Osborne himself, 26% now think he is doing a good job as Chancellor, 46% a bad job. This is little changed from when YouGov last asked in July, but far better than the public saw him last year, when his approval rating was down in the mid-teens. He leads Ed Balls on who would make the better Chancellor by 32% to 22%, though 46% say don’t know.

On the specifics of the statement, 31% of people think they will be worse off, 5% better off, 46% expect it to make no real difference – the answers appear to be mainly partisan, although people between 40-59 are most likely to say they’ll be worse off, presumably on the back of pension age changes. On that subject 32% support increasing the state pension age, 57% of people say they are opposed.


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

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  1. New here and first…

  2. Good morning everyone.

  3. Cameron has an awkward decision to make soon on MP’s pay… Will he instruct his MP’s to forgo the rise (how Clegg and Miliband will force their own MP’s to do this is a moot point). Despite the other restrictions on pensions etc being proposed the 11% pay rise is the headliner and the trap is that most people will associate the decision with the government even though it’s now an independent body that rules.

  4. Morning, Norbold. You’re up early to discuss the interesting findings on Nigella, I take it? (Without saying anything the lawyers might take exception too, naturally).

  5. As expected – little impact from Thursday.

    What is quite interesting is the subtle shift in commentary. In recent weeks we’ve seen a media pretty much unanimously singing the praises of the recovery, with sentiments expressing strong growth, improving confidence and many taking the view that this was becoming self sustaining.

    A few of us begged to differ, picking up on the fact that this has been more or less entirely consumer spending driven, and that, in complete contrast to what commentators have been saying, consumer confidence has been falling for the last couple of months. [Even in this poll, 51% of respondents think the economy is getting worse – does this signify great confidence?].

    Largely unseen, due to the other news events, the Autumn Statement does seem to have sparked a wide scale rethink in the media. The OBR’s commentary was sobering. Virtually all the growth was from consumer spending – this is now forecast to the +1.9% this year, from +0.5% in the budget forecasts. Fixed investment is now forecast to be -2.5%, down from +2.2%.

    This really is pretty disastrous in terms of a sustainable recovery, and people are at last beginning to realise this.
    What comes next is key. I still think an Autumn 2013 or spring 2014 election was Cameron’s best chance

  6. On another topic MP’s pay

    In these times of austerity, and following George Osborne’s “Autumn Statement” last week, it is beyond belief that our elected representatives can receive a pay increase of £7,600.00 (or 11%) while the vast majority of people in the country see their incomes fall in real terms with salaries frozen or at best limited to a 1% increase for another year.

    MP’s are in office as Public Servants they should have their pay linked to the other rises in the Public Sector currently limited since 2010 to 1% or accept t ah if pay i reduced in real terms it has to be redressed for all not just themselves.

  7. postageincluded

    “Morning, Norbold. You’re up early to discuss the interesting findings on Nigella, I take it? (Without saying anything the lawyers might take exception too, naturally).”

    Morning pi.

    Just wondering where today’s adventure will take us after Hiroshima and Man Utd post Fergie…….

  8. Happy Advent II

    AS usual AW’s pithy summary covers all bases….

    The Mandela story has some way to run if coverage is anything to go by…

    Heard the lady from UKIP speak truth unto power as they say…to be frank ti doesn’t do them any harm with the groups predisposed to think she has spoken only what ‘the majority think’. Outside the pub in the bracing air of reality many things people say over a drink turn out not to be quite what they think outside the pub in the bracing air of reality. That’s the achilles heel of UKIP’s support.

    Both the parties in the government must now hope it will make steady progress in the polls if it is to have any chance of winning an election – let alone repeating its 2010 result.

    I looked into the runes of last week’s by elections and they said very little as far as I could tell and the daily polls tell us not that much more.Labour is shy of 40% and UKIP is pretty much a 4th party and the LibDems are no longer on a clear field as the alternative to either or both of the main parties. Like the SDP in the 1980’s it could be a chimera or

    and the status quo ante will be restored. But its looking as igf UKIP are here to stay and that with Labour picking up a section of leftward leaning LibDem look at the moment to be the two novelties in the electoral picture. Thus despite as they say the economy going one way – it could be that the party political structure is travelling the other. Yet if things are close the old Unionist alliance might put a lot of power in the hands of the NI MPs

    .

  9. So today’s Yougov looks back to the norm and the 12 was as widely suspected a real rogue.

    The supplementary questions look like they have looked for a while too.

  10. Nothing much is changing, the polls seem to be set in stone, the only movement seems to come from the odd outlier. The logjam is still there Labour have a lead, but not an unassailable one. The Tories seem to holding onto their vote but are unable to attract others, due to UKIP perhaps, looks like another Coalition on the way.

  11. DAVID

    “The Tories seem to holding onto their vote but are unable to attract others, due to UKIP perhaps, looks like another Coalition on the way.”

    If the Tories are unable to attract any further votes, I’d say a Labour majority looks on the way.

  12. The problem with analysis of the supplementary questions is that these these things are usually highly partisan and don’t really tell us much more than that natural tory voters think labour are to blame for everything. For instance, 35% supporting the tories on the deficit is basically just those who will vote tory whatever and a few ukippers. Just because labour voters aren’t especially convinced on their own parties current leadership or policies doesn’t mean that priority number one for them won’t be getting the tories out, regardless of whether they thin the opposition could do with serious improvement. VI is really all that matters, as we live in a negative system where most votes are against something rather than for something.

  13. Those are some good ideas (especially from the pups) for questions. Will report back with responses.

    Jack R,

    It’s in the Arts Tower, but I’m a little wary of being spied on again!

  14. Norbold, not convinced, even though the Tories aren’t attracting those votes now, they will get some back come the GE, (so will the Libdems) I wouldn’t be surprised to see the result in England any way be, C 35 L 35, LD 18 Ukip 12. The Libdem incumbents have a habit of clinging on and outperforming their poll readings. On 35% Labour may get an overall majority, but I doubt a working one, I’d say they are odds on to be largest party, but I wouldn’t go any further than that.

    If that is the result, I wonder if the Tories might review their position on FPTP?

  15. Labour seems to have a pretty solid level of support, with the tories fighting with UKIP for second place.

    Come the election and the dramatic collapse in tory numberss and the enthusiasm of UKIP ones will mean a much bigger bigger swing to UKIP than these polling figures show.

    The press, which will be pretty solidly behind the Conservatives is increasingly irrelevant as their circulation is much lower than it once was, and is falling fast. More and more people’s opinion is formed by social and other media now which is a lot more diverse.

  16. David
    Assertions that the LDs will get back those lost voters are just that, assertions.

  17. @David

    You are right about the Tories on FPTP.

    In many areas in the north, they look at lost as they are in Scotland.

    PR is their best chance of winning more seats in these areas.

    This also applies to Labour in places like the South West.

  18. Wow, an astounding 5 point Tory recovery! …to Thursday’s VI. Some embarrassingly poor reporting of this poll in Another Place, too.

    @ Jay,

    Well, there is one recurring trend in the supplemental questions that I think bears consideration: how unusual Tory voters are.*

    I don’t know if they’re positive because they’re supporting their government or they support the Government because they’re all doing fine, but on the economic questions their answers are often way out of line with everyone else. I think there’s a real danger for the Tories here of slipping into “8 million votes for Thatcherism territory!” where they come up with an agenda that delights their atypical base but alienates everyone else.

    * To be fair, Labour voters are equally atypical in having any confidence whatsoever in Ed Miliband, Ed Balls, or the Labour Party. But economically they’re closer to the average voter.

  19. “The Tories seem to holding onto their vote but are unable to attract others, due to UKIP perhaps, looks like another Coalition on the way.”

    Can’t see it, myself. Even a Coalition would require the Tories to do better than they did in 2010 and I can’t think that Clegg (assuming he’s still in charge) will find it that easy taking his shrunken LibDem party into a second suicide pact.

  20. Seven questions about a witness in an on-going court case before a jury? In a week when a former legal adviser to Times Newspapers was up before the Solicitors’ Disciplinary Tribunal, I’d have thought they’d have been more cautious. Questions about whether someone is telling the truth are particularly near the wind.

    Admittedly the panelists seem more careful than the commissioners with lots of DKs and ‘No difference’s. But still.

  21. If UKIP are up at 12%, even if we take a very low estimation of the number of former Tories in that party, it’s at least 3-4 points from the Cons.

    Similarly, 18% for the LDs would be what they got in 2001, when they weren’t electoral poison. I agree they may not lose as many seats as predicted, but they’ll be wrecked where they were third in 2010.

    My current prediction –

    Con 34
    Lab 37
    Lib 13
    UKIP 9

  22. If Clegg took the Lib Dems into a second coalition with the Tories, his party would appear to have no ideology and no point.

    If Clegg took the Lib Dems into a coalition with Labour (unlikely given Labour’s opposition) he’d send the right-wingers who are now the majority of the party off in a huff and be left leading the Clegg Party.

    Personally, if we’re to have a coalition in 2015, it’ll be Labour-SNP, with Devo-Max as the price. To make that viable the Nats need to win 12-13 seats or more, but that’s entirely possible on current polling.

  23. I know I’m a bit late on the Mandela thing, but the front page headlines on Friday were interesting.

    Independent: Mandela
    Sun: Mandela
    Guardian: Mandela
    Times: Mandela
    Mirror: Mandela
    Telegraph: Mandela
    Mail: Mandela
    Express: 142mph Killer Storm!

  24. I think those voters who have voted tactically for LD will possibly still do so (with some holding of noses). I doubt that will change much on its own.

    Just had a thought, if you were the leader of one of the two largest parties, and could choose between coalition (with a decent combined majority, like the current one) or a piddly OM (say less than 10), then which would you choose? I’d go for the coalition. You’d get some stuff pushed through, and can blame the other lot for everything that goes wrong.

    It seems to me if DC does get back into power, it would likely be the worst of these two world combined: coalition with piddly combined majority.

  25. Mr Nameless,

    I can’t see a Lab-Nat coalition. They couldn’t even co-operate in the Constitutional Convention in the 1990s, and relations between the parties are worse now that they’re the two preminent Scottish parties.

    Also, post-2014, the extent of devolution will be one of the very, VERY few issues that Labour and the SNP fundamentally disagree on. If Labour give that up, then they’re at serious risk of becoming redundant in Scottish politics.

    Confidence-and-supply would be one thing, but full-scale devo-max would be a very bad move for Labour.

  26. @MrNameless

    I can’t see the SNP polling more seats than the Lib Dems (nationally), so I can’t see them being the preferred option for coalition. Nor can I see English voters liking that idea at all.

    Some from the South have decided that the 2007 problems were Scottish (bank names, Brown, Darling, and so on), rather than the London financial practices or the Labour Party.

    However, the idea of the SNP being a party in the Westminster government is amusing. The London media will have a field day, ‘being ruled from Scotland’ (although Scotland being ruled form London is never a problem. :))

  27. @KeithP

    “Just had a thought, if you were the leader of one of the two largest parties…”

    I would have policies which win respectable OMs.

  28. I find it difficult to see Labour going into a coalition with any one single party even if they are the largest party without an overall majority.

    If they went into coalition with the LibDems there would be complete uproar in the Party. I just cannot see it happening after everything that has happened in the last three years.

    I also agree with Statgeek about the problems of forming a coalition with the SNP on their own. However, it may be the case that Labour could form a coalition with the SNP, Plaid Cymru, the Greens (assuming there are any), SDLP and maybe Alliance.

    Though I have to say I think it more likely that in the event of no overall majority, Labour would govern as a minority government and dare the others to defeat them and precipitate another election.

  29. I’m sticking with: C30 L36 LD 18 as my forecast 2015 outcome; Labour majority of ~60.

  30. @Norbold, Roger Mexico

    The only really interesting thing to me about the Nigella poll is “Why”? Fergie is more interesting, and I say this as someone who hasn’t really watched a football match since Sunderland won the cup!

  31. @Amber

    I think we can all agree with your forecast if we add the confidence limits – plus/minus 5%.

  32. @ Keith P,

    Just had a thought, if you were the leader of one of the two largest parties, and could choose between coalition (with a decent combined majority, like the current one) or a piddly OM (say less than 10), then which would you choose?

    If you’re Ed Miliband, piddly overall majority. Remember, you have an automatic six vote buffer for confidence and supply because the SDLP will take your whip and Plaid can’t risk letting in the Tories. (The SNP might hesitate as well, considering what happened the last time.) On policy votes the minor parties often abstain, so the critical question is how big is your majority over the Lib Dems + Tories? Even with an overall majority of just 1, the answer will be around thirty.

    Your left wing isn’t going to give you too much trouble because it still remembers the 80s, and you can play them off the Blairite and Ballsite gradualists within the party. In fact, a small majority may give you more room to maneuver than a large one, because both sides will understand you’ll have to make some concessions to the other and you’ll get to pick and choose. Add in the points about the difficulties in forming a coalition with either the SNP or the Lib Dems, and a minority or small majority government is clearly preferable.

  33. I was phoned for an Ipsos-Mori OP this morning.
    Nothing much unusual in the questions except one asking ‘Should we replace elected politicians with professional managers?’.
    Have CCO decided that the next GE is beyond them and are thinking of abandoning democracy?
    (smiley)

  34. @ Amberstar

    UKIP % ?

    Mad to predict a GE in May 2015, this far out.

    But I reckon. C 35%, L 36% LD 16%, UKIP 9%

    This would leave Labour just short of a majority, but it depends on how much tactical voting goes on. I think Labour would go into government without a coalition. Ed Miliband would probably look to have a one nation theme, with Westminster much more involved in working with all the regions of the country. If Scotland votes to remain part of the UK, I am sure that Labour would look to give more powers to Holyrood.

  35. I get the impression that many Labour members would sooner go into coalition with the Tories than the LibDems.

  36. @ Postage Included

    I think we can all agree with your forecast if we add the confidence limits – plus/minus 5%.
    ————–
    Nice 1; are you a diplomat by any chance? :-)

  37. @ R Huckle

    UKIP % ?
    —————
    They’ll do much better than 2010; they’ll get most of the 6% that’s gone away from the Conservatives.
    —————
    Mad to predict a GE in May 2015, this far out.
    —————
    I made my prediction ages ago, so that probably means I’m even madder than you thought.

  38. @Spearmint

    Just so. I’d add that Miliband would probably try to do the same with a piddling minority too. The LDs in whatever numbers are less essential to Labour than they are to the Tories.

    Besides which, the LDs have, as I think Alec said yesterday, almost agreed the financial plan to 2018 with the Conservatives. If they are in a position to make a choice they are most of the way to choosing already – the path of least resistance. I would expect Clegg in such circumstances to make demands that would be impossible for Miliband to accept.

  39. But if you’re right there’s a gloating multiplier for every month before the election that you made your prediction. ;)

  40. @ Spearmint

    Gosh, yes. If my prediction is accurate, I shall be insufferably smug for weeks (e.g. eat your heart out, Nate Silver etc.) & will likely still be making the odd reference to it in the run up to the following GE!

  41. My prediction is that Mandela’s death and the resulting coverage will result in a drop in UKIP support.

    This would be the right time for the Tories to roll out all the extreme examples of UKIP councillors and leadership positions. I see that has started with the front page of the mail today.

    Looking at the top rated and worst rated comments on that story, and the number of down ratings of the top rated comments, I detect that the ‘protest’ element of the UKIP vote are feeling more uneasy, and the party is being taken over by extremists.

    If the other parties play this right, a contrast between the Mandela coverage vs the more extremist positions of UKIP supporters could be very effective in sending them back down to single digits.

  42. @ RogerH
    ” I get the impression that many Labour members would sooner go into coalition with the Tories than the LibDems.”

    I think that was the opinion of the Labour members of the pre-war coalitions – you knew where you were with the Tories, but couldn’t trust the Liberals. To me it’s all about who you are representing. If you have a definite constituency it is easier to negociate with representives of another constituency, there can be definite gains and trade-offs. Negociation “on principal” is smoke and mirrors stuff.

  43. I accept that there will be ‘churn’ within – but my prediction (compared to 2010) is that Con will lose net ~6% to death & UKIP; Labour will pick up ~6% from new voters & LD; LD will drop ~6% to Labour & others without picking up any new voters to speak of.

  44. IPSA suggests an 11% increase in MPs’ salaries. The BBC HYS punters are none too happy. One person summed it up for me:

    “Funny how, in the past, when Pay Review Bodies have recommended large rises for various Public Sector workers Governments have been happy to overrule them.”

    Most likely in response to this part of the article:

    “Prime Minister David Cameron has stopped short of matching the pledge by the other party leaders to reject any extra money, and some Tory MPs support the increase.

    But he has said Westminster pay should not rise while others face restraint.”

    So they will take the 11% under protest, it seems. It’s a shame that MPs are having to suffer such things being forced upon them. We should relieve them of such burdens.

  45. For “negociate” etc read “negotiate”. I blame Majestic Wine ( who’ve just opened two minutes walk from me) for that mistake – obscure French pun intended.

  46. amber

    A pint of irn bru and a pack of tunnock’s wafers sez yer wrong about 18% LDs

    Nearer 13 je pense.

  47. I don’t see why none of the party leaders are saying “look, we didn’t order this pay rise but now that I’ve got it I’m going to donate the increase to charity every year”.

    If they’re comfortably off financially, which I know they are, they won’t lose out and they’ll look like nice guys.

  48. “A pint of irn bru and a pack of tunnock’s wafers”

    “SALMOND’S COALITION DEMANDS GROW”

  49. @MrNameless

    They are taking it happily enough. An extra £7,500 per year at 40% tax works out at £250 per month extra in their pockets. That’s just enough to take the pressure off the rising food and fuel bills. They’re ok Jack.

  50. PI
    How do you explain ‘principal’ instead of ‘principle’?

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