There are three YouGov polls out today, Britain, Scotland and Wales. Starting with the regular daily poll for the Sun, GB voting intentions stand at CON 34%, LAB 39%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 12% – a five point Labour lead, the third in a row from YouGov. Full tabs are here.

There was a second YouGov poll in the Times, this one a Scottish poll on referendum voting intentions. YouGov have the YES vote at 33% (up one point since September), the NO vote at 52% (no change). Excluding won’t votes and don’t knows the figures are YES 39%, NO 61%. This is the first YouGov poll since the independence white paper and clearly shows no significant change in referendum voting intentions. John Curtice has a nice summary of the three post-white paper polls we’ve seen so far on his blog here – a little narrowing in the lastest wave of polls, but “a touch on the tiller, rather than a game changer”. Full tabs for the YouGov poll are here.

Finally there is a new YouGov Welsh poll for ITV Wales and the Wales Governance Centre at Cardiff University, the first of a regular series of Welsh voting intention polls. Welsh voting intentions are:

Westminster – CON 21%, LAB 46%, LDEM 8%, Plaid 12%, UKIP 10%
Welsh Assembly constituency – CON 19%, LAB 43%, LDEM 9%, Plaid 20%, UKIP 7%
Welsh Assembly regional – CON 19%, LAB 40%, LDEM 9%, Plaid 15%, UKIP 10%

No changes from the previous poll as YouGov have changed how they prompt their Welsh assembly polls, as we explored yesterday. More generally the Westminster figures represent a 7.5 point swing from the Conservatives to Labour since the general election (not wildly dissimilar from the GB national picture), while the Welsh Assembly figures suggest an improvement for UKIP, but not a vast change for the other parties – if repeated at a Welsh assembly election Labour would retain the same number of seats they won in 2011, just short of an overall majority. Full Welsh tabs are here.


225 Responses to “New YouGov British, Scottish and Welsh polls”

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  1. Crossbatty
    You are Seumas Milne and I claim my £5 !

  2. Milne:

    For all its brutalities and failures, communism in the Soviet Union, eastern Europe and elsewhere delivered rapid industrialisation, mass education, job security and huge advances in social and gender equality. It encompassed genuine idealism and commitment… Its existence helped to drive up welfare standards in the west, boosted the anticolonial movement and provided a powerful counterweight to western global domination.”

    So, that’s cool if you’re one of the chosen few and not one of the purged 20,000,000. That’s to say nothing of his comments on 9/11 and 7/7. He’s a dinosaur of the 60s (in fact, he’s worse, since he has the hindsight of having the knowledge of what Communism actually did / does to its own people).

  3. An almost certain VI changer for a section of the population is the admission by the Chancellor that the sale of the university loan book will not cover the removal of the cap on student numbers as originally suspected.

    A bit of background is required here.

    When the measure was announced, there was a lot of cautious delight from the sector – delight, because it was what they wanted, cautious because the sums didn’t seem to add up. The sector has been politely but firmly probing about the money involved and this reportedly came to a head with a fractious meeting between the Minister and Russell Group VCs.

    Yesterday, Margaret Hodge told the Permanent Secretary at BIS that he had his sums wrong and she wanted a written acknowledgement to that effect.

    Today, the Chancellor has admitted that the sceptics – including the VCs of the very institutions this was aimed to benefit – were right. Hodge will be getting her note.

    The Coalition has worked very hard to repair relations with HE after an early rocky relationship. This has damaged that relationship and in particular has rocked sector confidence in the ability and judgement of the Treasury team. Some senior and well-respected figures have started going public with criticism of the Government’s financial approach. This could intensify.

  4. I think there’s a certain humour to be found in the fact that, thanks to the mysterious workings of FPTP, the only place UKIP look likely to gain many national representatives is in the regions they’re least popular – Scotland and Wales.

  5. IMO, David Cameron didn’t do anything wrong regarding his ‘team Nigella’ comment. Nigella is a witness & a victim of alleged crime(s). Since when has a PM been ‘barred’ from siding with the victims?

  6. 9.32 Bavafrian socialists – Bavarian Conservatives. Apologies !

    Milne
    I agree with Statgeek. The idea of sacrificing yourself for the greater good, or rather supporting a terrible and unjust present for a supposedly better future, which of course is unknown, is a fake argument.

    It is used, with irony I think, by the interrogator in Koestler’s famous book ‘Darkness at Noon’ who persuades the old revolutionary Rubashov to confess to crimes he did not commit for the future greater good.

    Particularly poignant for old socialist believers, but just as bad in reality for all those millions who lost their lives in the labour camps.

    Also agree with Spearmint about the possibility of UKIP replacing the Cons as opposition in parts of the north of England. Close to doing so in Cambridgeshire as well.

    UKIP implosion? Possibly. Right-wing parties have before. But as this election is so hard to predict all are living in hopes, but I think whichever parties do lose badly in 2015 will undergo big changes after the GE.

  7. @Chris Riley

    My children are about 12 years from University age, but I am very worried about University funding.

    Given unless something unexpectedly good financially happens, I cannot save the sort of money required to fund two children for University in that period.

    I am concerned that higher education will solely be for the rich in a decade. It’s getting that way already..

  8. IMO, David Cameron didn’t do anything wrong regarding his ‘team Nigella’ comment. Nigella is a witness & a victim of alleged crime(s). Since when has a PM been ‘barred’ from siding with the victims?

    —————

    Surely it’s for the court to decide if she is a victim or not?

  9. The Stock Market (FTSE 100) has fallen fairly steadily since late October. It seems to be reacting adversely to “good” economic news, GDP, house prices, unemployment: eg., on the day announcing recent GDP quarterly figures it fell by 100 points.
    No doubt this reflects faster growth = higher interest rates.

    Incidentally, the Post Office joins the FTSE 100 on Dec 23rd, as the share price has doubled since flotation.

  10. @Ewen L

    “Crossbatty
    You are Seumas Milne and I claim my £5 !”

    Drat, you’ve unmasked me and the truth is out.

    Spend the fiver wisely!

    P.S. When my dad, Alasdair, was BBC Director General, a fiver was about the cost of the licence fee!!

  11. I’d have thought that once any case is booked for court, then the only sensible comment for anyone is ‘no comment’.

  12. @Statgeek
    @Statgeek

    “So, that’s cool if you’re one of the chosen few and not one of the purged 20,000,000.”

    I suspect you’ve been trawling Wikipedia’a profile of Milne because the piece you quoted comes straight out of those pages. You should have read on a little because it goes on to say: –

    “Milne has also criticised the Council of Europe and others for adopting “as fact the wildest estimates of those ‘killed by communist regimes'” He has argued that, while “the numbers remain a focus of huge academic controversy”,the real records of repression now available from the Soviet archives are horrific enough (799,455 people were recorded as executed between 1921 and 1953 and the labour camp population reached 2.5 million at its peak) without engaging in an ideologically-fuelled inflation game”.

    None of us want to enter an ideologically-fuelled inflation game, now do we, certainly on these pages.

    By the way, I was referring people to Milne’s article on Mandela in the Guardian today, not encouraging people to debate his views on communism.

  13. @Catmanjeff

    I also have that fear.

  14. “@ Amber Star

    IMO, David Cameron didn’t do anything wrong regarding his ‘team Nigella’ comment. Nigella is a witness & a victim of alleged crime(s). Since when has a PM been ‘barred’ from siding with the victims? ”

    You can’t comment on anything which is before a court. A PM making comment about a significant witness in a trial, is a pretty serious issue. Otherwise a Judge would not have taken a morning to listen to arguments being made, before asking a jury to ignore the press articles on the interview.

    As I said, I don’t expect DC even considered that he was answering questions that would have any affect on a court case. It was an error, but given the number of different questions asked, it was an easy error to make. Personally I would blame the journalist and publication for this.

  15. The judge has said that the defendant’s team were aggrieved because the comments by Cameron were favourable to Nigella.

    I’m not surprised they feel aggrieved.

    Imagine the Nigella team’s barristers putting the case that Nigella is so nice that even the PM thinks so, then defendants must therefore be more likely than Nigella to be lying about their part in the crime.

    Would have been far better for Cameron to have waffled & refused to give a straight answer to the question.

  16. The judge has said that the defendant’s team were aggrieved because the comments by Cameron were favourable to Nigella.

    I’m not surprised they feel aggrieved.

    Imagine the Nigella team’s barristers putting the case that Nigella is so nice that even the PM thinks so, then defendants must therefore be more likely than Nigella to be l*ing about their part in the crime.

    Would have been far better for Cameron to have waffled & refused to give a straight answer to the question.

    (Sorry Anthony – forgot about the need for an alternative to the word that triggers auto-mod)

  17. @R Huckle,

    I agree it was unwise to get into any kind of conversation that might impact on the trial. But, unusually for a politician, Cameron is not a lawyer so perhaps he can be forgiven. I think the truth is that almost everyone in the country will have an opinion on Nigella, so “what the PM thinks” is hardly a game-changer in the minds of the jury.

    @Paul,

    Well, technically the court doesn’t decide if the “victim” is a “victim”. The police do that. The CPS decide if there is a realistic chance of convincing a jury that the suspect was guilty of the crime and the jury then decide if he/she’s guilty beyond reasonable doubt.

    A “Not Guilty” verdict doesn’t remotely equate to a decision from the jury that the “victim” wasn’t a “victim”. It’s a common misconception about the way our system works, unfortunately. “I have proved my innocence” and all that.

  18. @ R.Huckle

    “As I said, I don’t expect DC even considered that he was answering questions that would have any affect on a court case. It was an error, but given the number of different questions asked, it was an easy error to make. Personally I would blame the journalist and publication for this”

    Pretty dopey for a PM to not be aware of the implications IMO

  19. @Chordata,

    Always remember that barristers are paid to have their opinions, and their opinions will vary depending on who is paying them.

    Their private views, of course, are unknown and may not always match their “opinions”.

    The judge described it as “unfortunate” but I don’t think we can read much into that. “Unfortunate” can sometimes be judgespeak for “something that unnecessarily distracted me and wasted court time” rather than something inherently bad.

    Personally I think it is a bit of a stretch to expect all public mention of a celebrity to stop when they are involved in a court case. The questions IIRC weren’t really anything to do with the case anyway, so I think it’s a bit of a non-issue.

  20. Re Rosie and Daisy:

    ”Two things seem to be occurring the same time.

    The public, in general don’t seem to like coalition [a poll on attitudes to the basic concept could be interesting Anthony]

    And secondly, they seem to have decided, en quite a mass, that its the Lib Dems fault.”

    That’s an interesting thought, but is it right? The public blame the LD’s for supporting the Tories, surely? They look on the LD’s as either dishonest (because they turn out to be Tories when they said they weren’t,) or hypocritical (because they go on supporting the Tories even though they are not that way inclined themselves.)

    The LD’s will argue, ofcourse, that that sort of thing is part of coalition politics. Many people (on the left at any rate) thought that coalition – or parties working together when no one hads an overall majority – might be a good idea when the left and centre were failing to unite against Mrs Thatcher. But I don’t think many people, outside of a hand-full of political cognoscenti, ever truly imagined the LD’s could work with the right prior to 2010. The orange book and its implications stayed well below the general public’s radar, I think.

  21. Paul

    If you were on Trial for Serious fraud and a Public Figure decided to take that opportunity to say in the press what a brilliant person the chief witness for the prosecution was you would rightly be pissed off because it might influence the jury.

    It’s illegal and could be construed as attempting to pervert the course of justice.

  22. “Neil A

    @Chordata,

    The questions IIRC weren’t really anything to do with the case anyway, so I think it’s a bit of a non-issue. ”

    Only a non-issue, provided nothing more comes of it and there are no further errors. Once the media get their teeth into looking at errors made by politicians, it can became a problem for them.

    In fairness to DC, I think this has come up before. He tends to answer more questions put to him than previous PM’s and because of this he can comment on issues that he should perhaps stay away from. I could not imagine Gordon Brown or Tony Blair answering the question that was put.

  23. CD

    Yes: that was my implication and it does seem fairly clear that a large number of voters equated the LD party to left of centre.

    As has been noted a number of times, where they have made this more explosive is in the relish with which they have attacked Labour in really quite savage terms.

    Whether Labour deserve or LDs mean it is not the issue I think. Politically – and they are politicians – a neutral stance would have worked better – and leave the vitriol to the Tories to hand out.

  24. My view is that Cameron knew exactly what he was doing with the Nigella remarks. He knows the Tories are behind with female voters and it was a calculated bid to get on-side. The fact that the remarks were legally controversial was a bonus because it ensured wide publicity for them.

  25. @ R Huckle,

    The only thing that could “come of it” would be if the defendants were convicted, then appealed on the basis that the judge didn’t deal adequately with the issue (either that he should have dismissed the jury, or worded his comments to the jury differently) and for the Appeal Court to rule that Cameron’s comments would be likely to have had a real and substantial impact on the verdict of the jury, which was not properly addressed by the judge.

    That’s a lot of “ifs” and a very long process, so I don’t suppose the PM will lose much sleep over it.

    The basic issue arises a lot, usually in relation to press reporting. Far more egregious examples pass through the courts every month, and most don’t result in any real impact on the trials. This ones got headlines because of the “names” involved, and because the barristers involved are expensive. You don’t get rich in the law by dealing with matters briefly and succintly.

  26. @CB11

    The problem is that this supposed to be a non-partisan, and we get pink-coloured posts saying “one of my favourite political commentators”. Naturally I want to know about the political leaning of any political commentator before I take their views at face value, and find that he makes light of the Soviet purges, tries to justify Hamas, 9/11 and 7/7, with an almost pro-terrorism viewpoint.

    He rejected the Falklands referendum as ‘dodgy’, but then admitted it was valid. He states:

    “The vote for British rule in the Falklands referendum dodges the point. It’s time for a negotiated settlement with Argentina”

    Can one of the most overwhelming democratic elections we’ve seen for a long time be ignored? What gives him the right to ignore such feeling from 99.8% of the voters of a given place in the world? What of democracy? Not important, it seems, but had it been a 50/50 split, what would his headline have been? I’ll guess at:

    “It’s time for a negotiated settlement with Argentina.” :))

    Perhaps I should stop there and appreciate that if you are of the same mindset as he is, I’m talking to a wall. Suffice it to say he has a selfish agenda, which may suit some political circles, but not the majority of British people.

  27. @HAL

    That’s rather Machiavellian .
    DC’s track record suggests to me that dopey is more likely.

  28. @ Neil A

    A “Not Guilty” verdict doesn’t remotely equate to a decision from the jury that the “victim” wasn’t a “victim”.
    —————-
    Thank you; you’ve saved me explaining this to @Paul.

  29. @Statgeek

    The Falklands reporting was ‘dodgy’ – it failed to mention that the only people able to vote were those that had already registered as British. I don’t know what proportion of the island’s residents are registered as British. But that fact would have to be taken into account before you can say whether the islands want to remain British or not.

  30. Regarding team Nigella. I imagine that the decks are already stacked against the defendants in this case without the prime minister joining in.

  31. @ Neil A

    The judge described it as “unfortunate” but I don’t think we can read much into that. “Unfortunate” can sometimes be judgespeak for “something that unnecessarily distracted me and wasted court time” rather than something inherently bad.
    —————
    And thanks again for this explanation regarding the Judge saying it was “Unfortunate” but not having any power to ‘sanction’ Cameron or hold him in contempt or do anything at all really; hence my opinion that the PM did nothing wrong.

  32. @ Steve

    It’s illegal and could be construed as attempting to pervert the course of justice.
    ——————-
    I usually agree with you but I can’t about this because, IMO, there would have to be some evidence that Cameron’s remark was intended to influence the jury. The only chance of making the allegation ‘stick’ would be to prove that the question had been deliberately ‘planted’ by Cameron so that he could make his comment. As this theory seems to be on the outside edge of unlikely, I can’t see how he did anything wrong.

  33. If I were a legal eagle, I would say that if a person was interviewed about a person who was a witness in a trial, about his relationship with that person, and the subject of her evidence in that trial was not raised, then if he said, ‘gawd I fancy that babe and some’, then I would say that the resulting publicity would be irrelevant to the trial in which the said babe was giving evidence.

    Can one be a babe in one’s 50s? Clearly many A lister ladies think they can be.

    I hope my contribution is thought sufficiently of intellectual strength for this renowned discussion board.

  34. @ Couper2802

    Regarding team Nigella. I imagine that the decks are already stacked against the defendants in this case without the prime minister joining in.
    —————–
    Yes, Nigella is probably much more popular than David Cameron.
    But politicians are not currently rated highly for their honesty or good judgement, assuming polling on these things is accurate. If anything, jury members who don’t trust Cameron &/or politicians in general might have been moved the other way; therefore, I’m guessing it balances out to zero rather than stacking the deck either way.

  35. Statgeek, Couper

    I looked into the Falklands referendum. Around 200-300 people that live there permanently but are not British citizens were disenfranchised just before the referendum by a change in the constitution. Previously these people were allowed to vote in elections there, but no longer are.

    While the numbers were not enough to affect the overall result as it turned out, of course this was not known in advance. It was a very poor piece of gerrymandering.

  36. GUYMONDE

    Maybe depends on the size of Irish eggs? :-)

    I’m not suggesting that consumer price comparison sites are necessarily accurate. But they may have some value as indicators of the cost of living in different places, and suggest that geographical factors are not the only ones to be considered.

    If anyone can provide a link to properly sampled data for cities around the UK, that would be interesting to see. At the moment, I lack more useful data as does everyone else, it seems.

    Other than than the polldrums (copyright Amber, in case anyone had forgotten) leaving little else to discuss, the only reason for discussing such an esoteric topic is that it has been raised by those opposed to independence as something which “might” happen, if some things occur which the supermarkets don’t like, and ignore what “might” happen if some other things occur which the supermarkets would like.

    I’m not surprised by the anonymity of the “top executive of one of the Big 4” when s/he said, ““We would treat it as an international market and act accordingly by putting up our prices,”

    I suspect that the shareholders of that company would have serious doubts about continuing the employment of such an executive, if that was a serious suggestion.

    That’s not the attitude taken by the German owned Lidl chain, which is, perhaps, one of the reasons that it is increasing its market share in both Scotland and wider GB.

    Are transport costs higher “in” Scotland? Certainly, in parts of the country. The additional costs of delivering stock to Tesco and the Co-op stores in Lerwick must be significant – even greater than delivering to their equivalents on the Isle of Man (which is not part of the UK). However, distribution costs within the Central Belt are unlikely to be significant, given the siting of their distribution centres on the motorway network.

    Are transport costs “to” Scotland higher? I presume so. It’s a full 82 miles from Carlisle to Falkirk. But there would be a measure of believability in the claims made, were some detail attached. How much higher? They must know, since they claim that distribution costs would increase prices in Scotland, or maybe they don’t and are just assuming that Scotland is a far away place, and they must be.

  37. Couper,

    89% of the islanders are registered as British. Even if all of the remaining 11% voted against, which is unproven, it would still have passed with an enormous margin.

  38. ALEC

    The samplewas neither random nor “random”. It was a geographical selection.

  39. Statgeek, Couper

    I looked into the Falklands referendum. Around 200-300 people that live there permanently but are not British citizens were disenfranchised just before the referendum by a change in the constitution. Previously these people were allowed to vote in elections there, but no longer are.

  40. @ R Huckle

    You can’t comment on anything which is before a court.
    —————-
    Of course he can; he can comment on anything he likes – what he can’t do is comment with intent to influence the jury or the conduct of the trial.

  41. The reason why Cameron’s comments were ‘unfortunate’ is that he was discussing and praising a witness whose veracity was a central point of the trial. As Prime Minister his views would be thought to carry a great deal of influence. ‘Unfortunate is typically vague bit of judgespeak (good word!) which usually means “I’m not happy though I’m not going to do anything about it (but don’t even think about doing it again)”.[1]

    To be honest the whole thing looks like the Spectator gang (never his biggest fans) set Cameron up and then went round gleefully telling everyone after he fell in their trap. I’ve a feeling it’s not even the first time, so he doesn’t deserve that much sympathy. As with Boris he tends to say what he thinks his immediate audience wants to hear without considering the consequences.

    However I get the impression that in any case the judge was probably increasingly fed up with the tone of the coverage, particularly in the Press, and was quite pleased to have the opportunity to have a go at anyone, so as to warn off everyone else. So Cameron being the target was to some extent almost accidental.

    Still if this sort of thing isn’t nipped in the bud, we might get more damaging things that might influence a jury, such as Sunday papers commissioning polls asking whether “Nigella Lawson is or is not telling the truth?”.

    [1] If he was just irate about it giving the defence a reason to waste the morning, he’d have probably said ‘unnecessary’.

  42. “[The Soviet Union] encompassed genuine idealism and commitment”

    The two main causes of anthropogenic tragedy in the 20th century. Give me a cynical social democratic or a corrupt conservative over a committed communist or a fanatical fascist.

  43. * cynical social democrat

  44. Roger Mexico,

    “As Prime Minister his views would be thought to carry a great deal of influence.”

    Agreed. Nigella should sue him for defamation of character.

  45. Hmm that’s not entirely true. There are two forms of contempt of court. The traditional “common law” variant is as Amber says, and requires an intention to prejudice the proceedings. I think Cameron would be fine on that score.

    The Contempt of Court Act, however, provides what’s known as a “strict liability” offence, which requires no intention at all. All that is necessary is that the offender knew that the matter was sub judice and that what they did/said created a substantial risk that the course of justice would be seriously impeded or prejudiced.

    That’s of course a subjective assessment to some extent, so it is clearly open to anyone (if they choose) to argue that Cameron “broke the law” if in their view his words “created a substantial risk”… etc.

    Ironically, some of our discussions here sail a little close to breaching the Act in their own right, so I suggest we talk about something else.

  46. (Sorry that last comment was a response to Amber’s 5.58 pm).

  47. ewen

    “Crossbatty
    You are Seumas Milne and I claim my £5 !”

    Only his bestist footballing chums refer to him in this informal manner.

    To you he should remain Mr. Crossbat11.

  48. @ R&D

    Crossbatty I’m afraid just makes me wonder if Mrs Crossbatty is called Norah

    @ Roger M
    Further evidence – dopey (not Roger, DC)

  49. @HuffPostUKPol: Asda admits its food prices could fall in an independent Scotland

    Oh well so much for that scare story

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