YouGov’s daily poll for the Sun this morning had topline figures of CON 34%, LAB 39%, LDEM 11%, UKIP 12%. The five point Labour lead is pretty typical of what YouGov have been showing over the last fortnight. The full tabs are here.

Meanwhile Populus’s twice-weekly poll has topline figures of CON 32%, LAB 40%, LDEM 12%, UKIP 8%. Full tabs are here. This is the last Populus poll of the year. For YouGov there is one still to come (the weekly YouGov/Sunday Times poll) then they too stop for the Christmas period.


166 Responses to “Latest YouGov and Populus polls”

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  1. Reginald

    That could only happen if Cons outscored Labour in the popular vote so I guess they’d have Clegg’s law on their side.

    And Law’s law.

  2. The Tories have already effectively split within FPTP. And, as has been noted, they haven’t in Scotland. Indeed, in Scotland, UKIP haven’t made any progress at all, though that’s perhaps because there’s little point in splitting a Cadburys’ Mini-Egg.

    Neil A,

    Euroscepticism aside, me too. (And to his credit I don’t think that Cameron is at all sincere in his semi-euroscepticism; it’s just one of those ritual shibboleths on the right these days.) I’ve just finished reading a biography of Iain MacLeod and found myself wishing that his brand of Radical Toryism had prospered more. He was both brilliant on things like decolonisation (and consistently in favour of Jenkins’s “civilized society”) and on economic affairs, wishing to cut expenditure (like the entire Open University) that even Thatcher wouldn’t touch.

    The challenge for the Tories is the same as that which faced Labour in the 1980s: one half of Thatcherism (social conservativism) is in long-term decline. Labour adjusted to the decline of socialism by becoming more stridently socially liberal. If the Tories hold their nerve with Cameroonism and UKIP end up weakening their socially conservative wing, then I think they have a good long-term future.

    My desire is an anti-nosey-parker-state party: not an anarchist or a libertarian party, but one whose assumption is in leaving civil society and individuals to get on with their own affairs and intercourse (economic and social) provided they don’t hurt anyone (unless they want them to).

  3. * presumption, not assumption.

    In other words, a very good case would have to be made for why the matter in question was one in which leaving it to Tony Benn or Margaret Thatcher would be tolerable.

  4. @Spearmint

    You’re comparing a camera friendly PM with a camera shy one.

    What of Blair v Cameron? Two camera friendly ones.

  5. Not of any particular interest, but wind power is currently producing a near record 5.9GW, which is around 17% of total grid demand.

    The Guardian has an interesting article on the national grid, quoting Nigel Williams, the head of NG electricity systems. He said that they can manage wind power production very well now, with good wind forecasts from 10 days out, and the ability to predict output from wind to within 4% from 24 hours out. He was quoted as saying that he doesn’t see an upper limit on the total input from wind.

    Interestingly, he also said that 98% of the payments made to cease generating if the grid is overcapacity go to coal and gas power stations – worth bearing in mind the next time you hear a story about wind farms being paid to go offline.

    Quite amusingly, given what we are often told about wind power, he also said that the new nuclear proposals will increase grid costs, as the capacity of the proposed new plants are so large, that they have to make substantial allowance for the eventuality of the reactors going offline and taking out a big chunk of capacity. This argument is often used against wind, but it’s actually more of a problem with nuclear, according to the National Grid.

    Wind has now edged up to 5.92GW and 17.6% of total.

  6. alec

    You were a much better read in green.

    Yore what I like to call “a bit boring” in light grey.

  7. Talking about weather, considering the mild winter we’ve had so far, doesn’t that help take high energy bills off the agenda (at least until it gets cold – who knows if/when that’s coming?)

    I’m thinking that the Conservatives somehow need to get at least about 38% to be largest party and thus in with a shout of repeating the coalition – assuming everyone agrees – they need to push Labour down a bit and/or scrape some off UKIP. Possible, but difficult.

  8. @Bill Patrick

    interesting if MacLeod had lived. The economy was collapsing, some of his colleagues were criminals ,and the enemies of the state were massing. You could compare him to Albert Speer.

  9. WOLF

    “some of his colleagues were criminals”

    I can’t think of a politician in any party of whom that would not be true.

  10. Truthfully, I think it’s probably true of most people in most workplaces.

  11. NEIL A

    True.

  12. It’s now the shortest day of the year.

    From tomorrow, things will be potentially brighter for longer every day. Will incumbent governments get the credit, as prehistoric ones relied on to keep themselves in power? :-)

  13. Happy Xmas Liz.

  14. “Happy Xmas Liz.”

    ditto

  15. We are now as close to Polling Day 2015 as to a few days into August 2012 – ie a week into the London Olympics. Is that such a long time?

  16. Wolf,

    I think that the Heath government was in a hopeless situation, given expectations and the challenges they faced, but they would have almost certainly done a better job with MacLeod as Chancellor.

    He was too old at that point to become leader, but put him in Thatcher’s boots (or heels) and I think he’d have done a better job of essentially the same mission, and avoided the nastiness of Section 28 and the like. However, that was a very different world from the one in which we saw MacLeod, and the danger with politcians that one identifies with is that one assumes that they would have done what one believes should have been done in that situation. Maybe MacLeod would have been like Lawson- both tended to be “too clever by half”, though that phrase was more famously used for MacLeod.

  17. It’s too late to be posting- his name was ‘Macleod’, not ‘MacLeod’.

  18. @Bill Patrick

    ‘He was too old at that point to become leader’

    I rather disagree. Iain Macleod was only 57 at the time of his sudden death – 5 years younger than Macmillan on becoming PM and 7 years younger than Callaghan.

  19. Saturday debate time:

    Just had a friendly argument with my housemate over whether MPs should be pay more. I argue they should be paid £100k+ a year.

    At the minute, with the private sector (still) paying extraordinarily well, there is little incentive for a talented individual to earn circa £60/70k. Increasing the salary can only increase the talent applying to MP roles, and this in turn will filter through to the top tables (cabinet roles).

    Agree/disagree? The main crux of this is the link between salary and talent/ability, which I think to be fairly strongly positive (exceptions being you, Wayne, and some University lecturers), and the fact that due to pride of doing a public job, people would take a slightly lesser salary as an MP, rather than join the private sector. (For example, rather be an MP for £80k than a private sector employee for £82k. People happy to be paid less to have a role they feel is important, and are passionate about).

    Thoughts then ladies and gents… How much should our MPs be paid?

    As an aside – who should be paid more, GPs or MPs? I think the latter.

  20. I’ve hit mod for the first time. :O Basically arguing whether MPs or GPs should be paid more…

    Anthony – apologies if this subject area is a little tetchy. I personally think it’s an interesting debate. If it’s too off topic, then I apologies profusely, and will not bring it up again. With the lack of polls due in the coming days, thought it may be something different to discuss. As I said, if you think otherwise, I’m sorry.

  21. “It’s now the shortest day of the year. ”

    Depends what time you get up I find.

    A lot of mine are pretty short.

  22. jack r

    “apologies if this subject area is a little tetchy………..

    ……………………….I apologies profusely…………

    ……. if you think otherwise, I’m sorry.”

    Stop grovelling jack.

  23. NA and ON
    “Truthfully, I think it’s probably true of most people in most workplaces.
    oldnat
    NEIL A
    Tru”
    Where does this sanctimonious and noxious codswallop come from?
    If you mean most people in public and private life dissimulate, and help themselves when undue shares of the cake are put under their noses, it’s a truism, and not just true of the UK.

    BILL
    “Labour adjusted to the decline of socialism by becoming more stridently socially liberaL”
    I suggest rather that they have tended to, and now routinely do, practice the politics of the possible in support of the social market – looking for corrections where possible and necessary – e.g. in drawing back from armed interventions overseas, and in reforms to the EU package. Hence an element of consistency to which VI is responding.

  24. @THE OTHER HOWARD

    “I suspect the gain that labour clearly made immediatley following EM’s announcement was mostly to do with the idea of a price freeze, but yes it would be interesting to see what you suggest.”

    —————

    Yep, you may well be right, it may mostly be to do with the freeze. The VI significance lies in just how many “mostly” turns out to be, and whether or not over time views shift if the market reform aspect becomes more widely debated. Or even, implemented. So it’d be handy to start tracking it now…

    (autocorrect seems to be Freudian: it turned “tracking” into “fracking”…)

  25. @ALEC

    “@ Carfrew & @Neil A – There was a very interesting report from the Institute of Engineering last week which called for a complete overhaul of the energy supply system. These are highly skilled technical people, with no obvious political affiliations that I could discern, so I tend to think their opinions are especially interesting.”

    ——————–

    Yes, when dealing with big, complex systems requiring integration, the fragmentation of the private sector approach can have its issues. This is before we consider the profit motive, wherein the desire for short term gains can lead to under-investment. Which is a bit of a pain when dealing with essentials. They don’t need to compete by investing and offering a better service. Instead they can just up prices ‘cos folk have to pay anyway…

  26. Reginald
    RE equal seats.

    I once tried to quiz Tim Farron on this – he said to me that the Libdems would form a coalition with the party with the most seats. Asked what would happen if Lab and Con had equal seats, he understandably dodged the question.

    But given that Cons need more votes to equal seats, it seems the Con/Lib would be more likely.

  27. Also off for Christmas now.

    Merry Christmas and good will to all folks.

  28. @NEIL A
    “I suppose technically, Labour’s review of the energy market could conclude that actually it’s working fine and that the prices being charged were reasonable in the circumstances.
    It would be interesting to see the 20 month price freeze end with a compensatory 10% increase in prices.
    Not that I expect that to happen of course (particularly given that the enquiry will probably be lead by a retired former Labour minister and a senior trade union figure of some kind) but the whole concept of the price freeze does rather pre-judge the issue just a little.”

    ——————-

    Given the energy companies have rather lined up the ducks in favour of increased profits… they’ve been fingered on over-aggressive sales techniques, they’ve been piling up customers’ cash and earning interest on it, they produce needlessly inscrutable bills, prices are quick to go up when wholesale costs rise, but not so quick to come down,.and they have pursued the vertical integration thing allowing them to hide profits, so what makes you think they woyldn’t pursue inflated profits? Neolibs often say they have this “legal duty” thing to their shareholders to do so?

    In addition, headline profits do seem to be suppressed because they do seem to spend a lot on investment, as Colin revealed, but it doesn’t seem to be so much for investing in much needed new capacity. When they do invest in capacity, it’s on rather generous terms, eg the recent nuclear deal. So where’s that investment going? They do seem to be hoovering up assets, allowing more market-cornering, at the same time allowing them to post lower “profits”…

    I’m amazed all this doesn’t worry you, but if all that ain’t enough, the elephant in the room, is that regardless of the extent to which it happens at the moment, the current situation affords the possibility of much taking the mick, so reform is needed regardless. Even if they weren’t taking the mick now, they could easily do so in future.

    This is before we get to concerns with the integration of the network that Alec pointed out…

  29. Vernon Bogdanor makes the point that Iain Macleod’s “mistake” was to publish a biography of Neville Chamberlain in 1961… Eden took offence and called it an apologia, Macmillan was not best pleased either.

    Macleod backed Rab Butler, and was convinced that Alec Douglas-Home had ruled himself out of the leadership in 1963. Macleod and Powell (with whom he was still friendly at that point) were involved in a fruitless conspiracy to get Rab Butler and other cabinet heavyweights to refuse serve under Home.

    Macmillan initially favoured Hailsham as his successor, but apparently the JFK administration were uneasy about the prospect so he threw his weight behind Home.

    Macleod’s daughter was UKIP candidate for Banbury in 2005.

  30. @Bill Patrick – “…wishing to cut expenditure (like the entire Open University) that even Thatcher wouldn’t touch.”

    Well it’s just as well that Iain MacLeod didn’t get the chance. Given that the Open University is one of the world’s top universities, is the world’s best distance learning institution, and along with other institutions like the BBC, is one of this countries greatest achievements, cutting it would have one of the most unutterably stupid things ever for a government to have done. In terms of teaching quality, the OU material regularly outscores Oxbridge and is the envy of the world.

    I find it highly [email protected] that any government should consider cutting it, and even weirder that anyone else things this is a good idea.

  31. ARTAIR
    @Spearmint
    That is not what your link says at all. What is says is that the BBC favours the ‘government’, which seems about right to me. I want every government to be “held to account”, no matter what their stripe


    Sorry to disagree but I have read it and it does say exactly that .

    You might want to look at the paragraph which shows 5 times as many business leaders interviewed as Trade Unionists.

    Generally I find the BBC’s coverage (after Channel 4 News) as the least biased in favour of the Tories but being fronted almost exclusively by Public School Alumni of the 12 main news presenters Naga Munchetty, Graveny Comprehensive Tooting, is the only one who isn’t, doesn’t really provide much balance in the presentation either.

    Often you will see a Question asked regarding Government Policy and no government representative is available and an opposition shadow turns up, immediately the questioning isn’t about policy but is a defence of the policy and attack on the oppositions stance, this isn’t journalism it’s propaganda.

    Must go back to stuffing My Goose and looking forward to a Nice Tandoori Lamb for Christmas.

  32. Hi Old Nat

    ”It’s now the shortest day of the year.

    From tomorrow, things will be potentially brighter for longer every day. Will incumbent governments get the credit, as prehistoric ones relied on to keep themselves in power? :-)”

    An expert friend of mine (I have no knowledge about it at all) maintains that all 5 days between the 21st and the 25th are equally short. Christmas Day is the last of the shortest day period. The middle of the year should be the 23rd on that reckoning, I’d say.

  33. ”Macmillan initially favoured Hailsham as his successor, but apparently the JFK administration were uneasy about the prospect so he threw his weight behind Home.”

    Heaven help us, Billy Bob, is that truly the case? How awful and how terrifying that, even then, we kowtowed.

  34. Colin Davis

    The last thing this Country needs when addressing the debt problem is increasing tax on wealth. Only wealth creators will get us out of the mess and if we over tax them they will just take their ideas and expertise elsewhere.

    I would love to debate this with you but as you say we would get moderated so I will leave it at that.

    I wish you and yours a Happy Christmas and a healthy and successful New Year, as I do to all who post on here and run the website.

  35. Prehistoric Governments.

    You must be even older than me.

  36. “As an aside – who should be paid more, GPs or MPs?”

    People who talk a lot, when they don’t always know the situation, but have to cover their jobs don’t rate that highly, I’m afraid. Maybe I have a crap GP and a crap MP.

    I would have both on performance / feedback related pay, with an average wage as their basic rate, plus travel expenses only.

    Accommodation should be laid on by London government (i.e. a permanent place of visiting MPs, and not paid for via expenses. Too easy to mess with the system. Meals are eaten regardless of one’s location, so they can go to the shops like everyone else.

    Travel should be planned by outsiders with knowledge of the travel system, and deviations from the agreed (by the planners; not the MPs) plan should be funded by the MP.

    Parliament attendance and the number of speeches would be a good place to start with performance related pay. Ministers / shadow ministers would be exempt, as they would get more for their posts, and instead would have policy success related pay.

    Ok, we would have lots of easy to reach targets, but then that would give the opposition ammunition.

    Could we pay the Chief Whip based on the number of lashes issued? :))

  37. @Steve

    Have you ever watched a single episode of ‘the politics show?’ You can pick any one you like, Sunday or in the week, and see who gets to make a party political and who gets interupted by “rude and ignorant”. Try it in the new year and get back to me. If you want a real treat, watch the Midlands issue!

  38. Could we pay the Chief Whip based on the number of lashes issued?

    -If asked nicely I am sure someone can be found who would pay to undertake the task.

    Alistair
    Don’t get the Midlands edition have to check it out on cable.

    On Second thoughts,

    Le’s not it’s Christmas

  39. @Colin Davis – that isn’t true I’m afraid – today is the shortest day, by 2 seconds, with the 22nd the second shortest. This is 3 seconds shorter than the 20th, which is 5 seconds shorter than the 23rd.

    Day length today is 7hr 49m 44s in London, 6hrs 57m 34s in Edinburgh, 7hrs 50m 05s in Cardiff, 7hrs 15m 05s in Belfast and 7hrs 15m 58s at the centre of the known universe. All location experience the 2 second increase tomorrow, except for Cardiff, where the 22nd is only a second longer, although that’s probably due to rounding.

    It is true to say that the slowest rate of change of day length is around the solstices, with the greatest rate of change around the equinoxal periods.

  40. @Statgeek,

    That all sounds marvellous, but in reality “performance/feedback related pay” is an extremely ropey concept. What are you measurements? Does a GP get paid for every prescription he hands out? Cue millions of unnecessary prescriptions for cheap medicines. For every patient that gets sick? Cue signing up as many old and sick people as you can, and refusing young, healthy ones. For every patient that doesn’t get sick? Cue signing up only young, healthy ones and refusing the elderly.

    And for MPs? £3 per letter of appreciation? Cue correspondence factories. Bonus basing on a “rating” given by an assessor? Cue corruption and bias in the selection of assessors. Extra money for every attendance at parliament? Cue a certain Tory Lord from Essex. Pay them for the hours they spend actually in parliament? Cue sleeping under their desks for 16 hours.

  41. @Alec

    “Day length today is 7hr 49m 44s in London, 6hrs 57m 34s in Edinburgh, 7hrs 50m 05s in Cardiff, 7hrs 15m 05s in Belfast and 7hrs 15m 58s at the centre of the known universe.”

    Yes and so we get less working hours, or a ‘lack of light’ electrical subsidy? The pre-Christmas satire is off to a good start. :))

    @Neil A

    It’s slightly hard to make a speech when asleep under your desk. As for GPs we already have millions of unnecessary prescriptions. Shouldn’t GPs be paid on a successful diagnosis to successful referral to cure basis?

  42. ‘I find it highly [email protected] that any government should consider cutting it, and even weirder that anyone else things this is a good idea.’

    Yes, I found that comment extremely bizarre too, and in fact quite revolting. Would appreciate some explanation.

  43. I would think that the higher the salary the more likely you are to attract the wrong people to be politicians, as you would if you applied the same argument to, say, the Church.

  44. Many people confuse the shortest day with the day giving tge earlies sunset – ie the darkest evening. The latter is actually 13th December – the evenings already being some 2 minutes lighter by today.. In contrast , the darkest morning is at the end of December.

  45. Alec, wow, expertise. As I said, I have no knowledge whatsoever on this, but your info is great, thanks.

  46. Did a bit of work a few years ago with a company in Norbotten in arctic Sweden. He was a raving nutcase. Utterly unhinged. You never knew in meetings if he was going to be serious and workmanlike, jokey and jovial or swigging from a bottle of Schnapps and goosing secretaries.

    We had a meeting at his office in late June. Ended up having dinner at 01:00, out on a terrace in brilliant sunshine. Very disorientating. Then our host pointed out that from that time to mid Dec, the days got shorter at an average rate of 1hour a week. And the average temperature decreased at about 1.5C per week. He said that even being born and bred there, the rate at which the seasons changed still destabilised him. I wonder if they are all raving nutcases? And if Singaporeans are perfectly mentally balanced?

  47. And Graham too, thanks. The things you learn….

  48. Statgeek

    I disagree. You don’t get ‘less working hours’ you get fewer. I imagine each working hour is as worthwhile as another.

  49. Yes, Happy Christmas, TOH, to you and all your family.

    Taxing wealth, the difference between being wealthy and creating wealth, all off limits. But I see your line of thinking.anyway…

    And a great New Year to you and all those who post here too.

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