The final YouGov poll of the year is up here. Voting intentions are CON 34%, LAB 40%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 11%. The six point Labour lead is the same as the average in YouGov’s polls across December, in comparison in December 2012 YouGov was showing an average Labour lead of eleven points, so year-on-year Labour’s lead has almost halved – the YouGov average for December 2013 is Conservative 33% (up 1 since 2012), Labour 39% (down 4), Lib Dem 9% (down 1), UKIP 12% (up 3).

Labour leads have seemed a tad lower since the Autumn statement, but the vast majority that narrowing came in the early part of 2013 when economic optimism first stating picking up. We can see the changes in attitudes to the economy in the other regular YouGov trackers here. 17% now think the economy is doing well, 50% badly. It’s still strongly negative, but compare it to December 2012 when it was 5% well, 73% badly. 41% of people now think the coalition are managing the economy well, 51% badly – it’s still a net negative, but compare it to December 2012 when it was 31% well, 59% badly.

The most interesting questions in the rest of the poll were on shale gas and fracking, 44% of people support fracking/shale gas, 29% of people are opposed. This is up slightly since YouGov last asked in August when it was 41% to 33% opposed. Asked about its impacts people see it as safe by 47% to 33%, as good for the economy by 64% to 14%, but as environmentally damaging by 42% to 34%.

Compared to other potential ways of generating energy, fracking is seen as broadly preferable to coal or imported gas, but seen as less desirable than nuclear or renewable energy. People would, unsurprisingly, be less positive about fracking in their immediate area. Only 25% of people would support fracking within a couple of miles of their home, but it rises to 32% support if its further away, but in a local town or village, and goes up to 46% support if it was somewhere else in their local county, but not their own town or village.

316 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 34, LAB 40, LD 9, UKIP 11”

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  1. Re McShane: even more relevant he worked out the system was easy to fddle for profit – but didn’t.

  2. Hope everyone has a Happy Christmas.


    I think comment about him was the ‘too clever by half ‘ one. I suspect he made a few enemies. He and Laws seem to have suffered the same fate, except Laws didn’t go to prison or get a criminal record. In the latter case Laws even did himself out of expenses he could have claimed, let alone claim that to which he was entitled, as McShane (not real name) did.

    I don’t like what has happened here at all but to say I am sympathetic takes me just a step further than I wish to go.

  4. AW,

    Where’s the analysis of Yougov’s latest hard hitting poll?

    “Where’s the analysis of Yougov’s latest hard hitting poll?”

    IMHO F.Christmas’s propensity for reckless spending with no visible return on investment, and his relentless playing of the populist card, make him conclusively Labour.

  6. Father Christmas would never vote Green. All that toy production must be wreaking havoc on the environment and since he has no income those elves can’t be being paid a living wage.

    Anyway, he’s probably a Tory because he makes sure the rich children get more presents. They’re future wealth creators, you know.

    I hope everyone has wished a happy birthday to Ed Miliband (and my grandma) by the way!


    It would seem obvious that more strain will be put on facilities such as schools and medical facilities in areas where the population increases most rapidly – regardless of whether that population rise is due to births, or migration from within the Common Travel Area, from elsewhere within Europe, or from outside the EU.

    Consequently, your “A responsible government would have stepped in to give local authorities great support in those localities where the strain on services manifested itself.” seems eminently sensible.

    Incidentally, I hope none of the UKPR community have been badly affected by the storm. So far, the main effect here has been ferry cancellations, but that’s not too unusual in winter.

    Merry Xmas to all.

  8. I think Father Christmas would be very concerned at the melting of the Arctic ice cap, being as he lives there (next door to Superman, apparently) so that suggests he should be voting Green.

    Merry Christmas to all here.

  9. Howard

    As with many Lib Dems over on LDV you seen to have a very rose-tinted view of Laws’s actions.

    The results of the standards commission report were quite damning, although some of the interpretations were very kind to say the least when the whole report is read.

    You are incorrect in saying he could have claimed more – he couldn’t in the circumstances he was living. He could only have claimed more if he changed this. Also, it was not just mortgage payments the were the cases of the mysterious unreceipted claims that dropped heavily when receipts were required

    I am also struggling to find a post-war example of an MP being appointed to ministerial office after being suspended from the house without an election being held – I suppose reelection helps to wipe the slate clean. In his case, he was keen to say in 2010 that he had not been involved in any expenses scandal, although surely at this time he would have known.

    He is a deeply unimpressive individual from a moral point of view (don’t see him being intellectually that good either)and like others he has been lucky to escape heavier punishment.

    It also puts a line under any claims from Clegg and his merry band of men to having different standards from the other parties

  10. BCrombie
    I wasn’t making excuses for Laws (re-read please) but kind of you to remind everyone that I am a LD member and to insinuate that I was.

    May I suggest th at you neverthelesenjoy the festivities and have a happy time?

  11. Excuses for typos too, got carried away there. :-)

  12. OldNat
    Just another personal anecdote; our children were aged 5 and 3 when we emigrated to a small village in NL (they do have them). Within one month, my eldest was speaking fluent Dutch (child level clearly) and my younger a couple of months later. As the Dutch system does not bother with reading stuff until children are 6, (4 -6 is ‘learning how to learn’) it was an easy entry. This is the clue; one just needs some extra effort put in where necessary to ensure children are not left bewildered. There aren’t many, who will be, because their brains are like a sponge at that age.

  13. HOWARD

    Not only does all the research on language learning confirm your experiences, but also that your children will also have benefitted from wider cognitive advantages through being bilingual.

    As to the start of formal education, I think around 90% of countries delay starting that till at least age 6. In the UK, although Scotland and Wales still begin compulsory education around age 5, the curriculum in the first primary year (first two in Wales) is a continuation of the nursery curriculum. England and Northern Ireland both seem to have rejected the approach of most of the rest of the world, and start formal learning around 5.

    Since both Ed Balls and Michael Gove rejected the reports of multiple reports on the issue, it seems that in England, politicians seem to have a stronger role in deciding what should happen in the classroom.

    It’s difficult to imagine a set of people less competent to take such decisions than politicians!

  14. Latest YOUGOV

    Best thing about Xmas: Booze 41% (+3), Presents 33% (-2), Sprouts 9% (-1), Jesus 12% (N/C).

    (Sample Size = 1009 Adults)

    Hmmm Spouts on 9 looks a bit high.

  15. Let’s make it a bit more stereotypical:

    Beer and coal 41%, Brandy and top hats 33%, FT Subscriptions (formerly sandals and NHS glasses) 9%, England shirts and union flag bunting 12%.

    To be fair the Lib Dems are probably less popular than sprouts now.

  16. Anyway, going to bed now and hoping the reindeer on the roof don’t wake me up.

    Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

  17. I know I haven’t posted on here for quite a while….but just wanted to say Merry Christmas to everyone! Hope everyone has a great Christmas and a great 2014!

    Will probably pop on here occasionally when I get the odd bit of spare time (which isn’t much these days). I may even post my own 2013 summary before the New Year.

  18. ambi

    all the best

    shame about your team and its manager numbers.

    have a good 2014


  19. Everyone asleep.

    No pressies from santa


  20. Thanks Rosie and Daisie. Hope you both get plenty of nice Christmas grub.

    Yeah, Spurs have not had a good 2013….glad we have chosen someone unproven this time. Hopefully he can put things right and at least get Spurs 5th or 6th and playing as a team.

    Hope you both and Paul have a great 2014.

  21. Yesterday I thought about recounting the old “How many [insert political party] does it take to change a lightbulb?”
    None. They sit in the dark and blame [insert institution/nationality etc.]

    Then news came that Nigel Farage plans to spend Christmas in a in a pub in a neighbouring village ~ where they have electricity.

    I hope they cope with the influx.

    Best wishes to all on UKPR, and to those who are off-grid today.

  22. YouGov research shows that the British public think that given the opportunity, Father Christmas would vote either Labour or Green.

    Excluding those who either don’t know (19%) or think he wouldn’t vote at all (25%), 27% of Brits think Father Christmas is a Labour voter, although the Green Party comes a close second with 23%. Despite his penchant for hand-outs, 17% think Father Christmas is a Conservative and 13% think he would vote UKIP. Just 6% think Father Christmas would vote Lib Dem.

    So there you have it.

    Have a nice day

  23. hope everyone has a jolly Xmas and good 2014

  24. Swamp Mongrel last night’s post

    :-) :-)

    Been down to the beach for the annual plunge. No I didn’t (this time).

  25. Anyone watching Edward Snowden’s Christmas Message today?

    I fondly remember the Simpsons’ one. “Rydhsys rag Kernow lemmyn!”

    Speaking of which, UKPR, it should be our New Year’s Resolution to get at least one supporter of each political party posting on here. I think we still need a Kipper and someone from Plaid.

  26. Look out for Jones the Xenophobe.

    Kill two birds with one stone

  27. Happy Xmas everyone

  28. I suppose, on second thoughts,as a supporter of reindeer, and of their red-nosed minorities, SC has to be Green, but in any case, as an immigrant here and throughout the world his vote is only good for Iceland or the NP. Since he distributes benefits rather than claiming them h’es welcome as far as I and my grandchildren are concerned he’s a welcome guest, and deserves his mince pie (and did them proud this year ) bless his old cotton socks.

  29. John Pilgrim
    We half-Dutch think your SC is in fact FC. Two entirely different beings, one a kindly bishop and the other a master of hoofed animals and elves. They do indeed both have white beards, perhaps thus the confusion..

    I daresay they both enjoy the treats though.

  30. Its over ! – back to my contented grumpy mode.

  31. Well that was a bit of fun, now back to the grindstone (two exams in a month, groan).

    Still, nice to celebrate Jesus, who regardless of your political or religious stripes was a decent bloke. Though we know of course he would have voted [REDACTED].


    Or, he could have looked at what was on offer, and declined to vote for anyone.

  33. I just wanted to wish all of you a very Merry Movies and Chinese Food Day (or Christmas). I hope you guys are enjoying the holiday and that Santa brought you everything you wanted. I really continue to enjoy this site and chatting with all you guys.

    Btw, I saw the movie Philomena today staring Judy Dench. I think it is a BBC produced film. Great movie. I recommend it for all holiday viewing (though it is a tearjerker).

  34. Did a double take when I read today’s Times headline-seems completely counter-intuitive to me.
    Will YouGov be putting that OP on the website AW?-it’s not there this morning.

  35. Don’t keep us all in suspense, Colin. What did the headline say?

  36. Colin – will be up on the website, but depends when someone from the website team is on duty,

    In short though, it shows something that should really be obvious, but does often seem to surprise people (and certainly seems to be the opposite of the way the media report interest rates) – that interest rates cut both ways. The poll asked if people expected interest rates to rise in the next year and whether, if they did, it would be good for bad for them personally.

    23% think higher interest rates would be bad for them, but 31% think higher interest rates would be good for them.

    There was, as you might expect, a big age skew. Over 60s (who are most likely to be relying on interest from savings) are far, far more likely to say higher interest rates will benefit them, 40 to 60 are evenly split, under 40s are more likely to say that higher interest rates would hurt them,

  37. If that’s what it said, it doesn’t sound counter-intuitive at all. It sounds just about right to me.

  38. The headline is ‘Rate Rise Will Keep You in Number 10 Voters Tell Cameron’ which seems a optimistic interpretation of the poll given that the 60+ group with savings tend to vote Con anyway.

  39. Thanks COUPER. That’s a different thing altogether!

  40. Thanks Anthony,

    Agreed Couper-daft headline .

  41. COUPER

    @”seems a optimistic interpretation of the poll given that the 60+ group with savings tend to vote Con anyway.”

    Yep-but 31% exceeds that demographic ( I think)

    That’s why I wanted to read the OP detail& read the PK analysis.

  42. Wrong -as usual-the over 60s are 30% ish.

  43. Britain could overtake Germany and France to become Europe’s largest economy within two decades.


    France will slip from 7th to 13th despite what Mr Hollande ( & Friend) think .

  44. The Times is living in a fantasy world now.

    Uk economy about to be the strongest in the universe and rises in interest rates would not cause any sort of property crash or credit crunch (or even bank crashes).

    If they keep repeating it it might come true.

  45. Whilst there may be more winners than losers as a result of higher interest rates, the losers would lose a lot more in terms of mortgage repayments than the winners would gain in terms of higher savings rates. The effect on Tory polling would be likely to be negative.

  46. Colin

    and I could win the lottery and become a multimillionaire….

  47. Researchers for the think-tank “Center for Indoor Air Research” reported that “persons are not exposed to sufficient levels of passive smoke to cause any serious adverse health effects”

    Researchers for the think-tank “Centre for Economic and Business Research” announce that UK will have Europe’s largest economy because of low taxation.

    Suggestions that either the CIAR or the CEBR are in any way influenced by their principal sponsors (tobacco industry and banks respectively) would be unwelcome to anyone who likes those particular think-tank conclusions.

  48. OLDNAT

    @”their principal sponsors (tobacco industry and banks respectively)”

    Its not apparent from CEBR’s website that this is true :-

    …but then, its not apparent from their report on UK that ” UK will have Europe’s largest economy because of low taxation.” is the main reason for their conclusion about our economy..

    Of course, -one has to actually read the report to know this-it actually says :-

    “The UK is forecast to be the second most successful of the Western economies after the US. Positive demographics with continuing immigration, rather less exposure to the problems of the Eurozone than other European economies combine with relatively low taxes by European standards to encourage faster growth than in most Western economies.”

    On that basis you would presumably claim that CEBR’s “principal sponsors” are Pro Immigration pressure groups, and UKIP.

  49. OLDNAT

    Didn’t realise your list of “bad guys” included the world’s Central Banks.

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