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”

1 4 5 6 7
  1. COLIN

    “bad guys” is your term, not mine.

    However, I’m glad that you accept my original statement that the CEBR’s principal sponsors are banks.

    Anthony regularly warns about the danger of relying on polling conducted by interest groups. He does not say that such polls are necessarily wrong, but that they may be misleading and need to be interpreted with their sponsors in mind.

    The same applies to reports from think-tanks.

  2. ………..or that Centre for Economic Policy Research is the same organisation as Centre for Economics and Business Research….which latter was the author of the “World Economic League Table” to which I referred.

  3. COLIN

    “bad guys” is your term, not mine.
    However, I’m glad that you accept my original statement that the CEBR’s principal sponsors are banks.

    Anthony regularly warns about the danger of rel-y-ing on polling conducted by interest groups. He does not say that such polls are necessarily wrong, but that they may be misleading and need to be interpreted with their sponsors in mind.

    The same applies to reports from think-tanks.

    (Reposted to change a word to accommodate the automod, which clearly enjoys no Xmas Spirit – except perhaps Dickens’ Spirit of Xmas Yet To Come).

  4. COLIN

    True! Bloody acronyms! :-)

  5. OLDNAT

    @”However, I’m glad that you accept my original statement that the CEBR’s principal sponsors are banks.”

    On the basis of your link to a list of Central Banks on the website of something called CEPR…………I can’t.

  6. COLIN

    As you’ll have noted. I conceded your point, once I’d seen your post that I had confused two different organisations.

  7. That’s very poor research OLDNAT
    Everybody knows that CEBR is:
    https://www.facebook.com/chicagoenglishbulldogrescue

  8. GUYMONDE

    LOL

  9. The CENTRE FOR CIOTASFCD reports that 100% of those who prefer Curry instead of Turkey and Sprouts For Christmas Dinner agree with their findings

  10. On the matter of interest rates, the Telegraph once again had more on the subject…

    “Millions of homeowners ‘may need second job’ if interest rates rise, BoE warns”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/interest-rates/10529164/Millions-of-homeowners-may-need-second-job-if-interest-rates-rise-BoE-warns.html

    “Almost a third of the 11m households who currently have a mortgage will have to cut back or work longer hours if interest rates climb to 3pc from their current low of 0.5pc – even if annual pre-tax incomes grow 5pc.”

    “Separate Bank analysis of 5,000 small and medium-sized businesses revealed 6pc of UK SMEs are “zombie” firms in receipt of loan forbearance. The Bank noted that productivity at these firms is estimated to be around 40pc lower than their healthy counterparts, and explained 1 percentage point of the shortfall in total productivity, which is 18pc lower than the pre-crisis average.”

  11. For those who like Scottish cross breaks (as opposed to reality) the BNP virtually only exists in Scotland, according to this Survation Poll for the Daily Star. At 12% they come 4th after Con 30%, SNP 28%, Lab 20%.

    http://survation.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Daily-Star-VI-Tables.pdf

    That might cast a wee doubt over their other statistics for GB Westminster VI of Lab 36%, Con 29%, UKIP 18%.(Table 9)

    As well as their Euro election figures (Table 16) – Lab 32%, UKIP 27%, Con 24%.

  12. Euro poll
    @MSmithsonPB: New EP2014 poll from Survation has LAB mantaining lead & UKIP just 1% ahead of Tories
    CON 24
    LAB 32
    LD 8%
    UKIP 25%
    GRE 6%
    OTH 6

  13. COUPER2802

    Tables for that poll are in my previous post.

  14. A “new” Survation poll, the fieldwork for which is over a month old.

  15. How many UKIP MEPs does it take to change a lightbulb?
    None.
    They get a Romanian to do it for them.

  16. If confirmed in actual EP election (May 2014), these results could be crucial not only for UK, but for the whole of EU. In fact, a score around 30% for Labour means approx. 30 MEPs, and since there is no EPP party in UK, it is a +30 for the Socialists and Democrats group. And given the fact that, according to the polls in the rest of EU, EPP has only a slight advantage over the SD, this means that the SD will be first group in EP thanx to the UK vote (this has not happened since 1994, when the members of the EU were only 12).
    As far as UKIP is concerned, if it comes ahead of the Tories it would be of course bad news for PM Cameron and his party. Yet, paradoxically, UKIP will also have to face problems in the EP, because the Italian Northern League (actually 9 MEPs sitting at the same group as UKIP, the European Free Democrats) has forged an alliance with a bunch of far-right parties which are actually unaffiliated in the EP: Austrian FPOE, French FN, Dutch PVV, Swedish SD and Belgian (Flemish separatist) VB. If this alliance manages to form a separate group in the EP (to do this one needs at least 25 MEPs from at least 7 EU countries), the future of EFD will be seriously compromised, given also the fact that at least 3 of its actual members (Greek LAOS, Slovak SNS and Polish SP) are not expected to obtain any seats in the next EP. So UKIP will have either to join the new alliance (which is very reluctant to do because of the pro-fascist and even pro-Nazi tendencies of some of its components), or to seek new partners in order to fill the gap and maintain the EFD group in life. And who these new members could be? Probably the representatives of Bulgarian and/or Romanian far-right parties!! Ironic, isn’t it?

  17. Virgilio,

    Is there a rule that says UKIP can’t just be UKIP in the EU? Do they have to join some group?

  18. The October Survation EU poll was

    Con 21%, Lab 35%, LD 11%, Ukip 22%, Green 5%.

    Their November poll (can’t really be blamed for when The Star decides to publish) appears to have a “separate likelihood to vote adjustment” for the EU election component, so can’t be compared directly:

    Con 24% Lab 32%, LD 8%, Ukip 25%, Green 6%.

    Westminster VI:

    Con 29%, Lab 36%, LD 8%, Ukip 18%.

    Survation seems to pick up a fair number of Con>Lab switchers, and fewer LD>Lab since 2010 compared to other pollsters?

  19. @ Virgilio

    And who these new members could be? Probably the representatives of Bulgarian and/or Romanian far-right parties!! Ironic, isn’t it?
    —————
    Hence my light-bulb joke; which everybody on UKPR will now understand thanks to your – as always – informative & entertaining comment. :-)

  20. @Pete B

    Ukip MEPs could become “Non-Inscrits”, but this means they give up access to extra funds and committee places (Guy Verhofstadt famously drew attention to Farage’s long-running non-attendance on the Fisheries committee).

    A political grouping needs at least 25 MEPs from seven different states, and it must be a real ideologically coherent group not a marriage of convenience.

    UK non-inscrits include the DUP’s MEP, Ukip’s Trevor Colman, ex-Ukippers Nikki Sinclaire (We Demand a Referendum), Godfrey Bloom (Independent) and Mike Nattrass (An Referendum Party), BNP’s Nick Griffin and ex-BNP Andrew Brons (BDP).

  21. @PETE B
    The answer of BILLY BOB to your question is very correct and informative. In fact, unaffiliated MEPs are not entitled to a number of “privileges” that affiliated ones have, hence the importance to be in a group.
    The issue of the restructuring of the right-wing Eurosceptic area in the forthcoming EE is in fact the second most important (after the issue of whether the EPP or the SD will be the first group). In many countries such as France, Austria, Netherlands, Finland, Greece and UK this tendency is rising, but it is clear that it is very difficult to have 3 such groups (i.e. the Conservatives, the EFD plus the new one) in a sustainable manner. The group of the Conservatives themselves (the ECR) is not at good shape because of the (foreseeable) decrease of the Tories and the recent demise of their Czech allies of the ODS (from 20 to 7% at last GE in October). It is very probable that the survival of this group will depend on smaller parties with 1 MEP each, which is of course very risky.
    @ AMBER STAR
    Nice joke, and very representative of the current situation!!

  22. Hope everyone is surviving the floods and gales. High retailers might not be, it seems. There has been a rash of footfall surveys suggesting December, and the Christmas period in particular, has been very disappointing. Figures vary, with falls of shopper number ranging from -7.8% to -5.7% in the surveys I’ve seen, but interestingly, high streets appear to have been hit even harder, with out of town centres appearing to actually pick up shoppers escaping from miserable weather.

    Online sales will certainly perform strongly again, but there seems to be a high degree of nervousness in the retail sector.

    There seems to be a similar story in the US. Over there, analysts are suggesting that the strong performance of the sector appears to be based in large part on retailers stocking up, in the hope that consumers will start to buy.

    I suspect that once we have the December and January retail sales figures, we should have a clearer idea of how strong this recovery really looks.

  23. The post Christmas Sales seem to indicate an increasingly familiar patter-canny shoppers spending where & when they find value.

    http://www.retail-week.com/events/christmas/shoppers-expected-to-spend-almost-3bn-in-sales-on-december-27/5056093.article

  24. You only have to walk down your local town High Street , or visit your local supermarket to see the shift from footfall to clicks-they are all advertising order on-line/collect in store.

    This is a systemic change -only those companies which can adapt to it will survive.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25519237

  25. Smart shoppers looking for value is a very healthy sign for the economy-it puts companies into the real world.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/retailandconsumer/10538467/Bumper-Boxing-Day-sales-as-shoppers-embark-on-2.7bn-spending-spree.html

  26. @Colin – I picked up that Boxing Day record story after I posted. It’s going to be interesting to see how the figures play out between spending and volume. I think it is quite striking this year to witness the very significant level of pre Christmas discounting, which might show less consumer confidence than some think, although I suspect that this is also part of a longer trend, so it’s harder to judge.

    I think the high street is in a long term flux, and I’ve been wondering where this might end up. I suspect we will see a continued loss of outlets, but some serious thinking needs to be done about what comes next. Maybe we need to go back to the age of town centre workshops and houses.

  27. @ALEC

    “Maybe we need to go back to the age of town centre workshops and houses.”

    Or maybe combine the two and go back to workhouses?

  28. @Colin

    “Smart shoppers looking for value is a very healthy sign for the economy-it puts companies into the real world.”

    Depends whether it’s what they call distress selling just to get business and shift stock. Healthy competition on prices is certainly good for the consumer and, as long as businesses retain viable margins, good for them too, but if they’re selling at poor margins, or even losses, then consumer “value” doesn’t necessarily equate to business health, certainly in the retail sector.

    Of course, you’re right about the move from high street to online shopping and it will be interesting to see to what extent the online component is compensating for reduced high street business. One of the obvious downsides of reduced high street sales is the likely loss of jobs as shops close and other businesses dependent on them feel the pinch too (eg. cafes, restaurants, car parks etc).

  29. ALEC

    I don’t think the Christmas Discounts indicate lack of customer confidence.

    I think they are just a feature of the change which the recession has brought-people demand value now & will wait for it ( The sales rather than pre-Christmas) and/or go looking for it ( Online & The emergence of stores like Lidl & Aldi as “mainstream”)

    I think this is all entirely healthy-it speaks to sustainable spending rather than froth .

    Yes the High Street is changing & adapting to the switch to online. If you have no acceptable/accessible online presence you are sunk -unless some weird niche retailer. If you have embraced the Web, then click & collect seems like an attractive solution to maintaining a bricks & mortar presence.

    ….though it does test company organisation. I chose a pair of wide fit shoes online from Clarks-their system puts your choice in-store for a limited period-you view & pay in-store. I was happy with the price indicated online.
    When i visited the Store to try on , collect & pay-everything was 30% off-that was presumably to attract footfall-but it was an unexpected bonus for me.

  30. CB11

    The customer is King.

    Suppliers must find a way to provide the value he/she demands by competing with an attractive offer.

    If they can’t-there is always another management team who will find a way.

    There are pictures in my paper today of The High Street in 1888-rows & rows of shop fronts crammed with stuff, wqhich is piled high on the pavement behind dozens of smiling shop assistants being photographed.

    All gone.

  31. @ Colin
    The customer is King.
    Suppliers must find a way to provide the value he/she demands by competing with an attractive offer.
    If they can’t-there is always another management team who will find a way.
    ————
    LOL! Maybe for s/he is ‘king’ when it concerns Christmas tat – but when it comes to power, water, transport, delivery services, property rentals etc. etc. I think you might have to take a different view.

  32. I don’t know where that extra ‘for’ came from; maybe it was a Christmas present from my laptop or maybe I made a mistake… you decide ;-)

  33. @Colin – “I don’t think the Christmas Discounts indicate lack of customer confidence.”

    I’m less sure of this than you are. Yesterday it was reported that MacDonalds in the US was advising it’s own staff to think about selling unwanted presents on Ebay as a way to eased tight family budgets.

    If I were a US MacDonalds employee, I would think about some other ways to ease my families budget, but it’s clear that there remain a large number of distressed families out there, and while the rate of change has slowed, families are still getting worse off month by month.

    HSBC also reported their findings of 5000 ‘zombie’ SME’s, with bad debts only remaining trading due to bank forbearance and the fear of crystalising losses, and BoE calculations showing that interest rates at a relatively minimal 3% would cause substantial distress in the housing market.

    The recovery may well be solid and sustainable, but judging anything against a backdrop of ultra low interest rates that we have never witnessed before is risky, in my view. We’re nowhere near normality yet.

  34. “Suppliers must find a way to provide the value he/she demands by competing with an attractive offer.

    If they can’t-there is always another management team who will find a way.”

    ———

    No, they have to find a way to make more money from the consumer. You know? Capitalism? The goal is to accrue capital.

    This may, or may not, involve better service at a better price, depending on the situation, how much info customers can get, ease of sewing up the market, etc.

    Eg rents going up. Eg the rise in phone lines that charge for just basic services (apparently some action is now being taken on this in relation to public sector). Inflated banking charges etc.

  35. ————”LOL! Maybe for s/he is ‘king’ when it concerns Christmas tat – but when it comes to power, water, transport, delivery services, property rentals etc. etc. I think you might have to take a different view.”

    ———

    In the US, the problem extends to healthcare, where healthcare providers can charge higher prices than elsewhere for the same treatments, because customers don’t have the buying power.

    Meanwhile, companies like Tesco can invest squillions on doomed attempts to break into markets elsewhere in the world… who pays for that? Ultimately their customers.

  36. @ Colin/Alec

    We can only wait until the figures come out for Christmas spending. It is impossible to differentiate between the hype of the stores from the reality. The number of times I saw “this is going to be the biggest shopping day because people are holding off” stories I lost count (probably every weekend, black Friday, Christmas eve. Boxing day and so on). But lots of conflicting reports.

    Re forecasts

    I am sure the report would have had lots of caveats in it- I can’t see how any serious economist can predict economies 15 years in the future. Seems to be based on the assumption that Germany will have to subsidise the rest of Europe and won’t have money to invest at home. I think they will do up to a point but also they are in a strong position (and always have been) to get European fiscal policy the way they want it- hence the problems in Southern parts of Europe.

  37. ALEC

    I agree that the ultra loose monetary policy which underpins economies both sides of the Atlantic is a major-& unsustainable factor.

    We will have to return to more normal monetary conditions at some point………when Carney & the Fed decide!

  38. I see we have embarked on the perennial ‘it’s looking up’, ‘oh no it isn’t’, ‘well, even if it is, it’s only due to what we don’t want’, ‘well what if it is, we all benefit somehow’, discussions.

    Just watch the polls in two week’s time after those annual demands roll in. Actually I had mine from HMRC on Xmas Eve – nice one.

  39. Anyone thinking of taking that CEBR report seriously ought to look at their predictions for 2012.

    http://www.cebr.com/reports/top-ten-predictions-for-2012/

  40. In an odd moment I have been dipping into a classic book by Darrell Huff – How to [lügen/mentir are some European equivalents] with Statistics. Chapter one is called “The Sample with the built-in bias”. Still good stuff.

    Also noticed that the BBC seems to have suddenly realised that the European elections (due 22 May in the UK) are only six months away, and that UKIP just might do rather well. There was a fifteen minute satirical attack on Radio 4 yesterday, and an interview and analysis this lunchtime. The polls will certainly be worth watching.

  41. All the parties seem to be taking a rather passive approach to the European elections, which strikes me as strange for the following reasons:

    Labour: Labour are ahead in European opinion polls, and topping the list would bring credibility to and notch up a victory for a leader of whom some still aren’t convinced.

    On a less publicity-worthy but still quite important note, the more gains Labour make the better it is for the S&D group in the EP.

    Conservatives: The European elections give the Tories an opportunity to bring Europe to the forefront of political debate, and that’s an area in which they traditionally do well.

    Additionally, beating UKIP into second place would take a lot of wind out of Nige’s sails and possibly recover some lost GE voters from the purples.

    UKIP: If they win or come second, it puts Cameron in serious jeopardy with his parliamentary party and might even encourage some defections. At that point, UKIP might become the main receptacle for right-wing votes in a lot of areas.

    Also, if, as Nigel often reminds us, Brussels is responsible for 3/4 of our laws, surely it’s to his advantage to win as many seats as possible. Instead, he seems to be focusing on parliamentary seats of which, under FPTP, he stands little chance of winning many.

    Liberal Democrats: Oh yeah, them. Well, as has been pointed out on here previously, they’re now the only major unashamedly pro-European party in Britain. That’s not a popular position perhaps, but there’s more in that camp than the current LD GE VI (IIRC) and they may be able to capture Blairite and Liberal Conservative votes from the other two parties.

    So, any ideas why there’s been almost no coverage of it?

  42. MRNAMELESS

    I doubt that we’ll see much expenditure on the Euro elections in Scotland. The parties will be conserving their cash for the September campaign, I imagine.

  43. Nigel Farage’s ranking is currently 758th out of 844 MEPs when it comes to his participation in voting according to votewatch.eu.

    A previous assessment of UKIP’s MEPs showed that ” …for the three years until Jul 2012, they have the worst attendance, voting and work performance of any political party from anywhere across the EU.”

    Liberal Democrat MEP Chris Davies: “In Brussels the UKIP representatives reduce our country’s reputation to that of a laughing stock.”

  44. Billy Bob

    I see the UKIP non-participation in the EU parliament as possibly inconsistent with its principles. If it just always turned up and voted en bloc against any proposal that envisaged further cooperation (I suppose that must be all of them) then a good pitch to voters could be made in May. It’s too late now for that as 3.5 years have passed. Is it not so that there are not many UKIP EU reps left who are actually officially UKIP any more?

  45. @Howard

    UKIP had 13 MEPs elected in 2009… there are now 9 (Helmer defected from the Conservatives), though one of them (Colman) has quit the the party’s EFD grouping after an unresolved dispute.

    Two (Campbell-Bannerman and Andreasen) defected to the Conservatives, one (Godfrey Bloom) has become an Independent and two (Sinclaire and Nattrass) have formed break-away parties.

  46. Happy Christmas All.

    COLIN.
    Before Christmas I went to the Christchurch Sports Shop, and they told me there were no Size 13 Running shoes available.

    My good Wife bought some, on Line. They were from a company, which the lads in the shop told me, did not stock such goods.

    POLLING.
    Labour doing ok.
    Cons I think should feel encouraged.
    Lib Dems, with Simon Hughes a Minister now, may be in for quite a drubbing.
    UKIP, according to a recent Ken Clarke interview, could be disruptive of traditional party patterns.

  47. I am amazed at the inability of many otherwise excellent high street stores to mesh their retail operations with their online presence, I am also sad that we have lost the national network of post offices which could enabled those out at work during the day to pick up online purchases when convenient for them.

  48. CHORDATA
    Anyone thinking of taking that CEBR report seriously ought to look at their predictions for 2012.
    http://www.cebr.com/reports/top-ten-predictions-for-2012/

    -The Only prediction they appear to have got right was continuing falls in real income levels ,which didn’t require a genius as for those in the public sector at least this was guaranteed by government policy of freezes in pay!

    I particularly remember that awful Olympics the collapse of the Euro and the Recession in the USA.

    Still better luck next time chaps!

  49. It would seem some Tories are beginning to recognise the danger for the Cons election chances in maintaining the salience of immigration in the mind of voters. Indeed, reading the G-spot article “David Cameron ‘must stop pandering to Ukip prejudices” I also now have the view that there is underway within the Con party a strong response to the rightwards drift of the PM.
    Ryan Shorthouse, head of the Bright Blue thinktank, has warned warns No 10 that it cannot outdo Ukip. “…echoing deep concerns among modernising ministers that the prime minister has abandoned his early optimistic approach, which won him the Tory leadership in 2005…”

  50. Steve

    “Still better luck next time chaps!”

    Chortle. I wonder though if there are any chapesses in CEBR?

1 4 5 6 7