The daily YouGov voting intention poll for the Sun is up and running again for the new year. The first results are here and have topline voting intentions of CON 32%, LAB 40%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 12%. The eight point lead for Labour is larger than YouGov were showing at the end of 2013, but of course this is but one poll. We’ll need to wait a couple of days before we can tell what YouGov’s figures are averaging out at.

429 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – CON 32, LAB 40, LDEM 9, UKIP 12”

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  1. @John Pilgrim – “The food supply issue is a chimera – there are no proven limits on food supply from traditional sources..”

    Beg pardon, but there is, although I haven’t picked up this conversation previously so might have missed your point.

  2. John Lewis, Waitrose and JD Sports report increase sales of 15.8%, 9.3% and 6% respectively:

  3. Vast amounts of food are wasted so perhaps production is not the primary issue.

  4. alec

    “Before we get into full on panic mode………”

    ………………..let’s get Colin’s view.

  5. ALEC
    “Beg pardon, but there is” [a proven limit on trraditional sources of food supply]
    What this isn’t is a “Oh no there isn’t. Oh yes there is debate”.

    What in your view are the limits, and what are the proofs?

  6. @JP – water.

    South of England is already under water stress in about half of the growing seasons, and expected to worsen, and elsewhere globally water is the key determinate in output.

    There is some scope for innovation, for example with GM developed rice that doesn’t need traditional flooded paddy fields, but even so, global freshwater availability is critical.

    After that, it’s fertilizer. Oil is critical to agriculture, for both fertilizer and production. Fossil fuels are responsible for the single biggest increase in output, and once these tail off, we should expect to see food production shrink by around 30 – 50%, although that’s some way off right now.

  7. The UKIP result in Haverhill is dramatic but needs two strong addition warnings to the usual ones about local by-elections. The first is that turnout was only 18% which is pretty low even for January[1] and we know that UKIP voters have an even higher propensity to vote than Conservatives (or at least they say they do).

    The second is that Haverhill is the sort of place that ought to be good really good UKIP territory. It is in East Anglia (though right down in the SW corner of Suffolk) but it is also a London exodus town that had massive expansion in the 60s with associated industrial growth. Both these things tended to mark places where UKIP did well in the county elections and indeed they won two of the three seats in Haverhill in May, including one won by the successful candidate last night who is also the county rep for the area.

    Demographically UKIP’s strongest support seems to be from older working class Tories[2] and I suspect Haverhill has these in abundance. UKIP’s basic problem is to make itself more attractive to more traditional Conservative voters and to retain them.

    [1] Although electoral registers are theoretically continuously updated, there is also normally an annual canvas to check (because most people don’t think to update when they move). This always used to come into effect February-ish, so by-elections in January tend to be on a register maybe 15 months out of date.

    [2] But often ones who occasionally voted Labour eg for Blair in 1997.

  8. UKIP scaled down from 196 to 20 in that Populus poll according to Mike Smithson. I kind of understand some of the reasons but when you see it stated like that it just seems out of all proportion to the reality.

  9. Visa have just released their December transactions report. It’s being presented as good news, with a 0.6% increase on spending year on year. However, the quarterly figures are a very modest +0.1%, and overall sales actually lost a rather hefty 2.0% on the month. Given that last year was very weak, I would say that these figures don’t ally merit the spin being given to them, and also appear to be consistent with a developing slow down.

    Interestingly, Visa found online sales up 6.8% – a healthy increase, but nowhere near the figures from some individual retailers.

    Given that Visa have data on around a third of all UK transactions, we should be able to assume that these are reasonably accurate barometers.

    There appears to be a consistent message forming of consumer stress and a general slowdown through most parts of the economy.

  10. Never really looked at the social grades for UKIP VS Conservatives but it is clear they skew in two very seperate directions. UKIP on the less affluent side and the Conservatives on the affluent side.

  11. Anyone who lives near a Lidl or Aldi should give them a try. Okay not a huge range but nice prices.

    I use Sainsbury’s online every fortnight and you can customise your shopping so every department either comes up with the cheapest or offers first.

    Asda might be cheaper overall but you need to really dig around their website for deals etc.

    Sainsbury’s also take back any carrier bags to recycle regardless if they are theirs r not.

  12. rogerh

    John Lewis, Waitrose and JD Sports report increase sales of 15.8%, 9.3% and 6% respectively

    I’m not surprised at JD Sports results, I spend a fortune on Adidas Originals.


    CARFREW ‘In the longer-term, they envisage food production within skyscrapers and stuff of course…”

    “Thanks for your response. The concept of density as the defining factor seems to me misleading, since it is infrastructure, investment and employment generation which are critical, and if balanced don’t set a limit on density. The food supply issue is a chimera –there are no proven limits on food supply from traditional sources..”


    To suggest “misleading” is an unfortunate choice for those who had been considering the density criteria, since it suggests an attempt to, well, mislead. You could have just said you thought it erroneous or something…

    Though it isn’t even that. In the context of the debate, we weren’t really talking about the absolute limits of population we could support, nor even if population increase is desirable. The debate sprang from Farage’s comment about immigration, following the Bulgaria/Romania thing. Given that this new immigration is unlikely to test the absolute limits of population we can theoretically support in terms of infrastructure, and Farage’s comment assumed economic benefit (eg investment/employment) by suggesting he would still be against the immigration even with economic benefit, the debate then tended to revolve around housing and land required, associated population density, potential consequent demise of hedgerows etc.

    Whether there are theoretical global limits to population, we were talking about migration, which is shifting people around instead.

  14. @Fraser

    @UKELECTIONS2015: @LordAshcroft POLL

    #TORIES 37%
    #LABOUR 33%
    #UKIP 13%
    LD 10%
    NAT 4%

    LAB 46%
    UKIP 20%
    LD 7%
    NAT 5%
    CON 18%

    That is with Ukip at 16 and Con at 29 so twice the number of UKIP voters as Con voters are in DE class and only 1 in 8 UKips are in class AB compared to nearly 1 in 4 Cons.

    This in my opinion is Cons biggest problem they have lost the working class Tory vote they had under Thatcher and then Major. There is very little connection with Cameron or Osbourne. Thatcher and Major both came from (lower) middle class backgrounds Thatcher and to a lesser extent Major were aspirational figures to the working class Torys.

  15. ALEC
    Thanks. The debate needs to be about global supply and demand, which is the traditional basis of UK food supply, rather than UKproduction . which is, with Dutch and Danish, the most advanced in Europe and among the most intensive in the world – and may be at its economic limits.
    The International Food Policy Research Institute is the most authoritative source and its 2013 Food Security Scenarios report =
    the best and most recent source on global supply and demand.
    In sum, India, China and Brazil are forecast to be the major expanding exporting countries and sources of global food supply – the former two of rice and the latter of soy bean and maize as liivestock feed (and biofuel) – by 2050.
    SE Asian countries (my research) are forecast to continue to increase rice production for export, plus cassava and soy bean as bio-fuel, as well as meeting their own demand, with Bangladesh also continuing to provide rice exports to W. Africa and elsewhere.
    These are the forecasts under present productivity scenarios, but would be improved, and present costs, I understand, actually lowered between now and 2050, by stepped up R&D. That’s where the most significan policy options lie.

  16. I think my stats are wonky – but the UKIP’s are under-represented in AB class and over-represented in the DE class – whereas the Cons are the opposite disproportionately more ABs than DEs

  17. @ Alec

    I worried about the production of hyphens. There are 10+ missing from yr various posts today, suggesting an industry in crisis. The export market offers hope: the French love them & the German market promising: it produces non-hyphenated words such as: Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz
    Nobody knows what this means, as by the time one gets to the end one has forgotten the beginning.

    Ps. Yr learned disquisitions on the mixed fortunes of the economy are always fascinating.
    My view: If real incomes & government expenditure are down & exports sticky then it’s unlikely much is happening in the economy. GDP is up, but spread over a faster growth in those employed, meaning that domestic demand is shaky.

  18. @ Couper2802

    Re the Social Grade, from what I gather the pollsters don’t pay particular attention to this, as it is difficult to attach the correct grade based on what people tell them. I raised this before with AW and from I remember, he said not to look at this crossbreak and draw too much of a conclusion.

    “To suggest “misleading” is an unfortunate choice for those who had been considering the density criteria, since it suggests an attempt to, well, mislead.”
    Sorry, if you thought so – not intended.
    My intention was to emphasise the inadequacy of “density” as the main criterion (especially if measured by land-population density stats), when in reality the viability of an urban population, in terms of quality of life is related to the balance between population and provision and appropriateness of infrastructure, access to employment and services.

    BTW, re moving people about and housing them, the Bulgarians will, IME, prefer to flock to high rise flats, the most essential factor being assured access to high quality coffee (a variety of sourced arabica and robusta roasted and unroasted bean, at any neighbourhood caff or restaurant) and walking or taxi distance to the office. So urban centres and urban village food and shopping, with upward if any development. No muddy spud or other fields – they had enough of that under the Soviets.

  21. @ Alec

    I have always had quite a bit of faith in the PMI surveys but you seem to be right that there is currently a bigger difference between what they say and what the official figures by ONS are stating.

    I had a look at how they are compiled and it appears to be a simple tick box system- better/worse/the same so I think there is no real check on the responses to judge how correct they are (for instance real figures that can be compared to real figures from a year ago). I assume they use weighting depending on the size of the company.

    Therefore it is totally down to the mood or professionalism of the buyer whether the responses are accurate or not. It is not clear what period of time they judge whether things are up or down on normal so there may be some personal view by the buyer on what is up or down.

    Of course with the bigger companies, and even smaller companies, they probably have their own spreadsheets or reports anyway for their own purposes and may be using accurate data but equally they may just want to tick a box based on their feelings and not have time to fill in “silly surveys”.

  22. @JP

    As I hoped would have been clear, I acknowledged the importance of things like urban planning, economic impact etc., it’s just that given the debate was about Farage’s comment, your concerns were actually largely irrelevant as I pointed out since:

    a) We were discussing in the context of Farage’s scenario of economic benefit being assured, so no need to consider employment, investment etc.
    b) before you get to discussing urban planning you have to make sure there’s enough land first.

    I don’t know how to make any clearer to you the idea that we don’t need to consider economic impact when discussing a scenario when this is already a given, or the idea that there’s not much point considering things like how best to arrange the housing, urban planning etc., until you have established you have enough land in the first place.

  23. @JP

    Well, I’m not up to speed with Bulgarian coffee drinking habits, but I do like a coffee, and can attest that nearby access to coffe is important to me too. Within a couple of minutes walk I can be sat in one of five coffee shops…

  24. Or six if you count Costa’s…

  25. Weak economic figures from the US as well.

    The Tories are going to have to play this very carefully indeed if recovery is slowing.

  26. New thread, BTW

  27. ALEC

    @”Apologies for being so tiresome,”

    Why write these lengthy tomes & then apologise.

    Either stop doing it or carry on enjoying it !!!

    Actually-if you did it from daily or even hourly data you could pick up much more volatility & have much greater fun.

  28. Personally I find Alec’s posts useful on the economy thing, and indeed yours Colin, which have been quite frequent at times, though perhaps more so when things are more on the up. All useful info. in building up a picture and some of it – surveys and stuff – is even on topic given the relationship to polling, allowing for methodological discussion as well. And the economy is pretty salient for VI.

    I was quite taken with Statgeek’s link to graphs showing the rise of internet sales, and the number of empty shops. Interestingly, internet sales have been rising linearly, but what really surprised is that there hasn’t been a rise in empty shops for quite some time. As if the rise in internet shopping isn’t making that much difference.

    Though of course this doesn’t take into account whether the shops are simply being replaced by betting shops and stuff…

  29. @Allan

    Since stopping smoking, we generally only need non-Aldi supermarkets for occasional branded items. To be honest, much of the Aldi goods are as good or better. Examples include packaged sliced meat, biscuits and so on. One gem of a find for me is their version of Irn Bru. The Barrs version is very, very sweet in comparison. One Aldi item that doesn’t impress is their version of cornflakes.

    I love the Aldi checkouts, although they take a couple of runs to get used to them. Not for slow packers. Also love the no-questions at the checkout, other than ‘cash or card’.


    “This in my opinion is Cons biggest problem they have lost the working class Tory vote they had under Thatcher and then Major.”

    Possibly. Also, those of the wartime generation that voted Conservative from the 1950s onward, were dying out by the mid 90s. The ‘blue rinse brigade’ that continued beyond this time are more of a platoon now (no offence intended to anyone of said generation). I think we’ll see an ebb and flow as the 60s and 70s generation gives up the majority to the 80s and 90s, and so on.


    “Well, I’m not up to speed with Bulgarian coffee drinking habits”

    Probably the same as ours. I doubt they drink it out of a kaba gaida. Maybe the Bulgarians have a lot in common with teh Scots?

    As was mentioned, the supermarkets are expanding into smaller premises, as are others (such as e-cigarette companies). Perhaps the lion’s share of new business start ups are on-line or home-based, office based, rather than high street based, while existing retailers expansions are not making a dent in the numbers.

    I’m thinking ahead to a time where most shopping is done on-line, and trying to imagine what a high street will look like then. Pubs, bookies, nightclubs and eating houses? Sounds more like a low street.

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