Friday polls

We have no fewer than four voting intention polls out today. Populus’s twice weekly poll has topline voting intention figures of CON 33%, LAB 40%, LDEM 13%, UKIP 9%. Full tabs are here.

Ipsos MORI’s monthly political monitor for the Evening Standard has topline figures of CON 30%(-3), LAB 39%(+2), LDEM 13%(+4), UKIP 11%(+1). The increased Labour lead seems to be mostly down to likelihood to vote – last month MORI’s results for all voters had a seven point Labour lead, which became a four point lead when they took only those certain to vote. This month their results for all voters had a five point Labour lead, which became a nine point lead when they took only those certain to vote. Full details are here.

MORI also had some interesting questions on coalitions. 60% of people now think it was a bad thing that we had a hung Parliament in 2010, 32% a good thing. This compares to 40% good, 52% bad when it was asked in May 2010. Looking forward, only 26% think it would be a good thing if we had another hung Parliament at the next election, 65% see if as a bad thing (thought 51% of people think it is very or fairly likely). MORI also asked if people would support the party they support going into a coalition in the event of a hung Parliament.

  • 70% of Tory voters would support another coalition with the Lib Dems, only 40% would support a coalition with UKIP.
  • 62% of Labour supporters would support a coalition with the Lib Dems, 63% would support a coalition with the Greens
  • 65% of Lib Dems would support another coalition with the Tories, 53% would support a coalition with Labour

Moving on, YouGov’s daily voting intention poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 32%, LAB 39%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 12% (full tabs are here.

Finally, Sky News have a Survation poll with topline figures of CON 30%(-1%), LAB 34%(-1%), LDEM 12%(+1%), UKIP 18%(+2). Full tabs for that are here

178 Responses to “Friday polls”

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  1. @Colin

    As his aides will now be telling him, the answer was “That would be outside of my remit.” He was not called to the Committee as Mark Carney political commentator on how banks should be allowed to operate, but as Chairman of the BoE.

  2. As an example… Imagine that the Met Commissioner is before a select committee on policing, and someone asks “Would your job be easier if we blocked immigration from Romania?”, then he’d know very well that his answer is “That would be outside my remit.”

  3. Apparently it was a leading question from a Tory MP.But this was a highly
    Political appointment.

  4. I must read the EM speech but what I heard him talking about on the news was market share in lending to small business, which has nothing much to do with market share of retail deposits.

    If anyone believes there is anything approaching a ‘perfect market’ in business lending (to use the formal term) I suggest they give it more thought.

    In reality, I agree with the point of view that new P2P type lending has an excellent chance of revitalising and revolutionising this market.

    It is very worthy indeed of a bit of government pump priming, and likely to be more effective than the EM proposal though a bit of both will certainly do no harm.

    Agreed neither of these deals with the real cartels in investment banking: in fact the Royal Mail privatisation seems a textbook example of what a scam this is: public asset sold off at half price to mates of the people who took monstrous fees for advising the govt to sell at a joke price.

    All the talk about ‘froth’ and ‘long term investors’ is nothing more than BS and Vince – who I normally admire – should be ashamed of both the rank incompetence shown and the lame excuses offered.

  5. Thanks for the comments on my comments. I don’t know what Vince Cable selling off the GPO for a song, has to do with it but Billy Bob knows apparently. :-)

    We get free banking as we never go into debit. We always have had a credit balance and we always will (not much time left to break that promise now, I suppose). If Natwest start charging us, we’re off to someone who won’t, if any exist. In fact I opened an account with Santander because they don’t charge for incoming transfers from NL, whereas NatWest and other high street banks were charging £25 – the nerve, the sheer audacity! That could be different now that the IBAN system is in full flow.

    I looked up the Monopolies Commission – it’s called the Competition Commission now so was not tossed onto Mr Maude’s bonfire. So why doesn’t Mr Miliband simply promise to have the banks referred to it (or even request that)?

    I’ll bet changing the name of it made a huge difference.

  6. @ Howard,

    “I’ll refer the banks to the Competition Commission” sounds a lot less macho and decisive than announcing their day of reckoning has come.

    Miliband is not setting out a plan to reform the financial sector. That’s complicated and boring and it’s something for the next Labour Financial Secretary to worry about (it may well take the form of referring some banks to the Competition Commission). He’s setting out his stall as The Scourge of the Banks.

  7. I think @Guymonde’s point is highly significant. Labour has been position as a pro small business party for some time now, with much success. The governments early budgets were not at all popular with small businesses, with the emphasis on tax breaks for multi nationals and very little for small businesses (indeed, the reduction in annual investment allowances was a completely wacky decision by a chancellor apparently keen to increase investment – it was hugely painful for small businesses).

    There remains a curiously odd ignorance of the smaller business sector among this government, and Labour are exploiting it rather well.

    On Osborne & the minimum wage, Dan Hodges is today claiming that this was penciled in before the 2010 election, and stuff about how clever Osborne is. I think Dan is blinding himself with his own opinions, as there is plenty of evidence that this wasn’t a brilliantly conceived plan executed by a strategic genius, but a hurried moved that was denied in briefings a few hours before it was announced.

    I think it’s also worth pointing out that it’s by no means certain that Osborne would reap any credit for a move to £7/hr, as he doesn’t set the rate. I’m also interested in the backlash against this rate from employers. If the commission decides that the rate should be less than this, Dan H will have to explain how a strategic play to announce a wage rise that didn’t then happen is quite so brilliant. But then, I’m sure he’d find a way to explain it.

  8. @howard – “So why doesn’t Mr Miliband simply promise to have the banks referred to it (or even request that)?”

    He says will ask the Competition and Markets Authority to work out details within six months, in the event of a Labour election victory.

    According to an Economist blog (What Ed did next), this is part of a strategy of “institutional changes designed to produce both a lower cost-of-living and a steadier, more long-termist ordo-capitalism.”

    Can’t find any references to “ordo-capitalism” on the web, but plenty about ordo-liberalism, the German social market economy, the state ensuring that free markets produces results close to their theoretical potential.

    Apologies, I thought there might be a connection between the selling of Royal Mail and speculation about the sale of the part-nationalised banks in the near future.

  9. Actually the Competition Commission IS on the bonfire, it’s just they don’t light the blue touchpaper until April, when it will be replaced by the Competition and Markets Authority (which also bonfires the Office of Fair Trading).
    Actually if I read it correctly it only takes bits of the OFT so not much of a bonfire.

  10. Thanks BB and GM

    Looks as though Sir Humphrey has quietly got that one sorted then!

  11. “Institutional changes designed to produce both a lower cost-of-living and a steadier, more long-termist ordo-capitalism.”

    Badly-defined terms aside, this sounds like the impression I get of the Miliband vision so far as it’s been set out.

    He doesn’t strike me as particularly interventionist – he doesn’t endorse much renationalisation or anything – but seems to see the state as a ‘guiding hand’, nudging the economy in his party’s favoured direction without central planning.

    In terms of Labour Party history, he sounds like a traditional revisionist – he values aims (high employment, a living wage, equality) over means (nationalisation, large-scale price and wage controls, high state spending) and seems willing to explore rather unorthodox methods like ‘predistribution’ to achieve them.

    Of course some of that is a response to limited finances and it’s up in the air how well it will work if at all. There’s every chance the unorthodox methods are obscure for a reason and the only way we’ll find out is if they’re tried, which may put some voters off.

  12. One of the interesting things about the MORI poll is how the findings on coalitions go against all the conventional wisdom of the Westminster Bubble. Not that anyone notices – MORI themselves say “The last few years haven’t changed Britons’ longstanding dislike of coalition governments”. But of course most people will think it “a bad thing for the country that no party achieved an overall majority”, because they support a particular Party and they want that to have power. But it doesn’t mean they ‘dislike’ coalitions, just that they prefer the alternative if possible. The trouble is that not everyone agrees on the alternative.

    We are always told that even if people wanted coalition they have become disillusioned with it. and yet as Anthony says since 2010 the bad/good balance has only moved from 52/40 to 60/32, nearly all in the first year. But it’s the details of which coalitions would find favour with a Party’s supporters that are revealing.

    For Conservatives another Con-LD coalition would have net support of +52. But Con-UKIP -5.

    For Labour Lab-LD gets +41 and Lab-Green +46.

    For Lib Dems Con-LD gets +45 and Lab-LD gets +18.

    For UKIP Con-UKIP gets +35 and Lab-UKIP gets +2

    So most supporters will put up with a coalition if it gets their Party to power. With one exception – Tories would not support a pact with UKIP. And what is the only pre-election agreement that is being proposed? (Admitted mainly by Old Etonians with delusions of competence, but still).

  13. Can’t see why they asked about Lab-Green pacts, when the Greens only have potential to win two seats maximum.

    LAB-UKIP is a not inconceivable combination, as a kind of Blue Labour government. It would be quite off-putting to the party’s liberal members and UKIP’s fiscal libertarians though.

  14. Again, with all these polls – the most significant thing is the relative stability of the Labour lead, rather than it’s size.

    There is still a year and nearly a half before the next election and so events can still have an impact. However, my reckoning is that the next significant event is the European elections – wherein UKIP might do well. Should this be the case, it may be something of a green light for UKIP supporters to carry on ‘protesting’ right through the next election? In this eventuality, I can see the Conservatives becoming rattled.

    “with the polls pointing to a Labour government then inadvertently labour could already be damaging the banking sector with investment going elsewhere”

    Could you quote the evidence for this? The persistent VI suggests that EM is believed when he says Labour will reform the banking sector, and that this would initially consist of widening the array of High St banks, specifically to open competition and options for personal and small business lending. Secondly VI seems to indicate that this is not regarded as “punishing the banks” or damaging them, but rather as redressing a pathological movement away from excessive bank profits and bonuses and towards a more effective and equitable performance in investing in the economy..

  16. LD still seem to be bickering over Rennard

    Could this be the event that leads to an explosion – tensions have been building for months and, although fairly minor in itself, it seems to be simmering away with the same old battle lines being drawn that we have seen since the Coalition was formed.

    They are coming across badly at the moment and it won’t help them regain the momentum they need

  17. The Times reports that when the Prospectus for Sale of shares in Lloyds is prepared by the Treasury ( in spring) , it will have to declare a forced sell-off of branches as a risk.

    This may or may not impact the price achieved.


    @”He doesn’t strike me as particularly interventionist –”

    It depends what you mean by the term.

    My increasing impression is of a distinct theme of industrial intervention to “order” the market in certain sectors.

    This may be for the best of intentions, but I think he will find the practice more difficult than the theory & I can foresee a troubled relationship with the Private Sector.

    What the average voter makes of all this “new economy ” stuff one can only wonder-I favour Howard’s view & think an increase in minimum wage & further fall in unemployment & inflation are more likely to receive attention.

  19. ALEC

    @”I’m also interested in the backlash against this rate from employers.”

    Not if he gives them a tax incentive for doing it.

  20. Don’t think Carney’s apparent repudiation will have any impact on voters and in a bizarre way if anything at the margins may reinforce the view of some that the Tories are the bankers friends.That he is a public servant and not a private sector banker will pass the typical swing voter by.

    As to whether EMs ideas are any good and if Carney’s remarks will contribute to an adjustment process with the policy is for other fora. (Labour would call a refinement of course).

  21. @Roger Mexico

    I suppose moe is on the rise for samples in these questions, but there is an interesting regional variation.

    Asked about a Con/UKIP coalition, the South shows net support +11%.

    Adding Greater London (30) + South (106) still shows net support for the idea. (Con sample 261.)

  22. Roger Mexico (and Billy Bob)

    Yes, I think the more illuminating choices on coalitions are to be found when looking only at the results for each VI. Another example I cited a while back, namely leader approval proves this. I pointed out that Labour supporters do not have a net disapproval of EM, indeed very few do so disapprove of him.

    Thus, for them, voting Labour is where it’s at. The same goes for Approval. Labour voters do not approve of the government and that is what matters to Labour strategists. If Labour supporters start to shew big numbers of approval, then it’s time for them to panic, although I suspect there would by then be a significant swing from Lab to Con /LD anyway, to match. There is no indication whatsoever at present that this is on the cards.

  23. @ John Pilgrim

    Equally, EM only announced this yesterday so where’s your evidence he’s believed where VI is concerned? There are already at least 5 Challenger banks that I know of, by the time the election comes around at least 2 new challenger banks will be in operation. How many does we want considering the high level of capitalisation needed to put a new bank on the road?

    As evidenced widely in polls over a long period of time Labour aren’t as trusted on running the economy, this “new” policy will just add to the already considerable doubts about their competence.

  24. @colin – “This [“industrial intervention to “order” the market”] may be for the best of intentions, but I think he will find the practice more difficult than the theory & I can foresee a troubled relationship with the Private Sector.”

    Possibly, and it’s worth mentioning my own vested interest here, but the majority of the private sector (the 60% that is small and micro enterprises) are absolutely screaming out for someone to “order” the market.

    People so often forget that in practice there is no such thing as a single ‘private sector’. Instead, we have an economy where small manufacturers are p!ssed on by the banks, sole outlet shopkeepers are shafted by the energy companies, any small business is a target for fraud/miss selling by the financial services sector, independent booksellers compete against tax avoiding multinational giants like Amazon, credit terms forced on small suppliers by supermarkets are crippling, and so, and so..

    It’s been a recurring feature of successive governments that governance and regulation has followed a strictly defined path where the balance of benefit has been tilted very firmly towards large enterprises, and in particular the global giants. New Labour were as guilty of this as the Thatcher administration. Osborne has carried on the noble tradition.

    I think politicians are blinded by wealth, and frightened by the apparent influence of very large companies, and as a result see the private sector as being dominated by them. In reality, micro enterprises are much more important.

    Ed Milliband has talked continually about helping small businesses, as well as consumers. I’m unsure at this point whether he has the correct policy package, but he has clearly identified a major problem in the economy that needs fixing – namely that governments have allowed certain sectors to become too monopolistic and controlling, with the result that efficient market operation is failing. This hurts business, and consumers.

    This is music to the ears of 60% of the private sector, so long as the urge to intervene is well targeted and the measures well constructed.

  25. It’s just a dog whistle. “Ed, say something mean about the banks”. I expect it to help Labour VI a little as it will be well received by the “man on the street” who “hates the banks”, although not as significant as the energy price freeze thing.

    Do I expect a Labour government next year to actually break up the banks? No.

  26. ALEC

    I have just had a look at the FSB website.

    Their number one ask is more banking competition-so EM has certainly hit that target.

    If he does come to power we will see how he follows through on his seeming belief that Government can simply mould market forces to it’s desired objectives at the click of a quango.

    Meantime I hope ( but have no expectation) that someone in the government will explain that they are already doing it-and remind folk that it was Gordon Brown who ordered the merger of HBOS & Lloyds.

    I must say EM has considerable chutzpah in most of his attacks on the government-but that’s the way the game is played-and memories fade.

  27. NEILA

    @”. “Ed, say something mean about the banks”.

    I certainly thought the chosen phraseology was carefully considered:-

    “a day of reckoning”.

  28. Bantams
    Have you read the comments policy?

  29. Colin
    “I must say EM has considerable chutzpah in most of his attacks on the government-but that’s the way the game is played-and memories fade.”

    Blimey, is EM supposed to only follow what previous Labour leaders did then ?

    By that token then, Cameron should only have followed what Thatcher did & interventions such as gay marriage should never ever have been promoted let alone legislated for.

    Come on, even a blind man should be able to see that EM is much more liberal & democratic in his beliefs. A desire for fairness seems to be the thing that makes him tick – fairness for all of us, not just those with the most & whose actions ensure those same people keep the most.

    On Osborne’s intervention of promoting an 11% increase in NMW (despite it being nothing to do with him) – if Ed Balls had suggested it he would have been shot down in flames & the mantra about ‘more borrowing, more spending’ would have been emitting from the mouths of the treasury ministers & I dare say, from a few on here also.
    There would have been howls of ‘how can they be expected to afford that’ but since it’s Osborne those same people are happy to laud it & they additionally expect tax incentives to help employers pay it ! This from a country we are continually told is broke ! Now that’s chutzpah.

  30. Chordata,
    Great post.

  31. One day and four polls – I feel it’s election time already and just like in the USA there’s only another 16 months of this to go….

  32. John Pilgrim

    “with the polls pointing to a Labour government then inadvertently labour could already be damaging the banking sector with investment going elsewhere”

    Could you quote the evidence for this?

    Not another ” Could you quote the evidence for this?” response. Don’t you watch the news? Don’t you read the news papers? Don’t you hear what business leaders are saying? Don’t you hear what other political parties are saying?
    “The persistent VI suggests that EM is believed when he says Labour will reform the banking sector”

    Most of us are not bankers and of course any politician who comes out with radical banking reforms ideas is going to win public support particularly in todays climate.

    So anything EM says on banking is obviously going to be subjective on the public mind.

  33. Re the banks:

    The specific proposals that Miliband put forward were less important than the intent it signalled. It leaves the state of play on the banking sector something like this: Coalition – we’ve pretty well fixed the problem; Miliband – no you haven’t.

    I found the response of the business sector interesting, because it demonstrates quite a schism. The CBI and the banks themselves, utterly predictably, deny the problem. However the Federation of Small Businesses and the Engineering Employers’ Federation were more positive and constructive in their reaction, welcoming the focus on the need to transform competition in the banking sector even if the FSB considers alternative measures to be a greater priority. So that opens the door to a constructive dialogue with Labour to refine and possibly extend the remedy put forward yesterday. Both seem to be firmly in the “no you haven’t” camp.

    If the proposals do affect the RBS sale price at the margins, that is well and good because it demonstrates that the proposals will have a meaningful effect to the benefit of business and individual customers of all of the big four banks. That is a relatively small price for the Exchequer to pay to secure a greater good. Given that we’ve recently seen a major state asset disposed of for 40% less than its market value, mostly to the benefit of the City’s institutional investors, those making such criticisms seem immune to the glass houses they’re living in.

  34. bantams

    @ John Pilgrim

    Equally, EM only announced this yesterday so where’s your evidence he’s believed where VI is concerned?

    Excellent point so if any polling evidence does indeed exist then surely it was based on a question of some sort on asking people’s opinions if they wanted to see banking reforms rather than VI on EM speech.

  35. COLIN

    “I must say EM has considerable chutzpah in most of his attacks on the government-but that’s the way the game is played-and memories fade”

    What a wonderful word. I had to Google it because I never knew such a word existed.
    “”Chutzpah ( is the quality of audacity, for good or for bad. The Yiddish word derives from the Hebrew word ?utspâ (????????), meaning “insolence” or “audacity”. The modern English usage of the word has taken on a broader meaning, having been popularized through vernacular use in film, literature, and television. The word is sometimes interpreted—particularly in business parlance—as meaning the amount of courage, mettle or ardor that an individual has. However in more traditional usage, chutzpah is invariably negative in context”

    One for the top drawer ;-)


    I said that EM is pursuing his intervention line for the best of reasons.

    I said that this is the way politics works-the past is another country ( unless we are talking about Margaret Thatcher of course)

    I do not know whether GO will propose tax reliefs for implementation of a MW increase-if he does OBR will pronounce on it’s effects.

    None of us know if the Low Pay Commission will recommend it.

  37. Does anyone have confirmation that Carney was asked a leading question by a Conservative member during the committee hearing to try and draw him into comment?

    It seems a very short sighted thing to do, and to have badly burnt one of the Conservative’s few allies in the civil service.


    @”The CBI and the banks themselves, utterly predictably, deny the problem.”

    I don’t know about the banks-but that is an incorrect assessment of the CBI’s view:-

    You must not conflate “Banking Reform” with ” Ed Miliband’s solution to Banking REform”.

  39. @ Allan Christie

    Agree, being a member of the FSB & as EM’s propoals were specifically aimed at the likes of us maybe small businesses is the area questions regarding bank reforms should be put. He might be surprised at the result.

    Most domestic bank account holders should be on free banking anyway if they are in credit, if not they should be looking to switch. It isn’t rocket science!

  40. @Colin

    The Low Pay Commission will almost certainly produce as high a rise as they feel they can under the current political pressures. The Low Pay Commission are actually severely restrained by specified remit boundaries they are delivered by the government of the day. And members of the Commission have made public comments that they personally feel that the minimum wage should actually have risen much more since it’s creation than it has, as it was originally intended to gradually escalate up to a living wage and then track inflation.

  41. With caveats of course that the Chairman of the Low Pay Commission would obviously never say anything official and on the record outside his remit.

  42. @ Chordata

    I said that this is the way politics works-the past is another country ( unless we are talking about Margaret Thatcher of course)

    How about Tony Blair and Iraq / Afghanistan? How about Jim Callaghan and the “winter of discontent”? Don’t they count?


    Listen to the opening question from the Chair-and Carney’s reply.

  44. @ Ewen Lightfoot

    I could point at half a dozen comments that are more partizan than mine was, I at least used VI intentions as a backup.

    By the way, I’m one of the many right leaning LD’s!

  45. Mark Carney’s remarks – Labour missed an opportunity here. Being in opposition, they should’ve said they’d welcome a public meeting with the Governor to discuss the future of the UK banking industry.

    Either Labour would’ve got masses of publicity from having the meeting or the Governor would’ve had to decline – thereby ‘confirming’ that banking is a secretive, vested interest which doesn’t welcome public scrutiny.

  46. Jayblanc

    “one of the Conservative’s few allies in the civil service.”

    What evidence do you have for such a statement?


    As I read this , the conclusions in Government’s final evidence to the LPC has not yet been published-but is due to be shortly :-

  48. @ JayBlanc

    “It seems a very short sighted thing to do, and to have badly burnt one of the Conservative’s few allies in the civil service.”

    Has there been a Civil Service VI that I missed?

  49. Ed Balls reaction […]:

    “I have known Mark Carney for a decade and there is no prospect of an unhappy relationship,” he said.

    Asked if he had told Mr Carney to “shut up”, Mr Balls replied: “absolutely not, of course not. On the issue which he raised on Wednesday of bank bonuses and our view that pay and bonuses where the bonuses are more than 100% higher than salary, he disagreed with that. On that one, I’m going to disagree with the governor of the Bank of England.”

    So that’s bonuses dealt with.

    And on banks’ market share: “Where he said imposing a cap – and he hadn’t seen our speeches at that time – imposing a cap would not in and of itself solve the problem, well, of course he is right about that. That is why this is part of a package of reforms and why we are not simply imposing a cap.”


  50. Labour can always say they’d have a higher minimum wage. That’ the problem with triangulation (going into opposition territory); the opposition can always outbid you. Labour, in the face of an incredibly welcome rise to e.g. £7, can say they’ll make the living wage (£7.45) the minimum wage. After all, if businesses can afford £7, they can find a way to afford £7.45.

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