This morning’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 34%, LAB 38%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 13%. The four point lead is slightly lower than YouGov have been showing of late, but there was equally an eight point lead yesterday and both are entirely in line with an underlying average lead of around about six points. Tabs are here.

For the Times YouGov also asked the first recent questions about Lord Rennard and his future. 41% of people think he should leave the Liberal Democrats as he is damaging the party, 33% think he should remain as no wrongdoing has actually been proven. There is a noticiable difference between male and female respondents – men are almost evenly split, 40% think Rennard should stay, 39% think he should go. Amongst women 43% think Rennard should go, only 27% think he should stay.

As a caveat, YouGov also asked whether or not people were paying any attention to the Rennard story. Only 6% of people said they were following it closely, 30% said fairly closely, 25% not very closely, 39% that they were not following the story at all or were totally unaware of it. Generally speaking this should be a Westminster bubble story – it’s about a disciplinary procedure against a backroom figure most of the public have never heard of, in normal terms it should be the sort of thing that only the most politically minded notice and which is rapidly forgotten by next week. However, the fact that it is dragging on and on does increase the possibility of “normal” people noticing.


779 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – CON 34, LAB 38, LD 9, UKIP 13”

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  1. The Daily Mail poll is rather at odds with the spin put on the policy by much of the media:

    “On the face of it, Ed Balls’s plan to raise the top-rate of tax to 50p is a vote-winner. It is supported by six out of ten adults overall, with fewer than one in five against. Even Tory supporters favour it by a small margin.”

    Talk of returning to the Labour of Michael Foot and Denis ‘squeeze the pips’ Healey (one of those phrases associated with someone even though they never said it) seems a bit OTT when it’s just about re-introducing Alastair Darling’s policy from less than five years ago. I imagine Labour has decided it’s best to get the hysteria over well before the election.

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  2. Phil

    I agree totally but all we see on the media (papers and television) is that the 50% tax is a disaster of epic proportions (as you say, as if!) and shows this ‘power’ influence that can frame the debate

    If all the newspaper editors and tv newscasters were living on social security or at the margins of low paid work, perhaps the argument would be framed differently – all we get is ‘Benefit Street’ with its agenda set out clearly

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  3. I have 2 questions about business leaders & the 50p tax

    a) Did all those against it leave the country when the 50p rate was in existence

    & b) did they all come flooding back when the rate was dropped to 45p ?

    I suggest the answer to a) was no & if that was the case then b) is not applicable & the noise they are making is just that, noise.

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  4. Phil Haines

    Of course a top rate of income tax at 50% is effectively 60% because there is no limitation on NI. I agree that it is unlikely to encourage people to emigrate but it could well stop good people and companies from coming here

    I am old enough to remember paying income tax at above 60% and it certainly was not a rate that encouraged me or anybody like me at the time to work harder.

    I do think it is a clever move by Labour to get the talk back to taxing higher earners because it moves people away from thinking about the lack of a coherent economic stategy from Labour. I look forward to them making their policy clear but suspect I will still be waiting to see it come election day.

    I remain convinced that the election result depends on whether or not the middle earners are feeling better of by then. If they are then the Tories will win if not then it will be either a hung parliament or Labour.

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  5. Those who pay 50% wont vote labour under any circumstance – but the vast majority of the swinging voters paying less will happily like the idea of the the ‘rich / banksters’ paying that rate. It will be a popular policy

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  6. TOH

    I am sure the 40% that remained was still a large amount of money, far more that the minimum wage.

    Should people on the minimum wage stop working because the material gain is so low?

    There is this idea that all people earning 150000 are entrepreneurs – some are, a lot are people on salaries that are probably not justified on importance to society or the amount of work done.

    Conversely some entrepreneurs earn far less than 150000

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  7. @TOH

    There is indeed a limitation on NI = 2% rather than 12% once you get into the 40% bracket, so tax rates are effectively 12%, 32%, 42%, 47% (currently – would be 52%)

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  8. oh, and not all about income tax either – a revision of capital gains tax should also be included

    Cannot look at it in isolation if we want fair taxation – which surely should be the aim of all.

    It is just we have different concepts of fair….my point is that the people who are being interviewed and allowed to moan on tv have just one view of ‘fair’

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  9. @ Phil,

    Lol, Hodges is basically turning into one of those Victorian morality tales where the protagonist allows himself to be consumed by hatred and falls further and further in the world until he comes to the inevitable sticky end, isn’t he?

    Ten years from now he’s going to be writing columns for the Express about how Ed Miliband murdered Princess Diana.

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  10. If you want high marginal rates of taxation you need to look at the opposite end of the scale where effective rates can be up to 100%, if not more.

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  11. This is a very good example of rich people kidding themselves, the Westminster bubble or whatever.

    in the press and on the telly nearly everybody agrees that a 50% top tax rate is a disaster and it makes Red Ed un-electable and soon everybody knows that nobody will ever in a million years vote for that bunch of business-hating commies.

    Then we get a poll.

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  12. We know that even though voters according to polls agreed with much of the cons messages in 2001 and 2005 re Europe and Immigration and the like the emphasis suggested an overall set or priorities that did not sit well.
    The old ‘Nasty Party’ thing which the Tories worked hard under DC to dispel (arguments about how successful not for now please).

    Similarly the 50p tax rate policy may be an ostensible vote winner but if it contributes to a Labour is anti-business theme which nags in the back of voters minds (like it did with Kinnock in 1992) it could be unhelpful.

    I am not saying I am against the policy just that the reasons need to be clear and the impact and numbers accurate and broadly supportive.

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  13. Guymonde

    If thats right then thanks and i stand corrected.

    BCromnie

    Iearned every penny of it.

    My main comment remains. I am convinced that the election result depends on whether or not the middle earners are feeling better of by then. If they are then the Tories will win if not then it will be either a hung parliament or Labour.

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  14. nickp

    It may surprise you to know that I agree with much of your last post although you are a little over the top. I also think the reaction from some quarters has been rather silly.

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  15. TOH

    So you think you shouldn’t pay any tax at all then? Does that 5p make that much difference?

    I am sure everyone who works thinks they earn every penny, some probably earn less than they should get for what they do

    Unfortunately there is no real link to criticality of job and what people are paid. In my company the accountants are paid far more than the skilled engineers (in an engineering company) but that is what the market dictates

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  16. “Those who pay 50% wont vote labour under any circumstance”

    Fwiw December’s IposMORI had Con and Lab VI tied at 38% in the AB social class (Tories slighly ahead among those “absolutely certain to vote) … Tories really only in a leading position among C1s.

    At the 2010 general election (after the move to 50% top-rate tax) the swing to Con was lower among ABs (2%) compared to other groups… C1 (3%), C2 (7.5%), DE (7%).

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  17. NickP – JimJam has already said very well what I was going to say. The simple support/oppose figures tell only a little part of the story, if anything, they are the least important part of the story.

    Much more important is their impact on the wider impression and image of the parties. JJ picked the same illustration I would’ve have – polls always show very high support for anti-immigration policies, but parties that go down that route risk creating a whiff of bigotry, intolerance, nastiness or plain racism about themselves.

    High taxes on the rich are popular on the face of it… but they bring a risk of looking anti-business or “old-school socialist” (obviously a plus for some people!). On the other hand, they might also create an image of being more in touch with ordinary people, ready to take on the rich to stand up for the little man.

    The problem is, there’s no really decent way to measure the effect of individual policies on party image.

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  18. “I am convinced that the election result depends on whether or not the middle earners are feeling better of by then.”

    I agree with that. Blimey.

    “Feeling better off” might include more than just house price rises and even 2% pay rises. It might mean libraries, swimming pools being open, schools having funds, NHS accident and emergency working etc etc

    But I tend to agree that whoever wins the employed middle class vote, wins the match.

    But Con seem to have generally lost middle class public servants, immigrants (even second generation), northerners, Scots…the problem with identifying the “enemy within” is that they will not vote for you again, yeah, even unto the seventh generation.

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  19. Jim Jam

    hmmm- a Blairite’s response

    Where was the justification for reducing the top rate from 50% – it seems even with the moving about of bonuses to avoid the tax the policy seems to have lost the treasury money. Can we see the same assessments on the HTB policy, UC etc etc – so many to talk about

    In times like this where we see an attack on the standards of the poorest/or everyone not financially wealthy, we have a policy that is costing the treasury money to keep the rich happy

    We here that Labour is anti-business, we have heard nothing else this morning on the tv with all those affected being interviewed ad nauseam to say that.

    On the other hand we could ask the families affected by the bedroom tax to come on the tv as well and we see the Tories being called for what they are

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  20. I do not recall the same hysteria from rich businessmen and the media when Thatcher kept the top rate at 60% from 1979 – 1988.

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  21. Re: marginal tax rates. If you are a recent graduate you can add another 9%. If it’s (politically) acceptable for a recent graduate earning 45k to pay a marginal rate if 51% (40 tax, 2 NIC and 9 student loan) then I can’t see a downside of people earning 150k+ paying at 52%.

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  22. AW

    it’s a theory. Life the Luffer Curve.

    The theory fits the “nasty party” image much more than the heavy footed “enemy of business” tag. And anyway that wasn’t my point, was it?

    What I was saying was that all the media faces and voices getting together and agreeing furiously that Labour were “anti-business” does not make it so, and more to the point it doesn’t even make it a majority opinion. It’s that same effect we saw with the US polls being “too close to call” when they weren’t.

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  23. I’m not sure that many people will regard a 50% rate on incomes above £150,000 as an excessive level of taxation. Even the majority of AB types are unlikely to be affected by it.

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  24. How long will I be in moderation?

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  25. Someone way back in this thread referred to the saying about Labour being the party of envy as a ridiculous notion, which was totally untrue.

    Reading through the comments on these last couple of pages I would say that it is very much true.

    It is only the envy of socialists that demands an increase in taxation to 60%+ on those who have made a success of their career or their business. They don’t seem to be able to accept that some people make a success of their lives by working hard, or developing a good idea etc. That others don’t want to/can’t be bothered to is up to them.

    A totally different view from the U S. Where the attitude is more, wow, he has made it, therefore I can too.

    There is no logical reason for taxation theft to be so high. No reasonable person should have to work for 6 months of each year before the money they earn can be counted as theirs.

    And before anyone asks my pension income is sub 30k pa

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  26. @STATGEEK

    “Political bias has nothing to do with wanting more output from the government for the money it receives. It should be every taxpayers desire.”

    ———–

    Well you say that, but of course, some taxpayers who also happen to be invested in companies contracted to provide those government services, might prefer instead to have things the other way around and get more money for less output…

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  27. THE OTHER HOWARD

    Colin Davies

    All the major political parties believe in a “safety net” for those at the bottom, its not exclusive to Socialism. Indeed one of the basic principles that Socialism was founded on was about distribution of output on the basis of each according to his contribution so that the lowest in society got the least.

    ——–

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  28. Further to the above, the classic Socialist exposition is “From each according to their ability, from each according to their need”.

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  29. TO each according to their need…

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