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”

1 2 3 16
  1. How many months left?

  2. Any news on the missing Opinium European election poll which I believe they carried out last week?

  3. Or perhaps my memory at fault and they just did a EU referendum Q

  4. Lib/Dems showing 3% in Scotland, not seen that for a while.
    …..
    “As a caveat, YouGov also asked whether or not people were paying any attention to the Rennard story.
    ______
    Who?

  5. ALEC

    Please don’t bring the other thread onto this one. It covered everything from Cybernats to Rhubarb, dirty men tinkering with females to Syria and a fat man getting to close to his peers. ;-)

  6. I take back what I said about the Lord Rennard story having already done its worst.

    I hadn’t factored in the bitter protracted dispute that’s going on now.

  7. Oh, and for what it’s worth, you can put me in the “go” camp. Had this been an employee of the Liberal Democrats, I would probably have agreed that there would be an insufficient case to dismiss him – certainly not with the strict rules the Lib Dems set on proof beyond reasonable doubt.

    But Lord Rennard is not a Lib Dem employee any more, he is a politician. And as a career politician, the only sackable offence is losing the confidence of the voters. Invading the personal space of female party members to the point where many of them claim it was unwelcome advances reflects very badly on you as a politician, whether or not that was your intention. And a politician who fails to take reasonable care to look after his public reputation is a bad politician.

    Whether losing the whip is fair or unfair is not important. It’s politics, and politics doesn’t have to be fair.

  8. If earnings start to rise above the cost of living as expected by the end of the year then Labour have a serious problem. I can see a small Tory majority at the next election!

  9. 6% very closely and 30% fairly closely may sound low, but it’s an order of magnitude higher than any other political story gets, surely?

  10. Problem, that’s basically a recipe for “any politician should resign when accused of wrongdoing”. A dangerous game I think.

  11. Doesn’t help Lord Rennard that he isn’t what most women would call attractive.

  12. The media and Channel 4 in particular made a determined effort to smear the LDs in the Eastleigh by election and the LDs held on , even with UKIP on a roll ( which hasn’t really gone anywhere either ) .

    The line from the other parties at the time was that they were’nt using the issue . If you believe that you’ll believe anything . By elections are vicious .

    If it didn’t have any impact then , it won’t now .

    In the light of the hacking scandal it’s more likely to turn into a debate on how the media abuse their influence to smear
    and discredit anyone they don’t like . The public take notice of botched police operations and miscarraiges of justice whether they are instigated by the legal system or by employers .

  13. I remember posting a while ago on my view that adding charges and levies to heating bills was probably quite a progressive form of taxation, and this might back up that case –

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/consumertips/household-bills/10588972/Britains-richest-postcodes-waste-the-most-energy.html

  14. “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”

    Surely the political minded are those most likely to vote?

    http://www.hansardsociety.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Audit-of-Political-Engagement-10-2013.pdf

    Selected stats from the link:

    • Interest in politics at 42% remains unchanged.
    • Knowledge of politics has declined further but by just two percentage points to 42%.
    • Knowledge of Parliament has declined by three percentage points to 37%.
    • Satisfaction with our system of governing has improved by three percentage points to 27%.
    • At 32% there has been no change in the number of people who believe that if people ‘like me’ get involved, they can change the way the country is run.

    • Only 41% now say that in the event of an immediate general election they would be certain to vote compared to 48% who said the same last year.
    • The number of people certain to vote has now declined 17 percentage points in just two years and is 10 percentage points lower than it was a decade ago at the start of the Audit series.
    • 20% of the population now say they are ‘absolutely certain not to vote’, four percentage points higher than last year and double the number who said the same in Audit 8.

    • Levels of actual knowledge, as tested in a series of political knowledge quiz questions, show that knowledge has declined on every question when compared to results on the same questions in Audit 7 and Audit 4.
    • Nearly three in 10 (29%) think that 16 is the minimum age for voting.
    • Almost half the population (47%) wish they had learned more ‘about politics and how our democracy works’ at school.

    • Just 22% of the public can correctly name their own local MP, a decline of 16 percentage points compared to two years ago.
    • Only 23% are satisfied with the way that MPs generally are doing their job and only 34% say the same about their own local MP, both figures being lower than at any other time in the Audit series.

    • 55% now agree that Parliament ‘debates and makes decisions about issues that matter to me’, a six percentage point increase in a year.

    • 60% agree that every citizen should get involved in politics if democracy is to work properly.

    • Fewer than one in 10 people (8%) think ‘constitutional changes (e.g. an elected House of Lords, different voting system)’ should be a priority reform to improve politics.

    Lots of food for thought there. Of course, would those not as interested in politics have taken part in the Hansard survey? :))

  15. Alec,

    Consumption taxes are usually more progressive than people expect, because while income and consumption don’t vary in total lockstep, your income is a pretty good predictor of how much you spend on a wide variety of things. That’s why VAT isn’t as regressive as one might think, for example.

  16. “Problem, that’s basically a recipe for “any politician should resign when accused of wrongdoing”.”

    That’s a fair point, but I’ve always felt in politics that lack of proof is wrongdoing isn’t a good enough defence. You should strive, as far as possible, to behave with such integrity that you can show you’ve done nothing wrong.

    Had there been a significant possibility that the accusations were completely fabricated, I would take the line of guilty until proven innocent. But it does seriously look like, at the very least, Rennard is guilty of unprofessional behaviour from someone who should have known better. He was only open to these accusations through his unprofessional behaviour, and as a politician, the fact that he left himself open to these allegation is a serious failing on his part.

  17. Bill Patrick: “That’s why VAT isn’t as regressive as one might think, for example.”

    I don’t agree.

    http://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/2011/01/04/why-vat-is-regressive

  18. @Chris,

    What it basically comes down to is that you don’t believe him.

    I’m not even actually sure what the allegations are. They get spoken about in coded terms without anyone telling me, to use a question I often use when interviewing children “What part of his body touched what part of your body?”.

  19. RogerH (or anyone).

    Anyone got a link to the ONS stats that show the percentages of VAT to income. The link on the cited report is broken.

  20. “What it basically comes down to is that you don’t believe him.”

    And in politics, the harsh rule that if the public don’t believe you, it’s your fault.

    At the best, Lord Rennard failed to take reasonable care to protect his political reputation, and sadly that alone can lose your job.

  21. Looking at today’s tables, what strikes me is the fact that fewer LDs ‘approve’ the government (38%) than disapprove (41%) leading me to ponder who they think the government are. I suspect that not a few will think that it is essentially a Con government and the same possibly (probably) applies to Lab supporters who disapprove with 86%. Thus it seems to me that Mr Miliband still has a target to aim for, namely LD discontents. Of course many could be LDs in LD / Con marginals who would stick with LD anyway, hoping for a Lab /LD pact or coalition.

  22. I think most woman in business have a very good idea of what happened re:Rennard

    Over familiarity leading to worry and stress that the fact you did not respond positively means you will not get that position you applied for.

    Senior people in business know they have to maintain a professional distance from junior people, so they do not cause the junior person worry.

    In business if 4 people made complaints about a senior manager – he would be out no question about that.

  23. STATGEEK

    Very interesting link. I dug around it for info on regional break downs …. “Just 22% of the public can correctly name their own local MP, a decline of 16 percentage points compared to two years ago”

    ABs are twice as likely to be able to name their MP (40%) than C1s (20%), C2s (15%) or DEs(19%), while white people (23%) are more than twice as likely to be able to name their MPas BMEs (9%).

    There is no significant difference between Conservative supporters (25%) and Labour supporters (24%) in their ability to name their MP. Liberal Democrat supporters seem more capable in this regard (33%), as do those who say they support smaller parties (31%)

    People in London (13%) and the East of England (14%) are least likely to be able to name their MP,while people in the North West (33%) and Scotland (32%) are more likely.

    Three times as many owner occupiers (30%) can name their MP as people renting in the private sector (9%). This may reflect the difference between people putting down roots in an area by purchasing a house compared to a more transient population of renters, and is likely also to reflect the high proportion of young people in the private rented sector.

    By contrast, 15% of those in the social rented sector can name their MP.

    http://www.hansardsociety.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Audit-of-Political-Engagement-10-2013.pdf Page 51.

    Conclusion… If you live in Scotland and belong to the ABs class and live in a owner occupied house then you are more likely to know who your local MP is.

  24. Instinct, not necessarily a good guide, tells me Rennard did behave badly. However, an enquiry said there was no, or insufficient, proof of that. If that is in fact the case (and I have no more clue about it than anyone else appears to have,) then Rennard isn’t going to be sued, and he isn’t – in the end – going to be disciplined. This fracas is all about shaming him out, which may or may not be just, but it’s one hell of a bad precedent: instinct might well tell us that the next person to be shamed out didn’t behave badly at all!

    Well, I don’t know enough about the LD party mood to have any idea as to whether the shaming process will work, but at very least that party should be thinking hard about how it can prevent such a situation from happening again. What’s the betting, once the noise has all died down, that it won’t actually do much at all?

  25. mdavis

    “If earnings start to rise above the cost of living as expected by the end of the year then Labour have a serious problem. I can see a small Tory majority at the next election”
    __________

    With unemployment falling again, more people in work and the economy growing I think Osborne will chuck in a we tax cut before 2015 to help bridge the gap between earnings and the cost of living.

    Good news for the public….bad news for Ed & Ed.

  26. #wee

  27. @AC

    Not sure a tax cut would be wise (electorally or otherwise). More sensible would be to increase minimum wages a bit and allow an unfreezing of public sector pay (assuming rises can be afforded). Even a small rise would be some progress, although, there’s little electoral meat to be had from the public sector, as they tend to not favour the current government anyway.

    In theory, with more employed, and less unemployed the tax take should be drastically better, both now and projected, so the current lot’s priority ought to be to ease the financial pain of those who need it, and it gives more incentives to get into work at the same time. A positive snowball, if you like.

    Whether that translates to electoral success, I have no idea, but it’s the right thing to do.

  28. If GO was going to be very political his best bet would be to cut taxes for families on around 40-60K. They have lost out due to child benefit changes and freezing of the 40pc threshold.

    How many voters earn more or near that threshold? It would be quite cynical to cut that rate. For example 40-70K 35pc above 70K 45pc. But might bring electoral dividends.

    Being cynical the folk on minimum wage aren’t going to vote Con anyway but that 35K+ group vote and might be persuaded into the Cons camp.

  29. @AW (if he’s about)

    I came upon this comment in the Guardian’s readers’ comments. It was below today’s PMQ’s live blog page, and it’s part of a fairly partisan exchange (what’s new?).

    “To be honest, I rather think these daily opinion polls have become rather meaningless, not least as each one is applying a different protocol in it’s calculations. ICM, for instance, determines that a “don’t know” response is equivalent to the responder intending to vote for the same party as last time which is why the Lib Dems always do significantly better in their polls.

    Recently, we were told that YouGov were weighting their polls to adjust for a fall in Sun readership which delivered an uplift for the Conservatives.

    All it provides is a vague indication of who might be ahead and gives journalists who never get their arses out from behind their laptops something to write about pretending it’s “news”.

    Once the pollsters start including a “none of the above” category instead of conjuring up fatuous formulae to try and shoehorn the disaffected into a voting position we will have a better understanding of how the country really feels.”

    Any comments?

    [Nope. Life’s too short to wrestle with crackpots in newspaper comment sections. Not sure why people waste time reading them. Needless to say, YouGov aren’t “weighting their polls to adjust for a fall in Sun readership”, whatever that may mean, all pollsters include the option of none of the above, and ICM reallocate don’t knows at the rate of 50% of people who give an intention, not equal weight – AW]

  30. Luke

    Or perhaps my memory at fault and they just did a EU referendum Q

    They did ‘good/bad thing’ and ‘leave/remain’ questions:

    http://news.opinium.co.uk/sites/news.opinium.co.uk/files/vi_14_01_2014.pdf#page=29

    34-42 and 52-34 for what it’s worth. Opinium samples always are UKIP-heavy however (like the other pure online ones), so you might downgrade those a little.

    Incidentally Opinium publish Party splits for all the Parties, not just the big 3 or 4, and interesting to note that SNP voters[1] are less EU-friendly than Labour or Lib Dem ones.

    [1] Only sample of 56 though so could just be random variation.

  31. Allan Christie

    Just the point i was making at the end of the last thread.

  32. StatGeek
    ‘although, there’s little electoral meat to be had from the public sector, as they tend to not favour the current government anyway.’
    As I posted a few threads back, the public sector has had the biggest swing away from the coalition parties since 2010 compared to other work sectors. So surely there is potentially a large number of swing voters who might be tempted back?
    Whether that is possible is another question, but I think you are wrong to assume that public sector workers are automatically Labour voters.

  33. @Cloudspotter

    “Whether that is possible is another question, but I think you are wrong to assume that public sector workers are automatically Labour voters.”

    I think you are wrong to assume that ‘not favouring the current government’ translates to ‘Labour voters’. :-p

    I was thinking more along the lines of Lab voters who will not change their vote anyway, and Con / Lib voters who have swung away from Con / Lib since 2010. For example, some will have gone to UKIP.

    In other words, it’s easy for the current government to lose public sector voters, and hard to gain them (or re-gain them). As to which party (ies) they lose them to, that’s for someone with the data to decide.

  34. MD/AC,

    Agree and in fact Colin and I shared some post 2-3 months ago when the date and trend suggested real earnings growth in the last 1/4 of 2014 (could be 3rd I guess).

    What I speculated about was how much credit the Government would get for this? There may be a sense amongst some key swings voters that that after a number of years of real income (including disposable) falls eventually some improvement was inevitable and might not credit the Government.

    Secondly – it explains in my view EMs tactics with periodic announcements. These are not to design to secure VI boosts although they may in the short term but to firm up those already in the Lab column.

  35. Inexplicably Anthony has forgotten to mention a new tracker:

    The Sleazometer of Shame[1]

    which asks:

    Do you agree or disagree with the following statement:'[PARTY] these days gives the impression of being very sleazy and disreputable’?

    Today’s ratings[2] are:

    Labour: Agree 34%, Disagree 45% Sleazometer rating -11 (+1)

    Conservative: Agree 42%, Disagree 38% Sleazometer rating +6 (-14)

    Lib Dem: Agree 41%, Disagree 32% Sleazometer rating +9 (-23)

    All changes are since February 2013, the only time that the question was asked for all three Parties (indeed the only time ever for the Lib Dems). The questions were asked before the Rennard ones, so there was no prompting effect except from the media in general.

    Both Labour and Conservatives had even worse ratings in June than in February last year (+4 and +30), so it looks as if there has actually been a decrease in disgust at politics recently.

    Of course the assessment of this is a highly partisan matter, so you need to calibrate each rating by the Party’s contemporary VI, but it’s an interesting concept (UKIP too next time?).

    [1] To be said in a deep, deep voice with lots of reverb.

    [2] The higher the score or the the movement the sleazier.

  36. @Neil A

    “@Chris,
    What it basically comes down to is that you don’t believe him.”

    That’s about the long and the short of it and there was obviously insufficient evidence submitted by the four complainants for the investigation to form any other view than case unproven against Rennard. None of us know as much about Rennard’s behaviour and the allegations made against him as those who investigated it all in detail, so we must assume that they came to the correct conclusions based on the evidence presented to them. Rather like the Hutton Inquiry, though, none of that will satisfy those who desperately want Rennard to be guilty of what is alleged.

    From what I understand of your views, I think I broadly agree with you on Rennard but, as per our discussion on another thread, I totally disagree with you about the Clinton analogy. My response to your last post resides at the bottom of the previous thread, if you’re interested.

    @TOH/Allan Christie

    I think the size of any political dividend for the government arising from the economic recovery will depend on both the narrative that accompanies it and the effect that growth is having on people’s living standards. If it leads, by May 2015, to an increase in disposable income for the majority then there is a good chance that this will translate into electoral support. But there are lots of ifs, buts and maybes associated with that, not least whether wages are rising in real terms, how secure employment is for the many and the cost of essential commodities like energy, fuel, transport and food. RPI doesn’t necessarily reflect the real cost of living for most consumers and unemployment figures quite often hide the true nature of the labour market. The feelgood factor necessary to sweep a Government back to power can be ephemeral and elusive, as well as dependent on a myriad of sometimes non-economic factors. Major discovered this in 1997, as did Wilson in 1970. It doesn’t help if the electorate just don’t like you very much. Melissa Kite, a Tory who contributes to the Spectator, was very good on this point in a piece she wrote for today’s Guardian

    The narrative is going to be interesting too. How long delayed by Government policy was this inevitable recovery and how strong, long-lasting and equitable is it now it has arrived?

    Lots of politics to play out between now and May 2015 and I wouldn’t be too sure that the election result is all going to rest on what the macro-economic indicators are telling us at the time.

  37. Aaargh – data and trends of course.

  38. Once the pollsters start including a “none of the above” category instead of conjuring up fatuous formulae to try and shoehorn the disaffected into a voting position we will have a better understanding of how the country really feels

    Maybe. But we won’t have an idea of how the country will vote because “none of the above” won’t be on the ballot paper.

  39. “I can see a small Tory majority at the next election”

    Given that it seems likely that, if nothing else: a) Labour will improve on 2010; b) UKIP will improve on 2010 and c) the LibDems will do worse than in 2010, from where can the Tories find more votes than they managed in 2010?

  40. @Roger

    “All changes are since February 2013, the only time that the question was asked for all three Parties (indeed the only time ever for the Lib Dems).”

    Difficult to gauge, given that there was Huhne around Feb 2013, and Rennard around Jan 2014. If a ‘sleaze-o-meter’ only ever samples when there’s a sleaze story in the news, it won’t tell the broad picture.

  41. Moving on from Rennard….

    The Mail is now gunning for Mike Hancock MP, and he’s just had the Lib Dem whip withdrawn from him as a councillor.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2543991/Revealed-The-unwelcome-advances-lewd-texts-sent-Lib-Dem-MP-vulnerable-constituent-asked-help.html

    As the Mail says, a link to the QC’s report that Portsmouth Council tried to suppress did indeed appear on Guido’s site this morning. No doubt Guido’s source was UK Polling Report, where it appeared at 11.42pm yesterday.

  42. Osborne will chuck in a we tax cut before 2015

    – I wasn’t aware We was taxed?

  43. The difficulty with the economic recovery idea as a route to electoral nirvana, is that recovery tends to be associated with rising wages and falling unemployment, both of which have a tendency to be inflationary.

    So people may have more money, but aren’t any better off because prices rise in concert. Even worse, when insufficient competition allows price gouging on essentials and people wind up worse off.

    Haven’t seen anyone explain how current government approaches will solve this problem.

    The potential plus side, is house prices going up to offset the wage problem. This has issues though, in that people may have to remortgage to liberate the cash, they may worry about getting their kids on the housing ladder (on top of tuition fees and stuff), and the greater house price boom is in the South. Also, the spectre of higher interest rates looms at some point, which could dampen enthusiasm a bit…

  44. I’m not convinced that the economy will be the determining factor however well or badly it’s doing. Issues such as the NHS can carry as much, if not more, weight.

  45. STATGEEK

    “Not sure a tax cut would be wise (electorally or otherwise). More sensible would be to increase minimum wages a bit and allow an unfreezing of public sector pay (assuming rises can be afforded). Even a small rise would be some progress, although, there’s little electoral meat to be had from the public sector, as they tend to not favour the current government anyway”
    _____

    Unfreezing public sector pay and raising the minimum wage would both be great proposals but I think a tax cut would reach out to the wider public and would be better received overall, although I’m all for the minimum wage to increase.

  46. steve

    Osborne will chuck in a we tax cut before 2015

    – I wasn’t aware We was taxed?
    _______

    Yes but you conveniently missed out my correction immediately below so what’s your point?

  47. JIM JAM

    “What I speculated about was how much credit the Government would get for this? There may be a sense amongst some key swings voters that after a number of years of real income (including disposable) falls eventually some improvement was inevitable and might not credit the Government.

    Secondly – it explains in my view EMs tactics with periodic announcements. These are not to design to secure VI boosts although they may in the short term but to firm up those already in the Lab column”
    _________

    You could be right the Gov might not get the credit for income growth but the wider package of economic growth along with falling unemployment could swing in favour of the Tory VI.

    Also if the Gov are seen to had tackled the deficit then I think Labour will find it hard to tackle this.

    Yeah Ed is doing all he can to hold onto the Labour VI and possibly not touting for a boost but I believe many will return to the Tories if things really pick up.

  48. Wee tax is more worrying than we tax.
    Need consultancy from Ryanair

  49. AC,
    FWIW – I think there will be a boost for both Governing parties which is why along with UKIP supporter dispersion will give the Cons the most votes at the GE.

    I think the lead will be modest though and Lab could get most seats.

  50. ALLAN CHRISTIE

    I think you could be right and I think the post-pastie tax GO resumes his role as a VERY political chancellor.

    Labour have failed to effectively rebut both the ‘Labour’s mess we inherited’ nonsense and now the ‘thanks to us, it’s all going swimmingly’ nonsense and they don’t seem to be trying very hard: instead, they seem to take all that as read and head off in a different direction (cost of living, fairness) which is OK in itself but doesn’t challenge a government which has spectacularly missed nearly all the targets it set itself.

    None of Osborne’s policies seem to have a lot to do with rebuilding the economy (certainly not rebalancing, march of the makers, all that jazz) but have everything to do with electoral calculation.

    I think Lab should be very worried, whatever the polls say.

1 2 3 16