The Sun have tweeted out tonight’s YouGov poll – topline figures are CON 32%, LAB 42%, LD 8%, UKIP 12%. This is somewhat at odds with the Labour leads of two, three and three points so far this week, though for what it’s worth all four polls would be within the normal margin of error of CON 34, LAB 39, LD 9, UKIP 12, the average of this week’s figures.

When an unusual poll comes along I personally rather discount it – more often than not it’ll just be a blip. When the same happens two days in row it gets my attention, but I wouldn’t conclude anything. When you get three in a row I normally take it seriously, it looks as though something is afoot.

But it can still just be random chance. Right now we don’t really know what the position is. It could be that tonight’s poll is an outlier and other polls will continue to show lower leads. Alternatively it could be that actually nothing’s changed and its all just been random variation around the six point lead we’ve had for months. As ever, time will tell.

392 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – CON 32, LAB 42, LD 8, UKIP 12”

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  1. Coming into work this morning I was listening to Radio 4’s Today programme, as per usual, and just before getting out of the car, Jonathan Dimbleby came on air, as he always does on Fridays, to announce the line up for this evening’s Any Questions. As an avid bath time listener to this programme, I usually cock an ear to see who’s on. Eric Pickles, Simon Heffer and, wait for it, yet again the omnipresent, all pervading and inescapable Dianne Abbott.

    Now, I have no idea how the BBC goes about choosing its panellists, or whether the political parties put up specific people to appear on their behalf, but in the case of both the BBC and Labour, can we give Ms Abbott a rest for a while?


  2. @spearmint

    Cameron’s sucessful leadership bid was predicated by his promise to rightwingers that he would take their MEPs out of the EPP and into a new eurosceptic grouping. So no change in the high-wire act.

  3. @Crossbat

    They look at the questions that they will ensure are asked and then consider who will make the appropriate noises in response. So I guess that her choice was to ensure that none of the panel have a good word to say about Miliband’s constitutional reforms, since she’s been speaking out against them this week.

  4. Amber – yes should the gap close as the Tory’s recover some from the UKIP and WV/KN the group you refer to will become firmer Labour.
    Would not expect such a rapid turnaround in daily polls though from this phenomenon – but as CB says who knows really.

  5. A link I posted to a piece by Glenda’s lad has gone into moderation.

    With hindsight, I’m 100% behind that and hope it applies to anything he writes.

  6. @ Crossbath

    Diane Abbott can’t be any worse than the shadow attorney general last night, pretty awful performance IMO. Apart from waffling a lot, I don’t think she realised the camera caught her making various unpleasant expressions if she didn’t agree when someone else was speaking.

  7. At least he will have some empathy with the notion that the next generation will not do as well as their parents.

    Is there a word for a someone being controversial deliberately to provoke just to be noticed like that dreadful ex apprentice women.
    Best ignore as you imply Phil

  8. While agreeing with those contributors who have commented on Emily Thornberry, perhaps her excuse was along the lines of the comment from Chris Riley at 2.16. “Divided parties are not known for their appeal to the electorate, and you can be extra-special-sure that Labour will tell everyone about it, repeatedly.”

    If so, as all have commented, her failure to make her position clear backfired spectacularly.

  9. @Jim Jam
    It was to a piece where he’d pledged himself to ignore the BBC, including Question Time, because he’s formed the view that they’ve suddenly decided to ignore him. (I’ll believe it when I don’t see it.)

  10. I must admit I didn’t know what you were all talking about regarding E Thornberry. I don’t listen to or watch any political discussion programme and I think that keeps me in touch with the other 90% of voters. Another reason is that (as I heard a Dutch TV correspondent call them) the ‘Bumblebees’ give me the pip.

    Your proposed evening bath reminded me that there was a GWR railway engine named ‘Knight of the Bath’ and the engine men re-dubbed her ‘Friday night’.

  11. @CB11

    “that the Tories are stuck with a “brand image” that repels more than it attracts”

    I think we can say that of all parties, including the SNP in Scotland in 2011. No party gets 50% or more in polls of the sure to vote people, never mind the electorate (although some MPs are elected on a constituency basis with more than 50% of their local vote).

    With regards the Con low VI staying low, I think part of it is the 2012 stuff that won’t shift, despite much of it being successful opposition wrangling. People are waiting for the economy I think, as Con blips seem to be economically related. They were elected on Labour’s bad handling of the economy, so are judging the Conservatives accordingly.

    If Lab’s 38/39% VI is made of ABTs (no matter what), then I can’t see the Conservatives getting an OM in 2015. Some people will not vote for them, even if sense says they should (in a pretend world of Lab being useless and Con being wonderful – No party is wonderful, and IMO parties are generally useless anyway :)).

  12. Statgeek needs to look at his history.

    The Conservatives were not voted in because of Labour’s bad handling of the economy. The were not voted in at all.
    They appeared as part of a coalition….

  13. Am I on the naughty step?

  14. No, I’m not, it’s That Person.

    Haha, he’s right, there is a conspiracy to boycott him!

  15. Martin Williams

    Quite right, Labour were voted out because of a bad handling of the economy as perceived by voters.

  16. I wish milliband would promise a EU referendum.

    If labour win and they have an in out referendum, I have no doubt that the vote would be to stay in. People do not like uncertainty and leaving the EU would make for a very uncertain future (good point made earlier about it possibly leading to a break up of the UK cos of welsh and scots unhappiness).
    In addition the banking and business sectors would be very much in favour of staying in.
    Most of the arguments for leaving are based on romantic, little englander notions which ignore the reality of a globalised world – and a referendum debate would expose that. The UKIPers tend to pile all sorts of pecived evils onto the EU – immigration, health and safety, business regulations etc etc – but we would still have these if we wanted to trade with the rest of the world – unless the UK goes for a north korean approach of total isolation.
    That might appeal to some of UKIPs buffton tuffton types but not the majority.

  17. Thornberry seemed to have a thing about Patterson being a climate-change denier which seemed the left-wing version of storms being caused by gay marriage.

  18. I’ve a question for those with some serious economic know-how, and I’m sure there are plenty here.

    Somebody (very interestingly) said, a thread or so back, that when (using QE) the Bank of England bought up bonds from banks, it kept the ‘chitties’ (so to speak) whereas on behalf of the nation it could easily tear them up and reduce the debt.

    I hope that is a true representation of what was said; it’s what I thought was said anyway. If so, that presumably means that, if (for the sake of argument only) we have a 1.5 trillion debt and we issue QE to buy up .5 trillion in bonds, we still have 1.5 trillion debt, but the Bank of England is holding .5 trillion of it and could tear it up leaving us with just a trillion debt.

    My questions are, therefore:

    i. Is that right?

    ii. If so, why doesn’t the Bank tear it up? What do we gain by having the Bank keep it as debt?

    iii. If so, i.e. if (i), have we done this every time we have issued QE?

    iv. If (iii), how much of the UK debt is in fact held by the Bank of England? Has this been going on for a long time?

    v. Re all the above, does that mean our overall debt situation Is a lot less troubling in relation to GDP than we (the less well informed economically) have been led to believe?

    I’d appreciate any answering thoughts from anyone who has some half decent knowledge about this…

  19. Reggie – very easy for EM to get to the GE say the uncertainty for investment has been bad for economy blah blah, we would have preferred to wait until a significant treaty change for a referendum but given the uncertainty created irresponsibly by the Tories we would hold a referendum in September 2015 and campaign for a yes.

    Not saying right or wrong but very easy to do and outflank the cons – I wonder if up his sleeve?

  20. JJ

    The dilemma for EM is that he will then be accused of wanting to stay in with absolutely no changes at all.

    Its a tricky one to manage but he’s probably best to leave it to the Tories to try and square their own circle.

    To mix metaphors that will unravel all by itself into a tangled mess anyway.

  21. Colin Davis,

    The Bank of England doesn’t rip up the debts because then if it wants to tighten monetary conditions it has nothing to sell to the markets in return for outstanding money. There are other ways to tighten monetary policy, but the standard way is for the Bank of England to sell non-monetary assets and accumulate sterling reserves.

    So, since it’s not certain that the debts will be held by the Bank of England for as long as they are outstanding, it’s not quite the same as the government owning its own debts, and so it doesn’t make the debt situation any better.

  22. @ Colin Davis

    No big expert. But this is what I think is correct.

    1 &2) Yes I think it is correct that the BoE could effectively cancel the bonds bought. But I am not sure why they would do that and I think they would need the Treasury to agree to this. I say that because the Treasury has taken the interest from the bonds bought, rather than let the BoE keep it. Don’t forget that the bonds bought are assets, which presumably the BoE include within their assets and make it a credible central bank.

    3) I think but may be wrong, that all countries who use QE, allow their central bank to print money to buy back bonds issue by government, so that money is injected into the financial system e.g banks and insurance companies.

    4) I believe the BoE owns about one third of the UK governments debt.

    5) How would international markers react if the BoE just writes off UK government bonds, bought after printing money ? I think it would be a risky move, which would damage reputation of the BoE and UK government. How would the other world instituitions holding UK debt react ? I don’t think they would like it.

    6) The debt has been created in the first place as expenditure has exceeded revenues. It has to be all treated seriously as an obligation to deal with.

  23. Anne McIntosh has been de-selected by the local tory association & will fight the GE as an Independent.

    According to Sky, there’s a rumour that a school friend of the PM might be put up as the local tory candidate.

    Cameron’s ‘woman problem’ rumbles on.

  24. The Tories have lost their bill in the HOL for an EU referendum. It ran out of time at committee stage, so cannot be considered any further. According to reports the Tories might try again next year.

  25. @ Chordata (16.40)

    “Anne McIntosh has been de-selected by the local tory association & will fight the GE as an Independent.”

    Even with a 11,000 majority, if the voters of Thirsk & Malton like her more than the party it could be another problem for the Tories. Regardless of her support it is another example of splits within the Tories. As Mrs B has just said, “Mr Cameron is not having a very good time at the minute”

  26. @PUPS

    “To mix metaphors that will unravel all by itself into a tangled mess anyway”

    I’ll have to remember that one :-)

  27. @JimJam

    thank you for your lucid, considered response to my question about the ‘polldrums’.

  28. @Chordata

    From the Indy:

    “A prominent local told the Yorkshire Post that their MP is a “silly girl” – when the constituency needs someone like Boris Johnson or Nigel Farage.”

    Lord help us

  29. Thank you so much Bill Patrick and R Huckle for two simply put answers with some very interesting perspectives on what’s going on in the centre of the machine. Much food for thought.

  30. Sorry to be slow on the uptake, but why has Anne McIntosh been de-selected?

  31. WTF is going on in Thirsk & Malton? That’s the most random deselection I’ve ever seen.

    She doesn’t seem locally popular and the Lib+Lab vote is tiny, so I think she’s probably toast and her replacement will have an easy ride. It would be hilarious if the Tories were so busy fighting with each other that Ukip won the seat, though.

  32. @Spearmint – “…….is madder than a Ukip weather forecast.”

    How about a UKIP Shipping Forecast?

  33. @CB11 – “Now, I have no idea how the BBC goes about choosing its panellists,….”

    I’ve had a long held theory that at any one time there are around a thousand or so people who are deemed by the media as ‘opinion formers’ who appear on any and every discussion forum on any kind. They are broadly similar in background and outlook, save for the odd maverick, and virtually all of them sing from the same hymn book, or versions thereof.

    On the odd occasion, someone else is let in, and if they happen to be thinkers, then none of the rest of them can understand what they are saying. I saw Alain de Botton on QT once. One of the rare cases, and the rest of the panel were completely nonplussed by some of his musings.

    The phrase ‘do not compute’ came to mind.

  34. This is why I remain baffled as to why Osborne in the Autumn statement and Cameron more recently have tried to claim people are better off.

    It’s so patently incorrect, against people’s experiences, independently uncorroborated, and required the use of some extremely awkwardly selected and tailored statistics to get anywhere near the desired result, that it just isn’t worth picking as ground on which to fight.

    They are just risking degrading their credibility by appearing to defend what is clearly false.

  35. Spearmint

    The BBC site in December said

    “They accuse the high-profile chairman of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee, of failing in her constituency duties.”

    They go on to mention that it was the second time in 4yrs that she had faced this action so it looks like she hasn’t been popular since winning the seat.

  36. R Huckle

    The Tories have lost their bill in the HOL for an EU referendum. It ran out of time at committee stage, so cannot be considered any further. According to reports the Tories might try again next year.

    A pretty scandalous hobby horse which is of only minor interest to most voters according to polls on “what issues matter to you”.

    The UK is in the EU. It did have a referendum on that subject – unlike, for example, being in Nato or having a monarch or an elected 2nd chamber or the Council Tax or…. – and the matter should be left alone.

    Make the EU work. Rather than faff about pretending we are somehow “the same as Norway”. (The Scots may be. But the UK certainly isnt!)

  37. @ David in France

    I’m not sure it is a minority interest. Indications are that a majority of the English are for exiting.

    And if the Lords can stop it happening, all well and good, at least until Scotland is given the chance to stay in when rUK leaves!

  38. It is (usually) far down the list of polls which ask the question “What matters to you”.

    Usually the economy, the NHS, immigration, education, taxes and other issues top such polls. Often by quite some margin.

    Away from the right-wing of the Conservative party, UKIP and some of the media, it isn’t generally the talk ‘down the pub’ or on the Clapham omnibus.

  39. Anne McIntosh

    One of several Scottish Tories who had to go south because otherwise there was not political future for her. Not really Thirsk and Malton material? Studied at the University of Aarhus – is she Euro suspect?

  40. @ David in France

    But immigration and ‘human rights’ are very much part of pub talk – and that means Europe.

    And Scotland staying in is not the certainty some think it is. Norway does pretty well outwith the EU.

  41. The referendum bill was always a gimmick since any future yet-to-be-elected government would feel no obligation to implement it.

  42. @john B – Anne M’s family has long links with the S Durham/N Yorks area, where her father was a local GP for many years. I think I’m correct in saying that she spent much of her childhood in this area, and it’s not particularly accurate to classify her as Scottish, in the sense that she is local to the N Yorks area.

  43. Alec

    many thanks for correcting me.

    Any idea why she has fallen out with the party – other than vague talk about ‘not fulfilling constituency duties’? Is she never there? Does she forget to answer letters?

  44. @ Alec again

    I ought to have put a question mark after the first sentence in my 6.28 comment.


    The Europe Referendum bill, had it become law, would surely had to have been put into practice, once the Royal Assent has been given and a date set for its implementation. Or do any of you constitutional experts out there know different?

  45. Good Evening All, totally wet here in Bournemouth.

    Conservative Home report that Labour has a 10% lead, based on recent local council by elections. Is this a valid yardstick?

  46. @ Chrislane 1945

    Surely 10% is too high. But I suppose the only way to be certain is to look at the relative stats regarding local by-elections and Westminster results.

    Will Wythenshawe and Sale East be a real indication of reality on the ground, (and what local by-elections have there been in Manchester and Trafford which might help us to work out the relationship between local and Westminster) or is this too regional a seat to be indicative of England as a whole?

  47. Thanks JOHN.
    I seem to remember Anthony W saying that it is not a valid way of doing things; adding up the ward results, and comparing them to the 2010 GE.

  48. @John B

    Not terribly enlightening, but the following gives the impression that the Bufton Tufton wing of the Con party don’t like being represented by ‘just a girl’

  49. The local party website is not too enlightening either as it doesn’t mention the matter.

    It confines itself to more important matters of…

    Supper at the Golden Fleece
    Monday, 27 January 2014 14:52
    Thirty members and supporters of the Association enjoyed a very pleasant evening at the Golden Fleece on Thursday 23rd January. The speaker was Dr Spencer Pitfield, National Director of the Conservative Policy Forum.
    A raffle was held and the event raised just over £250 for Association funds.

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