The weekly YouGov poll for the Sunday Times is up here. Topline voting intentions are CON 35%, LAB 39%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 10% – a four point Labour lead.

On the regular leader questions both Cameron and Miliband are doing comparatively well – 41% think David Cameron is doing well as PM, 52% badly, a net figure of minus 11. This equals his best leader rating since the omnishambles budget in 2012 (the only other time he’s got this high was just after the Tory conference last year). Ed Miliband’s net score is minus 28, also up on recent weeks and his best score since last November.

The rest of the poll was a grab bag of various issues:

  • On education only 20% of people think Michael Gove is doing well in his job, 57% think he’s doing badly. Asked about his attitude towards the educational establishment and trade unions only 19% think that he’s right to take a confrontational stance, 46% think the government would be better off listening more to their concerns.
  • A large majority (72%) of people think it is unacceptable for political parties to appoint their own supporters to such roles, but people see the last Labour government as just as guilty of this as the current government – 19% think Labour did it more, 17% think the Coalition have done it more, 48% think they’ve been as bad as each other.
  • 25% of people say they support the underground strike, 40% are opposed, 35% say neither or don’t know. Amongst respondents in London views are not really any more polarised – 28% support the strike, 43% are opposed. Blame for the dispute is almost evenly divided between Transport for London and the RMT.
  • 25% of people think David Cameron has responded well to the floods, 62% badly. Attitudes to spending on flood defences appear to have do shifted substantially – a week ago people were pretty evenly divided over whether the government should spend more or not. Following another week of flooding news, people are now 49% to 26% in favour of more spending.
  • The idea of a 5p charge on plastic bags in supermarkets and stores is widely supported, with 65% in favour, 27% opposed.

Also in today’s Sunday Times is a new Panelbase Scottish poll. Given the narrowing in TNS-BMRB and ICM polls lately I was intrigued as to what the next Panelbase poll would show – for reasons that remain unclear Panelbase tend to show a closer race than other companies. In the event their poll actually shows the gap widening slightly (albeit, nothing that couldn’t be normal sample variation) – YES stands at 37% (down 1), NO at 49% (up 2).


411 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 35, LAB 39, LD 10, UKIP 10”

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  1. Nice to see the saltire back.

  2. “•25% of people say they support the underground strike, 40% are opposed, 35% say neither or don’t know. Amongst respondents in London views are not really any more polarised – 28% support the strike, 43% are opposed. Blame for the dispute is almost evenly divided between Transport for London and the RMT”
    ___

    No one wants to see people lose their jobs but to hold a major part of London’s infrastructure up in a dispute to me is just total idiotic lunacy.

  3. “•The idea of a 5p charge on plastic bags in supermarkets and stores is widely supported, with 65% in favour, 27% opposed”
    _____

    It’s already a legal requirement in Wales (I think) and a couple of supermarkets already chare 3p and 5p for carrier bags.

    I’m not against the idea so long as the supermarkets don’t profit from it. Where does the 5p go anyway?

  4. @Alan Christie

    Industrial Action is a proven and effective tactic for workers to apply pressure on employees. You might not agree with it, or agree with what their demands might be – but its certainly not ‘lunacy’.

  5. AC
    “No one wants to see people lose their jobs but to hold a major part of London’s infrastructure up in a dispute to me is just total idiotic lunacy.”

    Was that determined in the poll? I must have missed that bit.

  6. @Alec

    “the vast majority of our uplands are degraded, over grazed deserts, and the stripping of wildlife from the countryside in the last few decades has been intense.”

    The tragedy of the commons strikes again…

  7. from last thread

    “Daisie hasn’t fully worked out the details but thinks that boiling the flood water so that it all evaporates is the best solution.

    And she’s oany WON !!!!!!!

    ps We have had little Rosie TWO years today.

    She was just 2lbs two oz when I bought her – as tiny as tiny.”

    Daisie thinks a system that we use on picnics where we connect a thingy to the charger in the car and stick it in a cup of water to heat it would work well.

    She suggests a bigger one, naturally: she’s not daft.

  8. “reggieside

    @Alan Christie

    Industrial Action is a proven and effective tactic for workers to apply pressure on employees. You might not agree with it, or agree with what their demands might be – but its certainly not ‘lunacy”
    ________

    In London only 28% of people said they were in favour of the strike. Holding up a major part of the infrastructure will only get peoples back up.

    Bob Crow was revelling in it when only a mall number a tube trains were running due to the strike.
    I’m certainly not against workers having a go at their employers for whatever reason it may be but dragging the rest of us into disputes just gets the publics back up.

  9. leftylampton

    AC
    “No one wants to see people lose their jobs but to hold a major part of London’s infrastructure up in a dispute to me is just total idiotic lunacy.”

    Was that determined in the poll? I must have missed that bit
    __________

    That was my commentary on the poll so I don’t think you would find it in the article.

  10. The only thing coming out of the scottish polls are that support for indie stands in the 30’s and 40 for the against. Meanwhile the push from the No campaign is having little effect but the Yes seems slightly (slightly) more movable.

    I still think a no is likely but the SNP could get that extra movement to ensure they are within a 5-8% swing, which would still look like a strong showing for them. The number of DKs must worry people. I’d love to see wider questions put to the Don’t Know respondents. The economic (£500 better off) argument is probably a danger for the No Vote here; their push for ‘economic insecurity’ has not really had any effect whatsoever.

    Surely someone in the government is looking at Gove’s ratings and wondering if its time to move him along. Strikes me hes the anti image of what the Tories have been trying to move to for years now; hes just not a very good manager of people and views everyone as his political enemy. Its a ridiculous mess the department is finding itself in.

  11. allan

    Actually less than half those polled were “opposed” to the tube strike. So “the public” (shock horror) don’t all have exactly the same opinions as you*, do they?

    *as we will see next general election

  12. NICKP

    “Actually less than half those polled were “opposed” to the tube strike”
    ______

    That’s very true but the poll also shows that 72% of respondents never said they were in favour of the strike.
    ……

    ” (shock horror) don’t all have exactly the same opinions as you*, do they?

    *as we will see next general election”
    _______

    I’m very sorry for expressing my own opinion.
    Silly me what was I thinking?

  13. On the education, was this all respondent or England only? I’m only asking because education is devolved….

  14. @AC,

    I think the proposal is that the proceeds of the bag levy go to charity. Personally I’d like to see them go to some sort of organised litter-picking campaign, either funding councils to do it, paying contractors to do it or some other mechanism.

    On strikes. They can be effective, although I’d suggest that on the whole they haven’t been that effective in the UK in the past 30 years (I’m sure there are some disputes where the management cave in, but I’ve not seen any publicised. Usually they seem to end with some sort of capitulation, followed by further job losses/wage cuts as the employer adjusts to the economic harm inflicted). In the public sector I think there is a perception that, because the employer is ultimately the government, there is no “risk” to striking. You’re not going to put your boss out of business.

    On balance I’m very glad that we have the right to strike (well everyone except my lot anyway) and I think it is a useful “doomsday button” for the unions, to fight back against incremental erosion of workers’ entitlements. But I think it’s probably used too often, and sometimes in the wrong kind of disputes. Now I no longer live in London I don’t really follow the news there, and I have absolutely no idea what the current strike is even about.

  15. “I’m very sorry for expressing my own opinion.
    Silly me what was I thinking?”

    Don’t do it again.

  16. FRASER

    With the amount of data and stats being chucked around by both sides I’m not surprised the polls haven’t shown seesaw swings.

    I think a lot of people have switched off from the debate for now and will look at the arguments in the last month of campaigning. It’s then the polls will begin to show a clearer picture. IMO.

  17. Governments never admit to giving into strikers but in fact concessions are gained. Look at the pensions dispute…better terms were gained.

    Unions also use the law but sadly Governments will do things like change the law and then apply it retrospectively (see Civil Service Compensation Scheme).

    I agree though that strikes rarely “work” by forcing the employer to give in. At least not immediately or absolutely.

    But strikes are better than riots, no?

  18. NEIL A

    “I think the proposal is that the proceeds of the bag levy go to charity. Personally I’d like to see them go to some sort of organised litter-picking campaign, either funding councils to do it, paying contractors to do it or some other mechanism”
    _____

    Totally agree with that. Any levy on bags should go directly back into the community.
    …..

    On the strikes. I also agree workers should have the right to strike and no employer should be able to just bulldoze their employees into submission without proper dialogue.

    And I think you’re right, we have seen some major strikes and they haven’t really achieved that much. BA and Grangemouth are examples.

    The London tube strikes are over a dispute regarding the closing of ticket offices. According to Boris only a small % of people use them but by closing them down 800 people will lose their jobs.

  19. NICKP

    My view on strikes are what point do the alienate the public?

    No worker should be silenced but I reckon if the tube strikes continued for a whole week then any public sympathy they have now would evaporate.

    What astonishes me is the way the Union leaders come on TV and gloat over the disruption the strikes have caused .

    If a Tesco employee went on strike then I can bet my boots his post would be filled within a matter of hours.

  20. This is the second 10% for UKIP in a week – before that you have to go back three months for their VI to be that low with YouGov. It may just be greater than average variation (they’ve also had a 14 recently) but I can’t help wondering if the way that the flooding has dominated the news might make some people less likely to vote for a Party associated with climate change scepticism.

    Of course the general atmosphere of national crisis[1] might encourage the less-attached UKIP-ers to return to the Conservatives. Maybe Cameron’s rallying call to save the Union from that area so symbolic of the Anglo-Scottish project of, er, East London also had an effect in bringing back the waifs and strays.

    [1] Not that there is one, just extreme conditions being coped with competently on the whole, as Alec and others have pointed out. But you wouldn’t know it from the media.

  21. @Neil A

    I only know what the strike is really about as I know an RMT member. They really haven’t done a good job of publicising it.

    Most of the media seems to believe the managenent’s view that it concerns the closure of ticket offices as most customers now use the Oyster smart card travel pass (brought in by Ken Livingstone when he was Mayor).

    In fact the real (issue) per the RMT are plans for large scale redundancies of many members of staff to be replaced by new staff of far lower wages and conditions.

  22. Hi Roger M,

    UKIP might indeed be slipping a little and your thoughts as to why make Interesting reading. The Tories will, obviously, take every UKIP-style rallying opportunity to try to demonstrate that their rivals are surplus to requirements.

    I think there will be an ebb and flow there, unless the Tories find some permanent ‘You don’t need UKIP’ rallying cry. This they could well do, although I can’t think of what it might be, but then, I’m not so committed to finding a viable Tory position as they are.

    Someone said something like, “Getting close!” towards the end of the last thread. But Labour’s VI remains unchanged, so not ‘close enough to make much difference, it would seem.

  23. My post of a few moments ago is in moderation. It doesn’t take sides, and if one can’t respond to interesting ideas from others, what’s the point of debating anything here?

  24. Allan

    “I’m very sorry for expressing my own opinion.”

    Jolly good.

    Are you fully au fait with all the details of negotiations, why they have failed so far etc?

    I’m not which why I don’t feel able to judge the merits of strike action.

    What you are suggesting though is that no workers, whose jobs have an effect on the public should be allowed to strike.

    That sounds sensible except they would then want more money in return for losing their rights.

  25. It’s interesting how, despite austerity and the rise of UKIP, the Tories are perhaps only doing a little worse than they did in 2010, and nothing like as badly as they did even in 2005. Assuming they will win some ground as we near the election, they’d do no worse than Labour in 2005. What makes the difference, of course, is that Labour are doing a lot better because of the collapse of the LD vote. Aside from in Scotland and Wales, left-of-centre is somewhat of an open field for Labour.

    So my prediction stands: (a) Labour will win the next election with a majority, but (b) not with the kinds of majorities they had under Blair and Brown, and so (c) we’ll see a less well-disciplined PLP, which will find it difficult to implement the next steps of deficit reduction.

  26. (Of course, that last point might not end up being that problematic for Labour, because we don’t know right now what kind of PM Miliband will be. He might be very good at controlling his party on marginal votes, like Wilson and Callaghan were, or he might be a poor parliamentary operator, as Blair was when he didn’t have a ridiculous majority.)

  27. DAISIE

    You’re being very selective with my quotes and for the record I also wrote…. ” On the strikes. I also agree workers should have the right to strike and no employer should be able to just bulldoze their employees into submission without proper dialogue”

    Everyone not just me will have an opinion on the strikes regardless of the reasons behind it.

    At no time will I ever take anyone’s side in a strike, who am I to judge who is right and who is wrong?

    The premises argument is at what point do the Unions lose public sympathy and is strike action really the right course.
    That is a completely different argument from who is right and who is wrong over the reasons for people going on strike.

  28. #The premises of my argument#

  29. On the ever fascinating Independence Referendum front it’s interesting to see the Yes campaign slipping in the polls and the No campaign gaining ground. Are tectonic plates shifting here and will the Yes campaign now implode in an orgy of self recrimination?

    Just giving the old cup a wee stir! lol

    As for the rather more relevant national polls, I’m intrigued by the recent sight of both the Tories and Labour consolidating their VI ratings simultaneously. The old zero sum game between the two major parties, so beloved of traditional and orthodox psephologists is no more. The Tories gain a little ground in the polls but not at the expense of Labour and we’ve seen a similar phenomenon when Labour have gone above the magic 40 mark; it hasn’t dented the Tory VI particularly.

    My hunch is that while Tory strategists will be heartened to see the Tory VI edge upwards they will be part surprised and part dismayed to see Labour staying steady in the upper 30s. Put simply, if this persists, they know they can’t win. They have to hole the Labour VI below the water line at some stage between now and May 2015. What will be the magic bullet or, rather, the silver torpedo? Will the “Ed’s No Good” mantra swing it for them during the campaign and/or will a grateful electorate reward them for restoring an economic shangri-la? Intriguingly, the bookies aren’t convinced, but I think there’s still much to play for.

    As for the questions on flooding and how effective the Government’s response has been, I think Eric Pickles better get a few of those “Chris Smith Must Go” T Shirts printed – fast!! lol

  30. “crossbat11

    On the ever fascinating Independence Referendum front it’s interesting to see the Yes campaign slipping in the polls and the No campaign gaining ground. Are tectonic plates shifting here and will the Yes campaign now implode in an orgy of self recrimination?

    Just giving the old cup a wee stir! lol
    ________

    Ha! I know why you wrote that. Now you’re trying to cause a storm in a tea cup lol ;-)

  31. John Curtice reports that in addition to the Panelbase poll, the second phase of the TNS-BMRB poll for Tom Hunter has been published –

    http://scotlandseptember18.com/hunter-announces-second-phase-poll-results-independence/

    “only 4% say that the currency is the first or the second most important issue for them in the referendum debate. Job prospects (26%) and the economy (22%) predominate along with heath care (25%). Equally, in further results from last week’s Survation poll for the Mail on Sunday also released today, 55% said the speech on monetary union given by the Governor of the Bank of England ten days ago had not affected their views on independence at all – and while 21% said they were less likely to vote Yes as a result of his intervention, they were almost balanced by the 16% who stated they were more likely to do so.”

  32. 16% does not ‘almost balance’ out 21%. 5% is a significant margin.

  33. Totally unexpectedly, Mr Pickles has apparently said he wished the government has not listened to the EA’s advice. I conclude he means that it is the EA’s fault by association. He said ‘we thought we were dealing with experts’.

    Pause for intake of breath by some of you, doubtless.

    I still don’t think there will be any political influence of the blame for flooding in any VI direction, buse so few voters are directly affected and voters who bother to listen to such statements will be just as likely to put blame in any direction. The rest (the vast majority) won’t be listening, so the blame game won’t wash IMO.

  34. buse =because

  35. CrossBat11
    Naughty of you to introduce that – there’s no salti…. oh, blast, there is. I’m off.

  36. @ Allan Christie

    As Clement Atlee said to Harold Laski “A period . . . . . .”

  37. Jayblanc

    “16% does not ‘almost balance’ out 21%. 5% is a significant margin.”

    I agree, but it would only matter if such a question was in any way meaningful!

    Anthony has oft pointed out that questions which ask if “Factor X” is more or less likely to make people vote in a particular way, are generally as useless as bailing out the Somerset Levels with a teaspoon.

    Unless these individuals who claim to have been influences are genuinely undecided folk (and no such claim seems to have been made) then the more likely interpretation is that Carney’s speech (or rather its coverage in the media) has had virtually no effect.

  38. Problem with the floods is most parties are not going to have manifestos based on out-of-the-ordinary weather. Will be an issue for local politicians though, so it’ll be quite a fragmented effect that won’t have an overall effect on the polls themselves.

    Thanks Oldnat
    Such low interest in the ‘currency’ debate on Scotland should be quite a blow to the No campaign; they’ve spent an incredible amount of time campaigning with this as the central argument.

    Seems most people just see currency as an issue to be dealt with depending on other factors requiring or not requiring independence. I always find the arguements quite funny, what currency will I use? Well I have a £20 note that won’t change in value no matter how I vote! Its a long term issue, there will be a short-term union and independence will be a long but rather dull breakaway. SNP haven’t argued it well though, their still too focused on what ‘they’ will do, as oppose what an independent possibly non-SNP government – could – do.

    Been a bit of a strange campaign tbh.

  39. Hmmm if Eric Pickles were to get a Chris Smith T-shirt printed would that be XXXXXXXXLL perhaps.

  40. I don’t think that the No Campaign is trying to use the currency debate to actually change many people’s minds, but rather to shift the debate onto comfortable grounds for them. The Yes Campaign has a finite amount of time to close the gap, and time spent on awkward questions about independence arrangements is time that’s not spent on their preferred ground.

    Fraser,

    “SNP haven’t argued it well though, their still too focused on what ‘they’ will do, as oppose what an independent possibly non-SNP government – could – do.”

    I think that’s a very good point. The SNP have tended to run the campaign like an election campaign, and in those terms I think they’ve done well. However, this has meant that one of the easiest answers to a lot of sceptical questions (“It will be up to future Scottish governments to decide”) hasn’t been used as much as it should.

  41. Crossbat11 is absolutely right.

    If labour gets 35% or over, the tories have had it.

    Their problem is that labour hasn’t had a monthly average below 35% since before august 2010. If this persists, it is difficult to see how the tories can pull off being the largest party in parliament. The odds of a tory majority are lengthening by the day. betfair odd on tory majority have lengthened since the end of october from 4 to 4.5 [or 3 to 1 to 7 to 2, in traditional betting terminology].

    I expect the polls to be very narrow in 2015, the tories may even edge labour in terms of overall number of votes, but it won’t prevent labour winning over 300 seats and being the largest party.

    A real game changer is required for the blues at this point.

  42. The problem with the arguments about dredging is that we don’t know what would have happened if the rivers had indeed been dredged.

    Would it actually have increased water flow at all, given than the entire area is <20m above sea level?
    Would it have had anything more than a tiny effect?
    Would bridges etc downstream have been washed away?
    Would the extra river capacity have ended up flooding Bridgwater instead?

    The EA apparently made an active decision not to dredge. I'm more inclined to trust their judgement than band-wagon jumping politicians or understandably upset victims of the flooding, neither of whom have obvious relevant expertise.

    Let's suppose the rivers are dredged over the coming year on DC's say-so. Will he accept responsibility if that results in Bridgwater being flooded next year?

  43. @Robin – “The problem with the arguments about dredging is that we don’t know what would have happened if the rivers had indeed been dredged.”

    Err – yes we do. We know precisely what would have happened, as it’s happened many times before, expect this time the rainfall was the worst it’s ever been, and the tides the highest they’ve ever been.

    The experience and modelling is extremely clear on this. Dredging will prevent lots of low grade flooding events, but won’t touch extreme events, and it likely to make downstream flooding worse in such cases.

    It’s worth bearing in mind that for several weeks now, the levels have been pumped out with the biggest pumping effort ever seen in the UK, and the water level is still rising. Everwhere is full, and would be even if it were dredged.

  44. @Allan Christie – “I’m very sorry for expressing my own opinion.”

    My understanding is that this “is a site for non-partisan discussion of polls”, not for discussion of policy per se, and that we are encouraged not to make our personal affiliation on a polling question obvious to a casual observer. Please could someone correct me if this policy has changed?

    ************

    Interesting figure on Gove that underlines why VI is not just a straight reflection of leader approval.

  45. Robin,
    Very interesting post,particularly the final point.According to this poll 62% of
    People think Cameron has not handled the situation well.That is quite a majority,sooner or later I think it may effect VI,if only temporarily.If the Thames floods the problems can only get worse.It is managing to both rain and snow at
    The same time here in Wales at the moment!

  46. That’s a really interesting finding on salience in the referendum debate. In many ways it really shows the problems with the whole vote, in that people seem to be voting as if this were a normal 5 yearly election cycle. Fundamentals, like the currency, are longer term, but far more important.

    This is a problem for BT, as they have to convert issues with the fundamentals into hard experiences. To do this, essentially they have to be negative about independence, which isn’t particularly endearing.

    I think one area where perhaps BT have missed a trick is to counter the substantial negative campaigning from the Yes campaign. SNP supporters are very quick to suggest that a No vote would be a disaster, suggesting that Westminster would move against Edinburgh by removing the Barnett formula, and cutting Scotland’s budget by £7b pounds. I was surprised with the number of times this line is repeated, even in the same breath as criticism of BT for being negative.

    The No campaign needs to offer a much more positive view of life after the vote within the union, and talking about what would happen in the event of a No vote would be much easier for them to counter some of the more factually loose claims of the SNP. Essentially a ‘best of both worlds’ strategy is needed here, or I can see the union slipping away, to Scotland’s detriment.

    If BT could do this, they would be able to offer a positive vision, allied to significant certainty, to contrast with Salmond’s unfeasibly positive vision that remains wracked with doubts. people aren’t listening to the doubts, as they seem far too remote and difficult to grasp, but they are actually fundamental to whether or no Salmond could ever deliver.

  47. ALEC

    “or I can see the union slipping away, to Scotland’s detriment. ”

    I think you may have failed Anthony’s test as to how posts on this site should be phrased! :-)

  48. @JayBlanc

    “16% does not ‘almost balance’ out 21%. 5% is a significant margin.”

    Steady on, you’re in danger of allowing facts to get in the way of a good argument!

  49. @Oldnat – indeed. I think my point is that there have been a series of factual inaccuracies and assumptions of certainty in statements made by the SNP which have very substantial impacts on calculations of the future economic well being of Scotland.

    Many of these are being exposed regularly, but not in a way that is cutting through to ordinary voters, who appear at this stage to be seeking a more sunny outlook from the campaigns.

    BT have to offer a positive vision, which must be more than the status quo, to sit alongside their questioning of the alternative.

  50. Regards the water, rather than boil it, why not bottle it and sell it to the South East when their lawns dry up in the summer?

    Solves the water problem, and the money pays for the repairs. Now do you see why us Scots are admired loathed for our money management?

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