This morning’s YouGov daily poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 34%, LAB 39%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 12%. At the start of the week YouGov produced an interesting string of seven point Labour leads, but with a four point lead yesterday and a five point lead today it looks as it’s business as usual. Full tabs are here.

Meanwhile the twice weekly poll from Populus has figures of CON 32%, LAB 38%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 13%. Full tabs for those are here.

308 Responses to “Latest YouGov and Populus polls”

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  1. “one has to keep in mind that where there’s a grey area we tend not to make the penalties TOO severe”

    Agreed. There’s a question of intent and of scale and our criminal justice system is designed to be proportionate and take all the circumstances into account.

  2. @ Valerie


    A trader who does this is more than likely to be a serial offender. For example, there are builders and other similar businesses down here who do lots of extensions and other work and lots of it isn’t declared thereby avoiding various taxes. If , as I suspect, this goes on around the country it will add up to a pretty penny! How is that different?

    If you read my previous posts I’m not making excuses for anyone employing tax avoidance schemes. They deserve everything thrown at them by HMRC.

  3. []


    You have to roll with I’m afraid….. to be fair ole Jimmy Savile was a bit of a leftie.

  4. @Bill P
    Well I’m not privy to Bantam’s thought processes. I was just reading his sentence ‘tax avoidance is tax avoidance , regardless of how it is carried out ” and substituting the word theft. I am aware theft is a criminal offence. I I think tax avoidance is a moral offence. And equally it is a question of degree.

  5. The Huffpost site has a ditty on the proposed Clegg/Farage EU debate with an amusing picture: a serious faced Nick Clegg with raised index finger and Nigel Farage sporting one of his dopey grins. Put me in mind of Anna Soubry’s comment on QT.


    “The problem with any discussion about tax avoidence is it depends what you mean by that. My wife and I pay what income taxes which are due without complaint but we do increase our investments mainly by investing in new ISA’s every year. Now an ISA is ameans of tax avoidence but it has been actively promoted by Governments of all colours. I would suggest that there is absolutely nothing antisocial or immoral in doing so, but it is a means of building large scale investments which do not incur tax charges when sold.”

    February 22nd, 2014 at 3:48 pm


    That is an example of state-sanctioned avoidance. There is a social benefit in saving and investing, so the state provides an inducement by giving tax breaks etc. Similarly there are tax breaks for charitable giving.

    The sort of “avoidance” that exercises people, is when such inducements are misused, via complex or obtuse mechanisms whereby folk can avoid the tax without providing the originally intended social benefit.

    This is parallel to the wealth debate. An argument that often crops up, is the concern over disincentivising aspiration, whether via onerous taxes, or having issues with the practices of some bankers.

    But wealth, money, capital, is not neutral. It can be used for good or ill. Hence the desire to channel the wealth into more socially useful endeavours, and away from the more detrimental.

    The tax avoidance debate is a part of that. The government sets up mechanisms to encourage the good stuff, and some try to misappropriate such mechanisms to get the tax advantage, but without the concommitant social benefit.

  7. Carfrew

    I agree with a lot of that but with regard to
    “But wealth, money, capital, is not neutral. It can be used for good or ill. Hence the desire to channel the wealth into more socially useful endeavours, and away from the more detrimental.”

    On wealth I agree it can be used for good or ill but I want to dictate how it is used not Government. That probably represents the main difference between us.

  8. Valerie

    Why is tax avoidance morally wrong? I can agree tax evaion is morally wrong as well as being against the law but tax avoidance using such vehicles as ISA’s seems to me to be perfectly moral.


    @”you can’t be prosecuted for something that wasn’t illegal when you did it.”

    That must be right & fair.

    Equally if the intention was to deceive HMRC by claiming that a taxable loss ocurred -and it turns out that activity simply didn’t take place-then I think that is qualitatively different to a complex argument of Tax Code interpretation.

    That is why I have some agreement in principle with NickP on “intent”.

  10. @TOH

    I’m not sure it matters what we might prefer. Wealth confers advantage, and one advantage it can confer, is the ability to suck up more and more wealth. Businesses can buy up rivals, individuals can secure preferential access to education, healthcare, safer neighbourhoods, better jobs etc. etc.

    Thus it becomes a stacked deck, whereby wealth can increasingly prosper, not by doing socially useful things, but by taking the mick, whether the banking crisis, or miss-selling to the vulnerable, or polluting or whatever.

    Thus there will always likely be a demand from folk to have government act on their votes and rebalance things.

  11. Independence Polling

    There are a number of rumours that the weekend polls are showing a tightening race and thus that the great currency offensive by Osborne has fallen flat on its face.

  12. @ L Hamilton

    I suspect GO had to go now as he’d been advised (as had the others) by MacPherson that Scotland joining the pound was a non-starter. I’d have been interested in your comments if he’d sat on the news and then it was leaked or released a lot nearer the poll? Damned if he did etc.

  13. Osborne’s currency gambit might lose some of the more volatile vote, but probably shores up the core vote… which may be all he needs…

    (Then again, a succession of such announcements could be a way to lose the Union…)

  14. @ Carfrew

    This was always going to be bad news, I really think you get this sort of thing out there immediately. It would have had a much more negative impact if delayed. As Chancellor, he had no choice but to announce it, I just hope you’re wrong about other potential banana skins.

  15. @Toh

    The route to buying ISAs clearly defined and open to everyone. To me tax avoidance is about devising tortuous concealed routes to gain an advantage. If everyone avoided tax in this way then tax rates would have to go up.
    Yesterday while I was waiting for someone to vacate a car parking space, someone else snitched it. You could say well they’ve done nothing wrong and had just taken advantage.. I felt it was morally wrong.

  16. I don’t think taking advantage of a deliberate tax exemption, such as ISAs or duty free, is really tax avoidance. It’s when you’re taking advantage of regulations to acquire an unintended tax benefit. Something more like this, perhaps:

  17. @L Hamilton – “There are a number of rumours that the weekend polls are showing a tightening race and thus that the great currency offensive by Osborne has fallen flat on its face.”

    You’ve tried this a couple of times. If you could tell us where these poll results are, we might be more interested, but until then, they remain ‘rumours’.

  18. The IceBreaker Scheme which three Take That members invested in has 1000 members who put £480m into it!
    Their potential tax saving is over double their “investment”.

    HMRC are fighting it in the Courts.

  19. I can’t believe that anyone would seriously equate ISAs to the multi-million pound tax avoidance schemes indulged in by companies like Starbuck’s and Vodaphone.

    Talk about defending the indefensible by clutching at straws….!

  20. ISA’s aren’t tax avoidance at all.

    Tax avoidance is avoiding tax you owe. With ISAs you don’t owe it in the first place, under the provisions made for ISAs. Might as well say one’s tax allowances are tax avoidance.

    Wouldn’t the best way to put a stop to tax avoidance schemes be to require all schemes to be pre-approved?

  21. I think avoidance involving multi-nationals like Starbucks & Vodafone is much more problematic for Tax Authorities.

    Companies like these can attribute costs & revenues to jurisdictions which provide optimal tax advantage.

    “Profit Shifting” therefore requires co-operation between National Tax authorities to tackle effectively-I believe GO put it on the G20 Agenda recently.

    In the case of Vodafone, I seem to rememberv that Margaret Hodge established that HMRC senior staff did “deals” with the company , waiving tax liabilities, which may have been outwith their powers .

  22. Colin Davis,

    “If you must have income tax, why not just eliminate loopholes?”

    Do you mean “Why haven’t loopholes been eliminated?” or “Why eliminate loopholes AND reduce rates?”?

    Hi Bill P,

    Thanks for replying. I was being a bit flippant. You quoted a scheme that raised extra tax in the US by being tight on loopholes and reducing tax rates. I was wondering (to myself mostly) why it is we hear so often about schemes which bring in more tax by lowering tax rates. If these work, it most likely means that wealthy people ‘agree’ to paying a bit more tax when they see it can save them some of the labyrinthine hassle involved in their avoidance schemes. My flip side says why not just concentrate on taking out the loopholes.

  23. @L Hamilton – if it helps, I can’t find any trace of rumours anywhere on the internet suggesting anything at present. Not even on the pro Indy chat rooms.

    The only references to anything so far seems to be the news that the PCS union is to remain neutral, in what some are calling a blow to the Yes campaign.

    You’ve tried this a couple of times, failing each time to share your knowledge or cite any evidence, so I think we’ll just agree that you’re being just a wee bit naughty.

    Ultimately, it’s utterly pointless, and degrades any proper contributions you might wish to make. There will either be polls, or no polls.

  24. Oh dear, I’ve just replied thanking another poster for a reply and not mentioned a political party at all – but it’s in moderation. Can’t see why, but thanks Bill Patrick for a reply you made to post of mine. If the system gets round to it, you might even see this thank you note again….

  25. Alec

    I have been following the debate on this site – Wings Over Scotland – which to be fair seems to be a NAT inclined blog – albeit not particularly SNP.

    I append their own self description so that they can speak for themselves. The main reason for excitement last night was a “Scotpulse poll” for STV (sample over 1000 but not in BPC) and debate seems to concern polls expected in Sunday Times (probably panelbase) and another paper d (probably MORI?)

    At any rate after the YESirs striggling to get into low 30s for most of last year they seem to be banging in at low to mid 40s with don’t knows out.

    Is that not game on?

    “Wings Over Scotland is a (mainly) Scottish political media digest and monitor, which also offers its own commentary”.

  26. According to (I think) the Daily Mail the writer of ‘Wings over Scotland’ lives in Bath.

  27. Nothing definite yet about a new poll for tomorrow. At what time does the embargo get lifted if there is such a poll?

    WoS is entertaining in a way, if slightly dotty. But it does seem to attract a lot of input from people who are closely involved day to day. This has the advantage of giving you an idea of the mood (something which can change from day to day) whilst having the disadvantage of not being ‘balanced’ and ‘with a larger perspective’.

    What folk in the south cannot do (cannot be expected to do!) is have a feel for day to day currents in people’s thinking. Listening in to broadcasts from the south it is obvious that there is a gap developing between what folk in England (and Wales) assume is happening and what is really being said and thought. WoS may be one way of keeping up – but only with one side of the campaign. Is there an equivalent ‘No’ site?’

  28. RogerH

    Yes, he’s from West Lothian but went south a year or two back for work, I think. His own input is ‘editorial’ but his ‘reporters’ are almost all up here.

  29. John B

    Thanks for that – good background.

    I’m new to this site (Wings Over Scotland) but it does seem interesting and worthwhile if (I agree) slightly off beat.

  30. JohnB – there is an ICM poll in the Scotland on Sunday tomorrow.

    It’ll show up whenever the SoS put it online

  31. Thinking more about this does anyone publish a monthly average of Yes/ No polling?.

    Rather than wait for this poll or that it would be good to see it in perspective.

    My impression is that last year No was winning big but that now the race is tightening.

    I note that this is the view on Political Betting where Mike keeps saying Yes is good value..

  32. Latest offering on WoS concerns today’s Independent article paralleling Scotland with Ukraine, and predicting dire amounts of bloodshed following a Yes vote.
    If that’s the standard being offered by the Better Together folks then I feel sorry for them.
    This Referendum may see the worst coming out of both sides. And then what happens afterwards, whichever way the vote goes? How do we pick up the pieces?

  33. AW

    Thanks. I’ll tune in again a bit later to see what’s happening.

  34. L Hamilton

    The average of the 7 BPC member pollsters (who poll on indy) is updated after every one of their new polls here –

    There should be a new post late tonight or in the wee sma hours when the SoS/ICM poll comes out.

  35. I would have thought that despite the inevitable poltical argy bargy and the low grade scaremongering that on the whole what is happening in Scotland is a bit of a model of how to effect democratic change.

    The NATS must have expected a few low blows from the British state- after all old habits die hard!

    At this distance with a fair bit to run they seem to be standing up to things pretty well do they not?

  36. Oldnat

    Thanks for that link. Does trend confirm my impression?

  37. L Hamilton

    (At least most of the time) I try to respect Anthony’s wishes that Macbethian issues not be discussed on threads which don’t have a Saltire flag waving at the masthead.

    I presume that’s based on the naval practice that ships infected with plague flew a yellow flag, to warn people to keep clear. :-)

  38. @R&D
    “Boring or wot?”

    Maybe, but even so some of us would prefer a discussion on tax abuses to the subject of the last 13 posts.


  40. “WoS is entertaining in a way, if slightly dotty.”

    Gosh, thanks.

  41. I hear the plaintive and ghostly sound of tumble-weed rolling through a deserted thread.

    Did somebody start discussing Scottish independence?

  42. @REV STU

    Naturally I didn’t mean you personally!

  43. AW

    Are there new poll results coming out tonight or not?

  44. Anyone know anything about “Vision Critical”? They seem to have a poll in one of the London Sunday’s tomorrow.

  45. @Oldnat / L Hamilton

    Note that UK from some readers perspective means that when a monumental event comes round every generation, if it does not mean England, then it’s boring / tumbleweed etc.

    Regards WoS, I generally avoid using it as a source, simply because of the obvious response from those who might disagree with any WoS articles “Pro-separatist”.

    Never mind the UK media as a whole, including the telly channels, the BBC (funded by unionists and separatists) and the politicians (644 to 6 at last election).

    Never mind though. Parity is an odd concept in UK politics.

  46. Rather dramatic events in Ukraine, with Yanukovych seemingly having fled, and journalists poring through the documents left behind.

    Still, it’s a far away country, of which we know nothing.

  47. @OldNat

    Vision Critical = Angus Reid no less.

  48. Oldnat

    It’s the Express which may have the most misleading headlines in history. This gem appears at the very end of their copy!

    “The poll results among Scots only showed that of the 188 questioned, 52 per cent indicated they supported independence – 34 “strongly”, and 18 per cent “somewhat”.


    It also shows 38 per cent support across the UK.. This could be the source of the rumours which have been circulating.

    Vision Critical comes from the Angus Reid Canadian stable.

  49. Phil Haines/L Hamilton


    I’m still coming to terms with System 3 now being TNS/BMRB!

  50. No poll news yet?

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