This morning’s YouGov/Sun daily polling results are here. Topline figures are CON 33%, LAB 38%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 13%. Two noteworthy things in the regular trackers – one, the gap between the people blaming the government for the cuts (29%) and the people blaming Labour (33%) is the lowest YouGov have had so far. Two, people appear to be getting less worried, the 63% of people who say they worry about having enough money to live on is the lowest they’ve shown since the election, so is the 53% who worry about losing their job or having difficulty finding work. Both are presumably a sign of economic optimism continuing to creep slowly upwards.

Meanwhile the twice-weekly Populus poll yesterday had figures of CON 32%, LAB 37%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 15%. Full tabs are here.

590 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – CON 33, LAB 38, LD 10, UKIP 13”

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  1. Er, sorry Anthony. Didn’t see your post.

    On the polling front- does this mean the Daily Mail’s currency has been devalued? We’ll need a few more days polling to be sure there’s been no impact, but now that they’ve fired their “The Deputy Leader of the Labour Party is a paedophilia apologist!!!” rocket what could they possibly have left in their arsenal?


    @”I’m not sure why anyone would or should be upset Harman failed to oppose the gay rights movement? ”

    Nor me.
    Nor the chap on R4 this morning.

    You have missed the point entirely-but I probably translated it poorly.

  3. On another subject that can’t be mentioned – loved the debate last night exactly like the arguments in my house – we can listen and shout at the same time you know. Can see some themes emerging but can’t discuss till we get a Saltire thread

  4. On the subject of HH and polling, can anyone think of any “guilt by association” story that has impacted on VI? The Republicans tried that repeatedly when Obama first ran for President, pulling up all kinds of stories about people he worked with or was friends with in his past, such as Louis Farrakhan. None of those attacks appeared to have any impact on the daily polling that I can remember. What did have an impact were the things he personally said or did. His guns and religion speech didn’t help, for example. As I said before, unless HH is shown to have actively supported the modern interpretation of Paedophilia, the Labour party knew this, and were happy for her to take a leading role regardless, I can’t see it impacting on anyone’s vote. Even using this forum as a snapshot, those who already supported Labour are rallying around HH, those who self-describe as being on the right are backing the DM’s campaign against her. Is there any reason to think that would be different in the wider public?

  5. @TOH – “The Telegraph have an interesting angle on the story this morning.”

    It isn’t interesting in the slightest – at least not in the context of the Harman attack.

    For the benefit of those who haven’t seen it, the headline reads ‘New Evidence Casts Doubt on Harman’s Defence’. It then details how HH claims that PIE had been marginalised by the NCCL before she joined them, and that HH had claimed never to have colluded with the PIE.

    It then shows some handwritten notes from HH to a staff member at NCCL who sat on a committee with the PIE chairman. This staff member continued to work for the NCCL until made redundant in 1997, and did appear to have personal links with the chair of the PIE. There is another unconnected handwritten note from the PIE chairman (later jailed for child sex offences) to this staff member with no relevance to HH at all.

    There is absolutely nothing in the ‘evidence’ that links HH to PIE, and the rebuttals make clear that HH flatly rejected the attempts by the PIE and the other CCL individual at the time to alter the NCCL stance on parliamentary consultations at the time.

    All in all, it doesn’t read as interesting – rather desperate journalism, if I’m being honest. Rather than a killer blow, it enables HH and jack R to present a very robust case on how they fought against some misguided thinking with PIE and one apparent sympathizer of theirs within the NCCL.

    It’s based on the principle that HH knew someone who knew someone. If this is how we conduct ourselves, then I’ll guarantee – we’re all guilty of something.

    On AW’s entreaty, I’m now pretty satisfied that what is potentially a toxic swamp for any politician to be trapped in – reported links to pedophilia – will now not hurt Labour in the polls. It’s been done over now in some detail, and while HH’s tactical reputation has been a bit bruised, I’m struggling to see any serious thinkers put off Labour by this.

    Clearly non Labour voters – like @TOH, if I may say so – may continue to pretend there is something relevant in this, but they aren’t ever going to vote Labour anyway, and their entire motivation for thinking as they do stems not from the issues, but from a desire to see damage to Labour.

    I can’t see any significant number of current or potential Labour voters being put off by what is fast becoming the biggest non scandal of the year.

  6. Mainstream Media v Social Media.

    I have noticed reading replies on Twittrcand Facebook that the contributors to social media seem more pro-Labour and pro-Yes than the polls. These are replies to the Telegraph, Mike Smithson, Lord Ashcroft so I am not being selective and choosing Labour posters.

    I wonder if any research has been done on this ?

    This should greatly lessen the effect of the MSM – case in point the support of HH on Twitter and the Change petition regarding the DM and child images.

  7. @Spearmint – I think that’s entirely possible. Very often it’s the subtle, unspoken attacks that work best. In an argument, when you got over the top and charge at the enemy lines, you simply have to have the winning force behind you, otherwise at best you’re going to end up stranded in the mud of no man’s land.

    I think the Mail has now tried two character assassinations on senior Labour figures, and have been unable to complete the assault in both cases. I think they are degrading their ability to lead media focus and public opinion, and are becoming a less serious part of the political mix in the process. I suspect Labour will be quietly quite pleased at this general movement of events.

  8. @THE PROLE: “What does puzzle me is why everyone is going in hard and heavy on HH rather than Patricia Hewitt, when there seems to be something of a paper trail to Hewitt.”

    Harman is deputy leader of the Opposition whereas Hewitt is an ex-MP who was suspended by the Labour Party in 2010 over her expenses.

  9. Alec

    “may continue to pretend there is something relevant in this”

    Not pretending anything Alec, Colin has captured my mood exactly on this issue which I am happy to leave.

  10. So-no Coalitions for LDs with either party. DC & Len said so.

    Wonder how that will effect Clegg’s core GE strategy-“we will work with either & make them lovely for you.”

  11. Alec
    “It’s based on the principle that HH knew someone who knew someone. If this is how we conduct ourselves, then I’ll guarantee – we’re all guilty of something.”

    Very well expressed & I agree with your general point.

    As others have said, I cannot see that this will affect Labour’s polling but we’ll have to wait a few more days to be certain.

  12. It makes Clegg’s party look even less relevant and removes any remaining incentive for any non-ideological Liberals to vote for them. The number of people who actually think of themselves as Liberals and thus consistently support the party seems to be no more than about 5%.

  13. Daily Mail readership 1.5 million

    DM Lab/LD readers 38% ( * ???!!! )

    Max negative effect 0.6million readers -assumed voters=
    2% of all voters

    * MORI survey of Newspaper reader 2007-from Wiki.

  14. There’s a later MORI on that-32% of DM readers voted Lab/LD in 2010 GE -can’t believe it.

  15. @ Colin,

    You’re underestimating the potential impact. The BBC and all the other papers have picked up the story now (albeit some with a “Harman refutes idiotic smear from paper that likes to publish pics of twelve-year-olds in bikinis” angle, eg. the Guardian), so the number of people exposed to the allegations goes far beyond the Mail readership.

    Whether or not anyone cares is another question, of course.

  16. Colin

    MINUS 32% of DM readers voted Lab?

    Sounds about right.

  17. Anyone marvelling at the number of Lab/LD Mail readers needs to remember that families often share papers and couples can have weird political arrangements (I’m in a Labour/OMRLP couple). They’re probably wives/husbands of Mail readers who can’t be bothered to buy another paper.

    The oddest combination I’ve ever seen was in my days as a paper boy, when one beautiful old cottage on the outskirts of my village got the Guardian and the Daily Star.

  18. I used to commute to London with a Daily Mail reader. He always voted Labour. In fact he even wrote to the DM just before the 1997 election to complain about their biased coverage! Apparently he hadn’t noticed before.

  19. @Colin Davis

    I also can’t believe that, given what’s going on elsewhere, the Mail have stirred this up. The PM has reportedly told his MPs not to mention the whole thing; he is aware of what a minefield this is.

    Tom Watson has apparently recently passed information he’s received to the Home Sec.


    @”They’re probably wives/husbands of Mail readers who can’t be bothered to buy another paper.”

    This is what MORI says :-

    ” Voting behaviour estimates are based on the aggregated results of all Ipsos MORI surveys conducted during the election campaign, weighted to the final result and turnout. Turnout estimates for each title’s readers are not calculable in 1992 and 1997.
    Base: 22,726 GB adults aged 18+, March-April 1992; 13,544 GB adults aged 18+, March-April 1997; 18,657 GB adults aged 18+, May-June 2001; 15,948 GB adults aged 18+, April-May 2005; 10,211 GB adults aged 18+, March-May 2010″

  21. The DM has always set out to capture a large female readership (the FeMail section, for example). All the women I know who read it claim they do so for the features, not the politics (even clearer when you look at their website). So perhaps not surprising that such a high proportion of readers don’t share its political views. Though I would argue that no matter how good you are at filtering out opinions from “facts’, you can only respond to the information you receive, so editorial choices about what is news and what isn’t will still have a potential VI impact even on those LD/Lab voters who buy it. How many people have time to read two newspapers a day, or seek out additional news outlets for broader coverage of events.

  22. @MrNameless

    My father took the Mail for years. He simply never read the news; it had and still has a very good sports section. He would rather take arsenic, or, worse, support Wigan Warriors, than vote Conservative.

    He now takes the Telegraph – it does very good gardening. He says it’s fine as long as he only reads page 8 onwards.

  23. The only place that I have read about the Daily Mail smear campaign is on here. That’s because I only pick out news articles when I read the papers online, as opposed to polemicists’ claptrap. Correction, I did see the Steve Bell cartoon and wondered what it was about initially. I bet I am more representative of the average voter, although average voters don’t bother with the political cartoons either. I predict no change on VI due to this ‘issue’, one way or the other.

  24. Lab voting DM readers.
    My ex-wife, a Lab voter (or at least that what she says!) quite often buys the DM. Apparently the women’s section is good.

  25. @Roger Mexico

    “Though of course the people who really hate the Daily Mail are the Mail on Sunday.”

    And the Daily Express; they hate the Mail with a passion. Is there no honour amongst thieves! lol

    Since the NCCL/PIE story surfaced, I’ve been surfing a lot of the newspapers to get as much balanced information as I can and it’s a shame that the Mail’s capacity for polarisation and toxicity has infected an otherwise interesting discussion on the cultural and social climate that influenced attitudes to sex in the 1970s. Of course, it would be ludicrous to suggest that sexual deviancy was invented in that decade and, in many respects it was an era that saw great advances in terms of tolerance and freedom for groups previously persecuted and discriminated against. However, as with all social and cultural revolutions, there came the inevitable nonsenses and unintended negativities. The transitory tolerance of organisations like PIE was one such example and I don’t suppose it was just the NCCL that failed to spot the evil intent that lurked behind the facade. Maybe one day somebody, it could even be the Daily Mail, who know, might publish the names and occupations of the people who were actually members of PIE. Now that might well make interesting reading.

    By the way, whilst surfing, I cam across a piece by the respected media commentator and former Fleet Street editor, Roy Greenslade. He claimed that 40% of the Daily Mail readership voted Labour???!!

    Shorely knot, as they used to say in Private Eye.

  26. I do think that the current Voting Intentions expressed in repeated polls for a long time represent something more solid than ephemeral. As such, spurious attacks from the Daily Mail, however rabid, aren’t going to have much of an impact.

    The premise of the attack is absurd anyway. The alleged guilt by association only holds any water if you actually believe Harriet Harmon and co. are going to introduce pro-paedophile legislation if returned to power. Yet she has a thirteen year track record of being in power already. Nobody is actually being accused of paedophile behaviour directly. Moreover, the case in question is so old, one much question how long the Daily Mail editors must have known about it, and if so why they didn’t act on it a long tine ago.

    Of course it’s a smear campaign, probably conducted in ‘retaliation’ for the botched attempt as smearing Miliband’s dad last year. The public possibly see it that way too.

  27. While we’re spreading anecdotes, my grandmother was a staunch Mail reader but voted Liberal three times because she fancied David Steel.

  28. I think the latest attempt to suggest that the named Labour individuals didn’t do anything to rock the boat within the NCCL is also misguided. The Telegraph and Mail are basing this on a statement by a convicted paedophile, former chair of PIE. Their reporting ignores completely the fact that Dromey organised a campaign in 1976 to defeat a PIE motion at the NCCL, and the facts that HH also rejected a number of suggestions originating from PIE regarding the NCCL lobbying position on various topics.

    What the Telegraph source doesn’t actually make clear, is that PIE and it’s forerunners, were consciously entryist, and were deliberately targeting a range of civil liberties and academic institutions in a deliberately underhand manner.

    The NCCL made some representations regarding violent attacks on people accused of paedophilia and experimental chemical castration of sex offenders. This may appear unpalatable, but it actually quite normal for civil liberties groups. They campaign for everyone’s civil liberties, even the unpleasant people. PIE knew this, so used organisations like them to try and gain some level of respectability.

    Again, we’re barrel scraping here, with no clear links to the named targets. I think that muck raking works, in political terms, if the public can link the innuendo and the known facts, however limited, to a broader sense that there is something true about the central suggestions.

    In this case, it’s astonishingly difficult for the public to conceive that HH, Dromey or Hewitt actually abused children, or support people who do, or would like to see more lenient treatment of people who do. As a background impression, this just simply doesn’t stack up.

    In many ways this is very similar to the ‘man who hates Britain’ attack on Milliband. The implied notion that Ed ‘hates Britain’ was as outlandish as the idea that Harman supports child abuse. Because of this, the attack ends up lacking credibility and polling impact, as people simply cannot see a vague outline of something significant behind all the smoke and fury.

    The contrast between this, and a later episode involving a now deceased former Tory deputy leader, is quite striking. In this case, the individual was arrested twice on suspicion of sex with young boys but not charged, while serving within No 10. The police have been quoted as complaining to the press that a less powerful man would have faced court. The arrests were later confirmed by police, who also confirmed that no trace of the incidents was found in the records, some 8 years after the arrests took place.

    Edwina Currie’s published diaries also make clear, when he was appointed to a No 10 position it was widely known within the cabinet that he liked young boys, and that his constituency agent was paid to keep quiet about these matters.

    Now if we are to be dealing in guilt by association, there will be Tory party characters still active today who knew people who knew people back then. Given that the evidence for actual abuse seems altogether stronger in this series of events than in the Harman case, it seems surprising that the Mail isn’t pursuing this one in the same manner, if it’s justice and care of children that they are really concerned about.

  29. Hi Chris Riley,

    Yes, sure, it’s Daily Mail madness, which will come with a price. Call up the powers of darkness and they always take a victim back with them. The Mail should bear it in mind. I remember there was a Dennis Wheatley theme in all those satanic novels he used to write (The Devil Rides Out was really good, I thought!) which was that ultimately evil is stupid.

  30. Oldnat,

    Not at all: being able to do things that you’re not genetically programmed to be able to do (like read or turn on a tap) is no great achievement.

    Spinning someone’s words to mean precisely the opposite of what they meant is an achievment, albeit not a laudatory one.

  31. @Alec

    With all due respect, I think there is no need to bring up those particular allegations on here, even in the interests of balance. We all know that there is an ongoing investigation and that a number of senior figures of the time in both politics and media have far more serious allegations than those being made of Harman hanging over them.

    It will doubtless all come out (there are allegations that the Mirror has it ‘in the bank’ for later in the election campaign, and that the Mail has run this story now to stave off something from the Express on the story) in the future and maybe then will be the appropriate time to discuss it.

  32. Alec,
    I don’t think the person you are referring to was ever the deputy Tory leader. I believe he was Thatcher’s PPS for a while and maybe deputy party chairman.

  33. @Alec

    A fine post.

    On the subject of the political leanings of Daily Mail readers and the apparent high proportion who vote Labour (30-40%), it does appear, at first glance a quite astonishing phenomenon. The paper is viscerally anti-Labour and irredeemably right wing in its editorial stance, commentary and reporting, so why would anybody with left of centre leanings want to buy and read it? However, when you think about it, and apply the same thought to Tory voters who read left leaning papers, maybe those few of us who live and breathe politics probably vastly over estimate its importance in most peoples lives. Maybe the non-political content of the Mail is what attracts most of its readership, and let us on the left not be too snooty here, it is a remarkably well put together newspaper that knows and understands its readership better than most. Look at its circulation figures and how it has bucked the declining newspaper sales trend better than most of its competitors over the last 10 years.

    Of course the bad news for those who think a predominantly right leaning press will trumpet Cameron back into Downing Street in 2015 is that they might have to accept that their power to politically influence voters is vastly exaggerated.

  34. @ Tabloid Readership

    Why are posters amazed that so many readers of Tory rags, eg. DM,, are non-Tory voters.

    Do the elementary arithmetic. Even at a conservative estimate 75% of Daily & Sunday papers sold currently are right- wing: 36% of the electorate voted Tory in 2010.

    It has often been said that readers are often unaware of their paper’s politics: on what evidence I don’t know.

    I also don’t know to what extent this somewhat grotesque mismatch between the politics of the papers & of their readers politics is duplicated abroad.

  35. I read once (from someone in the business) that a newspaper’s politics is determined by the advertisers it is trying to attract. Apparently it is not much to do with the readers.

  36. @Crossbat

    Do the Mail still only ever refer to the Express as ‘other downmarket competitors’? That did used to make me laugh.

  37. @graham – “I don’t think the person you are referring to was ever the deputy Tory leader.”

    Quite correct – my mistake.

    @Chris Riley – you also might be quite correct. To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t aware that there is a live investigation into this as I thought it was all over. If I had known, I wouldn’t have added that to my post.

  38. I have read a reasonable amount on the “Harman affair” & still have no idea what she is supposed to have done. Can’t say that the Harman-hostile posts on here have done much to enlighten me.

    As for polling. We won’t be able to gauge the precise effect unless YouiGov etc have specific polls on this subect: & this is unlikely?

  39. Unrest in Crimea-Putin rattling his sabres.

  40. Q4 2013 Gross Fixed Capital change on Q4 2012:-

    Business Investment +8.5%
    Private Sector Dwellings + 8.9%
    Public Corporation dwellings +10.7%
    f total gross fixed capital formation +8.7%

  41. @Colin

    “Not liking this at all”


    So it seems that on the centenary of World War I we’re going to get the eagerly anticipated conclusion to that trilogy…

  42. ALEC

    @”Quite correct – my mistake.”

    The sort of mistake which can cause problems for individuals & their families , which no amount of apologies can put right.

  43. AU

    You sound strangely excited by the prospect.

    …eagerly anticipated by whom ?

  44. @COLIN

    I’m surprised that you think being misidentified as Tory deputy leader “can cause problems for individuals & their families , which no amount of apologies can put right.”

  45. @Colin

    “Not liking this at all :-”

    I share your concerns and Putin has a perfect excuse to intervene. He could claim that the pro-Russian and ethnic Russian population in East Ukraine and the Crimea have requested Russian help in the face of persecution. He could then argue, as well he might, that as the Russian leader he has a moral duty to protect them.

    Similar arguments have been used many times as a pretext and justification for invading another sovereign state.

  46. @Colin

    “You sound strangely excited by the prospect.
    …eagerly anticipated by whom ?”

    Sorry, that was meant to be sarcastic (I always forget it doesn’t translate well by text)


    Perhaps you weren’t around on this board during the last “Tory Paedophile” accusation?

    It ended badly.

  48. My grandad was an ex-Communist, a Labour council leader and for 20 years, an NUM branch official.

    He took the Express every morning up until his 80s, when he switched to the Yorkshire Post (which, for the uninitiated, makes the DM look like Marxism Today).

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