This week YouGov/Sunday Times results are here. Topline voting intention figures are CON 34%, LAB 38%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 12%.

Politically the most interesting questions were about Harriet Harman and the ongoing NCCL/PIE/Daily Mail row, essentially measuring its lack of impact. Only 34% of people say they have been following the story very (6%) or fairly (28%) closely. 42% of people haven’t followed it at all or are completely unaware of it. This is reflected in the other questions which all produced large levels of “don’t knows” – it appears to be a story that hasn’t really caught the public’s attention or at least, the public don’t know what to think about vague allegations from long ago.

Public opinion towards Harriet Harman is very much divided – 26% say PIE probably did have influence over NCCL, 33% that it probably didn’t, 41% say they don’t know. 34% agree with Harman that is it is just a politically motivated smear, 35% that it is legitimate investigation. 35% think that Jack Dromey probably did active condemn PIE, 20% think he probably did not, 45% don’t know

Overall 34% think that Harriet Harman and Jack Dromey do have cause to apologise, 32% think that it’s a storm in a teacup and they do not. There’s a consistent party skew to the answers throughout – most Labour voters think it’s a smear and take the side of Harman and Dromey, many Tory supporters think they have something to apologise for.

The broad thrust of the results is that the story hasn’t really cut through to the public – rather than some great swathe of public outrage, people who disliked Labour to begin with seem to think they’ve done something wrong, people who support Labour to begin with seem to think it’s a smear, most people don’t seem to care one way or the other.

332 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 34, LAB 38, LD 9, UKIP 12”

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  1. @Colin

    Oh I’m interested in world affairs Colin and this site is a distraction from my Open University creative writing module which I should be getting down to.
    I was just amused by some of the more excitable posts..
    Maybe it illustrates the preponderance of male contributors, although I know women can be just as belligerent.
    Interesting to see if this post gets through auto-mod.

  2. The tables and weightings for the saltired Sun’s YouGov poll are now published at

  3. Valerie
    I am sure your advice would be appreciated, but, as I mentioned earlier, as long as we have the wife of the President (OK of YouGov) doing the biz, then we should be OK. I am a Cathy fanboy.

  4. @Colin

    Well as you know, in my argument on the economics, where money circulates in the economy, such investments might assist the deficit. But leaving that aside… I agree that our governments don’t necessarily come up with the greatest fixes. Some will argue this is fundamentally a problem with State provision, but then we could point to some countries that maybe handle it better. As is the case with state investment generally.

    Incidentally, when you mentioned trials in wave and tidal tech, I took a look into it. We are doing a bit more than I thought, trialling quite a few different technologies, up near the Orkneys, and down near Cornwall where they have a “Wave Hub”, an undersea interconnector to plug different devices into for trials. Most seem small-scale, despite some of it going on for a decade.

    Pentland Firth though, that’s being scaled up to a 400MW tidal array which is a bit more like it.

    Meanwhile in the States though, Arpa funding has resulted in a potential solution to the problem of storing the intermittent energy from wind/wave etc. in convenient and low-cost fashion. A flow battery, but this time using cheap materials, not expensive rare metal catalysts. (With a flow battery you decouple the liquid from the rest of the battery, and can hence scale it up just by making the tank for the liquid as big as you like).

  5. @Howard

    I wonder if spouses attend the YouGov Christmas parties?

  6. @ Valerie
    “’70s alert

    history A level – Monroe Doctrine

    Policy whereby the USA would not countenance further expansion by European powers anywhere in the Americas.”

    I’ve just looked up the Monroe Doctrine, thinking it might have been the 1870s, but I have discovered it was asserted in 1823 in response to some activity by…Russia.

    So it must have been the A level that was the 1970s – lol.

    I’ll get back to the overgrown garden and mull over my 1964 History O level, the Beatles, Rolling Stones – whatever happened to them?

  7. @ Valerie

    Re The YouGov Christmas Party:

    47.2% of spouses attend
    43.1% of spouses do not Attend
    9.7% of spouses get so drunk they can’t remember whether they attended or not but have vague memories about being in a cupboard full of stationery at some point.

    You have to hope Cathy Ashton is not in the last group.

    This poll may be spurious and I can’t provide a link to any internals.

  8. Depending on staffing levels, there might be quite a big margin of error at the party. You might have to do a t-test!!

  9. Ann In Wales

    Some Stock Exchange reaction was inevitable. And they always panic.

    Its if there is damage to economic fundamentals-trade and/or oil prices -which is the real concern.

  10. Valerie

    Glad you weren’t moded.

    It was just a gentle tease-hope you weren’t too offended. I agree with your comments about last evenings stuff.
    I also agree that the female voice should be heard more.

    …glad you acknowledged equality of belligerence though lol.

  11. @Guymonde

    “There are a lot of posters on this board who go way above my experience/knowledge on a range of subjects. I keep coming back here because I learn something every day (though my level of learning is still pretty meagre!)”


    Yep, and there’s the hive mind thing where, you never know, collectively we might be more intelligent than apart.

    Personally, I think there’s something to gleaned from us laypeeps grappling with these thorny issues in terms of how people interpret VI, and the things that shape it…


    @” Most seem small-scale, despite some of it going on for a decade.”

    Yes I notice that. It makes one wonder about viability-well scaleability I suppose.

    I once read something about the energy which rests in fossil fuels. The density ( is that the correct word?) of its storage & the energy per unit volume of the storage medium derives from immense pressures & tectonic changes , over enormous periods of time.

    Trying to replicate this efficiency of energy capture & storage with mere mechanical devices is a very big ask.

  13. Most of the time we talk soft, fluffy, wishy-washy policy stuff. Every now and then we get the rare opportunity to talk hardware, so we’re prolly gonna take it. (Usually lagoons and wind turbines is the closest we get…)

    Doesn’t mean we can’t return to stuff like whether Miliband’s perceived as weak or geeky etc…

  14. @ Colin
    Smiley thing.

  15. @AnninWales

    This was another rather interesting alternative take on stock market bubbles: –

  16. Populus showing a dodgily small Lab lead:

    New Populus VI: Lab 37 (-1); Cons 34 (+1); LD 10 (+1); UKIP 12 (-1); Oth 8 (+1)

    I blame Putin.

  17. @Colin

    Strictly speaking, the energy density arises from the bonds in the molecules.

    Petrol is made up of carbon and hydrogen atoms joined together. When you burn it, these break apart and the carbon atoms recombine with oxygen instead and energy is released.

    Oxygen happens to be good at breaking these bonds apart to release the energy.

    So the energy density comes from both the amount of energy in the bonds, and how many such bonds there are in a given volume.

    The pressures are necessary to force the oil to form in the first place. To create bonds containing a lot of energy probably requires putting a lot of energy in to begin with. Though I think plants help out by creating the raw materials to begin with using the sun’s energy. In oil wells you are getting millions of years of the sun’s energy distilled.

    The flow battery isn’t really mechanical, it’s electrochemical. Energy is not stored mechanically, but as electrical energy. It may not be as dense as petrol, but it doesn’t have to be as it is not a portable device, it doesn’t need to power a car, but the mains grid.

    That said, it is possible to use renewable energy to create petrol, or alternatives, including hydrogen…

  18. @Alistair 1948

    on the previous thread people were discussing their memories of the’ 70s, so I’ve started adding my fourpenneth.

    Of course, although the poll at the top of this thread relates to HH and what she knew or didn’t know, the caravan has moved on

  19. Colin/ToH – how much of the skills gap can be made up of reduced underemployment which has the added plus for the Government of increasing real average earnings but limits unemployment reductions. (Of course this may help keep interest rates down for longer).

    3% lead on Populus is like 5ish on YG I seems to recall due to no false recall adjustment or something else.

  20. New STV/Ipsos-MORI Macbethian poll is out.

    Details in Servants’ Hall

  21. @Colin

    Incidentally, high pressures may be necessary for creating oil (I haven’t checked tbh) but it is possible to create fuels which are suitably energy dense enough for transport naturally without high temps and pressures… eg fermenting crop sugars to produce bioethanol…

  22. Carfrew

    I don’t want to stray into science which is beyond my knowledge. I was just trying to make this point:-

    Energy cannot be created or destroyed ( First Law of Thermodynamics/Conservation of Energy etc -I think) , but merely converted. So the vast amounts of energy over vast periods of time which have been utilised to compact the energy contained in coal , oil & gas deposits cannot easily be replicated with mechanical devices like wind , wave & tidal turbines.

    ie you need lots & lots of these to produce the output from a given quantity of fossil,fuel burning.

    Byb the same token you need huge acreage of bio-fuels to capture solar energy equivalent to a given quantity of coal etc.

    As we know, certain bio fuels are now occupying such a large area of cultivated land, that food prices ( not to mention bio-diversity) are being impacted.

    The way I see it in my simple mind is-there is no free lunch in energy. The earth’s fortunate tectonic geology packaged massive quantities of energy in a convenient medium from which highly efficient retrieval has taken homo sapiens from a barely sustainable “slow” pre-industrial existence , to an unsustainable “fast” post-industrial life of plenty.

    I feel there is only one remaining source of energy , densely packaged by the planet’s geological history .into a form which can sustain our post-industrial party for a while longer.
    And that is uranium.

  23. Shevii,

    Surely you’ve been on here long enough to know a +/- 1% variation in a poll, in any direction, would need to be repeated several times before looking for any kind of cause beyond MOE variation. Even using Yougov’s methodology, that poll wouldn’t look out of place with the current 39-33 Lab-Con we’re seeing at the moment.

  24. @ COLIN

    You discount renewables. World energy consumption in 2005 was about 18000 Twh and this is expected to about double by 2030.

    According to this paper

    “In conclusion the order of magnitude of the wind resources worldwide from the more recent studies can be defined as follows. The lower limit is given by the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU), World in Transition – Towards Sustainable Energy Systems study giving 39,000 TWh (10). The upper limit is given by the team at Harvard University giving 720,000TWh (11). The world’s electricity consumption was about 18,000 TWh/year for 2005(7). The total available global wind resource on land is therefore more than adequate to supply a very significant proportion of the overall world’s electricity demand.”

    That’s before we do anything with offshore wind, tidal, solar, hydro etc.

  25. “The research project Kombikraftwerk 2 (Combined Power Plant 2) shows that a Germany-wide power grid could be stably operated even if it were fed only with electricity from renewable sources.”

  26. @Colin

    It’s ok, I know it’s a complicated thing… just been having a look at the formation of oil, which is not exactly straightforward, it turns out…

    Energy cannot be created or destroyed, true, but the Earth is not a closed system. New energy is constantly being pumped into it by the sun.

    To give an example of how much, photosynthesis in plants captures about 130 Terawatts globally each year, about six times more than civilisation’s total power usage. That includes power used in transportation etc.

    That’s just solar power captured in plants, before we get to solar power available in deserts, wind, wave, tidal power etc.

    The total amount of energy we receive from the sun is about… 174 Petawatts (a Petawatt being a thousand times a Terawatt). Or 99.97% of the Earth’s “energy budget”. A collosal amount compared with our usage of energy. The total Earth energy budget also includes contributions from tidal energy (e.g. interaction with the Moon) at 0.002%, and energy radiating from the Earth’s core (0.025%), along with waste heat from fossil and nuclear fuels (13 Terawatts, or 0.007%).

    That should give some context as to how much the solar energy we receive dwarfs our usage. Now, some of this solar energy is immediately relected back from clouds, atmosphere and earth’s surface. The rest is absorbed in land/oceans/atmosphere. The Earth’s Albedo is about 0.3, in other words 30% is reflected, 70% absorbed.

    BUT… some of the absorbed energy will be radiated into space later. Eventually an equilibrium is reached where the amount absorbed and radiated are equal. But we only have to capture a tiny bit of the energy passing through to make a hell of a difference.

    Now, growing fuel from crops is probably not the answer. There are other ways to more efficiently capture the sun’s energy and create fossil fuel… genetically engineered algae look promising. Alternatively, use renewable energy from solar, wind etc. to power chemical processes to synthesize fuel. Or, use it to split hydrogen from water to create liquid hydrogen fuel.

    If we capture enough renewable energy – and there is plenty to capture – we can in principle create way more than enough fossil fuel replacements.

    Even without synthesising fossil fuels, by simply harnessing renewables for electrical power generation, we can save a lot of fossil fuels currently used for that purpose. Oil isn’t just used for transport, but for rather important things like fertiliser, pharmaceuticals, plastics etc.

    Regarding uranium… nuclear energy reactions have around a million times the density of chemical, fossil fuel reactions. But Uranium is not abundant, and the reaction is dangerous and leaves nasty waste products. Thorium is more abundant, a safer process with far less nasty radioactive waste. So naturally we don’t use Thorium…

  27. Thanks all-interesting stuff.

  28. Carfrew
    You just illustrated why I am a relatively enthusiastic amateur in over my head.
    Fantastic to get that very clear exposition – thank you.

  29. @ Carfrew
    “Personally I don’t see how one can participate on a board like this without having to revise one’s opinions.”

    Some posters are informative about, egs., floods, thermodynamics, the correct use of the apostrophe — fine. Others pontificate in adamantine terms about every topical subject.

    A torrent of Ukraine posts: none linked to polling, many skewed to a right/left alignment.
    How many posters have a clue about, say, the balance of power in Kiev between the hardline nationalists and other elements?


    “Carfrew You just illustrated why I am a relatively enthusiastic amateur in over my head. Fantastic to get that very clear exposition – thank you.”


    Thank you Guymonde. (I don’t think you’re in over your head tho’, that looks a useful link you posted, I shall read it in a bit, along with Roger’s…)

  31. @Robbie

    “How many posters have a clue about, say, the balance of power in Kiev between the hardline nationalists and other elements?”


    Not me, which is why I haven’t commented on it. I hadn’t intended to get involved in the Ukraine thing at all, I just made some casual observation about the hubris of historical attempts by the likes of Napoleon and Adolf, thinking no one would be much fussed, and I could get on with playing with my new camera (I bought another one yesterday, you see…)

    you see…)

  32. ROBBIE
    “How many posters have a clue about, say, the balance of power in Kiev between the hardline nationalists and other elements?”

    The other aspect is, what’s our interest,and how does it related to VI and UKPR.?
    Personally, having seen David Milliband sail perilously close to the rocks in South Osettia, David Owen’s doubtul legacy from Zimbabwe, and TB’s toxic involvement in Iraq, it does seem to me that an intimate and informed knowledge of the balance of power in Kiev and Crimea, needs to the the basis of any intervention, even statement, on the part Hague and Cameron or of the Labout Party.
    While I have this secret envy of the mutual admiration and flirtation society of the cool and disinvolved,, just as I always did of the boys and girls at the back of the class, I confess to being morally driven by a wish to get close to the fadts and the grown up action and to speak out when events touch on matters in which I have concerns. So, staying with the legitimacy of those who post here on matters affecting VI, and the need to have the facts, re “how many posters have a clue”. it took me three minutes flat to get the following sources for the distribution of parties and issues in Kiev:

    I may even get arounds to reading them before feeling the compulsion to post again on the appalling unfolding pantomime of western responses to Russian reassertion of its long-term interests in Crimea.

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