The full details of YouGov’s weekly Sunday Times poll are now up online here. Topline voting intention figures are CON 36%, LAB 37%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 11%.

That means two polls today, from YouGov and Survation, both show a reduced Labour lead of just one point. As ever when you get a couple of polls indicating a shift straight after an event it’s tempting to conclude the event has had a big impact. Be a bit cautious – the YouGov and Populus polls conducted Wednesday night and Thursday morning didn’t show a narrowing, it’s these two polls conducted from Thursday to Friday that show narrower leads. They aren’t necessarily contradictory (many people in those initial polls wouldn’t have seen the details of the budget or the media reaction yet), but it means the evidence isn’t all one way. Wait a bit to see if this pattern continues into the week.

The details of the YouGov poll don’t add much to the YouGov post-budget poll for the Sun. Confidence in the government’s handling of the economy and George Osborne’s ability is creeping upwards, but people themselves still aren’t feeling the improvement. 42% of people think the government is handling the economy well (the second highest score since 2010), 41% of people think George Osborne is doing well as Chancellor (up from 26% last April). But only 19% of people expect their own finances to get better over the next year, 38% worse. While this is one of the least negative scores since the general election it is still very negative!

The YouGov poll also asked again about Ukraine, continuing to find little support for any intervention beyond economic sanctions, though 44% would support personal asset freezing and travel restrictions against Vladimir Putin himself.

Looking at some other polling today, the Survation/Mail on Sunday poll also included European voting intention, which now stands at CON 28%(+5), LAB 32%(nc), LDEM 7%(-2), UKIP 23%(-3), GRN 3%. European election polls so far are here.

There was also a new ICM Scottish poll in the Scotland on Sunday. They have topline figures of YES 39%, NO 46%. Without don’t knows it would be YES 45%, NO 55% – a 2 point increase in YES compared to ICM’s February poll, but less than the 46% in their January poll. John Curtice’s take on the new ICM poll is here and referendum polls so far are listed here.

237 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 36, LAB 37, LD 9, UKIP 11”

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  1. @RogerH
    “The deficit has only fallen from £118bn in 2011 to £96bn in 2014. Does anyone really believe Osborne’s revised 2018 target is achievable?”

    I haven’t seen anything that would make me believe this is any more likely than his announcements were in 2010.

    I would like journalists to educate themselves & start asking the awkward questions such as:

    Why has Osborne not hit his targets ?

    How can we trust the OBR projections when they have been badly wrong on every occasion ?

  2. @RogerH

    Boxing the pop was left to Mrs Finchley herself

  3. I am kind of disposed to follow up Phil Haines’ post above by wondering what’s going on. I posted a while back this morning, a post which had no partisan content whatsoever, and which gave two (very brief) examples of immorality in politics, one looking right, one looking left.

    I am sure I’ve never bothered on here about being violently disagreed with, or being found too boring to bother with, that’s all part of the hurly-burly. If the site owners don’t want me, or any of us, posting for those reasons, I’m sure we’ll all survive. But if rule-abiding posts can be taken out for other reasons, then the site’s selective – isn’t it?

  4. @Colin

    Indeed but the largest deficit reduction was a consequence of the policies introduced by Alastair Darling. From 2009 to 2011 it fell from £157bn to £118bn. Osborne’s first budget wasn’t until June, 2010 so he can hardly take credit for that initial fall. He’s managed half the reduction in three years that Darling achieved in two.

  5. I bet the Cons are kicking themselves about the 5 year parliament this budget would have been a good launch pad for a GE campaign.


    The £118 bn you quote is for FY 2011/12.
    VAT was increase in Jan 2011-don’t think I can allow you to claim the 2011/12 deficit reduction as an Alastair Darling achievement. lol


    I think moderation is automatic, based on some obscure algorithm, whereas un-moderation (de-moderation?) relies on Anthony dropping by.

  8. @Colin

    We might have to split the difference there! Even so, I still think the likelihood of Osborne eliminating the deficit by 2018 is around nil.

  9. Colin and RogerH

    I think we can conclude that the issue of the deficit is a non-polling issue now, but was once.

    I notice that a lot; something, about which those who want us to get steamed up, get us steamed up, and then ceases to be so at their whim.

    The EZ countries are working down towards or below a 3% GDP deficit figure (some already achieved it) whereas we are more than double that still. It was important once, a threat to us all, and is now but a bagatelle. In fact Mr Cameron went to the EU meeting and ‘veto’d’ the idea of being made to conform to this goal, and got a poll lift for doing so. ‘We demand to keep our deficit higher’ is apparently now our policy. I wonder what Ed Balls’ policy is? Mind you, nobody seems to give a d*mn about it now. Funny old political world.

  10. @ Couper

    I think the next budget will be the sweetener, I do not approve of it myself but they all do it I suppose.

  11. @Phil

    It’s all subjective.

    “Labour: Could energy pledge power Miliband to victory?”

    Replace that with:

    “The Conservatives: Could budget power Conservatives to victory?”

    One lot of folk don’t like seeing their oppo party getting any news, seems to be the theme. Osborne had a ‘better than previous’ budget, and some don’t like it. Just like some didn’t like it when Ed Miliband snatched back his falling poll ratings in September.

    By the way, regarding cumulative rounding. Have you seen other instances of this?

  12. BlueBob
    As you can read above, I thought this one was the sweetener, but now I learn it wasn’t (not much of one anyway)..

  13. @Phil Haines

    Thing is, though, that most people from the bookies to, if Ben Brogan is to be believed, the upper echelons of the Tory Party, think Labour is going to win in 2015.

    News is anything that suggests otherwise.

  14. “I think the next budget will be the sweetener”

    Too close to the election to fool anyone, I suspect.

  15. @ Colin Davis

    I think you’ve been given a fair crack on your “morality” argument.
    The problem is that posters have been educated in the School of Moral Relativism, think values are subjectively determined, & reject your view that we can “rationally” arrive at a moral consensus.
    (I think there is little difference between loaded terms like Morality & Fairness when used in political discourse. It’s just a question of linguistic fashion.)

    Posters select their moral hobby horses & then veer between ends & means. So, should politics’ primary goal be, say, the elimination of the deficit, which is projected as a moral crusade. Or should we be more concerned with social “fairness”, in maintaining the fabric of welfare, health, education services.
    Then they criticise the other lot’s choice of means rather than of their ends/goals. The deficit-reduction strategy isn’t working. Or, increasing welfare expenditure makes the problem worse not better.

  16. I have previously asked people not to pursue this moral argument. Discussing if politicians, parties or their policies are moral is not compatible with non-partisan discussion, circling round the argument inevitably takes us towards whether politicians, parties or their polciies are moral. If people keep on coming back to a topic I’ve asked them to drop, they’ll find themselves moderated.

    I hope the level of intelligent discussion here is to people’s liking… but I’m afraid it is built upon some harsh moderation at times, and steering things away from topics that are going to head towards partisan back-and-forth is part of that. This isn’t a place for political debate (or indeed, debating political philosophy or rival schools of economic thought) – its about measuring the wider public’s opinions, not arguing about each others.

  17. @AW

    Don’t you get the feeling that the 2015 general election debate has already started here !

  18. HOWARD

    @”I think we can conclude that the issue of the deficit is a non-polling issue now, but was once.”

    I agree

    @”. I wonder what Ed Balls’ policy is? ”

    It’s either:-

    Osborne has reduced the Deficit too slowly
    Osborne has reduced the deficit too quickly
    We will reduce it at some other speed.

  19. R Huckle,

    And it can end on Sky.

    As for the polls, my suspicion is that the recent polls may help Labour not get complacent. I find it very, VERY unlikely that Labour won’t the largest party at the next election, but marginal changes in the Tory or Labour vote can make the difference between a steady basis for a clear 5 year policy programme and a long headache like the October 1974-1979 parliament.

  20. I tend to agree with Couper2802. Could I add that I am of the view that Fixed-term Parliaments, as a constitutional change, should not have been introduced without a Referendum or at least a specific Manifesto commitment before a General Election. The same goes for 16 year olds voting in the Scottish Referendum on Independence.
    Apart from anything else, these changes raise serious questions about the position of the monarchy. The position of the Queen’s advisors appears to be that the neutral thing to do is always nothing, which is of course far from the case. The real position should be that the monarchy should only involve itself to ensure that decisions are taken constitutionally. This will become a bigger issue if Prince Charles continues to meddle in minor, or comparatively minor, matters when and if he becomes King.

    Coming back to the latest poll, it is noticeable that the increased Tory support comes from the LibDems and UKIP: Labour appear to be unchanged. It is a little bizarre that a Budget presumably supported by both the Conservatives and the LibDems should increase support for the former and decrease it for the latter. Perhaps the public see the Government as effectively Conservative, particularly when the Budget is introduced by arch-Tory Osborne.

  21. StatGeek

    Loved your response to Alec’s slightly amusing tongue in cheek piece.


    In the same spirit as your post I am a INTJ – Introverted, Intuitive,Thinking, Judging personallity, typical of the scientist which is what i was originally although most of my working life was in management. It also fits perfectly with Statgeeks post. I got things done.


    Nice try but I am not going to enter into an argument on morality for the reasons I gave.

  22. independantchris1

    To be kind to you I gave a clear indication of what i think about politics and morality in my post to Colin Davis. As for the law the fact that my personallity is INTJ means that i am highly judgemental.

  23. @ Bramley

    ‘I would like journalists to educate themselves & start asking the awkward questions such as:
    – Why has Osborne not hit his targets ?
    – How can we trust the OBR projections when they have been badly wrong on every occasion ?’

    Surely a little education gives a fairly simple answer?

    Projections in early 2010 (used for the 2010 Osborne budget) assumed minimal impact from the nascent Eurozone crisis; remember the timings: initial Greek bailout was May 2010, then Portugal & Greece 2 in May 2011 and Greece 3 in June 2012, i.e. a crisis which started in early 2010, intensified in 2011 and peaked in 2012.

    In fact none of the parties’ or official bodies’ projections effectively captured the Eurozone crisis impact on the UK until late 2011.

    You can disagree with many of Osborne’s policies (I know I do) but it would be silly to suggest Labour (or anyone else) would have miraculously avoided the impact of the Eurozone crisis on the UK economy…

    Incidentally the OBR forecast in 2010 for 2014 growth is almost bang in line with current expectations.

  24. I think the Conservatives need to be steadily climbing from their 33%-34% to 36-37% fairly soon, if they want to win in some form next time: simply spiking up to that level whenever there’s good news isn’t enough. I accept that they seem to be slowly going up at the moment. Probably we will get a clearer picture when the summer is over.

    I’m not convinced that Osborne will hit his targets either, but then again many voters are easily confused by deficits, debts and projections etc, so perhaps they don’t want or don’t know to worry about them. By the time the time those targets are missed or not, they may well be someone else’s problem anyway.

  25. Personally I think that the projections used by Osborne and the OBR are too pessimistic. Tax revenues can lag recovery by up to 18 months and welfare spending will self correct as wages inevitably rise over the next few years. The deficit could well fall to zero a year early – especially if the EZ makes a recovery, even a modest one.

    If things do indeed start going well financially will voters still want to leave the EU?

  26. Voters won’t want to leave the EU anyway. Should there be a referendum there will be a majority to stay in (again).

  27. @TOH
    I wonder if anybody has done any research on Myers-Briggs categories and political leaning.
    My guess is the more J the more right-leaning (speaking as an INFP)

  28. Anthony, hi,

    I personally don’t pursue the morality argument. Nor does it bother me if people don’t think that way. What I have put forward is a hypothesis suggesting that moral reasoning accounts for the constancy of Labour’s 38 % to date. This may be right or wrong, but it’s nonetheless a hypothesis about polling.

    In response, there is (from time to time) a response to the effect that morality is relative and therefore irrelevant – sometimes accompanied by statements to the effect, “But I’m moral anyway!”. I have to say it always seems to be permissible on the site for that relativistic argument to continue, but not permissible to reply with “Oh, no, it isn’t!” Which it isn’t. I gave reasons for that in a post you moderated. The day is carried with sticking plaster.

  29. No doubt it would be a spring election if not for 5 fixed term

  30. @Chris

    If it was the same day as the Euros (and locals) would that shoot UKIP’s fox?



    “Re your reply to Colin Davis. Nicely put if I may say so. If I really wanted to post on morality as Colin seems to want I would start with several pages outlining my utter contempt for modern ideas of sexual morality before I even got onto other issues. I’m sure nobody, including myself and AW wants a debate on morality on this site.”


    Thank you, Howard. I feel I should point out, that I wasn’t actually dissing Colin’s posts. He does actually have a point, a non-partisan, non-inflammatory point that directly concerns VI, and doesn’t actually need a battle over morality in terms of what is right and wrong. It’s just that he doesn’t express it in a way that avoids the many-and-varied ways in which it can be derailed, and I was just giving a few tips on that. So allow me to assist with good order on the board, by making things a bit clearer, and without getting into a discussion of what is moral or not.

    You’ve actually already got the point, when you subsequently say that you think the majority would vote for self-interest. That’s your hypothesis. Colin’s hypothesis is the opposite, that he thinks the 38% will stick with Lab because their sense of morality will dominate.

    Notice, that this does not require a discussion of who actually has the preferred morality. It is simply a case of trying to determine what affects VI more: perceptions of morality, or self-interest, or indeed something else. Regardless of whether someone’s morality is right-or-wrong, how much does morality influence their voting? And then we can look at polling data to see if there are any clues… e.g. if people are motivated by fairness, maybe they are motivated by morality too. And maybe pollsters can chuck some questions on the matter our way.

    More generally, when it comes to the tricky stuff, it can be useful to focus one’s responses on the less inflammatory parts of a debate, rather than going down a needless tangent liable to invoke modding. (Though a discussion of sexual behaviour could be rather fun, rather than having to be incendiary…)

  32. Guymonde

    Could be. It might be an interesting research project for somebody.

  33. Carfrew

    I understood that without you needing to explain. I’m basically totally with AW on this. This site is about polling and what affects it.


    “I understood that without you needing to explain.”


    Ah, well my post was a response to bringing the sexual morality thing etc. into it…


    I am truly sorry if my questions relating to your comment on morality upset you. I won’t mention it again.
    From your post to Alec it would seem that we have actually a lot in common in that I too was a scientist hindered by my management role.
    I can sympathise with your INTJ. For me it’s a serious case of IDSFG.

  36. W.R.T. The European Elections Poll:-
    CON 28%(+5), LAB 32%(nc), LDEM 7%(-2), UKIP 23%(-3), GRN 3%

    Does anyone have any thoughts why the L/Dems score only 7%?
    They are surely the most EU minded Party.

  37. independantchris1

    Don’t apologise, no problem as far as i am concerned.
    Actually I am happy being a INTJ it describes me accurately. I was actually very happy with myswitch to management, it was what i ws best at.

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