The Sun politics team have tweeted out tonight’s YouGov figures. Topline voting intentions are CON 33%, LAB 37%, LD 10%, UKIP 12%. The four point Labour lead follows a three point lead yesterday – together they are rather unenlightening. They would be within the normal margin of error of the average Labour leads of two points or so we saw last week, or could be a sign of that post-budget narrowing fading away again and things heading back towards leads of five or six points.

139 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – CON 33%, LAB 37%, LD 10%, UKIP 12%”

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  1. @Tony

    Just to clarify. My data pertains to Westminster VI only. I imagine in EU elections people vote in all sorts of ways, for all sorts of reasons.


    Cheers for the link. Will have a look at that after the debate!

  2. COLIN
    I was about to ask Alec whether the answer to his call for an alternative boost to the economy to that of rising house prices would be that of house construction, when I came on your post, so followed your lead in looking the Markit etc reports, to see:

    ” Having been hit hard by the recession and government cut backs, low interest rates, rising confidence and surging house prices are combining in a sweet spot for the sector……. That is yet another reason to think the UK will easily outperform consensus growth expectations this year.”
    “Britain’s construction industry has now been growing for almost a year, as World First’s Jeremy Cook points out…” Despite shrinkage in civil engineering, that is, and the fact that this is all in house construction, and the latter subject to some serious caveats :
    “A growth next month will see twelve consecutive months of growth for the first time since the global financial crisis. Once again it was the housing market that drove demand onwards; something that is not at all surprising given this morning’s Nationwide house price index showing the average rising by 9.5% year-on-year.” Mainly in London, that is.
    “The one caveat to all of this is the impact of the rate of growth on supply chains; sub-contractors are stretched to breaking point and may provide a break, but not a stop, on further improvements…”
    In other words contractors, and so skilled labour and related supply, aren’t available to meet the demand. And oddly, wages in the sector have dropped. I just wonder whether you could define the surge in house building more precisely. What are the numbers, and where, in what sectors is it happening? If it’s mainly in areas of very rapidly increasing prices, and we will depend on more Polish temporary immigration to meet the skills need, is this really a sweet spot, or is this the bloom of decay?

  3. @ Statgeek

    Right-O, thanks for clarifying that. Yes, I accept that it would indeed be inappropriate to cross-relate Westminster VI to Euro VI.

  4. JOHN

    I think any sector which suddenly revives after a flat period is in danger of supply chains reacting too slowly & hindering growth.
    For Construction, Bricks has been a classic case. Brickworks need time to get out of mothballs & back to speed.

    In haste before going to watch the Farage / Clegg re-match-I am sure that a little Googling will get you the house building stats you are looking for. What I have been particularly interested in in the effect of HTB-which has been mainly outside London, mainly first time buyers & a significant factor in house building funding sources in areas of relative deprivation & continued house price suppression-like the North & North East. ( up to 50% in some areas).

  5. JOHN

    See if this helps-haven’t read it though :-


  6. Nick Clegg sounds terrified this week.

  7. @Colin – those links re housebuilding ‘roaring away’ are fascinating.

    The report on the construction PMI suggests a rampant sector, but we ought to remember that the PMI’s have been reporting a rampant sector for a while now, whereas the ONS found it to be contracting in the last available quarterly figures.

    The DCLG housebuilding report is even more intriguing. Seasonally adjusted housing starts fell by 1% on the quarter, while annual housing starts up to Dec 2013 decreased 5% on 2012. Housing starts and completions are still 34% and 41% below the pre crash levels.

    Something of a counterweight to those rampant PMI figures, I would suggest.

  8. Farage is winning this again….

  9. Well that’s over. Momentum even more with Farage this time, regardless of views. He dropped the L-bomb which is unusual. Let’s wait for the polls…

  10. Not sure the public will learn anything from these Clegg v Farage debates. Good platform for Farage, which he can use to justify being included in the 2015 general election leader debates.

    Think it was probably wise for Cameron and Miliband not to be involved.

  11. I missed the first bit but I agree with Mr N. Clegg was completely deflated at times and just looked and sounded a loser, whatever he said.
    Plus – maybe I’m imagining it but my sense was that Farage got about 5 times as much applause.

  12. R Huckle “Think it was probably wise for Cameron and Miliband not to be involved.”

    Yes, I think they have been a disaster for NC. After last week I thought it was a strategy to imrove LD ratings by firming-up the pro-EU voters behind the LDs.

    However, what he has done is expose the fragility of the appeal of the European argument by allowing Farage a chance to hammer home his appeal to British sentiments. I personally cannot stand Farage, I am totally for Europe (albeit with more direct democratic control), but his appeal to democratic self-determination struck a chord even with me!

  13. @R Buckle

    I haven’t seen the debates, but I guess the purpose for Clegg is to identify the LDs as the self declared “only” pro-European UK wide political party.

    The odd thing is its against the run of Clay (Clegg-play), being a bold, assertive move for someone more given to…ahem…compromise than battle.

  14. Opps that was directed at Mr Huckle. Autocorrect wishes you to be Mr Buckle.

  15. Well, I might be a Conservative, but my girlfriend votes Liberal, and she was almost won over by Farage. Says it all.

  16. The more exposure Farage gets the more popular he becomes, it rings true with the target audience and tabloid readerships. That’s why you will see him hammered as much as Miliband in the coming months.

  17. Shame autocorrect didn’t pick up on “its”.

  18. YouGov (LIVE from the BBC!):

    Farage 68%
    Clegg 27%

  19. @Pressman

    Of late, media Miliband exposure has tended to lead to an uptick in Labour VI.

  20. @Pressman “That’s why you will see him (Farage) hammered as much as Miliband in the coming months.”

    I have a hunch that the more he is hammered the deeper the nail will go into the wood – he is a real worry for Cameron now.

  21. He dropped the L-bomb which is unusual.

  22. The problem is that Farage sounds like the man down the pub, who people will listen to, whereas Clegg comes across as the spokesperson put up to defend something people don’t like.

    I admire Clegg for taking on a challenge he was never likely to win. Perhaps he will get credit for taking Farage on, which will improve his personal ratings.

  23. @MrNameless – “[Farage] dropped the L-bomb which is unusual.”

    Yes, I had been wondering, given how much nastier this debate was, whether one of them would do it. Clegg was scrupulous about referring to Farage’s points as “untrue”, “not the case”, etc. Not sure whether the L-word is as big a turn-off as politicians seem to think, especially to Farage’s constituency.

  24. Amber,

    “Willfully lai-ing to the British people.”

  25. @Amber Star

    I assume Mr F accused Mr C of being economical with the actualité, only less euphemistically.

  26. Scaremongering is always a lot easier and better entertainment than the rather uninteresting truth.

  27. Thanks, chaps.

  28. And we have a New Thread.

  29. @John Pilgrim – “Britain’s construction industry has now been growing for almost a year, as World First’s Jeremy Cook points out…”

    This is the kind of thing that makes me smile. I’ve no idea why people saying this kind of thing, because it is patently untrue. The ONS figures show construction falling 0.2% in Q4, so quite why everyone is saying it is rampant is beyond me.

  30. COLIN and ALEC
    Colin, thanks for the link – that’s more like it – building starts and completions for the decade 2003/4 to 2013/4 are my idea of a reliable indicator, not just of performance and output, but also of the state of the industry and of its impact on -wait for it – the economy.
    “Seasonally adjusted starts are now 89 per cent above
    the trough in the March quarter 2009 but 34 per cent below
    the March quarter 2007 peak. Completions are 41per cent
    below their March quarter 2007 peak”
    In other words housing performance and the industry, including is materials supply (bricks and cement) and its labour and skills base have shrunk by a quarter since 2003/4, but mainly since 2007/8.
    I agree, Alec, that PMI is not only a bad indicator, but also a decepttive one. My immediate reaction to your original post, Colin, was to be alerted by the use of the word “surge”, which I thought was real apologist’s language, calling up immediate visions of spume and foam.
    I do see Labour’s 200,000 houses a year, and its elaboration in terms of, for example, linkages with “pre-dstributive” (sorry, Colin) training (and with unified social housing, disabled and aged care and health delivery)as a more solid plank in the upcoming campaign, than, for example, Clegg’s Kentish New Town initiative, and reminiscent of the ’45 to 50’s housing programmes and town and country planning reforms.

  31. BTW, the drop in starts and completions from the “peak” in 2007 (actually a level that was demanded by the housing market) is very clearly an impact of the prime mortgage and the banking crisis. I would conclude that we could also see this in secondary impacts on unemployment figures and welfare costs, which it would be reasonable to conclude are just now becoming adjusted.

  32. JOHN

    If you had asked whether house building had returned to pre Credit Crash levels-I would probably have responded “No”-without checking.

    My focus was on the surge in housebuilding outside London resulting from the introduction of HTB.

  33. JOHN

    @”Labour’s 200,000 houses a year, ”

    Until mEM explains how he plans to achieve this I take it as a very generalised aspiration.

    Who will build & fund these houses & where will they be built ?

    Meanwhile , what is actually happening to housebuilding is described by HBF as follows :-

    Figures released today in HBFs latest Housing Pipeline report show a big increase in the number of planning permissions being granted for new homes. The report – produced for HBF by Glenigan – shows that 44,251 permissions were granted in Q3 2013 in England on 826 sites. This is;

    up 31% year on year and 19% on the previous quarter
    the highest total number of permissions granted in a Q3 since 2007
    the highest no of sites granted planning approval since Q2 2008
    he total for the 12 months to September, at 166,978, is up 44% on the trough in 2011″

  34. COLIN
    Noted, but it is worth taking the analysis back to the trend 2003/4 to 2007/8 to see where and to what extent both house starts and completions and house industry capacity – there’s the rub – have shrunk, and from what causes.

  35. COLIN
    If UK house permission is x, and UK building industry capacity is x -y, then house price increases will be z.,
    Polish house prices being p – Polish labour market response will be z – p X the Polish skilled manpower underemployment rate pu. In-migration of skilled Polish labour to the UK needed for 200,000 houses per year will be …….
    Mr Farage get out your calculator.

  36. JOHN

    Pre-crash “trends” are fine & dandy-but you must remember all of them-including self certification mortgages , 125% LTVs -and an explosionj in house prices over a sustained period.

    Yes there is more demand than supply just now.
    Yes there are constraints in planning & construction supply chain.
    Yes that is causing prices to rise.

    But HTB IS helping young couples get on the ladder, in the more deprived areas of UK & IS causing housebuilding to increase rapidly.

  37. JOHN

    Just to jog your memory of those pre-crash days in the UK house price bonanza.

  38. COLIN
    Of course, and thanks for the valuable link. However, this evidence also clarifies where government, in terms of legislation and regulatory measures, manpower policy and public sector investment, can intervene – perhaps the biggest and most easily understood policy divide between the main parties, viz.

    “However, from the 1980s, the government retreated from building houses, leaving it to the private sector and a small contribution from housing associations. Due to strict planning legislatio [and materials and labour supply deficiencies], the supply of housing has failed to meet government targets.”

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