The weekly YouGov results for the Sunday Times are up here; topline voting intentions are CON 33%, LAB 36%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 15%.

Nick Clegg always scores badly on leadership ratings anyway, but following last week he’s broken his own records. 13% think he is doing well as Lib Dem leader, 78% badly, a net figure of minus 65 (which now nudges him below Gordon Brown’s worst ever figure of minus 62). 41% of people think that Nick Clegg should resign as Lib Dem leader, 32% think he should remain. However, amongst Lib Dem supporters (a small sample, given their decline!), 62% want Clegg to stay. YouGov asked about alternative leaders, but the most important finding there is quite how unknown they all are – the majority of people say they don’t know enough about Ed Davey, Tim Farron or Danny Alexander to answer, while opinions are evenly divided over whether Vince Cable would be better or worse. Bear that in mind when you see any polls asking about alternive Lib Dem leaders – the people answering don’t know who these people are.

There are similar divisions on attitudes to the Liberal Democrats and the coalition. Amongst the public as a whole only 30% want the Lib Dems to remain in coalition, 53% would like them to leave (26% to leave the coalition but allow a Tory minority government, 27% to leave the coalition and bring down the Tory government). Amongst Liberal Democrat supporters themselves 51% want them to stay in government, 40% would like them to leave (24% to leave and support a minority Tory government, 16% to leave and bring the government down). While most Lib Dem voters still back their coalition with the Tories, their hearts are elsewhere – if they had to choose 57% would rather work with Labour than the Conservatives.

YouGov also asked about Cameron’s planned EU renegotiation. Asked what they’d most like Cameron to look for in any renegotiation with the European Union immigration and the right of EU citizens to claim benefits in the UK are by far the most popular opinions – unsurprisingly given how much debate about the European Union seems to have become tangled up with immigration in recent years. Asked more specifically what they’d like to see, 37% would like a total ban on EU citizens claiming British benefits, 34% restrictions (15% would oppose either, and wish to keep present arrangements). On EU immigration the most popular choice was limiting EU immigration to skilled immigrants (43%). 19% would prefer a cap on EU immigration, 20% the status quo. 8% would like all EU immigration stopped.


154 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 33, LAB 36, LD 7, UKIP 15”

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  1. BFR (FOT)

    Haven’t Labour already promised to link the minimum wage to median earnings?

  2. “However, amongst Lib Dem supporters (a small sample, given their decline!), 62% want Clegg to stay”
    ______

    (a small sample, given their decline!) Oh that’s gotta hurt Ha Ha Ha

  3. @ AW

    “Bare that in mind ..”

    “Bare in mind” would describe most politicians?

  4. The strange thing is that off those left 57% would rather work with Labour. I would have thought all the LOC ones would have gone by now.

  5. “On EU immigration the most popular choice was limiting EU immigration to skilled immigrants (43%). 19% would prefer a cap on EU immigration, 20% the status quo. 8% would like all EU immigration stopped.
    ________

    As expected most people are not against immigration but clearly it does need reformed. I mean how many fruit pickers do we really need and would it not be better to offer incentives for highly skilled students studying here to stay here?

    One qualified foreign Architect must be worth at least 12 fruit pickers to the UK economy.

  6. “One qualified foreign Architect must be worth at least 12 fruit pickers to the UK economy.”

    You’ve obviously never worked with architects………

  7. @Allan

    Ask the farmers in Lincolnshire about unskilled labour….they can’t find it locally fot seasonal work.

  8. ALEC

    “You’ve obviously never worked with architects”
    __

    2 dozen fruit pickers?
    ……………
    CATMANJEFF

    @Allan

    Ask the farmers in Lincolnshire about unskilled labour….they can’t find it locally for seasonal work
    ____

    It’s the same all over the country and most locals wont touch manual jobs such a fruit picking but I’m sure with the correct incentives some of the long term unemployed could give a few hours a week to a local farmer (paid of course) and stop our dependency on migrant unskilled workers.

  9. I agree with @Spearmint from the previous thread. Labour’s overall offer contains some contradictions when it comes to immigration, meaning that it really wouldn’t be advisable to engage in a race to the bottom on this. However, MPs like John Mann and Frank Field are correct – the middle class New Labour element that ran the show really did forget about the more working class voters, in the sense that they followed the 1980’s economic orthodoxy and assumed that GDP growth would sort everything out, therefore immigration was good.

    Addressing the issues that allow immigration to be a practical problem is the key, along with setting out a clear vision of what you want the EU reforms to look like. Labour have issued a 5 point reform agenda for the EU, which is a welcome start – it’s 5 points clearer than the Tories stance, but still raises many questions (chiefly, what happens if you don’t get agreement).

    I also agree with @Newhouset on Cameron’s apparent stance on Junkers. If he really has effectively put UK’s EU membership on the line for this, I think it’s a mistake. Accepting that Junkers is an integrationist, you have to look at policies, not people – unless his appointment means a change of policy, or an end to talk of reform, it’s not really logical to talk of exit. He is degrading our final negotiating red line response.

    I go back to a point I made a couple of weeks ago when DC appeared on the Marr show. We now, in effect, have a PM campaigning to take us out of this EU. This is the net result of what DC has said re the In/Out referendum. On Marr, he admitted he would campaign for an out vote in certain circumstances, which would be if there were inadequate reforms. By implication, that means he believes the EU as presently operating is working against UK interests.

    Think about that for a moment. DC is telling us that he is a fervent supporter of the EU, but that we would be better off out of it at this moment in time. That’s really a very big and bold policy stance, which clearly hasn’t been thought through.

    The outcome of this is that he is desperately downgrading the issues he wants to see reformed, while his own rebels and UKIPpers are complaining that he is watering down the reform proposals and they won’t go far enough.

    Cameron’s problem, as with the previous ‘cast iron’ pledge, is that once you march your troops up to the top of the hill and then don’t fight the battle, once you’ve marched half way down again, no one is satisfied.

    If he does win in 2015, he will face an almighty problem. Milliband’s stance by contrast is superficially less appealing now, but won’t back a future Labour government into a dangerous corner.

  10. @Alan Christie – having said that, when you look at examples of great modern architecture, like The Sage, The Gherkin etc – maybe the fruit picker/architect crossover has already occurred?

    Like Poundbury – everyone seems to think that’s a complete raspberry.

  11. It’s the same all over the country and most locals wont touch manual jobs such a fruit picking.
    ————-
    Speaking as an ex-fruit picker, if the piecework pay rate was still the equivalent of what it was when I did that sort of work, plenty of people would do it! I used to do this type of work in my school & college holidays & I certainly earned what I thought was a fortune at the time (probably the equivalent of a living wage). People will do pretty much anything, if you pay the market rate for the work.

  12. So Clegg has gone from +53 on the 8th May 2010 to -65 (so far). With a fall of -118 points in one parliamentary period.

    Is that a record? I dare-say he will rise as the 2015 election approaches and some LD voters opt for supporting whoever is in charge (assuming he’s still around), but that’s some fall from grace.

  13. @ Amber Star

    I agree, I made good money in the school holidays pea picking, no idea how much they pay now though.

  14. The issue with getting long term unemployed to do temporary labouring jobs is has two big problems:

    1. The benefit system really badly handles those going in and out it. Temporary work is nightmare.

    2. Would a farmer who currently employs people wanting to do the job be happy with an army of workers forced under duress to do the same thing? It is not unreasonable to suppose their work rate and attitude would not work well for the farmer.

  15. Statgeek,

    I’d perhaps check Major during the Gulf War and compare to Major in the depths of the parliament, say 1995.

  16. @Amber Star

    Same here and felt really rich at the time. And I certainly put all my earnings straight back into the local economy, pubs, cafeys, ‘what every woman wants’ and even the occasional taxi – lived like a Queen.

  17. @Mrnameless

    Gulf War was 1991, so a different parliamentary period.

  18. Gosh blackcurrant picking in the school holidays. We used to try and hide stones in the baskets at the weigh-in to make them heavier. The farmer always found them!

  19. Would a farmer who currently employs people wanting to do the job be happy with an army of workers forced under duress to do the same thing? The farmers would likely be happy as Larry, provided they didn’t have to pay a decent rate for the work. And what makes you think the gangs that currently do the work aren’t forced to do it?
    It is not unreasonable to suppose their work rate and attitude would not work well for the farmer.It’s the farmers’ attitude that doesn’t work well – they want workers at the equivalent of half the minimum wage instead of paying the equivalent of a living wage; keep in mind that the farms always paid piecework i.e. if you didn’t do the work, you didn’t get paid. But if you did work hard, you could earn a good amount.

  20. I remember grape picking in France in the ’70s. The workforce was a mixture of French students, old French people, migrant workers from North Africa and sundry international students/hippies/adventure seekers.
    The migrant workers and a minority of the international hippies etc were professional – planning to go on from grapes to picking carrots somewhere – but the rest were short term casual workers.
    What surprised me was how organised it was: the way to get employed was to go and register at the ANPE (JobCentre) and get introduced to an employer. Rates of pay were standardised and pretty generous and the system seemed to work very well for all parties. This was true in Beaune – where it was obvious the employers were very wealthy – and in Alsace, where it was obvious that they were just about scraping a living.
    I guess that this didn’t really work for ‘normal’ unemployed: the money’s OK but you only get 2 or 3 weeks worth of work unless you’re prepared to up sticks and go somewhere completely different where the next harvest is (and perhaps wait for a few weeks until the farmers are ready)
    Because of the nature of the jobs on offer, it seems to me that the whole fruit picking thing is a bit of a red herring when we’re talking about migration and the labour market

  21. Polls all over the shop.

  22. @Alec

    José Manuel Barroso’s outgoing comments suggest another possibility… UK as special case.

    Could Cameron as PM get away with offering a referendum choice: exit or partial exit, with no full membership option?

    Btw Douglas Alexander is setting out Labour’s priorities for EU reform and has made a written request that the PM spells out his agenda.

  23. Maybe the minimum wage needs to rise, to tempt long term unemployed into jobs the migrates will only do.
    I look after the children, but would not take a minimum wage p/t job. A higher wage may tempt me. Then again the job at the foodbank may have to go.

  24. @Billy Bob

    An EU version of Devo Max?

  25. Cameron’s anxiety about renegotiation is breaking out… it’s reported he has told Angela Merkel that Jean-Claude Juncker’s appointment would destabilise his government to the extent that he would be forced to bring forward the date of the referendum.

  26. UKIP announces 40p top rate of tax policy. Maybe not Red Nige then?

  27. @Mr Nameless

    Any great surprise?

    UKIP is a right wing party. The only thing they had offer the left heartlands is EU exit.

  28. Re fruit picking rates. I suspect that the farmer should not be the target here – the main pressure seems to arise from the buyers – eg the supermarkets. They have a stranglehold on most of the growers, and this is where the pressure on wages comes from.

    I also think we shouldn’t go too far down the route of harking back to when we earned enough from picking etc. i often wonder how come students can afford cars and mobile phones. No one used the telephone when I was a student, and we all hitched or used National Express overnight coaches to get around.

    Life is very different today. Can we say that students should give up the ‘luxuries’ and pick fruit like we did, or has life moved on?

  29. RAF,

    Not any great surprise that they advocate it, more surprise that they announced it so early on and so publicly. It’s just handed the Labour party a stick to whack them with although it might attract Cons unless Osborne sticks it in the manifesto.

  30. Forgot that CiF is not UKPR, posted about the UKIP tax announcement and its possible psephological effects, and have now started a big argument. Sigh.

  31. BILLY BOB
    @”Cameron’s anxiety about renegotiation is breaking out”

    Or to look at it another way:-

    What better moment than after these EU election results, & UKIP’s success in UK, to press home the message that unless EU passes competencies back to member states, stops the constant increase in EU regulation, & recognises the concerns of EU citizens-things will only get worse for them ?

    Seems like the simple application of a SWOT analysis-the higher the risk from UKIP’s influence on UK voters, the greater the Opportunity for achieving reform.

  32. ALEC

    @” Can we say that students should give up the ‘luxuries’ and pick fruit like we did, or has life moved on?”

    I seem to remember that thinking life now provided us with unlimited “luxuries” resulted in unprecedented net immigration, rising youth unemployment &, high personal debt -just before the greatest Credit Crash & Banking crisis the world has seen for decades exposed the sand on which that view of life was constructed.

  33. From DT:

    “Lord Ashdown, the former Liberal Democrat leader, revealed he had warned his fellow peer Lord Oakeshott that he would castrate him if he caused problems for the party after the disastrous European election results.”

    I think this will be a serious test of whether the LD’s can put the student fees pledge behind them and prove they are now delivering on their promises.

  34. Shevii

    IIRC, Ashdown promised to “bite his balls off”

    What a charming fellow, lol

  35. Ukip has reportedly threatened to sue the broadcasting regulator Ofcom if the party is not granted the same air time as Labour and the Conservatives in the build-up to next year’s general election. Patrick O’Flynn, the party’s head of communications and a recently-elected MEP for the East of England, said that Ukip was now a “major party” and that its status as such should be reflected in coverage

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/ukip-will-sue-if-nigel-farage-is-not-given-equal-air-time-to-labour-and-conservatives-in-tv-coverage-building-up-to-2015-general-election-9467522.html

    Mike Smithson has quite a cutting response to this:

    A reminder of the UKIP council seats split in what the BBC described as an “earthquake” at the May 22 elections

    He shows a diagram with only 3.8% seats for Ukip & 96.2% non-Ukip seats.

  36. @Colin – yes I am a little torn by the issue of ‘necessities’ and ‘luxuries’ as well. Students tend to be a good example of this.

    It’s good that most student flats now seem to have central heating, but single en suite student rooms in halls were unheard of in my day, and in many cases we had to share rooms as well.

    I read a while ago that the average student mobile phone bills was £750 pa, and as I say, when I was a student the halls had parking for about 2% of residents – and those spaces were empty except on the first and last days of term. You shopped at Oxfam, and would never go to something like Glastonbury if ticket prices were like today.

    This is a bit ‘shoe box in’t middle o’t road’ stuff, but I struggle to understand how expectations for higher living standards have risen so much, when people are simultaneously complaining about building up debts.

    I’m an old duffer, but I can’t quite get my head around it.

  37. I suppose it depends on the size of the orchard, strawberry fields, vegetable beds, etc, but the most economical way of arranging fruit picking is when the picker would pay cost price + margin to the farmer for the fruit they picked. The farmer would make the same money (or more) and customers would save an awful lot (except for veg going directly to freezers).

  38. Alec,

    I will humbly suggest that whoever wrote that an average student phone bill is £750 is talking out of their posterior. I have the most expensive contract of anyone I know and it’s £456 pa. And the parking situation isn’t much different, we have about 60 parking spaces for 2,000 students (actually fewer since they’re also used for hotel and cleaning staff).

    Agreed about the rest though. Have little sympathy for certain students who scream and shout about living standards when they have it relatively good. Most of the students I know from genuinely working or lower middle class background seem rather more calm about things and like to be active in things other than student politics.

  39. Met a friendly bin-emptier is Saltburn last week when asking directions.

    He was about 60-ish and it struck me that I have never seen young people doing this valuable work.

    I can only assume that, despite many being unemployed, they still find such manual labour “beneath them.”

    Unless such jobs just never come up but that seems unlikely.

    I do see loads and loads of young people out drinking cans of lager which is then left for someone else to pick up but how the financial [and moral] circle is squared for them I have no idea.

  40. I’ve enjoyed the memoirs of fruit picking: I always thought peas the best, blackcurrants the worst.

    As for the old duffers & prophets of doom: eg.,
    “I struggle to understand how expectations for higher living standards have risen so much, when people are simultaneously complaining about building up debts.”

    Simple. In my day students emerged with few or no debts = no fees & because credit was unobtainable or exiguous: no overdrafts, loans, credit cards. Once however people start accumulating debts their sense of debt because v. elastic. If 5 or 10 grand why not 15 or 20?
    The attitude of the students I know is: “heck, I’m going to work in an office for 40 years so instead of scrimping like you old lags, I’m going to have a hell of a time in college plus the subsequent year of global beach parties.”

    Feckless? maybe, but history shows that if people are offered credit they usually take it. It’s the suppliers who have to exercise restraint.
    One can add that the % of students working in term time is FAR higher than 30 years ago. Their contribution is now significant.

  41. In my second year I lived in a house without heating, and my attic room had no glass in the window, just a piece of see-through plastic nailed inexpertly across the gap.

    I kept a thermometer by my bed. In winter it was, literally, below freezing in my room.

    My friend Simon owned a 2bar electric heater. He would put it on for 10 minutes, then get out of bed and get dressed. Then he’d bring it into the next student’s room and they’d put it on for 10 minutes, etc. Until all 7 of us were up and about (art students last, of course, as they only had 5 lectures a week and didn’t really need to get out of bed most days).

    Simon was a thrifty Yorkshireman, and actually managed to save money out of his grant. I am a wastrel Londoner and could only survive at all by working about 25 hours a week and running up a big overdraft.

    None of us had phones (obviously) and only one of us had a small car, which the rest of us would contribute to the costs of.

    And that was in the days when we didn’t pay tuition fees and we had partial (and in one or two cases) full grants for living costs.

  42. Bramley – think they’re on a loser there. Major parties, etc, aren’t set out in statute, it’s OfCom’s judgement how they set out standards to meet the requirements of due impartiality that are needed in the Communications Act.

    As long as OfCom are acting in a reasonable way, have consulted widely, they’ve acted within the law. People might disagree with their judgement, but I think they’d be hard pushed to argue that it was *unreasonable* to come to a judgement that a party whose stated aim was to win 30 seats should be treated as less “major” than two parties whose stated aims were to win an overall majority and form a government. They might have a much better chance at arguing they should be treated the same as a Lib Dems.

    Assuming OfCom don’t class them as a major party (and it’s perfectly possible that they might), arguing they should be treated the same as the Lib Dems would probably come down to the inclusion in OfCom’s consideration of parties *record* of support over *previous* cycles, not just their support in current polls, and whether UKIP could convince a judge that this was not something that could reasonably be supported. I think that’s a big ask.

  43. @ Neil A
    “My friend Simon owned a 2bar electric heater. He would put it on for 10 minutes, then get out of bed and get dressed. Then he’d bring it into the next student’s room”, etc.

    This really is “15 of us lived in a shoe box on the N. Circular Road, we worked 27 hours day & got up before we went to bed . . “

  44. For the clip “Four Yorkshiremen”:

    See

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xe1a1wHxTyo

  45. Robbie Alive,

    Luxury!

  46. Don’t get me wrong, but this discussion along the lines of “How them young people has it so good these days – whereas WE, back in them OLD days, we used to… [etc.]” reminds me of the Four Yorkshiremen… cf. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xe1a1wHxTyo

  47. @Robbie Alive

    Some minds think astonishingly alike… :o)

  48. For alternative versions of “You were LUCKY!”, cf. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Lb-2VaJYPw (with Harry Enfield, Alan Rickman, Eddie Izzard, Vic Reeves) or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DAtSw3daGoo (Tim Brooke-Taylor, Graham Chapman, John Cleese & Marty Feldman in the original routine-sketch “Four Yorkshiremen” from the pre-Python show “At Last The 1948 Show”. 1967-1968)

    Hence, the core argument isn’t THAT novel, really…

  49. @ Mr Nameless (1.57)

    “UKIP announces 40p top rate of tax policy. Maybe not Red Nige then?”

    I have long been of the opinion that Lab has nothing to fear from UKIP in 2015.

    The UKIP vote seems to be made up of disillusioned Con & Lab supporters and there is no way that the party can keep both groups happy. On the basis that there are a majority of right wing voters cf. left wing saying they will vote UKIP and the very right wing content of the last manifesto they produced, I would expect the 2015 manifesto to be similarly right wing. In addition, previous polls have shown that Europe does not appear too high on the voters list of concerns and imo. would be of significantly less importance to previous Lab voters than concerns re NHS privatisation, flat rate of tax etc.

    Thus I am sure that previous Lab voters will return to the fold. The only flaw in this argument is if the move to UKIP is on the basis of “a plague on both your houses” rather than on the Europe/immigration issue.

  50. Bramley

    “Mike Smithson has quite a cutting response to this: [UKIP’s claim to be a ‘major party’]

    A reminder of the UKIP council seats split in what the BBC described as an “earthquake” at the May 22 elections

    He shows a diagram with only 3.8% seats for UKIP & 96.2% non-Ukip seats.”

    That said, it needs to be borne in mind that only some of the district councils had polls on 22nd May (two out of six in my county) and I believe that all the councils polling only had one-third of their seats at stake. Therefore even if UKIP had won them all they would still have held only a small proportion of the overall total.

    On the other hand UKIP gained more votes and seats in the Euros than either Labour or the Conservatives, so what measure will be used to decide?

    Plainly UKIP is in the process, I put it no stronger than that, of becoming a major national party in the United Kingdom and are already stronger in some areas than at least one or other of their opponents.

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