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. @Peter Bell

    But does it have anything much to do with policies? I think it has much more to do with xenophobia on the one hand and a sense people have been abandoned on the other. Both of these factors work for the retired colonels faction (bl**dy que*rs getting married) and the penniless working class (immigrants taking our jobs)

    I agree that UKIP *policies* can’t address the financial/economic interests of both groups but they can address social conservative preferences at a time when all 3 traditional parties are at least somewhat socially liberal.

    How many kippers (or anyone else) are going to read manifestos? Who would back Farage to lose the war of the soundbites? Who people vote for, even sophisticated UKPR aficionados, has little to do with policies and far more to do with emotion.

  2. @Peter Bell

    I found some heat maps showing how people voted in the Euro elections here:

    If you have a look at some of the pale pink areas here, I think there is cause for Labour to worry.

    I found London the most interesting. The Labour vote seems to be very concentrated in a few constituencies, so the media narrative “London is different”, should really be “central London is different”. Labour is becoming the party of urban areas even more so than in the past – look at Wales and Scotland as well. I think Labour is in trouble for 2015.

  3. Re. The 4 Yorkshiremen

    None of my comments – & none of the others either – were saying that we had it bad. We were saying that basic manual labour, like fruit picking etc., used to be well paid!

    Alec said don’t blame the farmers for wanting to pay the equivalent of about half the minimum wage, blame the supermarkets. But I stand fast to blaming the farmers. Because otherwise, you just shift the blame up the production chain to the eventual consumers – who actually have no direct impact whatsoever on what people get paid for their work.

    Bns of tons of food wasted before it ever makes it home with the consumers tells me that food is under-priced by the producers & therefore under-valued by the supermarkets. And one significant reason for food being priced low enough that such waste can be tolerated is that farmers won’t pay their workers a living wage.

  4. @Peter Bell
    As well as what Guymonde has said, there is also the factor that most commentators keep forgetting – many people who voted for UKIP at the recent election are not ex-Labour or ex-Tory voters, or at least not for many years.
    A significant amount of UKIP support came from people who have either never voted or did not vote last time. These are not going to go back to Labour or Tory because they didn’t come from them in the first place.

  5. @ Rosie&Daisie

    Unless such jobs just never come up but that seems unlikely.
    When jobs like lifting bins for a living wage come up, councils receive thousands of applications.

  6. @COUPER2802: “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.”

    Even those sympathetic to a Tory agenda may now recognise that a Labour pact would be in the best interests of the party.

  7. I think Lab can let out a small sigh of relief if UKIP are going to campaign on such a right wing economic platform.

    Of course now Lab have to successfully make the counter argument and one still wonders whether they are overly scared of their own Blairite wing and the right wing media to do this effectively but we will see.

  8. @ Rosie&Daisie: “Unless such jobs just never come up but that seems unlikely.”

    More than likely that they don’t come up very often. Not many alternative careers for a dustman.

    I had a temporary job as a dustman between school and university. It was hard work but the hours were short and the pay good. As I recall I earned about 50% more than in a later (and much duller) job as a library assistant.

  9. “@COUPER2802: “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.”
    Even those sympathetic to a Tory agenda may now recognise that a Labour pact would be in the best interests of the party.”

    Indeed. Or it might be that a number of LDs really mean it when they say they could work with either/or both main parties.

  10. I suspect Farage will have to be very careful he does indeed keep to the ‘plague on both their houses’ (rather than ‘your house’ which was the mistake that Kilroy Silk made in Bristol, just as he was about to be hailed as the new UKIP messiah).

    Any ‘killing’ of the Conservative or Labour parties will have to be left to their erstwhile voters, I suspect he will be careful to heed the memory of that personal tragedy of the TV presenter..

  11. The heat maps (thanks Richard) do indeed prove that where UKIP do well demographically, are exactly the places where many UKIP voters hope to get rid of the minorities that they can’t get rid of.

  12. @Colin – “Seems like the simple application of a SWOT analysis”

    Well, that would be an improvement on his “naughty nephew” stategem I suppose:


  13. Thanks for the fascinating heat maps, Richard, though I’m not sure I agree with your conclusion. Labour had it’s best result in London since (I think) 1971.
    I found this alternative heatmap, showing relative levels of immigration, and it’s quite striking that dark green areas here (with a couple of exceptions, notably Boston and parts of North Kent) have what appears to be a very strong negative correlation with dark purple areas on the heat maps you provided.
    Which rather confirms to me that the voters most agitated by immigration are generally those who are least affected by it.

  14. My knowledge of Cameron’s ‘outburst’ (so was it described in the foreign press) was that it was fellow attenders and diners at that meeting who had spilled the beans and not Cameron or his entourage. The impression thus given was that someone was out to embarrass him for acting petulantly.

    After all, you would not really want to come out in public with something you cannot follow up successfully, now would you? it does not seem logical that he would do that.

  15. Guymonde
    Yes but they are ‘affected’ (means they will have an opinion) by minorities, who are perhaps incapable of being removed from the area of consciousness, that causes these voters to adopt the stance that they do.

  16. @Guymonde,

    It also tells you that immigrants don’t vote UKIP….

  17. @Neil A

    Immigrants (non-UK citizens) cannot vote in GE’s.

    The idea that the white working class will not overwhelmingly vote Labour next year (apart from in Tory working class areas of say north Kent and Essex) is not consistent with current GE polling.


    Agree with most of your points and I was only highlighting that we have an existing unemployed population of several million and many of whom could do a lot of the manual work that migrants come over to do.

    Of course they should be paid the going UK rate of pay and it should be a lot easier to come off some benefits for the duration of employment and a fast-track system to go back onto benefits if they need to do so.

    I was also using fruit picking as just one example, tattie picking is another.

  19. … tattie picking is another.
    I did that too. It paid even better than fruit picking; it was harder work though. But much more of it is done by machine now.

  20. Great maps Richard – Thanks

  21. AMBER

    Me too, done a bit of tattie picking (although not paid due to the fact it was for a relative) and it was back breaking but worse of all was putting your hand into one of them soggy spuds. Yuck!

  22. @RAF “Immigrants cannot vote in GEs”

    It’s a bit more complex than that.
    At what point does an ‘immigrant’ become ‘integrated’ ? Presumably a fully integrated immigrant intends to stay and seeks British citizenship. Even if ‘migrant workers’ intend to return home after say 2-3 years, will they be replaced by others? If both ‘migrant workers’ and ‘immigrants’ are occupying the available properties in an area,while the ‘white working class’ or other potential UKIP voters have moved away, then Neil A’s point that the area won’t vote UKIP is still valid. IF they have moved away from immigrants then a high UKIP vote in areas with low percentage of immigrants is quite consistent with that view.

    NB I do not have the data to put this forward as a valid reason – I only point to the possibility, while suggesting that most social changes are more complex than being due to some single factor.

    The quoted census results, with under half the population of London not being ‘white British’ are quite consistent with the idea that the majority won’t vote UKIP as even for those with votes the basic tenet of UK deciding its own destiny may well not register highly with them. Those who are not yet UK citizens can’t vote UKIP whether they are Asian or Polish working class, Russian oligarchs or French bankers.

  23. @ RAF

    Who are those “white working class?”

    My father worked in factory, on a lathe, for his whole life and never voted Labour! My father-in-law worked for 32 years at Ford in Liverpool and does not vote Labour! Yet my nephew, who works for Barclays, and lives in a very nice house in Notting Hill, does? Do you therefore mean people who earn below a certain level of income? If you mean the ‘poor’ then say so? But do you? Or do you mean those who ‘need’ the support of the benefit system? I just don’t see the term you use as having any real meaning. Do non-white working class vote for someone else?

  24. Neil A
    Did you have some sort of momentary lapse on terminology. I mean did you have an ex West Indian bus driver, now 90 years old, in mind? Not many of those around now.

  25. Slightly off topic, but this article doesn’t relate to you Anthony … does it?

  26. @Neil A

    “It also tells you that immigrants don’t vote UKIP….”

    Depends what you mean by immigrants, and there is some confusion in recent posts between *anyone who is not ‘white British’* at one extreme and non British nationals without the right to vote in GE/council elections at another.

    I’ve no doubt that *white British* are more likely to vote UKIP than other categories, (whatever NF says about how inclusive UKIP is) and in my limited doorstep engagement (not, I hasten to add, even vaguely statistically significant!) the only UKIP voters I found were elderly white males – a bit like me in all but VI – but I strongly doubt that this is a significant factor. Perhaps some pollster or stat geek (probably not Statgeek himself) can improve on this subjective view.

  27. @Artair @RAF
    The “white working class” clearly consists of those white British who voted Labour last time (and the time before, and whose parents did). The clue is in the name of the party. At least that’s what a lot of commentators seem to mean.
    The Rotherham Council election results are not consistent with current GE polling, either.

  28. @ Allan C

    Yuk indeed. The seasoned tattie howkers always wore gardening gloves.

  29. This should be capable of settling very easily. AW, does yougov ask panellists the Census question ‘how would you describe yourself’ etc. ? Also the origin of birth question would be useful, I suppose.

  30. Andy Hartley

    Slightly off topic, but this article doesn’t relate to you Anthony … does it?

    Don’t be ridiculous. You’d never get Anthony admitting to living North of the river. Especially not in Essex.

  31. You can of course be an immigrant, and a British citizen.

    My point was more that in some of the wards in inner city London, BME residents are well in excess of 90% of the population. Given that few people from BME communities (apart from perhaps the Irish) are likely to vote UKIP, it rather puts a ceiling on their support.

    Yes, lots of people from BME communities are British born, and still more are naturalised Britons. But were it not for immigration, there would not be BME communities.

  32. @Neil A

    “But were it not for immigration, there would not be BME communities.”

    Or indeed, communities. As The Streets put it: “I’m 45th generation Roman”

  33. @Dave “Those who are not yet UK citizens can’t vote UKIP whether they are Asian or Polish working class, Russian oligarchs or French bankers.”

    That’s just not true. Commonwealth citizens can vote in a UK election, even if they are not UK citizens. There is a significant number of Commonwealth citizens in the UK, the two largest groups being the 348000 Indians and 180000 Pakistanis (ONS, 2012), which depending on their age distribution, could amount to a fair number of votes with a heavy metropolitan concentration.

  34. Dave, Fewmet,

    And all EU citizens can vote in local elections.

    In principle, they can also vote in European elections, though an administrative barrier prevented many being allowed to vote, despite having voted in previous elections. A conspiracy due to central government “advice” I suspect.

  35. Yes, I think the interesting point (thanks Neil A by the way) is why the son, daughter or grandson / granddaughter of my WE bus driver 1950s immigrant, both born here and as entitled as anyone born here to vote in national elections, would not vote UKIP. Why would not such a voter be just as incensed about the EU and free immigration within the EU as anyone else who is so incensed?

    I think I know, but one would have to introduce a racial element to the consideration of that voter because I can’t think of any other.

  36. We should have read WI (West Indies).

  37. @TheSheep

    I’m thinking of setting up a new party:

    UKFU (UK Full Up)…
    shorthand for GCNRFAM (Golf Courses? No Room For Any More!)

  38. @Howard

    Well there are a couple of reasons:

    1) they may not be immigrants themselves, but they might well be treated as if they are, resulting in empathy for a pro-immigrant message

    2) they may consider (rightly or wrongly) that UKIP as a party harbours views that are racially motivated

    They may not like the EU, but there might be things they dislike more.

  39. @The Sheep
    Yes, I am sure you are on the right track there. I lived in Holland for 15 years (I do remind everyone here occasionally) and if a party there (say Wilders’ one) had stated there were too many English in NL (er, actually there are rather a lot!) I suspect they would not have been high on my voting intention priority.

    There is no doubt I took a job from a Dutchman, although ‘took’ is an emotive explanation for it. I did hear that muttered once or twice, so it does perhaps prove the point you are making.

  40. @Fewmet
    You are of course correct, though there have been some moves (unlikely to succeed) to remove the right of Commonwealth citizens to vote in a general election in the light of increasing numbers. Whether short stay people (eg students) register might reduce the numbers. You quote about half a million which is 1 in 60, but your point about concentration in urban areas is a good one, though even if they were totally concentrated, that would total about 10 constituencies. I see no reason why they should all vote the same way, though the figures I have seen indicate about 16% Tory against 68% Labour. Nigel Farage claims significant support evidenced by UKIP candidates. My comment was about London, where I think over half the foreign born population are Commonwealth citizens? The real issue is whether they are an integral and settled part of British (London) life – and would have sought British citizenship had they needed to.

    @Howard @Thesheep
    “Why would not such a voter be just as incensed about the EU and free immigration within the EU as anyone else who is so incensed?”
    UKIP policy would end the distinction between EU and non-EU migrants, while present government efforts to reduce net immigration are perforce concentrated on non-EU incomers. That immigration on the present scale puts pressure on infrastructure affects everyone already here.

    On the plus side, the debate is now being held. On the debit side, it is bedevilled by accusations of ‘racism’ which seems often to aim to produce an emotional reason to persuade voters not to support UKIP rather than to face the facts of needing to house, educate and care for an extra million people every five years.

  41. I believe that my post earlier today said specifically that immigrants (non-UK citizens) cannot vote in a UK GE. I was careful to specify this. And they can’t.

    I know that many UK residents who are say EU citizens can vote in local and EU elections in the UK. The latter though is complicated and depends where you are registered. You can’t vote twice. My mother remains a Spanish citizen out of choice, despite having lived here for over 40 years. She chooses to vote in the Spanish EU elections but in the UK locals.

    But my second paragraph above is a distraction. The key is my first.

    I note that some have tried to extend “immigrant” to cover UK citizens of non-white origin. A UK citizen is a UK citizen. Their ethnic origin is immaterial. Unless the debate is whether UKIP is essentially a racial party, whose arguments can only be pitched to an exclusively white audience. Which isn’t to say that most white UK citizens buy that message, merely to show the inherent limitations on such a message.

    And there are further limitations. Most of Scotland seems unimpressed with UKIP too. And they even struggle (it would seem) amongst any people with white British roots. That’s some ceiling. Parties of this ilk tend to turn inward, riven with internal splits over purity. Is Farage himself not of Huguenot stock? At what point do we define someone as an immigrant? And if the line is not drawn at citizen, then are we saying some citizens are more British than others? Let’s leave this nonsense to UKIP and let them tear themselves apart over this.

  42. Banning Drunk Hour on Sundays has done nothing to encourage greater participation.

  43. @Richard re: ‘heat maps’ EU elections

    All 3 main parties are following a key seat strategy, focussing energy and resources on the marginal seats that will decide the election in 2015. This strategy is not going to provide good results in an election based on regional PR.

    I don’t think there should be undue concern about parties polling poorly in seats that they cannot win. However, I do think there should be concern about safe seats which have been taken for granted and where UKIP is now coming through.

  44. @Dave

    “…The clue is in the name of the party…”

    But Labour do not labour, the Conservatives do not conserve, the Liberal Democrats are neither liberal nor democratic, UKIP do not hold a seat in Northern Ireland, the BNP do not hold a seat in Scotland, the Greens are mostly white, Plaid Cymru (“The Party of Wales”) do not hold a majority in Wales, Mebyon Kernow (“Sons of Cornwall”) have female members, the Ulster Unionists do not stand in all of Ulster, the English Democrats do not stand in all of England, and Sinn Fein (“we ourselves”) are in a coalition with somebody else.

    Arguably the only honestly-named party is the SNP.

  45. @RAF
    “…I believe that my post earlier today said specifically that immigrants (non-UK citizens) cannot vote in a UK GE. I was careful to specify this. And they can’t….”

    They can.

    You can vote in a UK GE if you are registered to vote and are a citizen of the following countries:

    Antigua and Barbuda
    The Bahamas
    New Zealand
    Papua New Guinea
    Saint Kitts and Nevis
    Saint Lucia
    Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
    Sierra Leone
    Solomon Islands
    South Africa
    Sri Lanka
    Trinidad and Tobago
    United Kingdom

    h ttp://

  46. …and Ireland (whoops)

  47. You can vote in a general election if you are a citizen of a Commonwealth country. (thx for the list….)

  48. No one seems to have commented on the YG tables about how comfortable people would feel with different ethnic categories of foreign neighbours next door. They are quite revealing. London and Scotland emerge as the most tolerant areas. The North is by quite a margin the least tolerant of outsiders irrespective of whether they come from Europe, Asia or Africa ! No doubt quite strongly correlated with relative wealth and education – i.e. the poorest and least well educated of the 5 YG regions is also the least tolerant of foreigners. No real surprise there I suppose.

    The almost universal top choice of foreign neighbour – German – is perhaps a little more surprising. Germany is actually less visited by UK citizens than e.g. France and Spain, and one might have expected to see some hangover from two WWs, and perhaps more recently from their Euro-austerity policies . Apparently not in this sample.

  49. What happened to Gibraltar?

  50. Don’t worry Guy, it’s still there !

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