This morning’s daily YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 32%, LAB 37%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 14%, very much in line with the recent average. The average figures in YouGov’s daily polls so far this month are CON 33%, LAB 37%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 14%. Tabs are here.

378 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – CON 32, LAB 37, LD 7, UKIP 14”

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    Your post to ALEC @ 5.42pm

    I wholeheartedly agree with the sentiment you express.

  2. As far as I can see, there are three main reasons why wages are lagging so badly behind growth.

    1. Unemployment- Even during the ‘good times’ of the 2000s we still had a rate of unemployment that would have been considered shockingly high in the 1950s. The ‘reserve army of labour’ factor decreases peoples’ bargaining power.

    2. Decline of unions- Only about 26% of the workforce are union members nowadays, compared to over half in the 1970s.

    3.Skills- The trend in recent decades has been towards greater numbers of highly-skilled jobs and more menial jobs. The number mid-skilled jobs makes up a lower proportion.

    Now we have to ask what could change to produce significant wage increases in the short term.

    Unemployment may fall, but the current rate masks the real extent of worklessness an even if it drops to about 5% lower-skilled workers will still be quite easily replaceable.

    The task of upskilling the British workforce is one that will take decades. Ditto for reviving the trade union movement.

    Therefore even if growth continues to be in the realm of 3% I can’t see where real wage growth is going to come from.

    The US has been in this trap for about 40 years, of decent growth but average wages flatlining.

    A heck of a lot needs to change if we’re to avoid that fate, however many of the policy chnges needed will be far too interventionist for the tastes of many of the current Westminster Bubble.

  3. Colin
    Phew! You had me worried. Yes I agree, pray thanks to Gordon but we will also probably agree that, a bit like Procul Harum, who produced probably the greatest song on earth (A whiter shade of Pale) he was a one hit wonder.

  4. @MrNameless

    “Seems like we psephologists should be focusing on the Middle East and Press Regulation as possible vote-shifting topics, not the EU!”

    Quite so and the only surprise from those polling figures that you shared with us was that as many as 0.8% of the respondents thought Juncker’s appointment as EU Commission President was the most important issue facing the nation! As I said in my post yesterday, much of the debate on the EU is both hyperbolic and hysterical(ly funny). If you travel in Europe, as I quite often do, it’s utterly preposterous to think that you’re visiting anything other than a collection of fiercely independent nation states, sharing a currency some of them, and a continent all of them, but all proud of their individuality and unique nationhood. The idea that a country like Spain or France or Germany or Italy would sacrifice anything that resembled meaningful national sovereignty is inconceivable. Their own representative assemblies and law-making bodies are sovereign to them and that’s why their domestic elections are so vastly more important to them than those involving the EU. This idea of a federal Europe on the horizon, and the dissolution of nations, is a convenient smokescreen for largely right wing politicians who have completely different political agendas that obsess about immigration and perceived loss of national identity. [Snip]


    He was -though I’ve heard it was quite a hard hit :-)

  6. Anthony

    You seen this article?

    Seems some of the more fundamentalist nationalists think yougov are making it up as you go along.

    I had to laugh at it but there are dafties out there who will believe it.

  7. @crossbat11

    As titles go Wrong Man for the Job has the ring of a dime novel about it… but in this case, perhaps just the weekly digest of political news.

  8. Drunkenscouser

    I agree with nearly everything you say. The only thing I would question is the ‘upskill the workforce’ proposition.

    Whilst I am all in favour of doing that, there will remain a large number of jobs which are unskilled. Indeed, I suspect they will grow as a proportion of the workforce as personal services continue to grow – whether these are carers for the elderly (I accept these are not necessarily unskilled) or baristas or call centre workers (again not necessarily unskilled).

    To solve the problem I believe we need to start at the bottom – turning the minimum wage into a living wage and cracking down on abuse. I agree there is little appetite within the Westminster bubble, but inequality is becoming a recognised issue in the most unlikely places. And it’s not so long ago that suggesting that a Tory leader would legislate for gay marriage would have put you in line for the funny farm.

  9. Dan Hannan is usually supportive of Cameron, from an anti EU perspective, so it’s illuminating to read his take on what has just happened.

    In short, he believes that Cameron has lost any last pretense that he can renegotiate anything, and that voters will know this.

    I haven’t seen this reported elsewhere, so it’s only Dan’s word for it, but he says Merkel said at her press conference that ever closer union must apply to all 28 states, that she believed reform applied to economic liberalisation, not repatriation of powers, and that the EU parliament would become the nominating body for the commission head.

    If this is true, it demonstrates just how badly wrong Cameron’s strategy has gone.


    “like Procul Harum, who produced probably the greatest song on earth (A whiter shade of Pale) he was a one hit wonder.”

    Not true. Procul Harum were not one hit wonders. Their follow-up single, “Homburg” reached no. 6. They had two further respectable hits with “Pandora’s Box” (no.16) and “Conquistador” (no. 22).

  11. Taking this from a purely polling perspective…

    The December 2011 ‘Veto that never was’ showed how the British Public react to European negotiations. If you take a strong position and win, you get a polling boost. If you take a strong position and lose, your poling drops. In that case Cameron appeared at first to have “won”, with an associated boost to polling, but then when the reality of the situation came out and it was clear he had actually lost the negotiation, Conservative polling dropped sharply.

    This time, no one was expecting him to win, and he didn’t. So I can’t expect any rise for conservative polling.

    Appearance of incompetence and weakness is positively poisonous to any politician.

  12. I think with this recent Juncker situation, it’s one of those things that isn’t much taken in isolation, but taken with some other related incidents associated with Cameron’s relations with Europe, may not be commonly interpreted as impressive.

    If you’re going to resist what all the others seem to want, then you need to get something out of it to help sweeten the pill with the electorate. Perhaps he was too confrontational as Labour tell us? We will probably never know for sure. Is this a sort of Quid-quo-pro for some concessions if/when negotiations come around? Could be, although I doubt it.

    Interesting parallel with the events 100 years ago tommorow: an Archduke got shot, and at the time many might never had expected what it would lead to. I wonder what will come of these recent events? Perhaps something quite unexpected. Hopefully not a war.

  13. I also predict that the following phrase is going to become a summing up and press sound-byte for the narrative of the next ten months. “Lame Duck Prime Minister”


    ‘no one was expecting him to win’

    Actually I think at the start of the process Cameron WAS expecting to win and he’s ended up in a place he never predicted or wanted. Why he’s lost – whether because of the deceitfulness of other leaders or his own incompetence in negotiating will depend on your view of him as a politician but it seems to me that it’s going to be very hard to present it as any kind of win.

    I think a large section of the electorate, probably the majority, had neither heard of nor cared about Juncker before this process. Cameron may well have genuine reservations about him but I think the high profile campaign against him was an attempt to score another poll boost such as the one that followed the mythical veto.

    I completely agree with you that perceived weakness is extremely damaging for any politician and that explains the flurry of Conservative supporters on TV and radio news stressing Cameron’s ‘strength’ on this issue – the electorate does not like a loser.
    As I said much earlier on this thread I think the only winners will be UKIP

  15. @alec – ” …he says Merkel said at her press conference that ever closer union must apply to all 28 states”

    Merkel’s comments are always spun in the UK as holding out hope for the renegotiation cause – but there is usually a little sting in the tail if you listen carefully.

    What I heard was “ever closer union, but at different speeds.”

  16. …just back from a couple of days working abroad


    LAB 35 (-2)
    CON 34 (+2)
    LD 8 (-1)
    UKIP 13 (=)
    Green 5 (+2)

    That’s the highest Green share on Populus for a fortnight.

  17. The EU needs our money and our trade more than the UK needs Europe. Having worked in the EU area and also North America the European area is dying economically and culturally.

  18. @alec
    ever closer union…..
    yes she did say that
    merkel added:”but not necessarily at the same pace for everyone”

    thats still the theme of the europe of the two velocities
    so everybody is talking about reform..but not the reform cameron and ukip wants

  19. @Robert Newark; @ Norbold

    And what about “A Salty Dog”, “Grand Hotel”, and “Shine on Brightly” (the latter two not singles, just album tracks). All magnificent music.


    What is it about us that makes us treat all EU matters as fit only for manipulation in domestic political terms? Even EM, who can in all reasonableness have no strong views against (or for) Juncker, supported DC against him for purely short-term domestic reasons.

    What, ffs, is so terrible about Europe?

  20. MOG,

    Politicians know people don’t like Europe, so they flog the horse repeatedly for diminishing returns. It’s also a case of people not understanding how it works and never having had it properly explained.

  21. @MoG

    Well, EM’s party is part of the largest EU Parliament opposition group (SD), so he does actually have a reason to oppose Juncker. And maybe you missed my rambling about how it’s a shame we don’t take the EU Parliament elections seriously in this country and use them only for protest votes about domestic issues. It’s part of why the EU looks at us with such distaste, because we keep electing people who only attend enough Parliament meetings to qualify for their expense accounts.

    If we can’t even bother to send competent people to argue for our interests, why should we expect those interests to be defended?

  22. Well the headlines tomorrow are united – Britain closer to exiting Europe, clearly what the conservatives were looking for. If that doesn’t bring the UKIP supporters back into the Tory camp, not sure what will.

    I am cynical of course, once they all support the conservatives in 2015, it will be made clear that there is no way we could ever leave the EU, it would just crush our economy. At least I hope that this is all political posturing and not really an attempt to leave the EU.

  23. @MrN; @JayB

    Agreed on all counts.

    Sadly, I doubt people will ever understand how Europe works. Why let facts get in the way of prejudices?

    The biggest fact of all being: that in 2007 – fifty-six years after the formation of the European Coal & Steel Community – an institutionally bound Western Europe achieved that longest period of continuous internal peace in recorded history (previously 1815-1870).

    I don’t believe this is a coincidence.

  24. Before today, I took the view that a referendum would narrowly favour continued membership once renegotiations took place and the stay campaign got into top gear.

    I say that because Merkel and Barroso, the two people whose opinions really mattered up until now, have started to publicly acknowledge that if the rest of the EU is to integrate further, the UK is going to have to be treated as a special case.

    But now, it seems as though David Cameron is going into a general election campaign knowing that if he wins, he will lose the referendum. What can he now get from the EU that will be big enough for him to campaign for continued membership off the back of?

    Lets not forget (because Nigel Farage certainly won’t allow us to), Cameron’s line wasn’t simply that he would offer a referendum and campaign against leaving. It was that he would renegotiate because the status quo was unacceptable, hold the referendum, and decide what to support based on how the negotiations went.

  25. Shouldn’t there be a Yougov/Sunday times?

  26. oops sorry, got my days wrong.

  27. NICKP
    Make a cup of tea and go back to bed.

  28. The debacle of DC’s recent humiliation at the EU summit merely reflects the fact that the UK is out of sync with views of both political leaders and the majority of voters in nearly all the other EU member states. Any political damage to him in the UK will probably be due to his mis-handling of the situation, rather than the views he put forward. In the recent Euro elections, the UK was the only country where the majority of voters supported parties not linked with the 3 centrist groups in the EP (European Parliament).

    The British Conservative party’s membership of the right-wing Eurosceptic chauvinist ECR group in the EP puts it outside the mainstream of EU political views. For example, the Tories’ sister party in Germany is AfD, not Merkel’s CDU. All the other EU leaders (including Viktor Orban of the relatively right-wing Fidesz, who did agree with DC about Juncker) lead parties associated with the 3 centrist groups in the EP.

    When push comes to shove, it is now clear that there will not be any meaningful renegotiation of the UK’s relationship to the EU if DC remains PM after 2015. While some leaders of other EU countries might not wish the UK to leave the EU, they are all committed to ever closer union, and all (except for Orban) supported the right man (Juncker) to take this project forward from their perspective.

    Anyone who wishes the UK to remain within the EU needs to vote for the party best placed to defeat the Tories in their constituency in the 2015 GE. However, before that comes the Scottish referendum, which would have a much more profound effect on rUK politics if there is a YES vote. It is paradoxical for DC to be so opposed to secession of Scotland from the UK, but so keen for the UK to be semi-detached from the EU.

  29. @” I doubt people will ever understand how Europe works”

    I agree-and “Europe” intends to keep it that way.

  30. Right or wrong DC’s/UK’s strategy may have been at this EU meeting, but one thing that is under reported (which annoys me) is the fact that of all these 28 grand leaders sitting round the table only 4 actually put any money IN! The other 24 rather graciously take money. I think of the 4 the UK puts in most after Germany, which leaves Italy and France to feed the 24 kids if the the UK takes its money off the family table. Witness the 24 censorious leaders morph instantly into 24 screaming kids if Germany is left with those 2 basket case economies to put food on the EU table! ….I feel better now…Is that the Bacon sandwich Sirens I hear calling.

  31. @nostra

    please get your facts right
    there are more netto-paying-countries
    i am from austria and we are paying quite a lot more into the eu than we get back out
    (well if you don´t count the economic and poöitical advantages of being a member of the eu)

  32. @Nostra

    The figures I have seen (by population) give Luxemborg, Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Germany and Belgium all making a larger net contribution than the UK… with Austria, France, Italy, Finland and Cyprus also making a net contribution.

  33. Netto paying countries says it all :-)

  34. @CrossBat11

    Think the problem is that because of its generous payments to non-contributors the UK has become the dumping ground for immigrants the other countries don’t want. The UK has to move to an insurance – based system and cut housing benefit severely which would solve the problem.

  35. I wonder what the cost of the UKs recent wars was compared with the “cost” of us apparently keeping the rest of Europe in a union, which means war between ever more member countries has become unthinkable – Churchill’s vision first then Ted Heath’s.

    That’s not to say that the EU couldn’t operate better but lets not think in the round.

    Haven’t heard any more about the LDs referendum “plans” but both they and Labour will need to have something to say over the next few months that emphasises the positives rather more than happens via Tories and UKIP.

    En el otro mano DC will need to spell out VERY clearly what his specific proposals are – Tories are already demanding this – and that will be a lot more contentious than the vagueness we have had so far.

  36. @wolf

    “Think the problem is that because of its generous payments to non-contributors the UK has become the dumping ground for immigrants the other countries don’t want.”

    Although Germany, France and Spain have more EU immigrants than the UK.

  37. Norbold

    Can you please keep facts out of debates on the EU?

  38. “Immigrants from the European Economic Area (EEA – the EU plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) had made a particularly positive contribution in the decade up to 2011, contributing 34% more in taxes than they received in benefits.

    Over the same period, British people paid 11% less in tax than they received.

    “Given this evidence, claims about ‘benefit tourism’ by EEA immigrants seem to be disconnected from reality”
    Prof Christian Dustmann

  39. “Although Germany, France and Spain have more EU immigrants than the UK.”

    Yeah but, no but, yeah but, no but… am I bovvered?

  40. @ Billy Bob

    You have to be careful with research which shows EEA immigrants as net contributors & UK indigents as net takers.

    I haven’t checked the research which you mention but previous research has shown the outcome you mention by including current pension spending etc. without including the theoretical future pension entitlement which EEA people are potentially accruing whilst living & working in the UK.

    Nor did the calculations which I’ve seen in previous research account for the past contributions of UK pensioners when showing that UK people are net takers.

    But, of course, I would have to check the research which you mention before commenting specifically on it. If you have a link, I’d be interesting to see the actual report which was produced.

  41. I’d be interesting to see….

    Oops, I just noticed a typo at the end of my last comment. I meant to write, I’d be interested to see….

  42. @DaoDao

    It’s important to remember that the Conservative party used to be within the EPP grouping, and thus was very much part of European Politics. It was Cameron who took the Conservative party out, against the wishes of much of his own party.

    And they did not “enter” into the ECR, it was not some mistake that they drifted into. Cameron *created* the ECR, in hopes that it would supplant EPP as the conservative political grouping on the right of European politics.

    He disastrously misread the situation in European politics, as he has done every other time after. Unable to convince any other major european party to join ECR, it because a collection of every weird little right wing party in Europe. And now he has lost control of it, as far right parties gain admission, and his own MEPs rebel against his calls for them to be excluded.

    The UK’s exclusion as a political force from European Politics was not an organic result of democracy, it has clearly been the result of political decisions by David Cameron.

    I think Cameron has passed the tipping point here. Huge swaths of the conservative party that are more aligned with Business and Banking will have been spooked by this, they do not want an anti-europe Conservative party and will not be a member of or donate to one, yet this is the Conservative party Cameron has now created. The time when he could assure them it was all just platitudes to sway UKIPers has passed, there is now too much evidence that Cameron’s “platitudes to UKIPers” turned into alienating our largest market place.

    Bundle this up with every other disaster, you can see why there was open infighting in cabinet to start positioning for the next leadership challenge. Cameron’s political career is basically over. The only way he survives is the long shot of a Conservative majority at the next election.

  43. The biggest fact of all being: that in 2007 – fifty-six years after the formation of the European Coal & Steel Community – an institutionally bound Western Europe achieved that longest period of continuous internal peace in recorded history (previously 1815-1870).

    I don’t believe this is a coincidence.
    I think you cannot compare pre-nuclear to post-nuclear history so easily. MAD (mutually assured destruction) may be responsible for ‘peace in our time’. Whether we, personally, approve of nukes or not, I think we ought to acknowledge their existence may have made a significant contribution to preventing wars amongst developed European countries.

  44. Norbold: “Although Germany, France and Spain have more EU immigrants than the UK.”

    *Unless Scotland votes ‘Yes’.

  45. @Amber Star

    Can’t get further than the front page, but perhaps you can track down the full report:


  46. @ Jayblanc

    “Huge swaths of the conservative party that are more aligned with Business and Banking will have been spooked by this, they do not want an anti-europe Conservative party and will not be a member of or donate to one”

    That’s an interesting comment. Are you talking about the funders or MP’s or both?

    I can see the logic of your post but we hear so little from that section of the Conservative party (maybe simply because the right wing group are louder) that I do wonder how many there are, what tips them into taking a more vociferous approach and how that plays out in the Conservative party. Still seems a long way off to me before any are likely to take much of a stand otherwise I would have thought there would have been quite a few murmurs already.

  47. Interesting that Andrew Neil (on Newsnight) fairly painlessly got a statement out of Malcolm Rifkind that he’d vote ‘stay’ without any renegotiation.

  48. @ Billy Bob

    Thank you – there’s a link to the full report at the bottom of the article.

    I can read things like this report very quickly because it is written in ‘my’ language i.e. it is done in a similar way to most financial analysis. It is certainly thorough & transparent in documenting its sources & assumptions.

    It took me no time at all to ascertain that it is a ‘fixed point in time’ analysis. UK pensioners are assumed to be consuming pensions & health services which are being paid for by current tax-payers. This is a whopper of an assumption!

    The outcome is entirely dependent on the demographics of each group during the period from 1995 to 2011; it completely ignores past contribution to current infrastructure from indigent UK citizens & also ignores any future entitlements of the incoming economic migrants.

    And I think people intuitively ‘know’ this (even if they do not read or understand the full report) & I think they believe it is an ‘unfair’ way to assess the situation.

    One set of assumptions shows one outcome; another set of equally plausible assumptions would likely show something else.

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