This morning’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 33%, LAB 36%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 13%. Full tabs are here.

YouGov also asked specifically about the reshuffle for the Times. Usually reshuffles are essentially a lot of people the public have never heard of being replaced by a group of other people the public have never heard of. This reshuffle was at least unusual in that it involves some ministers – like Michael Gove and William Hague – who the majority of respondents will actually recognise and have an opinion about. YouGov found that the majority of people thought that Hague had done a good job as Foreign Secretary… and that Gove had done a bad one as Education Secretary. 63% of people, including a majority of Conservative voters, thought it was right to remove him from the Education role.

Asked about how well represented women are at the top of the Conservative party, 36% now say they are very or fairly well represented. That’s up from 29% at the start of the week, but is still well below the 48% who think women are well represented in the Labour party. Will it make any immediate difference? Probably not – in the months and years to come being less male-dominated will probably improve the Conservative party’s image a bit, but it’s certainly no magic bullet. You can see at the top of this post that today’s voting intention figures are wholly in line with those from before the reshuffle.

217 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – CON 33, LAB 36, LD 9, UKIP 13”

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  1. The question was posed to panel members so they answered it. One has to ask how seriously they regarded the issue (reshuffle) in the first place. This relates to my discussion with CB11 about the Mori likeability poll.

  2. The Cabinet was reshuffled in the shadow of Bastille Day – [snip]

    In the long run reshuffles like party conferences are for the committed and the politically interested – a small number amongst whom I must count myself. They rarely make weather.

    The one question that has hung over this hung parliament was the one first posed in the autumn of 2010…will the LibDem defectors stay in their new old Labour home or will they desert it for pastures older or newer?

    Truth told unless the polls move suddenly – as they did in the Scots elections – we look like not getting any answer to that question on which we can rely until May next year – after what will be by then the longest election campaign since 1997.

    Democracy in action is not for those with weak stomachs……

  3. – after what will be by then the longest election campaign since 1997.

    Democracy in action is not for those with weak stomachs……
    Or those with short little spans of attention?

  4. Those polling figures seem more realistic than recent 7% or zero labour leads. Which is pretty much where we were before the EU elections. That government swing back needs to start soon if it’s coming.

    3% lead is small enough to overcome if the Conservatives run a good campaign. But they might not have a good campaign.

  5. these polls are boringly repetitive. i expect the final result to be: C 35 Lab 34 UKIP 11 LD 10

    which leaves labour about 35 ahead on seats.

  6. I wonder if the 20 year, almost continual, decline in crime rates has finally come to an end? There are some conflicting statistics in the latest studies and reports, but it is the first time police recorded crime has remained static since 2002-03. A worrying rise in sexual offences too, although increased reporting of these crimes in the wake of Saville and Harris may explain some of the increase. That said, a 20% rise is disturbing.

  7. Re the sex offences, how many were *committed* this year, as opposed to *reported*.

  8. I am no Tory but do not understand why Cameron has had so much flak prior to his reshuffle for failing to include women in his Cabinet. Compared with his predecessors women appear well represented. In his first government , Wilson only had Barbara Castle most of the time – with Judith Hart coming in too in the later stages. Heath only had Thatcher. Wilson mark2 only had Castle and Shirley Williams, whilst Callaghan retained only the latter. Thatcher never went beyond Lady Young and -possibly – Sally Oppenheim. So if Cameron has tended to ignore women, what does that say about the others?

  9. This might have been covered on a previous thread but I thought it funny enough to paste again.

    Michael Gove, now as chief whip, had a small problem yesterday when he was caught up chatting with a Labour backbencher in the toilets. Not a problem in itself you might say but he was supposed to be voting in the Commons and he was caught in the wrong lobby for the vote!

    William Hague summed it up thus:

    “Knowledge of who is in the toilets in whatever lobby is a very important piece of information for any chief whip and I take this as evidence that he was carrying out his duties very assiduously.”

    I’m really looking forward to William Hague in the Commons up to the GE, I’m sure there will be some memorable comments to treasure.

  10. From the previous thread…

    ..can anybody tell me (in layman’s terms) why the Southampton model seems to differ so much from the Fisher model?

    Seems strange given that they are using a similar method.

  11. @Bantams

    It would take a heart of stone not to laugh at the new Chief Whip’s travails, and yes, I rather think Hague might be given license to enjoy himself in the Commons over the next few months.

  12. Bantams.

    I agree re Hague seems like a genuinely witty bloke.

  13. Swampmongrel –

    I think the main difference is that Fisher’s model is based on a tendency for party shares to regress back towards what they got at the last election, while Ford, Jennings et al’s model is based on a tendency for party shares to regress back towards their long term average.

    Hence both models predict the Tory vote will increase as we go towards the election, but because Labour are up on the last election, but low compared to their longer term historical average Fisher expects Labour to fall, Ford, Jennings et al for them to rise.

    But its probably much more complicated than that.

  14. @Swampmongrel/Anthony W

    Because I tend to subscribe to the Independent’s Steve Richards view on these things and that, in his words “each election is unique and rooted in a distinct context”, I’m a little sceptical about the Fisher, Ford, Jennings and Robin Hood’s prognostications base on the past.

    There again, they might turn out to be stunningly accurate (well, one of them at least, because they can’t all be right!), and what do I know anyway. However while their models continue to come to completely different conclusions, my scepticism endures.

  15. CB,

    The trend though is for these models to be better for Labour the closer we get to the GE with only modest tightening.

  16. JimJam et al
    The point was well made that it was a comic double act between Angela Eagle and Hague that promised chortles a plenty for the next few months.
    Absolutely Fabulous !

  17. I have been lucky enough to hear William Hague speak many times both at private and public occasions and he never disappoints. He can be extremely witty and is so quick thinking he could easily do stand-up. If his heart is in it he may give us a very entertaining next ten months.

  18. amber

    “Or those with short little spans of attention?”

    What’s happened to “wee” all of a sudden?

    Remember your Scottish roots.

  19. The proposed changes to the bedroom tax made by the Lds are perfectly logical.

    The problem is [1] that nobody gives a toss but more importantly [2] these changes were bleedin’ obvious from the start.

    You just can’t say to someone “You can make do with just one bedroom” and then charge them extra if you then don’t have one-bedroomed places available.

    Daisie could work that out and SHE’S OANY WON.

  20. why do some results have the change since the last poll on here and some (like today’s) not?

  21. With Crossbat on the regression models. They’re interesting as experiments, but are counterintuitive as representations. Regression back to a known value at the election is just too pat, whichever mean you choose. The situation feels less like end of term regregression to a fixed known and more like mid term diversion from a variable unknown.

  22. @DJ

    Nope, you can’t assume that my writing “the whole national curriculum” thing means I am against the national curriculum, because it doesn’t and I am not. The phrase contains nothing perjorative within it, and was simply intended to convey that it was a big change requiring a lot of work. I think the introduction of the national curriculum was a good thing, though it could have been done better of course…

  23. “If his [Hague’s] heart is in it he may give us a very entertaining next ten months.”

    I suspect this hits the nail on the head for Hague. For a long time now, commentators have written about how Hague lost the heart for politics soon after the 2010 GE.

    I think the reason was that he was devastated by the failure to get a Con majority, and has never mentally recovered. One thing I’ve never seen written (except by me!) is Hague’s election predictions. In March 2010 he publicly predicted a three figure majority.

    This didn’t seem to be a Heseltine formulaic ‘we’re going to win’ battle cry – he was explaining quite genuinely about what he thought was going to happen and how the Tories were the best prepared government etc – he genuinely believed they were going to romp back into power.

    On election night itself, he was trundled out to face the camera’s after the initial seat projections had been announced after the exit polls. From memory, I think the BBC project was accurate on Con seats to around 1 seat, and Hague was visibly shocked. He kept repeating that this doesn’t chime with ‘what we’re hearing on the ground’, but he genuinely seemed shell shocked.

    All of this was forgotten in the post result melee of coalition discussions, but I’ve always felt Hague’s appetite was destroyed on election night in 2010, and he’s really wanted to walk away ever since then. The fact that he has stuck around since then, working hard and loyally for his party, I think says something about his character – and this is from someone I don’t actually like, but at least can begin to respect.

  24. Regression to the previous election is dodgy when at the previous election your party took a particular hammering and things have changed since then, and regression to a long term average is a bit dodgy if a party’s vote gets split, while another’s split gets reversed.

  25. Dreadful news from Ukraine.

  26. Hague went off politics in quite a big way after his epic defeat in 2001…he spent the entire 2001-2005 parliament building up a career as a writer and backbench grandee…it was only Cameron in 2005 who brought him back, pretty much on any terms he chose.

  27. Terrible news yes. Cause does not seem to be clear.

  28. @Ewen and Alister

    Terrible, and what a nightmare for a new foreign secretary to have to react to.

  29. I think Hague could have been a surprisingly good post-2015 leader had he wanted the job again. Today’s YouGov shows overwhelming public approval for his recent job performance, and he’s widely seen as a more seasoned character. He could have ended up with a similar career trajectory as John Howard in Australia, who was widely seen first as a joke Treasurer, then a joke opposition leader, before ending up as PM for over a decade.

  30. Hague can also earn >£1 million a year if he wants, so he has more options than your average politician. As Alec says, it’s indicative of his character that Hague has kept around for so long.

  31. I think we can overdo the “Hague is such a selfless public servant”. He is a decent guy, in my view, but he has clearly benefited hugely from being Foreign Secretary for 4 years. The truth is that before 2010, his highest office had been Secretary of State for Wales. Even though he had been leader of the opposition, the FCO has lifted him even higher in prominence. His fees on the lecture circuit now will no doubt be higher than they would have been if he had quit the House in 2010.

  32. I have not detected anything ‘2010 related’ to Hague’s persona. It was obvious caution in discussions on election night. Hague handled the coalition agreement discussions well enough.

    You will find a Feb 2010 Telegraph article saying ‘While he said he was confident the Tories would win an election tomorrow, he gave no such prediction for the actual vote, expected in May.’

  33. Just to develop my comments (to CB11 but hopefully of general interest) I think the subsidiary questions on polls can lead one to the illusion that the answers are more significant than they are. I know that they say that leaders’ image has a possible couple of percentage influence but the party polling has that factored in.

    If you ask me (online or by telephone) whether I prefer cabbage to cauliflower, I will probably give you an answer. I really don’t think that voters will be influenced in the polling booth by other than what they feel the direction of travel should be, perhaps amended by local tactical considerations.

    A mayoral election or presidential election is an entirely different political event to a British GE (or even more different to one in a country with PR).

  34. @ Graham,

    So if Cameron has tended to ignore women, what does that say about the others?

    That they were in office half a century ago?

    Criticisms of Blair and Brown on these grounds seem a lot more relevant.

  35. @ Spearmint
    ‘So if Cameron has tended to ignore women, what does that say about the others?

    That they were in office half a century ago?’

    That/s quite an exaggeration – Wilson left office in 1976 – Callaghan in 1979 – Thatcher in 1990. In any case, what is the relevance of passage of time here?

  36. @ Graham,

    You mentioned the first Wilson government, which started in 1964, exactly half a century ago.

    Considering both the progress of women’s lib and the number of female MPs available to elevate to Cabinet rank, the passage of time seems extremely relevant.

    (Also, while I’m always happy to criticise Thatcher, she’s dead. Criticising the gender balance of Cameron’s Cabinet seems more likely to actually accomplish something.)

  37. “what is the relevance of passage of time here?”

    So you could add there were no women at all in Harold MacMillan’s cabinets. Or Sir Alec Douglas Home’s cabinet.

    But I guess you know what the relevance of the passage of time is really.

  38. @GRAHAM: “I am no Tory but do not understand why Cameron has had so much flak prior to his reshuffle for failing to include women in his Cabinet. Compared with his predecessors women appear well represented. In his first government , Wilson only had Barbara Castle…”

    That was fifty years ago, though. Another fifty years back and Asquith didn’t even have any women MPs (or voters, for that matter). I’m not sure either is a meaningful comparison for a prime minister in 2014.

  39. Female MPs:

    1966: Con 4/ Lab 7

    1970: 15/10

    1974 (Feb): 9/13

    1974 (Oct): 7/18

    1979: 8/11

    1983: 13/10

    1987: 17/21

    1992: 20/37


    2001: 14/95

    2005: 17/98

    2010: 49/81

  40. I’ve pointed this out before, but it’s rather unfair to attack Cameron for lack of women in his cabinet up to now, because he simply didn’t have much choice of whom to pick. There were only 12 women Conservative MPs remaining from the 2005 Parliament and of them three are already in the Cabinet (May, Greening, Villiers); two have been in Cabinet (Miller, Spelman); and others are unsuitable in various ways: age (Watkinson), being Deputy Speaker (Laing), being deselected (McIntosh), being Nadine Dorries. Of the remaining three only Main has not held ministerial office.

    Fast tracking one of the 2010 intake would have been difficult (the first of either gender, Javid, only got in the Cabinet 3 months ago), though someone from the Lords might have been possible. But there wasn’t much to play with, to put it mildly.

  41. Ewen,
    I understand that Angela Eagle,who I greatly respect ,more than held her own
    With Hague today.Many more interesting exchanges between two seasoned
    parliamentarians in the future.

  42. @ Billy Bob
    There were far more than 7 female Labour MPs in 1966.. I recall the following : Barbara Castle, Judith Hart, Shirley Williams, Bessie Braddock, Megan Lloyd George, Gwynneth Dunwoody, Eirenie White, Alice Cullen, Lena Jeger, Anne Kerr,Alice Bacon , Margaret Herbison, Jennie Lee, Freda Corbet, Joyce Butler et al

  43. Hague is a proven parliamentary performer, but I have to say, Mrs Eagle seems to me out of her depth. A shame as we need a much more effective opposition, in my opinion.

  44. Sorry Ewen,
    Reading back through the thread I see you posted the same thing earlier.Great

  45. I strongly disagree with appointing Ministers or selecting candidates on a gender basis – merit alone should be the criterion. I live in Norwich North where Labour has selected a candidate from an All Woman Shortlist..On principle I will not be voting for her – marginal though the seat is.

  46. @Graham


    1966: Con 4/ Lab 19

  47. @Graham

    I used to live in a very traditional Labour Constituency, and was involved with the local party.

    While I’m sure that you are open minded to selecting a person (man or woman) based on merit, women prospective Councillors were largely ignored as the large contingent of white men aged 50+ voted for their own – other older white men.

    While I’m no fan of all women short lists, but if groups of largely men will keep selecting men regardless of merit, I see no choice.

  48. @Catmanjeff,

    The solution to the problem you identify is surely to recruit more active women members..

  49. On the subject of women in Cabinet, the mess-up over Baroness Stowell is a splendid example of the unintended consequences of ‘gesture legislation’. Back in the economic travails of the second Wilson government, as a way of showing that we were all in it together, they passed an Act in 1975 limiting the number of paid Cabinet Ministers to 22 (including the PM). Hence the strange development of the chorus line of ‘Ministers Attending’ sitting at the side of the room in all those Cabinet photos.

    In the previous Cabinet the Leader of the House (of Commons) hadn’t actually been an official one of the 22[1], but when Hague decided to step downwards, he was clearly felt to be too grand to lose the cachet, so a sacrificial victim had to be found. Unfortunately the Lords are people who care about this sort of thing and the offer to top up the salary from some slush fund or other only made things worse.

    Incidentally I’m not really sure that it was wise of Cameron to keep Hague around if he decided that all that jetting around with Angelina Jolie was getting too much. If he does make an impact as LotH, then all the Westminster Bubble will spend their time comparing his wit, charm, wisdom, etc favourably with Cameron’s. It will not just emphasise Hague’s political stature, it will also make the point that he won’t be there next time.

    [1] The Chief Whip wasn’t one of the Chosen either, so Gove will be having a drop in salary as well. Maybe this was on of the the reasons for Ms Vine’s outburst. They’ll just have to slum it on the £250k she gets from the Mail for her column (allegedly).

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