YouGov’s weekly poll for the Sunday Times is up here. Topline figures are CON 32%, LAB 37%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 13%.

There are some questions on perceptions of Cameron and Miliband, but they don’t show us anything particularly new. Looking beyond the two party leaders themselves the Conservatives also lead on having the stronger team of leaders – 38% think the Tories have the better team, 25% the Labour party. Cameron’s reshuffle itself isn’t seen has having made much difference to this. 13% think his team is now stronger, 16% weaker, 71% no difference or don’t know. 54% of people think that the promotion of more female ministers to the cabinet was mostly because David Cameron wanted more women in the cabinet, rather than because he thought they were the best people for the job.

Michael Gove’s demotion is widely approved of. 55% think it was the right thing to do, 19% think he should have stayed at education. As for his policies – 54% think Nicky Morgan should continue to toughen up exam grading schemes, but 51% think she should cancel Free Schools and by 40% to 32% people think she should end the drive towards more academies.

Support for the bedroom tax has now dropped to 39%, with 48% opposed. This compares to 41% support in January, and 49% support back in March 2013 before it was first implemented. While a substantial minority still support the policy, support for it has been on a gradual decline since it was announced. Nick Clegg’s about turn on the tax is seen positively by 38% who think it’s right to change your mind when a policy doesn’t work, and negatively by 44% who think it’s hypocritical to oppose a policy you introduced.


247 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 32, LAB 37, LD 9, UKIP 13”

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  1. chrislane1945

    “One half of a day of serving the children before the holidays.”

    Cooked, or served raw?

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  2. To people talking about wage growth – the plain fact is people are better of being in work than unemployed.
    In a wider humanitarian conext (something being strangely ignored by Labour apologists) the wider greater good is being served by wage restraint.
    And of course many of those people being affected by low wage growth might well have priced themselves out of a job if they had demanded and got 5% pay rises. So by merely being in work they are massively better off than they might have been.

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  3. @Fareham Grecian
    I think you misunderstand. This seems to be common in the modern world.
    When I were a lad it were 3.59 pm or 1559 hours if you were a soldier. 03.59 pm is a solecism, and not confined to Lord A!

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  4. @JimJam

    I remember you wrote before that it is much better to have lower unemployment and lower wage increases,

    I agreed then and i agree now, it is better to have a low paying job than no job, better for that person and better for society

    @OldNat, i have read the article on the Bank of Scotland report and we will see if the official wage figures match the survey. I think June labour stats come out on the 13th of August

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  5. Hacking, entrapment, perjury etc. Will Tommy Sheridan be given leave to appeal? Following the collapse of the ‘Tulisa trial’, it seems more likely.

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  6. Amber

    Re: Human Rights, apologies as I meant to highlight this yesterday and never got round to it. YouGov had originally asked Do you think Britain should or should not withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights? in the same poll as the cabinet reshuffle, repeating a question that they’d asked about a year ago. Despite all the continuing tabloid attacks on the ECHR, the public had actually moved a bit towards wanting in from 48-35 to 43-39 for withdrawal.

    As sometimes happen when the answer isn’t the same as expected, the question got asked again, this time with the rest of the Sunday Times questions. This showed a similar result with an even narrower margin for withdrawal: 41-38. They also asked a group of other questions on human rights but for some reason these weren’t published with the rest of the survey:

    http://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/5a36trmrkq/InternalResults_140718_Human_Rights_W.pdf

    (they came out at 9am rather than 6am, so they may have been held back for some newpaperish reason).

    These contained the question that Mr N quoted the Party breakdown for which also struck me as well. Not least because the option that the UKIP-ers took (just) means they are explicitly moral relativists which presumably they would denounce in any other context. But then I suspect very few people support UKIP on the grounds of philosophical consistency.

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  7. @HOOKESLAW
    Well, sort of. But I remember the days -70’s? 80’s? when we were all going to be able to work less and retire earlier because of the productivity benefits of new technologies.
    What has actually happened as far as I can see is that the productivity benefits have been entirely diverted to increasing profitability of enterprises, whilst much of the tax which would ‘normally’ be attracted by that benefit has been diverted via complex international avoidance scams, leaving ‘hard working families’ little better off than ‘benefits scroungers’ – who are themselves worse off, unless they happen to be pensioners.
    One of the results of the benefits changes has been to make work, no matter how marginal, more attractive. You can argue the rights and wrongs of this (not here) but in the long term voters will be attracted by whichever party can convince them they have policies which will give them a decent, secure standard of living.

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  8. @ Hookeslaw

    To people talking about wage growth – the plain fact is people are better off being in work than unemployed.
    ————————-
    No, not necessarily. A parent might prefer to be at home (unemployed) than off-setting the falling family income; a family might have a better future, if one member was at college or university; a retired person might be better off retired than continuing to work so they can help out other members of their family; a person who is sick might be better off resting & taking care of themselves until fully fit. I could go on & on…

    But, in short, where almost every member of a family is ‘forced’ into low paid work just to make ends meet, the opportunity cost is the better life they might have had if some of the family members had been earning above the minimum wage.

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  9. JIM JAM

    I agree that a job must be better for any family than no job.

    Nevertheless I think EM’s sache from “no jobs” to “low pay” may well have traction -& his timing could be as immaculate as GB’s in 1997.

    After one more month of poor average pay comparison with py( due to time shifts last year following tax changes) , I think pay will start to rise as unemployment falls towards 5% & skill shortages become a driver of pay.

    If he can trump the Tory mantra of “look the cake is growing now” with ” yes but we will put nicer candles on it & share it out for YOU”-I think he could be in No 10 with a few years at least of Clarke/Brown type legacy. If he promises to intervene in private sector prices, and both private & public sector pay, and lets companies do his heavy lifting, whilst avoiding Brown’s abandonment of “prudence” in 2001, he will also be able to claim he got rid of the deficit ( well the “current” deficit-he has left bwriggle room on capital spend)

    It’s a neat trick-and he could pull it off.

    Cons must hope that the voters buy the story about car crashes & driving keys.

    Its a tough one for them.

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  10. @ Roger Mexico

    Thank you! That’s exactly what I was after. :-)

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  11. @Amber Star

    Oh,I never thought of those situations,, I will have to have a re-think and not make absolutist statements

    And the point about being forced to work to make ends meet is driving the inactive numbers down

    in the 3 months to May 2014 compared to May 2013

    50,000 less students
    77,000 less retired people
    20,000 less family duties
    65.000 less sick people

    118, 000 more 65+ people working

    I am sure not all of those are voluntary

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  12. Amber Star

    Hacking, entrapment, perjury etc. Will Tommy Sheridan be given leave to appeal? Following the collapse of the ‘Tulisa trial’, it seems more likely.

    Lallands Peat Worrier did an interesting piece on this at the time of Coulson’s conviction:

    http://lallandspeatworrier.blogspot.com/2014/06/coulsons-conviction-sheridans-release.html

    and came to the conclusion that Sheridan probably wouldn’t able to get the conviction overturned. Whether Coulson might face other charges though is another matter.

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  13. “or do they carry on the Cameron project of modernising the Conservative party? ”

    Chortle……………………….

    Perhaps a new, no-dead people rule?

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  14. @Chrislane1945

    “With the Greens on 7% equal with the Lib Dem figure from Lord Ashcroft; I would offer a caveat; that the Lib Dem figure seems over high, and thus the Greens may also be over high.”

    Ashcroft and IpsosMori do appear to rate Greens higher than other pollsters, I agree. But since none of us know what the true balance of opinion of the population without relying on polls, its impossible to know whether IpsosMori and Ashcroft have Greens too high, or other pollsters have them too low.

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  15. I am reallly interested in turnout – or lack of it. I understand that previously Con were more able to get their voters to the polls. I think that they had more active constituency parties. (can someone who knows please inform me if I am correct). Is that still the case?
    Polls are only important if they are an actual indication of those who will vote. I suppose that is why populus etc weight on turnout. But, from what I can see it is also about turning out your vote, giving lifts etc. Presumably the more active the local party, the higher the turnout in any event.

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  16. My feeling is that Lab will get their voters out better now.

    There’s a shortage of wheelchairs for one thing but its mainly to do with internet/emails/the Obama election campaign strategy.

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  17. Chatterclass

    re. tory party membership you put your finger on a crucial point.

    The tory party had about 2.9 million members in the 1950s…even in 1979, it had 1.5 million or so…

    changing patterns of life mean that people don’t join parties. all parties have suffered, but the tories were uniquely effective at using the grass roots to deliver leaflets, door knock and generally have a local foot print.

    Today the membership is not even 10% of what it was in the early 1980s (officially the membership is 134,000- but insiders think it’s much fewer than that, say 100k)…the electoral impact of this is all too apparent. They have no footprint or distribution in vast swathes of the country…nor have they adapted themselves to a modern environment.

    A Marxist historian of the future would say that the failure of the Tories to implement an organisation and structure which had any reach was more important than any policies….they haven’t got any distribution. To a businessman, distribution is vital.

    That’s why I, and a few others, bang on about council strength. it doesn’t take an einstein to work out that in an age of mass membership parties, campaigns can be executed in districts regardless of the council strength. Today, when the party has only 120,000 members say, 15 councillors in a particular constituency is a big deal.

    Membership of the Conservative party has halved from about 250k in the last 10 years.

    Of course the tory members are concentrated in places like Buckinghamshire, Surrey, Kent, Hampshire …in their heartlands…their capacity to fight labour held marginals outside the South East is minimal. I can’t see the party ever gaining a majority with its current structure.

    Of course the leadership of the party is too shortsighted and tactical to think seriously about this.

    Labour has a natural advantage with the Union support it receives, who give them money and activists. The Tories rely on rich donors who a) are few in number and b) are not especially good at canvassing, or stuffing pamhlets or asking people questions on a local level.

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  18. @Colin

    “I think pay will start to rise as unemployment falls towards 5% & skill shortages become a driver of pay.”

    —————–

    Don’t forget that wage rises can be inflationary. Little improvement in household finances then, if higher prices on essentials wipes out wage gains…

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  19. I always thought that whilst the Cons in my area had a very good polling day operation, they didn’t really need one. Their sure-fire turnout I put down to the reason for turning out. If you are threatened with losing some net income, you have more incentive to get out and vote and protect your net income, whether it be against higher council tax (local) or higher income tax (national).

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  20. CARFREW

    “Don’t forget that wage rises can be inflationary. Little improvement in household finances then, if higher prices on essentials wipes out wage gains…”

    Presumably then you don’t like the “living wage concept” as it will be inflationary.

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  21. PETER CRAWFORD

    Re your last post (and with tongue in cheek). You make a splendid case for the southern shires of England (with London as capital) forming a new country. Should more or less ensure that future elections in that new country would be fought between UKIP and Tories, oh happy days. Labour still represented in parts of London but always out voted.

    On a more serious note current polls are not good for the Tories at all. Can’t think of any good reason for it but there does seem to be a trend away from them.

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  22. TOH

    That’s basically how the party is structured. I know election agents among the tories and they have a pretty good steer on membership numbers and things like that. The party has died on its a*** in large parts of the country and there are constituencies which are run by two men and a dog, where even 30 years ago there would have had hundreds of members…

    thing about having two men and a dog is that you can’t run a local election campaign and so can’t really get any traction there…it means, over time, there are whole areas which are simply uncontested by the tories…

    i am actually beginning to think, unlike you, that the tories are going to get a big surprise next May, with a Mili majority.

    This membership thing is very serious and is always overlooked by pundits.

    I think some labour defected to UKIP ahead of the euro elections and are now switching back to labour…this is how the wiki polling graph looks…it’s very clear to see.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opinion_polling_for_the_next_United_Kingdom_general_election#mediaviewer/File:UK_opinion_polling_2010-2015.png

    The tories are flatlining, as they have done for about a year…the swingback better start pretty sharpish.

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  23. On the question of turnout, we must not forget the big rise in the number of postal votes and the very high percentage of people with postal votes who vote. Normally much higher than those who go to the polls.

    This means a number of things. 1. An increase in the number of older people who vote. 2. The fact that postal votes are sent out up to two weeks before polling day which means that many votes are in long before the final campaigning takes place. 3. My experience so far is that the big two parties are much more aware of this and target postal voters in good time.

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  24. ” there are constituencies which are run by two men and a dog”

    …. and from wot we hear on the grapevine the men are bleedin’ useless. Can’t even operate a laptop.

    R and D.

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  25. @Ben Foley
    ‘And there is an additional phenomenon: of wanting to ‘back the winner’. I don’t understand the mindset behind it, but I recognise it happens: that type of voter would be more likely to vote Labour (or Tory) if it looked like the respective party looks like securing a majority. ‘
    There is very scant evidence of a ‘back the winner’ phenomenon. On those occasions since 1945 when pollsters have predicted a big win for a party the winning margin turned out to be quite a bit narrower than forecast. I cite 1966; Oct 1974; 1983;1997; 2001. Beyond that there were the elections of 1970 and 1993 when the widespread expectations were totally confounded.

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  26. @Norbold

    You are correct about postal votes.

    In the ward I was fighting for the Greens in the last election, I was observing the count carefully, and I was very close to the Conservative based on the votes from the boxes. I had observed hundreds of ballot papers from different boxes.

    Then the postal votes were added. The Conservative Candidate ended up with just over twice my vote.

    Obviously they had stacked up the postal votes.

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  27. @peter crawford – “Tories rely on rich donors”

    Having lived in two Ashcroft marginals (2005 and 2010), the lack of activists was noticable. In general the campaigning was overwhelmingly Central Office direct mail, plus billboards, and at a push leafleting rail commuters.

    Direct mail went into overdrive in the final week of the 2010 campaign (multiple variations on the dear Billy Bob… yours sincerely David Cameron theme).

    An academic paper concluded that Labour’s use of their limited resources was better directed than that of other parties… my guess is that if the boot had been on the other foot, Millbank would have known not to waste their resourses on me.

    On the whole I do think the heavy duty blanket direct mail campaign will have swayed enough of the genuine certain-to-vote don’t knows in those marginals, but perhaps only because Dave/George/Andy had put in the work to ensure that it was in sync with a broadly favourable media environment.

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  28. sorry 1992!

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  29. Has EM had his “brush by” encounter with BO in the White House yet, or did RM and TK warn BO off it?

    LC will hope that BO saw sense, ignored his old mate DA’s advise and, to use the vernacular, told EM to FO.

    That said, I’m a DK on this until I get some confirmation from NR on tonight’s news.

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  30. TOH

    @”Presumably then you don’t like the “living wage concept” as it will be inflationary.”

    Brilliant :-)

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  31. ROGERH
    “That would require voters to be influenced by what they read in the papers. The evidence suggests that they’re not.”

    Facts and rational arguments, no. Smear campaigns and charicatures, yes, I am afraid.

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  32. “colin @

    TOH

    @”Presumably then you don’t like the “living wage concept” as it will be inflationary.”

    Brilliant :-) ”

    Indeed so. I chortled vigorously.

    BUT

    Not as brilliant as my “living wage minus 20% then topped up by the rest of us via taxes”

    policy.

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  33. @ Roger Mexico

    Thanks for the link to the Peat Worrier re Tommy Sheridan. Personally, I think his conclusion may not be correct. It doesn’t matter that the Crown Prosecution didn’t rely on AC as a witness to build their case. The Judge allowed Coulson’s evidence to be heard. AC is to appear in Court on 6 August charged with perjury. If the charge is not dismissed & AC goes to trial, this means the evidence which AC gave is considered to have been relevant to TS’s trial.

    I think that the Tulisa trial collapsing is also relevant because TS’s defence was that he had been entrapped (aka ‘fitted up’) by the journalists. I think that TS can argue that ‘entrapment’ was a house-style of the publication in question.

    It will be interesting to see whether the law expert who Peat Worrier quotes is correct: i.e. that TS won’t get to appeal; or whether I am correct & TS will get leave to appeal.

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  34. Graham

    1992 indeed. The legendary win that can be repeated next year.

    I don’t really see the lack of foot soldiers as a problem for the tories. Ultimately most people will still go out to vote and they will make that choice on who is best to lead Britain or moreover, like 1992, who they don’t want to lead Britain.

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  35. HOOKESLAW
    “To people talking about wage growth – the plain fact is people are better off being in work than unemployed.”

    That was the Tory message in the 1994 Euro elections and the 1997 GE: “Low wages don’t matter.”
    They did to the electorate.

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  36. @THE OTHER HOWARD

    “Presumably then you don’t like the “living wage concept” as it will be inflationary.”

    ———–

    Wow, misrepresentation abounds. I can add this to the list of unfounded accusations, like being supposedly against the private sector, for the mansion tax, against the national curriculum etc.

    No, what it means is that you aren’t checking your thinking. What it means is that I favour action to keep prices on essentials reasonable while pursuing other counter-inflationary measures.

    To follow your line of reasoning, if someone said not to drive too fast ‘cos it might end up badly, you might go “OMG!! What have you got against cars!!!”

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  37. @CATMANJEFF

    I suppose the parties make an effort to sign their own voters up for a postal ballot.

    New thread, BTW.

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  38. I’m not sure why there is gloating over Carfrew being aware of some of the arguments both for & against the living wage. Carfrew is determinedly non-party political in his comments therefore comments which seem to say that ‘points have been scored against him’ are a wee bit silly, are they not?

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  39. @HOOKESLAW

    “To people talking about wage growth – the plain fact is people are better off being in work than unemployed.”

    The plain fact is that, financially at least, that isn’t necessarily true. Some jobs can carry extra expenses, including travel, clothing and meals.

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  40. @ Carfrew

    Apols for jumping in; I wasn’t sure that you’d be available to mount your own defence. :-)

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  41. And there’s a new thread.

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  42. There are a couple of good bits of data on campaigning effects, and they are definitely real.

    Here’s analysis of the effect of *local* spending at the last election:

    http://www.exeter.ac.uk/media/universityofexeter/research/microsites/epop/papers/Johnston,_Pattie,_Fisher,_Cutt,_and_Fieldhouse_-_The_Long_and_Short_of_it.pdf

    The other good data source is Justin Fisher’s survey of election agents (which gets data from self-reported levels of canvassing, knocking up, etc) – I’ll have a google about to see if I can find some accessable work analysing that.

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  43. @ Billy Bob
    “Having lived in two Ashcroft marginals (2005 and 2010), the lack of activists was noticable. In general the campaigning was overwhelmingly Central Office direct mail, plus billboards, and at a push leafleting rail commuters.
    Direct mail went into overdrive in the final week of the 2010 campaign (multiple variations on the dear Billy Bob… yours sincerely David Cameron theme).
    An academic paper concluded that Labour’s use of their limited resources was better directed than that of other parties… my guess is that if the boot had been on the other foot, Millbank would have known not to waste their resourses on me.”

    My experience was very similar: I did find it amusing that the tories were paying DHL to deliver their **** to an opposing candidate, but clearly money to pay for bulk mail was plentiful and information about peoples’ VI (eg canvassing records) was so rare that they didn’t even bother to process the tiny amount of data they had. In my constituency money plus national trends overcame boots on the ground plus incumbency last time.

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  44. @COLIN

    “Brilliant :-)”

    ————–

    You’re easily pleased Col. As with the economy stats…

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  45. @Amber

    No probs Amber, and thank you. As it happens am a bit busy at the mo’ so sharing the load a bit was welcome. Anyways have half-written a reply on the banking thing (and for Syzygy on TINA etc.) and shall try and post later…

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  46. On the question of leadership or more correctly the perception of leadership quality’s of the main party leaders.
    IMO it is best looked at in comparison with Royal succession. No Prince of Wales during the last century including the current incumbent, cut a figure that indicated he would make a good King. However wrap them in ermine, put crown on their head, drag them through Westminster Abby and the new king is made. Opposition Leaders never look like they would make great a PM it is more that they yet to prove that they can not do the impossible Job whereas the current PMs have had that chance. The voters make choice the risk of the new against the disappointment of the old. As it is said in the Navy ‘always chose the lesser of to weevils’. the this sphere also authority deserts the dying King.

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