Tonight’s YouGov/Sun poll has topline figures of CON 35%, LAB 38%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 11%. The three point Labour lead is typical of this week’s YouGov polls, which have all shown 3-4 point leads.

A couple more things to flag up, earlier in the week YouGov repeated their question asking people to put the parties and their leaders on a left-right spectrum. There isn’t much change since it was last asked. Labour are still seen as more centrist than the Conservatives, Cameron a little more right-wing than Miliband is left-wing. Cameron is seen as marginally to the left of his party, Miliband bang in line with his. In that sense Ed Miliband isn’t seen as some wild left winger (certainly not compared to the right-wingness of the Tories), but note that he is seen as far more left-wing than his predecessors: Gordon Brown and Tony Blair were both seen as significantly more centrist than the party they led. There are some very nice graphs of the data here.

While it’s not really about polls regular readers will know my sideline in boundary changes. While the boundary review for the coming election was cancelled the changes the government made weren’t repealed, just delayed. The process will start again automatically in 2015, so the issue will inevitably raise its head after the next election with either the Boundary Commissions starting a new review under the new rules, or the government legislating to change the rules again. Johnston, Rossiter & Pattie – the foremost scholars of British boundary redistributions – have published a new paper aimed at informing that debate, looking at whether slightly increasing the tolerance from 5% to 8%, encouraging the Boundary Commissions to split more wards, or sticking with 650 seats would reduce the level of disruption (spoilers: the first two would, the latter wouldn’t). It’s summarised here, and the full report is here.

253 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – CON 35, LAB 38, LD 8, UKIP 11”

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  1. Three Israeli teenagers, kidnapped & murdered on their way home… that’s how this recent escalation of the conflict began.

    Tell me, what is a proportionate response when your citizens feel under threat everywhere they go; every single day?

  2. There is a theme in a couple of posts this morning.
    I would describe it like this :-

    To Israel:- Look-Hamas are terrorists. Its what they do. You won’t stop them. They can’t really hurt you though-well not badly. And if you retaliate it just makes people hate you.
    So put up with it.

    To Hamas:- ummm.

  3. Alec
    Good summing up, might is right in the end (see history). I would defer to Billy Bob and Socal on Jewish lobby in the USA, but I think it is not the numerical influence on voting, but its effective influence through occupation of significant position in the establishment and media there.

  4. Colin,

    To Hamas:- You are letting your people down by continuing futile attacks which only give Israel an excuse to carry out military actions which kill civilians.

    I’ve refrained from commenting much on this for now, I’ve got an article out this weekend which puts my view across much better.

  5. Colin
    To take your theme and to provide some balance, I think that giving advice to Hamas (or any of the organisations that would spring up, were it to be ‘eliminated’) would be like trying to convince a female mosquito not to attack one’s body at 0400 (as I have just been).

    It’s not listening I am afraid. I think Mr Hammond (et al) can only put the usual statements.

  6. @Ben Foley, @ Syzygy

    Thanks for the polling info re Israel. From that and most of the comments on here, except (as to be expected) Colin & TOH I am pleased to find that I am not alone in condemning Israel.

  7. @ Alec

    And so to the controversial bit. Please don’t all shoot me down, but I can’t help feeling that if Hamas had the ability to destroy Israeli tanks, shoot down helicopters, knock fighters out of the sky and destroy missile batteries on the ground, we would have seen a political settlement long, long ago.
    No, we wouldn’t. We would have seen a full blown war. Only Palestine’s lack of weaponry & Israel’s compliance with international law prevents such a war from happening. Israel has the military might to wipe out Palestine but continues to respond as if it Hamas’s aggression is not acts of war from another state but terrorism.

    Hamas is the government of Palestine, yet Israel refuses to recognise it as such. Why is that? Because, were Israel to recognise the Palestinian state, then Israel would be entitled/ expected to respond to Palestine’s actions as a declaration of war – a war, by the way, which Israel would be almost sure to win.

    Personally, I think that Israel shows great restraint. Israel has repeatedly attended negotiations and agreed to a ceasefire despite their superior armed forces; Hamas will not agree to it because – despite their allegations – they know that Israel will show restraint; & that Palestine’s casualties will be acceptable to Hamas and that it may help Hamas to ‘score points’ against Israel.

  8. Peter Bell
    I did not condemn Israel, and clearly Amber doesn’t. It’s not about being on a side. It’s about how to deal with the UN creation of the Israeli state and its consequences (including resolution 242).

    I don’t think the issue resonates in the UK in the same way that the downing of the Malaysian airliner / Ukrainian war does (or could do, depending on how the situation develops).

  9. New TNS poll: LAB have 7 point lead with 36% (+1), CON 29% (nc), UKIP 19% (-4), LIB DEM 7% (+1), OTHER 9% (+1)

  10. I must say Amber I hadn’t expected such views to come from you. Another jump to conclusions I ought not to make!

  11. Hmm odd UKIP fluctuation but then 23% was way too high. Nobody from Labour is going to complain too much about that I don’t think.

    I’d like to see some polling on issues of image and photo ops which EM just raised.

  12. Edit – not new, was retweet. Sorry.

  13. @Amberstar:

    What does “wipe out Palestine” mean?

    Do you mean a genocide?

    Such much about you that you are crediting Israel for not comiting a genocide.

  14. Paul
    It was new to me, thanks.

  15. @Alec

    A corrollary to your analysis is that the perpetual state of ‘war’ suits the authoritarians within the Isralie body politic, in exactly the way described in 1984.


    I think the principal motivation behind the Hamas attacks is because no-one pays attention when they aren’t doing it, and Israel shows no interest at all in trying to reach a lasting settlement.

    My point was that the Israeli claims of ‘human shields’ are nonsense – this is collective punishment, pure and simple. In the absence of fears of being called anti-semitic, no-one would have any hesitation in naming Israeli actions war crimes.


    The 3 teenagers were going ‘home’ in illegally occupied territory. In the state of impotence that Palestinians find themselves in, those that resort to violence are bound to choose the most vulnerable targets.

    If Palestine was an independent state and recognised as such, the Israeli blockade would be an act of war.

    My initial solution would, I think, be for the US to guarantee armed escorts (i.e. warships) for shipping to/fom Gaza, on the condition that Hamas stop their attacks on Israel, hopefully leading to a ceasefire. Any Israeli interference with commericial shipping (in either international or Gaza territorial waters) would then require attacks on the US.

    It might gain the US some brownie points in teh ME as well.

  16. @ NottsDave

    Welcome :-)

    @Floating Voter

    Thanks for that link re Justine Thornton.

  17. @ NottsDave

    Welcome :-)

    @Floating Voter

    Thanks for that link re Justine Thornton.

  18. @Amber (12.41)

    “Personally, I think that Israel shows great restraint.” ???????

    If this is restraint I dread to think what lack of restraint would mean. As someone said a few days ago, when the IRA were setting off bombs in various parts of the UK, the UK government did not try to kill a significant number of the Catholic population of Belfast. That is restraint!! The outcome has been a much more stable situation than previously existed.

  19. The graph AW mentioned on how left/right individual parties are viewed as being is indeed interesting. There’s a spike in LD leftiness in early 2010, around the time of ‘Cleggmania’. Since then a steady drift to the centre, coinciding of course with a crash in the polls. Great strategy, guys.

    Conservatives were also seen as more left-wing when they were riding high in the polls (late 2007-10) at which time Labour were seen as more right-wing. The general pattern, at least from the last few years, seems to be that parties are more popular when they are seen as left-wing. Of course it’s more complicated than that – the pattern can also be accounted for by parties being seen as more right-wing when they are in government than when in opposition – but I suspect that this pattern is actually well known to policymakers. After all, at least with economic policies, left broadly equals populist. There must always be a tension between delivering leftwing policies that will be popular with voters, and delivering rightwing policies that will be popular with rich donors (or more charitably, will help British businesses compete in a global marketplace). The steady drift to the right over recent decades presumably reflects an increased capture of policymaking by business interests relative to populist concerns.

    The sooner we get to mass crowdfunding of political parties by ordinary people, the better…

  20. @ Mr Nameless

    I need not condemn Israel’s actions – believe me, Israelis will do that themselves! You must imagine how Israelis react to conflict – for the most part, they abhor it.

    I am frustrated by Hamas’s actions (not the Palestinian people) because Hamas will not agree a political, negotiated settlement unless it overturns the agreement which was put in place after the holocaust. There can be no security for the people of either state until Palestine accepts the existing international law.

  21. Sorry for the double post – no idea how or why it happened :/

  22. ” at least with economic policies, left broadly equals populist”

    Before anyone points out that increasing taxes isn’t very populist, I meant policies on where to spend the money, not how to raise it.

  23. @ Robin

    The 3 teenagers were going ‘home’ in illegally occupied territory. In the state of impotence that Palestinians find themselves in, those that resort to violence are bound to choose the most vulnerable targets.
    Palestinians had better pick out the ‘weak’ Israelis & kill them all, seems to be your point. Really, Robin? I don’t think that’s what you actually want to happen.

  24. @ John P

    What does “wipe out Palestine” mean? Do you mean a genocide?
    No, I mean wipe out any military capability which Palestine has or is likely to have. My comment needs to be taken in the context of Alec’s comment to which I was responding.

  25. @ Peter B

    If this is restraint I dread to think what lack of restraint would mean.
    Me too!!!

  26. Amber, I agree strongly with your 1:22 post. But shan’t say too much more as I feel the shadow of our lord and master’s scissors descending should someone say something untoward.

  27. Apologies, I would like to continue but I have to go out now.

  28. @ Mr Nameless

    Thank you.

  29. @Amber

    You well know that isn’t what I was saying.

    Oppressed peoples will inevitably strike out, against those they can actually strike out *at*. The solution isn’t to react to this (although I will note in passing that this on its own would probably not have led to recent events had a gang of Israelis not burned an innocent Palestinian alive). The solution is to stop oppressing.

  30. @ Amber

    “Hamas will not agree a political, negotiated settlement unless it overturns the agreement which was put in place after the holocaust. ”

    Are you saying that was a good agreement?

    “There can be no security for the people of either state until Palestine accepts the existing international law”

    You could substitute Palestine and insert Israel and you would be just as accurate. Israel does not follow international law. They are occupying territories that International Law says they should not be occupying.

    Not that I am taking sides in this. I wish Hamas weren’t there but I would probably have to spend a year living in both regions to get any sort of expert knowledge of the situation. I strongly suspect Palestinians live in more fear than Israeli’s do.

    I also think your assertion is wrong that Israel has done everything possible to avoid conflict or gone to the negotiating table with a genuine desire for a settlement. I think their attitude has been we are the ones in control, we don’t dare risk losing that control (because of our history) and every time you do something you get it back tenfold.

  31. @Amberstar:

    The foundation of Israel was an act contravening international law.

    It is true that Israel status was very soon given legal acknowledgement by the UN but this was based on Resolution 194 ie a Palestininian right of return.

  32. @ Ben Foley,

    Thanks for looking into it. Maybe our host will do a study at some point.

  33. @Gordoning

    “Populist” doesn’t mean “popular”, either in the sense of “widely approved” or the older senses of “common” or “pertaining to the common people”.

    I’m not trying to be a lexical prude here. I just don’t know what you mean by saying “left broadly equals populist”. I’d be equally puzzled if you said it of the right.

  34. ‘A plague on both their houses’ as far as the respective governments are concerned but it’s difficult to excuse the harm inflicted on Palestinian civilians by Israel’s military response.

  35. Populus

    Lab 37 (-)
    Cons 35 (+3)
    LD 9 (-)
    UKIP 9 (-4)
    Oth 10 (+1)

    UKIP down lots to Con benefit. Mais pourquoi? Fluctuation around the mean I suspect. Others look high.

  36. @ Old Nat,

    What is the UK’s interest in supporting Israel?

    The UK has a strategic interest in not pissing off the US. The US has a domestic interest in treating Israel as a client state and not letting anyone criticise it, less because of Jews, (although they are a key Democratic constituency in some areas) or Christian fundamentalists (although they do control large parts of the Republican Party) than because it’s a touchstone “Soft on Terror” issue and no politician dares to be caught on the wrong side of it. It’s like Falklands for the UK- it’s a symbolic rather than a strategic issue.

    No one has a direct interest in helping the Palestinians, ergo, Philip Hammond.

    Also, criticising what’s happening in Gaza invites questions like “Why was it okay for the UK to invade Iraq, a country that wasn’t bothering anyone, with enormous civilian casualties, but not okay for Israel to invade Gaza, a semi-country that is actively bombing them, with enormous civilian casualties?”

    That is not a question David Cameron or Philip Hammond want to try to answer.

  37. @ Robin,

    My initial solution would, I think, be for the US to guarantee armed escorts (i.e. warships) for shipping to/fom Gaza, on the condition that Hamas stop their attacks on Israel

    Hamas can’t stop the attacks on Israel. The initial kidnapping was by a random offshoot group that the main branch of Hamas had no control over; until the recent round of fighting broke out most of the rockets being launched at Israel on a weekly basis were from non-Hamas groups.

    This is why there is no peace process. The Israelis have no interest in fighting the domestic battle against their own crazy fundamentalists to stop the settlers until they can have some guarantee of security, and no one can guarantee them security because this is the Middle East and the default solution now for anyone who is unhappy with a political settlement is to start bombing the other side’s civilians. And whatever political settlement is ultimately negotiated for Israel/Palestine, someone is going to be very unhappy about it. Even if you convinced Hamas to lay down their arms they’d instantly be replaced by someone else.

  38. I must say I was surprised at the verbal violence of some of the tweets responding to Ed M. I don’t stray far from UKPR, seems like a lot of supposed discussion boards etc on the net are just facilities for the ignorant, bigoted and mad.

  39. Ewen,

    Yes it can be a bit of a shock can’t it? Never venture onto the Guardian, Telegraph or Speccie comments, or Twitter, straight after a diet of UKPR.

  40. There has been some discussion about the combined Lab/Con score at the 2015 GE.

    Am I the only poster who expects this to exceed 70% and in fact comfortably so with both getting over 35%.

    While some LD support was a plague on both the others and will find its’ way to a different ‘other’ (Green, UKIP, Nat)some is a disappointed vote cast positively for the LDs that will move to one of the big 2 so as not to be ‘wasted.’

    I have Labour’s real base with 2010 LD defectors who seem set in stone at 34% and in the modern era (apart from 1983 when the SDP first formed)the main opposition party after a 4 or 5 year term increases their vote.
    For me this means 35-38% with 34% being the effective base.

    I expect some UKIP-Con returnees and some ABLab from 2010 LDs going Con so they will exceed 35% as well.

    How this 73/4% splits between the big 2 determines the GE outcome but a Tory OM given FPTP looks unlikely

  41. Nameless
    Yeah, trouble is it all becomes normalised as what passes for political discourse , and the 96% think there must be something seriously wrong with you if you are interested in politics.

  42. Isn’t the problem with the Israel/Palestine situation that the original wrong has never been addressed, let alone righted. Palestinians had their homes taken away from them en masse, without their consent.

    To argue an Israel case you have first to put that fact quite out of your mind – don’t you? It isn’t a detail, a footnote to an analysis of the problem, it’s the continuing core of it – and no one, on this forum or anywhere else, would ever pretend they would find it tolerable if it happened to them.

    I think Israel should apologise for what their grandparents did, make proposals to share land and resources, and withdraw from their settlements. The moral front foot is simply not available to them if they don’t.

    However, because I know they won’t even think about doing that, I think all of us should keep reminding them of that original unrighted wrong – our leaders and ‘peacemakers’ especially.

  43. @ Jim Jam,

    No, I agree with that. The collapse of the Lib Dems is inevitably going to boost the vote shares of the two main parties, and I’d be shocked to see a final total under 70% in 2015.

    How long that will last is a different question…

  44. Jimjam
    Yes , I think the combined Lab/Con score will top 74 %.
    I said to Pressman that I thought Lab would be on around 40% by the end of Aug and the Tories on around 36 %. He said I was living in ‘fantasy land’.

  45. CROSSBAT11

    Thanks for your thoughts on Israel/Hamas conflict, many of which I agree with. I just do not see what other options Israel has.

  46. Ewen – I saw that exchange and your post when the YG on 39% popped up.
    FWIW – I think oppositions rarely make headway in the summer (The phone hacking/NI summer gift for EM being an exception) as they can’t get the exposure so I think you a tad optimistic but would not disagree in those terms.

    Where Pressman is right imo is that the real action starts after he conference season when the parties will trail much of their manifesto commitments and more importantly the implied manifestos begin to take shape in voters minds.

  47. Amber Star

    We do not often agree Amber but I totally agree with the points you make in your response to Alec.


    ““Populist” doesn’t mean “popular”, either in the sense of “widely approved” or the older senses of “common” or “pertaining to the common people”.”

    Not sure why you’re getting hung up on my choice of words. My point was that there is often a tension between adopting “populist” policies (by which I mean ones which are seen as being generally a vote winner with the majority of the electorate, but which aren’t necessarily strategically good for the country) and ones which are popular with a party’s wealthy backers, or indeed with the members of the Establishment who will have to actually implement the policy.

    I guess my reason for using “populist” rather than “popular” was to pick out certain policies which are chosen for the sake of being popular, rather than for any more principled reason. That is what the word basically means to me. But I could have written “generally popular” and it would have made no real difference. The contrast I was aiming for was between policies which appeal to society in general and those which appeal to a powerful subsection of society.

  49. Jimjam
    Hexacerly re post Summer, which is why I said that “all bets are off ” in the run into the election. ( I think Lab will shade it 38 to the Tories 36 ish).

  50. For me the great sadness is that a huge wrong turn was taken in the history of Palestine many years ago. Far better than a “two state” solution would be a “one state solution”. An Israel-Palestine, constituted on a secular basis but with hardwired rights to political and religious freedom and protection for all communities.

    It was always, perhaps, an impossible dream, but the quasi-evangelical foundation of a religious state of Israel, carved largely from land belonging to non-Jews, was completely the wrong approach. In fairness to the British state, it’s something that was resisted at some considerable cost for several years before Zionism got the upper hand. The immediate Arab-Israeli war then crystallized the situation in a way that probably makes it impossible to unravel.

    That said, if I was living in 1948, with the revelations of the death camps fresh in my mind, I am not sure I would have had the heart to challenge zionism.

    Imagine that instead of the terrorism and war of the late 40s, that we had seen a United Nations conference to bring together the Palestinians, existing Jewish residents of Palestine and leaders of the zionist movement with a view to developing Palestine into a modern, prosperous state combining the trading skills of the Palestinians and the educated genius of the Jewish diaspora. The US could have used some of her Marshall money to provide grants for the purchase of land for Jews moving to the Holy Land. Jerusalem could have been made an international gem of tourism and pilgrimage. Instead of poisoning the well of international peace and stability, Israel-Palestine could perhaps have been its wellspring.

    For now, though, there is no solution I can see. Islamic militants in Palestine have the same basic objective as those everywhere else. They actively oppose peace, on the basis that compromising with infidels is apostasy and that nothing short of a world Caliphate is accetable. Israelis cannot bring themselves to jettison the biblical aspects of their tenure and play a long game of encouraging development for the Palestinians that might see them rejecting the Islamists and looking for an accommodation.

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