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 While the boundary review for the coming election was cancelled the changes the government made weren’t repealed, just delayed.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. It would be nice if Israel could actually live in its internationally agreed legal borders rather than on land which it has conquered by violence.

  2. AMBER

    Just come in & caught up.

    You have put your case with conviction & a clear sense of fairness. I agree with every word.

  3. I maintain that the Israel / Palestine issue is not an important one here in the UK. I haven’t seen anyone disagree with that although many personal views have been posted.

    Anyone think it has any importance here?

  4. spearmint

    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 …

    I think that underestimates the direct influence on US politics of the pro-Israeli lobby and its spending power. With no limits on election spending and biennial elections money talks not just at the national but at District level. The most revealing piece I’ve come across on this was a piece in the NYR:

    It was published in the wake of Mearsheimer and Walt’s notorious essay in the LRB and some of it is criticising aspects of that piece though also the hysterical reaction to it. But Massing then goes on to illustrate how that lobby operates, in particular AIPAC. I think polling tends to show that American Jews themselves are increasingly alienated by the unconditional support for Israel that organisations such as AIPAC represent – not least because they are more and more working with those on the Right who represent everything that many American Jews otherwise find abhorrent.

  5. @ Howard

    I think that is why AW doesn’t mind a debate :-)

    @ Neil A

    Again from a certain ignorance on my part, I think you may be overdoing the religious extremism a little bit. I guess the vast majority of Palestinians just want to have the same opportunities as anyone else has. Inevitably they will look to whoever says they can do this. I doubt many of them deeply deny Israel’s right to exist or are fighting for a religion they want to take over the whole world. They are just fighting for self determination however futile and counterproductive the fighting might be.

  6. Did anyone notice UKIP gained a Council seat from Labour in EM’s Doncaster constituency yesterday ? EM may have to spend considerable time knocking doors there next May which may have effect +/- on GE campaign …

  7. Was in Rosie Winterton’s seat, not Miliband’s

  8. The councillor had previously represented Labour, LibDems now Ukip so that suggests his votes are for him personally as opposed to party policies.

  9. I can’t understand why Populus gets such great volatility when it uses the same method of sampling as YouGov.

    Sometimes, due to the frequency of YG, one has to remind oneself that a totally different set of respondents has been sampled. The lack of volatility also can lead to this mistake of memory.

    YG daily polling almost reads like a panel.

  10. @Howard
    It is an important issue here in the UK as we have been subject to moslem terrorist outrages, and it seems to me that the coninued existence if Israel is the main stimulus for the formation of moslem terrorist organisations.

    It’s not a significant electoral issue, however, but it could easily become one. The moslem vote outweighs the the jewish vote significantly, but most of it is determinedly Labour voting. When those voters become more biddable and seats can be won by criticising Israel, the issue will have greater salience. Not something we should be looking forward to.

  11. I have heard it argued that the US has a clear geopolitical incentive to support and militarise Israel. To have a pro-US state in the ME, facilitates a ‘Hornet’s nest’ of almost permanent intra-inter-state warfare, extremism and fuels the Shia-Sunni conflict. Not only does this concentrate a bulk of terrorists/freedom fighters but also offers a justification for the US to intervene at any point.

    In the absence of Richard IN, I feel I should also mention the significance of oil and gas fields/pipelines. For example, I have read that there are substantial gas fields off the coast of Gaza and that the Israelis have an incentive that they should not be exploited by the Palestinians. In fact, the article also suggested that US, UK and Israeli interests were carving up the ‘spoils’.

    Regardless of the truth of any of the above, the $3 billion military aid that the US gives Israel is a matter of fact, making Israeli the 4th most powerful global military force. There must be very good reasons for their US support and I do not find it credible that it is about democracy.

  12. Good Afternoon All.
    MR NAMELESS: Many thanks for the poll. You say the others look high; I agree.

    EWENLIGHTFOOT: I think that it will be 38:36:10:5:5:2:3:1

    I would like to say that I agree with everything you have written about Israel and her fight for survival.

  13. “It is an important issue here in the UK as we have been subject to moslem terrorist outrages”

    I wasn’t aware of any recent terrorist incidents in the UK related to Palestine. And when you consider that 100 people are killed here every year by chicken-related food poisoning it puts the terrorist threat in some perspective.

  14. @Gordoning

    So you seem to be using “populist” to imply “superficially attractive to a lot of people but unsound and unprincipled”. And according to you the “left means basically populist”. Believe it or not I disagree with you on that, and on your definition or mine I wouldn’t say most of the right is either.

  15. I wonder to what extent those, who post on the perils of only one side in any conflict in other parts of the world, are guilty of projecting their own values onto a wholly different situation?

    I’ve never known of a past conflict in which right was only on one side, and no current conflict does so either.

    While I admit to instinctively supporting the oppressed over the oppressors (though it’s often not clear as to who is who!), the only causes worse than those motivated by “blood & soil” are those motivated by “blood & soil and Holy Book”.

    These things are bloody complex and the knee jerk reactions, from those outwith the relevant conflict, are less than useful.

  16. SYZYGY

    @”To have a pro-US state in the ME, facilitates a ‘Hornet’s nest’ of almost permanent intra-inter-state warfare, extremism and fuels the Shia-Sunni conflict.”

    The Shia-Sunni conflict has nothing to do with the existence of Israel. .

    ISIS has carved a Sunni Caliphate out of bits of Syria & Iraq because of the failures of Assad & Al Maliki.

    They aren’t destroying Shia shrines & homes because USA supports Israel. They aren’t crucifying “fellow” muslims because USA supports Israel. And they aren’t cleansing Mosul of two milennia of Christian culture because USA supports Israel.

    They are doing these things because they are brutal, inhumane, religious maniacs.

    Jeez !

  17. @RogerH
    If all you’ve got is straw-man arguments like that I wouldn’t bother if I were you. That wasn’t what I said and you know it.

    As for your comparison of bombings with food-poisoning, well a lot more people die of old age than are murdered – does that put murder “into perspective” for you?

  18. HOWARD

    @”Anyone think it has any importance here?”

    1% pt. more than Inflation/prices & 1% b pt less than Education :-


    “So you seem to be using “populist” to imply “superficially attractive to a lot of people but unsound and unprincipled”. And according to you the “left means basically populist”.”

    I think I didn’t put it very well, sorry. As I tried to explain last time, all I really meant was that leftwing policies are generally more popular. There is plenty of evidence that collectively, the main political parties are somewhat to the right of public opinion. (E.g., some polls find that a majority of Tory voters support renationalising railways and utilities.)

    And I’d be grateful if you could try engaging with the main point of my post rather than (or, if you must, as well as) quibbling over my use of words.

  20. “That wasn’t what I said and you know it.”

    I simply quoted you. How can it not be what you said?

  21. Of course I am talking again about economic (and particularly public-spending-related) policies here; public opinion is probably quite far to the right on things like immigration and capital punishment.

  22. “well a lot more people die of old age than are murdered – does that put murder “into perspective” for you?”

    No. Everybody dies so it’s not relevant for comparing the relative risk of different causes of death.

  23. PI

    If we look at those handful of constituencies where there is a substantial muslim (mainly ethnic west Asian) voter percentage, I suspect that the Israeli / Palestinian issue does have some currency (but how much really?). Similarly, I doubt if in the north east London areas, the substantial Jewish (including some orthodox) element will be so exercised that it would affect their voting intention in the direction of any political party.

    I think the greater issues for these voters lie outside this one issue. We’ve seen how George Galloway has tapped into the muslim vote, for instance, and I doubt if any candidates in north east London will have nasty things to say about Israel, but these opinions are already part of the VI in those areas.

  24. Colin
    How ‘Defence /Foreign affairs / terrorism’ could be a synonym for ‘Arab Israeli conflict’ escapes me but thanks for the contribution anyway. I am sure you get my point.

    Mori Ipsos prompt for these titles anyway, so I suspect there is a ‘oh, yeah, that’ element in some of the responses.

  25. Howard – MORI don’t prompt at all, that’s the strength of the question. People answer in their own words and MORI allocate people’s answers to a category, so I expect any international issue would be allocated to “foreign affairs”.

    Of course, the question asks for issues “facing Britain”, not issues “facing the world”, so I wouldn’t necessarily expect it to reflect people’s interest anyway

  26. AW
    Thanks, excuse my ignorance (I had wondered, as it is a phone poll) and it just reinforces my view. I would not trust any interviewer to ‘allocate’ any response I gave, but I cede that if 12% are concerned about the general subject (1% more than than ‘inflation and prices’) that it indicates an internationally-aware proportion of voters. The problem is that these will, as has been demonstrated here on the blog today, have totally different VIs anyway.

  27. @Colin

    I think it a great mistake (and IMO naive) to view the conflict between the Israeli govt and Hamas in isolation from the interests of the surrounding states and big players.

    There is enough evidence of Israeli involvement with some of the ‘rebel’ groups in Syria. There are even reports that the Caliph of ISIS spent a year in Israel being trained by Mossad. Obviously, I have no idea as to the veracity of the report but given CIA involvement funding/training Osama bin Laden supporters in Afghanistan, it is not beyond the bounds of credibility.

    According to the Gatestone Institute (ambassador, the neocon John Bolton, so not a leftwing think tank):

    ‘Hamas has become a tool for both the Sunni and Shi’ite fundamentalists to use in their battle not only against the non-Muslim world, but against each other.’

    The US policy of ‘the Hornet’s nest’ is equally well documented although clearly not overtly acknowledged. It would be extremely easy for the US to pressurise the Israeli govt into a ceasefire and a one state/two state solution given the level of financial support given. I think therefore, that the US’s tacit support for the attacks on the Palestinians will be of geopolitical advantage to the US.

    There are many competing forces in the ME… none of whom appear to give a damn about the poor ordinary Palestinians, Israelis, Iraqis, Syrians, Lebanese, Quatari, Saudis etc who are the ones who put in most abominable positions of danger by the political and financial ambitions of their leaders.

  28. @WelshBorderer

    “Did anyone notice UKIP gained a Council seat from Labour in EM’s Doncaster constituency yesterday ?”

    It has been brought to our intention, although if, as Anthony counsels, local council elections are unreliable guides to national politics, what the hell does that make council by-elections??

    That said, they do add a little gaiety to the nation, and that fine website, Conservative Home, brings us sad tidings of a Tory loss last night to, wait for it, the Lib Dems!! This political earthquake took place in the sleepy backwater of Maidstone Borough – Staplehurst:

    Pick the bones out of that, if you will. Watch out Cameron, old Cleggy’s coming to get yer!


  29. I do not think that anyone seriously thinks that Hamas is a threat to the Israeli nation – remember a nation which was formed from Western guilt and on the back of terrorism.

    The whole region is not simply split into Arab/Israeli there is a huge amounts of factionalism and, as mentioned above, Israel has not been above fomenting the real battle in the ME at the moment – Shia vs Sunni, Iran vs Saudi

    I am a great fan of the Semitic peoples, in all their guises, and the benefits they have made to the world. As much as the Christian West

    What is unforgivable though is the disgraceful behaviour of the current Israeli Government, which is damaging the World view of Israel and putting them on the a par with a nasty little organisation such as Hamas. Surely a state such as Israel is above this….or should it be included in the pariah nation list? Just because some members of the Israeli occupied territories are allowed an occasional vote does not make them immune to the approbation they deserve….led by such an unpleasant personality as Bibi

    The Jewish people are a great people and very many are disgusted at what is being done in their name

    I will just refer you to this opinion piece in the Jerusalem Post….not very pleasant is it?

  30. Regardless of rights and wrongs on both sides, if anyone is using phosphorus bombs in civilian areas, that would be a severe violation of the Geneva Conventions. Anyone doing so would, of course, be considered a pariah state by the rest of the world.

    (Press TV is Iranian TV – but not automatically to be disbelieved, though should be treated with due caution)

  31. SUE

    I take most of those conspiracy theories with a large pinch of salt.

    It is easy to quote a “report” & in the same breath say you don’t know its “veracity”. That just makes it an empty rhetoric.

    And that you pray in aid John Bolton !-sorry to disappoint you, but that doesn’t do it for me at all.

    You need RiN around for this sort of stuff Sue-not me.

  32. Still no evidence provided as how it (Israel /Gaza) could change voting intention in any particular direction. I am open to the idea that it could, but how?

    One thing I am certain of is that what UKPR correspondents think about the issue itself is neither here nor there.

  33. Howard

    What we think on any subject is really ‘neither here nor there’ I am sorry to tell you – did you think every politician wait on tenterhooks for our comments after every yougov poll?

    Our discussions on polling included…..

    Unfortunately, it seems that nobody’s opinions are ‘here or there’ to the combatants which is why we should worry, and in the end it could be far more important than whether we change one right-wing Government for another in 2015!

    Chill a little

  34. @Howard, I raised the issue of Israel/Palestine not so much because it could change VI as because I was hoping there would be polling evidence of how attitudes to Israel/Palestine had changed over the decades.

    IMO it is reasonable to ask such a question here, but it seems nobody can come up with any comparison of more than 10 years.

    As for how it could change VI, I guess it could help breathe life into Respect in the handful of consituencies with really substantial numbers of Moslem voters, but that won’t be an effect discernable on national VI polls (even if it may more directly result in one or two constituencies not having a Labour MP after the next GE). I doubt Green Party condemnation of Israel will directly affect VI, but I wonder if a few more Lab/LD activists who feel strongly that Lab/LD official lines are too pro-Israeli will feel it is time to shift party: that could make a difference over the longer term, but not big.

  35. Just caught up. As expected, my earlier post drew out the classic ‘us and them’ responses’. In so many ways Israel/Palestine issue isn’t a binary matter, but so many people seem incapable of anything other than jumping into one camp or another with both feet.

    For my money, the contributions from @Bluey, @Neil A and @Oldnat were worth reading. Not very much of the rest was.

    I would also agree with the gist of one of @Colin’s posts. There really are huge, deep and fundamental problems within large parts of middle east Muslim society, and blaming all of their problems on Israel is misguided and sloppy thinking. It’s used to avoid facing their own truths.

    In the Middle East right now, and way back when, more Muslims are killed by Muslims than ever were by Israel. Israel/Palestine is just one part of the picture, but I remain baffled at how seemingly sensible people point at a single ghastly incident in two thousand years or so of brutal history and shout – ‘see- it’s their fault!’.

    I find the perpetuating history of the region deeply depressing, but I’m convinced I can’t be the only one who finds it impossible to support either side, or to turn it upside down, finds it very easy to blame both.

  36. @ Howard

    Many apologies

  37. @ Alec

    ‘I find the perpetuating history of the region deeply depressing, but I’m convinced I can’t be the only one who finds it impossible to support either side, or to turn it upside down, finds it very easy to blame both.’

    I thought that that was exactly what I did say … even if it wasn’t worth reading

  38. Just seen the BBC News report on Ed Miliband’s speech today where he met “head on” the criticisms of himself as being awkward and not photogenic etc.

    They trotted out Ben Page of IPSOS MORI to give the independent professional view of this. He said that although Labour are ahead in the polls the real problem is that Ed’s personal ratings are as bad as William Hague’s and he didn’t become Prime Minister.

    What this independent professional pollster neglected to mention was that with William Hague the Tories were behind in the polls as well.

  39. “I think that it will be 38:36:10:5:5:2:3:1”

    Thanks ChrisL: is that one a dead-heat again, a Lab win or a Tory win ?

    Need to put an entry in the diary.

    I assume the “1” is for the LDs thought it seems a bit high.

  40. Correlation offered as causation..

  41. Don’t understand why “the world” isn’t prepared to take on isis.

    Any organisation based on some mad perversion of religion whose aim is be end up as the ONLY version and eliminate all others, of whatever faith or none, needs confronting.

    The sooner the better.

  42. Roger,
    Very neatly put.

  43. R&D

    “Any organisation based on some mad perversion of religion whose aim is be end up as the ONLY version and eliminate all others, of whatever faith or none, needs confronting.”

    You could start by taking out much of Evangelical Christianity in the USA!

  44. Alec

    I am a bit perplexed by your post to be honest

    Who is it that claims the conflict is a simple religious battle of Muslim vs Jew?

    We are talking in this context of Palestinian vs Israel nationalism where religion and the wider sunni/shia troubles are a sideshow.

    The Israelis are trying to portray it on religious grounds by using Egyptian and Arab League support for their ceasefire when we all know that Hamas and Egypt are not at all friends.

    Both sides are culpable for the inability to sort this out, but so are the Western powers who have been playing one side or another (mainly one to be fair) since the early part of the last century

    There are some posters on here who do make dismissive comments about others – I don’t see what gives them the belief that their opinions are somewhat superior?

    The fact there is an ongoing (for over 1000 years) conflict with the Muslim world has very little to do with the current troubles, apart from people using it to muddy the waters a bit? This is about nationality and land

    You could have used the same arguments in Ireland but the religious conflict within Christianity (also going on for centuries) actually was only a sideshow to a conflict about land and power

    It is your thinking that I find to be a bit sloppy to be honest

  45. alec

    The problem with conflicts based on religious differences is that both sides always have ole god [whichever version] on THEIR side.

    So they’re always both right and mediation is somewhat pointless.

    Somehow, some time, before they devour us all with their madness the world will HAVE to confront extremists.

    The problem then is what is extreme…… is believing in a god at all logical? After all, we know now the world and its inhabitants go back a very long time and, against that backdrop, gods were invented a couple of days ago.

    Yet if I started writing about a bloke I had heard talking and performing miracles but I’d forgotten to video them and claimed he was the son of god, people would say I was bonkers.

    Something certainly is and its not me.

    We should all just compromise with definitely believing in Santa instead – at least there’s presents and jollity to be had that way.

  46. oldnat


    The question is, where does “bonkers” begin?

    As I have written before I used to tick “c of e” on hospital admission forms without it occurring to me that I wasn’t – it always felt so mild and more about tea and cake and jumble sales and good deeds than anything even slightly mad.

    But if you are an atheist then its all slippery-slope syndrome I guess.

  47. Oh and Alec

    The conflict between Jew and Muslim hasn’t been going on for 2000 years. For most of history they have been fairly good relations between the two faiths that led to much progressive thinking, especially in the Middle Ages, and only really came to conflict 140 years ago when Zionism became a strong political force within Judaism

    The main persecutors of the Jews for 2000 years have been the Christians……and the guilt at the consequences of that fueled the problems we are seeing now

  48. OldNat
    Reminds me of the Lords of Cricket , who decided that anything outside of their boundary was just “Not Cricket” and proceeded to wage a war of annihilation.

    Douglas Adams , a true prophet for our age.

  49. Ewen Lightfoot


    (Sometimes all one can do is laugh at the inanities of humanity.)

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