The weekly YouGov poll for the Sunday Times is up here. Voting intentions are CON 32%, LAB 36%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 16%. The 16% for UKIP is the highest YouGov have shown them at for three months, just after the European elections. It’s likely that the publicity over Douglas Carswell’s defection may have helped this, but remember YouGov have updated their methodology since then which has also boosted UKIP by a point. A defection is pretty quickly forgotten though, the real kicker from the Carswell defection is the by-election that comes with it, if UKIP win that by anything like last night’s Survation poll suggests expect a much more concrete impact on the polls.

YouGov also asked again about Western intervention in Iraq. Support for humanitarian intervention (77% support) and American air strikes against ISIS (56% support) are broadly unchanged. Support for RAF participation in air strikes is 43%, down 2 points since a week ago. It’s not a significant change, but it suggests the steady growth in support for British airstrikes that YouGov had been recording has now halted. People are slightly less supportive of extending air strikes against ISIS into Syria – 45% would support US airstrikes in Syria (24% opposed), 37% would support British airstrikes in Syria (37% opposed).

86% of people think that British citizens going to fight for Islamist forces pose a threat when they return here, and 79% think British citizens fighting for ISIS has increased the risk of terrorist attack on Britain.

Turning to the situation in Rotherham, 75% of people think that Shaun Wright, the South Yorkshire Police Commissioner, should resign from his post. 74% think any other people in senior roles in Rotherham council or police at the time of the child sexual exploitation scandal should also resign. More generally YouGov asked if people thought that when an organisation commits serious errors the people at the top should resign anyway, or should they only resign if they are personally at fault. It was an even split – 42% thought an organisations leaders should resign in the case of serious error even if they were not personally to blame, 43% that they should only go if they were personally to blame.

361 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 32, LAB 36, LD 7, UKIP 16”

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  1. Unless I missed something in my reading on the 30’s, those returning from Spain and the International BDE, did attempt acts of extreme violence when back in Britain.
    I do not count smashing a Mosleyite with a pick axe handle, because he was probably trying to brain the left winger in the first instance.

    I feel we are up against something very different here and pusseyfooting will not do.


  3. FIRST

  4. “The 16% for UKIP is the highest YouGov have shown them at for three months, just after the European elections. It’s likely that the publicity over Douglas Carswell’s defection may have helped this, but remember YouGov have updated their methodology since then which has also boosted UKIP by a point.”

    I would put UKIP’S current VI down to the defection bounce.

  5. Fpt.

    Bill Patrick

    Post Falklands the meeja did a very good job of portraying David Owen as Doctor Death, with the view that only Thatch would have had the balls to send our lads down to the Falklands, the truth was that it was only Thatch who needed to. Previous govts , had kept the Argies firmly in their box. (As Roly H might put it). Also , it was Owen who despatched John Nott.

  6. Wes (fpt)

    @Roger Mexico – imagine people are recalling voting UKIP at local and Euro elections.

    But in that case why is the Conservative recalled vote so high? They only got about 32% in the County elections in the constituency and 25% in the Euros in Tendring. If people are recalling one of those, there shouldn’t be an over-recall of the Tories but the opposite – especially as you would have expected many of those false-UKIP votes to have actually voted Conservative.

    Phil is right that with these sort of figures it doesn’t really matter, but it is a puzzle. I’d also add to his point about the high number of 2010 undecided Tories[1] being a possible hidden bonus for them, that the Conservative vote is also suppressed by a much lower likelihood to vote. Only 60% of Tories gave a value of 10 compared to 90% of UKIP voters. This reduces the UKIP lead to ‘only’ 38 points. So for Cameron things can only get better.

    [1] Which you would expect, because they had only just heard about the defection (for some maybe from this poll) and would be a bit flummoxed.

  7. From the tables.

    “Do you think Ed Miliband is doing well or badly as leader
    of the Labour party?”

    Total well 25%

    Total badly 64%

    As the BT advert woman would say…. “IT WILL ALL BE FINE.hmmmm”

  8. Catmanjeff (fpt)

    Assuming Douglas wins, that surely makes the argument that Nigel Farage should be included in the TV debates (if they happen) stronger

    But in that situation it will also become difficult to exclude the Greens (which maybe what you are hoping for :D) on the grounds that they also have an elected MP assuming their poll ratings are still around the same level as the Lib Dems. A jump from 3 to 5 or 4 to 6 is going to be difficult for the broadcasters and I suspect there will be resistance from them – particularly if the coalition parties are a bit skittish about having the debates at all.

  9. Carswell’s defection has made it much less likely that the debates will take place at all!

  10. Graham and others

    (see previous thread)

    Perhaps sadly for Labour, it isn’t “Codswallop” that Labour held the seat which contained virtually the whole of the present Clacton constituency from 1997 until 2005. Of course the demographics changed when Harwich was moved out, but the defeated former Labour MP interestingly stood for Clacton in both 2005 and 2010, didn’t he? Clacton has the single most deprived ward in England (Jaywick). Labour have actually done well in a number of less smart holiday resorts (eg Blackpool and Hastings) in recent years.
    The current tide is with UKIP but one by election doth not a GE win.

    Btw 3 Wallops in Hampshire but none in the Cotswolds, I believe.

  11. Will Clacton be the start of a political revolution or a a flash in the pan. Never underestimate the power of the politics of resentment. UKIP is the party of the resentful those who feel they have been left behind, they are living in a country that offers them nothing but disappointment.
    There is also a, ‘resentful belt’ 60/80 miles from London so just at the limit or just beyond commutable, poor train links to London so they have missed out on the property boom etc. Faded seaside resorts where the less well off retired have congregated, those who have worked hard all their lives bought their own property etc. but their pensions don’t allow them the delights of Dorset, Devon or abroad. Driven from the Tory party by one sentence, ‘I don’t believe in gay marriage despite being a Conservative, I believe in gay marriage because I am a Conservative’

  12. @Graham

    “Carswell’s defection has made it much less likely that the debates will take place at all!”

    The debates were a dead duck anyway, I think. One of Cameron’s few cards that he can play is his less bad personal approval ratings and why would he want to give either Clegg or Miliband a “puncher’s chance” in a live face-to-face debate?

    The irony for me is that I think this may play a little into Miliband’s hands. I don’t actually think he’d fare too well in a leaders debate because I think his strengths lie elsewhere. The avoidance of one suits him on two levels; he escapes a possible drubbing in front of a sizeable TV audience and he’s able to claim that Cameron is running scared.

    Win-win for the snail inching his way to Downing Street. 35% steals it for him in my view and he’s on course.

    Eight months to go; clocks ticking and things developing nicely.


  13. Things that have been smashed this year:
    – Ukip is one man army
    – Ukip will never win any election
    – Ukip will never have an mp

    sweet establishment tears. Drink up, there are plenty more.

  14. Ewen Lightfoot,

    It’s easy to have hypotheticals that make the people we dislike look bad, but it’s not very interesting.

  15. Of course, if there was no Falklands War, then the hypothetical Lib-Lab government wouldn’t have had a Falklands Factor boost, and would have been even more likely to go down in 1983.

  16. Who controls the date of the by-election? Can the Tories speed it up or slow it down? I seem to recall the rules have changed.

    [The Conservatives can, pretty much, hold it whenever they want (though delaying it too long risks political embarrassment of its own kind, and perhaps others trying to force their hand). The change in the rules was just an extension of the time between them moving the writ and the election happening – the only impact of that is that they cannot hold it before the Tory party conference (as if they’d have wanted to anyway!), the earliest date is the day after the party conference – AW]

  17. Having pondered on the polls overnight, I’ve now come to conclusion that rarely, if ever, can one opinion poll have had such a dramatic influence on politics as the Clacton poll has had. The emphatic findings, and perfect timing, have created a nightmare for the Tories and potentially have opened the way for a major breakdown and/or realignment on the right.

    Defections are damaging, but the losing party can content themselves with sniping about deceiving the electorate and usually win the seat back come the GE. It’s rare for a defector to resign and force a by election, and rarer still to see them get a stonking great lead in an opinion poll a few days later. Of course, this is just a poll, but if the result goes as now expected, then we can talk about the most significant by election result ever, etc etc.

    A UKIP win in Clacton, combined with the threat of more defections post December, so creating more Tory/UKIP battlegrounds at the GE and no intervening by elections for Cameron to hit back, is CCHQ’s very, very worst nightmare. The by election would see the birth of a new parliamentary party, UKIP gaining electoral credibility, and Tories seeing their entire EU strategy for this parliament fall apart.

    In this scenario, it’s perfectly possible for an unpopular Labour leader heading a damaged party with numerous legacy issues from a catastrophic defeat in 2010, strolling back into power with a healthy majority on an historically limited level of voter support.

    More significant than this, however, remains the issue of just what the Tories do about the EU. Cameron is reported to have been preparing to say he would campaign for UK exit in certain conditions, as a further sop to his right flank. However, as we have seen with the referendum promise, what appears to be a bright short term tactical move merely digs him and his party deeper into the mire.

    His right flank want out, period, as the Americans say. They know Cameron doesn’t want out – he has said that repeatedly. Whatever he says to try to persuade them that he is one of them doesn’t wash. They know, from past experience, that he is more interested in electoral image than principle, and won’t trust him. Notions that Tories could actually campaign for exit don’t assuage them, but do make the public more amenable to the UKIP position.

    By avoiding a direct, head on challenge, Cameron has repeatedly strengthened UKIP, and diminished his own credibility.

    What we haven’t seen yet is the Tory pro EU fight back. When the party stares down the barrel of leading the UK to the exit doors, I’m sure we will get a big reaction. The vast majority of business leaders would see this as a disaster, with risk and uncertainty in abundance. There will be immense pressure on the party, and I don’t feel that the party can withstand this.

    Probably Cameron’s only real chance would have been to stick with what he told us he believed in, which was the UK playing an active part within the EU, and aim to see off the UKIP tendency. Short term damaging, but the only long term option for the survival of his party as a serious party of government.

    He chose the tactic over the strategy. His last hope now is that the Clacton poll is wrong.

  18. BP
    er, you started it by implying that a left of centre govt would not have fought over the Falklands !

  19. Bill Patrick
    And if Gladstone hadn’t gone for Home Rule for Ireland we might not have had a Tory government in 1886.

  20. Ewen Lightfoot,

    Incorrect. In fact, I explicitly said that, since the Falklands War was such an unusual war for Britain, it would be very difficult to estimate how someone other than Thatcher might have handled it.

    Pete B,

    Quite so. The original hypothetical was if Labour had gone to the polls in late 1978, and my original point was that 1979 was a good election to lose.

  21. You/gov sunday times has not shown Ukip this high before. Only on these pages would Carswell be seen as the main driver. The small matter of the greatest atrocity committed on British soil for centuries is playing more strongly with the man of the Sheffield omnibus.

    And yes there is a tad of resentment towards those who have perpetrated, apologised for and stifled any discussion of it.

    Any polling on voting patterns among kiddie fiddlers, both convicted and still at large?

  22. John Pilgrim

    I wonder what the balance is in UKIP support between those who think UKIP leadership sound like ordinary people who understand and come from people like us, and those who listen to their policies. 75 to 25%, I would guess.

    Well voters don’t think it’s about the leadership of UKIP. In the Clacton poll, Survation also asked Which party leader do you personally prefer?. And rather than being a triumphal walk-over for our Nigel, that under-rated politician Ms D Know ran away with it:

    Cameron 26%

    Miliband 8%

    Clegg 3%

    Farage 25%

    Don’t Know 40%

    Farage’s rating among UKIP voters (55%) was actually lower than Miliband’s among his (60%), though the traditional loyalty of Tories gave Cameron the best result (74%).

    Farage also scored very poorly among undecided voters (6%) (Cameron did best with 30%). This reinforces Phil’s point about the undecideds mostly going back to the Conservatives (certainly next May even if they sit on their hands now).

    What UKIP voters say they do care about is immigration. Asked What is the most important issue affecting your vote? their priories were:

    Immigration 47% (31)

    Other[1] 19% (26)

    The European Union 13% (8)

    The cost of living 6% (7)

    Poverty & unemployment 5% (4)

    Healthcare 3% (8)

    The state of the economy 3% (7)

    Housing 2% (1)

    Welfare 1% (4)

    Education 1% (3)

    Figures in brackets for the whole sample of which UKIP voters were 41%. But all categories of voters put immigration first (ignoring Other).

    [1] This is the full list so I’m not quite sure why ‘Other’ scored so high.

  23. Old Nat

    “Maybe the folk [in Clacton] just want to be in the news again, in the hope of bringing more people to visit through “black tourism”.”

    An unfortunate choice of words?

  24. I still think there are plenty of dangers for Labour in UKIP’s rise. There is the possibility UKIP could destroy Labour’s base among the working class, older, white voters, leaving just the cities and the Guardian readers, which isn’t enough long-term (even if it scrapes through next May in what are looking like very special circumstances).

    UKIP have stated that they are intending to go after Labour votes this time and I’m expecting some “Labour plus” policy announcements from them, such renationalising the railways, the NHS, tax cuts etc, all uncosted of course and impossible in practice (and given the current leadership, completely insincere).

    Meanwhile Labour are busy producing a cautious, costed, plausible and underwhelming offer which is completely bullet-proof against attack from the Tories but with the defensive shields all pointing the wrong way. It is starting to look like the Tories are not going to be the main threat to Labour.

  25. BP
    My observations WERE based on fact, yours were hypothetical.

  26. Be interesting to hear from Pressman about where this leaves his employers alleged road map to a Tory victory in 2015!

    I’ve said before that while it is obvious the right wing press will not be backing Miliband that doesn’t automatically mean an all out campaign for a Cameron victory. The prospect of being on the losing side and alienating much of their readership with an anti UKIP campaign (needed if they have any hope of a Tory victory) could well temper any straightforward pro Tory campaign.

    I thought it was odd that with Pressman claiming it would be all out for a Tory victory that the Sun chose not to back them in the Euros- the success of UKIP in those kept the bandwagon rolling through the Summer.

    Someone in the last thread suggested the press might to play down Clacton but as we saw on the Mail On Sunday front page they simply are not going to ignore a big story. Also I don’t think the Sun readership does nuances much and the subtle message of UKIP are great but you might be letting Miliband in doesn’t have the ring of their former endorsement of Thatcher.

    Part of me still believes that, assuming it is Rupert Murdoch’s decision, he may reach the stage where he admits defeat, doesn’t go nasty on the likely future Prime Minister that he might have to deal with and end up with a non committal endorsement that leaves it to the readers to decide. We may find the endorsement is a long time coming and waiting until opinion polls show either a Tory or Labour victory to be almost certain.

  27. Mr Beeswax
    “You/gov sunday times has not shown Ukip this high before. Only on these pages would Carswell be seen as the main driver. The small matter of the greatest atrocity committed on British soil for centuries is playing more strongly with the man of the Sheffield omnibus.

    And yes there is a tad of resentment towards those who have perpetrated, apologised for and stifled any discussion of it.”

    Good point. It’s not just Rotherham either. The same thing happens in many other towns and cities.

  28. Ewen Lightfoot,

    I’m glad we’re both now clear on what I actually said.

  29. ALEC

    @”By avoiding a direct, head on challenge, Cameron has repeatedly strengthened UKIP, and diminished his own credibility”

    This is ridiculous nonsense.

    His position has not changed from that which he set out clearly in the 2013 Bloomberg speech.
    Everything he has done since then is in pursuit of EU reform & concessions for UK. (Carswell has successfully pushed two successes of the front pages-the appointment of Donald Tusk, and the reports about Lord Hill’s possible portfolio.)

    What would dimish -destroy actually-his credibility is if he now said that he will campaign for an OUT vote regardless of the negotiation outcome.

    Meantime, he is challenging UKIP head on. They want out-he doesn’t.
    This is bound to “strengthen UKIP”-because there are former Con voters ( and MPs !) who want out too.

  30. Roger Mexico
    “Farage’s rating among UKIP voters (55%) was actually lower than Miliband’s among his (60%), though the traditional loyalty of Tories gave Cameron the best result (74%).”

    It’s what I have been batting on about for ages here. These leadership scores are (of course) by voters who have declared their VI, regardless of leader appreciation.

    Good work as always, thank you. It was also noticeable that the Clacton Labour % was hardly dented. Whether due to LD desertion or otherwise, those are the facts of the poll.

  31. BP
    Oooh, I still think you were trying to have the penny and the bun, by implying that a left of centre govt would not have fought over the Falklands, curiously Carfrew thought so too.
    But have it your way.

    Counterfactual ‘ History ‘ is academic onanism at its worst, IMO.

  32. Forgot something. Using my ‘in a row’ mantra, we will need to see further polls (we will get them!) before too many chickens start running around headless.

  33. @Mr Beeswax – please, I ask you – do be careful about the direction you appear to be traveling in. It may be worth recalling the words of the author of the Rotherham report –

    “there is no simple link between race and child sexual exploitation, and across the UK the greatest numbers of perpetrators of CSE [child sexual exploitation] are white men”.

  34. @Ewen

    Yes, I’m not sure Bill P is using the word “hypothetical” in the sense we might. I mean, it’s not very hypothetical to suggest that Owen would have sent a destroyer down there since he said that’s what he would do at the time and it is credible because he had done it before.

    It’s stretching credulity further to suggest he might have not only not sent a destroyer, but gone on to remove the only HMS vessel in the area.

    I mean, it’s possible, in the sense that many things are possible hypothetically, it’s just not very likely…

  35. @Colin

    re: the kamikaze thing…

    I think we may have seen it before, from Tories, Libs and Labour…

  36. Assuming that David Owen would want do what he said he would do after the fact, that he would be able to do so, and that he would be defence secretary.

    That’s why it’s a hypothetical.

  37. Ewen Lightfoot,

    Counterfactuals are the only way to think about history rigorously. Call that what you like.

    It’s possible that a left of centre government would have fought over the Falklands. It’s possible that they wouldn’t. The same is true for a right-of-centre government. As I said, such things haven’t happened often enough to confidently make generalisations.

  38. Survation also asked for opinions on various statement relating to Carswell’s defection

    Douglas Carswell gave the following as reasons for his decision to leave the Conservative Party. To what extent do you agree or disagree with each of the following claims

    David Cameron is ‘too keen to remain in the European Union’ 67 – 17 = +50

    David Cameron is ‘not doing enough to shake up the Westminster clique’ 66 – 16 = +50

    David Cameron’s Government ‘has lost control of the UK’s borders 70 – 13 = +57

    David Cameron should be ‘making the state smaller’ through big cuts in public spending and lower taxes 49 – 21 = +28

    David Cameron should bring in new laws to make it easier for local voters to sack an MP 60 – 12 = +48

    (As well as Don’t Know there was also the option “Neither agree nor disagree”)

    These are interesting because it is looking at the rhetoric of Carswell and UKIP and to some extent. And the rhetoric of the ‘small state’ is clearly not as popular as the rest of the package even with the vague ‘cuts in public spending’ wording (which people always think will apply to the bits of the state they don’t use). This is clearly going to be a future problem for UKIP.

    Finally on Clacton the Sunday Times poll had some addendum questions published separately[1]:

    Asked Who do you think will win the Clacton by-election? 45% said Don’t Know[2], though UKIP are clear favourites on 28% (Con 18%, Lab 8%). But then asked And imagine you lived in Clacton and could vote in the forthcoming by-election, how would you vote? the results was:

    Conservative 21 (28%)

    Labour 25 (33%)

    Liberal Democrat 5 (7%)

    UKIP 20 (26%)

    Some other party 5 (7%)

    Would not vote 5

    Don’t know 19

    (Brackets percentages of those who would vote).

    We shouldn’t forget that UKIP’s while evenly spread generally, is particularly strong in places like Clacton and South Essex.

    [1] Such polls seem to have become branded as “The Times Red Box” in the last week or so. I suppose you’re meant to think that you’re being given privileged access to to sort of polling information slipped into Ministers’ working papers. But all it reminds me of is Julian Clary joking about Norman Lamont.

    [2] Many of whom presumably knew nothing about it. We can rarely underestimate how uninterested people are in politics.

  39. Back to the 21rst century: I’m surprised at the majority in favour of banning e-cigarrettes in public indoor places. Does anyone know what are the common reasons for supporting such a ban? And what on Earth are the arguments for banning e-cigarrettes with flavours?

  40. If Scotland stays in the UK and Clacton leaves it would be a good result. Just joking (I think).

  41. @Alec

    “please, I ask you – do be careful about the direction you appear to be traveling in.”

    Mr B’s post is a mild version, if you want to read the uncensored variety, try any of the BTL comments on articles about this subject in the G**ardian.

    This also

    From what you have seen or heard about the case, which of the following best reflects your view?

    The authorities failed to deal with the problem through simple incompetence, inefficiency or laziness – there were no deeper reasons 20%

    The authorities failed to deal with the problem because the
    gangs were largely Asian and they didn’t want to appear
    racist or cause racial tensions 45%

    The authorities failed to deal with the problem because the
    victims were children from broken homes and they weren’t
    believed or seen as important enough 14%

    Don’t Know 21%

    45% are in agreement with Mr B’s view, with 55% feeling something else – incompetence, victims not important or don’t know.

  42. @ killary45 (fpt)

    Thanks for your comment.

    I agree that in the case of a YES vote there should be representation in the HoC from Scotland until 2016, to deal with day-to-day matters for which Westminster currently has responsibility. However, would it be appropriate to run the GE in Scotland, and should Scottish MPs be able to participate in the UK government or even vote on future legislation that will not affect their constituents? I rather think not. This wasn’t a significant problem in 1918-22 re Ireland as the SF MPs absented themselves from Westminster. Currently SNP MPs (unlike other MPs representing Scotland) appropriately do not vote on English matters. It would be simplest to allow existing Scottish MPs to remain at Westminster until independence, but restrict their rights to vote and participate in government business that is not their future concern.


    I prefer the Guardian article by Ann Cryer yesterday.

    A searing condemnation

  44. @Bill P

    Actually, you are hypothesising, we are just going with it. You are hypothesising about Labour winning in ’78, and that furthermore they would abandon their strategy on the Falklands, without giving a good reason why they would abandon that strategy which had been working.

    It is interesting to ponder what might have happened sans a Falklands conflict though. I think Labour would probably have had to cave to the unions temporarily when inflation shot up again to head off the winter of discontent, as that is the sort of thing to remain in the electorate’s mind…

  45. @Colin

    Thanks for the info, I will have a read

  46. Colin

    is it this one?

    h ttp://www.theg*

    or is there another?

  47. Good Afternoon All.
    sunny day here, but a noisy Red Arrows show here too.

    I wonder whether Owen Patterson may jump from the Blues to the UKIP if Clacton goes to UKIP.

    On the October 1978 last opportunity for a social democratic future for England; I think a Lab-Lib Coalition would have seen of the Unions and Galtieri. Healey would have become PM, there would have been no Gang of Four ‘defection’ and England would have won the World Cup in 1986.
    Just a bit of fun as I get my A Level notes sorted.

  48. @FV

    Mr B’s view (extract from)

    “The small matter of the greatest atrocity committed on British soil for centuries”

    I’m not sure the polling supports 45% in agreement with this somewhat hyperbolic interpretation.

  49. Skippy

    I suspect “The Establishment” is terrified at the rise of a party set up, funded and run by city slickers, captains of industry and the Home Counties golf club set.

  50. Re: Murdoch.

    My reading of the situation there is that if Murdoch decides that there’s no longer a chance of a Conservative government, he will throw support behind UKIP.

    This is because Murdoch is one of the few business leaders who hates the EU. News Corp would actually benefit from a fragmented Europe with lots of different news markets and no coordinated monopoly controls. There couldn’t be export and import duties on satellite broadcasts, and Murdoch would rather like having a tangle of conflicting jurisdictions because it lets him take legal shelter in which ever one benefits News Corp the most for what ever particular issue. This is why the News Corp press has always been strongly euroskeptic, and a large source of “Eurosausage” rumour munging and disinformation.

    While on the other hand, Ed has made it very clear he won’t be a friend to the tabloid press and certainly not the likes of Murdoch, and is not at all likely to appoint anyone friendly to Murdoch at the DtI or the DCMS. So being cosy with Labour earns him very little, possibly nothing at all.

    And I think Murdoch feels seriously betrayed by the Conservative Party for failing to protect him, and certainly doesn’t see the party of Thatcher in them anymore. So watching UKIP claw out the side of the Conservative party may well be exactly what he wants.

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