The weekly YouGov poll for the Sunday Times is up here and has topline figures of CON 31%, LAB 36%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 16%, GRN 5%. There are some questions on the political leaders (particularly Ed Miliband in advance of this week’s Labour conference), but they show the usual pattern – David Cameron is more trusted than Ed Miliband on the Conservatives’ strong issues like law and order and the economy, Ed Miliband does better on Labour’s strong issues like the NHS. Ed Miliband’s own ratings remain mediocre.

On the Scottish referendum 32% think David Cameron handled it well, 54% badly. 25% think Ed Miliband handled the referendum well, 48% badly. Asked about English devolution 71% of people thought that Scottish MPs should not be able to vote on issues that affect only England (including the majority of Scottish respondents in the poll), 15% of people thought they should. On the Barnett formula there was a predictable result – English respondents thought it should be scrapped and Scottish funding reduced, Scottish respondents that it shouldn’t.

Survation also had a poll out today and found similar levels of support for some sort of re-arrangement of the constitution for England: 65% said that Scottish MPs should by banned from voting on English laws at Westminster, 59% would support an English Parliament. There is a crucial caveat though – Survation also asked what the top priority should be for the government – 31% said immigration, 20% the economy, 9% jobs, 9% public services, 6% combating terrorism and down on 5% constitutional reform. Don’t look at polls showing large majorities supporting English votes on English Laws and assume it also means people think the issue is urgent or important. It only means support is widespread, not that people necessarily think it should be a priority.

455 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 31, LAB 36, LD 7, UKIP 16”

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    ” If Labour get a majority of 46, there won’t be any Cameron reforms.”

    WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Don’t tell the Scots that…………..they just voted Naw to Aye for Cameron’s reforms..

  2. ac

    Its – at best – a point of view, which you may, or may not, share with the tweenies [whoever they are.]

    But as nothing has actually happened it is hardly relevant, and the fact that someone says something does not equate to “Labour being shafted good and proper” as you so eloquently put it.

    In politics, as in life, sometimes things do have an ending. When there is an ending in sight to Cameron’s proposals and we find out what they are and whether they carry majority support and are put also into effect then, in my view, that might be a more suitable time to crow about their negative effect on another party, if you feel this is the place to do so.

    Always assuming of course all of the above plus them actually HAVING a negative effect if they ever see the light of day.

  3. @Robin

    “At 5:4 that is 55 v 44 ( 5×11 and 4×11) an error of 0.3 and 0.7.”
    Your maths remains offensive :-)
    5:4 equates to 55.56 v 44.44 (to 2 decimal places)., not 55 v 44 (where is the missing 1%?)

    The retired Maths teacher in me cannot let this pass ;)

    5 + 4 = 9 not 10 so there is no missing 1%.

    5:4 = 55:44 and not 55.56:44.44 which is equal to 5.1:4.1 , which is ever so slightly different.

    The rule with ratios is that both sides are multiplied by the same number if you want to keep them equal.

  4. ROBIN

    How do the Scots achieve that?

  5. @AC

    As the Tweenies would say ….. ‘Uh Oh’

    Presumably your favourite TV programme?

  6. Immediately after posting I realised that I had too had made a maths slip. Whoops.

    Allowing for rounding 55.56:44.44 is equal to 5.05:4.04 which is in turn equal to 5:4

  7. “WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Don’t tell the Scots that…………..they just voted Naw to Aye for Cameron’s reforms..”

    Scots didn’t vote at all on “Cameron’s Westminster reforms”, just the Scottish ones. What he wants to to on Westminster will require legislation. That legislation will only happen if he gets a majority in the UK Parliament at the next general election.

  8. R&D

    Of course there is an element of substance in your post but you can hardly deny your opponents a little bit of milking of the situation.

    However that said……….When the MSM start talking of disagreements and EM refusing 11 times on the Andrew Marr show to back English votes for English matters then that really does become problematic for him.

    I really think Labour are between a rock and a very impossible position.

    As the Tweenies would say ….. ‘Uh Oh’
    Presumably your favourite TV programme?

    Well probably in my top 10.


    “Scots didn’t vote at all on “Cameron’s Westminster reforms”, just the Scottish ones”

    I disagree but for the benefit of doubt can you list them?

    Actually don’t bother no one knows but back to your assertion… I did hear Cameron talk of reforms for all of the UK and the way in which it is governed in Aberdeen and Edinburgh well before a Aye or Naw was cast.

  11. @Killary
    I am at this moment remembering my own maths teacher (with some fondness) blushing through his personal cloud of chalk dust at making a slight error.

    I say 16:13 is a better approximation. Perhaps you could check my working too?

  12. @RPXPC
    “Thanks to Hume, Adam Smith, John Smith and all.”

    It’s curious how politicians — eg Salmond — appropriate the Giants of the past.

    The Scot. Enlightenment took place long after 1707. A. Smith supported the Union & the few pages out of a 1,000 that he devoted to Scotland commended it as providing a wider market for Scottish exports; & this was (1776) before the huge increase in Scottish manufacturing.
    Business interests also appropriate Smith, though he reserves his wittiest comments (& he is v. funny) for the “merchants’ & manufacturers'” self- interested manipulation of state power, conspiracies against the consumer which he regarded as the greatest blight on economic progress.

  13. Allan

    List what “them”?

  14. RM @ 10.48 am:

    Thanks for giving a link to the vote on the second reading of the Higher Education Bill on 27 Jan 2004.

    That second reading gave Labour MPs a chance to show their discontent, and I accept that discounting Scotland MPs would have tipped the balance that day. But it was not the crucial moment in deciding the legislation – it could have been modified to satisfy the discontent.

    The bill carried on, and I am talking about the crucial final reading when the bill was approved. It would have just scraped through then if ALL Scotland MPs had not voted.

    I do agree that there could be occasions when MPs from Scotland help pass legislation that would fail if they had all abstained or been barred from voting, but there have been no recent examples.

  15. @muddywaters

    I think it is a list of the promised new powers. It’s an impossible request because they have not been defined by anybody.

  16. The announcement that the government isn’t making the new Scottish dispensation dependent on it guessung the answer to the Weat Lothian question says it all.

    The Coalition Agreement has run out, so the government has little or nothing real to do.

    The election is too far away for campaigning in earnest, so faction fighting by proxy is the favoured sport on the backbenches.

    So the PM comes up with an idea to keep his “supporters” busy.

    It’s a better idea to that purpose than the Cones Hotline, I’lll give it that. But it’s one with the potential to blow up in Cameron’s face. The last thing the Tories need is serious constitutional reform as an election issue, because overall the constitution works in their favour. All John Major had to worry about was a call-centre nobody called.

  17. absolutely right….the tories’s principal strategy for this parliament was “economic competence” and the long term economic plan…this was a good platform for them…all this constitutional stuff a) bores most of the electorate b) obscures the tories’ main message (when was the last time a senior tory spoke about the economy? last month? July?) and c) plays into UKIP hands; english votes for english laws sounds like a UKIP slogan.

    I think Cameron has very little strategic grip and improvises stuff all the time. Even Matthew Parris was getting tired of it all. I don’t think the electorate is that impressed with his last minute conversion to English home rule…they will say rightly that he has been PM for 4 and a half years….

    Clacton will boost UKIP and then the death march for the blues will start in earnest.

  18. The Labour meltdown over Devolving more powers to Scotland, as I see it.

    First thing Friday morning Cameron appears to say the Vow is dependent on EV4EL being agreed at the same time. (Another instance of Cammo shooting from the hip ???)
    Backed by Tory MPs and BoJo.

    There is outrage from the other Parties who signed up to the Vow.
    Downing St confirms plans for Scottish Devolution will proceed as agreed.
    Ed acknowledges WLQ needs to be resolved. Can’t be done on the back of fag packet – is he playing for time or advocating such a complex issue needs some thought?

    Melt down?? Hardly

  19. Ashcroft:

    LAB – 33% (=)
    CON – 27% (-6)
    UKIP – 17% (+3)
    LDEM – 9% (=)
    GRN – 6% (=)

  20. a Christie

    “very impossible” is tautological.

    [You can look that up in the Tweenies’ special-edition-dictionary for……………………. well……………… for tweenies I suppose.]

  21. I though Oh Oh was the teletubbies?

    Classy debates on this platform.

    FWIW, I as I see it EM and DSs response since polls closed par for the course in the way they arre being viewed.

    DC – speaks from the hip without due consideration or consultation with even his own MPs and will have to ‘modify’ at some time.

    EM – is indecisive and in his desire to ensure a thought out position with stakeholder buy in appears dithering.

    The Public seems to prefer the fag packet chancer to the nerdy wonk but if Labours solutions are better maybe in the long run ….

    Whatever Blair,s failings he seemed be able to project sufficient urgency without appearing to be flying by the seat of his pants

  22. @Colin

    “How do the Scots achieve that?”

    If they wanted to achieve it, they would do it by voting Tory in UK elections, and Labour in Scottish ones.

    The lack of similar devolution of powers in England is the source of the WLQ, and English devolution is the solution – not a strange mutant form of continued centralised power.

  23. A shame the Ashcroft polls are so variable, or we could perhaps read something into a 6 point drop for the Tories :(

  24. Populus:
    LAB – 37% (+1)
    CON – 33% (+1)
    UKIP – 12% (-3)
    LDEM – 9% (=)
    GRN – 4% (=)

  25. in the Ashcroft there is a net -3.

    Could be rounding all going down (or up last time) I guess, otherwise where has it gone?

  26. Good post Jim Jam. I knew it was the telly tubs – too vain to say I’d seen it. When I was baby sitting of course.

  27. Robin

    Some people could read something significant in DC saying “hello”.

    Or anything else…….

    Or any of the others……………..

    Whatever happened to waiting to see how things develop?

  28. These Populus polls just make no sense – it is just random numbers surely

    UKIIP down significantly in one in and up significantly in another – both taken on the same day

    Cons down massively in one up a little in the other . Why would the Cons decline like that?

    How can you make serious attempt at analysing the reasons behind any voting intention changes – ridiculous!

    I notice this though

    “A Labour government was the most popular result, though chosen by only 34%, with just under a quarter (24%) preferring a Conservative government”


    24% wow – so low. Then I think, if the data is not credible, then neither is that number or any Populus numbers IMO

    Still the UKPR average will be back at a 4% Lab lead, after dropping to a 2% because of the Populus polls a week ago

  29. ROBIN


    Nothing is perfect in this area.

    We will finish up with so many layers of government in these small islands-and for what.

    I doubt that English MPs or voters would be pressing the case for devolution, had it not been for the constant concessions to essentially Labour voting heartlands of Wales & Scotland.

    I’m happy with the proposals-if indeed those are they.

    We will have to see how the voting goes.

    I think the “three leaders” will be reminded in no uncertain terms by Hoc that they have committed it to a legal “pledge” , without getting a vote.

    I am surprised that the Speaker hasn’t raised this-perhaps he will.

    But I think the GE campaign is where English Devolution will be debated & tested-can’t see DC getting a majority in this Parliament .

  30. Ok, Ashcrofts polls this Summer started in May with a 2 point lead for the Tories. There’s been a tie, another 2 pointer for the Tories and 13 polls showing a Labour lead (anything from 2% to 9%).

    Ave: Con 28.2%, Lab 33.5%, LD 8.4%, Ukip 16%, Green* 6.2%.

    (Green average is for the ten most recent polls.)

  31. Jim Jam

    in the Ashcroft there is a net -3.

    Could be rounding all going down (or up last time) I guess, otherwise where has it gone?

    SNP/PC and last weeks added to 101

    Conservative 27% (-6)

    Labour 33% (-)

    Liberal Democrat 9% (-)

    SNP 4% (+1)

    Plaid Cymru 1% (+1)

    UKIP 17% (+3)

    The Green Party 6% (-)

    Other 3%
    (BNP 1, Another party 2)

  32. @Crossbatii
    Thank you for your helpful suggestion. I think we (as usual) would agree, that since Baroness Thatcher piloted the Poll Tax in Scotland, the chance of getting more than one seat is highly unlikely. That state of affairs is also most unlikely to change. Scotlands predilection for tax and spend and huge welfare spending is not going to be satisfied by any Tory election pledges. We both know all this and as I say, agree.
    However none of it has the slightest connection with the West Lothian question.
    Further, your post to me mentioned my “banging on”. It suggests that I was sending post after post about Mrs Harman not reporting another car crash. The matter I have been posting about has been on radio and TV news (every session) for 4 days and on most front pages. I really don’t think it can be treated like bad news to be buried.

  33. I suspect the Labour lead will be a little wider in three week’s time – they may get a conference boost if Ed does something grand and headline grabbing at conference (as he’s done for two years now) but I don’t see how conference can go well for the Tories when they know that the punishment of Clacton awaits afterwards.

    I think we might be back to seven/eight point leads for a while on a slightly increased Lab share (38?) and UKIP “smashing the political establishment” with a big win in Clacton and a respectable second in Heywood and Middleton.

    I’ve just realised quite how suicidal holding Clacton on the 9th is. Not only is it Cameron’s least favourite birthday present, it’s also the week after after conference, where thousands of Tory activists and representatives will have spent the week swanning around Birmingham while Carswell runs riot in the Thatcherite homelands.

    It was said the Conservatives might throw the kitchen sink at Clacton but it seems like they’ve lazily tossed a plate in its direction, shrugged and walked off.

  34. R&D,

    I would have thought that “very impossible” is a malapropism, not a tautology. Possibility and impossibility are binary, and so don’t come in degrees.

  35. @Colin:” I think the “three leaders” will be reminded in no uncertain terms by Hoc that they have committed it to a legal “pledge” , without getting a vote”

    Interestingly, I’m not sure they have. I can’t see anything in the “vow” or Brown’s timetable which necessarily requires a Commons vote before the next election. Even the timetable motion can just be laid to confirm the government’s intention: it doesn’t have to be debated or voted on (and even if it was it wouldn’t have any legal effect); the government can publish a command paper without a debate, and any old Tom, Dick or Harry can publish a draft Bill.

    The earliest actual commitment to a parliamentary vote seems to be 2nd reading, immediately after the GE.

  36. “Advantage Cameron by a staggering 58 in the Commons.”

    He’d have an overall majority of four (two since Carswell’s defection) but only on English legislation. He’d still rely on the LibDems for a UK majority but now they’d be able to use that power over the Tories to prevent any English legislation with which they disagreed.

  37. Bill – as they are wont to do, my 12 year old corrected me the other day and his teacher (hopefully politely) over my use of the John Major phrase most satisfactory that i use in jest occasionally.

    Satisfactory and unsatisfactory are binary also.

    I guess we get this with surveys and polls that don’t allow the degree or saliancy of an issue to be recorded.

    So Am I (am Labour Voter) satisfied with the job DC is doing as PM – probably yes as when I think PM I think beyond policies to foreign affairs, set pieces like Hillsborough etc.

    BTW I did ask my son that as language evolves could not binary terms change?

  38. @Colin

    “I think the ‘three leaders’ will be reminded in no uncertain terms by Hoc that they have committed it to a legal ‘pledge’, without getting a vote.”

    As MW has said, it probably doesn’t require one as it’s within the remit of the government. When it eventually does come to a vote it’ll have cross-party support so should pass without difficulty.

  39. The tories are never going to win Clacton. Carswell on betfair was consistently more likely to win than the no vote was likely to prevail in scotland.

  40. bill p

    I hope you’re not taking issue with my Tweenies’ dictionary?

  41. @Martin69

    “….so I think Balls is proposing extending the existing cap for a further year. This is not the same as cutting it.”

    It is, relative to inflation, but that’s besides the point.

    What it does do is generate headlines that threaten to blow out of the water Labour’s attempts to persuade families that it it going to be on their side in tackling the cost of living. Totally inept tactics from an out-of-touch political leadership that frankly hasn’t a clue about how to win an election..

  42. Mr Nameless
    Its me banging on again. You do not mention West Lothian or any possible disruption in your political forecasts. Is this merely to show the matter is an irrelevance, or don’t you read any newspapers or watch any news. The performance of Mr Miliband at the Manchester do and his ducking the matter repeatedly, I notice, is completely ignored on this site.

  43. English Votes for English Laws could do wonders for Scottish devolution.
    When I say English I ofc mean England any Wales; more power to Scotland means more Conservative policies in England.

    UKIP/Tories could arguable keep taking more power with the Tories making the cost of working with Labour against UKIP being English power for Scottish devolution.

  44. “more power to Scotland means more Conservative policies in England.”

    No it doesn’t.

  45. @MBRUNO

    It is not true that it will be the same since all assembly politicians are elected on a form of PR that ensures the minorities have their voice in both a legislature and in the government – why should voters in Manchester or Maidenhead be disadvantaged over those in Edinburgh, Cardiff or Belfast?

    Are we really saying in the union parliament ONLY an English MP in the Union parliament could serve in certain portfolios? That seems to negate the notion of Union Parliament itself the self advertising advantages of which every elected Union citizen is equally available to serve the crown regardless of their nationality. it also assumes that nationality in the union is defined by the accident of geographical location.

    that said, I am not an absolutist – as a native Irishman living here for 57 years, I am in no position to lecture or dictate..

  46. “He’d have an overall majority of four (two since Carswell’s defection) but only on English legislation. He’d still rely on the LibDems for a UK majority but now they’d be able to use that power over the Tories to prevent any English legislation with which they disagreed.”

    One of the interesting things (to me, at least) about recent polling is that the drop in Labour VI in Scotland means that Scotland is currently contributing less than it has historically to Labour’s VI and lead over the Conservatives in GB as a whole. Scotland’s VI has become a bit of a drag on Labour’s overall VI.

    As far as I can tell from plugging the overall VIs and the Scottish cross-breaks into AW’s advanced swingometer, voting on the pattern in the most recent YouGov and Populus polls would deliver an outright Labour majority in England alone.

  47. MUDDY

    Thanks-hadn’t realised that.

    What about that “second reading” spat between DC & AS though. Was that the point at which a vote is required.

    I think , actually, the biggest problem is their promise that Barnett will remain in perpetuity. Even it’s author said they “had no right” to promise that.

  48. MUDDY

    …………didn’t finish reading your post !

    No wonder DC told AS he couldn’t promise a second reading in this Parliament.

  49. John Murphy:

    All UK MPs, incluiding Scottish MPs, would still be eligible to serve as UK ministers. The point I was trying to make to you was that the (English) education, health or justice departments would no longer be part of the UK government,, Instead, they would be part of the new English executive, drawn from and responsible to the English committee of the House of Commons.

    Basically, the UK government and the English executive would be separate legal bodies and could even be controlled by different parties (assuming a party had a majority among English MPs, but not an overall majority in the HoC).

    Restricting ministerial portfolios in the English executive to English MPs seems perfectly reasonable to me. Why would a Scottish MP serve as the English education or health secretary ?

  50. Are there any figures for VI for England from recent polls?

    In 2010 England went, percentage votes followed by seats:
    Con 39.6 – 298
    Lab 28.1, – 195
    LD 24.2 – 43
    Ukip 3.5
    BNP 2.1
    Green 1.0 – 1

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