This week’s YouGov poll for the Sunday Times is here. Topline voting intentions are CON 33%, LAB 33%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 16%, GRN 6% – as with Friday’s YouGov/Sun poll and the Opinium/Observer poll Labour and the Conservatives are neck-and-neck. Note that the poll was conducted on Thursday night and Friday daytime, so most of it will be before David Cameron’s statement on EU funding.

In a referendum on the EU 41% of people would vote to stay in, 40% would vote to leave. The small lead to stay in is pretty typical of YouGov’s recent polling on EU membership. David Cameron is most trusted to get the best deal for Britain from the EU – Cameron is on 26%, ahead of Nigel Farage on 15% and Ed Miliband on 12%. It’s probably a case of least bad, rather than a positive endorsement though as asked directly about Cameron’s handling of our relationship with the EU only 30% think he is doing well, 55% badly.

64% support the principle of putting limits on immigration from the EU, but they are more divided when faced with potential obstacles. If limiting EU immigration meant breaking EU law 36% think that the government should limit immigration anyway and break the law, 37% think they should not (made up of 22% of people who support EU immigration and 15% who oppose it but think the government needs to follow the rules). If limiting EU immigration was only possible through leaving the EU 41% think Britain should leave, 33% think we should not (made up of 21% who support EU immigration and 12% who oppose it, but would accept it if the alternative was leaving the EU).


379 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 33, LAB 33, LD 7, UKIP 16, GRN 6”

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  1. First!

  2. Does anyone really Greens will be this close to LD’s? Or will that vote return to Labour, when faced with DC being re elected.

  3. The EU has said we can’t negotiate on immigration. So we will have to leave to control our borders, worryingly for Dc,BC and Ed, a majority support this. 41-33%.

    We are increasingly looking like leaving the EU, I give it 10 years.

  4. @Hoof
    Were perhaps most of these ‘new’ Greens lib-dems rather than Lab?
    There’s some ‘anyone but tories OR new/war labour’ feeling out there, I reckon. Though perhaps the whole ‘Red Ed’ thing has denewed perceptions of lab a little

  5. Hoof

    It’s always a possibility that voters will return to being sheep and respond to the blandishments on offer by the big (well, middle sized) two leaders.

    Alternatively, a fair number may consider that sheep asked to choose between this Aberdeen fan and that Dons supporter, suffer the same fate either way.

  6. Yougov tabs interesting.

    When it comes to changing plugs and other tasks, UKIP voters are by far the group most willing to do it themselves.

  7. “In a referendum on the EU 41% of people would vote to stay in, 40% would vote to leave”
    _____

    Strongest area for leaving..Rest of the South 43% and weakest area Scotland 26%.

    I would vote for Britain to leave the European Union by party

    Tory 52% Labour 23% UKIP 91% Lib/Dem 14%.

  8. Skippy

    Also that those in London are most likely to call a professional to do most of these DIY jobs.

  9. Looking at the tables, one finds the usual mish mash of views on ‘what do you think’ items, and I don’t place much reliance on them, and you see the partisan responses on leader, as usual. I know others disagree, but I don’t take much notice of the leader ones. People are still going to vote the way they have answered and that is ultimately all that counts.

    As far as EU is concerned, there is no current campaign on the subject, so it is no guide to a referendum, were it ever to be held.

  10. Howard

    “As far as EU is concerned, there is no current campaign on the subject, so it is no guide to a referendum, were it ever to be held.”

    But any poll is a snapshot of opinion now, not a prediction of the future. For the latter, you need a prognosticator like Old Moore or the Brahan Seer.

  11. Howard

    btw Ta for the comment on previous thread.

  12. The usual, simplistic, “let’s leave the EU leaves almost all questions unanswered.

    We stop people arriving from the EU presumably hut what about the other way around/ Someone promoted to work in Berlin for example? All the people already moved in a multitude of directions?

    Sadly we continue to live in a knee-jerk reaction world, especially politically.

    “You know bugger-all about this issue: what would YOU choose to do?”

    ………..sums up increasingly complex questions about the way we interact with the rest of the world.

    It also still amazes me the degree to which some brief opinion poll movements or – even worse – what someone in Scotland says about someone else’s electoral chances there in 2015 is so grossly exaggerated and the exaggerations then treated as gospel.

    This must be one of the most fluid times in recent political history with just a few, minimal pointers to the generality of views about the two main parties to go on.

  13. R&D

    I’m afraid we are stuck with seeing the answers to the questions that the pollsters pay to be asked.

    You could always commission your own poll.

  14. ” the questions that the pollsters pay to be asked.” -> ” the questions that the pollsters’ CLIENTS pay to be asked.”

  15. @AnthonyWells
    @OLDNAT

    “…I’m afraid we are stuck with seeing the answers to the questions that the pollsters pay to be asked…You could always commission your own poll…”

    Unsarcastically…how would you do this? There are some things I’ve puzzled about[1][2] and I’d like to do some proper polling. I can do a surveymonkey thing and advertise for responses, but the results would be enormously self-selective. So I was wondering how much it would cost to get the professionals in? It’s not an immediate priority but I’d like to devote some time in, say, 2016/7 to get something done?

    So Anthony: what is the smallest amount you charge for a poll?

    Notes
    =====
    [1] comparing the cost of goods transnationally once freight/transport/customs is taken into account
    [2] linguistic changes by age and area

  16. Martyn

    During the indyref campaign, a number of crowd funded polls took place.

    I have no idea what the cost was, but it’s clearly possible for individuals to band together to fund a poll, as opposed to just organised campaigns with a polling budget doing so.

  17. @Skippy – 5.10

    Nonsense! Look again at the ‘regional’ figures. Other than doing some serious building work – when getting in a professional is the preferred option – the Scots are far more likely to do simple round the house jobs than any other group, and that is the ‘region’ with the least UKIP support!

  18. @OldNat

    I am currently hanging on to my statistician status by the skin of my teeth[1], but the tattered remains of my professional pride will not allow me to do such a thing. The problem is not the money, it’s the time and skill: building a sample frame and weighting the responses to match the population are not simple things and I don’t have the resources to do them myself. So if it’s a case of throwing 5-10K at Anthony and saying “Here’s the population, here’s the question, knock yourself out” then I can handle that – contrariwise if it’s 50-100K then I can’t. In the latter case I’d have to go the Kickstarter/Patreon route.

    [1] Although thankfully this year’s job will give me >600hrs, so my CPD isn’t as tumbleweed as last year’s…

  19. but it’s clearly possible for individuals to band together to fund a poll, as opposed to just organised campaigns with a polling budget doing so.

    Great idea! What should we call it? I’ve an idea that could catch on…

    A General Election

  20. John B

    And women are much more likely to say “someone else in the household will do it” than men – which seems fair since women already to most of everything else around the house!

  21. Martyn

    Indeed. As the DIY section of the YG poll showed, most people sensibly leave major construction jobs to the professionals for very good reason.

    I’d get a few quotes from the other builders though, Anthony may not be the cheapest!

    A number of pollsters allow you to piggy back questions on to their regular polls and that might bring it within your price range.

  22. As someone who has worked in Italy and is now married to an Italian, I find the whole ‘debate’ on the EU very worrying. If we were forced, I suppose my wife and I would return to Italy, though neither of us would volunteer for that option in the present economic circumstances.

    And just because some places in the south and east of England have had some immigrants taking up jobs which those who have been resident there long-term were refusing to do, why should the rest of us have to suffer the consequences of the Little Englander attitude?

    Whenever I read statements such as ‘EU citizens coming to live and work in Britain is bad for the country’ it is my wife they are talking about. This is personal!

  23. I’ve updated my Scottish Westminster estimates with the latest data, toplines are:

    SNP 41 (+2)
    LAB 26 (-1)
    CON 17 (=)
    LIB 5 (-2)
    GRN 5 (+1)
    UKIP 2 (-1)
    OTH 4 (=)

    This is, as before, very similar to the crosstab aggregation method, which suggests that the weighting bias is quite small. Full details including comparison and charts here:

    http://numbercruncheruk.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/scotland-update-snp-41-2-lab-26-1-con.html

    Also, if anyone is following Brazil tonight, I’ve had a look at Brazilian polling. There is a clear ‘shy PSDB factor’ in first round voting, but the second round can be all over the place:

    http://numbercruncheruk.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/is-there-shy-tory-factor-in-brazil.html

  24. John B

    Even better is that they are talking about you and me as well – we are all EU citizens. :-)

  25. @Old Nat

    Though in my case, it is more likely that my wife will do the painting and decorating…… though I will stir the paint and do other menial jobs under her instruction…..

  26. @Old Nat

    Just for a bit of light relief (a bit of fun, really, nothing serious you understand) did you put the crossbreak figures into Westminster votes…….. ?

  27. @Hoof Hearted
    “The EU has said we can’t negotiate on immigration. So we will
    have to leave to control our borders, worryingly for Dc,BC and Ed, a majority support this. 41-33%.
    We are increasingly looking like leaving the EU, I give it 10 years.”

    That’s not what the EU has said. There are various aspect about EU immigration that do not interfere with the freedom of movement for workers, such as social assistance. What you can’t do is say to a German offered a job in the UK is that he can’t take up the offer because he’s German.

    Perhaps if the media and political parties took the time to explain what we can and cannot do, the public reaction to the question would be different.

  28. John B

    Well, I put Number Cruncher’s demographically adjusted figures into Anthony’s Advanced Calculator …….

  29. @John B,

    I think pretty much every country in the world allows spouses permission to live and work in the country of their husband/wife. You don’t have to be an EU member to enjoy that benefit.

    (Hence the widespread marriage fraud involving EU citizens in the UK, some of them trafficked, to secure residence for non-EU citizens).

    My brother has lived and worked in the USA for 25 years without the USA at any point being an EU member, or the UK being a US state.

  30. I’ve updated my Scottish Westminster estimates with the latest data, toplines are:

    SNP 41 (+2)
    LAB 26 (-1)
    CON 17 (=)
    LIB 5 (-2)
    GRN 5 (+1)
    UKIP 2 (-1)
    OTH 4 (=)

    This is, as before, very similar to the crosstab aggregation method, which suggests that the weighting bias is quite small. Full details including comparison and charts here:

    http://numbercruncheruk.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/scotland-update-snp-41-2-lab-26-1-con.html

    (Sorry if you see this twice)

  31. Also, if anyone is following Brazil tonight, I’ve had a look at Brazilian polling. There is a clear ‘shy PSDB factor’ in first round voting, but the second round can be all over the place:

    http://numbercruncheruk.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/is-there-shy-tory-factor-in-brazil.html

  32. Number cruncher

    Just read your numbers on the previous thread – for which many thanks. Without wanting to seem too partisan, it seems to me that what we are actually experiencing is a SLAB nightmare, from which we are all going to wake up and find that ‘normality’ has resumed…. at some point.

    I realise that we are still six months out from the GE and we might have to wait until the new year for the new SLAB leadership to show it has something to offer; but the current figures are uncannily consistent….

  33. @John B
    To be fair, those of us of a UKIP persuasion aren’t exactly happy with that phrasing either. Something more like “an unlimited number of [immigrants regardless of origin] coming to live in Britain is bad for the country” would be better. An all or nothing question seems remarkably…erm…irrelevant? Can’t think of the word. Meaningless?

  34. Number Cruncher

    It might be interesting (though I suspect too big a job) to look at the E&W crossbreak aggregations in a similar way. Is the weighting bias larger in them?

  35. @Neil A – 6.37

    That’s not the point! My wife was not my wife when she came to the UK! (Though we had known each other in Italy and were good friends)

  36. @Wood – 6.45

    Have you any thoughts about the right of UK retirees to go and live in Spain?
    Or the rights of language teachers to teach their language in a foreign land? Or the rights religious groups to supply appropriate clergy etc. to meet the needs of ex-pat communities…… the list is probably endless.

    People ought to be free to move around as they wish – unless perhaps they pose a serious security/criminal threat. IMO

  37. OldNat

    “It’s always a possibility that voters will return to being sheep and respond to the blandishments on offer by the big (well, middle sized) two leaders.”
    _

    Too cynical by half.

  38. @Pointer and Old Nat

    What blandishments were those, then?

  39. Pointer

    “by half” is the wrong proportion to use. Neither Con nor Lab have more than the support of a third of voters.

  40. @Valerie

    Yours of 2.42 previous thread.

    Indeed, were it to be so it would be as you say.

  41. John B

    Blandishments? Probably a nice warm red scarf from the Dons fans.

  42. @OldNat

    Not really, but we know the weighting bias will be smaller – E&W bias (in terms of votes) will be equal and opposite to the Scottish bias, but E&W has 8.8 times the weight in the GB average, so in percentage terms it’s much smaller.

    It might also be worth looking at London separately, because it has recent form in behaving differently to the rest of England – much bigger swing against LAB in 2005 after Iraq, much smaller one in 2010 (maybe as a result) and in the Euros this time, a lot less UKIP.

  43. Rawnsley’s latest article is on the NHS and he points to opinion/analysis that what is needed to fund its increasing demands is – increased immigration.

    Immigrants are younger, will be working longer, pay taxes and be less of a drain on the NHS.

    Not that we will hear any politicians pointing that out and, paradoxically, it is our oldest citizens who probably complain most about immigration whilst also using the NHS more than anyone else.

    [I’m not blaming then as I am suffering from the same getting older prob meself – and hope to do so for a while yet.]

  44. @ John B

    Quite possibly – Oppositions rarely do well in the last six months of a parliament and LAB are in opposition at both Holyrood and Westminster. I don’t think it’s partisan to say that these numbers don’t look good for them.

    On the other hand, will the SNP’s surge continue? There’s only one way to find out, and that’s to keep watching…

  45. @John B

    I don’t think this is the place to discuss which is the ‘correct’ policy, (tempted as I am to ask about the right of UK retirees to go & live in Australia) I was trying to point out that the question you’re worrying over doesn’t bear much relation to reality.

    As posed the question seems to force a choice between ‘no europeans at all should come here’ & ‘as many europeans as possible should come here’. The deranged ends of the spectrum, which 95%+ people would dispute both.

    Also, I don’t know who you’re imagining would send your wife home, but googling far right policy I had to go all the way to the actual NF…oh my it occurs to me Farage has unfortunate initials…to the actual National Front to find a party seeking expulsion. I don’t think it has any bearing on the current salience of immigration.

    I wonder how many of the ‘don’t knows’ actually just aren’t happy with the question, rather than being ignorant/not having thought about it. Has there ever been any exploration of that, a further choice for don’t knows? The difference between offering an ‘other view’ option vs just ‘don’t know’?

  46. @WOOD

    “To be fair, those of us of a UKIP persuasion aren’t exactly happy with that phrasing either. Something more like “an unlimited number of [immigrants regardless of origin] coming to live in Britain is bad for the country” would be better. An all or nothing question seems remarkably…erm…irrelevant? Can’t think of the word. Meaningless?”

    As it happens I was discussing this very point with Douglas Carswell yesterday. I think he would concur exactly with what you are saying.

    I was asking him if he would distance himself from the former BNP element that were attracted to his campaign in Clacton. He said he certainly did not share their views and that there was a positive role to play for immigration – meaning where there were skill shortages in this country.

    He said that the debate about immigration had reached the toxic levels it had because of poor leadership by people like Blair, Brown and Cameron. It would never have happened under a strong leader like Attlee, he said!

  47. @R&D

    “Rawnsley’s latest article…..Immigrants are younger, will be working longer, pay taxes and be less of a drain on the NHS.”

    This has been common knowledge vis aging population for years…decades in fact.

    Unless we can do something (quite a lot of something) about birth rates, we need to increase immigration or suffer the fate of Japan.

  48. Number Cruncher

    It would be fascinating to see how the London crossbreak aggregates would look if demographically corrected.

    Is the demographic data for the “London” that YG use easily available?

  49. @Norbold
    Can’t say enough good things about Carswell.
    Ofc, in deference to the comments policy, can’t say any good things about Carswell.

  50. Wood

    “suffer the fate of Japan”

    I do hope you are referring to the current Japanese demographics, and not Hiroshima & Nagasaki!

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