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. Billy Bob

    “The change in the figures they supplied are more to do with the size of the UK charitable sector”

    There seems a nice irony in that the increased activity of food banks will have increased the amount due to the EU by the UK.

  2. Bill Patrick

    The problem with looking at cross break data is that there is an assertion that there is no systematic Lab/Con bias due to the cross break not being weighted.

    There could quite conceivably be a constant offset one way or the other which is due to demographic reasons for one set of people being more likely to respond than another in that particular region in that region as opposed to the whole population.

    The trends of Labour falling and UKIP rising look weakly significant, considering the error bars (which will be high due to low sample size and poll to poll biases that are not corrected for by weighting).

    I’m wondering if there would be a way of measuring any potential regional biases through regional polls although those tend to be one offs and hard to place statistical significance on. Unless they were large it’d be hard to determine any significance with a single poll (unless it was a large sample size)

  3. Peter Kellner has as a piece on the Website That Must Not Be Linked To, luckily duplicated on YouGov’s own site:

    which accumulates YouGov’s raw data from the first three weeks of October to look at where Green and UKIP voters come from[1] – at least in terms of how they voted in 2010:

    Con 9%
    Lab 22%
    Lib Dem 50%
    Other 18%

    Con 48%
    Lab 15%
    Lib Dem 16%
    Other 21%

    Unfortunately there is no indication what percentage of Green or UKIP voters were non-voters in 2010 – those percentages seem to be of voters. It would also be interesting to see how many of the LD to Green and Con to UKIP voters had stopped elsewhere on route and where it was.

    Kellner makes much play of the two groups being mirror images and there are some interesting symmetries. 37% of voters are under 40, the Greens are 18 points up on that (55% under 40) UKIP 17 points down (20%). Contrariwise For the over 60s (29% of voters) Greens are 13 points down, UKIP 12 points up (though this means that 59% of their voters are under 60 despite stereotype)

    [1] “[T]otal sample is 26,724, of whom 1,314 said they would vote Green and 3,401 Ukip”.


    I’ll tell you one thing those 41 Labour MPs did – they voted against the Bedroom Tax in Westminster on Friday 12th September – unlike some other party’s contingent of MPs I could mention.

    As for Scottish Labour I don’t think turning itself into a kind of “Sister Party” to the UK Labour Party is a bad idea, effectively autonomous but supporting the wider Labour Party at a UK level and on UK-wide issues – essentially Foriegn, Defence and Economic policy.

    The people who would lose out in that scenario are the high-flying Scottish Labour MPs (the Gordon Browns, Alistair Darlings of the next generation) – very unlikely a Scottish MP could ever be tolerated as PM for example if they belonged to a regional party – and that would surely be bad for Scotland generally – the idea that a little boy or girl in Scotland could never aspire to be PM of the UK unless they moved to England and became an MP there!

  5. Paul A

    Sure they could, they’d just need to join another party other than Scottish Labour!

  6. ” It would also be interesting to see how many of the LD to Green and Con to UKIP voters had stopped elsewhere on route and where it was.”

    Roger, I think you possibly got those examples a bit wrong?

  7. @chouenlai We have to take some collective responsibility about the tribe we belong to Valerie. Because we have seen over many years, unspeakable rudeness and bile about Baroness Thatcher, Mark Thatcher, Carol Thatcher, not to mention the present PM, we are less than reverent about the more hypocritical acts perpetrated by some politicians.


    What a bizarre comment. Personal attackes have no place on this site (I would suggest) and excusing it by saying the other lot are just as bad is a schoolground argument. Condemn it wherever it comes from is the answer.

  8. “There seems a nice irony in that the increased activity of food banks will have increased the amount due to the EU by the UK.”


    Not great news for the Big Society idea either. Do more Big Society and up the payments to the EU. As opposed to salting the cash away abroad. It is becoming our patriotic duty to take our squids overseas to lessen EU payments!!

  9. PAUL
    Oh sorry.

  10. someone called Cameron a “fish pointer” once. Turns out it’s true: he really does point at fish. There were pics of it and everything…

  11. lol, Chouenlai must be using Snapchat or summat…

  12. AMBER

    Yes-I have just watched one asking a question in the House about Education…………in England.

  13. @Charles

    Problem with housing is that if state building peeps will say we have no money, if encouraging private then doubts as to how much it’ll happen. Tax rises unlikely to be popular, tax cuts limited cos no money. NHS they lead on already. Minimum wage is ok, but many receiving it would vote Lab anyway, many others not affected*. Unemployment… hard to convince you can achieve it for sure.

    And for many now, problems in all these areas are down to immigratiomn.

    *of course, things like minimum wage can have knock-on benefits for others, and things like housing might be worth paying for despite hard times with the knock on benefits, but knock-on effects do not tend to be vote-winners…

  14. Thanks for that link Roger Mexico

    So it looks like many of the 2010 Lib Dems have now found a new home with the Greens. It will be interesting to see what happens in the Lib Dem seats in 2015 – will the Lib Dem vote go half LD, half Green, allowing another party in, or will one of those parties be able to convince the voters for the other that they are the only choice in those seats?

    And the Labour 35% core vote strategy which relied on 2010 Lib Dems would seem to be in trouble, if that was ever the strategy, which I am beginning to doubt now with the turn right over the last few months.

  15. @carfrew

    But why start all this fish pointing?

    Because he thought he’d be rather good at it I suppose.

  16. @Billy Bob

    Well, yes he seems to have the fish pointing thing all sewn up. Miliband is nowhere on the fish-pointing thing…

  17. Billy Bob
    “The change in the figures they supplied are more to do with the size of the UK charitable sector”

    Ha it gets worse. All those organisations registering as charities to capitalise on gift aid (tax payer pays ‘charity’ same amount ‘donated’ by individuals – wide open to scams) have helped cause this increased payment.

    Add that to the highest borrowing in the EU aiding the highest GDP.

  18. @Charles

    I should say, knock-on effects can win you the FOLLOWING election as policies are implemented and benefits are realised in practice. Just not so good when pitching them up front…

  19. @MrNameless

    “If we’ve brought up Benn (was never a big fan) have any of you read the article in the Graun about the Tory Bennites? Interesting read.”

    It was an interesting read and the author, Steve Richards, once of the Independent, is an interesting political commentator and journalist. He’s a left wing version of Peter Oborne in many ways, prepared to take quite eccentric and unpredictable stances on some issues. Unlike people like Heffer, Littlejohn and Toynbee, where you more or less know what they’re going to say before they’ve said it, Richards has the capacity to surprise and delight. Intellectually stimulating, much more so than the bores who pander to their readers’ prejudices.

    Richards, Oborne and Rafael Behr are my three “must read” political journos at the moment, although I’m warming to Owen Jones a little now. Initially, I thought he was a bit of a prejudice panderer, albeit we share many of the same prejudices (;-)), but his article on Labour in Scotland in the Guardian today was both perceptive and balanced. Nobody was “doomed” and the apocalypse was somewhat postponed, but he seemed to have captured the problems confronting all the old parties, not just in Scotland, pretty well.

    And then there’s Will Hutton. Has anybody read him recently in the Observer? He’s currently on scintillating form and seems to have got his past working for the Coalition completely out of his system!

  20. @CARFREW

    Problem with housing is that if state building peeps will say we have no money, if encouraging private then doubts as to how much it’ll happen’

    If the public were made aware that housing benefit now costs £25 billion a year, has risen from £21 billion since 2010, and is projected to continue rising £1 billion a year in the next parliament (with much going to private landlords and increasing) they would see the sense in public building which would lower this bill.

  21. @Ed

    And that is the problem. You are having to sell knock-on effects which makes things harder, plus if the media aren’t keen on your message hard to get it heard…

  22. Ashcroft

    Ashcroft National Poll: Con 31%, Lab 31%, Lib Dem 7%, UKIP 18%, Green 5%

  23. Ashcroft gives Tories a 3% lead in England.

  24. Small cross breaks, but not too dissimilar from YG’s ones.

  25. “Ashcroft National Poll: Con 31%, Lab 31%, Lib Dem 7%, UKIP 18%, Green 5%”

    Nicely aligned with today’s Populus, I see.


  26. Couper2802 – “Kinnock had passion and anger”

    And he didn’t win, did he?

    People don’t want angry people in government, full stop.

    One attractive thing about Blair was that he never got wound up no matter how much pressure he was under. He could always respond with some humour. Brown lacked that ability and look what happened to him.

    In the United States, a big factor in Obama winning was centrists being attracted to his cool cerebral approach. There was a big shift to him as soon as McCain appointed Sarah Palin as his vice-presidential candidate. Nobody wanted some angry tea-party person with their finger on the big red button. You could argue that until the Republicans purge their party of the angry people, they won’t re-capture the White House.

  27. CB11
    Ashcroft is Populus but on the phone – so

    Shy Ukip voters possibly?

  28. CB11
    Belay that – what rubbish I do write!

    Bold UKIP voters!

  29. Suddenly we get a bunch of ties together (I rarely wear the things, thankfully), is this the long-awaited narrowing of Labour’s lead? They’re going to need those Scottish seats.

  30. Ashcroft also notices the NHS topping concerns.

    Q6. Which of the following do you think is the most important issue facing you and your family?
    -Top three mentions

    NHS – 58%, Economy 53%, Schools 42%, Immigration 33%, Crime 26%

    Q5. Which of the following do you think is the most important issue facing Britain as a whole?
    -Top three mentions

    NHS 60%, Economy 54%, Immigration 48%, Schools 33%

    Looks like people have noticed all the NHS stories over the last week, and probably also noticed like me that it is now taking many weeks longer to see your GP.

  31. CANDY.
    Thank you for your perspicacious post.

    I agree with you that most ‘swing’ voters are attracted by the types of ‘cool’ and calm and humour exhibited by TB, BO and also Boris J.

    That 35% strategy was never a strategy; IMHO.

  32. AMBER

    “Okay, given your 1:03pm : The 41 Labour MPs are part of the Opposition which is there to hold to account that (hardworking ?) Coalition which you mentioned. Without Oppositions, politics simply would not work anywhere in the UK”

    I know the purpose of the opposition but I think the 41 Labour MP’S spend more time acting like the opposition to the Scottish Gov than to the Tories!!

  33. A remarkable number of ties recently. There was a period of 1/2 point leads, and now there’s been a positive flange of ties.

  34. I would be interested in seeing a Scottish poll on whether Brexit would tilt the balance towards yes in a second independence referendum.

  35. It’s been said that the Tories would need to improve on their 2010 result to get a majority. However, on the basis of Labour’s performance recently, this cannot be taken as an axiom.

  36. @Old Nat
    I find your habit of showing the position of the main parties in England only very interesting. The days when I would have said, “its Scotland that give em the lead”, are behind me. It is clearly very close even excluding Scotland.

  37. Some poor jogger found himself arrested today because Cameron walked into him. According to a government spokesman the jogger should just be grateful no one shot him..

  38. PAUL A

    Whatever way Scottish Labour choose to go is up to them. I wont be voting for them any time soon.

    If SLAB becomes a regional autonomous branch of Labour then it might well dilute the prospects of Scottish MP’S in Scotland from becoming the next PM but the aspirations of a few can’t take preference over what way the country wants to move Devo Max or Independence.

    If it means booting the prospect of another PM coming from a Scottish seat in the wake for the nations aspirations then that can’t be a bad thing.

  39. Rogerh

    Then rapidly de-arrested.

  40. because i follow actual betting on seats, i remain confident that labour will just win more seats than the tories…but the rate at which the labour VI is sinking is pretty astonishing. at this rate they’ll get a lower vote share than they did in 2010!!!

    I think it’s mili…if he had been ok in scotland and had an ok conference reading off an autocue, he would be doing better. He’s a joke. sorry, folks.

  41. Ashcroft also showing a huge gulf in Scotland.

    SNP 42% LAB 30% TORY 12% LIB’S 7% GRN 4%

    The way I see it is that many Tories have jumped over to Labour and the Lib/Dems.

  42. Allan Christie

    “Whatever way Scottish Labour choose to go is up to them”

    Agreed. There are different traditions within every party as to the degree of centralism and localism that should be allowed/created.

    Neither is right or wrong in itself, but for outside observers it becomes interesting when it results in in-fighting to a degree that might damage their VI level.

  43. Hi ChrisLane1945, how’s it going? :-)

    I find Obama’s coolness very comforting at the moment. Imagine if in the midst of the world’s current turmoil there was a hot-head in the White House. Or even someone simply out to prove how muscular they were. Shudder.

    I hope the Americans choose someone equally cool in 2016, but none of the candidates at the moment seem to fit that profile.

  44. @ RogerH and OldNat

    Yes but DT originally reported it as an attack on the PM by a protester. When they changed the article, they “forgot” to put out the corrections (required by the Code of Ethics), even though the article had a by-line.

  45. Scottish Labour distancing itself from the London hierarchy could improve its prospects in Scotland.

  46. Allan Christie

    But remember that we actually know nothing about the comparative strengths of the parties, who operate outside Scotland (or are aggregated with one – like the SGP) from the Scottish crossbreak.

    It could well be random noise.

  47. RogerH

    That’s the argument put forward by one side in SLab – and fiercely contested by the other side.

  48. @ Candy

    Does cool mean now incompetent? I must ask my grandson when he comes back from Scotland on Tuesday. As a seven years old he is very up to date with these idioms.

    …Lab should state that they note the views of the new NHS England CEO and confirm that they will find the money needed to preserve the world-leading status of the NHS, even if that means tax increases. Because having the NHS free, available to all, and amongst the best health services of the world is a cornerstone of what Lab stands for, and what it has always delivered.


    Yougov polling for the Times Red Box has shown (again ?) that people would be willing to pay additional Income Taxes to preserve the NHS

    I can’t find it on the yougov website but here’s what Stephan Shakespears is quoted as saying:

    “Exclusively for Red Box, we asked a series of questions to see where resistance comes.

    “If spending more money on the NHS was the only way to keep the current standard of services, would you be willing to see the basic rate of income tax rise from 20 per cent to 21 per cent to fund the NHS?” By 67 per cent to 19 per cent, the public says ‘yes’ (15 per cent ‘don’t know’).

    As we rise to 22 per cent tax, willingness drops to a still strong 51 to 29. At a 25 per cent level of basic income tax, the public resoundingly flips and says ‘no’ by 50 to 26. At a 30 per cent rate, those willing to support the extra tax dwindles to just 15 per cent.”

  50. OLDNAT

    “Agreed. There are different traditions within every party as to the degree of centralism and localism that should be allowed/created”

    “Neither is right or wrong in itself, but for outside observers it becomes interesting when it results in in-fighting to a degree that might damage their VI level”

    Well am one of them outside observers and am loving all this infighting.

    It’s box office stuff and even if they do manage to patch things up in time for the GE, I can’t see them holding onto 41 MP’S in Scotland.

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