The weekly YouGov/Sunday Times poll today has topline figures of CON 31%, LAB 32%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 18%, GRN 6%, continuing YouGov’s recent trend of showing a wafer thin Labour lead (tabs are here.)

For the first time in YouGov’s polling Ed Miliband’s net ratings on if he is doing a good or bad job have sunk below Nick Clegg’s. 18% now think Ed Miliband is doing well as Labour leader, 73% badly – a net figure of minus 55. Nick Clegg’s figures are 18% well, 72% badly, a net figure of minus 54.

In a referendum on EU membership 37% of people say they would vote to stay in, 43% would vote to leave. For most of this year YouGov have been showing a small lead for staying in, so this is slightly unusual, especially since another YouGov poll mid-week also showed more people wanting to leave. It could possibly be the impact of the £1.7bn story in the news. On that subject, 11% of people think David Cameron should pay the extra money, 24% say he should try to persuade the rest of the EU to drop the demand, but should ultimately pay up if he cannot. 52% think he should just refuse flat out to pay. However while people would like Cameron to take a stand, most don’t actually expect it to work – 61% expect Britain to end up paying either the full £1.7bn (31%) or slightly less than it (30%). Only 22% expect Britain to get a substantial reduction (17%) or get away without paying (5%).


454 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 31, LAB 32, LD 7, UKIP 18”

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  1. First!

  2. Two controversial claims that people were making a few years ago seem to be confirmed by the evidence now-

    (1) It was worrying for Labour in 2012-2013 that they weren’t doing better.

    (2) Ed Miliband is a burden for Labour.

  3. People who spend their time trying to be first are morons who need to get a life.

  4. Bill patrick

    Labour were doing fine in 2012 and, arguably 2013…2014 has been a shocker for them.

    Having said that, absolutely no one saw how badly the lib dems would be doing and how well ukip would do…

    Ed Miliband is a very big problem. He cannot connect with voters; he is not a communicator. He is a physics wonk at school, not the eng. lit, thespy type that blair so clearly was.

    I know people get cross when we have a go at Miliband, but i really think he is the worst labour leader ever. I think Kinnock was far better, and Foot was marginally more effective. The irony is that he is still favoured to win (being the largest party), while they didn’t.

    EdM’s opportunity has more to do with the pitiful nature of his opposition, the almost total collapse of the centre party, demographics and the surge of a poujadiste right leaning party in the form of ukip…even with these advantages, he is struggling to get across the finish line.

  5. Bill Patrick,

    Yet, this poll suggests that Labour would, today, win an overall majority – albeit tiny – having gained 69 seats since 2010 with the LDs losing 39 and the Cons losing a net 31.

    And you would like the Labour party and leader to do better! I’m sure they would, too.

    What are your feelings/views on the shrinking Tory party?

  6. Correct James – the press will continue to hammer him and get the message across that the British people have to do what it takes to stop him walking into No.10. I know they will .

  7. John Chanin,

    People who respond to people who shout ‘FIRST!’ are …

    Those of us who respond to those who respond to people who shout ‘FIRST!’ must either be hilariously funny or extremely sad.

  8. James Peel,

    The issue was whether or not Labour were well enough ahead in 2012, given that they were expected to lose ground in 2013-2015. The answer seems to be “No”.

    Newhouset,

    “And you would like the Labour party and leader to do better!”

    No, I wouldn’t like that.

    As for the Tories, they’re doing rather better than I would expect at this stage, given austerity and the rise of UKIP. My prediction is still that they will lose more voters to UKIP before the election, as UKIP get more time in the spotlight e.g. in the debates, although I’m by no means sure of that.

  9. And there’s no guarantee of a majority for Labour on 32-31-7-18.

  10. James Peel

    As a self professed physics wonk, I must take umbrage with a comparison to Ed.

    Typically physics wonks get tied up in excessive detail, something I certainly couldn’t accuse (either) Ed of.

    I can’t relate to his style of communication at all. To me, he comes across as arbitrary and incoherent, a scattergun of opinions very poorly laid out.

    Any scientific paper laid out in the style of Ed would never get published regardless of content.

  11. Bill Patrick,

    ” My prediction is still that they [the Conservatives] will lose more voters to UKIP before the election … ”

    So your gut feeling seems to be that the Tories are going to do even worse than they’re doing now. (Let’s not forget that they are already scoring lower VI than they achieved in 2010 which was insufficient to rule alone.) You’re saying that another party/other parties will take office after the 2015 election if I read you correctly.

  12. From the tabs Lab 32 Con 31 Others 37
    Would not vote 6 Don’t know 14 puts them all no better than the upper 20s
    but even if none of the Don’t knows make their minds up and all fail to vote, is YouGov really expecting an 80% turnout next May?
    Or is a lower turnout somehow wrapped up in the weighting?

  13. ok. but my point is that he isn’t a fluent, articulate salesman type..that’s just a million miles from his skill set.

    The physics wonk came to me because i think he does have a physics A level, not sure what he got in that. He is also quite detail focused and he is quite logical and strategic.

    How he became a national leader of a party, I don’t know. I also think he may singlehandedly blow the election for labour.

  14. Bill Patrick,

    “And there’s no guarantee of a majority for Labour on 32-31-7-18.”

    Nothing in life is guaranteed. But one party gaining about 3 points (from 2010) and the other losing about 5 points suggests a possibility that the former will gain and the latter will lose. Does it not?

  15. Bill,

    Re Lab should have being doing better in 2012.

    I guess that depends on expectations? If the taget was an OM you are correct imo; for those like me,though, who think that after the 2010 debacle, denying the cons an OM in 2015 and possibly sneaking most seats the leads a couple of year or go were adequate without being good.

    It seems the me that despite recent setbacks for Labour the cons will not acheive an OM and that the seat count will still be close, although losing 15-2o Scottish seats could be crucial, if that happens.

    Re the EM point, I think few have ever denied he was a drag in polling terms but the question is would anyone else have done better from the candidates who stood last time?

    Is a moot debate now as he will be the leader for the GE.

  16. Whilst some cant leave the worst poll for miliband again alone ,the real message from the yougov is that approval of the governments record has fallen from minus 22 to minus 26.With just six months to run and no sign of the usual government bounce this is the one to keep an eye on.

    Miliband has one last chance to improve his personal ratings -in the debates which is why cameron will do everything to avoid them.

  17. 07052015

    Obviously a labour supporter.

    Again having to sort the genuine comment from the biased one

  18. Miliband , like his mentor Obama, isn’t a democrat.

  19. Dave – good point and a higher turnout in polls tends to overstate flavour of the months parties.
    LDs during so-called Cleggmania and in my view ceratinly the UKIP (and the Greens a touch) at the moment.
    Re SNP – there could be small element of eventual abstainers in Scotland giving an SNP VI but there has clearly been large move from Lab to SNP.
    Most SNP posters seem to accept that there will be some unwind but the question is will this be modest or significant, who knows?
    I still think Lab+Con 70+% at the GE bur accept I am in a minority on here.

  20. Penn,

    Are we to assume that you have reached that state of perfection whereby you are in no way biased?

  21. Wolf,

    “Miliband , like his mentor Obama, isn’t a democrat.”

    I think, to be fair to the rest of us, you should elaborate a little, don’t you? You haven’t given us much to go on.

  22. “For the first time in YouGov’s polling Ed Miliband’s net ratings on if he is doing a good or bad job have sunk below Nick Clegg’s. 18% now think Ed Miliband is doing well as Labour leader, 73% badly – a net figure of minus 55. Nick Clegg’s figures are 18% well, 72% badly, a net figure of minus 54.”
    __________

    18% now think EM is doing a good job. How low can his approval ratings go before Labour strategists wake up and smell the coffee?

    Their problem is staring them in the face!!

  23. Newhouset,

    You manage to state the obvious without any shortage of words.

    Jim Jam,

    I think the claim was that Labour needed to be doing better in 2012 IF they were to get a solid OM. Now it increasingly looks to me like Labour will get an OM, but a small one, because it’s unlikely that Labour will actually gain much momentum between now and May.

  24. Also, it’s conceivable that Labour win an OM even if their vote share doesn’t improve on 2010. What this means for the long-term health of the Labour party is unclear (because it would be astounding if they did better in 2020 than in 2015) but it is a genuine possibility given the state of the Tories and Lib Dems.

    “Limping over the finishing line” is a phrase that has recently come up a lot in my mind when thinking about Labour!

  25. NEWHOUSET
    Bill Patrick,

    “Yet, this poll suggests that Labour would, today, win an overall majority – albeit tiny – having gained 69 seats since 2010 with the LDs losing 39 and the Cons losing a net 31.
    And you would like the Labour party and leader to do better! I’m sure they would, too”
    ________

    No what this poll suggest’s is Labour would not win an outright majority. They are polling 23% in Scotland, just 3% above the Tories, so any grandstanding on the Podium at this stage is unwise and with the two proper Scottish polls showing Labour in meltdown then today’s cross break can not be dismissed!!

    If Labour are happy with 32% then that tells me they are a party lacking vision and aspirations. The Tories have a real problem with UKIP but when that party (UKIP) implodes then I expect to see a real gulf opening up between the Tories and Labour

    Labour can’t simply cross their fingers and hope that UKIP and the 32% threshold will see them over the winning line, the voter will tell them otherwise!!

  26. So Ed is a geeky wonk, blah blah blah; butI don’t see people swooning over Cameron, certainly not those Tories who have flocked to Farage.

    Ok, Miliband is a geeky wonk but I don’t see voters swooning over Cameron, certainly not those who embrace Farage.

    In 2009, Polls showed Dave with a possible 100+ majority.
    What happened?
    Maybe the more voters saw of him, the less impressed they were, and that was with the wholehearted support of the Sun King.

    And Gordon was vilified over that period. I remember how he was attacked for his handwriting when he wrote to the mother of a serviceman killed in Afghanistan; that little stunt backfired on the Sun.

    I think British voters have a sense of fair play.

  27. @Allan Christie

    If Labour are happy with 32% then that tells me they are a party lacking vision and aspirations. The Tories have a real problem with UKIP but when that party (UKIP) implodes then I expect to see a real gulf opening up between the Tories and Labour

    —————————-

    Who said Labour were happy with 32%?

  28. PAUL
    @Allan Christie
    If Labour are happy with 32% then that tells me they are a party lacking vision and aspirations. The Tories have a real problem with UKIP but when that party (UKIP) implodes then I expect to see a real gulf opening up between the Tories and Labour
    —————————-
    Who said Labour were happy with 32%?
    ____________

    Read between the lines from the various Labour supporters comments and you will find a clue.

  29. I see the issues questions reveal quite different answers when asked:

    Which of main party leaders do you trust the
    most to make the right decisions on…?

    vs

    Here is a list of problems facing the country. Could you say for each of them which political
    party you think would handle the problem best?

    When asked about the leaders, the ‘none of them’ rises significantly, and support for Labour/Miliband drops.

    Does the high ‘none of them’ for leaders, but not parties mean we still trust the party system, but a lot of the current dislike of politics is focused on the leadership of all of the parties?

    Take
    The economy
    David Cameron 37
    Ed Miliband 14
    None of them 29

    vs
    The economy in general
    Con 35
    Lab 19
    None 10

    The NHS
    David Cameron 22
    Ed Miliband 29
    None of them 25

    vs
    National Health Service
    Con 22
    Lab 32
    None 13

    Welfare and benefits
    David Cameron 25
    Ed Miliband 22
    None of them 25

    vs
    Con 27
    Lab 27
    None 10

  30. Surely an even bigger problem for Labour is that Ed’s lead on the NHS has sunk to 9 points and it’s the only issue on which YouGov polled where Ed has any lead at all over Cameron.

  31. I have to say the comments on being first at the beginning of this thread had me laughing which is rare.
    I am 71 and have a lovely 34 year old daughter who is new age and went to a Steiner school after I split from her mother.
    she is vaguely horrified at my three comments about sport.
    1. it is winning that counts not taking part
    2. no one remembers who came second.
    3. find me a good loser and you find me a liar.
    I may be out of the stone age but like some of the correspondents here I enjoy having a sense of humour and the large number of people who believe me when I make these comments.
    I still like winning though!!

  32. I may be mixing with the wrong sort of “leftie”, but no one I know has ever predicted Labour would win a decent majority.
    And I don’t think the Tories will get more than 36-38% vote share, even with the wind behind them.
    I’m looking forward to reading the manifestos of the Lib Dems/Greens/SNP et al.
    They won’t be able to prevaricate about where they stand in the event of a hung parliament. After the Coalition that won’t wash with the voters.

  33. “The Scottish first minister, Alex Salmond, has hinted he could be open to a coalition between Labour and the Scottish National party (SNP).

    I would be more than happy with that.

    Include the Greens, PCY and the SDLP and it would be perfect for me.

    Oh and change the voting system to PR during the 5 years these parties are in office and all these parties can be a permanent fixture in government

  34. @John Chanin – please don’t bring that kind of offensive nonsense onto UKPR. It demeans you, and makes not a jot of difference to the normally happy and polite posters on here.

  35. Also fascinating is how many UKIP voters are saying ‘none of them’ on those issues questions, even when Farage is included in the prompts.(except obviously on immigration).

    For UKIP VI:
    Which of main party leaders do you trust the
    most to make the right decisions on…?

    Economy : Farage 33, Cameron 32, None 25
    NHS : Farage 33, None 30, Cameron 17, Miliband 10
    Tax : None 33, Farage 31, Cameron 21
    etc….

    Farage scores lower with UKIP voters on most issues than Clegg does with Lib Dem voters. But they also don’t think anyone else is any good.

  36. Just as a side question, did anyone, reporters, photographers or political advisers call the police and have that woman arrested for begging? What are the chances, (if it was not a put up job) that any reporter will investigate and report on this woman’s situation, or on what is the extent of begging in Manchester?

  37. May I ask the questions that no one else seems to have asked?

    The story is that Ed Miliband’s personal approval ratings have fallen. There is also the latest party rating showing Ed Miliband’s party Labour in the lead by one per cent.

    We have the full details for the party approval ratings.

    However, can we also have the full details for the party leaders’ ratings?

    First question: what are the other party leaders approval ratings?

    Second question: what are the changes in these ratings?

  38. Good Afternoon All.
    VALERIE: Hello; yes Cameron was 9% ahead; then the swing back to the incumbent government happened.

    BILL PATRICK and JAMES PEEL; Some people did predict what is happening to Lab and LD’s.

    The LD’s ran to the left of Labour from 2005, at least.

    Lab are in a similar place to where ‘the party’ was, ideologically, in early 1974, in the sense that Labour has not really sorted out what it is for’.

    In terms of leadership; the media world is harsh; like the glaring bathroom light in the morning that reminds me I am getting towards being sixty years of age, when the mirror has to be faced.

  39. VALERIE

    The “Lib Dems/Greens/SNP et al” will be standing for election to Westminster on their own individual polices.

    What daft party would put in their manifesto who they would back in the event of a hung parliament before a single vote has even been cast?

    Or you could look at it this way. Why doesn’t Labour come forward with proposals for the Lib/Dems or the SNP to give them concessions in the event of a hung parliament? Why does it always have to be the other way round?

    Realistically it’s going to be either EM or DC who will become the next PM…Let them do the bidding!!

  40. Hardly any change in this poll, so it seems we need the Rochester result and see if that makes a difference with a possible ‘me too’ reaction from voters. I assume the lower Lab score has to do with the scottish business, nothing Miliband can do about that, as I see it (apart from policy development that affects all UK).

  41. ALLAN

    @”They are polling 23% in Scotland, just 3% above the Tories, so any grandstanding on the Podium at this stage is unwise and with the two proper Scottish polls showing Labour in meltdown then today’s cross break can not be dismissed!!”

    I waited with baited breath, listening to R5 this morning for the interview with Murphy.

    I wanted Pienaar to ask him if his stance on further tax powers for Holyrood would be different to that of EM/GB.

    His answer was an emphatic No. And his reasoning was clear-that Scots had voted for The Union; the Union facilitates redistribution via a common UK tax system across the whole UK. So Scots have in effect voted for that.

    This is word for word what EM said in a recent newspaper interview.

    So there you have it-Labour’s stance in Scotland is that no more significant transfer of tax powers need to be granted, because Scots voted not to want them, by voting to stay in the Union.

    Salmond, on the other hand claims that Labour will never be forgiven for joining the Unionist cause.

    Who will be nearer the truth when the Scottish votes are counted in May?

    I like Murphy. I like his dogged determination to be his own man. He seems a reasonably honest politician. But if Scots voted for the Union because they believed that greater tax powers would be forthcoming afterwards, rather than-as JM/EM/GB claim,-because they want to retain UK wide tax rates he may have to concede that Salmond is correct.

    And I agree with you Allan-this matters for the GE outcome.

  42. I still feel there is something moving in ‘the economy’ that will affect the 2015 result. There’s a fair chance that the deficit will be up this year, optimism is falling fast, and I don’t think we can entirely discount the notion that the headlines could be about the shrinking economy once more.

    Even if the growth continues, Ed seems to have picked the correct line, with the question about living standards and who is benefiting seemingly more relevant to the current outlook than the governments deeply confused deficit reduction approach.

    It would be very surprising if UKIP polled 18% in 2015, and even more surprising if the SNP got 52% in Scotland. We are in something akin to the expenses scandal period in the last parliament, where there is a lot happening but the shape of the election contest itself isn’t yet clear.

    For my part, I would expect both parties to recover somewhat, with a close tally in VI. Overall, given the ground Labour have lost in Scotland where Tories don’t have a snowball’s hope in hell, a 1% lead on 35% or 36% would probably be better for Labour than a 1% lead on 32% or 31%, but there’s a way to go yet before we can be certain of anything.

    Except that people won’t be feeling well off in 5 months time when the campaign starts.

  43. @Floating Voter

    “Oh and change the voting system to PR during the 5 years these parties are in office and all these parties can be a permanent fixture in government”

    Ironically, if the SNP took 42% (3.7% nationally) they would get 40 or so seats. With PR they would get 23 or so seats.

    Perhaps AV / STV is more likely?

  44. Were Labour seduced by “things can only get better” reasoning in 2010, when they elected Ed Miliband? That is to say, did some people vote for him because they saw him as someone who was ideologically sound and took for granted that Labour’s vote share would increase in 2015? If so, then one could argue that there was a parallel with the election of Michael Foot in 1980, although it’s worth stressing that Foot won in part because he was an extremely able parliamentarian and orator.

    It’s now no longer certain that Labour will do better, in their vote share, than in 2010, although it is still very likely.

  45. ALEC

    @” I don’t think we can entirely discount the notion that the headlines could be about the shrinking economy once more.”

    Is that a forecast-that between now & the GE we will see a fall in GDP for either Q4 2014 , or Q1 2015 ?

  46. @Statgeek

    Is AV is the one where you transfer the votes of the lowest candidate to the ones remaining until someone gets 50%+?

    If so i don’t like it, it is not PR

    What is the STV?

    All the big parties are coalitions. I would like them to break up, so they become more honest and they could argue their polices in the open instead of doing deals behind closed doors

  47. Alec
    I am not sure about UKIP retention. If you scan down the subsidiary questions in today’s poll, you see that whereas UKIP voters are fairly equivocal on Farage’s and UKIP’s general policies, when it comes to immigration (expressed in the questions as EU immigration although i have my doubts about voter discernment) a score in 90s is given every time for leaving the EU and restricting immigration.

    If this issue really is so important to those voters, I cannot see any placatory policy being advanced by other parties that would satisfy them. The answers on Fallon’s interview display an ability not to muddy their thoughts with earlier held partisan feelings about a Tory minister, although it is to be doubted whether many would know who he is, anyway.

    Then there is the question of non-even support of these voters. I think I am right in remembering that Ashcroft did not find immense variance on UKIP support in the marginals but of course, if I am wrong about that, it would be a significant factor.

  48. Should be ‘non-even spread of’ or ‘uneven spread of’ – er, even.

  49. Churn Report

    And now, what you’ve all been waiting for, the October Churn Report! An exciting month in which stuff actually happened, for once. First the Tories had a conference boost and Labour fell off a cliff. Then Clacton happened, the Tory conference boost vanished like the morning dew, Ukip shot up into the stratosphere, and Labour started wandering down the scree slope at the bottom of the cliff. Oh, and the Lib Dems are still doomed.

    http://i.imgur.com/WFoLCcN.png

    The Conservatives

    You have to feel for the Tories. Every time they seem to get a leg up, Ukip kicks it out from under them.

    http://i.imgur.com/ZJSqwV1.png

    They got a nice conference boost from Cameron’s tax cuts which brought them back to the 34% range they’d enjoyed over the summer, but the ink was barely dry on his speech before the Clacton by-election happened and sent them back below 32%.

    http://i.imgur.com/67PqR9l.png

    On the plus side, their only problem is Ukip. Their rightward drift has yet to push the Ken Clarkes and Matthew Parrises of this world into the arms of the Lib Dems, and Con -> Lab churn is actually improving slightly (although it seems likely those voters are going over to Ukip, not home to the Tories). On the minus side, Ukip is a problem that shows no signs of going away any time soon.

    The evidence suggests they can push their 32% up to 35 or 36% with a fair wind, so the Blue Team shouldn’t despair, but so far their swingback seems to consist mostly of roundabouts.

    Labour

    Still, at least the Tories aren’t suffering swingaway, or however we want to describe Labour’s current polling crisis.

    http://i.imgur.com/4qx9EiG.png

    This is a phenomenonally terrible-looking graph. I had to shift the y-axis down in order to follow Labour’s plunging VI.

    Amber’s theories about the perfidy of Johann Lamont nonwithstanding, Labour’s problems really seemed to start with Cameron’s conference speech. It’s almost like no one minded Miliband’s eminently forgettable speech until the media started talking up Cameron’s, and then suddenly everyone noticed the Labour conference was rubbish and defected. Chalk one up for the “Miliband is carp” camp.

    http://i.imgur.com/FiU0tk2.png

    Labour’s big problem remains retention, which has been suffering an almost linear decline since conference. The defectors seem be split 50/50 between the Nats/Greens and Ukip. With the wind blowing in two directions triangulation is a challenge, although a bit of old school socialism might go down well with both groups.

    There is also a slight decline in LD -> Lab switching, although that group seems to be holding up better than Labour’s own base. At least there’s no sign of swingback to the Government parties.

    The Liberal Democrats

    If the Red Team need cheering up, (and do we ever), at least we can console ourselves that we’re ahead of the Greens. After a brief spike to the giddy heights of 8%, the Lib Dems are once again exploring the abyssal plain of 7% along with the tubeworms and other invertebrates.

    http://i.imgur.com/Mzj119q.png

    No sign of swingback there, either.

    http://i.imgur.com/ObJKBUU.png

    The Lib Dem vote seems to be splitting almost evenly between Ukip and the Greens (not so much to the SNP, interestingly), and we’ve passed an exciting churn benchmark: for the first time, Lib Dem -> Ukip switching is greater than Lib Dem -> Tory switching. Good luck with that one in Rochester, Kelly Tolhurst.

    Ukip

    Life remains sunny for Smilin’ Nigel:

    http://i.imgur.com/g4byR2z.png

    Ukip also had to have their axes revised- upwards, in their case. And they probably will again next month, because on their current trajectory they look likely to break the 18% barrier. They’re still drawing mostly from the Conservatives, followed by the Lib Dems and then Labour.

    Don’t Knows and Not Voting

    http://i.imgur.com/ABlyAXU.png

    Tory and Lib Dem Don’t Knows have remained stable. Labour had an upward spike in mid-October which probably accounted for some of their woes, although it seems to be receding and their VI has not improved. (Possibly the undecideds have now decided, but not in their favour.)

    Not Voting continues its barely perceptible decline as the general election draws nearer.

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