This week’s YouGov/Sunday Times results are now up here. Topline figures are CON 32%, LAB 34%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 15%, GRN 6%, with additional questions on a wide range of different issues:


33% of people think that Theresa May is doing well as Home Secretary, 41% badly (so her net score of minus 8 is slightly better than Cameron’s minus 13). Asked about the balance between protecting human rights and privacy and introducing anti-terrorism measures 37% think May should go further with anti-terrorism powers, 18% that she has gone too far and damaged human rights and privacy, 19% that she has the balance about right. Going through a list of the latest proposals there is support for all the new anti-terrorism measures, with most getting over 50% support. The few that do not (such as banning ransoms and extending TPIMs) are down to people saying don’t know rather than opposing the moves, there is still more support than opposition.


Moving onto the issue of immigration, Nigel Farage continues to lead the other party leaders on the issue (Farage 21%, Cameron 18%, Miliband 12%… but 46% none of them or don’t know). On balance people think that EU immigration into Britain is bad for the country by 46% to 29%. However on balance people also think that we should accept it by 45% to 30% (30% think that it is bad and the government should break EU rules to limit it, 16% that it is bad but we need to follow the rules, 29% that it is good for the country and we should accept it). There would be widespread support for attempts to limit the right of EU migrants to claim benefits in Britain. 78% would support a block on out of work benefits for migrants who have been in Britain for less than 2 years, 72% would support a block on in work benefits.

Private Education

On balance 37% of people think that private schools are good for Britain, 48% think they are bad for Britain. Relatively few (19%) would actually support banning private schools, but on tax breaks people would happily go further than Labour have proposed – 27% would support a Labour style conditional withdrawal of tax breaks, but 46% think all private schools should lose their tax breaks anyway. The “class war” criticism of Labour’s private schools policy doesn’t seem to hold much water. Only 28% of people think Labour’s proposals are based on negative reasons and a desire to punish the wealthy. 45% think they have made the proposals for positive reasons.

House of Lords

A large majority of people (74%) would support moving to a wholly (43%) or partially (31%) elected House of Lords – pretty much unchanged from when YouGov last asked in 2012. Asked about how members of the Lords are paid, 15% think they should receive a salary, 51% that they should be paid for the specific hours and resources that they use, 18% that they should receive no payment, allowances or expenses at all. Just 7% support the current system of a daily allowance.

Class and political snobbery

People who consider themselves as middle class think that the Conservatives best represent people of their class, people who consider themselves to be working class think that Labour best represent their class. 70% of people think that most politicians look down upon ordinary people. This seem to be especially the case with David Cameron – 63% think he looks down on ordinary people, compared to 46% for Ed Miliband, 49% for Nick Clegg and 41% for Nigel Farage. Asked specifically about Emily Thornberry’s tweet from Rochester, 47% of people think she was being snobby, 26% think she was not.

196 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 32, LAB 34, LDEM 7, UKIP 15, GRN 6”

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  1. @Alec
    “BTW – I think if you made an exception for the Poles, based on their WW2 record, you might get a few gripes from the Czechs, the Dutch, the French, etc etc”

    And the Indians (who at that point included the people who became Pakistani and Bangladeshi).

  2. I have never understood this attitude at all. If Mr B can afford a large 4×4 that could fight a main battle tank, because in a collision it will keep his kids much safer than Mr P’s kids, in there 12 year old banger, does Labour wish to tax that benefit ? Perhaps the public school parents are giving up all kinds of treats & benefits for their kids education, but they CHOOSE to do so. Much of Labours client base needs encouragement to get their kids to any school on a regular basis. They should consider this before they attack the parents who put their children first.

  3. As i’ve said, the Press are working together, and the NHS announcement is something that we can trumpet whilst the likes of the Mail can slam the mansion tax proposal.

  4. Long responses to Candy, Dieselhead on the previous thread, repeating the conclusion:

    The ideal policy for long-term prosperity is
    a) maintain a slight labour shortage
    b) encourage innovation

    because the political class doing the exact opposite is one of the main things driving the polls all over Europe both for parties like Syriza and parties like Ukip.

  5. Alec
    We both know that a future Labour government will be exactly like the last one. Immigration control, forget it.

    As for the Poles, it was not a serious comment.
    But I certainly do not consider any of the gutless wonders you mention in their league, then or now.

  6. @Roland

    The purchase of the land cruiser to get little Timmy to school was taxed. The petrol to fuel it is taxed. And road tax is paid on it.

    The private school does not get taxed.

    Your comparison fails on face evaluation.

    I also find your categorisation of “Labour’s Client Base” interesting.

  7. @JAY
    I fully realise that mate, I used to pay for such vehicles. But if child safety is a main factor, why should only the better off have such cars?

    Range Rovers on the rates I say.

  8. @Roland

    I don’t think anyone is blaming patents. It’s just that some of the larger public schools (Eton for example) did originally have an entirely charitable purpose. To provide education for those who couldn’t afford it. Now they do the opposite. Should they still have the same tax status? Labour seem to be saying Yes, but only if these schools give sufficient value back to the community to merit it.

  9. Of course, if we drive around around in bigger and bigger cars ‘because they are safe’, it just escalates the situation.

    The roads become even more dangerous to cyclists and pedestrians. The effect of a collision with a Ranger Rover is worse for the vulnerable user than the same incident with a Ford Fiesta.

    Also, as I note every time I travel through town during the school run, it would help if half the folk driving the 4 x 4’s actually knew how to drive them safely.

  10. @Roland

    Well, we used to employ crossing guards, to allow children to safely cross roads. And the distances required for there to be a bus collection were much shorter. And free bus transport was offered to all, not just to means tested families…

  11. What’s wrong with children going to a local school and walking?

  12. Pressman
    It is not the press who need to get together, it is David Cameron’s brain and mouth.

    We are reducing immigration to 400 Dr’s and 1000 Nurses, per annum. Oh dear me, it is actually 267,000 and most sell the big issue. Write a story that covers that cock up.

  13. OK so I’ve now had a chance to go over the rest of the marginals polling, to summarise:

    – To answer my own question, on this basis about half of Doncaster North Conservatives would need to go purple to unseat the Labour leader. Tories aren’t known for tactical voting – the chance to decapitate Labour will doubtless tempt a few, but how many? Miliband has a comfortable majority to begin with

    – In Sheffield Hallam, Nick Clegg is behind on standard voting intention but ahead of constituency voting intention, consistent with Lib Dem incumbency, but seemingly with less of a boost than other MPs in his party.

    – Clegg also starts with a substantial majority, but with such a large student vote, Labour feel it is “soft”. Another complicating factor, perhaps unsurprisingly given the demographics, is the extent of the Green surge, nudging double digits with five times their 2010 vote share on both questions.

    – In Sheffield Hallam the Conservatives are polling 23% on the first question but 19% on the second – if it really is this close, then this implied 4% tactical swing would be enough to save Clegg.

    – Nigel Farage was previously a strong favourite in Thanet South, but is now 4 or 5 points behind the Tories. There doesn’t seem to be much sign of tactical voting, and if there is, which way will it go?

    – There were rumours that Farage might be thinking of standing elsewhere, which as a non-incumbent he could do easily enough, but what about the political consequences?

    – Decapitations are rarely successful and leaders losing their own seats rarer still. No ‘big two’ party leader has lost his or her seat since 1931 and, excluding those exceptional circumstances, no leader of HM opposition ever has.

    – What is more likely though, is that the three party leaders have an unwelcome distraction close to home, with could divert their attention from national matters.

    – In the more traditional battleground polling, individual seats are interesting, but in aggregate, nothing hugely different from last time. The LIB-CON swing is little changed at 2%, a couple of points less than in Ashcroft National Polls.

    – If we adjust for the Ashcroft House effect (which typically has the big two lower than other pollsters) then Brecon and Radnorshire looks like being close.

    Full writeup:

  14. What, most immigrants sell the Big Issue? Get real.

  15. Roland,

    Either you have very selective memory about the immigration study that was in the news a few weeks ago, or you’re deliberately trying to start an argument about immigration.

  16. @Roland

    Much of Labours client base needs encouragement to get their kids to any school on a regular basis. They should consider this before they attack the parents who put their children first.

    We are reducing immigration to 400 Dr’s and 1000 Nurses, per annum. Oh dear me, it is actually 267,000 and most sell the big issue. Write a story that covers that cock up.

    Do you have any more steroeotypes that you can share with us? ;-)

  17. Correction


    Much of Labours client base needs encouragement to get their kids to any school on a regular basis. They should consider this before they attack the parents who put their children first.

    We are reducing immigration to 400 Dr’s and 1000 Nurses, per annum. Oh dear me, it is actually 267,000 and most sell the big issue. Write a story that covers that cock up.

    Do you have any more stereotypes that you can share with us? ;-)

  18. @Colin

    But sadly you’ll never read about the Oxbridge entrants from the comprehensive Newham Sixth Form College. Or about the ones the College of Excellence chucks out after one year because they might spoil their results.

  19. “A large majority of people (74%) would support moving to a wholly (43%) or partially (31%) elected House of Lords – pretty much unchanged from when YouGov last asked in 2012?

    While something needs to be done about the Lords, I’m not sure elections are the answer. Non-general elections don’t tend to have good turn out. I’m not sure I like the idea of the upper chamber being elected by the weirdos and fanatics who vote in council /. by-elections. And imagine if the Lords had been elected in 1997. You’d have had two houses utterly dominated by New Labour.

    I’d favour an upper chamber appointed by the commons. Peers (we can still call ’em that) hold office for 10 years. Every year, 10% retire and are replaced by new members. The allocation of the new peerages is based on the make up of the parliament at that time. Profound changes in public opinion will come to be reflected in the make up of the upper chamber, but only over time – even new Labour’s 1997-2005 dominance would have not bee long enough to swamp the place with its appointees.

  20. Roland

    That’s not what people want to here and DC has UKIP to worry about. If you want to promote some kind of Clarke/Heseltine agenda then you will be ploughing a lone furrow.

  21. I’ve been looking at the movement of 2010 Conservative voters to Labour and vice versa

    In Anthony’s last churn article I seem to remember it was net zero. However, over the last month, the number of 2010 Labour voters now moving conservative vs the other way seems to be gathering steam, particularly towards the tail end of the month. (I calculate 1.4% for the month, but 2.2% over the last week).

    Looking forward to UKPR’s monthly churn report to confirm if that is the case.

  22. Jayblanc

    “Either you have very selective memory about the immigration study that was in the news a few weeks ago”

    Even if you leave out all the costs they left out i.e. the increased housing costs, road congestion, schools etc that stem from more people using the same level of infrastructure and the less obvious costs of things like more flood damage from building houses in places that were never built on in the past – because they flooded, etc etc, or the social consequences of massively increasing the demand for forced prostitution – even if you leave all of that out and just take the report at face value what it actually said was

    the *net* effect of the tax benefit from immigrants above the contribution line outweighed the net loss from immigrants from below the contribution line.

    Begging the obvious question why not restrict it to those above the contribution line.

  23. And I would note that the biggest net churn of 2010 Labour voters to conservative this month was 4% on Tuesday after the very popular private schools announcement, to illustrate the point I was making earlier that just because an issue is popular, it may have the opposite effect on VI.

    Could of course be MOE, but I suspect there was more to it than that.

  24. @ Richard

    The problem with doing that kind of netting is that each is a percentage of the votes that party got in 2010, and CON got more votes that LAB, so the net percentage can be misleading.

    I prefer to multiply by each party’s 2010 vote share, then net them (so you get a percentage of all votes).

    But you are correct that there appears to be more LAB to CON direct switching in the last week or so – just not yet statistically significant.

  25. Roland,

    “But I certainly do not consider any of the gutless wonders you mention in their league, then or now.”

    Didn’t do any history did you.

    At the end of the war in 1945 India had the largest volunteer army in world history after suffering twice as many casualties as Britain did!


  26. MRJones

    Your considered reply merits an attempt at an answer.

    I can see where you are coming from but “shortage”, compared to what? How do you know what the equilibrium number is and what is the “right” number compared to the equilibrium. I would still maintain that most businesses require capital and labour to work together and businesses won’t that that keen to invest where there is a shortage of labour and their future staff costs are uncertain as a result. (Since the workforce is canny enough to know when it’s in short supply.)

    Also there is no rule to say that innovation has to be labour saving. Lots of innovations are about people just working together more effectively. I would guess your average Starbucks is just as labour-intensive as a transport cafe but people seems to prefer the coffee etc. in the first one.

    ie. Robots and the Windmill in Animal farm are only one type of innovation. Also most people quite like work I would say.

    Finallly. I haven’t got strong views on immigration (I realise this seems to put me in a minority but I was thinking of joining the yellows anyway). But The worlds population will be 4bn higher by 2100 so it’s probably not that important where 5-10m Europeans live. Although it is a bit illogical for people to move from relatively sparcely populated areas to more densely populated ones – which is what is happening.
    I also strongly oppose any undermining of the min. wage. So I think a bit if common ground there.

  27. Is Pressman for real?

  28. As a snob I am horrified by ROLANDGATINOISE’s snobbery towards Labour voters! Some terrible things were implied.

  29. @Cover Drive

    “Is Pressman for real?”

    He’s little more than an anthropomorphic manifestation of the meme “The Tory press will attack EM”.

  30. JOHNB160

    Well I don’t know if they get publicised or not.

    But It isn’t relevant to the topic in hand-which is the alleged failure of the Independent Sector to “do their bit” for the less well off.

    I was just giving an example of some who do.

  31. I see the Lib/Dems have already got their post election slogan out.

  32. I wonder if it’s ever occurred to those who casually lay the charge of hypocrisy at ex-public schoolboys, like Tristram Hunt and myself, for having the temerity to criticise the system of education we experienced as children, that very few eight year olds have much say in the choice of school they attend? Maybe I should have spent more time with my parents then, discussing my objections to receiving a privileged and ultimately socially dysfunctional education. How remiss of me not to have done so and to have formed and articulated my opinions so late.

    My consolation are these words recently spoken by Alan Bennett: –

    “Private education is not fair. Those who provide it know it. Those who pay for it know it. Those who have to sacrifice in order to purchase it know it. And those who receive it know it, or should. And if their education ends without it dawning on them, then that education has been wasted.”

    In that regard, as defined by Bennett’s last sentence, my education wasn’t wasted. My two sons were educated at state comprehensive schools and had a more rounded and better education than I did. My youngest son is attending a fine University and, I hope, will emerge with every bit as a good a degree as I did. I rather suspect he’ll be a more well rounded individual too.

    Lots of good articles in today’s Observer about social class (it would appear that Thornberry, Mellor and Mitchell have reignited an old debate!) and Hunt’s proposals on tax breaks for public schools. A particularly interesting piece from Sam Freedman, director of research, evaluation and impact at Teach First and a former member of the Independent Schools Council. He criticises Hunt’s proposals from a rather counter-intuitive angle and says: –

    “So my worry about these proposals is not that they will launch a class war but that they could fuel a widespread and inaccurate belief in the innate superiority of private schools when we should be looking to build on success in the state system.”

    I totally agree with him about that, by the way.

  33. Robin

    I don’t think a lot of people really understand how intense the campaign will be, they certainly won’t realise until we approach Spring. As a rookie in the 92 campaign, to see that team plus other allies from elsewhere being assembled 22 years on is fantastic but as we know this time there are two battles to fight and the internet is in play. What a challenge and what a victory it will be.

  34. It was the elected politicians who packed the House of Lords with their cronies in the first place, now the politicians fall over themselves to argue that it should be abolished ‘because it’s full of cronies’ and replaced by…. more elected politicians!

  35. So, on the House of Lords, 58% support the principle of the way that they are paid (the more often you show up to work, the more you get), but only 7% think that the daily allowance actually works in the manner intended?

  36. It should be noted that parents who send their kids to private school must pay twice: once for the state schools and once for the private schools. If they only had to pay once, a lot more parents would be able to afford to put their kids through private schools.

  37. Pressman

    Nice to see you take full cognisance of AW’s groundrules for this site.

  38. @Peter CAIRNS
    We must have bunked of history together then. Why do you liberals have to over egg these things.
    British War casualties total killed and wounded 582,900. from just short of 6 million under arms.
    Indian War casualties total killed and wounded 100,400 from 258,2000 under arms.
    Now, these “indian” figures are including the magnificent Gurkha’s from Nepal. Indeed a large proportion of the casualties shown for India are Gurkha’s. My own son has the honour to serve currently in the RGR and believe me both of us love our Gurkha’s. However, introducing silly statistics into the matter is quite unnecessary


    BTW the Poles lost lost 3,000,000 souls.

  39. Norbold

    Let’s not pretend that this is a site purely for neutral commentary on the polls; I’m giving an insight here to the machinations of the establishment Press and the sheer weight that will be thrown into securing a Tory victory that will come with a heavy pricetag.

    INDIAN TOTAL NUMBERS SERVED, should read 2,582,000.

  41. @ T’Other Howard,

    Except they’re not the same policy at all, because the limits on housing benefit for private renters were not applied retrospectively, and it’s the retrospective aspect of the Bedroom Tax that’s causing all the problems and making the policy so unpopular.

    If the Labour Party’s propaganda machine was capable of convincing anyone of anything, we’d be looking at a very different political landscape.

    @ Alisdair,

    many towns in the US use a property tax for local services, and they seem to manage to revalue every year.

    They don’t revalue annually, at least not across the board. In many states you have the same situation you have with council tax where revaluing becomes a political nightmare because people’s taxes will rise so it doesn’t get done for decades.

    @ Bill Patrick,

    By that logic, though, anyone without children or whose children weren’t school age shouldn’t have to pay for state education either- after all, they’re not using the service.

  42. BP

    That’s because we collectively agree that having been successful within a society does not earn you the right to cut yourself off from helping to fund the rest of society. So I don’t really understand your point, but if you’re talking about a hypothetical world, why stop there?

    If I didn’t pay any tax, I’d be able to buy a bigger German car than the one I currently have. And an armed guard to sit in the car with me every time I went out for a drive.

  43. @Pressman

    I think the press sometimes forget that many people are like me.

    If the press say black, I assume I am being lied to and the answer is really white.

  44. Pressman “I’m giving an insight here to the machinations of the establishment Press and the sheer weight that will be thrown into securing a Tory victory that will come with a heavy price tag.”

    How very public spirited of you.


    The great man himself said…

    “Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage”

    Stick to your guns and ride the storm PRESSMAN


    Beauty isn’t worth thinking about; what’s important is your mind. You don’t want a fifty-dollar haircut on a fifty-cent head.

  46. Roland,

    Indian deaths are estimated at between 1,000,000 and 2,500,000. Mostly not through combat which was much lower, but then I don’t suspect you are discounting those who died in the blitz as not counting.

    There were of course larger armies than Indias but the key point is that India didn’t have conscription so these were all volunteers who fought for us even though their country was a colony.

    But then be it on size of army or total military or civilian casualties Russia tops the list of our allies by far, which you’ve obviously glossed over as it doesn’t suit your list of those eligible to live here.


  47. If Pressman is to be believed (very big if), a small clique of media owners is conspiring to subvert the course of democracy.

    Where’s MI5 when it’s needed? Sitting in on the clique’s meetings, I suppose.

  48. I for one would be interested to hear more about the heavy pricetag… given what we knew from before the last election from The Independent (Peter Oborne also wrote about it during Leveson) about the “grand bargain”.

    Supposedly this was referred to as “the rubicon process” in emails seen by the Leveson Inquiry.

  49. If Pressman is correct regarding the press

    “establishment Press and the sheer weight that will be thrown into securing a Tory victory that will come with a heavy pricetag.”

    Can not imagine what the price tag will be ?
    However I hope their message is a lot stronger than :
    Trust me , I am Dave.
    As that seems as difficult as getting a Gary Glitter record played on that radio.

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