We have our regular glut of Monday polls today, with new figures from YouGov, Populus, Ashcroft and ComRes. Topline figures are:

Populus – CON 32%, LAB 35%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 14%, GRN 5% (tabs)
Ashcroft – CON 30%, LAB 32%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 16%, GRN 6% (tabs)
YouGov/Sun – CON 32%, LAB 32%, LD 8%, UKIP 15%, GRN 6%
ComRes/Indy – CON 28%, LAB 31%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 18%, GRN 7% (tabs)

A week ago we had a clutch of polls showing an increased Labour lead following Rochester and Strood. Populus had a couple of polls with 5 point leads, as did Lord Ashcroft, YouGov’s poll on the same day produced a four point Labour lead. This week they’ve all gone back to more typical numbers – it was either a short term effect, or just pure co-incidence. We will never know.

Note that there is a change in ComRes’s methodology. As with their online and constituency polling, they have introducing UKIP into the main voting intention prompt. UKIP are down one point since the previous ComRes poll so this does not appear to have had any radical effect.


533 Responses to “Monday polling round-up”

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  1. VALERIE
    A Christie
    Sour, plum face Angela Merkel
    ———–
    Is that really necessary?
    _____

    Nope I should had wrote “Sour plum faced Angela Merkel”

    Thanks ROGER MEXICO

  2. @nigedevlin – think you are incorrect regarding house prices. Average prices are not £250K – they are actually around £180K.

    I also don’t see stamp duty reforms as a game changer – just a headline grabber to divert from bad news. The changes won’t affect that many people (how many times a year does the average person buy a house?) and if it does, saving a percent or two on a very large purchase won’t seem that substantial.

    Besides, I suspect only those people buying a house now will really notice the difference. Next year, people won’t think how much better off they are thanks to George – they’ll just wince at the amount of tax they need to pay, even if it’s less than it would have been.

    Labour also reacted well, by arguing the chancellor had accepted there was a need to tax expensive homes.

    I don’t personally see this as a game changer.

  3. @ ALLAN CHRISTIE
    YouGov/Sun poll tonight …Lib Dems fall to fifth: … LD 6%, … GRN 7%

    Help. I’m having trouble with the concept of you being the purveyor of what I view as good news! While it isn’t a record Green poll result per se, the Green share, at 6.6%, is now at a record high for a 5poll average (mean), and equals the records (set yesterday and sunday) for Green 10 and 20 poll averages (means).

    In other words, seriously good news for the Greens.

  4. Back from watching the Blues take another impressive step towards the title, to find the Blues ahead in the other race, all good news for we Chelsea Tories. :-)

  5. @Ben

    What is good for the Green VI is the fact they are getting near to zero publicity and still growing.

    In Yorkshire and Humber the local party has grown 125% since January, so things are looking quite healthy.

  6. @Catmanjeff
    Yes and no. That poll was taken over the last 24 hours. ie before Natalie Bennett was on BBC news at 10. It seems Greens standing is beginning (slowly) to filter through into more coverage (?!)

  7. BEN FOLEY
    @ ALLAN CHRISTIE
    YouGov/Sun poll tonight …Lib Dems fall to fifth: … LD 6%, … GRN 7%
    Help. I’m having trouble with the concept of you being the purveyor of what I view as good news
    _____

    Well thanks for that. Unless you’re SNP UKIP or of Green persuasion then there aint much good news being chucked around in terms of VI.

    Yes good poll result for the Greens and they are averaging out quite well on the ole polling front. . We may even see a sustained cross over between them and the Lib/Dums.

  8. AC
    I should had wrote
    ——–
    Why not try
    I should have written

  9. KEN
    Back from watching the Blues take another impressive step towards the title, to find the Blues ahead in the other race, all good news for we Chelsea Tories. :-)
    __________

    Well the Royal blues back up north (Rangers Tories) had a disaster of a night. They got booted out of some diddly cup by Alloa even though the blues were 2-0 up at one stage.

  10. Crickey VALERIE you’re like a bad rash.

  11. Re stamp duty, what a gimmick. All will be immediately factored into the prices (we live in a market economy), so the people benefiting will be the (98% of the) sellers. Am I the only one finding this obvious?

  12. ALLAN CHRISTIE………..Looks like those Ranger Tories could do with an Oligarch, I’ll have a word. ;-)

  13. ALEC
    “I also don’t see stamp duty reforms as a game changer – just a headline grabber to divert from bad news. The changes won’t affect that many people (how many times a year does the average person buy a house?) and if it does, saving a percent or two on a very large purchase won’t seem that substantial.”

    Well my niece and her soon to be husband who are both paramedics in London will save over £4000 in stamp duty on the house they are buying. That may be only a percentage point to you but to them and thousands like them, it is a huge sum. Personally I think it’s very clever of Osborne and could be a game changer. Shame he couldn’t act on inheritance tax too.

  14. Ann in Wales – “Regarding the changes to stamp duty.I think this a sound move and as I am in the middle of buying and selling I will personally benefit from it.However as the opposition have welcomed it,it is unlikely to be repealed if they win the next election.So no way will it change how I intend to vote”

    I too thought it was a sound move. It combined a tax cut for ordinary people with a nice slice for the treasury from those oligarchs busily buying in London, so most people will be pleased, bar poor old Myleene when she buys her house.

    As you said, Labour won’t repeal it.

    Ironically the only place it really might change votes, is in Scotland. Apparently the SNP are bringing in stamp duty of 10% on the amounts over £250,000 in April. That’s real “ouch” stuff.

    Labour in Scotland would be smart to campaign on a policy of equalising all taxes with England as part of their “One Nation” schtick.

    We will get to see whether Scots are really as keen on tax competition in practice as well as theory.

    Beyond that, I think Osborne will definitely get points for a good budget. Even if people don’t personally benefit, they want to feel the budget is sensible, they don’t like the idea of a Chancellor making mistakes. So I think this will definitely give the Cons a lift.

    Osborne’s performance has improved over the Parliament, you definitely get the sense of someone who is learning over time and getting better at his job. He scores on this over Cameron.

  15. @ Candy
    Could not agree more.

    Still unsure if he has what it takes to lead the party though, he still reminds me of Kevin Spacey out of the film, The Usual Suspects.

  16. Osborne has the advantage of youth on his side. If the Tories lose the election then I imagine they will go through some turmoil over europe and possibly even something of an existential crisis (especially if a Lab-Lib-SNP formulation of some kind revives the cause of electoral reform). After a few years of Boris trying to handle a mess like that, I think Osborne would become a very attractive alternative indeed.

  17. Latest YouGov / The Sun results 3rd December – Con 32%, Lab 31%, UKIP 17%, Greens 7%, LD 6%, Others 1%

    Somme seriously unpleasant cross breaks for Lab in this poll

    – The WV/DK for Lab is nearly as bad as the LD’s at 18%

    Cons have a commanding lead amongst young voters 35% to 23%

    Retention of 2010 Lab almost as bad as Cons.

    The only group holding up is the Red Dems, without them the Lab vote would be 23%

    And an expected Con bounce tomorrow

  18. Missed out

    SNP 5%

  19. ROBERT

    @” That may be only a percentage point to you but to them and thousands like them, it is a huge sum. ”

    Absolutely.
    Alec makes the mistake of thinking ordinary people buy houses without a mortgage.

    For most people, saving £25k to £30k for the deposit is hard enough-the SD & Legal Fees on top are often what makes the project impossible.

    Saving £4k for these people is , as you say, a huge sum.

  20. Those on the left looking at a poll which puts the Conservatives ahead by 1% will regard the latest poll as bad news.

    On the other hand if you’re a Green the Conservative lead is apparently irrelevant. This poll is good news, don’t you know?

  21. LEFTY

    @”But he DIDN’T stick to Plan A.”

    Depends what you mean by PLAN A.

    He allowed the stabilizers to work, and let time take the strain .
    Danny Alexander constantly emphasises this.

    But GO is the front man-so he talks about the LONG TERM PLAN ( “long term”-gettit?)

    I refer you to the pb thread headline :-

    “The genius of George Osborne: His government’s failure on the deficit is being ignored”

  22. @Phil

    Don’t be snippy,

    Try an extra coffee instead ;-)

  23. COLIN
    There is an interesting possible correlation between LP/UKIP
    churn and Lab VI, with this morning 31% possibly correlating with the UKIP high of 17%, while e.g. Populus are on Lab 35%/ and UKIP 14%: a trrend which we may see at the weekend as Lab around 33, and UKIP slowly leaking decimal points to Lab and Con as the year weareth on and the New Year and campaigning beginneth.

  24. Agreed – saving £4K is a big saving, but rolled up into a 25 year loan and with it representing a tiny fraction of the cost of purchase, with or without finance, there will be very few people indeed who buy or fail to buy purely down to stamp duty. Please don’t lecture me about what money means – for 20 years I was probably one of the lowest paid people on this board, working for a charity, and I still suffer the consequences through not being able to afford a very nice house.

    In perspective; savings for most people equate to something like one months price increases when the markets were running hot last year. The likely effect is to increase house prices around the old stamp duty thresholds anyway, so if people think think this is a game changer, I think they are playing the wrong game.

  25. Colin
    Re yr post at 4.50 pm yesterday…
    Also form the green book:
    “Since the 2008 peak, however, GDP has risen by 3.4% but employment has increased by 3.7% meaning that output per worker is still below the pre-crisis peak.”

    and…

    “The deficit remains high and productivity is too low.”

    and…

    “Autumn Statement 2014 sets out a comprehensive package to address historically weak UK productivity”

    and

    “Autumn Statement 2013 analysis made clear there has not been a break in the long-run relationship between
    productivity and total compensation…”

    I also note that the green book text you refer to says:
    “…imply productivity grew…”

  26. @ Colin

    There is housing shortage so I don’t think you will see those savings on stamp duties end up anywhere other than in the pockets of the sellers or in bank interest payments.

    Because of the shortage, house prices are governed by what people can afford and are set accordingly- if they pay less in stamp duty then market forces will mean they pay more for the house. The tweak would be that a buyer doesn’t need the same level of up front cash to cover stamp duty so might just have a better chance of buying a house sooner or rolling that money into the actual mortgage (they pay more for the house but less for the deposit).

    The best analogy I could come up with is if someone abolished tax on auction fees (assuming there is one!). Someone goes into that auction room knowing what they are willing to pay- if there are less associated costs then they will pay more for the actual article.

  27. Osborne surprisingly unsteady on R4 just now.

    The Con plan is that people will think fear about the deficit and/or public debt will swing votes. But people don’t ‘see’ gilts or government debt. They *do* see cuts in provision, trouble in the NHS, etc.

    And if the plan is working, why the need for ever-more cuts? At what point is enough enough?

    That said, the moves on stamp duty are good, and well overdue. But three things: first, does it run the risk of reminding people struggling to afford a house that it remains out of reach? Second, will in inflate prices at the lower end? Third, and for the purposes of this site the most important, it legitimises Labour’s stand that the wealthy and expensive property are under-taxed, and so I don’t think it kills off the mansion tax – quite the contrary.

  28. I think the labour position before the autumn statement was very weak, and i expect a smallish tory bounce. Labour are on the verge of throwing this whole thing away. They are very poor performers.

    Labour have a very easy line: the government set an immigration target which they failed to meet dismally; they set a deficit reduction target which they failed to meet dismally. They are incompetent and have broken two key pledges….

    Of course, Labour, in particular Miliband, don’t really have the communication skills or clarity to get these two very simple messages across.

  29. @Colin
    “The genius of George Osborne: His government’s failure on the deficit is being ignored”

    Nothing to do with genius, merely a very pliant press. The spin put by the Chancellor on the underlying state of the economy became apparent soon after he sat down.

    As I said yesterday, it won’t change anyone’s VI. Those that are happy with GO and the Tories will remain so and vice versa.

  30. I think the stamp duty changes are both good policy and good politics, and I think it will help the blues. Quite a lot of us will know someone to whom this makes a big difference in the short term (even though I agree it will soon wash out into house prices), plus the politics are clever – Tories bleeding the rich and fixing an undeniably wrong-headed tax under the covering fire of the mansion tax.

    I don’t go along with the general praise of GO though – a very political (ie not perceived as honest) animal who has clearly failed to meet the objectives he set himself. Plus not a persona that the public finds attractive IMO.

  31. The OBR says that the stamp duty changes are expected to lead to higher prices. What you save on the duty you will pay on the house. In London, we have an overheated market- don’t think this will help much…

  32. Peter Crawford

    “Labour have a very easy line: the government set an immigration target which they failed to meet dismally; they set a deficit reduction target which they failed to meet dismally. They are incompetent and have broken two key pledges….”

    The trouble is Peter that if you look at the detailed polling the voters don’t think Labour would do any better on those issues, in fact they think they would do a lot worse.

  33. Shaun

    “Shame he couldn’t act on inheritance tax too.”

    Agreed.

  34. TARK

    That’s your opinion not mine, sounded OK to me.

  35. Colin

    No. It is very, VERY simple.

    Plan A involved a certain rate of deficit reduction and concomitant growth. We had the deficit reduction in the first couple of years and growth was appalling. This at a time when the rest of the world was generally seeing moderately healthy growth (ie any of the “storms” that Osborne blamed on R4 this morning didn’t seem to affect the rest of the world then.)

    From late 2012, we have deviated massively from the Plan A path of deficit reduction. Essentially, we’ve all but stopped reducing the deficit for 2 years. That is unarguable. It’s there in the OBR figures. And, whaddya know? Growth has come roaring back.

    But the key issue is this. Osborne says in yesterday’s AS that the figures show that he’s on course to meet his Fiscal Mandate (Plan B version, though it dare not speak its name). But that can only be true if we have the most eye-watering Austerity yet in 2015-17. FAR stronger than anything we saw in 2010-12. And we know what happened to out economy in 2010-12. It flatlined, even in a global period of moderately strong growth. What he’s now saying is that, in a global scenario of very seriously gathering clouds, he’s going to cut like never before.

    As I said, deficit reduction as set out yesterday for 2015-17 simply will not happen. Period. It is economically impossible without devastating consequences. So it won’t happen, because Osborne isn’t stupid and because that plan has nothing to do with economics. This is entirely about political posturing and trying to paint Labour into a corner.

  36. JOHN

    Thanks.

    I don’t really look at the minutae much these days-it all seems so opaque to me.

    ALEC/SHEVII

    If the SD changes affect so few and/or will amount to a row of beans-then Lab will note lose votes because of them. All is fine.

    MIKEN

    Thanks-yes Productivity is too low. I hope it is rising, but I’m not sure the measuring of it is always meaningful.
    Does anyone know how the massive switch from Retail Sales on the High Street, to Online is affecting “Productivity” ?
    So many things have changed forever since the Crash. I’m not sure we know what sort of Economy we can really contemplate.

    That’s what makes the remaining Deficit-and certainly the mountainous Debt so scary.
    ….unless you are one of those who think Debt is of no concern/we just print or give away money to solve it etc etc. In which case-why worry ?

    RAF

    I agree with your last para.

  37. Tark

    “And if the plan is working, why the need for ever-more cuts? At what point is enough enough?”

    When spending public spending as a percentage of GDP is down to around 35% which it would be if the Cons are elected next year and they keep to the plan in the Autumn statement.

    Is that achievable? I suspect not if you keep big spending departments ring fenced but of course he cannot say otherwise before the election, but of course that’s only IMO of course. If I had been Chancellor in 2010 I would have made cuts in all areas. In the NHS for example we see huge salaries for administrators we do not need in such large numbers.

  38. Getting back to polls….

    I don’t remember us discussing this poll

    http://survation.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Camborne-Redruth-Data-Tables.pdf

    It was a constituency poll of Camborne and Redruth which sensationally has UKIP in the lead/2nd depending on the question, and the Lib Dems plunging from 37% at the last GE down to 6% and 5th place

    Survation Camborne & redtruth poll:

    General VI:
    UKIP- 33%
    Conservatives- 30%
    Labour- 22%
    Green- 7%
    Lib Dems- 6%

    “In your constituency” VI:
    Conservatives- 34%
    UKIP- 28%
    Labour- 18%
    Lib Dem- 13%
    Green- 6%

    BUT

    The 2010 vote in that poll is
    43% Cons, 23% Lab, 19% LD, 13% other

    Per UKPR 2015 guide the actual result in 2010 was
    38% Cons, 37% LD, 16% Lab, 5% UKIP, 4% Other

    So lib dems half their actual vote in the poll.

    I can see most polls are now having to weight up those 2010 LD’s, it seems to be harder and harder to find people who remember/admit they voted LD in 2010, but after the Doncaster North poll and what we saw on the party id weighting there and how it impacted the final result, I think we need to be careful to look at the weighting on all these constituency polls now.

    I don’t think Survation weight their constituency polls, so don’t think this is an error like we saw with Ashcroft, but that massive difference in 2010 votes vs the poll would lead me at least to think this poll tells us very little and could be completely misleading?

  39. LEFTY

    Thanks

    I think there may be something in your last para.

    Since he has now taken to using Debt/GDP% rather than Debt £ bn as the measure of change, I suppose you just have to wait for the Denominator to get big enough to reduce the % to acceptable levels.

    But even that strategy requires that the Numerator doesn’t go on rising too much.

    Next Parliament is not a bowl of cherries -whoever gets in.

  40. @TOH
    My opinion … but also that of Isabel Hardman, Fraser Nelson, Tom N-D, el al on twitter right after the interview … unnecessary tetchiness replying to questions that he should have seen coming.

    There’s nothing magical about public spending at 35% of GDP. There’s a reason why the 1930s is considered a nadir of public policy and provision. The only way to achieve that 35% safely is if the economy grows steadily – and sustainably – outstripping rises in public provision, something which I think Osborne would find beyond his talents.

  41. Ken

    :-)

  42. the reason i don’t rate osborne is simply the 2012 budget . This was, in strictly political terms, the most damaging budget to a governing party that I can remember … the fallout of Howe’s 81 budget was not quite as bad, and that’s saying something.

    Nothing ozzie has done since then has convinced me that he is the tactical genius his friends in the media would have us believe.

  43. Looking at those Trading Economics data that someone helpfully linked to yesterday, I’m struck by the state of that datum which nobody talks about any more – the current account.

    Back before neo-liberal economics this was the key measure, usually to beat Labour with – ‘not paying our way in the world’.

    Everybody now seems totally chillaxed about it but to me it’s a fundamental indicator of the health of the economy. And ours is the third worst of all those countries listed, ahead only of Turkey and South Africa.

    Still, Black Friday was a blast.

  44. Not sure if I’m being thick, but the stamp duty thing seems to me to be a direct transfer from the public purse to the pockets of house sellers (given that they will simply up their prices, most significantly around the values at the old tax boundaries). But most house sellers are also house buyers. So there will be no net benefit for these people.

    The two groups of people who will benefit are downsizers and those selling properties that they have inherited. For the rest of us, there’s another round of stoked-up house price inflation, and a billion quid less going into the Treasury.

  45. Leftylampton

    “The discussion now should be, what are the lessons of the past five years. Osborne’s line is clear. He stuck to Plan A. Plan A worked. We need more of Plan A.”

    Your right

    “If he had done, the deficit would be £50-odd bn lower today.”

    Your right again, lesson learnt, austerity works if you cut hard enough early enough.

    If he had set a target of public spending being no more than 35% of GDP in the first place growth would be even better than it is and most people would be better off as greater tax cuts would be possible. All IMO of course, it’s why I criticize this government almost as much as I do Labour’s plans.

  46. @Lefty
    ‘This is entirely about political posturing and trying to paint Labour into a corner’

    Yes, up to a point. Cornering your opponents is only half the job. The other is offering a reasonably attractive position for voters outside your core, something which Osborne is less good at, considering he didn’t win in 2010. The prospect of yet more undefined cuts may not attract DKs, waverers, center-ish voters who otherwise could give Con a go. If so, endlessly trying to trap Ed Balls looks more like sixth-form debating smarts. Now Labour have to find a way of dodging that one, and I have full confidence that they will …

    Last week some 40-odd Con-run councils joined others in a letter urgently requesting a change of direction for local govt funding. It’s at that level that cuts are felt and seen the most.

  47. Fraser Nelson has blogged the AS & graphs show exactly the state of play since 2010 & looking ahead to 2015

    http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/2014/12/george-osbornes-autumn-statement-in-six-graphs/

  48. @ Colin

    That wasn’t really what my comment was about- I was just saying that I don’t see a long term financial benefit to any buyer as a result of those changes.

    But to be honest I very much doubt it will have a big impact on voting intention- personally I thought the AS was pretty neutral in that respect but if someone said to me that Stamp Duty was the game changer for 2015 I’d say they were off their rocker!!!

    Just looking at some of the websites today- BBC, Telegraph, Guardian all of them are talking about public spending going back to levels last seen in the 1930’s. This seems to be nonsense and probably just represents an opinion that if the deficit is cut in the timeframe proposed then that would be the result. However if that starts to feed into the narrative then that would be a vote changer in my opinion.

  49. GUYMONDE

    @” Black Friday was a blast.”

    I saw the phrase “Shopping with violence” has been coined !

    Did you read that many of the Polaroid TVs ( whatever they are ?) ended up on E-Bay the following day-with few bidders

    Was it Napolean ( or Mr Hollande ) who called us a “Nation of Shoplifters” ?

    :-)

  50. SHEVII

    @”I don’t see a long term financial benefit to any buyer as a result of those changes.”

    I don’t know whether it will or not.

    I suppose five months of effect would do the job as far as GO is concerned ?

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