This week’s YouGov/Sunday Times poll is now up here. Topline figures are CON 32%, LAB 32%, LDEM 6%, UKIP 17%, GRN 7%. With Labour and the Conservatives still neck-and-neck this is very much in line with the YouGov polling before the Autumn Statement. Note the level of Green support though, YouGov and Lord Ashcroft have both shown the occassional one-off poll with the Greens ahead of the Liberal Democrats in the past, but YouGov have now produced three polls in a row with the Greens in fourth place ahead of the Lib Dems.

The rest of the YouGov poll had some questions on school nativity plays, free schools (still unpopular) and childbirth which I don’t plan on writing about today, and a few questions on the Autumn statement and stamp duty. Cameron & Osborne have a solid lead on the deficit – 41% trust them compared to 22% who trust Miliband & Balls. However, asked what the government’s policy should be on the deficit people’s views are significantly out of line with the Conservatives’. Only 20% think cutting the deficit mainly through spending cuts should be the priority, 19% think it should be cut mainly through tax increases, 36% think the government should not prioritise the deficit at all and should instead spend more or tax less to try and encourage growth. A reminder, perhaps, that people’s perceptions of who they trust on the economy or the deficit is not necessarily based on what their policies are.

By 77% to 8% people think that George Osborne’s changes to stamp duty are a good idea, and 73% think it is a fair way to increase the tax paid by the better off. Asked the same questions about Labour’s proposed mansion tax by 63% to 23% people think it is a good idea, and by 61% to 25% people think it is a fair way of increasing taxes for the better off. Asked to pick between the two, the stamp duty changes are marginally preferred – 45% think it is a better way of increasing taxes on people with expensive homes, 33% prefer the idea of the mansion tax (as you’d expect, this is largely a partisan affair – Tory voters prefer the stamp duty changes, Labour voters the mansion tax. I suspect had the Conservatives announced a mansion tax and Labour promised the changes to stamp duty the answers would be the other way around).

Opinium also had their fortnightly poll in the Observer, which had topline figures of CON 29%(-1), LAB 34%(+1), LDEM 6%(-1), UKIP 19%(nc), GRN 6%(+2) (tabs here) – there is no significant changes from a fortnight ago. There was also a new Populus poll yesterday which showed a two point Labour lead, wholly inline with the three point average Labour lead the company showed in November. With three companies now having conducted polls since the Autumn Statement there is no obvious short term impact on voting intention… which is very much as we’d would expect!

262 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times- CON 32, LAB 32, LDEM 6, UKIP 17, GRN 7”

1 2 3 6
  1. Sorry to keep banging on about the Greens – but I think that’s their highest score to date with Opinium?

  2. I think the question about the deficit that AW highlights is the most significant thing in the YouGov poll. The figures are: 20% spending cuts, 19% tax rises and 36% fiscal stimulus. Is this the result of the Autumn Statement or did people have these views before? I don’t recall seeing a similar question in the past.

    It does seem to be a significant failure for Osborne’s extreme cuts politics. Only 20% are following his position and the other 55% are taking a line that is more in tune with the Labour position (though possibly going much further). Maybe this will encourage Balls to be a bit bolder about what the Labour position on the deficit actually is?

    However probably the most significant thing is that support for taking action on the deficit *at all* is only 39% for and 36% against, despite the fact that there is no-one (outside academic blogs) campaigning for fiscal stimulus (and therefore a larger deficit). This does open up fertile terrain for someone to exploit, surely?

  3. I don’t think the Mansion tax v Stamp Duty question is particularly fair as one costs the government money and the other brings in money and this is not mentioned in the question- other than the best way of getting money from the rich.

    I also think that whatever the public’s views on the deficit (and it does raise some room for manoeuvre for the political parties as the public seem increasingly chillaxed about it) the financial reality is that political parties will still be governed by medium term economic realities if they do not pay it down and subject to potentially serious issues if the “markets” throw a wobbly at which point it will become an issue with the voting public again. The obvious way this would happen is government borrowing rates rise.

  4. The Green performance is probably the main story in all of this. Yes, they’re still in the “lots of noise” range, but the risk of the LibDems falling clearly into fifth is beginning to emerge as a real thing. I suspect the LibDems will hold onto fourth in the end…incumbent support and all that jazz…but there’s room for some real long-term damage if the Greens become a viable vote in a few places. If nothing else, it splits up the left-wing protest vote on a long-term basis.

    Also…technically the Greens were a /lot/ higher back in the late 80s, if I’m not mistaken…and the fat lot of good it did them then (though the resolution of the SDP mess and the LibDems getting their act together probably helped on that front…if I’m not mistaken, that spike coincided with the LibDems falling under 5% in the middle of the Continuing SDP fiasco).

  5. Shevii,

    The markets are fine with a deficit and have been for five years. And rates rising from 0.5% would be a sign of success, not a problem (and a signal to end the stimulus).

    There’s no downside to a stimulus policy, except for the dominant narrative about the urgency of “paying down the deficit”. What’s significant about the poll is that half the public does not believe this.

  6. I wouldn’t mind betting that the vast majority that responded to that question think the deficit is actually the country’s National Debt not the amount it is increasing each month!

  7. I suppose some success with cutting the deficit has made people believe the Tories are serious about controlling spending.

    Hence the virtually double score of financial trust. However, it also shows many have bought into the BBC’s viewpoint that “Tory Cuts” will debilitate the nation. Perhaps Osborne will back pedal on this one over the next few months. If I were from planet Bekon 17, and had no interest in earthling politics, I would probably expect a Tory largest party based on current scores and situation.
    A) The Tory leader is much more respected than the Labour leader.
    B) The Tory chancellor is much more trusted than his oppo.
    Tight though init.

  8. Neck and Neck?
    I think a modest labour lead is mor accurate.

  9. @SHELTS
    A very good point. Further, I wonder how many have a clue about the levels of interest we are paying. Probably the people who went to Wonga, would not take to much notice of these things.

  10. @JIM JAM
    I would say that it is so very modest, that only pedantism or desperation apply.

  11. Good early afternoon all.

    JIM JAM and RG:
    I think it looks like a very slender lead, pointing to an exciting neck-and-neck race to the finish over the next five months.
    The LD v Con split may widen, and the Food Bank issue has hit the Mail with Archbishop Welby speaking about our hungry people; materially that is.

    Maybe this will have some VI effect, but this, I think, is doubtful.
    Minds seem to have been made up; at the moment.

  12. Roland – maybe pedentry but I think I have shown that desperation does not feaure in my posts.

    Like Chelsie (I am sure Ken would agree) better to have a lead (2 points on UKPR Average) than be behind.

    In fact less positive for Chelsie in that their only serious challengers have a bit of momentum at this time while the momentum in the polls is with a team lower down the league (Greens) who have it is true helped by taking points off the leaders recently.

    But to extend the football metaphor political parties (and thei supporters) should concentrate on securing as many votes (points) as possible and not worry too much ab out the opposition.

  13. Interesting tho green surge is,the figure to keep an eye on is snp 38 labour 29,latest yougov.

    Labours chances of getting most votes ,blocking the libdems plumping for talking to the tories first,surely require labour to be better than parity.

    Clearly voters dont understand labours advantage under FPTP which fuels the green surge and underpins labour switch to snp.Tho you could also argue it doesnt seem to affect tory switchers to ukip.

  14. Times Red Box:

    Who’s at fault for the missed immigration targets? 25% Coalition, 18% last Labour government.

    Who’s at fault for the missed deficit targets? 30% coalition, 26 % Labour

    Who’s at fault for living standards not rising in recent years? 35% coalition, 22% Labour.

  15. 07052015

    Good Afternoon to you.
    I think Tony Blair would have prevented the drift to Greens and SNP’ers

  16. I think we should be cautious about these polls as most of the field work was completed before the criticism of the OBR and IFS would have had an effect.

    I think your implied lack of intelligence of Wonga users is somewhat patronising -even the well educated are sometimes so desperate that they may have to resort to the unthinkable.

  17. @BRAMLEY
    Well you see it is that kind of corkscrew thinking which “does me eadin”.
    If that is indeed the viewpoint on a pukka polling basis, why are the Tories so far in front on financial trust?

  18. What’s so different about Opinium’s methodolgy – or not – that gives Labour 5 point leads, and YouGov consistently neck and neck? They can’t both be right, no?

  19. @toonie
    I sometimes make what to me are harmless remarks, which some highly sensitive people find “inappropriate”. Perhaps, I have Aspergers. In my day in mild, form it would have been called rudeness.

  20. The weighted YouGov data – ignoring non-voters and Don’t Knows – appears to be Con 31.9 % Lab 32.3%.

  21. The division between YouGov (neck-and-neck) and Populus and Opinium (Labour 3-5% up) seems to be a firm trend now, I think.

  22. I suppose the whole point of the UKPR rolling average of all the polls is to arrive at a pretty reliable picture of the overall state of play. Statistically, this irons out rogue polls and outliers and reduces the margin of error. The current UKPR rolling average is as follows: –

    Lab: 33 Cons: 31 LD: 8.

    This was last updated 4 days ago but I can’t see how the latest Opinium, Populus and YouGov polls taken since then will have altered the average in any significant way. They all seem more or less in line.

    So, the two parties aren’t “neck and neck” and most polls continue to show small Labour leads. It’s certainly a fair old time since we’ve seen a Tory lead (pre-Rochester?). I think JimJam is right; we’re looking at a 2% Labour lead, probably slightly ahead of where it was leading up to Rochester.

    Interestingly, the Autumn Statement fall out seems to have been entirely neutral.

  23. CB11
    You have to bear in mind that perhaps the AS prevented a further change in Con VI. Don’t ask me which way though!

  24. ROLAND.
    Very funny, your remark about rudeness; in my last term of teaching, I will use this, with your permission.

    I am not very quotable Chris, but feel free.

  26. @Roland

    There is much more to Aspergers than ‘rudeness’.


    I can’t think of a single policy area where Labour under TB wasn’t further from the Green position that Ed’s Labour.

    I agree with you, that TB is and was very different Labour leader.

    I think that TB won GE’s and was able to appeal ‘across the aisle’

    Yes, I do know that. Indeed when I read remarks like your’s, I wonder if I am the only one who is not “on the spectrum”. But I suppose a slight attempt at humour that does not transgress some PC sacred cow, is impossible on this board nowadays.

  29. Actually, I look forward to contributions from our old buffer from Bucks.

  30. XBat, JJ, 07..

    Agree its probably a v small Lab lead out there – I think AW was being understandably loyal to YG which is polling more often and does show a virtual tie. Scottish situation is most interesting factor because there is more obvious potential for rapid change as we saw post Referendum. Is there a Scottish x-break in Opinium ? Couldn’t find one amidst the terminally boring sheets telling us whether UKIP or LibDems found air passenger duty cuts more or less believable .. Zzzzz. Who cares ?

    Have just returned to the Welsh Borders from “Top of the Tent”. Apparently Nigel paid Port Talbot a visit which was a strange choice of venue as UKIP’s appeal will be considerably higher in the Borders, especially retirees in N Wales. FWIW if the best he could offer as celebrity recruits were the two S Wales ex Conservative and PC Councillors paraded on TV, then neither Labour nor Cons will be quaking in their boots as the main Governing and Opposition parties in Cardiff Bay. “No Earthquake in Wales” likely to be the dull headline at next GE I think …


    I know you like TB but surely the legacy of his premiership is the reason why Labour have lost some votes (?) permanently to the Greens, SNP and in Wales, PC. Once the more engaged amongst those voters decided that Ed M is only a leftish primus inter pares in a Blairite Parliamentary Party, the leakage has continued. If you look at poll results the median of the electorate is now significantly to the left of all 3 traditional main parties – exemplified by the majorities amongst even Con voters for renationalisation of the public utilities. In Wales I see that the Assembly Lab Govt is preparing to transfer rail services to a not-for-profit body when the contract ends after the next Assembly elections. Any one of the main 3 Parties (and it really has to be Labour) prepared to bite this bullet properly (and completely p*** off the City) could strike electoral gold. Not holding my breath for some reason …

  31. @Roland

    As a family we have spent the last six years or so fighting for our children, both with AS.

    A large part of the problems they have faced has been based on ignorance and a stereo-typical views on what it is.

    Therefore, please understand that what I said was not a ‘PC sacred cow’, it was about dealing with perceived misconceptions about the condition that don’t help my children and other people with AS.

  32. AW

    Would it be possible to have the rolling average of UKIP and Green VI alongside the other three parties? I understand that it’s not at all helpful in terms of uniform swing but would be very interesting all the same!

    [Click on More… underneath the figures – AW]

  33. For info, the 30-poll weighted data has Con at 32.1 and Lab at 32.9, while the 25-poll weighted MAD data is as follows:

    (First value is MAD of the UK data, while the second is the sum of the MAD of the regional data)

    Con 32.0 32.5
    Lab 32.8 32.8
    Lib 7.0 7.0
    UKIP 15.8 15.3
    Green 6.0 6.2
    Others 6.0 5.7

    Suffice it to say, it’s squeaky bum time. :))

  34. roland

    “If I were from planet Bekon 17”


    Well, that’s spoiled things for me.

  35. Thanks Anthony – I’d missed that!

  36. @rosie and daisie
    Yes I spoil things for you very often it would seem. Perhaps you should stop policing the site for imagined insults and inappropriateness.

    I sincerely hope that the understanding that is now available on this condition, helps your lads. I have a grandson who was at one point was suspected of having a mild form of Asperger’s. As he has grown a bit older, they now say he is just a bit bookish and “quirky”. However, it is my opinion that very many, males particularly, have some tendencies towards the condition. I think that academia is rife with folks on the spectrum. I certainly did not intend to hurt your feelings in anyway.

  38. To the extent that the Lib Dems and their predecessors have ever had a consistent, unifying message, it has been – for as long as any of us will be able to remember – to break the dominance of the big two. On the basis of a polls like this, it’s entirely possible that they could go on to realise their ultimate political dream, albeit at the cost of the annihilation of the party.

  39. @ Shevii,

    “There’s no downside to a stimulus policy, except for the dominant narrative about the urgency of “paying down the deficit”. What’s significant about the poll is that half the public does not believe this.”

    Half the public is right. In fact, as the City knows, balancing the budget would be dangerous. If a country runs a current account (trade) deficit, as the UK does, then either private or public borrowing must match it to recycle money back into the country. Clinton and Blair cut government deficit by shifting this nonnegotiable need to borrow to the private sector (esp. the housing market) and the world is still paying the consequences.

    If a government wants to cut the deficit safely, they must convince their people to cut their consumption to reduce the current account deficit. This would best be done with increased consumption taxes, not a popular item in a party manifesto.

  40. @Roland

    No problem, I wasn’t offended.

    You are right about Academia, and also try looking at the folk who live in IT departments….

    The perpetual closeness must be some kind of record.

  42. ChrisHornet 1629
    Yes I think you may be correct and there are quite a few LDs for whom that outcome would suit just dandy. I would not be at all surprised though, if it were not the Conservatives who actually bring about a change to the voting system, once they see the writing on the wall.


    Go on, you know you want to!

    Okay, here goes…


    There are now exactly five months to go until the general election.

    Looking at the previous eight post-war Tory terms of office, the average Conservative lead at this point in those parliaments was -1.8375%;

    But the Tory lead at the subsequent general election averaged out at +3.275% across the eight parliaments.

    This yields an average pro-Conservative “swing back” of +2.55625% in the final five months.

    By applying this to the Tory lead shown in today’s rolling average of polls (which currently stands at -2%) we are left with a projected Conservative lead over Labour of +3.1125% on 7th May 2015.

    [Forgive me if I’ve got those figures wrong – I’m typing these words into a terminal in a Southall internet cafe and am having to do my mental arithmetic on the go].

    In July this exercise yielded a projected Tory lead of +7% for the next general election. In August that fell to +4% only to rise to +6% in September, collapse down to +1% in October and rise again to +6% in November.

    Its fall to +3% this month would, if repeated in May 2015, yield a hung parliament with Labour possibly just narrowly ahead in terms of seats.

    Guess what folks…

    Historical precedent tells us that there should be some signs of a very gradual (though from one month to another rather inconsistent) swing back by now: in previous Conservative parliaments the Tories have started to recover relative to Labour from seven months out: it is now only five months out.

    … So swing back should be happening compared to what the polls were saying in the Autumn. I’ll leave you to decide if it’s true.

    Time well tell as to whether ‘swing back’ theory will be proved correct for the parliament.


  44. Well the Sunday headlines seem to be

    Ed is going Green. Seems to have noticed the green surge. But like the immigration red herring for the rise of UKIP that Jayblanc explained so well yesterday, I think we know the green surge has very little to do with the planet and a lot more to do with the issues raised by Welsh Borderer, so his new green revival is not likely to stop the Greens. One to watch.

    Clegg is pushing that the planned Tory cuts will be too deep. “We need the Lib Dems there to make them human” I guess is where he is going. May be damaging for the Conservatives making them appear too nasty. Not sure the Lib Dems will benefit though, there is sure to be some tit for tat which will damage them both. And the Greens/ Labour seem to be the parties benefiting from ‘the conservatives are too nasty’ vote, so Lib Dem/ Tory briefing will just help other parties.

    Tories seem to be quiet. Just lots of planning for new leadership when they lose the election. Odd, they are not that far behind in the polls. Although the mail has an editorial saying they think they can make the cuts in welfare and IT rather than by eliminating our defense force/ police service/ road network, and they can make the election all about welfare spending.

    UKIP is out of the news again.

    Nothing much there to change current trends. Polldrums again. UKIP should head back down now they are out of the news, Greens should creep up very very very slowly now they are in the news.

  45. Robin, no-one disputes the historical concept of swingback. But there is absolutely no historical precident for the third party’s vote share absolutely collapsing but seat count [potentially] remaining third highest, while the fourth, fifth and sixth parties genuinely surge in terms of vote share – two of them also picking up a bucketload of seats for good measure.

  46. UKIP is out of the news again.

    It is?

  47. We could do with any explanation that’s around for what are called ‘house effects’ when comparing one pollster with another. I can’t detect anything that explains Opinium vs YouGov.

  48. @Alec

    “@Charles – I’m really fascinated by your concept of ‘conventional daftness’. How does this differ from being unconventionally daft?”

    I just meant that most people wouldn’t consider my friend stupid. To tell the truth I was a bit gobsmacked at your comprehensive denunciation of him. Deserved or not it seemed a long way from your usual measured and magisterial tones. Whatever .. you were clearly in the mood to tell the truth as you saw it about Farage as well as others so it provoked a bit of thought at 12 pm.

  49. @ Statgeek,

    Suffice it to say, it’s squeaky bum time. :)

    Only in Scotland. If that lead holds the Tories can’t pass a budget- Labour only need to get about thirty seats off them in England to make it completely impossible for them, even assuming they can get confidence and supply from the Lib Dems, the DUP and Ukip all at the same time.

    I don’t know how a failure on a supply or a confidence vote would interact with the fixed-term parliament law, but I assume a government in that position would be forced to call for a dissolution and a new general election- they can’t govern if they can’t spend money.

    It’s the derivative of their polling trendline Labour need to worry about, not the current value.

    @ Rolandgatinoise,

    However, it is my opinion that very many, males particularly, have some tendencies towards the condition.

    Or girls are socialised not to be rude to people, while boys are allowed to get away with it.

    Not that Asperger’s Syndrome isn’t a real condition or there aren’t biological differences between the brain chemistry of males and females- boys probably are more prone to it- but I doubt that the huge disparity between the diagnosis rates of conditions like ADHD or Asperger’s in boys and girls is entirely down to biology. For people on the higher-functioning end of these disorders, the skills to compensate for them can be learned, and as a society we place far more pressure on girls to learn them.

  50. Howard, try this

    But the house effects of Ipsos vs Yougov look identical in that analysis, so this is just margin of error stuff on 2 isolated polls.

    Yougov one extreme, Ipsos the other, the truth lies in the middle as other people have said – small Labour lead when you look at the average of a number of polls.

1 2 3 6