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”

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  1. Having been away for a while it seems that not much has changed over the last few days. But the YouGov poll is worthy of comment (although apologies if the point has been made upthread).

    By and large, the stamp duty cut was a measure to help those with their wealth in property, most notably those with homes just over the £500k threshold, and it only became a tax raising measure for those owning a single property once its value approached or exceeded £1m. Those renting will see no benefit and if rental property prices increase they could even lose out..

    So because in the main the better off gain rather than lose, it’s pretty disheartening to see that YouGov let the Sunday Times get away with this question on the overall cut in stamp duty changes: “And do you think it is or is not a fair way of increasing the amount of tax paid by the better off?”.

  2. If “The coalition” won the most votes and the most seats (and it certainly seems likely that it will win the most votes) Then it could be argued that the government parties would be entitled to seek to remain in government.

    In practical terms I think that that argument would only be judged persuasive if there were not a clear gap between the first and second placed parties.

  3. Phil Haines

    […]it’s pretty disheartening to see that YouGov let the Sunday Times get away with this question on the overall cut in stamp duty changes: “And do you think it is or is not a fair way of increasing the amount of tax paid by the better off?”.

    I think the real failure was actually in the following question which asked Overall, which do you think is a better way of increasing taxes for those with expensive homes?, giving the options of the stamp duty and mansion tax and ‘Neither’

    But not ‘Both’

  4. @Robin
    OK – but the active co-operation of the Opposition would be needed for those options to be realistic.

  5. @Graham

    Why would Labour not cooperate?

  6. Rather strange wording in Ashcroft poll. Refers to May 7th 2015 as ‘just under a year from now’!!

  7. To The Other Howard commenting on Colin earlier:

    Thanks for taking the trouble to bring some economic sense to this “austerity argument”. I find the constant nonsense about austerity, so silly I cannot be bothered. Good for you!
    Having been to Aussie, the majority have a very agreeable way of life and seem to be able to cope on 35.3% Gov expenditure to GDP. So does Switzerland on 33.8%, one of the nicest places to visit in Europe.”

    The “nonsense about austerity” may or may not be being argued sensibly, and it may or may not be nonsense. The reality of austerity, however, is that under it a lot of people have been subjected to extreme poverty. So whilst austerity might not be responsible for the sky falling in, it is a cause of distress.

    This clearly has polling relevance. The Conservatives are ahead on the economy, but consistently lag behind Labour, whose leader is perceived to lack both gravitas and charisma. Ordinary people’s personal circumstances have long seemed to trump the economy as the voting issue of greatest magnitude; and the current Tory reaction to the food banks issue would appear to be showing that even they recognise the moral problems people have with an economy that causes poverty and distress.

    The analysis from which you draw comfort may or may not be correct [Snip – I think I’ve asked people to draw a line under that conversation… – AW]

  8. @ Little Red Rock
    I suspect that the LDs will find it much more difficult to agree amongst themselves next May re- possible options. Just cannot imagine Kennedy/Sanders/Pugh and a few others simply meekly following Clegg into another Tory-led coalition. Were he to try it some of his MPs might well openly defy him by sitting on the Opposition benches.

  9. @AnthonyWells

    If I type in I get redirected to the Nov 24(?) post. But If I type in I get to the main blog. What’s occuring?

    [How bizarre. That is odd. Must be a DNS or caching thing of some sort – AW]

    Fair comment.

    Yes, if the Cons were 3 seats behind Lab and Nicky and Davey find love again, however, will the LD’s get enough seats to make it viable.
    We have to consider, “friends of Labour ” fancying a bit of government.

  11. Just cannot imagine Kennedy/Sanders/Pugh and a few others simply meekly following Clegg into another Tory-led coalition. Were he to try it some of his MPs might well openly defy him by sitting on the Opposition benches.

    very shrewd…the idea that farron, kennedy, sanders, pugh, simon hughes if he survives, just allow clegg to stay and do the whole thing again is slightly naive in my view.

    I don’t think the con/ld coalition will be revived, even if the tories come out ahead in seats.

  12. @RogerM
    Thanks for the reply, which makes a lot of sense. I’d still be worried, if I were responsible for the Populus VI poll, that it would produce a really duff result in May and tarnish the brand. They might change methodology between then and now, of course, if the disparity increases dramatically and they start to look silly to the casual observer. But as you say, inertia is always a good bet.

  13. Bluey
    When my boy first went to Afghanistan in 2008, the lack of funds and equipment was a distress for me. When I heard the size of the spend on welfare before 2010, I was even more distressed.
    What it proves is, in every life a bit of distress must fall. Further, I personally have never been, and still am not convinced, that the levels of poverty you describe are commonplace.

    I agree.

  15. Martyn and AW
    I find that if I google UKPR, I end up with a post from Anthony from 2008. I only realised this when I prepared a reply (!) and then noticed that one of the correspondents is no longer with us. Blushes spared.

    I still get that post when I try it.

  16. @ Peter Crawford

    I could imagine anything given how loyal the LD’s have been this parliament to their leader and whole process of coalition. Compare that to well over 50 Tory MP’s who seemed relaxed about voting against their party on some issues and a fair number of Labour MPs doing likewise (less so during the Blair years but they still existed).

    I think the main problem for the LD’s is whether they are in a fit and united state to negotiate a position in the few days following a hung parliament. That depends how many are left and what political persuasion those are.

    Although a rainbow coalition was probably never on the cards anyway because of the maths, it seemed obvious that Labour was not in a fit state to try and negotiate a place in government in 2010. They were looking internally at a new leader and perhaps a new direction and it would probably have been impossible to agree an agenda in a short space of time even if the maths had been different.

    That said I don’t think there has been anything shrill enough in the recent disputes between LD’s and Tories that prevents them working together again.

  17. [sni

  18. Thought I’d just do a short post.

    Anyway – a slightly longer one now:

    “Cuts are a price that works for our country”

    is very close to “unemployment is a price worth paying”

    and we all know how well that went.

    Will be surprised if that comment doesn’t find a reflection in the polls – fairly or not.

  19. @R&D

    I always knew you were one of the Knights Who Like to Say Sni.

    Plenty of shrubbery in Barney for you. Dead gibeaway.

  20. PI

    Eh ???


    The rest of us averted our gaze-shouldn’t you be dead by now?

  22. Anthony Wells

    Please could you have a look at a post of mine on page 4, 4th comment down? Sorry to push the point but it did intrigue me at the time.

    [If I told you I’d have to kill you! The more useful answer is that we’re often quietly testing things – AW]

  23. Have you not need the other polls, Populus and Opinium, the ones showing a significant Labour lead? How come you are only reporting YouGov now?

  24. At least it looks like the electorate will be given a clear choice and something to think about.
    The Tories have set out their stall.
    Does the country want a significantly shrunken welfare state, the biggest shake-up since its inception (?) albeit with reduced taxes or do people want to contine with the European social welfare model?
    I think, despite recent events like ‘black Friday’ and Halloween this is not America and people value the welfare state.

  25. The Ashcroft polling is interesting because it looks at 2nd preferences under an AV scenario. Table 11 on Page 20 is a good summary of 1st and 2nd preferences.

    It seems to confound the idea that if a two-party squeeze were to take effect in marginal seats, the Conservatives would be bound come out on top because the large UKIP vote would break for them. In fact, amongst UKIP, Green and LD, there are just about the same number of 2nd preferences for Lab as for Con. Although there are fewer Greens than UKIP, the Greens break much more heavily for Lab than UKIP does for Con.

  26. @MAX
    If you are looking for comfort get a hot water bottle. We have discussed all the polls as always on this board. There have been no “significant” Labour leads for months.

  27. I said last week that Osborne was playing politics with the AS. He will never in a million years be able to make the cuts that he proposes. It’s all about making others look weak on the big D.

    Trouble is, that can blow up in your face if people actually take you at your word and start to think of what society might look like going in to the mid-2020s.

    If only we had an Opposition that could play that card…

  28. LEFTY

    @”If only we had an Opposition that could play that card…”

    We have I think-chap called Cable.

  29. VALERIE.
    Good Evening to you.

    I suspect that in hard times, or times that are perceived to be hard, a large number of voters will go for the harsher options, particularly younger voters, who are, I think, more individualistic than those from the generation of 1945 onwards.
    Perhaps this is a long term legacy of the Lady Thatcher.

  30. @Colin

    The chap Cable’s played that card already, some five years ago. This time the finesse is wrong and he’s going down on the contract.

  31. @Valerie
    The NHS is part of the welfare state. It is the part that most people care about the most. It is as safe with the Conservative party as any other. Despite continual allegations to the contrary. As for the myriad of benefits, it is now established that many working people have become rather fed up with far to many people not pulling their weight.
    Furthermore, the annual costs involved to fund these benefits had reached proportions that were totally unsustainable. The polls and the big poll in May will answer our questions. However your socialist principles or my Tory ones are only worth two votes. And, since I live in the speakers constituency, I probably won’t even bother.

  32. @Colin

    I never believe rumours about myself unless they’re fabulous.

  33. @Roland

    There should be a change in the law allowing people in the Speaker’s consituency to vote for a second MP. It’s unfair to effectively disenfranchise 60,000 people (approx). Even if the net result would be another Tory MP :)

  34. @Roly

    “However your socialist principles or my Tory ones are only worth two votes. And, since I live in the speakers constituency, I probably won’t even bother.”

    Go on, admit it, you voted for Farage in May 2010, didn’t you? Bercow’s not really a Tory anyway, is he, certainly not since he’s been turned by his wife Sally.


  35. When are YouGov going to stop prompting for the LibDems and start prompting for UKIP and the Greens? The present situation makes no sense at all!!

  36. Anybody fancy a quick game of Candy Crush while we wait for tonight’s poll? I hear Nigel Mills is online.


  37. @ Valerie

    The UK’s welfare state part of the ‘European social welfare model’, I don’t think so! Other than the NHS, we are firmly part of the liberal welfare state world along with the US, Ireland, Canada and NZ. We can’t ‘continue’ something we have never had; we can just become even more liberal, God forbid!!

  38. @ChrisLane1945

    Perhaps this is a long term legacy of the Lady Thatcher.
    Some might say that austerity is only an option because the generation who lived through WWII have mostly died. They are no longer here to remind us that our parents & grandparents earned the right for us all to share in the wealth of this country. That was the legacy they believed would be inherited by their children, grandchildren & great-grandchildren. Alas, it seems we are to ‘go back to the 1930s’; so much for their legacy.

  39. AMBER STAR ………..Cheer up, it’s Christmas. :-)

  40. I don’t agree with Lord Ashcroft’s conclusion that the voting system we will use next May is what we have chosen. We just didn’t choose the one he has used as a theoretical approach, which was rejected.

    There is a difference with a system we might have chosen, had we been asked. If we are ever asked again (I am not sure there will be a referendum next time) one hopes that a bunch of choices will be given us and the result chosen on scoring 1234 basis.

  41. ken

    “AMBER STAR ………..Cheer up, it’s Christmas. :-)”


  42. @Amber Star

    Well said. However, my mother is still alive from that generation and she has been saying for the past 4y that current politics remind her of aspects of the 30s.

  43. Is this the Labour Manifesto-already ?

  44. @ R&D


    Was one of your best :)

  45. R&D………I thought it was, and by the way, you will go to the ball. :-)

  46. CON 34%, LAB 33%, LD 6%, UKIP 15%, GRN 6%

  47. Sun Politics [email protected]_Politics 28s29 seconds ago

    YouGov/Sun poll tonight – Tories have a one-point lead, Lib Dems and Greens in joint fourth: CON 34%, LAB 33%, LD 6%, UKIP 15%, GRN 6%

  48. Told you it was Christmas ! :-)

  49. Labour is continuing to poll abysmally as are the lib dems…..

  50. Despite all the bleatings about austerity, why are the tories still performing well. this was a sitter for labour and their friends but they are performing badly. even though I would never vote for left wing parties, I think labour would be doing better if they had a clearer left wing/green line.

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