Two new polls in the Sunday papers. This week’s YouGov/Sunday Times results are here – topline figures are CON 32%, LAB 32%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 16%, GRN 7%.

The YouGov poll also had questions on the end of the Parliament: the majority of people (56%) think that MPs have now started to concentrate on the election rather than concentrate on bringing in laws (7%). Not withstanding that there is little support for an early election – most people think the next election should still be in May 2015 as planned. The principle of having fixed term Parliaments has majority support (56% to 29%), though those who support it are split between agreeing with the current five year set up and preferring a fixed term election every four years. Asked about the fate of the coalition, 25% of people want it to end now (17%) or in the next few months (8%). 33% think it should continue up until the start of the formal campaign in April, while 28% want it to continue until polling day itself. The vast majority of Tory and Lib Dem voters want the coalition to continue until at least April.

MPs themselves continue to have a poor reputation. By 55% to 12% people think they are poor value for money and by 45% to 33% people think they are lazy rather than hardworking. 43% think that the reduction in Parliamentary business towards the end of the Parliament is just being used by MPs to do less work, rather than for constituency work.

Meanwhile a new ComRes poll in the Independent on Sunday has topline figures of CON 33%(+3), LAB 34%(nc), LDEM 8%(nc), UKIP 18%(-1), GRN 2%(-1). Changes are from their November online poll and tabs are here. A quick aside about that very low score for the Greens – as regular readers will recall, ComRes recently made a change to their methodology. They started including UKIP in the main prompt for voting intention, but also made some changes to their likelihood to vote weighting – this is not quite clear from the tables, but as far as I can tell from reverse engineering the tables in their online polls they now apply a more harsh turnout filter to UKIP and the Greens than for the Conservatives, Labour and Lib Dems. The end effect of the combined changes looks to me as if UKIP support is largely unchanged, but Green support will be decreased.

ComRes also asked people to put the parties on a left-right scale, with a surprising result. The average scores for Labour was 4.13, the Lib Dems 4.87, UKIP on 6.61 and the Conservatives 6.91 – so the Tories seen as more right wing than UKIP. This is in contrast to a similar exercise by YouGov earlier this year which found UKIP and the Conservatives the other way round. There are months between the polls, so opinion could simply have changed (especially since UKIP have been putting in an effort to appeal to Labour voters), but there were two significant methodological differences between the polls – YouGov asked people on a verbal scale, ComRes on a numerical scale and, probably more importantly, YouGov included a don’t know option and ComRes did not. In the YouGov poll over a quarter of people said don’t know to the questions (ordinary people don’t necessarily think of parties, policies and so on as being “right” or “left” wing!), so it could just be that lots of people said 5 when they weren’t offered don’t know as an option. That said both versions found people positioning the Conservatives and UKIP in a fairly similar place in the political spectrum, so probably not worth getting too excited over the difference.

157 Responses to “Sunday YouGov and ComRes polls”

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  1. Now we have our say, we will talk ae
    Once more o’scotland for ever .

    ..and ever and ever and ever.

    (1) with apologies to the poet.

  2. To bring some of rUK into the discussion, I do wonder whether Labour is at risk of being caught between Scottish nationalism from the SNP and English nationalism from the Tories/UKIP. Between coming out against English indirect devolution (in favour of the ever-unpopular idea of devolving power to Labour-voting regions of England) and now Jim Murphy’s Braveheart moment, I do wonder if Labour could lose some support down south.

  3. @Coupar – “…if our economy after 300 years of union and 40 years of oil – still couldn’t stand on it’s own feet – the sooner we are out the better.”

    Again, there’s another post that I just can’t understand. I’ve no idea where you got the notion that anyone thinks Scotland can’t stand on it’s own two feet – certainly not from my posts.

    The argument has always revolved around the relative balance of outcomes between independence and union. Independence minded folk in general have pushed the fundamentally dishonest line that it would bring increased prosperity, lower taxation, higher spending, lower borrowing and much better social outcomes than at present.

    Many unionists fell back to the fundamentally dishonest stance that it would mean Scotland going to hell in a handcart, in every conceivable way. You are sometimes as bad as them, while claiming to retain some kind of superior high ground of understanding and realism.

    Even senior SNP MSP’s have said in recent years that higher social spending, free tuition, free elderly care etc, are luxuries for which the money is running out, and that a future SNP administration would need to make tough choices, in or out of the union.

    I have a great deal of respect for your posts, and we’ve had the indyref already so I don’t want to go back over old ground any more. My central and starting point was and is, whether pointing to the oil price now and the price and output that Salmond promised would help diminish false notions of SNP honesty and credibility.

    As I said initially, I suspected that harking back to the indyref probably wouldn’t serve Labour well, even if on this issue they got it absolutely bang on the money, and if we can agree that your posts back up my initial observation, then at least we’ve agreed on something.

  4. This is my last post on the dreaded Scotland subject for today but in reply to Bill Patrick.

    @Bill Patrick

    There is ironically an opportunity for the SNP with Murphy’s election. Labour will definitely not be moving left. So this gives the SNP the ability to triangulate. The Left are all firmly on board for voting SNP for GE ’15. So the SNP can concentrate on the centre ground and the No voters.

    I saw up-thread a comment that SNP are likely to lose their majority at Holyrood, although likely to still be in government due to Green and SSP MSPs. This is a quid-pro-quo, Greens and SSP will vote SNP for Westminster & Holyrood constituencies and SNP will vote Green or SSP on the list for Holyrood. If the collective unconscious makes this happen it will be a Yes Alliance without the formality of one.


    I take you point regarding oil. If we had voted Yes & if the price stays where it is then in March ’16 there would be big problems for Scotland as we would need to borrow to fund services etc and Scotland would also have their share of UK debt. And I also take your point that and independent Scotland would not be a utopia

  5. Alec
    “iScotland would involve a retreat to a soft, warm, internally focused comfort zone….”


    Are you referring only to an independent Scotland’s foreign affairs when you write this? Plenty for an independent Scotland to address without looking outwards. And would this ever be addressed – independent or not?


  6. Couper2802,

    So the SNP are going to work closely with the SSP and Greens, while moving to the centre to attract Naw voters? That would certainly be an impressive feat.

  7. We were taking the other day about whether people on this site were working class.

    I suppose I left the working class at age 6, when my family moved from our two-room tenement with a shared outside toilet, to our ‘bought’ house.

    My family were Irish immigrants in the late 1800s and lived in tenements in Glasgow and Dundee. My great-grandfather was a communist, a Navvy, who walked all over Scotland for work. The men fought in the wars, and worked in intermittent manual laboring jobs, my grandmother worked in the Jute Mills, where she contracted pleurisy at 16 leaving her with a lifelong heart condition, my family’s infant mortality rate was 50%

    I was born a difficult birth in an NHS hospital, and survived a serious childhood illness (Thank-you Nye Bevan).
    I was educated in the comprehensive education system and was the first person in my family to go to University, (Thank-you Harold Wilson).
    I entered the male dominated profession of Engineering (Thank-you Harold Wilson for the Sex-Discrimination Act) and was paid the same as my male colleagues (Thanks again Harold for the Equal Pay Act).

    Three healthy children all born in the NHS and educated through the comprehensive system all with good careers and ‘bought’ houses.

    What made my life different from the women that had gone before me? – it was because, in Neil Kinnock’s words, I had a platform to stand upon – The Labour Party provided that platform.

    So although I am no longer working class I still feel I am and feel that Labour was set up to represent people like me.

  8. couper

    “This is my last post on the dreaded Scotland subject for today ”

    Oooo…. looking forward to tomorrow already……………

  9. @Sam – yes, I was referring specifically to world affairs. My point was that many Yes supporters claimed iScotland would be enhanced in terms of international recognition and support. I beg to differ.

    @Coupar – I’m very interested in you notion of Labour not moving leftwards and the left vote being in the SNP’s bag for 2015.

    I would tentatively suggest that these are both dangerous assertions. We have good evidence already of how fast things can move against you if you take voters for granted, so I think more care is needed.

    As far as I can tell, Murphy is already moving leftwards, in tone if not in substance. This appears to be deliberate, and completely intentional. He seems particularly keen to do this in the arena of tax, which is an area where it’s very difficult to credibly portray the SNP as left wing.

    Their proposals to date are based on a typically large C Conservative approach, aping tax freezes and campaigning for cuts on business taxes. Again, I see this as one of the fallacies of the SNP supporters, and I genuinely don’t understand how a party that wants to match or exceed Osborne’s tax regime can be viewed as of the left.

    Given this, if Murphy does success in appearing to be more left leaning than many Scots have hitherto thought, and more focused on what’s right for Scotland today, rather than what’s right for Scotland’s future theoretical constitutional settlement, then assuming the LoC vote will stick with the SNP regardless may be a leap of faith too far.

    Please note everyone; I’m not making a prediction here, merely an observation as to the follies of assumption in politics.

  10. @Statgeek – that’s really fascinating. To return to one of my pet themes, those who assumed Labour could never lose in Scotland (like me) and those who thought Cons would dominate in England can all sit back and ponder that whenever anyone tells us they know what’s going to happen in an election, really, really don’t.

    @Coupar2802 – by way of mending fences, ever since the referendum I’ve been meaning to offer you my congratulations.

    As I recall, you were the first on here to start posting that Labour was in trouble in Scotland. You did this well before the result, and even before the Yes surge, if I recall. I do remember questioning your logic at the time, assuming that Labour would be on the winning side and would still control Scotland’s MPs, but I have to give you full credit – you called this early and completely correctly.

    You stuck your neck out and talked about Labour meltdown weeks before anyone else did, and got it spot on as well.


  11. I’m not convinced LiS salvation comes from the political angle. While accepting Alec’s view that 6 months is a long time in politics and a new Labour l;eader in Scotland, I think Labour have currently lost the political battle.

    I suspect Labour’s hopes will be in the incumbency and the two horse race (even if it isn’t). So where the SNP are in third place they should probably run the typically LD tactics of their hardworking local MP (and a proper leftie/middle of the road just like the constituents) and the fear of letting the second placed LD or Tory in.

  12. Why doesn’t anyone talk about Scotland any more?

  13. I had hoped that Lewis Hamilton would win sports personality of the year. Whilst watching the section of the BBC Scotland offering, which dealt with famous sportsmen and sportswomen, who passed away this year, a “traditional Scottish aire” was played to accompany these deceased persons from all over the world.

    Why? And why must the Scots continually thrust their culture down our throats? Had this affair been run from somewhere in England, we would no more have played ” there will always be an England” to commemorate people from all around the globe than flapped our arms to fly.
    What inferiority complex drives you.

  14. COUPER2802

    @”I had a platform to stand upon ”

    Yeah-if you have quite finished your family history, could you step down off it for a while now?

  15. Couper2802

    I saw up-thread a comment that SNP are likely to lose their majority at Holyrood, although likely to still be in government due to Green and SSP MSPs. This is a quid-pro-quo, Greens and SSP will vote SNP for Westminster & Holyrood constituencies and SNP will vote Green or SSP on the list for Holyrood. If the collective unconscious makes this happen it will be a Yes Alliance without the formality of one.

    Actually putting the YouGov Holyrood results:

    Con 14% / 14%

    Lab 28% / 26%

    Lib Dem 3% / 3%

    SNP 50% / 42%

    Green 2% / 7%

    SSP 0% / 3%

    UKIP 3% / 4%

    (first figure constituency, second regional)

    into Scotland Votes gives the following result:

    Con 1 + 16 = 17 (+2)

    Lab 5 + 30 = 35 (-2)

    Lib Dem 2 + 0 = 2 (-3)

    SNP 65 + 2 = 67 (-2)

    Green 0 + 8 – 8 (+6)

    Ind 0 + 0 = 0 (-1)

    which would still give the SNP a small overall majority. In practice the ‘Others’ figures in this poll seem low and I wouldn’t be surprised to see another Green seat or two and a couple of UKIP. The SSP is possible in Glasgow I suppose, but even there may struggle.

  16. I am not into sport really but I was sorry to see the award won by a tax exile. I see no reason to support greedy people like Hamilton who are not prepared to pay their fair share. He – and his ilk – deserves no loyalty from the British public.

  17. @Alec

    “You stuck your neck out and talked about Labour meltdown weeks before anyone else did, and got it spot on as well.”

    I did? I don’t even remember. I should be a politician with such a memory.

  18. I am not really into sport but I was sorry to see the award won by a tax. I see no reason to support people like Hamilton who are not prepared to pay their fair share. Frankly his ilk deserve no loyalty from the British public.

  19. Polling in the constituencies of David Cameron & Jeremy Hunt by Survation:

    Local NHS and GP services are by far the most important local issue in both areas.

  20. @Alec

    Your warning could also be borne out by the double-edged sword chalice offered to any third party which becomes big enough to act as kingmaker.

    At the last election we saw a party get into a position where it could exercise influence in government, only to lose the votes of those who considered it a progressive alternative to Labour after it betrayed their trust by siding with the Conservatives.

    It’s quite conceivable that we could see a repeat after May 2015, with new found SNP voters on the left reverting to their old allegiances it if the SNP’s bluff is called and it chooses to also side with the Conservatives rather than support a Labour government.

  21. @Roland – “I had hoped that Lewis Hamilton would win sports personality of the year.”

    Me too.

    Apart from the fact that it isn’t a sport and he doesn’t have a personality, I thought it was a good call.

  22. @Statgeek – “I did?”

    You didn’t.

    I was talking to @Coupar2802.

    Your 4.40pm.
    I don’t think the Mike Smithson Tory Shake Up Of The Week, reveals much we did not know, does it?
    The two large parties locked together like a pair of dinosaurs having sex. In fairness you did say, “at present”, so one or the other really has to make some kind of break. There are 5 months left. The difference in the Tory 2010 position and now, is perfectly represented by the UKIP element that once were Tories. Vote UKIP get Labour.

  24. @BRAMLEY
    Your informative posts are always a joy, but I think you should concentrate on immigration in the marginals where the GE will be won and lost, rather than the NHS in the likes of Witney.


    This poll seems to be conducted in 2013
    Can’t find any new English voting intention polls on ComRes can you?

  26. The rouble tumbled more than 10 per cent in its biggest fall since 1998 as the implications of the fall in oil prices for the country’s energy-dependent economy triggered a rout across Russian markets.
    In the bleakest official forecast yet from Moscow, the Russian central bank warned that the country could see a 4.5 per cent to 4.7 per cent contraction in GDP next year if oil prices remained at $60 a barrel.”


    Vlad the Impaled.

  27. @ Bramley,

    Wow, someone has a lot of money to throw around to absolutely no purpose. Where are they polling next, the Rhondda?

    Hell, that would be more interesting. Leanne Wood is standing there in 2016, and… Okay, she’s going to get slaughtered, but she might be able to push the Labour vote share below 50%, which is more than Ukip managed to do to in either of these polls.

  28. COLIN

    Bad news for Ukraine and the other bordering countries as Putin will be even more trigger happy to get nationalist support. Not a good time for the UK to hammer a defence budget!

  29. @ Nigel 2405,

    It’s from this weekend. Smithson just made an error on his bar chart labels.

  30. Couper2802 – ” makes me more convinced that independence is the way forward if our economy after 300 years of union and 40 years of oil – still couldn’t stand on it’s own feet – the sooner we are out the better.”

    I doubt Cornwall or Kent would be able to stand on their own two feet either – the value of the UK is that it is Big, and hence we offset each others’ weaknesses. (London is the only part of the UK that could survive on it’s own but luckily they are content to be part of the whole).

    Do you really believe that administering a severe economic shock in the form of independence is the way to force people to be more self-reliant? I don’t think “shock therapy” has been proven.

    The former eastern europeans have really struggled since the shock of the break-up of the Soviet bloc. Look at the mess Poland has made despite the EU sending them billions and them being able to export their unemployed (1.2 millions worth).

    Or look how Ireland struggled in it’s first 60 years, and indeed is still struggling, they have 11% unemployment, rising taxes, they now have to pay 50 euros per GP visit.

    Or look at the eastern side of Germany – they were reunified on favourable terms 1 Deutchmark = 1 Ostmark which was a massive transfer of wealth east by itself, plus for the last 25 years they been in receipt of solidarity payments plus access to a welfare state built and paid for by the west germans – and they are still a pretty much basket case, apart from a few isolated instances of success (Dresden).

    Even the united states struggled desperately in it’s first 30 years. They didn’t stabalise till the Louisiana purchase – ironically becoming BIG both in land mass and number of people is what made their economy resilient to outside forces. The bigger and more complex your economy is, the more stable and resilient you are.

    This business of administering severe shocks to countries to make them improve sounds great in theory but is truly GrIm in practice. The future of two or maybe three generations would have been blighted.


    Do you have the ComRes link? in what paper was it published?


  32. It’s such a joy when a post linking to an actual poll is greeted with such delight on this site.

    Maybe that’s why it’s only ever the same old faces posting here nowadays – newcomers are made to feel unwelcome by the regulars.

  33. Colin
    Regarding your Russia comment. Of course son of Soso will be at his most dangerous. As far as I am concerned, Osborne can cut anything he sees fit, except military and maritime. The last cuts took it to the bone, the 39 million black hole was a great help, but no more in these times. If they get back and if they cut military spending further, I feel like saying that is the end for me. But were does one go?

  34. Is Ashcroft taking the week off from polling?

  35. Bramley
    No one has any problem with newcomers, oldcomers, lurkers who get brave enough, or any of that stuff. But if I just posted tit bits about how well the Tory party were doing in Liverpool 8 and Sheffield Brightside,
    you would find it tedious.

  36. @Couper2082 and Colin

    I liked your family history and can relate to it entirely. I will not ever forget either where my family came from (class-wise) and how much my own comfortable middle class existence is the product of progressive politics.

  37. COLIN
    THATS 39 BILLION black hole, if only.

  38. @Phil Haines

    He’s not doing any more til January.


    I didn’t comment on the poll, merely mentioned it existed & the point it highlighted was the NHS is what people in those constituencies are most concerned about.

    Is this the latest way to beat the comments policy?

    If so, I was brought up, small business lower middle class and thank the Conservative Party for everything. Especially Margaret Thatcher.

    Now can we stop this your life.

  40. @Alec

    “I was talking to @Coupar2802.”

    That’s more like it. I thought my memory was better than that. ;)

  41. @Nigel

    “Yes. December 13th. Saturday when the poll was published”


    Yes i know Smithson says it was published on the 13 December but i can find no such ComRes Poll!

  43. Alec

    I readily take your point about the possible loss of support to a political party, any party, if it is sufficiently widely perceived to be all mouth and no trousers on an issue or more than one.

    The link I offered leads to an issue where I think all the parties in Holyrood and Westminster have been all mouth and no trousers. Yet no one seems much to care. Why might that be? I suspect because it largely affects the poor.


  44. Candy

    “Look at the mess Poland has made despite the EU sending them billions…..”

    The Poles may not see it like that. On the other hand, they may…

    One benefit accrued to the Poles. In 1992 the health of the nation improved markedly.



    Found it!

  46. SAM
    I was in Poland earlier this year. What a great country. The only reason I could see, why a Polish tradesman or labourer would come here is money. Gdansk, Warsaw and especially Krakow are superb.
    It can only be money or a criminal record that makes a Pole want to swap Gdansk for Croydon or Krakow for Bradford.

  47. Sam
    I didn’t get your point when you posted your link however you have made a very good point.

  48. RolandGatinoise – Poland has unemployment of 11.4%, despite exporting 1.2 million people. So away from the spruced-up cities upgraded with EU money, things arn’t too great.

    We talk so much about how immigration affects us, but while it’s uncomfortable for the receiving country, it’s catastrophic for the country losing people. Poland has had a low birth rate for decades, so they really couldn’t afford to lose their young. And they’ve lost the boldest of the current generation, the ones prepared to treck across the continent and seek work in a country with an unfamiliar culture and language. Given that it’s the bold of each generation that sets up businesses to employ their peers, they’re going to really feel the effects in the coming decades.

    I suppose they’ll try to fix things by importing Ukrainians and Russians who much regard Poland the way Poles regard the UK…

  49. Roland
    Poland? Interesting point. The first arrivals in my city were very much the children of those well placed in the old communist Poland whose parents feared would face discrimination in the new order. They also feared displacement in the urban jobs market by young people coming in from rural areas. This broadened when the twins took over and the belief was that initiative would be stifled. There was also a strong motive in loosening religious control.

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