YouGov’s weekly Sunday Times poll is now up here. Topline voting intention are CON 34%, LAB 34%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 14%, GRN 5%.

Most of the survey was made up of questions about the budget and government spending. If George Osborne has money to spend in the budget 44% would prefer it goes on public services, 25% on tax cuts, 20% on the deficit. In general people would like to see any spending focused up helping low paid people in work (59%), followed by people looking for work (31%), small businesses (25%) and homebuyers (25%). People saving for their retirement, incidentally, comes bottom.

On specific measures most of those YouGov tested got the thumbs up – the most widespread approval was for increasing the personal tax allowance again (83%), limiting child benefit to three children (73%) and raising the NI threshold (71%). Letting people buy back annuities they bought when they were compulsory gets low support, but mainly because of a very high don’t know (I expect people simply don’t understand the change). The only measure that was actually opposed by more people than supported it was cutting taxes on alcohol (33% would support, 50% would oppose).

Moving onto government spending in general the areas people would most like to see protected from government cuts are the NHS (79%), education (50%) and policing (35%). The areas people most wanted to see cut were overseas aid (66%), welfare benefits (36%) and environment and climate change (29%). As I discussed in the weekly round up, defence and welfare were unusual in being issues that had both significant numbers of people wanting to prioritise them for cuts and significant numbers of people wanting to protect them from cuts.

Asked specifically about whether the government should commit to 2% of GDP spending on defence, 52% think they should, 27% that they should not. Asked the equivalent question about overseas aid only 24% think the government should commit to the 0.7% target, 59% think they should not. On Trident, 31% think it should be replaced with an equally robust system, 29% replaced with a cheaper system, 24% scrapped completely.

Outside of Scotland itself, the idea of the SNP being in a position of influence at Westminster is seen negatively – 63% think it would be a bad thing if they held the balance of power in Westminster, 64% think it would be bad thing if they were involved in a coalition. Overall 53% of people think that Labour should rule out doing a deal with the SNP, but this is largely made up of Labour’s opponents, their own supporters are far more split over the idea. If there was a choice between a minority Labour government or an SNP/Lab coalition with a majority, Labour voters would be evenly divided but if the alternative was another Tory government Labour voters would back a deal with the SNP by 6 to 1.


527 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 34, LAB 34, LD 7, UKIP 14, GRN 5”

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  1. @07052015

    And LiS have proven themselves to be great strategists?

    @Spearmint

    Did you see Greg Moonie’s cartoon.

  2. @Spearmint

    Greg Moodie – this tablet is convinced it knows what I want to say?

    For people that haven’t seen the cartoon the LiS pledge card is the 5 stages of grief. I

  3. Couper

    STV News reported that Lab had been briefing that their “private polling” suggested they would benefit.

    Presumably they were testing an attack line, so we’ll see if it gains any traction.

  4. @ oldnat

    So Labour have now agreed with the SNP that the two parties will not form a coalition, so some on UKPR leap into a fevered speculation as to which posts the SNP could hold in a coalition?

    I dont think that that was what happened.

    Peter Crawford commented that he couldnt see the SNP taking any posts.

    Whereas my own view is that nothing a politician says prior to an election ought to be expected to hold after that election: thus if the chance for a coaltion was there and if LAB and SNP thought it was the only alternative to giving CON another ‘turn’ in government, then such a coaltion could inedeed happen.

    Some folk seem to get a little indignant about that prospect. I’m not sure why. It is merely one possible outcome of the GE which, for reasons of their own, leaders have currently said “won’t happen”. (Where are the italics when you need them?)

    I seem to recall similar things being said about taxes in the USA and tuition fees in the UK. “Wont happen”. Then they happened.

  5. David in France

    So which Ministerial posts would UKIP and Sinn Fein get in a Coalition with Lab or Con?

  6. Forgive me for butting in, but UKIP would obviously have to have the Europe Ministry!

  7. David in France

    “I could imagine the SNP wanting to take Environment, Justice and EU minister – such a post could be created if it doesnt exist.”

    An SNP justice minister for the UK? you’re kidding right? Scotland has a separate judiciary and legal system…you’re not serious, are you?

  8. “Miliband ruling out a Tory coalition has not been publicised at all in Scotland or on social media. Maybe Labour should look at why they are being do out manoeuvred in this way. ”

    Apart from being live on BBC national TV.

  9. @ Pete B, Candy and Alan

    Thank you for your comments, most appreciated.

    @ Unicorn

    So I went, as you suggested, and started testing my hypothesis against Ashcroft’s constituency polls and this is what I found so far, my number first, Ashcroft second:

    St Austell and Newquay 15.1% – 14%
    Cannock Chase 6.2% – 8%
    Great Grimsby 6% – 8%
    Great Yarmouth 3.8% – 3%
    Edinburgh Southwest 4.7% – 4%
    Glasgow Central 4.2% – 3%
    Carshalton & Wallington 23.9% – 43%
    Cheltenham 20.8% – 42%
    Chippenham 18.8% – 24%
    Eastborne 23.4% – 46%
    Eastleigh 23.4% – 40%
    Bermondsey and Old Southwark 23.9% – 36%

    For the record I have LD vote retention values of 37.3% for the southeast, 30.6% for Wales and the southwest, 27.4% for the Midlands, for the North and 26.5% for Scotland (based on a 5% polling rate for Scotland right now).

    The formula seems relatively accurate for seats where LD does not have an incumbent MP, but appears to come in at around half where there is an incumbent MP even when I give an increase of 33% for incumbency.

    As a result I now better understand why election forecast sites are predicting more LD MPs will survive because of a much higher incumbency factor than I feel is warranted.

    I’ll keep testing the hypothesis and see what happens and report out more later, but of course it now looks, if the polls are accurate, that LD are on an uptick so I will have to upgrade my voter retention levels.

  10. ElectionForecast predicted seat changes from 2010

    2010 Con – Hold 277 : Lose 28 to Lab, 1 to UKIP
    2010 Lab – Hold 225 : Lose 32 to SNP, 1 to Con
    2010 L_D – Hold 26 : Lose 13 to Con, 10 to Lab, SNP 8

    Don’t shoot the messenger!

  11. @Pete B

    I’d say International Development. They could go on fact finding missions to the Seychelles

  12. @Oldnat

    Immigration and religious harmony, respectively. Seriously, the whole coalition or C&S thing is generally based on the largest party governing with support from the other(s). The Lib Dems might have been less toxic had they not had ministerial posts.

    Less scrutiny never hurt a politician.

  13. Statgeek

    I think you are right about the effect on the LDs of being in government since 2010, as opposed to just supporting one “in the national interest”.

  14. I don’t think this announcement will help Miliband. The Tories and their chums in the press will think that if they’ve got him to back down a bit, maybe they can get some more if they keep bashing away. Obviously they will move on to the budget for the next few days, but I don’t think we’ve heard the last of this.

  15. The Grauniad is running a story that 20% of a poll being left out is skewing the data:

    http://t.co/2NklL9iBq0

    For a news source that deletes criticism…it throws out plenty itself.

  16. I read a lot about Scotland here, and even something about the much more boring Wales. What hardly gets any mention is Northern Ireland. Will the DUP win all the Unionist seat? Will the SDLP hold on to its three seats? Will any seat change “sides” because the other side is split?

    Sorry in advance, if this has already been posted somewhere, this is my first post on UKPR.

  17. @OldNat

    I’m sorry but the Tories are not going to lose just 28 seats to Labour. That is nonsense IMHO. Labour should pick up at least 50 from Cons.

    Lab will get 280-290.
    Con no more than 260-265.

  18. Nicola Sturgeon, the Scottish first minister, said that Labour and the SNP would still be able to work together to keep the Tories out of Downing Street.

    No change from yesterday; move along, nothing to see here…?

  19. @Matt in Munich

    I’m also interested in the DUP’s performance, because that could be crucial in propping up a Con/Lib Dem government if the Tories are the largest party and try forming a government.

    Unfortunately the only polls I know of are the ancient ones in this article
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opinion_polling_for_the_2015_United_Kingdom_general_election#Northern_Ireland

    If anyone has some more recent NI polling that would be appreciated

  20. Nerds plan to take over the world (geeks are far nicer!):

    http://www.statgeek.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/wells.png

  21. RAF

    “Lab will get 280-290.
    Con no more than 260-265.”

    On what evidence do you base this forecast?

  22. Matt in Munich

    Welcome. A few of us post occasionally post on NI – but only occasionally, since most polls ignore them altogether.

    (I was going to give you the link – but I see Omnishambles already has).

    Sadly, there is often an assumption that the DUP is little different from Molyneaux’s Ulster Unionists with regard to Westminster.

  23. OMNISHAMBLES

    There was a LucidTalk poll for the East Belfast constituency.

    http://www.lucidtalk.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/BelTelePollRes-EastBelfJan20151.pdf

    It shows that the DUP are narrowly ahead in this constituency and hence are likely to inrease from 8 to 9 seats assuming the others are held.

    There is some chance that they might lose one of their other seats, e.g. South Antrim or Upper Bann (to UUP).

  24. The only NI polling I have seen in the last few months was a Belfast Telegraph poll of the Belfast East seat, which the Alliance took from the DUP in 2010. The poll suggested the DUP were ahead, but it was basically too close to call.

    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/dup-on-course-to-win-east-belfast-seat-back-in-2015-westminster-election-30965379.html

  25. @TOH

    Well, the Ashcroft English marginals polling has Labour achieving a 5.5% swing in England. That’s over 50 seats from Con to Labour (in fact much higher than that).

  26. LiS tweeting this

    “Salmond told people to vote against Labour in 2010 and the Tories ended up being the largest party”

    so that is, presumably, their tested line.

  27. Matt in Munich

    See my post above for the most recent poll. Most polling is at a constituency level in NI, and done by LucidTalk, the best-reputed local polling firm.

    You ask”Will the DUP win all the Unionist seat? Will the SDLP hold on to its three seats? Will any seat change “sides” because the other side is split?”

    There is a chance of some seats changing sides. North Belfast might change from DUP to SF. South Belfast might change SDLP to DUP, and Fermanagh might change sides from SF to DUP, and East Belfast is quite likely to change from Alliance to DUP.

    It is also possible that South Antrim and/or Upper Bann change from DUP to UUP.

    Overall I would expect DUP to add East Belfast (though this is not certain) and not much else.

  28. @Oldnat

    I’m sure Salmond told people to vote against Labour, as being the SNP leader he would rather have preferred people to vote for his party instead. Pesky SNP leaders!

  29. Re – acronyms. LiS means (I think) Labour in Scotland. Did they not used to be known as SLAB (Scottish Labour)? What’s the reason for the change, or is one of them a deadly insult understood only by Scots?

  30. “@OldNat
    I’m sorry but the Tories are not going to lose just 28 seats to Labour. That is nonsense IMHO. Labour should pick up at least 50 from Cons.
    Lab will get 280-290.
    Con no more than 260-265.”

    Very precise this far out from the election and polls all over the shop.

  31. Thanks for the links. It seems that the changing demography towards a more Catholic NI won’t be a factor this time in the election then.

  32. @Profhoward @James

    Thank you for the poll!

    @Oldnat
    “but only occasionally, since most polls ignore them altogether.”

    It’s puzzling to me that most polls are still GB-only. I often see the excuse that NI vote for different parties, with different politics, so they’re not very relevant. But the last part is no longer true. NI parties could very conceivably make or break a Tory- or Labour-led government. Suddenly 8 seats is nothing to be sniffed at, to put it mildly.

    And we have known for years that a hung parliament was likely and the LDs would lose a lot of support. So there’s *every* reason to poll the hell out of NI.

  33. Matt in Munich

    Lucid Talk have done some analysis of their opinion poll panel and have predicted only one change: Alliance will lose 1 seat to the DUP (in East Belfast). See:

    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/debateni/blogs/bill-white/general-election-2015-northern-ireland-forecast-31061354.html

  34. Matt in Munich

    “Thanks for the links. It seems that the changing demography towards a more Catholic NI won’t be a factor this time in the election then.”

    At the last few elections, the SDLP and SF share of the vote has been falling not rising – the recent European and Council elections last year for example.

  35. @John J

    A guess, that’s all it is! I actually have no idea what will actually happen :)

  36. What do we call English Labour? LiE?

  37. @Oldnat

    Responded to said Tweet with the sums. #talkingmince

    :))

  38. lol! Nice one

  39. What about LiEaW for Labour without Scotland. Tories in England TiE.

  40. @ Pete B

    Re – acronyms. LiS means (I think) Labour in Scotland.
    Yes, it does.
    Did they not used to be known as SLAB (Scottish Labour)?
    Some people still use that expression.
    What’s the reason for the change, or is one of them a deadly insult understood only by Scots?
    Neither is a “deadly insult”, it’s simply that I prefer LiS and it better describes the way the Labour Party is structured. Others who comment on UKPR were kind enough to accede to my request to use LiS when commenting on this site, which I appreciate.

  41. “And we have known for years that a hung parliament was likely and the LDs would lose a lot of support. So there’s *every* reason to poll the hell out of NI.”

    While I would like more polls of NI, I don’t really think that there is much reason. At most one or two seats will change hands, which doesn’t change the UK picture much.

  42. Pete B

    Amber complained about the term “SLAB”, as she felt it was being used as a term of abuse and, more accurately, there is no distinct “Scottish Labour Party”.

    She was right on both counts, so “Labour in Scotland” LiS is both more accurate and doesn’t give offence.

  43. Amber – thanks. I’ll try to remember to use it myself.

  44. @Profhoward

    Perhaps you’re right, I’m surprised it’s that static but then again I know almost nothing about NI politics.

  45. “She was right on both counts, so “Labour in Scotland” LiS is both more accurate and doesn’t give offence.”

    I wondered if LiS was an abuse term. Surely “Scottish Labour” is what they call themselves, so best to go with that?

  46. We’ve already had the LiE joke on previous threads. :-)

    And Tories of Scotland… you can work it out for yourself.

  47. @John J

    Actually all current seat models (that I can see) have Lab and con within 15 seats of each other (including the Guardian, Elections Etc, Election Forecast UK, May 20
    15 UK, the Guardian (which incidentally has the biggest Tory lead) and Polling Observatory).

  48. ‘Tories in Rural Derbyshire’ would make a sound acronym.

  49. ToSsEr

    Tories of Scotland, subtracting England + rest

  50. No it wouldn’t.

    Stupid boy.

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