The Sun had fresh YouGov voting intention figures today, fieldwork conducted straight after Jeremy Corbyn’s speech. Topline figures are CON 37%(-2), LAB 31%(nc), LDEM 7%(+1), UKIP 17%(+1) – changes are since YouGov’s last poll in mid-September, just after Jeremy Corbyn became leader. Tabs are here.

The rest of the poll repeated some of the questions YouGov asked just after Ed Miliband became Labour leader, five years ago. Corbyn’s figures are worse than the ratings Miliband had at the time and as I wrote in relation to the Ipsos MORI poll earlier in the week, while Corbyn’s ratings aren’t that bad at first glance, brand new leaders normally get some leeway from the public, so they are bad when compared to the ratings new leaders have usually got.

YouGov also repeated the bank of party image statements they normally ask at conference time, testing positive and negative lines about the Labour party. The figures are (remarkably) close to what they were five years ago when Labour first entered opposition – 71% think Labour need to make major changes to their policies and beliefs to be fit for goverment (up 2 from 2010), 58% think they have lost touch with ordinary working people (down 1), 56% think they haven’t faced up to the damaged they caused to the economy (down 4), 44% think they care about helping all groups, not just the few (up 2), 39% think their core values and principles are still relevant (down 2), 42% think they would cut spending in a fairer and more compassionate way than the government (up 1).

The only areas* where there is a significant shift since 2010 are the claim that Labour are a party only for immigrants, welfare recipients and trade unionists (49% agreed in 2010, now only 42%) and the claim that if Labour returned to government they’d get the country into even more debt (47% agreed in 2010, 53% agree now).

Afrer five years in opposition, Labour don’t really seem to have made much progress at all in nullifying their perceived weaknesses. There is still an underlying strength in their brand – a large chunk of the public do think their heart in the right place, that they care about the many not the few, that they are more caring than the Tories. The big weaknesses though remain those negative perceptions about the economy and the belief they’ve lost touch with their ordinary supporters – the challenge for the next five years is to address those.

(*There was also a big shift in a question about whether Labour will be ready for a quick return to office after a short period in opposition. We debated whether to keep that statement from 2010, given Labour have now been in opposition for five years. We decided to keep it because it can still make sense if you interpret it as being a short period from now, but given we’re assuming people will interpret it differently I wouldn’t really compare 2010 and 2015 on that one)


633 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – CON 37, LAB 31, LDEM 7, UKIP 17, GRN 2”

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  1. CANDY

    He has certainly sealed the fate of Syrian opponents of the Assad regime-which is an awful lot of people.

    I see NATO have warned him that Turkey will be “defended”-but thats not the point-will Free Syrians be defended by NATO?-not now.

    Yes-re Afghanistan I see Saudi clerics have called for Holy War against Russia.

    If there is one lesson the whole world has learned , it must be that taking sides-wittingly or unwittingly- in the bloody Sunni-Shia schism gets you nothing but trouble.

    The Foreign Policy which would appear most appropriate is Defend your Borders & root out internal Islamic terrorists -and let them kill each other unassisted by us over there.

  2. RMJ1

    I agree that in France it will not be trouble free.

    RC
    “but it looks like he thinks it’s still Soviet Union circa 1979 when they went into Afghanistan.”
    “Tell me, how did that go?”

    Defeated mainly by US provision of surface to air anti-helicopter weaponry, and the the CIA and SAS creation of the Taliban.

  3. @ MR Nameless

    Congratulations to the attendance at the Sheffild Labour Student meeting. I hope you can make a good use of them, and make the current polling metrology obsolete.

  4. @ Ned

    I tried :-)

  5. Afghanistan

    The reason why the Soviet Union intervened: Chinese influence growing (their man was shot dead by the Maoists at the airport). Yes, it had nothing to do with the west. The Afgan officer Corp was largely trained in the Soviet Union, so it looked easy.

    In military term the main error was the loss of any support in the countryside which fragmented the expeditionary force. The West and the Guld states spent a fortune on delivering partisan warfare (with precise information through satelite pictures and alike), which would have meant a defeat unless the soviet army engages in genocide (house by house searching, compulsory registering and alike).

    For geopolitical reasons it was a hell to withdraw.

    Syria

    Will follow, unless this is moderated, because (although not partisan) has nothing to do with polling.

  6. @Alec

    “Neither of the main two parties is good at letting go and letting people get on with it. In the last parliament, we reached a new low of the local government minister hectoring councils over how many times a month they should empty the bins. Laughable.”

    I would agree; both parties, in their own respective ways, like to maintain as much control as they can. This is why I think that Cameron and Osborne prefer mayors to head the northern powerhouse – it’s much easier to deal/exercise power over one person than it is over a group formed into a council.

    @Laszlo

    Well, Marx did say history happens twice: first as tragedy, then as farce.

    Substitute Iraq and Syria for Vietnam and Afghanistan and it might be true ;)

  7. NED LUDD

    “Nice to see the comments staying on the topic of polls. /s”

    Salience to VI and thus to polling, has tended to be the guiding rule in AW’s comments. And I guess not engaging in tit for tat.

    In respect of polling on VI in the referendum, the importance of the language used in representing differing position on staying in the EU – e.g. for or against the retention of human rights jurisdiction and the social charter, free movement of labour in a single EU market, and policy on the acceptance of economic migrants driven by demographic movements in Africa and their legitimation, can be expressed in language which suggests that these are policies which are inimical to UK interests, or that they are essential to our future economy and social security systems. Polling which does not tell us about changing positions in the electorate or relate to differing party positions would reduce the process to little more than bingo.

  8. LASZLO

    Afghanistan

    Did the Great Game and a Soviet blue water policy, to establish a corridor through Baluchistan to the Indian Ocean, play no part?

  9. @Anarchists Unite

    Apart from the fact that they’ve just announced a massive devolution of business rate income. Seriously, I think this current government and particularly the current Communities Secretary, Greg Clark, are the most truly pro-localism for a long, long time. They could still go much further and do have a habit of effectively imposing things when they want to push through a Tory agenda (i.e. the need for a referendum for any significant council tax increase, and the fact that councils will only be able to cut business rates, not raise them (unless they have a directly elected mayor, the agreement of business leaders and spend the money on infrastructure)) but things are going in the opposite direction from the usual trend over the past half-century.

    Why do they like mayors so much? I expect a major reason is because when a directly elected mayor is introduced independents often win. They are less keen to devolve powers to Labour one-party state councils.

  10. @ John Pilgrim

    They (the Soviets) thought they had it – without the war – their man running Afghanistan, Tudeh is in the Iranian revolution. Then the Maoist wing executed their man as he got off the plain (the tensions were high, Pakistan being a partial Chinese client state, Soviet Mig factory in India, selling mountain artillery to India, and only a few years after the Ussuri river, somewhat underplayed on Wikipedia, elimination of Chinese names in the SU, etc.) and the Tudeh effectively executed.

  11. Plain = plane (aircraft)

  12. @Jack Sheldon

    There are moves in that direction, with devolving powers to local councils (although, as you point out, there’s a lot of devils in the detail so I’m not sure how much use this will actually get) and I’m a bit dubious as to how far it will actually go. I’m more speaking in terms of community work and people doing things outwith the state or local government to a certain extent.

    That’ll be part of it, with regards to the mayors, but I suspect the other reason I gave plays a role. As does the fact that mayors are more visible targets for ire, so helps deflect some away from the government (course that flips the other way, as a more visible person blames Westminster for all their problems). Which is not to say that there are no merits to mayors, so I don’t think it’s being done for entirely cynical reasons (even if nobody in the North wants one).

  13. Laszlo

    I thought you meant he stepped of the plain to demonstrate the mountain arttillery to the Indian high command. Oh well.

  14. @ JP

    Apart from the joke (a good one) – the mountain artillery is somewhat important if you consider Kashmir. It’s not for here to go into it, but when the Chinese ambassador brings it up in 1990 out of context, in a private conversation, you want to (confirmation bias, I know) attach some importance to it.

  15. “4 Hinckley Point C (I’m not sure many people are much interested in energy policy)”

    @Carfrew – do you want to tell him, or shall I?

  16. @Jack Sheldon –

    “Apart from the fact that they’ve just announced a massive devolution of business rate income….”

    &

    “….councils will only be able to cut business rates, not raise them (unless they have a directly elected mayor, the agreement of business leaders and spend the money on infrastructure)) but things are going in the opposite direction from the usual trend over the past half-century.”

    &

    “Why do they like mayors so much? I expect a major reason is because when a directly elected mayor is introduced independents often win. They are less keen to devolve powers to Labour one-party state councils.”

    I think what you are trying to say is that Tories have given business a far greater say in the setting of business rates, creating the conditions for a competitive race to the bottom while refusing to recognise the right of local people to decide how to raise and spend local income.

    If it’s fine to have local powers to drop rates, why not he power to raise them? You need to understand that this is pandering to business not democracy.

  17. @ LOUISWALSHVOTESGREEN

    Interesting questions re impact of infrastructure projects.

    I suspect most voters’ views will depend on perceived personal impact. Trident is largely invisible and directly affects very few people (unless something goes wrong) so I suspect has little VI effect apart from the well established pro/anti nuclear deterrent.

    Hinkley is an interesting one that I think could well blow up in the government’s face (hopefully not literally) because there’s a good chance it will become a horrendously over-budget, overdue white elephant (like the two existing EPR projects) and the very high electricity price promised to EDF will look an increasingly bad deal as renewable prices continue to fall. There’s probably too much loss of face involved in backing out now.

    HS2? Well, the Tories are never going to lose seats in the areas most opposed, so it will go ahead.

    Heathrow? Interesting, as the next London mayor will be dead against and it is a potential vote loser in some west London seats. Osborne is supposed to be a canny tactician and I’d have thought that would lead him towards the safer choice of Gatwick (half the cost, both financially and politically) but he is probably under the thrall of all those atlantic-hopping high-rollers.

  18. @Somerjohn – “There’s probably too much loss of face involved in backing out now.”

    No – it’s the loss of power that is the problem. Everyone knows that we have insufficient power production, and we desperately need big generation, with nuclear fitting the bill, if they can make it work safely. Cost isn’t an issue, when compared to the issue of not having the power.

  19. @Alec

    I did say I’d like localism to go further and I am not particularly a fan of the measures that stop councils doing things the Tories don’t like. It would be much better, and more democratic, for councillors to be able to do what they want with local taxation – raising as well as cutting. At a time when councils have been desperately short of money it seems a bit silly that tax-raising is essentially off the table

  20. Re local business rates. I wonder if councils could reduce rates selectively? For instance reduce them on businesses below a certain floor area, or in certain areas – e.g. High Street. If so, this would encourage more small businesses and shops which might actually lead to a higher overall tax take.

    Also, I wonder whether having lowered rates, they can then raise them back to the original level.

    As always, the devil’s in the detail, and I can’t be bothered looking it up (if indeed it’s been published anywhere).

  21. LASZLO
    Not that funny. Just the Pythonesqe conjunctions which got me carried away.
    It was a particularly futile continuation of the equally futile air war between Pakistan and India. it seemed of no possible advantage to either except to add the icing of glacial artillery skirmishes to Pakistan’s militarism by way of seeking more of the sterile middle heights of Kashmir, and of its adolescent need to sratch at the scars over the deep wounds of separation. So I suppose, easy territory for proxy war betweeen Russia and China.
    Meanwhile beneath the aggrandising military and land owner paternalism, Sunni and Shia seek to kill each other in Karachi in the name of the Islamic State, the CIA works its chemistry in NWFP, and the madrassa in G8 on the northern side of Islamabad teaches its dark generation of a force against Benazir and the West. The boys at Lawrence College on Murray begin to hear the call of something other than hockey and the old school tie.

  22. Went and saw Tristram Hunt at a very well-attended event at university last night. He seemed to pretty clearly endorse everything Jon Cruddas has said since the election, although (somewhat weirdly for him) mentioned Basic Income as a radical idea worth paying attention to.

    We think of Tristram Hunt as a Blairite but I suspect his fairly overt patriotism and reverence of history (we got mentions of the Levellers, the LRC and George Orwell) would be quite uncomfortable for a lot of true Blairites. He’s a bit more complicated a figure than that.

    Perhaps more interesting was the response from the audience. A couple of heckles, but mostly pretty polite and receptive. But then most of those who hate him wouldn’t have bothered to go, I suppose.

    Also worth noting was a couple of Tory friends who came up to me afterwards and unprompted started talking about how much of a threat Dan Jarvis would be in 2025. It’s not the first time he’s come up from political opponents, so I’m curious whether he could actually take it.

    Jarvis is difficult to get a handle on ideologically, although I suspect he’s somewhere in the middle of the party, which isn’t usually a bad place to be to win an internal election (see Ed Miliband). But in this climate where Burnham and Cooper couldn’t break 40%, who knows. He’s rumoured to be pretty left wing on taxation apparently, so that might help with the left.

  23. In the good old US of A and more particularly in New Jersey, the local authority used the fact that they had control of business rates to completely rebuild the old docks area which was a mess of old abandoned railway sidings etc. They replaced business rates with an obligation to improve and look after, the area – the original business improvement district but done properly. The Mayor could never have raised the funds to do it. It just needs a bit of lateral thinking.

  24. Our political culture causes us to look at America at the national level and see the chaos that reigns there. But at a state and local level US politics can come up with some good ideas. I often have to remind my fellow left wingers that for all it’s easy to criticise the USA, it’s had a left of centre leader for seven years and looks likely to for at least eleven. It’s also got nationalised railways and a pretty effective trade union movement.

  25. I wonder what Tom Watson’s response to Sir Samuel Brittan will be?

    Might Corbyn be pressed for an official Labour Party response?
    What might he say?

    VI effect ?

  26. @MrNameless

    Had he stood I reckon Jarvis could have won from a fairly centrist position, even with Corbyn in the contest. But the fact is that at the moment his strength is really just that he’s untainted by association with any of the previous leaders (to be fair, he also comes across as having quite sensible political views and some understanding of the electorate). Leaving the frontbench may help him retain that status by the next contest, though backing Burnham showed poor judgment in hindsight.

  27. A second group campaigning to leave the EU emerges. As yet no coherent campaign to stay in the EU. Will this produce a VI momentum for leaving? The long campaign in Scotland seemed to assist the Yes camp!

    Any thoughts?

    [The main Yes campaign (the Will Straw, Andrew Cooper, etc one) is, I think, launching on Monday – AW]

  28. Colin

    You pipped me to the post re Tom Watson. In the long term i think there is a significant possibility that his position will have a negative effect on the Labour party in the polls. My favourite DM commentator hits the nail on the head this morning.

  29. Alec

    “Some people have fallen for this, but others haven’t.”

    Some people ( many?) actually like it. Generally there is much support for tax cuts. I think Osbornes move is very sensible politically.

  30. TOH

    If he is evasive I think the Press will hound him for an apology.

    I see Corbyn has launched the Activists’ group-Momentum.

    According to the Guardian “The group will also seek to “transform the Labour party into a more democratic party with the policies and collective will to make that change. The individuals and groups will also campaign on issues that matter to Momentum, including by holding rallies and the encouragement of mass mobilisation”.

    Wonder how his MPs feel about watching the Political Party they were elected to represent-in Government if possible- turned into a Perpetual Street Protest .?

  31. Colin

    I’m sure your right about that hence my comment about the effect on the polls. He seems a stubborn man to me who is unlikely to apologise.

  32. @John Pilgrim

    Isn’t the problem between India and Pakistan that one side is a narco-terrorist state run by the Army and criminals and the other is by fascists who believe they are born superior to everyone else.Of course they’re only copying the previous rulers.

  33. Wolf

    No, the previous rulers by carrying out an arbitrary partition failed to complete an educational and administrative mission which promised to make a united India into a modern state, and instead fed into Jinnah’s concept of Islamic Statehood, without drawing the teeth of Sunni-Shia, or that of Muslim-Hindu sectarian conflict.

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