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. @ Anarch

    Re: Big Society a good idea – why didn’t Labour nick it…

    I think the Unions invented it – about 300y ago…

  2. Unions are a bit slow to do summat about storage though…

  3. @Pete B

    Missiles fired from the Caspian would surely have gone over Iran and Iraq: both countries that would agree with the aim (in both senses) of the Russians.

  4. @ Pete B

    If you look at the link Allan provided, it is clear that they avoided Turkey. It also emphasises that it went over desolate areas in Iraq (well, the US and the U.K. made it sure that most of the country is desolate).

    While I don’t agree with Russia’s political aims, they are doing the only right approach against ISIS (short of overthrowing the House of Saud). There is a NFZ over Syria now for everyone but the Russians (not quite yet), as the Americans kind of admitted it.

    The only question remained is really whether they send Chechen troops to Syria.

  5. @Syzyg

    Yeah it is basically a rebranding of civil society, but the point is that it’s a ground that labour should be comfortable on (and I think Alec has mentioned in the past how unions could bemore involved) but they never seemed to make any move on it. From where I am I think Labour has been a bit too taken with just using the state and has lost a certain ‘working through community’ aspect, which they could get through closer interaction between unions, small businesses etc.

    Like I said though this should be ground that Corbyn would be comfortable moving in to – and would be a good flag to keep/capture. If they could combine their angle on the unions with their angle on small businesses it could be an effective platform.

  6. @AC
    “What’s more, his Caspian Sea Flotilla have launched 26 cruise missiles at IS in targets in Syria. Putin has delivered a bigger punch to terrorists thugs in 1 week of bombing than the West has in 4 years.”

    From friends and relatives in Syria this is bunk. Most of the Russian attacks have focussed on either Free Syrian Army positions or civilian areas. It seems you favour Russian imperialism over American imperialism. Remind me agaiin of the UK political party you support and their stance on independence and imperialism?

  7. CARFREW
    “a glaring problem with investing in public services, is the ease with which these services can then be cut, sold off, or used as a means to inconvenience others.

    “So I was thinking, Lab. could consider instead setting up various services via trusts, independent of government, with an endowment of their own so self-funding, a charter of some sort to guide their mission… Removing the means of govt. to enact cuts, sell off, or meddle too much…”

    Hey, they could call them Quangos!

    Roger

    V.gooD analysis I thought, of party closeness to different groups inYG and more favourable to Labour than I expected.
    While not buying into the idea that Labour do not mind being in opposition, are these associations which relate to traditional or tribal characteristics, rather than preferences which determine VI?

  8. @Crossbat XI

    It’s a mystery. DC tells us Corbyn is a no-hoper so why the anger and intensity? The best way for a politician to deal with a low grade opponent is to ignore them. Maybe DC considers Corbyn a more substantial adversary after all.

  9. @Hawthorn

    The EU is the obvious one where he hasn’t quite taken the party with him, though all the data suggests Tory activists aren’t nearly as Eurosceptic as is commonly believed. Cameron didn’t differ from Theresa May’s immigration policy, and I think most activists would choose Cameron’s way of speaking about it over TM’s. Tax credits? I think you’ll find that Boris and the few others worrying about this are the minority; most members probably don’t fully understand it but trust DC/IDS.

  10. @Jack Sheldon

    The tax credit changes have the potential to hurt the Tory working class vote which is far more significant than most analysts realise. This may be why The Sun in particular is opposed to them.

  11. @Raf

    I think this notion that Cameron is scared of Corbyn is completely delusional. Why did he attack him? Because he knew it would get a big cheer in the hall, and he’s keen to make sure the public get the message that he’s a security threat. Personally I’d have just ignored him, mind.

  12. @Jack Sheldon

    I wouldn’t say scared, rather concerned. Cameron’s appeal is to middle England. That’s fine and dandy. But his policies risk alienating his own working class support.

  13. @ Carfrew

    So I was thinking, Lab. could consider instead setting up various services via trusts, independent of government, with an endowment of their own so self-funding, a charter of some sort to guide their mission… Removing the means of govt. to enact cuts, sell off, or meddle too much…

    This is exactly what Labour did vis-à-vis Housing Associations. The Cameron Tories can’t force the sale of Housing Association properties in the way that Thatcher’s Tories were able to force the sale of council houses.

    Instead, the Tories are offering a voluntary agreement, whereby the government makes good on any discount given & the Housing Associations can replace the housing stock.

    However (unless I have missed an announcement) the Housing Associations have yet to sign up to the voluntary agreement proposal.

    My understanding is that the Tories haven’t found a way to legislate for Housing Assoc ‘forced’ sales that wouldn’t also impact on (some?/all?) private rented property so the government has had to offer this voluntary agreement instead. Which I think neatly illustrates your point about Labour setting up organisations which leverage the existing laws on trusts etc. so that legislating against them would impact on ‘private’ trusts & charities.

  14. @ AU

    ‘Like I said though this should be ground that Corbyn would be comfortable moving in to – and would be a good flag to keep/capture. If they could combine their angle on the unions with their angle on small businesses it could be an effective platform.’

    I hope/think that they’re heading in that direction – fingers crossed!

  15. JACK SHELDON

    “I think this notion that Cameron is scared of Corbyn is completely delusional. ”

    I agree with that, but I think that Cameron also really does think that Corbyn is a threat to the security and wellbeing of the British isles

  16. RAF

    “From friends and relatives in Syria this is bunk. Most of the Russian attacks have focussed on either Free Syrian Army positions or civilian areas. It seems you favour Russian imperialism over American imperialism. Remind me agaiin of the UK political party you support and their stance on independence and imperialism”
    ______

    I don’t speak for any political party which is why I only express my own views unless I’m stating fact. I detest any form of imperialism and that’s why I support Putin’s actions in Syria (minus any civilian casualties).

    The mess the West has made in Libya, the middle east and Afghanistan will take decades to resolve. Every war in the middle east can trace its roots back to British and French imperialism and drawn up artificial borders.

    I think anyone reading my posts will see that I prefer a multipolar world to American hegemony and for now I support Russia’s independent foreign policy over the Wests by a country mile with regards to the middle east.

  17. Amber

    How does the “Right to Acquire” your Housing Association home reflect the Labour policy objectives you describe?

    The last remnants of that policy and “Right to Buy” will disappear in 2017 in Scotland, of course. But even if Housing Associations [outwith Scotland] don’t “sign up to the voluntary agreement proposal”, surely their existing tenants with the right to acquire will still be able to exercise that right?

  18. Mibri

    “I also think the tories will be reluctant to hammer JC too much as their belief is with him in charge ,they get a third term no problem..”

    It’s hard to reconcile that with the Prime Minister calling him a terrorist sympathising, britain-hating national security risk.

  19. “the state can keep a steady stream of revenue coming into the treasury”

    I’m not sure I like the idea of Gordon Brown investing my money and finding “steady streams of revenue”.

  20. ALLAN CHRISTIE

    @” I detest any form of imperialism and that’s why I support Putin’s actions in Syria (minus any civilian casualties).”

    Are you by any chance related to Svetlana ? :-)

    http://contortarchive.com/20thcentury.html

  21. Bill Patrick

    Apart from your going back to the future (or more accurately forward to the past) and having Gordon as Chancellor again, I’m actually surprised to see that you are so enamoured of the minimalist state as to wish governments to invest nothing in infrastructure in the expectation of developing a revenue flow from them.

    On a more personal level – that’s your job doon the dunny, if what you want ever came to happen!

  22. @ Old Nat

    In Scotland, housing associations which are registered as charities or trusts or mutual co-operatives are exempt from RtB.

  23. Russia has yet to bomb a MSF hospital… still, given them time eh?

  24. I really struggle to believe that any Tory politicians genuinely consider Jeremy Corbyn a threat to national security – it seems to me just part of their rhetoric to focus the attention on his foreign policy rather than other policy areas where the electorate might be more inclined to agree with him (rail nationalisation, scrapping tuition fees etc).

    Anyway, he can only become threatening if he becomes Prime Minister, and has access to the button he says he will never press. Which means that if the Tories consider him a threat, they must believe that he is capable of not only holding on as leader until 2020 but then winning the election on top of that…

  25. Last post was in response to Colin.

  26. AMBER STAR

    Instead, the Tories are offering a voluntary agreement, whereby the government makes good on any discount given & the Housing Associations can replace the housing stock.

    However (unless I have missed an announcement) the Housing Associations have yet to sign up to the voluntary agreement proposal.

    You missed the announcement, there’s a Guardian article on it here:

    http://www.theg****ian.com/society/2015/sep/24/housing-associations-agree-right-to-buy-deal-with-government

    The HAs are saying that they were afraid that they would end up being nationalised for sale, as happened with the TSB, but the end result is that the government has got its way without any parliamentary scrutiny. I suspect the HA chiefs were unwilling to take the risk of losing their lucrative fiefdoms.

    In reality the government might have had a lot of problem getting any legislation through if the HAs had actually fought it. There would be enough Tories unhappy about it in the Commons to make even that uncertain and previous attempts to impose Right to Buy on HAs have failed in the Lords. This time the policy was in the manifesto, but usually there are ways to ignore that or impose so many conditions that the policy becomes unworkable (as happened previously).

  27. “Could a right-winger win unexpectedly just as Corbyn did from the left?”

    Maybe, but one interesting unknown is to what degree the rise of UKIP has gutted the Tory right’s membership base, and I don’t think the Tories are going to be keen to repeat Labour’s opening up of their leadership election to £3 payers.

  28. AMBER

    Civilian casualties are only bad when Russia is accused of causing them.

  29. As for Cameron and the right, you could argue that he’s turned what could have been a huge problem (the EU referendum) into an advantage, because it’s a low-cost way of throwing the right some red meat (blue cheese?) while also being something that the europhiles who dominate the party’s left can’t really argue against effectively. That’s meant that a lot of Tories, who would otherwise be even more hysterical about gay marriage and the party’s dropping of grammar school expansion, have opted for “quiet loathing” rather than “open rebellion” regarding Cameron, and that’s been vital for him thus far.

  30. Amber

    I presume you meant RtA not RtB? In any case these residual policies are of limited relevance in Scotland, as we both know.

    As to your broader point (ie the situation in E&W), did Labour make a deliberate decision to encourage Housing Association provision, rather than council housing, conditional on the HA being “registered as charities or trusts or mutual co-operatives”?

    [I’m assuming that such HAs might have had similar exemptions in English/Welsh law as well]

    Personally, I’m greatly in favour of mutual co-operatives – just as long as they don’t use members’ cash to fund a political party!

  31. @ Roger Mexico

    Thanks for the link, I was trying to find that article. It’s first paragraph says:
    “Government ministers and housing association leaders have negotiated a deal that, if accepted, would effectively push through controversial plans to extend the right-to-buy policy without parliamentary scrutiny.” So I don’t think the deal has happened yet.

    Regarding the rest of your comment, I very much agree with you. The deal is a ‘coalition of the willing’ trying to get around the way in which Housing Associations have been structured (i.e. their structure makes it very difficult to impose RtB on them against their will, without the enabling legislation potentially having an impact beyond its intended targets).

  32. @ Old Nat

    One of the initial reasons for having a Housing Association program, rather than building council housing, was to protect social housing from RtB &/or RtA.

  33. @ Old Nat

    It’s not entirely irrelevant in Scotland. Any legislation can (in theory, at least) be reversed unless the actual structure of the HAs puts a major stumbling block in the way.

  34. @Amber

    Cameron said today that Greg Clark has agreed to the housing association proposal on right to buy. Effectively this is a compromise but I think the government can class it as a ‘win’ – instead of a potentially very difficult parliamentary battle to secure this they can say they’ve delivered the manifesto promise and probably won’t even need legislation.

    @Bill Patrick

    “Could a right-winger win unexpectedly just as Corbyn did from the left?”

    No, not somebody that is a right-wing equivalent of Corbyn.

    1/ MPs cut it down to the final two. There are a few eccentrics in the parliamentary party, but almost certainly not enough to put Philip Davies or even Owen Paterson through.
    2/ Tories are far less ideological than Labourites are. Especially given when the contest will happen (probably late 2019, six months or so before the GE) the number one consideration will be who will win the biggest majority.
    3/ There just aren’t anything like the number of young right-wingers ready to sign up as there are left-wingers that signed up for the Labour contest.

    The EU referendum may, however, bring some new people to the fore. If Brexit wins or everybody is regretting staying in by 2019 somebody that’s made a name for themselves as a Brexitter could steal it. But only if the mass of MPs thought they were fairly sensible and the membership thought they could win a majority.

  35. Oldnat,

    I don’t mind the idea of governments building infrastructure. I don’t think that they should do so primarily with a mind to the cash revenues of doing so.

    The government’s approach to academia is a classic infantilisation strategy: create a dependency, and then assume the stance of provider. So the government limits the fees that universities can charge and regulates the students they can accept, then subsidises universities to keep them afloat, and thus creates a client group of so-called “charities” dependent on the state.

    That said, there are some areas (like environmental research and nuclear energy) where the state can usefully spend money. Again, I think it’s misleading to call these investments, and they shouldn’t be done with a mind to cash revenues. Not everything has to be about profits, you know!

  36. @ Jack Sheldon

    Thanks, I wasn’t sure whether that was rhetoric or an actual announcement that all the HAs had agreed to the proposed deal.

  37. Jack Sheldon,

    Just to be pedantic, that was a quote from Pete B, in which he asked a question that I thought was worth considering. I should have said so.

  38. @AU – “Yeah it is basically a rebranding of civil society, but the point is that it’s a ground that labour should be comfortable on (and I think Alec has mentioned in the past how unions could bemore involved) but they never seemed to make any move on it. From where I am I think Labour has been a bit too taken with just using the state and has lost a certain ‘working through community’ aspect, which they could get through closer interaction between unions, small businesses etc.”

    I struggle to see the left of Labour making any real progress here. This is a shame, as the development of civic society came from two directions – the paternalistic wealthy and the mutual working people. Neither strand really survives to any great degree, in my view.

    Labour’s left wing has never been very good with community development, preferring instead to see monolithic state agencies running and delivering change, to an agenda all too often dictated from the centre. I suspect that this kind of approach was one of the reasons that did for them in Scotland.

    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 get the sense that Corbyn doesn’t have much clue about community action either, but I wait to be convinced otherwise.

  39. Regarding DC and Corbyn… DC did not call Corbyn a threat he called the leader of the ‘Labour’ Party a threat to national security etc. They are using Corbyn to tarnish the Labour brand.

  40. Couper2802,

    One difference between Corbyn and Foot is that Corbyn won far more decisively: Foot was well behind Healey on the first round, and the 1-on-1 result was barely in Foot’s favour. So Corbyn can truly be said to be Labour’s overwhelming choice, unlike Foot, and I suspect that (for good or ill) Corbyn will be associated more closely with Labour than Foot ever was.

  41. PETE B

    Also, when there finally is a Tory leadership election I would expect there to be a right-wing candidate because there usually is (e.g. Powell, Redwood, Fox in the past). Traditionally they do poorly, but in the present uncertain climate who knows? Could a right-winger win unexpectedly just as Corbyn did from the left?

    But the difference with the Labour Party is that the Conservative MPs not only have control over nominations, they then reduce the shortlist down to two before they go before the membership for the final choice. So if two of Johnson, Osborne, May, Javid say make the list, there simply isn’t the space for a Right-winger. They would need the support of a third of the MPs to have a chance of going before the Tory electorate.

    That’s not to say that there might not be a similar disconnect between the views of members and the views of the ‘selectorate’, (though it’s worth remembering that Corbyn also led among the actual candidates with the public as well – if not as dramatically as with those who had a vote). But when YouGov asked last month about the next Conservative leader:
    https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/sb6ms6gh7x/Conservative_Leadership_Website.pdf

    while Johnson led with 54% among all voters[1] over Osborne (20%) but quite a lot less (49% v 29%) among existing Conservative voters. However among members Osborne was just in front – 37% to 34%[2]. Of course you’d need to pair candidates against each other to get the true figures as only two candidates are what the voters will be offered, but it’s an interesting contrast between the various groups. It might suggest a bigger problem for the Conservatives in picking a new leader than Labour had – they at least had no popular frontrunner among their candidates who was much less popular with the selectorate. Though as that case also reminds us – public attitudes can change as well.

    [1] Figures exclude those who didn’t know or wouldn’t vote (54% for all voters, 21% for current Con voters, 10% for Con members).

    [2] May got a consistent 18-20% in all three groups, Javid did better generally (7%) and among members (10%) that he did with Tory voters (3%) – an odd pattern.

  42. Bill Patrick

    “I don’t mind the idea of governments building infrastructure.”

    OK we are agreed on that

    ” I don’t think that they should do so primarily with a mind to the cash revenues of doing so.”

    If there is no economic return on that investment, it would seem rather pointless. Surely the question is “who makes that return?”

    Foe example, property values rise when transport infrastructure is improved [1].Why should private individuals make an economic gain from taxpayer investment without returning part of that profit to recompense the taxpayer?

    If the gain is ongoing, then so should the revenue stream to the public purse – and thus reduce the need to raise further taxes from those who did not benefit.

    It seems a little odd for someone on the civilised right to argue that greater taxation than necessary should be levied order that some individuals make gains at no cost to themselves. (The uncivilised right will embrace the idea – as long as they are the ones benefitting at the expense of others.)

    As to your position in academia, I don’t know what you lecture in – but are you sure that in a “market economy” anyone would give you a job? :-)

    [1] Look at property values around stations on the HS1 line. A similar situation might be envisaged near stations on the Borders Railway.

  43. Being as I keep seeing portentious speculation about an impending recession, I was wondering how long an incumbent had to be in power before it got lumbered with the blame for such a thing, and thus the previous incumbent could begin to claim some economic high ground regardless of what went on in their tenure (it being forgotten in the midst of the new crisis).

    I think the Conservatives might be at that point already, although I doubt the main opposition party is in a proper state to take full advantage if it occurs. Or else they might just escape it due to being in coalition 2010-2015. We shall see…

    As for UK and USA being top of the G7: it’s not so hard as it was a couple of decades ago, being as Japan and the EU are doing quite poorly. We are doing OK.

  44. Oldnat,

    I didn’t say that government shouldn’t make a return, but the point of e.g. a road linking small villages to the national road network should not be the revenue from road tax and petrol duty, but to help those villages. I wasn’t suggesting abolishing road tax or petrol duty; indeed, those are taxes I’m relatively fond of, precisely because they are paid by the people making the mess and wearing out the roads.

    I’m the last person to be able to estimate my own particular abilities, but I did turn down jobs to go into academia, on the basis that it was no point earning a lot of money in finance etc. just to retire early and spend 30-40 years studying what I love, when I could go into academia and study them for much longer. However, universities have existed without large government subsidy before, and it was altogether a more civilized time for academics, as well as a more student-focused time. In fact, I wouldn’t mind going back to the 18th century Scottish system, when academics could live well, but only if their lectures were good enough to attract students, who paid the lecturers directly.

  45. The last person among people who know me, rather. I’d have to ask them to get a good estimate, but even then it’s hard to know how different universities would be if they could stand on their own feet, and were minimally regulated.

  46. Bill Patrick

    The roads linking small villages to the national road network were built a long, long time ago!

    Introducing total irrelevancies into a debate is an old, and somewhat discredited tactic.

    It’s also ineffective. The Commissioners of Supply who built many of those roads [in Scotland] did so to boost the economic prospects of the county (and consequently their personal wealth).

    Aspects of 18th century universities in Scotland were rather good. You will have read Davie’s “The Democratic Intellect” [1] , and his description of the struggle between the ideals of liberal generalist education, as opposed to the narrow ambition to succeed in the Civil Service Exams by following the Oxbridge obsession with the finer points of translating Latin and Greek.

    You may well feel that the OECD conclusion – that increasing the proportion of Higher Education graduates in the population leads to economic success – is wrong, but that’s why you have a pensionable job, and aren’t reliant on being popular with your students.

  47. Forgot the footnote!

    [1] Written in a hurry (due to his original text being made redundant by another publication) Davie’s book has some terrible misattribution of sources but the essential thesis remains valid.

  48. Alan Christie
    “I detest any form of imperialism and that’s why I support Putin’s actions in Syria ”

    Doesn’t this seem a bit contradictory? The implication is that the West’s actions in Syria are imperialist, but Russia’s are not. Can you explain what the difference is?

  49. Pete B @Alan Christie

    “Doesn’t this seem a bit contradictory?”

    It does seem a bit odd – though if you look at it in terms of past and current imperialism and the general agreement that Daesh are the greatest threat, it makes sense.

    Are Daesh most likely to be defeated by a small group of US sponsored terrorists trying to remove the state regime, or by a powerful foreign state invited in by the current regime to crush the opposition?

    You don’t need to hate/like Assad any more than the Saudi royals to consider that the “Great Powers” have always supported wholly distasteful regimes in their own interests

    If the Ottomans, French, British, Americans and Russians had kept out over the last few hundred years, and allowed the locals to sort out their own conflicts – as Europeans did, then the current threat to security well outside that region might have been prevented.

    As it is, American/UK wishes to install a regime friendly to Haliburton seem ludicrously foolish compared to their pretence that they are fighting “terrorism” – one of the stupider bits of modern terminology when used by politicians.

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