The Times this morning has the latest YouGov voting intention figures – CON 42%(+3), LAB 28%(-2), LDEM 9%(+1), UKIP 11%(-2). While the size of the lead isn’t quite as large as the seventeen points ICM showed earlier in the week, it’s a another very solid lead for the Conservatives following their party conference, matching the lead May had at the height of her honeymoon. Full tabs are here.

While I’m here I’ll add a quick update on two other recent YouGov polls. First some new London polling, which shows extremely positive ratings for Sadiq Khan. 58% of people think he is doing well as London mayor, only 14% think he is doing badly. Mayors of London seem to get pretty good approval ratings most of the time (both Ken Livingstone and Boris Johnson normally enjoyed positive ratings), I don’t know if that’s down to the skills of the individual politicians who have held the job so far or whether the public judge them by different standards to Westminster politicians. Never the less, it’s a very positive start for Khan, with net positive approval ratings among supporters of all parties except UKIP. Full tabs are here.

Finally, since the subject keeps popping up, some polling on the Royal Yacht. The public oppose replacing the Royal Yacht with a newly commissioned vessel by 51% to 25%. They would also oppose recommissioning the old Royal Yacht Brittania, but by a smaller margin (42% opposed, 31% support). The argument that the cost of the Yacht would be justified by the its role in promoting British trade and interests oversees does not find favour with the general public – 26% think the cost can be justified, 57% think it cannot. Full results are here.

607 Responses to “YouGov/Times – CON 42, LAB 28, LDEM 9, UKIP 11”

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  1. Re-iterates the trend towards the Tories post-conferences.

    I wonder why Khan’s ratings are so high. Honeymoon or just glowing with the comparison to Corbyn?

  2. @Sea Change

    Somewhat Honeymoon, but mostly London being pro-europe and left leaning.

    The Conservative lead is still consistent with what should be expected from a combined honeymoon period and post-conference boost.

  3. Still showing the same old trends… Tory honeymoon, Labour weakness but appear to have a floor at around 28%, slight LibDem recovery, UKIP slipping slowly downward…

    Will we see UKIP/LibDem cross-over in the New Year?

  4. @BIGFATRON “Will we see UKIP/LibDem cross-over in the New Year?”

    I think that depends on the Brexit narrative, specifically if May holds her current line, and also what happens with the UKIP leadership.

  5. If bad news about Brexit continues apace, then maybe we can expect the anti-government protest vote to have suddenly discovered that they were Europeans all along.

  6. I wonder how the vote share of parties would be if the leadership of each of the parties was different.

    Looking at local and mayoral elections, it looks as though that the Lib Dems are doing much better and Labour not too bad compared to what their current ICM/YouGov VI would suggest.

    If Theresa May started to be perceived as being useless, or Tim Farron and/or Jeremy Corbyn were replaced we could see a different situation in the polls. Where the question is not related to the leadership and parliamentary party, the picture looks very different.


    Once Article 50 is triggered then there is not much that could be done if the public changed their mind.

    The only way to reverse it would be to change government and persuade every EU State to interpret Article 50 as being reversible.

    Adopting Schengen and putting Napoleon Bonaparte on the fourth plinth of Trafalgar Square may or may not be enough of a concession in that situation.

    I believe our negotiation position is weaker than Greece’s when dealing with the troika.

  8. @Hawthorn

    I suggest that a fair number of people who are saying they would vote Lib Dem, don’t know who Tim Farron is. I’ve not heard his name mentioned in the news for ages… (While Farrage is still getting headlines…)


    No publicity is worse than bad publicity.

    Having said that, Donald Trump is testing that cliché to destruction.

  10. @Hawthorn “No publicity is worse than bad publicity.
    Having said that, Donald Trump is testing that cliché to destruction.”

    I think the cliche is “There’s no such thing as bad publicity”.

    Gerald Ratner proved there are exceptions to that rule!

  11. Farron is clearly a member of the ‘liberal elite’ and – as such – is too busy secretly running the country to appear in the media much… ;-)

  12. @BIGFATRON lol.

    IMO Farron comes off as a lightweight and devoid of the charisma to make the kind of impact that the Lib Dems need. Similar to David Steel in some respects.

    That’s reminded me of this clever and amusing Spitting Image sketch:

  13. David Steel was far from ligtweight and had a fair bit of charisma. In the 1983 election the Alliance surged after he replaced Roy Jenkins at the head of their campaign.

  14. Terrible poll for Labour – again.

    @Hireton – our oil buying group works well. We keep it simple, with a single monthly order sent in which collates all the individual members orders. The group doesn’t handle any payments, but the oil company bills people individually as normal. We get 5% off the normal price, with the added advantage that collating the orders means you get a good price on small top ups, so don’t need to wait to make a big order.

  15. Certainly another desperate poll for Labour, especially when looking at the detailed questions.
    Labours lead on the NHS reduced to 6 %, and on Housing to 4%
    Conservative leads on Immigration, Law and Order, Taxation, Handling Unemployment, the Economy in general and Britain’s exit from the EU have all increased.
    May now leads Corbyn as best PM by 33%.

    On Brexit there have been some marginal movements towards both sides in the debate.
    The Brexit leave is only + 1% (was +3%)
    Those thinking they will be worse of increased to +14 (was 10%)
    Those thinking we will have less influence has reduced to + 18% (was+22%)
    Those thinking it will have a bad effect on jobs has reduced to +11% (was +12%)
    Still even on NHS
    Those thinking there will be less immigration has increased to +46% (was +42%)
    Those thinking it will have a bad effect on pensions has decreased to +18% (was + 21%)
    So on Brexit you takes your pick depending where you stand on leaving the EU.

  16. @Alec


  17. @ToH
    ‘So on Brexit you takes your pick’

    Well, not really – the consensus view remains that Brexit will be worse for jobs, the UK’s influence in the world, pensions and personal finances.
    The consensus is further that there will be less net immigration, and that there will be little net effect, either positive or negative, on the NHS.

    That looks like a consensus behind a pretty long list of negatives – I guess your point is that views on some have hardened and some weakened over the last few weeks, i.e. no consistent change in either direction, but the overall consensus is still pretty gloomy…

  18. I see momentum are correct and the people are rallying behind Corbyn in their droves hahaha


    I would rather talk about the poll which is the subject of this thread however since you addressed me I will reply.

    It is quite clear where you stand and how passionately you feel about it. I assure you I feel just as passionately as you do but in favour of a Brexit which means we can control our borders, make our own laws and are not subject to the ECJ, and can expand our economy outwards free from any constraints from the EU (except of course when we sell to it). I want this not for only for myself and my wife, but for our children and grandchildren who I believe will have a better future outside the EU.

    We are both clearnow so let’s get back to the YouGov Poll.

  20. @Graham – I don’t think he had the Charisma to make an impact, certainly not while he was leading the Liberals before the Alliance.

    I do think he was stronger than Farron is now. He faced a similar situation to Farron faces in 1976-83 – painfully low numbers of MPs.

    When you are in that position you need a larger than life character or an extraordinary event like the SDP/Labour Split to make the difference.


    but the overall consensus is still pretty gloomy…

    Agreed, for those who want to be.

  22. Carney has indicated that the BoE will tolerate a “bit of an overshoot” on the inflation target of 2%.

    Not surprising but as inflation inevitably increases it is May ‘s “just managing ” group that she made a priority which will be hit the most. The politics of the Autumn Statement and its impact on polling will be interesting. Will Hammond’s promised fiscal relaxation focus more on tax cuts or increases in spending (today’s construction figures were not good ).

  23. @Edmund Jude

    A powerful statement.

  24. PETE

    What the Paul Mason thing shows (if anything) is that:

    a) Momentum are not out of touch.
    b) They are not a personality cult.
    c) That they are not beyond the possibility of being successful if their energy can be better channelled.


    We agree on “Will Hammond’s promised fiscal relaxation focus more on tax cuts or increases in spending”

    Looking forward with interest.

  26. @Matt Wardman – re septic tanks – no, they are still legal, with some exceptions. There are new General Binding Rules for Septic Tanks and Treatment Plants which came into force in January 2015.

    Cesspools are now illegal in Scotland, but not elsewhere in the UK (worth noting when discussing Scottish politics on here) but you really wouldn’t want a cesspool anyway. Septic tanks in England are now illegal for new installations and for existing from 2020, but only where the discharge is direct to a ditch, drain or watercourse. So long as you have a suitably porous soil and are far enough from a watercourse, septic tanks are still OK.

    Even if you had discharge to water issues, you could still adopt a septic tank if you fitted something like a reed bed for the effluent, which would be a cheaper long term option than a packaged plant, and a good deal more wildlife friendly, although this does take up more space.

    I’m talking sh!te again.

  27. @ToH
    ‘but the overall consensus is still pretty gloomy…’

    ‘Agreed, for those who want to be.’

    This is where I get a little irritated – I am not gloomy because I WANT to be, I am gloomy because what knowledge and experience I have of economics, business and the like suggests that things will be pretty difficult for the UK economy – and, by extension, my children and their partners, friends, etc. – for some time to come as a result of this decision.

    I would much rather NOT be gloomy, but it is the view logic and my personal experience impels me to.

    Your experience obviously takes you to a different conclusion; it would be rude of me to ascribe that view to wishful thinking on your part – please do me the same courtesy…


    ToH is a bit of a hippy at heart. Positive vibes and all that.

    Once Article 50 is triggered then there is not much that could be done if the public changed their mind.

    From the transcript OLDNAT kindly posted last night, that seemed to be very much on the minds of the judges during the A50 High Court case. I suspect they may have to put it to the UK Supreme Court and ultimately to the ECJ.

    Obviously if it is reversible then HMG’s case for triggering without parliamentary approval becomes better, but OTOH it seems unlikely that HMG will want the ECJ to rule on it.

  30. @Sea Change
    ‘ I don’t think he had the Charisma to make an impact, certainly not while he was leading the Liberals before the Alliance. ‘

    As a young Liberal MP in the late 1960s and 1970s David Steel was seen as a highly charismatic figure. He was also perceived to have fared well in the 1979 election – his first election as party leader – when he was able to raise the Liberal vote significantly in the course of the campaign and avoided a repeat of the widely expected wipeout suffered by Thorpe in 1970 when the party fell back to just six seats.Again he was seen as the star of the Alliance campaign in 1983 – particularly in relation to the SDP leader Roy Jenkins. He did fade in the course of the 1983 -87 Parliament when David Owen became SDP leader and failed to make the same impact in the 1987 election.

  31. Here’s a couple for @Candy;

    Price rise alert (1)

    Uswitch have said that best deals on energy prices are now starting to drift upwards. I renewed mmy contract yesterday, seeing a 1.5% rise after two years of falls.

    Price rise alert (2)

    Mountain Warehouse has just annouced record sales, but a fall in profits (which means less tax to the government). They hedged against currency moves to February 2017, but after that intend to absorb a third of the cost increase, squeeze suppliers for another third, and increase prices to cover the rest.

    All of this, entirely the consequence of the Brexit vote.

    I also understand that the price of pepper is rocketing at present, but there are production and harvest issues behind this, so while this isn’t something to be sniffed at, we can’t really blame it all on Brexit.


  32. Always look on the bright side of life!

    UKIP need to get their act together or the slow slide will continue. I get the feeling that many of their supporters are just hanging on to make sure that the Tories deliver Brexit. The only ray of hope for them that I can see is that they just might pick up one or two seats in the Midlands and North because of Labour voters not liking Corbyn but feeling unable to vote Tory.

  33. Edmund Jude

    Welcome to the board. I have read your post and from what you say, I guess that you won’t be playing Happy, in the Snow White and the Seven Dwarves pantomime this Christmas!

    Seriously, you should have added IMHO somewhere in your post as frankly, leavers are just as angry.

    I am angry that the minority refuse to accept the majority verdict.
    I am angry that a number of people have started a spurious legal challenge to try and thwart the will of the majority.
    I am angry that the E U absolutely refuses to change, adapt and bring itself up to date, despite growing unrest across Europe from the people.
    I am angry that Merkel has bankrupted Greece and forced millions of people into unemployment throughout Europe.
    I am angry that Merkel is now proposing to introduce curbs in benefits to immigrants from elsewhere, having refused to allow Cameron to do something similar less than 12 months ago.
    I am angry that Merkel without any agreement from the rest of the eu, accepted a million economic migrants into her country, thereby increasing the drag of even more to make the perilous sea journey.
    I am angry that the eu is so incompetent that it cannot and does not enforce the rule that all migrants apply for asylum in the first safe country they arrive in.
    I am angry that the French do not deal with THEIR problem at Calais.
    I am angry that an unelected idiot is in charge of the Commission. A person so stupid that it seems he will willingly cut off his nose to spite his face.

    In fact I could go on as well.

    To answer some of your points:

    I have friends who have studied in Paris and in the US in the late 1960’s. Years before the eu came into being. Why would studying abroad suddenly stop?
    The rigmarole of applying for an Irish passport is no more difficult than applying for a British one. One of my friends has done it.
    There have always been race attacks. Remember Stephen Lawrence or the BNP in 1970’s. To blame all that on the Referendum is simplistic in the extreme. Jo Coxs murder was tragic but was carried out by a nutter who seemed to not like what she was doing for refugees. Nothing to do with the eu at all.
    I actually don’t understand you point which includes reference to Mrs May, unless you are inferring that all the intelligent people voted remain and have been insulted and only the uneducated voted leave and are doing the insulting. Which is of course nonsense.

    I voted leave partly for the same reason as NeilA (overcrowding leading to loss of green spaces and wildlife habitat, partly because wages have been driven down by Eastern Europeans working for below minimum wage, which they can afford to do because they live in bedsits and partly because I consider that a UK freely trading with the whole world is going to be more prosperous in the long term, than one which is part of a protectionist eu in long term decline and with that in mind, my vote was for my grandchildren.

    So we can all be angry, I believe and the polls tell me that I’m not alone, that Mrs May is the best person to get us a good deal and so far she is doing ok.

    Of course, all IMHO.

  34. PETE B

    Or they could just stay at home, as many of them did previously.

  35. @Graham

    That’s certainly a different interpretation of the 1979 election. Under his leadership they lost seats and the lib dems vote share dropped from 18.3% to 13.8% from the previous 1974 election under Thorpe.

  36. @Hawthorn
    I know – I generally enjoy ToH’s contributions, even though his viewpoint is rather different than my own – I often learn something from them.

    However he does have this slightly naughty habit of ascribing motivations to people that disagree with him…which is a bugbear of mine. Apologies if I over-reacted!

  37. This is a bad poll for Labour. Nevertheless it would imply a Tory majority of circa 80 – well short of the 144 and 102 obtained by Thatcher in 1983 and 1987 respectively. It should also not be forgotten that adjustments made by pollsters since the May 2015 will have added several points to the Tory lead so that comparison with earlier Parliaments needs to take account of that.
    I also sense that the political weather has started to blow against May over the last week or so as reflected in the falling pound and renewed signs of Tory divisions becoming apparent.I would expect the Tory lead to be no more than half its present level by Xmas.

  38. Edmund Jude,

    I agree with you on more or less everything you said. Too many people are obsessing about statutes and ignoring trade. Freedom and sovereignty isn’t just made through laws, it’s through trade, diplomacy and alliances.

    Any tinpot country can declare itself nominally independent of outside influences, but when it comes to paying the bills or defending their territory they will have to submit to the will of larger economic and military blocs. Britain has spent so much of its history within blocs (the Empire, then NATO and the EEC/EC/EU) that it has no cultural memory any more of what it is like to live outside them. Yes we will remain in NATO but that too is under attack from both the left (Corbyn) and the right (Farage), and no doubt it will become a scapegoat for our troubles in due course.

  39. @Sea Change
    Rightly or wrongly, the 1970s Liberals were seen as repository of protest votes from the Tories, and most of their seats were in rural/suburban areas.

    They were predicted to get thrashed in 1979 as a consequence of the Tory revival, but actually did better than initially expected.

    That was my first election – in Francis Pym’s constituency, where they used to weigh the Tory vote rather than count it, even in bad times for the Conservatives…

  40. @ Sea Change
    ‘ Under his leadership they lost seats and the lib dems vote share dropped from 18.3% to 13.8% from the previous 1974 election under Thorpe.’
    That rather misses the point. The Liberals entered the 1979 election at the end of March with poll ratings in the range of 5 – 9%.To have ended it with a vote share of 13.8% represnted a significant recovery . The number of Liberal MPs fell from 13 in October 1974 to 11 in 1979 – a much better performance than Thorpe’s first election in 1970 when their vote share was just 7.6% with the number of MPs falling from 13 to just 6.I recall it so well having been a PPC – Labour -myself in 1979

  41. EDMUND JUDE @ Tancred @TOH

    Welcome, agreed and well said.

    TOH does have a point re Tancred, though. I regularly agree with the points Tancred makes but find it difficult to accept the language he often uses.

  42. Perhaps a hint of metallic grey if not silver,in all those clouds for Labour.

    Looking at the tables on which Party is best on which issue it seems aThat between a quarter to a third consistently say “Don’t Know!”

    That might suggest that although people aren’t convinced by Corbyn, they aren’t really that sure of the Tories either.

    I wonder how that might play out when, indeed if, the economy substantially weakens.

    The other things that struck out was just how much rosier UKIP voters and the over 65’s viewed our Brexit prospects compared to everyone else. With the Governor of the Bank of England predicting up to 3% inflation next year and it to hit food prices and the poorest first that wil be worth watching.

    Oh and the SNP are on 50% which I only mention because it will be worth seeing what happens over the next month of so post any SNP conference bounce and what the Scottish public make of the referendum bill?


  43. Edmund Jude’s post does illustrate the way many remainers feel about the referendum, and if things get worse, you would expect (human nature being what it is) these feelings to be shared by many who currently feel more ambivalent about Brexit.

    However, it isn’t easy to see how that could feed into the standard political polls. There are votes in opposing Brexit, but no party is strategically placed to benefit.

    Labour are not well placed because their leadership has a very mixed view on Europe and the Lab/Con marginals are not obvious territory for angry remainers.

    Clearly UKIP cannot appeal to remainers. Their only attack line on the government can be that they are not implementing Brexit thoroughly enough.

    The Lib Dems are in theory well placed to benefit, as they certainly have pro European credentials. Also, they are small enough to not need to worry about defying the public vote – they can just say the public got it wrong and hope people come round to their way of thinking. However, a significant number of remainers are economically liberal and would find the socialist elements of the Lib Dems an uncomfortable fit. Also, they may not have the critical mass to become a major party after recent setbacks.

    Meanwhile the Tories, who have many remainers in their ranks, have no incentive to appeal to the remainer vote. If they promise a soft Brexit, they will be crucified by the Brexiteers and blamed if things go wrong. If they go for a relatively hard Brexit and things go wrong, they can point out that this was the price the British people chose to pay.

    I actually think this does create in many remainers a mood of anger and despair – not only are the main parties ignoring them, they have no motive to listen to them. Ironically, this seems to be exactly how many Brexiteers felt before.

    How this plays out in the polls depends both on the extent of the economic impact, the extent the Lib Dems can raise their game, and the extent to which the remainers find a voice within the Labour party.

  44. Iuvenis,
    ” If they go for a relatively hard Brexit and things go wrong, they can point out that this was the price the British people chose to pay.”

    Could you provide some evidence (not opinion but actual documents from a neutral source) that the referendum was specifically about a hard brexit?

  45. Iuvenis
    “I actually think this does create in many remainers a mood of anger and despair – not only are the main parties ignoring them, they have no motive to listen to them. Ironically, this seems to be exactly how many Brexiteers felt before.”

    Totally agree. For 40 years. Wasn’t there a football song about ’40 years of hurt’?

  46. The liberal performance in the 79 election has to be seen in the context of the liblab pact. It could be argued that steel was much more successful than clegg

  47. CR
    I agree with that. Steel also had the Thorpe scandal to contend with in the background.

    I am angry that a number of people have started a spurious legal challenge to try and thwart the will of the majority.

    Most of your other “angries” are standard rants here, but you seem to misunderstand the reason why the legal challenge in the High Court is happening.

    The challenge is not trying to thwart anything. On the contrary it is to try to ensure that the Westminster Parliament’s sovereignty is respected by HMG – something I would have expected the “bring back control” leavers to want. Nobody there is trying to prevent anything but the attempt by HMG to use the feudal royal prerogative to by-pass the Westminster parliament.

    The Belfast challenge is rather different in wanting the rights of the NI population enshrined in the Belfast Agreement to be retained.


    No offence intended so I apologise if you took it the wrong way. Yes my experience of business and the economy does take me to very different conclusions in the medium to long term. There will be a short term hit as I have posted myself many times.


    If you think that, then of course your right to be thinking about moving to Holland. If you do decide that then I wish you and your family every success. opefully you will return on occasions to see how we are prospering outside the EU.

    Since you raised the subject again I am as angry as you are, but my anger is directed those trying to stop the referendum being implemented. There are always two sides to these things.

  50. Robert Newark

    A powerful statement Robert and one I totally agree with.

    I’ve waited 40 plus years to leave the EU and what really makes my blood boil are people trying to stop the referendum being implemented.

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