As well as the Scottish polling, YouGov’s regular GB voting intention figures were also in this morning’s Times. Topline figures are CON 44%, LAB 27%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 9%. Full tabs are here.

Two things to note. Firstly, there is no obvious impact from the budget. YouGov’s poll straight after the budget actually showed the Conservative lead up, but it was conducted on the evening of the budget, before respondents would have taken in the row over National Insurance that followed. Now people will have had time to react to that (if not today’s U-turn), and it doesn’t appear to have had any real impact.

That itself is a reminder not to put too much weight on questions asking if an event makes you less likely to vote for a party, such as those in the Telegraph at the weekend. Questions like that could almost be designed to produce results making it look as if an event or policy will have an impact on voting intention (in fact, the particular question didn’t even give people an option of saying it wouldn’t change their vote!). In reality it is pretty rare for individual events or policies to have a direct and measurable impact on voting intention.

Secondly, the UKIP score of 9% is the lowest YouGov have shown for many years. The last time they had them in single figures was back in Feburary 2013. As ever, it’s just one poll so don’t get too excited about it, but it is hardly a good sign for them.

274 Responses to “YouGov/Times – CON 44, LAB 27, LD 10, UKIP 9”

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  1. I’ve put up two threads today – one on the Scottish polls, one on the GB voting intention. Can people keep comments on Scottish indyref etc to the Scottish thread.

  2. After the upcoming local elections, we could see the rapid demise of UKIP.

  3. It is strange that, as they are such a heavily pro-remain party, the Liberal Democrats haven’t had more of an uptick in support.
    I would have thought they would be at least around 15% now.
    Maybe shows although Europe is the main show in town, it isn’t the only show in town.

  4. It does appear that UKIP are approaching a bit of a crisis – I guess the question is whether they can establish a long-term strategic position on the UK political map, and whether they have sufficient resilience and belief to keep fighting for that position.

    After all the liberals have been ‘finished’ at least three times: the 1950’s, late 80’s and two years ago, and yet they are still here….

  5. Big Fat Ron,

    I think that the difference is that the Liberals/SDLP/Democrats/Liberal Democrats/ETC. have never been as much of a single-issue party as UKIP.

    To some extent, I think that UKIP are doing very well given that the Tories have taken their position as the party of Brexit and Brexit now seems inevitable. I think that they’re nowhere near their core vote yet…

  6. Anthony,

    Good idea re: the two threads.

  7. Big Fat Ron, All gardeners know it is difficult to eradicate weeds with deep roots.

  8. Re: UKIP

    I wonder how much of the UKIP VI can be considered core: it is difficult to know given that the writer of the manifesto on the last occasion seems to have been ostracised. Beyond the single issue of Europe what are the UKIP supporter core beliefs not represented by other parties?

  9. @WB

    I think none of UKIP vote can be considered core in the blind loyalty sense of some Kabour and Tory voters. It is a product of a rising protest vote. The question is how far such voters have their concerns answered. For lots, it probably appears like time to go home. Events may reverse that flow or turn it into a stampede.

  10. Ronald Olden,

    One thing I’ve noticed is that every policy change is now called a “u-turn”.

    The classic use of this phrase was in 1971-1972 to describe a major shift in Tory party policy on many manifesto issues that they had claimed to oppose e.g. incomes policies and large industrial intervention.

    Now it’s used to describe a relatively minor change in tax policy.

    By 2047, politicians will talk about their opponents making “u-turns” when they stop stepping forward with one leg and shift to using the other leg.

  11. Anthony,

    Where do we comment on the referendum questions on this poll….this one or the Scottish one?


  12. @JASPER22

    “After the upcoming local elections, we could see the rapid demise of UKIP.”

    I certainly hope so. I never thought they were more than a protest party anyway. Without Farage they would never have gained any significant amount of support, and that Nutter guy in charge now doesn’t have the right charisma to lead the party. UKIP’s non-Brexit policies are complete bonkers anyway.

  13. Isn’t it odd that Cameron’s tactic of a referendum to debag UKIP has worked? UKIP are emasculated, and so there is no threat to TM from the right any more. With Corbyn’s Labour having moved leftward, is it any wonder the Tories are so dominant? As long as TM doesn’t allow the Tory right to seize control, then she looks rather serene. So much so that I think she can survive Brexit and Scotref turbulence with aplomb.

    The LibDems continue to languish. They should be doing much better. Farron under pressure, I wonder?

  14. UKIP has nothing to offer other than Brexit. Their other policies are taken straight from loony right wing economists even conservatives don’t agree with.
    In many ways the BNP is a much better party to represent the ‘hard right’ in British politics – they have a leftist economic platform that is much more likely to attract Labour voters, similar to the French FN in some ways.

  15. To those asking about UKIP’s other policies, see this:

    A few extracts:
    Abolish inheritance tax
    End access to benefits and free NHS treatment for new immigrants until they have paid tax and NI for five years
    End ‘health tourism’ by making sure those ineligible for free NHS care pay for treatment
    Increase social care funding in total by £5.2 billion between 2015 and 2020
    Stop child benefit being paid to children who don’t live here permanently and limit child benefit to two children for new claimants
    Scrap the ‘bedroom tax’

    It’s quite comprehensive, but I got a bit bored wading through it. Anyway, the problem seems to be that they have difficulty getting these policies heard (plus the infighting of course).

  16. @peteb

    And explaining how they would pay for it.

  17. As at Wednesday, a bad week for May so far which must raise doubts about whether she is up to the job:

    a. clear tensions and disagreements with her Chancellor who she has now hung out to dry over….

    b. NICs climbdown undermining the Government’s reputation for competence and resolution ( the Lady is for turning it seems) just a week after undermining its reputation for tax cutting and political integrity by proposing the increase.

    c. last minute delay to triggering A50 because the Cabinet is badly split on what it should say.

    d. caught completely flat-footed by Sturgeon on the issue of another indyref and flailing around trying to decide how to respond.

    It will be interesting to see now the Brexit honeymoon is over if May’s popularity ratings and the Tories VI start to change.

  18. I should have added a link to the Telegraaf live blog. The drive-in polling booth pic is at 17.32.

  19. @Hireton
    Three of the five policies I mentioned actually save money, though I do realise that that’s far from proving that the whole thing balances. They did claim that their’s was the only 2015 manifesto that was fully costed though.

  20. Hireton

    Only one person has had a worse week than May and that is sturgeon.

    On Monday she was leaving the uk to join/ remain in the EU

    By wednesday she is no longer interested on joining/remaining in the EU but wants to join Efta and wants EEA membership.

    where will we be by friday? Perhaps she will be explaining why Spain will not allow Scotland to join the EU but will allow access to the EEA
    why? the same issues arise.
    Is she aware that to join the EEA scotland will need to change currency and pay a large sum to the EU every year for access to the single market. How much £1 billion ,2 ,3 How?much Can she tell us?

    If TM has done a U turn there is not a word in the Scottish Language to describe what the wee Bampot has done.

  21. In fact i can answer my own question. Norway pays £140 per person to the EU. Scotland has a population of about about 750 million per year out of the scottish budget.How many nurses and teachers would that pay for?

  22. 7pm on LBC, Nigel Farage has an exclusive interview with Marie La Pen. Should be interesting given her growing popularity. Got to hand it to Farage, he is getting some incredible exclusives that all the mainstream media would kill for!

  23. Hireton
    Well your summary of TMs week is certainly not mine. In my view she has had a good week.
    Article 50 through with no amendment.
    She has listened to the argument starting to rage, over nics and has persuaded the Chancellor to cancel the changes until a full review can be undertaken in the light of Matthew Taylor’s report due in the summer. Watching The Wednesday event today, I did not detect much negative body language between them at all. As Kuenesberg said on the Brillo programme, whilst they are not bosom buddies they do have a healthy working respect for each other and he is one of the people she trusts.
    The fact that a government listens to an arguement and changes its view is a good thing surely?
    Then of course JC was totally wrong footed by the announcement and didn’t really ask any questions as a result. You could see the pain on the labour benches as he went on.
    There is no delay in serving 50. It was always going to be served by end of March. There are Dutch elections on the go and then the 70th anniversary. She is showing good grace in delaying until after those events, because the act of writing the letter will inevitably send the press into its usual frenzy.
    The fact that NS has no manners and didn’t confer with TM before she made her announcement, is hardly TMs fault.
    I would say irritated rather than wrong footed.

  24. Well, I did try to say that May was not in a very strong position a few hours after the budget.

    It’s a big foul up, but, as ever, Labour seem serially incapable of making hay.

  25. @sthomas

    You seem not to have read AW’s request.

  26. @Robert Newark

    Nice try but actually the Government is going through a very rough patch. May is fortunate that the state of the Labour party could give her some more time to find her feet but time is running out fast.

  27. Rich
    Le Pen will get to the second round but will not win. It’s Macrons now barring him having a total calamity. Which will be interesting because he has no MPs. He will be no friend of the UK though. Fillon was the best bet and was the person France needs to make structural changes. But he has blown it.

    So I’m not sure what Farage is up to. He certainly used to distance himself from her in the eu parliament. Maybe he just fancies himself as Nick Ferrari and is looking for a job in the media. A sort of male version of Katie Hopkins.

  28. hireton

    I know that you wish to put scotland into its own little box but I refuse to join you in the scottish Ghetto that you so crave. You after all were the one who compared TM and your post.

    I can understand that you are now confused by your own position.

  29. @Robert,

    despite being nowhere near London, LBC really is excellent. Politically it is very even handed as you go from right of centre Ferrari or harder right Hopkins, Farage, to hard left James O’Brien. It makes for interesting listening.

  30. @robert newark

    “There is no delay in serving 50. It was always going to be served by end of March.’

    Well there’s your view and the info which No 10 gave to lobby journalists and the subsequent briefings by Cabinet ministers about the delay. Who to believe?

    “The fact that a government listens to an arguement and changes its view is a good thing surely?”

    Second best by a long way to not getting it wrong in the first place and it wasn’t a consultation!

    “The fact that NS has no manners and didn’t confer with TM before she made her announcement, is hardly TMs fault.’

    But surely they knew it would happen at some point and had some reasonable lines to take? No? Utter incompetence. And by the way to quote the Scottish play – bloody instructions being taught do but return to plague the inventor – the devolved governments were given no warning of her Brexit speech in which she in effect closed down the discussions in the JMC hence the reciprocal lack of warning from Sturgeon..

    Hopefully she can handle the EU negotiations better but it seems at the moment that she does not have the personality to do so. Time will tell.

  31. Hireton
    Oh certainly there are choppy waters ahead but I did detect a greater confidence in TM as she answered questions. There were far less ‘er’s and a better flow. That must in part be due to having got 50 through without amendment.
    I accept what you say about labour. My only hope is that JC can hang on until 2020 before he falls on his sword.

    Maybe I’m a little older than you are but if you think that this is a rough patch for the Tories then you are mistaken. It was far rougher under Major. They actually look very United at the moment, well maybe excepting Heath. That is partly the effect of small majorities, it tends to keep the rebels in line.

  32. @sthomas

    I made no comparison. I simply remarked that May had been caught flatfooted which she had.

    I am being mindful of our host’s wishes regarding substantive discussion of Scotland and the referendum. It is called courtesy.

  33. Hireton
    I am not starting a Scottish debate with you on this thread as our host has asked us not to.
    As to the timing of 50, I am repeating what Nick Watts reported on Newsnight earlier this week. All very logical to me but to others who see a conspiracy at every turn….maybe not.
    As I understand it, all the noise about serving 50 yesterday was drummed up by the media. The only thing the government did, or rather didn’t do, was to dampen down the media speculation. Why should it?

  34. Whoops, at 6.17 I mentioned Heath. I did of course mean Ken Clarke! Senior moment.

    Thanks for the tip on lbc. I will find it on Tuneinradio.

  35. Peter Cairns

    “Where do we comment on the referendum questions on this poll….this one or the Scottish one?”

    In the absence of a response from Anthony, it would seem safe to assume that the questions asked of English and Welsh folk only, can safely be discussed, over port, here in the Dining Room.

    Matters such as opinion in Scotland should be restricted to Servant’s Hall.

    Foreigners may be ridiculed on any thread – obviously.

  36. Robert Newark

    I totally agree with you, I think May has been doing very well so far as the polls suggest. Getting the Art 50 bill through the Commons and Lords unamended was a really major acdhievement IMO and full credit to the whips as I said the other day.

    It was Tory MP’s who forced the government U turn today, nobody else. IMO the policy is right but it did break a commitment and if you are going to U turn then it’s best done quickly. I will be very surprised if it has a major effect on polling.

    Hammond has been damaged of course but he has another budget in the autumn to correct things.

  37. Professor Simon Wren-Lewis is an Englishman who is a professor of economic policy at Oxford.

    Presumably, that makes him a fit person to have his views reported on this thread?

    Professor Wren-Lewis said: “The bottom line is that the case for Scottish independence is now much stronger than it was in 2014. Then a brighter future outside the UK was patriotic wishful thinking. Now, if they can stay in the Single Market, it is almost a certainty.”

    He added: “Brexit changes everything. The economic cost to the UK of leaving the EU could be as high as a reduction of 10 per cent in average incomes by 2030. If Scotland, by becoming independent, can avoid that fate then you have a clear long term economic gain right there. But it is more than that.

    “If, Scotland can remain in the Single Market it could be the destination of the foreign investment that once came to the UK as a gateway into the EU. By accepting free movement, it could benefit from the immigration that has so benefited the UK public finances over the last decade. No, that is not what you read in the papers or see on the TV, but I’m talking about the real world, not the political fantasy that seems so dominant today.”

  38. The week just got worse for May and the Tories:

    “Twelve police forces have passed files to the Crown Prosecution Service over allegations that Conservatives broke campaign spending laws at the last election, after a 10-month investigation by police forces across the country.”

  39. @Robert Newark

    It’s not about the Scottish referendum, it’s about May’s competence as PM. But I understand why you want to stop the discussion. I would too in your position.

  40. It has not been a good week for the government but there is no polling evidence yet that has it been a disaster. I doubt the NI u-turn will be remembered in 2020 with everything else that is going on. The expenses issue will depend on what the CPS concludes. That might be a big blow to the government but it might turn out to be a damp squib.


    “It has not been a good week for the government but there is no polling evidence yet that has it been a disaster”

    I think it’s been clear for some time the voters in England are increasingly forced into a situation of choosing what they see as the least incompetent party bidding to run their country.

    Corbyn looked as if he had gifted that position to the Tories, but resilient as ever, the Tories seem to be fighting back to earn the incompetence crown!

  42. @bazinwales

    I agree that the detail of the NICs issue will soon be forgotten. The issue is the cumulative.effect which these events have on perception of May and the Government and then possibly.on VI. This actually should have been the relatively easy time for the Government but it seems to be good at creating its own problems. It needs to stop doing so because life is going to get a lot more difficult for it very soon.

  43. Channel 4 now reporting still more evidence that hotel accommodation in South Thanet was for senior Conservative officials working directly for local candidate – but not declared as local expenditure.

    As Kevin McGuire noted in a tweet earlier today, “Tick tock, tick tock”

  44. TOH
    “It was Tory MP’s who forced the government U turn today, nobody else. IMO the policy is right but it did break a commitment and if you are going to U turn then it’s best done quickly. I will be very surprised if it has a major effect on polling.”

    I agree entirely. Most informed opinion including on the left of centre agreed it was the right thing to do. However it is financially small beer in the grand scheme of things and the breaking of a manifesto pledge was a far greater sin and could have done far greater damage in the long term. What it does demonstrate is the sheer stupidity of parties putting daft promises in their manifestos. The Liberals learnt the hard way, hopefully the Tories have now.


    As for TMs competence, I think that she is proving to be an extremely competent PM and one who genuinely believes what she says. I do not envy her position, she has several very difficult tasks ahead but she has, very competently, achieved the first one, namely getting 50 through the Commons and the Lords unamended. Given the position that Cameron left us all in last June, with a total lack of contingency planning, I can think of no other politician currently in the Commons, whom I would rather have in her place.

    If there is a good deal to be had, she will get it.

    Of course, there are always unforeseen events.

    I accept that you don’t appear to like her. I suspect that if she could walk on water, your comment would be, ‘May can’t even swim’, but as the polls show, she does appeal to those outside her party. Even my brother in law, a very left wing retired teacher admires her and what she stands for. He has always been a JC man and probably voted for him but now sees the folly of putting unelectable people in power.

  45. Do I understand the UK’s “governance” correctly?

    The Chancellor announces (presumably having previously briefed his boss) changes to NICs.

    His boss gets spooked when lots of Tory MPs are displeased, and tells the Chancellor to dump the idea.

    Chancellor follows orders, and Cabinet are bypassed (as they normally are).

    Seems a strange way to pretend to be running a country, when there are massive problems ahead.

  46. Rich: “despite being nowhere near London, LBC really is excellent.”

    Where is it, then?

  47. Just returned from a Small business forum here in jasperville. I was quite surprised at the universal support for HMGs u turn on NI.
    A common refrain was “at least they lustened and acted quickly “.

  48. Salmond was on today 4-5pm for a phone in too! Was good.

  49. @Robert Newark

    You are entirely missing the point but never mind.

  50. Robert Newark

    Re: Lack of contingency planning by the Cameron regime.

    Presumably that is the explanation for the failure of HMG to do contingency planning for the impact of leaving the EU with no deal.

    How does TM know that no deal is better than a bad deal if nobody has done their homework?

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