The YouGov/Sunday Times poll this morning has topline voting intention figures of CON 49%, LAB 31%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 3%. As with most other recent polls, it shows a very large Conservative lead, Labour creeping up slightly and the smaller parties being squeezed. This is the first time YouGov have shown the Lib Dems in single figures this year and the first time UKIP have been as low as 3% since early 2012.

Labour’s manifesto promises are, once again, individually popular, but overall the party’s platform is not. 65% thought a cap on rents was a good idea, 58% increasing taxes on those earning over £80,000, 49% the abolition of tuition fees, 46% the nationalisation of the National Grid, Royal Mail and railways. Asked about their policy offering overall however, by 50% to 25% people think Labour do not have a sensible plan for how they would run Britain.

By 59% to 22% people support the Conservatives’ aim of cutting net immigration to the “tens of thousands”. While a clear majority, this is substantially down from when we asked the same question in 2014 when 76% supported it. Only 25% of people thought that May would be able to hit the target, though again, it has changed significantly from 2014 when only 9% thought that Cameron could do it. By 59% to 28% people do NOT think that students should be included in the immigration target.

Finally, in the light of the CPS decisions this week there were some questions about limits on election spending. 77% of people think that there should be a spending limit at elections, and the Conservative party are perceived as being worse than the other parties at obeying the rules. 44% think the Tories often break spending rules at elections, compared to 24% for Labour, 19% for the Lib Dems, 24% for UKIP.

Full tabs are here.


409 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 49, LAB 31, LD 9, UKIP 3”

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  1. The Other Howard,
    “I think you have got that totally wrong. I think May is pushing the Tories to the center, at least that’s how it is meant to appear to voters. In doing so she has adopted some interventionist policies which I deplore.Corbyn is just destroying the Labour party IMO.”

    May was a choice forced upon the conservative party by the referendum result. What she says now is motivated purely by a desire to win big at this election. To do this she has to combat the popular policies being fielded by labour, and that means adopting them too. (polling says labour’s manifesto policies are popular.)

    Yes, this is meant to appear as caring, but the reality is pure political pragmatism. If there was a right wing labour leader, the conservatives would be offering different, more right wing, policies of their own.

    As to what Corbyn is doing to the labour party, what he has done is change its voter base to be more in accord with the left of the party. Both labour and Conservative will have to see what happens to their vote shares once brexit stops being the determining factor.

    Millie,
    “In other words, occupy the centre/centre-left vacuum, ”
    Haha, you would have the liberals repeat what they did in coalition? Suicide.

  2. @Mille “With Labour in disarray on the left of British Politics, the LDs had an historic opportunity to appeal to the sensible, caring, thinking middle ground. Instead they have opted for hysteria.”

    Totally agree, Farron has been a disaster for the Lib Dems. They need a much more savvy operator. They’ve missed a golden opportunity.

    @Andy T Corbyn “( IMO) has been a disaster for the Labour Party and will set the party back for years after he leaves the stage.”

    It is the lasting damage that Corbyn has done to the Labour brand and the likely sub-200 seats that moves Corbyn from disaster to catastrophe in my book.

  3. Re: Tory “workers rights” policies. Has JC shifted the Overton window to the left. Various posters (and the press) keep comparing Corbyn to Foot, however in the 1983 election the response of the Tories was to move to the right not to tack left.

  4. Good Morning to all at UK Polling

    I am slightly disappointed by the weekend polling as I thought – and my experience on the stump showed – that Jeremy’s message was seemingly cutting through to the masses.

    Alas, not as much as I thought, if these polls are to be believed. Encouraging to see the Labour Party above 30% but lots of work still to do.

    From my conversations, activists are cheery and positive and all are putting there shoulder to the wheel.

    Regarding the computer issues we have seen, I have to say I am not surprised. I believe the internet, on balance, has not added to the human experience and, over the coming years, will become a devouring beast that we will grow to fear and loathe.

    For every good element – like this site – there are a dozen ills that are the companion of mental illness problems.

    We all need to walk and talk to each other more.

  5. Strikes me that a large part of the university sector has grown way beyond its usefulness. It devours money and people [students] in pursuit of its own goals. In some cases they’re in effect just businesses seeking to grow ever bigger as if that is the sole justification for their existence. I don’t get the impression they care very much for the consequences on the people going through them.

    We are doing some of our young people a great disservice by encouraging them to (a) waste 3 years of their lives on often pointless and substandard degrees, and (b) by saddling them (and the taxpayer) with a millstone of unnecessary debt. Standards in many of these courses are dubious. Grade inflation is rife, devaluing the meaning of the qualifications in the first place. E.g. the proportion of Firsts is now around 25%. When I graduated (1983) it was around 5%. The suggestion that the rise of 500% is due to students being better prepared or that teaching is so much better is laughable. I know many students these days just feel part of a massive sausage machine with minimal contact with teaching staff e.g. tutorials as compared to the past. No doubt at some of the top uni’s this is not the case but the large bulk are inadequate.

    Successive governments seem to have lost the plot in furtherance of forever being able to fluff their feathers and boast about how many more people have degrees as if, by definition, that must surely be a good thing.

    It should be a duty and responsibility of the government to work out how many genuinely degree skilled people are needed in various fields, and then only provide financing for sufficient course places to meet that need. E.g. we always seem to be short of home grown medical talent – so we should be increasing medical school places etc. But do we seriously need the vast army of graduates with psychology or media studies degrees? I really doubt it.

  6. Perception is so important. Some I hear arguing that Corbyns agenda is not ultra left. That depends on opinion. However when Corbyn has Saemas Milne as his Commander in Chirf and then gets Andrew Murray seconded from Unite today to help campaign (mr Murray resigned as a member of Communist party in December) then it doesn’t mTter whether your policies are ultra left, he will be perceived as such by the company he keeps. (And that ignores the recording of John McDonnell saying how proud he is to be a Marxist)

  7. Andy T,
    “There is no evidence from the current polls that voters are deserting the Tories, although there is limited evidence that some LD are moving to Labour.”

    Oh I didnt say labour will win. The numbers are seriously against them. However, support for both con and lab is already massively split between the parties on leave/Remain. All that is happening is that an almost inevitable vote tansfer is proceeding. May has the bigger pool to collect from. Corbyn has allowed May to go on about brexit and become the strident voice of fascism while also making his own arguments for him about the need for tactical voting. Meanwhile he potters along collecting hard won votes on social issues. My guess, he will come back right at the end with an appeal as i just caricatured, against the fascist tories and will finally mention brexit.

  8. As three companies or individuals own 71% of national newspaper circulation, it’ll be the Barons wot win it. Expect a closet-load of skeletons to fall on top of Corbyn c.June 1st.

  9. Back to the polling, this time by Survation for ITV:

    CON 48 (+1)
    LAB 30 (=)
    LD 8 (+1)
    UKIP 4 (-1)

    Changes from last week.

  10. @Danny

    I would agree with some of your analysis. Certainly LD improved as a consequence of a robust Remain stance. But that factor is declining, and quite rapidly. Firstly, people are bored with it. Secondly, A50 has been triggered, and the vast majority of voters are now reconciled to the fact that we are leaving. So a purist Remain stance is less attractive.

    I would not ignore the fact that JC is having a good campaign.

    But how you voted June 23 obviously becomes less of a factor as time elapses. The choice is now: ‘who is going to best handle the negotiation?’, which is a different question. TM generally ticks that box, whereas an equivocal JC, and an ‘appeaser’ Farron do not.

    Clearly the LDs cannot abandon a pro-EU stance, and will still gain somewhat from it. In due course, if Brexit is a disaster, then they will gain much more. But the electoral benefits are rapidly declining in this GE and they should have concentrated on cementing the image of Labour as the ‘loony left’. Instead, at times they have seemed to be trying to outflank them.

    Sober, moderate, wise, with green/liberal instincts was the correct approach surely.

    One final point – the LDs are very keen on tactical voting ,as it is their only chance, and they are second in so many seats. So tactical voting will assist them , not the reverse.

    Their line should have been: ‘Labour can’t win, and god help us if they could. The Tories are going to win, but we need to minimise the scale of their victory in the interests of the country. In this way, we can also bring about the long term realignment of British politics that this country needs and yearns for’. Instead they have appealed for a soft Brexit, which very few understand anyway.

    Brexit was divisive and disruptive and challenged conventional party loyalties. Labour in absolute turmoil, and UKIP finished. Therefore a king-size opportunity to ‘break the mould’. Rather than seize the historic moment, they want to legalise cannabis.

    Cue the head in hands response of the British voter.

  11. @ DANNY – as you say “it is purely a perception”

    – perception on your opinion of a party leader as the future PM
    – perception on what a party’s values (policies) are and how they fit to your own values

    I agree 100% a left-right political spectrum is a social construct but social constructs define human’s reference grids and help human’s make complex decisions. Also party (brand) loyalty is very important as an average voter probably has 10+ “repeat purchase” or “switch” opportunities during their voting life.

    If you look at the ComRes poll info for UKIP their mean perceived left-right value is 7.24 almost exactly the same as ™ at 7.26 and CON party at 7.33. This helps to explain why so many UKIP are switching over to CON (see the VI versus 2015 vote in tabs of this poll) and very few to LAB.

    UKIP to CON is a very easy cognitive step, LAB to LD (or vice versa) is a much larger leap.

    Voting is an “option” not a requirement. Asking voters to make large cognitive leaps risks confusion (abstentions) and longer term loyalty issues. Of course individual MPs will be worried about keeping their seats but by defying party leadership they run the risk of losing as many votes as they might gain. At a national level as well, dissident MPs risk national party branding damage (e.g. Clive Lewis confusing LAB party Brexit policy, Nick Clegg saying tactical alliances are good when Tim Farron refused them).

  12. @ MILLIE – perfect description of the lost opportunity for LDEM, thank you!

  13. PYRMONTER

    I was aware and accept your point about capacity. I did say it was more complex than my simple examples. However, I disagree that we are anywhere near maximum capacity. We are not at full employment while many people are under-utilised, as evidenced by zero hours contracts and low wages. The IMF has repeatedly identified skill shortages and infrastructure deficits in the UK economy as well. Besides, as my own wife is one of the many teachers having her hours cut next year; even in my household there is spare capacity.

    We can probably argue this back and forth for ages, which is kind of the point. i.e. There are alternatives worthy of intelligent debate. As this isn’t really on topic for UKPR though, i’ll shut up about economics.

  14. Danny,

    I would not hold your breath waiting for Corbyn to mention Brexit.

    On what basis could Corbyn claim the high ground on Brexit. He failed miserably( not in my opinion, but in the eyes of most Labour MPs) to get involved in the referendum debate. Corbyn on Brexit has long ago lost any credibility on Brexit.

    TM will really attack Corbyn on Brexit later in the campaign, just as the Tories will also attack his unwise choice of friends.

    I do agree with your comment about Corbyn pottering – to lead or to potter!

  15. Survation also have a constituency poll out for Edinburgh South on behalf of the Stop Brexit Alliance:

    CON 20 (+2)
    LAB 40 (+1)
    LD 3 (-1)
    SNP 30 (-4)
    GRN 7 (+2)

    Tables: http://survation.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Final-Edinburgh-South-Tables-5c3d0h-030417JSCH-sba.pdf

    Changes from GE 2015

    Note the Greens are not actually standing in this constituency which should boost the SNP. Interesting that the Labour share appears to be holding up although the sample size is a bit small.

  16. @WB
    You are of course right in many respects. Nevertheless, western governments saw the expansion of M3 as providing a useful stimulus to the economy because there was a lack of cash to lend. Quantitative easing simply replaced bonds with cash, the bonds being then parked in the state’s central bank. Cash is the most tradable of assets but, like all things, it’s value is what people think it is.

  17. @Baldbloke

    “It should be a duty and responsibility of the government to work out how many genuinely degree skilled people are needed in various fields, and then only provide financing for sufficient course places to meet that need. E.g. we always seem to be short of home grown medical talent – so we should be increasing medical school places etc.”

    The number of medical degrees *is* centrally planned in exactly the way you describe. It is very hard to do and the current Government has got the numbers wrong.

    With all due respect the rest of your post is personal opinion that is almost entirely falsified by the actual evidence.

  18. I am beginning to wonder…… If the Tories do achieve a large landslide they are going to have a devil of a job getting a reduced sized House of Commons through after the boundary review. I seriously believe that reducing the number of seats from 650 to 600 made sense in 2010, but does not now. Given that the House of Commons post Brexit is once more going to be a truly sovereign chamber it makes sense to restore the size in law to what it is today. By all means a boundary redistribution is well overdue, but a House of 650 would be far more likely to upset fewer sitting MPs than a scrabble for adoption in fewer seats in a 600 seat set up as per the existing law.

  19. @ tigertanaka

    I’ve commented here a few times that Murray has a built in additional core vote because of the work he did in saving the local football team – not a typical seat

  20. Survation poll shows very little has changed since last week.

    The only one happy with this is probably TM as the clock ticks down.

  21. What is this “Britain”?

    Britain is an island. the UK is the operating state.

    Is it deliberate by the media and government to mix the two?
    To help increase loyalty to UK statism?

    The very word Britain comes through the old Welsh language…nothing to do with an English based state

  22. @Baldbloke re Universities

    Yes, I’d agree with much of what you say, as would many of my University peers. The expansion is driven from the top. University Vice-Chancellors are just like any other CEO of a big business, trying to expand and make more money. And some of them earn similar salaries too. Government gave away control of this by introducing tuition fees.

  23. @ BARDIN1 – help on Scotland!

    I’ve noted your comments on Edinburgh South before – thank you.

    Do you happen to know why SLIB have such high support right next door in Edinburgh West?

    Similar question for Dumbartonshire (SLIB high in East, non-existant in West).

    Is this due to location of Universities and academic/student vote or some other local factor?

    Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.

  24. It looks like Edinburgh South will go Labour then if Labour make effective use of the poll.

  25. Dumbartonshire East is said to be a very refined area, perhaps that is the reason it is Lib Dem?

  26. RICHARD @Profhoward
    Here is the article..oops..

    Many thanks for the Ashcroft and article links from last night [p4]. Certainly surprising that Curtice doesn’t seem to have looked at the tables very carefully.

    Table 3 on p5 of the Ashcroft PDF has recalled voting by “region” and has the Scottish recalled voting as:

    Con 20%, Lab 17%, LD 6%, UKIP 2%, SNP 40%, Other 2%

    Given that the poll has DNV and Won’t Say at 13% his party numbers can be recalculated as:

    Party, Ashcroft, Actual, Error
    Con, 23%, 15%, +53%
    Lab, 20%, 24%, -17%
    LD, 7%, 8%, -13%
    UKIP, 2%, 2%, 0%
    SNP, 46%, 50%,-8%
    Other, 2%, 1%, +100%

    A somewhat Con heavy sample to put it mildly!

  27. @CHRIS RILEY

    I am not sure of the situation now, but the BMA used to have a big say in how many doctors were trained and vetoed any expansion. You are right to say that central planning of numbers is almost always doomed to fail because of the dreaded unknown unknowns.

  28. Tony Dean : “If the Tories do achieve a large landslide they are going to have a devil of a job getting a reduced sized House of Commons through after the boundary review”

    Maybe. Just for fun I tried the following percentages in Electoral Calculus, which I think we’d all agree is a pretty spanking Tory win :

    49-30-10-2-4 and Scotland 30-17-10-0-1-42

    which gives 400 seats to the Tories on current boundaries in a 650 seat HoC. But flipping to the 2018 proposed boundaries in a 600 seat HoC, you still get 375 Tories. So that’s plenty to spare to get the new boundaries through, especially when you can hand out a few seats in the HoL to losers.

  29. Can someone please point me in the direction of where I can get a full list of what seats UKIP are (or are not) standing in so I can adjust my model to allow for this?

    Thanks in advance.

  30. If Labour are achieving a 30% Vote Share, then that is almost identical to their 2015 GE share, and therefore isn’t a disaster for Corbyn. Their core vote is holding up.

  31. Good afternoon everybody.

    I thought this was rather interesting.

    https://electionsetc.com/2017/05/13/ukip-dropout-did-not-help-the-conservatives-much-in-the-local-elections/

    The gist seems to be that where UKIP doesn’t stand it benefits the Tories, but actually by very, very little

  32. @ Lee Moore

    Hello to you.

    What an interesting exercise you have done there. Perhaps they will get it through on that basis after all? Rather a shame though as a reduced HoC will mean fewer Govt side backbenchers free of the Govt payroll thereafter to force rethinks on their own side. I fear a less democratic House with a reduced Chamber size.

  33. @BALDBLOKE

    We need another Medical school, totally agree. The number of doctor and nurse training positions is controlled. I suppose it improves job security for those qualified but we need more doctors and nurses, let’s train our own!

    That would be a good vote winning policy.

  34. @ Trevor Warne

    As a native of Edinburgh I might be able to give my own thoughts here.

    The strength of the SLib in Edinburgh West is historic and reflects the fact that for several decades the Lib Dems (and their Liberal predecessors) were the strongest opposition party to the Conservatives back when they held the seat. The Alliance came close to taking it in 1983. The Lib Dems finally took the seat in 1997 and while they lost the seat to the SNP in 2015, my guess (nothing more) is that the Lib Dem vote held up in part due to tactical voting from Conservatives.

    By contrast, the strongest opposition during the 70s, 80s and 90s to the Conservatives in Edinburgh South was the Labour party. Again my guess is that a degree of rainbow unionist tactical voting – and the SNP having a controversial candidate – explains why Labour held on here in 2015 against the odds. Looking at the constituency poll, it looks like the Conservative ‘surge’ is not being show in Edinburgh South. This could suggest that either this is because the Conservative surge is overplayed compared to reality, or that the surge is more of a unionist surge and in the case of Edinburgh South Labour is still perceived as best placed to defeat the SNP and is benefiting from some of the tactical voting from Tories and others that worked in 2015.

    My guess is that there was actually quite a bit of tactical voting in 2015, it just wasn’t enough to make much of a difference in a lot of seats as the SNP surge was so huge. However in seats like Berwickshire or Edinburgh West it did leave the unionist candidate within striking distance this time.

    I can’t really help you as goes Dumbartonshire’s historical details… One of my west coast cousins will be able to help.

  35. Survation another 100 plus majority for the Conservatives.

    Sobering- though Corbynites cheering themselves up sharing this !

    https://youtu.be/r-smzfQZf38

  36. @TREVOR WARNE

    Excellent, thanks for this! I spent ages looking this morning.

  37. POLL – ICM (From Guardian news feed):

    Conservatives: 48% (down 1 from Guardian/ICM a week ago)

    Labour: 28% (up 1)

    Lib Dems: 10% (up 1)

    Ukip: 6% (no change)

    Greens: 3% (no change)

    Conservative lead: 20 points (down 2)

  38. Rob, most amusing video, ta.

  39. @ ROLL A HARD SIX – thank you

    I think what this means is that any tactical voting we could have expected (from 2010 results) already occurred in 2015 (as that was after IndyRef1). Of course SNP did then take Edinburgh West and Dunbartonshire East so maybe some more room for SCON to move to SLIB in both seats?

    On the flip side given the large differences on Brexit would some tactical SCON votes we saw in 2015 not vote SLIB this time?

    Betfair markets imply LDEM v.likely to Edinburgh West. SNP+Green is quite a margin to break given generally lower SLIB polling. I think SLIB will need to rely on keeping/building the SCON tactical vote if they want to win that seat?!?

    Not going to take a view on those specific seats but SLIB winning 0-2 seats in Scotland makes a critical difference on the chances of them winning 10+ across UK (it’s 7/2 if you think under 10 seats). I think I’ll stick to the % bet!

  40. Ditto ICM…

  41. @ Alberto

    The economic argument will recur because the inevitable question of ‘How are they going to pay for it?’ is always lurking.

    There is little doubt that the neo-classical/neokeynesian paradigm is looking very shaky and doesn’t fit the observable facts .. but even with the Bank of England’s confirmation, it will take time for the myths to finally implode because they are so useful politically.

  42. @ Trevor Warne

    i lived in edinburgh west for many years

    It has a long Liberal tradition. It has some quite distinctive ‘villagey’ areas, a demographic profile which fits the Liberal voting demographic better than Edinburgh South. I agree with Rollahardsix’s analysis. Donald Gorrie was a very respected figure in the area, and effectively led the Lib Dems in the area for nearly 20 years http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-19383168. He left a legacy vote which gave a stable base.

  43. Good afternoon all from a damp Bournemouth; where I see almost no election posters in this seat where Labour are possibly not going to be challenging for first place, IMO.

    Did I read RUDYARD’s post correctly in which there is reference to Jeremy’s message getting through, or not getting through to ‘the masses’? I was not sure what this might have meant.

    On polling there is a very interesting article by Mr Thrasher about the seat distributions if UKIP go to Tories in a ratio of 8 out of 10 and if Tories take 2% of the old Labour vote (2015), while Ruth surges in Scotland.
    There is also a fascinating article about Hard Remainers; Re-Leavers and Hard Leavers. Apparently Hard Remainers are in a small minority.
    Lastly Tony Travers says that London is only swinging by 2% to Tories from Labour (where Mr Khan’s face appears on literature) while there is a national swing v Lab of about 10%

  44. @ChrisLane1945

    At the last GE Labour had an 8.8% lead over the Tories. it’s now about 5%, so 2% sounds right.

  45. @ CHRISLANE1945 – could you post a link to the article on different categories of Remainer/Leaver – important for London I think.

    @ BARDIN1 – thank you. I have LDEM as:

    V.high probability
    Hold 5
    Gain 1

    then roughly 50/50
    Gain 0-2 in Scotland
    Gain 0-3 in S.W. London (incl. Richmond Park)

    So 6-11.

    I’ll watch for London polls to adjust although the typical Remain voter in Richmond/Twickenham is very different to the typical remain voter in somewhere like Vauxhall/Streatham! CHRISLANE1945 article might help.

  46. @ Trevorwarne

    I think you could add Kingston to Richmond/twickenham – in both you have former cabine ministers trying to bounce back in areas with strong local LibDem parties

  47. One thing from the VI figures and optimism of Corybn (as opposed to Labour as a whole) supporters.

    The ones I know passionately believe the polls are massively wrong and they will win. Could this election disenfranchise a bread of young voter, engaged for the first time who believe in a message, that assuming VI polls are correct, is not going to change anything they want ?

  48. On the Edinburgh South poll by that he anti-Brexit alliance, let us recall AW’s warnings on this sort of poll. Generally the organisation that commissions private polling will release favourable polls.

    It may be that they only polled Labour’s sole seat in Scotland – one of the worst seats for examining if there is a unionist drift to the Tories. It may be that they will release all their results and show the same pattern. But until then, this is fairly meaningless.

  49. @Tony Dean

    Quite agree about reducing the number of MPs in the Commons. The savings would be minimal, and will probably be cancelled by MPs complaining about the extra workload and needing more resources/pay.

    The damage will be significant:

    1. Less democratic accountability as access to your MP is reduced.
    2. Fewer opportunities for smaller parties to enter the HoC.
    3. Fewer backbenchers to hold the Government to account
    4. Greater influence, TV opportunities, etc., for the unelected Lords
    5. Greater workload on MPs
    6. Smaller ‘gene pool’ from which to appoint ministers.
    7. Our population is increasing rapidly
    8. Brexit will increase responsibilities

    I can see no point in reducing the number at all, especially whilst the Lords heads towards 1000.

    I fully expect the idea to be dropped. Believe it or not, I actually think there is a case for increasing the number. Cull the Lords, by all means.

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