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.

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

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  1. Andy T
    Yes as I said I’m sure the seats majority is huge. But I think cons can get 50% only with a fall of lab vote, if lab holds 30 I don’t think all UKIP votes will add up,many will abstain.

  2. @S THOMAS

    “Maybe JC is playing us or fools. There is us playing the bourgouise election game working on the premise that the object is to win when the real game is to change the Labour party. Only out of defeat will come Phoenix labour the true party of the masses”

    ———–

    These battles are not unusual. In the Sixties and Seventies, Liberals were battling for control of both Labour and Tory parties. Labour also had Militant to contend with.

    Selsdon set won control of the party under Heath and immediately began the programme of liberalising banking, rapidly accompanied by a familiar banking crash. Heath capitulated rather, Thatch carried it on. Labour fought off the liberals who hived off into SDP and split the Labour vote, while having fought one battle Labour now had to fight off Militant.

    After years in electoral doldrums with a split vote, militant issues etc. Labour acquiesced to the liberal tendency after all. Which they now realise had big issues for their future down the line. So now they’re electing liberalism same as Tories, though how much in practice remains to be seen.

    But yes, the dominant ideology of parties can often change when losing. Selsdon set, Thatcher, Blair and Cameron Liberalism all rose to prominence after losing elections. Cameron found this out recently…

  3. @S THOMAS

    “Maybe JC is playing us or fools. There is us playing the bourgouise election game working on the premise that the object is to win when the real game is to change the Labour party. Only out of defeat will come Phoenix labour the true party of the masses”

    ———–

    These battles are not unusual. In the Sixties and Seventies, Liberals were battling for control of both Labour and Tory parties. Labour also had Militant to contend with.

    Selsdon set won control of the party under Heath and immediately began the programme of liberalising banking, rapidly accompanied by a famil1ar banking crash. Heath capitulated rather, Thatch carried it on. Labour fought off the liberals who hived off into SDP and split the Labour vote, while having fought one battle Labour now had to fight off Militant.

    After years in electoral doldrums with a split vote, militant issues etc. Labour acquiesced to the liberal tendency after all. Which they now realise had big issues for their future down the line. So now they’re electing liberalism same as Tories, though how much in practice remains to be seen.

    But yes, the dominant ideology of parties can often change when losing. Selsdon set, Thatcher, Blair and Cameron Liberalism all rose to prominence after losing elections. Cameron found this out recently…

  4. @S Thomas

    I should add, that according to an article in the Times by Finkelstein who was involved at the time, there was a battle for control of SDP direction too. David Owen wanted them to be more mainstream Labour and not so Liberal, having noted the Northern voter reaction to Suez. Owen figured they were doomed when Jenkins won out…

  5. “So now they’re electing liberalism same as Tories” = “rejecting liberalism”

  6. RogerH
    Didn’t Hague and Gordon Brown have beards?

  7. ALBERT

    I wil be very surprised if labour holds 30%, at the moment i’m expecting about 27%.

  8. Not that I recall. And Hague was never PM.

  9. RogerH
    I was using the word in its urban dictionary sense. And I didn’t realise you were only talking about UK PMs, as the article you linked to was Canadian.

  10. are there any unionist pacts in scotland i.e. withdrawals of candidates, or does every party stand in all constituencies?

  11. Orwell wrote that English working class voters do not like beards or cranks

  12. @TOH Labour on 27%

    Agreed. It’s inconceivable to me that Labour will do better than Foot. The Tories will go for the jugular now with the latest appointment of Murray.

  13. Hey Presto!

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/may/15/tory-facebook-ads-attack-corbyn-while-labour-avoids-mentioning-him

    A Guardian article on the Tory Facebook Campaign Messaging. There’s even a video snippet on there of an ad I thought they would use about Corbyn abolishing the army like Costa Rica.

  14. The weekend polls taken as a set show a Cons lead over Lab of around 16%, almost exactly the same as the position in late March / early April before the GE announcement. In terms of lead nothing has changed.

    The big change is that combined VI share of Cons + Lab is now around 78% compared with 67% a month earlier. Lab are benefiting from the squeeze on LD and Green to almost the same extent as Cons were from UKIP. However, unlike the early stages of the campaign UKIP is now declining faster than Cons are gaining – are some red- KIP starting to go back to Lab?

    It’s hard to see either UKIP or LD doing anything to turn around their fortunes in the time left, and the squeeze will probably intensify as the main narrative increasingly becomes one of a two horse race.

    There will be a floor for the LD vote share but it might be painfully low. For UKIP the floor is zero – nothing they can do will shift the perception that they are no longer relevant.

    It is starting to look increasingly like Corbyn may get a respectable sounding vote share despite being on the wrong end of a Cons landslide. His acolytes will claim this as a success, when in reality it is a disaster in the totally transformed electoral landscape from 2015 and 2010.

  15. Whatever share of the vote Corbyn manages he will be culpable in the event of a big Tory majority – for the simple act of having permitted the election to take place at a time when his party was performing so badly in the polls.

  16. Exile in Yorks,
    really, I don’t see how labour could have avoided losing now. The parties had to choose which side they are on with Brexit, and labour had more remainers than the conservatives. Driving towards hard Brexit could easily have become an utter disaster for them, losing London to the liberals and losing the rest of the country to conservatives as the second party coming to the leave table.

    They had no choice but to go Remainish, but have tried to keep a middle path of accepting the result but having a final review before actual Brexit took place.

    Does anyone see how they could have managed this better than they have done? It would have made no difference if there was a more right leader and a more unified party (not guaranteed with a right leader, reverse issues would apply). This is not about labour party policy at all, except in being on the losing side in the Brexit debate.

    The only way to win at all is to tack towards remain. Corbyn has downplayed it as much as he can, but I think at the end they will have to rview the state of play and see whether going harder remain will perhaps help in London more than hinder elsewhere.

    The only way for labour to win this is to convince enough of the public to oppose Brexit, or to at least take a more sceptical path. I suspect the public feels labour is too far behind, and waverers may be seeking a more balanced outcome.

  17. Graham,
    “Whatever share of the vote Corbyn manages he will be culpable in the event of a big Tory majority ”
    The tories already had a working majority, and already the effective opposition was internal to the conservative party. Little if anything more has been lost here. This was always a waiting game to see how Brexit develops, nothing will have changed there.

    As to Corbyn’s personal agenda, he might consider this something of a win as it stands now if he maintains vote share. The worst case scenario for Labour really could have been an electoral wipeout which seems likely to have been avoided. Or staved off. By Corbyn.

  18. Regional Swings to Tories since GE2015 in the fieldwork from Apr 25th-May5th done by YouGov.

    10% Swing NE (Con 40%-42% LAB)
    6.5% Swing NW (42%-42%)
    6% Swing Yorkshire & Humber (43%-38%)
    7% Swing East Midlands (54%-28%)
    7% Swing West Midlands (51%-28%)
    5% Swing East England (56%-19%)
    2% Swing London (36%-41%)
    2% Swing South East (56%-19%)
    0.5% Swing South West (52%-22%)
    8.5% Swing Wales (41%-35%)
    11% Swing Scotland (Con 28%-41% SNP)

  19. @ Danny

    Well Graham offers one variant on “I wouldn’t start from here”. Corbyn rolled over as soon as TM called the election. He did exactly the same with article 50. That isn’t leading the opposition, that is being the PM’s yes-man.

    I can offer another variant. A much more effective performance from Lab with real commitment from the leader during the referendum campaign could have been enough to flip the result the other way. The margin wasn’t huge, and a narrow loss for leave would have had Cons in disarray.

    Or how about the folly of the PLP gifting Corbyn a place in the leadership contest? I could go on, and on…..

    Lab are the authors of their own demise, and until their leadership are willing to accept responsibility for the consequences of their own decisions there is no prospect of real improvement.

  20. @PETE B: “And I didn’t realise you were only talking about UK PMs”

    I wasn’t. The article wasn’t about only Canadian politicians. Also my link to the first bearded French PM since 1932.

  21. Danny
    ‘As to Corbyn’s personal agenda, he might consider this something of a win as it stands now if he maintains vote share. The worst case scenario for Labour really could have been an electoral wipeout which seems likely to have been avoided. Or staved off. By Corbyn.’

    That does don address my point at all. Had Corbyn blocked the election no Labour MP would now be facing the the loss of his /her seat . The blame for any that are lost can be pinned very fairly and squarely on him. ‘Labour lost seats because we have had an election. You could have prevented that ,Jeremy’.

  22. RogerH
    it was just a little attempted joke that fell flat. I’ll try to remember to use a smiley face next time.

  23. @Graham

    And the press and Conservatives would have called him a coward and blamed him for any failure in the ‘hamstrung’ Brexit negotiations. I happen to agree he should have done it, but it might have been even worse for the party electorally.

  24. Corbyn is really doing a campaign for the leadership election, and not for the general election.

    This assumption puts everything else in its logical place. There have been clear indications of it at least since October, but perhaps since June.

    That would be the frame to see the effects on the polling had the MPs (or some of them) not tried to campaign in the last three weeks. The campaign head office is terribly upset about them – they campaign in spite of being starved from resources.

  25. Interesting article in the Sunday Times about what might happen to Lab post election:

    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/blair-allies-plot-new-party-to-replace-dead-horse-labour-pcsj8zdp5

    quote

    A source who used to work for Blair told The Sunday Times: “People are waiting to see just how bad the damage is on June 9. They will look at the results and say, ‘Is this horse a dead horse or can it still be revived? Some people have already come to the conclusion that it can’t and therefore something else will have to be born.

    …Despite Blair’s repeated denials that he is planning a new centre party similar to the Social Democrats, some of those who worked with him in government are understood to be prepared to set up a new party from scratch.

    Senior Liberal Democrats say Blair has been talking “very regularly” to Nick Clegg, the former Lib Dem leader. …one close ally of Clegg recently told a leading Blairite that the Labour moderates could attempt a reverse takeover of the Lib Dems and quickly gain control of the apparatus, removing the need to start another party from scratch.

    The Blairite said: “One of Clegg’s mates said: ‘You moderates in the Labour Party, if you wanted to just take us over you could just join, it would be yours.’”

    …Allies of Tim Farron have indicated that he might be persuaded to rename the party.

    end quote

    So LibDems – prepare for a takeover of your party, and if you don’t like the idea, you need to fight!

    The article also said the following about David Miliband: “Miliband reportedly sounded out veteran MPs about them making way for him but did not find any takers in the party’s dwindling number of safe seats.”

    He obviously doesn’t feel strongly enough about Lab to take his chances in a marginal.

  26. @Bardini
    The Corbyn and the Labour poll ratings were so utterly dire that press comment would not have mattered a damn. Had the Tory lead been 5% or less you might have a point, but given that it was circa 20%, it was his duty to the party he pretends to lead to do anything necessary to delay an election from being held at a time of maximum disadvantage for his party. Moreover the electorate was not exactly itching to rush to the polls – and May had so many statements that could have been thrown back at her. I really do not think that press attacks would have struck much of a chord here at all.

  27. JC and Brexit

    Compare and contrast the effort JC is putting into the GE with that which he put into the referendum.

    It could all have been so different!

    A Brexiteer applauds him

  28. Graham

    As a lifelong Tory, I agree. Corbyn should not have agreed to the election.
    However, he is he’ll bent on an ideological journey to a socialist nirvana.

    I predict it will become more ideological yet for Corbyn and is acolylites – they will present a big defeat as a launch pad.

  29. The only percentages that matter, in what is effectively a two party system in terms of forming a government, are those between the two main parties.

    In 2015 Labour were around 80% of the Tories; this time it will be closer to 60% if the polls are correct.

    It is on that basis that Corbyn should be judged.

  30. What’s the position of the Co-operative Party? I believe about 20-odd of the 2015 MPs were Labour Co-op. Is there any possibility that dissatisfied Labour MPs could join that and then break the link?

    I’m just thinking it would be another ready-made party (and rather bigger than the LibDems).

  31. Pete B
    I’m sure they have already said they would not do it, but who knows, events may change some people’s minds.

  32. @S Thomas

    “JC and Brexit
    Compare and contrast the effort JC is putting into the GE with that which he put into the referendum.
    It could all have been so different!
    A Brexiteer applauds him.”

    He was a very reluctant Remainer. How does one sell that message in a contest where the country was polarised by certainties?

    Also, I know many people think Corbyn is an electoral liability, but at some point his critics will have to address why so many voters in Labour heartlands will vote Tory. Yes, Brexit, I get it. But that isn’t the underlying cause. What is happening there is what happened in Scotland – people feeling Labour deserted them years ago.

  33. @PeteB

    According to the following article from last August, the Co-Op said No to being used as a breakaway party:

    http://labourlist.org/2016/08/co-op-tells-rebel-mps-leave-us-out-of-your-plot/

    Of course in political years that was aons ago and they may have changed their minds since. I’m sure someone with knowledge of the inner workings of Lab will fill us in.

  34. Candy,
    “The Blairite said: “One of Clegg’s mates said: ‘You moderates in the Labour Party, if you wanted to just take us over you could just join, it would be yours.’””

    That would be fascinating. Two new main poles in Uk politics: a genuine left wing labour party and a centrist lib, with a rump of extreme right wing conservatives.

    Could happen….if Brexit goes bad.

    Blair would love it. Two ten year terms as PM?

  35. PETE B.
    My prediction is that 100 moderates will form an alternative opposition under a Labour Coop ‘banner if Jc refuses to go, or if he wins the ballot as leader.
    I think then that the leader of this largest non-Govt Party group de facto is the leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition.
    This party could invite other parties to become affiliated.

    (In 1919) the 60 Labour members by accident were the main opposition party after the three-way split in the old Liberal Party, and William Anderson became PLP leader until Ramsay Mac and Henderson returned

  36. @Danny

    I’m sure that is what Blair is dreaming off – making the mother of all comebacks!

    Whether he can pull it off is another thing. Blair brings into the mix his unashamed tendency to want to intervene militarily abroad, and his immigration record.

    Even if Brexit did go wrong, I think voters would turn somewhere else instead of to him. Especially if the Conservatives did another of their ninja moves and ousted Mrs May and put in someone else.

  37. @Danny

    Then where do people like me go?

    The closest UK political leader I have ever identified with was Charles Kennedy. I really don’t understand the way “centrist” is banded about to refer to people who on no sensible analysis could be objectively described as being in the centre.

  38. Candy
    That Sunday Times story, while interesting, does not seem very strong as it mainly just cites some source that once worked with Tony Blair, and his recollection of what a mate of Clegg said.

  39. Surely those Lib Dems, who are so proud that under Charles Kennedy they stood firm and opposed the Iraq War, would find it unpalatable to be led by Tony Blair and remade in his image?

  40. Thanks to those who replied about the Co-op party. Until I looked them up I hadn’t realised that they’ve had some fairly prominent people – e.g. Ed Balls and Alun Michael.

  41. @ProfHoward

    “Candy
    That Sunday Times story, while interesting, does not seem very strong as it mainly just cites some source that once worked with Tony Blair, and his recollection of what a mate of Clegg said.”

    Maybe so. But we do know that when Corbyn became Labour leader Tim Farron issued an open invitation for Blairites to join the party. Had they done so, there would have been more ex-Lab LD MPs than actual 2015 LD MPs.

  42. RAF,
    yes, i posted before, there is no such thing as a centre, but such a convenient name. The voting system only allows two parties whereas there are many who cannot be squeezed into just two unless the choice can be boiled down to one binary issue. Brexit, the exception which proves the rule of how the system is designed to work.

    Once it has gone past, I think we will be back to business as usual of two parties struggling to get a plurality, never mind a majority. Will anyone blink and carry out the death blow?

  43. @ProfHoward

    “Surely those Lib Dems, who are so proud that under Charles Kennedy they stood firm and opposed the Iraq War, would find it unpalatable to be led by Tony Blair and remade in his image?”

    Are there any still left in the Party?

  44. “Senior Liberal Democrats say Blair has been talking “very regularly” to Nick Clegg, the former Lib Dem leader. …one close ally of Clegg recently told a leading Blairite that the Labour moderates could attempt a reverse takeover of the Lib Dems and quickly gain control of the apparatus, removing the need to start another party from scratch.

    The Blairite said: “One of Clegg’s mates said: ‘You moderates in the Labour Party, if you wanted to just take us over you could just join, it would be yours.’””

    ——–

    Well there ya go, Liberals taking over the Liberal Party, whodathunk…

  45. Has a certain poetry about it. After years of taking over other parties it’s about time they took over themselves.

    Wonder if Cameron will join the party?…

  46. @graham

    As I said, I think he should have blocked it, for the tactical reason you suggest but I can see why he didn’t. Labour would have fallen further in the polls and any subsequent attempt to engage with the Brexit negotiations would have been lambasted. Also he does seem to believe that if they get a chance to get their policies across they will change people’s minds, an opportunity that is only really provided in an election.

    Having said that I think opting out of the debate was a huge missed opportunity to go on the front foot and to change the focus

  47. Candy,
    “Blair brings into the mix his unashamed tendency to want to intervene militarily abroad, and his immigration record.”

    One of the few things which might make that pale into insignificance would be a disatrous Brexit.

  48. @RAF, DANNY

    For the avoidance of doubt, I am in the centre. Others are either to the left, or right, of me. Of course, other centres are available.

  49. “Whether he can pull it off is another thing. Blair brings into the mix his unashamed tendency to want to intervene militarily abroad, and his immigration record.”

    ————-

    Blair was singing the right tune for the press originally. Economically and Socially Liberal.

    Independent, Graun, Times, Mail, Telegraph all more towards the economically liberal. The difference is Graun and Independent obviously more Socially Liberal, Mail and Telegraph less so. Times somewhere in between.

    The Mail/Telegraph etc. didn’t mind the social liberalism so much when it was things like anti-discrimination. But once more extreme variants like Free Movement took off, that’s rather too much for them. So only Indy and Graun really stay on board.

    Blair had left Government before Free Movement became an issue, or indeed before Social Liberalism developed further with SSM etc., so how would he do nowadays when on the wrong side of some of the press for a change on EU, Immigration etc.

    He might still have Graun or Indy, but others not so much. Hence his recent attempts to surface haven’t made much impact.

    (And within the left, not much succour for Blair obviously, with the left already against the march of economic liberalism, meanwhile many have issues with social liberalism, both things like free movement undermining workers control of their situation and things like identity politics considered a divisive distraction from the real meat of things like resisting the corporate takeover).

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