YouGov’s regular voting intention poll for the Times has topline figures of CON 41%(+1), LAB 42%(+1), LDEM 7%(-2). Fieldwork was Tuesday to Wednesday and changs are from early January.

The regular tracking question on “Bregret” finds 45% of respondents saying Britain was right to vote for Brexit, 44% think it was wrong. This is the first time YouGov have found more people saying right than wrong since last August, though I would caution against reading much into that. On average this question has been showing about 2% more people thinking it was the wrong decision than the right decision, but normal sample variation from poll to poll (the “margin of error”) means that with figures that close random chance alone should produce the occassional poll with “right” ahead, even if public opinion is actually unchanged. As ever, don’t get too excited over one poll, and wait to see if it is reflected in other polls.

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602 Responses to “YouGov/Times – CON 41, LAB 42, LD 7”

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    @” Perhaps that is something we can agree on.”

    It is-and more money too-from all of us one way or another.


    @”Why is a 100% ‘free’ NHS suddenly unsustainable, having been sustainable for 70 years?”

    *Because it isn’t “Free”-we all pay for it one way or another.
    * Because it isn’t “free” at point of delivery because we pay for prescriptions & dental treatment.
    *Because enough funding hasn’t always been sustained.

  3. BFR

    “In your view you are at one with the gentry that took the country to the brink of crisis at the start of the last century.”

    That is not how I see myself at all and i think it a weird post. I assume you meant to say “In my view……………..

    In which case you ar entitled to your view but I completely disagree with it. I think that class of taxation should be removed completely. I have always felt the same about this sort of taxation even in my young days when I had just started work and had no assets at all.

    I guess it’s one of the things that distinguishes a right wing Conservative from other political groupings.

  4. @TOH – “Well I think it is a perfectly logigical and reasonable argument….”

    Well it isn’t, which is why you declined to present any evidence other than what you think. That isn’t how debates on logic work I’m afraid.

    You made a series of definitions that make no sense and have no basis of meaning, and you can’t define them yourself, despite using them in an argument. Whether or not I disagree with you is immaterial – the fact of the matter is that you cannot present a reasoned basis for the formation of your opinions, because they are not logical.

    That’s fine – there isn’t anything against people holding illogical and senseless points of view.

  5. Andrew Myers (10:14am)
    I was at Birmingham Polytechnic about 20 years before you, doing Computer Studies.
    Danny (10:43am)
    “What I seek to understand is whether the demand is spread over most of the population, or mostly arises from a much smaller section of it ”

    A much smaller section. I did some analysis on this when I was in the NHS. A few people attended A&E hundreds of times a year. i.e. 2 or more times a week every week. We had started to make some inroads into this by getting the local District Nurses and GPs to encourage those particular patients to change their behaviour. Just when we were beginning to see some results we had to stop because the way the Data Protection Act was interpreted by the lawyers meant that we could no longer analyse data by individual patients.
    S Thomas
    “Although i am willing to concede that the uncertainty has perhaps slowed us down the answer to that is to get on with it and not mess around with a prolonged transition. More Brexit not less.”

    Baldbloke (12:20pm)
    “So whether you leave £1bn or £400k its still 40%. It should be banded so that large estates pay more”
    They already do pay more. The £1bn estate would pay about £400m, and the £400k estate would pay £30k.

  6. @TOH – meant to add – you’ve just added yet another logical inconsistency into your case.

    There is absolutely no inconsistency in arguing for inheritance tax within a low tax economy. A low tax economy is not defined by what type of taxes there are – only by the aggregate level of tax.

    The fact you conflated the two shows just how confused and illogical you are on this.


    “I have always considered any wealth tax (like Inheritance tax) as Government theft. You may not like it but it’s what I believe so you have to put up with it and you will not change my mind by calling me foolish. I am not alone, it’s why reducing inheritance tax was such a vote winner in the past. I’m also not foolish, it’s just that I have a very different view from you on taxation as I do on so many things.”

    Then I could say: I have always considered people like you to be parasites on society. You may not like it but it’s what I believe so you have to put up with it and you will not change my mind by calling me foolish. I am not alone.

    I could say that, but I wouldn’t.

  8. Alec
    You really seem to have a ‘thing’ about TOH. If you think that his views are illogical then however logical you think yours are, you’re not going to change his mind. Just accept that different people have different views. These might gradually evolve over time, but are unlikely to change in response to constant hectoring.

  9. @Pete B – Really?

    I think if you check back you’ll find it was @TOH who picked up on a post I addressed to someone else.

    Maybe he’s got a thing about me?

  10. Looks to me like we’ll have a transitional period which might get extended a few times until finally we have another referendum.

    And probably vote to rejoin.

  11. Is a wealth tax theft?

    All property is granted by the state – title deeds or share certificates recognising ownership. Even money is really a guarantee from the Government. And the Government guarantees “some” of our bank deposits.

    Basically you don’t own anything if the law says you don’t.

  12. NICKP

    @”Looks to me like we’ll have a transitional period which might get extended a few times until finally we have another referendum.

    And probably vote to rejoin.”

    You have been reading too much stuff from Rees Mogg.

  13. NICKP

    @”Basically you don’t own anything if the law says you don’t.”

    Absolutely correct.

    McDonnell has that written on his forehead in case we ever forget it .

  14. Colin

    The problem is – how much wealth is too much? Is it okay to remove wealth earned here to another country – I assume you’ll say yes, but what if it is enormous wealth, dwarfing all other amounts?

    What happens if China buys all our industry and City firms – and shut them? Why shouldn’t they, unless we prevent them?

  15. A lot of wealth is contained in property and pensions. Should they be tax free? Is taxing them theft?

  16. NickP

    Frankly I have no idea as to what will happen. I certainly think that the result of a referendum in the near (within 5 years) future would be for remain/rejoin.

    I’m not prepared to wait and see how it plays out, I’ve seen enough. It will be pretty entertaining to watch from the outside which solution the UK stumbles into by accident as I don’t believe that anyone is actually doing any serious planning or decision making, either through incompetence or impotence.

    We’d have been better off spinning a wheel of fortune to decide what type of brexit we get, at least that way everyone would have known ahead of time what we were going to get.

  17. Corbyn has a £1.5m pension fund. I think we should tax that as well if we are going to be taxing property.

  18. Does he actually have a £1.5 million pension fund or is that someone working back to the cost of an annuity with the same provision as his workplace pension i.e. an artificially inflated figure because of historically low annuity rates? He’ll pay tax on his pension income the same as everyone else, and if there is a property tax he’ll pay that too. On the broader question of whether wealthy pensioners should be taxed more, I’d say yes.

  19. Andrew Myers
    I think you’ll find that socialists only want to tax ‘the rich’ – i.e. anyone with more than them. Sorry, that’s a bit partisan.

  20. Pete B – I wouldn’t have such a problem with that. These days however I am increasingly finding those who are many times richer than me arrogantly telling me I shouldn’t be as rich as I am. That I do have a problem with!

  21. @ Pete B

    “I think you’ll find that socialists only want to tax ‘the rich”

    Two responses occur to me, but I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and use the more reasonable one, since you did at least admit you were being partisan.

    I’m probably vaguely what you’d call a socialist, though not a particularly good one. I’m also not particularly rich, but I do earn above the national average and I can get by reasonably well (if hardly a life of luxury). I’d be happy to pay more taxes along with those richer than me. It’s always going to be difficult to get a fair system, but right now I feel that many people in the UK aren’t paying enough tax to keep the system going, and that includes me.

    I think the problem with statements like yours is not necessarily that they are partisan, as it is almost certainly true for some people, but that it’s a sweeping generalisation that may not even be true for the majority.

  22. Pete B

    “I think you’ll find that socialists only want to tax ‘the rich’ – i.e. anyone with more than them.”

    We might have some polling evidence on that for Scotland – if YouGov were remotely competent and published the tables for polling questions which the Times reported on some time back!

    Sadly, YG seem to be somewhat useless in following rules.

  23. NICKP

    @”The problem is – how much wealth is too much?”

    I feel sure we will be told by Mr McDonnell.

    And I have a hunch it won’t be a lot.

  24. Colin
    It’ll be quite a lot, because it’ll be just a bit higher than what he’s got. Unless he’s a true socialist and gives most of it away, he’s been earning far more than most people for many years, not even including expenses. £800 a night in Davos apparently.

  25. Trigguy
    From some hints dropped out from time to time, I’m probably one of the poorer posters on here, but I consider myself rich because I have far more than most people in the world. I too would be prepared to pay a bit more tax even though I’m a pensioner, but it would have to be ‘hypothecated’ as I understand the term is. I wouldn’t want it to subsidise the arts for instance.

  26. @ToH
    I’m sorry you didn’t understand my post – it’s possibly a little arcane in that I am referring to the fight the Tory peers put up to prevent the imposition of inheritance tax to fund the first old age pensions.

    They also viewed IHT as a form of theft and an attack on their privileges, and felt perfectly entitles to repeatedly vote the measure down using the then inbuilt Tory majority in the Lords

    The result was, if I remember correctly, a couple of elections where the Liberals were returned with increased majorities, a constitutional crisis, and finally the creation of the rules which now apply about the inability of the Lords to block a money bill.

  27. @ Pete B

    Indeed that’s the problem with hypothecation. It’s probably not being presumptious to assume that most people aren’t going to want to pay and extra 1p tax to improve prisons, but they would for a better NHS. But someone’s got to pay for prisons.

  28. I’d pay an extra 1p tax to build more prisons or to increase staff, but not to improve them if that means making them more pleasant for the inmates.

  29. At the time the Daily Telegraph published its great MPs’ expenses scandal a few years ago, the MP who was found to have claimed the least expenses was Jeremy Corbyn.

    Just thought I’d mention it in light of some of the self-confessed partisan comments above….

  30. Great news for Bombardier:

    The silly protectionist tariffs have been struck down.

  31. Norbold
    According to this

    it was Hollobone, which accords with my memory from the time.

  32. Trigguy @ Pete B

    Maybe there is a way to combine a form of hypothecation of tax, if it was restricted to a system in which taxes on income were reduced (and wealth and other taxes available to governments to spend on “unpopular” things).

    Then individuals could prioritise how they want their income tax spent. Pete B might want his personal tax to go on refurbishing Buck House and renting Trident missiles while I’d prefer mine spent on Early Years education, the NHS and reducing inequality.

    It might all balance out (or not!) but Governments would have to sort out the imbalances from other revenue sources.

    Individuals might feel better – a bit like those opting to buy “Green electricity”, even though the stuff coning though the grid is multiply sourced.

    We could even have an expanded version of Children in Need to give people the options. :-)

  33. ON
    That’s pretty much what I suggested a couple of nights ago. I’m not sure I agree with your idea of my priorities though. I think my top choice would be a new wall along the modern Anglo-Scottish border :-)

  34. @ ON and Pete B

    “It might all balance out (or not!) but Governments would have to sort out the imbalances from other revenue sources.”

    Yes, it sounds nice, but my cynical side wonders if it really would make much difference. As you say, in the end the Government has to sort out the imbalances. You get (for example) an extra boost for NHS from hypothecation for a bit, but it only continues to make a difference if the government choose to fund the NHS from general taxation at the same level as they would have without the hypothecation.

    After a couple of years, or a change of government, it might be very tempting to skimp on the NHS funding from general taxation (easily hidden by confusing figures and stressing the extra tax) and use the money for other priorities. After a while the hypothecated tax just goes into the pot with all the other taxes (like NI and income which are theoretically for different things), and you have to just rely on the government to decide the priorities and divide the money. Just like they do now.

  35. What you could do is freeze every department’s allocation one year, and from then on all additional taxes would be hypothecated (perhaps by ticking boxes on the GE voting slip). Then unpopular departments would be more or less frozen for future years, but things that the public thought worthwhile would get extra funding.

    Anyway, G’night all.

  36. I don’t mind the rich being rich, and actually I don’t believe it makes sense to just take all the wealth from a rich person and give it to a poor person. Redistribution is complex, it’s about infrastructure, education and opportunities as much as where you start out.

    But if people earning over £50K a year pay 50% tax on earnings over that amount … are we really going to destroy innovation?

  37. Trigguy

    Indeed, but as a PR exercise to persuade taxpayers that their income tax is supporting policy areas that they support, it might help to obviate the idea that paying tax is “a bad thing”.

    Pete B

    I understand your wish to stop Ruth Davidson from venturing southwards, but a wall is unlikely to stop her.

  38. @PETE B

    “I think you’ll find that socialists only want to tax ‘the rich’ – i.e. anyone with more than them. ”

    Might I ask what you base that assertion on?

  39. Hypothecation cannot work as income tax only makes up 25% of the UK tax take. For example VAT, makes up 18%, if that goes up should we have to say when we are buying clothes where they extra tax goes. What about stamp duty,capital gains tax do we have say in that as to where it is spent if it changes.What about Fuel duty?
    Even if we increased income tax by 10% it would only increase the total tax take by around 2.5%
    We elect Governments in a representative democracy to make choices, the big choices being what and how much do we tax and where do we spend it,

  40. Colin,
    “At the end of the day we all pay for healthcare one way or another. It is merely a question of the proportion paid by us a taxpayer & the proportion paid as a patient-and I think that balance needs reviewing here in UK. ”

    What I find quite interesting after looking at political websites for a while is the way party positions arise as a wave from time to time.

    But to your point, yes, ‘we’ pay, but the process of funding through government means wealth is redistributed from taxpayers to non tax payers. In the main, the nation believes this is correct. Means testing of state benefits has led to massive distortions of the labour market, because obviously it creates an incentive to minimise your earned income so as to maximise your actual income.

    Means testing and patient contributions would have the effect of rationing health care away from the poor to the rich. It would add to the negative incentive against taking low paid work. It would add to the cost overhead of administering the system. It would increase inequality in society. But maybe that is the idea?

    “One thing that is unsustainable is health spending consistently growing at a faster rate than GDP.”

    I take your mathematical point, which is obviously correct. But that does not mean we cannot choose to direct a greater proportion of resources to healthcare. In part this would be a recognition of increasing need, for example increasing numbers of elderly who however might well have a capital asset which could eventually assist in funding, but also a recognition that as technology advances more things are possible to do, which means it is sensible to direct more resources towards doing them.

    But also GDP growth means there is more money available, and it is not necessarily sensible to allocate it pro-rata to existing uses. It might be the case it makes sense all the additional money should go on health (again as an example)

  41. See the problem is, if we spend more to provide more healthcare, unaccountably more people use more healthcare.

    Clearly as some would have it, this is a nonsense. It would be preferable to disincentivise healthcare, by introducing more charges.

    But having less and less healthcare is something of a regressive move. What we want is more healthcare, not less.

    If frivolous use of healthcare is the issue, well there will always be some frivolous people around. You can have a counter-productive measure to address this, e.g. more charges, or else you might find some other way to address the problem, like maybe setting up a lower cost adjunct to redirect the frivolous cases to.

    Or, you might make a positive out of it, taking it as an opportunity to get some data, to do more check ups, promote preventative healthcare etc. Business often spends money to try and reach more people. It’s an opportunity if they voluntarily come through your doors.

    In business, it is commonly considered quite a good thing if more people use your service, and they might actually cut what they charge to that end. The health service has massive take up and if it increases further it’s seen as a bad thing?

  42. Happy New Year everyone, by the way!! Have we solved Brexit yet?

  43. Pete B,
    that was Dave not Danny you were replying to. Apart from that, you seem to have identified a subset of people using a lot of resources, though of course if this is a small enough group turning up repeatedly, and staff would naturally notice this, their overall impact on the whole system might be quite small. Could be another red herring, like foreigners using NHS resources (which is negligible effect because they are so few)

    Alec (et al.)
    The inheritance tax issue has become confused because for most voters this is an issue of their one big asset, their house. House price inflation has distorted the public’s perception of wealth taxes by muddling the argument that you ought to able to keep the family home after a death with being able to keep hundreds of thousands in investments without their being taxed. Politically, sentiment about homes has been used deliberately to cloud the issue.

    ” Is it okay to remove wealth earned here to another country – I assume you’ll say yes”

    I wouldnt say yes. No government would say yes. Only individuals considering their own interest would say yes. The system we have of free movement of capital relies on there being in practice a balance and that this does not happen. If it ever does, then governments act to prevent it. If they fail, their nation collapses.

    Pete B,
    “I think you’ll find that socialists only want to tax ‘the rich’ – i.e. anyone with more than them. Sorry, that’s a bit partisan.”

    Consider that the labour party was created as the party of labourers, who were poor and wanted more money, which was all in the hands of the rich. Whereas the conservative party has roots of reaction to ensure money remains in the hands of the rich. While they might both seek to bamboozle voters in the middle ground that they are helping them too, political parties represent interest groups. That is their nature.

  44. Regarding healthcare growing faster than GDP, the first thing to consider is that healthcare might contribute to GDP so cutting it might not be wholly a panacea.

    But to argue along the lines that we have to cut our cloth to suit and reduce expenditure to “live within our means”, is the stuff of the dreaded household economics paradigm. The preferred approach is what successful people, businesses and countries tend to do, which is to prioritise increasing the income over cutting useful things like healthcare.

    Or reducing costs in more benign ways, like more preventative measures…

  45. Alec

    Well I cannot be bothered to argue anymore. That wealth taxes are a form of theft by Government is and always has been a fundamental belief of mine. You can insult me as much as you like but you will not change my mind. I think your attitude pathetic frankly.


    I well understood the history but although I sympathise with the views of anybody who supports my view on wealth taxes I do not see myself in the same light as those Tory peers of long ago. Indeed I would never support peers blocking the Commons. What should have happened at the time was an increase in income tax to fund pensions of course.

    Still at least you and I can have a rational discussion on the subject unlike some.

    Pete B

    You are correct, Alec does have a thing about me. I find it both sad and rather pathetic as I posted to him.


    Welcome back and Happy New Year to you as well. As you can see little has changed, the anti-Brexit lot still dominate the site which means that lots of people no longer post or like me, post somewhat less while we wait for Brexit to happen. As far as I know nobody has changed their mind despite endless arguments. Seems to more or less mirror the voters at large.

  46. TOH

    “wealth taxes are a form of theft by Government…”

    “at least you and I can have a rational discussion…”


  47. @ToH

    Thanks Howard. If Brexit ails, there’s always the cricket, which has been rather eventful!

  48. It seems to me that the last time high taxation was brought in was by the Atlee Government, in the very special situation that the UK had been through a long war and I understand that there was a general feeling that the next generation should have a fairer deal.

    I suppose there will be another war in Europe some time, but of course I do not wish that on anyone. That is too high a price to pay for change.

    There have been a lot of changes, particularly the growth of middle-class occupations and a culture of individual fulfilment, not to mention globalisation and electronic technology, that make an exact copy of Atlee difficult to imagine nowadays.

    Those that want fairer taxation will have to try to convince people, including a good proportion of those would be paying more.

  49. NICKP
    A lot of wealth is contained in property and pensions. Should they be tax free? Is taxing them theft?

    Both are already taxed as you may have noticed yourself, as I expect you pay both Council Tax and Income tax.

  50. @TOH – “Well I cannot be bothered to argue anymore.”

    Why does that not surprise me?

    “….Alec does have a thing about me. I find it both sad and rather pathetic as I posted to him.”

    Actually, I’m rather cheery as it happens. Rugby to watch, gardens to dig, walks to experience – all the fine things of life to enjoy this weekend.

    No, I don’t have a thing about you. I do have a thing about people who made bold, sweeping assertions and then get caught out by having no evidence to base these on. I tend to ask questions, of anyone who does this type of thing, and I try to understand their answers. Over recent years I have done this with you, @Trevor Warne, @Candy, and a few others.

    Sometimes I get answers, but most of the time I get called ‘sad’, ‘pathetic’ or some other form of abuse, which is fine. I understand what’s going on. If you don’t like it, you could always refrain from responding to my posts.

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