YouGov’s regular voting intention figures this week are CON 42%(+1), LAB 42%(nc), LDEM 6%(-1). Fieldwork was Sunday to Monday and changes are from mid-January, showing the stable levels of support that have become the norm in recent months.

One thing that is notable in the tracker questions is the question on whether Brexit was the right or wrong decision: 40% said right, 46% said wrong. Six points is the largest lead for “wrong” that YouGov have shown in this tracker, which has provoked some comment. In YouGov’s last poll there was a blip in the opposite direction and the results put “right” ahead for the first time in months. That didn’t mean anything in hindsight, so I’d urge caution on this one too. All polls have a margin of error, so you get extremes one way or the other – the thing to pay attention to the trend (which does now tend to show slightly more people think it’s the wrong decision than the right one) rather than get wrongly excited about the outliers.

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444 Responses to “YouGov/Times – CON 42%, LAB 42%, LD 6%”

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  1. 40-46 not bad for Brexit, given the chaos.

  2. 84% combined same as GE.

  3. 46%? So does that mean that any people who may have voted Brexit in the hope it might cause more immediate economic problems disappointed then?

  4. 40/46 is a reasonable gap and it’s likely to widen as this Govt bickers amongst itselves. By March 19 the will of the people may well be markedly different from June 16. What a shambles all of this is.

  5. Mike,
    Surely you realise by now that the Will Of The People is immutable, and can never change??

  6. One interesting subsample of the right/wrong to leave was the Conservative VI. Previous 3 polls had right to leave on 72 or 73%, with a lead over wrong to leave of 49-54% but this one has them down on 64%, a lead of 36%. Could well just be a wobble, one of the subsamples is always going to look a bit different given their margins of error. Looking at the remain/leave breakdown of the party vote, it looks like Conservatives have won over a few remainers recently. Be interesting to see what the next few polls show.

    Also wrong to leave has a 5% advantage in the south of england which is different to recent polls. Could be connected to the Conservative view but again this is just one subsample (although there were 581 respondents so a relatively large one).

    Have worked out the right/wrong to leave by age range and for 18-49 year olds who expressed a preference, 64% say wrong to leave and 36% say right to leave. For 18-64 the figures are 59 wrong and 41 right.

    In most important issue of the day, Brexit is still first (59%) but health (53%) is closing the gap (health is actually leading with both Labour voters and women). Might just be a seasonal thing that fades once we get into spring but i have noticed some Conservative MPs getting twitchy about it. Once Brexit is finally over then health may well be the big issue and if the Conservatives don’t do something now then they could go into the election with a big negative against the most important current issue (obviously, there’s a high chance that Brexit, even if concluded, will have a large effect though)

    There is also a poll out on the Lib Dems (remember them?). Only 5% say they are very clear what they stand on and 35% say they are very uncertain what the Lib Dems stand for. Have to admit that i am not sure i have heard much from them apart from opposing Brexit, maybe shows how, despite Brexit being the big issue of the day, people expect to hear about other things too. Unfortunately none of the subsamples are Lib Dem voters from 2010 or people who have voted Lib Dem in recent history so its difficult to know what their potential voters’ views are. Maybe looking down the remain column might be the best guide?

    https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/crpgg05738/InternalResults_180202_LibDems.pdf

  7. Frosty,
    The Lib Dems are simply suffering from the fact that the media are obsessed with the battle between the big two. They have plenty to say on most things but the only way you will find out is from the Lib Dem website. In the GE their manifesto was given the thumbs up by neutral reviewers as the only one that was even vaguely realistic, but the electorate paid no attention to that…

    However it would be interesting to follow up this with what the electorate know about Labour and Tory policy. Not much, I suspect…

  8. I had wondered myself what the scores would be for Labour and Tory.

    The Lib Dems are having a problem making themselves heard but maybe they need a leader who can make more of an impact and get the media interested in them. Its not easy as you say though, there is a lot of politics at the moment.

  9. AW
    Many thanks
    There is an interesting article in New Statesman about this poll, with a focus on the fact that DK is higher than TM and JC on best PM.

  10. @ChrisLane1945

    That sounds interesting.

    I imagine that a significant minority of voters aren’t too hot on either?

  11. Chris Lane

    But which “DK”?

    Danny Kawczynski? David Kidney? Danny Kinahan? or David Knox?

  12. Looking at previous data for best PM to compare to the latest YG poll.

    Mar 21-22, 2010 this was the result:

    Gordon Brown 26%
    David Cameron 30%
    Nick Clegg 12%
    DK 31%

    Go back to Feb 10-11, 2015:

    David Cameron 36%
    Ed Miliband 18%
    Nick Clegg 7%
    DK 39%

    From looking at older data, the Best PM rating looks heavily shifted to Don’t Know until a few months short of the GE Campaign.

    In the light of this, the New Statesman article seems much ado about nothing.

    :-)

  13. The LibDems may recover, but I suspect that will take a generation.

    It may come sooner if the Corbyn-Momentum bubble bursts. Let’s wait and see… Lots of Love Authorities going to Momentum in May….

  14. Love? Sorry.. LOCAL.

  15. Jonesinbangor,
    “It may come sooner if the Corbyn-Momentum bubble bursts.”

    It may come sooner if the May bubble bursts.

  16. Haha, not sure that what May is experiencing counts as a “bubble”….

  17. The Tories May do badly in the Council Elections but Labour may not do particularly well either. They have just lost another Council seat in Sunderland to the Lib Dem’s.

    I expect Vince might be the happiest of the party leaders following these elections.

  18. [From previous thread]

    Turk: TCR – I don’t follow your logic that moving to Scotland will somehow cushion you from any adverse effects of brexit given that nearly 80% of Scottish trade is with the rest of the U.K. any downturn will impact on the Scottish economy regardless if they were a independent country still in the EU.
    Surely moving to Scotland should be based not on comments from pro remain reporting in the Independent and more on the many other attributes of Scotland.

    The move to Scotland is not inspired by WB’s link to an unrelated article in the Independent, I was just responding to WB’s comment about the breakup of the UK.

    As and when Scotland leaves the UK [OK, it might not], this will provide isolation from what I consider to be the most adverse aspects of brexit. Never mind trade. The decision was made in part on the other attributes of Scotland.

    I would just throw in the regrettably rejected remain campaign ads at https://www.theguardian.com/media/2016/jul/01/rejected-remain-campaign-posters-revealed-by-ad-agencies some of which, 18 months on, capture my feelings rather more than concerns over trade. An independent Scotland while remaining on the same island, would still address the first of these.

  19. @Catmanjeff “In the light of this, the New Statesman article seems much ado about nothing. :-)”

    Good point and underlines how disengaged a large cross-section of voters become outside of major elections.

  20. @ALEC

    “Bit of a relief to find that it isn’t just me then!”

    ————

    Indeed not. To be fair to Trev, he does raise some interesting additional aspects, it’s just that it isn’t necessarily ideal to use them to invent a source of disagreement where there is none while sidestepping the point that was at issue. But it’s not like losing the Ashes though….

  21. @Colin

    “Any thoughts before the next instalment of “My Analysis of the Oil Crises of the 1970s”……………..?”

    ——–

    Lol Colin, that was a needless pop, you didn’t complain when Trev kept bringing it up, and you’ve not been shy of bringing up,the Seventies yourself, e.g. when going on about the unions!! Anyways, regarding the future, on a site like this the point is rather to use the past data to help predict the future, but given your aversion to predictions this is going to be challenging.

  22. “The LibDems may recover, but I suspect that will take a generation.”

    ——–

    Depends to some extent what they market themselves as. Marketing themselves as liberals didn’t work too well post war so they switched to the left, until in power of course. Whether that will work again with Labour moving to,the left is something else, and with Tories having adopted more of the liberal themselves it doesn’t leave much room for the LDs.

  23. @Mike Pearce

    Liberals had Tim Farron campaigning . They got the ex UKIP vote.

  24. Mike Pearce,
    “I expect Vince might be the happiest of the party leaders following these elections.”

    Ahh..could be interesting. The big question is what would politcs look like right now if Brexit was not the biggest issue. Local elections will make no difference to Brexit, whether you want the party in power to be that most for or against Brexit (or a variation thereon)

    Those occasional local results have not looked bad for libs. Polling support does not ask who you would vote for locally, unless you look at questions about how well the PM or government are doing. In which case the answer is ‘rather badly’, and this will be an opportunity to give them a bloody nose.

    Technicolouroctober,
    ” this will provide isolation from what I consider to be the most adverse aspects of brexit”

    The question unanswered by any of the debate here is to what extent EU membership boosts the UK economy. The raging debate has been about guesstimates over border tariffs. It has not been about the wider forces which make a place desireable to industry. This would include a skilled and tractable workforce, good facilities and a universally recognised language, freedom to operate manufacturing multinationally (importing parts, etc), good legal framework for trading relations with external nations.

    Ther has been very little dicussion of the non-tariff barriers, eg the kellner article someone posted which suggested WTO might prohibit a transition period, or mean that goods manufacturd 50/50 from Uk and EU parts might not qualify to be traded under existing trade arrangements at all.

  25. Local by-elections are not a very good guide to what will happen next May. I expect Labour to do well on the back of the current enthusiasm of their membership. The Lib Dems will tread water mainly, and I would predict the Tories to lose some ground. All the UKIP seats will go and the Greens will do badly too.
    Meanwhile the Lib Dems will probably not recover significantly until Labour have had their chance to mess things up. Look what happened to Hollande’s Socialists in France: 40% to 9% in 5 years of broken promises…

  26. @JonesinBangor
    “The LibDems may recover, but I suspect that will take a generation.”

    Problem is, cable is slow and outdated and updating to fibre optic takes a long time.

    Everyone
    Please respect Anthony’s wishes that discussions from the previous thread are not carried over to the new thread. its tedious and goes nowhere.

  27. JiB

    ”Lots of Love Authorities going to Momentum in May”

    Any evidence and what is lots?

    Don’t believe right wing media reporting.

    Likely a few, half dozen, or less Labour Councils will return a more ‘momentum’ heavy bunch of councillors.

    Where a mainstream Labour council is pursuing mainstream policies dealing with Austerity as best the they can there will not be wholesale deselection attempts but candidates reflecting the new membership will emerge where seats become vacant of course.

    Haringey is exceptional and whilst I know insufficient to comment on the specifics the candidate changes are driven by a major contentious issue.

    NB) Let me add that allegations of bullying in Haringey should be investigated of course and if proven action taken.

  28. JiB

    ”Lots of Love Authorities going to Momentum in May”

    Where are these authorities? I may move.

  29. JIM JAM

    @”Where a mainstream Labour council is pursuing mainstream policies dealing with Austerity as best the they can there will not be wholesale deselection attempts ”

    I think you are slowly slipping into the approved lingo Jim Jam :-)

  30. @ Alec – Schroeder’s opinion as evidence, I suspected as much :)
    The likes of hireton and yourself are happy to hurl insults and notch up discussing to dragging people through treacle etc. Glass houses and temperature in the kitchen. I have no problem with banter but your belief that insults mean an argument has been lost explains plenty. I’m fine with it, sticks and stones have broken a few bones over the years as they say :)

    My huge issue with economists is there belief that economics is a pure science and models are highly predictive. I respect most people simply want to be told a number but economics (or polling info) has a wide MOE and relies on a lot of assumptions – some of which are questionable and open to bias. If we never question assumptions or predictions v outcomes then, we’ll, let’s leave it at that in case you default to your usual fall back

  31. DANNY

    It was I think WB who referred to the Kellner article. Was this the subject of it?

    https://tradebetablog.wordpress.com/2017/10/

  32. @ Carfrew – shall we agree that oil is somewhere between the extremes of blind and fixated regarding 1970s? I’m sure in Spring 2022 the 1970s will be a hot topic of debate. Very happy to discuss QE though as it’s both current and highly debatable

  33. Coin,

    Haringey is a special case my view is that, as with MPs, de-selections of sitting councillors wishing to re-stand will not be widespread. Messy thing this democracy lark!!

    Khan has done what I did above and said bullying must not be tolerated and declined comment in the HDV which is the issue driving the conflict.

    BTW – the NEC suggested (they can’t instruct) the council to pause the HDV as chances are the new slate if elected will stop it and there would have been 4-5 months of wasted activity.

    Post Carillion questioning the balance of public/private involvement in public projects is hardly extreme.

    If the new Labour slate is that bad in Haringey then I guess they will suffer Electoral damage.

    Calling someone incompetent, whether fair or not, is not sexist in itself, a man doing so aggressively or threateningly to a women is though.

  34. TW: My huge issue with economists is there belief that economics is a pure science and models are highly predictive.

    That’s astonishing. I don’t know of a single economist who would claim that “economics is a pure science and models are highly predictive.” And I came across plenty of gung-ho mathematical economists at my alma mater, which went on to produce Varoufakis amongst others of that ilk.

    Are you sure, @TW, that you’re talking to real economists and not just wannabes who spout the jargon and drone on endlessly about models without any real grounding in the subject?

  35. JIM JAM

    Haringey Is an interesting case. It sounds like it’ll be the most Momentum-y of the local authorities following the elections. I imagine that the issues they’re going to have will be less to do with the left-wing politics of the new representatives, and more to do with their severe lack of experience. The Guardian article others have linked contains an interesting example with the replacement of a very experienced secretary with a total political novice. It may be that they turn out to be very capable, but it’s much more likely that what we’ll get is a council that is much better at angry sloganeering than the actual delivery of services. Maybe that kind of thing will be the route back in for the Lib Dems as a pragmatic left of centre party?

  36. @ Trevor Warne

    Whilst I agree that in terms of accurate predictions economists have accuracy problems, I don’t consider that is a reason to ignore them completely. In particular, a bit like in chaos theory, than can show generalised patterns and provide a guide to policy approach. There remains, of course, the major dispute between theories: neo-classical based and neo-Keynesian based. You may choose which theory you think best provides the more accurate model of economic drivers, and the result will be predictions of limited accuracy whatever is chosen. However, just because you only have seaweed, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do your best to predict the weather!

  37. JIM JAM

    @”Messy thing this democracy lark!!”

    I note the implied humour, but it’s pretty unmessy as far as I’m concerned. Elected Representatives are voted for by , & represent all their constituency voters-who may include members of their own political party.

    @”Post Carillion questioning the balance of public/private involvement in public projects is hardly extreme.”

    Indeed-but discounting all involvement of private sector provision is.

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/feb/03/jeremy-corbyn-pledges-rebirth-of-municipal-socialism-in-the-uk

    This is merely to replace the unconstrained provider interest of a PLC with that of a Public Sector Trade Union. Both will put the customer second behind the interests of its own stakeholders if allowed to do so.

    The objective-imo-is to provide voters with best value for money-and adequate monitoring of provider performance.

    @”If the new Labour slate is that bad in Haringey then I guess they will suffer Electoral damage.”

    The key question-I agree. The upcoming election there will be a fascinating test bed for a Momentum LA offering “Municipal Socialism”. Do you know what the demographics of that LA are by any chance?

  38. On economic forecasts , what is rarely reported by the Press & sometimes not disclosed by the Forecaster, is the Range forecast outcomes for a particular parameter.

    If you search for them, and particularly if the Forecaster provides a Fan Chart, you gain a whole new perspective on the significance ( or otherwise ) of the particular forecast .

    https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/-/media/boe/files/inflation-report/2017/nov.pdf#page=42

  39. @Trevor W

    “@ Carfrew – shall we agree that oil is somewhere between the extremes of blind and fixated regarding 1970s? I’m sure in Spring 2022 the 1970s will be a hot topic of debate. Very happy to discuss QE though as it’s both current and highly debatable”

    ———

    I can happily revise my view if you provide compelling new evidence Trev! But am happy enough for you to put forth on QE instead. However, you appear to be ahead of me on the matter as although I’ve looked into impact on inflation/GDP, haven’t looked at the full impact.

  40. @WB

    “Whilst I agree that in terms of accurate predictions economists have accuracy problems, I don’t consider that is a reason to ignore them completely. In particular, a bit like in chaos theory, than can show generalised patterns and provide a guide to policy approach.”

    ———–

    Indeed and within the chaos you can find pockets of stability, which some people make a good living out of in the markets.

    You can find aspects of economics that are fairly predictable even if the overall outcome might be less so.

  41. @Trevor Warne – “Schroeder’s opinion as evidence, I suspected as much…”

    Indeed. They quoted the data from the OBR, and I also linked to the original OBR document, annex and all. I suppose that quoting the key source document for government financial projections probably doesn’t count as evidence though. Maybe I should construct my own model and tell everyone it’s great, and leave it at that?

    You do rather invent arguments where there are none, don’t you?

    “My huge issue with economists is there belief that economics is a pure science and models are highly predictive.”

    As has been mentioned, I don’t know any economist who thinks this. Can you name any?

    “The likes of hireton and yourself are happy to hurl insults and notch up discussing to dragging people through treacle etc…..”

    If you can provide the quotes from me that you believe constitute an insult please point them out to me. If they are genuinely insulting, I will issue you with a public apology without exception or reservation. That isn’t the way I like to conduct myself on here, so if I have let myself down please just give me the evidence and I will try to make amends.

    I would just point out however, that if you check back, you will find that it was you that raised the treacle issue when you posted –

    “It has been like dragging you through treacle but glad you finally got there!
    January 31st, 2018 at 11:50 am”

    (Page 5 on the previous thread, if you really want to check).

    For what it’s worth, I didn’t take that as insulting. My offer of an apology still stands, however, if you can let me know how you have felt insulted.

  42. Fascinating !!

    https://healthpowerhouse.com/files/EHCI-2017/EHCI-2017-report.pdf

    Bismark beats Beveridge.

    Where is the brave UK politician who will acknowledge this?

    UK-15th place :-

    “an autocratic top-down management culture. The country, which once created the Bletchley Park code-breaking institution would do well to study the style of management of professional specialists created there.”

    Netherlands-1st.

    “The Netherlands is the only country which has consistently been among the top three in the total ranking of any European Index the Health Consumer Powerhouse has published since 2005.

    The NL is characterized by a multitude of health insurance providers acting in competition,and being separate from caregivers/hospitals. Also, the NL probably has the best and most
    structured arrangement for patient organisation participation in healthcare decision and policymaking in Europe.
    Also, the Dutch healthcare system has addressed one of its few traditional weak spots, Accessibility, by setting up 160 primary care centres which have open surgeries 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Given the small size of the country, this should put an open clinic
    within easy reach for anybody.Here comes the speculation: one important net effect of the NL healthcare system structure would be that healthcare operative decisions are taken, to an unusually high
    degree, by medical professionals with patient co-participation. Financing agencies and healthcare amateurs such as politicians and bureaucrats seem farther removed from operative healthcare decisions in the NL than in almost any other European country. This
    could in itself be a major reason behind the NL victory in the EHCI 2008 – 2017.”

  43. colin

    Make sure it is large & bold in the next Tory manifesto.

  44. As an example of the pockets of stability thing, when we made the cuts, assorted people predicted that this might see reduced business investment and hence impact growth. Which is what happened, but in overall terms, it was subsequently outweighed by Osborne’s Help-to-Buy stimulus innovation, that didn’t require much spending.

  45. NICKP

    No chance at all.

  46. ………….I mean-who would vote for the best Healthcare System in Europe?

  47. Another view of the Euro Health Consumer Index

    http://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2016/02/09/what-if-anything-does-the-eurohealth-consumer-index-actually-tell-us/
    …Although the report accepts that its results are not “dissertation quality” and must be treated “with caution” it draws inappropriate conclusions about the superiority of one system versus another one, leading to uninformed recommendations and assertions that display limited understanding of health systems. This is patently irresponsible. There is great potential for countries to learn from each other through careful comparison but the EuroHealth Consumer Index’s use of poorly constructed composite indices of uncertain origin is unlikely to inform any evidence-based policy development.

    Jonathan Cylus, Ellen Nolte, Josep Figueras and Martin McKee.
    European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, Brussels and London’

    The biggest issue for me is it takes no account of spending, Germany for example spends about 10% more than we do per capita on health spending.

  48. Moderated earlier as used an auto-mod word.

    GARJ,

    Yes – at risk of sounding patronising, as new momentum members get in to positions of leadership including elective office realities will become clearer.

    Some, not all, castigate current councillors for decisions that the councillors would not wish to take but cuts in budgets have forced hard choices. Many momentum members I know understand why the LP trimmed and don’t see mainstream members as tra!tors but believe that too much accommodation was made with the dominant post ’79 philosophy etc etc.

    Having new (often momentum) members in to office is part of the healing process in my view and essential if the LP is to benefit from the surge in membership fully.

    The worry, is that whilst this process occurs divisions become unmanageable and electorally damaging.

    Adding now.

    Yes Public bad, private good is as bad as the other way round but the bias in favour of outsourcing has to change.

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