The latest YouGov poll for the Times has topline figures of CON 43%(+3), LAB 38%(-2), LDEM 8%(-1). The five point Conservative lead is the largest YouGov have shown since the general election.

The fieldwork was at the start of the week, so it is possible that this reflects a bump in government support from the Syria bombing – certainly “security and defence” has risen significantly on the question of what the most important issues facing the country are, up 5 points to 27%, the highest since July last year. While the bombing itself was not popular, polls did still find that people trusted Theresa May more to handle it than they did Jeremy Corbyn, so it’s plausible that an increase in the salience of security could boost the Tories. On the other hand, the changes are within the margin of error, so the increased lead may very well represent no more than normal random variation. Even if it is the impact of Syria and the lead is down to security increasing in salience, it will probably fade away once the political agenda moves onto something else.

It’s also worth noting that the fieldwork was before the row over the government’s handling of the immigration status of the Windrush generation so won’t take into account any impact from that (personally I suspect neither Syria nor the Windrush row will make any long term difference – voting intention seems to be very steady around neck-and-neck).

Full tabs for the poll are here.

610 Responses to “YouGov/Times – CON 43, LAB 38, LDEM 8”

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  1. First!

  2. Obviously an outlier

  3. Where ARTEMIS chooses to lie is entirely up to him/her.

  4. Nothing that happens now is likely to make any difference in the long run- the next election will depend on how Brexit turns out or how it is spun (in the event of an election shortly after the final deal).

  5. Polldrums indeed. I’m disappointed that there has been very little polling for the forthcoming local elections. Anyone know what sort of coverage there will be on TV or online for these?

    PS Artemis is female – as all Artemises were until the advent of Artemis Fowl.

  6. Shevii

    “Nothing that happens now is likely to make any difference in the long run- the next election will depend on how Brexit turns out or how it is spun (in the event of an election shortly after the final deal).”

    I agree – with one caveat, based on Roger Scully’s thesis that I quoted last night.

    If the election in England provides a clear majority for a single party, then that will decide who is the next PM.

    But if England “can’t make up its collective mind” and the government has to be a coalition involving MPs from the devolved nations then How Brexit is spun in these territories, in very different election campaigns, will determine the composition of the HoC.

    In that regard, the decision of Carwyn Jones to stand down as Llafur leader in the autumn may be significant for all of us.

  7. Artemis

    Bloody Irish! Changing people’s genders. Should be a law against it!

  8. HIRETON, Employing a thousand more border force, I make that a cost of about £18mill a year.
    I wonder how many more people need to be employed so we can Brexit and at what cost?

  9. I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that the next election will be a choice between the incompetent left and the incompetent right. There is of course the third option of the completely “off the wall” centre. I think that living in France may prove to be a shrewd choice.

  10. Hireton

    Of some interest would be to know which border these staff are being recruited to guard – the one between RoI and the Six Counties? or the one between the islands of Ireland and GB?

  11. @Oldnat

    Of some interest would be to know which border these staff are being recruited to guard

    Working closely with Border Force at a major UK port I can answer that – all ports and airports right across the UK, including ports not currently permananetly manned.

  12. Andy

    You don’t need a port or an airport to enter the UK.

    At Killeen and multitudinous other places, you can just walk, cycle, or drive in (even crawl if the alcohol prices on the other side are too tempting].

    Why the expansion of Border Force numbers in NI – other than it will have a land border with the EU?

    Maybe thousands of additional Border Force personnel are being recruited in Ardnamurchan and the Scilly Isles where there is no land border, and we just haven’t heard about them?

  13. via Number Cruncher

    New ComRes/Sunday Express poll

    (“There is a need for a new centre-ground political party in Britain”):

    AGREE 47 (+6)
    DISAGREE 24 (-2)
    DON’T KNOW 29 (-4)

    (“Jeremy Corbyn is tackling anti-semitism in the Labour Party effectively”):

    AGREE 20
    DON’T KNOW 34

    (“I expect my family to be worse off after #Brexit”):

    AGREE 38
    DON’T KNOW 28

    (“There is a need for a new centre-ground political party in Britain”)

    % Agree by current voting intention:

    CON 39 (+4)
    LAB 49 (+6)
    LD 64 (+6)

    I imagine Roger Scully being wholly unsurprised that the (London) Sunday Express still imagines that there is a UK polity in which that question would have any relevance!

  14. Good to see that the next King of England (and sadly King of Scots too) is capable of recognising a Mancunian by the colour of their skin.

    Such insight and special power is, no doubt, a hereditary trait. The UK needs a Head of State who can visually categorise his subjects by skin colour.

  15. Just to add to the immigration issue and who pursues whom …

    According to the FT Germany has been recruiting Polish policemen at least since 2016.

    I was fined (rightly) by a Manchester council enforcement officer a couple of months ago. He was Romanian.

    Brexit will be really helpful in avoiding competition for such jobs.

  16. I really don’t think it is an outlier (I know one percent her and another there would make it a MoE).

    It’s very difficult because obviously one’s experience is anecdotal, but the details of the poll and my impressions in the last few weeks coincide: a right wing shift.

  17. @Pete – “I wonder how many more people need to be employed so we can Brexit and at what cost?”

    Firstly, I think you’ve got your figures wrong, as 1,000 new border staff costing £18m would mean earnings of £18,000 only plus no on costs. From these posts start at £23,000 with £27,000 the average after experience, so salary costs of £25m would be in order, perhaps rising to £40m when pension, NI and other costs are included.

    A week or so back we also discovered that Whitehall staff numbers are 12,000 more than planned pre Brexit, largely to cope with leaving the EU. Based on average salary, on costs and support costs of £50K per job, that means £0.6bn a year.

    Bit by bit, that Brexit bonus is being spent.

  18. On Brexit, the web of data maniplation and accusations of criminal activity are getting ever louder. It now appears that Leave.EU used personal information from Aaron Banks insurance company, obtained through price comparison website Moneysupermarket, in order to target voters.

    The story is getting ever more significant, and raises a huge question over the validity of the result. In essence, it now appears that substantial elements of the leave campaign were conducted using illegal data stealing tactics, with multiple sources now presenting evidence on many different counts of wrongdoing.

    Whether we get to the point of the result being called into question because of this is going to be interesting to watch, but there may also be some very senior leavers getting worried that criminal investigations might be just around the corner.

  19. “LASZLO
    I really don’t think it is an outlier (I know one percent her and another there would make it a MoE).

    It’s very difficult because obviously one’s experience is anecdotal, but the details of the poll and my impressions in the last few weeks coincide: a right wing shift.”

    If Nick P says it’s “obviously” an outlier that’s good enough for me…

    Of course it’s totally irrelevant with a long time to go before a GE.

  20. Any more polls due tonight?

  21. Crofty

    I read that statement from someone (irrelevant now). I suppose it was also said at the time of the Munich Agreement too.

    The notion that everything is just continuous change is fallacious. While Labour lost the last GE, and the reasons are clearly continuous, there are clear signs of discontinuous points that may or may not prevail.

    The notions of “success” or “bad” Brexit as decisive are fallacious, because Brexit influences many other factors, and influences perceptions

    I really don’t think that the two parties (Cons and LP) have more than 10 years left.

  22. Now meant to be who …

    Apologies, a lot of logical steps were cut out, it was done because of the intention of highlighting the fallacy of the dichotomy of continuity and change and also the last sentence.

  23. Alec

    “On Brexit, the web of data manipulation and accusations of criminal activity are getting ever louder.”

    They are, but I’m a little concerned that two issues might be getting confused – and thus the criminal aspect not being sufficiently stressed.

    The use of collected data for both commercial and political purposes can be quite legal – even though many will have an aversion to data they have freely provided (without really understanding the implications) being used to target them with advertising campaigns. We all see that regularly on this site, for example, in the adverts that appear on our screens.

    It’s the illegal collection, transfer and use of such data that should be the focus of investigation.

    I don’t have a problem with “big data” (using publicly available information) that would identify me as a potential UK Unionist supporter being used by Better Together to send me a specific leaflet (it went in the recycling bin anyway).

    I do have concerns if the data collected, was not intended by me to be used for such a purpose, and has been illegally transferred to a political group.

    I also have concerns as to how charities and commercial organisations sell their customer databases to others, so that even more junk mail is generated.

    Current law seems so lax that data can be easily shared/sold. That seems unsatisfactory.

    However, given that situation, that some companies/political campaigns use illegally derived data is appalling, and should be pursued to the limit of the law (as the protectors of the “indigenous people” are so keen to do with immigrants).

  24. @alec

    And the investigators at Open Democracy are asking difficult questions about where the money to save Banks’ insurance business came from and how his donation to the Leave campaign was financed.

  25. Laszlo
    I hesitate to ask for clarification, as I got told off the last time ( not by you admittedly) but again I think I know what you’re driving at: vis, people would have been talking about a decisive shift in 1938 over Munich. There was, and it was almost certainly a mistake.
    I don’t think there has been anything of the kind now.

  26. Laszlo

    I hope you’re right. The current system is rubbish.

  27. Independent reporting thst the Legal Action Group alerted the Home Office in 2014 of the ” Windrush ” issue. . It advised the HO to set up a task force to handle it and to introduce measures to avoid people being made redundant, homeless etc while the status of people was assessed and regularised.

  28. laszlo,
    “I really don’t think that the two parties (Cons and LP) have more than 10 years left.

    I dont know how old the tory party is in continuous succession. labour arose from the labour movement and the growing political power of a brand new organised class more than 100 years ago. So what has anyone got to supplant them?

    Of course, the libs have hung on despite being in eternal third place, and it is possible in the right circumstances they could stage a comeback. That still might be remain.

    Labour support is stalling and people keep talking about Corbyn. That seems to me rather absurd, because we have seen all this before. Corbyn did so well in the last election for two reasons. Because he was a genuinely left candidate, capable of energising this vote sector, and because he positioned the labour party as the remain party.

    Right now it isnt really very remainish. What would you expect to happen?

    Its MPs are bickering again, trying to get rid of Corbyn AGAIN! What would the left inclined think of them?

    But if the circumstance of another election happened tomorrow, it could re-state itself as the remain party. As the left party.

    Meanwhile, the westminster dance continues where everyone seeks to avoid blame for Brexit collapsing and avoid blame for Brexit happening. Both at once.

    And I return to the bottom line, which has always been MPs do not believe in leaving the EU, and believe the UK would be worse off out than in. And believe that blame is waiting out there like a band of zulu warriors circling a mission station. Can May and Corbyn really do a Bromhead and Chard double act?

  29. Syria, Windrush, Brexit???

    Nope, potholes are what will decide the local elections. Just have a look on social media. Roads are in a right state.

    Media live in their little bubble missing the real everyday issues.

  30. Danny

    “like a band of zulu warriors circling a mission station”

    Perhaps not your best analogy!

    The “band of Zulu warriors” was a detachment of the army of the independent Zulu Kingdom, that the British were trying to conquer, as part of their imperial expansion, and the “mission station” was a military installation of the invading British army.

    Stories depend on how words are used, and yours are “very British”. :-)

  31. Oldnat,
    It occurs that when supporters of a party agree in a poll that a new party is needed, they might be thinking that their own party could be reformed to become that party?

  32. Scully on the leadership contest in Llafur

    (Just because you don’t live in Wales, don’t imagine that this is irrelevant to who rules England!)

  33. Danny

    “they might be thinking that their own party could be reformed to become that party?”

    Perhaps more likely that they are thinking that, if only we could get rid of the nutters in our party, more would vote for our centrists (as long as the other parties hang on to their nutters).

  34. I’ve just looked at the YG poll, and a produced some charts:

    It looks like it’s more 2017 Labour voters moving to Don’t Know.

  35. RJW

    I meant it in a more general term – dismissing things as transient because the GE is far.

    It is true that the UK has a very strong tradition of cont I uity, or rather incremental changes however, with hindsight we can see that there were radical changes that influenced the moment or a few yeara, in spite of them being a part of a general continuous trend (Thatcher would be a prime example of this.)

    What I argued against was the claim that the GE is far. It is probably true. It is also true that Brexit will probably dominate it. But Brexit is subject to a lot of non-Brexit fragmented decisions, to perceptions formulated over several years, and of course, we have issues unrelated to Brexit. What I wanted to say was that last is written from the perspective of continuity or discontinuity (again Thatcher is a prime examplr), but at the moment, discarded factors (nothing will change until …) prove themselves to be important (yet an ingredient of the slow cooking stew of histoey).

    I think the lack of reflections of class issues is one of the factors – the intention of some LP leaders of severing the links with the unions is an example (it doesn’t really matter as unions are weak, but it is anindicator). It does exist in Corbyn’s speeches in the form of inequality, but even that is toned down.

    So what is left? Social liberalism? But at least some of the Tories embraced it.

    This then drives the debate to ethnicism. Now, the Tories cannot be beaten on this. So, Labour shouts loud on the visible (skin co!our)ethnicism, and quietly supports the Tory ethniciam when the colour of the skin is white (Corbyn’s speeches about the opportunist East Europeans).

    As a result, Labour is still squeezed from both ends, but in disguises so they cannot be addressed – hence my comment of believing that the poll is correct rather than outlier.

    From this it also follows that the demarcation is not between Labour and Conservatives hence the attachment to JC) but between status quo and its opponents. Obviously the status quo is a cross-party project (hence the Tory support for some talented Labour members), while the opposition is fragmented not reAlly by party sympathy but by issues.

    Without going through the demography – both Conservatives and Labour dedicated voters will die out. Hence the opportunity for other parties, movements without attachment will appear, and become permanent.

  36. The ComRes poll is just more questions from the poll discussed in the previous thread (f/w 11-12 Apr) which showed a one point Labour lead. Full tables are here:

    Most of them those ComRes Agree/Disagree questions which Anthony loves so much – especially when you consider the wording of some of the statements which the ever-obliging ComRes has allowed to be put before the public. I’m not sure most pollsters would consider The Russian Government has become a force for evil in the world to have quite the neutral tone they wouild normally use. But then this pollster has always tended to specialise in religious polling.

    The “new centre-ground political party in Britain” question gets the most enthusiastic response from UKIP voters (+43), beating even the Lib Dems (+39) and SNP (+40), which suggests that this is just picking up a ‘it means whatever you want it to mean’ vibe. Labour (+26) and especially Conservatives (+5) are less overwhelmingly impressed. Of course it’s possible that some Labour voters are hoping that the new group would peel off all the PLP refusniks to their inevitable oblivion. Badly-worded questions can often lead to people with opposed views backing the same response.

    Of course no matter how you ask the questions, you can’t guarantee the answers you want. One example is the statement already reported last week The Government should join the US and France in taking military action against President Assad in Syria which only 29% agreed with (36% disagreed, 35% DK). There was also I do not believe President Putin of Russia was responsible for the Salisbury novichok attack[1]. No less than 14% agreed with his innocence, while another 36% still said Don’t know. After over five weeks of a media blitz maintaining Russian guilt, only half the public agree with it. Indeed the proportion believing seems to have dropped from soon after the poisoning, when the public were less sceptical:

    with only 5% possibly thinking Russia innocent

    [1] It’s also a bad question because of the statement structure – requiring a double negative if you want to say Putin was responsible. Question order (it came after the ‘evil Ruskies’ question) could also be said to bias the response.

  37. @ Richard

    potholes will decide it. I think you are not far wrong there, it is bread and butter issues that are going to come to the fore. The public is becoming more and more aware of the impact of austerity when applied long term: Northampton Council is just the first of problem authorities that are going to emerge: The rollout of universal credit is still fraught with difficulties: the HO has taken its eye off the ball on many more things than Windrush, the difficulties entry exit recording has been made manifest at unmanned borders. I wonder if anyone here has read the book “The Secret Barrister” and now understands how the criminal justice system is in meltdown, Barristers are, effectively, on strike and not accepting new cases. It might be said that people are not going to care if barristers are being treated badly by the government but just take a thought they can choose to do civil privately paid work instead of criminal law and the courts will come to a halt. The problem with that, as it will hit the public, is the little issue of custody time limits which will mean that dangerous individuals on remand will have to be released simply because they cannot be brought to trial. Bit by Bit the public service infrastructure is becoming weakened be it roads, rail, the safety net of benefits, employment, which although technically full employment, is in fact dangerously unstable with a significant proportion of the workforce being properly described as part of the “precariat”. India is set to move above us in the G7 and some needs to get a grip on things. Instead we are engaged in process where certainty of our position is constantly moved on to the next Brussels Summit. At a time when we need a frim hand o the tiller we have, instead, a government who appears convinced we are simply on a pedalo ride on a mill pond.

  38. someone and uncertainty

    far too early to be typing

  39. Laszlo

    “It’s very difficult because obviously one’s experience is anecdotal, but the details of the poll and my impressions in the last few weeks coincide: a right-wing shift.”

    It’s always dangerous to comment on one poll but my own feeling is like yours, that there has been some real movement to the Conservatives.


    Still pedalling your anti-Brexit nonsense, I see. You Remainers are so short term in your economic thinking, as are Remain MP’s, you obviously cannot see the obvious danger of remaining dependant for our exports on an organisation which is losing out to the rest of the World. Some estimates (from memory) indicate that by 2050 the EU will represent less than 10% of World Trade. We need to break free as soon as possible.

    Went to bed last night having listened to Samuel Barber’s marvellous “Knoxville Summer of 1915” which for me evokes the deep South. Anyone who has sipped a mint julep while gently rocking in a rocking chair on the veranda of a mansion in the southern states will know what I mean.

    Have a good day all, more planting to do.

  40. Laszlo: I disagree. I think there are plenty of people at all levels in both parties (but particularly Labour) opposed to the status quo. Anti-establishment voters needn’t look for obscure parties for their views to be represented. On the contrary, it’s pro-establishment windbags like me that are politically homeless right now. (And, to be honest, we’ve been very fortunate to be so well-represented for the last few decades, so I can’t really complain.)

  41. It really would sum us up if the Tories take a clear poll lead as the result of bombing foreigners and deporting UK citizens with black faces.


  42. Tim Shipman reports in ST today that TM would not resign if Parliament forces UK into CU.- “we wouldn’t cry into our beer if we were forced to do this”. He reports that Civil Servants have a pool on who will resign-front runners Fox & Boris.

    Gove said to recognise that “the arithmetic is difficult”

    If Parliament does force this through ,UK will be hugely diminished imo-I would rather we stayed in EU than become a disempowered appendage of it.

    But I guess that is what the CUites want to achieve really.


  43. It really would sum us up if Labour take a clear poll lead as a result of supporting Putin & abusing Jews.

  44. Anyone who think there has been a rightward shift needs to remind themselves what the Polls looked like a year ago.

  45. NickP: just for the record, NATO destroyed a chemical weapons factory, having first given the Syrians a clear warning to evacuate. They took the hint, and there were no casualties in the raid.

    How is that “bombing foreigners”?

  46. NICKP

    The voting population may well think that the Tories have gone too far in haranguing migrants, but there’s every likelihood that they prefer a party which is making a concerted effort to reduce migration even if it is making some pretty awful mistakes, rather than one which they suspect of wanting to open the borders. There is danger for Labour in being so loudly outraged about the ‘hostile environment’ and therefore appearing pro-migration.

  47. Colin

    The situation you describe was completely predictable at the time of the referendum. It is a major reason that I voted remain. Still, the Will of the People and all that.

    As for the CU, no doubt it will end up being made out to be someone else’s fault.

  48. Can’t really see how bombing ever helped anything, ever.

    Blitz, Dresden, Vietnam … what were the strategic objectives?

    The stated strategic objective of the Syrian bombings were to remove capability to deliver chemical attacks and to discourage doing it (assuming of causers there actually WAS a chemical attack! Waiting for some sort of confirmation might have been a good idea!). My big problem with the bombing was the twin failures to get either parliamentary or UN support for the action. UN support would be hard to get because of the Russian veto – but then isn’t that a clear indication that you risk an escalation with Russia if you proceed?

    As for the “hostile environment” at home – as Garj says there’s a risk that this will be popular in a country which voted for Brexit and until recently voted UKIP in large-ish numbers. I agree there is a real risk and that’s what makes me sad.

    Colin finds it depressing that Parliament can force the Government not do something it thinks is harmful – I don’t. Far more depressing to see our Government deporting UK citizens or harassing them out of jobs, homes and denying them healthcare, wouldn’t you say?

    We’ll see what happens next – I suspect the polls will veer around a bit back towards parity – we will have to wait for an election before Corbyn gets anything like a fair hearing – and we saw what happened to the polls last time.

  49. NICKP

    @”Can’t really see how bombing ever helped anything, ever.”

    @” UN support would be hard to get because of the Russian veto – but then isn’t that a clear indication that you risk an escalation with Russia if you proceed?”

    Ergo-only Russian Bombing is allowed.

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