Tonight’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 37%, LAB 42%, LDEM 8%. It looks as though both the 7 point lead and the 3 point lead we’ve had in the last couple of days were both normal variation within the margin of error and the underlying picture remains as last week – a Labour lead of five points or so.

Tonight’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 36%, LAB 43%, LDEM 9%. The seven point Labour lead in this poll is the largest YouGov have shown since before Cameron’s veto in December. Normal caveats apply of course – true, it could be a sign that Labour’s lead is still growing, but if Labour’s underlying lead is around about five points as last week’s polls were suggesting then a seven point lead would be very much within the normal margin of error. Right now this poll is entirely consistent with last week’s.

Tonight’s poll also has the fortnightly question on what issues people think are important – note how high the NHS is still scoring. 33% of people picked health as one of the most important issues facing the country, 38% of people picked it as one of the most important issues facing them and their family (second only to the economy). The second of these is at its highest level since last June.

As I’ve said before, the coverage of the NHS isn’t making that much difference to the proportion of people who back the Conservatives on the NHS, because not many people trusted them on the NHS to begin with. On that front it is more likely to entrench existing views of the Conservatives on the NHS than change any minds. What it has done is drive the NHS up the political agenda and make more people consider it a pressing issue (I suspect Ed Miliband’s focus on the issue of the NHS is also one of the things that has driven his leadership approval ratings up since January).


Tonight’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 36%, LAB 41%, LD 9%, very much in line with the 4 or 5 point Labour leads we saw all of last week. We appear to be back in the sort of voting intention figures that we were seeing at the end of last year before David Cameron’s European “veto”.

The tables for the YouGov/Sunday Times poll are now up here, with the usual range of issues: amongst others the budget, gay marriage, Prince Harry and Afghanistan.

As the overall voting intention figures seem to be heading back to the sort of position we were seeing last year, with Labour enjoying a 4 or 5 point lead, so do Ed Miliband’s ratings. His net approval rating is up to minus 38 (from minus 44 last week). These are Miliband’s most positive (or perhaps more accuately, least negative) ratings since they slumped at the beginning of January. David Cameron’s approval meanwhile stands at minus 9 (from minus 6 last week), Nick Clegg’s at minus 44 (from minus 47).

Turning to the budget questions, 73% of people support the Lib Dem idea of increasing the tax allowance through the adoption of a mansion tax. On the trade off between a 50p tax rate and a mansion tax, while people are more likely to see the 50p tax rate as both fairer than a mansion tax and more effective than a mansion tax, they are very evenly split on the idea of replacing the 50p rate with a mansion tax (34% would support it, 37% would oppose it). Asked what their view would be if the 50p tax rate didn’t actually raise any extra money, 41% would abolish it, 40% would keep it anyway, suggesting that a fair amount of people support higher taxes on the rich regardless of whether or not it actually brings in money.

On abolishing higher rate tax relief on pension contributions YouGov asked a more detailed version of the question that a fortnight ago, actually explaining what higher rate tax relief was. The answers, however, were very similar to what we got with a simpler question: a pretty even split. 38% think higher rate tax relief on pensions should be scrapped, 39% think it should be kept.

Turning to the questions on gay marriage, 43% of people support gay marriage, 32% support civil partnerships but not gay marriage, 15% are opposed to both. Attitudes to the church’s stance pretty much mirror this – 47% think they are right to oppose gay marriage, 37% think they are wrong. More generally, 62% of people think same-sex relationships are as valid as heterosexual ones, 27% do not.
The percentage of people supporting gay marriage here is, incidentally, very similar to that in ICM’s poll today in the Sunday Telegraph which found 45% in favour of gay marriage and 36% opposed.

Finally, on the issue of Afghanistan 40% of people think troops should be withdrawn now. YouGov have asked this question every fortnight since the election, and this is the highest level of support for immediate withdrawal we’ve seen (typically it is around 30%) – it would seem likely that the increase is due to the coverage of the death of six British soldiers this week.

UPDATE: Here is Peter Kellner’s take on the gay marriage questions.

Tonight’s YouGov poll for the Sunday Times has topline figures of CON 37%, LAB 42%, LDEM 9%. All this week YouGov’s daily polls have been showing Labour leads of between 3 and 5 points, suggesting that there has been a definite change from the neck-and-neck position we were seeing at the beginning of the year. Reasons for poll movements can never really be more than speculation, but as I wrote last month, my guess is a combination of a fading of the “veto effect” from December, less negative perceptions of Ed Miliband than back in January, and perhaps the increased prominence of the issue of the NHS. I’ll update on the YouGov poll tomorrow once the full tables are out.

Yesterday we also had new figures from Angus Reid. Their topline figures with changes from January were CON 32%(-3), LAB 40%(+1), LDEM 10%(-1). An eight point Labour lead is the largest any pollster has shown since before the veto, though it’s worth noting that Angus Reid have tended to show some of the larger Labour leads of any polling since the election.

There is also an ICM/Sunday Telegraph poll on gay marriage. I don’t yet know if it also had voting intention figures but will update as and when.