The full results of YouGov’s poll in the Sunday Times are here.

Notable is the economic optimism question. When YouGov asked the same question for the Sun just before the budget on March 22nd-23rd net economic optimism was minus 10, matching it’s January peak. When YouGov asked the question straight after the budget on Wed-Thurs it had fallen to minus 19. By Thurs-Friday when the fieldwork for the Sunday Times was done it had fallen to minus 24. This is the lowest YouGov have had economic optimism since last April. If Labour’s recovery has been at least partially to do with rising economic optimism, then I’d expect this to result in the lead growing again (assuming, of course, that economic optimism doesn’t recover just as rapidly).

Looking at the rest of the poll, there is a direct Darling vs Osborne question that shows them pretty much neck and neck (33% prefer Osborne, 32% prefer Darling). In the past few days we’ve seen several versions of this question asking the comparison between Osborne, Darling and Cable (for example, see this from YouGov), and they have typically shown Cable ahead and Osborne in a poor third. This suggests people who prefer Cable split disproportionately in Osborne’s favour if they are forced to choose between Osborne and Darling.

On other subjects, rather unsurprisingly the majority of people wanted an inquiry into the former Labour ministers caught in the fake lobbyist sting, and the overwhelming majority supported some form of restriction upon ministers taking up lobbying jobs too soon after leaving office. 39% supported a complete ban on former ministers working as lobbyists. Slightly more interesting was that 38% of people believed that Stephen Byers had successfully influenced government policy, with 29% thinking he was exaggerating. The answers were largely partisan though, with Conservative supporters tending to think he had changed policy and Labour supporters thinking he was boasting.

Asked about the proposed tightening of the drink driving limit there was strong support for a reduction – 50% supported a reduction to 80mg, 21% said they would support an even tighter restriction, 23% opposed a restriction.

Finally YouGov asked about climate change. 30% of people said they had become more sceptical about climate change since the controversies around scientists studying climate change. As well as a change question YouGov re-asked a climate change question originally asked in December 2009 for Left Foot Forward – there was a slight shift towards scepticism, but not a huge one. In December 2009 83% said the planet was warming and human activity was at least partially responsible, 12% said the planet was not warming, or human activity was not responsible. In the latest poll 76% said the planet was warming and human activity was contributing, 16% said the planet wasn’t warming or mankind was not responsible.

Tonight we should have the daily YouGov poll, possibly a Opinium poll in the Express. We are also due Ipsos-MORI and ComRes polls at some point soon.

148 Responses to “More from YouGov’s Sunday poll”

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  1. May I save the Labour faction the trouble (and the rest of us the boredom) of saying Opinium could not run a chip shop. A Tory 10 point lead, I mean I ask you.

    From what I hear about Com Res they wont be able to run a chip shop either.

  2. The last 79 polls have the tories at 38%
    The last 79 polls have labour at 30.6% I could have rounded up to 31 but nah…… why bother?

  3. @Éoin………………….There are , of course, shades of grey ! :-)

  4. DWIN,

    20% VAT rate with “limited damage”???
    The reason Labour and LDs don’t like this is VAT is one of the most regressive taxes. (Hurts the poor more than the rich, and widens inequality).
    VAT rise damages society more than many other taxes would, and economically i could get into the whole poor people have a higher marginal propensity to consume so you shouldn’t tax them higher for the economies sake but it would take a while to explain.

  5. @Ken, nope still young, long time to go before I can expect grey :) (only 30)

  6. Have Com Res or Opinium got their basic Health & Hygene Certificates? If not then they cannot run a chip shop. But they can both run polls! ;)

  7. With Opinium and it sounds like ComRes showing an increasing lead it does look like the budget has yet again harmed Labour. the key question is whether this will be a short term minor move or the permanent reversal of the trend since January. There will be a few deflated Labour supporters out there I’m sure.
    The figures AW gave on the economic confidence ratings might suggest this is temporary though – there’s no reason for this to drop by 14% in less than a week. Set against that, maybe I’m wrong and today’s NI announcement (I was sorely tempted to write ‘scam’ at that point, but though about AW’s knock in the dark) might maintain the momentum.

    Steph Flanders has a good line in her blog on the NI policy – no tax rises, no risk to recovery and reduced defcit – she terms it ‘the immaculate consolidation’.

  8. Comres show Conservative lead up to 7 points from their last poll giving 5 point lead.

    The trend is nigh.

  9. I am not sure which way I swing (ooerr) on the whole impact of VAT thing. It is certainly true that poorer people, of necessity, spend more of their income on goods proportionally. But whether VAT disadvantages them really rather depends on what tax rates are levied on the things that richer people spend the extra money on.

    Plus of course, luxury goods attract VAT in large doses. That Bentley Mulsanne Roland’s going to treat himself to would benefit the taxpayer to the tune of an extra £5,500 from his already heavily-taxed income.

  10. I think the recent narrowing of the polls is a little like the recovery made by McCain against Obama in the weeks leading up to the US elections.

    It’s just ‘froth’. Fact is theTories have been ahead for 2 years and they’re still ahead now. Labour can’t seem to gain more than a third of the electorate (if they’re lucky).

    If the Conservatives don’t take victory in the election by a 10 point margin i’ll eat my hat!

  11. There is a ComRes poll for the Indy tomorrow; 7% Tory lead (up from 5% at the start of the month)

  12. A comres 7% would be good news for labour

    a lot now goes on yougov’s tonight – 3% i reckon

    that would be a 10, 7 and 3 leaving it at 6.6%

  13. Eoin – You are correct in saying that the Conservatives have not recently exceeded 40%, but I am ‘sure’ this is not the benchmark the Conservatives will be looking at. I am certain that the Conservatives will be looking at last summer and will ‘aim’ for the ~45% they were showing in the polls then. Obviously they will also aim at reducing Labour to ~25%. The latest polls (and that is all they are) suggest that they have started to succeed in both their aims.

    As we get nearer the actual day Labour has a growing problem to deal with if they remain in second place and the gap remains this large or increases, the problem is the effect on their supporters and their willingness to ‘get out and vote’. (This by the way is not a partisan comment – the same would apply to the Conservatives if they were so far behind Labour.)

  14. ComRes lead up 2 so says quickie in the Indy

    Someone says Labour should “caution that it could all still go wrong (under the tories).”

    Risible – but that its not the point. Why should the electorate reward proven failiure, and there are lots of proven failures in Labours record.

    Labour do tout their alleged successes – but when inspected these ‘successes’ are all bought with borrowed money. We have a £90 billion structural defict and a national debt heading tpowards £1.4 trillion. With that kind of borrowing I or indeed anybody could be Chancellor – step forward Gordon Brown.

  15. I seem to have an open list and I think i know why!

    I suspect AW is watching the C4 so I hope we may get further details of the survey days of these newly announcing polls (for instance Opinium) without those data it’s rather difficult to interpret the changes. Does anyone know where Opinium hang out on the web? I don’t seem to be able to locate them.

  16. “That Bentley Mulsanne Roland’s going to treat himself to” …. if nobody buys Bentley’s then no one on Britain would be employed building them.

  17. Trevor – nice to see you.

    I remember King George 5th said that he would postpone his new royal yacht in the 30s because of the recession. J.M. kieynes said he should go out and order a gold-plated one!

  18. Sorry Keynes


    “A comres 7% would be good news for labour

    a lot now goes on yougov’s tonight – 3% i reckon

    that would be a 10, 7 and 3 leaving it at 6.6%”

    Not sure why thats good news for Labour? Cant see your reasoning on that. Especially as recent polls has the lead down to 3 to4% ( Ithink even 2% at one point). i would say that 7% in Com Res would be bad news for Labour. please feel free to correct me if I am wrong.

  20. Trevorsden,
    don’t get so hung up on the national debt – it is a frustrating argument.
    Uk national debt= 54% of GDP
    USA, France, Germany national debt= 80%+ of GDP
    Japan national debt= 200%+ of GDP

    The most pessimistic forecasts of our debt still miss the leves of other comparable economies. We have the second lowest national debt in the G7!
    Debt is a managable part of modern economics. Think about your average mortgage, often 600% higher than that persons annual income (GDP), and they survive?

    Anyone who really understands economics will see the debt argument as a but of a low blow.


    “A comres 7% would be good news for labour

    a lot now goes on yougov’s tonight – 3% i reckon

    that would be a 10, 7 and 3 leaving it at 6.6%”

    Not sure why thats good news for Labour? Cant see your reasoning on that. Especially as recent polls has the lead down to 3 to4% ( Ithink even 2% at one point). i would say that 7% in Com Res would be bad news for Labour. please feel free to correct me if I am wrong.

  22. Whilst I applaud conspicuous consumption in the public interest , as one does, I wouldn’t encourage those without the means to plough the same selfless furrow, but I don’t know whether Gordon and AD read these posts ! :-)

  23. I have just watched the chancellor debate on Ch 4. As I forcast Vince came out of this head and shoulders above AD & GO. I say this not just as a Lib Dem but based on the level of audience applause. Unfortunately he did not totally rubbish laughing boy George but hopefully he will raise the LD share mainly at the expense of the Tories giving him a major role in the next parliament. I look forward to tomorrow nights YG poll.

  24. Thank you for your partisan view PeterBell….

    I thought they all did ok. I did think GO didn’t get as much time as the others and was cut short more often than not. Having said that, not a lot to choose between them in terms of performance…

    Hopefully not partisan at all…?

  25. Intriguing: 4 maybe 5 spontaneous rounds of applause for Vince, at least one for Al and none for george – even when he made some of his better points.

    A sign of things to come.?

  26. I thought all 3 did quite well in the debate this evening. Osborne didn’t have much to say about his experience, which was quite telling. Darling rightly concentrated on the future rather than his past. Cable played well on getting it right all along but without boasting or saying I told you so.

    No-one disgraced or distinguished themselves greatly but I’d have to give it to Cable on points. He got a couple of good laughs too.

  27. Has Vince Cable shored up a few West Country and West London seats tonight ?

  28. @Peter Bell………….I too watched the much heralded clash of the minnows, no outright winner, but a few points each. As I commented in an earlier missive, they are all frightened of making a mistake, so no damage anywhere.
    AD didn’t lay a hand on GO, VC seemed a little lacking in energy. Honours ( if they can be so described ) even.

  29. Chancellor’s debate: Nobody’s opinion will change. GO smooth, VC populist & popular, AD punching his weight but failing to pounce on all the opportunities presented by GO; when he did, he got laughter & applause. Despite this encouragement, AD avoided going for cheap shots.

  30. I did not watch the debate, but that is the worst of the debates over for the Conservatives, and perhaps the best for the LibDems. From this point on in my mind it becomes a battle between GB and DC. Just three debates to go.

    Oh, and a heck of a long time in politics! :)

  31. I also thought that there wasn’t a lot between them on policy either. The NHS, elderly care and income tax were about it and then not much ground between them.

  32. I too watched the Chancellor debate , Caple did well as I expected him to he is a witty intelligent debater, Osborne was nervous but dogged and was prepared to explain his policies, Darling’s sole pitch was more of the same – “hang on to nurse for fear of worse”.

    The effect on the polls – negligible – perhaps Libdems +1. Tories unchanged, Labour -1.

  33. Amber Star

    “Despite this encouragement, AD avoided going for cheap shots.”

    I thought his barbed remark about the “death tax” was a cheap shot, though not totally undeserved. It was the only point that I spotted in the debates that wasn’t totally gentlemanly.

  34. Anthony has called it right over more than a week. He got it right with NC’s temporary lift, also with the Budget (a damp squib if ever there was one).

    I was wrong but I did not have the benefit of the past data on Lib Dem exposure and I had expected AD to please the women – I notice the Con lead among women is greater again.

    I thought Lumley would be a disaster for Labour but that has been killed off.

    So the Chancellor debates -my wife says they were a damp squib too. There was one line right at the end from GO that I caught that I think will be significant. It was arrogant, to say that ‘there would be no Liberal Government’. True but it came over as arrogant – a bad image from such as he.

  35. I think GO would have been expecting VC and AD to gang up on him and he was not let down. I think VC tried to get the audience on his side with jokes and that worked. VC had nothing to lose and obviously has more in common with Labour and that showed as well.
    I think VC could say exactly what the audience want to hear because as GO said he’ll never have to or get to implement it.

    Interesting debate though….seems to be given score draw on sky

  36. #AsktheChancellors VOTE RESULTS: Vince Cable 36%, Alistair Darling 32%, George Osborne 31%

  37. Blimey, I’m proud to be a contributor to this forum, no partisanship, just good old fashioned objectivity. :-)

  38. ASH

    “AsktheChancellors VOTE RESULTS: Vince Cable 36%, Alistair Darling 32%, George Osborne 31%”

    I’d say that was about right.

  39. It’s not just the economy; ask John Howard the Tory PM of Australia who lost the election at the height of the boom as ‘time for a change’ was more important.’

  40. And yes, if we could vote directly for the Chancellor Vince Cable would win by a mile…

  41. I’d give VC a slight edge due to his humour but thought AD and Go were about level really.

    I’d score it
    VC 34
    AD 33
    GO 33

  42. I didn’t watch it but followed it on the BBC’s website. It sounded pretty uninspiring. I said yesterday that low expectations of GO may actually help the Tories with the spin. Noone (least of all me) expected me to come out of the debate the winner, and he didn’t, but lots of people who don’t like him were expecting him to get slaughtered, and he wasn’t. Its all about the expectations…

  43. Interesting poll although I’m not sure who voted/gave their opinion.

    However, if after 13 years, an appalling recession and with the economy widely regarded as the most significant element in the eleclion, for GO to come third out of three must be significant. It’s even worse if you calculate them as proportional scores based on the current, average polling data for each party, with George the only one showing lower.


    That wasnt my scoring of the debate, but that was the poll online by people watching the debate online like I was and the end result of the total votes cast was what I gave earlier. Just wanted to clarify that if it was misunderstood to be my scoring of the debate.

  45. @ COLIN

    Yes, that’s what I meant. AD went for one relatively easy pop at GO & got the best reaction of the hour.

    Despite GO presenting at least 2 or 3 more similar opportunities, AD decided not to go for any more cheap laughs.

    I admire his restraint, I wouldn’t have been able to resist, if it was me ;-)

    And, as I said, not a game changer by any of them IMO.

  46. Ash

    I was just going to post the same CH4 poll.

    I think they all did well. Mostly. ;-)

  47. @ Polly Ticks ‘I think VC could say exactly what the audience want to hear because as GO said he’ll never have to or get to implement it.’

    What patronising twaddle!

  48. Are the full results of the BPIX survey in the Mail on Sunday going to be incorporated, I notice the other weekend polls fom ICM and YouGov are in the summary but not the BPIX one yet?

  49. Al J:

    Normally you are in there way before me. If you watched it online like I did, you would have had a chance to cast your single vote.

    On a separate note, for those that like betting on the polls, Ladbrokes’ instant #askthechancellors reaction- Tories cut to 8/13 from 4/6 to win majority.

  50. Amber – In suggest a quick read of a few pages of twitter response to the debate – I think you’ll find it surprising.

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