Tonight’s YouGov/Sunday Times poll has topline figures of CON 35%, LAB 43%, LDEM 10%, so the eight point lead seems increasingly steady. Full report to come tomorrow when the tables are up.


80 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 35%, LAB 43%, LDEM 10%”

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  1. Oops.
    Anybody who is interested in my weekly analysis (aka nobody), I messed up last week’s figures (updated the spreadsheet with the wrong fields) – so I’ll have to post both weeks –
    First point, in case anybody’s missed it –

    Ed Miliband’s approval figures are at -15, David Cameron’s are at -16.
    NC for Nick Clegg at -42.
    For all those who post that the leadership figures are the most important – Ed has higher approval.
    So -4 for Cameron, +6 for Miliband.
    He has only once been ahead of Cameron, and that was right at the start of his leadership and looking at the figures around then, most likely an outlier.

    So weighted approval figures (weighted vs past 4 weeks), so we can remove any outliers.
    Cameron -13 (-1.7), Miliband -23 (+4.8), Clegg -45 (+2.3).
    So while Miliband isn’t ahead in weighted figures, he has been trending up while Cameron has been trending down for the past few weeks.

  2. Weekly VI figures –
    So I’ll quickly post last week’s and then move on to this weeks –
    Unweighted weekly figures –
    Con 35.8 (nc), Lab 42.6 (-0.6), Lib 9.8 (+1)
    7-day weighted –
    Con 35.7 (-4.5), Lab 42.9 (+0.3), Lib 9.1 (+0.1)
    30-day weighted –
    Con 36.3 (-0.2), Lab 42.6 (+0.2), Lib 9 (nc)

    This week-
    Unweighted-
    Con 35.8 (nc), Lab 43 (+0.4), Lib 9.4 (-0.4)
    7-day weighted –
    Con 35.8 (+0.1), Lab 42.7 (-0.2), Lib 9 (-0.1)
    30-day weighted –
    Con 36 (-0.2), Lab 42.6 (nc), Lib 9.1 (+0.1)

  3. It should also be noted that if the upward trend for Miliband continues at this rate (+6-7), he’ll be in positive approval figures within 3 weeks.

  4. “Now more than ever it is the time for us European Socialists and for all progressive democrats to stand up for what we believe and never give up fighting for a just, open and tolerant society”

    ………….or indeed all “democrats” to do so……….at all times………..and not just after a Norwegian madman decides to slaughter young Norwegians.

    THe discussion here on whatever political dimension is attached to this horror was very interesting.
    It seems a complex matter, & I suspect that unless one understands the role & place of of the Norwegian Labour Party in that country one cannot begin to make useful comment.

    From the views expressed , I find OldNat’s closest to mine.

    I will be honest-I found the idea of a Political Youth Camp surprising & not to my taste at all. So I repeat-this is a context which I think non-Norwegians will not fully comprehend.

    If there is a context outside Norway,from reports, it would seem to be that tolerant & open societies -particularly Nordic ones-who have welcomed immigrants of the Muslim faith in significant numbers , have thereby imported a strand of violent intolerance associated with it.

    That such a fear -if indeed it turns out to be the case-should be expressed by the slaughter of innocent young people is surely a lesson if one was needed that aggressive & violent intolerance based on religious -or political-creeds must be ostracised by any society which aspires to be “open & tolerant”

  5. “30-day weighted –
    Con 36 (-0.2), Lab 42.6 (nc), Lib 9.1 (+0.1)”
    Should read (-0.3). Doh!

    It should also be noted that for my 30-day weighted figure (not weekly) for today (which, obviously eliminates outliers the best, but is slowest to respond to changes) –
    Con is at 35.9 (trending down), the lowest it’s been since April 11th.
    Lab is at 42.7 (trending up), the highest it’s been since April 11th.
    Lib is at 9.3 (slightly trending up), the highest since June 1st.

    The closest (April 8th) leader approval figures were-
    Cameron -8 (trending up)
    Miliband -15 (trending down)
    So leadership approval figures are moving the opposite direction for when Labour was this high – Miliband is no longer ‘holding them back’.

    That said, I don’t think Labour will go any higher than +45 until the Tories do something seriously damaging.
    This is based on the science of gut feeling, so take it with a pinch of salt. ;)

  6. Just notice in the YG tables the quite astonishing movement in views in response to the Q “How well or badly do you think the following have handled the phone-hacking affair?” within one week:

    DC – now -36% from -12%.
    EM – now +9% from +21%
    NC – now -16% from -5%

    All combatants tarnished (even NC, who ‘watched’ from the ringside).

    The big loser on points however is DC. I have a feeling he was saved by the bell (ie the summer recess).

  7. Comment on Norway; clearly a horrible event displaying an the incomparable ability of some humans to delude themselves that the inflicting of pain and suffering on others is a useful way to further your own ends.

    While I accept @Colin’s point above that we can’t fully grasp this until we know the context, there is one general comment I would make. I’ve never been particularly frightened by mad Islamist terror groups. I might be killed or maimed by them, as they are capable of mounting significant terror events, but their long history has been one of eventual rejection within the mainstream Islamic world as ‘good’ Muslims realise how incoherent and counterproductive this kind of illogical violence is. The might kill me and a few other individuals, but they won’t threaten democracy.

    By contrast, I’ve alsways been much more concerned over homegrown right wing idealogues, some of whom are increasingly now turning to violence. We’ve had anti gay bombs in London, Oklahoma bombings in the US, seemingly this event in Norway, but the history of far right violence is a long one, including a world war.

    They are embedded within our societies and work to divide us into groups and define right and wrong in very stark terms. People slip into their way of thinking with insidious ease and their opinions establish themselves as persecuted victims of the democratic process and will be much harder to root out than Islamist or nationalist terror groups.

    A chill runs down my spine on occasions when I read the hatred and bile that pours out on certain blog sites, and I wonder just how far along the same spectrum that kind of intolerant and secret opinion is from the actions of the violent, and with more global economic pressure still to come, I get worried about the lessons of history.

  8. Mike N,
    I’d imagine it’s fatigue with the story, from the public.

    The public expects quick results and this story isn’t going to be resolved for years to come – so with no politician being able to provide those results, they all fall.

  9. Alec,
    I don’t think it’s just the re-emergence of the far-right that’s a worry for me – if we face a serious economic meltdown in the future (US default, a major EU country defaulting, Euro-meltdown, etc) we’ll probably also have to worry about a re-emergence of a radical and violent far-left too.

    TBH, I’ve been worried about a US default (although, I assumed that China would cause it) for about 7 years and the consequences if it ever happened (fingers crossed it never does).
    A return to the politics of the early 1900s or 1930s would be a dreadful thing.

  10. Political youth summer camps have existed in Britain for a long time. There were certainly LPYS summer camps (Labour Party Young Socialists, the predecessor of Young Labour but Militant-dominated), and I have heard of summer camps on the far right too. Whether the Young Conservatives would ever have indulged in something like a camp is perhaps another matter. I don’t find the camp unsettling at all. The Norwegian Labour Party is a sister party of my own party here in Britain, but I would very much hope that if the victims had been members of Conservative, Liberal or Scottish/Welsh Nationalist-style parties I would have felt the same sorrow and outrage. I heard that if found guilty, the culprit faced 21 years in jail; that would seem incredibly lenient given the scale, and the motivation, of the killing.

  11. @Tinted F

    Note also that (in complete contrast to Thursday’s You Gov poll) the ratios of 2010 actual GE vote in Sunday’s poll are very close to the actual GE result (i.e. Con 876 Lab 725 LD 591). So that gives added credibility to the Sunday Times poll IMO.

    So not only does the 8% lead seem much more credible now, it also means that Miliband’s overtaking of Cameron’s net approval can’t be ascribed to a rogue sample.

  12. Anthony Wells

    Just caught up with the previous thread. Your very detailed explanation of YouGov’s weighting methodology on the previous thread is much appreciated. As instructed, I’m off to find the biscuit tin now while I ponder the implications.

  13. Phil,
    To be honest, I’m not sure how much effect it being out from GE result it actually has.
    The yougov figures tend to be +-1 from the average point (43 for Lab at the moment) so it doesn’t seem to make a huge difference.

    It would be interesting for someone to look at when outliers occur for yougov and compare the GE-weighting/selection to see if there’s any sort of correlation.
    But that’s a little too much for me out of the free time I have. ;)

  14. Barnaby

    “I heard that if found guilty, the culprit faced 21 years in jail; that would seem incredibly lenient given the scale, and the motivation, of the killing.”

    And that too is part of the dilemma -how can a tolerant society avoid exploitation by the intolerant?

    Where is the balance to be struck?

  15. TingedFringe
    “A return to the politics of the early 1900s or 1930s would be a dreadful thing.”

    Especially when we remember what happened soon afterwards in both cases. The signs aren’t good that we’ll avoid it.

  16. Alec

    Sorry-but I think it is very unhelpful to try & characterise violent intolerance in terms of political geography.

    We should not even begin to think of it in terms of right & left.

    We should think of it in terms of legal & illegal , seperation of state & religion , acceptable & unacceptable……..

  17. @ Colin.
    “…it would seem to be that tolerant & open societies -particularly Nordic ones-who have welcomed immigrants of the Muslim faith in significant numbers , have thereby imported a strand of violent intolerance associated with it.”
    —————————————————————————-

    I sincerely hope I’m mis-reading this. I assume you are not REALLY suggesting that places like Norway used to be mono-cultural idylls which have been corrupted by violent Islam?

    I well remember touring round Scandinavia 25 years ago. At that time, according to official Norwegian Govt figures, there were fewer than 30,000 immigrants in Norway from Asia, Africa and South America combined. Much less than 1% of the total population. Yet I saw numerous grafitti all over Oslo stating “Norge fur Norsemen!” accompanied by skull and crossbones images.

    It seems there has long been a violent strand of Norwegian nationalism looking round for something to lash out at.

  18. Labour have been at 41% to 42% in the polls for most of this year. And they still are.

    The LibDems between 9% and 11%. And they still are.

    For most of the year the Conservative vote has fluctuated between 35% and 37%. And they are still in that range.

    There is still no real movement in the polls.

  19. @ LeftyLampton

    Excellent comment.

  20. It could be argued that the anti-immigrant (and anti-Muslim) rhetoric we see constantly in the Mail and Express amongst others leads directly into this sort of crazy fury. Like Palin’s cross-hairs making her political opponents a “target” encouraging the literally targeting that actually happened.

    We are seeing increased polarisation and I seem to recall our PM actually making a speech deriding multi-culturalism.

    The opposite of tolerance is intolerance. By all means be intolerant of things that are illegal or immoral or unethical. But if you are going to be intolerant of race, religion or difference because you think it threatens the way things “should be”, then intolerance will breed intolerance and you risk violence in the end.

    Not excusing these lone wolf loonies by the way. Nothing excuses that.

  21. On July 11th nga (net govt app) reached -31%, and on this latest it is now at -29%.

    In the meantime it has been up to -25%, down to -28% and up to -23%… a larger fluctuation than we have seen in VI during the period.

    Excuse my ignorance but is this pointing to something about the sample that is not being ironed out by weighting, or is it genuine day-to-day ambivalence about the govt?

  22. @Colin – “Sorry-but I think it is very unhelpful to try & characterise violent intolerance in terms of political geography.”

    Just to be clear, I was not ascribing the Norwegian act of violence in this way – I don’t know the facts so I won’t comment directly.

    All I was saying was that, personally, I have a far greater fear of home grown right wing inspired violence than Islamist terror. The far right have been at it for longer and have in their past a history of malevolent regimes such as Nazism and apartheid that have killed literally millions.

    Left wing (or suposedly left wing regimes) of course have an equally chequered past, but I am of the impression that left wing terrorism tends to be directed towards a political end (independence, revolution etc) while the right wing inspired violence has a more thorough grounding in simple hate, with no clear negotiable motives or objectives.

    For example, while Rupert Murdoch got a foam pie, I haven’t yet seen a lone gunman shooting dozens of bankers dead. The hate seem to be far more directed towards gays, migrants, gypsies, socialists etc and there seems to be a spill over on a few occasions to acts of unspeakable individual violence.

    Within modern society, the far right have history, both of the ‘lone wolf’ style attacks and of mass movement murder and oppression, and this is why I said simply that I fear them more than Islamists.

  23. @Tinted F
    I’m of the view that the GE vote shares do matter a lot, simply because how someone voted in 2010 is by far the best predictor of how they will vote now. It’s a much better predictor than any of the demographic weighting factors used by YouGov. So if the ratio of 2010 voters for each party does change in the sample, it’s only to be expected that there will be a related change in the Labour lead.

    What is significant to me in this poll is that the % of 2010 Cons who are sticking with the party has dropped appreciably to 85%, with an unusually high 7% switching to Labour. It’s that change combined with the usual LD deserters which has delivered an 8% Labour lead.

    Here’s a link to the tables for anyone having difficulty finding them.
    http://today.yougov.co.uk/sites/today.yougov.co.uk/files/yg-archives-pol-st-results-22-240711.pdf

  24. The Norwegian massacre should be beyond political point scoring at all times, and we mustn’t rush to judgement on the “motives” of the lunatic responsible until, as he apparently intends to do, he gives his reasons during his first court appearance on Monday. His defence lawyer has apparently said that the killer regards his actions as “atrocious but necessary”. His explanations will no doubt be chilling but may give us some insight into the warped and murderous world he, and maybe others like him, inhabit. Maybe then we might better understand the threat that we all may face in western democracies. As Alec and Lefty Lampton have said, we may learn some very uncomfortable truths.

    What we mustn’t do, and there are early signs from some of the usual suspect on these pages, is to make silly remarks about an event, and a society of which we know very little. I found the critical remarks about a political youth camp particularly distasteful, as if we must imply that the coming together of young people at a largely social event, but who shared common political views, was somehow wrong. Then to say as one poster did that “unless one understands the role & place of of the Norwegian Labour Party in that country one cannot begin to make useful comment” is one of the most bizarre comments I have ever read, even from the particular author concerned. Why on earth do we need to know anything about that to be able to comment on the atrocity?

    Before I hyper-ventilate further and let some “Other Howard” type steam come out of my ears, I think I’ll leave us all with the words of Harald Stanghelle, the political editor of the daily Aftenbladet, a major newspaper in Norway. He was worried that Norwegians now feared that their cherished freedoms may be affected in the aftermath.

    “We should not let fear paralyse our ability to think clearly and wisely. There is much that we should not allow to be sacrificed on the altar of fear.”

    Wise man and he knows his country and his society far better than I.

  25. Regarding Wednesday’s PM statement and ensuing debate in the HoC, I now understand that much of the ‘support’ DC received from his party was orchestrated by the party Whips. Even the 1922 reception DC was given seems to fit in with this.

    Yet, this ‘support’ seems (in some cases) to have been given grudgingly.

    I have noted that when at the despatch box DC turns to and addresses his MPs to encourage their vocal support.

    See http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/jul/24/david-cameron-hacking-conservative-fallout

  26. @ Alec

    “For example, while Rupert Murdoch got a foam pie, I haven’t yet seen a lone gunman shooting dozens of bankers dead.”

    This is an interesting point and in an indirect and not pleasant way it is quite revealing. In Germany back in the 1970s the “left” terrorists aimed at the bankers. In Italy the politicians. I don’t think they would have such an easily identifiable target in the UK.

    I also think that conflating different levels is not useful. For example, in the hatred against those groups you mentioned, I would definitely distinguish between different levels of responsibility. I don’t feel I can declare some everyday person responsible for his or her radicalisation until she or he had an opportunity to open his or her eyes. Once, however, there was the opportunity, the person becomes guilty to my mind.

    In contrast, those who knowingly poison the minds of these everyday people (for whatever reason, be it political or commercial) are guilty from the first word. Those who develop the anti-gypsy propaganda for mass consumption have no real problem with the Roma (they don’t meet socially), they want to create sufficient mass movement that receptive to other messages (the campaigns in the tabloids that Nick Poole mentioned are not in isolation, but it is a coherent ideological agenda and some (Daily Star) actually directly support organisations like the EDL): The ultimate enemy is the left.

    And then it becomes even more complicated when it comes to the political elites: to what degree do they become guilty by allowing, not speaking out against, the poisoning of the minds.

  27. Laszlo
    “And then it becomes even more complicated when it comes to the political elites: to what degree do they become guilty by allowing, not speaking out against, the poisoning of the minds.”

    Yes, indeed. ‘Immigration’ is an issue which IMO requires cross-party accord to send an unequivocal message that discrimination and intolerance is unacceptable.

    Regrettably this issue is exploited for party political gain.

  28. @ Chris Todd.
    Labour have been at 41% to 42% in the polls for most of this year. And they still are.

    The LibDems between 9% and 11%. And they still are.

    For most of the year the Conservative vote has fluctuated between 35% and 37%. And they are still in that range.

    There is still no real movement in the polls.
    ————————————————————————-

    Hmmm. Take a look at the running average (last six sets of data) of the YouGov results for 2011.
    http://i55.tinypic.com/24eoppt.png

    Interesting patterns emerg when you smooth out the daily fluctuations.

    Labour’s VI figures had risen at roughly 1% per month from mid 2009 to Feb 2011 (25%-44% ish). From March-May this year, the increase stalled and partially reversed. I gues this was due to the Tories taking control of the debate after the Budget, possibly an initial Libya boost (difficult to separate these two but both happened late March and there’s a distinct swing from Lab to Con occurring around then). Following that, EM’s lacklustre performance and panning in the press perhaps led to the polldrums.

    But from May onwards it looks as though the Lab figures have reverted back to the previous upward trend – no obvious Hackgate influence but clearly it’s difficult at the moment for the Cons to regain control of the agenda on their terms. This will probably be even truer when the Q2 GDP figures come out this week.

    So. No seismic shifts in the polls, but certainly NOT static results. Given the plitical momentum at the moment, can we expect Lab to break beyond 45% and Con below 35% sometime before the end of the summer?

  29. @Laszlo – “In Italy the politicians”

    In relation to the Peteano massacre (originally blamed on the Red Brigades) it was said in court that “there existed a real live structure, occult and hidden, with the capacity of giving a strategic direction to the outrages.”

    In other words the “strategy of tension”.

    This was a connected to the Gladio “stay behind” anti-communist network, “a secret force parallel to the armed forces, composed of civilians and military men, in an anti-Soviet capacity.”

    I am not suggesting a link to current events, but perhaps there is some kind of folklore legacy.

  30. Interesting piece of research noted by a poster on PB

    http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2011/07/13/1103343108

    “The phrasing of survey items was varied to frame voting either as the enactment of a personal identity (e.g., “being a voter”) or as simply a behavior (e.g., “voting”). As predicted, the personal-identity phrasing significantly increased interest in registering to vote (experiment 1) and, in two statewide elections in the United States, voter turnout as assessed by official state records (experiments 2 and 3)”

    So if asking a question in a particular way alters behaviour, then Anthony et al move from being passive observers to actual participants in the electoral process.

    Quantum politics anyone?

    “The Copenhagen interpretation elevates the observer to a supreme function, saying that the measurement itself actually determines what the properties are found to be.”

    I quite like the idea of Anthony being “a supreme function”. :-)

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