Tonight’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 36%, LAB 41%, LD 10%. A five point lead is pretty much in line with the norm. In YouGov’s polls so far this month we’ve had the Conservatives steady at 35-37%, Labout at 40-42%, the Lib Dems at 7-10%.

Generally speaking voting intention is very steady these days. There are very minor movements, for example the Labour lead at the moment is around 5 points, in October it had narrowed to around 4 points, back in July and August it was up at around 8. The only reason we can even spot these minor and not particularly consequential variations is because of daily polling – in the old days of monthly polling it would have been completely indistinguishable from variation due to normal sample error.

It’s worth noting that in the last Parliament we were rather spoilt in terms of polling volatility – the effect of Cameron’s election as Tory leader, then the Brown bounce (and rapid reveral after the election-that-never-was), the government’s rallying of support after the bank bailout, the effect of the expenses scandal and finally Cleggmania during the election itself. The rollercoaster of voting intention polls we experienced then are not necessarily the norm!

Compare it to the 2001-2005 Parliament, where there were significant shifts from the Iraq war and the Brent East by-election, but generally speaking the polls chuntered along quite steadily, or the 1997-2001 Parliament where, other than the fuel strikes in 2000, the polls essentially spent 5 years doing nothing whatsoever. Perhaps that’s just because 1997-2005 were relatively stable political times, with Labour in the ascendent, the economy running nicely and the opposition in no fit state to make the political weather. Whatever, despite being in more turbulent times, the polls seem very flat at the moment. Since the election, we’ve seen a major shift of the more left-leaning Liberal Democrats from the Lib Dems towards Labour, but beyond that, all seems still…

167 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – CON 36%, LAB 41%, LDEM 10%”

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  1. SoCalLiberal

    While your example isn’t quite what i was thinking of. :-) it’s not a bad illustration of a situation whereby the state is entitled to make illegal, those activities that it decides impact on other citizens.

    (I presume that the poor lad in your example would be breaking several laws and regulations as he leapt to his death).

  2. Thank you Martyn for the link to the HoC Political and Constitutional Reform Committee report.

    Interesting points they raise:

    Incumbent PM has the first opportunity to form a government – but there is no constitutional duty for third parties to enter into negotions with her/him. It is not clear whether Clegg’s decision to deal first with the party which has most votes/seats will be construed as setting a precedent.

    If anyone needs to be told, “Gordon Brown resigned at a constitutionally appropriate time”, though obviously he was criticised both for holding on too long, and (mainly by LDs) for going too early.
    The negotiations could have taken longer without provoking a sense of crisis in the finacial markets or media. Lord Adonis suggested that parties should agree not to start negotiations until the Monday following a GE on a Thursday.

    When it comes to the status of the coalition agreement there is an onus to allow parliament maximum scrutiny of Bills… because they have emerged from a programme for government and are not “manifesto Bills”.

    “By its nature the policies of a coalition government have not been endored by the people.”
    A second consequence is that the HoL may not feel bound to apply the Salisbury-Addison convention.

    On the politics of the negotiations – from testimony to the committee – it seems that Brown did offer to stay on as PM until (and help to win) an early AV referendum – Labour rejected the idea of “immediate legislation” to enact AV. Conservatives, however, were under the impression that Labour had offered AV on a plate.

  3. @ Richard in Norway

    Very kind. I’m here. I do read as well (and enjoy your posts – well, because of the darkness (which is correct) the word “enjoy” is probably not the best… But I cannot be sure if I can come back, so I have found it very impolite of posting something and then not answering.

    Hoping for some more free time in January…

    Good Evening.

    The impression I have from reading about the talks between the parties in May 2010 is that the Labour side had not really prepared much detail, and that their team was quite rude to the Lib Dems.

    However the Cons and the Libs were well prepared and that David Lawes got on well with the Conservatives.

  5. @ChrisLane – “… the Labour side had not really prepared much detail, and that their team was quite rude to the Lib Dems”

    Interestingly Laws said that one problem was the absence of Darling – Labour negotiating team could not give economic policy guarantees without the chancellor’s permission. And he was still chancellor, on duty in Bruxelles I think.

    One Tory member of the committee was convinced that Laws and Letwin (neighbouring constituencies) had stitched the whole thing up many months prevoiusly – this was dissmissed as an Agatha Christy territory.

    Cameron did invite Clegg to concentrate on common ground in an article in The Guardian (Sept 2009) and for the two parties to join in a “national movement”. Clegg dismissed him at the time as “a fake and a phoney”… at least that is what he said in public.

    Oh, and what makes you say Labour were rude to the LD negotiators? The account I heard was that Ed Miliband went to buy them all coffee, while Danny Alexander slumped into a chair reading out a list of demands from his mobile – here is what the Tories have offered – can you go one better?

    Laws says: … we would have been mad not to enter into talks with Labour, because it improved our negotiating position with the Conservatives.

  6. I wouldn’t be surprised if Laws was ‘taken out of the picture’ on a nod from a Conservative MP (in cahoots with the Telegraph), once the negotiations were completed. Secure the coalition then remove one of the main players from the other side.

    Between that and the eventual ‘no to AV’, the Lib Dems struggle in the minds of many voters to have made an impact. That’s probably why they haven’t regained their core vote (the core of pre-Clegg).

  7. Colin

    Ah, you don’t see a problem with all of the customers money going missing, money that was supposed to be in segregated accounts, money that was supposed to be as safe as in the bank. And now every small investor is wondering if their money is safe and which other brokerages are in trouble, and should they be taking their money out while they still can. It seems like the money was stolen, I don’t care too much, it wasn’t my money. But folk are looking round wondering who they can trust. Of course the big guys are also wondering the same about each other.

  8. @Mike N

    ” I particularly like the statement re the NHS. It sends several messages – one of which is a clear distinction about Lab and indeed what the people of the country want and can expect.”

    I was so delighted to see that statement that I have now officially joined up. I am sure there will be many who will support Labour at the next election for this promise alone.

  9. @RiN,

    Doesn’t caveat emptor apply to selecting a brokerage to try and turn your filthy lucre into more filthy lucre?

    We constantly bemoan on these pages how the rich have a stranglehold on wealth, and how “money comes to money”.

    If someone wants to try and luck out in the casino of the international debt market, they’re quite welcome. I, however, don’t wish to pledge my taxpayer’s pounds to their gambling pot.

  10. @Jayblanc, MikeN and Leftylampton,

    What miracle do I expect? The same one that happened in 82-3, 87 and 92. Not such a miracle, just the fact that by then things should be looking up- I’m sure Tory high command designed it that way. Why else do you think the fixed term is for 2015 not 2014?

    And the fact that the tory vote over the last twenty years was around 36% is neither here nor there. In fact, the average labour vote between 1900 and 1920 was quite low, which obviously proves my point (note the sarcasm). No, seriously, the Conservatives failed miserably in the Blair years (now the labour party don’t seem to like Mr. Blair much, not sure why?) But you can’t say that somehow the Tories are dropping out of the market. Britain has a two/three party system and with my crystal ball I forsee both labour and tory governments in the future (anyone else share this prophetic vision?) If you want to know another reason why the Tories are likely to win the next election, have a look at the party leaders. Cameron-Miliband. Popular from the start- popular… ummm…among the unions at the start, no longer even with them. EM may well win the next election- for the Tories.

  11. Richard

    If all of that is true, presumably the guilty will go to jail.

  12. Stanley.

    Forgive me but 83-92 comparisons mean nowt. The Centre-Left was hopelessly divided then. It won’t be in 2015.

    In any case, 83,87 and 92 had particular circumstances (viz, Falklands, the onset of the feel good Lawson Boom and the defenestration of the Blessed Margaret to tip the balance towards the Tories. Are you suggesting that something as game-shifting as those events are likely to be pulled from the hat in the next 3 years?

    As for the Tories’ recent woes being due to Blair, explain then, the dreadful Tory performance in 2010 in circumstances which the most optimistic election strategist could not have asked for in his wildest dreams.

    My bet? 2010 is around the Tory high water mark. They may marginally improve on that in 15 barring economic melt down, but a step up to the 40+% that will be required for victory against an undivided Left will be a huge step.

  13. Richard-did you see this ?

    “Federal prosecutors, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission are investigating how MF Global collapsed in the seventh-largest U.S. bankruptcy.

    The U.S. Attorney’s office in Manhattan has opened a grand jury probe into the missing funds. The CFTC has subpoenaed Bank of Montreal’s (BMO.TO) Harris Bank unit for information about MF Global customer accounts, two people familiar with the matter said.

    Subpoenas have also been issued by the U.S. Attorney’s office in Chicago, the Wall Street Journal said on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter. That office declined to comment.”


  14. @Socal
    “Well, how can you get certain drugs without a prescription?”

    Stuff like Aspirin, or cough medicine.

  15. Colin

    Well that all sounds good but the track record in prosecuting fraud has been patchy, and that’s being nice. I would be surprised if anyone important went to jail but you never know.

  16. @Graham

    Thank you for your reply.

    Presumably you were just as vehement at the time in your opposition to Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait and wished him then, the same fate as you were happy to to confer upon other leaders with whose policies you disagree.

    In your latest post you are of course making a classic mistake. The Armed Forces of this country do not make policy. They obey the orders of the government elected by the British people. I personally did not vote for that Lab government (maybe you did), but the democratic wish of the UK, in which I believe strongly, did vote them into power. I have absolutely no objection to you having and expressing your view that the UK government should not have made the decision to intervene in Iraq. That right and the ability to express such opinions is what many of your country’s Armed Forces over many centuries have died or bled to give to you.

    You speak of your country’s Armed Forces as being “instruments of evil” for the Second Gulf War invasion of Iraq. Were they therefore “instruments of evil” when they freed Kuwait only a few years earlier in the First Gulf War? The people of Kuwait certainly did not think so then and certainly do not think so now .

    IMO Saddam was a brutal dictator who used his military forces and secret police etc. to ensure that he and his elite entourage and family kept his subjugated people from having any form of the freedom you so richly enjoy. He crushed any opposition with brutal repression – murders, torture, gassing, rape and ‘disappearances’ to name but a few of his methods. You presumably condone this repression. In Iraq you would not have had the opportunity to express even a fraction of the comments you have made (at least not for very long). You would have “disappeared” and most of your family with you.

    You spoke about only supporting the UK’s Armed Forces when used to defend the UK. So you would not have supported our fight against Hitler until he landed in 1940 at Dover – may be a little late then perhaps. And what if he didn’t invade, but strangled the UK with a sea and air embargo, sinking our ships mid-Atlantic with torpedoes from his fleet of U boats for example. Stave or go to war? – difficult for you and your narrow definition of only defending the UK on its coastlines.

    You clearly did not support the Falklands campaign opposing the Argentinian invasion, the First Gulf War freeing of Kuwait, the opposition given of the “Cold War” against the Warsaw Pact (whilst it existed) to keep the whole of Western Europe free, the interventions in the Balkans, Kosova, and of course their latest use as an “instrument of evil” in Libya. You are, of course, as entitled to your opinion, as I am to mine.

    To wish some conflicts had not occurred is perfectly understandable, as is to wish that some UK governments had acted earlier is also understandable. I wish for example that the UK had acted in the defense of Czechoslovakia against Hitler. It could then have saved the need for the Second World War and even the Holocaust. Gosh – wisdom after the event is so wonderful.

    However your original comment wishing that your country’s Armed Forces had been repulsed, (with all the deaths and injuries to your Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen that such a wish has to have encompassed) was the reason for my previous post to you. You now seem to have clarified your remarks even further and now consider us as “Instruments of Evil”. Thank you! Damn – all those time I did my duty abroad and I forgot to take my pitchfork with me!

    Well I consider your remarks to be an insult to those injured or maimed for life and especially to those who returned home in body-bags. Then, as an “instrument of evil”, I would say that anyway.

    By the way Willie Brand never ‘wished’ that German Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen be maimed and killed, he only wished for the downfall of Hitler and his Nazi entourage. But if you said that sort of thing in Germany then, the concentration camps awaited for you and your family too.

  17. @Wolf

    “I don’t think it was the invasion of Iraq that was the problem but the incompetence / criminality of the US after victory.”

    The criminality of either US, UK or any allied forces should not and is not being condoned. That is very clear from numerous prosecutions by both US and UK forces – step outside the rules of war/standards of behaviour and you will be brought to face justice.

    I totally agree with you about the incompetence of the Allied civil administration immediately after the invasion. Much of that was initially due to poor or nil prior planning by various govts. For example -in the UK planning for the aftermath was far too late and totally inadequate. This was almost entirely due to the inability of the Lab cabinet to openly discuss even the likelihood of war. The member of the cabinet, whose Dept would be primarily responsible for ‘aftermath planning’, would not have been supportive (or secretive) about the actions being contemplated by her fellow Lab cabinet members. She and therefore her ministry was deliberately kept in the dark. Neither could TB just replace her, nor even move the planning to other ministries. So the vital aftermath planning went undone and went uncoordinated.

    But, you should not confuse what your Armed Forces were allowed to plan for and to carry out, with what they knew was required and wished to carry out. We knew what was necessary, but we couldn’t plan or prepare for it. Those were the political constraints under which we in the field had to operate. To this should be added the confusion in the aftermath role of the UN, who eventually took over all civil administration, adding yet another layer of civil/political incompetence.

    Yes the aftermath of the Invasion was incompetent, but the incompetence was that of the civil and political leadership at home, not the fault of the poor squaddies in the field. Some of those poor squaddies paid the price of that incompetence with their lives.

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