Tonight’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 37%, LAB 39%, LD 9%, Others 14%. After a nine point lead for Labour yesterday, we have an outlier in the other direction today, strongly suggesting the underlying Labour lead remains at around 5 points.

Meanwhile the monthly ComRes telephone poll for the Independent also shows a two point Labour lead (in fact, it’s almost identical to YouGov). Topline figures there with changes from ComRes’s last telephone poll a month ago are CON 37%(+3), LAB 39%(+1), LDEM 10%(-4), Others 14%. The sharp drop in Lib Dem support is probably just a reversion to the mean, after an usually high figure a month ago.

There is also a second ComRes poll for the News at Ten, which asked about support for the strikes on Wednesday. 38% of people thought public sector workers were right to strike, 47% disagreed (close to the YouGov/Sunday Times questions on whether people supported or opposed the strike, suggesting the contrasting findings in the ComRes/BBC poll were indeed down to asking whether strikes were “justified”, rather than whether people supported or opposed them)


248 Responses to “YouGov and ComRes show 2 point Labour leads”

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  1. @jayblanc
    Your tone implies you think the Iranians are badly done to.
    If I had any friends or loved ones in that benighted nation, I would want them home before Israel puts Iran out of its misery.

  2. I do wonder now what happened over the talked about real-term cuts to out-of-work benefits. It was strongly trailed around the press, including putting up Conservative party spokesmen to promote is as ‘fair’. Even to the point of having Danny Alexander confirm it was being discussed as a serious possibility.

    Did a pencilled in OBR forecast with a below inflation increase to the automatic stabiliser show the UK dropping into recession?

  3. Good presentation from the OBR, overall, while serious, the situation is manageable……….we need a steady hand on the tiller, I am confident that people will trust GO, to get us out of trouble. All in all, a better than expected day.

  4. @SMUKESH
    Well I cannot imagine what section of the media you refer to. The only newspaper that has a good word for the Tories or coalition is the Times, or rarely the FT. The traditional Tory newspapers hate the coalition and despise Cameron , therefore, I am at a loss to understand what you are talking about.

  5. @Chouen Lai

    The *Iranians*, as in the population of Iran, are badly done to. They’re in a military dictatorship, and can only elect a figurehead president from a selection nominated by that dictatorship. You should not take student protests, whipped up by the Iranian authorities, to be a reflection of the entire Iranian population.

    And do you seriously want to see a war with Iran? It would make the quagmires of Iraq and Afghanistan look like cakewalks.

  6. CHOUENLAI
    I am not going to single out sections of media…All I mean is that the media should act as the watchdog when things go wrong and ask questions,to avoid disasters…For me,the questioning has been mild given the scale of the report

  7. @KEN
    I quite agree with your view on the matter. You used the expression “parallel universe” earlier, I must say, having watched the debate in the House right through, there definitely is another world vaguely in concert with this our world.

  8. Ken

    As I said last night, the first stage of grief is Denial

    Osbourne’s statement today showed that we are well advanced towards the fourth stage – Depression.

    Can you begin to imagine the howls from the right had we had a Labour Govt statement today which said, “sorry lads. I got my numbers wrong. We’re going to be borrowing £100bn more over the next three years than I said last March”?

    I thought you were a Tory? You should be foaming at the mouth over this.

  9. LEFTYLAMPTON
    Can you begin to imagine the howls from the right had we had a Labour Govt statement today which said, “sorry lads. I got my numbers wrong. We’re going to be borrowing £100bn more over the next three years than I said last March”?
    Exactly my point…At this point,the newspapers would have been demanding heads on a plate,possibly literally

  10. Order of news stories on BBC News… Osborne, Iran, Leviston. Sky news similarly leading with Osborne’s statement, and is very negative towards him. Does not look like the Conservatives can control this news cycle in their favour.

    May well be that they have used up what influence they had with the press, even with the BBC, to give them soft landings on bad news.

  11. It seems to me that we are experiencing a new style of government………. ‘pragmatism’…… something that most intelligent people admire, and run their own lives by. Unfortunately, with the advent of ‘new politics’ and all the Alice in Wonderland management, we lost sight of reality.
    Down to earth with a bump, but back to reality now, how refreshing. :-)

  12. Are these latest polls going to be added to the UKPollingReport polling average soon?

  13. LEFTYLAMPTON………Thanks for the prognosis, I hope my condition doesn’t deteriorate, I don’t want to be too pleased. :-)

  14. I wonder if the attack on the Public Sector is just a smokescreen. Some very right wing commentators don’t like some parts of the statement at all:

    Strong words from think tank the Adam Smith Institute, which describes plans to use public money to underwrite 95% mortgages as “immoral”. “It will draw people into home ownership who will be unable to afford their loans when interest rates eventually rise again. And it risks setting off the same sub-prime events that got us into this pickle in the first place.”

  15. Actually, the truly terrifying thing about today’s figures is that we are in for a grim 5 years even if the OBR growth projections are correct.

    But the OBR figures have been consistently and spectacularly over-optimistic since its inception.

    In Jun 10, they predicted 2.3% and 2.8% growth in 11&12. Today, they have said that these growth estimates were about 3.5 times too high. And going on form, we should brace ourselves for the real outcome to be even worse. Even in Oct 2010, the OBR prediction for 2010 GDP was wildly over-optimistic.

    Now they are saying that we will avoid recession in 11-12, in direct contradiction of the OECD predictions. And they expect a Lazarus-like recovery in 13-14 to above trend growth.

    Here’s hoping that they are accurate or overly pessimistic for once. If not, we are looking into the abyss.

  16. @jay blanc
    Many thanks for filling me in on the position in Iran. I see your point about the people being manipulated by a vile dictatorship, even though I had no idea that such a thing existed. It reminds me of another nation living under a vile dictatorship. The country I refer to, lost about 5.5 million over a 6 year war. Further, 60% of its servicemen were killed in the last 2 years of the war, when victory was no longer feasible. Yet, these people were “forced to fight” for an appalling regime. As for me wanting war with Iran, I have seen war at first hand and have a son who would be required to fight in the front line of any conflict we are involved in. Therefore,I DO NOT, however, if Iranians are forced to fight for the horrendous regime which oppresses them, they could always do what the Germans did not, and refuse to fight.

  17. CHOUENLAI…………..I have been diagnosed with a few conditions over the years, but apparently I am now in the early stages of depression, according to Dr Leftylampton, that is, how seriously should I take this prognosis ? I must say, however, that I appreciate his concern…I know he likes me :-)
    Perhaps it’s the result of my uncanny knack of being right on political issues, as indeed, I’m pleased to note, that you are

  18. Easy to see how painful these measures, on top of 18 months’ “stagflation” now admitted by OBR, will be for the majority of working people earning wages below £30,000. Not only do they find their living standards cut by inflation, extra VAT, salary caps, and unemployment, they are also required to work longer, pay more and ultimately draw less from their pensions. However one group – existing pensioners on occupational pensions – is strangely exempt from these measures. The Over 60s generally find that their pensions are updated to cover inflation – all existing retired public sector pensioners will get a 5.2% increase on their pensions next year. They are of course a substantial sub-set of the over 60s who form the Blues’ “core support” in every You Gov poll we read. And quite possibly a majority of the bloggers on this YouGov page … yet it is manifestly unjust that those earning significant pensions – and I would make something like £20,000 the dividing line – should have the higher part of their income protected at a time of prolonged economic crisis. I would say that the inflation updating would apply only to pensions up to £20,000, and income above that level would not be updated at all for the next 2 years. I would apply it across the board – on the private sector a tax clawback may be necessary on any extra income. And before anyone asks, yes it would affect me as I have an income above £20,000 from inflation-protected pensions. But tell me this : why should I be kept in a comparatively comfortable position when thousands of people working full time, are taking effective pay cuts to ensure that I don’t have to make any real sacrifices? It’s totally wrong. The burden of restoring our damaged economy should be fairly shared. So far the Government deliberately insulated many of their wealthier supporters from the pain. Hence their handsome poll leads in the South, and a narrower one in London. It follows that I think that tomorrow’s strike is totally justified – existing pensions over £20,000 should lose their uprating to reduce the costs falling on those still at work. Everyone knows that would be fairer, but no one wants to admit it, do they ? “We might lose votes “

  19. Am I right in thinking that today’s announcements are too late to have any impact on tonight’s polling ?

  20. Bill P

    Interesting to go back to the OBR report in Jun 10.

    Their Real GDP and inflation predictions at the time showed something quite striking – they were predicting NGDP growth of 4.5-5% for the period 2011-15. Now they are blaming the currently flat RGDP on <4% inflation in 11-12.

    Does that mean that we have already quietly entered an era of NGDP targeting, at least in expectation if not in openly declared policy?

  21. 4.5-5% NGDP using CPI inflation.

    With RPI, the NGDP growth was predicted to rise to 6-6.2% in 2012 then stay constant for the rest of the Parliament.

  22. Ken –

    Entirely correct. It depends when we reach quota of course, but generally speaking we download the data at around 3pm-4pm, and in the last couple of hours of fieldwork people come in slowly anyway as it just the last few quotas filling up.

    Hence tonight’s polling figures will have been overwhelmingly (90%+) collected before George Osborne stood up, let alone before people read about or watched the coverage.

  23. @welshborderer
    I should retreat to Offa’s Dyke ASAP. The number of head teachers, council officials, policemen, army officers, NHS doctors, civil servants ect, who have over the £20,000 pension you suggest should be the cut of point for a rise will be in their BMW’s and after your blood.

  24. Can we please avoid lots of rather predictable comments from supporters of the government saying how wonderful the statement is, and opponents saying how awful it is.

    They are a rather tiresome waste of pixels, that don’t add anything to the conversation. I think we can all take it as read that the usual suspects think the statement was awful, and the other list of usual suspects think it was fantastic.

    Then we can get on with discussing the likely effect (if any) on public opinion, rather than each others’ rather predictable viewpoints.

  25. LEFTYLAMPTON…………..I am a member of the emergent, ‘New Pragmatist Party’, we have a theme tune…….. ‘Things can only get better, but first they will get a bit worse’. :-)
    This time however, we can anticipate a return to the cycle of boom and bust with the right strategy, if we hadn’t been in denial last time, we would have been better prepared for this easily preventable car crash.

  26. Anthony

    I have no idea whatsoever what effect the statement will have on public opinion. I used to think something like this might have some effect, but now I must admit I cannot make a guess at all.

    We’ll have an idea by next week, I assume.

  27. Anthony……….Apologies, point taken. :-)

  28. Well I’m going to stick my neck out and say that it will have no effect on polling

    The public know that politicians are less than completely truthful and they also know that the situation is worse than they are being told, and the know that whoever was in govt the result would be the same. The only possible effect I can see is more non voters. However next year could be a whole different kettle of fish. Unemployment over 3 mill will be a big physiological tipping point?

  29. Anthony…………I have this vision in my mind of pollsters, fingers at the ready, waiting to pounce on the public as soon as the statement is complete. However, I suppose most people polled are not, ( unlike me) sitting idly at their desks watching events unfold. We’ll, as usual have to be patient. :-)

  30. If this bad news on the economy doesn`t have atleast a small effect on polling,then I think the next government would be a CON-LIB coalition

  31. I think it will entrench opinions on either side, the question is, how many voters are swing voters anyway?

    Somebody on this site talked about his Tory voting parents, when they get disillusioned they don’t switch, they just stay at home. Other voters are just likely to be anti-government, whoever it is.

    Who knows? I can see why it is fascinating for you, AW.

  32. Ken – nah. Haven’t put tonight’s live yet, just finished writing and sent it down to the panel team.

    Realistically, while tomorrow’s figures will be “post-Autumn statement” the impact of these things comes also from people who see it on the news tonight, or read about it in the newspapers tomorrow, so the full impact won’t be for another day.

    Not, of course, that there will necessarily be much impact at all. In terms of what drives public opinion it is very rare for anything to make a drastic difference, and most things don’t have any effect at all. Those of us who follow the ins and outs of politics tend to grossly overestimate the attention people pay to them and the ability of them to change people’s minds.

  33. I suppose there is at least a possibility that Tory-leaning public servants might be upset by the prolonged pay freeze.

    But would that more likely start to hit in a year or two?

  34. SMukesh – The bad economic news itself is unlikely to have an effect (though of course, it could have a secondary effect if it damages perceptions of the govt’s economic competence).

    The public are *way* more pessimistic about the economy than the official projections. Almost three quarters expect the country to go back into a second recession, hardly anyone expects anything to get better next year. Even the downgraded forecasts are better than most of the public expect.

    Basically, expectations of a dire economy should already be factored into the price, as everyone expects it already!

  35. People should take my advice and read P Kellners in the Huffington Post. The basic position of current “polldrums” is explained and the continuing “there or there about’s” of the Tories also gets attention. Despite a poster telling me earlier Mr Kellners is no great judge of these things, the piece certainly made sense to me. Frankly, today’s events and announcements, will in my view not change much at all in the world of polls. However, as P K points out, the two Eds have NOT convinced people that Labour were not the original reason for our troubles.

  36. I think the statement will have little impact on voting intentions, in the short term, although the implementation of policies over the longer term, may well affect people and then this may change their voting intentions. I certainly welcome the pension increases, although this is down to inflation and further Council Tax freezing, particularly welcome as prior to the Coalition CT went up several percentage point above inflation, and so zero instead of 8,9 or 10% rise is great.

    I think that far bigger influence will be the strike, which will harden support for each Party according to whether the voter is public or private sector.

    Given the current economic crisis even though the LDs will be disappointed when any poll shows them below 10%, the Coalition Parties must be very happy that Labour can only muster 39% in recent polls; although tonight may reverse current trends. If they can’t get 40%+ now what will happen when recovery actually starts to take hold.

  37. ANTHONY WELLS
    Perhaps Anthony…But I suspect that the Tory voters always thought that Osborne would pull a rabbit out of the hat just as he did with the inheritance tax proposal

  38. henry

    “If they can’t get 40%+ now what will happen when recovery actually starts to take hold.”

    The next General Election will have been and gone by then, I think.

  39. Henry

    It’s nice that you are optimistic, but repeat after me….

    There will be no recovery!
    There will be no recovery!
    There will be no recovery!
    There will be no recovery!
    …..
    …..

  40. Anthony……It does seem to be commonplace for people not to take a blind bit of notice of what, on here, is considered to be the essence of Armageddon. As I remarked on here last night, I think people simply sniff the air and wait for the election, as we are such a long way away, I suppose there is a degree of weariness with the whole thing. The constant banging on about right and wrong really must make people switch off, unless of course, they’re us. :-)

  41. RIN…………It’s no good, just wishing isn’t going to get you to Armageddon any sooner. :-)

  42. @Nick P
    “I suppose there is at least a possibility that Tory-leaning public servants might be upset by the prolonged pay freeze.
    But would that more likely start to hit in a year or two?”
    _____________________
    In Sunday’s poll, of those working in the public sector, 30% were Cons and 10% LDs. Significant numbers for Osborne and Alexander to upset, in other words.

  43. RiN

    “Well I’m going to stick my neck out and say that it will have no effect on polling”

    I agree in terms of the underlying 3-5% (YG) Labour lead.

    To use a phrase Ken will like- all this economic disaster chaos and U-turning is already “priced in” to the VI polling landscape.

    IMO it won’t change much all the way through till the next election (whenever that is).

    We are in new times- not just the first non national government peacetime coalition for 90 years, but the most divisive political context since 1980-1982 with a country split largely down the middle whose voter opinion has been setting in stone far earlier in the electoral cycle than we have been accustomed to over recent decades.

  44. RinN
    ‘It’s nice that you are optimistic, but repeat after me….
    There will be no recovery!’

    I need you around to keep my feet on the ground; perhapsyou need me to cheer you up.

    A programme today on radio 5 was very pro the Coalition, as they were small business as opposed to yesterday on the strike when they were pro Labour.

    One of the speakers working in the Tourist industry, was pleased with what the Coalition was doing for tourism, and said things were starting to look up. It will be years possibly, the latter part, of the second Coalition Govt (the one where NC is PM and DC is deputy) before recovery is totally underway, however I believe by 2015 many of us will see signs that things are heading in the right direction.

  45. The polling opinions are interesting.

    When Darling unveiled shocking borrowing and growth news in the 09 Budget, Labour’s polling figures dropped by ~8% over the next 6 weeks or so.

    Osbourne will claim that his problems are external in source. Balls will claim they are a direct consequence of Osbourne’s policies. Which is precisely what the argument was in 09. The Chancellor lost the argument. As one would expect. I can’t recall a time when a Chancellor has ever delivered shockingly bad news without his party taking a big hit in the polls. Darling 10. Lamont 92. Howe 81. Healy 76.

    Why should the public reaction this time be so different?

  46. Darling 09 of course.

  47. Rob

    Well the voters aren’t being given much choice, labour saying we would do the same only less so. But I think ed’s waiting to see if a left turn will pay dividends, he doesn’t want to commit himself too soon. I think politics will get more polarized in the next couple of years, the centre ground is very crowded and folk will want some radical alternatives as things get worse. Of course FPTP has a restraining effect on this

  48. leftylampton

    “When Darling unveiled shocking borrowing and growth news in the 09 Budget, Labour’s polling figures dropped by ~8% over the next 6 weeks or so.”

    Can’t see that happening for both ‘priced in’ reason above: but also that AD’s necessary honesty was the first bad news after a glorious decade.

    The population are punch drunk now after the late Brown period combined with the entirety of the Coalition period- both of which have been unremittingly AWFUL.

    VI closeness reflects the fact that a significant number have made their minds up about this government (and the next GE) ALREADY.

  49. Henry.

    Why are we do frequently exhorted to judge policies by the reaction of small businesses? Do they possess such wonderful analytical abilities.

    As a young graduate working for an engineering firm in early 1989, I had the pleasure of driving 200 miles along the A1 with my then boss as we went to a meeting. Highly successful small businessman. Ex-professor, he’d gone private and built up his company from nothing to 200 employees in 10 years.

    We got to talking economics. I asked him how he thought the company would weather the impending recession. ” There won’t be a recession,” he said. Lawson is a superb Chancellor.”

    By 92 when I left the company, there were fewer than 70 staff there.

  50. LEFTYLAMPTON
    Why should the public reaction this time be so different?
    The difference is the government is newish and the public might be willing to give them a chance

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