Tonight’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 36%, LAB 41%, LDEM 11%. A five point Labour lead is larger than we’ve seen of late from YouGov (the last time they showed a lead that large was early February which, in hindsight, looked like a blip). Normal caveats apply: sure, it could be a sign of Labour’s lead growing beyond the point or two that YouGov have been averaging at of late, alternatively it could just be normal sample error.

There was also a Harris poll in the Metro this morning with some extremely odd figures. In the newspaper they are quoted as CON 32%, LAB 23%, LDEM 12%. There is no indication if the balance is others, don’t knows, won’t votes or whatever. I think I’ll come back to this one when the tables appear on Harris’s website.

UPDATE: The tabs for the Harris poll are here. The rather bonkers voting intention figures were, in fact, not really voting intention figures at all, but answers to a question on what party people were “most inclined to support” (the low percentages were, as many people guessed, because it included 19% who said “No party”).

121 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – CON 36%, LAB 41%, LDEM 11%”

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  1. Good positive interview with Andrew Lansley on BBC during his visit to Hampstead NHS Trust hospital tonight, no sign of the mob, just a welcoming handshake and a nice smile from a patient………….proper reporting, without intimidation from the usual suspects, comforting. :-)

  2. @ Smukesh

    I understand that with tax cuts,some of the advantages of outsourcing can be neutralised but the wage bills are so considerably different in the developing world that I find it difficult to see this working at the present time
    This is inaccurate, ‘received wisdom’. Manufacturing which requires moderate to high level skills has always been more expensive in ‘developing’ countries.

    Manufacturing is beginning to move West again. Slowly but surely; why? Because the initial incentives & tax breaks which ‘lured’ manufacturing East are being withdrawn. Many who rushed East are now finding the total cost of doing business in ‘developing’ countries to be unsustainable in the medium to longterm.

    Again, why? Because the whole point of ‘luring’ the businesses to the ‘developing’ countries was to get funds for infrastructure (power, water, waste disposal, roads, mail, communications, social housing), education, public health, pensions etc… much of which we already have in the West. Now that corporations are being expected to fund this, either directly or via taxes, ‘developing’ countries look a lot less attractive.

    Another major reason for the dash to the East was the willingness of banks to finance the corporate side of the investment. Now, not so much…

    But the biggest draw for the corporations was the idea of billions of new customers. Except there are relatively few customers for consumer goods – because there are no shops & no secure delivery services due to the lack of infrastructure! And that’s aside from the save not spend culture there, which shows little sign of changing anytime soon.

    So, I think we will see the current trend of ‘back to the West’ continuing & growing.

  3. Amber

    Without a detailed risk assessment being conducted, and specific documentary evidence being submitted as to your actual cartwheeling proficiency, I am afraid no guidance can be given as to when it would be safe for you to conduct such an activity.

    Should you wish to conduct said activity in a public place, application forms are available from the City Council.

    Contrary to inflammatory statements in the media, these do not require to be completed in triplicate. They have inherited a photocopier from TIE.

  4. Quite frankly, I am amazed that the general public know enough about the brothers Miliband to answer one question about them, never mind 46 (if Phil wasn’t exaggerating the number of questions for dramatic effect).

    Ed’s doing fine. And, to quote Toby in the Westwing: “They’ll like him when we win.” ;-)

  5. @ Old Nat

    ROFLOL :-)

  6. AMBER STAR…………….Ditch Ed and you will have a chance, imagine how much better you’d be doing if he went back to his old job as a cartoon character. :-)

  7. Amber, I work for a Chiese owned compnay.
    They now have a bigger middle class than the USA and domestic demand in China is growoing ahead of GDP growth so there is a growing market and I know this from my own industry. I guess it is similar in India but I have less knowledge.
    What is certainly happening is that the theory that even as the Chinese middle class grew there would a never ending supply of ‘internal’ migrant labour is being tested.
    Migrants are getting restless as they have less rights and access to local services (health and education) mainly and disturbances (riots) are more frequent.

    Certainly the cost gap has started to narrow but don’t expect a major shift back for a decade or 2 and also Eastern Europe, maybe North Africa, will benefit first.

  8. It is so comforting that the health secretary was welcomed with a smile and a handshake,especially in
    Hampstead of all places.Rather less comforting that he
    has to be guarded by a posse of police elsewhere.But
    hey,some people have no gratitude!

  9. @Jim Jam

    Of course, that’s just manufacturing…

    The idea that the big Financial companies will move to places like China is, less practical. There is a reason HSBC moved from Hong Kong to the UK. There is also a reason why they gravitate to the UK, and it’s not our tax and regulations…

    The UK has a geographic location that we share a few hours of daylight with ~90% of the world’s landmasses. So our traders are awake at the right time to trade with *everyone* without having to pay for night-shifts. The UK has a combination of infrastructure, maritime dominance, political stability and liberal government that trumps every other country on the Prime Meridian.

    Hong Kong used to come close, but didn’t share as much day-time with the world’s landmasses as the UK, and lost political stability and liberal government when it was returned to China.

    The idea that Financial companies will move because of a changes to Taxes and Regulations… Well, the ones who are stable and we actually want to keep would lose a lot more by moving than by staying. And of course we don’t *want* to keep the companies who’s profits are solely based on things we don’t want them to keep doing anymore.

  10. ANN MILES……..From an unremittingly negative viewpoint it must be difficult to accept a positive, but sometimes things don’t fit your narrative, that’s life, I know you would prefer a PR disaster for Lansley but that is the, ‘cup half empty’ point of view.
    I’m an optimist, cup half full is my cup of choice, we can’t agree. :-)

  11. Absolutely Jay.

  12. Ken,frankly my dear I could not give a damm.Lansley goes
    around a hospital,how exciting.End of story.

  13. ANN MILES……..My point entirely, now we agree. :-)

  14. @ Jim Jam

    Are you saying China’s middle-class is the same as the US proportionately? as an absolute number of people? in spending power?

    China’s middle-class ‘the same size as the US’ is, I believe, based largely on home ownership stats. The Chinese report the bulk of their social housing as being ‘owned’ by the occupier but in most cases, I believe it is a ‘lifetime occupancy’ type of ownership.

    I’d be fine with being proved wrong about it & would be genuinely interested to read any references or articles which you have on this topic, if you wouldn’t mind listing them.

    Thanks 8-)

  15. Amber, Jay, Jim-Jam

    From my experience of dealing with global market leaders in a number of capital goods sectors, the rush to send manufacturing plants east ended years ago. For any high tech / precision business, the “cheap” option works out at “cheap” in other senses of the word. In such industries quality fetches premium prices; crud does not. Many such companies have brought back the top-end manufacturing, while retaining their Asian plants to make basic / heavy components and/or assembly.

    For consumer goods this is less of an issue, while cost is a key consideration when consumer buyers are very price sensitive. Nonetheless many companies are careful to retain their product development capabilities in their home country.

    We will still see new manufacturing investment going into the region (not just China), but much of that will be to provide goods for local consumption.

    Meanwhile, it is amazing how long it has taken for the public to recognise the non-financial costs of moving production so far from end-markets. Apart from the social costs of unemployment as production is moved, there is also a significant environmental cost as goods and raw materials are transported around the world – sometimes more than once around the globe from mine/field to your living room.

    There is a logic in having manufacturing production closer to the source when heavy raw materials are required – but actually that is seldom true in a global manuafacturing supply chain.

    This is an aspect which could well see a number of industries return west – albeit not necessarily to the same regions as before – when the true total cost of production becomes eveident and people see the sense in making things nearer the consumer.

  16. Amber – you may be right about how being ‘middle class’ is measured but I know that people in middle class jobs earning a quarter of an equivelant western salary have more purchasing power; £10-15k a year goes a long way spent domestically in China.
    Also from memory GDP grew 8% last year but domestic consumption 11-12%; the stagnation in much of the west since the end of 2008 has led to the Chinese Government trying to gently accelerate the rebalancing away from exports to more domestic consumption.

    My industry is paper and packaging and paper mills have re-balanced their efforts towards producing packaging for products being moved internallly as opposed to export.
    Tissue mills are being built to make higher quality bathroom tissue for domestic consumption and newsprint and ‘conveniece’ food packaging producing mills are expanding to meet domestic demand.

    This growth of domestic demand is not rapid but is occurring gradually.

  17. Jim Jam,

    While the Tissue from those new mills will be made in China – the equipment in those mills will have most likely come from Europe (Finland / Germany of Sweden depending on which Mill your company operates).


  18. Paul – our post cross and I agree with all you say.
    I think the big unknown is how many industries will re-establish western capabilities (keeping Asian capacity for Asian consumption if appropriate); how quickly will this occur and which countries will benefit (as you say not necessarily the same regions as before)

    I think I see a rather slow process and the most developed Europeans nations not getting the level of investment proportionate to market size.

  19. Paul – dead right on paper mills machinery which is indicative of why we imo still have focus on high end technical manufacturing.
    The drift back of less technical products will take time

    Northern Italy BTW is very strong in tissue paper machine technology.

  20. @ Jim Jam & Paul H-J

    I wish we could keep up this discussion all night! I used to work for Scapa Group Plc who made, amongst other things, capital equipment for the paper trade. The paper industry left the West decades ago; long before other industries dipped their toes in eastern waters.

    Paul’s comments chime very much with my experience of high end/ high tech manufacturing.

    I am as sure as I can be that significant amounts of manufacturing will return to the US & Europe in the medium term. I feel that’s where the UK government should be focussing its attention. Their current efforts are, well, …current but the future is happening now & the UK will be left behind, if they don’t make determined efforts to put manufacturing first.

  21. The real issue is intelligence. Cameron being pleased that people work for the minimum wage in a supermarket shows he has low opinions of the workforce. I absolutely agree with Cable on this – there has to be more support for manufacturing industry.

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