YouGov’s daily poll for the Sun has topline figures tonight of CON 32%, LAB 44%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 7%. A Labour lead of twelve points, again pretty typical of YouGov’s daily polls for the last week or two.

Tonight’s poll also has YouGov’s fortnightly question on who would make the best Prime Minister. David Cameron is on 31%(-1), Ed Miliband 21%(-3), Nick Clegg 5%(+1), Don’t know 43%(+2).

160 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – CON 32, LAB 44, LDEM 9, UKIP 7”

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  1. Just been watching a chunk of Leveson and it’s fascinatingly dull in the level of detail being exposed.

    How this plays in tomorrow’s papers will be interesting, as the early exchanges involving Hunt’s emails and texts prior to taking on the bid really do look quite embarrassing . However, the details over the process itself seem a good deal more solid for Hunt, with the exception that he did seem to be in an unseemly hurry to get the process completed for a June deadline.

    This could be a source of difficulty, as Michel had relayed several times that News Corp wanted this wrapped up by early July, in one email referring to ‘potentially catastrophic’ reasons if things were delayed. The end June/early July period was when phone hacking really broke.

    The implication may be taken by some that Hunt was trying to get things done before this, but was hamstrung by having to follow clear legal advice as a matter of due process. This afternoon will be key, I feel.

  2. Whoops -getting old. Actually, I always regard Vaizey as a bit LD ish (now I’ve remembered who he is). I regard Ken Clarke similarly.

    Wasn’t Ken magnificent at Levenson (at least the sound bytes I heard). Now I think he does have impact. He is a real political heavyweight and plays the crowd magnificently.

    I agree about Newsnight discussion. There was something dreadfully insular about Krugman’s debating colleagues, but I doubt whether the average viewer (Newsnight has average viewers???) would have noticed.

    So no effect on VI from all the foregoing, entertaining though.

  3. Whoops, a spare n in Leveson. I love jewish name derivations, this is Levi’s son of course.

  4. I thought it was “Levenson”. have to learn to read…

  5. Louise Mensch is saying that Hunt has been completely exonerated.

    talk about tying yourself to the mast of a sinking ship

  6. @Nick P

    In fairness, LM doesn’t exactly have the most open of minds on the issue. Nor does Tom Watson.
    However, this issue should about be about private views of Cable/Hunt, but whether their conduct in handling their quasi-judicial functions was proper. It’s possible for both to have acted properly even though they may have had different private views on the matter.

  7. I really can’t stand Louise Mensch. She’s one of a very select people who irk me. I mean, I’ll freely admit I disagree with say, David Cameron, but I can’t say I dislike him. Louise Mensch is just… Well, it made me appreciate Ian Hislop, a rather rare occurrence, when he took her to task on HIGNFY.

  8. In my view one of the aspects of this that is most damaging for Hunt is the contrast between his behaviour and Cable’s. Putting aside the clear error on Cable’s part that cost him the role, Cable displayed an easy to understand approach to maintaining a semblance of distance from NI, to the extent that he turned down invitations to meetings and events thinking that this could be seen as inappropriate.

    Hunt’s approach to this is in stark contrast, to the extent that he kept sending text messages to James M on his personal account after he know he was going to take over the bid, and had unrecorded meetings with NI as well.

    I think the contrast in communication between DCMS and News Corp and DCMS and bid objectors is also stark. It can’t be argued that this was ‘even handed’ as it even extended to telling the objectors that their appointed external advisers wouldn’t be invited to meetings, apparently on the basis that they weren’t (like Michel) actual employees.

    Where the DCMS officials were in all this is interesting, as I imagine there will be many in Whitehall who think the civil service reputation has taken a knock over allowing this whole story to develop in the way that it has.

  9. Well I won’r pretend to be neutral but if I was I would still be fascinated, I think.

    Any more bombshells? Even if that’s it, how will this play out?

    Will hanging on to Hunt do more harm than good?

    Will Cameron seek to defend appointing Hunt as a counterbalance to Cable? Will he just say he trusted him to act fairly and he did?


    Will it affect voting intention? I would have thought it would be negative, but in the end, does the average punter care much?

  10. And not for something completely different…and knda linked to the C drop in VI:

    “45 per cent tax rate ‘will lead to bonus deferrals – Bank HR plans to delay payouts until after April change”

    How very unsurprising.

  11. “not” = “now”;
    “knda” = “kinda”

  12. Neil A,

    ‘I don’t think anyone has really identified a solution to the problem that doesn’t involve, in effect, a Communist revolution in the countries concerned.’

    Well short of the revolution, we could go back to the system as it pertained in the early 80s before successive deregulations shifted the balance of power in bond issuance and purchase away from govt to private markets.

    The markets have power, not because it is an essential part of the workings of the economy, but because it was in the favour of people with enough money to deal in and own govt bonds. The benefits of bond issuance have shifted : govts now effectively pay rent to private markets; there is no real risk in these markets any more.

  13. Interesting that Hunt is using the defence that he was being held to account by Ed Miliband and Labour throughout the whole process.

  14. @NickP

    Looked it up just for you, definitely no n. Etymology is my life, if bastardisation of names is under that label. Remember Senator Musky?

    We are all devastated here by the news that Runty did not make it. The voyeuristic side of SpringWatch is uncomfortable. Ah, but you all watching the slick lawyers. .

  15. “Etymology is my life”.

    On your tombstone it will be past tense.

  16. “Etymology is my life”.

    We only have your word for that!


  17. Great News on the charity U-Turn!

    I am now off to donate a huge static pasty?


  18. Doesn’t look to be going too well for Hunt in terms of reactions in the press. Kirkup in the Telegraph now suggests that Hunt’s role now is reduced to ‘taking bullets for Cameron’, and others are suggesting his performance is poor.

    One of the stand out issues I suspect will turn out to be the private texts he sent to James Murdoch while he was adjudicating the bid. When operating in a quasi judicial role it’s very difficult to see how sending personal texts to key players on one side, while completely ignoring requests for meetings with the opposing side, can in any way be construed as appropriate.

    I don’t think there would be any real doubt that these actions, if they became public knowledge, would have led to legal action by opponents of the deal had it been approved, and as this was reportedly the reason for dispensing with Cable in the process, it raises some serious questions about the conduct of government.

    The Tory section of the government’s habit of using private channels of communication for government business may also help explain why certain things have been allowed to happen.

    Poor governance seems to be the theme here.

  19. Good article in Guardian, by Micahel Meacher:

    “How to kickstart the UK economy – at zero cost to 99% of us

    By imposing a capital gains tax charge at 28% on the seriously rich 0.003% we could create 1.5m jobs over the next two years”

  20. Jay asks if Hunt offered to resign.

    Hunt says “I did think about my own position” but he maintains he “it wouldn’t be appropriate for me to go but there was no other choice but to accept with a heavy heart Adam’s resignation”.

    Skinner was right.

  21. :-)
    I love etymology (love – Old English)

    I told you about fokker didn’t I?

  22. I’d say this is probably quite a good result for everyone from the Leveson enquiry. Tories are clearly arguing that Hunt is fine as he did nothing materially wrong, and will be relieved that no killer blows came out today. Labour will equally be happy that there is clear evidence of a chuminess between Hunt and News Corp that enables them to keep the whole affair boiling nicely.

    Cameron has felt able to deny a ministerial code investigation, meaning Labour can keep pressure points on there, but Tories will feel Cameron remains protected.

  23. I’m sure Vince Cable is none too happy with the line that Hunt was capable of a strictly independent judgement despite his personal bias towards NI. The implications can’t be making Vince happy.,

  24. Meant to mention – I suspect Cameron might have jumped the gun, and when tomorrow’s papers hit the doormat he might be looking for a way to dampen things down. A referral to an independent adviser might have been the way to do that, if Hunt hasn’t done anything wrong.

  25. MikeMS

    I think the difference between Cable and Hunt was that Cable claimed he would act partially to the decision based on his desire to claim “war on Murdoch”

    If Hunt had ever been caught saying “I’m going to push this through regardless of the independent advice I receive” or even been perceived to have being pushing it through and ignoring independent advice, then he would be in serious trouble. Neither of those situations has happened.

    Once Cable had made those claims, going back and saying “Oh I was just trying to impress a couple of young girls, of course I wouldn’t REALLY have applied my personal bias” would lack credibility, Cable won’t be THAT upset at the result of being caught saying stuff to people he wished he hadn’t said. Again.

  26. From BBC website:
    Breaking News

    From Downing Street: “The PM believes that Jeremy Hunt acted properly when he was responsible for the bid and will not be referring his case to the adviser on the ministerial code.”

    Very brave Prime Minister…

  27. IMO/CREDO:

    Hunt has done enough to save himself.

    But I think the news coverage will damage the Conservatives and allies

  28. @Alan (5.29)

    Alan, you make it sound very simple.

    However if you had heard VC yesterday you would be aware that imediately before the meeting with the two reporters there had been a demonstration outside his office, serious enough to require police presence to avoid a break-in into his office. He had also been advised by colleagues that they had been approached by NI persons with an implicit threat that the LDs would be “done in” if Cable made the wrong decision.

    Under these circumstances it is not surprising he made the outburst he did and imo it would not have affected his ability to act impartially on an overall basis although no doubt he would have included this action by NI persons in his overall judgement whether News Corp were right and proper persons to own Sky

    In conclusion, I would trust VC any day over JH.

  29. I think everyone knows Cable has a personal bias against Murdoch and Hunt as a personal bias towards Murdoch. There are two differences:

    Firstly, there’s evidence that Jeremy Hunt was indirectly advising as an advisor to Murdoch whilst we has supposed to be judging his bid. The only defence is that is was done indirectly through a special advisor, and there’s enough doubt over whether Hunt himself was involved to save his bacon, for now.

    The second difference is more of a political one. I don’t think anyone’s that bothered about politicians have a bias against Murdoch. Having a bias towards Murdoch goes down a lot less well with the public, after Murdoch’s involvement in phone hacking, undue political control, kitten drowning and buying Westlife albums (no evidence to support the last two yet but he definitely did those things).

  30. Was there any evidence that Cameron would have accepted that Hunt would have waved the bid through if phone hacking hadn’t intervened?

    I wonder if Leveson has any thoughts?

  31. I have a feeling there WILL be a high profile resignation soon.

    My money is on Sir Alex Allan KCB.

  32. Anyone any good at hacking Gmail accounts? By his own admission, there should be all sorts of top secret stuff in Hunt’s personal account. :-)

    Rather answers Hunt’s own question about “how did it come to this?”. The answer is that civil servants were unaware of half of what was going on (because emails and texts were bypassing civil servants), and so were unable to advise against.

  33. Watched every minute of it-legs now inoperable.

    I thought it was weird how, after a whole day in which Hunt was basically given an interrogation of his personal conduct, right at the end Leveson & Jay switch to asking what ideas he has for regulating the Press.-a strange change of gear.

    All our comments on this will be biased I guess.

    My observation is that Lord Leveson’s interventions are the things to examine.

    In this case they were supportive of Hunt. The main one for me followed Hunt’s nth time of saying that he put a “double lock” of OFCOM/CC examination on NI’s proposed mitigation measures to address plurality concerns. ( neither had been necessary legally).

    Leveson intervened with the observation that it amounted to a “triple” lock-the original referal to OFCOM under the Enterprise Act , and the subsequent referalls to test the Murdoch UILs.

    Leveson also offered a thought to Hunt as to why Smith had been so willing to receive & try to respond to the barrage of stuff from Michel. The judge suggested that pre-existing contact in opposition & a more friendly situation will have carried over to the post referal phase & compromised the young man’s ability to just say “sod off”.

    Hunt accepted this at the end , when he showed considerable contrition about Smith’s leaving.

    He should be contrite about it-not to have known what Smith was dealing with was poor management of his SPAD.


    @”n conclusion, I would trust VC any day over JH.”

    funny how opinions can differ isn’t it ? :-)

  35. UILs ???

    Us IL I suppose-more accurately ??

  36. I presume if this is going to hit voting intention we won’t know till next Wednesday?

  37. AW -it would be really interesting to have OP questions about whether people think these “U-turns” are “good” or “bad”.

    Any chance ?

  38. Robin

    Anything classified as Top Secret should not be on the internet in any form, be it in an official email account or a personal one.

    They should be left on trains by incompetent civil servants.

  39. Peter Bell

    The important term in your argument is “imo”. If VC was willing to state he was going to act impartially, regardless of whether it was due to personal preference of external influence, I feel there is a risk he might well have acted in accordance with what he stated.

    On balance I’d say he probably wouldn’t have acted as unfairly as he claimed he would, although with enough doubt to make replacing him inevitable.

    As soon as he took the helm JH said he would seek independent advice at every step to ensure his personal bias didn’t impact his decision and acted as he said he would.

    I think you’d struggle to find anyone in the country capable of making the decision who didn’t know who Newscorp, Rupert Murdoch or Sky were and had opinions about them. Whether positive or negative whoever you choose should be capable of putting those biases aside, instead of trying to find someone entirely ignorant of the case.

  40. NICKP

    @”Hunt would have waved the bid through if phone hacking hadn’t intervened?”

    As I recall his evidence today:-

    He took advice on whether hacking revelations should be taken into account & was told not.

    When RM closed NoW , he said that he was concerned that the “trust” required to accept the BskyB bid UILs ( already referred back to OFCOM by Hunt) was compromised ( management without a grip on things ) .

    So he asked for advice on accepting the UILs , and whether “fit & proper” tests were needed.

  41. Colin,
    Good Evening.
    I think all of us can agree the politicians of all sides were too close to the Media Men. As were the police, allegedly.

    On Hunt.
    I believe he withdrew TV cricket from the protected list.
    A great damage was done to the game by this, I tink

  42. Nothing surprises me anymore

  43. Not a good day for the LibDems either. For years they’ve been on about how rich people avoid tax and how they would do something about it. Then up pops Oakeshott in his patronising way to shoot the party down in flames.Might have been better if he hadn’t mentioned Oxfam who is to charity what Tesco is to shopping.
    By the way Michael Meacher is a lot richer than he pretends as anyone who remembers the court case he was involved in knows.
    Tom Bradby of ITV had Hunt bang to rights – it was Mike Gatting v Shane Warne all over again.

    @”On Hunt.
    I believe he withdrew TV cricket from the protected list.

    No-don’t think so:-

  45. Which bit of my comment got me moderated? Was it the bit about Newsnight or the bit about Hunt?

  46. “The head of Labour’s policy review has said he fully supports calls for a referendum on the the EU.

    Jon Cruddas tweeted his support this afternoon, and has signed the People’s Pledge campaign for an in/out referendum of the EU.”

    politics home.

    Lefties no longer love “Europe” ?

    or is there some other reason-I feel sure it must be one of deep principle.


  47. I was amused by Nick Robinson today on Hunt. Whether it’s because Hunt is a good source for him from inside the Cabinet, I don’t know, but he seems very keen for him to survive. I formed this impression from the day that Smith’s e.mails and texts to Michel first became public knowledge when he launched a stern defence of Hunt’s behaviour. This involved a fairly hilarious disagreement with Robert Peston on the BBC News evening bulletin. The dynamic between Peston and Robinson whenever they are juxtaposed is fascinating to observe. I have a feeling that they can’t abide each other!

    Back to Robinson today. He seems determined to let everyone know that Hunt, when the scandal first broke, was apparently minded to resign rather than have his loyal Spad fall on his sword instead. Of course, as it turned out, he didn’t, and the consensus up to now seems to have been that he was more than keen for Smith to take the vicarious flak on his behalf. In fact, it would appear that he gave Smith a bit of an offer he couldn’t refuse and nudged him on his way so, it’s a little odd now for Robinson to push the line that Hunt, the decent sort that he obviously is, really wanted to go himself in order to save Smith.

    I sense a bit of retrospective spin doctoring but it’s odd to find it coming from the BBC’s Senior Political Editor. A rum affair indeed.

  48. The doctors’ strike is symptomatic. The implementation of the government’s most important policies lies in the hands of people who don’t have confidence in those policies, who expect to see them fail. Recipe for disaster.

  49. Nothing very surprising today,because knowing what he was going to be asked
    Must be a great help.however there is perhaps a growing feeling of incompetence linked to the number of u turns.i feel that perhaps Cameron was
    Too quick to rush to the defence of jh today,surely better to wait for tomorrows
    Headlines and the poll results.

  50. @Colin – “Lefties no longer love Europe?”

    More likely a signal that Labour will be distinctly pro-EU-engagement in the event of a future EU treaty related referendum… compared to the Conservative party, whose disarray on these matters will be making certain sections of the business community (and potential backers) rather nervous.

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