This week’s YouGov poll for the Sunday Times has topline voting intention figures of CON 34%, LAB 43%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 8%, the fourth YouGov poll in a row showing the Labour lead back down to 10 or below. I am out tonight so won’t be posting on any other polls that appear in the Sunday papers – I’ll do a proper update tomorrow.

45 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 34, LAB 43, LD 9, UKIP 8”

  1. Con creeping up towards 35/36. Lab still comfortably 40+

  2. Howard,

    “…I have not remembered your previous accuracy as a soothsayer.”

    Hehe! I’m better than Nostradamus and Mystic Meg put together.

  3. ME
    very impressed but your grossly undervalued expectation of my own party’s performance is duly noted.

  4. We’ll have to wait until the full tables are published to see just how wrong I was there; I may have been a mere 0.2%out! Although I understand that every 0.1% counts for the Lib Dems at present. :D

  5. Michael
    All right, but do not underestimate the evangelical skill of those one in a thousand prodigal sons (and daughters).

  6. I don’t think that Labours lead will be shown to have reduced within the coming weeks. I expect to see it above 10% for a sustained period.

    I see from tomorrows Observer that one of the leading Tory donors also avoided tax in a similar way to Jimmy Carr. According to another headline Jimmy Carr has called Cameron a four letter word beginning with the letter C. If there is a bit of backlash from left leaning comedians and others who make comment in the media, we could see Cameron ridiculed. This will all feed into a negative attitude towards the Tories, which will be reflected in polling. What you should never to do is heckle a comedian.

  7. Can the coalition last another two years?

    An interesting spread of stories in the Telegraph.

    Laws wants a deeper pemanent cut in public spending. There seems to be no reason why the Tories could not adopt him as a candidate at the next election, or at least offer him a local pact.

    Some are interpreting Nick’s “spy in the camp” for Dave’s EU delegation less as a bid to prevent another 4am veto, and more about securing future employment.

    Meanwhile the Tories are pursuing a “differentiation strategy” aimed at shoring up support… not least in the SE.

  8. yes Conservatives continue to creep away from the dreaded 30% mark. The headlines haven’t been so bad for a while. But – it’s not coming from UKIP. Only a little bit is coming from Labour. They won’t get much from LD’s apart from some orange bookers (can’t be many of them) who want to be a bit blue. They’re probably mopping up a few don’t knows. Better than nothing, but only just.

    I see that Rowan Williams has rubbished the Big Society. honestly I thought that had been forgotten about.

  9. I think the LDs will get 15-16%.
    About 73/74% will be divided between Con and Lab.

    Turnout of about 68%

  10. BB
    I suppose it will depend on the regional breaks as to what dangers Con face in the SE from xenophobic defections to UKIP.

    I thought that generally the danger is minimal given that mostly, the leading challenger is a Lib Dem and he’s lost his support to lefty returnees to Lab.

  11. Looks like someone else has been reading UKPR. This is a perfect summary of what some of us have been saying about full fiscal union for some time;
    h ttp://

    The simple conclusions, which are blindingly obvious to anyone not obsessed with ‘ever closer union’ is that if they insist on moving to full fiscal union we will end up with an unenforceable system with enormous internal political strains. Crisis delayed and enlarged, not solved.

    I was also interested in the reference made to a 1977 EEC report on the role of public finances on further integration, so I looked it up and a scanned copy is available online;

    It’s well worth a read, for several reasons. Firstly, I find it really quite shocking that the discussion of integration was so far advanced even in 1977. The ‘headbangers’ who warned us that Europe was out to subsume nation states really were right.

    Secondly, they are clear that without major and continual redistribution of income via public finance, monetary union would not work – two decades before the Euro attempted to do just that.

    “If only because the Community budget is so relatively very small there is no such mechanism in operation on any significant scale as between member countries, and this is an important reason why in present circumstances monetary union is impractical”.

    The report suggests that a long term fully integrated EEC would have federal expenditure of around 20 – 25% of GDP, but in the earlier stages of federation a budget of at least 5% but up to 10% would be needed to stabilise a single currency – the EU budget is currently around 1% of GDP.

    It’s really interesting how Euro Elites have continued for decades to avoid facing the truth and have actively pursued an economic policy they knew would not work.

    @”Can the coalition last another two years?”
    I think some Conservative ministers are beginning to test the answer to that question, by saying to their coalition “partners”-so what do you think about that then?
    It sure beats saying -ok we’ll change it then.

    The LibDems have nowhere to go but the knackers yard-unless their departed supporters return from under Labour’s consoling arm .
    They won’t do that whilst LibDems are still playing Tr*itor.

    … might they do it if LibDems say-OK-we’ve left-we see the error of our ways-forgive us .
    At least LIbDems might think that could happen -what else is there for them to think ?

  13. @Billy Bob – “Can the coalition last another two years?”

    I actually don’t think the risk comes from the coalition as such. Both sides need it, they know they need it, and they have a system in place, however rickety that might seem at times, in order to deliver it. Essentially there are various valves and venting points to manage the inevitable pressures that build, and to be perfectly honest I think both parties have managed coalition rather well and maturely.

    Where I would be more worried is internally within the two parties themselves. The Lib Dems have a major problem with Laws and Clegg and their supporters. I really can’t see any future for the Lib Dems if the approach suggested by Laws tonight is adopted. Real tories have struggled to get 36%/37% in very benign times, so where would the votes come from for another Tory party tinted orange?

    At some point the lid could well blow and one side or the other will win out. If Cable and the left win, the coalition will still survive, but not beyond the next GE. If Clegg/Laws win, look for an electoral pact, but probably with limited benefits for either party. In both eventualities, Lib Dems are going to struggle, and the internal ructions will be destabilising for the coalition as a whole.

    On the Tory side, the political factions are well known, and not in themselves the problem. I feel the real risk comes from personal ambition (although this is closely linked to faction it must be said).

    I’m still struck by Gove’s intervention on O levels, clearly not sanctioned or agreed by No 10. This seems to have been interpreted as internal Tory politicking, with Gove seemingly making a grab for the right. I rather suspect this is where the government faces risk, with the risk increasing so long as Tories lag in the polls.

    There are various ‘leaders in waiting’ and a generally impatient and nervy Tory party who don’t on the whole like Cameron. Again, I can see an internal party battle, partly based on characters and partly on ideology, again with major ramifications for the wider coalition.

    I think that just assuming the coalition will break up because it’s a coalition is a bit of wishful thinking, but I do think the coalition could effectively fall apart from events from within either or both of the constituent parties.

  14. @R Huckle.

    “A backlash from left-leaning comedians”…

    Tories have been putting up with a constant stream of ordure from that direction for decades. I’m not sure what more they can do…

  15. I suppose it could also be a symptom of a style of government that keeps ministers in post for a long tenure, rather than the spinning turnstiles of recent years.

    Gove probably feels as if he is in charge of education policy. He may be about to be disabused of that notion, but it’s refreshing to depart from the “Prime Minister For Everything and his 20 Apostles” model of government.

  16. @howard

    Thinking about it… maybe the concern is that grassroots support, the type that votes in a leadership election for example, has been getting a bit jumpy. As I mentioned recently the Con leader of Tunbridge Wells Council lost his seat to Ukip, and they narrowly escaped losing another seat in a byelection last week (they are down to only 39 seats, LD 6, Ukip 1, Ind 1).


    LDs will hold out for Lords reform… if 100+ Tory rebels scupper that particular coalition policy, LDs might pluck up the courage to kick boundary changes into touch (and save half a dozen seats into the bargain). Tories will be hoping they can get back to around 36-37% in the opinion polls before that happens.

  17. Neil A – I agree; I have posted before that one of the aspects of DC that I most welcome is his willingness to give ministers their head.
    This will lead to problems on occassions such as with Gove now; and. from time time his judgement of appointments will be an issue (perhaps Hunt).

    Re polls, no change really – Lab 40-45, cons 30-35 with variations coming from others and DKs due to some short term event.

  18. @Alec – “impatient and nervy Tory party”

    The Mail’s tentative endorsement of Gove as (at some point in the future) “a brave leader the Conservative party and the country craves” was no doubt part of the coordinated leak. He already has friends at TheTimes.

    The Telegraph explicitly warned Cameron he would face a leadership election if the AV referendum was sucessful… If he makes any serious miscalculation (over Lords reform for example), they will be the paper to watch.

  19. @Alec
    “I’m still struck by Gove’s intervention on O levels, clearly not sanctioned or agreed by No 10. This seems to have been interpreted as internal Tory politicking, with Gove seemingly making a grab for the right. I rather suspect this is where the government faces risk, with the risk increasing so long as Tories lag in the polls.”

    Mr Gove thinks himself the government’s philosopher king. He thinks that will play well for him when the next leadership election comes along. He thinks he is clever enough to position himself as the principled conservative of the rational right who will stand in contrast to Cameron’s rootless ducking and diving for advantage.

    The path to power is strewn with many noble ambitions. And Mr Gove thinks he has taken advantage from Leveson buying the support of the grateful Murdoch press. Of course first there must be a vacancy at the top. Mr Gove is a thoughtful man and I’m sure he has thought about this…not that Mr Gove thinks himself a conspirator… he’s after all an honourable man…like Brutus whom he so admired at on all levels during his O levels…….

    I agree with those who think the Conservative vote will drift back to the mid thirties….the real question for them is that a good enough place from which to win an outright majority at the next election….

    If it isn’t then like Labour they may need to consider the implications behind the steady regional bifurcation of UK politics. There are virtually no longer any proper national parties just dominant parties within social classes within regions….look to Scotland or even Northern Ireland perhaps unless the party system and party government work better this is really the future…..

    David Milliband gave a thoughtful speech on these subject areas the other day ….

  20. Approval –
    Cameron -18 (+7)
    Miliband -27 (-2)
    So from being exactly neck and neck, Cameron extends the lead to +9 in one week. Must be worrying for Labour.
    Clegg -53 (+2)
    No real change from Clegg’s -50s range.

    In general, do you think rich people who avoid tax legally are acting…
    Reasonably – 36%
    Unreasonably – 60%
    Tory voters – 45% to 54%.

    The best way to reduce tax avoidance is to cut the top rates of tax, so the rich have less incentive to avoid tax –
    Agree – 32%
    Disagree – 52%
    Tory voters – 49 to 44

    Tax avoidance is morally at least as bad as, or worse than, cheating to obtain welfare benefits –
    Agree – 67%
    Disagree – 26%
    Tory voters – 61 to 37

    So tax avoidance could become a PR problem for the Tories, since it seems that the press are going to run with it.
    However, there is a glimmer of hope –

    Would you support or oppose a return to this system, where more academic pupils take Olevels, and everyone else takes less academic qualifications?
    Support – we should return to the old system – 50%
    Oppose – we should not return to the old system – 32%

    Unsurprisingly, support for returning to the old ways increases with age.
    And interestingly, support for GCSEs is still there for 25-39 year olds. So the cut off point seems to be ‘took the GCSEs’ vs ‘took O-levels’.
    A little bit of ‘my exam’s better than your exam’?

    So there is good news in those answers – especially given that the ones who support the change the most are the ones most likely to vote and the group most likely to vote Tory.

    On Doctors –
    54% think that doctors are paid the right amount. 28% believe overpaid. Just 6% believe underpaid.

    Very close, but the public are against raising the pension age for doctors to 68 – by 47% to 42%.
    All age groups oppose the change, except for over 60s.
    IIRC there does seem to be a trend that those who aren’t affected by pension changes (whether public, private or state) are quite supportive of those changes to go ahead.

    The public, unsurprisingly, is against doctors striking 52% to 36% – although IIRC, most people don’t think that doctors should even have the right to strike (along the pattern that anybody in an emergency job shouldn’t).

    Climate change (and change since 2010)
    The world is becoming warmer as a result of human activity – 43 (+4)
    The world is becoming warmer but NOT as a result of human activity – 22 (-5)
    The world is not becoming warmer – 15 (-3)

    Combining the two bottom scores in to ‘global warming deniers’ (those who oppose the theory of global warming) gives – 43 vs 37, when in 2010 it was 39 vs 45.

    And finally on Assange, while the largest group (44) think that he should be sent to Sweden on his rape charges, support for sending him to the US (16) is only equal to those who want all charges dropped (16).

    Support for allowing him access to a foreign embassy is 60% to 24% – which is probably a greater showing of support for the rule of law, rather than what might be considered mob justice.

  21. Good Morning All. Rain here in Bournemouth.
    JIm Jam:
    I agree that DC is doing well in terms of leaving Ministers to develop policy.

    I expect the Conservatives to climb back to high 30’s and Labour to ease back to 40% region.

    Matthew Dancona has written a good article in the Sunday Telegraph on Michael Gove.
    II would also recommend Eamonn Duffy’s article


    Thanks for the tip on D’Ancona on Gove.

    I think he has it on the nail.

    Gove has heeded Hilton’s warning. Everything Gove has done has been at 100mph. He is indeed a “shock & awe” man-a man in a hurry, because there may not be enough time to rescue children from mess you & I were discussing.

    But I don’t think Gove has leadership ambitions-I hope not anyway. He would grate badly on joe public.

    He’s a man to get stuff done in spite of the inertia he is surrounded by.

  23. “Gove has heeded Hilton’s warning. ”

    Ever wondered why Hilton has gone?

    I think politicians should set out to do what they offered when they were elected, not carry out some “shock and awe” commando raid to establish some utopia they failed to mention pre-election.

  24. Incidentally, you won’t get me grovelling to an unelected monarch.

    This headline made me cringe.

  25. ‘Poll: 71% trust Scottish Government’

    Almost four times as many people trust Alex Salmond’s administration to act in Scotland’s best interests than trust David Cameron’s UK Government to do so, according to a survey. Trust in the Scottish Government has increased 10 points over 12 months to stand at 71% in 2011. At the same time, the number of people who said they trusted the UK Government to act in Scotland’s best interests was 18% – compared to 35% in 2007.

    71% v. 18% -> a pretty stunning difference.

  26. I notice there’s some agree/disagree questions in there, despite AW’s usual approval.

  27. NICKP

    @”some utopia”

    A good education isn’t “some utopia”-it’s a child’s future.

    Wonder what old Tone thinks about “Education, education, education” now?

    I always thought that crack of his about the “marks on his back” referred to the teaching fraternity.

  28. NickP

    Pathetic isn’t it!

  29. Hannah – I was holiday this week, so I didn’t write this week’s Sunday Times questions. That said, there are actually occassions when agree/disagree statements are the best way to ask about something (testing arguments that cannot really be unbiased, message testing, some key driver analysis) – so I wouldn’t rant about them in all circumstances, sometimes even I use them!

  30. NICKP

    @”This headline made me cringe.”

    It made me wince.

    The article made me cringe.

  31. @ Billy Bob

    I don’t understand why the LDs are so obsessed with reforming the House of Lords into a second UK elected chamber, as It doesn’t interest the public. By contrast, the reduction in the number of MPs and equalisation of constituency sizes (which is in line with the British sense of fair play) does have broad public support. On a similar theme, a Mori/British Futures poll in January 2012 found that 52% want an English Parliament, because of resentment at MPs representing non-English constituencies voting on matters solely affecting England. The House of Lords chamber could be used for this purpose, as suggested by the leader of another of the major parties, with the House of Commons remaining as a slimmed-down unicameral UK parliament for the present for those matters which it still controlled.


    Returning the favour on that D’Ancona aricle-may I thoroughly recommend John Rentoul on Gove in The Indy :-

    “An A-star for Gove in advanced political positioning”

  33. @DaoDao

    There are a lot of things that “Don’t interest the public”, and they make up almost all of the job of being an MP. “This doesn’t interest the public” and “why are we wasting time on this” are non arguments in a government that has allocated time to “The Network Rail policy on lineside vegetation”. Not an interest to the public, and some will scratch their heads as to why this is taking up space in Westminster Hall, but apparently needed to be discussed by MPs.

  34. I wonder if the problem the Conservative party faces is a rising group of people who want to be leader of the Conservative party, but have no care at all for being Prime Minister. One can earn a great deal over five years by being the leader of the Opposition, and with very little real work…

  35. DaoDao –
    “I don’t understand why the LDs are so obsessed with reforming the House of Lords into a second UK elected chamber, as It doesn’t interest the public.”
    Because they’ve been trying to do so since 1911 (Each time, funnily enough, being blocked by the lords).
    Because while constitutional reform may be boring, it’s influence, directly and indirectly, could be one of the most important things to happen?

    I should note, I’m actually against certain aspects of the reform – the 15 year appointment, the lack of proper second chamber powers – but the idea that a second chamber packed with unelected party loyalists, priests and the aristocracy is better than one elected by the people strikes me as absurd.

  36. The best way to reform the House of Lords is to abolish it. A second elected chamber covering the same jurisdiction is a recipe for conflict, as in the USA. NF’s suggestion, to convert the House of Lords into an elected specifically English Parliament, with the House of Commons dealing solely with UK-wide matters, is far more sensible, has wide public support and is not anti-democratic.

  37. @DaoDao

    Claiming any UKIP policy, or indeed any policy, “Has Wide Support” comes with a “And I assume you have evidence to show that?” around here. And the bar on that is pretty high considering how poor policy polling is…

  38. What are we to make of Rowan Williams latest entry into the political fray? He has described the “Big Society” as “….aspirational waffle designed to conceal a deeply damaging withdrawal of the state from its responsibilities to the most vulnerable.’

    Wow, there’s a zinger of a put-down if there ever was one and I wonder if the former Archbishop of Canterbury, now relieved of the burdens and constraints of high office, feels free at last to say what he really thinks about major social, economic and political issues. If so, what a refreshingly sane, civilised and wise voice may now be added to our political debate.

    Another intriguing thought too. If I was Ed Miliband, I’d be making some very tentative overtures in Williams direction. What an interesting addition he would make to the centre left big tent that Miliband and Cruddas are now attempting to build.

  39. Some positive economic news to put me in the mood for the match-courtesy David Smith’s Economic outlook in the ST today :-

    Squeeze on incomes ( Inflation % minus pay rises % )

    Last September:- 5.2 %+ 1.7% = -3.5%
    Now::- -2.8% + 1.8% = -1.0%

    Retail Sales volumes % change.

    YE May :- +1.9%
    Month of May :- +3.0%

    Home loan Gross advances % change

    May vs last May + 11%
    May vs April + 24%


    Feb/April vs prior three mths :- +166,000 ( biggest three monthly rise since Aug 2010 )

    Private Sector jobs vs Public Sector jobs change .

    Two years to Q1 2012 + 843,000 -420,000
    Q1 2012 +205,000 -39,000

    Come on Ingerlund.


  40. Daodao –
    While I’m sympathetic to the idea of abolishing the house of lords, if we’re going to have a house that is elected to represent constituencies (the fabled ‘local link’), then we need an upper house that represents the nation as a whole.

    It’s a balance of power between national issues and local concerns – in the same way that the two houses of the US are to represent constituency and state concerns – with the president representing the whole nation.

    But any balance of power is a good thing – not only from a conservative perspective but also a libertarian one.

    Not that the new set-up will be a great balance of power – the 15 year appointment could mean that the second chamber is massively out of step with the will of the nation, etc

  41. Interesting, a small recovery possibly for the Cons but it’s unclear who’s expense that is against. Labour look to be solidifying their 40+ VI while the liberals seem to now be stuck in single digits and involved in a constant battle with Ukip.

    If Ukip were to overtake the Lib Dems in terms of being the 3rd party, would that harm the left or the right. Some would say that it splits the right wing vote allowing Labour to exploit that split and steal sits and go onto victory.

    But is there not also merit in the argument that if the right was to gain the 3rd party spot, with 2 parties advocating similar policies, that the right would control the narrative in the UK? Things like the tv debates could be hard and unfair to have 2 right wing members against 2 left wing members.

    Is there an argument maybe for expanding the title of the Main 3 parties, to the main 4 if Ukip were to finally gain Westminster seats? Which raises another question, what is the threshold for being considered a main party? The Libs have little chance of forming a government by themselves and yet are still considered a main party.

    Would the rise of Ukip as a main party mean the UK has taken a lurch to the right, or would Labour’s increasing VI mean it has taken a lurch to the left?

  42. Forgive my error, I meant to say it would be unfair to have 2 right wing members, and not 2 left wing members!

  43. Interesing points on reform. It always strikes me as odd that reform seems to be some ‘catch-all’ thing for the good. When voters want reform they really mean that they want the politicians to tell the truth. When politicians want reform, it generally means they want to stack the deck for the next election.

    I’m more for rebrand, rather than reform. A 21st century House of Lords, with Wi-fi, iPads and text speak. :P

  44. Reform is a single chamber PR Parliament… It works for Scotland.

    I’d prefer STV and about 11 11 member constituencies, but a split Consituency and Top Up List system is still better than a FPTP primary chamber and an appointed secondary one.

    After all 71% of Scots think it delivers a government that works in our interests.



    “After all 71% of Scots think it delivers a government that works in our interests.”

    71% of respondents, you mean. :)