The full details of the YouGov/Sunday Times poll are now up here. Topline figures are CON 34%, LAB 43%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 8% – so a nine point lead and pretty much in line with YouGov’s recent polls (the seven point lead some people were tweeting last night comes from hypothetical match ups, of which we’ll come to later).

The regular leaders approval ratings stand at minus 21 for Cameron, minus 29 for Miliband and minus 63 for Clegg, this is Clegg’s worst score so far (although only marginally down from minus 61 last week, which itself was a record low).

As I mentioned, YouGov asked several hypothetical voting intention questions. I should start with the normal caveats about these type of questions – they are quite low information, so while they can give us a steer on whether politicians who are very well known, respondents don’t know what policies those politicians would actually put in place if they were leader, what their priorities would be, how the media would react to them as leader and so on.

If the leaders remain as they are now at the next election (which YouGov ask as a control question) people’s voting intentions would be CON 34, LAB 41, LDEM 9 (when asked this way it consistently shows a slightly smaller Labour lead than usual – probably the effect of mentioning Ed Miliband in the question).

If the Liberal Democrats replaced Nick Clegg with Vince Cable they would increase their vote by a third, taking support from Labour – CON 34(nc), LAB 39%(-2), LDEM 12%(+3). If the Conservatives replaced David Cameron with Boris Johnson they would increase their support by four percentage points, wiping out Labour’s lead – CON 38%(+4), LAB 38%(-3), LDEM 9%(nc). And if you combine both changes and the leaders at the next election were Boris, Ed and Vince, voting intentions become – CON 39%(+5), LAB 35%(-6), LDEM 11%(+2): a Conservative lead. As I said, extremely hypothetical and I expect many people are projecting onto Boris and Vince whatever they would like their ideallised Tory or Lib Dem leader to do.

On the Liberal Democrats and the coalition, with the benefit of hindsight 34% of people think entering the coalition was the right thing for the Liberal Democrats to do, compared to 48% who think it was the wrong decision. A majority (52%) think the decision to go into coalition has turned out to be bad for Britain. Asked what they would like to happen in the future, 30% would prefer to see a Labour/Lib Dem coalition, 26% a minority Conservative government, 19% for the coalition to continue. More interesting are the breakdowns amongst party supporters – slightly more Tory supporters would prefer a minority government (49%) than the present coalition (44%), amongst remaining Lib Dem supporters only 38% support the coalition, 26% would prefer a coalition with Labour, 16% would prefer a minority Conservative government. A hefty majority (63%) of Labour supporters would naturally prefer a Lab-LD coalition.

Turning to Nick Clegg himself, he is seen as indecisive by 66% (decisive 14%), untrustworthy by 58% (trustworthy 24%), weak 75% (strong 11%)… but is still seen as likeable by 42% (dislikeable by 38%). Attitudes to the apology are mixed – while people say it had made Clegg look weaker (by 41% to 21%), they are evenly split on whether they feel more positive or negative about him as a result of it – 16% of people say it has made them more positive about Clegg, 17% more negative. They are also quite evenly split on whether the apology was genuine – 35% think it was, 40% think it was not.

Better results for Clegg are that people do at least think he apologised for the right thing – 47% think his mistake was to make a promise he couldn’t keep, compared to 31% think the bigger mistake was to back the policy. 7% think he needed have apologised for either.

Moving on to policing, 64% would oppose the routine arming of police officers, with only 24% in support. A majority (57%) would support the death penalty for the murder of a police officer. There are also majorities in support of the death penalty for terrorist murders, multiple murders and the murder of a child but people were narrowly opposed to the death penalty for all murders, by 42% to 38%. Apart from a slight increase in support for the death penalty for the murder of a police officer, these are pretty much unchanged since the last time YouGov asked.

The figures from the Survation poll last night have also shown up, topline figures there are CON 29%, LAB 41%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 12%.

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

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  1. @Richard in Norway.
    Haven’t seen you around here for a while. In the meantime, you seem to have grown tired of posting in orange,

  2. If I understand DC’s support for Mitchell it could easily be interpreted as Cameron accuses His own Police security unit of lying.

    Now I am sure He didn’t mean this but it was a fundamentally unwise move.

    Maybe DC didn’t hear Mitchell’s non apology

  3. Cable has been making ‘pleb’ jokes this morning, and I don’t see the Mitchell saga coming to an end any time soon. In particular the Sun for some reason seems to have taken hold of the story and isn’t letting go.

    If it carries on for much longer, it will very quickly turn into a PM judgement issue. DC is developing a history for allowing people to cling on when they should be shown the door pronto (Coulson, Fox, Hunt).

  4. Phil

    Going green was a joke in response to Allen Christie’s jibe, however its difficult to post in Orange when we have messed up so badly, the failure of lords reform was the left hook that knocked me out while the reduction of the top rate of tax to 45% was a blow below the belt

    Looking at the poll questions about the libdems changing leader and the responses from libdems who now say they will vote labour, I think replacing clegg is a no brainer, well its been a no brainer for some time, I might return to Orange when he’s gone.

  5. ROBIN

    @”DC is developing a history for allowing people to cling on when they should be shown the door pronto (Coulson, Fox, Hunt).”


  6. Colin

    You just baiting me like the deep blue tröll you are. We both know that sacking cable would be the immediate end of the coalition that’s why DC hasn’t sacked him much as he would like to

  7. RiN

    Wasn’t thinking of you actually-sorry.

    “Deep -blue” eh . You do seem to have difficulty with colours-but I suppose political colours are in the mind of the beholder, because I never believed you are Orange.

    ……..which brings me back to St. Vince :-)

  8. @Colin

    As you said yesterday, it really is fun watching Hollande beginning to understand how the real world works and what he has to do! I look forward to the two Ed’s getting there but have my doubts about their capacity.

  9. robin

    “If it carries on for much longer, it will very quickly turn into a PM judgement issue.”

    That’s unfair to DC. He has other constraints in picking horses for courses. It’s a “Weakest Link” problem, and he has many weak links, some serviceable for one purpose, but not another, and has at the very least to avoid creating a worse problem.

    MT had a similar challenge albeit on a smaller scale in finding Scottish Office ministers. In the end she had to use an MP whom she had previously said should not be in the Conservative Party.

    All the numbers are smaller in the Scottish Parliament, but a Minister said to me recently that if they had a Manchester United style air crash they could replace the whole present cabinet with others just as competent.

    That thought should keep him his toes.

    I don’t think DC has it so easy.

    Apart from those with conflicts of commercial interest, the fraudsters, the alcoholics, the wife beaters, clients of sex workers, and philanderers, he also has to avoid the lazy and incompetent.

    He isn’t doing very well on the last bit.

  10. TOH

    It is -I am enjoying his journey a lot.

    Re Ed n Ed, their timing is clearly more advantageous than Hollande’s.

    Two years hence , the economic landscape will be different-better one presumes.

    I was trying-with Amber- to imagine how this might play into the GE campaign, and in particular ,Labour’s key economic policy platform.

    As you perhaps saw, Amber thinks that Green Shoots after a recession are a Labour strength, because people trust them to “share the proceeds” ( if I may resurrect such a phrase) , more than Cons.

    I think-and have always thought, that the big economic questions at the next GE will revolve around Government Debt-not the annual Deficit. I don’t think slippage changes this.
    The Deficit will have come down & the trajectory will be clear enough. OK, a balanced budget may be a few years later in prospect than originally planned-but so what?

    On the other hand, the mountainous Deficits left by Labour in it’s last few years, and their aftermaththrough this Parliament will transform Total Debt, which was £ 500bn or so only 4 or 5 years ago , and £1040 BN at the end of last month.

    I can see £375 BN being added to that by end parliament, taking it to over £1400 BN-with another three to five years of ( albeit more modest) deficits to add before peak debt is reached-say £1.5 TN to £1.6 TN….and 80% to 90% of GDP.

    At those levels, Debt interest is really beginning to squeeze out large chunks of Public Spending, and vulnerability to a hike in UK Gilt yields will be frightening.

    Labour cannot attack the level of Debt with any credibility, because their plan was to allow a longer period of deficit funded spending anyway-AD’s last budget forecast Total Debt of £1370bn, at the end of FY 2013/14 !

    So I see the economic argument revolving around credibility in nurturing the growth which has commenced, keeping the deficits falling at a sensible speed & reaching those frightening Peak Debt levels, whilst still retaining the confidence of lenders.

    “Sharing the proceeds” won’t be relevant till the parliament after next.

  11. Colin

    ” Two years hence , the economic landscape will be different-better one presumes.”

    Ever the optimist. The next 15 years are going to be a disappointment to you

  12. Media Alert: Labour lead increases to 16 points as the Conservatives drop below 30 per cent
    Voting intentions poll shows CON 28% (-3), LAB 44% (+1), LD 8% (-1), OTHER 19% (+2)

    Labour increased their lead over the Conservatives this week to 16 points with the Conservatives dropping below the 30 per cent mark for the first time since the last election. The Liberal Democrats also polled poorly with their vote share dropping for the second consecutive week.

    Whilst this could be good news for Labour it is too soon to draw any firm conclusions as all polls are subject to a margin of error.
    It will be interesting to see whether this advantage is maintained in further polls or if it proves to be a momentary blip occurring, unfortunately for Cameron and Clegg, just as the parties enter conference season.

    Notes to editors:
    TNS BMRB interviewed a representative sample of 1,157 people between 19th and 21st September, 2012.
    All interviews were conducted as online self-completion. The data is weighted to match population totals for age, sex, social grade, working status, presence of children, 2010 voting patterns and region.
    Further information is available upon request.

  13. @ COLIN

    The problem for any government is that spending is accelerating far more than any income they get. Inflation in healthcare costs I believe is 8% per annum and I don’t believe any government can increase spending on the NHS in real terms. The £20bn of savings is highly optimistic and the NHS is experiencing real difficulty is implementing any changes. If there is a FLU crisis this Winter, the NHS will struggle to cope.

    I suspect that no government can really control spending, as any real cuts would be met by vigorous opposition. Which party would freeze increases in state pensions, in the same way as civil service pay has been frozen ? Which party would actually reduce spending on the NHS in real terms ?

    The government could save over £5bn a year by restricting tax relief on pension contributions to purely the standard rate of tax. Which party would actually do this ?

    You can run through a long list of things that a government could do spend less or increase the tax revenues they receive. The problem is that by doing so, they would risk not being in government after the next election. So they tend to just tinker around and limit the people that are affected by their policies.

    The government are waiting for growth to return to the EU and elsewhere, in the hope that the UK economy will also benefit. They are not doing anything particular that will make any difference in the near future. So the economy is likely to just flat line for several years to come, as the debt increases.

    Labour believe in the state being a player, helping companies with relevant state incentives, even if this means more debt. The coalition parties are less keen on this, with various intiatives announced that don’t appear to have any money behind them.

    Personally until I see more detailed plans, I can’t see which party is offering the better policies to deliver growth. But my instincts are that goverment needs to work harder with business to get growth going, putting some money into schemes or guarantees where they need to do so.

  14. @Colin

    “Labour cannot attack the level of Debt with any credibility”

    Hmm. Just as the Tories couldn’t attack the deficit with any credibility, as they supported Labour’s spending plans.

  15. @Colin

    I broadly agree with your analysis and certainly the level of debt is going to be truly frightening. Labour have no plan to deal with this so I cannot see them winning the election in 2015 as I am sure economic credibility will be key. The markets currently trust the Coalition and are likely to continue to do so. They would trust a Conservative Government I 2015 even more i suspect.

  16. @R HUCKLE

    Cutting welfare is not going to bring in enough money to pay for the mistakes of the bankers. Setting aside the unfairness of it.
    There cannot be enough money sloshing around in the pockets of the poor.

    The way to make a difference -financially: would be to raise the 40% tax rate to 42-45%. A lot of 40% tax payers are paye so it is easy to collect. I imagine that would bring in a fair amount.

    No one is suggesting this possibly because it might not be terribly popular but it would be a good way to get finances under control.

  17. Ooh, Labour majority 112 on Anthony’s calculator & that’s before the Opinium +15 & this TNS +16.

    ComRes looks rather out of step now. Maybe an ICM will soon be along to keep it company.

  18. @Amber Star

    Polls at this stage of the Parliament of little relevance to the outcome of the next election. Ditto Bye-elections. However if you need them then, then no harm done. Try not to get too down.

  19. Who needs Angus Reid now that there’s a regular TNS-BRMB?

    That said, they do seem pretty volatile suggesting less control for m.o.e. than with YouGov. So not too much cause to get excited just yet, but more evidence that that ComRes was an outlier also.

  20. So a 29% and 28% for Con?


  21. @Nickp – didn’t we also have a 30% yesterday?

    Not too sure about these polling organisations though – they seem to regularly be a bit out of line.

    Elsewhere – tweets abound calling for a public vote on whether Mitchell should remain in post – a Plebiscite!

  22. I share AW’s view that hypothetical leadership polls are a bit dodgy.

    There are two very different contexts to a possible Cable succession, leading to very different outcomes, which none of these polls distinguish between. Taking the extremes of each:

    1. Heseltine without the hair. Cable single-handedly instigates a leadership challenge to Clegg in the next few months. Clegg goes down fighting to the last and is forced out in much visible discomfort, much to the delight of many on the left. Cable pulls the LDs out of coalition and within a few months forces a GE by siding with Labour in a confidence vote (the extra 14 days permitting), saying enough is enough and it’s time for a fresh start.

    2. Clegg after 4 years 9 months in government announces that he has decided to step down in order to give the LDs the chance of a fresh start at the forthcoming GE. Cable wins this managed succession, with little rancour, and the Cons and LDs dissolve the coalition, leaving Cameron to lead a minority government up to the dissolution at 5 years.

    Outcome in electoral terms? First scenario causes a small but significant chunk of LD defectors to Labour to give them a second chance, whilst a few right leaning LDs opt for the Conservatives. Labour and Conservatives move close to level pegging, although the benefit of this is masked by (limited) tactical voting. A hung parliament results.

    Second scenario allows Labour to respond by charges that the change is cosmetic given Cable’s failure to act earlier, a line generally accepted by LD defectors to Labour. Lab lead in the polls is dented but only by a point or two. LD vote falls to low teens with little tactical voting, allowing Cons to pick up some LD seats, including Cable’s, even though Labour secure a small but workable absolute majority.

    The question is, when someone answers hypothetical polling questions on the effect of a Cable leadership, less than midway through a parliament, which of these two scenarios comes closer to what might they have in mind?

  23. “The markets currently trust the Coalition and are likely to continue to do so. They would trust a Conservative Government I 2015 even more i suspect.”

    Darn it – when did we plebs lose our voting rights ?

    Nobody told me that its ‘markets’ that have the power to decide which political party can govern for the next 5 years.


    If you bothered to read my blog the point I was making was that I think economic credability will be key to the next election.

    Nice to see a blog from a free land-owning Roman citizen.

  25. So, as ChrisLane said yesterday, the polls really are tightening – just in a rather stretchy way.

    Thankfully, as Col or TOH [or both] point out it doesn’t matter a bit. Maybe the Tories will even rebound back up to 36% by 2015.

  26. @Paul Croft

    Try not to get so angry when you see comments from other posters who do not share your views. It’s not good for your health.

  27. Anyone think the Mitchell affair has been manufactured to steal the headlines from the Lib Dems conference?

    No I don’t either but it’s fun to speculate :)

  28. @ToH

    (@Paul Croft “Try not to get so angry…”)

    If you’ve got under PC’s skin you’ve succeeded where the best late-night efforts of OldNat have repeatedly failed. I doubt it very much.

  29. RiN

    @”The next 15 years are going to be a disappointment to you”

    They are going to be a disappointment to an awful lot of people.

    Still-look on the bright side-it might be Ed n Vince explaining to us why it is, and why they have no money to throw away.

  30. R Huckle

    Thanks-agree with quite a lot of that.

  31. Mitchell won’t resign.

    Cameron has adopted the nobody quits, we wait it out stance. It means he won’t lose his whip.

    But how much credibility is lost when Hunt appears on our screens? Or it takes ages to sack Fox as the evidence piled up like snow against the Downing Street door?

    I reckon get rid of them quick or hang on for grim death. It’s grim death for Mitchell. There aren’t likely to any more revelations, after all.

  32. TOH

    Thanks-here’s hoping :-)

  33. I’m not sure that Conservative can win the next election on an “economic credibility” platform unless we can see some signs of a recovery.

    2010 was a good one for Lab to lose, and putting both the other major parties into power at a time when being in Government would according to our Merv rule them out of power again for a generation…well.

    We might get to see the unelectable Ed Milliband remain PM for a considerable time to come.

  34. By the way, when was the last time Con got as low as 28% voting intention in a poll by anybody?

  35. Phil.

    I reckon get rid of them quick or hang on for grim death. It’s grim death for Mitchell. There aren’t likely to any more revelations, after all.

    The way the Sun is playing this maybe they have it on tape, just giving Mitchell enough rope.

  36. COUPER2802

    @”raise the 40% tax rate to 42-45%. A lot of 40% tax payers are paye so it is easy to collect. I imagine that would bring in a fair amount.”

    2%=£9.0 bn pa
    5%=£22.5 bn pa

    respectively, 7.5% , and 19% of the Deficit out-turn for FY 2011/12

    (1) Treasury estimate for effect in FY 2013/14

  37. @Nick P

    Your comments bring to mind something about pigs and flying!

  38. TOH

    Actually-NickP’s first sentence concedes the probability of a Conservative win in 2015.

    I am truly gobsmacked.-first Cable saying it will be a hung Parliament, now this :-)

  39. I’ve always said that if the Tories succeed in rebalancing the economy and we see a strong recovery they will not only win, but deserve to win.

    But what’s actually happening is what Ed Balls warned would happen.

  40. ECHR rejects the appeal of Abu Hamza ( and others) .

    He is staring at extradition now.

    A VI boost ???

  41. NICKP

    @”I’ve always said that if the Tories succeed in rebalancing the economy and we see a strong recovery they will not only win, but deserve to win.”

    I don’t remember you saying it-hence my surprise.

    But of course I accept your word-and commend your objective non-partisan view of that prospect.

  42. @NickP;

    The last time that the Conservatives were at 28% was the 24th of July, 2005, in a Populus/Times poll, iirc.

  43. @Colin

    That’s good news!!

  44. TOH

    It is-I imagine TM will be pleased that her patience paid off.

    There may be crowds to wave him off , come the day.

  45. Colin

    “ECHR rejects the appeal of Abu Hamza ( and others) .

    A VI boost?”

    You may be right, but it is sad if a government gains support from a judicial decision for which it is not responsible or a sporting success.

    Would they lose votes if these things went the other way? Is Wimbledon a tennis competition or trial by champions?

    NickP’s comment is what we all want surely so long as we aren’t selling the children of the unemployed to chimney sweeps any more.

  46. Good Evening All.

    Paul Croft. Evening to you, but as you said, it is too early to write off the Tories.

    People are being unfair to Mr Mitchell, I think.

    The Lib Dem Conference is going well.

  47. Ed Miliband’s party records first double-digit advance since Iain Duncan Smith was Tory party leader in 2003 according to tonights icm poll

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