This week’s YouGov results for the Sunday Times are now up here. Voting intention is CON 33%, LAB 43%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 6%. As ever, it is wrong to judge by a single poll, but this one is very much back to the normal holding position. We had a couple of 14 point leads after Labour conference and a couple of 7 points straight after Tory conference, but if other polls this week are like this they have all cancelled each other out and we are back to normal.

The leader approval ratings are minus 24 for Cameron (from minus 20 last week), minus 14 for Miliband (from minus 9 last week) and minus 58 for Clegg. Miliband’s boost from his party conference last week has started to unwind, while Cameron has only a small boost from his own conference – far less than the one Miliband enjoyed.

On economic policy 34% of people said the government should stick to its current course (up from 29% last time YouGov asked), 38% said it should change strategy to concentrate on growth (down from 42%). This is the smallest lead for changing course since back in April.

While Cameron has a slight increase in his ratings and in support for the government’s economic policy, public perceptions of the conference are that it made very little difference – 59% say it made no difference to their views of David Cameron (10% more positive, 12% more negative), 46% say it made no difference to the Conservative’s chances of winning the next election (11% more likely, 13% less likely). Of the three main party leaders Ed Miliband is perceived as having had the most successful conference – 32% think his was the most successful, 22% David Cameron, 3% Nick Clegg.

On the details of the Conservative conference, people think Cameron’s “aspiration nation” is the right vision for Britain by 49% to 27%, and he leads Ed Miliband by 35% to 27% as the leader people would most trust to help Britain to swim rather than sink.

People are evenly split on the principle of cutting an extra £10 billion off the welfare bill (43% support, 43% oppose) but they support the specific ideas floated at the party conference – 51% support stopping housing benefit for most under 25s and 67% support stopping unemployed parents from receiving extra benefits when they have another child. They would, however, have been even more supportive of the mansion tax that George Osborne ruled out – 73% say they are in favour of a new tax on homes worth over £2 million.

Finally in the conference questions, people think that Boris would be a better leader than Cameron by 36% to 34%. Amongst the Conservative party’s own voters Cameron has a large lead – ahead of Boris by 58% by 29%. Looking at the hypothetical voting intention questions, the control question with the current leaders has the parties at CON 33%, LAB 42%, LD 10%. Asking how people would vote if Boris replaced Dave the figures switch to CON 38%, LAB 40%, LDEM 10% – so the figures still suggest Boris would win over more voters than Dave.

60% of people said they think there should be a referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU (although to add the usual caveat, people support a referendum on almost anything you ask them about, given it is the equivalent of asking whether people would like to have a say on something or let politicians do it!). 32% of people say they would vote to remain a member of the EU, 48% say they would vote to leave (pretty typical YouGov’s recent results for this question).

UPDATE: It doesn’t look as though there was an Opinium poll in the Observer today – when they announced the link up they said they would move to fortnightly polls following conference season, so presumably this is the “off-week”. There is, however, a “Vision Critical” poll in the Sunday Express. Vision Critical are the parent company of Angus Reid, so I am assuming this is just a differently branded Angus Reid poll – topline figures there, with changes from the last Angus Reid poll back in August, are CON 31%(+1), LAB 43%(+2), LD 8%(-3), UKIP 8%.

375 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 33, LAB 43, LD 10, UKIP 6”

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  1. “So you are in favour of an EU referendum then? Even if you personally want to stay in, I take it you think we should have one?”

    Eh? What has my opinions on electoral reform got to do with opinions on membership of the EU? They are two completely separate issues.

    If you want to know my views, I am leaning towards an in/out referendum in principle, with me leaning to an in cote if it was help, but my big concern is the practicalities of holding a referendum in the middle of a financial crisis. I don’t accept for one moment that a referendum held in the 70s is a reason not to hold another referendum. But it’s even more stupid to suggest I should have pro-EU and anti-EU referendum views just because I have anti-FPTP views.

    And you want to know what I think should be done with electoral reform next, I think there should be a consultation where everyone is welcomes to give their support for any kind of electoral system, not just two. If there’s support for PR, give us a choice on that. If there’s support for a Two-Round system, give us a choice on that. If support for AV re-appears (unlikely compared to the other options, but that depends how quickly the opposition evaporates when Clegg goes), then yes, give us a second choice on that.

    In the meantime, I will do everything I can to discredit the case used in the last referendum and the people who spouted that rubbish. The sooner we can challenge them on when Australia’s going to scrap AV and how many of the AV elections held since 2011 are unfair (and probably a few of the PCC elections whilst we’re at it, because SV has more in common with AV then FPTP), the sooner we can pile on pressure for a fresh look at electoral reform.

    Ho hum, I will now be offline for a few hours. Happy arguing without me.

  2. Laszlo

    ” Providing that neo-Keynesianism (good old Schumpeter thought Keynes was a monetarist. As to his theory of money, it is perfectly true) is included, I’m in full agreement.”

    As far as I’m concerned the neo-keynesians are as bogus as the neo-classical school but I’m not yet a follower of any particular school, and its unlikely that I ever will be, but I do believe that the power of the markets must be restrained for the greater good and that the issuance of money should be the sole preserve of a public body which is accountable to an elected govt

    BTW did you see my critic of the neo classical labour supply curve on the last thread? I think you have liked it

  3. For those willing an Obama victory, this gives some cause for optimism –

    I’ve no idea whether these things are a bit of pre election flag waving or genuine news, but it’s interesting nonetheless.

    On referenda; I find this an interesting area. Clearly, one problem with them is that they are time specific, so for certain very major changes (joining/leaving the EU, independence etc) you are asking a set of voters to decide on an issue that potentially binds all future voters for decades, possibly centuries. By contrast, electing governments is a repeated process.

    A single vote at a specific moment in time is prone to distortion from events. Lets say (purely for the sake of argument) allegations that Alec Salmond abused children surface a few days before the independence vote. It’s highly likely the SNP would suffer a drop in support, which might mean independence is off the table for decades to come. Is this really a ‘proper’ result?

    Perhaps there is a case for having ‘rolling referenda’ on the big issues, where the vote takes place over 5 years with an annual vote each year. The votes can be weighted so that 20% of the decision is taken each year, giving people the chance to change minds or back their earlier votes.

    In terms of the current issues, Scottish independence is in some ways the easiest vote for people to understand, although even here, there are multiple options for the constitutional arrangements between the nations. Ideally, voters should be able to vote on each one of these, possibly with the final two going forward to a run off.

    Unlike parliament, the mechanics of referenda mean that amendments and multiple choice options cannot be discussed, so it becomes a binary choice, with other people setting the options on your behalf.

    On the UK’s relationship with the EU, the concept of a referendum shows their weaknesses even more. An in/out vote would be fairly useless. Vote in, and our government has lost all chance to renegotiate terms. Vote out, and theoretically the government is bound to disengage.

    What is really needed is a government that can apply pressure, make deals, accept losses in return for gains, and try to shape the EU in the way it thinks the British people want it to be shaped (unless you just want straight out). We then vote them in or out at general elections. A referendum on a specific treaty or policy would make more sense, but the in/out vote is not overly helpful.

    Where am I going with this? I really don’t know.

    Did you know there will only be 100 badgers left in North Somerset by this time next year?

  4. So we finally have firm agreement on the Scotland referendum. Single In/Out Question, wording to be overseen and approved by the Electoral Commission, expected to occur autumn 2014 and must be undertaken before the end of 2014, electorate to be defined by the Scottish parliament meaning 16 year olds may be voting.

    That’s three losses to one win in my book. Salmond wanted the election to take place during another major election, to push up turnout and hopefully get those already voting SNP to also vote for Out. The voter guiding question he wanted to use will certainly not be approved by the Electoral Commission. He also wanted to define a wibbly wobbly third option of Devo Max on the ballot.

    His one win, gaining the ability to allow 16 year olds a vote in the referendum, is based on the premise that young voters want an Out vote. Which isn’t quite certain. Ben Page of Ipsos-Mori pointed out that not only is turnout for under 25s very low, but it’s the 25-34 bracket that most support an Out vote not the younger 18-24 one.

  5. Just found out my wife’s school is closed (polling station) for the Police Commisioner elections in November which I only vaguely knew were goign to happen sometime someday.

    I think for the first time in my life I will not be voting- maybe it is just ignorance on my part but, rather like any of the charities I am a member of, I cannot see, even with a party slate, who would do a good job and even less see what the point of the job is!


    Not to enter a debate on the topic, but

    “Salmond wanted the election to take place during another major election, to push up turnout and hopefully get those already voting SNP to also vote for Out.”

    is simply wrong.

    The SNP made it clear a long time ago that the referendum was planned for Autumn 2014, when there are no elections planned.

    I think you have confused it with the timing of the AV referendum, which was arranged during an election with the intention you outline.

  7. Any polls on Scottish independence?

  8. @shevii

    There will be an electoral information mail out for each region, with statements from each of the candidates. Of course, since this is the first election of candidates to the roll you’ll not have a lot to go on. It’s not that likely you’ll see anyone with relevant executive experience nominated, so unless someone stands out to you, you may as well vote on party lines, and see what happens.

    The most important role of your PCC will be control of the police budget for your region, and hiring and firing of Chief Constables.

    See for some independent, but possibly unreliable information. Candidates can still be nominated till the 19th.

  9. @ SoCal

    Just voted. I think it has major flaws but I finally made up my mind and voted for Prop 34 (against the death penalty).
    Thank you. Please stand firm with yourself & never regret it, no matter what shocking cases may occur; the ones which don’t shock but carry the death penalty anyway more than balance the scales against it: You did the right thing!


    There’s a question on it in this ComRes GB poll

    There are also lots of other questions.

  11. Alec:

    Did you know there are only 100 Scotch people in the North Sea who think it should be situated that far North?

  12. Did you know that scientists have worked out that there are only 100 Tories left north of Kendal?

  13. I won’t be voting in any police elections. What on earth for?

    Stupid idea. Importing stuff from America that nobody wants and nobody asked for.

    I predict turnout at about 10% level.

  14. Biologists have determined that 100 is the average number of functioning brain cells in people who say “there are only 100 ******** left”

  15. But there is only the one OldNat.

  16. NickP

    My brain cell is working well thankyou. :-)

    The Police Commissioner(?) election idea sounds even worse than the SNP experiment in elected Health Boards. I had thought that to be an impossibility!

  17. The idea of lowering the voting age is a rather strange idea by the SNP, there is a surprising low level of 16/17 year old’s in Scotland (90,000) it’s very unlikely all will vote and it seems even more unlikely that all those will vote to leave the union.
    I suppose the SNP would say that 16 your mature enough to vote just because you can get married at 16 and join the army and so on, and no doubt be able to produce some 16/17 teenagers who say they love politics.
    However I would argue that if you want to get married at 16 it shows a lack of judgement , the army doesn’t let 16/17 soldiers anywhere near a combat zone and most 16/17 are really not at all interested in politics and there’s a reason why we don’t let 16/17yr teenagers drive buses,trains and planes. My son is 17 and I would expect him to be a bit of an idealist but he and his mates who are soon to start at uni, all seem to be obsessed by being famous or getting a good job and becoming rich not that there’s anything wrong with that, when I was there age I believe in socialism (boy has that changed) and the establishment was something to be despised .
    My theory is that today’s teenagers are part of x factor generation were being famous is the most important thing, this idea transcends class values or else they feel so disenfranchised they are almost no longer part of society and every establishment figure is the enemy, certainly there seems very little interest in party politics.
    Nor does there seem the same allegiance to party’s as there was when I was young, maybe that’s a lesson for Westminster politic’s if you think 16/17yr teenagers will vote for a particular party they probable won’t and if they do it will be with an x generation slant based on personality rather than ideology.

  18. rommney might be in real trouble if this goes mainstream

    “Oh my, I wonder why this was originally filed under seal?

    This action challenges a market allocation and big-rigging conspiracy that violates Section 1 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. §1. Plaintiffs are former shareholders of certain public companies who sold their shares to the Defendant private equity firms in large leveraged buyouts (“LBOs”) announced between 2003 and 2007 (“the Conspiratorial Era”). Rather than compete, Defendants agreed to work together to allocate deal outcomes and purchase the target companies at artificially-suppressed prices, depriving shareholders of billions of dollars.

    And so it continues, all 221 pages of it, outlining allegations of lawbreaking that include effective bid rigging and conspiracy between the defendant private equity shops, with Bain as one of the named defendants.

    Some of the plaintiffs include public retirement funds, such as the City of Detroit’s Police and Fire Retirement System, along with several individuals.

    The defendant list is long and distinguished, including Bain, Blackstone, Carlyle, Apollo, Goldman, JP Morgan, KKR, and more.”

    i just read this on a blog, of course bain capital was being run by romney at the time of these alleged price rigging was happening, i think

  19. TURK

    “The idea of lowering the voting age is a rather strange idea by the SNP”.

    If so, it’s an equally strange idea of the Lib-Dems and many in Labour (at least here).

    The crucial mistake was obviously made, when women got the vote – or perhaps when working class men did.

    Obviously, the Manx are weirdos – but what else would you expect?

  20. With regards to the Scottish referendum question,seems a victory for Cameron over Salmond.
    One referendum question vs decreasing age of eligibility to vote.
    Cameron has come off the better in the haggling.


    You may well be right.

    Cameron and the Unionists take all the credit for ensuring that the option, which polls showed a majority of Scots favoured, will not be given them.

    We will need to see how those people react to that denial.

  22. RIN – I’m pretty sure that Romney was not running Bain between 2003 and 2007. He took a ‘leave of absence’ in 1999 to work on the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, and while he was still listed on SEC and other official filings as CEO, he left the company in 2002 with a ten year ‘retirement package’.

    However, as a joint holder in many of Bain’s joint ventures, he was profiting personally from many of the things Bain did in that period.

  23. @OLDNAT

    Interesting…But if it was that important,why did the Nats capitulate?Seems odd to accept such a big defeat before the starting gun is fired

  24. NickP

    I had considered not voting and then decided to spoil the ballot but you point out that this might put the turnout up.

    Decisions, decisions. Does a spoiled ballot count towards the turnout? I expect it does.

    I was going to write over, ‘stop trying to create local corrupt despots, you deluded misguided enthusiasts for localism. Look at the USA you idiots!’

    Unfortunately, I think it’s a Lib Dem idea. sigh.


    Doubtless, Salmond capitulated due to Cameron’s superior arguments.

    Scots shouldn’t get to express their constitutional preference, but be forced into a polarised vote.

    Sad that Alex turned out to be such a poor negotiator.

    Cameron will be delighted to have beaten down a politician who was widely reckoned to be a wily strategist.

    I’m happy to concede that Cameron got exactly what he was persuaded to want.

  26. @OLD NAT

    `I’m happy to concede that Cameron got exactly what he was persuaded to want`

    Who knows for sure?Personally I can`t see the benefit of bigging up the Devomax option and then not putting it on the ballot.Perhaps you could enlighten me.


    Alas, I lack Cameron’s political brilliance, so i really can’t help you.

  28. Let’s not start talking about defeat for the nationalists just yet. This is a two year campaign and it’s on “home turf” against disliked Westminster politicians. The SNP may yet pull it off and good luck to them.

  29. @SERGIO

    I din`t mean defeat in the Referendum,just that they din`t get their way with Devomax.
    As anyone visiting a polling site surely knows,a week is a long time let alone two years.

  30. The ITV News Index by Com Res has a lot of questions about public services, government economic policy etc which may be of much more interest than the constitutional future of the UK

    Usefully for most of you, they include a cross break for England – as 86% of the sample, that cross-break is likely to be minimally affected by those whose local services are provided under different systems.

  31. Well I know I shall probably be moderated for saying so but I thought that the
    Absolute splendour and courage of that young man leaping out over the
    Earth was a salutary lesson in how silly and self serving politics can be at times.

  32. Salmond has won the right to have a referendum of the Scots on whether to leave the UK…and the English and Welsh and Northern Irish don’t get a vote.

    That’s what he wanted surely? So if the Scots vote out even narrowly, there’s no asking anybody else what they think.


    Quite right.

    Those in Scotland who wanted something along the Devo Max line, will be devastated by Salmond’s capitulation to Cameron, and will be celebrating Cameron’s insistence that what they want can’t be on offer.

    They’ll blame Salmond.

  34. Just having a vote is a victory for the SNP, it sets a precedent, even if it fails Westminster will not be able to refuse a new vote in 20 or 30 years time. Or who knows maybe sooner

  35. The problem with a vote for “Devo-Max” is that it doesn’t actually mean anything.

    Do you think Scotland should be have some more powers but not fully independent?


    ummm….so does that mean their own currency, army, health service, animal disease control etc etc or just they get to choose their own milk monitor?

  36. @OLDNAT

    I get your drift…Interesting to see if this is how it plays with the Scottish public

  37. Paul Croft,I have been away for a few days so I have not been reading the
    Thread, but I am sorry to see that you are fed up with the site.Over the years
    Many very feisty people have come and gone,Sue Marsh,Eoin Clark and
    Roland Haines,to name but a few.It would be a shame if you left too.We all get
    Moderated.But this would become a totally tedious site if it was nothing but
    Endless statistics,useful though these are.

  38. NICKP

    Exactly. No one who supported that stance got the support of any of the Unionist parties.

    Since none of them delivered anything but aspirations, and failed to endorse any of the specific sets of proposals on the table.

    Within the UK political system, voters are considered unable to consider multiple options (as they are in countries with much cleverer populations), so Cameron’s insistence on a polarised choice was clearly correct.

  39. A in W

    Glad to see you are (hopefully better).

    Belgian local elections.

    Doesn’t sound very exciting but in fact the devolutionist New Flemish Alliance has come out strongly and has won the election in Antwerpen and many other areas. If they do similarly or better in the next GE, Flanders will split from Wallonia. So it could be a pointer to the ‘Scots Question’. It seems to me that demonstrable good governance must be the key to a successful independence campaign so the SNP need to forge a committed love affair with the voting population of Scotland.

  40. My comment has suddenly been flung into moderation. I can’t see any flaws but part was to welcome back Ann in Wales, so I hope this gets through at least!


    The current polling evidence is that more “Devo-Max” supporters would opt for status quo than for independence.

    Whether that continues, now that their option is off the table has always been the critical question.

    None of us know how will they react (and they all won’t react the same way), but it does seem to me that their perceptions of who it was that took that off the table may be influential.

    Hence my delight at Cameron loudly claiming the credit. :-)

  42. Anthony

    This thread has a European flag. I’m assuming that any aspect of European politics is acceptable.

    I don’t intend to initiate any Macbethian discussions, but simply to respond to those who bring such matters up, given today’s news.

    If you wish to limit such discussion – given your policy statement – please advise us.

  43. Howard,thank you for your greeting,amazing that we have not been moderated
    But so far so good!

  44. Old Nat

    Wasn’t it Lord Lucas Tory peer in the House of Lords who put forward a a Private members bill in 2003 to lower the age of voting to 16, I think it got as far as a second reading.

  45. Even more so Salmond is now in win-win.

    Excluding the Devo- Max option enables the ‘No’ campaign to promise devo-max powers in the referendum campaign.

    So if Scotland rejects independence then Salmond can legitimately ask the Labour 2015 government :-) for more powers.

    So it is devo-max or independence the status quo is not really an option any more.

    So I think Cameron has been totally outwitted.

  46. TURK

    It may well have been. There can always be arguments about the best ways to define the franchise.

    As one of those who wasn’t enfranchised until I was 21, I find the arguments against extending it to 16, when “children” become “young people” strangely reminiscent of the arguments against women getting the vote at all.

    In reality, the percentage of people exercising the franchise increases with age. The Manx experience suggests that fewer 16-17 year olds will exercise their franchise than 18-19 year olds, but both will be far lower than the percentage of 65 year olds who choose to vote.

    I have never understood why the percentage of age groups voting should be used to limit the franchise. On that basis, all you young folk can be disenfranchised, and just leave decisions to your elders. :-)

  47. A few tweets regarding Ed Miliband’s call for an independent inquiry into Jimmy Saville on tonight’s ITV Agenda

    lucy manning [email protected]

    Ed Miliband tells @tombradby on #itvagenda I don’t think BBC can lead it’s own inquiry. Wants independent inq into Savile/BBC/NHS. ITV 2235

    Andrew Neil [email protected]

    Do politicians do anything these days other than call for inquiries!?

    Andrew McCullough @AndyMuckaluck

    @afneil…. “MPs launch inquiry into outrageous Twitter outburst from Andrew Neil”

    Dan Hodges [email protected]

    I think it’s time for an independent inquiry into the number of independent inquiries Ed Miliband has called for…

    Kevin Maguire [email protected]_Maguire

    Ed Mili jumping on the bandwagon in calling for independent inquiry into BBC and Savile? Oddly silent for weeks

    Patrick Wintour [email protected]

    RT @KingofSW6: @patrickwintour FFS, if Mrs Milliband lost her keys, MilliE wld demand a full + independent enquiry.

    House Of Twits [email protected]

    RT @LewisCPS You can tell Westminster’s started back up again; Ed Miliband is calling for another inquiry.

    Robert Hutton [email protected]

    I can find 8 Labour calls for independent inquiries: school buildings; Leveson; borders; lobbying; banks; GCSEs; West Coast; Jim’ll Fix It
    Retweeted by Patrick Wintour

  48. Also Devo-max would split the ‘more powers’ vote.

    In which case the status quo would remain.

    Whereas the devo-max folk will now have to decide between No and Yes. So Yes will get a bigger % than with devo-max on the table.

    Salmond knows the situation and the polls. Getting devo-max off the table gives Salmond a betterchance of of a Yes vote.

    I know Salmond suggested devo max and Cameron ‘won’ but I have a feeling it was “Devo-Max” said the spider to the fly.

  49. NickP
    “I won’t be voting in any police elections. What on earth for?”
    I’m voting to keep out the Tories and make sure that my local police force isn’t privatised.
    ..or at least hope that Labour keeps it’s promise of not privatising it.
    That seems good enough for me.

    The ComRes poll is actually quite interesting – nice to see some actual polling, even if you’re the only one talking about it.

    “The way the Government is going about cutting public spending is fair”
    Agree – 31%
    Disagree – 53%

    “The Government is cutting public spending too much and too quickly”
    Agree – 54%
    Disagree – 30%

    “Things in this country are generally heading in the right direction”
    Agree – 27%
    Disagree – 53%

    “The UK is on course for another wave of recession”
    Agree – 56%
    Disagree – 18%

    Although these are Agree/Disagree questions and thus have some level of dubiousness to them, it does show that the public are buying in to the Labour narrative when the questions are correctly framed.

    This is also interesting:
    “Only Scottish citizens should get to vote in a referendum for Scottish independence”
    Agree – 43%, Disagree – 36%
    “Everyone in the UK should get to vote in a referendum for Scottish independence”
    Agree – 41%, Disagree – 37%

    It’s not completely clear if this is just down to the framing of the question or is purely the acquiescence bias at work, but it shows how if you just change the framing of the question how you can get different results.

  50. The real problems with Devo Max is that it is a matter for the UK as a whole, not just Scottish residents. To take just one problem, Scotland could conceivably vote for a level of devolution that would destabilise the UK economy (e.g. full fiscal powers within a Euro-style Sterling currency union – we’ve all seen how that can fall apart).

    Independence is another matter, for Scotland has a right to leave the UK if it doesn’t like the terms of the union. But the level of devolution is a matter for all of us to decide.

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