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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    It also shows the silliness of some questions. there is no such category (yet :-) ) of “Scottish citizens”. “Scottish residents” would have been better, though still inaccurate.

  2. Katie,but presumably if he had said nothing that would have been wrong as well.LOL.

  3. @ED W

    Yes the role of the rUK – vis-avis Devo- Max would provoke distracting debate.

    So this to me looks very good for Salmond.

    I am Scottish and always vote Labour but I am not sure regarding this vote. I might vote Yes as I think Scotland aspires to different things than England i.e Free Education etc. And since Thatcher we have been growing apart.

  4. @Ann in Wales

    Apart from the disgust I feel for the way Jimmy Savile got away with the abuse for so long, I haven’t got an opinion on what form an inquiry will take, I just thought the tweets were amusing and thought others also might do.

  5. ED W

    I agree. Those who wished a polarised debate want it to be a simplistic In/Out.

    From the polling, the reality, for a majority of Scots, appears to be In (but on what terms?) / Out.

    If our partners in the UK were unwilling to accept the terms that the Scots wanted (and they are wholly entitled so to do) then that would affect the debate in Scotland.

    There was the possibility of a rational debate on reconstructing the UK in a way that could satisfy the majority in each of its component parts.

    Cameron has finally slammed the door on such a debate. It might work to his advantage – only time will tell. However, genuine democracy has suffered.

    To the credit of the UK, their willingness to accept what Scots eventually decide on independence, is a hugely superior position to the somewhat Falangist position being taken by the Spanish government.

  6. Grant Shapps claims the Tories are in a better position now than mid-term in the 1980s. Would be interesting to know the truth.

  7. Labour calls for probe into broadcasting organisation that Labour needs to stay impartial for Labour to win the next election.

    Labour didn’t think that thru, did it…

    Regards, Martyn

  8. @OLDNAT

    Is it not better for the Nationalist who want independence just to have a yes/no vote? I would have thought that devo-max would be a big distraction not to mention split the vote?


  9. COUPER2802

    I’m always torn on this.

    On one hand, I’m an independista and think Scotland would be better off independent.

    On the other hand, I’m a democrat who thinks that constitutional structures should be what the people want – even if I’m in the minority.

  10. @OldNat

    “Falangist position taken by the Spanish government”

    Hmm…I presume you mean with regard to Catalunya (although I suppose you could mean Pais Vasco /Euskadi). Look, both of these autonomous regions already have DevoMax. So, I think the “falangist” allegation is a bit lazy.

  11. Looking ahead to an Independent Scotland in 2014, here’s the layout of Westminster afterwards:

    (Also bear in mind that 18 (3% of the house) of the 239 opposition seats are Northern Irish, but are included for simple calcs).

    So Cameron would lead a coalition with an OM of 113 (up from 78). Quickly following the changes to the house, the Conservatives with a house majority of 21 push through the BC changes.

    The combination of both leaves the Conservatives with a majority of 46 if the 2010 voting intention is repeated, and as the campaign starts, Cameron announces that he will give the people of rUK a referendum on the EU if elected.

    UKIP support falls away and the Conservatives are elected with a majority of over 100, paving the way for a repeat in 2020 as the economy recovers.


    Or in reality, Cameron fights to keep the UK together, and sticks to repairing the economy, and can’t grant a straight EU referendum.

    So in 2015, after doing what’s right by the union, the economy and looking to strengthen economic ties and increase trade with Europe, the Conservatives are back in opposition.

    It’s strange how the right things will get the man kicked into retirement, while all the ‘wrong’ things will possibly give him 10 years as leader.

    What think you (avid reader) of the charts by the way? They look ok?

  12. Can someone poll the North of England to see if they want to join an independant Scotland, it would make a change to be a southerner, you could have our shale gas before Osborne gets his hands on it!

  13. RAF

    Anything but lazy. In both Spain and the UK (as in other states) there are variant levels of devolution.

    What is positive about the UK, is that they have agreed that the Scots can decide to be independent.

    The denial of the human right to self-determination that is shown by the Spanish Government “indivisible Spain” is wholly reprehensible. The threat of military interference by Spain seems to be entirely Falangist.

  14. @Statgeek

    …and if Salmond loses the referendum Labour may hit Salmond when he’s down and ncrease it’s vote and seat share in the Westminster elections in 2015.

  15. GREG

    I haven’t seen polling on that particular issue, but the study conducted by the BBC in NE England makes interesting reading.

    (Referred to from “Financial fog on the Tyne” onwards).

  16. Katie,sorry if I sounded dismissive,yes they are amusing I agree.

  17. @OldNat

    But you have to realise that Spain has only been a country for 500 years. And that Spain’s constitutional settlement has created 17 “mini” Spains in the autonomous communities. If Catalunya falls, Pais Vasco may go, then the islands (Canaries, Balearics).

    You may also ask yourself why of Calalunya is such an independent area, it uses the flag of the Kingdom of Aragon – a Kingdom that included Aragon, Catalunya and Valencia. It’s a much more complicated issue than you may think.

    Finally, I don’t believe the military option would ever happen. No government can hold back a genuinely popular tide. Thr reason why Catalunya is not currently independent is that, ultimately, the people of Catalunya do not believe enough in the independence rhetoric of their leaders.

  18. RAF

    1714 wasn’t 500 years ago. Sorry to have to correct your arithmetic.

  19. RAF

    And if you are correct about ” the people of Catalunya do not believe enough in the independence rhetoric of their leaders.” then there is no reason for the Spanish to be as democratic as the UK Government.

  20. “not to be”

  21. There’s been a bit of discussion in this thread about 16-year-olds getting the vote, especially regarding the Scottish referendum.

    As most posts seem to be off-topic, how about this –

    Is there a case for voters to pass some sort of knowledge test before being allowed to vote? After all, you have to pass a test to drive a car, so why not a simple test before you can decide the government of your country? It could be done quite easily by having a single simple question on the ballot paper on the level of ‘Who is the Prime Minister’, randomly selected from a small list which would be published in advance. Your vote would only count if you got your question right.

  22. PETE B

    I’m reminded of the literacy test that used to be applied in a number of Southern US states.

    In one, a black voter turned up to be given a Russian language newspaper and asked if he could read it. “Yes”, he replied, “It says there’ll be no n***ers voting here today”.

  23. Oldnat

    Very good!

  24. @OldNat

    It is you whose arithmetic needs correcting :) I was referring to the founding of Spain – the union of Castilla and Aragon through the marroage of Isabel and Fernando II in 1469.

    Catalan independence dates from 11 September 1714.

  25. RAF

    An odd definition of “independence” that defines it as being defeated militarily and then incorporated into a different state.

    However, that you consider that peoples are just commodities to be traded in dynastic marriages may illuminate your views on democracy.

  26. @ Martyn

    Labour calls for probe into broadcasting organisation that Labour needs to stay impartial for Labour to win the next election.

    Labour didn’t think that thru, did it…
    Au contraire – Labour will likely be asking for an independent inquiry because that is what the BBC want to happen.

    Ed M rarely does anything without thinking it through – usually in triplicate – which is why he doesn’t rate highly for decisiveness: Journalists can’t get a newsworthy knee-jerk reaction out of him for love nor money. ;-).

  27. Amber

    Political parties are seldom unwilling to do things for money, while disdaining love.

    That is the neo-liberal agenda which has been so successful.

  28. @StatGeek

    3-dimensional piecharts are against the United Nations[1] and make Jesus cry.[2] Please don’t.

    Regards, Martyn

    [1]: yes, really:
    [2]: possibly

  29. @OldNat

    Having a few problems with cutting and pasting on the phone tonight.

    Look, I don’t and never generally will object to peoples who want independence, and vote for independence, getting independence. My family for example were involved in independance struggles. No one can hold back an independence tide.

    I am merely pointing out that the Catalan issue specifically is a very.complex one – far more complex that the Scotland issue. In Spaim, most autonomous regions have a very large degree of autonomy. And the consequences of sucession of one could lead to the succession of about 4 of 5 others. That simply isn’t the case on the UK. At least not for many,years. Scotland already has many independent strctures that, for example, Wales does not have.

  30. @OldNat

    I’m grading you an F on history. See me after class, you really need to pay attention.

  31. Ed W
    tell that to the Scots! It’s that sort of view that Salmon fervently hopes will be repeated over the next years.

  32. RAF

    Sympathy with the phone problem!

    Spain, like the UK, has asymmetric devolution.

    How state governments respond to aspirations of sub-state nationalities is a measure of their democratic credentials. The UK comes out ahead of Spain.

    That was the point was making, and I would be surprised if you thought anything contrary.

  33. @Amber

    Although I’m not sure it’ll have the effect Miliband wants, I’m happy to accept your assurance.

    @Pete B

    No. Stupid people are citizens and have just as much right to vote as smart people. Assuming they have legal capacity to run their own affairs, then those affairs will be affected by law and they have the right to express a preference on which people make those laws

    Regards, Martyn

  34. When the Independence debate really starts up then we will see a positive case for the Yes camp from the SNP and Greens and a positive case from the Tories and Lib/Dems for the Better Together camp while Labour will be campaigning on a decrepit negative campaign of self interests.

    I take my hat off to Cameron on the way he has conducted himself on the independence issue and makes Scottish Labour look rather outdated and ragtag!!


    Ah! You work for an English GSE Board?

  36. @OldNat

    I think we’re going round in circles. Either that, or, you are not, reading, what I wrote.

    I had said Spain had only been a, country for 500 years. It has. That was when the Kingdoms of Castilla and Aragon were united and the Kingdom of Spain began. Catalunya, however, had been part of the Kingdom of Aragon since the 13C, when,it,was taken,over by Jaume 1.
    Calalunya had a lot,of,freedom under,the Kingdom of Aragon. It was not granted the status of “Pais” (country), as for example, Valencia was. But it was very significant, and many of monarchs and princes were Catalanes. I suggest you read,up on,it if you believe that the Catalanes lived as,serfs.

    I simply mentioned 11 Sep 1714 as you referred to it.

  37. I should perhaps expand…

    Scotland was never militarily conquered by England, all attempts to do so in the late 13th and early 14th centuries failed. Scotland retained it’s “Westphalia Sovereignty” right up till the Acts of Union in 1707, which took place because Scotland’s *economy* was on the rails due to the ascendency of England as a dominant naval trade power meaning Scotland was pretty much sidelined from everything. The Acts of Union were an entirely peaceful political act, designed to get Scotland into the economic protection of their neighbour.

    Contrary to popular myth, amplified perhaps by the film “Braveheart” and use of said myth for political means, England has never successfully occupied Scotland under force or arms.


    Richer or poorer the Scots were never in favour of the Act of Union and were sold down the river by the Liberals.

    That old saying…”Never trust a Liberal”…of course today’s crop are more trustworthy!! ;)

  39. Martyn

    Unfortunately stupid people also have the right to become politican and even prime minister or deputy prime minister

    Guess there is nothing we can do about it


    You’re looking rather grey this weather and appear to have lost some colour!! ;)

  41. @Allan Christie

    However, the Act of Union did create, by merging the English and Scottish councils and parliaments, a Political Parliament that became more powerful than their Monarch, and ushered in democracy for all of us.

  42. @Martyn

    I’m well aware of the limitations of pie-charts if used improperly, as well as Excel’s inclination to have the least useful segment of pie foremost, which alters the perspective of the percentage.

    I was actually referring to the styling, but since you mention it, my examples show how the Conservative and Coalition segments have changed, especially with the inclusion of percentage values.

    I’m not inclined towards pie-charts generally, but they are fine for 2-3 segment charts, if there’s a comparison chart alongside.

  43. jayblanc

    @Allan Christie

    However, the Act of Union did create, by merging the English and Scottish councils and parliaments, a Political Parliament that became more powerful than their Monarch, and ushered in democracy for all of us

    Indeed and hopefully we will have come full circle and see a Yes vote!! ;)

  44. Allen

    I’m feeling very grey at the moment, not sure anymore which color suits me

  45. RAF

    No one mentioned serfs.

    The construction of European Empires through war and dynastic marriages is a poor substitute for representation of people.

    Are the Low Countries Spanish or Austrian? Hard question.

  46. @Martyn

    Good link by the way.

    “Three-dimensional charts rarely add value and often confuse readers. The images have depth, making some parts appear closer and others further away. The brain
    compensates for this by believing the objects that look like they are in the distance are larger. However, when representing data that have more than two attributes,
    using depth can in fact allow readers to understand your point more clearly.”

    Which I feel it does, rather than doesn’t in this case.

    “You should generally avoid adding any feature that does not carry any data. For instance, using a different colour for each value in a bar chart makes it harder to read, as shown in the example below. You should stick with one colour.”

    With the exception of political charts or other ‘tribal’ charts (e.g. football teams), where each value can be very quickly discerned from the others at a glance.

    Like I said, I’m not a great fan of pie charts except when showing seat or vote distribution of the whole. However, one tires of bar and line charts from time to time. :)

  47. JayBlanc.

    Whilst we’re on the subject of history, the Act of Settlement paid off the debts incurred by the Scots in their Darien attempt to establish an Empire. The sum of £398,000 was transferred to the Scots to re-float their economy after this madcap experiment (I wonder if Sir Fred’s ancestors were involved?)

    Anyway, as part of the 2014 divorce, presumably this will be re-paid. With, say, 5% compound interest, the debt comes to £1.1 trillion and rising.

  48. @Richard in Norway

    There is a point of view that says intelligence is not the most desirable characteristic of a leader: compare to morality, or courage, for example.


    It’s OK: I knew you knew (we’ve had this discussion before). I just couldn’t resist the opportunity to throw in the UNECE style guide into the conversation… :-)

    Regards, Martyn



    I’m feeling very grey at the moment, not sure anymore which color suits me

    I think you would rather nice in pink!! ;)

  50. @ Jayblanc
    “Scotland was never militarily conquered by England”

    The history on this site gets more & more like that parodied in “1066 & All That”.

    Cromwell, having devastated Ireland, invaded Scotand, defeated the Scots & occupied Edinburgh. Subsequently, Cromwell pasted the Scots again [now led by Charles II]; thenceforth (lowland) Scotland was under English military occupation [like England!]. Indeed, the army of occupation, General Monck’s, was the one which in 1660 ensured the Restoration of Charles II. Such are the ironies of history.

    @ Alan Christie
    “Richer or poorer the Scots were never in favour of the Act of Union and were sold down the river by the Liberals.” Um!

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