This morning’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 33%, LAB 42%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 7%. It follows another nine point lead yesterday. While it isn’t definite (the figures have a horrible habit of proving me wrong the moment I suggest something may be a meaningful trend, and the underlying lead could still be about 7 or 8 points, with these just normal variation on the high side), but it is looking as if the Conservative referendum bounce is fading already.

181 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – CON 33, LAB 42, LD 10, UKIP 7”

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  1. I know that YouGov is slightly more up to date with its polling, but at the moment it is the only polling company that has returned Lab to pre speech levels and the only one to have them over 40%.

    I think another week or fortnight of polls with some other polling companies are needed to reach a conclusion of where we are at.

    PMI’s start today and the first indications of whether we are heading for triple dip. The services one (presumably next Tuesday) will be the most interesting having unexpectedly flatlined in December.

  2. @Tingedfringe – “Don’t blame me, I drank the kool-aid like many of the sensible commentators did.”

    Really? In that case, you’ll have to explain to everyone why you wrote –

    “The speech now has perfect political timing – by Friday, when Labour will want to shout about the GDP figures/etc, the Conservatives will be able to reply with, ‘EU referendum’.
    I expect we’ll see a massive boost in Tory support soon – far higher than the boost from the EU-Veto.”

    on January 23rd at 7.51am (even before the speech was delivered).

  3. @CL1945

    ” I am also sorry to say that ED M may not be seen as PM material.”

    “Ed will avoid the tearing apart of his party over an unclear and unformulated policy position. He’s a much cleverer fellow than that.”

    As Harry Hill would say……….there’s only one way to resolve this …………Fight !

  4. INteresting analysis based on ONS’ January Economic Review re that vexed question of GDP vs Employment = declining productivity.

    THe OIl & Gas sector is collapsing. Since NS Oil peak days in 1999, output is down 40%-and declining currently by 6% pa. THis is /was a high productivity sector.

    Manufacturing jobs are up for the first time since the 1990s-but sectors like textiles & chemicals are comparatively low productivity when compared with oil & gas.

    If OIl & Gas is excluded from the data, the economy has recovered by 4% from the trough in 2009 Q2.

    Why they are taking so much time over shale gas extraction is beyond me.-oh wait a minute the Sec of State is a Lib Dem isn’t he?

  5. I heard a fascinating discussion on R4 this morning with the head of the IFS explaining the anomalies between GDP and employment figures in their latest report.

    We’ve heard for a long time from various government supporting types that the GDP are ‘obviously’ wrong, without any hard evidence to back these assertions up, and barring some minor and completely normal revisions, the constant refrain that the initial GDP estimates will be revised upwards hasn’t happened.

    Some of us have been quietly pointing out the severe drop in productivity as the explanation, and the IFS has come out this morning and confirmed this. Lower wages have enabled firms to keep/take on more employees (not necessarily a bad thing) but at the expense of reduced productivity.

    The IFS also show that the big fall in investment is creating a reduction in productivity, again serving the shrink output while increasing employment.

    They also touched on the ‘zombie’ companies idea. This is what would be expected from a credit crunch, where banks don’t want to call in bad debts and crystalize losses, so allow inefficient companies to continue trading. The relatively low number of company failures is a consequence of the causal factors of the recession, and while these are temporarily keeping people in work in good numbers, we need the less efficient companies to be cleared aside to allow new growth of more productive activity. Not doing this means we are stifling the future rate of growth, and storing up further troubles in terms of controlling debt ratios.

    Again, it’s been the focus on cuts, rather than investment that has helped us get here, and the solution imposed to the budget difficulties has helped to exacerbate the impacts of the causal factors behind the recession.

    But at least we can all stop arguing about whether the employment or GDP figures are correct. As some of us have been saying for a couple of years now – they both are.

  6. @Colin – “As Harry Hill would say……….there’s only one way to resolve this …………Fight !”

    Did he not have something to do with badgers?

  7. “If OIl & Gas is excluded from the data…”

    Then we would have been in recession since 1970, probably.

  8. Phil H – I think you are correct that recent polls show the votes that are easy for the Tories to pick up during the GE campaign or in the months leading up.

    Also with some more 2010 voters currently saying UKIP tactically voting Cons (or going home if you prefer) and with an LD recovery of sorts imo we we will not be far from predicting neck and neck for the big 2 at the GE based on recent polling in vote share terms, hence all to play for with Lab having the edge due to FPTP etc.

    Alec is correct of course also that that many Tories and some others expected a bigger boost indicating that the potential relatively easy picking for the cons would take them possibly in to OM territory at a GE; this is clearly not the case and they need to get a boost from elsewhere as well.

    We are going to see a recovery of sorts between now and 2015 which should help the Governing parties as long as Interest rates stay as they are. Also, however, the affects of public spending cuts are going to start to impact on individuals more heavily after April this year.

    IMO how these 2 factors affect VI is going to more important than any other issue whether it is Europe, Immigration or even Health and Education. All parties must cover these other issues of course to be credible and policies in those areas will affect some undecided voters.

    I would expect Labours lead to increase a little through this year as the negative (cuts) impact stuff is happening before the positive stuff (improved Economy) and hold until the 2014 budget which may have a few goodies. After which we may even have C&S and the recovery could start for both the Governing parties VI.
    Fixed term parliaments means the longest GE campaign in history will start in earnest at the 2014 conferences.

  9. @Colin – the extraction industries don’t give the full explanation. If you look at the employment data, we’ve also seen some significant falls in productivity in the service sector. These aren’t as great as in manufacturing, but since this is 75% of the economy it’s having a big impact.

  10. ALEC

    Just quoting ONS.

    But I understand your point of view:-

    Cameron rubbish-Miliband clever.

    Economy screwed by inept Tories-Balls to the rescue.

    I think that’s about it?-oh apart from cruelty to badgers & ash trees-but you kind of expect cruelty from Tories .

  11. @Jim Jam – “Also, however, the affects of public spending cuts are going to start to impact on individuals more heavily after April this year.”

    BBC news ran a short interview from a woman in Cornwall on the main news program last night. She is one of those facing a bill for 25% of council tax for the first time, and although her position wasn’t explained in detail, she was apparently unable to work through ill health.

    She was in tears as she tried to rationalise what this new bill would mean, and at a loss to explain where she would find the money to pay for it, with the item ending with her tearfully proclaiming ‘I’m not a scrounger…’.

    Personally, I felt this was quite painful to watch. Exploring individual cases is a notoriously difficult way to analyze a policy, but it’s what moves votes. She looked ‘normal’ and seemed far removed from the classic dole scrounger image, and there does seem to be a growing number of stories of suffering out there that is going to get rather hard for the media to ignore.

  12. NICKP

    @”“If OIl & Gas is excluded from the data…”
    Then we would have been in recession since 1970, probably.”

    ……..erm……..the point being to exclude a factor which is rapidly declining , in order to expose what is happening to everything else.

  13. ALEC

    @”Exploring individual cases is a notoriously difficult way to analyze a policy, but it’s what moves votes.”

    It is -as BBC actually pointed out by telling us that whilst many LAs had not increased CT contribution under Council Tax relief arrangements-Cornwall County Council had chosen to do so by 25%.

    All that was missing from the piece was an interview with a CCC representative.

  14. @Colin – you might be surprised then.

    I do think that Milliband is much brighter than Cameron in terms of strategic thinking, but less electable. I don’t think I’m alone in that.

    In terms of comments on economic productivity, I do think the coalition missed a very big trick on boosting investment, and have said previously that focusing on things like corporation tax cuts is misplaced. Again, many industrial commentators agree with this. CT is a blunt instrument, and while it encourages firms to relocate their HQ functions for tax purposes, it doesn’t encourage the relocation of the actual production centres. Taxes on jobs and spending reap far higher reward that CT on profits, so we need to be encouraging production to come to he UK.

    But overall, I’m not giving Labour much credit here. It’s interesting to note that the employment response to the recession was the same when Labour were in power as now – unemployment peaked way below the expected levels, but GDP output crashed.

    The decline in productivity wasn’t meant to be an attack on one side or the other – it’s just what has happened in response to this particular recession. I don’t think either side has been particularly good at adapting to this. When Labour introduced it’s VAT cut, I did argue against those who said it wouldn’t have any impact, but I still argued then that increasing investment would have been a better use of the money – as I am doing now.

    So I think to characterize me as merely criticizing Tories over economic efficiency is a little unfair, as I felt I had been a bit more even handed than that. It’s just that they are running the economy now, so you would expect my comments to be directed more in their direction.

  15. A bite sized synopsis of a detailed study I linked to a short while ago.

    What western economies have really been doing over the last three decades & why things may never be the same again :-

  16. ALEC


    I prefer your thoughtful responses like that , than the one -eyed, single track mantra which makes them occasionally necessary

  17. YouGov poll:

    Latest YouGov / The Sun results 31st January – CON 32%, LAB 44%, LD 10%, UKIP 8%; APP -31

    12 point lead for Labour. Bad economic news increasing Labour lead?

  18. Alec
    I didn’t hear the IFS interview on R4 but thanks for the heads up – will dig out their report.

    What a depressingly predictable spiral we have been on. The timeline goes something like this.

    1) Our policy of expansionary fiscal contraction will transform the economy.
    2) OK, so it’s taking longer than expected but that is because things were worse than we expected. Stick with it.
    3) Hmmm. Figures suggest that it’s STILL not working. But who can trust the figures eh?
    4) The end game that we are moving towards: OK, maybe the figures ARE right after all. Looks like there’s nowt we can do and we have to accept long-term lower growth.

    A tragedy of historic proportions rolling along in front of our eyes,

  19. CON 32%, LAB 44%, LD 10%, UKIP 8%

    Another ‘Dead Cam(cat) Bounce’ is over? …. until the next attempt?

    I give him his dues, he doesn’t stop trying!

  20. @Lefty

    Yep, I love that “OMG! ! The damage was much worse than we feared! !” thing.

    The damage wasn’t that bad, because Labour got us back to growth inside two years.

    It’s almost as bad as the “Fake growth!!!” Gambit. ..

  21. @Paul Bristol

    Question is, will he get to keep trying. According to this. ..

    … he’s got until summer 2014 to sort out the VI. Those more au fait with party affairs can say his likely this is. ..

  22. “Say HOW likely this is. ..”

  23. @carfrew – I don’t think we should be too hard on the political tactics employed by the incoming government. Of course they are irritating to their opponents, but that’s politics. Have you ever seen any government enter Downing Street proclaiming that their predecessors weren’t as bad as they thought?

    The ‘fake growth’ bit is interesting, because, in reality, it was fake growth. For example, the VAT cut was worth around 0.75% of annual GDP, which would certainly have helped the growth figures, but did it do anything for the long term health of the economy? There is a strong argument for these kinds of time limited fiscal measures in normal recessions, to tide over a period of low demand until more normal conditions return, but this wasn’t a normal recession and the period of adjustment is taking far longer.

    Intuitively I like the idea that there is greater employment, and the burden of this adjustment is being seen through widespread low wage growth, rather than concentrated unemployment, but set against this, if this hampers a clearing out of economic deadwood and reinvestment in more vigorous capacity, it may well prove not to be the best path to have taken.

    I’m not averse to government stimulus, but it really needs to be focused on investment. At this stage I don’t really see either party getting to grips with this.

    @Colin – “I prefer your thoughtful responses like that , than the one -eyed, single track mantra which makes them occasionally necessary”

    Yes – sorry about that. It’s ever since I fell in with those badgers – they’re just so angry.

  24. @Alec

    You’ll be glad to know that I recently invested in a Badger Defence League T Shirt. This fine, and much sought after garment, available in a variety of colours, has emblazoned on the front it a drawing of a gun-toting badger in Che Guevara-esque pose. I was quite taken with this image and I wonder, in time, if the furry little blighters might resort to armed struggle if we can’t sort out the current impasse by peaceful means.

    Accordingly, I propose a cross representative delegation of badgers should be invited to talks with DEFRA and the NFU to negotiate an alternative to culling. I gather that badgers tend to have a hectoring and obstinate negotiating style, very much sett in their ways, and can be easily riled when provoked. In other words, bait them at your peril. Accordingly, the talks may well be abrupt and very much to the point.

    Better jaw-jaw than war-war though, and my lifelong affection for all furry animals, including rats, leads me to hope that bloodshed can be avoided.

  25. @crossbat11 – “….. I wonder, in time, if the furry little blighters might resort to armed struggle if we can’t sort out the current impasse by peaceful means.”

    You are so far behind the times…….

  26. ALEC

    Thanks !

    Nasty brutes , badgers. I’ve seen the destruction they do to ground nesting birds, their eggs & young.

    You really shouldn’t hang around with them.

  27. Sun Politics actually posted about Labours 12 point lead last night. They must have read the thread on PB that they only tweet early when the Tories polling is increased or gap narrowed.

    As I have pointed out, the Tories were never going to get any bounce off the back of a speech by Cameron on the EU. The only way Cameron will obtain any polling bounce for the Tories, is to achieve a renegotiation of the UK’s EU membership, that is popular with most people. People no longer believe that any action will follow from a politicians speech.

    Over the next few weeks, we will see that the polls have not really changed from what they have been showing over the last 6 months. The next event that may change polling, is the Budget in March. Unless there is some political scandal before then.

  28. @Lefty
    Thats like something out of Yes Minister…

    Stage 5: Well, maybe there was soemthing we could have done, but its too late now

  29. @Alec

    I’ve dealt with the fake growth thing before. Just because it’s a time-limited stimulus delivered via deficit, doesn’t mean it’s fake growth. This should be obvious since

    1) we’ve run a deficit for most of the last 100 years or more. And we’ve had a lot of growth. Good look trying to show it’s been mostly fake growth! !

    2) a stimulus can be time-limited but benefits often persist thereafter. Capital spending is an obvious example, but also businesses using resulting profits to build exports abroad is another. Plus business having greater confidence investing more as a result etc. etc.

    There are more reasons if you want to argue with Krugman about it. ..

  30. I agree, Alec, thdfocus should be more on investment, however. …

  31. Manufacturing CPI slightly easing in Jan but still marginally positive at 50.8. Some small growth in new orders, but a decline in export orders, robust demand for consumer goods, but falling demand for investment goods.

    In general terms the sector seems to be stabilizing, and while it is technically growth, it’s far from spectacular, but at least it’s better than declining.

  32. Colin,

    ‘ I’ve seen the destruction they do to ground nesting birds, their eggs & young.’

    A cat cull next?

  33. @ Jim Jam

    What is your reasoning behind an improving economy leading up to the GE? I mainly still see downsides and I don’t feel the world economies are anywhere near sorting out their problems.

  34. @Jim Jam – ” …votes that are easy for the Tories to pick up during the GE campaign or in the months leading up.”

    Early in his leadership of the party Cameron had no choice but to allow his MEPs to leave the mainstream Conservative EU grouping… putting off the battle over EU membership to a future parliament must be something of an achievement, but his position as leader appears fairly tenuous atm.

    I notice that certain senior Tories are back eating at Murdoch’s table just like before – as PM, Cameron has to keep his distance, but he is clearly not a favourite anyway.

    Whichever way the internal Tory machinations pan out, Labour will still most likely have to contend with a generally hostile or dismissive media setting the agenda during an election campaign. Having only one sympathetic advocate (The Mirror) as happened in 2010 would be a distinct disadvantage.

  35. @Billy Bob

    I don’t think the Tories should place to much faith in the influence of the print press come the election – people are much more likely to be swayed by their facebook friends.

  36. MIKEMS

    OK by me- I do my bit when I can.

  37. @couper2802

    I don’t really agree.

    Come an election, every chatshow host, football commentator and local radio dj will think “I better read the Sunday paper politics section just this once so I can make a clever remark when it’s needed.”

    People can’t always be bothered to hit the mute button when the news washes over them.
    Even if some people rely entirely on facebook, that is not necessarlily where “friends” get their opinions from.

  38. Just read on Aldc that the Green Party got 7 ( seven) votes at a council by-election at Stourbridge. Sad day.

  39. It’s official – the EU speech bounce lasted all of two days and the Labour lead is back to where it was before.

  40. I have a post in auto-mod.
    I wonder if any of the following are the trigger?
    Goldman Sachs
    Deficit Denier

  41. Hmm. Apparently not. Must be the string of obscenities in the post then…

  42. Shevii, I actually said ‘ We are going to see a recovery OF SORTS between now and 2015’

    I don’t expect dramatic growth but moderately accelerating in the second half of 2014 for 3 quarters allowing the Gov’t parties to say – took longer than we thought, bigger mess than we exepcted, EZ issues etc but working now don’t let the other lot back in to mess up and make the sacrifices meaningless.

    Many of us said at the time of the Laws/Osborne emergency budget that there would have to be a nuanced loosing of fiscal policy in the run up to the GE. We have already seen the automatic stabilsers kick in and more ‘investments’ will occur in the last 2 years of the parliament.

  43. “Just read on Aldc that the Green Party got 7 ( seven) votes at a council by-election at Stourbridge. Sad day.”
    Seems a bit high ?

  44. @ Colin

    ……and then this mornings 12pt Lab lead has to become an 11 pt Con lead.

    What do you think ?
    I think you’d feel better looking at Lord Ashcroft’s phone poll which gave Labour a lead of just 5 points (33C, 38L).

    847 – Barbara Sykes, Labour – ELECTED
    787 – Matt Rogers, Conservative
    249 – Barbara Deeley, UKIP
    211 – Russell Eden, Independent
    169 – Chris Brammall, Liberal Democrats
    96 – Ken Griffiths, BNP
    7 – Ben Sweeney, Green Party

    Turnout: 2,376 (23.23%)

  46. @ Alec

    @Tingedfringe – “Don’t blame me, I drank the kool-aid like many of the sensible commentators did.”

    Really? In that case, you’ll have to explain to everyone why you wrote –
    It wasn’t necessary to quote Tinged back; he wasn’t disagreeing with you. “I drank the Kool-Aid”, was admitting he’d written at the time that the Tories would make polling gains from the 2017 EU referendum promise; & he’s ‘fessed up to having been ‘wrong’.

  47. @Ozwald

    Was that a Labour gain in Stourbridge?

  48. UKip handily beating the LibDems again?

    Clegg’s gonna have to spend more time on the radio. ..

  49. Colin,

    Agreed. The cats must die. It’s great that left and right can unite around a common sense plan.

  50. Colin

    Must agree with your comment “Balls to the rescue” now there’s a man that has the trust of the British public.

    Having recently sold my farm the new owner has told me he has never met such polite badgers what with that and the rabbit’s, and grey squirrels he was wondering if I actually ever owned a shotgun. I said I did but the Badgers didn’t like the noise.

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