This week’s YouGov/Sunday Times poll is up here. Topline figures are CON 29%, LAB 41%, LDEM 12%, UKIP 12%.


The economic trackers are as bad as usual for the government – people think the government are managing the economy badly by 65% to 25%, 67% think George Osborne is doing a bad job as Chancellor, only 11% of people expect their economic situation to get better in the next twelve months. Asked if the government’s economic strategy is working only 7% think it is, 36% think it isn’t but will in the fullness of time, 45% think it is unlikely to ever work. Take note of these figures – they are the background to this week’s budget and we’ll see next week if it has a positive or negative effect (in recent years budgets have had negative effects far more often than positive ones).

On the budget itself YouGov asked people what they wanted to see happen to spending and taxes in the budget – and how it would be paid for (otherwise everyone tends to say they’d like more spending and less taxes). 32% of people (mostly Conservaitves) said they wanted to see spending cut more, 25% (mostly Labour) that they wanted to see spending cut less, 25% that cuts should stay at about their current level. People were similarly divided on taxes – 24% wanted to see tax cuts, 22% tax rises, 38% that taxes should stay at their current level.

These should all be seen in the context of the more regular YouGov polling on cuts that does show that people dislike the spending cuts – they consistently say they are bad for the economy, too fast and being done unfairly. However they are also consistent in saying that they think they are necessary, which proably explains why people answered this week’s poll as they did.

The survey also asked about ringfencing spending on various areas after Liam Fox’s call for NHS spending not to be protected. His stance was, unsurprisingly, not widely popular! 74% think it is right for NHS spending to be protected, 18% think it is wrong. There is also widespread (67%) support for protecting spending on education, but 76% are opposed to protecting spending on international aid.


The poll also had a series of questions on Leveson, which generally speaking show the public pretty evenly divided. Some of the aims of the proposed regulations, such as forcing newspapers to print corrections or making newspapers who do not join the system subject to larger libel fines met with widespread support (90% and 62% respectively), but questions on the details of how the system works met with divided replies and large proportions of don’t knows. To be honest, I suspect that while people would like an effective and independent system of press regulation, few outside the industry or politics really care about the difference between underpinning by royal charter or by legislation.

432 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 29, LAB 41, LD 12, UKIP 12”

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  1. Well someone is pushing hard on this leveson thing. These adverts are the most annoying I’ve ever seen

  2. Those Leveson questions look pretty leading ones. I wonder if they were commissioned by the same deep pockets that are funding the much more blatantly misleading pop ups on this site.

  3. News update on cyprus, vote on the emergency measures delayed 24 hours. Signs that the deal will collapse

  4. @ RiN

    Yes, early on the previous thread I was speculating that the planned mandatory swap of equity for cash probably couldn’t be done. Governments can impose taxes but I think that EU law doesn’t allow confiscation & compensation on behalf of private sector businesses (& the Cyprus banks are not nationalised as far as I am aware).

    Confiscation of property (& I believe property includes cash, although I am not absolutely certain) by an EU member government requires compensation so, as I mentioned, they could consider issuing ‘bail out’ bonds or similar.

  5. these recent polls in recent weeks look absolutely dire for blue with several in the late 20s.. reds can take the smaller hit from UKIP rise from the mid 40s down to around the 40 mark, lib dems have now bottomed out and making a small increase

    so UKIP – large increase

    Conservative – large decrease

    labour – small decrease

    lib dems – small increase

    the EU referendum promise – brought forward to be game changer – has if anything hastened movement to UKIP and this was to be one of the two major 2015 electoral weapons for the blues

    blues have made such a mess of their hand since 2009

  6. For anyone who thinks I may be a little extreme

    Warning may contain some inoffensive language but not much!! Lol

  7. The EU stealing people’s cash can only be good news for

  8. I see that Osborne has announced that the new care limits are to be brought in a year earlier than previously announced. Likewise the new pension to start in 2016. This makes me wonder how firm the proposals are to bring forward the increased retirement age to 2020. I think there is a fair chance of this yet being put back a year or two – particularly under a new government.

  9. @Chris Riley, Alec, Colin

    I posted to you as last comment on previous thread re Dr Foster. It’s not the topic of the moment, so only visit if interested nevertheless.

  10. Downing Street remains hopeful of a cross-party deal on the Leveson press reforms over the next 24 hours that would avoid a damaging House of Commons defeat for David Cameron, George Osborne has said.
    Did David Cameron believe he had the votes to defeat the LD/Lab proposal & has now found that he doesn’t?

    There was mention of a ‘hard core’ of 20 Tories who would vote with LD/Lab; & that defeating the LD/Lab proposal depended on some LD & Labour MPs voting with the Tories; I believe that Ed Miliband has prevailed & all Labour MPs will vote for legislation. If Nick Clegg’s whip has been similarly successful, then the Tories would surely lose. So it seems to be everybody back around the negotiating table.

    David Cameron is making himself look rather silly on this issue. He’ll need some sort of win from reopening negotiations or he’ll come out of this looking weaker than before.

  11. @RIN

    Think the chap with the sore throat has a point. What is happening in Cyprus is theft. And the banks are still in a mess all around Europe, even though there have been bailouts.

  12. Well someone is pushing hard on this leveson thing. These adverts are the most annoying I’ve ever seen-

    Indeed personally I preferred the adverts for grab a granny!

  13. @ Colin

    A flagship privately run NHS hospital is cutting more staff in an attempt to make £311m budget savings. Financial losses at Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Huntingdon are forecast to be £3.5m at the end of the financial year this month, three times more than planned. Despite a survey last month publicising greatly improved patient satisfaction at Hinchingbrooke since its management takeover by Circle Holdings in February 2012, staff believe the failure to meet its £2m debt target is behind the job cuts.
    All the good points which you posted about Hinchingbrooke masked the fact that they cannot achieve the planned savings whilst also meeting the required standards of care.

  14. Hinchingbrooke Hospital isn’t a Flagship Hospital .

    However, the car parks are cheap!

  15. New chart update folks and also an article on UKIP’s recent polling rises:

  16. @Tinged Fringe

    That VI data you wanted:

    N.B. – Dates for the data represent the last fieldwork date given by YouGov; not the YG article. The value for ‘Others’ is simply the sum of the rest subtracted from 100, so not a reliable value to stake your reputation on.

  17. AMBER


    JUst caught up with the Hinchingbrooke reports.

    £40m of historic Debt is a monumental task-it would have been for the taxpayer too.

    Circle presented to the District Council on “what went less well” , as well as on “what went well”…………not just the second………which makes a rfreshing change.

    Circle has funded the year’s losses.

    Cllr Criswell said “some of the services had improved since Circle took over last February, such as reduced waiting times, and would have been noticed by patients, but others, including long waiting times for medication before discharge, were still an issue, which had been acknowledged by Circle.”

    He said it was “still early days and the council would continue to monitor progress by the hospital.”

    A Circle spokeswoman said: “We welcome all scrutiny and support from our stakeholders to make Hinchingbrooke the very best it can be.

    “As the panel noted, big improvements have been made in patient care. Since Circle took over, Hinchingbrooke has become one of the top performing hospitals out of 46 in the Midland and East region, is ranked in the top quarter of hospitals in the country for quality and is one of the ten most improved hospitals in the country for patient safety.”

    The spokeswoman added: “However, we are not complacent. We don’t believe in ‘good enough’ and share the panel’s commitment to constantly improving care for our patients and securing the hospital’s long-term future.”

  18. @Statgeek

    Love your site. How did you set it up.


  19. “How did you set it up.”

    I knew I should have taken notes. Just did really. Much hair loss and lip chewing throughout.

    Let’s just say it wouldn’t have been possible without YG’s and UKPR’s lovely data.

  20. StatGeek
    Thanks for the data.
    I see why it’s so many columns now, you formatted across rather than down.

    That makes it a tiny bit more difficult, but it shouldn’t take me that long to rewrite the averaging calculations (I hope).

  21. @ Colin

    It’s very reassuring that you believe Hinchingbrooke can take the same approach as Mid-Staffs did (cut staff to meet financial targets) & get a different result. I am guessing you believe it all comes down to leadership (they recently sacked their CEO) & change management being done properly – so it is definitely one to watch.

  22. @Tinged Fringe

    Select All, Copy, Paste Special and Transpose (little tickbox).

    The proper sheet has a couple of hundred lines down for averages, MAD, and all sorts of confusing stuff. It’s easier (for me) to go across. That way I can find the start or end columns quickly.

  23. Amber Star

    Are you sure it would make Cammeron look weak if he loses the vote on Monday.
    Of course he would hope that others see sense and support his proposals, but if he loses then at least he can say he tried to stop legislation, on the other hand the Liberals and Labour will risk the relationship between them and the press hitting a new low.
    Of course you could argue it doesn’t matter and Labour will continue to enjoy favourable reviews by there supporters in BBC which will reach a larger audience, however I would point out even the BBC takes a large amount of it’s news from the British press.
    Personally I think DC has taken the route that will cause him least damage in the next GE, I also believe he genuinely believes legislation is not the answer as do I. Hacking was not the press finest hour, but the many stories of corruption and wrong doing in high places they have uncovered over the years should be more important than the wrong doings of a few in the hacking scandal, and politicians shoud not interfer with that work.

  24. @Statgeek

    No, that’s not the question I asked. Who did you pay to host the site, how much does it cost, and how do you transfer files to the site?

    Sorry if abrupt but have just fallen thru an attic hatch Feet first, thankfully, otherwise would have gone like this . Even so, many rude words were said. An unambiguous reply would be appreciated, please.


  25. (reposted with link)


    No, that’s not the question I asked. Who did you pay to host the site, how much does it cost, and how do you transfer files to the site?

    Sorry if abrupt but have just fallen thru an attic hatch.

    Feet first, thankfully, otherwise would have gone like this . Even so, many rude words were said. So an unambiguous reply would be appreciated, please.


  26. @ Turk

    The press won’t give a fig for David Cameron’s good intentions towards them if he can’t get the job done. God may love a trier but in business well intentioned failure is considered to be weaker than being smart enough to know when you don’t have the votes.

  27. StatGeek
    I feel so stupid. How did I not know of that option? And I spent so long fixing the first calculation, hahaha.

  28. It seems to me that the EU deal for Cyprus is this;

    We will bail out 90% of your banks rather than let them fail wrecking your economy, but the people who put their money in (a lot of whom seem to be foreigners from the east who can’t give a good account of where it came from) have to find the rest.

    I think that isn’t that bad a deal if you are facing bankruptcy and might be better than losing everything.

    It is tough on ordinary Cypriots, but like Iceland and Ireland they are their banks regulated by their Government and in a free market democracy you live with the consequences of the choices you make.

    If you do well from the boom that importing easy cheap money brings you need to take the pain when the bubble bursts.

    It’s a bit rich of people here attacking the terms of an EU bailout when the UK refused to be part of the fund. We stood to one side while calling for the EU to sort out problems in the Eurozone and that is what they are doing.

    Any pretence that the UK is at the heart of Europe is fast disappearing if not gone already.

    Although I think it is unlikely we should at least consider that some in the EU particularly Germany want the Cypriots to reject this deal and then to stand back and let them go under.

    Deliberately letting a small economically insignificant economy implode might make those who are complaining about their bailouts in Greece and Spain sit up and take notice.

    It might even be a bit of a wake up call before the Italians if as some think they could have a new election within six months.


  29. StatGeek
    Thanks again for the data – I now have everything up and running again.
    Because you were using a slightly different date system (I took the published date, but it won’t take any effort to adapt to it), it slightly changes the weightings and thus my averages:

    Pre-Eastleigh –
    30-day Average –
    Con 32.3, Lab 42.6, Lib 10.7, UKIP 8.9
    7-Day Average
    Con 32.8, Lab 42, Lib 11, UKIP 8.8

    30-day Average –
    Con 30.9 (-1.4), Lab 41.9 (-0.7), Lib 11.2 (+0.5), UKIP 10.6 (+1.7)
    7-Day Average –
    Con 30.2 (-2.6), Lab 41.2 (-0.8), Lib 11.3 (+0.3), UKIP 11.6 (+2.8)

    That seems to give a completely different picture to my earlier findings.
    It just shows how a small change in data (in this case, the date) can have such profound effect on the output.

  30. @ Tinged

    Your earlier data produced a result which seemed counter-intuitive by suggesting Labour had lost as much support to the UKIP, post Eastleigh, as the Tories had.

    The new set seems more aligned with the received wisdom: LibDems get a tiny uplift at Labour’s expense & the UKIP got a decent uplift from ex-Tory supporters.

  31. Actually – the new set of figures are incorrect – Doh!
    The new set of ‘pre-eastleigh figures’ are from January, not February – so those are changes since Jan.
    Let’s try that again.
    Pre-Eastleigh –
    30-day Average –
    Con 31.8, Lab 42.7, Lib 10.9, UKIP 8.8
    7-Day Average
    Con 32, Lab 43.2, Lib 10.8, UKIP 8.7

    30-day Average –
    Con 30.9 (-0.9), Lab 41.9 (-0.8), Lib 11.2 (+0.3), UKIP 10.6 (+1.8)
    7-Day Average –
    Con 30.2 (-1.8), Lab 41.2 (-2), Lib 11.3 (+0.5), UKIP 11.6 (+2.9)

    Much less of a discrepancy.
    This is what double-checking is for.

  32. Amber
    See my above post – I made an error this time with confusing dates, not last time.
    My last set of data was actually accurate – this time I was just looking up the wrong data for the comparison.

    This is the problem with posting your findings before checking.

  33. @Reginald Maudling – “the EU referendum promise – brought forward to be game changer – has if anything hastened movement to UKIP and this was to be one of the two major 2015 electoral weapons for the blues”

    This is exactly what I said the minute I heard it. What Cameron has managed to do is to highlight a key UKIP issue and make it sound mainstream. He effectively brought UKIP into centre stage and made it respectable to support them.

    On top of this, his policy contains elements of great confusion. He wants a vote, but will vote yes, won’t say when he would vote no, and won’t say what he requires to avoid this.

    Under scrutiny his policy becomes a mess, but at heart it’s a gift for UKIP.

    On UKIP and the Cypriot bailout; There will be fury in the UK press about British squaddies on Cyprus who are often paid in Euros via local banks, losing part of their savings.

  34. @ Tinged

    Yes, when an outcome passes the ‘received wisdom’ test it’s often tempting to take it at face value. Kudos to you for looking beyond that & checking it again.

  35. “There will be fury in the UK press about British squaddies on Cyprus who are often paid in Euros via local banks, losing part of their savings.”
    “The UK will compensate any British troops in Cyprus hit by plans to introduce a bank levy as part of a £9bn EU bailout, the chancellor has said.”

  36. I wonder if there will be any fury in the UK press about the compensation the chancellor announced meaning that the UK is paying for part of the Cyprus bank bail-out.

  37. @ Hal

    I think there will be public approval for helping government employees affected by the Cyprus levy. It’s not unusual for private & public sector employers to have a tax equalisation system for employees caught out by unexpected changes in foreign taxes.

  38. @Martyn

    The host is mentioned at the bottom of the about page. It’s a quid pro quo arrangement, so I can’t elaborate on £ cost. I’m inclined to believe that they are not the cheap end of the market though.

    Transfer via a standard sftp connection.

    What’s the attraction with the host by the way? If it’s the site speed, that’s largely down to my obsessive tweaking. ;)

    @Tinged / Amber

    I’m seeing a 1.5% drop for Labour, a 1% drop for Conservative, and little change (up and down) in LD over the past two weeks. A 2.2% UKIP increase though.

    Looks like some Lab supporters are migrating to UKIP too.

  39. @Amber Star

    There were rumours about certain assurances being given in the later half of 2009, the so called grand deal/bargain.

    Milliband and Clegg going for a two thirds lock on any future parliament quietly putting the Royal Charter to sleep may have prompted the outbreak of decisiveness from Cameron, ordering back a minister from Japan etc on Friday.

    As you say there will be no gratitude for valiant defeat – also it’s possible the benefit of a success would accrue as much to rivals of Cameron, who are if anything better connected when it comes to negotiating with proprietors.

  40. @Statgeek

    Nothing special, I was just impressed by it and if I ever have some fee time (doubtful but I live in hope) I thought I may do a site of my own


  41. There is already a “in the bunker” video about the cyprus bail in

    Very droll

  42. Not for the first time of late, DC hussled, failed and has been forced to scramble for a result.

    It seems to me that the key differences on Leveson are that the Press/Tory’s want the Press to be able to nominate the representatives to sit on the supervisory board/PCC replacement organisation; whereas Lab/LDs want the representatives to be wholly independent of the print media.

    It’s not exactly like that, but generally that’s the key difference.

  43. Main problem at Hinchingbrooke is that Addenbrookes at Cambridge is just down the road – really there isn’t any need for a hospital there at all.No-one is going to have the bottle to close it though – perhaps the Labour Party will put it out of its misery. After all Huntingdon is the safest Tory seat. In fact the N&N here at Norwich need not have been rebuilt as Addenbrookes takes all the difficult cases.

  44. I don’t care one Iota about Leveson, whichever result gets Hugh Grant off my tv is the one I support.

    What’s much more troubling is this deal in Cyprus. It borders on the dictatorial to just say “we are taking 7-10% of your money starting from now” doesn’t there need to be some vote first before they can freeze accounts etc?

    Also does this effect the Northern Half of Cyprus, under Turkish control?

  45. Maybe but by the time the vote was counted the money would be gone

  46. @Amberstar – I really don’t think UK taxpayers stumping up for Cypriot tax raids will really be a positive. Especially when you see other UK citizens not in the forces will still get the UKIP tendency up in arms.

    On the substance of the deal, it is being reported as looking a bit shaky tonight. The Cypriot parliament could reject it, and the German finance minister is being reported by the BBC as distancing Germany from this.

    If this does get rejected, I suspect that the EZ will fall back on a more conventional bail out, but they could already have damaged confidence in the banks irrevocably.

    @Charles – From previous thread – interesting post, but figures have to mean something if they are to mean anything.

    I certainly appreciate the need to level standards up to the best, but I remain deeply suspicious about the use of statistics as a means to increase turnover for private companies.

  47. “Also does this effect the Northern Half of Cyprus, under Turkish control?”

    That would require the co-operation of the Turkish Cypriot authorities, so extremely unlikely.

  48. Evening all…

    One of the problems with just exclusively being down on the public sector is that it ignores the fact that the private sector is not automatically some windrous panacea.

    If anyone doubts this, take a look at what happened to banking…

    So, for the sake of balance, we have this. ..

    Which aside from the care issues raises in general the issue of how the private sector/profit drive can be associated with needless surgery etc…

  49. @MITM

    It’s not dictatorial. It’s an offer to bail out Cyprus. Cyprus can accept or reject it.

    As for Nothern Cyprus. There was a vote a few years ago on reunification. Northern Cyprus voted in favour, the southern part of the island against. The southern part then joined the EU (Nothern Cyprus could not do so). So why should Nothern Cyprus help?

  50. @alec – agree that statistics have to mean something and should not be distorted by the desire for profit.

    On the face of it Foster are claiming that more people are dying in the identified hospitals than would have been the case if they had been as good as the average (i.e. that comparing like with like more people die in them than do elsewhere)

    This may be a methodologically flawed and economically motivated claim. It doesn’t seem to me a meaningless one.

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