We have our usual three Monday polls today:

The weekly Lord Ashcroft poll has topline figures of CON 27%(-6), CON 33%(nc), LDEM 9%(nc), UKIP 17%(+3), GRN 6%(nc). The drop in Conservative support looks striking, but is probably largely a reversion to the mean after the unusual neck-and-neck Ashcroft poll last week. Tabs are here.

The twice-weekly Populus poll meanwhile has topline figures of CON 33%, LAB 37%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 12%. Tabs are here.

Finally the daily YouGov poll for the Sun tonight has toplines of CON 33%, LAB 35%, LD 7%, UKIP 14%, GRN 5%.

704 Responses to “Latest YouGov, Populus and Ashcroft polls”

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  1. Given the apparent euphoria from the Yes side after losing Thursday’s vote, it might be worth bearing this in mind:

    1. With the further devolution that now very clearly will take place, there’s going to be very little mileage in blaming the English for anything anymore. By 2020 (assuming that the SNP do what they were already expected to do and win in 2016) that will be a problem for them. After 11 years of their governing Scotland the “time for a change in Scotland” theme won’t any longer be about secession.

    2. The UK is entitled to refuse to recognise a referendum on secession for another 20 years at least, perhaps even 30 if we follow through the pre-poll consensus that the referendum was “once in a generation”.

    3. By 2034 (even if you believe the optimism of the Yes campaign) there won’t be much oil left while those demographics will be coming home to roost. The economic case for separation will be about as strong as that for Wales.

    The greatest long term hope for advocates of separation is that in a couple of decades the economics may mean that the UK may no longer be so inclined to offer Scotland such a favourable deal to stay, especially if misguided efforts to create England-only political institutions cause a weakening of the emotional attachment to the union within England.

  2. My view on EVEL is that for some reason, the conservative party decided it needed a third source of infighting to go with EU Membership and the Human Rights Act.

    They don’t know exactly what they want, they don’t know how to implement it, they insist that the lowest cost way of doing anything be taken, they want no one in the conservative party to lose their current jobs, and they don’t care what the political or economic consequences of instability may be. But by the gods they want something done!

    If Cameron insists on tying this to greater devolved powers for Scotland, and doing so on a short timetable, in a rightful world he should be hammered for it. Constitutional reform should not be done on the back of an envelope in the last months of government facing an election they think they will lose. Alas, I suspect he may well be able to use this as a poison pill so he can abandon further Scottish devolved powers and blame those who did not support EVEL.

    Personally, I would entirely support a Federal UK, with the following caveats – That the federal divisions are on the regions, not the countries, as that’s patently unbalanced towards England. That the Federal government reserve powers to ensure consistency of care across the NHS, and provision of a minimum standard of national welfare, and a single nation wide supreme court.

    I entirely reject the idea of EVEL as being proposed as a segregation within the existing House of Commons. It’s beset with too many practical problems, and is jerry rigging together a constitutional framework out of sticks and gaffer tape. It also practically mandates punting House of Lords reform into the far distant future again, by making it even more politically and practically complicated than it is now. EVEL is a recipe for instability.

  3. CON 27%(-6), CON 33%(nc)

    So there you have it……..Labour really are the red Tories.

  4. I imagine it’s also about frustrated Yes supporters anxious to do anything to demonstrate their continuing support for the cause.

  5. @DaveM

    The annoying thing about the WLQ debate is that it’s happening during the conference season and the run-up to Clapton so there’ll be no way to separate an EV4EL polling boost, or lack of same, from everything else going on. That won’t stop people interpreting every 1% increase for the Cons, temporary or otherwise, as a sign of England Arisen, of course.


    “60% saying EdM would not be up to the job of PM.
    58% saying Labour are not ready for Government.”
    They only need 35% for a majority though”

    That is why it is essential for Cameron to reform the House of Commons. We can’t have a scenario where 65% of us clearly reject Labour yet they are handed a majority?

    English votes for English matters should hopefully balance it out.

  7. @TOH


    Ready your posts, you really do sound undemocratic and anti-English. In reality I doubt your either but thats what that last post looks like.”

    I have reread that post and I’m completely at a loss as to how you could rad either undemocratic or anti-English into it.



    @”This EV4EL thing starts the psychological idea of Scots being foreigners”

    .:-) :-) :-)

    Perhaps you didn’t notice that this horse has already bolted. lol”

    Such glee at potential breakup of my country makes me cross. That horse has most certainly NOT bolted and I agree with Lurker. Scots are my countrymen, though with their own proud traditions and I am aghast at what is happening. I believe an English parliament would make eventual breakup a virtual certainty and for me that would be a devastating outcome.

  8. TOH

    Glad about that :-)

    If you want to keep smiling try the Guardian this morning :-“Ed Miliband phrase generator”.

    Brilliant .

  9. @Allan Christie
    I don’t understand your logic in saying that EVEL will result in government needing 50%+1 of the popular vote. That seems like a non-secur.

    Unless you are suggesting that be part of the constitutional reform, and I’m not sure how that would be workable. The last Conservative government was formally opposed by 58.1% of voters, for instance. Even at Labour’s 1997 hight, they were formally opposed by 56.8%. It would certainly require coalition.


    What I’m saying is that Labour can sit around all day living on 35% of the electorate and be comfortable in the knowledge that they would secure a majority.

    If Cameron reforms the Commons..Ie boot out interfering Scottish and Welsh MP’s from English only matters then it might give the English electorate a fairer and more balanced parliament reflecting on how the English voted.

    Surely EM would go along with that? If not why not?


    Yes- I used to feel like that.

    But OldNat , and Alex Salmond cured me of my irrational and unilateral attachment to The Union with Scotland.

    I see it now for what it was-a blind emotional attachment in a one-way relationship.

    I have already posted about my dismay at further fragmentation & post code lottery.

    But the genie is out of the bottle. Neither you nor I can expect the English to stand idly by whilst the Scots , Welsh & Northern Irish demand & no doubt get more & more autonomy.

    A HoC in which MPs from constituencies in areas of devolved administation, legislate for England only on an increasing range of policy areas is a nonsense.

  12. @Allan Christie

    Again, that does not follow. Please demonstrate *how* EVEL would “make it a fairer representation of the voters intent”, rather than just asserting it to be so. Again, I do not see how this could possibly significantly change the situation of FPTP, even when restricted to just England, a majority of seats could be achieved by substantially less than 50% of the vote.

    Or do you suggest EVEL also mandates moving to PR?

  13. @Jay
    And the Cons haven’t had 50% or more of the vote in England since 1955 either. Of course it doesn’t matter that in devolved Scotland with PR the Tories get fair representation, but in FPTP England under EV4EL the are massively over-represented. The whole argument is special pleading from beginning to end.

  14. And once the English withdraw from the EU – having had various referendums on the issue then the Scots will be perfectly entitled to a new referendum as the playing field of the old will have disappeared…

  15. jay blanc @ a Christie

    ” I don’t understand your logic”

    You surprise me.

    Actually, being serious, this politics-by-fragmented-soundbite “analysis” does get wearying.

    The simple fact is that we need PR and then a consensus.

    [I believe that but, again, it is just a “fragment” that would need a great deal of thought before it became a real plan of action.]

  16. It is far more unfair that minority party supporters do not get any or a decent number of MPs. UKIP should have more MPs than they will get, even though I do not want them.

    The EVEL proposal could run out of control for the Tories if it leads to other demands. There are plenty on the right who are sick of the Tories as well, if polling is to be believed.


    I’m on about home rule for England and of course I’m not wholly excluding MP’s from other parts of the UK from the Commons.

    At Westminster we already have Scottish Questions and Welsh Questions…Why cant’s we have the same for the English?

    I’m not on about skewing the GE in favour of the Tories..What will be will be but I’m on about after the GE we need home rule for England and that can be done via English Questions which in that sense will be more representative or sympathetic to the English electorate…Is that any clearer?

  18. “And once the English withdraw from the EU”

    Apart from it being a British, not an English, decision no one is going to withdraw from the EU.

  19. JACK
    And once the English withdraw from the EU – having had various referendums on the issue then the Scots will be perfectly entitled to a new referendum as the playing field of the old will have disappeared.

    I’m probably in the minority in Scotland but I wish we could leave the EU wither we were independent or not. Too much red tape, open borders, poking their noses where it’s not needed….Just one big slippery slope towards a federal Europe controlled by Frogs Walloons.

  20. @Allan Christie

    Again, you make the non-secur leap to EVEL being more *representative*. It would not, it would be a clearer administrative dis-union, but there is nothing in it that makes it more *representative* of the English voter.


    More sympathetic to the English not having legislation forced through by non English MP’s is a more reflective and balanced state of affairs than relying on Scottish MP’s propping up something that does not concern them.

    I’m not on about a more reflective bums on seats reflecting on how people voted over all in the UK..for that you need PR.

  22. One thing I learned from these discussions here is that it is so that if a party leader made a proposal about the NHS, then it would have not occurred to me in the past to have thought about what that might mean for Scotland, Northern Ireland or Wales. In fact even now, if you faced me with my ‘starter for ten’ I have great doubt about whether I could successfully answer ‘nothing’, ‘something’, ‘everything’ to each UK area on the health issue. I am very certain that most voters in England (and very possibly in other parts of the UK) would have the same difficulty. The same would go for other competencies, e.g. transport.

    So when we pick up what EM has to say about the NHS this afternoon, as is rumoured he will do, I just wonder what percentage of voters will have the foggiest about whether it applies to them or not, depending where in the UK they live.

    One could almost imagine a heated discussion over the water cooler in a Welsh or NI workplace, about an EM proposal that will not apply to them anyway.

  23. The overall level of funding in the Treasury settlement, or introducing a new tax would affect the whole UK. So it is correct that all MPs should vote on it. So it is not affected by WLQ.

    Reason 1003 why EVEL is stupid and possible to circumvent.

  24. Is Miliband due to make a speech or something this afternoon?

    Only asking because the usual attack dogs and pre-rebuttal units seem to be out in force.


  25. @Allan Christie

    “Just one big slippery slope towards a federal Europe controlled by Frogs Walloons.”

    Aren’t you getting your Teletubbies and Tweenies muddled up again?


  26. Funny isn’t it how anti tory leadership Ashcroft manages to get the Tory vote so low.

  27. Howard,

    “One could almost imagine a heated discussion over the water cooler in a Welsh or NI workplace, about an EM proposal”

    Almost, but I can’t seem to do it.

  28. EVEL is only one letter away from

    “the complete opposite of that which is ascribed as being good”

  29. HookesLaw

    Funny isn’t it how anti tory leadership Ashcroft manages to get the Tory vote so low.

    So that means last week’s poll where he had Con and Lab neck and neck:


    must have been by a different Lord Ashcroft. Or was there a different Tory leadership last week? It’s all so confusing.

  30. JAYBLANC – why should England be balkanised to appease some obsure notion of local government or to rectify a clear anti English democratic anomaly
    Why should Scottish and Welsh voices be strengthened but English ones weakened?
    Why should e create half a dozen new parliaments – all of which are inevitably going to make the job of national government and economic management virtually impossible.
    Why should the work of Alfred the Great be undone?
    How do say ‘Englands’ transport needs get adressed by regionalisation?
    What is wrong or difficult with English matters being voted on in parliament just by English MPs – of all parties.

  31. Hookeslaw
    “Funny isn’t it how anti tory leadership Ashcroft manages to get the Tory vote so low.”

    Are you suggesting he’s somehow fiddling the figures ?

    Come on, he’s employed a pollster & they collate the figures. He just reports on them in the same way as The Times does with yougov.

  32. HOWARD

    In a new Labour administration, MPs from Wales & Scotland vote in a Mansion Tax for England.

    Let us suppose Wales & Scotland decline this policy.

    It is the English watercoolers you should be thinkiing about.

  33. This Balkanisation argument is daft. Are having different councils Balkanisation? Perhaps we should have everything decided in Whitehall in that case, like some nutty Stalinist/Fascist state.

    Having been to Bosnia, I can assure you that even between the two halves of the Country the level of Devolution goes beyond Devo Max, let alone between Bosnia and the other ex-Yugoslav states.

  34. As ever Spearmint’s churn analysis is highly illuminating – link to it here:


    (Isn’t it irritating when your comment ends up in mod and at the bottom of the page, so you no one will ever see it?).

    I would quibble a bit about her saying that “Douglas Carswell’s defection led to a jump in the Ukip vote”. Carswell defected on 28 August but UKIP’s rating seem to have started going up a bit before that. They were in any case much more solid over the Summer than they had been the previous year

    It was also confused by the fact that YouGov introduced a methodological tweak reported on 27 August[1], reweighting their targets to allow for new panel joiners. According to Anthony the “new weights tend to show UKIP 1 point higher, the Conservatives, Labour and Lib Dems very slightly lower (less than a percentage point in all cases)”. This will have contributed some of the apparent rise, but not all and it doesn’t mean that the more recent figures aren’t ‘true’ just that the ones before the change underestimated UKIP support.

    [1] Not that I’m suggesting this caused Carswell’s defection or anything. Though after the Headless Chicken poll, the power of YouGov appears to be infinite.

  35. Of course, I should have written Bosnia Herzegovina as Herzegovina is a separate ceremonial unit.

    It is also completely dysfunctional which should be a warning that arranging a constitution for ethnic reasons rather than practicality is a bad idea. Of course, in that country it was the lesser of two evils.

  36. Colin

    As usual, I was ever so slightly TIC but taking your example, it is worth remarking that hardly anybody did yet get so concerned about the West Lothian thing.

    As I wrote on Sunday, voters are, like me, either too ignorant, too unintelligent, too disinterested, or all three.

    That is why it is a non-issue unless there is a concerted campaign to drum it into us that it ought to be is run by news media polemicists.

    On Sunday, another poster said that given my cynicism (I prefer realism) that I was suggesting some (most?) people should not have the vote. “Straw men here they come” was my reaction although I could not be bothered to reply then, hoping UKPR regulars spotted that one early.

  37. IMHO the only reason regional government doesn’t have a larger attraction for the public is because no-one has been selling it. But it could be the centrepiece of a campaign to revitalise public faith in politics.For instance

    “Instead of everythng being managed by a Westminster elite, let’s bring politics closer to the people, where they really have an opportunity to influence what is done in their name. We should re-establish the ancient kingdoms of England, regional parliaments with powers to match those in Scotland. These could act as new economic powerhouses, counterweights to the concentration of economic and political power in London.”

    I think this would be an effective counter to the idea of mutating the HoC. Link devolution with taking power back from the “Westminster elite”. And if it’s part of a push to revitalise politics, it might just be a means of attracting back lost voters.

    Hoping (but not expecting) for EM to say something like this this afternoon.

  38. I realise, after reading Spearmint’s post, that I referred a while back to ‘Carslake’ meaning Carswell. Not out of the frying pan into the fire but jumping out of the well into the lake perhaps. Thanks Spearmint.

  39. HOWARD

    I think you can be assured that if a Mansion tax is voted in for England by Scots & Welsh MPs -and it doesn’t apply in their constituencies; English voters will be neither too ignorant or unintelligent to notice.

    It will be more genteel than the Scottish reaction to the Poll Tax-but the interest will be at a similar level.

    And should it become apparent that the comittment to spend this Revenue also applies in Wales & Scotland, I feel that interest in England will ripple out from watercoolers everywhere.


  40. @Robin

    Mutating the HoC is proposed largely so the establishment keeps its power.

    I don’t think we will ever to be offered radical localism as turkeys don’t vote for Christmas.

  41. ROBIN

    As has just been pointed out to a Labour Minister on DP-“Regional Government” is Decentralisation within England-NOT Devolution to England.

    They aren’t the same thing-which of course is why Labour keeps talking about the former & not the latter.

  42. Public Sector Finances, August 2014

    from the ONS

    “Public sector net borrowing …was £11.6 billion in August 2014, an increase of £0.7 billion compared with August 2013”

    And it’s getting worse

    “Public sector net borrowing from April to August 2014 was £45.4 billion, an increase of £2.6 billion compared with the same period in 2013/14.”

    The total debt of the UK is vast.

    “Public sector net debt e was £1,432.3 billion in August 2014, an increase of £96.7 billion compared with August 2013”

    According to Duncan Weldon

    “Weak wage growth is keeping public borrowing high at the moment”

    Well we know that, we discuss this every month on here

    Robert Peston notes

    “To put Britain’s deficit into perspective, that gap between revenues and spending is about 50% higher than France’s”

    Yes France is doing better at controlling their deficit and they have lower inflation at 0.4%. But the UK has faster growth and lower unemployment

    LINK compare and contrast which country is doing best


  43. Robin
    It reads almost like a Lib Dem policy (or at least it was once -I am not up to date on that, I susp[ect). Keep pushing, although I would not ask a certain N Clegg to push it for you, remembering how effective he was on the AV issue.

  44. Public Finances Continued

    Politically the EY ITEM Club says

    “The chances of the Chancellor enjoying a fiscal windfall from the strong economic recovery in time for the Autumn Statement are looking increasingly slim.’

    But Ed Balls has problems too

    As Peston also notes

    “He wants to be seen to be austere and fiscally righteous ..But he cannot be seen to be as austere as the Chancellor, George Osborne. Because then there would be little reason to vote Labour.”

  45. FV
    I think the situation, the difference, is the result of DC’s ‘veto’, i.e not joining the EZ agreement to reduce deficits much further than the UK government wished to do.

    “You pays your money and makes your choice”. The EZ is worried about low growth and deflationary policies.

  46. @Hookeslaw

    Exactly. Why should England be Balkanised? Instead it should be artificially centralised, like Yugoslavia. And, yes, that is irony.

    The desoeration of this WLQ debate shows that the Tories are losing faith in their ability to win UK elections and are scrabbling to hold onto the vestiges of power in England as a consolation prize. The leadership are encouraging it because it gives the membership something to do instead of “banging on about Europ”.

    As for the suggestion that Belizebub is fixing his polls – if you want a cheap tinfoil hat the “Yes Won Really” campaign probably have an offer on at the moment.

  47. @HOWARD

    Isn’t one of the functions of the Barnett formula that increasing revenue to the NHS in England, e.g. by introducing a tobacco tax or whatever, will lead to an increase for the other home nations? I presume the substantial increase in the allocation of GDP under Blair, funded by a NI increase, wasn’t restricted to NHS England.

  48. @Colin

    It is still devolution, just not to a single England-wide body (which remains IMHO an asinine idea).


    It was actually Labour policy in 1997, but there was a lack of commitment so that the authority offered to the NE wasn’t worthy of the name and was predictably rejected.

  49. @Howard

    “You pays your money and makes your choice”

    Very true

    Which country do you think is doing best in your opinion if you were looking at the trading economics web stats – you don’t have to choose the UK or France – both are in a pickle

  50. Richard in Norway,

    “Level”? The Levellers weren’t THAT bad!

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