This week’s YouGov/Sunday Times poll is now up here. Topline figures are CON 32%, LAB 32%, LDEM 6%, UKIP 17%, GRN 7%. With Labour and the Conservatives still neck-and-neck this is very much in line with the YouGov polling before the Autumn Statement. Note the level of Green support though, YouGov and Lord Ashcroft have both shown the occassional one-off poll with the Greens ahead of the Liberal Democrats in the past, but YouGov have now produced three polls in a row with the Greens in fourth place ahead of the Lib Dems.

The rest of the YouGov poll had some questions on school nativity plays, free schools (still unpopular) and childbirth which I don’t plan on writing about today, and a few questions on the Autumn statement and stamp duty. Cameron & Osborne have a solid lead on the deficit – 41% trust them compared to 22% who trust Miliband & Balls. However, asked what the government’s policy should be on the deficit people’s views are significantly out of line with the Conservatives’. Only 20% think cutting the deficit mainly through spending cuts should be the priority, 19% think it should be cut mainly through tax increases, 36% think the government should not prioritise the deficit at all and should instead spend more or tax less to try and encourage growth. A reminder, perhaps, that people’s perceptions of who they trust on the economy or the deficit is not necessarily based on what their policies are.

By 77% to 8% people think that George Osborne’s changes to stamp duty are a good idea, and 73% think it is a fair way to increase the tax paid by the better off. Asked the same questions about Labour’s proposed mansion tax by 63% to 23% people think it is a good idea, and by 61% to 25% people think it is a fair way of increasing taxes for the better off. Asked to pick between the two, the stamp duty changes are marginally preferred – 45% think it is a better way of increasing taxes on people with expensive homes, 33% prefer the idea of the mansion tax (as you’d expect, this is largely a partisan affair – Tory voters prefer the stamp duty changes, Labour voters the mansion tax. I suspect had the Conservatives announced a mansion tax and Labour promised the changes to stamp duty the answers would be the other way around).

Opinium also had their fortnightly poll in the Observer, which had topline figures of CON 29%(-1), LAB 34%(+1), LDEM 6%(-1), UKIP 19%(nc), GRN 6%(+2) (tabs here) – there is no significant changes from a fortnight ago. There was also a new Populus poll yesterday which showed a two point Labour lead, wholly inline with the three point average Labour lead the company showed in November. With three companies now having conducted polls since the Autumn Statement there is no obvious short term impact on voting intention… which is very much as we’d would expect!

262 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times- CON 32, LAB 32, LDEM 6, UKIP 17, GRN 7”

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  1. @Howard

    You’re right, Ashcroft is being as tendentious as ever on that point.

    However… even if we were given the option of preference voting to choose a voting system we would first have to decide which method of preference voting to use.

    And so on ad infinitum.

  2. CLane
    Hm not sure I buy into this idea that people living in hard times want to have harsher conditions. Sounds like masochism.

    I’m not a socialist

    New forest Rad
    America an exponent of the liberal welfare state world?

    You’re kidding.

  3. I didn’t get the ‘sni’ but don’t put a wet blanket on it, I can live without. I didn’t get any of the stuff with PI either, (or as well, if appropriate).


    Not being nosey but may I ask how old your Mum was in 1945? Mine died a year or two ago and she was 91. Mrs H’s mum died before that and she was 95 odd. My birthday was two days before VE day (yes, they just gave in when they saw the superior English master race arriving).

  4. @ Syzygy

    It’s nice to hear that your mother is one of the few who is still here to remind us. I do think about them when I am cold & wet & fed-up knocking doors or delivering leaflets – it makes me realise how trivial my ‘complaints’ are; & I continue with renewed vigour.

  5. @Peter Crawford

    Lib/LabCon are all do badly.

    None have anything to celebrate.

  6. Still no correlation between the movement in the Labour and Tory VI. Tories up 2, Labour up 1 in tonight’s poll compared to the weekend.

    Labour 2-1 up in today’s polls, though. Ashcroft and Populus versus YouGov.

    All very strange.

  7. Ah, the polling, it’s just polldrums.

  8. @Crossbat11

    I calculated all the possible correlations between Con, Lab, LD, UKIP and Green today, based on 2014 YG data.

    The lowest correlation was Lab/Con, with a correlation coefficient of 0.177. That is significant to a 95% CI, but weak.

    By comparison, the strongest have been:

    Lab/UKIP – (0.727)
    Lab/Green – (0.708)

    That level of correlation is very significant and strong.

  9. Given all the angst about debt etc, I thought it might be helpful to take the long perspective. Take a look at the following graph of debt as a % of GDP from 1692 onwards:

    For pretty much most of our modern history we had a much higher debt % of GDP than now – while managing all the while to be a superpower.

    Indeed if you look at the 19thC figures, debt doesn’t fall below 100% of GDP till mid century. The reason that happened was the 1842 budget of Robert Peel’s “New Conservative” govt (this was one of those periods when Tories were reinventing themselves). He did something no-one had done before: he abolished the Corn Laws, cut tariffs on about 750 goods, and to make up the lost revenue, introduced Income Tax (which he claimed was temporary) on earnings above £150. According to the following website ( butlers would have earned £40 p.a., steamboat captains £109 p.a. and civil service clerks £80 p.a. – so he was going after the upper middle classes and above.

    There was furore after his budget – landowners were furious at the abolition of the corn laws, manufacturers were furious that foreign imports weren’t priced out of the market via tariffs, upper middle classes furious about income tax. At the time it was thought that wealth equalled virtue, so taxing wealth was seen as insane, while taxing plebs was seen as normal.

    But look at the effect of his budget on the graph! Debt as a % of GDP falls like a stone.

    A century later, Eisenhower did the same thing only in a more drastic manner – he taxed the top at 82% but the ordinary American Joe paid lower taxes than in Britain. And he used the money to build the interstate road system which turbo-charged growth because at last people from remote areas of the states could get their goods to market. Result: budget surpluses, trade surpluses and an economic boom so large that the Americans were 50% of world GDP all by themselves (even Britain hadn’t managed that at the height of it’s pomp).

    The lessons? Debt really doesn’t matter much if you control your own currency and can make policies to stimulate growth. And if you have to tax, tax those who save more than they consume, and leave the 90% alone as any tax on them slows consumption and hence growth.

    P.S The “temporary income tax” Peel introduced is still temporary. It expires each April 5th and needs a new Finance Bill to renew it. This is the chief reason Britain can’t afford to go without a govt for two years like the Belgians did – the requirement for income tax would expire. Hence the reason the civil service prepared so hard for Coalition govt prior to 2010 and the pressure on all parties to make a coalition quickly (it was done within a mere week of the election).

  10. Here are the five YG poll rolling averages:

    Con – 32.2
    Lab – 32.2
    LD – 6.4
    UKIP – 16.0
    Grn – 7.0

    Really tight at the top, and a small gap for the Greens over the LDs.

    On the probabilities over the last 5 polls:

    Labour Lead – 35.52%
    Tie – 28.95%
    Conservative Lead – 35.53%

    Tight isn’t the word, but exciting certainly is.

  11. CMJ
    I have to admit I am pleased you are excited but I cannot imagine why – I probably lack in that department. :-((

  12. @Howard

    What excites me is that I can smell political change in the air…

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