This week’s YouGov/Sunday Times poll is out here. Topline figures are CON 32%, LAB 32%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 18%, GRN 6%. YouGov’s average for UKIP this week has been running at only been 14%, so the 18% here looks unusually high – it could be an effect of the the events in Paris, or could just be a random blip.

Part of the rest of the poll addressed the attack on Charlie Hebdo – of course, these figures need to be seen in that context and people’s opinions may very be different in circumstances that are not so emotionally charged (it’s an issue I’ve sometimes commented on about polling about the death penalty – people only commission polls on the death penalty when there is a particularly heinous murder in the news, so polls are always influenced by a particular event).

Looking at the polling, a strong majority of people think the press should be free to criticise, mock and ridicule religion, but even in the current context a sizeable minority disagree. Around a quarter of people think the media should not be allowed to mock or ridicule religious beliefs or figures, 18% think the media should not even be allowed to criticise or question religion. More specifically, 69% of people think it was acceptable for Charlie Hebdo to publish cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, 14% unacceptable. In the aftermath of the attack, 63% think that other newspapers should have reprinted the cartoons, 71% that the media in general have an obligation to show controversial items that might offend people if they are newsworthy.

Moving back onto party politics, YouGov asked about the two issues that dominated the first few days of campaigning last week – the economy and the NHS – along with expectations and preferences for the result.

A majority of people (58%) think that the pledges and promises that Labour have made mean they would end up having to increase taxes on people like them. However, people feel almost the same about the pledges and promises made by the Conservative party – 51% think they would end up having to increase taxes for people like them. Overall 37% think George Osborne has been a good Chancellor, 44% a bad one – a net rating of minus 7. This actually compares relatively well to people’s recollections of past Chancellors – Alistair Darling scores minus 19, Gordon Brown minus 18, Ken Clarke minus 8 and minus 19 for Norman Lamont.

Labour maintain their normal lead on the party most trusted to deliver NHS services – 31% would trust a Labour government under Ed Miliband more, 22% a Conservative government under David Cameron (there was a ComRes poll late last year that showed David Cameron more trusted than Ed Miliband on the NHS, which caused some comment. I think that’s probably just a salutory lesson of not paying too much attention to single polls with unusual results – the overwhelming majority of polls on the NHS show Labour are more trusted on it even if you do mention David Cameron and Ed Miliband in the question.

Asked about their own experience of GP services, 15% say their local GP service has got better, 34% worse, 40% that is has stayed about the same. 49% of people say they are normally able to get an appointment when they need one, 36% that they are often unable to. 8% say they have had to go to A&E when they were unable to get a GP appointment. Long waits at Accident & Emergency are mostly blamed on people turning up with minor ailments, rather than funding shortages from this or the previous government. 54% blame people turning up with minor problems, 29% blame immigration and health tourism, 28% not enough social care and 27% lack of GP out of hours service.

Looking towards the next election people are split down on the middle on their preferences – 38% would prefer the Conservatives to have the most seats, 38% for Labour to have the most seats. 52% would like one of the parties to win an overall majority, 24% would prefer a hung Parliament. Asked what they think the result will actually be, 59% expect a hung Parliament, only 18% expect a majority government. The Conservatives are seen as slightly more likely than Labour to be the largest party, 42% to 35%. Asked a more detailed question about coalition preferences, Tory voters would prefer another deal with the Lib Dems to one with UKIP (48% to 37%). Labour voters would prefer a Lib Dem deal to one with the SNP or UKIP (42% Lib Dem, 29% SNP, 12% UKIP).

289 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 32, LAB 32, LD 7, UKIP 18, GRN 6”

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  1. Crossbat,

    Nope, not me – although I was on the canvassing session which Helen Pidd attended and had a bit of a chat to her. Nice woman. Harry is far more of a campaigning genius than I will ever be.

    Clegg’s quote was a very odd one, I thought.

  2. Guy

    A spellin krekkly method that I use and recommend, especially with names of organisations, is:

    One: Observe how THEY spell it.

    Two: Do the same myself.

    Works a treat.

  3. NEILA was talking about the impressive security services manpower which was mounted in Paris.

    Today it is reported that France is deploying 10,000 troops around the country and sending almost 5,000 police to protect 717 Jewish schools across the country,.

    Extraordinary .

  4. @Bantams

    “I meant to e-mail about the cup draw, a large number of Bradford fans were desperate to be drawn against the Villa again but we got Chelsea away instead, that’s if we beat Millwall in the replay! We’ll take it though.
    Assume, like myself, you’re happy with double figures for the LD’s, for once?”

    Welcome back. So you wanted an easy Cup draw, then? We last scored a goal about the time we were putting our Christmas decorations up and it may well be we don’t do so again until I start shelling out for Easter eggs. We’re in a calamitous death spiral at the moment that only ends either with Lambert’s dismissal or relegation, whichever comes first. You’ll beat Millwall, but Chelsea might be a tad more problematical, I fear. We play them shortly and I plan to be out of the country at the time!

    I don’t want to read Ken’s gloating e.mails about cricket scores and the number of goals conceded exceeding Miliband’s positive popularity ratings!


  5. Populus – E&W only

    Lab 38% : Con 33% : UKIP 14% : LD 10% : Grn 4%

    Weightings affecting the Scotland Crossbreak –

    Scots responses down weighted by 15% (to 10% of GB figure) : SNP ID down weighted by 41%.

  6. Teaser Alert!

    “L Janta-Lipinski
    Remember when our @YouGov poll had the #GreenSurge amongst 18-24s moving them into 3rd place… new data out in next 24 hours”

  7. Statgeek

    59.1% Christian
    14.3% Islam

    Actually it isn’t. The figures you quoted are for 2001. The 2011 Census in the same article gives:

    Christian 46.1% (-13.0)

    Muslim 21.9% (+7.6%)

    No religion 19.3% (+6.9) (But -1.9 in religion not stated)

    There was also a 9.9% rise in the population of Birmingham over the period.

  8. Lord Ashcroft @LordAshcroft

    Today’s Ashcroft National Poll is the first to include prompting for UKIP in the initial voting intention Q. Results at 4pm, @ConHome.

    Lord Ashcroft @LordAshcroft

    Ashcroft National Poll, 9-11 January: CON 34%, LAB 28%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 16%, GRN 8%. Full details on @ConHome, 4pm

  9. @Roger

    Blame Wiki. If it can’t keep up to date, I can’t help that. :-p

  10. Roger Mexico,

    Wow. Do we have tables? I’m immediately suspicious but we know Ashcroft’s polls do have a tendency to swing all over the place.

  11. Con 34%, Lab 28%, Lib Dem 8%, UKIP 16%, Green 8% –

    ld ashcroft poll…whopping 6% tory lead, biggest of the whole parliament.

    with populus showing labour 5% ahead, the polls truly are all over the place….it’s neck and neck…

    labour are polling badly. the left is in crisis.

  12. labour allowing the tories to dominate the economic narrative is the height of idiocy; they can’t win big if the electorate overwhelmingly thinks the tories are the business when it comes to economic management.

    they need to close that gap, even if they can never overtake the tories on economic competence.

  13. @Peter Crawford
    ‘Kinnock got about 34% of the vote in 1992’

    In 1992 Labour polled 35.2% of the GB vote.

  14. whether it was 34.4% of the total vote or 35.2% of the GB vote is neither here nor there. please make out the wood for the trees.

    Mili’s labour will do well to get either figure this may. that’s the point.

  15. People are constantly confusing UK and GB data. In 1992 Labour polled 34.4% in UK.
    Similarly in 2010 the Tories won 37% in GB – 36% in UK.. The polls ,of course, give us GB figures.

  16. UKIP to Cons.
    Lab to Greens.

    Its the trend I’m looking for-but this is a bit dramatic .

    We’re always waiting for the next poll :-)

  17. Ashcroft’s piece is also on his own website with the usual report and tables attached:

    Con 34% (+4)

    Lab 28% (?3)

    Lib Dem 8% (-)

    UKIP 16% (-3)

    Green 8% (+3)

    SNP 4% (-)

    PC 1% (-)

    Other 1% (-1)

    (Fieldwork 9-11 Jan. Changes from last Ashcroft poll 5-7 Dec)

    When the general election comes, will you definitely vote … or might you end up voting differently when the time comes?
    Base: All naming a party they would vote for tomorrow

    Might end up voting differently:

    Con 38% (-2)

    Lab 27% (-16)

    Lib Dem 59% (+2)

    UKIP 44% (+5)

  18. Peter Crawford
    Whether Labour has a serious problem does rather depend on which – if either – of these polls is accurate.

  19. “People are constantly confusing UK and GB data……The polls ,of course, give us GB figures.”

    Absolutely correct, and an important point too easily overlooked. Strictly speaking, this site should be renamed “GB Polling Report” – UK wide polls are extremely rare.

  20. Or whether Ashcroft’s pollsters have ballsed up again like they did with Doncaster North…

    I find both polls highly implausible, which is why I prefer to look at rolling figures for frequenctly produced polls.

  21. Statgeek

    Nope – you just read the wrong column (we’ve all been there). :)

    I checked because I wondered if it had got updated after the fuss but the article was last changed in September. (I knew your figures were wrong because I checked ONS last night).

  22. These polls remind me somewhat of the last weekend prior to the 1970 election.. On Friday evening NOP reported a Labour lead of 12.4% followed 24 hours later by Gallup putting Labour just 2.5% ahead.

  23. I think that the vote shares for Lab and Con are deceptively flattering, partly because of the winding down of the focus on UKIP and the Greens since the middle of the year. That will change before election day.

  24. UKIP has had a great deal of focus in recent months – two defections and by election wins!

  25. Ashcroft – England

    Con 37% : Lab 29% : UKIP 17% : Grn 8% : LD 7%

    Ashcroft – Scotland

    SNP 48% : Con 14% : Lab 24% : UKIP 3% : Grn 8% : LD 4%

    That “SNP down 1%” looks like it might be to Greens. Indeed, while most Scots are used to Greens only standing for the Holyrood list, May could see a split Yes vote as, with their much increased membership, SGP look like standing in many more Westminster constituencies.

  26. I believe Ashcroft actually uses Populus for his polling – though conducted by phone whereas the twice weekly polls are online.

  27. I suspect Ashcroft has c***ed up: table 2 (all respondents) has Con 22% Lab 20%, with “definitely vote that way” sub-sample Con 33% Lab 35% (i.e., a likelihood-to-vote filter would favour Lab).

    So how do you get from that to the headline figure? It looks impossible to me.

  28. Paul,

    Could do with a POLULUS to compensate foer the Ashcroft.

  29. Anecdotally, I’ve heard people say they intend to vote “against London” but would vote for the Greens over SNP if they had the option. I await seeing polling on that to see if it’s wide spread sentiment. A split in the anti-london bloc would certainly change things.

    However, I’m not sure if we’ll know what the political landscape in Scotland is till after the election. Polling miscalled the referendum, over-estimating the SNPs chances, while under-estimating them for the Scottish Parliament elections, and over-estimated SNP and under-estimated Labour in polling leading up to the 2010 general election.

    Scottish specific polling has been hit or miss, and I don’t think the polling outfits have a very good grasp of how to weight respondents there.

  30. Hmmm. reluctant as ever to shout ‘outlier’, but it is a bit difficult to conceive of clear reasons for these results. Ashcroft does tend to show some jumpy numbers.

    If that does prove to be the case, lets not have Labour supporters cheering a ‘surge’ next time.

  31. So that’s an interesting poll from Ashcroft. We can take it as read that the more partisan folk (not here) will jump on that one. It will be interesting to see how the media tell it, given the 32 / 37 one from Populus / Populous / Poppyless.

    It gives an UNS of 54 SNP seats, with a huge sample of 56. That’s almost as little as one voter per constituency.

  32. Good Evening All.

    Was it OCR that called the vote correctly on June 18th 1970? Thanks if you know!

  33. The Ashcroft Poll’s squeeze to “Absolutely certain to vote” seems to reduce the sample size down to where I’d question its validity. They need a larger initial sample size, as is they’re presenting it as a 1000 sample when the headline figure is only based on a 572 sample.

  34. Statgeek

    Actually 47 in the weighted sample – hence 0.8 respondents per constituency. Unremarkably, that’s the same ratio of respondents per constituency as the rest of GB.

  35. “It will be interesting to see how the media tell it”

    If mentioned at all, I think we know exactly how the media would tell it.

    Populus would be ignored & Ashcroft covered, without any explanation that it is hugely out of kilter with polling by any other company.

  36. New thread

  37. Chrislane
    ORC gave the Tories a 1% lead after reinterviewing!

  38. My son just shown me the Fox thing.

    Laughable but a tad scary as well.

  39. Comres on ‘issues’ for ITV:

    Half of people interviewed (50%) said the NHS among their top 3 most important issues – up 11% since last month.

    Women were slightly more concerned than men – with 53% putting it as their top priority, compared to 46% of men.

    Asked in more detail what they would like to see happen to improve the NHS, 71% of the public think significant organisational reform is needed. Three quarters of respondents said they thought patients expect more from the NHS than they did twenty years ago.

    The current Coalition Government is most likely to be thought responsible for the current situation.

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