YouGov’s weekly Sunday Times poll is now up here. Topline voting intention are CON 34%, LAB 34%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 14%, GRN 5%.

Most of the survey was made up of questions about the budget and government spending. If George Osborne has money to spend in the budget 44% would prefer it goes on public services, 25% on tax cuts, 20% on the deficit. In general people would like to see any spending focused up helping low paid people in work (59%), followed by people looking for work (31%), small businesses (25%) and homebuyers (25%). People saving for their retirement, incidentally, comes bottom.

On specific measures most of those YouGov tested got the thumbs up – the most widespread approval was for increasing the personal tax allowance again (83%), limiting child benefit to three children (73%) and raising the NI threshold (71%). Letting people buy back annuities they bought when they were compulsory gets low support, but mainly because of a very high don’t know (I expect people simply don’t understand the change). The only measure that was actually opposed by more people than supported it was cutting taxes on alcohol (33% would support, 50% would oppose).

Moving onto government spending in general the areas people would most like to see protected from government cuts are the NHS (79%), education (50%) and policing (35%). The areas people most wanted to see cut were overseas aid (66%), welfare benefits (36%) and environment and climate change (29%). As I discussed in the weekly round up, defence and welfare were unusual in being issues that had both significant numbers of people wanting to prioritise them for cuts and significant numbers of people wanting to protect them from cuts.

Asked specifically about whether the government should commit to 2% of GDP spending on defence, 52% think they should, 27% that they should not. Asked the equivalent question about overseas aid only 24% think the government should commit to the 0.7% target, 59% think they should not. On Trident, 31% think it should be replaced with an equally robust system, 29% replaced with a cheaper system, 24% scrapped completely.

Outside of Scotland itself, the idea of the SNP being in a position of influence at Westminster is seen negatively – 63% think it would be a bad thing if they held the balance of power in Westminster, 64% think it would be bad thing if they were involved in a coalition. Overall 53% of people think that Labour should rule out doing a deal with the SNP, but this is largely made up of Labour’s opponents, their own supporters are far more split over the idea. If there was a choice between a minority Labour government or an SNP/Lab coalition with a majority, Labour voters would be evenly divided but if the alternative was another Tory government Labour voters would back a deal with the SNP by 6 to 1.

527 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 34, LAB 34, LD 7, UKIP 14, GRN 5”

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  1. …finishing line in sight?

  2. Swingback
    Swing Low Sweet Chariot!

  3. SECOND for Budget drinking games on UKPR

    Preliminary guide:

    “Long term economic plan” = 1 shot of whiskey
    “Difficult decisions” = a mouthful of your choice of drink
    “Hard-working families” = finish your pint
    “Northern powerhouse” = 3 consecutive shots

    The above is scientifically proven to improve polling analysis

  4. ComRes Favourability Index:

    The Labour Party: 29% (+3)
    The Conservative Party: 28% (-1)
    David Cameron: 27% (-1)
    The Green Party 24% (-4)
    UKIP 24% (-2)
    Nigel Farage 22% (-1)
    Ed Miliband 20% (+3)
    The Liberal Democrats 14% (+1)
    Nick Clegg 12% (+1)
    Nicola Sturgeon 10% (N/A)
    The Scottish National Party 10% (+2)
    Natalie Bennett 6% (N/A)

    Deep dissatisfaction with all things political then – but the Greens suffering worst.

  5. My deduction (FPT) was sort of wrong, sort of right (34:34). Good stonewalling from AW but this result made it easy for you. We still don’t have a certainty about a real Con lead; there may be one and it would be expected for it to increase this week.

    On the outcome that voters would prefer extra on services, rather than tax cuts, I don’t believe it – I mean, the polling is correct, but the voters are porky-ing.

  6. Omnishambles

    That was really rather good!

  7. I would expect the conservatives to get a boost from the budget in the polls, indeed if they don’t they are in trouble. The question will be whether that can be sustained over the next 7 weeks. This is their last big chance to control the agenda, after that the parties are on a much more level footing.

  8. Maybe we are seeing a dip for the Greens in favour of Labour. I do think Labour need to do better in the economy to win the election outright, Blair in the end won people over on this []
    Tories need to tax the wealthier more and help working to middle class families.
    LD’s are as toxic as ever, and no signs of swing back, yet.

  9. That’s now 10 full weeks of YG Scottish crossbreaks, since they revised their methodology.

    Here are the weekly mean scores for the 3 largest parties over that period

    SNP, 41, 42, 41, 42, 42, 42, 42, 43, 42, 43,
    Lab, 27, 27, 27, 27, 27, 27, 26, 26, 26, 26,
    Con, 16, 16, 17, 18, 19, 19, 19, 17, 18, 18,

    Not exactly exciting changes!

  10. if the alternative was another Tory government Labour voters would back a deal with the SNP by 6 to 1.


    Which supports what many of us have been saying on here.

    LAB and the SNP will work together rather than have another CON government.

  11. Omni you forgot “I am very clear that ..”-half firkin.

  12. AW
    Please, please update the swingometer.

  13. With these latest two polls, I think that out of the seven published since Thursday, Labour have led in five, the Tories in one and the other being a dead heat. On that basis, it’s a very brave man who says that the Tories have now “moved ahead”, that proposition based as it is on the revised rolling average that contains two consecutive YouGov polls showing Labour on 31 and an Ashcroft showing them on 30. They look a bit Conservativey to me and their findings are not endorsed by the other pollsters. Take them out, and things look a lot different.

    That said, we did go through a short period where for the first time Tory leads outnumbered Labour ones, but I wonder if that short window has now closed.

    YouGov looks the most Conservativey of all the pollsters now, with Ashcroft coming in strongly on the rails!


  14. @Tark

    I saw your post on another thread and your humility in defeat is certainly a lesson to those fellow Albion fans who rained broken seats down on Villa fans below in that Cup game last weekend. What happened to all that famous friendly banter and boinging that the West Midland myth-makers keep going on about?? I was always brought up on that Chiles and Skinner baloney about they’m all bein luvverly people at the Ollbeyun!


  15. With these latest two polls, I think that out of the seven published since Thursday, Labour have led in five, the Tories in one and the other being a dead heat.

    There was a very clear nudge towards CON in the polls around March 8th.

    But, as you say, most recent polls suggest that that has gone into reverse. LAB are currently looking the better.

    It’s 0 – 0 and we are entering extra time!

  16. I think this poll pretty much reflects the true picture currently: two main parties neck and neck, rising slightly at the expense of smaller parties (and that includes the LD’s).

    That tiny Labour trend lead seems to have gone.

  17. Peter Kellner’s latest GE predictions in today’s Sunday Times are:

    Tories: 36% (297 Seats)
    Labour: 31% (262 Seats)
    UKIP: 12% (4 Seats)
    LD: 10% (30 Seats)
    Greens: 5% (1 Seat)
    SNP: 4% (35 Seats)
    Others: 2% (21 Seats)

  18. As others have pointed out around March 8th the Tories looked to have squeaked a small lead which as of present appears to have disappeared. Does this then support the premise that has been thrown around by a few posters over the past year or so that every time the Tories nudge ahead there is almost a “gag reflex” from the public that see’s the Tories fall back again?

  19. @Omnishambles

    You are clearly trying to contribute the the Long Term Economic Plan. Many shots of whisky will be consumed as a result of your exhortations and, given that reduction in boozetax is unpopular, this will contribute to both growth in consumer spending and deficit reduction.
    It won’t necessarily do much to help with improving productivity but that is evidently not part of the plan anyway. Equally, it might not help rebalance the economy, in fact my balance may be quite negatively affected.

    Good Afternoon to you.

    I think that 0-0 is quite good for oppositions at the start of a GE campaign; they normally gain a little VI, due to greater coverage, unless they implode as in 1983 and to an extent in 1992, the latter being not so much Kinnock at Sheffield but John Smith’s Shadow Budget.

  21. Move along now.
    Nothing to see here.

  22. @07052015

    “Let me be absolutely clear” = 40ml of Courvoisier

  23. For the many, not the few-a bucket of spit.

  24. @ Omnishambles

    “Let me be absolutely clear” = 40ml of Courvoisier

    Is Courvoisier clear? I was thinking absolut vodka might be more appropriate. ;-)

  25. “Outside of Scotland itself, the idea of the SNP being in a position of influence at Westminster is seen negatively”

    Amazing. You would think that with the positive slant the London media have been giving the SNP, they would be very popular.


  26. “The guys back in the factory have done a great job”

    whoops wrong sport, perhaps too much Shiraz.

  27. @David in France
    “It’s 0 – 0 and we are entering extra time!”

    I think we saw in midweek what happens to the Blues in extra time.

  28. @Amber

    That’s a fair point. Also just realised my suggestion would make this game very expensive very quickly. Let’s reserve the Courvoisier for “fastest growth in the G7”.

  29. I think the most interesting supplementary question in the YG poll was under the “things the SNP could demand from Labour” heading, asking would you support “giving Scotland greater devolved powers, such as control of welfare and oil revenues”.

    Scotland sub-sample: Yes 65, No 24, DK 11.

    Significantly higher support than that for the SNP alone in the poll (49) or even the SNP + Scottish Greens combined (54).

    The rest is all just partisan noise, i.e. the questions finding that Tories don’t want the SNP in the government. Stands to reason, given that it means the Tories would not be in the government.

  30. @Rivers10

    I put this cyclic poll effect down to the Mayan calendar last week and no-one came up with a better idea! The sugestion that in fact it’s caused by voters reacting negatively to a Tory poll lead is more rational, obviously, but it’s hard to believe that poll results can have such a marked effect on VI, when policy announcements from all sides get a complete ignoral. I know it’s only a couple of points movement, but that still a heap of people. You can see a similar poll “libration” in earlier elections, so though the Maya may not be to blame, I still suspect a non-voter effect is the culprit – in particular the pollster cycle.

    But if it is a real thing, the “gag reflex” could work both ways though. If the polls showed Miliband striding ahead I wouldn’t be surprised to see UKIP losing faint hearts back to the Cons as a result.

  31. @Rivers10

    The Tory-lead gag-reflex model — priceless!
    LOL :-)



  32. @ Omnishambles

    Also just realised my suggestion would make this game very expensive very quickly.

    Indeedy, let’s make this a game “for the many, not the few.” ;-)

    Bucket of spit, anyone?

  33. @ Amber

    “Is Courvoisier clear? I was thinking absolut vodka might be more appropriate. ;-)”

    Now you are bringing in the Scandinavian model, and as Absolute Vodka is owned by Pernaud-Ricard, the worst excesses of the French Socialist-Radical Party.

    I thought political opinion, not even in such a covert form, aren’t allowed here :-)

  34. Omnishambles et al

    There are going to be some very strange posts here after the Budget!

  35. I wonder if the slight nudging up of the Conservatives at around the 8th of March is somehow related to International Women’s Day. I can see the correlation, but not yet the causality. However as IWD was proposed by Clara Zetkin, I can see the light …

  36. @ Laszlo

    Thank you for ‘framing’ my choice of drink as a political statement. :-)

  37. @Statgeek

    I think Sturgeon is not as easy to attack as Salmond (her 10% approval rating across the UK according to Mr N’s Comedy Results above look quite healthy considering) hat’s why the Tories and their press allies are emphasising the return of Eck to Westminster. What gives them the right to sack poor Angus as SNP group leader I don’t know. Generalised sense of entitlement is my best guess.

  38. @Rivers10
    Jesting aside, ‘gag reflex’ is a very pithy way of describing the reasons for a party’s lack of wide appeal. Theresa May was basically saying the same when she adopted ‘nasty party’ as a descriptor. It’s just a shame for Con that they maybe learned the wrong lesson or didn’t follow through enough.

    Yes, the crowd trouble was outrageous. I’m very glad I didn’t go. I’d rather your lot did well (and on yesterday’s evidence they’re clearly eating their weetabix) for the sake of Midlands football. But not too well ;)

    Absolute Vodka is owned by Pernaud-Ricard

    Wouldn’t either Pernod or Ricard be even better choices for “absolutely clear”?

    After all, both come out of the bottle like that but a few drops of watering them down turn them completely opaque.


    I was following Omnishambles’ excellent parody of vacuous political slogans.

    Since I no longer take alcohol , I had to think of something else :-)

  41. can we spare the [] claptrap and stick to polling…

    Jesting aside, ‘gag reflex’ is a very pithy way of describing the reasons for a party’s lack of wide appeal. Theresa May was basically saying the same when she adopted ‘nasty party’ as a descriptor. It’s just a shame for Con that they maybe learned the wrong lesson or didn’t follow through enough.

    The notion that 99% of people pay much of a clue as to what happens in polls and then tailor their responses to them is laughable.

    We used to have sensible posts here, but the level of ignorance of basic ideas such as margin of error, sampling, confidence intervals, with some obvious exceptions, displayed is extraordinary.

    the truth is the polls are close, for much of the time labour has seemed to be marginally ahead, very occasionally the tories seem to be ahead, as earlier this week.

    I don’t expect any party to establish a decisivie (say 3%+) lead in just over 7 weeks time.

  42. As a near teetotaler I feel a bit left out on the drinking game thing. Couldn’t we have a stripping game instead? One item of clothing removed per cut. Blindfolds optional.

  43. @postageincluded

    Why not both?

  44. An interesting tweet here

    May2015 [email protected] · 6 mins6 minutes ago
    If LAB win few Scottish seats FPTP no longer favours them. CON win if tie in polls. Big change

    ? More

  45. @ Peter Crawford

    Arguably frequency statistics is full of fallacies, Bayesian statistics is full of subjectivity, so,we are left with … Narratives … Then you find the data for it (apparently 34% of academic journal articles of 4 and 5 stars do the same).

    I have a preference for not having fallacious data dredging.

    I also believe that there was a nudge up for the conservatives, which ‘probably’ receded, but we haven’t got a clue why it happened. It would require an enormous effort and money to establish the preference of non-affiliated voters, especially as they don’t know it as they haven’t been reflecting on it, to have the data. The utility function works for parties too.

    So we have the voting intentions. Some water board the data, so they confess anything the interrogator wants to hear. Some believe that the confidence intervals or significance levels verify or eject the null hypothesis (they don’t – they deal with the data).

    I think the most sensible is seeking patterns (although we can see patterns even if they don’t exist), “eyeballing” the data. The narrative can still be tweaked to say what the data don’t, but it’s a good regulator.

  46. ChrisLane
    Thanks for that. I’ve noticed that most of the predictions have been showing the Tories ahead on seats even though the polls have been roughly equal for ages. Yet traditionally Tories had to be several percent ahead to get the most seats. That goes a long way to explain the change.

    You ,emtioned the other day that you play chess. I do too. What league do you play in?

  47. @ Laszlo

    Of course you are right.

    What i found absurd was the idea that voters look at a yougov poll on, say a monday, then alter their voting preference when opinium contacts them, say on a wednesday, and that this is the explanation of the phenomenon we saw this week, where the tories seemed to be ahead at the beginning of the week, only for labour to close strongly at the end of the week…

    it seems extraordinary to me that a regular reader/poster on this site could credibly believe that.

  48. mentioned!

  49. “We dont need it,its not in our plans,its nonsense(jimmy) repeat until may 6 inc

    -must be worth a very large g and t (down the club of course)

  50. Or pint of heavy (north of hadrians )

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