The full results of YouGov’s weekly Sunday Times poll are now up here. Topline figures are CON 34%, LAB 34%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 13%, GRN 6%. The rest of the poll dealt mainly with perceptions of Labour and the Conservatives on tax, spending and business, plus the row over Trident and “stabbing in the back”.

60% of people expect that taxes would rise if Labour won the election and formed a government, including 48% of their own supporters. Asked which taxes they expected to see increase under Labour the top rate of income tax came top (unsurprisingly, given Labour have promised to increase it!) followed by capital gains tax, the higher 40p rate of tax, petrol duty and national insurance.

Asked the same about the Conservatives, only 38% of people expect taxes to rise if they win (including 23% of their own supporters). Amongst those who do expect Tory tax rises, VAT is most expected to rise, followed by fuel duty. I suspect fuel duty being high up for both parties reflects a public belief that its one of those taxes that always ends up going up…but that alone doesn’t suggest that the Conservatives are getting much public credit for repeatedly freezing fuel duty in past budgets.

If there is a 22 percent gap in expectations of whether a Conservative or Labour government would increase taxes, there’s an even bigger gap on increasing spending. Only 11% of people think that a Tory government would increase spending on public services, 52% of people think that Labour would increase spending on public services, including a majority of Labour’s own voters. This could pose a problem for Ed Miliband if he is the next Prime Minister and does stick to his stated plans – if most Labour supporters genuinely do believe a Labour government is going to increase spending, and Labour are genuinely committed to tough spending limits to close the deficit, someone is going to be disappointed.

Turning to attitudes towards business neither leader is perceived as being in the right place. Only 29% of people think Miliband’s attitude to business is right, 33% of people think he is too hostile. 27% of people think Cameron’s attitude to business is about right, 50% that he is too close.

On those figures, while the political debate is often about whether Labour’s positioning towards business is right or not, it’s David Cameron who has the bigger problem. I suspect, however, that this is actually tied into the wider problem of perceptions of the Conservative party and the rich. YouGov asked about that too in the poll with questions on what would happen to the taxes paid by the very richest and wealthiest in society under a Labour or a Conservative government. 69% think that the wealthiest should pay more tax. If Labour win, 75% expect the richest to pay more tax, if the Conservatives win 34% expect them to pay less tax.

Turning to Trident and Michael Fallon, 38% of people think that Britain should replace Trident with a similarly powerful system. 28% think Trident should be replaced with a cheaper and less powerful system than Trident and 19% think Trident should not be replaced at all. Turning to people’s expectations, 44% think that a Labour government reliant upon the SNP for a majority would still replace Trident – getting support from MPs from other parties. 27% think that Labour probably wouldn’t replace Trident if they needed SNP support.

That suggests most people don’t really buy into Michael Fallon’s argument anyway – while most people want Trident replaced, on balance people think a minority Labour government would still manage to do so. The language about Ed Miliband stabbing his brother in the back gets a further thumbs down – 51% of people thought it wasn’t a fair description, and 51% thought it wasn’t fair to link it to Trident.

People reacting badly to negative campaigning only really matters it if is noticed though. Despite the timing of the poll just after Fallon’s comments, there really wasn’t much difference in perceptions of how positive or negative the two main parties’ campaigns were. 22% thought that Labour’s campaign was mostly positive, 34% mostly negative. 23% thought the Conservative campaign was mostly positive, 38% mostly negative. Supporters of both parties perceive their own campaign as being positive, their opponent as negative (and presumably filter out evidence to the contrary!)

554 Responses to “More from the YouGov/Sunday Times poll”

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  1. The detail of the poll seems to amount to a pretty clear endorsement of some of Labour’s fiscal measures – on the 50p rate, the mansion tax and non-doms. What is holding Labour back is the perception that they’ll raise other taxes on the population at large rather than just these. So it makes good political sense for Labour to keep emphasising the scale of revenues that can be raised from tackling tax avoidance on the very wealthy, as they are once again doing today. Revenues raised there mean less pressure to raise revenues elsewhere, which is something that I think the voting public can grasp.

  2. Looks like another Coalition….LibDem and Labour this time

  3. Unicorn ftp

    Relevant to this thread.

    “strictly speaking it is impossible to compare any current data with older figures.”

    I agree, but the differences between including LTV and not have been pretty small – insufficient, I think to make much difference, so I’m (wrongly) including the LTV adjusted numbers in my aggregations.

    However, should it start showing that it does make a difference, I’m recording the “old style” numbers as well, so that I can substitute them.

  4. Anthony

    You didn’t switch off the italics in your post, so we are all italicised now.

    [Ha! Ha! Ha! The power – AW]

  5. “if most Labour supporters genuinely do believe a Labour government is going to increase spending, and Labour are genuinely committed to tough spending limits to close the deficit, someone is going to be disappointed.”

    Wise words indeed.

  6. FPT

    Regarding the YG methodological changes.

    Five polls published under the new method (weighted for likelihood to vote). Four have been identical when compared to the old method.

    Last night’s has a increase of the Conservative VIe from 33 to 34.

    It does look a negligible change, but the data is still available in the on the old format anyway.


    Just testing to see if putting a </i> tag stops that

  8. @ Anthony

    The poll which shows people think inheritance tax is unfair asks about inheritance tax in general. In general, people are thinking about folks who’ve worked & saved or built a business.

    I think that property > £1M is a different kettle of fish. It seems to me that people are beginning to see property gains as unearned & therefore unfair.

    That’s why the mansion tax polls quite well.

  9. Peter Kellner’s churn analysis

    ” This is not because voters are all stick to their views. Beneath the surface, we find a lot of churn. Around 9% of voters have switched parties since the new year, while another 9% have moved to our from the ranks of the “don’t knows”. However, these changes have largely cancelled each other out.

    There are two significant exceptions. Ukip has lost around 300,000 votes to the Conservatives, while Labour has captured a similar number from the Greens. Thus Labour and the Tories remain in lock-step, but both with slightly more support than some weeks ago.”
    “Things could change. Our “churn” figures suggest that in each of the battleground seats that will decide the election, 4,000 voters might switch sides between now and election day, and another 4,000 hover been voting and abstaining. To break the deadlock, parties must make sure that these shifts do not simply cancel each other out.”

  10. @ Catman Jeff

    I think the data set which you are referring to is only before likelihood to vote. It’s still not quite the same as YG’s historical data because YG has also changed how they assess Party ID which is part of their core weighting.

  11. And the question for me is – are those 300,000 voters that have moved from UKIP to Conservatives, and from Green to Labour more concentrated in marginal seats?

    Ashcroft’s last set of marginals polls showed UKIP at 45 to 67% of their figures from his polls 6 months previously – at a national level UKIP is at 87% of its support from 6 months ago. So that would suggest that they are being squeezed more in the marginals vs the national polls. Same for the Greens. And really that makes sense – if you are going to vote tactically, you are going to do that where your tactical vote can make a difference.

  12. AW (and Luke)
    “This could pose a problem for Ed Miliband if he is the next Prime Minister and does stick to his stated plans – if most Labour supporters genuinely do believe a Labour government is going to increase spending, and Labour are genuinely committed to tough spending limits to close the deficit, someone is going to be disappointed”

    Luke says wise words. BH says Labour won’t worry about long as they get elected.

  13. And now – yet another Scottish political leader debate starting now on BBC Scotland.

  14. @Amber

    Doh, yes, I see now,

    I think I need to reset my control charts from the 7th April.

  15. CMJ, Bill Patrick

    It’s not rum and sun in N Yorks, it’s rain and wensleydale with fruitcake

  16. I agree with the comments of those who have pointed out that the headline YouGov figures do not appear to match the detail to be found in the tables. After excluding Don’t Knows and Won’t Vote in Table 2 the party figures look like Lab 34.25% Con 33.25% – Lab lead of 1%. Can AW help us here?

    [Turnout – since the start of the week YouGov have weighted by turnout. This is the first day it has actually made a difference to the headline figures though – AW]

  17. @ CatmanJeff

    I think I need to reset my control charts from the 7th April.

    It’s a bit of a nuisance – but it should be good for the next 5 years once you’ve done that. ;-)

  18. “Debate” – very much the wrong word for this crap on Sunday Politics Scotland!

    Brewer is very much the worst of all those “moderating” such discussions.

  19. @ Richard

    Could you actually look at the data for the ten polls Lord A released last week before you make comment. Of ten seats the Green were squeezed in 4:

    Blackpool North and Clevelly’s
    Harrow East
    Stockton South

    There was no change in their voter values in 3:


    Green Party support increased in 3:

    Morecombe and Lunesdale

    So on balance the Green Party vote was only squeezed down in 40% of the seats re-polled.

    Perhaps you are confusing your commentary with the Liberal-Deomcrats whose vote was squeezed down in 9 of the 10 constituencies, where they only held their vote in 1.

    It does require us to be accurate when making comments about polling results.

  20. “Debate” – very much the wrong word for this crap on Sunday Politics Scotland!

    So far, I agree. It’s an unmoderated bickerfest.

  21. @ Old Nat

    It looks like I was accidently right when I said there were only 2 Scottish leaders debates. :-(

  22. It seems that the ‘more popular’ taxes are always those paid by ‘other people’, eg Non-doms tax, top-rate income tax, mansion tax or wealth taxes of any kind, capital gains tax, inheritance tax, top rates of stamp duty on property, etc.

    ‘Unpopular’ taxes are those which it is hard to avoid, eg PAYE, VAT, alcohol taxes, petrol and car tax etc.

    The question is ‘how long before those “other people” stop paying, change their behaviour, or leave the country for sunnier climes?’ There must be a limit to the amount we soak the rich for, after which the practice becomes self-defeating.

  23. Amber

    Good point! :-)

  24. Don’t know about the Sunday Politics Scotland debate but just watched the interviews with Andrew Neil and as ever he pulled off a blinder. He seems to be the only interviewer who is well-prepared and able to tackle politicians from all parties and expose the contradictions in their policies, plans or values.

  25. @Clive Elliot

    Hmm…there are charts that show that over the past 10 years or so the richest in society have paid a lower proportion of their income in taxation than the poorest.

    “Soaking the rich” is a powerful sound bite but it isn’t actually true. As is the notion that weathly people and businesses will leave the country. In the main, they won’t.

  26. GaryO 12.18pm

    Agree about Andrew Neil, always found him very professional and prepared and tends to ask the questions I would like answered.

  27. @ RAF

    As far as I know they don’t take into account the amount of money spent in the economy in real terms, I’m happy to be contradicted.

  28. Seems clear from the Scottish Leader’s “debate” this morning that a further Scottish independence referendum will be included in the SNP 2016 manifesto – the “something changed” that NS cites will be the landslide of seats the polls project the SNP to win in Scotland. Surprised no-one asked NS outright about this.

  29. Bantams

    Is your point that rich people have more money to spend than poor people?

  30. I was listening to the John Pienar Politics programme today and thought some one said that 20% of votes are postal. Is that correct, if so it will mean quite a sizeable number of people will vote in the next week or so.
    I am out of touch but is 20% about normal for postal votes in General Elections

  31. @ Old Nat

    They obviously have a few coppers more in their back pocket, my question could have better put. Is their spend in the economy proportionately more by income than lower paid. This put another thought in my head, what’s the level of high income we’re talking about where less tax is paid?

  32. Anthony:
    Thank you for your post, as usual, brilliant.
    Good Afternoon All, from a lovely day, after Mass, on our beach.

    It will be interesting which strategy works; Labour or Tory, on the tax approach.

    Tory one normally works better when Labour moves left wards, as in 2010, 1992, 1959 and 1955.
    We shall see; maybe human nature and the country has changed, radically.
    Reds v Blues of Manchester later as well.

  33. Between polls ending on April 2 and ending on April 10th UKIP voter values have ranged from a high of 19% (TNS April 2nd – 7th) to a low of 11% (Opinium April 8th – 9th).

    This in my opinion is caused by more than “house effect” and weighting to 2010 voter values. I said this about the Liberals and their battleground 56 seats and now I will repeat in again for UKIP.

    It is not enough to obtain sufficient national and English regional respondents in this currentb round of UK election polling, there is a need to ensure there is balance between seats where UKIP has a fighting chance like LD and those where there votes will be little more than background noise.

    Thus, in my opinion, the huge variance in UKIP voter values in UK wide polls is very much dependant on whether a balance is maintained between UKIP “rich” and UKIP “poor” voting areas.

    In some seats those leaning to UKIP will feel it is safe to throw a vote to UKIP without altering the outcome of the election, and maybe those feeling that way may not even turnout to vote.

    But in those seats where UKIP already has a sitting member, the leader is running and/or the issues UKIP is raising resonates with the voters then UKIP support could be very high.

    Thus the question becomes have the national pollsters captured the right mix in their samples of respondents.

    And finally I am not sure how prevalent this attitude is but I had a short but fascinating conversation with a 40s something Conservative, who took a leaflet, with the view that he wanted to keep an open mind, and in this election felt that neither Conservative nor Labour deserved to get a majority as neither were to be trusted with that much political power on their own.

    He suggested a Conservative-Green coalition or a Labour -Lib Dem one to offset the “extremes” in both the major parties.

    I came away feeling, if this voter was at all representative of what Lord A has said in his latest missive, that there very well could be a group of voters out there determined to give neither Conservative or Labour a majority, but rather force them to work with other parties instead.

    If this indeed is the case, and this was a younger voter, then maybe, just maybe, there is some future hope for moving to a proportional system UK wide, as coalition governments can lead to broader representation in government and changes in the electoral system.

  34. Smithson tweeting that a private poll suggests Mark Reckless is now narrowly behind in Rochester.

  35. @Bantams

    A private poll?

    Does anyone trust private polls? They are largely only released as PR spin,

  36. Bantams

    Some time since I looked at the figures, but last time I saw them, the poor spend every penny in the local economy, while the rich invest a chunk of theirs (not neessarily in the UK economy) and purchase more imported consumer goods/ enjoy foreign holidays etc.

    Happy to be corrected, but more of the limited resources of the poor are recycled within the economy.

  37. NeilJ – our agent said around 1/6 (16-17%) in our constituency as they getting targeted leaflets next week but I guess with turnout probably higher amongst those with postal votes 20% at least is likely.

    My understanding is that postal votes go out the week after next (w/c 20th)

  38. @Andy

    It does require us to be accurate when making comments about polling results

    Fair point. I was really only looking at where there were lots of Greens to squeeze when making that comment, and that was in Hove when they went from 12 to 9, so a 25% drop.

    But for UKIP it is much larger, and there a lots more of them to squeeze.

    Blackpool 24==>15, 37% drop
    Gloucester 18 ==> 12, 33% drop
    Harrow 13==9, 31% drop
    Hove 11==> 5, 54% drop
    Kingswood 23==15, 35% drop
    Loughborough 12==> 12, no drop
    Morecambe 18==> 12, 33% drop
    Pendle 17==> 10, 41% drop
    Pudsey 15==>8, 47% drop
    Stockton 19==>9, 53% drop

    So with the exception of Loughborough that UKIP squeeze is significantly larger that the 12.5% drop in national polls. As is that 33% drop for the Greens in the one seat where they have a significant vote to squeeze.

    And you are correct, also for the LDs where they had significant numbers to squeeze

    Gloucester 12==> 9, 33% drop
    Pendlie 11==> 8, 28% drop
    Pudsey 9==> 5, 45% drop

    vs a LD rise in national polls.

    I think the point I am trying to make is that the movements at a marginal level are very different to what we see at a national level, and as the marginals are what will ultimately decide this election, that is where we need to be looking.

    If there are still lots of UKIP to squeeze, and not many Greens or LD’s in those seats, then I think that favours the Conservatives as we head into the final weeks, regardless of if Lab pulls ahead or behind the Conservatives by a few percent at the national level.

  39. @ Old Nat, Bantam

    You also take into account that part of the spending of the rich is just feeding into the growth of the rentier economy particularly in London and the South East. Spending on goods and services is economically productive, spending on an asset bubble is not.

    I have seen several articles commenting on this recently – see for example the FT 16 Jan 2015.

  40. OLDNAT
    Good point! :-)

    Don’t spoil it for everyone else, folks. I always watch the London SP live for the end chat which doesn’t get broadcast by BBC Scotland and watch the Scottish bit on BBC Parliament [today scheduled for 15:35 WEST].

    Having seen some of the twittering the Scottish SP generated, I hope they have the sub-titles ready in time for that broadcast!

  41. JimJam

    Don’t think its partisan – just more disappointing but understandable tactics. I think there was something the other week about both Cameron and Miliband refusing to be interviewed by him as well.

    The risks of ending up looking like Natalie Bennett did outweigh the positives for the parties unfortunately. Particularly as the shows he hosts tend to be more niche programs for political wonks like us (by that I mean the type of people who look at polls and follow politics closely) and not watched by a more mainstream audience.

    The chances of picking up votes if you do well in the interview are probably very limited given most of the audience probably has fairly well defined opinions, but there is plenty of opportunity to lose votes / credibility if they mess up and it gets replayed on every news channel for a day.

    Paxman started to have the same issue after the notorious Michael Howard interview with politicians ducking his interviews. I actually think Andrew Neil is far better than Paxman though, especially with his follow-up line of questioning. It’s a pity he didn’t take over Newsnight instead of Evan Davis.

  42. I live in Watford – nice tight three way fight – and it is being very heavily canvassed, but from my impression Conservative and Lib Dems are putting in more effort than Labour on this ward. That’s just an impression from door knocks, leaflets and window signs.

    Lib Dem candidate is a local Mayor taking on Incumbent Conservative MP.

    I have received a huge amount of mail – thank fully we now have recycling bins.

    Lib Dem leaflet today quotes past result, but also most recent Ashcroft Polls and William Hill odds to try to persuade readers that only they can beat the Conservatives – ie still hoping for Labour supporters to vote tactically.

    It’s a bit cheeky, in the odds Lib Dems are 13-8 and Labour 2-1, while Ashcroft is 28% v 24% not that much to suggest “Labour can’t win here”.

    Would have thought the collapse in LD support would have made this more of a Labour target, but they aren’t knocking on the doors.

  43. @JIM JAM
    April 12th, 2015 at 1:09 pm


  44. Exile in Yorkshire,

    I was thinking more of a fake tan. I’ve never seen so many until visiting the North of England, but this may be an urban/rural thing, since I haven’t spent so much experience of cities before.

  45. FPT

    20-poll geometric median w/changes since yesterday
    con: 33.3% (+0.1)
    lab: 34.3% (+0.1)
    lib: 8.2% (-0.1)
    ukip: 13.8% (-0.3)
    grn: 4.9% (+0.1)
    oth: 5.4% (-)

    I note that the YouGov Election Centre hasn’t updated yet today – presumably they realised that they were breaking their clients’ embargoes.

  46. As a hung parliament looks ever more likely I wonder if some policies are being added to manifestos just so they can be discarded as bargaining chips in the post election negotiations.

    “Well Ed, we are actually pretty committed to having a picture of Wee Jimmie Krankie on the ten pound note, but we are prepared to give that up if you agree to scrap Trident.”

  47. He’s at it again.

    Lord Ashcroft [email protected] 50m50 minutes ago
    With so much happening I’m intrigued what the Ashcroft National Poll will show tomorrow. Released here at 4pm with commentary @ConHome

  48. @ Allan C

    How can he be intrigued?
    Surely he knows what it ways. He paid for it.

  49. what it SAYS

  50. OLDNAT

    What happened this morning in the leaders debate was the exact reason why I said a few months ago that I was opposed to a Scottish leaders debate.

    The impression I get is that the MSM in Scotland want to keep having leaders debates until they get the desired results in the polls.
    In all honestly I think one party will be damaged by what was shown and another party will probably take a boos from the female VI.

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