A YouGov poll for Liberty shows a high level of support for keeping the 28 day limit on holding terrorist suspects without charge if the rules are relaxed to allow the police to continue to question them.

Previous polls have always shown public support for allowing the police to hold terrorist suspects for longer, but in this case when the alternative of keeping the 28 day limit but allowing questioning to continue after charge was offered, 70% of people supported it with only 13% in favour. I should add at least one caveat – people were given a choice of the status quo, questioning after charge OR a 42 day limit, so if people liked the idea of questioning after charge, they weren’t able to opt for 42 days AND questioning after charge. All the same, it still appears to be a popular alternative.

YouGov also asked how likely people thought it was that innocent people would end up being held for up to 42 days if the pre-detention period was extended. 39% thought this was a real risk, but 43% thought it very unlikely. The idea that longer detention powers would damage Britain’s reputation overseas also met with relatively little support – only 28% of people agreed, with 46% thinking it would be good for Britain’s repuation.

Off-topic, there will be an ICM poll in tomorrow’s Guardian on the London mayoral election. This is the first ICM poll on the election, the first media poll except for those from YouGov (the only other poll was the Labour party’s own internal polling from MORI) and the first non-YouGov poll since Boris Johnson opened up a significant lead over Ken Livingstone. At the last election Populus’s (who use much the same methodology as ICM) final polls were much kinder to Ken Livingstone than YouGov’s, so we should expect ICM to show a lower Johnson lead.


14 Responses to “YouGov/Liberty poll on 42 days”

  1. Not many surprises here but it is notable that, on the ‘risk of innocents being held’ question, Lib Dems are noticably more concerned than Tory or Labour supporters who give v similar responses.

  2. “Populus final polls more generous than YouGov”.Don’t understand , could you explain Anthony. Is it impossible for the mathematicians to establish an optimum method of polling – any major variation would then probably be politically motivated? It seems to me that the selection of the polling company is influenced by this point about “generosity”.

  3. Collin – remember, there is only a general election every 4 years, so there are very few opportunities to test voting intention polls against reality. All the polling companies think they are doing it the best possible way they can, they just have different ideas.

  4. Thank you, Anthony. So “generosity” does not really come into the vocabulary of the pollster.

  5. Collin, Populus gave Norris 42% to Livingstone 58% compared to actual figures of 45%/55% last time.

  6. According to BBC London News, Boris Johnson is 1% ahead of Red Ken on the basis of the ICM poll. That’s a big difference on YouGov’s figures

  7. CONfused

    According to BBC London News, Boris Johnson is 1% ahead of Red Ken on the basis of the ICM poll. That’s a big difference on YouGov’s figures

    Polls are formed from the same basis as statistics. Lies, damned lies, and – yah-di-yah-diyah. The only thing less trustworthy [IMHO] is the BBC.

    Try telling them to show balance in their political section. I have tried many times. Never had any response….

  8. I’m as confused as you CONfused!

    Boris at 42 vs 41 for Ken.
    51 to 49 after second prefs.

    How on earth is one supposed to make any sense of the huge difference between ICM & YouGov ?

  9. I’m on the ground working for BoJo man, but I have to admit that the 1% lead sounds more credible for me based on the complexities of London politics.

    But as old Col says, how do we reconcile YouGov with ICM????

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  11. I’m waiting for Anthony’s detailed analysis of this ICM poll. :D

  12. GIN :-) !

  13. 42 days – it may as well be 84 or more , Orwell got it wrong when he used 1984 – it should have been 2008.

  14. I fear that the British government is becoming more dangerous than those it proposes to protect us from.