YouGov have carried out a series of questions on civil liberties for the Economist – full tables here, asking respondents whether a series of issues seen as an encroachment on civil liberties are, on balance, a good or bad thing. Widespread CCTV met with the most support – 74% thought this was a broadly good thing, with 22% thinking it a bad thing.
A smaller majority (55%) supported a centralised database of everyone’s health records, with 38% opposed. Opinion was even more evenly divided on the issue of ID cards and the biometic database that backs them up – 48% thought they were a good idea, 45% that they would be an unjustified invasion of privacy.
On the breadth of the DNA database public opinion a majority of people supporting the DNA database extending to eventually include the whole population, but only a bare majority of 51%, with a very substantial minority of 43% thinking only convicted criminals should have their DNA stored.
Finally YouGov asked about 42 day detention and David Davis’s by-election. 61% of people supported the police being able to detain suspected terrorists for up to six weeks before charging or releasing them, 33% thought 6 weeks would be far too long. This division of support seems pretty consistent amongst polls asking questions on whether people support or oppose the measure.
Asked about Davis’s stand, 49% of people thought he was right in his concerns over civil liberties, with 38% disagreeing with him – so while on the direct issue of 42 days people clearly don’t back him, once things like national databases and ID cards are thrown into the mix more people agree with him. However, of that 49% who back him, only 23% think things would actually be different were he home secretary, 26% think he would be just as bad.
Conservativehome meanwhile have another poll result from YouGov asking about the Davis by-election: 61% of respondents thought that Labour should have put a candidate up at the by-election, including a plurality (48%) of Labour voters.