The first poll of 2010 is actually the last one of 2009, since it was conducted on Tuesday and Wednesday. The YouGov poll in the Telegraph has topline figures of CON 40%(nc), LAB 30%(+2), LDEM 17%(-1).

Given the dates of the fieldwork there was potential for really wacky results here, but it’s actually almost exactly at the mod point between YouGov’s other two December polls this year.

The “feel-good-factor” (that is, the proportion of people who expected their family’s financial situation to get better over the next 12 months minus that who expected it to get worse) was up to minus 13, actually the highest that YouGov have recorded since the recession began, though only just and it may be the result of seasonable optimism!

Asked about their expectations for 2010, 63% thought the Conservatives would win the election, 67% expected house prices to rise again, though only 40% expected the economy to grow and 24% expected a further bank collapse. Only 18% expected their family to be better off.

Just 12% expected progress towards peace in Afghanistan, 7% thought crime would fall and an ever optimistic 8% expected the England football team to win the World Cup (since someone will ask, that included 1% of Scots… or at least, people living in Scotland).

Full tables are here

112 Responses to “The final poll of 2009”

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  1. Neil A – I agree with your main point about HH but would suggest that domestic violence is an equality/political issue in a resource allocation sense.
    If 50% of Chief contstables or 50% of police authorites members were women more resources would go in to tackling this aspect of Law and Order.
    I think HH is clumsy presentationally and chooses some odd examples (Lehman Sisters for instance) but is generally on the money with her analysis.
    I have not seen her DD comments in full but as I see it if she is using him being the chair as an example contrasting with the treatment of Moira Suart and Anna Ford then she has a point.
    If she is attacking the obvious BBC nominee then she looks chippy.
    The issue is not that DD has been chosen but that due to sexism down the years it would have been impossible for a women to become the candidate he is for the role

  2. “In my opinion the election could be won by either of the two major parties.”

    I’m sure you are right. The bookies are offering odds of 1/250 for that outcome. ;)

  3. Jimjam,

    Interesting that you choose the Chief Constable example as (for once, I hear you all cry!) it’s something I know a little about.

    Whether Domestic Violence policing is under-resourced is of course a subjective question. Any and every aspect of policing could benefit from extra resources, albeit with diminishing returns. Whether the right balance is struck between financing Domestic Violence investigation and other kinds of policework is open to debate.

    On the one hand, Domestic Violence isn’t actually particularly hard to solve. After all, if you don’t already know who the offender is, then it isn’t classed as Domestic in the first place. The problem is more with procedures, Human Rights issues (can you withold bail from a man for slapping a woman? would you also withold bail from the same man if he slapped another man in the street?) and the problem of when and if it is justified to threaten victims with imprisonment to secure their attendance at court.

    On the other hand, in a targets based culture, Domestic Violence is hard to quantify because it is not a “volume crime”. Basically all domestic violence crimes are “solved” in the sense that we know what happened and who did it, so there is no way to “improve your numbers” by throwing money at the problem. The issue is about decisions to prosecute, and decisions to compel witnesses, both of which are entirely a matter for the CPS and therefore outside the grasp of any chief officer, male or female.

    Anyway.. to get back to my point… even if it was fair to assume that male chief officers give domestic violence a lower priority because of their gender, then the ratio of female chief officers has to be seen in a clearer context than just the “50% female population = 50% female chief officers” assumption (equality of outcome, Sindel’s Straw Man – quite an ironic phrase given the tripe sprouted by another Labour Big Beast recently about the police).

    Remember that almost without exception, chief officers will have in excess of 20 years police service. In many cases it will be 25 or even 30 years service. So when considering whether the selection process for chief officers is gender-neutral, you have to look not at the percentage of women in the population, or even the percentage of women in the police (about 27% in the 2008 figures) but the percentage of officers joining the police in 1980-1990 who were women.

    I don’t have ready access to any statistics, except that when I joined the Met in 1990 there were 104 recruits in my intake and I’d say about 1 in 4 were female (incidentally we had only a single ethnic minority recruit – times have radically changed there!). I am not sure of the current total of female chief officers. I think its 6 or 7, so around 11-13% of the total. Set that against a proportion of women joining (at the relevant time) of something under 25% and you can see there is a disparity but it is not so dramatic. In my experience the difference can be explained entirely by the much higher numbers of female officers leaving the police, and by the “damage” to promotion prospects caused by the effects of having children (maternity leave, career breaks and flexible working). There is no reason to believe that there is active discrimination against women in the selection processes for chief police officers.

    In other words, to ensure “equality of outcome” in the selection of chief officers, you would have to actively discriminate against good male candidates. So even if addressing the domestic violence issue was being hampered by male chief officers the only way to combat it would be to actively discriminate against men.

    The long and short of this essay is to show without malice why the kind of thinking ascribed to Ms Harman leads to fears in some people’s minds about an “anti-men” agenda.

  4. Neil A – thanks for the response and I agree and accpet that there is a time-lag with these matters, including for example at the BBC.
    I also acknowledge that some of HH’s attempts to move the pace along can give the impression of being Anti-Men.
    I don’t think she is but she is anti-male Dominance.

  5. 23% of women & 17% of men said they didn’t know who they’d vote for; or that they wouldn’t vote.

    That is a lot of voters. And, if I’ve read the detail correctly, women seem less keen on David Cameron than one would expect.

    Is this a reflection of the number of women who work in the public service sector? Do women in all sectors believe they’ll bear the brunt of cuts?

    I’m expecting Labour to focus strongly on women in the coming campaign. If they focus on women, as opposed to “women’s issues”, I think Lab could pick up a lot of floating/ not voting points.

  6. Amberstar – you almost always get a higher proportion of women than men saying don’t know to political questions, not just questions about the parties.

  7. @Roland Haines

    Conservative stability in the polls.
    Well there seems to have been a drift downwards ever since the Tories started talking about policies. It started, I think, with Georges statement at the party conference that ‘we are all in this together’ which plainly is not true.

    I think the challenges to his leadership faced by Gordon pale into significance compared to the attacks faced by poor John Major when he was in charge. Didnt he refer to them as the b……..s?

    My prediction is that Dave will become PM with a small majority and then the ‘Nasty’ flank of his party will demand their pound of flesh. It will be interesting to see how Mr ‘Nice Guy’ copes.
    Sorry to sound like a ‘sour puss’.

    1)The Tories have been around 40% for months on end.
    2) John Major is ancient history.
    3) How can a PM whose position is constantly undermined by speculation of internicine warfare and replacement “pale into
    insignificance”, its fundermental to governance.
    4) We were all in the 2nd World War together and shock horror, the PM went to Harrow. (Is that less offensive than Eton?)
    5) As far as you being a sour puss, I have no idea.

  9. Roland Haines

    Ok – the Tories seem to be stuck between 37-40%. Earlier in the year their share seemed to be 40-43%

    It looks like Labour voters are returning to the fold from the Lib Dems. This could continue unless Nick Clegg is on dazzling form in the TV debates.

    Internicine Warfare? I think you are over egginng the pudding.

    John Major – Ancient history? It was only 12 1/2 years ago. I must be showing my age.
    I don’t think one can compare George Osborne to Churchill.

    Sour Puss. You introduced the term. I just wondered what it meant.

  10. Neil A

    Your informative post, whatever it says about eqality, says more about the intelligence and numeracy of politicians in general and the disregard for evidence-based policies.

    I have seen pre-legislation scrutiny by the Scottish parliament committee dealing with agricultural affairs and as well as farmers among the MSP’s they very efficiently questioned experts and interested parties from all sectors of the industry including academics by the half dozen. That’s much better than passing “mad dog” legislation and hoping the house of Lords will sort it out.

  11. Valerie

    “My prediction is that Dave will become PM with a small majority and then the ‘Nasty’ flank of his party will demand their pound of flesh.”

    I thought so too, at first, but DC is in luck, at least for a short first term parliament with a small majority.

    Firstly, on most (English) issues, he can count on the nationalists of every sort to not vote. Secondly as has been said elsewhere, there will be a very high number of new MP’s hungry for power. They arn’t going to rock the boat and spoil their chance of promotion. Normally they wouldn’t be promoted in the first term while the whips work out which are drunks, fornicators, lazy or incompetent.

    Last time it was senior MP’s with no hope of preferment, many of them not expecting to serve a further term that made the most trouble.

    The converse of that is that there will be relatively few of experienced MP’s and many will be needed for the government and party jobs. Between the payroll vote and the novices there wont be enough left to make a decent revolt even if they are not loyalists.

  12. labour is finished now even if brown rides this out

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