As far as I can see from their website the Sunday Times only reported the Labour leadership figures from their YouGov poll this weekend. The whole poll is now up on YouGov’s website here Topline voting intention figures with changes from last week are CON 39%(+2), LAB 32%(-2), LDEM 21%(nc).

David Cameron’s approval rating as Prime Minister is still in honeymoon mode at +42, Nick Clegg’s approval rating is similar at +44. 63% think the coalition partners are working well together.

YouGov asked people if they supported or opposed a series of policies put foward by the coalition. Most popular was an annual limit on immigration from non-EU countries (supported by 81%), followed by scrapping ID cards (63%), banning cheap alcohol from supermarkets (56%) and removing peoples DNA from the national database if they are not convicted (54%). A plurality of people also supported the immediate £6 bn in spending cuts (by 43% to 34%).

The most unpopular policy was the expected rise in VAT to 20%, opposed by 66% of respondents. A majority (61%) also opposed reducing the number of CCTV cameras and a plurality opposed the part privatisation of the Royal Mail (by 47% to 33%). While asked in isolation the VAT rise was very unpopular, YouGov also asked if they would prefer the rise in VAT or large cuts in public spending – in that context 46% of people prefered the VAT, 38% the larger spending cuts.

On the Labour leadership David Miliband remains the clear frontrunner, with 23% naming him as the person they think would make the best leader. Somewhat surprisingly Diane Abbott is in second place on 9%, followed by 8% for Ed Miliband. Diane Abbot’s popularity though is much higher amongst Conservative and Lib Dem supporters – amongst Labour’s own supporters she is in fourth place behind David Miliband (34%), Ed Miliband (13%) and Ed Balls (10%). As I warned last week though, leadership preference questions are this stage are largely name recognition.

Asked who would be the WORST leader, Ed Balls is top with 21%, followed by Diane Abbott on 18%. Amongst Labour’s current supporters Diane Abbott is seen as the worst candidate on 22%, followed by Balls on 13%.

Moving on, YouGov asked about the BA strike and who was most to blame. They found 32% of people blamed the Trade Union, 20% the BA management and 38% both of them. YouGov also asked if various groups should be allowed to strike – there were three groups where a majority thought they should not be able to strike – for both the army and the police 22% thought they should be able to, 69% thought they should not. For NHS staff 36% thought they should be allowed to stike, 55% thought they should not. A plurality also thought energy distribution workers shouldn’t be able to. For the other professions YouGov asked about people thought a majority should be able to strike, including 61% who thought airline workers should be able to.

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

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  1. “It’s over-consumption that is destroying the planet, not overpopulation”

    It is the increase in population which drives consumption,

    Yes in the West we overconsume.

    But in the developing countries they :-

    Destroy pristine forest & wetland habitats for agriculture & consume water, diverting & polluting rivers & wetlands.Subsistence Farming is responsible for 48% of deforestation.

    Have a look at the environmental degradation & destruction in The Subcontinent & Africa.

    …and then their teeming millions want to leave their rural poverty for the riches of their new cities. Have a look at the environmental catastrophies which are following the industrialisation of China & India.

    Africa is following suit.

    32% of deforestation is caused by commercial agriculture.

    80% of the worlds biodiversity is found in tropical rainforest.

    Yes we have done all this in Europe . The fate of the Great Forests of Europe was sealed 10,000 years go -with the advent of Neolithic clearance for farming.

    In USA practically all Old Growth Forest has gone since 1620 AD.

    It is pointless repeating the mantra that if consumption could be reduced, environmental damage would cease.

    The growth in global population & its effects in the most rudimentary subsistence farming , water extraction, and housing will negate all the sandal wearing , muesli eating good intentions of the developed world.

    …and the Developing World wants to be Developed-they want to have what we have-Full Bellies, Piped Water, Permanent Housing.

    Man is destroying the ecosystems & biodiversity of this planet-because he will not control his exploding presence on it.

    ……and none of this is addressed in “videos by Al Gore”.

    The AGW zealots have nothing to say about the human population. They are concerned only for the security of it’s supply of energy. They have no concern, and never talk about, the destruction which it’s locust swarm has, is, and will continue to visit on the Biosphere & it’s once glorious diversity of life.

  2. @Owain,

    I will be here in 2050 with my 8.999999999 billion comrades. I will await with anticipation to see if they starve and suffer malnutrition to the extent our contempoary malthusians suggest. I look forward to conversing with future over-population theorists on this. I will be sure to tell them that they had many admirers of the creed back in 2010 and 1960 and 1905 and 1845 and so on and so on and so on…

    I just hope that their are enough inhabitants left in europe to help pay for my pension and social care. :)

  3. ” I will await with anticipation to see if they starve and suffer malnutrition to the extent our contempoary malthusians suggest.”

    No need to wait Eoin

    1.02 billion of your “comrades” are malnourished now ( FAO)-most of them children-with the diseases which follow, and the appropriate lifespan.

    I do hope another 3 billion “comrades” headed for a similar future -or indeed the final environmental hammerblows as they try to carve a subsistence from what is left of the Biosphere , will not disturb your peace of mind-or pension & social care ;-)

  4. @Eoin,

    The saddest thing is that the poorest nations will be the ones that will suffer most from climate changes and food (and resource) scarcity. The rich world will hoard most of the resources (like currently), leaving an extra 3-4 billion people to face starvation. I can see this happening.

  5. @Colin,

    3 billion- thank you for the precise figure! My terms of reference become ever clearer.

    If as I expect, Irish charity continues in the way it has done for nearly centuries now many parts of Africa will a teeny bit better off. The work my partner has done in Jamaica, her two brothers in Kenya, My family in Zambia, my friend in Algeria, and myself in Darfur is but a tip of the iceberg but every bit helps.

    I hope your flower exploration goes well in the meantime :)

  6. @Matt,

    I reccomend ITDG. They are a fantastic charity. 2 million people’s lungs are damaged a year due to smoke inahlation. Poor chimneys… ITDG’s wind up lamp provides light in their homes and removes the need for the fire….

    It works developin gpractical technology to help Africans… solar powered lap tops etc…. I have been a beneficiary of them for several years now.

  7. @Eoin,


    I do think that minimising the world’s population growth should be a priority, but I also agree that the West shoul face a greater burden on:-

    1) Reducing emissions.
    2) Helping developing countries to reduce their emissions, through better technology/clean energy supplies etc. New, more effective schemes, could also be developed to reverse the problem of deforestation/wilderness loss etc.
    3) Help alleviate poverty in the third world by encouraging education (including amongst girls and women), providing more aid to poverty-stricken countries etc, the adoption of an International minimum wage etc.. Contraception could also be made widely available to prevent the spread of AIDS and to help to address the overpopulation problem.

  8. EOIN

    Thanks for that reply.

    It is so interesting how -despite never having met correspondents here-a few really define themselves so clearly by what they say on a range of topics, that one finds oneself able to predict their replies in advance.

    Not word for word -obviously-but in attitude , values & priorities. And a picture emerges-almost literally. :-)

  9. Another point that no one has mentioned is that overpopulation and poverty often go hand in hand. This has been mentioned in many official reports.

    Overall, I’d say it’s more in the developing world’s interests to minimise (or reverse) population growth than it is (even) in the West’s. It’s forecasted, for instance, that climate change would have an even more profound and damaging impact on Africa (and African coasts) than on Europe. Also, the resource (and food scarcity) problem would affect the poorest and least powerful nations on earth the worst. Rich countries have more bargaining power, and hoard a disproportionate amount of the world’s resources.

    That’s why if you have an interest in stopping world poverty (which I do), preventing excessive population growth should also be a priority.

  10. Matt,

    The biggest problem awaiting to be solved in Africa is the distribution of generic drugs. Patents or Branded drugs cost 4 times more than a generic medicine, which performs the exact same treatment. If the big pharmecuticals contributed in selling basic medicines at non-extortionate prices we might get somewhere.

    British oil exploration in the Niger Delta as well as drilling in Equatorial New Guinea does more damage that indigenous industries

    International Arms sales to Eritrea/Uganda/Kenya/Eithiopia result in much loss of life. The Belgian Congo has saw more than 2 million killed in a decade.

    If the world could follow America’s lead in tackling issues in Africa we would be much better off. Other than they and France it seems China and others do not want to play their part.

    Each of these four solutions would go a reat way to helping the continent.

    Birth control and Vatican leadership on this is another obvious method of correction, which is urgently required.

    your idea yesterday also seemed a very sensible way forward…. I am sure their is a great capacity for renewables there…

  11. @Colin,

    I agree entirely :)

  12. @Eoin,

    Yes, I agree with all of the points you have outlined. The main problem is that the West is not doing nearly enough! Quite simply, we should be doing a whole lot more.

  13. @Colin & Eoin,

    I agree too. :)

  14. @Matt,

    Regarding poverty and family size you have hit the nail right on the head..

    My grandparents who were part of the travelling community had thirteen children.

    My mum, the first one to own a home eight children

    Myself the first one to univeristy – one child

    I suspect that means my bambino will if he has an interest in women, not bother to have any children :)

  15. @Eoin,


    Regarding poverty and family size you have hit the nail right on the head
    My grandparents who were part of the travelling community had thirteen children.

    My mum, the first one to own a home eight children

    Myself the first one to univeristy – one child

    I suspect that means my bambino will if he has an interest in women, not bother to have any children :)”


  16. @Matt,

    He might even vote Tory lol :)-

  17. @Eoin,


    He might even vote Tory lol :) -”

    You never know. :)

  18. @ Eoin – May 26th, 2010 at 11:19 am

    Basically you’ll just assume you’re right and not bring up any arguments supporting your position. How fatuous, and dare I say, typical.

  19. @Owain,

    And no doubt you’d do the same….

    dare I say it typical

    International comparitives for instance are accepted as part and parcel of academic pursuit yet you called it ‘silly’. :)

  20. “academic pursuit ”

    ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-)

  21. @Colin,

    Sniping is your forte of that there is no doubt. I am sure there were other fortes once. I for one am happy to be your target :)

  22. Too kind Eoin

    But I defer to you with bowed head & utmost humility.

    When it comes to sniping-you are amongst the best I have come across.

    Beats “academic pursuit” any day-and saves engaging with people in their issues… too….I expect ? :-)

    We are here to give you pleasure my friend :-)

  23. @ Eoin
    “And no doubt you’d do the same….”

    Actually I’ve been arguing my position, not just stating it then sitting back with folded arms and a :smug: smile.

    “International comparitives for instance are accepted as part and parcel of academic pursuit yet you called it ’silly’.”

    I called the direct comparison silly because it wouldn’t answer my question yet you stated it as if it did.
    Doesn’t academic pursuit usually involve defending ones positions?

  24. @Colin

    I am often told I am too kind, however, I have the emotional intelligence of a plank. If that was reverse psychology it honestly went far over my head.

    Sniping though requires someone to initiate exchanges. You have the intellect to notice that I rarely initiate, thus sniping it is not. Instead, it is merely responsive defence of my opinions.

    Also, with my emotional intelligence so low, I am known to consider people my friend on a whim (I have no enemies, hence I include my surname), however I do recall that you told me you do not make friends at a whim. Thus, that bit I can deduce through hypocratic observation is an insult. But since my emotional ineptitude makes it quite difficult for me to feel even negative emotions, I am afraid that insult is lost on a carefree soul like myself.

    In short, life is far too good to get weighed down by back biting. :) :)

  25. @Owain,

    In the last 24 hours I have changed my opinion on the matter twice.

    One the first Occasion, Howard persuaded me that under-devloped countries do have a population problem looming.

    One the second, Matt persuaded me that thrid world industrialisation could still occur but with green solutions eg.. renewable energies…

    They both put their points well and I accepted them.

    As for the comparison of the UK and US poltiical systems, i accpet you are not aware but a comparison of both systems has dominated undergraduate and A-level exam sylabuses since the 1980s. It might also be incumbent upon you to accept that in those exchanges I was providing illustrative and constructive help to your enquiry, I certainly did not take task with your assumptions/theories, hence ‘silly’ was I am quite sure an ill-judged adjective.

    Thus, in view of your insult you will perhaps more readily understand why I feel less inclined to consider your flora and fauna notions at length.

    :) No hard feelings though. :)

  26. EOIN

    ” I have the emotional intelligence of a plank”


    ……I only make this observation in response to your own analysis of my character…………….but I distinctly remember you telling me that you are aware that you take offence too easily.

    …but I am very willing to accept-from the drip of personal history with which you have favoured us over time-that you are such a complex character, that it’s divination is as difficult for you as it is for me. ;-)

    Enough already ?

  27. @Colin,

    easily Offended?

    Yes, I put that down to being of gypsy extraction :)

    I must confess divination and its meaning are lost on me also…

  28. @ Eoin
    “They both put their points well and I accepted them.”

    Yes, they framed their points more politically. I’m a scientist, I don’t feel the need to try and spin things in a way to convince those so reliant on history and politics at the expense of understanding anything else. As I said, the numbers showing the trends are all there on the UN WHO organisation site, I’m sure you could analyze them you’re a historian. The rest of it is simple fact. Unlimited population growth in a limited space is impossible.

  29. @Owain,

    Well I will read your points again in as decontaminated a framework as I can muster (though I doubt is posible) and reply as objectively as I can.

    What with being an historian, this being a poltiical site, your sort are rare but nonetheless welcome.

    History is an art not a science. And no matter what Hempel, Von Ranke or other’s say, it can only be an art.

    But I will try…… :)

  30. Owain

    Since you & I appear to be on the same wavelength-it’s nice to exchange views.

    Your interest seems to be centred on the lack of food resource for the next 3bn

    Mine is the continuing & future degradation of the Biosphere in the effort to produce that food.

    What this little exchange has emphasised for me is :-

    a) The general unwillingness of the political left to acknowledge that uncontrolled human population growth is, per se a problem for the humans -or for the planet.

    b) The strange lack of interest in -or indeed concern about- the massive , continuing & documented loss of ecosystems & their biodiversity.

    c) The equally strange lack of concern; in contrast to implied ethical & religious views-but manifestly inherant in a) above -about the plight of the 1bn people on the planet who are malnourished, and those further billions who will join them in their plight.

    and finally

    d) The reluctance to accept any evidence from , the most authoratitive sources , for the related crises of population, resource & environmental damage which has escalated over the last two centuries.

    The near mystical & apocalyptic properties which AGW zealots accord the infamous IPCC hockey stick graph of global temperature , is in stark contrast to their complete silence about the veritable cliff face graph of human population growth.

    That the former might just be a function of the latter, appears to be a complete blind spot of political correctness.

    As you so rightly observe-science is nowhere to be seen on this topic.

    And-since this is a political forum-democratic politicians of all persuations appear to have decided that the problem of human population growth is insoluble.

  31. Colin,

    Two decades ago Baroness Chalker at the ODA (now DFID) tried to address the issue by linking aid to population control programmes. She was attacked for being an imperialist fascist imposing her values on emerging countries who needed popullation growth to support their GDP growth.

    As I mentioned way up this thread – or perhaps on another – one of the key issues which underlines the left’s blindspot on the population issue is that they focus solely on aggregate gdp to show their materialistic growth trajectories and wilfully ignore per capita measures since these tend to show that sharing a slightly larger cake with a larger pool leads to smaller slices each.

    This was a crucial reason behind the rapid immigration seen in the past decade. It also explains why the left prefer to ignore the atomisation of society since increased number of households leads to increased gdp measurable consumption – much of it wasted – but not to any increase in happiness – not reflected in gdp..

    As you say, hypocrisy commonly found on the politcal left. Nothing new there.

  32. The left is suspicious of the right’s concern for the needy in other countries. This is because it is the right who are PERCEIVED as the enemies of the poor in their own countries.

    The apparent Schizophrenic between concern for abstract poverty in faraway lands yet instigation of poverty through profiteering and exploitation in their home turf leads many to ask if all the right are really interested in is telling other countries how to live their lives in terms of one child policy etc.

    This pre-dates the great environmental conerns of our modern era- I am talking historically.

    That it was the right who splashed red over the map of Africa probably leads to accusations hypocrisy…

    when neo-cons cause so much hardship today in the muslim world this further leads to incredulation among lefties.

    On top of this, the fact that most of our enviromental disasters is caused by private speculators digging, drilling and quarrying our plant to oblivion also leads to perception sof hypocrisy….

    of course none of this is my own view but since the ‘left’ and what they believe has been floated by righties I thought I would add my pennies worth…

    my own opinion is that point scoring is childish and dnagerous especialyl when we consider that the human problem of world poverty is very real.

  33. @Eoin,

    “The left is suspicious of the right’s concern for the needy in other countries. This is because it is the right who are PERCEIVED as the enemies of the poor in their own countries.”

    Many right-wing voters (and MPs) do have a concern for the needy in the third world. Many charity workers/donators, for instance, are Conservative voters.

    We also need to differentiate between the poor in the UK and the poor overseas. Many Conservatives (though not all) don’t concern themselves with income inequality in the UK, instead preferring to measure such poverty in real terms (i.e. the number of people without accommodation/basic food/heating etc.) They don’t see the need to create a society where the gap between the richest and poorest is narrowed, providing, of course, that everyone gets wealthier (at all income levels). Of course, the nature of wealth is such that, regardless of a government’s policies, it is very difficult to stop the rich from getting richer (and prevent the income inequality gap from widening).

    They also see the ability to accumulate (and derive) wealth as the main drive behind human endeavours, including business. Without a profit motive, they argue, people would be generally less inclined, or motivated, to invest their time or money in seeking out business opportunities (or climbing the career ladder). As businesses are the principal wealth creators, it follows that to create a wealthy society you need to create a society where entrepreneurship is incentivised and individuals are able to accumulate wealth, if their efforts prove successful.

    As for the International situation, that is much more complex. The poverty levels, for one thing, are much more extreme. There are millions of children globally who do not have access to clean water, or who face the very real prospect of starvation or a life of unbearable poverty. To most ordinary Conservatives (and any remotely decent human being), this is a very depressing situation, and one that needs addressing immediately.

  34. @MAtt,

    Excellent post. Much of that I agree with. There are a lot of religous charities quite right-leaning that I know of who work in Africa

    CAFOD and Trocáire being two.

    I also understand your rationale about the life choices open to someone in the third world vis a vis a UK citizen…

    a reasonably fair point also although I have seen some desperate cases in inner-city nottingham that make parts of Africa look much further advanced. But your main point stands…

    Whilst the focus is on life chances and relative poverty I think progress can be made :)

  35. MAtt,

    What is your view on the damage imperialism and British jingoism done to Africa?

    What is your opinion on the destruction Capitalist businessmen have caused to Britain, US and Africa?

  36. @Eoin,

    I think the way forward is to invest more resources in schools in poorer areas, and try to make opportunities available to all.

    As for world poverty, the situation is less straightforward. However, providing more International aid, abolishing trade barriers, the adoption of an International minimum wage, as well as making education more widespread, would at least be a reasonable start at tackling the problems IMO.

    If there is enough political will, I have no doubt that it could be achievable. :)

  37. @Eoin,

    “What is your view on the damage imperialism and British jingoism done to Africa?”

    I am under no illusion whatever that Britain has done some terrible things in the past – and, indeed, the present. So to answer your question directly, I do attribute much of the poverty in Africa today to the damage cause by British imperialism (and its legacy).

    Sadly, things have not greatly improved. British (and American) multinationals, for example, continue to abuse their power in the name of profit. To a large extent, that is why many African and Asian workers are so lowly paid. Without the existence of a statutory minimum wage, many large, multi-national companies see the opportunity of cheap labour and seize it. That is why I think an International minimum wage, applicable to all nations, is so desperately needed.

  38. Matt,

    An international minimum wage is a fantastic idea. I have never heard it raised before. If it varied slightly to take account of businesses economies and currency strengths but the sam eprinciple applied, it would indeed be a great idea.

  39. @Eoin,

    “An international minimum wage is a fantastic idea. I have never heard it raised before. If it varied slightly to take account of businesses economies and currency strengths but the sam eprinciple applied, it would indeed be a great idea.”

    Yes, obviously it would need to be tailored to take into account different currencies, economies etc. It could be done though IMO.

  40. @ PAUL H-J
    Thanks for your interesting post.

    Yes linking aid to population control would be a very useful thing -and therefore the banshee howls were predictable.

    The patronising attitude inherant in “buying off” the starving & poor with traditional aid , is increasingly under criticism as counterproductive.

    Studies are showing that this model is flawed and money from rich countries has trapped many African nations in a cycle of corruption, slower economic growth and poverty.

    Who was it who coined the phrase about giving a man a fishing rod vs giving a man a fish?

    The model is changing. some of the most effective one sees now are things like low tech well construction kits, wind up radios etc.

    Perhaps not as much scope for grandstanding lefty popstars, or politicians, or long term insidious religious proselitizing -but effective nevertheless-and if allied to good governance -the better.

    And it has to be said that some World Bank “aid” projects have been just as harming.

    But the problem remains-unsustainable human population growth is causing increasing numbers of humans to spend short lives in hunger & sickness.
    They are the price being paid for uncriticisable population growth.

    It annoys me a lot that AGW zealots, Greens, left leaning “environmentalists” will not speak against population growth.

    It is as though the ancient author of Exodus 10; 1-20 described God’s threat to Egypt as a plague of eating – “They will devour what little you have left ” -but without any reference to the cause – ” locusts … will cover the face of the ground so that it cannot be seen” –
    – because locusts are supreme, holy & untouchable .

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