Weekend polls

YouGov in the Sunday Times have topline voting intentions of CON 42%, LAB 37%, LDEM 12%. It also has what I think are the first questions on William Hague’s statement – the balance of opinion comes down strongly on Hague’s side on whether he is telling the truth or not (46% think he is, 12% think he isn’t) and whether he was correct to release his personal statement (59% think he was, 17% that he wasn’t). However, on the question of whether the initial decision to share a room with his advisor was an error of judgement, the public are more evenly divided – 43% think it was an error, 42% think it was not.

There is also a YouGov poll in the Scottish Mail on Sunday. Holyrood constitutency voting intentions there are CON 19%, LAB 39%, LDEM 11%, SNP 29%. Holyrood regional voting stands at CON 15%, LAB 36%, LDEM 12%, SNP 26%. Note that the write-up in the Herald says the poll was conducted a month ago. I guess they’ve got the dates wrong there, and it was actually carried out this week – I’ll confirm when I get in the office on Monday.

As we get close to the Pope’s visit to Britain this month, there are also two polls asking questions about it. A poll for the Tablet by MORI found 25% supported the visit, 11% opposed it with 63% having no strong view. 29% of Catholics interviewed said they were likely to go to one of the events during the Pope’s visit.

Asked about the Catholic church in general 49% had a positive view about the Catholic church having strong moral views. 41% agreed it was a force for good, with 17% disagreeing (this was asked as a split sample – the other half of respondents were asked about religion in general, where 52% thought religion was a force for good, and 22% a force for bad. On the specific issue of the child abuse scandal, 55% thought the Catholic church had responded badly, only 11% thought they had dealt with th

MORI also tested if people could identify Pope Benedict – 65% correct identified a photo of him. This compared to 50% who recognised Rowan Williams, 73% Fabio Capello, 86% Simon Cowell, 90% David Cameron and 95% Prince Charles.

There was also a ComRes poll on the visit for Theos. ComRes asked if people agreed or disagreed with 12 statements taken from the Pope’s encyclical letter, Caritas in Veritate. In almost every case people overwhelmingly agreed, largely one suspects because they were pretty bland, inoffensive, non-religious statements, such as “We must prioritise the goal of access to steady employment for everyone” or “The natural environment is more than raw material to be manipulated at our pleasure”. The only statement that people disagreed with was the sole one to mention god: “Poverty is often produced by a rejection of God’s love”, which 81% of people disagreed with.

Despite agreeing with most of the statements he made, people were broadly negative towards whether or not the Pope should comment on world issues. Only 18% thought he responded wisely to issued (49% disagreed), 40% said they generally disagreed with the Pope’s views (20% disagreed) and 41% thought the Pope should not speak out on social and political issues (36% disagreed). I suspect the apparent disconnect between these two banks of questions is down to people associating the Pope with his views on things like abortion, homosexuality, contraception and the church’s child abuse scandal, rather than his views on the environment and the economy.

288 Responses to “Weekend polls”

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  1. The Guardian are running a story with a leaked Memo from the previous NotW phone hacking inquiry, that suggest the inquiry was dropped after pressure from Met officials that they were “‘deeply resenting’ interference in their investigation”.

  2. Julian,

    Here’s a Brown Comparison (telegraph)

    Overall, 102 Labour MPs voted against the Government last year, including 11 who rebelled for the first time since the party came to power in 1997. They included Margaret Beckett, the former foreign secretary, and John Reid, ex-home secretary.

    Over the course of Mr Brown’s two and a half years as premier, 137 Labour MPs, more than a third of the party’s 350 MPs, have rebelled against him.

    Research by Professor Philip Cowley and Mark Stuart, from the University of Nottingham, shows that Labour MPs are increasingly defying the leadership, with the 2005 parliament on course to be the most rebellious by a governing party since the war.

    John McDonnell, Labour MP for Hayes and Harlington, who attempted to challenge Mr Brown for the leadership in 2007 but failed to get enough nominations, was Labour’s most rebellious backbencher, voting against the government on 46 occasions.

    The Government suffered two humiliating defeats in the last parliamentary year as a result of backbenchers defying the whip. The first was on a vote called by the Liberal Democrats over Mr Brown’s refusal to allow Gurkha veterans to settle in the United Kingdom.

    During the second, Mrs Beckett and Mr Reid were among a group of Labour rebels who rejected plans to clean up the Commons following the expenses scandal by ending parliamentary privilege and allowing Commons debates to be used as evidence in court.

    Since 2005, the Government has lost a total of six whipped votes, the greatest number for a party with a majority of more than 60 in the post-war era.

  3. Yougov poll: con 42 lab 37 lib dem 13

  4. Division has been called on an amendment to prevent the second reading. We should have the result shortly.

  5. @Jay Blanc – couldn’t find that memo but:
    “…one police source suggested that senior detectives who were involved in the hacking inquiry may have discovered that they themselves had been targeted. That has not been confirmed.”

    h ttp://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/sep/05/phone-hacking-metropolitan-police

  6. @ JAY

    I don’t understand. I was reading about the passage of a bill this evening and thought that amendments can only be voted on after the committee stage and before the 3rd reading. Can you help?

  7. Constructive amendments are usually added after committee stage. But this is a parliamentary procedure attempt to kill the legislation entirely prior to the second reading to prevent it going to committee stage.

  8. I’m not really expecting this amendment to pass.

  9. Martyn 4.14pm.

    Thanks for crunching the numbers on something I’ve posted several times.

    11,12,13 really isn’t that bad for the Libs when no election is looming. As you say, 10 or less is when the Doodoo really sticks.

  10. @ Jay

    Is that it?

    What just happened?

  11. The amendment failed. 254 to 347. There are some procedural divisions now, “On the main question” of the Second Reading of the bill, but it’s unlikely they’ll get a different vote.

  12. @ Jay

    Thanks. It is confusing.

  13. Jay,

    If its failing by that much, at this stage… you may give up the ghost…

    Not even all the reds voted against it….

  14. Roland – Re Coulson.

    I am so feeling the Eccleston effect here.

    No, it certainly didn’t topple Labour, but it set the tone (Tone?) didn’t it?

    I have just obsessed over 13 years of these stories as they drip, drip dripped away my party’s goodwill, our trust, our credibility.

    Some of the stories were horrible fabrications from right wing rags, but the damage was always done, whether the stories turned out to be valid or not.

    Ron Davies was an early scalp. His private life totally deciding his political fate.

    David Blunkett my own personal tragedy. A good man and imo a potential leader crushed.

    Some, however, unified Lab, Lib and Con like Iraq or 10p tax. It is undoubtedly true that some storied will gain traction and rightly so.

    It seems from reading the NYT that Coulson is 100% guilty and implicated, up to his proverbial in trouble. There are SO many important people on the “list”, 20 people suing, politicians demanding enquiries, the Met even implicated.

    I don’t need my red specs to recognise this one as an enormous pit of snakes.

    If it were happening to GB I’d have my head in my hands in despair.

  15. Amber

    I must have missed (or forgotten :-( ) your plan for “Independence in Britain”. If you have time, can you repeat which powers you wish to remain at Westminster?

  16. Martyn

    er…..thanks ?

    …..do you always take things quite so literally?

    I can see that a little less subtelty might be required in future for you.


  17. Colin – 6.51

    If William Hague had to go over this (I don’t think he should for one second, even if true) I too think it would be a disaster for the Blues and the country.

    Imo he is an extremely able minister with experience few in the government can offer. He is a slugger, he’s charismatic, has an “ordinary” touch and was just about the only Conservative politician who truly kept the faith with his party through thick and thin, pretty much saving it single handedly in some ways.

    I don’t believe in his politics, but if have to have a Tory PM, I wish it were him .

    (See, just because I discuss these things academically, doesn’t mean I’m part of the “mob”)

  18. @Eoin

    There was comment tho, that people declared they were supporting the bill at this vote, but did not feel obliged to accept the whip on voting for it in the future.

    328 Aye, 269 Nay on the second reading vote. Perhaps the Conservative rebels felt more able to rebel when they weren’t supporting a Labour amendment.

    Note, not all MPs are present for this vote, so all Labour MPs in the house at the time might have voted for the amendment. We’ll have to wait for something more informative about who voted what before we can say any more.

  19. Eoin – 7.23 (Nearly back!!)

    I too come from a boxing family. It’s in my blood.

    We always say knock ’em out in the first round if you can ;)

  20. @ Old Nat

    Independence in Britain – powers remaining with Westminster:

    1. Shared defence & national security.

    At the end of the transition period, I think defence is pretty much it. We would have a British Security Council – a bit like a mini-UN.

    I know defence is a tricky area, what with Trident & everything but IMO, it’s the best way to prevent future wars.

    The rest of Britain would be our very best, special friends. Everybody can think about what that ought to mean. I’m not a dictator. ;-)

    Actually, I could write a book on this. I just don’t want to bore everybody to tears with lots of international law & EU treaty, trade etc. type stuff.

    And a shared Queen, at least until the reign of the current monarch ends. I’m not certain what we should do after that. I’m open to persuasion.

  21. Vote on timetabling further debate for the Bill.

    Ayes, 324. Nays, 272.

  22. Amber Star

    We are entirely in agreement!

    Eventually, I’d like to see shared defence & national security becoming a European responsibility rather than that of individual states, but that would be a very long-term objective. In the meantime, I’d settle for keeping a common defence system with other parts of the UK.

    That’s actually what I meant above about the intransigence of parties preventing the people agreeing across party lines.

  23. You’re all being terribly witty tonight, I’m ROFLing a lot.

    Except Colin. Chill out, you’re spoiling the vibe ;)

  24. Sue

    I think the Hague story is a dead duck. Paul Staines is flailing around a bit on the Guido blog today, trying to keep it going without any new info. But I think even the most inward-looking bubblites realise that the public don’t care; when they do, it’s to support Hague and his privacy (though I’d still like to know if Coulson had a hand in that statement).

    The Coulson story itself has a lot of legs, but in the end it’s not a political story. It’s really about the Press and about the Met. All you can fix on Cameron is poor judgement, and we’ve had a lot of evidence of that anyway.

    It’ll only blow up politically if Coulson goes (which he will have to eventually – he’s become the story) and reveals a lot of buried bodies. Which will be fun if nothing else.

  25. @ Colin

    “Oh -any two would do Alec-or just one in your case”

    I’m sure Alec will be suitably mortified when Hague gives him the pinky finger ;)

  26. @sue

    Except Colin. Chill out, you’re spoiling the vibe

    Some things never change :-)

  27. I don’t think the Hague story has much more mileage. People may well feel the whole thing is a bit odd, but I imagine the public feel great sympathy for his wife.

    I think the Coulson saga will run on. There are a lot of people involved and the NYT story is detailed and seems painstakingly researched. Would that British journalism was of a similar standard.

    @ Sue.

    It’s funny I don’t find Hague at all charismatic. Listening to him droning on sends me to sleep. :-)

  28. Sue

    “I don’t really believe in science.”

    Grrrr…..(breathe deeply….1…2…3…4…)

    Only kidding – I don’t really believe in politics but someones got to make up the numbers. ;-)

  29. Sue,

    two good posts. I am very relieved to have a fellow red speak out on the Hague story. I’ll post tomorrow, since you are probably sleeping.

  30. For those following it in great detail last night, the 10 Tory MPs who rebelled over the referendum/boundary changes bill were:

    Brian Binley (Northampton South), Peter Bone (Wellingborough), Bill Cash (Stone), Christopher Chope (Christchurch), Philip Davies (Shipley), Philip Hollobone (Kettering), David Nuttall (Bury North), Richard Shepherd (Aldridge-Brownhills), Sir Peter Tapsell (Louth and Horncastle) and Andrew Turner (Isle of Wight)

    We need Phil Cowley back to watch these things!

  31. Anthony,

    Thanks for that. Bill Cash will feel a bit of deja vous ringleading another rebellion. (with Liberal blood going all the way back tot he very great John Bright- you think he would support these measures).

    the Isle of Wight MP is interesting. Also the fact that the Berwick MP and D & G MP did not vote against it is a surprise. They must fancy there chances of not being affected untoward.

  32. A lot of potential rebels voiced a “Voting for it to get past second reading, but…” in the debate. I suspect this bill is going to have an “interesting” time in committee, and come out with a few amendments attached by rebel and “I only voted for it’s second reading” Conservatives. We might see the number of MPs go back up, or greater latitude in boundary setting, and there’s certain push for switching to population set boundaries not registration, and retaining public inquiry.

  33. Jay Blanc
    I hope that an amendment to base boundaries on population rather than registered voters is adopted.

  34. Jay / Mike N,

    Would that be aggregate population or adult population ?
    Should it include / exclude foreign nationals ?
    Which census data to be used ?
    Why should areas with high influx of non-elgible voters (whetehr by inelgibility for the vote or failing to fill in registration form) have extra representation ?
    Talking of which, why would someone whose approach to electoral registration is CBA adopt a different approach to the census ?

    Ultimately, the House is suppopsed to represent the elcetorate. Why then should MPs not have equal electorates ?
    How about we build an Asylum-seeker / illegal immigrant residential centre on Skye and ditch the area requirement for constituencies altogether ?

  35. Paul H-J
    Sorry for delay in replying.
    Taking your comments in turn.

    Aggregate population.
    By ‘foreign nationals’ you mean what? But yes.
    The next census, plus any other information relevant. (Censuses to be retained, therefore.)
    I don’t see ‘extra representation’. Please explain.
    Non-completion of census and failing to register are two different thiings, IMO.

    I’m not sure where you get the idea that “Ultimately, the House is suppopsed to represent the elcetorate.” Are you saying that for example youngsters and children are not to be represented? And what about those in prison? Yes, these particular groups cannot vote but are they then to be excluded from representation too?

    I’m ignoring your last comment.

  36. Oldnat:

    “He seconded Davie Lambie’s motion to a SLAB Conference in the early 70s that a devolved Scottish Parliament should be created.”

    In 1955 or 1957 academic year Donald Dewar told me that a Home Rule parliament was offcial Labour Party policy. I think all the details were his, but that’s what we have got now.

  37. Jay,

    There will undoubtedly be many amendments tabled once the bill reaches committee stage.

    I expect the majori ty of these will fall by the wayside, but there may well be more accepted (or foisted onto the govt) than is usual.

    I imagine that many MPs are going to be lobbied with suggestions for amendments (I certainly have my own list to be circulated to friendly MPs).

    As to what does get through – who knows ? The one most likely to succeed is decoupling referendum date from local / MSP / AM elections.

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