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. @ALEC
    In the event that Andy Coulson is not proven guilty, Cameron will have to tell the Liberals to mind their business. Coulson’s removal is not a pre election pledge to the LD hedgehog safety committee.
    Regarding the matter of war, I am not a pacifist either, but I have very good reasons for not caring for war one bit. One is a son in the thick of it, the second is memories.

  2. This also comes at a bad time, weakening and stretching out the Government at a time it *must* successfully whip it’s parliamentary members to vote in support of what is essentially a confidence measure. I get the feeling from the current commons debate that the Backbenchers, of all parties, already see the Government as weak.

  3. @MICHAEL V
    Like Jay you can live in Hope if you die in Bakewell.
    (Old Derbyshire saying.)

  4. @JAY BLANC
    The government is a bit weak, its a coalition, by definition it must be less strong than a single party with a 90 seat majority. But what is your suggestion Jay? A “rainbow coalition” led by a Millibloke with a majority of 2 on a good day?

  5. Jay/Roland,

    Barring Laws resignation we have zero reason ‘yet” to regard this government as weak. Cameron went on holiday- there was a summer recess that is all.

  6. @Eoin

    You can say that. But I’m watching the debate. The scorn being heaped upon the bill from the Conservative back benches is mighty. They are also not amused that no one from the government has deigned to stay and defend the bill, leaving it up to Lib Dem back benchers to put up the arguments in favour of the bill. I think they’ve had a failure to whip their parliamentary members to support this bill. Remember, there’s a significant portion of the Conservative party who think they could go it alone, if they just had “strong people” in charge.

  7. ” He’s also apparently told friends he would love to retire to Montana and run a ranch. Life mirroring art?”

    He & Ffion have-for 12 years, since 1998, a year after they got married-spent their holidays on Lone Mountain Ranch, Bozeman Montana.

    Elaine Pierce, the ranch’s reservations manager,was quoted as follows:-

    ‘They are an absolutely delightful couple and have become a part of the Lone Mountain family.

    ‘This is a place of renewal. In fact William calls it his secret refuge. Like many guests who come here, he arrives stressed out but, within 24 hours, he and Fi chill out and start to enjoy the great outdoors without a care in the world. They are a delightful couple and have made good friends here.

    ‘They seem devoted to each other. They always come at the same time each year, for a week or ten days just after Christmas”

    My opinion is that, if Hague goes ( which would be a loss to this government ) , it will be with two fingers stiffly raised in the direction of people with minds & attitudes like yours Alec.

    I hope he doesn’t-but if he does I will be clapping him all the way.

  8. @EOIN
    You are over the water Eoin, you cannot hear the masses demonstrating in every major city, “Coulson must go” they cry “out with the running dogs of capitalist oppression” and “death to Cameron”.
    Placards with a photo of David Milliband, saying “lead us save us” jostle in the crowded streets. A recording of Ed Balls repeating “truth is a lie and war is peace” over powers the noise of the masses. They will be in the Bogside on Wednesday.

  9. Roland,

    David Miliband would be run out of Free Derry Corner quicker than the ‘Derry wans’ can say boo!

    Jay,

    We have a saying – I aam sure you probably have an equivalent… pay no heed to what a man says he will do.. for if he was going to do it- he would not need to tell you. Put simply, never equate bluff and bluster from green leather with Ayes and Nays. For all the years I heard Corbyn, Willets, Skinner, et al riducle Gordy from the back benches only then to trot (pardon the pun) faithfully into the voting chambers.

    The government bill will pass comfortably- you’ll see.

  10. Nigel Dodds, Westminster DUP, leader has just pointed out that the PVC bill as currently standing would result in a alteration and reduction in numbers of the Northern Ireland Assembly, which would alter the make up of the power sharing agreement, and that there has been no consultation with the Assembly on this.

  11. @Eoin

    Well, I’m now watching the first Conservative in the house to say he supports the bill during debate… Who then went on to call the Bill one of the worst examples of poor legislation, and that while he supports the bill, he wants to support the bill as a different bill with different contents.

    While yes, they may all tuck tail and vote for it in the end… But what exactly are they going to get out of the Government for their support? I suspect the Government has very little that it can give to the reluctant and the rebels over this.

    Horse trading requires some horses available for trade.

  12. EOIN
    Ever the voice of reason, you do yer Mammy proud so you do. I fully understand the frustrated hope against hope that certain poster clearly suffer. I suffered it for 13 years. In early naughties there was no hope for the likes of me. However, having shown what a soft centered nice man I am, let me say it gets very tedious every few weeks reading this stuff about imminent collapse and catastrophe.

  13. Roland,

    I actually admire them. They must have mental reserves and optimism that make them wonderful people to be around (if you are red). After many years boxing, I follow a simple rule. conserve your firepower until you have your opponent on the ropes. Expect in rounds 9 onwards for me to be worse than Jay… I just hope by then he aint exhausted ;) My gues is that reds will have moaned that much over that little – that joe public will have switched off to both of them. Constructive opposition to at least round 6 would get us further.

    Jay,

    I’d say its cheaper to horse trade with a blue than a red… Whilst we wnat a hospital or a school in our constituency- they’ll settle for for a promise no tto build a school or hospital for fear it might spoil the view.

  14. @Eoin

    Blues like extra spending on hospitals in their own Seats just as much as Reds. Remember, the first consideration of an MP will be their seat.

  15. Jay,

    Perhaps you are right… Forigve me if I regard UK MPs (of red/blue and yellow) as the most obedient bunch of white middle-class men I have ever come accross.

  16. The occurrence, and size, of back bencher rebellions against the party whip has been steadily rising over the last few parliaments.

  17. @Mike N

    You said “…Great post – but somewhat disappointing to see things ain’t so bad for the LDs as many here (including me) hoped…”

    Bear in mind that 11/12% is close to the bottom of the comfort range for LIBs – for example, of the 669 polls listed by Anthony in the 2005-2010 term, only 13 had 12/11% for the LIBs, and *none* had 10/9%. It genuinely isn’t clear cut. The bad news for the LIBs is a) support doesn’t usually drop this much and b) it’s too soon to say the fall has bottomed out. The good news for the LIBs is a) LIB support usually drops noticably after an election, b) LIB support usually picks up about six months before an election, and c) the rate of decrease of the LIB vote is noticably slowing. If this were a nuclear submarine, they’d be angled backwards and the needles in the red zone, but there would be somebody in the background screaming “IT’S SLOWING! IT’S SLOWING!” and this isn’t crush depth yet. Neverthless, there’s a huge difference between “you’re not going to die today” and “everything’s alright” – there’s still thousands of feet of water to the surface and whether Nick Clegg is Denzel Washington/Rock Hudson/James Nesbitt/Matthew McUnpronouncable (delete according to last submarine film viewed – can we have a shout out for the glory that is “Ice Station Zebra”? No? Just me then. Ho-hum…) is a nice question.

    I’ll try to get a pretty picture comparing LIB performance since ’87 onto Flickr/Commons before the end of the week, but no guarantees.

    @Eoin,

    You said “…May I trouble you with a few queries? I note the YG lowest on your list was an 18% in April ‘10…What was YG’s lowest before that?”

    Good point: like-to-like comparisons. Restricting the search to YouGov before the 2010 election gives us this:

    The YouGov In-The-Doodoo-Meter (LIBs)

    11 (2007/10/24, YouGov)
    13 (2007/11/16, YouGov)
    14 (2009/2/13, YouGov)
    15 (2009/2/26, YouGov)
    16 (2010/3/8, YouGov)
    17 (2010/4/6, YouGov)
    18 (2010/4/14, YouGov)
    19 (2010/4/7, YouGov)
    20 (2010/4/13, YouGov)
    21 (2010/3/15, YouGov)
    22 (2010/4/15, YouGov)
    23 (2009/9/24, YouGov)
    24 (2010/5/4, YouGov)
    25 (2005/5/3, YouGov)
    26 (2003/10/3, YouGov)
    28 (2010/5/5, YouGov)
    29 (2010/5/2, YouGov)
    30 (2010/4/25, YouGov)
    31 (2010/4/28, YouGov)
    33 (2010/4/18, YouGov)
    34 (2010/4/20, YouGov)

    So YG’s lowest LIB before the 2010 election was 11%, and the last time it polled that was 2007/10/24.

    Regards, Martyn

  18. Daniel Kawczynski(Con), the chairman of the “All Party Group for Promotion of First Past The Post” (19 members!) has just raised the “chilling spectre” that BNP first preference voter’s second preferences “might be counted!” and thus AV “gives power to Extremists”.

    I’m not sure what to make of that.

  19. jay

    This link will give you Blair’s finest hours.

    h ttp://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/2802791.stm

    It is important not to mistake a back bench rebellion with a back bench defeat. The latter occur almost never. MPs feel comfortable rebelling when it does not matter. Often the whips turn a blind eye, since they realise it will help the MPs reelection to the next parliament….

    If one was to do a study of bell weather back bench rebellions vis a vis the size of their majority they would find some interesting results. (saying that there are still plenty of Mps with whopping majorities who also do it…)

    For detials of Blair’s first proper rebellion see below:

    11 December 1997 Mr Blair’s first major rebellion – 47 backbenchers oppose his plans to cut benefits to single parents.
    Some 100 abstain, one minister and two Private Parliamentary Secretaries resign their posts, and a ministerial aide is sacked.

    all 12 of the big rebellions in Blair’s first 6 years, failed to succeed…

  20. Daniel Kawczynski (Con, Shrewsbury and Atcham) just offered £100 to any of his constituents who can name their MEP.

    Anyone know someone who lives there? ;)

  21. @Colin – sense of humour bypass?

    I’ve made it quite explicit on several occasions I have no interest in Hague’s sex life. I do, along with many Tory MPs, government ministers and Roland, have a great deal of disregard for Hague’s judgement. He was a dreadful leader of the opposition, he has already presided over some really bad foreign affairs blunders, and he can’t organise his personal and domestic arrangements in a way that even the most fundamentally stupid person would realise might be potentially embarassing. If he did stick two fingers up at me, he’d probably use the wrong ones.

  22. Note, on Martyn’s figures that LD support doubled between 6th April and 20th April (17 – 34)

    and that it has halved between GE 6th May and now (24 to 12).

    Shows me how volatile (thus ignorant and confused) our electorate is.

    A bit ‘yeah but, no but’.

    I refer you back to that BBC poll on deficit showing 85% either think there should be no cuts or no tax increases to deal with it.

  23. @Jay Blanc

    You said “…Daniel Kawczynski (Con, Shrewsbury and Atcham) just offered £100 to any of his constituents who can name their MEP…”

    Seriously??!! I’m sorry, is he mental in the head? It’s on wiki, for Pete’s sake – thousands of people in Shrewsbury and Atcham can, (including everybody with an iPhone), and faster than he can name his wife’s starsign/bloodgroup. Coming up: Bob F***wit (Con, Hobbitton) offers ten zillion quid to every one of his constituents who can name their own dog.

    I said previously that some of the CON opposition to AV fell into the the “I’m Mr. dribbly silly today” category, buit I really didn’t expect them to put money on it… :-)

    Regards, martyn

  24. Charles Walker (Con, Broxbourne), is making a really strong argument against reducing the seat numbers. I suspect the seat reduction might be the real cause for a back bencher rebellion.

    It’s very hard to horse trade with someone who thinks you’re trying to make them redundant. I think a lot of Conservative backbenchers are asking if they’ll be one of the ones axed.

  25. @Martyn

    Sadly, because of parliamentary privilege, it doesn’t count as a verbal contract with his constituents.

  26. Jay Blanc

    Perhaps you missed the point of Daniel Kawczynski’s remark.

    He was arguing that if a change in the voting system was required at all-it was not for election to Westminster, but for election to Brussels.

    He said that the MEP in his area-an area as big as some european countries according to him- did not live in Shropshire , would be unknown to most of his constituents,…..and was elected under a fundamentally undemocratic system-the closed party list.

    Another Con MP reminded Straw, after the latter’s self serving diatribe, in the debate that it was he who railroaded that system through HoC , without adequate debating time-and without consulting the British people .

  27. @Colin

    That may well have been his argument. But I have no time for an MP who treats his constituents as if they are fools.

  28. Just watching democracy live. A Tory backbencher has compared David Cameron to the fuhrer.

  29. Philip Charles Bradbourn, Malcolm Harbour, Anthea McIntyre (CON), Mike Nattrass, Nikki Sinclaire (UKIP), Michael Cashman (LAB), Liz Lynne (LIB)

    ht tp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Midlands_(European_Parliament_constituency)

    This is too easy: what am I missing?

    Regards, Martyn

  30. If Eoin is right, and this is just venting, a lot of Conservative Backbenchers are being very incautious in how far they go with their language.

  31. Catching up with thread (1pm at the moment)

    I don’t really believe in science.

    (I say this partly because it’s a tiny bit true, but mainly because it makes scientists really really cross)

    :lol: :lol:

  32. Jay Blanc

    “That may well have been his argument. ”

    No “may” about it.

    It was-I watched him make it.

    It was well made-I have no idea who my MEP is -he/she never contacts me, I have no idea what they are doing in Brussels-& no idea how/why they were appointed as “my” representative there.

    “But I have no time for an MP who treats his constituents as if they are fools.”

    Well there are a few candidates for that category I agree-but I see no evidence that Mr K is one of them.
    He was arguing that -for European elections-his constituents have no means of choosing their MEP-and no one is suggesting that they be given it.

  33. @ Sue

    Jay & Zeph are giving us updates on the electoral reform bill. Some Tory MPs appear to be having meltdowns. It won’t Kill Bill but it is entertaining. 8-)

  34. @ Sue

    “I don’t really believe in science.
    (I say this partly because it’s a tiny bit true, but mainly because it makes scientists really really cross)”

    Sue you always make me smile :-)

  35. @ Sue

    LOL, it’s like that thread once before where one poster kept flitting backwards and forwards in time.

    Happy times.

  36. Jay Blanc

    “a lot of Conservative Backbenchers are being very incautious in how far they go with their language”

    Your concern is quite touching.

    This is a debate about proposed constitutional changes.

    I am glad MPs on all sides are saying what they feel.
    That is their duty-that’s what we put them there for.

    Some of the less partisan contributions -from all sides-have been deeply thoughtful, informative & sincere.

  37. @Amber

    It’s not looking so bad now that there have been a few Conservatives to stand up and say they are supporting the bill, at least in it’s second reading. Albeit reluctantly, and only because the coalition forces them too, and they would like to make a lot of changes, and intend to ignore their party whip from now on…

  38. The last Conservative MP took some time to point out how this is all Gordon Brown’s fault, for being the horrific alternative to going into coalition with the Liberal Democrats.

  39. Jay Blanc

    As a matter of interest-what do you think of the quality of the debate today-have any points impressed you-have you been swayed by a particular speaker……………

    ………………………or are you just waiting for the result of the vote & sod the issues being debated ?

  40. @Alec

    “If he did stick two fingers up at me, he’d probably use the wrong ones.”

    Oh -any two would do Alec-or just one in your case . ;-)

  41. @ Amber

    “Quantuum theory, I can almost follow. When engineers actually use areas of quantum for practical purposes, I do have a feeling of awe.”

    “I work in the semi-con industry, in finance (obviously not engineering!) I try really hard to understand what the ‘boffins’ are up to but it’s really hard.”

    “Mind you, they say the same about finance. But they are being funny. I could teach these guys finance in a week; it would take me many years to really understand what they do – & I doubt I could ever catch up with them. ”

    “So thanks for discussing this subject with me. There’s not many who would try”

    I work in supercomputing, an industry that uses a lot of CPUs! I have a passing interest in the use of QM to determine material properties. It is often useful to run calculations to simulate different potential bonding configuration until one is discovered that minimises the energy of the molecule in question. I call it relaxation, and you need powerful computers to do it justice.

    Some of the models used to predict the stock market are based on physical models and many investment bankers have a background in physics and call themselves rocket scientists. So it is a very good idea to look outside of one’s discipline. Even if the recession was their fault.

  42. @Jay Blanc

    Just to update you, BBC are tonight reporting that Coulson enjoys Downing Street’s full backing, and that Cameron has today given full support. Coulson’s spokeswoman has made a statement on his behalf.

    Kelvin Mackenzie managed to pull back from an Adam Boulton style outburst when wrong-footed by Chris Bryant. It was a well aimed comment about the only exception to journalistic protection of a source being when they justify the story to their editor pre-publication… that unnerved him.

    Regardless of how this plays with the public it will be a headache for the PM, and affect his personal standing within the political class.

  43. @Colin

    I was mildly, but pleasantly, surprised to see some Conservative Backbenchers supporting a full PR referendum *and* equalisation on population not registration. I think that there has been a well crafted cohesive argument by multiple people that it is an error to abolish public inquiries on boundary changes. I’m not yet swayed by the arguments against holding the vote at the same time as the local, devolved power elections. I was very swayed however by the failure to consult at all with the NI Assembly on how the changes to NI Parliamentary seat count will change NI Assembly seat count.

  44. Gary – “Please don’t start marching on Wakefield just yet!! It was only an idea…and it was Ambers idea – not mine (points and runs away hurriedly away like a big girls blouse….)”

    ROFL :lol: :lol:

  45. Jay/ Colin,

    Most of the NI parties support the seat reduction. Only the DUP opose it (I await Alliance’s verdict).

    As far as AV goes? We have STV so we kinda wonder what all the fuss is about.

  46. BillyB,

    Thanks for the update. Byrants altercation with that eejit is on the BBC website- I blame the red meat in mcKenzie’s diet. :)

  47. @Colin

    You said “…He was arguing that -for European elections-his constituents have no means of choosing their MEP-and no one is suggesting that they be given it…”

    Er, given that the election method to the EP for UK constituencies is entirely within the gift of the UK parliament, (the only restriction that it be PR-ish) and that open-list PR (Finland) or STV (Northern Ireland) are already in use, does he genuinely not realise that he has the ability to change this? The next EP elections are 2014: more than enough time for him to put a Private Member’s Bill in.

    You said “…It was well made-I have no idea who my MEP is -he/she never contacts me…”

    If you’d like to tell me where you live (county if you don’t want to disclose too much) I’d be more than happy to tell you which constituency you’re in and who your MEPs are.

    You said “…I have no idea what they are doing in Brussels…”

    Broadly speaking the European Commission proposes legislation, which is examined and amended/rejected by the European Parliament (MEPs) and European Council (the heads of government of the 27 EU countries, so Cameron, Sarkozy, Merkel, Cowen, et al). If accepted, the proposals become law immediately or have to be further transposed by each country’s Parliament, depending on what area they cover (I oversimplify).

    You said “…in Brussels…”

    Thanks to a bit of absolute f***wittery by the French in the treaty of Amsterdam, the European Parliament relocates from Brussels to Strasbourg and back several times a year. An avowed aim of the Coalition government is to stop this stupidity.

    You said “…no idea how/why they were appointed as “my” representative there…”

    Under closed-list PR, you vote for a party and seats are awarded to that party depending on their proportion of the vote. The party assigns individuals to those seats according to its own rules. I don’t like it either – may I suggest STV instead, already in use in Northern Ireland.

    To put it simply, the standard of democracy in Northern Ireland for EP elections is greater than that in England. If Daniel Kawczynski wants to pull his finger out and fix this, I’ll be behind him applauding. If he wants to limit himself to whiny verbiage about a situation he can fix, I won’t. His decision.

    Regards, Martyn

  48. @SUE –“I don’t really believe in science.”
    I don’t believe in Mathematics. You can’t tell me things like this; ab2x4 + bx3 + cx2 + dx + ad2 = 0 actually mean something.
    They might have fooled the rest of you but they’ve not taken me in.
    And pollsters? They expect us to believe they use mathematical equations to work out how millions of people are going to vote? And get it right? (well some of them do).
    Pull the other one. It’s witchcraft if you ask me.

    @EOIN –“all 12 of the big rebellions in Blair’s first 6 years, failed to succeed…”
    Not a fair comparison. Rebellions under Blair were safe because he had massive majorities.
    Blues rebelling now are playing with fire.

  49. Zeph

    By chance I was in my local University library and I picked up a book on quadratic equations which had an example of them being used to allocate investments based on maximising yield.

  50. @Eoin – Bryant should have been the sixth candidate – if only on the strength of his cool and assured TV performances.

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