The full tables for the Sunday Times are now up here. Voting intention is much as usual (though the Lib Dems are at 12%, confirming that 9% really was just a blip), but government approval is down to minus 10.

Up until Tuesday the government’s approval rating had been in the range -1 to -5, with around about 40% approving and 44% or so disapproving. In the three sets of results since then government approval has been minus 9 or minus 10, with 37-38% approving and 46-48% disapproving. Whether it was tuition fees, votes for prisoners or the European budget deal, something appears to have given the government a knock.

Turning to some of those issues, on tuition fees 11% think the government should have gone with Browne’s full recommendation and introduced unlimited fees, 26% think they got the balance right with fees of £9000, 50% would have preferred lower fees (or a total abolition). A plurality support the government’s proposed measures to force universities charging over £6000 to introduce special measures to encourage students from low income families, and to raise the repayment rate and charge higher interest rates to high earning graduates, but all the same 62% think it will result in fewer people from low income households going to university.

On votes for prisoners, as with the YouGov/Sun poll earlier in the week, the idea was overwhelmingly opposed. 17% think prisoners should be allowed to vote, 76% think they should not.

The final group of questions were about government powers on terrorism, and showed the normal public appetite for robust anti-terrorist powers (and comparative lack of concern for civil liberties in relation to terrorist issues). 45% of respondents thought terrorist suspects should be able to be held for 42 days or longer without charge, 27% supported the current 28 day limit and 19% wanted a lower limit. 73% supported the government having the power to impose control orders. 50% thought the security services should be allowed to use information passed to them from other countries that may have been obtained by torture, 31% disagree. On the overarching question of whether people suspected of terrorist offenses should benefit from the full protection of human rights or not, 31% of people thought that should, but 60% thought that some human rights should be suspended for people suspected of terrorist offenses.

In all of these terrorism questions, Conservative voters were the most robust in supporting anti-terrorism laws, and Liberal Democrat supporters the most, well, liberal.

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

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  1. I’ll go 40 40 10

    This in memory of the chap in Lancashire’ symmetry of predictions and also a small lift due to EM’s good fortune before 1600 today (was it known by then??).

    Crossover tomorrow on that basis.

    Also apologies to Syzygy. She knows why.

  2. Pete B,

    It would help reduce some numbers but it is in part a myth. Dudes on studnet visas at the minute that is the growth area, are not entitled to benefits. The working visa crew, come here and pay taxes…

    Put it this way.. the % of Indians with degrees exceeds whites.. The % of Indians unemployed is more or less the same as whites. This would seem to inidcate that they are not sponging.

    Pakistani’s are almost twice as likely to be unemployed.. Bangladeshis are more than 4 times as likely to be unmployed.. maybe for these groups, your strategy might work. It has been tried in other countries, i wonder if it has worked there? I do not know.

  3. PeteB

    “This to include EU citizens, ”

    Don’t think that’s possible.

    I seem to remember a report about British child benefit being paid to foreign children living abroad – £33million a year.
    Most of the money going on 36,000 children still in Poland whose parents claim benefits in the UK after working and paying taxes here for a year.

  4. On Howard’s note, I’ll go

    42 blue
    12 yellow
    38 red
    8 others

  5. Eoin,
    I was careful to include EU Nationals, not just Asians. If the EU objects, we might just have to withdraw our £40m a day or whatever it is.
    For instance, Poles claiming child benefit for children who have never been here!
    Interesting categorisation problem as well. Is a person born here of Pakistani-born parents still classed as Pakistani? Your post suggests to me that, like many of us, you would say yes, but officially he would be counted as British Asian or even British. This sort of thing confuses statistics no end.

  6. Pete B,

    The y would be included in the census data as British Asian even if they were born here.

    EU- you might have a point. It seems the majority might be on your side with that one (59% want out apparently) (I’m not). I think DC should take up Nick Clegg’s offer to have a referendum on continued British memebrship of the EU. That’s a campaign I would love to see.

  7. Pete B,

    I attach this article. I have no doubt it will interest you.

    h ttp://

  8. Eoin Clarke

    “They would be included in the census data as British Asian even if they were born here.”

    Is that what happens in the rest of the UK?

    In Scotland, respondents classify themselves. For example, if it is appropriate for them, people can select “Asian”, “Asian Scottish” or “Asian British” (the categories will be extended to cover nationality as well in 2011).

  9. Given the contribution of the Polish Air Force in the Battle of Britain and the sell-out of Poland by Churchill it’s not surprising Poles feel entitled to British taxes.

  10. eoin

    the ref on europe is long overdue, i suggest we hold it next may and save a few bob

  11. RiN

    We could have one on Scottish Independence/Devo Max at the same time as well.

  12. Eoin
    Very interesting article, and not an isolated case. And what a paltry sentence. Let’s just say there are many people now employed in the Public Service who do not share the traditional British ethos of service.

    Oldnat ‘For example, if it is appropriate for them, people can select “Asian”, “Asian Scottish” or “Asian British”’

    This is the point I was trying to make. There are no accurate statistics because there is no standard way of classifying people.

    The one figure that we do have is that 25% of births for the last couple of years have been to foreign-born mothers. If you add to this a guessed figure for births to second and third-generation immigrants, it is clear that the indigenous population is likely to be a minority quite soon. This is something that needs to be faced, together with all the social implications, whether you think it is a good thing or not.

    And before anyone says that the British have always been a mongrel race, I will answer that earlier immigrant waves were comparatively small numbers.

  13. Pete B

    “There are no accurate statistics because there is no standard way of classifying people. ”

    I find the very idea of the state “classifying people”, quite terrifying.

    Frankly, I don’t give a damn as to where Scots were born, or how they want to label themselves.

    In 2001, 2.25% of the Scottish population was born outwith Europe – so what?

  14. øld nat

    why stop there, a ref on english independence would be great for turnout

  15. RiN

    I’m not stopping you. I’d be perfectly happy for that to happen.

  16. Pete B wrote

    And before anyone says that the British have always been a mongrel race, I will answer that earlier immigrant waves were comparatively small numbers.

    Hilarious – keep them coming Pete.

    I expect the Anglo Saxon hordes were here all the time – just hiding away until they could reveal the tens of thousands of villages (how did they hide them?) with names ending in ham, ton, hurst, wich, thorpe………..

    Oh I give up. A study in the history of the British Isles would seem advisable.

  17. richard in Norway,

    If we are going to have a referendum, council elections, parliamentary elections, and two assembly elections all on th eone day… can I put in a word for my DIY referendum?


    Self-classification is how it works, tht’s correct. Though had the curiou saffect in the 1971 census of a quarter of a Tyrone’s town’s residents porclaiming themselves as Jewish, just to wind up the auhorities. Or in my case just not bother filling a census in. oops did I say that? ;)

  18. Howard,

    In fairness to pete they did not have Ryanair back then. They had to content themsleves with sea faring arrivees and that did mean smaller numbers… ;)

    A few norsemen, saxons, romans, celts, viking, I am sure I have missed a few…

  19. pete B

    the Celts were quite numerous
    the Romans weren’t scarce
    the angles came from all angles(actually they didn’t but there were a lot of them)
    the Danes had their own law
    the Normans brought their horses with them
    the Huguenots had nothing but their work ethic
    the Negros were enslaved but melted in after 3 generations

    and so it goes on

  20. As I speak Polish, after Poland joined the EU, I was employed by a lot of different UK employers to help them find Polish workers. I attended many many recruitment fairs in Poland. Hundreds of them.
    These were organised by British firms who were looking to employ cheap labour.
    The idea that Poles came over here because they love the UK so much is rubbish.
    In most cases, it was we who enticed them to come over, and our businesses did very well out of it thank you very much.
    Just had to point that out.

  21. Julian Gilbert

    there are a lot of poles here as well and again it’s pretty much the same story. norwegian firms go to Poland looking for skilled labour lots of east Germans as well, (but not so many new ones it seems that they are getting more integrated with their western brothers)

  22. @RiN
    Yes, my sister-in-law’s boyfriend is working in Norway.
    They treat him pretty well and he gets a pretty good deal as far as I can tell.

  23. @Mike N – ” I’ve noticed this DC-look before when he’s paying attention to NC.”

    Yes, it goes all the way back to the Rose Garden – the narrowing of the eyes. He is signaling condesension. In other words Nicky is not the natural communicator of political truth here, it takes great effort to understand him, but I am being supportive.

    Behind what comes naturally to him there is also anxiety. The populist ‘cleggmania’ genie has been put back in the bottle (for good) … but Cameron must always be on the look-out for any public re-emergence of that independent streak.

  24. Julian Gilbert

    yes the unions here were very quick to make sure that all EU workers got the same pay and condions as the locals

  25. Eoin

    Well done Tyrone! :-)

    Urine extraction is an appropriate response to officialdom. They leave us with little else often.

  26. The immigration issue is highly charged and incredibly complex. All countries, especially crowded and overpopulated ones like ours, with stretched and creaking public services and infra-structure, would be foolish to allow net immigration levels to become unsustainable, both economically and, this is much more delicate, socially too. Of course, as we know the issue lends itself to mythology, exaggeration, mischief- making and, at its outer boundaries, to racism too. We have to be absolutely honest here and admit that the racists can make real mischief with this issue and we must always be guarded that we don’t allow racism and bigotry to supercede the legitimate economic and social assimilation arguments that apply to the immigration debate. Too often for my liking, the bigots assume bogus victimisation status to mask their unpleasant views. There’s nothing in our laws to prevent anybody expressing reasonably held and expressed views on immigration but there are laws, not politically correct ones at all, that prevent people discriminationg against people on the grounds of race and inciting racial hatred and violence. Those laws are befitting of a civilised and tolerant society and we should cherish them, not berate and deride them for preventing us being uncivilised and discriminatory. If somebody wants to sound off in his local pub that there are too many black people in this country, he may be accused of being foolish or obnoxious, but I doubt if he or she has broken any law. I’d call him or her a knave and ill informed but I’d have no problem, nor would the law, about them stating and holding that opinion. I’ve stood in many a pub and heard people state these opinions quite openly and brazenly and then finish with the classic piece of nonsense that “I’ll probably get locked up for saying it”. Of course he won’t and he knows it but he bestows victimhood on himself in so doing. Poor beleagured white man; a lone voice in a world that doesn’t understand him anymore. Poppycock!

  27. my answer to the imigration problem is simple

    just send them up to old nat, he’s got lots of space

  28. Nick,

    Cracking post (tomorrow is your hat-trick are you up to it?)

  29. Howard
    “I expect the Anglo Saxon hordes were here all the time – just hiding away until they could reveal the tens of thousands of villages (how did they hide them?) with names ending in ham, ton, hurst, wich, thorpe………..

    Oh I give up. A study in the history of the British Isles would seem advisable.”

    Most modern scholarship is of the opinion that the Anglo-Saxons did not swamp the Celts and drive them to the fringes, but rather came in relatively small numbers and intermarried. Perhaps it is you that needs the history lesson.

  30. @Billy Bob @10.18pm
    Spot on I think

    @Nick Hadley
    Another great post!
    On the matter of immigration…

    Just to corerct any misunderstanding, Gordon Brown set in motion the points based sytem several years before the 2010 GE. Thus, the Lab gov recognised the impact of immigration on social fabric of the UK. The points based system is good and flexible.

    I have no problem with the gov of whatever political hue seeking to limit immigration but it needs to be fair, legal and not damage the prosperity of the UK. Arbitrary caps are IMO meaningless and unworkable.

    I have suggested here several times that the three main parties need to reach an accord on immigration.

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