The full tables for YouGov’s weekly poll for the Sunday Times are now up here.
Things worth noting in the regular trackers are the continuing decline in Nick Clegg’s approval ratings, now down to minus 14. Ed Miliband’s approval rating is at plus 2, so no baby boost (not, it should be said, that I’d expect one. Personal issues do sometimes impact on politicans approval ratings – after the death of Ivan Cameron for example – but I think those tend to be those things where people feel such sympathy for the politican in question that it feels harsh to give a negative opinion about them to a pollster. Just having a new baby doesn’t really do much.) David Cameron’s approval rating is plus 8.
The rest of the poll had the normal wide variety on questions, on the Ashes (people are evenly split on whether England can retain them or not), David Cameron’s photographer (65% think he’s wrong to employ him) and Cameron’s trip to China. The most interesting bits to me thought are on the tuition fee demonstrations and Phil Woolas.
On tuition fees only 35% support the government plans on tuition fees, with 52% opposing. 62% think the Liberal Democrats are wrong to drop their pledge to oppose tuition fees (including 36% of the remaining Lib Dem voters).
Asked about the protests, 65% of people said they had some sympathy with the demonstration, but the vast majority of those disapproved of the damaged caused to 30 Millbank. Only 13% of respondents said they had sympathy with the direct action against the Conservative party headquarters. Asked if the violent scenes had helped or hindered the protesters’ cause, 69% thought it had damaged their cause, 11% that it had helped it (16% think it did neither). 87% expect their to be further violent protests against the coalition’s cuts.
More generally, YouGov asked if people thought violent protest was ever acceptable in a democracy. 19% thought it was, 75% thought it was not.
There were also some more questions about Phil Woolas. 67% thought that Phil Woolas should accept the court’s ruling and move on, compared to 17% who think he is right to appeal. Asked about Harriet Harman’s condemnation of Woolas, 34% agreed with the criticism that she had acted too soon and should have waited until the appeal process was exhausted, but 47% backed her and agreed that Woolas’s behaviour would still be unacceptable regardless of the outcome of the appeal.
Asked about the Labour MPs backing Phil Woolas’s bid, 45% agreed with the statement that it made them look out of touch and that they didn’t understand the seriousness of his actions, but there was also some sympathy (34%) for the view that he had the right of appeal and it was natural for his friends and former colleages to support him in it.
YouGov also asked if people thought Woolas was an isolated case, or whether people took the view that MPs from other parties were probably just as bad, and were just lucky no one had taken them to court. Unsurprisingly given the generally low opinion the public have of MPs, 49% thought other MPs and parties were just as bad as Woolas, 26% thought he was an isolated example.