The full tables for the YouGov/Sunday Times poll are now up here.

The regular economic trackers have fallen even further since last week, before the GDP figures, when they were already dire. Since then the percentage of people thinking the economy is in a bad state is up to 80% (which I believe is the lowest since the height of the credit crunch in 2008, when it got up to 90%). The “feel-good-factor” – the proportion of people who think their financial situation will get better in the next twelve months minus those who think it will get worse – is down to minus 56, equalling the worst since the bank-bailout in September 2008.

Asked specifically about the drop in GDP, 9% think it was entirely down to snow, 53% think the snow was a factor, but there were other underlying problems too. 30% think the snow was just an excuse. YouGov then asked if people thought the figures were a sign that the government’s policy was failing and they should change course, or if they were on the right course and shouldn’t be put off by one quarter’s bad figures – respondents were split down the middle – 36% to 36%.

Asked about some specific measures, 49% think the top rate of 50p should be made permanent, 33% think it should eventually be brought down. 51% would like to the see the threshold for the top rate brought down to £100,000, 29% would oppose this. 85% thought the planned rise in fuel tax should be cancelled.

There were also a couple of question on the phone hacking scandal. Unsurprisingly 85% thought the behaviour of the journalists concerned was illegal. Asked if there were any circumstances where it would have been acceptable, 71% said no, 21% thought it would be acceptable for journalists to hack into voicemail in some circumstances, such as investigating corruption. Just 1% thought it was legitimate anyway. 60% thought that the phone hacking scandal was an important issue that the police should be spending time investigating.

Finally there were a group of questions about the Sky Sports sexism row, which actually showed a fairly substantial minority thinking Andy Gray and Richard Keys had been ill treated. While an overall majority thought it was right that Gray was sacked (51%), and that Keys was right to resign (53%), a third of people thought that Gray had been treated unfairly.


163 Responses to “More from YouGov’s Sunday Times poll”

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  1. @ Phil

    That’s a good point, regarding the weighting. Thank you.
    :-)

  2. @ Billy Bob
    Today he was talking about “problems we have inherited”… once again no mention of Labour.
    ———————————————–
    I don’t think there was much mention at Davos of Labour being responsible, it appears to be for domestic speeches only.

    Either Osborne & Cameron have decided that they can’t show one face at Davos & another domestically, or they want to blame the current problems (notwithstanding the weather) on ‘Global Issues’ or they’re afraid of Ed Balls. I don’t have a preference as to which it is, just so long as the ‘blame everything on Labour’ mantra has been dropped.
    8-)

  3. Two ROI polls,

    Sinn Féin averaging 11.5% in the polls heading for double figures on Feb 25… [my guess is 11 seats]

    Fianna Fáil are stablising with their new leader [up 2% in a Red C pol], they’ll climb and climb all the way to election day but it will be too little to late..

    Fine Gael although set to govern are falling back… as Ireland’s most right wing party they’ll do well to get 30% but the collapse in Fianna Fáil will let them in…

    They’ll form a coalition with Labour [a centrist one].. Labour are on 21-4%..

  4. Arbitrage opportunity, if you’ve enough spare cash to make it worthwhile:
    – Paddy Power have EdM at 1/6 on to survive 2011 as Leader of the Labour Party.
    – W Hills have EdM at 9/1 to fail to survive 2011 as Leader of the Labour Party.

    Guaranteed return beating (slightly) the pitiful returns on a 1 year savings bond.

    Given current performance, 1/6 on looks extremely generous odds. Expect to see these shorten soon.

  5. Phil

    That souns like a banker’s bet…heads they win, tails we lose.

  6. @Eoin/TGB

    Is there any fundamental barrier to a Labour/Sinn Fein coalition if their combined vote and seat shares were high enough?

    I’m asking as someone with very little knowledge of the current dynamics of Irish politics but who cannot from afar see any rational reason why the Irish Labour Party should always seek to align itself with a party of the right as a way into government.

  7. NickP – an arbitrage is the opposite of that. It is means heads you win, tails the bookie loses.

  8. It’s risk free profit, no?

    So only the banks have that. If they win, they get big bonuses. If they lose, we cover their losses and they get big bonuses.

    That’s some arbitrage.

  9. Frederick Stansfield
    Admirable post.

  10. Anthony

    Did you get the chance to check the 18-24 year old stats. Does not look correct to see that 52% would votes for the Cons ?

    Was this sample taken at Eton 6th form ?

  11. @ Amber Star

    I think what’s good for Ed Miliband is that he has the lowest disapproval ratings of any of the three leaders. As he becomes better known, he can improve his approval ratings and define himself better to the public. He still has time to Gillibrand himself to the public if you will.

    @ Old Nat (and other Scots)

    Sorry about Andy Murray losing. Since he was reffered to as “British” for winning the semifinals to get into the Finals, I will refer to him as “British” in his loss.

  12. R Huckle – there’s no feasible way the figures in just a single column could be reversed. Like Roger said, it’ll just be the sort of wacky results you get sometimes from cross breaks with small sample sizes that are not internally weighted.

    Polls are weighted to be representative overall, they are not necessarily representative within crossbreak (in this instance, for example, there were presumably too many Conservative identifiers amongst under 25s and too few amongst over 25s)

  13. SoCalLiberal

    To be consistent, your post above should have read

    @ Old Nat (other Scots and Brits)

    etc etc

    Remember, the poor dears don’t have a decent one of their own at the moment – and we (amazingly for our climate) do.

    Anyway, Djokovic was superb.

  14. Police use CS spray on tax protesters
    UK Uncut activists hospitalised after targeting Boots in Oxford Street as part of latest day of action (http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/jan/30/police-cs-spray-tax-protesters). Isn’t this a bit heavy handed?

  15. Liz

    That’s the way it’s going. Stepping on our heads if we step out of line.

  16. @ Amber Star

    “I don’t think there was much mention at Davos of Labour being responsible, it appears to be for domestic speeches only.

    Either Osborne & Cameron have decided that they can’t show one face at Davos & another domestically, or they want to blame the current problems (notwithstanding the weather) on ‘Global Issues’ or they’re afraid of Ed Balls. I don’t have a preference as to which it is, just so long as the ‘blame everything on Labour’ mantra has been dropped.”

    I think there’s a certain point where you can no longer blame your predecessors. I think that point comes a lot closer when you’re dealing with economists in Davos than with the general electorate.

  17. NickP,

    and Osborne warning unions that he will change laws if they call for strikes, makes me wonder if we are heading for a dictatorship while Egypt and others are fighting for democracy.

  18. Yeah that rule that 50% of the membership must vote to strike is atrocious.

    What does the Geneva Convention say? Everybody has the right to withdraw their labour. Unless we are slaves.

    One person can strike if he/she likes. If (s)he gets sacked then a tribunal…and they want they taken away until two years have passed.

    Evrybody has the right to strike…if you meet impossible conditions. Everybody has the right to protest…if you want to be kettled into a small area and charged with horses.

  19. I wonder if that rule applied to voting i.e. 50% of the electorate has to vote in favour of a party before they can govern, we would ever have a party in power. Will AV ensure this?

  20. @ Old Nat

    In the future, I’ll try and be more consistent.

    “Anyway, Djokovic was superb.”

    See that statement is very British to me. I remember after the Millenium, I told my high school speech and debate teacher (who was from England and quite elderly….he occassionally told us stories about living through World War II in London) that I thought London had a better Millenium celebration than Paris did. He was very funny because while he acknolwedged the greatness of London’s celebration, he stood by his claim that Paris’s was better. Since he was an Englishman, he had extra credibility. But it struck me as quintessentially British that you might acknolwedge the superiority of another nation at something.

    At the very least, Scots and English might belong together. Lol. :)

    “Remember, the poor dears don’t have a decent one of their own at the moment – and we (amazingly for our climate) do.”

    Yeah it is kinda surprising that Scotland would produce a tennis star given its climate.

  21. What has the climate got to do with anything? What you need is unrestrictred access to practise courts and coaches and probably people to play.

    Down south, tennis clubs, like golf clubs, don’t let the riff raff play for nothing.

  22. SoCalLiberal

    “At the very least, Scots and English might belong together.”

    Of course we do – along with the French, the Irish, the Finns, the Latvians …….

  23. @OldNat

    Murray spent much of his formative years training in Valencia (I would know that, wouldn’t I :) ). In fact, his Spanish is impaccable. As a result, don’t think the Scottish climate held him back.

    @SocalLiberal

    I think most people anywhere can accept it when their favourite loses to the better man on tge day.

  24. I like the Scots.

    In fact I have a Scottish Grandma (and an Irish one).

    My family and wife’s family are married to German, Chinese and Dutch spouses.

    I like them all.

    Nationalism and Patiotism are too easliy twisted into something unhealthy. Who was it that Osborne explicitly praised as Patriotic recently?

    Coulson, I believe.

    A dog whistle..?

  25. NickP

    “I like the Scots.”

    If you’ll forgive me – that’s a remarkably foolish statement (verging on stereotyping, or crawling, or both).

    Like every other people, we have likeable and unlikeable people. Just why someone would like or dislike all of a nation, just because of that nationality is something I have never understood.

  26. @SocalLiberal

    ref “I don’t think there was much mention at Davos of Labour being responsible, it appears to be for domestic speeches only.”

    It is hard to see beyond the spin sometimes, but having read a number of US and other overseas newspapers my impression is that Gordon Brown is given more recognition for his response to the global banking problems internationally than in the UK.

    If GB is held in higher regard internationally it might be foolish for GO to stand up and badmouth him to an international audience.

    If this is the case sadly I would expect the normal ‘blame Labour’ service to be resumed, unless the Labour party is saved by another blameworthy spell of snowy weather.

  27. @Liz,

    It’s a little counter-intuitive but the use of CS spray is fairly low down on the list of “aggressive tactics” used by the police. Far below the application of physical force.

    From what I understand the people sprayed were trying to prevent a police officer making an arrest. Whether the decision to effect the original arrest was the right one is a seperate question (I wasn’t there so I can’t judge that).

    If you saw a police officer making an arrest on any high street in the country and went over with a group of your friends to try and prevent it, you would be sprayed or possibly tasered (if one was available). Because of the low risk of permanent harm they are “first choice” methods.

  28. Apparently there has been civil unrest tonight in Sudan, a state of emergency declared in Libya, and tear gas used in Oxford Street, London. Looks like it’s really kicking off.

    More seriously, we are on the brink of some potentially revolutionary times. In many western countries we are facing severe social consequences which many will blame the banks and the government for.

    In other parts of the world we have rampant food price rises creating the flash point for so many long term grievances.

    These are not entirely unconnected, as the deregulation mania of the 1980s and 90s permitted global financial markets to dominate food prices and quantitative easing has recently pushed vast sums of deficit fueled government spending into commodity bubbles.

    Overall, we have a real situation, as the Americans say.

    Even the IMF are now saying that national and global inequality is dangerous and destabilizing. Someone has to start listening.

  29. @ NickP
    What has golf done to deserve to be bracketed with tennis in any consideration of extreme UK sporting non-achievement? As of tonight, 5 of the current world top 10 ranked golfers are from the UK.

  30. @Ian from Lichfield – “… normal ‘blame Labour’ service to be resumed”

    GO seemed to be very much on the defensive earlier in the week when interviewed on [email protected] directly after Ed Balls: “blame Labour” was notably absent … could be the dawning realisation that he is living in a glasshouse now.

    Plus I agree your point that it would be unwise to dis Brown in an international setting.

  31. @Alec
    It just all goes to show that actions have consequences, and dare I say that governments/rulers ultimately rely for their existence on the consent of their people.

  32. @Alec,

    I share your fears about the effects of food prices on geo-political stability (and of course the lives of ordinary people) but surely any effect of the futures markets is more symptom than cause?

    People invest in futures because they expect prices to increase. If the other factors (overpopulation, collapsing fish stocks, climate problems, food losses due to war/political unrest, urbanisation and the concreting over of farmland) weren’t driving food prices then the futures market wouldn’t be along for the ride.

    There has long been an assumption that because the population keeps doubling, and food yields keep doubling to keep pace with it, that everything will turn out alright.

    I have always felt that whilst there are some scientific limits to just how many calories can be extracted from a hectare, there is no limits at all to just how many human beings our species seems capable of spewing out onto this decreasingly beautiful planet.

    90% of the world’s problems, in the (or at least my) final analysis, boil down to “too many people”.

  33. Generally speaking, those who think there are too many people are rarely willing to rush, lemming like, off a cliff.

    Too many other people, is what they mean. ;-)

  34. @ Nick P

    I like the Scots.
    ———————————————–
    Thank you. :-)

  35. @Amber,

    Overpopulation is not about the existence of our own life (that was a decision taken by someone else) but the number of children we choose to have.

    I am glad that my parents chose to have no more than two. I personally don’t plan to have any.

    I don’t consider myself a hypocrite.

  36. @ Old Nat

    “Of course we do – along with the French, the Irish, the Finns, the Latvians …….”

    Nah, you’re different, more likeable, I think.

    “Like every other people, we have likeable and unlikeable people. Just why someone would like or dislike all of a nation, just because of that nationality is something I have never understood.”

    I also have never understood why people randomly dislike a nation and all people of that nationality. But I’ve seen it happen repeatedly. For that matter, I’ll never understand why people dislike people based on their race, their gender, their sexual orientation, or their religion.

    @ RAF

    “I think most people anywhere can accept it when their favourite loses to the better man on tge day.”

    I don’t know about that. I’ve had friends refuse to speak to me after my team beat their team in the NBA Finals. I’ve seen family members throw temper tantrums over their team losing.

    @ Nick P

    “Nationalism and Patiotism are too easliy twisted into something unhealthy”

    I agree. I’ve always thought of patriotism and nationalism as two separate “isms” despite the frequent comparisons. Talking to Old Nat though about his nationalist views and his interpretation of nationalism by others in the UK (including non-BNP British nationalism), I think “nationalism” in the British sense is directly synonymous with the American usage of “patriotism.”

  37. @ Ian from Lichfield

    “ref “I don’t think there was much mention at Davos of Labour being responsible, it appears to be for domestic speeches only.”

    It is hard to see beyond the spin sometimes, but having read a number of US and other overseas newspapers my impression is that Gordon Brown is given more recognition for his response to the global banking problems internationally than in the UK.

    If GB is held in higher regard internationally it might be foolish for GO to stand up and badmouth him to an international audience.

    If this is the case sadly I would expect the normal ‘blame Labour’ service to be resumed, unless the Labour party is saved by another blameworthy spell of snowy weather.”

    Well I don’t know how many people follow international events and are aware of who Gordon Brown is or what he did. I think among those who are followers of international events, I think Brown does get more credit for his response to the financial crisis. I’m not entirely sure though.

    One interesting thing to note is that a lot of news reporters seemed to think that Obama was much closer to David Cameron than Gordon Brown. And there was a suggestion that Obama and Cameron were similar and belonged to the same generation. Now without any disrespect intended towards either David Cameron or Barack Obama, they are both VERY different, not just ideologically but background and personality wise too. Additionally, they’re not of the same generation. And I don’t know where on earth reporters got this idea from.

    I think some have stepped away from this viewpoint ever since the Wikileaks releases. I have to tell you, I wasn’t surprised. I saw the press conference between Obama and Cameron and I could tell that there wasn’t this level of warmth and friendship as suggested by some. Obama has very telling body language.

  38. @ Ian from Lichfield

    To try and put it more succinctly. Of those I know who are somewhat familiar with international economics, yes, Gordon Brown gets far more credit for his handling of the financial crisis than it seems like most in the UK give him (at least reading the occassional online news article). However, that number of people is extraordinarily small and obviously not neccessarily representative of the whole.

  39. @ Alec

    “Apparently there has been civil unrest tonight in Sudan, a state of emergency declared in Libya, and tear gas used in Oxford Street, London. Looks like it’s really kicking off.”

    Where in Sudan? I’m glad that southern Sudan will now become an independent nation. I don’t know what that will mean for Darfur.

    I can’t blame the Egyptians for rising up in the way they are. There’s a great deal of apprehension over what might happen with the deposing of Mubarak. And that apprehension is not unreasonable or without some basis in fact. The whole situation could go very badly very quickly. But really, are the Egyptians resisting Mubarak acting any differently than residents in the Thirteen Colonies were acting in the 1770’s? Are they any less disenfranchised than millions of Brits wqere prior to the Great Land Reform Act of 1832? And are they not attempting to exercise the same rights that Americans and Brits (not to mention hundreds of millions of others around the world) exercise on a regular basis and claim to promote around the world? So I hope these Egyptian protesters are able to succeed.

    I should also add that while there are fears of what truly democratic elections might result in……those in the west have to accept those results (as long as they’re fair) even if we don’t like them.

  40. I think we have to accept the outcome even if we think are unfair.

    After all…what can we do?

    I think we should stop making enemies of large parts of the world’d population and stop making friends with dictators.

  41. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/media/press/news-international-finds-lost-emails-that-could-provide-evidence-in-phonehacking-case-2198996.html

    It appears that News International has already misled the courts under oath. Remember also at the Sheridan trial that Coulson repeated his assertion that it was one rogue reporter involved in hacking.

    We know that was untrue. Wonder if the database of emails will put him in jail?

  42. If there is an email in there that shows he knew what was going on – Yes.

    Otherwise – No.

  43. NickP

    Thanks for the link.

    However, when you look at what Bird actually said in the pre-trial hearing, it (cleverly or otherwise) is characterised by confusion, ignorance, and incompetence – rather than a definite assertion that is clearly identified as a lie.

    Frankly, I doubt whether the editor of the Scottish News of the World occupies a position high enough up the tree to know much of what is going on.

  44. @Neil A – “People invest in futures because they expect prices to increase. If the other factors (overpopulation, collapsing fish stocks, climate problems, food losses due to war/political unrest, urbanisation and the concreting over of farmland) weren’t driving food prices then the futures market wouldn’t be along for the ride.”

    Your post appears to contain the classic assumption that markets work. This is wrong.

    Whilst I agree with your general point about population pressure, the 2008 food price spike was almost entirely a market driven phenomenon without logical links to classical supply and demand theory.

    In 2008 there was rising food output and plenty of reserves, with no shortages. In conventional free market economic theory there was no need for price rises. (It’s a similar story now, although there have been some output setbacks although there are still plenty of reserves).

    However, falling returns and higher risks in other parts of the economy meant the big financial players were looking for a safe haven for their cash. Step forward food – unlike industrial commodities, equities, and in 2008 even government bonds, food will always keep a decent price. So investors piled in and the prices soared.

    This is precisely why food commodities were tightly regulated well into the 1990s as governments saw the consequences of allowing an open market. Goldman Sachs, among others, persuaded them to deregulate as they insisted food could be traded with better (cheaper) results yet with more profit for the financial industry. As with most things, they were wildly wrong.

    A couple of weeks ago we had a case of a single trader buying up a massive percentage of the cocoa market. The prices immediately spiked, not because there was a material imbalance in supply and demand, but because a single trader had bought up a massive percentage…..

    You have to remember that if markets worked efficiently as a mechanism to allocate resources in the most efficienct way, a la Adam Smith, we would never have asset price bubbles, booming stock markets, soaring prices or the consequent crashes.

    While there is some value in markets, they simply do not function well as a distribution mechanism, and once we allow them into the global food arena we are effectively allowing financial institutions to starve people to death for a bit of a profit.

  45. For those with a passing interest in Scottish politics – SNP and Labour do agree from time to time – usually, as in this case, to attack the Tories/LDs

    h ttp://www.newsnetscotland.com/politics/1539-snp-and-labour-unite-to-condemn-scottish-election-delay

    Westminster’s actions often seem arrogant on this side of the border, regardless of party affiliations. I imagine that Scots Tories/LDs are also spitting mad about the results of the Scottish GE being delayed because a Westminster referendum has to be dealt with first.

  46. Alec

    “While there is some value in markets, they simply do not function well as a distribution mechanism, and once we allow them into the global food arena we are effectively allowing financial institutions to starve people to death for a bit of a profit.”

    Exactly right.

  47. Cameron’s take on NHS reform this morning is interesting. He is saying that they need to explain the reforms better, which is always the politicians way of saying ‘voters don’t like this’.

    The other points that struck me are the statements that this isn’t privatisation of the NHS and the ‘use it or lose it’ approach to local hospitals, saying that so long as we keep using our local hospitals they will remain open.

    Apart from implicitly sliding the blame for any future hospital closures onto the public, he has completely missed the point of the proposals. We can’t choose where we want to go – GPs choose, based on price competition with EU competition laws to back up the lowest cost option.

    His entire interview seems to misunderstand the whole basis and point of his own policy. If we can all choose our local hospital, there is effectively no price competition what’s the point of Lansley?

  48. Update on the passage of the AV bill (it probably bores lots of you, but it fascinates me and I know at least one or two of you share my interest!)

    The Telegraph suggests there have been negotiations on a compromise over the weekend. The three sticking points are still the 5% rule, the number of 600 MPs and the public inquiries.

    The Telegraph suggests the Conservatives are offering more public engagement in the consultation stage (it’s not specified whether this includes oral public inquries – it floats some sort of online thing – the government have previously indicated that they would be positive about more consulation but not if it lengthened timescales) and a post-legislative review of the 600 number. It suggests the government will not compromise on the reduction to 600 now, and that they will not budge on 5%.

    According to Ben Brogan the government think there is a good chance of an agreement today. The government are expected to table a guillotine tonight to be voted on tomorrow if compromise isn’t forthcoming. Whether one would get through is very questionable – Baroness D’Souza, the convenor of the crossbench peers was highly criticial of the filibustering, but is now equally vocal in her opposition to a guillotine. Of course, the crossbenches don’t have to vote a party line so some may support a guillotine… but some Conservative and Lib Dems peers may oppose one (and I expect there will be an effort to wheel out the backwoodsmen for any vote anyway, so it’s hard to predict)

  49. @Socalliberal – “… Obama has very telling body language.”

    It has been said that after their first meeting in the UK, Obama laughed and turned to an aide saying “I don’t believe it, he is such a lightweight.” (Not an uncommon first impression, but perhaps Etonians unconsciously try to wrong-foot with first impressions.)

    As PM, Cameron prefaced his meeting with BO in Washinton with a punchy speech criticising over-sentimental aspects of the special relationship, asserting his independence. The rest of the trip was spent pandering to the domestic news agenda of one or two senators concerning Lockerbie.

    Laszlo made a point some time ago about a study which showed interpretations of ‘body language’ were very much in the eye of the beholder, that said, you do have to trust your own judgement.

  50. Alec

    Before the GE DC confirmed that the NHS was safe with the Tories.

    These reforms and particularly the prospect that private enterprises will gain and benefits from them will severely damage DC and the Cons. I expect to see noticeable movements in VI etc attributable to this issue in the next few days/weeks as joe public begins to take note.

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