The full tables for the Populus poll for the Searchlight Educational Trust has now been published on their website here

It is a very hefty poll – 5000 online respondents in England (for those intrigued about the questions on whether people saw themselves as English or British – this was a purely English poll) and there are 395 pages of tables. Obviously there is an awful lot of stuff there, and I’m not going to address it all, much better to go and read the full report itself. Amongst other things it includes an analysis that segments the population into clusters based on their attitudes towards immigration – broadly speaking two liberal groups that are to different extents positive about immigration (making up 24% of the population), a more ambiguous group that is concerned about the economic effects of immigration (28% of the population), a traditionally Toryish sort of group concerned about the effect of immigration on national identity (24% of the population) and two groups (10% and 13% respectively) that are firmly opposed to immigration but to differing degrees, with the final group the most hostile, disengaged and open to violence.


On immigration itself there were, as usual, broadly negative opinions. 40% thought that on the whole immigration had been good for the country, 60% thought it had been bad. 34% of people would stop all immigration permanently or temporarily. 39% would support only allowed “skilled immigrants who will help the economy”, 22% “only skilled and unskilled immigrations who will help the economy”, 5% think we should allow all types of immigration.

From an economic point of view, 41% agree that the public sector couldn’t cope without immigrants – but this is far outstripped by 73% who agree immigration puts pressure on public services. 34% think they have made it easier to find tradesment. 34% think immigration has made it harder for them personally to get a fair wage for their work. Culturally 49% said having a wide variety of cultures was part of British culture, 51% thought it had undermined British culture. While on balance these figures are negative towards immigration, it’s worth pointing out that these findings are not actually as hostile towards immigration as some other polls.


Moving on, Populus asked about attitudes towards religion – given that the far-right have increasingly tended to put forward an anti-Muslim message, rather than a race-based one.

Firstly on the general subject of religion, 54% of people described themselves as Christian and about 5% other religions. 35% of people said they were not a member of any religious group. However, only 23% said religion was important to them, with only 11% agreeing strongly. Amongst those who described themselves as Christians, only 33% said religion was important to them, 36% said it was not. As we’ve seen before, people describing themselves as Christian does not necessarily imply they are particularly religious (indeed, other polls have shown many don’t believe in a god!). 68% agreed with the statement that religion should not influence laws and policies in this country. Overall 23% said they thought religion was a force for good in the UK, 42% disagreed.


Comparing attitudes to different religious groups, Muslims were seen as both the most different to respondents in terms of customs and habits, and as causing the most problems for the country. 69% of people see Muslims as different, 44% “completely different” – in comparison 28% see Hindus as completely different, 29% Sikhs and 19% Jews. Asking whether different groups create problems in the UK, Hindus, Sikhs, Christians all produced very similar results with about 15% saying they caused problems. Asked the same about Muslims, 52% of people said they caused problems in the UK.

Interestingly, Muslims are also the religious minority people are most aware of coming into contact with – 45% say they come into contact with Muslim people at least weekly, compared to 31% for Hundus, 24% for Sikhs and 24% for Jews.

Populus then asked people to imagine a mosque being built in their local area – 43% said they would support a campaign to block it, 19% would oppose a campaign to block it.


50% of English people define themselves primarily as British, compared to 39% who define themselves as primarily English. There is an correlation here between whether people see themselves as British or English, and how they fall into Populus’s segments – the two most liberal segments are most likely to view themselves as British (by 60% to about 25%), the two groups most hostile towards immigration are more likely to view themselves as English (by about 60% to 40%)

Asked what it was that most defined someone as British, the most popular option was essentially self-definition – people who “put bring British/English ahead of belonging to a particular ethnic or religious group”. This was picked first by 34% of respondents, compared to 24% who defined it first as being born here, 18% in terms of citizenship, 7% in paying taxes, 7% by descent and 6% by speaking English. Again, there were interesting patterns looking at Populus’s segmentation – the two most liberal groups tended to take a legalistic view – and were most likely to define Britishness primarily in terms of citizenship, and the least likely to view it in terms of birth or descent. Those most hostile to immigration tended to view where you were born as more important than citizenship, and were most likely to consider where someone’s parents were born in defining Britishness.

Given the length of the survey there were questions on other subjects to – most notably community involvement – but I’ll leave you to explore it yourself.

115 Responses to “Populus on immigration and English national identity”

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  1. Latest YouGov/Sun results 1st Mar CON 34%, LAB 43%, LD 11%; APP -28

  2. @ Nick Poole

    YG – Astonishing, compared to Comres.

  3. Big announcement at work today, over a thousand staff have to apply for less than 500 jobs, that’s in Croydon. Similar damag in Sheffield and Liverpool.

    Doom and Gloom.

    There’s not many of the people working there who are very well disposed to the Government now. This will be going on all over the country.

    That approval rating and those Tory voting intentions are going to start falling fast, I think.

  4. 9% and 34 Blue ..
    Nick sorry to hear that, yes agree lots of doom and gloom at work.
    Real people and ot numbera. Yes, the polls could show some movement,
    Nothing more on the by election? much more low key than Old and sad.

  5. When was the last 34 Yougov for Blues?

  6. Agree with Amberstar.
    also 34 is low for CON
    DC is going too heavy on Libya. His throw away comment to EB at the end of their minor exchange in the commons yesterday which brought huge CON cheers was a CON political point not a British Prime Minister thinking about sending our boys into action.
    The last thing that should be on a PM’s mind by flying a fighter jet over Libya is point scoring for CON over LAB.
    Saying today that you don’t need UN approval as long as you have a few supporting countries is completely the wrong message. At least say NATO must support.
    No chance of that.

  7. New low in Coalition approval rating -28

  8. How odd that when questions are asked about a reserved matter that impacts (with very different results) on all four “home” nations and can only be dealt with by the UK parliament, only one of those nations is asked their opinion.

  9. Fools rush in where…….The very idea of military involvement in the near East whilst at the same time
    cutting the defence budget and trying to extricate our troops from Afghanistan,seems unwise to say the least.

  10. Nick Poole’s experience is something a lot of media commentators haven’t got. While the actual redundancies may equal X, the number of people fearing it might be them is 2X or 3X. That’s a lot of people frightened and not spending.

    Research is also pretty clear that once people find out they have survived, they don’t suddenly become happy again – productivity drops and fear remains.

    On Libya – I wondered whether Cameron over shot his comments, and judging by the rowing back today it’s clear he has. Unless the UK could deliver this intervention legally and solo, the rhetoric should have been tailored to fit with the reality of negotiations. It’s another example of Cameron firing off a good marketing line without thinking about the actual product – something he’s got form on.

  11. As a White British Person I feel that it is disgusting how White British (as a poll specifically targeted at white British showed) have such a bigoted and ignorant view on immigration……

    The NHS would have been scrapped 20 years ago if it didn’t have its Filipino, Indian, African, Caribbean, Asian, South American employees….the cleaners, nurses, doctors, catering, managers… dare British people claim that the Public services would be less under pressure when the 4th largest employer and by far largest public service in the world relies on immigrants!

    I could go on for ages taking every point into account….I cant believe peoples pure ignorance!

    (By the Way how do I get that nice looking Labour Background)


  12. Interesting to note that notwithstanding the findings of the large and significant Populus poll of modern attitudes, everyone on here just wants to bang on about YouGov’s little daily tracker. Change the record.

  13. The telegraph is reporting tonight that all 10,000 troops serving in Afghanistan have been told they could be made redundant. While troops on active service were told they would not be involved in redundancies, it appears that this applies in September 2011, so as the lot out there will be home by then they will be in the mix.

    Sounds like a great way to keep up morale in a difficult situation, and I wonder what it will also do to the morale of Tory activists.

  14. I take isolated polls with a pinch of salt, and it’s dangerous to draw too many conclusions from them, but I’m a little surprised to see a widening poll lead for Labour in present circumstances. We’ve seen an increasingly belligerent Cameron, in statesmanlike mode, dominating the news headlines and taking public attention away, for now, from the issue that damages his government most; the economy. There is a theory suggested by some on these pages that the more the public see of Cameron, the more they like him and the better the polls become for both his party and government. I’ve demurred a little from that theory, although I’m more agnostic than totally convinced of its falsehood, but tonight’s poll seems to point to some weakness in the case for his innate personal popularity. If I’m right, and the Cameron charisma proponents are wrong, then this may prove to be another interesting and possibly significant ingredient in the increasingly fascinating political pot. A pot that may come slowly to the boil in May, I suspect!

    Another couple of interesting points to ponder from tonight’s YouGov poll and the one on immigration and religion. YouGov is suggesting that Labour is surprisingly solid at 42-44% and that the LibDems are stuck and becalmed in the doldrums. The one to watch, however, is the Tory VI figure. This seems to be taking the hit now, their support on a relentless downward trajectory as government approval dips ever more southward. Nothing dramatic, more drip-drip, but unmistakeably sinking like the deflating souffle. I wonder if the whiff of incompetence now wafting around them may be starting to have an adverse effect.

    As for the immigration survey, I was surprised that the figures for people describing themselves as Christians, and those saying that they took their religion seriously, were as low as they appear to be. The last survey I recall, admittedly some years ago, suggested a figure of 70%+ who regarded themselves as Christians, now it’s down to 50%+ in this latest survey. If true, we increasingly live in a secular and irreligious world and I wonder what impact this has on our culture, social cohesion and politics. There was a time when religious observance was one of the few shared national experiences that bound our society together and the church was at the heart of nearly all our local communities. A lot of our great political movements and inspirations derived from the church and I sometimes wonder if we appreciate the scale and size of the hole that the disappearance of this influence has had in the nation’s cultural life. I think it’s a hole yet to be filled and we may have lost more than we yet know. A personal and probably controversial thought, I accept

  15. @ NIck Poole

    “Doom and Gloom.”

    On the other hand the Markit PMI UK manufacturing index for February was at 61.5, the same as in January, a record high for the past sixteen and a half years. Anything above 50.0 indicates growth.

    The manufacturing employment index is at 60.0%. The last time it was at around 55 in the mid 1990s, there were between 15,000 and 30,000 jobs a month being created in the sector.

    According to the employment specialists Reed, their job index is the highest it has been since it began (131 against 100 in December 2009 when employment was roughly static).

    We’ll have to see what this means for the unemployment figures and how the services sector is doing, but manufacturing is booming and creating jobs.

    You might be gloomy (for good reason) but don’t assume everyone else is.

  16. It appears DC might be backing off from military involvement in Libya (if so, phew!)

    Also I have read that the unexpectedly good tax take in January might be used to help fund a fuel tax regulator/cut. This is a complicated judgement, because it would not sit well with the government’s spending cuts/debt-reduction strategy, but we also need to have something resembling a working economy in order to pay off those debts. I expect some sort of disguised U turn of sorts, perhaps a temporary cut.

  17. h ttp://

    Research on payment and productivity indicators (Quality and Outcomes Framework) shows that financial incentives do not neccessarily lead to improvements in patient care (GPs could exclude certain patients from the scheme to maintain their percentages).

    BMA is expressing concern that the new Quality Premium (payment for effective financial management) could be a way to reward GPs for bringing treatment costs down.

  18. Robert C,
    Well those are certainly encouraging figures.However on
    the high street there seems to be a collapse in consumer
    confidence with John Lewis,Asda and Primark reporting
    “A noticeable slowing of consumer demand” since the new year.As consumer spending makes up two thirds of the economys output there is cause for concern here.

  19. @Robert C – worth remembering that manufacturing is only 25% of the economy and the Reed Employment Index has only been operating since December 2009, so a record level in 15 months isn’t necessarily a great achievement. The index is also jobs that Reeds agency have – it isn’t necessarily reflecting the wider economy, but could be more about Reed’s own marketing skills.
    The last ONS data showed a big slow down in the number of vacancies once the temporary census posts were accounted for.

  20. @Amber Star

    YG – Astonishing, compared to Comres

    One point of some concern in the Com Res tables is their very final one on weighting. In a telephone sample, they identified more people who said they voted Labour than Conservative last May.

    That’s a strange finding in such a large sample, but ComRes appear to take it at face value and correct for the apparent systematic bias in their sampling. So the previous Con voters are weighted up by about 6%, previous Lab voters are weighted down by about 15% and Libs up by 3%.

    But what if there’s some serious selective amnesia starting to build up? It would cause the scale of the reweightings to be exaggerated and hence the results to be distorted by the reweightings? I suggest that there’s a bit of evidence for this, as the scale of the reweightings are much bigger now than last year. If you look back to the ComRes poll in June 2010, at that point the Cons were being reweighted up 2% only, Labour down 4% only and the LDs down (rather than up) by 5%.

  21. Is tonights 34% for the blues a new recent low point?

  22. @ Robert C

    Yes some manufacturing companies are doing well, particularly those involved indirectly/directly with goods that are to be sold abroad.

    But this is in the main down to the relatively low exchange rate, allowing the companies to compete. If the BOE increase base rates, this could cause the currency value to increase and these companies may then not be as competitive, some losing business.

    Then there is the current problems in the Middle East. If this continues, Britains defence trading may be under some pressure over is ethicacy. Some trade may be lost in this area or delayed.

  23. Cameron was unwise to play to the gallery as army general. He knows full well his options are limited and he can do nothing without the Americans, who have no appetite for this silly game.

    There’s a tendency of late for leaders to emerge all itching to deal with the next conflict as if it were the last. Blair compared Sadaams Iraq to Nazi Germany, Bush’s foreign policy advisors tried to turn the battle against radical islamists into a new Cold War, virtually equating Al.Qaeda with Stalinist and post-Stalinist Russia. And now Cameron wants to re-fight the Iraq war.

    It’s a disappointing as it is predictable.

  24. @ Phil

    Thank you for the analysis of ComRes weightings.

    As the ComRes was a ‘phone poll, perhaps the respondents did suffer from a bout of Shy Tory Syndrome.

  25. @Phil

    You may well be right. Certainly there was *something * screwy about the ComRes poll, so that its accuracy depends rather heavily on the nature of the screwiness being correctly diagnosed.

    This is where the daily YouGov polls come into their own. Yes, each one is individually boring, invariably impossible to distinguish from the previous few. But collectively, over time (weeks and months), they tell a clear and undeniable narrative. The LDs handed half their voters to Labour, but have now stabilised and can hope (no more than that at this stage) to start clawing back a few votes. Lab have been gaining in a consistent non-showy manner, which speaks to long term changes in VI, and has yet to show any signs of stopping. And Con have gone off the edge of a cliff since Christmas, and we’re all waiting on tenterhooks to see exactly how far it is down to the bottom. And whether there will be anything left when they get there.

    More than anything else, what the daily YouGov polls show up is the complete inability of monthly polls to provide any sort of detailed information at all.

  26. Anthony

    The reason I was keen to know where the poll was conducted is that there are “illiberal” ideas current within groups in every political system.

    Politicians do have a responsibility to encourage democratic and inclusive principles, and this gives an opportunity to look at how well or badly English politicians have succeeded in that (even if they tried)

  27. Ipsos Mori conducted a “issues facing da country” poll

    ironically, surprisingly, and interestingly, Immigration came third on the list.

    I can’t remember the last time that immigration was that low… tis usually no.2.

  28. It will be interesting to see if Mervyn King’s latest comments affect polling views on who is to blame for the current crisis.

    To get the coloured background, you need to register or log in.

  29. @ Rob

    I agree with everything you say. My local (Ealing) hospital – based here in Southall – would utterly collapse were it not for those of its staff members who have their ancestry in the countries of the New Commonwealth. (From observation, I would say that an absolute majority of all grades of staff – from cleaners to consultants – are members of visible minority ethnic groups).

    In answer to your question, the way to get your “Rose” symbol is to go into your profile page and alter the “extended profile” (top left) accordingly.

    Getting back to the survey, it is noteworthy that those respondents who live in areas which have been changed by immigration are often the ones who are the most positive about its effects.

    Take the London region, for example: the computer tables for this cross-break show that 56% agree that “On the whole, immigration has been a good thing” (against only 40% agreeing with this statement nationally). Forty per cent of Londoners agree that “I don’t think new immigrants want to integrate” (against 49% nationally), and 64% of the capital’s voters agree that “A wide variety of backgrounds is part of Britain’s culture” (with only 49% of the overall sample agreeing with this).

    Although I have only given three examples here, the tendency for people living in London to be more enthusiastic about our diversity is consistent across just about all of the attitudinal questions. Incidentally, I do not think I am dancing on the head of a pin by pointing out these differences – after all, the London sample is pretty robust at 713.

    Having said that, I have been involved in enough election campaigns to know that there are many areas of the capital where Labour’s association with the immigrant-descended communities loses us more votes than it gains. There is, in addition, still a considerable amount of evidence to suggest that a significant minority of people actively discriminate against candidates with Asian or African names when they get into the privacy of the polling booth.

    This sad fact is evident from the variations in the votes accumulated by different candidates standing on the same party ticket in multi-member wards in local government elections.

    For example, in the Hillingdon borough elections of May 2010, Labour candidates with Asian names polled on average only ninety per cent of the votes won by their white counterparts standing in the same ward. From memory, only in one ward – where the Asian candidate had the advantage of being higher up the alphabetical list of names on the ballot sheet – did this trend not occur.

    Sadly, in those wards where there was a BNP candidate, he would usually benefit from cross-voting. It is probably not a coincidence that the far right polled ten percent of the vote in those wards they contested.

  30. Robin Hood

    You point out the differences between London and the rest of England. I suspect that the same might be true for any of the large metropolises that exist around the world – that they probably see themselves and the rest of the world differently from their “host” countries.

    For example, I note that 13% of Londoners describe their identity as European compared with only 3% in the rest of England.

    The European identity also shows a clear age divide with 8% of 18-24s : 11% of 25-34s : so describing themselves while only 4% of 35-44s do, and only 1-2% of older people.

    From my perspective that seems encouraging, although if the two figures are actually the same because most young people live in London, then it may not be that relevant (I’m sure that data is in there somewhere, but I can’t be bothered checking!)

  31. @ Crossbat11/Nick Hadley

    “As for the immigration survey, I was surprised that the figures for people describing themselves as Christians, and those saying that they took their religion seriously, were as low as they appear to be. The last survey I recall, admittedly some years ago, suggested a figure of 70%+ who regarded themselves as Christians, now it’s down to 50%+ in this latest survey. If true, we increasingly live in a secular and irreligious world and I wonder what impact this has on our culture, social cohesion and politics. There was a time when religious observance was one of the few shared national experiences that bound our society together and the church was at the heart of nearly all our local communities. A lot of our great political movements and inspirations derived from the church and I sometimes wonder if we appreciate the scale and size of the hole that the disappearance of this influence has had in the nation’s cultural life. I think it’s a hole yet to be filled and we may have lost more than we yet know. A personal and probably controversial thought, I accept”

    I’m afraid that on this issue, you and I part ways my friend. At least in the broader philosophical sense. I don’t think people lose their moral compass or their compation for others or their belief in society simply because they’re not religious or are religious or spiritual but have simply stopped attending religious services. I mean some of the worst people I’ve ever known or met have been some of the most religious. They are people who can act in abhorent ways and don’t care about anyone but themselves but can claim salvation because they spend a lot of time in services and/or gave a lot of money to their congregation. And yet some of the best people I’ve ever met who were completely selfless individuals who cared greatly about others and society were people who were either atheist or agnostic or claimed a religion but never attended services.

    In other words, I don’t think that society declines because people become less religious.

    And this is not to say that I’m anti-religion at all. I’m not. Religion and spirituality have a great meaning in the lives of so many individuals. No one can deny some of the great things that religious organizations have done.

  32. @ Crossbat11/Nick Hadley

    And I should caveat what I just said with the following: you know more far more about the positive impact of church in UK society as well as the benefits of a shared cultural attachment of attending church in the UK than I do (and probably ever will). So I take your word for it.

    One other thing, completely off topic. I voted on Sunday (put my ballot in the mail) and for the first time ever, I saw an American reference to motherhood and apple pie. In my sample ballot, I saw an opposition statement against a proposed measure that used the term (refering to the proposed initiative as “mother and apple pie.” I’m not sure it’s that effective. I was planning to vote against this measure until I read this rambling opposition statement which lead me to change my mind and vote yes. :)

  33. Sergio, Robert C et al

    “The price of this financial crisis is being borne by people who absolutely did not cause it,” said Mervyn King. “Now is the period when the cost is being paid, I’m surprised that the degree of public anger has not been greater than it has.”

    That public anger is here, certainly where I work. Most of it is resigned gloom rather than miltant fury, but watch those polls. If people listen to what King has said to parliament they will realise that they have effectively been lied to by the coalition, consistently and deliberately, and that they are being asked to accept poverty in exchange for keeping bankers rich.

    Attempts to blame Labour, and immigration, and state “inefficiency” and supposedly bloated fat cat public service pensions and pay are going to hit this truth: the banks traded so stupidly and criminally that they bankrupted the Western world. Sooner or later, people will want the banks to be held to account and taken apart.

  34. AW – thanks for distilling the findings of the Populus poll for the Searchlight Educational Trust.

    Clearly this is an important survey and deserving of careful analysis.

  35. Reassuring that people think the idea of preventing helicopter gunships and fighter-bombers from murdering unarmed crowds of demonstrators is a “Silly Game”.

    I think Cameron was trying to assuage one of the howling crowds out there – the “people are being murdered and we’re doing nothing about it” brigade.

    The logical conclusion of most of the opinions here is that when black and brown people are being slaughtered, white governments should just let them get on with it.

    I don’t think there will be a no-fly zone at the moment. But if there are TV pictures of 200 people being blown to bits by Libyan planes then that could change overnight. I think the government is just getting it’s ducks lined up.

  36. “…the government is just getting it’s ducks lined up.”

    My synapses have fired and I’m now thinking yellow ducks and LDs….

    Which brings me to wonder what would be the reaction of LDs to any UK military action (other than ‘rescue’ planes) in Libya. (That’s assuming we have any planes, ships and aircraft carriers suitable for such action.)

  37. Neil A

    Don’t you think it’s a bit distasteful to suggest that those who are resistant to ex colonial powers taking the lead intervention in previously colonised areas are only acting out of ethnic considerations?

    There is good reason why intervention in such instances should be initiated by continental neighbours. If they then request external help we should be prepared to give it.

    But to reverse your argument. Is it your position that the only reason that countries with “black and brown” populations failed to intervene to stop the use of force by government in suppressing peaceful protest in Northern Ireland was that they were unconcerned about whites being slaughtered?

  38. Neil A,

    North African conflict has yielded historically low casualties… secular Arabs tend to place greater emphasis on their own well being, than joining in jihadist bloodbaths… Some historians have developed a theory of North African geniality…. Put simply, it is an over-reaction of significant proportions to assume that the death tally will be anything other than a tiny fraction of religiously motivated conflicts in other parts of the Arab world..

    advice? chill!

  39. @Nick Poole and others – worth reading Robert Peston’s blog today. He details a remarkable speech given by Adaire Turner regarding bank reform’s. He says that the reforms so far have not been sufficient to guarantee stability and the reforms to bankers pay will serve to increase remuneration.

    The really stunning bit of the speech involves a severe questioning of the purpose of the financial industry. Turner believes that banks are taking too much rent (profit) from the wider economy for no resultant economic gain, seemingly as the regulatory and tax regimes allow them to do this. The implication is the banking regulatioin must be changed to make them less profitable.

    Very worthy stuff, but with a governing party recieving over half it’s funding from the financial sector its no wonder the speech was pretty much ignored.

    @neil A – I suspect many of the comments regarding UK intervention in Libya reflect a wearyness with Cameron’s grandstanding. He really does fire off some fine lines and then backtrack, making the entire exercise somewhat pointless.

    It’s become a serial habit of his, and in due course the number of false promises made by him will tally up to a complete loss of faith. From a Lisbon referendum to enshrining the military convenant in law, passing no major NHS reforms and no plans for a VAT rise on the way, the man simply has no policy credibility. This kind of grandstanding on the world stage is the worst of the lot.

    Solving civil wars needs a collective and well thought through position. It’s not the place to chase a few good headlines. Yawn.

  40. Wonder if Cameron itching to get involved in the Middle East crisis is hoping that this would do for him what the Falklands war did for Thatcher. However if he gets involved it might do for him what Iraq did for Blair.

  41. Just popped into Political Betting and found an amusing article by Nck Sparrow about polls, pollsters, pollees, questioning the value of polls. I’m sure parts of it will resonate with regular readers/contributors to UKPR.

    h ttp://

  42. Don’t think Cameron has done himself any favours on Libya. I think his mouth ran away with itself, with brain not properly engaged. He has since had to back track, as he realised that he did not have allies on side and that the defence cuts would not help, when dealing with the situation.

    The truth is that unless the US commits assets to the area, they won’t even be able to operate a no fly zone. Then there is the issue of the United Nations, with Russia and/or China potentially blocking any such action.

    Cameron really should not try to be Blair mark II. I am convinced Cameron is obsessed with Blair and the way Blair operated as PM, believing that he can be a global figure of importance. I would suggest he pulls back a bit and works more quietly behind the scenes. It is better if those people with more influence with Gaddafi are allowed to work diplomatically on the situation, without western Politicians fighting Gaddafi through the media.

  43. Michael Crick’s blog a teeny bit condescending towards Craig Oliver, who has been tasked to turn round BBC coverage of cuts… meanwhile the normally sympathetic Nick Robinson is positively scathing about the “sabre-rattling” Monday/row-backTuesday neocon/non-interventionist battle for the soul of David Cameron.

  44. Seeing as things aren’t going so well for the government this week, I expect to see further dip in support.

  45. Following yesterday’s YouGov/S4C poll, today we have another Welsh Referndum poll, by rmg:Clarity for the Western Mail:

    Voters to deliver a big Yes says poll on more powers

    ht tp://

    If you missed it, here are the YouGov details:

    ht tp://

  46. Populus poll on immigration and identity

    Having assimilated from the report that ‘cultural concerned’ and ‘cultural integrationists’ were synonymous terms, which did not ring synonymous to me, I found the most disturbing finding, well, surprising anyway, was that all parties and all classes have a significant proportion of ‘active enmity’ adherents. These are people who do not eschew the use of violence to solve immigration problems. 5% of LDs, 10% of Labs, 12% of Cons and9(% of greens, for heavens sake, are in this category.

    See the bar charts on the second page of the report.

  47. In August – Spetember 2000, the Sun’s campaign against fuel prices, in part contributed to a 30% [net] turnaround in the polls against Labour… they went from leads of 21% to trailing blues by as high as 8% in weeks.

    In Janaury- February 2010, the Suns campaign against fuel prices has not had the same effect… Red leads of c.2%… have climbed to red leads of c.7-8%….

    3 out of the four most respected pollsters have reds leading at 3%, 3%, 4%… Yg of course have the lead at a higher 7ish %.

    But the point is a stark one.. petrol outcry is not damaging blue as much as it did reds a decade ago..

    What’s more some pollsters have blues stablising in their most recent polls..

  48. Bomb disposal dudes are in and around Tottenham Court Road area guys/gals

  49. Eoin – somewhat over-egging it to say the Sept 2000 polls were caused by the Sun’s campaign. The poll turnaround then was caused by the fuel strike, petrol stations running dry and the country grinding to a consequential halt.

    A couple of headlines in the Sun didn’t do it.


    As a registered poster – and with the yellow background you must be – you can post proper HTML links or just URLs without spaces in the h t t p, so that they’re clickable for all without being put in the moderation queue.

    Beware of putting two in one post, though, as that does seem to put the post into moderation.

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