The full tables for the YouGov/Sunday Times poll are now up here. Here are some of the highlights.

The poll asked about Libya, but as it was conducted between Thursday afternoon and Friday afternoon the questions were rather overtaken by events. There are a couple of early straws in the wind though. Asked whether David Cameron has responded well or badly to the situation in Libya, 37% thought he had done badly, 44% well – a net score of minus 7 compared to minus 16 a fortnight ago when the same question was asked.

Most of this shift appears to have happened between Thursday and Friday as news of the UN resolution emerged – amongst people who filled in the survey overnight on Thursday approval of Cameron’s handling of Libya was still minus 13, amongst people who filled it in from Friday morning onwards approval of Cameron’s handling rose to minus 3. Of course, the whole of the survey was conducted prior to the start of actual military operations on Saturday – we won’t know the effect of that on public opinion until tomorrow.

In this poll support for a no-fly zone stood at 69%, with 14% opposed. Of course, theoretical support for a “no-fly” zone won’t necessarily translate into support for the present air strikes on Libya – we shall find out next week.

Secondly there were a group of questions on the Alternative Vote. Voting intention in the referendum currently stands at YES 33%, NO 32%, Don’t know 27%, won’t vote 7%. For the first time in a YouGov referendum poll, there were also figures weighted by likelihood to vote, though at this stage they made very little difference to the overall position – weighted by likelihood to vote the numbers were YES 39%, NO 37%, Don’t know 23%.

41% of people said they thought the present system was fair, compared to 30% who think it is unfair. However, only 26% people said they thought AV would be fairer, compared to 24% who think FPTP would be fairer and 14% who think there is nothing to chose between them.

On the cost of the referendum itself, 37% of people think it is a waste of taxpayers’ money, compared to 43% who think it is right that money is being spent on giving the public the final say.

Finally there were some questions about nuclear power. 43% of people said the recent events in Japan had made them less supportive of nuclear power, 48% that it had made no difference. Overall people remained broadly split over nuclear power – 40% said they supported its use, 48% that they opposed its use. The majority of people (60%) thought that nuclear power stations in the UK were safe.

There was, incidentally, a very strong gender contrast on the nuclear questions. Large gender differences in polls are actually quite rare, men and women normally have pretty similar views, nuclear weapons and power are one of those areas where their views are very different. Men are supportive of nuclear power by 54% to 37%, women are opposed to it by 25% to 57%.


179 Responses to “YouGov on Libya, AV and nuclear power”

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  1. @WOLF ‘Gaddhafi is a bit more intelligent than Arthur Scargill.’

    Probably, but no less deranged, power crazy and interested only in number one, whilst purporting to be concerned about others’

    OLDNAT I remember the flying pickets, the viscous bile spouted by McGahy & Scargill & the way they treated miners who did not agree with the miners strike. Remember that Scargill never allowed a ballot on the strike as he was never fully confident that he would win.
    As for intelligence, he called a strike in the spring, when coal stocks were at an all time high. Draw your own conclusions.

    As for the police, they had an unenviable job of trying to maintain order and make it possible for those who wanted to work, to actually get to work, and were up against mobs, who tried everything to stop them. Police were drafted in from all over the UK to assist in the mining areas, so I imagine it was a numbers thing in Scotland, as it was in Kent & Nottinghamshire, Yorkshire & Derbyshire. To build some anti Scottish aspect out of this is a bit far fetched. Thatcher was simply a better tactician than Scargil.

  2. Amber
    Douglas Alexander has an article in today’s Guardian which seems to me suitably cautious.
    Wolf
    Your pithy comment sums up some of my feelings. MG is no fool.
    Oil?
    This is not the main strategic interest. Nor is it the main card MG can play. The lead role of France (in leading the charge) is presumably linked to fears over Algeria, a massive nation compared to Libya and where from memory about 5m people have the right to live in France.
    The deal in the desert was not about oil but security. MG’s position did not change because of a movement in the price of oil but because of 9.11. MG has agents at the heart of Al Q and spies in all Europe’s radical mosques. Big Oil does not believe that regime change will alter the facts of life. One of the top executives told me when I raised this in the context of Iraq that if Big O believed political action was going to produce cheap oil they would not be investing mind numbing billions on gas in the ME or in shale etc. Events in Iraq have followed his rather than my predictions.
    Al M is guilty (which is not to say he might not be freed on appeal). My reason for saying that is that Scottish rules of evidence make it very very difficult to convict and anyone so convicted is as near as you could ever get to certain guilty
    I’d be very surprised if MG was titular head of anything. See Wolf’s comment

  3. @ Robert Newark

    Here’s something else that Scargil & Gaddafi may have in common: Scargil was constantly rubbished in the press as a liar; the same tactic is being used against Gaddafi.

    The government of the day called the representatives of our own responsible, hard working citizens: “Liars” & “The enemy within”.

    After the miners strike was broken, we found that everything Scargil had said about plans to close most UK mines & economically decimate mining areas was actually true. He’d actually somewhat understated it.

    As for calling a strike in spring when coal stocks were high & demand was low, what should he have done? Called it in the middle of winter & been responsible for pensioners & children freezing?

    IMO, the miners ‘lost’ because they were less ruthless than Mrs Thatcher. It does them credit.
    8-)

  4. Amber

    “The government of the day called the representatives of our own responsible, hard working citizens: “Liars” & “The enemy within”.

    You’re obviously not talking about the mobs that Robert was then.

    Anyway his comment was mainly in response to the daft nationalist rubbish that Old Nat was trying to pass for fact again, not only comparing Met police to Dictator regimes (where only a fraction of their terrible acts get reported to us, this is very low partisan stuff imho) but implying that the nice moderate Scottish police could have coped on their own and the miners who wanted to work wouldn’t actually have been intimidated etc.

  5. @ Barney

    And I have just seen a further comment by Jim Murphy that gives me hope for strong opposition from Labour, if the coalition become too gung-ho.

    He is condemning ‘loose talk’ about deposing Gaddafi, saying that the mission needs to stay within the limits set by the UNSC. I think this is courageous of Labour, in the circumstances. I hope we stick to that position.

    Russia, China, India, Venezuela & the African Congress have all condemned the bombings as already going beyond the remit of Resolution 1973.
    8-)

  6. The ICM Scotland poll is at last available at http://www.icmresearch.co.uk/pdfs/2011_march_scotland_poll.pdf

  7. @ BT Says

    Miners were told by the government that miners who worked & kept their pits open during the strike would not face the closure of their pits & redundancy.

    That was not true.

    Such tactics (which Robert Newark seems to admire) are disgusting to me. These miners were men who had risked their health to earn a living for themselves & their families; who had literally fuelled the postwar recovery & the economic boom from then until the seventies.

    The miners who did not strike were tricked & lied to. Those who did strike were lied about & insulted in the press.

    And the police were used tactically against the miners in a way that has reduced the authority of the police forever in the eyes of many citizens who, otherwise, are generally law-abiding & respectful.
    8-)

  8. Amber

    Is this what you meant?

    Shadow Defence Secretary Jim Murphy accused the government of “careless talk” over whether or not Gaddafi was a target.

    “To enforce the UN resolution it would be about permanently denying Gaddafi the ability to strike at his own people.

    “What is also clear is that it doesn’t include decapitating the regime by targeting Gaddafi.”

    So yet again, regime change is Labour policy, it would seem.

  9. One interesting snippet from the ICM poll. The Turnout Weighted responses on best FM are AS 45% Nobody/DK 28% The rest (IG+AG+TS+PH) 26%.

  10. On the matter of VI…will the sudden/sharp uplift in Gov support seen in the last YG poll be repeated in tonight’s? Will the Cons and DC also enjoy a rise in support?

    My gut reaction is yes, albeit the increasingly apparent exceeeding of the UN resolution may well negatively affect any increase.

  11. @ Old Nat

    “What is also clear is that it doesn’t include decapitating the regime by targeting Gaddafi.”
    ——————————————–
    I was rather relying on the above part as showing Labour were being clear that UNSC 1973 was NOT about regime change.

    Do you think I’ve misunderstood it?
    8-)

  12. OldNat,

    Correct.

  13. Amber

    Clearly Murphy believes that it includes decapitating the regime by any means except decapitating Gaddafi.

  14. Barbazenzero

    Thanks for the link

    Interesting to look at the shift between how people voted in 2010 and the ICM VI for Holyrood constituencies

    Oth, Grn, LD, Con, SNP, Lab, Party
    1%, 1%, 1%, 1%, 13%, 84%, Lab UKGE
    1%, 1%, 2%, 1%, 90%, 5%, SNP UKGE
    7%, 0%, 1%, 73%, 13%, 6%, Con UKGE
    5%, 3%, 44%, 2%, 31%, 16%, LD UKGE
    6%, 5%, 7%, 9%, 39%, 34%, Oth/DNV UKGE

    That some people who voted Lab/Con for Westminster and intend voting SNP for Holyrood is normal.

    The LDs dropping by more than half is the pattern we’ve seen in other polls, but that 31% go SNP and only 16% for Labour suggests that a lot of them may have looked at who would be FM if Labour won!

  15. Hmmm…

    “In a further step, the poll has also been adjusted to take into account the possibility
    of differential refusal or reluctance to declare a vote intention. Half of those who said
    that they voted SNP in 2010 but refused to declare a vote intention or who said they
    did not know how they would vote are added to the SNP total. A similar procedure is
    also applied to those who said they voted Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat or
    for an Other party in 2010, except that in this case 40% of these voters are added to
    the total for their party and 10% to the SNP. This is in recognition of the fact that
    voters are consistently more likely to vote for the SNP in Scottish Parliament
    elections than in UK general elections, and thus there is likely to be some switch of
    support to the SNP amongst who fail to declare a vote intention.”

    http://www.icmresearch.co.uk/pdfs/2011_march_scotland_poll.pdf

    I wonder if Anthony would care to comment? Ah ken whit ah think, but ah’ll haud ma wheesht.

  16. I’m afraid that this was inevitable. Someone at some point was bound to notice that the Scotland Bill was drafted on the back of a fag packet.

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ukpress/article/ALeqM5gGqYU7ZIe-l8Mlm8HGXgKFz0iX9Q?docId=N0127731300709923912A

  17. Stuart –

    Interesting. Essentially they can’t do their normal re-allocation of don’t knows to the party they voted for last time because they haven’t asked how people voted last time, so they’ve made a assumption about what proportion of people who voted Lab/LD/Con at Westminster voted for the SNP at 2007, and reallocated them to that.

    Not sure why they didn’t just ask people to recall how they voted in 2007. Perhaps with four years gone and a Westminster general election inbetween to skew responses they thought responses would be ropey… or perhaps it was just cost – the difference in re-allocation between doing it this way, and doing it to actual recalled 2007 vote, is probably so minute that it wouldn’t be worth the unit cost of an extra question.

  18. Stuart

    It is precisely that lack of detail that means Westminster can always do precisely what it wants.

    Combine a lack of principles behind the calculation, and the the lack of principle normal in Westminster and the result is arbitrary government.

    Of course, current Treasury practice in making arbitrary decisions as to which expenditures are UK and which English produces that already.

  19. @ Old Nat

    “To enforce the UN resolution it would be about permanently denying Gaddafi the ability to strike at his own people.
    ———————————————–
    I guess it depends what is meant by ‘permanently’ denying Gaddafi the ability to strike at his own people.

    Part of Gaddafi’s regime has decapitated itself & is now in charge of the Opposition Council. Actually 5 out of 6 of the leading members are recent defections from Gaddafi’s regime.

    That’s what I find especially worrying. This is not some new, fresh faces coming to the fore following a popular uprising. This is a ‘palace’ coup which could put exactly the same people in charge who were responsible for any mis-rule during Gaddafi’s time in power.
    8-)

  20. Amber

    “This is a ‘palace’ coup which could put exactly the same people in charge who were responsible for any mis-rule during Gaddafi’s time in power.”

    Agreed. That is, however, pretty much true in any revolution – and even if the individuals in power change, their replacements are frequently of a similar type.

  21. I wonder if Anthony will do a post on the British Humanist Association/YouGov religion survey?

  22. In an excellent & thoughtful debate I must say I felt EM’s speech was most impressive.

    Measured -statesmanlike even.

    This was a dimension to EM I had not expected.

    Rifkind & Ming were both very good-with interesting & surprising interpretations of UNSCR 1973 on the matter of arming the revolutionaries ; and killing Gaddaffi.

  23. well,well, praise from Caesar, fancy Ed Milliband being
    measured, statesman like, even.You ought to watch PMQS
    Colin, that is his normal personna!

  24. I thought there were a lot of good questions asked.

    Ed M was very supportive of the UN Resolution & the UK’s role. I think he left himself just enough room to oppose actions, should it become necessary.

    Obviously, I’d have liked him to take a harder line.

    My local MP voted against the Iraq invasion therefore I am confident that any concerns I have will be addressed.
    8-)

  25. Anyone who is really interested in the story of the Benghazi uprising should watch tonights Panorama-“Fighting Gadaffi”

    Who were the revolutionaries.
    Which member of Gadaffi’s family gave the order to fire.
    Inside the Secret Police HQ.

    ICC are collecting evidence for Crimes against Humanity in Benghazi

    h ttp://news.bbc.co.uk/panorama/hi/default.stm

  26. @ Old Nat

    “Because this was more of a war than a police action (the fact that the miners were fighting the wrong war at the wrong time under a leader who wasn’t acting in their interests, simply makes it like most other wars!)

    Violence by the miners was used to justify Thatcher’s approach in the community that mattered to her – potential Tory voters.”

    Terrible.

    “I am simply relieved that they didn’t take the gung-ho line! Prior to an election it must have been a temptation.”

    Like this?

    h ttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhnUgAaea4M

    This song was the theme song to the 2004 movie “Team America: World Police” and it’s become a popular song for making fun of the Bush Doctrine.

    @ The Sheep

    “The use of police from outside the immediate region was a feature of the miner’s strike. There was almost certainly a desire to stop people having empathy or sympathy with the strikers. Thatcher was driven by the need for revenge after the NUM had played a significant part in bringing down the Tory government in the early 70s, this was unfinished business.

    The effect of the strike is still very evident in the former coalfields…”

    I think that’s a sad statement all around. Finding ways to incite violence in order to create a backlash against striking mine workers. Sad. :(

  27. @ Old Nat

    “Clearly Murphy believes that it includes decapitating the regime by any means except decapitating Gaddafi.”

    I think getting rid of the regime’s ability to make war in effect gets rid of Ghadaffi because after all his tanks, artillery, ships, and airplanes are destroyed, how exactly does he stop an uprising? That’s the gist of what one American general (who may have been retired) said this morning. Basically Ghadaffi isn’t a target but if he happens to be at a place that is a target, he could be in some trouble.

  28. @ Amber

    “And I have just seen a further comment by Jim Murphy that gives me hope for strong opposition from Labour, if the coalition become too gung-ho.

    He is condemning ‘loose talk’ about deposing Gaddafi, saying that the mission needs to stay within the limits set by the UNSC. I think this is courageous of Labour, in the circumstances. I hope we stick to that position.

    Russia, China, India, Venezuela & the African Congress have all condemned the bombings as already going beyond the remit of Resolution 1973.”

    1. The UN Resolution gives a lot of leeway for the Coalition forces to do a lot of damage. I think though that firing missiles directly at Ghadaffi goes beyond that.

    2. I think Murphy’s position as you’ve explained it (I’ve been too busy with work to internet stalk him today) is fully supportive of the strikes but critical of sending mixed signals as to whether Ghadaffi is himself a target. There seems to be some conflict and lack of understanding on this ground, at least publicly. If you send a missile into his compound, you have to be aware of what message is being sent.

    3. I think the Russians, Chinese, and Venezuelans can all go f*** themselves. Their endorsement and support of the wholesale slaughter of innocent civilians (in this case Arab Muslim civilians) is disgusting. They had no condemnation of attacks on those civilians when it was done by Ghadaffi but have plenty of condemnation for strikes directed solely against military operations and facilities capable of carrying out those assaults. I hope that Middle Easterners watching the world reaction to this sees who their true friends are.

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