Sunday polls

The Sunday Times carries a new YouGov poll. Voting intention, with changes from YouGov’s last poll, is CON 37% (-1), LAB 33% (+2), LDEM 18% (nc). The changes are well within the range of normal sample error, but like the recent ICM polls show the the Conservative lead is falling, despite Labour’s interenal wranglings. 24% of people say the arguments over the Labour leadership has made them less likely to vote Labour, but it isn’t showing up in their voting intentions.

64% of people would like Blair to set out a leaving date in his conference speech, and 69% of people would like it to be before next Spring. Asked who they would like to see as the next Labour leader, Brown continues to lead, but once again his margin has fallen. 23% of people say Brown is their choice for the next Labour leader, compared to 28% in the last YouGov poll – though once again the options given were different, so the figures are not strictly comparable. John Reid is in second place on 10%, Jack Straw on 5%. Despite the media commentariat continually mentioning him as a potential runner, Alan Johnson was named by only 3% of people.

Brown’s charm offensive, such as his TV interview talking about the death of his daughter, hasn’t had any real effect. 13% said they had become more sympathetic towards Brown, 12% less sympathetic (though that is a conscious response, while people may not think seeing a more human side to Brown has changed their opinion, it may be gradually changing their attitudes in a way people don’t realise themselves). 48% of people think that his recent conduct towards Blair has raised questions over his suitability to be Prime Minister.

A separate NOP poll for ITV found 81% of people wanted a proper leadership election, not a coronation, and, as found in previous polls, a majority supported a general election soon afterwards. (This was echoed in YouGov’s poll, were 51% supported a general election).

A third poll for the Independent on Sunday by Communicate Research found that 59% of people thought Labour was headed for defeat at the next election. 71% though Labour was split into warring factions, 55% thought Blair had been badly treated by the Labour party and 64% of people thought the public would feel cheated if there was a coronation rather than a contest.

Moving away from the Labour leadership YouGov and Communicate Research also asked about environmental taxes and found conflicting attitudes. YouGov asked respondents if they would be prepared to pay substantially more in motoring and energy taxes in exchange for lower income tax, only 22% of people said yes, with 65% saying no. The rejection was strongest amongst Tory voters (20% support, 71% opposition) but even a majority (56%) of Liberal Democrat voters rejected the offer.

In contrast Communicate found that 55% would support an increase in energy taxes if it was offset by a cut in income tax (presumably the different results were because of the mention of motoring taxes in YouGov’s question). On air taxes Communicate found the public split down the middle 48% said it should become more expensive to combar climate change, 49% said it shouldn’t.

Communicate also asked whether people thought that David Cameron’s concern for the environment was a “deeply held conviction”. Surprisingly, given most people’s cynicism towards politicians, 46% of people did. Obviously this was largely Conservative supporters, but also included 45% of Lib Dem voters.

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