The full tables for YouGov’s Sunday Times poll are now up here. Latest voting intention in the AV referendum is YES 39%, NO 38%, Don’t know 22%, so still essentially neck and neck (if it hadn’t been weighted by likelihood to vote, it would have been exactly neck and neck)

On Libya it’s pretty even on whether people think military action is right or wrong – 40% think it’s right, 39% think it’s wrong – we’ve seen this bounce back and forth between being in favour and against over the last few days, suggesting the underlying position is now people pretty evenly divided. For the first time more people think the military action is going badly (38%) than think it is going well (35%) – there has been a strong downwards trend on this question over the last fortnight, at the start of which the proportion of people thinking it was going well was up in the high fifties.

Moving to health, YouGov asked how much people trusted Ed Miliband, David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Andrew Lansley on health. Ed Miliband was narrowly the most trusted: 39% trusted him a lot or a little, followed by David Cameron who 36% of people trusted a lot or a little. Compare this with Andrew Lansley – who is only trusted by 17% of people (even amongst Tory voters, only 41% trust him on the NHS).

27% of people say they support the NHS proposals, compared to 52% who oppose them. Asked what should be done next 34% think they should be abandoned, 47% say the government should change them to address people’s concerns (including the overwhelming majority of Conservative supporters), only 3% think they should continue as they are.

On interns, the perception is that companies are benefitting rather more than the interns themselves (33% think it benefits companies more, 14% interns more, 44% both equally) – however people to tend to agree with the argument that internships allow an unfair advantage to children of parents with good contacts or enough money to work for free. 65% would support some sort of regulation.

Asked about whether various professions are more about what you know, or who you know, politics is overwhelmingly seen as being about who you know, not what you know (by 76% to 8%). That’s followed by journalism (56% who you know, 21% what you know) and acting (55% who you know, 22% what you know). Accountancy and medicine are seen are more meritocratic – 59% think progression in accountancy is about what you know, 20% who you know, 71% think medicine is more about what you know, only 11% who you know. People were pretty evenly split on their view of the legal profession.

Finally on the Royal Wedding 3% will be attending a street party, 2% going to London to see it, 35% will be watching on the telly… 35% will be trying their best to ignore it.


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

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  1. UK debt interest payments are 30% lower than when Labour came to power in 1997.

  2. Amber

    ““The crisis” means the immediate humanitarian isis”.

    No it doesn’t-that is found in requirement number 3 of 1973 -to wit :-

    “3. Demands that the Libyan authorities comply with their obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law, human rights and
    refugee law and take all measures to protect civilians and meet their basic needs,and to ensure the rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian assistance;”

    I was quoting obligation 2 which requires that the “legitimate” DEMANDS of the Lbyan people are addressed.

    Anyway-whether UN 1973 suceeds in its aims of bringing humanitarian relief to the Libyan people, and addressing their legitimate political demands; or not ( & it looks increasingly like “not” ) Gadaffi can now only rule at the point of a gun. That means he is finished-you cannot rule forever without consent of the people. You cannot put down peaceful protest by military force in all those towns & cities , murder, & maim & expect the people to accept it forever.

    It may take another few decades of brutal repression -but some day , one of “his people” will take revenge for it all.

    What is beyond me is the different approach in Ivory Coast, where Gbagbo has been attacked by UN forces to whom he has surrendered.

  3. Oldnat,

    “It remains an invalid comparison to allocate all revenue to Westminster, and all bailout costs to Edinburgh.”

    No, that’s irrelevant and unrelated. Try this:

    1. No foreign-owned bank operating in the UK was bailed out by the UK government.
    2. No UK-owned bank operating in another country was bailed out by that country’s government.
    3. An independent Scottish treasury would only collect taxes on Scottish-based corporate operations. And tax charges on foreign-earned dividends, aka double-taxation income, would be comparatively minor. These are mostly zero-rated in the UK.
    4. All assets would indeed have passed to the Scottish treasury as all RBS/HBOS/NR assets have passed to the UK treasury.
    5. An independent Scottish treasury would have indeed been liable for the entire bailout of Scottish-based multinationals as the UK was for UK-based multinationals, as was Eire for theirs, and USA, and France etc.etc.

    Oldnat, you clearly don’t understand how this all works, yet you repeatedly post as if you are an authority on the matter.

    Amber,
    The bailout figure was calculated at £470bn and I am quoting a Scottish Parliament report, summarised in this article: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/scotland/article7022678.ece

  4. @TGB

    You said “…UK debt interest payments are 30% lower than when Labour came to power in 1997…”

    Unfortunately, the debt itself is (very approximately) two-and-a-half times the size of the entire country. It’s like telling your wife that it doesn’t matter that the credit card bill is over twice the value of your house, it’s OK because you can afford the payments, really, really. Either somebody sane will step in, tell you gently that you have to deal with this or you’ll lose everything, or the local hard b*****ds will turn up at your front door with dogs and get nasty… :-( :-(

    Regards, Martyn

  5. “UK debt interest payments are 30% lower than when Labour came to power in 1997.”

    A link to the data please Eoin.

    Public Sector Debt £bn-then & now
    PUblic SEctor DEbt as % GDP -then & now
    Debt Interest £bn-then & now
    Debt Interest as % GDP- then & now
    DEbt Interest as % Tax Receipts-then & now

    Thanks.

  6. @NickP – “Apparently to get the new pension credit thingy you need a full 30 years of full NI contibutions. Contracted out payments won’t cout.

    So public servants will suddenly get no state pension.”

    I think this is incorrect. The flat rate £140 pension will apply to everyone with basic residency qualifications I understand, with no 30 years NI qualification. This is the key change.

    What I think you may be refering to is the suggestion that the ‘flat rate’ pension will be reduced by £125 pa to around £137.60 pw for people contracted out of the second pension. This includes virtually all public sector workers.

    If this is the plan, it is quite fair. These workers have paid 1.6% less NI while contracted out, which has gone directly to fund better personal pensions for them. If they got the same as those who remained contracted in it would be an undeniably unfair bit of double funding, all the more irritating for non contracted out workers in the private sector as most of the beneficiaries would already have comparitively better state schemes.

    The real point in the reforms is that it isn’t really a big increase in pensions at all, but does include a huge cut in future pension entitlements. The actual pension increase on offer is less than £3 a week – the difference between the new flat rate and the current pension guarantee level. There is no means testing, but that’s about the sum total of the benefit.

    The downside is that there is no facility for building up a better state pension with the second pension. This will particularly impact upon low earners, as from 2002 (one of Brown’s much better policies) the SP2 accrual rates were skewed to help low earners. In common with the NHS reforms, commentators and policians have yet to grasp what the changes actually mean.

    If you work on low wages (anything under £14,400 at 2011 prices, contracted in) or if you are a registered carer/mother not working etc) you currently build up £1.50 pw of SP2 entitlements for each qualifying year. Manage this for the full 49 working years and you would currently get an extra £73.5pw on top of the basic £104pw, a total of about £177.50. In future, all you will get is £140. Anyone with more than 24 qualifying years in total is going to be worse off, but particularly those earning below £14,400 as they get higher entitlements to SP2.

    That is a really seriously large cut and will serve to greatly exacerbate pensioner poverty in decades to come. Will NI contributions be cut to reflect this? Will action be taken to ensure other personal pension provision secures such good value for low paid workers as S2P does?

    I doubt it. Osborne is shafting millions of future pensioners, particularly those in the low wage sector. If you want to get angry about something – get angry about this.

  7. @martyn – “Unfortunately, the debt itself is (very approximately) two-and-a-half times the size of the entire country”

    Keep it simple please – we need this in conventional units, such as x times the of Wales, of Belgium, if you must.

    There is no such internationally recognised unit of 2 1/2 times the size of the UK. Certainly not for money.

  8. Stuart,

    I do appreciate that.

    Okay, substitute “If only Salmond had pursued….” to “If only the SNP had pursued…”

    Still a missed opportunity.

  9. MARTYN

    Based on area alone I’m guessing we owe a Ningi then. But as we all know, these are one eighth of a Triganic Pu, and the galactibanks won’t deal with them as they’re small change. So we’re OK.

    Apologies to the late Douglas Adams

  10. @Martyn
    “I used to think that AV increased the propensity to coalitions, but every – and I mean every – piece of data we have (the Curtice models, the Thompson Significance article, the Australia experience) says that no, it really doesn’t.”
    _________

    Three threads ago, we were treated to a study by AW which trumps the articles you cite by being (1) in a UK context and (2) by using data gathered since the events of May 2010 fundamentally broke the mould of the UK political landscape.

    AW has demonstrated conclusively that AV would now boost Lib Dem seats (at the expense of Labour representation although that is incidental).

    I agree entirely with Joe that significantly boosting the third party (i.e. LD) representation makes coalitions much more likely in the UK, at least in the short and medium term.

    Taking the Australian experience you cite, it is just possible that in the very long term, political alliances might evolve to become so entrenched under AV that a Conservative-Liberal party grouping might become our equivalent of the National-Liberals in Australia, that is, effectively merging into a single party such that they ceased to be regarded as a coalition. Nonetheless, that evolution post 1945 did take a considerable time. And I’m very reluctance to be guided too much by the experience in Australia, given that it constitutes a sample size of just 1.

  11. Martyn,

    Two separate measurements…

    1. Debt interest as a proportion of GDP
    2. Debt Interest as a proportion of Gov Spending

    The second is possible to derive from the last 14 budgets

    This time round for example..

    gov spending £710bn, gov spending on debt interest £50bn…

    in 1998 gov spending £324bn.. but spending on debt interest c.£30bn..

    By charting all 14 budgets using red book data, it is possible to see that % of gov spending servicing debt was higher in 1997, and % of gov servicing of debt vis a vis GDP, was higher in 1997..

    My 30% was the lower figure ie vis a vis spending
    as a proportion of GDP its higher…
    _________

    ps. you were quite for that whopper poll for Channel IV news last week, did you see it? I’d be very interested in your views?

  12. Steve,

    “Okay, substitute “If only Salmond had pursued….” to “If only the SNP had pursued…””

    Err… imagining the SNP without its core policy of Scottish independence is like imagining The Beatles without Lennon and McCartney, like imagining a beach without sand, or like imagining France without garlic, Le Tour and ooh-la-la.

    Tis a non-starter.

  13. Alec

    thanks forthat. I’m relieved i am getting some state provision apart from the Civil Service Scheme.

    Does that mean everybody gets £140 for living here for 30 years? So what is the bit which is cut…the other “flat rate” pension?

  14. @NickP – it’s the state second pension (S2P) that will disappear. This is the one in addition to the basic pension (used to be called SERPS). And the minimum income guarantee also disappears, as the basic now covers it (which is why a £140pw pension is actually only a £2.50 increase).

  15. We got a devolved parliament for two reasons:

    1 TB knew almost nothing and understood less about Scotland, except that, as a superficial politician thinking in cliches himself, he remembered John Smith’s two soundbites:

    “unfinished business” and;

    “the settled will of the Scottish people”

    2 He knew that Donald Dewar was the obvious choice for Scottish Secretary; was a “safe pair of hands” and understood what it was all about. It must have been one of the easiest decisions he took as PM.

    He may not have known it, but I can tell you from personal experience (as I often do) that Donald had been working on the project at least since 1955.

    Notwithstanding the whole convention process, approval by the cabinet and the law lords, parliament and a referendum, nothing of the teenage Donald’s vision was altered in any material respect.

    This leads me to suggest that Andrew Landsey should take his proposals for the NHS away for 40 years or so, and if, after arguing about it and explaining how it would work for that length of time, it still seems a good idea, then he could go ahead and implement his proposals with confidence.

  16. As long as I can get the £140 plus my civil sevrice pension (will be about 28 years hen I’m 66) I might be able to eat as well as live.

    What I was afraid of was the £140 would effectively by consumed by the Civil Service Scheme…that is, they guarantee you will get at least £140 but if you get a Civil service Pension and you are over that amount you get nothing.

    Which is what it seemed to say on the Q&A I read…that contracted out payments did not count towards the £140.

    But I will find out in due course.

    Then I’ll be angry about those worse off than me too.

  17. @Alec,

    If we assume the GDP of Wales is (very very approximately) £50 billion, then the debt including bailouts is approx 40-50 Waleses, and the bailouts themselves are approx 25-35 Waleses.

    @TheSheep

    A ningi is a triangular rubber coin six thousand eight hundred miles on one side. The pound sterling is the currency of a country whose debt is two-and-a-half-times the size of its GDP. One of those currencies is ridiculous. And the other…was in a book by Douglas Adams (boom, boom).

    @Phil

    Point taken, but I prefer studies that tell you what did happen to studies that tell you what is going to happen. Both have disadvantages (black swans!), but it’s more difficult to fiddle the former. Although if you do have a link to the study you mention, I’d be genuinely grateful… :-)

    @TGB

    Real life is limiting my time on t’Internet, so I’m constraining myself to fulfilling promises – I told Amber I’d get the Significance article read, so I did (box ticked), I told you I’d get the monthly figures off, and I did (box ticked), and the ongoing AV thing (box will be ticked by May 5th). But it does mean I’m not as up-to-speed as I should be. So, at the risk of sounding stupid…which poll do you mean?

    Regards, Martyn

  18. Martyn,

    Ahhh wasn’t aware you were hyper busy apols.

    Anthony covers it in detail on the 7 Apr. ’11 on this site.. I can’t post a link weirdly..

  19. Eoin

    “in 1998 gov spending £324bn.. but spending on debt interest c.£30bn..”

    …and Government Debt of £400bn

    so -in 1998 £30 bn of interest on £400bn of debt

    in 2011/12 £50bn of interest on £ £1000bn debt

    So effective interest rates are 38% lower than they were in 1998.

    …….so -hey -its cheaper to borrow-lets just borrow more ?

    …..no-interest rates are going up, inflation is rampant , any plan to turn on the spending taps gets us in the boat with Greece , Portugal & Ireland, where we can’t borrow from the markets, and have to do so from IMF -who will instruct us to curb our borrowing.

  20. Colin,

    Interest rates were 5.75% in 2007… servicing the debt then was 200% less than 1997.

  21. Eoin

    So what ?

    We are where we are :-

    Post the biggest recession since god knows when.

    With interest rates at unsustainable historic lows due to anti-recessionary monetary policy.

    With Total Debt of £900bn which will increase by 50% , to 60% of GDP over 4 years EVEN WITH the GO deficit reduction plan.

    With a major inflation problem.

    Surrounded by Eurozone, indebted countries failing to address their debt , & thereby voluntarily exiting the bond markets to go cap in hand to ECB/IMF for funding which will be dependent upon……imposed debt reduction programmes.

    …..and you are advocating Debt Denial , Debt Servicing Denial, and an increase in Public Spending……..I assume? :-)

  22. Steve

    On the contrary, I’m always keen to learn

    What I’ve learnt from you is that there is no additional revenue stream for a government by having an international bank headquartered within their jurisdiction

    They only receive the taxation levied on the bank for economic activities within the country, and they could get all of that anyway by taxing the foreign owned banks operating there – for example the Clydesdale Bank.

    Despite that, they undertake the enormous risks of the banks going t!ts up and borrowing zillions to bail them out.

    Just shows what a bunch of silly billies governments around the world are. One lives and learns.

  23. @TGB

    Thanks for the heads up. The poll is here: h ttp://ukpollingreport.co.uk/blog/archives/3424 .

    I’m fairly sanguine about it – the essential point is made by Peter Kellner (“…many of the traditional assumptions about the impact of AV look as if they are out of date…the truth is that if Britain changes its voting system, people and parties will change the way they act…nobody can guarantee that, in the long run, any one party will always benefit or always suffer…”).

    The reasons for adopting AV are ultimately nonpartisan – an AV election is (most of the time) more proportional than FPTP, the need for tactical voting is reduced, the existence of safe seats is reduced, parties have to appeal to a wider base to get elected. Those are good things, not bad things, but they are nonpartisan things. The fears of Blue that AV will kill them, the hopes of Red that AV will crown them, and the hopes of Yellow that AV will save them are simply unfounded (and always were).

    Looking over the comments in that article, I was impressed by your numbercrunching: I wish I could have participated more fully but my hands are full at the moment.

    @Oldnat

    I assume you meant it sardonically, but that’s actually a fair summary: banks are globally mobile, more powerful than governments and can frighten countries into giving them trillions in cash. What to do about them is the task of our generation… :-(

    Regards, Martyn

  24. Martyn

    So when bankers threaten to leave the country if we are nasty to them, then it would be clearly advantageous to be even nastier and to fill in their departure forms for them?

  25. @Colin & Eoin – I’m with Colin on this. While Eoin is correct if taken strictly in terms of the actual payments in debt servicing, Colin’s approach is far more apposite. There really is no point looking at what debt servicing costs are today and assuming life will be fine.

    With base rates at 0.5% we know we are in very strange times, and with significant inflationary pressures ahead it is very credible to imagine interest rates well above the 5.75% figure Eoin mentions.

    I think Colin’s general response ‘so what’ sums it up. We need to think about where we are going, not where we are now.

  26. I get the feeling that the bailout of the banks wasn’t motivated by the thought of what life would be like in a world where international banks had all left London and gone to Switzerland, but by what life would be like if the entire credit system unravelled overnight.

    The loss of jobs in the City might have been painful, but the loss of jobs across the country would probably have been convulsive.

    It would be interesting to speculate what the situation would have been if all of the retail banks servicing the UK were based abroad. I suppose (like with Icesave) it would have deflected the pain from us to others. Certainly food for thought.

    I suppose it all comes down to expectations. Noone expected to ever have to bail the banks out, so the benefits of a few hundred million in tax plus tens of thousands of highly paid jobs probably seemed like a win-win.

  27. Researchers from SPICe told the MSPs that based on figures published by the National Audit Office, £70 billion had been spent on the government’s shareholding in the two banks.

    They estimated that the banks had received a further £100 billion in the Special Liquidity Scheme, £100 billion in the Credit Guarantee Scheme and RBS was benefiting from up to £200 billion in the Asset Protection Scheme.
    ———————————————————–
    The first £100bn is an estimate based on pro-rata’ing the QE which is basically creating money out of thin air, so it didn’t directly cost anything.

    The second £100bn is the credit guarantee scheme the amount that individuals savers would receive from the government (£50k max each), if the RBS crashes. All the UK banks are part of that scheme & it costs the government ‘nothing’ until one of the banks actually becomes insolvent.

    The third £200bn asset protection scheme, again costs the government ‘nothing’ unless one of the banks become insolvent in the future.

    These £Bns were included in the report to the Scottish Parliament to make a party political/ anti-independence point.

    I am definitely not pro-independence, but I must challenge the entire £440bn being a called a “cost” of bailing out the Scottish banks because it isn’t a fair description of the situation.
    8-)

  28. Neil A

    I’m sure you’re wrong on that. I’ve been assured that having the banks here didn’t produce any tax benefits at all.

  29. Martyn,

    Yeah t’was a pity you were not about. Thanks though for the feedback.

  30. Auld Angus has released a poll 31/42/11

  31. @ Colin

    You seem not to understand the entire framework within which the UN operates. There is no right to interfere in the internal political affairs of a country.

    The whole paragraph, from which you quote is:
    2. Stresses the need to intensify efforts to find a solution to the crisis which responds to the legitimate demands of the Libyan people and notes the decisions of the Secretary-General to send his Special Envoy to Libya and of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union to send its ad hoc High Level Committee to Libya with the aim of facilitating dialogue to lead to the political reforms necessary to find a peaceful and sustainable solution

    “Facilitating a dialogue” is all that can be done within international law regarding the political situation.

    Therefore the Libyan people’s legitimate demands [lawful demands within international law] are those rights which are detailed in para 3.

    Para 2 & 3 stand together, they are not separate matters.
    8-)

  32. The Yes campaign is 5% in front with Angus. Their skewed scores for others potentially give them a skewed score for yes. Hope not.

  33. @Neil A – “I get the feeling that the bailout of the banks wasn’t motivated by the thought of what life would be like in a world where international banks had all left London and gone to Switzerland, but by what life would be like if the entire credit system unravelled overnight.”

    Absolutely. I still don’t think people realise how close we came to financial oblivion. The banks told Darling that the cash deliveries to the ATM’s would stop in three hours at one point, the credit facilities were so damaged.

    Once the cash had run out, it’s highly likely that retailers would have refused to accept credit cards. Normal trading systems were probably a few days from complete seizure.

    People think this is fanciful, but it really isn’t. The money system is built solely on confidence, and through history various financial crises show that this can become wafer thin – once confidence goes, there is no money.

    Given the circumstances, the government of the day did pretty well, but we did sustain a great deal of damage. The shame is that ever since then the banks have tried to pretend they did nothing wrong and we just need to get everything back to how it was and everything will be fine.

  34. BY my reckoning blues were last on Tirty 30% [populus] in 2005… so they are teetering…. but then my reckoning might be out…

  35. Amber

    I think 3 speaks pretty clearly as to what it means.

    ““Facilitating a dialogue” means getting Gadaffi to ceasefire on civilian protestors-and talk to them.

    But he isn’t going to do it.

    UN 1973 will fail in all its objectives.

    As to “There is no right to interfere in the internal political affairs of a country.”, under what resolution/ law did UN forces fire on Gbagbo to facilitate his arrest?

  36. To summarize late March/early April polls in EU countries (+Croatia), if GE were to be held tomorrow everywhere, we would probably have the following results: Center-left would win in all big-4: Labour OM in UK, SPD+Green OM in Germany, socialist-led left alliance landslide in France, center-left alliance OM in Italy (albeit with a small lead in votes). The rest of Europe would be divided between Center-Left and Center-Right. C/L would conquer Croatia, Denmark, Lithuania, Malta, Romania and Slovakia and retain Cyprus and Greece. C/R would conquer Spain and Slovenia and retain Bulgaria, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Latvia and Sweden. FInally, Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg and Eire would have grand coalitions as now, and will be joined by Portugal (actually C/L), Czech Republic (actually C/R) and maybe Poland (actually C/R). The Netherlands are completely uncertain, since neither C/R government nor C/L opposition seem capable of obtaining majority, and this will be in the hands of very small parties which belong to neither camp, so maybe a grand coalition there also.

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