The full tables for the YouGov Sunday Times poll are now up here.
On the regular trackers Ed Miliband’s ratings continue to rise – his net approval rating is now up to minus 15 (from minus 21 a week ago, and minus 34 before the phone-hacking scandal went nuclear). This puts his approval rating slightly above Cameron’s, who is on minus 16 (from minus 12 a week ago) – the first time YouGov have shown Miliband with a higher approval rating than Cameron since last September. Note, however, that it means people think he’s doing a better job at the moment, not that they think he’d make a better PM – YouGov asked best PM for the Sun earlier this week and Cameron still had a 9 point lead over Miliband.
On the specific question of how well they have handled the phone hacking saga, Cameron’s ratings have fallen further since last week. Only 24% now think he has handled it well, with 60% thinking he has handled it badly. Miliband is still seen as having handled it well, though slightly less well than a week ago.
There appears to be little confidence in the Murdochs. Only 19% think they’ve done enough to apologise, only 10% think they’ve been honest in how they answered questions and only 19% think they are taking the right steps to tackle the problem.
Asked if Cameron, Blair and Brown were too close to Murdoch, Rebekah Brooks and editors in general, 52% think Cameron was too close to Murdoch, 58% too close to Brooks, 47% too close to newspaper editors overall. These figures (or at least, those for Murdoch and editors) are not dissimilar for Tony Blair – 50% think he was too close to Murdoch, 46% too close to Brooks and 48% too close to editors in general. Fewer people see Gordon Brown as having been close to NewsCorp – 39% think he was too close to Murdoch & Brooks, 36% to editors in general.
On the question of whether people think media organisations have too much power or not, 66% though News Corp has too much power, followed by BSkyB on 51%. This was followed by the BBC, which 38% of people think has too much power, followed the Daily Mail & General Trust (32%). Public opinion on whether newspaper organisations have too much power falls pretty much in line with their respective readerships – the bigger the circulation of their national titles, the more people think they have too much power.
Turning to the question of what is acceptable conduct for journalists, paying police officers for information is seen as the least acceptable activity by some distance, with 84% of people considering it unacceptable in all circumstances. Paying for stolen information is seen as always unacceptable by 65%, but 31% think it would be acceptable in some circumstances (mostly only to uncover criminal activity), 59% think phone-hacking is always unacceptable, 56% think blagging is always unacceptable.
At the other end of the scale, covert recording of conversations or phone calls is seen as unacceptable by 50%, but acceptable in some circumstances by 47%. Undercover investigations by journalists using false identities are seen as acceptable in some circumstances by 65% of people, with only 30% thinking this unacceptable.
While most people think these sort of actions are unacceptable in theory, when YouGov gave them the specific example of the MPs expenses scandal it got a different response. 46% of people thought it was acceptable for a newspaper to pay for stolen information to expose the MPs expenses scandal, despite 65% of people saying that in principle it is always would always be unacceptable for a paper to pay for stolen info.