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.


207 Responses to “More from the YouGov/Sunday Times poll”

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  1. Interesting that fewer people thought Brown was a Murdoch Man than Blair or Cameron. That fits in with my view (which obviously means it must be right).

    It’s fascinating to see how polls sort of confirm a zeitgeisty “overall impression”, and I find it reassuring how spindoctors on both sides fail to “form public opinion” as they would presumably like to do.

    One of the planks of Government policy which involves attacking the BBC seems (like the NHS reforms) a mistake in turns of public opinion.

    The majority likes the BBC and NHS.

    I think.

  2. 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.
    Although that 9 point lead is the lowest lead recorded to date.

  3. Will we now start to see a shift from the narrative of ‘It’s only approval figures that count’ to ‘It’s who would make a better PM that counts’?

    Also, does a sitting PM get an incumbency ‘bonus’ to the ‘who would make a better PM’?
    I can’t imagine it would be that high – perhaps I should look at it when I have the time.

  4. I think that even assuming that Cameron recovers some, the long term consequences of this are huge.

    Gordon Brown has been rehabilitated in the public’s eye, and Ed Miliband has put a stretch of clear water between himself and Old ‘New Labour’. He’s even put himself in position to campaign the next election on “Restoring Public Confidence and Trust in National Institutions”. A political “eating someone else’s lunch” tactic, as the Conservatives would now have a hard time of adopting what was once one of their established campaign lines.

    The Lib Dems have turned themselves into non-entities, their hands tied by the coalition pact so despite being in the clear themselves they are unable to speak out effectively.

    The Conservatives are now in the position of having something radical to occur to win an election, even if they can maintain the coalition to 2015. And if they just resort to offering sweeteners, they risk being clobbered with people pointing out the discord with the cuts.

  5. According to the Observer, officials working with Coulson assumed he had the highest level of security clearance.

    Senior government officials working with Andy Coulson believed that he did have the highest security clearance, it is claimed, raising questions over whether the prime minister’s former aide was improperly granted access to the most sensitive information.

  6. Nick Poole,
    I’m not sure how that story could affect public perceptions – If it wasn’t Cameron who requested that lack of security clearance (it’s looking like Cameron didn’t know), then it probably would have been assumed he did have it.

    The worst case scenario is that someone in Cameron’s ‘team’ is sacked – but I can’t see it having much effect.

  7. Possibly more trouble for government

    . http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/jul/24/welfare-policy-incites-hatred-disabled
    “The government’s flagship Welfare to Work policy is inciting hatred and violence towards the disabled by portraying them as cheats and benefits scroungers, an alliance of charities has warned. “

  8. The CAPTCHA Code is good today.
    Ernie Bevin: ‘The Labour Party was born in the bowels of the TUC. (not a pretty thought that)

    It seems that it is ‘game on’ now in UK Politics

  9. @ Tingedfringe – “If it wasn’t Cameron who requested that lack of security clearance (it’s looking like Cameron didn’t know), then it probably would have been assumed he did have it.”

    But how do you explain the PM not knowing the security clearance level of his own Communications Director? How does he know what to say/let be seen in front of him? If he assumed it was the highest level then presumably Coulson was privvy to information that he didn’t have clearance for. And if he assumed it was at a lower level a) why would he assume such a thing? and b) how would that operate in practice?

    Sooner or later Cameron will have to take responsibility for how his office is run.

  10. @ Tinged Fringe

    The Coulson vetting issue is now one of competency. Somebody [a civil servant?] decided not to vet him to the same level as his predecessors… then didn’t tell anybody & everybody assumed DV rather than ask what Coulson’s status was.

    Meantime, Coulson was treated as if he did have the highest clearance. And David Cameron spoke in the HoC, during his biggest crisis to date, apparently believing that Coulson had been cleared to the highest level.

    People around David Cameron seem to be reluctant to tell him things which they think he won’t want to know. Either there is a lack of trust & respect in the heart of our government; or people are actively acting as ‘current-breakers’ to give the PM plausible deniability.

    Incompetence, no interest in details & back-covering; I think that’s the impression which the public has been left with by the hacking issue.
    8-)

  11. I think the explanation given was one of those that seemd fine when you first read it, but then after a bit of thought there’s a tendency to, “how would that actually work, then?”

    The point is if Coulson had a lower level of clearance but everybody thought he had been DVed and behaved that way…how would that actually work then?

  12. @Woodsman, Amberstar
    Okay, let me clarify.
    I think that any PR damage done from Coulson’s security level has already been done and it won’t shift things any further.
    I think, by this point, minds are made up.
    So I don’t think further details will change anything.

    Personally, I think Labour would be barking up the wrong tree by pursuing it – there are plenty of other fish to fry and other mixed-metaphors to chase. ;)

    Luckily Ed Balls has done something really clever – it is looking clear that the estimate of 0.3% growth (or higher) is the most likely outcome for Q2 (and this is from someone who up to half-way through last week thought we’d get huge dip-downward) so he has been out claiming that the target to reach is 0.8% growth in Q2.
    Since 0.8% growth is virtually impossible, the government can never reach the target that Ed Balls has set.
    Thus, even without ‘bad’ figures, he can spin whatever the Q2 figures are as bad.

    This is what Labour need to do more of if they want to keep improving the public’s perception – be ahead of the curve, much as Ed Miliband was for the phone-hacking scandal (and it has paid off, for his approval figures)).

  13. 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.
    —————————————————
    I don’t think this is as contrary as it first appears to be. I think people considered the general question to be about private information or information pertaining to national security, ongoing police investigations etc. being stolen.

    The MPs’ expenses information, albeit with redactions of private addresses, was the subject of FOI requests which were going to have to be complied with anyway.

    IMO, The Telegraph paid to scoop all the other media not to obtain private information; a few ‘flippers’ may have been caught out due to the addresses not being redacted but that was incidental to obtaining FOI info. before anybody else did.

    Of course, the expenses information was literally stolen, so AW is correct to draw the comparison, I’m just offering an explanation of why there’s an inconsistency in people’s answers.
    8-)

  14. @ Anthony Wells

    I am afraid that I find that there is an now an increasing lack of balence in the posting on this website which is becoming merely a left of centre talking shop. This is a shame as there have been excellent posters on all sides of the political spectrum who put forward thoughtful posts. I have therefore decided that I will no longer post. My thanks to you for your excellent threads and to those excellent posters I mention above.

    @Valerie
    My thanks also to Valerie who although poles apart from me politically did reintroduce me to the Independant which I find an excellent newspaper, indeed the only one I find balanced and fair at the moment despite the fact that I do not agree with its political stance. So thanks for that Valerie and happy gardening.

    I will of course continue to use the site because AW’s threads are so good and it is a quick way of seeing what is happening across the polling field.

  15. @Anthony Wells

    In a previous thread you gently chided those of us who’d expressed views suggesting that Cameron had been damaged by the Hackgate affair. I think you actually said that our views weren’t of much value, presumably because you felt that they might be tainted by partisanship. You then went on to say that an objective view of the matter could only be obtained by asking a representative sample of 1000 people what their opinion was.

    Fair comment from a pollster, I have to say and full marks for salesmanship! However, as one of those who did state, in my typical one-eyed way, that I thought Cameron had been diminished by the recent saga, can I feel mildly vindicated by this recent YouGov poll? Or as they used to say on Hector’s House; am I just being a silly old partisan Hector? lol

  16. An implication of the perm sec’s decision (based on “unnecessary expense”) not to seek DV for AC at the time of AC’s appointment is that AC would not have access to information that would necessitate DV.

    That AC was treated by officials as having DV indicates that there was a profound misunderstanding.

    It is IMO inconceivable that the perm sec made the decision in a silo without input from various colleagues including the PM. We shoudl keep in mind that the civil service would want to accommodate a new PM and government (if only for reasons of self-preservation).

    If the report is true, it seems inevitable to me that the perm sec will have to resign or the PM will carry the can.

  17. TOH-
    It’s a shame that you feel that way as this site is largely lacking in right-wing posters.
    I have felt the same frustration lately – but both left and right have been just as bad as each other.
    Since the NOTW story broke, the level of partisan comments have probably sometimes got out of hand, but it has been from both sides.

    I am sometimes, admittedly, guilty of creeping partisanship, but I have tried hard to regulate myself.
    Hopefully once the excitement dies down, there might be more of an influx of balanced posts.

  18. Oh, and just remembered…a few days agi I suggested that there had been a breach of security at no 10 because of the level if security clearance given to AC. Several posters were critical of the suggestion.

    If there report about AC is true I feel vindicated in my suggestion.

  19. I don’t think the Perm Sec will have to resign unless it could be shown he endangered national security. After all, when th eproblem became apparent he chamged his mind and put Coulson forward for DV.

    Assuming it was all his decision. The strange remarks about the previous Government’s spindoctor and the not wanting to incur the expense seemed a bit odd.

    But I don’t think is much more than a glitch now.

  20. It seems clear to me that the perm sec was ‘persuaded’ to give AC a lower security clearance but initiated DV once the reports about AC were published in the New York Times.

  21. Mike N

    That is just conjecture. Could be true, but impossible to prove, just as it would be hard to prove it was NOT true.

  22. I think, for the phone hacking, the bigger story will be the 4Gb of e-mails that hackers (who got in to NI servers) apparently have.

    If there is any major evidence and it gets leaked, that would be the thing that gives new life to the story.

  23. @The Other Howatd

    Thank you for mentioning me in dispatches 8-) and I’m pleased you find the Indy a good read.

    FWIW, I came across this site in 2009 when the Conservatives were miles ahead in the polls and a landslide majority was being predicted.

    From the comments, I genuinely thought it was a Conservative site until I came across a post by Jim Jam who seemed to be a lone labour voice!

    As a bashful Brownite I perservered as AW seemed a very fair and unbiaised webmaster. I well remember exciteable blues posting as to what would happen if GB refused to call an election by May 2010. Would the Queen step in?

    My point? Things ebb and flow and rather than take your bat and ball home, why not stay around for the ride?

    A week is a long time in politics!

  24. “I think that any PR damage done from Coulson’s security level has already been done and it won’t shift things any further.”

    That’s possible. It’s also possible the story has further to run.

    Cameron’s government has set itself up to be all about transparency. In the interests of clarity therefore I expect the story will be pursued – perhaps more by journalists than Labour as such.

    TheOtherHoward

    In the interest of “balance” I would point out that it was a Tory supporting poster who used the words “opportunistic git” to describe the leader of the opposition. In these past weeks that is the sole comment that seemed to me to be partisanly beyond the pale. Most left leaning posters I can think of stick to discussing the facts.

  25. Nick Poole

    Conjecture yes, but plausible I think.

  26. @ Nick, Mike

    But I don’t think is much more than a glitch now.
    ————————————————-
    IMO, it will become much more than a glitch, if AC is charged with bribery, phone hacking or perjury.

    A person who has been charged with criminal offences was in the center of the government machine, being treated as if he was DV, without having been fully vetted… if the British public simply shrug their shoulders & give those responsible a pass, then they are not the public whom I’ve come to know & love.
    8-)

  27. TOH

    Pity you feel that way-but I can understand.

    Will miss your thoughts.

    Best wishes

  28. Anybody else find the polls regarding the relationship with the media the most interesting? TB courted them with a passion, and when that turned on him, he tried to backtrack, and the media tore him to shreds.

    GB replaced him, and was less media-savvy than his predecessor, so the media turned on him too, particularly NI. He almost literally could do nothing right, such as when he tried to go jogging, raising health awareness, and he was ridiculed for ‘manky socks’ and having a sweaty face. Anybody who was expecting a marathon-performance clearly hadn’t observed his waistline.

    DC went down the Blair route, and got the media onside, and until now, it has served him incredibly well. This makes the poll on PM/media relations hardly surprising in my opinion, but it does raise a lot of questions on how much power in general our media has.

    Call me old fashioned, but newspapers should go back to reporting the facts, rather than taking small trends in public interest and whipping it into a frenzy, which then justifies their initial response. It’s clever, and it sells newspapers, but I think it’s dishonest and damaging.

  29. But amberstar, how would that work?

    Let’s assume Coulson is found guilty of perjury, phone hacking and/or bribing coppers. There are articles in the press and Milliband calls for an apology from cameron.

    So Cameron says sorry, my trust was misplaced. Lots of sound and fury. But he doesn’t resign and neither does the perm sec.

    There isn’t really any mechanism to force the pem sec or Cmeron out unless it’s a vote of confidence. And I don’t see Tories or lib Dems supporting that.

    So yes, embarassment upon embarrassment. But is it really fatal?

  30. @ Nick Poole

    IMO, it has to be ‘fatal’ for somebody or the Tories are basically giving the next Labour government carte blanche to be incompetent & have anybody they fancy strolling around Downing Street. Any quibbles will be met with 2 words: Andy Coulson.

    So there’s no way the Tories are going to give the civil service &/or David Cameron a pass on this, if AC ends up in court.

    The Tories know that the public want people to take full responsibility for their mistakes & AC is a whopper.
    8-)

  31. @The Other Howard

    If you do genuinely think that this is a site monopolised by left wing posters, and you can no longer tolerate this state of affairs, then I think you’ve probably made the right decision, both for yourself and others who may not quite understand the intemperance of some of your more recent posts. I think you’re wrong, by the way. It seems a fairly balanced site politically, with the preponderance of any one particular view tending to ebb and flow as issues arise.

    What really irks you, though? Is it that you really do feel that you’re in a ill-treated and persecuted minority or is it that you just can’t abide reading views and opinions contrary to your own?. If it’s the first, then I don’t think you’re either persecuted or in any way on your own on this site. If it’s the second, well that’s just c’est la vie, I’m afraid.

  32. @Nick Poole – “… is it really fatal?”

    One has to ask, how central were Andy Coulson and the NI connections to Cameron’s success and self-confidence from July 2007 onwards?

    It appears that the (Coulson) wheels started to really fall off the wagon around November last year, (there were many other factors obviously) at about the same time that Labour overtook the Tories in VI.

    Watson(?) tweeted the rumour of a snap election (and the date of Coulson’s departure) in January.

    Is there a parallel with Bown’s election that never was?
    One could say that the Brown camp had maintained strong internal bonds up to that point (while performing the function of twin/effective/shadow administration in tandem with the Blair camp), but he never recovered from the resulting internal and external recrimination (though there was some mitigation of the decline when Mandelson stepped up to bolster the PM).

  33. I try to read the polls without favour…

    … and I can’t see that very much has changed.

    Granted that (months ago) many LibDem voters switched to Labour. And that would – at an election – lead to a Labour majority.

    But otherwise, what has changed?

    At the last GE, 37% voted Conservative. At least 35% still feel inclined to do so. The combined “progressive” vote was around 53%. And it still is.

    Don’t Labour supporters need to see the Conservative vote drop to 34% – or lower – before they can really say that anything has “happened”?

  34. @ CHRIS TODD

    I agree 100% on the numbers! Including a Tory drop to below 34% (on YG) before it would be possible for Labour to feel they are pulling away – particular as the Tories haven’t been below 34% on YG since the GE (and only 34% on 2 occassions).

    I do wonder though if it has moved from a soft lead to a much firmer lead as confidence with EM has grown during hackgate?

  35. Chris Todd,
    As someone mentioned in the previous post – there has been quite a bit of movement since January –
    Labour ranging from 39 to 45.
    Tories ranging from 33 to 41.
    LibDems ranging from 7 to 12.
    Lib + Lab ranging from 48 to 55.
    Con + Lib ranging from 43 to 50.
    Labour lead ranging from 0 to 11.
    Gov approval ranging from -17 to -31.

    Perhaps you need to look at longer-term trends (esp clear with weighted figures).

  36. “particular as the Tories haven’t been below 34% on YG since the GE (and only 34% on 2 occassions).”
    There has been one 33.
    March 11th, Sunday Times. ;)

  37. This is amusing, kind of:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/jul/24/alan-sugar-louise-mensch-twitter

    Mensch made a remark about Piers Morgan during the hearing last week, protected by Parliamentary privilige.

  38. And a dump of more stats –
    Out of 276 polls since the GE-
    33-44 for the Tories.
    32-45 for Labour.
    7-21 for the LibDems.

    While I agree that Labour haven’t really breached Tory VI (I’d say that has largely gone to ‘others’), because of the ‘reunification of the left’, at the moment they don’t have to.
    Where 1997 was fought still with a bit of a split-left (2010 even more so), so Labour desperately needed ‘Tory votes’ to win, that is no longer true.

    So just like the 80s, the political landscape has shifted and still using a 90s political model for assumptions is probably not the best way to judge things.
    Just as using an 80s model to judge the 90s landscape was wrong (and as Labour learnt, using a 70s model for the 80s was wrong).

    2015, IMHO will be fought between the centre-left and centre-right, with leftists giving grudging support to the centre-left and rightists giving grudging support to the centre-right.
    Unlike the 90s and early 00s which were a fight for the absolute centre-ground.

  39. NB –
    My assumption of centre-left vs centre-right also assumes a healthy economy.
    If the economy tumbles dramatically, as is often the case, I think we’d see the centre-left shifting left and the centre-right shifting right.
    So it’d be a return to left vs right.

  40. @ Tinged Fringe

    Luckily Ed Balls has done something really clever [setting a target of 0.8%, knowing growth will fall short].
    ————————————————-
    I don’t see that as clever when none of the ‘independent’ experts are on board.

    Ed B needs to wake up to the fact that Ed M has done the (almost) impossible & moved the center ground whilst in opposition. There is growing agreement that markets can never be free, they are always fixed. So, who do you want to be doing the fixing? Governments or the power elite?

    Ed B needs to move away from the growth/ deficit argument & join forces with John Denham to tackle the issues around ‘a fairer capitalism’ e.g. economic balance, financial regulation, corporate governance & anti-trust (monopoly & merger), corporate tax avoidance, off-shoring/ out-sourcing/ agency working, promoting small business growth etc.
    8-)

  41. @ Tinged

    Rather than calling for a reduction in VAT, Ed B should’ve gone for raising the threshold – thereby allowing small businesses to be more competetive with the large corporations.

    Okay, vat threshold is maybe not a vote winner with the public but support from small businesses for Labour, built over a period time from policies like this, would be a winnable fight on the Tories’ own ground.
    8-)

  42. @ AmberStar

    Most taxation benefits to small businesses (excluding medium sized) and barely more than subsidised wage increases to the owners (and hopefully maintenance of employment for the employees). They are not profitable in the strict sense of the word (profit above investment) and in this sense they share similarities with the very large companies.

    I also would like to add that, obviously not in value, tax avoidance and evasion is extremely common among small companies. So, if anyone wants to start a campaign on avoidance, the target is obvious… Except if you want to recover tax revenue and not targeting behaviour.

  43. I thought the 0.8% target was EB simply pointing out that that is what is needed to keep to the Government’s own growth forecast for this year.

    He hasn’t set the target the govt has.

    Any responsible opposition will be calling the govt to account for missing their own targets ;-)

  44. tingedfringe

    Chris Todd,
    As someone mentioned in the previous post – there has been quite a bit of movement since January –
    Labour ranging from 39 to 45.
    Tories ranging from 33 to 41.
    LibDems ranging from 7 to 12.
    Lib + Lab ranging from 48 to 55.
    Con + Lib ranging from 43 to 50.
    Labour lead ranging from 0 to 11.
    Gov approval ranging from -17 to -31.

    —–

    That’s very true.

    But I’m talking about averaging the polls rather than looking at them individually.

    And, roughly averaged, Labour are in 41% to 43% and have been ever since the LD share collapsed into the 9% to 11% range.

    The Conservatives are averaging 35% to 37%. Now as before.

    These are long term averages and pretty constant.

  45. @ Colin (from the last thread)

    “And that too is part of the dilemma -how can a tolerant society avoid exploitation by the intolerant?

    Where is the balance to be struck?”

    I’ve often said that one does not need to be tolerant of the intolerant.

    And I don’t think there’s any room for tolerance of those who commit violent acts against others. One is entitled to a political viewpoint, no matter how assinine or offensive or pathetic or mentally deranged it is. Commiting wanton acts of violence against completely innocent people including teenagers on account of your political views is not an expression of political belief. When it comes to violent offenders, I say lock em’ up.

    And I am shocked by the concept of a 21 year maximum prison sentence. Even if you don’t have the death penalty (and I understand the moral opposition to it), you can still have life without the possibility of parole as an alternative punishment for the worst offenders.

  46. “When David Cameron and his aides entered 10 Downing Street, they were concerned to discover deep grooves in an antique mahogany table in a panelled, ground-floor office. Such was the extent of the damage that an inquiry was held into who, or what, could have caused it.”

    h
    ttp://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/gordon-brown/7823381/Gordon-Brown-will-leave-his-mark-forever-in-Downing-Street.html

    @Mike N – “That AC was treated by officials as having DV indicates that there was a profound misunderstanding.”

    Having never met with David Cameron, I can’t answer to whether he is carismatic, however, it is possible that an Etonian insouciance put some civil servants off their guard at first.

  47. Chris Todd –
    How are you ‘averaging’ the figures? Over what period of time?

    So I’ll take your premise – since the LD vote collapsed to max 11%.
    Using my polls which are weighted against the past 30-days (almost completely eliminates outliers), we start that point (10.96) on Nov 16th (LD VI on 10%).

    Lab Range – 39.41 to 43.48 (4.07%)
    Con Range – 35.48 to 40.75 (5.25%)
    LD Range – 8.20 to 10.96 (2.94%)
    Gov approval -6.38 to -27.04 (the most recent)

    So let’s look at movements –
    Current VI is-
    Con 35.98, Lab 42.73, LD 9.28

    Con’s were at 37.35, June 1st (high)
    Before that, 35.48, March 17th (low)
    Before that, 40.75, Dec 16th (high)
    So, you are right – if you only go back as far as March 17th, Tory VI has ranged 35-37 – but it has been a trending movement. It isn’t just ‘random’ variation.

    Lab 41.12, May 19th (low)
    Lab 43.47, Feb 16th (high)
    Lab 39.41, Nov 22nd (low)
    Again, a trending movement.

    So while you are right, that the polls have shown relatively little change (depending on how you define ‘little’), 4% is 1 million votes and is the difference between Cameron forming a government in 2010 (37) and Michael Howard’s defeat in 2005 (33). [1]

    [1] GB figures – since yougov polls for GB and not UK.

  48. SOCAL

    “And I am shocked by the concept of a 21 year maximum prison sentence. Even if you don’t have the death penalty (and I understand the moral opposition to it), you can still have life without the possibility of parole as an alternative punishment for the worst offenders.”

    It could be less according to reports.

    I read that the only previous recipient of the maximum sentence in Norway was also a multiple killer, & was released into the community where she now lives under an assumed name.

    I also read that two children responsible for the death of another were back in the classroom within weeks.

    This is Norway Socal-it is clearly different.

    The fact that Breivik wants to stand up in court & “explain” his reasons for doing this , means that the Norwegian people will have to re-live their nightmare in some detail.

    I presume it will test their concepts & beliefs as never before-particularly that central theme of tolerance.

    If you have read the novels of Jo Nesbo & Stieg Larsson, or watched the Danish TV series Forbrydelsen ( The Killing in its UK translation) , or the fantastic Swedish series Wallander, you will realise that there is a dark undercurrent to Nordic society, which these authors have been highlighting for some time.

    Perhaps Norway will now have to confront it.

    I wish them well in their trauma & grief.

  49. “There has been one 33.
    March 11th, Sunday Times”

    —————————————————————————

    Cheers!
    Im glad someone’s checking my attention to detail. I was a bit nervous I would miss 1.

    On Chris’ more general point though, the fact that from 13th May 2010 to 24th July 2011, YG have shown from doing at least 4 polls a week the Tories have only been below 35% on 3 occassions.

    That is just 3 out of at least 248 polls where they have not been at 35% or better [someone is bound to tell me it hasn’t been 62 weeks now ;) ].
    Considering they got 36% at the GE, I would argue that really shows they haven’t really lost share since the GE .

    Hence I think that Labour really need to see the Tories dropping to 33 or less for there to be a real sense of pulling away.

    However, if Labour’s lead is now less volatile does it really matter?…..since with an 8% lead over the Tories at 35% at the next GE, EM will be our next PM.

    That’s why I was wondering if anyone who was politically active had a sense if Labour’s lead has become ‘firmer’ since hackgate (yes, I know there is a long way to go to a 2015 election….assuming the coalition lasts that long!).

  50. @Ronnie

    Phil pointed out that the latest Yougov shows 7% of the 2010 Con switching to Labour (another 7% to others)..

    Cons are (almost) maintaining their vote share by attracting 10% of the 2010 LD vote (tactical voters?)

    Imo Labour must have continued to gain from somewhere in the months following the local elections (while SNP made some limited headway) just to stand still… now they seem to be pulling away again a little bit.

    It will depend on the state of play in marginal constituencies, but the regional turnaround for Labour in the Midlands/South is promising for them.

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