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. Fascinating.
    That means almost half of the LD vote from the 2010 GE has moved to the Tories.
    Who would have predicted that before the Coalition?!?!

    Like many, I suspect most assume the vast majority of LD voters are left-leaning.

  2. WHOOPS…I meant I assumed………..but everyone knows what is said about assume!

  3. Ronnie
    “That means almost half of the LD vote from the 2010 GE has moved to the Tories.”

    Interesting. That shows the nonsense of when some posters lump Lab and Lib percentages together and say there is a ‘Progressive’ majoity.

  4. @ Colin and Socalliberal

    Strictly speaking Norway doesn’t have a fixed penalty system. Even if the person had his/her sentence fulfilled, it can be decided that he/she is not fit to be let out to the society (I have no idea who makes the recommendation). Quite like Rousseau really.

  5. Pete B

    True.
    But when 7% move from Tory to Labour, it makes you wonder if being Progressive is a motivator for the people that make a difference at a GE; i.e the floating voter.

  6. “That means almost half of the LD vote from the 2010 GE has moved to the Tories.
    Who would have predicted that before the Coalition?!?!”
    I think that you misread what he posted.
    10% of the LibDem voters, not 10% of voters.
    So about 2.3% of total voters.
    About 35-40% of LD vote has gone to Labour and about 35-40% have stuck with the LDs.

    There are also polls (which I can’t find right now..) which ask left-right, and IIRC the current LDs are still broadly left-wing.

  7. Ronnie,
    I wouldn’t have thought being ‘Progressive’ motivates many voters, especially floating voters. It’s much more likely to be to do with whether they think that they and their families will be better off financially.

  8. Lib-Dem voters left-right figures from Jan 2011-
    Left-Wing – 27%
    Centrist – 36%
    Right-Wing – 17%
    With DKs eliminated-
    Left – 33.75%
    Centrist – 45%
    Right – 21.25%

  9. For comparison (Jan 2011) –
    Con –
    Left – 7.1%
    Centrist – 54.8%
    Right – 38.1%

    Lab –
    Left – 66.7%
    Centrist – 26.9%
    Right – 6.4%

  10. Hold on, argh, those Con figures are wrong..
    Doh..
    Con –
    Left – 5%
    Centrist – 26.3%
    Right – 68.8%
    That’s a bit better..

  11. @ Colin

    “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.”

    Well I want to be careful here not to be an utter hypocrite and start politically pontificating in the midst of a tragedy (something I tend to detest).

    In terms of restorative justice, I believe in it. But there are certain instances where its application is inappropriate. That’s why I’m still a reluctant death penalty supporter (although my mind is shifting somewhat on this due to conservative lawmakers, conservative judges and justices, and conservative activists).

    Their legal system must be drastically different to have his lawyer claim to the media that he understands what he did but that he felt it was neccessary and wants to explain it in court. Unless the guy isn’t actually his attorney and is simply looking for media attention. I think if a lawyer made those statements here, he’d be suspended from the practice of law or possibly disbarred.

    In any case, I would hope that for each murder he committed, he would receive a 21 year sentence because that would have the same effect as locking him up for life.

    I think that people will have to relive the horrors of what he did if he’s given the opportunity of parole. Everty parole hearing, family of the victims will have to relive the events.

  12. @Laszlo

    I rather suspect that the hypothetical discussion about the likely sentence to be given to the Norwegian mass-murderer is a smokescreen erected by those who’d rather not confront the real issues involved. Those issues are likely to be the growth of a hate-filled, nihilistic and murderous political philosophy that is festering away in many western liberal democracies, including our own. The people who espouse these views have nurtured their perceived grievances for some time and, on very rare conditions, they give vent to their hatred. One such occasion occurred, tragically, in Norway two days ago.

    When the sub-human apology of a specimen who carried out the atrocity has his day in court on Monday his poison will be difficult to listen to, but listen to it we must. For to defeat your enemy you must first understand what it is you confront. Most of these creatures kill themselves after the carnage they wreak is over and their motives remain unclear. We have an opportunity to understand the true nature of this evil in our midst now. We must listen and learn.

  13. And 2010 voters (perhaps I should have done all this in one post?)
    Con 2010 –
    Left – 5.1%
    Centrist – 28.8%
    Right – 66.7%

    Lab 2010 –
    Left – 60.6%
    Centrist – 30.3%
    Right – 9.1%

    Lib 2010 –
    Left – 43.5%
    Centrist – 39.1%
    Right – 17.4%

    And all voters –
    Left – 35.2%
    Centrist – 31%
    Right – 33.8%
    Or close enough to a 33/33/33 split.
    But elections are won on 40% (or less, more recently..).

  14. BILLY BOB

    “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.”

    That sounds very like the false story that George W Bush’s team found the white house wrecked by members of the previous Clinton administration. I’d give it about as much credence. I suspect that similar stories have been going around for centuries…

  15. @Tinged Fringe/Pete B

    LD May 2010 /LD March 2011

    Very left 27/7
    Fairly left 33/9
    Slightly left 26/18
    Centre 26/15
    Slightly right 13/7
    Fairly right 4/2
    Very right 1/1

    So, still (in March 2011, when LDs had lost 39% of their vote to Labour) a 34/25 split in favour of the left over the centre/right:

    h
    ttp://today.yougov.co.uk/sites/today.yougov.co.uk/files/yg-archives-pol-yougov-aggregatedatamarch2011-210411.pdf

  16. Laszlo

    Thanks-interesting

  17. @The Sheep – “… false story”

    Well it was in the Telegraph. ;)

    I was struck by the contrast between concern (insisting on an inquiry) about a scratched table, and the seeming disregard for security clearances when entering No 10.

  18. Tingedfringe

    Interesting data – but are the data for all respondents, or excluding Don’t Knows?

  19. @ Crossbat 11

    It will be important to listen – although not really tomorrow, but when the police put together all the evidence.

  20. @crossbat

    “Most of these creatures kill themselves after the carnage they wreak is over and their motives remain unclear. We have an opportunity to understand the true nature of this evil in our midst now.”

    Indeed: and also why he chose to do the exact opposite of his declared nemesis. Why- if he is a fascist activist wanting to spark “a revolution”- did he not attack and commit slaughter in the heart of Muslim Norway; its neighbourhoods; its institutions?

    If this had been an Islamist attack we would not be talking about a mosque being blown up followed by a gun toting rampage around a predominantly Muslim neighbourhood. Islamists want to kill the kuffar (non muslims) rather than their ‘own’ . But this is what this neofascist decided to do. Very very strange.

    @Alec

    I find the moral equivalence of your post (where you define Islamism as no problem at all and then go on to claim fascist terrorism to be all around us and the harbinger of our destruction) absolutely shocking in its simplicity and lack of veracity.

  21. Tingedfringe

    Just transferred them to a spreadsheet. You have used the “excluding DKs” data, I think.

  22. Ronnie

    “That means almost half of the LD vote from the 2010 GE has moved to the Tories.”

    No it hasn’t. YouGov’s data tables tell a different story. Average their last 10 polls and you find the 2010 Lib Dem vote split into 6 parts:

    Con 8.2%
    Lab 28.5%
    Lib Dem 27.9%
    Others 9.0%
    DK 20.6%
    No Vote %5.7%

    That’s not the whole picture, though, as 28% of the LD share of the vote would only give a VI of about 6.5%. The average of the last 10 YouGovs is 9.6%. There has been a significant switch the other way too.

  23. TingedFringe

    Thanks for all the figures.

    And you are absolutely right in saying that 4% can – and does – make a huge difference.

    I couldnt disagree with that if I tried!

    But my point was a more general one; namely that the Con vote was 37% at the GE and it remains in that area.

    And it has done so (more or less) since the GE.

    The concern for Labour is that, at the next GE, with boundary changes to come and (one might assume) a return of some LD voters to the LDs – from Labour – Labour need to cut into the “softer” 4% or 5% of the Tory vote.

    At the moment, it isnt happening.

    I imagine what we are seeing is that those who moved to CON from LAB in 2010 are still prepared to give CON the benefit of the doubt – and so their vote.

  24. TOH – sorry to see you go – now the site balance is even more leftwards. I read the site often but at the moment I don’t have time to stay on for long enough to be a part of debates as they happen. Such is retirement!

    However, one thing is blindingly obvious, the main debate here still seems to be about Coulson’s security clearance. Talk about flogging a dead horse. No mention of the fact that the Mirror and Piers Morgan seem to be being drawn into the phone hacking debate now. And who was it Alistair Campbell worked for?

    I suspect that there will be a lot of surprises to come out of this forthcoming enquiry & my betting is that it certainly won’t just be the Tories who might face some embarrassment.

    And Jay Blanc – “The public have forgiven GB”, or words to that effect. If that was said with a straight face, you really are deluding yourself.

  25. “Why- if he is a fascist activist wanting to spark “a revolution”- did he not attack and commit slaughter in the heart of Muslim Norway; its neighbourhoods; its institutions?

    If this had been an Islamist attack we would not be talking about a mosque being blown up followed by a gun toting rampage around a predominantly Muslim neighbourhood. ”

    —–

    Rob Sheffield – you have to bear context in mind. Take your example of a radical jihadist and put him in a moderate Muslim country where he sees the governing party as appeasing the West. There is every chance he would carry out equivalent attacks against the ruling party.

    The point is, this far-right terrorist in Norway was targeting what he saw as the ‘root cause of the ‘problem’, what he saw as the ‘traitors within’ rather than the ‘symptoms’ – while he had a hatred of Muslims, his ridiculous ‘manifesto’ made it clear that he did not consider what he viewed to be ‘civilians’ as a legitimate target.

  26. @Rob S

    “If this had been an Islamist attack we would not be talking about a mosque being blown up followed by a gun toting rampage around a predominantly Muslim neighbourhood. Islamists want to kill the kuffar (non muslims) rather than their ‘own’ . But this is what this neofascist decided to do. Very very strange.”

    As Laszlo rightly points out, we must await the trial and all the evidence being examined in court, but today’s Observer carried long extracts from Brievik’s rambling blog on Facebook, and he obviously had problems not just with Islam and multiculturalism, but with the present Norwegian Government and people on the left generally. His targeting of a Labour Party youth gathering and the Prime Minister’s Oslo quarters, therefore, would seem to make some sort of demonic sense.

    In fairness to Alec, who you go on to criticise, I think he was arguing that far right terrorism has a capacity for irrationality and acts of unspeakable savagery in a way that Islamic terrorism does not. The Oklahoma bombing, for example, came out of nowhere, as did the Norwegian carnage, whereas Al Quaida, an undoubtedly evil and murderous cabal, are prosecuting an extreme anti-Western version of Islam. I don’t think he was indulging in any sort of moral relativism at all, rather he was recognising the terror of both but felt they manifested themselves in very different ways.

    That said, it’s probably best for Alec to clarify what he meant, not me!

  27. How Labour’s ‘favourite lobbyist’ is pushing hacking campaign – Telegraph h ttp://t.co/1Efv0t6 via @Telegraph

  28. “far right terrorism has a capacity for irrationality and acts of unspeakable savagery in a way that Islamic terrorism does not. ”

    !!!

  29. @ Rob Sheffield

    I wrote it earlier that for any ultra-right, be it anti-Semite, anti-Muslim, anti-Roma, whatever, the ultimate enemy is the left. And it is only a question of order on whom they start, the target is always the left… Therefore, it is not strange.

    As to the trial, if it is open, the lesson will be important as Crossbat11 said. Although have moral issues around it, it is good that the man is alive and can stand the trial. It will be educational.

  30. @Rob Sheffield – “I find the moral equivalence of your post (where you define Islamism as no problem at all and then go on to claim fascist terrorism to be all around us and the harbinger of our destruction) absolutely shocking in its simplicity and lack of veracity.”

    I was somewhat disappointed at this post – yours are normally better than this.

    I actually said nothing of the kind. In terms of Islamist terror, I did say “I’ve never been particularly frightened by mad Islamist terror groups. I might be killed or maimed by them, as they are capable of mounting significant terror events, but their long history has been one of eventual rejection within the mainstream Islamic world…”

    I make it clear that they represent a significant threat of harm, but in this context, ‘being frightened’ is related to the potential threat to our society and way of life as a whole. Frankly speaking, in this sense, no I am not frightened of Islamists. They won’t bring down western style democracies.

    By contrast, right wing violent ideology has completely subverted democracy in several countries at certain times, to devastating effect. I can see this happening again in certain circumstances. This was the point I was making.

    Incidentally, I also think you are wrong over the key targets for Islamist terror groups. They actually hate ‘failed’ Muslims more than non Muslims. This is why I would find them a much greater threat if I lived in Pakistan or Afghanistan. They spent most of their time blowing up Muslims, but eventually mainstream Islam gets sick of them, as they did in Morrocco and Egypt.

  31. BTW – I just picked up this from Crossbat11 – “In fairness to Alec, who you go on to criticise, I think he was arguing that far right terrorism has a capacity for irrationality and acts of unspeakable savagery in a way that Islamic terrorism does not.”

    I was most certainly not arguing this. As above, it’s quite clear that some violent Islamists are capable of a level of irrational savagery as much as the next terror group. It’s just that I cannot ever see them posing a serious threat to our society and social fabric as a whole, even though they can kill and maim hundreds, or even thousands of us if they tried.

    The far right however, have the capacity to hijack western nations, as they have done several times in the past.

  32. @Colin

    Yes, my comment, on re-reading, was a little ambiguous and I should clarify it. I shouldn’t have rolled together “irrationality” and “unspeakable savagery”. Of course there have been many acts of Islamic terrorism that were unspeakably heinous and savage, but there is a warped rationality about them. Rob S has alluded to one aspect of this, although many Muslims died in the 9/11 and 7/7 atrocities, but Al Quiada’s rationale is a violent anti-Western one, based as it is on a distorted version of Islam. They want to terrorise the West out of Muslim lands and attack what they see as a corrupted Western Civilisation, I see no such “rationality” in Brievik or McVeigh’s outrages, beyond hatred of their respective Governments.

    Anyway, now we’ve locked horns directly, would you like to enlighten me further on your extraordinary comments yesterday about the nature of the Youth gathering that was attacked? And while we’re at it, what on earth did you mean by the comment ““unless one understands the role & place of of the Norwegian Labour Party in that country one cannot begin to make useful comment”?

  33. @Alec

    Apologies, I misrepresented you; always a danger when trying to defend a fellow poster! Hopefully, my reply to Colin, which crossed with your post, explains my position a little more clearly!

  34. @the Other Howard – I don’t agree with you on many things, and stopping posting is another.

    I would seriously urge you to keep posting. The board has become too left heavy and risks losing quality discussion because of it, and we really need people like you to keep airing your views.

    I was one of a very few left leaning posters when Cameron had 20 point leads but it is essential that all sides get an airing.

    One polling related observation I guess is that it’s clear that polling dynamics have changed. People tend to post more when their side is ahead, so the fact that the number of right leaning posters is declining is in itself, anecdotal evidence that the right don’t have much to cheer about at the moment.

  35. @Crossbat11 – we are at one.

  36. TF, for your left/right/centre data: is that a poll (thus self identification) or done by another measure? L/R/C splits always seem to be an odd measure, as it very much depends where you put the centre.

    I mean, for example on the political compass’ LRC values, the scatter graph average for Brits on my website (which isn’t politically partisan so you wouldn’t necessarily expect a bias, though the sample size is small) is about minus three, whereas on the site’s own estimates Lab is more like plus two and Lib and Con significantly higher.

  37. People tend to post more when their side is ahead, so the fact that the number of right leaning posters is declining is in itself, anecdotal evidence that the right don’t have much to cheer about at the moment.
    ——————–
    My guess would be that in fact people post more when their side is in opposition, regardless of polling data. Polls are always more interesting to those who want the government out, particularly a long way from an election (which is where we probably are).

    Actually, this might be an interesting thing to try sometime, if the site allows it; Anthony could give us stats on comparative numbers of posts by different partisan groups, then someone could compare them to the VI over time and see if there’s a link.

  38. @Alec

    “@Crossbat11 – we are at one.”

    Good man!

  39. Alec = “Good man”

    Maybe I’m confused in my old age, but I thought Alec was the last person to merit that description?

  40. I seem to be in moderation for some reason… I guess when discussing terrorism one is bound to set off some ‘bad word’ detector?

  41. @Oldnat – not sure about you being confused, but I certainly am.

  42. @ Crossbat, it’s not just the rambling blog, he spent years building up a mailing list of thousands of members of the far-right scene and sent a 1,500 page manifesto out just before he set off to carry out the attacks.

  43. @ Colin.
    “far right terrorism has a capacity for irrationality and acts of unspeakable savagery in a way that Islamic terrorism does not. ”

    !!!
    ——————————————————————

    I’d probably agree with your response (albeit a mute one) for once.

    Both forms of terrorism are similar in their aims, both are savage and both are (from their own standpoints) rational.

    Both attempt to inflame and radicalise the situation. Both are anti-liberal and both desire an illiberal response (which Dubya was only too happy to indulge of course…) to add to the vicious circle and bring us closer to a Final Solution of one form or another.

    I’ve never yet heard a cogent argument from the Far Right on precisely what the “culture” is that they feel under threat. Stoltenberg’s response (fighting this attack with more democracy and more openess) is PRECISELY how a liberal democracy should respond. THAT is the culture that is potentially imperilled by illiberal responses to both sides.

    And it is very, VERY important that right-leaning people do not grub around for explanations and excuses for what happened in Oslo. That way leads to a particularly dangerous slippery slope.

  44. Good posts Alec and generally tre.IMHO. Except I even wonder.whether violent.jihadist. Islamist groups even represent an existential threat to Muslim countries – certainly not Pakistan, where these groups have very little support in society as a whole (typically all Islamist parties (peaceful and jihadist.combined)) are.believed to have no more than 10% support at best, and have always fone poorly in nationwide polls.

  45. @ Chris Todd
    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.

    ————————————————————————————
    At the risk of (as I often do) stating the bleeding obvious, surely your figures encapuslate the core issue in UK psephology.

    The Centre & Left (as opposed to centre-left) has been a majority in the UK for at least 30 years.

    When it is split, the Right wins. When it is focussed leftwards, the Left wins. 2010 was the watershed for the Centre. They have now realised that they have do decide which side they are on.

    I have a good friend, a Centrist. A highly intelligent bloke (a Prof at a Russell Group univeristy) who said to me recently, “I voted for Labour from 1997″ but in 2010 I wanted to give Labour a lesson so I voted LD. I will never do that again.”

    Anecdotal of course, but he is reflected 2 million times over in the polls over the last 14 months. The Centrists now realise that they have to make a choice or they end up abdicating their decision to the post-Election arithmetic.

    We’re now back to politics as it always was before the centre-left schism. After the AV disaster, there now is no middle ground and we’re back to folk having to decide which side they are on.

    We’ll not see parties winning a workable majority with 35-37% vote again in our lifetime. 40% will be the minimum required. And both of the main parties are firming up with VI figures teetering around that value.

    Consequently, the odd percent here and there is absolutely crucial. So there’s no point looking for cliff-edge changes in VI. The odd percent here and there is what we are playing for from now till 2015.

    And till 2040.

    Which is why Hackgate could yet be pivotal.

  46. @ Alec

    “People tend to post more when their side is ahead”

    Or when there is positive news. I think it is a correct observation, but I didn’t do an analysis.

    Discussions also tend to be better depending on what the particular piece of news evokes reflection rather than just opinions or some polls demand interpretation.

    And AW does supply us with these.

  47. @ The Other Howard

    “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.”

    Inevitable, I’m afraid. Nor will TOH be the last to vote with his feet.

  48. I’ll be sorry to see The Other Howard go, but to those who have problems being in a minority on a blog – think of my position! :-)

  49. There was a crisis in our government & a tragedy which brought the left/center together as a community on these boards.

    There was no intention to make the right/center support feel crowded out. It is sad that some people have decided to leave, especially at this time.

    Some, notably Colin, have been very understanding & it is appreciated.
    8-)

  50. And, it almost went without saying – but it should be said – Anthony, has been incredibly lenient & understanding, this truly is an amazing site thanks to him.
    8-)

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