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. @R Huckle

    “Even if the Tories were ahead in the polls, you would see more posts that were anti-government. This is perfectly normal. When Labour were in government, I suspect that the posts were mainly negative, with people having digs about GB’s personality.”

    You are in fact quite wrong ;-)

    When I first started posting in November 2009 there was a massive plurality of avowed blue posters scooping up and enjoying in a deliciously lingering fashion, the latest terrible opinion poll numbers for red or Browns latest disastrous debacle.

    That was not to do with the fact that Labour were the government: it was to do with the fact that-in the polls- the Conservatives were winning.

    By and large people like to post when they can gloat or when they feel they are right and have the high ground (whether moral, political context, polling numbers or whatever).

    If the hacking scandal had been about EdM rather than The PM’s/ Governments judgement and to do with a newspaper group that- for the majority of the past 42 years had supported red (rather than blue)- and if Labours numbers had tanked as a result- then you would have seen a lot more blue tinged posters coming on here and you would have seen a lot less of that pattern of grinning blow-by-blow/ minute-by-minute posting that one or two people (irrationally exuberant they were) got into.

    For a very recent example of this phenomena remember the 10-14 days or so after the Scottish parliament elections: a veritable stampede of slightly hysterical NATS dominating every thread and turning it back (inward) onto their obsessions/ success, however unrelated.

    Mark my words: if the Tories go into any form of sustained poll lead- even an elongated one of a single solitary 1 per cent- you will see blue posters FLOODING back here to let the red posters know it in no uncertain fashion :D

  2. Iceman

    I could have said “We’re ‘a Jock Tamson’s bairns” which reminds me that a reading of Lady Chatterly in my youth led me to believe that the accepted derivation is in error and it may refer to a South West Scotland version of the euphemism “John Thomas.”

    If you want to see consensus, look here:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/370524.stm

  3. @ Rob Sheffield

    Your post reminds me of Mr Stanley Baldwin’s dictum about the fact that he would rather consult his Butler than the ranks of the Conservative Party on matters of policy.

    Major Attlee only read the Telegraph for the cricket scores.

    Mr Joe Grimmond said if any Liberal policy was put on a boat to travel to his constituency he would have the boat sunk.

    The deep Blues in full cry are as frightening, if not more, than the Reds.

    And as to the other party, their effrontery is wonderful to behold

  4. Rob Sheffield at Huckle

    “… remember the 10-14 days or so after the Scottish parliament elections: a veritable stampede of slightly hysterical NATS dominating every thread and turning it back (inward) onto their obsessions/ success, however unrelated.”

    That is grossly parochial and offensive.

    This is a polling site and we had a real poll with a dramatic, unprecedented and totally unexpected result which everyone believed was nearly impossible and far from likely in this instance.

    It was not possible in any other way to continue the discussion when the only dedicated thread was superceded, and Scottish posters did not object when others intruded extraneous comments.

    People whom I would have thought should have known better misconstrued what had happened and misrepresented the aims of the voting system.

    The discussion was far more important than the regular one here that a miniscule change up or down in ecocomic performance is an indication of a movement in public opinion which will have a significant impact in determining the outcome of the next UK election. It broke new ground that other media have not yet caught up with.

    On these grounds it warranted extensive analysis.

    Apart from all that, even the most ignorant and parochial Englishman must recognise that the election result brought the UK closer to division and, that if it happens, that would be hugely important to everyone on both sides of the border.

    If the FPTP result in the Scottish Parliament had been reproduced in a Westminster election prior to the constitutional convention, MP’s elected to Westminster would now be meeting in a makeshift parliament in Edinburgh and negotiating independence.

    Those in that see the Scottish Parliament as a higher stratum of local government are complascent and ignorant. Without them and their kind, there would be no Scottish Parliament, and the SNP’s representation at Westminster would be on a par with the Greeens.

    Ignorant Englishmen have made the SNP what it is today.

  5. Chris Lane

    I have never seen that suggestion about Jo Grimond making such a comment before.

    What’s the source?

  6. @John B Dick

    “That is grossly parochial and offensive. ”

    How about this then:

    “… remember the 10-14 days or so after the Scottish parliament elections: a stampede of NATS dominating every thread and turning it back (inward) onto their success.”

    You might not like the tone imparted by a couple of adjectives, but as far as Rob’s comments relate to the discussion of the pattern of posting on this site, I don’t think there was anything to argue with at all.

    As it happens, I think his adjectives were completely OK. I remember getting pretty annoyed at the time that no discussion was possible without it being hijacked and turned into a discussion of Nats’ successes.

  7. @ Rob Sheffield

    “if the Tories go into any form of sustained poll lead- even an elongated one of a single solitary 1 per cent- you will see blue posters FLOODING back here ”

    Trickling back perhaps-it might take a bit more than 1% for a flood. :-)

  8. Robin

    “As it happens, I think his adjectives were completely OK. I remember getting pretty annoyed at the time that no discussion was possible without it being hijacked and turned into a discussion of Nats’ successes.”

    Yes , I agree.

  9. @OLD NAT

    As a geeky young boy I remember seeing it reported in a politics discussion on TV in a panoroma special pre 1974

    Quoted by the young David Steel

  10. So, GDP figures are out tomorrow.
    It’s looking like the figures will actually be pretty decent (despite my initial predictions of a massive dip), so that coupled with the NOTW story leaving the front pages, I think that we’ll start to see a slow-down to the decline of the Tory VI and perhaps start to see a slow climb back up again.

  11. @Colin

    “Your post much appreciated (& understood )-particularly the last paragraph.”

    Thanks, Colin. You’re a good man and I’m sorry if I upset you with a few of my strident posts. I sometimes let my emotions get the better of me, but I mean no offence to any of the posters on this site.

    Good win for England today, by the way!

  12. @ tingedfringe

    “It’s looking like the figures will actually be pretty decent”

    Your source being?

  13. Chris Lane

    Mmmm

  14. Tinged Fringe,on this occasion I have to echo Robert C,
    what is your source for info only released to the C of E ?

  15. Robin/Colin

    I had a quick check back over the May threads.

    Robin’s version is more accurate because it doesn’t suggest that SNP supporters were responsible for “highjacking” (no thread actually was, as other discussions were going on simultaneously – as is the norm).

    What you remember is lots of Scots discussing a very significant event in Scottish politics. You might think that almost as irrelevant to you as discussion’s on the London Mayor is to us. I suspect that after the next one of those, there may be some overspill on to other threads. :-)

    Robin’s version is non-partisan.

  16. CROSSBAT 11

    Thanks.

    No worries-I can understand the source of your sensitivities, which my posts gave rise to.

    Fantastic win-what a team ( well apart from Cook :-) )

    Refuse to pay Murdoch’s shilling so can’t wait to see the highlights on 5.

    We should have a law making all Test matches involving England available on free to air channels……..when England are winning anyway :-)

  17. Tinged Fringe

    ” I think that we’ll start to see a slow-down to the decline of the Tory VI and perhaps start to see a slow climb back up again.”

    Can you recommend the libation which gave rise to that remark-I will readily purchase a bottle-or two :-)

  18. @Robert C,
    Okay, it’s just my own guess – judging from the decent retail sales figures and the fact exports have been rising this quarter.

    Of course, this could be as equally wrong as my original prediction. ;)

  19. And just to clarify, by ‘slow climb back up’ I mean ‘back up to 37’ and ‘slow climb’ means ‘gradually over the course of the month’.

  20. And by ‘decent’ I mean ‘0.3%+’, which may not strike many people as decent, when the OBR’s forecast is much higher – but it’s the highest figure (but one, IIRC, BNP-Paribas has 0.4%) for an independent forecast.

  21. TingedFringe

    Do you know if the retail sales figures include internet sales or not?

  22. @ Oldnat

    Yes, they do. In fact it is the only sector of retail which is seeing significant growth at the moment.

    Take out online sales and volume growth on the high street is probably negative. I haven’t done the maths, but the high street i.e. store based retailing is actually probably now in recession again.

  23. Robert C

    Thanks for that.

    It was noted that in Q1 that Scottish retail figures were down, and the question was raised as to whether this signified a shift to internet sales, rather than actually meaning that Scots were spending less than in the UK as a whole.

  24. @Alec – “…official building energy efficiency rating”

    I noticed this at the central post office, needless to say they were scoring in the lowest possible category. It would be interesting to see these cerificates on more prominent display in all retail outlets/commercial premises.

    Plenty of oom for improvement. ;)

  25. @ Ann in Wales

    “Tinged Fringe,on this occasion I have to echo Robert C,
    what is your source for info only released to the C of E ?”

    What you mean the Archibishop of Canterbury gets to find out the GDP figures before everyone else. I knew the Church of England owned a lot of property, but this is taking it too far.

    Lol, but seriously I cannot to see that growth will be a + amount. I sense that over the last few months, there has been a slowing down in some sectors including manufacturing exports, with retail being pretty flat.

    Perhaps to pay some of the countries debts off, we can arrange to sell off some of the artworks that are held by the Church of England and the state. I presume that assets owned by both the Church of England and state are assets we all own, which can be sold off if necessary. They probably would not have to sell very many to raise a few billion, as some artworks are fetching huge amounts. I think one painting recently sold for over £100 million.

  26. R Huckle

    “I presume that assets owned by both the Church of England and state are assets we all own”.

    Not all of us. :-)

  27. R Huckle,I know ,I am just too lazy for words,plus I cannot
    type.However,I do remember that on the eve of the last GDP figures ,Osbourne addressed a cabinet meeting in which he was rather up-beat.This time there has been an
    eerie silence.However parliament is in recess so perhaps
    they do not have cabinet meetings?

  28. “Take out online sales and volume growth on the high street is probably negative. I haven’t done the maths, but the high street i.e. store based retailing is actually probably now in recession again.”
    Average weekly sales £millions minus internet sales
    Jan – 4737.9
    Feb – 4765.2
    Mar – 4942.1
    Apr – 5240.3
    May – 5125
    June – 5139.5

    April had the bank-holiday boost to retail sales, so that needs to be taken in to account when comparing Apr to May.

  29. AIW

    Government and parliamentary committees continue as normal. It is just the HOC and HOL sittings that take a pause. On Friday the HOC culture select committee is meeting to discuss matters i.e phone hacking, but I don’t think they are having any witnesses. Perhaps they can only have witnesses attending when the house is sitting. Something to with the house having to be in session, which provides for the relevant powers and parliamentary priviledge. Not an expert on the rules of parliament, just my understanding.

  30. And for comparison –
    Totals –
    Jan – 5200
    Feb – 5200
    Mar – 5400
    Apr – 5700
    May – 5600
    Jun – 5700

    Just internet sales –
    Jan – 462.1
    Feb – 434.8
    Mar – 457.9
    Apr – 459.7
    May – 475
    June – 560.5

    % of sales which are internet based-
    Jan – 8.89%
    Feb – 8.36%
    Mar – 8.48%
    Apr – 8.06%
    May – 8.48%
    Jun – 9.83%
    April’s figure here can also be explained by the bank holiday.

  31. Interesting prog on Channel 4 “How Murdoch ran Britain”. Much of it we already know but it is useful to have it all together in one program. Answers the Q as to how much influence RM has.

  32. R Huckle, Indeed! In that case rather significant I would
    have thought.

  33. TingedFringe

    That’s a huge rise in internet sales in June!

    Any idea why?

  34. Oldnat,
    Not a clue.
    The ONS report for June gives absolutely no indication.

    I’m not an economist – I just look at the figures and take an amateur’s guess. ;)
    I should also note that almost all other economic indicator is down – which is why I originally thought there’d be a dip (the drop in hours worked made me originally think there’d be a huge dip).

  35. “I should also note that almost all other economic indicator is down”
    Should really read, ‘I should also note that almost all other economic indicator[S] [ARE} down’

    I’m an Englishman, so that explains my poor English language skills. ;)

  36. Old Nat,
    Well I bought three little suitcases to fit into Ryanairs
    luggage lockers.That could account for it!

  37. Ann (in Wales)

    :-)

    So now we know that’s it you single-handedly supporting the UK economy! :-)

  38. June increase is probably holidays and related purchases.

  39. Yesterdays comments by Vince Cable were fairly downbeat suggesting that we may be in double dip territory.

  40. Hike in sales in June comes from Summer Sales in June……becoming ever easier to shop markdowns online as there is more of the reductions available on most retailers’ websites, and real-time stock helps….

  41. R Huckle & BlueJock

    Thanks for those responses.

    Assuming you are correct, could it be that the traditional measuring by quarters (which presumably was based on a more traditional spending pattern spread more evenly through the year) is becoming less useful as an economic measure?

  42. Apologies, sloppy post….

    Hike in ecommerce sales in June comes from Summer Sales in June……it is becoming increasingly more attractive and more convenient to shop markdowns online as there are all of the reductions available on retailers’ websites, and real-time stock helps for stock picked from warehouse pool rather than individual stores…..

  43. Oldnat,
    That would be true for Q4-Q1.
    Q1’s +0.5% looks pretty good, except when you put it in context of the -0.5% for Q4. So for those 6 months, there was overall no growth (IIRC there was slightly negative growth).
    It also explains the disparity in hours worked for Q4 and Q1, which doesn’t match the GDP movement for each Quarter, but does match if you compare over the 6 months.
    (So had we not had the snow – which explains the -0.5, +0.5 – the hours worked and GDP would correlate..)

  44. FRom InternetRetailer.com :-

    “Online retail sales in the U.K. increased 19% in the first half of 2011 compared with the same period a year ago, according the Interactive Media in Retail Group, an e-retail trade group, and consulting firm Capgemini. The IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index says U.K. shoppers spent 31.5 billion pounds ($51.4 billion) online this year through June.

    IMRG attributes the growth to several factors, including consumers going online to find money-saving deals, and unusually hot and rainy weather that kept shoppers out of retail stores. It also says consumers celebrating the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton in April prompted strong online sales of alcohol.

    .Online sales in June totaled 5.3 billion pounds ($8.6 billion), up 21% from June 2010. IMRG says this equates to an average online spend of 86 pounds ($140) per person during the month. June online sales of alcohol were up 10% from a year ago, and clothing, footwear and accessories were up 31%.

    “A 21% year-on-year increase in June is a perfect way to round off the first half of 2011, as it is consistent with what has been to date a very strong year,” says Chris Webster, head of retail consulting at Capgemini.”

  45. OldNat,

    There should not be much difference. Retail sales measures are, and always have been, seasonally adjusted for peak and trough periods to take account of Xmas, Sales, etc. And most retailers would agree that the shift in sales from “bricks” to “clicks” is to a degree an offset, contributing to the decline in the “High Street” (I’m sorry, the bricks….blah is a terribly w*nky expression which I personally despise, but it sort of conveys the point) :-)

  46. TingedFringe

    “but does match if you compare over the 6 months.”

    That’s why I was wondering why there is this reliance on fixed quarterly returns.

    Presumably they also calculate rolling quarterly/6month/annual data. These might be more useful?

  47. Colin

    “It also says consumers celebrating the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton in April prompted strong online sales of alcohol. ”

    That conjures up a wonderful vision of little old Royalists, unwilling to have their sobriety questioned in St. Mary Mead, ordering crates of gin online! :-)

  48. “Presumably they also calculate rolling quarterly/6month/annual data. These might be more useful?”
    Quarterly figures are still useful if you put them in to their proper context – which is where the other figures become useful.

    Obviously Annual GDP is the most useful figure – but there’s a little bit of a gap between the releases. ;)

  49. “Quarterly figures are still useful if you put them in to their proper context – which is where the other figures become useful”
    This should be stamped somewhere because it’s true of all statistics – without context, statistics are largely meaningless.

  50. TingedFringe

    “This should be stamped somewhere because it’s true of all statistics – without context, statistics are largely meaningless.”

    Absolutely.

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