Topline results in this week’s Sunday Times poll are CON 35%, LAB 44%, LDEM 9% – still very much in line with YouGov’s average Labour lead of around 8 points. Full tabs are here. On the leader ratings, both Cameron and Miliband are down from a week ago – Cameron’s approval rating is minus 14 (down from minus 11), Miliband’s is minus 22 (down from minus 17). Time will tell whether Miliband’s ratings drop back to their pre-Hackgate levels or whether he has permanently improved the public’s perception of him.

On the economy, 40% of people think the government should be cutting less, 26% cutting more with 20% thinking they are getting it about right – it suggests that slightly more people are backing the strategy of large cuts than oppose it, but that there is a sizeable chunk of people who support cuts who don’t think the government are doing enough to deliver them. There is a similar pattern on public sector jobs, but here the overall balance of opinion is in the other direction – 48% think there are too many public sector job cuts, 20% not enough and 20% about right.

On public sector pensions, 48% of people think it is right that public sector workers pay more towards their pensions, 35% disagree. Support and opposition to strike action by public sector workers mirrors this almost exactly – 36% support it, 49% oppose it.

On Syria there is little appetite for intervention. Only 27% would like to see the international community intervene, and if the UN did approve intervention, only 29% would support British troops taking part, 52% would be opposed. Finally, views on Charlie Gilmour’s sentencing are split down the middle – 24% think it was too harsh, 26% too soft, 43% about right.

The only other poll in the Sunday papers is Survation in the Mail on Sunday, who found 53% of people in favour of a return of the death penalty – pretty typical of recent years.

349 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 35, LAB 44, LDEM 9”

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  1. @Tinged Fringe

    Unfortunately, things that were intended as opportunistic scare mongering hyperbole can also end up being true.

  2. UK manufacturing down 0.4% in June. As if we don’t need any more bad news.

  3. Clever move by Cameron to recall Parliament.

    Achieves two things:

    * makes it a ‘political class’ problem rather than a ‘Tory government’ one;

    * and places EdM front and centre on an occasion when he does not have the moral justification of Hackgate (even though on that moment he failed to land any serious blows on DC).

    EdM needs to make the connections between the riots and the economic devastation of underprivileged communities that has been going on for decades but has undoubtedly accelerated over the last 15 months. He needs to do this whilst also convincingly condemning acts of looting and arson.

    A difficult task but necessary because what Dave is going to do (and is doing from outside number 10 now) is say this is ‘pure criminality and nothing to do with this Tory governments policy platform’. Outrageous but if EdM cannot raise his game then DC will get away with that media line.

  4. “UK manufacturing down 0.4% in June. As if we don’t need any more bad news.”
    But up 2.1% over the year.

    IIRC, it grew in May. So if it continues to fall over the next few months, then it’s time to worry.

  5. Colin

    No discipline.
    No respect .
    Pandered to .

    In a Banker or an MP that is bad enough.

    In an inner city teenager it’s much worse

    No it’s not.

    The teenager can burn down one branch of Carpetright for ‘kicks’.

    The banker can close them all down, so his bonus is bigger.

    That’s a simple matter of fact.

    And what sort of ‘morality’ is it that praises and rewards characteristics in the rich that it condemns in the poor?

  6. Along with other western states, the UK has sought for possibly at least one hundred years to increase the population. This has been done for various economic and status reasons.

    At the same time the UK and other western countries have sought to avoid a repetition of the great depression (and another world war).

    There are several good reasons why the welfare state exists. One of them is a form of insurance ‘paid’ by the majority to avoid a section of society deciding that they have nothing to lose in choosing anarchy.

    We may entering an unparalelled time.

  7. I actually think David Cameron’s statement is like a red rag to a bull – “We will confront and defeat”

    sounds like he is declaring war on the rioters who I dont think will be too alarmed at a few extra police on duty tonight.

    from a polling point of view I dont think the government is affected yet but I think there will be growing frustration if last night is repeated much more

  8. Roger Mexico

    “And what sort of ‘morality’ is it that praises and rewards characteristics in the rich that it condemns in the poor?”

    No morality at all-which is what I tried to communicate via the quotation from a youth worker

  9. I wonder if people were asked this question, what their answer would be ?

    Would you support Police shooting anyone caught in the act of commiting arson that endangered lifes of others ?

    I think I would probably answer yes.

    There will aslo be questions asked again about having an armed Police force. I am not sure that some of the rioting would have taken place if we had armed Police.

  10. @ ALAN-10.17am

    I agree .

    There is no “deprivation” indicated by designer clad youths with Blackberries, on BMX bikes organising the looting & torching of the 20,000sq mtr Sony distribution depot in Enfield.

    THe only thing indicated was criminal desire to steal; more stuff , then burn the place down.

    OK-Sony is a big company……………..but the small traders who got the same treatment aren’t.

    THese idiots are only deprived of a decent education , and effective parenting.

    I thought Simon HUghes was close to tears yesyerday when he pleaded with the parents to impose some discipline.

    Gang culture has become the new family unit for these kids.

  11. @R Huckle

    An armed police force never prevented riots and unrest in the US.

  12. I’m heartened at least by the #riotcleanup tag on twitter, and people setting up Facebook groups to organize clean up and repairs in their local areas.


    That is indeed very good news.

    THe police cannot deal with this alone. If communities can demonstrate their feelings of solidarity & revulsion in that way it must help.

  14. ((Stupid fingers))

    Rob Sheffield
    “Clever move by Cameron to recall Parliament.”

    Hmm, not entirely convinced by this as it IMO it seems to be saying I don’t know what to do.

  15. The first item on CNN’s US news output are the UK riots.

    Not good for UK reputation, with Olympics coming up.

    I seriously think that Cameron needs to consider his position, as I think he has shown very poor leadership on this and many other recent events. I am not the only one of this opinion, just have a read of comments in the Daily Mail.

  16. Just reading some posts on the Guardian, following an article on the June manufacturing etc figures. One post reads::
    “I’m just about ready to fill in the Happiness Index form now.”

    It made me laugh

  17. Colin (11:20)

    Sorry, my last comment came out harsher than I meant, and I agree with the youth worker you quoted about the attitudes he encounters. But he’s surely got an impossible task if the rest of society is working against him? This applies to the local culture with its American and Jamaican ‘gangsta’ roots (is there anything more pathetic, by the way, than calling the police the ‘Feds’?).

    But the wider culture is in some ways worse. At least the ‘gangstas’ know they are committing crimes. When the ‘lords of creation’ carry out their damage they expect praise as well as profit and every piece of misconduct can be blamed on the ‘market’. When crimes do take place, prosecution rarely seems to follow and when things go badly wrong the public are expected to pick up pieces.

    This isn’t a Party political point because both main Parties had unusually long periods in office during the time when these attitudes got worse. They did nothing but encourage them. But there is one thing here that the cuts have made worse.

    For some reason in LA cuts youth services are always one of the first things to be hit. As someone cynically suggested earlier in the thread, this is because the ‘clients’ can’t vote. But I think there are also technical reasons: youth workers seem to be easier and cheaper to sack (most are short term contracts); premises are often non-Council, so real savings can be made by not using them.

    In addition grants to voluntary bodies are also early casualties of LA cuts (for some of the same technical reasons), so indirect support for youth services goes too.

  18. So, will the riots prove a suitable possible explanation for poor Q3 GDP figs (should they turn out bad)?

    Repeat ad nauseam after me

    There is no alternative
    There is no alternative

  19. to Colin

    And yet Simon Hughes is part of the liberal left which has legislated against all the judaeo christian structures.

    Nick Clegg is probably regretting his forecast of riots if the Conservatives were to form a Government and impose the austerity package at exactly the wrong time in the cycle.

    I also think that ‘moral conservatives’ should also recognise the immoralities of the western capitalist meritocrats. A culture has been formed which suggests that we are all out to look after ME, NOW.

    I know Mrs Thatcher’s quote on society has been misused, but the idea was put about that everyone is on their own, in a free for all society.
    ‘Cradle to Grave’ was suffocating.

    The Bankers.
    Police friendly, allegedly, with those they are investigating and taking money off them, allegedly.
    phone hackers, allegedly friendly with polticians
    Outsourcing jobs to low income, very low income countries.

    Unemployment in Tottenham: 50 workers for each job..

    Maybe the ‘liberal’ society of unrestricted, uncensored media needs to be questioned

  20. One little thing I hadn’t known:

    Insurance companies will be seeking to claim costs back from local police budgets under the provisions of the Riot Damages Act (1886). In order to do this, claims must be registered within fourteen days

    (via today’s Guardian riot blog

    Presumably those uninsured would be able to claim directly? Anyway this is something else that is presumably going to increase government costs.

  21. Roger


    IT is a horrendous problem-but I don’t think we should let it get out of proprtion.

    THey have arrested 400 ish so far-say 1000 finish up being charged-there are many many more who didn’t riot & steal-some of them out there this morning cleaning up their neighbourhoods.

    I can sense ( I hope) that the era of soft & “sensitive” policing when it comes to these gangs is about to change. It bloddy has to.

    Youth workers with the right skills have a terrific role to play -and many are to be found in third sector organisations. Yes these are being ditched by LA’s-the reasons for that -both political & financial need to be examined.

    Schooling is hugely important. God knows how decent teaching & appropriate discipline can be given to these youngsters in inner city LOndon schools after we have reached this apalling state-I don’t know-I only hope that Gove has some idea.

    THen there are the parents…………on tv this morning the West Mids Police Chief said they havemade 100+ arrests-“visited homes & retrieved property” ……….what the hell were those parents doing/saying when their kids brought the stuff home?

    If there is any mitigating circumstance for the behaviour of these children it must be the appalling absence of anything resembling proper parenting. THey are not to blame for their parents.

  22. @ CHRIS LANE

    “And yet Simon Hughes is part of the liberal left which has legislated against all the judaeo christian structures.”

    He is-maybe this has taught him a lesson.

    I thought all the local MPs-particularly Ummuna, Khan & Abbot seemed genuinely shocked & sober…………wake up time for all?

    I thought it was interesting to hear DC this morning say that the debate on THursday would be an opportunity for “us to stand together” against this criminality.

    Had he talked to EM before hand? It will certainly be a major plus if a cross party line could be adopted on the criminality & the policing .

    We will have to see-it will be a temptation for EM to make party political capital if he can.

  23. Colin
    “…it will be a temptation for EM to make party political capital if he can.”

    Now that is seriously partisan. So, DC will resist the opportuntiy to make party points?

    This recall of Parliament IMO is a waste of time. We
    already know the line DC and the gov will take: “it’s not our fault”.

  24. Steve

    I actually think David Cameron’s statement is like a red rag to a bull – “We will confront and defeat” Sounds like he is declaring war on the rioters …

    I hope so certainly the rioters have declared war on every honest decent and hardworking person in this country and we should expect no less than 100% support from our PM to win the war..

  25. MIKEN

    I was really picking up Rob Sheffield’s point :-

    “EdM needs to make the connections between the riots and the economic devastation of underprivileged communities that has been going on for decades but has undoubtedly accelerated over the last 15 months”

    …but if it makes you happy I am pleased to retract the offending remark & say that I expect EM to be forthright in indentifying the central problem of the last few days events -gang culture,absent parenting, feral children, criminality and inadequate policing.

    Of course-it is right & proper that political difference is aired on the question of how young people like these can be helped to live lives like those of the vast majority of children of their age.

  26. Roger Mexico
    “Anyway this is something else that is presumably going to increase government costs.”

    So, paid for by joe public. Just marvelous. So, instead of our taxes contriuting to ‘society’ etc it will be used also to support financial institutions?

    There are times when I think we’re mugs.

  27. Have to agree with MIKE N. The government have already tried to separate their policies from any responsibility for the context in which the riots are taking place and I don’t see them doing any different on Thursday.

    I hope the debate will be wider than just confrontation and condemnation. That is too simplistic a stance to take.

  28. Colin
    Actually your posts on this issue have been reasonable (for a rightie).


  29. Rob Sheffield

    “get away with that line”? I know it’s like Labour to try and politicise every event but trying to accuse DC of trying to “get away” (with what I don’t know) is frankly ridiculous.

    DC stood up and condemned the violence as pretty much all commentators have as “opportunistic lawlessness”. If Labour try to score points of this I feel they will end up looking stupid and out of touch.

    Why Ed has to have some “masterplan” without just coming out and providing a united front against this violence and thuggery I have no idea.


    I think if DC had come out with kid gloves this morning he would have been roundly critcised. This is something that needs defeating and needs to be made clear for the majority of the public that whatever is necessary will be done to defeat it. You can hardly accuse DC of inflaming this issue. If trebling the police tonight isn’t enough then I fear what further measures will be needed.

    Mike N

    I think the situation in the US will be key. If the US moves into contraction then even the plan of “borrow more, spend more” wouldn’t save us. I’m not sold on that plan anyway and think if we went down the “carry on borrowing” route then our AAA rating WOULD have been under threat, events in the US have shown that that was a possibility regardless what labour have been saying.

    I’m interested to see what polling questions (and of course the answers) are asked on this topic.

  30. @ Henry

    * Your political speech attacking the govt and the mayor indicates that Boris will get thrashed in the Mayoral election; if not you will have egg on your face.*

    You miss the point I was trying to make completely. Whether Johnson or Livingstone wins the next London mayoral election is irrelevant, much in the same way that whoever won the last General Election was pretty much beside the point as well. These are now elections which produce outcomes where the significant majority of the electorate will not have supported the eventual victors. Vast numbers are no longer participating in these elections and, for those that still do, it’s more from a sense of civic duty and habit rather than any great enthusiasm for the individuals and political programmes being espoused. Look at the approval ratings of our leading politicians and then consider what this says about the general disdain in which they’re held by their electors. Who had a choice or say in whether Johnson or Livingstone were their respective party’s candidates in the last mayoral election? The public is presented with the choice that they are given and, in increasing numbers, they now shun the polling booths as a result. Unappetising and out of touch career politicians do not inspire and, therefore, cannot provide the leadership required in times of crisis. Look across the Channel for further evidence but don’t think, for one minute, that we’re in any better a place ourselves in this country.

    A sports journalist, rather adeptly I thought, once described Twenty/Twenty cricket as cricket for people who didn’t like cricket. Johnson, in my view, is the sort of politician who does politics for people who have no interest in politics. It’s the essence of his electoral appeal, in fact. Non serious, frivolous mush for people who think politics is some sort of semi detached adjunct of show business. Well, at least he makes us laugh, I suppose, and he is the only elected leader we have who is specifically in charge of our capital city, now plunging ever deeper into chaos.

    I sometimes weep for my country.

  31. Billy Bob,

    I’m sure there was a more recent trigger. The question is, what? The assumption of many is that it MUST be the cuts. Here’s another possibility: an angry protest against (alleged) police misconduct overwhelmed the police, and then there was a spiral effect.

    That kind of spiral effect only happens if people are willing to take advantage of a collapse in law & order. I haven’t seen a policeman in my town in years, because they’re unnecessary here. Take away the police from an area and you see its hidden problems.

    But the point is that there’s much more to it that economics. Anti-social behaviour isn’t a simple matter of deprivation; loads of deprived people are/were extremely socially well-adjusted, polite and good citizens, e.g. almost any good person from 100 years ago.

  32. Alan

    Whatever the merits of GO’s fiscal plans, and forecasts, it is increasingly evident that they are unlikely to be achieved and that the the UK faces the prospect of a double dip recession.

    The insanity of these ratings agencies(eg S&P) IMO is that their power is limiting the scope of governments to act. How will the markets benefit if the global economy ends up in recession/depression? It seems to me that some new order/approach is required by the G8 / G20 countries so that collectively we all emerge from this crisis by achieving growth and accepting ‘default’.

  33. R Huckle,

    Thanks for daring to use the “g” word. If nothing else, sheer respect for others’ property should hold people back. “What’s yours is yours and what’s mine is mine” is a pretty basic moral principle that needs to be taught to kids at a young age.

    It would be fascinating to find out how many of these kids have an existing criminal history.

  34. Chris Lane,

    Oddly enough, I was talking about the immorality of bankers quite recently. One of the forgotten things about the old managerial elite (both in politics and in business) is that they had a quaint (to modern ears) but strong sense of honour, drummed in from a young age at schools and on the sports fields. Orwell writes about this with particular eloquence, particularly in the context of the “Old School Tie”.

    ‘Honour’ is a terrifically old-fashioned word in Western culture today, but I think there’s a value in it. I think it’s one of our great inventions: take the police, for instance; it’s a fantastic achievement and by no means natural that your average policeman in this country is so hard to bribe. If you offered an ordinary policeman a bribe, she’d be offended- it’s not even that she would be resisting on the basis of moral calibre, but that you would have offended her sense of self-worth.

    Equally, the old political elite (including the poor Labour ones surviving on a union stipend) would have regarded the modern expenses system as an affront to their sense of dignity. The old business elite would have a sense of shame about being bailed out by the government in such a huge way and then living as if nothing had happened.

    Honour is a powerful tool to make even the bad behave well. I think we’re now seeing the costs of doing away with it.

  35. the problem is the police, government have been one step behind on this all week.

    following a quick 5 minute trawl of social networks last night I wrote on this thread at about 4pm that rioting was predicted in Croydon, so why were so few police deployed there ?

  36. You mention arming the police.However,surely it was the fact that the police concerned were armed that caused the
    flashpoint in the first place?

  37. And to carry forward the sense of my last post, IMO there is an argument that DC is unable to see or move beyond the ‘markets’.

    IMO, he should be showing leadership and seeking to get the G8/G20 countries together. Yet I have to wonder whether and to what extent if at all he feels constrained by his family’s banking history/background.

    ((AW – I’ve reworded to avoid moderation, again, I hope.))

  38. KeithP
    “UK manufacturing down 0.4% in June.”

    If you want to look on the black side, yes – but this was only down from the good May figure. It was still up 2.1% from June 2010, so it’s very positive news.

  39. Mike N

    I believe the reason for the US’s downgrade is due to the political deadlock preventing them from taking the actions needed to help their economy. As long as the US is politically hobbled by its system they can’t make any long term plans to provide growth and can only pass a compromise that neither side wanted.

    I don’t dispute that the economy is weaker than predicted, however this isn’t evidence that “borrow more spend more” would leave us in a better situation (although with a greater deficit and potentially a lower credit rating). The differences between GO actions and AD’s plans aren’t THAT great. I think the economy is weaker than predicted because the world economy is weaker than predicted. If the US goes into contraction I expect the western world to follow. I believe if the US goes into a double dip recession then we’re doomed no matter what fiscal plans are in place.

    That said, extreme external factors do require a change in internal plans although a gentle hand on the tiller would be preferable to thrashing wildly about to try and follow each months figures.

  40. Alan
    “That said, extreme external factors do require a change in internal plans although a gentle hand on the tiller would be preferable to thrashing wildly about to try and follow each months figures.”

    Whatever the causes of the on-going deterioration in the UK economy, IMO a willingness to review and change plan etc is an essential requirement for the holder of the post of Chancellor. Stubbornness is not an attractive or helpful characteristic.

    GO has receive dplenty of warnings that a change of course (eg from the IMF) may be needed.

  41. I can only afford a £10 payg Tesco mobile, a Blackberry is well beyond my means and of my cars, one is 12 years old and the other 18. Does this mean I can claim I’m part of the disadvantaged underclass?

  42. Mike N

    I agree, the question of when to ease in “the existing flexibililty in the plan” is a matter of debate, I believe the time to implement some tax cuts should be soon as it’s becoming apparent that the world IS in trouble and won’t grow as fast as the original predictions.

    It’s not news that cutting taxation is one way to help generate growth, I’m sure GO realises he has this weapon in his arsenal, it’s up to him when he deploys it.

    I’m not sure how he could also go about and ask for a round of QE, as that would help as well.

    As long as the riots are contained quickly, I suspect the damage to the economy as a whole will be minimal, although I’m sure certain regions (of London in particular) will suffer as businesses close or relocate and are not replaced.

  43. Robert Newark
    Maybe, but how old are you? Are you unemployed?

  44. @Robert Newark

    You do understand that in a group of this kind of kid, it’ll be one who has ‘the car’ they all use, one who has the XBox they all use, one who bought the second hand widescreen TV… It’s part of the attraction of forming ‘gangs’, you get to pool resources to buy ‘bling’ which they couldn’t afford individually.

  45. Robert Newark

    The ‘wheels’ you need are on a BMX bike.

  46. @ Bill Patrick, re: Honour.

    Once again, I could scarcely agree more.

    My grandfather was a miner, NUM official and Labour councillor in the days when there were the old, small UDCs. He was elected leader of the council and returned from the meeting to find a big bouquet of flowers on the kitchen table – the council offices’ gardener had sent them as a note of congratulations.

    He immediately marched back up to the offices and handed them back to gardener, saying that he didn’t want any gift that could be misconstrued.

    He also gave me the mother of all bollockings as a young graduate when I accepted a bottle of whisky from a contractor. And rightly so.

    It’s easy to get dewey eyed about the old times (this was the era of Poulson after all) but we could do with a bit more of that attitude in public and professional life.

  47. Leftylampton,

    I watched the classic “I’m Alright Jack” recently. It amazes me that the generally quite mild (by modern standards) misbehaviour in that film was so (rightly) condemned at the time.

    There was a lot that was wrong about the past. There were also some things that were right.

  48. @Ann (in Wales)

    Is this the English Spring?

  49. Liz,
    More like the English nightmare,I would say.Plus Andy
    Murray has just been knocked out in the first round in

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