YouGov’s daily poll for the Sun yesterday had topline figures of CON 36%, LAB 43%, LDEM 9% – nothing out of line with the recent YouGov averages. Crime had predictably shot up the list of what people thought were the important issues facing the country, 48% of people picked crime (up from 23% a fortnight ago), making it the second most picked issue after the economy.
There were also a series on questions specifically on the riots. While 91% of people thought it was right that Cameron & Boris Johnson had returned from their holidays, they were generally seen as having handled the riots badly so far. Only 28% thought Cameron & May had handled them well, 24% thought Boris had handled it well (though of course, much of the fieldwork was done prior to Cameron & Johnson having done anything but get on a plane!). People were on balance positive about how the police had handled the riots- 52% thought they had handled them well, but a large minority (43%) thought they’d done badly.
Asked if the police should be able to use various tactics in response to riots provoked some pretty gung ho responses – 90% of people thought they should be able to use water cannon, 84% mounted police, 82% curfews, 78% tear gas, 72% tasers, 65% plastic bullets, 33% live ammunition. 77% thought that the army should be brought in.
People also tended to feel that most of those rioting would get away with it. Only 13% thought that the majority of most of those rioting would eventually be prosecuted and punished, 67% thought that the majority would get away with it, 18% that most or all would get away with it.