Full results for the Sunday Times/YouGov poll are now up here. As you’d might expect, given it’s silly season and it’s the only story in the news, the focus is again on the riots.

On the regular leadership trackers there is little change – David Cameron’s job approval stands at minus 12 (from minus 14 last week, and typical of late), Ed Miliband’s is minus 18 (from minus 22, still holding onto the increase he got from hackgate), Nick Clegg’s is minus 42.

As in the Channel 4 poll yesterday the primary causes of the riots are seen as criminality, gang culture and bad parenting (all named by 61% of people when asked to pick the main causes, and the top three when asked to pick the ONE main cause). That is followed, a long way behind, by social deprivation (23%) and unemployment (18%). Very few people though that the government’s cuts (10%) or poor policing (11%) were amongst the main causes.

45% think Cameron responded well to the riots (52% badly), 44% thought Boris responded well (45% badly). These are significantly up on similar questions YouGov asked for the Sun when the riots were still ongoing, which had 28% saying Cameron was doing well and only 24% for Boris – people are presumably viewing their reactions a lot more positively now things have quietened down. In contrast Theresa May is still seen as having reacted badly to the riots (31% well, 53% badly). For the opposition, 40% thought Miliband did well (40% badly) and Harriet Harman 26% well, 44% badly.

66% think the police responded well to the riots, with 31% saying badly – again this is significantly up on YouGov’s poll for the Sun in the week when the number thinked they’d handled it well was 52%. Asked how much confidence they have in the police to protect people and property from rioters 53% of people have some or a lot of confidence, 37% do not have a lot of confidence, 9% have none at all.

On the police cuts 56% of people think they should be cancelled, even if this means bigger cuts elsewhere. 23% of people think they should go ahead. Amongst the COnservative party’s own supporters 47% think the police cuts should be cancelled.

Finally there were some questions on Cameron’s “broken society”. YouGov re-asked a question from back in 2009 about whether people though Britain was a broken society, in regard of the area people themselves lived in, and in relation to the country as a whole. 37% think it is true in relation to the area they live (which is significantly down from 2009 when YouGov originally asked the question) with people most likely to agree in London. 74% think society is broken in Britain as a whole, virtually unchanged from 2009. Comparing ourselves to other European countries, 38% of people think British society is more broken than in other countries, 13% that British society is stronger and more stable and 39% that they are much the same.

There is very little confidence in the government’s policies solving the problems of “broken Britain” – only 22% think the government’s education policies will improve or mend society, 27% their welfare policies, 26% their law and order polices and 22% their economic policies. In every case a larger proportion of respondents think the government’s policies will make the problems in British society worse.


266 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times on the riots”

1 3 4 5 6
  1. Alec

    It’s all very well hiding behind the mantra of those who broke the law went to prison, but you need to understand that the law is written and applied differentially – that’s the point.

    I think there are certain crimes which are straight forward, particularly those of violence and possibly, like me, the general public feel threatened most by these crimes (I have no proof but the reaction in the polls to rioting perhaps confirms this).

    Some cases of fraud, often for vast sums, are very complicated, and the breach of law is quite technical. Of course the rich employ the best lawyers, and that helps them but I think it is more than just favouring the rich over the poor.

  2. Markets are taking a dive on news that Germany has flat rejected the idea of Eurobonds, saying categorically that differential bond rates for member countries are essential to maintain fiscal discipline.

    It’s either full monetary union now or bust, and we need a decision in days rather than weeks.

    Osborne’s stated support for full monetary union in the Eurozone is also historic. For four centuries the central tenant of UK foreign policy has been to prevent the development of a single European power block, which is effectively what Osborne is calling for now.

  3. fiscal union except for the UK?

    hmmm

  4. @Nick Poole – I would imagine that in any other circumstance Osborne would be campaigning against such a move, but at this point in time the option of a complete Euro collapse would be more horrible than the alternatives. Effectively Osborne is telling the Eurozone member states to completely abandon control by national parliaments of their own tax and spend policies in order to save a currency union that he is implacably opposed to as far as the UK is concerned. I don’t see this as classic political inconsistency, but a straightforward calculation on how best to overcome a huge crisis.

  5. @Alec
    “It’s either full monetary union now or bust, and we need a decision in days rather than weeks.”

    It’s bust, the only decision is when to throw in the towel.
    The longer the inevitable’s delayed, the bigger the hole dug and the bigger the fragmentation that results. Three months ago, the threat to the Euro could have been contained by allowing Greece to remove itself from the eurozone and default, Argentina style. Not any more.

  6. Good Afternoon, fresh from canvassing.

    Very interesting article by Tim Montgomerie in today’s TIMES, which gave me room for thought: basically saying that Britain is a great country, and there has never been a better time to be alive- he is contradicting, in his words, the Daily Mail and also the ‘revolutionary’ left. It made be reflect on the shibboleths in my own mind

    Also a very good article about the Sikh community, contradicting in measured and evidential way the speech of Enoch Powel attacking the Sikh’s demands for their rights/rites, and also the Starkey contribution.

    On the economy, some very negative news, also reported extensively this morning in the TIMES, which will, I think, have the deepest impact on the political scene.

  7. To OLD NAT.
    Thank you for the dialogue. I hope that you would not have ‘eased me out’ of your school (!) I suspect we have the same ideas about high expectations for our pupils.

    I spent some of my youth working, on vacation from Oxford, in Approved Schools in Tranent and in Yorkshire, as well as in my early career in tough comprehensive schools (catholic) in Essex and then in Lancashire.

    In English secondary schools, I think the pupils get a good deal in most private schools, in most grammar schools, in most church schools and in the upper sets/bands of the ‘gramprehensive schools= middle class comps.

    Winchester’s local authority school system seems to do very well, for example, as does Richmond’s

    Schools located in poor rural and urban areas are, I think fairly desperate places in which to learn and work.

    I cannot see a way of improving this without some form of academic selection, to provide a ladder for some. But this seems to be a taboo among Labour and Tory politicians.

  8. The popular view of the make up of the rioters as gangstas and feral schoolkids may need a rethink. This from Matthew Taylor in the Guardian:

    After a chaotic start, cases are beginning to churn through the system at Westminster magistrates court in central London.

    The two judges have dealt with an array of defendants, including a lifeguard, a woman who works with children with learning disabilities and a 15 year old boy – all of whom are accused of being involved in the riots and looting.

    Along with the millionaire’s daughter and the teacher’s assistant and the olympic ambassador. I wonder what the final breakdown will be…how many will be the archetypal lost generation benefit recipient?

  9. Full monetary union of Eurozone countries would be a Große Deutsche Reich in all but name, which would probably only be acceptable to Germany, Luxemburg (which was within the pre-1866 Zollverein) and Austria, and would probably be actively opposed by the other (non-German) states who use the euro. I also can’t believe that this would be supported by the UK, whose attitude to Europe since the Tudor era has been to oppose any monolithic state establishing itself on the other side of the English Channel.

  10. Might be a dangerous time. Remeber De Menezes and the police being too ready to shoot after 7/7.

    There’s reports that armed police have descended on a group of 11-15 year olds on their bikes for possession of smarties:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/aug/14/uk-riots-aftermath-live-coverage at 1.36 pm

  11. Nick – I doubt we’ll ever have the data to know. The *unusual* people stand out, and commented on by the media… but they are anecdotes, there is no comprehensive data on the make up of those people charged – especially not the “feral schoolkids”, as the media can normally only identify those over the age of 18.

    Around 1,600 people have been arrested, around 900 charged so far. The media has given us info on the occupations of a tiny proportion of those, probably heavily skewed towards the interesting, unexpected and surprising.

    We have no idea of the demographic breakdown of the mass of those people, and unless there is any academic analysis going on (one hopes theres is), we probably never will.

  12. Poll on Sky News h ttp://news.sky.com/home/politics – Who’s got it right about the causes of the riots? David Cameron 69% Ed Miliband 31%

  13. AW…surely some analysis will be done?

  14. So Cameron wants to deal with ‘gang culture’ and 125000 problem families by 2015.

    Without the money this is going to be very difficult. If he wants to import US style policing, that will also cost. Bill Bratton increased Police numbers in LA by about 20% to start dealing with the problems there and they still have major problems.

    See this link to get an idea of some of the US problems and the number of street gangs there.

    http://www.streetgangs.com/

    Remember that if the UK Police start to become militarised and go in hard, some of these gangs supported by drugs lords will get hold of more guns. You could end up in a worse situation.

  15. @AW – “We have no idea of the demographic breakdown of the mass of those people, and unless there is any academic analysis going on (one hopes theres is), we probably never will.”

    We do have something. Of the 1600 or so arrested, 20.88% only are classified as juveniles.

    This does perhaps indicate that @Nick Poole’s reference to ‘feral schoolkids’ might be apposite.

  16. @Katie; that poll is a poll of those who visit the Sky news Politics site, so it has an inherently biased sample and isn’t representative of the nation.

  17. Nick – only if the data is collected seperately somewhere, and doesn’t just go into the mix of everyone charged with violent disorder, theft, etc. Alec’s comment about the age breakdown suggests that I might be being overly pessimistic though, and perhaps someone is crunching the data after all.

    Exactly what data is obtained and who it is available to is a different matter (and even then, it is assuming that there is no systemic skew in which rioters ended up being caught and charged)

    Katie – as Top Hat has said, it’s voodoo poll. Open-access, unrepresentive sample, worthless.

  18. @ Anthony Wells

    Ref Sky Poll.

    Yes of course as a poll it is worthless.

    However having such a strong poll for Cameron flashing up on the Sky News screen over lunchtime must have some subliminal effect on watchers and sets the tone for future reporting.

  19. I accept that there is no proper data behind it, but the poll was being run by Boulton and Co during their 1.00 p.m. broadcast, so it gives an indication of initial reaction to the speeches by both Ed Miliband and David Cameron. I have watched Sky News all day and there has been constant reporting of the speeches, so I think it would be a broad mix of people who voted as there was no bias towards either speech in the reporting of them. The poll will only allow you to vote once, so there is no influencing of people voting more than once for their favourite.

  20. katie

    You think people can only vote once?

    Reminds me of that old adage, “vote early and vote often”.

  21. People can vote multiple times extremely easily; I just did so myself to check. All you need is an easy proxy.

    Additionally, the people who watch Sky News tend to be the people who do not like BBC News, which is generally, if not always, those of right-leaning tendencies. It’s certainly not as broad a mix as Britain is.

  22. JOHN FLETCHER and Katie.

    I think the sky poll shows that.,despite being worthy and decent, Ed Miliband probably does not have what it takes to ‘speak to England’.
    Labour’s modern-day Kinnock?

    Contrast Ed’s performance with Blair after the tragedy of the killing of the little boy in Liverpool, and how Blair ruthlessly pinched Gordon’s line: tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime.

  23. It might prove to be the fact that Ed doesn’t speak to England or the UK. We shall see.

    But the Sky poll only proves that Tories are more inclined to sit there clicking on on line polls repeatedly than Labour.

  24. http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2011/aug/11/uk-riots-magistrates-court-list

    This is a link to a comprehensive breakdown of all those charged over the riots. Only some people’s professions are listed, otherwise all details of age, sex, place of residence, what charged with, plea etc are specified.

  25. Katie

    I think it would be a broad mix of people who voted

    Almost certainly not. Even if it weren’t self-selecting and subject to manipulation, presumably the people watching wouldn’t include many of those in work and a lot of retired people. It would be based on people who have a BSkyB subscription etc.

    Actually I was thinking that 35% was quite good for Miliband in those circumstances. ;)

  26. I suspect the Tory party HQ monitor online polling such as on the Skynews site and then send out tweets facebook messages, texts and emails etc, alerting people to the poll taking place.

    I have seen this before with other polls.

    Fair play to the Tories for their organisation and it is up to Labour to find the finances to do the same.

  27. chrislane1945

    ‘speak to England’.

    I think we’ve had this discussion before. The phrase is “Speak FOR England” – as Amery said in “My Political Life” (1955)

    Arthur Greenwood rose to speak for the Opposition. I dreaded a purely partisan speech, and called out to him across the floor of the House “Speak for England”

  28. Anthony

    Political betting has an interesting article up, based on the latest South West Poll from Marketing Means. I’m not convinced by Mike Smithson’s argument that there’s a more general drop in Labour’s vote, but a revival of tactical voting in the South West would give the Tories extra worries. Fieldwork was 3-7 August so before the riots.

  29. The Marketing Means info page is here:

    http://www.marketingmeans.co.uk/News/South-West-Poll-Results-August-2011.aspx

    and you can link through to the summary report and tables from there. Sample size was only 604 and they then start sub-sampling to fairly ridiculous effect, but it’s better than nothing.

    (Of course if we could put more than one link into a comment I wouldn’t have to split them up WOULD I ANTHONY)

  30. Katie

    its the equivalent of those fox news (SN sister organisation) “polls” that ‘showed’ that 80% of Americans thought Obama was both a Muslim and not born on American soil.

    I’d quietly drop this one if I were you: this site (principally about polling) is probably the WORST place where you could try and justify the ‘findings’ of such a ‘poll’ :D

  31. Really good article by Warren Buffett on tax in the NY Times,

    Worth taking a few minutes to read.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/15/opinion/stop-coddling-the-super-rich.html?_r=2&ref=opinion

  32. R Huckle – I don’t think the party HQs do bother trying to fix voodoo polls anymore, they are both too ubiquitious and too widely recognised as rubbish amongst the commentariat. Back in the day they certainly went to great lengths to do it – especially the old Today Programme’s Man of the Year vote – but these days, nah.

    They are, as everyone has rightfully pointed out*, rubbish nevertheless. The audience of any news programme is heavily skewed towards people interested in current affairs, during the daytime to the retired and on a pay-TV platform, to the affluent and middle class. There may well be a partisan skew as well. They are also heavily skewed towards people who can be bothered enough to vote. All voodoo polls are crap, no ifs, no buts, no nothing. They are unsalvagable.

    (*I’m very proud of you all ;) )

    Thanks Roger – I’ve been intending to post on it but haven’t had chance. Busy day.

  33. here’s an analysis of the riots I liked (fits in with my prejudices probably).

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/aug/14/young-british-rioters-political-actions

    Long before it became clear that we were heading for a double-dip recession, the notion that a single dip on this scale would cause social unrest was not just predictable but predicted – not just by the left but by, among others, the guardians of global capital.

    Warnings came from the new head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde; the police; the ratings agency Moody’s and the UN’s International Labour Organisation. As the deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg, pointed out before the last election, the likelihood of unrest would be exacerbated under conditions of economic austerity: “Imagine the Conservatives go home and get an absolute majority, on 25% of the eligible votes,” Clegg said. “They then turn around in the next week or two and say we’re going to chuck up VAT to 20%, we’re going to start cutting teachers, cutting police and the wage bill in the public sector. I think if you’re not careful in that situation … you’d get Greek-style unrest.” The Tories got 23% of the eligible vote. Despite not winning an absolute majority, it all happened anyway.

  34. @alec

    Woo, big statements. I’ll have to break this into three parts to answer. This is part 1

    You wrote “…Markets are taking a dive on news that Germany has flat rejected the idea of Eurobonds, saying categorically that differential bond rates for member countries are essential to maintain fiscal discipline…”

    If you’re referring to this h ttp://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/0,1518,780282,00.html , it’s a bit more subtle than that. The FDP (junior partners in the German Coalition Government) are banging the table and screaming “Nein Nein Nein”, threatening to bring down the Coalition if Germany agrees to Eurobonds. While this is so far, so Godwin, the opposition SDP are firmly pro-Eurobonds, so this may be an empty threat. (Hopefully, Virgilio wil step in at this point and explain this better than I can).

    However, the question is not whether Germany *can* agree to Eurobonds (it can), it’s whether it *will*. And it might not.

    Regards, Martyn

  35. @alec (part 2)

    You then wrote “…It’s either full monetary union now or bust, and we need a decision in days rather than weeks…”

    Er, this is repeated so often in the UK media it’s hit echochamber status (a meme of such popularity that it need only be repeated, not questioned). I am reminded of commentators in the runup to Gulf War II insisting that France must agree to a Security Council resolution because, you know, IT JUST MUST, OK? But it didn’t. Similarly, the alternatives are not a) Eurobonds or b) Eurocollapse, despite the fact that everybody says that’s the only two choices. As Willem Buiter in the FT pointed out in July, and Double-Barreled Whatsisname keeps pointing out in the Telegraph, an ECB that purchases Govt bonds and undertakes QE a l’outrance may be all it needs (although that in itself is pretty big).

    Regards, Martyn

  36. @alec (part 3), @daodao

    Alec wrote “…Osborne’s stated support for full monetary union in the Eurozone is also historic. For four centuries the central tenet of UK foreign policy has been to prevent the development of a single European power block, which is effectively what Osborne is calling for now…”, and Daodao wrote “…I also can’t believe that this would be supported by the UK, whose attitude to Europe since the Tudor era has been to oppose any monolithic state establishing itself on the other side of the English Channel…”

    This is why having a Eurosceptic government (ok, Eurorealist government with Eurosceptic party members) is a bad idea.

    when Osborne calls for a fiscal/transfer union, it’s OK in his mind, because he thinks the EU (the Eurozone, in this case) already is a monolithic bloc with a single intent and the power to enact that intent quickly. This concept is popular amongst Eurosceptics, and it informs their approach. Consequently, we get a Conservative (!) government that *encourages* the creation of a proto-superstate (throwing away English foreign policy since the Reformation, incidentally), because in their mind, it already is such a beastie.

    But when Osborne assumes the Eurozone countries (EZ-17) can amalgamate into a fiscal/transfer union quickly, and that the EZ-17 want to do this, he’s making a big mistake – the EZ-17 can barely agree on anything, many of them *don’t* want such an union, and *none* of them can do it quickly. Bear in mind it took Lisbon several years and two Irish referenda to be ratified by the EU-27. How long do you think it’ll take to ratify this? It’ll be *years*.

    So I’ll stick my neck out here: you won’t see Eurobonds issued this year, and not next year either.

    Regards, Martyn

  37. Listening to the comments on the riots, it is clear that there is little new in the world.

    “The whole framework of society rests upon the masses. If they be in a healthy state, physically and morally, then all goes well; but if they be in an unhealthy and corrupted state, then the social edifice is like a stately building erected on the summit of a slumbering volcano; to the careless inspector, all seems solid and secure, although it is every moment liable to be swallowed up in the abyss beneath.”

    is a classic right wing stance, while the following

    “the lower orders of society are, we admit, more frequent transgressors against the laws than the higher; but this is owing to their distressed positions not ignorance; for the same vices which break out into crimes among them, are still more rife under different modifications in the upper circles where all the advantages of school knowledge abound. Difference of social position occasions all the difference of results in the two cases.”

    sounds very like some of the comments on here.

    Both quotes are from early 19th century Scottish articles.

  38. @Rob Sheffield

    ‘its the equivalent of those fox news (SN sister organisation) “polls” that ‘showed’ that 80% of Americans thought Obama was both a Muslim and not born on American soil.’

    Thanks for your advice. I read this site all the time, but don’t really comment (I think I did once or maybe twice before). I put up the poll result with tongue firmly in cheek, as it appears to be 90% Labour and 10% Cons voters who post and I knew mentioning that David Cameron got a better reaction than David Miliband would generate the response I got. I would have expected a totally different reaction if it had been the other way round :-)

  39. Just to add a little humour to the thread.

    “‘David Cameron looks a fat mess’: Sex and the City stylist Patricia Field says the Prime Minister has let himself go

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2024051/David-Cameron-looks-fat-mess-Sex-City-stylist-Patricia-Field-says-Prime-Minister-let-go.html#ixzz1V73aNdVh

    I can’t see You Gov adding a question to their polling about this.!!!!!!

  40. Alec

    Markets are taking a dive on news that Germany has flat rejected the idea of Eurobonds, saying categorically that differential bond rates for member countries are essential to maintain fiscal discipline.

    Seem ok now, perhaps just a blip.

  41. Katie
    I put up the poll result with tongue firmly in cheek, as it appears to be 90% Labour and 10% Cons voters who post and …

    There are at least 2 lib dems, and quite a sprinkling of others.

    May I suggest that if you disagree with what you perceive to be 90% of the posters then perhaps you should make a few contributions.

  42. Katie

    However you should note that although you can display your parties colours, the postings must always be non-partisan (as per AWs C Policy) otherwise you may get snipped.

  43. Chris Lane,it is interesting to read in”A Journey” how this
    immortal phrase actually came into being.And no,EM is
    not a modern day Neil Kinnock.IMHO.

  44. R Huckle

    “‘David Cameron looks a fat mess’: Sex and the City stylist Patricia Field says the Prime Minister has let himself go”

    The Mail really does not like DC;

  45. @ OLDNAT

    “How do you avoid such decisions condemning large numbers of people to being outlawed from society? I have no idea.”

    Is that what really happens though?

    I don’t know what the answer is either but surely we are not saying a LA can impose no conditions of behaviour for it’s tenants?

    @LIZ

    “Shouldn’t some of the criticism be aimed at our consumerist society?”

    Yes-but parents can always say -no -I can’t afford it.
    It doesn’t make her popular but my daughter has to say things like that.

    @ NEILA

    Thanks for informative posts.

  46. @Roger Mexico

    ‘Almost certainly not. Even if it weren’t self-selecting and subject to manipulation, presumably the people watching wouldn’t include many of those in work and a lot of retired people. It would be based on people who have a BSkyB subscription etc.’

    I used to work for the largest energy company in the UK and Sky News was on televisions hung from walls around all the offices at our site, all day every day (muted). Sky News is actually free to air on digital which I presume is now across most of the UK, unfortunately to watch it legally, you have to pay for a left leaning BBC licence.

  47. Very surprised at EM’s speech. He is looking for political difference & I wonder whether that chimes with the public mood.

    To describe IDS’ proposals & ideas as “kneejerk” after all the years the man has spent developing them is daft. Say they are wrong -or flawed -but they aren’t “knee-jerk”

    I’m not sure that the “Bankers were bad too-and this is a factor in the riots” gets us very far in solutions to the gangs/disfunctional families either.
    Inequality is an issue certainly-but does Labour’s record look good on this point?.

    EM said the bankers “ruined our savings” -when did they do that actually. THey lent a lot of money to people who weren’t credit worthy, took bonuses for doing it, then asked the taxpayer to fund the bad debt write offs……..but how & when did they ruin our “savings”.?

    I thought I heard DC say 125,000 of the most troubled families would be “turned round” in this parliament. GB always used a figure of 50,000. So how did it more than double-and if this was just an “aspiration” , & DC fails on it it will come back to bite him.

    It seems all these initiatives are to be wrapped up in an announcement in October. THe elements all stack up to me-but on IDS’ family intervention & gang member mentoring, unless adequate funding is clearly there it will all look like window dressing.

    And presumably the close policing / harassing of gang leaders needs a police chief who will implement it. I hope they think long & hard about the Met appointment & make absolutely certain that the successful candidate is signed up to government policy.

    This is all positive ground for DC -but they have to get it right & make it look credible.

  48. Colin,

    I support Ed’s take on the root cause of the riots. I am comforted that he has not jumped the to right, even though it would get easy votes.

    What I want from a Labour leader is do the right thing, even if not immediately popular.

    I firmly believe he is doing this.

  49. Henry

    ‘May I suggest that if you disagree with what you perceive to be 90% of the posters then perhaps you should make a few contributions.’

    As I said earlier, I read the site all the time and enjoy it immensely. As much as I don’t agree with a lot of the views expressed, I accept that they are all valid and I like to see the way most of you, whilst it being obvious where your allegiences lie, do respond objectively. Whilst I take a very keen interest in Politics, I do so merely as a voter, not as an active member of a party, which I get the impression most posters are on here; so I will continue to read the site with great interest, but I don’t really think my views would add anything to the conversation.

  50. @alec

    Oh, I see: you were referring to this (h ttp://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/0,1518,780248,00.html ), not this (h ttp://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/0,1518,780282,00.html ) – serves me right for showing off by quoting the article in German.

    So, the CDU is against Eurobonds as well, not just the FDP. Consequently I assume the odds on them ever happening must be slight.

    Regards, Martyn

1 3 4 5 6