Yesterday’s YouGov poll for the Sun had the first Libya questions since the rebels entered Tripoli. Full tabs are up here.

Public opinion on how well the West’s intervention in Libya and on whether it was right or wrong for the West to intervene have predictably flipped. Support for the West’s intervention had been standing at an August average of 33% thinking it right, 44% wrong – that has flipped to 41% right, 35% wrong. 25% of people had been thinking it was going well, 51% badly – that has flipped to 52% well, 26% badly. 47% of people now think that David Cameron has responded well to the situation in Libya, 33% badly.

If Gaddafi surrenders, 58% want to see him sent for trial at the International Criminal Court, 26% think Libya should try him. If he is found guilty 33% want to see him executed, 49% given life imprisonment. 39% would be happy if Gaddafi was killed in the conflict, 38% would rather he was captured alive so he can be put on trial. Finally on Libya, only 17% of people think we should send in British troops to keep order under the new regime. 38% would be happy to send police advisors, 42% would be happy for us to send emergency cash, food and medical aid.

On the wider impact of the Arab Spring, 23% are more optimistic about the future for the Middle East, 35% are less optimistic. People tend to think events in the Middle East will result in it being more democratic and more respectful of human rights… but also think it will be less peaceful and more vulnerable to terrorism.

162 Responses to “Latest YouGov polling on Libya”

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  1. Alec

    ‘While an improvement on the current situation, frankly, it stinks. I know there are lots of differences, but if we to attach the same level of zero tolerance to this form of tax avoidance as we did to rioters and looters we might get a sense of fairness stemming from this’.

    I too get annoyed by both tax evaders and benefit cheats, and sometimes people are both. I think it is unlikely that the public in general is as upset by these crimes as the violence and threats to civil unrest of the riots. As probably most people, I have been cheated, short changed, over-charged, etc, and this makes me annoyed, but I was absolutely furious and bitterly angry when a relative of mine was beaten up by a mindless thug, who they did not even know.

    ‘I still don’t get why we simply close borders to any juristiction refusing to comply with our tax laws. Why do we allow UBS to operate in the UK when they won’t cooperate with HMRC?’

    Probably because we are a global trading country and to close our borders to countries that do not match or follow our own laws would lead us back into ‘splendid isolation’. I expect a lot of the Swiss feel they are being bullied by UK and US and would prefer to have nothing to do with them; however, their politicians are much more pragmatic.

  2. @Rob S

    Your last post was absolutely spot on and echoes my sentiments exactly, especially the point about faux impartiality.


    Again, I agree. The real enemy to sensible debate is a lack of proportion, thin skin, pomposity, self-righteousness and a tendency to earnestness. Passion, even if a little misplaced, I like, but we always need to leaven our views with some degree of self-deprecation and humour. As Neil A rightly says; none of us are monopolists of wisdom.

    That said, save me from a forum where we all violently agree with each other!!

  3. oldnat @ DavidB

    I’m interested to know why there are so many Scots (of all persuasions) here.

    5-party split vote politcs more interesting?
    additional independence issue?
    mission to explain Home Rule parliament (JBD

  4. “But the UN Charter on Libya was not to bring down the regime, it was to prevent Ghadafi from attacking and killing his own people.
    Exactly what is being done by the Syrian government now.”

    And, unfortunately, there is nothing we can do to stop this, at least not by force. The rebellion in Syria is on a much smaller scale. We saw with Libya that even with a big enough revolution to place one third of the country in enemy hands and air support, it was at times touch and go whether they could hold Bhengazi. There’s no chance that doing the same in Syria would have stopped the Syrian army doing their worst in the rebel strongholds.

    There is a valid debate over whether NATO overstepped the UN mandate, but engaging in a fruitless air campaign that won’t even save the areas already controlled by rebels is not protecting civilians. Unless you insist that we send in ground troops to any country where we can’t protect civilians from the air (which is impossible), there is no double standard.

  5. Oldnat

    “I’m interested to know why there are so many Scots (of all persuasions) here.”

    We don’t have one of the rare closet members of the anthematised do we?

  6. I see the GCSE results announced today reveal an improvement for the 24th consecutive year, although I rather suspect and fear that this won’t stop the usual sceptics pouring scorn on our education system and belittling the achievements of our young people. To rebut in advance some of their usual lines of attack, I rather liked this quote from Christine Blower, the general secretary of the National Union of Teachers.

    She said this: “GCSE results this year are outstanding and the hard work that has gone into them should be applauded.

    “For all young people to be able to reach their full potential we need to rid ourselves of this idea that an education system familiar to those who attended school towards the middle of the last century is the only way forward”.

    As the father of two sons, both state educated and recent GCSE and A Level completers, one of whom is very soon to start at Sheffield University, I say a hearty “hear, hear and well said” to the good Mrs Blower!

  7. Girls out stripping boys still I see. Many years back it used to be the other way round, and because girls were, relatively, underperforming the system was changed (my understanding is the courses moved away from being marked entirely on one-off end of course exams and started to embrace “coursework”. But imight be wrong, and in the era of google, coursework might mean more about a willingness to actually hand in homework than learn much).

    Now that boys are “underperforming” shouldn’t we change the system again? Or are we going to accept that boys are thicker than girls?


    “As I wrote a few months ago- to howls from wounded Scots Nats- I posited that the volume of posters and postings increases when one particular ‘team’ has clearly and irrefutably had a big win.”

    Many of the postings you complained of were mine, and I am not a nationalist.

    We had a real poll, two in fact. with 100% sample and 100% intention to vote showing a huge change which was far beyond any prediction of the most optimistic nationalist.

    When we had got hindsight, it was necessary to analyse it.

    One candidate elected turned up to the count in casual clothes, not expecting to make a victory speech, and another left before the result and was on the way home when he had to drive off the road to recover his composure. He has since had to pay court costs for failing to attend court when he was on parliamentary business and is struggling to wind up his business and prepare for his new role.

    That’s how unexpected it was.

    From the polling point of view, there needs to be analysis of why it was so unpredicted and there hasn’t been the attention it needs.

    Credit is due to Oldnat for pointing out the theoretical arithmetical possibility, but if he had offered it as a prediction – or anything remotely like it – we would have thought he was as mad as The Oracle. You may laugh, but that’s the scale of it.

    The result showed a huge movement in public opinion, not only in the collapse of the LibDem vote, but the fracturing of Labour vote in its heartlands.

    Labour is in either in denial or hasn’t looked closely enough at the results. Whichever the reason, they were not likely to adress their problem effectively, and so it has proved since.

    The 2011 result raises the question, for which we desperately need more polling, whether Westmnster voting intention may be moving in the same way.

    If so, English posters and the UK political parties need to assess the likely consequences of a range of options some of which involve a loss of Labour seats large enough to make a majority in the UK parliament difficult to obtain. If that happens, and depending on the balance of parties in England, there are some very unpalatable choices on offer for Lab or Con or both.

    One thing is clear beyond dispute:


    That is a fact that is of huge importance to a polling site.

    That’s without considering that the result may presage the end of the UK as we know it. Is that not more important than much that is discussed here?

  9. Amber

    “The TNC, it is two old men, ex-members of Gaddafi’s regime, holed up in Bengahzi or maybe not even in Libya!”

    Interesting that you got their name wrong by leaving out the most important word-INTERIM-the clue is in the name Amber.

    Their job is to write a constitution & call elections.

    If you want to know their credentials for current office -and how many of them there are-try their website-or watch some TV-they meet world leaders quite a lot these days.

    By the way Jalil-one of the “old men” you so sneeringly refered to-Chairman of THe Council -a lawyer- is going to submit himself for trial because he served in a Gaddaffi position-from which he resigned-twice :-)

    Pity Gadaffi doesn’t do the same don’t you think ?

  10. @John B Dick

    You said “…I’m interested to know why there are so many Scots (of all persuasions) here…”

    Er, people who are based in Scotland are (very approximately) 10% of the UK pop’n, and there are (very approximately) 4/5 posters here who are based in Scotland. Given that we have at least one poster from the US (SoCalLib) and Europe (Virgilio), there isn’t really a massive Scot bias.

    Possibly posters here are more left-wing than the general population (certainly compared to politicalbetting dot com). Interestingly, they *may*[1] also be older, wealthier, and more likely to be in a profession.

    Regards, Martyn

    [1]: that’s just “the numbers in my head”, not “a conclusion reached after rigorous study”, so I might be wrong, so don’t quote me… :-(

  11. Nick Poole
    “Girls out stripping boys still I see”
    I wish they were out doing that when I was a boy! :)

    (Sorry, couldn’t resist)

  12. GCSE results are indeed rising. Trouvle is the focus on League tables menas schools and teachers and governments care more about the targets and not individual childre, so you find many kids leqve without qulqificqtions or hope. All govts to blame…

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