Full tabs from the YouGov/Sunday Times poll are now up here, asking about the normal sort of grab-bag of subjects that the Sunday Times normally choose when the news agenda hasn’t been eaten by a single topic like the riots!

There is very little support for putting British troops on the ground in Libya, even post-Gaddafi. Only 22% would support troops being deployed to help the new regime. Neither is there much support for any intervention in Syria – only 21% of people would support a Libya-style intervention in Syria.

On taxation, YouGov asked about various tax cuts (and in one case, tax increase) that have been mooted. The most popular proposals were cutting VAT and fuel duty, both supported by 86%. A married couples tax allowance was supported by 66% of respondents. Abolishing the 50% rate was only supported by 23% of people, with 59% opposed. The Lib Dem idea of a “mansion tax” was supported by 63% of people.

On petrol prices, YouGov asked whether people thought the oil companies themselves were taking advantage of the public with high prices – 52% of people thought they were, 36% thought the fault lay with world oil prices and the government’s taxes.

The recent deal with Switzerland on taxing private bank accounts was seen as a good deal for Britain by almost two-thirds of people (65%), with 11% thinking it was a bad deal. 40% of people thought it was acceptable for British people with Swiss bank accounts to still remain anonymous, 45% thought it was not acceptable.

In the benefit questions, people are evenly split on whether cuts to benefits are too large (28%), about right (26%) or not large enough (27%). On the specific policy of capping housing benefit, 75% supported it “even if this means people are forced to move house if they live in an area where the rent is high” (broadly comparable to when YouGov asked a similarly worded question last November for Channel 4). 56% of people think that EU citizens should not be allowed to claim benefits in other countries, 30% think they should.

Finally on planning, people are evenly split over whether current planning laws are too relaxed or too restrictive – 23% think it is too easy to build, 20% too difficult, 33% that it is about right. On the principles of the government’s proposals to simplify central planning rules, give more power to councils and have a presumption in favour of development, 54% support and 21% are opposed. However, asked about the National Trust’s criticisms of the proposals, 44% back the NT and think the change will pose a risk to the countryside, compared to 25% who think the NT are exaggerating.

This is broadly what I would expect on a subject where most people will have little or no detailled knowledge – neutral options on the status quo, a broadly positive reaction to things that sound good on the surface like simplifying and devolving power, but when faced with opposing claims from the government and a charity, people are going to tend to back the charity over the politicians.


375 Responses to “More from the YouGov/Sunday Times polls”

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  1. @ Old Nat

    “Well what do you expect from imperialists who confuse the “USSR” with “Russia”?”

    As George Kennan would have said, there was no real difference. Still isn’t.

  2. TingedFringe

    I think you may be confusing “his” and “the early church” as having much similarity!

    I eagerly await Amber’s dismemberment of you, for suggesting that Paul’s attitude to women was “spot on”. :-)

  3. SoCalLiberal

    “there was no real difference. Still isn’t.”

    See what I mean? Just like your imperialist countrymen refer to the UK as England! :-)

  4. @TINGE FRINGE
    Jesus is not a good example. As the son of God (to believers) it matters not what his earthly job was. Whilst certain television hosts would have people believe a Beetle or “Stone” or some such, are also children of the gods, they are not.

  5. @johnbull2011

    I’d ditch my tiny hatchback and get a 125cc motorbike for the work commute if it was feasible, but I really don’t fancy risking death every day because of idiot car users who are driving on autopilot. Talk to any biker and you’ll hear many stories of such close shaves. Ditching any form of personal transport would mean unemployment . If the government wants to limit car use they need to give us an alternative instead of slashing the subsidies for public transport with one hand and gouging us at the pumps with the other.

    How many people just drive around for the hell of it anyway? I hate driving, it’s boring and very tiring.

  6. “I think you may be confusing “his” and “the early church” as having much similarity!”
    Oh, I’m talking pre-Paul.
    I’m talking Acts 4:32-34 and Acts 5:1-10.
    Property shared communally ‘and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.’

    (Then people (quite literally) dying of shame for not fully contributing. ;) )

    It’s actually probably the origins of the Marxist/Socialist phrase, ‘From each according to his ability, to each according to his need’.

    I almost completely disagree with Paul – but Jesus’ liberal teachings about forgiveness and tolerance were spot on.
    As were his anti-materialist [1] and redistributive [2] teachings.

    [1] Matthew 6:19-24
    [2] Matthew 25:31-46

  7. The problem with religion i.e. Christianity is that, by its very nature, it imposes itself on society. This is particularly the case with social policy, where it dictates how people should behave; relationships i.e. marriage being an obvious example. This makes it irrelevant in a modern democratic world. Whether someone gets married or not doesn’t – and shouldn’t – matter. Nor do most of the religious and moral teachings. It’s yet another example of one group trying to impose their backward ideologies on a modern forward-thinking 21st century society.

  8. @Alec

    Good points, the west lothian question is possibly an issue but it should be thought through carefully and Wales has to be taken into account as well.
    (I’m not sure about exact opinion about this in England but I’d say that right wingers are more concenred with Englanish national identity).

    I still think it’s most likely that Labour will trail the tories by about 2% or so in England (on around 37/38% or so) come the election but obviously won’t have a 90+ seat lead over the tories like in 2005.

  9. It’s like one of those nature documentaries. A shower of Conservative rain in the form of a mildly better poll, and suddenly the desert blooms blue as all the Tory commenters come out.

    Hardly surprising; the last few polls have been surprisingly pro Tory. I am sure they were preparing for months of being somewhere between 10 and 12% behind in the polls until the economy looked up. While YouGov appears to show LDs at rock bottom I am not convinced that they are so right and other pollsters so wrong.

  10. Of course, many religious people are tolerant, but the problem is that religion expounds the idea that there should be ideals in morality. There aren’t – and we fought for freedom on the basis that people should be allowed to choose how to live their lives.

  11. TingedFringe

    Fair dos.

  12. “The problem with religion i.e. Christianity is that, by its very nature, it imposes itself on society.”
    I think you’re confusing religion with ideologues. This is why we have secularism – so you can be religious as you like, but you can’t use that religion as an excuse to oppress others.
    That’s the thing about religion – it can be used to liberate or oppress, but it’s morally neutral.

    You wouldn’t deny Martin Luther King Jnr his faith – or the socialists who invited him to the March on Washington that he gave his ‘I have a dream’ speech from. ;)

  13. Tinged Fringe

    ‘No, but I think his and the early church’s brand of socialism was spot on’.

    I did not think the Christians were linked to any one party, that is until the current A of C arrived. Now there is a true socialist; only problem is he is neglecting his job and seeing the church attendance for C of E decimated.

  14. TingedFringe,

    That’s the the problem though imo – that some people pre-suppose that many people’s good deeds come from their religious faith. It doesn’t; people are capable of great acts without religion or faith. Faith isn’t the driver – humanity is.

  15. “I did not think the Christians were linked to any one party”
    Socialism isn’t a party – it’s a group of philosophies.
    And the simple fact is that early socialists, like Henri de Saint-Simon (who coined the word ‘socialism’) were deeply religious and inspired by the redistributive teachings of Jesus.

    While not religious, I agree with their reading of the gospels – which, it seems to me, to be pretty clear on the message about the distribution of wealth and treatment of the poor. ;)

    Oh God, what sort of discussion have I started?

  16. “I think you’re confusing religion with ideologues.”

    I don’t agree. Religion, even to this day, is trying to impose itself on British society and politics. It’s out-dated, and fortunately most in my generation reject religion in favour of a modern 21st century form of secularism.

  17. Back to the poll.

    I see 61% of Scots respondents gave a Support/Oppose view on a change in English planning laws!

    (To be fair, probably at least 61% of any group of respondents would also have given an opinion on the proposed change of planning law in Canberra – whether that is of any value to anyone [other than the Sunday Times] is more questionable.)

  18. David B

    The Con’s poll rating is going to suffer as the economy worsens and if o get a double dip (Q3 and Q4 or Q4 and Q1 2012perhaps) the coalition wil be in real trouble and all bets are off.

    I would not be surprised to see a GE next May and believe that the Labour party is taking that contingency on board in policyt developments terms, and this may become moe apparent at the Conference.

    If you are right and a betting man take a look at Ladbrookes (4-1) against a 2012 GE and you will probably get good odds on an overall Labour victory too.

  19. TingedFringe

    “Oh God, what sort of discussion have I started?”

    Maybe the opening appeal in that sentence answers your question. :-)

  20. “While not religious, I agree with their reading of the gospels – which, it seems to me, to be pretty clear on the message about the distribution of wealth and treatment of the poor. ;)”

    I do agree, though I don’t think you need religion (or the gospel) to teach you this. ;)

  21. ““Oh God, what sort of discussion have I started?”

    Maybe the opening appeal in that sentence answers your question. :-) ”

    They say that religion and politics always lead to arguments. ;)

  22. TingedFringe
    “Oh God, what sort of discussion have I started?”

    I’m sure that He will answer your question in due course. ;)

  23. Pete B

    “He”? :-)

  24. AmberStar @ John B Dick

    “This ‘promise’ to hold Westminster hostage was made by Alex Salmond in 2010, when he said the SNP could take 20 Westminster seats.”

    I didn’t know that, did he actually make the threat, and if so did he say “hostage”, or did he just claim they would take 20 seats or state it as an objective?

    Because of the FPTP jackpot, once you break through the tipping point, it isn’t difficult to get more seats than your share of the poll. 30 seats is only a slightly further reach than 20. That old objective of half the seats should be the SNP’s target now.

    They did’t get 20 seats last time but that doesn’t mean it is not within the range of moderately likely outcomes next time.

    We have no polls that might enlighten us.

    “But by all means, propose the same strategy for the next election… it worked out pretty well for Labour, in Scotland at least, the last time around.”

    What connection do you see between your supposed cause, and the effects? That’s a really tenuous argument. Might it not be that the leader debates – among many othe factors – were far more important?

    In any case it’s not so much a strategy for a campaign as a small range among many possible outcomes.

    Contrary to what you have said, I have said many unfavourable things about SLAB in the SP, but I have never called them complacent. In denial, yes, but that’s not the same.

    Your comment that what happened last time will happen next time certainly is complacent. The whole point of having an election every few years is to see if people take a different view of their MP and the goverment.

    If there was little chance of change this site would not exist.

    The past is an uncertain guide to the future.

    My point is not that I think there will be a critically large contingent of SNP MP’s – we have not enough information even to guess – but rather that there is a risk that it will happen. We have no idea yet of the scale of the risk, but we do know that the consequenses are potentially very dramatic and certainly the options are too many and too complex for the parties of government to evaluate in the days immediately after the election.

    The outcome that would create the most havoc would be an SNP-Lab government where Labour were not the largest party. English Conservatives would be incensed, SLAB would be confused and the terms extracted by the SNP would be punitive, not far short of vindictive.

    Would I be right in guessing that Lab would pay any price to get back into government? Unlike the LibDems, they would be the lead party and the SNP wouldn’t care what they did in England just so long as it didn’t diminish the Barnett consequentials.

  25. @ Old Nat

    “See what I mean? Just like your imperialist countrymen refer to the UK as England! :)”

    Well that’s not out of imperialism, that’s out of ignorance.

    Did you see my posts last night about the follies of the LAMTA? And my admission to being an ideologue on this particular political issue?

  26. SoCalLiberal

    The smiley was supposed to let you know that I was joking (mostly! :-) )

    I saw your posts on LAMTA. I’m not sure that it is terribly useful to compare an ancient European city like Edinburgh, which wasn’t built around private cars (and has difficulty in coping with them) but has a reasonable bus provision, and LA/Southern California which vastly expanded post war on the assumption of people driving their own cars (and now has difficulty in coping with them).

  27. @ Ambivalent Supporter

    “They say that religion and politics always lead to arguments.”

    And yet, UK Polling Report seems to be challenging the conventional wisdom yet again.

    @ Pete B

    “I’m sure that He will answer your question in due course.”

    Your witty comment reminds me of a classic line from Fawlty Towers where Basil says to O’Reilly (in response to his many protestations about “the good lord”) “if the good lord is mentioned once more, I shall move you closer to him!” Lol.

    @ All

    Seems you’ve gotten into a religious debate. This is always a topic that goes over well and never leads to any controversy. :) All I’ll say is that I think it is a major mistake whenver any political party or even political philosophy attempts to hijack religion and use it to their own narrow ends. Religious viewpoints (or lack thereof) may guide people politically but religion doesn’t guide in any one particular direction. That’s why I’ve always felt that religion and politics need to be kept as far away from each other as possible.

  28. SoCalLiberal

    “That’s why I’ve always felt that religion and politics need to be kept as far away from each other as possible.”

    I agree, but England has a state church, and that tends to cause a little confusion in their ranks.

  29. Amberstar,

    – “I am not surprised that 45% of Scots believe it’s wrong to charge UK students more than EU ones. … charging Uk students more than EU ones is unfair.
    Actually, rather than being surprised that a plurality think it’s wrong to charge more, I am rather surprised that as many as 41% regard it as being acceptable!”

    Words fail me. How can you, as a Labour Party member, say that with a straight face? It was of course YOUR OWN PARTY which created the current situation, ably assisted (indeed driven) by your pre-2007 Holyrood junior coalition partners, the Liberal Democrats.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/education-news/tuition-fee-will-be-abolished-for-scots-students-697691.html

    – “Scots MPs were dragooned by Labour into supporting the principle of variable top-up fees for universities in England and Wales – despite the controversial proposal not applying north of the Border.”

    ht tp://news.scotsman.com/news/West-Lothian-Question-back-in.2498457.jp

  30. OldNat,

    – “England has a state church”

    Of course, Scotland used to have a state church too: Pre-Reformation the Catholic Church was our state church. Post-Reformation the Kirk became the state church. However, then we underwent our Enlightenment and matured as a society. I wonder when we will witness an English Enlightenment?

  31. @ Old Nat

    “The smiley was supposed to let you know that I was joking (mostly! )

    I saw your posts on LAMTA. I’m not sure that it is terribly useful to compare an ancient European city like Edinburgh, which wasn’t built around private cars (and has difficulty in coping with them) but has a reasonable bus provision, and LA/Southern California which vastly expanded post war on the assumption of people driving their own cars (and now has difficulty in coping with them).”

    Of course. :) That’s why I use the smiley face as well.

    My point was that despite the mismanagement of the system and the problems with its construction (I was at the Hollywood Bowl last night and I was reminded again that there is no metro stop there even though the subway runs right underneath it), the idea to do it isn’t the problem. I won’t pretend that construction went perfectly or that there are no potential problems that could arise from this. But I think that it’s a mistake to give up on a mass transit plan or project simply because mistakes were made. Since that time, we’ve had new subway construction (in spite of all the opposition) and things have gone fine.

    Btw, the LA Metropolitan area and its sprawl was not created by the cars, it was created by the original rail system. There used to be over 1100 miles of Red Car tracks that took people out to far flung suburbs. What happenned was is that in the post war period when cars became far more affordable and real estate booms started off of rail hubs, no one wanted to use rail anymore (these trains were not well maintained). So what’s ironic is that the great car city owes its sprawl not to freeways but to street cars! And, even more ironically, the modern freeway routes mostly mirror the old train routes.

    The whole thing about the trolleys and the evil car and tire companies is a great myth but one many Californians still believe. But now you, a Scotsman, know better. :)

  32. @ Old Nat

    You know what, I’m actually correcting three myths:

    Myth #1: Southern California’s sprawl is because of freeway development.

    Myth #2: The old LA Trolleys were once a model of public transportation and their destruction was wrought because of the car, oil, and tire industries.

    Myth #3: There is no urban density in LA that could ever require mass transit.

    The smiley was supposed to let you know that I was joking (mostly! )

    As for Edinburgh, I didn’t get a sense of how big or small it is. The touristy central nice parts seemed fairly small to me (especially in comparisson to let’s say London, Paris, or Barcelona). But perhaps Edinburgh is far larger and sprawling outside of the places I visited. And building a mass transit system to connect people to where they work from the outer suburbs is needed (and would help reduce traffic and oil consumption).

  33. @ John B Dick

    I didn’t know that, did he actually make the threat, and if so did he say “hostage”, or did he just claim they would take 20 seats or state it as an objective?
    ————————————————————–
    Alex Salmond has promised to force “Westminster to dance to a Scottish jig” by more than trebling the number of SNP MPs.

    The First Minister set a target of winning 20 seats at the next General Election, a total which he claimed could give the party the balance of power in the Commons.

    In a tub-thumping speech at the SNP conference yesterday, he promised to use this leverage to force the Government into a series of concessions.
    —————————————————–
    Yes, John – he did.

    He didn’t use the word “hostage” but he may as well have done…
    8-)

  34. @ Old Nat

    Now, the City of Los Angeles itself is interesting in that there was a separate mostly above ground rail system known as the yellow cars that transported people around (it was the primary mode of transportation before and during World War II). It ran at street level though it did have one subway station and corresponding subway line (in fact I had asked Amber if she’d seen Who Framed Roger Rabbit? because the old subway line is featured prominently in that movie). What’s fascinating to me is that while there is all this talk of a sprawled city, when you drive around parts of downtown LA, Hollywood, central LA, east LA, you realize just how dense and compact the city can really be.

    What is sad about the yellow cars though is that the people who they serviced changed and that helped bring about the end of the system. Those inner city neighborhoods became home to blacks, Latinos, and other racial minorities (who of course were completely unrepresented in politics). Therefore, unaccountable politicians were fine with ripping out a street car system that was well used and well liked and replacing it with unreliable, slow moving busses that no one liked but no one could do anything about. By the time there was finally minority political representation in the city, it was too late to do anything and a whole new system had to be started from scratch.

    FYI, the terrible mass transit system was credited as a contributing factor for both the 1965 and the 1992 Riots. All you have to do is watch the opening moments of the disturbance at Florence and Normandie and notice people pelting MTA buses to get the idea.

  35. @ Amber Star

    “He didn’t use the word “hostage” but he may as well have done…”

    I believe you. But what could Salmond really do with more SNP MPs in Westminster? He’s never going to have a majority, he’s never going to be able to push things through. The best he can hope for is that Labour, without a Scottish stronghold, is unable to ever win again and that persistent Conservative rule pushes Scots to want independence. Or is that the plan?

  36. SoCalLiberal

    “But now you, a Scotsman, know better. :)”

    I’m always keen to learn!

    “But I think that it’s a mistake to give up on a mass transit plan or project simply because mistakes were made.”

    I agree. There has been a lot of political posturing in the whole tram project (by all sides, I hasten to add!) but there are lots of signs that having come this far, it won’t be abandoned.

    The Labour leader in Edinburgh is now apologising about having put forward the motion to end the line at Haymarket.

    Despite Labour posturing about the “SNP/Lib Dem coalition” (as they put it – it’s actually a LibDem/SNP coalition on everything except the tram project where the LDs had Labour support), the blame will be thoroughly attached to the Unionist parties, before the SNP Government ride to the rescue and manage the rest of the contract competently.

    That’s politics!

  37. @ John B Dick

    The outcome that would create the most havoc would be an SNP-Lab government where Labour were not the largest party. English Conservatives would be incensed, SLAB would be confused and the terms extracted by the SNP would be punitive, not far short of vindictive.
    —————————————————
    Yes, those circumstances would create a huge dilemma for Labour, no doubt about that.

    I could speculate about what I’d like Labour to do in those circumstances but I honestly don’t know what we would do.
    8-)

  38. OLD NAT and TINGED FRINGE
    Jesus:
    I have not come to bring peace to the earth….

    To those who have more will be given, those who have
    not, even that which they have will be taken from them

    You are only unprofitable servants.

    no wedding garment.. gnashing of teeth

    etc

    Off out to celebrate United

  39. @ Old Nat

    “I agree, but England has a state church, and that tends to cause a little confusion in their ranks.”

    That always confuses me too. But given the lack of religious oppression in England (and Scotland and Wales), it seems to all work.

  40. chrislane1945

    “Off out to celebrate United”

    Yes a 3-3 draw against St Johnstone was good (or were you thinking of another United? :-) )

  41. @ Old Nat

    “I’m always keen to learn!”

    Me too!

    “That’s politics!”

    I look at something like the Big Dig in Boston. That was a tremendous undertaking and it was a major mess during construction. A spectacularly mismanaged mess. But now that it’s been completed, Boston has reaped enormous benefits. Revitalization of once troubled neighborhoods is occuring, the city is more walkable with old neighborhood connections finally back up again, traffic has improved markedly. So while it was the laughing stock of a nation for some years, the end result has seen tremendous benefit.

    Political posturing on big transit projects helps nobody. So I’m with you there. It might help if you had non-partisan elections for local councils.

  42. John B Dick paints interesting scenarios that said I think that sort of SNP-Lab scenario is very unlikely to come about as I have just been mucking around with potential arithmetic in the new 600 seat Westminster.

    An SNP surge to 30 seats is possible but is infinitely more likely to happen if the tories retain power in Westminster even if just short of a majority and in that case would be more likely to look to the LD rump and possibly the DUP.

    That’s not to say Labour couldn’t grant a few concessions to an SNP contingent of 12 or so which is probably the most likely result.

  43. @ Stuart Dickson

    Labour in Scotland didn’t vote to charge English students more than students from other EU countries.
    8-)

  44. @oldnat

    ‘Despite Labour posturing about the “SNP/Lib Dem coalition” (as they put it – it’s actually a LibDem/SNP coalition on everything except the tram project where the LDs had Labour support), the blame will be thoroughly attached to the Unionist parties, before the SNP Government ride to the rescue and manage the rest of the contract competently’

    That’s interesting, it does seem to be the case that Salmond is trying to cover Cardownie’s back here at the minute by resisting calls for an inquiry.

  45. Amber

    “Labour in Scotland didn’t vote to charge English students more than students from other EU countries.”

    Tories in England hadn’t voted to slash public funding and raise tuition fees.

    Under these circumstances, is it your suggestion that the Scottish Government cut funding for other projects to provide free tuition for students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland?

    That would be an interesting proposal to put to Scottish voters!

  46. A Cairns

    “it does seem to be the case that Salmond is trying to cover Cardownie’s back here at the minute by resisting calls for an inquiry.”

    Oh, please! He has already announced that there will be an enquiry. Or are you simply repeating Dugdale’s demand that it be NOW, NOW, NOW, as opposed to after council discussions about the future of the project arecompleted?

  47. @Oldnat

    Fair enough, although I think a date should have been named.

  48. It is interesting that now three out of the four pollsters over the past couple of weeks are very much inline, showing Tories neck and neck with Labour, and only IPSOS (with a 6% Labour lead) has any joy for Labour.

    Recent events, including Libya, the riots and possibly the finincial problems faced by many of the Euro countries, seem to have closed the gap.

    The latest YouGov poll may be an outlier but there does seem a closing of the gap even here.

    Even so I would anticipate the gap will widen considerably as the cuts continue to bite over the next 18 months, then as recovery builds up momentum both the LDs and Tories will gain significant support, resulting in either a Tory or a Coalition victory in 2015.

  49. Henry

    “either a Tory or a Coalition victory in 2015”

    Prior to the publication of the MORI poll, it’s difficult to predict Scottish elections to Westminster, but it’s worth noting that 19% of the current LD MPs are from Scottish constituencies (more than twice our proportion of the population).

    If Scots LDs take a disproportionate hit (as seems entirely possible) then Tories will have to gain additional seats just to stand still in terms of Coalition numbers.

  50. He said “jig”? Then its worse than you think.

    Here’s a definition of a jig, a “Gallows Jig” which might have inspired his thinking.

    “A central nervous system reaction brought about by sudden violent death. Along with the twitching and jerking there will be urinating and ejaculation. For strange reasons certain people believe that the ground beneath the gallows had magical properties. Some of them search for Mandrake roots beneath the gallows at the hanging grounds.”

    If DC &/or EdM are taken by surprise there will be some of that to be sure.

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