Full tables for the YouGov/Sunday Times poll are now up here. This week’s topline figures are CON 36%, LAB 42%, LDEM 10% – so there is no obvious sign of a conference boost for Labour. Ed Miliband’s own ratings are almost unchanged from last week. His net approval stands at minus 32, from minus 33 a week ago.

More positively Miliband was seen as the leader most able to understand the problems faced by ordinary people (or at least, the leader least unable to understand them). 35% thought Miliband was able to understand ordinary people’s problems, compared to 30% for Clegg, 29% for Cameron and 22% for George Osborne.

David Cameron’s approval rating is also steady at minus 8, unchanged from a week ago. Wider perceptions of his premiership so far are pretty average – 37% think he has been an average Prime Minister, 21% a good or great Prime Minister, 39% a poor or terrible Prime Minister. 40% of people think it was the right decision for the Conservatives to go into coalition with the Liberal Democrats, 42% think it was the wrong decision. When we asked the same question for the Liberal Democrats a fortnight ago, 36% had thought it was right for them to go into coalition with the Tories, 45% thought it was the wrong decision.

The public remain divided on the economic strategy, 36% saying the government should continue to prioritise the deficit, 38% that they should prioritise growth. However, there were majorities in favour of all the suggested growth policies asked about (extra capital spending, VAT cuts and increasing personal tax allowances). There is little support for Britain helping in any further bailout in the Eurozone. 63% agree that Britain has its own problems and should not contribute any money to help the debt crisis, 22% think it is in Britain’s interests to contribute money to help solve the crisis.

Finally there were some questions on Tony Blair. Blair is regarded as the best Labour party leader by 24% of respondents, followed by John Smith on 16% and Harold Wilson on 11% (Clement Attlee receives only 6% – suggesting a not unsurprising bias towards more recent leaders). 39% of people think Blair was a good or great Prime Minister, 24% an average one, 35% a poor or terrible one. Despite the broadly positive perception of him, 47% think that Miliband should distance his party from Blair, with 27% disagreeing (though they also think Labour party members were wrong to boo his name).


426 Responses to “More from YouGov/Sunday Times”

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  1. Incidently I am totally happy in terms of rights with JSM’s
    ‘The liberty of ther individual MUST be thus far limited; he MUST NOT make himself a nuisance to other people’.

    How often does that happen and people and the authorities just turn a blind eye.

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  2. OLDNAT

    “Doubtless judges shouldn’t make humorous references because certain people are really, really [self-moderated, to save Anthony the bother].”

    Doubtless. It would certainly help.

    As it would if TM had restricted herself to the other cases she quoted -which have attracted no comment whatsoever-and not provided amunition for certain people who are really really….

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  3. Nick P

    You are someone with strong views on the merits of taxing inheritance.

    Why does my sister a recent widow, who under a valid will is the sole beneficiary of her late husbands estate and therefore has no inheritance tax to pay, have to detail her property address which she shared with her husband and the value of all his assets to the inland revenue.

    This was not the case in 2005, being introduced by big brother in 2006. But why?

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  4. Henry

    I don’t know about English Law. However, in Scots Law it is well established that “rights” aren’t absolute, because often different rights of different people need to be balanced. Presumably even if that wasn’t true before the UK signed the ECHR, that then became the case in England as well.

    Now that doesn’t mean that administrators actually know that, or have read more than the briefest of summaries – often from a partisan source – and they don’t make damn fool decisions.

    Working in education, I had to correct Strathclyde’s legal Department on a couple of occasions because they had simply misread the relevant Act.

    However, it is important not to confuse wrong decisions made by officials, and the actual law.

    If the law needs to be altered to clarify badly drafted legislation, then that clearly needs to happen. Here (and I presume its similar in England) that task is undertaken by the Scottish Law Commission, who recommend the required changes.

    In Catgate, of course, the HRA was not even part of the case.

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  5. @ Chouenlai

    I am sure AW can explain how such a contradiction occurs but really, what are people talking about ? 6% Labour lead in the VI polls, but Labour/ Miliband 6% behind in the Party / Leader poll.
    Not for the first time I wonder if the public know what the hell they do want.
    ———————————————————-
    The question gave an either/ or preference. Therefore the respondents who vote neither Tory nor Labour didn’t have their own Party available.

    Thus Dems/ UKIP/ SNP/ Don’t knows etc. have picked Tory/ Cameron over Labour/ Miliband – which is useful, if they are voters in a marginal constituency & willing to be won over to the Tory cause.

    If they stick to their stated VI, the answers given to this either/or question, are as much use to the Tories as a chocolate teapot.
    8-)

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  6. Colin

    “As it would if TM had restricted herself to the other cases she quoted -which have attracted no comment whatsoever-and not provided amunition for certain people who are really really….”

    That was the very point I made upthread. As politics it was crassly incompetent.

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  7. Colin

    As it would if TM had restricted herself to the other cases she quoted -which have attracted no comment whatsoever-and not provided amunition for certain people who are really really….

    As a cat lover, who always watches Cold Case because of Tripod and Cyclops, the two felines with physical impediments, I felt a valid case had been the chap who could not leave his cat.

    Am I to understand that the stories not true?

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  8. Amber

    But chocolate teapots have rights too. They just need to be balanced against the needs of tea drinkers. :-)

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  9. Those Daily Mail readers eh !

    just as bad as those Independent readers eh ?

    h ttp://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/owning-a-cat-helped-immigrant-avoid-deportation-1805460.html

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  10. @SoCalLiberal – “… foreign justice systems that operate in extraordinarily strange ways.”

    There used to be tales of motorists languishing in Spanish jails under Franco, after being involved in accidents.

    The reasoning was that as foreigners, they were to blame.
    If they hadn’t been in the country, the accident would never have happened!

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  11. HENRY

    “Am I to understand that the stories not true?”

    Fear not Henry.

    The story IS true,

    THe Bolivian was indeed most concerned that the feline component of his family life would be amongst the most significant of his loss of rights should he find himself in Bolivia.

    The judge clearly recognised this-but not being familiar with Bolivian cat immigration law, assumed the cat would be deported too-hence the judges compassionate & caring observation that the cat would not need to be concerned about having to deal with Bolivian mice.

    It is a story which should leave you-a self confessed cat lover-full of the milk of Human Kindness ( & Rights)

    :-)

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  12. Colin
    So if there is no fault with the ECHR, as Damien Green and Theresa May both pointed out (Article 8 is the specific one that people are arguing about), why is there the call to replace it?
    Why the argument that it’s *human rights* that stand in the way of justice?
    Surely it’s *judges* who’re *poorly informed* who stand in the way of justice.

    Why the need, except for nationalistic populism, to replace the ECHR with a British Bill of Rights?

    This is the bit that I think is quite important.
    If it ain’t broke, why fix it?

    This is the bit that worries me.
    Either it’s for nationalistic reasons – so we can just take the ECHR, scribble out ‘European Convention on Human’ and write in ‘British Bill of’, or there are plans to remove some of the rights covered.

    Both are worrying for different reasons –
    Blind nationalism should be worrying for obvious reasons. But removing basic rights, either generally or for political ‘undesirables’ is even more worrying.

    While it may be politically easy to remove the rights of those we disagree with (BNP, Islamic fundamentalists, etc), we should defend their rights the hardest.
    If not purely for the sake of justice but also because if the pendulum swings, we may find ourselves in the situation of being the politically ‘undesirable’*.

    *As someone with ‘fringe’ libertarian, socialist and panarchistic views, I’d be the first up the wall if the public swung to the authoritarian-right. ;)

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  13. Ah, as Mrs May might say….what’s new pussy cat….why I get an image of her dropping one into a dustbin and Ken Clarke dragging her in front of a Magistrates court to apologise for her moment of madness…I just don’t know….

    There’s nothing more dangerous than a well briefed Home Secretary…thanks heavens we’ve not got one…the last thing Maidenhead needs is a terrorist outrage…the Tory council have already made a big enough mess of the town without any help from outside…

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  14. I know that one stereotype of judges is that they are barking (miaowing?) mad, but I wonder if they are deliberately trying to get the Human Rights Act look so ridiculous that it absolutely HAS to be repealed?

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  15. Amber, chocolate teapot useless or even a chocolate orange.
    Old Nat,for those with a sense of humour, mrs May has
    provided people on other threads with plenty of jokes
    involving cats.At least it has relieved the tedium somewhat

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  16. Having read the judgement, it seems that May was caught in a half-truth rather than a lie.

    The Bolivian gentleman cited the ownership of the cat (amongst many other things) in his application. He clearly didn’t think that fact was irrelevant to his case or he would have omitted it.

    However, it was only a small part of the argument, and the final decision made it clear that it wasn’t the basis of the allowing of the appeal.

    Storms. Teacups. Yawn.

    For what it’s worth, the problem of over-lenient immigration judgements (if that’s what they are) predates the Human Rights Act by many, many years.

    I read an immigration file on a Ghanaian man which was outrageous. In the defence of the then Labour-run Home Office, Mike O’Brien had attached a letter to the file saying that it was one of the worst abuses of the immigration system he’d ever seen. That didn’t actually change anything, of course, and it wasn’t until he was sentenced to a long prison term for raping a 12 year old girl that he finally managed to get the authorities to order his deportation.

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  17. @ Old Nat

    “When I head back to the US next month, can you arrange that I am not at ” the mercy of foreign justice systems that operate in extraordinarily strange ways.”?””

    Tell you what…if I pass and get sworn into the Bar next month (a big if) and you get arrested, I’ll volunteer to defend you in court. And (since I assume the arrest will stem from failing to leave a privately owned shopping center in the Golden State when asked by security after attempting to solicit mall patrons to join the Scottish Nationalist Party), I’ll take up your civil suit on a contingency basis. :)

    “Doubtless judges shouldn’t make humorous references because certain people are really, really [self-moderated, to save Anthony the bother].”

    You know, sometimes I think it’s okay. As long as it doesn’t turn into a comedy routine that shows the judge to have an unfit judicial temperament. Like last year, in this highly charged murder case (well the trial wasn’t even for murder) of Robert Wone, D.C. Superior Court Judge Lynn Leibovitz, who was sitting in the role of a fact finder, cracked a joke after seeing evidence of a forensic test. The test was to see if someone could have hopped a wall from an alley with an item in tow. Judge Leibovitz asked “Did anyone try it with a pork loin?” It apparently lightened the mood and made the courtroom less tense.

    @ Roger Mexico

    “One thing that the legal systems being talked about – English, American, Italian – seem to share is an unwillingness to admit error. I remember reading an article at the time of the original Kercher trial where an Italian lawyer said that the conviction would be overturned on appeal, but it would have to be after a few years so the Italian justice system didn’t look stupid. The three year sentence for ‘slander’ also seems part of this, so as to make it look as if there was some guilt.

    Similarly in miscarriage of justice cases in the US, there have often been fierce fights against cases being reopened to the extent of evidence being destroyed to prevent this happening. In the UK, even after targeted persons are acquitted on appeal or at trial stage (such as Colin Stagg) it is common for covert accusations to still be made by the police and others.

    It’s not just that there seems to be a willingness to imprison, maybe even execute, an innocent person and (in most cases) let a guilty person go free. There is also the possibility of making the judicial system look not just occasionally in error (the existence of an appeals process assumes this) but actually corrupted. And yet this is seen as the preferred option to admitting a mistake, even if the evidence for that happening is overwhelming. I can only think that this is a side-effect of the combative way lawyers are trained and operate. Winning is all that matters.”

    I will admit the faults of my system and in fact, I’ve pointed to numerous stories that would demonstrate the faults and pitfalls of my system in this thread. In my system, a prosecutor is supposed to be more than an advocate and has additional responsibilities to turn over evidence and ensure a fair trial. It’s a constitutional requirement. Now, that doesn’t mean it’s always followed and when it’s not, I think the whip needs to cracked and those prosecutors need to be come down on extremely hard. But it’s important to point out that they don’t just operate in a free for all.

    I’m glad that Knox was released. I am more stunned by the reaction than anything.

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  18. Tinged FRinge

    “Why the need, except for nationalistic populism, to replace the ECHR with a British Bill of Rights?”

    We will find out-one way or the other-when these folk report.

    h ttp://www.justice.gov.uk/about/cbr/index.htm

    You will no doubt be submitting your thoughts to them.

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  19. @SoCalLiberal,

    My limited knowledge and experience of the US justice system suggest to me that it is essentially the English justice system with quite a few of the good bits removed but most of the worst bits left behind.

    The Kercher case is, however, a stark reminder to those who think that our Anglo-Saxon way of doing things is flawed. We do it better than most.

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  20. It’s only two days old yet the Tory Party Conference has weaved its strange magic on me again. There was I entering an early Autumn slumber with any electioneering far over yonder horizon and enjoying a relatively politically inert period when my sporting obsessions tend to hold sway. However, the sight and sound of Middle England’s finest gathering in Manchester, doing what comes naturally to them again, has got my political juices flowing again. There they are again, belittling minorities, trading tabloid-esque half truths with each other, trashing employment rights, erecting Jonny Foreigner straw men to torch, braying for raw meat tax policies; just you don’t love ‘em.

    Well they’ve got me at it. I’m off with a few hardy stalwarts door knocking for Labour on Friday night.

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  21. @ Valerie

    “@ Valerie

    “I’m sorry Socal but, to me, your increasingly lengthy posts only show that you are tying yourself up in knots in trying to defend America’s use of the death penalty.”

    I am not defending the usage of the death penalty. I am simply pointing out how the U.S. Legal Sytem works and attempting to educate people in the face of European assumptions and numerous sweeping statements about how our system works, most of which seem to be wrong. I’m also expressing shock over the level of ignorance about DNA Evidence as expressed by Europeans.

    In any case, the fact that the death sentence may have been given to some innocent people is not a good argument for getting rid of the death penalty. It is a travesty of justice any time someone is convicted of a crime they did not commit, regardless of whether they received the death penalty. Locking up an innocent person is not absolved by the fact that they’re not executed. If innocent people are being convicted, that’s a problem on its own.

    The more important question to ask is whether the state has the right to take a citizen’s life. Europe (and really most of the world) has said resoundingly no. Old Nat has pointed out that most Europeans believe it to be a practice that is “barbaric.” The U.S. continues to say yes (along with numerous third world countries that are a mixture of fundamentalist religious governments and totalitarian dictatorships….great company). I don’t think we can change the system until we understand it.

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  22. @ Billy Bob

    “There used to be tales of motorists languishing in Spanish jails under Franco, after being involved in accidents.

    The reasoning was that as foreigners, they were to blame.
    If they hadn’t been in the country, the accident would never have happened!”

    Wow. Maybe it’s just the Catalans but Spain seems to have advanced from its days under Franco into a far more modern country. I know their unemployment rate is bad but it’s not that much worse than ours (since their unemployment rate takes in all unemployed people).

    U.S. Courts have had a history of wrongfully pursuing foreigners.

    @ Neil A

    “My limited knowledge and experience of the US justice system suggest to me that it is essentially the English justice system with quite a few of the good bits removed but most of the worst bits left behind.

    The Kercher case is, however, a stark reminder to those who think that our Anglo-Saxon way of doing things is flawed. We do it better than most.”

    1. I don’t think it has removed all the good bits or kept all the worst bits. Actually, I think there are some major good bits that we have that you don’t though it’s a tossup.

    2. And yes, I agree that we do it better than most. :)

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  23. richard in norway @ Oldnat

    “… that Mrs May used this example in her speech shows that either she has bad researchers or that she doesn’t care about facts, just headlines.”

    Did you not know that her boss is a PR man and “Heir to Blair”?

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  24. Tinged

    I have always felt that you were a political‘undesirable’, but if you have a cat then I suppose you can keep posting

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  25. @Tingedfringe
    “So if there is no fault with the ECHR, as Damien Green and Theresa May both pointed out ……If it ain’t broke, why fix it?”

    Also why are we wasting money fixing things that don’t need fixing when we are supposed to be broke.

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  26. In any case, the fact that the death sentence may have been given to some innocent people is not a good argument for getting rid of the death penalty. It is a travesty of justice any time someone is convicted of a crime they did not commit, regardless of whether they received the death penalty. Locking up an innocent person is not absolved by the fact that they’re not executed. If innocent people are being convicted, that’s a problem on its own.
    =================================

    Honestly, I dont know whether to laugh or cry. :-)

    On to the next thread I think.

    “The Conservatives’ Northern problem -hopefully that’s me! 8-)

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