The full tables for the Sunday Times poll are now up here – as already mentioned last night, the topline figures are CON 36%, LAB 39%, LDEM 8%, Others 16%. The “others” include UKIP at 7%, a figure they also hit once during the week for the Sun, so they certainly seemed to have recieved at least a temporary boost from the issue of Europe returning to the agenda.
Economic optimism remains extremely low. 9% of people expect their financial situation to get better over the next year compared to 57% who expect it to get worse, a net “feel good factor” of minus 48. While this is extremely negative historically, it is fairly typical of 2011 so far, and actually an improvement from the last few weeks when it has been below minus 50. Hardly anyone (3%) expects the present economic problems to be over within a year, 21% think they will pass in the next one or two years, 32% expect them to last three or four years, 24% expect them to last five to ten years.
The bulk of the poll is questions on Europe. Only 5% of people think that Britain has a lot of influence in the EU, 32% think Britain has a little influence, 41% not a lot and 15% none. 34% of people think that Britain has less influence than we did under Tony Blair and 45% think we have less influence than under Thatcher.
41% of respondents thought that Britain would be better off if we left the EU, 29% think we would be worse off and 30% neither or don’t know – a familar pattern of Euroscepticism. 41% of people think that David Cameron should use the current problems in the EU as an opportunity to renegotiate Britain’s relationship with Europe, 27% think Cameron should wait until the present crisis has passed to renegotiate, 15% think no renegotiation is needed. 59% of people think that Conservative rebels were right to vote for a referendum, compared to 22% who think they were wrong.
On the wider Eurozone crisis people are evenly split about whether the EU should be attempting to save the Eurozone – 36% think it is right to spend money on trying to save it, 39% think it is wrong. A majority, however, think that countries like Greece who are unable to pay their debts should be made to leave. Respondents do have considerable confidence in Angela Merkel to make the necessarily decisions to solve the crisis – 56% of people said they had a lot or a little confidence in her, compared to 36% who have confidence in Nicholas Sarkozy and just 8% for Silvio Berlusconi.
82% of people think it is important for Britain’s economy that the crisis in the Eurozone is solved. However, a good majority people remain opposed to Britain contributing money to any Eurozone bailout – only 24% think Britain should contribute, with 58% opposed.
Turning to the employment questions, 38% of people would back laws making it easier to sack unproductive workers. 19% think that workers’ rights are not protected enough and there should be greater protection from dismissal, 31% think the current balance is about right.
On maternity and paternity leave, 39% think current maternity provision is about right, 29% think it is too generous and 18% not generous enough. 31% think paternity provision is about right, 24% too generous and 31% not generous enough. Men are more likely than women to think that both maternity and paternity leave is too generous.
On staying at home to look after children, very similar proportions of men and women would stay at home to look after their children if their partner earned enough. 65% of men with children and 62% of women with children said they would stay at home to look after the children. However, attitudes are different when we asked about respondents’ spouses – 82% of men would be happy for their spouse or partner to stay at home and look after the children, however only 56% of women would be happy for their spouse/partner to stay at home.
On the Royal questions, 76% of people supporting giving female children equal rights to succeed to the throne with only 13% opposed. There was less support for ending the ban on a Catholic becoming monarch – 48% thought it should be allowed, 33% thought it should not.
Finally on the London protests, while people are sympathetic to the aims of the protestors, they would tend to support legal action to remove them from outside St Pauls. 39% say they support the aims of the protesters, 26% do not and 35% are unsure. 47%, however, would support legal action to remove them with 39% opposed. 53% of people think St Paul’s Cathedral was wrong to close its doors (31% think they were right), while 42% of people think that Giles Fraser was wrong to resign (31% think he was right).