The full tables for YouGov’s weekly voting intention poll are now up here. Topline voting intention stands at CON 36%, LAB 40%, LDEM 9%, Others 15%. The rest of the poll covered the economy, the pension strikes, Northern Rock, smoking in cars and attitudes to Margaret Thatcher.

The regular economic trackers show their normal dire figures. People remain evenly split on whether the government’s economic strategy is correct, or whether they should concentrate more on growth and less on cutting the deficit. However, people do tend to accept the claim that Britain would risk similar problems to Greece or Italy were we not to reduce the deficit – 27% think Britain’s economic situation is better than Greece/Italy and we could afford to borrow more, 47% think Britain needs to reduce the deficit or risk going a similar way to Greece/Italy. Asked about how different groups of people have fared during the recession, young people are seen to have been hit the hardest. 65% of people think young people have suffered more than most, 48% think retired people have, 39% public sector workers, 24% women.

There is very little support for reducing the minimum wage for younger people to encourage employment, with only 17% of people saying they would support this and 73% opposed. A majority (56%) also oppose the idea of reducing employment rights to make it easier to hire and fire people. On the subject of foreign workers, 51% think employers should give priority to British workers over foreign workers, even if they are better qualified. 69% think the government should do more to give British workers priority in applying for jobs.

Turning to Northern Rock, people support the sale to Virgin Money by 48% to 23% – not a surprising result in itself. Slightly less predictable was that people trended to think it was a good deal: 50% agreed that the government was always going to make a loss and £747m is a good deal, 34% think the government is losing too much money on the deal and should have held on for a better deal.

Turning to the public sector pension strikes, 49% of people now think it is right for public sector workers to contribute more to their pensions, 35% think it is wrong. 52% of people now oppose public sector workers going on strike over their pensions (up from 49% in September), 35% support it (down from 38%). Asked about the threshold for strike ballots 58% of people think that trade unions should require the support of 50% of eligible members to call a strike, as opposed to 50% of those taking part in a ballot – virtually unchanged from when YouGov asked a similar question in June.

On smoking there is majority support for blank packaging (56%), banning the display of cigarettes (58%) and for banning people smoking in cars with passengers (59%). Only 34% of people, however, would support banning people smoking in all private cars regardless of whether they have passengers. YouGov also broke these questions down by whether respondents themselves smoked, around a third of regular smokers supported the restrictions on packing, display and smoking with passengers in the car.

Finally there were some questions on Margaret Thatcher. She came top when people were asked who was the greatest post-war Prime Minister, picked by 27% of people (more than Churchill, though this may very well be people correctly discounting Churchill’s premiership, though clearly the fact that Churchill comes up second suggests many people didn’t!). Blair was chosen by 9%, Wilson by 6%.

Overall, 50% of people think that Thatcher was a great (20%) or good (30%) Prime Minister, 33% a poor (8%) or terrible (25%) Prime Minister. Only 8% of people thought she was an “average” Prime Minister, people either admire or loathe her. Compare this to when YouGov asked the same question about Tony Blair at the end of September, 6% thought he was great, 33% good, 14% poor, 21% terrible, 24% average – this is a far more even distribution, opinions on Thatcher remain extremely divided.


196 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 36, LAB 40, LD 9”

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  1. @ Pete B

    “If you’re dead, neither :)”

    Lol. That’s such a classic Debbie Downer response….cynical and dark yet really funny at the same time. :)

    @ Richard in Norway

    I think this is a good article to sum up what you’ve seen in GOP Primary Debates.

    http://nymag.com/news/politics/conservatives-david-frum-2011-11/

  2. @ Roger Mexico and Amber Star

    http://nymag.com/news/politics/liberals-jonathan-chait-2011-11/

    I read this article tonight and a lot of it rings true (not for me personally but a lot of people I know). And I wonder if Labourites are similar…at least in terms of how you view your respective leaders.

    Maybe the fact that I’m not a cynic and I tend to accept my various leaders and defend them even while acknowledging their faults and criticizing….maybe that makes me a “right wing Liberal” like the kind who seem to exist in Canada and Nick Clegg’s circle of Cabinet appointees.

  3. But smaller classes would cost more money, would it be cost effective, would we get more educational bangs for our buck? We don’t know, the guess would be not. Another question would be if smaller classes improve results does that translate to higher productivity and income and if so would that bring in enough extra tax revenue to pay for the increased cost. It’s all about the money!!

  4. @Amberstar – I appreciate what you are saying, and it is correct, although I would argue that what you are talking about are health issues that should be accomodated by good management as far as possible. What I am talking about is people not working as effectively as they can – an entirely different issue.

    I am well aquainted with the needs to disabled people, having nursed a close relative for many years, but I’m afraid it is a fallacy to assume someone with disabilities can’t also be lazy or unwilling to work as well as they can in physical terms.

    @Socal – Interesting concept. Next step, tanks at St Pauls?

    Re other stuff – the Express has a front page lead on a ‘pensions tax raid’ that Osborne is apparently planning. In a wonderful piece of Fleet Street nonsense hey are suggesting that ‘savers could be £100,000 worse off’ if Osborne cuts higher rate pension tax relief.

    They don’t appear to have researched the bit that says the average pension pot on retirement is just under £40,000, with the average comparable female pension pot around half of this. So the implication that people will lose £100,000 is a touch fanciful. No doubt some very wealthy people would lose these kind of sums, to which I would retort ‘good’.

  5. NEILA

    “I’m not sure what exactly we can do to improve the education system(s) in the UK. Gove’s experiments can’t hurt (although I’m sure many will argue they will) but I don’t think they are going to cure the malaise, or that they’re even really intended to.”

    I don’t often disagree with you-but I disagree with the above.

    I think Gove has every intention of improving educational outcomes. That is what he is about.

    When the number of British born workers fell by 311k las year whilst the number of foreign employees rose by 181,00.

    When CBI & BCC are constantly complaining that immigrant workers can communicate in English better than british born youngsters; that the latter’s degrees are in subjects with no relevance to their employment prospects, and that they generally have a negative attitude to work.

    When it is actually proposed that the taxpayer subsidises employers by £1500 per young Briton . in order to persuade the former to actually employ them………..

    Then I think Gove is absolutely right.

    Thankfully his new Chief Inspector of Schools seems to believe so too- having actually done something about it when he turned Mossbourne Academy, in a deprived part of east London, into one of England’s best performing schools by focusing on discipline.

    @”We are battling against very powerful cultures, both in our education establishment, and amongst our young people.”

    We are -and Gove is trying to tackle the problem.

    It is important that he succeeds.

  6. AMBER

    @” It is so very difficult for people with handicaps (& I don’t just mean health/ disability issues) to find employment that, aside from the handicap, they are generally over-qualified, hard working & as effective as they can possibly be within the limits imposed by their handicap.

    So, they are usually very good at their job but have intermittent periods of unavoidable absence etc. During that time, a temp must fill in. Can a similar calibre of employee be obtained on a temporary basis? Not usually, no. Therefore, the outcomes in the department fluctuate. ”

    I can see that your inentions are good ones -but I urge you :-

    Not to see disabled people as a homogenous group of some sort. They are not. They are as much individuals as the able bodied-with as many faults & as many good attributes.

    Not to assume all employers would wish to flout their legal obligations under the Employers and the Equality Act 2010-or wish to avoid the employment of disabled people in order to avoid those obligations.

    Not to make blanket assumptions about the effect of disabilty in the work place.

    Not to describe disability as “handicap”. Disability only becomes handicap , when society makes it one.

  7. “the Employers and the Equality Act 2010-”

    s/b

    The Equality Act 2010 :-)

  8. I have read nearly as many Lefties admitting to revisionist thoughts about Maggie after watching the Meryl Streep film, as I have read / heard former Eurofanatics agonising about being “conflicted” about the Euro. ( with the exception of Ashdown & Heseltine that is !)

    What goes around comes around-as they say in Spain this morning :-)

  9. Colin

    “what goes around comes around- as they say in Spain this morning”

    Indeed- and as will ‘come around’ within 18 months there as it has done here :D

  10. “I have read nearly as many Lefties admitting to revisionist thoughts about Maggie after watching the Meryl Streep film”

    Haven’t seen the film, have just watched the trailer but I thought I was starting to feel sorry for Maggie when it showed her being betrayed by her colleagues. Then I realised I was just livid that anyone dare treat Meryl Streep in this way!

    Safe to say, I can’t wait to see the film (despite Maggie being just above Dr. Harold Shipman on my list of people I’d trust to ensure my health, safety and general wellbeing) just for Streep’s inevitably breathtaking performance.

  11. ROB

    @”Indeed- and as will ‘come around’ within 18 months there as it has done here”

    ie-put the lefties back in , to stop the pain from the righties of correcting the debts they inherited from the lefties……who………ad infinitum :-)

  12. Latest in our series on the effects of the proposed boundary changes – looks at Cheshire.
    Follow the link: http://www.allthatsleft.co.uk/2011/11/boundary-commission-loses-the-plot-in-cheshire/

  13. Colin

    Re Spain; the problem was created by righties as always

  14. Richard in Norway & Colin,

    It must be very soft and warm in those tightly sealed partisan worlds…

    If you ask me, both left and right have an equally impressive record of failure. And worst of all is the record of those pragmatic centrists!

  15. Bill

    Lol

  16. BILL PATRICK……………..All human life is here ! :-)

  17. Bill Patrick

    Well said. It’s been quite sad to see so many intelligent people who recognise the multi dimensional nature of politics (at least when filling in political focus questionnaires) trying to shoehorn every single issue into a position on the left-right spectrum.

    I’m reminded of the aphorism that “seeing the world as uni-dimensional is only for those who find the concept of a flat earth as too complicated”.

  18. Richard in Norway

    @”Re Spain; the problem was created by righties as always”

    Well they certainly played their part,

    Thanks to excellent Wiki data :-

    Spanish property home ownership was encouraged in 60s &70s ( UCD minority/Suarez/Centrist)

    It rose rapidly to levels of over 80%

    The Spanish property price bubble occurred in two phases , with a period of price stability between them :-

    1985/91-Prices Tripled (PSOE/Gonzalez/Socialist)

    1992/1996-Prices stable ( PSOE/Gonzalez/Socialist)

    1996/2008-Prices nearly tripled( PP/Aznar/Right to 2004, then PSOE/Zapatero/Socialist)

    Bill Patrick

    See-you were right about those centrists-they started the whole thing !

    :-) :-) :-)

  19. Oldnat,

    The SNP have actually done quite well, mainly because they’re (a) new, (b) often inactive during their first term, and (c) restricted in what they could do. For lasting greatness in politics, I recommend (b) and (c): masterful inactivity combined with a restrictive constitution is the way to go.

  20. Re Spain and who is to blame – this is well worth a read http://www.cer.org.uk/sites/default/files/publications/attachments/pdf/2011/essay_eurozone_9nov11-4084.pdf

    It explains is a very clear and understandable manner what went wrong with the Eurozone, how it could be fixed, and why it won’t be. I’ve skimmed through it, so haven’t digested it in detail, but it does appear to avoid the more partisan bickering that blights this debate.

    Like any sensible observers, they decline to blame the indebted southern countries entirely, making the staggeringly simple observations that German and other northern Europe institutions lent unfeasibly large sums to nations who couldn’t afford it, the German economy benefitted enormously from an interest rate system that favoured their needs at the expense of the rest of the EZ, and that fundamental structural reforms are needed in the labour markets and fiscal structures in many of the indebted nations.

    Markets seem to broadly agree with analysis. Spain’s debt costs are rising again today. Fundamental, structural flaws in the Eurozone, identified as such by opponents of the plan before it’s inception, have ensured that we now face a crisis.

    This was always an inevitable end point for a fatally flawed system, with the only questions being the timing and extent of the disaster. Sadly for the people within the Eurozone, and elsewhere, this unravelling of the Euro has coincided with events elsewhere around the global economy, which is why the impacts are devastating.

    How serious will it get? The US negotiations set up to agree budget cuts as part of their deal on the national debt are about to break down without agreement, pitching the US budget position into deep uncertainty again.

    Property prices are now falling in China – which will shortly become the third chapter of the global crisis. There really is no end to this, but the thing that makes me most angry about it all is that the actions of the Eurozone leaders have ensured that the global economy is shrinking just when we needed confidence and growth to tackle the next stage of the crisis.

  21. Alec

    I haven’t read your report yet, but if the markets broadly agree with its analysis then its probably very wrong!!

    This mess was caused mainly by the worship of markets, a false god if ever there was one.

  22. RICHARD IN NORWAY……………..All gods are false so all worship is ridiculous, no apologies. :-)

  23. Ken

    I’m writing your fatwa now!! Blasphemer!!! It will be the first multi faith fatwa signed by the pope and the mullahs and billy graham. You have been warned

  24. RIN…………..You missed Odin up there in Valhalla, he won’t be pleased you know ! :-)

  25. Alec

    An intersting viewpoint in that paper-thanks.

    I like & agree with :-

    “At root, the eurozone’s sovereign debt crisis is a crisis of politics and democracy.”

    I don’t agree with the suggestion that a massive ECB money printing ,and higher inflation is a sensible answer. That is just a plaster to cover up the unwillingness to make fiscal transfers. -as MK so clearly identified.

    Their identification of mutualisation of EZ debt as a key requirement is interesting.
    Despite the fact that they put it in the basket marked “they won’t do it”, we learn today that the Commission , on wednesday, will present proposals for the introduction of EuroBonds .

    I am beginning to wonder if Merkel’s reported aversion to EuroBonds is part of a political game she is playing to cover her fear of moral hazard .
    If she can get serious EZ central fiscal governance to placate German voters-in effect an EZ Treasury ( run by the Germans :-) )-I wonder whether we will see her graciously conceding EuroBonds at some point in the future.

    With the expansion of EFSF becoming a pipedream , there is little concrete left on the table.

    So whilst Merkel, Katainen , (“The European Union cannot restore confidence in Greece and Italy if they don’t do it themselves,” ) & the other Northern Europeans carry on with the tough rhetoric to browbeat the Debtor countries into submission, they may actually be setting them up for relief from their interest rate death spirals in return for effective loss of Fiscal sovereignty & Eurobonds ?

  26. Ken

    I don’t believe in odin, he just a stupid myt………….ahhhhh….on noooooo!! I beelieveeeeeee…………….oh shiiiiiiiit

  27. RIN……….RIP. :-)

  28. Ken

    It’s great here, feasting and boozing and girls with pigtails. Wish you were here!!!!!

  29. It’s bl00dy freezing in here.

  30. This is an interest article – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-15820601

    It isn’t great reading – UK is now the most indebted country of the big nations, and the debt ratio has risen since 2008. This isn’t altogether unexpected – after all, the coalitions stated economic strategy is to increase overall indebtedness by engineering a huge increase in household debts.

    However, one point did jump out at me. In the US, overall debt has fallen slightly, while in the UK it continues to rise. Peston suggests that this is because “…[US] household debts have fallen from 98% of GDP to 87% of GDP, as homeowners have handed back the keys of their houses to lenders and reneged on the debts (which is possible in much of the US, but almost impossible in the UK).”

    Here we begin to get to the nub of the debt issue. Peston goes on to discuss how debts have been shuffled around, rather than dealt with, and how we haven’t yet found a way to get the debts down, as opposed to supressing interest rates so we can afford to live with the large debts.

    Expunging the debt is the number one global issue, and if easing the burden on individuals to walk away from mortgage and other debts is one way of achieving this, it might offer part of the solution towards securing a stable base for future security.

    The bottom line is that policy makers and the finance sector need to accept that well managed defaults are going to play a critical part in sorting out the problem. Either they accept this and manage the defaults to minimise the damage, while taking the other complimentary measures to stabilise the situation, or they can continue peddling the myth that all these debts can be honoured, and await the markets judgement on that fallacy and the uncontrolled collateral damage that this will bring.

    It’s like an out of control pressure cooker. We can either accept we have a problem and look to ease the pressure in a controlled manner, or pretend it will be OK and then watch the spaghetti hit the ceiling.

  31. RICHARDINVALHALLA & NICKINHELL………I’m not sure I believe you ! I want to go to a lovely place, where souls float around in the certain knowledge that they are right, I’ll be able to listen in awe to dream merchants, economists, astrologers, aromatherapists, fortune tellers, and all others that are gifted enough to predict the future on our behalf, for money. :-)

  32. Ken

    Sorry no time to talk I’m in the middle of an axe throwing contest, I have scored 3 pigtails already plus I’ve got two dates for tonight.

  33. NICK IN VALHALLA………..I’ve been naughty stepped for lowering the intellectual standard on here, before, so reserve me a few maidens and I’ll see you later, much later. :-)

  34. RICHARD IN VALAHALLA……….It was the devil done that ! :-)

  35. Ken

    I have gone to a place where the naughty step doesn’t worry me, but Thor says he will use hammer me flat if he catches me cheating at axe throwing again

    Ps. I have reserved a place for you next door, there is no drinking but lots of virgins

  36. RICHARD IN VALHALLA……….Looks like I’ll have to go back on that bomb making course, and here’s me all thumbs, whoops, nice to meet you Richard.

  37. ALEC

    @”UK is now the most indebted country of the big nations, and the debt ratio has risen since 2008. This isn’t altogether unexpected – after all, the coalitions stated economic strategy is to increase overall indebtedness by engineering a huge increase in household debts. ”

    You omitted to quote what Peston actually said about UK Debt, which is that between 2008 & Mar 2011 :-

    ” the debt of British companies fell from 122% of GDP to 109%, and the debt of households fell rather less, from 102% of GDP to 97% of GDP.

    Most would say those are positive trends, although the pace of debt repayment by households is pretty sluggish and our personal debts (at close to 100% of GDP) remain substantial (and a worrying burden) by historical standards.

    By contrast, government debt has risen from 52% of GDP, which at the time was pretty low by international standards, to 76% of GDP, which is more or less standard for the rich west.”

  38. @colin – indeed, but in effect the problem is that the economy is flatlining because companies and individuals are still trying to draw down their debts, meaning that government debt is rising. The positive trend is causing the negative trend, and the overall position is getting worse.

    There really does need to be some level of default globally on the most excessive debts so that the cost of servicing these can then go towards growth that will in turn shrink the remaining debts.

  39. ALEC

    @” The positive trend is causing the negative trend, and the overall position is getting worse.”

    Actually, I think the effect works the other way round.

    And whether aspects of indebtedness are “negative” or “positive” is a matter of opinion.

    By the way Peston’s “household debt” ( judging by that %GDP) appears to include mortgage lending.

    Mortgage lending is , of course an indicator of housing market activity & house price changes.

    I think you would agree that an increase in mortgage debt per se is not neccessarily a “positive” , if it is a signal that another house price bubble is being financed on credit

  40. @ Bill Patrick

    “The solution to most of the issues is: Smaller class sizes.”

    I’m not sure how strong the evidence is for this claim.
    —————————————–
    There’s a lot of evidence, use Google. I’ll try to post some links when I have time. 8-)

  41. @ Alec

    I am well aquainted with the needs to disabled people, having nursed a close relative for many years, but I’m afraid it is a fallacy to assume someone with disabilities can’t also be lazy or unwilling to work as well as they can in physical terms.
    ——————————————————-
    I sincerely hope that caring for your relative brought you more joy than sorrow.

    I am sure that people with disabilities can be lazy & unwilling to work. My point was that you don’t generally find the ones who are lazy/ unwilling to work actually in the [public sector] workforce – which was what we were discussing. (& I actually wrote “handicaps” & was using the word in its wider sense).

    I just wanted to clear that up.
    8-)

  42. @ Colin

    I can see that your inentions are good ones -but I urge you :-

    Not to see disabled people as a homogenous group of some sort. They are not. They are as much individuals as the able bodied-with as many faults & as many good attributes.
    —————————————-
    I don’t see disabled people as a homogenous group; but I’m not going to write a disclaimer to that effect every time that I deal with issues which the majority of disabled people recognise as being ‘their’ issues.
    8-)

  43. AMBER

    No need to be tetchy .

    My post was well meant , since I know directly how these matters have affected & do affect a disabled person, and how she views them.

    But I see that you are able to speak for “the majority” of disabled people.

  44. Socal

    “Lol. That’s such a classic Debbie Downer response….cynical and dark yet really funny at the same time. :)”

    Glad you liked it, though I haven’t the faintest idea who Debbie Downer is. Presumably either a generic name for someone who makes that kind of remark or a sitcom character?

    Anyway I’m off to the new threads now.

  45. colin

    “ie-put the lefties back in , to stop the pain from the righties of correcting the debts they inherited from the lefties……who………ad infinitum”

    I almost wrote that myself !

  46. ROB

    :-)

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