Full tables for the YouGov/Sunday Times poll are now up here, covering Miliband’s leadership, Scottish independence, abortion, alcohol and shoplifting.

Last night I pondered whether the reason the polls were still close between Labour and the Conservatives was a lasting effect of the veto, or a reflection of Labour’s current troubles. The regular trackers in the YouGov poll would suggest the latter – government approval and David Cameron’s approval ratings are both falling back towards their pre-veto levels, government approval is back down to minus 26, David Cameron’s approval rating is back down to minus 10. In contrast, Ed Miliband’s figures get ever worse, dropping to minus 49 (from minus 46 a week ago). Amongst Labour’s own supporters only 46% think he is doing well, compared to 49% who think he is doing badly.

Asked if Miliband had the right policies to be Prime Minister and whether he looked or sounded like a Prime Minister, only 7% thought he both had the policies and the look/sound to be PM. 43% thought he had neither (including, as one would expect, most Tories). The interesting bit is the rest, only 4% thought he looked like a PM but didn’t have the right policies, 27% thought he had the right policies, but didn’t look or sound like a PM. Amongst Labour’s own supporters only 16% thought Miliband had the right policies and the right look/sound, 5% of Labour supporters thought he had the right look/sound but the wrong policies, 59% of Labour supporters thought he had the right policies but didn’t look or sound like a possible Prime Minister.

For all the discussion of Labour’s policy stance on the economy (though in the longer term, that will be extremely important too), this appears to be the ultimate problem with Ed Miliband – people don’t think he looks the part of Prime Minister. It is not, as John Humphrey’s suggested, anything as crude as Ed Miliband being “too ugly” to be Prime Minister (YouGov asked and only 10% agreed), but a general image. It backs up earllier findings like that in December when, despite Labour having been ahead in the polls for a year, only 17% of people and only 37% of Labour’s own supporters thought it likely that Ed Miliband would ever be Prime Minister. This is a real problem for Miliband – policies can be changed, it is extremely difficult to change the public’s perception of a leader once it has settled. Miliband’s ratings did get a good hike after hackgate last year, but it was purely temporary, Labour need to get something like that which sticks.

The rest of the poll covered Scottish independence (which I’ll do a seperate post on later),
attitudes towards alcohol pricing, lobbying, shoplifting and abortion.

On Alcohol pricing, people are pretty evenly split over cut-price promotions on alcohol – 47% think they are a good thing, 42% a bad thing. 53% oppose a minimum price on alcohol, 47% support it, although largely at at quite low levels. 30% would support a minimum pricing at the suggested 45p a unit or less (the equivalent of about £1 for a pint of beer), 17% would support a higher minimum price.

On shoplifting, 16% of people admitted that they had shoplifted at some point in their lives. 50% of people saw it as a less serious type of theft than burgulary or mugging, compared to 45% who thought it was about the same. Asked what the appropriate punishment should be for a first time shoplifter, 23% thought they should be given a caution, 30% a fine, 30% community service, 11% a jail sentence.

Finally YouGov asked about the time limit for abortion. 5% of people supported a higher limit, 34% supported the status quo of a 24 week limit, 37% supported reducing the time limit and 6% supported a total ban on abortions. As you often find on abortion questions, women were more likely than men to support a reduction in the time limit for abortion (49% of women supported a tighter limit, compared to 24% of men.)


47 Responses to “Full(ish) report on YouGov/Sunday Times poll”

  1. FIRST

    Also I am confused, by wanting a tighter limit, does that mean reducing the number down from 24 weeks?

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  2. Also I am confused, by wanting a tighter limit, does that mean reducing the number down from 24 weeks?

    Yes I believe that is the case. I think a private members bill tried to get the limit down to 20 weeks, unless there was a medical reason for a later abortion. The reason is that many babies born fairly early in pregnancy are now capable of surviving due to advanced medical practices. Apparently (wiki) there have been rare cases of survival from 21 weeks.

    Personally I think politics should stay away from the abortion issue in terms of weeks, unless there is clear medical evidence to support a change.

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  3. Interesting how the YG labs’ article has been worded:

    “Update – Tories still lead
    by YouGov in Politics
    Sun January 15, 7 a.m. GMT

    Latest YouGov/Sunday Times results 13-15th? Jan CON 38%, LAB 40%, LD 9%; APP -26 See the survey details and full results here?????? ? ”

    :)

    Even more interesting is the Scottish crossbreak (trust me). Normally the numbers are around:

    Con 20%
    Lab 38%
    Lib 6%
    SNP 30%
    Others 6%

    First poll since the Con / Lab love-in:

    Con 29%
    Lab 42%
    Lib 8%
    SNP 10%

    Will have to see what happens over the coming polls.

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  4. STOP!

    Ignore that last post. YG have decided to change the layout of their tabs, and normally one would look at the last column. Sigh!

    Con 12%
    Lab 39%
    Lib 5%
    SNP 42%

    Equally interesting, but in the other direction. Apologies for the technical hitch.

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  5. Thanks Statgeek. I’ll have to change my pants now.

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  6. @ Statgeek

    Yes, YG have decided to let us have the entire tables with a section showing how sloshed people are likely to be when completing the survey. ;-)

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  7. From previous thread – chouenlai

    “LEADER RATINGS IN THIS YG POLL
    Con supporters ……Cameron 91%
    LD supporters ……….Clegg 45%
    Labour supporters …..Miliband – 3% ( that’s minus 3%).

    This poll was completed after the Miliband “relaunch”.

    Is this the first time in British history a party leader has obtained a minus result from his/her own party?”

    AFAIAA, yes.

    This is turning into a “perfect storm” for Alex Salmond:

    a) the popular (in his homeland) Gordon Brown now long gone, and replaced by a man who cannot even muster positive approval ratings amongst dedicated Labour supporters

    b) the “No” campaign being fronted by English public schoolboys Clammy Cammy and Oik Osborne

    c) the Lib Dems desperately trying, and failing, to keep the Tories’ anti-Scottish instincts in check

    d) Jim Murphy and Douglas Alexander (the sane voices of Unionism) nowhere to be seen

    If you haven’t seen this classic cartoon published yesterday, have a look now. The detail is delicious (although you need good eyesight):

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cartoon/2012/jan/13/scottish-independence-alex-salmond

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  8. @ Stuart

    b) the “No” campaign being fronted by English public schoolboys Clammy Cammy and Oik Osborne

    We don’t usually do the name calling thing here, no matter what our own feelings are. Play the ball, not the man is how Anthony puts it.
    8-)

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  9. @STUART

    Sorry bout that. :D

    @AMBER

    Is that a compelling factor for future elections? (sloshed when voting)

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  10. “Jim Murphy and Douglas Alexander (the sane voices of Unionism) nowhere to be seen”
    To be fair, Douglas Alexander was quite good on QT – he really ruffled Nicola Sturgeon – especially when he caught her on a ‘simple yes or no’ question when she kept trying to launch in to a prepared speech (why do politicians so often fall in to this trap?).

    As far as I can see though, the main problem the unionists have is the lack of concrete arguments.
    It’s all very abstract, wishy-washy, nationalist mother-and-applepie arguments.

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  11. On Independence, the headline results for the ICM Sunday Telegraph poll are broadly similar to the YG poll. The Support/ Oppose is very similar.

    Lots of people take that as meaning people would vote for independence in a referendum but it ain’t necessarily so. The ICM poll has 26% for independence & 37% for ‘the status quo’ with 26% for a 3rd option & 11% don’t know.

    IMO, the 37% is pretty much set; I can’t see that changing. And I think there may well be 10% who end up not voting, either because they don’t know or don’t care. It’s reasonable to assume, that the 26% for the 3rd option is where we’ll see movement, if there isn’t a 3rd option in the referendum.
    8-)

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  12. Another interesting Stat:

    “Do you support or oppose Scotland becoming a
    country independent from the rest of the United
    Kingdom?”

    Total:

    Support: 37%
    Oppose: 39%
    Don’t Know: 24%

    Scotland:

    Support: 45%
    Oppose: 45%
    Don’t Know: 10%

    (Wow!)

    The other Scot Indi questions are such that one can generally guess at the majorities (such as all non-Scots regions believing that the UK should still receive tax from North Sea Oil after independence, while obviously the Scots see things differently). Good poll though.

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  13. @ Statgeek

    The 45%: 45% from the crossbreak compares to an ICM Support 40%: Oppose 43% for Scotland only, from a demographically weighted sample.

    As I said, when ICM ask an RVI 26% would vote for independence & 26% would vote for a 3rd option – if there was one.
    8-)

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  14. AMBER

    @”We don’t usually do the name calling thing here, no matter what our own feelings are. Play the ball, not the man is how Anthony puts it.”

    Well said :-)

    On the new Andrew Neil show ( Sunday Politics-BBC ) today, your Deputy Leader Sawar ( I think?) was up against some SNP bloke.

    I thought Sawar was pretty good-calm & collected , with some pithy questions & comments.

    I do hope AD signs up for the Unionist team. I would buy tickets to watch him vs Salmond & Co on the role of RBS in Scottish political & financial life, the background to it’s failure & whether an independent Scotland should assume any of the RBS bailout cost. :-)

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  15. @AMBER

    “As I said, when ICM ask an RVI 26% would vote for independence & 26% would vote for a 3rd option – if there was one.”

    However, the YG question forces people to take a 2-option decision, and it’s split 50/50 (or is that 45/45?).

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  16. TingedFringe,

    I don’t watch QT, and, to be fair, I don’t think many “normal” people do. Such things are almost solely the province of the geekocracy, and have zilch effect on real-world voting patterns.

    Good to know Dougie was in good form though. Actually, I had missed this wee gem from Jim Murphy:

    - “He said David Cameron had “mishandled” the referendum issue in recent days. Until now, senior Labour figures have generally avoided criticising the government over this issue. But Murphy said briefing that the Westminster referendum plans would include a “use-by” date was a mistake.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/jan/13/jim-murphy-labour-scotland-union?newsfeed=true

    Nice to see the jolly cameraderie within the “No” camp. They’ll be playing football with each other in no man’s land by next Christmas. That is, with each other’s heids.

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  17. CHOUENLAI
    Last evening Smukesh manfully brushed aside these left wing chattering classes ? He referred to them as “Little Englanders”, this has left me confused of Buckingham, as I thought I was a Little Englander.
    Sorry for previous thread…I meant a large majority of Guardian posts are made by Labour hating right-wingers who spew a lot of bile there

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  18. Anthony,

    “government approval is back down to minus 46″

    I think you’ll find that it’s minus 26. But don’t worry, you are excused :)

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  19. BREAKING NEWS: Large conservative lead among those who drink more than four times a week

    CON 47%
    LAB 34%
    LD 8%
    OTHERS 11%

    I know I’m a Tory, but somehow this amuses me.

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  20. Ok, so the poll on the ‘preferred’ Labour leader makes it all pretty clear. The problem for EM is that he isn’t his brother. People (particularly Labour supporters) would prefer David.

    Despite the answers about him not being too ugly (which plainly has an ‘acceptable’ answer and so is probably useless as an indication of voters’ true thinking), it seems rather likely to me that the preference for David is because he is prettier – it’s certainly not to do with policies, since 75% of Lab supportes think that EM has the right policies

    Interestingly, 30% of LD supporters also think EM has the right policies – and a consistent 30-40% also give ‘bad’ responses to various questions on government record or policies. So there’s a further 3-4% of voters, currently LD supporters, who are receptive to Labour’s message.

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  21. It’s all pretty simple. Labour would be much stronger, and a far better opposition with D.Miliband in charge. Unfortunately they have made their bed, and are now trying to find a way to square it/live with it.

    The latest attempts seem to be around accepting cuts to try to wrestle back some economic credibility. This follows hot on the heels of what was almost like a Gok Wan makeover for EM the week before.

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  22. The numbers are dreadful for Ed Milliband…I think Andrew Marr is right…2012 will either make or break Ed…He`s got to increase his numbers among Labour supporters for that`s what gets him the bad headlines…Somehow he`s got to have a swig of the `Look prime ministerial` potion

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  23. Did anyone notice that heavy drinking is worse amongst those that disapprove of the job the govt is doing, comparing all the different results I think I could make a case that those who voted libdem in 2010 but have since changed party have all become alcoholics. :smile:

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  24. Richard O

    Why would Labour be a ‘better’ opposition with David M – possibly more right wing and also more accepted by the media but ‘better’

    It is sad that we no longer have policy at the heart of the discussion….perhaps that is why we have such an abysmal political class.

    I heard some journalist fud on the Politics Show calling Cameron ‘imperious’ today – I had to pick myself up off the floor!

    This week we had the Government being beaten 3 times in the Lords (which Cameron has stuffed full of new Tory members) with the support of the LD (despite going against their own party policy again) and then tried some underhand tactics to undermine the process. What discussion was there on the ‘Politics Show’ today – none! Just focus on Miliband.

    The competence of the Leader of the Opposition should be a subject for discussion, but where is the discussion of what is going on in the real world, outside Westminster

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  25. @ Richard O

    …what was almost like a Gok Wan makeover for EM the week before.
    ———————-
    Don’t be silly; Ed looks exactly the same as he did before.

    There was no make-over, no relaunch or whatever the media chose to call it. Ed M made a scheduled speech. Ed B made a scheduled speech.

    Ed B is still in favour of Keynsianism; he is stressing that employment is more important than recovery. Before the Autumn statement, Osborne & the OBR were fairly bullish about employment prospects. The Autumn statement changed that outlook. All Ed B has done is take that into account.

    Ed M has agreed with that. All else is exactly the same.

    There has been no “Gok Wan” make-over; there has been no relaunch; we (Labour) are still building policies & losing credibility…
    8-)

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  26. BAZSC
    If Labour start to show that they are going to return to government,the media have so much to rip this government to shreds that this will return to the Tory vote to 1997 levels…In the Mail today for example,there is a story of a Tory lobbyist selling Cameron`s phone number for 10000 pounds…However,it will only be possible if Labour convince the news setters that they are capable of winning

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  27. Smukesh

    I do not disagree with what you are saying.

    It is a shame, however, and has been the same fo many years.

    The problem is that the judgement of the press is seldom based on competence/policies but on ‘celebrity’

    David Miliband could take over and Labour would get a better press but then the policies would be Blairite.

    and then we all claim about how all politicians are cut from the same cloth……

    Finally, I expect that the papers turning on the Tories is less about Miliband but more about Cameron and what he does about Europe. It is that ridiculous so-called ‘veto’ that has helped him since Christmas but it might be Europe that eventually kills him!

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  28. BASZC
    Unfortunately,policies don`t sell papers…And in a way Milliband made his path much harder by taking the lead on phone hacking and making an enemy of Murdoch…I do think though come 2015,the government will get credit for some reforms they are making in Education,Welfare,for trimming the public sector waste and possibly NHS if they can make a success of it,and rightly so…Where Europe goes is anybody`s guess

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  29. @STANLEY

    “BREAKING NEWS: Large conservative lead among those who drink more than four times a week”

    That’s anything from four drinks a week to dozens. It’s the folk who go out once or twice and drink to excess that the govs are trying to curtail.

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  30. Statgeek: any poll which puts the Tories as high as 29% in Scotland has to be scrutinized very carefully I think!

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  31. Ed Milland on – 3% by his own party!!

    So in other words that’s 53% of Labour supporter who think he’s rubbish?

    Ouch!!

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  32. Why have YouGov treated “Wales/Midlands” as one “region”? It would have been fascinating to see whether support/opposition on Scottish Independence is different in Wales or if it matches the rest of the UK; but instead we don’t get to find out because they’ve lumped Wales and the Midlands together.

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  33. Welshguy
    Why have YouGov treated “Wales/Midlands” as one “region”? It would have been fascinating to see whether support/opposition on Scottish Independence is different in Wales or if it matches the rest of the UK; but instead we don’t get to find out because they’ve lumped Wales and the Midlands together
    ____________

    You share the same cricket board so why not polls? ;)

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  34. Allan,

    - “You share the same cricket board so why not polls?”

    Poor old Wales. They nearly always get lumped in with England, or a bit of England. Even the Church of England operated throughout E&W until the 1920s.

    I found something recently which applied to England & Scotland, but not Wales or NI. That is highly unusual, but now it has slipped my mind what it was.

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  35. I never think of cricket in the context of Wales, rugby yes. Do the Welsh really play much cricket?

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  36. @Stanley
    I exclude Scotland because they have a very serious drink problem and 8 Tories.
    In England it is the old Civil War mentality. We of the Kings Party wear brilliant coloured silk and lace (in the privacy of our own committee rooms), and drink, God how we drink.
    The Whiggish tendency which supports the hollow cheeked tee total, once God fearing (now PC fearing) Puritan, drinks water bright. Their leadership drink Avian.

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  37. @SMUKESH
    You are forcing me to continue to mention, nay labour (no pun intended) this point. The Guardian and Indie posters were not people like myself. I have ranted insult and injury to Socialism on those website’s when banned from this one. However, I spent quite a bit of time reading both sets of comments regarding the EDD’s Road To Damascus, believe me, very very disillusioned Labour supporters. I await next weeks polls with great interest.

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  38. richard in norway,

    - “I never think of cricket in the context of Wales, rugby yes. Do the Welsh really play much cricket?”

    Yes. A fair bit. Ever heard of Glamorgan?

    As regards international cricket, Wales are in a rather odd position: they have test status as part of the England team. Although called “England” (to Welsh chagrin), it actually represents both E & W. But they also had their own Welsh cricket team in the past:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wales_national_cricket_team

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  39. CHOUENLAI
    As you know I agree with you that longer term the effect of this decision would be overridden by the worries of a Tory OM…In the short-term I hope the damage is not too much

    Meanwhile the Tory support in Scotland seems to have collapsed in this poll(maybe an outlier).Do you think the Scots are not taking kindly to an old Etonian trying to dictate terms?

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  40. It isn’t all that odd. Legally speaking Wales is part of England, isn’t it? I thought the English annexed Wales, rather than forming an alliance with it?

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  41. @NEIL A
    Wales was defeated in battle and by the grace of the King of England created a Principality.

    @smukesh

    No, I think any talk of Scotland being bullied is just the usual inferiority complex “tail wagging the dog” routine.
    If 5million people think they can call all the shots to 55 million people, they are wrong. Cameron knows this and will use it to pick up support in England. As I have predicted for some considerable time, and am now supported by polling results, the English are getting seriously hacked off with Scotland and just wish them gone.
    I will not reduce to Stuart Dicksons level by calling Salmond JABBA THE HUT, but let us see what Luke Camwalker and Obi Ben Darling do with him.

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  42. @Stuart D
    “Allan – “You share the same cricket board so why not polls?”
    Poor old Wales. They nearly always get lumped in with England, or a bit of England.”
    _______________________

    You may not have noticed, but Swansea have just beaten Arsenal this afternoon. Are you suggesting that they should instead have been playing Afan Lido in the Corbett Sports Welsh Premier League?

    Scottish football is hardly an advert for independence.

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  43. @CHOU

    “If 5million people think they can call all the shots to 55 million people, they are wrong.”

    I don’t see why not (not that they want to call the shots for England, but for Scotland (themselves)). Eight million call the shots for 62 million all the time.

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  44. @statgeek
    Well they should get of off their bottoms and vote then, the option is there.

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  45. @CHOU

    I think that’s the point, isn’t it? Voting on their terms and for their interests. Whether the majority see it in their interests to stay in the UK or go independent, we can expect many from the South to make it a negative decision. ;)

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  46. Good Evening All from Bournemouth, a sunny day it was here on the beach.

    Abortion/Termination; There is no limit on abortion timing in the case of disability. This was agreed so that a lower rate could be the normal week limit for ‘normal’ unborn babies.

    The CATHOLIC HERALD today has an interesting article by an academic, in Notre Dame Univ, from the USA about the rightward shift in voting among roman catholics- driven by ‘LIFE’ issues: the shift is not being driven by a more ‘liberal’ elderly clergy.

    On Miliband: Look: it is obvious is it not that they are going to win with him- I mean Labour. But his job is safe until 2016.

    Interesting Radio 5 Live with J.Piennar on this at the present time.

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  47. UK Back in recession !

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2087024/UK-recession-Economic-recovery-paralysed-European-debt-crisis.html

    Think the pressure will be on Osborne to do something at the budget to keep the country out of a bad recession.

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