The full tables for YouGov’s weekly poll for the Sunday Times are now up here. As one might guess from five point Tory lead in voting intention, they are unremittingly dire for Ed Miliband.

On leader ratings David Cameron stands at minus 3 (from from 7 last week), Nick Clegg at minus 50 (from minus 49 last week) and Ed Miliband at minus 53, his worst so far and the first time he has dropped below Nick Clegg. Only 18% think Miliband is doing well, compared to 71% who think he is doing badly. Amongst Labour’s own supporters 50% now think Miliband is doing badly.

Asked if Labour had the right policies and the best leader for them, only 8% thought they had both. 31% think they have the right policies, but only 14% think they have the right leader. Even amongst the 31% who think they have the right policies (and are therefore must be somewhat well disposed towards them), three quarters think they don’t have the best leader for them. Only 24% of people, and only 26% of Labour’s own supporters, think that Miliband should lead the party into the next election.

Turning to Labour’s policies, YouGov asked how well people think they understand the Labour party’s position on the cuts. 37% say they understand it very (4%) or fairly well (37%). 54% say they don’t understand it well or don’t understand it at all. Asked about Labour’s decision to support the 1% cap on public sector pay rises, 50% said they agreed with the decision to not reverse the cap. Labour supporters were evenly split – 41% supporting the decision (and therefore the cap), 38% disagreeing with it.

As well as this there were a series of questions on the “Boris Island” airport, which generally speaking found people opposed to the idea by about 2 to 1. YouGov also found opposition to the idea of a new Royal Yacht – only 24% of people supported it, compared to 64% who were opposed (of the 24% who supported it, 62% thought the taxpayer should contribute, with 37% thinking it should be funded wholly from private funds)

Finally there were some questions on the Falkland Islands. 57% of people think they should remain British, 12% think they should be given to Argentina. Were the Islands to be invaded again today, 58% of people say they wouls support military action to defend them, 27% say they would oppose it.

191 Responses to “Full YouGov/Sunday Times report”

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  1. @OldNat,

    I think arming the police of Plymouth with batons and pepper spray is logical and wise. It doesn’t follow that I think arming everyone in Plymouth in such a way would be logical and wise.

    But for countries like India, that face real threats and are relatively stable and reliable, then I have no particular issue with nuclear armament.

  2. NEIL A,

    And you can of course guarantee us all that countries like India will be perpetually “relatively stable and reliable”, or at least as “reliable and stable” as Germany in the mid 30’s.

    Cllr Peter Cairns (SNP).

  3. NEIL A

    Your analogy suffers a little from the assumption that only the “good guys” should have WMD. If they are good guys, why would they need them? Those in Syria at the moment, may not consider the police to be very nice – no matter how pleasant the Plymouth police might be.

    Indeed the very concept that certain countries (well the USA) should be the world’s police lacks a certain something – for example Gincrich becoming US President.

    Presumably it could it make sense for India to rent their nuclear missiles from another country – say China? China might even be a real police force – as opposed to the B Specials from the USA?

  4. Oldnat,

    “Your analogy suffers a little from the assumption that only the “good guys” should have WMD. If they are good guys, why would they need them?”

    Unless bad guys get them. Like the French.

    The whole reason we have nuclear weapons is that it would unacceptable for the French to have the bomb, but for Britain to be without the bomb.


    Damn! I forgot the French. Obviously England needs nukes to defend themselves against the Auld Alliance. :-)

  6. Those of you wondering about the UK nuclear deterrent may wish to read this

    Regards, Martyn


    You said “…On the other hand if the only way you can keep your influence is by doing what the other side wants, what exactly is the nature or value of this influence?…”

    Valid point. And if the meaning of “influence” in an EU context was “doing what the other side wants”, you’d be right. But that’s not what it means here.

    Discussing the influence of the UK in the EU per se is too long and boring for this time of night, but (thankfully) for the purposes of your question we need only discuss a subset: the influence of the UK in the European Council. Here the influence of the UK is simple: the ability to demand a quid pro quo, or “I will let you do what you want provided you give me something”.

    Now to answer the question you didn’t ask… :-) “Why did the last European Council meeting go so pear-shaped?”

    The last European Council meeting was dominated by two approaches: the British (which wanted a EU-wide agreement and a quid-pro-quo regarding financial regulation) and the French (which wanted a smaller intergovernmental agreement and no quids-pro-quo). This is a continuation of a long-running disagreement between the Brits and French: the former want a wider, looser EU, the latter want a narrower, deeper one (with the French in charge… :-) )

    Now if memory serves, the heads of government are alone (or accompanied by only one civil servant, I forget which) in the chamber, so Cameron was dependent on a remote team of advisers via his Blackberry. The UK’d prepared the ground and would allow the treaty amendments provided the UK could insist on a higher threshold for bank recapitalisation and some other financial-market stuff. The Brits were supported by the Danes, the French corralled some other nations, Germany was vacillating. Game on…

    But a combination of errors (Cameron not using his Blackberry, a late introduction of the UK’s demands, unfamiliarity with meeting procedure, some inaccurate legal advice from a Belgian), led to the French winning: there would be a separate treaty. This was greeted by the UK media (who know less about EU procedure than a cat knows about Jupiter) as a success.

    This kinda stuff is not supposed to happen, and is one reason why decisions should not be taken by tired politicians in a crowded room at 4am. But here we are, and the task for British diplomacy is to prevent this kind of clusterf*** happening again.

    Incidentally, there’s an accessible article about it here

    Regards, Martyn

  8. @alec

    You said “…Perhaps she [Germany/Merkel] wants us in because she needs another big economy to pay the EU bills?…”

    That’s almost certainly one of the reasons but it’s not the only one. The UK’s view of how the EU should be is closer to Germany’s than the more statist view of France. So (ironically), Germany needs the UK as an ally against France. It’s forward to the 19th Century… :-)

    Regards, Martyn

  9. Martyn

    Square Leg was also known to some of us as Silly Mid Off – though the analogy had to be explained to some of us not cogniscent of England’s national(ist) game.

  10. @ Peter Cairns

    3) What really matters to the SNP is that Scotland is free to make all those choices itself more than the actual choices themselves.
    This is exactly where all hope is lost for the SNP ever making a convert of me!

    Because I do not care what ‘nationality’ people are, provided they make good decisions.

    And the ‘principle’ that a bad decision made by Holyrood is somehow better the same bad decision made by Westminster just makes my jaw drop!

  11. Amber

    Consequently, you are happy that just because you (and your children) are British – do look back at some of your previous posts – that a British decision is somehow better than a European or Scottish decision?

    I am open that sovereignty should lie with the Scottish people. I don’t claim any great philosophical principle bout it. it’s just how things are. There is a Scottish demos.

    You think differently. You are British and feel that sovereignty lies with the Queen in Parliament, and not the people.

    Neither position is right or wrong – just different “nationalities”. You are no less a nationalist than I am.

  12. @ Old Nat

    “Damn! I forgot the French. Obviously England needs nukes to defend themselves against the Auld Alliance.”

    Exactly! You never know when they might try and invade again.

  13. @ Old Nat

    You are British and feel that sovereignty lies with the Queen in Parliament, and not the people.
    I believe that the people are the Parliament & Parliament is sovereign. The Queen can be legislated ‘out of existence’ by Parliament, if it was the will of the people, via their elected representatives, to so do.

    The Queen must also appear in a court of law, if called upon.

    The monarchy are not above Parliament or the law, therefore they do not concern me over-much. They are an expensive luxury which the British people believe we can afford. And the SNP agrees. Therefore there is little more to be said about this, IMO.

  14. @ Old Nat

    you are happy that just because you (and your children) are British – do look back at some of your previous posts – that a British decision is somehow better than a European or Scottish decision?
    Not at all; I think a good decision is good & a bad decision is bad, regardless of the nationality of the person who makes it.

    It was Peter’s assertion that a choice ‘made in Scotland’ – even if it is a bad choice – is better than a British choice, just because it was ‘made in Scotland’. I am not going to agree with that sentiment.

  15. @ Auld Nat

    e.g. the SNP has always been in favour of the euro. The Uk decided to stay out of it. That now appears to be the better decision because being in the euro would likely have been very bad indeed for Scotland.

    So I’m not going to accept that being in the euro would have been a good choice for Scotland just because the Holyrood incumbents were in favour of it. Which is pretty much what Peter was saying.

  16. @ Old Nat

    “That the USA chose not to apply it in 1908, when the Brits claimed the South Sandwich Islands, doesn’t mean they couldn’t apply it now.

    But, of course, the UK has a nuclear deterrent of US missiles, so Washington will be scared that a UK Trident sub will fire US missiles ate the US?”

    If we didn’t invoke it in 1982, we’re not going to invoke it now (whatever any of the GOP presidential contenders or other raving lunatic pundits on FOX News say).

    Also, you’re not going to nuke us (unless the Lib Dems win an overall majority and decide to take us back because that would be the “liberal” thing to do).

  17. Good Morning. Bournemouth beach beautiful today.

    I have just read Andy Beckett’s article from 14th Jan. Very fair and measured it is.

    The article is about the leaders of the Labour Party- past and present.

  18. Roll back a bit people, I didn’t say anything about good or bad.

    Just because I am not a fan of NATO, doesn’t make Scotland remaining in NATO a bad decision.

    I may be a politician but I am not one who thinks that my ideas spring from the font of all knowledge and anyone else’s are a step on the road to hell.

    Since Devolution on health, education and social services Scotland has made different choices.

    The main headline ones being free personal care, tuition fees and the smoking ban. These have all got widespread support, indeed with a proportional Parliment you can’t get them through without it.

    Are they better choices than the bad ones made in Britain? No!

    They are just different ones, we have made for ourselves. So far people like them, but there are a fair number who don’t or think they will prove unaffordable or damaging.

    Again it’s all about who and where the choices are made rather than the choice itself.

    There are probably as many nationalists who feel that a choice made in Edinburgh will, by definition, be better than one made in London than there are Tories who believe that a choice made in London will always be better than one made in Brussels.

    I am not one of them, that’s why I am okay with being in the EU, as for me the kind of Continent wide decisions it makes are okay to negotiate and share as long as we can do the really important things ourselves at home.

    Anyway… It is easy to see that Anthony is otherwise detained as I am now as guilty as anyone of drifting too far away from polling, so back to my original thoughts and questions.

    Yes or no folks?

    Do people think that we are seeing the first signs that the two Ed’s move on the cuts has caused a shift from Labour to the SNP?

    Do we think that if sustained, a 5% gap, will entice the Tories to push for something on Europe, Health or Benefits, that will force Labour and the LibDems to either accept them while complaining or get the two thirds needed for an election at a time that the Tories might win.

    Do we see a steady Tory lead developing and will it make Labour dump Ed before the May elections or will they struggle on? Could losing Glasgow be the final nail?

    Cllr Peter Cairns (SNP)

  19. Wonder where this is heading ?. Once Iran has developed nuclear weapons, if that is what they intend, I am not sure there is much that could be done about it. An oil embargo could not be imposed forever, so I suspect that it would just have to be accepted.

  20. R HUCKLE

    “Wonder where this is heading ?”

    Nowhere, both sides will sabre rattle for a while yet. We will flaunt or overwhelming conventional superiority and they will bluster about their ability to challenge it.

    That is, until the first successful Iranian test at which point much of our conventional superiority is neutralised. Then everything changes.

    That is what lies at the bottom of our fears for Gulf stability.

    Not that they will attack us, but that we will no longer be able to attack them.

    How long will the small kingdoms be to be on our side once there are doubts about our military guarantees?

    May we live in interesting times!

    Cllr Peter Cairns (SNP).


    @”The episode does the UK no favours in the long run.”

    I disagree-I think the contrary will be true.

    But neither you, nor I can know-we both have to wait & see.

    However, I take some comfort from Martyn’s comments-particularly if Sarkozy departs the scene.

  22. Neil A,

    What does the UK , USA et al have to be self-appointed policemen? We might see ourselves as stable – other countries may disagree. Iraqis can reasonably feel threatened by us in that we have actually engaged in an unprovoked attack on them. I suggest we would not have done that had Iraq had nuclear weapons
    It’s the old tale of humbug and hypocrisy – ‘Do as we say not as we do’.

  23. “Press TV, the Iranian state broadcaster’s English-language outlet, has been forced off the air in the UK after Ofcom revoked its licence for breaching the Communications Act.

    Ofcom found that Press TV’s practice of running its editorial oversight from Tehran, Iran’s capital, is in breach of broadcasting licence rules in the UK.”


    Bye Bye Gorgeous George, Ken & Lauren Booth.

  24. OldNat. “Square Leg” is on the Leg side, “Silly Mid Off” is on the Off side, surprisingly. When did you last play cricket?

  25. Well there is a turn up for the books a fivepoint lead after two years of austerity i don’t believe anyone was predicting that!

    The interesting thing is i wonder if it is becasue most people are not feeling the cuts as badly as was made out perhaps the scaremongering has over played the hand and now the world has not spinning people are happier to back the tories?

    I am sure having a divinded oppostion abite one that is simmering under the surface has helped the coalition as well.

    If the polls stay like this mays local elections are going to be very interesting indeed.

  26. Asking a Scotsman;

    “When did you last play cricket?”

    Cllr Peter Cairns (SNP)

  27. @ChrisLane1945

    “I have just read Andy Beckett’s article from 14th Jan. Very fair and measured it is.”

    I agree and he’s coming from a similar standpoint to mine; one that I’ve argued ad infinitum (nauseam!!) on these very pages. What he’s saying in the article is that we have no way of really knowing at this stage whether Miliband is ultimately unelectable, but that possibility can’t be entirely ruled out. I accept that but the reason why I think that it’s premature to make that final negative judgement now is very succinctly and wisely put in this extract from Beckett’s article: –

    “So far, he has faced an exceedingly lucky government, insulated from the consequences of its ramshackle radicalism by voter-distracting foreign calamities, domestic good news stories such as royal festivities, and by a freakish absence of byelections in vulnerable coalition seats.That luck is unlikely to last. If the economy does not properly revive before the election, or if the public sector cuts produce significant social upheaval, Miliband may not have to be an outstanding opposition leader to take advantage.”

    Now an arch-sceptic like Rob S may say I’m in danger of being Micawber-like and just hoping “that something will turn up”. Maybe, but I’m in the Beckett school of panic-denial at the moment! Others, of course, are fully entitled to be less sanguine about the current state of affairs.

  28. Peter Cairns. I assumed from OldNat’s post that OldNat was “cogniscent” (no such word in English-presume he means cognisant) with the game of cricket, also that he knew left from right. Perhaps his first language is Gadhelic?

  29. @ chouenlai

    About Europe and the use of veto. The landscape has changed since the Brussels meeting in December. I can’t see a treaty going forward based on the discussions that were held.

    Bearing in mind that the EU are involved in trying to keep some countries and the Euro afloat, I think they will be keeping it simple. David Davis was interviewed at the weekend about Europe and I agree with him that Greece and Portugal will have to leave the Euro. He thought that Ireland could also, but I am not sure I agree. What is for sure is that some countries won’t be able to stay in the Euro, because they need to have more control over their economies. e.g exchange rate devaluation.

  30. R.Huckle. “Countries need to have more control over their economies”. What a surprise – this point was made over and over again 10 years ago, but still there are those who say we should join the Euro. How long does it take politicians and economists to understand the facts of life?

  31. Old Nat.

    I thought the comedic name of choice for that exercise was Silly Point.

    Whilst we’re on the subject of Armageddon Avoided (or at least Delayed), given America’s cultural obsession with One Great Man saving the world, rather than the nefarious or schlerotic organs of the State, I’m amazed that Hollywood has never made a movie of the One Great Man Who Saved The World.

  32. Milliband continues to make an impression, unfortunately for him, the wrong one.
    Headline story in the Times online headed, ‘Hypocracy charge as Labour cuts it’s pensions”.

    It continues: “Ed Miliband has been accused of hypocrisy for attacking the Government’s cuts to public sector pensions after it emerged that the Labour Party has slashed millions of pounds from the pensions of its own employees.
    Several senior Labour figures have criticised the coalition’s decision to link public sector pensions to a lower rate of inflation, a significant part of the deficit reduction programme that is expected to save the Treasury £7.5 billion a year by 2015. But Labour’s latest accounts show that the party has saved £4.2 million by switching the inflation rate used in its own scheme from the retail prices index (RPI) to the lower consumer prices index (CPI).
    It is an embarrassing revelation for Mr Miliband, who introduced a Commons motion last year, arguing that it was unfair permanently to use the lower inflation rate for calculating the pensions of retired nurses, teachers, dustmen and civil servants.”

    Until Labour get away from this ‘Do as I say, not as I do mentality’, they are going to find it very difficult to be taken seriously.

    As for comments regarding his present malaise not being due to his & his teams incompetence but due to the fact that we have a ‘lucky’ government. Well I was always taught that you make your own luck, turning half opportunities to your own advantage and building on it.

    So perhaps, in fact, what we have is a competent government guiding us steadily but decidedly, through very difficult times.

  33. Are Colin and Collin the same people ?


    I think ED has blown it, he is still talking about a five year project, but in three years time we will be in pre election mode.

    Yes, we make our own luck. It was sad to hear the TODAY man saying to Stephen Timms that it would be good if ‘Labour had a policy’ on the 25K benefit cut.

    On another thread past: The Falklands.

    Possibly the Government could order the ship guarding the Island to withdraw, and introduce a Nationality Bill which would deprive the Falkland Islanders of British Citizenship. (As happened in late 1981, early 1981)

    This might encourage the ‘Argies’ to invade, and give us a casus belli.

  35. “Are Colin and Collin the same people ?”

    No………… least I’m not :-)

  36. CROSSBAT11

    @” insulated from the consequences of its ramshackle radicalism by voter-distracting foreign calamities, domestic good news stories such as royal festivities, and by a freakish absence of byelections in vulnerable coalition seats”

    I can’t comment on the incidence of bye elections-but the other two pieces of “luck” quoted are really dredging the barrel for excuses ! :-)

    “Insulated” ?-Radical certainly-and exposed to constant examination of every nuance of every reform-subject to vocal union resistance & strikes.

    “Royal festivities” ?-I mean come on -this is the political equivalent of the wrong leaves on the line.

    EM may or may not make it. But if he doesn’t, a “lucky” government will not be among the reasons.

    ………..must try harder :-)

  37. ” So, although I would not bet the farm on the precise level of the Tory lead, I am now certain, for the first time since December 2010, that the Conservatives really are ahead. ”

    “Why have the Tories taken the lead? Here’s my guess. It has little to do with anything ministers have done. The problem lies with Labour. The stream of bad publicity for Ed Miliband over the past fortnight has damaged the party (as well as his own rating, which continues to deteriorate). ”

    Peter Kellner YouGov

    h ttp://

  38. Have YouGov done anything about yesterday’s charts, yet?

  39. @Hannah

    ‘Have YouGov done anything about yesterday’s charts, yet?’

    Charts seem to have been amended.

  40. ICM/Guardian gives Tories 5 point lead : Con 40% Lab 35% Lib 16%

    Good countries need nuclear weapons. Simple. Look up the realist point of view of International Relations and in particular Balance of Power Stability Theory.

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