Full tabs for the YouGov/Sunday Times poll are now up here.

On the regular leader ratings all three are up: David Cameron stands at minus 1 (up from minus 3 a week ago), Nick Clegg at minus 38 (up from minus 50) and Ed Miliband at minus 48 (up from minus 53).

74% of people now expect Britain to go back into recession in the next 12 months. This isn’t actually much changed from before the recent negative growth figures (it was 72% when last asked in November), but that’s probably to be expected that people already expected a second recession anyway (not to mention that most people don’t pay much attention to economic figures!)

On the cuts, 42% think the government should reduce the scale of the cuts, 45% think they are right as they are (33%) or should be bigger (12%). On taxes 47% would like to see taxes cut more to encourage growth, 11% think taxes should be increased to reduce the deficit, 30% think the present balance is about right.

Exploring taxes a bit more we see the usual pattern – people support tax cuts, but support tax hikes for people significantly richer than they are. Hence 83% support increasing the personal allowance to £10,000, but 65% support a “mansion tax” on houses worth £2 million or more. Interesting support for a mansion tax does drop somewhat if the threshhold comes down to £1 million, bringing support down to 50% and to under half in London and the South-East. On the 50p tax rate, there is high support for keeping the tax rate (by 68% to 19%, up from last year), but much less support for expanding it. People are pretty evenly split on bringing down the threshhold to £100,000, with 39% in support and 42% opposed.

Moving onto the benefits cap, 72% of people support the principle of a benefits cap and, of those who support it, 33% support the proposed £26,000 cap, 52% support a lower cap, 9% a higher cap. 24% support the House of Lords amendment excluding child benefit from the cap, with 58% opposed.

Finally there were a series of questions on honesty: 65% of people think that people have become less honest in the last decade. Asked about various professions, people overwhelmingly think it is likely they would lie – over 90% think it is likely that politicians, celebrities and business leaders would lie. 77% think lawyers are likely to lie. Only in the case of doctors do a majority (68%) think it is unlikely they would lie. Asked if it is acceptable for figures in public office to lie, 70% think it is never acceptable on matters of public interest, but they are more understanding when it comes to their personal lives, where 57% think it is sometimes acceptable for them to lie.


185 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – full report”

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  1. Yes, but what constitutes “a parliamentary majority big enough for the party or faction in power to carry through most of its legislative programme without the risk of parliamentary defeat” is open to question. I agree that a majority of 18 may not be enough to see through a 5 year term, but it would usually be enough (in all likelihood) to be in power for at least a couple of years. Depends on the circumstances, I guess.

    The Major example only proves that he lost the confidence of his own party. What with all the sleaze and corruption and his (perceived) weak leadership, not to mention unpopularity at that time, that is hardly surprised!

  2. D Abrahams

    “Confirms my view that the days when FPTP protected the UK from the alleged evils of hung parliaments are well and truly over”

    I think the odds are clearly on another coalition after the next election. Just not possible as yet to project what the make up will be.

  3. “The Major example only proves that he lost the confidence of his own party”

    Doh- which is why- of course- you historically needed that 30 plus cushion i.e. otherwise known as a “working majority”

    Ooops I almost forgot

    ;-)

  4. Rob,

    “You are desperate for a row aren’t you- sorry to have pointed out your errors (as usual).

    Oops I forgot”

    Not at all. As I remember it, you have a habit of starting things.

    Note: They may be errors to someone of your limited intellect, but yet again, you seem to overestimate your own intelligence. Isn’t it a pity that not many other people share your confidence in your abilities. Must be wonderful to be so full of your own s****.

  5. @ Rob Sheffield

    ‘I think the odds are clearly on another coalition after the next election. Just not possible as yet to project what the make up will be.’

    It’s a rare pleasure to find myself agreeing with you.

    Would you agree that both David Cameron and whoever is leading the Labour Party by then would probably prefer to work with the Lib Dems than the SNP?

    Looking to NI, Labour and SDLP are clearly natural allies, but I’m not sure Cameron would relish relying on the support of the DUP.

  6. Rob,

    If you lose the confidence of your own party, you are doomed anyway. Even a 30 or 40 seat majority probably wouldn’t be enough to serve the full 5 year term and save you. ;-)

  7. D ABRAHAMS

    “Would you agree that both David Cameron and whoever is leading the Labour Party by then would probably prefer to work with the Lib Dems than the SNP?”

    I have no doubt that the British political class are much happier working with each other, than anyone outside that circle.

  8. ‘I think the odds are clearly on another coalition after the next election. Just not possible as yet to project what the make up will be.’

    Yes, I also find myself agreeing with Rob. Guess it only goes to show that the law of averages means that even those who generally talk s*** have to get it right sometimes! ;-)

  9. @ Old Nat

    ‘I have no doubt that the British political class are much happier working with each other, than anyone outside that circle.’

    It’s not quite as sinister as that, is it? More straightforwardly the SNP’s desire to dismember the United Kingdom would make it difficult for them to work alongside those parties who wish to preserve it.

  10. D ABRAHAMS

    I wasn’t implying anything “sinister”. Simply that IPPR were right in using the term “British political class” to describe that group of people who share a set of values which are happily accommodated within the “Buggin’s turn” British party system.

    Every so often, an outsider appears and is either absorbed (like Lloyd George) or rejected (like Brown).

    Brown’s “Britishness” strategy was embarrassing because he tried to hard to stamp his feet and say “I am British! I am, I am, I am!” – but the Establishment wouldn’t let him in.

    Roy Jenkins rather overplayed the adoption of a ridiculous change of voice, but it worked. He got in. John Smith previously (and Murphy, Alexander, now) managed the assimilation much more easily.

  11. Rob –

    Electoral calculus doesn’t use UNS. It uses its own model, explained here:

    http://www.electoralcalculus.co.uk/strongmodel.html

  12. FrankG

    “I guessed the speaker would come from Con or Lab MPs.”

    Although I have not done in-depth study of past Speakers’ seat affliliations, I was always under the impression that generally the ruling party provided the Speaker. This then justified the Speaker always casting his vote in the ‘tie’ situation in the favour of the ruling party.

    I seem to recall that Lab broke with that tradition when, despite having a their huge overall majority, they supported a candidate from the opposition’s party…

    I don’t think there are any real rules about how the Speaker is chosen, just a lot of assumed traditions that usually turn out not to go back very far. Betty Boothroyd was also an opposition MP when chosen for example.

    You’re wrong about the casting vote though which is used without regard to Party advantage. Acoording to the Wikipedia:

    [the Speaker] in practice, always votes in accordance with certain unwritten conventions, such as Speaker Denison’s Rule. Firstly, the Speaker votes to give the House further opportunity to debate a bill or motion before reaching a final decision. (For example, the Speaker would be obliged to vote against a closure motion.) Secondly, any final decision should be approved by the majority. (Thus, for instance, the Speaker would vote against the final passage of a bill.) Finally, the Speaker should vote to leave a bill or motion in its existing form; in other words, the Speaker would vote against an amendment.

  13. @Martyn

    I still want to know what these mysterious “Legal Issues” are that the Conservatives claim still exist about the use of European Institutions for an enhanced cooperation treaty. Considering the UK is signed up to some of these enhanced cooperation treaties as well, the European Patent treaty and the European Defence Initiative…

  14. JIM JAM.
    Good Evening, and thank you, just run 10K tonight as well, not bad at age 56.

    I thought Headmistress would elicit a response.

    As to Tony ‘worship’ , well the Lady watching me is related to a very senior Labour man of the old school.

    I agree about target culture- it has reduced teaching to tasks and processes rather than the love of learning and fun.

    It is just I am keen on winning elections. 1966 to 1997 is a long time. 1974 is an abherent victory- Heath would have had 11 unionists on board if he had not ‘betrayed’ them by insisting on civil rights for the minority communities in the Six Counties of the North of Ireland.

  15. I also suspect that DC’s… Let’s not call it a U-Turn, so much as recognition that he never had the ability to Veto an independent treaty between EU Countries… is going to cause problems within his party.

    Compare today’s “we’re not intending to take action about that now” from WH with Sunday’s authoritative answer from IDS that the PM would not back down, and that “I absolutely trust the prime minister on this, I know where he stands.”

  16. Chrislane,
    ‘. 1974 is an abherent victory- Heath would have had 11 unionists on board if he had not ‘betrayed’ them by insisting on civil rights for the minority communities in the Six Counties of the North of Ireland.’

    Not quite. Only 10 othe 11 Unionists had previously taken the Tory whip. Paisley never did.

  17. JAYBLANC
    `I also suspect that DC’s… Let’s not call it a U-Turn, so much as recognition that he never had the ability to Veto an independent treaty between EU Countries… is going to cause problems within his party.`

    Finally some recognition that if the EU needs to work well,then Britain needs to help,rather than hinder…Especially if you are claiming it`s the reason the UK economy isn`t growing…A good `U`turn

  18. Eeeh Chris L. Counter factual history is a mug’s game. You reckon that if Heath had scraped a tiny majority in Deb 74 that Kabour would not have win another election until the Blessed Anthony wafted down from heaven on a golden cloud?

  19. @Alec

    Thank you for your comment from much earlier (re the Scottish referendum).

    The “do you agree” part of the question is so clearly flawed that it stands little chance of surviving the scrutiny that determines the actual question. In drawing attention to the mountain of independent evidence from academic experts, views of polling companies and even the GCSE statistics syllabus, I was more than anything just curious how far some would go in defending the indefensible.

    That said, I am fairly sure that the SNP anticipated these reactions from the outset, so the tactical question arises of what they are up to. Could the intention be just to provoke another row, in the hope that any legitimate objections from outside of Scotland might then be portrayed as undue interference? Perhaps. But I think it is also likely that by offering up something that can be conceded, the SNP hope is that there is more of a chance that the rest of the flawed question will survive largely unscathed. If so, “do you agree” can be viewed as just a diversionary tactic.

    The more important part of the question, as @AmberStar and others have already pointed out, is what it doesn’t say. The lack of definition of “independent country” helps the nationalist cause. A credible case can be made that with either existing devolution or even more devolution within the UK, Scotland is already very largely independent, and of course it is a country. How can anyone object to it remaining so by voting “no”? Hence clarity is needed, which could be delivered by the addition of something like that will clarify the implications of a vote one way or another. Even five extra words (“outside of the United Kingdom”) would be a good start.

    The relevance of the form of the question will hopefully be proved in the next few months when I am sure we will see rigorous testing of the impact of different wordings on otherwise comparable samples within the same polls.

  20. AW

    Indeed- and that reminded me

    (from here http://www.electoralcalculus.co.uk/trackrecord_10models.html)

    that

    “The models are fairly similar over most breakdowns.

    The Strong Transition Model is slightly superior, and a higher threshold is a little better, though the effect is small. ”

    EC always had the better projection tool- which makes today’s abstractions even the more interesting.

    Cheers!

  21. AmbivalentSupporter

    “If you lose the confidence of your own party, you are doomed anyway. Even a 30 or 40 seat majority probably wouldn’t be enough to serve the full 5 year term and save you”

    Which is- of course- pure unadulterated manure straight form the cows arse.

    If Major had ‘lost the confidence of his party’ he would have lost the leadership election that he called.

    Instead he was held ransom by 25 or so Eurosceptic “ba*tards” because he did not have a WORKING majority- only a SLIM one ;-)

  22. @AW

    Thanks for the link to the Electoral Calculus model. I’d had a look previously (at around the time that @Martyn was singing the virtues of a fully proportional model)and spotted that it wasn’t operating on a UNS basis either nationally or within parts of the UK. (Method: Setting the LD vote to fall to 0.1% in Scotland and finding that Orkney and Shetland fell to 0.8% rather than staying in double digits). So without finding anything better I’d concluded from that that their model had to be fully proportional, rather than the hybrid they’re using.

  23. @Rob,

    I sort of agree, sort of don’t re: slim majorities. If Major’s majority had been 35 and he’d had 40 “ba*ards” then the problem would have been the same.

    On the other hand, if he’d had a majority of 10 and the European Union hadn’t been going through such major changes he might have been OK.

    After all, Gillard seems to be surviving in Australia with a majority of (since last week) zero.

  24. @Phil – “… five extra words”

    “The First Minister said: ‘It is SNP policy to have the Queen as our head of state…

    That union, that United Kingdom if you like, would be maintained after Scottish political independence.

    I think that’s a real stumbling block about putting forward a question of the United Kingdom.'”

    h
    ttp://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/scotland/scottish-politics/9047397/Alex-Salmond-defends-Scotland-independence-referendum-question.html

    On a number of issues SNP seem to be moving towards a variable definition whereby independence/devomax/indepedence lite are all available/interchangeable

  25. Billy Bob

    I gather you didn’t bother following up the Prof Mitchell analysis, I suggested you should look at.

  26. @Roger Mexico

    Many thanks for that info on the Speaker’s casting vote.

    I clearly worded it badly in that ‘in favour of the ruling party’ should have read ‘in favour of the bill and against amendments’. I guess I just assumed that most important bills are proposed by the government and would therefore be supported, whereas amendments would normally be proposed by the opposition and thus a tied amendment is not supported by the Speaker’s casting vote. In modern times oppositions and private members seem to have a lot more opportunities to bring forward their own bills. Also the House of Lords seems to propose a lot more changes in modern times than earlier, when the Govt would have threatened to just create more Life Peers to ensure its bills got through.

    Thanks for the info though.

  27. BTW, prompted by Electoral Calculus and their modelling of just 6 LD seats.

    Ladbrokes have yet to change their odds on the number of seats won by the LDs in 2015 (or whenever the GE is).

    Ladbrokes are still offering 16/1 on 10 or less, 5/1 on 11-20 and 4/1 on 21-30. If you take a combination of these at appropriate proportions, you can yield a profit of 135% should they end up with anything between 0 and 30. Seems a minimal risk for a large probable return in some 3 years time. The LDs start with 46 notional seats on the new boundaries, 57 seats currently.

  28. GRAHAM and LEFTYLAMPTON.

    Good Evening again, just in I am from a teaching session with future ‘converts’ (to use a phrase we are not allowed to use now) to ‘Rome’. (!)

    Thanks for the correction on the ten, Graham.

    Not doing any counter factual, Lefty, just pointing out that if people think there was not a 31 year gap between Harold and Tony, they should remember the accident of Feb 1974, and that Wilson thought the October result against a weak tory opposition was a disaster.

  29. @Billy Bob
    “The First Minister said: ‘It is SNP policy to have the Queen as our head of state…

    That union, that United Kingdom if you like, would be maintained after Scottish political independence. ”
    ____________________

    Just like Australia and 15 other realms of the Commonwealth then. Aren’t they outside of the UK of GB and NI?

  30. Phil

    Learn a little history. You are embarrassing yourself.

  31. @OldNat

    Charming, as ever.

  32. Phil

    I’m simply trying to protect you from yourself.

  33. Neil A

    Completely different electoral and governing system- apples and oranges.

    If Major had really lost his party he would have lost the leadership election.

    Instead he was held hostage by his mavericks, dissenters and a few principled men (and one woman).

    That was because he did not win a workable majority in 1992- that GE was a ‘we don’t want Kinnock’ rather than a ‘we want another 4-5 years of the Tories’ election.

  34. Rob –

    I’m hoping from your email address you may have access to a university library. You should read this:

    Steed, Michael (1985) ‘Dr Reece and the proportional loss hypothesis’, Representation 25(100): 23-6.

  35. @JayBlanc

    You said “…I still want to know what these mysterious “Legal Issues” are that the Conservatives claim still exist about the use of European Institutions for an enhanced cooperation treaty. Considering the UK is signed up to some of these enhanced cooperation treaties as well, the European Patent treaty and the European Defence Initiative…”

    There aren’t. But as ever, there is subtext. Look at it from Cameron’s POV.

    1) He doesn’t want a Financial Transactions Tax to be imposed.
    2) He can prevent such a tax being imposed on a EU-wide basis. That’s not a problem.
    3) But he’s concerned that a sub-EU grouping may impose such a tax within their territories. That is a problem.
    4) Such a subgroup would be (I *think*) illegal in EU law – internal boundaries violating the single market and a’that. So he has to work via the EU and its institutions to prevent this.
    5) He legitimately thought the institutions could be forbad to the new treaty and so prevent a precedent. He had a point and had legal advice to that effect.
    6) Unfortunately his legal advice sucked and they can do it regardless. Oh sphincter.
    7) He can’t admit this to his party because they suspect he’s a closet Europhile and the only time they like him is when he’s hurting Europeople
    8) So he has to adopt wider and wider circumlocutions to avoid saying “Er, oops: I got it wrong. Sorry”.

    Regards, Martyn

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