Full tabs for the YouGov/Sunday Times survey are now up here. On the leader trackers all three are up very slightly, Cameron on minus 4 (from minus 6 last week, Miliband on minus 41 (from minus 45 last week), Clegg on minus 45 (from minus 47 last week).

It almost goes without saying that the economic trackers remain dire. YouGov’s semi-regular question on economic policy – basically “stick with cutting the deficit” or “borrow more to encourage growth” shows people evenly split, 36% to 36%. On quantitative easing, 34% of people said they supported more, 29% opposed it – but the largest chunk of people (38%) said don’t know. This isn’t particularly surprising, I think it’s something that it too complex for most people to have strong views upon.

Turning to the NHS, Ed Miliband has a narrow lead over David Cameron as the most trusted leader on the NHS, by 26% to 22%. 37% of respondents, however, say they don’t trust any of the main party leaders on the NHS.

On the NHS policy itself, 18% say they support it, 48% are opposed, 34% don’t know (suggesting that, understandably, a large chunk of people still don’t have much idea what the reforms consist of). There is little faith that the principles behind the bill would improve the health service – only 19% think more competition would improve services with 49% thinking it will make them worse; only 26% think giving doctors more control over their budgets would improve services, 41% think it would make them worse. Overall, 50% of people think that the government should abandon the reforms, 23% think they should continue.

On Syria, there is broad support for non-military action, such as economic sanctions (supported by 60%) or a travel ban on members of the Syrian regime (supported by 66%), but very little support for any military engagement. Only 17% would support giving arms to the rebels or sending troops to protect civilians. Just 8% would support sending in troops to overthrow al-Assad.

Turning to Abu Qatada, on principle 70% of people think he should be deported regardless of whether he would get a fair trial abroad compared to 20% who think he should only be deported if a fair trial can be guaranteed. When asked about the ECHR ruling, 54% think it should be ignored, compared to 33% who think we should negotiate with Jordan in order to get assurances that torture would not be used so that he can be deported.

Finally there were some questions on the England football team – amongst those interested in football 66% thought that stripping Terry of the captaincy was the correct decision, but a similar proportion also thought that it was wrong for the FA to do so without consulting Capello. Hence 63% think Capello was right to resign (so essentially, people think that Capello was right to resign over having his wrong decision overruled!). As expected, Harry Redknapp has a strong lead as the preferred successor to Capello.

94 Responses to “Full report on YouGov/Sunday Times poll”

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  1. Apologies for producing a long post even more incomprehensible than normal. The end of my fourth para at 10:04pm should have read:

    […] and comparing those who voted LD in 2010 to those who would now, it looks like none of the defectors support the reforms. And yet these are the people the Lib Dems must win back to have any chance of surviving as more than a remnant.

  2. @ Amber Star

    Check this out:


    Inspiring isn’t it?

  3. @Roger Mexico (1.17)

    “and comparing those who voted LD in 2010 to those who would now, it looks like none of the defectors support the reforms. And yet these are the people the Lib Dems must win back to have any chance of surviving as more than a remnant.”

    Never mind winning back people, how many more will they lose if they do not oppose the bill. I am currently a member of the Lib Dems but for how much longer depends on Clegg’s position on the bill. If it manages to come back to the Commons for a vote (and I hope the bill is killed before then), then if Clegg does not lead the party into voting against, my bank will be requested to stop the LD DD immediately.

    I firmly believe the LDs have done a good job overall with about 75% of manifesto promises achieved or in the pipeline and restraint put on right wing excesses of the Conservatives. However, while supporting a party which helped introduce £9,000 tuition fees was difficult enough, supporting a party which helped ruin the NHS would be impossible for me.

  4. Can Anthony Wells please delete my latest post on the Somerset NE thread? Thanks.

  5. Peter Bell

    I must say your reaction (and similar ones such as Labour members furious over Iraq etc) intrigues me. Surely the most effective response would be to stay and work for the reversal of the policy and/or removal of the offending politicians? While cheerfully informing the latter of your tireless future efforts to see their heads on spikes if they go ahead with their actions.[1]

    The British way seems to be seems to be to let your membership expire and drift quietly away. But isn’t this what the modern politician really wants (of any Party)? A Party consisting of hard-working sheep[2] and the principle-free ambitious is their true aim – mass membership an inconvenience. Finance can always be supplied by their friends in the City and electoral services bought in.

    [1] I suppose they might try to expel you, but that gives you the opportunity to cause an even bigger fuss and at least you’d get the balance of your subs back.

    [2] What John B Dick would call authoritarian followers. Speaking of which I hope he is recovering well from his op last week.

  6. @ Pete B

    When amber and IanAnthony become offensive you jusy know you have won the argument.

    The NHS in its current form is inadequate at best (from my own and many friends experience) and serious reform is desperately needed.

  7. I think it’s probably best we draw a line under this discussion now. As I’ve said before, the site is not for debating whether govt/opposition policies are actually any good or not.

    A couple of people in this thread really need to go back and read the comments policy and think to themselves what non-partisan means.

  8. Taking Anthony’s wise counsel, I’m not going to enter (re-enter?) the discussion on the ins and outs of Lansley’s Health reforms but, instead, concentrate on what effect they may have on public opinion and, consequently, the polls. There is no doubt that serious anxiety is developing within the Tory Party about the potentially negative electoral effect on them and that probably explains the current disquiet rather than any principled issues that they may have with the Bill. A politician’s instinct for self-preservation is a powerful and understandable one and I think they see a political car crash in the offing. If they could, they’d like to avoid it. Sensible politics.

    Ironically, I don’t see the furore having an immediate or even dramatic effect on the Tory VI in the polls because, as the more astute observers have already observed from the polling minutiae available to us, opinion is congealing broadly around party political and partisan lines. What I think it may do over time is become another factor in the suppression of the potential Tory vote. I think this is where the real political danger may lie for the Tories. Not a plummeting in existing support, but more a further reduction in the pool of potential voters available to them come the time when the real polling booths are wheeled out and people cast their votes. I suspect it may lead them to have to fish for support in ever smaller pools, as evidenced in the IPPR/YouGov poll conducted last September .

  9. @ Roger Mexico (8.13)

    I understand where you are coming from but it is a matter of principle.

    Many friends/neighbours know that I am a Lib Dem and I have extolled with them and with people on the doorstep the virtues of Lib Dem policies. I can only do this if I generally believe in the policies and while it is possible to overlook and not discuss small issues with which I disagree, the NHS does not fall into that category.

    I would disagree that this (resignation) is what the leaders want wrt to the LDs. At almost down to 1/3 of our voting strength at the last election, they can ill afford to lose anyone else if they wish to keep their seats. As a centre left thinking person it is important to me to support a party which thinks along similar lines and if Clegg et al depart then I would consider rejoining. There is a place for a centre left party and the Lib Dems could be that party, as it was several years ago.

  10. @ Anthony,

    I wasn’t being partisan, I was being stupid – your policy doesn’t exclude stupid :-) by responding to Pete B’s ‘personal’ remark directed at me in his 12:32. It would be nice if you’d do me the favour of zapping his comment, as you’ve zapped my response. And I will do you the courtesy of not rising to the bait in future, so you don’t have to step in & referee my playground squabbles.

  11. The interesting part about the developing NHS saga is that it is part of the wider ideological debate. Whilst the dominant free-market ideology was severely damaged in the 2008 bank-bailouts, the government are carrying on as if nothing changed. It seems they really do believe that more competition will improve the NHS. However, as the polling indicates, the public generally aren’t buying it.

    There are still a large number of don’t knows, so presumably we are in that very interesting period where a lot of people are only just starting to pay attention. I think it is premature to suppose that attitudes to the NHS reforms are already baked into the polling numbers; maybe that’s true for us political nerds but there is still a lot to play for amongst the public as a whole. And the whole big-government vs small-government ideological divide could turn on the way the public makes up its mind on this issue.

  12. Interesting reports from Norway.

    A house price & domestic credit bubble is well underway, but despite warning sounds, the Central Bank is inclined to retain the low interest rates which are fuelling the credit boom.

    Reason given is ” it doesn’t want Norwegian interest rates to stray too far from official borrowing costs in Europe” ( Bloomberg)

    This is a country with no sovereign debt, and it’s own currency being propelled into a household debt & house price bubble, by mirroring EZ interest rates !

  13. Roger Mexico,

    I can see the sense of staying within a party and seeking to change policy when disagreement is limited to a single issue such as the EU or CND etc.That, however, is very different to a scenario where someone such as Blair comes along and rips the very soul out of the party and changes it into a pale imitation of the opposition.Labour under Blair became much mor rightwing than the Tories had been in the pre-Thatcher years.It is scarcely surprising that many lifelong party members found it impossible to support and campaign for policies that they had spent decades condemning..To have remained in the party would have been hypocritical and amounted to aiding and abetting such policies.Much better to act on principle and to show one’s frustration by withdrawing support.
    All of this ,of course, was before discovering that the party leader was a war criminal who deserved to be hauled before the International Criminal Court at the Hague!

  14. @Colin

    It’s probably not the right message to take from your post, but:

    * How do I get a mortgage from a Norweigian bank?
    * How do I buy property in Norway?
    * How do I buy-to-let in Norway?

    Regards, Martyn

  15. MARTYN

    You obviously haven’t been reading the financial news over the last few years then?


  16. “Boris Johnson is back in the lead in the race for Mayor of London according to the latest YouGov poll for the Evening Standard.

    In the first round Boris would be ahead of Ken Livingstone by 46% to 45%. In the run off Boris would win by 51% to 49%. This is a reverse of the poll position last month. But the margin is so narrow it is reasonable to say the race is “effectively” neck and neck.”

    Con Home

  17. Is this some sort of joke or parody?


    …or is this what Gove is really up against?

  18. @ Colin

    Re your post 11.39am about debt in Norway, the general issue (not Norway) was raised by someone awhile ago on UKPR.

    The point made was that when government debts were at about 40% of GDP, consumer debt levels were very high and that this seemed to always happen when government had relatively low debt levels. i.e consumers step in to take up personal debt, as a way to make up the gap between income and what they could afford. They then made the point that when government debt levels were high, presumably during recessions, that consumers took fright and stopped taking advantage of available credit, thus reducing personal debt levels.

    Economics is not my area, but I do wonder whether there is a point to this. Low government debts = high personal debts and high government debts = reducing personal debts.

    I suspect that this may be the case and that these debts are inextricably linked.

    Perhaps this is all part of globalisation, with earnings restrained so that western countries can compete with low wage economies. The consequence is therefore reduced tax income and higher personal debt.

  19. Peter Bell

    You’re right that the Lib Dem’s “can ill afford to lose anyone else if they wish to keep their seats” but that doesn’t mean the leadership share your opinion. The group-think within the Westminster bubble is very strong (particularly if you are in government). There is a belief that all that really matters is the opinion of the media; that the best way the get assistance is though cash and donations in kind from big business; and that activists are a pain and unrepresentative.

    Labour lost two-thirds of their membership in the Blair years without caring very much and the coalition are undermining the powers of local councillors with elected police commissioners and mayors. Liverpool has just decided to have an elected mayor (without consulting the voters) and been rewarded for with extra funding (though Clegg denies there is a link):


    What you decide to do is a matter for you and your conscience, but I wanted to make the wider point that the all the political Parties have developed a certain disdain for their grassroots. If people go the least they can do is make a fuss about it.

  20. R HUCKLE

    I think it’s just an asset price bubble due to low interest rates & lax lending criteria :-


    They seem to acknowledge the need for higher interest rates -but they are pegged to EZ. rates.

    Seems daft to me.

  21. Why is Peter Kellner a supposedly “unbiased” pollster giving election advice to a Tory prime minister?

    “So here’s my advice to the Prime Minister: if you are privately, honestly confident that the Bill will unquestionably be good for the NHS, stick to your guns. But if, away from the public gaze, you harbour doubts and fear that the massed ranks of doctors and nurses might just possibly be right, then pull the Bill. DON’T decide according to tactical calculations – either sticking to the Bill to avoid embarrassment or killing it to quell dissent in the coalition ranks.

    As is more often the case than cynics believe, your long-term self-interest will be best served, Prime Minister, by doing what you genuinely think is right.”________

    Before I get shouted down, this is a genuine and NON partisan enquiry.

  22. @Gracie,

    Peter Kellner has also written advice in his poll analyses to Ed (and Labour). That’s what he does as a political analyst. He has even written his opinion/advice to Labour (and Ed) in the Guardian newspaper quite a few times. His wife is a Labour politician. Going by his background and (few) stated views I have read on websites, I would say it’s actually far more likely that he’s a Labourite than a Tory. I certainly don’t see any bias anyway.

  23. And just to flag up something that may or may not become an embarrassment for the Coalition…

    Slave labour – or, perhaps less controversially, I’ll call it forced labour – where benefit claimants are required to work without pay to receive social security benefits.

    Many well-known high street retail employers are engaging the unemployed under schemes such as the work experience scheme and the community action programme – which see jobseekers placed for weeks or months with an employer without pay.

    I’m pleased to see some retailers, such as Waterstones and Sainsburys have rejected this exploitative practice.

    And I’m pleased that a legal challenge is underway from 22-year-old geology graduate Cait Reilly, who is claiming in court that her three week placement at Poundland was in breach of forced labour provisions of the Humans Right Act.

    Perhaps we’ll see a YG poll on this at some date?

  24. @Colin

    I have, that’s the point… :-) If Norway is determined upon this course, then a lot of people will make a lot of money during the boom, then there will then be a crash, then the banks will be bailed out by the Norwegian taxpayer, and the only people hurt will be those left holding the property and the taxpayers. So if I time it right, it’s free money… :-)

    Regards, Martyn

  25. GRACIE

    If you read PK’s actual article :-


    you will see that he is commenting on the apparent disparity between YouGov poll indicators for concern on NHS reform, and VI for the Government.

    He draws on an interesting parallel-the OP indicators on prospective privatisation during Thatcher’s first term-and her success in the 1983 & 1987 elections.

    This is all above board , & as Amber says, he is probably a Labour supporter

  26. MARTYN

    Be my guest………..best of luck :-)

  27. Good Afternoon All!

    Half Term is marvellous.

    I have just heard Trevor Kavanagh on BBC Radio 2 news.

    He has an alarming analysis on the sinister plot from ‘high places’ against the poor journalists on his paper, which has been a beacon of liberty and justice for decades.

    Is there anything we can do to support Trevor Kavanagh in his hour of need?

    Will the last person leaving his building have to switch off the lights?

  28. @Gracie

    Peter Kellner is married to Catherine Ashton, the highest-ranking Labour Party member on Earth.

    Regards, Martyn

  29. Boris is back in the lead in latest Yougov mayoral election poll: Boris 51% Ken 49%

  30. @Martyn

    “Peter Kellner is married to Catherine Ashton, the highest-ranking Labour Party member on Earth.”

    What’s that got to do with price of fish? Adam Boulton, the Sky News resident cheerleader for the Coalition, and Alistair Campbell’s bete noire, is married to Tony Blair’s former political fixer, Anji Hunter.

    Don’t judge a person’s political leanings by those of his or her spouse. Very unreliable! lol

  31. Peter is indeed a Labour party supporter. (I think he even stood for them in the distant, distant past – but even so, his party allegiance remains unchanged!).

    “If I were advising the Prime Minister here’s what I do” is just a rhetorical device. I don’t think Cameron has PK in for advice!

  32. @Leetay

    “Boris is back in the lead in latest Yougov mayoral election poll: Boris 51% Ken 49%”

    Still all to play for and although this poll suggests a slight shift back to Johnson in recent weeks following a set of polls showing Livingstone slightly ahead, it’s worth remembering that Johnson had a 7% lead in a poll conducted in June last year at a time, if I remember rightly, when Labour were notching 8% leads in the national polls. Now those national polls are much tighter but, perversely, so is the Mayoral race. Suggests to me that Livingstone has made some inroads against the prevailing national mood. Interesting.

  33. @Anthony W

    “Peter is indeed a Labour party supporter. (I think he even stood for them in the distant, distant past – but even so, his party allegiance remains unchanged!).”

    Now you’ve outed Peter, poor man, what about yourself????

  34. I understand (from him saying so) that AW is a Tory and proud of it.

    But it’s a good site despite that…

  35. Peter outed himself a long time ago, as have I! I am a “card carrying” Tory.

  36. Anthony

    I’ve heard Boris described as a “card”. Isn’t he a bit heavy to carry around?

  37. Re the politics people follow, I think to a certain extent this is something you inherit. If parents vote for one particular party, there is a good change that their offspring will also vote the same way. Obviously if one parent votes for one party and the other parent a different party, this just leads to a confused child.

    Both my parents were swingers or perhaps I should rephrase that to ‘swing voters’ to avoid giving the wrong impression. According to my dad he has voted for all the main three English parties, but my mum would not admit to ever voting Tory. Perhaps this is why my politics are so confused.

  38. Adam and Anji both support right of centre political forces then.
    For those above 46/47 like me a refrain of even voted Labour in 1983 can be heard from time time to time as a badge of honour and I am in that group, I guess the cons equivelant would be even in ’97.
    The LD one may be even in 2015, sorry to D Abrahams just a joke.

  39. Norway is the ‘last best hope’ for the SNP to persuade Scotland that all in the economic garden would be rosier after separation.

    If Norway’s economy goes through the same crisis which has swept the rest of Europe, who will he compare us to next? :-(

  40. The simple answer to Norways possible property boom is property taxation.

    Ireland had the same issue when it joined the Euro. Everybody warned that cutting interest rates would mean people could borrow more for the same outlay and that could create a property boom.

    The response of Irish politicians; they cut property taxes, making the problem worse. The result an economic melt down and 200,000 unsellable houses.

    Oh and of course lines of people who backed the boom blaming the Euro for the crash.

    Just out of interest why do so many people believe that the correct and indeed only response when one sector of the economy overheats is to raise interest rates for everyone even businesses that need low interest rates.

    Why not raise vat on property while cutting employment taxes like binational insurance or increasing allowances for pension contributions to divert cash from the area causing the problem to an area where help is needed.

    That seems a more sensible tailored policy than a blanket rise in interest rates.

    It does of course rely on sovereign countries having politicians with the strength and integrity to take on the banks lending the cheap mortgages and the public that want them, which can be tough in a democracy.

    If politicians duck that challenge, its hardly the fault of the Euro or ECB.

    Cllr Peter Cairns (SNP).


  41. Amber

    It’s nice to know that in the UK we have never had a cheap credit fuelled bubble in housing, and that we never will have.

  42. Thank you for all your replies, which I found very interesting and learnt some things I did not know.

    I did however know who PK is married to, but by the same token I know who the Speaker of the House married to!

    I have taken comments on board.


  43. @ R Huckle

    My father was a staunch Tory, my mother a staunch “they are all the same” all my siblings (all 8 of them barring one are Tory supporters) I don’t know if I am prodigal or just obstinate, or maybe I like making my own mind up. My Mister Gracie was a Tory up until the last may elections when he suddenly changed the habit of a life time, bucked the trend and voted Labour. So I don’t really hold with your analysis.

    Norway is the ‘last best hope’ for the SNP to persuade Scotland that all in the economic garden would be rosier after separation.’

    The question of economy about nationhood is a pointless one only raised by those against the idea.. Nationhood is a sense of history, different language, different culture etc all of which Scotland clearly has.

    Economy? What? a third of the world’s nations are bankrupt? Ireland, for example, was totally bankrupt when it became a nation and so on. So, even if the worst economic case for Scotland was true (which it isnt) it’s still a pointless debate.

    Nobody in the UK views themselves as British; we all define ourselves by English / Welsh etc . We cant even have national football teams. Sooner Scotland is free the better.

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