I didn’t get chance yesterday to do a full rundown of the Sunday Times poll, so with full tabs long since up, here are a couple of things worth noting.
1) The problems of the new child benefit rules. The principle of withdrawing child benefit from households with a higher rate taxpayer remain very popular, with 64% of people supporting it and only 25% opposed. However, the practicalities whereby a household with two earners paying basic rate could have a higher income than a single higher rate taxpayer, yet still get child benefit, is still seen as unfair by 68% of people.
2) Perceptions of coalition. In principle 22% of people now think that coalitions are a better form of government than single party government, 55% think single party government is better. 21% of people say that the experience of the current coalition government has made them more positive about coalition, 39% more negative (ideally of course there would a “attitudes towards the principle of coalition” question from before the last election to compare things to, but alas, I couldn’t track one down)
3) Selective education. 37% of people would like to see more schools select by academic ability, 20% are happy with existing grammar schools to stay but oppose any expansion, 27% think the existing grammar schools should be opened to children of all abilities. There was a surprisingly positive response to the idea of re-introducing the assisted places scheme, suppored by 67% of people.
4) Religion. 12% of people think religion is more often the cause of good in the world compared to 58% of people who think it is more often the cause of evil. Conversely, only 17% think Britain is too religious while 36% think it is too secular (the apparantly paradox is probably a difference between thinking globally, and the thoughts of terrorism and armed conflict linked to religion that would almost certainly have come to some people’s minds, and thinking locally)