The tables for the YouGov/Sunday Times poll are now up here, with the usual range of issues: amongst others the budget, gay marriage, Prince Harry and Afghanistan.

As the overall voting intention figures seem to be heading back to the sort of position we were seeing last year, with Labour enjoying a 4 or 5 point lead, so do Ed Miliband’s ratings. His net approval rating is up to minus 38 (from minus 44 last week). These are Miliband’s most positive (or perhaps more accuately, least negative) ratings since they slumped at the beginning of January. David Cameron’s approval meanwhile stands at minus 9 (from minus 6 last week), Nick Clegg’s at minus 44 (from minus 47).

Turning to the budget questions, 73% of people support the Lib Dem idea of increasing the tax allowance through the adoption of a mansion tax. On the trade off between a 50p tax rate and a mansion tax, while people are more likely to see the 50p tax rate as both fairer than a mansion tax and more effective than a mansion tax, they are very evenly split on the idea of replacing the 50p rate with a mansion tax (34% would support it, 37% would oppose it). Asked what their view would be if the 50p tax rate didn’t actually raise any extra money, 41% would abolish it, 40% would keep it anyway, suggesting that a fair amount of people support higher taxes on the rich regardless of whether or not it actually brings in money.

On abolishing higher rate tax relief on pension contributions YouGov asked a more detailed version of the question that a fortnight ago, actually explaining what higher rate tax relief was. The answers, however, were very similar to what we got with a simpler question: a pretty even split. 38% think higher rate tax relief on pensions should be scrapped, 39% think it should be kept.

Turning to the questions on gay marriage, 43% of people support gay marriage, 32% support civil partnerships but not gay marriage, 15% are opposed to both. Attitudes to the church’s stance pretty much mirror this – 47% think they are right to oppose gay marriage, 37% think they are wrong. More generally, 62% of people think same-sex relationships are as valid as heterosexual ones, 27% do not.
The percentage of people supporting gay marriage here is, incidentally, very similar to that in ICM’s poll today in the Sunday Telegraph which found 45% in favour of gay marriage and 36% opposed.

Finally, on the issue of Afghanistan 40% of people think troops should be withdrawn now. YouGov have asked this question every fortnight since the election, and this is the highest level of support for immediate withdrawal we’ve seen (typically it is around 30%) – it would seem likely that the increase is due to the coverage of the death of six British soldiers this week.

UPDATE: Here is Peter Kellner’s take on the gay marriage questions.


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

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  1. Nothing on the NHS then?

    I’m amazed the top five reisks from the Register ain’t been leaked (yet). The longer they refuse the worse they will look.

  2. @NICKP

    You are assuming the risk register exists or contains anything of substance — what if it was rushed through with little effort as a box ticking exercise?

    But must admit, I am very surprised nothing in media — but then even if it was leaked who would have the cahonies to publish?

  3. ANTHONY WELLS

    Just interested to know whether you included the Harris poll in the `poll of polls`

  4. Smukesh – nope, it wasn’t a proper voting intention poll.

  5. ANTHONY WELLS`
    nope, it wasn’t a proper voting intention poll`

    Thanks…Did think it would have skewed the figures a bit

  6. Re the NHS risk register, the argument put forward by the government is that such registers always highlight risks which will be seen as negative. If the reports were always published, those people providing the reports will be constrained in what they say. They will therefore cease to be as useful to government and the civil servants running the departments as they currently are.

    Labour have just asked for the risk register that relates to the NHS reform bill changes to be published. The government argues that this is not possible and would set a dangerous precedent.

    According to Clegg yesterday, Andy Burnham told him in private that he thought that the NHS reforms were not ambitious enough. Clegg claimed that the NHS reform bill provided more protections to stop creaping privatisation of the NHS, than would be accepted by a Labour government. So Clegg is making the argument that the Lib Dems are stopping the NHS being privatised, thwarting the ambitions of both Labour and the Tories.

    I don’t know who to believe. I just wish that there would be a settled all party position on the NHS and social care, so that it was not a political football.

    Perhaps if they spent more time looking at how they are going to help growth in the economy, they would get to a position, where there was a guaranteed percentage of money available for NHS spending.

  7. @SMukesh

    Seven polls from the other companies (down as far as ICM on the latest voting intention table) and the five latest YouGovs.

    Click on “more” under UKPR polling average.

  8. “Turning to the questions on gay marriage, 43% of people support gay marriage, 32% support civil partnerships but not gay marriage, 15% are opposed to both. Attitudes to the church’s stance pretty much mirror this – 47% think they are right to oppose gay marriage, 37% think they are wrong. More generally, 62% of people think same-sex relationships are as valid as heterosexual ones, 27% do not.
    The percentage of people supporting gay marriage here is, incidentally, very similar to that in ICM’s poll today in the Sunday Telegraph which found 45% in favour of gay marriage and 36% opposed.”

    See now, I have a problem with this method of polling. And I’ll tell you why. I think asking the question in that way divides up people on the marriage issue. I’ve never met anyone who ever honestly supported civil unions or domestic partnerships but did not support same-sex marriage. Politicians will make that claim but they’re just lying.

    Additionally, lots of people who will say they only oppose “marriage” will vote, when given the option, to vote against civil unions and domestic partnerships.

    Plus, my feeling on asking the question this way is that it doesn’t guage public opinion accurately in terms of advising lawmakers. Britain already has civil unions. The consideration is whether to end segregation and switch to full marriage equality. Asking about civil unions is asking about a policy choice that is off the menu. If anything, it should be asked separately.

    Also, which church does this poll speak of?

    If the ICM poll just polled on the question of same-sex marriage, I find it revealing. If you had a voter referendum on the issue, same-sex marriage would lose in the UK. However, it would win in Scotland based on polling I’ve seen. Fortunately, the indignity of a referendum is unlikely to be suffered by British LGBT people.

  9. “Also, which church does this poll speak of?”

    “Do you think the Church of England is right or wrong to defend marriage as an institution for just heterosexual couples?”
    The Church of England aka our State church.

    You have to remember that not all of us have the establishment clause. ;)

  10. @
    “Clegg claimed that the NHS reform bill provided more protections to stop creaping privatisation of the NHS, than would be accepted by a Labour government. …I don’t know who to believe.”

    Bit difficult to believe what Clegg says based on past history. So that it is transparent who is saying what why are they refusing to have all parties working together to bring the reforms.

  11. An interesting “chicken and egg” question is being begged by this poll. Are Miliband’s steadily improving approval ratings adding to Labour’s VI or is Labour’s improving VI rating dragging Miliband along in its wake?

    I rather suspect the latter. The worse the coalition looks, and ipso facto Cameron too, the better Miliband will look by not being Cameron or Clegg. This is a very old rule of party politics and it gives credence to the argument that if Miliband gets his party into shape, both from a policy and image perspective, and the coalition grows ever more unpopular, then the fact that a focus group thinks that he looks like a frightened panda will have very little to do with who wins the next election.

  12. My email inbox is jammed full of messages begging me to come on to this thread and offer my expertise. So here goes…

    Looking at the crossbreaks on the Gay Marriage question, here is the profile of the type of elector who is most likely to support this policy:

    LibDem voter; Female; 18-24; ABC1.

    Whereas here is the typical profile of the type of elector who opposes it:

    Tory voter; Male; 60+; C2DE.

    It’s a shame they don’t have a break for IQ. I think that would confirm recent speculation that the lower yours is the more right wing you are likely to be on this and related issues.

  13. In France, where gender-neutral marriage (I prefer this term than gay marriage) is clearly approved in by a majority of respondents in all recent polls, the approval generally follows the right-left divide. Left voters are overwhelmingly in favor, whereas right and center voters are against, but to a lesser extent than before, and this is precisely the reason why g-n marriage carries the consent of the majority. There is even a (narrower) majority in favor of adoption by homosexual couples and an even clearer majority in favor of recognition of homoparentality (this is the term we use in French) rights. Gender-neutral marriage is poised to be instituted after the (very probable) victory of the Socialists in forthcoming election, it is in their program (it was the Jospin govt. of the late 90s that instituted the so-called PACS, the French version of domestic partnership). I personally could never imagine some years ago that Spain and Portugal, where the Catholic church is much more stronger than in France, would precede my country in this step towards marriage equality. As for Greece and Italy, my two other countries, there is a long road to go even to domestic partnerships.

  14. (Following from previous post).
    Not surprisingly, older people, church-goers, residents in rural areas and people of lower income and lower education are less in favor of gender-neutral marriage than younger voters, non-devout people, urban population and citizens of higher income and education. Women are generally more in favor, but there are also more “don’t knows” among them.

  15. Robin Hood,

    “I think that would confirm recent speculation that the lower yours is the more right wing you are likely to be on this and related issues.”

    Yep. As I understand the research, IQ is correlated with social liberalism and economic conservativism.

    This is one of the reasons why “right-wing” and “left-wing” aren’t really suitable for discussions of intelligence and politics: Cuba is an example of a socially conservative country with an economically left-wing government, while New Zealand ranks very high on the economic freedom index and is socially vastly more liberal than Cuba.

    Oddly enough, many people whom I know on the left dislike IQ as a measure of intelligence and make a point of this when discussing the IQ-income correlation.

  16. Am I alone in believing that the ST gives its polls prominence proportionate to how well they lean to the Tories?

    I’m still searching for a mention this week.

  17. Great England win!!
    England 24 France 22.

  18. Blow!!
    I’m 10 minutes into a recording of the match and thought this was a safe place to avoid seeing the score :-(

  19. @Malcolm Redfellow – ” …how well they lean to the Tories?”

    I get the impression that is also how it goes with the Sun’s reporting (or not) of the weekly YouGovs.

    Was slightly aghast to hear Martha Kearney (BBC W@One presenter) berate Ed Balls a few weeks ago with “But no one believes you! You’re doing worse in the polls than at the election!”

    Understandable, given even the Guardian seems only to give prominence to negative results for Labour.

    Generally I think the media were expecting Labour to ‘flatline’ at just under 30% for the next couple of parliaments, with a succession of failed leaders, as did the Tories post 1997.

    Dispite piling in with a relentless ‘Labour’s mess’ narrative, that expected scenario has failed to materialise for the media – so they ignore the complicated reality of the situation.

    If for some reason influential media figures agreed upon a new ‘Cameron more dud than dude’ narrative, then ‘Labour 8 point lead’ headlines would be all the rage.

  20. Yes, indeed, could I request that the etiquete for this blog is not to mention football, rugby etc. results.

    Some of us watch Match of the Day or Scrum of the Week or whatever and don’t want to know the score. Others probably aren’t at all interested.

  21. @ Tinged Fringe

    “The Church of England aka our State church.

    You have to remember that not all of us have the establishment clause.”

    Thanks for answering my question. I didn’t realize that the Church of England was opposing the proposed legal changes.

    And yes, the Establishment Clause….that pesky little clause that is so conveniently forgotten by some (or purposely ignored). :)

    That actually presents a problem that is going to have to be dealt with. What’s the policy now with the Church of England and marriages? If a black man and a white woman want to get married or a convicted felon wants to get married or a Jewish man and Muslim woman want to marry or you have a couple with an Anna Nicole Smith like age difference…..can the church currently refuse to perform marriages it doesn’t approve of? Or as the state church, does it have to marry anyone who wishes to be married?

    FYI, the current UK Civil Unions law would be unconstitutional in the U.S. because it prohibits all religious institutions from performing these civil unions (or at least that provision of it). The idea of any religious institution being forced to peform or recognize any marriage they did not approve of personally offends me. But if the church is the official state church, there’s a significant difference.

    And actually, their lobbying on the issue is far more principled and far more supportable.

  22. @ROBIN HOOD

    “It’s a shame they don’t have a break for IQ. I think that would confirm recent speculation that the lower yours is the more right wing you are likely to be on this and related issues.”

    An interesting concept. Given that few actually consider each party objectively, I think it’s fair to say that politics demonstrates that everyone can appear to have a low IQ if they are tribal enough. Party politics and ideals have little to do with intelligence, and rely almost solely on emotive subject matter.

    One could argue that the most intelligent part company with politics and become self-seeking (Sir Humphrey Appleby perhaps?)

  23. @SoCalLiberal
    “I’ve never met anyone who ever honestly supported civil unions or domestic partnerships but did not support same-sex marriage. Politicians will make that claim but they’re just lying. ”

    You live in the USA, which is a very different culture to the UK in all sorts of ways. And this may well be one of those areas.

    I know plenty of people who are quite happy for there to be legal recognition of same-sex relationships (not that sexuality is mentioned in the legislation), but don’t want to see marriage redefined. It’s certainly been the position of most religiously-inclined commentators in the UK.

    The more I see this debate going on, the more I’m convinced by the argument that the state should simply drop the term marriage, and leave it for religious use – that way you’d keep the vast majority on both sides of the argument happy. You don’t get religious groups complaining about redefining marriage, or gay rights groups complaining that using different names to refer to gay and straight relationships is discrimination. Everybody gets what they want (except for the small minority who don’t want the law to acknowledge gay relationships), and nobody loses out.

  24. @ The Other Howard

    Congratulations! :)

    @ Robin Hood

    “Looking at the crossbreaks on the Gay Marriage question, here is the profile of the type of elector who is most likely to support this policy:

    LibDem voter; Female; 18-24; ABC1.

    Whereas here is the typical profile of the type of elector who opposes it:

    Tory voter; Male; 60+; C2DE.”

    Not totally surprising. I don’t think I know any non-African American, non-Latino liberals who don’t support same-sex marriage.

    Younger voters (Gen Y voters) are more supportive than older voters though I’ve noticed that Gen X voters might be less favorable to same-sex marriage than Baby Boomers.

  25. I’m curious actually about something. I read the Daily Telegraph article which more properly polled the question of same-sex marriage (and again….wow, a larger percentage of Americans support same-sex marriage than Brits….that’s just wild to me) and had some interesting findings. But there was one paragraph that stood out to me.

    “Tory strategists – in drawing up plans to win a clear majority at the next election – are targeting inner-city seats where voters still back Labour even though they share Conservative values”

    As a lover of politics and political strategy, I’m curious as to which seats those might be. How many constituencies with large LGBT populations that are otherwise wealthy or upper middle class are actually held by Labour? Or even the Lib Dems (who might be a more likely foe in those seats)? Like the central London seats that comprise the extremely touristy and extremely wealthy areas are all held by Tories. Aside from maybe Westminster North, I’m hardpressed to think of any seats but I don’t know your Parliamentary seats that well (maybe a seat like Holborn and St. Pancras would be included in that but that seat has been a longtime Labour stronghold).

    Looking around at other western democracies, the U.S. stands out as one of the only nations who’s wealthy urban centers regularly vote center left and are pretty much left wing strongholds. Well the Scots are an exception too. And maybe the Canadians (though it does get confusing with them since their Liberals are sometimes not all that liberal).

  26. I’m surprised no one has commented on the most ‘political’ of the gay marriage questions. The panelists were asked David Cameron has pledged to fully legalise gay marriage. Do you think this is because …he genuinely believes that it is the right thing to do/he does not believe it is right, but is doing it for
    political reasons
    . Not only did only 21% agree with the first option as opposed to 63% for the second, the split of Conservative voters 27% to 58% to same way. Even Lib Dems were more likely to believe Cameron was sincere (36% v 53%) than his own people.

    Some of this will be anti-(any)politician sentiment and some must be because Tories are more opposed to gay marriage in general (though some of that will be an age effect) and don’t want to believe that their leader ‘really’ disagrees with them. But it is still pretty overwhelming and indicates an awful lot of Conservative voters may not trust Cameron.

  27. ROGER MEXICO
    `But it is still pretty overwhelming and indicates an awful lot of Conservative voters may not trust Cameron`

    Interesting and thanks for pointing it out…I feel that Cameron is well ahead of the public when it comes to gay marriage and it`s going to cost him a few votes on the Christian right at the next election …Whether he gains enough votes from the gay population and the detoxification of the Conservative party remains to be seen

  28. @Socal

    I’m guessing that the Tories are looking at places like Cambridge, Brighton Pavilion, Exeter, Bath, York Central, Birmingham Edgbaston, Leeds North East and London seats such as Hampstead & Kilburn, Twickenham and Kingston & Surbiton. I’m not sure how successful this strategy will be as the demographics in many of these seats are no longer as beneficial to them as they once were. They held every single one of these seats during the 1980s but had lost all of them by 1997.

  29. @ Green Christian

    “You live in the USA, which is a very different culture to the UK in all sorts of ways. And this may well be one of those areas.

    I know plenty of people who are quite happy for there to be legal recognition of same-sex relationships (not that sexuality is mentioned in the legislation), but don’t want to see marriage redefined. It’s certainly been the position of most religiously-inclined commentators in the UK.

    The more I see this debate going on, the more I’m convinced by the argument that the state should simply drop the term marriage, and leave it for religious use – that way you’d keep the vast majority on both sides of the argument happy. You don’t get religious groups complaining about redefining marriage, or gay rights groups complaining that using different names to refer to gay and straight relationships is discrimination. Everybody gets what they want (except for the small minority who don’t want the law to acknowledge gay relationships), and nobody loses out.”

    The idea of getting rid of marriage altogether is a horrendous concept to me. And when it’s occassionally suggested by some people, I wonder if it’s not the epitome of bigotry. If you can’t keep a minority group of people from having something you have, you’ll just junk and destroy the whole thing. It’s kind of like southern whites who would shut down their public swimming pools and destroy their public schools rather than have to share them with black people. Marriage is so important to so many people that getting rid of it is a terrible and harmful idea. Mind you, more people are putting off marriage until later in life now and more people are willing to live alone now than force themselves into bad and unhappy marriages. I think these two developments actually strengthen marriage, not damage it.

    Civil unions really don’t give everybody everything that they want. In fact, they give nothing that anyone wants. Religious groups who oppose same-sex marriage oppose gay people generally. So the idea of giving any legal recognition to gay couples offends them. For most LGBT people, the civil union or domestic partnership is nothing more than a fake instution that is belittling and deaming that only perpetuates and furthers discrimination. After all, “separate but equal” can NEVER be equal.

    But again, it is as you point out, a different culture.

    Also, I’d like to defend religious people and religion for a moment. I should point out too that not all religious people are anti-gay or oppose same-sex marriage. Go to any Pride Parade and you’ll find Episcopalian and Presbyterian bishops marching in the parade as well as an assortment of leaders from other religions. On the first day that gay couples could get marriage licenses in the District of Columbia, there were a few anti-gay protesters who set up across the street from the courthouse. When they started heckling at points, they were drowned out by a large chorus of religious ministers who sang “This Little Light of Mine.”

  30. @Socal

    Be wary of the Telegraph when they say people “share Conservative Values”, because the definition of “Conservative Values” is a movable feast.

  31. BILLY Bob,agree about the ghastly Martha Kearney,who
    listens with awed respect to anyone unless they are a
    labour politician.If they are ,they are then constantly
    interrupted so they cannot make a point or challenged
    again and again.This is not a partisan point this how she is.

  32. @ AKMD

    “I’m guessing that the Tories are looking at places like Cambridge, Brighton Pavilion, Exeter, Bath, York Central, Birmingham Edgbaston, Leeds North East and London seats such as Hampstead & Kilburn, Twickenham and Kingston & Surbiton. I’m not sure how successful this strategy will be as the demographics in many of these seats are no longer as beneficial to them as they once were. They held every single one of these seats during the 1980s but had lost all of them by 1997.”

    Do these places have large gay populations? It seems to me that all of these seats were lost in 1997 except for Hampstead and Kilburn (which was a slightly different seat) and Bath. Their flips seemed to result from the large Blair landslide. If gay rights had really been an issue, wouldn’t these seats have flipped control in let’s say 1987 or 1992?

    @ Roger Mexico

    “Some of this will be anti-(any)politician sentiment and some must be because Tories are more opposed to gay marriage in general (though some of that will be an age effect) and don’t want to believe that their leader ‘really’ disagrees with them. But it is still pretty overwhelming and indicates an awful lot of Conservative voters may not trust Cameron.”

    It’s all really fascinating to think about. I would imagine though that Cameron is too strong of a leader to get rid of over an issue like this.

  33. SoCalLiberal

    FYI, the current UK Civil Unions law would be unconstitutional in the U.S. because it prohibits all religious institutions from performing these civil unions (or at least that provision of it). The idea of any religious institution being forced to peform or recognize any marriage they did not approve of personally offends me. But if the church is the official state church, there’s a significant difference.

    Actually the law was changed back in December, and those places of worship that want to can now conduct civil partnership ceremonies. The opposition of the mainstream churches to any place of worship conducting CP ceremonies always looked very odd. After all they’d be the first people to scream ‘religious persecution’ if Parliament started telling them what they could or couldn’t do in their churches.

    I’ve not seen this anywhere, but I suspect the opposition was really due to a fear that some congregations or ministers within those Churches that are opposed will decide to go ahead and conduct civil partnerships. Cue civil war. The Churches were hoping that Parliament would save them from that, but it’s not really their job, except to a limited extent for the Church of England.

    The position of the C of E is complicated here because “Under the existing law, a couple, in general, have the right to marry in the parish church of a parish where one or both of them are resident”. So if same-sex marriage equality took place, this would apply to gay couples as well. However there is already an opt-out where the “parish priest … of your home parish is not under a legal duty to marry [someone divorced and marrying a second time] if the divorced person’s former spouse is still alive”. So presumably a similar opt-out could be granted for same-sex situations. (Quotes from C of E guidance).

  34. @ Colin

    You are welcome to your “gender -neutral” bubble.
    I’m happy in the real world thanks.
    ——————————
    Really? Let’s put it this way: A female lawyer is not a barristeress or advocatess. And so I call them all Lords because they are all executing a legal function.

    And in my “real world”, I was always a manager, never a manageress. In fact, in my very real world, I have never met an audit ‘manageress’ nor a vice ‘presidentess’ of finance despite knowing hundreds of women who are Managers or VPs of Finance.
    8-)

  35. ROGER MEXICO

    I feel that Cameron is well ahead of the public when it comes to gay marriage and it`s going to cost him a few votes on the Christian right at the next election

    I don’t know that that’s true. I suspect for even most on the Christian Right it’s not a crunch issue. For the few it is, they wouldn’t go to the other main Parties and may already be among the few who vote for the various ‘Christian’ Parties (82 candidates last GE).

    Actually more dangerous for Cameron is the possibility of the Tories being seen as the ‘nasty Party’ again. That is why they are keen not to be seen as too socially conservative as it could lead to them losing votes to the Lib Dems. This is an issue that they will not lose many votes on and where they will not be attacked by Labour for the decision (as they could be on justice issues). It’s a safer decision for Cameron than it looks (though as it happens I suspect it is also sincere).

    But the interesting implication of that poll is how little trust Conservative voters appear to have in their leader.

  36. The NHS vote at the LD conference has ended in either:
    1. Disarray; with them now debating what they actually voted for; or
    2. The most ridiculous piece of fence sitting on a major issue which I have ever heard of.
    You can read about it in the G.
    8-)

  37. Clegg & Williams appear to have lost any real interest in the NHS & are squandering their airtime on attacking Andy Burnham.

    Williams, made a speech during which she said ‘personalities’ shouldn’t be important; this didn’t stop her mounting a verbal assault on both Andy Burnham & Polly Toynbee, though.

    As to Clegg, who has broken a pledge or two in his time, can we entirely believe his version of a ‘private’ conversation? I think not.
    8-)

  38. Another question surprisingly unmentioned in discussion so far (and contender for self-interested question of the year) is on page 9:

    The Attorney General is currently reviewing evidence that a senior police officer prejudiced the fair trial of journalists by saying that the Sun had a “culture of illegal payments”

    Do you think the police making public comments such as this will or will not reduce the chance that journalists accused of making illegal payments will get a fair trial?

    Public comments like this will reduce the chance of journalists accused of making illegal payments getting a fair trial/Public comments like this will not make any real difference to whether journalists accused of making illegal payments get a fair trial

    Alas the public let New International down 31% to 46%.

    Incidentally isn’t “evidence that a senior police officer prejudiced” rather than say “is alleged to have prejudiced” rather loaded wording?

  39. @ Socal

    Brighton Pavilion certainly has a significant gay population. Easily the biggest of all the seats that I’ve mentioned. I think Exeter and Cambridge would be two others up there as well.

  40. @Roger Mexico – ” …as it happens I suspect it is also sincere”

    Well in 2009 Cameron did publically repudiate his earlier crusading stance against the repeal of Section 28. That earlier stance may have been more about appealing to the party faithful… such as in the candidacy selection battle with Andrew Mitchell for Witney.

    By 2005 he had come out in favour same sex unions, though some speculate this may have been down to the influence of Samantha (an arts graduate) – to whom he also owes the “there is such a thing as society, it’s just not the same thing as the state” slogan.

    Incidentally some on the equal rights spectrum see this as a distraction:

    h
    ttp://www.samesame.com.au/forum/showthread.php?p=535520

  41. @SocalLiberal

    Wouldnt say so, but university populations are high in all of them.

    In Exeter, in 1997, Ben Bradshaw was the Labour candidate – one of the few openly Gay candidates at that time. The tories chose to face him (the sitting Tory having decided to stand down) a well-known “family values” campaigner, who used every opportunity to condemn homosexuals as evil and deviant – I seem to recall he even linked homosexuality to paedophilia.

    Ben took Exeter with a higher swing to Labour than the national average, and kept it in 2010 against the odds.

  42. @ Jay Blanc

    “Be wary of the Telegraph when they say people “share Conservative Values”, because the definition of “Conservative Values” is a movable feast.”

    Yeah. I suppose it is. I mean there are a lot of “conservative values” that people supposedly hold that aren’t actually conservative values. One old former Republican Senator from New Hampshire claimed that job creation was a “conservative value” on the night of the New Hampshire Primary.

  43. I don’t agree with DC on the gay marriage but it most certainly wouldn’t cost him my vote. Does anyone agree with 100% of the policies of their party? My vote would only waver if they get the economy call wrong, everything else is froth.

  44. @R Huckle
    “According to Clegg yesterday, Andy Burnham told him in private that he thought that (etc)…….
    ……I don’t know who to believe.”
    ______________

    A word of advice. Judge Clegg’s veracity by his record over the past two years.

  45. I’m confused by the Sunday Times question
    “Which of the following do you think would be
    the FAIRER way of getting wealthy people to pay
    more in taxation?
    A 50p tax rate on income over £150,000
    An extra tax on houses worth over £2 million”

    1. Don’t we have a 50p rate on £150k incomes already? How can the status quo raise more?
    2. Why wasn’t there a “both” option, instead of just a “neither” one?

  46. @ Roger Mexico

    “Actually the law was changed back in December, and those places of worship that want to can now conduct civil partnership ceremonies. The opposition of the mainstream churches to any place of worship conducting CP ceremonies always looked very odd. After all they’d be the first people to scream ‘religious persecution’ if Parliament started telling them what they could or couldn’t do in their churches.”

    I’m glad the law was changed. I think it was pretty odd. Thank you for properly informing me. The current UK law (without the religious language) was adopted in California and Connecticut (as well as other states). It was struck down as unconstitutional in both states under equal protection grounds. In California though, the status of marriage laws are currently the same as the UK pending the final outcome of Perry v. Brown.

    “I’ve not seen this anywhere, but I suspect the opposition was really due to a fear that some congregations or ministers within those Churches that are opposed will decide to go ahead and conduct civil partnerships. Cue civil war. The Churches were hoping that Parliament would save them from that, but it’s not really their job, except to a limited extent for the Church of England.

    The position of the C of E is complicated here because “Under the existing law, a couple, in general, have the right to marry in the parish church of a parish where one or both of them are resident”. So if same-sex marriage equality took place, this would apply to gay couples as well. However there is already an opt-out where the “parish priest … of your home parish is not under a legal duty to marry [someone divorced and marrying a second time] if the divorced person’s former spouse is still alive”. So presumably a similar opt-out could be granted for same-sex situations. (Quotes from C of E guidance).”

    That would make sense and that is an interesting speculation. But I think that with C of E guidance, I think the opt out would be discriminatory if it were a blanket opt out and not the same as currently applied to straight couples.

    Btw, I wasn’t sure about Cameron’s motives in the beginning and thought this was a purely political move but I now think he’s sincere in this given his party’s reaction.

    @ John Ruddy

    “Wouldnt say so, but university populations are high in all of them.

    In Exeter, in 1997, Ben Bradshaw was the Labour candidate – one of the few openly Gay candidates at that time. The tories chose to face him (the sitting Tory having decided to stand down) a well-known “family values” campaigner, who used every opportunity to condemn homosexuals as evil and deviant – I seem to recall he even linked homosexuality to paedophilia.

    Ben took Exeter with a higher swing to Labour than the national average, and kept it in 2010 against the odds.”

    I watched Ben Bradshaw’s win on Youtube thanks to UKPR blogger AndyJS. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a race quite like that before where you’ve had an openly gay guy running against someone who was as anti-gay as Rick Santorum in a seat that was contested. Stephen Twigg, along with Bradshaw, was also one of the first openly gay elected MPs but he wasn’t expected to win and his race was assumed uncontested so his win in Enfield Southgate provided a much larger headline than him being the first openly gay MP elected (well out at the time of first election anyway).

    I also thought Bradshaw would lose in 2010. It seemed like either the surging Tories or surging Lib Dems would take his seat. But he held on and won surprisingly. It was funny too how when the results for his constituency came up on BBC, he had a look on his face that was demonstrative of those MPs who have lost. I think he was deliberately trying to play a trick on viewers.

  47. And as for the question:
    “The Liberal Democrats have suggested that the
    personal income tax allowance (the amount you
    can earn before paying tax) should be increased
    to £10,000, paid for by a new tax on houses
    worth over £2 million. Would you support or
    oppose this plan?”

    It’s already a bit out of date. If asked now, it would have to be “once suggested”.

    I’m glad to read that Ed Balls has at long last had the political gumption to come out in favour of the overwhelmingly popular mansion tax, to be used to avoid cuts to tax credits for the low paid. But it makes it even more of a missed opportunity – had he had the Balls to do so months ago, Labour would have gained the credit by making the running, rather than being seen to belatedly follow in the coattails of the LDs. That said, Clegg’s cold feet might yet give Balls the chance to steal the policy.

  48. Afghanistan? That war is twice as long as World War Two and we have achieved exactly nothing. Time to go; too costly, too pointless. And we are broke.

    It doesn’t even have oil…

  49. And finally, as for the question
    “Imagine it was the case that a top tax rate of 50p
    did not bring in any extra money. Which of the
    following would best reflect your view?”(etc)

    Why is it that the effect of marginal disincentives in the tax system is always posed in terms of those on the very highest earnings only? When you have so much already, why should the absence of yet more money cause you to change your working patterns so radically? Contrast that with the plight of low paid working families, who face far higher effective marginal tax rates and for whom the withdrawal of even small amounts can mean very much hardship, such that money or the absence of it must be a powerful incentive.

    So I suggest that a more pertinent question would have started:
    “Imagine it was the case that cuts in tax credits to people in low paid employment did not make any savings in public expenditure, because people found it better off to be out of work. Which of the
    following would best reflect your view?”(etc)…

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