Full tables for this week’s YouGov/Sunday Times poll are up here, mostly covering the usual variety of subjects.

On disclosure of tax returns, around two thirds of people supported making ministers and senior MPs disclose their tax returns (YouGov asked separately about the Prime Minister, cabinet ministers, opposition front bench, etc, but there was virtually no difference between answers). 63% supported making all MPs release their tax returns, and 52% supported making people standing to be MPs release them.

The survey also asked about the Norweigan and Swedish system of making everybody’s tax return public, and found that 51% would support making everyone’s tax return public, with 33% opposed (in practice their systems are now slightly different – they’ve changed the system in Sweden so you need to have a legitimate reason to look at someone’s tax return, but this question was more concerned with the principle of it).

Secondly the survey asked about the changes to tax on charity donations. As one might have expected, people supported the principle of limiting the amount of tax relief that people can claim to reduce their tax liability (by 51% to 16%), but also supported excluding tax relief on charitable donations from this cap (by 60% to 25%).

Most of the rest of the survey dealt with attitudes to the Olympics, with next week marking 100 days to go till they begin. Personally I am in the 29% of people who the poll suggests have no interest in the Olympic games, so I’ll leave you to look at that part yourselves!


91 Responses to “More on this week’s YouGov poll”

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  1. @ AW

    “Seperately”. I have also been doubtful about the supposed benefits of private education.

    I am gald there is cross-party consnsus on the Olympics boredom.

  2. PS. I meant glad not galled!

  3. Anthony (or anyone)

    The site is repeatedly crashing, do you know why?
    Sometimes loads fine but then a minute later when I refresh it says unreachable. Most of the time unreachable message.
    And then, sometimes when it does load, there is nothing in the captcha box so unable to post.
    Is it just me or are other people experiencing the same?
    I’m using Firefox on a Mac.
    Apols if this has already been mentioned, but site has been very difficult to read over past 2/3 days.

  4. The site is also crashing for me – mac, chrome

  5. Last few days I keep keep site not available..although not today.

  6. Yesterday it crashed a lot when using a 3g connection. Fine on Wifi.

    Fine today.

  7. I’m repeatedly getting this message from CloudFlare –

    This website is offline

    No cached version is available
    What’s wrong?
    The most likely causes:

    * The server is down for maintenance
    * There may be a network problem
    * The site may be experiencing excessive load

  8. I was getting that at work Woodsman when I was using IE behind a firewall. But today, no problem (so far).

    But I have got it a few days ago at home using Firefox, so I think there’s some problem.

  9. ConservativeHome survey of 1,500 party members… who should be the next Tory leader – if Cameron has to step down before 2015?

    William Hague (20 votes), Boris Johnson (19), Michael Gove (16), Jeremy Hunt (12), George Osborne (12) and David Davis (10).

    – after 2015?

    Priti Patel (12 votes), Andrea Leadsom (10), Anna Soubry and Liz Truss (8). Tim Montgomerie writes, “it’s as if the party is yearning for another Thatcher.
    .
    . .

  10. Site has been crashing most of yesterday and today for me. I’ve lost 2 comments when the site has loaded and then crashed when I tried to submit.

    I don’t think the last week’s polls tell us very much. It’s been Easter hols so people’s availability may be skewed in a way that isn’t readily corrected, plus the sample for last night looks very strange. The proportion of 2010 LDs switching to Lab is much much lower than usual, and the proprotion of C2DEs is extraordinarily low.

  11. No problems here. (Vista with FF 5.0)

  12. Hmm – anyone with problems, let me know if the re-occur in the next few hours (I’ve switched something off to see if that’s the problem)

  13. Looks like this poll is rather low on both Con and Lab sample if you look at the 2010 vote cross-break,
    but I’m not sure this is necessarily a problem
    as their weighting profile seeks to deal with most of that I think.

  14. Been on everyday for the last week and no problems, Running windows xp.

  15. Site was down for me from Friday evening to just now. Kept coming up with Cloudflare message saying the site was offline for maintenance.

    I am on Windows 7 and use either FF or Chrome.

  16. In regard to polling, I see that a percentage of over 60’s Tories are still registering a protest by apparently switching to UKIP.. If they switch back again, then the Tories are neck and neck with Labour.

    The media are currently in the mood to give the government a kick most days, with negative headlines. They are even appearing to give Ed Miliband a chance to lead the news agenda. e.g todays suggestion on an individual donation cap at £5k.

  17. I too am one of the 29% who care not for the Olympics. I didn’t get tickets, so will be forced to watch on tv, so it might as well be in a foreign country.

    Also, I don’t see any of the benefits we were promised. We’re being left with a giant white elephant stadium, like the dome, and it’s actually going to harm business because of all the disruption caused.

    Also the traffic in London is going to be a nightmare.

  18. I was actually impressed with Milliband when I found out today, he was willing to sacrifice the unions donations. I thought good on you, and now DC has gotta follow by refusing money from big donors. I actually was impressed.

    Then I found out, http://www.scotsman.com/news/uk/donations-of-more-than-5-000-to-political-parties-should-not-be-allowed-ed-miliband-1-2236143

    “it would not cover the bulk of funding from the unions raised via a levy on their individual members.” so actually Miliband wasn’t offering anything of importance at all.

  19. @ Anthony

    UKPR has been Cloudflare only for me since Friday.

  20. @ Max

    As I explained to you already, even the Kelly commission did not suggest that Labour give up the affiliate subscriptions. I believe this is because the affiliate subscriptions are protected by EU & international law. Kelly has suggested opt-in rather than opt-out because that’s a slightly ‘greyer’ area. Many Unions are opt-in for new members already & existing members can opt-out.

    The political levy is probably the most transparent method of funding poltics in the UK.
    8-)

  21. @Amber

    I don’t begrudge the members contributing to the Labour party, but if they really want to do it, why can’t they contribute themselves individually rather than having to channel it through a union?

    I want the big money taking out of politics, I don’t like the fact that my former party, is almost entirely funded by big donors, big corporations, and tax avoiders like Ashcroft. It’s shameful for us, and we need to get rid of it. But to balance things out, Labour needs to shed big Union funding too and I thought this was what ED M was promising when I read it this morning.

    I was so happy that I’d finally found something to agree with Labour on. Then he goes and scuppers it, by adding in clauses which actually mean the overall sacrifice isn’t worth that much.

    The best thing to do would that no person can donate more than £5000 a year, and ban completely organisations from donating. Restrict it so that only people, can participate in politics. I’m sure the EU rules don’t prevent that, as you would still have all the rights such as freedom of association etc, it’s just you are paying directly, rather than this complex system of channeling it to a union, who are part of a larger union, who then pay a lump sum to the party etc.

  22. @Max & Amber,

    Sounds like Labour (and Ed Miliband) want this because, comparitively speaking, they have worked out that it would hurt the Tories a lot more than Labour. Call me a cynic and everything, but Miliband is no more looking out for what is good for British politics (or the nation) than Cameron. They are both politicians looking out for the best interests of their party. You only have to read about both their expenses claims to see that (google it, if you don’t believe me). I’m similarly cynical about the Tories with regards to the boundary changes (and reduction in mps).

    Anybody who is not a diehard Tory or Labourite can see through this.

  23. Yes, I notice that Ed does not want to change union funding. The cynic in me again says that this is because Labour benefits from it.

  24. *looking out for the interests of their party and themselves*

  25. I’m all for unions stopping funding the Labour Party. I’m in UNISON and millions was given to them when in government and all we got in return was…oh, that’s right, privatisation ,PFI schemes and wage freezes. All we get now is the spineless Miliband doing nothing to stop the cuts or protect public services. Instead he criticises anyone who fights back. Pathetic.

  26. SNP 39% in sub sample…Must be the Olympic effect shuffling north!! ;)

  27. Max

    FPT – The question about the nations of the UK having separate teams was only asked of those expressing an interest in the London Olympics.

    That meant 50% of those in London/S Eng were asked the question, as opposed to only 30% of Scots (and many Scots who would like our own team as we have in the Commonwealth Games, may have expressed disinterestin the GB Olympic Team.

    A self-selecting sample therefore, and (sorry Anthony!) poor question design!

  28. Ambivalent,I rather thought that EM was one of the few MPs squeaky clean over expenses claims.No doubt ,and
    depressingly,you will enlighten me.

  29. @AmbivalentSupporter

    Well, of course. But Labour’s money comes from a much larger number of people, contributing relatively.small amounts, that they choose to.contribute to the Labour Party. These are, in effect a large number of invividual small donations. The may be collectef by TU’s on Labour’s behave but they are donations by.individuals to the Labour Party.

    Tory Party.funding comed from a much smaller number of donors, contributing much larger amounts.

    Therefore if you took the median donation amount from all donors, it would be likely to be a Labour donor. It is not Labour’s fault that the Tory funding structure involves such a narrow base, and is arguably much.more likely to lead to.disproportionate influence on government policy.

  30. So many typos :(

    Using this site from a mobile should come with a health warning!

  31. @ Ann in Wales

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/mps-expenses/5342811/MPs-expenses-The-saints-Part-i.html?image=8

    Do not worry – Ed Miliband was designeated the numero uno expenses ‘saint’ by the Telegraph.
    8-)

  32. Anthony, whatever you did seems to have sorted it out.
    Thanks :-)

  33. @ Doug

    I’m all for unions stopping funding the Labour Party. I’m in UNISON and millions was given to them when in government and all we got in return was…
    ——————————–
    Yes, it’s not an easy ‘gig’ being leader of the Labour Party. I agree with you that the Party doesn’t always support the Unions to the extent that it probably should. Have you thought about being more active in the Union or the Party & making your views known?

    Or if you want to ‘vote with your feet’, you could opt out of the political affiliation, if you haven’t already.
    8-)

  34. @ Ambivalent

    The LibDems raised the issue of Party funding because they have least to lose & most to gain from state funding. The issue ‘went away’ because the Parties couldn’t reach agreement. The Cruddas scandal resulted in the Tory Party resusitating it out of political expediency – & indulging in a bit of Union ‘bashing’ into the bargain.

    So, for their own ends, the Coalition partners raised the issue, not once but twice – & for purely partisan reasons. Yet the Labour Party is expected, by you & Max, to eschew the entirely voluntary affiliate membership fees – not donations, membership fees – because the LibDems are envious & the Tories are in a political jam.

    Why don’t the Tories & LibDems just get more members &/or affiliates who pay a discounted fee?
    8-)

  35. Like others I’ve been CloudFlared-out on and off since Wednesday and for a good 30 hours since Saturday lunchtime. Incidentally if the purpose is to display a good recent archive copy instead, that doesn’t work either. The one displayed only seemed to be taken every few days – Google caches of UKPR were far more frequent.

    The big gender gap is in today’s poll is reduced a bit, but still a lot higher than normal. But Sunday polls can be odd and we’ll have to wait for few more before we can be certain that Mr Cameron has lost his charm with the laydeez.

  36. @ Max

    I don’t begrudge the members contributing to the Labour party, but if they really want to do it, why can’t they contribute themselves individually rather than having to channel it through a union?
    —————————–
    Because contributing via the Union gets them a big discount. Annual membership of the Party is £37, some affiliates pay as little as £3 per year for affiliated members’ fees.
    8-)

  37. One thing that’s rarely said about Labour’s union donations is that at least some members of the affiliated unions have no idea that they’re donating money to the Labour party. When I joined my union (Unite) I was told nothing about being able to opt out of the political fund. If I hadn’t already known about it, I might well have been directly funding a party I do not support (and have repeatedly stood against).

  38. Tax Returns are public domain in Sweden, I don’t need a specific reason to check how much my boss earns, although if I don’t want to physically go to the Tax Office I have to pay a middle man for the information (typically about £1.50 per enquiry).
    Transparency is always a good thing if you ask me!

  39. Mr Miliband used his office expenses to pay a consultant £3,525 during the 2005-06 financial year for help with “speeches, communications and writing,” despite having a taxpayer-funded special adviser to do that.

  40. Personally, I don’t understand why any MP needs to claim for food, utilities, a tv licence etc. (i.e. like Ed Miliband has). Why should the taxpayer pay for MPs when they are very well-paid anyway? Why can’t they be taxed on expenses like the rest of the population????

    The great irony is that I happen to agree with Anne Widdecomb on one thing (and she literally was an angel with expenses, one of the very, very few, which really surprised me), and that is that MPs don’t really need them at all. Most claims are an insult to taxpayers and the hard-working people of this country. All but the very basic (and much-needed) should be refused.

  41. Tech update all – things should be working now (I needed to whitelist some of cloudflare’s IP addresses on the server) so hopefully things should now perk up!

  42. @Amber,

    The Telegraph also said the same about David Cameron (i.e. that he was/is one of the frugal ones with regards to expenses), but he still claimed for some stuff.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/mps-expenses/5305130/David-Cameron-limits-claims-to-mortgage-and-utilities-MPs-expenses.html

  43. “Because contributing via the Union gets them a big discount. Annual membership of the Party is £37, some affiliates pay as little as £3 per year for affiliated members’ fees.”

    Why can’t the Labour party just offer on its membership form a box saying if your a union member also you get the discount fee.

    The tories have a discount fee if you’re under a certain age, (other parties probably do too) why can’t Labour just offer the discounted fee to anyone in the unions.

    Why do that? Because of people like this

    “GREEN CHRISTIAN
    One thing that’s rarely said about Labour’s union donations is that at least some members of the affiliated unions have no idea that they’re donating money to the Labour party. When I joined my union (Unite) I was told nothing about being able to opt out of the political fund. If I hadn’t already known about it, I might well have been directly funding a party I do not support (and have repeatedly stood against).”

  44. “Tax Returns are public domain in Sweden, I don’t need a specific reason to check how much my boss earns, although if I don’t want to physically go to the Tax Office I have to pay a middle man for the information (typically about £1.50 per enquiry).
    Transparency is always a good thing if you ask me!”

    That’s a horrible idea, that’s a total breach of privacy to make everyones tax returns public. What I pay in tax is none of your business. If I was running for political office in which I would need to be held to a higher standard, then yes, it’s important you can look at my taxes, to judge my character and see if I’m an honest person.

    But if I’m an average person, I don;t see why you should be allowed to see my tax returns. Its none of your business.

  45. The Labour/Union argument would seem to be… do corporations ballot their employees/shareholders about political donations (every three years/at all) and give them the opportunity to opt out… if not, why not?

    Incidentally, the Economist considers this view about the influence of American labor unions:

    “If unions had remained strong and Democrats had continued to vigorously press for more equitable economic policies, middle-class wages over the past three decades likely would have grown at about the same rate as the overall economy—just as they had in the postwar era. But they didn’t, and that meant every year, the money that would have gone to middle-class wage increases instead went somewhere else…. The entire bottom 80 percent now loses a collective $743 billion each year, thanks to the cumulative effect of slow wage growth. Conversely, the top 1 percent gains $673 billion.”

    h
    ttp://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2011/02/labour_unions_1

  46. @Billybob

    Organisations such as corportations and trade unions, shouldn’t be able to influence politics at all. They don’t get to vote in elections do they? So why are they allowed to donate money. It should be about individual people, donating however much they want. Although I would put a cap on just to stop any Lord Ashcrofts bankrolling the party and outweighing 1000’s of labour supporters with his one big donation to the cons.

  47. @Max – “I don’t begrudge the members contributing to the Labour party, but if they really want to do it, why can’t they contribute themselves individually rather than having to channel it through a union?”

    Well, there’s this thing called ‘The Big Society….’

  48. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tees-14734629 – for a slightly different perspective on the ‘unions are evil commie anti business loonies’ narrative you sometimes hear in passing.

  49. Alec, I don’t think the Unions are evil, I just disagree with them politically, and think they would destroy the economy if they were allowed in charge. Not on purpose though.

    Also, I find it unfair that they have the Labour party in their pockets but then equally it’s unfair that rich donors own the tory party.

  50. @Max – “Organisations such as corportations and trade unions, shouldn’t be able to influence politics at all. They don’t get to vote in elections do they?”

    I think you’ve got it, and it sounds like you are broadly in agreement with Ed M. He has said union donations would be banned, but not individual member donations (capped at £5K). Clearly you are on the same page as Labour on this one. Now all you need to do is convince your SNP compatriots.

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