Full tables for the YouGov/Sunday Times poll are now up here. On the regular trackers David Cameron is at minus 23 (from minus 26 last week), Ed Miliband minus 46 (from minus 44), Nick Clegg at minus 55 (from minis 54). The government’s continuing troubles don’t seem to have damaged David Cameron any further since last week, but to put it in context he was at around minus ten for the eight months or so before March, so neither has he recovered significantly.

Asked a slightly different way George Osborne has a approval rating of minus 40 – down from minus 31 at the time of the budget. Opinions of the budget itself have also become ever more negative – only 13% now think it will be good for the economy, 43% think it will be bad. More broadly, 27% of people thought that government had been doing well but has lost its way in recent weeks (14% think it hasn’t, 45% think it was doing badly in the first place). Of those, 33% blame George Osborne the most, followed by David Cameron on 23%.

Turning to the issue of Abu Qatada and human rights 70% think that the ECHR has too much power, and 77% would prefer the final ruling on Human Rights cases to be made in the UK. On the specifics of Qatada himself, 81% would like to see him deported now regardless of any appeal, 14% think he should be allowed to stay while his appeal is heard. Only 28% think Theresa May has handled the issue well, 54% think she has handled it badly.

Moving onto the proposed strikes by fuel tanker drivers and tube workers the public have little sympathy for either, a majority of people are opposed to the strike action by fuel tanker drivers (by 56% to 25%) and tube workers (by 53% to 22%). However, while these specific strikes don’t carry public support there is little support for strike bans for either group. Given a list of professions, a majority of people tend to support their right to strike – the only professions we asked about that people think should not be able to strike are police officers, firefighters and doctors.

Finally there were a series of questions on education. Respondents thought reading and writing was taught well in schools by 53% to 37% badly, on maths the figures are 50% well to 40% badly. Parents who actually have school age children were significantly more positive, with 73% thinking reading and writing is currently taught well, 72% thinking maths is. Despite this broad approval of current teaching standards, 60% also say that teaching standards are not demanding enough (47% of parents of school-age children would). 67% of people (61% of parents) would support keeping children back a year if they do not make progress, 64% of people (61% of parents) would support stopping child benefit for parents whose children persistently truant.

As well as the normal weekly poll, YouGov also has a French poll in the Sunday Times, conducted ahead of today’s general election. YouGov have Hollande ahead on 30%, Sarkozy on 26%, Le Pen on 15%, Melenchon on 14% and the various others on 15%. This is a bigger lead for Hollande than some of the other final polls, which have shown between a 3.5 point lead for Hollande (BVA and Ipsos) and the two main contenders equal on 27% (Ifop and TNS).

Overall, the final polls have Hollande between 27%-30%, Sarkozy between 25%-27%, Le Pen between 14%-17%, Melenchon between 12%-14.5%.

222 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times & the French election”

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  1. Nick

    @”Which means your final stage (which presumes that and GDP tax receipts never grow despite stimulus) of default cannot ever happen.
    We have our own currency.”

    OK-so you posit continued deficit funded spending , “paid for” by rolling devaluation ( ie you have left the EZ ) and Zimbabwe/ Weimar style money printing.

    I wish you luck with that -we can both read the history books.

    Re austerity etc-We are certainly seeing the predictable political trends emerging-ie :-

    1)Throw out the idiots who got us into all this debt.
    2) Oh hell-we don’t like all this austerity-stuff this & the bankers-lets vote for someone to make it all go away.

    Who knows where it will all end?

    The Netherlands has really spooked the markets this morning-one of the few AAA’s left-a key supporter of Germany-government fails on resistance to 3% deficit target ( !!!)-by the Far Right ( !!!!!!!!)

    Greece is hugely interesting. Current front runner is Centre Right , talking the talk on structural reform of the State Sector -but will they get an OM-or is this another coalition destined for tectonic strains?

    I was looking at OECD comparative labour cost trends this morning.
    The way that most EZ countries have soared away from Germany is staggering.
    Take Portugal-30% higher than Germany. There is no way you can close that gap without a massive squeeze on personal finances. For countries like that ,who have used German interest rates to build a State orientated economy , which they cannot raise enough taxes to pay for there are only two solutions:-

    1) Revert to own currency & devalue like crazy

    2) Get Germany to fund your trade deficits .( No banker will do it obviously-and IMF won’t lend money without fiscal disciplines attached)

  2. @NickP

    I am sure you are right that it is just Politics! We have not had real cuts yet, mores the pity, just a slowing in the growth of Public Expenditure. What is needed is real cuts in Public expenditure the money generated being used for cuts in taxation for industry and the middle classes.

  3. @RAF – “How exactly do you get from “the Euro is finished”, to saying it needs structural reforms?”

    By adding ‘in it’s current form’ between the words ‘Euro’ and ‘is finished’.

  4. @Virgilio

    You are a credit to both your countries, and thank you for your contributions to this board which were very helpful in last night’s election. Anyhoo, the final results as certified by the French Ministry of the Interior at 23/04/2012 10:47 are as follows:

    * Inscrits (registrations) 46,037,545
    * Abstentions (abstentions) 9,451,687
    * Votants (votes, including spoilt ballots) 36,585,858
    * Blancs ou nuls (spoilt ballots) 700,119
    * Exprimés (valid votes) 35,885,739

    The percentages of valid votes were:

    * HOLLANDE 10,273,582 (28.63%)
    * SARKOZY 9,753,844 (27.18%)
    * LE PEN 6,421,773 (17.90%)
    * MÉLENCHON 3,985,298 (11.11%)
    * BAYROU 3,275,349 (9.13%)
    * JOLY 828,451 (2.31%)
    * DUPONT-AIGNAN 644,086 (1.79%)
    * POUTOU 411,178 (1.15%)
    * ARTHAUD 202,562 (0.56%)
    * CHEMINADE 89,572 (0.25%)

    Points to note:

    * Although LePen did well, she didn’t do as well as was reported and it seems the polls were close.
    * Sarkozy and Hollande were closer than was reported

    Regards, Martyn

    Source: h ttp://www.interieur.gouv.fr/sections/a_la_une/toute_l_actualite/actualites-elections/presidentielle-2012-tour-1

  5. Alec,

    I am sure you are right that it is far from certain which result in France suits who in the UK from an impact of Economic policy viewpoint.
    Regardless, I hope that the French vote for Hollande who seems a civilised person to me and hopefully will restore some Gravitas to the Presidency after ‘lucky it came out after he died’ Mitterand, Dogdy Chirac, and crass Sarkosy.

    Seeing a left wing politician with dignity leading our neighbours may have a slight positive impact for Labour here.

  6. Well cuts in welfare will need a rise in expenditure in police. Cuts in pensions puts pressure on welfare and health. Cuts in health will, inevitably, lead to earlier deaths and reduced life expectancy…reduced pension and welfare costs…it works!

    Just get a big police force (and army)? and cut everything else and everything will be fine.

    You’ll have to stop letting anybody vote except the rich, though.


    France24 ( very interesting coverage) has just shown a discussion in which your prediction on LePen is mirrored-ie let Sarkozy drown, wait for the Left to screw the economy, then wait for the FN votes to pile up.

    Marine seems to come over as “the girl next door” & has transformed the image of her party-her vote share was incredible.

  8. “wait for the left to screw the economy”.

    It’s already screwed. We’re just waiting for everybody to catch up.

  9. NICKP

    @”Just get a big police force (and army)?”

    You would certainly need that with your Weimar/Zimbabwe solution to deficit spending-to control the mob as they rage against uncontrollable inflation.

    …then the Far Right win power , and we know what happens to the police & army.

  10. Good early afternoon all.

    Reports on the ‘Indy’ website that Nick Clegg is not prepared to give the PM an ultimatum over Lords Reform.

    It seems as if the Boundary re write will go ahead.

    Mr Clegg is very loyal.

  11. My solution to defecit spending? It’s not mine, it’s the Coalition who are printing money by the billion, not me.

    Giving tax cuts to industry and the middle classes won’t achieve much either. Incentives and disincentives to industry, perhaps.

  12. I hate not being able to correct my typos.

  13. For some reason went into auto mod. Tried again with some words removed.

    @Colin – “Get Germany to fund your trade deficits”

    This is exactly what is required, if you wish to retain the current Euro structure. It’s what happens in any sensible currency area, with the surplus regions subsidising the deficit areas. If things work properly, this provides both time and market incentives for investment and development to rebalance the diverging regional economies.

    If, as an alternative, you cut off the regions so that there are no capital transfers, and instead simply rely on austerity to trim deficits in the deficit regions, all you will do is collapse those economies, and eventually also damage the surplus regions, as they end up having nowhere to generate their surplus’ from.

    The big problem we have is that austerity in itself isn’t a policy. Austerity only functions as part of a reallocation of resources, so less state spending to reallocate those resources to investment and production etc.

    This is the bit we’re just not getting – both here and throughout the Eurozone. This is where I get really tired of the portrayal of the debate as ‘austerity vs borrowing’.

    Austerity and investment are not mutually exclusive. Each will fail without the other, and each are required in slightly different proportions in different countries.

    My understanding of the French situation is that both main candidates are suggesting cuts equivalent to 3% of GDP, Sarkozy has a deficit reduction target for 2016 while Hollande will meet the same target a year later, and Hollande is saying a clearer focus is needed on growth. Neither candidate has clearly stated what they will cut after elected.

    Some readers may find this wearily familiar.

  14. Got a post in auto mod for some reason I can’t work out. If @AW is lurking I wouldn’t mind knowing what the problem is.

  15. @ Nick P, Colin,

    I have a suggestion: When/ if public opinion moves to more people saying the cuts are unneccessary then Nick P wins; if necessary stays ahead through-out this parliament, then Colin wins.

    That way, we can stay within the remit of this site & not keep discussing the same inflationary v deflationary policies based on our personal preferences. And it will be fun, I think, to track the necessary/ not necessary based on c’mon Colin, c’mon Nick P depending which ‘side’ we are on.

    This is just a friendly suggestion. :-)

  16. “Although LePen did well, she didn’t do as well as was reported ”

    ??? I don’t understand this comment, polls had her on around 14 to 15%, she actually managed to get 18% how is that “not doing as well as reported ?” Unless you are referring to the fact at one point during the broadcast they said she was on 19%, a 1% drop however, hardly is “not doing as well as expected”

  17. New YouGov poll has Livingstone only 2 points adrift of Johnson.


  18. I see from the newspapers that Clegg has signalled that he will not fight for Lords Reform and does not support a referendum on it. But still, Lib Dems have implemented 75% of their manifesto, so that’s okay.

  19. New thread about London :-)

  20. Good posts Colin. I had forgotton a lot of the detail of the Mitterand time but I do remember getting 12 France to the £ around then.
    Alec, with regard to Hollande forcing Merkel to change tack on the Euro, and I agree with you regarding your analysis of the euro, that may well be what he would like but he doesn’t look to have balls to achieve that. imho. He has no government experience & is a quiet, polite chappy. A bit of an IDS in my view.
    Put a pussy cat against a rottweiller & it is likely that the rottweiller will win! She might politely ignore him & cosy up to Dave.

  21. @Max OTFCOK

    Sorry, I should have been clearer. The final day’s opinion polls did have Nadine at ~17%, but the 7pm exit polls had her at 20%. The Beeb ran with the 7pm exit polls for about two hours until 9pm.


    But the Ministry of the Interior were releasing the results about every 20 minutes as the votes were counted, which meant that by 9pm the difference between what the BBC were reporting and the actual results was marked. The Beeb did update a bit at 9pm from the MinInt, but again then ignored tham.

    So while I was looking at actual results being updated every 20 minutes by the organisation actually responsible for counting the votes (the Ministry of the Interior), I had dippy BBC idiots talking about hours-old data.

    So whgen I said “not as good as being reported” I menat “not as good as being reported by the BBC at 7pm”, which was true (they had her on 20%).

    Regards, Martyn

  22. @Martyn
    Thanks for sharing the information re the French election, these are indeed the final results. The dynamics of Marine LePen were correctly predicted by the pollster, the VI polls of the last days showed her up to 17, which meant she was rising. Exit polls showed her at 19,5-20, but this was, IMO, a miscalculation: seeing that she was getting more than predicted, they feared that they underestimated her, so they overestimated her score in the exit polls, which finally was very close (within MOE) to the 16-17% of pre-electoral polls.
    And for the record, here are the results in Athens:
    Hollande 28.3, Sarkozy 27.1, Melenchon 20.0, Bayrou 8.4, Joly 6.9, LePen 5.0, Dupont 1.6, Poutou 1.4, Cheminade 0.7, Arthaud 0.2 So, it is Left 56.8, Right 34.8 and Center 8.4, a clear swing to the Left, due mainly to the Melenchon vote, which I suspect (without being absolutely certain, it is a kind of “voodoo polling”), is mainly due to double-nationals as myself and not so much to French expats.

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