The full tables for the YouGov/Sunday Times poll are now up here, covering mainly the Beecroft recommendations and the monarchy.

On the regular leader approval ratings David Cameron is on minus 26 (up from minus 30 last week), Ed Miliband is on minus 23 (from minus 27 last week) and Nick Clegg is on minus 55 (from minus 56) – so Miliband remains above Cameron for a third week.

Other questions also show perceptions of Cameron falling slightly. His biggest weakness remains being seen as out of touch. Only 20% see him as in touch (down 3 since April), compared to 69% who see him as out of touch. The percentage seeing him as strong is down 2 points to 39%, the percentage seeing him as likeable is down 3 points to 39%. The coverage of him “chillaxing” however doesn’t seem to have had much purchase – only 33% say that he doesn’t work hard enough, compared to 39% who think he gets the balance right and 4% who think he works too hard.

Turning to business, there is a perception that Britain is less competitive than countries like Germany (70% see us as less competitive) and the USA (55% see us as less competitive), but people are evenly split on whether or not the government should be cutting regulations more. 33% think the government are cutting regulations too much, 34% think they should be cutting them more, 11% think the current balance is about right.

Asked about specific employment regulations around about a fifth of people support extending employment rights, with the rest split between supporting reductions or supporting the status quo. On maternity and paternity rights, 20% think they should be extended, 30% think they should be cut, 42% that the present balance is right. On dismissals, 17% think it should be harder for companies to sack workers, 39% think it should be easier, 33% think the current balance is about right. On anti-discrimination legislation, 15% think it does not go far enough, 36% that it goes too far and 36% that the present balance is about right.

On the politics of the issue, 25% of people think Vince Cable is too hostile to business, 25% that he gets the balance right and 14% think he is too pro-business. 36% of people, however, say they don’t know and the public’s perception is very much that the Conservatives, not Vince Cable, have the power when it comes to employment and business regulation. 59% of people think the Conservatives have more influence over business and regulation policy compared to only 9% who think the Liberal Democrats do.

I expect we will have an awful lot more polling on attitudes to the royal family and the monarch over the next week but to kick off there were some questions here on the jubilee and the monarchy. 56% of people now see the Queen as one of our greatest monarchs (up from 50% when YouGov asked the same question in February). 60% now think that the level of celebrations for the Jubilee are about right. 20% expect to attend a party, 52% expect to watch the royal flotilla.

Asked about Charles, 37% think he will make a good king, 37% do not – 44% think that Prince William should be the next King instead of Charles. William is also seen as the royal who has done most to improve their reputation since the death of Princess Diana.

158 Responses to “More from the YouGov/Sunday Times poll”

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  1. ” 60% now think that the level of celebrations for the Jubilee are about right. 20% expect to attend a party, 52% expect to watch the royal flotilla.”

    People won’t have much bleedin’ choice, will they, unless they’re one of the many millions, like me, flying out of the country the weekend before it all gets under way!

    Mrs H and I are getting away to Krakow for a few days where, we now discover, the England football team will be based during Euro 2012. So I will be getting to meet real Royalty after all in the shape of Wayne and Colleen Rooney! lol

  2. Top-notch summary.

    ” but people are evenly split on whether or not the government should be cutting regulations ”
    Hardly surprising cos of Orwellian NewSpeak.
    “Cutting red tape” now means “making it easier to sack you”.
    “Helping you back into work” can mean cutting off your benefits, even though your GP knows you are unfit for work, and is happy to prescribe medication for your ailments. etc etc

  3. When will Cameron have a reshuffle of his cabinet ?

    I think it will happen shortly after the Olympics and we will see a number of people depart for the backbenches. Hunt and Warsi definitely. Any others ? I would move Theresa May to be leader of house and move George Young into the cabinet office to replace Francis Maude. Not sure who would be best to become Home Secretary, but I would probably go with Edward Garnier.

  4. This poll contains one of my favourite age gradients ever (see page 5)

    Maternity and paternity leave is too much of a burden on business and should be cut

    18-24 0% [1]

    60+ 49%

    So cutting maternity pay for the over 60s should be popular. :D

    Polls on the monarchy are marked by being incredibly unchanged over time. I believe Republicanism has been around 15-20% since the 1950s with almost no variation (it isn’t in the MORI archives, but I think it went over 20% in the aftermath of Diana’s death for bit).

    The only difference is now it’s terribly fashionable to be republican, while in the 50s it would get you strung up. But the country actually thinks the same, it’s just expressed opinion among the chattering classes that has altered – no doubt mainly because so much of the media is now owned by a republican ex-Australian who thinks hereditary privilege should only apply in his own family.

    [1] Not a typo – zero. Though as usual for YouGov on Sunday and the under-25s (and warm Summer nights) based on a pathetically small sample: 55 up-weighted to 198.

  5. @Roger Mexico

    “no doubt mainly because so much of the media is now owned by a republican ex-Australian who thinks hereditary privilege should only apply in his own family.”

    Ah yes, of course, the anti-Monarchist Sun, Times, ST and NOW, collectively the journalistic scourge of all things Royal down the years. Expect Sky to turn its back on the forthcoming Jubilee celebrations too. lol

    I’m also amused by your reference to “the chattering classes” and “trendy” republications, the usual line of attack from right wing commentators on all things left-leaning, anti-patriotic and subversive. Of course, one man’s “chatter” is another person’s healthy debate and I wonder how we should regard ourselves here on UKPR? Is it a forum for informed debate on polling matters or, in effect, merely a platform for chatterers (except you, of course, Roger. Couldn’t possibly include you in anything so contemptible as the “chattering classes” now, could we.)?

  6. Oops, “republications” should read Republicans. Maybe I was allowing my references to journalism to get the better of me!

  7. Roger

    On the monarchy – you say there has been no much difference since the 50s.

    Could that be because we have had the same monarch and as she has no real responsibility apart from waving a bit and visiting foreign countries that it does not change much. The only time she has been under pressure in 97 then we saw a reduction in popularity.

    Brenda has been the model of a monarch and not many of us remember any different. Whether this will survive a change will be interesting to see. Charles is not as popular and he is also not the best fitted to the role based on past behaviour.

    I am sure there will be substantial minority who want it to pass to William – not understanding of course how the Act of Succession works. One of the interesting things is that very few know how the succession is enshrined in law and have heard of Electress Sophia of Hanover!

    As a republican I will hold any fire until Brenda dies – then the bets are off and the ‘republican’ movement should look to exploit and difficulties in the transition by pointing out how we actually have no choice, unless there is an agreed Abdication Act as happened with Edward – I do not see Charles agreeing to that and without his agreement we have no say!

  8. @Roger Mexico – regarding republican thought in the UK, best not to use a capital ‘R’. For those of us who follow this persuasion, capital ‘R’ Republican’ carries less pleasant connotations.

    In a related vein, “……….44% think that Prince William should be the next King instead of Charles”

    The dimness of people answering this question always make me laugh. How many of the 44% would agree with the proposition “we should elect our own head of state”?

    This proves that nearly half of royalists are too stupid to understand basic constitutional principles.

  9. According to Wikipedia Her Maj’s full names name could have been:-

    Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg.

  10. @Ozwald – that sounds suspiciously like the German back four in the 1920’s.

    Was her dad a secret fan?

  11. “William is also seen as the royal who has done most to improve their reputation since the death of Princess Diana.”

    Did he even have much of a reputation then given his age?

  12. @Alec
    “Was her dad a secret fan?”
    He probably was but I wonder which side he would have shouted for if he was around for the 1966 World Cup Final?

    Reminds me of a good friend of mine. Her family roots are in Jamaica . She was born over here and rightly regards herself as British. However, she bought a ticket to watch the current Test Match at Trent Bridge. I asked her which side she would shout for – and she said “West Indies of course”.

  13. @ Anthony

    What’s with the clothes buying questions in a political survey? Has somebody messed up the tables or do the Sunday Times believe that our clothes buying habits are politically motivated?

  14. No surprise with this poll. Looks like the sub 10% Labour lead was an outlier. Good news for EdM but stil not good enough. As Anthony has already said IDS and Howard both had better approval ratings than Blair but it didn’t do them any good. Once EdM beats DC in the “best PM” question then its game on.

    BTW as I’m getting abuse from some regular posters cliaming all my posts are partisan and not relevant I hope I haven’t strayed over the line here!

  15. Amber – they were for the Sunday Times. They aren’t obliged to ask about political stuff!

  16. Crossbat

    Mrs H and I are also fleeing the Jubiee stuff. We had to do the same with the last ‘celebrations’ – oh, I know the royal wedding.

    Incidentally some thought I would be in Monte Carlo today (mind, I could be). In fact my expression was figurative, I watched it on TV.

    I had to, because James told me that unfortunately the Lear jet had developed a fault. Bl**dy gadgets.

    How good to know that voters have strong feelings about my Leader. Better than being ‘who?’ I suppose. :-)

  17. Why bother with the political stuff?

    Look at the “not applicable, I never bought clothes from this store” for Primark, then compare the present Con VI with 2010… it’s clear how much support they have lost to UKIP.

    Either David Cameron needs to offer a referendum, or Primark should to start a line in check-shirts, blazers and corduroy.

  18. Just realised polling suggests the exact opposite of my previous post… Con is losing Primark shoppers, retaining M&S types.

  19. Just an observation, but a clear majority think we are uncompetitive compared to Germany, but more people support reducing regulation than increasing it.

    Given that by all accounts Germany is more regulated than we are isn’t that a bit contradictory?


  20. @ Anthony

    Amber – they were for the Sunday Times. They aren’t obliged to ask about political stuff!
    Yes, of course – but their poll is tabled by VI so one would think there’s a political element to the questions. :-)

  21. @PeterCains

    I thought that when I read it as well. I think most people in this country equate competitiveness to less regulation and Germany as being more competitive than the UK, therefore Germany must be less regulated than the UK. Of course they have many of the policies that I would like to see here including a workers representative on company boards. Many on the right would of course completely disagree with that and classify it as more regulation!

  22. @ Peter Cairns

    How many YG respondents know about German regulations?How many know about US ones? Probably not that many. People tend to think of the US as regualtion ‘lite’ when it comes to businesses & that Labor laws & Labor unions are non-existent or weak. That’s not really the situation at all.

  23. Amber and Peter,

    Yes but there is no point in living on an island unless one is insular is it?

  24. ‘Is there?’ (becoming Welsh now), at least i did not write ‘innit’.

  25. Howard,

    I don’t live on an island, I live on a peninsula, with England to the south!


  26. crossbat11

    Well the Murdoch press is a bit anti-Royalty in a sort of cowardly, back-of-the-hand sort of way. They’re never going to come out and attack directly because their main concern is to stay on the same side as their readers, but there is a general sort of snideness. It’s partly something to do with a general attack on all institutions[1] – not when they abuse power but just because any alternative power than the Press must be put down. Partly I suppose tabloid journalists want to drag everyone else down into the gutter with them.

    But Murdoch’s own views must have something to do with it. According to the BBC:

    He was stridently anti-monarchist in his views, rejecting the hereditary principle.

    Yet his sons Lachlan and James are primed to take up the reins of power in the Murdoch dynasty.

    Which I do find amusing and like to point out. And of course Rupert M himself also inherited a press empire. I was also trying to make the point that it’s not just some on the Left who oppose the monarchy – not the mention lots of ‘libertarians’ and their fellow travellers.

    I’ve no objection to reasoned republicanism[2], though I tend to think it a bit of a misdirection of energies, when so much else needs changing in a country, to attack a very minor piece that sort of works. That’s probably what irritates me about the chattering class[3] republicanism – having made an accommodation with Big Everything and doing very nicely out of it, they like to parade their republicanism to show they are still really ‘radical’. It sort of absolves them from any further efforts to fight for the sort of things the Left should really care about. And all it usually means is that Prince Charles[4] has annoyed some architect mate of theirs.

    The things that are a genuine problem for many of us (such Crown prerogative) might be at least as big a problem under a presidential system. Indeed I suspect some opposition to the Monarchy from within the establishment comes from those eager to get their hands on such powers, or have the block they represent removed. (The attacks on the ECHR seem to be similarly motivated).

    Of course even the current compulsory mockery of the Windsors is an improvement over the compulsory cringing of the 50s. But I’ve always thought paying attention either way was a bit of a displacement activity.

    [1] I’m not just thinking of more formal institutions such as the Monarchy or the Church of England, but also professions such as teaching or science. Even powerless groups who would once have been seen as deserving of sympathy such as asylum seekers or the disabled are attacked.

    [2] Sorry Alec, I got rid of one capital ‘R’ on reflection, but missed the other.

    [3] Sorry you and I may chatter, but we don’t count as chattering class – for that you need to be paid for it.

    [4] Alec you’re being unfair about the public’s understanding of constitutional niceties. They’re not dim, the actual question asked was “Thinking about the future monarch, which of the following would you prefer?” and the options included “Neither – there should be no monarch after Queen Elizabeth II”, which I presume you would prefer, but which is even less constitutionally possible than the Crown jumping to William.

  27. Bazsc

    I’m sure you’re right about the length and stability of the current monarch’s reign being part of the reason for how little public opinion on the monarchy has changed. I think Bob Worcester always quoted it as an example of how some things can stay the same when other attitudes shift massively (imagine what the figures for gay or even inter-racial marriage would be in the 50s).

    However you rather give the game away when you state about waiting till the ‘time is right’ to campaign for republicanism. It’s rather like Peter Cairn’s similar comment yesterday on Scottish independence.

    But if you need to wait for a particular set of circumstances to convince people of the need for a permanent constitutional change it rather suggests that in general that change isn’t welcome – in a way it’s a rather anti-democratic attitude.

  28. Roger

    I do not think that you cannot separate the institution from the incumbent though can you?

    Brenda has done a good job so no-one can see a problem with the monarchy. I do not think there is any chance of moving public opinion against her.

    This will change if an incumbent who prove less popular is in place and we start seeing the weaknesses in the hereditary principle. We have 44% apparently saying that William should be the next King, which as Alec says is completely ridiculous.

    In the later years of Victoria’s and during Edward’s reigns the monarchy was far less popular and even during the war the monarchy was less popular than portrayed.

    Your comment about anti-democratic is a witticism I assume – we are taking about an institution that is inherently anti-democratic and one that we are only ever allowed to glimpse through a drawn curtain.

  29. Slightly off topic..I have just bought my Germany top for Euro 2012 back on topic…. “Nick Clegg is on minus 55 (from minus 56)” ….. Well he can’t be that unpopular as I was reading that hundreds of his fans were camped outside his house the other day.. ;)

  30. bazsc

    “Waving a bit”

    That’s a bit churlish, she waves loads more than normal people have to.

  31. Peter

    Whether you live on the bit above the Caledonian Canal or south of it, you do live on an island, although geographically of course we all do whether living in Europe or America.

    So even Sarah Palin knows Russia is an island because she has told us there is sea in between there and Alaska.

  32. AND she makes it look quite easy.

  33. Bazsc,just a thought, that if you are going to wait for the
    present Queen to die,I would suggest that you will have
    an awfully long wait.Longevity runs in families and her
    mother was 102 when she died! N o wonder Prince Charles
    looks fed up at times.

  34. Ann
    With his income I would not be fed up, even if I occasionally had to sit to dinner with a bunch of foreign people whom I looked down upon (well, that’s all of them, see quotes from his father).

  35. Ann

    I believe you could be right, doesn’t stop what I think though

    One of the risks with this hereditary principle coupled with deference and secrecy you never see what the Royals are really like. I don’t share this adoration of William myself – remember he is from a broken home with dysfunctional parents

    Hopefully we will see HoL reform which will be the final nail in the coffin of the aristocracy – just need the return of high inheritance taxes and the abolition of public schools to finish the job!

  36. Looking pretty serious for Warsi, if this is true. Serious as we have seen MP’s and a peer go to prison before as they falsely claimed expenses.

  37. The choice of questions by the “Sunday Times” are of at least as much interest as the responses. Six months ago, Miliband rather than Cameron would have been the focus of detailed questioning on his personal qualities. Lots of material there for a feature article casting doubts over Cameron’s leadership, which could be why the questions were asked.

  38. @Richard.

    I think the question was phrased that way to exclude Diana from the question, rather than to ask who’s improved their image over that time period.


    I actually think that that flexible concept of monarchy is a beautiful and quite quintessentially British (or at least English) thing, and has contributed to our development as a democratic society. English people have historically supported the concept of a monarchy, but if he monarch gets above themselves, they’ll put limits on their powers, or abolish them entirely, only to bring their son back, at a later date, or replace them with a different monarch.

  39. Howard,agreed,I really envy him having that wonderful
    garden at Highgrove,but I wonder if being the heir to the
    throne is a bit like being the bridesmaid, but an awfully
    long wait to being the bride.
    Bazsc,agreed about William,that weird smile.On the other
    hand he may be a very nice young man.As far as I can see
    he is an unknown quality,so he should be perhaps given
    the benefit of the doubt.

  40. @R Huckle – if what the Telegraph says is true, then Warsi is indeed, toast, and possibly toast at Her Madge’s pleasure.

    Having said that, ever dependable Michael Fallon was tonight saying that she had stuck to the letter and spirit of the expenses regulations. The big thing to watch will be Cameron’s reaction if the story develops. Will we see the merciless approach to expenses abuses he claimed during the height of the scandal, or a reluctance to remove recalcitrant ministers.

  41. IoS is reporting a Whitehall source – Jeremy Hunt has told aides he is prepared to resign after his appearance at Leveson on Thursday. Hunt’s spokesman has said this is absolutely not the case:



    “Given that by all accounts Germany is more regulated than we are isn’t that a bit contradictory?”

    I’m guessing that the Germans have the right regulations, while we have all the useless and annoying ones. :)


    I’ll pop a quid on Michael Gove for Home Secretary.

  43. @Hannah – “I actually think that that flexible concept of monarchy is a beautiful and quite quintessentially British…”

    Indeed. I’d like to be king next please. That would be beautiful.

  44. @Billy Bob – “Hunt’s spokesman has said this is absolutely not the case”

    Ah yes, but – does Hunt know that’s what his spokesman is saying?

  45. @Alec

    Let’s look forward to Hunt’s spokesman being forced to resign for denying that his master is going to.

  46. Roger

    I do not think that you cannot separate the institution from the incumbent though can you?

    Er, I think that’s the whole point of institutions. You may not be happy with Cameron, but I doubt if you’d therefore conclude that the role of PM should be replaced by a military dictator or a 22 member committee.

    We have 44% apparently saying that William should be the next King, which as Alec says is completely ridiculous.

    No, as I pointed out to Alec it just means that they read the question and you didn’t. Though if your first reaction to this statistic is that 44% of the electorate is really thick, then perhaps you ought to reconsider your commitment to democracy. ;)

    we are taking about an institution that is inherently anti-democratic

    Well yes but it’s not like it’s an institution with any real powers. If we’re worried about the democratic deficit maybe we should look at how we elect the Commons or don’t elect the Lords or select Parliamentary candidates or the role of a whole range of other bodies, public and commercial, much more powerful on a day-to-day basis than the Queen.

    …one that we are only ever allowed to glimpse through a drawn curtain.

    Oh quite – if only the media ever covered anything about the Royal Family. Instead there’s a complete news blackout.

  47. @Phil – That’s a relief. I thought you’d all b*ggered off to the pub and left me talking to myself.

  48. I went to have alook at the full tables (looking for GM attitudes data; sadly none there). I am astonished to find that a majority of people find Facebook either powerful or very powerful. This is fascinating. It’s sad to think that many of them may have only just regained the ability to sleep with the light off, following the demise of Bebo and MySpace.

  49. @Alec

    You aren’t alone – my reply went into the moderation. :(

  50. Good Evening all.

    Fantastic ten K race in the heat here in Dorset today.

    When England play, I always support Ireland and Wales,
    especially in the rugby.

    By the way ‘The Queen’ has been played in Ireland for many years now. Not so ‘our’ anthem when ‘we’ play at Twickers etc.

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