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. Sigh. My 10:47 comment was obviously directed to Bazsc rather than myself (or any other Roger around). If I get the HTML right I get cut and paste wrong …

  2. Warsi’s eventual problem might be her lack of friends inside the Tory Party. Amanda Platell, Hague’s former PR Adviser when he was leader (what a job that must have been??), was on Marr this morning and suggested that Warsi was not generally liked within influential sectors of the party. Apparently, many resented the way that she’d been parachuted into the Cabinet, via the Lords, purely on the basis that Cameron wanted a female Muslim in a prominent role within the government. Unlike Hunt who is said to be well liked in Tory circles, Warsi might well find friends few and far between, certainly those of the type who will try hard to save her political skin.

    I wonder if she’s been a victim of “friendly” fire?

  3. @Alec

    “Having said that, ever dependable Michael Fallon was tonight saying that she had stuck to the letter and spirit of the expenses regulations. ”

    Actually, Fallon said that Warsi said that she *believed* she had stuck to blah blah.

    Hardly a ringing endorsement, since he’s obviously not going to come out and say the opposite (Robin’s first rule of b******t – turn a statement into its opposite, and if the opposite is meaningless or obviously asinine, then the original statement was equally meaningless).

    And it does seem to be setting Warsi up for the defence of “accidentally fraudulently claiming expenses”.

  4. @ Robin

    And it does seem to be setting Warsi up for the defence of “accidentally fraudulently claiming expenses”.
    —————————–
    You’re not keeping up, my dear. She is going for the Fox Hunt defence: Get your SpAd to take care of it.
    8-)

  5. @Chrislane1945
    “When England play, I always support Ireland and Wales,
    especially in the rugby.”
    ——————-
    Gad sir! Treason! You could be sent to the Tower you know!

  6. @ Crossbat11

    “Apparently, many resented the way that she’d been parachuted into the Cabinet, via the Lords, purely on the basis that Cameron wanted a female Muslim in a prominent role within the government. Unlike Hunt who is said to be well liked in Tory circles, Warsi might well find friends few and far between, certainly those of the type who will try hard to save her political skin.”

    Well I don’t know about you but sometimes I like to imagine the type of people who would be willing to be friends with certain politicians. You can almost imagine their set of people. And I don’t mean political friends but real friends, people who actually want to spend time with them socially. And I guess I haven’t seen her too often but like who would actually want to be friends with Baroness Warsi? She just seems like someone who’s totally unpleasant and irritating. Like would you want to go shopping with this gal? Or go clubbing with her? Or trying some new restaurant hotspot? (I mean, there were a bunch of JAP girls who attended the same college that I did who I could see appreciating someone like Warsi….of course they’d have to get over their Islamophobia first).

    With Hunt, you can kind of imagine picture the type of friends he’s got. Well maybe. It’s more difficult with your right wingers being all urbane and sophisticated and all. I can sort of imagine him having friends but not entirely because our right wingers differ in how they come off.

    It’s not like that otherwise lousy Oliver Stone movie about Dubya which portrays him back in the 80’s with all his country club friends….really the dimwit with large trust fund types. If you’ve ever met or been around people like that, it’s kind of easy to imagine that social circle.

    Of course I’m always surprised by how many politicians who are total loners.

  7. Roger

    Your first point is a bit exaggerated – although imperfect the PM does have some sort of democratic mandate. I cannot remember ever mentioning the PM in my posts, never mind Cameron. I was talking about how Brenda strengthens the institution of the monarchy by her actions and how another may weaken it.

    Secondly, I never said 44% of people were thick but I challenge you to ask how many of them understand the Act of Succession. I think there are a number of people who think Charles can just say no and it would automatically pass to William. Mine, and I think Alec’s point, is that there is no choice. This is why the point about institution/incumbent is so relevant

    I don’t disagree on your point about the other institutions, but that is a lazy excuse for not doing something about another one. If we change the HoL why not the monarchy at the same time?

    The media does cover the Royal Family but on their terms. Also, there is no right to obtain information and they are treated with a deference which is, to be frank, nauseous. We see a lot about them in the papers but how much of it is objective?

  8. Good Morning all.
    BAZSC.
    Thank you for your excellent post.

    Very warm here already.

  9. “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.”

    I’m curious about this. Can Queen Elizabeth legally designate Prince William as her direct heir and skip past Charles? Or is she governed by strict legal rules of who inherits the throne?

    Prince Charles has such a bad reputation but I think a lot of it is unearned.

  10. SOCALLIBERAL.
    Good Morning from a very warm Dorset.
    Prince Charles absolutely not designate his successor, nor can the present Monarch.

    On USA:
    Articles here over weekend say that Romney is ahead in polls. is this true?

  11. Social Liberal

    As Chris said the line of succession is defined in the Act of Settlement based on the protestant line from Electress Sophia of Hanover

    It is best that there is no disruption to this as to do so is a minefield- It was done in 1936 but I imagine it was easier to do without the focus of publicity

    Apparently, if Charles wants to abdicate the crown it has to be agreed to by all the countries of which he is head of state (although this depends on the individual country). I suppose he could also convert to Catholicism.

    The point is that there is no popular will in the succession or a sense of ‘grant’ – it is covered by law and thus in the event of an abdication is challengeable in the courts.

  12. BAZSC

    I’m not sure that his abdication would have to be agreed by the Commonwealth Realms. The 1930s aren’t a great precedent as so much happened in smoke filled rooms outside the oversight of the law. In any case my understanding was the the CRs were being used as a block to Wallis, not to block abdication.

    It’s not clear however if the CRs would be obliged to follow the act of settlement, unless they had a duplicate act. In fact, were there an elder female heir then some of them might feel pressured to break away completely.

  13. @Bazsc – “Also, there is no right to obtain information and they are treated with a deference which is, to be frank, nauseous. ”

    After Diana’s death, Private Eye was banned from W H Smith’s for it’s coverage. This mainly involved pointing out before and after quotes from journalists about her, including a classic from Lynda Lee Potter (I think) saying post death how she was the mother of the nation, whereas two weeks earlier she had written that if Diana had an IQ 2 points lower ‘she would need daily watering’.

    They didn’t like being reminded.

  14. Now if tragically Charlie and Wills were to die before Brenda, am I right in saying Harry would be king?

    So there would be no Windsor blood at all on the throne.

  15. BAZSC.
    Good Morning again, beautiful in garden.
    Prince Charles could indeed ‘convert’ but I think that aspect of the Act is going to be changed anyway to allow we ‘Romans’ to become true royals again, which gives hope to my three daughters.

    NICK P.
    I am surprised your comment went not into moderation.

    First day after Pentecost today. should be half term; in normal years it would be..

  16. SoCaL – the succession to the throne is governed by statute since the 17th century. Under the Act of Settlement Charles will become King, but that could be changed by statute, as it was in order to exclude Edward VIII from the throne when he abdicated in 1936.

    In theory, therefore, Parliament can mess about with the succession to its heart’s content (though it needs the consent of other Commonwealth governments too). In practice, I am sure that the only way Charles would be skipped if if he personally decided that he would rather the throne went straight to William.

  17. Bazsc

    I was replying to your point saying I do not think that you cannot separate the institution from the incumbent though can you? by pointing out you can and most people do with most institutions most of the time. That is what institutions are for. I mentioned the PM, but could have quoted a whole range of other examples both in the UK and internationally.

    YouGov didn’t ask about people’s understanding of the “Act of Succession” or even the Acts of Settlement which would be more relevant. It asked what they would “prefer” and as I pointed the options even included no monarch at all. So what is currently legally possible is irrelevant. Though with the British Constitution being “what happens” we should never underestimate the possibility of something being thrown together in a hurray at the last minute – as happened in 1936.

    Politics is always about priorities and in the real world saying “why not do everything” just doesn’t work. I happen to think there are many more important things that wouldn’t get done if you tried to abolish the monarchy even if it had near universal support. You can hardly say that changing the succession would be difficult and then pretend getting rid of the whole thing would be a piece of cake.

    I’m not sure what information you want about the Royal Family that we’re not already bombarded with. Unless you think they really are giant green lizards and want photos. And if you think they’re not treated objectively in the papers, then that means they’re treated just like everybody and everything else.

    I find what deference there is rather comic than nauseating, but it’s hardly universal – indeed the opposite seems more acceptable in some circles which was rather my original point. Though where deference does still exist I’d rather it be directed towards an ostentatiously archaic figurehead than to a President Blair or similar.

    You only have to look at the way in which Bush exploited the symbolic power of the Presidency in the aftermath of 9/11 to see the dangers of a ‘political’ head of state. Still at least in the US you’d never get a President who was there based on the hereditary principle would you? :P

  18. Nickp,

    Please not a British Birther Movement!

    Peter.

  19. I have to say I rather admire the the Conservative Party for conducting an interesting controlled-variable scientific experiment. They took Eric Pickles and replaced him with someone identical: outside the magic circle of Oxbridge (both studied in Leeds); brighter than they look, but not as bright as they think they are; loquacious if not always coherent; ostentatiously Yorkshire (though those windward of the Pennines might reckon there’s no other sort). The only difference is the replacement is small, brown and female.

    The result is telling us rather a lot about sexism and racism among the political classes today, isn’t it?

  20. The disappointing thing about the YouGov survey of opinions on the monarchy is that, as always, it states peoples’ views but not why they feel they have to have them.

    People say ‘I would rather have a ceremonial president – why? Why do people want ceremonies?

    With the nonsense coming up that I am avoiding, so expensively, these are questions that polling fails to uncover.

    I suppose, to we ‘Badgers’ (Wind in the Willows), this colonising (street parties, torch bearing etc) leave us astounded. I’ve been like this since a little boy, and i have often wondered why I’m different. I was an only child and I married one, so perhaps that is it.

    ‘Hmm Company’ shuffles off.

    Polling does not reveal these things.

  21. Blair at Levenson. He has reiterated twice how he grew much closer to both Rupe and becks after he left PM job and was no longer “under contraints”.

    Wants to paint a different picture to Cameron?

  22. Continuing thoughts about monarchy polling, given the loves of the majority of our voters (talent contest voting, lottery results) perhaps it could reasonably have been asked whether voters would prefer the succession to be decided by TV voting or a lottery?

    Come to think of it, the TV debates were a bit like that weren’t they?

  23. Blair is at pains to make a distinction between managing the press, which is a necessary part of being PM, and conceding on policy, which can’t be justified.

    Blair asks Murdoch “Are you going to back us?”

    Murdoch replies “Yes, the Tories are unelectable.”

  24. Will only briefly touch on Levenson but what on earth has most of this have to do with phone hacking ?

    It seems to have strayed into something completely different.

    Waste of time and money if you ask me.

  25. @ Roger Mexico
    “The result is telling us rather a lot about sexism and racism among the political classes today, isn’t it?”

    Is it? I think not.

    When I heard Varsi talking on the radio about being a Muslim & racialism I found her engaging.
    But as a politician she’s an ideas-free hack. I started off being against AV, but I switched during the campaign: the crucial moment was when she defended the line: “Vote AV & babies will die.” Despising that sort of mindless propaganda has got nothing to do with racialism.

  26. Warsi!

  27. @Alec

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

    And if you can raise an army, gather a wide enough support base and think up a passable claim to the throne, you might just manage it…

  28. I saw Blair for a few minutes. He was having a party political on how his government was right etc.

    Switched off. I couldn’t listen to the man.

  29. @bluebob

    h
    ttp://www.levesoninquiry.org.uk/about/terms-of-reference/

    Leveson and Jay do seem to have moved from interrogating Blair, to asking for his advice and opinion on the recommendations side of the inquiry.

  30. ……no Windsor blood at all on the throne….

    Strictly speaking though they call themselves Windsor – the House of Windsor ends with Elizabeth II…in the same way that Victoria was the last Hanoverian.

    When the queen made the then Duke of Edinburgh a Prince I think at the same time they adopted on Windsor as the family name….I guess they would otherwise have been Mountbatten or Mountbatten-Windsor.

    This practice together with that of succession passing through the senior female line means that Royal Houses will cease to have any meaning….another chip off of heredity’s block I guess….

  31. “@ statgeek

    I saw Blair for a few minutes. He was having a party political on how his government was right etc.

    Switched off. I couldn’t listen to the man.”

    I have a totally different opinion of Blair. One of the best PM’s this country has ever had. Won two elections by a landslide and the third with a majority. Cameron could not even achieve a majority, after 13 years of Labour. Had Blair stayed on as PM, in my opinion, Labour would have won more seats at the 2010 GE. Whether they would have won more seats that the Tories, I am not so sure. It would have been close.

  32. I think Blair’s evidence so far is going to make little difference. Perhaps it will help remind people that the Tories are not the only ones with the unhealthy relationship with the press, but ultimately there hasn’t been anything very dramatic.

  33. Leveson? I am astonished. Tony Blair says on the record that he is now friendly enough with Rupert Murdoch to be godfather to one of Murdoch’s children; & that he considers Rebekah Brooks to be a friend. All well known but it’s what followed thereafter that surprised me.

    Blair has been asked to contibute suggestions on media regulation for Leveson to consider before making his report. Am I the only person who thinks this is a bit odd?
    8-)

  34. @Blueblob – “Will only briefly touch on Levenson but what on earth has most of this have to do with phone hacking ?
    It seems to have strayed into something completely different.”

    Leveson isn’t about ‘phone hacking. That’s a criminal matter and is being investigated by the police.

    Leveson is about the links between politics and the media, and is an essential part of the process of fixing the politics of this country, which Cameron famously described as being ‘broken’.

    On the issue of ‘Blair, God or Demon’ I actually think that on the issue of Murdoch, he has a reasonably good record. They courted the press, and spend a good deal of time chasing headlines, sometimes (in my view) at the expense of crafting better quality, well thought through policy.

    What New Labour didn’t do, was provide overt support for one section of the media over others. In terms of their policy decisions, Murdoch didn’t get much change from Blair. He never swung Blair away from his views on the EU (something Murdoch is very keen to do – not from a philosophical view on the relationship between nation states and the EU, but purely on the basis that he knows EU regulation presents a threat to his business dealings that he would struggle to contain).

    He never manage to influence New Labour thinking on the BBC, and faced a series of setbacks in terms of media regulation, where New Labour didn’t back NI objectives.

    I don’t like Blair, but I genuinely think he held the line in terms of policy towards the press. By contrast, Cameron has never hidden his disdain for the BBC and has given Murdoch exactly what he wants in terms of a trimmed down public broadcast sector, and we now know how supportive he has been on every other regulatory decision faced so far.

    There simply is no contrast between Blair’s and Cameron’s handling of the media.

  35. Prince Charles is a bit like Sir Cliff Richard, both do a huge amount of good in the world, without seeking the recognition that the likes of Geldorf & Bonio do, but somehow no one likes to admit that they admire them. Just not cool to do so.

  36. Mr Blair was very direct, no selective memory loss, no avoidance… and he expressed whilst he was PM any relationship between him and any media people was a working relationship, only when he left office did any of those working relationships change to real friendships and explained why…

    Where in comparison our current PM has already stressed friendships associated with media people before he became leader of the Cons or PM… quite a difference between the two.

    J

  37. @Amber Star – “Blair has been asked to contibute suggestions”

    Jay could not lay a glove on Blair. On balance Labour’s media policy was distinctly unhelpful to NI.

    Had the “regulatory framework” failed, was there “a failure to act on previous warnings about media misconduct”?

    Blair replied that taking on the press (while he had a landslide majority) would have been interpreted as an abrogation of power, would have turned them into an implacable enemy, and would have dominated the government’s agenda to the exclusion of all else.

    Leveson appeals to him (in so many words) “How difficult is my job? You can make up for past inaction on this (as well as setting a kind of template for “managing the press” which the current lot tried to copy and got hopelessly wrong) by helping me out here – we need cross-party support if my report isn’t to end up on the bottom shelf of a media studies academic.”

  38. Robert Newark

    In most areas he is an uninformed idiot – saying that some of the things he does are okay (Prince’s Trust) but he has to do something with his time

  39. @John Murphy

    “When the queen made the then Duke of Edinburgh a Prince I think at the same time they adopted on Windsor as the family name….I guess they would otherwise have been Mountbatten or Mountbatten-Windsor. ”

    Nope. From Wikipedia –

    “The House of Windsor is the royal house of the Commonwealth realms. It was founded by King George V by royal proclamation on the 17 July 1917, when he changed the name of his family from the German Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (a branch of the House of Wettin) to the English Windsor, due to the anti-German sentiment in the United Kingdom during World War I. ”

    Note that Windsor isn’t a surname – it’s a royal house.

    I didn’t realise it took 3 years after the outbreak of WWI before the change happened.

  40. I’m not sure what else Jay or Levenson was expected to ask Blair. The sad truth for Cameron is that Blair may have courted Murdoch but he didn’t give him much.

    I expect Cameron will start off with the “we all got too close for comfort” just like Blair, but it is likely he will get more uncomfortable questions after that.

    Unfortunately for Cameron, there are lots of things that Levenson will want to clarify and any evasion would be painful to watch. The employment of Coulson will be one. The memo from Hunt and subsequent “quasi-judicial” appointment will be another.

    The defence that he had to appoint somebody pro-Murdoch to offset the anti-Murdoch remarks of Cable don’t bear much examination.

    The problem is, Cameron devolved responsibility to Levenson to investigate the Hunt affair and investigate he will. In contrast, Blair came clean immediately, “we set out to woo Murdoch to either get his papers’ support or deflect the worst attacks”. He then went on to say he gave nothing in return and was able to give examples of where his policies on the media were different to Murdochs’s.

    Can Cameron?

  41. ‘“The House of Windsor is the royal house of the Commonwealth realms’

    Of course some Commonwealth realms are republics, such as India.

  42. BUEBOB

    @”It seems to have strayed into something completely different.”

    Leveson is currently engaged on “Module 3” of his brief -which is “: The relationship between press and politicians.”

    Watching Blair was fascinating. It brought all those memories & conflicted feelings .

    The guy is a consummate performer ( all good barristers are) & smooth as silk ( pardon the pun :-) ).

    What I loved most was his central theme-the Press / Politician relationship is problem-they are so powerful, you cannot distance yourself from them if you want your “message” heard….I couldn’t do anything about it when I was PM……..because it would have been a huge…ermmm….distraction-but the time is right now & we must all support DC when you give him your recommendations…….M’Lud .

    Brilliant :-)

  43. Bazsc You should have added ‘imho’ to your post. I know he talks to plants but so does my wife! and he some very welcome interjections on architecture.
    I suspect that he is neither uninformed, nor an idiot , however there are plenty of politicians who would attract both those descriptions.
    As for Leveson, I’m just totally bored by the whole thing and turn the channel over when it is mentioned now. Nothing will change, life will go on as before. Politicians will continue to have inappropriate relationships, that’s the nature of the beast. It’s all about power and it doesn’t matter what part of the political spectrum you talk about.

  44. @Jack

    There is a difference between the Commonwealth Realms and members of the Commonwealth. The former are the subset where Elizabeth II is Queen, the latter (including the republics), where she is not.

    Apparently she is QE II even in countries (such as Scotland) where there wasn’t a QE I.

  45. Hannah,

    I am also planning to apply for the post of Monarch when there is a vacancy. I won’t need any army, though, I think that equal ops legislation should mean that I get considered for the shortlist? It should be possible to appeal to the European Court of Justice if I don’t get a proper hearing in this country.

    There’s only one problem. Who would I send my application to?

  46. A silken performance by Blair report the papers…Follow that Mr Cameron.

  47. Warsi said that UKIP was the same as the BNP which was a deadly insult to most Tories.

    Anyone who remembers Lord Denning knows Leveson is a pale shadow. Not even up to Christmas Humphreys.

  48. Colin

    @”It seems to have strayed into something completely different.”

    Leveson is currently engaged on “Module 3? of his brief -which is “: The relationship between press and politicians.”
    _________

    Ah i see, thankyou.

    To be honest i have not been keeping up with it all as it seems dreadfully drawn out.

    I know the press are getting excited about it all but i believe the public have very little interest, All anyone i talk to wants to know is how and when the economy will start to recover.

  49. Robert Newark

    I agree with you about politicians but there is one big difference, they were elected! Does that not say more about the lectors than them.

    Also, the Prince is the embodiment of the British love of an amateur, and if upper class even better. The fact he has no qualifications worth speaking of – seems to have been gifted a degree – and has no real experience of life or had to earn his corn professionally, he is taken seriously when he starts his pontificating.

    He seems to be one of those greens, and not all are like this by any means before Alec jumps on me, that focus on an idealistic past that never existed for the majority of us. Village greens, deference, big estates managed for the few, hearty yomps in the woods, etc etc. We can see this in his pronouncements on architecture and science. Occasionally he speaks sense but that is more by luck than intent

  50. @BLUEBOB
    `I know the press are getting excited about it all but i believe the public have very little interest, All anyone i talk to wants to know is how and when the economy will start to recover.`

    It`s not hard to see why a Tory supporter would not be interested in Leveson.

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