The full tables for YouGov’s weekly Sunday Times poll are now online here. There are a couple of questions on the Boris bandwagon, but mostly it deals with the Olympics.

Taking Boris first 39% of people think that David Cameron should remain Tory leader at the next election, 37% think he should step down. As might be expected the largely majority of those wanting David Cameron to go are supporters of opposing parties – the overwhelming majority of Tory supporters (79%) want him to stay, with only 14% thinking he should stand down. Were Cameron to go, Boris Johnson would be the most popular replacement, but is only picked by 24% of people and a third of Tory supporters, so it hardly suggests a great groundswell of support. William Hague is second on 14%, 34% of people say don’t know and 16% say “somebody else”.

The Olympic questions were almost a pleasure to receive on Friday. Most polls of the British public are a litany of grumble and complaint (partly, of course, because of what papers ask about – people being happy with things doesn’t normally make good news). People’s opinion on the Olympics is almost unremittingly positive. People now think hosting the Olympics was the right thing to do by 57% to 29% (compared to 53% to 35% before the Games started), 71% of people now think the Games will be a success, compared to 60% before they began.

74% of people think the Olympics so far have been well organised, and 69% think they are lifting people’s spirits. 11% of people say it has made them more likely to take up sport themselves, though of course, it is one thing to tell a pollster this and a different thing to actually put it into action!

There was also an overwhelmingly positive reception for the opening ceremony. Amongst those people who watched at least some of the opening ceremony, 60% said it was very good, 29% good. Only 10% had a negative opinion of it. 68% said it made them feel proud to be British. Asked to pick their favourite parts of the ceremony the Queen’s appearance with James Bond came top on 29%, followed by the lighting of the cauldron and the opening sequence showing the industrial revolution of British social history (both on 18%).

There was very little sympathy for Aiden Burley’s comments about the ceremony, only 15% said his description of it as “leftie multicultural crap” was fair. Despite the positive reviews for the ceremony people still though too much was spent on it, though there has been a significant shift since July – 52% of people still thought £27m was too much to spend on it (down from 67% in July), 32% thought it was about the right amount to spend (up from 16%).

There are very positive reviews of the BBC’s coverage of the Games. 87% of people who are watching at least some of the Games say the BBC has done a good job in covering it, 82% think the commentators have been well informed. So far respondents say they have most enjoyed watching the swimming (19%) and cycling (17%).

On Ye Shiwen, 46% of respondents think she is probably not using drugs compared to only 15% who think she is. 52% think it was wrong of John Leonard to voice his suspicions.

On Olympic sport, Squash – the only sport asked about that is not an existing Olympic sport or planned to become one – actually had the highest proportion of people thinking it should be. 64% of people thought Squash should be contested at the Olympics, with only 18% saying it shouldn’t be. There was also high (63%) support for trampoline gymnastics remaining an Olympic sport. People thought beach volleyball should be an Olympic sport by 49% to 32%, BMX cycling by 45% to 36% and rugby sevens by 45% to 36%. Golf, due to be introduced at the 2016 Olympic games, was only seen as something that should be an Olympic sport by 21% of people, with 62% thinking it should not be.

Finally Michael Phelps was seen as the greatest Olympian by 20% (of course the survey was conducted on Thursday to Friday, and Phelps has won several more medals since then!), with Steve Redgrave in second place on 17%.

238 Responses to “YouGov on the Olympics so far”

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  1. Anthony


    I was trying to work out if there are any scenarios under which a majority could be created for passing only one Commission report – eg NI.

  2. @AW

    Aah! Can I have your crystal ball then please.

  3. I ignore the news for a day and Clegg ditches the boundary changes and Louise Mensch steps down?? What??

  4. I’m increasingly concerned that our nanny-state-run armed-forces will be no match for the privately run G4S in the event of an attempted coup.

    Am off to get a kitchen knife and work on my wood-whittling skills so that I am ready for Brazil Style welfare.

    Does 50p a spoon sound about right?

  5. @ Anmary

    Well seeing this today, and finding out that boundary changes will not go through increases Labour’s chances even more. Think we will see a farely sizeable Labour majority in 2015, maybe back to their 2005 levels?


    Yes. As things stand – but allowing for some movement, like UKIP’ers moving back to CON – Labour will get an overall majority somewhere between 40 and about 80.

    Mind you, “as things stand” is pretty meaningless in politics.

    Anything could happen yet….

  6. G4S have just announced that they have been asked by the government to provide security for the coalition. Stop them fighting on the greenbenches ! ;)

  7. Funnily enough I completed my LD member poll today and without knowing at that moment about Clegg’s statement (I had thought it was yet another Guardian kite flying exercise) I filled in that the coalition should continue to 2015 but that if the Tories welshed on Lords it should however end immediately.

    I just wonder what my colleagues filled in?

    I am only a LD member to achieve fair votes and representation (PR and Lords mainly elected) and joining the Eurozone, Schengen, etc, so I feel somewhat unrepresented at the mo. I mean, if we had PR, I think the Howard party would get a few members wouldn’t it?

  8. SoCalLiberal

    It’s kinda odd. Did (Mensch’s] family live in New York when she decided to run for Parliament? And if so, shouldn’t she have figured that becoming an MP would cause some difficulties for family unity, what with 2000-3000 miles of distance between them?

    It’s odder than that. Here family live in her constituency in Northants. She has three children from a previous marriage who are roughly 4,7 and 8, so some old enough to be settled, and her previous husband shares the care. So it seems odd to move them to the US away from their father.

    That said he is also American so it may well be that he wants to relocate as well. In that case you’d have thought she might have mentioned it as another pressure.

    What is certain is that her new husband lives and works in New York, so it may just be that she wants to go and live there and can’t be bothered to wait till the next election.

  9. @Howard
    “I completed my LD member poll today”
    LDVoice poll or by an actual polling company?

    @Ian P
    I suspect if polls asked about support for a right-wing military coup, it wouldn’t be very popular.

    But in all seriousness, I’m not so sure a right-wing coup would actually be successful without some sort of populist support. Unfortunately I suspect that an attempted right-wing dictatorial coup would unify the people under the red banner – liberty, equality, fraternity – and you’d end up with the opposite of what you hope for.
    We call this the law of unintended consequences.

  10. A good old military coup would be perfect for the left, really. Give us more of a rotten edifice to tear down ;)


    Thanks for taking the time to explain — I think I understand now.

  12. TF
    LD Voice Poll, so not a poll, excuses. It was just an intro to the posting, but sloppy.

    I caught this elsewhere. ‘In general it strikes me that the whole thing with boundaries commission needs a bit of, sorry to use that trite word, modernisation. Today people move from place to place, even country to country, at a pace unimagined decades ago – the electoral map needs to keep up a bit better it seems to me.’

    Of course if you have PR you don’t need a Boundary Commission. Polling is a site more certain too.

  13. @Howard:

    I must say that despite being Labour, I do enjoy LDV and not just for gloating rights. Your party comrades (colleagues?) espouse some very compelling arguments (broken up by coalition/tribal cheerleading which beggars belief and excludes evidence, but we have that in Labour with people like Dan ‘Dan Hodges’ Hodges)

    No chance you’re the cartoonist ‘Howard’ for Lib Dem news?

  14. AH
    No I am not a party hack. I really did join for the reasons I gave as ostensibly the LDs were the only pro EU, PR favouring party. As an ex pat from NL, I have seen civilisation and want it for my children and their offspring.

    But I am hopelessly in the tiny minority and my party self-evidently lost the plot ages ago. The glee expressed by those of other party loyalties who actually also broadly espouse the above policies, is not pleasant to witness, but who said party politics is pleasant? :-(

  15. Howard,
    Even though they’re not real weighted polls, they still make interesting reads, like the ConHome ones do.
    They give a vague insight in to the hardest of hardcore LibDems which are probably the most important people within any party to keep pleased.

    It’ll be interesting to see if this HoL defeat (BBC is running with the headline “Clegg admits defeat”) will damage the LibDem VI in a real poll [1], given that they made such a song and dance out of HoL during the Tory rebellion.
    I have a feeling they picked during the middle of the Olympics so that the public would ignore the story.

    But Clegg and Cameron both now under pressure from internal party politics – although Cameron has the added bonus of not being the least popular figure with the general public.

    [1] My own opinion is that it probably won’t – LibDems are still running at their consistently low point and if the NHS reforms didn’t really shift the figures, I doubt HoL will.

  16. Oh dear, I go away for a few hours and I see talk of a military coup.

    Although the comments above were obviously made in just, I think the public have such respect for our armed forces, and so much disillusionment with our political system, a military coup may actually be quite appealing.
    Anthony, may I put in a request that Yougov start to poll on this issue?

    But the big news of today for me is yet more confirmation, that Mr Clegg is the worst kind of politician, he is not in Politics to help people, he is in Politics to see what he can get out of it. He is not a man of principle or convictions. He just seeks power.

    Says he will remove tuition fees to gain votes from the public to try and hold the balance of power and get into government. Then votes to increase fees in return for a referendum on a voting system which would make it virtually impossible to remove the Lib Dems from government. When that fails, he tries to implement the same system in the Lords so at least he has somewhere to put all his disgruntled members who are about to lose their seats, and when that fails, he decides he will vote against making the boundaries fairer in retaliation.

    I don’t agree with many Tory policies, but I like to believe they think they are doing the right thing. I don’t think they are helping the country, but I hope when they make decisions, it’s in good faith, I don’t think they actively seek to destroy the country even though it may seem that way. Mr Clegg however, is truly power hungry. I don’t think the Lib Dems as a party are, I think most of them are just following orders. But as many will know, “just following orders” is no excuse.

    Clegg’s time surely must be up now, I would rather the Lib Dems came to the left, and selected someone like Mr Cable, but even if they went with David Laws and went to the right at least we would know where they stand, and they would have some conviction. Enough of this policy horse trading, where a government of any colour is only able to do something if it offers Mr Clegg more power.

  17. Just had a curious sensation watching George Osborne being interviewed about Mensch – he really seemed like a new man, totally relaxed, liberated.

    He is a bit sharper than Cameron. Has he let go of the ambition to secure Tory hegemony through boundary changes/Scottish independence – and then go on to take over leadership of the Conservative Party? Cameron has given an assurance that he will not be sacked as chancellor, but sooner or later the weight of expection and responsibility will slip from his shoulders. He has nothing to lose now.

  18. The fun, if that is what it is, will be to see the effect by the weekend on VI. Agreed that the Olympics is swamping everything and of course those with children are now in Southern Europe or the camping sites around the coast.

    The oldies aren’t away, but they have very fixed VI so I predict little change.

  19. Ardbeg distillery have a military coo.

  20. @PaulCroft
    “I’m increasingly concerned that our nanny-state-run armed-forces will be no match for the privately run G4S in the event of an attempted coup.
    Am off to get a kitchen knife and work on my wood-whittling skills so that I am ready for Brazil Style welfare.
    Does 50p a spoon sound about right?”

    LOL ^_^

  21. Chordata:

    Ta: I shall put you down for what I refer to as a dozen “mixed*** kitchen implements”. at a bargain £5.00 !!

    *** This is because the whittling means I can no longer remember what they were meant to be when I started.

  22. Sorry if this has already been discussed but does anyone know the legalities of not passing the new boundaries. Doesnt the 2011 Act say that constituency sizes must be equalised?? If so would it not be illegal for the boundaries not to change?

  23. Stan – under the legislation the boundary commissions must recommend the seats, and once they’ve reported the Secretary of State (ironically I think the relevant Secretary is Nick Clegg!) must put a draft order before Parliament enacting the changes and, **IF** it is approved by Parliament, enact the changes through an Order in Council.

  24. @Stan

    Doesn’t work like that. This particular Act of Parliament expressly said that the boundary changes would only take effect as and when Parliament approved the actual boundary changes. This is quite normal. Many Acts require secondary legislation to go through Parliamentary approval (usually to hammer out fine details) before it can be enacted. If the majority to approve the changes is lost between the passing of the act of parliament and the subsequent vote on the secondary legislation, that’s tough luck.

  25. It does look a bit silly though doesn’t it.

    A SoS puts in front of Parliament a bill (which was strongly contested by the opposition) and it then passes.

    The same SoS then receives the recommendation from the BC which is the best that can be made of a bad job and he then rejects it, or at the very least refuses to back it, because he has changed his mind in the meantime.

    It does very little to improve the standing of politicians

    Will the BC have to produce an update or resubmit the proposals periodically ad infinitum until the bill is officially repealed?

  26. Anthony and Chris thanks. So does this legislation apply to all future boundrary reviews. In which case a future Labour government may be the one to enact the new rules – unless they were to repeal the act?

  27. Bazsc – the legislation is unclear. It says if the order is rejected the Secretary of State and boundary commissions can amend their proposals, but not how.

    More likely they just get left on a shelf and forgotten about, until either a majority in favour of them turns up or until 2016 when the boundary commission will start work on their next review.

    Stan – the legislation applies to all future reviews. The 2016-2018 review will also take place under the rules unless the law has been changed by then.

  28. AW

    Thanks, as always!

    It is all a bit ‘messy’ isn’t it. Not very becoming!

    In respect to your answer to Stan, does this mean the BC will only work on a premise of 600 seats until legislation is changed? I assume it also means that there will be no review of the current boundaries before the next election

  29. Nick Clegg answering a question from Tory MP Eleanor Laing on 19th April this year (Q179):

    Eleanor Laing:

    “Is it the case that the reports that your party’s support for further progress on boundaries legislation is dependent upon progress on House of Lords reform legislation are wrong?”

    Nick Clegg

    “Of course, there is no reliance on our support for a Coalition Agreement commitment for progress on unrelated or other significant parallel constitutional formations. I have said that. There is no link; of course, there is no link.”

    Nick Clegg today:

    “The Conservative Party is not honouring the commitment to Lords reform and, as a result, part of our contract has now been broken… I have told the prime minister that when, in due course, parliament votes on boundary changes for the 2015 election I will be instructing my party to oppose them.”

    Courtesy ConHome.

    RIP the Coalition.

  30. Bazsc – yes, unless the law is changed the Boundary Commissions’s rules have been changed to permanently fix the number of seats in their recommendations at 600.

  31. Colin

    It is just a bit pathetic isn’t it?

    I am no great fan of the Tories as you know and even considered myself a LibDem until recently but this whole episode has done no favours for the orange part of the Coalition

  32. What would the effects be if Standard Chartered ban lost their licence to operate in the USA?

    Seems likely, according to the Beeb story.

  33. BAZSC

    That is certainly the word for it in polite company Bazsc.

    :-) :-) :-)


    “@Ian P
    I suspect if polls asked about support for a right-wing military coup, it wouldn’t be very popular.

    But in all seriousness, I’m not so sure a right-wing coup would actually be successful without some sort of populist support. Unfortunately I suspect that an attempted right-wing dictatorial coup would unify the people under the red banner – liberty, equality, fraternity – and you’d end up with the opposite of what you hope for.
    We call this the law of unintended consequences.”

    @Tinged Fringe

    Here is a Step-by-Step account of how I would get a Right Wing Party- promising big spending cuts to fund big Middle/Upper Class Tax cuts- into power. I would not have to use undemocratic methods to do this- unless I became very desperate after 30 years of trying- and I outline the undemocratic method at the end.

    IF I was leading a Proper Right wing Party I would exhaust all possible democratic means at my disposal first- before finally concluding- parhaps thirty years down the line- that I would NEVER be able to secure a Mandate from the Majority.

    I would start by making the case for smaller state, massive cuts to benefits (and tax increases for yobs and criminals), leaving the European Union, abolishing the NHS and introducing a private health insurance scheme, selling off the roads- in order to fund massive infrastructure projects (including more nuclear power stations), the elimination of the Budget Deficit after just four years and massive InCome Tax and business rate cuts.

    I would have a Flat Rate of Income Tax and Corporation Tax of just 10% payable by all (no tax free allowance), just 10% VAT but no exemptions and businesses would not be able to reclaim VAT costs, halve tax on fuel and halve business rates. Criminals and yobs would be subject to a special 50% flat income tax rate for four years following conviction (some of the monies raised would build more prisons and pay forr many more Police). I would tax alcohol and cigarettes with 100% duty.

    All the taxes would pay for strong defence, Police, education and infrastructure- and pay for decent pensions for the elderly. The private healthcare insurance would be compulsorty and would pay for hospitals, and treatments should folk suffer injury or fall ill. The taxes raised would eliminate the need for borrowing but £150 billion annual spending on a whole array of benefits would go- i.e pretty much all benefits bar the state pension and support for really sick people.

    I would actively make the case for these policies over and over again by explaining to the voters about the Laffer Curve- that if you tax the rich too much they leave the country and/or stop working so that the taxes dont raise as much money as predicted on paper. I would explain to the voters- over and over again- that an overtaxed economy is not a healthy one.

    The next major step in getting my right Wing Party into power would be to introduce sugar-sweeteners- policies that would help attract more voters despite the harsh fiscal medicine proposed: A referendum on the Death Penalty (only possible on leaving the EU), promising to make Family Court Judges give custody to fathers in at least 30% of divorce cases (feminists would hate it, but as almost 50% of the electorate are men this should result in more support for my Right Wing Party). I would also promise to do away with the UK Supreme Court- stating that it gets in the way of democratic process!

    Next I would have activists and candidates selected who totally agree with the above policies, I would set up a Candidate School to train them to ensure they sing from the same song sheet, and consistently make the case for supply side reforms, spending cuts and lower taxes.

    I would approach potential rich backers expaining to them that it is in their interests if my Party do well and get to be in a position of major influence in Parliament- and I would tell millionaires that if they vote for me and support me they would make their dream of only paying 10% Income Tax and 10% VAT a step closer- I would tell them that I am the only Party offering to give them such low taxes. Thus I should have no problem getting them to give my Right Wing Party ££ millions in the first year- and this money would be used to set up the Candidate School, getting candidates selected in all Constituencies and for me to start sending out promotional material.

    I would advertise my Party as The Real Tax Cutting Party For The Middle Classes- and I would use some of the millions from well before the first General Election to get Party Reps to visit town halls and tell members of the Public there is a new Kid In Town- that hates the fact that the burgeous’ have to fund excessive Government Largesse. I would set up a Boiler Room to cold call all members of the public- starting with the richer South East and suburbia elsewhere with the opening salvo: “Are you on over £20,000 per year?; If so we are your knights in shinig armour! We have an offer you cannot refuse!”

    All the above measures done consistently- and unwaveringly- over the next 15 years would attract a seriously sizeable tranche of the voters; probably over 30% by 2030. The General Election to be held then would see my Party becoming HM Opposition as 30% of the vote would result in perhaps 100 MPs, assuming of course Labour united all the Lefty voters hehind it (with maybe only 5% voting for other Parties).

    Thus there would be a Labour Government with a massive majority (worst case scenario) but my Right Wing Party would be The Opposition. I would continue to stick firm and resolute to my policies- and attack Labour over their not having the Death Penalty, taxing businesses and, if anything else like crumbling roads happened I would attack them over that (explaining that I would invest properly in the vital infrastructure, not ne’er-do-wells).

    If, as is likely the country eventually goes bust under the Labour Government in the 2030s, I and my Party Attack Dogs- I would make sure I had top-notch ones too would attack Labour and lambast them for driving the economy into the ground through high taxes on businesses. I would have all my 100 MPs and activists writing in the papers- blogging on the Internet- explaining to the general public wekk after week- throughout the term of this future Labour Government why their high taxes on business hurt the economy, why their refusal to have the Death Penalty or more prisons results in it being dangerous to walk the streets.

    The likle upshot of all this is that Labour would become unpopular- and as HM Opposition my Right Wing Party would start to take votes off them. The 2035, or possibly the 2040 General Election would- more than likely- have my Right wing Party in Government, where I could set about my radical reforms such as introducing a 10% Flat Rate of Income Tax- payable by all, and leaving the EU. The economy would grow strongly as the heavy restraints of tax and regulation are lifted off it.

    If, by any chance, the vast Majority of voters remain too horrified at the prospect of my policies that they could never vote for me, and the Tories and Labour continue to account for 80% of the voters between them (I think, in all fairness that half of the Tory and all the UKIP support base would switch to my Right wing Party offering ultra-low taxes to the Middle/Upper Classes- particularly if the Tories remain “socialist-lite”);- Then I would have to concede- after perhaps 30 years that a proper big spending-cut, big tax-cutting Party could never make it big through the ballot box.

    I would then explore non-democratic means of gaining the levers of power. It would involve COVERTLY getting supporters of my Right Wing Party into senior and top positions in the Police and the Army (naturally I would have prepared for this vital contingency with my policies for having lots more Police and having a strong Army- which means I would trust a good number of such supporters are going to be in the Police/Army anyway).

    [If Labour tried to stop my Party being represented in the Police/Army I would have the entire Press on hand to demonstrate- and suggest- that Labour are using unemocratic tactics to retain power, and I would get my Attack Dogs to hit them with these “facts” until the electorate (inevitably) think Labour are using undemocratic means to quash dissent- my Party would inevitably gain at their expense! For that reason I dont think even Labour in power would be so stupid]

    Anyway once I had my Party reps in top places in the Police/Army- I would invite all the relevant top police and Army Chiefs- to a special secret meeting- at short notice to “Discuss the Future of the Country”, and it is there at that meeting that I would outline my plans to topple the Labour Government- and have them in charge. I would explain in gravest detail why this could be the only real chance to save Britain from itself- from bankruptcy, businesses going bust, inflation, etc.

    And then the top Police/Army Chiefs would go round to the Lords, the House of Commons, MI5 HQ and all Military Barracks- and the top regional police HQ in the land with their guns and their automatics- very discreetly. They would use the cover of a major security scare and use their police badges to get past security: Once inside, KLICK: “PUT YOUR HANDS UP! YOUR ALL UNDER ARREST FOR RUNNING THE COUNTRY DOWN- WE ARE TAKING OVER!!”

    There is the risk that it all goes wrong, and myself and all my MPs/Activists- and the relevant Police/Army Members end up in prison- or even dead! But if I was that desperate, I would make sure all involved would bebrave enough to risk certain death to free Britain from the clutches of Socialism.

  35. My eldest has just shared with me a rather humourous joke, and I wanted to share it.

    “The only reform of the house of lords that would have been effective was foiled in 1605 when someone found the gunpowder!”

  36. @ Ian Pennell

    Apart from the death squads I think you checked every box on the ‘My First Dictatorship’ list.

  37. While I agree that a more right wing party could potentially start to come to prominence as the Tea Party has in the US, especially with the increasing polarisation in politics, I don’t see anyone voting to abolish the NHS, and tax at 10%

    The point I did agree on most was the rights for fathers. But I still don’t see that translating into votes.

  38. @ Roger Mexico

    “It’s odder than that. Here family live in her constituency in Northants. She has three children from a previous marriage who are roughly 4,7 and 8, so some old enough to be settled, and her previous husband shares the care. So it seems odd to move them to the US away from their father.

    That said he is also American so it may well be that he wants to relocate as well. In that case you’d have thought she might have mentioned it as another pressure.

    What is certain is that her new husband lives and works in New York, so it may just be that she wants to go and live there and can’t be bothered to wait till the next election.”

    Yeah, that does make it even odder. I don’t mean to be judgmental here but why not just announce she’s not running again? That would allow a successor to get selected and would be more helpful to the government. Plus it would avoid the cost of a special election and a potential defeat for the government. Also as you point out, it doesn’t make much sense since it would be one thing if her kids lived in New York. Trying to work in London and be a mother to kids who live in NYC would be extremely difficult. But they don’t and if anything, she’ll be moving farther away from them. Maybe she’s carrying multiple mortgages in both London and New York City (two of the most expensive cities in the world) and that’s overwhelming her.

    Well whatever, it’s not up to me and it doesn’t really concern me. It is kinda odd though. It’ll be interesting to see if Labour can pick up the seat in a special election. It is a swingy seat. If they can’t, their big national polling leads might not mean that much.


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