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”

1 2 3 5
  1. “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)”

    Should that be June?

    Agreed, it’s refreshing to see positive polls. I’m sure there will be a ‘sick of the olympics’ poll by the end of next week.

  2. Gold

  3. No! …tut, Bronze again!

    I do think the Beebs coverage has been very good and worth the license fee.

    Perhaps they should scrap the license fee and add the same amount to the local council rate charge as an ‘entertainment’ tax (Same way as we pay for police, fire, education, etc). Central Government could then allocate it to the BBC. Make the charge applicable to business as well as domestic rates and I reckon that the BBC would net much more income to improve the quality of broadcasting. There would be no augments over watching TV on the internet.

    It would certainly get rid of the costly cloak and dagger collection method.

  4. John Seddon links to an article here:

    http://www.vanityfair.com/online/daily/2012/07/microsoft-downfall-emails-steve-ballmer

    which attributes Microsoft’s decline to the same mad management technique.

    I would guess that it will be imposed on state schools in England next (but not private ones) if they get away with doing it in the civil service.

    An independant Scotland wouldn’t need to train any teachers, nurses or doctors if this catches on.

  5. “The Olympic questions were almost a pleasure to receive on Friday. Most polls of the British public are a litany of grumble and complaint ….. 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.”

    Indeed Anthony -the last effect you mention is palpable-it’s in the air.

    The crowds for the Marathon , in the pouring rain are a visual testament to how people feel about these Games.

    The British public demonstrate how to take pride in the achievements of our sportsmen & sportswomen, whilst according generosity & respect to all participants.

    The whole thing is truly magnificent.

    We can only hope that it inspires a new generation of young people.

  6. John B Dick/ Paul Croft
    Are you aware that the Television detector vans are actually but a bluff- in that there is no detector equipment at all in those vehicles? I have been told by three separate people who formerly did the job – in the days it came under the Post Office that is simply – a very successful- ruse to scare non licence payers that they can be caught.Apparently there is no such equipment available at all.
    I also know about the various warning letters sent out threatening legal action.. A friend had received dozens of such letters over the lat ten years and ignored them all. It does mean he has to be careful who he answers his door to , but beyond that he has had no problems!At the end of the day these people who go around knocking on doors to apprehend non-payers have no right of access to a property – nor can they assume that a resident is in possession of a TV set. Only if such people are admitted and then find the physical evidence does a non payer find himself in difficulties.Hence, make sure you don’t let them in in the first place!

  7. I reserve the right to enjoy the Olympics, cheer on all members of Team GB AND to subsequently moan about the cost!

    Once the meal’s being served at a good but vastly overpriced restaurant, there’s no point in worrying about the cost when you’re eating. When the credit card statement arrives it may be a different matter.

  8. Graham

    Yes, I was aware of that.

    I ignored dozens of letters after my wife’s attempt to send them back with an explanation failed to stop them.

    We got a visit. I declined to admit. I thought it was an intrusion we should not have to submit to. We now get no more letters.

    In 19thC Glasgow there were unannounced random nighttime council inspections, followed up by fines, to ensure that no more people were inhabiting a property than the maximum permitted.

    Unacceptably intrusive?

    It was accepted because it was public health driven as part of the response to Cholera.

    Nothing, ever, could trump that.

    The Scottish NHS still has more money than the English NHS because of the response to Cholera.

  9. I must say I am actually rather enjoying the games now they are on, watching Team GB soar up the medal table has endowed me with a sense of pride.

    However were I to answer these questions, I didn’t think the Opening Ceremony was good at all, nothing compared to Beijing, and I don’t agree with the wall to wall coverage on BBC 1. Everyone pays a license fee, not everyone is into sport and having 16 days of nothing but Sports with only the News in between I do think is a little off. Even the News now is just about who has won what medal, with big stories such as Syria and the Eurozone reduced to a quick mention at the end.

    In all honesty what I have enjoyed most this week and what has lifted my spirits is having 2 of my grandchildren over to stay, who needs Rowing and Cycling when you’ve got Cars 2 to keep one occupied?

  10. In terms of alternatives for the Conservative leadership, the views of Conservatives ought to be the ones to watch, on the grounds tha tsuch views will be closer to those of the Conservatives actually taking the decision. As AW says, 79% want him to stay.

    In terms of a replacement for Cameron, the preferred candidate (of Conservatives) is:
    Johnson 33%, Hague 24%, Davis 7%, Osborne 2%, Gove 2%, Someone else 8%, DK 24%.

    But in terms of whether each would make a better or worse Conservative leader, the responses of Conservatives are (net) Hague +3% ,Johnson +1%, Davis -17%, Gove -30%, Osborne -59% (and for a larf Blair -71%.)

    Now contrast that with thebest betting odds for the next Con leader Johnson 6/1, Osborne 8/1, Gove 12/1, Hague 12/1, Davis 18/1. Lowest odds of the rest Hammond 16/1, Shapps 16/1. Based on polling in the middle of a Borgasm, Hague’s are the value odds.

  11. They bore me rigid. I am delighted we’re past the halfway mark and can look forward to the end soon.

    The self-congratulatory comments about it are hard to bear too.

  12. I very much doubt Hague would be selected to lead the party again. He failed to make any progress in 2001, while he is one of few Conservatives I have time for, I think many would see him as Yesterday’s man.

    I underestimated Johnson once, I won’t be doing it again. I think of a multitude of leaders who at first no one thought would succeed but actually went on to reach Number 10. Equally, many leaders who everyone rated as a Prime Minister in waiting, who never quite made it.

    When ED M was first elected I had my doubts, everyone expected it would be David, and when Ed did win I thought the Tories had pretty much won the 2015 election there and then. But as Cameron’s incompetence showed, Ed grew into the role more and now I thoroughly expect to be seeing him on the steps on Number 10 on the early morning of Friday 8th May 2015

  13. @Anmary
    Odds of evens for any of them would be ridiculously short, so don’t take that as a prediction. But what is interesting about Hague is that his rebuilding of his career since defeat suggests an unfulfilled ambition. Clearly his fellow Conservatives have respect for him, and since I don’t think you’re one either it matters not what you or I think.

  14. Speaking of the Olympics, Murray’s done what he couldn’t do at Wimbledon against Federer…gone two sets up.

  15. 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.
    ——————————
    So, the poll where the gap between Con & Lab narrowed to -1% with Boris as hypothetical leader can be discounted as an outlier then?

    Perhaps it was a novelty result; now that the idea of Boris as PM has had a few days of being kicked around, people are not quite so keen for it.
    8-)

  16. Amber, the polls don’t contradict each other. This one had about 1 in 5 Con voters saying they would be less likely to vote Tory with Boris in charge and 1 in 5 Con voters saying they could be more likely to vote Tory with Boris in charge.

    Given there are more of the latter than the former this is consistent with the Conservatives doing slightly better with Boris (not, I should add, that such hypothetical questions are particularly useful)

  17. Murray with a Scottish/British Gold. How about that?

  18. AW:

    I do find the “less” or “more” likely option somewhat disingenuous as in reality what it means in most cases is that they will still vote the same but with slightly different enthusiasm levels.

    That question, years ago, was what scuppered Heseltine’s chances against Major – the question should have been asked of NON-conservative voters.

  19. @ Anthony,

    Thanks for replying; maybe I am being a bit ‘dense’ but I can’t follow your logic.

    “This one had about 1 in 5 Con voters saying they would be less likely to vote Tory with Boris in charge and 1 in 5 Con voters saying they could be more likely to vote Tory with Boris in charge.”

    1 in 5 Con voters & 1 in 5 Con voters are the same arithmetically; even if they are not the same voters, are they not? Did you mean to add something about Boris’s popularity with non-Cons or Con identifiers who are currently DK?

    There must be something about your comment that I just don’t ‘get’ because how would identical levels of popularity translate into Boris narrowing the gap between Con & Lab?
    8-)

  20. @NickP

    Murray with a Scottish/British Gold. How about that?
    —————————–
    There’s no polling about it yet & anecdote is not data but:

    We Scots are all delighted!!! Yay!!! :-)

  21. Murray sang the National Anthem!

    :-) :-)

  22. I’m pretty pleased about Murray too. Just shows.

    I wonder if your First Minister is pleased or not? Will this affect independence polling one way or another?

  23. Barney should like this.

    http://www.itv.com/news/update/2012-08-05/aberdeenshire-above-australia-in-olympic-medal-table/

    “If Aberdeenshire was a country, it would be above Australia in the Olympic medal table as things stand.”

  24. @ Colin

    Murray sang the National Anthem!
    ———————-
    Andy spent his interview time talking about yesterday’s athletics success, mainly Mo Farah’s win in the 10,000 meters, rather than his own achievement. Nice.

    IMO, he was also visibly keeping himself ‘together’ because he has another match to play with team-mate Laura Robson. There’s no ‘skipping’ a second event when you’re half of a duo!
    :-)

  25. Yeah, nice interview with AM: his voice seems to have gone up very slightly as he’s got older.

    Looks like he could be a double Gold Medal winner – what a great way to start winning really big competitions.

  26. OLDNAT

    Murray sang the National Anthem! any comment?

  27. AMBER

    Sure thing.

    He’s OK for me-a bit dour , but that’s OK too in my book :-)

    I like the way he treats his young doubles partner , and I hope they get Gold too-struggling just a little at present.

  28. ROGERREBEL

    After a performance like that, he can do anything he likes!

    Which verse did he sing? ;-)

  29. It’s sort of unrealistic to expect Robson & Murray to win. Andy has just played an emotionally charged match against Federer. Robson is a barely ranked ‘kid’. They are facing the world no. 1 woman singles player & the world no. 1 men’s double player.

    I mean, they could do it but it’s a huge task.
    8-)

  30. Yes-of course.

    One set all now.

  31. “Someone else”? Are sure they didn’t mean “ANYone else”? As in absolutely ANYone.

    -:P

  32. It’ll be interesting to see who, if anybody, gets a Super Saturday boost from the Olympics. :-)

  33. I read that America taxes its gold medal winners on their prize money.

    Could be a great move for our popular chancellor: would have been amusing to watch the govt front bench shouting athletes on with calculators in hand,

  34. I sing this one (ironically of course)

    Lord, grant that Marshal Wade
    May, by thy mighty aid,
    Victory bring.
    May he sedition hush
    And, like a torrent, rush
    Rebellious Scots to crush.
    God save the King.

  35. @ Paul Croft

    Folks may already know this but in case they don’t & to save them googling it:

    The US Olympic Committee awards prize money to its medal winners – $25,000 (£16,000) for gold, $15,000 (£10,000) for silver, and $10,000 (£6,000) for bronze.

    UK medal winners get no prize money – but get the honour of appearing on a stamp instead.

    At the opposite end of the scale is Singapore, which is offering $800,000 (£515,000) for a gold medal.
    8-)

  36. noone is talking about the odds for a different leader of the labour party

    I would love to see boris johnson or william hague as leader of the conservative party

  37. Amber

    They may need to increase the number of denominations that they use to issue stamps!

  38. I sing this one (badly of course)

    Lord, grant that to James Bond
    Our Lizzie will respond,
    Stealing the scene.
    May ‘she’ survive free-fall
    To land safe in the mall
    Endear her to us all!
    God save the Queen.
    ;-)

  39. Amber

    :-)

  40. Amber – about a quarter of poll respondents say they’ll vote Tory, about three quarters don’t.

    20% of 75% is bigger than 20% of 25%.

  41. @ Amber Star

    “There’s no polling about it yet & anecdote is not data but:

    We Scots are all delighted!!! Yay!!! :)”

    Go Murray!! Glad to see he’s won and finally beaten Federer.

  42. @ Amber Star

    “The US Olympic Committee awards prize money to its medal winners – $25,000 (£16,000) for gold, $15,000 (£10,000) for silver, and $10,000 (£6,000) for bronze.

    UK medal winners get no prize money – but get the honour of appearing on a stamp instead.”

    I didn’t know that actually. (How uninformed does that make me?). You know what though, they deserve it. They totally deserve it. The amount of work and effort that has to be put into training to be an Olympian, let alone winning a medal, is enormous. That’s true even in the sports where competitors sit down….the level of discipline and hard work required, it’s incredible. Think about how that level of training takes away from the time needed to do other things (that might be more economically productive).

    And for a lot of these athletes, they give up a lot in order to do it. I mean, look at Gabby Douglas. That girl had to move away from her family in Virginia and moved all the way to Iowa just so she could train with a top gymnastics coach. It also put a huge financial burden on her family.

    So you know, it’s worth it and it’s well deserved for the athletes.

  43. @ Old Nat

    I agree with you that Murray can sing whatever he wants. Especially in light of the following the following a demonstration of American imperialism at the Olympics:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YPIA7mpm1wU

    Team GB is out of the waterpolo competition I think but I’ve been meaning to ask this about them for a while. Is waterpolo in the UK kind of a Tory sport?

  44. AmberA

    The Govt should make political capital about our great athletes deserving to get prize money.

    And then tax them.

    “these people just spend their lives playing and having fun: they should remember that we’re all in it together”.

  45. SOCALLIBERAL

    Waterpolo in the UK is becoming an increasingly democratic amateur sport. People practice by desperately throwing their valuables to each other, to save them from floods.

    http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/62053000/jpg/_62053956_jex_1484946_de27-1.jpg

  46. @ Anthony

    So you actually meant to write:

    “This one had about 1 in 5 Con voters saying they would be less likely to vote Tory with Boris in charge and 1 in 5 *NON*-Con voters saying they could be more likely to vote Tory with Boris in charge.”

    Which makes sense.

    Thank you :-)

  47. @OLDNAT

    LOL !

    ;-)

  48. @ Old Nat

    “Waterpolo in the UK is becoming an increasingly democratic amateur sport. People practice by desperately throwing their valuables to each other, to save them from floods.”

    Lol. So wrong. :)

  49. Usain Bolt again.

    Crazy name, crazy guy, fantastic runner.

    Well done Christine-great result.

  50. SoCalLiberal

    My son drew my attention to the manifesto of the Texas Republicans

    http://s3.amazonaws.com/texasgop_pre/assets/original/2012Platform_Final.pdf

    Included is “Knowledge-Based Education – We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.”

    I don’t think that I’ve ever seen a political manifesto which wants to ensure that kids aren’t to be helped to think for themselves – but just to be clones.

    Quite incredible!

1 2 3 5