This week’s YouGov poll for the Sunday Times is online here. Topline voting intention is CON 34%, LAB 44%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 7%. On leader approval ratings Cameron and Miliband remain pretty much equal – Cameron is on minus 26 (from minus 28 last week) and Miliband on minus 27 (from minus 22 last week). The rest of the survey covered cuts, trade unions and education.
On welfare spending and tax/regulation changes, 51% of people are opposed to a further £10bn cut to welfare spending, compared to 36% who support the idea. There is also majority opposition to Liam Fox’s idea of temporarily abolishing capital gains tax (25% support, 52% oppose). Reducing employment regulations to make it easier to hire and fire is opposed by 47% to 38%. There is, however, support for means-testing free TV licences and winter fuel payments (57% support, 33% oppose). As one might expect, this is heavily skewed by age – under 25s support it by 57% to 17%, over 60s oppose it by 50% to 45% (and over 60s vote a hell of a lot more than under 25s!)
Turning to questions around trade unions questions, in general 37% support public sector strikes over the cuts and pension changes with 49% of people opposed. The idea of a “general strike” though is significantly less popular, with support dropping to 27% and 59% opposed. Amongst public sector workers there is support for strikes (49% to 40%), but a majority oppose a general strike (52% opposed, 36% support). The suggestion of using the armed forces to fill in for striking public sector workers is supported by a majority of the public (55%) and opposed by 31%.
On education Michael Gove’s own approval rating as Secretary of state for Education is minus 31, so he is seen as doing worse than Cameron and Miliband. However, people are actually fairly evenly split over his policies – academies are supported by 35%, opposed by 35%. On free schools 36% support their creation, 39% are opposed. 41% of people support a more traditionalist approach to education, 36% think it would be wrong.
On GCSEs, 53% of people say they have not a lot or no confidence at all in the exam, and 46% of people think they have got easier. However, this does not translate into support for their replacement – 44% think the exam should be retained, compared to 35% who would like to see it replaced.
Finally on the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Bradley Wiggins is ahead on 20%, with Andy Murray and Jessica Ennis second on 13% a piece.