The full tables for the YouGov/Sunday Times survey are now up here, largely covering the Labour leadership and atttitudes towards taxes on the rich.

The comparisons between Ed Miliband and David Cameron show the regular pattern we’ve seen in other polling and in the Opinium poll last night: Cameron is regarded as a stronger leader, more decisive and more likeable. He is also seen as having a clearer vision for the country and a better strategy of the economy. Where Cameron falls down, and Miliband has the advantage, is in being seen as in touch with ordinary people where Ed leads by 40% to 19%. On being trustworthy there is very little to choose between the two men.

On Ed Miliband’s leadership in particular, only 23% of people say he has made it clear what he stands for, 58% think he has not. 31% think he has been too close to the trade unions, 35% think he has not been close enough to business – surprisingly perhaps, given the often hostile attitudes polls find towards big business. While people saying Miliband is too anti-business are largely Conservative supporters, even 20% of Labour voters think Miliband has been too anti-business.

While Miliband’s ratings remain poor, he is seem as a much more appealing leader than Ed Balls or Yvetter Cooper. In both cases more people say Balls or Cooper would make them less likely to vote Labour than say they would make them more likely to vote Labour. Ed is, however, still seen as less appealing than his brother. 18% of people say they would be more likely to vote Labour with David Miliband as leader compared to only 7% who would be less likely.

Turning to taxes on the wealthy, 55% of people think that rich people are not paying enough tax and should pay more. Asked at what point higher taxes on the rich should cut in, the median point of those who gave an answer was £100,000.

However, while there is widespread support for more tax on the rich, this doesn’t necessarily translate into support for wealth taxes on the rich, as opposed to income taxes on the rich. When YouGov asked whether people thought it was fairer to tax wealth or income, 69% said income to only 22% who thought it fairer to tax wealth.

They also tested whether people generally saw the rich as making a positive or negative contribution to the country and found a fairly even split – 30% of people thought that rich people generally make a positive contribution to the country, 38% of people think they make a negative one. This goes to explain some of the other attitudes to taxes on the rich – 67% of people think that increasing taxes on the rich risks driving wealthy people abroad, but two thirds of those would support it anyway.


174 Responses to “More on the YouGov/Sunday Times poll”

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  1. 1st?

    @ Tinted Fringe

    “And Statgeek,
    Thanks for the figures. Is the Labour drop in Scotland since the Scottish leader’s speech?”

    It looks that way, but it’s early days. The timing is right. Strange that one day resulted in Con rise and another SNP rise.

    It might just be regional variation (SNP stronger in the North, Con stronger in the borders, Lab stronger in the Central belt.

  2. So since this is another Scottish thread and SLAB have given up on universal beneits like no tuition fees,

    How many Scottis Lab MPs are in UKPR’s projected majority?

  3. I think the polls are just showing that voters are very confused at the moment.

    Think people will have to wait until a month after conference season to see a consistency in polling.

  4. Some subtle shifts in media coverage of Ed this morning. The Daily Mail write a kindly piece about his personal qualities, while D’Ancona in the Telegraph finally admits Labour has held a large and steady opinion poll lead for some time and that he misjudged Ed.

    Both these examples also move on to asking the next set of questions, and neither are uncritical or completely accepting of him, but it’s clear that those saying ‘Labour can never win with Ed’ really do need to change the record. It’s clear that Labour can win, but as with anything in politics, it’s far from certain.

    @Crossbat11’s fascinating numbers on the last thread should really give people pause for thought. If, in the personal qualities battle between DC and Ed M, ‘don’t knows’ win, the fact that Ed lags Dave becomes really rather unimportant. The playing field is largely vacant, and ready to be filled by someone. We already know Dave – he’s had his chance. If Labour play the right tactics, they have everything to gain.

    And as others have commented, now people have stopped laughing at Ed, we move onto the next stage – the demand for policies. ‘First they laugh at you, then they ask what you will do, and then they vote for you’. Perhaps, but here we are beginning to see some action.

    Two things jumped out at me on Friday. Ed stated publicly that Labour will act to cap pension fees and introduce new regulation on energy prices. These are precisely the kinds of policy announcements he needs to make at this time, and are both extremely good targets to aim at. Interestingly enough, he’s being flagging these policies up for over a year now, but people like @Rob Sheffield haven’t been listening.

    It’s the classic drip drip of hints from opposition, with a few clear statements of intent but without the detail. I expect more like this, without any clear policy specifications, and I expect those who don’t like Ed will still ask for policies. Even when they produce a 700 page manifesto.

    It’s worth remembering that many of the people demanding Labour produce a slate of policies NOW were the same one who insisted Cameron doesn’t need detailed policies in opposition. It’s the game we play, and the rules change depending which side you are on.

    This Labour conference, in particular, looks like being really quite interesting.

  5. @Alec

    “It’s worth remembering that many of the people demanding Labour produce a slate of policies NOW were the same one who insisted Cameron doesn’t need detailed policies in opposition. It’s the game we play, and the rules change depending which side you are on.”

    If memory serves me well, Blair stole a few announced Conservative policies, and the Labour backbenchers cheered.

  6. @ Statgeek

    You can’t “steal” policies, you can only adopt them.

    And Labour have been actively encouraging the Coalition to adopt Labour policies on loads of things including youth employment, the economy & the NHS.
    8-)

  7. “Ed stated publicly that Labour will act to cap pension fees…”

    That is great news. And chimes well with the intro of auto-enrolment.

    Some employers will continue to use their existing occupational pension schemes to meet the pension reform requirements (which were put in palce by the last Lab gov). Others will set new ones up. The problem is that some employees will over their working career end up with small pension pots that have high admin charges – rather than say a single pot with NEST, for example. And if people transfer their pots whn they change jobs, their post may well reduce in value. The only to gain will be the insurance companies etc providing these schemes.

  8. So it’s common policy for Labour to ‘adopt’ Conservative policies?

    How things have changed. :)

  9. “However, while there is widespread support for more tax on the rich, this doesn’t necessarily translate into support for wealth taxes on the rich, as opposed to income taxes on the rich. When YouGov asked whether people thought it was fairer to tax wealth or income, 69% said income to only 22% who thought it fairer to tax wealth.”

    The question asked doesn’t really tell us anything. The useful question to ask would have been whether people thought it was fair to tax only income, only wealth, or both.

  10. STATGEEK

    “The creatures looked from Labour to Tory, and from Tory to Labour and from Labour to Tory again ; but already it was impossible to say which was which” (George Orwell – or something like that anyway! :-) )

  11. @ Statgeek

    So it’s common policy for Labour to ‘adopt’ Conservative policies?
    ——————-
    Of course it was; New Labour often did it. What did you think triangulation meant?
    8-)

  12. @Statgeek – that’s precisely the point those of use suggesting Labour holds back policy detail have been making.

    I see two great dangers in being too policy specific too early. The first is as you identify – the risk of good policies being adopted by your opponents. This is far more risky for oppositions, as they need to carve a unique space for themselves, so risk being forced into more extreme positions if their mainstream policies are adopted and (critically) enacted by a sitting government.

    The second risk is the adaptability issue. I personally maintain that one of Cameron’s biggest headaches now has been caused by too great a drive for policy too early. When he reached the mountain top, the weather had changed.

    His polling was hit badly by the lack of a referendum on Lisbon. We can argue about the detailed wording of that from each side, but most reasonable people believed he had made a cast iron promise on a referendum. It was a promise made too soon, so when circumstances altered in government, he couldn’t deliver. He will be forever tainted by mistrust by the people to which this matters – his own right wing. He is now making noises about something similar after 2015. As far as I’m concerned [snip]

    On the other side, he is being shredded by environmentalists for his ‘greenest government ever’ tag line. The record on this in terms of delivery to date is disastrous, and he will never be trusted by greens again. Again, I suspect that he may have wished to proceed with more caution until closer to the election when he would have seen that times were not benign and the environment would be a much lower priority in most voters minds.

    @Amberstar – ah! Triangulation – that old friend. It is rather sad that great political parties the world over seem to operate by annoying their own. I suspect this problem is particularly bad in systems with two dominant parties, which is one reason why I greatly favoured a fairer voting system to make it easier for new entries.

    I was pondering on this in relation to Cameron though. He seems to be in the unique position that he is annoying his own people by triangulation, but without keeping anyone else happy.

  13. Interesting stuff about tax.

    The reality is that compared to other EU countries – nobody in the UK pays enough tax. Not just the rich.

    (Which – after 30 years – is why the country struggles so with things like infrastructure and so on. The upside is that the UK has many more jobs than it’s other EU states. But then that, in turn, is offset by the house prices….).

  14. The danger of publishing policies too quickly is as nothing compared with the danger of making them up on the hoof.

    So far we have had :-

    EM statements indicating that the NHS Act will not be reversed, ( because that would cost £3bn) followed by AB tweeting “I’ll repeal the Bill. Full stop.’.
    If anything is about complex detail-masses of it -running the NHS is. Absolute clarity is everything after criticising “top down changes” .

    EB indicating no commitment to reverse government spending cuts after 2015 & HH saying that Labour would not implement government spending plans in the new parliament. HH said on Andrew Neil’s show this morning that she meant in this parliament ( doh) and had “answered a question which hadn’t been asked” !
    Inherent in this little episode is the uncertainty about Labour’s whole position on Public Finances.

    EM sticking to his line that Labour support for continued public sector pay freezes was in order to “protect jobs rather than pay”-followed by Paul Kenny pointing out that this isn’t “on the table” anyway since the public sector are losing jobs and pay.
    Failure to say -the public sector headcount has to be reduced, produced Kenny’s easy response.

    Not impressed so far.

  15. Alex

    ” I was pondering on this in relation to Cameron though. He seems to be in the unique position that he is annoying his own people by triangulation, but without keeping anyone else happy.”

    I was pondering the question posed a few threads ago asking why the Tories wanted to get rid of ed milliband. And I started thinking about his unexpected victory in labours leadership election, as we all know he narrowly lost in the MP’s vote and in the party members vote but won decisively in the union members vote. In many ways his was the perfect triangulation showing very adept political skills. He energized the base (union members) while not scaring the floating voters (party members) and keeping his activists on side (mps) David in contrast decided to ignore the base and as a result lost. This skill might be what the Tories are worried about, getting an OM involves gaining trust from many different groups with different agendas, ed has already shown that he can do this. Also compared to David ed was not well known and began the race as an outsider, another danger sign. Well I don’t know I’m just musing

  16. @That Old Bloke,

    “The reality is that compared to other EU countries – nobody in the UK pays enough tax. Not just the rich.”

    I totally agree. That’s why I’ve always said that those on good salaries i.e. £35,000+ should all pay much more tax. It’s not just the rich who are getting off – accountants and others are too!

  17. It all comes down to Taxes and how they are raised, there is also evasion and avoidance thrown into the mix… there is a solution which is to have a minimum amount which cannot be reduced by any means… realistically set at the same minimum rate of PAYE, this would also encourage lower taxes for the lower paid.

    A minimum levy… if the tax system cannot do that then I am afraid that it will need to be more flexible to allow those who PAYE to be able to claim the same deductions as those who are able to afford accountants.
    At the end of the day the Tax system has to be a level field for all concerned, not just those at the top.

  18. That OLd Bloke

    @”“The reality is that compared to other EU countries – nobody in the UK pays enough tax. ”

    I refer you to Annex A. Table 1. Page 180 of this :-

    http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/resources/documents/taxation/gen_info/economic_analysis/tax_structures/2012/report.pdf

    If I read the data correctly, in the EU 27 , 12 countries took more tax as % GDP than UK, and 14 took less.

  19. AMBIVALENT SUPPORTER.

    @”It’s not just the rich who are getting off – accountants and others are too!”

    Funniest thing I have read for days.

    It’s the addition of “and “others” to “accountants” which somehow makes it so funny, as well as the implication that no “accountant” is “rich”.

    -thanks for the chuckles
    :-) :-)

  20. @Colin – “Not impressed so far.”

    To a point I agree with you – these little miss steps are going to become magnified if they aren’t sorted out within the strategic and policy framework.

    However, to be fair to Labour, I suspect they don’t care if you are not impressed – you never will be. For example, had Kenny been four square behind Ed you would be criticising Labour for being run by the unions. At times you need to step back I feel – something I’m not always good at doing when discussing Tory affairs.

    So far there seem to have been many positives in terms of media coverage. Today it seems that Ed has effectively promoted the message that Labour will ensure separation of retail and investment banks – another policy announcement and something I think you are personally keen on?

    We can immerse ourselves in the minutiae of every little statement from anyone remotely involved within the party we seek to support or critique, but in terms of the real world, the more important issue is the general public perception.

    So far I would guess that most of the messages normal people might pick up have been quite positive, including a minor spat with a union leader. I see nothing here that Labour spin doctors wouldn’t quite like.

  21. TOJIM

    @”At the end of the day the Tax system has to be a level field for all concerned, not just those at the top.”

    Format :-
    % Income Group. / % Total Income Tax .

    Top 10%. – 53%
    Next 40% – 35%
    Next 40%- 11%
    Bottom 10%..-1%

    HMRC

  22. ALEC

    Yes-I am keen on banking reform-and support GO’s commitment to implement Vickers.

    EM’s “announcement” was superfluous-we don’t need him on this issue.

    …………but unless & until someone from the Government tells the media-er we are doing that actually-it will count as a pr + for EM.

  23. Colin

    The point is that the coalition is not implementing the full vickers report and even its watered down version will not be implemented until 2019, ed says he will implement the full report without delay, that’s a very big difference

  24. ALEC

    @” I suspect they don’t care if you are not impressed – you never will be.”

    If you think that is being “fair” to Labour you do them a dis-service.

    I may not ever be “impressed” with Labour because my values & political beliefs don’t accord with what I perceive as theirs.

    BUT, I’m not watching what they say & do for the fun of it. I am on the lookout for things which sound sensible & credible & might put them in power. This is a form of “being impressed” , even if it might not result in another Labour vote.

    On the items I listed , my reaction was-after all this time in the comfort zone of a lead in the OPs-and on absolutely key areas like the NHS & Public Finances , and they haven’t thought it through-worse they are at loggerheads.

    But if you/they think this immaterial because it is me who makes the observation, then I merely point out that the slip ups were featured on nationwide tv programmes.

  25. RiN

    I’m not sure that you can be sure of that until you see the Bill in question.

    The only exception I have seen quoted is the matter of overseas activities . I have no idea what the implications of legislating for banking reform in a foreign jurisdiction are.

    As to timescale-if 2017 is technically feasible I hope EM gets it incorporated in the Bill.

  26. ALEC

    I know & you know that in the run-up to Cons’ Conference there will be aggressive interviews resulting in slip ups & cock ups-and you will point them out & I will be embarrassed.

    It’s the way it works & the game we all play.

    Hopefully ( for Labour!) EM’s speech ( and EB’s) will produce some clarity & logic.

    :-) :-)

  27. I’ve heard many people wheel out those figures showing the percenttages of the total income tax bill the highest earners pay to make the rich all look like heroic wealth creators who are all holding the world up, and if we look at them funny then Atlas will shrug and they’ll all go Galt to teach us ungrateful proles a lesson.

    It’s funny how they always conveniently overlook the multitude of regressive taxes, such NI with its cap, plus VAT, council tax and the various levies and duties which hit those on low incomes the hardest.

  28. @colin,

    It was intended as a joke too. It’s just that there are so many people out there (and on here) who think that the so-called rich should pay more tax, but not them – despite the fact that, by world standards/EU standards, they could also be counted as rich.

    Seems to me that people only support raising taxes when you are talking about those the next level up from them. Of course, most of it is simply jealous/envy, otherwise they’d be happy to pay a lot more tax too (especially if earning a good/above average salary).

  29. Labour are not ‘at loggerheads’ on the NHS.

    Andy Burnham has said from the day on which the bill passed that Labour will repeal it. That’s the policy, no ifs & no buts.

    Does Andy Burnham have a budget of £3Bn to make people redundant from one job only to hire them back in another job which is pretty much the same job but with a different name? No he does not; & Ed M was referencing that.

    However, perhaps they could take a leaf from the Coalition’s book on the NHS. Andrew Lansley’s policy was crystal clear & brilliantly explained… which is why he’s been replaced with Jeremy Hunt. :roll:

  30. AMBIVALENT

    THanks-agree entirely :-)

  31. AMBER

    @”Andrew Lansley’s policy was crystal clear & brilliantly explained… which is why he’s been replaced with Jeremy Hunt”

    Touché .

    as they say down Ferret & Whippet.

    :-)

  32. TOJIM
    @”At the end of the day the Tax system has to be a level field for all concerned, not just those at the top.”
    Format :-
    % Income Group. / % Total Income Tax .
    Top 10%. – 53%
    Next 40% – 35%
    Next 40%- 11%
    Bottom 10%..-1%
    HMRC

    ———

    Of course if those at the very top in the top 15 actually did pay their full tax liability we might be in a somewhat better position.

    The tax Hero named in the papers today pays 39% on his multi million £ income , good for Him. However, He is in a very small club of those paying in full, incidentally it’s the same percentage as I pay as a Senior nurse on 1% of this income

  33. @COLIN
    @ALEC

    I am with Colin on this one…Labour seems to be putting out contradictory statements on the NHS bill,the pace of deficit reduction etc.Either that,or the shadow cabinet is jumping the gun.

    On the NHS bill,Miliband is doing the sensible thing and saying he will keep the Clinical Commisioning Groups(groups of GP`s) but ditching competition which is exactly what Burnham offered to Cameron at the time the debate around the bill.They have had two months to sort out these issues and avoiding confusion though difficult is achievable.

    I also found Miliband quite touchy on Marr regards his personal polling…I suspect the Tory strategists were hi-fi-ing themselves this morning.

  34. Poor old Nick…

    “Polling woes worsen for Nick Clegg as party trail SNP … in England”

    “The Guardian newspaper’s monthly ICM poll makes grim reading for the Liberal Democrats, fresh from their annual conference. Party leader Nick Clegg’s recent apology for the Lib Dem U-turn on student tuition fees appears not to have convinced the public to give the party another chance.

    On the face of it, a poll whose regional breakdown shows the Lib Dems on 6%, just 1 percentage point behind the SNP on 7% would seem like stunningly good news for the Lib Dems and anti-independence strategists, and provoke a crisis within the SNP leadership.

    Unfortunately however, the regional breakdown of the Guardian poll puts the SNP in front of the Lib Dems by 1% – in the North of England. When don’t knows are excluded the SNP attract the support of 12% of Northern England voters, with the Lib Dems on just 11%. This is despite the fact that the SNP does not field candidates in England.”
    ___________

    Sub samples can be fun!!! :)

  35. @Smukesh – of course, there is nothing contradictory with repealing the NHS bill and keeping some of it’s provisions. As the bill effectively establishes the organisation and legal basis of the NHS, it’s repeal would mean no NHS, unless something else is passed. Of course, it’s highly likely that this new bill will contain elements from the existing bill, such as the commissioning groups if they are working.

    It’s a presentational glitch, which is avoidable, but it doesn’t seem to have really gone anywhere in terms of media traction.

    Just where is Alistair Campbell when you need him?

  36. Allan Christie

    I’m not sure who you are quoting, but closer examination of the ICM figures:

    http://www.icmresearch.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2012/09/2012_guardian_sept_poll.pdf#page=5

    will show you that ICM include Scotland in ‘North’ and PC in ‘Midlands’. Check the ‘Unweighted base’ totals and you will see that the ‘NET England’ is (North + Midlands + South) – (Scotland + Wales). Though the number who said ‘SNP’ in Northern England (1) is the same as those who said ‘Lib Dem’ in Scotland (1).

    Actually the poll shows the SNP leading even Labour in Scotland – by a magnificent 17 people to 13.

  37. Yes that should have said “‘Wales’ in ‘Midlands'”. And I did realise you were not being entirely serious.

  38. Ed’s policies seem to be very similar to Francois Hollande’s in France.So if the Socialists in France are successful it’s a good omen for Ed.

  39. As Roger says, the ICM “North” crossbreak includes Scotland, hence the level of SNP support (the reason is that ICM used to have South, Midlands, North as their only three regional crossbreaks.

    They later added on Scotland, England and Wales crossbreaks, but the South, Midlands and North still cover the whole of GB between them.

  40. Roger and Anthony.

    Thanks for the clarification. Here was me thinking Salmond had made a breakthrough into England. ;)

  41. http://dpmcbride.tumblr.com/post/32591430164/the-seven-year-hitch
    Interesting post from Damian McBride.

    Anybody fancy trying to test Gordon Brown’s ‘seven year’ rule for approval ratings?

  42. That McBride article was entertaining.

    You may not have liked New Labour, but both camps knew what they were about.

    i wonder if plain competence will win Ed the next election?

  43. Some quite bizarre bins in the Yougov charts- the 1% of current Labour VI who “wouldn’t vote for Labour anyway, under the David Miliband question and 2% under the Ed Balls question.

    Also, I’m having a bit of an “I hate people” moment, due to the foreign development results (particularly the aid v defence question).

  44. Sometimes you do get SNP votes in English cross breaks, I suspect because of Scots living in England (students, for example).

  45. The Guardian is reporting that the Labour MP for Croydon North has died:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/sep/29/labour-mp-malcolm-wicks-dies

  46. The Mcbride article is indeed entertaining and makes a valuable point…With 24 hour news,the shelf-life of a leader is probably shorter than before…Even a brand new BMW convertible is not so nice to look at it when you have looked it for seven years…The seven year itch comes to mind too.

  47. Smukesh,strange how people can watch the same interview but carry different
    Impressions from it.I thought that by that stage of the interview Marr was
    Rattled because he was not scoring a palpable hit,hence he brought up the
    Polling figures.EDs reaction was to laugh,not touchy,treating that particular
    Poll with the disdain it perhaps deserves.

  48. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-19777201

    Good headlines for Ed going into the week.

    Watching the scouse caricature hard leftie foam at the mouth on TV over the leadership is another bonus.

  49. @ANN IN WALES

    Perhaps…I thought Ed was going to explain himself better at this conference…So getting irritable with a presenter paid to ask these questions doesn`t make sense to me.

    Harriet`s interview technique of pointing out that Cameron`s ratings were lower than Brown`s and being hopeful that Miliband`s ratings would rise once people got to know him seemed a better tactical answer.

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