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. Socal:

    Sport/Politics.

    Will the Ryder Cup have an impact on Obama at all?

  2. @Paulcroft – “Re. Hitler, according to Python he was at a South Coast b and b and I would imagine the fish and chips would have been a big draw.”

    Did you know there are only 100 cod left in the North Sea?

  3. Alec:

    I did actually – have nearly memorised all their names: I’ve done three so far.

    [Its hard to tell them apart though.]

  4. paulcroft @ Amber/Ole Nat:

    “Why don’t you two just exchange email addresses? That was an awful lot of boring Scotch stuff to have to skim past”.

    Do you reckon there is no chance that the referendum will have a YES vote?

    I don’t predict that it will be, – yet, – but SLAB have just made a huge and crass tactical error. Not only that but they are wrong.

    If you take the Scottish L-C seats from the YOUGOV projection, does that not make a Lab government in r-UK much more difficult?

    Whatever party you support that must matter to you surely?

  5. AMBER STAR

    @”But if Mark Serwotka carries through with his plan to start a new party of the left, if Labour continues to disappoint him, I might just sign up! ”

    Interesting :-)

  6. The story about the Midland Hotel in Manchester being designated for use as a German HQ after a wartime invasion is probably another urban myth. I suspect the same thing got told about any prominent building that survived the war with less damage than might have been expected. The link in the Wikipedia article was broken when I looked and there doesn’t seem to be much repeating of this ‘fact’ that predates 2004. I seem to remember Matthew Sweet mentioning it in one of his hotel programmes (IMDb says 2005), though he’s Mancunian, so the local legend could be older.

    (I’d also definitely heard about the prossies as well, though to be fair I think that was back before the current people ran it).

    Since most British political ‘journalism’ consists of repeating dubious gossip that you’ve heard from your mates, it would be a bit unfair to expect higher standards of Nick Robinson when it comes to urban history.

  7. @Roger Mexico – “Since most British political ‘journalism’ consists of repeating dubious gossip that you’ve heard from your mates…..”

    Did you know that there are only 100 cod left in the North Sea?

  8. JBD: Twas what I likes to call “a joke”.

    Anyway I win either way as I was born in Scotland so if independence leads to a Tory rest of UK I shall pop back over the border at night.

  9. ALEC

    @”Did you know that there are only 100 cod left in the North Sea?”

    “Dr Tom Webb, a marine ecologist, says this age comes from the website fishbase.org. He says that although it is a reliable source of fish-related data, the idea that cod in the North Sea live to 25 is a bit of a red herring.”

    BBC

    :-) :-) :-)

  10. I’ve just been thinking [about cod] and I think that it should be “approximately” 100.

    I base this on two facts:

    1/ Cod can swim better than us.

    2/ The North Sea is big.

    Still, its not a lot is it?

  11. @ Roger Mexico.
    The Hitler/Midland Hotel story is an urban myth; I posted it merely to highlight the tosh journalists print to get our attention. The [true] story about sex workers in the Midland does indeed date back to the 80s.

    The most persistent Hitler/Britain myth is that he lived in Liverpool in ca.1913, demolished most recently in Kershaw’s biography.

  12. Cod Psychology

    You can work this out using the “The Capture Recapture Method”

    “A sample of fish are caught and tagged, and then released back into their habitat Later another sample is captured and the proportion of tagged fish in this sample should be representative of the proportion of tagged fish in the whole population . . . which can [then] be estimated …”
    This works for lakes, but North Sea!

    Adpated by sociologists etc to estimate, say, the no. of illegal immigrants.

  13. @ Colin

    http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/voices/2012/07/mark-serwotka-why-pcs-union-could-run-its-own-candidates

    Mark Serwotka isn’t out to attack Labour but he is determined that the members of his union – & people who share his values – will be represented in parliament. Who knows where it could go from there?
    8-)

  14. CROSSBAT 11

    Eric H was a wonderful historian, but did he stay a CPGB man after 1956?

  15. There have been some cod-awful jokes on here today: thankfully mine have been pretty good though.

  16. AMBER

    Thank you-most interesting.

    Will this policy be enacted by PCS in a 2015 GE ?

  17. CHRISLANE 1945

    @”Eric H was a wonderful historian, but did he stay a CPGB man after 1956?”

    Lapsed just before the parties dissolution in 1991 according to his Wiki entry-in which his continuing ambivalence about the human price paid for the communist “utopia” is particularly interesting.

    I see that Sir James Wilson Vincent Savile, OBE, KCSG might be heading for a posthumous re-evaluation.

    There is hope for any society which can look past it’s statues & plinths at the wider context.

  18. @ P. Croft
    I find your fish jokes a little fin-de-siecle, tho it may be our scales of value differ.

  19. robbie: They’re probably a bit subtle for you with their complex word-play. I don’t get some of them myself.

  20. So, what’s the net result? Which way will the scales fall?

    What will the floating voter do?

  21. The economy might be worse than the official figures show, if this is practiced in other industry’s

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-09-27/ford-says-european-dealers-selling-vehicles-to-themselves.html

  22. NickP,

    Given how well Miliband’s Blue Labour approach to issues like public sector pay and Labour’s relationship with the trades unions have apparentely gone down with core Labour supporters, any focus on his shortcomings rather than his policies is a blessing for him.

    Labour are in a sticky position in the medium-term: win in 2015, and they will be handed a mess where hard choices will be unavoidable (unlike 2008-2010, when Keynesianism allowed them to put off many tough choices). New Labour had the benefit of an economy that allowed for both significant tax cuts and major spending increases. The next PM will have no such luxury. Back to the mid-to-late 1970s or late 1940s, when Labour leaders had to be tough as nails just to keep their governments from collapsing.

    Miliband would do well to research just how Callaghan (by far my favourite Labour PM, if you don’t count Ramsay MacDonald) kept his party together so well.

  23. NickP:

    I hope you’re not fishing for compliments with that barrage of cod-humour.

    Best fish joke ever: the Python dance by the canal.

  24. BILL PATRICK

    @”Miliband would do well to research just how Callaghan (by far my favourite Labour PM, if you don’t count Ramsay MacDonald) kept his party together so well.”

    “Seasons in The Sun” ( Dominic Sandbrook ) has caused me to change my view of Sunny Jim-for the reasons you state.

    He was dropped right in it when Wilson went. The story of how he eased his cabinet through the mad Benn/Crosland idea of turning UK into North Korea, and supported Healey, avoiding the implosion of his party is a testament to his skills.

    He saw the country through to the IMF deal without losing a single minister.

    Healey said later ” the consummate skill with which he
    handled the CAbinet was an object lesson for all prime ministers.”

    You only have to revisit the incredible Labour Party Conference of that year to see what he was up against.

    He was brave in saying to them “The cosy world we were told would go on forever, where full employment would be guaranteed by a stroke of the Chancellor’s pen, cutting taxes, deficit spending-that cosy world is gone.
    Quite simply and unequivocally :it is caused by paying ourselves more than the value of what we produce………….we used to think you could spend your way out of a recession and increase employment by cutting taxes and boosting government spending. I tell you in all candour that that option no longer exists, and that insofar as it ever did exist, it only worked on each occasion since the war by injecting a bigger dose of inflation into the economy, followed by a higher level of unemployment”.

    I wonder what he would have made of things today?

  25. PaulCroft

    “There have been some cod-awful jokes on here today: thankfully mine have been pretty good though.”

    Give me some time & I’ll mullet over.

    This is no time to flounder now.

  26. I hear oil rig workers can now connect using x boxes to the main-land and play inter-active games. Apparently there are 100 Call Of Duty players in the North Sea.

  27. @Chordata

    You did that on porpoise, didn’t you?

  28. Colin.

    Amazing how a politician on t’other side appears statesmanlike when he says something that one agrees with.

    Of course, Callaghan’s 1976 Conference speech needs a little context. His Govt had just taken the IMF bailout and all that it entailed. He had a gun put to his head and told “Say bye-bye to Keynesianism Sunny Jim.”

    I wonder what his Conference speech would have sounded like if the Treasury had done a professional job and not screwed up the PSBR figures by eye-watering amounts?[1] If the true state of the public finances had been known, we would not have required the IMF bailout and Callaghan would not have needed to make THAT speech.

    [1] And I am being kind in assuming that it was lack of professionalism that led to the Treasury PSBR figure being so spectacularly wrong. Others have spoken of sedition.

  29. @Amber

    “Mark Serwotka isn’t out to attack Labour but he is determined that the members of his union – & people who share his values – will be represented in parliament. Who knows where it could go from there?”

    He has tried that before:

    “Serwotka was a member of Socialist Organiser in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He was later a supporter of the Socialist Alliance and then Respect.”

    He’ll be demanding to be called ‘Loretta’ next !

    Isn’t turnout in PCS elections at an all time low?

  30. I don’t like to complain but some people are posting stuff on “politics” instead of doing cod jokes.

  31. Good Evening All.

    ‘Sunny Jim’ was wrong about opposing devaluation in 1964, wrong about opposing the British police being included in the Race Relations Laws of 1965, wrong about In Place of Strife, and wrong in 1978 when he did not call the GE then.

    Credit for the way he handled the IMF crisis, but, yes, the budget figures were wrong.

    Attlee, surely, is the best of Labour leaders. Except for TB of course.

  32. @ Rob Sheffield

    I know that there are Labour supporters are not keen on Mark S – or even unions in general. I’m not one of them. I believe the links with the unions are very worthwhile, perhaps even essential.

    I am very much looking forward to the outcome of the cases which will be heard by the ECHR Strasbourg. If it’s a win for the RMT, I will be delighted. It’s long been my view that the [anti-]union laws,or rather the way they are interpreted by the UK courts, does not comply with international law on the subject.
    8-)

  33. “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.”

    Is there a polling option for “nice work if you can get it”? I hate thinking about groups of people or individuals in terms of whether they contribute positively to society. I feel like all people contribute to society in their own ways even if on infrequent bases.

    So for example, take a homeless man who sits around on the sidewalk begging for change all day long. And then using whatever cash he gets from people to by booze and drugs (sometimes food but usually he finds plenty of half eaten food in the trash….so only when someone gives him a large bill does he go into a restaurant and even then, he doesn’t tip, just orders food). Okay, so many of us would look at this person as the lowest dreg of society and say he contributes nothing to society (at least off-hand).

    However, what if one morning some woman pulls up in her beamer to park. She goes to errantly feed the meter and the bum, knowing what ime it is, shouts out to the woman “Hey! You don’t have to feed the meter till 10 am!” Didn’t he just make a contribution to society by informing another of the lack of need to pay for parking?

    It goes the other way too. I’ve had people lecture me about the superiority of rich people (in some cases, the moral superiority of rich people) and the need of those superior people to be coddled and to be the biggest concern of governmental public policy making. I roll my eyes to that too.

    @ Paul Croft

    “Sport/Politics.

    Will the Ryder Cup have an impact on Obama at all?”

    Embarassingly, I don’t actually know what the Ryder Cup is (I’ve heard it mentioned in the news a few times but I don’t actually know what it is). So I can’t come close to answering your question.

    I’ve often tried to look for champions in other sports influencing election results but I’ve discerned no actual pattern. The most people have come up with is the final Washington Redskins game before the election. I think there was something about the Redskins winning coinciding with the opposition party winning and the Redskins losing coinciding with the incumbent party winning. Or vice versa. But I remember the streak was snapped in 2004 because the results of that final Redskins game should have favored Kerry. Kerry lost.

  34. LEFTY

    @”His Govt had just taken the IMF bailout ”

    They hadn’t actually.

    The Conference was in September.
    The final Cabinet meetings at which Callaghan ( and Healey) brilliantly engineered the collapse of Benn & Crosslands mad Alternative Economic Strategy were in Nov/Dec.

    Healey unveiled the final IMF deal on 15th December.

    Yes the Treasury forecasts were wrong. The world of soaring inflation certainly didn’t improve their accuracy. Two years earlier they had underestimate public borrowing by £4 bn.

    But in fact the actual numbers mattered little. This was all about convincing international buyers of UK debt -and the IMF that UK was as capable as other European countries of becoming internationally competitive, curbing the mad merry go round of wage increases-and doing what Wilson & Healey had failed to do from early 1974-squeeze inflation out of the system like other countries had done.

    Years later Callaghan told his biographer Kenneth Morgan that rather than wanting to sound the death knell of Keynsianism, he had been aiming at” the “unrealistic” proposals of the hard left. He was “exasperated by left-wing extremism and economic illiteracy amongst his Labour comrades”

    He told Morgan that he intended to show them “that they must face up to reality”.

    …..so the numbers wouldn’t have altered his speech to Conference at all.

    Benn of course continued to believe that it was all a conspiracy by American bankers, and that Fortress Britain, mass Nationalisation & all the rest of it, would insulate his Little England Socialist State from the rest of the world & from reality.

    After the IMF loan, the pound recovered value, interest & inflation rates gradually fell . By mid 1977 Healey was cutting taxes & stimulating growth.

    Peter Shore-a fierce critic of Healey &the IMF loan , said later “it didn’t have that dramatic deflationary impact which I so feared at the time”.

  35. I’ve taken just the MORI ‘Satisfied’ (not net, just satisfied) ratings of four opposition leaders over their first 2 years of opposition but left out the names.
    Anybody want to guess which is which?

    http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_mb87knGAge1ryf5szo1_500.png
    The four leaders are Foot, Blair, Cameron and Miliband (in chronological order).

    This is in mainly in response to the talking point of ‘Ed Miliband is Michael Foot, he should be at X approval by this point in his leadership!’

  36. @Socal
    “Embarassingly, I don’t actually know what the Ryder Cup is…”

    I wonder whether you do really, but it’s too painful a subject to discuss here?

  37. A-Cameron,B-Miliband,c-Blair,D-Foot?

  38. A Miliband, B Cameron, C Blair, D Foot?

  39. @Colin

    The UK didn’t use the IMF facility; it wasn’t needed. The BoE & the Treasury got their sums wrong.
    8-)

  40. Amber: Good job they’re not doing the North Sea Cod Count them

  41. @Colin. @Amber

    “it didn’t have that dramatic deflationary impact which I so feared at the time”.

    He’d be making a very different observation on the outcome of Plan A, were he still around.

  42. YES! I HAVE MANAGED TO UNIFY TWO THREADS ON UKPOLLINGREPORT! I AM THE GOD OF COMMENTING, SO I AM!

    …and relax.

    If you want to know how to estimate from >1 sample (and why some categories are missed when sampling), see http://www.significancemagazine.org/details/webexclusive/1235233/Trout-Catfish-and-Roach-and-how-to-count-fish-and-non-fish.html

    If you want an amusing fish reference, see the same link

    (walks off into the distance, airpunching, “don’t you forget about me” on soundtrack… :-) )

    Regards, Martyn

  43. AMBER

    They did actually-though only about half of the $3.9 bn facility was used.

    Of course , prior to this , in August or September 1976, UK was drawing on a $5.3 bn short term facility with the International Bank of Settlements-sponsored by the US Treasury Secretary-to support the sinking pound.

    However this had to be repaid by Dec 1976-hence the need for the IMF loan.

    The National; Archives website for concludes their account of this episode as follows :-

    “Following the agreement with the IMF, the overall economic and financial picture improved. Interest rates were soon reduced and the pound quickly appreciated in value. By the end of 1977, partly as a result of new oil revenues, there were improvements in the balance of trade. Britain did not need to draw the full loan from the IMF. Nevertheless, the IMF crisis reinforced a change in policy orientation away from full employment and social welfare towards the control of inflation and expenditure.”

  44. SMUKESH

    I would say the same sequence as you.

  45. Phil is correct.
    Miliband, Cameron, Blair and Foot.

    Just added Kinnock for comparison.
    http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_mb8a7l3Gdo1ryf5szo1_500.png

  46. Of course, not soon after this the crash happened so Cameron’s satisfaction shot up to 51 as Brown’s collapsed to a low of 21.

    So events drove Cameron’s satisfaction ratings – as has happened with Miliband (which has shot up since the omnishambles).

    So perhaps obsessing over approval ratings at this point isn’t going to tell us too much?

  47. “Interesting polling coming out tonight. One leader will be very pleased.”
    Tweet from Mike Smithson (of PB) –
    If I had to guess, it’s going to probably be good for Cameron and bad for Miliband.
    A standard ‘conference bounce’ probably wouldn’t be very interesting.

    But I was wrong on my guess last time interesting polling was declared. ;)

  48. Colin.

    You are correct about the timeline. My mistake – been a busy few days.

    Doesn’t change the importnace of the context, mind. If anything, it reinforces it. Callaghan’s speech was made a couple of days after the UK had announced the intention to seek the IMF bailout. Callaghan knew that he had some difficult negotiations coming up and wanted to position himself. Specifically, he wanted support from Gerald Ford and Helmut Schmidt against the terms that he knew the IMF, egged on by the Fed, were likely to demand. So he had to be seen to be facing down the Left and moving towards an anti-Keynesian stance, in order to give Schmidt and Ford some ammunition to fire on his behalf.

    Callaghan himself said in correspondence with David Marquand that his speech was purely a short-term tactical one. He never intended to signal a strategic move towards Monetarism. However, the speech was actually written by Peter Jay (written in a big hurry, and never run by Healey) who was an avid supporter of a Monetarist and Jay certainly took the opportunity to angle the speech as a strategic one.

    As I say, had the Treasury got its sums right, the issue would never have emerged, and a cherished myth of the Right, that even Labour in the 70s became Monetarists, would never have had any basis.

    History eh?

  49. I predict the two Eds have zoomed into a lead on every count.

  50. Jay was actually “…an avid supporter of a Monetarist approach…”

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