Or perhaps more accurately, a round up of polling bits and bobs that I’ve missed over the last week or two!

The BBC

There has been various polling on the BBC and the Jimmy Savile affair, most of it generally damning. Of particular note though is this poll from ComRes, who rather than asking whether the scandal had changed respondents’ opinions managed to dig out some questions from a poll they did for Newsnight back in 2009 to repeat. 62% of people agreed that the BBC was an institution we should be proud of, down from 76% in 2009. 45% of people thought the BBC was trustworthy, down from 62% in 2009. Obviously with a three year space we cannot assume that the drop is linked in anyway to the Savile affair, there could be many causes over the last three years, but either way it is a sharp drop in public regard of the BBC.

Scotland

There have been several polls on Scottish Independence over the last month. I mentioned the Ipsos MORI quarterly Scottish monitor, but there have also been polls by Panelbase (who are a member of the British Polling Council, but seem to be far from pro-active when it comes to publishing tables! Thanks to Roger Mexico for finally wringing some tabs from them) and two from YouGov that had referendum questions, one for the Better Together campaign and one for The Courier.

Ipsos MORI/Times (amongst those certain to vote) – YES 30%, NO 58%, DK 12%
Panelbase/Sunday Times (amongst those likely to vote in Scot Parliament elections) – YES 37%, NO 45%, DK 17%
YouGov/Better Together (all voters) – YES 30%, NO 56%, DK/WNV 14%
YouGov/The Courier (all voters?) – YES 29%, NO 55%, DK 14%

Party leaders

As well as voting intention this month’s Ipsos MORI poll included their tracker on whether people like the the main parties, the party leader, both or neither, a question I’ve written about in the past. 41% of people say they like David Cameron, down from 47% when MORI last asked the question in January 2011. In comparison 35% of people like the Conservative party (down marginally from 37%), meaning that David Cameron is still a positive for his party, out performing them by 6 points (down from a 9 point advantage in 2011). In comparison 37% of people like Ed Miliband, hardly changed from the 36% who liked him in 2011. 51% of people like the Labour party, up more substantially from 45% in 2011. This means Miliband trails behind the Labour party by 14 points (up from an 11 point gap in 2011).

Police Commissioner elections

Also from Ipsos MORI was this curious poll of voting intentions in the Police Commissioner elections. The quoted headline figures were Lab 16%, Con 8%, LD 4%, Others 3%, Independent candidates 30%, Wouldn’t vote 27%, Don’t know 11%. MORI normally take the approach of only including respondents who say they are 10/10 certain to vote, but in this case only 15% of people said they were certain to vote, and a sample size of about 150 people would be of no use to man nor beast.

I am dubious about the results anyway – polling contests where there are lots of independent candidates who may, or may not, have a chance of doing well is a difficult task. People invariably tell pollsters that they would like to vote for Independent candidates, and invariably fail to do so when actually given the chance – if you just put on a generic “A candidate that is not representing a political party” people tend to imagine some idealised Independent candidate who agrees with them, rather than the somewhat idiosyncratic sorts who actually stand as independents. Time will tell, but I sincerely doubt that independent candidates will get 50% of the poll in the police elections. Given the limited number of constituencies and the uneven pattern of parties contesting them, I think this may be a contest that would be best polled by asking people which county they live in and giving them a list of the actual local candidates to choose from. The expected low turnout however still makes it a tricky challenge to poll.


262 Responses to “Things you may have missed”

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  1. Seriously? You’re comparing a 2009 poll against one conducted over three years later and calling this a story?

    I know you’ve got to go with what you’ve got, but calling a difference between polls conducted three years apart “damning” is, frankly, stupid.

  2. Actually when I said damning I was thinking about this YouGov poll that had 70% of people thinking the BBC had covered up Savile,
    or this one that 73% thought the BBC probably knew Savile was behaving in an inappropriate way and turned a blind eye. The story doesn’t particularly interest me though, so I haven’t written anything detailled about it.

    Those polls have about a third of people saying they trust the BBC less, but I’m not a particular fan of questions like that. It’s much better to be able to compare questions now with old questions and see if opinions have *actually* changed, rather than people *claiming* their opinions have changed.

    The length of time between the two waves of ComRes poll mean we can’t possibly be confident that the drop in trust and pride in the BBC is to do with Savile (which I should amend the original post to point out), but that doesn’t change the fact that it is a bad thing, and something worthy of note, for the percentage of people who trust the BBC to fall by 17%.

  3. i wish the newspapers who lovingly report polls showing a fall in public support for the bbc would commission a similar poll on how much the public trust the honesty of various newspapers.

  4. Anthony

    Can you (or Roger) provide a link to the Panelbase tables?

    The higher Yes % in that seems less out of line, if they were restricting the responses to those likely to vote for Holyrood.

    IIRC previous research suggested that a much higher % of those born outwith Scotland chose no to vote for the SP, than those who were.

  5. Paul – erm, the ComRes BBC polling was commissioned by BBC Five Live, so it wasn’t some BBC hating, hatchet-wielding newspaper.

  6. Interesting poll on Police commissioners. I will vote, because I always do, but I am even more open-minded about this election than others, and if a decent Independent candidate (based on on-line statements) emerges, I may well vote for him/her.

    I can see why many people are likely to consider independents for an election like this. We surely want our police to have no political bias.

  7. On the BBC polling findings, while there appears to be a fall in trust and confidence, what other media organisation, be it in print or broadcasting, could boast 62% of people being proud of it and 42% trusting it? I wonder what the figures would be for News International, SKY, ITV or any of our national newspapers? I rather suspect that the BBC has suffered from a general and universal decline in public trust and confidence in the media; a decline undoubtedly hastened by Hackgate and other recent media scandals. The Savile case is a bit of a red herring in some respects because while the usual suspects have seized on it as a stick with which to beat the BBC, the scandal asks serious questions of many other institutions too, ranging from the Dept of Health in the mid 90s to the Royal Family, Downing Street in the 80s, the CPS, the NHS and various schools, hospitals and homes.

    As for the leadership and party likeability ratings, they make interesting reading, not least the large gap between the numbers who profess a liking for the Conservatives (35%) and those who express a liking for Labour (51%). Is this more grist to the mill of the YouGov IPPR sponsored poll in September 2011, I wonder, that found that the Tories remained clearly the most “toxic” of our three major political parties?

  8. 15% certain to vote in the police commissioners election seems a bit high to me!!!!

    I’m not voting because I don’t believe there should be elections but even if I did it would be one of those things where party loyalty doesn’t seem relevent and I would not feel I would know enough about the candidates to make a judgment on who was the most qualified to do a good job based on one or two election leaflets (not had any yet anyway).

  9. @Shevii

    “I’m not voting because I don’t believe there should be elections…”

    Couldn’t agree more and I will be expressing my democratic right to go along to my local polling station on November 15th and spoil my paper. I shall be adding a box to my ballot paper that gives the name of Robert Peel and I shall put my x against that famous name.

    It’s either that or Jimmy Savile, but I think I’ll go for Peel.

    By the way, I’d be doing exactly the same thing if, heaven forbid, there was ever some silly City Mayoral election in my locality too. Police Commissioners and City Mayors, what monumental wastes of public money. Non roles for political nonentities.

  10. I couldn’t agree with you more Crossbat, this is a dangerous step towards American style politicisation of non political insitutions. the police should remain non political. It’s just another scary step towards the system in America where judges are elected.

    City mayors I’m fine with though.

  11. Interesting stuff on the PC elections. Is there a likely threshold of low turnout where they wouldn’t hold an election?

  12. @Crossbat11

    Totally agree with your position re spoiling your ballot paper in the PC election. I firmly believe in using our right to vote. However, we should have had an option, “No PC”, and that is what I will be writing on my paper and putting a cross against.

  13. Further to my comment above, is anyone aware whether there has been a poll on the subject of whether the public wants Police Commissioners.

  14. Things you may have missed.

    And who do you think is most to blame for the current spending cuts?
    The Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition 29%
    The last Labour government 34%
    Both 27%
    Neither 4%
    Don’t know 6%

    Apparently this is the highest level of blame for the Coalition & lowest level blaming Labour.

    So, does an apparent improvement in the economy make voters less disgruntled with Labour?
    8-)

  15. @ Man in the Middle

    “I couldn’t agree with you more Crossbat, this is a dangerous step towards American style politicisation of non political insitutions. the police should remain non political. It’s just another scary step towards the system in America where judges are elected.”

    Dude, that is incorrect and an overbroad generalization. Just sayin’.

    Not all judges are elected. Many are not. Article III and Article I (federal) judges are not elected. They’re the judges who you might actually have heard of. Even in states where judges are elected, the elections are often not traditional elections but instead are retention elections (i.e., judges are appointed, confirmed by a legislative body or special judicial panel, and then voters vote solely on whether to keep them on the bench).

  16. @ Billy Bob

    I think Chris Christie’s effusive praise of the President today was quite nice to see. It was refreshing to see a non-partisan angle to all of this. The man is kinda an a**hole but I appreciate his bluntness. And in this case, his blunt honesty.

    I don’t know what Romney is thinking with his whole collected food drive thing since the Red Cross and other disaster releif organizations have explicitly stated that they do NOT need canned food and other physical items like that and instead simply need cash. Because most of the event was a campaign rally anyway (as had been already scheduled), it kinda looked bad. And for once, the news media picked up on it and saw the whole masquerade of this. Is there a consquence? Possibly.

    Do you remember the Paul Wellstone funeral? It turned into a raucous campaign rally and really infuriated some people (including Jesse Ventura) and ultimately led to the election of Republican Norm Coleman to the Minnesota Senate seat. I think people overreacted to that but it shows you that certain things can go too far.

    The nice thing for the President is that he has three loudmouth, pushy, extremely individualistic, completely unloyal (when it comes to political party), media-whorish, brutally honest New Yorker/NewJerseyite politicians who all love themselves beyond any reasonable level to deal with here. It means two things:

    1. He better continue to do a damn good job. Because if he stops, Michael Bloomberg, Christie, and Andrew Cuomo will have no hesitation to go before the media and start blasting him.

    2. If he does do a good job, he will get praise because the men aren’t total divas. They’re not expecting man to move heaven and earth for them.

    Oh one other thing. Michael Brown (he was the short lived FEMA director during Huricane Katrina in 2005) has already criticized the President for responding too quickly to this situation and bringing in FEMA too soon. No, really. I thought this must be an Onion headline at the moment. But it wasn’t.

  17. Well the YouGov poll for today is pretty bad for the Government.

    Latest YouGov / The Sun results 30th October – CON 32%, LAB 44%, LD 9%, UKIP 8%; APP -30

    Whilst there is no major movement, the crossbreaks are about the right size, give or take, and Con are heading towards 30 again, Lab towards 45 and LD still below 10.

    Bad economic news in January might send them down further…it looks like only sustained recovery might help them. The real question for them, the humdinger, is can they actually get sustained recovery with no stimulus and more spending cuts?

    If they are right, they will. If Keynes, and Balls, are right, they are burnt toast….and taking us with them, sadly.

  18. Con 32, Lab 44, Lib 9

    Do you support or oppose the coalition?
    Support – 28 (nc)
    Oppose – 63 (+2)

  19. Good Morning All.

    Surprising poll for me.

    The Lib Dem 9% figure may well fall by 2015.

    The BBC Business section of the website has gloomy reports about consumer confidence..

    If the Labour front bench really does go for a freeze on the EU Budget, things might get interesting.

  20. GE: 59.1% – 29% = coalition lead of 29.1

    YG: 41% – 44% = coalition down by 3%

    So still an anti coalition swing of 16% and likely to get worse.

    They have lost one third of their voters.

    Labour have added 50%

  21. Pathetic arithmetic:

    Lead WAS 30.1%

    Swing to Lab is 16.5%

    Got mesmerised with the nines.

    Anyway, not great for the governing parties and its difficult to see huge bounce backs for either. It really isn’t as simple as the economy picking up, as there is an already inbuilt feeling that reducing the deficit has not been done fairly, that too many essential jobs have been lost and the vulnerable safe being asked to pay.

  22. Good YG for labour, I put this down to ed Miliband being positive on the mental health issue and I also detect a slight change in the way they are doing opposition politics and I’m liking it! Am I alone? Is this a blip? Will it hardened off? Who knows we have to wait and see.

    What I am interested in is if anyone else has detected a change in the opposition? Or is it me and wishful thinking?

  23. According to GfK NOP Ltd, UK consumer confidence fell to a six-month low in October as Brits became more pessimistic about their finances and spending. An index of sentiment declined to minus 30 from minus 28 in September, and a gauge of how consumers see their personal financial situation over the next year dropped 5 points to minus 13, also the lowest in six months.

    Maybe the improvement in GDP which was revealed late in Oct will partially revers this trend?

    But…the Resolution Foundation is saying that millions of poor and middle-income households may be bypassed by any economic recovery. Their living standards could stagnate for the next 10 years, ending no higher in 2020 than they were in 2000.

  24. @Pete B – “I can see why many people are likely to consider independents for an election like this. We surely want our police to have no political bias.”

    That’s the fallacy, I’m afraid. Everyone has a political bias – at least with party labels I can get a handle on the likely bias/opinions of potential candidates.

    A good example is my own former district council area, formerly run by ‘independents’ In the 1990’s these tended to be Tories who knew they would lose if they ran under their preferred party banner, so called themselves independents.

    With the PCC elections, I will be spoiling my paper for the first time. We already had a good mechanism for local oversight of the police. Much cheaper as well.

  25. @SoCalLiberal

    Chris Christie keeps cropping up in this campaign… the will-he-won’t-he, and the “Now is not my time” declaration in October 2011.

    In August this year it was reported that Romney wanted him for his running mate, but was insisting that Christie would have to resign the NJ governorship because of campaign contribution rules. Christie is said to have doubted that they could win – but he did give the keynote address at the GOP convention. My guess is that the Romney campaign sees Christie appealing to similar sections of the demographic as George Dubya.

    Btw Ed Davey, who is quite slim in comparison, is reported to have been given a strict diet by senior colleagues, which he has to adhere to if he is to be Nick Clegg’s successor.

  26. Some political fun afoot.

    A vote on the EU budget which must have Cam/Os/Clegg sweating and now Heseltine wants some stimulus.

    I can’t see how PCC elections can be anything but a damp squib.

    And Pickles and some rich Councils want to build social housing for the middle class. I assume they mean “not on benefits”. And then they’ll sell them off?

  27. The fall in consumer confidence @CL1945 mentions could indicate that the poor September economic figures are reflecting something more fundamental. It also feeds into the debate about rising consumer borrowing. If confidence is falling, it suggests that this is not a move to positive spending, but more people taking on increased debts to survive.

  28. On Cameron being a “positive” for the Conservatives and Miliband a “negative” for Labour.
    Surely the job of a leader should be the good of the party and the country, even if that involves personal unpopularity for themselves?
    Miliband’s party is unified and strong , and ahead in the polls by an average of ten points at a time in politics when Labour would be expected to be in dire straits.
    Cameron’s party is well behind in the polls and at war within itself at a time when, if they had played their cards right, they should have everything going for them.
    But Cameron is a “positive” as a leader and Miliband a “negative.
    We need to seriously revise our perceptions of what leadership is all about!

  29. A great article by Gisela Stuart in today’s Times.

    She has always been a “Euro Realist”-but to read her assessment of EU’s future & the implications for UK makes me remember why I voted her in all those years ago in Brum.

    She puts the short term tactical shenanigans in HoC today to shame.

    Cameron should listen to her .

  30. “The Confederation of British Industry’s distributive trades survey showed that the sales balance jumped to +30 from +6 in September. Analysts had forecast a reading of +7.
    The expected sales balance for November stood at +27.
    At the same time, the unexpectedly upbeat survey among retailers added to views that the Bank of England will not increase its monetary stimulus further next week.”

    DT

    :-)

  31. Pleased to see the Hitachi nuclear deal . At last some sense of progress in energy supply policy.

  32. Having (eventually) found details of the Three Candidates for Police Commissioner locally I have ascertained that none of them have shown the remotest interest in Law and Order Before and all three are local councillors for the 3 Main Parties.

    How this is supposed to improve the standards of policing or democratic over site is beyond me.

    Never the less as I will vote on any and every occasion available I will traipse along with the other 15% of registered voters and cast my entirely partisan vote for one of these.

    I am looking forward to elected Dog Catchers,Librarians,Fence Painters etc in order to cast similar votes

  33. COLIN.

    Edgbaston 1997. Happy days.

  34. “I am looking forward to elected Dog Catchers, Librarians, Fence Painters etc in order to cast similar votes”

    tee hee

    I wonder if we could vote on whether to have council dustbinmen or outsourced? Or g4s coppers or proper ones? maybe we could vote for nationalised trains, utilities, NHS etc etc

  35. I think it is probably better to have a leader that is less popular than their party, than the other way round. David Cameron is much more visable that Ed Miliband, in terms of a leadership role, so it easier for people to make a judgement. Most people probably only see Ed, if there is a 10 second cliip of PMQ’ s on the evening news. So for Ed to be scoring 37% is actually quite good.

    As for Police Commissioner elections, I will not be bothering to vote, as I don’t have a strong view about having one. Once they are elected, I would think that most will be invisible and let the Police get on with their jobs, as they see fit. You might see more of them, when they come near to any election, as no doubt they would like to remain on a nice salary.

  36. colin

    Japanese nucleur expertise certainly worked well at Fukushima Daiichi. Perhaps we outsource for some Russian expertise left over from Chernobyl too?

  37. The biggest problem facing the police commissioner vote… is that no one has asked for it, it has been imposed because “it may be a good idea” etc, etc… a minority trying to force the majority to “see things their way” because it is in our best interest…

    The suspicion is… no one asked what the real public thought… because they knew what the answer would be…
    if it turns out that it costs more money, causes more corruption, can we hold those who introduced this to account… the answer is no not really, yet we the public end up paying the bill yet again.

    And to be honest it is not good enough…not now… not in this era of austerity…

    I do not know if I will even vote on this matter… I am so annoyed

  38. Regarding Elected Commissioners

    I had considered standing myself.

    However, as a retired operational police officer with a Law Degree and with no real political axe to grind I am clearly totally unsuitable

  39. Interesting reaction to the report by Michael Heseltine on economic growth. Most of the papers are seeing the findings of the report (local government reforms, stronger regional structures, more local/regional funding, an active industrial policy) as a direct criticism of the government’s economic policies. It seems incredible that they would have commissioned a high profile report from an individual known to have economically interventionist views, as there was no way that he’d do anything other than produce a report they wouldn’t like.

  40. NICKP

    Don’t worry -Davey’s Civil ” Servants” will undoubtedly screw the whole thing up.

    God help him.

  41. @” (local government reforms, stronger regional structures, more local/regional funding, an active industrial policy) ”

    …………some civil servants who actually understand how Industry works.

  42. Colin
    “A great article by Gisela Stuart in today’s Times.
    She has always been a “Euro Realist”-but to read her assessment of EU’s future & the implications for UK makes me remember why I voted her in all those years ago in Brum.
    She puts the short term tactical shenanigans in HoC today to shame.
    Cameron should listen to her .”

    I totally agree with you. She is one politician I admire and she’s not on my side of the fence! If the HOC had a few more like her (yes there is Frank Field) we might actually get some grown up government.

    NickP
    ““I am looking forward to elected Dog Catchers, Librarians, Fence Painters etc in order to cast similar votes”
    tee hee
    I wonder if we could vote on whether to have council dustbinmen or outsourced? Or g4s coppers or proper ones? maybe we could vote for nationalised trains, utilities, NHS etc etc”

    I look forward to a vote on whether twits should be allowed vote at all. Your ‘joke’ on the nuclear was in bad taste & silly anyway as you are comparing 1950’s technology with 2010 technology.

    Colin keep the good news coming even when it is sneered at by some.

  43. steve

    you’ve got my vote (unless you are planning to outsource anything at all, especially to your campaign funders, drinking buddies, old school friends etc)

  44. ROBERT

    re GS-absolutely agree.

  45. robert newark

    “I look forward to a vote on whether twits should be allowed vote at all.”

    My joke was in bad taste?

  46. @Colin

    I think he’s saying we already have them, but that they’re not the ones in Whitehall and where we have them we’re not using them properly.

    From the interview with Patrick Wintour in the Guardian Heseltine appears to be making two main points:

    – That industry needs government and to pretend otherwise is folly (interestingly he talks about his business experience and how he wasn’t an interventionist until he entered parliament and saw how government could help)

    – That the resources for this partnership are best used at the local/regional level because that is where communication and partnership between businesses (particularly rapidly growing SMEs) and government is effective.

  47. “Japanese nucleur expertise certainly worked well at Fukushima Daiichi. Perhaps we outsource for some Russian expertise left over from Chernobyl too?”

    Thats pretty disgusting.I hope children dont venture onto this site.

  48. “I hope children don’t venture onto this site”

    trolls of all ages, apparently.

  49. COLIN
    The right always loudly accuse their opponents of their own faults.

  50. I always thought that the term troll was reserved for people who used the internet to express their often unsavoury opinions onto others.

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