This week’s YouGov results for the Sunday Times are online here. Topline voting intention is CON 32%, LAB 44%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 8% (so towards the higher end of the normal variation around a ten point lead). Approval ratings for the party leaders are minus 16 for David Cameron, minus 18 for Ed Miliband and minus 55 for Nick Clegg.
On the regular economic trackers the increase in the “feel good factor” (the proportion of people who think they will be better off in the next 12 months minus those who think they will be worse off) that we saw after the good GDP figures three weeks ago has now unwound and we are back to the levels of pessimism we saw pre-October. 10% expect their position to get better in the next 12 months, 50% expect it to get worse – we will obviously require more sustained good economic news in order to see a real turnaround in economic optimism.
On law and order, the Conservatives retain a small lead as the most trusted party, with 24% to Labour’s 19%. 41% of people think policing has got worse in the last couple of years, asked about crime levels 20% think they have gone up in their local area, 12% gone down and 53% stayed the same.
Looking specifically at the Police and Crime Commissioner questions, 28% of people in areas with elections say they are 10/10 certain to vote in this week’s election. Turnout is notoriously difficult to predict in opinion polls – people invariably overestimate their own likelihood to vote – but at general elections the proportion of people who say they are 10/10 certain to vote has not been a bad guide to actual turnout. 28% however still sounds quite high considering some of the predictions we’ve seen, just lower than the sort of level more energetically contested local elections usually get.
20% of people support the introduction of elected commissioners, 34% do not, 46% say they don’t know, underlining the lack of interest in or awareness of the policy. People think it will make the police more accountable by 24% to 8%, but very few seem to think it will make any difference to standards of policing or levels of crime.
36% of people see Rowan Williams has having done a good job as Archbishop of Canterbury, 25% a bad job (39% don’t know, perhaps a sign of the role’s diminishing prominence). Opinions from people who identified themselves as belonging to the Church of England were a little more positive, 49% though Rowan Williams had done a good job, 25% a bad job. It’s important to note that the Anglican figures are for people who self-identified as being Church of England – many of them will be Christian in a purely notional, cultural sense. For example, 43% of people who said they were Church of England actually attend a church only once a year or less and only 49% say they believe in God. Practicing Anglicans who regularly attend church may have different views, but there are not enough of them in a national sample to get representative figures.