This week’s YouGov poll for the Sunday Times is now online. Topline figures are CON 33%, LAB 44%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 8%. The rest of the poll mostly covered the EU summit (all the fieldwork was completed before the summit broke up without agreement)
On the EU budget 41% of people think that David Cameron was right and realistic to request a freeze in the budget, 35% think he was not ambitious enough and should have called for a cut, 10% think it is unrealistic to expect a freeze and that he should have accepted some level of increase in the budget. 59% of people think he should be willing to use the veto if other countries do not agreed to a freeze..
Looking at broader attitudes towards Europe, in a referendum on EU membership 49% of people say they would vote to leave, 32% would vote to stay and 19% wouldn’t vote or don’t know. Asked a less black-and-white question, 19% of people say they would like to see Britain’s relationship with the EU stay as it is, 46% would prefer Britain to stay in the EU but with a more detached relationship that is little more than free trade, 26% would like to see Britain leave completely.
YouGov asked about a series of areas and how much power the European Union should have. On most areas (justice, the economy, farming, fisheries and employment rights) a majority of people think the EU should have fewer powers. The two exceptions are the environment and relations with foreign countries outside the EU.
The public remain hostile towards the idea of giving prisoners the vote. 32% of people think that some prisoners should be given the vote (with them tending to opt for the most limited option of only those serving sentences under 6 months). 63% oppose giving any prisoners the vote.
78% of people think that the Church of England should allow women bishops and 76% of people consider the church to be out of touch, this includes 71% of people who identify themselves as Anglicans (though of course, many people identify as Anglican without actually attending church or even believing in God – a more interesting measure would probably be churchgoing Anglicans… but the incidence is too small in a standard sample). Despite support for female bishops, the public do not support Parliament intervening to overrule the general synod. Only 34% would support Parliament intervening compared to 49% who think the Church should be left to decide for itself.
On the related issue of gay marriage people think the church is wrong to oppose it by 48% to 38%. Asked specifically about David Cameron’s support for gay marriage people are evenly split over whether this makes them think more positively or more negatively about the Conservative party. 19% say it makes them think more positively about the Tories, 20% less positively, 52% no difference. There is a strong age skew here – younger people are far more likely to think more positively about the Conservatives because of it, older people are more likely to think more negatively about them.
Finally on wind farms 61% of people think they are good for the environment, 23% bad for the environment. People would, however, much rather they were build offshore than onshore.