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.


93 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 33, LAB 44, LD 9, UKIP 8”

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  1. Anthony,

    Has there been any polling to compare what powers people “think ” the EU has compared to what they actually do. The reason I ask is that I have come across the likes of UKIP claiming over 70% of our legislation come from Europe while I think the EU. States it as under 15%.

    Peter.

  2. “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”
    _____________

    It needs a proper debate and not just a knee jerk reaction. If someone is in prison for not paying a parking fine do we then take away their right to vote?

    It should be limited to prisoners who commit murder because they themselves have denied their victim the right to vote!!

  3. “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.”

    I wonder though abot that 19%. And whether they are Labour leaning voters and if they are in constituencies that Cameron would like to take in order to get himself an outright majority.

  4. Allan – “If someone is in prison for not paying a parking fine do we then take away their right to vote?”

    As it happens, no, we don’t. There are currently three groups of prisoners who can vote – people on remand, and people jailed for non-payment of fines or contempt of court.

  5. Oldnat

    Maybe they mean 70% of laws they don’t like come from Europe

    I find it difficult to believe that Europe passes more laws than we do, seems like there is a new criminal justice bill every year, mind that seems to have calmed down since the days of new labour/john major. Still they seem to be passing new laws all the time like hyperactive meddlers, you would have thought that most laws were sorted out by now.

  6. Sorry peter cairns, I saw the pale yellow background and assumed it was old Nat, please forgive me

  7. RiN

    Don’t know about Peter, but I’m not offended. :-)

    I’ve always assumed that what UKIP et al describe as “legislation” includes the sort of stuff that both UK and Scottish Governments do as regulations in any case.

  8. Old Nat

    Are sitting on the edge of your seat, looks like it could be an important night for your cause in that land which lies between France and spain

  9. And no I’m not talking about andorra

  10. ANTHONY WELLS

    “As it happens, no, we don’t. There are currently three groups of prisoners who can vote – people on remand, and people jailed for non-payment of fines or contempt of court”
    _______

    Thanks for clearing that up but I think if people were asked if the above 3 groups of people should still have the right to vote them most will probably be in favour of them retaining their right.

    I think when people think of prisoners they immediately think of murders, rapist etc which can obscure their views.

  11. @ RiN, Old Nat

    Are sitting on the edge of your seat, looks like it could be an important night for your cause in that land which lies between France and spain
    ———————–
    Are they capping the number of guests which can be invited to a wedding party? ;-)

  12. RICHARD IN NORWAY

    “Sorry peter cairns, I saw the pale yellow background and assumed it was old Nat, please forgive me”
    ___________

    Boy you must be wearing sun glasses..on my screen its like looking at a luminous vest!! ;)

  13. RiN

    Keeping an eye on it, rather than sitting on the edge of my seat.

    Exit polls suggesting pro independence parties gaining 70% or so of the seats, and a leftwards shift within the indy parties. Happy with both of those, if that’s how it turns out.

  14. Amber

    No idea if the Flemish will want to join in the fun, in Autumn 2014, or not. :-)

  15. @Rin, cc@Amber FPT

    You said “…Difficult to see how the Japanese are going to deal with this without mass immigration…”

    I love this, because it unifies two of my interests:

    * demography
    * japanese killer robots

    Well, they’re not *killer* robots per se: it’ll take linking them up to Skynet to do that, and that’s Phase II. But the use of robots to tend the elderly is something the Japanese are/were *very* seriously considering. It’s gone off the boil recently, because they’ve worked out it’s cheaper to import young nurses, pay them rubbish, then expatriate them when they get too old (the Singapore method), than it is to construct proper working robots. But they did make big strides.

    My sense of humour may obfuscate the scale of the problem: the Japanese population is becoming hugely overbalanced in terms of age distribution (see http://www.nationmaster.com/country/ja-japan/Age-_distribution )

    rgdsm

  16. Richard, I am really more interested in the gap between the reality and the perception than who is right or wrong, although I suspect I’d be more inclined to believe a bureaucrat than a politician… And as you know I am. Politician!

    Peter.

  17. MARTYN

    As I age towards needing care – would I prefer to be tended by a robot or an attractive young nurse?

    Mmmm I’ll need to think hard about that one.

  18. I will be interested in the next YG. My feeling is that the floods have removed the EU budget from voters’ minds, always assuming it was there in the first place without being prompted by the YG Friday poll.

    I might have been interesting to ask the question about windmills now or in a few days’ time.

  19. @ Martyn

    I was more envisaging turning the people themselves into ‘cyborgs’ than having robots care for them. Huge advances have already been made in this area of research. The tipping point will come because demand is high enough to justify mass manufacturing &/or mass implementation techniques which reduce the cost per unit.

    Well known examples are:
    1. Technology: Computers -> PCs -> mobile phones.
    2. Medi-tech: Laser surgery for eyes; joint replacements etc.

    The issue with medi-tech approvals is often demonstrating that it won’t have ‘later life’ consequences. The target beneficiaries already being in ‘later life’ makes a difference.

    And being a cyborg might be fun! Perhaps old age will be eagerly anticipated instead of approached with dread. Hey, I can’t wait to get my 70+ bionic knee joints which will allow me to leap tall buildings in a single bound. ;-)

    Okay, I’m being really silly now but I do think there will be a quantum shift in the design, manufacture, quality & ‘installation’ techniques for medical mobility devices.

  20. OldNat
    If you become ‘aged’ you really won’t care, believe me, not even if it is the physical rather than the mental that has given way..

  21. @Martyn

    Those graphical representations would not look “hugely overbalanced” if the 80+ population had continued to be broken down into 4 yearly age increments as is the case with the rest of the population.

    Incidentally I do have something of a quibble with polling companies, the majority of whom tend to lump all people over 60, or 65 into one age group (two distinct generations in a 30+ year span), while other groups have 7, 10 or 15 year spans.

  22. *5 yearly age increments*

  23. @OldNat

    Unfortunately, the infirmities of old age will bring different priorities, and things like bottom-wiping gentleness will count for more than pulchritude. Old age really sucks.

    @Amber

    I tend to be suspicious of mechanical replacements for body parts: they’ve been putting mechanical hearts forwards for fifty years now, and they’re just infection farms with a power supply. Contrariwise, biological replacements (transplants, grafts, transfusions etc) always work (it’s overcoming provider inertia that’s the problem – how many people were condemned to an incomprehensible Gehenna because of giggling over face transplants, for example?). I would love to see things like stem cells grown on a scaffold of coral produced by a 3D printer as a replacement for missing bone gaining acceptance. Hopefully the next fifty years will bring us as many wonders as the last fifty

    rgdsm

  24. @Amber (from previous thread)

    “Therefore, technology will provide a solution. Ideally it will be a ‘high-tech’ medical or mechanical solution which improves physical mobility beyond the possible life span of the brain;…”

    Aaaargh! Attack of the Robot zombies! (sorry, couldn’t resist :-) )

  25. Amber and Martyn

    I’m not so optimistic about the technological process as you two are, mainly because slavery will always be cheaper, and we do live in a free market society. Replacement body parts will be available at a price but I doubt that anyone I know will be able to afford to live for ever

  26. I’ve looked at these poll reports in detail now, and have noticed that it is LibDem voters who are most likely to think more positively of the Conservatives because of the policy of ‘gay’ marriage.

    Perhaps it is a deliberate strategy by Cameron to try to grab a few of the prospective LibDem deserters?

  27. @ Pete B

    LOL :-) But…

    …Martyn & I shall overcome the giggling hoards of non-believers! We shall invest in our own, personal fab-labs. When our individualized spare parts (including working wings) are emerging from our 3D printers (which devices can build anything using ‘grey goo’ enzymes to a pattern which can be created by e.g. MRI scanning) you will not be laughing! :-)

    FWIW: Most of the above is almost ‘true’.

  28. @ RiN

    I do not think people will live forever. But I think soon they will not have to be babies again in the final years of their lives. Soon peripherals will be made which outlast the core processor, so to speak.
    8-)

  29. @Amber
    But will they stand up to my 3D-printed shotgun?

  30. “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.”

    Our man Mr Rawnsley of the Observer was interesting on this today. He was arguing that while the polls suggest that there is a clear majority who would vote to leave the EU if there was a referendum tomorrow, once the argument was properly joined, views would probably change. He went on to list the many people and interests who, up to now, were fairly silent on the issue, but who would line up to argue that we should remain in the EU. Many leading Tory politicians (including the PM), the Labour Party, the Lib Dems, the CBI, most trade unions; the list was a long and rather impressive one.

    Daily Express; be afraid, be very afraid!!

    Bring it on, I say.

  31. @ Pete B

    But will they stand up to my 3D-printed shotgun?
    —————–
    Touché!

    It is a fascinating subject, isn’t it? I think that fab labs are unlikely to achieve their alleged potential but I do believe that that there will be technical & manufacturing solutions which will benefit the elderly; I do not think it is far in the future.
    8-)

  32. What I take away from this poll is that 59% of the people polled had no idea that a Veto would reduce in the budget remaining as is with an increase for inflation. I might be charitable, and guess they assumed that it worked the same was as the US federal budget, and would ‘close down’ if no budget was passed. But fortunately they included a continence clause, so Vetos can’t be used as wrecking threats.

  33. For ‘reduce’ read ‘result’

  34. CB11

    I wonder why if the pro Europe side is so convinced that once battle is joined they will be victorious that we still haven’t had a referendum on the subject.

    Is it because just the fact of having a ref will be destabilizing to the rest of the EU

    Is it because once we have a ref then a precedent will have been set making it easier to have more

    Is it because after a vote in favour it will be more difficult for the govt of the day to blame all its troubles on Europe

    Or maybe because having a vote would take away our biggest bargaining chip in Europe(do it the way we want or we will call an in out ref)

    Or just maybe both sides realize that the result would be impossible to predict, and a lot of the anti EU folk really don’t want their wishes to come true

    Anyone else got any theories??

  35. If the government were to pass legislation forcing energy companies to give a 25% discount on electricity to anyone whose post code is within a 5 mile radius of a windfarm what their attitude would be then.

  36. @ RiN

    Uncertainty is anethma to business investors. A pending EU referendum would add to the uncertainty which business currently faces when considering investment. That’s why there has never been a referendum & there is not likely to be one whatever promises are made in manifestos or the media.
    8-)

  37. Boris Johnson has spoken out against holding a referendum on whether the UK should remain part of the European Union as it currently exists, in an intervention that will help the prime minister, David Cameron, as he faces concerted pressure from hardline Tory backbenchers for an in/out vote.

    The mayor of London, seen by many Conservatives as a potential future leader and alternative to Cameron, and who has channelled strident Eurosceptic sentiment in the party, said that any further fiscal integration of the EU should trigger a referendum but that a single question on whether the UK should remain a member state was unnecessary.
    8-)

  38. @RiN

    Pretty much yes to all of the above.

    What it comes down to is that Europe as the big political bogey man has suited both Conservative and Labour governments, despite in reality being both engaged with Europe, and near dictating a lot of the regulations they would later turn around and blame for being ‘forced’ to do things.

    Bringing things out into clear public debate, when as mentioned the entire business lobby will support EU Membership, is not going to work out like the AV referendum where lies and deceptions will go unquestioned. A *lot* of people with a *lot* of money at stake will be sure to get the message out that leaving the EU would bring the wheels off our economy. Even the ones who complain about EU Working time restrictions, are never going to support leaving the EU Common Market. And it simply isn’t on offer to stay in the EU Common Market but leave the Political unions.

    And importantly, it *never was*. It was clear when we joined, and during the referendum past, that the intent was political cooperation and union further than just a common market. No one could seriously look at the statements being made about the European aims during 1975, and say that we didn’t know. It’s simply not possible to have Economic Community Union without Policy Union to support it. There *has* to be harmonisation of a great deal of policy across a free market area, or bad things happen because of inequality of markets.

    And we can see what happens when you are lax about that, because fundamentally that’s what happened in Greece. Not just a deficit, but ignoring laws and their EU commitments to enforce laws against graft, corruption and tax avoidance.

  39. Incidentally, one EU wide institution I’d like to see, would be a Tax inspection body. Charged to investigate tax avoidance across the EU borders, according to each countries laws, and making public findings where that country has not upheld their own laws.

  40. @ Pete B

    “I’ve looked at these poll reports in detail now, and have noticed that it is LibDem voters who are most likely to think more positively of the Conservatives because of the policy of ‘gay’ marriage.

    Perhaps it is a deliberate strategy by Cameron to try to grab a few of the prospective LibDem deserters?”

    Do you have the phenomenon of gay gentrification in the UK? I know that gentrification seems to be something that will lead to major political changes in European countries (even though it has no such effect here). If gentrification makes neighborhoods more Conservative (and with it, the constituencies that are in those neighborhood) but neighborhoods with gay gentrifiation aren’t leading to that, Cameron may have a great market of targetable voters. That might include Lib Dems.

  41. AW/AC

    But we WOULD disenfranchise that daft kid who stole a bottle of water from a shop in the riots last year. Whilst we are perfectly happy to allow Ernest Saunders to vote after his incarceration for hugely lucrative insider trading was terminated on humanitarian grounds on account of his having Alzheimers (from which he subsequently recovered, to the astonishment of medical scientists who have recorded no similar case in history).

    Note that Guinness-chairman Saunders was allowed to vote despite being demonstrably
    a) A criminal who should have been behind bars
    Or
    b) Non compos mentis.

    Good to see that we are stopping the dangerous sociopaths from having a say in choosing our leaders.

  42. Amber,
    And then this happened:
    “David Cameron should urgently consider a pact with UKIP to try to prevent them threatening the Tories at the next election, his elections adviser says.

    Michael Fabricant suggests offering an in/out referendum on UK membership of the EU if UKIP promises not to stand against Tory candidates in 2015.”
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-20490937

    It seems to be an interesting conundrum in the Conservative party – it seems that the leadership is for staying in the EU, but that they have to make anti-EU noises because they don’t want to lose votes to UKIP.
    But this sort of story only helps UKIP in the long-run, if no referendum actually appears.

    Something that actually all parties are guilty of – I don’t think any party hasn’t, at some point in recent years, said ‘We are the only party who aren’t afraid of a referendum’. It just seems to be more of an issue for Tory voters.

  43. @ Old Nat

    Have you seen Skyfall yet? I’m not into action movies (but I wanted to see a movie and some of us have crushes on Daniel Craig). I don’t know if you’re into action movies but if you are, you might like it. There’s a line in there that reminds me of something you might both say and do.

  44. Socal

    Oldnat as James bond?? It would have to be the best bond ever!!

  45. Catalonian election results:
    CiU (CRN) – 31 (-8)
    ERC (LN) – 14 (+7)
    PSC (CL) – 14 (-4)
    PPC (CR) – 13 (+1)
    ICV (L) – 10 (+3)
    Cs (Lib) – 8 (+4)
    CUP (LN) – 3 (+3)
    SI (N) – 1 (-2)

    CR = Centre-Right, etc, Lib = Liberal, N = Nationalist
    Quite a good result for the left, compared to 2010 – but a clear result for Catalonian nationalist parties.

  46. @RinN

    “I wonder why if the pro Europe side is so convinced that once battle is joined they will be victorious that we still haven’t had a referendum on the subject.”

    I think most elected politicians fear referendums, on any subject, because quite often voters answer a different question to the one asked on the ballot paper. They’re politically toxic for incumbent governments because they can easily turn into snapshot popularity verdicts with the referendum question becoming secondary to the desire to give the government of the day a good kicking. Rawnsley, in his Observer article, speculated on why Miliband may be nervous about committing a future Labour government to holding an in-out EU referendum. Miliband would very likely recommend staying in and, if the referendum went the other way, quite early in the life of his new government, and his tenure as PM, he’d probably be toast.

    From a purists point of view, this self-serving attitude could be deemed to be a betrayal of democracy and a denial of the public’s right to decide, but you can see why politicians might be a tad nervous about an EU referendum, can’t you? Pandoras and boxes spring to mind

    By the way, I tend to agree with the other points you make in your post about other potential hidden motives for avoiding the referendum route

  47. MARTYN
    @OldNat

    “Unfortunately, the infirmities of old age will bring different priorities, and things like bottom-wiping gentleness will count for more than pulchritude. Old age really sucks’

    Are you seriously suggesting that robotic bottom-wiping, however gentle, will be preferred, or even on a par with, being attended to by a pretty nurse? I think we should have a poll on this.

    JAYBLANC

    “A *lot* of people with a *lot* of money at stake will be sure to get the message out that leaving the EU would bring the wheels off our economy. ”

    And, respect to labour legislation, both unions and employer organisations would adhere to EU derived legislation, with the greaterlabour market flexibility which the UK has achieved, as would women”s and human rights lobbies, in advocating continued membership. They would also advocate reform, notably of the powers and capacities of the Commission.

  48. @ Tinged

    David Cameron should urgently consider a pact with UKIP to try to prevent them threatening the Tories at the next election, his elections adviser says.
    ———————————–
    It’s never going to happen; this is simply a way of keeping the UKIP story alive until after the Rotherham by-election in the hope that UKIP can damage or even beat Labour.

    IMO, The “mostly closet racists” comment was a dog whistle to the ex-BNP & EDL voters in Rotherham to vote UKIP. And this election pact thing is a nod to wavering Tories to do likewise.
    8-)

  49. CROSSBAT11
    “From a purists point of view, this self-serving attitude could be deemed to be a betrayal of democracy and a denial of the public’s right to decide, but you can see why politicians might be a tad nervous about an EU referendum, can’t you?”

    I would suggest that the response of elected politicians or those vying for election would be more than “a tad nervous” if, as it would be for most in both parties, membership of the EU, its management in the interests of the UK, and its reform both in the UK’s and in the international interest, were at the heart of their policies and available strategies.
    Secondly because a referendum in the context of widespread ignorance of the EU’s operations, policies and structure, or of its impact on the UK economy and social situation, and in the face of propaganda by interested parties without political responsibility, would be as close to mob-rule as I anything I wish to see in my lifetime.

  50. Apparently 68% of Tory supporters would vote to leave the EU while at the same time 56% of Tory supporters think we should stay in the EU on revised terms!

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