This morning’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 31%, LAB 43%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 11%. The poll suggests an increase in UKIP support on the back of the EU summit, the child fostering row and the coverage of Michael Fabricant’s calls for a Con-UKIP pact. YouGov has occassionally shown UKIP ahead of the Lib Dems in the past, but their support in YouGov polls over the last month has typically been at around 7% or 8%. 11% is the highest they have shown them to date.

On the subject of the UKIP fostering row, YouGov also asked some more detailed questions about fostering children. 50% of respondents thought that people with extreme political views should not usually (32%), or never (18%) be allowed to foster children.

However, this was clearly not thought to apply to UKIP. Asked if people who were members of several named political parties should be allowed to foster children only 4% of people thought that UKIP members shouldn’t be able to foster (55% said there was nothing wrong at all with it, 27% said they disliked UKIP’s views but it shouldn’t be a block to their members fostering children). Figures were very similar for the Respect party, with 4% saying a Respect party member should not be allowed to foster children.

In comparison 36% of people said that members of the BNP should not be allowed to foster children (and only 18% said there was nothing wrong with a BNP member being a foster parent). As a control YouGov asked about the three main parties too – the Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats. Only 1% of people said that their party members should not be able to foster children.

Yesterday we also had the weekly TNS BMRB poll. Topline figures are CON 31% (nc), LAB 41% (+2), LDEM 8%(-3), UKIP 8%(+1), OTHER 10%(-1).

Finally I’ve been meaning to write something about Leveson and polling on press regulation for a week or so, but have been distracted by gay marriage, UKIP and so on. Luckily Peter Kellner has done it for me here.

435 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – CON 31, LAB 43, LD 9, UKIP 11”

1 2 3 4 9
  1. Well I bet these poll will have all the the ukip supporters believing they are they are the 3rd party in UK politics, whilst ignoring the normal polling figures of being at 5 percent. So I’ll just let them enjoy there moment of self importance.

  2. I would have thought the turnouts would have needed to be at police commissioner election levels before a ‘surprise’ result in the bye-elections was recorded. I put ‘surprise’ in inverted commas because really it would thus (see Bradford) be much less of one.

    I can remember that in the early 70s it was a corruption allegation levelled at trade union democracy that you had to turn up to the meetings to elect the local leader. As few did, it was carte blanche for the extreme views.

  3. @ Martyn

    “Since my interests include subdivisions, statistics and politics, I am a natural habitue of this site, especially for those contributors (Statgeek, Virgilio, Amber, Roger Mexico, Oldnat, SoCalLib, et al…) who give such good data.”

    Awwww, thank you.

  4. Howard

    If Rotherham is anything like Manchester it’s likely to be a very low turn out bearing in mind why the by-election was called and maybe taking in to account how the Labour council is presently seen may put traditional Labour voters of voting in this by-election
    If it was a marginal then Labour could have been in trouble but it’s a Labour safe seat so I don’t expect any surprises but it would be nice if it was, not because another party may win but instead of acting like party voting robots they actually voiced there disapproval of dishonesty by the MP they voted in..

  5. Can anyone enlighten me about this Rotherham case? I find the information I can glean puzzling.

    First, according to Billy Bob the council said that the couple were ‘racist and only fit to foster white children’. I am amazed that any council would confess to using racist carers for any children.

    Second, I heard on the radio that this was a short term or emergency foster placement (i.e. something that was intended to end while longer term arrangements were sorted out). Despite this most commentators appear to be treating the placement as something that was intended to provide a family if not for life at least for the relatively long term.

    Third, the children are presumably immigrants or asylum seekers. The couple probably believe that there are too many immigrants and that some of them should be sent back. They may well love the children but they or their friends may make comments which the children hear and repeat to their parents, if in contact, and ponder in any event. The children were going to move on in any event, why keep them with a family that may hold these views?

    None of this means that the couple were racist or that the social workers thought they were. Nor does it mean that the decision was stupid and the result of political correctness.

    And yet all political parties seem to see this as a national scandal.


    I agree with your second and third points completely.The Couple are UKIP members who presumably disagree with European migration.The children are Polish immigrants.It`s very odd that it`s become a national issue while the children`s welfare seems to be of no concern to anyone.It`s being drummed up in the main because of the Rotherham by-election and after Thursday I`ll be very surprised if anyone hears about it again unless UKIP wins in which case it will be mnetioned again and again.

  7. @Pete B

    Cheers for that. Will give it a look and see what I can see.

  8. If the children are Polish why is the Polish government not involved? I can’t believe the children wouldn’t be much better looked after in Poland.

  9. @WOLF

    If the children are taken into foster-care in this country,it is likely that the parents are here.Should they be sent back to Poland while the parents are here.Is that what you are saying?

  10. @Charles

    If you are going to “quote” someone, please have the courtesy to get your attribution correct.

    It was not I who said that. Would it be too much to ask for you to go back through the thread, read the posts and check who said what?

    A simple apology will do. ;)

  11. Charles

    I think the issue is one of prejudice. I’m appears that the sole factor that the council used to remove the children was someone party affiliation. “They are UKIP therefore they are probably extremists” seems to be the thought process used.

    If there were concerns, surely they could have done a better job of things that simply brand this couple with “only fit to foster white English children”. To not even talk to the parents about their concerns before making a decision based upon a single piece of unrelated evidence which require a lot of jumping to (unreasonable) conclusions to get to the point at which it was reasonable for the council to stamp their file “white kids only”.

    It’s the same sort of prejudice which meant gay couples couldn’t adopt for years and years, building a reasonable sounding premise on completely unacceptable assumptions. Lot’s of might might might based on no solid evidence.

    Should the foster parents be different if the children were the offspring of a Pole who came over to work as a bus driver as opposed to one who came across as a doctor or engineer? To suggest that every UKIP couple would look at these children differently based on that factor is simply blind prejudice.

    I don’t think it’ll affect the by-election, it certainly doesn’t sound like respect are making hay over this issue (which seems to be labour’s biggest threat in it’s safe seats) but if the turnout is very low it’d at least make a shock possible,

  12. @SoCalLib

    You’re welcome. I couldn’t list all the useful contributors (it’s quite a long list, if you think about it) and omitted many I shouldn’t have,[1] but I included those I could without it becoming an oscar speech.

    I did a bit of work on Polish politics some years ago, and things like that always involves lots of reading articles and the national television news, which is difficult and time consuming. Whilst the plural of “anecdote” is not “data”, the experiences of a person on the ground often help by illuminating what they consider important, explaining what they know and I don’t, and generally stop me making newbie mistakes. So the presence on this site of people from US, Norway, France, Greece, Ireland, etc, and from Labour, Lib Dems, Ukip, Conservative, SNP, etc and from Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland do help quite a bit.


    [1] including, of course, Anthony Wells. Sorry, OGH… :-(

  13. Wolf
    “If the children are Polish why is the Polish government not involved? I can’t believe the children wouldn’t be much better looked after in Poland.”

    Absolutely. The council seemed to be concerned about the childrens’ cultural heritage. Though the foster parents were doing their best on this score it is obviously best for them to be in their own country. If the parents are here, it is irrelevant because presumably the children were taken off them for a reason.

    Judging people by party affiliation of any sort is silly. Does every Labour or Conservative voter agree with every aspect of their party’s policy? The majority probably don’t know what it is in any detail anyway.

  14. PETE B

    “it is obviously best for them to be in their own country.”

    Without knowing the circumstances, that’s a rather extreme assumption to make – that the UK isn’t “their country”.

    It would be a bit unfortunate if my grandkids in the US needed to be cared for – but they were just shipped off to the UK, because someone made that kind of assumption.

  15. “It’s Obviously best for them to be in their own country.”

    And people wonder why the authorities might have issues placing these kids with people who want to deport immigrants…

    No, not only do the Kids have a right to be here. But deporting them would be a horrible disruption to their lives that it would not be done even if they had come here as “illegal immigrants”. They may well have been in the country long enough from an early enough age that they speak better English than Polish.

  16. OLDNAT

    I agree, without knowing the situation and how long they would be expected to remain in care (If it was expected to be a temporary thing then sending them around the globe would certainly not be appropriate).

    When the word obviously is used in that context it means “We haven’t really looked into it to be able to explain our decision” just like it was “obvious” that UKIP members can’t care for children who aren’t white and English.

    To me there was nothing obvious about that decision apart from the fact it was obvious the the people in charge of the decision have an axe to grind with UKIP.

  17. @Alan

    The problem is that it’s been presented as “banned from adopting because of UKIP membership”. When actually it was “children in temporary foster placement moved to a different placement”. There was no actual ban, but the powers that be decided it wasn’t the best placement for these particular children.

    Now, this is pure speculation… But let’s say a social worker visited them. And found that they had a stack of UKIP literature and leaflets, blaming much of our society’s woes on “Uncontrolled Polish Immigration”. Now, it’s not a matter of calling them racist, but you have children placed with them who are Polish. Now, you can say that’s perfectly acceptable campaign literature. But is it going to be healthy for the children in foster care to be surrounded by leaflets and manifestos saying they shouldn’t even be in the country? A decision has to be made as to if this is the best placement for these children…

    Should the children stay with the couple, because that makes the couple happy?

  18. I do understand that UKIP members are entitled to express their views.

    But those who have signed up to a manifesto supporting withdrawal from Europe so that Polish Immigrants may be deported, are not be acceptable foster parents to children of Polish Immigrants. I’m sorry, but it really is that simple to me. The child’s expectation of a home that does not come with something like that hanging over them, trumps the desires of the foster carers.

  19. Jayblanc

    You are right, it is pure speculation.

    If an investigation was done and the foster parents were found to be unsuitable due to evidence about them personally. I have less of an issue about it.

    If it was based without any further evidence than “They belong to UKIP therefore they are racist and we have to remove the children before they Fedex them back to Krakow”. That is complete prejudice due to someone’s political affiliation.

    Lots of people indicate they would like to leave the EU for various reasons (not just immigration), does that mean all of those are also racist and therefore unsuitable to foster non-white, non-UK children? Or is it only UKIP members who should be tarred and feathered?

  20. In my opinion the temporary placement excuse is a complete red herring which further convinces me that social services have no ‘dirt’ on the couple whatsoever. Firstly, they’ve already admitted the children were taken away due to the foster carer’s party affiliation. Secondly, a temporary placement surely serves as breathing space while something more suitable is found for the long term. Except on Tuesday it was reported that the children where split up. This doesn’t sound like much of an upgrade to me. It sounds horrific.

  21. @Alan, Stan

    Again, do you think it is appropriate to house children of Polish immigrants with people who will have party literature and pamphlets laying around blaming Polish immigrants for causing problems and asking to leave the EU so they can be deported?

  22. YouGov
    Con 32 Lab 44 LD 11 UKIP 8

  23. Guys?
    YouGov –
    Con 32, Lab 44, Lib 11, UKIP 8
    LibDems back in to third place!

    Best PM?
    Cameron 34 (-1)
    Miliband 24 (nc)
    Clegg 5 (+1)
    So no real change there.

    Best for Britain?
    Majority Conservative – 30 (+1)
    Con/Lib coalition – 7 (-2)
    Con Government – 37 (-1)
    Lab/Lib Coalition – 13 (+1)
    Majority Labour – 31 (nc)
    Lab Government – 43 (+1)

    And while the subsamples are tiny so beware (BEWARE!) –
    LibDems favour some sort of Labour government by 49 to 37 for a Conservative one.
    48% want Lib/Lab coalition.

  24. Social Services are in a difficult position here. There may be other factors involved, but remember that they cannot talk about these as the law (rightly) protects the personal information about the couple. In this sense there is a power and knowledge imbalance in favour of the couple.

    The only consideration that Social Services should take into account in the placing of children is the well-being of the children involved. The Council has corporate responsibility for this – and it is a nightmare at the best of times.

  25. But on to the important stuff:

    Byelections and Leveson. Will any response come soon enough to make an impact? If Mr Clegg announces that he’s going to make a seperate statement then it might put some backbone into LibDem voters.

  26. Does anybody know if any of today’s by-elections are being counted overnight, or do we have to wait until tomorrow afternoon to find out?

  27. “If Mr Clegg announces that he’s going to make a seperate statement then it might put some backbone into LibDem voters.”
    It’s being reported that the LibDems might also oppose the government’s communications data bill, next week, which would mean two oppositions to government policy in two weeks.

    While it probably doesn’t mean that the coalition is starting to come to an end, it may be the beginning of the LibDem’s disassociation strategy.

    Although I’d imagine Tory backbenchers will be screaming loudly to dump the Libs. ;)

  28. @TF
    According to the BBC, counts for all three by-elections will take place overnight on Thursday.

  29. @Mr. Fringe

    “And while the subsamples are tiny so beware (BEWARE!)”

    Mmmm. Sample of 80 in Scotland. That accounts for the LD score of 16%. They spoke to 13 people who opted for Lib Dem. Second lowest sample I’ve seen (the lowest being 35 earlier this year).

    Anyway, charts updated!

  30. StatGeek,
    Do you track any of the other data? (Except what’s displayed on your site)

  31. @ Billy Bob – an unreserved apology for attributing a quote from someone else to you. It was unforgivable carelessness, so thanks for being prepared to forgive it.

    @Alan – I am glad you agree that we don’t yet know all the relevant facts about the fostering case. Personally I find it incredible that the council would openly brand a couple racist but continue to use them as carers for anyone. The wisest thing is surely to await the report and then see how much the council is able to say.

    @all those advocating or fearing the forcible transportation of possibly maltreated children across national boundaries – In England social workers have to consider the welfare of a child as paramount. Other things being equal this means that they try first not to remove children at all, second to return those removed to their homes as soon as possible, third to keep them close to family if they cannot go home in order to keep family ties, and fourth (although this is a bit more controversial) to look at options presented by the wider family for formal or informal fostering with kin. Only after these options have been considered are they supposed to look at other options such as fostering with strangers, adoption, or residential care and see if these might be better.

    Of course other things are often not equal and for good and bad reasons social workers don’t always look at all the options or do so in the order suggested above. The point of temporary or short-term fostering is to allow such matters to be considered while something more permanent is worked out. So as I at least know nothing about the facts of the case – where the parents are, what about the children’s home situation was supposed to be unsatisfactory, what language the older ones speak, how well they are settled at school, where the grandparents are, what is their state of health and caring history etc etc, it seems to me again wiser to wait until the council have told us whatever they are able to tell. Those who feel inclined to rush to judgement on such matters can then do so.

  32. @Tinted Fringe

    Off the top of my head, not really. I add the unweighted samples at the bottom of my crossbreak VI for each region. More so I can call on a quick average for a period, or a min/max example.

    I don’t bother with the weighted sample size, as weighting methodologies change, they are open to counter opinion etc.

  33. @ Old Nat

    “Without knowing the circumstances, that’s a rather extreme assumption to make – that the UK isn’t “their country”.

    It would be a bit unfortunate if my grandkids in the US needed to be cared for – but they were just shipped off to the UK, because someone made that kind of assumption.”

    You make a good point.

    I don’t know enough about this controversy to comment in any meaningful or accurate way (I’m just reading about this stuff on Cyril Smith and I’m really surprised and shocked by it…though I have questions) but in terms of parent placement…..I don’t think you could ever say that children couldn’t be placed with certain foster parents simply because of their political party. I think that the fitness of parents to take in children has to be evaluated on a case by case basis.

    If you have potential foster parents who are zenophobic or racist and you need to place some minority or immigrant kids, well then they’re probably not a good placement choice.

  34. I have been lurking on this site for three years, but am finally pushed into ‘coming out’ not by any political issue but by my distress over the Rotherham case. I have spent my life connected to social work, at one time as a social worker, at others as a foster carer. This case exemplifies the impossibility of social workers justifying their actions without breaching confidentiality; the rush to judgement by people who do not even know the difference between adoption, emergency fostering and long term fostering; and the public’s lack of consideration for the interests of the children. I expect such things of the press but am disappointed by the similar reaction from party leaders in pursuit of electoral advantage. Thank goodness for Amber, Smukesh, Jayblanc, Charles, Billy Bob and others on this site!
    Two points :
    Emergency fostering. In my experience this results from parental ill health, homelessness and many other factors, not just the parental wrongdoing Pete B assumes. I could give examples if asked. Emergency foster carers are special people. Whether from selfless concern for children or commitment to professional standards, they are prepared to give loving care to children who are unlikely to stay with them long enough to form strong bonds and whose removal time cannot be predicted. If the Rotherham foster mother really made the comments attributed to her, this may not be the form of foster care to which she is most suited.
    Individual circumstances. Not only the children but also the circumstances of each fostering will be different. On this occasion, immigrant children were being fostered at a time and place where immigration was a major issue at a by- election. Even if the foster parents would not discuss such things at other times, it seems likely that TV, papers and election literature might trigger conversations with family and friends which could be painful and damaging to vulnerable children. If a more appropriate placement became available, the social worker was surely right to move them from what was by definition a temporary placement. Had it not been for the subsequent furore, this would not have affected the use of the foster carers for other placements and would not have implied that UKIP members could not fulfil this role.
    Hopefully, fostering policy will not be affected by the results of polls of people who know little of the issues involved and do not care enough to find out.

  35. @turk
    “it would be nice if it was, not because another party may win but instead of acting like party voting robots they actually voiced there disapproval of dishonesty by the MP they voted in.”
    He’s resigned. They’re voting for a new MP. You’re taking a very biblical stance that the sons of the father etc. etc. What McShane did has nothing to do with the Labour candidate. I expect like the rest of the Labour Party he is appalled by what he did. If I was in Rotherham I’d be more concerned about the state of the economy, the NHS, Education, the Police etc. etc and vote accordingly.

  36. MacShane…sorry.

  37. MacShane and she…sorry!!!

  38. Jayblanc

    Was there any of this literature found (or even looked for before the decision to classify these people as racists was made)? You keep repeating it like it was some sort of fact… or are you assuming every UKIP member furnishes their home with this sort of material as standard practice?

    I haven’t heard of any talk of campaign literature forming part of the decision process, until there is any evidence of anything like this, To make assumptions about people based one irrelevant fact is bigotry. People do it with race, nationality, sexuality and now it seems political affiliation.

    As I understand it, the decision was made solely on the fact that these people joined a particular political party. If I’m wrong please correct me with some reference that is from a credible news agency.

  39. That’s 2 12 point leads in a row on YG, need a third to mean an easing up of Lab lead imo.

  40. @ALAN

    This is the age at which humans are psychologically vulnerable and damage can be life-long.Children need to feel wanted and finding literature or overhearing conversations about their foster-parents not wanting Polish immigrants in this country could lead to severe damage.

    A child`s psychological well-being is far more important than a couple`s right to foster immigrant kids,especially as the Council has made it clear they haven`t been taken off the list.They felt they were unsuitable for these kids in a specific circumstance.

    The Council would be failing in it`s duty to assure the welfare of the children if they only removed the kids once they find literature and the damage is done.It is better to be cautious in these matters and bringing an emergency placement to a premature end,is in my view,the safest thing to do.


    Completely agree with your post…A very sad case where a child`s welfare becomes political football.

  42. Interesting piece in DM about two YouGov Polls on Press regulation.

    One for Media Standards Trust, quoted extensively by Hugh Grant yesterday. and one for THe Sun.

    Different responses in the two polls it seems.

    The questions are very different.

    MST question seems very carefully crafted.

  43. Smukesh

    Is there ANY evidence of any of the circumstances which you suggest, or is it simply more online defamation without evidence?

    You are in effect suggesting that every UKIP member furnishes their home with Xenophobic material and actively talks politics in from of any children.

    A generalisation too far. Just like it was out of order when authorities made such generalisations about gay couples adopting, it’s also out of order to paint an imaginary picture about the lifestyles of members of a particular political party.

    It seems pointless to continue this.,, You won’t convince me it’s ok to discriminate on the basis of political affiliation and I won’t convince anyone who thinks it’s “fine to do so as long as it’s UKIP”.

    Unless you can produce evidence that this couple were actively racist as you suggest.

  44. @Devonian

    Well said.


    “As I understand it…” The problem is that neither you or I have access to the detail of the case, and it’s unlikely that the Council can divulge it. This *could* be a case of a stupid decision, but it’s far more likely to be a complex decision based on a variety of factors. Why? Because that’s how child protection cases work. Be aware that the press have a long term meme around “political correctness gone mad” that makes for easy copy and good sales, they have an interest in presenting the case in a particular way.

    Roll on Leveson.


    @”Again, do you think it is appropriate to house children of Polish immigrants with people who will have party literature and pamphlets laying around blaming Polish immigrants for causing problems and asking to leave the EU so they can be deported?”

    Perhaps you could point me to the precise words in a UKIP manifesto or literature which advocates the “deportation” of persons currently residing here on a legal basis.

  46. I seiously doubt that all the facts of the Rotherham UKIP fosters case are known outside of handful if people. It is evident however that the couple were, are and will continue to be suitable to foster children. Yet, the care etc of the child(ren) is paramount and is the duty of the social services.

    This entire episode seems to me to be strangely contrived. And it is beyond my comprehension as to why the couple saw fit to bring this issue to the attention of the media. Who and/or what has been gained/achieved?

  47. @ALAN

    Your entire post is based on the premise that I have accused the couple of racism which I haven`t done in the least.

    However`This is the view of Professor Sked, a specialist in international history at the London School of Economics, told the HuffPost UK that he “understands” – though disagrees with – the “rationale” behind the recent decision by social workers in Rotherham to remove three ethnic minority children from the home of two foster parents, on the grounds that they were members of Ukip.

    Asked if Ukip is a xenophobic party, he replied: “It seems to be anti-Islam and anti-immigrant. If that adds up to xenophobic, then yes.

    Now who is this guy.He is Professor Alan Sked,who founder of UKIP in 1993.

  48. * who founded*

  49. “If Mr Clegg announces that he’s going to make a seperate statement then it might put some backbone into LibDem voters.”
    Your wish has been granted but I suspect previous Lib Dem voters have shown what they think of the Coalition from the evidence of this and numerous previous VI polls.

    If the Lib Dems wish to avoid annihilation at the next GE IMO they need to distance themselves at every opportunity from the Toxic Tory Brand and ditch Clegg in favour of that Nice Dr Cable!

    An entirely non partisan comment as I wouldn’t vote for either coalition party in any case.


    Now all parties have plans to be tough on immigration.But UKIP`s raison d` etre is anti-EU and anti-immigration.

    One policy from their local manifesto:

    `end benefits in cash or in kind to anyone who is not a
    British citizen.`

    suggests UKIP thinks it is waste of money spent on caring for these children.

    Now it may be that the foster-parents disagree with UKIP policies on EU and Immigration.But hard to see anyone who disagrees with flagship policies and beoming party members.

1 2 3 4 9