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 5 9
  1. Does anyone else think it is wrong for two possibly important electoral factors( Migration figures and Leveson) to happen on the same day as by-elections?

  2. ALAN COLIN

    Alan thinks it is pointless to continue his argument with Smukesh. Would either of you consider it worthwhile to continue it with me? Which points in my 8.28 post do you contest? And if none, do you agree that the social worker took the wisest course of action? And that it is the person who leaked this case to the press and the politicians who took advantage of it who are responsible for questions being raised about the general rather than specific suitability of these foster
    parents?
    Colin, I have long admired your ability to be impartial and honest on matters where your political allegiance would take you in a different direction. I am sorry to find us on different sides on this occasion. It is not the words in a manifesto which were the danger to the children. It is the casual and unthinking conversations which might take place within their earshot at the time of a high profile election. We do not wait until a child is burnt to remove it from the vicinity of a fire.

  3. Just managed to lose a lengthy post on Leveson for some reason.

    Haven’t got time to repeat it all, but my central question was why does the British print media insist that regulation would be the end of the world, when the British TV industry, which is highly regulated, is seen as one of the best in the world and one of the most independent of government?

    Many, many countries across the globe would walk through fire to have a television news industry like the UK has, but very, very few would ever want to adopt our newspaper industry standards.

  4. I have hesitated to get involved in the Rotherham discussion as lack of facts are evident.

    It is clear to me that it is perfectly possible to take a view that you don’t think somebody should be here but as they are, it is not their fault and that they deserve proper fostering. So being a member of UKIP and supporting their policy should not in itself prevent the couple from fostering these kids.

    If they are considered racist (no evidence) then no kids including white ones with a long UK lineage should be placed there.

    The big confusion and complication imo is around the multi-cultural stuff and the obligation of the council to faciliatate and the fact that UKIP are opposed to it.

    As above, the couple can think Multi-Culturism is wrong but accept that this is a requirement of the role and ensure that the children are dealt with as specified. If no questions were asked and the UKIP membership was deemed sufficient evidence then the council have acted on the face of it incorrectly.

  5. Perhaps councils should bug the homes of foster carers, with teams listening in for signs of political incorrectness? Then children could be removed from potential danger at the earliest possible opportunity.

    Anyway – on polling – I notice that UKIP’s odds for the by-election are coming down, so some people think they might win.

  6. @JIM JAM

    As above, the couple can think Multi-Culturism is wrong but accept that this is a requirement of the role and ensure that the children are dealt with as specified. If no questions were asked and the UKIP membership was deemed sufficient evidence then the council have acted on the face of it incorrectly.

    You make a good point.Yes it is possible.But would you agree that someone who dislikes wind mills intensely is not the ideal person to be in charge of wind farms.

    Children`s welfare is far more important and it`s not worth taking a gamble as the damage can be too great.

  7. Smukesh, as I say we are short of facts if this couple have been good foster parents in the past for other kids then they primie facia they must be good for these children.

    If they exhibit worrying traits then even if ‘white English’ kids’ (for of a better phrase) are not targets of any prejudice or failure to take an appropriate approach to Multi-Culturalism surely they should not be exposed to it as other children (at their school for example) may suffer.

    Unless there was something that happened in this case to alter the council’s perception of the couple and that we do not know.

  8. DEVONIAN

    @”It is the casual and unthinking conversations which might take place within their earshot at the time of a high profile election. We do not wait until a child is burnt to remove it from the vicinity of a fire.”

    But you have no idea what “conversations” took place in front of those children.

    THe idea that two former Labour voters who were by all accounts exemplary foster parents, suddenly become racist bigots when they decide to vote UKIP is beyond stupid.

    Lets us assume that whatever concerns about immigration these two people had have been with then for some time. Does that mean that they were racists when they voted Labour?

    Let us await the response of the Minister responsible to whatever the LA have told him about this incident.

    Meanwhile, my thoughts are with the three children who-so far as i can tell, were happy & cared for, but who have been moved yet again-and split up to boot.

  9. @JIM JAM

    I don`t agree with you on `white kids` not being placed in racist households.They are plenty of happy,racist people out there and the concern for other kids is slightly far-fetched in my opinion.

    Prima facie,I would say UKIP foster-carers for EU immigrant kids raises concern and a ending a short-term placement is the safest way as the children have had not enough time to form attachments.Had the same situation happened two years later,I would support your course of action.

  10. I am puzzled at why this Rotherham case raises such passion. Many councils take the view that white children should not be placed with black foster carers and vice versa. This was obviously not the case here as carers and children were (as far as I know) white, but I suspect that the council approached the case in a similar way.

    Because many foster children are placed as emergencies ‘ethnic mismatches’ are more or less bound to occur and I suspect that councils differ in their willingness to move children from such placements. If they do move the children there is absolutely no implication that the foster carers from whom the children are taken are either racist or unfit to foster other children.

    Any decision to move children in such circumstances could of course be criticised on the grounds that they involve a move which is unsettling in itself and may lead to a change of school, disrupt relationships, lead to siblings being split up and so on. But these things are always a matter of balancing different factors and often of choosing the lesser of two evils. (If I had anything to do with the matter I would probably leave children where they are more often than may actually happen, but fortunately for me and the children I am not burdened with these responsibilities)

    So as I see it, Rotherham Council are wrong if they have overtly branded the couple as racist simply on the basis of their membership of UKIP.

    If they have not done this, they have probably balanced a number of factors and come to a decision which can certainly be criticised from some angle or another because such decisions always can. Whether or not they were on balance right can only be determined when we know much more about the facts than I at least do at the moment.

  11. There does seem to be some cavalier disregard for purdah about today’s immigration figures being released (apart from the highly misleading reporting of them).

    Looks like Lab will hold all the parliamentary seats but can’t see them setting the world on fire.

    if UKIP finish close to second in Rotherham…who is going to be most worried?

  12. If I start a newspaper today (the Weekly Nick) with a circulation of 3, at what point am I subject to whatever regulation is decided upon?

    How exactly can we tell the difference between a newspaper and, say, a comic or a magazine or a pamphlet?

  13. @NickP

    “There does seem to be some cavalier disregard for purdah about today’s immigration figures being released (apart from the highly misleading reporting of them).”

    Some part of the net reduction in immigration is due to an increase in the numbers emigrating. Maybe that’s the Coalition’s answer to reducing immigration; make it so bloody miserable in the country that more people want to leave and less people want to come!

    Osborne, you’re a genius! lol

  14. This made me laugh in the Grauniad:

    “The Press Association quotes this fair and balanced comment from Arnie Grundberg, 73, an American visiting Westminster today:

    We should have strict regulation of Rupert Murdoch but a free press for everyone else.

  15. Regulation of the print media is devolved to Scotland.

    Though none of them have seen the Leveson report yet, party leaders here have agreed to cross-party talks to seek a consensus approach.

  16. NickP – I thought you were younger, and less American ;)

  17. I bet that there is very little difference of opinion between Cameron and Clegg on press regulation. Clegg probably wants to get on with it, whereas Cameron may want a period to engage with the media, before any legislation is considered.

    I think regulation is right, but similar to OFCOM with TV stations, where it is independent to both politics and media.

  18. Anyone know when the rest of the world gets to see the Leveson Report?

    Bound to be some judgely tutt-tutting to give us a titter.

  19. It is supposed to go live on the inquiry website as soon as it is published – presumably when LJL turns up at his press conference

  20. NICKP

    Tune to BBC News. Leveson has turned up

  21. oh dear

    In its summary there was little criticism of individual politicians or media owners. But the political handling of News Corp’s BskyB bid was signled out, and while there was no evidence that Jeremy Hunt, the then culture secretary, displayed “actual bias” – the exchanges between his former special advioser Adam Smith and James Murdoch’s special adviser, Fred Michel, did give rise to “a perception of bias”.

    That’s a quote from the Ministerial Code, is it not? The perception of bias is a breach as much as evidence of actual bias would be.

    Dear dear dear.

  22. devonian i agree the timing when the rotheram case came out was very interesting to say the least.

  23. http://www.official-documents.gov.uk/document/hc1213/hc07/0780/0780.pdf

    Link to leveson report.

    From what I have heard of Leveson, seems very sensible to me and it what I had predicted.

  24. Fantastic quote showing the difficulties of the intersection of politics and economics

    “We all know what to do, we just don’t know how to get re-elected after we have done it.” – Jean-Claude Juncker

  25. My impression is that Leverson has nicely squared the circle. Under his proposals, the press will still be self-regulating, but the regulatory body will be subject to oversight and scrutiny. And any media outlet that does not join the regulatory club will be subject to higher potential penalties in the civil courts. So NickP will get to define for himself whether he comes under such regulation :-)

    And we already have Cameron gifting Miliband the high ground. How much brainlessness does it take to not see that rejecting Leverson’s rather mild recommendations for legislative backing for such an independent body is not going to go down well.

  26. It’s amusing to hear such support for free speech.

    If we believe in free speech, let’s enshrine that in a written constitution. Might discover it clashes rather violently with a few other laws that Governments are fond of.

  27. So far, Leveson’s findings on the press appear pretty damning, but his proposed solutions seem to avoid the trap of muzzling a free press. Much howling and nashing of teeth in Fleet Street and Wapping, but in the real world these proposals would seem eminently sensible and completely uncontroversial.

    Cameron’s initial response seems wayward. Perhaps this is the result of governments routinely losing touch with real people and real people’s lives, but as many have said, Leveson has made what appear to be a series of rather mild but potentially highly effective suggestions, that do not represent statutory regulation, and to apparently set himself against this, Cameron is probably going to be on the wrong side of the debate.

    @Robin – I’m not certain, but I understand that any publication not willing to sign up to the proposed oversight body will therefore be liable for regulation by Ofcom. That’s a neat move.

  28. My understanding is that Leveson proposes a regulatory body with a majority on non media people, and no serving editors. It would have the ability to set fines of £1m or 1% of turnover. This body would be established by statute, but would not be responsible to MPs.

    It really is interesting to see the reactions to such a mild proposal from our media and their friends in politics.

  29. Perhaps I have a skewed perception, as a grouchy old copper, but it seems to me that the vast majority of the “bad things” the national press have been accused of are actual criminal offences under existing law.

    Surely if we need anything, it’s a will to investigate and prosecute criminals working in the media, and perhaps a specialised “Media Crime Unit” to do so?

  30. Just caught up with this morning’s YG poll result. It all goes to prove that one should await two or three polls before jumping to conclusions about an apparent trend (EU summit ‘bounces’ in this case).

    A disinterested person is just as likely to have got the wrong end of the stick about UKIP and fostering as much as the right end of it. This, always assuming there is a right end and a wrong end in the first place.

  31. Neil A
    My thoughts exactly and I am all for job creation in the Met.

    :-)

  32. @NickP,

    “a perception of bias”

    Actually the phrase in the Ministerial Code is “Ministers must ensure that no conflict arises, or appears to arise, between their public duties and their private interests”.

    “Perception of bias” is a potential breach of the law on administration.

  33. Robin

    On the principle you quoted from the Code. Are you old enough to remember Ernest Marples?

  34. Guardian quickly had a headline “Cameron rejects” (Leveson) and was wondering if this was just them out on a limb but Telegraph seems to have followed suit with “Cameron defies”.

    I think he is in danger of getting caught up in some bad headlines (even if they come from the press who may not want more regulation!). The Guardian he can ignore but if it spreads then there are a lot of opportunities for Labour to exploit particularly his quote from yesterday about as long as it isn’t barmy he’d accept the report.

  35. @Howard,

    The name only rang a distant bell. But I’m young enough to google him. Not sure that ‘appearance’ comes into it!

  36. Amazed anyone bothers to discuss perceived rights or wrongs with regard to the Rotherham fostering. Detailed facts are required, which we will probably never be fully aware of, before non-professionals offer their “common-sense” opinion.

    I’ve no idea why anyone would want to be a social-worker – its an inadequately paid route to uninformed criticism.

  37. Some of the polls mentioned are telephone surveys. Now that everyone has a phone they might seem fairer than famous wrong phone polls of the past, but how is the fieldwork done? Many younger people have mobiles only, no landline. Equally many people have removed themselves from phone directories.

    Finally, are the people that are actually on the end of a landline (if landlines are what are surveyed) representative of the population. Won’t others be at work, or the pub?

    Any thoughts from those with current knowledge on this please?

  38. PAULCROFT

    To be fair, musicians can also be victims of “uninformed criticism”, and few of them are paid adequately.

  39. ‘If we believe in free speech, let’s enshrine that in a written constitution’

    Written constitution? Here?

  40. Paul Croft
    I may have contributed this before but will again for my new fans.

    From ‘The Wilmslow Boy’ where the father asks, having won his case, of his barrister, ‘the press are waiting outside, what shall I tell them?’.

    The barrister replies ‘say what you like, it will make no difference to what they print’.

  41. I really can’t see that leveson is any different from the solutions put forward in inquires since the early 80s, another dish of self control with a bit of grated independently appointed folk. And as Neil says when criminal things have happened then criminal proceedings should be taken, and that goes for all walks of life. Let’s have less of mis selling and call it what it is FRAUD, and instead of expenses mistakes, let’s call it what it is, FRAUD

  42. @ Alec (10.55)

    “but my central question was why does the British print media insist that regulation would be the end of the world, when the British TV industry, which is highly regulated, is seen as one of the best in the world and one of the most independent of government? ”

    Alec, Had never thought of this but I totally agree with your comment. The more I think about it, the more sense INDEPENDANT regulation makes. The only problem as I see it is that re TV, the companies have to provide unbiased coverage and most neutral observers would agree that this is generally achieved. Therefore, IMO regulation is fairly easy to achieve . However, most of the British press is biased in various ways and therefore it will probably be more difficult to regulate.

  43. Leveson did a classic establishment white wash job. The most damaging aspect of the whole ‘hackgate’ affair was the exposure of a seriously corrupt relationship between news international, the met police and the government. Leveson totally ducked that one.

    Meanwhile all the focus is on the nitpicking over the nature of the press regulation – allowing the wider scandal goes unnoticed.

  44. What I don’t understand is why we care about the freedom of the press when we don’t have any, they really are useless, anything more than 500 words and they are lost at sea. They are incapable of investigating an issue from more than one side and in depth analysis is what I would call a puddle. Folk keep talking about the death of print, the reason is quite clear cos they are totally useless. They don’t even cite their sources the way that the best internet journalists do

  45. From today’s reactions, it it clear that there is a parliamentary majority in favour of implementing Leveson’s recommendations. In those circumstances, Cameron’s reaction is not just wrong, but politically inept as well. The report’s recommendations will now be implemented, not through parliamentary consensus but following a great parliamentary battle. When Cameron turns out to be on the losing side, all of his opposition will have been to no effect, other than to expose himself to the wrath of one wronged victim of the press after another. Up to now, the victims of phone hacking have been speaking out against News International, but now I expect them to shift their sights to aim at Cameron.

  46. Tweet from Stephen Fry.

    “It would seem David Cameron’s address is no longer Number 10 Downing Street: it’s now Flat 2, Rupert Murdoch’s arse ”

    A bit harsh Stephen. Cameron is just not convinced to start legislating, as he does not understand the extent of the legislation that would be required to implement Levesons idea.

    Hopefully Cameron, Clegg and Miliband can find a way that enables Leveson to be implemented in full, as otherwise no one will be happy.

  47. (With apologies to Humbert Wolfe)

    “You cannot hope to bribe or twist, thank God! the British journalist. But, seeing what the man will do unbribed, there’s no occasion to. Because they’re s**t.”

    rgdsm

  48. Cameron is absolutely right to be against a legal aspect of regulation of the newspapers, if you believe in a free press even when it get’s things badly wrong,then the idea of politicians passing laws to restrict the press in reporting news is repugnant.
    There are more than enough laws against criminal wrong doing, the press in general can hardly be blamed because of the inept police investigation over phone hacking which should have led to much earlier prosecutions of those involved.
    I agree that the way the press are presently regulated
    needs to changed but not by a bunch of politicians many of which want the press castrated so there own wrong doing won’t be exposed in future.
    I realise this may not be a popular view on these pages, especially amongst those who support Millibands easy option populist approach, but at the end of the day the Leveson enquiry findings are for advice that the government can implement in full or not and a politician who see’s the danger in passing laws to restrict the press even if unpopular should be applauded.

  49. @RiN – “And as Neil says when criminal things have happened then criminal proceedings should be taken, and that goes for all walks of life.”

    The problem is that many of the ‘offences’ of the press are not criminal – we have no privacy laws to speak of here – so the worst cases cannot be punished through legal recourse. You then have the issue of civil law, which is the basis for libel. In these cases, you need to be very rich indeed to gain access to legal redress, so again, existing legal protections are sparse for ordinary people caught by the baying press.

    This is why the PCC is meant to protect people, but it doesn’t. It’s judgements are ignored, and are often lenient anyway.

    Also @RiN – “What I don’t understand is why we care about the freedom of the press when we don’t have any, they really are useless, anything more than 500 words and they are lost at sea……. Folk keep talking about the death of print, the reason is quite clear cos they are totally useless.”

    Quite so. Only today I’ve seen the Telegraph reporting that ‘the coldest winter for 100 years’ could be on the way. They say this – “The forthcoming cold snap, caused by clear skies and northerly winds, could herald the start of a freezing winter. There are reports that temperatures could fall as low as -20°c in some areas in December and January. ”

    They don’t say who said this, or offer any reasoned explanation as to why they are reporting this.

    Having researched 4 separate long range weather forecasters after a 5 minute google search, I can confirm that no one is forecasting ‘the coldest winter for 100 years’ or temperatures of -20C in January.

    They are predicting a winter that is slightly colder and drier than average, with occasional colder spells in December, with disrupted westerly flows, and an enhanced probability for extended periods of blocking highs and northerly airflows from early/mid January.

    Elsewhere in the Telegraph, Dan Hodges has written that Cameron has ‘skillfully outmanoeuvered’ Milliband over Leveson. Bit odd, given the reactions so far, and I wonder if he will still be saying that during the court cases, with Cameron still appearing to side with the press while the charges are read out.

  50. R Huckle

    If you substitute David Cameron for Stephen Fry and Rupert Murdoch for Ed Milliband that would be nearer the truth as far as Mr Fry is concerned.
    Although I’m sure Ed wouldn’t be a consenting adult just to be fair.

1 2 3 4 5 9