This week’s YouGov poll for the Sunday Times is CON 33%, LAB 45%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 8%. The climb of UKIP support into the mid-teens that has been appearing in other online polls doesn’t appear to be replicated in the daily YouGov polls. The rest of the poll dealt with immigration, gay marriage, the royal baby prank call and teachers’ pay.

Two thirds of people (67%) think that levels of immigration into Britain over the last decade have been bad the country, compared to 11% who think it has been good for Britain. 80% say they support David Cameron’s stated intention to reduce net immigration to the “tens of thousands”, although there is very little confidence in his ability to deliver it (only 15% think it is very or fairly likely he will deliver the pledge). On the specifics of foreign students, 50% of people think they have a positive effect on Britain compared to only 15% who think they have a negative impact. Despite this 53% people think they should be included in the immigration figures, only 40% think they should be excluded. Finally on the subject of immigration, people are evenly split on whether British companies should discriminate towards British workers – 45% think they should, 47% think they should not.

People support gay marriage by 56% to 36% who are opposed, pretty typical of YouGov’s previous polling on the subject. There are the same demographic patterns that we’ve seen in other polling on the subject – women are more supportive of gay marriage than men, and young people are MUCH more supportive than over 60s. Asked if David Cameron should continue with the proposed changes in the face of opposition from some Conservative MPs the figures were very similar – 51% think he should continue regardless, 36% think he should abandon the policy.

There is very little perception that supporting gay marriage will help the Conservatives electorally. Only 9% think it will help them, 17% damage them, 66% think it will make no difference (needless to say, people’s perception of whether it will help or hurt the Conservatives is not necessarily the same as whether it will. Polling on how policies directly affect voting intention is extremely dubious, but what there is suggests it is very much a case of swings and roundabouts – they lose about the same as they gain). Asked how they would react to their own son or daughter being gay, 63% of people say they would be very or fairly comfortable with it. 17% say they would be fairly uncomfortable, 8% very uncomfortable.

On the Royal Baby prank call 67% of people think that the Australian radio station should take some or a lot of blame for the suicide of the nurse who took the prank call. However, they are fairly evenly split over whether the DJs responsible should be sacked – 39% think they should be, 43% think they should not. 61% think that the offer of AUS$500,000 to a memorial fund to the nurse’s family is the right way to make amends, compared to only 24% who think there should be greater compensation or people should pay with their jobs. More generally, 50% think that similar prank calls should not be allowed in the future, 41% think they are harmless as long as they are done responsibly.

Finally people continue to narrowly support the existing arrangements for teachers pay over more performance related pay (by 48% to 43%). Asked about the role of teaching unions, 26% think that they are an obstacle to reform and that the government are right to take a hard line, 45% think that the government should listen to them more (28% say don’t know or neither). 31% of people would support a ban on teachers taking strike action.

204 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 33, LAB 45, LD 9, UKIP 8”

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  1. If people missed the BBC2 programme on the financial crisis in Spain, it is well worth watching.

    It shows how Spain in 2008 were saying that their banking system was probably the most robust and they did not have the same problems as elsewhere in the world. But then they suddenly realised how much debt they really had, with all the building projects grinding to a halt, with workers losing their jobs. Many of these people have are now living on no income at all or very little. In Spain benefits are limited to 2 years.

  2. The point Clegg makes that the LDs are a counterweight to the draconian Tory right is disingenuous, particularly when he desribes the direction in which they could have pulled a majority Tory Govt.

    The whole point is that effectively the whole country knew all that in 2010, which is precisely why they DIDN’T elect one.

    The only issue he has a right to discuss is whether it was better for the UK for them to allow a minority Tory Govt, in which case they could have overturned all legislation they disapproved of if Labour and minority parties agreed, or whether an agreed coalition programme was preferable to that level of uncertainty.

    When politicians argue on a false premise I lose respect and turn off.

  3. Apparently the Queen will attend tomorrows Cabinet meeting at No.10, as an observer only. Prince Phliip is not attending. It is to mark her diamond anniversary and is the first time the head of state has attended Cabinet since Queen Victoria.

    I should imagine that Prince Philip was not invited, just in case he told them what a bunch of second class time wasters they were and couldn’t they use the time to actually do something that benefited the country.


    That’s amazing!

    Let’s hope the Democrats are disciplined enough to formulate and stick to an orderly reform programme in CA.


    It would be fun if she smashed into the room SAS style to hand deliver the Acts of Attainder. :-)

  6. Does it cost more to means test pensioners to cut winter fuel, travel and other allowances than is saved?

    How much is it costing to identify higher rate taxpayers whose partners receive child benefit?

    Surely it is better to leave universal benefits alone and just up basic rate tax? Far more efficient.

  7. @NICKP

    I would also keep universal benefits and benefit rises in line with inflation. To pay for this I would increase the 40% tax rate as this seems to be the easiest and fairest way to raise money.

    I completely support an increase in the minimum wage – if they are serious about ‘making work pay’ then we need higher wages.

  8. Nick:

    Common sense says that the less you have to do at national level in terms of credits, benefits, means testing etc etc, the better, not least in terms of time, efficiency and cost.

    Another strong argument for decent pensions, living wages and taxing richer people more in return for not clawing any of the above back or taxing it.

    Both parties have screwed this up over decades.

  9. If you have universal child benefit and you also increase the 40% tax rate. Most families will probably break even but richer families lose out.

    That has the same effect as the mad complicated scheme of means testing child benefit the gov, has come up with.

    Plus we get some extra cash from people without dependent children – which if they are a 40% tax payer with no dependents then they can probably afford it.

  10. Polls so often just seem like they are checking on the success of a propaganda line being pushed.

    Why should there be a poll on teachers pay? Nothing to do with the general punter, is it?

    It’s an issue between the employer and employee. Sadly, the govt has chosen to continue the bi-partisan habit of using all aspects of education as a political football.

    Hardly any of them, and certainly none of the recent education secretaries, with the exception of Estelle Morris, seem to have any real interest in education at all.

  11. Why not simply make universal benefits taxable?

    In fact, one could make a whole raft of means-tested benefits into universal benefits, and then tax them back for the higher paid by increasing tax rates or decreasing tax thresholds.

    The problem there, of course, is that all those entitled to the benefits would actually get them. The amount of unclaimed entitlements is staggering.

  12. @ Amber

    Largely unaccountable then? Every five years most of the electorate just vote the same as usual, and it generally requires the MP’s party to take action before said MP is replaced.

    Are they being scrutinised on a performance related level on a day to day basis, as most employees are?

    Of course not. What scrutiny there is, is mostly from the media, and will focus on the big story, rather than the day to day practices of MPs.

  13. @PC

    Morality has nothing to do with it. It’s an economic issue. Taking that argument further, we should all give our money to an African country racked with poverty. Not very practical, despite being very moral.

    I asked for Oldnat to provide some, rather than keep calling for evidence on what is a simple common sense affordability issue.

    “people offer it and you then come back with your differing opinions based on je ne sais quoi.”

    I think you mean “je ne pas compri”. I think you need to hone your French.

  14. I should imagine that Prince Philip was not invited, just in case he told them what a bunch of second class time wasters they were and couldn’t they use the time to actually do something that benefited the country.

    -After all He worked so hard to get to His position of responsibility.

    It is humiliating enough having a non elected head of state and clergy as part of our parliament without them participating in the actual governance of the country.

  15. SG:

    Perhaps you need to hone your reading


    “leaving aside morality” indicates that was NOT part of my argument as morality is subjective.

    Your point therefore about Africa is what exactly?

    Je suis tres heureux avec my French ta very much.

  16. @Amber / Oldnat / PC

    Last post on this subject, regardless of replies since previous or replies after. I don’t like partisan debate any more than Anthony, and try to avoid it most of the time. What’s more, I don’t want this (or any) thread to get too off topic .

    From my perspective, I postulated an idea that the minimum wage costs may have been hidden in the boom of the late 90s / early noughties and that the government of the time increased public sector employment, which may (or may not) have hidden some of the negative employment statistics that might have arisen from the minimum wage.

    It wasn’t fact. It wasn’t fiction. It was theory.

    In my opinion, debate is where people with opposing viewpoints state their views for the purpose of a good-natured exchange of views, occasionally for the purpose of coming to a conclusion.

    I have no memory of the leaders in the leadership debates demanding proof of each other’s debating points (did they actually debate anything, so much as each sell their manifestos?). I have never been asked for proof of theory in other debating situations, as said participants appreciate it’s theory or opinion.

    The Internet has become a place where some ‘demand proof’ of another’s statement, as if a wiki link or other unsubstantiated source proves anything. At no time did I say the minimum wage was bad or wrong, or did I suggest that wages should be low/lower (contrary to one post suggesting I did).

    I maintain that governments should not interfere with market forces, other than to prevent illegal practices, such as slavery, theft, and the other obvious ones. A minimum wage is not a bad thing in itself, but it has to be carefully controlled. If not, we run the risk of serious economic issues. If that were not the case, then why not set the minimum wage to £20ph? That figure, like many others is not economically viable, and that’s the crux of my point.

    None of this requires evidence, statistical methodology or substantiation from others. It’s plain common sense.

    All of this is my perspective. If your perspective differs, fair enough, but don’t worry about it. If we’re all going to go down the line of demanding evidence from each other when one puts forward a point of view, then I hope we all have our Harvard referencing skills up to speed and our list of links ready.

    Or we could just accept that it’s an Internet forum. :)

  17. Clegg manages to get on the News without a (e.g. the USA school massacre) story swamping him but will anyone listen?

    Would it be better for LD VI if they did not catch any of it?

    I suppose the poll result announced on Wed morning will tell us. I predict it will shew no effect whatsoever.


    Very well put and the most sensible post I have seen on this site for some time. As you say it is just an internet forum.

  19. @MIKEMS

    The current Education Secretary has quite clear views on Education which he is putting into policy, you may not like his views but he certainly seems very focused to me and many other observers on the right.

  20. @ Statgeek

    Without wishing to be a bore, I think you were the first to complain about intuitive rather than evidential debate regarding the Living Wage. You said:

    “I haven’t read any facts by those opposing to my posts. Just criticism.”

    I myself hadn’t read any facts from you, just criticism but I didn’t call you on it! I am always happy to trade ideas & opinions as opposed to facts so I’m genuinely glad you’ve revised your position regarding this.

  21. @Statgeek, @PaulCroft

    Cough, cough.

    “ce que je ne comprends pas”


    I’ll get me coat.


  22. Is Tim Montgomery influential? Here’s his advice to David Cameron on the politics of UKIP & the EU:

    He [David Cameron] must commit to serious renegotiation as part of his desire to stay an EU member. He must, however, promise an In/Out referendum that will empower him in those renegotiations and put a lid on UKIP. He must introduce legislation for a referendum in this parliament even if it is scheduled for the next.
    I think a promised in/out referendum in the next parliament would galvanise UKIP rather than put a lid on them. To be effective, it needs to be in this parliament & I think it’s probably too late now.

    Anthony, technically speaking, would an in/out referendum be possible by e.g. the same day as the Scottish referendum is expected to take place?


    Excellent post and one for the pie charts. ;)

    Yeah I have often been asked to back up facts etc on this website when all I was doing was giving my opinion which obviously upset some who have strong links to political parties.

    This phenomenon is compounded by the mass hyperventilating and puffing at the keyboard by the unnamed person/person’s so much so he/she must think I could damage the parties credibility and election prospects.

    Anyway…”The Internet has become a place where some ‘demand proof’ of another’s statement, as if a wiki link or other unsubstantiated source proves anything”

    Wiki can’t be trusted….oh no because anyone with an account can modify the data and it’s not always disputed.

    Ie, I changed China’s location to Latin America.. ;)

  24. Living wage it’s all just words and pretty meaningless words at that.
    This years living wage is next years minimum wage no doubt there are many companies that can afford to pay there workers more but there are equally many that can’t.
    To impose a artificial rate or put it forward as a aspiration regardless of companies or the tax payer ability to pay is senseless as it only leads to people being laid off and a increased tax burden for everybody else.
    Of course is does have a benefit for a opposition party as it appears you want to increase pay for the less well off without having any of the fiscal problems of actually achieving what you say.
    I know this sounds cynical and it is but no more cynical than putting forward suggestions to appeal to low pay workers that won’t appear in any policy.

  25. Amber – technically speaking (as opposed to politically speaking) then yes, definitely. The current legislation on referendums needs 6 weeks or so for a referendum campaign, though in practice you’d need at least a few months between legislation and referendum. Add six months for the legislation setting it up to go through, you’ve still got plenty of time.

    As a good rule of thumb, the legislation for the AV referendum was very close to the wire because it got caught up in the Lords with the Electoral Commission warning that it may not get passed in time for the referendum to go ahead on the planned date. That finally got royal assent on Feb 11th 2011, the referendum was the start of May, so I think it’s fair to say that in practice you need to get legislation enabling a referendum passed at least 10 weeks before the referendum date.

  26. Amber

    Wouldn’t making an EU referendum coincident with the EU elections be more appropriate? :-)

  27. @ Anthony

    Thank you.

    I hope they just go for it in this parliament; that would mean there’d be loads of polling for it & lots to discuss.

  28. @Turk
    “Living wage it’s all just words and pretty meaningless words at that”
    From that I take it that you’re not yourself trying to scrape a living on the minimum wage. You wouldn’t be saying it if you were.

  29. @Amber

    “Is Tim Montgomery influential?”

    I wouldn’t think so, he’s a disgraced 1970s US athlete. I think you mean Tim Montgomerie :-)

    He seems to have acquired that reputation, but as far as I can tell his standing is largely on the basis of running a well-read website, not on the basis of being either representative or sensible.

    His close ties with IDS, and involvement in the Centre for Social Justice [sic] and the Conservative Christian Fellowship would tend to indicate a rather narrow ideology, and don’t inspire any confidence in his political acumen.

  30. @Amber

    On the timing of a referendum, it doesn’t have to be in this parliament. What matters is that a preferred date is set before the end of this parliament. If Cameron, Miliband or whoever made a manifesto “pledge” that a referendum on EU membership would be held on (say) 31st October 2017, and even set the terms of the in/out question, it would be just about politically impossible for a majority government to go back on it. And it would also have the benefit of extracting maximum leverage in the preceding negotiations, so long as the main players in the EU still want the UK and its net budget contributions to remain part of the club.

  31. SG:

    Mea culpa: when you said 90% of MPs etc I thought you really MEANT that figure and had based it on the productivity and output you had mentioned – which I had also wrongly assumed you had felt was measurable somehow. My central disagreement is with that ludicrously high, unsubstantiated figure.

    Re evidence etc Amber has dealt with that quite well I think.


  32. @ Old Nat

    Wouldn’t making an EU referendum coincident with the EU elections be more appropriate?
    Sure; I was thinking that the extra two or three months might be needed to organise the EU referendum but it seems not.

    Of course, if the vote was on the same day & Scotland votes to stay in the UK & the EU is close for in & the Scottish votes basically decide for the UK that it is staying in, that would be fun!

    On the other hand, if Scotland votes for independence & to stay in, but the rest of the UK vote to come out, then Scotland can have the UK’s membership which will save a great deal of inconvenience… & cue Martyn, telling me it couldn’t possibly work like that! :-)

  33. martyn

    I’ll see you out.

    Its very un-English to speak or write forrun properly.

  34. @ Robin

    I wouldn’t think so, he’s a disgraced 1970s US athlete.
    :Oops: (in days of yore, that would’ve been a wee, blushing smiley thing)

  35. Robin –

    “largely on the basis of running a well-read website”

    And your problem with that? ;)

  36. I feel somewhat uncomfortable at the amount of coverage given to the death and funeral[s] of the nurse who committed suicide recently since it is clearly based soley on a link to royalty.

    It was certainly tragic but there are equal and far worse tragedies many times each day – witness the recent death of ten Afghan children in a bomb explosion which they had no choice in.

    Things just should not appear to matter more for such a reason in my view.

  37. Amber

    I’m sure that Martyn wouldn’t be so ungallant! :-)

    Incidentally, have you seen the new Nurofen advert?

    ‘Nurofen and your family. Better together’ :-)

  38. The Europe ref can’t be announced before the Scots independence vote because one of the major planks of the no campaign is Scotland being thrown out of Europe, as soon as the Europe ref is announced that plank is shot to peices. Of course that won’t stop Alex from praying every night that DC will be forced into it

  39. @Howard
    Can I suggest (genuinely, I’m not trying to be partisan) that the main effect of any presence for Clegg on the news nowadays is just to get the backs up of an awful lot of people other than those inclined to the right. Personally I share Paul Croft’s annoyance at his latest pronouncement, for the reasons that Paul expressed. Cameron and Osborne are where they are thanks to Clegg’s choice to put them there and that’s the start and finish of it.

  40. Re. the opinion/fact/somewhere in between issue:

    I’m sure Anthony can explain better than me but, as I understand it, he doesn’t approve of posters saying “I think this” and others replying “Well, I think that” and, as I wrote before it doesn’t get us anywhere anyway.

    Facts are not always easy to obtain or follow and can say different things to different people. But to suggest that os therefore an excuse for not at least trying to base SUBjective opinions on OBjective facts leads to what we have just had – sterile debate.

    I listened to an in-depth radio programme recently on the living wage [which is supported by Boris, IDS, many major companies and local authorities etc etc] In the main it seemed to come out with a very positive rating based on real interviews with people in positions of power and responsibility. One of the [email protected] main benefits was a much reduced turnopver of staff.

    Sorry to complicate the issue with information…..saying its just words is a lot easier I know.

  41. Phil:

    That’s the most sensible post I’ve read here in a long time [rofl etc etc]


  42. @ Old Nat

    Incidentally, have you seen the new Nurofen advert?
    I haven’t…

    ‘Nurofen and your family. Better together’
    I think it would depend how many Nurofen & which member(s) of my family they had in mind!

  43. Paul

    Such mutual backslapping might be better indulged at Eurovision. There are some vacancies this year. I’ll vote for you if you vote for me.

  44. @ RiN

    The Europe ref can’t be announced before the Scots independence vote because one of the major planks of the no campaign is Scotland being thrown out of Europe…
    Yes, that’s another reason why I thought it might be held on the same day as the Scottish referendum, rather than on the EU election day.

  45. Phil:

    I’d be too good for eurovision.

    You might be alright though so I shall vote for you

  46. @AW, everone

    Sorry to butt in, but can someone tell me what has happened to the smilies; Ive been away a while, and I do worry about these things (Yes, I do need to get out more) :-)

  47. Speaking of a living wage – does anybody know if there’s any polling on it?

    Doing a relatively quick search, I can’t find anything on it, but I’m sure someone is more skilled at finding these things than I am.

    It’d also be interesting if there were polling on a more complex view of things (much like the increasing tax on the wealthy polling by YouGov) –
    There should be, given three variables, six answers to properly judge views on living wage.
    The three variables being: Would/n’t support a living wage, Thinks a living wage would be economically beneficial/destructive, Answer to the first if hypothetically wrong about the second.

    I suspect, like the questions about higher taxes, there’d be those who would support a living wage even if it’s net effect on the economy was negative or oppose it even if it’s net effect was positive.
    But you can’t tell if someone’s view is ideological (I’d support it anyway) or pragmatic (I would support it if it worked) without asking them about it.

  48. andyo

    They are off on their xmas hols and seem to be enjoying it very much.

  49. ANDYO

    A number of have raised the question – but answer came there none.

    Personally, I think that Anthony has transmogrified into brutal dictatorship, and may have insisted that the Border Agency withdraw Santa’s visa.

    Had he withdrawn everyone else’s Visa, of course, there would be much less debt in the economy.

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