This week’s results for the YouGov/Sunday Times poll are online here. Topline voting intention stands at CON 32%, LAB 43%, LDEM 12%, UKIP 9% – so very much in line with the typical YouGov Labour lead of about 10 points. There’s no sign of any remaining effect from the EU referendum pledge here.

Horsemeat

Almost three quarters of people blame food manufacturers (26%) or meat processors (46%) the most for the horsemeat scandal, rather than retailers (11%) or the government (6%). While a majority of people think that there is more the government could be doing to keep the food chain secure, broadly speaking the government is seen to have handled the horsemeat scandal well – 47% say they have handled it well, 39% badly.

68% of people do not think there is any actual health risk from horsemeat getting into the food chain and 37% say that, if it was properly sourced, they would be prepared to eat horsemeat.

Relatively few people say that they will substantially change their behaviour as a result of the horsemeat scandal – only 5% say they might change which supermarket they use to they buy their groceries, only 13% that they will reduce the amount of meat or beef that they will buy. However, a third of people say that they will reduce the amount of *processed* meat they will buy. In reality all these are likely to be gross overestimates: it is much easier to say in a survey that you will change your behaviour than it is to do so in real life – in practice most people will probably continue as usual.

Eastern European Immigration

On the general principle of the freedom to work and live anywhere within the European Union, 33% of people think it is a good thing, 56% a bad thing.

On balance immigration from western European countries like France and Germany is seen as a positive thing (39% think it has had a positive effect on Britain, 16% a negative effect, 31% neither). Immigration from Eastern Europe and from outside the European Union are both seen as having had a negative effect on Britain by a majority of respondents.

70% of people think that the rules on immigration into Britain from the EU should be tougher, almost the same as the 73% who think the rules on immigration into Britain from outside the EU should be tougher. On the specifics of the extension of the right to live and work across the EU to Bulgarian and Romanian citizens, 20% of people think there is no problem with this and Britain should welcome them, 19% think it will have a negative impact on Britain but we have no choice but to meet our legal obligations, 48% think Britain should limit the right of Bulgarian and Romanian citizens to live and work in Britain, even if it means breaking the law.

Foxes

There is little support for fox hunting being legalised. Only 23% want to see the ban lifted, compared to 65% who would like it to remain. This includes 50% of Conservative voters.

29% of people who describe the area they live in as “urban” say the number of foxes in their local area has increased in recent years, but the overwhelming majority, 92%, say that they have never been attacked or felt threatened by a fox. Nevertheless there is significant minority support for a cull of urban foxes – 38% would support a cull, but 41% would oppose it.

Long term care and inheritance tax

52% of people say they support the government’s plans on capping the cost of long term with only 21% opposed. 50% of people say that it is right that the plans to reduce inheritance tax were shelved to fund the long term plans, 26% would rather they had been funded in some other way.

Asked a straight choice of whether they’d prefer inheritance tax to be reduced, or the cost of long term care to be reduced, far more people choose the later – 57% to 18%. This is particularly the case for older voters, people over the age of 60 say they would prefer a cut to long term care costs over a reduction in inheritance tax by 66% to 13%

Workfare

Finally, 76% of people support the principle of withdrawing benefits from unemployed people who refuse to work. On the more specific recent court case, 55% of people think the government should be able to withdraw benefits from unemployed people who refuse to do unpaid work experience, 34% think they should not.


361 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 32, LAB 43, LD 12, UKIP 9”

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  1. Living in an Urban Area but having been brought up some of the time on a farm I have never felt “threatened” by a Fox in Fact our two cats seem on very friendly terms with the local Canidae population.

    We have quite a plethora of local nocturnal urban wild life , now sadly made less visible as our Local authority has decided to plunge all the residential roads into darkness at mid night. Great idea for an areas which has had 4 murders at night in the last few years.

    However , I do recall before the lack of illumination on hearing the sounds of rustling outside the window I looked out to see if it was some of our local pond life engaged in their normal behaviour to be confronted by the view of a Badger eating a Kebab!

  2. Anthony, general question. As the boundary review for 2015 is no more, what’s happening to the provisional boundaries swingometer? It’s a bit out of date as it stands.

  3. Howard asked, on the previous thread for immigration questions which asked “what sort of” .

    This Poll seems to have responded :-

    French & Germans -positive.

    Everyone else-negative.

  4. CN-S – I expect I’ll take it away at some point.

  5. 2 % couldn’t remember if they had ever felt threatened or been attacked by a fox ?

    Surely the answer to this then is no, they had neither been attacked nor felt threatened since either scenario would usually have created a profound fear attached that they would be unforgettable ?

  6. In Bromley, we have a number of foxes during the day and at night. But people leave them be as they areot.a threat to them.

    As for urban/rural, the centre of Bomley like many parts on the outskirks of London is a town area but only 2 miles or so from the countryside. Talk of “urban” foxes in Bromley therefore is probably taking a few liberties.

  7. Poll preamble :
    “This week the court of Appeal ruled that the government’s policy of forcing some unemployed people to do periods of unpaid
    work experience or risk losing the benefits was
    illegal.”

    The word “experience” is important and I wonder what the response would be to a question without this word?

  8. Arent these all rather “so long as it affects someone other than me”?

    Isnt that a problem with all these type of questions?

    For instance, those who say its ok having to work 40 hours with no pay other dole money. Would they say that if it affected them? Or one of their family? I suspect not.

  9. I remember on previous posts about immigration I was scorned as my view was in the minority and told to take the “hint” that my view is not one largely held.

    It’s good to see that has been proven false and that while I may be in the minority view on this site that I am in the majority when it comes to the public at large. Although I expect many on here won’t have the Cahonies to debate it further.

    On the general principle of the freedom to work and live anywhere within the European Union, 56% say its a bad thing.
    AGREE

    On balance immigration from western European countries like France and Germany is seen as a positive thing (39% think it has had a positive effect on Britain,
    AGREE

    Immigration from Eastern Europe and from outside the European Union are both seen as having had a negative effect on Britain by a majority of respondents.
    AGREE

    70% of people think that the rules on immigration into Britain from the EU should be tougher,
    AGREE

    73% who think the rules on immigration into Britain from outside the EU should be tougher.
    AGREE

    On the specifics of the extension of the right to live and work across the EU to Bulgarian and Romanian citizens, 48% think Britain should limit the right of Bulgarian and Romanian citizens to live and work in Britain, even if it means breaking the law.
    AGREE (ok its not quite a majority but its almost there and when excluding dont knows is majority.

  10. It just goes to prove that it’s the majority of posters on this site that are out of touch with the public and not myself.

  11. “It just goes to prove that it’s the majority of posters on this site that are out of touch with the public and not myself.”
    As someone on the far-left who ideologically wants to abolish borders, I wouldn’t necessarily think being out of touch with the public is a bad thing. ;)

    Whether politicians should worry about it is another thing – given the rise of UKIP, perhaps politicians should start to take more notice and it’s probably something they need to address with something more substantial than saying, ‘It’s something that we need to address’.

  12. @ Ozwald

    I agree; it is not work “experience”. It is not even work “experience” for people who haven’t worked before – because part of work experience is the experience of being paid at least minimum wage to do a job (unless you are doing an apprenticeship, in which case apprentice rates & conditions apply).

  13. Leaving aside the mis-spelling of the Spanish word cojones and its dreadful male, sexist connotations I can only concur that the majority of posters on this site are, indeed, “out of touch” with MinM.

  14. “Immigration from Eastern Europe and from outside the European Union are both seen as having had a negative effect on Britain by a majority of respondents.
    AGREE”

    Except when they want a cleaner, plumber, builder, electrician etc.

  15. The idea that one should smugly measure one’s credentials against a “majority” view in opinion polls, which often produce knee-jerk, un-thought through responses,[see “pumbers” etc above] is rather odd in my view.

    “I must be right ‘cos other people concur” doesn’t quite do it for me.

  16. “pumbers”

    …………… and pLumbers an’all.

  17. Just seen the news in Eastleigh, clearly Labour want the libs to win this.

    Sadiq Khan basically admitted they had picked a joke candidate. Probably hoping lefty voters would continue to vote tactically for the libs so the Tories don’t gain a seat.

    Largely Eastleigh will be a non event.

    Libs will maintain their seat and say wow look we’re not hated after all, its so rare for a governing party to keep a seat we must be doing it right.

    Cons will say, we didnt expect to win this seat, its very liberal governing parties never pick up seats at by elections but actually we’ve done well and maintained a close second.

    Labour will say, look we’ve gained X(probably under 10)% this proves we are growing in the south (it really doesn’t)

    Finally Ukip will say look we’ve gained X(probably under 10)% this proves we are growing and starting to be taken seriously (it really doesn’t)

  18. Somebody help me square this circle, please. Pollster asks respondent these series of questions; “What do you think of the government’s handling of the horsemeat scandal” , Respondent:” Not the Government’s fault and they’re bang on the money in the way they’ve handled it. Bravo I say.” “What do you the think of the Government’s attempt to limit Bulgarians and Romanians coming here?” Respondent: “Absolutely right to do so and I agree with them that the current regulations are far too lax”. “What do you think of the Governments proposals on long term care and inheritance tax?” Respondent: “I think they’ve got it broadly right.”. “What do you think of the workfare proposals?”. Respondent:” Smack on the money again, in my view. People shouldn’t refuse work and keep their benefits”.

    Hmmm, so far so very good for the Government, apparently. Then, people are asked what they think of the Government’s performance generally and how would they vote if there was a General Election tomorrow. Wait a minute, what’s this I see? 58% disapproved of the Government’s performance and only 26% approved and 43% said they’d vote Labour if there was a GE tomorrow as opposed to only 32% who’d vote Tory. Can’t be right, surely because, looking at all the sub question responses, this must be one of the most popular governments of all time. A veritable people’s movement sweeping through the corridors of Whitehall!

    As one of my favourite old TV characters used to say, I’m just a confused old Hector sometimes! lol

  19. Crossbat

    It’s the economy stupid.

  20. Crossbat – I’m sure you must be asking a rhetorical question, given you’ll been reading and commenting here for long enough to know the answers!

    Things like horsemeat aren’t salient, they don’t effect peoples votes, things like the economy do. Immigration and welfare might for some people… but they are both very dicey for the Conservatives, people think the Conservatives are doing badly on immigration anyway, and while people agree with the party on immigration and welfare, they also risk confirming negative perceptions about the party’s attitudes towards immigrants and the less well off… so they need to tread very carefully.

  21. @MiM

    “It’s the economy stupid.”

    I trust you’re just repeating the Clinton election team’s old mantra and not calling me stupid! lol

    By the way, you seem very sure about what’s going to happen in Eastleigh, why it is going to happen and what the implications are for all the parties. A question for you; who do you think deserves to win?

  22. Puzzling isn’t it CB11. ?

    Something to cling onto for us poor Con. supporters though.

  23. @Anthony

    You’re right, they were rhetorical, slightly tongue-in-cheek, questions although the subtext to them is my mild bemusement why the responses to these polling sub questions are given such prominence. I don’t think a lot of them are worth the paper they’re written on, to be honest, and I agreed entirely with your comment on a previous thread about how often they are framed tendentiously.

  24. CB11

    Correction after reading AW’s reminder.

    Something to cling on to for us poor Deluded Con. supporters.

  25. “who do you think deserves to win?”

    Well that can be taken as 2 different questions based on who I think you mean by who?

    If I were to say which PARTY deserves to win, then I think the NHA would be a good pick as it would turn the bi election from being a non event giving all 4 main parties the chance to pat themselves on the back, to a chance to actually send them a message that we don’t like what either party has done to the NHS, Labour beginning the privatization process, and the collation for continuing on.

    However if by “who do you think deserves to win” you mean the actual individual candidates themselves then I must say I don’t know who deserves it more. I think the Labour candidates comments were inexcusable even in jest so I can rule him out, but as for the others, I honestly can’t say which would deserve it more as I don’t know them or how hard they are striving for this.

  26. And yes I was just quoting Bill not actually insulting you!

  27. MiM
    If the LibDem vote falls substantially and the Tories still don’t take the seat, Cameron will be under even more pressure to push to the right (to regain UKIP voters) and the LibDems will feel much more secure in challenging the Tories. That puts Cameron in a very awkward situation and potentially shifts the balance of power.

    The best thing for the coalition, as far as maintaining the status-quo, would be for the Tories to win – the LibDems would get a jail-out-of-free card in blaming Chris Huhne and everything continues comfortably.

  28. Howard asked, on the previous thread for immigration questions which asked “what sort of”. This Poll seems to have responded:
    French & Germans – positive.
    Everyone else – negative.
    ———————
    “Everyone else – negative.” IMO, This is over-reaching (or perhaps facetiousness).

    The following countries are in the European Economic Area:
    Austria
    Belgium
    Bulgaria
    Cyprus
    Czech Republic
    Denmark
    Estonia
    Finland
    France
    Germany
    Greece
    Hungary
    Iceland
    Republic of Ireland
    Italy
    Latvia
    Liechtenstein
    Lithuania
    Luxembourg
    Malta
    The Netherlands
    Norway
    Poland
    Portugal
    Romania
    Slovakia
    Slovenia
    Spain
    Sweden
    UK
    Swiss nationals have many of the same rights as EEA nationals.

    Tick all nationalities who should NOT be able to live or work in the UK (remember reciprocity applies i.e. UK citizens would NOT be permitted to live & work in the countries which you have selected).

  29. @Steve – “We have quite a plethora of local nocturnal urban wild life , now sadly made less visible as our Local authority has decided to plunge all the residential roads into darkness at mid night. Great idea for an areas which has had 4 murders at night in the last few years.”

    You might be interested to know that there is a small but growing body of research (including work done by the Home Office here, but also data from Sweden and a couple of inner city studies from the US) that showed crime rises with improved street lighting.

    Burglaries are particularly prone to increase with better lighting, but from memory one of the studies was looking at street attacks and found lighting was a contributing factor in these as well.

    While counter intuitive, in many ways this stands to reason. Criminals need to be able to see, attackers need to select their victims, so lighting will help them. Lighting also creates shadows to hide in. During my highly urban upbringing I was far happier walking through unlit areas as I felt far less visible and vulnerable, but persuading people to feel safer in the dark is a difficult thing to do.

  30. AMBER

    An accurate summation of the OP findings I thought .

    ie :-

    On balance, do you think immigration into Britain from the following areas has had a positive or negative effect on Britain?
    From Western European countries, such as France and Germany.

    Net positive 23

    From Eastern European countries, such as Poland or Lithuania

    Net negative 33

    From countries outside the European Union, such as India and Pakistan.

    Net negative 30

  31. Edinburgh’s Newtown has long had faux authentic street lighting (yes, that’s an oxymoron but I can’t think of a better way to describe it).

    You need night vision goggles or a torch. Not to protect you from crime, I hasten to add, but so that you don’t misjudge our idiosyncratic kerbs, cobbles & the (frankly dire) pavements, roadwork signs etc., all of which make roamin’ in the gloamin’ akin to negotiating an obstacle course!

  32. Who would have thought that frogs were so popular??

  33. @ Colin

    I was puzzled about which countries fit into each of these broad groupings.

    Where is the Czech Republic, would you say? Geographically, broadly speaking, it aligns with Austria. Does that exempt Czechs from being lumped with perceived as ‘undesirable’ Polish & Lithuanian people?

    What about Finland? It is further East than Poland & Lithuania. Or is it a case of: Finland is Scandinavian, so that’s all right then?

    Portugal, Ireland & Iceland are well to the West of France & Germany, so they are all super-welcome here in the UK?

    Really, I find it all rather odd.

  34. Amber

    I dread to think who taught you geography, Finland is not part of Scandinavia.

  35. Some decent news in the Sunday papers for a change; the relatives of the Hillsborough relatives are preparing to sue Kelvin MacKenzie for “malfeasance”, which is legally defined as intentional conduct that is wrongful. I always thought that his behaviour, both at the time of the original publication of his infamous Sun headline and article, and ever since, has been shameful and it was fully 23 years after the event before he issued a semblance of an apology. Even then the old coward and bully tried to blame the police for feeding him falsehoods and, from what I can tell, he has shown no true remorse or regret for the appalling calumnies he visited on the dead and their families.

    At last, some justice may be on its way.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2013/feb/16/hillsborough-families-sue-kelvin-mackenzie

  36. MiM,

    You do no justice to your opinions when you engage in pettifoggery.

    Amber,

    I think it’s just a question of overgeneralisation. The lazy assumption is that slavic immigrants are unqualified jobstealers whereas germanic/romantic immigrants are skilled professionals coming to enjoy our culture and business environment.

    I went out with a Polish woman for a while, who was a well qualified business studies lecturer. We met in Florida where she was teaching at a university. She said she had been interviewed for jobs in a number of countries around the world, and was treated with respect everywhere except in London. In London she was treated very sceptically indeed, the underlying assumption being that was “just another Pole” riding the immigration wave and that she wasn’t qualified for the job. She now has a US Green Card, and is currently lecturing in Singapore. Entirely our loss.

  37. Neil A, I’m engaging in facts, and countering Amber’s attempt to blur the line with shoddy Geography. Finland is indeed considered part of Western Europe despite geographically being further to the East than many other countries.

    However it is not Scandinavian and to try and claim so shows a lack of knowledge of the region and the wider issue.

  38. @ Neil A

    Thank you for ‘getting’ that I was referring to public perception not giving an geography lesson. :-)

    Here is an e.g. for anybody who is interested:
    http://geography.about.com/od/europemaps/tp/scandinavia.htm

  39. Amber

    That site seems to have confused the Nordic countries as Scandinavia. I can put down Finland as a poor understanding of what Scandinavia is, and someone assuming that is its part of the same area etc but Iceland is miles away.

    Scandinavia is the name of the Southern Pennisula, and while Finland does border 2 of the countries in this pennisula it borders them in the wrong place. Iceland however, is miles away from the Scandinavian Penninsula, there’s no excuse for calling that Scandinavia. The Uk & Ireland as well as Estonia and Germany are closer to Scandinavia than Iceland, so I can only assume that article has confused the Nordic Union of nations with Scandinavia.

  40. Mitm

    Quite right, Finland is not part of Scandinavia but it makes no sense. We have another term which includes Finland and sometimes the Baltic states, “norden” , which just shows that geography is a messed up displine. As Gil Scott heron observed. Eygpt and Libya used to be in Africa, they have been moved to the middle east

  41. NEIL A

    And I bet she still home money to her old dear Mother in Krakow

  42. *Sigh*

    If we have to go down this road, then you are yourself getting confused between “Scandinavia” (Norway, Sweden and Denmark) and “The Scandinavian Peninsula” (Norway and Sweden).

    The point is that geography is almost completely irrelevant. It’s like complaining that Australia isn’t part of the anglosphere because it’s nowhere near England.

    This is about the way that the public (allegedly) and pundits (definitely) sub-categorise the peoples of the world. In that sense, six foot tall Finnish girls of solid Swedish stock are definitely lumped in with the nordics in the public imagination.

  43. Considering this was asked in the same survey as questions reminding people of the horse meat issue, and thus raising the level of “foreigners done us wrong”, I think we should probably just go straight ahead and dismiss the immigration polling as junk. Should have been conducted in a separate poll from the horse meat issue to maintain any chance that respondents would be swayed by being reminded of the issue.

    I also have to agree with the issue raised above, and actually feel that YouGov used a misleading question. The official term, and the one used in the court case was “Mandatory Work Activity”. Use of the phrase “Work Experience” is a political description, and did not actually describe well either of the work placements involved in the court case. I strongly admonish whoever let that polling question through, and it does not meet at all the standard I expect from YouGov. I strongly suggest that a question that used the official and legally recognised term “Unpaid Mandatory Work Activity” would have been radically different in result.

    As such, again, going to dismiss that out of hand as a junk result.

  44. @Roger,

    Actually she’s from Szczecin, but yes she probably does….

  45. “Amber’s attampts to blur the line with shoddy geography”

    “I hate to think who taught you geography”

    I wonder who taught MiM manners……………….

  46. No Neil A, I am not wrong http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/f4/Luftbild_Skandinavien.jpg/723px-Luftbild_Skandinavien.jpg

    Denmark is part of the Scandinavian penninsula.

    Also your example of the Anglosphere was completely messed up. The example of the Anglosphere actually proves my point.

    Think of the British Isles, and think of the Anglosphere, the British isles are a geographical location, the Angloshphere is a list of countries that were once owned by the UK and continue to share the UK culture and language.

    To say that Iceland is part of Scandinavia, is almost the same as saying that Australia is part of the British Isles.

    Australia is part of the Anglosphere, but it is not part of the British Isles. Iceland is part of the Nordic countries as it continues to use a similar language and culture, however it is not part of Scandinavia.

  47. Paul, I think you are the last person on this site who can give anyone a lecture on manners.

  48. @ Neil A

    I agree, the poll outcome appears to be about the perception of the countries’ general economic standing rather than the culture or capabilities of the people.

    Perhaps it was the ease with which Polish people fitted in & applied their unexpectedly high level of skills which some UK people found worrying. There were Polish people in Perth (where I went to school). They’d arrived during the 1940s. I never thought of them or the local Italians as being ‘foreign’.

  49. I find it amusing that posters find ingenious reasons to dismiss polls that give results that they find unpalatable.

    Many of the comments about the immigration questions remind me of G Brown’s ‘bigoted woman’ comment.

    Obviously the questions must be biased because the British public can’t possibly dislike mass immigration!

  50. “Perhaps it was the ease with which Polish people fitted in & applied their unexpectedly high level of skills which some UK people found worrying.”

    I think it’s more their failure to integrate and the fact that the majority of them are low skilled thus harming the working class more, is what causes the worry.

    Also I do love the way you label “a majority” as “some”

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