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.


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.


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%


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”

1 5 6 7 8
  1. If an angel has no mass, but is, I assume, energy would it sit on the end of a pen or bounce off at the speed of light, or just pass through equally fast?

    Things with no mass find it awfully difficult to sit still. Some sort of ADHD, perhaps.

  2. @tinged

    Yeah but its not all about messing with definitions. Some things are testable. Via the scientific method. You can test to see if in practice something fits into a class or not. Others can repeat tests to check agreement.

    Unless you reduce things to stuff like everything is imagined, the whole external world and nothing really exists in which case much debate is pointless. In practice, most are going to work on the basis that the bus about to run them over really does exist, just in case it does.

    Related to this… the idea that you can’t prove anything wrong because it depends how you feel about things and people may feel differently. There is some truth in this. .. a serial killer may not see anything wrong in murder.

    But not all wrongness is about feelings. For example, whether the Thames flows through London, or whether the square root of 25 is 6 or not.

    Even where it may involve feelings or value judgements, you can still show a claim to be inconsistent, hypocritical, or to have unpleasant side-effects.

    You can also agree on a reference point for deciding whether something is wrong or not. A common example is “fairness”, also commonly queried in polling. Although admittedly even then its not always clear cut.

    It does help nail things like same-sex marriage debates though.

  3. @NickP

    Energy has mass. ..

  4. In the news today is Ofgem’s Alistair Buchanan warning that UK energy supplies are getting tight as we rely on foreign gas which is could get much more expensive.

    He is worried about the next five years. This is too soon for any new investment in renewables, nuclear, clean coal generation or shale gas to impact.

    However soaring energy prices could well be an issue at the next election. I wonder exactly how soon the problem is going to be?

  5. …and yet, a photon (and presumably an angel) has energy, but no mass.

  6. A photon does have mass.

    Except when it is not moving. Which is not commonly the case.

    Energy has mass.


  7. Carfew: @NickP

    Energy has mass. ..

    Ah, but does light have mass?

  8. But an angel sitting on the end of a pin is at rest surely?

  9. Yes, light has mass.

    It doesn’t have “rest mass”

    Because if not moving, it wouldn’t have energy.

  10. “Ah, but does light have mass?”

    And is it still held in Latin?

  11. @nick

    But you are assuming that the energy must be light. There are other forms of energy that don’t move.

  12. Ah…so an angel at rest (and a photon) has neither mass nor energy.

    It does not exist, in fact.

  13. “But you are assuming that the energy must be light. ”

    I am not.

  14. But it may not be a.photon, a particle of light. Energy takes many forms.

    Raise a pint of beer above the bar. You have just given it some energy. You had to put energy in to raise it. If you now measured its mass, you would see that it had increased (albeit by a very small amount) .

  15. John Pilgrim
    Thanks for the reply. Having seen some of Private Eye’s coverage of DfID and CDC, it’s heartening to read constructive suggestions for development spending.

  16. Angels don’t rest on the head of a pin; they dance, do they not?

  17. Angels don’t dance. Now you are just being silly.

  18. NICKP
    Ah…so an angel at rest (and a photon) has neither mass nor energy.
    It does not exist, in fact.


    Ah well, I pre-empted that caveat earlier, by presuming existence. Obviously if it ddoesn’t exist there is not much room for debate.

    But if it is some form of energy, then just because it is not moving through space and time does not mean it has no energy. You can just sit down and you still have energy. In the chemical bonds in your molecules, heat energy, nuclear bonds binding protons together etc.

  19. but carfrew, I quote you:

    “Because if not moving, it wouldn’t have energy.”

    Consistency, please!

  20. @Carfew

    Potential energy….

  21. @Nickp

    Yes, but as i am trying to make clear, that is what applies to light. If angels are made of light energy, then yes you have a point. If they are made of other forms of energy that are not requiring movement then they can sit on the head of a pin and still have energy and hence mass.

    Eg the example I gave earlier about the pint of beer. That’s known as potential energy, which Steve just mentioned.

  22. But if heaven is defined by a lack of mass, wouldn’t that make the Higgs boson the anti-God particle?

  23. Does it matter whether the Mass is Latin or a folksy sing-along?

    Energy =mass x acceleration whatevered

    therefore if mass = zero, so is energy (and there’s not iikely to much movement either, like me after Sunday lunch and a couple of pint although the mass might have increased in that example).

  24. By the way, surely potential energy comes from outside bodies acting upon a body?

    A mass-less energy-less angel will get energy if a devil kicked him/her up the ars* (kinetic energy) although if no mass might have no effect. I suppose the effect of the pin might supply some potential energy, specially if left unexpectedly upon a chair.

  25. I’m jolly glad I started this – its great !! Another TV series idea >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    “Questions you’ve been too embarrassed to ask yer vicar”


    Anyway, weight or not of angels, wot about all thos pins??
    It all sounds very dangerous to me, plus, an infinite number of pins MUST have weight as wel as pointiness.

    Both can be dangerous, as ole Vlad the Impaler recognised.

  26. @Roger

    Well the Higgs field is supposed to give things their mass. And if heaven has no mass you can argue that the Higgs field is what makes heaven special by making the rest of us have to lumber about with mass

    (But I think it’s called the God particle because it resolves quite a few things in the Standard Model of particle physics a stroke) .

  27. E=MC(sqaured) when the mass is 0 the energy is 0. So where do the Angels get the energy to dance?

  28. @NickP

    You’re mixing up two equations there.

    E = MC(squared)
    Energy = mass times (velocity of light)squared

    Which is Einstein’s mass-energy equivalence formula I cited earlier
    (“c” = velocity of light)

    And one of Newton’s Laws: F = m a
    Or. .. force = mass times acceleration.

    … which is where the definition of mass comes from. Mass is inertia. Something with more mass requires a greater force to accelerate it. More mass means more resistance to acceleration.

    Thus the more energy something has, the harder it is to accelerate.

  29. No sums !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  30. @Carfrew

    A photon does NOT have mass. It has momentum.

    p=hv (rho = h x nu)

    E=mc^2 refers to the energy released when mass is converted into energy (or the mass increase when a particle gains energy). If (for instance) an electron and a positron annihilate, their mass and kinetic energy is converted into light energy, but the light does not have mass.

    Newton’s laws don’t apply. They are approximations that do not hold true in relativistic situations.

  31. Good Afternoon All.
    NICK P.
    Folksy sing alongs are disappearing, and Latin returns.

    On the Radio and TV catholic commentariat, including the Radio 4 programme on Pope Benedict XV1 people may be interested to know that elderly ‘liberals’ who were once young- in 1966, tend to be the people being interviewed. That generation tends to be stuck with the shibboleths of that era, and have become the new conservatives.

  32. No clothes = no footy shirts = no footy.

    Why call it “heaven”?

    Also, trade descriptions – all the advertising shows lots of nice, lady angels. They would need a Complaints Monitor to deal with that.

    I nominate MiM ‘cos I am off to Butlins instead.

  33. So where do the Angels get the energy to dance?
    From eating chocolate, of course; I thought everybody knew that!

  34. Ever tried dancing along to harp music?

  35. There is a need to bring the concept of heaven into the 21st century and competitive tendering is the way to go.

    My party will be called “The Heaven YOU Want Party”.

    Instead of money you wil have to give up some things here on earth in order to have the heaven of your choice.

    For example for footy heaven you would have to take up morris dancing and watch a prescribed amount of 5-day, rain-interrupted cricket. For chocky heaven, eat spinach daily, and so on.

  36. Chris

    I was young in ’66 and as far as I know have never been struck by a shibboleth [sounds nasty].

    What point is you making? Is there an “ergo” ??

  37. @robin

    I take your point, I was keeping things simple. Though actually even the question of photons having no rest mass is not a given. It’s possible they do but rather hard to check. They have put upper bounds on what that rest mass might be. If it turns out to have rest mass we’d have to slightly modify a few things.

    I disagree with your interpretation of e=MC(squared). It’s NOT just about converting matter to energy, a common misconception I held myself originally. Certainly it lets you calculate the energy released in annihilation but that is just one instance, one use of it. You are confusing mass and matter.

    No matter is destroyed in nuclear fission. But energy is released and the mass changes. The energy comes from splitting the nuclear bonds.

    If you stick to the Special theory of relativity, Newton’s laws need modifying in relativistic situations, but you can still use them. I wasn’t really using them though, except to define mass, and that definition remains true under relativity. When you get to gravity and the General Theory though, yeah Einstein threw a lot of Newton out.

  38. …yeah Einstein threw a lot of Newton out….

    Bloody foreigners, coming over ‘ere and negating our traditional British hypotheses.

    Atheist reformer: Clement Atlee.

    Or perhaps ‘ a theist reformer?’

  40. I was taught in primary school in Malta that

    1/ Sums did NOT go above 12 x 12…… and

    2/ They did NOT include letters as everybody knows you cannot add u to b [or any other combination] and the only point of doing so is to create words, which is a different subject but definitely NOT sums.

  41. @Carfrew

    “No matter is destroyed in nuclear fission. But energy is released and the mass changes. The energy comes from splitting the nuclear bonds. ”

    Not really the place for this debate. I was also trying to keep it simple! But I’m interested that you don’t regard the loss of mass following fission as destruction of matter.


    Such a restricted definition of sums might make dealing with margins of error and variance and stuff a bit awkward. ..

  43. @robin

    It’s loss of energy and therefore loss of mass. Loss of energy released in splitting the bonds, and emitted as radiation etc.

    When Einstein wrote the e=MC(squared) paper he calked it “does the INERTIA of a body depend on its energy?”

    He didn’t talk about annihilation of matter at all. He didn’t say it only applied to matter destruction. They hadn’t even discovered positrons and annihilation at at that point. That came a couple of decades later when Dirac applied relativity to quantum mechanics.

    (Look! ! No sums! !”)

    In the general theory where he applies Relativity to gravitation, Einstein doesn’t just use whatever matter is present. He uses a stress-energy tensor and includes whatever radiation is present as well. It’s the total energy and momentum of the system that determines the gravitational effect, not just the amount of matter (atoms and protons etc. ).

  44. According to the Telegraph, the UK is short of Nuclear Engineers; UKPR, on the other hand, is blessed with an abundance of them. :-)

  45. carfrew

    “restricted” !?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    What about fractions? They can go as small as you like. And for advanced stuff some of the decimals are so little that they are called “recurring”.***

    Blimey – how much detail do you need to get through a day?

    *** No…. I don’t know what that means and have never come across one that needed it.

  46. @amber

    There is lots of expertise on UKPR though. Whether it’s Bach and Sibelius, QE, poetry, philosophy, green issues, employment advice, and Pope stuff… one can learn a lot. (Even from Paul. ..)

    I think multiplication for example is a bit constrained, as is numbers up to twelve. Division might be useful at some point, for example…

  47. Amber: “blessed” ????????????????

    Their role in ife seems to be to try and make everyone else feel like a duffer.

    Anyway, I’ve rit a pome: [itsa guddun]

    “Heaven is a blessed place
    with angels overhead
    They sing of joy, and love and grace
    And check yer really dead.”

  48. carfrew



  49. Amber

    I do agree this is an excellent site. I was a member of a classical guitar forum [mostly american] and they were frighteningly bonkers and seemed to know v. little about anything – but especially the guitar and music in general.

    We need an Eastleigh poll.

  50. If angels have no mass how do they fall??

1 5 6 7 8