YouGov’s weekly results for the Sunday Times are now up online here. Current voting intentions are CON 31%, LAB 42%, LDEM 12%, UKIP 11% – typical of late, and no signs of any “Thatcher effect”, positive or negative.

46% of people think Thatcher was a great (20%) or good (26%) Prime Minister, compared to 35% who think she was a poor (9%) or terrible (26%) Prime Minister. Only 10% said she was just average. For what it’s worth these figures are a bit more negative than when YouGov asked the same question for the Sun at the start of the week – could be people less willing to be negative when the person being asked about has only just died, or the coverage grating on people’s nerves, or just normal sample variation. We can’t tell.

How much Thatcher divides opinion is apparent when you compare here to other past Prime Minister. She is rated more positively than Blair, Brown and Major, but more striking is how opinions on her are more extreme – many people say either great or terrible (46% between them), where with other recent PMs opinion tends to cluster around the mid-point.

So for Tony Blair 30% thought he was good, 36% bad, 30% average (and only 4% and 14% said great or terrible). For Gordon Brown 10% said good, 62% bad, 25% average (2% great, 31% terrible). For John Major 12% said good, 35% bad, 40% average (1% great, 9% terrible). YouGov asked about Heath too… but got lots of don’t knows, showing the limitations of asking the general public about politicians who were in power before many of them were born. Asked which later Prime Minister can best claim to be the heir of Thatcher (a good or bad thing depending on your point of view!), 52% of people said either none of them or don’t know. Of those who did answer, David Cameron was the most common response with 23%.

People were somewhat more evenly split on whether Thatcher was good or bad for the country – 42% thought she was good, 38% bad. On balance people thought that she left a country that was better off, was more respected in the world and offered more opportunities for women. However, people also thought she left a country that was more divided and less equal. Overwhelmingly they thought she did not do enough to support areas where traditional mining and manufacturing industries were closed.

Asking about the specific policies Mrs Thatcher introduced in office there were very divided opinions. Large majorities (68%) thought she was right to use force to retake the Falklands and to get a rebate on Britain’s EEC contributions. Majorities of people thought it was right to introduce the right to buy (60%) and to take on the trade unions (55%). By 46% to 36% people also thought it was right to cut the top rate of income tax from 83% to 40%.

People were negative about the introduction of Section 28, prioritising inflation over unemployment, deregulating the City of London and privatising utilities like British Gas and British Telecom. By far the most negative reaction was to the Poll tax, which 68% of people thought was the wrong thing to do.

Moving on to the reactions to her death, on balance people support the BBC coverage of her death – 24% think it has been too positive, 16% too negative, 40% that they have got the balance about right. The decision to recall Parliament is seen as wrong by 49% of people compared to 35% who think it was right, and 53% think those Labour MPs who did not attend were right to say away. David Cameron’s own response is seen as appropriate – 47% think he has respondents in an appropriate and dignified way, as opposed to 28% who think he has tried to play her death for political advantage.

On the funeral, 8% of people think Thatcher should have been given a full state funeral, 42% that the ceremonial funeral she is being given is correct, 43% that she should have been given neither. The Queen’s decision to attend is seen as correct by 57% of people.

There is comparatively little support for any further commemoration. Only 29% would support a new statue of Thatcher in London (and only 18% a statue in Trafalgar Square) and only 17% would support renaming Port Stanley after her. However, there is also wide scale rejection of people who have organised parties to celebrate her death – only 14% of people think this is acceptable, 75% unacceptable (including a clear majority of Labour party supporters).


288 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 31, LAB 42, LD 12, UKIP 11”

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  1. “The rest of the population got what these power cliques , in their wisdom , handed out.”

    —–

    And what they handed out was. Affordable rents, affordable mortgages, decent-paying jobs, good pensions, free degrees, affordable utility bills.

    Then lots of freebies as it got sold off.

    It’s not like that now but if you are retired then you don’t need to worry about it. Try and compare with a young person of today to understand age and VI.

  2. @CHRISLANE1945

    Thomas More is the name. Patron Saint of Lawyers (RC church). His trial (Thomas Cromwell) establised parliamentary statute as supreme over common law, natural law and church law. Hence the Law, 1533, said that Henry had never been married to Catherine of Aragon. All had to assent.
    The rest is History.

    History is picky over details – statute never declared HVIII’s marriage invalid. Thomas Cranmer did that in a church court. The subsequent acts of Succession declared Henry’s marriage to Anne legal; bastardised his daughter Mary; & declared it treason to maintain the king had previously been married.

    The trial itself was far more Henry than Cromwell; far more political than legal; it was a tried and tested Yorkist/Tudor device; Wolsey had used previously for Henry; Empson and Dudley dispatched by same means; and then we go back to Henry VII; Edward IV and Clarence; Richard III and Buckingham.

    That’s another take on history.

    As with Mrs T, it seems history’s take is never quite as simple as it seems….

  3. @CHRISLANE1945

    Thomas More is the name. Patron Saint of Lawyers (RC church). His trial (Thomas Cromwell) establised parliamentary statute as supreme over common law, natural law and church law. Hence the Law, 1533, said that Henry had never been married to Catherine of Aragon. All had to assent.
    The rest is History.

    History is picky over details – statute never declared HVIII’s marriage invalid. Thomas Cranmer did that in a church court. The subsequent acts of Succession declared Henry’s marriage to Anne legal; bastardised his daughter Mary; & declared it treason to maintain the king had previously been married.

    The trial itself was far more Henry than Cromwell; far more political than legal; it was a tried and tested Yorkist/Tudor device; Wolsey had used previously for Henry; Empson and Dudley dispatched by same means; and then we go back to Henry VII; Edward IV and Clarence; Richard III and Buckingham.

    That’s another take on history.

    As with Mrs T, it seems history’s take is never quite as simple as it seems….

  4. Carfrew

    But is any political party proposing that Industrial Relations legislation be re-wound to 1970, all the Utilities, Road, Rail & Air transport, Telecoms, Mining etc etc be renationalised , and subsidised at whatever level required to meet trades union pay demands?

    And if it was all such a great idea-why aren’t they proposing that ?

  5. BTW I apologise i did not knowingly put that in twice – once was probably more than enough.

    John

  6. Polls?
    There will be one in the Press and Journal on local support for a separate Scotland. I fear it may not be a pukka company running it but we will see. There was Scottish-wide one which escaped notice last week or just before which showed a decline in support for same.
    60s/70s
    The Aberdeen Evening Express ran a cheery feature on my own experiences then. As others have said, the 60s were a period of un-bridled hope and the 70s whatever we say were the high point of equality which many do remember with some fondness

  7. CARFREW

    @”affordable mortgages,”

    I posted some stats on house price change net of inflation for each government since WW11

    Wilson’s second term saw houseowners lose 16% in real terms in just two years.

    You will be aware what was happening to interest rates during that time.

  8. Looks like Margaret Thatcher’s opponents have failed again. They will try and spin number 2 as a victory, but their campaign had 1 aim, get it to number 1, and they failed.

    Also as anyone picked up on the irony that it’s the hard left anti capitalists doing this, all they’ve done is line “Great American Music’s” pockets with their cash.

  9. @John Murphy / Chris Lane

    Under church law of the time (Catholic Law), was is not prohibited for a man to marry his brother’s widow? Caterina de Aragón was the widow of Arthur Tudor – Henry VIII’s brother – so Henry could not have technically been married to Caterina in any event.

  10. raf
    The first rule was that kings got pretty much what they wanted …and life expectancy for the king’s lawyers was pretty short unless that was what happened. More, Wolesy, More…

  11. Shome mistake
    More, Wolesy, Cromwell..

  12. Colin

    You are chucking around sweeping generalisations as freely as you ever do tonight. But in amongst them is one particularly foolish comment.

    “The words “Social” & “Mobility” were not used in juxtaposition (in the 1970s).”

    What utter rot. Countless studies have shown that social mobility was relatively high in the post-War years and collapsed from the 80s onwards.

    This study from the LSE is typical. It found high social mobility for kids born in 1958 (leaving school/Uni in your Dark Age) and very poor mobility for kids born from 1970 onwards.

    http://www2.lse.ac.uk/intranet/LSEServices/ERD/pressAndInformationOffice/PDF/Recent%20Changes%20in%20Intergenerational%20Mobility%20in%20Britain.pdf

    The conclusions state:

    “In this report we have presented new evidence on what has been happening to aspects of intergenerational mobility in Britain. It seems that the oft-cited finding of a fall in intergenerational mobility between the 1958 and 1970 cohorts appears to have been an episode caused by the particular circumstances of the time. Social mobility worsened and took a step change downwards, leaving the UK near the bottom of the intergenerational league table of mobility, and on a different trajectory relative to other countries in the world where there is less evidence of changes over time. This fall in mobility was accompanied by strong increases in educational inequalities (e.g. a very sharp rise in the association between educational attainment and family income and stronger links between test scores and behavioural measures and family income).
    Looking at the connection between these earlier age intervening factors (education attainment, test scores, behavioural measures) and family income for more recent cohorts finds little evidence of change and thus it appears that changes in social mobility may well have flattened out. However, at the same time, they have not reversed nor started to improve.”

    You may well say that this was due to Grammar Schools. Perhaps, although there is very strong evidence that it is parental income that is the biggest determinant of the income of offspring. And a recent article (behind a paywall but the abstract is here: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1475-5890.2012.00160.x/abstract) found that kids whose parents lost their jobs in the 1980s did significantly worse in terms of educational attainment, employment rates and income than comparable control groups.

    If you are going to chuck around trite statements about the 70s, back them up with evidence.

  13. Colin

    You are chucking around sweeping generalisations as freely as you ever do tonight. But in amongst them is one particularly striking comment.

    “The words “Social” & “Mobility” were not used in juxtaposition (in the 1970s).”

    What utter rot. Countless studies have shown that social mobility was relatively high in the post-War years and collapsed from the 80s onwards.

    This study from the LSE is typical. It found high social mobility for kids born in 1958 (leaving school/Uni in your Dark Age) and very poor mobility for kids born from 1970 onwards.

    http://www2.lse.ac.uk/intranet/LSEServices/ERD/pressAndInformationOffice/PDF/Recent%20Changes%20in%20Intergenerational%20Mobility%20in%20Britain.pdf

    The conclusions state:

    “In this report we have presented new evidence on what has been happening to aspects of intergenerational mobility in Britain. It seems that the oft-cited finding of a fall in intergenerational mobility between the 1958 and 1970 cohorts appears to have been an episode caused by the particular circumstances of the time. Social mobility worsened and took a step change downwards, leaving the UK near the bottom of the intergenerational league table of mobility, and on a different trajectory relative to other countries in the world where there is less evidence of changes over time. This fall in mobility was accompanied by strong increases in educational inequalities (e.g. a very sharp rise in the association between educational attainment and family income and stronger links between test scores and behavioural measures and family income).
    Looking at the connection between these earlier age intervening factors (education attainment, test scores, behavioural measures) and family income for more recent cohorts finds little evidence of change and thus it appears that changes in social mobility may well have flattened out. However, at the same time, they have not reversed nor started to improve.”

    You may well say that this was due to Grammar Schools. Perhaps, although there is very strong evidence that it is parental income that is the biggest determinant of the income of offspring. And a recent article (behind a paywall but the abstract is here: h ttp://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1475-5890.2012.00160.x/abstract) found that kids whose parents lost their jobs in the 1980s did significantly worse in terms of educational attainment, employment rates and income than comparable control groups.

    If you are going to chuck around statements about the 70s, back them up with evidence.

  14. @MitM
    “Looks like Margaret Thatcher’s opponents have failed again…”

    That sounds like a contradiction in terms. The vast majority of those of us that consider that Thatcher was a terrible PM wanted absolutely nothing to do with such disrespectful rubbish.

  15. MiM

    Hard to believe you see such a silly stunt as having any significance. Its not worth commenting on in terms of politics, but if you think the difference between 1st and 2nd in some daft downloading poll represents a triumph for democracy please yourself.

  16. @COLIN
    Carfrew
    “But is any political party proposing that Industrial Relations legislation be re-wound to 1970, all the Utilities, Road, Rail & Air transport, Telecoms, Mining etc etc be renationalised , and subsidised at whatever level required to meet trades union pay demands?
    And if it was all such a great idea-why aren’t they proposing that ?”

    —————————-

    Well it would be expensive to buy them back and there are those EU laws and regs as well and big business has its claws in government.

    The industrial relations of the seventies were not exactly ideal but other countries had big unions and did not resolve the matter by giving up on industry.

    As for house prices of the era yes I remember them very well. My parents paid off their mortgage at that time. They were rather more affordable than now. And rents were cheaper of course.

  17. I meant to add:

    In any case, even if Grammar Schools WERE responsible for the better social mobility in the 45-70-odd era, that is a secondary issue. The fact is that social mobility was higher in the more communal post-war consensus period than it was when a thousand flowers were allowed to bloom from the 80s onwards. That is an established fact.

  18. Ding Dong song #2. That reminds me of God Save the Queen. It also achieved #2. Years later, the BBC admitted that the single had, in fact, achieved #1 but they had arbitrarily disallowed some of the sales.

  19. @Barney Crockett

    Point taken. Kings always got their way by fair means or foul.

    But when More objected to Henry VIII marrying Anne Boleyn, on the grounds he was already “married” to Catherine of Aragon, Henry could (and did argue) that this was not so, as under church law (the Catholic law More believed applied) there could be no valid marriage of a man to his brother’s widow. Henry argued therefore that he was unmarried and therefore free to marry Anne Boleyn.

  20. @ Amber Star

    When and where did the BBC admit they disallowed God Save The Queen sales? They don’t compile the charts now and didn’t in 1977.

    Everytime people check this story the conclusion is that it’s apocryphal probably originating with Malcolm McClaren.They got the timing of its release wrong (split sales) and it was made unavailable by some retailers but the sales – of Scotland’s Rod Stewart, no less – were clearly higher.Makes a good story though.

  21. Rod Stewart is not Scottish & God Save the Queen did reach #1 in the BBC charts.

    The split timing thing was the excuse given when sales returns showed that GSQ had outsold the Rod Stewart single by a significant amount. I am fairly sure that it was Mike Reid who accidently admitted (during the Relax controversy) that GSQ was the BBC #1 single.

  22. Research by chart expert James Masterton, a sort Of Anthony Wells of music chart sales (see his eponymous blog) strongly indicates otherwise. I can’t see how the BBC could tamper with the music industry’s charts – they weren’t compiling their own in 1977.

  23. I was born in 1960, left school to go to uni in 1978, tuition fees didn’t exist but nonetheless I got a standard non means-tested grant sufficient to pay my accommodation costs plus most of my living costs. In the breaks I claimed unemployment benefit when between temporary jobs and left uni with no debts. Went straight into full time work on leaving via a graduate recruitment scheme.

    Were I following the same route today I could look forward to the prospect of leaving uni £50k in debt with very uncertain employment prospects at best.

  24. Rod Stewart isn’t Scottish?? This a bombshell

  25. What we have lost
    l was born in 1958,brought up during the hedonistic 60s and 70s on a council estate(all the gardens had neat lawns and large gardens which could keep a family in veg pretty much ,nearly everybody worked at jobs which paid a decent wage and most of the men were what the Sun would now describe as ‘heroes’ i.e. they had served during the Second World War: Bomber Command,the Arctic convoys,the Normandy beaches were common topics of reminiscence) in a small rural town and went to a small rural Grammar school,along with nearly 40% of my schoolmates.Then on to Uni with almost a full grant.
    This was the reality of the post-war settlement ,as far as l can see ,the main beneficiaries were the working class and the lower middle class and the problem was that the incoming Thatcher govt decided it was time for a change,Attlee had made one set of divisions of the societal pie and now Thatcher made another.
    As she was quoted in one of the endless hagiographic R4 programmes ‘The means are economic ,but the purpose is to change people’s behaviour .’
    All else being equal l would return to the equality levels of the 1970s ,even though l would as a retired teacher be worse off .

  26. Is rod Stewart French??

  27. Scottish in so far as he’s eligible to play football for Scotland. Someone ought to let the Scottish FA know.

  28. @RICHARD IN NORWAY
    “Rod Stewart isn’t Scottish?? This a bombshell”

    ———–

    I know!! I was already reeling from the possibility the BBC might not be a leftie haven, and now this. Things keep on like this and it wouldn’t be a surprise if someone pointed out that the footage of the battle of Orgreave wasn’t all that it seemed either…

  29. I believe Rod Stewart is a git.

  30. I’m sure Rod Stewart is originally from north London (somewhere near the Kilburn/end of Maida Vale area), as when I was a school, I remember he was a close friend of a friend’s dad. He used to come around to our block of flats regularly but none of us knew who he was.

    Not a fan of his, really. And i’ve never been interested in famous people, so the whole thing passed me by at the time. I remember finding the Scottish thing a bit weird later though, as he mostly hung around witg Irish people. Maybe it was a celtic thing.

  31. First couple of albums Rod did with Jeff Beck are pretty decent. ..

  32. @ RAF

    Rod Stewart is a London boy; & is now an American citizen, I believe. His father was Scottish (from Leith, Edinburgh).

  33. @ Phil Haines

    Scottish in so far as he’s eligible to play football for Scotland. Someone ought to let the Scottish FA know.
    ——————–
    He isn’t. He’d need to be resident in Scotland for 5 years, if he wanted to keep his US passport & play fitba’ for Scotland unless the rules have changed again since the last time I looked!

  34. @ SEN5C

    Research by chart expert James Masterton, a sort Of Anthony Wells of music chart sales (see his eponymous blog) strongly indicates otherwise. I can’t see how the BBC could tamper with the music industry’s charts – they weren’t compiling their own in 1977.
    ——————
    You must have missed the 1980 World in Action documentary which showed that, in the late 70’s, there was almost certainly corruption regarding the sales figures. The story regarding GSQ in particular is:

    Stores which had been selling God Save the Queen were asked to submit zero returns & say they were not selling it when, in fact, they were.

    The quid pro quo was that they’d be given advance notice of new releases which would be on the BBC’s official playlist, allowing them to tie in their store promotions & not waste time, money & space promoting releases which wouldn’t be played on the BBC.

    Has it been proven? Perhaps not; but it seems to be fairly plausible, given all the circumstances.

  35. Amber
    I doubt that has happened this time – it wouldn’t take much to take the Saturday data from iTunes, Amazon, etc and figure out the gap in sales – then try to estimate how many physical copies of the no 1 were likely sold.
    With easy fact checking, you can’t get away with fixing things now.

    All –
    With the extensive talk of which decade was the “bestest decade ever” and Thatcher still, I’m going to disappear again until the weekend – hopefully something more exciting than ‘Con 31, Lab 41..’ etc will happen by then.

  36. LEFTY

    @”You may well say that this was due to Grammar Schools. ”

    I think I would.

  37. Colin

    And you’d ignore the rest of the argument?

  38. LEFTY

    No-I accept the data you provided.

    It was a time of great social change for some. It was for me I suppose-and that was due to a Grammar School.

    But it was a time of social stasis for many.

    On the C4 programme the other evening , Charlie Mullins was interviewed.
    MUllins (born 1954), left school at 15 with no qualifications and began work as a plumber.

    He now owns Pimlico Plumbers, turns over £15m pa & employs 170 people.

    He explained that privatisation under THatcher spawned hundreds of opportunities for industrial ,commercial & private services . He took advantage .

    He is a cockney through & through, and a visible example of social mobility through enterprise in action.

    WE can debate this forever I guess Lefty.
    I respect your opinion-but the nostalgic view of the 70s is not for me.

    Equally, I must admit that the transformations of the 80s left some to far behind. Tim Montgomerie writes in today’s Times about the need for Conservatives to develop a social equivalent of Thatcher’s economic transformation. I agree with this-it is the ground EM is fighting on.

    I would just suggest that if we can agree that every era has it’s losers & winners-no one is seriously proposing that UK return to a command economy of the sort which MT swept away. But equally we all recognise that social change must be managed carefully too.

  39. Colin –

    Interesting.

    I used Pimlico Plumbers once. But they didn’t get repeat business from me.

    Extortianate!

  40. WOODSMAN

    I gather it makes no bones about being high priced .

    Given the anecdotal plethora of “Polish” plumbers, one can only presume that he has found £15m a year of business in a niche which is happy to pay.

  41. Clause 28 was hardly flagship policy which can be used to define Thatcher’s term in office. It was an amendment promoted by unreasonable backbenchers and accepted by the Government out of expediency.

  42. @Phil Haines

    If you graduated in the early 80s, then you graduated into a jobs market with a higher unemployment rate for graduates than we have now.

    1981-2 was the worst academic year on record to have graduated from a UK university, but the entire period from 1979 to 1984 had higher graduate unemployment rates than anything we have experience since the recent recession. The recession of the early 90s also saw a weaker graduate jobs market than we have currently.

    There seems to be some kind of weird belief around these days that graduate unemployment and underemployment are a relatively new phenomenon and that we’re in an unprecedentedly bad jobs market for new graduates.

    Neither are true, but they do make good copy.

  43. I think the 1320s were a jolly good decade.

  44. PC
    Nonsense. The 1350s were one of the best decades in history for the working class. At least the 2/3rds of em who had survived the Black Death. The reduction in the workforce pushed up wages substantially. Until the upper classes regained control by making it illegal for a workman to leave his employment if his boss didn’t want him to go.

  45. Amber
    Your knowledge of international football leaves me in awe.

  46. @ Howard

    LOL. I was doing background reading regarding: International Law & Global Citizens.

  47. @Amber

    In football, as in other sports, if your parent was born in a country you can represent that country at international level.

    At least, that’s what I understand. If not, I will have to break the tragic news to my wife that our sons will never play rugby for Wales.

  48. Lefty

    We shall have to agree to disagree – I have no wish to argue the point with you but am certain I am correct re the 1320s. Religious persecution and executions were of top-notch quality and I ran a market stall for rotten fruit which kept my children in rags for much of the winter.

    Well, some of them for a bit of it anyway.

    Let’s leave it at that please, with me winning.

  49. Phil
    I understood they accepted grandparents (as proof) but of course Amber will know the correct answer. :-)

  50. @RAF
    John Murphy / Chris Lane
    Under church law of the time (Catholic Law), was is not prohibited for a man to marry his brother’s widow? Caterina de Aragón was the widow of Arthur Tudor – Henry VIII’s brother – so Henry could not have technically been married to Caterina in any event.

    There was no scriptural prohibition that in Canon Law that could not have been dispensed with as any other affinity that might be dispensed with – the canonical prohibition in England that declared marriage to brother’s wife to be a scripturally prohibited degree from which there could be no dispensation dates from after Henry’s divorce. The CoE added it to their canon law after 1533. Elsewhere in Europe catholic or protestant it remained an affinity from which the church dispensed.

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