A quick round of of today’s polls. The weekly YouGov poll for the Sunday Times is here, and has topline figures of CON 33%, LAB 39%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 11%. YouGov’s daily polling appears to be showing an average Labour lead of around about six points.

The rest of the poll deals mainly with the economy and the royals. Economic optimism continues to get slightly less pessimistic, the “feel good factor” (those thinking their economic situation will get better in the next twelve months minus those who expect it to get worse) is minus 27. Asked more specifically about the recent GDP figures, 38% think that it shows the economy is now on the mend and will continue to grow, 49% think it is bouncing along the bottom. Looking at the crossbreaks shows quite how much people’s opinions on the economy are shaped by their pre-existing views of the government and politics: three-quarters of Conservatives think the economy is now on the mend, three-quarters of Labour supporters think it shows things bouncing along the bottom.

George Osborne continues to have a negative rating as Chancellor – only 25% think he is doing a good job, 45% a bad job. However the widespread desire for Cameron to replace him that YouGov found back in March has declined somewhat – back then people wanted Osborne sacked by 51% to 17%, it’s now a less overwhelming 42% to 30%. He also has better ratings than Ed Balls, and people think Osborne would make a matter Chancellor than Balls by 35% to 27%. By 43% to 32% people think the economy would have been worse if Labour had won the last election.

On the monarchy 17% of people think Britain should become a republic, 75% that we should continue to have a monarchy. A new ComRes poll for the Sunday Telegraph found a similar pattern – 66% think Britain is better off as a monarchy, 17% that it would be better off as a republic. The Sunday Telegraph article has a rather overblown headline of “Confidence in British monarchy at all time high, poll shows” which is a bit silly on various grounds (the monarchy predates opinion polling by hundreds of years so we don’t have anything to judge by, and as far as I can tell the survey did not ask questions that have a long train of past tracking data to compare to).

The best long term tracker data on attitudes to the monarchy is probably MORI’s collection here. Even there things are a bit hamstrung by the fact that lots of polling on the royal family started in the early nineties when the monarchy was at a low ebb in the wake of the the failure of the marriages of Charles, Andrew and Princess Anne and the Queen’s annus horribilis – so most current polling does show the royal family being held in higher regard than in the 1990s…but those few trends that stretch back into the 1980s show much more positive ratings. I suspect the reality is “confidence in British monarchy higher than it has been for twenty years or so”… but we don’t have the data to be sure.

Finally the Sunday Times had a new Panelbase poll on the Scottish Independence referendum, which had YES on 37%(+1), NO on 46%(+2). Past polls on the independence referendum are here, and it’s worth noting the consistent differences between pollsters. Panelbase tend to show a relatively tight race, Ipsos MORI and TNS tend to show a much bigger lead for the NO campaign.


342 Responses to “Sunday polling round up”

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  1. I’m sitting on the fence, but wobbling towards YES
    It’s terribly high – if I fall, there’s a mess
    But no need for stress
    I’m not under duress
    I’m just sitting, and wobbling, towards YES

    Or is it NO…

  2. BILL C

    @Allan Christie
    “Most papers in Scotland backed Salmond but all and I mean all were not convinced with independence.”

    Sorry Allan I really do not know where you got that one from. There is only one newspaper in Scotland which is anywhere close to supporting the SNP and that is the Sunday Herald. The rest are virulent in their opposition to the Scotland’s National Party
    _____

    Come on Bill I’m on about the lead up to the 2011 Scottish most of the MSM backed the SNP/Salmond for First Minister. I read Sun play it again Salm, the Herald, Scottish Express and even the Daily Record (although not supporting the SNP) was very unconventional towards SLAB.

    Yes on independence then the MSM in Scotland is hostile towards the SNP.

    On the EU front. I know if it’s a yes vote then another Scottish election will be held to determine who runs the country but Scotland is by in large a pro EU nation.

    Are you suggesting the Scots will have an opt in/out referenda regarding the EU in the event of a Yes vote?

    Maybe I should call Lamb House to have this authenticated. ;-)

  3. So why can’t bonny wee George be king of scotland

  4. I’m still sitting on the fence. The only downside is the crease in my backside.

  5. @AC

    “Have you got any info on Salmond’s approval ratings kicking about in your top drawer of stats?”

    * Sticks moist finger out window

    Nope. There’s nothing in the wind.

    Fraid not…unless YG do Salmond stats and I never spot them. I would imagine he’s the least unpopular leader, ast a guess.

  6. Rich,

    If people aren’t prepared to pay the price for a more expensive option then it won’t happen.

    I think this is another of those iceberg issues like Pensions where people debate the differences between the two camps and fail to look at the fact that scale of the problem is huge for both.

    Over the next twenty years or so both the UK or an IS will need to spend billions on renewing their energy infrastructure.

    The scale of the investment involved dwarfs the differences between a fossil, nuclear or renewable option.

    In the long run I am probably with Shariet ; as oil will run out sell it on the market and invest the revenue in forms of energy that won’t to give you long term energy security.

    It will be expensive at first and never cheap but it is the kind of long term thinking and investment we need.

    All the predictions of world energy demand out to 2050 show that demand will rise with fossil fuel production dropping and the price going up.

    When the world price rises I’d like to be able to supply the electricity we need without imports and to sell a surplus abroad for as long as we need.

    Peter.

  7. PETERCAIRNS

    Absolutely agreed with your post in it’s entirety. <<< Does that make sense?

    I do find it ironic the Better together camp question guarantees from the SNP over defence etc but at present the UK Gov couldn't even say what the UK armed forces will look like to two years time.

    Interesting debates ahead and I'm one of the NMUMMY

    "Not Made Up My Mind Yet"

  8. CMJ

    “hope this makes sense”

    Well I glazed over at this point >>>

    “a column of the standard deviation as a proportion of average ”

    and couldn’t sort the link

    Can you either

    a/ set the info to music

    or

    b/ give me the headlines

    pAul

  9. wes

    needs to be “t’wards a yes” and the melody is longer. ergo more words needed

    keep at it and we will have a hit on our hands

  10. STATGEEK

    “Fraid not…unless YG do Salmond stats and I never spot them. I would imagine he’s the least unpopular leader, ast a guess”
    ________

    Christ with the approval ratings for Monsieur Cameron Miliband and the other yin then I think you might just be right.

  11. Allan Christie,

    Here’s Holyrood mag’s article on the media in 2011. It hardly show the Daily Record as “very unconventional towards SLAB”.

    http://www.holyrood.com/2011/05/leader-of-the-pack/

    “On the EU front. I know if it’s a yes vote then another Scottish election will be held to determine who runs the country but Scotland is by in large a pro EU nation.

    Are you suggesting the Scots will have an opt in/out referenda regarding the EU in the event of a Yes vote?”

    So you don’t want a Yes because the majority of Scots are more positive about the EU than you and that might mean a democratically elected Scottish Government doing what the people want but you don’t like.”

    Just out of interest would you back a Coup to remove a democratically elected UK government if it had policies you didn’t like?

    Peter.

  12. If I was Scottish, I would 100% vote yes. After hundreds of years of English interference, surely it’s worth a shot at complete independance, plus it would be a chance to remove nuclear weapons from the country. Frankly I am amazed the yes vote isn’t higher, as it still seems no are cruising to victory?

  13. @Rich

    “If there is an IS, when it comes to energy policy it will I suspect focus largely on oil & gas.
    If they progress things like wind power more progressively, I hope the people are happy to pay, as the real cost is extremely high, and certainly much higher than people realise.”

    This is from the SNP 2012 Manifesto: Scotland can produce 100% of the electricity we need from renewables and we will also continue to export electricity from a number of power sources.

    The solution is in the mix. It may be more expensive in the short run but that is largely a problem of not having the infrastructure to properly utilise the power generated.

    I don’t know about “most people” but I’m happy to pay more so that my grandchildren will have a habitable, healthy planet. :-) Your mileage may vary.

    @Wes

    I like it! And if I fell there would definitely be a mess.

  14. RIN

    “So why can’t bonny wee George be king of Scotland”
    ______

    Because we already have king Larsson. Ha!

  15. Allan,

    Just read my post back and it comes over as a bit aggressive, which wasn’t my intent.

    But it does go back to my point about people voting no to stop the majority expressing their views.

    Peter.

  16. SHARIET,

    Iam a bit more cynical.

    Much as I’d like a healthier planet even if an IS is energy self sufficient and it is mostly renewable I think the rest of the globe from US shale gas and Canadian Tar sands to Australian coal in Chinese power stations will dwarf any contribution we make.

    Peter.

  17. I think you need a fat bloke in Scotland [as in “The Office”] to keep saying:

    “Can you give me the options again.”

    Dunno if there are any of course. [fat blokes I mean]

  18. RICH

    “If I was Scottish, I would 100% vote yes. After hundreds of years of English interference, surely it’s worth a shot at complete independance, plus it would be a chance to remove nuclear weapons from the country. Frankly I am amazed the yes vote isn’t higher, as it still seems no are cruising to victory?”
    ________

    You spelt independence wrong lol.

    Anyway I doubt people are making up their minds to vote Yes over English interference.

  19. Paul Croft,

    No, there are no fat people in Scotland.

  20. PETERCAIRNS

    “Allan,

    Just read my post back and it comes over as a bit aggressive, which wasn’t my intent.

    But it does go back to my point about people voting no to stop the majority expressing their views”
    _______

    No no fair point. I’m wrong with regards to the Daily Record. I think I’m getting the Record mixed up with the Dandy because both are on about the same wave length although the comic just edges it.

    On the EU front yeah okay I made a dogs breakfast on trying to explain my rational but no it wouldn’t be my main reason for voting no but I was trying to make the point that I wouldn’t want an independent Scotland being pushed around by the EU.

  21. Shariet
    Scotland doesn’t “produce 100% of the energy we need from renewables”. It produces the eqivalent, meaning that if the wind blew, sun shone etc at exactly the right rate as demand required then it would. In fact all the economic argument about separation has been about oil. And Rich has grasped it correctly that Better Together seems to be winning that argument.

  22. Shariet (again)
    I should have said “electricity” rather than “energy”

  23. bl

    “Paul Croft,

    No, there are no fat people in Scotland.

    a stuffed cushion then maybe?

    i had heard they were all as fit as fleas up there

  24. “In fact all the economic argument about separation has been about oil. And Rich has grasped it correctly that Better Together seems to be winning that argument”
    ________

    What do the latest GERS figures say regarding oil production forecasts?

    If I was voting on the economic arguments then I wouldn’t hesitate to vote Yes.

    Hang on a second… If we vote Yes then my £10 mobile top up might cost me £10.11.

    OMG!!!!

    I’m just messing around but the economic arguments from both sides wont be the basis on how I will vote.

  25. I’m curious as to why Panelbase shows this consistent difference to the other pollsters. Does anyone have an explanation for that? Or even a good theory? I’m assuming they’re all polling voters eligible to vote in the independence referendum?

  26. Paul Croft
    Was it you who mentioned Egypt? Military takeover was inevitable from the moment Morsi (and others) spoke about Holy War in Syria, supporting theinsurgents.
    This would commit Egpt to a milaitary position totally at odds with long term allies in Syria, weaken them in the eyes of Israel and cause further unrest in Egypt with many millions of worried (correction, terrified) Copts.
    That doesn’t solve anything! but it does explain a little.

  27. @ Steve

    The thing about polls is that they test the public’s beliefs they don’t test if they are right to hold these beliefs.
    —————-
    Indeed; but the public do not have to pass a ‘veracity of beliefs’ test before they get to vote.

    So Ed Balls needs to convince at least some of the people that their belief is wrong regarding Labour & the economy over the past 3 years.

    Were I Ed B, I would be wondering how on earth I could do that. Personally, I have no idea so I’m hoping Ed is a lot cleverer than wot I am.

  28. M Bauer
    Panelbase? Firstly, I don’t think they are very good! But thats my opinion. Secondly, I think their usual field is consumer reserch and I suspect their panels are skewed in ways they haven’t detected. I believe Anthony raised a few questions in the past about them interms of delays in releasing details/

  29. @Allan Christie – I think Peter Cairns says much of what I would offer as a reply to your post, so I won’t repeat. I would hope that you would concede that almost all of the press and the BBC in Scotland are anti-SNP, so much so that in my opinion, they are undermining the democratic process in our country.

  30. Michael Bauer

    “I’m curious as to why Panelbase shows this consistent difference to the other pollsters. Does anyone have an explanation for that? Or even a good theory? I’m assuming they’re all polling voters eligible to vote in the independence referendum?”
    _________

    Good question but it’s not just unique to the independence polls. ICM tend to show a lower Labour lead over the Tories or even a neck where YouGov tend to show a larger Labour lead.

    I think it boils down to how pollsters interpret their findings.

    AW explained something on these lines (not on independence polls) a few days ago.

    Worth a read.

  31. It’s good to have the rare opportunity to comment on something I understand a bit about.

    Wind, by its nature, is intermittent and can’t be used like effacious power plants running say fossil or nuclear. Peak wind is highly unlikely to coincide with peak demand, and electricity is almost impossible to store. Therefore, wind often meets less than 0.5% of total UK demand and will nearly always need coal and gas support running highly inefficiently to cover the sudden drops. In addition, wind costs us all hugely through almost obscene levels of subsidies, indirectly contributing to fuel poverty in my own opinion given the fact all of this goes to increase the cost of bills.
    I could go on, as there is a lot more downside in my own view, not least to local environment and wildlife, but there you go.

    3) Wind costs us dearly through obscenely huge ROC subsidies paid directly by the electricity consumers.

  32. Fat bloke in Scotland?
    I think that is me. What do I have to say?

  33. Having said all that, I still believe we need a balanced energy portfolio including fossil, nuclear and renewables. I just think we are miles off 100% renewables.

  34. BILL C

    ” I would hope that you would concede that almost all of the press and the BBC in Scotland are anti-SNP, so much so that in my opinion, they are undermining the democratic process in our country”
    _______

    Well okay but I was trying to differentiate the MSM into a pro devolved SNP Gov and a hostile SNP wanting independence.

    I would hope that the Scottish electorate were too Sophisticated to make a judgment on the countries future based on what the media says.

  35. barney

    “Fat bloke in Scotland?
    I think that is me. What do I have to say?”

    Congrats – I thought there should be one somewhere.

    Right: you go up to the snp, ask what the voting options are. They say “yes or no” [they might say “och aye” or “are yooze kuddin’ me son?” but you’l be used to that]

    Anyway, you then think [v slowly] and then say

    “Can yooze gan thru thay opshuns agen Jummy?”

    [I wrote that in Scots to save time with the ole translation.]

    Then you all have a larf, a tunnocks bar and a bottle of IRN BROOOOOOOOOOOOO the noo.

    Can you video it please? You’l be invited to meet Ricky Gervais almost definitely. Or the poliss.

  36. Rich

    “Having said all that, I still believe we need a balanced energy portfolio including fossil, nuclear and renewables. I just think we are miles off 100% renewables”
    ______

    Stick a wind turbine in the Commons during PMQ’S and bobs yer uncle.

    Yeah good point though I think it will be sometime before we can fully 100% rely on renewables.

  37. @AC

    lol

  38. @Shariet – re Scotland’s renewables. They are doing good things with research into wind and tidal energy, and have grasped the opportunity for wind, but as a Green, I have deep concerns about the dash for wind north of the border.

    Wind turbines are effective as part of the energy mix, but they need to be in the right locations. For entirely political reasons, the Scottish government is encouraging wind development with scant regard for the preservation of some of the key wild areas. Installing turbines on peatlands has been demonstrated to increase carbon emissions, due to the affect on carbon release from the peat, and the landscape impacts are becoming highly significant.

    My fear is that Scotland’s energy policy is being driven more by the politics of separation rather then sensible environmental and economic thinking.

  39. @Rich – for the sake of balance, I assume you are aware that the UK taxpayer is underwriting the cost of nuclear waste disposal? This is a cost that is currently unknown, as we haven’t yet found a way to do this that is acceptable.

    We also (possibly quite rightly) pay large amounts of tax for a variety of diplomatic and military engagements in regions that produce and export oil and gas.

    Wind power is a bit more expensive than coal and gas, probably not too much more expensive than oil, if you count everything fairly, and is probably cheaper than nuclear, if you do likewise. The ‘problem’ is that the various costs associated with these other fuel sources are spread across government spending so that allocating them and accounting for them as part of our energy costs is very difficult, whereas for wind, the subsidy costs are very clear and easily accessible.

  40. @Alec,

    It’s a fair point. Decommissioning costs are huge too.

    Rich

  41. @PeterCairns

    [Sorry this is such a late reply but family …]

    “I am a bit more cynical.

    Much as I’d like a healthier planet even if an IS is energy self sufficient and it is mostly renewable I think the rest of the globe from US shale gas and Canadian Tar sands to Australian coal in Chinese power stations will dwarf any contribution we make.”

    Oh, I am too. And I acknowledge the truth in what you say. It’s just that I would much rather do whatever I can now, here, then give up in advance in defeat because the rest of the world won’t go along.

    .

  42. @barney crockett

    “Scotland doesn’t “produce 100% of the energy we need from renewables”. 2

    I quoted that from the SNP 2012 Manifesto. :-) I know we don’t produce it now.

    “It produces the eqivalent, meaning that if the wind blew, sun shone etc at exactly the right rate as demand required then it would. ”

    The problem, as I understand it, is that we don’t have the infrastructure (or technology? Not completely sure about that…) to store the energy which isn’t used. When that is put in place it will be a different ball game.

    “In fact all the economic argument about separation has been about oil. And Rich has grasped it correctly that Better Together seems to be winning that argument.”

    I think the Better Together argument took a serious knock, if not an actual dent, with Denis Healy’s admission that the Westminster Government had – to put it politely – massaged the figures in the run-up to the 1970’s Home Rule referendum campaign. He has also suggested that this may be happening again. I expect to hear a lot more about this in the coming months.

  43. @Steve – I happen to think that Labour would have done better than the conservatives on the economy. Unfortunately from my point of view the public do not agree.

    \Why do the public think this? As I see it, it has something to do with the way they endlessly repeat their mantra about the mess that Labour made of things. It”s partly also that the conservatives have comprehensible slogans that seem to have the ring of truth ‘maxing out on your credit card’, ‘you don’t solve a debt crisis with more debt’ and so on. It’s partly perhaps this ‘cognitive dissonance thing’ – if your conservative vote seems to have brought more pain, you have to think it worth while. And as I see it Labour have been painfully inept about rebutting all the half truths that have been told.

    Obviously some people will say that the public believe the conservatives because the conservatives are right, but as you point out the public are seriously misinformed on a lot of issues so this argument doesn’t wash. And even if it did anyone advancing it here risks being put in moderation.

    What is more interesting is what labour can do to counter these perceptions and in particular what slogans might appeal. My own view is that ‘cutting too far and too fast’ is memorable as a slogan but lacks the intuitive appeal of ‘maxing out on the credit card’. After all there are counter slogans in common circulations such as ‘if it ain’t hurting it ain’t working’ or ‘no pain no gain’ or ‘grasp the nettle’. So Labour need something better. I have no idea what it should be.. Can you suggest something appropriate? .

  44. I suspect Labour needs to start talking a lot more about ‘Foodbank Britain’. ‘Welcome to Foodbank Britain’ might well strike a chord with many!

  45. @ Allan and Statgeek

    If you are still interested in Alex Salmond’s approval ratings, there are some here:

    http://www.ipsos-mori.com/researchpublications/researcharchive.aspx?keyword=Alex+Salmond

    They are not up to date, but they appear to be such as Cameron, Clegg and Miliband can only dream of.

  46. @AC

    “I would hope that the Scottish electorate were too Sophisticated to make a judgment on the countries future based on what the media says.”

    In a media-driven world, what the media says tends to dictate how the people react.

    The ‘sophistication of the electorate’ can’t stop that. I’m looking forward to the debates in 2014. The sort of debates where Salmond faces off against other party leaders (will Cameron, Clegg or Miliband give AS the satisfaction, or will they delegate to Lamont/Darling etc?).

  47. @Graham

    Would it be true though?

  48. “For entirely political reasons, the Scottish government is encouraging wind development with scant regard for the preservation of some of the key wild areas.”

    No it isn’t and that isn’t where they are begin built.
    As this map shows they are fairly evenly distributed but rarely intrude in any of the national scenic areas or national parks.

    http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Resource/0039/00390847.gif

    Being a largely rural country with some magnificent scenery you do get them in some nice areas but the idea that they are being built with scant regard is a myth.

    As to the 100% renewables the key is equivalent.

    This diagram all be it from 2006 shows Scottish energy production.

    http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2006/01/19092748/8

    The intent is to reduce domestic demand and increase production so that we produce from all sources close to twice what we consume and that half of that (equivalent to domestic energy need) comes from renewables.

    The figures are here;

    http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2008/11/14093227/7

    It is as much about creating an export industry to replace oil as being green. It might not be the ideal energy policy and I’ve already said it won’t be cheap but then no ones will be.

    A key to making it work is the continuation of the current new large pump storage schemes and the development of the European grid in particular the interconnectors with Ireland Norway and continental Europe.

    What it is is more coherent, better planned and further ahead than anything coming from Westminster.

    Peter.

  49. In 2001 the federal government in Germany set a timetable for the end of the nuclear energy program in 2032… in 2010 the law was changed extending that to 2040. After Fukushima the end date is now 2022.

    Hopefully after 2022 they will be in a position where they will not be increasing the global stockpile of High Level Nuclear Waste (increases by something like 27,000 metric tons per reactor per year).

    Their target is 35% renewable electicity by 2020… as of 2012 they were at 21.9%, up from 14% in 2007.

  50. *27 metric tonnes per reactor per year*
    Global stockpile 340,000 metric tones atm?

    Practical studies only consider up to 100 years as far as effective planning and cost evaluations are concerned.

    The time frame in question when dealing with radioactive waste ranges from 10,000 to 1,000,000 years:

    Tc-99 (half-life 220,000 years), I-129 (half-life 15.7 million years), Np-237 (half-life two million years) and Pu-239 (half-life 24,000 years).

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