The weekly YouGov poll for the Sunday Times is now up online here. Topline voting intention figures are CON 32%, LAB 38%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 13%, showing the six point Labour lead that has been typical in YouGov polls of late. As well as regular trackers, today’s poll also has some questions on Syria and on the whole Edward Snowden, GCHQ, David Miranda, Guardian affair.

There is still minimal support for any intervention in Syria (if anything there is slightly less support than when YouGov asked the same questions back in May). While 77% would support sending humanitarian supplies to civilians in Syria and 41% would support sending protective clothing to troops fighting against Assad, a majority would oppose any other type of intervention – 58% would oppose sending small arms to the rebel troops, 74% would oppose sending British troops in Syria itself (just 9% would support military intervention on the ground).

A batch of questions on Edward Snowden and GCHQ show people pretty evenly divided on the principle of GCHQ’s behaviour, 41% think it is right that GCHQ should be able to listen into internet and communication data, 45% think it’s wrong. People are still split on whether the Guardian was right to publish stories about it – 40% think it right, 45% think it is wrong.

As the questions move onto the government and security services’s response, the destruction of the Guardian’s hard drives and the holding of David Miranda at Heathrow the balance of opinion moves slightly towards the security services. In questions about the Guardian hard drives people are, on balance, supportive off their destruction – by 54% to 23% they think it was sensible, by 41% to 34% they reject the idea it was pointless. Finally on the question of David Miranda’s treatment at Heathrow airport, 46% think the police were right to use anti-terrorism laws to detain David Miranda, 36% that they were wrong. 49% think it was a sensible use of powers to protect national security, 34% think it was a misuse of powers to interfere with legitimate journalism.

Also in today’s Sunday papers was an ICM poll in the Sunday Telegraph. The Telegraph article doesn’t make it clear, but I think this is actually one of ICM’s “wisdom index” polls (that is, rather than asking people how they would vote they ask people to guess what the percentages will be at the next election and average them) – the figures look more like ICM’s wisdom polls than their regular polls, and ICM don’t do standard voting intention online. For the record the poll has the Conservatives on 30%, Labour on 32%, Lib Dems on 16%, UKIP on 12%.

There is also an Angus Reid Scottish poll in the Sunday Express, already well written up by John Curtice here, which found current referendum voting intention standing at YES 34%, NO 47%.


366 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 32, LAB 38, LD 10, UKIP 13”

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  1. That is a 2% gain for the YES camp, with the NO option being the same as the last AR poll in February.

  2. @BILL PATRICK

    The sample size was tiny so its well within the margin of error. Most likely nothing has changed.

  3. Tom,

    Good point. John Curtice notes that it’s only a little over half of the sample size of AR’s last poll.

  4. AW

    Can you do a post on robot polls and their advantages and disadvantages?

  5. I’m trying to decide if the question on the sense of destroying theGuardian hard drives is anything more than a crude test of people’s understanding of how computers and the internet actually work. Because from a technical perspective it is clearly completely pointless. Unfortunately I think the actual question should have been something more like “do you think the security services were right to try to destroy the information held by The Guardian”.

  6. @The Sheep

    If I had really critical/useful data, I would have it backed up on half a dozen memory sticks and a number places in the cloud’.

    Do I believe that a back up of the Snowden material exists somewhere?

    Yep.

  7. Chart update folks.

    Polldrums for the most part, but Miliband’s leadership ratings continue to drop, and are in danger of making Nick Clegg look more popular (if said ratings can be defined as ‘popularity’).

  8. @AW

    I have thought about wisdom index polls, and cannot for the life of me see the ‘wisdom’ of getting loads of people to guess what others are thinking.

    What is the view in psephological circles?

  9. That is a 2% gain for the YES camp, with the NO option being the same as the last AR poll in February.

    -So if Alex can put the vote off until 2018 at that rate He might stand a chance!

    Shame It happens next year.

    Statgeek if enough people say something such as for example the 2007/8 International Bankers Greed led recession was actually all Gordon Brown’s fault or Ed is crap often enough and enough of the media’s time is spent reporting it stories have a momentum of their own completely detached from reality.

  10. @steve

    Look at the polls. That’s what I’ve been doing.

  11. @ TheSheep

    I was a bit open-jawed at the hard drive Guardian question results but if you read the question it makes no reference to the fact that the Guardian has the stuff back upped elsewhere, so people could easily have assumed that was the only copy and responded accordingly.

  12. Steve,

    I know of no notable psephologists who think that the NO camp can win, barring some black swan event.

  13. * That the YES camp can win.

  14. @ Shevii

    Has the Guardian actually SAID it has other back-up copies elsewhere? I assumed because hard-drives (plural) were destroyed that the Graun’s editor had told the security services (perhaps even signed a statement) that their back-ups of the data were all held on the other hard-drive(s).

  15. @ Amber

    “Guardian editor-in-chief says he agreed to ‘slightly pointless’ task because newspaper has digital copies outside Britain”

    htt p://www.theguardian.com/media/2013/aug/20/guardian-editor-alan-rusbridger-nsa

  16. From the way Rusbridger tells it, it sounds like he told the security services so at the time:

    Home office goons: DESTROY. DESTROY DATA.
    Rusbridger: *handing over hard drives* You know we have backups of all this in Brazil, right?
    Home office goons: GCHQ SMASH!
    Rusbridger: Okaaaay. Whatever makes you happy, I guess.

    (I’m also slightly baffled why anyone would assume the hard drives the Guardian claimed contained all the data were in fact the only things in the UK that contained copies of that data, despite the august history of that great paper and Mr. Rusbridger’s honest face. But the Home Office has its reasons of which reason knows nothing.)

  17. A third who said they will vote Yes [to independence], would like to retain their British citizenship in the event of Scotland becoming independent.
    ————–
    eh?

  18. BILL PATRICK

    While “black swan event” is a useful concept, there doesn’t seem to have been one which explained to the psephologist observers why their confident predictions, only a month or so before the 2011 election of a Labour victory went so badly awry.

    I can’t think of any “event” which produced that shift – although there does seem to have been (though we are all “rationalising with hindsight”!) a significant shift in perception.

  19. Amber

    Dual citizenship is hardly surprising!

    More of my immediate family have it than don’t!

  20. @ Old Nat

    Most of mine too. But they’re voting no – that’s to say, the ones who will have a vote are voting no.

  21. Amber

    Which makes your “eh?” somewhat pointless. We can all agree that dual citizenship can be useful, however, we intend to vote.

  22. “Scotland poll, more people (34%) trust what Alex Salmond has to say about Scotland’s constitutional future than what the Better Together leader, Alistair Darling, has to offer (27%)”
    ____________

    Not very high for both sides but none the less it has to be more encouraging for the Yes camp.

    I’ve been sitting on the fence over wither to vote Yes or No (as I have stated on here before) but the cat is out of the bag and I will be voting Yes.

    And the loon is not for turning.

    Bring it on!!

  23. Has unemployment leapt to 40% overnight?

  24. Allan Christie

    I have never been sitting on the fence but I believe you will feel the pain of falling of onto the Yes side infinitely more than the pain of those who have fallen onto the No side.

  25. *of = off

  26. @ Old Nat

    Not really – to be clear, only those of my family & acquaintance who’d happily surrender their British passport for a Scottish one are intending to vote Yes. That’s why I was surprised that a third of Yes voters are expecting & intending to keep their British nationality.

  27. Even if The Guardian hadn’t explicitly said that they had other copies then anyone with the slightest understanding of IT would make the assumption that @Catmanjeff makes: there are multiple copies. So the question is really testing “do you have the vaguest understanding of IT?”, and the answer is that 54% or 41% (depending on which question you look at) don’t.

    I’m not entirely certain if that indicates a Swing towards IT or not.

    Oddly, if you look at the pictures the Guardian provided it seems that they were forced to destroy an entire MacBook, including RAM. Which can’t store data without a current…

  28. Topline voting intention figures are CON 32%, LAB 38%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 13%”
    __________

    I think Labour are well and truly stuffed on reaching over the 40% margin.

    The UKIP VI will melt towards the Tories the closer we get to the election and with Scotland voting Yes in the referendum then I think Labour’s chances in 2015 are doomed.

  29. @ Spearmint

    Sure, if the Guardian editor signed a statement saying that to his certain knowledge there were other copies, then the security services might as well not have bothered – except from the point of view that the UK can’t be ‘held responsible’ for what happens to data that’s stored outside ‘our’ jurisdiction i.e. it was a ‘back covering’ exercise by the UK government & security services.

  30. REG OF THE BNP

    “Allan Christie

    I have never been sitting on the fence but I believe you will feel the pain of falling of onto the Yes side infinitely more than the pain of those who have fallen onto the No side”
    ___________

    Well the polls do favour the no camp but very rarely have they achieved 50%. I think some in the no camp might be a little more worried by a Yes vote than those not wanting a no vote…Judging by recent cyber attacks.

  31. Allan,

    Welcome aboard!

    Where “Better Together” (BT) have done well with “Project Fear” is create doubt. The pension issue shows that the concern about being able to afford pensions or benefits does concern people.

    The odd thing about that is that most people think that our pensions aren’t large enough compared to other compatible countries and they are concerned about maintaining benefits at a time the UK Is reducing them.

    The success of BT has been in creating the impression that Independence might mean pensions are unaffordable but the UK. Doesn’t face that.

    The truth is that over the next twenty years pension costs are set to at least double and probably trebble whether we are Independent or not so the issue is what choices we make to deal with it whether we are Independent or not.

    It’s similar with North Sea Oil. The BT. Narrative is;

    “What will Scotland do when the Oil runs out, but you’ll be fine if you stick with us”

    The problem I have with that is the UK’s track record in Scotland of dealing with industries in decline. Whether it be car workers at Bathgate, ship workers at Greenock, coal miners in Ayrshire or Steel workers in Motherwell now two generations after these industries closed these are still areas of high unemployment, social deprivation and poor health and life expectancy.

    I am not claiming we will wipe all that away, but if you are looking for certainty and protection when faced with an industry in decline the UK hardly has a great track record.

    Peter.

  32. Allan Christie

    To be honest I am not that bothered about whether we get independance or not… if I am selfish. My own company won’t be affected by whatever happens, but a lot of friends of mine will be affected.

  33. Allan Christie

    Thinking on my last post I have decided that what I said was untrue; I will be affected if I live in a country horribly lacking in defence, a country where everybody around me is in poverty due to unemployment, a country where the only hope lies in something that is by no means a sure way of income. I will be affected if we are ruled by a government that cannot provide jobs for many in specialist industries such as the people that I need to run our machines and suchlike.

  34. Amber

    So it’s “Surrender” or “No Surrender”? :-)

    For EU citizens, the colour of the passport and the name of the issuing jurisdiction is somewhat academic since all EU embassies/consulates are required to give exactly the same level of protection to any EU citizen that they do for their own nationals.

    Still, if rUK leaves the EU, then dual citizenship for both a separate rUK and an EU country would be an even more useful item.

    How are your relatives planning to vote in the EU in/out referendum – and does “surrendering” their EU passport play a part in that?

  35. REG OF THE BNP

    ” I will be affected if I live in a country horribly lacking in defence, a country where everybody around me is in poverty due to unemployment, a country where the only hope lies in something that is by no means a sure way of income. I will be affected if we are ruled by a government that cannot provide jobs for many in specialist industries such as the people that I need to run our machines and suchlike.”

    Wow! Your plans to move to Eritrea may have to be reconsidered! :-)

  36. PETER CAIRNS

    “Allan,

    Welcome aboard!”

    My pleasure…
    ……..

    Absolutely agree with your post. All the stuff BT say will suffer in an independent Scotland are already facing cuts etc. Now take the armed forces, cut after cut after cut but they say in an independent Scotland they will suffer!! Huh??

    What really bites my cats tail is the arguments over defence. BT say Yes Scotland can’t say how big the Scottish armed forces will be in an independent Scotland but Whitehall can’t even say how big the current armed forces will be by next year and that’s us still part of the UK!!

    To be honest BT is little more than a political bandwagon for Scottish Labour.

  37. On dual citizenship my brother and brother in law live in Australia.

    One has chosen to be an Australian the other remain a UK Citizen, my sister in law lives in Canada and has remained British although she has no intention of ever returning to Scotland.

    Me I’ll take out a Scottish passport because if nothing else if I am ever on a plane that gets high-jacked I am not sure I’d want to hold up a British one, let along an American one!

    Joking aside the vast majority of people only use their passport for holidays and one in three don’t even have one. Most people see it in terms of either symbolism, which is fine, or if you get into difficulty abroad.

    In reality neither really matter because either way as EU citizens we can go and get help on an equal basis from any EU embassy or consulate even each others.

    That puts the Embassy debate in perspective, as EU citizens you can go to any one of twenty six other Embassies and soon to be about thirty.

    None of which stops BT spreading doubt and fear.

    Peter.

  38. REG OF THE BNP

    “Allan Christie

    Thinking on my last post I have decided that what I said was untrue; I will be affected if I live in a country horribly lacking in defence, a country where everybody around me is in poverty due to unemployment, a country where the only hope lies in something that is by no means a sure way of income. I will be affected if we are ruled by a government that cannot provide jobs for many in specialist industries such as the people that I need to run our machines and suchlike.”
    _________

    Looks like you don’t want a Labour Gov!!

  39. OLDNAT

    @REG

    “Wow! Your plans to move to Eritrea may have to be reconsidered!”
    _______

    LOL :-)

  40. ALLAN CHRISTIE

    Ta – but it’s too easy to poke fun at apocalyptic representations by extremists.

    I’d do the same to anyone on the independence side who suggested that everything would be perfect in an indy Scotland. Strangely, I don’t see such posts. :-)

  41. REG OF THE BNP

    I think if your party ever gained power then something tells me your friends will be a little more worried than those living in an independent Scotland.

    I mean what would your party do with all those workers from other countries who really do help prop up our NHS?

    What would you do with someone like me who’s mother was not born in the UK?

    More to the point….. Where would my mother live if your party won power? I’m terrified of the prospect of the BNP even getting a sniff of power so please put your crocodile tears and false fear damp cold place.

  42. #in a

  43. ALLAN CHRISTIE

    “our NHS” -> all four NHS systems in the UK.

  44. OLDNAT

    “Ta – but it’s too easy to poke fun at apocalyptic representations by extremists.

    I’d do the same to anyone on the independence side who suggested that everything would be perfect in an indy Scotland. Strangely, I don’t see such posts. :-)”
    ______

    Absolutely agreed!!

  45. @ Allan Christie

    Very neat and eloquent.

  46. Topline voting intention figures are CON 32%, LAB 38%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 13%”
    __________
    I think Labour are well and truly stuffed on reaching over the 40% margin.
    The UKIP VI will melt towards the Tories the closer we get to the election

    -Why?

    Why would you think Conservative votes will rise since the last election (they never have achieved this before) and why do you persist in the belief that base line Conservative support is in excess of 40% The Tories haven’t achieve that level since the 1970’s when the support for third and fourth parties only amounted to 10%.

    Assuming Labour retains around 35%,which simply requires them to get the same support at the last election (their second worst ever) plus the minimum 6% of voters who voted LD as an alternative centre left party and have now switched allegiances to Labour and the centre left vote is no longer split while the Right vote is clearly fractured between the Tories and other right wing parties then they will probably win and they have clearly picked up some additional votes since 2010 as well.

    In order for the Conservatives to win Core Labour support has to be below that of 2010 and those people who have never voted Tory before come to the conclusion that they should switch to them.

    It’s not a likely scenario

  47. Oh and on passports, not only do the Nordic countries participate along with Switzerland but Gibraltar and the Channel Islands issue their own.

    Did I mention we have had an open border with the Irish republic since 1926?

    Peter.

  48. The various confusing questions over the NSA leaks and its offshoots do rather suggest that the principle of “If you don’t like the answers, keep on asking slightly different questions” is being applied. As I pointed out earlier in the week, the response on the Miranda detention wasn’t quite what the powers that be would have liked.

    Anthony pointed out in the previous thread that this was a topic that wasn’t particularly high in public awareness. Press coverage may have been lower-key than you would expect of issues affecting their own freedoms, partly because political bias and Fleet Street rivalry and partly because of an unwillingness to go near security issues without permission[1]. In such circumstances it’s particularly important that polling questions are asked with sufficient context for people to be able to make unbiaased conclusions.

    This week’s questions do rather show what happens when Anthony goes on holiday and the mice get to play. There’s one particularly blatent question:

    David Cameron is currently taking his fourth holiday of the year – a short break with his family in Cornwall. Do you think it is reasonable or excessive for the Prime Minister to go away with his family for a few days four times in a year?

    Which ignores the facts that:
    (a) it’s actually his fourth holiday of the summer not the year;
    (b) he has had other holidays earlier this year and presumably will later, so four times a year is bad wording;
    (c) even some of the summer holidays have been longer than ‘a few days’ – two weeks in Portugal and a week in Ibiza for example;
    (d) the question is placed aftera variety of other questions asking about the respondants’ own holidays, which might well bias the results.

    It’s not a particularly important topic, but it does show how poor wording can then be used to produce a result “People don’t think Cameron’s holidays excessive”, which might have been different if more accurate information was supplied.

    [1] There may be another reason too. For much of the media, the business they work for, many of their colleagues, perhaps even they themselves may all be facing prosecution for hacking into people’s personal data. In such circumstances it may be difficult to get indignant about the sins of others and a matter of self-interest to try to convice the public that such things are unimportant and even acceptable.

    There may also be a bias against personal privacy in the British media (think of all those columns in which people write about their family life), though of course they want to be the ones who decide which lives still remain private and which public.

  49. OLDNAT

    Yes good point, all four NHS systems in the UK.

    Under the BNP (all four) would struggle immensely if they won power.

  50. STEVE

    You can bounce facts and figures about like wild fire but I really do think when voters are faced with the prospect of having EM as their PM then Cameron will walk it.

    But interestingly you left one crucial part of my post out!

    See if you can guess what it was?

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