Tonight’s YouGov poll for the Sun (£) has some fresh Syria questions, just tweeted out by Tom Newton Dunn and reported on Sky News. The public remain overwhelmingly opposed to British troops being sent into Syria, but more importantly the poll also asked specifically about whether people would support a missile attack on Syria. 50% of people would oppose this course of action, 25% would support it. Even Tories are against missile strikes by 45-33% (Labour voters are against by 54% to 26%, Lib Dems by 47% to 27%)

UPDATE: Tabs are now on the YouGov website here. Regular voting tabs are here – today’s topline figures are CON 34%, LAB 39%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 12%.

684 Responses to “YouGov finds public 2 to 1 against missiles strikes on Syria”

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  1. latest YG –
    Con 34%, Lab 37%, LD 11%, UKIP 12%; APP -28

    Nothing exciting in just one poll with moe

  2. I find it a little bit exciting Jim Jam.

  3. RAF

    @” The,biggest,villans,of, the,piece,in,Egypt are General Sissi and his cronies who now have absolute power.”

    I don’t think the choice by Egypt’s Coptic Christians , of “biggest villain” , would accord with that.

    The biggest villain in Egypt-and in so many places in the ME-is the inability to separate religion and governance of the State.

  4. Steady on Colin, no point getting excited even by a wee bit – I predict it’ll be back up to a 7 point lead for Labour by next week.

  5. @Charles

    Yes, that’s what I meant, thank you.

  6. ITV are reporting it:


  7. Interesting, both Labour and Conservative U Turns on Syria action.

    The Tories continue to lead othe YouGov question “If you had to choose, which of the following
    options would be best for Britain?

    A Tory majority Government has been the lead answer to that Question for some time now. Hints of future movements in the polls possibly.

  8. Nick Robinson obviously didn’t get anything… he’s come on to say the Govt has lost control of events.

  9. Anyway, according to Nick Griffin, there are no real problems in Syria and Hezbollah are jolly nice chaps:

  10. Liam Fox on Today: UN inspectors will deliver the verdict… either he doesn’t understand their mandate or he he is sticking to the line (increasingly being questioned) that only Assad can have been responsible. Also, unwilling to discuss any consequences of a punishment strike – strayed close to giving the impression that he hadn’t thought that far ahead.

    Nick Clegg though… appeared to have been tripped up by Naughtie into calling it a “first step”.

  11. Can’t make my mind up about the politicking on Syria.

    According to THe Times Leader, EM’s late scuppering of today’s debate includes a demand that UN weapons inspectors provide reliable evidence of a CW attack by the Syrian regime.

    But the Inspectors’ brief does not include allocation of responsibility…and Labour had already accepted that CW were used on 21 August in Damascus.

    Anyway, DC has now lost control of today’s debate-not clever.

  12. THere is a picture in the DM of a UN Inspector taking samples , stood next to a rocket which is sticking in the ground.

    Ten of these were fired at the Ghouta district on 21st August.

    Is it not possible to say from which direction these rockets were fired, who occupied that territory on that day-and which side in the conflict possesses that rocket type & the technology to load a chemical charge ?

  13. Colin

    Two fairly good polls for the Tories in a row .

    It will interesting to see how EM intervention plays out personally I think it was the the Sun’s poll that has put the breaks on for all parties.
    EM intervention has more to do with internal politic’s and pressure from his own party than any heart felt conviction, as initially he was in broad agreement with the government which gradually changed through the day as that pressure from his own party built up.

    As far as DC goes he has the same problem some of he’s own back benchers are not convinced.

    Having said that I think it likely if the evidence is that Assad did use this gas weapon then DC will get he’s authorisation for action next week.


    “Unfortunately Erdogan after a decade in power is trying to disrupt that, but it impresses me how robust the Turkish public are in rejecting any lurch to more fundamentalism.”

    Yeah you can see that when you look at Turkish poll figures;

    I bet he wishes he was as popular as Cameron.

    Oh and out of interest can you give me an example of this “fundamentalism” Erdogan has been introducing in Turkey?


  15. Morning everyone,

    Another great Poll for the Tories again no matter what Jim Jam wants to say about it!

    @CHORDATA – what makes you think the Labour Lead will be back at 7% by next week – Surely its just wishful thinking on your part!

    They will be all over the place over the next month or so because of Syria and the Party Conferences – but it will be very interesting for Poll watchers like us!

  16. TURK

    Yes-& I note TOH’s last para.

    I had reached the same conclusion on EM’s U-turn-Abbott said she would resign.

    Yes-all the party leaders are struggling with the ghost of Dodgy Dossier.

    I think DC rushed into this debate a bit too quickly-but then I suppose MPs would have complained until they got the chance to spend a day pontificating.

    All very difficult for everyone-but too complex for VI effect?

    THough if mere headlines are what moves VI, EM will probably get a bonus.


    “Unfortunately Erdogan after a decade in power is trying to disrupt that, but it impresses me how robust the Turkish public are in rejecting any lurch to more fundamentalism.”

    Yeah you can see that when you look at Turkish poll figures;

    I bet he wishes he was as popular as Cameron.

    Oh and out of interest can you give me an example of this “fundamentalism” Erdogan has been introducing in Turkey?

    This is what I found about the Anti-Alcohol legislation that the opposition claimed was Islamification of secular Turkey;

    “The measure, passed on Friday, prohibits alcoholic beverage companies from sponsoring events and restricts the places where such drinks can be consumed. It also bans the sale of alcoholic drinks between 10pm and 6:00am, but only in shops.”

    That sounds pretty much what we have in the UK And doesn’t go as far as minimum pricing… Oh no you no what this means… Mullah Salmond is set to create Sharia Scotland!


  18. After Number 10 describing the Rt. Hon Ed Miliband in less than glowing terms (, it seems they may be embarrassed more than we thought. Looking forward to today’s vote!

  19. Poll number five hundred and odd since August 2010 showing the Labour bracket not breached. If Labour get between 36%-40% then there will not be a Conservative government. Labour has stayed in the bracket, like they have for the last three years, and all the rest bob up and down like a buoy in the north sea during a storm.

    Anyone said Ed is crap today…..apart from the foreign office?

  20. Is there any reason why my post that didn’t quote the Times, merely mentioned it, got pulled yet BillyBob & MrNameless both mention & link to the same quote but with different sources, are allowed to remain ?

  21. Why is the government such a bunch of war mongers,let the Syrians kill each other.they have done it for centuries,why should we have to butt in to all these conflicts that don’t concern us.Just look at Afghanistan ,what a mess that turned out,what did it achieve absolutely nothing but more deaths.Firing missiles into foreign countries is not what I want my country doing.It is time we stop holding the war mongering hands of America before we get dragged into a Third World War.There should be a poll on wether we should be the worlds police force, i imagine there would be an overwhelming NO.I am glad Ed Miliband has U turned on this he has raised himself in my eyes.


    We’ll see.

  23. PETER

    It is how a Turkish secularist sees Erdogan’s conduct & policies-all of them-and puts them into the context of Attaturk’s legacy , which matters.

    Picking one item and putting it into a Scottish context has no relevance.

  24. Who would have thought EM would impact US foreign policy!

  25. Why did Cameron start playing his hand the way he did? He threatened what was not within his control to deliver, forwent any opportunity to act as honest broker with anyone, and risked exposing us to increased costs in a situation where constructive action is more or less impossible. And all this without looking to gain any electoral advantage. I don’t agree with him most of the time but I have always found him a rational person who seems to be trying to do his best from premises I don’t share. This behaviour seems odd indeed. Is there something in the atmosphere of 10 Downing Street that infects the likes of Blair and Cameron? Quem deus vult perdere for those who like that kind of quote (and apologies to those who don’t)

  26. Peter: ‘Oh and out of interest can you give me an example of this “fundamentalism” Erdogan has been introducing in Turkey?’

    Banning Richard Dawkins’ books (amongst many others) maybe?

  27. Erdogan also put up signs discouraging couple from making contact in public.

  28. EM on this Syria business is reminiscent of EM over the Milly Dowler/Murdoch business….

    Whatever he lacks he has an unerring knack of getting on the right side of issues and attuned to public mood.

    DC has seriously over-reacted to all this. after all the time to act legally is after the UN has official notice that CW have been used and the Security Council refuses to act. Before that is established the action lacks legal certainty as the facts are not legally established.

    And ministers , governments and Media should also not talk down the significance of any action we choose to take by calling it a ‘surgical strike’; it is an act of War, justified or not, it is an act of war and we should not minimise its seriousness with linguistic camouflage.

    Assad’s regime may be minded to respond; or the syrian government’s allies may elect to respond, to any unilateral action. The events of 100 years ago demonstrate how quickly a regional dispute can escalate into something else.

    Sometimes the moral imperative to act has to be restrained by the moral imperative not to make matters worse. As we failed to intervene when we might have shaped the opposition and as the opposition in Syria is partly composed of elements at least as ruthless as the Assad regime, grandstanding at this point over 100 tragic deaths when we have conveniently overlooked 100,000 deaths of innocent men, women & children hardly carves out a position for the West on the moral high ground.

    There will be many in Muslim world who will see this once more in terms of Western capitalist imperialism acting to defend its corrupt interests against the religiously based principles and interests of the Arabs nations and muslim peoples.

    And given the recent history it is difficult not to have sympathy with this view.

    how many times have we stood aside in as many recent times when regimes have perpetrated genocide. Perhaps the most measured response in the absence of unanimity in the Security Council would have been to refer matters to the International Court of Justice.

    The blair doctrine that because we cannot act in all circumstances should not mean we act in stands; but it must stand against the restraint of acting only when our actions will have a chance of making things better. The most recent example in Libya the use force never a guarantees a good outcome.

  29. Redrag

    “Ed is crap today”

    A bit harsh, but having seen him on TV this morning maybe you’ve got a point. He didn’t want to support action in Syria, but he did support action in Syria as long as he’s ever increasing demands are met.
    Sometimes I think the Tories can’t win the next election but when I see EM on television my optimism comes flooding back.

  30. Peter

    Are you sure it was passed on a Friday, I thought that was Muslims holy day, very odd that a fundamentalist govt would be working on a Friday, but then again I don’t know how seriously Islam takes the day of rest

  31. Charles,

    It seems the best explanation is he thought it would be easy and didn’t really put the work in. Holiday was more important.

    The opinion polls seem to be key here. Ed’s intervention was telling because he is on the right side of public opinion.

  32. Norbold,

    “Banning Richard Dawkins’ books (amongst many others) maybe?”

    As far as I can see from checking, Dawkins’ book was banned by a judge after it was found to defame an Individual rather than for it’s arguments about god”

    That’s a legal decision about libel by a court not a religious one by a government.


    “Erdogan also put up signs discouraging couple from making contact in public.

    Putting up signs asking….no ordering…people to respect public morals is hardly the Taleban!

    This is the EU report on Turkish progress towards EU membership. It is quite sobering and shows just how far Turkey has to go to reach our standards, in terms of openness and fairness.

    It illustrates numerous ways in which it could do better. What it doesn’t show are any indications of a return to dictatorship let alone Islamification.

    The current Turkish government probably isn’t a great one, and Erdogan probably not a great PM or my cup of tea, but they represent one of the most popular and moderate Islam based parties in the world rather than a threat.

    For all it’s problems I think we should be supporting Turkey as a model for those states emerging from the Arab spring as in terms of democracy like Egypt it is far better than the military or military controlled governments that went before it.


  33. @Sine Nomine

    Labour will take these ‘great polls for the Tories’ all day long because the Tories can’t win with them. They’re not ‘great polls’. They are terrible polls for the Tories.

    The Tories cannot retreat into a fantasy world where being nowhere near a poll lead is ‘a great poll’. The issue they have is encapsulated in the piece by Damien Thompson in the Daily Telegraph, where he expresses incredulity that Ed Miliband could conceivably outmanoeuvre David Cameron. Now, granted, Thompson is probably the weakest of the DT’s stable of third-rate identikit right-wing partisans, but the Tories – party and activists alike – appear to be tumbling headlong into the trap of treating an intelligent and able Opposition leader as if he really is the caricature that they’re presenting him as.

    They made this mistake with Blair, who they started off as presenting as a weak, far-left union puppet (let’s pause to savour quite how bad this idea was – the Tories still did it), and that mistake meant they never got to grips with him.

    Now, it’s all part of politics to instil the idea in the public mind that your opponent is a cad, a loser or an idiot, or, preferably all of the above. But you must never believe your own propaganda, or you end up with Thompson’s cognitive dissonance. The only answers to the question Thompson raises of ‘how can this loser outsmart the PM’ are either ‘he’s not a loser’, in which case your strategy is wrong, ‘it can’t possibly have really been him’, which is what the hapless Thompson reaches for, or ‘the PM’s a bigger loser’ in which case your strategy is wrong, Unfortunately for Thompson and the party as a whole, this is hardly the first time that Miliband has got one over on the PM. They seem pretty evenly matched to me.

    The party has to actually deal with the real Ed Miliband and if they don’t – if they continue to pretend he’s an idiot and that 34% of the vote is a ‘great poll’, they will lose, and they won’t even understand why, as they didn’t in 1997 -and many still don’t understand why they lost in 1997.

  34. That should be “not” ordering, it was a request or suggestion not a law.

    This is the link to the EU report;


  35. The Mail doesn’t seem to be backing Cammers:


    Then again, their website’s front page headline today is ‘The FIRST tango in Buenos Aires: World championships draw to a red-hot close after same-sex couples make their debut in line-up’

  36. @Chris Riley – all your ‘wooley words’ are just fanciful dreams Chris.

    They ARE great polls for the Tories in the fact that with 18 months yet to go before May 2015 and how bad things have really been (most of it created by Labour in the first place it has to be said although you won’t want to hear it or agree with it!)
    Those are certainly NOT bad polls for the Tories at this stage of the game.
    You are talking as if there is about to be a GE next month which Labour would easily win – but there isn’t and Labour should really be miles ahead at this point in the cycle which they are certainly not!

  37. For what it’s worth, I agree wih Chris Riley.

    When the (imho) awful Mrs Thatcher was coming up on the rails, I was absolutely convinced the public simply had to see through the fake gentility and the (imho again) morally repugnant politics. They didn’t, and many came to regret it, but that’s beside the point.

    Ed’s done well on this one, for whatever reason. Lab score on YG slipped 2 points, possibly, possibly not because he seemed likely to give DC the Syrian nod when the poll was taken. The Tory score remains miles off what they would need to save their bacon. We’ll see whether Lab remain over 38 (it would be a brave forecaster who predicted otherwise) and their segment of the electorate seems to be proclaiming itself onside, whatever the Tory strategists say about Ed.

  38. At least Turkey is called The Islamic Republic of Turkey.

    The idea of The Islamic Republic of.. …is as dangerous & daft as would be The Christian Republic of…….

  39. Some polling on French attitudes to Syria. It’s in French but you can work it out:

    French people oppose French intervention by 59-41% but weirdly those on the left support intervention 54-46 – could be tribal loyalty to Hollande which we aren’t seeing here. Front National strongly oppose intervention, mirroring what we’ve seen with UKIP.

  40. God Damm ed Miliband, he’s gone and ruined our nice little war in Syria and now we are back to the monotonous partisan bickering over whether Labour should be further ahead in the polls

  41. …………..isn’t called !!

  42. Mr nameless

    That brings up the foreign office’s worst nightmare, that France replaces Britain as top deputy of the sheriff Obama. Bit sad that their worse nightmare isn’t setting off WWIII, I guess that’s their second worse nightmare, or at least it’s in the top ten! It must be?

  43. “We have increased our measures significantly since last week, to be prepared particularly in case of a chemical attack,’ said Mustafa Aydogdu, of the Disaster and Emergency Management Directorate.
    ‘We have experts who could deal with chemical attacks and we have deployed almost all of them in Kilis, Hatay and Sanliurfa,’ he added, naming Turkish border cities housing dozens of refugee camps.
    Mr Aydogdu said a number of refugees crossing into Turkey in recent days via Cilvegozu, the nearest border gate to Aleppo, had burns and were being tested for chemical weapons exposure.
    We can’t say at this stage that these burns are due to a chemical attack,’ he added.

    ‘We have heard about the use of phosphorus but I can’t confirm as yet that people who have been subject to a chemical attack have crossed into Turkey.’”


    This report is accompanied by some truly horrific photos.

  44. Mr nameless

    Do you think the difference between the French polling and the polling in the states and UK demonstrates the Iraq effect? Could we give a numerical value to that effect?


    Oppositions do not need necessarily to be well ahead at this stage in a parliament. That was not the case in either the 74-79 government nor the 66-70 and 70-74 governments. Even the much quoted example of Kinnock being 20% ahead and losing in 92 ignores the fact that such a lead was at the height of the Poll Tax riots. After Thatcher resigned Major actually had a lead, and the polls were very close up to the 92 election, and maybe Kinnock would have won had the hubris of the Sheffield rally and the shadow budget not happened.

    P.S. @ Chris Riley, excellent post (in my opinion!)

  46. Colin

    So phosphorus is a chemical weapon now…great news because it is bad!

    When are we hitting the US and Israel who have both used this in recent conflicts when attacking civilian areas?

    We have to be careful when talking about these areas as it is mainly the Al-Nusra mob who are involved in the Kurdish areas and they are carrying out despicable acts

  47. ‘When are we hitting the US and Israel who have both used this in recent conflicts when attacking civilian areas?’

    Excellent point. When one considers the behaviour of these countries the outcry over Syria is so hypocritical. Remember Agent Orange, the use of depleted uranium shells in Fallajuh and so on.

    But I forget the doctrine of American (and Israeli ) exceptionality – it’s fine if they break international laws and use extraordinarily nasty weapons but it’s just so wrong if anyone else does it…

    It is this hypocrisy which creates freedom fighters / terrorists…

  48. RiN,

    I don’t know about Iraq, but that article talks about polling before other interventions – Less enthusiastic about Libya (36%) but very supportive of Operation Serval in Mali (60%). I think the French, since they’ve not been involved in a really disastrous intervention since Algeria, are perhaps less disillusioned than the USA and Britain.

  49. The itv quote is quite extraordinary (asterisked to protect Anthony’s delicate sensibilities):

    (there’s also useful links to the texts of both today’s Commons motion and Labour’s amendment)

    A Government source was reportedly angry with Mr Miliband, telling the newspaper: “No 10 and the Foreign Office think Miliband is a ******* **** and a copper-bottomed ****.

    “The French hate him now and he’s got no chance of building an alliance with the US Democratic Party”

    For some reason they forgot to add that he smells and his Mum’s got a big bum. Either they’ve watches far too many “The Thick of It” reruns or they have lost their grip on reality. Probably both.

    Of course we won’t see any reaction to what happened late yesterday till tommorrow’s polls or more likely on Sunday. Today’s figures look a bit odd due to the high Lib Dem retention (43% – it’s usually about 10 points lower) and hence lower Labour VI. It’s probably just random, but could be memories of Iraq. Which would be ironic given the Lib Dems astonishing silence on the issue, which prbably indicates both strict Party discipline and really fierce internal rows.

  50. Please not the “Labour/Tories are doing well/badly because they/their opponent need to be doing better than they are at this stage in the cycle” debate.

    It’s all been said before. Yes a 3% lead for Labour is still a decent lead for Labour. Yes a 3% deficit for the Tories is still a lot better than a 10% deficit. Yes an Opposition can lose the subsequent election despite being streets ahead. Yes there is no guarantee that the polls will improve for the governing party/parties in the run up to the election.

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