Today’s daily YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 33%, LAB 37%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 12% (tabs here), the weekly Friday Populus poll meanwhile has figures of CON 33%, LAB 39%, LDEM 12%, UKIP 9% (tabs here). Needless to say, both polls were conducted before the government’s defeat over Syria, so are already a bit out of date.

We’ll know over the next few days what the impact of the Syria vote is on public opinion. Unlike many political events, it is at least something people notice (in the weekly Populus poll on what news stories people have noticed 61% said Syria), but it obviously isn’t something that directly affects many British people’s lives. Unless there are actual wars with widespread casualties, people tend to vote on things like the economy, health, taxes and so on, not on quarrels in a far away country between people of whom we know nothing. Perhaps of more interest will be the effect on perceptions of the party leaders (which, in turn, may have their own knock on effects on voting intention) – will it make people see David Cameron as a less effective leader, or Ed Miliband as a more effective one? I would be surprised if there wasn’t at least some negative impact on Cameron’s ratings, but whether that is long term or quickly forgotten is an open question…

372 Responses to “Latest polls, and what might the impact of Syria be”

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  1. AW – I stand correct – It is then 36% or above then.

  2. @ Colin

    He [President Obama] feels he needs to do some equivalent of what Cameron did ( Question-what happens if he [the President] gets the same answer?)
    I believe that David Cameron would heave a huge sigh of relief. Without missiles flying & excited news reports about surgical strikes etc. the lost HOC vote will soon fade from the public’s view.

    FWIW, I do not think there will be a vote in Congress. IIRC the vote is to be held after President Obama returns from the G20. I hope that a suitable arrangement can be agreed during the G20 & that no vote of Congress regarding a military strike will be needed. I think that a G20 solution might suit the President very well.

  3. @ Roger,

    Wow, the wording on that question is awful. If I’d been polled I’d probably have to pick option 1 but it definitely wouldn’t be an endorsement of Cameron’s leadership!

  4. Arrgh, I wish Opinium would give us the full tables. I’m curious what the most popular answer was to “Why did Cameron want to attack Syria?” but they refuse to tell us.

    It could have been anything from “He wants to steal their oil” to “Because he’s a US poodle” to “Longstanding concerns about the worsening humanitarian crisis” to “Don’t know”. Telling us just one of the options is like an open invitation to draw false conclusions.

  5. I think that it is quite possible there will be no strike against Syria on this occasion.

  6. @Richard

    Q18 on survation

    Q18 Which party leader do you trust the most to handle international crises?

    Cameron 40%, Miliband 23%

    Labour supporters – only 55% choose Miliband.

    Looks like people still respect Cameron and don’t rate Miliband for defeating the vote. Opposite of my opinion, but you can’t really argue with the poll…

    In the same poll 22 % of people said DC was in touch with public opinion over Syria, 60 % said he wasn’t.

    The point is that picking out odd questions here and there on what is a snap-shot poll is very hazardous occupation.

    Most polls can be reported in any number of ways (it’s an abuse of statistics – what politicians are always doing).

    Just like intelligence reports, polls have to be considered carefully with all the caveats. I’m not saying you did this her, but I find it odd when generally one poll is jumped on because of a change that mostly proves to be nothing more than MOE and sample error, for example.

  7. Roger – I didn’t think I was being that cagey. I thought I was pretty blatantly hinting that we started the survey later than usual!

  8. RM
    Beggars belief that Opinium didn’t do a VI poll as well?

    Also I reeled from the LD quote in the article. Clearly the wrong way around!

  9. AW

    I did write ‘high tea’. :-)

    (That was 1745 in my working class days).

  10. @ Howard,

    Maybe most of the leftwingers have already abandoned the party, but even so I would have expected the conservative, libertarian wing to be equally anti-interventionist. Utterly mystifying.

  11. Roger’s post has disappeared – what happened -whisked away by alien moderators?

  12. Spearmint – they just clearly got the figures muddled. See the accompanying comment. Still, it is true they were apparently more gung ho.

    I’ll have to think outlier otherwise I’ll …….

  13. Howard

    I assume they must have done VI as well (how else would they have the Party cross-breaks?), but didn’t report it in that article. Tables aren’t up yet, but I assume they’ll produce a VI article sometime tonight. Presumably it’s nothing dramatic or they would have lead with it.

  14. Roger – ah you are back. Hope the aliens treated you well. I would not have known about the poll, only that your post was there for a few fleeting minutes, (i assume).

  15. AMBER

    @” I hope that a suitable arrangement can be agreed during the G20 ”

    Yes-but that would need Putin to publicly accept Assad’s guilt-and agree on suitable action by UN.

    Doesn’ t seem likely at present.

  16. Howard

    The post about Survation should still be there, though it may have slipped between pages. Anthony did moderate a comment of mine this afternoon though so I’m still sulking.

    Actually I’m rather surprised that YouGov did hold back the survey for the ST as no one really expected the government defeat. Presumably there was a lot of rewriting into the small hours with lots of long preambles in case panelists hadn’t heard the news.

  17. @ Colin

    Yes-but that would need Putin to publicly accept Assad’s guilt-and agree on suitable action by UN.
    I’m not sure it would; we will need to await the G20 & its aftermath. Russia may have evidence regarding the attack &/or ideas of how to resolve the situation without military action.

  18. Amber

    That going to go down well with the countries that want a new Bretton woods and the end of the dollar as sole reserve currency. A lot of the G20 have more pressing things on their minds than a little local difficulty in syria

  19. New thread

  20. This is what Howard is referring to, I think:

    Among Conservative supporters 34% were in favour and 50% against, while 24% of Labour backers were in favour and 59% against.

    The Liberal Democrats are the most evenly split of the three main parties, with 50% in favour and 36% against. More men (27%) than women (22%) back intervention.
    It seems surprising that LibDems are most in favour. Perhaps Paddy Ashdown continues to have considerable influence with the LibDem remainders.

  21. Amber

    The biggest issue at the G20 will bethe meltdown of the indian rupee and other emerging market currencies, if the first world wants to talk just about Syria then the developing countries are going to be livid. India is in the midst of a currency crisis, the entire economy could go down the pan and unlike in the devolved world a recession in India will kill people

  22. NEIL A
    ” I think I’m going to bow out until we have something else to talk about.”
    Quite so, and you may be referring to my strange link of the Syrian vote with the CAP.
    My interest then and now is not in the hypothetical notions of who was right on a military strike, but rather on the real fact that our defense armoury and budget will be reduced, and can continue to be reduced by not spending on military responses to crises in the ME or elsewhere. Revised spending to back up foreign policy can be addressed to the better distribution of wealth and of the influence of a sound and mature western political structure, within the EC for starters. Europe has the strongest interests in the ME of any power block but has rendered itself toothless and supine through a maladministration and corruption to which UK foreign policy should be addressed.

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