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 Needless to say, both polls were conducted before the government’s defeat over Syria, so are already a bit out of date.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. Back in MOD, got to try and find which word upsets the automod to release my post.

  2. “What would be Obama’s greeting to a PM called EM, post 2015?”
    Who gives a ****……he would be there as PM of the UK, not to be some kind of poodle for US foreign policy.
    In reality, Obama, will understand the internal division there has been in the UK, because, he will have the same in the US. It is only the right wing press jumping up and down on the war drum at the moment and even many Republicans are taking Ed M’s stance of no action until their “House” sanctions it. Of course this action by the Republicans in the US is never mentioned by any of the coalition as it doesn’t run with their intentions.
    http :// www.

  3. Bingo :-)

  4. Strange how the right wing press over here and the coalition fail to mention the fact that there is a very significant number in the Democrat and Republican Party who are urging the president not to go to war…..ever wondered why?

    http: //

    http: //

    Soif Obama did meet Ed M in 2015, he will no exactly why he said what he did, as he is having the same said to him over the pond.

  5. AW – Are there any other polls apart from Yougov tonight. Sometimes when something significant happens in politics, there are a few polls rushed out to see if there has been any major changes to opinions and the Westminster bubble gets all excited.

  6. Presumably the YouGov poll tonight is the only one we’ll get that will have been conducted entirely after the Syria vote? Anyone know?


  7. Paul Bristol – With the exception of Dan Hodges I think the rest of the right wing press are either getting bored with the “Ed is crap” campaign or can see it is not working as the Labour percentage is not moving. Maybe they are taking their lead from BoJo who a few weeks ago mentioned he was like Stalin for stabbing his brother . This is a strange one really as Stalin did have brothers but they died before he was born, socouldn’t have stabbed them in his back. So he has gone from being weak and a nerd to Stalin (which means “Steel”) and ruthless. Flipfloptastic!!!!

  8. Tonight’s poll may turn out to be a bit of a damp squib for those hoping for some decisive movement.The Saturday night poll often seems a bit out of kilter,and perhaps all of the dramatic events have not been digested by people
    Yet.Next weeks polls after the Sunday papers etc,may show some change.

  9. @ Robert Newark,

    Should EM win the 2015 GE and he becomes PM (which is all very possible) what might President Obama’s greeting to Ed be on their fist meeting, does one think?

    If the US goes in for a bombing run on its own, I reckon it’s going to be “Oh God, I wish I’d listened to you.”

    Obama’s plan for military action is no better developed than Cameron’s was, and no more likely to end well.

    All this panic over Britain’s global influence is incredibly misplaced. A nation that refuses to follow its allies off a cliff is in a stronger negotiating position than one that will blindly back their every whim, and anyway the US can’t break off the Special Relationship even if it wanted to because it needs Britain to hack into the transatlantic internet cables.

  10. @ Ann in Wales

    I’m sure you’re desparately wanting a big surge in the Tory vote!! LOL

  11. Red Rag – not as far as I know. There could be a Survation in the Mail on Sunday, there is nothing in the Indy (John Rentoul tweeted earlier about there probably only being YouGov, and he’s have known about a ComRes). There hasn’t been enough time since the vote for a MORI poll. I suppose the Telegraph could have asked ICM for something (though it wouldn’t have VI), or the Observer have asked Opinium for an extra one.

    Can I *again* ask people not to go into discussions about fault or motives, whether Cameron was a klutz or Miliband a copper bottom **** – none of it is conducive to non-partisan discussion. Stick to what the public think, not what each other think.

  12. Spearmint

    “and anyway the US can’t break off the Special Relationship even if it wanted to because it needs Britain to hack into the transatlantic internet cables”

    Lol, and I thought the Syrian stuff had completely banished that nsa stuff from our minds

  13. Cheers AW. As I said yesterday, I don’t think it would move the polls and if it did not by much and it wouldn’t last long, but it wouldn’t stop the Westminster bubble going into Anti-Cam/Anti-Ed overdrive, even if both percentages moved within moe.

    Prediction time:-


    Labour 39%
    Conservative 31%
    Ukip 14%
    Lib Dem 11%

  14. AIUI, the YG ST poll fieldwork began Thursday high tea time.

    However, if the panel are representative, 96% of them don’t give a fig about politics and normally just vote on soap powders and such like.

    So I should not get too excited, especially over one poll. I suppose a Friday morning ‘put the boot in’ type commentary by Nick Robinson or the others on the news could influence some.

  15. Bantams(not a relation of Turk by any chance)whatever gave you that idea?

  16. “However, if the panel are representative, 96% of them don’t give a fig about politics and normally just vote on soap powders and such like.” So true, I could quite imagine despite the TV coverage and front pages of the papers, there will be many that wont even know, or even care, what happened the other night.

  17. As my poor attempt at humour indicated earlier, i had supposed our relationship with USA was mainly a cultural one, where we start saying ‘back in the day’ instead of ‘a while ago’.

    Billy Bob will now tell me that it was a favourite expression of Oliver Cromwell.

  18. Obama is going to seek approval from Congress before any military action on Syria. Will he get approval or does he hope Congress says no?

  19. Howard – it *normally* begins on Thursday teatime…

  20. Howard,My favourite Oliver Cromwell quote is :
    I beseech thee by the bowels of
    Christ.Used on several occasions.It does have a certain force.

  21. Mine is “You have sat here too long for all the good you do,” applicable to Parliament and much more broadly ( circular UKPR comment thread debates, etc.)

  22. LASZLO

    I have read reports that 80k defected from the Syrian Regime military.

    Numbers surely aren’t the issue. THey are fighting Hezbollah & Assads forces-all armed to the teeth by Russia & Iran.

    The opposition do not seem to be armed to anything like the same extent-otherwise there would be aerial dog fights , tank battles & missile exchanges.

  23. INteresting from Obama.

    I take from it:-

    He feels he needs to do some equivalent of what Cameron did ( Question-what happens if he gets the same answer?)

    He has changed from a plan to strike before the G20 in Russia next week-to a plan to tell Putin at the G20 that he intends to strike if Russia doesn’t drop it’s UN SC refusal to act . ..He made a point of saying his commanders had told him the plan is not “Time sensitive”-it goes today-next week-next month.

    He also said the strike would “degrade Assad’s CW capability” ???

  24. Ann in wales

    Only keep about 200 chickens not bantams ,although my daughter is threatening to buy a drove of pigs. Keep to crop growing its less hard work than animals and you get to drive some really neat tractors that’s my advice should you take up farming any time soon.

    Oh yeah and if you have any children don’t let them talk you into giving a old knackered donkey a home in one of your fields before you know it there’s 10 of the b*****s running around eating grass and running up vet bills.

  25. Colin

    I guess that several billion dollars doesn’t buy a lot of weapons, war is an expensive business. Maybe Saudi should use its own forces


    @”Maybe Saudi should use its own forces”

    That would be preferable to the Sunni/Shia conflict being played out by proxy in Syria.

    BUt they won’t-the Arab League in general are big on talk about action-but they mean someone else’s action.

    If all these ME countries stopped the myriad Sunni-Shia confrontations & battles-and lined up against each other with their own forces-you would have WW111 in no time.

    Perhaps we should be grateful that the great Schism of Islam is played out in small conflicts , mutual destruction of holy places & suicide bombs.

    It’s just that so many innocents suffer.

    It is the women & children I feel sorry for-they have no voice. All the men are sodding crazy.

  27. Re forth-coming polls:

    I participated in 2 on-line polls yesterday, one for Survation and one for panelbase. The panelbase one runs from 30th August until 12th September and presumably won’t report foranothe few days after that; I don’t have timing information for the other one.

    I can’t get back into them now, but one of them certainly asked questions very similar to those Couper2802 mentioned, i.e.
    End of special relationship good or bad.
    End of being world policeman good or bad
    There were also questions about the party leaders, but that may have been in the other poll.

    I should have made more effort to make sure I would remember which asked what!

  28. @Couper2802

    This isn’t Obama’s war. The France and the UK have made all the running (or at least had). Obama is no fool. He knows strokes ineffective and quite possibly counterproductive. He does think something should be done. But he doesn’t want the blame if it goes wrong.

    So what does he do? Force the Republicans to make a decision. Do they deally want down a war resolutiom by a US president? This seems inconceivable. But they may try to put barriers in the way. Restrict the operation financially, or operationally. If that then fails, the Democrats can blame the Republicans.

    It’s a very smart move tactically. I think however sidelining the weapons inspectors is a major faux pas. It suggests the US isn’t convinced a out it’s “evidence”. It believes Assad is responsible but has no hard evidence and is concerned about being undermined.

  29. RAF

    @”It suggests the US isn’t convinced a out it’s “evidence”. It believes Assad is responsible but has no hard evidence and is concerned about being undermined.”

    He is convinced of his evidence-he said-and repeated some of the detail Kerry gave.

    He dealt with the inspectors-they will NOT say who did it.

    He said the UN will “investigate” the 21st August atrocity in Damascus-but not respond to it, because Russia won’t allow it to do so.

  30. @RAF
    I think it is probably that the Republicans disparage the UN and politically it is much easier to pretend to be preferring US intelligence.

    My feeling is that US\UK\France should get with Russia\China and they should all stop taking sides and look for a diplomatic solution and humanitariam aid. Obama is meeting Putin before the Congress votes so there is scope for some diplomatic solution.

    I wonder what happened at that security council meeting that Russia called on Thursday – maybe there is hope for Diplomacy.


    Looking forward to the poll results -interesting.

  31. It is reported elsewhere there is another poll apart from Yougov tonight.

  32. No movement to speak of…

    Survation [email protected] 7m
    Survation for The Mail on Sunday – Voting Intention (Change since August 4th)
    CON 29% (+1) LAB 37% (+1) UKIP 17% (-1) LD 11% (NC) AP 7% (NC)

  33. @Couper2802

    That is also my preferred solution. Obama has bought some, time if nothing else.

  34. Tonights Survation:

    Labour 37%
    Conservative 29%
    Ukip 17%
    Lib Dem 11

    The changes are all within moe but the most important figure is Labours, up slightly, but within the bracket.

    Yougov to come.

  35. Red Rag

    Why is Labour being 1% up any more important than the Tories being 1% up.

  36. 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…

  37. Interesting tweet from my MP, Douglas Carswell, given the right wing press’s take this morning: ‘US now following UK in seeking legislative approval re #Syria. Kinda kills the comment pieces telling us “special relationship” is dead, eh?’

    I don’t think anyone could accuse Douglas of being a rabid leftie!

  38. Turk,
    Apologies,I knew you kept chickens so presumed your user name indicated
    turkeys also perhaps.Regarding Donkeys,we visited the wonderful donkey
    Sanctuary at Sidmouth last year.Fortunately my daughter was not with us or yes,we would have had a donkey in the stables.

  39. Turk, the changes are within moe so don’t matter. The most important figure is Labours 37%. Like over 96% of every poll since August 2010 it is in the 36-40% bracket. If Labour gets a figure within that bracket, there will not be a Conservative government and more likely a Labour one. That is why it is the most important.

  40. @Richard,
    As I suggested earlier it is perhaps to soon to come to these conclusions.

  41. @Norbold

    Indeed. The President had set a precedent.

  42. Ann in Wales

    No Turk comes from my great,great grandfather who came to England from Turkey in 1883 or the old Ottoman Empire as it was then, to escape religous persecution.
    Sadly that’s all I know about him except he married a English girl and they had 9 children.

  43. “Like over 96% of every poll since August 2010 it is in the 36-40% bracket”

    That isn’t true. Labour have been at 36% or above for about 95% of polls since August 2010, but they certainly haven’t been at 40% or below! They were *over* 40% for a getting on for half of the polls between Dec 2010 and Apr 2012.

  44. Turk,
    How interesting .My great,great grandfather was on Lord Roberts march and took part in the relief of Kandahar during the second Afghan war.Then he came home and worked in the jewellery quarter in Birmingham.How people just
    did things in those days.

  45. @ RAF,

    The President had set a precedent.

    This is what “exporting democracy” actually looks like.

    Ed Miliband has done more for the cause from the opposition benches than Tony Blair did in government.

  46. Survation’s poll was taken Friday afternoon and evening and explicitly asks about the debate, so that should show to effect to some extent.

    YouGov’s probably won’t if it sticks to its normal schedule, but Anthony’s being cagey.

    The Survation poll is really pretty dreadful – a long line of false oppositions that are obsessed with Cameron and Miliband (Anthony thinks we’re bad) and attempts to put words in people’s mouths. To take the first of a long line:

    Which of the following statements is closer to your opinion?

    By consulting Parliament and respecting their vote, Cameron is showing strength of leadership

    By bringing an unpopular motion before Parliament and losing the vote, Cameron is showing weakness of leadership

    Don’t know

    You’ll notice that “Both” and “Neither” aren’t options. Indeed in some questions you can’t even reply “Don’t know”

  47. @ Colin

    Looks like Camerons leadership in taking the decision to parliament has rubbed off on Obama. I think the UK will actually be seen in a good light after all the negative stuff that has been said about both Cameron and Miliband.

    I think sometimes it is best if we show how democratic we are, rather than allow executive decisions. Otherwise it is difficult to preach to other countries. Had the UK or US just started bombing Syria, when the public were against it, with no parliamentary approval, it would have set a bad example.

  48. “Meanwhile in France – seen as the main US ally since the UK vote – an opinion poll suggested that 64% opposed the use of force.”
    BBC Very sketchy on the detail about the above quoted figures… is this a slightly different reporting of the same poll Mr Nameless already posted or a new one?

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