YouGov’s weekly poll for the Sunday Times is now up here. The fieldwork for the poll was delayed from the usual cycle, being conducted from Friday lunchtime to Saturday morning so it could reflect the aftermath of the Syria vote.
Topline voting intention is CON 31%, LAB 41%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 13%. Technically this is within the margin of error of YouGov’s recents polls, there have been instances of one-off YouGov polls showing 10+ point leads in July and June, however it would be a bit of a freakish co-incidence if one of those outlying polls just happened to come along the day after a big defeat for the government, so I expect it is showing a genuine increase to Labour’s poll lead.
Looking at the other trackers, there is actually only a very marginal change to David Cameron’s ratings. 36% think he is doing a good job (down from 38%), 55% think he is doing badly 55% (down from 56%) – all normal margin of error variation. There is a more noticable boost for Ed Miliband, 24% think he is doing a good job (up from 20%), 63% a bad job (down from 68%). So, a small increase in the Labour lead, and a modest increase in perceptions of Ed Miliband. What remains to be seen is whether those changes stick, or whether they are just a short term effect of a news event.
Looking at other more specific Syria questions, people are broadly split over whether David Cameron did or did not show strong leadership over Syria (39% think he did, 41% think he did not). In comparison 28% think Ed Miliband showed strong leadership, 46% that he did not (only 10% think Clegg showed strong leadership). Parliament as a whole comes out the most positively – 58% think it performed well, 27% badly.
66% of people agree with the argument that chemical weapons are especially horrific and should be regarded as a crime against humanity, 26% think they are terrible… but no worse than the mass killing people using other methods. People are not, however, convinced that the Assad regime has used them – 43% think they have, 43% don’t know. Overall 68% think it is right that Britain does not take part in military action, 16% think Britain should have taken part.
When people opposed to military action were asked why the effect of Iraq and Afghanistan becomes clear – 36% said it was because they wanted UN support for an attack, 38% that it would make things worse not better, but the biggest single factor (mentioned by 51%) was the fear that a limited missile strike would inevitably lead to more British involvement later, and ultimately Britain being dragged into another land war.
Looking to the future, while people were opposed to British involvement in an attack on Syria, they are not opposed to us offering support to the USA doing it! By 48% to 31% people would support the USA being allowed to use British bases in Cyprus, 70% think we should share intelligence about Syria with the US, 64% that we should support any attack diplomatically at the UN. It looks as though it is British involvement people oppose, not an attack per se.
Also out this morning is a new immigration poll from Lord Ashcroft. I am about to go out so will update on it later, but you can read about it yourself here.