This week’s YouGov/Sunday Times results are here. Topline figures are CON 33%, LAB 37%, LDEM 11%, UKIP 11% – closer to the recent YouGov average than the two very close Sun polls on Wednesday and Thursday. As usual fieldwork was Thursday afternoon until Friday afternoon, so finished before Labour’s policy announcements and almost all of the reporting of Godfrey Bloom’s eventful day at UKIP’s party conference.

As you’d expect in the week of Labour’s conference there was a batch of questions on Ed Miliband (as there was in the ComRes poll for the Sunday Indy), but they only really show the pattern we’ve already seen – only 16% think he’s provided an effective opposition, only 17% think he’s made it clear what he stands for, only 9% think he is a strong leader, only 17% think he is up to the job of Prime Minister. Predictably Conservative voters have a low opinion of Miliband, but in many cases even Labour voters have a negative opinion. While Labour voters do tend to see Miliband as trustworthy and in touch with ordinary people, most think he has not made it clear what he stands for and has not provided an effective opposition and only 44% think he’d be up to the job of PM.

In one sense it will be interesting to see whether perceptions of Miliband improve as a result of the Labour conference. I expect they will a little bit, but it probably won’t make any major or lasting difference to the negative perceptions of him; it’s a hard task to change the public’s opinion on a politician once it’s set. The question is more how much it matters (thus far Labour have remained ahead in the polls despite Ed Miliband’s poor ratings) and how much it might or might not matter when we get closer to the election, a question that’s impossible to answer right now.

The poll also asking about banning the wearing of traditional Muslim dress for women and about climate change. Two thirds of people would support a ban on people wearing the burqa or the niqab in Britain (a quarter of people would even support banning the hijab). Three quarters of people would support allowing schools to ban the wearing of veils, 81% support hospitals being allowed to ban staff from wearing the veil.

56% of people think that the world’s climate is changing as a result of human activity, 23% think that the climate is changing, but not because of human activity, 7% think it is not changing at all. This is a marginally higher level of public believe in man-made climate change than the last couple of times we’ve asked, but realistically it isn’t something that changes massively from month to month. 39% think that the risk of climate change has been exaggerated, 47% think it is every bit as real as scientists have said.


537 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 33, LAB 37, LD 11, UKIP 11”

1 8 9 10 11
  1. @RAF

    “…The Cons for example still believe in the, private, sector and smaller government and their policies reflect this…”

    No. Help2Buy and Help2Buy2 are trade guarantees that a New Deal Rooseveltian would be very comfortable with, and a Hayekian small-stater like Keith Joseph would have torn his own guts out rather than implement. That Osborne would have introduced such a thing demonstrates that the Cons can do Big Government perfectly well.

  2. CARFREW

    Glad of the clarification as to your meaning.

    I’d suggest though that there is no single set of skills which describe who is “best” at being a doctor – and “brightest” isn’t necessarily at the top of such a set.

    The same would apply in any sector.

  3. @oldnat

    There doesn’t have to be a single set of skills and I said “brightest for the role”, as opposed to brightest for bridge building or something else.

  4. @RICHARD IN NORWAY

    “…You know the example of a football stadium with one drop of water in it, which doubles every minute. How long does it take for the football stadium to fill up and how many minutes between the pitch being covered in water to the stadium being full is there…”

    Let y be the capacity of the stadium, x be the size of the raindrop, and n be the number of minutes. So the raindrop size at time n is 2^(n-1)x. So the raindrop fills the stadium at

    y = 2^(n-1)x [1]

    Dividing both sides of [1] by x gives us

    y/x = 2^(n-1) [2]

    Taking the log of both sides of [2] gives us

    log(y/x) = log(2^(n-1)) [3]

    But log(2^(n-1)) is the same as (n-1)(log(2)), which gives us

    log(y/x) = (n-1)(log(2)) [4]

    Dividing both sides by (log(2)) gives us

    log(y/x)/(log(2)) = n-1 [5]

    Adding 1 to both sides gives us

    1 + log(y/x)/(log(2)) = n [6]

    So if we have a stadium of capacity y and a raindrop of size x, which doubles in size every minute, then the number of minutes n it will take to fill the stadium is:

    n = 1 + log(y/x)/(log(2))

    I now look forward to somebody finding and pointing out any arithmetical errors..:-)

  5. @ROSIEANDDAISIE

    “…How about a monthly pedant’s award?…”

    Just give it to me now. Saves time.

  6. Carfrew

    Ah, the perils of writing without adequate punctuation. :-)

    Eats Shoots and Leaves

  7. Martyn

    “@ROSIEANDDAISIE

    “…How about a monthly pedant’s award?…”

    Just give it to me now. Saves time.”

    Funniest comment all month

  8. @Richard In Norway

    Thank you.

  9. @CARFREW

    “…If you are concerned about bias against doctors, why consider a pay rise for them a waste, when it’s their job to do the rather important and stressful and challenging task of saving lives and we would like to attract the brightest and best for that role…”

    I’ve had this discussion before and it gets rather long and involved, but suffice to say that GPs don’t save lives, they’re diagnosticians: they identify the problem and refer them to someone else, and it’s the someone else who does the life saving. I hold the frequently-disagreed-with view that you could replace every GP with a good nurse and you wouldn’t notice the difference. And they’d work weekends.

    GPs are good for paediatric diagnosis, care during pregnancy, have a limited role for geriatric care and are the only realistic option for last-month-of-life care. Those are very important jobs, but you don’t need the brightest and the best to do that: qualities like recall, endurance and empathy are required rather than deductive ability.

  10. @MARTYN

    “I’ve had this discussion before and it gets rather long and involved, but suffice to say that GPs don’t save lives, they’re diagnosticians: they identify the problem and refer them to someone else, and it’s the someone else who does the life saving. I hold the frequently-disagreed-with view that you could replace every GP with a good nurse and you wouldn’t notice the difference. And they’d work weekends.”

    ———-

    I might not be here talking with you now Martyn if you were entirely correct in that view. But my own hospital nightmare is probably not for this board. Though it’s a good story with some funny moments…

  11. @Martyn,

    So by your logic, if a 1% increase in house prices costs the country a fortune, then a drop in house prices enriches the country greatly?

    (I did of course mean the cost to the Exchequer is very low. In fact once you factor in higher levels of stamp duty revenue and the other government slices of the increased activity, the cost may even be negligible).

  12. On GPs,

    For a while in London I was at a surgery where one of the doctors was widely felt to be inferior to all the others. He was a bit of a ditherer, and not very good at communicating.

    I found him to be a fantastic GP, as he was just as capable of writing a sicknote or a prescription as any other doctor, and there was never a wait to see him (literally – in a waiting room full of patients, all queueing to see their doctors, he would walk in and enquire “Are any of you here to see me?”. God bless you Dr Maciolek).

  13. MARTYN
    You could replace every GP with a good nurse and you wouldn’t notice the difference.

    I had two GPs diagnose a heart problem eight years ago. One waned me I would be lucky to live till I was eighty, and advised be to change my diet. The other sent me for a check at the NHS hospital, where they kept me, did a phleboscopy, and did a triple by-pass. Had they not done so, I would have died. This is not anecdotal but routine experience and, to make the point, routine expertise. I formed the opinion that the former doctor was not very bright.

  14. Martyn

    I don’t know the current position of Physician Associates in the other NHS systems in the UK, but Aberdeen University is now running a training programme for them.

    If we’re into personal stories about medical experiences, then the Physician Assistant who treated me in North Carolina (where the concept originated in the USA) did an excellent job.

  15. JOHN PILGRIM

    Or he might have been very bright, and thought your condition was beneath his intellectual sphere.

    My brother was an excellent medical researcher – but said that he was really “carp” at being a GP!

  16. @Carfrew, @John Pilgrim

    Sorry to hear about your experiences, but pleased that you are still here to speak of them.

    @Neil A

    Actually, I think that is what I mean (a drop in house prices makes the country richer). I’m prepared to hear rebuttal, but my general point is that a drop in asset prices (be it bread,oil, steel or housing) is good, not bad.

    An associated point is that government deliberately inducing house price inflation seems to be nonpartisan and a British thing to do. I genuinely wish we didn’t do it (it is messing up our children’s lives), but I’m not kidding myself that people will agree with me.

  17. @Oldnat

    The concept of somebody less well trained than a GP but able to handle the repetitive work that makes up 80% of the job seems to be catching on: as you point out, the physician assistant in US/Scotland, the nurse practitioner on the wards in E&W, the teaching assistant and the community support officer in teaching and the police.

  18. MARTYN

    We have nurse practitioner led clinics as well. However, the critical point is that the “Barefoot Doctor” model wasn’t just appropriate to 1930s China, but (suitably modified) works in every society.

    The tyranny of the middle class professional might finally be overthrown! :-)

  19. @OLDNAT

    “Ah, the perils of writing without adequate punctuation. :-)
    Eats Shoots and Leaves”

    ———-

    Context usually suffices…

  20. @MARTYN
    @Carfrew, @John Pilgrim
    “Sorry to hear about your experiences, but pleased that you are still here to speak of them.”

    ———

    Thanks Martin. I survived, though I had to take matters into my own hands a bit. I was telling them what drugs to use by the end…

    Are nurses usually trained in diagnosis the way a doctor is?

  21. @OldNat

    You do seem quite exercised by the questions you raised. Unfortunately I don’t think that the qualification “in England” will feature much in Miliband’s speech either and just hope that that doesn’t cause you and other Scots to lose too much sleep (nor for that matter the Welsh and Northern Irish). Possibly Ed Balls has already caused you nightmares.

    Going back to your question “Why are English politicians so scared to be proud of what they can do for England?”, if the lack of reference to England is indeed a critical flaw in Miliband’s speech, we can expect it to dominate the reaction from aggrieved English commentators. I just that hope that it doesn’t dominate the coverage.

  22. @Oldnat

    We can only hope…:-)

    @Carfrew

    A good question, to which I do not know the answer…:-(

  23. PHIL HAINES

    I’m simply concerned for the welfare of my neighbours. If they can’t hear accurate language from their leaders, what possible chance do they have of understanding the complex state in which they live?

    I quite agree that the qualification “in England” won’t feature much, if at all, in Ed’s speech. I don’t mind Ed being a British Nationalist – that’s a perfectly respectable stance to take – but equating what happens in England with what happens in the UK seems to counteract that stance.

    That “English” commentators – by which I assume you mean the London media – share that inability to see the difference, would suggest that the problem lies in that common gestalt.

    Were I a Scottish Unionist, I would be concerned by such an attitude. As it is, I simply point out the inherent flaw in that particular version of British Nationalism.

  24. RiN

    “Martyn

    “@ROSIEANDDAISIE

    “…How about a monthly pedant’s award?…”

    Just give it to me now. Saves time.”

    …………………………………………………………………………………..

    “Funniest comment all month”

    We think Mr Turk is much funnier.

  25. CARFREW

    “Context usually suffices…”

    It sometimes can. However, the following have different meanings –

    “and we would like to attract the brightest, and best for that role.”

    “and we would like to attract the brightest and best, for that role.”

    That’s more than pedantry (though I’d dispute Martyn’s claim that he has automatic bragging rights in that field).

    You have now clarified that your comma should have followed “brightest” and not “best”.

    All is, therefore, well with the world.

  26. MARTYN
    Thanks, that and other ne3w leases seem to have spurred me on.
    Not to make a debating point, but to suggest that one needs to look at the system to see whether such and such a change in responsibility would work: the first check in my above experience was at the Chest Pains Unit (exercise test), second with the consultant cardioligist (angioscopy); third in the Cardiac Ward at Bath General for care and bed rest and routine daily examinations; then by ambulance under intensive care to the Cardian Operations ward at Bristol, Royal Infirmary, and then to the theatre)then to recovery (amzingly quick to endure, in intense pain, the Rioja and sirloin joint my daughter, bless her, thought would cheer me up). My point is not to tell my particular operation story, but to say, brightness rules ok, but you also have to have the intyial diagnostic skill, understanding of and access to a complex system. Maybe the trained nurse could do it, but it seems quite a responsibility, since the GP also follows up, and keeps you getting one foot in front of the other.

  27. OLD NAT
    Sorry, that should have been commas rule OK.

  28. JOHN PILGRIM

    You should be very glad that none of your physicians wrote “Investigate immediately after lunch and golf ….” instead of “Investigate immediately! After lunch and golf …..”

    Punctuation can kill! :-)

  29. @oldnat

    I didn’t use a comma at all within that phrase, so you chose to interpret it in a way that made no sense: that I might prefer as a doctor someone better suited to bridge-building, thus completely wasting your time.

  30. @oldnat

    Out of interest, which bits of the report won’t apply to Scotland?

  31. CARFREW

    “I didn’t use a comma at all within that phrase”

    Correct!

    That you can’t understand that the lack of a comma allows for two interpretations – both of which are as sensible as each other, says much.

    In any case, the discussion moved on to much more germane matters such as the appropriate level of qualification required in a variety of medical circumstances.

    We could probably agree, however, that at any particular level of professional or semi-professional, or craftsman, or unskilled employment, that we would prefer to have the services of the appropriate equivalent of John Pilgrim’s 2nd GP, who understood the need to pass the patient on for specialist examination, rather than the first, who seems to have assumed that he (and I guess it was a he) who thought that no other intervention was required.

  32. CARFREW

    Planning law : Local government : compulsory purchase : “transition from school to work” : business rates. Those are the obvious ones in the Independent article.

  33. @OLDNAT
    CARFREW
    “I didn’t use a comma at all within that phrase”
    Correct!
    @oldnat

    “That you can’t understand that the lack of a comma allows for two interpretations – both of which are as sensible as each other, says much.

    In any case, the discussion moved on…”

    ———

    It says you are electing to misrepresent again, because I was acknowledging the ambiguity and simply pointed out that you chose a pointless interpretation.

    It would be great if now this discussion could move on also, to something else entirely more fruitful…

  34. @oldnat

    So the extra housing, energy and green stuff would still apply in Scotland?

  35. And the Corporation Tax thing. Would Scotland be given their share of the money? Or do Scotland set different tax rates?

  36. CARFREW

    The extra housing is entirely dependent on changes to English planning law and local government powers, so no. In any case, the needs of housing outwith the South East of England are very different in other parts of the UK.

    Since 2009, for example, there has been no “Right to Buy” new public housing in Scotland. That might have been a useful measure in England, but that’s up to you guys.

    Quite what you mean by “green stuff” is unclear. Significant environmental and planning differences exist between the four administrations in the UK. Some of them are reserved, some are devolved, some overlap – but I’m sure you knew that.

    Energy is a reserved function, so is a matter for the Westminster government.

    It’s not that hard to understand.

  37. CARFREW

    Corporation Tax is a reserved function. Scotland, Wales (and as it turns out Northern Ireland, despite discussions on that) gets no share. Rates are set at UK level, and all revenue goes to the Treasury.

    I’m happy to act as a facilitator for your understanding of devolution, but I always advised my pupils to do their own research.

    The Scotland Act 1998 Schedule 5 is a good starting point – though it has been amended in some details.

    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1998/46/schedule/5

  38. @oldnat

    It isn’t hard to understand if you have the info., and being as you live in Scotland and live and breathe this Independence stuff you are likely to have more of the info. That’s why I asked you, because it isn’t hard.

    Thanks, anyways…

  39. CARFREW

    And, of course, you need to refer to the appropriate legislation for Wales and Northern Ireand for the specificity between reserved and devolved powers that apply there.

  40. CARFREW

    LOL

    The devolution settlements are a Unionist thing – not an independence one! That would be much simpler. :-)

  41. @OLDNAT

    “I’m happy to act as a facilitator for your understanding of devolution, but I always advised my pupils to do their own research.”

    ——–

    Don’t worry, if it gets tricky, I shan’t trouble you!!

    So in theory the Treasury could give Scotland their share re: Corporate Tax and Scotland could use the money to cut business rates themselves?

  42. @OLDNAT
    CARFREW
    “And, of course, you need to refer to the appropriate legislation for Wales and Northern Ireand for the specificity between reserved and devolved powers that apply there.”

    ———

    Lol, I wasn’t planning on asking you about them as well…

  43. @OLDNAT
    CARFREW
    LOL
    “The devolution settlements are a Unionist thing – not an independence one! That would be much simpler. :-)”

    ——

    I knew you’d quibble about that as well. You know very well that the Independence debate takes devolution into account…

  44. CARFREW

    “So in theory the Treasury could give Scotland their share re: Corporate Tax and Scotland could use the money to cut business rates themselves?”

    That’s what devolution means. Westminster decides what powers the devolved administrations have, and can increase, or decrease those powers as suits them.

  45. CARFREW

    It’s interesting that I understand how the political structure of my country (whether UK or Scotland) works, while you don’t have that same degree of knowledge about yours.

    That actually is where I started this discussion. The UK/English parties and media give a distorted and partial picture of the UK to those in England, which makes it hard for them to understand that the UK is not a unitary state.

    That does those in England (or anywhere else) no favours.

  46. @Oldnat

    LOL, I know what devolution means, I just don’t have the info. on exactly what is devolved and how. You seem to confuse ability to understand a concept, with asking for info. on something.

    Like if someone asked you what time the train arrives, you would go “OMG!! Can you not understand the nature of time??!!”

    Must slow you down a bit…

  47. @OLDNAT

    “It’s interesting that I understand how the political structure of my country (whether UK or Scotland) works, while you don’t have that same degree of knowledge about yours.”

    ———

    There aren’t enough hours in the day to learn about everything Oldnat, and you tend to confine yourself to your specialist area. I’m the son of foreign parents and I possibly know more about the political systems in their respective countries than you do.

    There are people here who know a lot more than me about polling too. Big part of why I’m here, filling in gaps, asking you questions…

  48. CARFREW

    That was my point. It’s unreasonable to expect individuals to have an understanding of the system that governs them, if politician and media give no, or misleading information.

    It’s not an unreasonable position to ask that Ed describes which policy changes he would be able to implement in the whole of the UK, and which would only apply in England, so that the electorate understand the political structure of the UK.

    Anything less is lazy, shoddy politics and use of language. Shouldn’t we demand that the standard of political debate is somewhat higher than Heffer in the English Daily Mail?

  49. @Oldnat

    Is it desirable that people understand the political structure of the UK? Sure, why not? But that is possibly an educational issue. Is it appropriate for Miliband to do the educating in a conference speech? Just explaining how the Corp. Tax thing might work would be unwieldy and may depend on what Scotland decide to do anyway.

    It’s a political speech, he’s selling policies and won’t want to confuse or dilute the impact. You may have a point, but then again, would you expect Salmond to fill his speeches with stuff that educates people on the potential pitfalls of Independence? ‘Cos that would be educational too…

    (Of course you may try and say there are no sticking points, but you know what I mean…)

  50. Latest YouGov / The Sun results 23rd September – Con 32%, Lab 40%, LD 10%, UKIP 12%; APP -27

1 8 9 10 11