YouGov Sunday polls

There are two YouGov polls in the Sunday papers – one for the Sunday Times (tabs here) and one for the Sun on Sunday (tabs here). Voting intention figures are CON 33%, LAB 37%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 13% and CON 33%, LAB 36%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 14% respectively. The rest of the questions in the two polls mostly cover the state of the economy and the fuss over Birmingham schools.

Looking at the economy first, the proportion of people thinking the economy is improving continues to tick upwards. 49% now think the economy is showing signs of recover (34%) or is on its way to full recovery (15%). This is also translating into people being more likely to think that the government are doing a good job running the economy – 45% now think they are doing well at managing the economy, 44% badly. Just a one percent net positive, but the first time the government have managed a positive since way back in November 2010.

However, at a personal level the public are still pessimistic. More people still expect to be worse off next year than better off (by 34% to 18%), and asked about their own local area in the Sun on Sunday poll people still think there are fewer jobs, people have less money to spend and the shops are less busy.

Moving onto schools, 38% of people now think that schools now have too much freedom and that government should have more powers over them. 24% think the current balance is about right, only 19% now think that schools should have greater powers.

Looking specifically at the Birmingham case, 44% believe there probably was an organised plot to take over schools, 33% think that the schools had gone too far towards adopting a Muslim ethos, but that it was probably not an organised plot. Just 6% think there was no problem. More generally 79% think there is a risk of schools being taken over by religious extremists (34% a large risk in many parts of the country, 45% a lower risk in only a few areas), and 50% of people think the risk is greater in Academies and Free Schools. 55% think the government have not reacted strongly enough to counter the threat.

The idea that schools should try to instil British values in pupils does meet with wide approval, with 79% support. 70% say there are distinct British values than schools can uphold and teach, 21% say that in reality British values are not really different from other countries’ and they couldn’t, in practice, be defined or taught.

200 Responses to “YouGov Sunday polls”

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  1. jOHNb: “Of course the French have the term ‘Royaume-Uni’, just as the Italians have the term ‘Regno Unito’. They are, at one level, aware of the difference, as are English, of course. That’s not the point. If people were always careful to specify what they meant, then there would be no problem.

    Instead, people often use inaccurate terms which can, on occasion, be insulting. As someone who has a very mixed British inheritance, I find being called ‘English’ quite frankly insulting. Of course it’s not meant as an insult, and I try, politely, to point out the differences between the names ‘England’, ‘Britain’ and ‘The United Kingdom’. Such efforts are usually greeted with thanks for clarifying a situation which is not always clear to those I meet when I travel abroad – and that’s fine. No problem.
    It’s just that I expect a better appreciation of the situation on a website which, on the whole, is contributed to by some very intelligent people.

    You may not understand my feelings on the subject, but your inability to understand the feelings of another person in no way necessarily invalidates those feelings.

    As to the various possible scenarii involving the need for nuclear weapons, I still fail to see how them use of nuclear weapons would help. Mutually assured destruction or life without oil? I think I’d prefer the latter, thank you!

    You clearly don’t see the irony that you are insulting the English by being “frankly insulted” when inadvertently referred to as English. Or maybe that doesn’t count. I really do suspect there hasn’t been a day when you haven’t been outraged by something or another.

    You have also missed the point re the nuclear deterrent. It is not there to destroy anyone who threatens you. It is there to deter them from making the threat in the first place. Imagine the state of Europe if the USSR had nukes but NATO didn’t.

    In the two (viable) nuclear threat scenarios I gave, would your preference be to capitulate to the aggressor or….?

    Again, I’m genuinely curious as to the nationalist reasoning behind being pro-disarmament.

  2. 6 out of 8 for me Howard.

    Oh Pepe, what a plonker !

  3. With the way the indyref polls have narrowed, we may well see at least two governments in the next parliament, if Labour don’t have enough seats to be the largest party post-2016.

  4. @John B

    After reading your account of how we shouldn’t be using Three Lions because some seem unable to see a symbol used in a sporting context as anything other than an assault on the way some Scots “define” themselves, I was wondering: might you consider changing your name?

    It’s just that it reminds me of a bad experience on the net of an utter fruitcake also coincidentally called John who was constantly inventing ludicrous trumped up grievances.

    We should give up anything with associations with the past. Were any Scots soldiers involved in the Boer war? This might therefore offend South Africans, therefore Scots should not have soldiers any more.

    Very bad things have happened after drinking whisky so maybe Scots should stop making that too. Especially after Salmond’s comment about a nation of drunks.

    Actually, we shouldn’t be mentioning Salmond, as having described Scots in that way he naturally offends the sensibilities of those of us who like to think better of our Scots neighbours.

    In fact, following this logic it might be better still if we didn’t mention Scotland at all, because I had a bad time with a Scots girlfriend* once, one that helped define my personal history and what it means to be a Carfrew, and naturally it is insensitive to be reminded of it. People mentioning tartan are more obviously being insensitive given the way the Ally’s Tartan Army thing was rubbed in our noses in ’78 after we failed to qualify for the World Cup. There was even a song about it!!**

    (* Actually, she was Geordie but its close enough…)

    (** In this case “we” refers to England, for any that might be socially or contextually challenged.)

  5. A problem with Lord Ashcroft’s polling is that you have to scroll down reams of his own interpretation before you end up being able to access the data tables. But I find this split far more interesting than all the bumpf that he comes up with over leadership ratings and the like:

    % of each party’s support that is made up of people who will “definitely vote that way”:
    Con 55%
    Lab 61%
    LD 47%
    UKIP 55%
    Green 28%
    (+ SNP 64% and Plaid 80% but from tiny samples)

    So: Labour support is relatively firm, and Green support is much more at risk of going elsewhere than that of UKIP.

  6. Phil Haines

    IIRC, Anthony has previously said that a significant number of people, on the YG panel, who were “absolutely definite” that they would vote in a certain way actually didn’t.

    One of the advantages of surveying a panel is that YG know who the individuals are, and can trace such variations, as opposed to random polling where one could only guess at such variation at the individual level.

  7. @Steve2

    My anti-nuclear stance has nothing to do with nationalism. It’s point of principle which goes well beyond Scotland.

    As to the term ”deterrent’, there’s absolutely no point in having a deterrent you’re not prepared to use. What happens if your bluff is called?

    Why have them if unless you’re prepared to take the moral responsibility for potentially destroying millions of innocent people – and wrecking the lives of many many generations yet to come. I have been to Bielorussia and have seen in orphanages there what happens when nuclear instruments blow up in our faces: children with horrendous genetic deformities; hundred of square miles of land which will be unusable for five thousand years or more. And so on.

    If you want to play at being ‘big boys’ with your nuclear weapons fine: that’s your moral responsibility. But I don’t want to be party to any of it, thank you very much.

  8. Bramley

    Well done. I would like to see how others here do. Being warned of course, does improve your score.

  9. Carfew,

    I have naturally dark skin and have been mistaken for a local in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, and for an Afghani in the Pakistan High Commission in London……maybe I should apply to MI6.

    Anyway, please could you help me work out how angry I should be and with whom?

  10. 4 out of 8 – Bramley is the top pippin.

    Leaving aside Scotland, I absolutely disagree with the UK having a local branch of the US nuclear ‘deterrent’

    I doubt it is a deterrent anyway – why would ISIS care, if they are the potential aggressor?

    Only psychopaths would unleash a nuclear bomb and psychopaths are not too interested in potential consequences

  11. @Carfrew

    I didn’t say that England ought not to wear the Plantagenet badge. I only suggested that it might be worth realising that this is what you’re doing

  12. @ John B

    You are asking the impossible, to expect people to be aware of everything that might possibly offend you, which seems a bottomless pit of despair, or indeed to be aware of all the ways things in one country may differ from those in another. Especially if they haven’t lived in the countries. There are not enough hours in the day for Italians to learn all the differences, especially when you have the number of countries involved. Not just Scots and UK, but Welsh, Irish… Canada and the US etc.

    Even oldnat, with it seems a special interest in education, and in differences, has erred on educational comparisons in the past.

  13. @Steve2

    Dunno, I’m frequently mistaken for being Italian, so it’s all over the place at my end…

  14. People thought you were Italian???

    The total b*******s!

  15. I get annoyed with those Scots, who object to being called English, yet describe the Netherlands as Holland.

  16. Guymonde, ISIS aren’t a nuclear threat so the deterrent doesn’t apply here.

  17. As a Marxist in my youth I always felt personally highly insulted when people used to talk about Russia instead of the Soviet Union…..

    Oh no, come to think of it, I wasn’t, but perhaps I should have been.

  18. As someone who’s acquainted with Marxists (hazard of being a Labour student) they seem to have abandoned class struggle and solidarity with communist countries (admittedly hard to do now it’s just North Korea and Cuba) and started fighting everyone over identity politics and language policing. It’d be funny if it wasn’t so irritating.

  19. Norbold

    Surely, as a good Marxist, you should have been concerned about the Russification of subject peoples?

    Had you been a Georgian, of course, you wouldn’t have known that people were calling you a Russian, as you wouldn’t have been allowed out of the Soviet Union, or to read the opinions of those who called you Russian.

  20. Norbold

    The above, of course, assumes that you weren’t a Georgian member of the Politburo.

  21. @OldNat – I get annoyed with those Scots, who object to being called English.

  22. In Spain they think I am Italian. In Italy they think I am Spanish. I actually look like Marcello Mastroianni (and am also very modest by nature).

    I thought Peter Kellner’s article was interesting because of the discussion that varying LD prospects would have an effect on the big two. It was a bit hard on Labour I thought, but one supposes Peter just goes that extra mile to counteract accusations of partisan thinking.

    A good principle for a commentator, to which I aspire to adhere.

  23. @MrNameless – Yes, identity politics has completely destroyed the serious left as a coherent force. A perfect case in point is the recent “kinky split”, in which an SWP splinter group split over the group’s policy on racial fantasies in BDSM.

  24. @Steve2

    Yes it’s hard to believe but people haven’t thought to thoroughly research everything they say in case it might possibly cause offence to a fruitbat somewhere or other. Fruitbats don’t make it easy though. It’s not like there’s a database where you can devote a few hours a day to memorising possible grievances of the especially-sensitive from different cultures and nations just in case.

    It shows just how lazy we are. I plan to spend a few years in the library researching the historical associations of every item in my home, just in case. Someone earlier was offended by someone wearing a footie shirt in a shop. Are socks ok, or did something bad happen with socks I don’t know about?

    I don’t even want to think about the possibility of coffee being an issue…

  25. @Carfrew – “I don’t even want to think about the possibility of coffee being an issue…”

    That sounds very racist. My cursor is hovering over the “Report comment” link.

  26. I wouldn’t be so down on identity politics as a means for the hard-left. Herbert Marcuse may well have been tactically smart when proposing a shift from thinking of the working classes as the proletariat to regarding the oppressed class as groups like the students, the artists/intellectuals, and the sexually unconventional.

    If there’s a group that you’re trying to appeal to in politics, a good way of getting them (and keeping them) on side is to tell them that they’re oppressed, facing a crisis etc. Most parties primarily seek to appeal to the middle classes (Director’s Law) and so the middle classes manage both to get continually more prosperous and allegedly continually deeper into crisis. The opportunities for the far left in the West have generally been among the above groups (especially the first two) and so sensibly that’s where the far left like the SWP have concentrated their efforts.

    Whether this strategy is right or wrong in a non-prudential sense is not for me to say, and not for us to discuss on here, but it does seem to me that focusing on identity politics over class politics (or rather, the manner of thinkers like Marcuse, restructuring the latter as the former) makes a lot of strategic sense if you’re on the far left.

  27. @Bill Patrick – No, focussing on identity politics makes a lot of tactical sense for the far left.

  28. Fruitbats get offended when loonies are called fruitbats – apparently.

    I get offended by having to get up. I blame this on Scotland as a rather lovely baby [me not Scotland, perish the thought] and having to get out of me cot in ARCTIC CONCITIONS…… and that June.

  29. Howard

    The way you describe your issues with Latins confusing your identity reminds me of an Einstein quote.

    “If relativity turns out to be correct, the Germans will call me a German, the Swiss will call me Swiss and the French will call me a great scientist. If it turns out to be wrong, the French will call me Swiss, the Swiss will call me German and the Germans will call me a Jew.”

    Personally, as a left-leaning Yorkshireman, I used to get mightily annoyed at people assuming that, being English, I must be some French/Welsh/Scot-baiting Home Counties boor. Then I grew up and found more serious and important things to get annoyed about.

  30. @Chris Green

    I thought I said I didn’t want to think about it!!!!

    That said, point taken. Having recently discovered the Macchiato perhaps I shall refer to that instead. Though to be fair, I haven’t had a chance to research that either. I’m still working my way through all the sporting emblems…

  31. The point of a deterrent [excusez moi for stating the bleedin’ obvious] is the hope that it deters.

    That is the WHOLE point and, as we haven’t had a full-scale nuclear war so far, the plan seems to be holding.

    If it doesn’t work we’re buggered anyway so that scenario is irrelevant. A country that would nuke us when we have them ourselves would certainly do so if we didn’t.

    What IS irrelevant are the odds.

  32. no….

    what is NOT irrelevant are the odds.

  33. And we know for a fact that a country may use those weapons against another country that doesn’t have them…

  34. ‘cos it has actually happened…

  35. @OldNat

    Yes, I’m sure that not everyone who says that they will “definitely vote that way” will actually do so. However I think that such people are more likely to vote that way than are people who state that they “might vote differently”.

  36. @Carfrew – “Macchiato” has connotations of “macho” or “machismo” (much like “history”/”herstory”).

  37. KeithP
    “Looks to me that we are settling back to the dreaded and much-seen polldrums, Labour lead about 3%, Conservatives still stuck low 30?s, UKIP ratcheting upwards slowly but steadily”

    Perhaps there is an element of polldrums, BUT UKIP seem to have been slightly down since the start of June (about 1% down) with that share going to the Tories. (Lab seem to be constant at around 36%. Tories seem to have risen to about 32.5%, UKIP are around 14% now, with LDs constant around 8% and Greens staying at 5%).

  38. @Chris Green

    You say that like it’s a bad thing…

  39. @Carfrew – Misogynist! Also your use of the word “bad” has connotations of Judaeo-Christian morality and the persecutions of Pagan religions.

  40. @Chris Green

    Well I was trying to avoid saying that Macchiato – according to my admittedly cursory knowledge of the matter – means “stained”, which could lead to all manner of things. But to progress to the plus side, having enjoyed a fair few Macchiatos at the local coffee shops, I have managed to get a barmaid at one of my locals to do me a Macchiato from one of those evil automated machines. Which is excellent news as you get the frothy taste without much of the dietary evils of the milk.

    While taking in a bit of cricket…

  41. Phil Haines

    I wouldn’t disagree that there is a greater likelihood of consistency among such folk who declare that they won’t change their mind.

    The question is, what proportion, and are these polling questions of any great significance?

    If Anthony isn’t watching the Iran/Nigeria footie, he might comment.

  42. Chris Green

    I’m absolutely sure that you meant to say something that was relevant, even to the rather inane discussion on here, in response to me.

    I wonder what it was?

  43. Old Nat

    “Had you been a Georgian, of course, you wouldn’t have known that people were calling you a Russian”

    Phew! Just as well I wasn’t a Georgian. Narrow escape there then.

  44. Norbold

    Alas, you didn’t escape from making a comment that had no conceivable relevance – even to the inanity of this thread.

  45. A couple of things deep in the Ashcroft figures:

    – Only 17% of people said they would vote CON before weightings were applied (a far from ideal sample, then, I’d say).

    – A couple of polls recently have shown that large numbers of people think what colour the govt is will have no effect on themselves and their family. I’d suggest this is probably a massive shift from earlier decades caused by, among other things, changes in the economy and the general (and true to a large extent) feeling that the main parties are quite similar. The logical consequence of that shift would be to drive partisan dealignment further with people voting more on competence and how much they identify with a parties values than on the balance sheet. It also may go a long way to explaining why the recent economic improvement hasn’t been met with an upsurge in CON popularity like in 1983.

    – He asked if people have taken a foreign holiday in the last three years. Why?

    – Recalled 2010 vote was way off at CON 21 LAB 17 LD 13 (unweighted CON 22 LAB 20 LD 9)

  46. New thread – Thanks be to Anthony.

  47. As everyone surely knows, the nukes are necessary to protect us from the French.

  48. OldNat (from previous thread)

    “The relevant part of the poll on attitudes to devolution is not the question on whether the situation in Scotland should make a difference or not, but the questions which relate specifically to whether devolution has made a positive difference or not. Prof Scully summarises the results here

    Your weblink is out of date, not my previous post ! Your link is dated 11 June. I was quoting from a previously unpublished result of the ICM poll which was a major story on BBC Wales TV news last night (15 June), and which I had heard only an hour or two before I posted. I assume you didn’t hear it unless you tune in to BBC Wales rather than BBC Scotland news ! Surely not…;-)

    I will quote what the result was from :

    “ The latest poll concerning attitudes in Wales towards the United Kingdom raises some interesting questions about the attitudes of Welsh residents towards the United Kingdom. 61% of the thousand Welsh residents questioned by the BBC wanted no change in Wales’ constitutional arrangements in the event of Scotland voting to become independent. 17% of people wanted further devolution, with another 14% opting for Welsh independence.”

    The parallel BBC link to follow on hte same revleation is

    I do confess to overstating from memory “almost 70%” when I should have said “over 60%” but that doesn’t change the essential truth of what I posted, or the fact that you decided you knew better from a Scottish perspective and introduced an entirely different argument about so-called ignorance of the details of devolution amongst the Welsh !

    Your line of argument seems to be “ I must try and get readers to ignore or evade the results of this poll as the Welsh audience don’t agree with me at all and also seem to be rather ignorant on the details of devolution”. A strange argument anyway for pro-devolutionists (or independence supporters) to use as it criticises the very people they claim to support …

    Moreover whilst I respect Roger Scully’s expertise, his comments on polls are (like mine) – opinions. Most observers would not regard him as a committed neutral on devolution issues as his academic position and interests centre on devolution. I am not really surprised to see that he is quoted frequently by nationalists in Scotland and Wales.


    “The socio-ethnographic map of Wales doesn’t always closely match the political boundaries within Wales, though the Vale of Glamorgan should probably be considered as part of “British” Wales. Along with South Gower and South Pembrokeshire, it was settled by the Anglo-Normans in the early Middle Ages. Conwy is split between the coastal area”s (principally Llandudno & Colwyn Bay) which are part of NE “British” Wales and the mountainous rural hinterland which is part of Y Fro Gymraeg. In any case, due to increasing population movements, these “boundaries” are becoming increasingly blurred.”

    I find it rather predictable that those who advocate (ever more) devolution or outright independence for Wales tie themselves in knots trying to give history lessons about which little bit of Wales houses the English and which little bit houses the Welsh, based on settlement patterns or prejudices that are centuries old, but I am pleased you admit that it’s all very mixed up and blurred in the 21st century, which is surely what matters now ?

    Your two responses merely reinforce my view that the political class refuse to accept that UKIP more or less won the European elections in Wales as well as England, and made serious inroads in Scotland to which I still recall the reaction of BBC Scotland’s Political commentator who looked as if he had swallowed a wasp when news came that UKIP had won their seat there.

  49. COLIN
    I am not sure that the second link, showing the largest national group in the ISIL Sunni extreme terrorist group in Syria responsible for beheadings, and for posting videos about it and their involvement, is more shocking than the careful research of your first link: rather it is, sickeningly, a possibly predictable end-game of the horrendous process and the origins of this behaviour in extremist and criminal behaviour in the UK, with a grotesque echo of the phenomenon of a superior access to English and technical media and IT skills acquired in UK communities where terrorist dissidence and criminality have space and cause. Well, at least we, or people more skilled and directly involved than us, are aware.

  50. ‘Your two responses merely reinforce my view that the political class refuse to accept that UKIP more or less won the European elections in Wales as well as England,’

    Given 80% + voted against UKIP please define winning?

    Given the percentage vote for UKIP I believe went down if one compares percentage of votes in seats actually stood for as well…

    It is merely that a lot more candidates stood that the illusion of a pro-UKIP tide was created.

    And it was for an election that no-one really cares for – so hardliners of fringe groups will always get their voters out. Note that the BNP managed it last time, this time the BNP disappeared but UKIP replaced the right wing protest group…

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