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”

1 2 3 4
  1. Everybody must be watching the football – I don’t recall ever being the 1st to comment!

  2. But a very fine comment it was Amber.

    One of yer best.

  3. @ Amber

    Just starting to stir now.

    Yougov should be asking the if Dean Sturridge replaced Ed/Dave/Nick/Nigel as leader would that change your voting intention.

  4. YouGov also had some questions last Sunday on the freedom of schools[1]:

    and the contrast was even more stark. 70% agreed with Governments should limit the freedom given to individual schools to make sure they don’t make decisions that are bad for children or are taken over by extremists – even if this means good schools also have less freedom to innovate or experiment and only 11% wanted the balance the other way.

    You suspect this is one of those cases where the same question keeps on getting asked in different way till the public come up with the ‘correct’ answer[2]. This week the winning option was still Schools have too much freedom to make their own decisions, and local and central government should have more powers over them, but it was not so dramatic. It would also be interesting to separate out the enthusiasm for local and central control. In the past people seem more in favour of local government, but again this is not necessarily the ‘correct’ response.

    [1] Anthony the tables for this haven’t yet appeared in their proper place in the Archive. I suspect they were held back because the formatting is a mess, but they really do need to be cleaned up and made easy to find.

    [2] Last week the question was clearly asked in the context of Muslims and education while it was the first question this week.

  5. It is quite interesting to see that the same polling organisation can collect such contrasting data in the regional figures. The Wales/Midlands figures are bizarre. Strangely the end result is almost the same.

  6. RMJ1 – that rather shows that the sampling is correctly applied.

    We don’t expect regional cross breaks individually to be accurate (hence the old Medieval poll watchers saying ‘Beware wolves and cross breaks’) but as part of the whole sample these errors are meant to balance out.

    In fact, these two YG polls rather neatly demonstrate why we shouldn’t really pay the blindest bit of attention to cross breaks as they are effectively meaningless.

  7. @ Rosie&Daisie

    One of yer best.
    Thanks, I thought so too. :-)

  8. The concept of a Wales/Midlands region as used by YG is in itself bizarre. Mixing the Heart of England with another country is unlikely to provide meaningful poll data analysed down to this level. Welsh poll data should be treated separately.

    Parts of Wales do think of themselves as British (Monmouthshire, the border area of Powys and the North-East); these are the areas where UKIP support was strongest in the recent Euro elections. However, the other parts of Wales – the South Wales cities (Cardiff, Newport and Swansea), the English-speaking (but consciously Welsh) South Wales valleys and Y Fro Gymraeg – are politically and consciously very different.

  9. “Parts of Wales do think of themselves as British”

    Who’d have thought it?

  10. BFIELD (2 threads/3 hours ago)

    Poll for Opinium shows large majority against State funding of religious schools. Presume this is a Birmingham effect even though there are only 18 Muslim schools. Vast majority are CofE or RC

    No, there have been majorities against any state support for any faith schools before. For example a few days ago Anthony indirectly pointed to this poll from a year ago:

    Which found the public 45% to 32% against funding “Faith schools in general”. There was some differentiation by denomination with the Church of England just getting into positive territory 42-38, but Catholics and other Christians had a score of around -10 and non-Christian religions around -40. I suspect the main influence here may have been people’s awareness of good schools in their vicinity (the question was asked after others that might prompt thoughts in that direction) and there are more CofE ones. The CofE is probably seem as less exclusionary than other faiths as well.

    We don’t have details of the Opinium poll yet and the details on the website are scanty even by Grauniad standards (they’ve illustrated it with a photo from a completely unrelated story). So there may be further movement from last year, though differences may be caused by wording.

    It’s also worth making my usual point that any faith schools for any religion may create other faith schools by exclusion. So you end up with schools that are Muslim (as in Birmingham) even if not formally so, just because the actual faith schools take all the non-Muslims.

    Funding for faith schools is another one of those awkward questions that don’t get asked much in polls, because, as with Nationalisation, the answer that the public give isn’t what the people who commission the polls want to hear. London-based parents often see faith schools as good for keeping one’s own children away from the plebs, without having to pay extra. So this basic question doesn’t get asked.

  11. I wonder if most people would think of their local CofE primary as a ‘faith school’.

  12. @Amber S

    “Everybody must be watching the football – I don’t recall ever being the 1st to comment!”

    Indeed, and I plead guilty as charged! I’m only dipping in to UKPR sporadically to check the latest polls, and taking Spearmint’s excellent advice on swerving my way rapidly through the largely moribund discussion threads in doing so. I see the latest Scottish Independence thread died after 11 posts!! Accordingly, apart from reading a few of my very favourite posters (of which you are definitely one! :-)), I am oblivious to all the usual happy badinage, and none the worse for being so!

    I’m wallowing in the World Cup and enjoying it thoroughly, even last night’s England game. I was one of 15.6 million watching on TV (plus many millions more in pubs and clubs) and what an extraordinary sized audience that was considering the game went on into the early hours of Sunday. Apart from the noisy curmudgeons and bah-humbug merchants, England World Cup football games must be the nearest we get to shared national experiences in this increasingly atomised society of ours. Facebook, twitter, blog sites and PCs discarded for a day, thank goodness. Sport as a harmless, unifying and life-affirming distraction, and I say a loud hurrah to that.

    However, I must confess to a guilty pleasure last night. Yes, I went through all the anguish with many millions of my fellow countryman, forlornly willing an England victory, but I revelled and delighted in the performance of one of my all time favourite footballers; the sublimely gifted Andrea Pirlo of Italy. The beauty of football is its inherent chaos and that’s why it has far more capacity for drama than other inferior formulaic and choreographed ball games. It’s the secret of its immense and global popularity too, but geniuses like Pirlo impose order on the chaos with their deft touches, visionary passes and ability to see the broader canvas of the game. Pirlo is one of the great artists of an extraordinarily simple yet beautiful team game, and I urge all football lovers to catch their last glimpses of this marvellous talent before he takes leave of the game he has graced for 20 years at the end of this tournament.

  13. Poll for Opinium shows large majority against State funding of religious schools. Presume this is a Birmingham effect even though there are only 18 Muslim schools. Vast majority are CofE or RC

    -The Schools in Birmingham weren’t faith schools and all bar one if I recall correctly are academies where different funding arrangements apply anyway.

    There are over 7000 Christian State funded Faith Schools in the UK and 11 Muslim and less than 70 non Christian in total (most of these are Jewish) .

  14. ‘I wonder if most people would think of their local CofE primary as a ‘faith school’.’

    I do.

    Just imagine if faith schools had been banned from the very start – the impact in Northern Ireland would have been immense.

    If we start going paranoid about religion can I also mention Christian sects like Plymouth Brethren and Hasidic Jews (and others) who totally remain not merely in their own faith based schools but totally in faith based communities…

  15. @ L HAMILTON

    Can we please keep the discussion on Scottish Referendum Polls to their own thread.?

    I have avoided UKPR for the last couple of days because of the animosity which has crept into those discussions

  16. Yes, Roger at 12.34.
    And the other thing is these schools in Birmingham were not free schools. The DfE put out an answer to Crispin Blunt’s comments about faith schools to this effect. The schools in Birmingham were not faith schools or free schools they were under local authority and hence government controls.
    These poll questions were based on bogus assumptions and forced bogus opinions out of people who were probably mostly clueless about the true nature of the situation.
    What possible value can they therefore be except to be used as a tool for some people, who have thus had their prejudices reinforced, to spout more rubbish?

  17. And again Roger at 2.41.
    You point out that some parents will send their children to faith schools to avoid sending their children to mix with the ‘plebs’… or in other terms to get a better education at no extra cost.

    Indeed. And the classic example of this was Blair who bussed his son all across London to the catholic Oratory. He even went through the motions of changing his religion. At least Dianne Abbott was brazen in her hypocrisy when she sent her children private.

  18. @Hookeslaw

    Well they were mainly academies, so not under local authority control. All of these schools are ultimately under Government control – that is where the money comes from.

  19. @Hookeslaw

    Only one of the schools placed into special measures in Birmingham was a local authority school, Saltley School.

    The rest were free schools and academies.

  20. @Hookeslaw

    And you might remember that Cherie Blair is a practising catholic, and that the Oratory is a state school.

  21. CB11

    “The beauty of football is its inherent chaos and that’s why it has far more capacity for drama than other inferior formulaic and choreographed ball games.”

    You just nicked that from the Daily Star.

    Actually it is brilliant.

  22. Hookeslaw

    The schools in Birmingham were not faith schools or free schools they were under local authority and hence government controls.

    They weren’t faith schools except by default. If the Birmingham schools have C of E and Catholic schools nearby (and they do):

    then if the substantial minority of non-Muslim children are sent to those, the remaining schools will become all-Muslim.

    And they’re not free schools either. There aren’t many of those of any size yet, though some of us warned when Gove proposed those that exactly this sort of thing was inevitable with those (and that has happened elsewhere).

    But most of them aren’t ‘under local authority… control”[1] either. Most of them were Academies and so directly under the control of the Department of Education. Hence May’s irritation at Gove trying to blame everyone except himself.

    [1] Furthermore, because I’ve seen people trying to make partisan points about this, I have to point out that Birmingham was under the control of a Conservative-Lib Dem coalition from 2004 to 2012, so where there was LA responsibility it may not lie where people hoped it did. Contrariwise New Labour brought in Academies and were almost as keen on promoting them as the current government.

  23. TheSheep

    Cherie Blair is a practising catholic, and that the Oratory is a state school.

    Indeed, but I suspect that there were fair number of Catholic schools a lot nearer to Islington than the Brompton Oratory. If a Catholic education was the only requirement, there were closer alternatives. And no doubt there were many parents living a lot nearer who would have liked their sons to go there[1]

    What is happening here is that the loose selection policies that faith schools are allowed to operate mean that they can select for academic ability (when claiming not to) but also effectively on a social basis as well, choosing the children of the wealthy or well-connected.

    If you fit in those groups, you can all the advantages of a public school education for your kids without the cost or political stigma of actually sending them to one.

    [1] It also has single sex classes (girls aren’t accepted till sixth form) which apparently is a sign of complete evil when brown people do it.

  24. @ CB11

    Accordingly, apart from reading a few of my very favourite posters (of which you are definitely one!)
    You are too kind :-)

    I watched the England/Italy game & enjoyed the football; sadly England’s youthful enthusiasm failed to overcome the Italians’ experience & flair. England’s approach was the right one; go for the net early & often – they were unlucky not to get a draw.

    And I must say, the half-time analysis by Alan Shearer & Thierry Henry was ‘different class’ from the drivel we usually get.

  25. So long as certain fundamental principles and values are upheld, I have no problem with education being provided by faith groups, Muslims included.

    I think the problem comes when minority groups cleave to principles and values that sit outside what is generally seen as “fundamental” in the UK. But that is a problem across the board, not just in education.

    If your faith group is happy to provide an education that recognises the scientific basis for evolutionary theory, accepts the validity of same-sex relationships, promotes the equality of the sexes and provides humanities teaching that accords with the texts and outline of the national curriculum, then go for it. If you’re not, then f**k off. I don’t mind if you want to put an “emphasis on X values” or organise yourself in a way that accords with your traditions (single sex classrooms, kosher/halal/vegetarian kitchens, a ban on military cadet groups, whatever).

  26. @Amber,

    As a patriotic Englishman and Yid (in the Spurs sense), it pains me to admit that Mssr Henry is a very pleasant and sensible fellow, but he very much is.

  27. Re – football I have no problem with anyone enjoying the game at all but strongly object to it being rammed down the throat of everybody else. I viced my displeasure at my local baker’s shop yesterday at being served by staff wearing England jerseys – and my comments received nodding heads from several waiting customers. Supermarkets – and even restaurants – are bedecked with England flags in a way that I find rather vulgar and oppressive. We don’t have to suffer this with rugby, cricket, tennis and other sports – why should football be any different? In the absence of such a sense of proportion I – who would otherwise simply ignore the game – find myself wishing for an early England exit simply to bring an end to the hype and hysteria.

  28. I believe the state in a multi-cultural society has a duty to provide education for all children that is free of all religious influence.

    Religion is surely a private matter of conscience for each individual in a free society (NOT families or groups, BUT individuals).

    Therefore so that future individual adults can make an informed decision about what religion or none that they wish to adhere to the subject should be taught in a completely neutral way covering the basis and history all major faiths and agnosticism and atheism.

    By what criterea do we as a state that enshrines the belief in INDIVIDUAL freedom of conscience and belief think it is acceptable to grant the believers of ANY faith group the right to indoctrinate children who are the off-spring of their group of believers at public expense?

    This is rank cowardice amongst the leaders of our supposed liberal-democratic state in the face of beligerant faith groups – and I say this as an agnostic brought up as the son of an Anglican clergyman – with all that means!!!

    Either we believe as a society and state in the rights of an individual to their own conscience, free of parental, let alone state influence, or we do not IMO!

  29. @Tony,

    I wouldn’t want any child of mine to grow up free of parental influence.

  30. I agree 100%, Tony. Very well put.

  31. @ Fraser, L Hamilton

    There’s a separate thread for Scottish Independence Polling.

  32. @ Amber,

    Some of us are just in hiding from the inevitable football threads. (Or worse still, the terrible chimera that was the combined football/Scottish independence thread. I saw that beastie and ran far, far away…)

  33. @ Neil A

    “I wouldn’t want any child of mine to grow up free of parental influence.”

    Agreed! But surely parents in a free society should be expected to bring their own children up to make an informed decision about what that child eventually chooses to believe for themselves. If they drill them into believing one faith is true, and the others lesser or wrong – in my view that is child abuse – and the state should step in to correct it!

  34. Thanks Norbold!

  35. GRAHAM

    @” football I have no problem with anyone enjoying the game at all but strongly object to it being rammed down the throat of everybody else”

    I can see that it’s beauty , inherent chaos and capacity for drama -as compared with the inferior formulaic and choreographed ball games you mention, has escaped you. :-)

    Perhaps Mr Blatter will finally succeed in bringing his monstrous creation of scam , graft and “loadsamoney” to an inglorious end, and it can be returned to the sort of sanity you have in mind ?

  36. I had decided that, by now, this ST YG poll would mark the end of EP election influence, and it would have returned to something like what, prior to May, I would have considered ‘normal’.

    I don’t think the EU effect has quite worked itself out of polling yet, so I think another two weeks is needed. I shan’t be around so I shall miss whether I am correct (unless I take a sneak look at UKPR when in Trier!).

  37. At Fort George near Ardersier (Inverness) there’s the Highlander Museum. One of the earliest clans in what became the Highlander Regiment was the Cameron clan (after the Seaforths).

    The Camerons, originally from Lochaber in the west of the Highlands, fought against the English at Bannockburn and with the Jacobite rebels at Colluden and clearly have impeccable Scottish Independence credentials.

    In fact they also suffered greatly in the Highland clearances. Well, the ordinary folk did. The British returned the clan chief’s land just a few decades after it was forfeited. But as a result of the clearances huge swathes of the clan were expelled.

    Which brings me to this question.

    By rights, history, tradition you would expect DC to be a fervent advocate of Scottish Independence and it would be an extraordinary irony if he ended up losing the Union. But that’s only half the story. Ultimately it depends on how DC sees his identity: does he feel closer to the original Cameron clan who fought alongside Bonnie Prince Charlie, for freedom at Bannockburn and Colluden; or with the Clan chief who in return for his land sold his people down the river in the Highland clearances?

    4 days in the Highlands and I’ve become a Scottish nationalist! Or at least that might have happened had I not reflected on how at every juncture in Scottish history Scots have fought on opposing sides, and done terrible things to one another.

    Identity is a complex thing.

  38. RAF

    You must have been in a quandary whether to post that on this thread or the previous one!

    “at every juncture in Scottish history Scots have fought on opposing sides, and done terrible things to one another.”

    Well, not really any more than any other country that existed in medieval times, and through the religious wars of the 17th century.

  39. I don’t think politicians should be obliged to promote their politics through the choice of their children’s schools. Harold Wilson’s sons went to public school but no one seemed to regard it as a matter of public interest at the time. (One of them is a maths professor at, appropriately enough, the OU.)

  40. Howard

    I see you are off to one of my favourite cities in Europe! The Porta Negra is an absolute gem, as is the amphitheatre, which I first saw with my late father in 1968, when we just stumbled upon it in an unkempt piece of open ground. I revisited two years ago and it is now protected properly as a museum site. Karl Marx’s birthplace is also worth a visit.

    Anyway, I don’t know if you know Trier already, but in any event enjoy yourself thoroughly, and if you remember – raise a glass of crisp Moselle wine to all of us whom you have left behind!

  41. @OldNat

    Yes I agree, like every other country. I didn’t mean it as s slight, more an observation.

    I was trying to reason why a man with DC’s history would take such a firm line against Scottish Independence.

  42. @RAF: “By rights, history, tradition you would expect DC to be a fervent advocate of Scottish Independence”

    The Jacobites weren’t advocates of Scottish independence; they wanted to restore the Roman Catholic Stuart king, James, to the English throne.

  43. @Roger H

    To which he had every right, being James II/VII’s grandson. And it was also the Scottish and Irish thrones.

    I say “right” based on standard succession rules at the time.

  44. @ Colin
    “This is why your desire for a “multi-cultural state” , and an education which is” free of religious influence ” are mutually exclusive.”

    Thank you Colin for your thoughtful and challenging reply.

    Interestingly, having been a teacher in state primary schools for 8 years in the late 90s and early 2000s, and having lived next door to a devout but friendly Muslim family for 27 years, I can honestly write that I find, certainly Muslim families of Pakistani origin to be very open to sharing religious festivals with Christians and Jews, and discussing their views about the inter-relationships historically between, for certain at a minimum, the “Three Religions of The Book” as they like to call it. Despite some of the girls choosing to wear the Hijab (their father didn’t require it, they chose it individually) and being very devout indeed, in my experience they do share a common culture with us, although they do bemoan my agnosticism, rather than remaining Christian as I had been brought up! But they are much more open than many in the media would have you believe of the Muslim community in general.

    I am convinced that if as a state and society we adopted a radical officially secular approach to the teaching of comparative religions in schools, provided we made this clear that it is in no way anti-Muslim or Anti-Christian or Anti-whatever else, but just to allow each community to interface with and access education equally without fear or favour – this would be an ethical thing to do.

    We are all falling victims here to a 19th century traditional inheritance of faith groups being the providers of education establishments. Woefully out-of-date and inappropriate for the 21st century IMO, and it is simply cowardice on the part of politicians to do anything about it, which is why they have got themsleves in such a tangle.

    Plus, just as the Southern States of the USA had to have busing of pupils forced on them to create integration, if necessary maybe we should think about the same to stop the creation of single religion or single race schools becoming the norm in Britain.

    Perhaps we should start busing here to achieve the sort of society we want, just as they had to in the southern States of the USA from the early 60s onwards to stamp out racism?

  45. Possibly signs the Labour lead has slimmed down to about 3% in the last few days, although there was one poll still putting it at 6%. No doubt the next few polls will tell us one way or the other.

  46. RAF:

    The Yorkists (amongst others) might dispute that. It was James II’s son, the ‘Old Pretender’, who claimed the English throne (there was no Irish throne – it was regarded as a province of England). But we fought a civil war to establish that Parliament, not the monarch, should have the final say. No one was more keen on the union of Scotland and England than James I & VI, though.

  47. Good Evening All.
    Catholic children have often travelled miles across ‘catchments and past other Catholic schools.
    Tony Blair sent his son who is apparently going to become the PPC for Bootle (Labour), to The Oratory a year before the 1997 GE.
    Harriet Harman sent one of her sons there.

    JACK: Good evening to you.
    I think if the Westminster Parliament had forced Northern Ireland Politicians to allow Universal Suffrage from 1922, instead of waiting until 1969-72, that would have helped.

  48. RogerH

    “No one was more keen on the union of Scotland and England than James I & VI, though.”

    Oh come now! James VI & I was equally keen!

    Tony Dean

    So what in Welsh or Scottish schools suggests to you that “the creation of single religion or single race schools becoming the norm in Britain” could become a possibility? Even in the remaining bit of the UK, there is a movement towards integrated rather than segregated schooling.

  49. I find the debate about what should be taught at schools interesting, especially as my own children are home educated, thus out of that loop.

    I do feel fundamentally that it is the business of my wife and I what we teach our children, how we do it and the values ingrained within that. Given that our son was taught in three schools, and we were grossly dissatisfied most aspects of those schools, we want the state to simply butt out – which they have. They are thriving, learning a huge amount and essentially work on a on-to-one curriculum, tailored to their learning style. We know a state could not offer that. They are involved with a range of groups, so actually meet groups of similar children 2-3 times per week.

    Ultimately, our children are our responsibility. Given that hash the three schools we experienced made of their education and dealing with their special needs (Aspergers), they have no moral duty to comment or criticise what we do.

    Regarding religion, they will be taught that folk have different belief systems – they include Christianity, Islam and other mainstream religions, as well as paganism as well. They will be taught both respect for faiths and the critical thinking to challenge them also, so will have the tools to decide whether to believe any of them or none of them.

    I do find it odd the see the scramble for defining ‘British values’. Most values the politicians are calling British values are universal human values and we will not be linking them specifically to Britain or anywhere else. I think that is folly.

  50. Cameron bears an uncanny resemblace to Duff Cooper (to whom he is related). The Duffs have a reputation for accumulating massive estates (and sitting in parliament)… consequently they were on the side of the goverment and the Duke of Cumberland in ’45.

1 2 3 4