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. @Catmanjeff.

    If only those universal human values were popular in Afghanistan, or Egypt or Anbar province.

  2. @Neil A

    They do apply to large parts of the world.

  3. @OLDNAT etc

    It’s worth remembering that – when I was dragged up – single religion or single race schools were hardly unknown. The first time I ever remember seeing a black (or brown) person was when I was 13 and the opening bowler from a rival school unleashed a (to me) very fast beamer at my ribs. At my (public) school there was one boy who was alleged to be a Jew because he was excused chapel: and because we didn’t know any Jews, Jew was an alternative term of abuse to Scotsman, denoting short arms and long pockets. One or two Chinese worked with my dad in Liverpool but aside from them I doubt I exchanged a word with anyone from an ethnic minority (not counting Celts) until I came to London aged 17 – and precious few for several years after that.

    When Tony Dean talks of “the creation of single religion or single race schools becoming the norm in Britain” I imagine he means this might come about because of demographic factors – clusters of where people live, and factors like Muslim preference for single sex schools – rather than by design. There are already some areas where this seems to be the case, or nearly so.

  4. @Billy Bob

    Uncanny indeed!

  5. I’ve mentioned this before, but I carried out an investigation at Stepney Green School in the early 2000s. Well over 1,000 boys. 99% Asian,about 95% Bengladeshi and virtually 100% Muslim.

    I expect it has a bit more diversity now, thanks to Eastern Europeans.

    Whenever my family insist on watching “Eastenders” I moan like a drain about how unlike the East End it is. The community described in that programme is more like Billericay or Harlow than the East End.

  6. @Catmanjeff,

    When I was 18 I went to Soviet Russia as a chaperone for a youth group, which was paired up with Russian kids the same age.

    After two weeks I realised that I have an enduring affection for the Russians, who are very English in their outlook. But they have absolutely no sense of that “I respect your opinion although I agree you” Voltairean intellectual tolerance that we try and nurture in the Western world. More than once I heard children express the opinion “Why should you allow someone to say something that’s wrong? That’s a kind of lying and people shouldn’t be allowed to do it”.

  7. “although I agree you” should be “although I disagree with you”.

  8. (which will make no sense because I used the word ‘l**ing’ in my post which has been automodded… *sigh*)

  9. Guymonde

    Of course, there can be demographic factors which affect schooling – as they do other aspects of society.

    However, these factors will occur, as you say, in “clusters” which can’t be generalised to the whole state. It’s that generalisation of the particular to the general that often results in inappropriate responses.

    A bit like goal-line technology!! :-)

  10. @Neil A

    I don’t know that word is so harshly treated.

    Others I consider worse seem to cause no trouble.

  11. @OldNat: “Oh come now! James VI & I was equally keen!”

    Yes, I realised my mistake as soon as I’d pressed submit.

  12. Just come across this, in case anyone’s interested:

    “Education in England: a brief history”

    It doesn’t appear to be that brief, though!

  13. Could have done with that about two weeks ago before my Public Administration for Journalists exam!

    Although I got by fine by doing a question on voting systems. Discussed FPTP, AV, AMS, STV, D’Hondt and even worked in the Borda Count. Pretty pleased with that.

  14. MrN

    “Like” :)

  15. MrN

    The Borda Count? Is that to do with counting migrants in and out?

  16. It was thought up by a forriner and they use it in countries with funny names like Nauru and Kiribati and Iceland…

  17. @Mrnameless – can’t see much mileage in that electorally, to be honest. History, with little relevance to most voters. Similarly, I’m a bit baffled by the Milliband/Sun fuss. Opposition leader asked to pose with newspaper in support of England football team. Really can’t get to grips with why that is a huge political gaff.

    More interestingly, Blair’s intervention on the news bulletins is noteworthy. Again, I doubt there will be any votes moves in any direction by this, but in contrast to the above issues of two or three decades ago, this is a current issue that will define much of our foreign, security and energy policies – it really is a big deal.

    I recognise the threats, but I’m dubious about lumping this all together as a single ‘islamic’ issue. I think that’s a mistake, and one that Blair and Bush made previously.

  18. Just completed the latest YouGov poll.

    As well as questions about the England game and my political voting intentions, I was extremely peturbed to find questions about my experience with threesomes, whether I would desire to have a threesome, and whether having a partner who professed to threesomes made them more or less appealing.

    It was extremely surreal!

  19. Tony Dean

    Yes I am looking forward to the Saar area, as well as the Mosel. I am very familiar with the Eiffel, due to my motor racing interest (and also huge volcano craters) but this just goes further south. How envious I am of your having visited a ‘site’ when it wasn’t more than a rough piece of ground.

    My departure herald’s the silly season and my poll comment was heralding what I think will be a doldrum period (yes I know about Amber’s coinage).

    That is barring ‘events’ but it looks like Obama has got the message, although I detect this itch, which they all have, to go out with a ‘victory’.

    I hope I am wrong.

  20. Roger H

    I didn’t think you had made a mistake. I just assumed that was what he was often called down south.

    After all, the BBC use that term,

    and they are always wholly impartial and completely accurate! :-)

  21. Tony Dean
    Look out for my 10.44 when it is released.

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

    Whilst I agree that everybody should be free to choose what religion (if any) to follow, I think it’s patently absurd to claim that religion is either a private matter, or necessarily individualistic (and you do both in that sentence). For most religions, limiting your faith to the “private sphere” and living it outside of some form of religious community is pretty much incompatible with both the core religious doctrines and the core religious practices.

  23. @OldNat

    I think the BBC is wrong. He was, of course, James VI before he also became James I.

  24. Barnaby Marder at 7:55 pm
    “Possibly signs the Labour lead has slimmed down to about 3% in the last few days”
    Yes, I was checking through YG polls over the past couple of weeks (so I can keep an easily accessed record of Green Party polling – I think it is 10 of the last 11 that have shown Greens on 5%). Anyway, I noticed that over the last couple of weeks that tories do seem to have edged up a point or so, at the expense of UKIP.

    howard at 7:12 pm
    “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,”

    Why not? Even on this site, few people are gripped by matters EU so long after the election. Or are you just saying that you have a hunch that current polling figures will change over the next fortnight? Why cant the polls now reflect a new post-Euros normality?

  25. @ Green Christian
    I tend to agree with you: It’s faith which is private, religion requires a public/ social context.

  26. Roger H

    I frequently think the BBC is wrong!

  27. Alec,

    “Opposition leader asked to pose with newspaper in support of England football team. Really can’t get to grips with why that is a huge political gaff.”

    Put it THAT way, it doesn’t sound bad.

  28. “He was, of course, James VI before he also became James I.

    Did he not bother with V, IV, III or II ?

    Seems a bit lazy.

  29. DaoDao

    “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.”

    Most people in Wales think of themselves as British AND Welsh.

    I have noticed several posters who want to believe that it was the “Anglo Welsh” (as opposed to the rest of the Welsh) who supported UKIP. I’m afraid the results of the Euro Elections don’t support that thesis. UKIP came 1st or 2nd in EVERY Welsh local authority area. No other Party, including Labour, managed that. It simply wasn’t a Q of UKIP being strong only in the Borders. UKIP won Conwy and the Vale of Glamorgan, and ran Plaid close for 1st place in Welsh-speaking Anglesey where the Druids lived. The Conservatives – not UKIP – won Monmouthshire which is normally regarded as the most “English” County in Wales. UKIP came much closer to winning next door where they came within 300 votes of toppling Labour in Newport.

    There is a considerable reluctance in Wales to face up to the results of these Elections – I have heard a number of fellow Labour supporters saying this just a “kick them all” protest and the voters will all return to their traditional allegiances next May. Famous Last Words = first heard in Scotland ? However here one of the reasons for UKIP’s strong performance is stubborn voter scepticism about existing devolution, as well as opposition to any more of the same. Tonight’s BBC poll bears that out saying that almost 70% do not expect or want any further devolution to Wales even in the event of a Yes vote in the north …

    The Cardiff elite of all 4 traditional Wales Parties may close their ears but they are actually driving many voters here to support UKIP as a desperate way of saying “listen to us for a change” – stop waving dragon flags and posturing abput unimportant issues when we are steadily falling further behind the rest of the UK with which we identify, on key indicators such as education and economic development.

  30. @OLDNAT

    Just listened to a discussion on The Westminster Hour of next year’s 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta with no mention that it was an essentially English event. I gather Cameron wants it taught in all schools, though, as it’s ‘the foundation of all our laws and principles’. Just the sort of thing to annoy many Scots, I imagine.

  31. Welsh Borderer

    “Tonight’s BBC poll bears that out saying that almost 70% do not expect or want any further devolution to Wales even in the event of a Yes vote in the north”

    It’s not “tonight’s poll”. Just that the BBC released its reporting of data of it’s ICM poll in chunks.

    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

    “Overall, this poll shows a Welsh public that neither knows a great deal about devolution, nor thinks very highly of its impact.”

    Ignorance about devolution doesn’t quite match your rhetoric on Welsh attitudes.

  32. COLIN
    “if you believe that your “culture” and religion are entwined, and synonymous , and your very identity is defined by your faith to such an extent that exposure other faiths in the classroom becomes a threat to your culture , then Multi Culturalism requires segregation , rather than joining together ; and mutual suspicion rather than respect.”

    That is a well phrased statement of at dilemma, but possibly does not sufficiently state the position of some fundamentalist Islamic leaders, who have wished to influence teaching and culture in schools in Birmingham, based not on suspicion but on rejection of Christian religion and culture.

    Do we suppose that the departure of hundreds of young Muslims to fight in Syria and possibly now in Iraq is not part of the same threat, or that it will be caused to vanish by a tolerant and liberal attitude, not to the teaching or otherwise of religion in schools or of the management of schools by religious groups, but to the specific open and long-term threat to public and governmental control of schools in our society?

  33. Roger H

    It’s no more annoying than all the other examples of equating England with Britain with the UK.

    Such is hardly new! What is surprising, however, is Cameron’s use of such language in the middle of a referendum which will determine Scotland’s relationship with Westminster (and the rest of the world).

    I would have expected No 10 advisers to have been aware of the sensitivities, in the same way that you are.

    I doubt that discussion of Magna Carta will make much difference to referendum VI (or possibly just referendum I in London), but it seems foolish to be unaware of the possible influences of careless talk.

  34. Tony
    Going back to your “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!”

    Is our experience of the reality not that we bring up our children to participate in the real life learning experience of participating in annual and life cycle rituals and accompanying celebrations – baptisms, weddings, funerals, seasonal hymns, songs and stories – “Oh Little Town of Bethlemen”, Three shepherds… traditonally sung by the naughty boys as “washed their socks by night”, the whole phenomena of Christmas and Easter, marked by holidays from school, practised and followed incidentally by countries of predominantly other faiths all over the world in my experience, with absolutely no sense of contradiction with their own faiths.
    Parents have limited control over these processes or what’s conveyed: remember the mum in Love Actually, listening to her two kids on the school Christmas play: There were dynosaurs at the birth of the baby Jesus??” “Yeeaah”
    What parents, and schools, are mainly responsible for is ensuring that they are enjoyed and part of becoming social, generally in relations of love with thy neighbours, regardless of their religions.

  35. @ Welsh Borderer

    The majority of people in Wales think of themselves as Welsh 1st and British 2nd, except in the “British” areas that I referred to.

    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 areas (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 agree that UKIP gained substantial support across the whole of Wales – my point was that its support was strongest in “British” Wales at the recent Euro elections.

    Regarding the Senedd, the recent ICM poll showed ignorance, rather than dislike. There is particular concern about the relative underperformance of the Welsh NHS and education systems, but these views about the Welsh government’s competence don’t per se equate to hostility to devolution.

    There is especial concern in Wales about the implications of a YES vote in Scotland, because it is not ready or united for greater autonomy (yet alone independence), and it would be the poor relation in a rUK dominated by England. At least Wales has some control over its own affairs, thanks to the historic vote on 18/9/1997.


    @”Do we suppose that the departure of hundreds of young Muslims to fight in Syria and possibly now in Iraq is not part of the same threat, or that it will be caused to vanish by a tolerant and liberal attitude”

    Well I do-certainly.

    Fighting it involves tolerance of others being taught to children-but also a core set of values & attitudes which constitutes our common culture. One which teaches that boys & girls are not to be differently valued, that the concept of “apostasy” is wrong , that there are other gods for other people, that science tells the history of the earth & its creatures, that the rule of law derives from the people in a democracy………….

  37. Very nervous about the idea of a set of common values. In essence, we don’t have one and never have, apart from some pretty basic rules that near every society has, which is where the criminal law system comes into play.

    Possibly the neatest way I can express my views on this is that, to my mind, the greatest ‘British value’ is the recognition that others have different values to us.

    Contrary to what some nationalists think, the great strength of Britain’s social and cultural integrity is that we don’t ever bother to define what or who we are – we just let people get on with it. Once we start to enforce an idealised image of Britishness, we’re in danger of losing the very thing we prize.

    It’s like jazz – if you gotta ask, you’ll never know.

  38. COLIN
    With that. agreed.
    But that would not cause the threat of either attempts at entryism (the long-term conversion of instutions, in this case schools, by the placing in their management and direction of doctrinally driven members of an extreme and proselytysing faith) or of the radicalisation and enrolment in armed conflict of young disaffected members of UK muslim groups?
    In regard to the latter, as i’ve written before, extreme unemployment among young men of ethnic minorities, is a recruiting sergeant for both radical dissidence and for prison, and needs to be addressed by means other than tolerance.

  39. Defining commonly shared British values is a minefield best left alone by politicians and I rather agreed with Peter Hitchens weekend assessment of what was behind Cameron’s recent pronouncements on the subject; more low politics than high principle, he thought.

    Did we not learn anything from John Major’s ludicrous musings on village greens, warm beer and maidens cycling home from evensong? Individuals have values, not nations. Nations might have certain characteristics, I accept, but to ascribe a set of values to a nation state is nonsensical in my view. We share geography, language and laws but to ascribe ourselves with a common set of values has a feel of chauvinism about it to me, an assumption of superiority wafting vaguely in the background.

    Our last dive into this anguished pool was during the Olympics when Danny Boyle’s opening ceremony became the subjected of heated political debate. Why no Spitfires and celebrations of military victories clamoured the right, whilst those on the left revelled in the “lefty crap” of the NHS.

    It’s an attempt to steal an illusory political advantage, and all the more tawdry for being so too. Flag waving and vain attempts by politicians to appropriate patriotism is what’s going on here.

  40. And yet, despite this apparent meaninglessness of the concept of “common values”, we are constantly told that the Scots have different values to the English.

    I think I am probably a fence-sitter on this one. It seems to me that the bulk of a national population can and probably do share a range of values, and that the fact that nothing anywhere is ever “universal” and that you’ll easily find members of that population that don’t “fit the model”, this doesn’t necessarily invalidate the concept of shared values.

    On the other hand, I think the “packages” of values have a very regional flavour and are national populations are generally just a subset of something larger. I’d struggle to really set British people apart from most of Northern and Western Europe, for example. And certain parts of the US (and most of Canada) feel very familiar to me. But the Arab world, the Far East, caste-ridden India, tribal Africa? Yes we share some very basic values, but I think I’d feel extremely alien trying to apply my general value system in some of those regions.

  41. While eagerly waiting for the Populus poll to see the first political implications of the world cup and see if the excellent performances by the England BME players has helped to deflate the UKIP bubble I noticed this tweet

    Stephen Douglas [email protected]_douglas · 17 hrs
    Well that’s exciting – I’ve just been phoned by @PopulusPolls and taken part in my first ever political poll. Interesting.

    Populus is an online poll, so he must be referring to the Ashcroft poll? Does Populus also run the Ashcroft poll?

  42. Just going back to the original polls, am I the only one who thinks it rather that Scots should be asked questions regarding a specifically English (and Welsh?) education system? The word ‘Academy’ has been used north of the border for centuries to indicate a secondary school which (usually) aimed more at preparing its pupils for higher education. The term ‘Grammar School’ is occasionally found here but doesn’t have the same toxic effect on people as it seems to have down south.
    My point, of course, is that asking Scots about goings on in the English education system is almost as balmy as asking English folk to reply to a poll on the French education system.

  43. ought to have read “rather odd that Scots”. Apologies. Must remember to check before posting.

  44. Perhaps our newspapers epitomise our national values?

    Is so gawd help us.

    [and he will ‘cos he’s English.]

  45. Populus:

    Lab 37 (+2)
    Cons 33 (+1)
    LD 9 (+1)
    UKIP 13 (-2)
    Oth 8 (-2)

    Others down, LDs and Lab up – could be Greens returning and some UKIPpers? You might have been vindicated Richard.

  46. R&D

    Right on the first, but very wrong on the second, I’m afraid!

  47. Here is populus

    Populus [email protected] · 6 mins
    New Populus VI: Lab 37 (+2); Cons 33 (+1); LD 9 (+1); UKIP 13 (-2); Oth 8 (-2) Tables

    So looking positive for a start of the decline of UKIP.

  48. @Richard

    Certainly makes sense if its Ashcroft. Ashcroft publishes weekly on a Monday and collects polling data over the weekends.

    I wonder, incidentally, if there’s a house effect associated with collecting data by phone over the weekend only? It’s the mirror image of YouGov, whose data is almost entirely drawn from weekdays. (I’m not sure whether Sunday Times fieldwork extends into Saturday mornings). Compared with other companies Ashcroft is coming up with consistently lower combined scores for Con and Lab (e.g. 59%-60% in the last three polls) and I’m puzzled why this might be.

  49. Richard
    I established a week ago -it’s Populus doing Ashcroft. When you look at the tables the font and layouts are the same and the first Q on LTV is identical.
    Thank you for releasing my 1044 pm from purgatory. I could not see what the offending (sub) word was.

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