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. “So looking positive for a start of the decline of UKIP.”
    If all the VI figures DON’T go up and down a few points, the idea of a random MoE due to sample size is false.
    What I would like to see is some comparison of amount of media coverage and poll figures for UKIP. Their figures seem to me to go up with coverage, good or bad.

  2. @Newcomer

    “Just completed the latest YouGov poll”

    Can I ask where the political questions came – were they at the start, or did they follow on from either types of questions?

    @AW

    If someone part completes a Qaire, do their partial answers get included? Might different types of questioning bias the respondents? I can imagine Qing about 3somes perhaps leading some people to abandon the poll.

  3. Populus Vis,

    Once again very large number of ‘don’t knows’ in Scotland. Anyone any idea what’s causing this – other than the general incapacity of any of our ‘leaders’ to present a coherent plan for the future which doesn’t avoid answering difficult questions?

  4. Too many negatives, but I think it makes sense……

  5. @CROSSBAT11: “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.”

    To be fair to Major, he was quoting from George Orwell’s 1941 essay, “The Lion and the Unicorn: Socialism and the English Genius”. (And I’m afraid that by ‘English’ Orwell generally means ‘British’.)

    Although here’s one ‘British value’ Cameron’s missed: “Here it is worth noting a minor English trait which is extremely well marked though not often commented on, and that is a love of flowers. This is one of the first things that one notices when one reaches England from abroad, especially if one is coming from southern Europe.”

    Worth reading in full:

    http://orwell.ru/library/essays/lion/english

    (Also available in Russian.)

  6. @Phil, Howard

    Thanks for the confirmation, sorry, I missed your comment from last week. The Ashcroft polls so far do seem to be quite volatile, it is interesting to note that Populus is doing a telephone poll and an online poll covering the same time period with quite different results. Are the methodologies the same apart from sample size and online vs telephone?

    @Dave

    Yes, sorry I have been here long enough to know that one poll does not indicate anything and we need to look at trends. But I used to live in South Africa, and I watched a sporting event in 1995 unify a very divided nation. I am hoping that the diverse England team can start to achieve the same feat. That is one poll that gives me hope we are moving in the right direction.

    Re – “British values” – Dave could learn from Mandela and use sport as a way to unite us around British values. A rainbow England team, followed by a similar rainbow team at the commonwealth games where we celebrate the success of athletes from all the different UK countries and communities would work a lot better than the current ‘dog whistle’.

  7. Now that it has been pointed out to we English that identifying our values/traditions/culture as “British” is a biblical insult of earthquake proportions to the easily-offended, should we also avoid labelling any aspect of our lives as “European” in case we upset the similarly emotionally-fraught (if there are any) across the channel?

  8. I don’t think it would be fair to say that southern Europeans don’t have a love of flowers (for example, just take a holiday in Liguria’s Riviera dei Fiori in late spring). It’s more likely that there just isn’t enough water to keep them going during the summer months, when most Brits go there on holiday……

  9. @Richard

    And how is a rainbow English soccer team going to unite Britain? Idem for the Commonwealth Games.

    Of course we could try to have a single UK soccer team – on the clear understanding that the Home Nations have equal say on who gets to manage it and who gets to play for it and where matches are to be played and …… you get the point! The one thing which would produce an overwhelming ‘Yes’ vote in the Indy ref would be a decision by Fifa to have only one UK ‘national’ team. Commonwealth Games, of course, is a much less provocative matter.

  10. Richard – No. For ComRes, their online and telephone polls are pretty much the same except for sampling and mode.

    For the Ashcroft and Populus online polls there are substantial differences beyond that, including a whole different weighting scheme and a difference approach to don’t knows.

  11. @Steve2

    The difference is, of course, that Europe is not (yet!) a single multi-national state in the way that the UK is.

  12. JOHNB,

    “Once again very large number of ‘don’t knows’ in Scotland. Anyone any idea what’s causing this.”

    Because it is a really important decision with huge consequences where it is difficult to decide between the merits of both sides.

    Peter.

  13. John B: “The difference is, of course, that Europe is not (yet!) a single multi-national state in the way that the UK is.”

    What on earth has politics got to do with this?

    This is all about acknowledging that a set of particular values exists within a geographic area.

    England is part of the UK, which is a multi-cultural society. A value/tradition from any part of the UK is therefore a part of the UK cultural make-up.

    No-one has said “UK culture is only English culture”, this silliness is merely yet *another* case of Scottish nationalists searching for something about the English to get all upset about.

    Once a nation of the proud and strong, today’s Scotland has tragically become little more than a home for petty whingers. Read any nationalist’s comment anywhere for evidence.

  14. @John B – The terms “Britain” and “British” refer to a geographical area, not a state, as the residents of Northern Ireland could tell you.

  15. We had a rainbow nation GB footy team for Olympics. except that they left out Hackney, proving that you can’t leave these things to footballers.

  16. @CHRIS GREEN

    ‘Britain’ has generally been used as shorthand for the state, though, and isn’t the use of ‘United Kingdom’ rather than ‘Great Britain’ relatively recent? The Treaty of Versailles, for instance, was signed by Great Britain, not the United Kingdom:

  17. @RogerH – Yes, the use of synecdoche is very long-standing throughout all of human history, and is yet another example of why it is beyond ridiculous for anyone to complain about ‘England’, ‘Britain’ and ‘United Kingdom’ being used synecdochically.

  18. The current meaning of the United Kingdom was adopted in 1927 after the creation of the Irish Free State. Though the term United Kingdom dates back to the 1707 Acts of Union.

  19. JOHN PILGRIM

    @”extreme unemployment among young men of ethnic minorities, is a recruiting sergeant for both radical dissidence and for prison, ”

    I am not convinced that unemployment is the main recruiting sergeant.

    What would be interesting to know is why this country seems to be such a fruitful source of young men willing to join Islamist / Sectarian armed conflicts overseas-and how they came to be radicalised.

    The ISIS videos played on tv news today are appalling. A verbal test of religious belief -for which the “wrong” answer was a bullet.

  20. @Peter Cairns

    Aye, but I was referring to the VIs for the next GE.
    Of course you are right, in that the indyref is now so dominant in political thinking north of the Border that all other things are being swayed one way, or the other, or into ‘don’t know’ territory by the day to day ‘debate’ on independence.

    And would’t it just be wonderful to have a constitution which enshrined a refusal to countenance nuclear weapons! ‘Bliss were it in that dawn to be alive and in Scotland …..’ to somewhat misquote Wordsworth

  21. John B: “And would’t it just be wonderful to have a constitution which enshrined a refusal to countenance nuclear weapons”

    Putting asides that the annual cost of the nuclear deterrent is among the smallest items on the defence budget (~5% of the annual defence budget), does it not matter to you that we might just need a nuclear defence in an increasingly unstable world where hostile/potentially-hostile states and terrorist groups are working hard to acquire nuclear weapons?

    Or do you understand the global nuclear threat but just don’t see why you should have to be responsible for providing a defence? Don’t you think an independent Scotland’s precious oil fields would be a target worth defending with something more substantial than a large patrol boat?

    Genuinely curious.

  22. @Steve2

    Either you have not read what you yourself wrote (which would seem to me to be rather unlikely) or you have not read what I wrote. Your point, as I understood it, was to complain that non-English folk in the UK get all hot and bothered (‘biblically offended’ was the term you used) when the English confuse being English with being British (the context was the discussion of British values, but the ‘getting all hot and bothered’, as I would express your rather stronger term, applies to discussions had recently on this site). You then compared this situation with Europe and suggested (jokingly, I think) that we ought not use the term ‘European values’ in case unless it gets anti-Euro people hot and bothered.
    All I was pointing out is that to parallel the two situations is not helpful, even though I would agree entirely with you that it is possible to speak (in general terms) of ‘European values’, as, indeed, I would agree with you that there are, perhaps, within those European values a specific sub-set which might be termed ‘British values’.

    ‘Britishness’ is not always easy to define. ‘Cricket’, for example, may be a British thing even though it is not played very much north of the border. But then so, too, would be tossing the caber, even though it is not something done much south of the Border. The discussion is fine, as long as we are aware that the terms ‘British values’ & so on must be inclusive and not exclusive. After all, I would have thought that inclusivity was one of those ‘British’ values which DC is trying to promote.

    Of course I may have misunderstood your original point. And in any case, my apologies if I caused offence.

  23. @Steve2

    My previous offering was in reply to yours of 1.29 p.m.

    As for the nuclear question, I just don’t see how nuclear weapons can be justified at a moral level – or chemical weapons for that matter. IMO they are simply immoral.

    But politics is not about morality, of course.

    So, turning to the specific question of how an independent Scotland is to be defended by nuclear weapons, I ask myself the question “Against whom?” and fail utterly to come up with any answer. Perhaps you think that ISIS is an imminent threat to Scotland and that we ought therefore to keep them just in case ISIS decides to start invading? Shall we threaten to nuke Mosel unless ISIS stops doing what it is doing?
    Or maybe the Russians will invade the North Sea oil fields (but to what end? Where would they be able to land the oil, if not in Scotland?). Or perhaps one of the new nuclear states, such as Pakistan, is going to threaten Scotland with nuclear annihilation unless……. Unless what?

    If you can present me with a serious situation in which Scotland would need nuclear weapons, then perhaps I’ll reconsider. But until then, I can only wonder that anyone feels they serve any useful purpose whatsoever.

  24. JohnB, I repeat:

    England is part of the UK, which is a multi-cultural society. A value/tradition from any part of the UK is therefore a part of the UK cultural make-up.

    And, again:

    No-one has said “UK culture is only English culture”,

    What is your grievance with English people attributing their ethics/morals/values/traditions to a multi-cultural Britain, of which England is a component?

  25. I don’t think anyone in England would disagree that caber tossing is British. Likewise deep fried Mars bars and Andy Murray. But normally when the English call things like that “British”, the nasty Natsies complain that we’re “appropriating” them. It seems rather lose-lose.

  26. @John B – I would have thought that the prospect of a written constitution would be an argument against an independent Scotland. Written constitutions are dreadful things, forcing modern countries to live by obsolete maxims. Look at the difficulty the USA has had in enacting sensible gun control laws because of its obsession with its constitution.

  27. @Steve2

    “What is your grievance with English people attributing their ethics/morals/values/traditions to a multi-cultural Britain, of which England is a component?”

    I have absolutely no problem with that whatsoever – as long as you really mean ‘contributing’ and not ‘attributing.’

    It’s just that this is not what is happening.

    For example, the discussion above, when Chris Green wrote:

    “it is beyond ridiculous for anyone to complain about ‘England’, ‘Britain’ and ‘United Kingdom’ being used synecdochically.”

    It is not ‘beyond ridiculous’ to become annoyed at your own nationality is being subsumed (deliberately or not) by another. I spent six years in Italy and had to keep insisting that I was not English but British. I did not have an English passport but a British (or UK) passport. I was not an English citizen but British Citizen (or UK). The use by the French of the word ‘Angleterre’ to mean the whole of the UK is equally insulting.

    Let’s take a different example. Are Canadians ‘beyond ridiculous’ when they object to the term ‘America’ or ‘North America’ being used when what is intended is the United States?

    It surely doesn’t take much effort to avoid insulting people, though I obviously failed to maintain a proper standard of discourse myself a few days back – for which apologies to all concerned.

  28. JohnB: “As for the nuclear question, I just don’t see how nuclear weapons can be justified at a moral level – or chemical weapons for that matter. IMO they are simply immoral. “

    Of course they’re immoral. Only a madman wants nuclear weapons. However, a more sensible person, one who is aware of the global threat, understands that we need nuclear weapons.

    “So, turning to the specific question of how an independent Scotland is to be defended by nuclear weapons, I ask myself the question “Against whom?” and fail utterly to come up with any answer.”

    Firstly, the question is not whether an independent Scotland should have nukes, as an independent Scotland couldn’t even begin to afford such a system. You have decreed nuclear weapons as “immoral” and that any country (in this case, the UK) that possesses them is equally immoral, regardless of any defensive intent. You have rejected unconditionally that the UK, as a principal of NATO and a member of the UN Security Council, has an obligation to provide a nuclear umbrella to Europe and allies around the world. This is why we, the UK, has them.

    However, regarding a threat to an independent Scotland; How about if a nuclear state decides to blackmail Scotland into banning NATO forces from using its strategic airspace/maritime territory by threatening to blow up its oil fields? How about if a state-sponsored terrorist group seeks to damage European oil reserves disrupting the European economy and strengthening Middle Eastern oil bargaining power (this is a central Al Qaeda goal).

    What is Scotland’s response to these very possible threats? Ask for help. Impressive.

  29. Must say my memory of the limited tennis talent we’ve had over the years was that ole Timbo was referred to as British and Andy Murray was Scots.

  30. ” except that they left out Hackney, ”

    ??? Joo mean ‘Ackney ???

  31. There is an ICM poll commented on in the Grauniad but it does not mention the VIs (AFAICS).

  32. JohnB: “I have absolutely no problem with that whatsoever – as long as you really mean ‘contributing’ and not ‘attributing.’ “

    ‘Attributing’ is the right word in this case.

    Otherwise, your entire grievance is because some foreigners (not the English) made the horrific faux-pas of calling you ‘English’? Is that seriously it? Petty.

    The French call England “Angleterre”. They call the UK “Royaume-Uni” and I have personally heard them do that. They are actually aware of the difference between England and the UK.

    “It surely doesn’t take much effort to avoid insulting people”

    With some people, it is impossible to avoid insulting them.

  33. COLIN

    “I am not convinced that unemployment is the main recruiting sergeant..”

    Deconstructing my metaphor, how abour as the main causal factor in any young men’s going off to take arms? In 2013 youth unemployment was just below 20% of the age set labour force, of which an NSO study showed 50% were actively considering going abroad- anywhere they could be employed . That’s the agggregate youth population.
    Among South Asians? Among South Asians who had had several years of persuasion that there is a jihad since 97/11 and that those who die will go to heaven as martyrs? Among those who have Sunni or Shia cousins among either side of the currently conflicts in Syria and Iraq? I frankly don’t know, but I suppose the intelligence services, the police and the Minister should have an idea.

  34. @John B – “Are Canadians ‘beyond ridiculous’ when they object to the term ‘America’ or ‘North America’ being used when what is intended is the United States?”

    Yes, way beyond. Why should anyone care? They’re just words for things.

    “The use by the French of the word ‘Angleterre’ to mean the whole of the UK is equally insulting.”

    The taking of insult at that is entirely in your own head (especially as usually they actually say “Royaume-Uni” for the UK and “Écosse” for Scotland). My rule of thumb is never to take offence unless offence was intended; and not to take offence even if offence was intended, as that would be to give the intentional offender what they wanted.

  35. STEVE2

    @”With some people, it is impossible to avoid insulting them.”

    :-) :-)

  36. @John Pilgrim – There’s a huge gap between wanting to go abroad for employment and going abroad to die in an Islamist insurrection!

    I think we’d need to see figures showing that the young men who went to fight for jihadi fronts were significantly less likely to have been in recent employment than their peers of similar ethnicity and educational attainment.

  37. ICM poll today

    Question Is recovery underway

    Yes 56%
    No 19%

    Balance +37%

    Good news

    But

    Question Is it benefiting your family?

    Yes 18%
    No 46%

    Balance -28%

    Whose to blame?

    Immigrants
    Companies
    Labour party
    Banks
    The Coalition
    Overseas
    Bosses

    Very similar to other polls on the matter, nationally the economic news is good, to individuals and families it is bad.

  38. Also an article in the Grauniad by PK which refers to our recent discussion on LD losses. There is a plug for your site AW! The YGMAS (YouGov Mutual Assistance Society) .

  39. @Colin – Great link, thank you. The main factor (after religion and ethnicity, obviously) seems to be links to domestic criminal organisations (gangs).

  40. @Steve2

    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!

  41. Back in the real world- latest Ashcroft poll:-

    Lab 35%
    Con 29%
    UKIP 15%
    LD 8%

    Miliband still very weak, but difficult to see how he doesn’t get to lead the largest party in 11 months’ time.

  42. @”scenarii ”

    !!!

  43. 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 (they must have a ceiling, insofar everyone has, but what is it? Difficult to tell for a new party). Every so often something happens to upset this pattern, then we drift back to it.

    It can’t go on like this till Spring 2015. Or can it?

  44. i think it’ll be even stevens in terms of share of vote, but can’t really see how tories end up with more seats than labour….this is confirmed with a lot of the odds for the top 40 labour targets. 35 of these seats have labour on 1/2 or shorter to win.

    I hate to say this, but there is a sad air of inevitability to this…the penny will start dropping in november…then there’ll be a frantic anti-miliband attack from the press, which won’t have any effect. labour will get 300-320 seats, tories 260-275, lib dems 33-38…ukip 1-2….

  45. Howard – the ICM poll on the economy was done about a week and a half ago online, so it’s not the monthly Guardian telephone poll, though with a bit of luck we may get that today (I’ve no knowledge of it – they don’t give it to me in advance, but it’s normally around this time of the month)

  46. @ Peter Crawford

    “I hate to say this, but there is a sad air of inevitability to this…”

    Like the German penalty that just went in!

  47. let’s see the result…will be the first to put my hands up, if i;m wildly wrong.

  48. AW
    (breaking off from the footy) thanks; after I wrote my bit, I noticed the fieldwork date, 4 – 6th June.

    The Grauniad is good today and I apparently know more about tax levels of the rich and poor than the average Brit, – just. I got 4 out of 8 and only one totally wrong. I was nearly right on three.

    Have a go, I think some of you will get raised eyebrows.

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