Sunday Polls

Three polls this Sunday, from ICM, NOP and MORI.

An ICM poll for the Sunday Telegraph finds 52% of Scots in favour of independence. This is a similar figure to that found in the first of ICM’s new regular polls for the Scotsman, but contrasts with the figure YouGov found in their poll for the Telegraph in the week, when only 32% of people supported independence with 50% supporting the status quo. I suspect the reason is due to the wording of the question – YouGov asked a detailed question asking respondents to chose between retaining the present Scottish Parliament, and making Scotland an independent state outside the UK but within the European Union. ICM ask a far more straightforward question on whether Scotland should become an independent country.

ICM also asked whether respondents in England would like to see an independent Scotland – 59% would, suggesting that people in England are actually keener for Scotland to leave the UK than Scots themselves are. 48% of English respondents also said they wanted independence from the UK for England. 68% of people in England said they would like an English Parliament with similar powers to the Scottish Parliament, and 62% said Scots MPs should not “be able to vote on English laws when English MPs cannot vote on Scottish laws”.

Asked about the number of Scottish MPs in the cabinet however there was relatively little concern. 76% of English respondents said it didn’t matter, only 21% thought it did. ICM also asked about sporting loyalties. When Scotland were playing a foreign team, 70% of English respondents said they would support Scotland, with 14% supporting their opponents. When the same question was asked about supporting the England team in Scotland, 48% of Scottish respondents said they would support England with only 34% saying they would support England’s opponents. This echoes a poll before the last World Cup which found that Scottish people would support the England team…which no one seemed to believe!

There are voting intention figures in the ICM poll – topline figures are CON 37%, LAB 31%, LDEM 23%, but the article in the Sunday Telegraph suggests they are figures for just England, which is unusual. As it happens they are very similar to the GB voting intention figures from ICM’s poll for the Guardian published on Wednesday, with Labour down slightly and the Lib Dems up slightly in comparison.

Secondly, an NOP poll for ITV’s Sunday Edition asked a series of questions asking people to compare Gordon Brown with David Cameron. Cameron had substantial leads on having fresh ideas (39% to 10%) and on being in touch with modern Britain (33% to 17%). Brown had a very slight lead on protecting teh UK from terrorists (22% to 21%). As ever, the picture these sort of comparison polls creates really depends on the things the people commissioning the poll chose to ask about – we know where the two mens’ strengths lie in the terms of their public perceptions – Brown is seen as competent, reliable, strong, experienced and so on. Cameron is seen as likeable, fresh, modern and in touch. If you ask about the former sort of attributes Brown comes out looking stronger, if you ask about the latter Cameron does. What was interesting was the “Best Prime Minister” question, where Cameron recorded his largest lead over Brown so far (though fo course, this is the first time the question has been asked by NOP) – 29% for Cameron compared to 19% for Brown and 5% for Menzies Campbell.

According to Tim Montgomerie on Conservative Home, the poll also shows that “24% told GfK NOP that they would prefer Charles Kennedy to return as leader and slightly more (7%) preferred LibDem Home Affairs spokesman Nick Clegg to the embattled Sir Menzies (6%)”, though I’m not sure what sort of question or structure this was in response to.

Finally, MORI’s monthly poll is in the Observer. The topline voting intention figures with changes from MORI’s last poll are CON 35% (nc), LAB 33% (-4), LDEM 20% (+2). While figures are not given in the Observer, the poll also apparantly shows a sharp fall in David Cameron’s approval rating.

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