The weekly YouGov/Sunday Times survey is up here and has topline figures of CON 32%, LAB 32%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 15%, GRN 7%.

Most of the rest of the survey dealt with attitudes towards the Chilcot Inquiry and Iraq. Asked in hindsight whether Britain and the US were right to take military action against Iraq support has now dwindled to 25% (down from 27% two years ago, 30% in 2007 and a peak of 66% back in April 2003, the day after the fall of Baghdad). 63% of people now think that the invasion of Iraq increased the risk of terrorist attack against Britain and 54% think it has made the world a less safe place.

Asked about Tony Blair’s role, 48% of people think Tony Blair deliberately misled the public (down 4 points from 2010), 32% think he genuinely thought Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction (unchanged from 2010) – as the years pass, the proportion of people saying don’t know is gradually sneaking up. In a slightly more nuanced question, 29% of people say Blair was essentially correct to warn of the dangers of the Saddam regime, 16% that he misled Parliament but did not intend to do so, 13% that he deliberately misled Parliament, but we should now move on, 24% that he deliberately misled Parliament and should be prosecuted.

Turning to the question of the Chilcot inquiry, 50% of people think the inquiry is worthwhile, 35% of people think it is not. Despite this broad support, only 19% think it will make a genuine effort to get to the bottom of Britain’s involvement in Iraq, 53% think it will be a whitewash. Two-thirds of people think the length of time it has taken to publish the report is unreasonable.

346 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 32, LAB 32, LDEM 7, UKIP 15, GRN 7”

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  1. Good Late Evening All.

    CB 11
    Villa win and the people fight back in Greece. Very happy evening to you; maybe there will be a Voting Intention impact here too.

  2. Are we expecting any polls tonight?

    I ask only because the two main discussion points on this site today have been the various Gulf and Afghani wars and goings on in Greece. Both these have been fascinating, of course, but what impact, if any, are they going to have on the polls and the upcoming GE?

  3. If SYRIZA are successful, it could shift the entire European political narrative leftwards by quite an increment. If they fail, they could plunge the entire country into even more desperate poverty, and possibly take the rest of the EZ with them.

    So fairly low stakes then. I’ve been pondering how I’d have voted if I was Greek, hovering on the line between KIDISO and SYRIZA, and feeling a bit sad at the brutal death of PASOK. The voters have decided. Congratulations to Tsipras.

  4. Disastrous result in Greece as a result of another false prophet promising the. Greek people everything for nothing. That has been their diet since the Generals retired. As Colin says, until they learn that you have to work for what you want and then pay your taxes in full and that you only get nothing for nothing, then there is no hope for them.

    I sincerely hope that they are kicked out the the Euro, if they default, Are given back the Drachma, which will then sink to the level of the Zimbabwean Dollar, then they can all live happily in the 3rd world country that so many of them clearly desire. The hard working ones are already in the UK running businesses anyway.

    What they are being asked to repay is what they have previously had the benefit of. However it seems 36% of Greeks think that the people of Germany should pay their bills. How long will the German people put up with this?

    The Troika must be uncompromising in this.

  5. cl1945

    And why are the Greeks fighting back against a victorious Villa? Sometimes your non sequiters (haven’t got a dictionary handy so apologies for the bad spelling) are intriguing.

  6. Villa win. That cheers me up. Perhaps beginning of swing back for Villa.

    I dispair! Mrs T resigned on 28 November 1990 (look it up). I was in the Army then, and when we were visited by the PM it was a Mr Major. You have probably never heard of him (look him up).

    The feeling is mutual, and in summer 1990 my despair was very real and justified.

    Read my comment on p2 from 4:15 [with immediate correction of the year].

    Mrs T froze expats’ bank accounts in August 1990 following the Iraqi occupation. Many of us were unable to get access to any of our UK funds until mid-October and of course our Kuwaiti accounts were looted by the Iraqi occupiers and inaccessible anyway.

    It was not until mid-January 1991 that the re-conquest began, and the UN Compensation Commission simply gave up for personal claims after the 2nd Gulf War letting the new Iraqi government off the hook because they were considered “good guys”. That resulted in many of us receiving less than half of the compensation assessed, but by then it was NuLabour partly responsible. The UNCC website is very economical with the truth regarding claims.

    Please do some real research yourself before spouting off,

  8. Robert Newark

    Having lived for some years in Italy and having seen the same thing there, I have some sympathy with your point of view.

    However, in both cases, the problem does not stem from people refusing to pay their taxes. The problem is far deeper, and is a matter of a lack of trust between Government and people, caused, in part, by a lack of real contact (in Italy, at least) between politicians and people. Greece has a much smaller population, and you might have expected people on the ground to have a grip of the situation. But there still seems to be, as you say, a disconnect between ‘rights’ and ‘responsibilities’.

    The Greeks ought never to have been allowed into the Euro, or at least there ought to have been far more stringent tests set and passed before entry was granted. Furthermore, the crisis of 2008 (or whenever it was) and the subsequent crash came several years after the introduction of the euro, years in which all the participating countries ought to have adjusted their systems to bring them into line with Germany. The Greek crisis came as a result of their political and social failure to take the euro seriously. Tant pis!

  9. John B
    Not only should Greece have not been allowed into the Euro, no one should have been allowed into the Euro and I thank Gordon. Brown every day that he never allowed Blair to have his way on the matter as far as the UK was concerned despite the best efforts of many politicians, the BBC and big business.
    The only argument I ever heard for going in, that made any sense, was that it would make it easier for people on holiday touring. Europe!
    The Greeks do have a hard lesson to learn here and must be made to wear the hair shirt. Otherwise, other countries will jump on the same bandwagon and where will we all be then.

  10. On the general question of bank bailouts, QE et al.
    There was a report in the last few days about the evolution of wealth over the period since the crash. In the UK (not sure of the precise period) wealth had increased by ~16%. In the period 2010 to 2013 (2014 not in the table I accessed but income ~ flat cf 2013 as we know) mean income declined by about 6%.
    This seems to me to be a direct consequence of a set of policies – mainly QE -that support asset prices rather than income. It seems now to be widely agreed that this is not sustainable.

  11. Hal
    I don’t understand the thinking that default will in some way end austerity. It will mean that pensions and public sector wages are paid in worthless currency. That is surely would I would call austerity.

  12. Something new on UKPR: an implicit endorsement of a murderous junta.

  13. @CL 1945

    “Villa win and the people fight back in Greece. Very happy evening to you; maybe there will be a Voting Intention impact here too.”

    Yes, it’s been a good day.

    “The voters have decided. Congratulations to Tsipras.”

    Exactly. That’s all there is to say tonight. The people have spoken. It’s a bit churlish to dance on the grave of their new government before it has taken its first breath, isn’t it? A bit churlish, I’d say.

  14. @Lazslo,

    That’s a bit harsh. Aston Villa aren’t that bad…

  15. ARTAIR
    Apologies, as I did not see you acknowledge your error.

    Not an error – a mistype in one number corrected immediately with no intervening post. You didn’t look very hard.

    But after all that venom was that it?

    Being completely abandoned by one’s government and having cash in the bank which that government ordered all the UK banks to refuse me for some months with zero access to anything except by the charity of family and friends is pretty demeaning when we could have paid cash for a new Mercedes the month before. The banks were not even allowed to loan money to us and of course the state offered no benefits, not that they would have needed to had they given us permission to access our own money.

    Previously, although I had always voted Liberal I had not adequately appreciated how difficult life was for anyone who became unemployed through no fault of themselves.

    I was lucky in that it was only for two months or so and the next Spring I was able to get my consultancy business going again relatively easily. But ever since I have understood very well both how important it is for the state to provide a genuine safety net and that when it orders others to regard individuals as un-persons one is probably best advised never to vote for the status quo again.

  16. As to the bonds. Blame Basel. After the quasi collapse of the financial system the regulators decided that sovereign debt was risk free (so no risk reserve). Oddly everybody was looking for lending on sovereign debt. Whom can you
    lend? Those who need to borrow. But as the leaflet of my latest investment advisor (which I couldn’t use) – there would be an element of risk if I bought the bond of the particular company.

    Anyway, the money that was lent to Greece doesn’t exist, and I assume that the banks would have recognised in their books. So, it could be just written off.

    It doesn’t mean that Greece doesn’t need reforms. However, having the amalgamation of the Chambers of Commerce and SWP elected could cause problems.

  17. I believe the statistics are that the Greek population work longer hours than the German population. It is a gross over simplification to suggest that the Greek electorate are responsible for their dire situation.

  18. @Lazlo

    ‘Anyway, the money that was lent to Greece doesn’t exist, and I assume that the banks would have recognised in their books. So, it could be just written off.’


  19. @RobertNewark

    “Otherwise, other countries will jump on the same bandwagon and where will we all be then.”

    We will be in world which is no longer run by and for the rich to the ever-increasing impoverishment of the poor.

  20. A bit on boring methodology.

    What I meant to say (I think yesterday) that from VI we can conclude to the performance of a party relative to the others, but not to the absolute performance of a party. So, if we have 32 32 15 9 8 and then 33 34 16 7 6 – we don’t have evidence on an individual party’s performance as such, only on a relatively larger share of the cake. It is not merely semantics (or DKs), but also that in a diminishing number of votes a particular party gains a larger share or an increasing absolute number of voters a party gains relatively larger share of the votes or party A gets a larger share because the distribution between B and C changes (especially in minuscule differences that seem to be the rule), or all parties change the absolute number but to a different degree, etc.

    So methodologically the correct analysis is the distribution of the 100% among parties (AW a few years ago mentioned that DKs shouldn’t be included) and it’s changes. The only meaningful analysis below this level of analysis that the data allows is the churn but even that is a very big pinch of salt.

    Take Liverpool (quite unique, but a useful example). The VI here is the distribution between Labour and everybody else (Wavertree is a bit different, but due to boundaries, it will stay labour). Thus the increase in UKIP in Liverpool is not that LibDems underperform or Labour remains stable, but that a part of the VI is redistributed. So the conclusion would be that Labour’s opposition couldn’t make new inroads and not that UKIP gained in Liverpool.

    I also understand though that it’s difficult not to try to go for a party’s performance. But in reality, the VI says that there is a 32-40% support of the government parties, about 32% support of a credible (electable) opposition, and there’s about 21% of voters wh don’t want to support either of the previous (the rest are the nationalist parties). The whole thing is complicated by the Conservatives and LibDems being competitors. So, a growth in Labour’s share is not necessarily for the Labour Party, but the redistribution between the three blocks. This is one of the reasons why a couple of weeks ago a I raised the question is VI is actually a non-Bayasian statistics, but fuzzy sets.

  21. I should stop writing posts with predictive spelling on …

    The next couple of months about Greece will be important. Any “relative” success, and the Spanish elections could be huge.

  22. @ Neil A


    I have to admit I was very happy that the curse of FA Cub Saturday didn’t continue into Sunday.

  23. @ Laszlo

    Re: your share-of-the-cake methodological point

    I think you raised this first as a criticism of some of my trend analyses. I posted a response soon afterwards but I think a new thread was started a little after that and you may not have seen it.

    My point was that all the VI figures that went into the regression were already normalised (I.e., expressed as shares). This means that the constraints imposed by one party’s share over another’s are already built into the equations. The positive Ukip and Green slopes are counterbalanced by the declines captured by the equations for Labour, the LibDems and the Tories. This guarantees that at any time in the future the predicted shares will add up to 100%. Admittedly, things would go a bit go haywire if you tried to extend the projections beyond the point when one of the VI lines passes through the 0% or 100% boundaries. Here the ‘whole-cake’ constraint would still be met, but by combining negative percentages with some in excess of 100%. However, with the present dataset that would only present problems if you tried to make projections for an election in about 2040.

  24. Am I imagining things, or did I just read ChrisLane1945 speak positively about SYRIZA victory in Greece?

  25. @CJ

    64.68% of Greek votes in, Syriza on 149 seats.

    30% later and it’s still the same story, unfortunately.

  26. The New Revised Southern European Dictionary.

    Loan:- A Gift .
    Debt:-Sum total of all Gifts received.
    Lender:-Unscrupulous Donor.
    Borrower:-Someone who is exploited by a Lender.


    Ignoring all the partisan muck here, can anyone independently verify that the Tories are paying leafleters? Seems like it would be quicker and cheaper just to pay for mailshots.

    Lack of campaigning membership may cause the Tories real difficulties as the campaign intensifies.

    Speaking of, we saw our first Lib Dem activist of the election in Ecclesall ward, Sheffield Hallam on Saturday. An old man delivering fake newspapers. I was interested to note that the fake newspaper they use in Hallam resembles the Daily Mail while the one they use in Stockport resembles the Mirror.

    Has anyone else run into a shy liberal phenomenon? I speak to voters once or twice a week and I haven’t spoken to someone saying they’d be voting Lib Dem since before Christmas. They must BE there, since they’re on 31% in the seat, but perhaps they’re just reluctant to say.

    SYRIZA 36.3 (+9.4) 149 seats (+78)
    ND 27.8 (-1.9) 76 (-53)
    GD 6.3 (-0.6) 17 (-1)
    RIVER 6.1 (+6.1) 17 (+17)
    KKE 5.5 (+1.0) 15 (+3)
    Ind. Greeks 4.8 (-2.7) 13 (-7)
    PASOK 4.7 (-7.6) 13 (-20)
    DIMAR 0.5 (-5.7) 0 (-17)
    The most probable coalition is SYRIZA + IG (162 seats).
    The “law of the junior partner” has once again been confirmed: ND’s losses are very moderate in terms of vote share (it lost 53 seats because of the bonus given to the first party, which now is Syriza), whereas PASOK lost almost 2/3 of its votes of 2012, which was already an all-time low,
    So in the beginning of 2015 EPP loses already one of its 12 heads of government in the EU, and is poised to lose 3 more according to VI polls: Spain (to the Radical Left or to a Left + Soc.Dem. coalition), Portugal (to SD) and Finland (to ALDE), probably holding only Poland. SD are poised to lose Denmark to ALDE but they compensate this loss with the gain of Portugal. ALDE seems poised to hold Estonia. And since the UKPR for the moment gives UK to Labour, at the end of 2015 the probable distribution of heads of government will be: SD 11, EPP 8, ALDE 7, Rad. Left 2. (Actually, after the victory of Syriza): EPP 11, SD 10, ALDE 5, Rad. Left 1, ECR 1).

  29. People should bear in mind that a large percentage of Greek debt is for purchases of German arms.

  30. Laszlo
    Your comment re the Generals presumably refers to my earlier post. As it is quite obvious that I was using them as a reference to a period in time, your comment is just silly and not worthy of a serious poster like yourself.

    You may wish to live in a world of anarchy, most of us don’t.

  31. MR. N

    @”Ignoring all the partisan muck here,”

    ……..except for the article by Kevin MvGuire presumably.


  32. Mr N

    “Ignoring all the partisan muck here, can anyone independently verify that the Tories are paying leafleters?”

    They’ve done it for years round here.

    Incidentally, because they don’t really care, they’re not very good at it and often leave the leaflets hanging out of the letter box… know what I mean? ;)

  33. Norbold
    You are awful

  34. @ Virgilio

    Thanks for your detailed posts and energetic efforts to keep us all informed.

    “…since the UKPR for the moment gives UK to Labour…”

    I didn’t know it was in our gift to adjudicate on such matters.

    But more seriously, if this is a reference to the UNS projection at the top of the page then Anthony himself spells out the limitations of this model. Granted, most of the current projections are for a hung parliament and there is increasing discussion of the various types of coalition that might be viable. But I think a lot of posters would be surprised at the suggestion either that Anthony has taken a firm view on the matter or, indeed, that any kind of consensus has been reached by the many BTL posters.

  35. Colin,

    There were some nuggets of intrigue in there. Even though I’m on his side it got a little bit hard to read through.


    Thanks. I’m always a bit wary about nicking leaflets (although since they’re blind mailshots or delivered to every house we tend to get them anyway) but I tend to think that once it’s in the recycling box it’s probably fair game.

  36. Barney,

    At the moment, Austerity is forced because the Greeks can’t print additional euros as required. However, with a new currency they would be able to do that to stimulate demand and full employment. The new currency would not be worthless, just worth less. It is a way of evening the hit out amongst the whole population instead of heaping all the pain on the unfortunates who are unemployed.

    However, whether they actually get to do that depends on the evolution of Greek public opinion, as it seems they are not ready to accept leaving the euro yet.

  37. Norbold / Mr N

    Leaflets sticking out of letter boxes are unsightly. Everyone has a duty to improve the visual environment. :-)

  38. @UNICORN
    Thanks for your comments! As far as my “prediction” for UK is concerned, it is indeed based on UKPR average, which is a sort of “poll of polls” if I understand it correctly. It is true that the situation in the UK is more unclear than in Spain, Portugal and Finland, where incumbent EPP-led governments are almost certainly poised to be defeated this year, as is also the case for the SD-led gvt. of Denmark, whereas in Estonia the ALDE-SD coal. gvt seems to hold steady. Nevertheless, even if we exclude UK from my counting because of this uncertainty, it is still SD 10, EPP 8, ALDE 7, Rad. Left 2, UK (?) at the end of 2015, in other words SD will have more heads of gvt than the EPP for the first time after EU’s enlargement in 2004-7 to include most of the formerly communist countries.

  39. Colin

    Perfect comment on the Greek election :-)

    Hope you had a good weekend with your grandchild. My granddaughters loved “Swan Lake” transmitted live from the Bolshoi, sheer artistic perfection.

  40. OLDNAT

    “Leaflets sticking out of letter boxes are unsightly. Everyone has a duty to improve the visual environment. :-)”

    My thoughts exactly. I’m glad we agree on something. No doubt the Greens will agree with us too.

  41. SYRIZA has formed a coalition with the populist-right Independent Greeks. So we’re basically looking at a TUSC-UKIP coalition. Grab your popcorn and watch the fireworks.

  42. Mr N

    It’s seldom of much use to translate situations in other political systems to your own wee local one.

    “Yes the Syriza people like to sing the Italian left anthem Bandiera Rossa; but if you could see the young people’s faces as they sing the anthem of ELAS, the resistance movement that defeated the Wehrmacht in 1944, you would understand what drives leftism here.”

  43. TOH

    Those live streaming to cinema things are great , aren’t they. We have taken ours to some National Theatre productions. It is a wonderful innovation.

    Cuckmere & Alfriston for us last weekend-very nice , apart from asking Mark Strong if he was Jim Al-Khalili in the bookshop!

  44. Colin

    It is indeed, Opera from the Met & ROH, Ballet from the Bolshoi and much more. As you say wonderful innovation.

    Cuckmere & Alfistron, old favourites of us too. We often have walking holidays on the South Downs as a contrast to our own North Downs.

    Polls rather boring at the moment, i suppose we are all waiting for some significant movement, which as you know I think will be quite near the election.

  45. Greece first, then Spain and Italy and before you know it the dominoes fall and, at last, democracy works and the bankers no longer own us body and soul.

    Hope Ed can smell the zeitgeist!

  46. Big game changer here so far has been Scotland…wonder if the Greek result is the Euro game changer? Back in the UK we have a Brittan storm brewing and a related enquiry that seems to be snarled up by a more modern Home Sec.

    I may vote Green, myself…I wonder how many others are thinking the same?

  47. Populus

    Lab 35 (-1)
    Con 34 (+2)
    LD 9 (nc)
    UKIP 13 (nc)
    Others 9 (-1).

    Tables here:

  48. @NickP/Virgilio

    Welcome back, by the way. You’ve both been missed.

    I tend to share the consensus forming amongst the more balanced part of the political commentariat (that is those who aren’t predicting/hoping for an economic Armageddon in Greece) that this could well be just about the most significant election result in Europe for a generation.

    Of course, UKPR never fails to amuse me at these sorts of times. Rather like the first cuckoo of Spring, how soon, I wonder, before someone posts a link to a website that shows Alexis Tsipras to be the most unpopular Greek PM since records began.

    Next Monday perhaps, following a poll of Daily Express readers?


  49. “I would vote for Syriza. This is exciting.”

    Russell Brand.

    Profound words. lol.

    I thought he advocated not voting ?

  50. @Crossbat11

    FA Cup draw tonight on the One Show! Bantams v Villa again?

    What a day on Saturday, still in dreamland this morning!

    Euro @ 1.33 today, could be some very cheap holidays available in Greece by the summer.

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