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. CANDY

    @”Conformists don’t do radical things like create entire new forms of government. Instead they obediently do as they are told, and yes they pay their tax and clip their hedges on cue, but they also send people to their deaths simply because they are told to.”

    Jeez you really are a master of the hyperbolic non-sequitur !

    Or , as others might put it-a load of old cobblers :-)

  2. Colin

    Certainly-but a little research & reading will reveal that non-payment of tax is endemic through Greek Society. The size of their Black Economy is a joke.

    A little more research and reading, even at the Wiki level might inform you that the situation is more complicated than ‘all Greeks = tax dodgers’:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tax_evasion_and_corruption_in_Greece

    The real problem is an institutional one and comes from the top. Greece isn’t unique in this and the way in which the media covered up and misrepresented the situation may just have its equivalents in other countries.

    Of course ordinary people will follow in their footsteps, why should they pay when those better able to afford it don’t? If you need to pay a cash bribe to get a professional service, you will do so, or you won’t get to see the doctor or whoever. but it still makes you bitter if you’re on PAYE and you know that the bribe will go straight in that Swiss bank account.

    These are long-standing problems that predate the financial crisis, entry into the Euro and even into the EU. They also have parallels in other countries such as Spain and Ireland. But since 2008 and the insistence that the costs of financial mismanagement should not be paid by those who caused or benefited from it, the situation has become much starker.

    So in a sense you are right in SYRIZA’s victory being about tax. There’s an interesting article by Paul Mason on the Website That Must Not Be Linked To entitled “Greece shows what can happen when the young revolt against corrupt elites”, where the impunity from tax that those at the top of Greek society have cultivated is pointed out as the driving force behind that victory.

  3. @Colin

    I can just see you in 500 BC wagging your finger and saying that the new democracy with it’s debt write -offs and new way of governing was just an old load of cobblers and it would all come to grief, I mean who has ever had a strange system like that!!

    On a more serious note – if Germany wants Greece to pay it’s debts, then Germany too must pay her debts.

    The deal negotiated in 1953 between the Allies and the new democratic German govt was that 50% of the debt would be written off and the balance paid when Germany reunified. Reunification happened in 1990, but they’ve reneged. It’s almost like their democratic govt in 1953 was negotiating in bad faith, and they believe that the world war was a trivial thing, while Greece’s mistakes are truly evil – and it’s the other way round.

    Britain has been paying it’s debts from the Napoleonic wars and the Americans paid their debts from their ruinous civil war – it’s just what you do, you bite the bullet and pay and then it’s genuinely over.

    The double standard thing going on in the eurozone is a source of instability. Not just the attitude to the world war debts, but the way Germany breached the stability and growth pact in the early 2000’s, begged the others not to fine them (and they graciously agreed) but then refused to extend the same courtesy to the others. That sort of heads I win, tails you lose attitude is what underlies the lack of trust in the eurozone.

  4. @Chris Green

    @CrossBat11 – That’s all very well, but would you be as happy for the Greeks if they’d democratically elected the Golden Dawn?

    No I wouldn’t, for pretty obvious reasons, but if that was the democratic verdict, who am I to question it.

    Mind you, let’s get real here. Do you honestly think a far right party like Golden Dawn could have put together the coalition of voters that Syriza managed to do yesterday? It’s inconceivable, isn’t it?

  5. If that London poll is accurate, it looks on the face of it quite good news for Labour. They led in London in 2010 by 2%, meaning this gives a 4% swing since then. This is a little below the national average I think, but given that Labour did much better in London than elsewhere in England, and London was not very good for the Tories with just a 2.5% swing, this seems quite a positive result for Labour.

    However, the low Lib Dem score makes the seats picture less impressive. Electoral calculus deliver 3 gains for Lab, one loss but three gains for Con (all off Lib Dems) and 5 losses for Lib Dems.

  6. @ Unicorn

    Thanks. Went back to your previous post and read it.

    I now (after reading your post carefully) think it is more about semantics than methodology. It is now purely about not speaking about a single party’s performance but of a group of parties, to bring together the numbers and the narrative.

    So, I agree with most of your points.

    I still haven’t given up on fuzzy sets (the problem is setting the turning points. Is it possible in politics to be a little bit pregnant?).

  7. @ Crossbat11

    “Mind you, let’s get real here. Do you honestly think a far right party like Golden Dawn could have put together the coalition of voters that Syriza managed to do yesterday? It’s inconceivable, isn’t it?”

    And if Syriza fails?

    Radicalisation of people can have many unpalatable flavours.

    Admittedly Syriza moved to the centre quite rapidly in the last six weeks. They changed a number of promises (e.g. Not admitting anyone who signed the memorandum of agreement with the troika, and then admitting a number of ex-ministers who did.) Their prefect in Attica actually implemented the worst cuts in entire Greece when she promised before her elections that she wouldn’t do it, everywhere where they got in power in local government they reduced employee rights (in one place they declared that 5 days a month is full time employment), and in the last two years they have been fighting some of the radical unions)
    If Syriza fails, the next call is New Dawn (as Syriza is portrayed as a radical left).

  8. ROGER MEXICO

    I quite like this extract from an FT article last July :-

    For the Greek crisis was always about much more than sky-high sovereign bond yields, excessive budget deficits, rigid labour markets and the cartel-like behaviour of private sector businesses and professional cadres.
    It was about social attitudes, respect for the law and the need for a proper relationship between the citizen and the state, a bond stripped of suspicion and cleansed of speculation. It was about whether Greece as a state – rather than Greece as an economy – was fit to share the same currency as Germany.
    The nation plunged into calamity because, long before the euro’s creation in 1999, generations of Greek politicians and the general public had preferred to think of the state not as a disciplined, impartial dispenser of tax-funded public services, but as a pot to be picked clean by patronage and pilfering.”

    Tony Barber
    FT

  9. OLDNAT
    Allan Christie

    “I think you made the wrong decision to go into the taxi business.
    Over the next 100 days you could have made a fortune hiring out bandwaggons for politicians to leap onto.
    The waggons don’t need to be substantial, as they’ll be dumped on May 8th”
    _____

    Thank you OLDNAT………….. Hmm it’s tempting you know. Think you might have spotted a niche market there.

  10. CANDY

    I certainly agree with your last para.

  11. GRAHAM
    Populus Scotland Crossbreak
    SNP 35 Lab 37 Con 18 LD 3 UKIP 5 Grn 2
    _____

    That would translate into the following seats..

    LAB….39 down two

    SNP……15 up 9

    CON….3 up 2

    LIB….2 down 9.

    Great night for all unless you’re a Lib/Dem,

  12. LASZLO

    @”If Syriza fails, the next call is New Dawn”

    I think you identify the unmentioned elephant in the room.

    Emotional empathy with the “new path chosen” by Greeks is all well & good. But Greek voters are no different to any other voters. As JIM JAM would caution-they don’t choose policies-they vote for their perception of policies. And when the reality doesn’t match the perception they always blame the politician they voted for.

    What is different in Greece , is merely the heightened , desperate nature of the hope behind the perceived outcomes from this vote.

    I agree with you that Tsipras has shifted position on a number of things. One can perhaps applaud this from a distance as “real politic”-but if he fails to deliver the result which is perceived by all those voters-particularly the young-who they turn to next could be very different.

  13. GRAHAM
    Populus Scotland Crossbreak
    SNP 35 Lab 37 Con 18 LD 3 UKIP 5 Grn 2
    _____
    That would translate into the following seats..
    LAB….39 down two
    SNP……15 up 9
    CON….3 up 2
    LIB….2 down 9.
    Great night for all unless you’re a Lib/Dem,

    actually ….i think this makes sense..

  14. Alec
    The London YouGov poll would actually produce 8 Labour gains – 6 from the Tories and 2 from LibDems.

  15. Is Monsieur Ashcroft due at 4?

  16. Of course the interesting question about SYRIZA’s choice of coalition partner is why they needed one at all. They’re only two short of an overall majority and even assuming that all of Golden Dawn’s MPs are out of prison at the same time, getting all the opposition into a vote of confidence would be very difficult to put it mildly. And without any conceivable alternative government it would just cause yet another election that would probably give SYRIZA their majority as more voters become sickened with the old political games.

    So the alliance with ANEL is probably more about sending out messages. Externally, by choosing another anti-austerity Party (rather than say the more ambivalent To Potami[1]), they are indicating that they are not going to cave in to Troika demands. And internally it will reassure older and more socially conservative Greeks that not too much will change – Tsipras’s meeting with the Orthodox Archbishop of Athens today may be for similar reasons[2]. Similarly there are rumours that a Conservative figure such as Karamanlis may be put forward for President[3].

    How reliable ANEL will be as an actual working partner is another matter. By definition they are a coalition of Independents and you only need to look at the numerous changes in Party allegiance that took place in the two and a half years of the last Parliament:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_members_of_the_Hellenic_Parliament,_2012%E2%80%9314#Changes

    to see how factional and ego-driven traditional Greek politics is and that ANEL was no exception. SYRIZA on the other hand seems to have been pretty much unaffected.

    [1] There are rumours that this newish technocratic group may join the coalition at a later date and their anti-corruption stance would certainly mesh with SYRIZA’s, though they are much more explicitly pro-EU than the latter.

    [2] Though as an atheist he was the first PM not to be sworn in religiously – something that would be inconceivable until recently.

    [3] Because there has been a new election there is no longer the requirement of 200 or 180 votes which triggered the election. 151 or even most votes will be enough (see Wiki article President of Greece). Despite this I suspect SYRIZA will want a good vote for a unifying candidate.

  17. @ Colin

    It is a real possibility, and the responsibility of the politicians is huge in Greece. That the electorate would blame the politicians for their own failed hopes – well, I suppose it’s the role they are given.

    I have a lot of Greek friends who were born in Hungary (children of the emigrants of 1948 and the late 1950s) and returned to Greece at the end of the 1970s. They are all politically active (admittedly all but one are on the (various) left), and talking to them yesterday and today I got an impression of fear and a kind of weariness – quite surprising from the distance watching the news.

  18. @ Roger Mexico

    I think it is (will be) a kind of case by case coalition. But there’s no more pressing issue there than the austerity.

    (there was no chance of a coalition (and would have been stupid) with the KKE, they couldn’t have one with Pasok and the River would have been a problem in the north).

  19. @Laszlo

    “If Syriza fails, the next call is New Dawn (as Syriza is portrayed as a radical left).”

    Possible but highly unlikely I think. Golden Dawn have no equivalent far right party in Europe, certainly not one that has enjoyed any sort of electoral success. They may have enjoyed some intermittent opinion poll surges, but they’re a party that people tend to recoil from when actual ballot boxes are reeled out. They have clear links to neo Nazi groups and flirt with outright criminality. They mustered 6.3% in in the Greek election on Sunday, and this in an election when conditions had never been more favourable for non mainstream parties.

  20. @Jack

    Yes, earlier today Ashcroft confirmed his latest poll will be released at 4pm.

  21. @CrossBat11 – Can far right parties put together a winning coalition of voters? Certainly, it has happened many times.

    Would Golden Dawn have put together the same coalition of voters that Syriza had, of course not, but you’re surely not suggesting that some demographic groups are intrinsically more valid than others.

  22. Lord Ashcroft invites you to a polling presentation:

    http://www.conservativehome.com/election-polling-event

    Tickets: £15 – Wednesday 4th March at 6pm, One Birdcage Walk, Westminister

    Anyone going to go to that?

  23. ROGER MEXICO

    If ANEL is a fragmented as you say it would be difficult for them to disrupt Syriza, as it would only take two of their MPs to split towards Syriza.

    The point about Golden Dawn is well made in my opinion, and is why everyone (including conservatives) really ought to hope that Syriza succeed.

  24. Ashcroft National Poll, 23-25 January:

    CON 32%
    LAB 32%
    LDEM 6%
    UKIP 15%
    GRN 9%

  25. CHRIS GREEN

    “@CrossBat11 – Can far right parties put together a winning coalition of voters? Certainly, it has happened many times.
    Would Golden Dawn have put together the same coalition of voters that Syriza had, of course not, but you’re surely not suggesting that some demographic groups are intrinsically more valid than others.”

    I think the question of gaining votes would not be relevant with a neo-Nazi party.

  26. Lord Ashcroft confirms Scottish Constituency polling to be released next week…

  27. @CrossBat11

    “Golden Dawn have no equivalent far right party in Europe, certainly not one that has enjoyed any sort of electoral success.”

    There’s La Pen and the Front Nationale – they’d be close enough. I don’t think the far-right parties necessarily need equivalents in Europe, just a suitable amount of chaos.

    In other, boring, domestic news I see Cameron’s ‘I’ll all for debates, and not a coward, but…’ strategy has hit phase two

  28. @Toonie

    Thanks for the London poll figures. Roger should be happy.

    The tables are up here

    http://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/481npba50m/EveningStandard_Trackers_150121_Website.pdf

    It also has the ethnic weightings used and we can see the BME folk had to be massively upweighted – Black from 33 to 134, Indian from 20 to 67, Pakistan and Bangladesh from 20 to 57.

    I wonder if BME folk are less likely to respond to polls? I was recently answering a telephone poll, and they asked me if I knew any other BME respondents so they could contact them as they had too few. When the results were published I see from the results summary that they had to go out and do face to face polling for the BME population as phone polling simply didn’t work.

    I wonder to what extent BME voters are missing from other polls?

    I also wonder if the weights used are still correct, due to the rapidly changing demographics. Looking at the BES data for the Euro elections, they understated Labour by 4% and overstated UKIP by a massive 7% in the London region. Other regions were pretty accurate, except for the shy Tories. My guess is London was wrong due to the wrong ethnic weighting.

    press view data table to see the figures.

    http://www.britishelectionstudy.com/graph/?id=923#.VMZintGzXIU

  29. One weird figure from the yougov London -Tories lead for 18-24 on 42per cent !!?

  30. @Richard
    You’re raising some interesting questions about ethnic weighting. I’ll add one – do we know how likely BME Londoners are to be registered, or how likely they are to vote? I think we know something about this nationally, but London is a different country and there’s no reason to assume BME citizens are any more homogeneous across the UK than others. YouGov are opening a can of worms for themselves – and well done them I say.

  31. @ Crossbat11

    “Golden Dawn have no equivalent far right party in Europe, certainly not one that has enjoyed any sort of electoral success.”

    Apart from Anarchists Unite’s suggestion there is also Jobbik in Hungary (closer to the radicalising masses region).

  32. Re: Ashcroft’s Scottish cross breaks today

    Two things stand out for me:
    1. The rise in the Green VIs has had an effect on SNP, as well as on Labour
    2. The Labour vote is less solid than the SNP vote. LiS has to enthuse its supporters or the SNP will win handsomely.

    But you knew that anyway…….

  33. I think the difference between Golden Dawn and Jobbik versus the FN and BNP is that the former do not feel the need to pretend not to be jackboot wearing fascist nutters.

    As for Syriza, their request for debt relief and relief from austerity is straight-down-the-line standard Keynesianism, an approach proven after two World Wars. That the approach proposed by the Liberal Keynes seems to be viewed as some sort of extremism just goes to show how warped the the political/economic debate has got in the last five years.

  34. Are those who poll in London so totally unable to ask a representative group of people to participate that they are forced to up-weight Black participants by 400% and Indian sub-Continent participants by 300%? Can’t they get off their backsides and go and meet some real people? Or am I being naive?

  35. Ashcroft Scottish cross break…(Seats)

    SNP…40%… (44)

    LAB…23%… (9)

    CON…16%… (4)

    LIB..5%…. (2)

    What a difference a few hours make. I reckon the SNP poll better in the evenings. ;-)

  36. Lurker

    I dont think Keynes ever suggested there was no limit to the amount of debt that a nation could borrow.

  37. NORTHUMBRIANSCOT
    Lord Ashcroft confirms Scottish Constituency polling to be released next week…
    ________

    It will be probably well out of date.

  38. @ TonyCornwall

    Probably he didn’t, but he did propose banning charging interest on loans (and some point dividends after shares).

  39. AC

    ‘well out of date’ you say? How shall we know? Has there been any consistent change in Scottish polling since the end of October?

  40. JOHN B
    AC
    ‘well out of date’ you say? How shall we know? Has there been any consistent change in Scottish polling since the end of October?
    _____

    He’s been lurking about with the Scottish Constituency polling since mid December but the answer to your question…No not much in the way of changes in the SNP VI but would had been nice to have some up to date Scottish Constituency polling.

    I’m hard to please but I like my milk fresh and my polls fresh.

  41. Tonycornwall

    I am getting at the idea of writing off unpayable debts.

    They are unpayable because of the Euro straightjacket and the fact that their economy is shot. The debt history if the UK since 1800 shows that debt of 175% of gdp is perfectly payable when you have your own currency and strong growth.

  42. Lurker

    “The debt history if the UK since 1800 shows that debt of 175% of gdp is perfectly payable when you have your own currency and strong growth.”

    Since 1800? Might be useful for Greece to expand its Empire. That’s another way of using other people’s wealth to pay for your extravagances.

  43. Anyone know how the parties voted in HoC on fracking?

  44. @Postageincluded

    I don’t know how to use 2 variables against the BES data, I can get registration by region, and registration by ethnicity, but not both, I think you need some special program to be able to do that. (and then the sample sizes get smaller so may not be accurate)

    At a London level 88.1% say they are on the register vs 90.8% nationally, so lower, but not as low as you would expect when you look ethnicity vs are you on the register – white British is 92.4% vs 71.6% for Indian, 93.9% for Black Carribean, 75.4% for Black African.

    And I’ll say it again, Labour activists should just be making sure BME voters are registered to vote, and that should win easily on the current polls.

    This article discusses why they are not on the register, and often it is just that they don’t realise they are allowed to vote

    http://www.ethnicpolitics.org/2014/03/05/ethnic-minority-registration-marginal-and-marginalised-by-dr-maria-sobolewska-and-prof-anthony-heath-university-of-manchester/

    Far more productive than sending out leaflets to people who may not vote for you at the moment- just ensure that those people who are very likely to vote for you if given the chance are given that opportunity. Young people should also be on that list, although they seem to have moved Green recently.

  45. Richard

    One of the great advantages of giving 16-17 year olds the vote, was that schools/FE colleges organised mass registration of their students.

    Sadly, the current legislation won’t keep them on the register as they change addresses during their early adult years.

  46. Some suggestions on PB site that Ashcroft has changed his methodology and now only includes those 10/10 certain to vote – ie same as MORI.

  47. Mirror tweet

    “Interesting @DailyMirror poll coming out in about an hour. First in a series of election surveys for us by @Survation”

  48. Graham

    Could be. 589 CTV – excluding undecided etc N becomes 535.

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