While the polling inquiry continues and we all work out what went wrong the Guardian aren’t publishing their ICM/Guardian polls, but they are still being done. Martin Boon has tweeted July’s results, which have topline figures of CON 38%, LAB 34%, LDEM 6%, UKIP 13%, GRN 4%.

As I wrote in my previous poll, YouGov released a second bite of budget polling on Friday, this part conducted after the initial press reaction to the budget. This wave highlights some of the public’s rather complex views on benefits and the living wage.

Public attitudes to welfare are complicated, sometimes contradictory and it is easy to cherry pick polling results to show the public support or oppose big cuts to benefits, depending on one’s views. At the simplest level people like the idea of benefit cuts because they think they go to people who don’t deserve them and who haven’t contributed to them. Exactly who they imagine these people are is more difficult to say, since if you ask about most groups who recieve benefits people oppose cuts.

So, overall 38% of people say cuts to benefits have gone too far, 23% they they are about right, 24% would go even further. Asked about the level of benefits and the number of people who can claim them 45% say benefits are too generous, 40% they they are too low (23%) or about right (17%); 57% say too many people are eligible, 30% that too few (19%) or about the right number of people are eligible (11%). Looking at those figures people seem to be pretty pro-cut.

Asked about individual groups of people who receive benefits though and the public suddenly become much more charitable. Only 4% think retired people on the state pension get too much in benefits, only 9% think disabled people do, only 12% think people in low paid work do. 19% think working people with children get too much in benefits, but 33% think they should get more. Opinion on unemployed people is the most evenly balanced, with 28% saying they get too much in benefits, 24% too little, 31% about right. The only group where people come down heavily on the side of too much money being spent on benefits is better off retired people… the group that politicians never cut benefits from because they vote.

This raises the question of why people think benefits are too high and too widely spread if they don’t think the unemployed, pensioners, parents, disabled people or the working poor get too much. I hardly think when people talk about benefit cuts they are thinking of winter fuel payments, rather I expect the support comes from the continuing belief that lots of benefits go to categories not asked about like “people who aren’t really disabled”, “people who could work but can’t”, “asylum seekers” and so on.

Attitudes were similarly complex on the government’s national living wage. We saw in Thursday’s poll that this received overwhelming support. This poll however found rather more nuanced attitude. 31% of people think that the living wage will end up increasing unemployment… yet only 7% think it is being set too high (the implication being that some proportion of people think it more important that jobs pay a decent wage than unemployment is minimised). The principle of the government’s approach is backed – 39% think it’s better for government to reduce in-work poverty by forcing business to pay higher wages (even if it increases unemployment) compared to 19% of people who think it is better for government to reduce in-work poverty by using the tax and benefit system (even if it costs a lot). However, asked about their overall perceptions of the budget people think, by 39% to 28%, that it will leave people in low paid jobs worse off. The question the poll hasn’t asked is how much that matters to people. Too what extent, if any, would people rather low paid workers got more money in wages and less in benefits even if they are less well off.


337 Responses to “Latest ICM poll and more YouGov budget polling”

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  1. MBRUNO

    Why would leaving the EU wreck the countries future. There are a lot of people in the UK, including some recent converts see earlier posts who think we should leave the EU. I certainly do, and after a short period of ajustment, I think our economy would benefit significantly.

  2. @Robert Newark – Perhaps worth recalling that pro hunting campaigns stated as a fact that the ban would cost 10,000 rural jobs.

    In fact, more people now ride to hounds and hunt employment numbers are up.

    They also told us that hunting was necessary to control fox numbers. Rural fox numbers are little changed, according to survey data.

    While telling us hunting was needed to control foxes, they also told us it wasn’t really cruel as they hardly ever caught one. Never quite worked that one out.

    As any gamekeeper will tell you, a decent shot with a rifle is by far the best means of fox control if you have a problem, especially if you employ an old hand who can mimic a foxes cry to lure them in.

    Hunting with dogs. Utterly daft. Like the peolpe who enjoy it.

  3. Carfrew

    Thank you for some very considered comments on my post about inadequate teachers. Obviously you have made some good points which i agree with but having said that the number of teachers actually dismissed for being inadequate is amazingly small, such that it must be follow that the standards of performance set are too lw.

  4. Foxes can cross the border.

    Therefore, unless Tories are proposing a stock proof border fence, this law has implications for Scotland and the SNP has every right to take a stance on it, EVEL or not.

  5. CARFREW

    “They could trumpet it as commendable support of the Union, this harmonising thing”
    _____

    Well I see it as participating for the good of the Union. You know, one nation……one fox rule. ;-)

    But you have to admit, the amount of frothing from the Tories is extraordinary.

  6. ROBERT NEWARK

    Don’t set me off about the 70’s Robert, that was truly an awful decade with rubbish governments both Tory and Labour.

  7. ALEC
    Foxes can cross the border.
    Therefore, unless Tories are proposing a stock proof border fence, this law has implications for Scotland and the SNP has every right to take a stance on it, EVEL or not.
    ___________

    I said exactly that in one of my previous posts.

  8. Carfrew

    We can certainly agree abou the cricket. managed to get home from the allotment just in time to see the ist Aussie wicket go down on the last day. The rest of the afternoon was sheer bliss! :-)

  9. @Alec

    “Foxes can cross the border.
    Therefore, unless Tories are proposing a stock proof border fence, this law has implications for Scotland and the SNP has every right to take a stance on it, EVEL or not.”

    No need to go that far – just legislate so that they can’t access benefits, that’ll stop them moving around ;)

  10. Allan Christie

    “Hunting with dogs. Utterly daft. Like the peolpe who enjoy it.”

    Why? Never done it myself but if I was into riding I would certainly want to. Why are they pompous, is enjoying oneself a sign of pomposity?

    Living where I do and visiting the South Downs often I have seen fox hunts many times, grand sight. We are so soppy in this country about animals.

  11. Alec

    I have seen the workings of EU bureaucrats pretty close up, so I know how awful they can be (despite all this I still like the ideal of cooperation, the soft-hearted romantic I am). I am still agape.

    This deal and process to reach it is in political and economic terms the most inept, catastrophically incompetent clusterf***ed pile of utter ordure ever. At least with the Treaty of Versailles they did not have past experience to draw on. Short of a declaration of war I really cannot see how the outcome could have possibly have been worse. I am dying to see a Brexit poll on all this.

    On fox-hunting, the Tory backbench pack drove Cameron out into the field right into a shotgun volley from the SNP. After the weekend I needed a good laugh.

  12. @ToH

    Well, like I said, if they leave anyway there’s little reason to dismiss. I don’t think you realise how much the ante has been upped: there were over seven hundred educational directives under NuLab alone. Not that these directives were all wonderfully useful, but what it means is that it ups the pressure, the measuring, the expectation massively, and it’s just too much for those who struggle to keep their head above water.

    Look at the numbers leaving the profession voluntarily if you don’t believe me, which has really shot up.

    Also if you are good at systems, and designing educational resources, you can do a lot to compensate for poor teaching anyway.

    But you’re pushing at an open door on standards where I am concerned, since even at a top ten private school, and even at Oxford, I would challenge issues in the teaching.

    It’s not really a public/private thing. Nearly one in every hundred peeps work in education. Good teaching, in fact even adequate teaching, requires a considerable package of skills and perceptions that are not necessarily in sufficient supply and are hard to train…

  13. @THE OTHER HOWARD

    “Don’t set me off about the 70’s Robert, that was truly an awful decade with rubbish governments both Tory and Labour.”

    ———–

    Music woz good tho’!!…

  14. @THE OTHER HOWARD

    “We can certainly agree abou the cricket. managed to get home from the allotment just in time to see the ist Aussie wicket go down on the last day. The rest of the afternoon was sheer bliss! :-)”

    ————

    Yeah, it was grand. And a bit nail biting for a while, hoping they’d get it done before the rain on Sunday. Those two wickets either side of lunch calmed the nerves considerably. Followed some of it on live text over coffee… Pimms at home later on to celebrate.

    But Thursday at Lords, wicket likely to be less of a pudding, Aussies somewhat the wiser… Getting nervous again…

  15. Carfrew

    Fair enough, you clearly know more about the subject than I do.

    I certainly agree that truly inspirational teachers will always be scarce but if your lucky enough as a child to be taught by one it will affect you for the rest of your life. My passion for history started when I was six thanks to a marvelous form teacher.

  16. TOH
    Is a “grand sight” a worthy prize for viciously killing an animal?

    Carfrew
    Music woz epic!!!!

  17. Carfrew

    “But Thursday at Lords, wicket likely to be less of a pudding, Aussies somewhat the wiser… Getting nervous again…”

    Me to!

  18. Carfrew

    I found the standard of tutoring at Oxford to be highly variable.

  19. RIVERS10

    I have to say that I have little sympathy for foxes, so my answer has to be yes.

  20. TOH
    I have little sympathy for ISIS but I don’t propose we have them ripped apart by dogs…

  21. THE OTHER HOWARD
    Allan Christie
    “Hunting with dogs. Utterly daft. Like the people who enjoy it.”
    ……
    Why? Never done it myself but if I was into riding I would certainly want to. Why are they pompous, is enjoying oneself a sign of pomposity?

    Living where I do and visiting the South Downs often I have seen fox hunts many times, grand sight. We are so soppy in this country about animals.
    ______

    Now now I think you might have misquoted me a little bit. Yes pompous but never said daft.

    I’ve seen fox hunts as well and the whole thing smells of pomp and itchy tweed. When I lived in Berkshire I used to mistake the trumpet sounds the hunts made for escaped Lunatic Asylum sirens at nearby Broadmoor.

    Watching 100 or so people on horseback accompanied by 200 demented poodles chasing after a poor wee fox might be your cup of tea but for me and most others it’s a step to far in animal cruelty.

  22. RIVERS10

    For the first 12 years of my retirment I spent 2-3 months a year in the tropics studying the flora and fauna of the tropics, especially the birds and the mammals. Nature is red in tooth and claw so I don’t get upset about things like foxhunting as many in the UK do. That probably partially explains the difference between us. I also don’t like class law legislation, which the hunting act was.

  23. @The Other Howard

    Would you mind elaborating on why Fox Hunting was ‘class warfare’? Would you say the same of Dog or Cock fighting? Given the majority of the public are against such things (presumably across all classes) are you not accusing them of ‘class warfare’?

  24. Sorry, replace ‘class warfare’, with ‘class law’. Poor reading comprehension

  25. JAMIE

    I appreciate my views are in the minority but that does not make me wrong.

    As to why I think it was an act of class warefare try this article. Iy explains it well I think.

    htt p://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/tim-bonner/hunting-act_b_6704010.html

  26. Jamie

    My mistake, I meant class warefare.

  27. Survation Full Scottish tables available http://survation.com/archive/2015-2/

    Party : VI : Seats (changes since previous election in brackets) (Seats via Scotland Votes)

    Westminster (current boundaries)
    SNP : 51.4% (+1.4) : 55 (-1)
    Lab : 20.5% (-3.8%) : 1 (=)
    Con : 16.9% (+2.0%) : 2 (+1)
    L-D : 7.2% (-0.4%) : 1 (=)

    Holyrood Constituencies
    SNP : 55.6% (+10.2) : 70 (+17)
    Lab : 19.8% (-11.9%) : 0 (-15)
    Con : 13.8% (-0.1%) : 2 (-1)
    L-D : 7.1% (-0.8%) : 1 (-1)

    Holyrood List
    SNP : 44.6% (+0.6) : 1 (-15)
    Lab : 19.2% (-5.1%) : 24 (-2)
    Con : 12.4% (=) : 12 (=)
    L-D : 7.7% (+2.5%) : 6 (+3)
    Grn : 10.6% (+6.2%) : 12 (+10)
    UKIP : 5.1% (N/A) : 1 (+1)

    UK stay in EU?
    Yes 51.2% : No 25.8%

    Indy Scotland stay in EU?
    Yes 48.9% : No 26.0%

  28. There’s some pretty selective quoting going on in that article, and it’s key argument misses the point utterly. “Snaring, shooting and gassing a fox” for pest control out of necessity is a world apart from it being torn to pieces after a long, terrifying chase for sport.
    Again, would you support Dog and Cock fighting?

  29. TOH
    Key difference between us and nature though is that nature can find the correct equilibrium. Animals kill other animals out of necessity as part of a broad ecosystem, humans kill for fun, this is disturbing enough in of itself but history has shown us that we humans routinely drive animals to extinction in the name of sport.

    As for “class law” you don’t seem to mind when its the working class on the receiving end, you have made your views on union bashing and welfare cuts very clear, do the wealthy suffer as a result of those policies too?

  30. I think what really sticks in the craw of those of us opposed to fox hunting is the idea that those who hunt find it enjoyable and a source of great fun to terrify a fox by chasing it with a pack of hounds and then see it torn to pieces. How sick must these people be to find something like that enjoyable and a cause for a social occasion.

    If foxes have to be culled, then cull them humanely, dispassionately and professionally, not take some great delight in inflicting and causing pain and terror in another living being.

  31. Riverside 10

    If the fox was in anyway in danger of extinction in the UK I would also want to ban fox hunting but they are not. I don’t find fox hunting in any way disturbing any more than I do fishing or shooting. They are all enjoyable field sports. Field spots are followed by all classes so I was not just referring to rich Tories. Don’t forget there are Labour people who support fox hunting like Kate Hoey.

    As to Union bashing I have never bashed a Union in my life, I didn’t need to they usually did it to themselves. When I was first made a production director I was involved in dealing with a number of strikes. All of those strikes failed in there objectives due to inept union management and I persuaded the most of the workforce that striking was a waste of time, and yes many left the Union.

    As to welfare cuts, yes I support what IDS is trying to do, and like him i regard it as a moral crusade. Of course I believe there should be a safety net for those who really cannot care for themselves.

  32. Norbold

    That’s just your opinion. Sorry but I don’t think field sports are in anyway “sick”.

  33. @ToH

    Well, having worked in education myself and partner’s a head teacher so you can imagine the thorny topic of staff performance is an ever-present consideration. Having been taught myself in both private and public institutions also allows useful comparisons. They do differ, but not in the stereotypical ways people often assume.

    Interestingly, I was also influenced by a History teacher. I struggled badly with history until one teacher took me to one side and made a simple observation that changed everything, transforming me in a few months from someone liable to fail O level to someone who got an A. This was a revelation to me, and
    in conjunction with a number of other experiences had me reading up on educational psychology aged fifteen, initially for my own benefit…

    …in part because hardly any bugger would listen to me. With a couple of months to go till O level, I checked some past papers and realised we had not done much organic Chemistry. Being as this constituted nearly a third of an exam, I was duly alarmed, and frantically scrabbled to make up the gap. Mentioning it in class drew little but decision from teacher and classmates alike. I was the only person to get an A in that class, when normally you’d expect a lot more, given that a quarter of the school leavers went to Oxbridge each year.

    So I realised I had to take matters into my own hands, which did not happinate all the teachers. Some were intrigued and backed me though…

    On inspiration. If you can do it, it can seem pretty wonderful at first, but it has its limitations. In terms of teacher training, hard to teach others to do it. Meanwhile, some things are easier to inspire than others. History is full of human interest and obviously grand in scope, but it’s a lot harder to convey that with summat like partial pressure or phase transformations…

    There are other problems… You can inspire an interest that goes nowhere because the hard part is knowing how to proceed, and exacerbated in degree courses these days with everything modularised, often little time for that. Similarly your reach is limited to who you come into contact with etc. etc.

  34. ToH, please explain exactly how the Fox Hunting ban exactly was class warfare and whether you would support Dog or Cock fighting. You have yet to do so

  35. Rivers10

    “Key difference between us and nature though is that nature can find the correct equilibrium”

    I have no problem with hunting/fishing per se – it just needs to be done humanely and without wanton cruelty. Additionally, some species need to be protected (while the extirpation of the midge would be a great boon!)

    However, if the comparison is to be with nature, surely the hunters should take part “au naturel”, and pursue their quarry as nature intended? I suspect soft modern feet and tender parts of the anatomy exposed to thorny bushes might make the activity somewhat less popular.

  36. @RIVERS10

    “Music woz epic!!!!”

    ————

    Have met quite a few younger musicians in recent times, and lots of them seem to be into the music of that era, whether fusion, punk, ska or whatever. Lots of the jazzers are doing hybrid stuff like jazz infused with punk and ska…

  37. @HAWTHORN

    “I found the standard of tutoring at Oxford to be highly variable.”

    ———–

    I think they prolly found me highly variable too, to be fair!!…

  38. Carfrew

    Thanks for that, very interesting and good for you, for getting up to speed with organic chemistry by yourself. I had to do something similar myself when studying A level chemistry, the master left out a big chunk of the syllabus and I had to mug it up myself.

    I agree that it is easy to inspire in some subject than others. When i first went to grammer school I had real problems with algebra. So my father organised some private teaching for me. The retired teacher who taught me algebra was very patient and a good teacher, but i suspect what really got me through it all, was that at the end of each session he would give me 30 minutes of military history on the campaigns of John Churchill 1st Duke of Marlborough! A effective bit of psychology.

  39. Jamie

    “whether you would support Dog or Cock fighting.”

    I honestly don’t know I have never seen either but I suspect not. I think both of those are mostly about gambling. I think you will find that the fun in foxhunting is in the chase just as the skill required to shoot a bird in flight or catch a fish in a river is what those sports are about.

  40. TOH
    But they were widely enjoyed by a particular, mostly lower class, section of the population. Is that not class warfare?

  41. JAMIE

    I’m assuming your still talking about Dog and Cock fighting, and yes it probably was when they were banned.

  42. TOH

    Fishing and bird shooting at least come with the added benefit that the “hunter” tends to eat their prey afterwards, as strange as it sounds I’d have a lot more sympathy for those wishing to restore fox hunting if they eat the fox afterwards…

    Also in response to your post to Jamie if the fun is in the chase why does the fox have to be ripped apart at the end of it? I know a few people who go fishing and they throw the catch back after they have caught it and as for those who like to shoot birds isn’t that why they invented the clay pigeon? All the fun and none of the cruelty. If people want to chase a fox on a horse well who am I to stop them, its when they insist on having the fox killed in the most brutal way afterwards that I complain.

  43. TOH

    ‘Norbold
    That’s just your opinion. Sorry but I don’t think field sports are in anyway “sick”.’

    Well, of course it’s my opinion. It is also my opinion that anyone who can see nothing wrong in inflicting pain and terrifying other sentient beings just for enjoyment is indeed very sick and lacking in real human emotion.

  44. BREAKING NEWS!!!!
    The government has cancelled the vote on fox hunting due to the belief that it would certainly be struck down. Supposedly most MP’s were swayed by a petition that trended the last few weeks calling on the ban to be upheld. A glorious day for democracy and common decency.

  45. Of course fox hunting is disgraceful, but I myself wonder why the British population gets their knickers in a twist about it.

    In the egg industry, male born chicks are unwanted, so get gassed or thrown alive in crushing machines at one day old. Literally ten of millions of chicks every year in the UK alone.

    I could also talk about the dairy industry, and of course the meat industry.

    If as a nation we were seriously concerned about animal welfare, factory farming would be the first target, not fox hunting.

  46. @ToH

    It is interesting, what motivates people to learn. I recall a Myleene Klass interview in which she said that if she wasn’t doing much piano practice, parents would lock the lid to the piano keyboard, which would make her want to play piano more than anything.

    Regarding history, I realised part of the reason I struggled was because my parents came from elsewhere. So while when others studied British history, they could relate it to the experience of their ancestors who were directly involved, and talk about their experiences with some of them, I didn’t really have that angle.

    Had issues with algebra too briefly, at prep school, in part because arrived at the school mid-year, but then the teacher left and the new teacher made it all much clearer.

    I shall say nowt about foxes, if that helps any!!

  47. @TOH

    I am afraid that preaching to the deliberately deaf is always frustating. Accounting is one of those subjects on which the most opinionated generally have the least knowledge. Suffice to say that in general, 80% of the people who follow a hunt have only a very sketchy idea of what is happening and the casual observer has no chance. In my experience (vast on this subject), most of the anti hunting activists are trying to translate French with a German dictionary.

    Ironically, the proposed changes are not really a relaxation of the rules but are a way of making the flushing/shooting method more effective and humane. It reduces the opportunities for foxes to double back and be wounded rather than be killed outright by the guns. It shortens the chase and also vastly increases the chance of an accidentally wounded Fox being tracked and humanely despatched. It is one of the areas where Scots law is better than English law. A pity they don’t recognise this.

  48. TOH
    “I’m assuming your still talking about Dog and Cock fighting, and yes it probably was when they were banned.”

    So can you see no moral reason for the ban in those cases?

  49. Catmanjeff
    Well I’m a vegetarian for a reason but I think it boils down to how it effects people. Most people eat eggs, chicken etc and thus don’t like to think about were it comes from and certainly don’t want to pay more for it. Thus factory farming is pushed to the back of their minds

    Fox hunting though is the preserve of a tiny minority of people and thus most Brits are all too happy to get upset about it….if that makes sense.

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