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. “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.”
    Then please enlighten us. I’m genuinely interested.

  2. Unfortunately my machine decided we were talking about accounting rather than hunting. Even the machines refuse to listen.

  3. I wuz gonna say… Peeps are that opinionated about accounting??…

    Who’dathunk?…

  4. @Rivers10

    I must admit that I agree that the dislike of fox hunting is because well off people in expensive clothes do it. It’s an iconic class thing.

    The truth is a lot of needless suffering goes in someone’s egg and bacon breakfast with tea with cows milk.

    Or someone going angling.

    However, selective blindness is a trait that is alive and well.

  5. Has anyone ever got into a fight about accounting?

  6. “The truth is a lot of needless suffering goes in someone’s egg and bacon breakfast with tea with cows milk.”

    ———

    Tea as well?? I drink a lot of green tea, I hoped that might be vaguely OK…

  7. JAMIE

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

    No morale reason, no.

  8. @Carfrew

    The tea alright ;-)

  9. RMJ1

    “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.”

    I agree the Scottish Law is currently better which is why their intervention is so hypocritical.

  10. Catmanjeff and Carfrew

    Since it has been demonstrated that most plants do responsed to various stimuli then I guess using the same logic as the vegetarian we should not eat plants either.

  11. Sorry JAMIE, but whether it’s about accounting or foxhunting, this is not really the place. It is somewhat unfortunate that most of those charged with making decisions on this issue(hunting), on both sides, know little about it.

  12. @CATMANJEFF

    Phew. I’m afeared to ask about coffee. And it’s probably not a good time to mention storage. If there’s ever a good time…

  13. RIVERS10

    Could also say it was a day for bigotry and the oppression of minorities.

  14. I have just realised where my tablet got it wrong. It’s the Greeks who have banned accounting.

  15. @ToH

    Well I’m not an expert but I don’t think they hunt the plants on horseback across hills and valleys. But I didn’t know peeps were so exercised about accounting either…

  16. “I have just realised where my tablet got it wrong. It’s the Greeks who have banned accounting.”

    ———-

    Prolly a good idea if peeps are that worried about it…

  17. Carfrew

    The joy of studying plants in the field is unlike birds they cannot fly away. Mind some plants can be ver nasty, the Australian stinging tree (Dendrocnide excelsa) is not to be tackled. I know somebody who walked into one while wearing shorts and was in agony for a week or more. Botanists who study the tree use heavy welding gloves to hold the leaves.

  18. TOH
    Yes 70’s politics was shi’ite, as was most of the music, except for Roxy Music.

    By their action, the SNP has just shown itself to be a duplicitous and untrustworthy as Tsipras and his band of half wits in charge of Greece.

    You are correct in saying that the RSPCA has been infiltrated and is run by animal rights nuts. As a result I never waste an opportunity to dissuade anyone from donating to them. The likelihood is that their donation will be used to prosecute some haplas farmer, rather than rescue starving animals.

  19. I gather that fox hunting/shooting in Scotland is being reviewed because a number of hunts turn up with lots of dogs but forget to bring the guns. I guess they all shout, “Bang! you’re dead.”

  20. @TOH

    Since it has been demonstrated that most plants do responsed to various stimuli then I guess using the same logic as the vegetarian we should not eat plants either.

    Three words: central nervous system

    Another two: lack of…..

  21. @THE OTHER HOWARD

    “The joy of studying plants in the field is unlike birds they cannot fly away. Mind some plants can be ver nasty, the Australian stinging tree (Dendrocnide excelsa) is not to be tackled. I know somebody who walked into one while wearing shorts and was in agony for a week or more. Botanists who study the tree use heavy welding gloves to hold the leaves.”

    ———-

    Well, I don’t have any plans to be getting on a horse and hunting plants or, well, hunting anything really. But I shall be careful about wearing shorts in Oz, and maybe look into the gloves, though might be awkward at a barbie…

  22. @Robert Newark

    I can assure you as vegan, pro animal rights and supporter of hunt sabs, I dislike the RSPCA as much as you.

    We never give a penny to them, as there are hundreds of better animal charities out there.

  23. @SAM

    “I gather that fox hunting/shooting in Scotland is being reviewed because a number of hunts turn up with lots of dogs but forget to bring the guns.”

    ———

    If only they forgot to bring the fox, it would save a lot of bother all round really.

  24. TOH, Catmanjeff
    I can condense it into one word: Sentience

  25. Carfrew

    If only they forgot to bring the fox, it would save a lot of bother all round really.”

    If “If”?

  26. Robert

    As usual we agree.

    RIVERS10

    Sentience, nice word but don’t see it’s relevance to the conversation, since I can both think and feel.

  27. @SAM

    “If “If”?”

    —————

    Well I suppose if they forgot the horses…

  28. @THE OTHER HOWARD

    “Robert
    As usual we agree.”

    ———–

    Wot, even about the music???

    One despairs…

  29. Down with the RSPCA, Syriza, foxes and hunt saboteurs. Another day in the life of UKPR.

    Tally Ho.

    :-)

    P.S. Labour close the gap with the Tories to 4%. Is it too early to talk about swingback, I wonder?

    Maybe Harriet and husband Jack are measuring the curtains in No 10 too.

  30. Has there been any polling on attitudes in England & Wales to illegal activities involving animal hunting etc since MORI did this one in October 2012?

    https://www.ipsos-mori.com/researchpublications/researcharchive/3103/Public-perceptions-of-hunting.aspx

    The questions seem a little inexact, since hunting foxes, deer, badgers etc are not per se illegal – FOR EACH ONE I READ OUT, PLEASE TELL ME WHETHER YOU THINK IT SHOULD OR SHOULD NOT BE MADE LEGAL AGAIN

    However, the responses in E&W were –

    Dog fighting – Y 1% : N 97%
    Badger baiting – Y 2% : N 91%
    Fox hunting – Y 16% : N 76%
    Deer Hunting – Y 11% : N 82%
    Hare coursing/hunting – Y 9% : N 84%

  31. I feel I should add a small point to the discussion. Horses are not really relevant because many hunts, especially those close to the Scottish border, hunt on foot.

  32. @CROSSBAT11

    Until there is a convincing argument to the contrary, I think we can regard the latest poll as representing a true Conservative lead of about 10%. Seems reasonable to me anyway.

  33. @RMJ1

    “I feel I should add a small point to the discussion. Horses are not really relevant because many hunts, especially those close to the Scottish border, hunt on foot.”

    —————

    Maybe it’s different in Scotland, but I think, to be honest, much of the time, it’s the dogs that do most of the hunting. The people on foot aren’t really relevant either from that perspective, they just join in at the end. I think a fox would probably be able to clarify this.

  34. I was very close to setting my dogs on my accountant when I got his bill.

    Where does that leave me?

  35. @CROSSBAT11

    “Down with the RSPCA, Syriza, foxes and hunt saboteurs.”

    ————-

    And accounting, and there’s a vague on tea…

    And unaccountably some folk have issues with Seventies music. Is nothing sacred?…

  36. From NCPolitics

    “BES core recalled vote has a Tory lead of less than a point… Suggests that any late swing was extremely small. Problem was elsewhere…”

  37. @Carfrew

    And unaccountably some folk have issues with Seventies music. Is nothing sacred?…

    Disco music. The only issue I have with it is that it wasn’t strangled at birth.

    Thankfully Punk came to the rescue.

  38. @Catmann

    Some Disco is good though. But funk is generally better, of course…

  39. @Catmann

    I had to hide the occasional disco record from my peers. Even stuff like AWB you had to be careful about…

  40. @Catman

    Cover your ears!!

    https://youtu.be/u_pTDKXTm8Q

    “Sell my Soul” 1980

  41. Was at the Crucible theatre tonight to watch Camelot (and sat three seats down from Richard Wilson – I don’t believe it!)

    Large parts of the plot focused on the idea of Englishness as a unifying force that brings people purpose and solidarity – but causes them to tear themselves apart when they start to question what it really means.

    Food for thought! (And excellent pyrotechnics – the middle and end of the play take place outside the theatre – including a fun battle scene in the Peace Gardens).

  42. Good maiden speech from young ms black apart from the statutory lock em out of downing street/join us for an effective opposition banter.

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/jul/14/mhairi-black-first-commons-speech-snp

  43. What about Morris dancing? Can the SNP not vote on that to get rid of it? When I last visited my gran who lives in Frome at the foot of the Mendips I drove her into town and came across what I thought was a local tantrum over the bakers running out of bread but in fact turned out to be the local Morris dancing mob rehearsing.

    And with 350,000 English living in Scotland Morris dancing could be coming to a town near me so in that sense it ain’t an England only matter.

  44. Peston on the IMF’s latest on the Eurozone treatment of Greece. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-33531743

    the eurozone creditors, and Germany in particular, forced Alexis Tsipras – against his strong preference – to accept IMF participation in the next formal bailout package to be negotiated if Greek MPs pass the initial reform measures tonight.

    They told him, in effect, he would be turfed out of the eurozone and into national ruin unless he took more of the IMF’s money and fiscal bossiness.

    Which also look tragically comic tonight – with the IMF saying that if it’s all the same to Mrs Merkel, it would rather not touch Greece with a barge pole.

  45. 07052015

    I think Mhairi Black has more than stood up to her critics.

  46. Allan Christie

    Too late!

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/2777537.stm

    Since Morris dancing seems to have originated as a fertility rite, that 350,000 could breed themselves into billions!

  47. OLDNAT

    Ah but I read the small print….”But the original founding members are now moving away, and getting older, and they say Scots seem too embarrassed to join them”

    But!! ……………….”Certainly the Morris Men say there was indigenous Morris Dancing in Scotland, until the early seventeenth century”
    “Neil Bayfield said it was banned by the Scottish kirk for being too much fun”
    __

    Well it’s now up to the SNP to get all this “fun” banned from rUK. ;-)

  48. Well, well. This morning we have the clearest of insights of the staggering ineptitude that is the Eurozone.

    The IMF has made public it’s thoughts, and they represent a devstating critcism of the bailout terms forced on Greece.

    The IMF makes clear that they won’t work, and are very clear that the creditors need to accept substantial debt write offs. They blow apart any notion that the EZ’s figures are realistic (fancy imagining that Greece could achieve a budget surplus of 3.5%pa over a period of decades – utter tripe) with the killer blow being the fact that the IMF will not participate in the bailout until realistic terms are agreed. This comes after Merkel forced the Greeks to accept further IMF involvement.

    The Greek crisis is so far from being over, and the economic good sense of the Germans is exposed as nothing more than ideologically driven nonsense – they really don’t have a clue.

    If this deal does go through, German taxpayers will lose even more than they would have done through write offs, and it’s clear that the mishandling of the crisis over the last few years has caused despair in Greece while also racking up ever greater losses for the creditor nations.

    Greece will still burn. The only question is whether the revelations from the IMF will help their parliament reject this deal and get the pain out of the way sooner, or if they too are blinded by an appallingly constructed bailout and delude themselves into thinking they are cured. If they do vote yes, the pain is enhanced and elongated.

    This whole episode will be written up by economic historians as one of the greatest examples of politcal folly imaginable.

  49. Reading on this morning, it just gets worse.

    The IMF calculate that under the bailout terms, the current Greek debt ratio of 170% of GDP will rise and then, such that by the end of the bailout agreement period (2022) the ration is…errr…170%. So that would be 15 years of austerity, three bailouts and a debt ratio up from 123% post crisis to 170%, with no sign of sustainability still in sight.

    Worse than this, because of the laughably disastrous ineptitude of the creditors, the IMF believes that not only will Greece need large debt writes offs, but they will also need direct subsidies and transfers as well. To the Germans, this is toxic. They wish to benefit from the free trade that the misvalued Euro brings them, but refuse to accept economic orthodoxy that capital flows are required in the opposite direction.

    In effect, the IMF is in agreement with Syrzia on what the Greek economy needs, but the EZ has participated in one of the greatest examples of sweeping facts under the rug that Europe has ever seen.

  50. Alec

    Agreed.
    It is clearly unsustainable, and will be widely perceived as such, so it won’t have any credibility, which is part of the problem.

    I agree entirely with the IMF stance: the money has gone, and there is little point in pretending it is recoverable.

    As you say, the big lesson for everyone is that the leadership of the EZ are not the sophisticated operators that many supposed.

    Far too much time and effort has been wasted on avoiding blame/identifying who is to blame, rather than finding the appropriate solution.

    An undignified, unthinking and sclerotic process from start to finish. I’m pleased that our government was not involved.

    Goodness only knows what will happen next.

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