YouGov have some polling for the Times on attitudes to terrorism and Syria following the attack on Paris. The full results are here, and the Times’s write up is here.

There are two important findings in there. One is attitudes towards Syrian refugees. Back in September YouGov found 36% thought we should accept more Syrian refugees, 24% keep the numbers about the same, 27% that we should admit fewer or none. That support has dropped sharply, now only 20% think Britain should accept more (down 16), 24% the same number (no change), 49% fewer or none (up 22).

It would be wrong to assume this is necessarily connected to the attack upon Paris. The previous poll was conducted at the start of September, a week after the photos of the body of Aylan Kurdi washed up on the beach and amid sympathetic media coverage of refugees trudging across Hungary seeking a route to Germany. At the time there was evidence that the public had become more favourable towards the idea of accepting more Syrian refugees. However time has passed, the media coverage of sinking boats and desperate refugees has faded away again, and I expect a significant chunk of the change in public opinion is because of that – some heartbreaking photos and coverage did provoke a temporary change in opinion, but it was only temporary.

The other interesting finding is on sending British and US troops back into Iraq to fight Islamic State/ISIS. 43% of people now support sending in ground troops, 37% of people are opposed. The change since the last time YouGov asked is barely significant, but it’s part of a longer and much more clearer trend. Back in August 2014 when YouGov started asking this question the British public were strongly opposed to sending troops back into Iraq, but since then opinion has steadily moved in favour of intervention. We are now at the point where there are significantly more people in favour than opposed.


On other matters, the monthly ICM poll for the Guardian came out yesterday, with topline voting intention figures of CON 39%, LAB 33%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 12%, GRN 3% (tabs here. Their weekly EU referendum poll has figures of REMAIN 43%, LEAVE 38%. Survation have also put out some new figures, voting intentions are CON 37%, LAB 30%, LDEM 6%, UKIP 16%, GRN 3% and EU referendum intentions are REMAIN 42%, LEAVE 40% (tabs here.

103 Responses to “YouGov on Syrian refugees and ISIS intervention”

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  1. Regarding UK bombing Syria and putting troops in, do we have any troops available? Considering their current low

    Given the poor fitness of volunteers on joining the Army and subsequent loss rate. Would Scotland along with the rest of the UK go along with conscription?

    I am sure that the majority of Scots do not wish to be dragged into yet another
    middle east tragedy.

    Could this intervention be considered a Trip for Independence?

    Would you be happy about your relatives being forced to enlist in order to keep the London elite in the manner to which they have become accustomed to. I don’t think so ?

  2. COLIN

    The job of the leader of the Labour Party is to lead the party in stating and pursuing a policy, in opposition or in government, and on that basis not just to win elections but to assist in determining the future wellbeing and development of the country.
    And not just to respond to the current “will” of the people, CB, in an age when vested interests are rampant in a press.
    I am with Corbyn in responding with genuine doubt on military intervention, and don’t mind him expressing that confusion on air; better a tin ear than a tin heart or tin brain.

  3. @ Neil A

    Yes , you’re right about Christianity in the Enlightenment. I was thinking about the crusades and Spanish reconquest, so my ‘500 years’ was a bit sloppy. But the driving out of the Moors from Spain is often cast as the peaceful, tolerant, civilised, artistic and scientific lot being replaced by aggressive northerners who went on to behave in the New World (and their own country) rather how you see expansionary Islam working.

    How Moorish Spain would have developed if left alone is an intriguing question, but probably not one for here.

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