The Times this morning had new polling on the junior doctors strike (the fieldwork was completed shortly before the strike later this month was called off). It shows that more of the public support the strike than oppose it, but only just, and that support has fallen significantly since earlier in the year.

42% of people said they thought junior doctors were right to go on strike (down from 53% when the question was last asked in April), 38% think they are wrong (up from 29%). While people still think the government are more to blame for the dispute ending in industrial action, support for the strike is clearly flagging.

The decision to move to five day long strikes also looks risky in terms of public support. 34% of the public say they support junior doctors taking five day strike action, 48% of people say they are opposed.

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705 Responses to “Latest polling on the doctors strike”

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  1. MUDDY
    Thanks-I guess we’ve exhausted the speculative options now.

  2. Candy

    Interesting that those on the right watch a lot of tv, those on the left hardly any tv

  3. Some of the sample sizes on that YouGov Profiles site are remarkable in themselves.

    Sample size of people who like Jeremy Corbyn: 24,538
    …of people who like Owen Smith: 211.

  4. Wes

    And all the people who like Owen Smith like ice cream

  5. CR

    :-)

  6. Colin

    Agree with everything you have said regarding the May education push. It was very clear to me what her concerns are and what her ultimate objective is and as ever I find it hard to understand why others seem to lack my ability to understand stuff, which is clearly explained. The same happens on the DP show when AN asks the same question several times, when he has already had the answer and I end up shouting at the TV.

    As you say, the paper on Monday should provide the detail but one thing I do recall from the speech, was that she intends to consult widely. Now, if that consultation should take say, 3 years, that takes us nicely to the writing of the Conservative manifesto for the GE the following year.

    So, not only could the 2020 GE have an element of Brexit in it, as per Candys post but it will also contain the education proposals and it will be fought on the new boundaries. The HoL can happily adhere to the usual conventions.

  7. Sorrel

    “but I wondered if there was any evidence as to what would persuade non-voters to vote instead?”

    no evidence but the reason is their problems are related to immigration, off shoring etc and as the TV media censor those problems from the news their problems don’t officially exist and if your problems don’t officially exist there’s no point voting

    same all over the western world and why Trump will win in a landslide

  8. I actually think May is making a huge mistake, whether she is right or not. But she timed it well.

  9. Robert

    Thanks

    An interesting scenario you paint :-)

  10. A wee bit off.

    The LP will need a very quick medication, be it chemotherapy, radiotherapy or operation after the leadership election. Both sides now show very strong attributes of Trotskyism, and it is lethal.

  11. Or just let it die …

  12. As this thread seems to be running out of steam, some may be interested in trends in air travel arrivals into Europe, from a US travel research agency called Forwardkeys:

    • Long haul travel to Europe during the 2016 summer season (June to August) has stalled – decreasing by -0.9% compared with the equivalent period last year. Growth in late June and early July which was fuelled by the UEFA Cup and a surge in bookings at the end of Ramadan was offset by a decline in late July and early August.
    • Major destinations such as the UK (-1.3%), Italy (-2.6%), Germany (-4.1%) and in particular France (-9.6%) and Turkey (-26.7%), dropped being affected by security concerns. Second-tier destinations offset the decline, showing strong growth, especially Spain (+10.0%), Portugal (+5.2%), Scandinavian countries (+6.1%), Ireland (+18.1%), Russia (+19.0%) and Poland (+26.1%).

    Anyone want to pick any Brexit indicators out of this? FWIW, the decline in UK arrivals seems to undermine assumptions that tourists are flocking to the UK because of the weaker pound; and the comparatively much stronger performance of Ireland might be significant, too: all those nervous bankers scouting out alternative HQ locations?

  13. Laszlo

    Sunday Herald reporting that top donors have stopped funding SLab.

    Perhaps the money is now being used to fund the purchase of ice picks?

  14. Interesting to see May’s supporters accusing her Tory critics of grammar schools as ‘arrogant’. According to Telegraph reports, they are saying it’s arrogant to deny working class children a rigorous academic education.

    For me, this sums up where she has gone wrong, and the arrogance is actually on the other foot. She is assuming that only grammar and private schools provide such rigour, and on this base the policy. This is illogical and patently wrong. There are a huge number of comprehensives pushing pupils as far as they can go, alongside others that are failing.

    If she simply talked about making all schools as good as the best, she would have everyone’s support, but it looks like she has brought her own prejudices into government and fails to understand the state education system.

  15. OldNat

    I would like to smile, as your comment is very funny.

    But, even if I have nothing to do with these social democratic diseases (the communists have their own, but it more or less exterminated them), both sides, and their supporters dispair me with their symptoms of the radicalised philistine – with obvious quantitative differences.

  16. Lastly
    “The LP will need a very quick medication, be it chemotherapy, radiotherapy or operation after the leadership election. Both sides now show very strong attributes of Trotskyism, and it is lethal.”

    Taxidermy perhaps?

  17. That should say Laszlo. Apologies, autocorrect again.

  18. Robert Newark

    Maybe …

    But I still give them some chance. Miracles have happened. They may be able to remain social democrats and borrow something (it would be inflammatory to put here what) from the communists without changing the basic nature of their party, and make out of it something that can work.

    I spent the last few days on some conceptual thinking whether there is a social basis for the LP, and whether the Blarite period was only an extension of a party without a basis.

    There is a basis for a social Democratic Party, but it is not the LP how we understand it. And there are bases for various leftist parties too.

    There is still a chance, but it would require a radical decentralisation of the party (with some central control), with very simple messages from the centre, to change the prioritising of the voters, and to bring out the views from the grassroots as an actionable source of information.

    Corbyn may do it, but he will have a problem with both his followers and the administration, so it’s tough, and hazardous. Smith would just slowly kill the LP.

  19. @Laszlo

    The Labour Party has centralised massively (at least since the mid 1990s when I first joined). This partially explains Labour’s Scottish problem – being seen as a Westminster branch office.

    Decentralisation will be difficult, as grasping more control seems the default response to difficulties.

    In short, Labour seems structured to Westminster based political structure, when devolution has gone the opposite way.

  20. CMJ

    “In short, Labour seems structured to Westminster based political structure, when devolution has gone the opposite way.”

    That doesn’t seem surprising.

    Since England is, by far, the largest polity in the UK and the only one that has all its domestic affairs decided at Westminster, then what else would one expect?

    It’s also not a scenario unique to Labour. The same attitude dominates in the Tory, UKIP and LD parties.

    That Labour is more centralist in its organisation is, no doubt, true – for all kinds of historical reasons – but the difference between SLab and SCon is that the Tories have no internal dissension about being a “branch office” of Westminster, while SLab still hasn’t resolved its internal tensions over what its purpose is.

  21. Cambridgerachel,
    “Interesting that those on the right watch a lot of tv, those on the left hardly any tv”

    Could be to do with average age? Younger people may tend to be more left-wing, and the younger you are the less TV you watch:

    https://www.theguardian.com/media/2014/dec/15/facebok-tv-radio-ofcom-media

  22. @Oldnat

    Of course, Labour promoted devolution in Scotland. They tried in 1979 (under pressure), but failed on a turnout technicality.

    They delivered devolution under Mr Blair.

    The Conservatives never wanted devolution.

    So yes, Labour’s issue they never reconciled internally the changes in the Scottish psyche that stemmed from that.

    The Conservatives never had this internal dilemma to deal with.

  23. Its odd but I get the feeling that the Scottish conservative party is less connected to the Westminster party than scottish labour is to the English party. But that’s just my impression from a long way away

  24. @CR

    Perhaps it because the Conservative party essentially died in Scotland until the Scottish Parliament (using PR) gave them a rebirth, a fresh start.

  25. OldNat

    “Since England is, by far, the largest polity in the UK and the only one that has all its domestic affairs decided at Westminster”

    Yes, it true, but thanks to FPTP, it is far from a homogeneous polity. It is a polling site, so it is difficult … But the LP supporter of Liverpool is very different from Durham (I’ve been there for the miners’ day).

    Let’s assume that the academic research about the new members and about the media’s hostility to Corbyn is correct. The answer is not the alternative media (like Canary) although it is necessary, not social media (although it is indespensible), but local media, local activity, local discourse. Here, in Liverpool Labour’s opponents are the LibDems (there is a huge recovery, as they are not seen as Tories) and to some degrees the Greens. In the East – UKIP and the Tories. The conversation cannot be the same. And … The conversation has to happen. As it is not taking place (OK, the important one is the leadership election), the whole thing, be it Blarite or Corbynista – Trotskyist.

    It is a lot of local work – I know that it happens – which requires major administrative changes to make it effective. And as CatManJeff said, the first reaction is centralisation, which is self defeating as the central messages are irrelevant (e.g. 500 or 200 billion – what does it mean to my town, we fight the Tory educational policy, but in one place the grammar school is a pride, in another investment into comprehensives is needed, etc.).

    Yes, it is a parliamentary democracy, but with a lot of formal and informal devolution, and a lot of local democracy.

    But it is a lot of work, not slogans, not demarcation – hence my scepticism of Corbyn (Smith doesn’t count, to put it mildly). It is feasible, but then the goal has to be clear in decisions about the NEC, about the MPs, about the CLPs and the unions. I just don’t see these happening.

    It would be a much easier choice to take May on the education locally, or just ignoring it locally. The same applies for Brexit, and what have you.

  26. CMJ

    PR certainly allowed SCon a way back in to elected office (as it does for any party).

    However, it’s worth noting that their vote share for Westminster in 2015 (14.9% of a high turnout for modern times) was their lowest ever share of the vote.

    Polls do show an increase in vote share since then – but at the expense of an increasingly collapsing SLab.

    I mentioned the Herald story earlier –

    http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/14735734.Top_Scottish_Labour_donors_walk_away_from_Dugdale/

    As Deep Throat wisely said during Watergate “Follow the money!”

  27. Laszlo

    I’d suggest that in no polity, (except perhaps in that French municipality with only 1 voter!) are the parties “homogenous”.

    Under FPTP the alliances needed to win a plurality of votes in a constituency needs to be wider than if a PR system is in place.

    Hence, there is a need for some overarching issue to be so dominant that people are willing to set aside policy differences in order to work together to achieve that greater goal.

    It seems to me that, in both E&W and Scotland, Labour (as an organisation) has no “greater goal” than to get into power at Westminster. That isn’t sufficient of a goal to build the size of alliance needed!

  28. OldNat

    It is not a fair interpretation, even if I said that :-)

    The polity has attributes of a spectrum and also dichotomous characteristics. People indeed follow a nested decision making process (setting aside certain issues), but it often happens that at the primary branching of the decision making process all other branches are cut off, so there is no decision beyond voting or not voting. As a result FPTP is misrepresented as a struggle for blurring the boundaries – building coalitions. To a degree it is (was) true, but it really applied for the marginals (and these changed over the time).

  29. Sorry, pressed the submit …

    It seems to me that there is a different, emergent social group that could be addressed, and hence changing the whole,strategy.

    As long as being in power is the goal, and not the means, themConservatives will win …

  30. Laszlo

    :-)

    But if we are simply talking about the marginals under an FPTP system (and that is what politics in England has descended to) then it’s simply a matter of which party has the better marketing strategies to appeal to the enough of the uncommitted voter “tribes” in these constituencies, and damn all to do with “democracy” or any other principled issues.

    It seems my Deep Throat quote becomes meaningful in that context too. “Follow the money”.

  31. Oldnat
    ‘However, it’s worth noting that their vote share for Westminster in 2015 (14.9% of a high turnout for modern times) was their lowest ever share of the vote.

    Polls do show an increase in vote share since then – but at the expense of an increasingly collapsing SLab.’

    The crossbreaks of the most recent YouGov poll put Labour on 23% with the Tories on 21%. Labour did poll 22.6% inthe constituency vote at this year’s Holyrood elections, and on the basis of past performance it has to be likely that they would have done rather better at a Westminster election – say circa 25%.

  32. Graham

    Selecting a crossbreak in a single GB poll for evidence that SLab are doing better than SCon is not generally regarded as good psephological practice!

    It is strangely reminiscent of the haruspicy often practised by SNP supporters, when that party languished in the polls :-)

    As to the Holyrood election this year – SLab got 0.6% more of the vote than SCon (22.6% as opposed to 22%) but 3.8% less on the List (19.1% against 22.9%) – though the latter figure probably relates more to the incompetence of SLab strategy than the level of popular support.

    However, that is nothing to do with the point I was making – that in recent Full Scottish polls, SLab are firmly behind SCon in 2nd/3rd place.

    In the Ashcroft poll (with SLab 5 points behind SCon) the party shifts since 2015 had SLab with only 59% “loyalty” to 2015 voting – 20% of them moving to SCon, 15% to SNP.

  33. LASZLO

    @”. The answer is not the alternative media (like Canary) although it is necessary, not social media (although it is indespensible), but local media, local activity, local discourse.”

    Aren’t you talking about LOCAL Government there?

    Westminster representation IS for National Government.

    Doesn’t any political party need representation in both?.

  34. @Wes – “Some of the sample sizes on that YouGov Profiles site are remarkable in themselves.

    Sample size of people who like Jeremy Corbyn: 24,538
    …of people who like Owen Smith: 211.”

    I have no idea about this, but could this be indcative of YG’s online panel being heavily distorted in favour of Corbyn, and are there any implications for their Labour election polling?

    At the very least, it might suggest Corbyn supporters are far more active online, and if so might raise the question of whether YG has a sufficiently robust base of knowledge against which to accurately weight their leadership poll sample.

  35. Cambridge Rachel,

    I think that the Scottish Tories have been clever in terms of balancing distancing themselves from the Westminster Tories and taking advantage of links. The financial and organisational links are still there, and they never miss an opportunity to piggy-back on the government for popular things (record employment, gay marriage, expanded powers for Holyrood) but they will occasionally distance themselves on policy and their popular image is very much based around Ruth Davidson rather than David Cameron or Theresa May.

    Oddly enough, Ruth Davidson is a better figure for selling David Cameron’s desired image for the Tories (aspirational like Thatcherites and socially liberal like the Wets) than Cameron was. Maybe she should be called Ruth Davidsdottir…

  36. The “Modern Britain” initiative by Sajid Javid & others looks interesting.The Minority Ethnic vote is good target, given a Corbyn lead Labour Party.

    Timed nicely I think.

  37. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-37329153

    It would be quite nice if some of those Corbyn supporters out there would note this, as this case was highlighted on here by some as evidence of plots etc in the labour party management.

    The man has now been suspended, like others who have been abusive.

    Meanwhile, another week, another former Corbyn adviser speaks out against his leadership. This time it’s Joshua Simmons, who worked for Corbyn fopr six months, saying some really rather uncomfortable things about Corbyn, his team, and their approach to Jewish matters.

    Again, his supporters really should take note of this. This is not a plotter or Blairite – it’s yet another person, who, with good grace, agreed to work on Corbyn’s team, now highlighting defects with the set up.

    Some on here may find it quite hard to understand this, but I pay little or no heed to the Liz Kendal’s, the Hutton’s and other centrist Blairites. They are a busted flush, as far as I am concerned. My focus has been on the very many paid advisers, independent supporters, and Parliamentary backers who have worked closely with Corbyn and now walk away, saying his flaws outweigh his advantages.

    We also hear today that at the height of the antisemitic row, Corbyn was invited to the holocaust Museum in Israel, by the Israeli Labour party. The invitation was for November, but Corbyn declined, saying he was ‘too buey’, sending Iain McNichol instead.

    Corbyn clearly has no interest in mending fences on this issue, which I think is wrong, given the perceptions.

  38. BME Vote 2015 GE

    % 2015/%2010/+-%

    Con 23/16/ +7
    Lab 65/60/ +5
    LD 4/20 -16

  39. The suspension of the person who bankrolled the attempt to block corbyn from the ballot, and who used some rather dodgy Nazi rhetoric to describe Corbyn’s supporters may cause other even more er outspoken critics some concern.

  40. @Mark W – I hope so. No place for abuse in the leadership contest, and likening internal opponents to stormtroopers is ridiculous.

  41. What bothers me is that Mr Foster donated 700,000 pounds to the Labour party and now understandably he feels a certain amount of ownership. The press seem to agree with him giving his views wide circulation because of his status as a major donor. Labour has no business taking large donations, if the average person couldn’t afford to make that kind of donation then the Labour party shouldn’t accept it. I’d like to see labour have a policy of maximum donations being £2500, roughly 10% of average earnings which to my mind would be the maximum an ordinary politics obsessed person could/would donate.

    Money buys influence, lots of money buys lots of influence. If labour wants to clean up politics and I hope it does then it has to start with itself.

  42. Alec – ” could this be indcative of YG’s online panel being heavily distorted in favour of Corbyn”

    Or it could be an indication that lots of the people voting for Owen Smith don’t like him very much, but the choice is between him and Corbyn so they’re gritting their teeth and voting for him.

    There are at least 50 Lab MPs who would be better candidates than Smith.

    The unattractive thing about Lab at the moment is how calculating many of them are – “it’s not worth putting my hat in the ring now, I’ll wait till after the election when the timing is optimum”.

    They don’t seem to understand the peril they’re in, there may not be a Lab party left after the election. And if they can’t be bothered to front up and take a risk to save their party, why should the electorate trust them?

  43. Alec

    Simmons’s op piece is very damaging indeed and should be taken very seriously by Corbyn and Co (but it won’t be). There are some problematic elements in the story, but there is obviously a basis for them irrespective of the potential over-interpretation or misrepresentation.

    And Smith is the alternative ….

    A sad state of social democracy, replaying the numerous debates since the 1890s.

  44. Colin

    No, I didn’t mean local elections, but about working out a strategy to win the general election locally. The diversity of the UK (or England) is such that generic, yet concrete, left of the centre economic (or for that matter social) policies cannot be verbalised effectively without a massive scale of changes in the LP that is highly unlikely. Hence was my musing of an alternative to it.

  45. One possible explanation for the relative Independence of the Labour and Conservative Parties from Westminster North of the border might be their electoral importance to the Parties at Westminster.

    For example back in 2010 the Tories got 306 (+speaker) to Labour’s 258, with Scotland accounting for 1 Tory and 41 Labour. That means in percentage terms Scotland with 9% of the seats was worth 16% of Labour’s seats but only 0.3% for the Tories.

    On the face of it you would think that would give Slab more influence and importance, but in reality it seems to have made the Party more of used on Westminster and dare I see it Ministerial Advancement than Scottish concerns.

    In contrast the Scottish Tories were perhaps left to get on with it as they weren’t that important, sort of inadvertent benign indifference.

    If that is what has happened it would be ironic if the Conservative and “Unionist
    ” Party least in favour of Devolution had stumbled across the way to make it work for them, while a Labour Party which put it in place had managed to make a mess of it.

    It’s a funny old world!

    Peter.

  46. ALEC

    @Wes – “Some of the sample sizes on that YouGov Profiles site are remarkable in themselves.
    Sample size of people who like Jeremy Corbyn: 24,538
    …of people who like Owen Smith: 211.”

    I have no idea about this, but could this be indcative of YG’s online panel being heavily distorted in favour of Corbyn, and are there any implications for their Labour election polling?

    I don’t think there’s any evidence of distortion. YouGov underestimated Corbyn support if anything last year. The only systematic bias in past polls has been too many Kendall supporters and that doesn’t really matter, as twice not very much is still not very much. The selectorate probably isn’t much different from last time, except for the £25 votes (last time’s £3-ers who became full members last Autumn have just shifted categories).

    What were seeing here is a discrepency between two sorts of polling – social (YouGov Profiles) and political – which measure different things. There may be a lot of people who ‘like’ Corbyn – admire his resilience and so on, while never dreaming of voting for him or Labour. And he has a year to collect his up-ticks. Whereas Smith has only been widely known a short time.

    Most of all the political support for Smith is almost entirely negative. He is backed because he isn’t Corbyn – no other real reason. What was notable about the recent polling of the selectorate:

    https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/0cpa7iw5l7/TimesResults_160830_LabourSelectorate.pdf

    was that Corbyn’s supporters were more enthusiastic for their candidate than Smith’s were. For example 64% of Corbyn voters rated him as strong, only 33% of Smith voters said that about Smith. Smith voters were also more negative about Corbyn than vice versa (though the divisiveness is still high enough to cause worries about Labour’s future).

    But being supported because of who you are not is never going to get people to ‘like’ you. The discrepancy is striking but explicable.

  47. This from Opinium is an interesting segmentation of the electorate: http://opinium.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Dead-Centre-British-politics4_lr.pdf

    The self-identified 25%/45%/30% split between political left, centre and right is interesting in itself, but there’s also a ton of other data to sift through.

  48. I just put together some graphs for VI in 2016.

    I have done some EWMA graphs for You Gov data and ICM data, as they have polls nicely spread throughout the period.

    You Gov

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BzTTW1ecy-NDdmY1MGJMUUtVdDA/view?usp=sharing

    ICM

    h ttps://drive.google.com/file/d/0BzTTW1ecy-NDUzdhNVM5NU9uMDA/view?usp=sharing

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