I missed YouGov’s latest poll earlier this week – topline figures did not show anything new, with voting intentions of CON 42%, LAB 25%, LDEM 11%, UKIP 11%.

More interesting was the regular tracker on how well or badly the government are doing at negotiating Brexit: 36% said well, 34% badly. YouGov have been asking the question since last autumn and this is the first time it has scraped into positive territory, presumably because the government and EU have actually made the first steps towards beginning the process.

YouGov also released a survey asking some more detailled questions about how people see Theresa May. There is a clear pattern to what people view as her strengths and weaknesses – a majority of people think she is decisive (56%) and has what it takes to get things done (56%). On balance people think she is good in a crisis (by 44% to 24%) and is honest (by 40% to 25%). However, she is also seen as being out of touch (by 46% to 32%), as having no sense of humour (by 32% to 27%) and a cold personality (by 45% to 26%).

As May herself said in her first Prime Minister’s Question Time – remind you of anyone? The public perceptions of May’s character are similar to the public perceptions of Margaret Thatcher – someone who is a strong and capable leader, but not particularly warm or caring. YouGov also asked directly how similar people thought May was to previous PMs – 47% said she was similar to Thatcher, 31% thought she was different.

It’s interesting to ponder in which direction the causality works here. Do people think May is similar to Thatcher because they have some similar strengths and weaknesses and aspects to their characters… or do people think of May as similar to Thatcher because of the obvious superficial similarities (a female, Conservative, Prime Minister with a strict demeanour) and have, therefore, assumed that May will have the same sort of characteristics as Thatcher. In short, do people think May is like Thatcher because she’s tough, or think she’s tough because she’s like Thatcher? Or, as these things tend to work in real life, do they reinforce one another?

Tabs for voting intention are here, tabs for May are here.


211 Responses to “YouGov poll on how Theresa May is seen”

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  1. @TOH

    some post who are not on the same planet as me

    There was a time in the last thread when you, Millie, Neil A, Alec and others were articulating positions on Brexit which came from different sides of the debate but nevertheless seemed to me thoroughly constructive. Taken together they looked to me like something that might form a realistic basis for negotiation and also unite the less extreme proponents of both camps. For that reason I hope you will continue to reiterate your position from time time. I at least find it very helpful!

  2. Carfrew

    Thanks for the post on AI and language.

    Language is seldom a “neutral” vehicle for discussion of social constructs like gender (as opposed to sex), or “race”, or nationality, or any other real or imagined sub-division of our species.

    Words always have associations with the contexts in which they have been previously used, so inevitably perpetuate assumptions about the nature of society.

    For “small c” social conservatives, that is never a problem, because they don’t want to challenge those assumptions anyway.

    Anyone critical of those past assumptions has to challenge the language which transmits the associated beliefs.

  3. @DAVE

    Your post on tactical voting seems unnecessarily convoluted. I do indeed mean voting for someone other than your preferred candidate to keep another out. My point was, that the French don’t do it.

  4. @Colin

    The impact of the Indian generics manufacturers on the pharma industry has been profound. However, it’s not new and the moral and economic arguments are not black and white and are very complex. I’m definiutely not without sympathy for some of the Indian side of the argument.

  5. My French postman, the fount of all knowledge in any community, is of the opinion that the centre right were a shoe in for this election but messed up in their candidate selection. Fillon was supposed to be the safe choice but, as it turns out, his cupboard is just as full of skeletons as everyone else’s. There is also the feeling that people didn’t take the primaries seriously enough with both left and right ending up being represented by candidates who are not ideal.

    From a British and a Brexit point of view, Macron is the only potential president who may be flexible in negotiations although that is not guaranteed. We just don’t know enough about him.

  6. No one responded to my question about whether the Two Child Tax Credit had provoked any controversy in the English polity.

    Perhaps it has, just not something that has twitched the political antennae of contributors on here, which would suggest that few in England give a damn about the idea.

    Which, for an apparently inherently civilized country, surprises me.

    If the state (other than in specific conception circumstances) shouldn’t support one aspect of supporting 3rd and subsequent children, why should it do so in other aspects?

    Why shouldn’t parents have to pay all the costs of health provision, education etc for all such selfishly conceived children and adding to the burden on the state?

  7. Oldnat

    As you know my politics is rather population-growth centred, and as such I welcome anything that encourages people to think hard before having 3 or more children, including restrictions on child benefit and child tax credit.

    I am relaxed about the spending on health and education because this doesn’t go to the parents and therefore isn’t seen as “income”

    The idea is that the more children you have, the worse off you are financially. That’s true for families further up the income ladder, and recent changes are starting to make it true further down as well. It’s a harsh policy, I grant you. But in my view completely necessary.

    I support the idea that the restriction should be flexible where conceiving a third child is outside the control of the parent (rape and multiple births), but I agree that this creates some fairly awkward bureacracy. I don’t see any way around it though.

    As to whether it’s a big political deal in England? It’s a bit hard to say for me. My family are big supporters of the idea. I’ve never heard anyone outside my family comment on it. And it barely gets a mention in the media here. I suspect it is broadly supported in English society, for reasons that may be illustrated by that dramatic graph on population growth that Candy linked to a few days ago.

  8. Neil A

    Surely, if you were serious about limiting population growth, you would enthusiastically endorse any policy which encouraged parents to make the rational decisions, that you seem to consider are the basis for conception, that would discourage the actions that produce these extra resource drains?

    It seems remarkable that you would consider that population restriction was best achieved by limiting only the “income” of the poorer in society.

    They are probably just as aware as you that extra mouths produce extra expenditure – yet you appear to ignore half of the income/expenditure equation.

    If you really want to limit the growth of population, then you have to tackle its growth among all of English society – and that means the comfortably off who support limiting the number of poor children that the state is willing to spend large amounts on.

    For your stated aim, what possible justification is there for the state to say to those who don’t envisage themselves ever being on tax credits “Have as many kids as you like! We’ll continue to fund every one of them in exactly the same way as the first two – and it won’t cost you a penny!”

    I fully understand that politically, the application of your policy intention has to be restricted to the poor – Tory voters would never stand for it being applied to them!

    However, you must see the moral basis of the policy, as determined, is minimal at best.

    At “less than best”, it’s difficult to find words that adequately express its immorality, without offending the moderation policy.

  9. @DAVE

    Yes I agree it has risk, but it’s a natural game to play. If you can’t possibly win against most candidates in the second round, and the risk of trying to engineer the one second round opponent you could possibly win against is your exclusion from the second round, well, is there much difference beyond ego?

  10. @DAVE

    Yes I agree it has risk, but it’s a natural game to play. If you can’t possibly win against most candidates in the second round, and the risk of trying to engineer the one second round opponent you could possibly win against is your exclusion from the second round, well, is there much difference beyond ego?

  11. @Oldnat it is clearly a pernicious policy which will have the effect of driving more children into abject poverty. People fondly imagine noone goes hungry in this country: my daughter teaches in a primary school in a deprived community and a number of her class already come to school hungry. Violent crime is increasing at an alarming rate, the benefit cap will be reduced this month, young people will no longer get any help with extortionate housing costs and social housing is getting squeezed ever more tightly by policies even Conservative councillors think are crazy. I predict a riot, sooner or later.
    But I’m afraid the received wisdom amongst the majority of the population appears still to be that people on benefits are lazy scroungers (unless they’re over pension age, when they suddenly become people who’ve worked hard all their lives and deserve everything they get, and more)
    My guess is that very few people even know the two child limit exists, just as they don’t know about the benefit cap or the disastrous impact of Universal credit which is so bad even IDS couldn’t stomach it.
    None of this is widely reported, nor will it be until some accident changes the rubric. perhaps it will be a photogenic poor family in dire straits that The Sun notices, or serious civil unrest. Even then, we will need a credible opposition to shift the polls markedly.

  12. @RMJ1

    “There is also the feeling that people didn’t take the primaries seriously enough with both left and right ending up being represented by candidates who are not ideal.”

    Thank goodness they take the primaries so seriously in America, and that nothing like that could ever happen there

  13. Anthony (et al.),
    Seems even you are starting to find the headline lead for conservatives not worth discussing any more.

    However, I see the underlying data saw a decline by 3% in the ‘dont knows’ this time, which redistributed as gains of 1% by labour, UKIP and SNP/PC. I wonder if this might be indicative of some hardening against the government? 1% isnt much to be statistically significant, but 3% decline in the total undecided seems more so when it all went to ant-government parties.

    I see there is a noticeable difference in scores to various questions between the responses of 2015 party supporters and current party supporters. The parties are becoming more polarised.

    May scored 99% support from conservatives, if you lump together those who preferred her with the undecided, in both 2015 and now, but got 10% more active supporters right now. Similarly, Corbyn scored 88% amongst current labour supporters, with an increase of 21% in those actively supporting him to 51%, with an overall gain of 17%. What this says about whether people have changed views, I am unsure, because totals for labour and conservative support have changed,so it might be that new arrivals to the party (or losses) have changed the percentages rather than individuals changing their view. However, the two parties are both increasingly polarised in favour of their leader.

    Interestingly, leave voters heavily favour May, while remainers still favour her. This might suggest there is no leader championing Remain and a policitical vacuum.

    On the issue which voters find most important, Brexit gets 75% for both conservatives and lib dems. This has risen amongst lib dems from 2015 (and a tiny bit for con), but has fallen for UKIP and labour. Presumably some UKIPpers think it a done deal, maybe labour people do too, but perhaps this reflects a shift of Leave supporters to con and remain to lib dem. For labour brexit is now pretty much neck and neck with health as the top issue. labour’s score on immigration is also way down as compared to con or UKIP. I’d suggest labour supporters are reflecting the leadership’s apathy on Brexit. labour has the highest score on housing, and it has gone up from 2015.

    The nation is a touch more positive about leaving. Labour are the least polarised party, but still show more than 2:1 think leaving is wrong. Conservatives edging towards 3:1 for leave, lib 9:1 for remain, UKIP 30:1 for leave. All the parties are more polarised on this issue than in 2015.

    The issue remains open on this data whether outright support for remain would be a vote winner or loser for labour.

  14. My staunchly Left, Corbyn enthusiast grandaughter is staying for a few days. She did not renew her LP membership.

    That bubble has burst for her.

  15. @GUYMONDE

    Quite.

  16. @COLIN

    I do worry about right wing youth so I would be fairly relaxed about your granddaughter’s left wing tendencies. Generally people move gradually from being idealist to realist. Some, of course, get stuck. It all seems to revolve around one’s interpretation of fairness which, in a thinking person, is constantly challenged.

  17. RMJ1

    I am-and very proud of her. Her politics are her own choice-and the source of much stimulating conversation.

    I posted to indicate one example, from my own family, of desertion from the good ship Corbyn.

  18. RMJ1 re tactical voting
    “My point was, that the French don’t do it.”
    I tried to explore why not. It turned out more complex than I thought when I started, but having done it, I thought I might as well post it.
    Should have summarised
    ‘Game not worth the candle’

    @EoR “If you can’t possibly win against most candidates in the second round” then you won’t reach it, and trying to engineer the presence of the one candidate you might beat is a waste of effort, for if you might beat him in the second round, you would perhaps finish ahead of him in the first, wouldn’t you?

  19. @Danny
    “3% decline in the total undecided seems more so when it all went to anti-government parties.”
    You can’t know that. Suppose the 3% undecided all went to the Conservatives, but twice as many former conservatives changed their minds? What would the conservatives do if they wanted the first trend to continue, but to stop the second?

    ” there is no leader championing Remain” Tim Farron?

  20. OLdnat/Neil A – as ever, can we please not use this as a venue for arguing about whether polices are any good or not, or whether we would personally support or oppose them. To answer OldNat’s earlier question, I think earlier polling suggested people were supportive of limiting child benefit to only the first two children (can’t track down the poll now and about to go to potter round the garden, but the poll straight after the budget it was announced in will almost certainly have the question). The wider question is interesting – people generally do view benefits in a way that’s very different to services like education and NHS. The universality of the NHS is almost sacred, while people receiving benefits who don’t “need” them is seen very negatively.

  21. Dave at 10.19

    The point is not about whether your candidate finishes above one of the others. It’s about which of the placed candidates finishes second! In lending votes to one of them, the leader risks finishing third – and therefore out of the second round. But if the “wrong” placed candidate finishes second, then yours does not win the second round anyway.

    Illustration: your candidate is A.

    First round: A – 40. B – 32. C – 28.
    Second round: A – 45. B – 55

    But the polls suggest that A would beat C in the second round. This scenario would work, if some of A’s voters switched tactically on the first round.

    First round: A – 35. B – 32. C – 33
    Second round: A – 55. C – 45

  22. ANTHONY WELLS @ OLDNAT/NEIL A

    Point taken re the discussion of the worth of the policies.

    From what’s been posted here and on the BBC website, I don’t see it currently as being an important question in England, but it does seems to be a more important issue in Scotland given that the SG, SNP and the left generally are against it. The BBC’s Glasgow rally held against tax credit ‘rape clause’ of yesterday does at least show that it is a real issue in Scotland.

    If we get any Saltired polls soon, I would be surprised if opinion on it is not sought. Should HMG’s policy not be the popular choice, it may indicate diminishing female support for the union compared to indyref1, especially given the SCons are campaigning for the Council elections to be a quasi-referendum on the union.

  23. Late yesterday, Reuters published French presidential race tightens further as vote looms, with summaries of 3 polls and including:

    An Ipsos-Sopra Sterna poll showed independent centrist Emmanuel Macron and Le Pen tied on 22 percent in the April 23 first round, with Melenchon and conservative Francois Fillon on 20 and 19 percent respectively.

    plus

    In the second poll showing the top four within three points of each other, BVA pollsters said: “All scenarios are possible for April 23.”

    “A second round with Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen remains the most likely hypothesis, but nothing excludes that Francois Fillon or Jean-Luc Melenchon would qualify instead,” BVA said.

    plus

    A third poll published on Friday showed a six-point gap splitting the four main players in a first-round field of 11 candidates. The daily survey by Opinionway had Macron as leader on 23 percent and Melenchon the laggard on 17.

  24. Anthony, etal,

    The difference between Health and Benefits is a great one because it shows how public attitudes can seem converse or contradictory and how following them can influence policy.

    Firstly people do seem to view health as a right and benefits as a privilege.
    Secondly they draw a clear distinction between those they see as deserving and undeserving.

    This leads to the misleading and “Wedge Issues” where the example of a few extreme cases can be used to gain support for changes that will impact large numbers. Where highlighting what is seen as largess to an undeserving few can lead to limits on many already struggling.

    Equally the public, perhaps because of the highlighting of an abuse, can them reverse their view when a case of perceived injustice emerges.

    If we look at the child benefit case in point. Many of us will have seen tabloid headlines about “scrounged with twelve kids pockets ££££££ a week! And headlines like this may well have influenced the idea that there should be a limit on how many kids get Child benefit.

    But it’s not till someone raises the issue of rape that people will stop to think of the consequences.

    Their initial opinion was formed based in part on the undeserving case but may change when a overtly deserving one emerges. This can be where the politician or party that followed the first popular position can come unstuck or need to change tack.

    Without I hope crossing Anthony’s line about talking about the merits of policy I suspect that Ruth Davidson will change position on the so called “Rape Clause” because general opinion will see it as unjust and not to agree will reinforce that “Nasty Party” image she like May wants to dispel.

    As to the merit of limiting Child benefit, much like the famous Yes Minister scene on Conscription, I wonder if a poll asked about might get a different result.

    If asked in the context of limiting immigration (a popular public policy) and an ageing population (a popular public concern) might people be more supportive of a policy to encourage more families to provide the carers and workers of the future.

    I’d love to see YouGov do a series of Yes Minister style split polls to show just how on two representative samples, how the question was worded could change the results.

    Ask about child benefit while asking about the twelve kid parent might well get a very different result from one mentioning rape.

    Peter.

  25. @Peter

    AW rightly modded a long post from me setting out my view, so I will be careful and brief.

    What it boils down to is whether the general public at large share the “outrage” that is so clearly felt by some on the left.

    Women who have become pregnant as a result of a rape, and who have chosen to continue with to term, and who already had two children, and who haven’t told anyone about the rape, and who would be reluctant to discuss it with the DWP, are a pretty small subset.

    If public opinion overwhelmingly believes the basic policy is “right” (which in England at least appears to be the case) then the discomfort caused to a small number of claimants each year is unlikely to divert them.

    I suspect most people who would be outraged by the idea of a woman having to apply for an exemption are layering this on a foundation of complete opposition to the policy anyway. The significance of the “form” is that it confirms their bias.

    I have helped half a dozen victims of rape apply for Criminal Injuries Compensation in my career. It seemed an uncomfortable but entirely necessary bit of paperwork.

  26. Peter Cairns – “If asked in the context of limiting immigration (a popular public policy) and an ageing population (a popular public concern) might people be more supportive of a policy to encourage more families to provide the carers and workers of the future.”

    People would prefer automation as a solution rather than increasing the population.

    I don’t think Scots fully grasp just how desperate the English are getting about overcrowding. London these days is a thoroughly unpleasant place, and it’s the result of it’s population increasing from 6.5 million to 8.6 million plus within 25 years.

    As a result air pollution has soared, garbage has soared, sewage has soared, road congestion has soared, housing is expensive. All of which you would expect if you increase the population of a place with a fixed perimeter by 30%+.

    It is not sustainable, it makes for poor quality lives, and it is not a place you can safely bring up children (and I wouldn’t be surprised if children brought up in a place with that much pollution started to have problems as their growing bodies and brains imbibe all that soot and NO2).

    I’m also a bit puzzled at the Scots on this board urging the English to keep expanding – 55 million is not enough apparently, it needs to be 60 million, 70 million, 100 million! And at the same time they complain about the numerous English out-voting them!

    If you want the Kingdom to be rebalanced, then England needs to shrink down to about 40 million. We can do it by restricting immigration and simply letting the middle-aged bulge work it’s way through the system. Births from the 1980’s onwards are lowish and the population will stabalise at a lower rate once the generation born in the 1960’s pass on.

    Scotland needs to bump it’s population up from the current 5 million to 10 million. There are actually a million Scots born who work in England, and if they moved back to Scotland, their population would increase by a fifth. The puzzle is that instead of trying to lure these people back, the SNP is actively hostile to them, disenfranchising them from Scottish referendums, even though they would be citizens of an iScotland for example.

  27. P.S. The Scottish diaspora in England is about 5 million (descendants of previous generations of Scots who moved to England).

    If they moved back to Scotland as well, Scotland would be well on it’s way to having a heftier weight and England would get some relief too.

    But people need a reason to move, and at the moment, nothing coming out of the Scottish govt will persuade them to move north again, they are particularly alarmed at independence which makes them want to stay put in England.

  28. CHARLES

    Many thanks for your kind post. I will post on brexit from time to time but only when there is something worthwhile and new to discuss. The rudeness of some on both sides of the argument is very off putting and when they post I find better things to do with my time. In the meantime I will post on new opinion polls and on the economy where it might have a bearing on either Brexit or voting.

  29. Link

    file:///home/chronos/u-8ff7417fee8f574e1109684291257dea20a7dc20/Downloads/What_or_who_causes_health_inequalities_T%20(1).pdf

  30. “The puzzle is that instead of trying to lure these people back, the SNP is actively hostile to them, disenfranchising them from Scottish referendums, even though they would be citizens of an iScotland for example.”

    Perhaps because the SNP take the attitude that those living in Scotland are best placed to decide Scotland’s future. Don’t know here you live, but am pretty sure you wouldn’t appreciate people not living in your area voting on its future.

  31. @Sam

    The govt passed welfare powers to Scotland in the Scotland Act 2016, which were effective from 1 April 2017. See

    https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-welfare-powers-transferred-to-the-scottish-parliament

    As ever with powers passed to Scotland, they just gather dust as the Scottish govt resolutely refuses to use any of them!

  32. Statgeek – “Perhaps because the SNP take the attitude that those living in Scotland are best placed to decide Scotland’s future.”

    Actually the rule is that citizens decide the future, and all those people Sturgeon and co disenfranchised would have been citizens of the new iScotland.

    In the EU ref, we allowed all citizens abroad to vote unless they had been abroad for more than 15 years – thus expats in France had the chance to vote on a Brexit that affected them for example.

    By being so hostile to Scots who took a job in England the SNP were effectively saying, “How dare you have the temerity to accept a job in England, the true Scottish thing to do is to stay on the dole in Scotland drinking buckfast and whinging”.

    It’s no surprise that with an attitude like that, people are reluctant to move back to Scotland – and with all your skilled workers voting with their feet and moving, the Scottish govt is unable to fund all the things Sam wants them to, because they lack the tax base,

    And that is a direct result of the SNP’s hostile attitude to it’s own diaspora.

  33. Candy,

    “I’m also a bit puzzled at the Scots on this board urging the English to keep expanding!”

    Where did that bizarre notion come from?
    I’ve been a regular on here since this started and I’ve never seen any Scot advocate the expansion of the English population!

    Peter.

  34. @Peter Cairns

    Every single Scot on this board has chastised the English for wanting to clamp down on immigration, even though they know that immigrants make a bee-line for England and ignore the peripheries and this has been the case for decades.

    You would only take that attitude if you either wanted England to keep expanding or if you were doing some cheap virtue signalling without thinking through the consequences…

  35. In personality terms I think May and Thatcher are perceived very differently. As a non-Tory I quite warm to May even though I would not vote for her party. She is not seen as the nasty , bossy figure that Thatcher was – she does not arouse strong feelings to anything like the same extent. I know of people who truly despised Thatcher – and spoke of her as being the Anti-Christ. I cannot imagine that being said of Theresa May.

  36. PETER CAIRNS (SNP)

    Re Without I hope crossing Anthony’s line about talking about the merits of policy I suspect that Ruth Davidson will change position on the so called “Rape Clause” because general opinion will see it as unjust and not to agree will reinforce that “Nasty Party” image she like May wants to dispel.

    You may well be correct, but she does seem to have locked herself in to HMG’s policy if STV’s Protesters rally against ‘vile’ benefits rape clause from Thursday is correct in their:
    Ms Davidson claimed Ms Sturgeon will be guilty of “gross hypocrisy” if the Scottish Government does not act to bring in a new benefit mitigating the clause.

    Sadly, she seems to have forgotten that Westminster rejected the SNP’s request for FFA.

    Re I’d love to see YouGov do a series of Yes Minister style split polls to show just how on two representative samples, how the question was worded could change the results.

    Agreed – it would be comedy gold. OTOH, which media would be balanced enough to pay for it?

  37. @Candy
    You make a lot of unsupported allegations about how awful it is to live in London.
    It has its problems but I’m not planning to move. Nor are most people who live here! We like it, and we like the diversity and vibrancy that immigration form Scotland, the EU and the rest of the world brings. That’s why we voted strongly for remain.
    Seems to me the people who think it’s too crowded and resent immigration generally live in thinly populated areas with few immigrants.

  38. @James Kay “This scenario would work, if some of A’s voters switched tactically on the first round.”
    But it calls for a very nice calculation of how many votes are switched to place C above B while keeping A in the top two, and you are responsible for only one of those votes.
    If A could estimate such numbers and organise his voters accordingly, maybe A would take the chance. But individual supporters of A are unlikely to do so.
    Tactical voting is used in UK FPTP by-elections especially when you can see that your preferred candidate has little or no chance of winning, so there is little risk in voting X to keep Y out rather than ‘wasting’ your vote on your preferred Z who has no real chance.

  39. @Ronald Olden
    ‘These are consistently the worst poll figures for any main opposition party since reliable polling started. Margaret Thatcher only had a lead of any sort, briefly after the Falklands War, and even Tony Blair never had leads this size when he was Prime Minister. Even Michael Foot wasn’t nearly as far behind as this for Labour.’

    I am afraid your memory has failed you badly here. Thatcher had a clear lead in the polls from April 1982 to mid – 1984. She again enjoyed big leads from the beginning of 1987 until mid-1989.
    Tony Blair as PM was enjoying poll leads of over 30% during the period 1997 – 1999. In his second term, Labour led the Tories by 23% at the end of April 2002 – though his margin of victory in 2005 was a mere 3%.

  40. Apparently the Opinium poll in tomorrow’s Observer shows the Tory lead falling from 13% to 9%. Precise figures are not yet available.

  41. @candy

    Universal Credit is a retained power

  42. Opinium:

    Tory 38

  43. Opinium:

    Tory 38

  44. Opinium:

    Tory 38

  45. In which case Labour must be 29%.

  46. Try again!

    Opinium 11th – 12th April
    Tory 38% (-3%)
    Labour 29% (+1%)
    UKIP 14% (+1%)
    LDem 7% (-1%)
    Other 12% (+2%)

    I’m not quite sure what to make of that…. unless I am reading it wrong the Labour and the UKIP scores are higher than anyone else is reporting, the Tories and LDems are lower.

    Maybe Opinium know something that MORI, Yougov etc don’t – I guess the locals in three weeks time will give us a clue.

  47. Apologies for the repeated one line post – something glitched with my laptop….

  48. Last Mori poll had Labour on 30%.

  49. @ Graham – true, it did, although in contrast to Opinium it had UKIP at 6!

    Opinium seem to be steadily lower Tory?LDem than most other pollsters and higher Labour and UKip – it doesn’t meant that they are wrong though.
    If Opinium are right then May 4th may not be as bad for UKIP and Labour as is generally being predicted.

  50. @Anthony Wells
    “The wider question is interesting – people generally do view benefits in a way that’s very different to services like education and NHS. The universality of the NHS is almost sacred, while people receiving benefits who don’t “need” them is seen very negatively.”

    I would suggest that the answer to that question is rooted in the fact that the NHS is a service, whereas benefits are seen (perhaps incorrectly) as a handout. Since everyone gets ill it is very easy to argue that everyone needs access to a health service (especially since we have one already), whereas opponents to any given benefit can argue that it amounts to the state giving out free money and then question whether these people deserve this money.

    It is interesting to contrast with the situation in the US, where the status quo is that healthcare is a private service you pay for like any other, and government interventions to make sure everyone has access are viewed with similar suspicion as benefits in the UK – because it’s seen as handing out money to pay for health insurance.

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