This morning there was a new YouGov/Times poll asking about whether Britain should take part in military intervention in Syria.

A solid majority of the public believe that there probably was a chemical weapons attack by the Syrian government or their allies – 61% agree, compared to 5% who believe that the attack was a fabrication, and 5% who believe neither claim. 29% do not know.

This does not, however, translate into support for military action. By 51% to 17% people oppose sending Britain and allied troops into Syria to remove Assad. The more likely option of a cruise missile attack on Syrian military targets also faces fairly solid opposition – just 22% would support it, 43% are opposed.

60% of people say they would support enforcing a no-fly zone over Syria, though given the opposition to other military options one suspects this could be because a “no fly zone” is a rather peaceful sounding euphemism for something that would in practice also involve attacking anti-air defences or the Syrian air force. The full tabs for the polling are here.

While the YouGov figures suggest that there is little public support for Britain getting involved in military action against Syria, there was also some Sky Data polling yesterday which was less clear. Asked if people would support or oppose “UK military action in response to the alleged chemical attack in Syria” 36% said support, 37% said oppose. However, asked about UK military action that might result in conflict with Russia, only 28% said they would support, 48% said they were opposed. Tabs are here.

The reason for that higher level support in that first Sky Data poll is unclear. It could be because the chemical attack was mentioned in the question, or perhaps because it asked about a vague “miliary action” rather than the more specific actions in the YouGov questions. Either way, it is clear that the public are, at best, ambivalent towards military action in Syria, with opposition to most specific proposals and to intervention that risks conflict with Russia.


305 Responses to “YouGov/Times poll on military intervention in Syria”

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  1. CARFREW
    @The internet you’re using arose via state funding, and it’s supported a lot if business.”

    Yes. Primarily from the U.S. Department of Defence (ARPANET) in the early days I believe, and from France.

  2. New thread

  3. CROFTY TCO Talking of age, your “jokes” about Howard’s age are becoming increasingly childish.

    I don’t think you were around to know the background.

  4. Joseph1832,
    “I find it remarkable that Remainers seem to think that the objection to the continued jurisdiction of the ECJ and EU law as some sort of artificial redline.

    No state is subject to the court of another entity, nor the law made by another state’s legislature. As Michael Barnier might say: It does not happen, it does not exist.

    Yet Remainers treat it as perfectly normal to have such a thing.”

    Joseph, perhaps you might consider again the points you make. To start at the end, there are 28 members of the EU. So if the EU impose a unique position on its members, that is 28 of the 193 members of the UN, so about 14% of all nations are subject to such control right there.

    And talking of the UN, it is an international system of rules which gives members the right to invade each other under certain circumstances. It has a council which adjudicates on whether this can happen and imposes its decison on members. Any citizen from a member state can be arrested and tried by the UN for crimes it defines. Or indeed citizens of non member states. Every person, head of government, state on earth is subject to it, whether a member or not. The UN requires us to accept immigrants if it says so.

    And then theres the WTO. We are not only subject to its rules, leavers are eager to sign up to yet more binding agreements under them. Which will be adjudicated by courts outside the UKs control, and if necessary punishments will be imposed upon the UK. Again, these agreements will require us to accept immigrants (I keep on about immigration because some leavers seem to think it important)

    I’m not sure who deals with fishing and territorial waters, but again the UK will accept an external arbitration on what rights it has over fish stocks where, and who is allowed to fish them.

    We are subject to all sorts of external bodies over which we have limited direct control. Many give us final absolute control, but usually only to withdraw, and in the process lose reciprocal rights we get over others from our membership.

    All these organisations are really about our gaining control, not losing it, because while we agree to be bound by the decisions, so do others, and so we control them.

  5. I subscribe, for free, to a daily email from the Sunday Times, which outlines its top stories.

    This morning there were 19 mentions of news items, opinion, articles, features etc and not one word about the Windrush scandal.

    So much for its ‘quality journalism’. I don’t think I’ll be paying to climb over the pay wall any time soon.

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