The weekly YouGov poll for the Sunday Times is here. Topline voting intention figures are CON 34%, LAB 39%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 11%, so a five point lead for Labour. The rest of the poll had some questions on social mobility, the security services and Royal Mail privatisation.

32% of people think that society has become more mobile over the last thirty years, 44% that it’s become less mobile. This does not translate into support for universities giving lower entrance requirements to people from deprived backgrounds (34% would support this, 49% would be opposed), nor for an expansion of grammar schools (37% would support this, 21% would support keeping but not expanding grammar schools, 25% oppose them entirely).

Only 19% of people think that the security services have too many surveillance powers, most think their powers are either about right or should be increased. However, in contrast to this 46% think they shouldn’t be allowed to store the details of ordinary people’s communications, 38% think they should. Asked which statement best reflected their views of recent leaks about security service methods, 35% thought the leaks were a good thing that helped hold the security services to account, 43% that it was a bad thing that helped Britain’s enemies.

5% of people say they have applied to buy Royal Mail shares (this is actually quite a bit higher than the figures Vince Cable has reported, but I expect this is largely because of people saying yes when it is actually their spouse or another family member who has applied, and partly because the most disengaged and marginal members of society tend to be under-represented in polls). 21% of people think it is right for the government to sell shares in the Royal Mail, 56% think it is wrong. 43% think it has been sold for less than it is worth.

There is also a Survation poll in the Mail on Sunday, which has topline voting intention figures of CON 27%(-2), LAB 37%(nc), LDEM 11%(nc), UKIP 18%(+1). Changes are from their previous poll back in August. They also asked about voting intention in the European elections. I think its largely pointless to poll on secondary elections like Europe so far in advance, but for the record the figures are CON 21%, LAB 35%, LDEM 11%, UKIP 22%.


YouGov’s weekly poll for the Sunday Times is now up here. Topline figures are CON 33%, LAB 41%, LD 9%, UKIP 10%, so a higher Labour lead than usual, but with a recent average lead of six points it’s well within the margin of error. As usual with the YouGov/Sunday Times polls there is a broad range of subjects, including the economy, the NHS, education and support for stay at home mothers.

The regular economic optimism question now shows a feel good factor (the proportion of people expecting their financial situation to get better, minus those who expect it to get worse) of minus 25. While still negative, it equals the least negative rating since April 2010.

Asked more specifically about the state of the economy, 25% think the economy is still getting worse, 34% that it has stopped getting worse but there are no signs of recovery yet. 30% now think there are signs of recovery and another 5% think we are on the way to full recovery. This is a big shift from when YouGov last asked the question in April, when only 14% thought there were any signs of recovery. Asked how much they think the government have contributed to any economic recovery, 32% of people think the government’s actions have helped the economy recover, 23% that they made little difference, 36% that they made things worse.

41% of people think that A Levels got easier over the last ten years and 53% think that the toughening up of the exam marking last year was the right thing to do (21% disagree). An Oxbridge education is seen as being worth £9000 a year tuition fees by 52% to 29%. People are more evenly split over other top universities (37% think they are worth £9000 a year, 41% do not), and almost two-thirds of people think tuition at universities outside the top twenty is not worth the money. Despite this people are still evenly split over whether it is financially worthwhile going to university – 41% think increased graduate earnings are worth more than the cost of going to university, 40% think they are not.

Labour maintain their usual strong lead on the NHS, 32% to the Conservatives’ 20%. Only 21% think that Jeremy Hunt is doing a good job as Health Secretary, 52% a bad job. Looking to the future 51% of people think it will be possible to keep the NHS free at the point of delivery, even if costs continue to rise, 38% think that the NHS will eventually become unaffordable. A majority (58%) would oppose means testing NHS services in the future.

By 39% to 14% people think the government is doing more to help mothers who go out to work than those who stay at home (15% said they were doing equal amounts and 32% didn’t know). Asked which group NEED more help, 43% say they both need support, 25% think working mothers need more support, 15% think stay at home mothers need more support. The £1200 a year allowance for childcare for working parents is supported by 49% to 34%. People are less supportive of giving similar financial support to stay at home parents, 41% would support it, 41% would oppose it.

Finally, by 67% to 20% people see zero-hour contracts as a bad thing, and 56% would support a ban on them.


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The weekly YouGov/Sunday Times results are now online here. Voting intention is CON 31%, LAB 39%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 13%. The leader ratings are Cameron minus 18 (up from minus 25 last week, and his best rating for a couple of months – perhaps on the back of statesmanlike coverage at the G8), Miliband minus 33 (from minus 35 last week) and Clegg minus 52 (unchanged). The rest of the poll largely covered the NHS and education.

58% of people don’t trust the NHS much, if at all, to be to open about its standards, a drop from last weekend as cover-up stories continue to come out. Neither are people confident that the rules will be changed to stop future cover ups.There is widespread support for the sacking of staff found to be involved in cover ups (88%), their criminal prosecution (71%), and slightly less so for stripping them of their pensions (54%).

Labour continue to have a narrow lead as the most trusted party on education, 26% to the Tories’s 22%. Michael Gove’s approval rating stands at minus 27%, and his flagship policy of free schools is supported by only 29% of people (38% are opposed and 33% don’t know). The balance of opinion is that British schools are worse than those in other western countries, and that standards have dropped over the last three years. In contrast most people think our universities are equal (33%) or better (31%) than those in other western countries, though a majority (63%) think that tuition fees do not represent value for money.


This week’s YouGov poll for the Sunday Times is CON 33%, LAB 45%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 8%. The climb of UKIP support into the mid-teens that has been appearing in other online polls doesn’t appear to be replicated in the daily YouGov polls. The rest of the poll dealt with immigration, gay marriage, the royal baby prank call and teachers’ pay.

Two thirds of people (67%) think that levels of immigration into Britain over the last decade have been bad the country, compared to 11% who think it has been good for Britain. 80% say they support David Cameron’s stated intention to reduce net immigration to the “tens of thousands”, although there is very little confidence in his ability to deliver it (only 15% think it is very or fairly likely he will deliver the pledge). On the specifics of foreign students, 50% of people think they have a positive effect on Britain compared to only 15% who think they have a negative impact. Despite this 53% people think they should be included in the immigration figures, only 40% think they should be excluded. Finally on the subject of immigration, people are evenly split on whether British companies should discriminate towards British workers – 45% think they should, 47% think they should not.

People support gay marriage by 56% to 36% who are opposed, pretty typical of YouGov’s previous polling on the subject. There are the same demographic patterns that we’ve seen in other polling on the subject – women are more supportive of gay marriage than men, and young people are MUCH more supportive than over 60s. Asked if David Cameron should continue with the proposed changes in the face of opposition from some Conservative MPs the figures were very similar – 51% think he should continue regardless, 36% think he should abandon the policy.

There is very little perception that supporting gay marriage will help the Conservatives electorally. Only 9% think it will help them, 17% damage them, 66% think it will make no difference (needless to say, people’s perception of whether it will help or hurt the Conservatives is not necessarily the same as whether it will. Polling on how policies directly affect voting intention is extremely dubious, but what there is suggests it is very much a case of swings and roundabouts – they lose about the same as they gain). Asked how they would react to their own son or daughter being gay, 63% of people say they would be very or fairly comfortable with it. 17% say they would be fairly uncomfortable, 8% very uncomfortable.

On the Royal Baby prank call 67% of people think that the Australian radio station should take some or a lot of blame for the suicide of the nurse who took the prank call. However, they are fairly evenly split over whether the DJs responsible should be sacked – 39% think they should be, 43% think they should not. 61% think that the offer of AUS$500,000 to a memorial fund to the nurse’s family is the right way to make amends, compared to only 24% who think there should be greater compensation or people should pay with their jobs. More generally, 50% think that similar prank calls should not be allowed in the future, 41% think they are harmless as long as they are done responsibly.

Finally people continue to narrowly support the existing arrangements for teachers pay over more performance related pay (by 48% to 43%). Asked about the role of teaching unions, 26% think that they are an obstacle to reform and that the government are right to take a hard line, 45% think that the government should listen to them more (28% say don’t know or neither). 31% of people would support a ban on teachers taking strike action.


This week’s YouGov poll for the Sunday Times is online here. Topline voting intention is CON 34%, LAB 44%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 7%. On leader approval ratings Cameron and Miliband remain pretty much equal – Cameron is on minus 26 (from minus 28 last week) and Miliband on minus 27 (from minus 22 last week). The rest of the survey covered cuts, trade unions and education.

On welfare spending and tax/regulation changes, 51% of people are opposed to a further £10bn cut to welfare spending, compared to 36% who support the idea. There is also majority opposition to Liam Fox’s idea of temporarily abolishing capital gains tax (25% support, 52% oppose). Reducing employment regulations to make it easier to hire and fire is opposed by 47% to 38%. There is, however, support for means-testing free TV licences and winter fuel payments (57% support, 33% oppose). As one might expect, this is heavily skewed by age – under 25s support it by 57% to 17%, over 60s oppose it by 50% to 45% (and over 60s vote a hell of a lot more than under 25s!)

Turning to questions around trade unions questions, in general 37% support public sector strikes over the cuts and pension changes with 49% of people opposed. The idea of a “general strike” though is significantly less popular, with support dropping to 27% and 59% opposed. Amongst public sector workers there is support for strikes (49% to 40%), but a majority oppose a general strike (52% opposed, 36% support). The suggestion of using the armed forces to fill in for striking public sector workers is supported by a majority of the public (55%) and opposed by 31%.

On education Michael Gove’s own approval rating as Secretary of state for Education is minus 31, so he is seen as doing worse than Cameron and Miliband. However, people are actually fairly evenly split over his policies – academies are supported by 35%, opposed by 35%. On free schools 36% support their creation, 39% are opposed. 41% of people support a more traditionalist approach to education, 36% think it would be wrong.

On GCSEs, 53% of people say they have not a lot or no confidence at all in the exam, and 46% of people think they have got easier. However, this does not translate into support for their replacement – 44% think the exam should be retained, compared to 35% who would like to see it replaced.

Finally on the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Bradley Wiggins is ahead on 20%, with Andy Murray and Jessica Ennis second on 13% a piece.