The full tables for the YouGov/Sunday Times poll are now up on their website here, covering the economy and taxation, planning and Libya.
The public are very evenly divided on the government’s economic strategy and the balance between prioritising the deficit or growth. 38% think the government should stick to its present strategy of cutting the deficit, even if this means growth remains slow, 36% think the government should change strategy to concentrate on growth, even if this means the deficit is cut more slowly or gets worse. Unsurprisingly the answers fall largely along party lines.
On the 50p tax rate, only 27% of people would like to see it abolished, with 60% supporting its retention. Only 18% of people believe that it is damaging the economy, with 39% thinking it makes no difference and 25% thinking it helps the economy. People are far more uncertain about whether it actually brings in any more money – only 38% of people think it brings in more cash, 35% of people think it does not. However, this doesn’t mean they necessarily oppose it – when we asked how people would feel if the 50p tax rate did not bring in any extra money, 42% of them would still keep it anyway, agreeing that it is morally right for the rich to pay more regardless. 45% of people would abolish it if it didn’t bring in more money. If we assume that the 45% includes the 27% who don’t support it anyway, it suggests public support for higher taxes for the rich is driven more by a belief that it is right that the rich pay more regardless, than it is because people think it is financially necessary.
The public remain strongly in favour of banking regulation. In our question on timing, 51% thought it should be done as soon as possible, compared to 26% who thought it should wait until the economy was stronger (8% said no extra regulation was necessary).
Turning to planning, support for the government’s proposals have dropped slightly since we last asked a fortnight ago. Then the broad thrust of their policy (simplifying the rules, giving more power to councils and presuming in favour of development) was supported by 54% to 21%, that has shifted to 49% to 28% – perhaps a reflection of increased media cover over the last couple of weeks. Asked about their understanding of the proposals, 38% say they think it would lead to more building in the countryside, 8% less and 31% no difference.
YouGov then asked people whether they thought there should be presumptions for or against development in different types of land. For Green Belt land, 80% thought that the presumption should be against development (including 39% would said planning permission should almost never be given in greenbelt land). For Brownfield sites, there was strong support for a presumption in favour of development – 41% thought planning permission should almost always be given there, 44% that it should normally be given there unless there was a good reason to stop it.For Greenfield sites opinion was slightly less one sided – 21% of people thought planning permission should almost never be given for greenfield sites, 45% thought there should be a presumption against development. 21% thought there should be a presumption in favour, and 5% thought permission should almost always be given.
The Conservatives continue to be seen as the party that best reflects the interests of the countryside, by 29% to Labour’s 12%. However, 33% of people do not think any party reflects the interests of people in the countryside, and 19% of people think that the Conservatives represent the views of the countryside less well than in the past.
Finally on housing, people overwhelmingly support the criminalisation of squatting (by 80% to 14%), and just as overwhelmingly think the government should be doing more to bring empty houses into use (by 80% to 13%).
Looking last of all at Libya and the secret services, 46% of people thought that it was sometimes justified for the secret services to use information obtained through torture, compared to 34% who thought it was never justified. On relations with Libya, people remain divided on whether it was right at the time for Britain to re-establish diplomatic relations with Libya under Gadaffi – 36% think it was right, 39% think it was wrong. However, they are significantly more accepting of the government exchanging information with the Gadaffi regime on Islamic extremism and Al Qaeda: 49% think this was right, 24% think it was wrong.
The SNP are also reporting a there is an Angus Reid poll in the Sunday Express showing Holyrood constituency support at CON 13%, LAB 29%, LDEM 5%, SNP 49% (a similar SNP post election boost to that shown by MORI) – there is nothing yet on the AngusReid site or the Express’s website, which only mentions a question on what the Scottish national anthem should be!