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.

Full tabs are here.


This morning’s YouGov poll for the Sun had topline figures of CON 32%, LAB 40%, LDEM 11%, UKIP 12%. For the time being at least we seem to have settled into a Labour lead of about 8 points in YouGov’s daily polling.

To pick up on another couple of questions from earlier in the week, on the suggestion by Len McCluskey that there should be a general strike, 57% of people said they would oppose a general strike with 27% in support. Naturally large majorities of Conservative and Lib Dem supporters were opposed, amongst Labour supporters 49% said they would support a general strike, 33% were opposed. Ed Miliband has totally dismissed the idea of a general strike and said it would a terrible idea – asked before Miliband commented, 40% of people said that Labour should oppose any such strike, 21% that they should support it, 27% that Labour should remain neutral.

On the same poll, George Osborne continued to be narrowly preferred to Ed Balls as best Chancellor, 29% to 24%. Asked the same question about whether people would prefer George Osborne or Alistair Darling as Chancellor, Darling is narrowly ahead 25% to 29%. The contrast isn’t vast, but obviously Darling does appeal to some parts that Ed Balls does not.


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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.


Full tables for the YouGov/Sunday Times poll are now up here, covering u-turns, strikes and more on the jubilee.

On the regular leader ratings David Cameron’s net rating is at minus 26 (no change from last week), Ed Miliband’s at minus 28 (from minus 23 last week), Nick Clegg at minus 55 (no change), so Ed Miliband has dropped back behind Cameron. Other ratings though are more negative for Cameron. 59% think he doesn’t have a grip on the government, 68% think he is out of touch and people think he is weak rather than strong by 50% to 33% (compared to 45% weak and 39% strong a week ago). Less negatively, 42% of people do at least still see him as likable (interestingly enough this was something that we also saw with Tony Blair – long after his other ratings were negative, people still thought he was likeable).

Asked about the recent U-turns 50% think this is a sign of weakness or incompetence, while 33% see it as a sign the government is willing to listen. This is a significant shift from when YouGov asked a similar question a year ago and people were pretty evenly split between the two answers, suggesting that whereas people were once willing to give the government the benefit of the doubt when it came to u-turns, it is now starting to be seen as a negative sign.

There is majority opposition to both the proposed teachers strike and the industrial action by doctors. 55% are opposed to the teachers strike and 62% are opposed to the doctors action, which is only supported by 28%. 59% of people already see doctors as being very well paid and 33% think their pensions are already too high.

Unlike most of the other professions YouGov ask about, there is not even majority support for doctors having the legal right to strike. 48% think they should not be allowed to strike, compared to 44% who think they should. To put this in context, a majority of people think nurses, teachers, railway workers and fuel tanker drivers should have the right to strike, with majorities thinking that police officers and firefighters should not.


Full tables for the YouGov/Sunday Times poll are now up here. On the regular trackers David Cameron is at minus 23 (from minus 26 last week), Ed Miliband minus 46 (from minus 44), Nick Clegg at minus 55 (from minis 54). The government’s continuing troubles don’t seem to have damaged David Cameron any further since last week, but to put it in context he was at around minus ten for the eight months or so before March, so neither has he recovered significantly.

Asked a slightly different way George Osborne has a approval rating of minus 40 – down from minus 31 at the time of the budget. Opinions of the budget itself have also become ever more negative – only 13% now think it will be good for the economy, 43% think it will be bad. More broadly, 27% of people thought that government had been doing well but has lost its way in recent weeks (14% think it hasn’t, 45% think it was doing badly in the first place). Of those, 33% blame George Osborne the most, followed by David Cameron on 23%.

Turning to the issue of Abu Qatada and human rights 70% think that the ECHR has too much power, and 77% would prefer the final ruling on Human Rights cases to be made in the UK. On the specifics of Qatada himself, 81% would like to see him deported now regardless of any appeal, 14% think he should be allowed to stay while his appeal is heard. Only 28% think Theresa May has handled the issue well, 54% think she has handled it badly.

Moving onto the proposed strikes by fuel tanker drivers and tube workers the public have little sympathy for either, a majority of people are opposed to the strike action by fuel tanker drivers (by 56% to 25%) and tube workers (by 53% to 22%). However, while these specific strikes don’t carry public support there is little support for strike bans for either group. Given a list of professions, a majority of people tend to support their right to strike – the only professions we asked about that people think should not be able to strike are police officers, firefighters and doctors.

Finally there were a series of questions on education. Respondents thought reading and writing was taught well in schools by 53% to 37% badly, on maths the figures are 50% well to 40% badly. Parents who actually have school age children were significantly more positive, with 73% thinking reading and writing is currently taught well, 72% thinking maths is. Despite this broad approval of current teaching standards, 60% also say that teaching standards are not demanding enough (47% of parents of school-age children would). 67% of people (61% of parents) would support keeping children back a year if they do not make progress, 64% of people (61% of parents) would support stopping child benefit for parents whose children persistently truant.

As well as the normal weekly poll, YouGov also has a French poll in the Sunday Times, conducted ahead of today’s general election. YouGov have Hollande ahead on 30%, Sarkozy on 26%, Le Pen on 15%, Melenchon on 14% and the various others on 15%. This is a bigger lead for Hollande than some of the other final polls, which have shown between a 3.5 point lead for Hollande (BVA and Ipsos) and the two main contenders equal on 27% (Ifop and TNS).

Overall, the final polls have Hollande between 27%-30%, Sarkozy between 25%-27%, Le Pen between 14%-17%, Melenchon between 12%-14.5%.