ICM/BBC Drugs Survey – 16% have taken illegal drugs. 31% say there is a large drugs problem in their area.


A new Populus for the Daily Politics found that 52% of people agreed that “immigration, rather than other issues like health and education, is the most important issue facing Britain today”. This shouldn’t actually come as a surprise. While, until the recent mishaps in the Home Office, the issue of immigration has been relatively absent from political debate since the last election, it has remained one of the most important issues according to the open ended questions in MORI’s monthly political monitor. Politicians may have stopped talking about immigration, but it hasn’t disappeared from the public’s concerns.

Overall 59% of people thought that immigrants made a positive contribution to Britain’s economy. Opinion was pretty even across the country, but there was a contrast between social classes – ABs were more likely to think that immigrants made a positive contribution to the economy (65% to 29%) than DEs (54% to 40%).

Populus also asked about whether people were more bothered about immigrants from Europe than from the rest of the world. 46% said they were more worried about European immigrants, 49% said they were more worried about immigrants from further afield. I’m slightly hesitant about this question – people may have interpreted the question such that saying they are more worried about non-European immigrants would be tantamount to saying they didn’t mind immigrants as long as they were white, and hence the question might been influenced by people not wishing to appear racist.

65% of people said they thought that ID cards and tighter border controls would help to cut illegal immigration, 33% disagreed. Since this is asking about two separate policies, we can’t tell if people think that ID cards or border controls alone would help. The last poll to ask whether ID cards specifically would help reduce illegal immigration found that 55% thought they would.


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Trust

A new YouGov poll asks which groups of people the public trust, a repeat of a question last asked by YouGov back in March 2003.

The most trusted remain local GPs and school teachers, the least trusted tabloid journalists and estate agents. More interesting are the changes in the net scores for various groups. The only group that is more trusted than in 2003 is judges – an interesting change given the judiciary’s role in resisting some of the government’s anti-terrorist legislation. In contrast trust in senior police officers has slumped from 72% in 2003 to only 52% now.

The period between the two polls saw the David Kelly affair and various Labour scandals so it is little surprise that trust in Labour ministers has fallen from 25% in 2003 to only 20% now. Conservative politicians though remain the least trusted, with only 19% of people saying they trust them ‘a great deal’ or ‘a fair amount’ – perhaps explaining why falling trust in the government hasn’t necessarily benefited the Tories. The largest fall in trust amongst the three main parties though was for the Liberal Democrats. In 2003 36% of people said they trusted Liberal Democrat politicians to tell the truth, perhaps as a result of their well-publicised difficulties at the beginning of 2006, that figure has now fallen to 25%.

Other large drops include NHS managers, trust in whom has dropped by 12 points, EU officials, trust in whom has dropped 19 points, and BBC journalists, trust in whom has dropped by 10 points.


Gordon Brown is defending his decision to support England at the World Cup by saying that two-thirds of Scots will be supporting England. If you’re looking for it, the poll in question is here.


Only one poll in the Sunday papers this week (or at least, I’ve only spotted one) – an ICM poll in the Sunday Telegraph suggests that 54% of voters think that Labour has indeed awarded peerages in exchange for loans or donations to the party or sponsorships of their city academies. 53% of people think that Tony Blair should face prosecution if the Labour party are found to have broken the law over the loans scandal. I have to say I’m struggling to find any particular relevance to the findings – the police’s investigations and the crown prosecution service’s eventual decision over whether to bring charges are unlikely to be swayed by the poll and people’s opinions will be heavily influenced by whether or not the CPS does bring any charges, against whom and for what.

The Times reports leaked figures from the Labour party’s private polling in Scotland. The constituency voting figures are LAB 30%, SNP 29%, LD 19%, CON 15%, the regional figures LAB 27%, SNP 26%, LDEM 21%, CON 14%. Leaked polling figures should be taken with a huge pinch of salt – there is no way of telling whether they are genuine or not and certainly no way of telling the methodology used. The figures are, however, in line with the only bit of polling evidence we do have so far for the Scottish elections – the YouGov/SNP poll from last month, which also had Labour on 30% and the SNP on 29%. The Times suggests that, if the figures are true, it would mean Labour winning 43 seats in the Scottish Parliament, the SNP 37 and the Lib Dems 28, meaning the Lib Dems would hold the balance of power and could concievably form a coalition with the SNP.