The full tables for YouGov’s weekly poll for the Sunday Times are now up here.

Things worth noting in the regular trackers are the continuing decline in Nick Clegg’s approval ratings, now down to minus 14. Ed Miliband’s approval rating is at plus 2, so no baby boost (not, it should be said, that I’d expect one. Personal issues do sometimes impact on politicans approval ratings – after the death of Ivan Cameron for example – but I think those tend to be those things where people feel such sympathy for the politican in question that it feels harsh to give a negative opinion about them to a pollster. Just having a new baby doesn’t really do much.) David Cameron’s approval rating is plus 8.

The rest of the poll had the normal wide variety on questions, on the Ashes (people are evenly split on whether England can retain them or not), David Cameron’s photographer (65% think he’s wrong to employ him) and Cameron’s trip to China. The most interesting bits to me thought are on the tuition fee demonstrations and Phil Woolas.

On tuition fees only 35% support the government plans on tuition fees, with 52% opposing. 62% think the Liberal Democrats are wrong to drop their pledge to oppose tuition fees (including 36% of the remaining Lib Dem voters).

Asked about the protests, 65% of people said they had some sympathy with the demonstration, but the vast majority of those disapproved of the damaged caused to 30 Millbank. Only 13% of respondents said they had sympathy with the direct action against the Conservative party headquarters. Asked if the violent scenes had helped or hindered the protesters’ cause, 69% thought it had damaged their cause, 11% that it had helped it (16% think it did neither). 87% expect their to be further violent protests against the coalition’s cuts.

More generally, YouGov asked if people thought violent protest was ever acceptable in a democracy. 19% thought it was, 75% thought it was not.

There were also some more questions about Phil Woolas. 67% thought that Phil Woolas should accept the court’s ruling and move on, compared to 17% who think he is right to appeal. Asked about Harriet Harman’s condemnation of Woolas, 34% agreed with the criticism that she had acted too soon and should have waited until the appeal process was exhausted, but 47% backed her and agreed that Woolas’s behaviour would still be unacceptable regardless of the outcome of the appeal.

Asked about the Labour MPs backing Phil Woolas’s bid, 45% agreed with the statement that it made them look out of touch and that they didn’t understand the seriousness of his actions, but there was also some sympathy (34%) for the view that he had the right of appeal and it was natural for his friends and former colleages to support him in it.

YouGov also asked if people thought Woolas was an isolated case, or whether people took the view that MPs from other parties were probably just as bad, and were just lucky no one had taken them to court. Unsurprisingly given the generally low opinion the public have of MPs, 49% thought other MPs and parties were just as bad as Woolas, 26% thought he was an isolated example.

324 Responses to “YouGov on Woolas and the tuition fee protests”

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  1. @ Colin

    “A sign that all that fiscal stimulus has not done the job.”

    And monetary does not do it either. For either of them to work, at least to the plan, requires price and income controls. Otherwise both fiscal and monetary stimulus create, sooner or later, inflation.

    Well, this is the lesson from the 1930s. The US came out of the depression only when the government introduced targeted spending – based on clear economic policy (the second edition of the New Deal). Having said that it was really the war preparations that were decisive in pulling out the economy from the mud.

    Actually Reagan’s 1982-83 corporate taxation policy in combination with monetary restriction was very successful in economic stimulus.

  2. @Richard

    If you read the note on page 5 of that report it states:

    “NOTE: Trade in services estimates are included to give a more complete picture of UK trade. These estimates have been derived from a number of sources, and some components are based on recent trends. They should be used with appropriate caution”

    It is very difficult to be in any sense accurate about some of the intangibles that make up services, exotic financial transactions, Forex settlements, interest and commission charges.

    Which is why the health of a country’s balance of trade is historically- and STILL- measured by the trade in GOODS.


  3. @ Frederik Stansfield

    I agree with some of the points on the UK, but not really on Germany.

    The German economic success is based on the interlocking relationships between employers-employees (co-determination, minimal wage differences across firms, life-long learning, highly regulated employment policies), business-business (compulsory chamber of commerce membership, enforced sector level agreements), business-financial system (close monitoring of firms performance AND operations in exchange of rather patient owners). This obstructs opportunistic behaviours and hence locks firms in particular sectors with major block shareholders, which forces them to engage in incremental innovation (there have been very few disruptive innovations coming from Germany) aiming at improving process and products and avoiding any major radical thing that would threaten the large sunk cost of German firms as well as high levels of customisation, thus stabilising their own markets.

    Blair before 1995 was listening to voices that suggested that institutional changes could trigger a similar development in the UK, but then, I suppose it was not exciting enough.

  4. “Richard is right… exports are everything! How anyone can equate a trade deficit with china in overall net terms to make it more valuable than a trade surpus with ROI is dodgy economis.”

    woeful – but usual- utter lack of appreciation of irony. That comes with taking oneself far too seriously


  5. As somebody pointed it out earlier, foreign trade of ROI is a fiction – it is essentially subsidiary-subsidiary and subsidiary-head office transfers of multinationals (actually even in the case of the US it’s about 60% of foreign trade: US head office-outside subsidiaries of US MNCs, foreign MNC’s subsidiaries in the US and their head offices).

    The difference is quite big however: the US has a national economy, ROI does not have one. And in many ways the current crisis and the political process are reflections of the lack of a national economy.

  6. @Steve:

    The electoral system sytematically benfited the Conservative Party from the 1970s to 1997 and through most of the 1950s.

    The main reason that changed was the re emergence of the LibDem Party in 1997 with a significant parliamentary representation, which largely and disproportionately took previously Conservative seats.

    That LibDem wedge meant the Conservatives had to win by a much bigger margin to obtain an overall majority in FPTP.

    I note that throughout this period and up until May 2010 the LibDems represented this as a nascent politcal realignment of the left.

    That fox has been shot without lifting the ban on hunting…

    It’s true that the current system tends to over represent urban areas. The drift of population into the suburbs has for 100 hundred years tended to outpace the commision’s ability to redraw consituencies.

    All single member constituency systems will suffer from this tendency of being unable to reflect population drift….hence the Reform Act of 1832!

    But those who denounce this systemic inequity simultaneoulsy insist the present system of single member consituencies is the jewel in the crown of our democracy.

    Like love and marriage…you can’t have one without the other….

    These days as well as more foxes urban seats probably also have the most under-registered electorates….

    The urban poor and the unregistered non tax-paying self-employed so beloved of the 80s neo-liberal idealgogues left the electoral registers in large numbers over the poll tax.

    They still live in the conurbations. These same conurbations also often have higher numbers of immigrants and students and other itinerants than rural localitieis.

    Arguably, urban MPs in a single constiuency sytem have a larger and more varied work-load.

    If the reformers really wanted to address the true issue of unfairness they’d not have chosen any of the proposed measures – including AV.

    I’ve no particular gripe about political parties in power cutting the salami to suit themselves. Political power is always about naked political advantage.

    But please spare me the cant of fairness and the illusion of this being a progressive reform.

    These measures are about party advantage: the rest is fiction thinly disguised fact.

  7. @John Murphy,

    So we’re supposed to draw boundaries based on supposition as to how many would-be voters there might be in a constituency rather than how many electors are on the register?

    It seems to me the solution to this constant lag in coping with the Urban to Suburban movement is to design wedge shaped constituencies containing a bit of both.

  8. 40 40 10

  9. Neil A

    @John Murphy,

    “design wedge shaped constituencies containing a bit of both.”

    That would be an interesting challenge in the Highlands or Cornwall!

  10. Latest YouGov/Sun voting intention CON 40%, LAB 42%, LDEM 10%

    Latest government approval – minus 10 (37% approve, 47% disapprove)

    Await the blue refusniks ;-)

  11. YouGov (not a prediction, the real thing);
    CON 40%, LAB 42%, LDEM 10%
    Where are others?
    Getting interesting at last?

  12. @Anthony Wells

    Mike Smithson’s just had another dig at You Gov. Unwarranted, IMO, and I’ve responded accordingly. You might care to take a look though.

  13. Sorry everyone, mine’s a prediction too!!!!

  14. @Phil

    “Mike Smithson’s just had another dig at You Gov. Unwarranted, IMO, and I’ve responded accordingly. You might care to take a look though.”

    He is argung that YG are out of step with other posters who are showing a modest Labour lead.

    Given the YG polls since last Thursday…..he probably should have waited to put up that post :-)

  15. Highest red number on YG since September 2007.

    Just waiting for a wag to point out that EdM went on paternity leave last week……

  16. Well, it’s all gone quiet.

    I was prepared for Friday/ Saturday’s lead to be one of those statistical things that show up eventually (like the Dem < 10) but now we have 2 in a row.

    That's great – except it means I'll be holding my breath from 9.30 'til 10:00 every night this week. 8-)

  17. Yeeeeeehhhhhhhhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! :)

  18. On the current boundaries and under a UNS swing using FPTP, a Lab majority of 20.

    This polls lead feels almost cheated, as Labour don’t really appear to done anything to deserve it!

    Maybe it’s just MOE anyway.

  19. Actually, if you think about it, it’s a bizarre argument that a pollster should worry because their methodology produces results which are different to everyone else’s.
    I would presume pollsters use methodology they calculate produces accurate results, not results which match all the other companies. I could be wrong…… ;)
    If you’re waiting for blue refuseniks, you might be waiting a long time. They might suddenly find they’ve got better things to do.
    I suggest a 5 year paternity leave might be good for EM. ;)

  20. @Julian Gilbert

    “I suggest a 5 year paternity leave might be good for EM”

    Don’t tempt me…..

  21. New thread

  22. Howard
    The electoral significance potentially of Ireland’s position is that Ireland’s policy was Osborne’s dream and even more so A Salmond’s dream. A tool surely for swaying votes away from them, and for once it does not involve Lib Dems. And after all, every dog has its day and I am the one who thought that the UK was the answer for the Republic.
    By the way, I must also say that all of the positive factors listed by Eoin for the republic are correct. It is just that for the moment they are swept away.

  23. Neil A:

    I make no suggestions beyond my observation that those on offer aren’t trying to solve any true inequity in a non partisan way.

    As I said I’bne no gripe with party political sysyems working in the fsvour of parties in power….but I can do without the cod-presentation passing off as political reform….a bit like describing a leader in the Sun as a philosophical tract.

  24. John Murphy
    “a bit like describing a leader in the Sun as a philosophical tract.”

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