The full tabs for this week’s YouGov/Sunday Times poll are now up here, as usual, it covered a range of different subjects. On the regular leadership trackers both Cameron and Miliband are largely unchanged – David Cameron’s approval rating is minus 9 (from minus 10 last week), Ed Miliband’s is minus 24 (from minus 23 last week). However, in both cases this is a continuation of a slow trend as the effect of hackgate fades – hence it is Cameron’s highest rating since June, and Miliband’s lowest since hackgate.

On Libya, 48% of people now think Cameron has handled it well, 31% badly. Unsurprisingly the overwhelming majority of people (71%) would like to see the suspects in Yvonne Fletcher’s murder extradited to Britain, but opinion on al-Megrahi has now swung against his extradition (presumably given he is semi-comatose and close to death). 29% still think he should be returned to Britain, 55% now think he should not.

On the economy, people are now more likely to have confidence is Osborne than Balls to make the right calls on the economy. 30% have a lot or a little confidence in Osborne, 24% in Balls (when YouGov asked the same question in February both were on 31%). 28% have confidence in Ed Miliband, 31% Vince Cable. David Cameron scores the highest, with 41% saying they have a lot or a little confidence in him making the right decisions on the running the economy.

45% of people think that taxes on the wealthy should be increased, compared to 35% thinking they should be kept as they are and 11% who think they should be cut. Amongst Conservative voters, 30% think they should be increased. On the specific case of the 50p tax rate, opinion seem to broadly think it is about right as it is – 21% think it should be higher than 50p, 24% think it should be lower, 48% think it is about right. Public opinion towards the banks remains extremely harsh. Hardly anyone (3%) thinks they have reformed their bonus culture, only 14% think they have reformed their practices. 77% think the government have been too soft on them and 59% of people would support separating retail and investment banking, with only 9% opposed.

Looking at the other subjects in this week’s poll, opinion on free schools is still quite divided – 35% support them, 38% oppose them. There’s a similar division on whether people think Labour should support or oppose them – amongst Labour’s own supporters, 49% think the party should oppose free schools, 20% think they should support them, 31% say neither or don’t know. On roads, 39% would support increasing the speed limit on motorways. Half of respondents support building more motorways at taxpayers’ expense, 36% would support building new toll motorways. 40% of people perceive the government as too anti-motorist, with 24% thinking they get it about right and 8% thinking they are too pro-motorist.


232 Responses to “More from the YouGov/Sunday Times poll”

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  1. RiN-
    About the Lincoln quote, you have to remember that the Democrats and Republicans were made up of largely different voting blocs – until the 1960s, the south was predominantly democrat but switched due to Kennedy’s support of the civil rights movement.

    Lincoln’s support for fair distribution of the land and people seeing the fruits of their own labour (free soil and free labour) would probably land him the title of socialist now. ;)

  2. Henry

    Such is the tragedy of the human condition. As the great man said, he who does not understand history is doomed to repeat the lessons of the past.

    In my own field (engineering) there are numerous examples of cycles of catastrophe-over conservative reaction-slow relaxation of the new rules-ignorant over confidence-catastrophe. Teaching the subject as I do part-time now, I’m at pains to get my students to study the past, learn the lessons from the greats and equally importantly, learn the lessons from the cocky, ignorant ones who either thought the rules didn’t apply to them, or were simply oblivious of the them.

    One of my (many) gripes with Blair was the way that he took his ignorance of history as a mark of honour. It accorded with the zeitgeist, certainly in financial circles anyway. And look where it got us.

    I’m not an economic expert, but I suspect those more knowledgable than I in that field might think of the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act in the same way that we engineers look at Leon Moisieff’s over-confident mistakes at Tacoma Narrows.

  3. “Regulators in the US have filed lawsuits against 17 banks including Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays and HSBC.

    The Federal Housing Finance Agency claims the banks misrepresented the quality of billions of dollars of home loans sold to America’s state-backed mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

    The value of the investments plummeted when property prices collapsed and borrower s defaulted on their loans. RBS sold £18.5billion of mortgage- related assets, HSBC £3.8billion and Barclays £3billion.
    The amount of damages being sought is unknown but the FHFA is looking for £555million from UBS after it sold £2.8billion of mortgage-backed investments.

    If that rate is repeated, RBS would face a claim of £3.7billion while HSBC would be on the hook for around £750million and Barclays £600million.

    That would be a major blow to RBS and could wipe out a large chunk of profits. It could also further delay the sale of the government’s shares in RBS.

    The taxpayer is already sitting on a loss of £23billion in the bank with shares worth less than half what the state paid for them.

    When the investment in Lloyds Banking Group is taken into account, the losses hit £34billion. ”

    This is Money .com

    Nice one Fred-hope the pension is still coming through.

  4. @Colin – I have to say, while it will hurt me as a UK tapayer, I have nothing but admiration for the way the US pursues corporate wrongdoing.

    Over here we specialise in allowing extremely well paid bosses to commit any acts of recklessness and folly without the remotest chance that they will ever land in court and be made to face the consequences of their actions. We’ve enshrined corporate irresponsibility in law, pretty much.

  5. Alec

    Agree 1 zillion %.

    Their Senate Committees make ours look like sunday schools.

    I shall never forget the lambasting they gave the auto company chiefs when they asked for state help.

  6. LeftyLampton

    But at least the collapse of the Tacoma Bridge gave us a great visual image. We’d need to see a similar vision of politicians/financiers being twisted and torn before plunging into the waters below to remind their successors of the penalty of failure.

  7. Old Nat.

    Nice one. The other thing is of course that the failed engineers were broken men. Brunel died from the exertions of the Great Eastern catastrophe. Moisieff died two years after the Tacoma Narrows bridge collapse. Thomas Bouch died within a year of the Tay Bridge disaster. They felt their work deeply and the mistakes went to the core of the man.

    Compare and contrast with our current financial masters…

  8. AmberStar

    “It will actually be quite exciting to see how well the Scottish Tories do under a new flag. I am very sceptical that rebranding, Bavarianism & the rest of the icing makes much difference, when it’s basically the same cake underneath… but I’m ready & willing to be proved wrong.”

    They need to have some policies or at least emphsis that is different fron English Cons. Butskillite with regard to the NHS perhaps. That would set them apart.

    Not that they need that many. Three would be fine.

  9. The irony of the banking executives is that Fred the Shred will probably (and probably correctly) claim that the massive mis-selling by his company of billions of dollars worth of overvalued mortgage “assets” was something he had absolutely no knowledge of.

    In other words, “I got paid millions of pounds a year despite not even actually understanding how the company I was allegedly running made its money. You could actually have paid a chimp literally in peanuts to have done my job. But I’m still worth it, honest”.

  10. John B Dick

    I f they are to be seen as a different party from the English Tories, then they need to have differences from them on reserved powers, as opposed to just devolved ones – where they can probably say what they like anyway.

    Thus far, the only suggestion of differences on reserved powers is opposition to the Common Fisheries Policy – and without much wider constitutional change, that difference is cosmetic. Simply reflecting the bitter opposition in the North East to Heath’s dismissal of the fishing industry as something that could easily be negotiated away.

  11. Free Schools, which UKGOV reports more people support than oppose.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-13274090

    BBC report which lists & maps the 24 free schools. They fall into three groups. Faith schools by any other name; former independent schools; schools due for closure or mergers– presumably by the LEA.
    The main thrusts therefore seems to be religion, parents irate at the loss of “their” school, Gove’s willingness to overturn LEA decisions, & state handouts to former private schools at the expence of other local schools.

    The BBC also reports that “Plans have been revealed for a free school staffed by former servicemen and women in Greater Manchester. The Centre for Policy Studies (CPS) said children could be taught using military-style discipline. The CPS, said the proposed “Phoenix Free School” would use qualified and unqualified teachers, because `teacher training is basically training young people not to teach’ etc, etc.
    It seems to be open season for the lunatic fringe.

  12. As an outsider looking in, it seems to me that the root cause of the problwm with people like Goodwin is that they were superb at doing what they were supposed to do – maximise shareholder value in the short-term with little or no regard for the long-term.

    If that is the raison d’etre of your role as CEO of a major organisation, then of course you are going to do the short-term things that will bring in the profits and keep the share price high. if that means dealing in CDSs that no-one understands then so be it. And if the whole thing goes tits up eventually because it was so fundamentally unsustainable, well tough on the poor saps who were left holding the shares at the time. There’s always some sucker who takes the slap.

    In this case of course, that is…errr… all of us.

    Genius. A job perfectly done.

  13. Good history lesson – I think Heath’s betrayal of North east communities was the beginning of the Tories decline in rural Scotland. If I remember Banff and Buchan, and Moray and Nairn went in Feb’74. Of course i could be wrong – I was only 11 at the time – but even then the entire household was turned upside down as my mum battled for every vote for Norman Buchan – now there was a man!

  14. @ Old Nat

    “The Picts stayed right where they were, defeating all -comers (till the Vikings!)”

    What happenned after the Vikings came? I’ve noticed that Muslim raids on southern Europe during this same time period have been used by some pseudo-intellectuals to justify Islamophobia and racism against Arabs. Always seems strange that they don’t share a similar antipathy for people who live in Nordic countries and those of Nordic ancestry. :)

  15. SoCal.

    I suspect it’s because the Vikings (or a good few of them) settled and assimiliated. “We” (or a good few of us) ARE them. For example, I was born in a village in northern England ending in the letters -by, which signifies that it was a Danish hamlet.

    Had the Muslims done what Gibbon suggested they might well have done and made it across the Channel to teach the Koran to a circumcised people at Oxford, I suspect we’d have a few towns called al-something and perhaps be a little less us-and-them-ish about Islam today.

  16. NEILA

    “You could actually have paid a chimp literally in peanuts to have done my job”

    ………or hired a banker……During questioning by the Treasury Select Committee of the House of Commons on 10 February 2009, it emerged that Goodwin had no technical bank training and no formal banking qualifications. ( WIKI )

    But Fred will always be proud of the esteem in which he was held :-

    2002 – Forbes (global edition) “Businessman of the Year”.
    2003 – 2006 – No.1 in Scotland on Sunday’s Power 100
    2003 – “European Banker of the Year”
    2004 – Knighted in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list, for services to banking.
    2008 – awarded an honorary fellowship by the London Business School

  17. The emperor had not one stitch of clothing, but a damned good pension.

  18. To all:

    An entertaining vid regards the banking syste, (with a little conspiracy thrown in):

    h ttp://video.google.co.uk/videoplay?docid=-2550156453790090544#docid=5352106773770802849

  19. @ Colin

    “2002 – Forbes (global edition) “Businessman of the Year”.
    2003 – 2006 – No.1 in Scotland on Sunday’s Power 100
    2003 – “European Banker of the Year”
    2004 – Knighted in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list, for services to banking.
    2008 – awarded an honorary fellowship by the London Business School”

    Sounds like he’s good at marketing himself.

  20. SoCalLiberal/LeftyLampton

    When they started to do detailed genetic mapping of the British Isles in the last decade, they were surprised to find that there seemed to a greater genetic contribution from the Vikings than from the Anglo-Saxons.

  21. “I got paid millions of pounds a year despite not even actually understanding how the company I was allegedly running made its money.”

    Sounds familiar….

    It will probably become known as pleading the Murdoch Defence.

  22. For a very poignant and brief insight into the relationship between the Norse and the Scots (or at least the more outlying Scots) checkout Ralph McTell’s classic song about oil spills, “The Islands”.

    We do not fear the marshes, we’ve seen long ships before.
    Men sailed here from the north land and hauled their boats ashore.
    They brought with them their music, their language and their lore,
    And burned their boats and stayed here on the islands.

  23. @ Lefty Lampton

    “I suspect it’s because the Vikings (or a good few of them) settled and assimiliated. “We” (or a good few of us) ARE them. For example, I was born in a village in northern England ending in the letters -by, which signifies that it was a Danish hamlet.”

    Interesting.

    The neighborhood where I grew up has a number of streets with English names (either names of actual streets in London, names of constituencies/towns in England, or named after prominent English noble familes). The reason why this is (though it’s mostly forgotten and unknown) is that the developer was an English immigrant. He was attempting recreate his boyhood village in England. Of course, today his traditional Tudor style manor home is the Playboy Mansion. So assimilation did occur.

    At the begginning of the 20th century, there were so many French immigrants in LA (there’s a reason a number of inner city neighborhoods have streets with French names) that people feared French would become the main language of Angelinos. Assimilation occured and such an event never took place.

  24. Fred Goodwin seems not all that different from Gordon Brown in his lack of regret. I suspect Alex Salmond is fairly similar.

  25. @ Roger Mexico

    “When they started to do detailed genetic mapping of the British Isles in the last decade, they were surprised to find that there seemed to a greater genetic contribution from the Vikings than from the Anglo-Saxons.”

    That does kinda surprise me. But then again, I don’t really know the history that well.

    We’re all originally from Africa anyway so I don’t see much of a point in differentiating ethnicities.

    @ Neil A

    “We do not fear the marshes, we’ve seen long ships before.
    Men sailed here from the north land and hauled their boats ashore.
    They brought with them their music, their language and their lore,
    And burned their boats and stayed here on the islands.”

    Interesting. Your country is certainly a multicultural polyglot.

  26. @ Woodsman

    ““I got paid millions of pounds a year despite not even actually understanding how the company I was allegedly running made its money.”

    Sounds familiar….

    It will probably become known as pleading the Murdoch Defence.”

    The Murdoch Defense is a little different I think. Murdoch knows exactly what he’s doing and runs his company the way he wants to (which is why the stock his in his corporation is always a little bit cheaper). His whole defense seems to be that despite his airtight control, there were a few rotten eggs who did bad things of which he was completely unaware of.

    This guy’s defense is different I think. It’s basically acknowledging that he’s an idiot and a fraud who basically lucked out.

  27. Iceman

    “Norman Buchan – now there was a man!”

    I certainly won’t disagree with you there, nor that Janey was quite a woman!

    I’d great respect for the pair of them.

  28. Henry, Colin, Roger Mexico and Steve

    Thank you for your best wishes.
    Henry: we now use something called ALPS. To be honest all these models are quite confusing, and there are new ones every other year.
    Steve; So right you are on discipline

    In the 1980’s the units where very disruptive pupils were sent for periods of time were closed down; very expensive- there is no cheap route to excellence. The units did good work with many of the students, and also did act to deter people from getting into trouble.

    A note in support on church schools. (I declare an interest here)

    Barking and Dagenham is a good case study. A top school in the borough is the catholic school there, and it is interesting to note that these schools do often do very well with the same sort of ‘material’ as the fully LA schools.

    The BBC showed another school on GCSE results day: Sacred Heart School in Peckham. Very moving to see the parents and pupils being so happy with their achievements. A very firm Headmaster there. So it can be done, depending on a variety of factors.

  29. crossbat11 @ OldNat

    “North, Agree 44%, Dusagree 30%, DK 26%”

    “So, the further towards the Highlands you go, the more independence-minded the Scots seem to be. Is that because those pesky Picks retreated ever northwards to escape the clutches of the Angles and the Saxons (and Romans, I suppose), all those years ago?”

    It’s because the two main parties of government in the UK parliament have for generations obsessed over dogma inspired policies bizarrely irrelevant to to areas of low populatin especially those surrounded by water (Oxbridge educated political advisers may be interested to know we refer to these areas as “Islands”)

    Jus imagine if you can how surreal the debate on this thread about Free Schools appears to those living on the Isle of Barra, Population just over 1,000 and nearly all Roman Catholic.

    The other side if the coin is that whatever problems people in Barra may have, London governments know nothing and care less.

  30. @ Colin

    That would be a major blow to RBS and could wipe out a large chunk of profits. It could also further delay the sale of the government’s shares in RBS.
    ———————————————–
    RBS were unlikely to have granted any US mortgages directly therefore my assumption – & it is only an assumption – is that RBS will sue the banks/ hedge funds/ whomever that RBS purchased the mortgages from.
    8-)

  31. So cal

    I’m glad to see you got your donkey, on that subject why did Obama say he had visited 57 states, he went on to say that he wasn’t allowed to visit the other two(Hawaii and Alaska) is he trying the GB and Reagan trick of appearing to be more ordinary?(insert friendly smile here)

    You asked about the shootings in Oslo, well to tell the truth I was in England at the time and no one I knew was involved so it didn’t affect me at all(I’m a cold hearted sob). Of course for Norway as a whole it was a profound shock and provoked much soul searching until it was decided that the shooter was just a lone madman and not at all influenced by current political discourse. I was hopeful that the incident would impact badly on the right-wing anti immigrant party(see very coldhearted or just hoping some good would come of it)but the leader of that party bailed her eyes out on tv and saved their rep(or something like that) but they do seem to be polling lower, although that might just be a continuation of their decline since the announced an electoral pact with the moderate right wing party. Short term the labour party has made some sympathy gains in the polls but long term they have lost a large chunk of a political generation and the ones who survived have been tramatized, it is quite possible that a future PM was among those killed and certainly many talented political leaders have been lost to the norweigen labour party. How this will play out in twenty years time is anyone’s guess, will Norway lurch to the right in twenty years time because of a lack of talent on the left? Probably not, but who knows, sometimes one individual does make the difference. But I do wonder what the effect on the survivors will be, will they be a generation of politicos that are strengthened by adversity or will they have a vengeful outlook, it will be interesting to find out what the long term effects are

  32. Nick Poole & oldnat

    “Can we elect the SNP to govern England too? It’s a long time since an English party challenged the idea that the NHS (or any other state service) needs “competition” to function okay.”

    The marketisation ideas of both lead parties of UK government are designed for (and might concievably be made to work in) London and the SE.

    I don’t think it is the best wayto run these services because I am not a believer in the faith system which generated them, but at some extra social and economic costs they could at least be made to work.

    Free schools and the equivalent in hospitals are so bizarrely inappropriate to most of Scotland because of population density, geography and transport realities that the notion of applying them to Scotland is quite surreal.

    As it happens, one of the candidates for the leadership of the Conservative party in Scotland wants to promote Free Schools. All that could be achieved is that some of the minor private schools in Edinburgh could have their fees paid by the taxpayer. Most of those that exist are not-for-profit trusts, but any profit , or diseconomies of scale would be an extra cost.

    It would be entirely possible to construct half a dozen policies from Conservative or Christian Democrat principles some of which might be practical in the conditions that exist in most of Scotland and the whole of the rest of Europe north of Stirling.

    Free Schools is not one of them.

    There are of course inefficiencies in centralised state-run systems, but against that is not only the huge cost of not only costing, charging and payment but also audit and fraud. If these are taken account of at all, it is natural that those who wish to make a case for the proposal will take an optimistic view of the first three, but they are never likely to allow for the last two.

    One of the three Scottish Conservatives candidates for leader is a proponent of Free Schools and seamless policy co-ordination with English Conservatives.

    Another would fit in well as SLAB leader with his confrontational attitude and opposition for opposition’s sake.

    The third has the right diagnosis, and the right remedy (Bavarianisation) for the reversal of the generations long decline of the Scottish Conservatives. – better understood as Christian Democrats but unidentified as such bcause they were Presbyterian and not Catholic.

    It may be that Murdo Fraser will not be elected, in which case the party will become increasingly irrelevant and decline will continue. If he is, the question which remains is whether Bavarianisation can now turn fortunes around or whether it is simply too late and the patient is too far gone for even the right remedy to be successful.

    Some days I think maybe it can work, and it is surely worth trying. Other days I think that Scotland will not have an effective centre right party to represent the views of Christian Democrats till a decade after independence. It’s on a knife edge even if they take the right course now.

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