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

On the strikes, 50% opposed headteachers taking stike action (38% supported it), 49% opposed teachers taking strike action (41% supported), 51% opposed civil servants taking strike action (39% supported). The YouGov poll had a cross break by public sector and private sector employment – as one might expect, public sector workers are more likely to support strike action, private sector employees are more likely to oppose it though the difference is less black and white as one might expect. For example, public sector employees support the civil servants’ strike action by 53% to 39%, private sector employees oppose it by 56% to 34%.

On the subject of public and private sector workers, note the main voting intention question. Public sector workers are more likely to support Labour than private sector workers… but not monolithically so. Amongst public sector workers this week’s voting intention was CON 30%, LAB 46%, LDEM 10%. The sample size was only 404, so give it due scepticism, I mention it solely to knock down the lazy assumption I occassionally see that all public sector workers are Labour voters.

Going back to the issue of the strikes, YouGov asked how well people thought David Cameron and the government had handled the issue of public sector pensions and negotiations – only 23% though he had handled them well, with 59% thinking it had been done badly. Turning to Ed Miliband, YouGov asked if people thought he should support or oppose the strikes – 23% think he should support them, 33% oppose them, 27% neither. Amongst Labour supporters 41% think the strikes should be supported, 14% opposed and 34% neither.

YouGov then asked about various policies and whether people would support or oppose them. Most of these were largely as you would expect – 83% supported cancelling the rise in fuel prices, 64% would support spending more on big infrastructure projects, 54% support building a high speed rail link to the Midlands and North, 48% oppose a new airport in the Thames Estuary, 53% support underwriting mortgages for new build houses.

The full tabs are here, and also have some questions on energy and Rugby.

I also said I’d have a look at the new (presumably Populus) polling for Lord Ashcroft. The poll found Cameron & Osborne were more trusted on the economy than Miliband & Balls (they did some interesting split sample tests, seeing if the answers were different if you asked just Osborne or Balls, or Cameron, Osborne & Clegg. None of it made that much difference though).

There were also some interesting questions on whether people trusted Labour or the Conservatives more on specific aspects of economic policy. The Conservatives were significantly more trusted to cut borrowing and debt, to steer the economy through tough times and to stop Britain getting into the same problems as Greece and Italy. Labour were significantly more trusted on creating jobs. The two parties were pretty much neck and neck on helping business and making banks behave responsibly.

Asked about what aspects of the economy most worried people rising prices easily came top, though I’m slightly sceptical about how much the options in the question led to this. For example, low pay rises wasn’t on the list, and while there were some wider issues like national debt and the Eurozone crisis, low growth in the British economy wasn’t there. It is probably not a co-incidence that the three top issues on the question (rising prices, national debt and the Eurozone crisis) were the only three that affected everyone – the other options on the list were things that were largely dependent on people’s circumstances (job insecurity is not a direct issue for the retired, making mortgage payments only for homeowners, finding somewhere to live only for non-homeowners, etc).

Ashcroft also asked people if they thought the economic situation would be better or worse if we had a Labour government, or Conservative government without the Lib Dems. 21% thought the economy would be better with Labour in charge, but 39% thought it would be worse (41% thought it would be much the same). 19% thought the economy would be better if the Conservatives were governing alone, 24% thought it would be worse, 57% thought it would be much the same.

107 Responses to “Full report on YouGov/ST and new Ashcroft polling”

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  1. R Huckle/ Richard i N

    IMF denied any Italian package being set up.

    More hot air ! ( you were right Richard)


    @”In the future, the Uk won’t borrow from the market. Future government would have to be daft to borrow in the market, when they can just QE the funds they need – provided they don’t tear the @rse out it, it’ll be fine; they’ll never need to go cap in hand to the market again.”

    I don’t think any British Government would seriously contemplate monetising it’s deficit funding ad infnitum.

    The BoE will never buy new government debt on issue -Mervyn KIng has said so.

    They have bought bought already issued debt in the market-according to King explicitly as an aid to banking liquidity .

    King has stated over & over again that Central Banks should not fund government debt to address government solvency-its not what they are for & not what they should do.

    Of course it remains to be seen how quickly -or indeed if at all-BoE return the Gilts they aquired under their Asset Purchase Scheme ( QE) to the market, withdrawing liqudity .

    Even if they hold the Gilts to maturity-perhaps 10 or 15 years ( depending on the denominations they hold), it merely restores the position to that which the Treasury would be in when they repay the debt & roll it over.

    The whole excercise is about timing & liquidity-not solvency.

    I note that you are not the only lefty on here yearning for someone somewhere to print bank notes & distribute them to everyone, so that all this emarassing debt goes away & we can all carry on up the Khyber regardless.

    Your idea is, imo, daft.

  2. @AdrianB

    “BBC are reporting a ComRes poll showing that 61% of people think “Public Service workers are justified in taking strike action”. Now that is obviously a very different question to “do you support the strikes”, but does that show a nuanced approach to the strikes, its causes and where public sympathy lies?”

    If you take away the simplistic and polarised arguments that revolve around “private good/public bad” and cliches like “bloated state”, then public opinion is far more sophisticated than some commentators would have us believe. The right seemingly won the political and economic argument in the 80s by persuading a majority of the electorate that the state was an expensive encumbrance that inhibited enterprise and the creation of wealth. Per se, or so the argument went, less state, more enterprise, greater affluence, lower taxes; bingo, economic nirvana. This exercise in political persuasion, and the creation of real affluence for some, it has to be said, led to the slow but steady demonisation of state provided services and publicly subsidised commerce. Much was privatised or left to decay and the great shift from manufacturing to financial services began, The march of the insurers and financial product pedlars got into full flow in the 1980s and only the credit crunch of three years ago halted their relentless progress. We lost a great deal as both a society and an economy as a result

    What people forgot in those years, and may now be re-learning, is the enormous social capital that accrues from our great public services. This capital doesn’t lend itself to balance sheets or gilt markets or currency flows or equity prices, it tends to manifest itself in something far less tangible; human well-being. The people who run our health service, or teach in our schools and universities, or care for our elderly, or empty our bins, or who man our borders or tend to some of the most deprived in our society, are generating immeasurable social capital. Cameron has priced this at £500 million per day and, even if this figure is plucked from the air for politically expedient purposes, even he recognises that no decent society can function without these essential public servants and the services they provide.

    When Adair Turner remarked that a great deal of what the City indulged in was “socially useless”, I think he had this contrast in mind and, as a society, we do well to recognise those who’s unglamorous, poorly paid and oft-derided work binds us together. Many of those people will be on strike for the first time in their lives on Wednesday. I support them and wish them well. They’re an essential part of what I believe to be the decent society.

  3. Have just checked on the sequence of events in the Zimbabwean Hyperinflation.

    The very first money printing by the Zimbabwean Central Bank ( 2006) was in order to buy the foreign currency with which to pay off an IMF loan.

    Subsequently , money was printed to pay unbudgetted civil service & military pay rises ,underfunded municipal projects & farm animals & equipment.

    Within three years the Zimbabwean currency was abandoned , to be replaced by the US dollar & SA Rand.

  4. Colin

    That is more or less the same story as weimar, they started to pay off the reparations from the first world war and it just got out of control. You can see why there are people hoarding gold in expectation of hyperinflation.

  5. Richard.

    RE WEimar-the Comment by JMK is interesting :-

    “”The inflationism of the currency systems of Europe has proceeded to extraordinary lengths. The various belligerent Governments, unable, or too timid or too short-sighted to secure from loans or taxes the resources they required, have printed notes for the balance.”

    Print print print is hardly a Keynsian solution it seems :-) :-)

    THe gold market reports seem to indicate a mixed bag-safe haven from a euro crash , & the usual speculation-haven’t really seen fears of hyperinflation.

    I think the world’s Central Banks are to aware of that scenario to let it happen -certainly on a global scale.

  6. Colin

    Keynes was very aware of the risks of making Germany pay reparations and pushed hard for a lenient attitude to post war Germany but was ignored

    As to fears of hyperinflation today, I would point out that gold is up nearly 25% yoy and is a long way up from its low point in the early 00s, the Chinese in particular are buying but also the Russians. I would agree that the worlds central banks wouldn’t let it happen but sometimes things get out of hand, who knows when we might reach a tipping point?

  7. Richard

    Sure thing.

    Who knows…………anything?

    Look at the equity markets today-all back up again.

    It’s a rollercoaster.

    The whole thing is a maelstrom of uncertainty because know one knows what the outcome will be from the wall of debt that the politicians have racked up, or what they are going to do about it.

    I mean-look at UK Richard.

    In AD’s last Budget ( 2009) -he forecast an ADDITIONAL £705 BN of government debt in the 5 years 09/10 to 13/14-finishing with £1.37 Trillion in Debt.

    Even in GO last Budget-2011 , those numbers are £596 BN & £1.25 trillion.

    And now we have the EZ crisis & lower growth , which means those numbers get worse.

    The whole thing is frightening.

    We are on a knife edge.

    If our borrowing costs get pushed up -we are in a very bad place indeed.

    2012 is a critical year-economically & politically.

    Frankly if the Eurozone goes *its up -our politics will be the least of our worries .

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