The full tabs for this week’s YouGov poll for the Sunday Times are now online here, covering a wide range of topics including Jimmy Carr’s tax, GCSEs, global warming and Julian Assange.

On the regular trackers David Cameron’s net approval is minus 18 (from minus 25 last week), Ed Miliband’s minus 27 (from minus 25), Nick Clegg’s minus 53 (from minus 55). There were also shifts towards the government in some of the other regular trackers – the proportion thinking the government is bad for people like them has dropped from 62% to 55%, the proporton thinking they are handling the economy well is up 5 points to 34%. This tallies with the voting intention figures, which are marginally less bad for the government than they have been for the last month or two… but still show them trailing badly.

Turning first to tax avoidance, 60% of people think it is unreasonable for people to use artificial schemes to avoid tax, compared to 36% who think it is reasonable enough and the government should pass stricter laws if they want to stop it. 67% also agreed with a statement that tax avoidance was as bad as benefit fraud…nevertheless, asked directly whether Cameron was right to criticise Jimmy Carr only 38% said yes and 50% said no. Part of this will be as suggested in the question – distate at the Prime Minister commenting on an individual, but it will also be a reflection of partisan viewpoints – Labour voters are most critical of tax avoidance, but are also least likely to view David Cameron or his actions in a positive way.

Moving onto GCSEs, people think they have got easier in recent years by 60% to 22% and by 50% to 32% would support a return to an O-level style system, with less academic pupils taking some equivalent of the old CSE. There is also very strong support for the idea of moving to one single exam board, supported by 75% with 12% opposed. People are less suportive, however, of abolishing the national curriculum. Only 20% think this would lead to a rise in standards, compared to 38% who think it would make things worse.

Turning to the topic of climate change, 70% of people think that the Rio conference will make little difference, with only 9% expecting it to lead to a better environment. YouGov also asked about broader attitudes towards climate change, a repeat question from 2010, and found a slightly larger proportion of people believing in man-made global warming. 43% of people thought the world was becoming warmer due to man (up from 39%), 22% thought the world was becoming warmer but not because of man (down from 27%), 15% thought the world was not getting warmer (down from 18%). 20% of people said they didn’t know, up from 16%. While the trend here is towards belief in manmade global warming, it is still lower than the same question was showing in 2008, when 55% of British people thought the world was getting warmer due to man’s activity.

Finally the survey asked about Julian Assange. 60% of people wanted to see Assange extradited (44% to Sweden and 16% to the US, though I believe the US haven’t actually asked for him to be extradited), 16% think he should not be extradited. However, a majority of people (60%) also think that diplomatic norms should be respected and Julian Assange should be allowed to take sanctuary in the Ecuador embassy. 24% think the police should breach diplomatic rules (and, indeed the law, though this was not made clear in the question) and arrest him regardless.

158 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times round up”

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  1. AMBER.
    Thank you very much!!

    NEIL A.
    We should take care about presumptions.

    In terms of downsizing, we are going to live in tents.

    But when did 25 year olds become children, suddenly?

    They are adults at 14 when it comes to decisions about contraception and abortion and they are men and women in the armed forces at 16.

    I think the basic problem seems to be that the GB Economy is just not big enough to employ ‘children’ aged 25 with enough pay to buy good housing.

    As far as we are concerned in our own family, their excellent private school is equipping them to do well. Top class schooling costs £20K a year, while the state head teacher has £4k a year per capita.

  2. @Mike N

    I think your observations about Cameron’s main intentions, and motivations, for today’s speech on welfare benefits is pretty close to the mark. His focus groups (“something for nothing culture” is pure focus groupthink) have obviously been telling him that there is mileage in exploiting fears and myths about “undeserving” benefit recipients and claimants and he probably thinks that now is the time to advance from mere dog-whistling on the issue and be a little more transparent and outspoken. It will be interesting if he derives any short term political benefit. He may well do so but he doesn’t deserve to.

    One of the dogs that never barks on benefit fraud, and is very unlikely to be raised by Cameron, is the number of affluent middle class people in our society who claim benefits to which they are not entitled. I knew of plenty of such people who, for example, deceived the authorities about their real income and claimed educational support allowance for their children. There must be countless other examples too of affluent people bending means tested criteria to their will. Probably dole-scrounger hating, immigrant bashing Daily Mail readers everyone, I suspect!!

    P.S. YouGov, you double-digit little beauties you (Lab 43 Con 32!

  3. @Anmary

    You said “…Amber would your qualification in Accounting happen to be anything along the lines of the ACA by Institute of Chartered Accountants? I only ask because I have a grandson who has just finished the lower 6th and is entering the upper 6th in september, and with that the ordeal which is UCAS. He’s currently deciding on whether he wants to go into higher education and pay the exorbitant fees or whether choose a different qualification such as the ACA by ICAEW…”

    Bear in mind that Amber may know more about this than me and please consult people other than myself about this. Having said that, here we go…

    The term “Accountant” in the UK is not strictly defined by law, although the term is usually used to describe CCAB-qualified accountants. A CCAB-qualified accountant is a member of an accountancy body recognised by the Consultative Committee of Accountancy Bodies . Those accountancy bodies are:

    * Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)
    * Association of International Accountants (AIA)
    * Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW)
    * Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland (ICAI)
    * Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS)
    * Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) (public-sector workers)

    They are overseen by the Professional Oversight Board (POB) which is part of the Financial Reporting Council (FRC)

    My advice to you is as follows:

    1) Contact those bodies and ask them what career approach they would recommend for your grandchild
    2) Make a list of (say) 100 large/medium accountancy firms, contact them and ask them what the best approach for your grandchild is.
    3) When you have done that, you will know the cost/benefits of your grandchild entering University or not in 2013.

    Bear in mind that an intermediate (AAT) or associated (CIMA) qualification may be a good first step.

    Regards, Martyn

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  4. Amber

    Gosh how refreshing to read about a poll, even if it took two goes.

    Now you are sure aren’t you? I could get very depressed if this blip for LD didn’t even happen.

  5. CROSSBAT11.
    Quite a surprise poll, but maybe the PM’s ideas about the 25 year old children will swing things his way during the week

  6. Martyn

    You don’t have to break up the web references any more. I tried it on a post that i was prepared to go into limbo and it worked fine.

    Perhaps AW can kindly confirm.

  7. CrossBat

    I believe the strategy followed by the PM is a very sound one (politically). Instead of all the talk about LD differentiating itself from Con, he’s doing the same the other way around.

    It will keep him going while the economy stays in the doldrums and we start to think cucumber sandwiches.

  8. @ Howard

    You made me LOL :-)

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