The full tables for the YouGov/Sunday Times survey are now up here, largely covering the Labour leadership and atttitudes towards taxes on the rich.

The comparisons between Ed Miliband and David Cameron show the regular pattern we’ve seen in other polling and in the Opinium poll last night: Cameron is regarded as a stronger leader, more decisive and more likeable. He is also seen as having a clearer vision for the country and a better strategy of the economy. Where Cameron falls down, and Miliband has the advantage, is in being seen as in touch with ordinary people where Ed leads by 40% to 19%. On being trustworthy there is very little to choose between the two men.

On Ed Miliband’s leadership in particular, only 23% of people say he has made it clear what he stands for, 58% think he has not. 31% think he has been too close to the trade unions, 35% think he has not been close enough to business – surprisingly perhaps, given the often hostile attitudes polls find towards big business. While people saying Miliband is too anti-business are largely Conservative supporters, even 20% of Labour voters think Miliband has been too anti-business.

While Miliband’s ratings remain poor, he is seem as a much more appealing leader than Ed Balls or Yvetter Cooper. In both cases more people say Balls or Cooper would make them less likely to vote Labour than say they would make them more likely to vote Labour. Ed is, however, still seen as less appealing than his brother. 18% of people say they would be more likely to vote Labour with David Miliband as leader compared to only 7% who would be less likely.

Turning to taxes on the wealthy, 55% of people think that rich people are not paying enough tax and should pay more. Asked at what point higher taxes on the rich should cut in, the median point of those who gave an answer was £100,000.

However, while there is widespread support for more tax on the rich, this doesn’t necessarily translate into support for wealth taxes on the rich, as opposed to income taxes on the rich. When YouGov asked whether people thought it was fairer to tax wealth or income, 69% said income to only 22% who thought it fairer to tax wealth.

They also tested whether people generally saw the rich as making a positive or negative contribution to the country and found a fairly even split – 30% of people thought that rich people generally make a positive contribution to the country, 38% of people think they make a negative one. This goes to explain some of the other attitudes to taxes on the rich – 67% of people think that increasing taxes on the rich risks driving wealthy people abroad, but two thirds of those would support it anyway.

174 Responses to “More on the YouGov/Sunday Times poll”

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  1. Smukesh, I think we will have to agree to differ.I thought this was quite an
    Aggressive interview in which Marr was continually interuptng and rephrasing
    His questions.People often want to hear what the interviewee has to say,these
    Interviewers who want to show how clever they are have missed their calling as barristers or something of that ilk.

  2. Ryder Cup

    If sport is the great political game changer that some have been suggesting this summer, then UKIP destined to die tomorrow. :-)

  3. @oldnat – golf is not sport. It’s a game.

    On important matters; A cautionary tale, and one that is completely non partisan. For those who jump to believe all they read in the great British press, have a look at this –

    When the Sunday Times ran the headline ‘Only 100 Cod Left in the North Sea’, they of course meant ‘Only 21,000,000 Cod Left in The North Sea’.

    Out by a factor of 210,000 is probably about par for much of the political reporting too I guess.

  4. In Scotland, the Tories are trying to outflank Labour on the right. Hard job, but they may succeed. ;-)

    “THE Scottish Conservatives would cut back spending on “freebies” in Scotland to deliver a 1p income tax cut in Scotland.”

  5. Alec

    Great research by the Beeb!

    Pity it comes 9 days after that nonsense was exposed by Richard Lochhead, and widely reported across the Scottish press.

  6. @ Anthony Wells

    I know you must get tired of me after a while spouting off about U.S. politics but this is an example of the polling analysis mistakes you have warned against.

    I think this poll is probably accurate overall (not perfect due to its small sample size but good enough). However, they make a claim about their numbers that seems wildly off the mark……the incumbent Republican Congressman has a wide lead among young voters of over 25% over his Democratic challenger. This is odd since voters in that age group have consistently been going the other way for Democrats according to other polls (also odd since the Challenger is a Millenial himself and since the incumbent has said a whole lot of things that would probably make him unattractive to most young voters). But I remembered your post from a few weeks about about the dangers of looking at very small cross tabs in a poll and using those to state a definitive trend one way or the other. With a sample size of just 400 voters, I would imagine that their sub sample of voters between the ages of 18 and 39 would be fairly small and thus subject to a high rate of error even if the poll overall is accurate.

    What I find surprising though is that a professional pollster has given this analysis. They should know better I would think.

  7. Ryder Cup: “you wouldn’t wish this on Hitler” [re US golfer]

    Funniest sporting quote I’ve read even though I don’t normally approve of Hitler gags.

  8. Yes! Europe. (Bye bye UKIP) :-)


    This quote is pretty good.

    “Molinari leans on his putter, trying his very best to look interested, but clearly wanting to get plumbed into some Moet instead…”

  10. Keith Vaz

    Doesn’t matter – he doesn’t get free prescriptions anyway.

  11. Ryder Cup: “you wouldn’t wish this on Hitler” [re US golfer]

    Very odd. Just as puzzling is the report — Nick Robinson & other sources — that Hitler wanted, when he conquered England, to set up his HQ in the Midland Hotel, Manchester, currently hosting the Lab. Party Conf.
    A Civil Service friend of mine, who used to escort Ministers to Manchester, said they were more than once propositioned by prostitutes in the Midland, as the women left clients’ rooms in the early hours. Perhaps escort is not quite the right word.]

  12. Alec:

    “Only 100 cod in the North Sea.”

    Do they know them all by name?

  13. Maybe Nadine won’t got to UKIP after all; maybe she’ll join the Labour Party ;-)

    “When the online pollsters gather information regarding public opinion of Ed, people are commenting on the basis of very little to go on. The ticks placed in boxes are done so with minimal information. The fact that six out of ten can’t see him as a Prime Minister means nothing when they don’t see very much of him at all. Ed Milliband is still a rapidly developing, and to many, unknown quantity. And what is worse, he is genuinely an extremely kind and really nice guy. People are shortly going to notice this for themselves and may feel that the distorted, left-wing policies which got the country into such a mess don’t sound so bad when coming from such a nice man.”
    Nadine Dorries writing for Conhome.

  14. Amber

    “You might very well think that; I couldn’t possibly comment.” :-)

  15. @ Old Nat

    Re. Nadine: Well Scottish politics is very perplexing at the moment, so I am amusing myself with some small distractions until I can get to the root of what is going on.

    I couldn’t get time off work to go to conference this year, so I am feeling very left out & envious of the people who are there!

    It was actually at conference last year that me & my wee gang decided to back Ken instead of Johann for the leadership. I gave her my full & frank opinion of why we came to that decision; it did not go down too well with her. It seems more than a year ago but obviously it isn’t.

  16. Amber

    We do live in “interesting times” – even if it isn’t an ancient Chinese saying! :-)

    While elected politicians are the public face of political parties, the backroom staff are really critical in creating the policies, the “spin” etc.

    Is part of SLab’s problem that your backroom staff aren’t top quality?

  17. @RobbieAlive

    You said “…Just as puzzling is the report — Nick Robinson & other sources — that Hitler wanted, when he conquered England, to set up his HQ in the Midland Hotel, Manchester…”

    Wasn’t that supposed to be Du Cane Court, Balham? I suspect it’s an urban myth – if you’d conquered the UK, would you really live in Manchester? Are we to assume that Bath, York, London, Edinburgh were flattened, that Arundel Castle or Castell Coch were in ruins? There’s a nice block of flats opposite Harrods. Come to think of it, Buckingham Palace has a great back garden. So presumably Adolf wanted to ignore all these bits and just go live in rainy Manchester?

    Regards, Martyn

  18. MARTYN

    This has to be one of the most bizarre discussions ever on UKPR.

    The assumption that Hitler would have wanted to “live” in any part of Britain, if he had won – instead of continuing to live in Germany – suggests a kind of cultural arrogance that “of course” a conqueror of these islands was simply doing so to move to a better housing location.

  19. @ Old Nat

    Is part of SLab’s problem that your backroom staff aren’t top quality?
    LOL :-) Most of Labour Scotland’s backroom staff are outstanding – it’s the frontroom that I worry about!

  20. Spring time for Hitler in Manchester? :razz:

  21. Amber

    We have a measure of consensus.

    I think your backroom staff are lacking in acuity.
    You think your frontroom staff are lacking in acuity.

    If we are both right, then you are in deep doo-doo. :-)

  22. Amber

    “Spring time for Hitler in Manchester?”

    :-) It even scans with the original! :-)

  23. @OldNat

    You said “…This has to be one of the most bizarre discussions ever on UKPR…”

    Since I deadpan discussed the boobies of Wendy Williams on UKPR not 48 hours ago, this is plainly not the case.

    You said “…The assumption that Hitler would have wanted to “live” in any part of Britain, if he had won – instead of continuing to live in Germany – suggests a kind of cultural arrogance that “of course” a conqueror of these islands was simply doing so to move to a better housing location….”

    It’s not *my* assumption: I was addressing the (plainly bonkers) statement by Nick Robinson that German Forces HQ UK was to be in the Midland Hotel, Manchester. Apparently they were to be in London, Birmingham, Newcastle, Liverpool, Glasgow and Dublin (they would have created a United Ireland after occupation of Britain and Ireland).

    So Nick Robinson (not for the first time) is being a sillybilly.

    Regards, Martyn

  24. @ Old Nat

    If we are both right, then you are in deep doo-doo.
    Absolutely. Personally, I think Johann Lamont has taken a long walk off a short pier, politically speaking…. I think she’ll need Ken Mac to throw her a lifebelt. If I were him, I wouldn’t :evil: but he is a much nicer person than I.

  25. MARTYN

    But you assumed that Hitler wanted to “live” in these islands because he would have an HQ here?

    Did he “live” in German Forces HQ in Norway, Denmark, Belgium, Luxembourg, France etc etc?

    I highlighted “live” for good reason. A military HQ is placed according to strategic considerations. You still haven’t explained why Adolf would have wanted to move here – had he been chatting to a 1940’s Phil Spencer?

  26. @ Old Nat

    The Tories have helpfully provided the interesting idea that not having free prescriptions & free further education could give Scottish people a penny off their income tax. So, if you earn about £20k* you’d save ~£100 a year. Does Ruth Davidson really think that ~£100/ year when you are on ~£20k is too much to pay towards free prescriptions for everybody including ‘yourself’ & any family ‘you’ support)?

    And that’s only prescriptions, it doesn’t even include the further education piece of the puzzle!

    *£20.8k is 2012 ave earnings in Scotland, I believe.

  27. Amber

    Had I still been Lab, I’d have voted for Ken too – though with a heavy heart. He doesn’t show much sure-footedness around difficult issues either. For example, attacking civil servants for being SNP clones, when you hope that they will be advising you in future, isn’t very clever!

    Frankly, I don’t understand the bitterness between lots in your party – and a fair number in mine – towards each other. I really can’t see that the constitutional issue should cause that – and there shouldn’t be any other divisive factor.

    It’s just one of the political issues that needs to be debated and decided.

  28. Amber

    Ruthie’s “helpfulness” is just another nail in Johann’s coffin.

    Of course, hard decisions have to be made in politics – How much do you raise through taxation? Is the taxation policy progressive? (neither Council Tax itself nor its freeze are very progressive!). Do you adopt a Victorian charitable approach, or a universal benefit one to social need?

    Simultaneously, any government has to recognise that it has to work in a globalised world. They have to take into account the taxation policies of other countries, and high taxation of income that can be easily transferred to another jurisdiction is unlikely to be effective.

    But Lamont’s stance appeared to be that we need to just live within whatever Westminster sends back to Scotland.

    Whether her planned commission on further powers for Holyrood (so why the Calman nonsense?) produces anything that the Tories and LDs agree with, we will wait to see,

    If it does, her “something for nothing” speech was stupid. If it doesn’t, then a 3rd toxic party in Scotland is likely.

    I don’t like “establishment” political parties anyway. If the SNP gains too much from the open goal that Lamont has given them, then I’ll move to the Scottish Greens after the referendum.

    See you there? :-)

  29. @ Old Nat

    Not sure how green I could be…

    But if Mark Serwotka carries through with his plan to start a new party of the left, if Labour continues to disappoint him, I might just sign up! You might think about it too, actually. :-)

  30. Amber

    We’re back to the constitutional divide then? :-)

    Is Serwotka backing Devo Max, or Brit centralisation, or has he even thought about that political dimension?

  31. Time for bed in Ultima Thule. My cave beckons! :-)

  32. @Old Nat

    Ruthie’s “helpfulness” is just another nail in Johann’s coffin.
    Indeed, that’s exactly the point which I was making! The arithmetic isn’t difficult is it? People on average & below average earnings would be unlikely to benefit from swapping free prescriptions for a tax cut.

  33. @ Old Nat

    Good night, m’dear. :-)

  34. @ Billy Bob (and anyone else interested in the U.S. Presidential election)

    I want to briefly (I hope) explain some confusion about early voting, absentee voting, and its impact on election results as well as its reflection of the current state of the polls. I feel there’s a lot of confused and poor analysis of this. Even Rachel Maddow gets it wrong and she’s a frickin’ genius.

    Despite talk of early voting as locking up votes, the winner of the early vote doesn’t neccessarily win the campaign. Nor does early voting neccessarily reflect the current state of polling. This is because early voting typically attracts the most partisan and loyal voters who care about their candidate. Case in point, in Iowa (a state that’s currently getting lots of media attention), Democrats won the early vote in 2004 and 2010 and yet lost the state in both elections. A strong Romney vote and a strong Obama vote will be the same whether cast today or cast on election day. And votes are only locked up in the rare instances where a voter dies before election day or has some major emergency that prevents them from getting to the polls. This probably doesn’t mean all much in the grand scheme of things.

    That said, winning the early vote is still part of a successful campaign. Why? Well first of all, it helps make GOTV operations that much easier and that much more effective on election day. If you’ve already turned out a significant chunk of your voters, you don’t have to worry about them. Next, as voters vote (provided you’re tracking them of course), a campaign can save resources (you’re not going to send out a mailer to a voter who has already voted). Most importantly, you can focus your energy and resources on those voters who are truly undecided as you winnow down the numbers of strong supporters. Finally, any campaign should make sure that its staffers and strongest volunteer supporters vote early so that they can devote their time to election day activities.

    Now that said, the current early voting may benefit the President if it allows his campaign to turn out those voters who are leaning towards him but unlikely to vote. So Michele Obama’s GOTV rally in Iowa the other day (complete with the school marching band marching thousands of students to go out and vote) may be effective as part of the overall turnout strategy. I stress the word “may” here because many of these voters may have turned out anyway and may do so nationwide even in those states where voting is an election day only activity.

    Now, where the state of current polling can impact a race can take place in states that enact Permanent Absentee Voting. Now absentee voting is typically an affirmative act and requires a voter to actually request an absentee ballot. But in a few states (including my own), voters have the option of becoming permanent absentee voters where they automatically have a ballot sent to them for every election. In states that have this, polling on the day that these ballots go out is critically important. This is because for most of those voters, they will get their ballots in the mail, immediately open them up, fill them out, and mail their ballot back in. Only the truly undecided will hold onto them before sending them back in.

    Now, I don’t know if any swing states have this method of voting. I’d have to check. But in those states, the current polls will actually matter and current voting will be the actual locking in of votes.

  35. Goodnight, Sweet Scots, and angels waft ye to your psephologico-socio-economic dreams.
    i wonder if plain competence will win Ed the next election?
    Plus some incisive and realisable ideas on cutting where rotten low-hanging fruit or dead wood lie in the path of reform and fiscal stability? Start of the day here in Vientiane, where I creep sleepy eyed from my lotus bed, and turn befuddled to the problem of concession agreements with the Vietnam government which will override safeguard provisions for the indigenous people displaced by hydropower development in Mekong tributaries and feed the maw of the neighbouring tiger economy. Where,dear Leader, will 0.7% of GPD make a difference to this new colonialism? Are you listening CIA, to what’s happening on the Ho Chi Minh Trail?

  36. @ John Pilgrim

    What a marvellous comment; I’m now assuming that’s your job but also visualising you as a character in a John Le Carré book. Your name is perfect for that too!

  37. AMBER
    Oh God, I’ve lost my cover.
    Is this the place for indiscretions, strictly on the understanding that it is relevant to voting intentions?
    Well, not quite: research rather than intelligence; but try this for the Le Carre fit: visualise the agent in the Honourable Schoolboy visiting the US Air Base in NW Thailand during the Vietnam War; my near life experience included, same date, based in Bangkok for UNESCO to develop applied research at Chulalongkorn, invited by the Advance Research Project Agency (State Department and Pentagon) to visit Khon Kaen to discuss univeristy social science research (unlimited funding) on villages along the Cambodia/Lao borders, and flown up for the purpose on an American Airline plane with half a dozen thin lipped,suited men in dark glasses. The research they wanted was on village trails and village leadership structures in the border areas; other research being conducted by the Thailand Applied Scientific Research Agency for ARPA was on the impact of Agent Orange on forest canopies along the border. God knows what the Asia Foundation (CIA funded at that time) were doing.
    Thank god for the blessed S. Lawrie and S. Luke in the true miracle of the European win in the Ryder Cup last night; it must affect VI for any party advocating remaining in or at least communicating with the EU.

  38. Transparent attempt by the Telegraph to make Lab conference about Milliband’s supposed shortcomings.

    They haven’t got the Murdoch press on board though, and therefore the BBC won’t automatically follow suit. Most telegraph readers have already bought into the Socialists bad, cut taxes good Telegraph line and are probably the converted that proberbially get preached at all the time.

    Can the two Eds get real traction over the next year or two? They have every chance, I think. It’s not so much about this conference as about who gets listened to in the next twelve months or so.

    Will Cameron and his team (and even Boris) really look more competent than the two Eds? Only Boris amongst the Tories has the advantage of being excused from having to do anything. Everything is stacked in Labour’s favour here.

  39. @Amberstar/Oldnat – I recently read comments by an SNP member of the Treasury committee (Edinburgh parliament – I think his name was Robertson, but I could be wrong) who admitted that the SNP will need to have a long think about universal benefits and free tuition in the future as they basically unaffordable in the long term.

    He also alluded to the fact that Scottish universities would have a substantial funding black hole if SNP policies of independence within the EU came to pass, as they would then be unable to charge fees to English students, which are still an important income stream.

    There are some within the SNP who are honest enough to admit that the choices they are making are not written in stone, and I suspect that in a few years time, Lamont’s policy musings will be a good deal closer to accepted wisdom than they appear now. I suspect the difference will be that most people will have to accept the dropping of universality but without the tax cut.

  40. I am sad to hear about the death of Malcolm Wicks – he was a youngish man at 65.

    I am sure he had a built up a large personal vote in Croydon North. He was very active and prominent on local issues in the local paper. eg future of Mayday Hospital. His quotes were always measured. He also seemed to have developed pragmatic working relationships on Croydon issues with the two Conservative Croydon MPs Gavin Barwell and Richard Ottoway.

    He came out of the expenses issue very well.

    I suspect then the voting in the byelection may be masked by a considerable effect of the loss of his personal vote.

    Croydon North has a large non-white population and I wonder if a BME candidate will be selected for the Labour Party.

    PS Ryder Cup is not really my cup of tee but hope the EU team win- but I am very happy that Spurs won at OT – now I hope England win in Sri Lanka……

  41. @Martyn – “Du Cane Court, Balham? I suspect it’s an urban myth.”

    There is evidence that some modernist and art deco aparment blocks were designated on German maps… possibly they were distinctive enough to be used as navigational aids, but the inference is that they were to be preserved.

    Amenities like synchronised electric clocks and intercoms would make them ideal accommodation for the officer class of an occupying army.

  42. “The Markit PMI survey for September came in at 48.4, dropping further below 50, the mark that separates expansion from contraction. It fell short of analyst expectations of 49.3, and compares with August’s reading of 49.6.”

    I’m sure Alec will be able to add more details.

  43. Mike

    PMI was very low for euro countries as well, in particularly France. China is also showing contraction and the American durable goods index was horrific, only question is if the latest round of world wide QE can turn things around again and for how long. Policy makers are beginning to wake up to the fact that every new round of policy easing has decreasing effect and shorter lasting

  44. RiN
    Discarded the ‘green’ already?

    Global economic co-operation is needed. But it seems to me the UK gov are not interested in leading or participating in such co-operation. It seems to me [snip – AW].

  45. @Mike N – the PMI data is interesting. Overall, clearly bad news – it seems certain now that Q3 manufacturing will be in recession, possibly quite heavily so. The biggest drag on this set of figures is the continued slow down in export orders.

    On the brighter side, domestic orders are increasing in these latest figures, helping new orders overall to be slightly positive. This could indicate a domestic pick up in general. Set against that, there has been a sharp fall in the employment section of the figures. It seems pretty clear that manufacturing jobs are now being reduced quite sharply, and margins are also extremely tight.

    These figures are a mixed bag, but clearly negative on the whole.

  46. Very sad to hear of the death of the great historian and political thinker Eric Hobsbawm today, aged 95. I’m sure that there will be many at the Labour Conference in Manchester this week who will be as equally saddened as I am. What a life he led though. This from the BBC:

    “Born to Jewish parents in Egypt in 1917, the year of the Russian Revolution, Hobsbawm’s life and works were shaped by his commitment to radical socialism.

    His British father and Austrian mother moved to Vienna when he was two, then to Berlin.

    He joined the Communist Party aged 14, after he had been orphaned and was living with his uncle.
    “Anybody who saw Hitler’s rise happen first-hand could not have helped but be shaped by it, politically. That boy is still somewhere inside, always will be.”

    True to his beliefs all his life and much of his writing and thinking has been an inspiration to the British Left for nigh on 70 years.

    RIP Eric Hobsbawm.

  47. Amber/Ole Nat:

    Why don’t you two just exchange email addresses? That was an awful lot of boring Scotch stuff to have to skim past.

    Re. Hitler, according to Python he was at a South Coast b and b and I would imagine the fish and chips would have been a big draw.


  48. Yes Hobsbawn was a great historian and could generate more ideas on a page than most historians do in a book.
    He was one of that remarkable cadre of Jewish refugees from Nazism who had such a profound influence on British intellectual life. Many, perhaps most, were of a liberal or conservative disposition, such as the philosopher Karl Popper.

    Britain also received intellectual refugees from McCathyism, including Moses Finley, who was? the most influential ancient historian of his generation.

  49. The best? joke about nazis and fish & chips was in the Dad’s Army episode where our boys feed them to some captured Germans. The German commander gets soggy chips & threatens revenge when Britain is conquered etc.
    The punch line is Mainwaring telling the “stupid boy”: “Don’t tell him your name Pike!.” etc etc

  50. I think threatening revenge for soggy chips is better.

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