The weekly YouGov/Sunday Times poll is now online here. Topline voting intention is CON 30%, LAB 39%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 15%. Most of the rest of the poll concentrated on immigration and calls for a broadcasting ban on Islamic extremists.

The Woolwich murder does not appear to have led to any increase in anti-immigration feeling – the public remain negative about immigration from Eastern Europe and from outside Europe… but no more negative than they were a few months ago. More interestingly YouGov also asked about people’s perception of whether immigration was rising or falling. Despite recent figures showing net immigration falling, the majority of people (59%) think that immigration has continued to rise over the last year or two, underlining how difficult it would be for David Cameron to convince people that he has met his targets on immigration even if does manage to do so. As I often say on here, public opinion is about perceptions of how the government is doing, which is not always the same as reality – the classic example is crime, which has been falling for about twenty years, but which all polls show people believe to be increasing.

Moving onto broadcasting bans, by 53% to 32% people think it was wrong for the BBC to interview Anjem Choudary so soon after the Woolwich murder, and more generally speaking 59% would support a ban on named Muslim radicals like Choudary from appearing on television or radio. An even higher proportion (76%) think that websites like Google and YouTube should refuse to link to sites encouraging extremist views.

Despite the support for such restrictions, people don’t necessarily think they would do any good (suggesting support for bans is perhaps more a way of people expressing their disgust at Choudary’s views than from people thinking it would do any real good). Only 38% think a broadcasting ban would be effective at stopping radical Muslims like Choudary from spreading their message, 49% think it would not. People are slightly more optimistic about the effect of mainstream websites like Google not linking to extremist sites, with 57% thinking this would be effective at stopping their message reaching people who may be influenced by it.

Overall 36% of people think that broadcasting bans or being excluded from mainstream websites would be an effective way of fighting terrorism, as people who may be radicalised would be less likely to be exposed to extremist messages. However, the majority (56%) think such bans might make us feel better… but wouldn’t actually help fight terrorism in the internet age.

336 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 30, LAB 39, LD 10, UKIP 15”

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  1. @ Jack R

    There was no problem accessing it in Hong Kong.

  2. @ Jack R

    Also, if you are there in internship, make some friendship and the friends will tell you how you can get around the problem (but I don’t think there would be).

  3. @ Rich

    Anthony absolutely dislikes going on about who does well and who doesn’t.

    EB handled the situation much better than I expected. On the other hand my dog didn’t like it at all and went out of the room (quite in contrast to when Kenneth Clarke turned up a month or so ago on the TV – probably because of the Hush Puppies).

  4. He did ok, the TV licence was a slip, but other than that ok. As I said I was being tongue in cheek. My point still remains that there were too many different benefits added in the Lab period, and that now of course makes it more likely they need to look at them individually based on a means basis, which undermines the universal point.

  5. LASZLO……..Your dog has impeccable taste.

  6. ken

    why doesn’t wossisname like luiz??

  7. PAULCROFT……..I don’t think José feels that he’s reliable enough, he pushes his luck with refs, and makes too many silly mistakes….although he is, of course, very talented.

  8. IMO, The removal of fuel benefit for the wealthy is Ed Balls lobbing another grenade into the Coalition; a reprise on the Mansion Tax.

  9. IMO CB11 and Alec have come closest to what the winter fuel allowance announcement from EB means.
    It was only an example and does not save much but one that is contrary to the Labour Parties approach to benefits since 1945.

    In this sense it is preparatory and says nothing is off limits to the membership when other firmer announcement come later.

    Labour can credibly take a year or 2 longer after 2015 to reduce spending than the GO/DA plans using the too far too fast mantra and pointing to the 2010-13 period in support (Many will disagree but it is credible and consistent). However, they will still need to find some of the extra cuts maybe as much as half to avoid charges of irresponsibility and scares over interest rates hikes etc sticking.

    Short Term polling impact – diddly.

  10. Rich.

    Apologies. Have had a day dealing with people who don’t do humour, so apologies for projecting their failings onto you.

    Actually, today’s discussions are likely to presage the 2015 battle-lines.

    Labour believe in universality of benefits on the principle that everyone should have a stake in the welfare state. But they are prepared to compromise some of that principle on the pragmatic grounds that needs must.

    The Tories believe that universality is fundamentally wrong. They believe that welfare should be a safety net for those at the bottom. And in general, people able to look after themselves should be left with more of their income to allow them to do as they choose.

    Both are principled stances. Both are constrained by the political realities that require them to make compromises.

    Wouldn’t it be a good 2015 GE if we accepted that assessment as a baseline and had a grown-up debate on where the balance should be?

  11. Haha, a grown-up debate on benefits. Don’t hold your breath, Lefty.

    In other news, Mike Hancock has just resigned the whip.

    Imminent by-election in Portsmouth South? It’s not a bad seat for the Lib Dems to have to defend- a Lib-Con seat with a solid 5,000 vote majority in 2010. Ukip already have enough of a presence to take a bite out of the Tories, but they’re probably not established enough to threaten the Lib Dems.

  12. I am looking forward to the election, and will be pragmatic if Labour get in.
    I agree with Jim Jim that this stuff today from EB is hardly likely to affect polling. I still reckon heading for a narrow Labour win, unless the economy is absolutely booming, which is still unikely despite the gradual recovery, but you never know, and as I keep saying to the over excited, you can’t predict anything two years out, fact!

  13. By Elections in Portsmouth South and Newark would be interesting, but not entirely conclusive. They’re must-defends for the Lib-Dems and Conservatives respectively, but not must-wins for Labour.

    Newark will gauge the basic horse-race between Labour and Conservative, the last time it was Labour was the 97 landslide so even a close race here is very bad news for the Conservatives. Portsmouth South will gauge how UKIP voters could affect Conservative seat numbers, and could puncture the idea that “the Conservatives will pick off enough seats from the Lib Dems to make up for some losses to Labour”.

  14. Meanwhile in the EU the anti-incumbency tendency is still very strong. Its last victim (after Malta in April): the previous Bulgarian government. In the GE of May, ruling GERB (center-right EPP) received 30.5% (-9.2) and 97 seats (-19)
    Socialists: 26.6 (+8.9), 84 seats (+44)
    Liberals 11.3 (-3.2), 36 seats (-2)
    Ataka (far right) 7.3 (-2.1) 23 seats (+2)
    Other r-wing (3 parties) 6.0 (-4.9) 0 seats (-25)
    Others (mainly new parties) 18.3 (+10.5), 0 seats.
    The failure of the minor right wing parties to get any seats, due to the fact that none of them crossed the threshold of 4%, produced a stalemate: The two center-left parties (Socialists and Liberals) got 120 seats, and the two right wingers, GERB and Ataka, ditto. Finally the Social-Liberal alliance managed to form the new gvt. because Ataka chose to abstain from the confidence vote, thus taking its revenge on GERB, which, in the previous parliament, had “seduced” a number of Ataka MPs into abandoning their party and joining GERB, thus granting them OM. So Plamen Orecharsky is the new Bulgarian PM (he is not the leader of the Socialists, their president is former PM S.Stanishev, actually the leader of Party of European Socialists in Brussels). Orecharsky is considered a moderate and was Finance Minister in the Stanishev gvt, of 2005-2009. Now, after this development, there are 12 Social Democrat heads of gvt in the EU, 12 EPP, 2 Liberals (Netherlands and Estonia) and 2 Conservative (UK and Czech Rep.). Fort the first time in years, the EU is not anymore dominated by the EPP. which paid the price of the fact that it had the greatest number of incumbent PMs. (It lost 4 o the Socialists in 2012, Slovakia, France, Romania and Lithuania, and already 4 in 2013, Slovenia, Italy, Malta and now Bulgaria), gaining during the 1.5 year period only 2 (Greece and Cyprus, from Independents and Far left respectively).

  15. Universal benefits are simply unaffordable, retirement benefits are unfunded by trillions of pounds.

    The government has promised retirement benefits it simply cannot afford to deliver. That needs to be unwound now, it will start with winter fuel allowances, and will gradually need to expand to eventually cover all state benefits (basic state pension, free nhs). Either the government can do it, or the IMF will come in and do it for us, which will be a lot more painful.

    The principle is correct – why should those earning the lowest pay taxes to support people earning many more times what they earn?

    Good to see some sensible economic truth at last from labour, but they seem to have forgotten the growth policies that will also be needed to reduce the coming pain.

  16. Obtaining some interesting results with (10,000) Monte Carlo simulations from the PM approval model…

    Taking the median three-month PM adjusted approval (47.8%) we have:-

    Central forecast
    Tory Popular Vote lead 2.3% (implied swing 2.5% to Labour)
    Labour seat lead 22 seats

    Chance Tories will lead in votes 99.1%
    Chance Tories will lead in seats 12.4%

    Chance of Labour majority (LDs 40 seats) 0.5%
    Chance of Labour majority (LDs 30 seats) 2.1%
    Chance of Tory majority (LDs 40 seats) 0.0%
    Chance of Tory majority (LDs 30 seats) 0.03%

    Chance of a Hung Parliament >97%

  17. CROSSBAT11
    “The scroungers v strivers debate is the antithesis of universal welfare. “Honest, hard-working families, playing by the rules and trying to do the right thing” don’t like paying taxes any more, so we’re told,”
    If this debate takes place in the press, rather than in parliament or other public debate, you have to wonder at the sub-text and who’s writing it.

  18. Universal benefits was born in an era of assumptions about a relatively fair, market-driven distribution of incomes and alongside institutional governance of corporate behaviour vs. private interest. EB’s wf allowance grenade was, I suspect, also lobbed into the board rooms where rules and decisions are, for the past our decades or so, made which foster the obscene differences of income which now divide our society.

  19. “our” – four
    (sticky f)

  20. @ Billy Bob

    Not to be a gossip columnist but…..

    Kinda sad. I met her personal physician right before the election (he was giving money to her opponent). He told me that she had gone really nasty because one thing she wasn’t really good at was getting a job. Though he suggested that she might get hired as a lobbyist. My feeling was, hey, being a lobbyist is GREAT work. So I’m glad to see that she’s found a job (likely pays her FAR more than she earned in her previous one). She won’t starve or have to return $5000 dresses to boutiques on El Paseo. And I’m glad she’s not working in the same firm as her ex-husband.

    h ttp://

    You almost wonder if like, they had all this newfound time on their hands to actually get to know each other and sat down and decided “omg, I cannot stand you at all!”

    There are a couple of House members who I think of as role models for me but then I’ll also jokingly refer to them in casual conversation as “my future husband” (cause’ they’re both oh so single and gorgeous). Then I think to myself, if I got really lucky in life (or if god or karma or whatever leads me to a big reward), I’d get one or the other but not both. Then I read that article and realize, maybe luck is getting one or other and not both.

    I’m reminded to of what happened to the last Gwen Dunwoody. She was the country doctor’s wife, became an MP herself. Then in 1970, she and her husband both lost reelection and they ultimately split up. And she was the one who wound up being an MP again and not him.

  21. What is it with politicians and sex scandals ? Are they worse than any other professions or is it just that they will be subject to media reports ?

    I see in Todays Sun, that there is a report of a tribunal where a Tory MP is alleged with his wife to have tried to engage in a threesome with a lesbian nanny, against her will. This caused the nanny to leave her employment.

    Last night it was reported that Mike Hancock had resigned the Lib Dem party whip, following allegations of a sexual assault.

    I suspect that Labour politicians have had their problems as well, so it is not a party issue.

    Does the power of being a politcian make them act in an unacceptable way or are they no different to any other profession ? If you took a look at any 650 sample within a profession, I suspect that you would find a similar story.

    The appearance of sleaze is a problem for a political party and does affect polling. There has been a number of recent stories mostly affecting Tories, so will it start to impact on polling ?

  22. Not often I agree with Michael Meacher but as he says it’s a trivial cut of £100 million in a deficit of £122 billion.

  23. GMB failing to appreciate the symbolism of it.

  24. @ Wolf

    The problem is that almost every cut is trivial compared to 122 billion.

  25. If you’re going to restrict winter fuel benefits for ‘rich’ pensioners (i.e. those on the 40% or 50% income tax thresholds) then surely it would also make sense to do away with child benefit etc. for those ‘rich’ parents and families who pay at the 40% or 50% tax income rate???
    I don’t know of you missed it but if you had children and had one family member on more than £50K a year you would be aware that the Government has already done this.

    Unfortunately some 900,000 people effected have yet to de register for the payments ,which under the daft system change you have to individually do ,which is going to be a nightmare in April 2014/15 when HMRC asks for it all back with additional tax bills running into the Thousands.

    Strangely enough I don’t recall any richer pensioners groups clamouring about the imposition of a child tax on higher rate tax payers with children but seemingly think it is appropriate to have assistance with their fuel bills when the other allowances and absence of NIC contributions +stater pension make them at least £200 a week better off than an individual of working age on the same pre tax income.

    BTW Latest YouGov / The Sun results 3rd June – CON 31%, LAB 38%, LD 10%, UKIP 16%;

  26. The reason for people’s perception of increased immigration, despite figures to the contrary, may be due to the number of immigrant children being born in this country.

  27. Morning everyone.

    @BTW Latest YouGov / The Sun results 3rd June – CON 31%, LAB 38%, LD 10%, UKIP 16%;

    How interesting that yet again the Labour VI is well below the often rounded 40% and the lead is 7% – still a good lead in general terms BUT a slight ‘trend’ is appearing.
    As ever we have to wait for other polls to see a firm ‘trend’

  28. @SoCalLiberal

    Thanks for the update about Mary Bono Mack.
    I wonder if the nastiness came more from her campaign manager… it’s not a criticism as such, but I detected brittleness if anything. The young Mary Whitaker married a famous guy twice her age back in 1986 – was it really her idea to fill his shoes in Congress or did she just go with the flow, and the GOP agenda ever since 1998?

    A few months after Sonny Bono’s death she had taken up with Greg Baxley (though his name doesn’t seem to have a lot of cachet), and straight after him it was Connie Mack IV.

    Seventh Hottest Politician in the World according to Maxim in 2008 (Maxim’s world is propably quite small though). The lobbying gig is with FaegreBD Consulting (issues involving energy, internet privacy and technology). I always preferred Raul Ruiz for CA 36, but that doesn’t stop me wishing her well in her personal life.

  29. STEVE

    @”Strangely enough I don’t recall any richer pensioners groups clamouring about the imposition of a child tax on higher rate tax payers with children ”

    A point well made !

  30. @Rich – “Come on Alec, that last bit is a tad partisan. Just wait until Labour support the inevitable fracking. What are you going to do then?!”

    I would rather hope not. In previous posts, I have often called for a limit on any donations to political parties (including from Unions) of £5K. I remain open to the idea that something like a union could collect fees on behalf of individuals to pass on to a party, but I see the selling of access to a PM as corruption, I’m afraid, whichever party does it.

  31. KEN

    @”I thought England did well against Brazil, at the Maracana, the spiritual home of football, according to one of the commentators. We almost pinched a win, even with the presence of said scumbags.”

    Cole is a very good footballer-but , for me, a very unappealing person. I thought that “captain for the day” thing was typically cringe making.

    To be honest, I don’t think Brasil were that good-but then I’m old enough to remember when they were unbelievably good. I still remember the jaw dropping experience of watching the 1958 final on a friend’s tv. The names speak for themselves from the era which followed that game. -Pele, Garrincha, Carlos Alberto, Jairzinho, Tostão, Gérson , Rivelino.
    If you have been lucky enough to see those guys play, the more recent Brazilian sides are a pale shadow, without the sheer flair , individual brilliance & just sheer joy of playing the game.

    I thought England’s all too frequent inability to string passes together & keep the ball was depressingly familiar -and in the first half, only Hart saved them from a hammering.

    Second half they seemed to come out of their defensive frame of mind & looked much better. I like Cahill, MIlner, Carrick & of course your oldy Lampard. Walcott worked hard & Chamberlain’s goal was just reward. Pleased to see Rooney have a pop & see it go in.

    Yes-they did well in the second half-but I don’t think the Brasil of today is the bench mark for success.


    @”still a good lead in general terms BUT a slight ‘trend’ is appearing.”

    We don’t speak of such things here.

    We chant ” MOE “, until AW tells us to stop.

  33. Steve,

    I was aware, yes. But you can have a household income of £98,000 and still receive all child benefits. That was my original point.

  34. “Labour would risk losing as much support as it would gain by backing Tory spending plans – that’s the message from the latest question from the LabourList/Survation survey.

    The overwhelming majority of voters (63%) say that Labour backing Tory spending plans would have no impact on their vote at the next election. Only 18.1% say it would make them more likely to vote for Labour if Ed Balls backed Tory spending plans, whilst 19% say it would make them less likely to support Labour.”

    Labour List:-

    from :-

    It’s starting to get interesting .

  35. Another interesting piece from Labour LIst , identifying two features of Ball’s speech .

    It is the second one I find interesting.

    Is there a hint here that Balls will move to something like Debt % of GDP as one of his new “fiscal rules” for deficit & debt management?

    Of course it would need a timeframe attached to have any meaning. But if this does emerge it would be a step forward in my view & would make political difference on Public Finances Policy much less opaque than it currently is & allow for much more informative debate about the alternatives.

  36. I agree that universal benefits is something any government should look at closely it makes no sense to pay benefits of any type to people who have sufficient income for it simply not to make any difference.

    Having said that it’s those people who under the premise that if you pay over 40%-45% tax you should fall into that catchment area to have benefits withdrawn could be a problem for some.

    There will be many thousands of elderly people right on the cusp of those tax rates many living in larger properties with higher domestic bills than others, those people will be effected by withdrawing heating benefit.
    I can hear the cries of sell your house and get something smaller, but in some respects that’s the same argument used by government over bedroom tax which has so many people up in arms.

    People almost expect the Tories to be at the forefront of cutting benefits which needed to be done in my view, what we see now is EM realising they’ve lost the argument on welfare and is joining in with a cut of his own, but wrapped up in left wing class warfare by making it seem it’s an attack on the rich/middle class, knowing full well any future Labour government is unlikely to reverse any major benefit cut made by the coalition.

    For any government cutting benefit payments for one group or another is not easy thing to do it’s especially difficult for Labour as thay have universal benefit as a core principle of Labour values, which for them has been a thing Labour supporters could respect them for, how this will play out with there core voters and there own back benchers remains to be seen.

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