Full tables for the YouGov Sunday Times poll are now up here. Some of the European questions are, of course, rendered somewhat out of date by the veto, but there are some straws in the wind as to what we might expect the impact to be. There was a perception that Cameron should be tougher in negotiations – 44% of people think he should be tougher, 22% think he should try and work more closely with other European countries, 17% think he gets the balance about right (Conservative voters mostly think he should be tougher).

There was also a fair amount of trust in Cameron to negotiate in Europe – asked if they trust Cameron to look after Britain’s interests in Europe 49% of people say they do, 44% do not. Asked the same question about Clegg, 28% of people trust him, 63% do not.

59% of people think David Cameron is right to oppose an EU tax on financial transactions, 18% think he is wrong. This is, of course, not the specific issue that was at hand at the European summit, but is is a similar protecting British banks -vs- Europe balance (it is also interesting to contrast it with other polls showing support for the principle of a financial transaction tax – my guess is that it’s a case of people supporting a financial transaction tax when it is presented as a Robin Hood tax that will raise money for public services, or something that will punish naughty banks, etc, but when it is presented as something from the EU they oppose it).

However, there was also a perception that a closer monetary union in the rest of Europe would leave Britain sidelined – 51% thought it would, 21% thought it would not (what this doesn’t show is whether or not respondents viewed that as a particularly bad thing or not!)

The survey also asked about law and order and policing. It is relatively even on whether people think the government has done better or worse on crime than the last government. 25% think they have done better, 29% worse, 38% the same (the divisions, as one might expect, are almost wholly down party lines). 64% of people think that their local police force are doing their job well (this is part of a typical pattern, people normally rate their local services far more positively than questions asking about national services).

Unsurprisingly 76% of people think there should be more police visible on the streets. However, the question on whether problems are due to a lack of officers, or the wrong policies and priorities shows a very even divide. 40% of people think there are already enough police officers but their priorities are wrong; 37% think that the police’s priorities are right, there just aren’t enough officers.

YouGov’s daily poll for the Sunday Times has topline figures of CON 36%, LAB 40%, LDEM 11% – it’s a lower lead for Labour than we’ve seen in YouGov’s recent polls, but I’ll just leave that with my normal caveats about not reading too much into a single poll. It may be Labour’s increased hackgate lead receeding… or it may just be margin of error, and we’ll find Labour’s lead back to around 8 points tomorrow.

There is not much change from last week in how the political leaders are perceived as having responded to the riots – 45% think Cameron has responded well, 49% badly (from 45% to 49% last week), 42% think Miliband has responded well, 41% badly (from 40% to 40% last week). The standard leadership ratings for Cameron and Miliband remain largely unchanged too.

Most of the questions are still riot related – Almost half (48%) of people think the sentences for rioters are about right, with the remainder more likely to think they are too soft (31%) than too harsh (14%). On the specific case of the two men given 4 years a piece for failing to incite riots through Facebook, 32% think the sentences were too harsh, but 50% think they were right and 13% too soft.

Looking at further measures that have been suggested, 95% would support making those involved help repair the damaged caused, 81% would support naming and shaming those under 18s convicted, 81% would support making those convicted apologise to their victims. 68% would support stopping the welfare benefits of those convicted. On the question of evicting people who are convicted of rioting from council accommodation, 62% of people would support evicting tenants themselves if they involved in the riots, but this drops to only 34% when asked about evicting families whose children were involved in the riots.

Looking at longer term responses to the riots, 56% of people would support the re-introduction of national service, with 32% opposed (there is a strong correlation with age here, two-third of over 60s would support it, under 25s are marginally opposed to it). A national citizen service, requiring compulsory community work for all young people, is more popular – 77% would support it with only 14% opposed. There is less support for the government promoting marriage in the tax and benefit system – 39% think it should, 48% think it should not be the government’s place to promote marriage.

Moving to the topic of tuition fees, only 29% of people think that a university education is worth £9000 a year. However, they are evenly split on whether this means people will be better or worse off financially from going to university. 40% think graduates will still be better off as increased salaries will outweigh the costs of going to university, 42% think graduates will end up worse off.

Finally, on trains 79% of people think current fares represent bad value for money. 47% think the government should maintain rail subsidies, even if this means larger cuts elsewhere. 24% think that the government is right to cut subsidies.

Full tabs are here.


The post-riots polling continues to roll on – on yesterday’s Sun poll there were some questions on the sentencing of those involved in the riots (full tabs here and here).

Overall, only 12% of people think the sentences handed down so far have been too harsh. 49% think they are about right and 32% think they have been too soft.

YouGov asked about two specific cases that have received some comment – firstly the two men in Cheshire, who received 4 year prison sentences for creating pages on Facebook that encouraged people to riot in Warrington and Northwich (neither of which saw any riots in the end). In this case 25% thought the four year sentences were too harsh, 57% about right and 12% too soft.

The second case YouGov specifically asked about was a man sentenced to two years in a young offenders institution after breaking into a supermarket during the riots, and caught by the police before (they believed) he could steal some cigarettes. In this case 19% thought the two year sentence was too harsh, 61% about right, 14% too soft.

More generally, 70% of people think that the sentences being handed down in relation to the riots have been harsher than they would normally be (compared to 13% who think they are the same and 5% less harsh), however, the majority of people seem to think this is how it should be – 59% think the courts should be giving out harsher sentences for offences during the riots than they would have before, compared to 33% who think sentences should be the same.

On yesterday’s YouGov poll there were also some questions on the continuing aftermath of the riots – full tabs here.

First up, only 35% of people think that Bill Bratton should be allowed to apply for the Commissioner of the Metropolitan police job, 50% think he should not. YouGov asked a more generic question on the principle of whether it should be possible to recruit foriegn police chiefs at the start of the month and found only 20% of people did. So while asking specifically about a successful American police chief was (unsurprisingly) more acceptable than some unspecified generic foriegn policeman, it was still only acceptable to a minority.

Secondly YouGov asked about some of the suggested responses to the riots. There was extremely widespread support for giving the police the power to remove face coverings of those suspected of crimes (94%), of banning suspects from social media sites (79%), of stopping welfare benefits for people convicted of involvement in riots (71%) and of cancelling police cuts (70%). Support was less strong for the idea of evicted families from council houses where a member of the family was involved in riots – supported by 46%, but opposed by 40%.

Full results for the Sunday Times/YouGov poll are now up here. As you’d might expect, given it’s silly season and it’s the only story in the news, the focus is again on the riots.

On the regular leadership trackers there is little change – David Cameron’s job approval stands at minus 12 (from minus 14 last week, and typical of late), Ed Miliband’s is minus 18 (from minus 22, still holding onto the increase he got from hackgate), Nick Clegg’s is minus 42.

As in the Channel 4 poll yesterday the primary causes of the riots are seen as criminality, gang culture and bad parenting (all named by 61% of people when asked to pick the main causes, and the top three when asked to pick the ONE main cause). That is followed, a long way behind, by social deprivation (23%) and unemployment (18%). Very few people though that the government’s cuts (10%) or poor policing (11%) were amongst the main causes.

45% think Cameron responded well to the riots (52% badly), 44% thought Boris responded well (45% badly). These are significantly up on similar questions YouGov asked for the Sun when the riots were still ongoing, which had 28% saying Cameron was doing well and only 24% for Boris – people are presumably viewing their reactions a lot more positively now things have quietened down. In contrast Theresa May is still seen as having reacted badly to the riots (31% well, 53% badly). For the opposition, 40% thought Miliband did well (40% badly) and Harriet Harman 26% well, 44% badly.

66% think the police responded well to the riots, with 31% saying badly – again this is significantly up on YouGov’s poll for the Sun in the week when the number thinked they’d handled it well was 52%. Asked how much confidence they have in the police to protect people and property from rioters 53% of people have some or a lot of confidence, 37% do not have a lot of confidence, 9% have none at all.

On the police cuts 56% of people think they should be cancelled, even if this means bigger cuts elsewhere. 23% of people think they should go ahead. Amongst the COnservative party’s own supporters 47% think the police cuts should be cancelled.

Finally there were some questions on Cameron’s “broken society”. YouGov re-asked a question from back in 2009 about whether people though Britain was a broken society, in regard of the area people themselves lived in, and in relation to the country as a whole. 37% think it is true in relation to the area they live (which is significantly down from 2009 when YouGov originally asked the question) with people most likely to agree in London. 74% think society is broken in Britain as a whole, virtually unchanged from 2009. Comparing ourselves to other European countries, 38% of people think British society is more broken than in other countries, 13% that British society is stronger and more stable and 39% that they are much the same.

There is very little confidence in the government’s policies solving the problems of “broken Britain” – only 22% think the government’s education policies will improve or mend society, 27% their welfare policies, 26% their law and order polices and 22% their economic policies. In every case a larger proportion of respondents think the government’s policies will make the problems in British society worse.