So far two polls from the Sunday papers have appeared. First there is an Opinium poll in the Observer. In this case it was conducted from Wednesday to Friday, so was started before the government lost the Syria vote and obviously doesn’t have any questions related to the defeat. They found 24% supported British military intervention in Syria, 60% were opposed. The Observer article doesn’t mention any voting intention figures (though it does quote some crossbreaks by party support).

Secondly there is a Survation poll for the Mail on Sunday, which was conducted wholly on Friday, so after the defeat in the Commons. Voting intention there stands at CON 29%(+1), LAB 37%(+1), LDEM 11%(nc), UKIP 17%(-1) so no obvious impact on VI (changes are since the beginning of August).

Survation found 19% supported British military action against Syria, 65% were opposed. Asked how well or badly Cameron and Miliband had handled the crisis 29% thought Cameron had handled it well, 36% badly. For Miliband the figures were 27% well to 27% badly. Ed Miliband was seen as more in touch with public opinion on Syria (37% thought Miliband had been in touch compared to only 22% who thought the same about David Cameron), but asked more generally who’d they would trust to handle international crises, 40% said Cameron, 23% Miliband (37% said don’t know, presumably including people who wouldn’t trust either of them!)

Also in tomorrow’s papers will be the YouGov poll for the Sunday Times, which was also conducted after the defeat – I’ll update on that tomorrow.

Today’s daily YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 33%, LAB 37%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 12% (tabs here), the weekly Friday Populus poll meanwhile has figures of CON 33%, LAB 39%, LDEM 12%, UKIP 9% (tabs here). Needless to say, both polls were conducted before the government’s defeat over Syria, so are already a bit out of date.

We’ll know over the next few days what the impact of the Syria vote is on public opinion. Unlike many political events, it is at least something people notice (in the weekly Populus poll on what news stories people have noticed 61% said Syria), but it obviously isn’t something that directly affects many British people’s lives. Unless there are actual wars with widespread casualties, people tend to vote on things like the economy, health, taxes and so on, not on quarrels in a far away country between people of whom we know nothing. Perhaps of more interest will be the effect on perceptions of the party leaders (which, in turn, may have their own knock on effects on voting intention) – will it make people see David Cameron as a less effective leader, or Ed Miliband as a more effective one? I would be surprised if there wasn’t at least some negative impact on Cameron’s ratings, but whether that is long term or quickly forgotten is an open question…


Tonight’s YouGov poll for the Sun (£) has some fresh Syria questions, just tweeted out by Tom Newton Dunn and reported on Sky News. The public remain overwhelmingly opposed to British troops being sent into Syria, but more importantly the poll also asked specifically about whether people would support a missile attack on Syria. 50% of people would oppose this course of action, 25% would support it. Even Tories are against missile strikes by 45-33% (Labour voters are against by 54% to 26%, Lib Dems by 47% to 27%)

UPDATE: Tabs are now on the YouGov website here. Regular voting tabs are here – today’s topline figures are CON 34%, LAB 39%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 12%.

The weekly YouGov poll for the Sunday Times is now up online here. Topline voting intention figures are CON 32%, LAB 38%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 13%, showing the six point Labour lead that has been typical in YouGov polls of late. As well as regular trackers, today’s poll also has some questions on Syria and on the whole Edward Snowden, GCHQ, David Miranda, Guardian affair.

There is still minimal support for any intervention in Syria (if anything there is slightly less support than when YouGov asked the same questions back in May). While 77% would support sending humanitarian supplies to civilians in Syria and 41% would support sending protective clothing to troops fighting against Assad, a majority would oppose any other type of intervention – 58% would oppose sending small arms to the rebel troops, 74% would oppose sending British troops in Syria itself (just 9% would support military intervention on the ground).

A batch of questions on Edward Snowden and GCHQ show people pretty evenly divided on the principle of GCHQ’s behaviour, 41% think it is right that GCHQ should be able to listen into internet and communication data, 45% think it’s wrong. People are still split on whether the Guardian was right to publish stories about it – 40% think it right, 45% think it is wrong.

As the questions move onto the government and security services’s response, the destruction of the Guardian’s hard drives and the holding of David Miranda at Heathrow the balance of opinion moves slightly towards the security services. In questions about the Guardian hard drives people are, on balance, supportive off their destruction – by 54% to 23% they think it was sensible, by 41% to 34% they reject the idea it was pointless. Finally on the question of David Miranda’s treatment at Heathrow airport, 46% think the police were right to use anti-terrorism laws to detain David Miranda, 36% that they were wrong. 49% think it was a sensible use of powers to protect national security, 34% think it was a misuse of powers to interfere with legitimate journalism.

Also in today’s Sunday papers was an ICM poll in the Sunday Telegraph. The Telegraph article doesn’t make it clear, but I think this is actually one of ICM’s “wisdom index” polls (that is, rather than asking people how they would vote they ask people to guess what the percentages will be at the next election and average them) – the figures look more like ICM’s wisdom polls than their regular polls, and ICM don’t do standard voting intention online. For the record the poll has the Conservatives on 30%, Labour on 32%, Lib Dems on 16%, UKIP on 12%.

There is also an Angus Reid Scottish poll in the Sunday Express, already well written up by John Curtice here, which found current referendum voting intention standing at YES 34%, NO 47%.

Catching Up

I am back from a week’s holiday when I haven’t been posting much. To fill in what I missed, the most recent voting intention figures from Friday and today are:

YouGov/Sun – CON 32%, LAB 39%, LDEM 11%, UKIP 10% (tabs)
Populus – CON 30%, LAB 38%, LDEM 12%, UKIP 12% (tabs)
Opinium/Observer – CON 29%, LAB 36%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 18%

Also of interest from the last few days, YouGov found that only 20% of (over eighteen!) people supported reducing the voting age to 16, 60% were opposed. Earlier in the week there was also some YouGov polling on the David Miranda affair – people thought it was right that the security services had such powers by 66% to 22%, but by 44% to 37% thought David Miranda’s detainment was not an appropriate use of the law. That’s not to say the general public paid much attention to the Miranda affair – on Populus’s weekly poll of what news stories people noticed only 4% mentioned it, with Egypt (18%), the Peru drug smuggling girls (15%) and Syria (13%) the most recalled stories.