In the news this week

June 16, 2011, 5:34 PM GMT+0

The latest YouGov poll undertaken on behalf of the Sunday Times covers some of the main news stories this week: the death of bin Laden and the AV Referendum. The poll also looked into attitudes to Water Companies, and polled football fans on the World Cup bid decision and whether bribery was involved.

AV Referendum: The future of the Coalition

We polled British adults on their perception of the AV referendum campaign and how it has affected the standing of the major politicians. As can be imagined, people perceive Nick Clegg’s standing to be the most damaged of all the leaders with an overall net score of -47 (calculated by those who said his standing had improved minus those who said it had been damaged. Only 7% think his standing has improved, 21% say there has been no change, whilst the majority of people, 54%, say it has been damaged by the campaign.

Fellow Liberal Democrat Chris Huhne, has also been perceived as taking a knocking during the campaign, with an overall net score of -16 (8% improved, 29% unchanged, 24% damaged), followed closely by David Cameron with a net score of -11 (19% improved, 34% unchanged, 30% damaged). Ed Miliband is seen as the least damaged by the campaign, although still with a negative overall net score of -4 (18% improved, 39% unchanged, 22% damaged). Whether Ed Miliband managing to come away relatively unscathed can be put down to his running a clean campaign or due to his relatively low profile throughout the campaign compared to the other leaders is up for debate.

The Coalition is in rather a lose lose position in terms of the referendum debate - interestingly people think the Coalition will be destabilised no matter the outcome of the referendum, if the No Campaign wins, 54% think it will destabilise the Coalition; and if the Yes Campaign wins, 53% think it will destabilise the Coalition.

People are divided as to the future of Nick Clegg as Deputy Prime Minister if the No Campaign were to win – many people, 42%, think he should stay even if the No Campaign win, but 17% think that he should resign if No wins, and 1 in 5 thinks he should resign regardless of the outcome.

This division is mirrored for Chris Huhne – a third of people (34%) think he should stay as Secretary of State even if the No campaign win, but 15% think that he should resign if the No campaign wins, and 16% think he should resign regardless.

Most people feel the likelihood of the Coalition to last the full 5 years has been damaged by the referendum campaign – 42% say that it now less likely to last, whereas only 2% say they are now more likely to last. 26% think that the referendum campaign has made no difference and that the Coalition is still likely to last until full term, and 17% think that it makes no difference as it was never likely to last.

Overall people are divided as to how the Lib Dems should behave in the coalition going forward - a quarter of Brits (24%) say that the LibDems should now leave the Coalition altogether. 30% think that they should remain in Coalition but refuse to back policies they oppose, whilst a third of people think that they should remain in the Coalition and compromise.

In terms of Liberal Democrat voters – only 9% think that they should now leave the Coalition, whilst almost half (48%) think that they should remain in Coalition but should refuse to back policies they oppose, whilst 36% think that they should continue to compromise.

As to which party has gained and which has lost by going into Coalition, people are clear – 50% of Brits think that the Conservative Party has gained, whilst 37% think the Conservative party has lost. This rises to 59% of Conservative voters who think that the party has gained from the partnership. For the Liberal Democrat party only 21% British people think that the party has gained whilst overwhelmingly 68% of Brits think the party has lost out.

Whether David Cameron should now give more concessions to the Liberal Democrats, this divides people, although it is clearly a favourable option amoung Lib Dem voters with 73% thinking he should give concessions compared to only 17% of Conservative voters who think he should.

The death of bin Laden: The world a safer place?

Turning to the death of bin Laden, the majority of Brits (72%) believe the announcement that he is dead, whilst 14% suspect that he is still alive. British people are also in agreement with the US Government that it should not publish pictures of the body with 55% saying they should not publish and 34% saying they should publish.

Attitudes have shifted slightly in the past week away from the US forces decision to kill Bin Laden towards the option of taking him alive and putting him on trial. When we asked on the 3rd – 4th May whether US forces were right to set out to kill him rather than putting him on trial 55% said they were right whereas 32% said they were wrong, giving an overall net score of +23. Today we find a lower net score of +11 (52% right, 39% wrong).

People remain unconvinced that the world is now safer, the majority of people (60%) feel that the death of Bin Laden has made little difference to the safety of the world. A quarter of Brits actually think that the world is less safe, and only 12% think the world is now safer. In terms of Britain, 55% think that his death has made the threat of a terrorist attack in Britain more likely. Only 3% think that an attack is now less likely, and 37% think that it has made no difference.

In terms of Pakistan itself, 84% have little or no trust in the Pakistani Government to deal with terrorists inside their country and 68% think that it is wrong for the British Government to give them aid.

Water Companies and Freedom of Information

Attitudes to sewage spills are on the side of greater information for the public. The overwhelming majority (86%) think that water companies should always provide information on spillages of raw sewage wherever they occur, only 10% think that they should not have to unless there is a clear health threat. Again, 89% think that Water Companies should alert bathers as soon as there is a spill near a beach, even if there is no threat to public health, only 7% think they shouldn’t have to. And 94% believe that bathers should be informed when raw sewage is let out into bathing waters.

64% think that Water companies have not done enough to upgrade their systems when heavy downpours overwhelm their sewage system, only 16% think they have probably done enough, to cope with a relatively rare event.

Information about spillages should come under the Freedom of Information Act says 85% of Brits, only 5% think that freedom of information act should not involve private companies.

Football Fans and the World Cup Bid

In our polling about the World Cup decision, we asked those who are quite or very interested in international soccer matches played by their country whether they think the decision to hold the 2018 and 2022 World Cups was fair or unfair. Only 10% think the decision was fair whereas 74% think it was unfair. 54% of football fans think that the Executive Members did take bribes and a further 36% think they were prepared to take bribes but are not actually sure whether they did. Only 2% think the Executive board are honest and not open to bribery.

Greater transparency is wanted by 79% of football fans, who think that the public should be able to see which bids members of FIFAs executive committee voted for, whereas only 13% think that they should not.

If it is found that there has been corruption in the decision for the location of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup games, 73% of fans think that the decision should be rerun, whereas 19% think that the decisions should stand. Of football supporters polled, 77% think that Sepp Blatter the current president of Fifa has refused to reform Fifa and should step down. Only 4% think that he has served sport well and should continue.

See the survey details and full results here