Three intriguing opinion poll results that made me go, “Hmm, really?”

Looking through some of YouGov’s recent poll results (as you do on a summer’s evening during the Olympics), a trio of responses struck me as, well, slightly bizarre. See what you think…

Lib Dem voters LEAST LIKELY to think Britain is best at cricket, MOST LIKELY to think we’re best at cycling

This may simply be a reflection that ‘Britain’ does not play cricket. Or perhaps just a subjective viewpoint: after all, England is currently ranked the best test cricket team in the world (though fourth in one-day internationals); while the poll took place towards the closing stages of the Tour de France with the British Team Sky cyclists dominating. In the circs, how do you judge which Britain is ‘better’ at?

Lib Dem voters are THREE TIMES more likely to walk to work than Labour or Tory voters

I imagine there are demographic and/or geographical explanations for this…?

Lib Dem voters MOST LIKELY to think it’s wrong to ask a tradesman for a discount if you pay ‘cash in hand’

Intriguingly, there’s a pretty slim difference between the two questions yet quite a big difference in responses.

The first question explicitly makes it clear that both the customer and the tradesman will benefit from illegally dodging tax, yet more than one-quarter of voters for all three main parties say there is nothing wrong with this. The second question implicitly makes it clear there will be tax-dodging (unless anyone seriously thinks the discount is equivalent only to the transaction cost-saving), yet more than half of all voters don’t think this is wrong. Lib Dems are significantly more likely than either Labour or Tory voters to believe in sticking strictly to the tax rules.

It seems public outrage against tax dodging is more a question of scale than morality: it’s wrong if millionaires like Jimmy Carr or Take That do it, but fair dinkum for the rest of us.

(All data from YouGov’s poll for 12-13 July 2012 and 26-27 July 2012.)

* Stephen was Editor (and Co-Editor) of Liberal Democrat Voice from 2007 to 2015, and writes at The Collected Stephen Tall.

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This entry was posted in Polls.


  • guy herbert 1st Aug '12 - 7:11pm

    I suspect you have a first approximation priggishness metric there. Green supporters not included, at a guess.

  • Does YouGov indicate whether any of this stuff is statistically significant? 20% of Lib Dem supporters is only about 2% of the whole, and the sampling error must be pretty large.

  • Margaret Rutter 2nd Aug '12 - 10:48am

    When will you poll for idea’s on the economy and when will notice be taken of the responses? Much more important to the Nation. than this poll.

  • uglyfatbloke 2nd Aug '12 - 5:27pm

    Only far to pint out that yougov is not the most reliable of indicators since the sample is self-selecting.

  • Peter Davies 4th Aug '12 - 8:42am

    The underground result is even more surprising given that much of London (including most of our Westminster seats and our only borough) are not served by the tube. Even given YouGovs methodology, the result that more than 100% of LibDem voters within walking distance of an underground station use it regularly is worth noting.

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