And 73% want the troops out of Afghanistan
A new 1,021 sample YouGov poll for Channel 4 where the fieldwork took place yesterday and today has a slightly increased Tory lead the result of Labour slipping a notch to 27% and the Lib Dems increasing by one point.
The total for “others” is at 16% but we do not know what the breakdown of that figure is. Even the detailed data released this evening does not specify what UKIP and the BNP, in particular, were recording. So all within the margin of error but from Labour perspective the trend is in the wrong direction.
The firm’s online polling panel filled in their questionnaires when the political news was dominated by the Tory change on the Lisbon referendum, the charges that they had broken a “cast iron guarantee”, and of course the tragic news from Afghanistan of the five killings by a policemen within a secure compound.
So the first conclusion is that the Tories don’t seem to have been damaged by the abandonment of the Lisbon treaty pledge in spite of fierce criticism being reported both from within their ranks and outside – perhaps reinforcing the point that very few voters regard Europe and EU-related issues as central to their view of the coming election.
The big news from Channel 4’s point of view is the response to the Afghanistan question. A total of 35% said all troops should be brought home immediately, 38% wanted withdrawal in “the next year or so”, and just 20% saying that they should continue there as long as the Afghan government wants them there.
Amongst the 55+ age group 77% wanted withdrawal either now or within the next year or so. There wasn’t that much of a split between party supporters on the question.
Normally YouGov polls have a sample of about 2,000. This latest survey is very much akin to the tracker polls carried out during the party conferences.
Update: Rounding and the “Others” total The figure for others was taken from the detailed data. The reason this does not add up to 100% is because of rounding.