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Trends in Income Tax and EU Referendum Polling

 

Wales Online are today running some findings from a new poll they have conducted with YouGov. The main feature of their story is attitudes to immigration, where – consistent with other evidence – they show considerable hostility to immigration in Wales, with such attitudes particularly strong among more working class respondents. This may, as some have commented on here amongst other places, help explain why UKIP found such a ready reception in the European election campaign.

The poll also asked two referendum questions: about how people might vote in a referendum on income tax powers for the National Assembly, and how they might vote in a referendum on Britain’s EU membership. In neither case do the findings seem greatly out of line with previous recent polls on the subject. However, to help contextualise the results and the discussion in the news story, I thought the following might be useful: tables with the results of previous recent surveys on both matters (with details on the exact question wording and other matters below the tables).

 

Wales, Tax Referendum Polls

Poll

% Yes

% No

% DK/ NR

% ‘No’ Lead

ITV-Wales/YouGov, February 2013a

39

34

27

-5

ITV-Wales/WGC/YouGov, December 2013b

35

38

26

3

Western Mail/Beaufort, December 2013c

32

30

38

-2

ITV-Wales/WGC/YouGov, Feb 2014d

31

42

28

11

ITV-Wales/WGC/YouGov, May 2014e

33

39

28

6

Walesonline/YouGov, June 2014f

34

41

25

7

 

a.       Internet poll conducted by YouGov for ITV Wales. Number of respondents = 1007. Question asked: “If there was a referendum tomorrow on giving the National Assembly for Wales powers to raise or to lower the levels of income tax in Wales, how would you vote?”

b.      Internet poll conducted by YouGov for ITV Wales. Number of respondents = 1001. Question asked: “If there was a referendum tomorrow on giving the National Assembly for Wales powers to raise or to lower the levels of income tax in Wales, how would you vote?”

c.       Face-to-face poll conducted by Beaufort Research for the Western Mail. Number of respondents = 1022. Question asked: “The UK Government says it will pass a law to enable a referendum to be held on whether the Welsh Government should be able to vary rates of income tax up or down in Wales. If such a referendum were held tomorrow, how would you vote?”

d.      Internet poll conducted by YouGov for ITV Wales. Number of respondents = 1250. Question asked: “If there was a referendum tomorrow on giving the National Assembly for Wales powers to raise or to lower the levels of income tax in Wales, how would you vote?”

e.       Internet poll conducted by YouGov for ITV Wales. Number of respondents = 1092. Question asked: “If there was a referendum tomorrow on giving the National Assembly for Wales powers to raise or to lower the levels of income tax in Wales, how would you vote?”

f.        Internet poll conducted by YouGov for MediaWales. Number of respondents = 2270. Question asked: “If there was a referendum tomorrow on giving the National Assembly for Wales powers to raise or to lower the levels of income tax in Wales, how would you vote?”


Wales, EU Referendum Polls

 

Poll

% Remain

% Leave

% DK/ NV

% ‘remain’ Lead

ITV-Wales/YouGov, February 2013a

42

35

22

7

Western Mail/Beaufort, June 2013b

29

37

35

-8

WGC/YouGov, July 2013c

39

40

21

-1

ITV-Wales/WGC/YouGov, December 2013d

38

40

22

-2

ITV-Wales/WGC/YouGov, Feb 2014e

44

33

23

11

Walesonline/YouGov, June 2014f

41

38

22

3

 

a.       Internet poll conducted by YouGov for ITV Wales. Number of respondents = 1007. Question asked: “If there was a referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union, how would you vote?”

b.      Face-to-face poll conducted by Beaufort Research for the Western Mail. Number of respondents = 988; Questions asked: “If there was a referendum on the United Kingdom’s membership of the European Union, how would you vote?”

c.       Internet poll conducted by YouGov for Wales Governance Centre, Cardiff University.. Number of respondents = 1012. Question asked: “If there was a referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union, how would you vote?”

d.      Internet poll conducted by YouGov for ITV Wales. Number of respondents = 1001. Question asked: “If there was a referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union, how would you vote?”

e.       Internet poll conducted by YouGov for ITV Wales. Number of respondents = 1250. Question asked: “If there was a referendum tomorrow on giving the National Assembly for Wales powers to raise or to lower the levels of income tax in Wales, how would you vote?”

f.        Internet poll conducted by YouGov for Walesonline. Number of respondents = 2270. Question asked: “If there was a referendum tomorrow on giving the National Assembly for Wales powers to raise or to lower the levels of income tax in Wales, how would you vote?”

Comments

  • J.Jones

    I notice that Beaufort is out of step, particularly on “Don’t knows”. This may be a problem with internet polls; that they reflect the views of people who are reading news. Yougov have a self selecting poll base which seems to be more inclined to vote and is better informed; they therefore more closely reflect actual outcomes whilst random selection face to face finds the people who are out of the loop and less likely to vote/hold an opinion.

    The sobering underlying message may be that Wales is even more ignorant of Welsh politics than Yougov finds.

    • Roger Scully

      Well, I think there may be two issues here.

      One is the nature of the samples. Internet polls are conducted through people recruited into panels, and they do seem to be somewhat more leaning towards the politically motivated and interested. That does suggest that levels of knowledge and interest are probably even worse than their findings indicate.

      The second issue, though, is how well certain types of questions work in particular survey modes. Complex questions having multiple answer options, or ones that touch on issues that most people won’t be familiar with, are potentially problematic on telephone. With the internet, or indeed face-to-face sampling, there may be more opportunity for people to look at the options and consider them for a bit.

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