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

by Stephen Tall on August 1, 2012

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 Tall is Co-Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice, a Research Associate for the liberal think-tank CentreForum, and also writes at his own site, The Collected Stephen Tall.