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Monday, March 02, 2009

EU moves into centre stage

Just taking a look at last week's YouGov poll, which showed that people believe reducing immigration, closely followed by reducing the powers of the EU, should be a Conservative government's top priorities.

The results are perhaps less surprising on closer examination of the options given to respondants (where is a more specific "Take tougher measures to reduce crime", for example) , but nevertheless are interesting for several reasons - in particular that, among Labour voters, reducing the EU's powers comes third, after helping families, and above tougher climate change measures and reducing taxes.

It's interesting to see evidence that as the recession bites, people's concerns about the EU become more pronounced - and arguably - according to this poll, not just in connection with their clear concerns about immigration in the wake of the 'British jobs for British workers' fiasco.

Reduce immigration 52 (62 Con, 42 Lab, 37 Lib Dem)
Reduce the powers of the European Union and increase the powers of
Britain’s Parliament 39 (52 29 26)
Do more to help families and restore traditional family values 34 (39 32 28)
Scrap Labour’s plans to introduce identity cards 26 (29 21 37)
Build more prisons so that criminals can serve longer prison sentences 25 (25 23 19)
Reduce taxes 24 (23 23 28)
Take tougher measures to help the environment and avert climate change 20 (13 26 35)
Give local voters the right in referendums to keep down increases in council
tax 17 (15 17 19)
Bring back state-funded grammar schools and the 11+ exam 10 (14 7 11)
Reduce spending on public services 7 (11 6 9)
None of these 3 (1 7 1)
Don’t know 4 (1 3 1)

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