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The Commons might be about to vote for Syrian air strikes but the public is becoming less convinced

December 2nd, 2015

Men strongly in favour – women much less certain

As we come to the crucial Commons vote on Syria there’s new YouGov polling in the Times this morning that suggests that support for British action is declining with, now, fewer than half of those sampled approving. YouGov had this at 48%.

The affairs impacting on the Labour leadership appear to have overshadowed the movement in opinion.

It’s hard to see the vote not going through but this latest survey will provide ammunition for those who are less convinced. This is from Peter Kellner’s Times article:

“… Last week, 59 per cent of Britons backed airstrikes; now the figure is just 48 per cent. That eleven-point decline equates to five million electors. The number opposed is up eleven points, from 20 per cent to 31 per cent. Every political and demographic group has seen a change, but two stand out:
· The gender gap has widened. Now men favour airstrikes by more than two-to-one (58-26 per cent), while women divide evenly: 39-36 per cent.
· Those who voted Labour in May have switched from backing military action by 52-26 per cent a week ago, to opposing it, by 42-35 per cent today.. *

So while Corbyn’s leadership ratings have collapsed (see last post) his position on what is the key issue of the day is getting more support.

My reading is that we are still seeing the effect of Tony Blair’s Iraq decision in 2003. People need to be convinced that what Cameron is proposing now is right for clearly understood reasons. It is more than a response to Paris.

Mike Smithson