Tuition fees vote has hurt Clegg

Ipsos MORI's Tuition Fees Vote Poll for the News of the World finds views of Nick Clegg's trustworthiness have plunged since the election, and half of Lib Dem voters less likely to vote Lib Dem in future because of the tuition fee issue.

Ipsos MORI's Tuition Fees Vote Poll for the News of the World finds views of Nick Clegg's trustworthiness have plunged since the election, and half of Lib Dem voters less likely to vote Lib Dem in future because of the tuition fee issue. The public also say MPs should not break the promises they made to get elected, even if they have changed their minds about what's best for the country. Lack of support for the increase Nearly two thirds of the public (64%) say they oppose the tuition fee increase, with just over a quarter (28%) supporting it. When asked to pick their preferred option for university funding, a third (33%) say they would like to keep the existing 1633,225 fee cap, one in five (21%) want free university education for all students paid for by a cut in the number of places. Few favour a graduate tax (14%) or the government policy of increasing the cap on fees to 1639,000 (12%). Impact of the increase Most people think it will affect people like them: 54% say it will make young people from families like theirs less likely to go to university. People with children are split about whether it will make them less likely to send their children to university: 46% say the increase will make them less likely to send their children to university and 40% say it will make no difference. The increase is thought likely to impact on young people from deprived backgrounds and middle income families:
  • 75% think it will make young people from deprived backgrounds less likely to go to university
  • 59% think it will make young people from middle income households less likely to go to university
  • 11% think it will make young people from higher income households less likely to go to university
Cameron and Clegg Two thirds (68%) agree that `MPs should never break the promises they made to get elected, even if they have changed their minds about what is best for the country'. Only a quarter (25%) disagree. Perceptions of David Cameron's trustworthiness have not changed significantly since the election campaign: 41% say he's trustworthy and 47% say he's not trustworthy. In April, 43% thought him trustworthy and 51% not trustworthy. By contrast, perceptions of Nick Clegg's trustworthiness have plunged. Only a quarter (25%) now think him trustworthy and 61% say he's not trustworthy. During the election campaign in April two thirds (66%) thought him trustworthy and 24% not trustworthy. Lib Dem support has been weakened by the tuition fee issue: almost half (46%) of those who voted Lib Dem in the election say they are less likely to vote Lib Dem in future because of tuition fees. By contrast, only one in ten (10%) who voted Conservative say they are now less likely to vote Conservative because of the issue. Criminal justice The public is split over key criminal justice reforms recently proposed by Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke. Nine out of ten (91%) support making offenders work regular hours in prison, and 82% support making offenders directly compensate victims of crime. Opinion is less clear cut on other measures: half (52%) support reducing the proportion of victims who are sent to prison by giving them tougher community sentences, but 44% oppose this. Half (52%) oppose removing the current 25 year minimum term for knife murders and letting judges set sentences, with 41% in support. The government is seen as too soft on crime (61% agree and 18% disagree). But there is an appetite for new approaches: nine out of ten (88%) agree that the government is right to look for new approaches, with only 6% disagreeing. Ipsos MORI interviewed a representative sample of 809 adults aged 18+ across Great Britain. Interviews were conducted by telephone 9-10 December 2010.  Data are weighted to match the profile of the population.

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