Podcast Ep. 88: Lefties Mount Uni Coup To Genetically Exterminate Tories

Right Dishonourable – Michael Gove Blob revenge

A poll revealing a rise in ‘Brextremism’ in both leave and remain camps, the alleged leftwing takeover of British universities, and a breakthrough in genetic medicine for preventing disease are the three topics this week.

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A quarter of Brits could support a military coup in the right circumstances

British soldier in Saber Strike exercise, June 2014 by US Army Europe

Britons are surprising open to a national coup in the event of an undesirable prime minister, abolition of the monarchy or disbandment of the armed forces, according to a survey by YouGov.

The pollster asked the public whether they might support the army taking control of the country in any circumstances, which revealed a quarter of Britons thought there were scenarios in which they might consider it, whilst half thought there were none.

British Coup Data, by YouGov

Unsurprisingly, Kippers proved to be the most coup-happy bunch, with 44 percent saying they could see themselves supporting a coup compared to the 40 percent who couldn’t, making them the only major national party with majority support for a coup.

Kippers were also more relaxed about the military disobeying civilian command, with almost half saying active members of the armed forces should not always obey civilian orders if they thought the instructions were misguided.

Despite widespread support for civilian control of the military, both the military and the police were more highly trusted to act in the interests of Britain than politicians.

Trust in police, army and pols, by YouGovFurther details of this survey, and a copy of the full results, can be found at the pollster’s website.

Image Credit – British soldier in Saber Strike exercise, June 2014 by US Army Europe

YouGov: Corbyn victory clears pilloried pollsters after general election disaster

Jeremy Corbyn touching God, August 2015 by the People Speak

After the debacle at the general election many were sceptical about pollsters’ ability to successfully predict elections – rather a drawback in the industries’ line of work.

Yet the rise of hard leftist Jeremy Corbyn to the head of the Labour party is now being pointed to as vindication for the formerly vanquished pollsters, with YouGov claiming to have been at the centre of the consensus that expected the North Islington MP to win the leadership contest.

YouGov’s breakthrough poll results were released on the July 21st, revealing that Corbyn stood at 43 percent of first preference voting, with that figure moving up to 53 percent by August 10th, later revised to 57 percent after Labour released details of the voter composition.

In the event Corbyn ended up with 59.5 percent of first preferences, more than triple that of rivals Andy Burnham (19 percent) and Yvette Cooper (17 percent) and distant loser Liz Kendall (4.5 percent).

In a snipe at the bookies, whose results are often thought to be safer than those of the pollsters, YouGov editor-in-chief Freddie Sayers said:

“You sometimes hear the claim that for an accurate prediction, follow the betting odds. ‘That’s where people are putting their money where their mouth is,’ people say. As the below chart from Ladbrokes shows beyond doubt, this is nonsense: the betting odds are simply a reflection of the mainstream expectation – and the evidence that sets those expectations is the polling evidence, in this case only provided by YouGov.”

YouGov Corbyn polling and bookies' odds

Sayers also defended YouGov’s record in the general election, where all the pollsters missed the main story that the Tories would waltz home with a slender majority and Labour would be left licking its wounds:

“At the general election in May, YouGov polling correctly forecast the stories of the unprecedented Labour wipeout in Scotland and the collapse of the Lib Dems, but underestimated the Tory vote share by about 3% and overestimated the Labour vote share by about 3%. It meant that we got the main story wrong, and we’re conducting a detailed review of why this happened and will make corrections accordingly.”

Whether this bragging sees off the idea that “polling is broken”, to quote YouGov’s phrase, remains to be seen.

Image Credit – Jeremy Corbyn touching God, August 2015 by the People Speak

Atheist Britain: Half of Britons reject afterlife

Tombstone in May 2014, by Jakub Jankiewicz

Belief in life after death appears to be diminishing in Britain as half of the country now claim an afterlife “probably” or “definitely” does not exist.

Research from the pollster YouGov shows 48 percent of the country does not believe in an afterlife, compared to 36 percent which thinks the opposite, and a remainder that is unsure.

By comparison, at the end of December 2012 almost half of Britons said they did believe in an afterlife, according to a survey by the University of London.

YouGov’s poll revealed some intriguing discrepancies between various political parties, with Liberal Democrat voters proving to be the most sceptical about life after death as almost two thirds said they did not believe in.

This was followed by Labour (50 percent disbelieving in afterlife), Ukip (46 percent) and the Conservatives (44 percent).

Proportion of UK party supporters that does not believe in afterlife, by YouGov

Proportion of UK party supporters that does not believe in afterlife, by YouGovYounger people proved to more sceptical about the afterlife than their older counterparts, and more men (57 percent) disbelieved than women (40 percent), which correlates with reports earlier this year that British women are more likely to be religious.

When asked whether they would end up in heaven and hell if such things existed, half of the survey respondents expected to walk through the Pearly Gates, whilst 10 percent thought they would be meeting the devil.

UK life expectancy hopes by YouGov

For the most part Britons were happy with the lengths of their life, with UK life expectancy only lagging around eight years behind the ideal of 90.

Commenting on the findings, Anne-Elizabeth Shakespeare an analyst at YouGov, said:

“Overall British people don’t want to live much longer than they are expected to – the median age people hope to live to is 90, while 27 percent want to live forever. Men, who have a lower life expectancy the world over, are more likely to want to live forever (35 percent) than women (21 percent).”

The full survey results can be viewed here.

Image Credit – Tombstone in May 2014, by Jakub Jankiewicz

Poll shows Labour and Tories could gain from polarised policy

Both Labour and the Tories would have more to gain than lose if they adopted more extreme policies on public spending, migration and American-led foreign wars, according to a poll by YouGov.

A fifth of voters said they were more likely to vote for Labour if they looked to grow the economy through a programme including public spending, while only 14 percent said the opposite.

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