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Only 5% believe spending cuts are to to blame for this week's riots

By Tim Montgomerie
Follow Tim on Twitter.

That's the finding of a YouGov poll for tonight's Channel 4 News.

ICM have also carried out a poll for The Guardian asking similar questions and their 'league of blame' is topped by criminality:

  • 45% said the main reason was "criminal individuals";
  • 28% a lack of respect within families and communities;
  • 8% unemployment;
  • 5% the shooting of Mark Duggan in Tottenham;
  • 4% the government; and
  • 2% the economic situation.

If those numbers will be a relief to the Coalition other ICM findings will be more worrying for both the PM and the Mayor of London. 44% thought Cameron did a bad job dealing with the riots and only 30% a good job. For Boris Johnson the numbers were 38% (bad) to 28% (good).

The police do better in the ICM poll than the politicians but, according to that YouGov/ C4 poll 84% don't think the police were tough enough. The overall mood for strong action against the offenders is very strong:

"More than two-thirds believe the mums and dads of under-18s who are convicted of an offence should be prosecuted. Eighty-two per cent think those convicted of criminal damage should be sent to jail and 91 per cent want looters to serve time behind bars."

10.30pm: The third poll of the evening comes from ComRes for The Independent. ComRes' most interesting findings are summarised below. On policing it's clear that the Government needs to find a better way of defending its policy. 


Saturday update:

ComRes has new polling out tonight, for the Sunday Mirror/Independent on Sunday. The key findings are:

On the Government's response:

  • Government ministers failed to return to their desks quickly enough from holidays - Agree: 61% / Disaree: 24%
  • David Cameron and the Government have handled the response to the riots well - Agree: 29% / Disagree: 48%

On the Government's economic plans:

  • The Government's response to the economic crisis (eg, cuts to services, unemployment, reduced education funding) is helping fuel the rioters - Agree: 50% / Disagree: 36%
  • Plans to cut the police service in London by 20 per cent should be reversed immediately - Agree: 70% / Disagree: 13% 


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