Peter Hoskin

The Royal Wedding by numbers

The Royal Wedding by numbers
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I know, I know, it's deeply unromantic to anticipate tomorrow's Royal Wedding through the prism of opinion polling. But as no one ever said that a political blog has to be romantic — and as there are some quite noteworthy findings among all the data — we thought we'd put together a quick round-up for CoffeeHousers. So here goes:

1) The guest list.
There has, I'm sure you've noticed, been quite some hubbub over the fact the Gordon Brown and Tony Blair haven't been invited to the wedding — especially in view of the Syrian ambassador's invitation, since withdrawn. But some new polling from YouGov — highlighted by PoliticsHome — suggests that the public agree with the twin snub for our former PMs. According to their results, the New Labour duo are among the most unsuitable invitees for the occasion, surpassed only in unsuitability by Tara Palmer Tomkinson. I wonder where the Syrian ambassador would have featured, had he been included in the line-up:

2) Supportive, but not that interested.
Across all the polling companies, there's general support for the idea of the Royal Wedding and its effect on the country. ComRes, for instance, have 62 per cent of their respondents agreeing that it's good for Britain, with 64 per cent saying that it's good for the economy. ICM, meanwhile, have 74 per cent saying that it will lend the national psyche a "strong feel-good factor." But people don't seem to be that personally wrapped up in the Wedding. YouGov have 43 per cent interested in it, against 56 per cent who aren't. What's more, 55 per cent say that the media coverage is "too much," with only 2 per cent saying that it's too little.

3) The Royal approval ratings. Courtesy of YouGov:

4) The Monarchy itself. Would people prefer a Republic to a Monarchy? No, it seems. All the main polling companies have the Monarchy ahead by a margin of four-to-one. On more specific questions, the margins are a little closer, but still slanted in the Royal Family's favour. In an ICM poll, 47 per percent of people believe that the Monarchy is a unifying force, against 36 per cent who say that it's divisive. For ComRes, 50 per cent think that it isn't an undue burden on the taxpayer, against 33 per cent who believe that it is.

5) King William? On the question over whether the crown should bypass Prince Charles and settle on Prince William's head instead, the answer appears, largely, to be "aye". In a YouGov poll, the son outstrips his father by 47 per cent to 34 per cent. For ICM, it's 46 per cent to 40 per cent. Only Ipsos MORI have Charles in the lead, but only just — at 47 per cent to 46 per cent.

And then there's one of the weirdest, but most entertaining, questions of all, asked by YouGov: "Imagine you were single and of an appropriate age, if he asked, would you marry Prince William?" The response? 24 per cent would, but 66 per cent would not. Happily, we assume, Kate Middleton belongs in the former category.