The Spectator will today publish a YouGov poll with opinion sampled on Monday and Tuesday. Here are the highlights:-
*Tony Blair's original plan option of detaining suspects without charge for up to 90 days by three-to-one (69% to 23%)
*73% agree that “the West is in a global war against Islamic terrorists who threaten our way of life” while only 8 per cent think that “Islamic terrorism is a regional problem that poses no real threat to the West”.
* When asked whether Britain should change its foreign policy in response to terrorism, just 12% say that it should be made more conciliatory, against 53% who say it should become more aggressive and 24% who want no change.
* A majority of 55% to 29% of the public supports the introduction of 'passenger profiling' by the authorities in airports.
* Half of respondents said that most British Muslims are moderates, but 28% disagreed and almost as many said they didn't know.
* People are increasingly preparing for a long, bitter and potentially bloody struggle, with 60% of respondents saying they expect the threat from terror groups to worsen over time.
* Only 6% said they thought the conflict against Islamic terrorists would last five years or less and 18% believe that it will be over within 10 years.
* Fewer than a quarter of respondents accuse British politicians of deliberately exaggerating the threat and only a small majority think Tony Blair should have returned home to oversee the emergency. However, they do think that more should have been done by the government to increase airport security prior to 10 August.
* When offered the choice of maintaining the current close relationship with the US, switching to closer links with Europe or an unspecified third course of action (which could be an independent foreign policy), the public turned en masse against America. A mere 15% believe that Britain should continue to align herself closely with the US, against 46% who said that we should position ourselves closer to Europe instead. 29% support neither option.
Stephan Shakespeare, co-chief executive of YouGov, comments: “The British people now feel that they are in a global war with terrorism, and one that will last ten years or more. But that doesn't mean they have bought into the American 'neo-con' view of the future - even though they recognise the threat, and want a more aggressive response from the UK.”
YouGov interviewed 1,696 respondents online, weighted to be representative of Great Britain's population, on 14 and 15 August 2006.