Just to catch up on the post-budget YouGov polling from yesterday’s Times, carried out on Monday evening and Tuesday morning.

At the simplest level, the budget appears to have polled well. All the measures within met with approval and overall people thought it was a fair budget (44% fair, 14% unfair). Compared to other recent budgets, that’s a very positive score. However, in all fairness that’s what one should expect – it was very much a giveaway budget, with the Chancellor making several large spending announcements and very little in the way of tax increases. Even those tax increases that were announced – mostly notably the plastics tax and tax on internet companies – were ones that were largely popular. It’s hardly surprising that sort of budget gets net positive ratings – increases to NHS funding, the personal allowance and the National Living Wage are always likely to go down well.

A positively received budget does not, however, necessarily translate into a boost in the polls. The voting intention figures in the poll are CON 41%(nc), LAB 39%(+3), LDEM 7%(-1), UKIP 5%(+1). The three point increase in Labour support doesn’t necessarily mean anything – it’s within the normal margin of error – but it certainly doesn’t point towards a budget boost for the Tories.

The poll also asked about the wider perceptions around the “end of austerity”, and here the figures are far less rosy for the Conservatives. Looking back, by 36% to 29% people think that the austerity polices followed after the 2010 election were necessary, though by 36% to 30% they now think they didn’t help the economy and by 43% to 20% they think they were unfair.

58% of people now think it is right to end austerity (27% who think it was wrong to begin with, 31% who thought it was right at the time, but it is now time to end it). Unfortunately for the government, while people may be in agreement with their stated policy, they don’t actually believe they are doing it – only 10% think the government have ended austerity policies, 50% think they have not.

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1,736 Responses to “YouGov post-budget poll”

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  1. @Trevor Warne – https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/brexit-latest-final-say-theresa-may-agreement-brussels-opposition-party-meetings-a8634406.html

    What I’ve always tried to get across is that this entire process is dynamic and flexible. The government will respond to circumstance, and according to these reports, amendments with force may well be part of the meaningful vote.

    Time will tell, but there are a myriad of potential mechanisms whereby we could have a second vote, cancel Brexit, etc etc. Nothing is fixed.

  2. Good morning all from a very mild and sunny’ish Winchester.

    Lovely 3 weeks in the South of Italy visiting my Nonno e Nonna. They along with half of the village made such a fuss over mini me..Och well I never…thought he was going to be kidnapped.

    Ok onto Brexit.

    It would be better if Number 10 fitted one of them revolving doors as it would make it much easier for departing and incoming ministers to enter and exit.

    Might not be cat friendly though!.. Poor ol Larry.

    Some good news on wages. Now that we’ve seen a fall in EU migrants coming into the UK, wages are at last going up. I’ve been saying it for a long time that the flow of cheap migrant workers into the UK from the EU has effectively depressed wages and in particular those at the lower end of the pay scale.

    Maybe now they scrupulous employment agencies might start treating UK born workers with some respect and start offering them something better than £7.83 per hour now that the flow of EU migrants is beginning to dry up.

    Some agencies are even offering £7.83 per hour for Night-shift work. I really hope when we leave the EU we will see an end to this sort of exploitation.

    Whatever Brexit deal we get I want to see an end to free movement of people ASAP.

  3. Trevors:

    If your bunch of far-right Tories take over the Tory party, there is no chance that it could ever win a GE.

    All those SCON seats would be lost for a start.

    The new UK left-of-centre government could then begin to deal with the many serious issues facing us, like the NHS, teacher recruitment, fair spending for N. England and the peripheral nations.

  4. @ COLIN – “The Brexit ultra’s Canada option still requires a WA & orderly departure.”

    Preferably YES but not essential. Again clause 2 of A50 is the legal commitment of BOTH sides (a new slimmed down WA can cut+paste a lot of the current one)

    “And will the EU say, over the next few days, there is no time now for anything but this?”

    I fully expect they will and that is indeed the tricky part. However, with UK in political chaos then EC/EU25 (sans RoI and France) MIGHT continue blinking and release more “No Deal+” plans (some released already that tone down some of the nonsense in Project Fear2).

    They look likely to meet at end of Nov and although they could cancel that meeting they could also cover a Plan B “No Deal+”

    NB ERG have offered to pay for transition and as I’ve mentioned before both sides should want that (as a mini deal in c2 of A50 and in preference to any extension which requires c3 unanimous agreement)

    Certainly a huge risk as EU27 have been united all along but as UK slips into “ungovernable” status then the long lead time that EC need to do anything favours a bit of “wait and see” from UK.

    We are not Greece. We don’t have the Euro. They can’t force UK to play their game by their rules.

    Also having a (very bad) deal on table makes things very difficult for Corbyn (has to argue he’d get a better deal) and PeoplesVote folks (3 possible scenarios makes the wording of a new ref much harder).

    Finally, I’m aware of the “No Brexit” risk. I want “Brexit” but would prefer to delay “Brexit” (ie Remain in EU under Lisbon Treaty) than become a vassal state. “No Brexit” would probably end up with CON in opposition but maybe they need that in order to end EU-centric ne0liberalism.

    Polling x-breaks also support that scenario.

    CON-Leave is highest group (my 1st pick)
    LAB-Remain is second (a deep second for me but 2nd none the less!)

    CON-Remain (or BrINO) and LAB-Leave are both much smaller

  5. Esther McVey and Dominic Raab are correct. These half way options don’t work. The choice is binary having weighed up the valid points on both sides in 2016. We have to take control of our laws back and be free to innovate with our own trade policy. Apreciate there is a lot of detail and tgat the Prime Minister has shown great courage and fortitude. We need to rework these proposals however.

  6. Early days yet, but after yesterday’s subtle and apparently throwaway change of emphasis by May and this morning’s merry dance I think we could all yet be owing our Danny an apology for his prescience.

    The one thing that is just gnawing away at my defualt belief that conspiracy equals fantasy is that this “deal” happenmd early enough to give just enough wiggle room for Danny’s denoument to happen.

    EU deals are always last minute, the detail thrashed out in Council long after the heads of government should have gone home to bed, with victory snatched from the jaws of deafeat. Maastricht, Lisbon, even Cameron’s underwhelming pre-referendum deal followed this pattern.

    Last minute here would have been December at the earliest, possibly an emergency January gathering.

    Yet this deal is sorted by the technocrats safely in advance. Hmm. Beacuse it’s easier than the above? Or beacuse it’s window dressing?

  7. The House of Commons is very quiet during May’s statement and Corbyn’s reply. That will be chilling for May. Can’t presently see Mundell or Gove on the Government front bench.

  8. Definitely heading towards 2nd referendum territory if Labour follows Keir Starmer’s statement this morning and votes down the agreement in Parliament. Another GE does not solve the problem because there is no guarantee of a majority for either major party and anyway GEs are fought upon whole manifestos, not just a single issue.

    Best way out IMO is a National Government formed by the Remainers in the Tory party and the majority of the Labour party to put the Remain/ no-deal Brexit decision to the country in a referendum. If the negotiated deal was rejected by Parliament that option cannot be in a referendum (and obviously if the negotiated deal is passed there is no need for another referendum).

    But who will be Prime Minister and Chancellor? Chuka Ummuna and Ken Clarke perhaps.

  9. Danny

    “I go with Howard’s arguments from yesterday, where he argued a sane government would first have explored all the possible alternatives and then plotted a path through them.”

    Thanks Danny, we don’t often agree for obvious reasons. Interestingly you were the only person apart from Colin who challenged my analysis, presumably others couldn’t fault my logic either.


    Thanks, so i was right again. Why did it take you months to answer a simple question? I have no problem with the Scots, but some have problems with me :-)


    For obvious reasons I am not prepared to say which group in the biological sciences I record for my county.

  10. @Jim Jam

    “My genuine view is there is a HOC majority for a long term position of being in a customs union with the EU”

    More to the point I think there’s a majority in the electorate – who appear to have been utterly abandoned by the egotists of the ERG.

  11. “We are not Greece. We don’t have the Euro. They can’t force UK to play their game by their rules”

    At least when the Greeks got angry with the EU they had an abundance of plates to smash in orchestrated tantrums but other than that they got pushed around like a bullied kid in the playground.

  12. @toh

    I only ever read your posts through inadvertence. You may have to wait months again.

  13. @ TO – ” So the “govt in waiting” starts to form.
    Who is in charge of that then?”

    Apologies I forgot to mention Chief Whip – that would be Steve Baker taking over from Julian Smith ;)

    (bit of tongue of cheek here – note the ;) symbol in some posts)

    @ ALEC – quoting the Indy ;)

    Yes it’s fluid – you’ll note we still haven’t signed the WA have we!

  14. @ JimJam
    “A deal that has a position after transition of A CU with the EU plus a political declaration to negotiate with the EU on the extent and price of SM access would get HOC approval.”

    You enjoy the inestimable privilege of being one of the v few people whose Brexit posts I actually read, But this doesn’t work.

    There can be no access to the SM without free movement & what you are suggesting would = full membership of EU?.
    There would have to be a GE/2nd ref on that. The Tory party would split.

  15. Richard North at EU Referendum has made some analysis of the WA

    There will be no “regression” of employment law it seems.


  16. Again, this time in the HoC, may brings in the option of not having any Brexit.

    Long predicted, but at last the endgame is in sight. Looks very like another referendum is hoving into view. this seems the only means to keep Tories in government, for now at least.

    Once this is placed firmly on the table, it becomes a way out for Labour, May, the DUP and the SNP (not that they need a way out, at least not out of this particular mess) but the ERG then stand alone to try to deny the right of the people to decide.

    The only other path is for the government to collapse and for a GE, but it isn’t clear that this would give us any resolution.

  17. John Redwood lying in the house. Saying ‘wouldn’t it be good to spend the 39 mill on public services’.Firstly it’s not our 39 mill, secondly you have to be an idiot to think someone like Redwood gives a crap about public services.

  18. Who will resign at 11.00 am?

  19. I have been confused for some time now re Brexit negotiations and do not see how another GE would solve anything.

    If the current deal is voted down by Commons, where do we go from there other than have another referendum. Perhaps with a new PM there would be sufficient room to halt everything but I cannot see a way out other than via Ref( at least if we still voted to leave it would be with a clearer knowledge of the consequences.

  20. Robbie,

    Thanks for your compliment.

    The SM access and price is genuinely more complex and I don’t think any particular solution has obvious HC support; and, the Labour party is divided/uncertain on the issue.

    EEA countries do access the SM so it is possible without being in the EU.

    Part of the price for access, for example, though could be virtual free movement but a UK Government using the mechanisms in place to ameliorate in a way they haven’t.

    Hireton – RE Gove, apparently has a personal reason for non attendance, some will be cynical (Dentist anyone) but I would rather wait.

  21. Robbie,

    Thanks for your compliment.

    The SM access and price is genuinely more complex and I don’t think any particular solution has obvious HC support; and, the Labour party is divided/uncertain on the issue.

    EEA countries do access the SM so it is possible without being in the EU.

    Part of the price for access, for example, though could be virtual free movement but a UK Government using the mechanisms in place to ameliorate in a way they haven’t.

    Hireton – RE Gove, apparently has a personal reason for non attendance, some will be cynical (Dentist anyone) but I would rather wait.

  22. Hard not admire May’s resilience but she really made some dreadful anti-EU speeches, with unachievable red lines liberally sprinkled around. That make it very hard to believe she ever understood the complexities of our situation, following the referendum.

    I think that Alec and I shared the view that she saw the GE as a chance to throw off the shackles of her right wing brexiteers. It’s ironic that it just made the situation worse and she added the DUP into the mix.

    Given all that, this is probably the best she could achieve but it seems most unlikely to get through.

    There is no exit from the EU that will command majority support in the HOC [I’ve been saying that for ages] and they won’t dare to go against the referendum on their own.

    So odds on some sort of confirming referendum must be shortening now.

  23. Hireton

    “I only ever read your posts through inadvertence. You may have to wait months again.”

    No problem. I am not waiting for anything other than the last wicket to fall.

  24. @R&D – I rather suspect that with what is happening in the political sphere, next up the attention will start to switch to business.

    There have been some pretty dramatic market moves today after the resignations, and at barely 16 weeks out from B-Day, once business gets a sniff that the deal isn’t going to work, some serious decisions start to be made in a very telescoped time frame.

    If this is what we start to see, I don’t think we can rule out some fairly sharp movements in public opinion on this, and I suspect MPs will be prodded towards a new vote as their way out of an almighty mess.

    However – I have no crystal ball. ‘Anything can happen in the next half hour’ as they used to say on Stingray. I have my oxygum ready.

  25. Rees Mogg has just said ( but not in terms) he will support a vote of no confidence in May.

  26. Rees Mogg has just said ( but not in terms) he will support a vote of no confidence in May.

  27. Rees Mogg has just said ( but not in terms) he will support a vote of no confidence in May.

  28. Mundell has given an interview in which he says he will not resign and calls Raab a “carpet bagger” fot citing concerns about the Union in his resignation letter.

    Informed sources saying that Gove has been offered the post of Brexit Secretary and is considering whether to accept or resign.

  29. The link to ES new poll mentioned by a LAB MP:

    https:/ /www.standard.co.uk/news/politics/first-poll-since-brexit-deal-voters-want-a-new-referendum-a3990851.html

    Also for those that haven’t read the B4B PeoplesVote “Roadmap to a People’s Vote”

    https:/ /www.peoples-vote.uk/how_it_could_happen

    In the conclusion:
    “There would be no difficulty obtaining an extension of the Article 50 timetable to allow a People’s Vote to take place.”

    Well apart from unanimous consent of EU27, EP elections coming up soon after (which they do at least mention) and EC thinking we’ll accept their deal! Sure, no difficulty at all ;)

    Anyway, for those wanting to bet on a new ref then the odds have dropped (implied probability moved from 25% to 40% in last 48hrs)
    Disclaimer: I’m on the bid side with Betfair so please put money where mouth is.

    https:/ /www.betfair.com/exchange/plus/politics/market/1.132100845

    NB you get the whole of 2020 on that market. Vastly better odds for 2019 of course – remember Vince said it would only take a week to hold a new ref ;)

  30. @ JJ – “EEA countries do access the SM so it is possible without being in the EU.”

    As do non-EEA countries like USA, China, etc.. both of those sell quite a lot of goods and services to EU/EEA!

    Even better they do not have to pay for access, are not ruled by Brussels and can set their own immigration policies (which for UK would be a non-rac!st policy along the lines of Dianne Abbot’s view)

    With the usual suspects out calling everyone who supports a Clean Brexit farRight, I’ll repost Dianne Abbott’s view:


  31. Talking polls, YouGov have this out:


    No great surprises, but it’ll make even more uncomfortable reading for the government. Amongst other questions: “The process of leaving the EU so far has been a mess” Agree/Disagree = 85/7. Pithy.

    Somehow don’t think I’ll get much work done today. Who’d have thought UK politics could be this much fun. Who needs Netflix?

  32. @TW
    The EU have always indicated that they would prefer the UK to remain a member but respect our decision to leave, should we wish to pursue that course. Principled, simple and clear I would say… which means they would be highly likely (although not guaranteed) to agree to an extension to the A50 period.

    To ask a question back to you, how can you be comfortable that we are most likely to end up in a position (No Deal Brexit) which commands the support of only a small minority (~25% from polling) of the electorate, a small minority of Parliament (~100-150 Tories and a handful of labour/DUP) and was the espoused policy of no political party at the last election? Where is the mandate?

    it’s even less morally defensible than simply calling the whole thing off…

  33. @BillP

    Re: Germans having a different approach…

    West Germans, at a Price, Avoid Oil Crisis


    “All oil company officials agree that the reason that they were able to keep oil flowing Into West Germany was basically that the Germans were wilbng and able to pay, whatever the cost.

    The companies point out that the West German Government has not imposed price ceilings on gasoline, heating oil or other oil products, as have other countries, including Sweden, Italy and Britain. Thus, the companies say, it was always in their interest to keep supplying West Germany while it was sometimes not in their interest to keep supplying the other markets.

    This factor was particularly important for the so?called “free market” supply of refinery products, which independent dealers sell to the highest bidder and which make up an important part of the West German supply. In December, for instance, 34 per cent of the demand for home heating oil was thus satisfied, if at high prices. That would not have been possible if West Germany had imposed price controls, the oil company officials say.”

  34. Re Raab.

    As the person in charge of Brexit negotiations:

    Did he feel the deal was the best that could be got or did May overrule him?

    If he did feel there was more mileage in negotiations what was it going to produce?

    Did he set May up so that she would be defenestrated when she took the deal to the HoC?

    Did he take the job of Brexit Secretary in order to try and ensure that no acceptable deal would be achieved and we would leave with no deal?

  35. I think the hint is that option that transition would be extended, so the UK stays in the SM and CU beyond end 2020, is more likely to be taken is how behind the scenes persuasion of Tory MPs (and DUP) would go. This arrangement does not differentiate NI from RUK at all of course.

    The Davis inserted date was always unrealistic imo and hard Brexit peeps won’t accept this as it is in effect continued membership without influence but the reassurances may be enough for SCon and DUP MPs?

  36. @ALEC
    Oxygum was Marine Boy, surely. Feeling old that I remeber …

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