The full tables for the YouGov/Telegraph are now on YouGov’s website. The other underlying questions show movement against Labour (not unexpectedly, since these are all comparisons to the last YouGov/Telegraph poll in December, not the Sunday Times one in January). Gordon Brown’s net approval rating continues to fall, now down to minus 36. Government approval falls to 22%, a net score of minus 40. Both of these are significantly above the scores in summer 2008, which taking a “glass half full” perspective means things aren’t at bad as they were, and taking a “glass half empty” one means there is potential for ratings to fall still further.
Interestingly, while we’ve seem some measures showing economic confidence falling again, in YouGov’s poll its held up. Last month the net feel good factor (people who thought things would get better for their household in the next 12 months minus those who thought it would get worse) was minus 46, now it is minus 44. Not a significant rise, but clearly not a fall.
On the YouGov/Telegraph tracker the Conservatives kept their lead as the best party on the economy throughout autumn 2008, but Labour did cut it down to 2 points. This poll shows it growing to 8 points. Perhaps more notably, the Conservatives no also lead on being the best party to get Britain out of the present crisis, by 35% to 28%. In previous surveys, while the Conservatives have often managed to maintain a led on the economy per se, Labour have normally lead on handling the present crisis.
In other questions s sizeable majority (64%) of people agree that this is a global crisis and that there was nothing that could have been done to avoid a downturn in Britain. However, this doesn’t mean that Gordon Brown is seen as being blameless – 31% also say that he bears much of the responsibility for allowing lending and borrowing to get out of hand in the first place and a further 48% think he bears some responsibility. It would appear that people recognise that there is a global cause to the problem, but are blaming Gordon Brown to some extent for how it is affecting the UK.
Barack Obama, incidentally, is still the golden boy. 65% of people expect him to handle the economic crisis well…based I expect, on the rather flimsy criteria that he isn’t George W Bush, a qualification that all but one of the world’s population meet.
(People watching closely will have noticed that this post has changed – I originally got my tables mixed up and wrote about some questions in the December YouGov poll. Mea culpa!)