Budget polling

We won’t have any more voting intention polls till tonight, but we have had some polling as the budget itself. YouGov’s Sun poll also had some specific questions on the poll, ComRes had a poll for the Daily Politics, Populus have some findings here and Political Betting have a new poll from Angus Reid. At first glance the two latter ones look rather contradictory – ComRes implies the budget has gone down well, Angus Reid doesn’t. Compare all three and the picture is slightly more consistent.

A majority of those with an opinion disapprove of the budget.
Angus Reid found 54% disapproved, 30% approved. YouGov found 41% thought it wasn’t fair, 32% thought it was. This is not unusual though, or necessarily that bad. Budgets are not usually very popular. In recent years I’ve commented here about polls that have found all the measures within the budget are approved of, but the budget as a whole is still frowned on. People just don’t like them!

If YouGov’s “net fairness” for this budget is minus 9, that needs to be seen in the context of previous years. In 2009 it was -16, 2007 it was -14, 2006 -7, 2005 +15. Hence the budget is not seen as being as fair as those in better times, but it is being received considerably more positively than recent budgets.

ComRes, incidentally, gave people the option of saying the budget wouldn’t make much difference, and the majority of respondents too it! Of those who thought it would make a difference more thought it was good (18%) than bad (12%)

The budget has improved Alistair Darling’s reputation. This was the big finding from ComRes’s budget poll, that Brown & Darling lead Cameron & Osborne as the most trusted on the economic downturn by 33% to 27% (Populus asked a similar question and found a similar lead for Brown & Darling). This is in contrast to other recent poll findings still showing Cameron & Osborne ahead, but that will largely be because ComRes offered the third option of Clegg & Cable, whereas most of these economic team questions ask only Brown & Darling v Cameron & Osborne (it also looks as though neither poll was politically weighted – Populus’s question on how people’s vote was affected by the budget implies the sample is far more Labour than their normal ones).

In contrast YouGov’s post-budget poll asked a normal best party on the economy question giving people a forced choice between Labour and the Conservatives and continued to find a narrow Tory lead (34% to 30%) – though some of that difference will also be from asking parties rather than politicians.

More interesting is that when ComRes previously asked an identical question in December Cameron & Osborne were ahead, so there is movement in the direction of Brown & Darling. YouGov also found a boost in Darling’s reputation. They asked the same questions on the Tuesday before the budget and straight afterwards. Pre-budget 17% of people thought Darling would make the best Chancellor, that rose to 20% afterwards. His job approval rating rose from minus 17 to minus 14.

Economic optimism has dropped. Asked immediately before the budget YouGov found economic optimism at minus 10, straight after the budget it had fallen to minus 19. Like previous budgets, this one seems to have reminded people quite how bad the economic situation is. Increasing economic optimism does appear to have played a significant role in Labour’s recovery over the last 6 months, so this could be significant.


156 Responses to “Budget polling”

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  1. ‘Lastest ICM good news for DM. I also undestand the private polling by the Cons show a even better result.’

    Private polls are not released. Must be a ploy to make it look better than it really is and steady some nerves.

  2. Yougov: Con 37%, Lab 32%, Lib Dem 19%.

    BPIX: Con 37%, Lab 30%, Lib Dem ?

  3. “Yougov: Con 37%, Lab 32%, Lib Dem 19%.”

    So a slight movement in the Tory’s favour, but not too much for them to get excited about. It’s pretty much as I though.

  4. If YouGov poll shows Conservative lead into double digits then its bad for Labour but if it is a single digit lead then its its bad for the Conservatives, in my opinion. The Conservative lead doubled between the YouGov polls conducted immediately before and immediately after the budgets in 2008 and 2009. The lead in the subsequent poll in both 2008 and 2009 subsided slightly.

  5. @Ash,

    You really do clutch at straws Ash don’t you?

    Whether you like it or not the polls have now moved the opposite way compared to the past week.

    And they will widen even more if the Tories get the Tax and Spend statement right early next week.

    It would have been nice if the Polls had widened even more but it’s widened and thats a plain fact :o

  6. @Ash

    You are statistically accurate… i agree with your analysis

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