I’m expecting several polls tonight as the papers commission surveys to test the post-budget mood. First out of the traps is a new ICM poll in the News of the World, topline figures are CON 39%(+1), LAB 31%(-1), LDEM 19%(nc) – so a slight widening of the Conservative lead. More to come later.

UPDATE: Two more polls: YouGov in the Sunday Times have topline figures of CON 37%(nc), LAB 32%(-1), LDEM 19%(+1). There is also a BPIX poll in the Mail on Sunday, Sky have only mentioned the Conservative and Labour figures, but they are 37%(+1), LAB 30%(-4). So far all three are showing some degree of increase in the Conservative lead – the budget does appear to be having a negative impact for the government.

655 Responses to “Post budget Sunday polling”

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  1. @ NEILA
    ” It is being presented as trying to save the public from a tax increase, rather than as a tax cut. That may make a difference.”

    Definitely-that is the key message.

    But I think the Employer’s NIC increase is the more important one of the two-it’s the one where GO can say -this taxes the employment of people,exiting a recession, when we need to encourage more jobs.

    THe Times makes a thoughtprovoking comment that so far as reversing the Employees NIC increase is concerned-GO will be telling people about a tax increase they aren’t aware they are getting!

    Ah well-GO’s IHT initiative was explosively successful when announced. We will see if his intuition is as sharp today.

  2. Alec – Incredibly I don’t agree. I am prepared to be convinced that GO/DC have played a blinder. If my little theory is correct, it should certainly be lively.

    Now, whether it will play well in the reckoning may be different, but I’m expecting a bit of Tory momentum.

  3. Thanks Howard…
    I still feel I am a floating voter, I have an idea which way I might be placing my X but it’s by no means certain I promise you…as I have said I am leaning toward change but I have still to be convinced.

    As a person I quite admire AD as he seems quite a strong character, and GO seems to be a fairly clever man as well. Can anyone tell me why they see GO as the weak link in the Cons armourie….? What has he really done wrong..? Is it just a personality thing and is that important…?

  4. @ HOWARD
    ” I won’t be watching… will watch and read the media summaries because that will be what potentially effects opinion .”

    That implies that you have no desire to form your own opinion Howard, and that you will obtain it from the media…….
    ……or, that how these three conduct themselves is of no interest to you, and you merely await the polling effect of what the media say.

    Either way , this seems a remarkably , detached attitude.

  5. @ SUE

    ” I am prepared to be convinced that GO/DC have played a blinder.”

    Well said-I’m sure your man will be pretty steady & unflappable. ;-)

  6. Colin – I think they have a couple of flipping great aces up their sleeve. At least, they OUGHT to.
    If not I will savage them tomorrow, but for now I’m preparing for an almighty battle.
    Course, how AD and VC respond could be equally important, aces mean nothing unless they work, but this really ought to be a night where the Cons have Lab on the back foot.

  7. @colin – you’re right – the differences are small and the noise is great.

    @sue – you could be right and this could be the election winner, but I’m doubtful. It represents a complete turnaround from the ‘austerity’ message and places Darling as the man more responsible to tackle the deficit (potentially). What would concern me as a Tory is the charge of flip flopping on the message rather than the policy itself. Perhaps if they had been less strident on austerity and the need for cuts this move would have seemed more logical and thought through, but it does risk being seen as opportunistic and a desperate response to narrowing polls. Given that Osborne’s credibility is falling, this makes it harder to sell the message.

    Truth is, I don’t know. What is interesting though is that politicians of aall parties tend to stick with what they think works. The IHT proposal ‘worked’ in 2007, so they want to try something similar. I would suggest that the IHT issue has actually turned out to be more of a problem for them in the longer term, but there’s also a big risk that what went down well in one set of circumstances doesn’t mean it will do so again.

  8. I was amused to see that the press has picked up the Country Alliance efforts. They got it wrong though we have been at it for 5-7 weeks. I believe we tipped the balance in London for Boris.

    That aside, it was interesting to read that DC IS 14% with women. Could that possibly refect the bullying allegations?

    As some poster will know, I have been canvassing in the Midlands recently which seem to be more in favour of a change than those in the South.

    I cannot for the life of me understand how the polls are where they are, but my experience based on a great deal of door knocking points to a Tory majority of at least 50 seats

  9. @ ALEC
    “but it does risk being seen as opportunistic ”

    Alec-you should withdraw that.
    GO said-from the moment AD indicated a NIC increase-that Cons would seek to reverse it.

    As to “flip flopping”-provided GO avoids the obvious trap – leaving room for AD to say “this prejudices your deficit reduction priorities”-then it cannot be seen as “flip flopping”

    Of course DArling & Byrne will attack it that way-it’s the only route they have to defend a tax on jobs at the tail end of a recession.
    But if GO cannot see that one coming then he really has lost his touch.

  10. So……..here’s the new Labour Poster.

    Photo of GO-“Cancer not Chancellor”

    I would really like to hear from those who asserted that “Vote for Me” is a “personal attack”.

    Are you happy with this ?

    Don’t all rush at once.

  11. ALEC – A Tory???? You’re never??

    WELL!! Not many surprise me, but that did. Can’t believe you’d ever have been accused of being partisan, I thought you were a screaming Labourite.

    Good Job Sir!

  12. Typo-


  13. Is that true Colin….? Really…?
    If so I find that quite distasteful….
    can you post a link..?

  14. Glenn – our consituency-wide experience in a marginal former Tory seat where I’ve been working for some time, is that possible Tory support is certainly up, but it’s now far less up than it was in the autumn, and what remains of the increase appears far softer and liable to shift, possibly more towards the Lib Dems; Cable is currently big, but that could dissolve tonight on C4.

    What mainly comes across is that half the folk canvassed as recently as this week seem to be genuinely undecided, and that this election is all to play for, for all the main parties right across the UK.

  15. Polly

    Its front page headline on Labour Party website.


  16. Colin, must start brekkers, but you offered me two choices and thus you were wrong. There is a third. I’ve already made up my mind which is what, erroneously I am informed, I suggested Polly had done. I think AD is the best choice for chancellor, but I will be voting for another party. Life can be simple as you make it. Im just interested in what the media tell people what happened rather than what happened. That’s what makes polling so interesting.

  17. Polly:-

    If you just Google for it & you will find lots of references.


    I suspected you were in that situation, but resisted suggesting it.

    However-it’s nice to know where you stand ;-)

  18. It says CHANCER NOT CHANCELLOR, deliberate typo by Colin methinks, cheap trick!

  19. Colin – Don’t know if you refer to me, I didn’t mind the Tory one’s as a person al attack, I just thought they were rubbish.
    On the whole, I hate negative campaigning full stop, so not loving the GO poster.
    Whether it’s EFFECTIVE or not, will soon become clear IMO. If GO pulls a few rabbits out of hats, but the voters see them (or media portray them) as opportunistic, then Chancer will be very well timed.
    Incidentally though, the GO poster has been out at least a month?

  20. Back from ‘ontbijt’. Thanks Colin, but if it’s taken you this long to divine my leanings………….

    One would hope that one’s objectivity is not clouded by one’s leanings. There are very few on here who have that capacity but I do enjoy reading those postings in particular.
    I know of no evidence that could be presented to show that people, who did not watch a television programme, could be influenced by its content, other than seeing excerpts on the news or in the papers, and now of course, on the internet or other means.

    TThe ‘who won the debate’ industry in USA is major and we see its embryo here this time..

  21. Morning all,

    Sue, I believe (but I could be wrong) that the inference from Alec’s post was “if I was a Tory, I would be worried by…”

    Re: Chancer not Chancellor – personally, I don’t pay any attention to election posters or any other partisan advertising, but I think that it has been pretty much proven to be effective in the past (the most famous probably being “Labour’s not working”). Is attacking the opposition rather than touting your own party’s policies and achievements the best way? Not convinced.

    Regarding the debates tonight, I understand where Howard is coming from – public reaction to these things is always filtered through a hefty dose of media comment, and any bounce in the polls will be because of reaction to that press more than people being swayed directly by what they have seen. But I will be watching myself as I am fascinated as to how it will play out.

  22. How will the Tory’s switch from primary focus on spending cuts, instead to tax cuts affect the polls?

    my own hunch is +2%

    when should we start to see this affect the polls? tues/wed?

  23. For balance, I just heard Labour are launching a “People’s Poster” Search.
    Geniuses (or is it geniii) like me get to put their own ideas forward and the best will be chosen for two prominent sites in Manchester and London – now you can’t say fairer than that can you?

  24. Éoin,

    If the Tories were allowed a free run on their tax cuts focus, with neither Labour nor LibDem (or indeed Paxman & Co) having the opportunity to question it, then I would agree with you. What will be fascinating this evening will be watching how GO explains how tax cuts will be afforded without hurting everyone. I know that the public has a tendency to behave like a labrador, rolling over to have its tummy tickled, whenever tax cuts are mentioned, but in the current climate people are much more sceptical and want to know how everything is going to be paid for.

  25. Colin is right but not many Tory posters back him

    DC has been rabitting about deficits and spending cuts..

    GO has been talking about tax vuts for the last 18 months—- for whatever reason nobody chose to listen

    ita an intenral argument GO has won. MAybe his leader cut zip it on the economy for a month and let his shadow chancellor do his job,

    this i think is a masterstroke…

  26. @Amber Star

    It isn’t just the LD constitution that prevents Clegg from choosing who to put in – its the British Constitution!!!
    What every media commentator has so far failed to understand, and doubtless Clegg will make clear during debates is that after a GE any incumbent PM decides to stay or go, and if he goes he advises the Queen to invite the leader of the other big party. Whether he or the other guy even talk to Clegg is entirely up to them in turn, not Clegg. Without talking to him either might have to “persuade” a hung house to vote for the Queens Speech, but this might not involve talking or begotiating with Clegg at all. Remember Wilson from Feb 74 to Oct 74 – didn’t “talk” to Libs at all! That’s why Clegg is spot on when he says he is not a “king maker”.
    Lab & Con politicians and media trying to pin Clegg down to supporting one or the other is thus hogwash – and they know it. Why do they do it? Lab/Con because it “wrong foots” LD appeal to half their potential supporters. Media, because they are ignorant of workings of British Constitution and are thus bamboozled into running with Lab/Con agenda of undermining potential LD vote on a bogus question!!

  27. Tony

    Lab /Con ? You left me old chap. Did I miss a post somewhere. Apols if so.

  28. Anthony

    This thread is dominated by a very few people and is getting boring. I think lots of people who log on to this site will be put off posting because it increasingly seems to be a conversation between a limited number of people. I post occasionally but as I’m not one of the ‘in crowd’ it’s probably a waste of time. I suppose there’s a certain inevitability about the fact that blogs like this become a sort of debating society for the few and it probably doesn’t matter much anyway!

  29. Has anbody any knowledge of how many seats the Trust party are contesting?

    Will this further erode the Conserv vote or will the scrap for the same pool of votes that UKIP work from?

  30. DavidB,

    I submit a post here when I feel there is something to respond to, or if I feel (humbly of course) that I can add to the debate. Isn’t that the same for everyone? I’m not sure what was the point in you voicing this opinion to Anthony – is it his fault who takes part (or not) here? You certainly can’t accuse him of giving participants a free rein to say what they like unmoderated.

  31. @Coln,

    I note the cost is 6billion p.a. bang in the middle of my £7 and your £5, although still impossible to predict exact costs for reasons I have said before.

  32. Tony Dean, the problem in 1974 was that Labour & Liberal combined did not have a majority, so a coalition would still have been a minority Government. That may happen this year, but with the LibDems maybe having 50 to 60 seats, compared with 14 in 1974, they are in a much stronger position.

    The constitutional position, I believe, is that if a PM loses the vote on the Queen’s Speech or a confidence motion, he/she must resign, so no PM is going to form a Government knowing he/she would lose either of those.

  33. David B, Mitz –

    I agree. It’s this election’s equivalent of the Hadron machine.

    It’s deeply buried below the surface of real life, with little particles flying around, occasionally colliding, and very occasionally producing the interesting sparks the machine was apparently designed to produce.

    At least, it’s good to know it’s there, that AW is providing us with all the polling data that comes in, and guidance about its meaning, so that it basically works,. Also, there are some really interesting posts.

    But it’s not a substitute for getting out more (and campaigning). Whoop’s the sun’s out, must pick up my leaflets and run…

  34. Éoin,

    According to Stuart Wheeler’s website, Trust will be fielding two candidates, contesting Bexhill and Battle, and Perth & North Perthshire.

  35. @Mitz,

    Thank you kindly…..

  36. Am I right in thinking that we are due a poll from Opinium tonight as well as from you gov?

  37. Tory Tax cuts is thie single greatest dividing line of 2010

    the parties do not differ much on immigration, europe, crime, or spending cuts…

    Tax cuts are a rallying call for those who lean blue, and in the present climate offer gut wrenching disdain for those on the left….

    I expect to see undecided voters now beging to make their mind up….

    i think the tories will take the majority of these undecided votes. i expect UKIP voters will start to drift towards blue..

    I can see a 40% performance for Tories if they play the debates right….

    I think the prospect of a Lib/Tory coalition is now all but dead……

    for anyone who bought the rebranding excercise of cameron, they will pour scorn on this cut at the time of great debt….

    but since the Larbour party have postulated for so long that the debt is manageable there is not much that they can say…

    The tories two greatest opponents are toothless to attack this tax cut since they invested so much of their reputation in the deficit being manageable…

    also it would be difficult to argue against the statment that tax cuts do stimulate growth… some might say the £30 billion natioanl insurance cut will pay for itself through growth and therefore debt repayment…

    expect a much more polarised campaign than the nauseating quibble over who can cut faster deeper with and axe , without an axe, swinging, not swinging…

    phew some might say….!

  38. I think on election day will be giving a 10 to 11% lead to the Torys, giving them a small maj no more than ten seats or short of a maj by 10 seats.

  39. Éoin,

    I agree with a lot of what you say bar one fundamental point: that “since the Labour party have postulated for so long that the debt is manageable there is not much that they can say”.

    How about “The debt will not be manageable if tax cuts like those the Tories are proposing are put into place”? Follow that with some hard figures and the current trust levels being enjoyed by Darling will be hard to counter.

    GO has it all to do. Maybe he will do it, but he is going to have to be extraordinarily convincing with his sums and his working.

  40. @Eoin Clarke

    The problem is, they can offer tax cuts, but how are they going to pay for them? The efficiency savings they have identified are just loose change compared with the task at hand. Will they put VAT up and slap it on food, hitting the poor?

    They will be forced to say how their sums actually add up. They have a huge credibility gap to fill and only George Osborne on hand to do it.

    I don’t see what they are offering now will win anyone over. I think they will max out at 39%.

  41. EOIN

    £5.6bn rounded up as I understand it-figure from Gershon.

    Having Gershon in there is the killer.

    All the same, I am disappointed.

    Raising the thresholds & tinkering-he should have reversed the rate increase.

  42. I totally and utterly disagree with EOIN – we’ve debated it but agreed to differ!

    Unless GO can give cast iron details on how he’ll do it AND show it won’t jeopardise any paying off of the debt I think he’ll be in very deep water indeed.

    Tax cuts will only appeal to the core vote and then only the one’s who can suspend disbelief that after 18 months of talking about cutting sooner and deeper, GO can now find billions to GIVE AWAY. Colin says 25 billion ish, the papers say closer to 87 billion.

    If they were doing well in the polls I’d agree with EOIN, but with rumours of panic in the campaign, this will IMHO just smack of total desperation and trying to buy votes with a few sweeteners.

    Still, doesn’t matter what Colin, Eoin or I think, it’ll be the polls that tell us if it’s working.

  43. Am I missing a budget response?
    Oh yeah, they’re just telling me on The Daily Politics

  44. Of all the parties Labour has the biggest problem when it comes to economic policy – they have said ‘put off tax cuts’. This is a problem for them because as numerous tv programs have explained that by ‘putting off’ repaying a debt just increases the debt! This allied to the facts that Mandelson has said there will be tax rises next year, that Darling has said the cuts will be deeper than Thatcher’s, and Brown is constantly mis-speaking numbers means that they are unable to sustain any attack on Conervative or LibDem policies without having it immediately turned on Labour policies.

    It is policies, or rather the publics perception of policies (there is a difference), that will decide this election just like previous elections. Little room is given by the public into their lives for political input, few will analyse policies but rather be led by what is presented to them. This is where the Conservative posters are a considerablely smart initial tactic, they immediately remove AD from peoples minds and replace it strongly with Brown, and it has to be said most people do not like him. A previous post has asked why did the Conservatives use such a nice picture of GB – the answer is simple – because that will be the most effective in reminding people just how much they dislike him. The wording of the posters I am sure has been chosen with the greatest of care, it directly associates GB with policies that people disagree with, thus reinforcing subtly why they ‘would not’ vote for him and Labour.

    With any campaign there are risks, some Labour supporters have said the posters benefit Labour, perhaps they might, but my money is on them reminding people why they should not vote Labour. It is a gamble for the Conservatives, but Labour will also be planning campaign strategy and will take the same general kind of gamble. What the Conservative strategists will need to do is to have ready a positive message strategy to replace this part of the campaign when it has done its job.

  45. @Mitz,

    It is a very fair point…. I could quickly through up a few stinging rebukes of the policy but I wont.

    Bejamin disraeli wrote a diary entrance the night he assumed the PM’s job in 1867, his party completely reveresed their position to extending the vote…

    the subsequent election saw his party’s role reversed. History teaches us that boters daont automatically credit a party with a popular decision. Al la Churchill in 1945

    Labour can be pleased in one regard, the deficit talk was a milestone around their neck…..

    with growth, unemployment and debt management all heading in the right direction (allbeit not as fast as some would like), I think labour will happy to go toe to toe with the Tories on tax cuts

    Every tory Party has offered tax cuts at every election….

    people will note that they lost the last three

    the bottom line, George Osborne has just handed his party one last chance of acheiving a majority. If he can keep Cameron on message he might just pull it off.

    @sue, our views on the actual policy are carbon copies of each other, I think we disagree just on the poll impact it will have.

  46. @Colin

    tinkering was genius,

    it now appeals to the lower have of the economic specturm, it allows tories to claim they are not just th eparty of the rich… it counters the playing fields of eton jibe masterfully

    expect a 2% lift in the polls by wednesday

  47. @Mitz “history teaches us that voters” – I promised my typing would improve

  48. On Sept 29 2007 the WMA CLead was minus 8%. Osborne announced a cut in Inheritance Tax, which would only help a few % of people and which had no very obvious economic logic, when the Murdoch Press were decidedly lukewarm about the Conservatives. Within a month the CLead was 4% and in 2 months it was 8%.

    On March 27th the WMA CLead was 6% and Osborne has announced a cut in National Insurance, which will help 70% of working people and which has an obvious and compelling economic logic, when the Murdoch Press has endorsed the Conservatives. Within 40 days there is a G.E.

    FWIW the Spread Betting on a CMajority has gone from 50.4% to 54.9% so far this morning.

  49. @Colin – FWIW even I’M disappointed.

    I had honestly begun to believe that GO may have backed us into a corner by waiting to give any response to the budget until tonight’s debate itself. Then I feared he would slap AD and VC with his tax cut package, all perfectly costed and they would have to respond on the hoof.

    IF The Daily politics is anything to go by, the interviewer mauled Hammond with barely concealed disbelief and he looked like he was fudging.

    A huge opportunity missed IMO and I can only see this affecting the polls negatively.

  50. @Bill Roy,

    take another look…. it is not spending cuts, it is tax cuts.


    the 12% gained in a matter of days was a combination of facotrs. Cameron speech, missed election and yes the Nat Insurance policy…..

    it was proably the least importnat facotr of those three

    it will have some positive impact but not 12%

    expect a 2% bounce before it levels off as the debate rages.

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