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. @Amber,

    the merits of the policy are less important that the impact upon the electorate…

    mathematics shows that if you take with one you lose with the other thats common sense….

    public sector workers will suffer, but will the electorate turn a blind eye?

  2. I don’t think there will be any significant change in the polls tonight, or even tomorrow – probably a Tory lead in the region of 4-5% (YouGov), 7-8% (Others), 68-69% (AR). Wednesday is the big one. I don’t think parity is out of the question.

  3. “As for tonight’s debate, out of the three only Vince Cable has an Economics background and whether he leans towards Alastair Darling or George Osborne would also determine how its received by the small number of viewers I expect would be watching. Many of whom, I believe, would already have made their minds up.”

    Yeah I don’t think TV political debates change voting that much because the vast majority of people watching tend to have already made their mind up IMO (i.e. political debates are more likely to attract people who are interested in politics, many of whom are likely to have already decided).

  4. Does anyone really believe that tax cuts are a clear winner given the current economic climate? It’s certainly not a simple hip pocket nerve job like in the ‘good’ times. I certainly have severe doubts about any tax cuts; it would take a lot of detail to convince me it was a good idea.

    My immediate response is Tory and tax cuts; still playing the Thatcher brand which has been dumped by the electorate of 15 years (okay, I know they haven’t been out of power for that length of time but the electorate had well and truly rejected it).

  5. The economy is growing, it needs stimulus to grow faster, that creates jobs. No politician of any stripe will take responsibility for unemployment just before an election, they’re all hamstrung on job losses so it’s the elephant in the room. Vote for me , and by the way, prepare for unemployment and misery, they will wriggle and contort on the issue, in fact they probably have a pact……….’Don’t mention unemployment’.
    By the way, don’t expect too much from the 3 cheeky chappies tonight, they’re all as frightened as each other. :-)

  6. “I don’t think there will be any significant change in the polls tonight, or even tomorrow – probably a Tory lead in the region of 4-5% (YouGov), 7-8% (Others), 68-69% (AR). Wednesday is the big one. I don’t think parity is out of the question.”

    I agree. Little change on recent polls. Next week’s polls sound more interesting now IMO.

  7. Ash,

    As Howard mentioned this morning (and got shot down for it) it isn’t so much how many people watch the debate live, it is how it is reported tomorrow and susequently that might shift some opinions. If GO is unconvincing about his sums, he will get savaged by the Beeb, the Grauniad, the Indie, the Mirror etc and the others more sympathetic to the Tories will at least have to report it. If GO does well and his sums do add up then the Sun, Mail etc will have a field day and the poll lead will inevitably widen. We’ll see.

  8. Sorry MITZ…that was a glaring error..I apologise to all those I offended.

    I hope you know what I meant…..:-)

  9. I always appear here at meal times (we still do tea here). Flipped through Eoin’s excitability and others bewilderment.

    I think Cable can do to Osborne (note spelling) what Howe did to Thatcher. It will be Labour which benefits as well as his own party. The more quietly it is done the more effective. It would not surprise me if they (AD and VC) have not spoken together about this.

    Let’s consider this plainly. Osborne has been telling everyone there would have to be swingeing spending cuts and some tax increases for about 9 months now if not longer. Do I have to spell out what a U-turn on this reported new policy would mean when taken to task by two very competent politicians?

    It won’t be the debate itself that does it, unless there are good one-liners, but the intermediary’s take on it (Bradbury, Robinson Boulton) and then the drip drip of succeeding rancour tomorrow.
    BTW I will be watching as my wife wants to see it. The TV Guide shows Eastenders from 2000 and then Coronation St from 2030. There are also better choices on BBC2 and BBC4 for the ABs who are not interested in political argy bargy. Football is on Sky and ESPN. AD, GO, VC are no competition I am afraid!

  10. MIKE N

    THe NIC rates-‘Ees & ‘Ers are unchanged.
    Thresholds are being altered for both-I think IFS make that clear?

    Their costing is for the whole package.

    KEN
    “In my opinion people are generally happy”

    So why aren’t Labour streets ahead in the Polls?

    ASH

    If you Google News “Unite membership”-its the Telegraph article.

    AMBER
    “50p extra in your pay packet is rubbish if you lose your job in 6 months ”

    Of course-and we know that there will be Public Sector job losses whoever is in power. You cannot cut Departmental spend by 25% over a parliament without shedding jobs. People are the major cost in Public Spending.

    But-if you relieve you Private Sector employer of the increased tax he was facing under Labour in April 2011,, just to keep you on, then that risk of job loss is reduced isn’t it?

    THe Fed of Small Businesses said that the original E’ers NIC increase would mean the loss of 57,000 jobs.
    So the logic must be that some part of that number have been saved.

  11. “Does anyone really believe that tax cuts are a clear winner given the current economic climate? It’s certainly not a simple hip pocket nerve job like in the ‘good’ times. I certainly have severe doubts about any tax cuts; it would take a lot of detail to convince me it was a good idea. ”

    Yes, I think it’s possible (although not certain by any means) that it could sway it. A lot of people vote with their pocket – and it would only need a few extra voters per one hundred to tip it in the Tory’s favour (same true with Labour).

    I think most posters on here are largely missing the point – this election won’t be fought, to any great extent, on trust. The public (generally) doesn’t trust any of the main parties at the moment, as is evidenced by the appalling leader/party trust ratings. They simply don’t believe a lot of what anyone says. Therefore, small differences up to the GE may well swing it either way.

  12. Howard, what about “Snog, Marry, Avoid” on BBC3? That’s where I’ll be!

  13. @Ken – it my opinion your generally happy. I would tarnish your countrymen with the same brush! :) :) We ahppy over here for what it is worth…. our electorate are pretty grateful for an end to the conflict. We are all terrified the tories will crash stormont.

    Mitz and Matt – i broadly agree with your predictions excpet I think maybe a % lower

    say Tory 3% with YG and 6% with opinion

    are Angus Reid national polls now officilally extinct? or can we except one soon?

    if it arrives I think a 12% maybe

  14. @Colin………………My dad used to say that, some people are only happy when they are miserable ! :-).

  15. Matt,

    “The public (generally) doesn’t trust any of the main parties at the moment”

    True – that is why having somebody (anybody!) in the ranks that does OK on the trust question is gold. Labour have Darling, who by being a dour old git and calling the recession early has got the grudging trust of at least some. The LibDems have Cable, with his academic economical background. Who do the Conservatives have?

  16. EOIN:

    Why do you believe the general election wouldn’t be on May 6th?
    According to the Electoral Commission, “A general election to elect the new Parliament must be held by no later than Thursday 3 June 2010.”

    So if it isn’t 6th of May then the alternatives (assuming Thursdays) is likely to be:
    13th May
    20th May
    27th May
    3rd June

    I doubt that he would want to go on the 13th if he decides not to go on the 6th as it will be too close what people may have come to expect. I would say the same for 20th of May being too close to 6th.
    I dont think He would leave it till the last day as people would accuse him of being forced on that date.

    If he doesn’t call an election for 6th of May then I think a good alternative would be 27th of May.

  17. This blog has been hijacked by a handful of partisan ‘political geeks’ . Turn off the computer and get a life. it’s more interesting to read the weather forecast.

  18. @Éoin…………………….My very happy Irish friends tell me that there are two types of people in the world, the Irish, and them that wants to be Irish ! :-)

  19. @ EOIN
    “public sector workers will suffer, but will the electorate turn a blind eye?”

    Private sector/out of work-yes ( it’s their b****y turn )

    Private sector/in work-probably, unless you had a major reduction in your mortgage repayment.

    Private sector/retired-yes definitely

    Public Sector in work-no

    Public Sector retired-absolutely no way.

    All answers exclude those with tribal allegiances.

  20. we just lost Michael Fish ! :-)

  21. COLIN:
    Thank you. The latest figures quoted from various sources was from March 2009. I would have been interested to see the effect of the strikes on the membership though I doubt UNITE would be too keen to release that just yet.

  22. I wonder at what point on this 619-post-and-counting board (a new UKPR record – go guys!!) did BB get bored and decide to rant and flounce off?

  23. @Ash

    fair question,

    I expect to be proved wrong

    I just see

    a)march 29th economy debate a deliberate idea to flush tory plans

    b) I think Labour will do well in the council elections they won four last week

    c)world cup fever + sun = feel good factor

    all this will contribute to higher labour turnout with perhaps bouyant campaign staff….

  24. Ash/EOIN – It’ll be 6th May

    Birmingham Brian – There’s an election coming, things are bound to have changed. There were also no polls for 48 hours, so yes, this thread has been hijacked. No fear though, give us a poll and we’ll all be back on track.

    Everyone – It’s no good, I just can’t see the public swallowing “Tax Cuts” narrative after “austerity” narrative” (NOT just NI, marriage, IHT corporation too) Every time I read it will extend Con lead my brain just screams “NOOOOOOO”

    Eoin – I was wondering about AR myself, surely they’ve gone a bit quiet? Could it be a poll came along they didn’t like????

  25. “Labour have Darling, who by being a dour old git and calling the recession early has got the grudging trust of at least some. The LibDems have Cable, with his academic economical background. ”

    Looking at the post-budget polling, I wouldn’t really call AD popular with the general public.

    Take David Cameron – he may be more trusted than Gordon Brown (according to YouGov polls), but he is still only trusted (and liked) by a minority of voters – most of them probably Tory. Everything’s relative, granted – but no MP has what you’d call high public trust ratings at the moment.

  26. We weren’t talking about popularity, we were talking about trust – two different things. Darling isn’t especially well liked (although he did look quite foxy in his ’70s beardy hippy days…) but largely as a result of the admission about us going into the worst recession in 60 years and the subsequent bullying thing – which he apparently withstood – he is trusted. Brown has now recognised that and pledged that he’ll keep his job at the Treasury should Labour win.

    You didn’t answer my question: who have the Tories got that is generally trusted in a Darling-y/Cable-y way?

  27. Mitz – Ken of course

  28. Clarke? Are you having a laugh?

  29. “Darling isn’t especially well liked (although he did look quite foxy in his ’70s beardy hippy days…) but largely as a result of the admission about us going into the worst recession in 60 years and the subsequent bullying thing – which he apparently withstood – he is trusted. ”

    No, the majority of people asked didn’t trust his or Labour’s economic management (see post and pre-budget polls). That to me (by any measure) suggests that he isn’t trusted.

    “You didn’t answer my question: who have the Tories got that is generally trusted in a Darling-y/Cable-y way?”

    Well, I don’t think Osborne is liked that much – even by many Tory supporters. However, on AD (see above about majority of voters not trusting AD).

    I think trust in politicians has been severely eroded by years of lies, and the MPs’ expenses scandal didn’t help the public’s perceptions of politicians either.

  30. Sue;

    Dunno why you’re trying to ingratiate yourself with BrummyBrian – he’s watchin’ the weather forecast.

  31. For what it’s worth, I find AD is a good public speaker. However, like all politicians, I take most of what he says with a pinch of salt!!!!

  32. BTW I seem to remember saying a few days ago that I personally find Osborne really irritating – too smarmy for my liking! I think that’s why he struggles to be liked by the public.

  33. Tory NI cuts – and potential implication for income tax

    Amazing what the Tories’ proposed increase to the upper earnings limit (UEL) for NICs may mean for income tax!

    The National Insurance Contributions Act 2008 changed the basis on which the UEL is calculated. The intention is that the UEL is the sum of the basic rate limit for income tax (ie the point at which the higher rate of 40% becomes payable) plus the personal tax allowance. So, if the Cons intention is that the UEL will move to £45,500 the basic rate limit would therefore be at, say, £39,025 (based on the current allowance figure of £6475).

    The current basic rate limit is £37400. Broadly, the increase to the UEL could mean higher rate taxpayers enjoying a tax reduction of 20p in the pound on £1625 ie £325.

    Assuming this is correct, that means the cost of the NI cut is substantially higher than that identified by the IFS.

  34. Ill try this again

    Places like Electoral Calculus predict Conservatives short of overall majority by approx 25. This site mentions Conservatives short by 40. Polls are geenrally tightening and Conservatives will probably win the popular vote by 3-5 percentage points. Given the seat bias in the system to Labour, the seat predictons above are in the right ball park (Conservatives 285-300, Labour 265-280).

    The point is that the spreadbetting sites are quoting the Conservatives at 325-330 and Labour 228-233. Now, traditionally, bookies are very good at assessing outcomes – and they are bettng the house on the accuracy of their predictions (especially the spreadbetters). If we generally believe the polls (and the associated seat presictions), then we should all be buying Labour (@233) and selling Conservatives (@325) and making soem money. If we dont, then this implies we fundamentally believe that the polls are SIGNIFICANTLY underestimating the poll gap.

    Me – I believe the polls and think the bookies have mis-priced. Others?

  35. If the British public are capable of forgetting the man who stands in the house at PMQ filled with sorrow, regarding further deaths of service men, is the same man who demanded cuts in their equipment. Then the same public will forget Tory statements which may make tax cuts suprise news. Particularly, if these tax cuts benefit the public themselves.

  36. Galvan – I’m really sorry, not ignoring you, I thought there were others better qualified than me to answer.
    Having read other’s explanations, I believe it is based on the amount already placed as well as the basic odds. As so much was placed on a Tory win, the odds are taking time to catch up with the polls.

    There’s much more to it than that, but I’m not clear enough to go into it.

  37. Tory NI cuts again…

    And I’ve just done the maths.

    Those who the Tories claim will be worse off, will in fact be better off under this change, simply because of the income tax effect.

    The difference between the current UEL and the proposed UEL is £1625 (£45500 – £43875). Multiplied by 10% gives extra NICs payable of £163. Which is half of the amount of tax that they will save!

    Devious eh?!

    It will interesting to see whether this comes up tonite.

  38. I have to agree with other posters – Sue your comments are largely partisan and should be moderated.

    This is meant to be a site for discussing polls and yes going off topic a little. I for one dislike this constant pro lab bias by a few individuals.

    When the polls are not in their favour they attack Con people and policies, without seeing or acknowledging the faults in their own party and policies.

  39. Sue – the point is that the market has moved in the bookies favour (away from a Conservative outright majoirty). A ssuch the current spot market made by bookies should better reflect the current expected outcomes. Thats why it appears to be completely out of kilter with the polls. Something does not add up

  40. Galvan – You’re right. There was a poster a few threads ago who was amazingly knowledgeable, but I forget which thread and the name of the poster!! See I’m useless, perhaps someone else can remember? EOIN? You have an amazing memory?

  41. DWIN – I take your criticism and will try to do better

  42. Gavan- I’m no betting man. My father worked the tracks with bookies. He told me betting was a mug’s game. All my feeble attempts at betting have been miserable failures.

    There have been several posts on other threasd on the site explaining why the odds offered by bookies now may not refelct the actual voting intentions of joe-public. I confess not to reading them in detail but the gist is that the bookies want to make money whatever the outcome of the GE.

    Unless someone can point you in the right direction to find these postings either you will have to take Sue and my comments at face value or spend many happy hours reading the numerous postings.

  43. If you search in google by typing:

    bookies site:ukpollingreport . co . uk

    (without the spaces between co and uk)

    You will get all the mention of the word bookies from this site. One of them would be the one Sue was perhaps referring to.

  44. @ Everyone,

    Some people on here seem to think 27th May or 3rd June would be a possible date for the GE but one thing you are all forgetting is both these dates are bang in the middle of Half Term Holidays for a lot of people and therefore may be away on holiday!

    :[email protected] Everyone,

    All good fun this BUT with the general reaction about the budget and the Conservatives response coupled with the brilliant latest poster campaign and now the treasury debate tonight I can see the Conservative poll rating just nudging the 40% mark once again.

    I’m really sorry to keep reminding everyone on here of my GE prediction but we keep on revisiting:

    40 30 20 10 :o

    Conservative majority of 20-40 :o

  45. Mark Johnson “…but we keep on revisiting:”

    Mark, please get over this groundhog day thing.

  46. DWIN
    You dont seem to understand, Labour have nothing to apologies for. The whole track record has been wonderous and any minor shortfalls are the fault of a woman who was pm 20 odd years ago. As for any little matters of debt and war which might cloud the sunlit uplands of the new Jerusalem, who evers fault they are, they are certainly not Gordon Browns.

  47. I’ve just looked back through the entire thread to see where I’ve been too partisan, but in fact, I’ve been quite a Tory today as Colin will testify. Still, I will try harder.

  48. Thanks for that Roland. As DWIN was complaining about me in particular, I thought I’d get better from you. Is that really what you think?

  49. Mark J:

    Can you post your g.e. predictions more regularly please? When they only arrive two or three times per day, and I then forget the exact figures, I have to trawl back through countless posts to be enlightened.

    Perhaps Anthony could have them as a permanent feature at the top of each new thread? That would be great.

    Meanwhile, hourly would be a good compromise.

  50. MIKE N

    “Assuming this is correct, that means the cost of the NI cut is substantially higher than that identified by the IFS.”

    You do try very hard I must say!

    May I respectfully suggest you actually read the IFS analysis.
    They provide graphs of all the winners & losers.

    And they-not unsurprisingly -thought of the point you raise & cover it as follows :-

    “The personal allowance (the amount of income you can receive before you start to pay income tax), and the employee and employer’s NI thresholds were
    to be aligned, as were the Higher Rate Threshold (the amount of income you can have before you start to pay the 40% rate of income tax) and the NI UEL.
    Including the impact of employers’ NI on the cost of employing someone, the marginal tax rate would have been 0% for about the first £5,700 of income,
    39% between £5,700 and about £44,000, and 48% above this. The Government’s subsequent reforms, combined with their proposed changes to NI, have moved us far from this simple structure, as we discussed in our analysis of last year’s Pre Budget Report. The Conservative Party’s proposals
    would add to, rather than remove, these complexities, because the higher-rate threshold and the NI UEL would no longer be aligned”

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