The full results of YouGov’s poll in the Sunday Times are here.

Notable is the economic optimism question. When YouGov asked the same question for the Sun just before the budget on March 22nd-23rd net economic optimism was minus 10, matching it’s January peak. When YouGov asked the question straight after the budget on Wed-Thurs it had fallen to minus 19. By Thurs-Friday when the fieldwork for the Sunday Times was done it had fallen to minus 24. This is the lowest YouGov have had economic optimism since last April. If Labour’s recovery has been at least partially to do with rising economic optimism, then I’d expect this to result in the lead growing again (assuming, of course, that economic optimism doesn’t recover just as rapidly).

Looking at the rest of the poll, there is a direct Darling vs Osborne question that shows them pretty much neck and neck (33% prefer Osborne, 32% prefer Darling). In the past few days we’ve seen several versions of this question asking the comparison between Osborne, Darling and Cable (for example, see this from YouGov), and they have typically shown Cable ahead and Osborne in a poor third. This suggests people who prefer Cable split disproportionately in Osborne’s favour if they are forced to choose between Osborne and Darling.

On other subjects, rather unsurprisingly the majority of people wanted an inquiry into the former Labour ministers caught in the fake lobbyist sting, and the overwhelming majority supported some form of restriction upon ministers taking up lobbying jobs too soon after leaving office. 39% supported a complete ban on former ministers working as lobbyists. Slightly more interesting was that 38% of people believed that Stephen Byers had successfully influenced government policy, with 29% thinking he was exaggerating. The answers were largely partisan though, with Conservative supporters tending to think he had changed policy and Labour supporters thinking he was boasting.

Asked about the proposed tightening of the drink driving limit there was strong support for a reduction – 50% supported a reduction to 80mg, 21% said they would support an even tighter restriction, 23% opposed a restriction.

Finally YouGov asked about climate change. 30% of people said they had become more sceptical about climate change since the controversies around scientists studying climate change. As well as a change question YouGov re-asked a climate change question originally asked in December 2009 for Left Foot Forward – there was a slight shift towards scepticism, but not a huge one. In December 2009 83% said the planet was warming and human activity was at least partially responsible, 12% said the planet was not warming, or human activity was not responsible. In the latest poll 76% said the planet was warming and human activity was contributing, 16% said the planet wasn’t warming or mankind was not responsible.

Tonight we should have the daily YouGov poll, possibly a Opinium poll in the Express. We are also due Ipsos-MORI and ComRes polls at some point soon.


148 Responses to “More from YouGov’s Sunday poll”

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  1. This is potentially devastasting for Labour. Interestingly the housing market has stalled since Christmas, although there are figures today showing rising consumer credit (do we really want this?). If confidence really has dropped sharply this pulls the rug from under the Labour recovery. This may be a voter response to the budget which dissipates, but we really need to keep an eye on this.

  2. I am somewhat consoled that unlike in the US people are generally of the opinion that human activity contributes to climate change. With my archaeologists hat on I realise that climate change is something that occurs ‘naturally’, however, the reasons for climate change that we can associate with events in the past both historically and pre-historically have not occured to account for the change in the climate we are presently witnessing.

    Perhaps because our major parties all accept that climate change is occuring could be the likely difference between the publics perception here in the UK and that witnessed in the US where the Republicans generally question whether the event is happening at all.

    My hat off to all three major parties – thank you all for being alert to this danger.

  3. Labour’s current vote share is very sensitive to changes in economic optimism.

    Of course, it could just be sample variation, or a very short term drop in confidence, that recovers just as quickly.

  4. “I am somewhat consoled that unlike in the US people are generally of the opinion that human activity contributes to climate change. With my archaeologists hat on I realise that climate change is something that occurs ‘naturally’, however, the reasons for climate change that we can associate with events in the past both historically and pre-historically have not occured to account for the change in the climate we are presently witnessing.

    Perhaps because our major parties all accept that climate change is occuring could be the likely difference between the publics perception here in the UK and that witnessed in the US where the Republicans generally question whether the event is happening at all.

    My hat off to all three major parties – thank you all for being alert to this danger.”

    Yes, I couldn’t agree more.

  5. What Bill and Matt said – hear, hear.

  6. It is clear as crystal, Darling missed a trick in a big way..
    A budget six weeks before the GE and you are 5 points down but climbing slowly.
    The people would have taken anything positive, Labour must have realised this they must they must!!
    Instead like so many things they just plough on regardless totally blissfully unaware of what the voters want.
    This will lead to 40 30 20 10 and that will mean we all have to go without public services while the bankers responsible for this mess replenish their garages with Tory blue Bentleys. They don’t tell you this in the NOTW now do they?
    No wonder economic confidence is down, you put nowt in you get nowt back…..ever!

  7. RE climate change,do you think that certain people will see his leading to a general debate on curbing population growths ?

  8. And as for climate change, did the people interviiewed spend last winter in Barbados or do they actually genuinely believe the weather patterns are no different?

  9. “40 30 20 10”

    Possibly, but I think it’s far too early to tell myself. Much could still happen in the next month – remember, just a relatively small swing either way and either Lab or the Cons could get a a small majority.

  10. Whilst it is undeniably bad for Labour if economic optimisim drops too much, it is also paradoxically, they’re lifeline. They have a huge balancing act on their hands. They must generate enough economic optimism for the general mood to be that things are improving, whilst at the same time, provide caution that it could all still go wrong (under the tories).
    This plummet in economic optimism, if it starts to creep back up again, could actually be good for Labour in the long run. If it plummets further, or remains static, it could be devastating.

  11. I ignore you-gov as it is obviously Labour biased
    Time and time again it distorts the Tory vote and overplays Labour.

    BEST IGNORE IT

  12. FWIW the PDFs of the week-end YouGov Scottish polls for the SoS and the Scotsman – both apparently based on the same 1008 sample – are also available from the YouGov wesite.

  13. I believe all polls – they are done with different methods yes, but with best intentions to be as accurate as possible.

    I find it interesting the NOTW back the Cons when the poll they publish is 8 pts lead – dangerous if next week that lead drops.

    Looking forward to chancellors debate – expect all the usual sound bites, what i want though is some honesty and answers on how they will cut dept spending. YES it will not happen, but i will applaud any of them that do.

    Finally Nat Ins – i don’t care, the electorate don’t care.

  14. Roger – there is nothing inherently wrong or biased about YG figures, the main difference that has been identified between YG (and AR by the way) is that they do not factor in the ‘likelihood to vote’ factor. I have argued on other threads that this reasonably could be taken as depressing the Labour turnout between 5% – 15%, I opt for the lower 5% figure so that my own political bias (I am human) does not enter into the calculation. The thus amended figures actually then sit very comfortably with the other major pollsters and make the YG figures ‘at least more comparable’ with the other pollsters.

    We should not ignor polls because we dislike them, we should examine them and try and understand them.

  15. Interesting that Osborne and Darling are about equal on 32/33% but that the largest opinion, 35%, think neither. Whilst a 3 way question puts Cable in a clear lead, given a 2 way choice, they’re marginally rather have Osborne. With the economy being the big issue of the election so far, can we imply that liberal and floating voters would be persuaded to take their second choice and vote conservative if they perceive a 2 horse race?

  16. dwin

    “Looking forward to chancellors debate – expect all the usual sound bites, what i want though is some honesty and answers on how they will cut dept spending.”

    “Finally Nat Ins – i don’t care, the electorate don’t care.”

    I agree fully with the first point and tend to agree with the second. The chancelor’s debate should be intersting based on Vince Cable’s performance on Question Time at the weekend. The CON and LAB representatives gave reasonable answers on economic questions. Cable answered more fully and with more detail in what seemed like 2 or 3 sentences. I suspect he’s capable of making the other 2 look like light weights. We’ll have to wait and see if he can do it under pressure.

    As for NI. 0.5% here or there makes about £100 per year on average earnings. Peanuts. Lots of headlines for almost no cash. Great strategy if questionable economics during a recession.

  17. @ 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!

    @ Everyone,

  18. This is potentially pretty bad news for Labour.

    I also think the NI cut/retraction from Conservatives is a clever ploy, as you can use the vague ‘efficiency’ savings Darling has mentioned to justify it. It also gives some clear blue water and a positive message for the doorstep canvassers.

    Is this the move we have been waiting for from the Conservatives?

  19. A large drop in confidence re the economy could affect the labour vote significantly. A small drop will indicate that the electorate has concerns re a double dip recession and will work against the Tory policy of immediate large cuts (at least that was their policy last week – not sure where they stand after today).

    Tonight, I would expect Vince Cable to tear GO to pieces re the tory economic position on cuts.

  20. We have become used to counter intuitive results from recent polls, so, bad news for Labour = rise in poll popularity, perhaps the next few polls will reflect this trend ? Or, perhaps, intuition will reassert itself ! I suspect the latter. :-)

  21. Ah that makes me smile and lol,nat ins i dont care and the electorate dont care!
    So if the budget had put up job seekers by £3 that would have been great,but £3 going to people who work its nothing ,oh right so lets give more to the work shy,after all their worth more !

  22. “I find it interesting the NOTW back the Cons when the poll they publish is 8 pts lead – dangerous if next week that lead drops.”

    An interesting point, especially as the Conservative lead was even greater when The Sun opted to support them (correct me if I’m wrong of course).

    However, I would have been surprised if the NOTW had opted for anyone else. Sir Rupert has, I presume, sent out a clear instruction to his editors. The only question I have is whether The Times / Sunday Times have yet expressed support for one party or another (I could hazard a guess which way they will go…).

    I don’t think any of these papers will switch horses at this stage. The Dirty Digger doesn’t lack self confidence and I am sure he will believe that his papers can swing a fair few votes. I am equally sure his editors don’t have all that much genuine indepence either.

  23. @CB
    Does it stand for Commie B something or other?
    You are quite mistaken, my next Bentley Mulsanne will be British Racing Green.

  24. @Roland……….A man after my own heart. Cheers ! :-)

  25. YouGov Scottish weightings
    Anthony

    Looking at the regional weightings, YouGov responses seem to be festooned with Scottish enthusiasts. How does this come about – I see you have to almost halve their numbers.

    I don’t think we have dealt with Bill Roy and his LTTV point which is repeated (a lot). Your weighting for Labour disloyal (how do people come into this category again?) is even more generous to them than straight Labour. If you have a page for this could you just point me to it please.

    I note that Bill will have to come up with a Labour percentage on the next AR poll that will not seem credible. The last one would have put Labour at 24 or thereabouts!

  26. howard
    The last one would have put labour on 24 or thereabouts

    Sounds good to me !

  27. @CB……………….You missed a trick there, you do get something for nowt if you inherit ! There you go ! :-)

  28. Labour voters were traditionally considered more likely to be put off by bad weather on polling day. In the case of YouGov (and its exclusion of inclination to vote) and the rest, maybe who ends up as largest party will be decided by the weather

  29. Opinium/Express

    Con 38% Lab 28% Lib 16% otr 18% Con Lead 10%

  30. GIN

    Is that a prediction or a fact ?

    If it’s a prediction I think Labour will be higher ie around 31%.

  31. Fact as reported by HenryMacrory;

    http://twitter.com/henrymacrory

  32. @ BUMBY
    “RE climate change,do you think that certain people will see his leading to a general debate on curbing population growths ?”

    It should do-since that is our problem.

    But it won’t because it is unsayable, uncontrollable, all mixed up with cultural & religeous practice, the exploitation of women……..it’s the elephant in the room-and that is where it will stay I’m afraid …until the next significant tectonic event, or external impact.

    “So if the budget had put up job seekers by £3 that would have been great,but £3 going to people who work its nothing ,oh right so lets give more to the work shy,after all their worth more !”

    ;-) ;-) ;-)

    I like your style Bumpy.

  33. It is tempting to think this decline in economic optimism will widen the gap for Cons.

    But I’m not tempted.

  34. I hope that Opinium/Express is the actual result but it seems very wishful thinking to me :o

  35. Mark,

    it’s actual result

  36. On economic optimism

    the 17 polls before last years budget gave the tories a 12% lead.

    the 17 polls after last years budget gave the tories a 17% lead.

    That is quite a jump.

    We clearly have not seen that happen with this years budget. For four reasons

    unemployment is falling
    growth has returned
    darling undershot borrowing
    we have an election so there will be less fluctuation in the polls.

    on the last point, two thrids of the Lib Dem voters in the marginals confirmed they may switch they vote before polling day. Thins is not that important, certainly it is not as important as it would appear. They did not poll vey highly in Ipsos Mori’s 56 marginals. I think Lab/con had about 80% between them. Nevertheless, it does offer evidence that Libs might vote tactically.

    economic optisim has worsened as a result of the poll but it is nowhere near as bad as it was. Also, last year we had the expenses crisis in early may.

    On the Osborne Darling head to head, considering the budget placed all of the focus on Darling, and cost Labour a slight hit in the polls, he will be happy with those figures.

    opinium 10% is less that its 11% recorded two weeks ago but 3% worse than its pre-budget poll.

    the ICM 8% is probably the most accurate reflection of how the budget went.

    tonight is still set to show a Yougov 3% (only my prediction before anyone panics)

    sorry DavidB and brian Birmingham if I went on a bit……

  37. I think the Cons lead will grow a couple of points tonight – looking at the C4 you gov poll there is support showing, against what over polls have said, for Cons policy (well policy today) to cut the defecit immediately – this usually translates in support for the party – however when further scrutiny of Osborne and the policy, which has to come even from the right wing press, this lead will shrink to 2-4 points again.

  38. Henry Macrory is saying Tastie Tories in ComRes poll coming out tonite.

  39. OPINIUM:-

    38 ( +1) 28 ( -2 ) 16 ( -2)

  40. @Eoin,

    So are saying that the Opinium/Express poll of a 10% is for real?
    Labour should be a bit concerned at dropping below the 30% mark!

  41. @ Roland and Ken

    Thanks for letting us know what you all really think now the lead has perked! No change there then

    I did miss a trick, I should have cut public spending by 4/5ths and spent it on a 1% national insurance cut…
    VOTE FOR ME!!!

  42. @mark,

    good q…

    Labour will yes, but you and others i suspect, think it will be closer than that….

    Tories cannot get over the 40%… the last 25 poll average them at 37%

    so the long and short of it is that i think 38% is very accurate… 28% less so

  43. So that means that although 1% has gone to the Tories yet another 3% has gone over to ‘others’ !

    Thats reasonably good for the Conservatives but I would say quite bad for Labour and LDs

    ComRes will be interesting though – YouGov seems out of it now when looking at the rest – but lets wait and see before we (all) get too excited :o

  44. Colin Green – thanks for comments.

    I also agree Vince Cable is widely and rightly popular, he was the one that kept warning about the uk debt and i tend to think he puts across his points in a honest and understandable language. – But he is not challenged by the media as the others for obvious reasons.

    I get annoyed at the media for not demanding more details from all parties on their cut intentions, that is why the electorate don’t trust any mp – they just will not give a straight answer on detail.

    Public spending has increased approx 40% in 5 yrs, i can not understand why you can not cut 15% across all depts. I would also suggest a 20% vat rate is sensible policy when economy recovers – brings billions in taxes with limited damage.

  45. Eoin
    “Tories cannot get over the 40%”

    For the sake of clarity-is that one of your “nuanced opinions”-or is it what you actually think?
    ;-)

  46. The Tories do lead by 10% in one poll tonight. I believe that is Opinium.

    The Yanks are going to provide some great analysis on our polls. I’d be fascinated to hear people’s views:

    http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2010/03/uk-polling-numbers-not-sufficiently.html

    Tonight the bar is set high for Cable and low for Osborne. Osborne just needs to be competent.

  47. @mark

    I expect we will hear “yougov is out of it” many times tonight

    especially when they return a 3% tonight lol.

    Angus reid is in hiding i hear… reported recently in chile polling the relief recovery

  48. Combined Labour and LD share is down 15% compared to the last election with these Opinium figures.

    The Tory share is up 5% and Others must be up by 10%.

  49. @colin,

    the last 79 polls have the tories at 38%

    to be fair to you I included the first week in january ones that had them at 42…

    my own personally held opinion is black and white (but i mostly keep my opinions to myself)

    my analysis is all grey ;)

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