YouGov have a poll for the Sunday Times tomorrow – full results are up on the YouGov website here. Topline voting intention figures, with changes from the Thursday poll, are CON 43%(nc), LAB 36%(+2), LDEM 16%(-1). Putting aside YouGov’s poll on Tuesday which looked like a bit of an outlier, this is the higher Labour have been for a long time (though they remain 7 points behind the Conservatives, also high compared to most recent polls), and the lowest the Liberal Democrats have been. Support seems to be polarising around the two main parties.

Looking at the approval ratings of the government, Cameron and Clegg, net approval is down on all three – although in every case it remains well into positive territory (Government net approval is at +15, Cameron’s net approval at +34 and Clegg’s at +27). In every case the drop is mostly down to an increase in those disapproving and a drop in don’t knows – it looks as thought some who were reserving judgement have come down against Cameron/Clegg (the proportions approving of Cameron & Clegg have also dropped since the budget, the proportion of those approving of the government is above that pre-budget).

Reactions to the budget are pretty much the same as YouGov found in their poll for the Sun, a plurality of people thought it was good for the country (41%) and was fair (49%). Asked who would loose the most, 33% thought people on middle incomes would, with 18% thinking all incomes groups would suffer. 18% thought the rich would suffer the most, 29% thought the poor would.

Asked about individual measures, once again almost of them met with majority approval, including freezing child benefit (52% approval), freezing public sector pay (55% approval) and cutting housing benefit and DLA (56% approval). The sole exception was, once again, VAT – which 52% of people said they disagreed with, compared to 38% who agreed. Asked if they would rather have had an income tax rise instead though, only 31% said they would, with 52% preferring VAT.

YouGov went on to test what people thought about the VAT rise given the Conservative and Lib Dems’ statements about it during the election campaign. Asked about the Conservative statement that they had no plans to raise VAT, 53% of respondents thought they had intended to all along, and just didn’t want to admit it for electoral reasons. 34% of people thought they really hadn’t had any such plans, but were forced to raise VAT by the state of the economy. The public were slightly more forgiving towards the Liberal Democrats – asked if they had abandoned their principles by supporting a tax rise they had attacked during the campaign 43% thought they had, but 43% thought it was a necessary compromise to secure other measures that helped the poor.

There is also an ICM poll due out tonight – I’ll update on that when it appears.

68 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times budget reaction”

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  1. Lib Dems down to 16% and still the ICM to come

  2. That’s pretty clear then.
    Libs suffering, Lab gaining, Tories sitting pretty.

  3. I think its more than 6 months since LDs were down at 16% and more than 12 since YG had them at 13% seems like an age ago

  4. I am astonished by the strong showing for Labour.

    Alistair &/or Harriet may be regretting their decision not to stand for the leadership!

    Tory popularity is easily explained, IMO. England are still in the world cup, Cameron’s visibility has been high – Bloody Sunday speech & attending the G8.

    The budget was stage managed to put Osborne, Alexander & Clegg in the spotlight. This has worked out beautifully for the Tories. 8-)

  5. Actually, there’s some really good news for the Tories here. They’ve broken through the 40% mark pretty conclusively, something they couldn’t do during the first part of the year. Around 3% more people seem convinced by the softened-by-libs approach

    Anthony’s happy I see, he’s put TORY MAJORITY 6 in a massive font in the box!!

  6. Sue – it is actually automated, it’s just been a very long time since it showed up! It might well vanish again once ICM turns up (and no, that’s not a hint, I haven’t seen the ICM figures).

  7. Anthony – lol. Could be some time before we see “Labour Majority” and I can check you out!

  8. I reckon the Lib Dems can expect to be stuck in 16% territory for many months to come – partly because that’s where they were before the election drew near, but mostly because they’re losing overjoyed right-wing members to the tories and disgruntled left-wing members to Labour. That said, their best bet now in my opinion is for them to stick it out and focus on getting AV through – if they can produce a system where people no longer worry about wasted votes, I suspect their support will shoot up.

    On a side note, good to see the blue Tory majority box back on the frontpage again! :-D

  9. Sue – the Labour majority exists in there. It looks like this –

    Can’t remember if it’s ever actually had an outing, or whether I set up the projection after October 2007. I haven’t actually done the background for a Lib Dem majority – for a while during the election campaign I was worried I’d have to run one up quickly!

  10. Hang on a minute, so Labour on 37 in the table WASN’T a mistake???
    How on earth did I miss Labour on 37??

  11. ICM was the last, best hope for the Dems – showing 21% last time around.

    It need only come in line with YG to be reported as a massive fall by ICM only papers. 8-)

  12. @ Sue

    Labour on 37 was seen as an outlier or rogue. I think ’twas a bank holiday weekend poll. 8-)

    It was not widely reported.

  13. Anthony – “I haven’t actually done the background for a Lib Dem majority – for a while during the election campaign I was worried I’d have to run one up quickly!”

    Panic over on that score then ;)

  14. Amber – No, so un-reported in fact, that a geek like me missed it entirely!! What were the other parties on?

  15. Scrap that, stupid me, I already saw them on the front screen. Doh!

  16. @ Sue

    It put the Tories only 4 points ahead of Labour on 41% & Dems on 18%.

    Without boundary changes, such numbers in a GE would’ve given Labour a majority. 8-)

  17. Lib Dems also on 16% in ICM…DOWN 5%.

    Alec don’t believe everything you see on twitter ;-)

  18. Amber – So I’d have gotten to see the red box on the front page? Well I never.

  19. @Amber Star – …”the treasury ‘rebellion’” (previous thread)

    Profile of Eric Pickles just broadcast (radio 4). Masterminded the ‘Bradford Revolution’ 1988-90, and now responsible for streamlining local government more generally.
    Described as an unreconstructed Thatcherite, even he emerged ‘tight lipped’ from the meeting at which he was informed of the scale of cuts he must administer.

  20. SunTel/ICM (vs pre Budget ICM) CON 41 (+2) LAB 36 (+4) LIB DEM 16 (-5)

  21. SunTel/ICM (vs pre Budget ICM) CON 41 (+2) LAB 36 (+4) LIB DEM 16 (-5

  22. ICM poll:
    Con- 41
    Lab- 35
    Lib Dem- 16

  23. And I honestly cannot see how the Dems recover from this.

    Clegg has raised his profile at the expense of his party’s future. And he hasn’t raised it by much, IMO.
    Theresa May appears to be in charge of his liberal, ‘roll back Labour legislation’ bill. I doubt it will be on the scale of Clegg’s grandiose claims.

    That leaves constitutional reform. When PR/AV fails to materialise & their Lordships block an elected chamber, Dems will have nothing to show for their time in government.

  24. @ Sue & Anthony

    Amber – So I’d have gotten to see the red box on the front page? Well I never.
    Sadly, no because Anthony uses a weighted average & that was just one poll.

    But the graphic for a Labour majority is ever so pretty; I am looking forward to it making an appearance at sometime in the (not too distant) future. 8-)

  25. @ Billy Bob

    Pickles has local government, doesn’t he? I foresee another rebellion – by local councils – when their budgets are slashed & they are not allowed, by central dictat, to increase council tax. 8-)

  26. What have LDs gained from this?
    A handful have gained new jobs, the rest have lost the funding due an opposition party.
    Nick Clegg given a gentle ribbing by J Naughtie this week along the lines of: has the PM told you anything about when you can go ahead with your voting reform?

  27. I am wondering – which Sunday ‘papers’ will be covering the ICM poll? 8-)

  28. Wow, the Libs would be down to 24 seats based on this.

  29. This poll is all very well, but I thinks that ICM, Comres, Populus and the others will give us the full picture of public opinion. However, the YouGov poll sugests that Labour is picking up Liberal support. Prehaps some wet left wing supporters got the jitters and went home to Labour?
    I think however, that we won’t know the full affects of the budget until next year after the VAT rise. Until then, happy poll gazing.

  30. @ Sue

    If Labour end up with Ed Miliband as leader, I expect a further dramatic fall in Dem support.

    The orange book liberals will go to the Tories or stay liberal. The rest, including the young, will go to Labour. Dems will be wiped out – whatever the voting system. 8-)

  31. The sole exception was, once again, VAT – which 52% of people said they disagreed with, compared to 38% who agreed. Asked if they would rather have had an income tax rise instead though, only 31% said they would, with 52% preferring VAT.
    So most people disagree with the VAT increase but prefer it to a rise in incomes tax? Amazing how peoples minds work. Though I suppose it is a choice between two evils.

  32. @Amber
    “I foresee another rebellion – by local councils ”

    How do you think they might do that? Declare independence? Threaten to join France? It could make travelling around the country more interesting :)

  33. Ok so there we have it.

    With all the exposure in the world yellows are gonners. I think we can say that’s that.

    ICM / YG have red blue gap at 6.5%

    The GE may 2010 had the red blue gap something similar.

    Thus, we can say that yellows now finally aside both are returning to red blue in equal numbers

    A polarisation in british politics is resuming

    For now it is on balance good news for blues. Any election in a year or so – they would stand a good chance of an outright majority no that DC has rebranded (post-thatcherite)


    The question is will there be a slow burn?

    Inflation 6% / VAT 20% / Unemployment 3mill

    Well of course there will be!


    For now though 8/10 to David Cameron

  34. @PeteB

    I dare say we could see a repeat of the Millitant/Looney Left rebellion like the one during the 1980s. I hope not. I hope whoever is Labour leader will be able to crush that threat easily.

  35. Plans for DC to speak at LD conference according to The Guardian… “The more they (Labour) attack us , the more they drive us together”

  36. “The more they attack us, the more they drive us together?” DC

    Did he really say that?? LOL

    It’s not Romeo and Juliet!

    And it’s only been 6 weeks, AND Labour hasn’t really got a leader or anything.

  37. Why are we meant to support the waste of money which is armed forces day? If we really cared we’d have November 11 as a public holiday to remember all who served and suffered in war like the rest of the Commonwealth.

    But no, we have a day – note a day when many are on holiday and / or a weekend day so no cost – to say hooray we have an armed forces like any cheapskate tinpot country.

    It’s a bit like the dumb ‘Help for Heroes’ charity. Why are they heroes? They have just done a job. Intelligent ones will have left recognising the illegal and questionable morality of the Iraq and Afghan wars? Equally the pedants will correctly object to the word ‘heroes’; surely those who show physical courage and win medals are ‘heroes’; so are they heroic heroes?

    And aren’t they paid for this? Don’t they have excellency superannuation? Why are they heroes for doing a job? Oh, that’s right the word heroes has no meaning-the footballers tomorrow are also heroes to the tabloid press.

    And yes, both by parents were in WW2 and permanently invalided from it and my brother in Law was a Major in the Army (fighting forces- basic comment on the ‘heroes’ – unemployable idiots in civilian life, violence is fun. They make Saturday night uninhabitable in centre of towns). His wife is Lt. Col. and agrees…

    We need less New Labour Stalinist Tory propaganda…

    Less right wing propaganda from the media; the military may be needed but they aren’t heroes; they employ the unemployable…

  38. The smile on the face of the tiger? :)

  39. @ Billy Bob

    Plans for DC to speak at LD conference according to The Guardian… “The more they (Labour) attack us , the more they drive us together”
    OMG – have the Dems lost their minds? They may as well tell their remaining supporters to join the Tory party & be done with it. 8-)

  40. @amber star et al predicting LD demise

    Well this is back to Jan 2009 territory so hardly a disaster but bad yes.

    Nor is it unexpected -one party will cop the flak for a harsh budget and its always going to be the Junior partner .People expected it from the Tories not from LDs so they get the blame.

    LDs will hold their nerve and the LD elements of the govt programme will show the pub;ic the LD effect .After a very rough ride they’ll come out of this well

    If you go there, you will see polling data of 6 major institutes of Germany. Observe the score of the liberals (FDP) just 9 months after their entering in coalition with Merkel’s CDU: it is from 5 to 7%, compared to their 14,6% last year. Now they fight for survival (Germany has a 5% threshold for entering parliament), while their senior partner is pretty much unchanged (30-33% vs. 33,8 last year), and center-left (SPD and Greens) total 44-46% (vs. 33,7 last year). Now, if a defeated and leaderless Labour is between 35-37%, we can imagine what comes next….

  42. @Billy Bob: “Plans for DC to speak at LD conference”

    Ok, now that really is stupid for the Lib Dems. If they’re going to survive the coalition, they have to retain a distinct identity – if they can’t even have a conference without Tory influence then they’re done for…

  43. @ Richard Dawson

    How? How will the Dems come out of it well?

    Which LD elements of the govt programme will show the public the LD effect? 8-)

  44. Excellent news for Labour who should have a good lead once the cuts details announced.

    I’ve been wondering about two things:

    1. How things will go for the coalition when virtually all the Labour local authorities are Labour controlled
    2. How absurd it is to cut the public sector savagely, wiping away the graet gains of the last 13 years only for the next Labour government to reinstate much of what the coalition has teied to wipe out – such reinstatement may well be smarter and better of course!

    I continue to say that income tax rises are needed and I completely disagree with DC’s comments this evening thatincome tax rises would restrict growth much more than the coalitions plans.

    Think about this:

    Income Tax increases by 5 pence in the pound
    £10,000 allowance introduced immediately
    £12,500 allowance for over 65s introduced immediately
    VAT reduced to 15% permanently

    Politically impossible, garbage, rubbish – I can hear the catcalls – but a 25% reduction in police budgets, tuition fees at £5,000, and the first iannualised increase in life expectancy for 100 years- I could go on.

    People need to be offered a proper choice at another election where we will actually know what we are voting for – otherwise we could get a generational change in the nature of our society none of which has proper democratic approval.

  45. Amber – See, I subscribe to the “Time for a bit of Tory” theory.

    At the moment it’s OK to want cuts, to want to go after “scroungers” and “immigrants” and single mums with 5 kids by 6 fellas.

    When the cuts hit, that could well change and the Libs might come into their own as the party responsible for taming the worst excesses of the Tories or even stand up to something they just can’t support. It’s very very early days yet.

  46. DavidB – You do have a point.

    The irony is, we did know what they would do, the trouble is no-one believed it because it was an election and, well, they all lie during elections don’t they?

    AD and GB committed to reducing the deficit by half, supporting the economy until recovery was secured and focussing on jobs and growth.

    DC and GO Promised to clear the deficit and we knew the kind of cuts that would have to mean.

    People can hardly say now “Oh, but I wasn’t ready/I didn’t really get it/The dog ate my homework”

    Cuts it shall be.

  47. @ Sue

    When the cuts hit, that could well change and the Libs might come into their own as the party responsible for taming the worst excesses of the Tories or even stand up to something they just can’t support.
    And Labour would turn such a scenario into an opportunity to say: “Well the Dems helped the Tories into government, it’s a bit late to change their minds now! The only party who can ‘tame the Tories’ are Labour – People of Britain, don’t waste your vote on the Dems next time around”. 8-)

    Coming from a reasonably popular Labour leader, that would have some traction, don’t you think?

  48. Richard Dawson,

    It was not very long ago yellows were exclaiming of the potential of 40% in polls and forming a majority…

    Under FPTP the 6% swing from yellow back to red in this poll would see many yellows lost their seats. If you enjoy a chuckle and are of an open mind (from my experience yellows are both) go get a swingometer and check out danny Alexander’s seat.

    It is better than coffee :)

  49. richard

    do forgive me- a swing of 7% ;)

  50. @Sue Marsh:

    I agree, I think the Lib Dems – as long as they hold their nerve and remain in coalition – stand to gain a great deal of soft conservative support when things begin to get rocky for the government.

    Indeed, the coalition throws voters in my position (who spent the months before the election undecided over whether to vote Lib Dem or Tory) into a unique situation whereby we can change our voting intention while remaining supporters of the government. We might even end up in a situation whereby the coalition gets ‘steered’ by the opinion polls, tacking left when the Lib Dems are on the up and tacking right when the Tories are doing well.

    Of course, given politician’s bizarre habit of asumming that falling ratings means that they’re not being extreme enough, this whole thing might just backfire horribly. It’s still an interesting idea though. :-p

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