Tomorrow’s Sun has some YouGov polling around David Cameron’s first hundred(ish) days in power. Topline voting intention is CON 41%, LAB 37%, LDEM 15%, a four percent lead for the Conservatives. Over the last week or so YouGov seem to have started to show leads of around 4 or 5 points for the Tories, compared to 5 or 6 a couple of weeks ago. Ever so slowly the polls are narrowing.

Before looking at the 100 days questions, the fortnightly tracker on the alternative vote referendum is worth noting – 37% would vote yes, 38% would vote no. This question has bounced about a bit from poll to poll, so I wouldn’t be surprised if we got a plurality for yes again in a fortnight’s time, but nevertheless, it’s the first poll to show the NO camp in the lead and suggests there is a downwards trend underneath the noise. Labour voters, who polls initially showed supporting AV, in this poll back FPTP by 46% to 34%.

Moving on to the additional questions, looking back at the first 100 days Cameron (+20), Clegg (+5) and Osborne (+7) all enjoy good approval ratings; all significantly more positive than that of the government as a whole, today’s net approval there is once again +1.

The majority of the public have confidence in the government’s ability to run the economy (55%) and there is widespread confidence in their ability to cut the deficit (62%). However, the public are generally pessimistic about their ability to deliver in other areas – less than half have confidence in their ability to improve the NHS (32%)and schools (32%), cut crime (33%) or immigration (39%) and to protect the country against terrorism (42%).

Asked about some of the specific policies the government have introduced or announced during their time in office, the most popular were aiming to withdraw troops from Afghanistan by 2015 (80%), limiting housing benefit (72%), cutting the number of MPs (77%) and protecting NHS spending (79%). The least popular were the increase in VAT (supported by only 22%) and the free schools policy (supported by 37%).

Moving onto attitudes to the coalition, 44% think that the Conservatives got the better deal, 29% that the Lib Dems did (amusingly enough, Conservatives are more likely to think that Lib Dems got the better deal, Lib Dem supporters that the Conservatives did). 34% of people think that the government would have been worse had the Conservatives been in power alone, compared to 23% who think it would have been better (including only 55% of Conservative supporters, 31% of Tories think it would have made no differece and 8% think it would have been worse).

Opinions on the Lib Dems are rather mixed. 55% think they have moderated the government and made it more centrist, and 60% think going into the coalition was the responsible thing for the Lib Dems to do given the economic crisis. However, 59% think it involved selling out their principles, and 62% agree with the statement that it is no longer clear what the Liberal Democrats stand for (including 38% of their own supporters).

Finally, the public still don’t expect the coalition to last the distance. Only 14% expect it to last more than four years, 47% expect it to last less than two years. Asked what they expect the result of the next election to be, 40% expect the Conservatives to retain power (27% outright and 13% in a coalition), compared to 28% who think Labour will win (21% outright, and 7% in coalition).


115 Responses to “YouGov on Cameron’s 100 days”

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  1. Mike N,

    Forgive my typing.. very messy.. Men cannot multi-task that is for sure.

  2. Eoin/Jay/Mike

    Imagine the scene :

    “Do you approve of the goverment?” Hmmm, not really, +1

    “What about Cameron then?” Oh yeah, he’s alright I suppose, +20

    “And Osborne?” Oh yeah, now you mention it, he’s alright too.

    “And Clegg?” Oh yeah……

    You get it. Interesting though your discussion has been, most of these polls have glaring contradictions in them that often make you question the sanity of the respondents. Semantics probably isn’t their strong point.

  3. Sue,

    I quite agree. Though in hindsight, I will be careful not to trouble the statiticians with my very non-statician way fo comparing them… For those among us who treat the wording as gospel- these things matter. I can appreciate that- things matter to me :)

  4. Ha, Tonyotim, Snap!!!

  5. Semantics probably AREN’T their strong point?
    Semantics probably ISN’T their strong point?

    Which is correct? (Sorry, I liked the pun of a grammatical discussion of semantics)

  6. Or would that be a grammatical pun within a semantics discussion?

    (I’ll stop now)

  7. Probably isnt is more correct….

    Mike N,

    I read your earlier about 55%. I think you should view in the context of the emergency budge and a VAT increase. Considering VAT at 20% is so unpopular- Backing on economy at 55% is quite staggering. Darling nad others prepped the public well, they are swallowing Osborne’s pill…

    It will be interesting to see how often this question is asked so that we can compare it…

  8. Sue
    Does it depend on whether its logical or lexical semantics?

  9. Mike N – Good point.

  10. Eoin

    I’ve looked at the latest link from you and find the content interesting. But p43 is simply a chart.

    I recognise that poll respondents may ‘misunderstand’ the Qs. But the pollster analyst can only work on the answers given and not substitute their own view IMO.

    I agree it would be useful to have the same Q asked regularly by YG, but I doubt it will happen. The poll purchaser will move on to other things.

  11. Mike N,

    The chart on page 43 plots to separate things- voter intention (blue) and best party.

    Now you would say those are two separate things. Certainly they are two separate questions. They are certainly different enough to get your knickers in a twist should Eoin try to equate them. Yet note their close correlation. I put it to you that their close correlation on two separate wordings, indicates that the voters pre-conceived disposition infroms the answering of the question ‘best party’.

    Conceivably the respondent barely took time to consdier what best meant… He hardly weighed up their policy of promoting women, holding primaries, or issues relating to peerages, expenses or funding. Nope siree- best party to the due in the chair broadly correlated with where he was putting his X.

    So many of these questions follow the same pattern… Thus I add 42 and 15 get 57% as a combined blue/yellow share and then see 55% support for the economy as fairly indicative.

    Apoligies in advance for typos :)

  12. h ttp://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/blog/2010/aug/17/tweetminster-research-bad-news-for-clegg

    **VOODOO POLL NO.2**

  13. Eoin
    What I think you’re saying is that the 55% reflects VI.

    I do not support the coalition gov, but I do have confidence in this gov to run the economy. (Note this is not the same as saying that I think the way it will be run is good for me or the country.) On the grounds that there must be poll respondents similarly minded to me, the 55% is IMO low.

  14. Frankly if the majority of the population believed that the government could cut the deficit and simultaneously improve services across the board, it would suggest they were either mad, thought Cameron was the second coming or that Labour’s handling of services was appalling.

    You might as well ask questions about Balaclava.

    Do you think the Light Brigade are skilled, brave and dedicated to achieving victory? 85% yes.

    Do you think the Light Brigade’s charge will be a success? 85% no.

  15. ICM Poll:

    Tories – 37%
    Labour – 37%
    Lib Dems – 18%

    Ho Hum- now that REALLY is celebrating “one hundred days” :-) :-)

    ….wait for the ’so that means the government is supported by 55%’ excuses…

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