Today’s YouGov voting intentions and government approval ratings are the worst for the Conservatives since the election. The net government approval rating is zero – 40% of people approve of the government’s performance, but 40% of people disapprove. On voting intention the Conservative lead is down to 2 points, the lowest since the election campaign. Topline figures are CON 41%, LAB 39%, LDEM 12%.

Government approval has been on a slow downwards trajectory since the its peak straight after the emergency budget in June. This has been partially down to Labour voters’ hardening disapproval of the government, and partially due to falling Liberal Democrat support. The remaining Liberal Democrat voters still say they approve of the governent’s performance, but there are far fewer of them.

In voting intention, the level of Conservative support actually remains strong. Our daily polling has shown them consistently at or above 40% since the budget, significantly above the 37% support they received at the general election. Their narrowing lead in the polls is actually down to Labour increasing their support off the back of the collapse in Liberal Democrat support. Labour are consistently polling at around 37%, up 7 from their general election score, while Liberal Democrat support stands at just over half their general election vote.

The drop in government approval is to be expected, with the exception of the Blair government after 1997 (and to some extent 2001, when the government’s approval dropped, but then spiked after the attack on the Twin Towers), no British government sustains a positive approval rating for long. The Conservatives rating in the polls remains quite positive, but I’d expect that to start falling at some point once the cuts really start to bite: again, it is clearly what they expect, the Conservative strategy appears to be to take the unpopularity to start with and hope to recover once the cuts have been digested and the economy is in better shape. Right now, the interesting poll rating is that of the Liberal Democrats – the Conservatives have 5 years to get over low poll ratings… unless the coalition falls apart. To date the Lib Dems have been pretty sanguine about the collapse in support, despite stories about Charles Kennedy’s non-defection or Simon Hughes’s semi-regular soundings off, there is no obvious sign of panic.

In a separate poll, YouGov have also released voting intention figures for Holyrood constituency vote carried out for the SNP. Topline figures are CON 14%, LAB 36%, LDEM 12%, SNP 35%. Full results here

301 Responses to “Latest YouGov voting intentions”

1 2 3 4 5 7
  1. @LASZLO
    Well it sounds a massive improvement on how things where. Good. When I was 10 years old a boy came to my junior school in Hertfordshire called Steve (Stephan), he and his mother had got out, it was 1956.
    I never heard much about his dad. I soon went of Hungarians, he was a small boy in a strange country with just his mother, but quickly left most English boys for dead academically. To clever by half. I hope you are not like that.

  2. Eoin

    to refresh your memory !!

    From Andy’s treatise

    * (We) must explore a longer timetable for halving the deficit, including over two spending reviews. However, I would ensure that no action is taken which jeopardised our AAA credit rating. If we follow the Coalition plans, we may close the deficit but will be left with public services which are permanently damaged and higher unemployment.

    * (I) will pursue a more balanced approach to public spending. Spending reductions do need to form a part of our deficit reduction plans which is why I have made a difficult choice as Shadow Health Secretary.

  3. Rob S,

    I want to halve the deficit too… happily so!

    You will note Andy B listed several new taxes…. Solidairty tax, profits tax, land tax… (I wont pretend to understand them) I applaud the sentiment though…

    My income tax proposition is also valid I feel :)

  4. I do not understand why the Cameron’s thankfully good fortune is supposed to hit LD support. Has Mrs Cameron thwarted some dastardly LD plot to prevent her giving birth?

  5. Eoin

    Yep tax increases and spending cuts- classic Blairite social democracy for dealing with this type of problem!

    An approach containing the spending cuts you constantly disagree with on here whilst repeatedly downplaying the need to reduce the deficit (unless it suits the particular post you are composing) !!

    Along with Labours critique of the Coalition that *their* cuts go too far and too fast compared with what Labour would do- which you enunciate as ‘hypocritical’.

    Labour are not criticising the coalitions cuts while proposing exactly the same: now THAT would be hypocritical ;-)

  6. Howard,

    Reads Sue’s post in response to SamCam. It will provide you with the clue. :)

  7. neil A

    It seems to me that an obviously desirable destination is to be a country that has no structural deficit, that borrows money when times are bad and then pays it back when times are good

    even better would be a country that saves while times are good and spends those savings when times are bad only going into deficit in emergencies

    but that boat has sailed a long time ago

  8. I don’t mind a temporary tax rise designed to straighten out our finances once and for all, so long as it is wedded to a commitment to eliminate the deficit completely so that we actually obey Brown’s Golden Rule and achieve balance over the cycle. I’d go further and say that we should aim to reduce our net (real terms) national debt over the course of each cycle (repayment rather than interest-only to continue the mortgage analogy). I think the point is that to increase taxes sufficiently to bear the lion’s share of that effort would severely damage the country’s ability to make money.

  9. @John Murphy,

    John you are right about the 1979 swing in southend.
    BUT: Labour failed to win the seat, and this was a sign of things to come, the Tories were winning almost every by election 1976-1979.

    Meanwhile Labour at 39% with no leader in the summer hols when govts are at their most popular.

    Now is the time for all good Reds to prepare to vote AGAINST AV.

    Let the Whigs and Tories stay together. Poor Saint Vincent de Cuts

  10. @ Rob Sheffield

    “you don’t own the key to the chest marked ‘this is what it means to be a red’ and therefore whether someone is a hypocrite or not”

    Although you responded to Eoin, I would like to comment on this.

    Although people have personal and emotional relationship to their political stance (written all over on this site for example), there are objective criteria, while Eoin could be wrong about them, at least he addressed them.

    None of the Labour Party candidates have leftist solutions to the troubles caused by the recession and the heavy investment in social services infrastructure since 2011. They are repeating one technocratic view, which is based on the same ideology that are shared by all the major political parties different only in the degree (which is important) and honesty (less important, but still). All want to mitigate the consequences of injustice to varying degree, but neither of them want to address the cause of injustice – since when is it a Red? I’m not sure if it is possible to address this cause, but I don’t avoid the question.

    Addressing the budget problem (as much as it exists) is not a technocratic question as you put it (“we have to reduce the structural deficit to the levels pre the credit crunch” – what’s the difference between this and GO in principle? You danced around the real question: how and where the money has gone, how that budget needs to be reshaped both sides – expenditure and revenue as well as the size), but a political question and hence a social (I almost said a class) question. Which Labour candidate does that? Hence was my agreement with Eoin on hypocrisy.

  11. @ Roland @ 6:15

    One of the first things I learnt when I settled in the UK was that “clever” is a negative adjective for many people here :-)

  12. Eoin
    I obviously didn’t make my point clearly. I saw Sue’s response (which echoes mine actually) but Sue is a Labour supporter. I don’t see why the resulting surge in Con support shopuld not hit all others equally.

  13. Rob S,

    Most of that is wholly innaccurate. I do not criticise the cuts. What is more the amount rasied from a 2.5% Income tax rise is £75billion.

    Tightened ofwat regulations could save the consumer £6bn over the course of parliament and the Interest rate shield could help offset any risk of inflationary control measures impacting homeowners overly…

    Ie 2 pronged 1.. tax raising 2… more consumer protection..

    On 1/01/10 VAT will be passed on from companies to customers… as is always the way.. oil rsies are passed onto us… middle east instability is passed onto us… the level of price fluctuation in the retail oil industry is a joke.. the ogvernmen tcould legislate against daily changes in the rate to guarantee the custoomer medium temr security… oil and gas users included…

    There is a mountain of consumer protection schemes that would negate any 2.5% rise in income tax…

  14. Eoin – I believe you predicted Double Dip by Q22011.

    What changed your mind?

  15. @Richard,

    My understanding is that because of the excellent terms a solvent government can get on its debt its actually not a terrible idea to borrow when you need to. It’s just that we’ve become used to borrowing when we want to rather than just out of necessity.

  16. Howard,

    If I go to mass on Sunday I walk up the middle isle sometimes I sit left- sometimes I sit right. Rarely do I get up and switch from right to left… it does happen of course, but not as often as one would think.

    Female voters have stuck with the LDs in larger numbers than men… they back your decision to go into coalition but just hear them coo eeh when they hear of SamCam jnr.

  17. Sue,

    good question…

    do you remember just before th eelection Ashley had us lined up for some strong economic data… Mon, tues, Wed..

    it was allpretty week but all later revised upwards..

    The consecutive inflation falls, the 4.9bn underborrowed since july, the recovery in the pound and the dissolution of the Greek problem as an immediate threat to Ireland in particular (their retials picked up after a 15 month fall)…

    I still envisage stagnation (I am not as optimistic as Laslzo on China led demand)….

    I hope this helps.

  18. Nobody cared a fig about the Government’s deficit (electors i mean) so what makes any of you think they care now? They only care about their own deficit (and then manyof them – not much).

    As a polling site I think we should always think of the FGF (sorry to raise that one again but it is the guiding trend in the polls).
    Hence the Mrs Cameron prediction.

  19. Eoin – Since when did the blue plan only aim to reduce half the deficit? Surely any soap watching X Factor fan knows they want to clear it?

  20. Eoin
    How marginal is that % – I was unaware of it I confess?

  21. @Lazlo

    I addressed it thus: ‘…Labours critique of the Coalition that *their* cuts go too far and too fast compared with what Labour would do; Labour are not criticising the coalitions cuts while proposing exactly the same: now THAT would be hypocritical’- his was a classic ‘straw man’ rhetorical device. I guess you go along with such approaches but I find them tiresome.

    Social democracy is a leftist creed (and the dominant one in the labour party) and it has never had a problem with ‘deficit-spending’ on the one hand nor ‘deficit-cutting’ on the other. To call the Labour leadership candidates anything other than of the left is incorrect.

    You don’t believe that the deficit is a problem and that subjective opinion is your perfect right: I have to say that all your posts on the matter have not been convincing at all.

    I too don’t see the moniker ‘clever’ as a criticism.

  22. Sue,

    The institute of fiscal studies (pre-election) produced a report that doen two main things..

    1. plotted each of the three parties deficit reducation plans

    2. showed the % of costing..

    Blues of the top of my head had costed 15% of their .. yellows were highest… IFS concluded that there was almost no difference in the repayment targets of all three (based on the information in the manifesto).

    They also concluded that all three were lying to us…

  23. I was interested about the points made earlier that boil down to cuts vs efficiencies.

    I work for a multi-million turnover Company as a Quality Improvement Technician. It employs about 150 people.

    Over the last the few years the company has saved money by cutting jobs. We have lost lots of Maintenance Engineers that might at first look not deliver any tangibles.

    I deal with complaints and process improvement, and since machines are not maintained, they are creating more and complaints as they are now failing. We have lost Operators too in this ‘efficiency’ drive. This has meant less and less people doing more and more with poorer equipment.

    Guess what?

    We cause problems which take manpower to put right, which means we don’t have enough people looking at current production, so we get more complaints. Wash rinse and repeat….

    Personally, I think we are doomed in the long term, as the vicious circle gets worse and faster by the month.

    The ‘efficiencies’ were just front line cuts, with no thought given to the whole process that needs to be changed, the cultural changes and training needs to get people to work with a better process.

    I hope the cuts we are due are not such cuts, as if changing the way 150 people work is tough, changing the NHS for instance is too big a job for two years in my opinion.

    I am deeply worried that we just getting cuts that simply stop public services working for those who need them.

  24. correction:

    hope the cuts we are due are not such cuts, as if changing the way 150 people work is tough, changing the NHS for instance is too big a job for ten years in my opinion.

  25. I think the misunderstanding of Neil A is shared by the population.

    I believe the vast majority of the public expect Osborne to get rid of the entire deficit by 2015.

    This mis-understanding cannot be mitigated. The public, quite simply, will believe it is hair splitting & using ‘clever’ words to cover up failure.

    Osborne needs the entire deficit to be gone by 2015, or he could be toast. I am not saying failing to do this will scupper the Tories but it could well be a contributing factor.

    It will be seen as pain without gain, if there is still a significant deficit of any kind in 2015. 8-)

  26. @Eoin

    you said

    I still envisage stagnation (I am not as optimistic as Laslzo on China led demand)…. 6:46 pm

    But you also said

    A double dip is a possibilty. We have had soem predict it in the first quarter 2011. 4:37 pm

    In your opinion which is most likely stagnation or a second recession? Also, in your opinion what is the difference between them and what would be the different implications of each?

  27. Howard,

    Let me dig it out for you….

    Women tend to be more open to concilliatory politics.. they like politicians to get along and probably applaud some of the statesmanship… That might explain why tom-boy Sue does not and sissy me does ( i think). Gender reversals on UKPR.

  28. @Eoin

    IFS plotted each of the three parties deficit reducation plans

    It is pointless deplying such an out-of-date document in debates now: all three ‘main’ parties pre election plans are now not even worth being used as bog paper.

    The IFS study on the Oct 20th 2010 CSR and the Labour response to it will be the next pertinent document on this from them.

  29. Howard,

    With your support falling so badly recently it is less apparent that normal but here’s one example

    Sample Size: 2059 GB Adults
    Fieldwork: 16th – 17th August 2010 – 11% men = LD 16% women = LD

    I’ll dig up abou tten and average them for you…

    the last three were much closer

  30. eoin & laszlo

    one of the reason’s i’ve never been attracted to the red tent is the presence of the loudmouth shouty dictatorial types trying to ram their dogma down your throat. the bennites, blairites, brownites all the ites are the same(that includes the thatchites, different tent i know) uk polling report is refreshing in that very few of the contributors are like that, most are content to agree to disagree and strident language is the exception rather than the rule

    i agree with you eoin no one likes being called chum, it’s usually a prelude to a Glasgow kiss

  31. Rob S,

    In my best pantomime voice “oh yes they are”.

    i will tell you why… because that was their manifestos… th eHouse of Lords tend to take these documents very seriously… generally so do the electorate in five years time…

    The salisbury convention ring any bells?

  32. I did some number crunching on the Australian election as it is pertinant to the AV referendum. Labour won the popular vote there and after preferences about 90,000 votes more than the coalition. The likely make up of seats is ALP 72 Coalition 73 Ind. 3 greens 1, however on first past the post it would have been ALP 65 Coalition 82 Ind. 3. Labour is heavily dependant on minor parties there and in particular the Greens who have taken over from the Democrats as the biggest minor party. It is almost the opposite here as far as FPTP goes. I wonder if people will be encouraged to back smaller parties in large number if AV is adopted.

  33. Eoin – that doesn’t answer the question. In fact you dissemble.

    At the election Red fought very clearly on reducing the deficit by half

    Blue fought very clearly on reducing it entirely.

    If this is not clear enough, the difference in figures is now said to be 40 billion (though I believe it to be nearer to 53 billion)

    AD said (independently of GB) that they would be the worst cuts since Thatcher and you see this as the only relevant point to make about Labour’s plans.

    How many people do you think heard it or indeed remember it? AD is no longer going to be chancellor, indeed GB is no longer leader. Soon there will be a new leader with, in all probability, a new plan.

    Ad was honest, but it DIDN’T mean he intended to cut in the way or as comprehensively as the Tories.

    Above all else, I think these deficit plans have been pretty clear and still are. To call Reds hypocrites is simply bizarre.

  34. Howard,

    The last 12 polls give an average of

    12.9% of men supporting yellow
    13.72% of women supporting yellow

    So just under a 1% difference (0.88%)

  35. Eoin

    None of the three parties is using those plans now: they are irrelevant unless you are conducting a comparative historical analysis of the party manifesto’s and the economic policies contained within them.

    You might be but I am not :-)

    Post CSR analyses (government and opposition) is the material to look out for.

  36. Sue,

    That is incorrect.

    Blue said “the bulk” not it all… when pressed on how much the bulk was they never gave precise… in the end it was £5bn more than red..

    Categorically they were practically identical.

  37. @Rich in Norway


    Obviously then not attracted to Cameroons; Orange Bookites; Beveridge Liberals; Osbornites; Foxites; Davisites; Portillistas etc etc etc

    In fact you obviously have no place in British Politics ;-)

  38. Sue
    I remember.

    But I doubt if many voters could remember who AD is, let alone what he said. about anything.

  39. Sue,

    To avoid any doubt WHATSOEVER because this is important. This is the LAbour party press release 24 hours before the election.

    Labour has pledged to more than halve the deficit in four years from 12.6 per cent of GDP today
    to 5.5 per cent of GDP in 2013/14. And we have set out clear plans to reduce the majority of the structural deficit over the course of the next Parliament – falling from 9% of GDP this year to 3.1per cent in 2014/5.

    • The Conservatives have pledged to go “further and faster” than Labour, but have not given a
    detailed timetable and in particular, have not said by which point they would halve the deficit.

  40. ISue,

    If all truth be told, Labour technically said they would cut more than blue.

    Prior to election day blue NEVER said they would erradicate the structural deficit.

    “bulk” can mean 50.01%.

    If yellows wish to explore there stance of 100 days ago or so, they too aimed to halve the deficit.

    So you see there really aint much difference…

    Hence I maintain the would hypocrite is apt.

  41. I believe Howard and his feel good factor is definitely something that cannot be overlooked. If people are wandering around concerned about national debt they wont feel good about it, but will want it reduced and eventually eradicated. The complex arguments are all very well on a board like this, but they don’t play in the Dog & Duck or the Mama’s & Papa’s creche.

    The question is who will win the fear factor. Labour, Your meals on wheels for the Morbidly Obese is safe with Labour. Or Tory, Debt costs a fortune to service, we are horlicksed until we reduce it substantially.

  42. @Eoin

    Sue- Blue said “the bulk” not it all… when pressed on how much the bulk was they never gave precise (figures)

    Exactly why hanging on by your finger nails to an unsound analysis based on looking only at pre election proposals is so erroneous.

    The Conservative parties *plans* in their emergency budget are 44 billion pounds more of cuts than the Labour election manifesto. There is a precise a fact for you. Plus that figure is likely to be even higher in the CSR in October. Even higher once the developing Labour idea of a two CSR timescale minimum becomes part of the formal post-leadership labour platform.

    Your enunciation that all those labourites who propose cutting the deficit by a mixture of spending reductions and tax increases and in a much slower more thought-out manner are hypocrites for criticising Osborne’s emergency budget or the CSR is October baffles me.

    It feels like you just want an argument for its own sake…

  43. In relation to comments above on interest rates, before the Reformation the Catholic church had a theological position on interest rates, condemning usury, not dissimilar to that now held by Muslims. (Mediaeval people got round this position by using Jews as moneylenders, and then persecuting them to avoid repaying the money, but that is another stor, albeit an important one). Given recent financial events and the state of the world economy, I suggest we have forgotten a wise religious message.

    There were some candidates in the election for minor Christian parties, but they did not get many votes. The same was true of the very small Money Reform Party, opposed to Government debt, that I voted for. As psephologists we might wonder why.

    We can do without the religious/political schisms that formerly operated in Scotland as well as Ireland. And personally I think we can do without the fundamentalist politics abroad which deny well-established facts. And on the other hand certain politicans from the major parties (no names, no pack drill) have claimed religious affiliations whilst perusing economic policies (not to speak of defence policies) that don’t cohere with their professed beliefs.

    There are many people out there, not least those under economic stress, who are looking for new ideas more generally than just for their political beliefs. One wonders how this may translate into developments in political allegiances over the next five years.

  44. :lol:

    “44 billion pounds” was what I was trying to highlight….

    I need a break from this !

  45. Rob,

    We wont get a double dip. I said some envisage it. The difference between that an stagnation is not that great. LAck of growth is a lack of growt. Eg. low tax yield, difficulty paying social security bill if employment does not pick up.. also a need to borrow more perhaps.

    The biggest difference is the symbolism.. double dip looks good on a red top label.. stagnation sounds like quaker oats have launched a new brand of porridge.

    What I did not say which might happen is stagflation… economic protectionism helped the US out of that in the 70s our a bouyant balck market mitigated against it in Brezhnev’s era….. but our problem ain japanese cars now is it?

  46. @Eoin – “Their plan is to half the deficit in four years” –

    No it’s not! In terms of the structural deficit, they plan to eliminate it completely. Halving it in four years was your parties policy…….although you confuse me as I’m sure I remember you saying you would never vote for anyone, meaning you don’t have a party….

    @neil A – it depends what kind of shock it is and how it affects the UK. If the current policy continues to restrict capacity growth in the UK (ref science cuts in universities and Sheffield Forge Masters) we will be in a worse state and see a larger and more rapid growth in the structural deficit.

    There is nothing wrong with investment spending if it is done well and effectively. Governments can do this (see Germany and Mandy’s support for the UK motor industry) but it looks like the ideology of the coalition is against any government spending with Vince Cable’s department taking a big hit. It’s likely that we will be worse placed to meet any new crisis.

    In my book we desperately (and I mean desperately) need to invest in energy infrastructure and technology. Since privatisation of the energy industry we’ve been living on borrowed time and the excess generation capacity margin is inexorably shrinking towards dangerous levels.

    Richard in Norway’s idea of oil at $70 – $80 is fanciful – any sort of global recovery will see that price plus another $100 at least, just when our nuclear capacity falls offline. China has invested wisely and has bought control of around 80% of global reserves of the metals required for advanced battery and fuel cell applications (they’re also buying land in Africa for food production – that’s another issue) and in 5 – 10 years we’re going to see the wisdom of state directed investment compared to an ostrich like belief in the capacity of the free market.

    Do all the cutting you like. If no one invests in what we need to run an economy it’s completely pointless – only governments can do this, and ours have failed miserably (for about the last 40 years).

  47. Eoin

    Prior to election day blue NEVER said they would erradicate the structural deficit.

    I was off…but then you write this !!!

    All matters pertaining to the period pre ConDem are history.

    Of COURSE that is what they said…and (surprise surprise) that is not what they did once in government.

    That’s “your boy” Cameron for you…44bn of cuts in the budget more than Labours pre election plans which will be even greater come October 20th.


  48. Rob S,

    You are as disingenuous as ever…. I said tax increases yesterday. you declined to support it in fact you pointed to its potential damage on growth.

    have you changed your mind?

  49. Eoin – ??? Where on earth do you come up with the 5 bn more than Red?? From the manifestos?

    If so, NONE of the parties laid out their full plans and the IFS said they were all way short. Libs did best, Tories worst, Reds somewhere in the middle, but NO-ONE argued they were the full plans for the next term. Blues always proposed a spending review.

    Do you think the public understood “the bulk” to mean most of as opposed to half?

    Oh and for the record, inflation isn’t going down. You could argue it’s peaked, but it isn’t going down any more than a 41 for Blues on UKPR the day after a 43 is proof their score is going down. Neither has the pund strengthened in any significant way. It HAS recovered from the dark days of the election but is still weak and arguably the “recovery” has more to do with US comparative weakness.

    You currently mystify me Eoin. You’ve changed your mind about the deficit, you’ve changed your mind about double dip, you’ve changed your mind about the Big Society and you’ve changed your mind about Cameron. Now you claim Red and Blues spending plans were almost identical. Changing your mind is perfectly valid but then to accuse reds of hypocrisy is assuming we all must change our minds too.

  50. @EOIN
    I am sure my 10 pence worth will not be helpful to your cause, but I not only agree with you about the arguments just prior to the GE, but would add that the British Labour party are huge hypocrite’s about very many things. I certainly dont think they have always been, in fact they were once to straight for their own good. The coming of the New Labour gang has done nothing for their reputation or standards.

1 2 3 4 5 7