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”

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  1. Alec,

    Incorrect on three counts (not bad for two sentences)

    Go back and look at blue’s manifesto…
    Reds technically said more than halved (see their press release above)
    And I have been a member of reds for one year and one day… (i know this because my annual Direct Debit came out yesterday :)
    they do not contest NI elections and wont unless Ed Balls or Andy Burnham win.

  2. Sue,

    Inflation has been falling.

    ht tp://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-10995527

  3. I too think lately we are having arguments for the sake of it. I’m mystified, but on balance I think it’s best just not to have them any more.

  4. @eoin – “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.”

    Sorry, but you’re just making it up as you go along here. Yes, Osborne did make it absolutely clear he intended to virtually eliminate the structural deficit in 5 years, before, during and after the campaign.

    Labour absolutely did not say they would cut more than Tories. The IFS analysis of the figures given (a much better guide than any quotes from political parties) showed the Tories had failed to account for a significantly higher amount of cuts and/or tax rises than Labour.

    I’m afraid sometimes I feel you take up space on this forum arguing completely pointless angles just for the sake of it instead of applying your undoubted abilities to a more useful task.

  5. Alec,

    I cited word for word a Labour press release 24 hours before the election.

    Read it.

    You are wrong.

  6. Eoin – No it hasn’t. Certainly not as any kind of trend in the sense we endlessly debate here on UKPR

    http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?id=19

  7. @Eoin – if you really think ‘the bulk of…’ means 50.1% then this really is a bit pointless. Their pre election position has been completely clarified in the June budget when they pledged to virtually eliminate the structural element. That doesn’t mean 50.1% by the way.

    My comment on your voting record was because at the time you not only said you had never voted, but that you also never would. I thought that a bit pointless at the time also.

  8. @Eoin – “I cited word for word a Labour press release 24 hours before the election.”

    I’m afraid that’s why I said to look at what indepent analysts say of parties published plans – I wouldn’t believe any parties press release I’m afraid.

  9. With Sarkozy downgrading his growth forecasts & saying that France will implement it’s deficit plan regardless of its growth level, the Social Model bends to the UK model.( some might say reality)

    Christine Lagarde, French finance minister is having to defend France’s poor economic performance vs Germany’s stellar growth, in the full knowledge that :
    ” Germany has implemented many more structural reforms than its partner across the Rhine and is reaping the benefits of an export boom” ( FT)

    So-like Sarkozy, ( & today’s equity markets) it would be foolish to ignore the pressure on domestic consumption that cuts to public spending will bring.

    But the deficit reduction plan is not a plan to crucify the public sector for the fun of it.
    The idea is to try & stop our state debt increasing each year by the end of this parliament. With inflation in the wind, and an end to artifically low interest rates in prospect it behoves governments , individuals & corporations to prepare for higher debt servicing costs by curtailing debt increase.

    UK individuals are doing this. UK corporations have cut costs & are cash positive again.

    The reduction in domestic consumption during the corrective period can be mitigated-by exports. That is what Germany is doing-and in June , UK’s exporters showed they can do it too.

    Exports to countries outside the EU were the highest on record at £10.75bn and exports to the world as a whole hit a two-year high of £22.4bn.

    Andrew Godwin, senior economic adviser to Ernst & Young’s ITEM Club, said the figures offered encouragement that trade could make a strong contribution to recovery. “After a long wait, exporters are finally enjoying the benefits of strengthening global demand and a pound which, despite some recent upward movement, remains weak compared to where it was before the financial crisis,”

    Cameron & Osborne have already turned foreign visits to USA & India into trade initiatives & their strategy for the rebalancing of the economy is clear.

    June’s exports are but a straw in the wind yet -but they blew in the right direction.

  10. Alec,

    h ttp://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/election_2010/8647860.stm

    I am a gentleman, so I will not retort to your insults. Feel free to continue them.

  11. Eoin – No it hasn’t. Certainly not as any kind of trend in the sense we endlessly debate here on UKPR

    h ttp://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?id=19

  12. My interpretation of events was that the Labour said they’d at least half the deficit, the Conservatives said they’d cut faster (and deeper?).

    Then, once in power, the Conservatives spun the “it’s worse than we thought line” and proposed wiping out the structural deficit by 2015.

    The ball park figure I recall from the IFS summary was £45-50bn, what was proposed in the emergency budget was £83bn?

    Someone correct me if I’m off track with all this.

  13. h ttp://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/stephanieflanders/2010/04/a_conspiracy_of_silence.html

    Further evidence if it be needed

  14. Michael V,

    I think you have summed it up beautifully….

  15. Sue,

    Inflation has slowed for three months in a row….

  16. alex

    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.

    my point was that there would not be a recovery in the classical sense. in fact i belive that the worlds leading economy’s have decided to concentrate on a stable oil price rather than growth

    the rest of your post was V good, you highlighted issues that have been bothering me

    particularly in energy policy we need to be proactive, in fact almost nothing is as important a fact which is not lost on the chinese

  17. @EOIN
    Yes you are a gentleman and have the grace to see reason.

  18. The Euro is 82 pence. At the start of the year it was 95. If this stayed the same it would be advisable to move to mid France with my accumulated largess, which is scenically as beautiful as here (Dorset) which is the only reason I moved back herein the first place.

    That’s what i mean by FGF. Everyone will have their own financial situation and will judge matters as they appear to them.

    If the euro bounced back to 95p then I would be better off here as my Euro pensions would buy more pounds.

    Eoin’s ‘scrounger’ friend will have her own aims. The job of analysing polls needs a million supplementary questions and the impossible task of compromising them. I judge that people think their own economy is safer with Con (whether or not aided by LD).

    That could change in a week or two at any time.

  19. Rob,

    There is only one measureable comparison between Red and Blue. What both said they would do before the elction. You speak like it was years ago. It was not.

    They were not very different in their deficit plans. Hence it is disingenuous to criticise cuts if your party planned cuts themsleves.

    I am glad to hear that you now view tax rises as apart of deficit alleviation. I accpet that my view that the bulk of the structurla deficit could be alleviated through growth and taxes is not yours. Neither was it George Osbourne’s.

  20. Inflation slowing from 3.2% to 3.1% is hardly ground breaking when considering the target rate is 2%. It will of course have a temporary rise in January with the VAT rise. If we do end up with a double dip recession it is possible to have deflation again, but rising food prices are a result of global conditions remembering that we import 40% of our food. The value of the pound will also have an effect as will the cost of oil coming intop the colder months. I for one would have preferred ineterest rates to rise to bring down inflation and thus also give the BOE room to move when and if the economy starts to contract again.

  21. @eoin – where you might be coming slightly off the rails on this is the fact that it’s not the actual unspecified spending gap that counts. It’s how the parties proposed to make this up. Before the election Osborne made clear his 80:20 split between cuts and taxes, a significant difference between Labour.

    So although the difference in the fiscal tightening between the two parties wasn’t vast (although it was significant) the way this was to be made up was much heavier on cuts with the Tories than with Labour.

    @Richard in Norway – the trouble is oil will rise regardless due to pressure from China and India. In the last (small) global recession in 2000 – 2001 oil prices bottomed at $20. Today, after a massive shock and the worst global financial crisis for 80 years they are at $80. That’s really all you need to know.

  22. Howard,

    I agree with that the Uk has c.60 million micro economies. A strong pound considerably improves my finances.

  23. Epochery,

    Inflation was 5.1% in Oct. 2008
    Inflation was 3.8% in Apr 2010
    Inflation is now (off the top of my head) 3.1%

    Hmm…..

  24. And inflation was 2% April in 2009 and 1% in July 2009,

    My chart clearly shows a plateau apart from minor variation since Jan of this year.

  25. Sue,

    Pre-election is was a genuine worry….

    h ttp://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?id=19

  26. Sue,

    h ttp://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/stephanieflanders/2010/04/a_surprise_definitely_a_proble.html

  27. @eoin – another thought that just occured to me is that you’ve probably forgotten to take account of the NI tax issue.

    The Tories fought the election promising to reverse the NI tax rise that was due to raise £12B of the annual tightening required, while they also said they were not considering a VAT rise and maintaining the 80:20 cuts/tax rises split of what was a bigger fiscal consolidation.

    It was therefore plain that the message they intended to portray was that they would replace the additional revenue from the cancelled NI rise with substantially more in terms of cuts, even if this meant the end result was not too different in terms of the numbers.

    And by the way – I hoped I had not insulted you earlier, as I didn’t intend to. I maintain what you are arguing is pointless, and I only said that I wouldn’t believe party press releases, leaving it entirely up to you if you want to or not. None of my posts are intended to be insulting.

  28. alex

    how far can oil price’s go without triggering another global crash

    i would also like to point out that IMO the last crash was caused by rising oil prices. which led to a chain reaction

  29. Inflation-the official story :-

    http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?id=19

  30. @Eoin

    You missed the inflation from last year which went negative. I am not sure whther it was the RPI or CPI, mostly due to mortgage payments but also due to the slowdown in demand which is one of the main drivers of inflation. But a cold winter and a poor harvest in Russia can have a significant effect on prices. Monetary policy tends to have a slowburn effect but a sharp rise or consecutive rises in mortgage rates will ultimately lead to a slowdown. The problem with the government controlling public spendiing and taxation and the BOE controlling interest rates can mean both being out of sync. Do you put controlling inflation ahead of cutting the defecit? I dont believe you can do both. hence why I think to give room for movement by increasing interest rates now and cutting spending in another 12-18 months is a better solution.

  31. We can all cut and paste and prove the earth is flat if we choose.

    h ttp://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/7949506/Inflation-figures-cost-of-living-to-stay-high.html

  32. Sue,

    In april 2010 inflation was on an upwardly trend.
    Ever since it is on a downwardly trend.

    Thus in May 2010 I said I feared a double dip.
    Thus in August 2010 I said I did not.

    That is the truth. So yes, I can paste if I want, and yes you can choose whether to beleive me or not.

    The first post you sent me today was aquestion about a double dip. I answered it in a gentlemanly manner and in good faith.

    If you wish to view inflation as not declining then you are an intelligent lady, feel free to do so. I humbly suggest that I do not.

  33. @ Michael V

    “My interpretation of events was that the Labour said they’d at least half the deficit, the Conservatives said they’d cut faster (and deeper?). Then, once in power, the Conservatives spun the “it’s worse than we thought line” and proposed wiping out the structural deficit by 2015.”

    That’s how I remember it – although the more skeptical side of me thinks that the change from eliminate ‘bulk of’ to ‘all of’ was, partly at least, due to the OBR’s announcement that Alistair Darling’s ‘efficiency savings’ would take care of the bulk of the structural deficit, by 2015, with no additional cuts.

  34. Epoc,

    A VAT holiday ended and it is still working its way through the system… no sooner will it have done so than we have another one to contend with. I joked earlier that my peppers in tescos were 86pence this week, I remember a day when they were £1.68.

  35. I am not an expert so much on trends, but does inflation have a seasonal variance? Are the current figures based on the last three months on a like for like basis i.e. compared to the same period last year?

  36. Incidentally, although I haven’t actually read the thing yet, I did wonder if Andy Burnham’s ‘Aspirational Socialism’ was a metaphor for New Labour?

    They aspire to be be socialists, but never quite get there.

  37. I can’t split hairs like this.

    You are absolutely right to say you can believe what you choose.

    You can question the semantics of “bulk” and “more than” too. If you choose to make an argument that Labour and Con had similar spending plans, even that Labour proposed to cut more, of course you can do so, though I imagine it will be a lonely view.

    You can certainly hold the view that inflation is falling, and the pound is strengthening.

    I’ll leave these strange debates with you I think.

  38. Obviously the above to Eoin, before he accuses me of discourtesy again for forgetting to type his name.

  39. Inflation – make sure you are discussing the same measure of inflation, please. :-)

    RPI was -1.5%ish at July 2009 & Jul2010 at 4.8%
    CPI was +2.0%ish at July 2009 & Jul 2010 at 3.1%

    You can see there is a significant delta between the 2 measures. Perhaps everybody is correct in their own way.
    8-)

  40. Inflation again.

    I’m guessing Sue was talking about RPI, which has increased by about 6.3 points since July 2009;
    Éoin was talking about CPI, which has increased by a much smaller 1.1 points since July 2009.
    8-)

  41. Amber,

    I include my one and only post to Sue today.. it was a response to her question about a double dip

    “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”.

  42. @ Eoin; notice at Mass how many of the faithful sit at the end of each bench- making it hard for people to join them.

    A six county christian brother pointed that out in 1973

  43. Amber – I was using CPI which has bobbed between 3% and 3.6 % since the start of the year, up and down with no discernible trend.

    Certainly it has gone down in the last three months, but suggestions are it will stay high.

    Eoin argued that falling inflation reduced the likelihood of double dip, my position was we can’t say inflation is falling or will fall.

    But just as with arguing Lab and Con deficit reduction plans were the same, I’m not sure I know what the argument is really about.

  44. Amber,

    My comment on inflation is in reference to the eve of th election. It looked like it was heading back up again… since the election this has not materialised. Every single day of the coalition government has saw inflation decline.

  45. Re: Structural Deficit

    I had this debate with Colin before (Colin don’t read this, ‘twil only upset you).

    The structural deficit is an artificial construct that you cannot use as a target to measure anything against. Why? Because it is dependent on knowing where you are in the business cycle. You simply do not know this until you actually end one business cycle & see evidence of the next beginning, as it were.

    Therefore, success or failure with regard to halving a structural deficit may not be known until years after the point at which you wish to measure it. Thus, structural deficits are assumptions based on forecasts based on (at best) extrapolation of historical trends.

    In other words, the ‘structural’ deficit can be whatever sir would like it to be (yes, I cribbed the old 2+2 joke). 8-)

  46. Actually been at work today so just catching up on page 4 of the current thread.

    Seems to me that analysing who said what during the election campaign isn’t really going to get us very far – alleged changed circumstances (it’s far worse than we thought) justifies the toughness of the Tory policy – and so on.

    What we want from Labour (and this is the sort of policy challenge Labour needs to make to the LibDems) is a viable alternative and we are beginning to see something like this from AB. Regular readers of my occasional contributions (and I hope there are many) will know that i favour a deficit reduction strategy which involves 40% cuts, 40% tax increases (temporary income tax surcharge of 2p for 4 years bringing in £55-60 billion) and 20% proceeds of growth ( much more likely if we don’t increase VAT and we don’t need to if we go down the progressaive tax increase road).

    I have yet to see a convincing argument about what is wrong with this approach – I don’t think there are many people in the UK who wish to see this country reduced to a poorer standard of public services than those found in some Eastern European countries.

  47. Sue – I assumed you were talking about RPI because you mentioned inflation had been negative at one point. I don’t think the CPI was ever in negative territory. If I’ve mis-read your post or wrongly attributed a comment to you, please accept my apologies. 8-)

  48. Amber – Yep, that was someone else! I said it was 1% and 2% :)

    I have a feeling I am too easily drawn into debates that polarise positions that need not be split so.

    Think I’ll stick to polls for a while

    :???:

  49. @ Éoin

    Every single day of the coalition government has saw inflation decline.
    ——————————————————–
    Not so, I’m afraid. The difference is small but here are the official ONS changes:

    CPI – May2010 was 0.2 higher than April, June was 0.1 higher than May, July was -0.2 lower than June.
    8-)

  50. “I can laugh at a puppet show, at he same time I know there is nothing in it worth my attention or regard”

    Mary Worley Montagu

    Shall be my new motto!

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