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. Sue – ’twas Epochery who said it went negative; sorry about that mistake. 8-)

  2. Pleasing to see the LD’s support in freefall.

    They will hold very few seats here in the SW next time around.

    Most people still feel totally let down by Cleggs’ actions & the ‘will of the electorate’ was not taken into account when the Coalition was formed.

  3. It seems strange to me that what occurred to many of us here as a pragmatic and cheap=to-run means test, namely making OAP benefits taxable (perhaps at top rate slice), has not been mentioned or debated by parties.

  4. Mike Smithson of PB is twittering thats there is a ‘massive’ political story brewing tonight but no specifics .

    Any ideas anyone ?

  5. richard dawson

    who is Mike Smithson of PB

    it’s probably another libdem defection, i wonder if it’s clegg

    btw long time no see

  6. Richard Dawson – Oooooh how deliciously juicy.

    I’ve had a secret little theory myself for a few days. Wonder if I’m psychic?

  7. @Richard in Norway –thanks have been keeping an eye on you all !
    @ Sue Marsh— Come on Sue share your theory !!!

    I think its Ed Milliband is defecting to the LDs and Cleggs going to be the next Labour Leader !!

  8. @Richard in Norway

    Mike Smithson of Editor of Politicalbetting.com website

  9. I’m quite glad that I had to go to do something else in the evening (making and baking bread) as the discussion became quite, well, not nice…

    From some of the opinions here one would think that the purpose of the Pope’s visit will be to give the last rights to the country (no offence to anybody’s religious belief). Actually what’s happening is pretty straightforward, typical situation of a relatively deep recession (we just happened to forgot how it is, it was so long ago – 1991 was not typical). The UK economy weathered it surprisingly well, partly because of the massive increase in public spending.

    The cause of the debate that the main parties (as Eoin said) actually say the same but in different rhetoric and different degrees – however, it’s only the coalition that can take the responsibility (I’m not sure if it does).

    I suppose the main issue is that all the three can be wrong and then it is about distributing the blame (if they are all right, the coalition, or rather the Conservatives are the beneficiaries) and the burden will be on the majority of the population. In addition, economy and the budget is really the only stick Labour has.

    As a result, there is a need to present the situation as crisis (and there’s a media interest in it as well). The problem is, that by presenting the situation as crisis, it inevitable requires “crisis management” – but when there is no crisis, it could be detrimental.

    I think some of the debates were just amplified around this problem. If I wrong, I apologise – people can feel very strongly about these things.

    Monthly or even quarterly statistical figures are indicators of tendencies but only in combination and anyone can find the figures they want. I’m interested in very few figures really: manufacturing output, investment, inventories, weekly supermarket spending.

  10. @ Sue

    SamCam’s baby has red hair & has a birthmark in the shape of the New Labour Rose. 8-)

  11. Richard Dawson – Nah, I’m chicken. I put it on my Facebook two days ago though, so I’ll be able to prove my psychisity (?)

  12. @ Laszlo,

    It’s lovely to see you posting again. :-)

    That would be: last “rites”. I wish it was last rights (if it was right-wing politicians). 8-)

  13. re. Richard Dawson.
    It has to be a defection from the LDs, I think.
    Only question is, who?

  14. @Sue Marsh well promise me you will let us know in due course

    Apparently the big story might be Greece defaulting and leaving the Euro but that might also be a second story !

  15. @Amber-

    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

    But you do agree there is a rather large deficit (of some sort or another) that has to be trimmed somewhat don’t you? ‘Structural’ or otherwise ? If you do not, then apologies in advance for what comes next and just ignore it. 8-)

    Because if you do agree there is a ‘deficit’ that needs to be trimmed- for all the reasons rehearsed elsewhere (with only Eoin- well, most of the time- and Lazlo as the present UKPR refusiniks) the current figure for that is the one provided by the OBR (set up after the coalition had been formed). It is 106 billion quid or 8% of GDP.

    How would you reduce that? Would you reduce that by a third? A half or not at all? If you were to reduce (by whatever degree) what would be the balance between tax increases/ tax evasion measures/ welfare clampdowns/ spending cuts and reliance upon growth forecasts being correct (like they have been so often over the past 50 years)? The coalitions definition of ‘structural’ being that deficit which cannot be accounted for by the forward projections for growth and tax receipts and the current plans for public spending i.e. the projected deficit that takes account of the best estimations of the business cycle.

    That 106 billion OBR deficit is currently being tackled by the coalition via a proposed 80-20 proportion i.e. 84 billion of spending cuts. In that June budget Osborne said borrowing would fall from 10.1 per cent of GDP this year to 1.1 per cent in 2015-16, while the underlying current budget deficit would move into surplus by 2014/15. All built on that 40 billion pound extra ‘fiscal consolidation’ over what Alistair Darling had proposed (without specific departmental details) in the spring budget. An extra 40 billion….

    The coalitions view of the validity of the notion of a ‘structural deficit’ is clear: Nick Clegg said in advance of Osborne’s budget “A structural deficit does not correct itself. It has to be addressed.” Osborne stuck the [email protected] knife in saying “The structural deficit – that’s the borrowing which doesn’t fall even when the economy grows – [is] higher in every year, and that’s on what the OBR say are optimistic assumptions. Indeed, Alan Budd is explicit on the first page that if we were to switch to Labour’s spending plans then interest rates would be higher and economic activity would be lower. It’s damning evidence that the mess the previous government left behind is even bigger than we thought.”.

    Note- the emergency budget spending cut plans were not in any Conservative or Liberal Democrat campaign literature i.e. the Tories were deliberately obsfucatory about the spending detail as were Labour. Resorting to the pre Coalition phase as the basis for arguments sheds only darkness on this debate.

    So we have the emergency budget (and the CSR outturns will likely be more severe than this envisages as the Tories know the Lib Dems collective nervous breakdown only gives them this specific window-of-opportunity to lay down such a unnecessarily ideological approach). We also have the developing Labour leadership view. Both contrast clearly and substantively with the opaque duplicitous documents provided by both main parties before the election.

    In late October we will have the final CSR and the new Labour leaders (and shadow teams) detailed response to it. The August silly season (on UKPR in particular!) will be a distant memory then: you’ll either be in favour of Cameron and all that entails or you will be ‘agin him’: no preposterous caveats 8-)

    @Lazlo

    Hi again- still think you are misguided ;-)

    @David B

    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

    Now there is a man talking my social democratic nederlandse :-)

  16. Lol, my crystal ball hasn’t been too good so far ;)

  17. @Amber-

    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

    But you do agree there is a rather large deficit (of some sort or another) that has to be trimmed somewhat don’t you? ‘Structural’ or otherwise ? If you do not, then apologies in advance for what comes next and just ignore it. 8-)

    Because if you do agree there is a ‘deficit’ that needs to be trimmed- for all the reasons rehearsed elsewhere (with only Eoin- well, most of the time- and Lazlo as the present UKPR refusniks) the current figure for that is the one provided by the OBR (set up after the coalition had been formed). It is 106 billion quid or 8% of GDP.

    How would you reduce that? Would you reduce that by a third? A half or not at all? If you were to reduce (by whatever degree) what would be the balance between tax increases/ tax evasion measures/ welfare clampdowns/ spending cuts and reliance upon growth forecasts being correct (like they have been so often over the past 50 years)? The coalitions definition of ‘structural’ being that deficit which cannot be accounted for by the forward projections for growth and tax receipts and the current plans for public spending i.e. the projected deficit that takes account of the best estimations of the business cycle.

    That 106 billion OBR deficit is currently being tackled by the coalition via a proposed 80-20 proportion i.e. 84 billion of spending cuts. In that June budget Osborne said borrowing would fall from 10.1 per cent of GDP this year to 1.1 per cent in 2015-16, while the underlying current budget deficit would move into surplus by 2014/15. All built on that 40 billion pound extra ‘fiscal consolidation’ over what Alistair Darling had proposed (without specific departmental details) in the spring budget. An extra 40 billion….

    Note- the emergency budget spending cut plans were not in any Conservative or Liberal Democrat campaign literature i.e. the Tories were deliberately obsfucatory about the spending detail as were Labour. Resorting to the pre Coalition phase as the basis for arguments sheds only darkness on this debate.

    So we have the emergency budget (and the developing CSR via leaks). We also have the developing Labour leadership view. Both contrast clearly and substantively with the opaque documents provided by both main parties before the election.

    In late October we will have the final CSR and the new Labour leaders (and shadow teams) detailed response to it. You’ll either be in favour of the CSR or not. No caveats or ‘on the one hand this/ on the other that’ 8-)

    @Lazlo

    Hi again- still think you are on the wrong track;-)

    @David B

    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

    Now there is a man talking my social democratic nederlandse :-)

  18. @David B

    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

    Now there is a man talking my social democratic nederlandse

  19. @Amber-

    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

    But you do agree there is a rather large deficit (of some sort or another) that has to be trimmed somewhat don’t you? ‘Structural’ or otherwise ? If you do not, then apologies in advance for what comes next and just ignore it. 8-)

    Because if you do agree there is a ‘deficit’ that needs to be trimmed- for all the reasons rehearsed elsewhere (with only Eoin- well, most of the time- and Lazlo as the present UKPR refusniks) the current figure for that is the one provided by the OBR (set up after the coalition had been formed). It is 106 billion quid or 8% of GDP.

    How would you reduce that? Would you reduce that by a third? A half or not at all? If you were to reduce (by whatever degree) what would be the balance between tax increases/ tax collection measures/ welfare cuts / spending cuts and reliance upon growth forecasts being correct (like they have been so often over the past 50 years)? The coalitions definition of ‘structural’ being that deficit which cannot be accounted for by the forward projections for growth and tax receipts and the current plans for public spending i.e. the projected deficit that takes account of the best estimations of the business cycle.

    That 106 billion OBR deficit is currently being tackled by the coalition via a proposed 80-20 proportion i.e. 84 billion of spending cuts. In that June budget Osborne said borrowing would fall from 10.1 per cent of GDP this year to 1.1 per cent in 2015-16, while the underlying current budget deficit would move into surplus by 2014/15. All built on that 40 billion pound extra ‘fiscal consolidation’ over what Alistair Darling had proposed (without specific departmental details) in the spring budget. An extra 40 billion….

    @Lazlo

    Hi again- still think you are on the wrong track;-)

  20. YouGov; government approval rating -39% approve, 41% disapprove
    Could that be the story?

  21. @ Julian

    Given Mike runs PB, I reckon you have the story. 8-)

  22. @Amber-

    The structural deficit is an artificial construct that you cannot use as a target to measure anything against.

    But you do agree there is a rather large deficit (of some sort or another) that has to be managed somewhat don’t you? ‘Structural’ or otherwise ? If you do not, then apologies in advance for what comes next and just ignore it. 8-)

    Because if you do agree there is a ‘deficit’ that needs to be trimmed- for all the reasons rehearsed elsewhere (with only Eoin- well, most of the time- and Lazlo as the present UKPR disagree) the current figure for that is the one provided by the OBR (set up after the coalition had been formed).

    It is 106 billion quid or 8% of GDP.

    How would you reduce that? Would you reduce that by a third? A half or not at all? If you were to reduce (by whatever degree) what would be the balance between tax increases/ better collection of tax/ welfare cuts / spending cuts and reliance upon growth forecasts being correct ?

    The coalitions definition of ‘structural’ being that deficit which cannot be accounted for by the forward projections for growth and tax receipts and the current plans for public spending i.e. the projected deficit that takes account of the best estimations of the business cycle.

    That 106 bn OBR calculated structural deficit is currently being tackled by the coalition via a proposed 80-20 proportion i.e. 84 billion of spending alone. In that June budget Osborne said the underlying current budget would move into surplus by 2014/15. All built on that 40 bn pound extra over what Darling had proposed (without specific departmental details) in the spring budget. ….

  23. @Amber-

    The structural deficit is an artificial construct that you cannot use as a target to measure anything against.

    But you do agree there is a rather large deficit (of some sort or another) that has to be managed somewhat don’t you? ‘Structural’ or otherwise ? If you do not, then apologies in advance for what comes next and just ignore it. 8-)

    Because if you do agree there is a ‘deficit’ that needs to be trimmed- for all the reasons rehearsed elsewhere (with only Eoin- well, most of the time- and Lazlo as the present UKPR disagree) the current figure for that is the one provided by the OBR (set up after the coalition had been formed). It is 106 billion quid or 8% of GDP- being tackled by the coalition via a proposed 80-20 proportion i.e. 84 billion of spending alone. How would you reduce that? Would you reduce that by a third? A half or not at all? If you were to reduce (by whatever degree) what would be the balance between tax increases/ better collection of tax/ welfare cuts / spending cuts and reliance upon growth forecasts being correct ?

  24. Chris Lane,

    That was a very wise Christian Brother… Out of curiousity who was it- I knew/know most of them..?

  25. @Amber-

    But you do agree there is a rather large deficit (of some sort or another) that has to be managed somewhat don’t you? ‘Struc’ or otherwise ?

    Because if you do agree there is a ‘deficit’ that needs to be trimmed- for all the reasons rehearsed elsewhere (with only Eoin- well, most of the time- and Lazlo as the present UKPR disagree) the current figure for that is the one provided by the OBR (set up after the coalition had been formed).

    It is 106 billion quid or 8% of GDP- being tackled by the coalition via a proposed 80-20 proportion i.e. 84 billion of spending alone (40 bn more than Darling proposed in the spring). How would you reduce that? Would you reduce that by a third? A half or not at all? If you were to reduce (by whatever degree) what would be the balance between tax increases/ better collection of tax/ welfare cuts / spending cuts and reliance upon growth forecasts being correct ?

  26. Amber,

    thanks for that. BBC reported ta ri monthly drop…. were they wrong?

  27. @Amber-

    But you do agree there is a rather large deficit (of some sort or another) that has to be managed somewhat don’t you? ‘Struc’ or otherwise ?

    Because if you do agree there is a ‘deficit’ that needs to be trimmed- for all the reasons rehearsed elsewhere (with only two posters dissenting) the current figure for that is the one provided by the Office Budget Responsibility (set up after the coalition had been formed).

    It is 106 billion quid or 8% of GDP- being tackled by the coalition via a proposed 80-20 proportion i.e. 84 billion on spending alone (40 bn more than Darling proposed in the spring). How would you reduce that? Would you reduce that by a third? A half or not at all? If you were to reduce (by whatever degree) what would be the balance between tax increases/ better collection of tax/ welfare changes / spending reductions and reliance upon growth forecasts being correct ?

  28. BBC reporting that a LibDem councillor has defected.

  29. YG

    41: 38: 13

    and as said above MINUS 2 on net approval !!

  30. Mike Hancock (founding member SDP) LibD MP has hit out a Clegg for hurting the worse off (Guardian)

  31. @Amber-

    But you do agree there is a deficit (of some sort or another) that has to be managed somewhat don’t you? ‘Structural’ or otherwise 8-)

    The Office for Budget Responsibility figure that Osborne uses is 106 billion quid or 8% of GDP- being tackled by the coalition via a proposed 80 to 20 proportion i.e. 84 bn on spending alone (40 bn more than Darling proposed in the spring). How would you reduce that? Would you reduce that by a third? A half or not at all? If you were to reduce (by whatever degree) what would be the balance between raising taxes/ better collection of tax/ welfare reforms / spending reductions and reliance upon growth forecasts being correct (for the first time in economic history) ?

  32. ” Hancock, who defected to the SDP in 1981 from the Labour party, indicated that he would not be returning to his former party. “I was in the Labour party long enough to know that is not where I want to be. That is not an answer. It is better to try and work at this from within. ”

    Guardian

  33. Crikey, I hope if we ever do end up with AV that we run the system better than the Australians. Who designed this slow-moving car-crash of a count they are using? Is it really necessary to take two weeks to count all the votes??

  34. Colin,

    Ta…

  35. Neil A

    did you one of those ‘close undeclared seats’ ??

    The independent who finished 3rd on 1P some 15% behind the Labour candidate is projected- after all votes and preferences have been processed- to end up FIRST 1

    Personally i am still against FPP but this is making me think d’hondt method with (very) local party lists is a better way forward.

  36. @ Éoin

    Yes, the BBC reporting of inflation appears to be wrong, if the ONS is correct. ;-)

    But nobody cares now! Gov’t approval is negative & a Dem has defected (not to the Tories!!!) 8-)

  37. @Rob Sheffield, why D’Hondt? Sainte-Laguë is more equitable. (D’Hondt has a bias towards major parties.) There is a case for a threshold (though I think 5% is a little on the high side) but once a party passes the threshold, S-L should be used to allocate seats – thus providing the fairest seat distribution.

    @Neil A, I understand that Australians regard postal votes as valid if they’re posted on election day, even though they might arrive later on. That’s not an inherent part of AV, of course, just an Australian peculiarity that the UK is fortunately unlikely to adopt.

  38. Not sure why the urgent need to reduce the deficit is causing so much anti-Tory feeling everywhere.

    In case people have forgotten this country is almost

    £1,000,000,000,000 in debt. Only 30% of this was created by the Tories. The rest almost exclusively by Gordon Brown.

    Just how much do people feel we should be adding to this amount?

  39. Richard P

    it was the only one of the ‘strictly proportional’ approaches I knew of !! I’ll have a look at the one you mention- cheers.

    Amber

    Yes! and AB now on snoozenight giving Dorries what for.

  40. @ Amber @ 9:45

    Yes, it seems today I have written my posts phonetically :-(. (earlier: right and write…). But I liked your joke :-)

    I try to post, but in has been a mad 5 weeks – except for the holiday, which was responsible for the madness – kind of trade off (the cuts don’t help either – everybody try to spend the money very quickly which means lots of work in a short time).

  41. If that’s the “mega political story” makes you wonder how we even survived May 5th -11th ;)

  42. “Mike Smithson of PB is twittering thats there is a ‘massive’ political story brewing tonight but no specifics.”

    Nick Clegg emerged onto the roof of Number 10, screamed “There’s no f****** hope!”, set himself on fire and hurled himself off of the roof.

    Analysts say that this shows ‘Good portents for Britain’s future’ ;)

  43. Jon Wood, a colourful character who revels in his own comparison with a notorious Hollywood screen villain.
    Mr Wood gave the Tories £500,000 on May 4, two days before the General Election.

    Could it be this (Mail)?

  44. Faisal Islam twitter: “Midnight: expect significant economics story”

    Make of that what you will. Presumably its something from US figures, unless it’s embargoed UK news.

  45. h ttp://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/markets/7962796/Markets-sell-off-as-recovery-fears-trigger-flight-to-safety.html

    Alec – This would seem to be pretty gloomy, could be. Someone else suggested Greece.

  46. @Anthony Wells

    Anthony, hi! I’ve been looking thru your hostorical polling data. Youve got them going back ../historical-polls/voting-intention-1997-2001, ../historical-polls/voting-intention-1992-1997 ,../historical-polls/voting-intention-1987-1992, but I can’t find your data for 1983-1997. Do you in fact have them?

    Regards, Martyn

  47. Are we due any key economic data from the US today? Sue, it’s your job to know such things isn’t it?!

  48. “Blimey. News is domestic UK, nowt to do with Greece… There’s just an embargo to respect.”

    Faisal Islam

  49. Do I take it that the Conservatives are still the party in the lead in this YouGov poll?

  50. …sorry, that should be 1983-1987, not 1983-1997.

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