I don’t normally do a post everyday on YouGov’s daily tracking figures – it is, after all, the trend that counts, not the change from day to day. This one is worth noting though. Following on from the net approval rating of zero yesterday, YouGov’s net approval for the government tonight is minus 2 – 39% approve of the government, 41% disapprove of the government. This is the first time the coalition have scored a negative approval rating.

Voting intention tonight is at CON 41%, LAB 38%, LDEM 13%

479 Responses to “YouGov’s government approval turns negative”

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  1. None julian.

    4 are men. Poor Diane is past it. I think since DM adopts American kids he is our best chance……

  2. @ Cozmo

    LOL :-) Cleg would need triplets, at least.

  3. @Amber

    This totally backs you up- from ‘Harrys place’

    “It has been tipped since the early days of the race, but tonight Jon Cruddas has endorsed David Miliband for Labour leader sending an important signal from the left.”

    They also satate:

    “Earlier this week Ed Miliband was accused of narrow thinking following his open letter in Tuesday’s Guardian inviting Lib Dems “sold out and betrayed” by Nick Clegg’s Lib Dems to form a coalition and join Labour.

    David argued it wasn’t about winning disappointed Lib Dems over to Labour’s cause, it was about winning the wider trust of the British electorate and moving the party outside of its “comfort zone”.

    The comfort zone jibe marked the gloves coming off and was not appreciated by the Ed’s team which hit back accusing David of “remaining in the New Labour comfort zone”, opposed presumably to the Brown comfort zone where Ed and his supporters proved neither comfortable or electable.”


    Latest government approval +3 (approve 41%, disapprove 38%)
    Latest YouGov/Sun voting intention – CON 42%, LAB 37%, LDEM 12%

    IFS won’t have penetrated the psyche yet (most people get their news in the evening).

    Your Camerons baby uptick argument from yesterday. was clearly spot on.

  4. @EOIN – “DM adopts American kids he is our best chance……”
    DM saving babies from cultural impoverishment?
    Could be a vote winner.

  5. I thought perhaps also even if it had been just the ‘holiday snaps’ clips with her very preganant that would have been enough. Congrats Eoin.

  6. By the way, I presume our NI colleague knows what ‘shorts’ means in American? I assume he wants them laundered first?

  7. @ Rob Sheffield

    Thanks for posting the latest on DM.

    It’s nice that JC is helping shift DM more to the left. Some of JC’s ideas are ‘working class populism’, though – but I’m sure DM will handle with care.

    The living wage is a thing with John. Ed M’s adoption of that policy fuelled the gossip that JC would support Ed. I always assumed it was Ed’s team trying to get the jump on David’s but thought JC would stick with DM. Reading DM’s speeches made me more confident that would be the case. 8-)

  8. Howard,

    Wayne is of good constitution- I doubt much comes out that end.

  9. Julian,

    t’wud take a fair bit more than that to make me consider voting for him :P

  10. An absolutely cracking Article on southern Ireland’s economy

    h ttp://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/10314402-b07d-11df-8c04-00144feabdc0.html

  11. Seems rather quiet and subdued tonight?
    Either it’s the cr**py August weather or Princess Cameron’s pervading influence….

    Says rather a lot about the ‘electorate’ we know and love.

    We don’t need more Mini-Cleggs to measure the impact – Anthony, a
    Flo-poll please? ;-)

  12. @Colin – “So I can’t see how the headlines on the IFS study can be true. If they have taken chunks of people on low pay out of tax , how can they have been hit worst?”

    I’ll pass swiftly over the fact that you often used the IFS without much question to criticise the last government, but their findings are not surprising and directly in line with government statistics released with the budget.

    They only upped the IT threshold by £1000 of which about £300 would account for inflation, so it’s not a big increase. However, the critical factor is the timescales. Funnily enough, the government’s analysis stopped at 2012, whereas the IFS go to 2014. As the benefits switch from RPI to CPI kicks in, pensioners and those on benefits will be progressively more affected. The figures released with the budget were also highly selective, ignoring many areas like incapacity and housing benefits. We also now know that senior government ministers were raising concerns pre budget that the proposals impacts on disadvantaged groups had not been fully assessed.

    The IFS have no axe to grind and have no agenda. For them to make such a clear statement that Labour’s measures were progressive and the coalition’s regressive is something that Tory supporters should take on board.

    There is a logical case to made in arguing that those on benefits should see their incomes decline as part of the work to restructure the employment vs benefits balance. There is no case to be made in trying to tell fibs about your budget being progressive.

    Interesting story in the telegraph tomorrow about Tory party funding and cash for access. They say;

    “Executives who buy £1,000-a-plate tickets to a fund-raising dinner at the Conservative Party conference will get to sit with ministers. Despite David Cameron’s pledges to bring transparency to party funding, the identities of the businessmen will be kept secret.”

    I’ve said for a long time that Cameron has set himself up for a series of scandals on party funding. It’s unnecessary and crass, and shortly there will be a string of stories about business links and party donations.

    You can only shag your wife a limited number of times to divert the public’s attention.

  13. NC’s rebuttal of IFS report: They overlooked the fact that those now on benefits will soon have well paid jobs.

    Perhaps our deputy PM should start using the interrogative declarative?

  14. Eastern Europe?
    One problem we have in being British, those of us who are, is appreciating how uneventful life here is and has been. Try telling for example a Pole or a Serb that the last battle in GB was 1746 and the last in England fifty years before or the last mass starvation in Scotland was in the 1690s and in England somewhere in the deep Middle Ages. Even allowing for Ireland’s more painful passage they will be amazed.
    We therefore have to take great care in even making judgements never mind getting involved.
    roland is right that almost all german soldiers killed were killed in the East. I am doing a bit of amateur research into the history of a friend’s family who were ethnic germans from Poland. Such people were used as cannon-fodder by the Nazis and from records almost all young men died within a two year period, five from one family in one case. But this is dwarfed by the deaths on the other side which therefore leaves terrible scars. It isn’t just unfortunate that Latvia might honour the SS dead but a cause of tension in which we are now commited as the Baltic states are now in Nato. The involvement of the conservatives isn’t a political error in the sense of embarassment but a reflection of ignorance. These people don’t lack partners because they are nasty but because others are sensibly scared of their enemies. We are in a very dodgy position if and itis quite likely Russia again starts to get nasty to its neighbours.
    Cameron seems to be understood as a peacenik here because he wants out of Afghanistan but remember he wanted in to Georgia one of the stupidist positions ever taken by an opposition politician. Laszlo was very gentle in trying to explain a few of the Baltic facts of life.
    Oh When footbal was football. I was about 11 when I heard of John White’s death but I remember the moment.
    I embrace you! (I’m a former teacher of English)

  15. @ Eoin

    Interesting article on Eire – difficult road ahead still. Had been considering looking for work there at one stage but this is probably a few years away now.

    I looks like another Fine Gael / Labour coalition on the way, although it probably wouldn’t be a bad thing if FF can hold on and do the necessary dirty work on the economy. My family had some involvement with FG over the years and I’m also a citizen so I try to follow developments. Will be interesting to see if Labour can take 1st place.

  16. Michael,

    Depending on your line of work (some are prospering) I might hold off on a relocation the south. My work might take me there next sept. but being a history geek that i am means market forces are slightly less of a concern.

    Labour in first place would be great obviously. although Rep of Eire Labour is not Labour Labour. But hey light red is better than nothing.

    FG I spit blood about I’m afraid :(

  17. Barney

    Generally agree with your post but

    “the last mass starvation in Scotland was in the 1690s” ??

    The Potato Famine wasn’t restricted to Ireland. The Highlands were severely affected too. There were riots in Inverness, when corn was being shipped south, rather than being used to relieve the starvation.

  18. @ Barney Crockett

    “Laszlo was very gentle in trying to explain a few of the Baltic facts of life.”

    I had to be :-) – in one of them before the Schengen agreement my passport was photocopied at the airport for some strange reason. And I may want to go back to that place in a few years’ time to do some more research (even though I don’t think that they follow the pages on this website).

    You are perfectly right about the ignorance – it’s understandable. There are false identification of political stances, identities, historical senses, whatever here and there, 10 years here is relatively little in terms of change. 10 years there and you see all kinds of things (e.g. a WW2 partisan being persecuted for war crimes – they did happen by the way, I don’t want to deny it – just a bit…).

    Just to show how the transition happened: in one of the Baltic countries to meet the access criteria to the EU, 4 laws had to be passed a day. There was a period, when the photocopiers could not cope with printing all the laws to all the MPs (they managed to draft the laws, because they were translated straight from German to the local language – some of them were actually draft translations with all the Germanism in the syntax) – the MPs approved the laws without seeing them.

    In the same country they wanted to make a criminal offence (during the admission to the EU) to criticise one of the laws (on determining (or rather not determining) the exchange rate) – the EU expressed its dislike, so it was not a law, they only fired people if they did (they actually benefited from it as quite a few of them were recruited by a Swedish bank).

  19. My grandmother’s brother was a blueshirt in his youth – he was going to fight in Spain, fortunately a man of the cloth talked him out of it!

    Recently read a rumour (can’t remember if it was in the irish times or indy) that there were factions in FF and FG considering a merger.

  20. Oldnat,

    Correct. Was it the Duke of? Always forget his surname- slum clearances was his tipple?

    There was also a crop failure in East Anglia but nobody died- funny that isnt it?

  21. @ Billy Bob

    “Perhaps our deputy PM should start using the interrogative declarative?”

    :-) :-) :-)

  22. @ Billy Bob

    “NC’s rebuttal of IFS report: They overlooked the fact that those now on benefits will soon have well paid jobs.”

    So the gov’t is going to cut jobs, making people unemployed and decreasing the number of jobs, but their going to get people on benefits (some of whom are unemployed) into well paid jobs, that they’ve just cut, putting more people on benefits.

    Sounds like he’s found a real Catch-22 there.

  23. To be fair to NC, he had no chance (not the first time in the last 100+ days…).

    The IFS report blew the narrative and although their distribution model could be criticised, the figures are the government ones… Tough.

    Judging from the Newsnight interview tonight it seems that the government decided that they would rather gulp this down and not really challange it, because it’s politically more expedient and may not need a new narrative (although it seems that one is in preparation – fewer cuts and lower amount).

  24. @ Billy Bob

    “Perhaps our deputy PM should start using the interrogative declarative”

    Somehow I manage to leave out the rest of my comments before. In a number of languages it’s possible to decide if it’s an interrogative or a declarative sentence only from the intonation, but in some languages the interrogative sentences the pitch goes up, in others down or unchanged. NC is not lucky that he has to answer in a language in which it’s obvious even if he tried to make the differentiation fuzzy.

  25. Eoin Clarke

    “There was also a crop failure in East Anglia but nobody died”

    I didn’t know that. Thanks. I must look it up.

  26. ALEC

    “I’ll pass swiftly over the fact that you often used the IFS without much question to criticise the last government,”

    Please don’t.
    I have already posted that any IFS criticism will have to be accepted by GO.

    I have the link to the Report from Laszlo & am currently trying to understand the logic for treating a cap on Housing Benefit as a reduction in income.

    Just one teensy little caveat to “The IFS have no ….. agenda”-this was not a study initiated by IFS.
    It was commissioned by a Child Poverty Charity who wanted to know the effect of the Budget on their area of interest.

  27. Rob – Cruddas called the Keir Hardy speech “The most important speech by a Labour politician for many years”

    I thought it was a given he would support DM

    Actually Rob, maybe you’d do me a favour. I’ve read the KH speech over and over and I have a feeling some might be in for a rather big shock if he wins the leadership. I’m not sure the media have the measure of him at all.

    It’s very academic, so I suppose many won’t have fully understood it, but I’d be interested to know what you think.

  28. Colin,

    Further to your suspicions I reccomend you read around on Robert Chote (and his wife).

  29. Eoin – Just had a quick google, impeccable economic background, what else am I missing?

  30. @Colin – presumably they assume that a cut in housing benefits means an amount of rent payments to make up. To assume anything else is to assume that landloards will drop their rents as an act of kindness to tenants – something theat seems pretty fanciful on any large scale.

    Tenants may of course move into cheaper accomodation, but if they are paying (or having paid on their behalf) lower rents, they will be buying accomodation at a lower market value and therefore will be less well off.

    How the wider housing market responds to this move may change the scenarios, but no one can project these. The IFS assumption seems perfectly fair to me.

    The killer fact is the simple one. If reducing housing benefits didn’t make poor people poorer, you can be absolutely sure that Osbourne would have included it in the charts he produced for the budget. He didn’t – that’s pretty much all you need to know.

    ‘Chancellor hides unpleasant impacts in budget detail’. Not the first time, and won’t be the last.

  31. @Laszo – “… a new narrative … although it seems that one is in preparation – fewer cuts and lower amount.”

    They already backed away from the austerity agenda once before while in opposition. Nevertheless, as Amber Star pointed out the other day, they have clearly set criteria by which their success or failure will be measured by the electorate.

  32. Catching up with the thread, I thought you all must be being sarcastic about Clegg’s response to the IFS report, so I thought I’d catch up for myself.

    He really DID say the report was wrong because it didn’t take into account all those people who would soon be off benefits and into well paying jobs!!!

    I’m speechless.

    Surely the Tory part of the coalition didn’t OK this before, it makes me begin to wonder if they LIKE him to look totally incompetent.

    A response like that seriously makes me question if he’s up to the job.

  33. @Sue – in truth he was left holding the baby, while Cameron was, err, holding the real baby. Clegg had the task to defend the indefensible and was never going to look good on it.

    But it was a strange defence. While there is a logic to saying they intend to get people off benefits and into work to alleviate poverty, clearly that will do nothing for those people left in the circumstances measured by the IFS who will be worse off.

  34. The IFS’s main funders are the Nuffield Foundation and the Rowntree Trust. Two organisations I rate very highly. they have long championed issues I care about.

    This is one on the importance of marriage in Children’s outcome. IFS kindly studied /produced it for them…

    h ttp://www.nuffieldfoundation.org/go/news/news_1967.html

  35. This was all I could find on Robert Chote Eoin.

    “He rose to fame during the Labour administration, where he garnered a reputation for giving the leadership, and in particular Gordon Brown, a hard time over the economy.”

  36. Sue,

    content yourself with that. :) I aint doing blue work for them lol .

  37. h ttp://www.telegraph.co.uk/property/propertynews/7964973/Pensioner-wins-battle-to-stay-in-three-bed-council-house-where-he-grew-up.html

  38. Picking up something Eoin mentioned about depression and self esteem issues, there was an article in SocietyGardian yesterday ‘Keeping up appearances’.

    Prof. Robert Walker will be responding to DWP proposals, and he contests the perception that there is a widespread culture of worklessness and dependency. He contends that there is a universal tendency to undermine the dignity of the poor.

    Over a 10 year period, more than half of all UK households expirience povery for a year or so.

    Alec reminds us that tax evasion would be a more profitable area to target.

    My contention would be that if we want to be comfortable about people becoming ‘filthy rich’ then we must be content that the poor will always be with us. It is not fair to make them bear all the ‘shame’ of the system as well.

    Again, targetting ‘them’ with programs to raise their self esteem imo can subtly reinforce the veiw that all else in the world is hunky dory… it is just their mechanism of self perception thay is always at fault.
    (ps. I am not saying do nothing to help, but the attidude change must start elsewhere.)

  39. I’m a bit confused about the challenges to the Budget using the Equality Act. It seems that it doesn’t come into effect until Oct 1st so how does that work?

  40. Billy B.

    That makes a lot of sense except for one thing. Children. Intervention is merited to raise their prospects. They should not be rared with their parents aspiration.

    I completely concur with your comments regarding Eastern Europe. Every time I meet a Pole, or person from the Baltic states I feel the need to hear their family history, or their own experiences if they are old enough. People in these islands have not the slightest idea how the gods have protected them. My interest in Laszlo and his country the other day is typical of my East European noseyness.

  42. Alec

    “Tenants may of course move into cheaper accomodation, but if they are paying (or having paid on their behalf) lower rents, they will be buying accomodation at a lower market value and therefore will be less well off. ”

    I think this is one of the areas of problem for me….particularly the assumption in your last six words.

    Is the corrollary that someone in very expensive rented accomodation , which is larger than their needs-“better off”.

    Anyway-still ploughing through it-and interested to find tables which exclude those welfare benefits which IFS describe as ” difficult to assign to particular households”-like HB & DLA.

    They tell somewhat different story.

    The CP!/RP! effect/assumptions are also interesting & complex.

    I think the tables on effect by household type are interesting-and more fruitful for a Coalition defence.

    But look, the damage is done in the Press-so GO should not attempt to refute it unless he has a cast iron statistical case. NC & MH were waffly & hopeless-better they had accepted it.

    The Government just have to demonstrate that they can grow an economy rebalanced to Private Sector/Export demand, and get the welfare stuck unemployed into work in serious numbers.

    If they can’t do that , they wont need IFS reports to sink them.

  43. Eoin

    will take up your suggestion on Chote-with some trepidation.

    I like & admire him professionally.

    I hope he gets the OBR job.

  44. Billy B,

    Your post- was very thoughtful and well researched. What are your solutions? The critque was merited but have you a vision as to how things can improve or is the point of your post to say that we should leave it as it is? You have me intrigued….


    Jon Cruddas says he disagrees ” a lot” with DM on policy. Should that worry reds?

  45. Colin,

    His 2005 Guardian writings (and earlier Independant writings would interest you).

    People conflate Oxford and Cambridge. Ideologically, they are very different.

    his wife’s former job and current work might also be of interest

    Lastly, IFS’s funding past and crucially (future) might interest you.

  46. Allow me to gloat, but I sense victory. I have always been very critical of those who read disaster into every little thing that happens to governments. Usually it is for strictly partisan reasons anyway. I feel the Robert Chote condemnation of coalition economic policy over the last two days was bloody embarrassing and the defence put up, pathetic. Yet, due to the birth of a child the Tories pick nicely in the polls. My prediction was for tonight, when the Tories will be a further 2 point in front. Will posters now admit the British public really are not very interested in politics.

  47. Eoin – You decided to do blue’s work after all?

    As for your Cruddas comment, allies that disagree create better policy, no?

  48. Eoin

    Thanks……you seem intent on destroying one of the few illusions I have left :-)

    …..but thanks anyway.

  49. Yes Alec, IFS report highlights adverse effects on *working* families.

    Just a thought, Eoin, it may be a question of terminology, but in terms of psychology if someone offered to ‘intervene’ in your life, or, offered you a range of options you could avail yourself of… which would you be happier with?

    (It amounts to the same thing perhaps. A bit like the the taxi-driver in 5th Element, who turns down the ‘like it or not’ mission from his ex-service cheif, only for it to be repackaged as an expenses paid holiday from a chat-show host.)


    “Yes Alec, IFS report highlights adverse effects on *working* families. ”

    But not exclusively so.

    I refer you to Table C1 of their report.

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