The full results of YouGov’s post CSR poll for the Sun are now up on the YouGov’s website here.

YouGov reasked many the economic questions from their pre-spending review poll at the start of the week to see if attitudes has shifted. Mostly they hadn’t. There were slight increases in the Conservative lead over Labour on cutting the deficit and encouraging growth, but on the other hand, the proportion of people thinking the cuts were unfair and avoidable both rose slightly. No changes were large enough to be sure the shifts weren’t just margin of error – the big picture remains that people think the cuts are unavoidable and Labour’s fault…but are being done unfairly and too fast.

Turning to the details of the spending review, most of the measures in the review were actually pretty popular. Large majorities supported the permanent levy on banks (82%), withdrawing child benefits from households with higher-rate taxpayers (74%), putting a cap on the benefits a single household can receive (84%) and – unsurprisingly – ending MPs final salary pensions (85%). There was also strong approval for the reduction in the BBC budget (64%), making public sector workers contribute more to their pensions (59%), freezing the basic level of the working tax credit (56%), and increasing the rent paid by future council tenants (49%).

Opinion was more evenly divided on increasing the state pension age to 66 (49% support, but 40% oppose), reducing the availability of legal aid (42% support, 42% oppose), allowing higher rate taxpayers over 60 to keep bus passes and winter fuel allowance (43% support, 47% oppose) and cutting 490,000 public sector jobs (39% support, 44% oppose).

Only two of the items YouGov asked about met with majority opposition – using more community sentencing rather than prison was opposed by 60%, while allowing rail fares to rise faster than inflation was overwhelmingly opposed, with 80% against.

However, as we’ve often seen in polls after budgets, people’s reactions to budgets and spending reviews are much more than just whether there are more popular measures than unpopular measures. In the past we’ve seen budgets where people told pollsters they liked all the specific things asked about in the poll, but thought the budget as a whole was bad. It’s the overall impression that counts, and on that front things are a lot more evenly balanced. 40% think the government made the right decisions on where to cut spending, 41% think they made the wrong decisions. 44% thought the cuts were too harsh, 44% thought they were about right or too cautious (38% and 6% respectively).

So far, it looks as though reactions to the spending review are pretty evenly balanced. Whether this is good or bad news for the government is, I suppose, a question of expectations. If you thought their support would plummet after cuts, this is good for them, if you thought it may have bolstered their position in a similar fashion to the emergency budget this should be disappointing.

It’s also worth noting that the public do sometimes take time to react to events – all of the fieldwork for this poll was conducted after the spending review, but about half was conducted before this morning’s papers, and reactions to the announcements will probably continue over the next fews days. The initial response is not always the same after a few days.

358 Responses to “YouGov’s post Spending Review poll”

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  1. Nick,

    LDs have lost 14% since polling began. Blues are up 4-5% Where do you suppose reds got their support from, if, as you say, they did not get it from yellow?
    Events? I often hear the old events chestnut. It is an expression most used by older, perhaps more experienced people, who conflate the collapse of the Berlin wall, 9-11 and Vietnam all into one era. Epoch changing events such as those, happen on average once a decade, and yes that means we are due one during this parliament. But in the absence of those we are left to ponder less significant events, but events that nonetheless seem to get the chattering classes in a tizzy. (recall the events below)
    1. Emergency budget (VAT hike)
    2. David laws resignation
    3. Coulson/ Hague
    4. Conference season
    5. Browne report
    6. Defence Review
    7. CSR

    • Ordinarily these are minor enough events but ones that if blue support was flaky, we might see some fall off in their vote. All things considered the resilience of blue’s support has stood up to that.

    • You are correct to say mid-term we will see a fall back in blue support, it is inevitable and it would be unprecedented were blue to avoid it. But you cause me to repeat myself, this has happened before, sometimes to the tune of 20% leads for the opposition, only for a turnaround to occur in the run up to the election.

    • If in March 2015, GO reduces income tax to 19%, or depending on strategy, promises it in a blue manifesto, they will be in a strong position to eek out a majority.

    • Reds need to have their eye on that phase of campaigning, which in my view necessitates building a policy platform. (perhaps along the lines of some ideas below)

    1. Universal Care service for 0-4 year olds and pensioners.
    2. Graduate Tax.
    3. National house building programme (perhaps resurrecting their eco town idea).
    4. A profit tax on utilities.
    5. One year paid Maternity leave (full pay).
    6. A living wage of £8 per hour.
    7. A halt on EU expansion.
    8. A parliament for Wales (as opposed to the current talking shop).
    9. A referendum on AV+

  2. Roger,

    The indepnedant/ComR twitter/ITV/Daily Politics.. reports them as three separate polls. Yes, three- I kid you not.

  3. howard

    i will go with


    GO wasn’t as rough on scotland as i expected, the whole CSR was a bit of a non event

    BTW a bit of a result with the science budget, i had expected 50% cuts there, it being an easy target. a little strange there has been no comments on this

  4. Roger,

    h ttp://

  5. Howard,

    Can you put me down for a,

    Blue 44%
    Red 38%
    Yellow 10%

  6. i notice that there are a lot of polls about the cuts being fair and that most folk think they are not

    but no one is asking “do you care if the cuts hurt the poor most” mind, you would not get an honest answer

  7. @Howard…………I’ll go …………


  8. @ Howard

    My view is that if Lab is to take a lead (and it may already have done so) it will possibly have been in Friday’s poll which you remember the field work closed for 1600 Friday afternoon.

    I think getting a prediction within ‘MOE’ is not going to be a huge problem but we shall see.

    Nevertheless, mine is 40 41 9 and I say there is a trend.
    I am loving your prediction; I especially like the idea that you see it as part of – or the start of – a trend. :-)

  9. eoin

    i think at least 8 points of the yellow vote have gone blue cos a lot of folk belive that they are the same party now

    4 or 5 points of blue have gone to red, typical buyers remorse

    6 points of yellow have been lost to the reds, and it will be very difficult to get them back

  10. eoin

    i like your manifesto

  11. Howard,

    I think the nation will come to agree with GO more. The Libs well definitely get the blame. Labour have been so unresponsvie it is embarassing. They have not come up with hard facts as to why the cuts are so depressing. There is no beef to what they say. Alan Johnson is just waffling his way as shadow chancellor. The whole debacle is embarassing.

    Tories 42,
    Labour 39,
    Libs 10

  12. @ Colin

    The IFS did not comment on the fairness of the CSR. Their chairman said, “Fairness is in the eye of the beholder.”

    Matthew Parris can say whatever he likes: The Coalition, namely David Cameron, Clegg & Osborne chose to engage with the concept of fairness – never having given the work a specific definition.

    If they failed to realise before so doing, that: “Fairness is in the eye of the beholder”, that’s their problem.

    The voters will decide what is fair & what isn’t. 8-)

  13. Howard,

    I think I was 43:38:11 pre CSR, and the only change I would like to make to the post CSR estimate, based on Thursday’s poll and Cleggy’s I’ll-considered ‘interventions’, is to turn a sliver of yellow to red.
    Everyone thinking GO is an ‘oik’ is common to pre and post.


  14. Eoin

    ITV is separate of course (still waiting for comment from Anthony on it, though he may be waiting for the second one next week). I don’t think either BBC or the Indy describe their poll as exclusive – even if they did they could claim the nobody else had the result for those questions.

    ComRes doesn’t seem to have asked about current voting intention (unless their going to get a third bite of the cherry and publish that in the IoS) but did ask 2010 GE vote, which they would normally ask anyway as they don’t have a panel. Oddly the BBC didn’t analyse their questions against GE vote.

    Actually, thinking about it, I reckon that we will see the rest of this poll in the IoS. ComRes are obviously selling every part of the pig except the squeak. :D

  15. Predictive text. Mostly a blessing, sometimes a chore

    “ill-considered interventions”

  16. @JamesW,

    I’m a bit confused because the requirement for companies to keep data already exists. Mobile companies keep their old data for a minimum of 12 months. Internet providers are slightly more variable, and generally only keep login data rather than emails. The only addition therefore would be the email data. Not a huge area for an argument really.

    Your references to “bins” are presumably in relation to “surveillance” powers. This has nothing to do with electronic databases at all and is a reference to watching people do things. When RIPA was introduced, almost any observations by government staff became “surveillance” and therefore required authorisation under the act. If the authorities aren’t allowed to watch you to see whether you obey the rules, then there’s not much point in having rules, is there? If a social worker wants to sit in a car outside your house at 8.30 am to see if you leave your children home alone, that is “surveillance” and she needs a Directed Surveillance Authority. Once upon a time it would have simply been a common sense response to the dilemma of “we’ve been told he leaves his children home alone, how do we check that?”.

    As for communications applications having to be made before Crown Court Judges, that surely depends on the level of the application? At the moment we have a structure where the lowest level applications are decided by police Superintendents, with various additional, and more intrusive, measures needing authority from the Chief Constable, a judge or the Home Secretary herself. Magistrates aren’t involved, except in the issuance of warrants to search premises.

    Given that my small team of 5 officers makes up to ten applications a week for mobile phone data, it would quickly destroy the court system if every one had to go before a judge. And if you think that we are making “too many” applications, consider for a second how many phone numbers a fifteen strong drugs gang gets through when they’re all changing their phone every week.

  17. I can’t resist.

    Con 39 Lab 41 Lib 10

  18. Julian Gilbert

    ” agree. It was such a big mistake NC criticising the IFS, ”

    I didn’t say they shouldn’t be criticised.

    I said if they are criticised , it has to be with respect for their credentials, & with calm thoughtful analysis…..
    ….not with irritated annoyance & complete lack of analysis.

    I give NC the credit for being annoyed because he & his colleagues have put so much effort into building “fairness” in to the CSR.

    But if he wants to persuade people that he achieved that objective & IFS’s analysis is incomplete, or unfocussed, he has to do a much better job.

  19. I will stick with the prediction which I posted yesterday
    39 – 41 – 9

  20. Howard,

    I really thought that there would be a post CSR dead cat bounce for the LDs with a slight fall for the other two as people were reminded that Lab had been in power and GO was delivering the CSR. Any chance was blown away by NC’s spat with the IFS.
    Next try C 42 Lab 40 LD 10.

  21. Just dropped in from the chores – we have 10 predictions so far including Rob S’s and Valerie’s early ones.

    Great variety too which makes it all the more interesting -only two Lab leads though.

    I’ll take another sample after high tea.

  22. Two days ago I predicted C37, L43, LD10 I am going to modify this to:

    C39, L42, LD9

  23. Ok I’ll play,

    C40 L40 LIB11

    Rightly or wrongly people aren’t always 100% honest with questions on cuts to benefits.


    I particularly think “5) One year paid Maternity leave (full pay)” is actually counter productive for women. I know this is an area of expertise of yours but to a small business this is a crippler. My step father has a small business in the NE employing 30 staff, and he already discriminates against women of child baring age on the grounds that he can’t afford the maternity payments and the covering the person.

    The only way in which it would work would be if the state funded the cost.

  24. @Nick Hadley – “… post election soufflé elements”

    The competence of this government is already questioned by close observers of its decision making. The electorate will postpone judgement until such time as evidence emerges that actions taken have been foolhardy, reckless or truly regressive.

    PS If I read “events (dear boy)” once more on this site I will scream. :)

  25. Eoin – the ComRes ones don’t conflict, approval and thinking it’s fair just aren’t the same thing. Look at the YouGov one for example – people were evenly split on whether they approved of the budget or not, but people were much more liklely to think it was unfair. The obvious conclusion is that some people are judging the cuts on criteria other than whether they think it is fair or not (Richard in Norway has it right – some people might not actually care whether the budget hurts the poor)

    As far as I’m aware ComRes will be using a panel for online surveys in much the same way as YouGov do, althought it may not be their own (there are many companies like ResearchLive or Toluna who provide online sample.)

    Hooded Man – you are correct, tellyougov is more of a qualitative tool, don’t try to draw quantative conclusions from it. Even high numbers reflect very small proportions of the total people, and they are probably the political partisans who aren’t going to change their minds anyway.

  26. I too like Eoin’s manifesto, but change #4 to (the long overdue, in my opinion) nationalisation of public utilities.

    If we are seeing the end of globalisation (*crosses fingers*) AND a return to two-party politics, it gives Labour the opportunity to return, at least in part, to socialism. Nothing worse than having a two-party dichotomy with them both representing the same side (see: Democrats/Republicans), or like it was with New Labour/Tories.

  27. @ Craig – I like your amendment (and the rest of your post) and agree with Eoin’s excellent manifesto.

  28. I don’t see why the Tories would have increased by so many % … so I would hazard


  29. RE globalisation

    Unfortunatly the genie is out genie is out of the bottle and isn’t going in any time soon, in a way that makes nationalisation and/or socialism a viable option. After all as a technicality the utility companis largest shareholders in he Uk is pension funds.

    Is it possible in the uk to win a general election away from the middle ground ? Would anyone take he risk?

  30. 30 years ago
    privitation of everything but the public utilitys was a loony right fanatacy which was not discussed in polite company

    nationalsation of public utilitys is a hard left fantasy

    Q, where is the middle ground
    A, its chasing after after right wing loonys

  31. RE: globalisation

    Unfortunatly the genie is out of the bottle and isn’t going in any time soon.
    The genie could be going back in the bottle fairly soon.

    US are looking for trade caps on China & Germany; both China & Germany have large trade surpluses & artificially weak currencies. Canada has openly written in support of this approach by the US.

    If China & Germany don’t volunteer to take actions to address the situation, the US could implement measures of its own to restrict imports & cap or place a levy on the amount of USD that can move in & out of the US.

    Any general trade cap &/or capital control by the USA = the end of globalisation. 8-)

  32. ‘today
    nationalsation of public utilitys is a hard left fantasy’

    Hmmm. Banks?

  33. Amber

    “The voters will decide what is fair & what isn’t”

    They will-and, as has been said, will decide whether they think it matters to them.

  34. Think of the world economy as a big bath-tub.

    The US are the tap & are trying to prevent a global recession by pouring money in. They have done their level best to stick with globalism & float all our little boats on their rising tide.

    China, at the other end, has pulled the plug out.

    That is China’s perogative. But it is entirely against the spirit of globalism – a system which requires everybody to following similar economic/ market principles.

    The effect on UK politics could be considerable – because national governments would be back in control of their own national economies. 8-)

  35. If we follow this thread’s current theme, we had all better learn how to make fire by rubbing a couple of sticks together, luckily I was a boy scout so I can set up a consultancy selling survival techniques to the rest of you. By the way, we will have to re-calibrate the benefits system to accommodate those of an idle disposition and provide them with camp fires. :-)

  36. amber

    the germans appeared to have called the americans

    commie båstards, of course they did it in a nice way

  37. There is an ominous silence from Brussels, where is the leadership on this……I thought the whole point of the alliance was to form a powerful trading entity with global influence, all we hear about are the Chinese and the US, what is our leader’s name? I think Nigel Farage was right in his assessment of him, perhaps it’s time he started justifying his incredibly generous remuneration package and made an impact.

  38. amber

    i must take issue with your depiction of the US as the good guy. they have always bent the rules to benefit themselves, but now that they are losing they want to start a new game with new rules. rule num1 “the USA always wins” it’s not surprising that most of the others don’t wanna play

  39. amber

    have you heard about the US treasury chief who said

    “the dollar is our currency, but its your problem”

    that about sums up american attitudes, and they want everyone else to play nice

  40. Very busy week so have not had time to post before, shame as so much to talk about. I agree support for blues seems fairly solid but I think drip drip drip things will move. I am going for 40, 40, 10 on tonight poll, maybe 40,41, 10 on the outside. I think this is a significant shift as a week ago we were looking at a four point tory lead.

  41. I can’t resist again…..

    Ken – “There is an ominous silence from Brussels, where is the leadership on this…”

    You lot sacked Gordon Brown remember?

  42. I think the back slapping of osbourne by alexander and clegg at the spending review together with cleggs ill advised attack on the IFS is going to see a further decline in liberal support at the next poll we see on here

    together with a slight drop off for blue and a small lift for reds

    of course I will probably be wrong but thats what makes this site so engaging

  43. @ Sue

    :-) Bravo! :-)


  44. @ Richard in Norway

    i must take issue with your depiction of the US as the good guy.
    President Obama is the West World’s last, best hope for the survival of anything close to social democracy.
    If he loses, we all lose.

    The Germans are calling the US ‘communists’?
    Hooray!!! 8-)

  45. I’ve had some more information on the effects of the CSR on us disabled people.

    Disabled Living Allowance as it currently works will be axed, replaced with an assessed benefit that ‘focuses on the most at need’ in 2013. As with the replacement of Incapacity Benefit with “Employment and Support Allowance”, all current claimants will lose their previous benefit and be reassessed under the new one. The intent is to cut money spent on DLA by 20%.

    Additionally, the “Local Housing Allowance” replacement for Housing Benefit will actually be *decoupled from local rent valuations* in 2013,. And only increased once a year by CPI after being set at a figure of the 30th percentile of local rents. I assume they intend to make this irreversible by closing the rent monitoring agencies. The problems with using a national index to adjust a local value should be obvious.

    If you’re shifted to JSA for any reason, then you’ll also have your housing benefit cut by 10%.

    Details via h ttp://

  46. @Sue, I wouldn’t have employed him in the first was Gordy, and his, ‘Post-neoclassical endogenous growth theory’ (Bubble) that got us into the mess in the first place, I’m a saver by instinct so I’m pleased we booted the old spendthrift out, and as for his activities in Europe…he was as in thrall to the US as his predecessor. :-)

  47. 39, 40 or 41% does not really matter at this point, the important thing is that Labour is now the strongest socialist party in Europe (except Malta, but there there are only two parties). The weak point, IMO, is that it covers alone the whole center-left and left area. In Germany the SPD has in October’s polls an average of 27, yet it is very close to victory because of the Green’s 22 (so center-left is at 49, and the whole of left, together with Die Linke, at 11%, totals an amazing 60%). Same thing in France: PS and its satellite parties are around 30, Greens around 10 and the various expressions of Radical Left around 10 as well, so my “other” country will soon have a progressive majority in 2012 (if Sarkozy is not ousted earlier by the right itself). Same thing in Denmark, where the results of 2009 regional election were: Soc. Dem. 30, Popular Soc. 15, Left Lib. 4 and Left Unity 3, a total of 52 and hopefully in power next year. On the contrary, there are 4 countries (Romania, Sweden, Czech Republic and Slovakia) where the Socialists came 1st in the respective last GEs, yet they are in opposition because their potential allies have not had enough votes to secure a majority. So, with what remains of the LDs attached firmly to the Tory bandwagon, Labour has no potential allies, unless it looks to the direction of SNP and PC, as do now the Spanish socialists of Zapatero, who recently concluded an agreement with Basque and Canary Islands nationalists to secure majority for the Budget. Of course under FPTP an overall majority cannot be excluded for Labour, but what if AV passes and LDs and Tories support each other?

  48. We now have eleven predictions, pleasingly at variance.

    Any more for any more?

    WW you made a qualitative prediction but it lacked quantity. :-)

  49. amber

    “President Obama is the West World’s last, best hope for the survival of anything close to social democracy.
    If he loses, we all lose.”

    are you saying that all the china bashing is just vote chasing nonsense

  50. I like Eoin’s manifesto too, i would also replace taxing utilities with nationalisation, would also look at mutualisation of banks. This could be possible as the government owns so much of them. Interesting analysis Virgilio, stregthens the cause for PR. I would change AV+ to AMS but i think Eoin was being realistic and not idealistic.

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