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. There seems to an excessive amount of navel-gazing about minor variations in the opinion polls on this site. The only significant change since May 2010 is a the drop in LD support to the benefit of the Reds, probably due to the loss of left-leaning fellow travellers who are unable to recognise that the LDs made a noble sacrifice in forming the coalition. It will not be clear for several years as to whether GO’s brave attempt via the CSR to deal with the financial mess, left by the disastrous “boom and bust” policies of the last-but-one chancellor (GB), will have been successful. Opinion polls then will be far more useful in assessing the chances of the 2 main parties at the GE in 2015, at which the LD’s will be lucky to retain 20 seats.

  2. Virgilio
    Your earlier classification of some European parties as ‘liberal’ was wide of the mark as the expression is understood in this country (but Orange bookers?).

  3. There seems to an excessive amount of navel-gazing about minor variations in the opinion polls on this site.

    wrote DAODAO

    As this is what the site is for I wonder why you correspond??

  4. 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. ”

    If he loses-the US voter will have decided they don’t want Obama’s “social democracy” anymore.

    As for “we”-well we can make our own minds up what we want.

    With Obama poised to lose control of the House of Representatives and see the Democratic majority in the Senate cut, the prospect of some agreement on spending cuts looms.

    So far that $787 billion stimulus plan has failed to revive the US economy, curb rising unemployment or prevent the loss of their homes to foreclosure by newly impoverished middle-class Americans- & all he has to show for it is a $1.3 trillion deficit ( following a 2009 $1.42 trillion dollar deficit) & Total Government debt of 94% of GDP.

    2012 is not far away-its the year we will know whether the Obama or the Cameron prescription was the right one-
    Meantime Obama is consulting Steve Jobs……..about jobs presumably

  5. Dao Doa,

    Minor variations? Last week Hooded has us down to 1/100th of a decimal point on LD scores.

    Guess what?

    I loved it :) Does that qualify me as a naval gazer? :)

  6. Anthony

    I have a response in to Amber which went straight into Moderation.

    Edited it for the only word which might have fallen foul-& it still got moderated.

    Could you have a look please.

  7. I suppose everyone has seen the Indy poll?

  8. Howard.

    IoS? or The Indy one this morning.

    poll alert: ICM (NotW). If I want decnet coverage of news in English politics I am forced to international newspapers :(

    h ttp://

  9. ICM

    Tory 40%
    Lab 36%
    Lib 12%

  10. Sorry guys Libs

    16% (ICM) :)

  11. ICM’s 40% for blue has only been bettered once since November 2009 and that was a 41%. So almost an 11 month high for blue with ICM

  12. Prediction for tonight: 40/41/10.

    Reasoning: Clegg has made a further fool of himself with the IFS in the last couple of days. But as 10% was a low for the libs, expect a consolidation before a continuation of the downward trend. When you look at it over months rather than on a day to day basis, their support is still falling remarkably quickly.

    Cons support slightly dented with Osbourne’s argument over fairness having been exposed, and as more of the detail of the cuts come to light.

  13. PS. Prediction is You Gov not ICM!

  14. eoin

    that was very naughty of you. now i’m confused which is it 12 or 16

  15. @ Richard in Norway

    are you saying that all the china bashing is just vote chasing nonsense
    No – that’s not what I meant.

    President Obama & his team are trying to use Kenysian, managed economy policies. If these policies fail in the US, they will be discredited for the foreseeable future.

    What is causing them to fail? Lack of capital controls means that money pumped into the US economy is being used, at the end of the day, to set up shop in China because it is a ‘low cost’ economy.

    China, for its own short-term gain, is doing everything to encourage this by using protectionist policies to make sure China remains a ‘low cost’ economy – which it really isn’t.

    The US is asking China to cease using protectionism to secure an unfair advantage over the US, or the US will need to introduce protectionist measures of its own.

    President Obama must succeed in this, if he is to have any hope of introducing some kind of social democracy to the US – healthcare, education & a civilised future for working class & vulnerable American citizens. 8-)

  16. Richard,

    I am very absent minded, please forgive me for the alarm.

    Blue 40%
    Red 36%
    Yellow 16%

    Feildwork 21/22 Oct. (ICM- Telephone).

  17. @ Éoin

    In their poll immediately before the GE, what % did ICM have the Dems at? I don’t mean the exit polls, I mean their final VI poll prior to the GE. Do you have that to hand? 8-)

  18. Amber,

    Yes 5/5/10 ICM – LD 26%. Historically LDs are 2.1% more generous in the scoes they give for LDs than other comapnies. But that 16% represents a -2% on their last couple of showing with ICM.

  19. Amber

    A more nuanced view from the Middle East :-

    “It is short-sighted measures to boost their economies, by the United States among others, which has sparked this showdown. The US has cut its interest rates to zero to boost business and consumer confidence, while effectively printing money to keep spending on economic stimulus packages. This has undermined the dollar, the international reserve currency, and led to investors pouring money into emerging economies, like China and India, to benefit from their higher interest rates and stronger economic growth.

    As a result, the currencies of emerging economies have strengthened, making their goods and services less competitive on international markets and hindering their economies. These countries are now looking at ways of weakening their currencies. But any overt intervention will set off a bout of trade subsidisation and protectionism that will undermine the international commerce which underpins most modern economies. China, which has long boosted its export industry by keeping its currency, the yuan, artificially low, is now even more reluctant to let the international market determine its value. It is the deadlock between the US and China, the biggest economies in the world, which is fuelling the currency conflict.

    The US must put an end to the economic policies which are irresponsible and disrupting the international financial system; while China must allow the market to more freely determine the value of the yuan.”

    Gulf News.

  20. amber

    how much would the yuan need to appreciate against the dollar to make a chinese wage equivalent to an american one? 500% maybe? 1000% ? 2000% ?

    to suggest that china is not a low cost country is beyond partisan, anyhow why are you a partisan dem, politically they are a long way from labour even nu labour

    money being pumped into the US banking system is not going to china, it’s going to brazil which is why the brazilian finance minister canceled his trip to the G20 summit at the last minute. they along with many other developing countries
    are furious about QE2 and nonexistent interest rates in the “west”. they don’t want to import our bubble economics

  21. @Howard
    I agree that “iiberal” can have many interpretations, but as a matter of convenience I label “Liberals” the European parties that belong to the ELDR (European Liberals Democrats and Reformists), that includes many liberals of the “Orange” type, but also some center-left parties such as PRG in France, LDS and Zares in Slovenia, D66 in the Netherlands , IDV and Radicali in Italy and RV in Denmark – all these parties are usually allies of the socialists either in government (Slovenia) or in opposition (France, Italy, Denmark).

  22. Virgilio
    Yes I understand but where do you really class the Dutch VVD now that it is coalition with CDA and right wing (via supply and confidence) PVV?

  23. Given that we have no real structural reason why ICM should be that different to YG should we have LD at 13 in our mind’s eye or is that just a partisan wishful thought? A while back I quizzed Anthony on this but shyness overtook him (or perhaps sleep).

  24. It’s an education in hubris to watch the contortions of the QE supporters club attempting to justify its failure, they forgot China, an oversight compounded by the fact that they also overlooked Brazil. Well respected economist, is an oxymoron, but the Keynesian bandwagon, for reasons only they understand, rolls on. Me, I’m a Tory, I save when appropriate, and am the better for it….!

  25. Howard,

    Well we are making some progress. Ipsos 14% Comres 15% Both pre CSR)

    YG 10% ICM 16% (post CSR)

    13% might be a fair ball park figure….


    with ICM’s 40% blue their second highest score for blue in 11 months, the Comp Spending Review aint looking tha bad for them, is it?

  26. @ Richard in Norway

    A minimal skills, factory operator who is capable of using a desk-top computer, self-inspecting his work & recording the inspection data:

    China – $20k to $25k per year. This is in a zone adjacent to Shanghai, not in Shanghai itself. This is with China artificially holding down its currency.

    An operator with the same capabilities, working in Scotland, $30k to $35k per year.

    The average productive output of the UK employee per hour is 150% of the Chinese employee’s output in the first year of employment. In the second year, the Chinese employee’s output catches up (~80% of UK). Then s/he leaves to earn more money elsewhere or wants a payrise to stay.

    FYI – Both figures include employee related government taxes.

  27. Having botched QE, the latest fashion is the old fashion, protectionism. Thanks Barack, but we’ve been there, what next, controlled tractor production and five year plans…………bizarre.

  28. Is it not about 8pm on Saturday that the Sunday Papers’ polling numbers start to leak? I am getting a tad impatient to see who wins Howard’s competition.

  29. @ Ken

    Having botched QE, the latest fashion is the old fashion, protectionism. Thanks Barack, but we’ve been there, what next, controlled tractor production and five year plans…………bizarre.
    It is your comment that is bizarre. 8-)

  30. @Éoin………..We’re back to two party politics, this favours the Blues, in 2015 the LDs will be back to their Liberal core, the others will migrate left or right. By then the economy will be well on the rise and will hail the emergence of the Tories as the natural party of government again. Just my opinion of course, and this is what I am teaching my grandchildren as I sit here looking after them tonight, my wife, incidentally, is a LD and doesn’t agree with me………but, naturally, she’s in the kitchen. :-)

  31. Just returned from a trip to mother-in-law’s. If it’s not unfair to put my post-CSR prediction so late, I’ll go for 40/41/10.

  32. @Amber……..You would say that wouldn’t you ! :-)

  33. Amber,

    I got a leak on that ICM poll from Bloomberg at 7pm tonight. That was around 7pm but News of the World commissioned it and they have yet to release it.

    YouGov’s are notoriously difficult to get a hold of. So I reckon you’ll have to wait until 10pm for that one.

  34. @Amber……….I think we can do without the Caledonian school of economic excellence, think RBS, GB, AD, and now AS. :-)

  35. amber

    the honda workers in china went on strike recently. they got a 25% payrise, which raised their earnings to $ 3,500 pa

    i thought car workers were well paid generally speaking

  36. Ken,

    Don’t you Sassenach swear by Adam Smith ;)

  37. @Richard in Norway…………Factor in, lies, damn lies, and statistics, especially from economists. :-)

  38. @Éoin…………I’m a pragmatist, I follow the money, it’s in my nature…I’m not a philosopher, but I don’t need to tell you that, you already know. :-)

  39. ken

    why are you egging me on, ambers on your side of the fence on this issue

  40. @Richard in Norway…………Amber and I agree on nothing, except her exceptional derriere !

  41. Ken,

    You’re a modern day Lughaidh O’Cleirigh, except in prose form :)

  42. @Éoin….I do have a spiritual affinity with Irish poets, and property developers…..! :-)

  43. Ken,

    O’cleirigh commanded a high fee as a retainer at the Irish courts :) You should charge for your services.

  44. @Éoin…..I have enough money, but I could donate any fees to the campaign for the re-habilitation of persistent left wingers, ( or should it be whingers ). :-)

  45. Ken,

    Us Left whingers will be alright, without the charity/philanthropy Ken, we prefer state investment :)

  46. @Éoin……….To paraphrase a famous Jew, Éoin, “The poor are always with you, but you won’t always have me “. Take it while you can. :-)

  47. Ken,

    as a great Scotsman once said, “rise with your people, not above them” :)

  48. YouGov; CON 41%, LAB 40%, LDEM 10%

  49. Sunday Times YouGov
    Con 41
    Lab 40
    LD 10

  50. Julian- The other thread is up.

    Well done :)

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