This week’s YouGov polling for the Sunday Times has topline figures of CON 33%, LAB 42%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 9%. No sooner had a posted that it looked as though the Labour lead in YouGov’s daily was consolidating around 12 points, we’ve had polls showing a ten and nine point lead. Such is life!
The rest of the poll concentrated upon the Autumn Statement and the royal baby. All the economic figures remain extremely pessimistic. 77% think the economy is in a bad state, 57% expect their financial situation to get worse next year. 33% of people say they have confidence in the government to get the country out of the current economic crisis, down on when YouGov last asked in January. However, the Conservatives are still preferred to the alternative. 37% trust Cameron & Osborne more on the economy, compared to 26% for Miliband and Balls.
On YouGov’s semi-regular question about economic strategy people are evenly split – 36% think the government should continue to prioritise the deficit, 37% think they should prioritise growth instead. Turning to the specifics of the statement:
- 36% of people think they personally will be worse off compared to only 6% who think they will benefit.
- 33% of people think that it was right to limit increases in benefits to 1%, 19% think the government should have gone further and frozen benefits completely, 35% think they should, at least, have been increased in line with inflation.
- On tax evasion and avoidance, 73% of people think the government should be doing more
- There is a fairly even split over teachers pay – 47% think they should be paid on national scales, 43% think they headteachers should pay them on performance.
- The cut in Corporation tax is supported by 43% and opposed by 26%. More generally 51% think it is a good thing for the country to have low corporation tax, 25% a bad thing.
- Shale Gas also produces a fairly even split – 34% think it is right to give more financial incentives to extract it, 32% think it wrong, 34% don’t know.
Moving to the royal questions, people overwhelmingly think it is right that the law is to be changed to treat men and women equally in the line of succession (87% think the law should be changed, 6% do not). There is similarly overwhelming support for a change to the laws governing the succession of other titles (81% support).
Prince William is seen as the member of the Royal Family who has done most to improve perceptions of the Royal Family, picked by 33% of people, followed by the Queen on 27%. 47% of people think he should remain in the armed forces once his commission expires next year. Finally, of the bookies’ favourites for royal baby names people prefer George (17%) and Diana (21%) as names.
While I am here, yesterday morning YouGov also publishing polling on the X Factor for the Sun. For historical reasons, the political department at YouGov always do polling on the X Factor (essentially when YouGov were first starting to do polling, well before my time, they did a really good poll predicting the 2001 election for the Sunday Business… that didn’t really get them noticed at all. Then they did a poll predicting that Will Young would beat Gareth Gates in Pop Idol and suddenly the calls started coming on. The rest is history). The poll had Christopher Maloney coming in third, whch has indeed happened, and has James Arthur beating Jahmene Douglas in a run-off between the two of them: James Arthur 45%, Jahmene Douglas 38%, Decide who to vote for on the night 14%….