This morning’s Sun had YouGov’s first post-budget polling. General voting intention stood at CON 32%, LAB 41%, LDEM 11%, UKIP 10% so no obvious impact there.
On the budget itself most of the actual individual measures were widely supported. The increase in the personal allowance and cancelling the rise in fuel duty were by far the most widely supported (89% and 85% supported them). The cut in employers national insurance, interest free loans to help people buying new build houses and the cut in beer duty were all supported by more than half of respondents. Least popular were the revenue raising changes of course, but even then they weren’t very unpopular – the end of contracting out of NI was opposed by 38% to 31%, limiting public sector pay for another year was actually supported by 45% to 41%.
However, budgets are far more than the sum of their parts – there have been cases in the past when polls showed people liked most of the individual measures in a budget, but overall still gave it the thumbs down. It is the whole package that counts.
In this case, there appears to be a cautious thumbs up: 39% thought it was a fair budget, 31% thought it was unfair, a big improvement on last year’s budget which 48% thought was unfair (and that was even before most of the pasty tax coverage!). However, while people support the individual measures and think the budget was fair… they still aren’t convinced it is going to do any good. Only 14% think it leaves the country better off, compared to 52% who think it will make no real difference and 24% who think the country will be worse off.
Neither has it helped George Osborne’s own ratings – only 22% think he is doing a good job, down from 24% at the end of last year and 28% at the last budget. He is still preferred to Ed Balls though – 31% think Osborne would make the better Chancellor, 25% Balls.