This week’s YouGov poll for the Sunday Times is now up here. Topline results are CON 30%, LAB 41%, LD 12%, UKIP 12%, so again suggesting that the budget has had no significant effect on voting intention (though as I’ve said before, that’s isn’t necessarily a bad thing for the government. In recent years budgets have more often had negative effects on government support, so it should perhaps be seen less as an positive opportunity missed, than a pitfall avoided).

The Budget

There is little change in people’s attitudes towards the economy, the overwhelming majority still think the economy is in a bad state and very few expect their finances to improve in the next year. Confidence in the government’s ability to deal with the economy has ticked up very slightly… but not by much. 33% say they have a lot or some confidence in the government’s economic ability (up from 29% last week), 24% think the government’s economy strategy has started to work or soon will (up from 19% last week).

Looking more specifically at the budget, only 19% think it will be good for the economy, 25% bad for the economy with 40% thinking it will have no effect either way. Asked how it will affect them personally 30% of people think they will be worse off compared to only 10% who think they personally will be better off.

YouGov also asked who people thought had benefitted or suffered from this year’s budget – the biggest winners were seen as people trying to buy a home (39%) and rich people (36%), followed by small businesses (22%), big business, people in low paid jobs and working parents (all on 19%). I suspect the government would be quietly pleased if people went away with the perception that the budget was one that helped people trying to buy a home or run a small business if it wasn’t accompanied by the continued perception that it was helping the rich. In contrast the people who are seen as suffering from the budget are public sector workers (24%), people on benefits (22%), people in low paid jobs (18%) and stay at home parents (18%).

On specific measures, the increase in the personal allowance has extremely wide support – 89% are in favour. The mortgage guarantees are supported by 50% with 28% opposed. The reduction in beer duty, despite being seen as crowd pleasing measure actually produced mixed feelings. 41% of people were supportive, 42% opposed.

Finally, the budget does seem to have tempered hostility towards George Osborne slightly. A week ago only 17% wanted him to remain as Chancellor and 51% wanted him replaced. The figures now are 27% stay and 46% go.

Press regulation

YouGov also asked about the new system of press regulation, finding people broadly supportive. Overall 52% of people support it, 23% are opposed. There are similar splits on whether it is threat to press freedom (27% think it is, 53% think it is not) and whether it is right that newspapers who do not join the regulator should face larger damages (55% think they should and 23% think they should not). People are much more divided over whether the system will actually work – 40% think it will help stop intrusive and unethical behaviour by the press, but almost as many (37%) think it will not.

Opinium

Last night we also had the fortnightly Opinium poll for the Observer. Topline figures there were CON 28%(+1), LAB 38%(-1), LDEM 9%(+1), UKIP 16%(-1), though fieldwork was conducted partly before the budget. The poll also asked what result people expected from the next election – 25% expect a Labour majority, only 9% a Conservative majority, 45% another hung Parliament (two thirds of which expect Labour to lead the subsequent government).

A note for polling pedants, as far as I can tell from the question text in the graphic the Observer’s headline “54% of voters expect Ed Miliband to be next Prime Minister” is not true. Opinium seem to have asked which party people expected to form the government after the next election, which is a slightly different question. People could expect a difference Conservative MP before the general election, or expect Labour to win under a different leader… but more importantly, people may well have answered the question differently if they had asked who will be Prime Minister after the next election. Logically unless people think the two main party leaders might change before 2015 the two answers should be the same… but as we have seen again and again, that is not the way answers to polls actually work.


179 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 30, LAB 41, LD 12, UKIP 12”

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  1. @Colin

    Where is the Spanish quote from.

    It means “Merkel, like Hitler, had declared war on the rest of the continent, to protect her vital economic intetest”.

    And I entirely concur with your response!

  2. @Colin

    ” What is the Spanish for” Merkel-like her taxpayers, is not going to pay up for the Cypriots unless they dismantle their ridiculous tax haven, and the Russian billionaires take a hit””

    Merkel en comun con sus contribuyentes, no esta dispuesto a pagar por los chipriotas hasta que se tomen la decision de cerrar su paraíso fiscal, y que sean afectados los billionarios rusos”.

  3. RAF and colin

    You might agree with merkle but seeing as none of us uses the euro as our currency our views don’t matter. That El pais wrote that article is significant especially with that headline(we might also ask who put the pressure on for them to change it) does this mean that Cyprus has public support in southern Europe, do the northern European countries have to worry about that. Remember that a breakup of the euro would kill northern european exporters stone dead, their exports might not be be as price sensitive as other exporters but a 30 to. 50 percent rise in the cost of a merc won’t be good for business, they might have to follow the lead of Switzerland and go on a printing spree to buy foreign bonds, exactly the kind of printing that they are trying to avoid in the clubmed

  4. Cyprus: Apparently there is now a deal.

    “We now have capital controls in an economic area, one of whose main purposes is to facilitate the free flow of capital; I speak as someone who sees a place for capital controls, but some financiers will see that as a dangerous precedent.”

    Savings of less than €100k will not be subjected to a levy; savings above this could be levied at as much as 40%. There’s no mention yet, as far as I could see, whether it will be a debt for equity swap rather than purely a hair-cut. I will watch out for any information about that.

  5. @ Colin

    Why is Cyprus a tax haven exactly? Or just making up this claim?

    If you say that maybe they are less cautious with checking the origin of some of the money coming in, it could be true, but then have you heard of HSBC, Barclays, Lloyds?

  6. Cyprus

    Social Insurance:
    •An employee: The employer’s contribution is 8.5% of the salary. The employee’s contribution is 6.8% of the salary.
    •The maximum amount on which social insurance is payable is EUR 52,104 per year.
    •Self employed pay 12.8% on income.
    •Income in excess of the maximum is exempt from national insurance.

    Income Tax
    (EUR)
    0% Up to 19,500
    20% 19,501-28,000
    25% 28,001-36,300
    30% 36,301-60,000
    35% 60,001 and over

    Corporation Tax is 10%

  7. According to fans of the Laffer Curve (I am not one) less is more; the 35% on +€60k should surely fill Cyprus’s tax coffers to overflowing from millionaires anxious to pay their taxes.

    Or are there no believers in the Laffer Curve anymore? Do such tax rates now = “tax haven”? And 10% Corporation Tax also merits being dubbed “tax haven”?

  8. ” Is there anything obvious on the political horizon, or are we looking at fairly static polling (post-budget stuff aside) ?”

    Several changes to benefits are coming into affect this week, which are likely to leave a lot of people very unhappy. Whether that will affect the polls, and in what direction, though…

  9. “Is there anything obvious on the political horizon, or are we looking at fairly static polling (post-budget stuff aside)”
    There’s the PMs ‘crack down on immigrant benefits’ statement today that should be quite popular.

    Don’t know if it’ll be enough to shift anything, but it should provide good ‘mood music’ – especially given Clegg’s recent conversion to the ‘tough on immigration’ stance (so there shouldn’t be any internal coalition trouble from it).

  10. Eddie Mair
    Is my Hero

  11. Laszlo

    “haven” is a comparative term-safer than somewhere else.

    Why did so many Russians place so much money there?

    Why are their bank’s balance sheets 8X the countries GDP.

    Why did no politician -anywhere in EZ-ask -if those Cypriot Banks are ever compromised-how will Cyprus help them?

    There will be an awful lot of wealthy Cypriots who get caught by the 40% levy too-it will be devastating for them & for the island.

    But they all took that risk when their regulator & legislators allowed the island to be one eight the size of it’s banks.

    There will be the usual recriminations of course, and the usual cries about jackboots.

  12. The Cyprus deal now applies to only two banks, which are to be restructured.

    It also includes a commitment to raise “withholding tax” ( presumably levied on dividends & interest) -and “corporate tax” .

    No sign of an answer to Ambers question of equity exchange. Looks like a pure haircut for depositors in those banks.

    Where do the Russians go now?-Malta ?

  13. This story is absolutely awful.

    http://www.irishtimes.com/business/sectors/financial-services/credit-union-head-flags-concern-to-irish-meps-1.1334690

    How long will it take for the disastrous shadow of the Banking Boom to leave people’s lives?

  14. RAF

    Thank you- impressive .

  15. Phew.

    Watched that Boris interview on iPlayer last night.

    Two thoughts come to mind.

    1) Boris has cultivated the image of the anti-politician for years. He took that to the limit yesterday because he looked nowt like a serious, competent politician.

    2) I’d always had Eddie Mair down as an airy-fairy lightweight. He’s obviously spent 20 years carefully hiding his real skills, waiting for the moment that he can whip off the cape of whimsical flimsiness and stick the stiletto between the ribs of his target.

    Frost-Nixon looks like a natter over a pint about the football results by comparison.

  16. Even accepting those heavy losses for people with over Euro 100k (which I think is very unfair as it is a random wealth tax and not based on actual wealth just mugs who had it in savings- maybe saving for a house type thing), there surely must be some EU law against capital controls on the remaining money even if it is just a contract law that says ‘I signed up to instant withdrawal’.

    Although the markets seem to be happy you wonder what affect this will have on Euro deposits in general. Just because the EU says this is a one off for Cyprus it has set a precedent and if I had money in Spain, Italy, Ireland etc I would have my money out of there.

  17. This is not original thought but I thought it worth sharing.

    Island economy at edge of EU reliant on banking and courting Russian oligarchs presents implausible budget in response to infeasible high debt:gdp ratio and poor economics. Anyway enough about the UK…In other news, Cyprus got a bailout.

    See on Peston BBC reponses.

  18. Colin

    Probably for the same reason no one asks any questions of Luxembourg who’s bank assets to gdp are 1100% if I remember right. Oddly Cyprus has been a net contributer to the EU. While Luxembourg which has the highest income has been a net recipient. As far as I know none of the money in Cyprus is from Russian billionaires, millionaire’s yes but billionaires all come to London where their money can be easily hidden in the web of British controlled tax havens, it’s London not Cyprus that is the money laundering centre of the world

  19. Is it me, or does someone on Yougov keep miscalculating (and/or misstating) Labour’s lead as 9 points when it is, in fact, 11!!!

  20. Someone in Yougov needs to go back to school – can’t subtract.

  21. @Shevii

    I can see your point. It is a pretty indiscriminate way of going about things. But the question you probably need to ask is if the Bank that’s practically insolvent was wound up, what if any assets would be left to pay out to unsecured creditors? A cent in the Euro? Ten cents?

    Here the government is honouring it’s 100k guarantee, whilst also ensyring that the larger depositors receive a much higher level of savibg protection than would have been the case if there were to have been no state/EU intervention.

  22. I think Alec recently suggested cutting government expenditure by stopping tax subsidies for pension savings for three years. The following excerpt from a Danish social research unit may be relevant.

    “A Danish reform in 1999 provided a quasi-experiment for the effectiveness of tax subsidies on retirement savings. The reform sharply reduced the tax subsidy for contributions to retirement accounts for those in the top income tax bracket in Denmark. It turned out that the subsidy change had only small impacts on total savings. Only 15% of individuals reduced retirement savings when the subsidy was reduced; the remaining 85% of individuals did not change their pension contributions at all. Moreover, the 15% who reduced their pension contributions shifted nearly all the money they withdrew from pensions to non-retirement accounts.”

    The study also found that if the aim is to get people to save for retirement, methods other than tax subsidies are more effective (e.g. automatic but not compulsory involvement in savings schemes) are more effective.

    If a key problem for the future is how we manage our changed demography, these ideas might be worth debate.

  23. “the Observer’s headline “54% of voters expect Ed Miliband to be next Prime Minister” is not true.”

    I’m something of a pedant, but I think the headline is a fair one, in this case. If 54% of people polled think Labour will be a party of government after 2015, then it’s reasonable to assume that this means a Miliband lead administration.

    It might not be the actual question they asked, but it is a perfectly logical deduction.

  24. @ Lefty, RoryB

    The Johnson interview was a good laugh- on Boris. Maybe he forgot he was to be interviewed by Mair, one of the BBC’s elite radio men, not by Marr, a good guy but no newsman.
    It was the classic one-two: lull them with a couple of soft ?s & then hit them hard. Johnson missed his only [partial] “Alan Clarke” defence: yes I had a fling, so what?

    Lefty: Puzzled that Mair’s anchor role on R.4’s PM makes him a “lightweight”

  25. I haven’t done Spanish since school and was dreadful then but my translation would be;

    “As we can’t admit to our own mistakes lets blame it all on the people who didn’t make them”

    Peter.

  26. Richard.

    I am sure it goes on in all major financial centres.

    Cyprus’ bad luck was their Banks investing so much of it in Greek Debt.

  27. Depositors in EU know -or should do-that their savings are guaranteed safe ONLY up to the level of the Depositor Protection Scheme which applies to them.

    http://www.fsa.gov.uk/consumerinformation/compensation/abroad/foreign-banks

  28. Interesting article in the Independent about a new left movement which might put Labour’s win in 2015 in jeopardy if they don’t respond to this: http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/how-the-peoples-assembly-can-challenge-our-suffocating-political-consensus–and-why-its-vital-that-we-do-8547507.html

  29. LIZH

    Interesting.

    A fracture on the left could change things .

    But is there sufficient disenchantment with the current Labour leadership ?

  30. Re Cyprus as a tax haven:

    This is less about personal tax rates than about the international tax treaty regime; when I helped a UK-based bank set up its Russian subsidiary in 1996 it was done through a Cypriot holding company, as only Cyprus had the relevant tax treaties with Russia.

    These mean that income treated as ‘taxed’ in a Russian subsidiary can be passed to a Cypriot holding company and be treated as taxed in Cyprus.

    Given how easy it is to have your income treated as taxed in Russia (corruption in the tax system is endemic) this means Cyprus is the preferred conduit for middle sized Russian entrepreneurs to move money out of Russia without paying tax.

    I suspect, but don’t know for sure, that this remains the case; combine this with :
    – Cypriot banks offering infeasibly high interest rate to attract and retain Russian-sourced money,
    – the imbalance of banking within the Cypriot economy (70% of employment depending on the Finance sector according to the Independent!) and
    – long-standing pressure from the ECB and other banking regulators for Cyrus to crack down on money-laundering etc, through its banking system,
    all of which have been ignored by the Cypriot government, and you can see why the European community are taking this opportunity to force the Cypriot economy back onto a more sustainable course.
    Cheers
    BFR

  31. Colin

    That wasn’t bad luck, there’s loads of accusations and counter accusations but it seems the Cypriots believe that they were lied to by the ECB and German finance minister. It was well known that the cost of the ECB not taking a loss on their Greek bonds would mean that the other bondholders would take a bigger hit, it was also Well known that the haircut would kill the Cypriot banks but Cyprus voted for it anyway, they say they were promised a quid pro quo, they are also saying that the ECB asked the Cypriots to invest in Greek bonds. The Cypriots are also pointing out that they asked for help 9 months ago but the troika kept them waiting before shocking them with this proposal when time had run out. Have the Cypriots been stitched up, I don’t know but they certainly feel they have been

  32. A helpful summary from Andrew Lilico :-

    “Cyprus and the Troika have agreed a deal that may now keep Cyprus going until the next bailout. The key features are:

    The Eurozone loans €5.8bn to Cyprus
    Resolution of Cypriot banks raises €4.2bn
    Because the money raised from Cypriot banks comes via resolution instead of a tax, the Cypriot Parliament does not vote on the deal
    The shareholders and bondholders (including senior bondholders) in Laiki (Cyprus Popular Bank) are wiped out entirely
    Laiki is split into a “good bank” and a “bad bank”, with the “good bank” being taken over by Bank of Cyprus. The ECB will then provide “Emergency Liquidity Assistance” (i.e. virtually unlimited loans) to the Bank of Cyprus
    Depositors with over €100,000 in Laiki will face a haircut of up to 40% (though the final number may be closer to 30%)
    Senior bondholders of, and depositors with more than €100,000 in, the Bank of Cyprus will also face a haircut, with the amount to be determined according to the amount required to resolve Laiki and recapitalise the Bank of Cyprus. In the meantime, these larger depositors in the Bank of Cyprus will have their funds frozen
    Depositors with less than €100,000 will be untouched – they won’t even be “insured” as the monies for resolution will all come from bondholders and larger depositors
    Cyprus will be subject to draconian capital controls for the foreseeable future”

  33. @Colin

    If the People’s Assembly is a success they might swoop up a lot of the lefty LibDems along with the Greens and anyone suffering from the cuts in benefit. Labour not voting against the emergency legislation re the Jobseekers Bill have left some people unhappy. There are rumours that Labour did a deal with the DWP in exchange for an independent inquiry.

  34. @Lizh

    I see no indication that ‘The People’s Assembly” is anything more than yet another pressure group. And as such, aren’t really affect the vote in any way.

  35. @Jayblanc

    I hope as a pressure group they keep up the pressure on the Labour Party not to revert to NuLab ways. If Labour tacks towards the right, it will affect votes IMO.

  36. @Lefty

    “I’d always had Eddie Mair down as an airy-fairy lightweight.”

    What I’ve seen of the Boris interview was completely in line with EM’s usual style on PM. However, I think what made the difference was that he wasn’t limited by the time constraints of a radio news programme, where he’s usually limited to 2-3 minutes and the interviewee can flannel until the time runs out. This time, it was a longer set-piece interview, and there was nowhere for Boris to run.

  37. @Colin

    You forgot one aspect of the deal which Robert Peston and Stephanie Flanders were at pains to point out this morning: Cyprus’s economic model is destroyed, there is a flight of capital, and their economy goes down the pan.

    Some bailout.

  38. Why don’t we join the euro, get a bail-out and at the same time nick money off everyone with more than a 100k tied up somewhere?

    No need for mansion tax: its win/win.

  39. @Robin

    The problem is that Cyprus’ economic model was unsustainable, based as it was on a constant flow of dodgy Russian money propping up an otherwise hugely excessive banking sector.

    Cyprus is like a warmer version of Iceland…
    Cheers
    BFR

  40. Well if it wasn’t unsustainable before it is now!!

  41. If we were to introduce a one of property tax to be paid either now or when the property is sold or passed onto another person (on death) or company, what % would it need to be to clear the defict?

  42. @ LizH

    I don’t think that generally parties in opposition face the same problems with ‘alternative’ parties springing up as they do when they are in government.

    In the current government Con have clearly lost voters to UKIP and when Lab was in power they lost votes to Greens(and Lib Dems although in the Lib Dems case they were an existing party already).

    Admittedly in the 1980’s things on the left were a bit fractured with the SDP and Militant despite Lab being in opposition, but Militant was a party within a party and SDP was formed very early on as a result of the direction Lab was taking at the time..

    I think it would take a couple of years of another Lab administration before this happened as I suspect those on the left are generally just wanting to see the Tories kicked out.

  43. BFR

    THanks for an informed contribution.

  44. LIZH

    Thanks.

    I only came across that Labour vote the other day-it seems to have caused upset on the real Left.

  45. ROBIN

    @”Cyprus’s economic model is destroyed, there is a flight of capital, and their economy goes down the pan.”

    You think the EZ & it’s taxpayers should sustain that particular model?

  46. it’s = it is

  47. DAVEM,

    “If we were to introduce a one of property tax to be paid either now or when the property is sold or passed onto another person (on death) or company, what % would it need to be to clear the deficit?”

    An ever growing one.

    If you put a tax on the sale of an item, you make it more expensive and then you get into a cycle of “Supply and Demand”.

    In the same way that if demand rises and supply stays the same, so to if you fix the supply by effectively raise the price demand drops, at which point the price has to drop to reach equilibrium.

    A key issue in any tax change is to understand where the final burden lies. If you raise stamp duty for purchasers they pay the tax, but if the tax causes the price to rise above what the market will bare sellers will have to drop their price.

    Sale price £100K, Buyer offer £100k = Sale,
    Sale Price £100k +£1k tax, Buyer offer £100k = No Sale
    Sale Price £99k +£1k tax, Buyer offer £100k = Sale.

    The tax depresses the price and the buyer pays it, but the seller is the loser.

    If a property tax has a target to raise based on current prices but depresses prices you can only raise your target by increasing the tax which will further depress the price necessitating a further increase in tax to raise the target, etc, etc etc!

    It’s one of the reasons that introducing Land Value Tax would be fraught with difficulty and not the universal panacea it’s advocates believe.

    Peter.

  48. DAVEM

    @”If we were to introduce a one of property tax to be paid either now or when the property is sold or passed onto another person (on death) or company, what % would it need to be to clear the deficit?””

    A one off tax would not address a deficit.

    The former occurs once.

    The latter continues to occur whilst Spending exceeds Revenue.

    In terms of numbers, the Deficit this year is around £120bn.
    If memory serves, the Mansion Tax proposed by VC was 1% on properties over £2m in value . It was reported to be worth around £1.7 bn.

    So on that basis this years Deficit would require a Mansion Tax of 71%.

    ……and then there is next years Deficit……….

  49. @PETERCAIRNS

    If the seller pays the tax then they would have to increase the price, however without demand and easy credit that is not easy to do. So couldn’t the tax work if the seller paid?

  50. @ Colin
    Thanks for the kind words. I’ve been lurking on this site for some years, but as – for once – I had something useful to say I figures I ought to dive in!
    BFR

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