YouGov’s weekly poll for the Sunday Times is up here. Topline figures are CON 33%, LAB 39%, LD 8%, UKIP 13%. Good job/bad job ratings for the leaders are minus 15 for Cameron, minus 35 for Miliband, minus 51 for Clegg.
On the economy there is a big contrast between people’s attitudes to the economy as a whole, and their own personal circumstances. On the wider economy there is optimism – 36% of people think things are better than a year ago, 24% worse. Ask about people’s own finances and only 14% think they are better off than a year ago, 39% think they are worse off. Asked about the year ahead, only 17% think their own household’s finances will get better, 37% think they’ll get worse. People are pessimistic, but it’s a measure of how bad things were (and how things are turning round) that this minus twenty net score is the best so far this Parliament.
Asked which party is closest to different groups, the Conservatives are overwhelmingly seen as the party that best represents and understands the rich (by 83%) of people. Labour are a mile ahead of the other two parties on representing and understanding the working class and people on benefits (though around a quarter of people think no party really understands or represents them). Despite Ed Miliband’s recent foray, the Conservatives are still seen as the party that best represents and understands the middle class. Even amongst Labour’s own voters 30% think the Conservatives better understand middle class people.
Asked to describe themselves, 46% of people say they are working class, 42% middle class. It’s interesting to compare the ABC1C2DE social categorisations of people (which is based on their occupation) with their self-perceptions: 35% of people in “middle class occupations” consider themselves working class, and 28% of people in “working class occupations” consider themselves middle class. Obviously the ABC classification is pretty crude in its own way, but it’s also a sign of perceptions of social class are an awful lot more complicated than people’s own current occupation.