This week’s YouGov/Sunday Times poll is up here. Topline voting intention figures are CON 34%, LAB 39%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 11%. Put alongside the YouGov polls this week that showed Labour leads of two, three, three and ten points this doesn’t really tell us much – it would be in line with a reduced Labour lead of three or four points, or would be in line with not much having changed at all and the lead still being five or six points.
We do however, also have an Opinium poll in the Observer and that had topline figures of CON 29%(-1), LAB 36%(nc), LDEM 8%(nc), UKIP 17%(nc). Changes are from a fortnight ago and obviously don’t show any sgn of Labour’s lead narrowing. Populus’s poll on Friday also had no signs of movement, with topline figures of CON 32%, LAB 39%, LDEM 11%, UKIP 10%.
The rest of YouGov’s poll concentrated mainly on Labour, the economy and expectations of what an incoming Labour government would do, along with a grab-bag of questions on other various topics which I’ll leave you to explore yourselves.
32% of people think George Osborne would make the best Chancellor, 23% think Ed Balls would. Osborne maintains a lead of about ten points, the same as YouGov have shown for the last year. It suggests that the recent announcements by Ed Balls really haven’t made much difference to how he personally is seen. You can say the same about George Osborne – his figure on best Chancellor has been at 31-32% since December 2012 now. People may think the economy is getting better, but it doesn’t mean they are warming to Osborne.
There is, however, significantly more confidence in the government as a whole to sort the economy out. 41% of people now say they have confidence in the Cameron led coalition government to steer the country out of economic crisis (up from 29% last March), 52% do not (down from 66% last year). In comparison only 25% say they would have confidence in a Miliband led Labour government.
YouGov also re-asked some questions they first asked back in March 2013 on how well people think Labour would perform if they won the next election, showing people are getting rather more negative about how Labour would perform in government. A year ago 32% thought Labour would take the right decisions to help Britain’s economy, that’s now fallen to 26%. 34% think they’d ensure public services provided good value for money, down 7 from last year. 50% think they wouldn’t have a team of minister up to running the country (up 7), 51% think they wouldn’t avoid mistakes from the past (up 5).
Compared to last year these are significant drops in how well people think people seem to be having more and more doubts about how Labour would perform in government. The drop comes over the period of time that Labour’s lead has fallen from around ten points to around six points. Of course, right now people’s worries about Labour in office are not enough to prevent Labour having a lead in voting intentions. Their worry should be if those negative trends continue.
There were also two Scottish polls in the Sunday papers, which I’ll return to later…