We are unlikely to get any proper polling on the budget until tomorrow night, so in the meantime here is some new YouGov polling on the European elections that was published in this morning’s Times. Topline voting intentions for Europe are CON 24%, LAB 32%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 23%, GRN 5%. Labour retain their lead for the European elections, the Conservatives and UKIP are still in a tight race for second place… but with UKIP in a narrow third place.

If we look at just those people who say they are certain to vote then it is better for UKIP, as their supporters are the most likely to say they’d turn out. Taking just those who say they are 10/10 certain puts UKIP up to second place and 26%, ahead of the Tories on 22% and behind Labour on 34%.

How the European elections play out will be very much a game of expectation management. In the event UKIP did get 23% it would be a very strong performance and a solid increase on their 2009 score… but coming third would in practice probably be seen as a huge disappointment when there was talk of a victory. As it happens I still think there is a fair chance of them winning – they will get a lot more publicity in the two months running up to the campaign (especially given that OfCom has ruled they they should be treated as a major party in England and Wales and given equal coverage to the other major parties), and I’d expect their support in European election polls to climb in the coming weeks – also this is just one poll, and others have shown them doing better. As ever, time will tell. Full tabs are here, European election polls so far are here.

135 Responses to “YouGov/Times European poll”

1 2 3
  1. @Rich

    “As if any instant poll in the left wing Mirror is going to be impartial…come on..”

    What I want to know is who are these 12% of the Mirror’s readers who think the budget is a “hit”?? That’s the voodoo bit for me!!

  2. Some one will know who first coined the phrase voodoo polls . I seem to remember G H Bush coined voodoo economics to describe Ronald Reagan’s policies in 1980 primaries.

    As an old pensionable saver with oodles of dosh to swill into the economy I’m all a quiver with possibilities but they probably won’t change my vote….then I don’t think the chancellor was thinking of me when he put the budget together!

    I did not hear it all but I thought it sounded better than previous efforts but who am I to judge.

  3. @Phil Haines – “do Express polls have negative reputability?”

    – yep…

  4. And talking of voodoo polls, apparently the referendum question in Ukraine was the totally unbiased: Do you want to join Russia, or do you want to leave it to the Crimean parliament to join Russia?


  5. Guymonde

    I’ve seen comments, however, critical of the Tories for not removing the whippet and homing pigeon taxes, and for failing to comprehend the need for a spare bath (coal) subsidy.

    They still don’t understand the needs of 1930s working class voters!

  6. @John Murphy

    Wikipedia attributes “Voodoo Polls” to Bob Worcester.

  7. Budget reaction seems to be really quite downbeat. Not altogether surprising, but this is in effect the election budget, and we were promised some big rabbits.

    Interestingly, Newsnight is saying that those healthy growth figures penciled in by the OBR have assumed household debts rise to pre crash levels (is this really the best driver of growth?) and also assume business investment moves steeply to 8% a year. That’s rather a bold assumption.

    On reflection, this looks a really rather defensive budget, with the focus on older savers. I can see a lot of under 50 workers not being overly impressed.

    Politically, people are saying this is clever, but I wonder. Looking at the message behind this, you almost wonder that Tories have adopted a very defensive mindset, and believe their best bet is defending the heartlands. Perhaps they have given up of getting the 40% or so they need to guarantee a majority.

    Perhaps this budget says more about UKIP than it does about the Tories.

  8. @virgilio

    Thanks for your post about the possible demise of ECR as a viable grouping after the election.

    Considering that the formation of ECR was delayed by roughly forty-two months, after which it likely lasts for just one parliament… then does seem to be back-to-the-drawing-board for Tory MEPs.

  9. @Alec

    Are you suggesting the Tories are following a 30-35% strategy?

  10. RAF and Alec
    I must say I wondered that.

  11. @RAF – well it really does look a bit like that.

    The other interesting element to today’s proceedings seems to be the admission by Osborne that the recovery is, like many of us have been pointing out, based on all the wrong things.

    In this, he is admitting the failure of the march of the makers, and four years in, his promised rebalancing remains a mirage.

  12. I didn’t think it was a bad budget at all. Relatively speaking. Absolutely nothing on things that matter to me – housing and transport but I’m long since past expecting anything substantial on those fronts. They are just not a priority for any of the parties.

    The BBC reporting was favourable which is where the vast majority get their news. They mentioned the deficit is reducing and painted a positive slant on that Very little analysis and study of Osbourne’s failures. No mention that the target of elimination by 2015 is way overdue, and that the UK now has the largest deficit in Europe. Nor that it has stagnated around the same level for 3 years and has barely moved the past year despite the big increase in growth so why will it be eliminated by 2018? Nick Robinson did mention one line that scope for productivity growth was lower than originally expected, and thus growth has not resulted in the expected tax income increase or benefit reductions.

    They also painted the savings allowance increase as excellent. No mention it was Funding for Lending that decimated rates when introduced by Osbourne in mid 2012. An allowance of 15k at 1.3% interest for savings doesn’t help people who were putting away 5k at 3% a year, which was common post credit crunch in 2008 to mid 2012.

    Glad they recognise the importance of UK breweries. A shame they didn’t give tax breaks to the video game industry like film and TV get. The UK led the world in video games – a massive industry and a real growth area for the future – but has been falling back for 10 years now due to tax breaks abroad.

    The 10.5k tax allowance is a good step. Full credit to Osbourne and the Lib Dems on that one.

  13. Ed
    I think you were referring to Osborne not Osbourne.

  14. I like the budget, looking forward to pilling in 15k in to the ISA in July.

  15. Just seen an image of all the front pages on twitter. Very positive headlines on the whole. The Mirror ignores it as the main story, which is revealing?

    As said, I think this will play well. Lots of positive headlines for pensioners. He is doing all he can to prop up house prices and inflate the bubble. It will all fall apart but he should keep the plates spinning up to 2015 and that’s what most older people and home owners want. lot’s of coverage of ISAs and Bonds – nary a mention it was Funding for Lending that played a big part for the pitiful rates we now see.

    The BBC are supportive and so are most of the press. I can see a poll boost. Though as news viewing figures and press circulations continue to spiral downwards less of an effect than could be expected 10 years + ago from such a positive response.

  16. Social media is laughing at a Tweet by Grant Shapps concerning how happy ‘they’ will be with money off beer and bingo. It will be interesting to see which narrative; the social media (laughable) or the mainstream media (wonderful) will win out.

  17. @Luke – Definitely the European Election. I’m new to betting but not *that* green.

    @Red Rag – That makes sense. I’m still confident on that bet though. I’m sure UKIP will gain at least one seat.

  18. I do wonder about people releasing money from pension pots aged 55 or over. These people will be 11 years away from state retirement age. There will be people who are in debt and they will be tempted by this option. What about the legal eligibility of creditors to make the debtor release their pension pot. At the moment they cannot do this, but with this change, it may be possible.

  19. I thought it was a great budget for business, with the greater tax allowance for investments etc. Great improvements on savings and ISAs, and plenty for ordinary people in the raised tax allowance, penny off beer, reduced bingo tax etc. Also no extra fuel duty which used to be automatic.

    Also a great joke about King John’s resemblance to Miliband.

    I’m not a Tory supporter, but it’s one of the better budgets that I can remember.

  20. I was impressed by AW’s last post about poll responses to the Budget. It seems to me that Mr O, though not doing anything very astonishing, has avoided publicly shooting himself in the foot this time so according to the Wells theory we really shouldn’t see any change in government VI.

    My only (and half-serious) proviso here is that the omnishambles budget has innoculated voters against the Chancellor so much that we might we see a rise in Tory VI just out of sheer relief that he hasn’t tried to tax their pasties again.

  21. @Ed

    Most people will think “Good for pensioners? Nice for them, but what about me?”

    It’s not actually any good for pensioners either. It’s best for wealthy people perhaps 10 years from retirement, who can now pile as much cash as they can into pensions (along with the full-rate tax relief), and then get 25% of it tax-free when they retire (along with only paying their marginal rate at that time). It’s a *massive* giveaway to the rich.

    As is the increased ISA limit.

    There’s a decent chance of this viewpoint seeping through in the next few days, and of this being yet another instance of a budget that is well-regarded on the day but fall to bits on closer inspection.

    What I really want to know is – where is the recovery? We’ve lost around 15% of GDP compared to the long-term trend during the recession and subsequent flat-line, and the usual pattern is that a subsequent recovery recoups those losses. But the OBR only forecasts a return to the long term trend, with no recovery of the lost GDP. That will be pretty much the first recession EVER where that has happened.

    There’s a decent narrative to be put together along those lines that can really combat the ConLD “it’s all Labour’s fault” mantra, and I think it could have some real traction. The “we’re all worse off than in 2010” will only go so far – the second part of the argument has to be that it was not inevitable, and that the reason for it is Tory austerity.

  22. Labour have shared that Conservatives ad/Grant Shapps tweet, unedited, on their own Facebook page. I saw one other tweeter describe it as ‘snatching defeat from the jaws of victory’.

    He did want it shared, though, which is certainly happening – either there’ll be thousands of people looking on and considering that they do indeed enjoy bingo and beer… or it’s rather backfired.

  23. ROBIN

    You have described exactly what I would have done prior to retirement, had the new rules been in operation then.

  24. ROBIN

    Agree, except that I’m not sure the narrative you’ve described will fly. The Lab leadership have not been able to make these kind of arguments fly hitherto (partly because they don’t seem to have tried very hard) and I don’t know why that would change.
    Incidentally, RPI now seems to be completely suppressed and the BBC talks about the ‘£2000 child care subsidy’. It isn’t: on average it will be more like £1000

  25. Anthony

    Independence polling As well as the Survation poll from a few days back, there is a TNS poll, and this Panelbase poll –


    Time for a Saltire thread?

    ” this has come at an excellent time for the Tories as it overshadows another significant political development going on as we speak…”

    I thought that i was going to read “Ukraine” (though I agree, for domestic resonance, Goodman may be tops). I am finding it very odd that the commentariat can switch off so totally, but also that the media, notably The Times, can give so negative a reading to the evident final check mate in what has, given the lack of any other than a predictable death as the stand-off between the Russian and Ukranian forces contesting tenure of the military bases, airports and frontier posts is resolved.
    My reading that diplomacy would win did not take into account Putin’s ability to use military presence in virtually a policed rather than fought denouement.
    What remains – and is extraordinarily badly and misleadingly presented by The Times and other mount-pieces o the would-be spokesmen for thewestern powers, Hague among them, is the need, purpose or outcome of economic sanctions, which have now culminated in an absurd tit-for-tat – the cancelling of visas of minor diplomats and B-grade personalities, risking damage to the preeminence of London as guard and ticket collector of the post-Cold War gravy train, but otherwise the sound and fury of the chamber pot.

  27. PETEB

    I agree with you on the Budget. I thought it well judged.

    I just wish there was some way Cons could bottle & display EM’s response.

    I don’t suppose many people actually watch it live.

  28. @ Colin

    I just wish there was some way Cons could bottle & display EM’s response.
    It’s called YouTube…

  29. Twitter has ‘bottled & displayed’ Grant Shapps’s response. LOL! :-)

  30. Colin

    Fraser Nelson’s response is available for all to see.


    Phew! I grew up thinking the Left had the monopoly on the term “internecine”.

  31. Blimey, Mike Smithson has nailed his colours to the mast of this Budget !

    Seems slightly OTT to me-but I look forward to next week’s Polls.

  32. Even the supine if predictable media coverage that we’ve seen so far won’t IMO shift the impression that this was a budget which played to the interests of the wealthy with little regard to the rest. Remember that the reaction in the initial 24 hours after Osborne’s 2012 Budget wasn’t exactly hostile either. Once the IFS get to work the narrative will move. The polls a week hence are going to be more meaningful than those tomorrow.

    I’m not convinced that the Budget really targets the demographic which matches the typical Conservative defector to UKIP either. Older voters yes, but wealthy older voters?

    Meanwhile, the left-leaning disaffected 2010 LD switchers to Lab may be reinforced in their disillusionment with a party which lets Osborne deliver budgets such as this. Here’s what the “worlds leading liberal voice” has to say about it:

    “At the election he [Osborne] promised a ludicrously lop-sided retrenchment, with spending cuts shouldering 80% and taxes just 20%. He has actually over-delivered: an astonishing 94% of the extra consolidation he has announced is coming through cuts. Where that leaves the Liberal Democrats, who in 2010 proposed a two-thirds/one-third mix is unclear. They have worked more harmoniously with the Tories on this budget than they have for some time, and are thrilled to have got yet another increase in tax allowances. But now that the Tories have insisted on passing this on in full to higher-rate taxpayers, there can no longer be any pretence that this is a policy targeted on the poor. This was the budget of, as Mr Osborne proudly put it, a Conservative chancellor.”

  33. LEFTY

    Know what you mean-but I like FN’s graphs-he does them well & always gets to the point.

    I am not so sure that criticisms -at least from Labour-of high debt & slow deficit reduction , carry any traction for them at all. I think it plays to the OP majority view that this was their fault anyway.

    If EM’s response yesterday is any guide -” Where is Michael Gove “& Toffs stuff-whilst GO waves the Red Book at him asking for questions on it-then I am more confident that Labour will get to the GE with no alternative economic policy at all.

    It will be Labour’s cost of living bits & pieces vs Cons’ strategic approach to a mountainous debt & a slowly re-balancing economy.

    …..but there is plenty of time yet isn’t there ?

  34. Good for folk that can save 15k a year and good for top rate tax ayers who can get 40% tax relief on pension savings but pay only 25% when using them. In contrast ‘ordinary people’ to quote Pete B get a penny off beer and more Bingo – I don’t know why Labour isn’t making more of the ‘budget for the rich’ narrative

  35. LEFTY

    @”Phew! I grew up thinking the Left had the monopoly on the term “internecine”.”

    Missed this !

    I think if we went through the history it would be much closer than that-a score draw perhaps ? :-)

  36. I think if this does turn out to allow $0% tax relief on contributions, and 20% or 25% tax relief on withdrawals, then it is likely to become an upwardly redistributive move. Can’t quite see they’ve made such a howler, but we’ll see.

    They might get away with it though, as few journalists bother to try and understand such things.

  37. Apparently the IFS are holding a 1pm briefing today.

  38. alec

    That’s what I’d do if I were rich. Pile in loads of money into pension when paying 40% or 45% tax relief and then take it out whenever I like at 20%.

  39. @NickP

    The reason folk don’t do that already is all the rules around using your pension including the 55% tax. But now pensions are just long term savings with even more favourable rates given the tax relief than ISAs there is no reason not to use your full allowance assuming you rich.

    For example should I pay off my mortgage or pay more into my pension? I get tax relief at 40-45% on my pension contributions, mortgage rates are low, I can take a lump sum at 25% at 55 and pay off the mortgage. So better to pay into a pension.

  40. Yes, the scrapping of the 55% tax for cashing in your pension means that you would be mad to buy an annuity. you can have quarter of it tax free and then have the rest when you are paying basic rate tax.

    All because, as Alex says, annuities are a rip-off and uncompetitive (and no “state option”)

    Pity that non-state employees can’t buy into the civil service pension scheme using lump sums as staff can do.

    I wonder if I could take a whole pension pot at 55 and pay it into the civil service scheme (as I am a member)? The only limit seems to be I can’t go over a year’s pay.

  41. I suspect Ed M’s much maligned instant response might come back into fashion, if these hints prove correct.

  42. “@ COLIN

    Blimey, Mike Smithson has nailed his colours to the mast of this Budget !

    Seems slightly OTT to me-but I look forward to next week’s Polls. ”

    I think Mike has got a bit carried away with himself. At the moment, the Tories are about 10% behind Labour in EU polling. Generally parties in government don’t do very well in these mid-term type elections and many Tory EU sceptics will vote UKIP, so that Cameron is sent a signal about what some of his parties supporters want i.e for the UK to leave the EU.

    This budget appears to be good for a narrow section of people, but over the next week we will see the budget books look at more closely. I am sure that some independent experts will find fault with certain policies and this will be reported in the media.

    People being able to release annuities may be a good idea for some, but there will be a lot of technical work needed to make this work. As I pointed out earlier, if some of these people have debts, you can bet that creditors will be after these pension pots. At the moment, I don’t think they can be touched, because they are only convertable into an annuity. Once people can release the money, if they are subject to any court/insolvency type proceedings, they will have to declare the money. If they are on any type of benefit, again they may have to declare the money and get it released, so they don’t need benefits.

  43. Colin

    I saw the whole budget and EdM’s response. It is the first time I have seen a response that did not refer to the actual budget at all. Clearly Labour were caught out by the Pensions/Savings news and had no answer.

    Will it produce a polling response? Who knows but I will be very surprised if there is a rise in the Labour lead.

  44. @TOC

    No one pays any attention to the budget response – all I saw on the news was one sentence from EM – he probably was not bothering much cos no point. This is GOs day in the sun. We will see how it effects VI soon.

  45. TOH

    I suspect Labour will be comfortable with the Budget as it does not seem likely that the measures announced will win over any of those currently ensuring the party polls in the high 30s. It’s a Budget aimed at pre-pensioners with a reasonable to high disposable income. How does it help those caught up in what the Labour narrative alludes to as the “cost of living crisis”?

    You may well be right that the net result will be no affect on the polls, but isn’t a Budget the major tool a government has to increase support? If there is no such increase and the Labour lead remains firm the Budget will have been a political failure.

  46. With the budget response there is no point making a speech about the actual budget, because it would be easy to guess some of the details and get them wrong. Plus it is not unknown for some leaked information to be slightly wrong, designed for opponents to fall into a trap.

    The sensible option is a general speech about the performance of the government and how it affects people.

  47. I agree with the point that Alec and RAF were making last night, that the Conservatives were on a damage limitation exercise, not seriously trying to win in 2015. After all, this seems (according to the polls) to have a good chance to work for Labour where a disastrous Euro election result in 2009, was followed not by a similar disaster in the 2010 election, but only by a heavy defeat, giving a possible springboard for a win in 2015 .

    Not sure about the appeal to the UKIP demographic, as I understand they are likely to be a little less affluent than their leader’s image might suggest – but I suppose UKIP would not be the only party or organisation where the leaders were richer than the followers.

    If and when the Conservatives lose the GE there will be a fascinating leadership contest. Before then is the European election, and this could throw a huge spanner in the works if UKIP do much better or much worse than expected. Hope we will get more polls on that.

  48. Think that the Grant Shapps bingo ad may do more harm to Tory polling than any benefit they may have had from the budget.

  49. TOH

    I thought one of the most striking things with the savings package was that it had not been trailed in any way. I think that speaks to good co-operation with the LibDems who had already trailed “their” child care relief.

    It is certainly intriguing as to what, if any VI change results.

    The headlines seem to be concentrated on the Savers & Business incentives. I think both are on the button & have their own “constituencies”-but presumably these are already Conservative inclined.

    That leaves the Tax Free Allowance increase to appeal to a broader demographic with potential for gains from Labour-presumably for LDs. But TFA now seems to be such a regular annual event , has it lost some impact?

    Hopefully AW will pronounce next week & we can resume our UKPR Bingo game :-

    It’s a Five!
    It’s a Three !
    It’s a Seven!

    …..it’s a Zero !……well one can hope :-)

  50. “If and when the Conservatives lose the GE there will be a fascinating leadership contest.”

    Agreed. There doesn’t seem to be an obvious successor to Cameron much as there wasn’t for Major in 1997. May or Osborne could do it but neither seem particularly popular. Labour have a similar issue, although Burnham, Umunna or Cooper could step up to the plate.

    Amusingly, the Lib Dems are the only party with two obvious leadership candidates (Alexander and Farron) but also have the leader who seems least willing to relinquish power.

1 2 3