YouGov’s first post-budget poll is in this morning’s Sun. Topline voting intentions are CON 34%, LAB 39%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 10%. Five point Labour lead is broadly normal, though obviously you want to have several polls to get an idea of whether an event has had any impact, you cannot judge on one alone.

On budget and economic questions most of the specific measures in the budget are approved of, but then, they normally are. Income tax cuts and cuts in taxes on savings and so on all get the majority support you’d expect. The the rule change on annuities is supported by 66% of people, opposed by 8%, with 26% saying don’t know. The bingo tax cut is actually the only one that gets more opposition than support – 31% support, 38% oppose.

As I wrote earlier in the week though, budgets are more than the sum of their parts. It’s not really whether people approve of all the fiddly little bits, it’s the overall perception of the budget that counts. On that front, it seems to be a thumbs up so far. 47% think the budget was fair, 26% unfair – YouGov ask that same question after every budget and this is the most positive since 2010. 26% think the budget will leave the country better off, 15% worse off (again, significantly better than last year – net positive this year is plus 11, last year it was minus 10). 21% think it will leave them personally better off, 18% worse off (net score of plus 3, compared to minus 20 last year).

Of course, this is just an instant response – YouGov’s fieldwork runs from about 5pm to 3pm the next day, so many of the people responding wouldn’t have seen how the budget was reported on the evening news or the next day’s newspapers. Give it a couple of days before making any firm conclusions.

190 Responses to “First YouGov post-budget poll”

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  1. @R Huckle

    Fascinating though discussions about hung parliaments are (and I’m no innocent) the generalised corollary to Parkinson’s Law “Time that can be wasted will be wasted” forces me to the conclusion that there will be an overall majority for someone in 2015, and that the Fixed Term Fix Law will swiftly be repealed by whoever wins. We can’t have spent all this time and effort usefully, surely?

  2. @GRAHAM I wouldn’t disagree with that. I don’t extrapolate that this week’s figures are a likely indicator of anything very much.I would contend however that over time and with a sufficiently large sample, council elections ARE potentially a good indicator of voting behaviours. Remember that council elections are a pretty random (if highly variable) sample of people who actually vote – they come about as a result of bereavement or resignation, there is no metropolitan or rural effect in the long term.

    I actually started looking at them to examine the oft-repeated assertion that Ukip voters are more likely to fade away as they did at the last general election. So far the evidence is inconclusive.

    BCROMBIE – I didn’t realise that this was such an exclusive site. Would you prefer we talked about football if the figures are not to your taste?

  3. @Mr beeswax
    I don’t think this is an exclusive site but when people post by-election results they do normally say the town or county they were held in. Some even go further and give the % swing since the seat was last contested.

    Hope that helps

  4. The UK council by-election share since 1st September 2013 is as follows

    Labour 32
    Con 26
    Ukip 14
    LibDem 10
    Other 18 (of which 3% green)

    Average of opinion polls in same period

    Lab 38
    Con 33
    Ukip 12
    LibDem 10
    Other 7

    The significant difference in ‘other’ can be accounted for by Independents often doing well in local by-elections.

  5. Mr Beeswax

    This site is not exclusive but the post you made was a bit naïve to say the least – especially with the pickiness of some of the posters here. Even on weighted and managed polls.

    The figures you posted are irrelevant. I can just as easily say that Labour will win all the seats at the next election based on the polling in my constituency or that the LD will have no voters left over from 2010 based on the poll of my house.

    I would suggest that you read some of the posts and comments from the site owner – he frequently bursts bubbles of hope based on much, much more robust data than you have quoted

    You should stay and contribute though, it is without doubt the best and most well-behaved of political sites. Just be careful with extrapolating and using wishful thinking.

  6. Amber Star

    Good for you. I’m sure you appreciated that my original post was meant to be ironic as I thought that some of the posts had reached the silly level. However your reply is sensible and thoughtful and I agree it would be interesting to know what the taxpayers think.

  7. Bcrombie –

    Here’s something I wrote about what we can learn from local election results back n 2009:

  8. @Colin

    @”Give every 18 year old a higher education and fees grant. Any kid can have it and spend it on an approved scheme”

    “In HE it would remove any sense of “ownership” from students”

    This would be a good thing. The sense of “entitlement” manifests as students believing they have bought their degrees, and HE staff are there to deliver it on a plate. It directly results in instrumental, shallow learning.

    “and any need to respond to demands for value from the providers”

    Nonsense. Student “ownership” has very little impact on teaching quality. Most genuine improvements (e.g. greater use of post-course feedback to improve lecturing) has been derived from government initiatives and assessments of teaching quality. The main impact of students sense of entitlement is that there is lot more ‘evidencing’ of how marks are derived, a lot more course paperwork, so that student marks can be justified to the stusents. The result is that many more courses teach to ‘measurables’, with modularisation, short answer tests, and far less testing of true understanding and ability to marshall thoughts.

    HE would benefit enormously from a shift back to an environment where more of the responsibility for learning is the students’, and the teachers’ role is to provide the opportunity for that learning. HE ‘free at the point of need’ to those who can justify it is the best way to achieve this.

  9. Kinock’s son selected for Aberavon. Yuck!!

  10. Thanks Anthony

    As I said, listen to the man who knows!

  11. ROBIN

    I disagree with most of that.

    Contact time is important-and students paying higher fees are more inclined to be critical if they perceive poor value for money.

    See 7 & 29 & Fig 11 in this :-

    Anecdotally two of my grandchildren have completed their Uni-or nearly so.
    The first , now a graduate , was very happy with his course.
    The second, in her final year is very unhappy with low levels of tuition, including first come first served limited entry to some tutorials (!) . She has seen enough of the campus Library.

    @”HE would benefit enormously from a shift back to an environment where more of the responsibility for learning is the students’, and the teachers’ role is to provide the opportunity for that learning”

    Would it indeed ?

    This sounds remarkably like the “child centred teaching” which Sir Michael Wilshaw has just criticised , saying it “damaged generations of schoolchildren”

  12. Oh, and Anthony – any view on the accuracy of my prediction of a 100% transfer away of 2010 LD voters based on the sample of me and my wife…?

    I think we cover the gender part and she is Welsh and I am English so I think we have that covered as well.

  13. Graham,

    And what’s your objection to Kinnock junior being adopted in a very safe Labour seat? His experience and abilities? His father’s politics? His mother’s politics? His partner’s politics? The very thought of anyone landing this plum, lifetime (probably) Labour seat?

    I wonder if the young couple will move to Taibach? ;-)

  14. AW
    Of course to follow the procedure you outlined earlier, I suggest that, there is an additional proviso, namely, that Mr Cameron has to win his own seat first.

    We PR types have these things always on our mind just like OldNat has his things always……..

  15. In the event of a hung parliament, I imagine Nick will ONLY have a serious negotiation with the party who offers PR for starters.

    Change is gonna come…

  16. Caught the coverage of Scots Labour on BBC Parliament. [Snip – AW]

    I know that many regulars don’t believe that there is a real shift in the polls up north but on the basis of watching this lot I would not be at all surprised.

    The last two polls Survation (Labour supporting Daily Record/Mirror) and Panelbase (Nat website) have shown 45 and 47 per cent YES (excluding don’t knows).

    If this trend is now repeated by ICM or MORI then it is really is game on – given that the Osborne/Balls assault which was meant to finish the YESS off instead will have made them stronger.

  17. Newhouset
    ‘And what’s your objection to Kinnock junior being adopted in a very safe Labour seat?’

    A strong suspicion that strings have been pulled on his behalf on account of who his parents are. I find the idea of a Labour aristocracy quite nauseating.

  18. @l hamilton

    I predict they will fall over the summer as the whole “we are being bullied!!!” mentality goes away.

  19. @Colin

    Low levels of tuition is what you get when you increase the number of students while cutting the number of academics, at the same time as only rewarding research outputs by those academics.

    Although students’ opinions should obviously be listened to (and random availability of tutorials does sound worthy of complaint), that doesn’t necessarily mean they are right. The large majority have remarkably little insight into their own learning, and don’t have the first idea about what is actually needed for them to achieve the sort of intellectual capability that merits a degree.

    It’s very difficult, when a students approaches a lecturer after a lecture and asks “will this be in the exam”, not to answer “No, I thought I’d waste your time and mine by talking about things of no relevance”. And it’s very difficult to take seriously the idea that such students have anything to contribute to a discussion of appropriate course delivery.

    The engendering of the idea that university is simply a stepping stone on the way to a well-paid job, quite apart from being a lie, has fundamentally and catastrophically undermined the core of what it means to be a university student. It’s not a means to an end, as those espousing a market in HE would have us believe. It’s an opportunity to broaden one’s mind, to develop one’s critical and analytical capabilities, and to develop as human beings

    And the principle thing that drives the idea that HE is a step on the path to a well-paid job is the attempted justification for tuition fees in terms of the (supposed) greater income achieved by graduates, and that students should pay for that (supposed) economic advantage.

    The major flaw in the argument is that, if HE did not exist, most people who currently get degrees are those who would get better paid jobs anyway. It’s the classic statistical fallacy – correlation does not imply causation.

  20. Except my information is that the great Australian guru has told Osborne that unless he finished off the NATS by Easter then No will lose.

    The logic apparently is that Scotland moves into the feelgood summer of Commonwealth Games and contentment while the Tories try to fend off UKIP in the Euros.

    Makes a bit of sense does it not and whatever else is happening then there is no sign of the YESeS being finished off- just the opposite I would say.

  21. There was some confusion about Times front pages a couple of days ago.
    Here’s some clarification…

  22. While I agree it will be closer than previously thought I believe the Scottish people will vote No. Those people who support Scottish Separatism surely believe it passionately and will vote Yes, almost immune to rational argument while the DKs and unsure people will ultimately vote with their heads and vote No due to economic uncertainty and, in the case of older voters, doubts over who will continue to pay their Public Sector Pensions.

  23. Chris Riley

    “I’m not sure what Labour’s student fees policy is in Scotland.”

    No problems. Neither am I. Though that wasn’t what I was asking you.

    From your response, presumably Labour has 3 policies (4 if the NI CLP has a different one too), so Labour can’t be described as having “a” policy at all.

  24. Mr Beeswax

    Remember that council elections are a pretty random (if highly variable) sample of people who actually vote – they come about as a result of bereavement or resignation, there is no metropolitan or rural effect in the long term.

    No they’re not random. There are at least two things that stop them being so. Firstly local elections operate on a four year cycle under normal conditions and different types of seats get elected in different years. Some councils have their elections ‘all out’ every fourth year, others elect a third of their councillors in three years out of the four. There is something called the six month rule which means that by-elections are not called if there are due to be elections in the next six months. In theory this only applies to the seats which are to be decided in that particular election round, but in practice Councils often decide to hold any pending by-elections on the same day.

    So there may be a lack of by-elections in particular types of areas in certain periods. This particularly applies in Metropolitan Boroughs which have elections most years and the other councils that choose to elect ‘by thirds’ also tend to be larger urban areas. This means there will be fewer urban by-elections in proportion than rural ones, particularly between November and May.

    There’s a second reason why rural areas will be over-represented. Many rural areas have two lots of council seats – District and County – while London, the Met Boroughs and Unitary Authorities only have one. This means that there is twice the probability of by-elections in such predominantly non-urban parts of the country.

    As well as these structural reason, there may be demographic ones as well (rural councillors may be older and so more likely to die in office). But the results do not provide a reliable guide that can provide any more than hints as to wider political movement, though of course they may say quite a bit about more local, district and even regional matters. Otherwise the fact that Labour gained its first ever (Common) Councillor in the City of London on Thursday:

    would surely mean that the Red Tide is about to sweep the country.

  25. Paul A

    Let’s translate your comment into an English context.

    “Those people who support UK Separatism surely believe it passionately and will vote Yes [if Cameron’s promised referendum is couched in terms where that would be the appropriate answer to give to leave the EU], almost immune to rational argument while the DKs and unsure people will ultimately vote with their heads and vote No due to economic uncertainty”

    Do you really believe that only those wishing to leave the EU are irrational, and that they are all separatists?

    For the record, I think the rational arguments are for leaving the UK and staying in the EU, but different people will have equally rational arguments for opposing both of my positions.

    In any political discussion, it seems bizarre to allocate all the passionate beliefs to one side, and all the rationality to the other! :-)

    Our personal beliefs – which happen to concur around a relatively small No victory – should be wholly irrelevant to a consideration of what the polls are suggesting.

  26. By -election in Falkirk before the Referendum?

    Mr. Joyce said ‘My instinct is to stay but I don’t know how I will feel in a few days’, :-)

  27. Colin

    and so there should be – Joyce is no longer fit for office (I make no judgement on him personally though as he obviously has some problems that we don’t fully understand)

    Would be interesting seeing the Canavan connection in the past showing that the locals are not adverse to overturning the political applecart!


    He clearly has a problem it would seem.

    Yes-could be an interesting by-election.


    Might be even more interesting if the Yes parties stood aside and let Dennis Canavan run for it again,

    For thos not au fait with Macbethian politics, Canavan is the political head of the Yes campaign. Alastair Darling is his equivalent for the Noes.

  30. From PB:
    MikeSmithson said:
    » show previous quotes
    I’m expecting something but have no hard information. It might be we’ll just have YouGov

    No mention here yet of the Survation poll being reported on Twitter?
    ichard Willis @CllrRWillis
    New Post-Budget Survation poll: Lab 35%(+1), Cons 34%(+4), UKIP 15%(-3) LD 9% (-3)

  31. Paul A

    I wish we could ask why people vote (or say they will vote) in a particular way, but in part it seems irrelevant. In the end, there is just a piece of paper that people write a cross on in a particular box. In a sense, beyond that it matters not whether they are being passionate or rational about the question.

    I’m not sure why a DK would necessarily be passionate or rational. Each of these thought processes takes time. Passions can rise and fall, rational arguments can be superseded by different arguments. Then there’s people out there who are swayed by the last thing they hear, whether it be passionate or rational.

    As to the result – no idea.

  32. @Oldnat

    What a peculiar response. I don’t know enough about the specifics of the Scottish HE funding system to give a properly informed reply to your original query and that’s the only sensible conclusion one should draw from my response.

    I’ve got nothing to do with the Labour Party apart from succumbing to the occasional temptation to vote for them when I can’t find anything better to do with my Xs.

    Of course my comment about Cameron holding his seat is possibly more relevant to Clegg, given that he can only negotiate if he is still an MP. :-)

    I am genuinely not clear whether your prediction that PR would be an essential condition for a coalition agreement is any longer in his plans.

  34. Is that poll indicative of Lib Dems going over to the Tories? To borrow an area of LD strength to make a bad joke, they must have Stockport Syndrome.

  35. Graham !
    One could say that any aristocracy is nauseating,but we won’t because we are
    All very polite here.

  36. Chris Riley

    As Alec pointed out the other day, accurate use of language is really helpful! All you needed to say was that you were referring to Labour’s fees policy in England.

    I simply wondered whether Labour had adopted a UK strategy on HE fees – as a UK party, they might reasonably be expected to so do – and their Scottish and Welsh branches to fall in line with that.

  37. Marco

    A self-perpetuating political class is, sadly, nothing new, or limited to any country or party.

    Up here, you have Sarwar inheriting Daddy’s Westminster seat, the offspring of Labour MPs becoming MSPs, and the Ewing dynasty in the SNP. There’s the Bushes and Kennedy’s in the USA etc etc.

    However, if people choose to vote for labels, getting a can of Pedigree Chum is a distinct possibility!

  38. Sunday Times Front Page saying Tories neck and neck with Labour – so I guess the Yougov poll is out?

  39. The best teaching universities/lecturers aren’t necessarily the best research ones. Both are valuable.

  40. RogerH

    This has been known for years to those of us who have seen both sides (well in chemistry at least)

    The top research professors are hardly ever seen by their post-grads, never mind pesky undergrads – all those visiting professorships and lectures to do…..leaving the lab to be run by post-docs

    Universities cannot be treated as if they are schools for older kids – often it is the intellectual atmosphere that builds around in them that encourages learning and innovation – I wonder if that still is the case now they are commercially driven?

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