On Friday we had YouGov and Populus polls taken after the budget. YouGov showed a slight movement to the Tories, putting them back ahead; Populus showed a shift to Labour. Neither was anything that couldn’t just be normal random variation. Today we have three more polls too see if there is any sign of a consistent budget effect.

Opinium in the Observer have topline figures of CON 36%, LAB 33%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 14%, GRN 6% (tabs) – a three point Tory lead compared to a two point Labour lead a week ago. Opinium also found 43% thought Osborne had been a good Chancellor, 24% a poor one, and on economic trust Cameron & Osborne now have a 21 point lead over Miliband & Balls. Taken in isolation this poll would suggest a budget boost for the Conservatives, which is how the Observer have reported it

But of course, we don’t have to take the poll in isolation. The second poll of day is from Survation for the Mail on Sunday. They have topline figures of CON 30%(+2), LAB 34%(nc), LDEM 10%(nc), UKIP 17%(-2), GRN 4%(nc) (tabs) – changes are from the most recent Survation poll, conducted a month ago for the Mirror. Here we have a slight shift towards the Conservatives – but thats over a month that has seen Labour’s lead fall slightly anyway, and it’s not enough to stop Labour having a clear lead.

Finally there is the weekly YouGov poll for the Sunday Times. Topline figures there are CON 33%, LAB 35%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 14%, GRN 5% (tabs) – so back to a Labour lead with YouGov. YouGov’s regular economic trackers on whether people think the economy is in a good state and whether their own finances will get better over the next year also look pretty much unchanged since before the budget.

Putting all the five post-budget polls together, I can see no sign of any significant budget boost. If other polls had echoed Opinium’s finding then it would be fair to conclude that the budget had moved votes to the Tories, but so far they haven’t – Survation have shown only a twitch in the Conservative direction, YouGov looks stable, Populus’s Friday poll showed movement to Labour. This all looks to me like normal random variation. I may be wrong, perhaps when we’ve a week of post-budget polls we’ll be able to detect some more subtle movement, but it certainly doesn’t look like it’s been some great game changer.

564 Responses to “More post budget polling”

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  1. Blair did the same thing in 2005 and it didn’t do Labour any harm. Although Cameron is more popular than his party but I doubt it matters as he intends to serve full term.

  2. “Would it make people more likely to vote for him knowing he will stand down and have a leadership election at some point to the end of the term?”

    Logically, given that Cameron outpolls his party and is therefore broadly seen as an electoral asset, any notion voters have that they might not actually be voting for Cameron could be seen as a vote loser.

    ‘It’s me or him, although I won’t be here that long’.

    At the very least, it gives Labour some uncertainty to stir up.

  3. @alec

    Probably a mistake. DC didn’t think it through. I reckon it will have a negligible effect on the election campaign but damage the PM’s authority if he remains PM. And what about the effect right now on the Tory top brass? They’ve just discovered exactly when they need to manoeuvre into position for the Tory leadership

    Just think, somewhere in London right now George Osborne, Theresa May and Boris Johnson are simultaneously reaching for the pain killers/alcohol/heroin

  4. “Blair did the same thing in 2005 …”

    I thought Blair said he would stand down within the next parliament – not that he would serve a full 5 year term?

  5. Omni

    “Just think, somewhere in London right now George Osborne, Theresa May and Boris Johnson are simultaneously reaching for the pain killers/alcohol/heroin”

    In that particular order? (^__^)

  6. If he puts out a personal vision to his manifesto he might do quite well. Speaking of why – was this not why it was rewrote?

    Get the deficit down so we can move on will be what they run on. Which is more positive than last time at least.

  7. Cameron’s decision could be calculated as a rather strange way of trying to win back disaffected Tories / Ukippers. A sort of ‘Yeh I’m here now but you’ll get someone more radical later if you back us now’.

    Not convinced its logical but then not much about politics is.

  8. @alan

    Swap May and Johnson (:

  9. New thread.

  10. @Alec

    You could argue what Blair did was worse – given that he said he would stand down half way through the term.

    Here it [the Marr/Salmond transcript] is: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/bsp/hi/pdfs/22_03_15_alex_salmond.pdf

    Many thanks!

    “So I propose an amendment to [that] budget,” [Beginning of your Salmond quote in your 12:35 WET post]
    What’s your point? [your 12:49 WET post]
    Yes I can understand the sentiment, but this avoids the central thrust on my point – the SNP’s paradoxical weak hand. …… Labour seem pretty determined to go with their ‘dare’ strategy [your 13:47 WET post]
    As I say, the choice for the SNP could be to back a Labour budget or face a GE. [your 15:06 WET post]

    My point is that in missing out the immediate pre-amble to that quote, you [and most of the media] make it sound like a demand, which it was not. Rather, it was an example, implicitly requested by Marr, of how a minority government can be nudged into doing things they would rather not do or giving the party attempting that nudging a stick to beat them with. AS probably regrets the trams project which the unionist opposition forced through, but fighting it would have been even worse.

    The relevant part of the transcript starts at the bottom of Page 9 of the transcript:
    Nonetheless, indulge me for a second. I’m Ed Balls, I’ve got my budget, and I say I’m going to stick by it. Alex Salmond, you and your SNP MPs are not going to vote down my budget, you’re not going to go into the division lobbies with the Conservatives under any circumstances. I am safe to do what I want.
    Right, okay, so I propose an amendment to your budget. Let’s say, for example, I say look instead of this very, very slow fast rail coming up from London, I think we should start it from Edinburgh/Glasgow to Newcastle and I put that down as a budget amendment, it would have substantial support in the North of England, from the other parties and would carry the House of Commons. What does Mr Balls do then?

    The point being that this is an example of how a party with the balance of power can behave with zero likelihood of bringing the minority government down.

    If the Cons and/or Lab’s Northern MPs like the idea it will pass. If they don’t, it will be another good reason for Scots not to vote Lab, but a budget will be allowed to pass.

    And unless they agree with the Cons to scrap the FTPA, Lab will be unable to call an early election unless they whip their own MPs to abstain on a confidence vote. Even then, if the Cons don’t want an early election because they think Lab might have an advantage then they could abstain too leaving the confidence motion being carried by the “minor” parties.

    Sorry for the delay in replying. I had to be out all afternoon and have just returned.

  12. @ James

    There are obviously going to be variances, but unless LD can pull back from 4% Scotland wide it is going to take more than money and wishfull thinking to keep these seats

    @ Et al

    UKIP and fellow travellers obtained 14.2% in 5 seats in 2010 when the UK wide average for UKIP was3.1%.

    So even if UKIP were now only at 12%, why do the election forecast people still only give UKIP 1 seat?

  13. Fascinating Wales & Southwest crossbreak in Lord A’s poll:

    Conservative 32%
    Labour 30%
    UKIP 10%
    LD/Green 9%
    Plaid Cymru 8%

    This would represent a 4.2% swing to Labour

    England only:

    Conservative 36%
    Labour 33%
    UKIP 14%
    LD 8% –
    Green 6%

    This would represent a 4.3% swing to Labour

    Both figures are double the 2% swing I estimate needed to net Labour 39 seats in England and 1 seat in Wales

    The unweighted value of 2010 LD voters to LD voting intention in 2015 is 38.7% and that is upweighted to 39.7%

    Unweighted for Labour is 1.2 and that is upweighted to 1.33 and that for Conservative is unweighted at 1,14 and downweighted to .99%.

    The LD value seems overstated given that 8% only represents 32.9% of the England only result and 34.8% of the GB wide result in 2010

    Am I misreading these numbers?

    Cannot cross compare UKIP and Green

  14. @peter crawford

    “I repeat either the polls are wrong, or the swingback in the next 6 weeks has to be unprecedented for dave to be able even to form a coalition with the lib dems again.”

    I agree….

    And yet almost every newspaper you pick up and read seems to assume that the Tories will be the largest party after the next election.

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