The full results of YouGov’s weekly Sunday Times poll are now up here. Topline figures are CON 34%, LAB 34%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 13%, GRN 6%. The rest of the poll dealt mainly with perceptions of Labour and the Conservatives on tax, spending and business, plus the row over Trident and “stabbing in the back”.

60% of people expect that taxes would rise if Labour won the election and formed a government, including 48% of their own supporters. Asked which taxes they expected to see increase under Labour the top rate of income tax came top (unsurprisingly, given Labour have promised to increase it!) followed by capital gains tax, the higher 40p rate of tax, petrol duty and national insurance.

Asked the same about the Conservatives, only 38% of people expect taxes to rise if they win (including 23% of their own supporters). Amongst those who do expect Tory tax rises, VAT is most expected to rise, followed by fuel duty. I suspect fuel duty being high up for both parties reflects a public belief that its one of those taxes that always ends up going up…but that alone doesn’t suggest that the Conservatives are getting much public credit for repeatedly freezing fuel duty in past budgets.

If there is a 22 percent gap in expectations of whether a Conservative or Labour government would increase taxes, there’s an even bigger gap on increasing spending. Only 11% of people think that a Tory government would increase spending on public services, 52% of people think that Labour would increase spending on public services, including a majority of Labour’s own voters. This could pose a problem for Ed Miliband if he is the next Prime Minister and does stick to his stated plans – if most Labour supporters genuinely do believe a Labour government is going to increase spending, and Labour are genuinely committed to tough spending limits to close the deficit, someone is going to be disappointed.

Turning to attitudes towards business neither leader is perceived as being in the right place. Only 29% of people think Miliband’s attitude to business is right, 33% of people think he is too hostile. 27% of people think Cameron’s attitude to business is about right, 50% that he is too close.

On those figures, while the political debate is often about whether Labour’s positioning towards business is right or not, it’s David Cameron who has the bigger problem. I suspect, however, that this is actually tied into the wider problem of perceptions of the Conservative party and the rich. YouGov asked about that too in the poll with questions on what would happen to the taxes paid by the very richest and wealthiest in society under a Labour or a Conservative government. 69% think that the wealthiest should pay more tax. If Labour win, 75% expect the richest to pay more tax, if the Conservatives win 34% expect them to pay less tax.

Turning to Trident and Michael Fallon, 38% of people think that Britain should replace Trident with a similarly powerful system. 28% think Trident should be replaced with a cheaper and less powerful system than Trident and 19% think Trident should not be replaced at all. Turning to people’s expectations, 44% think that a Labour government reliant upon the SNP for a majority would still replace Trident – getting support from MPs from other parties. 27% think that Labour probably wouldn’t replace Trident if they needed SNP support.

That suggests most people don’t really buy into Michael Fallon’s argument anyway – while most people want Trident replaced, on balance people think a minority Labour government would still manage to do so. The language about Ed Miliband stabbing his brother in the back gets a further thumbs down – 51% of people thought it wasn’t a fair description, and 51% thought it wasn’t fair to link it to Trident.

People reacting badly to negative campaigning only really matters it if is noticed though. Despite the timing of the poll just after Fallon’s comments, there really wasn’t much difference in perceptions of how positive or negative the two main parties’ campaigns were. 22% thought that Labour’s campaign was mostly positive, 34% mostly negative. 23% thought the Conservative campaign was mostly positive, 38% mostly negative. Supporters of both parties perceive their own campaign as being positive, their opponent as negative (and presumably filter out evidence to the contrary!)


554 Responses to “More from the YouGov/Sunday Times poll”

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  1. @ Unicorn

    Or they have decided that the easiest place to get extra votes is on their right flank.

    If that is the reasoning I think its sound. There are 6% or more of former Con voters in the UKIP column. Those look like the easiest voters to persuade.

    Also the Tartan bogeyman line may work. Vote Nige, get Ed doesn’t appear to be working, why not try Vote Nige, get Nicola?

  2. Tomorrow, if all rumours are to be believed, the Conservatives will unlease their secret weapon of allowing housing association tenants the same rtb as council tenants. Labour’s manifesto contained no ‘rabbits’ or surprises and concentrated on proving they are to be trusted with the economy. Ed looked good delivering it but I doubt it will move the polls. If you want to trust someone with the economy then the Conservatives seem to have a headlock on that so far. Labour’s best message seems to be ‘fairness’. In contrast it sounds as if the Conservatives may have some definite ‘rabbits’ to produce and this may explain why they have appeared a bit lack lustre at times. They have been biding their time. I do expect that the rtb policy will swing some seats in their favour…. for instance those areas where council housing was transferred to HA’s such as my own in Mendip. It would be a very popular policy and put the final nail, if any were needed, in the LibDem coffin here.

  3. It seems too that the Conservatives may need national platforms to deliver their message. Con Home seems rife with complaints about lack of troops on the ground and the new electoral computer system not bedding in well. So, I suppose that I expect the Conservatives to begin motoring more after the manifesto release but to be held back a little by their weakness on the ground compared to their opponents. In short no difference in the polls right now but things may crank up a level shortly.

  4. ALEC
    Sorry for the delay in responding to your 12:37 [WEST] post, but I had to be out much longer than anticipated and only returned at 20:30 WEST.

    Please don’t take this personally, but this is part of the blinkered nationalist style of thinking that I was expressing concern about last night.

    I won’t. I have no antipathy to nationalists despite not being one. I am a localist who finds it confusing that multiple, overlapping sets of nationalists inhabit the British Isles nowadays. PC, SNP & Greens are all much closer to localism than the three “establishment” parties, which is why I see them as the leastworst options in the polities where they stand. I probably caught the virus in Switzerland, which was my “home” base during my UN service. Initially I thought it a bit odd and unprogressive, but the Swiss notion of direct democracy incorporating sovereign communes choosing which canton or “country” they belong to strikes me as much more logical than the UK’s top-down structures.

    You are getting this completely and utterly wrong. The IFS really have analysed SNP promises, current economic projections, and the SNP pledge to raise spending by 0.5% GDP UK wide. GERs is only part of this.

    IIRC I only commented on what was said about FFA in 2 “observations”. The first, on 11 March was Scotland’s fiscal position improves in 2013–14 but this is set to stall as oil price falls bite which stated: Our projections suggest that if Scotland were fiscally autonomous in 2015–16, its budget deficit would be around 4.0% of GDP higher than that of the UK as a whole. In cash terms, this is equivalent to a difference of around £6.6 billion.

    The second, on 19 March merely added £1 billion to the number, due to a change in their own oil revenue predictions.

    Regarding the basis of the calculations, the first document states:
    In order to project forward the GERS figures to 2014–15 and 2015–16 using figures from the OBR’s December 2014 Economic and Fiscal Outlook, the following method is used:
    Spending is projected on the basis that government spending in Scotland remains the same proportion (9.2%) of UK-wide government spending as in 2013–14.
    Onshore taxes are projected on the basis that the amount paid per person in Scotland grows in line with forecast growth in onshore revenues per person for the UK as a whole. This means onshore tax revenues per person in Scotland are projected to be 97.0% of the average for the UK as a whole, as in 2013–14.
    Offshore (oil and gas) taxes are projected under the assumption that Scotland’s share of overall UK offshore tax revenues remains the same as in 2013–14 at 83.8%.
    We have chosen the assumptions on the basis of their simplicity. As with any economic or fiscal forecast or projection, the projections outlined in this observation are subject to a number of sources of potential error that mean actual outturns may differ.

    Unlike the GERS themselves, it makes no caveats at all on their, which is somewhat odd unless it is privy to information which the Scottish Government is not. Neither does it remark on the accuracy of its own figures, but does go on to suggest that things may turn out worse than this for various reasons. Nowhere does it so much as suggest how things could be done differently with FFA nor even that some transitional measures may need to be negotiated.

    I agree that you found another, more recent, quote from an IFS lady, who apparently stated it to a newspaper [the Indy?] but which does not seem to be appear on the IFS website.

    Your The IFS have clearly stated that if all of these things come to pass, Scotland will need to find an extra £7.6b is true WRT their 19 March “observation” but it assumes that all functions currently charged by Westminster remain with Westminster. Personally I would find it odd in the extreme were the Scottish Government to pay an extra £7.6b for the same old, same old and doubt they would survive the next Scottish GE if they did.

    Do you really think that would be the outcome of the process?

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