YouGov’s latest voting intention figures for the Times are CON 44%, LAB 25%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 11%. The nineteen point Conservative lead is the largest YouGov have given them in government, the 44% share of support the largest since the coalition’s honeymoon back in 2010.

The budget seems to have got a modest thumbs up. 32% think it was fair, 24% thought it was not – a fairly so-so rating compared to past budgets (YouGov ask the same question after every budget; the only times a budget has been seen as unfair were the Omnishambles budget in 2012 and George Osborne’s final budget in 2016).

On the individual measures, everything was approved of, with the most divisive policy being spending money on new free schools – 41% thought this was a good idea, 38% the wrong priority (interestingly that wasn’t just a partisan answer – a third of Tory voters also thought it was the wrong priority). Increasing NI contributions for the self-employed to the same level as employees was seen as a good idea by 47%, the wrong priority by 33%.

While people did approve of the NI rise, the majority of them did think it amounted to breaking a manifesto promise. 55% think the government have broken their pledge not to increase taxes, only 16% think they’ve kept it. Whether that really matters or not is a different question – the public tend to think all government break at least some of their promises anyway, so this may be seen as par for the course.

It’s crucial to note the timing of the poll: fieldwork was mostly conducted on Wednesday night with some during the day on Thursday. That means while it’s all post-budget, it’s very immediately post-budget. Most respondents will have answered the questions before the more hostile press coverage on Thursday morning, before the ongoing pressure and the government delaying the National Insurance rise. It may be that the unravelling of the budget on Thursday and Friday has lead to more negative perceptions – but we won’t be able to tell until the next round of polls.

Looking through the rest of the poll, the Conservatives & Theresa May have a lead over Labour & Jeremy Corbyn on almost every economic measure YouGov asked about (36 on cutting the deficit, 32 points on managing the economy, 15 on providing jobs, 11 on keeping prices down, 11 on improving living standards, 6 on getting people on the housing ladder), the only exception was reducing the number of people in poverty, where Corbyn & Labour had a 7 point lead.

Philip Hammond meanwhile is still very much an unknown quantity with the public. 25% think he’s doing a good job as Chancellor, 21% a bad job, 54% don’t know. In comparison, the government as a whole are getting the benefit of the doubt on the economy – 44% think they are handling it well, 38% badly.

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361 Responses to “YouGov/Times – CON 44, LAB 25, LDEM 10, UKIP 11”

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  1. From da Times….

    “Two fifths of EU citizens working in the NHS are thinking of leaving in the next five years, according to the largest survey of such staff since the Brexit vote.

    The poll, conducted for Channel 4’s Dispatches, suggests that the NHS could lose 25,000 nurses and doctors.

    Medical leaders have written to the home secretary to request an exemption for health and social care from a new £1,000-per-year charge for employing a non-EU citizen, which they fear could exacerbate staff shortages.

    The survey also found that 70 per cent of EU NHS staff thought the referendum made the UK a less appealing place to work and 66 per cent were worried about their career in the UK.”

  2. I didn’t know there was a charge? Did anyone mention the charge? Anyways, I know what you’re thinking: peeps say all kinds of things, doesn’t mean they’ll do them. So, to what extent are EU keeps turning their backs on us?…

    “In the months since the referendum, figures from NHS Digital show that almost 5,500 EU staff left their posts in England, an increase of more than 25 per cent on the same period in 2015.

    Julie Smith, chief nurse at NHS University Hospitals of Leicester, said: “We did have 440 nurses from across the European countries. Following the Brexit vote, we saw 28 of those nurses leave, within probably around six weeks of Brexit.”

    She said that there were not enough UK nurses to fill the 20,000 vacancies in England and the trust had already been forced to look beyond Europe to recruit nurses. Ms Smith said that if current EU nurses left, the trust would have to close wards.

    Barry Pactor, who runs TTM Healthcare, the international health recruiter, said: “The EU marketplace has been essential to top up the big gap in the number of nurses in the UK healthcare system.”

    According to figures from the Nursing and Midwifery Council, across the country only 101 nurses from Europe joined up in December — a decrease of 90 per cent on pre-referendum registration.”

  3. I was gardening today, so missed Sturgeon’s press conference, but have now caught up with it.

    Reading some of the comments on her choice of timing for Scotref, I suspect that few (if any) of those commenting have listened to her speech, which explains the window of choice.

  4. @Catman

    Yes, use Thorium, anything to up the excitement!! It’s a competitive world out there and we are competing for attention with things like WTO tariffs, impact of fracking on Indyref, impact of passporting on Brexit, impact of micro-targeting on polling, impact of road numbering schemes on… …well, on road numbering I guess…

    Keep up the good work!!…

  5. Carfrew

    Except they wont leave. Their pay in the UK is far higher than the countries they have come from.
    Remember all those celebrities who said they would leave Britain if the Tories won or Brexit won.where are they now ? Oh they are all still here. what a surprise.
    Is it not time we trained enough nurses in the uk for the demands of the uk health system. Call me a radical or what.

  6. carfrew

    sorry for mylast post your research deserved better.My only mitigation is that i am incandescent with a certain scottish person.

  7. @S Thomas

    It’s ok, I’m quite chill en ce moment becoz an unexpected benefit of Scotchit appears to be to make the pound go up again…

  8. S thomas,
    “Is it not time we trained enough nurses in the uk for the demands of the uk health system. Call me a radical or what.”

    The shortage of medical staff in the NHS has lasted for 50 years. Should we perhaps by now conclude this is not possible?

    The TV documentary this evening interviewed a couple of southern european girls working as nurses in the Uk. I though they said they were earning three times as much as at home? But they also seemed to say that at home they were unemployed. However, they strongly said that europeans no longer feel welcome, and that is why such people are leaving. I can’t help feeling that in as much as brexit was a vote against all immigrants, Nurses from everywhere in the world are going to feel equally unwelcome.

    It would seem there is a concerted campaign to paint Sturgeon as unpatriotic and a timewaster. Which is odd since all she is doing is pushing the flagship policy of the SNP, which has the highest level of support of any political party in the country.

  9. Carfrew,
    “an unexpected benefit of Scotchit appears to be to make the pound go up again…”

    The possibility of an independent Scotland is perhaps good news for bankers? They might not have to leave mainland UK after all?

  10. @Danny

    I confess not to know the mind of bankers. I just think it’s about time they did summat for me and made the pound go up again. Otherwise what’s the use…

  11. @Ronald Olden

    non partisan?

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