We used to get a flurry of opinion polling around a budget, but this year there has been very little. Part of that will be polling’s recent troubles (many companies are doing much less polling than before the election), perhaps it is just because it wasn’t a very interesting budget. If Hammond had done something that was spectacularly unpopular I expect many newspapers would have been scampering to commission a poll, as it was however, it was rather a dull affair and few seem to have bothered. I think the only post-budget poll we’ve seen is YouGov for the Times.

Topline figures there were CON 39%(-1), LAB 41%(-2), LDEM 7%(nc). Fieldwork was Wednesday afternoon/evening and Thursday and changes are from the Sun-Monday before the budget.

Even after a year and a bit in the job a large chunk of the public have no real opinion of Philip Hammond – 48% say they don’t know if he’s doing a good or bad job (20% say good, up five points from before the budget, 32% say bad, down three points from before the budget). Asked whether he or John McDonnell would do a better job as Chancellor 23% pick Hammond, 13% McDonnell and a hefty 64% say don’t know. Put simply, this is a comparison between two people who the general public either don’t know or don’t care about.

Moving to the question of wider economic expectations, people expect the state of the economy to get worse over the next twelve months by 51% to 11%, and expect their own personal finances to get worse by 40% to 12%.

The budget itself seems to have gone down adequately. All the budget measures YouGov asked about recieved more support than opposition, with the most popular being giving extra money to the NHS (87% thought it was a good idea) and increasing the National Living Wage (82% a good idea). The least were extending the young persons railcard up to the age of 30 (45% a good idea) and setting aside money for Brexit plannong (48% good idea). Most of the changes were giveaways of some sort of course, without anything likely to cause a big political row – the most contentious issue after the budget seemed not to be the unpleasant things Hammond had done, but whether his Stamp Duty cut would actually have a negative impact and whether the changes to Univeral Credit were enough.

On those two issues, only 9% of respondents thought that the Universal Credit changes went far enough and addressed all the problems, 45% think there are still problems with the policy (7% thought no changes should have been made and 39% said don’t know). On Stamp Duty for first time buyers, only 30% thought this would help make housing more affordable, 45% thought it would make no real difference (and 10% thought it would make housing even less affordable).

Overall, 34% of people thought Hammond’s budget was fair, 23% unfair. YouGov ask that same question after every budget, and that answer is pretty so-so. Nothing to shout about, but not the sort of negative reaction that Osborne got in 2016 or 2012. Full tabs are here.

808 Responses to “YouGov post-budget polling”

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  1. @Mike Pearce

    Grabbing the levers of power from TM in an election anytime soon would be like grabbing the wheel off Captain Smith after iceberg was sruck.

  2. Correction

    @Mike Pearce

    Grabbing the levers of power from TM in an election anytime soon would be like grabbing the wheel off Captain Smith after iceberg was struck.


    @”I also hope the health of the millions of less well off and the disabled also hold up on the back of her governments policies.”

    Naturally-who doesn’t ?

    @”TM can simply walk away from it all into a land of milk and honey.”

    What would you prefer for the PM ?-Permanent hospitalisation by Diabetes or Brexit?-A stroke perhaps -or something more spectacular ?


    The biggest threat to Labour winning an early GE in my view won’t come from increased scrutiny of their manifesto but will come from the backstabbing brigade sitting behind ol Corby.

    The way I see it at present… The hard right sticking with the Tories and the hard left sticking with Labour and the middle completely polarised.

  5. CMJ, if your still around, can you shed any light on the large differences in DKs between Survation and others. Taking the ‘loyalty’ bit of VI versus 2017 vote:

    YouGov (DK)
    CON 15%
    LAB 13%

    Survation (undecided)
    CON 11%
    LAB 4%

    It seems strange to me but in terms of the maths it does explain a chunk of Survations higher LAB lead.

    Any other polling guru have any thoughts?

    We’ve recently had Kantar with CON +2, now Survation at LAB +8. I understand the methodology differences but curious why DKs are so different between polling companies.

  6. COLIN

    “What would you prefer for the PM ?-Permanent hospitalisation by Diabetes or Brexit?-A stroke perhaps -or something more spectacular ?”

    Not for the first time you have misrepresented one of my comments.

    If TM finds that her health is suffering due to the challenges of being a PM brings then she can simply walk away from it all however it’s not so easy for millions of people who have been affected by her governments polices to simply walk away.

    That was the point I was clearly making and for clarity I do not wish to see TM take I’ll in any shape of form.

    In future, please stop gibbering on stuff I’ve clearly not said.

  7. ALLAN

    Oi! Stop including an ‘s’ in my surname young man. I think the right wing element within the Labour Party have been forced to toe the line. There will be dissenters but by and large they are now in check.

  8. @ CMJ – I agree you Captain Smith analogy! Stretching it further, could a new ref be CON’s lifeboat? Not yet but in mid 2018 when HoC is perhaps gridlocked but we maybe have a better idea of the final deal? Even if it was the lifeboat it is unlikely to be enough to save them but as the Titanic starts to sink CON might see Salvation in Survation Q7?

    Support holding a referendum asking the public if they will accept or reject the deal 50%
    (Reject 34%)

    Partisan split as you’d expect but I think the tide has turned even in CON VI (34% support new ref v 53% oppose, for net 19% oppose – fairly sure that used to be a lot higher).

    I doubt the public will forgive CON if CON just throw the decision back to the public but with 4yrs left to run in current parliament do they want to own a mess or try to offload the decision? IMHO they’d prefer a ref on the terms to a new GE and clearly LAB VI want a new ref (68% v 19%)

  9. so Corbyn would find it hard to refuse one?

    (sorry submit to soon)

  10. In Local Elections the party that performed best is the LIbDems despite the low national poll rating. Does this suggest the polls are not picking up support for LibDems where they are strong or are voting trends different at local level with lower turnouts or are the LIbDems just good at local issues


    Sorry about that. I’m using my iPad and the predictor text is going bonkers as you can see in my reply to Colin.

    Hopefully you’re right and most of the dissenters are in check. The next election should be a walk in the park for Labour. The current Tory regime is being held together by DUP glue and looks like coming unstuck.

  12. @ MIKE PEARCE – indeed the take-over is almost complete:

    What we don’t know is if LAB VI are aware of that?

    One of those tracker polls showing people’s left-right view versus party/party leader would be good to see.

    Has the ‘Centre’ moved with Corbyn or is a chunk of LAB VI made up of ABT Remainers?

  13. @TW
    Yes, the second referendum scenario is no fun for the Tories:

    “We’re giving you the choice between two pretty bad options – let us know which you want.
    The reason you can only choose between two unappetising deals is because:
    – we’ve made a mess of negotiating; or
    – there was never a good outcome available in the first place; or
    – the EU are evil.”

    Tories, their media backers and committed Brexiteers will push the third option, everyone else will relentlessly push the other two.

    It would be very ugly and divisive indeed….

  14. @ BIGFATRON – In terms of least worst choice though I do think CON might end up going the new ‘ref on terms’ route.
    Quite a few contingent scenarios need to stake up but we seem to be heading down that path and the HoC maths is very tight.
    New ref in 2018 odds seem lower than 7-1 anyway!

    If a get a chance later I’ll try and track the % in favour of new ref. Not every pollster asks it in every poll so it will take a while to collate the info and ‘homework shadowing’ this morning.

  15. @TW

    “Has the ‘Centre’ moved with Corbyn or is a chunk of LAB VI made up of ABT Remainers?”

    Yes to both

  16. Last week I posted a link to a paper by Phinnemore and Hayward of Queen’s University, Belfast. The paper was commissioned by the European Parliament’s Committee on Constitutional Affairs. This suggested to me that the UK and EU were moving closer to resolving the UK /EU land border problem. there are two more papers requested at the same time by this Committee. One of them has to do with the technical means of reducing “friction” at the border. The other is this one: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/STUD/2017/596825/IPOL_STU(2017)596825_EN.pdf

    A long read but a comprehensive analysis.

    Membership by NI of the EEA seems to be a likely means of resolving some of the problems. As the paper points out it is not a panacea. I guess David Davis may be going to Norway this week to explore if there might be no objection to NI becoming a member of EFTA and EEA.

  17. @Trevor – small point but were Kantar not +4?

  18. @Allan – the last election should have been a walk in the park for the Tories.

  19. Negotiating Brexit would not, I think, put the same strain on a Lab government as it does for the Conservatives, partly because they would propose retention of the Customs Union and the Single Market, in line with the wishes of a majority in the country and in Parliament, and would thus retain a frontierless border between NI and Ireland; partly because Corbyn would delegate the negotiation to Starmer and a relatively independent team, and would get on with a popular and by now fairly well understood domestic programme of social reform and investment. The most likely difficulty within the party would be that of fending off (or accepting) the demand for a cancellation of Article 50 and Brexit,but even that would be better insulated from a Corbyn and McDonnell drive for domestic reform.

  20. @TW

    I’d take several things in that article with a bucket of salt. Firstly it is incoherent, just ask yourself if you’ve heard of a by-election being remotely needed in Watford!

    Secondly whatever the shortlist finally is the final choice will be up to the full membership of the Watford CLP who should have a broad a choice as possible within Labour party politics, no?

    Thirdly there is no suggestion of the NEC imposing an actual candidate (which was Blair’s practice) but just adding an additional one to the shortlist.

    Taken together with Roy Hattersley’s laughable rant in the same edition I think this is the Observer stirring it on behalf of Progress,

  21. There is a comprehensive analysis of the NI and EEA membership here:


    Whatever the wishes of the DUP NI can become a member of the EEA. If that happens it doesn’t quite shoot Labour’s Schrodinger’s fox but it will put a sufficient scare into it. That is, Labour will support NI membership of EEA – so will the SNP.

    I wonder if the SNP’s new Brexit paper and Nicola’s Guardian article are entirely coincidental.

  22. @ ANDREW MYERS – good spot! You’re correct, my apologies.

  23. @TW

    Re your other question about whether Lab VI are aware. I think Hatterji is slightly overstating the Momentum takeover, however their campaign has momentum on its side ( :-) ) and is gradually taking hold.
    Lots of local parties are only now going through selection for next May’s council elections and it’s not clear quite how this will play out – the ‘traditional’ activists have not given up.
    Of course Momentum believe that the only reason Lab didn’t get a landslide in the GE was because ‘Blairites’ were not wholly committed to Jeremy, and that a purge of apostates will lead to landslide victories everywhere.
    Perhaps they’re right, but my own sense is that Labour voters, whilst frustrated by the ‘moderate’ approach of New Labour, are mostly content with the broad church which the traditional Labour party has embodied.
    There is no doubt whatsoever that round here at least the progress in the last GE was a mixture of good remainy candidate, hard work by trad activists, AB hard Brexit enthusiasts, and an entirely separate campaign run more or less in secret by Momentum targeting – very successfully – da yoof.
    Our next election (barring accidents) is for the council. I suspect the manifesto will be written largely by the old school but of course nobody will read it. A large proportion of Lab voters would vote for the traditional monkey with a red rosette but judging by previous contests if we have stridently far lefty candidates they will put many voters off (in one of our 3 member wards someone who is now a prominent Momenter received barely half the support of the other two Lab candidates last time)

  24. Looks like that link has gone for a holiday abroad.

    If anyone is interested in the third paper requested by the EU parliament’s Committee on Constitutional Affairs here is the link to it.


  25. Changes in ‘new referendum on terms’. Survation asked the same question back on 16July so no phrasing issues.

    Current desire for new ref (change in brackets)

    Total 50 (+4)
    CON VI 34 (+10) quite a big change?!?
    LAB VI 68 (+1)

    kind of weird the smaller parties are:
    LD 59 (-1)?? isn’t that there raison d’etre?
    UKIP 40 (-11)!! not sure why it was so high before, perhaps they wanted a ‘validating’ ref knowing they would win it but now not so sure?
    * lots of small sample caveats for the smaller parties

  26. Somerjohn

    “But the post is a useful reminder of how detached from reality some fervent brexiteers reveal themselves to be.”

    Equally true of some Remainers, especially those who post frequently here.
    Just IMO and for balance of course.


    I read your piece with interest since you are getting plaudits from a number of Remainers. I can see why, but I’m afraid you did not convince me at all. I remain of the view that we will leave the EU without a trade deal due to the intransigence of the EU, thus wrecking the chances of those who want us to remain in all but name, and giving victory to those of us who really want to leave the EU in every sense.


    “There is nothing in this poll to indicate anything stronger than midterm polling blues for the Government, and the longer term indicators that would suggest Labour are becoming more seen as a Government in waiting are not there.”

    Another incisive piece of analysis, thank you, and I totally agree with your conclusion.

  27. @ PAULA / GUY – The SLAB election is possibly more relevant. From what I remember:
    a/ Turnout, in what was supposed to be a bitter battle with both sides signing up lots of new members, was low (9,150 (52%) for Leonard v 8,514 (48%) for Sanwar is only 17,664 total!)
    b/ Unions were overwhelmingly behind Leonard (77% v 23%)

    Perhaps a LAB partisan could break down the NEC make-up and how much % Momentum (via members) and Unions now hold. My guess is around 70%, certainly way above 50%. At a CLP level some moderates might still hold sway but it seems clear since Corbyn won the leadership challenge that Momentum+Unions now control the party. Other than the two MPs that quit ages ago, everyone else seems to be going along with it though.

  28. I have come across John Temple Lang before and I think I posted a link to some of his work. I did not bother reading the annex to his report on NI and the EEA initially. I have begun to read it now. I should warn Brexiters that it will make uncomfortable reading as it examines the approach by the UK government to Brexit and a new trading arrangement with the EU. It is scathing and incisive.

  29. Wish Sam would stop posting links that go outside the box as it really affects how this site views. It makes my UKPR go very small, so the link is viewable.

    On the issue of Brexit the MP for Newark supported remain, but now thinks Brexit should go ahead, only because a u-turn would be embarrassing.



    “Survation nailed the General Election. So they have more credibility than other pollsters. That’s a thumping Labour lead and polling at 45%. So much for the so called ceiling under Corbyn.”

    That’s the way I see it too….


    “The biggest threat to Labour winning an early GE in my view won’t come from increased scrutiny of their manifesto but will come from the backstabbing brigade sitting behind ol Corby. The way I see it at present… The hard right sticking with the Tories and the hard left sticking with Labour and the middle completely polarised.”

    IMO, the middle has always been overrated. The SDP put their faith in the middle, and we know how that turned out. The Lib Dems represent the middle, and they had disappointing returns in June.

  32. @ SAM – thanks for the link. So ‘fantasy borders’ are now ‘smart borders’ ? What happened to those being ‘magical thinking’?

    Special status with a small amount of flexibility on Customs Understandings was always the obvious answer and it’s great to see EP accepting that. The EP paper is far more eloquent than DD’s attempt but by and large it accepts the same solution as UK’s proposals from months ago.

    Is that solution acceptable to both Varadkar and Foster though? We should get to find out that answer soon but if EU want more money and say not quite there on NI yet then that is clearly deep into punishment territory.

    What is especially important to note is:
    “The solution…is independent of any political agreements on the UK’s exit from the EU and offers a template for future UK-EU border relationships.”

  33. @TW

    On the SLAB vote: that would be 300-ish votes per constituency which is actually quite high for an internal party vote for any party. Indeed the average Conservative Constituency only has about 240 members in total!


    “At a CLP level some moderates might still hold sway but it seems clear since Corbyn won the leadership challenge that Momentum+Unions now control the party. Other than the two MPs that quit ages ago, everyone else seems to be going along with it though.”

    Things are already starting to change at CLP level. As we all know, council elections will be in May, and selections are currently taking place in the Labour Party for council seats. Momentum have targeted Haringey, and already a number of Blairites have been ousted by Corbyn allies. Claire Kober had the support of a number of Blairites in her previous council, but indications are that after May, Corbyn’s supporters will be in the majority in Haringey.

    I expect this to replicated in a number of councils throughout London in the months to come. after that, then there will be changes at MP level. Blairites need to realise that if they continue to try to undermine Corbyn, then they can expect challenges to their incumbency at the MP level.

  35. @Paula Thomas
    You are being too generous!
    I believe the Tory membership figures are self-reported at ‘around 100,000’ – which equates to an average of around 160 per constituency…


    Source for my figures:


    Although the Conservatives haven’t reported since 2013 – funny that!

  37. @Michael Siva
    You are continuing the false dichotomy between Momentum and Blairites. I am certainly neither, and that would be true of the majority of activists with whom I work.
    I doubt that in my council there will be much of a Momentum presence, though there is likely to be some. Life in outer London Labour councils is not fought mainly on Momentum v others territory, but amongst other established tribes. Thankfully no longer involving Freemasons as I’m told it did 30 years ago but involving sometimes religion or other matters little related to things the NEC considers central.

  38. Yes – the latest published figures are very old indeed.

    The two internal Conservative websites that I have found commenting on such things both estimate 100,000, hence my description of ‘self-reported’.

    I went hunting for data a few weeks ago when I saw someone from LDems claiming that they were about to overtake the Tories in terms of membership – staggeringly that might actually turn out to be correct (although I suspect LDem membership will drop a bit again once 2017 /18 renewals time comes around)

  39. @ PAULA – CON have a membership issue for sure and thankfully do not give a share of leadership votes to ‘business lobby groups’ or whatever the equivalent of Unions would be but that is a bit of tangent. In the Corbyn/Owen leadership election turnout was around 450-ish votes per constituency (highest in England at over 500-ish voter per constituency is you want to use that measure, similarish to SNP deputy leader ). To win a clean majority in next GE the task is a lot easier if SLAB can regain more of the left vote in Scotland.

    Anyway, that is a bit of a side point.

    What % of NEC is now controlled by Momentum and Unions (ie has LAB become the party of Lansmann and Len?) Len only actually representing 6% of his own members of course!

    This stacking of ‘democracy’ is a concern for myself, maybe others. It is one of the main reasons I dislike the EU – how many people voted for Juncker? I could have been persuaded to vote for Miliband (David pref) or maybe even Smith but if I wanted to vote for Lansmann or Len I’d like to see their name as party leader, not their front man. McDonnell was too toxic so they wheeled out Corbyn – nice, amiable, principled and seemingly wearing a bullet-proof jacket for his ‘baggage’ issues of previously held views.

  40. Interesting findings here on the desire for a second referendum. If the move to 50% beds in with other polls, then it starts to get more difficult for governments to ignore.

    I have an inkling that in the end, May could well be seeking a second vote in order to get herself out of a hole of a poor Brexit. This has always been one of my top expectations amongst a range of potential scenarios, with the only piece missing being the fact that going to the polls for a second time lacked widespread popular support. If that’s changing, then the doubts over whether we will ever actually leave grow and intensify.

  41. Trev, wheeled out? JC won two leadership elections on the face of the most awful off rule book maneuvering. Lab membership soared.

    Why do you constantly seek to undermine every UK democratic process using schoolbook sophistry except for the brexit vote that you instead cling to with fervor ?

  42. More development within Tory circles today on the Brexit red lines and the ECJ. There is a mounting sense of concern amongst the hard liners, and my reading of this is that they have over reached themselves this morning.

    IDS has penned a newspaper article, backed up by signed letters issuing new demands of May. It appears that one of their central points is that there should be no rule for the ECJ in a transition period, and there should be no role for the ECJ regarding citizens rights after the transition.

    I can see the second demand being met, possibly, but there is no chance that the first part will be acceptable. We absolutely have to have a transition period, and I suspect that this form the battle ground for the defeat of the Tory hardliners. Once they’ve been stuffed on this issue, whether they retain any real influence over proceedings is going to be the outstanding question, so I think this is a pivotal moment in the whole affair.

  43. I think when it’s all over, a blockbuster film will be made of Brexit. Well, the actresses for May and Foster have been chosen, and the audition for the final scene have been released.


  44. @TrevorWarne

    Selective reading is not good enough. Here is a brief extract from para 5.2 of the first paper to which I linked. the paragraph goes into more detail than my short extract

    “Technological solutions in this area are limited, and tend to rely
    on features that will be difficult to implement in the case of the Irish border. ”

    If there is a deal done, it will surely take account of what technology can achieve.

  45. ALEC

    @”IDS has penned a newspaper article, backed up by signed letters issuing new demands of May.”

    “backed up” by a letter he didn’t actually sign.

    Signatories are :-
    4 Tory MPs
    1Lab. MP
    Lord Lawson of Blaby .
    3 other Lords
    26 assorted Industrialists.

    If I had £1 for every time you have predicted a “pivotal moment” I would be a rich man :-)

  46. Re the ‘Leave means leave group’ letter that seeks to settle ‘the terms of a free trade agreement “in principle” by the end of March 2018 and an end to the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice and the freedom of movement to the UK for EU nationals when the UK leaves a year later on March 30 2019.

    “If the EU refuses to agree to these terms by the end of the December council, the UK – having exhausted every avenue – should suspend its participation in the negotiations and inform the EU that, unless they are prepared to talk to us seriously about a future free trade arrangement, we will revert to World Trade Organisation terms from March 30 2019,”

    Does anyone think this has any chance whatsoever of happening in that time frame?

    Did the M.P.’s who sign it believe that it was possible or is it just another way of saying they want to leave with no deal?

  47. Regarding long links.

    This works a treat:

    http s://tinyurl.com/


    http s://tinyurl.com/ydytpxq9

  48. It’s interesting to see the social media coverage of the Survation poll.

    There is a lot of excitement over it!

  49. Long links.

    There is a web page called tiny URL that converts weblinks to shorter ones.

    The uber-long one posted by Sam at 1110 this morning shrinks to this:


  50. Long interview with Tony Blair on Radio Four’s ‘The World at One’.

    Suffice to say he sounded like a nice quiet retirement was not in his plans.

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