YouGov Sunday polls

There are two YouGov polls in the Sunday papers – one for the Sunday Times (tabs here) and one for the Sun on Sunday (tabs here). Voting intention figures are CON 33%, LAB 37%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 13% and CON 33%, LAB 36%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 14% respectively. The rest of the questions in the two polls mostly cover the state of the economy and the fuss over Birmingham schools.

Looking at the economy first, the proportion of people thinking the economy is improving continues to tick upwards. 49% now think the economy is showing signs of recover (34%) or is on its way to full recovery (15%). This is also translating into people being more likely to think that the government are doing a good job running the economy – 45% now think they are doing well at managing the economy, 44% badly. Just a one percent net positive, but the first time the government have managed a positive since way back in November 2010.

However, at a personal level the public are still pessimistic. More people still expect to be worse off next year than better off (by 34% to 18%), and asked about their own local area in the Sun on Sunday poll people still think there are fewer jobs, people have less money to spend and the shops are less busy.

Moving onto schools, 38% of people now think that schools now have too much freedom and that government should have more powers over them. 24% think the current balance is about right, only 19% now think that schools should have greater powers.

Looking specifically at the Birmingham case, 44% believe there probably was an organised plot to take over schools, 33% think that the schools had gone too far towards adopting a Muslim ethos, but that it was probably not an organised plot. Just 6% think there was no problem. More generally 79% think there is a risk of schools being taken over by religious extremists (34% a large risk in many parts of the country, 45% a lower risk in only a few areas), and 50% of people think the risk is greater in Academies and Free Schools. 55% think the government have not reacted strongly enough to counter the threat.

The idea that schools should try to instil British values in pupils does meet with wide approval, with 79% support. 70% say there are distinct British values than schools can uphold and teach, 21% say that in reality British values are not really different from other countries’ and they couldn’t, in practice, be defined or taught.


This week’s YouGov poll for the Sunday Times is here. Topline Westminster voting intention figures are CON 34%, LAB 37%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 13%. Net doing well/badly figures for the main party leaders are minus 7 for David Cameron, minus 42 for Ed Miliband, minus 55 for Nick Clegg. David Cameron’s figure is his best since March 2012 (before the Omnishambles budget), Ed Miliband’s his worst since last September. There’s also some notable landmarks in the economic trackers – 45% now think the government are managing the economy well, 45% badly, you have to go all the way back to December 2010 to find the last time those there equal. Asked about the current state of the economy only 36% now think it is in a bad way, the lowest since YouGov started asking this question in 2010. Underneath the distorting effect of the European elections on voting intention economic perceptions do seem to be continuing to shift.

For the European elections voting intention figures are CON 23%, LAB 27%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 26%, GRN 9%. This seems to be where YouGov’s European polling has settled down at over the last week or two – Labour and UKIP in a very tight race for first place, the Conservatives in third, the Greens and Lib Dems in a very tight race for fourth place. UKIP could still come top – their voters say they are more likely to actually come out and vote on the day and if you take only those people who say they are 10/10 certain to vote UKIP would be narrowly ahead (YouGov don’t usually filter or weight by likelihood to vote away from general election campaign polls or final call polls).

Comparing voting intentions in the European Parliament and for a general election, just under a quarter of current Conservative voters and one in ten Labour voters say they are backing UKIP in the European election. Or looking at it from the opposite angle, of those people saying they’ll vote UKIP in the European election, only around half would vote UKIP in a general election tomorrow, just under a third would vote Tory (and that’s the mythical general election “tomorrow”, as opposed to how people’s opinions will actually evolve over the next year.)

Europe and immigration are the only issues where people know what UKIP stand for. 42% say they know what UKIP’s policy is on immigration and Europe (and a majority have at least some sort of idea of their direction), for other issues the figure is 7-8%. Even most UKIP voters don’t claim to know what the party’s policy is on things like education and the NHS… but then, those are the sort of things that drive UKIP support. For people voting UKIP in the European election, 39% say it is because they are unhappy with Britain’s membership of the EU. 22% say is it because of immigration. 14% because they are unhappy with the main parties and 14% say it is to send a message or put pressure on the main parties.

People are now split down the middle over whether UKIP are racist or not – 41% think they are, 40% think they are not. On balance people do, however, think UKIP are deliberately trying to appeal to racist voters – 46% say they are, 30% don’t agree. UKIP’s supporters themselves overwhelmingly reject the charge – 93% of UKIP voters think the party are not racist, presumably explaining why the attacks aren’t damaging UKIP more: the people being convinced that UKIP are racist aren’t the sort of people who were voting for them anyway.

50% of people think the coalition have run out of ideas and things to do, 22% think they’ve still got enough ideas for the last year of Parliament. 44% of people would like a general election this year (including the majority of Labour supporters) 44% would like an election in May 2015 as planned (including the majority of Lib Dems and Conservatives).

Asked generally 30% of people think Nick Clegg should continue as Lib Dem leader, 43% think he should be replaced. However, these are largely people opposed to the Lib Dems anyway – amongst their own voters (a small sample size, given the depths they’ve reached!) 62% think he should stay, 25% he should go. In the event the Lib Dems finish behind the Greens then only 46% of Lib Dem voters would want him to stay, 37% would want him to go. In terms of successors, 20% think Vince Cable would be better, 25% think he would be worse. For Danny Alexander and Tim Farron most of the public say they don’t really know enough about them to have an opinion.

There were also two Scottish referendum polls in this morning’s papers. I’ll post separately on them later.


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.


The weekly YouGov/Sunday Times results are up here.Topline figures are CON 33%, LAB 40%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 12%.

Almost half (49%) of the country now think the economy is showing signs of recovery (38%) or is on the way to full recovery (11%), up from 43% in December. The public remain more pessimistic about their own personal finances, with only 16% expecting them to improve over the next twelve months, 36% expecting them to get worse. This has been the defining feature of polling on the economy over the last year – public optimism on the state of the economy as a whole has been gradually rising, but it’s yet to translate into optimism about their own personal finances.

38% of people give the government some credit for this economic improvement, thinking their policies made the changes necessary for recovery, 24% think their policies didn’t actually make much difference either way, 28% think their policies actually prolonged the recession and made things worse. A substantial proportion also think that things would be worse if Labour were in power – if Labour had won the last election 39% think the economy would be worse, 19% better, 29% much the same.

Looking at potential measures for the budget, increasing the personal tax allowance is overwhelmingly approved of (by 83%). Extra taxes on the rich also meet with majority approval – a mansion tax would be approved of by 61%, putting the top rate of tax back up to 50p gets 58% approval (and cutting it to 40p would be opposed by 64%). Increasing the threshold of the 40p tax rate gets the approval of 55% of people. That’s a policy that could potentially have gone either way (tax cuts that target the poorest or ordinary people are almost always popular, tax cuts for the richest are usually unpopular) so the approval suggests it is something that kicks in far enough down the economic tree to avoid public hostility… but we shall see if it happens.


The monthly Ipsos MORI poll for the Standard is out today and has topline voting intention figures of CON 32%(+1), LAB 35%(-3), LDEM 13%(+1), UKIP 11%(+1). Full tabs are here.

There’s quite a lot of other stuff in this month’s poll. 47% of people now think that the government is doing a good job managing the economy, 46% a bad job (compared to 36% good, 55% bad when MORI asked by in 2011), there is also a big shift in the government’s favour on unemployment, 44% now think they are doing well at keeping unemployment down, up from 15% in 2011. However, there is still a perception that the rich are benefiting more than others. 73% think the government have done a good job of raising the standard of living for the rich, but only 19% think they’ve done the same for the poor (for respondents themselves, 30% think the government have done a good job of improving their standard of living).

MORI also asked about which party they think deserves the most credit for the £10,000 personal tax allowance – something that the Conservatives and Lib Dems have been arguing over taking the credit for and which in hindsight I’m rather surprised no one has asked before. 45% of people give the Lib Dems credit for it, compared to 33% who give the Tories the credit.