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.