Time for a catch up of the YouGov polling over the last few days. Questions on the emergency budget show some pretty negative expectations – 70% of people expect the budget to increase taxes paid by and/or reduce benefits paid to people like them, only 10% of people expect to avoid the cut.

In one sense, I suppose the Conservatives wouldn’t be worried by that – they would want people to be prepared for harsh measures. The other findings though indicate a lot of doubt about how they will be carried out. People were evenly split over whether the cuts will be carried out without harming front line services (34% think they will, 36% think they won’t). Almost half of respondents (49%) thought the cuts would not be fair in the way they affected rich and poor, with only 26% thinking they would be. Looking forward, 24% of people think the budget will put the country back into recession, 35% think it won’t, 41% don’t know.

We have the first government approval rating (as opposed to questions on whether people approve of the coalition). Not particularly meaningful yet of course, 34% of people reasonably enough say don’t know, but it’s a starting point – 43% approve, 23% disapprove.

On the Bill of Rights, 24% of people would like to keep the Human Rights Act, 53% of people would like to replace it with a British Bill of Rights. 61% of people think it is a good idea to set up a commission to look at it (though we can’t tell if people think it is a good idea compared to acting now, or a good idea compared to doing nothing).

Finally, perceptions of the party leaders – scroll down to page 7 and the questions on leader attributes for Cameron and Clegg (Brown has obviously stopped being asked about), and look at the way perceptions of them have shifted since the coalition deal. The big shifts for Cameron are more people seeing him as strong (30%, up from around 20% during the campaign) and decisive (32%, up from the low twenties during the campaign) being seen as good in a crisis is still his weakest rating, but is up to 13% from 10% during most of the campaign.

Clegg on the other hand has seen his ratings fall. On “sticks to what he believes in”, he is down to 19% from 27% before the election, honest is down to 28% from 32%, in touch down to 30% from 37%. Of course, the pre-election figures would still have had something of the Cleggmania about them, so while the deal has damaged perceptions of Clegg, he is still viewed more positively than before the leader debates (indeed, it’s possible the fall is due to the debate factor fading, rather than the coalition. We’ll never know).

Tonight’s YouGov poll has topline figures of CON 35%(nc), LAB 30%(+2), LDEM 24%(-4), a sharp drop for the Liberal Democrats.

Just when it was looking as though the position had settled down, we suddenly have a shift in support. It could be the “Cleggmania” bubble bursting, or people pulling away from a hung Parliament after the heavy Conservative campaigning against it, or Liberal Democrat supporters heeding the call of Labour figures to vote tactically for Labour…. or, it could just be an outlier. I always urge caution when a poll shows a sudden change – wait to see if it is reflected in other polling.

The only other GB poll I am expecting tonight is ComRes (though their fieldwork is one day behind YouGov, so if there has been a sudden drop in Lib Dem support I wouldn’t necessarily expect to see it reflected by ComRes). I expect most pollsters will be saving their final polls of the campaign until tomorrow evening, but we shall see.


Tonight’s YouGov poll has topline figures of CON 35%(+1), LAB 28%(nc), LDEM 28%(-1). No significant change there – YouGov’s figures have been within 1 point of these scores for five days now.

Someone has also pointed out a new Welsh poll today, from Research and Marketing plus. The topline figures are CON 23.5%, LAB 37.5%, LDEM 21%, PC 10.8%. They seem like a reputable market research outfit, but I’m not aware of any past record in political polling and we have no info on things like political weighting, accounting for likelihood to vote and so on.

ComRes are still to come later tonight.

Tonight’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 34%(-1) LAB 28% (+1) LDEM 29% (+1). No significant change from yesterday.

Rather to my surprise, there’s also a new ICM poll in the Guardian. The topline figures there are CON 33%(-3), LAB 28%(-1), LDEM 28%(+1). Changes are from the ICM poll in the Sunday Telegraph – the fieldwork periods actually overlap, the Sunday Telegraph’s fieldwork was all on Friday, this poll’s fieldwork was Friday to Sunday. Others up at the expense of the Conservatives.

That’s two of the polls that showed an increase for the Tories on Saturday reversing it on Monday. It looks like it was co-incidence they all showed Tories rises that day (or perhaps not – bank holiday polling can produce odd samples, and I wouldn’t really want to conclude too much whatever it showed.)

NB: Please bookmark the backup site to UK Polling Report here – http://ukpollingreport.wordpress.com – as we get closer to the election I expect the main site to increasingly crumble under the weight of traffic. All posts will be mirrored on the backup site, and at very busy times (especially election night itself) I will close comments on the main site and move discussion over to the backup.

It’s the last Sunday before the election, so we have a large number of polls out tonight. I’ve mentioned most of them in a quick post earlier on, but now I’ve had chance to get home and digest them properly. Here are the polls so far

YouGov/Sunday Times (30th Apr-1st May) CON 35%(+1), LAB 27%(-1), LDEM 28%(nc)
ComRes/S.Mirror/S.Indy (30th Apr-1st May) CON 38%(+2), LAB 28%(-1), LDEM 25%(-1)
ICM/Sunday Telegraph (30th April) CON 36%(+3), LAB 29%(+1), LDEM 27%(-3)
BPIX/Mail on Sunday (30th Apr-1st May) CON 34%(nc), LAB 27%(+1), LDEM 30%(nc)
Angus Reid/Sunday Express (TBC) CON 35%(+2), LAB 23%(nc), LDEM 29%(-1)

They are pretty consistent in showing a slight increase in Conservative support over the last couple of days, with every company now showing them up into the mid-thirties. Most companies have Labour around 27-29%, the exception being Angus Reid who continue to show much lower levels of support for the Government. Most have the Liberal Democrats in the high 20s, with ComRes a bit lower, BPIX slightly higher. All five of these polls would produce a hung Parliament with the Conservatives the largest party – YouGov would have the Conservatives at around 284, ICM at around 275, ComRes 315, Angus Reid 310, BPIX 264.

There was also an ICM poll of marginals in the News of the World. This was the same 96 seats ICM polled for the previous ICM marginal survey here. It showed support in these seats at CON 35%(-1), LAB 35%(-2), LDEM 22%(+3) – so only a minor Lib Dem boost in these seats. These levels of support equate to a swing to the Conservatives of 6.8%, so just the swing they would need for an overall majority, and about 1.8% more than the national swing suggested in ICM’s GB poll in the Sunday Telegraph (the News of the World has extrapolated this over the whole country to claim that the Conservatives would have an overall majority – that’s rather stretching it, firstly you can’t assume anything about LD/Con marginals from this poll, secondly the News of the World are making a lot of assumptions about how much support the Conservatives can rely upon from Northern Ireland.