The full details of the YouGov poll are now up on their website here. Looking at the regular trackers the movement continues to be strongly in Labour’s direction. 28% are now satisfied with the government, compared to 23% last month. David Cameron’s lead as best Prime Minister has fallen to only 3 points, compared to 7 last month. Gordon Brown’s net satisfaction rises to minus 27, from minus 38 last month. On the forced choice question the Cameron/Conservative lead is only 3 points, compared to 10 last month. The Conservative lead on the economy is now just 2 points, compared to 4 last month.
I’ve also had a chance to look at the figures for all the PBR measures YouGov asked about. There is no real surprise – the most popular are give aways and taxes that other people pay, taxes that everybody pays are least popular.
The most popular were the extra money for pensioners and recipients of child benefit (approved of by 81%) and (unsurprisingly given that polls have consistently shown support for a higher tax rate for the rich) the new 45% tax rates for people earning over £150,000 a year. The least popular were “increasing national insurance rates [...] so that people earning up to £20,000 a year pay less while those earning more than £20,000 a year pay more” which met with majority approval (51%) but was opposed by 40% and the increase in tobacco, alcohol and petrol duty which was opposed by 49%.
Relatively few people thought they or their families would benefit much from the PBR – 2% thought they would benefit a lot, 26% a little, most not very much (42%) or not at all (25%). As a whole the package was at least seen as fair by 44% of people, unfair by 32%.
While people supported the changes, in every single case a majority thought they would do “not much” or hardly anything at all to lessening the economic downturn. The one seen as most effective was making the increase in tax allowances introduced earlier this year permanent, 41% of people thought this would make either a fair amount or great deal of difference, with 47% thinking it would be ineffective. As a whole a paltry 2% thought the package would do a great deal to help the country, 25% thought it would do a fair amount. The large majority thought it would do not much (53%) or nothing at all (12%).
The level of borrowing was also viewed negatively. While a third of people supported short term borrowing as it would “help Britain’s economy to recover in the longer term”, 50% thought the government was wrong to borrow so much “because Britain’s economy will suffer in the longer term”.
Moving on, YouGov offered people a list of statements about the Conservative party. Rather unenlighteningly, they agreed with all of them! Two thirds of people agreed that the Conservative were right to warn people that increased government spending now would lead to tax rises later, a plurality (45%) thought they were right to abandon their pledge to match Labour’s spending and 42% thought they were right to oppose the PBR as “unaffordable and unlikely to work”. However, people also thought that they were spending too much time criticising the government and that they were dithering. In short, people seem to agree with the Conservative criticisms of the government, but are turned off by the Conservatives making them!