The full tables for YouGov’s Sunday Times poll are now available here. While the poll shows a solid four point increase in Labour’s support, at the expense of the Liberal Democrats and others, the questions on the PBR doesn’t show it going down particularly well.

Only the new tax on bankers’ bonuses was met with widescale support (79% of respondents supported it), the public were evenly split on measures like freezing public sector wages and inheritance tax allowances, and a majority opposed the increases in National Insurance and VAT. Overall 53% of people thought the PBR had hurt them or their family, including 32% who thought it had done so unfairly.

The poll also showed the proportion of people thinking that the economy is in a bad state growing from 76% to 82% (and more strikingly, those thinking it was “very bad” grew from 28% to 40%).

While neither of the main political parties were seen to be telling the whole truth on the economy, or being fair on the whole, in both cases the Conservatives were seen as marginally less bad than Labour (Darling’s net honesty was -31, Osborne’s -12. Labour’s net fairness was -17, the Conservatives’ -11).

If this poll hadn’t had a voting intention question, I’d have looked at it and said that it showed the PBR had gone down horribly. In fact, Labour’s support went up four (or at least, they did with YouGov, ComRes’s poll painted a different picture). Hopefully we’ll have a somewhat clearer picture in the next few days when MORI and ICM turn up.


Yesterday I said I hoped we would get some voting intention polls that would help us judge how the PBR had actually gone down. Today we have no fewer than 3 new voting intention polls, but are none the wiser as to what effect the PBR had on Labour support as they directly contradict each other!

BPIX in the Mail on Sunday has figures of CON 41%(-2), LAB 30%(+1), LDEM 17%(+1) (a narrowing of the Tory lead there – but the changes are from a BPIX poll way back in October, so we can’t ascribe it to a PBR effect – just in line with the general narrowing of the lead over the last couple of months)

YouGov in the Sunday Times has topline figures of CON 40%(nc), LAB 31%(+4), LDEM 16%(-2). Changes are from YouGov’s poll just before the PBR, so taken alone that would suggest it has given Labour a boost.

However, ComRes in the Independent on Sunday has topline figures of CON 41%(+4), LAB 24%(-3), LDEM 21%(+1). Changes are from their poll at the very end of November. Taking their figures alone, the PBR would appear to have been disasterous for Labour.

The question I’m sure you’ll be asking is who is right? Has the PBR sent Labour craashing back into the low 20s, or pushed them back in the 30s? ComRes’s poll was conducted one day earlier than YouGov’s, but it’s not realistic to think there was such a huge shift in support between Thursday and Friday (especially since the press coverage at the time was hardly glowing for Labour). Overall the figures for Conservative support are very similar, the difference is all down to the division between Liberal Democrat and Labour support. YouGov do tend to show the lowest level of Lib Dem support, so that perhaps explains a little of the gap, but does nothing to explain the different direction of travel. I guess we are just going to have to wait for some more polling to see what the dominant trend is.


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Tonight’s poll(s)

I’m expecting at least one new poll tonight (from ComRes in the Sunday Indy), and with luck there will be others too. Feel free to use this thread to discuss them.


Populus snap PBR poll

I’ve been busy today, so have only just had time to catch up with the Populus snap poll of 500 on the PBR in this morning’s Times.

Almost all of the individual measures in the PBR received strong support – 78% supported the bankers bonus tax, 61% the capping if public sector pay rises and even the rise in NI was supported by 51%. The only exception was the cap on contributions to public sector pensions, supported by only 38%. Labour’s message that cuts should not be too early seems to be approved of – 59% agreed with the statement that cuts “should not be made until the economic recovery is much stronger”. The Conservative lead on being the party most trusted to cut spending in way that do not harm the public services has also evaporated.

This all looks positive for Labour, but the poll also showed Cameron and Osborne extending their lead as the team most trusted to run the economy – they now lead Brown & Darling by 46% to 32%. There was also very little faith that the Chancellor’s measures would be enough to deal with the countries problems – only 12% thought so, 39% thought not and 48% didn’t know (not that this is necessarily a bad thing, I’m sure even Alistair Darling would claim that the PBR solved everything and there was no more work to do!)

However, I’d add a couple of caveats to reading too much into this poll. Firstly budgets (and presumably pre-budget reports!) are more than the sum of their parts. Back in April Populus did a similar snap poll straight after the budget, and also found strong approval for most of the measures within it. However, when voting intention polls finally turned up they showed Labour sharply down. Secondly, as I said in the comments yesterday, there is such a thing as polls that are too quick – realistically many respondents to this poll would have answered before they saw the full media reaction to the PBR, so opinions would still have been in flux.

Hopefully we’ll get some voting intention polls over the weekend.


There is a new AngusReid poll for politicalbetting.. The topline figures, with changes from their previous poll, are CON 40%(+1), LAB 23%(+1), LDEM 19%(-2), Others 18%.

It was conducted between Tuesday and Thursday, and according to Mike about a third of it was conducted after the PBR. In practice that means this won’t really show any PBR effect, since a fair proportion of that third of the sample wouldn’t have seen the PBR anyway, and very few would have digested the media response.

The trend is clearly one of no change. All the polling companies but Angus Reid are now showing a narrowing of the Tory lead, and there is an increasingly sharp contrast between the level of Labour support they are picking up and that of other companies. As I’ve said before, part of this will be their weighting figures (AngusReid weight to actual 2005 shares of the vote, rather than shares adjusted to account for false recall) and part will be down to a higher level of support for others (which I can see no obvious methodological explanation for). They should, however, be showing the same overall trend.

Andrew Hawkins of ComRes has implied on his twitter feed that we’ll also be getting something from them tonight, though I don’t know if there’s really been time for a post PBR voting intention poll.