The Sun’s YouGov questions todayfound 55% of people supported £6 billion in spending cuts being carried out this year, with 28% thinking they should be delayed till next year amd 6% opposing them completely. Of course, non-specific cuts are likely to be more popular than whatever the government eventually decide to cut. YouGov also asked specifically about the expected rise in VAT to 20% – this was far less popular, only 31% saif they supported it, with 63% opposed.

The tables for YouGov’s Sunday Times poll are also up on the website here. Amongst other things they include a voting intention question, showing topline figures of CON 37%, LAB 34%, LDEM 21%. This is in line with the weekend polls from ICM and ComRes which also showed a shift of about 3 points from the Liberal Democrats to Labour since the general election.

On other questions, Prime Ministerial approval ratings for David Cameron and Deputy PM approval ratings for Nick Clegg were both pretty much as you’d expect in a honeymoon period: good net positives (+36 for Cameron and +32 for Clegg), but with high levels of don’t knows for both (40% in each case) as people haven’t really had much time to judge yet. Other questions on the coalition were pretty much in line with the findings we’ve seen elsewhere – people are broadly positive, but don’t expect it to last 5 years.

YouGov also asked about the Labour leadership, and like the companies found David Miliband in the lead, in this case on 29% compared to 7% for Ed Miliband and 6% for Ed Balls. YouGov also asked which candidate would make respondents least likely to vote Labour, and found Ed Balls the clear leader on 27% of all voters, and perhaps most importantly, amongst current Labout voters, 20% of whom said Ed Balls would be the leader least likely to make them vote Labour.

On unrelated matters, I have updated the lists of target seats to base them on the 2010 election results (Conservative target seats here, Labour here, Liberal Democrats targets here. They are all academic to a large extent, since the government propose to start a boundary review that will report in time for the next election, but they’ll do for now. If the government do hope their boundary review will report in time for 2015, then they will probably have to start the review as soon as possible, so for the psephologically minded one thing to look out for in the Queen’s speech next week will be whether the bill to reduce the number of MPs is there (and when the Bill itself arrives, how it changes the rules the Boundary Commissions operate upon). Since I’ve veered slightly off topic, I may as well take the opportunity to heartily endorse Sunder Katwala’s post on why it is a tragedy that Phil Cowley’s research on Parliamentary rebellions has still not received new funding.

Tonight we have the first voting intentions since the General election. ComRes in the Independent on Sunday/Sunday Mirror have voting intentions of CON 38%, LAB 34%, LDEM 21%. From the general election the Liberal Democrats are down and Labour up, presumably a direct defection of Liberal Democrat voters who are more inclined to Labour and opposed to the party joing the Conservatives in coalition.

41% of respondents thought that the Liberal Democrats had sold out their principles, with 47% disagreeing. This included 34% of Liberal Democrat votes. 35% of respondents agreed with the statement that Nick Clegg should have opted for a coalition with Labour rather than one with the Conservatives, that includes 33% of Liberal Democrats (presumably 33% of remaining Liberal Democrats, as opposed to 33% of those who voted Lib Dem in 2010).

ICM in the Sunday Telegraph have voting intention figures of CON 38%, LAB 33%, LDEM 21%. The figures there are almost identical to ComRes, and show the same pattern – a 3 point or so shift of support from the Lib Dems towards Labour.

ICM’s other questions found 64% of respondents backing the coalition as the right way forward. Asked about specific policies, 75% backed keeping inheritance tax and increasing capital gains tax in order to increase the personal tax allowance, 63% supported fixed term Parliaments, 56% backed a change to AV. ICM also asked about the Labour leadership – 32% backed David Miliband, 11% Harriet Harman, 9% Ed Miliband, 8% Ed Balls and Burnham and Cruddas were both on 2%. Bear in mind, however, that leadership questions like this reflect recognition to a great degree – most people will have little or no idea who Andy Burnham or Jon Cruddas are. If you go back to questions on the Tory leadership straight after the 2005 election Ken Clarke tended to be the winner, with Cameron around 2%-4%.


We have the first few polls about the coalition coming in. YouGov’s daily polling for the Sun this week found 56% approval, 38% disapproval on Wednesday, growing to 60% approval, 33% disapproval on Thursday. There was scepticism about how long it would last though – 28% think it will be less than a year, with only 10% thinking it will last the intended 5 years.

ComRes also produced a poll for the Daily Politics today, asking about hopes for the coalition. There was broad optimism about the its ability to reduce the deficit (60% thought it would be effective, 29% ineffective), 54% thought it would clean up politics, 36% disagreed. People were less optimistic how the coalition would deal with the NHS (43% thought it would be effective, 45% that it wouldn’t) and crime (45% effective, 45% ineffective).

Updated swingometers

I have now updated the swingometers on the site with 2010 election data.

Dull old text version here –
Lovely graphical version (but needs a plug-in for Internet Explorer) –
Enhanced graphical version with seperate swings for Scotland and Wales –

Of course, these may turn out to be of purely academic interest, since the government still seem to be intending to reduce the number of seats by 10% in time for the next election, and that’s leaving aside the possiblity that the voting system itself is changed. We shall cross those bridges when we reach them though!

As I’m sure everyone will know, Gordon Brown has resigned as Prime Minister and Leader of the Labour party (making Harriet Harman leader until a permanent replacement is elected), and David Cameron is now Prime Minister at the head of a coalition government. Cabinet appointments appear to be emerging tonight – Conservative Home is already reporting unconfirmed appointments of Hague as Foreign Secretary, Osborne as Chancellor, Cable as Chief Secretary, David Laws as Schools Secretary and Andrew Lansley as Health Secretary. Other rumours buzzing about are Danny Alexander to be Secretary of State for Scotland (that job must almost certainly go to the Lib Dems), and Paddy Ashdown as Defence Secretary (though Sky say Paddy Ashdown is denying it, so who knows if that one is true. Update – everyone seems to be backtracking on that one, ConHome says it is Liam Fox after all).

I’m putting up this thread for discussion of the change over, please try and keep it within the comments policy, so try to avoid dancing on Labour’s grave, gnashing your teeth over the horrors of Tory government, or berating the Lib Dems for what they’ve done or not done.