This morning’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 31%, LAB 39%, LDEM 11%, UKIP 11%. The eight point Labour lead is the largest YouGov have shown for about three weeks, though given the normal margin of error, if the average lead is six points an eight point lead is no more unusual than the four point lead we saw earlier on this week. Full tabs are here.

This morning’s YouGov poll for the Sun had topline figures of CON 34%, LAB 38%, LDEM 11%, UKIP 12%. The four point Labour lead is lower than YouGov’s recent average, but well within the normal margin of error.

Today’s poll also had YouGov’s regular bank of tracker questions on the government’s cuts and these produced one striking figure. For the last couple of years public opinion on the cuts has been pretty steady. On balance people think the cuts are bad for the economy, they think they are unfair, many people think they are too fast or too deep… yet people think they are necessary. In short, people don’t like the medicine, they think it may be making things worse, but they don’t see any alternative to taking it.

However in the latest figures people were evenly split on whether the cuts are good or bad for the economy. 41% think they are bad for the economy, 41% think they are good for the economy. As ever, one should not read too much into a single poll, but this finding does reflect an ongoing trend. Over recent weeks and months public opinion has been moving in favour of the cuts.

Below is the tracker data on if people think the cuts are good or bad for the economy. They turned against them very early in the Parliament, at the tail end of 2010. Opinion got even more negative after the 2012 “omnishambles” budget, but since late in 2012 the trend has been moving in favour of the cuts, eventually reaching towards figures where opinion is evenly balanced.

Looking at whether the cuts are fair or unfair we have a different balance of opinion, but the same pattern of change. An overall majority of the public still think that the spending cuts are being carried out in an unfair way, but it bottomed out after the 2012 budget and since then there has been a slight movement away from “unfair”.

On whether the cuts are too deep, you can see the same pattern. By the time YouGov started this tracker in early 2011 public opinion had already decided that the cuts were too deep. Having moved in a bit it spikes back towards too deep after the 2012 budget, since then opinion has been moving towards the cuts being about right or too shallow (I’ve put about right and too shallow together in the graph – in the latest figures it’s 27% about right, 16% too shallow). I haven’t graphed the figures for whether people think the cuts are too fast, but they are very similar to those for “too deep”.

Finally here are the figures for whether people think the cuts are necessary. There isn’t really the same trend here – there’s a little bump after the 2012 budget, but broadly speaking the proportion of people who think the cuts are necessary has remained stable throughout the Parliament. However unfair or too deep or economically damaging they were seen to be, people have consistently thought the cuts were necessary. In some ways it will be interesting watching this question as we go forward – it’s possible that increasing economic confidence will make people think that cuts are working and, therefore, that it’s necessary to continue with them. Alternatively, people might think that if the economy is on the rise it is no longer necessary to continue with cuts. We shall see.


The twice-weekly Populus poll is out and has topline figures of CON 33%, LAB 38%, LDEM 12%, UKIP 9%. Compared to the previous Populus poll on Friday the Conservatives are four points higher, Labour two points lower and UKIP three points lower… though of course, the reality is there almost certainly hasn’t mean any movement. Populus’s online polling so far has on average shown the Conservatives on around 32%, Labour on around 39%, the Lib Dems around 12% and UKIP around 10%. Last Friday’s poll was a bit of an outlier, and this is a reversion to the mean.

This week’s YouGov poll for the Sunday Times is online here. Topline voting intention figures are CON 32%, LAB 38%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 13%, echoing the six point Labour lead that YouGov’s daily polls seem to be averaging around.

Given we are now getting into silly season the rest of the poll was rather a mixed bag of issues. On fracking people back the extraction of shale gas by 41% to 33%, with 26% saying they don’t know. 68% of people think shale gas would be very or fairly good for the economy, outweighing the 47% who think it would be very or fairly damaging to the environment and the 36% who think it would not be safe. However people would be less favourable about fracking taking place in their own local area – 43% think this would be a bad thing, only 25% a good thing.

65% of respondents said that social media sites should take action to prevent abusive or offensive comments in general, with 20% saying that people should just block users if they find them offensive. Asked more specifically about comments that threaten violence or rape, 87% of people think that social media websites should take action to prevent them. 85% of people support the criminal prosecution of people who make comments threatening violence or rape on social media sites.

The only hard politics in there really was on the House of Lords – only 19% of people support the current appointed House of Lords. 47% would prefer a chamber that was partially or wholly elected, 16% would like to see it abolished entirely. Only 9% think it is acceptable for parties to appoint people who have donated money as members of the House of Lords and 60% would support a ban on donors being given peerages.

There was also a new Survation poll in yesterday’s Mail on Sunday. Topline figures were CON 28%(nc), LAB 36%(nc), LDEM 11%(+2), UKIP 18%(-2). Little change there, though as with TNS earlier in the week it’s worth noting that the downwards trend in UKIP support is now showing up more broadly (Survation had them peaking at 22% back in May, though some of the decline could be due to a weighting tweak) – there is still a difference between pollsters using different methods, but the trend is the same. Tabs are here.

Populus’s latest poll is out and has topline figures of CON 29%(-5), LAB 40%(+1), LDEM 11%(nc), UKIP 12%(+4). Changes are from Monday and of course, while they could in theory suggest a sudden large shift from the Conservatives back to UKIP, just as likely they reflect normal random sample variation. The great benefit of high frequency polling is that we only have to wait until Populus’s next poll on Monday to find out. Full tabs are here

Meanwhile the daily YouGov poll for the Sun is much more typical of their recent polls, showing topline figures of CON 34%, LAB 40%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 11%. Full tabs here