Just to catch up on the post-budget YouGov polling from yesterday’s Times, carried out on Monday evening and Tuesday morning.

At the simplest level, the budget appears to have polled well. All the measures within met with approval and overall people thought it was a fair budget (44% fair, 14% unfair). Compared to other recent budgets, that’s a very positive score. However, in all fairness that’s what one should expect – it was very much a giveaway budget, with the Chancellor making several large spending announcements and very little in the way of tax increases. Even those tax increases that were announced – mostly notably the plastics tax and tax on internet companies – were ones that were largely popular. It’s hardly surprising that sort of budget gets net positive ratings – increases to NHS funding, the personal allowance and the National Living Wage are always likely to go down well.

A positively received budget does not, however, necessarily translate into a boost in the polls. The voting intention figures in the poll are CON 41%(nc), LAB 39%(+3), LDEM 7%(-1), UKIP 5%(+1). The three point increase in Labour support doesn’t necessarily mean anything – it’s within the normal margin of error – but it certainly doesn’t point towards a budget boost for the Tories.

The poll also asked about the wider perceptions around the “end of austerity”, and here the figures are far less rosy for the Conservatives. Looking back, by 36% to 29% people think that the austerity polices followed after the 2010 election were necessary, though by 36% to 30% they now think they didn’t help the economy and by 43% to 20% they think they were unfair.

58% of people now think it is right to end austerity (27% who think it was wrong to begin with, 31% who thought it was right at the time, but it is now time to end it). Unfortunately for the government, while people may be in agreement with their stated policy, they don’t actually believe they are doing it – only 10% think the government have ended austerity policies, 50% think they have not.

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