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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2,159 Responses to “YouGov post-budget poll”

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  1. New thread

  2. @ EOTW – Take this challenge:



    and respect that JJ probably knows the most about LAB intentions (or look at the polling info and consider the fate of Frank Fields, rise of Momentum, etc)

    Let me know how you get the numbers to work – then send that to Corbyn for his thoughts (and perhaps Sturgeon, Foster/Dodds, Cable).

    However, it is possible that May tries again backed up to the 21Jan’19 deadline – if she is still there! I’m not going to speculate on something that far away with the impossible hurdles en route.

  3. This weekend feels like the intake of breath before the storm.

    Tory MPs will talking to people in their constituencies on whether to pull the trigger and either submit a letter to the 1922 committee, or whether to support TM or not should that happen. Many will be calculating whether the deal on the table, however flawed, is better then any other realistic possibility now. It’s no good pretending the deal is something totally different – we have what we have.

    Labour MPs have to consider if the present deal – one I think they would have got themselves, or something similar – is worth voting down. I read Caroline Flint’s article, and have some sympathy with her position. Of course, playing opposition politics tends to mean making life as hard as possible for the Government is the normal thing to do. However, there has probably never a been a parliamentary vote of this significance anyone’s lifetime. Crashing the deal could have a whole range very bad and unforeseen consequences. All MPs need to consider that above conevtional tribal politics.

    (I would add that playing with Brexit is happening across the house. It is the regrettable consequence of not ensuring Brexit negotiations were genuinely cross party, but left to party politics. There could been a cross party negotiating committee right from the start.)

    Parties are split. Parliament is split. The nation is split.

    Will getting rid of TM help? No. A leadership contest will simply waste time. TM isn’t the problem, the problem is squaring an impossible circle.

    Will a new GE fix things? No. That would be even worse, as tribalism would rise to the top, and there is no guarantee a new Parliament would be in a better position. My bet is we would have another, even more bitter, hung parliament.

    I think it leaves us where it’s up to whether we accept the deal. It’s not widely seen as good, but I’ve seen no sign that any other would be better accepted.

    If it is voted down, Parliament needs to consider it’s either no deal or a new Referendum. A new Referendum isn’t ideal, but if parliament is incapable of making a decision, it needs to go back to the people. I think a GE just mixes up the Brexit issue among domestic policies, whereas siphoning off the decision to a focused referendum is cleaner.

    A right old mess for sure, but I sincerely hope our politicians act like grown ups next week. If they don’t, for various tribal reasons, I fear a massive amount of damage that will take a long time to fix.

  4. For those not sure about the “Meaningful Vote” IfG have a good write up:


    You can thank Gina Miller and Grieve+co for ensuring May didn’t have executive power to push her deal through!
    (I know I do!)

  5. Trevor warne,
    “How can you possibly back not just a “Blind” Brexit but one that also hands over the UK taxpayers wallet to allow Brussels to decide the annual cost of using UK as an example to deter others from leaving?”

    Well thats easy Trevors, the tories trust the EU to be fair. because they always have been.

    “How about: A high proportion of Labour supporters are Remainers, but there are also many Leavers?”

    Theer arent many leavers. Its about 3:1 remain to leave, plus undecideds. About 20-25% leave.

    BUT. These are not hard brexit supporters. They are none of them people who consider leaving the EU more important than other policy issues. if they were, they would have left labour already and gone UKIP, CON or abstain. There is various polling evidence from crossbreaks on different questions to support this and I have posted some from time to time as polls went by.

    The likelihood is that almost all these people have already accepted that labour is essentially a remain party. SInce there is a slow trend to remain, chances are that in a remain/leave fight right now, labour would boost its numbers from a clear remain policy, and lose numbers from a leave policy.

    Thats why tories want labour to go soft leave.

    Incidentally, I found labour are 3:1 remain, but 6:1 dont like May’s deal. They REALLY dont like it as a version of leave.

  6. Good afternoon all from a bright and brisk PSRL

    Apologies upfront for the long post.

    The key factor and driver now for all concerned is time. The reason that the hard-line Brexiters are pushing for a Tory leadership challenge now is it will eat up time, preventing another election / referendum occurring before 29th March.
    They are happy for the UK to crash out with NO deal – for them it will not be the end of the world but the start of realising their vision. They also know that the rest of the Tory party will stay with them rather than see Corbyn in power.

    For the gang of 5 still in the cabinet, they probably now see more risk of a 2nd ref occurring and therefore want to string out / make more palatable May’s proposal. Their aim is to get over the line on the 29th – then sort things out.

    For May, she must now realise that the proposed agreement with the EU won’t get through the House. There is no better offer that can be achieved with the EU that satisfies the DUP, business lobby and hard-liners. Her objective has always been to keep the Tory Party together and in power (which is what she sees as synonymous with the national interest) – the biggest risk to this was being seen as not trying to deliver on Brexit. She has now exhausted all channels in trying to do this without going against her party’s ultimate stakeholder big business.

    Despite all her bluff and bluster she knows the last two options the country has is either hard Brexit with no deal or we Remain. I can’t see any Labour remainers coming over to support her – it would split the party but more importantly if the outcome is a 2nd ref if it fails they will vote against it.

    May can’t do the necessary U-turn on 2nd ref until she has been seen to exhaust all other options – by raising it as a possibility she puts pressure on the hard-liners but also starts the ground work for this occurring.

    Therefore, currently it does look like most likely course of event is – May has summit with EU leaders, puts the agreement to HofC circa 7th Dec, government is defeated and then 2nd ref is held on a clear no deal hard Brexit or remain basis.

    I don’t think this has come about due to any Machiavellian May calculation, or that it was is inevitable – but is largely a direct consequence of the result of the last GE. What I suspect is that May sees a no deal hard Brexit as more damaging than remaining.

  7. TW

    You tell me what the alternative is & I will think about whether it is a better bet than this.

  8. ALEC

    I believe the EU have discounted an A50 extension ?

    How does a GE help avoid a chaotic exit?

    How does a gamble on a Referendum whose questions will be up for grabs , help avoid a chaotic exit ?

    “Renegotiation” of the WA has been ruled out. By 25 November EU Leaders will have ratified it.

  9. From FO minster Alistair Burt:

    “Be very clear. If an agreed deal on leaving between the Govt and the EU is voted down by purist Brexiteers, do not be surprised if consensus on accepting the result of the Referendum by Remain voting MPs breaks down. Parliament will not support no deal.”

    That seems pretty much a straightforward bottom line to me.

    If – IF – this goes so badly wrong [from a Tory/TOH perspective] that we remain in the EU and Labour formed a government, the turmoil in the Conservative Party would be incredible – and could end in it splitting.

    [Fingers crossed…]

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