The Times is reporting a snap Populus poll, which interviewed 500 or so people on Wednesday night. The sample obviously isn’t large enough for accurate voting intention figures, but gives us the first – rather mixed – signals of how the budget wasa received.

Most of the measures in the budget were supported. 65% supported the increase in the ISA limit, 58% supported the stamp duty holiday, 47% the scrappage scheme. 57% supported the new higher rate of 50% tax, with 22% opposed. The only specific measure to run into strong opposition was the increase in fuel duty, opposed by 68%.

Budgets, however, are more than the sum of their parts. Just because the tax changes in them are popular, doesn’t mean the overall package is, or that they don’t have a wider effect on how the government is perceived. So, while the 50% tax band was very popular, people were split on whether it was fair, and 53% agreed it was “the end of New Labour”.

A positive sign for Labour was that Brown & Darling once again lead Cameron & Osborne on the economy. Rather more omnious for them though is that 58% agreed with David Cameron’s attack on the government that “all Labour Governments end up ruining Britain’s public finances by spending too much”.

Something of a mixed bag there then, hopefully we will see the effect on actual voting intentions later tonight.

16 Responses to “Snap Populus poll on the budget”

  1. What polls are out in tonight and the next few days?

  2. YouGov’s monthly poll for the Telegraph is due tonight – if they stick to their normal timetable and it hasn’t been delayed for the budget. We should also be due a ComRes soonish.

  3. Thanks Anthony

  4. Forgive me if I don’t place too much store on this one. Even the YouGov is going to be too soon for the respondents to have absorbed the real implications…, the press hadn’t told them what to think yet

  5. “58% agreed with David Cameron’s attack..”

    It could be worse. 58% is pretty much Tories plus some Lib Dems/Others. I would imagine the answers to that one correlate very highly with supported party.

  6. The budget was better than I expected.

  7. I think David Cameron has a few good lines of attack

    a) “all Labour Governments in the end run out of money and bankcrupt Britain” – happened in the 1970’s and seems to be happening now so people will instinctively believe it
    b) time for a change
    c) Government of the living dead

  8. Entertaining, wttty, knockabout, bear-pit comments from D. Cameron, but he stiil lacks gravitas and statesmanship. He is far from where M.Thatcher was at the corresponding stage leading up to the 1979 election. Perhaps he needs a Bell or a Reece.

  9. John C

    Cameron is not sitting on the Government bench yet – I don’t see any evidence of any labour statesmen – The Milliband’s look like two schoolboys, Darling looks like my old college lecturer, Yvette Cooper looks like a schoolgirl etc etc and as for Brown ?

    When Cameron is PM you will see Statemen qualities -Its hard to be a Statesmen in opposition, people can appreciate that.
    Actually Thatcher looked really good because the opposition were even worse than they are now!

  10. it will be nice to see a fw new figures after the budget but have to agree that it is to soon for any real impact to be seenin the polls otherthn +1 or -1 eather way which can just be margin of eror.

  11. I’m a great Maggie fan, but any notion that she was some amazing Opposition Leader is frankly tosh. She looked shallow and shrill against Callaghan who consistently bested her at the Despatch Box and always outperformed her in the polls as the publics choice of PM. She lagged behind the Tories polling rating. In all these areas Cameron is doing far better than her. Maggie’s stature did not materialise until after she won the election and even then it took time.

  12. What Cameron says is well phrasef, but he would be more effective and appear more statesmanlike if he could learn to deliver speeches in a somewhat more measured way. More pauses and greater variation in speed of talking. This would also improve his resonance.

  13. Peter,

    Well said – it takes time, experience and being in high office to become Statesmenlike.!

  14. Besides encouraging some of their core voters to stick with Labour the overall impact of the budget for them I think will be negative.

    Faith in Labour must be dimishing for most people. They have run out of money to buy people’s support. And their economic forecasts are a blatant attempt to fabricate good news.

    Brown’s rash, clumsy, heavyhanded attempt to put an end to the MPs expenditure scandal will strengthen the impression of a Labour government that has lost the plot.

  15. YouGov poll:

    C – 45% (+4%)
    Lab – 27% (-7%)
    LD – 18% (+2%)