The full results of YouGov’s poll in the Sunday Times are here.

Notable is the economic optimism question. When YouGov asked the same question for the Sun just before the budget on March 22nd-23rd net economic optimism was minus 10, matching it’s January peak. When YouGov asked the question straight after the budget on Wed-Thurs it had fallen to minus 19. By Thurs-Friday when the fieldwork for the Sunday Times was done it had fallen to minus 24. This is the lowest YouGov have had economic optimism since last April. If Labour’s recovery has been at least partially to do with rising economic optimism, then I’d expect this to result in the lead growing again (assuming, of course, that economic optimism doesn’t recover just as rapidly).

Looking at the rest of the poll, there is a direct Darling vs Osborne question that shows them pretty much neck and neck (33% prefer Osborne, 32% prefer Darling). In the past few days we’ve seen several versions of this question asking the comparison between Osborne, Darling and Cable (for example, see this from YouGov), and they have typically shown Cable ahead and Osborne in a poor third. This suggests people who prefer Cable split disproportionately in Osborne’s favour if they are forced to choose between Osborne and Darling.

On other subjects, rather unsurprisingly the majority of people wanted an inquiry into the former Labour ministers caught in the fake lobbyist sting, and the overwhelming majority supported some form of restriction upon ministers taking up lobbying jobs too soon after leaving office. 39% supported a complete ban on former ministers working as lobbyists. Slightly more interesting was that 38% of people believed that Stephen Byers had successfully influenced government policy, with 29% thinking he was exaggerating. The answers were largely partisan though, with Conservative supporters tending to think he had changed policy and Labour supporters thinking he was boasting.

Asked about the proposed tightening of the drink driving limit there was strong support for a reduction – 50% supported a reduction to 80mg, 21% said they would support an even tighter restriction, 23% opposed a restriction.

Finally YouGov asked about climate change. 30% of people said they had become more sceptical about climate change since the controversies around scientists studying climate change. As well as a change question YouGov re-asked a climate change question originally asked in December 2009 for Left Foot Forward – there was a slight shift towards scepticism, but not a huge one. In December 2009 83% said the planet was warming and human activity was at least partially responsible, 12% said the planet was not warming, or human activity was not responsible. In the latest poll 76% said the planet was warming and human activity was contributing, 16% said the planet wasn’t warming or mankind was not responsible.

Tonight we should have the daily YouGov poll, possibly a Opinium poll in the Express. We are also due Ipsos-MORI and ComRes polls at some point soon.

148 Responses to “More from YouGov’s Sunday poll”

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  1. Plain sailing now for the Tories after a pretty good effort by Labour to claw it back. Just think, in less than two months we will have George Osborne as Chancellor…why do we inflict this kind of self destruction on ourselves as a nation just as we come out of recession!!? God help us.

  2. 3 safe pairs of hands then, should reassure Tory strategists, tax cut and time for change should now seal the deal ! IMHO…….. :-)

  3. Vince Cable was winner tonight, as got the applause and the laughter on gags – more importantly got his points across excellently. GO i think did marginally better than AD. Each party probably firmed up their vote. Let us wait and see what the viewing figures are, everyone was probably watching the soaps.

    What a shame we are absolutely no clearer on dept cuts, Andrew Neil should chair a debate, he would ridicule all of them equally.

    Whoever posted the deficit does not matter, yes it does to all of us.

    VAT – i think it will go up, and all the possible tax rises Neil A is as always right, it affects all purchases rich or poor.

  4. Thanks Wolf..
    Why is it twaddle ?
    You may see it as patronising, but do you also see it as quite truthful….?
    I mean really, the polls show this and unless there is a MASSIVE sea change in Politics he won’t be chancellor.
    Just my opinion..

  5. Our opinions here at not at one with the zeitgeist. A mauling is underway.

  6. @ SUE

    Does the twitter make VC the clear winner, per the on-line voting? What’s the zietgeist’s rating, would you say?

    Reporting isn’t being partisan. Twitter is opinion forming ;-) So spill the beans……

  7. Who’s getting mauled Sue and how..? Do tell….

  8. FWIW – I thought George Osborne did much better than I expected. Cable was masterful but it IS true to say he could be much more severe and it would be seen as honesty, whereas if he really was in contention to win the audience would have HATED most of his answers.

  9. IMHO AD landed one punch on GO but otherwise they were even on points. No one landed one of VC, GOs last one was a misfire. VC landed 3 on GO and one on AD.

    VC went in as favourite and didnt blow it. GO went in as underdog and came out better than expected.

    Audience clearly liked VC to judge by appaluse/laughs.

    It seems to me that just by being there on equal terms the Lib Dems get a huge boost. That effect will carry on through the other debates.

  10. I guess one mans meat is another mans poison but this adulation of Cable is really tiresome. All this horlicks about “arrogance” reminding people the LDs are no more likely to form a government than the man in the moon, is not arrogance its the truth. Their last PM was David LLoyd George and Cable sits there like he is Ken Clarke. Darling was very nervous it seemed to me and I think maybe he has plenty to be nervous about. Gideon should stay away from the “all in this together” routine until he is down to his last £5,000,000. Otherwise, I thought he was ok.

  11. What’s the point of an hour long debate if no one is actually going to say where budgets are going to be slashed.

    If they are not going to be more forthcoming it is only natural for people to fear the worst, and the local scaremongers can have a field day.

  12. Am I allowed? Well, if not I apologise in advance.
    The 7 pages of immediate response at the end didn’t include a single positive opinion of GO. Some were unrepeatable. Most didn’t seem to be from “People like Us” ie geeks interested in politics. A lot are unrepeatable.

    I was actually surprised. I’d thought I’d see a much more positive response to him and was thinking he had allayed fears, but OMG, read a few pages of Twitter from the minute the show finished, it’s brutal.

  13. channel4news:
    URGENT: RECOUNT!! We’ve checked the clock on our #askthechancellors vote. It was a photo-finish Darling & Osborne on 32%, Cable wins on 36%

    Online Vote photo finish. We have checked the clock. At 2 secs past 9pm Darling edged ahead. At 9pm it was Darling/Osborne tied at 32percent

    They have had to revise the scores!! Thats the final voting results.

  14. Evening everyone.

    I note the right-leaning non-partisans in this group are feeling decidedly chipper tonight. And with good reason. The tory strategy of keeping their spending cuts powder dry until as late as possible, is making labour look glum and uninspired. And lacking to any good news. As a result, their revival is ebbing away.
    It’s the beauty of being in opposition that you don’t have to take risks. That’s not to say that Joe Public has fallen in love with Cameron’s motly crew, more that far from being the weird and wonderful GE we thought it might be, it is turning into a less remarkable ordinary one. That is, a referendum on the government. And Labour is running out of time to change this dynamic.
    The only crumb of confort for Labour, is that YouGov have tended to be “ahead” of the others. If YouGov show a narrowing of their previous figure, Labour will be relieved. If it shows a wider gap, the writing will well and truly be on the wall.

  15. As an SNP man in blood, I’d like to think my opinion here can be classed as reasonably impartial.

    Vince Cable came out on top in all aspects of the debate from start to finish. His level of knowledge is probably greater than that of the other two combined, the man’s ability certainly became apparent. Clean cut and with displays of up-front honesty and integrity, Cable directly fired salvos of shots accross both the Conservative and Labour fields, slightly harder on Darling though, I must admitt. Osborne did not fall into the trap, he stood well back. Darling pushed forwards, dithered, and became the prey.

    George Osborne performed CONSIDERABLY better than I expected. Very controlled, reasoned and methodical and he did indeed raise many valid issues in addition to driving in a few carefully aimed shots, all at AD. There will be many Tories breathing sighds of releif I can imagine!!!

    Alistair Darling’s performance I feel was somewhat lacking, the vision is sketchy, ideas difficuilt to interprete and appeared rather nervous and uncomfortable in my eyes to be honest.

    Regards, Steve.

  16. One thing that seems to be obvious from twitter trends is that people cant spell George Osborne as they keep spelling his name with an added u after the o.

  17. Agree I thought all 3 had a strong performance with each having their own highlights – did sense though which suprised me a touch was Cable’s focus of attack was on Osborne, not so much Darling.

    Cable did come out on top, which was always likely. Darling 2nd and Osborne 3rd, although did a lot better than I thought.

    There must be some polling on this in the coming days.

  18. Was I being unfair about GO on Twitter Ash? Are there good comments coming thrugh now?

  19. SUE:
    Based on the twitter feeds you were right. Most of the positives are for Vince Cable though not for Alaistair darling but the scathing remarks mostly were about George Osborne. Others that follow twitter may want to correct me or given their own opinion.

    The revised poll that I pasted was from channel4’s online poll by those watching the debate online, like i was.

  20. For me it’s a hung parliament.
    The range of MP’s, from a tory perspective, would be a tiny majority i.e. 330 seats, to Labour being marginally the largest party i.e. 280 tory seats.
    I would guess that would give a range in the overall share of the vote for the tories being anywhere between 36% and just over 40%.
    That 4% or so of votes would equate to around 1.4 million of votes cast.
    What IMO will decide the outcome of this GE will be how many floating voters, who leaned towards Labour last time, decide to vote along the lines of
    a. Of-course this govt. and this PM aren’t perfect, but which govt. and PM ever are ?
    b. Do we like / trust the tories enough to risk change at this delicate time ?

    In short, as the old saying goes, “better the devil you know” ?

  21. Ash

    I did vote in the CH4 poll ;-)

    Now just to wait for YG. I’m keeping fingers crossed.

  22. Too may Tweets make a Twat, remember…

  23. Channel 4’s Poll on Facebook ‘Who’s the best man to run the economy?’ – VC 37% – AD 35% – GO 28%

  24. Back on-line after watching a second great victory on the night. The Toon (Newcastle United for non-ootball fans) have just beaten Forest to virtually assure the Toon of promotion to the Premiership. Coupled with Vince’s performance I can enjoy the rest of the night. Amazed that some posters can not see that VC was much better than the opposition. Re the comment that he won’t be chancellor. I anticipate a sizeable number of LD MPs and the price of support to a minority government may well be Vince as chancellor. I can live in hope.

  25. Guardian poll on who performed best: 24.5% Alistair Darling 21.2% George Osborne 54.3% Vince Cable

  26. VC performed very well, but he has the huge advantage of knowing he will never be Chancellor and can be brutally honest.

    Score draw between AD/GO. No major clangers, nothing really new. At one point I thought GO was in trouble when VC/AD turned on him at the same time over his NI tax cut but it did not real happen.

    GO had the best closing statement. He also came across as reasonable , intelligent. Maybe he is not the weak link Labour think he is.

  27. @ Polly – thanks for taking it in good spirit, Polly.

    With the possible exceptions of Feb 1974 and 1983, we are in the most unusual general election campaign of the dozen or so that I have been involved in.

    The potential for a parliament with no overall majority, and the LDs having a position of influence, is widely recognised. Under those circumstances, the greater the LD share of the poll, the greater their potential influence.. and the start of your possible ‘sea change’.

    Will it happen? At this stage of the battle, it looks very unlikely, in my opinion. Could it happen? Undoubtedly, given that a LD shadow chancellor has achieved what VC achieved tonight (top with 36%) – that, alone, would have been unthinkable in 2005, or indeed at any other GE in my lifetime.

    Now it’s down to the practically unknown Nick Clegg to achieve the same in 4-5 hours spread over three debates. He probably won’t, but in GE2010 who knows? People are looking for fresh and trustworthy leadership. That much is clear. Little else is.

    [Twaddle means nonsense, by the way – which is what you’ll probably think of the above!]

  28. There is a subtle difference between “who performed best” and “who would make the best chancellor”.

  29. @Anthony………….it isn’t a link, it’s an independent piece of factual journalism. Still, you’re the boss. :-)

  30. @ CHRIS:-

    “There is a subtle difference between “who performed best” and “who would make the best chancellor”.”

    Ah-indeed-but it’s votes wot count.

  31. Wolf MacNeill – The only clanger i felt was the claim the LibDems would never win. It sounded arrogant and did wonders for the chance of a libdem win IMO!
    A group has already been set up (since end of debate) urging students to vote libdem for “change”

  32. Given that this is a polling website where discussion agonises over proportional samples, false recall and weightings – I am at a loss at people getting excited over totally anonymous twitters and push buttons on websites.

    We all know this means nothing – and indeed if anybody bases their opinion on news snippets that too would be a waste.

    The only person in a mess it seems was Darling over the death tax. Cable was really just reduced to misrepresenting and smearing the tories. Just crude and pathetic really.

  33. @everyone,

    Well I watched the debate and as a Tory I have to say I thought they ALL spoke well and very controlled.

    The Guardian is bound to report a higher % for AD than GO and Vince Cable will always fair better than the other two because he can say almost what he wants knowing he will never have to impliment any of it.
    Having said that he is a sensible chap and comes over very knowlegable and sincere.

  34. Sue, RAF, Ash, Steve and the rest of the chancellor anoraks…..
    Cable stromed through, hands down. The criticism of the Tories was based mainly on the past but his critisism of Labour was cutting through nerves and down to the bone. Public speaking perhaps isn’t his strength, but Osborne drastically exceeded expectations and gave a reasonably sure footed performance throughout. (Cameron will sleep well tonight) He scored against Darling a couple of times, Darling scored against him but nowhere near as convincing.

    I would have expected Darling to have done a lot better tonight.

    In my own opinion,
    Cable 9/10
    Osborne 7/10
    Darling 5/10

  35. @Sue……………….Do students normally vote labour ? I imagine a move to Lib-Dem could damage them .

  36. Here’s an interesting idea for a snap poll.

    Give your percentage probabilities for each of the three being Chancellor in 3 months time.

    I’ll go first….

    Darling 10%
    Osborne 50%
    Cable 20%
    None of the above 20%

  37. Thank you Trevorsden – these things are voodoo polls, self-selecting, unrepresentative nonsense, easily packed (and in the case of the C4 one, very easy to cast multiple votes). Completely worthless.

  38. Wolf

    It really struck me how it came across as 3 equal debators and it may be that just being there catapulates Clegg well up the ratings. Actually, from what I have seen NG and DC are fairly even (and rather similar). Let’s see if GB’s ‘clonging fists’ appear.

  39. Vince Cable is ‘trending’ on twitter and the closing remark by George Osborne doesn’t seem to have gone down well with a lot of tweets generated on that alone.

    TrevorsDen: With due respect, twitter provides a snapshot of public opinion and there are various trends that can be picked up based around those. Social media is going to be important this election as it was with the previous American election. This is why both the main parties are engaged in buying google adwords and engaging social networks for their own benefit.

  40. YG 39/32/18 tonight

  41. Trevorsden

    Not sure I watched the same debate as you.

  42. Sigh of relief in Governmenmt circles at the two latest polls. They will be content with no 40 for Con.

  43. @Howard

    How on earth did you arrive at that Howard.

    With even YouGov giving the Tory lead of 8% I think alarm bells will be ringing that not only has the narrowing been halted it has well and truly reversed (for now of course-as anything could happen as we all know)

    But as I said before the Tories are back knocking on the door of 40% again.
    They should be quite pleased with that methinks.

    @Eoin – did you predict a 3% lead tonight? :o

  44. Anthony has a new thread up YG< CR & Opinium show Tory Lead Growing… the link to it is below the comment box.

  45. Yes, George slipped a little with his last minute remark of the Lib Dems not going to win the election. But let’s face it – they’re not are they. Forever destined to be the bridesmaids; never the bride. George said it like it is so why should we take umbrage at him being precise and to the point? Isn’t that what you want from your next government?

    The three of them came over reasonably well. Honours about even. AD was steady and calm; the sort of guy I would trust to leave my dog with when I went off on holiday (if I had a dog) or I would give the money to pay my window-cleaner in my absence (if I had a window-cleaner).

    VC is a national treasure. Always says the right thing with a little humour thrown in, like a favourite uncle at a family gathering.

    Not so sure he’d cut the mustard as chancellor though.

  46. Can I just ask, and it’s bugged me all night who and why they were stood where they were last night ? I felt it did give VC a slight advantage being in the middle and he seemed to be in control and hold court over the other 2 a little more.
    Perception is everything and maybe even little things like that affect the publics overall view of things and may even in the Leaders debates…anyone any views ?

  47. Polly,

    It was the first thing that struck me when I tuned in last night. And I agree that it gave VC an advantage – butressed by the fact that nothing he said was ever challenged by anybody.

    Also why did they have to stand ? Was this intended as an endurance test ?

    As to all the “polls” on the debate. They really tell us little that those who watched the debate could not have seen for themselves.

    The most reassuring thing about the debate is that it was reassuringly civilised.

  48. Not sure Paul..maybe they drew straws etc.or there was no other way really…?
    I’m amazed no one else has mentioned it..
    I know they drew lots to see who had the opening gambit.
    I definitelt think they gave VC more time to speak and wasn’t interupted so much as the others or was that just me.
    I still say he had the chance to be all things to be all people more because he knows he probably won’t have to implement any of what he says…
    GO was lambasted for saying this but he only says what most of us think…?

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