YouGov have some new questions up on their website on Afghanistan, the alternative vote and – most topically – the government’s spending cuts. These are all questions that will be part of YouGov’s regular trackers over coming months, replacing some of the pre-election trackers that were very election campaign orientated.

Voting intention for the referendum on switching to Alternative Vote currently stands at YES 44%, NO 34%, wouldn’t vote 5% and don’t know 17%. A lead for alternative vote, but not a particularly large one. Prior to the question wording being decided, the yes and no campaigns being organised, and the public being exposed to many arguments for or against AV, I think we can only conclude that the referendum could easily go either way whenever it is called.

On Afghanistan the public have actually become rather more positive since the same questions were asked last year. 25% think British troops should be withdrawn immediately (down from 35% last year), 42% think they should be withdrawn within a year or so, and 24% are happy for them to stay for as long as the Afghan government needs them. Asked if victory over the Taliban is possible 40% think so, compared to 33% last year. 46% think it is not, down from 57%.

The most topical questions at the moment are on the government plans to cut the deficit. 49% think this will be good for the economy, with 31% thinking it will be bad. The public are more evenly divided over whether the government will make the cuts in a fair fashion – 37% think it will be done fairly, 33% unfairly. 48% of people say that the cuts are already having an impact on their own lives. The government does seem to be in strong position to blame their predecessors for harsh cuts though, asked who they blame for the cuts in public spending, 48% say the last Labour government, compared to 17% who blame the coalition (19% blame both, 9% neither).

Today YouGov also published results on what the public consider the important issues facing the country – unsurprisingly the economic remains the most important issue by far (80%), followed as usual by immigration (53%), with other issues a long way behind. Compare this, however, with a second question that asked people the most important issues facing the respondents and their families. The economy remains top by far (64%), but is now followed by tax (34%), health (32%), pensions (32%), family and childcare issues (17%) and education (16%). Immigration is right down on 12%.

265 Responses to “Latest YouGov trackers”

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  1. Eoin…the former (a cabinet minister ;) The medication is working its wonders :)

  2. My money’s on Chris Huhne.
    The feeling’s mutual probably. The Telegraph called his appointment ‘truly terrifying.”

  3. Billy,
    “challenge” threw me… I heard charlie openly challenged Nc at the private meeting pre-coalition. But yes he is hardly a ‘cabinet minister’ heaven forbid.

  4. Eoin… very curious wording, unless it has been misreported. Perhaps I am reading too much into it.

  5. Billy B,

    I’ll go find out… in the meantime the quote from beatrice webb (1924)

    “It is clear that MacDonald, without any consultation with his cabinet, is moving towards forming a centre party. He is becomming less socialist at home, and less pacifist abroad. He wants eight million voters behind hi, and means to get them, even if this means abandoning the Independant labour party, the idealist section who pushed him into power. formerly allied to the Libs, he now sees that they are finished. With his newly won prestige and personal magnetism, he is keen to attract moderate. collectivist Conservatives in his Labour Party. his deception hurts, but I admire him as a political reformer.

  6. Billy B , Alec, Julian

    It was Huhne. 100%

  7. Huhne lost to Ming (21,628 vs 29,697) in 2006.

    In 2007 Clegg won by 511, however, postal votes caught up in Christmas post gave Huhne a margin of 1,300. Huhne declared Clegg had won fair and square according to the rules.

  8. Huhne seems happy with his new miss. Good luck to him. Not a scandal- I dont think.

  9. ComRes poll – 36/30/23 – Tories +1, Lab -3 LD +1

  10. Interesting take on Huhne’s situation. The NOTW has a long description of their cloak and dagger stuff (standing alone on train platforms, getting on in different carraiges and then meeting up in the first class coach, then doing a similar thing when they reach London when going for a taxi).

    Clearly he was trying to hide it (not good). However, it has been pointed out that Huhne led the Lib Dem attack on Andy Coulson. I wonder.

    [I also wonder what a government minister is doing in first class – weren’t we told that sort of thing wasn’t happening any more?]

  11. @Eoin – JRM was a massively controversial figure. The first ‘leader’, as after 1922 election the chairman of CLP became designated ‘leader of the opposition’.

    B Webb has many things to say about him, and was equally caustic about the lack of any alternative: “He has great gifts as a political leader, he has personal charm, he has vitality, he is assiduous, self-controlled and skilful. In all these respects he is unique in the inner circle of the Labour Party made up, as it is, of fanatics, faddists, refined and self-effacing intellectuals and the dull mediocrities of the Trade Union Movement” 1926.

    Perhaps NC has been reading up (though perhaps with less justification). David Kirkwood 1931: “We had seen nations crash into chaos and seen dictators rise to autocracy on the ruins. We were familiar with the idea of a non-party administration. Ramsay MacDonald had said on more than one occasion that he was willing to work with any Party or any men, if by their combined efforts they could redeem the nation. So strong was his hold over the Party in the House that … anyone who challenged him would have been howled down.”

  12. @Alec – I sat opposite a member of the HoL in second class one time. Subjected to an hour long harange from a someone with a borderline personality condition, he bore it with remarkable patience and understanding, but was unable to do any work.
    I would *advocate* 1st Class for high profile public servants.

  13. Alec

    “Interesting take on Huhne’s situation. The NOTW has a long description of their cloak and dagger stuff ”

    I’d probably take similar steps to avoid anyone seeing me with a copy of the NOTW!

  14. Oldnat

    Very funny!


    Wine prohibits me from responding until 2moro

  15. Alec “…the BBC website has the headline ‘No Arrests Despite England Display’. ”

    I imagine the beeb planned to use this headline whatever the performance/result. ;-)

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