YouGov’s post-budget poll for the Sun shows a broadly positive reception. Overall 57% think Osborne made the right decisions for the country as a whole, with 23% thinking he made the wrong decisions. 42% think he made the right decisions for them, 33% the wrong ones. Overall government approval is up since before the budget, from 41% at the start of the week to 46% now. Headline voting intention stands at CON 42%, LAB 34%, LDEM 17%.

In YouGov’s pre-budget poll the two obvious concerns for the government were that the public were evenly split on whether the cuts would be fair or unfair (34% thought it would be fair, 35% unfair), and whether they would push the country back into recession or not (40% thought it might). Osborne seems to have made progress with swinging public opinion behind him on both counts. The proportion of people thinking that the deficit will be reduced in a fair way has risen 11 points to 45%, the proportion of people who think cutting the deficit now might put the country back into recession is down to 33%. Overall 50% thought that the budget was fair, compared to 27% who thought it was unfair.

Asking about the specific measures, all but one measure met with the support of a plurality of respondents, with the most popular measures being the rise in personal allowance on income tax and the tax on the banks. Reducing tax credits for families earning over £40k, limiting housing benefit, increasing capital gains tax, restoring the earnings link and helping councils freeze council tax all met with overwhelming support. Support for increasing the pension age to 66, reducing corporation tax and (slightly surprisingly) scrapping the planned increase in tax on cider all met with lukewarm support. The only measure that was opposed by a majority of respondents was the VAT increase – this was supported by 34%, and opposed by 54%.

Despite the overall approval of the budget, people were actually very pessimistic about its short term effects. Optimism about people’s own financial situation over the next 12 months has fallen, with a net optimism falling from minus 43 before the budget to minus 48 now. 55% of respondents said they thought the budget would increase unemployment in the next year or two (19% disagree) and 44% think it will increase poverty (32% disagree).

52% of respondents thought that the Liberal Democrats were right to back the budget, this included 69% of their own voters. 17% of Lib Dem voters thought that they were wrong to do so.

Finally YouGov asked if people thought the economy would be run better if Labour had been in power instead, or if the Conservatives had obtained an overall majority. In both cases people expected the economy would have been run worse, and found the same when asked if Labour or Conservative governments would have looked after the poorer better, or would have better helped people like the respondent. Notably Labour supporters overwhelmingly thought that the Conservatives alone would have been doing a worse job, perhaps suggesting that the Liberal Democrats will be able to sell a narrative that they have tempered a Conservative government (in fact, even 22% of Conservative supporters thought that the Conservatives alone would not have been as good at protecting the poorest in society).

The poll was conducted between Tuesday evening and Wednesday afternoon, so not quite as rapid as some of the instant reaction polls we’ve seen after budgets in the past. All the same, at past budgets we have sometimes seen bad news from the budget emerge in the days that follow, which could alter the public’s reaction. The initial response, however, seems to be that people see the budget as pointing to hard times ahead, but are broadly supportive of it.

281 Responses to “YouGov’s post budget poll”

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  1. @ Éoin

    It seems more likely to me, that Dems choosing either Labour or Tory as their second preferece would secure a win for one of the big two.

    Are the Dems relying on the fact(?) that their voters are more aware & would know to eschew a second choice? Are they correct in this potentially overly optimistic assumption?

    I’m not an expert on AV, but I think it could be a disaster for the Dems. Do you agree? 8-)

  2. Wonder if there’ll be any VI polls for the Sundays?

    Be interesting when we get the next one to see if anything changed after the budget sank in a bit.

    I doubt it myself, as there seems to be some football thingy brewing.

  3. “Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham used the social networking site Twitter to exclaim ‘god bless the Treasury’. ‘Lansley’s on a 1-man mission to turn NHS from order to chaos. They’re right to block him,’ he wrote.”

    Andy Burham approves of the treasury ‘rebellion’ I drew to people’s attention yesterday. 8-)

  4. Hi Sue,

    I think reaction to the budget will be slow but adverse in the longer term.

    There could be negative growth in the fourth quarter, announced in January – at the same time as the VAT rise takes effect.

    Said VAT rise could cause a further stalling of the economy leading to a second quarter of negative growth. There’s the double dip…. UK back in recession would imply that the budget didn’t do the job it was meant to.

    That’s when the wheels fall off the quattro. 8-)

  5. Amber

    There is absolutely no advantage to just choosing one candidate under the 1 2 34 method. You simply disenfranchise yourself.

  6. Amber

    ‘That’s when the wheels fall off the quattro.’

    Is that what you want then? Sound like it. Big human price to pay just to get a lead in the polls!

  7. If the coalition make terrible decisions, unemployment goes up, growth stalls and the cuts make life unbearable, then the wheels would be better off the quattro would they not???

    Doesn’t mean lefties want it to happen, far from it. I find myself in the bizarre position of praying every day that Osborne is right.

  8. @DAVIDB
    You misunderstand Dave, I was not trying to be ironic, I was taking the p..s. As for LD MPs getting fed up with being called Tory stooges by a defeated, jealous to death Labour Party, I am sure they can learn to live with it. Indeed, Clegg is apparently keeping their loyalty very well indeed.

    Sue, you and about half a dozen others on this site have already decided the coalition is wrong about the economy, wrong on immigration, wrong on the level of cuts imposed on the British people ect ect.
    For those who thought the last governments policies were beneficial, these new arrangements will be

  10. @ Howard

    If anybody but Labour win, I am disenfranchised – therefore no point for me to help a party I do not like to get elected 8-)

  11. @ Ronald Haines

    I do think that the government is wrong on the issues you listed (there does not seem to be an immigration policy, so I take it out). But it does not mean that I, by any means, supported the ex-government.

    Oh, and both governments’ policies have been beneficial to me (the new one within reasonable limits) – yet, I’m unhappy with both governments, but for two reasons I’m less tolerant with the coalition.

    First, because it’s in power and kicking the dead dog (the last Labour government) is just not nice for me and that sometimes almost takes me to be apologetic about them. The second reason is that I just cannot stomach cannonists preaching silly things. Labour currently (I very much fear that only temporarily) has given up on the daily sermons, while I get it from various coalition people.

  12. @ Howard

    Is that what you want then? Sound like it. Big human price to pay just to get a lead in the polls!
    Hardly a big human price if negative growth leads to a more critical appraisal of the coalition’s economic policies at an early stage – before too many have suffered from the consequences.

    A double dip & crash in the polls would be the fastest way to get a policy U-turn.

    This is what makes polls truly worthwhile – they show public opinion without need for an election & politicians usually react. 8-)

  13. Twitters about ICM showing a ‘slump’ for one of the parties. No idea yet which one though.

  14. Sounds like Labour as it’s linked to voters not liking ‘leaderless parties’.

  15. @ ALEC

    This may surprise people – but such a ‘slump’ would be welcomed by me. Labour need a wake up call. We are sleep-walking in opposition & the leadership contest is much too slow-burn & inward looking for my liking. 8-)

  16. @LASZLO
    Criticism of Labours historical “achievements” is not part of this site, you are right. However, it is all so new and recent that the same old, same old is being dragged over. Will cuts damage growth? Is this measure or that measure “fair” and so we go on. Someone of my political blood group gets very fed up with what I see as the very considerable failure of the recent past, being pushed forward as some kind of solution.

    I posted Sue the other day, saying “you need one of your bright young men in the house Duck Bod, Harriet is a bit of a joke and its hurting Labour”.

    I am not sure whether going on like this until the Autumn is going to do any lasting harm, but we agree its certainly doing harm. Of course, if GO, DC and their new mates are as inept as you say Labour cannot go wrong.

  18. @ ROLAND

    I do not think we had so much of an economic crisis, pre-election. I think we (actually mostly the English) had an identity crisis.

    What does it mean to be English in the 21st Century?

    If Labour can answer that, to the English electorate’s satisfaction, we will stroll into Westminster next time around. Unfortunately, some New Labour ideological baggage is getting in our way of giving the English a party they can believe in.

    What it means to be English is that people of low IQ now display a St Georges flag on their cars vans and even houses and flats. The lower the IQ the more flags they display, in order that others may give them a wide birth. This thoughtful touch has been reintroduced by the coalition.

  20. Much as I’d love to think there’s been a YouGov poll putting Labour on 37 AW, I assume the 22nd June figures in your table are wrong?

  21. @ ROLAND

    I salute you 8-) You have exactly grasped the point which I was making & the electorate to whom I referred.

  22. Roland – Best move so far those flags! Didn’t realise it was the coalition’s idea.

  23. Rumour has “Lib Dems in “freefall” from ICM poll…….
    Bound to be Labour then.

  24. Alec, where is the mention of “leaderless parties”?

    The only one I have seen is Gabby Hinsliff, who was answering why she though it was Labour.

  25. looking at the anger from Labour leaning LD voters on twitter at the budget I think tonights ICM will show a big drop in LD support from 21 to 12 ! I’m bracing myself for the storm !!

  26. When was the last time the Lim Dems dropped below 15%?

  27. @ SUE

    The PM is either leading the charge or joining in – The St George’s + is flying over Downing Street until England exit the world cup. 8-)

  28. Amber – LMAO

  29. If ’tis the Dems in freefall, then I would say it was Clegg’s “Gold plated public sector pensions” that did the damage.

    Maybe I’m just assuming that because the meaness behind it alarmed (actually disgusted) me. Most public sector pensions are around £4k per year. Hardly what most people would consider ‘gold-plated’ 8-)

  30. @ SUE

    New YG thread… Labour on 36% – ridiculous considering the leaderless position & unexciting leadership contest (so far). 8-)

  31. Amber – It shows how little interest and investigating Nick Clegg has actually done in public sector pensions. His ignorant quote may please the editor of The Mail or The Express, but there are far more public sector workers that vote than there are tin pot rag editors.

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