YouGov have a poll for the Sunday Times tomorrow – full results are up on the YouGov website here. Topline voting intention figures, with changes from the Thursday poll, are CON 43%(nc), LAB 36%(+2), LDEM 16%(-1). Putting aside YouGov’s poll on Tuesday which looked like a bit of an outlier, this is the higher Labour have been for a long time (though they remain 7 points behind the Conservatives, also high compared to most recent polls), and the lowest the Liberal Democrats have been. Support seems to be polarising around the two main parties.

Looking at the approval ratings of the government, Cameron and Clegg, net approval is down on all three – although in every case it remains well into positive territory (Government net approval is at +15, Cameron’s net approval at +34 and Clegg’s at +27). In every case the drop is mostly down to an increase in those disapproving and a drop in don’t knows – it looks as thought some who were reserving judgement have come down against Cameron/Clegg (the proportions approving of Cameron & Clegg have also dropped since the budget, the proportion of those approving of the government is above that pre-budget).

Reactions to the budget are pretty much the same as YouGov found in their poll for the Sun, a plurality of people thought it was good for the country (41%) and was fair (49%). Asked who would loose the most, 33% thought people on middle incomes would, with 18% thinking all incomes groups would suffer. 18% thought the rich would suffer the most, 29% thought the poor would.

Asked about individual measures, once again almost of them met with majority approval, including freezing child benefit (52% approval), freezing public sector pay (55% approval) and cutting housing benefit and DLA (56% approval). The sole exception was, once again, VAT – which 52% of people said they disagreed with, compared to 38% who agreed. Asked if they would rather have had an income tax rise instead though, only 31% said they would, with 52% preferring VAT.

YouGov went on to test what people thought about the VAT rise given the Conservative and Lib Dems’ statements about it during the election campaign. Asked about the Conservative statement that they had no plans to raise VAT, 53% of respondents thought they had intended to all along, and just didn’t want to admit it for electoral reasons. 34% of people thought they really hadn’t had any such plans, but were forced to raise VAT by the state of the economy. The public were slightly more forgiving towards the Liberal Democrats – asked if they had abandoned their principles by supporting a tax rise they had attacked during the campaign 43% thought they had, but 43% thought it was a necessary compromise to secure other measures that helped the poor.

There is also an ICM poll due out tonight – I’ll update on that when it appears.

68 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times budget reaction”

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  1. OK, Clegg starts to be seen as the “Good Cop”, the nice guy. His ratings go up a bit, Cameron’s go down a bit.

    Clegg likes the feeling and lands a few cheeky, subtle hits from within and becomes more and more popular as Cameron and Osborne start to be portrayed as incompetent.

    3 Years in, he claims he simply cannot support the coalition for the good of the country blah blah…strong and stable… blah… and walks away, taking with him the centre ground Tories and Labs AND gaining back the lost core vote??

    All hypothetical, but as likely as any other scenario.

  2. @ Pete B

    “I foresee another rebellion – by local councils ”
    I am suggesting that local councillors will have their lawyers look very hard at the relevant legislation & may challenge the government’s right to prevent council’s raising sufficient funds with which to meet their (often statutory) obligations. 8-)

  3. @amber star ‘How? How will the Dems come out of it well?
    Which LD elements of the govt programme will show the public the LD effect?’

    On the assumption the Coalition runs full term or near full term.
    LD influence in Coalition will have delivered:

    Reformed HofL with STV
    First Step toward PR with AV
    Less Eurosceptic policy toward EU (already evident)
    End to Prison Building policy
    Personal Tax threshold of £10k
    Pensions linked to Earnings (done)
    Progressive Cuts to Govt Budget (to come this autumn)
    etc etc (see Coalition agreement for more and there is a lot more)

    As the Times put it yesterday

    ‘A great deal has been said, rightly, to applaud David Cameron for his political imagination in seeking full coalition with the Liberal Democrats. Much less has been said in praise of Nick Clegg for the same act, even though Mr Clegg has probably taken the greater gamble of the two.’

    ‘Clegg deserves credit, most of all, for doing the right thing. The future of the nation is more important than the prospects of any one party. At a moment of fiscal peril, the country needed decisive government.’

    ‘the electorate may reward the Liberal Democrats for this maturity. For every voter who feels betrayed that a vote for Mr Clegg let in Mr Cameron, there may well be one who now views the Liberal Democrats in a different light. The most damaging charge against the Liberal Democrats has always been that a vote for them is a waste. Nick Clegg will fight the next general election as Deputy Prime Minister, with a top team a lot better known for having been tested in ministerial office.’

  4. Richard,

    The Times backed blueys for GE ’10

    Of course they’re gonna love Nick C

    I can imagine an army of blueys than have already filled in a christmas card for him this year…

    Ask the blueys on here if they would consider actually “voting” for yellow

    A pint yes
    A xmas card yes

    Ahem…………. A vote?

  5. @Jack

    Don’t really know how to respond to your post, but I will say that the MoD, while not going anywhere near to the excesses of the US Army, does seem to concentrate recruitment activity disproportionately around areas of acute social deprivation, where there is very low educational achievement and few life chances. That may help to explain why those who suit the lifestyle have such a high degree of commitment.

  6. @Eoin Clarke: “Ask the blueys on here if they would consider actually “voting” for yellow”

    As a blue (although admittedly not a diehard one) I would. I’d certainly 2nd pref them under AV.

    Not sure I’d buy them a pint though. :-p

  7. @Eoin

    Thanks for that ! Better than coffee defo !

    See my post to Amber for my feelings on the way forward for LD really not as gloomy as people may think in fact being the perverse person I am I am rather comforted by the hostility (one bloke on Twitter @iDoofus blocked me for asking why he was so angry at the LDs for the budget ‘well I just am and your blocked ‘) and falling polls

    I think we are yet to see the worst of it I see us bottoming out at 10% but then as the say the darkest hour is just before dawn !

  8. Eoin

    The Whigs have won my second preference vote and as my council is mostly Tory, I will reward the Whigs with a vote for them. I have always had a soft spot for them and voted for them in 2005. Don’t worry. I will help them where I can.

  9. @Eoin
    Didn’t reply to your earlier reply to mine on other thread. Think you misunderstood my point. I suspect that in Lib Dem -Labour marginals a number of Conservatives may well vote Lib Dem next time, and may well prevent Labour from making the gains they expect. I would also not rule out local electoral pacts – a few of these lasted until the 1959 election. In Lib-Con marginals I anticipate the Labour vote will increase, resulting in a number of gains by the Conservatives.
    The irony is that Labour hatred of the Lib Dems will probably play into Conservative hands and make a Conservative majority more likely. FWIW I suspect that Clegg and a few otherf Lib Dems would still be invited to join the Government – Cameron is more comfortable with them than many of his own party. Interesting times.

  10. @Eoin

    re Times -yes they are a blue supporter but doesn’t mean they are wrong !

    Batteries going on this laptop and I’m brain dead so goodnight all

  11. @ Richard Dawson

    Reformed HofL with STV – It’ll never happen.

    First Step toward PR with AV – Can’t happen without Labour support.

    Less Eurosceptic policy toward EU (already evident) – Not a big winner with the electorate.

    End to Prison Building policy – Not a big vote winner.

    Personal Tax threshold of £10k – Agreed, a winner if enough people feel the benefit after VAT rise & loss of housing benefit &/or tax credits.

    Pensions linked to Earnings (done) – And yet the Dems have dropped 5 points in the polls.

    Progressive Cuts to Govt Budget (to come this autumn) – IMO, the electorate are going to view cuts as coalition cuts; there won’t be any progressive/ non-progressive dividing lines in voters’ perception.

    etc etc (see Coalition agreement for more and there is a lot more) – Not really a lot more, IMO.

    You may get some Tories voting LD tactically – in the hope of keeping Labour out. That’s your only hope though. 8-)

  12. simon m

    thanks for that input! :) See Sue’s post – you certainly give it some weight…..

    Richard Dawson

    you evoke the spirit of winston Churchill – I can feel the churchillian spirit through my screen

    and he dandered from right to centre on a regular basis…..

    I wonder what those soft reds make of it all? Or the youth aged 13 that will vote in 5 years time? Will yellow be as hip and as cool as they were to vote for when a lot of us were bambinos?

    Or will it be enter Caroline Lucas?

  13. I don’t think Labour hate the LibDems at all.

    Not terribly partial to Clegg though.

  14. Johnty,

    Four Liberals (two of them Liberal Democrats) are in my top ten MPs of all time :) We do not hate yellows…

  15. @Sue
    Fair enough Sue.
    I agree with you though that these are very early days indeed. None oif us can predict with any confidence what the world will look like in 5 years!
    Who 5 years ago would have predicted a Conservative Lib coalition?

  16. ICM thread is up – & I’m in moderation over ther already. 8-)

  17. @ Richard

    It’s a good point, but there is a potential massive flaw (and for Lib Dems like myself) worry, which is that good legislation introduced via Lib Dem policies will be see by the electorate as being Conservative policies – in the merger of the coalition. As I’m sure you can imagine, such thinking would be disastrous for the Lib Dems.

  18. Certainly seems to be some evidence of a realignment if the last flurry of posts are anything to go by. How will LDs campaign in future? Hardly as an alternative to the two old parties who keep making a mess of things.
    On the ground, it has been to align their policies in opposition to the incumbent in whichever constituency, which has entailed the party at a national level to face both ways. The change has come with NC who was so hostile to the ‘unpopular’ GB, and they have now lost their niche. Will we see the emergence of New Liberal Democrats eventually?

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