Two new polls tonight – Populus for the Times (only their second poll since the election), has topline figures of CON 39%(nc), LAB 37%(+4), LDEM 14%(-4). Changes are since Populus’s last poll just after the budget.

YouGov’s daily poll for the Sun meanwhile has figures of CON 41%, LAB 38%, LDEM 12%.

UPDATE: YouGov’s government approval rating today hits a new low for the coalition, down to minus 8 (37% approve and 45% disapprove). To some extent this will be an outlier, but it is part of a continuing downwards trend in the government’s approval rating.

Moving onto Populus’s poll in the Times, as part of their poll Populus asked people to choose which of three approaches to the deficit they most agreed with, roughly representing the views of the coalition, Labour, and the trade unions (though the question did not identify them as such). Only 22% supported dealing with the deficit by the end of the Parliament, compared to 37% who supported dealing with it within 10 years. 37% preferred the policy of putting protecting the vulnerable and keeping unemployment ahead of cutting the deficit. This suggests little support for the coalition’s economic policy… except when people were asked if they approved of the coalitions policy 53% did, compared to 45% who disapproved.

Populus also asked who people blamed for Britain’s debt problem, and found most people blamed the banks. I would be cautious about the Times’s interpretation of how bad this is for the government though – Polls have consistently shown that if people are asked who is most to blame for the economic crisis they will pick the banks over the government. However, the banks won’t be standing at the next election.

If people are given a list of groups that could be at fault and asked how much blame each should bear, the overwhelming majority think the last government should have some degree of blame as well. The essential question politically is now whether the public blame the coalition government for the cuts they are carrying out, or whether the government can successfully shift that blame onto their predecessors.

On that front YouGov’s tracker on who people blame for the cuts (on page 5 of this pdf) gives a better measure, and this still shows 45% put more blame on Labour, while 22% put more blame on the coalition. The figures are very slowly drifting towards blaming the government, but very slowly – it’ll be interesting to see how it shifts when the actual cuts start happening and people start looking for someone to direct their anger towards. I suspect it will increasingly be the current government, but we shall see.

UPDTATE2: The graphic in the paper copy of the Times has a bit more info, and actually Populus did ask the blame question separately for each group, so 75% put blame on the banks, but 64% did also blame the last Labour government. Currently 49% blame David Cameron and George Osborne.

207 Responses to “New Populus and YouGov polls”

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  1. @COZMO
    You’re spot on. CON 40%, LAB 39%, LDEM 12%

  2. Blues 42s and 43s seem to be leaving us behind.
    Yellows two 14s seem to have been tempoary respite before normal things are resumed
    Reds seem to be consolidating their 37s and now on something of an upward trend.

    Conference season has over the last couple of years seen a net 1% gain for reds when all the hype dies down. Most certainly, reds will take the lead on the YG 26.09.10 poll.

    Regardless of who the leader is there is a strong chance reds will be back in front over the xmas break. Yellows will be releived that the slight upward trend in red of late seems to be at blues expense.

    39% blue 39% red 13% yellow might become the norm for the next couple of months.

    Still no events of note- the effect the polls in any great way. the Coulson and Hague stories came and went. Babies and burials and Charlie K phantom defections have all been an gone.

    Just how bad will that CSR be?

  3. re. Harris immigration poll.
    Interesting answer to the question –Do you think it is any easier, harder or the same to find a new job because of immigration?
    15% of people in the UK (by far the highest) replied that they couldn’t answer the question because they didn’t work and were not looking for a job.
    Ssshh. Don’t tell Roland. He’ll only say told you so.

  4. old nat

    ok here goes; there are two blocs, the red/green bloc is made up of the social democrats(S), the greens(MP)and the party of the left(V). in the blue corner are, the center party(C), the christian democrats(KD) the conservatives(M) and the people’s party(F). and of course those neo nåzis(SD) off to one side

    whats interesting is the effect the nasty SD is having on these blocs, both blocs have been campaigning hard against the SD. in particular the prime minister has said that he would not seek the support of the neo’s nor would he accept their support, this comes after the leader of the center party said they could not sit in govt with extremists, she then went on to say that her party could not switch sides because the leader of the left party used to be a communist and she doesn’t belive that he’s changed (opening up the prospect of joining the red/green blok at a later stage if V changes it’s leader? or possibly C can replace V) which suggests that the center party has been approached about changing sides. meanwhile the green party has suggested that they might join the govt if the govt fails to get the outright majority but at a price, this seems unlikely to me as the govt is campaigning on tax cuts(if they are affordable) and the greens want to spend money on high speed trains and more collective transport. so this is probably just laying down a marker for the next election. with both blocks fraying around the edges there has to be a possibility of a center block emerging before the next election in 2014

    i hope that is enough to be going on with

  5. richard in norway

    Thanks. That gives me a context for the election. I’ve seen some stuff elsewhere, but it all tended to assume a more detailed understanding of Swedish politics than I had.

    I’ll go back and look at some of it again.

    Thanks again. Much appreciated.

  6. Best explanation for the narrowing?

    The growing intensity of the debate around cuts over the last week- as said yesterday, Nick Robinsons 18:00 and 22:00 news reports from up and down the country last week were a marvellous piece of public service reporting: “I think people should have their benefits cut”/ “Do you have any benefits”;”No”/ Do you have winter fuel allowance”; “Yes”/ “Do you have a free bus pass”; “Yes” etc etc etc and ditto with Tax credits as well.

    There is an increasing focus now on the coalitions economic and social programme by ‘ordinary’ folks that is only going to grow. As opposed to us geeks who have understood what it meant all summer.

    The May election result was not a mandate for a four year eradication of the debt. But so complacent were Cameron-Clegg that this was all they had planned for in their pre election strategy and when put in the position of failing to win an actual majority (despite not mentioning this plan in their manifesto) . A plan B is needed, and pretty sharpish.

    Both the Darling and new Labour leadership far more modest approach to deficit reduction (both in terms of amounts and time scales) will prove to be far more popular over the coming 12 months and on into the real rollercoaster ride of 2013-2015.

    We are not seeing the beginning of the end of the coalition (yet).

    But we are seeing the end of its beginning.


  7. This is admittedly the spin from the New Statesman, but

    ht tp://

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