This week’s YouGov/Sunday Times poll is up here. Topline figures are CON 29%, LAB 41%, LDEM 12%, UKIP 12%.


The economic trackers are as bad as usual for the government – people think the government are managing the economy badly by 65% to 25%, 67% think George Osborne is doing a bad job as Chancellor, only 11% of people expect their economic situation to get better in the next twelve months. Asked if the government’s economic strategy is working only 7% think it is, 36% think it isn’t but will in the fullness of time, 45% think it is unlikely to ever work. Take note of these figures – they are the background to this week’s budget and we’ll see next week if it has a positive or negative effect (in recent years budgets have had negative effects far more often than positive ones).

On the budget itself YouGov asked people what they wanted to see happen to spending and taxes in the budget – and how it would be paid for (otherwise everyone tends to say they’d like more spending and less taxes). 32% of people (mostly Conservaitves) said they wanted to see spending cut more, 25% (mostly Labour) that they wanted to see spending cut less, 25% that cuts should stay at about their current level. People were similarly divided on taxes – 24% wanted to see tax cuts, 22% tax rises, 38% that taxes should stay at their current level.

These should all be seen in the context of the more regular YouGov polling on cuts that does show that people dislike the spending cuts – they consistently say they are bad for the economy, too fast and being done unfairly. However they are also consistent in saying that they think they are necessary, which proably explains why people answered this week’s poll as they did.

The survey also asked about ringfencing spending on various areas after Liam Fox’s call for NHS spending not to be protected. His stance was, unsurprisingly, not widely popular! 74% think it is right for NHS spending to be protected, 18% think it is wrong. There is also widespread (67%) support for protecting spending on education, but 76% are opposed to protecting spending on international aid.


The poll also had a series of questions on Leveson, which generally speaking show the public pretty evenly divided. Some of the aims of the proposed regulations, such as forcing newspapers to print corrections or making newspapers who do not join the system subject to larger libel fines met with widespread support (90% and 62% respectively), but questions on the details of how the system works met with divided replies and large proportions of don’t knows. To be honest, I suspect that while people would like an effective and independent system of press regulation, few outside the industry or politics really care about the difference between underpinning by royal charter or by legislation.

432 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 29, LAB 41, LD 12, UKIP 12”

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  1. Carfrew

    “paragraphicaly challenged”

    It just makes me feel queasy when I have to read vertically instead of horizontally. I think it must be ‘cos I’m normal.

  2. @ Hal

    The Cypriot parliament is voting on it this evening. So presumably it will be legal if they say it is.
    Not necessarily.

  3. Crossbat 11

    Interesting -thanks.

    My view is that if you lend money to anyone -a bank- or your neighbour-or the Greek Government-you should take account of the risk of not getting it back.

    I agree that, this applies to your savings deposits with a bank.

    BUT -Our Government, and the EU authorities have instituted regulations which ensure that bank deposits , up to a given amount, are protected-guaranteed safe.

    ….in other words , the depositor/lender has been RELIEVED of the risk of non return of that part of their deposit.. There is no risk-the “authorities” have assumed it.

    …so when such an authority levies sums on deposits , the owners of which were relying on that authority having assumed the risk of non-repayment-you can see that trust in the banking system & it’s authorities is destroyed.

    And saying-but the bank hasn’t gone bust , so the guarantee doesn’t apply , is to compound the distrust.

  4. CB11


    Have replied.

    In moderation.

    Hopefully will emerge sometime.

  5. Hal

    Thanks for that really good link, I also liked the link they had to gaming the situation which really illustrated the tough choices of the Cypriot president


    “It just makes me feel queasy when I have to read vertically instead of horizontally. I think it must be ‘cos I’m normal.”


    Short phrases are quite good for pomes though. And footie scores (Spurs 2 Wenger 1 etc). Not much cop for building a case in discussion though. Sadly rather better for disruption….

  7. @Crossbat11 – the man was Andrew Lillico and I’ve already quoted him. As you say, he actually supports the notion of savers losing money if banks go bust, using the idea that they are lenders to argue his case.

    The key point through, was even with his philosophical background to the issue, he thinks the Cyprus deal is wrong, as everyone is being penalised, even when they are banking with sound banks, and that bond holders – also lenders, but arguably more overtly so – are not being penalised.

    If someone with his beliefs thinks the deal is bad, I think we can safely assume it is bad.

  8. ALEC

    @” bond holders – also lenders, but arguably more overtly so – are not being penalised.”

    Not correct according to the FT -quote posted upthread.

  9. @ Alec

    The key point through, was even with his philosophical background to the issue, he thinks the Cyprus deal is wrong, as everyone is being penalised, even when they are banking with sound banks.
    Unless the levy plan has changed, Andrew Lillico is wrong. It is a debt for equity swap. The people in good banks will get ‘good’ equity which they can sell thereby recouping their savings. It is only those with savings in the ‘bad’ banks who will receive equity which has no immediately trade-able value.

  10. Howard
    l used to watch David lcke play in goal for Hereford United back in the 70s.

    Maybe he took our adoring chants of ‘you’re a god David lcke’ literally?

  11. Dear All,

    As Paragraph Monitor, Anthony has asked me to have a word or two. [He hasn’t really, but I’m sure he would if he had the time]. [And if I really was the Paragraph Monitor].

    There has been a bit of silliness recently, which, while moderately entertaining, should not be taken too much further. Paragraphs remain extremely helpful, but only if used sensibly. Single lines or individual words are not paragraphs, but can retain effectiveness if used sparingly and in the right place, but as with everything, abuse and over use can discredit the entire system. Please be aware of this, and frame your posts accordingly.

    If posters wish to gather further guidance on this, Anthony keeps a small library of reference material for posters to refer to. These can be withdrawn on 14 day loans by direct request to Anthony – just pop him a quick email and he’ll sort you out.

    I would recommend the following;

    Paragraphs and Modern Prose
    Randall Thomas (Ed) Spon Press (2007)

    Paragraphs for Dummies
    John T Moore, Lifestyle Paperbacks (2010)

    The Paragraph – A History from Ancient Egypt to The 21st Century
    F. R. Wilson, Phoenix Press (2001)

    How Paragraphs Made Britain Great
    Boris Johnson, Times Newspapers (online £), 23rd September 2011

    Paragraphs and Rape – How Men Dominate Women Through Grammar
    H. Alenki & P. Harvey, Virago, 2005

  12. Lot of anger on Twitter over Lab abstention on workfare. I wonder (if it gets wider media reporting of course) if this will impact on Lab VI. To be honest, I can’t see it getting much prominence given the non-stop leveson fallout.

  13. @Colin/Alec

    Thanks to both of you for your replies. I always look to your posts in terms of educating and enlightening me on the opaque world of Finance!

    Joking aside, your expertise on these matters is much appreciated, certainly by an ignoramus like me.

  14. Just heard that Mugabe is a Catholic.

    Someone needs to explain both the point of religion to me and the membership rules. Actually I assume there are are none.

  15. As far as I can see it’s all over for Cyprus unless by some miracle the ECB prints how the money they need at a decent interest rate. What ever the deal that happens it won’t be enough because either the large depositors or the small depositors or both will take their money, at least what’s left of it and move it elsewhere, if only 10% of deposits are withdrawn the bailout needed will mean that new funds will be needed, of course if everyone keeps their money in there’s no problem but as always he that panics first panics best. I certainly wouldn’t leave my money siting in a bank there, but maybe I’m wrong, maybe their financial industry won’t collapse, maybe they won’t get into the same vicious cycle that the Greeks are in. Maybe

  16. @Crossbat11 – it sounds like I’m not too knowledgeable on the Cyprus banking affair anyway, but thanks all the same.

  17. @Paul

    Alec is trying to give us homework to do. He has more pressing concerns… they have been cutting climate change from the curriculum!! (Not entirely. .. they’ve kept a bit in Chemistry and stuff…)

    Meanwhile back at the budget…

    From the beeb…

    “Osborne to unveil extra £2.5bn cuts

    The government is to announce a further spending cuts in Wednesday’s Budget, with the savings going to large-scale infrastructure projects designed to boost economic growth.

    Most Whitehall departments will have to cut 2% of their spending over the next two years, amounting to about £2.5bn.

    But health, defence and HM Revenue & Customs budgets will be unaffected.

    Schools and overseas aid will also be shielded from the cuts, while local government and police budgets will be protected for the first year,

    However, other government departments – such as justice, environment and Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – will be told to deliver 1% cuts to their day-to-day budgets in both 2013-14 and 2014-15.”

  18. “The government is to announce a further spending cuts in Wednesday’s Budget, with the savings going to large-scale infrastructure projects designed to boost economic growth.”

    This sounds dangerously like cuts today, and buildings tomorrow.

    I genuinely hope he has thought of the economic implications of the scheduling of spending on this.

  19. Seems to be what IDS said on the radio. Shifting money to areas with bigger multipliers/return on investment. Which does have a logic to it. But too little too late?…

  20. The cuts will happen immediately, squeezing demand more.

    God knows when they’ll actually start building anything. Waiting for the private sector to expand into the space left by the cuts, no doubt.

    Economic illiteracy. Triple dip coming up.

  21. I wasn’t aware that when the income tax rate for the over150K was reduced, the Government increased the income tax rate for low earners. At present those earning up to £34,370 pay 20% in income tax. From next year 20% will apply to earnings of up to £32,010 only.

  22. At least they’ve now got their head around the multiplier thing. If they could just get their head around the demand thing….

  23. lizh

    I think they lowered the higher threshold to offset the raising of the threshold for not paying tax at all. If they hadn’t the higher rate tax payers would have benefited and all hell would have broke out a la the 50% to 45% reduction.

    Hello, and pax vobiscum.Mugabe became a catholic when he was baptised. Only entrance rule.
    Some of my six brothers call themselves catholic atheists.

    Mugabe was educated by the Jesuits, I think, the Order to which Pope Francis belongs.

    As to the point of religion, every man, woman and child will have to speak for themselves.

  25. Pomes and Paragraphs.

    “Nothing rhymes with paragraff

    Its enough to make a sparrah laff






    [or two]

    Is a bleedin’ pointless thing

    to do.”

    …. and I recommend this pome to the house

    “HEAH HEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”



  26. LizH – as Nick says, as the personal allowance has risen the threshhold for the higher rate has come down, so that the increase in the personal allowance is broadly wiped out for higher rate taxpayers.

    As an illustration:

    In 2012/2013 the tax rates were
    Nothing on earnings up to £8105
    20% on earnings between £8105 and £42475
    40% on earnings over £42475 (up to £150k or whatever it is.
    Hence someone earning £42475 would pay 20% of £34370, that is £6874 of income tax

    In 2013/2014 the tax rates will be
    Nothing on earnings up to £9440
    20% on earnings between £9440 and £41450
    40% on earnings over £41450 (up to £150k or whatever)

    So our person earning £42475 now has to pay higher rate taxes, ouch. Except they are actually still marginally better off because they have a bigger personal allowance – they end up paying 20% of £32010, plus 40% of £1025= £6812*

    (*Why is it lower, if the government are reducing the higher band to cancel out allowance increases for higher rate tax payers? If I recall Osborne’s speech, what they did was decrease it to cancel out the allowance rise, but did increase it in line with inflation. In the previous budget they’d cancelled both, so higher rate taxpayers paid identical taxes in 2011/12 and 2012/13)

  27. Chris

    No-one has ever greeted me with pax wotsit so I don’t know what it means.

    My point re Mugabe was fairly simple: why can’t he be kicked out like, for example, an MP for sightly lesser crimes.

    As to “children” speaking for themselves – they would need to be very mature and very brave children wouldn’t they?


    “Nothing rhymes with paragraff”

    Yes it does, e.g. riff raff

    Also there is telegraph

    You used it upthread, there’s the laff…

  29. …and a giraffe, in a bath (northern pronunciation required).

  30. @Paul Croft

    Pax tecum (ok just to wind you up).

    My understanding would be that churches do impose qualifications for members and they are prepared to suspend, excommunicate etc. By contrast Jesus imposed no membership qualifications whatsoever but did think that people answered to God at the day of judgement. Jesus’s own job was to call sinners to repentance, so Mugabe might have been just the ticket.

  31. Paul – I don’t think the Catholic church generally excommunicate people just for being sh*ts. They excommunicated Peron (for expelling some bishops) and Napoleon (for annexing Rome, the sort of thing that annoys them), but that’s about it on the heads of government front (its commonly said they excommunicated Castro, but it doesn’t seem to be true).

  32. Anthony:

    Not sure I would say about mass-murderers and tyrants:

    “Bimey! He’s a bit of a sh#t”

    Wayne Rooney, yes.

  33. Thanks NickP and Anthony. I think most people will react like I did if they look at the taxable band and tax rates and wont bother to work out the details.

    Re ex-communication – I think there was talk of Jackie Kennedy Onassis being ex-communicated for marrying Aristotle because he was divorced.

  34. Rhyming/Paragraph

    Ta for helpful advice: us professional potes like to rhyme in whole words though – that means three syllables** in the above case.

    ** See Wikipedia.

  35. “excommunicated”

    I was more thinking of a traditional burning at the stake, as in the good ole days when religion was at its height.

  36. “My point re Mugabe was fairly simple: why can’t he be kicked out like, for example, an MP for sightly lesser crimes.”

    I think the stereotype is that once you’re a Catholic, you’re always a Catholic. It doesn’t matter if you don’t believe in God.

    Even you join Al-Qaeda and commit a terrorist atrocity, that simply makes you a “bad Catholic”.

  37. AW
    Pedantry I realise but I think the figures you gave were for ‘taxable income’ not ‘earnings’ as you stated.

    The point being that someone in employment will not have too many deductions but someone self-employed will have lots of fiddles (wash out my mouth), sorry, expenses.

  38. Cypriot finance minister resigns!!!

  39. LizH
    I expect the Onassis family put quite a few drachma in the collecting box. That tends to help against being treated as a rotter.

  40. Resignation rejected by president, ruling party will abstain!! From bail in vote

  41. Markets look pretty freaked out

  42. PAX VOBISCUM means peace be with you.

    Or Hanging, Drawing and Quartering as in days of QE 1.

  43. Most of our aristocracy were mass-murderers and tyrants but on your death bed you prayed for absolution and sailed strait to haven.

  44. @Chris Neville-Smith

    Please do quote the entire statement, not just the part that supports your argument. Specifically, you missed out them saying, “The Eurogroup continues to be of the view that small depositors should be treated differently from large depositors and reaffirms the importance of fully guaranteeing deposits below €100,000,”

    ie, *as I have been saying*, the EU does not want an across the board banking levy in Cyprus, and does want to protect smaller deposits, but it’s up to Cyprus. And it looks like the Cyprus government have now changed track.

    And of course, as the Cyprus House of Representatives is currently demonstrating, the EU *can not* force the Government down any specified path. While the Nicos Anastasiades’s government continues to support their Levy idea to satisfy bailout requirements, the legislature seems pretty opposed to it.

  45. Glad to see budget purdah is holding firm, and that parliament will be the place where budget decisions are announced.

  46. chris

    Thankyou in that case.

    I like drawing myself – not so sure about hanging AND quartering, seems a bit over-the-top to me.

  47. As Dara O’Briain put it, the stickiest religion in the world.



    From intervew on BBC radio, in 1951, with Dutch Spitfire pilot from the Battle-of-Britain.

    “Yes, yes exactly: you describe those aircraft very well. But these fokkers were Messerschmitts.”

  49. Just saw an amusing. But a bit tasteless pic

  50. Cyprus banking levy is going to have far reaching repercussions across the EU… in whatever form it takes…
    Do not be surprised if the banks open on Thursday and they shut again within hours as account holders of all types transfer or withdraw cash,

    I would expect to see lines of people waiting for the banks to open, this has frightened people, if and it’s not a big if, there is a run on the banks in Cyprus it could spread like wildfire depending on what the banks and the government do, if they try to stop it by closing banks it will send the wrong signal and the bushfire will spread.

    Brings a new meaning to honest thievery… smiles

    It could make the last 5 years look insignificant to the crisis that could develop

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