This week’s YouGov poll for the Sunday Times is now up here. Topline results are CON 30%, LAB 41%, LD 12%, UKIP 12%, so again suggesting that the budget has had no significant effect on voting intention (though as I’ve said before, that’s isn’t necessarily a bad thing for the government. In recent years budgets have more often had negative effects on government support, so it should perhaps be seen less as an positive opportunity missed, than a pitfall avoided).

The Budget

There is little change in people’s attitudes towards the economy, the overwhelming majority still think the economy is in a bad state and very few expect their finances to improve in the next year. Confidence in the government’s ability to deal with the economy has ticked up very slightly… but not by much. 33% say they have a lot or some confidence in the government’s economic ability (up from 29% last week), 24% think the government’s economy strategy has started to work or soon will (up from 19% last week).

Looking more specifically at the budget, only 19% think it will be good for the economy, 25% bad for the economy with 40% thinking it will have no effect either way. Asked how it will affect them personally 30% of people think they will be worse off compared to only 10% who think they personally will be better off.

YouGov also asked who people thought had benefitted or suffered from this year’s budget – the biggest winners were seen as people trying to buy a home (39%) and rich people (36%), followed by small businesses (22%), big business, people in low paid jobs and working parents (all on 19%). I suspect the government would be quietly pleased if people went away with the perception that the budget was one that helped people trying to buy a home or run a small business if it wasn’t accompanied by the continued perception that it was helping the rich. In contrast the people who are seen as suffering from the budget are public sector workers (24%), people on benefits (22%), people in low paid jobs (18%) and stay at home parents (18%).

On specific measures, the increase in the personal allowance has extremely wide support – 89% are in favour. The mortgage guarantees are supported by 50% with 28% opposed. The reduction in beer duty, despite being seen as crowd pleasing measure actually produced mixed feelings. 41% of people were supportive, 42% opposed.

Finally, the budget does seem to have tempered hostility towards George Osborne slightly. A week ago only 17% wanted him to remain as Chancellor and 51% wanted him replaced. The figures now are 27% stay and 46% go.

Press regulation

YouGov also asked about the new system of press regulation, finding people broadly supportive. Overall 52% of people support it, 23% are opposed. There are similar splits on whether it is threat to press freedom (27% think it is, 53% think it is not) and whether it is right that newspapers who do not join the regulator should face larger damages (55% think they should and 23% think they should not). People are much more divided over whether the system will actually work – 40% think it will help stop intrusive and unethical behaviour by the press, but almost as many (37%) think it will not.


Last night we also had the fortnightly Opinium poll for the Observer. Topline figures there were CON 28%(+1), LAB 38%(-1), LDEM 9%(+1), UKIP 16%(-1), though fieldwork was conducted partly before the budget. The poll also asked what result people expected from the next election – 25% expect a Labour majority, only 9% a Conservative majority, 45% another hung Parliament (two thirds of which expect Labour to lead the subsequent government).

A note for polling pedants, as far as I can tell from the question text in the graphic the Observer’s headline “54% of voters expect Ed Miliband to be next Prime Minister” is not true. Opinium seem to have asked which party people expected to form the government after the next election, which is a slightly different question. People could expect a difference Conservative MP before the general election, or expect Labour to win under a different leader… but more importantly, people may well have answered the question differently if they had asked who will be Prime Minister after the next election. Logically unless people think the two main party leaders might change before 2015 the two answers should be the same… but as we have seen again and again, that is not the way answers to polls actually work.

179 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 30, LAB 41, LD 12, UKIP 12”

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  1. @ Colin

    “Banking assets as % of GDP; 1 Ireland 826%, 2 Cyp 736%, 3 GBR 632% 4 FRA 414%, 5 NLD 404%
    Is this a game? Are we playing: Spot which country can QE its own currency & therefore has a lot less to worry about than the other 4? :-)

  2. Ed Milliband wont like Jeff Randalls comments regarding the economy, especially after EM 10yrs of gloom speech.

  3. @ LizH

    That leads me to ask (and I would have thought Labour should have asked) why did the Government agree to a deal if it didn’t matter how Labour voted.
    That was at the forefront of the ‘fighters’ belief that the LDs & the DUP might have been minded to vote against or at least support an amendment to deny the ’emergency’ nature of this legislation – i.e. mainly because the legislation was to overturn a decision made by the UK courts before an appeal to the Supremes had been heard.

    Parliament makes the law but it is not above the law is the way that some ‘no’ voters put it. Their point being: Retrospective legislation effectively places parliament above the law.

  4. @Crossbat11

    The mask has well and truly slipped, but I’m unclear as to whether this has yet led to withdrawal of the edict banning references to the Mayor of London by his surname. However, if it’s still in force, “Yanavnpow” seems far more in keeping with his new image than does “Boris”.

  5. @AmberStar

    Thank you for your responses. Parties have to get good at communicating with their members/supporters. If people feel disenfranchised, they are not going to vote for the least worst option, they wont vote at all.

  6. AW

    “For crying out loud, Colin suggested how Boris could have avoided a question by turning it round into an point scoring opportunity against his opponents, a very common technique (and certainly not actually thinking your leader is any good is no bar to praising them!). He didn’t express his own opinion, there’s no need to start a bloody partisan debate over it.
    As ever, if someone else does make a comment you think is partisan, ignore it, don’t rebut it. It takes two to have a partisan argument.”


    Apologies. My comment was supposed to be humorous, although I freely admit that I’m usually in a minority of one when it comes to appreciating my jokes.

  7. European democracy Pt47.

    I see the new Cyprus bailout deal conveniently does not need to be agreed to by their Parliament.

    So, the people of Cyprus are being told that they will have a Depression imposed upon them and they have no say in the issue at all.

    No possibility to vote for a rejection of the bailout terms, default, exit from the Euro, devaluation and the prospect of an Iceland-like recovery.

  8. There is something deeply weird about the way commentators such as Jeff Randall refer, in a snide way, to all others as “the commentariat”.

    It’s rather like people visiting London and complaining of “bloody tourists.”

    Viz: stupid.

  9. If I was Labour I wouldn’t be losing any sleep over that new left wing pressure group mentioned over at the Independant blog.

    That article was written and promoted by Owen Jones, who if you read his blog, in my opinion effectively writes the same article every week under the cover of a different topic. It’s all anti-banks, anti-profit, anti-cuts and aggressive anti capitalism, pro socialism.

    I suspect it will be popular with those already likely to be sympathetic to the anti-cuts cause, so it’s just preaching to the converted. Nothing more and nothing less.


    @”According to William Keegan in the Observer the structural deficit inherited by Labour in 1997 was the same as that inherited by the Coalition in 2010. ”

    Would be interested to read that if you have a link.

    IFS reported UK’s 1997 structural Deficit at 2.9%

    The 2010 equivalent was 7.3% -according to

    The former constituted the majority of the then total deficit, coming at the end of a four year decline in deficits, which turned to surplus by 1999.

    The latter was part of a total deficit of 11.2% GDP which was the peak post recession level………….( we hope !!)

  11. @Charles – been having some real problems connecting to UKPR recently, so have only just caught with the thread and noticed your post regarding the Danish experience of pension relief reform. Sounds interesting, but not at all surprising.

    We still give pension tax relief up to a maximum pension pot of something like £1.4m. I think this is madness. This level of pension fund would buy you an annual pension of around 4 times the average working wage, and state help at this level is completely unnecessary. I remain utterly staggered that this kind of spending is still being permitted when we are told that so many basic aspects of life must be cut.

    I also think that my plan for diverting pension relief into investment support would need to be matched with action on pension fees. The two issues of huge state funded reliefs for pension contributions and excess pension costs are inextricably linked.

    Fees mean that private pensions in the UK are terrible value. We only invest in them because the tax relief makes it a no brainer. Governments have refused to take a tough line on city fees as they are frightened of them. Hence taxpayers fund city bonuses, more or less directly.

    Taking away the relief would force a far more competitive approach to pension costs, leaving consumers with much better value. Better still, continue reliefs, but skewed heavily towards the low earners, but qualify these with a simple regulation stating that pension schemes that breach agreed limits for total fees will not attract the relief payments.

  12. AMBER

    @”Is this a game?”

    No-it was a response to a post from Richard in Norway , earlier on today, about the relative size of Banking activities in countries other than Cyprus.

  13. Interesting reactions to Cameron’s speech today, mainly rather negative, on both left and right.

    There is something of a pattern emerging here, which I don’t think is very good for DC. The press briefings before major speeches appear to ramp up the statement and the claims, the speech is well delivered and full of intent, but the detail somewhat falls apart.

    You can get away with this for a while, but once a pattern emerges it gets a bit more of a problem. I think it’s a dangerous game to play, personally, as at the end of the day, credibility is a politicians only real weapon, and at the same time is the attribute most easily lost.

    I found it very interesting that the only party leader put up by the BBC to talk about DC’s speech on the evening news tonight was Nigel Farage – who made a couple of sharp and telling points.

    Again, I’m getting the sense that Tory attempts to neuter the perceived UKIP threat will end up making the UKIP position much more acceptable and main stream. They achieved this on the EU referendum, and now a big speech about immigration, where it turns out that the over inflated rhetoric will actually change very little, will again project UKIP into a much more prominent position as the only party with a clear and coherent message on this issue.

    I do think Tories have deeper problems with UKIP that some think. They need to find a way to counter the threat from their right flank, but so far, their attempts to do so are only handing Farage the initiative.


    Perhaps the People’s Assembly is a forerunner to decoupling support for Labour, and simply supporting MPs that agree with the principles the PA lay out.

  15. Colin

    That tweet was wrong but so was l, banking assets of Luxembourg are 2400% of gdp. And Yes That’s not a typo, 2400

  16. Cyprus Does seem to have worried the markets a little, well the deal, the new template for future bailouts…

  17. Alec
    You could have responded about the PM’s speech yesterday morning because that’s when the No 10 sycophantic press told us what was in it (‘will say’ etc).

    (Mouth turned down smiley).


    There is nothing to stop Cyprus voting on this if they want to the Troika wasn’t stopping them from having a vote nor would it.

    Like the original deal the Cypriots were only to keen to pin the blame on the nasty EU, but as soon as the EU made it clear that it was up to them to take it or leave it, surprise surprise the politicians in Cyprus didn’t have the guts to even vote on the deal they had brokered.

    Now they wait to the deadline day and then agree a probably worse deal than before while trying the same “It wasn’t us guv a big politician did it and ran away” trick on the EU.

    The deal on the table is the Troika gives you half the money to solve your problem and the rest is up to you, anything you come up with that doesn’t cook the books or cause more problems in the future is fine with us.

    As far as I can tell politicians are still trying to pin the blame on others which is the kind of behaviour that got them in to the mess in the first place.


  19. I’ve said it before, all this immigration stuff might get them a tactical blip…but strategically it’s going to get them the nasty tag back for good.


  20. Peter Cairns
    I suspect you are flogging a dead horse on here -but I read you. See also Paul Krugman (google Hot Money Blues).

    In fairness, it depends, as I see it, on what the chosen banks speculate on. In fact it is speculation ‘wot dun it’ instead of investment. But then, they would not have chosen to put their money into the Cypriot banks, had they not been offered returns unavailable elsewhere.

    My reported joke this morning (see beginning of thread) drew no further comment, so it was either appreciated or ignored.

  21. 9.21 am on page 2.

  22. @ Colin I have slightly mangled the reference in the hope of avoiding moderation!


  23. Immigration is a tough one for all 3 of the main parties.

    Labour and the LDs are never going to get the votes of those few (but probably more than in the last 5 GEs) for whom it is a major issue.

    This was the difficulty for the Tories in 2001 and to lesser degree 2005. By raising immigration as a main issue they did reinforce the nasty party image right or wrong

  24. @Crossbat

    Apologies for not cutting and pasting the relevent part of your most recent post. My ageing phone does as it pleases these days.

    Boris is a politician. If you delve deeply into almost any politician’s public affairs you’ll probably find some dirt. It doesn’t mean they’re necessarily bad or nasty. I actually find it very difficult to believe Boris is nasty. It’s not just a veneer. He actually has a good heart. Like when he invited Ken Livingstone to the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics, when everyone else in Boris’s team had labelled Ken persona non grata.

    I actually didn’t like the interview. It was a hatchet job based largely om very old issues. He’s the Mayor of London. Ask him about his £900M cycle lanes scheme, or his general transport policy. Or affordable housing and the lack thereof. Not about things that happened decades ago.

  25. oops went too soon and just lost longish post – but am gonna shirk and not try to redo!

  26. @Jim Jam

    For the Tories the problem is more acute, as they.simply can’t best UKIP on right wing immigration policy. DC’s misuse of stats in his presentation earlier was frankly embarrasing. He can’t win the argument with his current approach.

    As for Labour, I sense they’ll lapse into moderate but vague triangulation. The usual guff about having made mistakes but have now seen the light and devote their energy for the benefit of indigenous locals, only to emerge with.a few minor tweaks.

  27. Further to last night’s post on local by-elections
    so far this year

    Con: 6 held… gains 1 from Lab, 1 from Ind, 12 losses… (-10).
    Lab: 15 held… gains 4 from Con, 1 from LD, 1 from SNP, 3 losses…. (+3).
    LD: 5 held, gains 6 from Con, 2 from Lab, 2 from Ind, 1 loss… (+9).
    UKIP: gains 2 from Con… (+2).
    Ind: 2 held, gains 1 from Con, 1 from SNP, 3 losses… (-1).

    A rise in the UKIP vote could be said to be instumental in 3 of the LD gains from Con (Chelmsford, North Norfolk and Arun). Averaging just over 18% in the 23 seats they contested; out-polling the Conservatives in a handfull of seats in addition to the two gains from Con.

  28. New Thread.


    I believe that statement is incorrect.-for the reasons I gave.

    If only 3% of the 11% Cons inherited was “structural”-that would not have led to all the agonising about how to get rid of it over 5 years.

    But he doesn’t provide sources -so……….


    I guess that sort of stat can be subject to all sorts of definition differences.

    Hope Luxembourg’s Bank didn’t own too much Greek Debt !


    concur with you about the Boris interview.

    But all the more reason why his response to it was totally inadequate. He needs to toughen up.

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