YouGov’s first post-Budget poll for the Sun finds that Wednesday’s announcements have dented Conservative support; they are now on 34%. They have never been lower since the 2010 election, though they have touched this number on a few occasions.
In contrast, Labour, on 42%, is broadly where it has been since early March. If YouGov figures are exactly right, then the new ex-Tory voters have moved to minor parties such as UKIP.
As ever, we should be wary of small changes in a single poll. The fluctuations could be the result of sampling variation. In the next few days we shall be able to see whether the Tory decline is a blip or a trend. However, the questions YouGov asked about the Budget are consistent with the view that the Tories have suffered without Labour benefiting:
◦A year ago, 34% thought George Osborne was doing a good job as Chancellor, while 40% thought he was doing a bad job, a net score of minus 6. After this week’s Budget, his rating is: good 28%, bad 50%, net score minus 22
◦Last year, 44% though the Budget was fair, while 31% disagreed. This year’s figures are 32-48 – a big shift that should worry ministers
◦37% think the decisions that the Government has taken since 2010 have made Britain’s economy weaker; just 24% think they have made it stronger
◦The “granny tax” is deeply unpopular. 64% oppose the decision to phase it out; among the over 60s the people who turn out to vote in greatest numbers are general elections – the figure rises to 79%
◦As many as 56% think the ‘richest people in Britain’ will pay less tax as a result of this week’s Budget; only 21% share the Government’s view that they will pay more
◦When YouGov asked people which party they trusted most to tackle Britain’s deficit, the Tories are down four points since last year, from 38% to 34%, but Labour remains stuck on 24%
◦On who would make the best Chancellor, George Osborne retains the six point lead over Ed Balls he established after last November’s Autumn statement
◦When YouGov tested one of Labour’s frequent charges that the Prime Minister is out of touch, the Poll found that both Cameron and Ed Miliband scored equally badly – just 21%, while Nick Clegg scores 11%. By far the biggest number, 38% says ‘none of them’. This reinforces what YouGov have found in other surveys: that public disenchantment these days tends to be with politicians as a whole, not just with specific parties or their leaders
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