YouGov briefing: The Budget

Joe TwymanHead of Political and Social Research (EMEA)
March 25, 2011, 5:29 PM GMT+0

In the first poll following the Budget, YouGov looks at how the public’s views have changed since the Chancellor’s first: the emergency Budget back in June 2010.

The main findings are as follows:

Chancellor and Coalition now viewed negatively

  • George Osborne and the Coalition’s economic policies are now viewed negatively, a reversal of the situation immediately after his first emergency budget back in June 2010.
  • Back in June 2010 43% of people felt that he was doing a ‘good job’ as Chancellor of the Exchequer, but that figure has now fallen to 34%.
  • In contrast most people now believe he is doing a ‘bad job’ with that figure increasing from 24% to 40% over the same time period.
  • Over a quarter of respondents (27%) still do not know if he is doing a good or bad job, down only 6% since his first budget.
  • After the Chancellor’s first budget it was felt that the way the government was cutting spending to reduce the deficit was both good for the economy and being done fairly. The opposite is now true.
  • The proportion who feel it is good for the economy has fallen from 53% to 39% while those who think it is bad has now risen to 46%, seven percent ahead and a rise of 18%.
  • Similarly those who feel it is being done fairly has fallen from 45% to 31% while unfairly has risen from 34% to 56%. In addition a majority (53%) feel it is being done too quickly, with 30% thinking it is about the right pace and only 6% that it is taking place too slowly.
  • However, nearly three out of five respondents (59%) felt the way the government is cutting spending is necessary, compared to less than a third (31%) who feel it is unnecessary.
  • Opinion is now strictly divided over whether Mr Osborne tells the truth about the state of Britain’s economy. 36% believe he is telling the truth, exactly the same figure that believe he is not. Back in June 2010 46% felt he was truthful compared to 24% who did not.
  • Despite this reversal in perceptions the Coalition is still ahead of the Labour Party when respondents are asked who they would most trust to make the right decisions about dealing with the deficit. 38% trust the Coalition, 14% ahead of Labour on 24%.
  • Blame for the current spending cuts also lies more with Labour. 42% believe they are most to blame while 25% blame the Conservatives and a further 21% say both.

Moves on fuel popular, but more still to do

  • Delaying the planned rise in fuel duty, and instead cutting it by 1p, was the most popular of yesterday’s announcements amongst the public with over 4 out of 5 people (81%) supporting it.
  • Increasing the personal tax allowance by £630 for basic and higher rate taxpayers and introducing a fuel price stabiliser were also very popular with 78% and 71% respectively.
  • However, over two thirds (68%) of respondents felt that the Budget has not done enough to reduce petrol prices.
  • Linking future rises in the state pension age to rises in life expectancy was the least popular announcement and the only not to gain support from a majority of the population (47%). Reducing inheritance tax by 10% for people who leave 10% of their estate to charity received 51% support to complete the bottom two.
  • Overall 44% of respondents felt the budget was fair, compared to 31% who felt it was not. Back in June 2010 50% felt the Chancellor’s first budget was fair.
  • Conservatives continue to close gap on Labour
    • YouGov’s Daily Polling has shown that the recent increases in Conservative support have continued in light of the Budget with the party now on 37%, four percent behind Labour on 41%. Lib Dems and others are both on 11%.
    • Government approval also continues its recent rise with the net figure of -19% the highest since 31st January (33% approve and 52% disapprove).
    • See the survey details and full resultsFor more information please contact