Archive for the 'Cuts' Category


Labour moves to its best ever position in YouGov’s “blame for cuts” tracker – now just 3% behind

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

In October 2010 LAB was 30% behind.

In the very early days of the coalition and the austerity programme in 2010 I singled out the YouGov “who’s to blame for the cuts” tracker as a good monitor – because placing the blame on the “past lot” has been such a key part of coalition rhetoric. It is one that I have gone back to regularly especially when milestones are reached.

Back in October 2010 just 18% blamed “the coalition” and 48% “the last Labour government”. Today’s figures have the gap down to just 3 points – the best ever for Team Ed.

Given that “the cuts” are going to be one of the key battleground in the next 12 weeks the Tories and LDs can perhaps be relieved that still LAB is blamed more than they are. But a 3% gap is very narrow.

Mike Smithson

For 11 years viewing politics from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


People in receipt of state pensions have paid for it over the years – they are not on benefits

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

It’s time the terminology was changed

Eighteen months ago I started to receive my state pension after I’d deferred it for a year. Before this was granted there were checks that I had made the contributions during the 45 years that I was in paid employment. It was only after that check that the money stated to come every four weeks.

Yet according to many politicians I am now on benefits. This I resent.

It is ridiculous that this is presented as part of the benefits budget. The state pension needs to be separated. By lumping it in everybody is getting a wrong impression resulting in the debate on the welfare budget not taking place in a proper context.

Over to you George.

Mike Smithson

Blogging from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble 2004-2014


Tim Montgomerie agrees with Nick Clegg on where cuts should fall

Monday, January 6th, 2014

First day back after the hols & more GE2015 battlegrounds emerge

Meanwhile UKIP leap ahead of LAB & CON amongst poorest pensioners


If this Ipsos-MORI polling is right then the Westminster village, and me, got the Autumn Statement wrong

Friday, December 6th, 2013

Mike Smithson

Blogging from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble since 2004



Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

URL change: To access the latest posts please click

For three and a half years I have highlighted the YouGov “most to blame for the cuts” tracker as, perhaps, a good non-voting intention tracker. On the face of it you’d think that if the red team was continuing to get the blame with less than a year and a half to go then it would start to appear in the voting numbers.

Yet that doesn’t seem to be happening. Labour continue to have good solid leads across all the firms while the Tories continue to struggle.

Looking closely at the YouGov cross-tabs or responses by party and you see that CON and LAB voters are highly partisan.

Maybe the big impact of the “blame game” will be in encouraging existing supporters to actually vote. It perhaps won’t lead to much party switching.

Mike Smithson

Blogging from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble since 2004


The economy might be recovering but new poll by Populus finds that only 11pc feel part of it

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

A feeling of economic well-being is surely central to GE2015

There’s a new survey out from Populus with a sample of 4,071 British adults, in which 44% said that the most important issue in determining their vote at GE2015 will be either the economy or the cost of living.

Of those participating 38% leant towards agreeing that there is a national economic recovery underway, just 11% of the sample agreed they feel part of that recovery. Further, 38% thought there are no signs of an economic recovery and 24% (24%) weren’t sure either way.

This is a tricky one for the coalition. Inevitably as we get closer to the election booth parties will want to highlight what they’ll describe as the success of the policies they introduced. Yet if only a small section of voters feel part then it might just alienate that that don’t.

Too much trumpeting might counter-productive.

Labour has already started to play on this as we’ve seen in recent weeks.

Mike Smithson

For the latest polling and political betting news


UPDATED: CON down in 20s with both ComRes and Opinium

Saturday, September 21st, 2013

LAB extends lead with Opinium

Other points from ComRes

I trust Ed Miliband and Ed Balls to make the right decisions about the economy
Agree 23% (+8 since March 2012)
Disagree 50% (-9)

I trust David Cameron and George Osborne to make the right decisions about the economy
Agree 28% (-1)
Disagree 49% (0)

I would expect my family to be better off than it is now if the Conservatives win the next election
Agree 22%
Disagree 47%

I would expect my family to be better off than it is now if Labour wins the next election
Agree 30%
Disagree 40%

The chart that seems to contradict the standard economy questions

Mike Smithson

For the latest polling and political betting news

Opinium poll for Observer


On the day of the LDs crucial economy debate new polling puts more pressure on Clegg

Monday, September 16th, 2013

Unlike the red and blue teams the LD conference has a formal policy making function with the result, as we’ve seen in the past, that it can embarrass the leadership.

This year’s event, here in Glasgow, has so far gone okay for Clegg with votes on energy policy and tuition fees taking a pragmatic line.

This morning things might just be different as delegates discuss and vote on the central issue of economic strategy.

With Cable and Clegg said to be favouring different approaches it is no wonder that that is going to spill out onto the conference floor.

In this context the above YouGov polling, which makes the lead in today’s I newspaper and the Indy, is being used to add to the pressure on the party establishment.

    I am actually a bit cynical about such “getting better or worse” polling because whatever the issue being people will invariably take the glum option

My guess is that the Clegg faction will win out but you can’t be certain.

Mike Smithson