The latest YouGov poll, commissioned by The Sun newspaper, paints a mixed picture of how the cuts have been received by voters - however the poll data does not represent a conclusive endorsement of the Coalition Government's, which The Sun would have you believe.
The latest YouGov poll, commissioned by The Sun newspaper, paints a mixed picture of how the cuts have been received by voters – however the poll data does not represent a conclusive endorsement of the coalition government, which The Sun would have you believe.
In his report in today’s Sun, the paper’s political editor Tom Newton-Dunn claimed the poll “showed the PM and his deputy may already be winning the battle”. He accurately points out that 58 per cent of those polled (a cross-section of 1,871 voters) believed the cuts were “unavoidable”, and that a large portion, 47 per cent, believe the previous Labour government was to blame for the spending cuts.
However, the piece omits significant parts of the survey, particularly parts that contradict the coalition line – most notably that 47% believed the cuts are being carried out unfairly, compared to 36% who thought they were fair (page 4); that 44% believe the cuts are being carried out too fast, with 36% saying they were “about right” (page 5); and, overall, 44% believe the cuts are too harsh, against 38 per cent who thought they were balanced(page 10).
Furthermore, the survey asked voters about their expectations on the quality of public services in future (page 9). A strong majority (61%) believed that local police forces would deteriorate, 41% believed the NHS will suffer – with only 18% thinking it would get better – and 42% said the BBC will get worse, against only 6% who thought it would improve.
Additionally, 45% disagreed with the statement that the cuts have “brought the country back from the brink of bankruptcy”, while 34% agreed with the statement (page 10). The Sun, the UK’s biggest selling daily newspaper, makes no mention of any of these results.
The poll also contained more bad news for the Liberal Democrats, with the party scoring poorly on the major issues. The poll puts the Lib Dem approval rating down at 10%, and a UK Polling Report average puts the Lib Dems on 14%, with Labour on 37% and the Conservatives on 40%. As Political Betting points out, the Lib Dems have not been as low as 10% since September 1997 – a time when 2 billion people watched the funeral of Princess Diana.Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.