Budget polls: What The Sun “forgot” to tell you

Rupert Murdoch's Sun, revelling in the success of its own campaigning on the budget, didn't want the latest YouGov polling analysis to take the shine off.

The Sun headline today, “Poll a boost for coalition”, is something of a self-fufilling prophecy. But Rupert Murdoch’s paper, revelling in the success of its own campaigning on the budget, didn’t want the latest YouGov polling analysis to take the shine off. So they didn’t report it – or at least not all of it.

YouGov looked at how public attitudes have changed since June 2010 after the chancellor’s first emergency budget.

They found:

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%.

However, The Sun reported:

“The Chancellor’s personal rating went up too – 34 per cent now say he’s doing a good job, compared to 27 per cent before the Budget.”

YouGov also found that the number of people who felt Mr Osborne was doing a “bad job” increased from 24% to 40% over the period.

On the key issues of fairness and the speed and depth of the cuts, YouGov found:

• After the chancellor’s first budget it was felt 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 per cent 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

The Sun, on the other hand, reported the question “overall, do you think this week’s budget is a fair one or not?” – they found that 44% answered “yes”, 31% “no” and 25% “don’t know”.

The overall picture from YouGov clearly shows the unpopularity of the government’s economic policies and that the Labour message of “too far, too fast” is clearly one the majority of the public agrees with. However, while Labour still holds the lead in the opinion polls with 41 per cent share of the vote, YouGov found that Conservative and government support continues to rise.

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