Public opinion moves on cuts
In my presentation at Netroots UK I included graphs showing how public opinion on the cuts has moved since the election using data from YouGov.
Today they have published a further data set for a poll conducted Jan 8-10 in which they have again asked these questions.
In a weak joke I have made far too many times I say one pole does not make a telegraph system. I have high regard for YouGov, but the laws of probability mean that polls are occasionally inaccurate.
But if today’s polls are right then there has been a significant move in public opinion as the astute Anthony Wells notes. More people expect to be diectly hit by the cuts, there is a marked shift in whether people think they are good for the economy (which is the one I think is crucial) and the majority who say they are unfair has increased again.
Here are some graphs:
Public opinion is therefore moving away from the coalition.
But there is no room for complacency.
For the first time YouGov has asked the question that I would have liked to have been there from the beginning, which is whether the cuts are necessary or unnecessary:
- 52 per cent say necessary
- 35 per cent say unnecessary
As a snap-shot question it doesn’t tell us a great deal as some people would have said “necessary” even if they think the depth and scale of what the government is doing is too great, but if it’s going to be used as a tracker question in future it will be interesting to see how it moves.
And while I’ve not tracked this question in previous polls (though it has been asked):
- 40 per cent say the last Labour government is most to blame for the cuts
- 22 per cent say the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition.
So things are a little better than they were in the pre-Christmas polls – particularly on ‘good for the economy’ – but there is still a long way to go so nothing in what I said needs adjusting despite some encouragement in this latest data set.