Public opinion moves further against cuts


8:30 am - January 12th 2011

by Nigel Stanley    


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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.

Yesterday they 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.

Net directly affected by cuts (ie those who think they will be directly affected by the cuts minus those who do not)
Net directly affected by cuts

.

Net good for the economy
Net good for the economy

.

Net being done fairly
Net being done fairly

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.

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About the author
Nigel Stanley is an occasional contributor to Liberal Conspiracy. He is the TUC’s Head of Campaigns and Communications. He's also at the ToUCstone blog.
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Reader comments


Have they asked questions about the speed of the cuts ?

52% saying cuts are necessary is not surprising.

I’ve yet to meet anyone who is a ‘deficit denier’ despite the Coalition lies & propaganda.

What the argument is about is the tax rise/cuts split, timing and speed of cuts, allowing the economy to recover with stimulus and increase tax receipts etc.

And what are “the public” suggesting to do with the budget? Do they wish to pay more taxes or prefer to receive fewer services?

I assume if you did a poll about the opinion on death, it would also be highly negative. Yet we all know we cannot escape it.

Also, don’t see any real cuts here. The new government is still spending more money than they expect to take in: http://andreasmoser.wordpress.com/2010/11/15/uk-budget-what-cuts/

Isn’t Labour also very, very far behind in polls of the sort “who do you trust more on the economy”?

“I’ve yet to meet anyone who is a ‘deficit denier’ despite the Coalition lies & propaganda”

I’ve met a fair few, I’m afraid. If you hang around here long enough it tends to descend into a shouting match between The Debt Doesn’t Even Exist Maaan It’s All In Your Minds (Workers of the World, Unite!) vs. We Don’t Even Need A Minimal State Lets Just Have Voluntary Protection Associations and Our Own Guns – Cut Everything!

I exaggerate, but only slightly.

The key figures will be public opinion on polling day in 5 years.

The lack of ‘deficit deniers’ in this country is pretty sad, given that fears about ‘excessive’ deficits are little more than a remnant of gold standard/gold exchange standard thinking. In modern sovereign nations – which doesn’t include the euro zone; they gave up currency sovereignty – neither taxes nor borrowing fund government spending, and deficits are a reflection of non-governemnt – including foreign – saving.

Deficits become excessive when the spending exceeds the capacity of the economy to respond with goods/services, but with unused capital and, far more importantly, millions unemployed we are not even close to that point. The problem with the deficit is that it is too small and the result of badly targeted spending.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    Public opinion moves further against cuts http://bit.ly/fNKeNC

  2. Martin McIvor

    RT @libcon: Public opinion moves further against cuts http://bit.ly/fNKeNC

  3. Max Hernández Calvo

    RT @libcon: Public opinion moves further against cuts http://bit.ly/fNKeNC

  4. cheesley

    RT @libcon: Public opinion moves further against cuts http://bit.ly/fNKeNC

  5. Matt Jeffs

    RT @libcon: Public opinion moves further against cuts http://bit.ly/fNKeNC

  6. Sirena Bergman

    Interesting stats on the public opinion on cuts: http://bit.ly/gF45Zq

  7. Andy Bean

    RT @libcon: Public opinion moves further against cuts http://bit.ly/fNKeNC

  8. Tweetminster

    "Public opinion moves further against cuts" http://bit.ly/f3ATDB – Liberal Conspiracy

  9. Jonathan Welsh

    RT @tweetminster: "Public opinion moves further against cuts" http://bit.ly/f3ATDB – Liberal Conspiracy

  10. JAMES

    RT @tweetminster: "Public opinion moves further against cuts" http://bit.ly/f3ATDB – Liberal Conspiracy

  11. JamieSW

    RT @tweetminster: "Public opinion moves further against cuts" http://bit.ly/f3ATDB – Liberal Conspiracy

  12. Pat Cox

    RT @tweetminster: "Public opinion moves further against cuts" http://bit.ly/f3ATDB – Liberal Conspiracy

  13. Pucci Dellanno

    RT @libcon: Public opinion moves further against cuts http://bit.ly/fNKeNC @noUKcuts @nick_clegg @NaomiAKlein @ggreenwald @johannhari101

  14. wmd-gnome

    RT @libcon: Public opinion moves further against cuts http://bit.ly/fNKeNC

  15. Becky Wright

    RT @NigelStanley: I update the polling on cuts presented at #netrootsuk. Looks significant, but still someway to go. http://bit.ly/goVLcP

  16. Rachael

    RT @libcon: Public opinion moves further against cuts http://bit.ly/fNKeNC

  17. Celyn

    RT @libcon: Public opinion moves further against cuts http://bit.ly/fNKeNC

  18. Daniel Pitt

    RT @libcon: Public opinion moves further against cuts http://bit.ly/fNKeNC





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