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The public’s verdict on the Autumn Statement

7 December 2012

We’ve only had two days to digest it, but the early signs from YouGov are that George Osborne’s Autumn Statement has gone down a lot better than his March Budget. The Chancellor’s personal ratings are still dire – just 24 per cent think he’s doing a good job — but that’s a lot better than 15 per cent five months ago. His approval rating had tanked after the Budget, but Osborne does seem to have turned that around:

And the government’s approval rating on the economy similarly seems to have been helped by the Autumn Statement, and is back up to pre-Budget levels:

Though a 35 per cent approval rating on the economy is not exactly great, it’s notably better than the government’s overall approval rating, which is currently just 26 per cent.

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One thing the Autumn Statement hasn’t achieved — despite containing a nine-page section dedicated to the topic — is convincing the public that the government’s cuts are ‘fair’. Just 25 per cent think they are, while 61 per cent say they’re ‘unfair’ — no better than last week. But this may not matter as much as the coalition clearly thinks it does: back in March, YouGov found that when asked to choose, 60 per cent of us place improving the economy above ‘making Britain fairer’.

Working against the government, of course, is the weakness of the recovery: 72 per cent say the economy’s bad, and 45 per cent think it’s still getting worse. But in the government’s favour is the public’s scepticism of the alternative: just 24 per cent believe the economy would be doing better under a Labour government, while 38 per cent think it’d be worse.

The coalition is still managing to keep much of the blame for our current problems on the previous government. 37 per cent say Labour is most to blame for the cuts, and a further 24 per cent blame both governments equally — just 26 per cent blame the coalition more than Labour.

And despite the majority thinking he’s doing a bad job, Osborne still beats Ed Balls. For a year now, he’s held a six-point lead over his opposite number on the question of who’d make the best Chancellor:

It is striking that the Tories have the country’s preferred options for both Prime Minister (Cameron leads Miliband 34-24) and Chancellor of the Excehquer, but still trail Labour by ten points when people are asked which party they’d vote for:

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  • Jebediah

    The problem for the Labour party is that opinion polls represent a great deal of protest, rather than true intentions. Let’s face it things are not cheery in the UK right now. When asked the question the knee jerk is to blame the Govt of the day. When drilled down you see that the public prefer the senior Tories to senior Labour, that’s closer to the truth, the truth that people will ponder when at the ballot box in 2015.
    Things are not good, but it’s hard to think that Labour (especially Balls, the man partly responsible for our dire finances) are the people to fix the economy they broke. And for that least bad reason I suspect the Tory vote is a lot stronger than opinion polls show, ditto the Lib Dems.

  • barbie

    Lets face it there are a majority who are not fit for purpose within the government; the quality of MPs as gone down. None do as we ask, none do as the country wants, all come out with party dogma when asked questions. So its US who should be asking ourselves whom and what have we elected? The mini budget produced really nothing, there is no room for movement. However, when Mr O said the foreign aid budget would effectively ring fenced it made me angry. Since when have we asked to be burdened with foreign shores problems, I cannot remember anyone saying we should be. Has for the moral question which Mr O said we must have, where is his moral code for the poor in this nation, when he cuts them to the bone and they resort to food banks to survive. No, we all know we have to have cuts, we all know we have to repay the debt, but its not been done fairly at all. The Tories are using this crisis to destroy the welfare state, but it will back fire on them wildly. People will not forget come voting time and will revert to Labour, and we all know their policies will be even worse. None, are then fit for purpose, none do as we want and all furnish their own ideas, our only hope is to refuse to vote for any of them again, and vote for UKIP. At least they speak for the British people and from their website would be fairer. They get my vote.

    • Colonel Mustard

      Bogus comment. You are a Labour supporter making mischief.

    • HooksLaw

      The quality of MPs has gone down? From the likes of John Stonehouse? Gerald Nabarro?

  • George_Arseborne

    Camoron rating as PM of course will be higher than that of Ed because he is the PM. So any Tory celeberating that as shown is just a fool. The most important aspect is Labour’s 10% lead which when translated into vote will put Ed in 10Downing Street with overall majority. Ed should bother about Cameron lead as a PM. 2015 will be the real test.

  • In2minds

    “We’ve only had two days to digest it, but the early signs from YouGov are
    that George Osborne’s Autumn Statement has gone down a lot better
    than his March Budget.”

    Then perhaps you should wait a bit longer? Occupants of the Westminster
    bubble may be delirious with joy but 99% of the population asked the
    question “what did you think of the Autumn Statement” would
    reply with their own question, “what”?

  • Colonel Mustard

    I see that the latest Labour myth script that the economy was on the way to recovery until the Coalition took over is taking root as these things do. It was peddled on QT last night and I see that it was being peddled here this morning.

    How to effectively counter Labour lies. The big question for the Coalition.

    • Daniel Maris

      Difficult – as the graphs seem to back them up…

      • Jebediah

        I suppose the coalition are responsible for the Euro disaster as well?

    • HooksLaw

      The recession saw a massive drop in productivity, nearly 7%. On top of which the govt spent billions bailing out the banks and on top of which it entered the recession having engineered debt to twice what it should have been.
      Thus there was little leeway in making use of the normal multipliers, ie govt spending to mitigate the recession. Brown went all through that before the election to insulate the voters from the consequences of his stupidity. it did not sustain the recovery because it did not address the issues of recovery.

      Its hard to see how the markets would have supported even more spending and more debt than we have now.
      But its a strange recession which sees jobs rising and car manufacturing and investment flourishing.

      • dalai guevara

        Concur, one only needs to peek over the pond to see what massive stimuli achieved in Obamaland. It worked for a bit, but now? Fiscal snowboarding.

    • Mike Barnes

      The economy was recovering in 2009/2010 though.

      It hasn’t gone unnoticed on the other side of the Atlantic.

    • George_Arseborne

      Each time Osborne stands at the dispatch box, he discredit himself with constant downgrading his own growth figure, showing how incompetent he is and his message will never go down well. He is just scamming the nation

  • michael

    Still taking on water, the bailing bucket being kicked even further over the side… the ship is still sinking.

  • Coffeehousewall

    It is striking that people do not trust any of the parties. But that is because we are coming to the end of the political Party and it has become clear that career politicians are really not suited to govern since they are primarily interested in furthering that career, and gaining power, wealth and influence.

    On a side note, there is an interesting interview with Theodore Dalrymple on the state of things in the UK at the Coffee House Wall – www coffeehousewall co uk

    • barbie

      You have it in one, they have told so many lies, to redeem themselves who would with commonsense believe any of them again. Fairness is being covered by blantant greed, and it won’t wash. Where is the bankers part of repaying the debt, the crisis was mostly theirs, yet they’ve paid only minor monies back. Cameron is wrong to keep discriminating against the poor, many are working poor not unemployed.

      • Colonel Mustard

        You don’t believe “any of them” and yet you attack Cameron using Labour lies?


      • HooksLaw

        He is not discriminating against the working poor or the poor at all. They are being treated the same as the other public sector who are limited to 1% pay increase.

        Pensioners are getting 2.5% ie inflation, after 5% last year when there was a public sector pay freeze.
        But where does this money come from – oh yes ‘trees’.

        Socialists talk bollocks QED.

  • Matthew Whitehouse

    Politicians being more popular than their party is in fact people not wanting to say they “like” the Tories, but it’s okay to say you “like” individuals.

    • barbie

      Who could really ‘like’ them when greed is their daily mantra.

      • Jebediah

        No, that’s just reflex nonsense. Neither David Cameron nor Ed Miliband are in it for the money. The power, the prestige, the genuine desire to make a difference, but not the money.

      • Colonel Mustard

        Bogus. Labour supporter.

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