Tories can breathe a sigh of relief, the public don't hate the budget

Most budgets usually receive a flurry of polls in the days following the Chancellor’s statement, attempting to discern a public response, but so far we’ve only had one. The YouGov poll for the Times newspaper, surveyed between the Wednesday and Thursday of the week, found a plurality of voters (34%) thought the budget to be fair, 23% for it to be not fair and 43% didn’t know.

A majority of voters do not think the budget will affect the country in any positive or negative way, with 53% saying it’ll leave the country no different, just 11% better off and 19% worse off.

The Chancellor’s ratings, though poor before the budget, and still poor after, have improved a smidgeon. The number thinking he is doing a good job has increased 5pts to 20%, and the number saying he is doing a bad job sits at 32%, down 3pts on the previous poll (19 – 20 Nov).

Though an overwhelming majority of Britons don’t have an opinion when it comes to preference for Chancellor, he leads Labour’s John McDonnell by 10pts, at 23% to 13%.

When it comes to government cuts, the public are split , with 34% of Britons saying the way the government is cutting spending to reduce the deficit is good for the economy, 35% say it’s bad, and 31% are unsure. Only 24% however say it is being done fairly. 41% in the meantime say it is being done unfairly.

In March YouGov asked the public whether government cuts were having an impact on their lives, and 34% at the time said so. Now that figure is down to 29%.

The public were asked which party would be better at tackling a number of issues. When it comes to helping people get onto the housing ladder, the public split 29%/26% in favour of a Labour government led by Jeremy Corbyn over a Conservative one led by Theresa May. It should be noted that the party leaders’ names were prompted for these questions.

Ask the public on which is best to manage the economy and the Tories take the lead with 37% and 21% for Labour.

When it comes to providing more jobs, both parties are tied, at 29% apiece; ditto on keeping prices down (25% Con, 24% Lab); but not so for improving living standards. Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour lead the Tories by 7pts here, at 33% to 26%.