PollWatch: Lib Dems down at 18% with YouGov in Sunday Times

by Stephen Tall on June 12, 2010

There’s a new YouGov poll in The Sunday Times, just published, and it shows:

    CON 40%(+1), LAB 32%(nc), LIB DEM 18%(-3)

A bit of a dip for the Lib Dems, with the party below 20% for the first time since ‘Cleggmania’ following the first televised leaders’ debate. Though before we grow too gloomy, the drop is within the margin of error.

Nick Clegg’s ratings remain high, with 59% saying he’s doing well as Lib Dem leader, and just 21% badly – a net approval rating of +38% (just behind David Cameron’s +41%). Interestingly, Nick performs marginally better among Tory voters (+83%) than he does among Lib Dem voters (+81%). Perhaps unsurprisingly, he’s viewed negatively (-25%) among Labour voters.

YouGov asked which areas voters thought should be targeted for public spending cuts – among Lib Dem voters, here are the results:

    53% – Welfare benefits for people of working age
    52% – International aid
    29% – Defence and the armed forces
    24% – Business support
    21% – Pensions for public-sector workers
    16% – College and university education
    10% – Housing

No other areas (eg, the environment, NHS, transport, etc) received more than 10%. Labour supporters were least likely to agree with cuts for welfare benefits (international aid was their top target), Tory voters least likely to support defence cuts (international aid also their top target).

13% of Labour voters opted for no cuts in any of the areas offered, much higher than for either the Tories or Lib Dems – suggesting the fingers-in-their-ears approach to public spending shown by the leadership candidates at least in part reflects their voters’ wishes.

There was more cross-party agreement on areas which shouldn’t be cut, with the NHS, schools, policing and state pensions all winning high support.

David Miliband remains the most popular Labour leadership contender, supported by 22%; Diane Abbott is runner-up with 13%; Ed Miliband, Ed Balls and Andy Burnham (in that order) score negligibly. Abbott and Balls are the two contenders thought most likely to be bad leaders.