Polling latest: Budget bounce lost – if found return to George Osborne

This weekend the Tory Cabinet must be casting around in growing desperation as they search for that elusive Budget bounce. The three daily YouGov polls taken this week before the Budget gave the Tories an average 33.3%. The two afterwards showed them on 34.0%. If that’s a bounce it’s not very high and well within normal polling variations. We’ll have to wait until next week to see if Osborne’s party political Budget had the desired effect.

VI Mar 20

Taking the whole week of YouGov polling it was actually good news for Labour. Climbing a whole two percentage points, the party now finds itself back ahead of the Tories after three weeks behind. Meanwhile, the Lib Dems remain stuck below 8%, having oscillated around 7.4-7.6% for a month hopefully praying for a miracle. Ukip has slipped to its lowest score for the year, which is hardly surprising given what is turning out to be a chaotic long campaign for it, even by its own standards. Losing three candidates in a day looks like more than forgetfulness.

In fact, those considering a protest vote and as likely to vote for the old parliamentary gang as thrust their hand into a piranha infested river could do worse than start looking for better alternatives. There are loads available. In Cornwall we have MK and the NHAP or the Greens, who are hovering around 6% in the polls and may have halted their slow slide since mid-January. Up north the SNP retains a solid lead over Labour in Scotland, much to the irritation of Labour parliamentarians who appear to believe they have a God-given right to a voting block from north of the border. They haven’t and should start reading up on what happened in Ireland in the 1870s and 1880s.

Incidentally, YouGov daily polling is well in line with other polling organisations. We can take the five companies that polled this past week and also the week ending 20th February and compare the overall average.

Average of polls (each polling company weighted equally)

w/e Feb 20 w/e Mar 20 change
Conservatives 31% 33% +2%
Labour 33% 33% nc
Lib Dems 8% 8% nc
Ukip 15% 14% -1%
Greens 7% 5% -2%
SNP/PC 4% 4% nc

A rise in Tory support over the last month, slight fall for Ukip, stability for Labour and Lib Dems and a fall for the Greens is exactly the picture painted by YouGov polling. It still looks hung.

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