We've got the first post-Budget polling from YouGov, and it brings mixed news for George Osborne. Certainly, this Budget doesn't seem (so far) to have dented the Chancellor's reputation the way last year's did — but nor has it yet enhanced it as his 2011 Budget seemed to.
And on the question of which would make the better Chancellor, Osborne maintains the six-point lead over Ed Balls he has held since November 2011.
And on the all-important criterion of 'fairness', Wednesday's Budget scores relatively well. 39 per cent think it's fair, while 31 per cent say it isn't. That's a big improvement on last year, when 32 per cent said the Budget was fair and 48 per cent declared it unfair. On the other hand, very few believe the Budget will make them and their family (14 per cent) — or the country as a whole (10 per cent) — better off.
Many of the Budget's individual measures are popular though — especially the delivery of the Liberal Democrat manifesto pledge to raise the personal allowance to £10,000, and the latest in Osborne's run of fuel duty freezes. Some of the more surprising key measures — the £2,000 employer's National Insurance reduction, Help to Buy, the beer duty and corporation tax cuts, £1,200 for childcare — are also popular, although less so. Of the ten policies YouGov asked about, the only one with more opposition than support is the ending of contracting out of National Insurance — perhaps because the poll presents it in isolation, rather than as part of the government's move to a single-tier state pension.