Despite the Times’s headline (‘Poll shock as new U-turn looms’), there’s nothing particularly surprising in the toplines of today’s Populus poll. It merely confirms the trends already exposed by other pollsters: a widening Labour lead (Populus has it at nine points, up from four last month) and increasing discontent with the coalition (Populus has the government’s net approval rating at minus 24, down from minus 3 in September). Beneath the toplines though, there are some interesting details.
As well as asking respondents how well they think the government’s doing overall, Populus asked how well they think it’s doing on various issues:
The poll also asks for respondents’ ratings of individual politicians. Unlike other pollsters, Populus doesn’t just ask people to choose between ‘well’ and ‘badly’ or ‘approve’ and ‘disapprove’, instead asking them to give each politician a score out of 100. It also includes more than just the three party leaders we regularly see approval ratings for. Here’s how the ten they asked about this time scored: