Peter Hoskin

The Tories rally after the Spending Review

The Tories rally after the Spending Review
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It's just one poll, but today's YouGov effort for the Sunday Times seems to underline many of the themes of recent weeks. It has the Tories on 42 percent, 5 points ahead of Labour on 37 percent, and with the Lib Dems on 13 percent. So the Spending Review – accompanied, as it has been, by rows over housing and child benefits – has not yet had a precipitous effect on the Tories' poll rating. If anything, YouGov have had the blue vote rallying since 20 October.

As always we should be wary of drawing too many conclusions from the shifting landscape of opinion polls and surveys, but some of YouGov's subsidiary findings could help explain the Tories' position. First up, 72 percent of respondents back the coalition's plan to impose a cap on housing benefit. This tallies with polls from the beginning of the summer, but is even more significant coming on the back of concerted opposition to the measure from Labour and other quarters. Also, people's impressions of the economy have improved after last week's growth figures – even if they are still heavily pessimistic overall.

That 72 percent figure nicely tees up John Rentoul's column in the Independent on Sunday, which is, as always, worth reading. The thrust of if is contained in the final paragraph:

"On every single issue, the Prime Minister is on the side of the voters, and Ed Miliband, when he is visible, is on the wrong side, defending the sectional interest of benefit claimants, rich parents, Labour MPs or students."