YouGov: Nick edges Vince on economic trust

Which politician (or combination of politicians) would the public most trust to run the British economy? That’s the question YouGov asked, and here are results courtesy the PLMR blog:

economic trust

Overall David Cameron has the single best economic trust figure (35%) followed by Ed Miliband (30%). As you might expect this breaks broadly on party lines: 91% of Tory voters trust their party’s leader; 76% of Labour’s trust theirs. The current Coalition partnership – Cameron and Clegg – are trusted by 29%, with Tories less enthusiastic and Labour supporters overwhelmingly hostile.

Intriguingly from a Lib Dem perspective, Vince Cable fares less well than Nick – 23% of voters would trust Vince and David Cameron on the economy. This lower figure is partly driven by Tories being more lukewarm, but also by current Lib Dem voters preferring Nick (55%) to Vince (47%). Even 2010 Lib Dem voters give Nick (29%) the edge over Vince (22%). Labour voters are pretty much equally antipathetic to both Nick and Vince: 87% don’t trust Nick and Dave; 86% wouldn’t trust Vince and Dave.

What about if Ed Miliband were the Prime Minister in a Lib-Lab coalition? Then the preferences flip: the combination of Vince and Ed (23%) is trusted more than Nick and Ed (19%). This is true of both 2010 Lib Dem voters (who prefer Vince/Ed over Nick/Ed by 32% to 26%) and of current Labour voters (by a more significant 52% to 37%).

In short… Nick polls better than Vince on economic trust in the current Coalition. But, while Nick is seen as the better economic partner for David Cameron, Vince edges it if the Lib Dems are in a position to partner with Ed Miliband.

A couple of necessary caveats to all this. First, and most importantly, Nick Clegg is a known quantity (for better or worse) among most voters; Vince Cable less so. So how Vince Cable would fare in the spotlight of the leadership is inevitably an unknown quantity for many: that applies even more so when you add in the variable of a hypothetical Prime Minister Miliband. Secondly, the sample sizes for current Lib Dem voters is small so the margin of error will be higher than the usual +/-3%.

* Stephen was Editor (and Co-Editor) of Liberal Democrat Voice from 2007 to 2015, and writes at The Collected Stephen Tall.

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  • I was one of the lib dems surveyed.

    I wonder if Vince was negatively affected by his personal association with the Royal mail privatisation?

  • A Social Liberal 24th Oct '13 - 9:30am

    Funny but I can’t see how much Nick Clegg on his own is trusted – is it so bad that Stephen didn’t put him in the chart?

  • @A Social Liberal

    Given that Stephen wasn’t the one who made the chart, or conduct the research which doesn’t list Nick as an option, we shall just have to guess what he his own would have scored.

  • Paul Pettinger 24th Oct '13 - 11:33am

    Oh dear, the attacks on Vince Cable that we saw in Aug and Sept ( are now trickling down to Lib Dem Voice. I guess bullying cultures often start at the top.

    Stephen, just so you can’t be accused of cherry picking, how have Nick Clegg and Vince Cable’s ratings with Lib Dem Voice members (a group of people who we know have a much more informed view of our senior parliamentarians) over the years?

    Also, if Nick Clegg really is stronger on the economy than Vince Cable (the most statesman like figure the Party has), how should we respond to the data showing that Vince would make the more popular leader?

  • Theres a contrast between the three-quarters of Labour “Voters” who trust The Leader on The Economy & the half who trust The Party itself, perhaps naming The Leader turns the question into one of loyalty to the Labour “Brand” ?

    This is an interesting attempt to try to tease out how Voters feel about various possible Coalitions but I dont think it can work, British Voters are just too tribal .

  • Andrew Colman 24th Oct '13 - 1:13pm

    This is sad news showing how people can be manipulated by constant propaganda

    The idea that the conservatives (or the right in general) are better at managing the economy is a dangerous myth.

    The Conservatives only rediscovered fiscal prudence a few months before the 2010 election. Before that they were supporting labours borrowing and calling for even looser policy through tax cats. There is still evidence that the lesson has not been fully learned eg the subsidy to housebuyers which will hold up vastly inflated house prices and stoke another boom. Under the tories (and copycat new labour), people were often making far more money speculating on the property market than doing a “real” job

    The truth is that the Conservatives are not good at managing the the economy, what they are expert at is managing the media, particularly with the help of the mates such as Murdoch etc.

  • This is not highlighted by this polling, but the sad fact is that when people are polled about which party they trust to run the economy, the Lib Dems are in single figure percentages, despite having the best, most balanced approach to economic management.

    We have a major communication problem here. No-one knows how good our economic policies are and how much of them we are putting into practice.

  • Matt (Bristol) 24th Oct '13 - 2:01pm

    It seems to me that this survey can be best summarised as ‘some people appear to have expressed a slight preference for the status quo over a variety of entirely hypothetical untried scenarios they have had little time to contemplate, but the sample size is so small that it’s hard to make broad-based generalisations based on this evidence alone’.

    Move along, nothing to see…

  • The outstanding element in this picture is that most people do not trust any of them. The logical conclusion of that is to have a team of ‘experts’ managing the economy; but they tried that in Italy and the public didn’t think much of that either.
    This makes me wonder if we have reached the point where people are so cynical and disinterested in politics that we are in danger of walking towards negative extremist politics like that of UKIP.

  • Simon Banks 25th Oct '13 - 5:58pm

    The minority of people who’d trust a combination with David Cameron in it are more likely to trust Nick Clegg than Vince Cable (whoops – keyed “Vice Cable”; what can I have been thinking of?). The minority of people who’d trust a combination with Ed Miliband in are more likely to trust Vince Cable than Nick Clegg. Not too surprising. Actually what’s interesting as that the differences are not very big and Ed Balls comes out badly.

    As for growing mistrust, I agree, though it’ll be interesting to see what happens on this one point if the economy revives unquestionably over a couple of years. The depressing thing is that the low opinion of politicians is quite impervious to politicians’ actual behaviour. How often have we heard “they’re all in it together” or “you’re all as bad as one another” when this clearly isn’t so? Since the 70s polls have shown people have a low opinion of MPs but on average a much higher opinion of their own MP – so the low opinion of the class is hardly changed by anything the one you have contact with does. This is clearly true with councillors too.

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