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UK Politics

New survey: Voters see Conservatives as safer bet for the economy


Labour is winning the political battle over the cost of living but people trust the Conservatives more to secure economic growth, according to a survey for The Independent.

Although Ed Miliband’s pledge to freeze energy prices has boosted Labour’s ratings on living standards, the ComRes poll will give the Conservatives hope that they can win the crucial economic argument at the 2015 general election.

Since the economy has started to grow, Labour has focused on the “living standards crisis” caused by wages falling behind inflation. But George Osborne, the Chancellor, argued on Monday that “the only route to better living standards” is a credible economic plan.

Asked to choose between the two main parties, the public believes the Tories (42 per cent ) would be more likely than Labour (33 per cent) to keep the economy growing. Similarly, nearly half of British people (47 per cent) think the Conservatives would be more likely than Labour to keep public spending under control, compared to 28 per cent who said the opposite. However, people are more likely to think that their own family would be better off under Labour (41 per cent) than the Conservatives (31 per cent). This is the case for every social grade and every age group except 55-64 year-olds.

After Mr Miliband’s energy promise, nearly half the population (48 per cent) say that Labour would be more likely than the Conservatives to keep prices down, while only 21 per cent believe the Tories would be more likely to do so. Despite that, last week’s Labour conference has failed to give the party a bounce. Labour’s lead over the Conservatives stands at four points, down two points since the last poll for The Independent in August. Labour is on 37 per cent (unchanged), the Tories 33 per cent (up two points), the Liberal Democrats on 11 per cent (down one point), Ukip on 11 per cent (up one point) and others on 8 per cent (down two points). Labour would win a majority of 46 seats on these figures.

ComRes interviewed 1,001 adults in Great Britain by telephone between 27-29 September. Data was weighted to be representative of all GB adults. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.