Labour has made no progress in winning the economic argument in the past year despite the Government’s failure to secure growth, according to a new poll for The Independent.
David Cameron and George Osborne are still trusted by more people than the Labour team of Ed Miliband and Ed Balls to take the right decisions on the economy, the post-Budget survey by ComRes found. Some 29 per cent of people trust the Prime Minister and his Chancellor, while 58 per cent do not – a net rating of minus 29 points. But only 22 per cent trust the Labour leader and shadow Chancellor, while 62 per cent do not – a net rating of minus 40 points.
One in three Labour supporters are not yet convinced about their party’s economic credentials. Thirty-five per cent do not trust Mr Miliband and Mr Balls to take the right decisions. While Labour leaders admit they have further work to do regain credibility on the economy, the figures will worry Labour because they are no better than its ratings in two previous ComRes surveys. In both January and October last year, 24 per cent of people trusted Mr Miliband and Mr Balls to make the right economic decisions – two points higher than in today’s survey.
The public is still more likely to blame economic problems on the previous Labour Government than the Coalition. Asked whether the Coalition was more to blame, 54 per cent disagreed and 32 per cent agreed. Three out of 10 (31 per cent) of Labour supporters did not believe that the Coalition was more to blame. However, the Government’s drive to pin responsibility on Labour may prove a less potent weapon as time passes. In January last year, 26 per cent agreed that the Coalition was more to blame and 62 per cent disagreed, so the trend is moving against the current Government.
Asked whether Mr Osborne was turning out to be a good Chancellor, 51 per cent of people disagreed and 24 per cent agreed. One in four Tory voters (26 per cent) and seven in 10 UK Independence Party supporters (71 per cent) did not regard him as a good Chancellor.
The survey shows another advance by Ukip at the expense of both the Tories and Labour. It has jumped to 14 per cent, its highest rating in a telephone survey by any pollster. Although the Liberal Democrats have gained support in the past month, they still trail Ukip in fourth place.
According to ComRes, Labour was on 38 per cent (down five points on last month), the Conservatives on 28 per cent (down three points), Ukip on 14 per cent (up five points), the Liberal Democrats on 12 per cent (up four points) and other parties on 8 per cent (down one). Almost one in five (18 per cent) of people who voted Conservative in 2010 say they now support Ukip.
ComRes interviewed 1,003 GB adults by phone between March 22 and 24. Data were weighted to be demographically representative of all GB adults, and also weighted by past vote recall. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.