Poll deals blow to Tory hopes of limiting scandal

Exclusive survey shows two-thirds of voters now dismiss Conservatives as the 'party of the rich'

Two out of three people believe the Conservatives are the "party of the rich," according to a ComRes survey for The Independent, which suggests the cash-for-access affair has damaged David Cameron's party.

The poll shows Labour 10 points ahead, its biggest lead in a ComRes survey for seven years. Labour is on 43 per cent (up three points since the ComRes survey for this newspaper a month ago), with the Conservatives on 33 per cent (down four points), the Liberal Democrats on 11 per cent (down two points) and other parties on 13 per cent (up three points).

Worryingly for Mr Cameron, the findings suggest the disclosures about Tory fundraising may reinforce the perception given by last week's Budget that the party's focus is on looking after the interests of its wealthy backers. George Osborne, the Chancellor, was criticised by Labour for cutting the 50p rate of tax on incomes over £150,000 a year while freezing the tax allowances enjoyed by pensioners. Two-thirds of people (66 per cent) agree with the statement that "the measures announced in the Budget show that the Conservatives are the party of the rich", while 27 per cent disagree and 7 per cent don't know.

One in three (32 per cent) of the Tories' own supporters agree with this statement, while 62 per cent disagree. Seven out of 10 Liberal Democrat voters (70 per cent) view the Tories as "the party of the rich," while just 22 per cent do not. Among people who would vote Labour in a general election held now, 90 per cent see the Tories as the "party of the rich" while 8 per cent disagree.

Mr Osborne's controversial decision to impose a so-called "granny tax" is opposed by the public by a margin of almost 2-1. Some 59 per cent disagree with the statement that "the Government is right to freeze the personal tax allowances of pensioners to bring them into line with those for everyone else", while 31 per cent agree.

Conservative supporters are split over the Chancellor's move. Some 47 per cent agree with his decision while 46 per cent disagree. But it is opposed by a majority of Liberal Democrat and Labour voters. Only 31 per cent of Liberal Democrat supporters agree with it, while 52 per cent disagree. Among Labour voters, 27 per cent agree and 67 per cent disagree.

Perhaps surprisingly, pensioners are not markedly more hostile than the general public. People aged 65 and over disagree with the move by 61 per cent to 30 per cent. Similarly, the Tories have retained their lead among this age group, among whom they are on 42 per cent, with Labour on 35 per cent and the Lib Dems on 8 per cent.

ComRes interviewed 1,000 adults by telephone between 23 March and yesterday 26 March. Data were weighted to be demographically representative of all GB adults and by past vote recall. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Full tables at www.comres.co.uk

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvName confirmed for third series
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine