Poll: Tories still more trusted than Labour on the economy

Bad news for Labour five months before the election

David Cameron and George Osborne are winning the economic argument against Ed Miliband and Ed Balls as voters make up their mind in the run-up to next May’s general election, according to an opinion poll for The Independent.

ComRes found that people are more likely to think their family would be better off with the Prime Minister and Chancellor in charge of the economy than their Labour rivals. This finding is a big setback for Labour, which is campaigning on the “cost of living crisis” in the hope of eroding the Conservatives’ lead on economic competence. Although there has been a nine-point drop in the number of “don’t knows” since January, Labour have been unable to close the gap on living standards.

Some 43 per cent of people think their family finances would be better off under the Cameron-Osborne team, while only 32 per cent believe they would do better under Miliband-Balls.

Labour takes comfort from Barack Obama’s victory in the 2012 Presidential election, after he trailed Mitt Romney on economic competence but was ahead when voters were asked who would be best for “you and your family”, but there is little sign of Labour making similar progress in Britain.

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One in five (21 per cent) of current Labour voters says their family’s finances would be better off under the Prime Minister and Chancellor, while only one in eight (17 per cent) thinks their families would fare better under the Labour leader and shadow Chancellor. 

The Tories have extended their lead when people are asked whether they trust Mr Cameron and Mr Osborne or Mr Miliband and Mr Balls to make the right decisions in the economy. Some 37 per cent of people trust Cameron-Osborne and only 27 per cent Miliband-Balls.

Four in five (81 per cent) Conservative voters) trust the Prime Minister and Chancellor, while only two in three (66 per cent) Labour supporters trust their Labour counterparts. One in five (22 per cent) Labour voters trust the Cameron-Osborne team, while one in eight (13 per cent) Tory voters trust the Miliband-Balls duo.

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There is one ray of hope for Labour: the Conservatives’ lead on the economy has not translated into party support, fuelling Tory fears of a voteless recovery. A month ago, ComRes showed the two biggest parties neck and neck, but now Labour has opened a three-point lead. Labour is on 31 per cent (up one point), with the Conservatives on 28 per cent (down two points), Ukip on 18 per cent (down one point), the Liberal Democrats on nine per cent (no change), the Greens on seven per cent (up three points) and others on seven per cent (no change). The advance of the Greens will be seen as further evidence of what the party calls the “Green surge”.

ComRes interviewed 1,005 GB adults by telephone between 28 and 30 November.

Data was 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.

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