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Labour surges to 33-point lead over Tories after Liz Truss budget ‘disaster’

YouGov puts Keir Starmer’s party on 54 per cent as Tories slump to 21 per cent

Jon Stone
Policy Correspondent
Thursday 29 September 2022 17:36 BST
Keir Starmer says the UK is ready for 'Mr Boring'

Labour has surged to a 33 point lead in the polls as the catastrophic political reaction to Liz Truss's budget unfolds.

In the latest survey released on Thursday, Keir Starmer's party was up nine points to 54 per cent, while the Tories were down seven to 21 per cent.

The unprecedented figures from the pollster YouGov come after Ms Truss took to local radio stations to try and reassure the public about her economic strategy.

The survey also comes days before the start of Ms Truss’s first party conference as leader and if replicated at a general election would represent by far the worst result in the history of the Conservative party.

On a uniform national swing the numbers would leave the Conservatives with just three seats, and Labour with 564. The SNP would be the official opposition with 51 seats, according to the Electoral Calculus website.

Personal polling numbers for the prime minister herself are also catastrophic. Asked who would make the best prime minister, just 15 per cent said the Tory leader, down 10 on the previous poll.

Sir Keir was nominated by 44 per cent, up 12 per cent on the last poll.

Asked how well or badly people thought Ms Truss was doing as prime minister, 65 per cent said badly and 15 per cent said well.

Other pollsters showed similar vast leads for Labour. Survation gave the opposition a 21-point lead, with Sir Keir's party on 49 per cent, up 6 per cent, with the Tories on 28 per cent, down five per cent.

Deltapoll put the opposition 19 points ahead, while Redfield Wilton had the Tories 17 points behind.

The prime minister and her chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng decided on Friday to make dramatic unfunded tax cuts for mostly higher earners.

But the policy, pushed by free market think-tanks, backfired dramatically and saw a huge fall in the pound against the dollar, as well as a dramatic increase in government borrowing costs.

This week the Bank of England launched an emergency intervention to save pension funds, whose portfolios were dented by the dramatic shift in markets.

And the markets now expect interest rates to increase to 6 per cent by the end of the year, raising the prospect of a huge hike in payments for mortgage holders.

On the radio this morning Ms Truss emphasised the support for energy bills her government had provided – which will see costs for a typical family rise to £2,500 a year, twice what they were in January.

The government has blamed economic headwinds from the war in Ukraine for the economic instability, but reaction from economists has been largely negative.

Former US treasury secretary Lawrence Summers said the UK’s fiscal policy was based on “naïve, wishful thinking supply-side economics” and that “Britain will be remembered for having pursuing the worst macroeconomic policies of any major country in a long time”.

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