Tories lose ground in latest polls
Support for the Tories has plummeted since last month’s budget says a new poll, which also places Labour eight points ahead of the Conservatives – their strongest score in the poll since 2003.
George Osborne has surfaced as a drag on the party’s popularity, with those polled in Tuesday’s Guardian/ICM poll believing him to be unfair and incompetent in a crisis. 54% now believe that the chancellor “looks after the needs of the few, not the many”, nullifying Osborne’s campaign statement “We’re all in this together”.
David Cameron and Nick Clegg also came under fire, with voters reporting they felt a lack of fairness and empathy from both, meaning that they would have hoped to do well on the “competency” questions to make up for this.
Unfortunately, recent blunders such as the failed deportation of Abu Qatada, the way in which the planned strikes by fuel tankers were handled and some of the more radical taxes announced in the budget, have left voters underwhelmed.
Amid scathing criticisms following the budget, Mr Cameron admitted that the government was sometimes failing to get its message across, and defended Osborne by saying: “”In two years, to have a couple of bad months is not surprising.”
Labour, meanwhile, have broken the 40% barrier – the level of popularity often suggested to be linked to an outright win for the party. Many believe, however, that rather than new popularity for Labour, the public’s disillusionment with the coalition has led to this new rise.
Amongst the smaller parties, support has also risen. Despite recent polls suggesting that UKIP may usurp the Liberal Democrats in popularity, the poll places it at 3% – two points up from last month’s 1%.
Amongst the others, popularity ratings stand at 4% for the Scottish Nationalists, 2% for the Green Party and 1% for Plaid Cymru, the British National Party and all other minority groupings.