New ComRes Poll – Labour Moves Into a 3% Lead
Conservative 37% (down 2%)
Labour 40% (up 2%)
Lib Dem 10% (no change)
ComRes asked if people agreed or disagreed with eight options for George Osborne, the Chancellor, in the Budget next week. Most of the measures about which there has been speculation are popular, except for the “tycoon tax” of a minimum income tax rate of 30 per cent.
Raise the starting point of income tax from £7,475 to £10,000
Agree: 81% Disagree: 8%
Older people are more likely to agree than younger people – 87% of people aged 55 and over do so compared with 55% of people aged 18-24. Voters for all three main parties show similar levels of support for this.
Abolish the 50 per cent tax rate on incomes over £150,000
Agree: 21% Disagree: 58%
A majority of Conservative voters (51%) disagree that the 50 per cent tax rate should be abolished, as do 67% of Labour voters and 70% of Lib Dem voters.
Introduce an annual “mansion tax” on properties worth over £2m
Agree: 64% Disagree: 20%
The majority of Conservative voters (59%) agree with an annual “mansion tax” compared with 66% of Lib Dems, and 72% of Labour voters.
Introduce a minimum income tax rate of around 30 per cent, that everyone should pay, regardless of tax reliefs and schemes to reduce tax liability
Agree: 12% Disagree: 63%
Nick Clegg’s proposal for a “tycoon tax” is unpopular with supporters of all parties. Liberal Democrat sources were steering journalists to a level for the “tycoon tax” of between 20 and 30 per cent, so we asked about 30 per cent; presumably respondents did not like it because it is higher than the 20 per cent basic rate and they thought it might hit them.
Continue to pay child benefit to people paying the 40 per cent tax rate (over £42,475 a year), rather than cutting it as planned
Agree: 25% Disagree: 58%
Cut duty on petrol and diesel before cutting any other taxes
Agree: 74% Disagree: 15%
Younger people are less likely to agree than older people – 65% 18-24 year olds and 64% of 25-34 year olds agree, compared with 83% of people aged 65 and over. This cut is supported by 80% of Conservative voters, compared to 74% of Labour and 65% of Lib Dem voters.
Introduce a minimum price for a unit of alcohol
Agree: 44% Disagree: 41%
Supported by 51% of Conservative voters and 56% of Lib Dems.
Freeze the duty on beer in order to help save Britain’s pubs
Agree: 54% Disagree: 27%
We also asked if people agreed or disagreed with more general statements about the economy. A pair of statements about trust on the economy produced poor figures for Ed Miliband and Ed Balls:
I trust David Cameron and George Osborne to make the right decisions about the economy
Agree: 29% (-1 since November) Disagree: 49% (+4)
I trust Ed Miliband and Ed Balls to make the right decisions about the economy
Agree: 15% (-6 since November) Disagree: 59% (+9)
The net score for Cameron/Osborne has gone from -15 in November to -20, while that for Miliband/Balls has gone from -29 to -45.
Another pair of statements on the Budget judgement showed a marked shift in favour of tax cuts since two months ago:
The Chancellor should make tax cuts a priority in the forthcoming Budget
Agree: 45% (+8 since February) Disagree: 27% (-6)
The Chancellor should not make any tax cuts until the country’s public debt is better under control
Agree: 30% (-11 since February) Disagree: 43% (+11)
So net support for tax cuts has risen from +4 in February to +18, while support for prioritising debt reduction has fallen from +9 to -13.
The government is not doing enough to get the economy growing and unemployment down
Agree: 62% Disagree: 20%
Finally, we asked about the Prime Minister’s character:
I don’t really know what David Cameron stands for
Agree: 50% (+8 since September) Disagree: 36% (-9)
David Cameron is a conviction politician
Agree: 24% Disagree: 25% Don’t know: 50%
David Cameron does a good job of representing Britain abroad
Agree: 41% Disagree: 34%
Women are more likely to say “don’t know”; once we adjust for this, women are more likely to say that David Cameron is a conviction politician and that he does a good job of representing Britain abroad.
ComRes surveyed 2,010 GB adults online on 14-16 March 2012. Data were weighted to be demographically representative and by past vote recall.