Survation / Progressive Polling: Three quarters of voters believe PM and chancellor are out of touch
In a post-budget poll conducted by Survation on behalf of Progressive Polling, over 70% of voters polled believed that the Prime Minister and Chancellor do not appreciate the rising costs of living in the UK, a further demonstration of the public’s perception of the government as ‘out of touch’ with the people they represent. Only 5% responded that the pair appreciated these rises ‘very well’.
Particularly worrying for the government is that only 3% of lower earners (DE) answered ‘very well’ to this question, compared to 8% of higher earners (AB), which further adds credence to the view that the government disregards the needs of the poorest in society.
Another worrying figure is the number of people who believe that their finances are getting worse, not better: 35% of respondents believed that they would be worse off in 2015 than they are today. Yet even more striking is that among people who claimed that they were worse off than they were 3 years ago, 60% believed things would only get worse.
This shows a serious problem which the government will have to deal with sooner rather than later: it is people who have already been hit by the recession who are in the greatest danger over the rest of this Parliament, whilst amongst the highest earners (AB), only a quarter believe that things will get worse for them over the same period.
Finally, the public’s perceptions of the national debt and deficit were tested. The majority (72%) believed Labour’s line that the budget deficit is still rising, whilst 21% erroneously believed that debt was falling overall. This left only 10% who held the government’s official line that while debt was still rising, the deficit was being reduced. This demonstrates two possible issues: either the general public is largely unaware of the distinction between the debt and the deficit, or they are overwhelmingly sceptical of the government’s statements about borrowing.
It is clear from these results that the government has a long way to go to convince the public that they are managing the economy both as they promised they would, and in the interests of the poorest in our society. These are problems which surely must be solved before the public hits the polls in two years time, and perhaps give Labour, in opposition, a real chance to differentiate themselves from the current government and their economic troubles.
Full data tables can be found here.
Survation interviewed a representative sample of 1000 adults aged 18+ online on 20th-21st March 2013. Data were weighted to the profile of all adults. Survation is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.
– By Tom Ralston, Researcher
with contributions from Patrick Briône.