- YouGov: Conservatives 44% / Labour 25%
- It’s the Tories’ biggest lead while in government since 1987
- The National Insurance controversy hasn’t damaged May’s popularity
- The public supports changes to NIC for the self-employed
LONDON — The first opinion poll since Philip Hammond announced his spring Budget gives the Conservatives a 19-point lead over the Labour Party.
The YouGov survey conducted for the Times newspaper in the immediate aftermath of the Budget puts Theresa May’s Conservatives on 44% while Labour continues to lag way behind on 25%.
It’s the Tories’ biggest lead as a governing party since 1987 and illustrates just how comfortable May continues to be despite the controversy caused by the government’s decision to raise National Insurance contributions for the self-employed.
The broken manifesto promise came under attack on the front page of almost every national newspaper on Thursday morning but seemingly hasn’t damaged the party’s overall popularity with the general public.
This is how the new YouGov poll breaks down:
Conservatives 44 (+2)
Labour 25 (=)
UKIP 11 (-1)
Liberal Democrats 10 (-1)
Changes to how much National Insurance Class-4 self-employed Brits must pay is set to leave 2.84 million people worse off. Numerous Conservative MPs have joined Labour in criticising the decision. Tory Anne-Marie Trevelyan told the BBC that changes to the NIC policy was a step “going in the wrong direction”.
May’s predecessor David Cameron was caught on camera appearing to describe the policy as “stupid” while at a memorial service for British soldiers killed in the Middle East on Thursday. The former prime minister can be seen uttering the words “manifesto pledge” and “stupid” — although the rest of what he said is open to interpretation.
Here’s Cameron describing the NIC hike as “stupid”:
The YouGov poll released today suggests that the uproar among journalists and MPs over the policy is yet to find its way into the general public.
In fact, polls since Wednesday’s Budget suggest that the public supports the Chancellor’s decision to raise NIC for the self-employed. YouGov found that 47% of people support the policy compared to 33% who don’t. Sky also detected support for the policy.
This poll makes yet more disastrous reading for the Labour Party as it continues to trail the Conservative government by whopping margins.
Labour led the Tories by five points at this stage in the last electoral cycle, whereas they are now 19 points behind. Recent research by academic Matt Goodwin suggests that Labour must be at least 12% ahead in order to have a chance of winning a majority of the next general election.
Corbyn’s team remains adamant that it will find a way of reversing the party’s fortunes in the polls.
“We are confident that that level of support will change and the gap between Labour and the Tories will close,” a source close to the Labour leader told Business Insider earlier this month.
However, the same source admitted that Labour cannot win the next general election if it continues down the same path. “Well if you look at what Keir Starmer said, it was that if nothing changes then Labour won’t be winning a general election. Obviously, if the current levels of support in the opinion polls were to continue then that would clearly be the case,” they said.
I could be wrong-but at Iraq service today, it seems to me Cameron is saying something about “manifesto” and “stupid”. You decide… pic.twitter.com/ZuhYZ7F2yC
— Chris Ship (@chrisshipitv) March 9, 2017
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