The Times have released a new poll following the PBR. It isn’t the first since the PBR, but unlike YouGov’s respondents would have had chance to see the media reaction following the PBR and start to digest it. It sadly doesn’t have any voting intention figures, but the other questions don’t look particular promising for the government.

As in YouGov’s poll a large majority backed the new 45% tax band – two thirds tough it was “fair and right”. However, it does appear to have sent an unfortunate message: 54% agreed with the statement that it “signals the end of New Labour and a shift to the left”. While a majority (51%) disagreed, a very substantial minority (42%) saw it as an attack on “aspiration and entrepeneurship”.

The most important question in there though, simply because they have the best chance of giving us the best evidence of which way the headline polling figures, are the tracker questions. Brown continues to lead Cameron on who will be the best leader “right now, to deal with Britain’s economy in recession”, but his lead has slumped. A fortnight ago he lead Cameron by 20 points, 52% to 32%, now his lead is down to 6 points, 42% to 36%.

We’ll see if it is reflected in voting intentions when ICM’s poll finally turns up, though the rumour mill is suggesting another big story is brewing…

63 Responses to “Populus shows Brown’s economic lead faltering”

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  1. “The effect willl be felt in the margins that retailers are able to enjoy. ”

    That is my view too john.
    No other interpretation makes sense.
    I think this was Darlings intention-to pump £12.5 bn into the retail trade & try to protect jobs that way,

    If he had said so, instead of pretending that it would boost spending, he would not have received the Press he has had.

    Barnaby-the Treasury figure is from the PBR-it is their assessment of the cost to industry & commerce of implementing IT changes for the VAT reduction.It has nothing to do with Government costs.

  2. Yes its up on the Guardian site C45 L30

  3. When I was a student I went in to a benefits office with my camera over my shoulder and was told i would have to leave because you weren’t allowed cameras in government buildings so I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that vast amounts of information covered by the offical secrets act is anything but secret.

    Heres a good example of breaking the offical secrets act;

    About 25 years ago I had an interview to join the intelegence service (I failed) and at it I had to sign the OSC and agree never to tell anyone I had been interviewed, which I have just done, which means I’ve just broken it.

    I am pretty sure that GCHQ isn’t swinging in to action even as I post…….But if you never here from me again…….


  4. Sorry that should be “hear” not “here”,

    Maybe I got turned down because of my spelling……

    I never did find out why and to be honest I thought it better not to send a nasty letter demanding an explaination.


  5. The silence from certain quarters in response to my last post tells its own story.

  6. There is no apostrophe in shows…. see title

    I went through a comparison between modern GCSE “science” paper and a 1963 chemistry “O” level paper. The “science” paper was like a pub quiz

    Heaven help our “modern” “improving” education system.

  7. Nick – your first sentence put me off the rest to start with, but it must be quite difficult for any elected rep to try to influence the police (or any other instrument of the crown/exec. like the judiciary eg). A hot potato. I blame the cops, and trust the poiticos (and I hope I’d asay so if the incumbents were LibDem or Tory).

    Colin – I can’t work out why Darling/Brown appear to be incapable of saying what they mean either, but every intelligent person I know is hoping that Next and others big retailers survive.

    What I’m worried about is the hoarding of money and the possibility that manufacturing collapse and retail collapse couils lead to pent up demand later, and a lessening supply.

    Those who think that the mattress is the best place for their cash won’t enjoy the hyperinflation that could follow swiftly a period of very low interest rates and demand destruction.

    How is this connected with Poll-watching? It’s to do with what is digestible through the media. Something must be preventing Brown/Darling from explaining their decisions properly.

    Do they really think a two-and-a-half-per-cent-off-one-year-sale sponsored by the taxpayer was the bewst way to present this? If so, they’re losing ME! If not, then what do they hope to gain from the public’s immediate and inevitable “that won’t make a difference to me” reaction?

  8. sorry about the typos, and of course supply destruction is a consequence of demand destruction that we need to avoid.

  9. “Those who think that the mattress is the best place for their cash won’t enjoy the hyperinflation that could follow swiftly a period of very low interest rates and demand destruction.”

    Ah-savings!!-a truly fascinating subject-but not here sadly.

    It seems that larger firms are providing credit for their smaller suppliers now-this is incredible.
    I fear the post Christmas accounting for many small companies will lead to awfull conclusions.

    Re your last para-there is far too much fear of saying what you mean & sticking to principles . It is not helped by politicians with lists of selective & partial quotations from opponents with which to “characterise” them.

    “I blame the cops, and trust the poiticos ”

    I’m trying to do the same john-but it got harder after watching the Home Sec on Marr this morning.

    I wait to see the first Poll with a question about Greengate. Do the public give a toss?-is this a media village flap-or is it important??

  10. John tt

    As you have aimed one or two barbs without reply on the thread I cannot resist pointing out two points.
    1 As I predicted the two weekend polls have shown a swing back to the Tories whereas you asserted that the polls were turning the other way. It’s not often I find myself agreeing with the Oracle but if you are placing us in the same boat well on this occasion I can live with that!
    2 It is barely conceivable that the Cabinet Office or the Home Secretary’s advisers were not told about the impending arrest of Mr Green at the same time as the others. What happened next we shall soon find out. What sort of offices do Mr Brown and Ms Smith run?

  11. 2 – It must be the case, otherwise she would not have said she had not been informed. Nothing to do with honesty, but logic. There is no way of remaining in her post if she’s lying, the certainty of being found out is 100%, therefore she’d be insane to lie.

    On the polls, they are turning , more like tankers than speed-boats, but they are turning from the massive leads of a few weeks ago to something less catastrophic.

  12. It is entirely concievable that the PM and Home Sec were not informed that Green was about to be arrested, which would not have been the case had he been arrested anti-terror laws and not under common law.
    However it is unbelievable that they were not aware considering both David Cameron and Boris Johnson were informed – which presupposes that the police deliberately decided there was no need to inform Brown or Smith.

    Additionally the suggestion that Green had been bugged would have required personal permission from Smith, so she would have known he was under investigation.

    It all smacks of ‘if anybody asks, this conversation didn’t happen’.

    I wonder who is going to be told when the investigation over the false-PBR leaks starts, as these must have come from a pro-government source within the treasury?

    And they wonder why we are cynical about them!

    Frankly it would do the country some good if Labour stopped playing party politics and stopped concentrating on the next poll result while the country is facing financial ruin – all tactics and no strategy makes Gordon look like a very sick bunny.

    He may not be a novice, but on governing petty vindictive behaviour is very much the sign of an amateur – Sir Ian Blair’s last day at the office was not a helpful one for his patron.

  13. john tt et al .

    It always pays to read other people’s posts with care. I did not say that the Home Secretary or the PM were told of the impending Green arrest but that it challenged belief that someone in their respective private offices were not aware of what was afoot . If some civil servant decided NOT to tell his or her political masters what was happening that is truly alarming.
    It ill becomes Gordon Brown to play the role of Pontius Pilate and the claim this morning on the Today programme that Jacqui Smith thinks the police quote did nothing wrong once again highlights the hypocrisy charge which the likes of you john tt simply fail to see.

    As for the opinion polls there is no doubt that they are at long last turning in favour of the Liberal Democrats whose support since the rout of 1979 has risen from 14% to 18% in the latest ICM poll. You do spot trends long before the rest of us john….

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