Further details from Populus’s poll in the Times suggest that in many areas Labour as seen as having performed less well than the last Tory government.

Asked if they have been better or worse than the Tories in 10 policy areas, in 7 areas respondents thought Labour had done worse. These included fighting crime (21% thought Labour had done better, 36% thought the Tories did better, a deficit of 15 points), spending taxpeyers’ money efficiently (a deficit of 34 points), sleaze (-19), defence (-21) and, most surprisingly, improving the NHS (-9).

In only three areas did people think that Labour had outperformed the last Tory government – education (by 8 points), tackling poverty (by 13 points) and – on what probably remains the most important policy area of all – managing the economy (by 13 points).

The poll was obviously taken over a weekend when the Labour party was in crisis, and this likely drove down all their figures to some extent, but with their past dominance on the issue of the NHS apparantly fading, Labour’s only really dominant area is the economy. Of course, economic competence is arguably the single most important area for any party, but their eggs are increasingly in a single basket.


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