BMG polling suggests that the key ‘economic figures’ of the two main parties are failing to convince the public of their own capability to manage the economy. Ahead of tonight’s annual Mansion House speech where Osborne is set to outline the economic dangers of Brexit, could this handicap the ‘Remain’ camp’s economic credentials ahead of a critical vote on the 23rd?
According to BMG’s online tracker series, around two thirds (66%) of voters say that they have little or no confidence in George Osborne to run the economy; whilst more than four in ten (42%) suggested that they don’t even know enough about John McDonnell to express an opinion on his economic credentials.
Looking solely at Labour supporters, who tend to recognise the Shadow Chancellor in greater numbers, just 20% said that they had a “fair amount” of confidence in McDonnell to manage the economy, whilst a meagre 5% said they showed “a great deal”. This is a strong indication that the wider support for the Labour party across Britain is yet to get fully behind the new economic ideology of the party.
Those yet to make up their mind unlikely to warm to Osborne
BMG’s May poll shows that, of those who are currently undecided about how they will vote on the 23rd (16%), a significant proportion expressed little to no confidence in the ability of the current chancellor to manage the economy (84.6% excluding don’t knows).
These results question the perceived wisdom among Remain officials, that the two big political voices on the economy can actually deliver an economic argument that is credible enough to influence voters ahead of the vote, in particular those who are yet to be convinced either way, a group likely to be crucial to the outcome of the vote.
A closer examination of the data reveals that those who tend to share Osborne’s views on welfare reform express higher degrees of confidence in him than others, with 29% of those who feel that “welfare does more harm than good” showing a fair or a great deal of confidence. Conversely, far fewer respondents who believe that “welfare does more good than harm” are as supportive (14%). This suggests that if Osborne is to better engage and ‘win-over’ voters, he should be talking more about welfare restrictions, particularly with regard to access by EU migrants, as well as the welfare system more widely.
With a leadership contest looming, Conservative supporters seem to be broadly pleased with the performance their chancellor; a majority (51%) said that they had a “great deal” (10%) or “fair amount” (41%) of confidence in the Osborne. However, it will be interesting to see how he can address the large contingent of members that were less positive (42%) in order to bolster his chances when the contest finally arrives.
More details and a full breakdown of these results can be found here.
Fieldwork dates and methodology can be found here.
For a more detailed breakdown of results from this poll, or any other results from our polling series, please visit our website or get in touch by email or phone.
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George Bascom – Junior Research Executive – BMG Research
Dr Michael Turner – Research Director – BMG Research