Earlier today, the Government announced new plans to tackle Britain’s housing crisis.
Under these plans, the Government reaffirmed its pledge to build 1 million homes within the current Parliamentary term by focusing on developing urban brownfield sites over new projects in rural areas, having missed its previous annual target of building 300,000 new homes every year since the 2019 election.
At present, we at Redfield & Wilton Strategies find housing to be one of the lowest areas of approval for the Government, with the Labour Party leading the Conservative Party by 18% on this issue, one of Labour’s widest policy leads.
In our latest poll, conducted yesterday, half (48%) of voters say they disapprove of the Government’s performance on housing, while a quarter (23%) express approval.
The resulting net approval rating of -26% is the joint-second lowest net approval rating for the Government amongst all policy areas, ahead of only the NHS (-30%).
In fact, 2019 Conservative voters are virtually as likely to disapprove (32%) of the Government’s performance on housing as they are to approve (31%).
Altogether, 38% of voters say they are most likely to trust the Labour Party to manage housing, giving them an 18-point lead over the Conservatives (20%), the third widest-margin for Labour in trust on the issues (only tackling poverty (22-points) and supporting the NHS (20-points) see wider leads).
Notably, more homeowners trust Labour (35%) over the Conservatives (23%) on housing.
Furthermore, our latest national voting intention poll finds Labour leading among homeowners by 6-points (39% to 33%).
Meanwhile, Labour’s leads are even greater among those who may aspire to one day buy a home, i.e., towards whom the Government’s new plans are directed. 59% of renters say they would vote for Labour in a General Election, with only 17% opting for the Conservatives (42-point lead). Those who live with their family support Labour over the Conservatives at a similar rate.
Critically, housing (34%) ranks as the third most important issue for renters in determining how they will vote at the next election, behind only the NHS and the economy at large.
These findings are largely unchanged from our previous research in June, which found that the Conservative Party is struggling amongst both aspiring homeowners and existing homeowners.
Altogether, the Government’s housing policy has thus far been poorly received by voters. With interest rates the highest they have been in fifteen years, it remains considerably doubtful that these plans can reverse the electoral fortunes of the Conservative Party.