Good Thursday Afternoon,
It’s time to take a look at the polls! In this week’s issue of Magnified, we take an in-depth look at Labour’s new 17% lead over the Conservatives and the public’s reaction to last week’s mini budget.
But first, we’re hiring! Do you have research and/or political experience? Do you want to do interesting work similar to what you see in Magnified? See our job posting here.
This week, our research also covered:
- Declining Trust in the Bank of England
If you would like to find out more about how Redfield & Wilton Strategies can help your organisation succeed through polling and strategic advice, click here.
Westminster Voting Intention
Labour 46% (+2)
Conservative 29% (-2)
Liberal Democrat 13% (+2)
Green 4% (-2)
Scottish National Party 3% (-1)
Reform UK 4% (+2)
Other 1% (–)
Changes +/- 25 September
All Net Approval Ratings
Keir Starmer: +9% (+7)
Liz Truss: -14% (-8)
Kwasi Kwarteng: -18% (-10)
Changes +/- 25 September
Our mid-week voting intention poll, conducted last night and this morning, finds the Labour Party leading by 17%—the largest lead for Labour that we have recorded since the 2019 General Election. In polling conducted at the beginning of this week, Labour had led by 13%, which was, at the time, tied for the largest lead that we had recorded for the party.
Critically, 16% of those who voted for the Conservatives in 2019 say they would now vote Labour, such that, even when those who say they do not know how they would vote are included in our polling result, Labour still leads by a considerable 14%. Altogether, just 58% of 2019 Conservative voters now say they would vote the same way again, compared to 85% of those who voted Labour in 2019.
The Conservatives, at 29% (25% when undecided voters are included), score their lowest voting intention result to date. Prime Minister Liz Truss’ net approval rating now stands -14%, dropping 18-percentage points in a week from +4% a week ago. Her Chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng, has a slightly worse net approval rating of -18%, having been 0% on Wednesday last week.
In our previous Magnified, we said that head-to-head polling against Keir Starmer would be a key indicator for determining whether the public had turned against Liz Truss, and indeed, Starmer now leads Truss by 7% in head-to-head polling (41% to 34%), a complete reversal from Truss’ 5% lead a week ago.
In short, the public’s reaction to Friday’s mini budget has been nothing short of disastrous.
What’s fascinating is that a number of items in last week’s mini budget are, on the whole, quite popular. The public’s support for scrapping the national insurance increase stands at net +42%. 60% support the decision to reduce the basic rate of income tax from 20% to 19%, against just 15% in opposition (+45% net), and another 56% support the lift stamp duties on properties up to a value of £250,000, a measure opposed, again, by just 15% of the public (+41% net).
In addition, the price freeze of household energy bills at £2,500 is even more popular, attracting the support of an overwhelming 70% of British voters, with just 7% opposing the measure.
The above measures make up the bulk of Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng’s tax and spending measures since they moved into Downing Street earlier this month. Yet, two other measures do garner considerable public opposition: the decision to lift the cap on bankers’ bonuses (57% oppose, 18% support) and the decision to cut the top rate of income tax from 45% to 40% (44% oppose, 32% support)—both of whose effect on the Treasury’s Budget will, admittedly, be relatively minor compared to that of the aforementioned publicly supported policies.
As such, the public’s negative reaction to last week’s mini budget appears largely driven by 1) the financial market’s negative reaction, in particular the run on the British pound as investors became concerned about the UK Government’s ability to pay its debts, and 2) the significant amount of media coverage drawn towards the latter two unpopular measures which are primarily beneficial to the wealthy.
Does the public’s reaction to the mini budget announced on Friday therefore represent a failure on the part of Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng in policy or in communication, that is a failure to communicate the better supported and more impactful policy measures and to convey confidence in the Government’s ability to pay its debts?
Chart of the Week
Less discussed, but perhaps more consequential in the long run, trust in the Bank of England continues to falter. A year ago, an overwhelming majority of Britons (84%) said they had either ‘a lot of trust’ (32%) or ‘a moderate amount of trust’ (52%) in the Bank of England. By May of this year, that total figure had dropped to 35-percentage points to 49%.
The Bank of England did start to raise rates this year, in an effort to combat inflation, restoring trust slightly to 56%. However, too little, too late. After last week’s run on the pound, which, in addition to the mini budget, was also partly caused by the Bank of England’s decision to raise interest rates by less than the US Federal Reserve had respectively raised theirs, the percentage of Britons saying they have a lot or a moderate amount of trust in the BoE has again dropped to just 38%.
As the consequences of more than a decade of ultra-low interest rates and quantitative easing becomes more apparent and inescapable, this declining trust matters. Liz Truss, during the Conservative Party’s leadership contest, has been critical of the Bank of England, saying that she wanted to review the central bank’s mandate.
Hire Us: If you are a business, campaign, or research organisation looking to expand your understanding of public opinion, Redfield & Wilton Strategies has the tools to help. Get in touch to find out more.
R&WS in the Media
Each week we bring you the top stories from the media that have featured our research.
Labour shouldn’t celebrate the Tories’ economic failures
New Statesman | 27 September 2022
Curtice warns Truss shot herself in foot with budget – ‘very good bet’ Labour to take over
The Sunday Express | 27 September 2022
Liz Truss plans to cut taxes further in the new year
The Telegraph | 24 September 2022
Queen Elizabeth national day demands soar as 73% want annual national holiday
The Sunday Express | 24 September 2022
Are you a journalist needing a stat for your latest piece? We can be your resource—our polling covers hundreds of issues in multiple countries each week. If you are working on an article on a topical issue, chances are we have already asked the public about it. Get in touch and we’ll share our polling data with you!
Our Research on Social Media
Top 5 Tweets This Week
- Starmer leads Truss by 4%. At this moment, which of the following individuals do British voters think would be the better PM for the United Kingdom? (25 September): (see full tweet)
- Truss vs Starmer (25 September): Starmer leads on ALL attributes, except ‘knows how to get things done’ (31% each): (see full tweet)
- Do voters agree or disagree that Keir Starmer looks like someone who will one day be Prime Minister? (21 Sept.): (see full tweet)
- Truss and Starmer Net Approval Ratings (25 September): (see full tweet)
- Do voters believe the Gov’t is currently taking the right measures to address the cost-of-living crisis?: (see full tweet)