Who’ll win the battle of the budget context?

Who’ll win the battle of the budget context?

Is Labour beginning to deflect the blame?

The big clashes at Cameron’s third PMQs since entering Number 10 had a more familiar feel to them. The event was much less conciliatory than the first two occasions and Labour’s Harriet Harman felt confident enough to lead on the economy.

For the big political battle in the coming days and months is over the state of the public finances and the economy that Labour left behind when Mr. Brown went to the palace on May 11th.

Were they, as the coalition is trying to argue, in a poor state that requires drastic action or were things starting to improve?

For if the coming cuts are anything like as bad as has been hinted then the greater the need for the Tories and Lib Dems to blame Labour.

The YouGov polling below came out yesterday and suggests that, so far at least, the coalition message is getting through. But most of the fieldwork took place before the OBR report came out suggesting that in one or two areas things are not as bad as is being suggested.

“..who do you think is most to blame for the current spending cuts?” All CON Voters LAB voters LD voters
CON-LD coalition 17% 3% 40% 16%
Last Labour government 48% 88% 8% 46%
Both 19% 5% 28% 20%
Neither 9% 1% 17% 13%

Labour is fortunate that the former chancellor, Alistair Darling is still playing a leading role.

Mike Smithson

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