Voters for the last few years have said the economy is the most important issue facing Britain.
Last night we had a survation poll for Labourlist which shows
That nearly half of all voters (46.8%) believe that Labour â€œcannot be trusted with the economyâ€. Less than one-third (30.1%) believe that Labour can be trusted with the nationâ€™s finances.
There is further evidence that Labour isn’t trusted with the economy, as there is polling that shows that a plurality blame Labour for the cuts/economic situation, more than three years after they left office.
The last LAB government, as can be seen, is getting an increasing amount of the blame. This comes after a period which has seen a narrowing of the gap.
Iâ€™ve long taken the view that this is a key pointer to the GE2015 outcome.
As we saw in the US last November a key part of Obamaâ€™s success was that voters still regarded the Bush administration as being to blame for the economy.
As long as these figures stay negative for Labour then victory in 2015 cannot be assured.
So Ed Balls’ intervention today, is important, it has led to headlines saying Labour targets free schools, police and winter fuel allowances in proposed cuts, he also told theÂ shadow cabinet it must plan on having the same government funds as the coalition if it wins power in 2015.
There were a number of u-turns, on the OBR, in 2010 Labour saidÂ “There were already serious questions about the independence of the Office of Budget Responsibility. Now its very credibility is at stake.”
Today they said Â Labourâ€™s election manifesto in 2015 would include â€œtough fiscal rules that the next Labour government will have to stick to”…….Tough rules, which will be independently monitored by the Office for Budget ResponsibilityÂ Â and another u-turn overÂ universal benefits
Here are the list of the other key announcements made by Ed Balls today,
During this parliament, it was the 2012 Budget and its aftermath, that saw the largest sustained change in voting intention, something from which the Tory party has yet to recover from.
But despite that, the Tories/Cameron/Coalition is still most trusted/preferred on the economy.
It will be interesting to see over the next few months if the cuts blame voting changes, and if there is a marked improvement in the voting intention for Labour, or Ed Balls’ personal ratings, and if Ed Miliband can overtake Dave as the most trusted to deal with the economy, Â although it maybe out of their hands.
There is polling that both George Osborne and Ed Balls put off the voters,Â George Osborne’s name on economy policies proves ‘toxic’ to voters, poll showsÂ whilst Ed Balls’ own polling reportedly shows him toÂ be unappealing to voters.Â
David Herdson noted recently, the 2015 General Election could be anÂ anti-unpopularity contest, somethingÂ which is likely to happen if the next election is all about the economy, and the main economic spokesmen are George Osborne and Ed Balls.
A full transcript of Ed Balls’ speech today is available here
Note: Mike Smithson is currently on holiday