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Among critical swing voters, Cameron and Osborne enjoy FORTY-EIGHT PER CENT lead over Miliband and Balls on economic trust

By Tim Montgomerie

Late on Saturday evening I posted some headline conclusions from a mega poll of more than 10,000 voters conducted by Lord Ashcroft. I focused on the findings that the NHS and crime were key to Cameron converting swing voters at the next election (alongside not messing up on the economy, welfare and immigration). Also looking at the data, Janan Ganesh focused on law and order as the Tories' achilles heel in this blog for The Economist.

Throughout this week I'll be looking at some of the poll's other findings, starting now with how "considerers" are viewing the Coalition's economic policies. "Considerers" are people open to voting Conservative and polling them is much more useful for electoral strategists than a poll of all voters.

The numbers are, overall, encouraging:

  • By 74% to 26% all considerers trust Cameron and Osborne with the economy rather than Miliband and Balls. The margin was a little smaller among women (42%).
  • 62% agreed that "although things are difficult now, the right decisions are being made and things will improve significantly in the next three or four years". 38% agreed with the more pessimistic alternative: "In three or four years’ time the economy will be no better, or even worse, than it is now."
  • More considerers agreed that the cuts were necessary and unavoidable (46%) or weren't enough (8%) than thought they were too far and too fast (46%). Of the 46% who thought the cuts were happening too quickly only 35% thought the motivation was ideology. 65% thought it was because the government wanted the cuts out of the way before the next election or because, quite simply, the government thought it was right.
In the last few days both Fraser Nelson and I have been questioning the idea that the Osborne cuts are ideological or exceptional. We've both compared them to the reduction package now proposed by President Obama. See point four of my article for the New Statesman and this Fraser Nelson table. Obama is cutting faster and deeper than Osborne. Ed Balls, as the CCHQ graphic shows, is now even more outnumbered...


Click on graphic to enlarge.


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