One week following George Osborne’s budget announcement, Ipsos MORI’s new Political Monitor shows the Chancellor's satisfaction ratings have fallen compared to last month. Three in five (60%) say they are dissatisfied with the performance of Mr Osborne (up 14 points from February) compared to one in four (27%) who say they are satisfied (down 13 points). This equals his worst performance in March 2013. Mr Osborne still has the backing of most of his party with three in five (58%) Conservative supporters saying they are satisfied with the Chancellor (although 31% are dissatisfied).
The Chancellor’s poor performance in satisfaction ratings this month is mirrored by the public reaction to the budget proposals. When asked about the budget proposals specifically the poll finds:
- One in three (35%) believe they are a good thing for them personally while two in five (40%) think they are a bad thing.
- Three in ten (30%) think they are a good thing for the country while more than half (53%) think they are a bad thing.
- Three in ten (29%) think they are a good thing for the next generation while more than half (53%) think they are a bad thing.
Cutting disability benefits was especially unpopular with the public with 84% opposed to the proposal and just 13% in support of it. Even supporters of Mr Osborne’s own party show strong opposition with seven in ten (71%) Conservatives opposed to the plan and 22% in support of it. Despite a win with the sugar tax (69% supporting it and 26% opposed) half (49%) disagree that in the long term the government’s policies will improve the economy (43% believe they will).
Other findings from this month’s Political Monitor include:
- David Cameron’s satisfaction ratings have declined with one in three (34%) saying they are satisfied with him (down 5 points) and three in five (59%) dissatisfied leaving the Prime Minster with a net satisfaction score of -25 (his worst since 2013).
- Jeremy Corbyn’s satisfaction ratings are up with 35% satisfied with the Labour leader (up 5 points) and 46% dissatisfied leaving him a net satisfaction rating of -11.
- One in four (24%) are satisfied with Liberal Democrat Leader Tim Farron (up 4 points) while 36% are dissatisfied leaving him with a net satisfactions score of -12 (40% however say “don’t know”)
- Thirty-eight (38%) are satisfied with UKIP leader Nigel Farage (up 5 points) while two in five (40%) are dissatisfied leaving him with a net satisfaction score of -2.
- Two in five (40%) say they believe the economy will get worse over the next 12 months and 23% think it will improve leaving an Economic Optimism Index score of -17, similar to last month.
- Our ongoing vote intention figures show the gap has slightly narrowed between the Conservatives and Labour. The Conservatives currently stand at 36% compared to Labour with 34%, the Liberal Democrats at 10% and UKIP at 11%.
Gideon Skinner, Head of Political Research at Ipsos MORI, said:
“It’s been one of the worst weeks for the Conservatives since the election in terms of public opinion. Public reaction to the Budget is in 2012 ‘omnishambles’ territory, and on some measures even worse, while also dragging David Cameron’s personal ratings to their lowest for three years. The drop in confidence in the government’s long-term economic plan – crucial to their election victory – is another cause for concern, but only if Labour can take advantage.”
Ipsos MORI interviewed a representative sample of 1,023 adults aged 18+ across Great Britain. Interviews were conducted by telephone 19-22 March 2016. Data are weighted to match the profile of the population.