A majority of Britons expect income tax to rise no matter who wins the General Election according to Ipsos MORI’s May Political Monitor, and there are doubts over both parties when it comes to keeping promises or improving people’s standard of living. Expectations are though higher that the Conservatives will get a good deal for Britain in Brexit negotiations, while Labour is thought to be better news for welfare state services.
Meanwhile, a large majority of the public (70%) expect a Conservative majority on June 8th (including half of Labour supporters). Two in five (42%) think that the Conservatives will win a majority of more than 100 seats while 28% expect them to win with a majority fewer than 100. One in ten (10%) think Labour will become the majority party in parliament. Expectations don’t quite match public preferences of course with one in three (33%) preferring the outcome of the election to be a Conservative majority of more than 100 while 12% want a slimmer majority for the Conservatives of less than 100 seats. One in five (20%) want a Labour majority larger than 100 seats while 7% want them to hold a majority of less than 100. Just 4% would like to see a Liberal Democrat majority.
Fifty-four percent say that if they Conservatives win they’ll raise income tax (33% think they wouldn’t) while seven in ten (70%) would expect Labour to do the same (19% think not). Neither party is seen as likely to improve the public’s standard of living with three in ten saying the Conservatives would raise their standard of living if elected (31% will, 59% will not) and one in three saying a Labour government would (36% will, 57% not).
When it comes to Brexit, one of the two most important voting decision issues, three in five believe the Conservatives will get Britain a good deal in negotiations with the European Union (60% will, 29% not) compared to three in ten who think Labour would (31% will, 57% will not).
Labour however are seen as the party which if elected would improve welfare state services with two in three saying they would (66% will, 28% will not) compared with one in three believing this of the Conservatives (33% will, 57% will not).
Neither party is expected keep their promises if elected although the Conservatives fare slightly better than Labour. Two in five say a Conservative government would keep its promises while half say they wouldn’t (41% vs 50%). Comparatively three in ten (31%) say a Labour government would keep its promises while 57% think they would not.
With much of the election debate focused on taxing wealthier citizens, the new Ipsos MORI poll asks the public at which income level would they consider someone to be “rich”. Half (48%) say £80,000 is rich, 26% say £150,000 and 23% say more than £150,000.
Gideon Skinner, Head of Political Research at Ipsos MORI, said:
By two-to-one voters doubt a Conservative government will improve welfare state services or improve their standard of living, and they also expect a rise in tax, whatever the parties say. But by two-to-one they also think Theresa May’s party will get a good deal in Brexit, which might go some way to explaining why so many of them expect a Conservative victory. And our past experience shows that people expected Tony Blair in 1997 (and David Cameron in 2010) to raise tax too – and that didn’t stop them.
Ipsos MORI interviewed a representative sample of 1,053 adults aged 18+ across Great Britain. Interviews were conducted by telephone 15th-17th May 2017. Data are weighted to the profile of the population (by age, gender, region, work status/sector, social grade, car in household, child in household, tenure, education and newspaper readership).
The facts may have changed on Brexit - but people’s minds have not
Reflecting the national vote in the 2016 referendum, voters in Bedford split almost the same way, with 51.8% voting to leave the EU. Two years on, we joined the BBC Radio 4 Today programme to ask local Bedford residents what they have to say on the matter now.