Confidence in Tories ‘lost’ as nine in 10 say economy doing badly – poll

The public has “lost confidence” in the Conservatives’ ability to handle the economy – but half have little faith a Labour government would do better, a new poll has found.

At least half the public have little or no trust in either party’s ability to manage the country’s taxes and spending or reduce the cost of living, pollster Ipsos found.

The Conservatives fare worst, with 27% of people saying they trust the Tories to manage taxes and spending, down from 37% in August, while just 17% back the Government to reduce the cost of living.

Underlining the challenge for Jeremy Hunt as he prepares for Thursday’s autumn statement, 65% of people say they do not trust the Conservatives on taxation and spending, while three quarters say they do not trust them on the cost of living.

Labour’s numbers are better, with 38% saying they trust the opposition to manage taxation and spending and 37% saying they believe the party would reduce the cost of living.

Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves (PA)

But despite leading the Conservatives, Labour is yet to receive a ringing endorsement from the public, with 50% saying they have little or no trust in the party’s ability to manage the budget and 52% saying the same about its chances of reducing the cost of living.

The findings, from a poll of 1,000 British adults carried out between November 4 and 8, are accompanied by widespread pessimism about the state of the British economy.

Just 7% think the economy is in a good state, down from 37% a year ago, while almost nine in every 10 people think the economy is doing badly – up from 59% in November 2021.

Public perception remains divided on Mr Hunt himself. Only 17% think he was doing a good job while 29% think he is doing a bad job, the poll found.

(PA Graphics)

The figures have deteriorated slightly since he was reappointed by Rishi Sunak in October, when 22% thought he was doing a good job.

Keiran Pedley, research director at Ipsos UK, said: “The public are yet to make their mind up on Jeremy Hunt as Chancellor, but this week could prove decisive as he sets out his plans to improve Britain’s economy.

“The public have lost confidence in the Conservatives’ handling of the economy this year, so Hunt faces an uphill battle to restore trust. Time will tell if he can succeed.”