CHANCELLOR George Osborne’s lack of public credibility is draining support for government economic policy a major new poll has revealed.
The Ipsos Mori poll of 1,009 adults across the UK has also revealed that almost half of voters think that the country is being damaged by the austerity measures with 48 per cent saying they believe things will get worse.
However, the survey has shown that 52 per cent agree with the Coalition government’s focus on reducing the deficit against 41 per cent who agree with Labour’s plan to borrow more.
But when the question is posed “George Osborne argues” versus “[Labour shadow Chancellor] Ed Balls argues” the results reverse with 37 per cent supporting deficit reduction and 53 per cent backing more borrowing.
But the pre-Budget poll carried out over 9 to 11 March shows that the Tories still have a marginal lead over Labour of 27 per cent to 26 per cent when voters are asked which party is best running the country.
In other areas the poll revealed that both the Lib Dems and UKIP had a post-Eastleigh by-election bounce of an increase of two per cent each.
UKIP has 13 per cent in third place while the Lib Dems are still in fourth place with 11 per cent.
Labour comes out on top with 40 per cent while the Tories only poll at 27 per cent.
The leaders of the maion parties all have negative approval ratings with Labour’s Ed Miliband on -20 per cent, Prime minister David Cameron on -30 per cent and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg on -43 per cent.
The government has an overall rating of -44 per cent.
However, the poll also suggests that Tory MPs who are plotting to ditch Mr Cameron are out of step with the party’s own support base.
Of those who would vote Conservative 69 per cent said they were satisfied with Mr Cameron. Only 50 per cent of Labour voters were happy with Mr Miliband and 41 per cent of Lib Dems were satisfied with Mr Clegg, who had an overall -2 per cent rating among Lib Dem voters.
However, the leader most loved by his party’s supporters was UKIP’s Nigel Farage with 90 per cent.
Gideon Skinner, Head of Political Research at Ipsos MORI said: “The economy is the number one issue in the eyes of the British public, and while Labour have closed the gap they still have some way to go.
“But people don’t think that the Government is doing a great job either - as shown by the drop in those saying we should prioritise tackling the deficit when that policy is linked with George Osborne.”