There has already been analysis elsewhere of the latest Ipsos-Mori poll, and what this means for both the government and the opposition. Others have chosen to look at who (or more specifically which Ed) is faring well, and who isn’t.
For Labour supporeters though there’s one statistic that should be a real cause of concern. After all of the hard work that has been done to expose the damaging impact of Tory cuts and to try and rehabilitate Labour’s economic record, 49% still blame Labour for the cuts. That’s nearly double the percentage who blame the coalition (26%). As these cuts bite harder – and more jobs are lost – the partys needs to insulate itself against the anger of the electorate. I’ve already said that Labour needs an economic mea culpa on regulation (and Ed Balls has been doing that lately), but we also need to start spelling out what our alternative would look like. Monday’s press conference was a start, but if we’re to give a credible response to the budget, there’ll need to be more where that came from.
It’s not all bad news for Labour by any means, and there are signs that the party’s message that these cuts are “too far and too far” are getting through. Nearly three times as many people agree than the cuts should be slower than think the current pace is right. Similarly over 70% believe that the cuts will hit the poorest hardest.
Labour will need to take advatnage of the opportunities that next week’s budget presents, but be very wary of the greatest threat. A large proportion of the British public very much hold us responsible for the situation the country is in.