Is Ed Balls a liability for Labour? Do people prefer Osborne to the shadow chancellor on the economy? Reporting on their latest poll, the Evening Standard says:
“Researchers gave half the poll sample a summary of the Coalition’s argument that deficit-reduction should be the priority, without any mention of Mr Osborne’s name. They were also given a summary of Labour’s arguments for higher spending on growth measures and asked to choose between them.
The other half of the sample were shown identical summaries, but this time preceded by the words “George Osborne argues that … or “Ed Balls argues that…”
Adding the names of the politicians made a dramatic difference to the way people responded. When Osborne and Balls were not mentioned, voters backed the austerity policies by 52 per cent to 41 — an 11-point lead for the Coalition.
But when Mr Osborne and Mr Balls were identified as the authors, support for the Coalition policy fell to 37 per cent, and support for Labour’s policy jumped to 53 per cent — some 16 points ahead.”
So, now you know…(taps foot impatiently waiting for response from Anthony Seldon)
Whilst it’s still worrying to see failed austerity gaining so much support – it isn’t because people trust George Osborne.