Polling by Redfield and Wilton Strategies has recorded a 36-point lead for Labour over the Conservatives in a fresh blow for Liz Truss, whose short tenure as Prime Minister has been rocked by economic and political turmoil.
According to the research, published this afternoon, 56% – up three points on a survey carried out four days ago – of the voting population would back Keir Starmer’s party if an election were held tomorrow. Just 20%, a fall of four points, told the pollster that they would support the Conservatives.
The 36-point lead reported for the opposition party is the largest of any political party in a quarter of a century. The Lib Dems were backed by 11% of respondents (-2), the Greens 5% (+2), the SNP 4% (-) and the Reform Party 2% (-).
The publication of the polling followed an emergency statement this morning by Jeremy Hunt, who replaced Kwasi Kwarteng as Chancellor on Friday following the sacking of his predecessor, confirming that the government would reverse “almost all” the tax measures announced in the ‘mini-Budget’.
The government had already announced significant U-turns on the fiscal statement made by Kwarteng. Hunt also confirmed that the government would be abandoning plans for a reduction of the basic rate of income tax, cuts to dividend rates, IR35 tax changes, VAT-free shopping for tourists and alcohol duty changes
The planned cut to National Insurance contributions of 1.25 percentage points will still go ahead, Hunt confirmed, as will the decrease in stamp duty.
Hunt warned that there would be “difficult decisions” on tax and spending, that government departments would “redouble their efforts to find savings” and that “some areas of spending will need to be cut”.
The Chancellor also told the public that the ‘energy price guarantee’, as originally unveiled by Liz Truss, will only last until April 2023 and said the government will launch a review to consider a “new approach”.
Labour tabled an urgent question following the announcement, calling on the Prime Minister to make a statement and take questions from MPs. The Prime Minister did not attend parliament, however, and Penny Mordaunt was sent in her place.
Labour leader Keir Starmer demanded that the minister outline how the country can “get the stability it needs” as he argued that Liz Truss has created an “utter vacuum” of leadership and her government offers only “grotesque chaos”.
Conservative backbenchers have been openly discussing replacing Truss, who has been in post for just six weeks. The Tory Party rules mean one leadership contest can be held in any 12-month period, however members of the 1922 committee – which sets the rules – reportedly met to discuss changing them over the weekend.
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