This press release from the Fabians raises interesting issues about the future of public services…….
Fabian Society – Tory voters think cuts should be temporary 11.10.11
Around half of Tory voters disagree with the Conservative ideology of rolling back the state, new polling and analysis by the Fabian Society reveals. 69% of voters (including 56% of Conservative voters) think the spending cuts should only be temporary and that ‘the Government should increase spending on public services again when the public finances are in better shape’. Just 22% of voters (including just 39% of Conservative voters) agree with David Cameron that the cuts should be permanent and that “Government should look to reduce its role for the long term”.
Fabian Research Director Tim Horton argues that the poll shows most Tory voters are fundamentally un-Thatcherite when it comes to the state: they are deeply attached to public services and often fiercely protective of their social entitlements. These voters offer Ed Miliband a real chance to win the next election, since a Conservative government focused on shrinking the state will always struggle to make a convincing offer on public services and social security.
You can read the full analysis here: http://www.fabians.org.uk/images/stories/pdfs/Polling.pdf
However the YouGov poll – published in the summer Fabian Review – also suggests that Labour will have to change the way it thinks and talks about the state if it is to attract these voters. This includes making clear to people how they would receive benefits and services back from the state in return for the taxes they pay in: the poll finds that 55% of voters think they are overall losers from the welfare state, with just 23% thinking they either get back what they put in (15%) or are overall winners (8%).
Read a report in the Independent and more analsis at YouGov.
Read the Fabain Review here: