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Sunday, May 05, 2013

Public in the dark on Labour's spending plans

Thursday's local election results may have been difficult for the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats and a triumph for UKIP (no matter how over-hyped at the time and since) but they were also a disappointment for Labour, who failed to assert themselves as an alternative government and under-performed against expectations.

In a way, Ed Miliband was fortunate that the hysteria that has surrounded UKIP's performance has succeeded in masking that of his party. Nevertheless, these findings by YouGov will offer little solace.

The polling company report that nearly half of the general public don’t know where Ed Miliband stands on spending, and a quarter of Labour voters think the position he's announced is something other than it is:

Ed Miliband announced after weeks of confusion that Labour’s position on spending come the 2015 election will be to increase borrowing in the short-term, in the hope that this will boost the economy and decrease borrowing in the long-term.

But new YouGov research indicates the message is yet to sink in, with nearly half (41%) saying they “don’t know” or are “not sure” about what Labour have said they will do on borrowing if they win the next election.

And even those who intend to vote Labour are puzzled. A quarter (26%) think the position Mr Miliband has announced is something other than it is and almost a third (29%) don't know, compared to one in four who correctly identify that Mr Miliband said he'll increase borrowing in the short-term to decrease it over time.

In truth elections are won on tone and the feel-good factor than on detailed policy but that is no consolation for Ed Miliband. After all, a general feeling that Labour has no answers or that they do not know what they want to do is just as bad as a major policy disagreement. It also underlines a general disatisfaction with the Labour leadership, who are perceived as not being up to the job.
Public are also in the dark on Plaid's 'don't make sense' policies, for example:

Plaid Cymru views Intellectual Property as firewalls and for support likes to quote Abraham Lincoln ('Ideas for the First Welsh Parliament', Issue 1).

But Abraham Lincoln got a patent!


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