Post-omNICshambles, the Tories are still seen as the party of economic competence

John McDonnell says it will take two years to 'turn' public perception


Despite last week’s chaotic and embarrassing budget u-turn, 44 per cent of people believe that Theresa May and Philip Hammond are best-placed to manage the economy. Just 11 per cent who say the same of Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell.

New ICM/Guardian polling data shows that, somehow, trust in the Tory top team has increased since before the budget, despite the backlash against Hammond’s increase to self-employment NICs, the high-profile briefing war between Number 10 and Number 11, and the government’s eventual disorderly retreat.

In an interview with the newspaper yesterday, McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, said the budget chaos had ‘shattered’ perceptions of Tory economic competence, ‘particularly Philip Hammond’s.’ But the immediate evidence suggests otherwise.

Overall, the voting intention figures give the Conservatives a 19-point lead. The breakdown is as follows:

CON: 45 per cent (+1)

LAB: 26 per cent (-2)

UKIP: 10 per cent (+10)

LDEM: 9 per cent (+1)

GRN: 4 per cent (-1)

Rumours that May is planning a May snap election have resurfaced today, an alarming prospect given Labour’s current polling numbers. Number 10 insists that claims are unfounded and that no election is planned before 2020.

But the same interview, McDonnell has tacitly acknowledged that the party is unprepared for the general election. Recognising that perceptions of Labour’s economic competence hadn’t improved since the 2008 crash, he said the numbers would ‘turn’, but not for up to two years.

‘I think it will turn, he said. ‘But it’s obviously hard work, of course it is. Over the next 18 months, 24 months, I think it will turn and we will be ready for the general election at that stage.’

See: After 60 days, just how unpopular is Donald Trump?

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2 Responses to “Post-omNICshambles, the Tories are still seen as the party of economic competence”

  1. Michael WALKER

    John McDonnell is hated /despised/distrusted (take your pick) by voters.
    Whilst he is Shadow Chancellor, Labour will have zero economic credibility..

    Relying on a magic money tree does not mean you can get away with economic incompetence… which is what voters see and fear in Labour.

    It is risible to suggest any Party lead by Corbyn will ever have any reputation for competence in any sphere of operation.After all, he cannot organise a relaunch without contradicting himself the same day… Makes Hammond’s Budget U turn in a week look staid.

  2. ted francis

    Labour have only one hope: if a snap Election is called Labour remove Jeremy Corbyn and replace him with a centre/left leader. Otherwise Labour will be out in the wilderness for at least 10 years and will take another 5 years to gain some credibility. In the meantime the Tories will march on with total freedom and power to indulge their evil ideology and subject the working people of this country to endless austerity and exploitation. As if Brexit isn’t enough of a terrifying prospect!

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