It’s worrying time for the Conservatives after a new poll conducted this week by YouGov showed Labour had taken the lead for the first time since 2019.
It’s believed that this week’s rapid loss in support for the Tories was down to the 1.25% tax hike in National Insurance and Dividends. The hike in tax during an ongoing pandemic that has hit small Businesses hard has left an unsavoury taste with those who are just scraping by.
The current poll shows Labour at 35% of the vote compared with the Conservatives at 33%. This is quite a shocking poll, especially after the Labour leader Keir Starmer failed to set out an alternative plan to what the Tories put out.
Last week the Tories were at 38% with a four-point lead over Labour. Since the tax hike, the Tories fell 5% to 33%, with Labour gaining 1% at 35%. This shows support hasn’t necessarily switched from Tories to Labour. It does show the fall in confidence with what Boris Johnson has done.
Boris Johnson defended the decision on the tax hike, saying: “Of course, no Conservative Government ever wants to raise taxes. And I will be honest with the House: I accept that this breaks a manifesto commitment, which is not something I do lightly. But a global pandemic was in no one’s manifesto.”
“I think that the people of this country understand that in their bones and can see the enormous steps this Government and the Treasury have taken.”
Out of those surveyed by YouGov, six out of ten said they didn’t believe the Tories now stand for low taxes compared to two out of ten last week. When Tory backers were asked about the hike in taxes, less than a quarter believed the Tories now stand for low taxation.
Political research Director for YouGov, Anthony Wells, said: “We should be cautious of leaping to too many conclusions from a single poll, but It looks as if the Government may have sacrificed their reputation for low taxes amongst Tory voters without actually getting much credit for helping the NHS.”
A local Conservatives Party President in Suffolk told the papers: “A Conservative government raising taxes is very, very hard to take.”
“A lot of my generation felt that the country was liberated post-1979 from its destination to go down the plughole.
“I am greatly saddened that some of that liberation, characterised by Mrs Thatcher, is being rolled back by a Conservative Prime Minister.”