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Support for Tories falls 3% after post-budget bounce

Guardian/ICM poll finds Conservatives down to 32% as Ed Balls vows to continue campaigning on the cost of living

The budget has failed to boost the Conservatives with voters, according to a new Guardian/ICM poll, as the shadow chancellor, Ed Balls, says Labour will continue to talk about the cost of living because people are likely to be worse off at the next election than in 2010.

The Tories have dropped three points to 32% over the month since March despite the positive media reaction to George Osborne’s “budget for savers”.

The chancellor and David Cameron continue to perform well with voters when they are asked who is best to run the economy. And figures to be released today are expected to show that British workers have enjoyed the first rise in their real pay for four years, with wage increases finally overtaking inflation.

But in an article in today’s Guardian, Balls claims voters will not accept the idea that they are better off under Cameron. He says Labour, which remains ahead on 37%, down one point from last month, will keep talking about the cost of living regardless of a “handful of statistics” pointing to improved economic conditions. Balls argues that a central issue of the next election will be Ronald Reagan’s famous question: “Are you better off than you were four years ago?”

Balls will say that the answer to this “looks likely to be a resounding no”, adding that it is “no wonder David Cameron and George



Living Wage



Stewart Blackmore, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for the Isle of Wight, has called on Island employers to sign up to pay the Living Wage to their employees. The latest figures show that a quarter of jobs on the Isle of Wight are paid at below the Living Wage, calculated at £7.65 an hour on the basis of the minimum needed to pay all outgoings.

Mr. Blackmore said, “The problems are particularly acute here. Over 60% of jobs in tourism and catering pay less than the Living Wage and a third of women workers on the Island are paid at below this rate.  I would urge local employers, including the Isle of Wight Council, to become accredited as Living Wage employers so that their employees and their contractors pay this rate.  The alternative is more children in poverty and working families forced to claim benefits.”

The Living Wage Foundation helps employers who wish to sign up through an accreditation process. Employers adopting the Living Wage have found absenteeism falling by 25%, better work from staff and staff retention improved.


Isle of Wight figures are from the House of Commons Library data.

Survey of employers by GLA Economics