Approval ratings hit low for Cameron - poll

LONDON Sun Apr 1, 2012 2:49pm BST

File photo of Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron at the door of 10 Downing Street on March 28, 2012. REUTERS/Chris Helgren

File photo of Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron at the door of 10 Downing Street on March 28, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Chris Helgren

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LONDON (Reuters) - Prime Minister David Cameron's approval rating hit its lowest level since he took office, a poll showed, after his Conservative party came under fire for an unpopular budget, cosy ties to rich donors and a botched handling of a looming fuel strike.

In the worst public relations week for the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government since it took power in 2010, Labour surged ahead in the YouGov/Sunday Times poll to 42 points, a nine-point lead over the Conservatives.

The shift comes as newspapers traditionally supportive of the government are accusing ministers of being out of touch with ordinary peoples' lives in a time of economic stagnation.

The March 21 budget, which cemented the government's seven-year austerity plan, cut income taxes for the biggest earners but raided tax reliefs for the elderly, compounding the Conservatives' image as a party favouring the wealthy.

The budget also contained a tax hike for hot foods such as meat pasties, a popular pastry snack, giving Labour fuel to accuse ministers of not understanding the lives of most voters.

In an embarrassing admission, Finance Minister George Osborne said he could not remember the last time he ate a pasty from Greggs, a cheap bakery chain favoured by working people.

Cameron, whose popularity rating dropped 15 points to -26, failed to convince when he said he was a fan of the snack and had last bought one at an outlet inside the train station in the northern city of Leeds. That outlet had closed in 2007.

The party was hit by another scandal this week following an investigation by newspaper reporters who uncovered that a Conservative treasurer offered access to the prime minister in return for a hefty donation to the party.

Ministers were also fiercely criticised for triggering panic buying of fuel after they reacted to a potential strike by petrol tanker drivers by urging motorists to keep their cars topped up and hoard petrol in cans at home.

(Reporting by Matt Falloon; Editing by Karolina Tagaris)

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Comments (6)
golfauto wrote:
What a mess both the Labour and the Conservative parties have got this country into, between them!! The Lib Dems have got even less idea. It is quite worrying when none of the three main parties, have anything to offer!! Today’s politicians are only interested in power, feeding their egos, grabbing any perks on offer and leaving with as much financial gain as possible. Tony Blair is a fine example of this. They are of an inferior quility to those real statesmen of yesteryear. The scary thing is that when morale is very low like in the UK at the moment, there is a danger of minority parties finding their way in through the back door, you only have to look as far as Germany during the second world war!! I’m sure the BNP is waiting in the wings and as much as some members of our population might see them as a good idea owing to mass immigration over the years, it could pose a real threat to life as we know it, in the UK!!

Apr 01, 2012 5:52pm BST  --  Report as abuse
ektope wrote:
Can the rich ever understand the poor ?

Apr 01, 2012 7:25pm BST  --  Report as abuse
mgb500 wrote:
Hardly surprising..the man’s an idiot – too busy cosying up to the Yanks & posing on the ‘world stage’ No different to those twerps in NewLieMore!

What a choice for the UK..NewLieMore, Tories or LimpDems….we’re stuffed!!!

Apr 01, 2012 10:27pm BST  --  Report as abuse
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