UK begins to doubt Conservatives on economy - poll

LONDON Thu May 17, 2012 2:45am BST

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LONDON (Reuters) - Conservatives are losing their reputation for economic competence, according to an opinion poll issued on Wednesday, bad news for a party that has staked its reputation on an austerity plan to tackle the budget deficit.

In the Ipsos MORI poll in the Financial Times newspaper, 31 percent of respondents said that the Conservatives still had the best economic policies, only one point ahead of the opposition Labour party at 30 percent.

That lead was down from 10 points last September.

The centre-right Conservative Party, the senior partner in a coalition with the centrist Liberal Democrats, has justified deep spending cuts by saying it is fixing the "mess" left by the previous Labour administration.

The government has made tackling the deficit, which peaked at more than 11 percent of national output, its main mission but Britain's return to recession last month and a poorly received annual budget in March raised doubts over Prime Minister David Cameron's economic policies.

Voters punished the party in local elections earlier this month at which the Conservatives lost hundreds of seats.

Labour, which has languished in the polls for much of the past two years, has surged in recent weeks, but party leader Ed Miliband's personal ratings are still relatively low.

(Reporting by Mohammed Abbas; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

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Comments (2)
ektope wrote:
Center right party the conservatives …you must be kidding us!!!

May 17, 2012 11:12am BST  --  Report as abuse
Thorninside wrote:
Let’s not forget also as the people of the UK also haven’t forgot that nearly every policy that the conservatives (a right leaning party) promised at the election a few years ago never saw fruition. I think that though everyone knew it wasn’t really the labour partys fault (yes, we all still remember it was the mismanagement of banks, not the lazy unemployed, single mom’s and youth) the conservatives led many to believe that the had actually matured and showed a different approach to running a country. The novelty has worn off now and everyone can see they are a sad, poor parody of a former thatcher government, exactly everything everyone didn’t want. When will these ( all partys) learn that the people of this World are fed up with them protecting their own interests. People are voting in droves throughout europe against old school tit for tat politics. Your there to represent the people. Not banks, corporations and yourselves !

May 17, 2012 11:47pm BST  --  Report as abuse
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