New polling from Ipsos in the UK, taken before the recent Autumn Statement (Friday 17th to Monday 20th November), explored public attitudes to the economy, inflation and Rishi Sunak’s performance in delivering against his 5 key policy pledges announced earlier this year.
Who do the public credit for falling inflation?
When asked how far various factors have contributed to falling inflation, we find the public are split on the role of Rishi Sunak and Jeremy Hunt. 46% think they have contributed a great deal or fair amount to falling inflation and 43% say they have had not very much impact or have made no contribution at all. Decisions made by the Bank of England (60%) and the state of the global economy generally (58%) are seen to have contributed more.
But more people (66%) think that decisions made by current PM Rishi Sunak and Chancellor Jeremy Hunt have contributed to the current difficulties facing the British economy in the first place (68% say the same about the Conservative party’s economic policies during the last 13 years, and the same proportion cite decisions made by Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng).
The public are most likely to think the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic (79%) and state of the global economy (73%) have contributed ‘a great deal’ or ‘a fair amount’ to Britain’s economic woes.
The Conservatives and the economy
23% think Jeremy Hunt is doing a good job as Chancellor and 35% think he is doing a bad job. These figures have not changed much this year but last November they were 17% and 29% respectively (meaning that there has been an increase in both those saying good and bad job).
Meanwhile, on the cost of living specifically, 20% think Hunt has being doing a good job tackling the cost of living crisis and 45% say he has been doing a bad job. 2019 Conservative voters are split between the 33% saying good job and 32% saying bad.
Rishi Sunak pledges
Overall, the public continue to think Sunak’s pledges around easing the cost of living and giving people financial security (61%), reducing NHS waiting times (55%) and ensuring people get the NHS care they need more quicky (52%) are most important to them. Although 2019 Conservative voters also rank pledges around illegal immigration and economic growth as important.
The public also still think Sunak’s government are performing badly against the pledges that are most important to them. 62% think his government are doing a bad job easing the cost of living, 69% think it is doing a bad job reducing NHS waiting lists, 68% say the same about ensuring people get the NHS care they need more quickly.
On the other hand, given recent inflation figures, 27% now think Sunak’s government has done a good job halving inflation this year (+13 points from September) but 43% still think they have done a bad job (down 14 points in the same time period).
Ipsos Director of Politics Keiran Pedley said, “These findings show that there is some improving public goodwill towards Rishi Sunak and Jeremy Hunt in light of falling inflation but this has not yet led to a fundamental reassessment of the government’s record on the economy.
“Almost half think Sunak and Hunt have contributed a great deal or fair amount towards falling inflation. However, 6 in 10 still think this government is doing a bad job easing the cost of living and two-thirds think Sunak and Hunt’s actions have contributed towards difficulties facing the economy in the first place.”