Jonathan Jones

Voters: It’s not Plan A, it’s Osborne

A fascinating poll result from Ipsos MORI today. They ask, essentially, whether people agree with the government’s ‘Plan A’ or Labour’s ‘Plan B’. Specifically, they ask:

‘People have different ideas about the best way of dealing with Britain’s economic difficulties. Which of the following do you most agree with?

A1: Britain has a debt problem, built up over many years, and we have got to deal with it. If we don’t, interest rates will soar. That’s why tackling the deficit and keeping interest rates low should be our top priority.

OR

B1: Without growth in our economy, we are not getting the deficit down and are borrowing more. We need more government spending on investment to kick-start our economy and a temporary cut in taxes to support growth.’

Plan A comes out on top, 52-41.

But they then ask a separate group of people the same question, with one crucial twist. They attach George Osborne and Ed Balls’ names to the respective plans:

A2: George Osborne argues that Britain has a debt problem, built up over many years, and we have got to deal with it. If we don’t, interest rates will soar. That’s why tackling the deficit and keeping interest rates low should be our top priority.

OR

B2: Ed Balls argues that without growth in our economy, we are not getting the deficit down and are borrowing more. We need more government spending on investment to kick-start our economy and a temporary cut in taxes to support growth.’

And, guess what? This time, Plan B wins, 53-37.

The difference between the two results is outside the margin of error, so either attaching Osborne’s name hurts Plan A, or Balls’ helps Plan B, or both.

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