The public backs the Coalition Government’s approach to cutting the deficit by a margin of three to one, according to a ComRes survey for The Independent. There is less support for Labour's policy.
The poll, taken after the European Union summit, suggests the Conservatives have received a mini-bounce from David Cameron’s tough stance there. Labour and the Conservatives are neck and neck on 38 per cent, with the Liberal Democrats on 12 per cent.
The Conservatives have gained two points and Labour is down two points since a ComRes survey for The Independent on Sunday and Sunday Mirror taken just before the summit, which showed Labour on 40 per cent, the Tories on 36 per cent and the Liberal Democrats on 10 per cent.
Asked whether the Government should not increase public borrowing any further and should pay off the nation’s deficit as soon as possible, 74 per cent agree and 18 per cent disagree. A majority of Labour voters (58 per cent) endorse this approach, as do 73 per cent of Lib Dem supporters and 87 per cent of Conservative supporters.
ComRes also asked people whether the Government should borrow more in the short term to increase economic growth even if it means reducing the deficit more slowly – broadly in line with Labour’s approach. Some 49 per cent agree but 40 per cent disagree and 11 per cent don’t know.
The poll found that the public are much more upbeat about their own prospects for 2012 than for the country as a whole. Some 68 per cent describe themselves as optimistic about their own prospects, while 28 per cent disagree. However, only 34 per cent of people are optimistic about the UK’s prospects for next year, while 60 per cent are not.
ComRes interviewed 1,002 GB adults by telephone between December 9-11, 2011. Data were weighted to be demographically representative of all GB adults and by past vote recall.