George Osborne's Popularity Takes A Tumble
The popularity of Chancellor George Osborne amongst the Tory faithful has taken a nosedive after delivering his autumn statement earlier this week.
A poll for the Conservative Home website revealed that his dissatisfaction rate among grassroot supporters had risen from 18% last month to 30% following Tuesday's statement while satisfaction with the Chancellor's efforts had dropped 14% to 65%.
What Osborne and Number 10 will also find worrying is that only 41% of those questioned trusted his growth forecasts even though they overwhelmingly backed his line on public sector pensions (93%) and the £535 million reduction in the government aid budget.
Conservative Home's survey comes at the end of a tumultuous week for the government following yesterday's public sector strike and the revelation by the Chancellor on Tuesday that it will take two more years than expected to get rid of the deficit and that he would be forced to borrow more money than the previous chancellor, Alistair Darling, had originally planned.
Although praising the chancellor's approach on pensions and overseas aid, Tory members would also have prefered him to have cut spending faster and used the money to cut taxes, including the 50p tax band. The relationship with the Liberal Democrats also came in for criticism with 69% believing he would have put forward more radical proposals if it hadn't been for their Coalition partners.
Osborne has also came in for some fierce criticism in the Daily Telegraph from writer Peter Oborne, who questions the chancellor's commitment to his job when he is simultaneously acting as the prime minister's chief strategist.
"It is completely unprecedented for a serving chancellor to play this kind of double role." Oborne said.