POLITICS

George Osborne Much Better At Handling Economy Than Balls, Say Voters

15/09/2014 14:16 BST | Updated 15/09/2014 14:59 BST
TOBY MELVILLE/WPA Rota
Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne (R) and shadow chancellor Ed Balls attend the State Opening of Parliament, in the House of Lords at the Palace of Westminster in London May 8, 2013. REUTERS/Toby Melville (BRITAIN - Tags: BUSINESS POLITICS)

George Osborne is much better at handling the economy than his Labour rival Ed Balls would be, a survey suggests.

A survey by Ipsos Mori for the Evening Standard shows that more than four in ten of those surveyed (45%) think the Tories have the best policies on managing the economy, compared with just 20% for Labour, giving them a 25 percentage point lead.

The Tories' lead has grown from 13 percentage points just six months ago, with just 35% of voters thinking they had the best policies for the economy.

The poll will be a major boost for the Tories 2015 election campaign efforts as voters said managing the economy remained the most important issue in deciding which party they will vote for, with 31% citing it among their top issues.

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Other parties are still able to make inroads as managing the economy is now deemed just as important as asylum and immigration (30%) and healthcare (29%).

Ukip has shot up as the party deemed best able to handle immigration issues, with two in ten voters (20%) picking it over the Conservatives (19%) and Labour (18%). This is a marked increase from 11% for UKIP last September.

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Labour are still rated best on healthcare issues, at 39%, compared to 21% for the Conservatives, 4% for the Liberal Democrats and 1% for Ukip.

Gideon Skinner, Head of Political Research at Ipsos MORI said: “We’re in the extraordinary situation of having three issues tied at the top as most important to the public, and a different party making the running on each of them – the Conservatives on the economy, UKIP on immigration, and Labour on healthcare. So all the parties have their signal issue, but it means going into party conferences season there is still all to play for.”

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