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Elderly Care Reforms Best Known Policy Of Election So Far

22/05/2017 13:27
WPA Pool via Getty Images

Our ongoing campaign tracker, which reveals the policies, speeches, slogans and campaign events that the public have noticed, shows gradually growing engagement with the General Election with the Conservatives' elderly care proposals becoming the best known policy of the election so far.

Three major policy announcements - the Conservatives' plan to change how elderly care is funded, the Liberal Democrat's second EU referendum proposal, and Labour's tax increase on high earners to fund additional public service funding - are all recalled by around half the country.

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Of the three major policies, one from each of the main UK wide parties, it is the Conservative plan to change how elderly care is paid for which is best known. The plan, which would see more people contributing towards their care and dubbed by critics the 'dementia tax', is known by 53% to be Conservative policy. This is the proportion who have both heard of the policy and can correctly identify the party proposing it.

With more than half the population aware of the policy, it is the best known of the election so far.

The policy's high-profile explains why it has dominated discussion this past weekend, the reason both Labour and the Conservatives are now paying for targeted Google adverts to try and influence those searching for the topic, and why on Monday Theresa May sought to clarify the policy and suggest the cost of care would be capped.

Tim Farron's proposal to offer a second referendum on the terms of the UK's exit from the EU is known to be Liberal Democrat policy by 51%. Again, this is the proportion of the public who both recall the policy and correctly identify it as a Liberal Democrat proposition. Awareness has grown quickly for this flagship Liberal Democrat policy, as just a fortnight ago only 28% of the public could recall it. The Liberal Democrat's poll ratings, however, remain stubbornly flat suggesting that (at a national level) it is doing little to draw support to the party and that Brexit is an increasingly accepted 'fact on the ground' by even Remain voters.

The third of the major policies tested, Labour's plans to ask those on the highest incomes to pay more to better fund public services, is known by 49%.

Of the major party slogans, Theresa May's promise to provide "strong and stable" leadership is the best known. Almost two thirds of voters, 65%, recall reading, seeing or hearing the slogan and correctly attribute it to Theresa May. This represents a steady increase from earlier in the campaign. Labour's promise to govern "for the many, not the few" isn't just less well-known but is also thought by one-in-five (21%) of those who have heard it to be a Conservative party message.

There are limits, however, to how closely the public are following the campaign. Just one-in-five know the Conservatives' plans to charge companies more for hiring skilled migrants, while just 1.6 million tuned in to the first TV debate last week.

Full data tables are available here.

Populus interviewed a nationally representative sample of 2,006 GB adults aged 18+ on the 19th to 21st May 2017.

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