Today's YouGov poll for Red Box gives a boost for Labour on the NHS, but it has a little sting in its tail
George Osborne confirmed £2bn in extra spending on the NHS on Sunday, after Labour made a similar announcement at their Conference in September. Ed Balls said Labour would commit an extra £2.5bn above Mr Osborne's plan, however the Chancellor said his funding pledge "shows you can have a strong NHS if you have a strong economy".
When the public is asked which party it most trusts "to give the NHS the resources that it needs to provide a quality service", Labour is ahead by a significant 11 per cent (33 per cent to 22 per cent). Furthermore, net 9 per cent believe the NHS would get better after the next election with Labour in power versus net 24 per cent who think it will get worse if the Conservatives win again, so that's a gap of 33 per cent on the issue the public consistently says it cares about greatly.
But there is a crumb of comfort for the Tories: by 1 per cent, they are more trusted to get "value for money" out of whatever money is spent - and of course the other "most important" issue for the public is the economy; the public has consistently been wary of unaffordable spending. So the prospects for a very finely balanced election campaign are unchanged.