Labour twice as trusted as Tories to deliver economic growth

Matthew SmithHead of Data Journalism
September 28, 2022, 4:00 PM GMT+0

Keir Starmer’s party is seen as better equipped than Liz Truss’s to manage a raft of national issues

With the Labour conference wrapping up, new YouGov political polling provides some welcome news for the party.

Following a disastrous mini-Budget by Tory chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng, the data shows that Labour are more trusted than the Conservatives to manage a raft of key national challenges.

Across the nine areas we asked about, Labour are most trusted to tackle the cost of living, with 44% of Britons saying they trust the party more than the Tories to do so, compared to only 12% who trust the Conservatives more.

Labour are similarly more trusted to manage the NHS (43% to the Conservatives’ 10%) and deal with the issue of energy provision in Britain (by 39% to 13%).

Liz Truss has said that her government’s defining economic mission is to deliver growth. Yet the public again are more confident in the Labour party’s ability to do so: 33% trust Labour most in this regard, twice as many as choose the Conservatives (16%).

In fact, the only issue on which more people trust the Conservatives than Labour is on making Brexit a success, although this amounts to a mere 19% of Britons to Labour’s 15%. Four in ten (40%) don’t believe either party can make a success of Brexit.

One of the key announcements from Keir Starmer’s speech at Labour conference was that the party would set up a publicly owned energy company, to deliver 100% green energy by 2030. Britons overwhelmingly back this plan, with 64% supportive (including 53% of Conservative voters) compared to only 13% opposed.

There has also been a substantial uptick in the number of Britons who think both that Keir Starmer looks like a prime minister in waiting and that the Labour party are ready for government. In the case of the former, the number of Britons who say so has risen fourteen points to 36%, while in the case of the latter it is up eleven points to 37%.

However, in neither case is this figure higher than the proportion taking the opposing view: 41% think Keir Starmer does not yet look like a PM in waiting, while 39% still think Labour are not ready for government.

These increases may not be driven purely by increasingly warm sentiment towards Labour, but may simply reflect greater expectation that Labour are going to win the next election. A recent YouGov tracker survey showed that the number of Britons thinking Labour would win the next election has risen ten points since before the mini-Budget, from 37% to 47%.

Indeed, while Labour are seen as better than the Tories in many ways, Britons remain divided in their view of the party on its own terms. The public split 40% to 37% on whether Labour understands the concerns of people like them, and likewise divide 34% to 37% on whether the party shares their values. There is a tendency to believe that the party does not have a clear plan for Britain: 39% say so, compared to 31% who think it does.