Both the Mail on Sunday and Sunday Times have surveys on voter attitudes to green taxation. The idea of such taxation gets a big thumbs down but David Cameron is – overall – seen as greener than Gordon Brown and the headline Tory lead over Labour is intact at 6% (YouGov) and 7% (BPIX for the MoS).
Here are they key green numbers from The Sunday Times:
- 21% choose Cameron as greener than Brown (7%);
- By 63% to 21% people thought green taxation was about raising taxes rather than climate change;
"69% object to more congestion charging and road-pricing; and 60% are
against Cameron’s proposal for an increase in taxes on cheap flights";
- By 42% to 36% there is support for building more nuclear power stations.
The Mail on Sunday/ BPIX numbers are summarised in the graphic on the right. The overall Tory lead with Brown in charge does not really justify Jonathan Oliver’s "Cameron’s green tax on air travel a massive voter loser" headline. Despite the unpopularity of green taxes the Tory lead is stable. It may be that the lead would have been larger without the green tax controversy and it might be that a campaign by airlines/ Labour against levies on flights could yet do damage to the Tories. It is also possible, however, that the controversy has helped Cameron to address some voters’ perception that he will ‘say anything to anyone.’ On both the family and green taxation he has recently chosen to stake out positions that are either controversial with opinion-formers or with large sections of the electorate and the overall effect of this might be to suggest that he is a politician with core beliefs – not just a weather vane.
What voters cannot stand is hypocrisy and news that David Cameron took a ninety mile flight from Oxford to Hereford just two months ago makes the Tory leader vulnerable to the ‘do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do’ charge. Labour’s John Healey MP said that "it just shows that Cameron believes there’s one rule for him and his Tory friends, and another for the rest of us."
The Sunday MIrror is also accusing Mr Cameron of hypocrisy after going through his rubbish bins and finding unrecycled cardboard, plastic and nappies.
Related link: 18 Doughty Street’s climate hypocrisy video.