Yesterday we hoped that David Cameron’s announcement on spending might produce an outbreak of peace in the Conservative Party (at least on economic policy). We emailed out a quick survey to see if you agreed. 1,092 members answered the survey over the following eight hours. The results are encouraging:
We asked: "How do today’s Tory announcements on greater public spending restraint affected your view of the party leadership?"
- 41% replied that "it makes me view them much more positively";
- 42% said "a little more positively";
- 2% said "much more negatively";
- 5% said "a little more negatively";
- 10% said it made no difference or they didn’t know.
At least as significantly we found that Tory members were overwhelmingly content with the overall economic policy stance adopted by the leadership.
In a forced choice we asked respondents to say which of the two following statements they most agreed with:
- "Higher borrowing is necessary to pay for a fiscal stimulus to help Britain beat the recession"
- or "Britain cannot afford higher borrowing. Any reduction in taxes must be financed by tighter control of waste and public spending."
92% agreed with the second statement (the Conservative position); just 8% agreed with the first.
"At last, the Tories seem to be finding their voice. They have decided to put hard-working taxpayers first — and dump their daft promise to match Labour’s bloated spending… Labour seems ready to gamble the entire economy on a “cut now, pay tomorrow” burst of tax reductions financed by ever-higher borrowing. That is the economics of the madhouse."