Last week, in our latest survey, we asked Conservative members to rank their priorities for the Autumn Statement. The full results are included in a graph below (click for a larger version), but a few things stand out:
- Energy policy is the priority above all other priorities for Conservative members. Cutting green taxes is the top result, rated at 7.98 out of 10, with more nuclear power stations – such as that announced today – coming in at second. The abolition of wind farm subsidies also came up frequently in the ‘Other’ category, where we allowed respondents to suggest their own policies. But as for John Major’s idea of a windfall tax on energy companies’ profits, that’s way down the list.
- Conservative members certainly want more spending cuts. But whether they want them for the purpose of deficit reduction or for funding tax cuts, that’s a little bit muddier. “Cut spending further, so that the deficit can be reduced faster” was rated at 6.97 by our respondents. “Cut spending further, so that taxes may also be cut” was rated at, er, 6.96. It’s not inconsistent to want both, but – as per my comments yesterday – I’m glad to see Conservative readers have put the right priority in the lead…
- Perhaps it’s just me, but the option to “bring forward or raise the £1,000 marriage tax allowance that is scheduled for 2015” seems to appear rather low down the list, particularly compared to the emphasis it receives elsewhere.
Anyway, here’s that league table:
> Around 1,700 people responded to the survey, of which over 700 were Conservative Party members.