Here is a ConservativeHome members’ panel result that is unsurprising (so much so as perhaps to explain why it missed out on publication last month), but which it is nonetheless important to record.
The Government is in no place simply to suspend the target. It was enshrined in law during the Coalition years, and Ministers seem to accept that, while the legislation allows the target to be missed unintentionally (and for the Government then to explain what it will do in future to hit it), it doesn’t allow it to be missed intentionally.
That will mean a Bill, to be debated before Covid-19 has fully receded, and with an unknown number of Tory MPs opposed. Harriet Baldwin gave a preview of the arguments they will deploy on this site recently.
We will be surprised if the number of dissenters hits over 40, at which point the Government risks losing part or all of the Bill, though sources within their camp are bullish. What’s clear if our survey is correct is that they will have very little support indeed from Tory members.