The Labour party has overtaken the Conservatives in the polls as voters react to this week’s tax hike to pay for social care.
The latest YouGov/Times poll shows support for the Conservatives has fallen 5% in the last week with Keir Starmer’s Labour party gaining 1%, the Liberal Democrats up 2%, Reform UK up 2%( to 5% of the vote) and the Greens down 1%.
It is the first time since January that Labour has moved ahead of the Conservatives in the polls, with Johnson’s Tories now on 33% and Labour on 35% – a “remarkable turnaround” states the Independent given Labour were “18 points behind the Tories in a YouGov survey in May.”
However, YouGov’s Anthony Wells warned: “We should be cautious of leaping to too many conclusions from a single poll, but it looks as if the government may have sacrificed their reputation for low taxes amongst Tory voters without actually getting much credit for helping the NHS.”
Another poll for the Telegraph will be equally concerning for Conservatives given it forecasts a hung parliament with the loss of up to 50 seats for the Tories.
It follows Johnson’s “manifesto-busting tax rises” this week which has resulted in an 8% drop in support to 37% of voters. The Telegraph poll does not provide much succour for Starmer with Labour unchanged on 33% while the Greens are up 5% (to 8%) and Reform UK on 4% (up 2%).
Starmer backs ‘wealth tax’ to pay for social care
Starmer is expected to tell the Local Government Association (LGA) – representing local councils in England and Wales – that taxing landlords would be a better way to raise the money to pay for social care, according to the BBC.
Johnson told the Commons that his 1.25% hike in National Insurance contributions (NICs) was “the right, reasonable and fair approach” given the situation the country is in with the pandemic, while Starmer insists it is “an unfair plan that doesn’t work”.
The Labour leader will tell the LGA conference that “working people” will foot the bill for social care, “especially low earners and young people who have already borne the brunt of the economic impact of the pandemic”.
Starmer told Sky News this week that he backed a “wealth tax” and will argue at the LGA that the funds for social care could be derived “by taxing the incomes of landlords, and those who buy and sell large quantities of financial assets, stocks shares”.
Johnson’s 1.25% increase in NICs will cost someone earning £30,000 an extra £255 per year while someone earning £50,000 will pay £505.
Johnson bids to reside at No 10 for a decade
Meanwhile, the Times report that Johnson is bidding to outlast Margaret Thatcher’s 11 years in Number 10 as he unveils his pitch for the 2024 general election.
Johnson’s “levelling up” agenda for Britain is his “great, great project”, but, the PM said: “It’s going to take a while, it’s going to take ten years”.
Brexit is set to be the central theme of the next election campaign, once again, with the PM warning that a Labour victory will see Britain “slump back” into following EU rules and regulations.