Brits are forgoing heating and staying at home because of soaring prices, say managing cost crisis will be biggest election issue, poll finds
A new poll suggests that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is likely to be heading for defeat in the country’s next election unless he can start convincing voters that his party has the right direction to ease an inflation crisis that eats away at their standard of living.
The poll, carried out by Savanta ComRes for the Daily Mail and published on Saturday, found that only 24% of voters see Johnson’s Conservatives as the best party to handle the inflation crisis, compared to 39% who chose Labor of opposition. Dealing with soaring prices will be the biggest electoral issue, the survey showed, as 90% of those polled said it would be a big factor in their vote.
Inflation accelerated to a 40-year high of 9% in the 12 months to April, the UK government reported this week, weighing on the way of life for most Britons. Six in 10 voters have already started spending more time at home rather than out, and 51% are wearing more layers of clothing to avoid using their heaters, according to the Daily Mail poll.
As petrol and diesel prices hit historic highs, 44% of voters have turned to walking and cycling more than driving. Three in 10 have canceled subscriptions, such as streaming services and gym memberships.
The poll found many voters were forced to take more drastic measures, including 21% who regularly skip meals and 20% who borrowed money from family or friends. Meanwhile, 11% stopped paying their loan and 19% went to a food bank or thought about doing so to put meals on the table.
As to who voters blame for the inflation crisis, the top choice was the UK government at 25%, according to the poll. Next come the Russian-Ukrainian conflict at 22% and the Covid-19 pandemic at 20%. A whopping 74% said the UK economy was worse than it was six months ago.
Britons are looking to the government to help them through the crisis, with 73% calling for a rise in the minimum wage, 72% in favor of cuts in fuel taxes and 65% backing the acceleration of a planned tax cut on income. Strong majorities also called for the reduction of environmental levies on energy bills and the abandonment of a planned increase in national insurance premiums. About 75% said the government should impose a windfall tax on the profits of energy companies.
The poll showed that 40% of those polled plan to vote Labor in the next election, while 34% favor Johnson’s Conservative Party. The remaining 26% intend to vote for the small opposition parties.
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