The latest exclusive poll conducted by YouGov for Sky News has unveiled a significant shift in public opinion regarding the next chancellor of the exchequer. In a surprising turn of events, Labour’s Rachel Reeves has emerged as the top choice, with 21% of voters expressing their support for her. This places her comfortably ahead of the Conservatives’ Jeremy Hunt, who garnered only 14% of the votes. This remarkable lead signifies a notable departure from previous polls, where Reeves and Hunt had been closely matched. Consequently, this newfound advantage brings optimism to the Labour Party, which has historically struggled to secure public trust on economic matters.
While Reeves’ rising popularity is cause for celebration among Labour supporters, it may raise concerns within the Conservative camp. Among individuals who voted for the Tories in the 2019 general election, a mere 27% believe that Jeremy Hunt would make a better chancellor. This statistic serves as an alarming signal for Conservative HQ, pointing to a potential lack of confidence in their economic approach and strategic decision-making. It is a stark departure from the past, where David Cameron and then-Chancellor George Osborne enjoyed a significant lead over the Labour duo of Ed Miliband and Ed Balls in YouGov polls leading up to the 2015 general election.
Not only does Rachel Reeves possess a clear advantage in the race for chancellor, but Labour also boasts a considerable lead on all major economic indicators. The party is trusted by 24% of the public to deliver economic growth, surpassing the Tories by a narrow margin of 2%. Additionally, Labour is twice as likely as the Conservatives to handle the cost of living, with 32% expressing their trust in the party compared to a meager 16% for the Tories. Likewise, Labour outpaces the Tories when it comes to tackling inflation, with 29% of voters believing that Sir Keir Starmer’s party would handle the issue more effectively than Rishi Sunak’s Conservatives.
Public sentiment further underscores Labour’s appeal, as the party garners more trust in assisting individuals in their quest to enter the housing market. A significant 34% of voters believe that a Labour government led by Sir Keir Starmer is better equipped to help people onto the housing ladder, while the Tories trail behind at a mere 12%. However, when it comes to dealing with the deficit, the two parties find themselves in a statistical dead heat. The Conservatives hold a slight advantage, with 23% of voters favoring Rishi Sunak’s ability to handle the deficit, compared to 22% who believe that Labour would fare better in that regard.
While the current poll results certainly favor Labour and Rachel Reeves, the significant portion of the public (65%) who remain undecided suggests that the Conservatives still have ample opportunity to turn the tide in their favor. In such a fluid political landscape, with economic uncertainties looming, it is crucial for both parties to solidify their policies and engage undecided voters effectively. As the race for the next chancellor unfolds, it remains to be seen whether Rachel Reeves can maintain her lead or if Jeremy Hunt can bridge the gap and secure more support from the public.