If you want an illustration of just how low trust in politicians is nowadays, Anthony Wells’ UK Polling Report has a classic example from last week:
I mentioned some YouGov polling about which taxes would rise under a Labour or Conservative government, conducted before Prime Minister’s Question time, Cameron ruling out a VAT rise and Ed Balls ruling out an NI rise. YouGov repeated those questions in this poll to see if they had changed. At the start of the week, 31% of people thought VAT would rise if the Conservatives won.
Following David Cameron ruling out a rise in VAT, this is now… 32%. At the start of the week 39% of people expected national insurance to rise if Labour won, but since Ed Balls ruled it out, that has changed to… 40%. A lovely illustration of how much of the politicians’ arguments, exchanges and pledges make not the slightest difference to public opinion.
Savour that. After the Prime Minister and First Lord of the Treasury, the Right Honourable David Cameron and the Right Honourable Ed Balls both solemnly promised not to raise specific taxes, the public now believes they are actually more likely to do it. This is why, in Guido’s opinion, Nigel Farage is on to something with the vote winning campaign slogan: “Sod the lot. Vote UKIP”