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Telegraph - Brown Must Go He's A Useless C*cks*cker.

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Feel-good factor drops to lowest level ever

By Robert Winnett and James Kirkup

Last Updated: 6:50am GMT 28/03/2008

Growing gloom over the economy is driving voters away from Gordon Brown, an opinion poll shows today.

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Households are losing faith in the Prime Minister's ability to weather the financial crisis, a YouGov poll for The Daily Telegraph indicates.

Their confidence in the economy - the "feel-good factor" - has dropped to its lowest level recorded.

"Essex man", the typical family voter seen as the key to election success, in particular appears to be deserting Labour.

Increasing anxiety has left Labour trailing the Conservatives by 14 points. Some 43 per cent of people plan to vote Tory compared with 29 per cent for Labour. Seventeen per cent would vote Liberal Democrat.

The Tory lead, which has doubled in a month, would be enough to give David Cameron a Commons majority of more than 100 at the next election.

UK General Election political map

Amid a period of global economic turbulence following the credit crunch, Labour strategists have been calculating that voters would swing back to Mr Brown and his Government's promise of stability.

But the poll suggests that this month's Budget, which affected motorists, drinkers and small business owners with inflation-breaking tax rises, contributed to voters' growing pessimism.

Sixty four per cent of people think their household's financial situation will "get worse" over the next year and only 12 per cent of those questioned expect it to become better.

The feel-good factor - which monitors voters' confidence in the future of the economy - stands at minus 52 per cent following sharp rises in mortgage, grocery and energy bills. This is its lowest level since measurements began in 1981. Even in the depths of the early 1990s recession it only dropped to minus 26 per cent.

Telegraph YouGov poll:

Click to enlarge

More than half of those questioned admitted experiencing financial difficulties and only a fifth believe the Government has the policies to tackle the situation.

Confirming the gloomy economic mood, Gfk NOP, a market research company, today reports that its monthly barometer of consumer confidence dropped for the seventh month in a row, to the lowest level since February 1993.

The British Bankers' Association said the number of new mortgages approved was near a record low last month.

The sharp decline in Labour's fortunes is regarded by pollsters as a "tipping point" for Mr Brown as he has built his reputation with voters on his 10-year stewardship of the economy as Chancellor.

advertisementThe poor poll ratings following the Budget are also increasing concern in No 10.

Alistair Darling announced a £1 billion tax grab on motorists. It was billed as a green tax aimed at "gas guzzlers" but it emerged that the biggest losers will be millions of people with family saloons who will pay up to £440 a year in road tax.

The Budget increased taxes by more than £700 million in a move condemned by the Tories, who say Britain is the only developed country increasing taxes while consumers are already feeling the strain.

Key Labour figures are expected to use the forthcoming parliamentary holiday to draw up plans designed to win back working-class male voters in the South and Midlands amid growing fears of a rout in May's local elections.

Mr Cameron today makes a City of London speech on the economy, accusing Labour of failing to prepare Britain for a harsher economic climate.

He will say: "At this time of great economic uncertainty and unease, people are looking to their Government for one simple thing: reassurance. Reassurance that the Government knows what it's doing. That it has a plan to steer our economy through the present turbulence into more stable and prosperous conditions. But the current Government is simply unable to provide that reassurance."

The Tories have established themselves in the polls as the party most trusted to run the economy - after years in the wilderness following Black Wednesday in 1992 when Britain withdrew from the Exchange Rate Mechanism.

Today's poll recorded 35 per cent of people backing Mr Cameron's team on the economy compared with 27 per cent for Labour.

It lays bare the anxiety many feel about the economic downturn, despite Government assurances that Britain is well-placed to weather the storm.

Edited by insidetrack

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One useless c*cks*cker goes only to be replaced by a c*cks*cker of equal merit.

Seriously, what could any other government actually do to clear up this mess? Doing the fiscally prudent thing (i.e. paying off the national debt) would take time and a lot of economic pain and austerity for the country as a whole. Certainly longer than it would take for amnesiac, bovine Britain to re-elect the original profligate imbeciles again; probably on a ticket of legalised hard drugs I'd imagine.

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  • 292 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

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      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%

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