Factbox - Labour level with Cons, public want slower cuts

(Reuters) - A Reuters/Ipsos MORI poll published on Thursday showed support for Labour even with that of with the Conservatives for the first time since January 2008.

Three-quarters of those surveyed said they favoured slower cuts to public spending, suggesting the government could struggle to win support for its plan to slash the country’s deficit in record time.

Below are some of the key findings of the survey*.

Comparisons, where relevant, are to the July political monitor.


Asked how those absolutely certain to vote would do so if there was a general election tomorrow:

- 37 pct Conservative (-3)

- 37 pct Labour (-1)

- 15 pct Liberal Democrat (+1)


Asked if they were satisfied or dissatisfied with the way the government was running the country:

- 43 percent were satisfied; 47 percent dissatisfied; 10 percent did not know


Asked if they were satisfied or dissatisfied with the job David Cameron was doing as Prime Minister:

- 57 percent were satisfied; 33 percent dissatisfied; 10 percent did not know

Asked if they were satisfied or dissatisfied with the job Nick Clegg was doing as Deputy Prime Minister:

- 52 percent were satisfied; 35 percent were dissatisfied; 13 percent did not know


Do you think the general economic condition of the country will improve, stay the same, or get worse over the next 12 months?

Improve 28 percent

Stay the same 22 percent

Get worse 48 percent

Don’t know 2 percent

Ipsos MORI Economic Optimism Index -20

On balance, do you agree or disagree with the statement that “in the long term, this government’s policies will improve the state of Britain’s economy?”

Agree 57 percent

Disagree 36 percent

Don’t know 7 percent

Which of these comes closest to your opinion about how the government goes about reducing the deficit?

“It is important to cut spending quickly even if this means immediate job losses, because it will be better for the economy in the long term” -- 23 percent

“It is better to cut spending more slowly, to reduce the impact on public services and the economy” -- 75 percent


Do you approve or disapprove of possible plans to...?

Approve Disapprove Don’t know (percent) Give greater power to GPs to run the NHS 62 32 6 Increase use of nuclear energy to generate power 60 31 9 Encourage parents, teachers and companies to set up schools 52 42 6 Raise the age of retirement 42 55 3 Raise VAT to 20 percent 30 67 3 Pay private firms and voluntary groups to rehabilitate prisoners, therefore giving some criminals shorter jail sentences 29 66 5

* Ipsos MORI interviewed a representative sample of 1,004 adults aged 18+ across Great Britain. Interviews were conducted by telephone 10-12 September, 2010. Data are weighted to match the profile of the populations.