Thirty-nine per cent of respondents were satisfied with Rishi Sunak’s Spring Statement and 58 per cent dissatisfied. This time round, 51 per are satisfied and 43 per cent dissatisfied.
Those are poor numbers for the Chancellor, though less bad than last month’s. It is more straightforward to ask what panel members think of a decision than why they think it, so I can’t offer an assessment based on evidence of the reasons for the improvement.
But my sense is that these include: he has offered more support to voters, and the statement landed better in the media: those two factors will be inter-connected.
Those dissatisfied will want, variously: more public spending to support those harmed by the rise in the cost of living; tax cuts and more borrowing; tax cuts and faster reductions in the rate of growth in spending. My guess is that the last two sub-groups will constitute a big majority of the group as a whole.
It is no secret that the Prime Minister’s and Chancellor’s instincts on economic policy are different, and the consequent hesitation, semi-public negotiation and compromises are one of the reasons for Johnson’s troubles.