Only a handful of Conservative MPs have suggested that the Government’s pay policy is too tight – at least in some cases. We’ll see if more take the same line when Parliament returns the week after next.
Whether that does or doesn’t happen, our survey shows an emphatic majority of party members supporting the Government’s position: seven in ten, or as close to it as makes no difference.
Nevertheless, there’s a soft underbelly of support for some pay claims. Just under one in five say that “in specific cases, such as the nurses, I believe that there should be exceptions”.
We will see whether that number grows or falls if the dispute is still unresolved at the end of January – the month in which pressures on the NHS are often at their most intense and the service is most in the news.
All the same, the backing of seven in ten of the panel is perhaps a vote of confidence in Rishi Sunak’s pay policy – or else evidence that the wage-price spirals of the 1970s live on as folk memory or personal experience.