Survation surveyed 1002 respondents on issues surrounding Europe, welfare reform and voting intention on behalf of the Mail on Sunday.
Results show that on the issue of welfare reform the majority of the public do support the government’s decision to end child benefit for families where at least one parent earns over £60,000 with 71% of the public supporting such a change whilst only 17% oppose this reform. 78% of those surveyed believed the changes to child benefit, which would mean a working couple earning £89,000 would retain the full benefit whilst a family with one working parent earning £50,000 would see their child benefit cut, were unfair. In contrast only 14% believed these reforms to be fair. This suggests that when people look more closely at the detail of how the policy will be put into practice they question the fairness of such reforms. In spite of this the public do overwhelmingly support the principle of restricting benefits to the least well off in society.
Although findings show that the majority do understand the changes (55%) regarding child benefit which are due to come into effect this week, there is still a large proportion of people (45%) who do not understand the scheduled changes. This indicates that the government need to work harder at communicating their policies more effectively, especially given the vast number of people which this benefit applies to and to whom any changes could affect. Results also show that the public are fairly split on which party they most suport on the issue of welfare with 32% most supporting the Conservative’s approach whilst 34% of the public favour the Labour party stance on welfare.
28% of those surveyed considered David Cameron to be the party leader who best defends Britain’s interests whilst 27% selected Ed Miliband.
Regarding Britain’s relationship with Europe, the chart below demonstrates that the majority of the public (57%) do wish for a referendum to be held on the UK’s membership of the European Union compared with 26% who do not think a referendum should be called. In the case of such a referendum 54% have claimed they would vote for the UK to exit the union which not only illustrates the level of demand amongst the public to have a say on our relationship with Europe, but also the degree of support for an absolute withdrawal.
UKIP leader Nigel Farage was found to have the second most popular approach towards Europe amongst the four main political party leaders with 20% of the public saying they most supported his stance on this issue. This provides further proof of the Eurosceptic nature of the British publics attitude.
Although UKIP are often portrayed as a single issue party the graph below demonstrates that almost half of the British public would now consider voting for UKIP in a General Election and 50% of people would like to see Nigel Farage secure a seat in the House of Commons. In addition this survey found that more people disagreed with David Cameron’s assessment of UKIP as full of closet racists and loonies, with only 31% strongly or somewhat agreeing with this idea. This illustrates how UKIP are becoming associated with more mainstream politics and that increasing numbers of the public are considering them as serious political contenders in the national as well as local and European elections.
Full data tables can be viewed here:
People: david cameron, Ed Miliband, nick clegg, nigel farage
Programme: child benefit, european elections