Tax credit row drains Osborne popularity

Former Chancellor George Osborne in Matrix attire

Chancellor George Osborne’s popularity has slumped because of his firm move to cut tax credits for millions of families….a survey revealed

Chancellor George Osborne in Matrix attire
Chancellor George Osborne in Matrix attire

According to a survey of party members by the ConservativeHome website, the tax credit row has badly damaged Mr Osborne, the Daily Mail reported,  In September, the Chancellor was backed by almost a third of Tory members to be the next Tory leader and had a double-digit lead over rival Boris Johnson.

But after a major rebellion over the impact of benefit cuts on working people, just 23 per cent now back him – only narrowly ahead of Mr Johnson whose popularity has risen sharply in recent months.

In October 32 per cent of those surveyed backed Mr Osborne as the next leader, well ahead of Mr Johnson on 14 per cent. In November, But this month Mr Osborne has slumped nine points to 23 per cent while Mr Johnson is up seven points to 21 per cent. Home Secretary Theresa May is up one point to 16 per cent while Business Secretary Sajid Javid is unchanged on 17 per cent.

Former Defence Secretary Liam Fox is on 12 per cent, Justice Secretary Michael Gove 8 per cent and Education Secretary Nicky Morgan 2 per cent. Only 1 per cent back Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

Mr Johnson and Mr Osborne are seen as the frontrunners in the Tory leadership race triggered when Mr Cameron announced in March that he would quit leader before the 2020 election.