On the morning of the Budget...
In just a few hours’ time the Chancellor, George Osborne, will carry his red briefcase from Downing Street to the House of Commons to give his Budget statement.
Just a month after taking office he was the most popular Conservative Chancellor we at Ipsos MORI had ever recorded (through the ‘80s and ‘90s). Since then dissatisfaction with Osborne has grown, while he is still more popular than Alistair Darling was, Nigel Lawson, John Major and Geoffrey Howe all had times when they were more popular with the public than Osborne is now.
More presciently perhaps, the public are evenly split on whether they think Osborne or Ed Balls would make the more capable Chancellor – 35% say Osborne and 36% say Balls. Due to quirks in our system it will be Ed Miliband who responds to the Chancellor’s statement, but what will be interesting to see is how the public feel about the Chancellor and his opposite number in the days, weeks and months to come.