On Saturday, the TUC’s anti-cuts March for the Alternative
takes place in central London. Can the organisers avoid the charge that it's nothing more than public sector workers trying to protect their own interests?
It’s no surprise to find that public sector workers don’t like the cuts. In our March Political Monitor
, when asked to judge the government’s decisions on cuts, a quarter of public sector workers say the government has made the right decisions (27%) and two thirds (65%) say the government's made the wrong decisions. By contrast, among private sector workers it’s almost an even split (44% say right and 47% wrong).
But worryingly for the Coalition, the view that the government’s made the wrong decisions on cuts is widespread across the population in Britain. Splitting the results by other demographics (like age, gender, social class, housing tenure or region), the most prevalent view among any particular group is always that the government’s got it wrong on cuts. We can't find another difference in views as big as that between private and public sector workers.
Good news for Saturday’s organisers perhaps in making the argument that there's a broad base of support for their cause. But maybe not as good as you might think for Ed Miliband, the event's keynote speaker.
Labour has pulled ahead of the Conservatives in the polls
, largely at the expense of the Lib Dems. But dig a little deeper and things look less rosy: even among people who don’t think the government’s made the right choices on cuts, opinion’s still split about whether Ed Miliband is doing a good job as opposition leader. In fact, rather counter-intuitively, people who think the government has got it wrong on cuts are actually less
likely to be satisfied with Miliband than those who think the government has got it right on cuts.
There may be an opportunity here for Labour, but so far it doesn’t look like they’re making the most of it.