One month ahead of the general election, a poll by Ipsos MORI for BBC Scotland has highlighted the biggest economic priorities for Scots. The polling was conducted using scores between one and ten to highlight what was most important to voters.
Improving the standard of living through an increased minimum wage was the most popular policy (scoring 8.2), something which resounds well with both the Green Party and Labour Party policies. The Greens are polling lower in Scotland than in the UK as a whole and Labour face losing many key seats to the SNP, so these findings could help boost their hopes if they can campaign successfully and get their message out there.
Increases in state pensions (7.9) and help with energy bills (7.7) also returned favourable scores, suggesting that the Scottish people reject the Tory’s austerity and embrace the left leaning policies of the Greens, Labour and the SNP. Furthering this, it is also clear that voters in Scotland prefer greater targeted public spending ahead of paying of the deficit; support for increasing public spending even if the deficit is not eliminated by 2020 (6.3) far outweighs the feeling surrounding paying off the deficit even if public spending reduces (4.6) and reducing taxes even if public services are cut (4.0).
Talking about the findings Mark Diffley, Director of Ipsos MORI, said: “The poll gives a clear steer about where the economic priorities for voters in Scotland lie. Broadly, Scots want to see measures to improve the standard of living, particularly a higher minimum wage, rises in pensions and lower energy bills. There is also a preference for higher targeted public spending even if that means the deficit is not eliminated in the next five years and targeted tax increases for those with the greatest income and wealth.”
All of these findings suggest that Scotland has rejected the coalition’s austerity and is looking to more left wing politics to take the United Kingdom forward in the next five years.
Image: Polling Station Sign © secretlondon123 (secretlondon, flickr).