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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 December 2005, 12:11 GMT
Tories face trust issues - poll
David Cameron has his work cut out if he is to convince people who do not usually vote Conservative to trust the party, a BBC poll suggests.

The survey of 1,014 people carried out by Populus for BBC Radio 4's Today programme found that less than half of all voters trusted the Tories on the economy (49%) and Europe (43%).

Among those who did not vote Conservative the figures dropped to 41% and 38% respectively.

And a majority of this group also said they did not trust the party on immigration, health, the environment and family policies.

However the party scored highly on the issue of crime and education: 59% of non-Tory voters and 63% overall said they trusted the party on crime and 55% of non-Tories and 59% overall thought the party could be trusted on education.



The economy 49% 41% 44% 60%
Crime 63% 59% 30% 41%
Immigration 50% 45% 43% 56%
Health 52% 45% 42% 55%
Education 59% 55% 34% 45%
Europe 43% 38% 47% 62%
Environment 50% 46% 41% 55%
Family policies 50% 46% 41% 54%
Source: BBC/Populus
Sample: 1,014 adults. "Don't knows" not shown. Figures may not total 100% due to rounding.

People were also asked if adopting certain policies would make them more or less likely to vote Conservative.

Among non-Conservatives, only 23% said a promise of tax cuts would make them more likely to switch their vote.


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And this was also rejected among voters as a whole with 56% of all those asked saying it would make no difference.

But 49% of non-Tories said restoring the link between the basic state pension and average earnings would encourage them to vote Conservative.

This was among a set of key recommendations in last week's Pension Commission report by Adair Turner.

The link was first introduced by Labour's Barbara Castle in 1974 but was broken by Margaret Thatcher in 1980. Labour has not restored the link and state pension increases are currently linked to prices.

A sizeable minority of non-Tories also said they would be more likely to vote Conservative if the party pledged to bring in an annual cap on immigration (43%) and to abolish student tuition fees (45%).

'Popular but expensive'

The BBC's political research editor, David Cowling said: "Restoring the pension link to earnings finds greatest favour but it is hardly a cheap option in terms of public expenditure.

The traditional Conservative ace card - cutting taxes - seems to make the least impact
David Cowling
BBC political research editor
"Limiting immigration is popular but immigration featured heavily in the Conservative campaign in the 2005 general election when they increased their share of the vote by less than 1%.

"And the abolition of tuition fees does not appear to be a policy David Cameron favours these days.

"The traditional Conservative ace card - cutting taxes - seems to make the least impact but this may reflect other polls which show voters have low expectations of all parties on this issue."

Populus interviewed a random sample of 1,014 adults aged 18+ by telephone between 2-5 December 2005. Interviews were conducted across the country and the results have been weighted to be representative of all adults.

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