Rachel Reeves winning sizeable minority of former Tory backers, Voters Panel reveals

Rachel Reeves is winning a sizeable minority of former Conservative backers despite nagging worries about Labour overspending if they get into power, Sky News Voters Panel has revealed.

The Voters Panel, a two-week online community run by YouGov, who backed Boris Johnson’s Conservatives in 2019, has been asked to explain their preference for either Tory Chancellor Jeremy Hunt or Labour’s shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves.

The economy is set to be the biggest issue in the election, with the Tories keen to paint Labour’s economic plans as dangerous and inflationary while they are the low-tax party.

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The Voters Panel suggests they are having success with some wavering votes.

The Voters Panel

While 29 of the 2019 Tory voters in the Voters Panel went for Hunt, 20 chose Reeves as their preferred chancellor – a ratio of 3:2.

This is different compared to polls of current Conservative voters, who prefer Hunt to Reeves by 39% to 7%.

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This suggests that dissatisfaction with Hunt’s approach and an enthusiasm for Reeves could be a big dividing line between those voters who stick with the Tories from last time and those who take their vote elsewhere.

Those voters who chose Reeves said she was “clearer on her views and wanted to help the country and people”, “she appears composed and competent. I think she will do no worse than the Tories and deserves a chance to demonstrate what she can achieve”.

Nicky says he’s swaying towards backing Labour at the next election and gave his support to Reeves.

Nick from the Voters Panel
Nick from the Voters Panel

He said: “I would like to see Rachel Reeves run the economy for Labour as I believe what Jeremy Hunt has done so far does not seem to be working.”

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Some voters are aware of Reeves’ background.

Helen, from the West Midlands who told us she will not be voting Conservative at the election, said: “She is the daughter of teachers, therefore I feel like she knows what it’s really like in the real world.”

Others think she will make “difficult decisions and take bolder steps to help the economy for the long term”.

Helen from the Voters Panel
Helen from the Voters Panel

Another category of voter suggested they trust Hunt more but regard Reeves as safe. They said: “I have some regard for Rachel Reeves, and think she could be a successful chancellor, but I am not entirely convinced.”

However, Labour has not expunged fears that pressure from the left might lead to overspending. Robert, from Chipping Barnet, is likely to vote Conservative again next time.

Robert from the Voters Panel
Robert from the Voters Panel

He said: “Reeves is doing her level best to sound Blairite and hold back her shadow cabinet and her party leader, but most of them are far more socialist than they are letting on, plus their major funders, the unions, are even further to the left.

“She will face huge pressure from all fronts to tax and spend, spend, spend.”

Another said they feared: “(A) Labour chancellor just guessing by implementing policies that would likely not be funded and make the UK economy potentially bankrupt.”

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