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Conservatives Branded ‘Nasty Party’ as Voters Reject Plan to Target Sick and Disabled

Government plans to target welfare payments to the long-term sick and disabled are deeply unpopular, an exclusive new poll suggests

A polling station with a disabled access ramp. Photo: Paul Hennell/ Alamy Live News

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The Conservative Party are now seen as the ‘nasty party’, according to exclusive new polling which suggests a large majority of voters reject the Government’s plans to target welfare payments to the disabled and long-term sick.

Rishi Sunak’s Government last week set out plans to end what it described as the UK’s “sick note culture”, while suggesting that welfare payments to some disabled people would be replaced with alternative schemes designed to get them into work.

The plan does not appear to be going down well with voters according to new polling by pollsters We Think this week which found that three quarters (75%) of those surveyed would oppose any further cuts to welfare payments for the long-term sick and disabled.

In fact, far from wanting payments to these groups cut, a majority of those surveyed (54%) said that there is currently “too little” government support for the disabled and sick, compared to just 16% who said there was too much.

A further 29% said that current levels of payments to these groups should be maintained.

The policy may be contributing to broader opinions about the Conservative party. Asked which of the major political parties would be best described as the “nasty party”, 46% of those surveyed picked the Conservatives, compared to just 23% who picked Labour. Reform UK came in third place on 17%.


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The findings come as the Conservative Party suffer one of their worst set of local election results in the past 40 years.

Early results show the party losing councils right across the country, while narrowly avoiding slipping into third place behind Labour and Reform UK in the Blackpool by-election, which was triggered by a lobbying scandal involving the former Conservative MP Scott Benton.

According to Britain’s leading pollster John Curtice, the numbers point to Rishi Sunak’s party suffering “one of the worst, if not the worst, Conservative performances in local government elections in the last 40 years”, with the party doing at least as badly as the current national opinion polls suggest.


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The party’s campaigning focus on niche culture war issues also appears to be merely alienating voters far more concerned with other issues, such as the economy and the NHS, according to research by the pollster Luke Tryl, who found this week that such rhetoric about “woke” issues “significantly reduces the likelihood to vote Conservative”.

Asked how likely they were to back the Conservative party at the next general election, just 13% of those surveyed by pollsters We Think said they would be “very likely” to do so compared to 47% who said they would be very unlikely to do so.

Overall 26% of voters said they would be either very or quite likely to back Rishi Sunak’s party at the general election, compared to 42% who said they would be either quite or very likely to back Keir Starmer‘s Labour party.

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