In many ways, a Mansion Tax is a tax on London. That’s the way the distribution of property prices around the country works out – and it’s one reason why I think Danny Alexander made a mistake in deciding to talk about Mansion Tax plans in the media just before the London council elections.
It’s also the reason that many Liberal Democrats in London are nervous about the political impact in their patch of a Mansion Tax, even though it is also a policy which has received support in places such as the Financial Times and has national popularity. It was, for example, the area of party policy that was most heavily criticised in a recent session I led for one local party about the current general election manifesto consultation.
So the recent YouGov polling of Londoners for the Evening Standard on this is worth noting:
In general, do you support or oppose the introduction of a Mansion Tax?
Amongst Lib Dem voters in 2010:
Amongst current Lib Dem voters:
Oppose 15% (i.e. exactly the same figures as for 2010 Lib Dems).
Support for the Mansion Tax goes up with age which given turnout also goes up with age is politically significant.
PS We very nearly got a Mansion Tax in this Parliament. It was only David Cameron’s decision to over-ride George Osborne that blocked it.