Ken Livingstone writing in Friday’s Morning Star points out:
The run-up to last week’s Budget was marked by widening criticism of the Tories’ plans for savage public-sector cuts coupled with a steady deterioration in its poll lead.
The two are clearly linked.
When the agenda is pushed onto a debate dominated by cuts, Labour tends to fall backwards in the polls. And Labour advances the more it articulates opposition to cuts.
He also argues:
… there is a strong clamour from the right-wing press for Labour to pursue a course on cuts that would damage the party while benefiting the right.