Posts Tagged ‘optimism’

The Tories have recovered a poll lead exactly when we predicted. Time for Labour’s optimistic alternative

15/05/2014, 07:22:11 AM

by Jonathan Todd

Last October, Uncut ran a regression on economic sentiment and Labour’s poll lead. This indicated that the Conservatives would start to overhaul Labour in the polls when a quarter of the electorate feel that the economy is “doing well”.

The last two times YouGov asked people whether they think the economy is doing well on 1/2 May and 8/9 May, 24% of them indicated that they think it is. By Monday evening, 12 May, the Guardian was reporting two polls that showed the Tories ahead of Labour.

It could be that between the last YouGov tracker on economic sentiment and the polls reported by the Guardian an extra 1% of the electorate decided that the economy is doing well. It might be that Uncut got something wrong with our regression or our interpretation of it.

But 24% is pretty darn close to 25% in most people’s books. So, while Labour’s slipping lead may have produced surprise in some quarters, what has happened is virtually exactly what Uncut postulated would happen.

The economy is improving. Voters can see this and are rewarding the Conservatives. This has happened sufficiently to give them a poll lead. While this should be placed in political context, Labour would be foolhardy to not recognise the direction of travel and recalibrate accordingly.

The political context is that in both polls in which the Tories led, they were only polling just above a third of the electorate, well below the 40% that they may well need to win an overall majority. Given the economic headwinds now blowing in the Tories favour, this should, however, be scant consolation for Labour.


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