Posts Tagged ‘GDP growth’

What will it take for voters to choose Labour over the Tories on the economy?

27/07/2012, 07:00:25 AM

by Atul Hatwal

It’s the question on which the next election will turn.

David Cameron and George Osborne have been at the helm for just over two years and in that time the economy has been shrinking for five out of eight quarters.

While other countries that were also in the eye of the financial storm, such as the USA, have recouped their lost output since 2008 and are growing, our economy is still 4.5% smaller than when the banks collapsed.

Even in the nightmare of the Eurozone, only Italy is in a double dip recession like Britain.

The situation could hardly be worse, but still, almost beyond logic and certainly beyond the comprehension of most of the Labour movement, the public believe Cameron and Osborne to be more economically competent than Ed Miliband and Ed Balls by a double digit margin.

July’s ICM poll had the Tory incumbents in an 11% lead over Labour’s challengers. This lead actually grew between June and July by 2% from 9% to 11%.

So what would it take for the two Ed’s to take the lead or at least wipe out the deficit?

ICM has regularly asked voters which of the competing political duos they would prefer to be running the economy in their monthly polls for the Guardian, over the past nine months.

Mapping the Cameron/Osborne lead over Miliband/Balls against the actual movements in growth over these three quarters gives us a sense of whether there is a link between growth and the public’s preference, and if so, how bad the economic situation would need to become for Labour to be preferred.

Based on the last three quarters, it is clear there is a correlation between growth and the Cameron/Osborne lead.

The minor easing in the rate of economic contraction at the start of 2012 was mirrored in a slight increase in the Tory lead while the steep acceleration in decline in the second quarter this year was reflected in a sharp fall in the Cameron/Osborne lead from 17.5% to 10%.

Electorally for Labour, that’s the good news. Cameron and Osborne are definitely paying a price for their economic incompetence.

But then comes the very bad news.


Facebook Twitter Digg Delicious StumbleUpon