Poll: Voters lose faith in govt running of economy


9:05 am - April 13th 2011

by Sunny Hundal    


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The story of how voters are rapidly losing faith in the government’s management of the economy is one the media has shied away from.

YouGov asked the same question since May last year: “Do you think the coalition government is managing the economy well or badly?”

The trend is quite stark and moving in the wrong direction for the government.

These numbers should make any Coalition supporter think twice about Osborne’s plans.

More importantly, when will the media start asking why so many people think the economy is being managed so badly? Is it because the public feel the effects much more than London-based newspaper editors?

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


Is it just my phone, or are the “good” and the “bad” lines both the same colour?

2. alienfromzog

@1

It’s just your phone.

My thought of stories like this is what is the significance?

For me, the government’s economic ‘policy’ is ridiculous and I know of three Nobel prize winners who share that view. I think this will become obvious over time.

What I am not sure about is how much this kind of poll contributes to the debate. The pattern to me, seems to be one of people reacting to sound-bites and immediately felt effects rather than being able to see the bigger picture.

Of course, in electoral terms, if this government is not trusted on the economy they are completely sunk. But this far out from a likely election date, what does it matter that people are thinking the economic management is bad?

I am genuinely asking, I don’t know.

AFZ

Probably just your phone cos it looks OK on mine, but you never know…maybe it is your eyes.

Inflation is down and unemployment is down.

My confidence in the govt’s handling of the economy is therefore up.

Unemployment down…really…dammit, and I wanted it to go up…best vote tory now.

On the other hand, inflation is down and exports are at a 30 year high. Not all doom and gloom is it?

7. Shatterface

The politicall significant question isn’t whether to coalition is handling the economy badly but whether they think the coalition are handling the economy better or worse than the oposition would if they were still in power.

8. James Alexander

@4 & 6

Inflation rate-of-increase is only noticeably down on the CPI, a dubious measure, rubbished by the Royal Statistical Society for much the same reasons that make it the ‘Government’s prefrred measure of inflation’ in its press releases, the one they’ve hit on ensure pensions fall progressively behind true inflation, but not the one they use to increase tax thresholds, which is of course the higher RPI! RPI is the truest measure, the one to use, the one protected by Statute from undue fiddling. Governmnet apparently knows it can’t sell index-linked gilts without RPI, and the BoE likes to have its pension fund well-padded with index-linked gilts. In RPI terms last month’s fall in the rate of increase is small, small enough to be down to temporary desperate discounting in the stores, for example. And its NOT a fall in inflation, is it? Its a very slight, one-month slowing in the rate of increase.

Not in itself really at all in the least whatsoever does it justify a new ‘confidence in the handling of the economy’. As to unemplyment – let’s just wait a couple of months and see, eh?

AFZ

“this far out from a likely election date, what does it matter that people are thinking the economic management is bad?

I am genuinely asking, I don’t know.”

A few points on this:

1 – we’re not far at all from the date of *local* elections, the results of which have implications not just for the shape of local government but for the stability of the national coalition. (One too many kickings and the Lib Dems may start to wonder where this is all headed…)

2 – up till now, the Tories have done a reasonable job of convincing people that their approach to the deficit is just “common sense” – when you’re in debt, you need to stop borrowing asap and so you cut right back on spending, fast. And nothing stifles debate like a “common sense” consensus – no politician can afford to be the one who says (e.g.) “actually, some drugs might do less harm if they were legal” or “actually, locking people up may not be the best way to stop them re-offending”. If people are starting to see Osborne’s “common sense” narrative for the simplistic, self-serving pile of crap it is, that makes room for a real debate about what *is* the best way to tackle the deficit.

3 – Labour’s economic credibility has been badly damaged by the fact that we can see *with the benefit of hindsight* what they got wrong (they should have regulated the banks more; they shouldn’t have run a deficit in the mid-00s, etc.). But how much *more* damaging will it be for the Tories if no hindsight is necessary – if everyone else can see that their policies are not working, can call on experts to explain why they’re not working, can see the evidence mounting up that they’re not working, and yet has to watch them carry on regardless, insisting in every successive budget that one last, big push on the brakes will get the economy moving again?

But, the point is, the public still prefer the Conservatives to Labour, on the economy (by a margin of 33% to 27%, according to Yougov).

And, with very rapid growth in exports taking place, and employment up by 143,000 over the quarter, the government is likely to have a reasonable story to tell.

11. Mr S. Pill

@10

And yet the public would rather vote Labour right now? http://today.yougov.co.uk/politics/govt-trackers-update-12th-april

“Latest YouGov/Sun results 12th April CON 37%, LAB 42%, LD 9%; APP -22″

On-topic: what this poll means is the public is waking up & seeing through the lies pumped to us by the rightist press on a daily basis. The conservatives are not good with the economy.

PS unemployment may be down due to the census creating loads of temp jobs.

wow…40% don’t know…that can’t be good.

@11 I have heard a lot about the census temp jobs, would it really have a significant impact on the fall? Just curious to know?

wow…40% don’t know…that can’t be good…that should of been @10.

14. Mr S. Pill

@13

I dunno myself, that’s why I say it “may” be an affect. There were a LOT of jobs created for census purposes, though.

What you really need to ask is, why did the public start off so favorable to the coalition’s handing of the economy – back when they hadn’t had time to actually do anything, just to talk about what they were going to do?

Maybe because the media had been so enthusiastic in bashing Gordon Brown before the election and had not bothered to spell out to people exactly what had gone wrong with the world economy and why Brown’s policies were, in the view of most people outside the UK, the only thing that saved us from a depression?

That might have taken some serious analysis though. it was a lot easier to go on about how he called some woman a bigot.

16. Chaise Guevara

@ 11

“On-topic: what this poll means is the public is waking up & seeing through the lies pumped to us by the rightist press on a daily basis. The conservatives are not good with the economy. ”

I reckon a big part of it is just that people are coming to like Cameron’s government less and less. Apparently when many people are asked “How do you rate Party X on issue Y?”, the question they actually answer is “How much do you like Party X?”.

Of course, Cameron’s problems are mainly economic in nature, but for these respondents that’s basically a coincidence!

P.S. What’s APP?

17. Mr S. Pill

@16

I dunno, the Tories are generally *seen* as being a safe pair of hands (for reasons unknown*) and this represents a bit of a change in my opinion…

“P.S. What’s APP?” :- overall government approval (see the link for detail)

*reasons probably not unconnected to do with the fact that around 80% of the mainstream press is right-wing/pro-Tory economics.

@16 The Alan Parsons Project?

19. Chaise Guevara

@ 17 Mr S. Pill

Well, the public not trusting the Tories, the public not liking the Tories… either’s good.

*reasons probably not unconnected to do with the fact that around 80% of the mainstream press is right-wing/pro-Tory economics.

if in doubt this is the usual answer to a question.

Yeah, it was my phone. Weird.

While I seriously doubt that Osborne – as well as many government supporters – sufficiently understands the economic issues, Vince Cable, the BIS minister, certainly does and anyone at all familiar with public debates will likely appreciate that economic literacy is not widely distributed in the electorate. That said, there is good cause for concern about the lies we have been told.

As for the massive debt overhang try this illuminating brief on Britain’s national debt – dated: 26 March 2011
http://www.economicshelp.org/blog/uk-economy/uk-national-debt/

“UK public sector net debt was £875.8 billion or 58% of National GDP – (note this excludes financial sector intervention.)
Source: Office National Statistics

“If all financial sector intervention is included (e.g. Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds) , the Net debt was £2,252.1 billion or 149.1 per cent. This is known as the unadjusted measure of public sector net debt.

“The PBR (annual government borrowing) forecast for 2010/11 is for net borrowing of £149 billion or 12.6% of GDP.”

National debt incurred by the financial sector intervention can be paid down as when government held shares in Northern Rock, RBS, Lloyds etc are sold back to the private sector.

Btw I’m not a “deficit denier” and believe that some combination of spending cuts and tax increases is necessary to rein in the unsustainable budget deficit but the speed of fiscal adjustment is critical if the economy is not to stagnate. The recent conclusion of the widely respected NIESR think-tank was:

“The underlying growth rate is weak. The average rate of growth in the final quarter of last year and first quarter of this year was 0.1 percent,” it added.
http://uk.reuters.com/article/2011/04/06/uk-economy-grew-idUKTRE7353LX20110406

Be interesting to see the stats when the ONS figures showing upto the ned of April are released around June.

Unemployment up will only lead to that line rising too.

Osborne is hamstrung by the UK’s bankrupt economy. That’s what Libya is all about. They need BP in there making the big bucks from oil. The only thing now is to wait for the collapse of the dollar and that will push through the need for a single world currency. Any money you already have will be converted into credits but will be worth a lot less as it always does with any currency restructuring. Everybody is going to start from scratch. That’s the big idea being pushed through by the NWO and its what they talk about at Bilderberg meetings. So don’t worry about what Osborne is doing now. He’s just going through the motions which is a smokescreen for the real agenda.

“that will push through the need for a single world currency”

ROFL !! That will just reproduce all the instability problems of the Eurozone economies on a grander scale.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
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  25. Emma_Norris

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