Below the headlines, the Conservatives are winning
Good news for the Conservatives and bad for Labour in the details of the YouGov poll for today’s Sunday Times.
The Labour lead of six points in voting intention is neither here nor there 22 months from a general election. I thought it significant that David Cameron and George Osborne strengthened their advantage over Ed Miliband and Ed Balls in being trusted to run the economy; and that there has been a seven-point drop over the past month in the numbers thinking Osborne is doing a bad job as Chancellor:
What is worse for Balls is that he is out-scored 32 per cent to 18 per cent by Alistair Darling as best shadow chancellor (third question).
And what really ought to worry Labour is that 43 per cent say that the economy would be worse now had Labour won the 2010 election, against 32 per cent who say it would be better.
If Labour has not persuaded people by now that Osborne’s policy has failed – compared with what Labour would have done – then its economic credibility is a biscotte.
I suspect much of the Labour Party has lulled itself into a false sense of Swedenism* because some polls suggest that people think Osborne is an objectionable piece of work. Of course they do; he is a politician
If Labour haven’t persuaded the voters that things would have been better under them by now (and I’m one of the 32 per cent in that last question, incidentally), they are unlikely to do so by the time of the election, now that the economy is picking up a little. And if Labour cannot do that, it cannot win.
My column for The Independent on Sunday is mainly about how serious Cameron is about curbing the “free movement of workers” throughout the EU, but this reflects the rigour of the Cameron-Osborne focus on the job prospects and living standards of the “hard-working people” on whom the election will turn.
Labour’s current lead in the headline opinion-poll figures is misleading: Cameron is set to win again.
*Swedenism, n: The attribution to the electorate of generous social-democratic qualities.Tagged in: economics, opinion polls
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