What “everyone knows” is wrong: the Budget was popular with young people
Everyone knows that George Osborne designed the Budget to help repulse the UKIP threat to older once-Tory voters, especially working-class ones. What is more, it succeeded. Recent polls by ComRes, YouGov and Populus have seen Labour’s lead cut.
All hail the political genius of the Chancellor.
Except that it is not so.
The brilliant Leo Barasi points out that the swing from Labour to Conservative was confined to the under-60s: the younger the voter, the stronger the swing back to the Tories. Among the over-60s, in fact, the swing went the other way, with Labour increasing its support slightly while the Tories held steady.
Barasi speculates that the liberation of pensions did not have a direct effect on the polls, as it would have been most important to the 40-59 age group:
The reality may be that these changes aren’t actually the result of rational policy calculation in response to the pension changes. Perhaps they’re more about the feeling people have had from the Tories projecting a sense of direction and accomplishment.
More important, his analysis of polls carried out before and after the Budget shows something else:
It’s a reminder that the (near) universal opinion about what’s going on in politics is sometimes completely wrong.
Credit where it is due: Patrick Briône, research director of Survation, first made this point on Monday, as Barasi acknowledges.Tagged in: budget, opinion polls
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