Labour lead by three points in this week’s Ashcroft National Poll, conducted over the past weekend. There is little movement in the main parties’ shares: the Conservatives are unchanged on 28 per cent, with Labour (31 per cent), the Liberal Democrats (7 per cent) and UKIP (18 per cent) each down a point since last week. The Greens are up three points at 8 per cent, their highest level yet in the ANP.
As in previous weeks, we find Labour’s lead in the ANP similar to that in other recent surveys, but a lower combined vote share for the two main parties than that found by other pollsters.
In other questions, I found people more optimistic about their own economic prospects than about those of the country. Nearly two thirds (64 per cent) said they expected the economy to do well for them over the next year, compared to 58 per cent thinking things would go well for Britain as a whole. UKIP voters were the most pessimistic, but swing voters (who say they don’t know how they will vote or may change their minds) were more optimistic than average.
More than twice as many people said they and their families were worse off now than they had been in 2010 (37 per cent) as said they were better off (18 per cent) – though they were more likely to say the country as a whole was worse off (42 per cent) than that they were personally. Half of all UKIP voters said Britain was worse off now than it had been four years ago.
However, only just over one fifth of voters said they thought that either the country (22 per cent) or they themselves (23 per cent) would have been better off than they were now had Labour been in government since 2010. More than a third (35 per cent) said Britain would probably have been worse off, and 30 per cent thought they would have been worse off themselves. Swing voters were the most likely to say it would probably have made no difference.
There has been little movement on these questions since I last asked them at the end of May, suggesting that opinion on these matters is largely settled: it will be a struggle for Labour to convince any more voters that Britain would have been better off under their Plan B, and fruitless for the Tories to spend more energy blaming Labour for the recession. What matters is what happens next.
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