Economic trends point to a Tory lead in the near future

Economic trends point to a Tory lead in the near future

As we’ve seen, the most recent instance of these questions showed a sharp rise in good feelings and a corresponding fall in bad feelings about the economy.

For months Conservative strategists have wondered why they haven’t seen a better performance in the polls on the back of the economic recovery but our figures suggest that this may be right around the corner.

The chart below shows the split of people crediting the Coalition for the economy being good (i.e. those who said the economy is good and the Coalition is mainly responsible) vs. those blaming it for the economy being bad (those who said the economy was bad and the Coalition was responsible).

As we can see, the “credit” figure has changed from being almost negligible in 2012 and 2013 to 13% of voters in 2014. Conversely, the “blame” figure, after peaking in early 2013 amid talk of a triple dip recession, has fallen remarkably steadily since then.

The two are almost at the point of convergence and, barring external factors, it’s likely that these two lines will meet within the next six months.

Labour's poll lead has dropped as

So what does this mean for voting intention? Well the other line in that chart is Labour’s poll lead which also peaks at the same time as ‘Coalition blame’ but has declined with it since then.

“Barring external factors” is obviously a huge ‘if’ as there are any number of things that could throw this off but fundamental perceptions of the economy appear to be going David Cameron’s way.

Everyone understands that perceptions of the economy are one of the main influences on voting behaviour so really this is nothing new, but from these figures I would be surprised if we reached the end of 2014 without at least one Conservative poll lead.