Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Economy is where dividing line is opening up

The economy is where the dividing line between the political parties is opening up, said Manchester University's Jane Green at the Political Studies Association conference in Edinburgh. The Conservatives had a slight edge on the economy, but Labour was somewhat more trusted on the issue and it was thought that they would do a better job on the economy if they won. This sounds paradoxical, but it reflects voters' uncertainty. As Green put it, prospective economic voting was muddled.

Cameron's personal ratings were going down just as those of Blair did in 1997. But Blair had a bigger lead over Major than Cameron does over Brown.

On party identification, Labour identification had held up, but there was no increase in Conservative identification since 1992 when it fell sharply. This suggested that Conservatives were highly instrumental voters and that their support was more conditional.

Her overall conclusion was that this was an election in which the campaign would be very important.

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