The cost of living crisis remains the most widespread and important issue in the United Kingdom today. Per our latest polling on 7 September, an overwhelming majority of respondents (73%) say they have read or heard a significant amount (as opposed to a fair or slight amount, or not at all) about the cost-of-living crisis in the last month, while another strong majority (65%) say it has significantly mattered to them personally.
With inflation having reached 10.8% in July and with some estimates of further rises by the end of the year, the cost of living is expected to remain a major issue in the months ahead. Prime Minister Liz Truss’ political fortunes will therefore be decisively shaped by her government’s perceived performance on this issue.
Her starting position on the issue might be more favourable than one may expect. When it comes to citizens’ confidence in their ability to confront the cost of living crisis, Truss is tied with Labour Party Leader Keir Starmer: an equal share of 38% of respondents report more confidence in one over the other.
Crucially, Truss holds an almost twofold lead over Starmer in this regard among undecided voters, as 34% of respondents who say they don’t know who they will vote for in the next general election report more confidence in Truss, with a mere 18% doing so for Starmer—indicative of how many 2019 Conservative voters comprise the group of undecided voters.
Similarly, 36% of Britons report having more confidence in Liz Truss compared to Boris Johnson, while only 20% say they have less confidence. This 16-percentage point spread for Truss doubles to 32 percentage points among Conservative supporters.
It remains to be seen whether Truss is able to take advantage of her relatively decent starting position on this issue amidst still considerably challenging macroeconomic circumstances.