Last week, we published the first results from our super poll of 5,000 British voters, which found Labour leading among both men and women and among every age group polled.
Looking again at the results of that poll, we further find Labour leading the Conservatives among voters in three broad but distinct categories of financial circumstances: struggling, just getting by, and comfortable.
Altogether, Labour leads the Conservatives by 34% among voters who say they are financially struggling, by 27% among those who say they are financially just getting by, and by 3% among those who say they are financially comfortable.
The Conservatives are winning only 15% and 12% of the vote among those who are just getting by or struggling. By comparison, they are winning twice as many voters among those who say they are comfortable (29%), who represent 38% of all voters.
However, since March 2022, about 40% or more of Britons have consistently said their financial situation had worsened over the preceding three months, peaking at around 60% in late 2022.
As more and more voters said their financial situation had worsened, the difference between the percentages of likely Conservative voters and likely Labour voters saying their financial situations had worsened widened. In simple terms, those with worsening financial situations became more and more likely to have switched their vote to Labour.
That difference has notably sustained itself, even as fewer Britons report worsening financial circumstances.
The same trend can be observed with regard to British voters’ expectations for their finances.
Until the cost-of-living crisis, the gap between likely Conservative and likely Labour voters expecting their financial situation to worsen over the following three months was relatively narrow.
That gap widened as inflation took hold in late 2021. Around that time, likely Labour voters started to both increase in size, as Labour’s Voting Intention share increased, and become more likely to expect their financial situations to worsen over the following three months.
To state what should be an obvious point: if more voters had not suffered financially in the post-pandemic era and were feeling financially comfortable at present, the Conservatives would be doing better in overall voting intention.
Much commentary has attributed the Conservatives’ decline in public support to scandals, such as the Owen Patterson scandal, Party-gate, and Pincher-gate, among others, or personalities, but the classic phrase has always been applicable and still is: it’s the economy, stupid.