How long can the Tories continue to blame Labour for the country's ills?

If the polls are accurate, the British people are already turning against them.

The question of how support for the coalition and its economic policies is holding up is important right now, three weeks before the so-called growth Budget. The latest survey results from YouGov over the past few days suggest that it is not strong and is starting to deteriorate fairly rapidly. The changes may not be statistically significant but they are certainly politically significant.

Below, I report a number of balances from two surveys conducted on successive days last week. In the latest poll, taken on 3-4 March, the Labour Party had 43 per cent of the vote, with the Tories on 35 per cent and the Lib Dems on 10 per cent. The remaining parties were on 12 per cent.

First, it appears that David Cameron's support is low and may even be slipping, although his support is still higher than that of Nick Clegg (25 per cent well and 67 per cent badly) or Ed Miliband (33 per cent well and 47 per cent badly). Even before his speech in Cardiff today, where he declared public-sector workers to be "enemies", the majority of voters thought that Cameron was doing a bad job.

1. Do you think David Cameron is doing well or badly as prime minister?

2-3 March - well = 44 per cent; badly = 50 per cent; don't know = 6 per cent

3-4 March - well = 41 per cent; badly = 52 per cent; don't know = 6 per cent

Second, the majority of respondents also think the coalition is handling the economy badly.


2. Do you think the coalition government is managing the economy well or badly?

2-3 March - well = 36 per cent; badly = 54 per cent; don't know = 10 per cent

3-4 March - well = 35 per cent; badly = 56 per cent; don't know = 9 per cent

Finally, the majority of respondents expect their financial situations to worsen.


3. How do you think the financial situation of your household will change over the next 12 months?

2-3 March - better = 9 per cent; worse = 61 per cent; don't know = 5 per cent

3-4 March - better = 9 per cent; worse = 64 per cent; don't know = 4 per cent

This finding is consistent with recent survey conducted by the EU in February, which also found that people expect their financial situation to worsen over the next 12 months. Worryingly, that survey has collapsed since the coalition took power in May 2010, whereas it improved under Labour. Here, a negative number is worse. The score is approaching the numbers last seen in the depths of the recession.


It doesn't appear that blaming the previous Labour government for everything that is wrong with the economy is working. The time has come for this government to start taking responsibility for its actions before the British people really start to turn against it. Based on this evidence, it appears they already have.

David Blanchflower is economics editor of the New Statesman and professor of economics at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire

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“Trembling, shaking / Oh, my heart is aching”: the EU out campaign song will give you chills

But not in a good way.

You know the story. Some old guys with vague dreams of empire want Britain to leave the European Union. They’ve been kicking up such a big fuss over the past few years that the government is letting the public decide.

And what is it that sways a largely politically indifferent electorate? Strikes hope in their hearts for a mildly less bureaucratic yet dangerously human rights-free future? An anthem, of course!

Originally by Carly You’re so Vain Simon, this is the song the Leave.EU campaign (Nigel Farage’s chosen group) has chosen. It is performed by the singer Antonia Suñer, for whom freedom from the technofederalists couldn’t come any suñer.

Here are the lyrics, of which your mole has done a close reading. But essentially it’s just nature imagery with fascist undertones and some heartburn.

"Let the river run

"Let all the dreamers

"Wake the nation.

"Come, the new Jerusalem."

Don’t use a river metaphor in anything political, unless you actively want to evoke Enoch Powell. Also, Jerusalem? That’s a bit... strong, isn’t it? Heavy connotations of being a little bit too Englandy.

"Silver cities rise,

"The morning lights,

"The streets that meet them,

"And sirens call them on

"With a song."

Sirens and streets. Doesn’t sound like a wholly un-authoritarian view of the UK’s EU-free future to me.

"It’s asking for the taking,

"Trembling, shaking,

"Oh, my heart is aching."

A reference to the elderly nature of many of the UK’s eurosceptics, perhaps?

"We’re coming to the edge,

"Running on the water,

"Coming through the fog,

"Your sons and daughters."

I feel like this is something to do with the hosepipe ban.

"We the great and small,

"Stand on a star,

"And blaze a trail of desire,

"Through the dark’ning dawn."

Everyone will have to speak this kind of English in the new Jerusalem, m'lady, oft with shorten’d words which will leave you feeling cringéd.

"It’s asking for the taking.

"Come run with me now,

"The sky is the colour of blue,

"You’ve never even seen,

"In the eyes of your lover."

I think this means: no one has ever loved anyone with the same colour eyes as the EU flag.

I'm a mole, innit.