Three-quarters (76 per cent) of British voters say the cost of goods in their regular food shop has increased over recent months, as revealed by exclusive polling for the New Statesman by Redfield & Wilton Strategies*.
When asked how their financial situation had changed in the last two years, just 13 per cent replied that it had improved, compared with 41 per cent who said it had worsened (44 per cent said nothing had changed, and 2 per cent didn’t know).
The cost-of-living crisis is biting, putting political pressure on the government. A row among Tory MPs is rumbling over Boris Johnson’s reluctance to scrap VAT on energy bills – a promise he made during the EU referendum campaign.
To add to the Prime Minister’s woes, voters are now associating the economy with their own circumstances (their jobs and shop prices) rather than the need to reduce government debt – the “balancing the books” rhetoric used by successive Conservative governments to justify cuts after the recession.
Chart by Ben Walker
This is a shift in attitude that should favour the Labour Party, which voters trust more with the cost of living than the Conservatives. Whether Keir Starmer, who has tried again to outline Labour’s vision this week, benefits from this is yet to be seen.
*1,500 eligible voters in Great Britain were polled. Fieldwork was conducted on 8 December 2021.