Conservative fortunes have been declining since mid 2021

in #uk4 months ago

Here is the polling graph:


Obviously there are ups and downs due to events - you can clearly see the dips due to partygate and Truss in the graph.

But the downward trend starts in April 2021 and coincides with lockdown slowly being lifted. That in turn caused a surge in consumer demand at a time when supply chains around the world were still borked.

Do people remember nine month waits for new cars as car manufacturers couldn't get semi-conductor chips? Which in turn caused used car prices to soar as people held onto their existing cars for longer?

Then came the Ukraine war in Feb 2022, which sent oil and gas prices soaring. Petrol in June 2022 hit 191.25p a litre. (It's now 140.06p.)

Of course inflation makes people unhappy. But people initially didn't want to spell it out.

No-one wants to blame the UK govt for the lack of semi-conductor chips coming out of Taiwan, because that sounds unreasonable. No-one wants to say, "I wish the govt would tell Ukraine to surrender so the cost of petrol comes down", especially if they're also virtue signalling that they want oil drilling in the North Sea stopped for net zero reasons.

But they secretly thought the govt should sort it out. But obliquely explained their unhappiness with secondary reasons. They're upset about partygate. They think the Northern Ireland protocol is awful. And so on.

Sunak and Hunt have tried to fix the things people claimed they were upset about.

They stabalised the bond market. They renegotiated the NI Protocol with the much improved Windsor Framework. They negotiated deportation treaties with Albania, Georgia and Pakistan and cut the number of illegal migrants arriving by a third. They issued hundreds of oil and gas licences in a bid to increase the supply of oil. They cut National Insurance by 2% in the last budget.

Nothing has moved the dial.

Because what people are really unhappy about is the cost of living. Voters won't be happy unless inflation goes negative. But how likely is that to happen?