Why the Tories are not benefiting from the economic recovery

George Osborne: Not feeling the benefit of the recovery.
George Osborne: Not feeling the benefit of the recovery.
Adam Bienkov By

Public concern over poverty and inequality has soared to record highs since the coalition government was formed, according to a new poll.

Almost one-in-five people now say poverty and inequality are among the most important issues facing the country, according to Ipsos MORI.

This is three times higher than when the coalition was first formed back in 2010, and the highest level the pollsters have ever recorded.

The findings are even more striking when you consider that concern over the wider economy has plummeted to its lowest level since June 2008.


This suggests that while the public are convinced that the economy is recovering, they are not convinced that the benefits of that recovery are being fairly shared.

This shift explains why this has so far been a 'voteless recovery' for the Conservatives.

Rather than boost public support for the coalition, the economic recovery merely seems to be shifting public concern away to other issues.

According to the poll, concern over immigration has overtaken the economy as the main issue facing the country, with public concern over the NHS also overtaking public concern over unemployment.

The rise in concern over health will worry the Conservatives. Tory campaign manager Lynton Crosby has advised the government to avoid talking about the NHS, as he believes it is a proven vote-loser for the party.

Labour's recent impressive performance in the local elections in London was also largely credited to public anger in the capital over threatened cuts to accident and emergency service and hospital closures.

But it is the surge in concern over poverty and inequality that should most worry the Tories.

The biggest obstacle to a Conservative majority in 2010 was the perception that they were a party run both by and for the rich.

Despite promising that we would "all be in it together" this new poll suggests the public are even less convinced by this claim than ever before.

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