Has the Wells thesis passed it first test?
Early in the New Year I ran a piece about the Anthony Wells theory that what’s driving the voting intention polls is how good or bad voters are feeling about the economy.
Anthony, who of course runs UK Polling Report, argued that there was a surprising degree of correlation between Labour polling position and two specific indices – the Ipsos-MORI Economic Optimism Index and the Nationwide Building Society Consumer Confidence Index.
These had reached their low point in July just at the same time as Labour was experiencing the worst polling numbers. Then, the two indicators progressed upwards and this was signalled in the polls. Well the latest numbers from the Nationwide and Ipsos-MORI have shown a drop and we all know what happened with the January Populus Poll.
The need to talk things up a bit might have been behind the comments by Labour minister, Baroness Vadera, about the signs of the “green shoots of recovery” – a story that has been running quite big on BBC new outlets.
The problem today, of course, has been the juxtaposition of the Minister’s message and the announcements today of another big swathe of job losses.
There should be one or two more polls at the weekend and we’ll all be looking to see which way the numbers are going. I find it quite hard to read what’s happening at the moment.