Labour lead by three points in this week’s Ashcroft National Poll, conducted over the past weekend. There is little movement in the main parties shares: the Conservatives are unchanged on 28%, with Labour (31%), the Liberal Democrats (7%) and UKIP (18%) each down a point since last week. The Greens are up three points at 8%, their highest level yet in the ANP.
As in previous weeks, we find Labour’s lead in the ANP similar to that in other recent surveys, but a lower combined vote share for the two main parties than that found by other pollsters.
In other questions, I found people more optimistic about their own economic prospects than about those of the country. Nearly two thirds (64%) said they expected the economy to do well for them over the next year, compared to 58% thinking things would go well for Britain as a whole. UKIP voters were the most pessimistic, but swing voters (who say they don’t know how they will vote or may change their minds) were more optimistic than average.
More than twice as many people said they and their families were worse off now than they had been in 2010 (37%) as said they were better off (18%) – though they were more likely to say the country as a whole was worse off (42%) than that they were personally. Half of all UKIP voters said Britain was worse off now than it had been four years ago.
However, only just over one fifth of voters said they thought that either the country (22%) or they themselves (23%) would have been better off than they were now had Labour been in government since 2010. More than a third (35%) said Britain would probably have been worse off, and 30% thought they would have been worse off themselves. Swing voters were the most likely to say it would probably have made no difference.
There has been little movement on these questions since I last asked them at the end of May, suggesting that opinion on these matters is largely settled: it will be a struggle for Labour to convince any more voters that Britain would have been better off under their Plan B, and fruitless for the Tories to spend more energy blaming Labour for the recession. What matters is what happens next.