British voters see more gloom in years ahead: poll

Reuters News
Posted: Apr 29, 2013 9:03 AM
British voters see more gloom in years ahead: poll

LONDON (Reuters) - Nearly half of Britons expect their living standards to fall further by the time they vote in the next election in 2015, but the opposition Labor Party could still struggle to win if the economy does rebound, a pollster said on Monday.

A YouGov poll showed 46 percent of respondents thought they would be worse off in 2015 than now. Only seven percent saw a full recovery in the next two to three years.

YouGov president Peter Kellner said the level of pessimism was higher than usual, but said Labor's lead over the Conservatives, the senior ruling coalition partner, in other opinion polls of about eight or nine points could prove too small if the economy recovers.

"If the pessimism is confounded and the economy does show signs of steady growth between now and the next election, then the Conservative argument that the medicine is working, the economy has turned a corner and they are cleaning up Labor's mess would be quite a powerful message which Labor would have real difficulty counteracting," Kellner said.

"As long as Labor is blamed more than the Tories (Conservatives) for the mess that Britain is in, the Conservatives will have a fighting chance of winning the next election."

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The questions in the poll about living standard expectations and how long it will take for the economy to recover were put to 1,761 respondents between February 27 and 28. It was conducted for The Resolution Foundation, a think tank

For more on the poll, click on:

(Reporting by William Schomberg Editing by Jeremy Gaunt.)