Economic Expectations for a Labour Government?

26th June 2024

Our economic expectations tracker has consistently shown widespread pessimism among the public about their own and the country’s economic situation. More than four weeks into the campaign, the overall story remains the same – but as the prospect of a Labour government has become increasingly certain, Labour supporters have become much more optimistic about the future of the economy.

Results from April of this year show Conservative supporters to be distinctly more positive about the current economic situation and how it has changed over the past year, and substantially more optimistic about the future. A plurality (39%) of this group thought their own household’s economic situation would improve over the next twelve months, compared to just over a quarter (27%) of all voters. When it comes to the UK’s economic situation, Conservative supporters were more than twice as likely as Labour supporters to expect the situation to improve (53% and 24% respectively).

With just over a week to go until the General Election, the overall story is largely unchanged – the public as a whole think the economy is doing badly, and those who expect it to get worse outnumber those who think it will improve.

However, while Conservative supporters are still noticeably more positive about the economy than others, their level of optimism about the future has is no longer so distinctive. The gap between Conservative and Labour supporters has narrowed substantially. Conservative supporters are now less optimistic than they were about the future of the UK economy, whilst Labour supporters have become more hopeful – the 29 point gap from April now stands at just seven percentage points (40% and 33% respectively).

The economic expectations among supporters of other parties have also changed. Notably, Liberal Democrat supporters are far more hopeful about their own household’s economic situation than they were in April – net optimism among this group, previously -12 percentage points in April, now stands at +12 points. The last two months have had the opposite impact among supporters of other parties – the proportion who expect their own and the country’s economic situation to get worse have both increased by ten percentage points since April.

Since it has become clear that Labour would soon be in government, those who plan to vote for the party have become much more optimistic about the future of the UK economy. And those who support the Conservatives – the previously governing party – have become much less optimistic. It remains to be seen whether voters’ hopes – or worries – for the economy under a Labour government will materialise in twelve months’ time.

Deltapoll interviewed 1,944 British adults online between 12th to 15th April 2024, and 1,568 British adults online between 21st to 24th June 2024. The data have been weighted to be representative of the British adult population as a whole. A full breakdown of results is available on the Deltapoll website.

Ruby CooperAuthor: Ruby Cooper