Economic optimism returns, though there is little belief that the recession is over
Ipsos MORI's January Political Monitor (carried out by telephone between 26-28 January among 1,001 British adults aged 18 and over) shows that economic optimism for the next year has improved on last month.
Almost half (44%) now think that the economy will improve over the next 12 months (compared with only 32% last month), and 24% think it will get worse. Ipsos MORI's Economic Optimism Index therefore stands at +20.
A factor which may have brought about a more optimistic economic outlook is the release of the recent GDP figures, as well as improved unemployment figures. Further, the December Monitor was conducted in the aftermath of the Pre-Budget Report, which appeared to curtail economic optimism. Ratings for economic optimism have broadly returned to the levels in November.
This month, we also asked the public whether or not they like both Gordon Brown and David Cameron, and their respective parties. Three fifths (61%) said they did not like Gordon Brown - an increase of twelve percentage points since January 2007, and a similar proportion said they did not like the Labour Party (57% - a ten percentage point increase). Approaching half (46%) dislike David Cameron and half (52%) dislike the Conservative Party, in both cases similar figures to 2007.
Seven in ten (70%) believe the result of the next general election is important to them personally, which is a similar figure to the one recorded in December. Again, this is higher among Conservative supporters than Labour supporters (82% and 78% respectively) though Labour supporters are more likely to feel that the election result is very important to them. Overall three in ten (27%) believe it is not very or at all personally important to them.
Despite general economic optimism, and the recent GDP figures, most of the public still feel Britain is still in recession; three quarters (77%) believe that the recession in Britain is not yet over, and only one in ten (9%) believe that the economy will return to where it was before the recession within a year.
Ipsos MORI interviewed a representative sample of 1,001 adults aged 18+ across Great Britain. Interviews were conducted by telephone 26-28 January 2010.160 Data are weighted to match the profile of the population. Where percentages do not sum to 100, this may be due to computer rounding, the exclusion of "don't know" categories, or multiple answers.160 An asterisk (*) denotes any value of less than half a per cent. Voting intention figures exclude those who say they would not vote, are undecided or refuse to name a party and in the headline figures, those who are not absolutely certain to vote.