Are You Happier Than You Were Five Years Ago?


According to the Misery Index, the answer is yes. This is officially the least miserable we have been since Guido started recording the nation’s unhappiness before the last election. The fall in inflation today, as well as a slightly lower Public Sector Net Cash Requirement this month, means there is a clear downward trend in misery levels and that we are happier today than we have been in five years.

No wonder Miliband this week proposed a different index to measure the nation’s well-being…

N.B. stats bods can check Guido’s adding up here.
mdi-timer 13th January 2015 @ 11:13 am 13th Jan 2015 @ 11:13 am mdi-comment Comments
Labour Hit Back With Their Own Misleading Poster

Labour’s new poster out tonight is as deliberately misleading as the Tory effort earlier this week. What do the OBR say about Osborne’s spending plans? In 2020 public spending will fall to 35% of GDP, “below the previous post-war lows reached in 1957-58 and 1999-00 to what would probably be its lowest level in 80 years”. So as a proportion of GDP spending falls to 1930s levels, but in actual day-to-day real terms the OBR says: “by 2019-20 day-to-day spending on public services would be at its lowest level since 2002-03 in real terms. Five more months of this to go…

mdi-timer 3rd January 2015 @ 10:47 pm 3rd Jan 2015 @ 10:47 pm mdi-comment Comments
Danny’s Balls

dannys-ball-forecasts2

Guido has in the past reflected on the accuracy of Danny Blanchflower’s economic forecasting. How have his more recent forecasts of doom and gloom fared?

“Pay is going nowhere,” said the sage of Dartmouth last month, warning “we won’t see real wage growth until 2016 at the earliest”. Dopey Danny was following up on his June prediction that there is little likelihood of real wage growth rising in the months ahead”. He also made the same warning in May“I wish the MPC good luck with their forecast that real wages are set to rise in the second half of 2014”.

Lo and behold, today’s ONS data shows that “average earnings are now definitely rising”. He really should throw away his crystal ball…

mdi-timer 18th December 2014 @ 1:35 pm 18th Dec 2014 @ 1:35 pm mdi-comment Comments
LibDems Spent £1.5 Million on Winning One Euro Seat

The Electoral Commission today reveals how much each party spent on their European election campaigns. The big bucks splashed by the Tories and UKIP meant they paid six figures for each seat won. Labour got best value for money, spending just over a million quid for their 20 seats, or just over £50,000 per MEP.

The LibDems blew £1.5 million with just one MEP to show for it…

mdi-timer 17th December 2014 @ 1:32 pm 17th Dec 2014 @ 1:32 pm mdi-comment Comments
Greens 2 Points Ahead of LibDems For First Time

Labour and UKIP types talking down the Green Surge should beware today’s YouGov/Sun poll. For the first time the Greens are two points clear of the LibDems, with Natalie Bennett’s party hotting up to 8% and Nick Clegg’s melting away to 6%. As you can see from the full numbers in Guido’s tracker, the Greens’ poll rating is rising faster than the anthropogenic concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere…

mdi-timer 16th December 2014 @ 11:39 am 16th Dec 2014 @ 11:39 am mdi-comment Comments
Labour Oppositions Never Gain Ground in Final Six Months

Fascinating analysis on ConHome showing how Labour’s poll ratings six months out from elections have historically compared with the final election result. Guido’s graph above illustrates how “Labour consistently end up winning fewer votes in the general election than the polls would have suggested six months in advance”. Lewis Baston concludes: “Governments gain more often than oppositions: if my Conservative-supporting readers want some comfort, there are no cases of a Labour opposition gaining ground over the final six months”. Something for Tory MPs to cling onto going into next year…

mdi-timer 12th December 2014 @ 11:30 am 12th Dec 2014 @ 11:30 am mdi-comment Comments
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