This piece by John Curtice is taken from our recent report “The state of public opinion: 2023”. Read the full report here.
This government has faced a number of economic shocks. Confronted with the worse public health crisis for a hundred years, it was obliged, in March 2020, to put the country into lockdown. Then, as the pandemic receded, it took a while for supply chains to be restored, while the Russian invasion of Ukraine exacerbated the already rising price of oil and, especially, gas. The government found itself paying the wages of those who could not work during the pandemic, and then subsidising domestic energy bills during the winter of 2022-3.
Inevitably, the economy suffered. The country’s gross domestic product, which fell in the second quarter of 2020 to just 78% of its level in the last quarter of 2019, was only 2% above that level by the third quarter of 2023. Nominal wages fell during the summer of 2020, and while for some time thereafter wage growth outpaced price inflation, from late 2021 onwards the opposite happened.
Only in the summer of 2023 did…