Research by Kantar company, TNS, has revealed a growing gap in
the mood of the nation between higher income and lower income
groups. Since March 2013 the proportion of people who agree that
the British economy is doing better than a year ago has increased
from 10% to 38% in June 2014. However, this increased confidence is
not shared equally among people from different social grades.
Looking at June 2014, 45% of ABC1s (higher income groups) agreed
that the British economy was doing better than a year ago, compared
with 27% of C2DEs (lower income groups). Similarly, 38% of ABC1s
believe the economy will be better in a year's time whilst only 26%
of C2DEs agree (June 2014).
When looking at attitudes towards the government's management of
the economy the same divergence is found. A considerably larger
proportion of ABC1s (42%) agree that the government is managing the
economy well compared with C2DEs (23%).
The gap between the social groups is a relatively recent trend.
In 2011 & 2012 both groups shared similar attitudes towards the
economy and the government's management of it. In March 2013 10% of
ABC1s felt that the economy was doing better than a year ago whilst
9% of C2DEs shared the same opinion- a gap of only 1 percentage
point. In the most recent data the difference between the social
grades stood at 18 percentage points. The widening gap suggests
that the economic recovery is being felt differently across social
When asked specifically about the impact of the recession on
people's pockets, the same trends can be seen among people from
different income groups. As of June 2014 the proportion of C2DEs
who felt that managing their household budget has become harder
compared to a year ago was 14 percentage points higher than for
those in higher income groups (39% to 25% respectively).
Although for both groups this percentage has decreased over the
last year, the rate at which this is falling is slower for C2DEs
than for ABC1s. As with the general economy, C2DEs remain more
pessimistic than those in higher social grades.
This research suggests that the government may need to take
steps to ensure that the economic recovery is experienced across
social grades or risk alienating a significant part of the
electorate. Who benefits from the recovery and who misses out
promises to be an important factor in determining the outcome of
the 2015 UK general election.
Source : Kantar TNS