Political

Dear Ian Cowie…

Dear Ian,

I’m a bit confused by your article about hung Parliaments in the Daily Telegraph, where you wrote:

The last time a British election failed to produce a decisive result, in February, 1974, the FTSE All Share Index – a broad measure of the stock market – fell nearly 15pc in a month and ended the year more than 50pc below where it began.

The piece even has a graph starting in January 1974 and going through to late 1974.

Why does this leave me confused? Well, I’m sure on most financial matters you know far more than me. But even I know that British share prices had been steadily dropping since early 1972.

Although your graph starts in February 1974, if it had been extended back to early 1972 it would have seem a long-term, consistent fall in British share prices before any hung Parliament.

Don’t you think starting the graph just in February 1974 therefore makes it a bit misleading? And to understand what happened in 1974 wouldn’t it have been better to give the context, i.e. that share prices were already steadily falling?

Yours,

Mark

UPDATE: SmallCasserole on Twitter has produced this excellent graph illustrating the point:

Shares Prices Graph

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