Political

A quarter of Labour voters thought the government had a budget surplus in 2013

One of the gems from Phil Cowley and Dennis Kavanagh’s The British General Election of 2015:

A quarter of Labour voters thought the government had a budget surplus in 2013 - Butler and Kavanagh, The British General Election of 2015

Don’t despair too much about democracy, however, because as Sex, Lies and the Ballot BoxΒ points out, although voters often have low levels of knowledge about specific facts, their overall views usually move in the right direction at the right time.

For example, ask the public what the currentΒ level of unemployment is and lots of people get it wrong. But their assessment of the government’s record in dealing with unemployment moves up and down in response to the unemployment figures – so even though people get the underlying data wrong, their political views still move around in the way you would expect if they did know it.

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