Tuesday 6 December 2016

It's not 'all about the economy, stupid'

With the Government getting no electoral dividend from recovery, political instability is all but assured in 2016, says Dan O'Brien

Published 16/08/2015 | 02:30

DISCONNECT: The upswing in the economy hasn’t been matched by a surge in support for the Government parties. The Government’s errors in handling issues such as water charges have added to high levels of disillusionment with politics, manifested, above, in mass protests about the charges
DISCONNECT: The upswing in the economy hasn’t been matched by a surge in support for the Government parties. The Government’s errors in handling issues such as water charges have added to high levels of disillusionment with politics, manifested, above, in mass protests about the charges

What is happening in the economy? How closely linked are economic performance and support for the Government parties? And what do the answers to these questions mean for the outcome of the next general election, which is now at most seven months away?

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Let's start today's post-vacation stock-take by considering the remarkable degree to which people have become more upbeat.

The monthly consumer confidence index produced by KBC bank and the ESRI has been around for almost two decades. As recently as two years ago, it was showing that consumers were as determinedly glum as they had been at any time since the mid-1990s. Sentiment was on the floor.

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