This article was first published in The Independent on 17 March 2015
“I don’t understand it,” said a chap in one of my focus groups a few days ago. “People think David Cameron is pretty good, and they think Ed Miliband is a muppet. So why is it so close?” Why indeed. It is a question to which books and theses will be devoted in the months to come. But I think we already have a good idea of the answer.
My research over the parliament has analysed the importance of different factors to people’s choice of party, and how these have changed over time. Throughout the parliament, David Cameron has been seen as better PM material than Ed Miliband and, for most of that time, the Conservatives have been more trusted than Labour to run the economy.