The Labour party have not maintained the lead in the polls that they commanded during the years of declining living standards. The parallels with the balance sheet recovery of 1992 are clear. During that election, Labour were also unable to persuade enough voters that they deserved their trust on matters of economic competence. As the recovery has accelerated and living standards have commenced an upward trend, the Conservative party enjoys a tepid recovery in the polls.
This polling trend is, in some ways, indifferent to the European election results or potential upsets in Newark. Since the underlying compass for voters is the economy, psephological upsets magnified by the Westminster bubble are far less influential that real asset bubbles elsewhere. For the Tories, their real risks lie offshore: in China, Europe and the United States.
Yet, with the economy as ballast, a recovery hits the oddities of the British electoral system. Left-wing Liberal Democrats have tactically defected to Labour in part; anti-Tory distaste trumping devotion to the protest vote. And the protest vote has turned to UKIP: disillusioned with a party now in government.
The range of outcomes is wide open and complicated by the potential results of the Scottish referendum. That, rather than the European elections, could prove the earthquake that cracks open English politics.