Magazine article Marketing

Regions Set the Pollster a Challenge

Magazine article Marketing

Regions Set the Pollster a Challenge

Article excerpt

Now that the party political conference season is upon us once again, the pollsters are already poring over majorities, electoral boundaries and the rest. Will the "Costa Geriatrica", stretching from Brighton to Bournemouth, swing from Conservative to Liberal Democrat? How will the mix-ups over the privatisation of British Rail affect the fortunes of Home Counties marginals? Much, it is already clear, will depend on the diverse economic prospects of the UK's regions.

Since the recession, the classic North-South divide, which open up in the 80s, has appeared to diminish. The South, and London in particular, has suffered, with 73,000 jobs disappearing from the City alone, while 41% of all homeowners who bought in the capital since 1987 now suffer from negative equity. Meanwhile, the North's manufacturing industry has benefited briefly from the devaluation of the pound. In the medium and long-term, however, several areas in the South will recover from recession more strongly than their Northern counterparts. As the benefits of devaluation diminish for the North, the South-east outside the capital, together with East Anglia and the near South-west, will gain from a mixture of effects: low mortgage rates for owner occupiers, the Channel Tunnel, and the Single European Market.

Something else will aid East Anglia and the South-west: migration out of cities. In London and other major UK cities, the decline of public safety, schooling, housing and transport infrastructure will accelerate the exodus of young, affluent families. …

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