Interest rate rise would make more people 'better off', poll finds - and could help David Cameron to stay in Downing Street

 

More people believe they would be helped than harmed by a rise in interest rates, according to a new survey.

A leading pollster said the finding suggested that a pre-election rate hike could actually improve David Cameron's chances of staying in Downing Street, rather than damaging them, as is widely thought.

Some 31 per cent of those questioned by YouGov for The Times said that a rise in interest rates would leave them personally better-off, against 23 per cent who said they would be better off with lower rates and 32 per cent who thought it would make little difference either way.

Faster than expected recovery has prompted speculation that the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee may increase the base rate from its historic low of 0.5 per cent before the general election in May 2015.

The Bank's Governor Mark Carney has previously said that he does not expect a rise until unemployment drops to 7 per cent, probably in 2016. But with official jobless figures now standing at 7.4 per cent, many observers believe the crucial figure may be hit as early as next year.

A rise in interest rates would hit mortgage-holders, making it more difficult for home-owners to pay back loans. But it would be good for savers, particularly pensioners who have suffered from poor rates of return on their nest-eggs over the period since the crash of 2008.

Crucially, over-60s are believed to be the age-group most likely to vote in large numbers in 2015, meaning that a feelgood factor for pensioners could deliver dividends at the polls.

The survey found that more people in every part of the UK felt that they would be better-off with a rate rise, but the effect was most marked in the South of England and least noticeable in the West Midlands and Wales.

Some 45 per cent of those questioned expected interest rates to rise in 2014. A large majority (72 per cent) expect house prices to go up, and 16 per cent said they would be better-off if they do rise, against 13 per cent who said they would be worse-off.

YouGov president Peter Kellner told The Times: "For the moment, when inflation looks set to stay low, a modest rise in interest rates is actually likely to please far more people than it troubles.

"In electoral terms, that effect is likely to be heightened as the very people who plainly benefit most from rising rates - the over-60s - are those most likely to vote.

"If David Cameron and George Osborne can preside over low consumer-price inflation but higher rises in the price of homes and other assets such as shares, then some rise in interest rates is likely to win them more votes than it loses."

PA

 

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
2015 General Election
May2015

Poll of Polls

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Online Media Sales Trainee

£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Now our rapidly expanding and A...

Recruitment Genius: Public House Manager / Management Couples

£15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about great ...

Recruitment Genius: Production Planner

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Recruitment Genius: General Factory Operatives

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Day In a Page

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links