One of the most interesting political statistics I know is that Britain's Conservative-led Coalition government reduced the number of public sector employees by nearly 1 million — a huge number in a nation with a population edging above 60 million. As Fraser Nelson notes in a recent Telegraph column, this was supposed to be politically disastrous. The opposition Labour party saw it as "a recipe for political suicide."
Wouldn't those who were suddenly deprived of the ministrations and services of these public servants resent the party that saw them out the door? In addition, Labour leader Ed Miliband predicted it would result in an additional loss of half a million private sector jobs, presumably because of lack of demand from the fired public employees.
Not quite. The U.K., as Nelson points out, saw the number of private sector jobs rise by 2 million. And the Conservative party improved on its 2010 showing and secured an absolute majority of seats in the House of Commons. It's often said in politics that no good deed goes unpunished. But in this case the paring down of the public sector was significantly rewarded.