According to the latest figures from a joint release by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Office for National Statistics, 20.4% of the population now works in the public sector - down from the 21.1% figure published by us in June. This decrease can be expected to continue due to the many public sector cuts that have been announced under the coalition government. Ironically, it was higher under the previous Conservative government - in 1992 the figure was 23.1%. But since then privatisations took their toll.Well now, the "previous Conservative government" ran from 1979 to 1997, so selecting 1992 seems a bit arbitrary. And then there's "took their toll" - reduction in state employment is a BAD THING, you see, regardless of whether those ex-state employees continued to have jobs in the nasty private sector.
The stats that count are: how many state employees were there on 3 May 1979, 9 June 1983, 9 April 1992, 1 May 1997, 7 June 2001, 6 May 2005 and 6 May 2101. 'Cos that's when there were general elections, and those figures would test the Guardian's assumption that more state employees mean more votes for the left.