If you are looking at voting intention or best Prime Minister figures to judge how well an opposition leader is doing, the first thing to note is that they are relative. It’s not just about how well the opposition are doing, it’s about how well the government are doing. Indeed, it’s probably mostly how well the government are doing – I am a great believer in the old truism that oppositions do not win elections, governments lose them. A really good opposition leader can pick holes in a government and force them into political errors, but primarily it’s a job of waiting for them to make a mistake, and making sure that when they do, you look like a plausible enough alternative for the public to place their trust in you.

Many of Starmer’s internal Labour party critics start with the absolute assumption that the Government are incredibly unpopular and that Labour should therefore be ahead of them. The reality is the Government’s figures really aren’t that bad and, on corona vaccination – the issue that currently dominates the agenda – are strikingly good. Looking at the Ipsos MORI polling this week, 38% think the government are handling corona well, 46% badly (negative, but not overwhelmingly so). 86% think they are doing well at securing vaccine supplies, 78% that they are doing well in rolling it out. For better or for worse, Boris Johnson has also delivered on his main election promise – getting Brexit done – and his own approval ratings appear to have bottomed out at the end of last year and have improved slightly since then.

As such, we’ve seen the Conservative party creep back ahead in the polls over recent months. At the tail end of last year the polls were broadly neck-and-neck. The Tories now clearly have a small lead again. Opinium and YouGov’s polls this week show a 5 point Tory lead, Survation a 6 point lead, Ipsos MORI earlier this month a 4 point lead. This is likely more a reflection of the Conservative Government’s recovering fortunes than anything Labour have or haven’t done. If we want to get a decent measure of public attitudes towards Keir Starmer, we need to look at figures asking directly about Starmer himself, rather than his relative position to the Government.

If we do that, then on the whole, Starmer’s ratings are at least acceptable. During the early part of his leadership there were very solid indeed, but over the last few months they have declined. His approval ratings are fairly neutral (Opinium’s last poll had 32% approving, 30% disapproving; Ipsos MORI has 40% satisfied, 35% dissatisfied; YouGov 39% good job, 37% bad job). These are significantly better than Boris Johnson’s current ratings, and better than his predecessors Ed Miliband and Jeremy Corbyn.

Looking at polling on perceptions of Starmer, YouGov gives him positive ratings on being strong, likeable, decisive and – especially – competence (42% see him as competent, 21% incompetent). Ipsos MORI finds strongly positive ratings for him on being decisive, and moderately positive figures on leading opinion and demonstrating a clear vision.

MORI also ask a regular question on if the opposition leader looks ready to be Prime Minister. 33% of people think Starmer does, 37% think he does not. Jeremy Corbyn and Ed Miliband got figures ranging between 17%-31% thinking they looked ready to be Prime Minister, but consistently got in excess of 60% saying they did not. The positive figures may not be that different here, but Starmer’s negatives are far, far less than his predecessors. YouGov have a similar question, and found 33% think Starmer looks like a Prime Minister in waiting.

It is clear from the polling that Keir Starmer is seen by the general public as much more of a competent, plausible Prime Ministerial figure than his two predecessors. Whether that is enough is a different matter. I’ve frequently compared Starmer’s figures in this article to Ed Miliband and Jeremy Corbyn. By that yardstick they’re not bad at all. But compare them to Tony Blair, or even to David Cameron, the last two leaders of the opposition to actually go on and become Prime Minister, and they look less positive.

It’s also worth underlining that the direction of movement for Starmer is currently negative. Lots of leaders have positive ratings to begin with (think of how positively rated Theresa May was to begin with, for example). At the moment it looks as if the way that Keir Starmer presents himself has chimed enough with the public for them to give him a serious hearing and to remain open-minded on whether he’d make a good Prime Minister. It looks as if Starmer has managed to win the opportunity to be heard, but having that opportunity doesn’t mean he won’t fluff it.

Obviously Keir Starmer is not yet in a position to win a general election. We won’t know until after the boundary review exactly what sort of lead the Labour party would need to win an election, but to get an overall majority on a uniform swing then without some degree of political realignment they’d need a very substantial lead indeed and at this point, Starmer has no lead at all. I suppose for those within the Labour party, it depends exactly how much one can reasonably expect from leader who inherits a party that has just suffered one of its worst ever general elections, its fourth in row, and has spent the last five years busy in internecine warfare.


2,990 Responses to “How well or badly is Keir Starmer doing?”

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  1. @Steve

    “Also holding on to hundreds of millions of doses if that proves to be the case later in the year while large areas of the world go unvaccinated is nuts from a disease control perspective but would probably play well in the pages of the daily mail.”

    ——-

    Old hat, the point pointed out previously is that we are also supporting the PRODUCTION of a lot of vaccine. Three will be produced here and the vaccine innovation centre is capable of another 70 million doses, so we will be producing vaccine to give to others elsewhere.

  2. Further to that we’ve already had talking heads from the Spaffer regime saying it’s intended to vaccinate all over 18 before allowing redistribution overseas.

    To get that into some perspective the mortality rate from covid for the under 40’s is around 0.2% while for the over 70’s it’s closer to 20% .
    We would be then be potentially killing 100 people for every life in the UK protected.
    When you get down to the under 25’s it’s a staggering 20,000 to 1

  3. @Steve

    ”And of course our pro.rata death rate from covid is still, though thankfully falling, the highest in Europe/ world.

    ——-

    Yes, our experts didn’t give us a pandemic plan for curtailing deaths from a virus so much as coping with them.

    (Because they didn’t think such a virus could travel thus far north, so they gave us a plan for flu instead).

  4. EOR
    “ This one seems to have started pretty well – 16 or 17 different posters in the first half a page or so of comments, and no carryover of lengthy entrenched arguments from the old one yet.”

    You must have somehow skipped over the Alec repetitive wave machine continueum of negativity, just as he skipped over recording the fact that the WHO is in full agreement with the U.K. policy of deferring the second jab and that most scientists support it too. Just one or two noisy ones on the fringe object.

    Robbie
    “ Pooter is fussy, dated, pompous, self-important: contemptuous of people below him but obsequious to those he sees as his superiors, whose interests he values more than his own. ”

    I think that a very poor descriptor of Colin, whose posts are usually pithy and actually expose and cut through the pomposity here. There are certainly a few on the left however and north of the border, to whom it fits like a glove. Indeed your own post is an example of pomposity and superior ness itself.

  5. @Steve

    “Further to that we’ve already had talking heads from the Spaffer regime saying it’s intended to vaccinate all over 18 before allowing redistribution overseas.”

    ———

    It’s an issue, but part of the rationale is that modern ecomomies are hit harder and travel more? Might be quite good globally to reduce our transmission?

    At the rate we are producing vaccine, and vaccinating people, spending a few more weeks vaccinating another 20 million people before sending hundreds of millions of doses abroad might not be quite as big an issue as feared.

  6. Carfew

    In order to get an idea on efficacy of the vaccine in over 80’s deaths it would be necessary to compare internationally between those nations with high vaccine roll out and those with limited or none.

    Do you know if this has been done and published, I can’t find a report.

    I would strongly expect there’s a significant correlation but without this data it’s not entirely clear.

  7. @Steve

    Yes, agreed, it’s too early to say for sure. As I say though, early indicators show some promise.

    We are however, as I posted above, also funding a study to compare different vaccine approaches: combining different vaccines, and with different dose intervals etc., to help determine the optimal approach for us and others.

    As well as funding more genome sequencing, which will help globally.

  8. “Not just the Oxford Centre but they also put another £100 million into the Catapult Centre in Essex.”

    Personally, I’d feel safer sticking to the old fashioned needle for my vaccine.

  9. @Carfew

    “Old hat, the point pointed out previously is that we are also supporting the PRODUCTION of a lot of vaccine. Three will be produced here and the vaccine innovation centre is capable of another 70 million doses, so we will be producing vaccine to give to others elsewhere.”

    Very well said.

    The UK and Israel look like the two entities that come out of this crisis first, demonstrating the effectiveness (or possibly not) of herd immunity to SARS-CoV-2 through vaccination.

    The politicians are right to be cautious though at the moment.

  10. Robert Newark.

    Thanks.

    I see our Robbie as O,Brien.

  11. Carfrew.

    You are spot on highlighting vaccine Production.

    When VDL. finally got round to apology she admitted that they just assumed producers would deliver. ie. a purely arms length commercial transaction.

  12. old english: … We shall soon begin to see the benefits of Brexit and all the new free trade Deals which have been signed over the last year. …

    Indeed, I can hear the hooves of unicorns.

  13. @Colin

    And because we cut deals early, and accepted more liability, it meant pharma could commit to producing vaccine earlier.

    So we get to vaccinate sooner and have spare doses for other countries sooner.

    And we consequently have more data on dosing regimens sooner, too.

  14. @TO – once again, the pro Brexit lobby don’t seem to understand that the processes they claim will act to the UK’s advantage don’t act in isolation.

    If we get benefits arising from signing new free trade deals – and to some relatively minor extent, we will – then signing a trade deal which erects significant barriers and also takes us out of a free trade arena and back to a sub standard free trade deal situation will also have an effect, but in the other direction.

    It is indeed a land of stampeding unicorns, trampling over all logic and reason as they pass by.

  15. @ JJ – for Starmer then a few policies that help unite LAB and put a bit of red water between LAB and CON would be better than a ‘blitz’

    Part of the problem with LAB’s GE’19 manifesto was the carpet bombing – too many policies

    I’d also suggest he looks to policies that will age well and be relevant into GE’24

    So Education, Environment and dEvolution (which LAB need a UK wide policy for ahead of May)

    EU is a can of worms, C19 is Capitan Hindsight stuff. Both will fade by GE’24 and as LOO he has very limited influence on either.

  16. Carfrew.

    Yes. It was a gamble on !iability. Hopefully a calculated one. The VTF. were active partners, not just a buying office.

  17. Old nat
    I appreciate as a secessionist yourself you have affinity with the like minded in Catalonia.

    While it’s undoubtedly true that Guardia civil officers behaved badly during the elections and the illegal referendum , the Guardia civil are quite capable of behaving badly anywhere in Spain without any particular cause incidentally.
    And the use of the legal system against leaders of the secessionist parties is very questionable.

    That given the concept that there has been wide spread violent suppression in Catalonia since 2017 is complete [email protected]

    If Catalonia did vote in a free and fair referendum for secession then they should be able to return to the fifteenth century, the last time there was an independent Catalonia. However there had been effective union with Aragon for the previous three hundred years. So in reality it’s twelfth century here we come.
    Given that around a third of the population of Catalonia was born in other parts of Spain and the majority while identifying as Catalonian also identify as Spanish it’s a somewhat different situation than applies in Scotland.
    There isn’t majority support for secession in Barcelona , the Catalan capital , secession is in general supported by the rural population.

    Please don’t take offence but it’s important to understand the differences in the situation.

  18. @Colin

    Yep, it looks like a concerted effort to build relationships and facilities for the longer term and future vaccine programmes.

  19. Colin @ 7.06 am:

    For shame.

    You have even managed to misinterpret Robbie.

    It`s time to repent.

  20. From the Times…

    ”Exclusive polling for Times Red Box by Ipsos MORI shows 56 per cent of Britons are satisfied with the chancellor’s performance,, 26 per cent are dissatisfied and 17 per cent don’t know. This includes 87 per cent of Conservative voters and some 40 per cent of Labour voters.

    These numbers compare favourably with his predecessors. In September, Sunak secured the highest satisfaction rating of any chancellor in our Ipsos MORI Political Monitor series since Labour’s Denis Healey in April 1978. His current score of 56 per cent has only ever been matched otherwise by Gordon Brown at the peak of his popularity as chancellor in April 2002. Put simply, Sunak’s current numbers are impressive.”

  21. Trevor,

    Yes for example:

    Cautiously welcome the Governments NHS restructuring suggestions whilst pointing out the impact of the Lansley/Cameron measures.

    Take GPO and Rail back in to 100% public ownership and ‘consult’ about the model to use.

    Increase min wage.

    Maybe something about UC?

    Then some vague stuff about regeneration and education, including increased spending partially through local government.

    Hopefully not abolishing Uni Fees but maybe something on more maintenance support for students from poorer backgrounds.

    Finally, some constitutional stuff, especially HOL reform which plays well with the public who don’t like an unelected second chamber; Scottish Independence can get wrapped up in this as well as a way of parking tbh.

  22. You don’t sense much anger against the Tories coming from Labour. More anger seems to come from the CRG.

  23. I think it would do AW’s site a lot of good if he locked out people from posting for 2-3 days before publishing a new thread, and let folk cool off.

  24. Robbiealive: I wonder if the two Howards are the same age.

    There is some confusion around this, but the situation is there is just one Howard, with two different ages.

  25. Besides Hancock and Johnston boasting about being a top country on vaccination but ignoring that the UAE have managed almost twice as many persons jabbed per 1m population, H/J have strangely red-listed the UAE for incoming isolation in England.

    This has certainly not gone unnoticed by UAE students here in the UK. My Edinburgh university son has several of them in his remits, and they are angry at having this burden imposed despite the UAE`s much lower CV infection rate than the UK`s – it`s 35,263 per 100,000 on yesterday`s count, cf 58,658 for the UK [Feb 14th].

    Broadly I agree with the Hancock/Johnson policy of having the Red List to guard against imports of CV and any new strains. But the UK execution of listing has been so clumsy and inconsistent.

    This is certainly not the way to achieve good relations and trade deals with rWorld.

  26. @ Petercairns

    That’s a very fair and persuasive post Peter. If that argument reflects opinion then the only way that Starmer (or the rUK parties in Scotland) will make progress is by ‘out-sloganning’ Johnson and Sturgeon. Not easy to do, particularly for Starmer who doesn’t strike me as the sloganning type, and who I think would find it hard to get down to that ‘street fighting’ level.

    What would Labour’s slogan be? I think it would have to be something which keyed in on people’s fears and perhaps one side of it (the negative would need to be focussed on Johnson’s competence and morality , but in a harsh and name calling way, which I doubt Starmer could bring himself to do. On the positive side something which promised jobs/ housing security? I don’t see any idea Labour currently has which makes for a vote winning slogan….

  27. On the Howards, yes a real name is occasionally used.

    I do have sympathy with real names not normally being used, since there are proportions of cranks in all political groupings wanting to cause upset by sending nasty messages.

    At one time I believed in giving my real name on message boards because I thought posters should be willing to openly testify to their views and explain the background for them.

    But my Xtian name and surname are common ones, and I received a sincere message from a well-known person with the same name who was active for a strongly-political newspaper. He had been pestered by persons seeing my messages and thinking this writer/journalist was being unfaithful to his right-wing party by putting out these messages..

    So I at once moved to pseudonyms.

    On ToH, I also have sympathy because he has a part-time position similar to my own. I believe it is important work, and I don`t want him hindered. We ought to co-operate with all regardless of their politics.

  28. DAVWEL

    Many thanks.

  29. I started on the early forums (football ones) using my real name – I have continued doing so to this day on the main forum for the club I support. There’s only 2 or 3 people on that forum (which has about 40,000 members IIRC still doing so, which is a sad reflection of the times we live in. A couple of times I have thought of switching to a pseudonym.

    Most significantly so in the early days when I wrote and tried to promote a campaign against sectarianism in Scottish football grounds. Had a threat to my family as a result (o f the ‘we know where you live variety’) which in those pre-cyber bullying awareness times I didn’t report to the police.

    It did make me think, though and since then my postings on the football site have been more anodyne and I have avoided discussing the controversial issues.

    It’s a shame as we should all be able to give our opinions honestly without fear of retribution

  30. Got to hand it to the BBC. When Scotland was trailing rUK on vaccines (due to a different strategy of giving to care homes first – i.e. the most vulnerable), they and the Scottish media were in full anti-SNP flow.

    Then we see that Scotland complete the care homes, and move on to the general population by eldest age groups, and watch the numbers move:
    https://i.ibb.co/wyx8yn1/vaccine.png

    So we see Scotland drawing level with England…so what does the news say? Here’s a taster:

    “Scotland’s papers: Quarantine loophole ‘blow’ and vaccine milestone”
    https://archive.is/Z0rFD

    Not Scotland’s milestone of 1 million vaccines. Oh no. And a quick glance through the Wales, N.Ireland, and England sections show no newspapers articles on the vaccination progress in the way they did a couple of weeks ago. No suggestion that the Black Watch or Scots Guards be sent to England to assist in England’s vaccination program.

    No mention of England’s drop in vaccines. No wall to wall coverage from the newspaper media. But the BBC is happy to push all these titles (rejected by much of the population on the street) on their site. Project Fear 1 is still around.

    The news where you are.

  31. Carfrew: Not news that is it, what matters is the efficacy of our approach which is showing some promise

    A more constructive response than reflexive rubbishing would be to consider comparative evidence on the efficacy of the two approaches, partial vs full vaccination.

    Pending the answer to that, triumphalism over our approach might prove premature.

    in Spain, where the double-dose regime has been followed, there seems to have been a remarkably rapid fall in infections and deaths in those fully vaccinated. For instance, in Navarra, which completed double-dosing of care home residents last Friday, a spokesman for the Social Rights council said “We’re in a very good situation: down from 90 to 60 active cases in a week, and only four people hospitalised. In Navarra, only one outbreak with 8 cases has been reported following the second dose.” (my translation)

    https://elpais.com/sociedad/2021-02-12/los-brotes-en-residencias-caen-a-la-mitad-en-15-dias-tras-la-vacunacion.html

    Of course, it could be that what we’re seeing there is mostly the effect of the earlier first dose, and even greater falls would have been seen if those second doses had been used instead to give first doses to other groups. But given the extreme age gradient in vulnerability, it is at least arguable that the greatest number of deaths will be prevented by giving maximum protection to those at greatest risk.

    (I’m not interested in detailed argument over this. I don’t know enough about it for that, and proper comparative data isn’t available. Rather, I’m making the case for keeping an open mind and not going for attempted put-downs.)

  32. TO

    “There is some confusion around this, but the situation is there is just one Howard, with two different ages.”

    This is incorrect. There are three Howards at least. I am one of them and I once went under “Howard” and had to change to “ProfHoward” there was another who also went under “Howard” who changed to “BRISTOLIANHOWARD” who is not here a lot these days and then there is “THE OTHER HOWARD” who called himself such because of the presence of some Howards already when he arrived.

  33. For some reason the system allowed more than one person to have the same name which caused confusion for a while as Howard (not TOH) thought that I was impersonating him. We all sorted it out in the end.

  34. @ProfHoward – Fair point. Always good to be corrected by a Professional Howard – not that the others are amateur ….

    There is however one more age than there are Howards.

  35. Statgeek

    The five links I immediately found to the BBC when putting in “Scotland reached one million vaccinations” or the 9 newspaper links including five UK wide papers must be an optical illusion .

    It wasn’t that long ago when another secessionist was accusing the Westminster regime of refusing to supply vaccine in Scotland, that appears not to have been the case

    Glad to see the roll out going well , after England as a country with one of the highest mortality rates from covid in the world, Scotland needs some good news.

  36. “Vaccines are working, new figures suggest, with deaths in the over-80s dropping twice as quickly as in the under-65s.”

    Which is precisely why the JCVI created their priority list in the way that they did.

  37. @Somerjohn

    Thanks for wasting board time making stuff up again.

    To note some positives to go along with the negatives is not being triumphalist, it’s just being even. And I didn’t rubbish Steve’s point, in fact I ceded that we are not in a position to properly compare yet.

    A point you have highlighted in the Spanish example, since as you point out some of the impact may be first doses.

  38. @Somerjohn

    “I’m not interested in detailed argument over this.”

    ——-

    Indeed.

  39. Prof,

    TOH posts under he real name by accident occasionally and did so on the last thread for one post, this is what people are commenting on.

    I get credit for the 4 in a row rule (8/10 now as well for Shevii) but it was actually Bristolian Howard who developed this with me and we worked out 3 in a row was insufficient to declare a shift in VI.
    Mainly by experience due to declaring a shift after 3 only for the 4th and 5th to contradict. A statistics expert backed this up by on here and said 3 in a row has broadly 75% confidence and 4 has 95%, so we can say likely after 3 and probably after 4.

  40. TECHNICOLOUROCTOBER
    @ProfHoward – Fair point. Always good to be corrected by a Professional Howard – not that the others are amateur ….

    There is however one more age than there are Howards.

    February 15th, 2021 at 10:24 am
    ——————-

    It’s funny how we look at the same thing differently. I thought it was Professor Howard.

  41. @ JJ – I’ll be biased by wanting LAB to pull CON further to the economic Left and Green agenda but your list doesn’t fill me with much excitement.

    I think we agree that ‘less is more’ but Starmer needs a few ‘bunker busters’ IMO and on issues that Boris can’t just copy and claim to be his own.

    I skimmed back over some GE’19 manifesto policies and maybe just pick the cream of that crop, EG

    https://labour.org.uk/manifesto-2019/a-green-industrial-revolution/

    Although I do note that contained: “New nuclear power needed for energy security”

    So actually, even that LAB policy seems pretty close to new CON HMG policy and contains something that might be internally divisive within LAB?

    I don’t envy Starmer’s options. Coming out of the bunker might put him into the middle of his own internal blitz and any good policies Boris can just pinch and claim as his own.

    However, having said there will be a policy blitz he can’t present Dudds. Starmer needs to be the bomb, not see his one trip out of his bunker leave him exposed in ‘no man’s land’ with his bunker busted from either friendly or enemy fire – maybe both?

    Maybe he can call it off? HIgh risk, low reward so

    “The last thing Keir Starmer needs now is a ‘policy blitz’

    https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/keir-starmer-labour-policy-speech-b1801847.html

  42. Steve

    Of course, no offence is taken over Catalonia. It is a different polity to Scotland, with different circumstances – just like every other place there can be both similarities and differences.

    “when another secessionist was accusing the Westminster regime of refusing to supply vaccine in Scotland”

    The only time I remember anyone perhaps implying a disparity in vaccine supply to Scotland was Davwel, though I took his comment to mean that he was concerned about the supply to NE Scotland.

    Davwel could hardly be described as a “secessionist”! Perhaps you meant that an ardent Brexiteer had made that accusation? Or perhaps you made it up? Fake news on social media is a tiresome problem these days.

  43. I post under my own name and in the past, when I was a Councillor, even posted a link tO prove it.

    I’ve had a few issues, but nothing major. I tend to treat the “I know where you live’s” with “well come ahead if you think your hats enough!!!”

    My door remains unknotted.

    Even if it does cause me problems, they are my problems of my own making.

    Don’t post anything you wouldn’t say to someone’s face and if your not honest enough or strong enough to put your name to it and take the consequences, then just don’t post!

    Peter.

  44. From LAB list:

    “Back British businesses”: Labour develops pro-business agenda

    https://labourlist.org/2021/02/back-british-businesses-labour-develops-pro-business-agenda/

    Sounds great and I like the ideas which are basically: Build it in Britain (Corbyn, now CON policy) to create British jobs for British workers (Brown, now CON policy).

    This comment shows LAB don’t realise CON have ‘evolved’ into the New Model Tory party.

    “The leadership believes that there is opportunity in that Rishi Sunak is a traditional Thatcherite on the economy, with no willingness to innovate or explore fresh ideas”

    Oh dear… here’s some Sun Tzu:

    If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat.
    If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle

  45. @Steve

    We can only hope that the UK Government’s reasoning to keep vaccine supply stats is not to show its limitations. The Scot Gov is having to scale back it’s targets due to a slow down in supply.

    Maybe they could give us our own factory. I’m sure more vaccinations, more jobs and more tax is ‘all for the good of the country’.

  46. Here’s some Sun Tzgeek:

    When at peace, beware those who speak in war tongues, for they will never fight the battle.

  47. @Somerjohn – think you are correct in suggesting that we await more analysis before judging the vaccine strategy. It is notable, for example, that the UK is now falling behind many EU countries on the second vaccination, with even France now moving ahead of the UK. However, with the superior daily jab rate and vaccine availability, that situation could well reverse in the coming weeks.

    It’s also vaccine dependent. With the EU rely!ng more on the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, which appear to have astonishing efficacy, there may also be a differential impact arising from vaccine selection.

    The other big point though is the level of infection. The recent drop in the UK rate of new infections is now placing us somewhere in the middle of EU country levels, miles behind Germany but ahead of France and Italy, level pegging more or less with the Netherlands etc.

    It’s not yet clear whether the UK will emerge from the pandemic markedly faster than other countries, and our death rate is still rather high, so in terms of the two main outcomes – overall deaths and damage to the economy – it is not yet clear by any means whether the UKs good response on vaccines translates into better outcomes.

    I rather suspect that the complete hash we made of pretty much everything in the preceding year was of such an extent that the excellent vaccine deployment will not be sufficient to lift us off the bottom.

    I have a suspicion that European countries will be able to move through their vaccine programs at a slower pace, utilizing the coming better weather and their better starting position, ending up with a better result overall. Along the way, they will have secured vaccine suppl!es for all the smaller, less wealthy nations, at a better price, which is something not to be dismissed.

    But we will have to wait and see.

  48. “@Somerjohn – think you are correct in suggesting that we await more analysis before”

    ——

    Steve and I had already agreed on that. I doubt anyone on here disagrees, such is good for board harmony etc.

  49. @Alec

    “I rather suspect that the complete hash we made of pretty much everything in the preceding year was of such an extent that the excellent vaccine deployment will not be sufficient to lift us off the bottom.”

    ———

    Maybe. It’s interesting to consider the longer-term potential of some of the investments though.

  50. E.g. dealing with future variants and other pandemics.

    Also, I wasn’t as concerned with the competition with other nations that preoccupies some, I am more interested in what we are developing and might be able to contribute to the global effort.

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