A YouGov poll in the Sunday Times has voting intentions with changes from their last poll of CON 45% (+2), LAB 32% (nc), LDEM 14% (nc).

The 13 point Conservative lead is the largest YouGov have ever given them, and matches that recorded by ComRes (who tend to produce larger Tory leads than other pollsters) last month. 45% is their highest level of support since 1992 and the highest for any party since MORI started filtering by likelihood to vote, removing some of the towering Labour leads they used to report as their topline figures. On a uniform swing it would produce a Conservative majority of almost 100.

If the trends in this poll are repeated elsewhere then it would suggest the Conservatives have advanced beyond the 40% or so level they’ve been at for the last few weeks. Meanwhile the Labour party remain at 32% – the same level of support as they recorded in the previous two YouGov polls – despite the immediate air of crisis around the government fading. To say the least, this is not going to help morale within the Labour party.

The Liberal Democrats too are static on 14%. YouGov always tend to show the lowest level of support for them, and much lower than ICM, but across the board the polls suggest the recovery they experienced after Ming Campbell’s resignation has stalled. Next week will see Nick Clegg or Chris Huhne elected as their new leader and Liberal Democrat supporters will be hoping that the attendent coverage boosts their profile and support.


136 Responses to “YouGov give Tories a commanding lead”

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  1. For all those who say they need to be polling 45% to form a government here it is. Or is it now 50%?

  2. Anthony,

    Highest lead since 192…. Gee who’d have thought Cameron would get the best Tory poll rating in 1,800 years…..

    Peter.

  3. At this point Nulab were recording three digit leads blah blah blah….

  4. Brown’s personal rating is -26 from +47 in August.
    Cameron’s is +20 from -26 in August.

    I suppose the Conservatives will feel that this vindicates their tactic of attacking GB personally in PMQs-the Lib-Dems too under Vince Cable.

    But their aim must be to get Cameron’s ratings up to underpin their lead and make it sustainable.

  5. “Gee who’d have thought Cameron would get the best Tory poll rating in 1,800 years…..”

    Lol. We know what you mean Anthony. ;)
    Actually the Tories’ best rating was 56% by Gallup in May 1968, when they had a 28% lead over Labour.

  6. Any info on the survey dates and sample sizes?

  7. James, you make out as though those of us who haven’t been convinced by the Tories’ anaemic ratings are somehow picking on you for the sake of it, rather than highlighting an inconvenient truth: that you need comfortably in excess of 40% to win.

    45% is convincing *IF* it’s maintained or exceeded through to the General Election as far as two years away. Given Gordon Brown’s utter incompetence and Labour MPs’ supineness that may indeed be what happens.

    YouGov is IMO the most reliable pollster but remember this was taken in the run-up to Christmas where people aren’t too focussed on their General Election choices two years’ down the road and after a period of remarkable volatility.

  8. Labour surely facing complete, panic stricken meltdown now? Even the most feverish Labour supporter would be hard pressed to put a positive spin on this poll! ;)

    I saud recently that 45% would come with the Tories, but I thought the would have to make a series of popular policy announcements to achieve it. And thats the most concering aspect of all of this for Labour. The Tories have reached 45% without really doing anything – What happens when they start announcing policies? Weknow that when Cameron is in the spotlight support tends to increase…. Conservatives on 50% by the local elections in the Spring? ;)

  9. Labour surely facing complete, panic stricken meltdown now? Even the most feverish Labour supporter would be hard pressed to put a positive spin on this poll! ;)

    I said recently that 45% would come for the Tories, but I thought they would have to make a series of popular policy announcements to achieve it. And thats the most concerning aspect of all of this for Labour. The Tories have reached 45% without really doing anything – What happens when they start announcing policies? We know that when Cameron is in the spotlight, support tends to increase. Conservatives on 50% by the local elections in the Spring? ;)

    *Re-Posted for spelling*

  10. “Conservatives on 50% by the local elections in the Spring”

    As long as he doesn’t mention supermarkets and parking, I see no reason why not.

  11. Adam

    Forget exact interim polling results other then for entertainment and debating purposes.

    The tide turned before Blair left office. As Gin indicates Cameron has a 13% lead by doing virtually nothing and promising even less. Blair and Brown got elected by promising the world and delivered less then absolute zero.

    We had a 50 billion surplus and a future to look forward to in 97.

    We now have record personal and government debt and the most illiberal country in Europe.

    We are committed to a middle east war that has lasted almost as long as WW2 and looks set to last another 10 years at least.

    Add to that list of should be serious international capital crimes. A whole very long list of very British real ones including endemic government corruption on a vast scale.

    As if that was not all bad enough. Brown has just signed OUR country over to an unaccountable unelected dictatorship that is the EU, in the most shifty and dishonest way imaginable.

    It really is difficult to see how things could possibly get worse. However they will get worse, much much worse very quickly.

    I predict a landslide to beat all landslides and some more on top. Maybe not in terms of seats, but in terms of popular vote the majority will be truly earth shattering.

    However even if by some unforeseeable miracle this does not materialize, like for example wide spread postal ballot fraud. It matters not to much anyway.

    Even a minority Conservative victory will return a Conservative government. All Cameron will do then is pull a few quick populist stunts, then call another election a few months or a year later. Which he will then win very easilly indeed.

  12. Weighted Moving Average 42:32:16 and both the C Vote and CLead (9.6) are the highest in the last 186 polls. Furthermore the back-interpolation suggests that, as I suspected, the last I/Mori poll was indeed too kind to Labour by 3 pts. Given the general accuracy of yougov and the known tendency of I/Mori and Populus to overstate Lab support, I strongly suspect the real C Lead is over 10%.

    How 32% of the electorate can still be supporting Labour is a mystery to me. But since Brown has given up answering Cameron at PMQs and just drones on about his wonderful economic record, it will be interesting to see what happens when this economic record starts coming visibly unstuck next year. Meanwhile The Economist compares Brown to “The Idiot”. Not great for morale, which from various sources does indeed appear to be in freefall.

  13. Great news for the Tories but to win the next election the Tories need to keep their support at or close to this level.

    Depending what happens with the economy Labour will probably rally at some point over the next couple of years. The problem is that its hard to find an economic commentator who doesn’t say that the economy is going to get worse over the next year or two. Things aren’t looking good for Mr Brown and I don’t expect the next election now until 2010. Governments who aren’t certain of winning or who know they will lose hang on until the last moment.

  14. This is more like the poll number for the Tories we have been expecting given the recent run of news stories. Must correct a couple of observations from Atlas – we didn’t have a £50b surplus in 1997 – we had a deficit of over 3% of GDP and a record National Debt. No spin – just fact. As for endemic government corruption, I really think we need to get perspective here. Whoever we like or dislike in politics, we need to accept they are broadly speaking decent people trying to something they believe in – as a nation our systems are generally good in terms of corruption, although I can’t help observing a jailed former Minister now advises the Tories on prison policy, and another former Tory Lord will start his prison term shortly – that’s 3 imprisoned Tory Ministers and a Lord to Labours 2 Councillors. Let’s not talk about endemic corruption.

    I’m interested in Gin’s point about Cameron not needed to float any policies and still being at 45%. If this rating continues they’ve got the next election, no problem, but the real point of interest will come when they have to float a set of policies – that’s when they can potentially be attacked. I’m also less convinced of the solidity of this lead, and I would expect a Labour recovery over time. The economy will have some influencee, but if Labour can rebalance and counter the notion of incompetence a poor economy doesn’t necessarily help oppositions – ask Neil Kinnock. Also of interest will be how the LDs perform – they won’t come out of the next election at 14% – what difference will that make? Please don’t think I’m spinning for Labour, but retaining 32% after all they’ve been through with 2 1/2 years to an election means its not over by any means.

  15. Good post Alec.
    GIN says ‘what happens when they start announcing policies?’. Well that of course is when their lead disappears as people realise they are an untested bunch of chancers and run back to the devil they know…

  16. ChrisC

    You already know what Conservative policies are & will be like.Read Balls’ ” Children’s Plan” and think of the opposite.
    There will not be armies of teaching mentors, social workers, parenting advisers, sex educators etc etc ,micro-managing our children’s lives from birth & dawn till dusk at vast expense in order to compensate for the thousands of crap teachers , dummed down politically correct curriculums and “everyones a winner” so-called exams.

    And I sincerely hope you will not hear from a Conservative Minister-“Britain the best place in the world for children to grow up” after 10 years of declining standards in education, child poverty, social mobility and an increase in family breakdown.

  17. Chris C
    Really non partisan remark there!
    I will put it down to desperation.

  18. GIN,

    What will destroy Labour is if these poll results are seem by some as an excuse to attack Brown.

    Alec,

    Lords Black and Archer, and Aitken were convicted of things unrelated to their political roles.

    Of the two PMs investigated by the police, both are Labour.

  19. Peter [SNP]
    I expect you may have already seen this story
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article3056768.ece
    Will Wendy have to go now!??

  20. thepoliticaltipster: I went to the data for this poll via The Sunday Times Website. The address for the data appears to be:-

    http://extras.timesonline.co.uk/results071214.pdf.

    When you look at this data, the swing to the Conservatives appears to come from an unusually low Other figure in this poll. The data breaks this down as Green 2%, UKIP 2%, BNP 1%, Respect 1%, plus SNP/Plaid 32% in Scotland and Wales.

    I have previously blogged on this website to point out difficulties that the Other category causes for opinion polls, and my concern that methodological problems distort the results for them. In any case, this poll may be an “Outlier” in its results for Others, and we will have to see how other polls in the near future compare.

    I doubt whether, for instance, Green candidates would poll an average of 2% if there were a General Election tomorrow.

    Of course, the bottom line is that the Tories are way ahead.

  21. I don’t think there are more than 10 people in the House of Commons who don’t think that Brown has lost the next election. Even if there is a hung parliament (which is the best conceivable outcome for Labour) Brown will have lost all authority by then, and he will never be able to do a deal with the people he gratuitously insults every time he speaks of them by calling them “the Liberal Party”.

    By definition the Opposition is “untested” in government, but it’s perfectly obvious that the Conservative front bench is generally of vastly higher calibre than the B-team. Consider: Darling v Osborne, Milliband v Hague, Smith v Davis, Browne v Fox. The only genuinely bright people in the B-team are the Millibands and Balls. But the fundamental problem for Labour is that Brown, whatever his merits as a Chancellor, is manifestly unsuited to the job of PM – as almost everybody in the last Cabinet knew.

    Over the last 2 months the C Lead has been steadily increasing at a rate of 4.2 points per month. Obviously this can’t continue indefinitely, but if, as I suspect, we start seeing 15% C leads by the end of Feb then the voices of discontent in Labour will be highly audible.

  22. I can understand Labour polling at 32% more than I can the Conservatives at 45%.

    Can Labour recover? Yes. Even if I do admit things look rather daunting now. The question is how much of that Conservative support is ‘soft’?

    Just months ago Cameron was being written off but ‘events’ turned things around. He certainly hasn’t achieved it on his own merits. If anything, Brown and the government are making things pretty easy for Cameron right now and immensely difficult for themselves. And if this continues, the rot will only set in further.

  23. Can anyone offer any reason why it is (and this is the second poll I’ve noticed this) that women are far more hostile than men to Labour at the moment (the Tory lead is 20% among women and 6% among men) BUT when asked about how good a job Brown is doing, men think he’s doing a worse job than women (-33 among men; -21 among women).

    Of the two unappealing options, I’d much rather have people think I’m doing a crap job but still voting for me, than thinking I’m doing ok but determined to vote me out. But it doesn’t really make sense that people think like that, does it?

  24. Dave Hawk

    I have to dissagree with you about the Conservative recovery in the polls.

    Sure the Tories have been helped by Mr Brown and his ministers putting their foot in it at every opportunity but for me the turning point was the Conservative Conference and David Cameron’s speech in particular.

    The Tories came up with a number of popular policies that week and I’m sure they’ve got more up their sleeve. In addition David Cameron’s speech had a lot of coverage and even for a floating voter it was impressive.
    That’s when things turned around for the Tories!

  25. Dave,

    Cameron was hit by a mix of events and silly mistakes but was rescued by Brown making bigger mistakes and being hit by bigger events.

    Never has someone’s honeymoon gone so badly.

  26. Ralph – Britney Spears was married for 55 hours

    I’m guessing her honeymoon wasn’t all that great

  27. If Labour loses the next election, it will be more down to the luckless events of the economy dwindling and this ever on-going events of data loss, which really isn’t the direct blame of Gordon Brown. Saying that, Gordon Brown’s abilities aren’t award winning either, or that false smile, lol.

    I would say, it’s not in the bag for the Tories yet, Cameron still has to prove himself worthy, but his conference speech has helped the increasing support a little. I’m hoping the momentum of the tories will increase more, so much so, we’ll see a 2%-3% gain in vote share for the Tories in Scotland, being a Scot. That’ll make me happy!

  28. Some grasping at straws by hard line Labour supporters on here since this latest mind blowing POLL by YouGov !! It is now too late for the Liberal leadership contest to make any difference now – thay have timed it badly to fall right on Christmas – no one will notice or even care !!

    As for people on here suggesting that Cameron and the Tories have’nt talked policy – once again do most on here wear ear plugs or not read newspapers / all we here from the Tories is their policies and from Labour all we here are more spin tactics with no real policies !!

    As for the doubters about a northern revival for the Tories – out of the 163 seat gain they would make from this latest YouGov POLL 41 seats would be in Northern England & Scotland – i remember perdicting at least an 11 seat gain in Scotland in a recent posting i did :-

    Just look at these very highly likely Tory gains in Wales / Scotland & Northern England :-

    WALES – 4 Seats

    • Aberconwy
    • Cardiff North
    • Carmarthen West & Pembroke
    • Ceredigion

    SCOTLAND – 11 Seats

    • Aberdeenshire West & Kincardine
    • Angus
    • Argyll & Bute
    • Berwickshire , Roxburgh & Selkirk
    • Dumfries & Galloway
    • Edinburgh North & Leith
    • Edinburgh South
    • Edinburgh South West
    • Ochil & South Perthshire
    • Perth & North Perthshire
    • Renfrewshire East

    NORTHERN ENGLAND – 30 Seats

    • Barrow In Furness
    • Blackpool North
    • Bolton North East
    • Bolton West
    • Bradford West
    • Brigg & Goole
    • Bury North
    • Carlisle
    • Cheadle
    • Chester
    • Cleethorpes
    • Copeland
    • Dewsbury
    • Halifax
    • Harrogate & Knaresborough
    • Keighley
    • Lancashire West
    • Leeds North East
    • Leeds North West
    • Manchester Withington
    • Morecambe & Lunsdale
    • Pudsey
    • Ribble South
    • Sheffield Hallam
    • Stockton South
    • Tynemouth
    • Wakefield
    • Warrington South
    • Westmorland & Lonsdale
    • York Outer

  29. I also recently said that i thought Brown was not having a good time in the press recently as suggested by some – but the daily press reports were steadily coming in against him / a different subject a day – just imagine in 2.5 years at this rate there will be about 900 bad media reports about Brown and his government – wow , the mind boggles !!

  30. I would add Stirling to the list of potential Tory gains in Scotland

  31. KTL,

    When it comes to David Cameron, I’m in agreement with ChrisC, Cameron et al. are an untested bunch of chancers.

    Those of us with mortgaged homes and jobs might as well hop, skip and jump along to the nearest casino and spin the wheel on them if they get in.

  32. The Conservatives will be lucky to pick up 2 seats in Scotland. This is not representative of Scottish opinions and all you have done is transpose English voting intentions on the Scottish 4 party system, where the Conservatives are barely pulling mid-teen results in polls.

    Many people in Scotland still consider it a shameful thing to think about voting Conservative.

  33. Surely they should only be grasping at straws after a straw poll.

    But if things continue as they are, Labour may well be grasping at Straw.

  34. What would be interesting would be reginal breakdowns are they ahead in the North west of England or are they just building up large majorities in the south east of England.

  35. A consolation for Brown is that he probably hasn’t visited any wife-swapping clubs or met any representatives of a multi-millionaire trying to build a golf course on an SSSI recently. Unfortunately everybody else appears to hate his guts including Rupert Murdoch,the trade unions, his fellow leaders in Europe and Harriet Harman his deputy.

  36. The latest Scotrtish polls suggest tory support there is still at 1997levels.We must therefore assume thisextrasupport comes from elsewhere. Whether or not that is advantagous for the Tories I don’t know.

  37. The regional results were :-
    London 44/37/13
    South 55/25/14
    Mid/Wales 43/31/16
    North 43/38/12
    Scotland 16/31/16/SNP 32

  38. Mike,

    As Colin’s post of the regional breakdown shows your 11 seat prediction for the Tories in Scotland is still mince. They may be on 45% up 2% in this poll, they are 16% in Scotland. In November when you predicted 11 seats they were at 18% in Scotland.

    I’d say you were making the same basic mistake again, using a UK swing and applying to a region where the swing is different, except that it’ clear that you are smarter than that and understand these things.

    That leaves us with the sad conclusion that you know fine well that the 11 seats is nonsense and that you are just spinning, and not very effectively.

    Peter.

  39. I agree with Peter Cairns, despite being a Conservative myself. I believe that the Conservatives will likely pick up ‘Dumfries & Galloway’, ‘Berwickshire, Roxburgh & Selkirk’ almost indefinitely. However, more moderate chances would be the others on the ‘list of 11′

    I’d like to point out that the Conservatives’ share of the vote in Scotland has actually fallen since the last Yougov poll, despite such a large swing overall in the United Kingdom.

    What is interesting is that the Conservatives are now leading in every other UK region in the yougov poll, even in the North which is very encouraging for the Conservative Target North group.

  40. I just think things are interesting now, after years of being frankly very dull. If you supported the Tories since 97, you knew you had no chance, and for Labour followers it was ‘Four More Years’. Liberals always hoped, but they always will.
    Now things have changed, but are much more like ‘normal’ politics were, and possibly should be – there is a real chance of a change of government. That’s not to say it it’s in the bag for either side. I think the most interesting thing is the volatility, and I suspect this will be a permanent feature of polling now in a way that wasn’t so evident in the past.

    Couple of points to pick up;
    Ralph – I seem to recall Aitken was in bother due to his dealing with Saudi arms deals, while Hamilton (and other Tory MPs) were taking wads in return for asking Parliamentary Questions – pretty central to their roles? Meanwhile 2 current Tory Lords & donors who promised to become UK residents have failed to honour their promises. It’s not one way traffic.
    Mike Richardson- don’t extrapolate negative media reports. remember that the media was inexplicably utterly pro Brown for three months this summer, and then turned. Things can easily turn again. I’d rather be a pollster than a politician.

  41. Other people have already slapped down Mike Richardson’s crazy Scottish predictions (there’s more chance of Wendy Alexander turning down £950 than the Tories ever winning Edinburgh North & Leith), so I won’t bother.

    What is worth pointing out is the divergence between the politics of Scotland and England. I know we should take the regional breakdowns with a pinch of salt, but across every English region the Tories were ahead of Labour in this latest poll, whereas in Scotland they’re stuck in the teens and the SNP are the leaders. This small sample is broadly in line with the Yougov poll of Scottish voters released at the start of the month.

    I can’t see anything changing this in the near future. Maybe we’ll never go back to sharing the same politics, now that there’s an alternative seat of power in Edinburgh.

    It’s a shame the regional breakdowns don’t separate Wales from the Midlands. Quite insulting really – what does Llanelli have in commin with Lincoln?

  42. DAVE HAWK SAYS :-
    “When it comes to David Cameron, I’m in agreement with ChrisC, Cameron et al. are an untested bunch of chancers.”

    My response to that would be that apart from Brown all of his cabinet are untested too in managemnet of the country – who knows who most of them are – the country recognises more of the Tory opposite numbers ! Could they be worse than what we have at the moment ??

    STUART SAYS :-
    “The Conservatives will be lucky to pick up 2 seats in Scotland. Many people in Scotland still consider it a shameful thing to think about voting Conservative.”

    My response would be that you need to widen your circle of friends – it does’nt matter what the regional POLLS for Scotland are saying – they just like the English want change , they won’t get it by voting Liberal , Labour or SNP – if by your comment you are suggesting that the Scots are 84% socialist then it is yourself that does’nt know your own people . Watch this space – watch the seats come falling down !

    Cllr PETER CAIRNS Said :-
    “I’d say you were making the same basic mistake again, using a UK swing and applying to a region where the swing is different, except that it’ clear that you are smarter than that and understand these things.

    That leaves us with the sad conclusion that you know fine well that the 11 seats is nonsense and that you are just spinning, and not very effectively”

    My response would be that it is actually yourself that is spinning events Councillor – you may feel very content in the SNP POLL ratings at the moment , as i have said to you before – complacency is a dangerous thing / if as suggested that the 45% for the Tories does include the 16% in Scotland – then the Tories are probably on about 50%+ in the rest of the UK . I stand by my figures of at least 11 new Tory seats at the next GE in Scotland – i have’nt been wrong yet !

    ALEC Said :-
    “don’t extrapolate negative media reports. remember that the media was inexplicably utterly pro Brown for three months this summer, and then turned. Things can easily turn again. I’d rather be a pollster than a politician.”

    My response would be – show me any real good comments about Brown during his honeymoon / the media were just waiting to pounce , and thy got just what they were waiting for the day his ego pushed him to talk of an election – ever since Brown has just handing bad headlines to the media on a plate – the flood gates are open and all is being revealed at last after 10.5 years of secrecy and spin .

    The media can’t even get any senior Labour politicians to debate anything on TV – they hide away . Even today Andrew Marr called on John Major to talk – what a breath of fresh air after 10.5 years of lies and spin (what do they say – come back all is forgiven)

  43. The one saving thing for Labour now is Christmas – that will give them a rest for 2 weeks from the POLLS and the backlash from them – i make a new prediction !!

    By February the POLLS will be showing regular figures like :-

    Con. 44% – 47% / Lab. 27% – 30% / Lib. 14% – 18% as regular averages and between those figures . Watch this space ! This gap will continue no matter what now.

    For all my doubters and critics – please feel free to cut and paste this comment for future use !

  44. Ok Mike, fair enough.

    Just to be sure this time, does “by February” mean the first of February, the end of february or does it in fact mean March? :)

  45. STEVEN WHEELER :-
    I was actually being fairly kind with February – take it how you like (it’s gonna get a lot worse for Labour in the POLLS and subsequent elections after February). I recommended doubters cut and paste my comments because they were inaccurately quoted by other posters when i got the first drop in Browns popularity right way back in September – i seemed to be the only one in the UK never mind this site who saw a Tory recovery and a Labour slump / the only thing i did’nt get right was how quick the gap would widen .

  46. Mike

    Trust me, I will be cut and pasting your 11 seats prediction for the Conservatives in Scotland (off 16% in the polls!). Its hilarious.

  47. Mike: I foresaw the Tory recovery, but didn’t put it in a silly “ticking clock” with the date wrong. The recovery happened after the Tory Conference which happened after your rather arbitrary deadline. I said all along “wait until after the conferences” – you put a date in which was before the Tory Conference, which was a bit silly really.

    You were right as it happened, just got the timing wrong by a week. Though that week was inevitable, the Tory recovery would never have happened in-between the Labour and Tory conferences.

    However don’t get high and mighty because a prediction goes right, everyone makes many predictions “and even a broken clock is right twice a day”.

  48. Steven F,

    One possible explanation for the current form of the Scots/English divide might well be, “It’s Time for a Change”, where what the polls are showing is who people think can replace Labour and do better.

    In England and to a lesser extent Wales, that seems to be the Tories on the basis that people want a new government and don’t think the LibDems can form one, so that only leaves the Tories.

    It can also be argued that this fits in well with rising Tory support even though many see the Tories as “policy lite”.

    If the public feel it’s time to change because the government is tired then the Tories can move ahead without really pushing themselves as radical, with the simple Cameron message, “It’s us or them and they are crap”, actually giving them mid term momentum without having to make risky policy announcements that Brown can attack or mirror.

    Ironically this means that while Cameron doesn’t have to push the vision think although he’s quite good at it, Brown doe, even tough he’s not good at t at all.

    In Scotland it looks like it’s the SNP that are the peoples choice as “Not New Labour”, but we aren’t ahead like the Tories (although it is a four party system and we had a lot more ground to make up).

    I remember the Dunfermline By-Election and the fact that after the first week it was clear that there was a mood to kick Labour. For most of the campaign it was a clear battle to see who would be the beneficiary, the LibDems or the SNP.

    As it was the LibDems fought the better campaign (yet again with mass leafleting and dodgy graphs) and convinced the voters that they could win it, and went on to do so.

    Nationally ( North and South) I think New Labour renewal has stalled, and that “Time for change” has taken root.

    What Brown needs to do to turn that around, is calm and steady things in the short term and then bring forward some of his constitutional ideas and get them through parliament to show that he is different and changing things before the election.

    Given that it’s probably close to two years to an election, he probably has time to do it, but that doesn’t mean he’ll pull it off.

    Peter.

  49. ‘Suspicion torments my heart,suspicion keeps us apart,suspicion why torture me?’…so sang Elvis Presley in one of his classic hits of yonks ago.That line pretty well sums up the fraught relationship that many feel exists between the English-whoops sorry I mean the Tories….and the Scots or at least those Scots represented by the SNP. If true then the question is will current events and the changes in political fortunes alter that perception.
    When the UK wide recovery in Tory poll ratings began exactly 2 years ago it was greeted by the SNP with much glee and rubbing of hands – they saw it as an opportunity ripe for exploitation and a chance to put a spanner in the works of the then dominant party -Labour. But now that a weak and uncertain Tory lead is being replaced by one that could-and I stress the word could-result in the election of an equally dominant Tory government the SNP’s smiles and chuckles are giving way to frowns and knotted brows. Suppose they now privately say to themselves the Tory tide does not stop at Hadrian’s wall after all. Indeed a lot of people probably the same people forecast it would never reach the North of England ( Tory lead 5%) but it has. No doubt the Tory haters in their ranks will deny that it could ever progress up to the Firth of Forth but the way the tide is running at the moment there is no reason why it cannot reach the Tay-which still leaves Peter Cairns safe in his Inverness redoubt but then no one who enjoys Peter’s contributions to this site would want to lose Peter….
    The louder some folk scream that the Tories can never win one or other of the Scottish marginals the more I reckon they are running scared…’coming soon to a constituency near you the return of the Tories starring Peter Cushing’. Oh yes when it comes to a bit of leg pulling it is indeed pay back time.

  50. Cllr Peter Cairns (SNP), you suggest Brown could improve Labour’s prospects by concentrating upon sensible [sic] constitutional reforms (an English Parliament?) between now an the next election. However he has instead chosen to hamstrung his first full Parliament with unpopular legislation.

    Between now and the summer he will have to fight, in both Houses, to pass detention-without-charge, the EU Constitution Bill (for that is what it is) and ID-cards. [One awaits Ms Kelly’s Transport Data-Security statement…!] And come May/June we have local and European elections.

    That leaves Rusty will his second (final?) full parliamentary term. Assuming the three anchors mentioned are not still chained to his neck then he could introduce these reforms [sic]. Doing so, as one of his ministers recently mentioned, would require a constitutional-referendum. [Here one may be naive, as one remembers the governing-party saying that somewhere before.] This would eat into Parliamentary time.

    Finally there would be the final parliamentary session – assuming the Government survives that far – and an election. Note also one has not factored in other elements of the mine-field; the military-settlements, public-sector pay, immigration, or the economy.

    So, according to this analysis, Brown has little time to pull things around. One wonders if, by then, a growing number of New Labour back-benchers will be mumbling that famous saying of Scotland’s greatest soldier: “We’re doomed, doomed I tell yah…!” ;)

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