Two Sunday Polls

There are two new polls in the Sunday papers. A new ICM poll in the Sunday Express has topline figures, with changes from ICM’s last poll, of CON 45%(+2), LAB 29%(+1), LDEM 16%(-3). It was conducted betweeb the 30th July and 1st August. It’s actually the highest level of Labour support for two months, but seems to be at the expence of the Liberal Democrats. A second poll for BPIX in the Mail on Sunday had figures of CON 47%, LAB 24%, LDEM 16% and was conducted between the 31st July and 2nd August.

Both polls asked about the Labour leadership and again failed to produce any particular evidence that Labour would do better without Gordon Brown. 38% of people said they would be more likely to vote Labour if they dumped Gordon, but 40% said they would be less likely to. I don’t like questions framed in this way – it is impossible to tell how many of the 38% are people who vote Labour anyway, how many of those 40% are people who would never vote Labour.

In ICM’s poll Jack Straw was the favoured replacement for Brown, leading David Miliband by 24% to 20%. Other candidates were in single figures. In BPIX it was he other way round – Miliband lead Straw by 18% to 12%. It would appear that Straw and Miliband are the two front runners in the eyes of the public, though I doubt that is more than a reflection of the fact that they are the two who have been speculated about most in the press.

BPIX found 37% of people thought David Miliband was right in making media appearances in the last week that were interpreted as the beginning of a leadership challenger, 35% of people disagreed. 67% thought that, were Gordon Brown to be replaced, his successor should call an immediate election.

As I have said before, people are not particularly good at answering hypothetical questions about how they would react to future events, so this is not good evidence about whether a change in leader would actually help Labour or not. However, rightly or wrongly people do look to polls like this as evidence and it does drive the media story – so these findings are important for Gordon Brown’s future.


85 Responses to “Two Sunday Polls”

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  1. Again, I suspect this is just natural variance within the polling margin of error rather than a significant change in public opinion. Is there any view on whether weighting of polls has a more negative impact on the Liberal Democrats than other parties? Could this, rather than the cited greater exposure at election time, be the reason why our votes always seem to out perform our poll percentages?

  2. WMA 46:26:17 which is the same as it was on 20th June. BPIX has a fairly consistent pro-C bias and ICM a slight anti-C. It still seems amazing that all this infighting hasn’t damaged Labour more. But August polls aren’t very reliable, we’ll see where we are in Sept.

  3. ‘It still seems amazing that all this infighting hasn’t damaged Labour more’; is this perhaps a reflection that a core Labour vote will hold no matter what?

  4. Strong criticism of Brown and Darling in the Liverpool Daily Post – they’re being blamed for the possible closure of a brewery there due to punitive taxation on beer. Even the heartlands are turning against Brown.

  5. Should Nick Clegg be starting to worry for his party? There appears to be no recovery from the Ming dynasty, not even a flicker. The Lib Dem Member’s point above maybe represents a glimmer of hope but that’s about it.

    In the run up to 2005 the Lib Dems were around 5 points higher than this pretty consistently.

    Perhaps this explains Cleggs panicky switch in strategy to targeting a few labour seats rather than the obvious Tory seats. I suspect this actually covers up a more significant strategy of focusing on the seats the party already holds.

  6. JACK it was not that long ago that many predicted Labour core-vote was c30% and I suggest it is premature for you to now assume it is around 25%.It’s early days in the possible Labour leadership battle and the full impact of the Glasgow East result and the subsequent perceived Labour Party in-fighting may not have occured yet. Today’s devastating newspaper headlines for Labour have still to be reflected in the polls. While I do expect Labour may recover a little before the next GE I anticipate Labour polling around 20% in the next month or so.

  7. Becuase Labour appear to have got stuck in Kamikaze mode, the dire state that the LIb Dems have been in appears to have been largely overlooked. Clegg has totally failed to revitalize the LIb Dem support and they are now stuck where they were when Ming was dispatched. This loss of support is crucial when it comes to the next election given the fact that the Lib Dems are the main challengers to the Tories in most southern and South western constituencies. It is entirely possible that had Labour not been in such difficulties the focus might have switched back to the weaknes of Clegg’s leadership and the Lib Dems might now have been looking for yet another leader. It is quite striking that there appears to have been no overt evidence of discontent from within the LIb Dems. How long this continues will be intersting to see given their weak performance at the local elections, their dismal performance in the London mayoral election, their poor perfomance in the English by-elections and their slipping form third to fourth place in the Glasgow East by election.

  8. The polls are pretty static at the moment with the Tories 20 points in front on average.

    As far as the LDs are concerned – unless there is a big improvement they could easily lose half their MPS at the next election IMHO. The LDs have benfitted from anti-Tory tactical voting in the past but could now be hammered by anti-Labour tactical voting.

  9. ‘JACK it was not that long ago that many predicted Labour core-vote was c30% and I suggest it is premature for you to now assume it is around 25%.’ I actually did not suggest it as a core vote; I was hypothesising against the argument about ‘‘It still seems amazing that all this infighting hasn’t damaged Labour more’ that there will somewhere be a core vote and that may be why the infighting has not impacted on the polls. Where the percentage falls is interesting- my argument is that somewhere there will be a core vote. Sorry for any confusion.

  10. I think we are down to a core Labour vote in the sense that almost anyone who says they will vote Labour now is doing so with quite a deep emotional attachment to the Party. This takes time to remove, so only after several months of despair will people say: OK I’m off then. So we can expect a time-lag of say 3-6 months.

  11. We should also remember that most folk aren’t anoraks like us and probably haven’t really registered the recent Labout Party turmoil. If it carries on expect further drops in support

  12. NONE OF YOU THINK LIKE A LABOUR VOTER! It’s the economy people!

    I come from the Rhondda in South Wales one of the strongest labour strongholds in country. My father was a coal miner. My background could hardly be more working class.

    What matters most to people who are less well off is the economy. The country as a whole may not be in recession but the spending power of the less well of is in recession in quite a big way.

    A down turn in the economy always hits the poorest hardest. And people vote labour because of a desire for social justice. Hence, the cancelling of the 10p starting rate demolished much of the wavering Labour support.

    Nobody on this website has mentioned the massive rise in the price of gas. You may say it has little to do with Gordon Brown’s policies. It may not worry you because it only make a small dent in your relative wealth. But this isn’t how most people who instinctively vote labour see this.

    Labour promised to combine economic competence with social justice. The more it fails to do this the more the Labour vote will shrink.

  13. To repeat a point made a few days ago – The poll which said that, with Balls as leader, the vote would be C50%/L18% suggests that the core Labour vote could be as low as 15%. No core Labour voter would switch to the Conservatives because the “wrong” leader was appointed. The most they would do is abstain.

  14. I do wonder whether someone like Jack Straw might be installed to limit the damage, and then a younger character taking over after the election.
    But I agree the polls don’t point to an obvious alternative who the public would do better, with the caveat that we never quite know how people will react until it happens – if it does.

    Good news for the Conservatives – holding up well, even increasing in some polls, with the LDs seeming to lose ground aswell.

    I am a Tory, so yet again, we need to be reminded that we haven’t won yet – it is still about 117 seats for a bare workable majority of 8 or 10.

  15. At this stage of the last Parliament (September 2004) ICM showed Lab 36, C 32, LD 22. So since then it has been C +13, Lab -7, LD -6, a 10% swing.

  16. spot on collin.the labour party is a dead parrot.it has ceased to be.
    if cameron gets it right,why on earth would you vote for labour for the next 20years or ever.
    this is approching the fate of the conservatives in canada,who were left with 2 seats.labour are in the same position.people are far less tribal about voting now.
    millions of working class people vote tory in england.

  17. With the polls showing roughly a 10% swing from Lib Dem to Con at national level since the 2005 election, there must be a good opportunity for the Tories to remove a very considerable number of LD MPs, the vast majority of whom are in marginal seats and benefited from anti-Tory sentiment in 1997-2005.
    One has to be cautious when the polls are narrower, as LDs can dig in, but if the Tories run good campaigns with candidates in place, there must be a good opportunity to make very substantial gains from them aswell.

  18. This idea of a ‘core’ Labour vote is a bit off the mark. Labour is a coalition of interests and the in-fighting is a result of fracturing between the groups.

    It remains to be seen whether support for Labour will continue to shrink, or whether there will be a sudden splintering as it becomes clear the coalition cannot be held together.

    This is a question about leadership within the Labour party – who is the best team-player, and can they articulate a unifying message?

    The crumb of comfort for Labour is that sudden splintering looks unlikely because there is no real will to abandon Labour as the vehicle for their ambitions, yet.

    So this fight does in fact play into the relative positioning of the LDs as the alternative anti-conservative vehicle. A split on the left would necessitate a new party platform, while a split in the centre would likely suggest a direct swing to the opposition parties.

    Clegg’s manoeuvering shows he is perhaps gambling on Labour splitting on the left, rather than the centre, because this would prevent him from being held hostage to policies positions he disagrees with, while I’d think Cameron would hope for a split in the centre in order to gain votes and seats necessary for power if he wants any split at all.

    It seems odd from conventional viewpoints that Clegg and the LDs seem unwilling to push for quick opinion poll gains, in contrast to the Conservatives, but I think this is probably the sensible course while they remain in third position nationally and could play into their hands if they are to eventually end up as the official opposition: they must make their stand a principled one, despite facing criticism for missing or not making the most of all the opportunities that come their way to advance.

    So for as long as the issue of Labour’s leadership is not resolved (and it won’t be until an internal mandate is recieved from the party or the question of an external mandate is reopened by the announcement of dissolution of parliament, and increasingly as we approach the last possible date) I expect Labour infighting to continue, but I expect the polls to remain relatively static on all sides.

    Thus it would present the possibility of a remarkable turnaround for Brown to grasp the nettle and use this autumn’s conference to sideline all his challengers and demonstrate his leadership by announcing a November election. Significantly such a campaign would have to be long-enough for Cameron to blow the lead he holds and get his ambitious colleagues to fall into line on trail.

    Brown has already recieved a personal boost from initial polling on potential successors, so he would be best advised to ram home this advantage while he has got it, however small it is, and use all his efforts to strengthen and reaffirm the legacy of his track-record.

    Brown’s current holiday is the ideal starting position to take his first step-back from the detail of the daily grind since he replaced Blair, and I expect him to have used it to gain some perspective on events.

    If he fails to take this one opportunity to relax and build an consolidated overview he is not half the man his supporters thought he was and Labour is in bigger trouble than anybody yet believes. But if he can, then this will be a bigger comeback than anything we’ve seen yet.

  19. It’s interesting times indeed!

  20. jjb, if… if… if…

  21. Philip J W -you make a powerful and important point.

    If you are right-and I think there is a large constituency in which you are-then the Conservative priority to social justice,through IDS’ work, and the policies which should flow from it into manifesto comitments, can wrest that consituency from New Labour.

    It is a huge ask for Cameron because of the inbuilt hatred in that constituency of a perception of Conservatism seen through the prism of “Thatcherism”.

    But if DC/IDS can convince that constituency of their intent on social justice, then Labour will be left with it’s true core vote-the client voters whose lives depend on state support & who do not wish to face a life beyond it.

  22. ‘spot on collin.the labour party is a dead parrot.it has ceased to be.
    if cameron gets it right,why on earth would you vote for labour for the next 20years or ever.’

    Again I prefer analysis to wishing. Labour in the 80s? Tories just before Blair? All parties seem rubbish at some time and will require 10 years out of power… But to say any party is a dead parrot is frankly ridiculous, especially when all 3 major parties are all arguing the same set of policies with a minor alteration of emphasis. ‘Privatisation, jail everyone, less tax, all immigrants are bad unless they play football…

    This site was meant to be about poll analysis, the more of it the better, the less wish fulfilment the better…

  23. ‘If you are right-and I think there is a large constituency in which you are-then the Conservative priority to social justice,through IDS’ work, and the policies which should flow from it into manifesto comitments, can wrest that consituency from New Labour.

    It is a huge ask for Cameron because of the inbuilt hatred in that constituency of a perception of Conservatism seen through the prism of “Thatcherism”.’

    Yep there are two perceptions of the tories– one is the ‘nasty party’ which remains dominant for many, especially in Scotland, the other is that of a a party with a vague awareness that some people need help. I’d love a poll which asked what values do you associate with all parties (especially in Scotland) and which values influence how you vote….

  24. ‘if cameron gets it right,why on earth would you vote for labour for the next 20years or ever.
    this is approching the fate of the conservatives in canada,who were left with 2 seats.labour are in the same position.people are far less tribal about voting now.
    millions of working class people vote tory in england.’

    And do consider the fate of that Conservative leader who ran Australia for over a decade; John Howard. When he was defeated he left Labour in the strongest position for over 40 years. Currently the highest elected Tory in Australia is the elected Mayor of the 3rd city Brisbane; all states are run by Labour as well. For everything there is a season. It all turns… Demise of a party is exceptionally rare… And I don’t vote Labour… (The problem for Canada was a 3rd party comes in… like SNP in Scotland…)

  25. Jack, there is a wide range of difference between the parties policies, especially in the areas of public/private ownership, criminal justice, taxation and immigration which you mention.

    You are being disingenuous or plain ignorant if you suggest otherwise, but in either case that is both their fault and the fault of conflicting messages spread through the media.

    The parties are most definitely not the same, do not function in the same way and do not believe the same things. If you don’t believe any disagreement exists, then you won’t believe either that I disagree with you and am likely not to vote the same way or for the same reasons as you.

    Re-futed!

  26. The Conservatives returned to government in Canada in early 2006.

    The October 1993 election saw another right wing party take almost all the votes from the Official Conservatives in the Quebec block, whilst I think a further party came in and split the votes letting Liberals in everywhere else.

  27. Kim Campbell’s (Conservative PM 1993) constituency
    was Vancouver Centre.

    The 1993 result was

    Party Candidate Votes %
    Liberal Hedy Fry 19,310 31.19%
    Progressive Conservative Kim Campbell 15,510 25.05%
    Reform Ian Isbister 10,808 17.46%
    New Democrat Betty Baxter 9,397 15.18%
    National Thorsten Ewald 4,949 7.99%
    Natural Law John Cowhig 643 1.04%
    Green Imtiaz Popat 586 0.95%
    Christian Heritage Darren Lowe 242 0.39%
    Libertarian Tunya Audain 220 0.36%
    Independent Brian Godzilla Gnu Salmi 114 0.18%
    Independent Scott Adams 83 0.13%
    Commonwealth Lucille Boikoff 25 0.04%
    Independent Peter C. Nuthall 24 0.04%

    And the previous General Election in 1988 was –

    Canadian federal election, 1988
    Party Candidate Votes
    Progressive Conservative Kim Campbell 23,620
    New Democrat Johanna Den Hertog 23,351
    Liberal Tex Enemark 14,467
    Reform Paula Folkard 876
    Green Murray Gudmundson 514
    Rhino Bob Nitestalker Colebrook 262
    Libertarian Duane H. Pye 156
    Independent Scott Adams 125
    Not affiliated Dorothy-Jean O’Donnell 58

  28. To clarify, it was the Reform party which took off in 1993 – mainly at (Progressive) Conservative expense.

    The Progressive Conservatives merged with the Canadian Alliance to form the Conservative party in 2003.

  29. Getting away from alien foreign elections in Australia and Canada – 2 countries which have no political parity with the UK – our party differences are much more obvious than their’s – their’s are split left an right – our’s are much more serious than that , our’s are split between the choice of freedom of speech & activity on one side against an authoritarian “1984” regime on the other side!!

    These 2 latest POLLS once again show ICM way off track compared with others – why does the media bother with them & a couple of others anymore – all it does is mess up Anthony’s brilliant graph !

    This talk about whether people like Gordon Brown or a successor is irrelevant – we are seeing a great turning point in British politics – the imminent and permanent demise of a political party – it will be slow and painful for them , and the country – but the light is bright at the end of the tunnel for the British “things can only get better”.

    I can’t wait for the “books” to be analysed after the next election – we will need more prison spaces in 2010 to cope with the results – lol .

  30. Nobody discusses the unbelievable loss of freedoms , traditions , way of life , loss of citizens , breakdown of law and order , the demise of the NHS , Illegal wars , the widening gap between rich and poor – the list goes on – it’s not just Gordon Brown that the British have turned against – they are wanting their country back – that’s why the POLLS are showing such a massive gap and widening.

    [edited…]

  31. Mike – ICM have one of the best records of accuracy of any of the pollsters. And yes, the last comment was partisan, so I’ve edited it out. Lists of things you don’t like about the government don’t actually aid anyone’s understanding, and there’s a non-partisan way to discuss it we are talking about what issues are damaging them. Discussing it in a non-partisan fashion normally involves not comparing them to Zanu-PF

  32. The destailed data for the ICM poll is on their website , the low LibDem figure in this poll is mostly attributable to a very low number of LibDems being recorded in the North of England ( including Scotland ) The number of SNP voters found is also very high but not exceptionally enough on it’s own to explain the very low number of LibDems found which is 1/3rd of the level normally found in recent ICM/Comres/Populus polls .
    It will be interesting if future polls show this to be just a one off sampling quirk .

  33. Re Jack’s post Aug 3 9.17pm

    I’m afraid you are correct; there are few differences between the practical positions of the parties. They may have philosophical positions that are opposed but after policies have been put through the focus group treadmill and the media had their say the actual differences are few.

    Labour has long accepted the Thatcherite free market, de-regulation model (that hasn’t worked at all with regards to the UK housing market), and the Tories have now at last accepted the social concerns of Labour. They’ve accepted the minimum wage, paternity leave, gay rights, tax credits, even mouthing concern about child poverty. And when they get in next time I doubt they will repeat their policy of year-long waiting lists for NHS operations
    In fact the only Labour made law that I think they will change is 42 days detention

    This is the real root of the problems for the Libdems; there’s just no room for them.

  34. Gareth – I don’t think they will/would be bothered to change the 42 days detention – it’s unlikely to be used much, if at all, before another attack, at which point the political will to change back will be reduced.

    The damage to Labour, leaving aside the personalities and relative failure/success of “presentation”, derives from the fact that people think they have wasted money, and been incompetent, while the Conservatives appear to be efficient and coherent.

    The ideological difference between the two main parties is simple and enduring – The Tories believe that individuals should take the lead in providing for themselves others, and should be freed as far as possible from the burdensome state system of tax-collection, whereas Labour believes that the State should collect taxes and take responsibility for providing for themselves and others.

    Neither ideological position is workable in pratice, since they are Ideas. The real world always intervenes and scuppers efforts to put Ideas into practice. The best thing to do therefore is not to come up with an Idea that is too drastic – for fear of the unforeseeable consequences. That’s why the parties are, in policy terms, not going to seem much different.

  35. Maybe I’m getting ahead of myself but we have yet to have a GE and we don’t know what the issues will be then, let alone after the results are known. It seems perfectly possible that a GE this year could be called by GB on the back of his forecast re-launch and as a means of minimising what so many are sure will be an internal Labour war. Alternatively we could have such a war with either a GE in its aftermath or in 2010 if GB were to survive it. To put it mildly those three scenarios are all possible and both the issues in them as well as the results for each of the parties are by no means certain. Or have I missed something again?

  36. “Labour has long accepted the Thatcherite free market, de-regulation model (that hasn’t worked at all with regards to the UK housing market)…”

    Nobody with even a passing understanding of our planning system would describe the UK’s housing market as ‘deregulated’. And that’s before you account for building regulations, HIPs, environmental ratings, stamp duties…

    If you want to attack de-regulation at least choose a market where it has actually happened (and you wn’t find many of those).

    You are right however in observing the pointlessness of the Lib Dems in today’s polity. Nevertheless it is always entertaining to see Mark Senior’s ever more desperate spinning of the Lib Dem’s slow motion train crash – we should preserve the party and Mr Senior as national treasures!

  37. Re Simon Cooke August 4th 2.21pm

    Unfortunately it’s the mortgage market that has not had enough regulatory controls on it with lenders giving out loans of up to 6 times salary levels, crazy. Our house has gone up 4 times its value in 12 years and now it’s going to greatly reduce in value. Why? Did we invest to improve the property to make the increase mean anything tangible? And now has the roof suddenly fallen off to make the current decrease seem realistic? No. It’s all paper wealth which bears no relation to actual real use-value (actual wealth). Voodoo economics.

  38. I’m sorry, but am I alone in seeing major differences between the parties?

    This is most clearly demonstrated by their economic stances:
    Labour try to redistribute downwards by providing basic services.
    Conservatives wish to use upward redistribution to incentivise excellence.
    LibDems wish to shift the model of financing the state to reflect the full distribution of costs, rather than the desired redistribution of benefits.

    ie – each party has distinct means.

    And on criminal justice:
    Labour are trying to protect against anti-social behaviour by compartmentalising it and insulating the effects of it.
    Conservative want to disincentivise crime by using punishment as a deterrent.
    LibDems want to prevent harmful incidents and accidents from happening in the first place.

    ie – each party emphasises distinct ends.

    The reality is that no party has a monopoly on the solutions and individuals may see ways to successfully combine each attitude in turn – compatibility cannot be taken for granted and must be continually reforged even if appearances initially deceive.

    How we respond to the way the means and ends are articulated is the result of our own conscious or unconscious political analysis based on our own experiences. But because everyones experience is unique the collective result will remain fluid and ever-shifting.

    I am constantly surprised that so many commentators here are prepared to expose their own biases in their attempts to influence others, as if that doesn’t unbalance the discussion!

  39. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/aug/04/conservatives.davidcameron — excellent Guardian summary on how close the two parties now are as both occupy middle ground. Conclusion being ‘The new dividing line between Labour and the Tories is less about a left-right split than about an authoritarian approach on one side and a more liberal one on the other. And Labour are on the wrong side of it.’ Well worth a read…

  40. To Mike the’ oracleless’ one; again, just because Australia and Canada offer an answer you dislike you can not justly wipe them away as being totally different to UK and so ignore them. They are western democracies offering an answer you dislike so it is easier for you to ignore them rather than evaluate what they say. The point comparative politics make is simple; it reminds us all that there is a circle in politics; now Labour is down but just a bit over a decade ago so were the Tories. Labour is having a wonderful time in Australia. It’s worth noting the old leftie Helen Clark is also long time leading NZ (so showing old left can still win in western democracies.) Mike, I know you like believing in the politics of cataclysm but the real western world does not support your prejudices. And Labour / Tory policies are pretty similar really as both are fighting for the middle ground so their policies will be the same…

  41. Gareth, I agree with you about the mortgage market (although there were and are upsides to deregulation) however the house price issue takes us back to the planning system. The supply of land for housing development is very strictly controlled and most availalbe development land is in places where people don’t want to live. This means that if you’re lucky enough or rich enough to have a property in one of these places you will have doubled or trebled your investment (ignoring for a second the question of liquidity). Scrap a plannng system that was designed for a time when two-thirds of us rented and there will be a much more balanced market. But Government can’t do that because good voters like you and me will scream at the collapse of our carefully (and Government-induced)garnered capital nest-egg.

  42. I had a look at the data on the ICM website in order to see what their Scottish sub-sample showed. (Yes, I know such small sub-samples have a huge margin of error, but I’m a geek. What can I say?) I wasn’t too impressed to see that the figures for Scotland are lumped in with those of northern England in a single “North” region.

    Since voting patterns north and south of the Border are quite distinct, ICM’s published figures give no way of assessing how Labour is doing vs. the Conservatives in the North of England, nor how they’re doing vs. the SNP in Scotland. Saying that 13% of voters in some vague “North UK” support the SNP doesn’t particularly tell us anything useful. It’s all the more annoying given the dearth of recent opinion polls in Scotland.

    Similar arguments apply to Wales and the English regions which Wales gets lumped in with in ICM’s data.

    Does anyone know exactly what parts of England ICM’s “North” comprises? I couldn’t find the relevant info on their site (perhaps I was just looking in the wrong place). If I knew the populations of the English and Scottish parts of ICM’s “North”, then I could work out for myself an approximation of voting intention in Scotland.

  43. “ICM’s published figures give no way of assessing how Labour is doing vs. the Conservatives in the North of England, nor how they’re doing vs. the SNP in Scotland.”

    They wouldn’t do so even if they did include separate breaks! The sample size is absurdly small and polls are not weighted to be representative within regions, only in the country as a whole. You can get over the first of those by aggregating lots of polls together, but there really is no way of getting any useful regional voting intentions from single polls.

  44. The last 7 Comres/Populus polls have had Scottish subsamples varying from Con 13 to 22 % LibDem 9 to 24 % Lab 19 to 34 % SNP 24 to 44 % . The range is so wide to give no meaningful . Even aggregating all 7 polls would still give a total sample size of fewer than 500 .

  45. Thanks for the replies. I’m aware of all the caveats, the massive margin of error and the ridiculously small numbers represented in the Scottish subsamples. Unfortunately there are very few Scottish polls and one must make do with what information is available. It’s entirely for my own amusement in any case.

  46. There’s a poll around here somewhat that states that GB is the worst PM since World War II – no big surprises if this is true, or else it might be someone getting a little overexcited about some more poor polling results.

  47. uh meant “Somewhere” not “Somewhat”. it’s getting late.

  48. John tt,

    …whereas Labour believes that the State should collect taxes and take responsibility for providing for themselves….

    Thanks, that made me smile. :o

    I don’t think forgoing £3billion of tax-payers funds on a failed bank will enthuse those who believe that New Labour are safe with the economy. Then again, I did say I’d try to avoid economics within this forum…!

    The polls are very-much-the-same, so there is little to say that has not already been said. September should be interesting though. Maybe I need a holiday…? :p

  49. Fluffy – I aim to please, and it wasn’t a typo!

    I look forward to NR turning a decent profit for us all in the not too distant future before being privatised.

    On the other hand,I wonder whether Osborne is now regretting offering to raise fuel duty when the oil price drops in order to lower it later when it goes up. The oil price is now $25 cheaper than when he made that announcement. By how much would he advise increasing the duty if it continued to fall into the autumn?

  50. My little joke was also aimed at the Conway’s, Fluffy, as the Tories believe that individuals should help themselves when they can!

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