There is also a new BPIX poll in the Mail on Sunday. The topline figures are CON 43%, LAB 29%, LDEM 16%. As far as I can tell the fieldwork was conducted at exactly the same time as the BPIX poll in yesterday’s Daily Mail (42/28/2018), so the differences between the two polls should be entirely down to sample variation.

They also asked people if they agreed with a list of policies announced at the Conservative conference. Most popular were cutting the number of MPs (supported by 75%), and tax hikes for the rich (76% supported ending tax credits for those on over £50,000 and 74% supported keeping the 50p tax rate) – despite that, the cutting of inheritance tax was also supported by 62%. Least popular were the raising of the pension age to 66 (suppored by only 34%, and opposed by 47%) and the public sector pay freeze (supported by 37%, opposed by 44%).


101 Responses to “This weekend’s second BPIX poll”

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  1. @paul h-j

    When you say “Liege, Namur, Charleroi and Mons were every bit as important as Antwerp, Ghent and Bruges. This is what enabled francophone Wallonia to dominate Belgium until the post war period when the disparity in GDP became too lop-sided to support Walloon preference.” you are completely wrong. The reason why Wallonia dominated Belgium was that the coal & steel was located in the Walloon provinces. This resulted in industrialisation. Flemish industry, historically, was processing English wool. When Elizabeth decided to import those skills to England, she set in train a long-term decline in the great weaving cities (which is why there are so many historic buildings preserved in Bruges & Ghent)

    When you write “since Flanders was more industrial, and Wallonia more agrarian. I never suggested that millions had moved in just the past few decades.” you are totally confused. Liege started to industrialise with the early development of it’s coal mines, back in the Elizabethan age. As Flanders lost it’s weaving industry, Wallonia industrialised. It wasn’t until the post-WW2 development of industry around Antwerp (caused because the port was repaired to support the allied armies in WW2) that Flanders re-industrialised. Most Flemish industry is less than 60 years old.

    When you write “These days, it is a badge of Flemish pride to refuse to speak French, and they prefer English.” You are partially wrong. Most Flemish refuse to speak French TO A WALLOON IN FLANDERS. They have no problems in speaking French to a foreigner, or to a Walloon, if they are in Wallonia.

    Linguistic problems have, indeed, got worse in recent years. Nominally, both communities have to learn the other’s language. However (as I observed during three years work in Belgium), even in officially-bilingual Brussels, you find few Belgians whose native language is French who are capable of speaking simple sentences in Dutch. Most Flemish, however are capable of carrying out complex conversations in French. The Walloon refusal to keep ‘their part of the bargain’ combined with the historical sense of injustice from the preceeding century has been exploited by the Vlaams Blok, and it is now ‘common practise’ in Flanders to refuse to speak French to any Walloon visiting Flanders.

    I also disagree with your assessment about Spain. Spain has given the parts of the country that have distinct cultures more autonomy. Although there are regional governments in other parts of the country they have much lesser powers, so I do not see that Prescott’s regions have any validity. Labour proposed one such region, and it turned out that the voters did not see sufficient ‘regional identity’ to justify the extra assembly of politicians.

    I disagree with you about the risks of federalism. I believe that the lopsided system that Labour have created, where Scottish representatives can, effectively, tax Englishmen, to Scotland’s benefit (as, for example in their votes on student funding), while English representatives have no say on Scottish spending (except for writing a blank cheque) is far more likely to cause disintegration. A federal system, where each constituent part of the UK taxes, and spends on local issues, and a far more limited UK parliament would defuse the situation, in my opinion.

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