As well as the YouGov poll in the Telegraph this morning, there is also one in the People tomorrow. The topline figures are CON 40%, LAB 31%, LDEM 18%.

I’ve not put any changes in the vote, since this poll would have been carried out at roughly the same times as the Telegraph poll (I forgot to note down the actual dates, and the People haven’t published them yet – Nigel Nelson just twittered the topline figures). The difference between this and the other poll, which had figures of CON 38%, LAB 31%, LDEM 18% will be just normal sample variation, and compared to YouGov’s previous poll in mid-January this one shows no difference whatsover.

It’s a reminder that a lot of movement in polls is just down to sample error, and doesn’t signify anything whatsover. If a poll shows just a point or two’s difference, then unless it is part of a broader trend reflected in several polls it doesn’t mean much.


130 Responses to “But a second YouGov poll shows no change”

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  1. John B Dick

    That ORB poll with its leading questions was identified at the time (by Peter Cairns I think) as designed to illuminate their campaign, and not as an actual poll.

    Their cmpaigning is really poor if they are actually quoting chunks of it since it is such transparent nonsense, as you point out.

    As to actual voting – who knows? I don’t get the impression that people have yet really focussed on the election. Most just get on with their lives, while only the political geeks obsess as to whether the Con/Lab duopoly are marginally rising or falling against each other.

  2. Amazing how quick people are to jump on one poll showing Tories down to point out their failures. Let have an objective look at the most recent 5 polls

    CON: 40, 40, 40, 38, 40
    LAB: 29, 24, 32, 31, 31
    LD: 21, 19, 16, 19, 18

    40/30/20 looks a pretty solid assumption for the general state of play – as it has been for seemingly ages now.

  3. Those of us old enough to remember 1979 realise that lab having wrecked the economy yet again,a bit like 51 and 70 ,Know that Lab fear nothing more than actually comming close to winning the next election.Personally as a Tory I hope the Cons win no more than 280 seats and leave Lab to sort out their own mess.Like 92 it would be best for the country for the Tories to win but best for the Con Party to lose this one.

  4. @IANS

    “40/30/20 looks a pretty solid assumption for the general state of play – as it has been for seemingly ages now”

    and that says “Hung Parliament” or Conservative Ulster Loyalist Coalition which would be a tricky task given the situation regarding devolution- more likely Cameron formally invites Clegg et al.

    The last six polls (excluding the space cadets of AR) changes the Labour figure to 31.

    If there were a polling organisation consistently giving a Tory lead of 5% less than all the others (as AR gives Tories a consistent lead of 5% more than all the others) I would disregard that organisation as well.

    But then I am not as partisan in my interpretations as so many (Tories) are on here !!

  5. Its amazing how the political anoraks like ourselves get so flustered when the figures bounce around by a couple of percent. This is absolutley nothing for anybody to be either excited or worried about. I cant see any “real” variation in the 40/30/20 trend to be honest and I’m sure most will agree. Brown drags Labour down and Cameron does not exploit the shortcommings and base his policies on addressing these- the simple reason for the stagnant polls- I cant honestly see anything changing.

    The Tories will hover around 40-low 40s, having attracted a fair volume new support but desparate to do better, Labour around high 20s-30 simply clinging on to their core support with all their might and the Lib Dems around 20. Technically the Conservatives should be further ahead but they are not for the reasons I mentioned above. I can see Labour haemoraging some anti-war voter’s support, nothing too spectacular, however it will certainly be the Lib Dems who will gain a point or two in the polls from this as opposed to the Tories. Should this happen, it could give the Tories a majority in the 30-40 region- nothing to become extatic about but certainly better than scraping past the post for them.

  6. It’s undeniable that the more the public see of Cameron (including posters) and his policies the less they like what they see.

    His series of home made gaffs are obviously having an impact.

    Despite a heavily tilted right-wing press Cameron has been under real scrutiny that he’s struggled with. It is good to see as he’s had an amazing easy ride with the press.

    The deal with far from sealed with the public, and Cameron’s personal ratings are appalling to Blairs in 97 and 01.

  7. @Ian S

    “40/30/20 looks a pretty solid assumption for the general state of play – as it has been for seemingly ages now.”

    Well, they do say a week is a long time on politics. It’s only been since mid-December that the polls showed anything like 40/30/20. November polls showed Con lead around 12-13% (Labour on 27ish) , and those in Oct a lead of 14% (Cons often in the 40+ zone).

    The very recent polls are showing Labour above 30 (it remains to be seem if this is just sample error – Id like to see polls from ICM, Populus and Comres).
    But if confirmed, there is a continuing trend of a narrowing lead.

    The poll graphs on this site show this trend pretty clearly.

  8. I must repeat my comment from a previous thread that polls ARE bouncing around all over the place and just what reliance can we put on them?

    Ipsos MORI – Tories down 3 Labour up 6 (!!!) and Libdems down 4.
    Down 4 for libdems is MASSIVE.
    Just why should any of this be believed.

    And reality?
    Lets not forget – at labours lowest ebb with a decrepit donkey jacketed Michael Foot in charge (and SDP desertions), they got 27.6%. Surely to expect a collapse below that is just day dreaming. Likewise their last election result was 35.3%. Therefore its not unreasonable for them to poll somewhere in between. 31.5% ?? The important factor is what happens to libdem votes and ‘others’ in the marginals. Just what can polls do to predict this??
    (equally Blair only got 41.7% in 2001. Just why should we expect the Tories to score more than 42% ??)

    42-31.5 would be a fantastic historical result for the Conservatives – a lead of, wait for it, 10.5. Don’t you think the Tories realise this? Just why is Lord Ashcroft spending all his money in the marginals? Why are labour s**t scared?

    The behaviour of ‘others’ is clearly causing the pollsters problems – and I for one am very dubious about methodologies using internet and telephones and small samples. Mr Wells will of course disagree, and I am just a bloke on a sofa using common sense not statistics – but I do not give a bag of spanners for these polls.

    ““It’s always best to cling to Nurse
    For fear of finding something worse.”
    that can take hold.”
    —- yes well, the electorate certainly bought a pig in a poke in 1997.
    Time to ask for our money back.

  9. 1 Year ago I would have predicted a landslide win for the Conservatives. Today I predict a Tiny conservative majority. By May 2010 ???????? Who knows…
    MY PREDICTION…. A HUNG PARLIMENT WITH NO PARTY WINNING 326 SEATS.
    Timw will tell however.

  10. @TREVORsDEN

    “Why are labour s**t scared?”

    I think the trends of the last few months (notwithstanding the perormance s of leading Tories on TV and in the press) mean you would be wise to be investigating the contents of yours and fellow Tories underpants !!

    With a nod to the usual assumptions of polls bouncing around and differential perofrmances in marginals: the discernible feeling is- as other posters have commented- a distinct cooling of the electorate towards the Cameron-Osborne show which has thus far only translated into a small (but clear) trend away from Tories in the polls.

  11. I know there’s a whole industry built on polling (and it pays Anthony’s mortgage!) but surely it relies on being representative of the population.

    It may very well be that consumers in Belfast, Caithness or Truro have similar attitudes to Tesco or Asda, but I am less and less convinced that such common attitudes apply to politics.

    GB polling only makes sense if you accept UNS. Most people now seem to accept that this is nonsense nowadays if you include Scotland.

    I see little in English politics that suggests it will apply there either. However, many of the differences will not just be regional. Probably more sensible to group seats by a mixture of demographics and previous voting patterns.

    The whole concept of UNS is based on a societal structure that responds equally to political advertising as it does to commercial advertising.

    In the 21st century, this seems unlikely to be valid.

  12. Rob Sheffield. So AR are “space cadets”, whatever that means. Have you bothered to compare the AR numbers with Ipsos Mori, which you include in your summary, happily and without comment? Jan+16/+8,Dec+16/+17,Nov+14/+6.Oct+17/+17..You willsee that, on two out of four occasions, IM supports the AR figures.I know which of those two sets of figuresare more likely to be right, except to those who don’t happen to like them.Close to a GE, an electorate just does not behave in the random way that IpsosMori would have us believe, but is still accepted as a rational member of the establishment, Consistency by AR is treated with contempt.

  13. The only question of relevance is when Cameron’s Tories get a majority – June 3rd or earlier?

  14. Can we stop this pointless slanging between the two sides? There’s no doubt that there has been a concrete improvement in Labour’s position relative to the Tories, its not just sampling error or a failure to include AR. On the other hand, Labour’s situation is still pretty dire and to characterise the Tories as cacking their pants is plain silly. We haven’t really changed from where we were months ago. Any outcome is possible from the GE, with the probable exception of a parliamentary majority for the Labour party. What people think will happen is largely based on their own inclinations.

    It is perfectly reasonable to comment on small changes in the polls, and to speculate on what may have caused them, but this partisan silliness is going round in circles.

  15. Last Summer, the prediction on the home page here was a conservative majority of 70+. Today it’s a hung parliament. Since George Osborne’s speech at their party conference, when the tories began outlining their proposals, their support has declined.
    The more the voters hear about conservative policies, the less they like the sound of them

  16. BPIX for Mail on Sunday:

    C – 39%
    Lab – 30%
    LD – 18%

  17. @COLLIN

    if you look at Anthony’s own IM results listing (in the left hand menu) you will read that the three polls since start of November have twice been a lead of 8 or less with the rogue being the 17 (!) one you grasp onto.

    November is crucial to all our geek analysis because it’s the PBR and the beginnings of a right ward drift of Cameron-Osborne away from their hug a hoodie husky-dancing days culminating with last week’s ‘we don’t care if there is a double dip we are going for slash and burn’. They have adopted a ‘secure-the-base’ strategy as they are clearly worried about the movements in the lst couple of months.

    These rightwatd tiltings are what voters are turning their noses up against- albeit- for the moment- in a very small and slow way. Its not an especially pro Labour switch but it is a switch Collin.

    The move away from the Tories is clearly discernible to all those other than- Colln- the most biased and partisan in favour of the Tories.

    @Neil A

    It is not “slanging” to point out out clear trends in the data even if some respond to that in a partisan “slanging” way.

  18. Oldnat
    “GB polling only makes sense if you accept UNS. Most people now seem to accept that this is nonsense nowadays if you include Scotland.”

    I agree, and not just in Scotland. I have seen a report in the NHS which categorises areas by things like ‘Seaside towns’, ‘Commuter belt’, ‘Rural’, ‘Inner City’ and so on. I can’t trace this just now, but I got the impression that these classifications were not just an NHS thing. I wonder if poll analysis and reporting in this way would give a clearer picture of the likely result of elections?

  19. BPIX for Mail on Sunday:

    C – 39%
    Lab – 30%
    LD – 18%

    ….COLLIN….??

  20. Pete B

    I used to make a living out of analysing social data! You are absolutely right that public agencies analyse the data according to a range of appropriate criteria like that.

    I’ve never been involved in analysing commercial data, but I’d be amazed if they weren’t polling along the same lines. The analytical tools are there and comparatively easy to use.

    Hence we go back to Anthony’s explanation “That’s what the clients ask for.”

    In which case, we need to ask “Why are they so stupid and incompetent as to ask for the data in such an inappropriate way”. There are two obvious answers – both of which may be accurate –

    1. They are stupid and incompetent
    2. It suits their purposes to manipulate public opinion by presenting the data in such a way.

  21. @ Kyle Downing

    No, I don’t think this will be a re-run of the 1992 election. Today the Tories are at least 10 points ahead on average, whilst Kinnock’s Labour party was exactly on parity with the Tories at this point in 1992.

  22. Pete B

    Further point. If you want to see the range of demographics that is publicly available, Google “Scottish Neighbourhood Statistics” (after Monday – it’s being worked on this weekend). There will be an English equivalent, but I never needed to use it.

    There is a huge range of demographic data available by datazones (clusters of postcodes). Voting data (at least here) is available by polling stations which can be matched to these datazones.

    Tell anyone (like a pollster) your postcode and they will be able to predict your behaviours with a reasonable level of certainty!

    If YouGov and other pollsters don’t use such data, they probably aren’t worth the fees they charge their clients.

  23. Pete B

    This is just the first level of demographic data available for my datazone.

    Population
    Total Population 2008 714
    Total Population Aged 16-19 2008 44
    Total Population – Children (%) 2008 14.57
    Total Population – Working Age (%) 2008 59.8
    Total Population – Pensionable Age (%) 2008 25.63
    Male Population – Working Age 2008 198
    Female Population – Working Age 2008 229
    Economic Activity, Benefits and Tax Credits
    Percentage of total population who are income deprived 2008 18.4
    Percentage of populations aged 16-24 claiming Jobseekers Allowance 2007Q04 0
    Percentage of populations aged 25-49 claiming Jobseekers Allowance 2007Q04 0
    Percentage of populations aged 50 to pensionable age claiming Jobseekers Allowance 2007Q04 4
    Percentage of working age population who are employment deprived 2008 13.1
    Total Income Support claimants. 2009Q01 25
    Percentage of population aged 60 and over claiming guaranteed pension credits 2005Q04 27.6
    Percentage of population aged 16 – 19 in Workless Client Group 2006Q03 10.9
    Percentage of population aged 20 – 24 in Workless Client Group 2006Q03 16.1
    Percentage of population aged 25 – 49 in Workless Client Group 2006Q03 15.3
    Percentage of population aged 50 – Pensionable age in Workless Client Group 2006Q03 18.7
    Health
    Estimated percentage of population prescribed drugs for anxiety, depression or psychosis 2007 9
    Percentage of children breastfeeding at the 6 to 8 week review. 2008 25
    Emergency hospital admissions – both sexes – aged 65 and over – rate per 100000 population 2007 26,573
    Percentage of women smoking at booking 2006-2008 26.7
    Percentage vaccinated against MMR1 by 5 years of age. 2008 100
    Hospital admissions for alcohol misuse – rate per 100000 population 2001-2004 538.21
    Hospital admissions for drugs misuse – rate per 100000 population 2001-2004 107.64
    Education, Skills and Training
    Total number of pupils in primary schools 2008 40
    Total number of pupils in secondary schools 2008 35
    Number of Male pupils on the S4 roll 2007 3
    Number of Female pupils on the S4 roll 2007 1
    Average tariff score of Male pupils on the S4 roll 2007 175
    Average tariff score of Female pupils on the S4 roll 2007 165
    Average tariff score of all pupils on the S4 roll 2007 173
    Housing
    Total Number of Households 2001 281
    Percentage of Households – Owned 2001 53.02
    Percentage of Households – Social Rented 2001 44.48
    Percentage of Households – Private Rented 2001 2.49
    Percentage of dwellings in Council Tax band A 2008 48.75
    Percentage of dwellings in Council Tax bands A to C 2008 87.81
    Percentage of dwellings in Council Tax bands F to H 2008 3.23
    Total number of dwellings per hectare 2008 20.14
    House sales, median price 2008 88,000
    House sales, mean price 2008 85,720
    Index of Deprivation
    Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation Rank 2009 2788
    Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation Decile 2009 5
    Current Income Deprivation Decile 2009 4
    Employment Deprivation Decile 2009 4
    Health Deprivation Decile 2009 5
    Education, Skills and Training Deprivation Decile 2009 5
    Geographic Access to Services Deprivation Decile 2009 5
    Crime Deprivation Decile 2009 7
    Housing Deprivation Decile 2009 6
    Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation Vigintile (twentieth’s) 2009 9
    Crime and Justice
    Number of SIMD crimes per 10,000 of the population 2007/2008 212
    Physical Environment
    Percentage of people within 0-500 metres of any Derelict Site 2006 0
    Air Quality 2002-2004 – Nitrogen Dioxide concentration – Population weighted 2002-2004 7.8
    Air Quality 2002-2004 – PM10 concentration – Population weighted 2002-2004 11.4
    Access to Services
    Drive time to a Post Office 2007 2
    Drive time to a Supermarket 2003 1.6
    Public Transport time (in minutes) to a GP 2006 6.1
    Public Transport time (in minutes) to a Post Office 2006 8
    Public Transport time (in minutes) to Shopping Facilities 2006 3.5
    Drive time to a GP 2007 1.6
    Geographic Classifications
    Urban Rural Classification 2007-2008 2007-2008 3

  24. MoS Headline

    “Tory poll lead slips as party denies David Cameron rift with George Osborne”

    BPIX poll today
    C – 39%
    Lab – 30%
    LD – 18%

    From the text of the accompanying report:

    “It is the first time for more than two years that the Tory rating has fallen below the crucial 40 per cent threshold in a BPIX poll.

    “In June 2008, the Conservatives were on 49 per cent, 23 points ahead of Labour”

    This represents a swing from Tories to Labour in the last 19 months of 7%.

    They also have a graphic which- again- clearly shows the narrowing of the gap between Tories and Labour over the last few months: the very same one that is denied by many posters on here….

  25. @OldNat

    and for others on here interested who are from England and Wales this is the south of the border site

    http://www.neighbourhood.statistics.gov.uk/dissemination/

    Equally useful and interesting- I use it in my current job regularly.

  26. “Tory poll lead slips as party denies David Cameron rift with George Osborne”

    I’m guessing there’s a rift because George was still saying cuts when Dave went all Labourite & said defer cuts until the economy strengthens.

    Tories, the party of unity. Not so much; but will the voters care?

  27. @ ROLAND HAINES

    You said: “As a life long Tory voter, I am not disenchanted with Cameron or Osbourne. ”

    You should be. They are reported as becoming disenchanted with one another ;-)

  28. It is interesting to note that Cameron is looking to a second GE in 2010 if he only gets a small majority. That coupled with the statement in today’s press that Brown will stay on, even if beaten.

    Interesting times !!

  29. @OLDNAT

    [OT]
    “Number of Female pupils on the S4 roll 2007 1
    Average tariff score of Female pupils on the S4 roll 2007 165”

    Doesn’t look as if these data have been fully anonymized.
    If I were that kid I’d be somewhat annoyed at having my score published.
    I thought no data should be published for a cluster size of < 40.

  30. Rob,

    Please see newspapers for what they are. How many polls gave the Tories 49% in 2008? Probably only that one. They’ve deliberately picked the most dramatic cut-off points to make more of a story.

    We’ve seen enough polls now to pretty conclusively state that Tory has slipped slightly in January 2010, and that Labour support has edged up. That may continue up to the election, leaving Labour only a few points adrift, or it may twist and turn again (as it has before – remember conference season?)

    Probably the most significant effect of the polls tightening is the pressure it puts on Cameron. He has had pretty solid support from his party since not long after his selection, precisely because he was delivering large opinion poll leads.

    But lets not get carried away. An 8-9% lead for the Tories is still a pretty remarkable achievement for Cameron, given what he inherited.

  31. Neil A – Against a backdrop of heavily tilted right-wing press and the country going through one of worst recessions in history – this lead is pitiful and ever shrinking!

  32. Have you heard the rumour, Labour has ordered 400 Cameron posters to be displayed in the marginal seats ?

  33. 1.07 a.m.Rob Sheffield.I am not “grasping at” anything. Just drawing your attention to the discrepancy between your treatment of AR and IM, in spite of your ludicrous claim to be impartial. You ignore the IM sequence which has two, not one, reference to a lead of 17%. Do you really think that a lead series +8%/+17%/+6%/+17% makes more sense than consistent figures from AR? As for BPIX, you quote them because they support some case you want to make, without troubling to find out that YouGov does their fieldwork so is likely to agree with YouGov figures elsewhere.

  34. The lead would be bigger if there hadn’t been a recession. The electorate’s feelings on the issue are complex, as has been discussed before. And as for the press, the newspapers may tend towards the right but they are a bit of a busted flush in terms of influence. TV and popular culture more than compensates for their influence.

  35. @Colin

    You are looking at the wrong measure – “lead” is derived – people are not asked “what do you think the Conservative lead is?”, but who they will vote for.

    On the voting question, MORI is consistent with (+- MoE) though far more variable, than the other pollsters (AR excluded).

    AR is out on a limb. It might be right, but if it is then its the only one that is right.

  36. @AMBER STAR:-

    “You should be. They are reported as becoming disenchanted with one another”

    You are clutching at straws there Amber.
    Watch GO on Marr this morning.

    And for balance -read this mornings reviews of Rawnsley’s “The End of the Party” .

  37. @Neil A – “My personal hunch is that Brown will be slightly less comfortable in the “political” milieu than in the “statesmanship” one, and Cameron the reverse”.

    I’m not so sure. I picked up the Cameron/Osborne ‘rift’ straight away, and along with the marriage tax break confusion it suggests Cameron is not nearly as quick on his feet as many expected. The spending cuts gaffe (ConHome have described it as a gaffe before everyone accuses me of bias) is potentialy critical, less in political terms, but for the markets. Markets aren’t based on logic, and any hint they get of a split between No 10 and 11 in what they expect as the new government will make Osborne’s job of stabilising bond markets more diffcult. It might mean he has to cut faster than he wants in order to reassure markets, thereby increasing the risk of damage to the recovery. For Cameron to make such a slip displays a deeply worrying lack of attention to detail. It’s more a presentational error than anything else, but it’s what markets feed off. It also means he has effectively endorsed Labour’s attack on Osborne. What I have been struck by overall since last October is a distinct shakiness in the entire Tory operation. They could up their game, but they are going to have to if they are to have a good campaign.

    The BPIX poll is interesting. I think Colin is right – Labour have firmed up, but as yet the Tories have held reasonably steady. Perhaps the BPIX poll suggests the YouGov sampling error is more apparent in their second poll – we’ll have to wait and see.

  38. @ ROB SHEFFIELD:-
    “November is crucial to all our geek analysis because it’s the PBR ”

    I think there is a much more obviously “crucial” point from which polling change can be analysed-and that is Apr/June 2009-Expense Gate time.

    From GE 2005 until that point Lab & Con lines on Anthony’s graph moved contrary to one another.

    At that point, the electorate made a judgement about both of them & their support fell in unison, whilst Others gained-In terms of the graph ( moving average):-
    Cons from 45 to 35; Lab from 30 to 20.
    ie they both lost 10points.

    Since that point support has risen in unison.

    Since then Labour have taken until the turn of the year to climb back to 30
    Cons bounced back to a mid line of 40 within a couple of months , about which they have continued to oscillate with lower & lower frequency.

    So Cons have retrieved 5points since Expenses Gate & Lab have retrieved 10 points.

    The graph will show in due course whether :
    a) Cons are finding it increasingly hard to maintain 40 minimum-for which there is scant evidence presently
    b) Lab are finding it increasingly easy to hit/exceed 30-for which there is mounting evidence presently.

  39. By the way:-

    I am Colin

    Someone else is Collin

  40. @Alec

    “Perhaps the BPIX poll suggests the YouGov sampling error is more apparent in their second poll – we’ll have to wait and see.”

    The last six polls now give us

    Con 39.2
    Lab 30.3
    LD 18.5

    which indicates a result that means even with the Ulster Loyalists the Tories don’t have a majority.

    Part of a clear trend.

    Fascinating.

  41. ALEC:-

    “The spending cuts gaffe (ConHome have described it as a gaffe before everyone accuses me of bias) is potentialy critical, less in political terms, but for the markets”

    Which “gaffe “was that?
    I can’t see the CH reference either?

    Thanks

  42. The Telegraph reports that Tories propose to split up the current Department for Children Schools and Families (DCSF)
    In its place would come both an “old-style” education department, which would reunite responsibility for schools and universities under the roof of a single Whitehall ministry, and a new Department for Children and Social Justice.

    If that signalled IDS in charge of the latter dept. it would gain my vote instantly.But I’m not a waverer & I don’t know how much people read these things.

    However, if it is rolled out in a positive way in the manifesto-then judging by the audience reaction on the last QT, it should be a vote winner.

  43. Colin – Trust me on this, the number of people who’s vote would be won by re-organising Whitehall departments so slightly different things are paired slightly differently is not going to be particularly large ;)

  44. @ Rob Sheffield

    Reading it back my comment did sound more partisan than it was meant to. The joys of scribbling a comment in a rush.

    I was more pointing out how even when most polls are pointing to 40% for the Conservatives, the ones people comment on are the ones that are contenders for outliers. I agree that 40/30/20 points to a hung parliament, although this is on a uniform national swing, which is a big assumption when you’re talking about an election that could possibly feature a change of government.

  45. Chris H

    You are absolutely right! (though it’s <5 here for most data).

    I know who she is too!

  46. I am fed up to the back teeth with this tory obtuseness on why they have less seats on 40% of the vote than labour gets on 40%.
    IT IS NOT DUE TO BIAS IN THE SYSTEM
    I repeat it is not IT IS NOT DUE TO BIAS IN THE SYSTEM
    IT IS BECAUSE THERE ARE TWO CENTRE LEFT PARTIES AND ONE CENTRE RIGHT PARTY
    IT IS BECAUSE THE LEFT WING VOTE IS SPLIT
    In Australia the people are clever enough to work out that as there are two centre right parties and one left wing party the left wing party should expect to have to get much more votes than the biggest right wing party to be in the same position in terms of seats. Because the right wing vote is split. It is just common sense. In Australia the left do not crow about a bias in favour of the right they just have the good sense to realise that when the right wing vote is split between two parties they have to get a good deal more votes than the biggest right wing party to expect to win a majority.
    Now the the tories are using their obtuseness to radically gerrymander the system so they could win massive majorities on the backing of far less than a majority of the public.
    Why does no one explain that when the left wing vote is split the tories have to get far more than the labour party to expect to deserve a majority.

  47. @DIRTY EURO
    Well gday mate. thanks a bundle for telling it like it is in Os.

  48. Dirty Euro

    Surprised you don’t mention that part of the difference between Blighty and Oz is the 1872 plurality voting system, the least democratic in the EU. The Oz system may not be proportional but at least ensures a majority of votes for their reps.

    I’d disagree with you on the tiny distinctions between the “big” 3 UK unionist parties. The LDs are centre-left both economically and on liberty. The Tories are centre-left on liberty but centre-right economically. I’ll leave others to decide what Lab economic policies are, but they’re certainly to the right of the Tories on libertarian issues.

  49. “David in France

    Rob,

    Excluding Angus Reid, 6 out of the last 7 polls have the Conservative lead at under 10 points.

    THAT is why people are excited.

    Labour ARE closing the lead.”

    I think you are allowing your excitement to cloud your judgment.
    It’s not that Labour are closing the lead; it’s that the Tories and Lib Dems are failing to convince enough people that they are any better (or any different).

    I’m with Angus Reid on this one… not because I want it to be true, but because it’s what I see all around me… in a marginal seat where I used to see political party flyers sellotaped to the insides of people’s windows all down the street; and the usual boards on sticks in front gardens… I don’t see it any more… I don’t overhear conversations grumbling about one or other party or sounding enthused about any given alternative… people just seem tired and uninterested, and I think a lot of people just won’t vote, whatever these wishful thinking polls say.

    I think OLDNAT’s spot on:
    “2. It suits their purposes to manipulate public opinion by presenting the data in such a way.”

    …and I don’t think that previous voting ID is going to have as much bearing as it used to.

  50. ANTHONY:-

    “Trust me ”

    I do-but that’s why I said “if it is rolled out in a positive way in the manifesto”

    I believe that there is a very significant story to be told about the effects of placing the care of children under the auspices of OFSTED.

    I hope Cameron explains it.

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