The full results of Ipsos MORI’s monthly political monitor are now up here. The voting intention figures were in the Mirror yesterday, but some of the more interesting results were instead published in the Observer today.

Firstly we have the economic optimism figures. As with YouGov in the Telegraph, these show an improvement since the announcement that Britain has formally exited recession. 44% of people expect the economy to get better over the next 12 months, 24% expect it to get worse for a net figure of +20.

I was also pleased to see MORI repeat their question on whether people like Brown and/or Labour, and whether they like Cameron and/or the Conservative party. This was last asked in summer 2008 when the Conservatives were enjoying a towering 20 point lead. Back then it showed Cameron was far more popular than the Conservatives (54% liked him, compared to 42% his party), but Brown was much less popular than Labour (29% liked him, 39% his party).

Now Gordon Brown’s likeability has increased to 35% (up 6), compared to Labour on 38% (down 1). Cameron’s likeability stands at 45% (down 9), his party 39% (down 3). Not surprisingly given the Conservative lead in the polls has gone from 20 points to 8, Brown is seen as more likeable and Cameron less so than in 2008. However, the shift really does seem to be in how the leaders are seen – how much people like the parties they lead has moved much less.

Despite that Cameron remains a plus for his party, with 6% more people liking him than his party, while Brown remains a drag on his, liked by 3% fewer than Labour are. In both cases though the gap between leader and party is much smaller.


113 Responses to “More from MORI’s monthly monitor”

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  1. My own experience of working closely with government ministers over many years is that most of them are bullies, Tories and Labour alike. It’s not simply that it goes with the turf (of politics), but also that ‘top’ politics is one of the turfs on which bullies can still act with impunity. The Chilcot evidence has been providing illustrations of this for weeks. The public at large recognise it and (dangerously) it adds to their disaffection with politics as a whole, not only with the politicians themselves.

    ‘Mail’ stories about Brown’s alleged behaviour with his staff will be matched by a renewal of ‘Mirror'(?) stories about Cameron’s disdainful high-handedness with the ‘servant class’. It’s a zero-sum game that will further dismay the electorate, but will conceal something that would be even more distatesteful to the public:most ‘top’ politicians are buillies.

    Full transparency in the workings of government and strong investigative powers for all HofC select committees could help to bring this to light and start to deal with it, but ultimately politicians are part of our bullying society and we will need to look to ourselves for change.

  2. SHOPKEEPER MAN :-
    “All the parties are flying policy kites at the moment”

    This is true.

    But Labour have managed to concentrate the debate on the Conservative kite, whilst keeping discussion of their’s to a minimum.

    They have run rings round Cons on this issue.:-

    In the face of Cons insistence on the state of public finances, and increasing derision in the city, Labour abandon “investment not cuts”

    PBR says cuts from 2011-halve the annual deficit in four years.-no details
    Cons say cuts from 2010-halve the deficit sooner.-some minor benefits means testing announced.

    Labour start to categorise Cons cuts as “swingeing” etc etc

    Cons say they will not be “swinging.”

    Labour claim a Conservative “retreat”.

    So Labour turn a policy u-turn into a media victory.

    Cons abandon the intellectual high ground to join Labour in the boggy lowlands of populist evasion.

    Unless Cons learn to repeatedly explain what they have said, and what they have not said, PM will do it for them.

  3. I’m not convinced that there is a real policy gulf between Osborne and Cameron any more than there is one between Darling and Brown. I think its a question of presentation. I suspect the truth is that whoever wins the election there are “swingeing cuts” in the country’s future. Any party knows that if they say they won’t do it, then do it anyway, they are going to take a lot of stick when it happens. The Chancellor will of course be the one who takes the most stick, and so the prospective Chancellors have more of an interest in being honest about it ahead of time than the prospective Prime Ministers.

    I think the Tories’ error was probably born of overconfidence. They were certain they were going to win the election with a decent majority, so Obsborne’s concerns about preparing the electorate for the realities of government trumped Cameron’s concerns over electoral advantage. No doubt Obsorne frequently quoted the polls showing a willingness amongst the public to accept cuts in public spending.

  4. Rob : “diehard paleo Thatcherite Conservative supporters and members on the one hand”

    will be the ones most disappointed by Cameron’s retreat. That could have an effect on turnout (rather than voting for another party).

    Even Colin accepts they have abandoned the “intellectual high ground” (not that he’s paleo anything, he’s just been the staunchest defender of cameron I can find on this site)

  5. NEIL A

    That summary has the ring of truth about it.

    But Cons must learn to up their game & not let Labour define Conservative policy.

    I really think that this strange period of “not really an election campaign” has been a major gain for Labour.

    Cons are having to come forward with outlines of policy-& they are being picked off by PM’s well known skills at “presentation”.
    Labour meanwhile have said nothing about their policies for the future.

    I always thought that GB & PM would prove to be very dangerous oponents.

  6. Cameron is the presentation expert – or was – maybe he’s going for the “look at how rubbish my presentation is, I’m all substance no spin” appeal?

    It’s a failure of policy-making rather than any media-skill on the part of Brown and Mandy.

  7. I wonder whether the Conservatives still need not be too worried by the narrowing polls. During their unpopular years the Conservatives piled up ‘unnecessary’ votes in their heartlands which gave them a share of national vote just under Labour’s, but a disastrous share of total seats.

    Is that what is happening to Labour in its unpopular period? If the Conservative 38% to 40% is spread more evenly than for decades, but Labour’s 30% to 32% is piled up in its heartlands, then surely we see a reverse of the previous orthodoxy? I understand from this blog that polls have too limited a regional pool to draw regional conclusions. But if it is true, then could even a 4%-5% lead for the Conservatives result in a majority?

  8. I appreciate we are political anoraks or we would’nt be on the site, but this amount of chatter about apparent Labour gains which are largely within normal polling error is just left wing flatulence.

    ‘@Marco
    I could not agree more.

  9. Lady Thatcher never pulled her punches and the majority of the electorate loved it, though I admit she is still hated by some.

    ——————————-

    A lot of people think that, but in fact the majority of the electorate did not vote for Mrs Thatcher.

    The highest figure she got was 43.9%. And that was in 1979 – at her first election.

    Talking tough may appeal to some, but in an environment where people are afraid of losing their homes and jobs, it will lose as many votes as it gains.

    Cameron is being much more sensible to say that cuts will come as and when required.

  10. I appreciate we are political anoraks or we would’nt be on the site, but this amount of chatter about apparent Labour gains which are largely within normal polling error is just left wing flatulence.

    ———————————-

    The Conservatives had a 20 point lead.

    It is now around 8 or 9 points.

    Some flatulence.

  11. David – I only voted for Thatcher once, but I still loved he for not pulling her punches even when I was voting SDP/Lib or Lab, so “the majority of the elctorate” might well have loved it.

    Cameron is losing respect because he’s started to pull Osborne’s punches.

  12. @Colin

    No longer seems true about all the parties still trying on policies for size.

    The consistency strategy you are advising Cameron, seems to be what the Lib Dems have been following since the start of the year, first announcing an overall theme (Fairness) and their 4-5 main priorities (along the lines of taxation, education, environment, political/constitutional reform), and then regularly announcing and explaining the policy ‘flesh’ that they’d propose to put on the priority ‘bones’ (education being the latest, today).

    The danger for Cameron is that, as a result of laying their groundwork now, the LDs may be well-placed in electors’ minds when they are able to start taking advantage of the much increased time the media are obliged to give them once the election is actually called.

    If LD policies start to resonate with voters now, their consistency will serve them well then, and Cameron could easily find that his horse has bolted before they even open the official election date stable door. And with our little equine friend could go the vital 3-4% of votes they still appear to need for a working majority. At worst, they could ‘win’ with 36-38%, but fail even to be the largest party, given Labour’s huge electoral system advantage.

    If you don’t believe me, put C37 L31 LD24 Others 8 into the swingometer and see the gee gee trample all over poor Dave and George!

  13. For context: I’m Scottish and live in Scotland. I’m pro-independence, and republican. I don’t care whether Labour or Tories win the next UK election. I despise both parties equally for different reasons. I’d say I’m pretty much in the centre ground, not centre-left, not centre-right, more centre-centre.

    I have been relatively warm to him since he took the leadership. I always suspect that Thatcher might be hiding underneath mind you ;)

    He was certainly managing to reach out to the middle ground (i.e. me) pretty well. The “Fast and Deep Cuts” idea seemed to make sense before the 0.1% figure came around; a scenario which I just had not considered.

    I saw an interview with Cameron at Davos, I think it was Jon Sopel. Cameron was a mess, an absolute disaster, and seemed to be under considerable pressure. The interviewer was actually pretty gentle; I think the pressure was internal. The most precision he could summon was to say that in the first year, we need to make a start on cuts. No figures at all, no commitment, no apparent concrete policy. This is potentially a matter of weeks before he takes power. Frankly, after seeing that interview, the idea of a Cameron government frightens me. On the other hand, Brown has managed to guide us through the financial meltdown without too many wrong decisions being made (the VAT reduction, and the Lloyds HBOS takeover in the main). We appear to be coming back out the other end, albeit with a pile of debt, but then what country doesn’t have a pile of debt right now. I don’t think that Brown is brilliant, but Cameron is looking like he might mess things up, perhaps if only because it’ll take some time for them to figure out what to do, and in that time, things could easily go backwards.

    There’s always the thought in the back of my head that a Tory UK government is the best bet for a yes vote on independence, so I’m reluctant, very reluctant, to support Labour (and have never voted for them before). However, since Scotland will be (equally at best, or worse more likely) affected by another disaster in the UK economy, that interview has very much changed my perspective – I’m forming the opinion that the Tories are a serious risk to our prosperity right now…

  14. @ Al

    It’s not only the shaky Davos interview, but so many other serious errors coming at the same time that are undermining Cameron’s credibility, and he needs to act on them fast and decisively and be believed when he does so.

    For example, the apparent games he’s playing in NI to try to get all the Unionists and Tories into the same electoral boat – a pre-election pact with a post-election parliamentary pay-off – will presumably fail, but the idea that he should even be toying with that tinderbox sends shivers up the spine and raises major questions about his understanding of history and his political judgement. He is calling it wrong far too often.

    With only weeks to go before an election being called, Cameron is entering the campaign on a major downswing. He’ll now need to show abilities not so far demonstrated if he’s to stand any chance of getting a clear working majority.

  15. @DAVID IN FRANCE
    I am not going back to last summer or spring when Labour were having a disaster a day. Of course we knew the 20% lead was not going to last forever. The “loss” of Tory support over the last couple of months now things are on a more even keel is marginal and probably to do with the 0.1% crawl. We will see how long it lasts and see if it really is a trend in Labours direction.
    As usual, some of the nonsense on the site suggests we will have another 13 years of Labour government.

    @COLIN
    I agree, GB & particularly PM are very tricky boys, however the long term damage has been done.

  16. Cameron’s problems are the fact that a lot of his policy is appearing reactionary.

    They probably got the public mood wrong on the economic recovery – in regards to immediate hard cuts.

    They certainly got it wrong on modern Britain’s reaction to being told that married people will have to pay less tax.

    And they’ve slowly went on to the defensive on both subjects, and have slowly slinked towards Labour’s own position.

    I actually think Cameron is awfully old fashioned at heart, and probably gets persuaded to stay away from traditional tory positions, on most policies, by the more modern metropolitan Osborne.

    The problem being the odd bit of chaff slips through the net every now, and they get themselves into a right mess.

    I read on a forum last month that Cameron would slowly slink away from the “age of austerity”, and drop a lot of his major economic policy.

    Because he thinks he’s wrong? No. Just because the polls don’t seem to like the angle of attack. And he probably knows that all he has to do to win power is to be a “viable” alternative to the current lot. Don’t upset anyone basically……..

  17. ROLAND
    Yep-but not getting it all their own way this morning at PM’s Press Conference.

    Some of the Press have their brains engaged.

  18. His line on the Bank of England is frankly bizarre as well. Claiming that the tories and BOE will work together.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t the Bank of England, as an institution, completely and utterly independent from Parliament.

    And their interest rates are set by their own board, and can not be influenced in any way by anything the government happen to want?

    I actually think Dave me be a bit confused. Labour and the BOE have worked together this year. But that was due to unprecedented global circumstances. It’s not usually allowable.

    There is no way whatsoever that the BOE and government could work together on fiscal strategy in times of growth (as in now).

    So what is he suggesting?

    1:That he’s going to take away the BOE’s independence on things like the setting of interest rates?

    2: He simply doesn’t get how it works?

    3: He thinks voters don’t get how it works, so he can get away with sound bites like this.

    State again, unless Cameron is planning to change the constitution, there is no way the tories and BOE could work together on the recovery.

  19. Roland

    Your main role on here appears to be tory party cheerleader.

    No matter how bad it appears by the numbers, it’s all “nonsense” or “wrong” or “misleading” or “badly weighted”!

    We are debating the actual polls, and what the figures tell us. Not what you want to happen in May

  20. @WOLF MACNEILL
    I flirted with the idea of the LDs picking up some steam as a result of Chilcot, it just has’nt happened. As several posters on the site told me at the time, it isn’t going to happen either.

    As I said on a previous thread, you may concern yourself with Davos but most punters think Davos is a kebab man. Never forget we are anoraks, the average person is sick of politics and politicians.

  21. “I appreciate we are political anoraks or we would’nt be on the site, but this amount of chatter about apparent Labour gains which are largely within normal polling error is just left wing flatulence.”

    Stop talking such rubbish. You are seeing the 5 polls in a row saying the exact same thing.

    Of course they are in the margin of error. Who says that the margin of error wasn’t 13 points in the first place?

    I do get sick of reading your tory party cheerleading on here.

    This is a non partisan debate based on figures. Not you attacking comments as someone happens to comment that it’s looking a bit grim at the minute for the blues.

    Try the Daily Mail forum. You’ll get far less resistance there

  22. “Some of the Press have their brains engaged.”

    That’ll make a change, but I’m not sure what relevance that is to a non-partisan dicussion.

  23. @John tt
    For heavens sake its a perfectly reasonable comment to make and in no way offends the comment policy of this site. You are getting far to anal.

  24. PB INDEX 6 down at Con majority 50.

    Punters agreeing with Peter Cairns & not with the polls ….just yet.

  25. Roland – was that to me or to Chris?

    I was just trying to nip it in the bud rather than laying into anyone.

  26. Roland-did you miss a “b” off?

  27. @CHRIS
    You are trying to turn the tables on me for critisisms I have made about Labour/LD supporters fortelling the end of centre right politics in the “free world” everytime Labour hit 30 in the polls. You can talk about this blip until the cows come home but it wont put Labour back in office. Lets give it a week.

  28. @COLIN
    Yes I saw Political Betting first thing this AM. Its the main reason I am so hyper with the “5 more years brigade on here”.

  29. I’ve been called worse Colin, but as long as it helps give the impression that partisan comments aren’t acceptable, I don’t mind.

  30. I’m not sure that questions at the press conference matter to Mandelson. It seems to have been more designed to keep stories about ‘Tory cuts confusion’ on the front page for another day or two than for any governmental purpose.

    And you also have to remember that the media likes Mandelson much more than any other Labour frontbencher, with the possible exception of Ed Miliband. That’s partly because he’ll answer the tough questions, even if he does do it in a patronising uncle manner. And it’s partly that they just can’t not like a scoundrel.

    And that fondness for Mandelson will probably make its way through into the write-ups.

    Mandelson isn’t popular nationally, but hacks love him, because he always gives them good copy. That means he’s going to be pushed forward in the campaign whilst Brown will try to look uninvolved in the campaign except at big set pieces. For the same reason, Cameron will keep himself to the front (unless his standing amongst the press continues to decline, in which case Hague will suddenly pop up everywhere) and George Osborne is likely to be kept away from the cameras.

    None of this will immediately affect the polls, but it may set the tenor of the coverage, which is immensely valuable.

  31. re PB, what were they saying when the lead was consistently in double figures?

    Isn’t the game there about shifting momentum?

    A spread of 40-60 as a Con majority might attract buyers and sellers at the moment, depending on their leaning. I can’t see it ekeing upwards in the near future.

  32. Is there any evidence that political betting months before an election is particularly accurate? Certainly the American experience has been that it’s more conditioned by ideological preconceptions and news cycles than in-depth knowledge.

    In addition, although it’s vanishingly unlikely to happen here, it was actually used in the 2008 election as a way of trying to change the polling by creating an impression of movement for one candidate (Hillary Clinton-diehards made big bets in an attempt to systematically shift the odds).

  33. Chris –

    You put up two posts that are merely criticisms of the Conservative party with no reference to polling, and then criticise other people for being partisan in comments that are at least on topic.

    Mote and beam, mote and beam…

  34. What I don’t understand is if 38% of people like Labour and 35% like Brown why are the Labour party polling at 30% or less surely these polls don’t match up.

  35. @Edward Carlsson Browne

    “Is there any evidence that political betting months before an election is particularly accurate”

    They are probably the same people who lost their shirts in financial spread betting 2007- 2009: plus an added factor of complete inaccuracy are their links to right wing bloggers.

    Note well: when the very best polls have been showing over the last months 20 seat majorities for the Tories at best (others HP) and the last few weeks has taken all polls well into hung parliament territory; that “political betting” is- as of this morning- banking (perhaps an unwise choice of phrase) on a 50 seat majority for Cameron….!!??!!

    But then they are cheerleaders for AR (given their particular partisan side of the street they would be).

    I hope no ‘innocents’ out there are actually making bets based on their out-of-kilter based analyses.

  36. “I’m not sure that questions at the press conference matter to Mandelson. It seems to have been more designed to keep stories about ‘Tory cuts confusion’ on the front page for another day or two than for any governmental purpose.”

    Absolutely Edward.

    It’s impressive in it’s focus & purpose.
    The anwers about Labour don’t matter.It’s the assertions about Cons that do.

    Saw “Mo” last night. PB’s ruthless determination was touched on.

    The guy is formidable.

    Is there a “fondness” for him in the Press?
    I would say more an admiration for him as a smooth operator-the knowing smile of one story teller about another.

    Should be the publics reaction which matters ( mistrust)-but everyone reads the papers.

  37. I didn’t mention betting markets on my article about political betting ( http://ukelectiontrend.blogspot.com/2010/01/do-bookies-know-better-than-polsters.html ) But I did discuss how bookies set odds based more on how people are betting, and only reference polling and other information as a correction on that.

    The major problem is that “Wisdom of the Crowd” only works when there’s a big enough crowd, they’re well informed, and everyone has an equal weight, and they have no vested interest in the result other than their bet.

    Political betting markets fall down because the crowd tends not to be as well informed as they think they are. There isn’t a huge enough number of people who bet on politics. They tend to be hugely vested in the outcome, and support one particular result. And they can bet big sums that move the odds about.

    Coincidently, I bet £20 on a hung parliament when the odds were at 5/2. Which now looks a very good bet.

  38. Rob and Roland – I’ve removed your latest comments. Stop squabbling.

    Rob – constantly accusing other people of being partisan is not conducive to friendly, sensible non-partisan discussion so stop it (especially since Mike Smithson is not and AFAIK never has been a Conservative, he’s a Liberal Democrat.)

  39. @COLIN
    Forgive going of thread a sec, but I saw Mo late night and was left rather disappointed that she was depicted as a woman with the vocabulary of a fish wife and flashed her knickers at David Trimble ( of all men to choose). The politics of NI was glossed over. I promise this not sarcastic comment, but I sometimes have doubts about ever having a Tory government again when I see the soap opera they make of every subject, to provide mental chewing gum for the masses.

  40. Has anyone noticed that Ipos Mori seem to go from one extreme to another remember they went from 6% to 17%. My guess is alot of the changes in polls are sampling errors. If the polls are right would it not be wise for Labour to have an election at the end of March.

    I feel that if they wait until May that they may recieve bad news on the economy.

  41. @ Jay Blanc

    Thank you for a good post, clearly pointing out the less than rational basis of current betting.

    Is it likely to become more rational – ie reflect the publshed polls of public opinion – as we get closer to the election? Finally, as actual voting intentions are sought and published, just before GE Day, isn’t there likely to be a growing convergence of the bookies’ odds with the polls.

    So, when the results come out, the gambling industry would again put it about that they were ‘spot on’. And thus, well before the following election, people would again be taken in by what the betting ‘shows’ about the likely outcome, which most of the time is close to zero.

    Of greater interest may be the individual constituency odds in 120 or so marginal seats. Nearer the time, punters will be creating the odds by laying bets with only the odd one or two (and often unscientific) local polls in play. On the other hand, with lots of experienced activists close to the ground, one would expect local ‘political intelligence’ to play into the odds, especially in the final two weeks. Is this what happens?

    Does anyone know the record of local betting in 2001 and 2005, especially the odds in the final few days in the seats that were in play (ie known top target seats, plus those that unexpectedly changed hands)?

    And is anyone known to be systematically monitoring the individual constituency odds in this GE run-up?

  42. @JIM ROLAND
    Agree on all points Jim, especially about I Mori. The flak AR receive really belongs to IMori. I described it the other day as being like a dog at a fair. Flying about like a mad thing.

  43. Wolf – I seem to remember in the 92 election the odds on particular seats being different at different bookies – so it was 2:1 for, say, Richmond Surrey to go Tory, and 2:1 for it to go Libdem at the bookies down the road. A killing was made be a few who got in there first, when the odds shortened as a result of increased betting.

    The bookies usually affect and respond to each other. Expect the lead to narrow because it is narrowing. It takes an accumulation of events to turn the tide and convert a blip into a trend.

  44. Have polls ever been done asking do you think the economy will improve in 3 months time. I would think that very few people would think that the economy won’t improve after such a bad reccession in 12 month, but I feel the results would be much different if you were talking about the next three months.

  45. John RS:

    “Unless some pretty clear, conservative policies are announced soon a lot of wavering voters wont take the chance they might be voting for Blu-Labour and go UKIP.”

    So you are supposing that there are many right leaning voters (who for no reason that you can explain voted last time for Labour) will be not be content with moderate (or realistic or practical) centre right policies offered by the Conservatives and pass over them in favour of UKIP?

    That is nonsense. Only the middle ground voters shift. They would be repelled by far right policies and either stick with Labour or shift to the LibDems.

    There is no indication that they are moving to the LibDems in big numbers, rather the reverse, and though the SNP is doing well in attracting votes from Labour, that will result in change in only FOUR or fewer seats. At 40% the Conservatives have already got all the floatable voters they are likely to get, and the last thing they need to do is frighten them off with “pretty clear, Conservative policies”.

    The leadership knows that, and perhaps the Conservatives biggest worry is that Labour knows it too.

    Personally I think the recent slight loss in the Conservative lead could prove to be temporary or MoE and needs to be confirmed by other polls before we believe it, but it is possible that already ex-Labour waverers are beginning to return as many others here suppose.

    In Scotland the number of people who vote Conservative is broadly equal to the number who acknowledge that “Labour is tired and failing” yet despite that, still prefer to have GB rather than DC as PM. For a fifth of the Scottish electorate, a Conservative government is a worse prospect than a further four years of one which is already failing.

    You can’t blame the leader for that, he’s more popular than his party and the small lead over GB for PM must be less than it would otherwise be if voters were not apprehensive that the fundamentalists would get the upper hand once in government. More people would rate DC as the better leader if he could dump the “nasty” party which is dragging down his approval rating.

    So much for “pretty clear, Conservative policies”. That’s what Labour are hoping we see soon too.

  46. Mike

    The worst thing I have ever heard said of DC is that he is “heir to Blair.”

    If as you say “Gordon Brown is a malevolent, deeply damaged and unpleasant human being.” then we have heir to Blair versus heir to Thatcher.

    No wonder Others are doing well.

  47. For what ever reason, it does look like only the Mail and Bloggers have accepted the ‘Tantrum Brown’ story. It does have the whiff of gossip around it. While the rest of the news papers are going with the story based on recorded statements by Cameron and Osborn.

    I think this is a press handling win for Labour.

  48. Wolf Macneill

    “Full transparency in the workings of government and strong investigative powers for all HofC select committees could help to bring this to light and start to deal with it.”

    That’s only part of it. We need cabinet government as Clare Short will explain tomorrow. In my opinion we need to end the two party hegemony and PR will do that. A written constitution and pre-legislative scrutiny by interested backbenchers who are not merely lobby fodder to replace the Lords revising role on “dangerous dogs” legislation.

    So if you go along with all of that, as the way to better government then you should know that we already have it all in Scotland.

    I don’t see any great advantage in independence for its own sake, but I can’t see us ever getting better government from Westminster, and I’m an old man who wants his grandchildren to grow up in a country they can be safe in and proud of, so I’ll vote for independence when the time comes.

    I don’t understand why the SNP are unaccountably missing the best argument for independence.

  49. When I lived in Scotland and from what i have heard in Norwich Labour have very agressive tactics and tend to scare people into voting for them.

  50. @ John B Dick

    I 100% agree that we need at least the degree of constitutional and legislature reform at UK level that is now in place in Scotland.

    But, I do not accept that a basically two-party system is per se bad. If that’s what the people vote for, as once they did (in the 1950s), that’s what they should get.

    My objection to FPTP is that it fails to fairly represent most voters. At the 2005 GE, only the Tories, who won 32.3% of the UK vote and 30.5% of the seats at Westminster, were more or less fairly represented, with Labour grossly over-represented, the LDs grossly under, almost no independents, no Greens etc.

    MMC/STV would be a better replacment than the Scottish Parliament added member system, as it would keep all MPs constituency based, and also enable the electors to choose among candidates of the same party as well as between parties, and would bring Greens, more independents, and possibly UKIP and/or BNP into Parliament. If that’s who people vote for in sufficent numbers, so be it, that’s what should happen. It’s called representative democracy.

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