Open thread

Tonight is our day off from the YouGov daily polling and I’m not expecting any other polls overnight. It’s been a while since I’ve had an open thread, and I’m having to moderate a lot of partisan arguments on the normal threads as the polls tighten. So, the comment policy is suspended here for you all to have party political arguments (the quid pro quo is that you all stick to the policy on the other threads!)


434 Responses to “Open thread”

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  1. @AL J
    As a result of your prompting a guess from me, I have taken your comments along with those of Jay Blanc the noted pollster.
    LAB 48
    CON 20
    LD 20
    OTHER 12
    This will provide a landslide for Labour and ensure another 25 years of peace and prosperity.

  2. omg

    Sue I will oblige -lol after having just got all the averages – wish I had proper excel

    Roland –u r a rascal ;-)

  3. @ Roland – Excellent news sir!! Was It Amber and I that finally turned you??

  4. @SUE MARSH
    It was Naylor who turned me, but you and I can still be friends.

  5. Let’s face it any government seeking a fourth term
    in a recession should of course be in real trouble,
    why then does it appear to be so close?
    Do these facts have any resonance—–the economy for
    eleven years out of the last thirteen has been good.
    NHS waiting times are now a fraction of pre 1997 situation.
    Leaking school buildings common place in 1997 are now no longer.
    Mortgage interest rates are tiny compared to 1979-97
    So it’s don’t let go of nurse etc etc———-
    Finally Boy Dave does not ring any bells!

  6. alley cat i hope your right with your prediction of a Tory majority of 65 seats. David in France. What country were you in in 1997? The uk economy was the strongest in Europe in 1997 and now it’s the worst. one person to blame Brown.

  7. @ Roland (Again!!) Just read the article you pointed out and this IS the problem. Am I working for a hollow victory? A toothless hung parliament or worse a 92-esque fettered group of has-beens?

    On consideration, even that would be better than the prospect of Dave and George, so I work on……

  8. Roland Craig Dave Alec Colin & others – waiting for your predictions

    anyone can join in ;-) how about Anthony?

    Roland – sue was my friend first lol

  9. @ Craig U, – and then I really must get off this computer. the problem is that was seen to be at the expense of everything else. Also totally blaming Brown is ludicrous.

  10. Steve eagles

    How can you honestly say that brown has made 90% of the correct decisions over the last 13 years. he says if we had followed Tory policy the reccesion would have been worse. How do we know that it would have been? we dont. All we know is that because of Labours policy that brown seems so proud of we had the longest and deepest recession ever. So claiming it would be worse under the tories is typical brown lies. It never was in the past so stop trying to posion voters minds. how about the sale of gold at record low, de-regulating the banking system, i can go on. I would say brown has got about 90% of things wrong.

    We need a Tory government with cuts and now.

  11. Craig U———-

    Brown to blame for current state UK economy?
    Guess he’s also to blame for same in USA Germany
    Greece Spain France Ireland Estonia Portugal Ukraine Iceland———–???

  12. @SUE MARSH
    All party clap trap to one side Sue, I am really quite confused as to what is going on. I went to a Tory Regional shindig last night and put some very hard questions to the sitting MPs present about the drop in the ONS. Of course the strength in the marginals was thrown back to which I said Horlicks, we should’nt have to be relying on that ,having been 20 points in front ONS. To cut a long story short, the figures which Mike remarks upon re yesterdays so called 5 point lead were brought up. As you will be able to work out as well as me, that poll actually looks more like an 11 point lead weighted. Now, my question is who is kidding who? Please I dont raise this to say to you “Tories lead by 11 points na na na na na, but why do the Telegraph wish to push a story of impending disaster about “their” party?

  13. Haven’t posted here for a while, but happy to join the guessing/prediction game:

    Con 39
    Lab 29
    LD 20
    Others 12
    Con majority of 35-55

  14. Mike R thanks

    just calculating ;-)

  15. “NHS waiting times are now a fraction of pre 1997 situation.”
    You just get MRSA/cdiff instead, not to mention that the stats behind waiting times aren’t exactly sound. The picture isn’t as rosy if you look past first consultations.

    “Leaking school buildings common place in 1997 are now no longer.”
    Well, mine never leaked anyway (yes it was state), but now you’ve just got children who don’t know the basics or can’t think for themselves (just ask employers). Though in fairness, when I was revising past papers for my GSCEs/ALevels the exams appeared to be getting easier even since a little before 97.

    “Mortgage interest rates are tiny compared to 1979-97”
    That’s irrelevant when combined with the fact that houses are so much more expensive now. If you look at the indexes, the mortgage cost:earnings ratio is no worse than it was in the 89-90 boom and house price to earnings ratio is considerably higher, this is a worse situation!

  16. What Essex Man said.

    However, as this is the thread for it….I think the main problem behind the other problems for the conservatives, is that the majority don’t want a conservative govt. Certainly not a tory one.

    What I mean by this, is that Labour didn’t win in 2005 despite million+ protesters calling Blair a murderer by being unpopular…..the main difference in most peoples minds between cons & lab (bear in mind that there are just as many….probably more…people on the left who are annoyed that lab are now in their minds ‘center-right’ as there are righties annoyed that cons have become center-left.) is TAX & SPEND.
    Broadly cons want to cut taxes and reduce spending….this is ignoring the recession which I’ll get to later ofc.
    People simply don’t want that……(most) people weren’t complaining about high taxes for the past 13 years, any more than people always moan about taxes….if the debate has been about anything, it’s been complaints that public services allegedly aren’t good enough.
    The complaints against labour are many….but they’re things like the war(s) (also supported by cons), EU (cons cast iron guar…oh wait), immigration (cons do better here, but the most worried about it are going for BNP), and the ‘nanny state’ (this is where cons have a definite huge advantage)……NOT the level of govt spending.
    The talk about the deficit isn’t making much difference really for a couple of reasons
    A: people who don’t know/care, don’t know/care
    B: people who pay more attention tend to 1, not believe that one G Brown went around setting fire to houses in the usa, 2, be aware of certain things….such as the national debt being smaller in ’07 after 10 years of lab govt than it was when they took over….which makes suggestions of lab being rash with govt finances stink fairly high…
    C:all parties are talking basically the same thing about cutting it and how important it is.

    So they need reasons to vote cons…and there are some, but I don’t think they outweigh the underlaying desire of people…for spending to stay pretty much the same as it was before the recession.
    What a majority of people want is a govt to vote for who will be very very similar, with slight differences in some areas…..Cameron can’t claim to do that, the left majority won’t believe him, the right minority will lynch him.

    Anyway, tl;dr…I think the basic reason cons are struggling, beyond terrible advertising, is that the majority don’t want them.

    If other parties supporters were theoretically forced to choose between cons & lab, cons would only get a few % more….lab have another 30% who’d pick them over cons.

  17. con: 36.65%

    lab: 34.92%

    lib dems: [and clear winners] 25 precisely

    others whatever [‘s left]

    Beam me up Al.

  18. Prediction?

    damn, umm….
    Cons largest minority:37%
    Lab:34%
    Lib-dems:20%

    Also suggesting BNP to do well % wise, but not actually win a single seat. UKIP to underperform, no seats.

  19. @ Al J:

    Con 42
    Labour 32
    LD 20

    Toy Majority of 50, LDs 50 seats. Feel free to calculate what numbers that works out to for Lab/Con/Others

  20. As for the minor parties, Greens to take Brighton Pavilion, UKIP and BNP to raise vote share (especially UKIP, I’m predicting a good election for them) but no seats.

  21. Collectively (14 inc Wood but not Roland because you’re messing about -but you can still join in if you do it properly lol ) We have the following;-

    Con 37.26 Seats 272

    Lab 33.06 Seats 295

    L/D 20.62 Seats 53

    Hung Lab Short by 31 seats (re UNS swing) ;-)

  22. Quincel

    Just saw your prediction

    New average coming up ;-)

  23. Con 43
    Lab 26
    L.D. 22

  24. Just read about the Tory six election themes but not
    a word about cutting my IHT in these “awful times”.
    Such a pity just when I thought that saving my kids £400000 may be worth a punt on the Tories much against my gut feeling and a long political memoury.

  25. This is very exciting and reminding me of non-uniform day at school; who do I give my 50p to?

    [Actually Ive just remembered I’m 65 and can wear what I want. Plus I need the money.]

  26. Hague. Hammond & Clark (now) all very good this afternoon

  27. JamesB said

    “NHS waiting times are now a fraction of pre 1997 situation.”
    You just get MRSA/cdiff instead, not to mention that the stats behind waiting times aren’t exactly sound. The picture isn’t as rosy if you look past first consultations.

    I said to my wife not long ago that in the 80’s the patients used to die on the waiting lists, now they die in hospitals of nasty infections. The difference is not great.

  28. Brown and Carwyn Jones very good too Mike ;)

  29. So many people joined in I had to put it on a spreadsheet –Back to school ;-)

    Collectively [15] (last one was Quincel ) We have the following;-

    Con 37.51 Seats 275

    Lab 32.99 Seats 294

    L/D 20.53 Seats 52

    Hung Lab Short by 32 seats (re UNS swing) ;-)

  30. Keith

    To be fair I think your more likely to die waiting than getting an infection.

    Still I wouldn’t want to be one of the unlucky ones. When I ‘ve been visiting in the hospital lately I ALWAYS use the alcholic gel. It’s amazing how many people don’t -we can’t blame Brown for that -can we?

  31. I can feel my light-hearted, humorous disposition fade every time I hear talk of the NHS not improving.
    I spend around a month a year in hospital not to mention appointments etc. It is so much better now in so many ways and resorting to MRSA and c-dif is just pathetic. They were always around, just became the latest Daily Mail target for a while. The gvmt tackled them pretty quickly and the figures started to come down. Last time I was an in-patient I saw two guys dismantling the radiators to clean INSIDE.
    Play with figures all you like, twist the stats, but there are now 6-8 trained nurses on my ward where there used to be 2. I get operations quickly and efficiently when I need them – I’ve waited TWO YEARS under the tories and it nearly killed me, the food has improved beyond ALL recognition from the terrible farmed out days of the tories. There are no old people dying on trolleys for want of a bed in MY hospital, there are more doctors, we have a new MRI scanner and countless new pieces of equipmment. There is more money for research and I now have the right to see any consultant I like. Hell, even phasing out parking charges will save my family hundreds of pounds each time I’m in.
    Two of my friends had their lives saved last year alone by the cancer guarantee.
    Most of all there are no closed wards and A&E has been totally rebuilt as has most of the rest of the building.
    OK it cost a lot, and there are still problems, still much to do, but it is SO much better it’s just laughable to suggest otherwise.
    Good job it’s open thread day eh?

  32. Finally, if anyone comes back and asks me why we still perform so badly compared to the rest of the world, we came so low, this really IS one time where we can go back to the mid nineties – they nearly killed the NHS and it will take DECADES of investment to get it into any decent shape.

    Thereby endeth the rant. Sense of Humour restored. :)

  33. At risk of injecting a little calmness into the debate

    People who died from MRSA in 2008 <200…..pretty much the same as the number of people who 'accidentally' hang themselves each year. (getting tangled in something, autoerotic, etc)
    Number of people using the NHS over an average 36 hours:1 million.

  34. Sue

    It’s not a rant –it’s REAL LIFE ;-)

    I have to agree whole heartedly with you.

    My mother had two emergences in Decemer. The paramedics in each case were here within 10 minutes. She was rushed to hospital -put on drips and I’m sure they actually saved her life. She has heart failure.
    We have a Matron who visits regularly and another nurse to take blood for warfarin testing every 3 weeks.

    I have got 4 emergency help lines to call if necessary.
    Compare that to the hernia operation my dad never had because he died of a heart attack before he got to the top of the list (in 1980’s). And the ambulance took 40 minutes to arrive because the local hospital had none available at the time I called the emergency services.

    My own minor op recently took ONE week to arrange once I saw the consultant – which took 5 weeks since I first saw my GP.

    This is all REAL stuff Hope you are better now Sue. ;-)

  35. Anyone who knows anything about Labour activists
    and voters will know that in 2005 they stayed away in
    droves or voted LibDeb because of the Iraq war.
    They blamed Blair and the Tories didn’t look like winning anyway. Now Blair has gone and Gordon Brown seems much more normal Labour.
    Also this time the Tories do look dangerous.
    Result an increasing Labour flow back to their natural home.

  36. Anyway -now that I’ve been playing with excel -& getting the hang of it again I can add others to the GE projection if you’d like.

    I’ll do a table anyway so we can see who’s joined in

  37. AL J
    “Tory policy as clear as mud”
    that’s hardly fair—-what about Fox Hunting and my
    bloody IHTax?

  38. Of course there is the small matter of Events I suppose to throw a spanner in the works of our predictions.

  39. I suppose we could have a cut-off point when we can’t change our predictions. Perhaps when Gordon calls the election.

    So I’ll have to keep an eye out in case someone wants to change theirs.

    Good point David G. ;-)

  40. My prediction:

    38.5 – Con
    32 – Lab
    22 – Lib Dems

    A Con majority of less than 10, due to bigger Lab to Con in the marginals than nationwide.

  41. @ Al J Thank you, I can play the dis-interested commentator til the NHS comes up, then I see red.

    @ David Greybeard – very good point, perhaps that’s it. Carwyn Jones today said Labour voters couldn’t let others vote for them this time and that it really was time to fight. “holding their nose and voting labour” to keep the Tories out could just be it.

    LOL BBC News just reported Cameron will be speaking “without votes” tomorrow!!! Freudian slip if ever I heard one!!!

  42. @ Sue:

    That is indeed priceless!

  43. Collectively 17 Posters Prediction for GE 2010

    CON LAB LD
    Naylor 36 33 21
    Rob S 39 32 19
    Alley Cat 41 26 18
    Sue Marsh 34 38 20
    Mark J 40 30 20
    Al J 38 33 22
    Valerie 39 32 21
    Howard 36 34 22
    P Will S 37 35 18
    Mike 40 29 21
    Amber Star 34 38 21
    Mike N 35 34 21
    Mike R 39 29 20
    Paul 36.65 34.92 25
    Wood 37 34 20
    Quincel 42 32 20
    Jamie 38.5 32 22

    Average 37.77 32.70 20.65
    ——————————————————–
    Con Seats 277

    Lab Seats 292

    L/D Seats 52

    Hung Lab Short by 34 seats (re UNS swing)

  44. Didn’t stay in columns ;-)

  45. AL J

    Easily done but I think you have missed at least one forecast as I recall seeing a Tory 43%

  46. I have just listened with baited breath to the news summary of GO’s speech ;-) to know if GO is to put up income tax (get more money in) or cancel Trident or close a few schools (give less money out)……..

    What does ‘GO was very good’ mean (earlier post)? Where is the policy? He needs at least £20 billions per year to make any substantial inroad on the debt without relying on the economy continuing to pick up.

    All we got were a few millions possibly in giving less money out for odds and sods – he needs a bit more than that!.

    Where’s the policy for crying out loud?

    If he was ‘very good’ it must be that he would have succeeded in pulling the wool over the eyes of folk who want the wool pulled over them.

    But I suspect they were all watching John Terrry and Wayne Bridge and the rugby – I know I was.

  47. Mike I’ll have a look

  48. If Labour ‘win’ this election on 32% of the vote and Tories on 38% then there should be a public inquiry as to just how this is possible.

    They have had 13 years in which to fiddle and fix the boundaries to have a permanent built in bias in Labours favour.

    If it sounds like sour grapes then you are right.
    How can anyone look at those figures and say that is fair?

  49. @ Al J

    Is it too late to join in the fun?

    Here is my prediction (and sincere hope!):

    Tory 40
    Lab 29
    LD 22

    My long term prediction was for a majority of 53 seats but now I think that will be closer to 28-30.

    @ Mark Johnson – couldn’t agree more.

  50. @Mark Johnson-Chadderton

    Good argument you make for PR

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