Tuesday round up

D minus 30.
Tonight’s polls:
YouGov/Sun (5th Apr-6th Apr) CON 40%(-1), LAB 32%(+1), LDEM 17%(-1)

As far as I know the only new GB poll tonight is YouGov’s daily poll in the Sun. I’m sure I heard something in the BBC newspaper review about a marginals poll in the Indy, but nothing has appeared yet so if it does exist it will have to wait for tomorrow. For publication tonight most polls would have had to start their fieldwork over the bank holiday weekend and I expect most will have waited until after to start. Populus for one started the fieldwork for their new poll this morning, and we will have their first poll of the campaign tomorrow night. Ipsos MORI have a new marginals poll due out on the 8th.

YouGov’s poll doesn’t show any significant change – all the figures are within 1 point of yesterday’s poll. The lead is back in single figures, but Conservatives are still on the psychologically (but not electorally) important figure of 40%. For those who follow the methodological intricacies of polls, without the turnout weighting it would have had a 7 point lead, so the same as the Tories were on through last week with YouGov.

The Lib Dems are back down to 17% points, a low score by YouGov’s recent standards. Amongst other things, the BBC producer guidelines for the general election come into play today with the announcement of the election date, so the Lib Dems can look forward to having a higher level of coverage in the broadcast media.

Another interesting development is that after the election Parliament will not reassemble until the 18th May, 12 days after the election compared to just 6 days in 2005 – presumably agreed in order to allow extra time for horsetrading in the even of a hung Parliament (UPDATE – nope, it is to allow a longer period for desk clearing and settling in, it was decided by the Commons Modernisation Committee long before a hung Parliament looked on the cards)

414 Responses to “Tuesday round up”

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  1. Andrew Hawkins’ comments on the Politics show were bizarre, and complete nonsense. He looked very nervous, and I can only assume it was a case of TV nerves.

  2. And partly to be praised for its condition too

  3. @ Roland Haines

    “people like Ken, Colin, Trev, Glenn, my humble self and millions more do think this PM and this administration are at least partly to blame for the economic condition of this country.”

    Which is why the OECD saying that the UK, along with Canada, is in the strongest economic condition among its peers endorses this PM and this administration’s record, surely?

  4. @Roland – “…at least partly…”

    So, at least you’re open to the view that it was not all the fault of GB.

    But equally then you must consider the recovery is at least fully atributable to GB.

  5. @GREENGRASS………………….Exports up = imports up higher = trade gap= growing debt ! I believe Mr Micawber had the answer for us ! :-)

  6. I wonder what would be the effect of a lower PSBR in 2009/10 than recently forecast, not to mention a lower forecast PSBR for 2010/11. Both seem reasonably likely if growth is exceeding the Budget forecast.

  7. @The last Fandango – “A constitutional crisis is a distinct possibility as a result of devolution.

    If the Tories have an overall majority of English seats and the greatest share of English votes (which is very likely) then there will be serious trouble if a Lab or Lab/LibDem government is formed that relies for its majority upon Scottish and Welsh seats.”

    What an interesting analysis. Were you saying the same thing when Scotland had a majority of Labour votes and seats but was ruled by a Tory dominated England? As far as I can gather Cameron is a big fan of the union, but presumably only if it produces the result he wants?

  8. I read somewhere recently that it is normal for an economy to see pretty healthy growth when it emerges from recession. I suppose its the “taking the foot off the gas” that comes when business pessimism is replaced by optimism. In a way, the worse the recession, the faster the growth that should occur afterwards.

    We know from the experience of the past few years that the link between economic circumstances and the polls is a bit opaque. I don’t think good figures can hurt Labour particularly but I am not at all convinced they will swing people towards them either.

    I really am not getting in to this same bloody argument again.
    The EU, NATO, AA, RAC, OECD, can be quoted until the cows come home. As far as I am concerned I was in finance in the City of London until 5 years ago and saw this coming. My further opinion of Mr Brown as chancellor and PM would get me barred from the site.

  10. @Howard……………….You too are handsome and right, but I can say that the decision to let the FSA take over from the BOE was a disastrous one. In my experience the BOE would have spotted the huge US banking con being perpetrated on the UK system, the yanquie saw the gap and went for it. FYI I lay the blame squarely at the feet of Jimmy Carter, but that is another story. :-)

  11. @STATTO…………….Iasked AW for an opinion on the ComRes item but he must have missed my post. He never ceases to amaze me with his wisdom. :-)

  12. @Ken

    “therefore it’s education and tiny Govt that I will die wishing for.”

    Tiny governments can’t afford good education systems- thats why we had the 1944 education act and subsequent Acts during the keynsian post war period of massive prosperity and social mobility.

    I don’t want to go back to the 1920’s and 1930’s or- even worse- the 19th century.

    I’ll leave that to libertarian whig’ish dreamers who thankfully have zero influence…..even in davey boys party !

    Back to the point: looking forward to a crop of marginals polls…….

    oh I forgot :-) as that makes what I say all alright.

  13. The Last Fandango, unless there is a huge change in voting intentions, the only possible way Labour could retain power would be with the support of the LibDems. As Labour & LibDems combined are sure to have more than 50% of the English vote, I don’t see why there would be a constitutional crisis.

    I would, however, find it highly amusing if GB as PM could not vote on certain issues by virtue of representing a Scottish seat. It won’t happen, though.

    Just to finish off, I use the expression “at least partly” please note the “at least”. Further, one cannot blame Stanley Baldwin for the rise of Nazi Germany, but he he could have done far more to see the eventual outcome and build Britains defence.

  15. @ Ken

    “Exports up = imports up higher = trade gap= growing debt !”

    If exports are up by £7bn and imports are down by £1bn, as the data ahow, how does that support your statement. In fact the BoP deficit has fallen every year in the last 5 except for 2007.

    Besides which, one has to consider the type of imports. If they are capital goods, that represents investment for future growth = falling debt

  16. @Rob……………Excellent, we agree to differ then ! :-) :-)

  17. Accoridng to Chris Huhne yesterday, the Lib Dems are going into the election with more support in the polls than at any election in the recent past “even higher than last time”.

    I’m sceptical though. Is he telling the truth?

  18. Can I ask a question of the posters on here, for I am a little perplexed as to why GB says that not raising NI taxation as he and Labour propose is taking ‘£6 billion out of the economy’?

    I thought ‘the economy’ was made up of public and private sectors, therefore by leaving money in the private sector (non-government purse) the money was still in the economy just not in the Treasury.

    Can anyone please explain GB words any differently – without changing them that is. :)

  19. @ROLAND – So many things are obvious with hindsight.

    If only we had the benefit of it before events occur.

  20. @ Roland Haines

    I was in finance in the City of London till 20 years ago when debt securitisation began in earnest, and saw this coming, which is why I left in disgust.

    I agree that governments around the world should also have seen it coming, but since the Tories were arguing for lighter touch regulation, I hardly see how this argument plays in your favour.

  21. @GREENGRASS………….I’m sorry, I thought we were in the red and the trade gap including financial services was growing. I bow to your superior research. :-)

  22. @Alec

    No I wasn’t. But then devolution hadn’t occurred at that point had it?

  23. @BillRoy

    You are absolutely right except perhaps:

    Saving NI will increase corporate profits and executive bonuses. A large chunk of these may find their way offshore.:-)

  24. @Bill Roy……………….Funny thing , the money go-round, no-one understands it. :-)

  25. @Ken

    Like Eoin, I prefer to base my statements on actual data rather than hearsay.

  26. I’m disappointed that Jeff Randall is not hosting the Sky TV debate. I find him more decisive than Adam Boulton. With his sterner manner, he may even be able to keep the leaders on track!!.

  27. Bill Roy – “Can anyone please explain GB words any differently – without changing them that is”

    Can you confirm please that you have stated GB verbatim?

    This debacle did not occur under the Tories and their “light touch”, this occured under the chancellorship and first minister of the treasuryship of G Brown. His FSA, his regulation baby, failed utterly and totally. It was inadequate in capability and brain power and not fit for purpose. Its only strength was spendig vast amounts of money builing its empire and bullying small IFAs, whilst major banks ran rings around it

  29. Greengrass – so you and I by not having to pay more NI taxation we will send our money off-shore? I never realised you were rich, but I can assure you I am not, nearest I come to sending money offshore this year is perhaps buying my grandaughter a swimming costume so she can paddle in the sea (here in the UK).

    I think millions of voters could well find it funny that he thinks most people will send their money off-shore. But then again perhaps it was just another mistake and he will write to us soon to explain it – somebody else made the mistake – again!

    Perhaps this will be picked up on in the TV debates and possibly affect the polls and election.

    Ken – or was it a Fraudian slip, he thinks of the ‘public economy’ as the only economy. Strange isn’t it that he thinks this money disappears?

  30. @Greengrass,

    It is possible ot repeat the 2005 trend in otehr elections. I wontbore you with it but suffice to say that the tories drop like a lead weight after the startin ggun has been fired…

    I do not think they will drop much this time, for reasons that would take ages to explain but I do think they wil drop 1%ish

  31. Mike N – my recall is ‘they would remove £6 billion pounds from the economy’ – he was indicating the opposition benches with his hand at the time. In fact now I think about it he seemed to say the same thing several times.

  32. @GREENGRASS………………I refer you to the ONS website and the graph showing a current account deficit on trade every quarter since 2005. Ring ’em up and tell ’em to stop arguing with you ! :-)

  33. @Roland Haines and Greengraass

    Roland is right. Whilst the Tories deregulated the City under Big Bang and the Financial Services Act of 1986, it is completely disingenuous to suggest that the regulatory system that failed so spectacularly was created by the Tories. Labour completely redesigned the reulatory structure through the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. This inolved, for example, removing the Bank of England’s regulatory powers.

    The Tories had no intention of changing the system in the way Brown and Balls did.

    We will never know if the Tories’ FSA 1986 structure would have worked better but it is ridiculous and wrong to claim that the regulatory failure was inherited by Labour from the Tories. It absolutely was not.

  34. @RolandHaines

    I agree that the debacle occurred under GB and the failings of the FSA but the build-up began in the 80s/90s and the Tories before the crisis were calling for lighter regulation. Their new policy was only formulated in 2009, when the damage was done. A plague on both their houses.

    My experience of credit committee decisions at most banks was: “Well, if Citigroup or Lehman Bros are doing it, it must be OK.” Spain was egregious in having higher capital requirements for dodgy securitised debt, but then made up for it by allowing their banks to pile disastrously into the property sector.

  35. I have been banging on today about marginals and Tory majorities rather than hung parliaments. If one were to pop across to PB, Mike Smithson has an interesting article on show.
    It concerns the “grey vote” and the high level of it in these marginals. The jist is this, if the Cons are in front in the marginals and the grey vote in such a place is pushing 50%, with the Cons 22% in front with the grey population, am I a pillock to think the Tories might do quite well?

  36. @BillRoy

    Was agreeing with you and being mischievous about the offshore thing. Sorry you did not spot it.

  37. Greengrass – as I was with you! :)

    Sometimes humour doesn’t transmit well in the written word.

  38. @Ken

    It’s hard to explain if you don’t understand the data.

    Yes there is a trade deficit but it is falling and exports are rising. Your argument was that an export-led recovery is needed and that is what the data show – rising exports, falling deficit.

  39. @GREENGRASS…………..I do understand the stats., and I am right . However, if we carry on we will be moderated. Best to call a truce. :-)

  40. Andrew Holden @Sue Marsh

    Didn’t these same business leaders, … all say that the minimum wage would also result in 100’s of thousands of job losses ?
    Which of-course it didn’t.

    ….. Can you think of any reason why they wouldn’t have yet used this more productive (IMO) line of attack instead of the “they’ve been deceived” line ?”

    NewLabour need money from business leaders because they are no longer a mass membership party. That’s why they can’t say that business leaders are disingenuously pretending that “What’s good for General Motors is good for [America]”the country.

    NewLabour also have swallowed the line that it is the innovation and flair of these same business leaders that will grow the economy.

    Anyone who lives outside the PR + politics + media + finance/business metropolitan village sees crass management errors and over-rewarded top management everywhere around them. Instead they live in a world of petty frustrations from outsourced call centres, excessive bank charges, poor customer service together with distorted and demotivating targets in the public sector.

    Economic growth comes from thousands of small businesses which become medium sized businesses in which owners and managers are close to the customer and the product. Generally speaking these people are too involved in the excitement of developing their own businesses to get involved in politics or have a high public profile. Growth doesn’t come from the likes of Fred the Shred and daft notions like the iconic BA tailfin gimmick.

    The fundamental fallacy is that those who imagine themselves to be an intellectual elite that will drive the economy forward by their superior talents and deserve commensurate financial rewards, have persuaded NewLabour to accept them at their own self-evaluation. That has been possible because many of the politicians themselves are not as clever as they think they are either.

  41. Bill Roy – You and I know GB’s comment was purely for soundbite purposes. I wonder how many people have heard it and accepted it without question? On the basis that everything we experience affects us, perhaps GB’s comment will persuade a few more to side with Lab.

    I have to say PMQs are generally ghastly affairs.

  42. The latest Angus Reid survey for Political Betting has Con 37%, Labour 26%, Lib Dem 22%.

  43. Mike N – You mean he, the PM, did not tell the truth to Parliament? It seems to be something of a habit me thinks!

    If this was for ‘sound bite purposes’ as you say was it the same with Chilcot?

  44. @Roland,

    The grey vote is important. TheTories always lead the grey vote. Old people care about their savings, their pension, their inheritance. The Tories have tradiitonally had the ebst policies in these areas. On top of this, the older we get the more conservative get. Old people vote for UKIP and BNP in higher numbers than other age groups. It is perhaps a sign that they are not that fond of immigration. Most of all, old people are mor likely to vote. For all of these reasons the Tories are well placed as a result of having them onside.

    Be careful though, old people are much more likely to vote for others.. the three national parties SNP, BNP and Plaid all do well in this age group.

    As well as this, the seats are marginals because significant numbers of them have previously voted for labour, so for some reason they are persisting in keeping up their youthful mistakes….

  45. Angus Reid’s results are fascinating….

    others are massive.. they must be considering forming a grand coalition

    the Tory vote continues to decline

    Liberals benefitting from exposure already

    Labour languishing in mid twenties…

    it will be interesting come election day how correct they prove to be….

  46. With regard to AR – remember they are now the only pollster (mainstream) who do not take into account the ‘likelihood to vote’ when weighting their reports. This would, as has been seen demonstrated by YG, increase Conservative share by 1% approx. if applied, so the Conservative lead instead of being 11% would be 12%.

    The AR others figure does leave the polling in question though, perhaps they should examine this aspect of their polls.

  47. Below is recent trends in the tories share of the vote…..

    YouGov down 1
    Angus Reid down 1
    ICM down 1
    TNS-BRMB down 1
    IPSOS-MORI down 2
    ComRes no change
    Opinium up 1
    HARRIS up 2

    Populus tonight are crucial, especially for their Tory share… Am I correct to say that someone extrapolated a 10 point lead from the marginal poll they conducted? how such a thing is possible is beyond me……

  48. You can watch the BBC’s 1997 election night programme here:


  49. @ JohnBDick – “Didn’t these same business leaders, … all say that the minimum wage would also result in 100’s of thousands of job losses ?
    Which of-course it didn’t.”

    True. Instead it resulted in hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants working for much less than the minimum wage while Labour looked the other way.

  50. Eoin – Careful, the are mixing polls of different dates. Example if you had used the previous result from YG (the day prior) you would have had them at +2 and not -1. This data cannot be used to create a trend graph, what you could do is use all the results from all the polls which start on the earliest date and then plot them all against each other. Otherwise the best that can be said is you are comparing Cookers and Eaters (apples of course), they may initially look the same but they are not the same.

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