It’s the last Sunday before the election, so we have a large number of polls out tonight. I’ve mentioned most of them in a quick post earlier on, but now I’ve had chance to get home and digest them properly. Here are the polls so far

YouGov/Sunday Times (30th Apr-1st May) CON 35%(+1), LAB 27%(-1), LDEM 28%(nc)
ComRes/S.Mirror/S.Indy (30th Apr-1st May) CON 38%(+2), LAB 28%(-1), LDEM 25%(-1)
ICM/Sunday Telegraph (30th April) CON 36%(+3), LAB 29%(+1), LDEM 27%(-3)
BPIX/Mail on Sunday (30th Apr-1st May) CON 34%(nc), LAB 27%(+1), LDEM 30%(nc)
Angus Reid/Sunday Express (TBC) CON 35%(+2), LAB 23%(nc), LDEM 29%(-1)

They are pretty consistent in showing a slight increase in Conservative support over the last couple of days, with every company now showing them up into the mid-thirties. Most companies have Labour around 27-29%, the exception being Angus Reid who continue to show much lower levels of support for the Government. Most have the Liberal Democrats in the high 20s, with ComRes a bit lower, BPIX slightly higher. All five of these polls would produce a hung Parliament with the Conservatives the largest party – YouGov would have the Conservatives at around 284, ICM at around 275, ComRes 315, Angus Reid 310, BPIX 264.

There was also an ICM poll of marginals in the News of the World. This was the same 96 seats ICM polled for the previous ICM marginal survey here. It showed support in these seats at CON 35%(-1), LAB 35%(-2), LDEM 22%(+3) – so only a minor Lib Dem boost in these seats. These levels of support equate to a swing to the Conservatives of 6.8%, so just the swing they would need for an overall majority, and about 1.8% more than the national swing suggested in ICM’s GB poll in the Sunday Telegraph (the News of the World has extrapolated this over the whole country to claim that the Conservatives would have an overall majority – that’s rather stretching it, firstly you can’t assume anything about LD/Con marginals from this poll, secondly the News of the World are making a lot of assumptions about how much support the Conservatives can rely upon from Northern Ireland.


317 Responses to “The final Sunday polls”

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  1. @Alan – “I don’t like AV purely because it is a purely negative vote.”

    I’d put it to you that AV is considerably less “negative” than FPTP.

    AV (or STV) is a runoff system that allows you to select your candidates in order of preference, so you can actually select as your primary preference the candidate you’d most like to win without having to worry that doing so might enable another candidate to win whom you do not support.

    By contrast, under FPTP, people only get one vote, so they resort to voting for one candidate simply to get (or keep) another candidate out – which is *entirely* a “negative vote”.

    Though I’d prefer STV, I’d settle for AV (at least for now) on the principle of not letting the best be the enemy of the good. This too is probably heresy in LD circles, but so be it.

  2. Actually, although it’s less extreme, AV still has an incentive to vote tactically. Imagine the situation in a 3-way marginal where the vote is split 40-30-30 Con-LD-Lab. A first preference for Labour will eliminate the LD candidate, and the LD vote may well split 50-50 so that the Tory gets in. An LD vote will eliminate Lab, most of their vote will transfer to LD and the LD gets in.

    What AV does do is allow preference to be given to *minor* parties in 2-horse-race constituencies without affecting the main run-off. But it’s still defective in 3-way marginals.

  3. Sorry for the re-posting, but the thread on polling methodology isn’t very active.

    The Tory complaints about differences in constituency size are largely rubbish. The Boundary Commission is required by statute to even out constituency size as far as possible (given other requirements such as having contiguous borders with administrative districts as far as possible). It also takes account of factors such as the more transient nature of the population and lower rates of voter registration in urban districts. Add to that the lower turnout in many cities, and it’s undoubtedly true that fewer voters vote for Labour MPs – but that does not mean that Labour MPs represent any fewer people.

    And even if the complaints were true, they came about largely because of the last Tory attempt at gerrymandering, when single constituency inner cities were “doughnutted” by 2-3 suburban and countryside seats.

  4. A curious thing about AV is that after a while the Lib Dems night start doing rather well – quite possibly exceeding their vote share.

    They just have to get into second place and get the first place vote down to around 45% and they would be in because they are “everyone’s second choice” according to the secondary questions on various polls.

    The Lib Dem targetting strategy would soon adjust to this new reality.

    I am not keen on AV but the thing I dislike more actually is the closed list proposed by Brown for the second house. This risks letting in minor parties unless you have a threshold, and puts choice of MP firmly in party hands. I would take AV for one and STV (which works on multimember constituencies) for the other. The big thing about STV is not so much the prportionality (although that is not bad), but te real power it gives to the electorate to choose between people from their own party (and indeed influence who gets elected from other parties).

    To respond to another point, I don’t think there is anything that fiddling with the boundaries can do to give the Lib dems a fair share of seats under FPTP. They are gradually improving by using targetting to concentrate their vote

  5. Two questions for those who know:

    1. Do undecided voters in the UK typically tend to break against the incumbent (or incumbent party) as they do in the United States?

    2. Who is the final arbiter of the Boundary Comission drawing and is it done by population? In the U.S. we have a redistricting (and the resulting battle) every 10 years. Ultimately, the districts must be drawn so that the seats are equal in population (within a state). The number of districts that each state gets is proportionate to the amount of population a state has relative to the general population (with a minimum of one seat per state). Of course not all states draw the boundaries their same way (some state legislators have been known to draw themselves Congressional districts). Inevitably redistricting results in a battle that winds up getting resolved by the courts.

    I’ve noticed that you guys redraw boundaries of constituencies with much greater frequency. Who draws the constituency lines in Britain and what are the underlying rules (if any)? Also, how can David Cameron change what the boundary commission does if he’s elected Prime Minister?

  6. The winds of change are blowing.The only questions are how large the Tory majority is and how low will the Labour vote actually fall.I predict CON 37%,LD 31%,Labour 24%.QED.

  7. I am keeping with the prediction I have given for the last 3 weeks. Tory overall majority 10 seats.

  8. Looking at h t tp://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/vote2005/polltracker/html/polltracker.stm

    all polling companies returned higher %ages for the team in the lead of the polls (between 1 and 7%) than was achieved on the day. The average of the five polls on may 1st 2005 was 38.4% for the leader, when they actually finished 35.3%

    And that despite them seemingly tempering down the raw data that suggested even higher numbers.

    Is that really an effect of the lazy labour voter or something else.

    The colours have changed, as Murdoch is backing the blue team this time, but the numbers from the polling companies are somewhat similar, so do the same effects apply? Or are winning blue team supporters somehow different people to the red team supporters in 2005?

    If you dont apply different traits to the supporters, then 2005 suggests the team in the lead of the polls will drop several %age points on the day, meaning the Conservatives current average of 35.6 will end up with 33% at best.

    If thats the case, Labour will probably end up with most seats.

    Am i clutching at straws? :-D

    What about earlier years, how did teams in the lead in the polls end up doing on the day?

  9. Very interesting post Keith. Did the polls also exaggerate the party in the lead in previous elections?

  10. Oh, Deanoman, sorry, but we’ve heard it before.

  11. I’m a Lab supporter, and I have cast my postal vote.

    However, post GE IMO the Cons will have a small majority of about 20.

    In one way I’d like Lab to won, or share power with the LDs, but I have come to the conclusion that this is definitely an election it may be worth losing (or not winning).

    As regards electoral reform, it will not be so easy for Cons to reduce the number of MPs. IMO there will be no move towards AV or any other system to replace FPTP. The term turkeys voting for Xmas springs to mind.

    Post GE 2010, I see the following.

    GB will stand down as Lab leader. Ideally, Alan Johnson will take over.

    The LD patry will be pleased with an increase in MPs but be angry that yet again despite the size of their vote share they have too few MPs. There may even be recriminations against NC for missing (squandering?) the best opportunity in almost a century for the LDs to participate in gov.

    A Con majority I believe will push LD and Lab closer together. Part of a pact will be electoral reform.

    Of course I could be wrong.

  12. @Colin – “GB has lost all credibility-it is a very sad sight to see him on his burning deck.”

    Come on Colin, you’re not sad at all! ;)

  13. @XIBY – Lab / Tory core of 30%.

    Actually I think that is a very good point.

    Clearly the polls show Tory at around achieving their max high 30%s.

    The Lab polling might be underestimating and that may be because people are siding against Lab to the researchers. I know on this and other sites, there has been reference to Foot in 1983 getting c 25-27% BUT the reason for the low rating was the total disintegration of the Lab party with massive internal splits including the gang of 4 leaving . . .

    Whilst there may be some disagreement within Lab (ans other parties) it has not been an issue at this election – so far really. Therefore it may be unsafe to assume Lab will poll well below 30%, maybe more 29-31%.

    Remember Bill Clinton – “it’s the economy stupid” and then what people voting in the privacy of the booth will do is, maybe, more likely to get Lab to 30%.

    With Tory around 37% and LD 25% it could end up C/Lab/LD as 289/266/67

    Any increase of LD beyond 25 would IMO generally come from Con.

  14. @Mike N

    A Con majority I believe will push LD and Lab closer together. Part of a pact will be electoral reform.

    I very much doubt we will see a pact. Labour are heading for the sort of defeat that the Liberals had when Labour usurped them after WWII. The Lid Dems know full well that any such pact will be just an attempt by Labour to stave off its inevitable decline. The Lib Dems know that they have the chance of replacing Labour within 10 years – why would they want to blow that with a pact?

  15. Sorry – meant WWI

  16. @ Jack Jones – “The reality is most newspapers (all except the Mirror) have decided it is time to end 13 years of failed promises and give someone else a chance”.

    Oh, then how arrogant of the newspapers is all I can say – why would THEY decide? Thought it was the people (and not the sunday people of course).

    Fortunately, they’ll all be ‘chip wrapping’ tomorrow!

  17. Peter Kellner writing in the Sunday Times says

    “Public attitudes seem fairly stable. YouGov’s last 11 daily polls have all shown the Tories to be on 34% plus or minus 1%, and Labour on 28% plus or minus 1%. There has been more variation in Lib Dem support, but nothing like the eruption that gave them a 10-point surge after the first televised debate.”

    IMO it it the level of LD support that is now key to the result of this election. If it stays around 28% we are in for a Con largest party/NOM scenario, with an outside chance of a very small majority. However, it’s possible that the volatility in LD share could be as much as 4% either way.

    If it strengthens to around 31/32% – and as long as Lab vote doesn’t fall right off a cliff as result, unlikely I think – then again we’re in for a hung parliament but with closer Lab/Con seat numbers. If the LD vote declines to 24/25% then it’s still possible for a hung parliament to favour Lab with most seats. I think these scenarios would apply whether the LD vote split 2:1 in Lab’s favour or even if it were 50/50. If the LD vote slumps and it all goes to the Tories then and only then do Con get a decent majority.

    It could still go either way folks! Expect plenty of attacks on Clegg this week from both sides – and hold on to your seats for a very close finish.

  18. IF one wants a good insight into the LD vote, look at the datasheets provided by YG for each poll (if anybody does not know how to get these then ask).

    You will obseve that the ‘likeliehood to vote’ of yellows is different to the other parties. If you can judge from the respondents answer’s on this matter, then you will not be far off judging the LD share.

  19. SocialLiberal

    On your second question, the process is set out in the Parliamentary Constituencies Act 1986 and other legislation.

    Until recently, the constituencies were determined by bodies called Boundary Commissions for each of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

    The legislation requires comprehensive reviews every 8 to 12 years. Reviews are implemented by order by the government. The government may make “modifications”. I don’t know if this is ever done – I rather doubt it as it would be politically difficult to overrule the Commission.

    The legislation sets out how many constituencies there are to be within England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland respectively. Given that number, each Commission has to try to produce constituencies in its part of the UK with roughly the same number of voters. There are other constraints – they are not meant to cut across local government boundaries; and they have to try to produce reasonably convenient results (eg no absurd shapes). This is all set out in the legislation.

    I say “until recently” because the job has now been handed over to a body called the Electoral Commission, but I don’t think that affects the way the process works. In particular, reviews will still be conducted independently for each part of the UK.

    I don’t think Cameron intends to change the process in principle. What I think he has in mind is this.

    Each Commission has to try to produce equality of representation within its own part of the UK. But whether there is equality across the UK depends on whether the number of seats allocated in the legislation to each part of the UK is proportionate to its population.

    As it happens, it isn’t. Wales and NI have more seats than their population would require. So I think Cameron intends simply to reduce the number set out in the legislation. (Scotland was also over-represented, but its number was reduced not so long ago by the Labour government).

    In my personal opinion, this is fair enough, even if there is a political agenda behind it.

    y are required to undertake comprehensive re
    The legislation set out the number of

  20. @Woodsman

    The attacks on Clegg from both sides are all over today’s papers. Even the Lib Dem-supporting Observer is leading on Brown’s “Gameshow Host” remark

  21. Barry – exactly.

    Both Lab and Con must think there are LD votes out there for them. Just quite how soft the LD vote is gonna be this time round though is the big question….

  22. I think that this is not the time for the Lib Dems, but I am sure that they will be the NEW opposition party and Labour sitting with what the Lib Dems used to be , 3rd.In another 5 to 10 years we might see the Lib Dems in , if they change some of their goals.

  23. One thing that may prove very embaressing for the UK on Friday morning in this tight race is our archaic voting process – why on earth has this not been sorted out?

    Way too many postal votes c20% – which leaves vulnerable voters wide open to manipulation. Pencils in the booths not pens – why is that? No checks on id.

    Banana republic voting – disgrace!

  24. The Last Fandango “The Lib Dems know that they have the chance of replacing Labour within 10 years – why would they want to blow that with a pact?”

    Perhaps you’re right. But IMO the LDs will not replace Lab as the latter will simply change.

    Moreover, the future is uncertain. If an opportunity arises to deliver definite electoral reform will the LDs ignore it? IMO, that would deliver a substanial change in LD representation – t would be IMO foolhardy to ignore such an oppotunity. It offers certainty and a more stable level of MPs than does FPTP.

    But, hey ho, I could be wrong.

  25. @ SUE

    “Come on Colin, you’re not sad at all! ”

    Of course I’m not sad about the consensus that Cons are increasing their lead Sue-though I am very nervous about it!

    But I was sad to see GB at that meeting yesterday, “warning” us that Cons will “cut tax credits”.

    It struck me -perhaps for the first time-how he has had to retreat from Blair’s dalliance with the wealthy voter, trying to hold the line with the middle class ’97 converts, by clinging on to that quintissential tool of Brownite social engineering through welfare -the Tax Credit.

    As polling pressure & the public finances destroyed “investment vs cuts” , he abandoned the “wealth creators” & hammered them with tax increases.

    And here he is now , trying to hang on to the middle class vote-much of which he has already lost-by warning them that their lives will be destroyed by means testing their Child Tax Credits!
    Because what is left when they too abandon him?-the welfare reliant clients -and of course the traditional Labour voter; the salt of the earth Mrs Duffys, who Gordon can no longer communicate with.

    He really did believe that the State could order the social structure & wellbeing of the country, simply by passing laws & spending our money. That is all he can say to us still, as he rages against the “dying of the light”

  26. BBC TV Bias JUst reported LibDem support as “crumbling”. What utter nonsense. We need a new broadcasting act to deal with political bias and if found gulity they are fined (BBC) or stopped from broadcasting (SKY ITV)

  27. Peter Lucas – I totally agree, and it should cover newspapers too.

  28. @ Mike N

    Totally agree my son is a first time voter and although at uni cannot understand the political stance of newspapers. He feels it irrelevant. I totally agree with your comment. The media still treat the Public as an uneducated rabble.

  29. @Peter Lucas
    “crumbling”
    ___________________

    Agreed, and it has become more blatant in last few days.
    If you google BBC complaints you will find an online complaints form. Similarly with Ofcom I am told.

  30. @Peter Lucas

    Totally agree. The Lib Dem vote is not crumbling and they are still in second place in some of the polls. The BBC are acting as if there is a massive shift away from them forgetting that one 2 polls back this up and the fall is fairly minor in 1 and slightly more in the iCM poll.

    Also the Andrew Marr show today was a total disgrace. Whilst Paxman savaged Gordon Brown on Friday, Marr gave Cameron such an easy ride even saying he was on a roll at the end. And the repeated cuts to the Mail on Sunday front page (“Gordon won’t get my vote”) was astonishing. Maybe the BBC are trying to cosy up to the Tories to prevent the reforms against the BBC they are planning?

  31. Colin “Of course I’m not sad about the consensus that Cons are increasing their lead Sue-though I am very nervous about it!”

    I’m interested in what you mean by “though I am very nervous about it”.

    Are you concerned that the Cons increase in lead is illusory or will disappear, or that you fear a Con gov?

  32. I recall back in the 1950s /60s the BBC would not dare show political bias in any way. Under the old system for commercial TV. THE ITA (Independent Television Authority) was regulator.If the London ITV Broadcaster (Rediffusion) had shown any bias franchise withdrawn end of. We prided ourselves on our unbiased TV reporting. What has gone wrong?

  33. MIKEN

    “Are you concerned that the Cons increase in lead is illusory or will disappear, or that you fear a Con gov?”

    I want a Conservative government-desperately.

    I see the Polls as indicating an increase in the Con lead-but I am concerned because :-

    a) I do not have great faith in the Polls -particularly since Cleggmania & the LD surge.
    b) I am not confident of a Con majority, and am concerned about the outcome of a hung parliament, given the convention about incumbancy .
    c) I do not, ever, underestimate Gordon Brown’s determination to stay in power.
    d) I am inherantly cautious …..and conservative ;-)

  34. @ Itsmymoney

    “One thing that may prove very embaressing for the UK on Friday morning in this tight race is our archaic voting process – why on earth has this not been sorted out?

    Way too many postal votes c20%…”

    There’s nothing wrong with our ‘archaic’ voting system. It’s the misguided attempts to update it that are the problem, one of which is the ease with which postal votes can now be obtained. They should be available only to those who genuinely can’t get to their polling station on the day, as was formerly the case.

  35. @Miken

    I am sorry I must disagree with you. I lived through 18 years of a Tory Government. IN 1983 the then tory Govt increased interest rates so high our mortgage interest rate was 15 PER CENT 2 weeks after we wed! My wife was forced to work part time when our daughter was 3 months old! We lost our business in 1991 because “there was no alternative” and unemployment was ” a price worth paying”. No tax credits, no paterntiy leave etc. And of course the Tories would bring back fox hunting and give tax breaks for the rich. With respect do we want this?? I can only conclude MIKEN you are very well off and have no social conscience

  36. @JOHNG

    “Very interesting post Keith. Did the polls also exaggerate the party in the lead in previous elections?”

    I don’t think “exaggerate” is the right term, but yes, it seems they did. I couldn’t find poll data but i found a few comments (lost the BBC link) that said that the 1997 poll had the leading team on 47% but they ended up with 44%, the same 3% drop. Similar comments were made about 2001.

    So based on the previous 3 elections and the polls conducted just a few days prior, my prediction is: Con 32, Libdem 31, Lab 27.

  37. @Peter Lucas 11.20am. “@Miken I am sorry I must disagree with you.”

    Que?
    Me thinks you confuse me with someone else.

  38. SO SORRY I MEANT @COLIN I HAVE SLAPPED MYSELF
    @COLIN
    I am sorry I must disagree with you. I lived through 18 years of a Tory Government. IN 1983 the then tory Govt increased interest rates so high our mortgage interest rate was 15 PER CENT 2 weeks after we wed! My wife was forced to work part time when our daughter was 3 months old! We lost our business in 1991 because “there was no alternative” and unemployment was ” a price worth paying”. No tax credits, no paterntiy leave etc. And of course the Tories would bring back fox hunting and give tax breaks for the rich. With respect do we want this?? I can only conclude COLIN.you are very well off and have no social conscience

  39. @Colin – I have a lot of agreement with your post (10.36) and the later post re worry about Cameron’s majority.

    In my view, New Labour were neither fish nor fowl – to gain power they attempted to bridge from their core vote to the middle class and wealthy, and in terms of gaining power they were highly successful. While they have some notably achievements to their credit, they failed to significantly change society or address the key issues.

    The inherent danger was that the reliance on this bridge meant they couldn’t offend anyone, for fear that the whole edifice would crumble. It has, and the folly of the project is now exposed – ignore the core, and when you really need it it’s not there for you. Cameron will suffer precisely the same fate, but it will be a lot quicker in his case.

    The simple truth is that to help the needy, someone else has to pay, in some way or another. Because of the vaguaries of the voting system politicians can no longer be honest about this, as everything is focused on the tiny number of swing voters in swing seats. Effectively we are ruled by people who can’t make up their minds.

    Consistently over the last 30 years, top executive pay (public and private sector) has increased much faster than company profits, company valuations and company workers pay. We still think rising house prices are ‘good’ but general inflation ‘bad’, so favouring the asset rich and harming the low paid and asset poor. We have permitted large scale migration and European integration because it’s ‘good for business’ without regard to the impacts on the less well off. Cameron is incapable and unwilling to address any of the fundamental issues, and while we retain the present voting system it is doubtful that any political party will do so either.

    On the result – I think you could be right and things could be closer than we think. I noted earlier that we seem to have witnessed a weekend bounce for the Tories twice now following the Thursday debates, followed by a more encouraging Mon/Tues for Labour. The media have consistently called this campaign wrong. Independent reviewers of the third debate overwhelmingly gave it to Brown on economic issues as Cameron failed to answer the key questions. The key issue though is whether Labour supporters bother to vote – media coverage will influence this and this will be the big worry for Labour. We really could have anything from a much tighter result to a total Labour wipeout. I’d still take a punt on Labour at 30 – 32% however, just for the hell of it.

  40. I find it amazing with these various polls being reported today (and before) how a 2% increase is a ‘slight boost for so and so’. That a 3% change over a week can be seen as a ‘downward trend’ or ‘slight bandwagon’ based on whether it’s -2 or +3.

    By law, on TV at least, I would force presenters of polls to always point out the +/- 3 point margin of error – every single time, every single day, because even here on this site, an increase well within the margin of error is talked of in terms of ‘trends’ up or down, when in reality the polls say no such thing if the amount is within the MOE!

  41. @ROGERH

    Nothing wrong – err what about no checks on who has voted – a simple finger dye will stop that – madness! why are we using pencils? who is looking after the ballot boxes where counts take place the next morning – the boxes are hardly tamper proof are they?

    A number of scams were uncovered after the 2005 election, others would have been missed – little has been changed since in 5 years

    As my father has sarcastically said for years – vote early and vote often!

  42. @ PETER LUCAS:-

    ” I lived through 18 years of a Tory Government.”

    So did I Peter. I also lived-and worked-under the administrations of Wilson & Callaghan-I will never forget them.

    “I can only conclude COLIN.you are very well off and have no social conscience”

    I am retired and have a company pension , for which I worked & saved over 40 years. I don’t believe that I am “well off”-neither am I “poor”.
    Your conclusion about my “social conscience” is as unfounded as it is in error.

  43. ALEC

    Thanks for your thoughts-interesting & stimulating – as ever.

  44. @Peter Lucas – I do think you should refrain from assigning beliefs and motives to people on this forum, such as your comment regarding Colin’s social conscience (or lack of it). I have had many exchanges with Colin (and others) over recent years on this forum and while we often disagree over political philosophy and policy ideas, I wouldn’t question his desire to see a better society, nor would he, I hope, question mine. I’m quite happy to disagree on our preferred methodology to achieve that objective however – that’s politics.

  45. @COLIN

    I agree the Govts of Callaghan and Wilson were very poor. I also know that Labour has bankrupted the country more than once. I think huge benefit payments to career uneducated single mothers is wrong and sends out the wrong signals

    Although from your post Conservative Governments cannot make mistakes? Do you understand what it was like in the 1980s with a 15 percent mortgage? I actually voted Tory in 1979 & 1983 however they immediately increased VAT affecting the poorest in society hardest. ~OH but sorry Maggie did say there was no such thing as society didnt she? I am for the Lib/Dems this time as I have been since 1987. Vince Cable is very shrewd

  46. @ Alec

    Sorry Alec I did not mean to make any personal observations or insults. I just think people have forgotten how harsh i was in the 1980s under the Tory Governement for young couples. Not only 15 percent interest rates but I had to fight tooth and nail for a paid days holiday when our eldest child was born. This couldnt happen today.

    I just observe that the 18 year Tory Governemnt did not show much of a social conscience and naturally assume people who support them take the same viewpoint. I am wrong to make assumptions and stand corrected

  47. Keith,

    It’s true that there was an exaggeration of the Labour lead. However, this probably had more to do with the tendency of polls to exaggerate the Labour lead and understate the Conservative lead, rather than anything specifically to do with the party in the lead.

    I hope that we won’t see a repeat of that exaggeration this year (for scientific and not NECESSARILY political reasons) and that the underestimations of the Tory vote have been ironed-out.

  48. After number crunchin I feel that the Tories COULD end up with an overall majority of 10-15. (330 seats ish)

    My original projections of 1-10 may have been underestimated. Would 15 seats be workable. MMM yes probably.

    No PR definately. Whatever party we support we know GB is toast.

  49. @Peter Lucas – thanks. I actually agree with much of your view of the last Tory administration. My experience of that time was like you, in that I saw precious little evidence that the Tory party knew how to run a successful economy, and their basic approach to the fall out from recessions was extremely divisive and poor. If people are going to maintain that Labour always runs out of money, I will continue to point out that this is very often because they have had to pay to repair the damage wrought by previous Tory governments on public services and the wider social fabric.

    One area where I have had some disagreement with Colin in the past is our view of precisely where society is at present. I largely reject the ‘broken society’ view, and feel that while there are significant problems in certain areas, Britain is a much safer and less ‘broken’ society than it was in 1997, and Labour should be given some credit for this. Public services have improved massively, and some basic rights for workers have also been big plus points as you allude to. I also feel that Labour responded well once the crisis hit in 2008, although I am very disappointed that they have failed to see the need for wholesale changes to the financial industry and have largely wasted the opportunity the crisis afforded policymakers.

    The negatives for me have largely been whether we have had value for money from public spending and too much complexity, along with Iraq and a persistant habit of double and triple accounting when announcing spending plans that has helped to degrade public trust in policy announcements.

    I am a member of a political party, but it might surprise some people here that it isn’t Labour (nor any of the big three). In my view, the Tories represent the biggest threat at the present time, so my vote will be a tactical anti Tory vote, although I have little enthusiasm for the realistic alternatives. Whoever wins, I hope they don’t bow before the city but take the right decisions to take the country forward in a fair and equitable manner.

  50. Don’t know where all the jingoism on here is coming from. The latest poll from YG is still firmly in hung territory. With Cameron already talking of more cuts than in the manifesto I don’t see their lead continuing to build.

    I consider LD has definitely peaked.

    No reason on today’s polls that Lab will not be the largest party in hung result. Therefore GB might be less toast than Cameron!

    I agree Callaghan was a very weak PM – Wilson was much better. Heath was a leftie but Thatch was to the right of Franco and would no doubt have had her dissenters dropped from helicopters if she could!

    I’m begining to think Eooin will be about right, GB still PM on Friday.

    Ho ho ho, looks like the Cons have the problem of premature excitement!

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