There is also a new ICM poll tonight, carried out for the Sunday Telegraph. The topline figures, with changes from ICM’s poll a week ago, are CON 41%(+2), LAB 35%(+4), LDEM 16%(-5). The figures are pretty much in line with those from YouGov tonight, with the Liberal Democrats pushed down into the mid teens while both the Conservatives and Labour are considerably up on their general election support.

The full tables don’t seem to be available yet, but the Sunday Telegraph report suggests similar findings to YouGov when it comes to the budget. 47% thought the budget would improve the economy, compared to 19% expecting it to make things worse. Once again, almost all the measures of the budget recieved majority support with the exception of the VAT rise, which ICM found 60% of people opposed (including 55% of remaining Liberal Democrat voters).

52% of people thought the cuts were necessary, 43% thought that it was tougher than necessary and the government were “using it as an excuse to introduce measures it had always wanted to”.

341 Responses to “ICM/Sunday Telegraph have Lib Dems down to 16%”

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  1. Ooops, I went out all day, and it seems I caused adn then missed a controversy, so “Sorry” to Anthony (Haven’t quite got the hang of not answering direct questions yet) and “thanks” to all my gallant defenders. Probably best I don’t ask…..

    Roland – Just for the record, I want to say I DO see the need for cuts, I DO realise the debt needs paying down, I DO understand that these would have been painful whoever did them and I DO realise we all would have suffered. I still DON’T see any reason whatsoever why we need to pay off ALL the deficit in one parliament. I also don’t believe we CAN. I totally disagree with the need for a balanced budget and think it is the SCALE of the cuts that is so very, very, dangerous. Economically, I am in excellent company.

    Finally, to all those who said there was nothing to choose between the major parties, you might remember my passionate denials!! “Not a cigarette paper between them” came up a lot.
    If nothing else, I think we can definitely put THAT one to bed now.

    How do you improve the product exactly? Also, its fair to say the health implications of legalising prostitution, is these days null and void by the young talented amateurs and their partners who have brought STDs to epidemic proportions far more than working ladies.

    Legalise drugs you say, what about a large fine for rape and murder, that would bring the money in and its sooo progressive. Or we could put VAT up.

  3. Roland
    Sorry to pursue this but my post had no generalisations about ‘improvement’ but simply dealt with which tax would hit whom. By definition NI and IT hikes only hit those who are liable for it and VAT hits potentially everyone but is by evidence more likely to be detrimental, especially in percentage of income, to low earners.

    I was making no other point. The political point is whether this is what one would have expected a left leaning Lib Dem to have considered the best way of raising taxes and on this I am wondering what Vince Cable is privately thinking.

    I think the slightly favourable reaction to the budget by the voters is because most are in employment or enjoying a good income and therefore are breathing a sigh of relief that the Coalition is hitting the sink estate people hardest.

  4. @ Valerie

    “Absolutely. legalise and tax drugs and prostitution and as well as raising taxes , and improving the quality of these products,there will be an improvement in the nation’s health and a decrase in crime.”

    I really hope it’s tongue in cheek. It sounds like.

    I don’t want to imagine that this is where the Labour Party with its new recruits going to…

    If it was so, I could suggest legalising opening banks late in the night and taxing it properly. Bumping off final pension receiving individuals for a cut in the savings… Or I’m just going around the twist….

  5. @SUE
    I never thought you did not wish to see the debt reduced. It was Amber who said the other day it was never in her view an issue of much concern. You probably picked up your distaste for “they are all the bleedin same” where I did, on the knocker. Yes, that one is shot dead. However, one cannot blame the punters to much. With Cameron, Clegg, and Milliband
    all trying to look like every mums dream of a son in law,
    what can you expect.

  6. @ Howard

    This one is for the second time today :-) : I fully agree with you.

  7. I see I have a post in moderation.It was a mild response to particularly offensive remarks about the Conservatives(physically drooling at the mouth at the thought of cuts came into it) which were accepted without comment.A level playingfield, pleease.

  8. Roland,

    At least I know you chuckled when you read it! My basic point that there are other options ot VAT is supported by at least the 48% who favour an income tax rise. Surely that would leave you out now that you draw a military pension?


    On one point I agree with you and I have said it for some time… GO is vastly under estimated by his opponents

  9. Oh Roland, indeed I did.

    The two most depressing sentences in any campaign are “Oh they’re all the same, what’s the point?” and “Oh, I never vote, don’t know nuffink about it” (usually a woman *sigh*)

    I am at least pleased that we are all being what we are again.

  10. @HOWARD
    It is to some extent that Cable supports (in public) these measures that reassures me. I actually think and hear he has come round to it being the least worst position to take. I genuinely believe that some of the magic roundabout Lib Demery is dead and and gone, replaced by some old fasioned Liberalism that allowed the National Liberals to serve for years with the Tories in the 20s and 30s.

  11. EOIN
    A military pension, a bank pension, a pension provider pension and 3 lots of additional voluntary contributons pensions these last 3 quite small but pay for my petrol.
    However, this is not the reason for my view.

  12. @ Roland Haines

    “the magic roundabout Lib Demery is dead and and gone, replaced by some old fasioned Liberalism that allowed the National Liberals to serve for years with the Tories in the 20s and 30s.”

    Yes it is on the card, I agree. But today’s society is distinctly different from the 20s and 30s. I’m afraid not even in Alnwick the citizens greet the Earl of Northumberland with cap in the hand…

  13. An old Irish Famine line about the ‘soupers’ who changed their religion in order to be fed by British charity:

    ‘He sold his soul for a tiny bread roll and a streaky piece of bacon’

    ‘What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his very soul..but for Wales, Rich, for Wales’

    Take note: Vince, Ming et all

  14. @LASZLO
    I am sure you had kind intentions when you pointed out to me that times have changed since the 20s and 30s. Quite what the Percy family have got to do with it, I am damned if I know. However, being 64 and a rural Tory does not leave me ga ga and unable to tell a Jarrow march from animal rights protesters.

  15. Now then Roland, only the other day, you professed to total gaga-ness to the point where you wouldn’t know where you left a lingerie model!!

  16. @ Ronald

    It was not that – it was a straight quotation from what I heard from my recent visit to a part of my family near Alnwick and was pointed out to me by a 71 year old. He meant it about the changes of time – later on in the social club he went into more details about what and how he reacted to at different times in his life. That’s all.

    I don’t really care with many of the “modern” protest groups (terribly boring and ill-informed many of their members are), but I think that apart from a few places classic Liberalism has no audiance in the UK and where it has, it’s a Tory one…

  17. @ Chris Lane

    I’m sure they do it on a recourse basis factoring… So, no sales of souls, just Lombaring it with the right of buying it back if situation changes. The interest is less advantegeous, but instant.

  18. I must also comment on an earlier post on DLA – the award does not entitle you to a new sports car!!

    However, if, say, you if you are judged to require the care component, but your partner/mother/sister does the caring, you may keep the award for other things. If you are judged to require the mobility component (this is VERY difficult and can be as little as £18.95 a week), you have the option of “swapping” the award for a special rate HP agreement for a vehicle (funded by the private sector incidentally) A two seater sports car certainly requires a top up from the recipient!!

    It is not based on how rich or poor you are, simply on how much it costs you just to be sick. (prescriptions, time spent caring for the disabled persons, alternative or modified transport requirements etc)

  19. @Alec

    Agree completely about legalising (and taxing) drugs. I think of it as a return to Victorian values – including of course the dear old Queen herself who was fond of opium dissolved in alcohol.

    Prostitution is of course already legal. It just that we have a rather bizarre assortment of laws surrounding it, which make less safe, well-regulated and taxable than it should be.

    I’m completely serious and in fact I’m offering it as a recommendation to all those calling out for a smaller state. You see when you ask most small staters what function they’d actually like the state to stop doing, they tend not to come up with any sizable suggestions.
    It’s no use to suggest “doing less of” something; you need to specify what and how much and try to work out how much it would save. In any case these sort of cuts often end up just transferring cost from one part of the state another. Similarly privatisation usually ends up costing more to provide the same services as before. And of course whether those services are paid directly by the state or by the customer, effective monopolies or cartel act like quasi-state entities and require monitoring with all its costs.

    If you legalise drugs however, you do actually remove the State from a large part of people’s lives. You probably save lives (most drug deaths are caused by non-standard quality of drugs); you may even reduce social security.

    But you also dismantle a whole area of state spending in the criminal justice field (you might also cut down on crime indirectly – such as addicts stealing to feed their habit).

    True Neil A might be out of a job – but we can redeploy him to catch tax dodgers (more revenue). It’ll probably the same people anyway.

  20. Roland,

    I have never doubted your principles. Pre-retirement I have no doubt you would have held the same views. Similarly post-pension age i hope you concur that I am likely to still hold mine.

    And that is that really – my opposition is one of principles and not of tactics. In other matters DC has fared well- Afghan being one I am sure you would agree?

  21. Roger Mexico – agree 100% and it is indeed this kind of innovative thinking that all politicians are so terrified of these days.

  22. @Lazio

    Actually no, I wasnt being tongue in cheek. More devil’s advocate in trying to view drugs and sex-for-sale as commodities rather than moral issues. :-)

  23. @ Roger Mexico

    Neat… But it’s still just calculating the transaction cost (in your suggestion it is lower, because it’s more efficient).

    In my view, the society has the right to defend itself against things it does not like. If it happens to be addiction, then it has the right to tell the addicts to find another society for themselves… In some island perhaps? Of course, all the help provided – but not substitution for their preferred illegal drug to the legal one – for becoming a contributor and recipent of the society (the addicts are neither).

    Such a policy, of course, has very wide ranging ramifications – beyond even… the Big Society.

  24. @Roger Mexico – “True Neil A might be out of a job….”

    With a 35% cut in the Home Office, sadly, lots of Neil A’s are going to out of a job anyway, whatever happens to crime rates.

  25. testing

  26. @ SUE MARSH

    “I still DON’T see any reason whatsoever why we need to pay off ALL the deficit in one parliament.”

    Ummm-were not-at least that isn’t the plan.

    The plan is to remove the structural deficit in a parliament.

    ” I totally disagree with the need for a balanced budget ”

    Putting aside your reasons for believing that the annual deficits ad infinitum which follow from your statement, the Government does not plan to balance the budget in a parliament. The plan is to balance the structural element-which will still leave a “cyclical” deficit in this parliaments last year-albeit a declining one.

  27. Lazlo

    Hope there is an island big enough for all the tobacco addicts and alcoholics around.

  28. @ Valerie

    Hoped for a different answer, but of course, it’s my problem.

    I like the commodity one… Should we have auctions of humans, perhaps long term unemployed? Spot market price – if fails to sell, dies (as it happens with commodities)? If sells, charged maintenance against capital gains? This is how prostitution works, you know.

    Why do we care with the safety and well being of prostitutes and drug addicts, why don’t we just have an insurance for their life (kind of option) and then with the usual statistical inference we can even make money on them by cashing the policy at the right time?

    Moral is a function of the economy. Whether you say economy (commodity) or moral (bad or good) you are actually saying the same (Hegel in one of the most obscurely written piece (and that’s an understatement) called Spiritual Animal World deals with both sides and that’s more than 200 years old).

  29. @ HOWARD

    ” VAT hits potentially everyone but is by evidence more likely to be detrimental, especially in percentage of income, to low earners.”

    When Labour reduced VAT, IFS did a study on who would gain most/least.
    The study was quoted in THe Economist.

    Low earners gained leasr, because their spending patterns included many zero rated goods & services. Higher earners gained mos ( imported electrical goods , cars etc )

  30. OK Colin, just the chap. Why DO we have to eliminate the structural deficit entirely when the OBR said 40 billion was fine?

  31. @ Eoin

    “GO is vastly under estimated by his opponents”

    Good….because I remember the left leaning posters on here , prior to GE, who castigated him as useless, without knowledge, an out of touch tof etc etc.

    How times change .

  32. EOIN
    To be honest I will be be much happier when our Special Relationship is with Brazil and India. As a result we can “haulass outa godamn Afghanistan”.
    When Billy Haig and Dave have fixed that, I will buy you a drink.

  33. @ Valerie

    “Hope there is an island big enough for all the tobacco addicts and alcoholics around.”

    Being a drinker and a smoker (very bad in the latter one) I accept it – if the society decides on reasonable grounds (otherwise I would probably organise a guerilla group – but this is what happens here anyway, it’s an urban warfare against a society by various socially and economically marginalised social groups, that cannot provide sufficiently human life to people – Hasek (I don’t have the proper s on my keyboard), who wrote Svejk was a serious alcoholic, yet, during his involvement in the Russian revolution he was abstinent) I would either obey or end up in a different society.

  34. Lazlo – Perhaps you (or Virgilo?) can help with this actually. I saw an AMAZING documentary once about a European country that had taken drugs under state control and the results were staggering. Heroin addiction reduced by 90%!! Can’t remember where it was though (Sweden?) Surely we can learn from other models elsewhere and if it truly works, the argument would be strong?

  35. Colin – Eoin and I most certainly didn’t underestimate GO!!

  36. Colin, the structural deficit is a statistical residue and has no economic meaning.

    I just did some calculations – the British economy needs about 3-4% budget deficit in a cycle average for economic growth – unless the underlining economic conditions have radically changed compared to the last 25 years.

  37. Sue,


    Seems like an age ago now but pre-NI cut we both said he was an unsung talent. Competent and intelligent and actually a nice bloke. I just happen to despise everything financial that comes out of his mouth.

  38. Colin

    “Low earners gained least, because their spending patterns included many zero rated goods & services. Higher earners gained most ( imported electrical goods , cars etc )”

    I’m sure that’s true – but did the study quote the gains for low and high earners as a % of their income? That’s the critical point.

  39. My rather more frustrated posts today are Eoin and Lazlo’s fault. I have been doing silly amounts of historical research on economics and poverty.

    The surprise at seeing the same mistakes being made over and over and over again has been a real education. Classical Models, Keynesian macro-economics, Rowntree, Attlee, post war spending, Japan, biographies of eminent economists – makes you wonder if we are all in fact goldfish who learn nothing at all from any of our experiences.

  40. @ Sue

    I don’t think there has been any country where such figures were achieved (in Canada there was one, but the research is very questionable, Sweden has high rates), if there was, I would definitely think that it should be adopted here. Actually, the UK system prior to 1968 was quite effective.

    State management of the problem on evidence basis would be definitely a help, but the dichotomy between social ill and individual’s predisposition to dependence has to be broken for that – this is the currently dominating thought as one can see in the Home Office documents.

  41. Sue,

    Excellent comment on Japan. I think we are Japan waiting to happen. Fiscal stimulus was cut of in mid flow recovery was by no means assured. We are certain to be up to our eyes in stagflation. I blame Merkel mostly for stoking up Greece and then Dallying on bailing it out. She single handedly put deficit at the heart of the wrold agenda. The truth is we have had bigger deficits before. We had a massive deficit after WWII and we spent our way out of it to create an economic boom! :)

    Now we wanna ramp up unemployment, inflation and no doubt interest rates…

    consumer debt was wrong by everyones admission…. GB did not abolish boom and bust…. but a return to inflationomics uh oh! :(

  42. Lazlo – I shall make it a mission to track down the documentary. By the end of it I was totally convinced by State Control if done in a way that supports the existing addicts to FEEL de-criminalised. The programme said it was vital for addicts to have access to the drugs in similar quantities to what they were used to and to not be judged. This took away the main problem of dependence – supply. Invariably, with a constant, safe supply, the addict found they actually used less over time and moved towards lower and lower doses, often stopping entirely.
    If it absolutely worked, lowered crime and bought in enormous tax revenue, I think a strong case could be made for it over time.

  43. @ Sue Marsh

    If any of it is my fault, I don’t regret it :-). It’s lovely to see all the old things coming back – whatever frustrating they are, they always modify their “dress” and “undressing” them is a joy to the human mind. OK, it’s my opinion.

    And the more they are “undressed” and the many are subject to the same treatment, the clearer the solution is.

    The problem is, of course, that it is not an intellectual game – it results in life or miserable life for many. But at least one can see, when his or her political convictions come into the thinking – as a hinderance or obstacle – to the logical step to overcome the problems. Well, at least this is my experience. And also sticking to “the real impetus in human life is tomorrow’s joy” helps a lot. OK, I’m dogmatic.

    To be honest I will be be much happier when our Special Relationship is with Brazil and India. As a result we can “haulass outa godamn Afghanistan”.
    When Billy Haig and Dave have fixed that, I will buy you a drink.’

    Must admit the questionable Iraq and Afghanistan wars have, I believe cost £20 billion and achieved exactly nothing…

    (And I don’t believe the domino theory; it was disproved by Vietnam…)

  45. @ Sue

    If you could find it, I would really appreciate it. Thank you in advance .

    Decriminalisation in the mind of the addicts sounds like a very good step – sounds like a move to social evaluation with very good safety net (suppy). De-loading the whole problem. Yes, it sounds good.

  46. Jack

    Corridors of Democracy?

    They’ll make a movie about it one day…. It might begin with the Crimea war, perhaps Balaclava or Sebastapol… Maybe we’ll have an opium war, a Mehmet ali crisis and then no doubt we’ll arrive in Kandahar…

    All the while Gazan refugees will be caged awaiting a final showdown between their two neighbours armed to the teeth… (Iran & Israel)

    the US should have stuck to the Munroe doctrine of 1824.

  47. @ Sue & Laszlo

    Decriminalising addicts is not the same as legalising drugs & taxing them.

    Just my tuppenceworth on the subject. 8-)

  48. @ Neil A @ 12:21

    Sorry, I missed your post somehow.

    I did not call anyone stupid and especially not you. My point was that your political views obstructed the thought process and I demonstrated it through your own example. If it was personal, or it could have been perceived personal or you took it personal, I truly apologise for it. I had no such an intention.

  49. @ Amber

    Good to emphasise this. Thank you.

    And I agree with Sue’s emphasis on feeling of being decriminalised.

    Actually, I perceive the package suggested by Sue to be the right of the society to protect itself – it’s not about individuals, but about social ills, even though one has to deal with individuals. The package seems to be distinctly different from “managing the problem” or “reducing crime” or whatever.

  50. @ COLIN

    GO is vastly under estimated by his opponents
    You, Sue & Éoin are in agreement but I think it is early days. His emergency budget was Tory standard – nothing new, creative or particularly clever.

    And 43% are unconvinced by the coalition claims that it was necessary.

    Meantime Labour are up 6%; so not really a political win either. 8-)

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