We finally have a proper poll on the Labour leadership contest. In the Sun tomorrow YouGov have a poll of Labour party members, and of members of affiliated trade unions. Full results are here.

Amongst Labour party members David Miliband leads on first preferences, with 38% support, though Ed Miliband is not far behind on 32%. Diane Abbott is third with 13%, Andy Burnham on 10% and Ed Balls last on 7%. The second preferences of Diane Abbott and Ed Balls’ supportes split in favour of Ed Miliband, with Andy Burnham’s supporters splitting pretty equally between the two.

When all respondents are asked to pick who they would prefer between the Milibands (as a way of estimating what would happen once all the second, third and fourth preferences had fallen out), David Miliband and Ed Miliband are exactly equal amongst Labour party members, with 50% a piece once those who didn’t express a preference are excluded.

Turning to Trade Union members, David Miliband again comes top on first preferences with 34% support, followed by Ed Miliband on 26%, Diane Abbott on 17%, Burnham on 13% and Balls on 11% – the same order as amongst members. Second preferences of trade union voters though split either evenly between the Milibands, or in favour of David – meaning that David Miliband leads his brother by 56% to 44%.

The final section of the electorate college is the MPs. YouGov did not poll them, but has based a projection on the work Left Foot Forward have done, based on MPs nominations (adjusted to reflect the nominations that were “lent” to Diane Abbott from supporters of other campaigns). Their second preferences are based on a canvass of Abbott, Burnham and Balls supporters by Left Foot Forward, but relatively few would give responses meaning that YouGov have mostly assumed they will split evenly between the Milibands.

The conclusion of this, is that the race is between David and Ed Miliband, and it is very close. On YouGov’s current figures, David Miliband is ahead, but this is based solely upon the Trade Union vote and some quite flimsy assumptions about how MPs second preferences will split. The big trade unions have mostly endorsed Ed Miliband, and once they contact their members urging them to back Ed it may well shift the trade union vote in his favour. Equally, we really do have very little information on MPs second preferences, so the MP section of the college really could go either way.

Based on the polling so far, David Miliband leads, but it is perfectly possible for Ed Miliband to win.


259 Responses to “David Miliband narrowly ahead in YouGov Labour leadership poll”

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  1. I will examine this poll and report back asap!
    I would urge caution until I report back!

  2. Anthony,

    Is that a freudian slip I see ? Did you really mean:

    “..the nominations that were “leant” to Diane Abbott from supporters of other campaigns..” ?????

    Very accurate description of what happened and much more amusing than “lent” !

    Sorry, this banker is accustomed to lending, it is only credit departments that get leant !

  3. It’s David then.

    See who they think is most likely to win the next election.

    Just a query. The TU preferences are what they are recommending to members, are they not? I assume members have their own views?

  4. “Asked about themselves, 53% of party members say they are “very” or “fairly” left-wing, 32% say they are “slightly left-of-centre”, 85 say they are centre and 3% right-of-centre”

    Anthony
    The preceding does not make sense (to me).
    Should it be 8.5% for ‘centre’?

    An interesting figure if so.

  5. What do you do if you are a Lab Party member, a member of a TU, and an MP? Do you get three votes?

  6. WML – probably a typo and should read 8% (% is upper case 5 on keyboard).

    If a party ,membership defines itself as not being in the centre – then they are either being realistic / honest about where they stand relative to the genral public, or making a dleiberate statement. Either way, it should give their leadership payse for thought.

  7. WAYNE

    If you really are giving this lecture at Reading University please let me know where and when as I live close by and would love to come along – if your desire to give a lecture on PR is simply an unfulfilled but desperate dream still let me know as the Reading and District Fabians, which I Chair, is having an event around PR in the Autumn and I can create an opportunity for you – if the whole thing is a load of codswallop, then I’ve just wasted a few minutes typing time!

  8. WML – as you can see, tuping drrors are easy to make when typing quickly !

  9. @PAUL H-J
    What does ‘leant’ mean?

  10. I think Ed will squeak it…

    As much as anything while he’s part of the past he’s maybe less tainted by it. Therefore it’s easier to see him as a new beginning.

    I think that politics is often ‘carpe diem’.

    Ed Milliband, like say Blair, Cameron,Thatcher and even Wilson took the risk when it wasn’t obvious…David is more like say Major or Callaghan or Brown, maybe Eden…not a gambler.

    Often that quality…willingness to seize an opportunity…makes stuff happen.

    This doesn’t mean what follows will be sucess or failure but I think sucessful politicans generally have that quality. Luck is also important…it always runs one way until it runs out…

    On the basis Ed Milliband offers Labour something nearer to a fresh start…He appears to have less baggage and lots of ability. He’s pretty good on coming over ok on TV.

    That all said its odd that two brothers should be so close to the prize and whatever you think of their politics the guys are both able and interesting.

    Not trying to make a party commment both are capable of original thinking…probably more so than Clegg or Cameron.That’s pretty good for politics in its own right.

    None of this though means they will be successful or will deserve success… that’s all to prove and play for.

  11. Heading a little OT…. Tonight’s “5 Days” documentary on BBC2 was interesting. EB came across to me as rather smug and happy to have scuppered a deal with the LDs. I wonder whether part of this is 20:20 hindsight (“my enemy’s friend is my enemy”), although I had already got the impression that he prefers being in opposition (at least for now)(the country may suffer but at least EB feels more comfortable?). You could certainly believe Lab had not prepared before May 6th (and it seems, despite their denials, Tories did). Very odd and interesting that Clegg demanded immediate cuts (was that his way of saying he preferred Cameron?).

    I get the impression that Lab might have been able to secure a deal, but for lack of preparation, leadership (not sure who should have given it, mind) and will. Tories had all three.

  12. David B,
    Reading Uni Lecture:
    My event is planned for some time in October..I will advise confirmed date v soon.
    Fabians Society:
    I’m sorry, I don’t do minor events, my lectures are directed at wider intellectual audiences!

  13. Julian

    “Lent” is the past participle of the verb “to lend”

    Pedants will argue whetehr the past participle of the verb “to lean” is “leant” or “leaned”. You will more often here this debate in connection with the past participle of the verb “to learn” .

    I am sure that you understood what I meaned !! ;-)

  14. Julian,

    Ugh – too typos in one post. Par for the course when I type (you may have noticed I often transpose letters).

    Whetehr should read whether – classic transposition in my typing.

    here should of course be hear.

  15. @PAUL H-J
    You mean the others leaned on DA to stand?

  16. @Ben Foley

    “I get the impression that Lab might have been able to secure a deal, but for lack of preparation, leadership (not sure who should have given it, mind) and will. Tories had all three.”

    None of these three had any practical bearing on the matter- the two issues that did are:

    1) that there were not the seat tallies for a non-Brown Labour led rainbow coalition: not even for a Brown minority government (on which I don’t know anyone on any side who supported that) given that public spending cuts would have been voted down by all but Labour at the first attempt!

    2) Plus the little matter that Nick absolutely *hates* the reds:

    * Russian aristocratic refugee family (paternal grandmother a pre-Revolutionary Russian baroness who fled from first post Imperial Russian government; her grandfather an attorney general to the Imperial Russian senate)
    *Banker-Financier father and, of course,
    *Nick started off in his political career by Leon Britain and other senior Conservatives

    and of course Westminster school (with Louis Theroux as his ‘Fag’ we now learn…).

    It was all very fascinating in an historical sense though.

    I hope they replay it the night the whole business collapses around their ears :-)

  17. I am extremely busy with my political research writing at present. I must therefore apologise for not being able to post more regularly.
    I will try to do my best to get back to more regular posting. The site is very “lacking” without my presence.. Sorry !

  18. Julian,

    Remind me again, who was propping up whom ?

    DM’s magnanimous gesture – “I have nominated DA to ensure she can get the requisite votes” – falls into the “de haut en bas” category of generosity. I will give you of my surplus so that you do not starve, not because I want to help you up, but because it makes me look even richer.

    Were DM a true gentleman – perhaps like the leaders of some other parties one could name – he would have organised the votes for DA, but kept it well and truly secret – or was that not possible under Labour party rules ?.

  19. Julian,

    I notice that while we have been debating the point AW has quietly corrected his post so that others will be mystified by our dialogue.

  20. Could to lean be

    I have leaned
    I leant ?

  21. Or
    I have burned my boats

    I burnt my boats ?

  22. @PAUL H-J
    Ha. I see what you mean.
    Mind you, I’m not sure I want a true gentleman to be leader of my party. ;)

  23. Quick:

    * are stages lit or lighted?
    * are fires lit or lighted?
    * are people hung or hanged?
    * are paintings hung or hanged?

    Regards, Martyn

  24. POLL ALERT

    YouGov/ITV Wales
    National Assembly voting intention
    sample size: 1002
    fieldwork: 26-28 July
    (+/- change from YouGov/ITV Wales 28-30 June)

    Constituency vote (FPTP)
    Lab 40% (-2)
    PC 22% (+2)
    Con 20% (+1)
    LD 12% (n/c)
    oth 5% (-1)

    Regional vote (AMS)
    Lab 37% (-3)
    Con 20% (n/c)
    PC 20% (+1)
    LD 14% (+2)
    UKIP 4% (+1)
    Grn 2% (-1)
    BNP 1% (-1)
    Soc 1% (n/c)
    oth 0% (n/c)

  25. YouGov/ITV Wales supplementary question:

    “If there were to be a referendum tomorrow on
    giving the National Assembly for Wales
    increased law-making powers, how would you
    vote?”

    “I would vote Yes (i.e. in favour of giving the National
    Assembly increased law-making powers)” 55%
    “I would vote No (i.e. against giving the National
    Assembly increased law-making powers)” 28%
    Wouldn’t vote 5%
    Don’t know 12%

    Excluding WNV and DK gives:
    Yes 66%
    No 34%

  26. Sorry! Those referendum findings are from the June YouGov. The July YouGov found:

    “I would vote Yes (i.e. in favour of giving the National
    Assembly increased law-making powers)” 48%
    “I would vote No (i.e. against giving the National
    Assembly increased law-making powers)” 34%
    Wouldn’t vote 5%
    Don’t know 14%

    Excluding WNV and DK gives:
    Yes 59% (-7)
    No 41% (+7)

  27. “I hope they replay it the night the whole business collapses around their ears”

    Labour might benefit from replaying these bits :-

    Balls revealing that he didn’t know who was on their team till the last minute, and they had no plan to put to LDs

    Mandelson revealing that GB lectured NC on why they should join Labour, rather than asking what NC thought about the idea.

    Mandelson admitting that DC wrong footed GB with his offer to LibDems.

    And finally-for proponents of the “wait till it all collapses ” Labour strategy; PM, musing that coalitions may be here to stay-and that Labour need to think about that.

    I note that BEN FOLEY posted , that ” EB came across to me as rather smug and happy to have scuppered a deal with the LDs.”,

    Not so much “Nick absolutely *hates* the reds: ” then as a good old fashioned B***S up.

  28. Colin – Your points from the programme seem odd one’s to point out??

    If we were honest here, the one explosive thing to come from the programme (hence pundits talking about it endlessly before and after) is that Clegg double bluffed Cameron over voting reform.

    Clegg absolutely had to get some form of ER, so when the Tories resisted he forced their hand. This is on record in the programme, in Hansard and is indisputable.
    Surely this has to affect the dynamic? These open negotiations are surely compromised (for what it’s worth, it seemed Cameron acted in good faith almost all the way through) How does Cameron feel about being played and how do the Tory backbenchers feel knowing that they gave the LibDems the one thing they wanted (and the Cons desperately didn’t) on false pretences?

  29. @Wayne – “I am extremely busy with my political research writing at present. I must therefore apologise for not being able to post more regularly.”

    That’s alright then. For a horribly moment I thought your absence might have had something to do with Tory support falling.

    The Milliband (D) counter to DC’s India/Pakistan comments are interesting. I’ve pondered DC’s diplomacy for a day or two now without comment, and while I generally applaud a more honest and open stance, I have come to the conclusion that his comments on Pakistan and the way they were given will prove to be a total disaster and are a diplomatic and strategic gaffe of the highest order.

    I say this because I have concluded that they were said (alongside the Israel comments) largely to provide an image for DC’s premiership and (in the case of the Pakistan comments) through a key strategic decision to forge links with India.

    The thinking on that score at least is sound, but the anger in Pakistan is palpable. This is a country that didn’t suffer from suicide bomb attacks until they opted to back the US/UK Afghan intervention – since when they have suffered over 500 attacks and scores of deaths.

    There are certainly issues regarding Pakistan and support for terrorism, but there are ways to intervene in difficult regional conflicts. All DC has done is to swing many more Pakistani’s behind those who think their best interests are served not with the US and the UK but with those more radical islamist groupings – and China. DC has in effect signed the death warrants of more British troops Afghanistan, not to mention countless civilians, and the long run effect will probably be to further destabilise Pakistan with untold damage to western interests if the entire edifice falls. All this, to promote one man’s image.

  30. I say odd, because does anyone honestly believe the public will remember anything (or care) about Lab/Lib negotiations? Or about the nature of GB leaving?

    It was chip paper the minute the coalition was formed. The only bits people will remember are the bits that affect how the coalition moves forward.

    I thought there were very good bits from all three parties, bits that made all three parties look bad, bits that made all three parties look good, bits that obviously caused soul searching and anxiety for all three parties.

    If too could pick out just the one’s that were particularly bad for my opponents,

  31. @ ROB SHEFFIELD @Ben Foley

    None of these three had any practical bearing on the matter- the two issues that did are:

    “1) that there were not the seat tallies for a non-Brown Labour led rainbow coalition”

    Yes and no. The maths favoured Con+LD as a more stable coalition, and the politics (Greek demonstrations) suggested a more stable coalition would be desirable.

    However Lab+LD+their NI formal allies (APNI/SDLP)+Plaid Cymru + Green Party OR Sylvia Herman would have had a bare majority in practice, without needing SNP (since SF don’t take up seats). Realistically Lab+LD+NI formal allies (APNI/SDLP)+SNP would have been more practical, with extra stability possible with confidence and supply arrangements with Plaid Cymru/Green Party/Sylvia Herman.

    2) Plus the little matter that Nick absolutely *hates* the reds:

    If DC hadn’t offered/bounced the bare minimum fig leaf of electoral reform out of his MPs, that would have counted for nothing. His party had been much more clearly anti Tory than anti Lab.

  32. @Martyn

    I think that “a man is hunged” means that somebody executed him or had him executed, whilst the parliament is “hung” not because somebody “hunged” it, but as a result that stemmed from a variety of factors. Then again English is not my mother tongue, so I might be wrong. In the same way, we say that “somebody lighted the lights”, but “all the lights were lit” (we don’t care by whom, the focus is on the fact that they were on).

  33. @Alec

    ‘This is a country that didn’t suffer from suicide bomb attacks until they opted to back the US/UK Afghan intervention – since when they have suffered over 500 attacks and scores of deaths’

    Exactly. Those suicide bomb attacks until then were reserved for the rest of us and many were planned from there.

    As for swinging opinion against the West then the horse has already bolted. IMHO. Take away the financial aid and there would be little support. The US is bribing parts of Pakistan to stay onside but the battle of ideas is long lost.

    DCs comments may have been to promote his image but that does not alter the basic charge that the ISI is batting for both sides.

  34. @Colin

    point-by-point

    “Balls revealing that he didn’t know who was on their team till the last minute, and they had no plan to put to LDs”

    They did not expect to get such a result- everyone (and especially your good self) was declaring in the months and weeks before the election that Labour were toast and that we had a 50 ish majority for Cameron to look forward to.

    But then Dave scraped 36% and could not manage a majority EVEN with the Ulster Loyalists….

    “Mandelson revealing that GB lectured NC on why they should join Labour, rather than asking what NC thought about the idea.”

    Brown not a good listener ? Rrrrrreally ?

    “Mandelson admitting that DC wrong footed GB with his offer to LibDems.”

    Is this the same mandelson who you have been such a fan of these last months and whose opinion you have always held in such high esteem

    “And finally-for proponents of the “wait till it all collapses ” Labour strategy; PM, musing that coalitions may be here to stay-and that Labour need to think about that.”

    Who said the progressive centre and progressive left is against coalitions?! They are simply not into coalitions that try to make atomised individuals out of us all and want to shrink the state as a matter of tax-cutting principle rather than for better governance- oops you’ll probably have one of your ‘moments’ now and bash off something about “ ‘ance this and ‘ance that – it’s all been made irrelevant by Cameron’s brilliance “.

    One thing *is* certain: the Tory party in parliament and at large want this coalition to continue for as long as it has to and no longer (great pieces in the press this morning on that)….and the Beveridge LD’s (those who have not jumped ship already) increasingly want it to go on to the referendum.Have a look at, er, this mornings Indie for just the latest instalment on the LD’s ongoing slow-burn nervous breakdown.

    “I note that BEN FOLEY posted , that ” EB came across to me as rather smug and happy to have scuppered a deal with the LDs.”,

    Certainly Ed was happy- given the way it’s gone for the LD’s since Cleggs decision to jon with dave tell me: are you honestly surprised ??

    “Not so much “Nick absolutely *hates* the reds: ” then as a good old fashioned B***S up.”

    Yes- for the LD the coalition has been hasn’t it !!

    What I liked particularly were the reports on all the brekkie programmes this morning that juxtaposed davey telling the camera ‘he was sure’ Labour had offered AV without a referendum followed by Nicky parsing hairs and not committing to a clear answer on that. Shifty Nicky or what!

    You could hear the sound of marmalade dropping from Buftons Tuftons knives across the shires of breakfast table England: “Cameron Betrayed Us” they bellowed !!

    Great TV ?

  35. @Colin

    I tried a longer response to your post (point by wonderful point) but was moderated (!!).

    What I liked particularly were the reports on all the brekkie programmes this morning that juxtaposed davey telling the camera ‘he was sure’ Labour had offered AV without a referendum followed by Nicky parsing hairs and not committing to a clear answer on that. Shifty Nicky or what!

    Not gone down well with the Conservative leaning pressat all well- whiff of ‘we did not need AV referendum to forge the deal’ in the air.

  36. @Ben foley

    “His party had been much more clearly anti Tory than anti Lab.”

    Key element there: ‘his party’ i.e. VAT bombshell/ no early cuts etc etc.

    I said *Nick* hated the reds not the Lib Dems, the majority of whom- even those from the 55% left- much prefer Labour to the Conservatives.

    But as Cable said- with huge remorse- there was no other option for coalition government. had there been we would now be seeing Dave on the backbenches having been toppled.

    The rainbow coalition (of any variant) was too exposed to maverick individuals- at maximum solidarity the majority was in low single figures’: whereas ConDem has a majority even if all but those taking the queens shilling have begun to vote against the government.

    Plus- and you read this on LD activist sites a lot- they were shown a first version précis coalition agreement that seemed a genuine blend of both parties manifesto’s.

    Which- of course- is not what has transpired….

  37. @ Ben Foley, and Rob Sheffield

    A few things helped but as I have said before NCs preferred option was to go with the conservatives, he made that clear in the campaign. The circumstances made this possible to sell to his party. If the figures had been different there was no way a lot of his party would have accepted the coalition. The argument of a strong stable government is flawed as the the parties (not the two leaders) ideologically opposed. This gives rise to a large chance of rebellion and government defeat.
    The numbers could have worked with a Labour Liberal coalition which the others would not have voted down SDLP would have supported, the independant unionist as well, Plaid and SNP would not want a Tory government etc).

    The Labour party though had psychologically prepared for defeat and too many were not prepared to shift their thinking.

    I am no fan of the Liberals but longed for a Lab/Lib coalition because I did not want the Tory slash and burn, but too many Labourites put party before country in my opinion and opposed this. I cringed when I saw DA (whom i trust only a little more than Mandleson) speaking against this.

    On another theme I do not agree with those who say that DC has taken the party to the centre. On some social issues yes, but economically this is probably the most right wing government since the second world war.

  38. @GrahamBC

    “On another theme I do not agree with those who say that DC has taken the party to the centre. On some social issues yes, but economically this is probably the most right wing government since the second world war.”

    Since 1922 in terms of economic policy I would say.

    As for the social (or “liberal” ) stuff this seems to have amounted to

    * scrapping CCTV;
    * scrapping speed cameras;
    * not extending the smoking ban;
    * not building more prisons;
    * not sending convicted criminals to prison;
    * expecting people being bullied, assaulted and harassed by anti social youths to police their own community;
    * removing the kids of detained refugees from their families but leaving the parents detained;
    * slagging off Israel.

  39. @ROB SHEFFIELD
    You typify Labour Rob. If it is possible for one man to be a walking embodyment of a political party, you are he. Despite a good education (I imagine), a decent IQ,
    (I imagine) you get EVERYTHING wrong.
    As the most Bufton of Tuftons on this sight, I can speak up for large tracts of rural Buckinghamshire and say “we like the coalition”. I was aboard a cruise liner in the Med when the result of the GE and follow up activities occurred. The ship, full of white middle aged and old Tories was buzzing with happiness at the prospect of the new government. One little man with very big ears was disappointed, but he came from up North somewhere. I wonder P&O let him on the ship.

  40. @ ROB SHEFFIELD

    “Certainly Ed was happy- given the way it’s gone for the LD’s since Cleggs decision to jon with dave tell me: are you honestly surprised ??”

    If you take the position that I do, that there was a chance of building an Anti-Tory coalition, yes.

    Lab+LD+NI formal allies (APNI/SDLP)+Plaid Cymru+SNP
    would have had a majority of 5 (given SF don’t take seats) – what is normally considered a small working majority, and I think they could have concluded confidence and supply arrangements with Green Party and Sylvia Herman to give a little more breathing room.

    Such a coalition could have delivered a more progressive budget than the one we have just seen, if EB and NC had taken the possibility more seriously. EB preferred opposition, NC preferred a deal with the Tories for the price of a referendum on a non-proportional change to the voting system.

    Like I said, it suits EB now, with 20:20 hindsight, to prefer not to have done a deal with the LDs who have since tainted themselves by getting into bed with the Tories.

  41. @ grahambc

    “The Labour party though had psychologically prepared for defeat and too many were not prepared to shift their thinking.”

    Absolutely.

    “I am no fan of the Liberals but longed for a Lab/Lib coalition because I did not want the Tory slash and burn, but too many Labourites put party before country in my opinion and opposed this.”

    Yup.

    “I cringed when I saw DA (whom i trust only a little more than Mandleson) speaking against this.”

    Sorry which DA? Danny Alexander? Diane Abbot? I don’t recall the moment.

  42. @Ben Foley

    “Lab+LD+NI formal allies (APNI/SDLP)+Plaid Cymru+SNP
    would have had a majority of 5 (given SF don’t take seats) – what is normally considered a small working majority, and I think they could have concluded confidence and supply arrangements with Green Party and Sylvia Herman to give a little more breathing room.”

    It would have been nice, wouldn’t it? But the numbers really weren’t there. In Scotland its hard to see any stability of a pact between the SNP and Labour. If Brown and Clegg have a mutual antipathy, I think its fair to say that Salmond & Brown do as well. It would also have led to a situation where the government in Westminster was having its strings pulled by a politician who wasn’t even an MP (salmond now being an MSP, but the SNP being incapable of doing anything without his say-so). The whole house of cards would have collapsed by October, even if the will had been there.

  43. @ Ben Foley

    Sorry problem with abbreviations Diane Abbot, interviewed on the Green outside parliament opposing a Lab/Lib deal as the rumours of negotiations swirled.

  44. Let’s be very clear about the coalition’s purpose:
    The coalition was formed by two great and unselfish parties, to bring stability,
    growth and prosperity to a country that has been left virtually bankrupt, by the reckless spending of the last shower government!
    Any talk of attempts to split the coalition are folly, diktat and tittle tattle!

  45. @ROB SHEFFIELD

    But as Cable said- with huge remorse- there was no other option for coalition government. had there been we would now be seeing Dave on the backbenches having been toppled…

    ——————

    True. But that was then.

    Things may still change.

    There is no reason on earth why the LibDems should decide to continue with the coalition.

    They are going to get nothing at all out of it but a defeat on AV.

    Clegg is the only stumbling block and he may be moved over or persuaded to change horses too.

    Over the next 12/18 months – it’s a little unlikely but not impossible – you may see a change in government forced by a LibDem withdrawl from the coalition.

    An election would not necessarily follow.

    I wonder if Labour would want it though? With a new leader and – by then – an unpopular government, they may fancy holding out for an early GE.

  46. @ Tonyotim
    The strings would not have been pulled by Salmond because they would have known that the only alternative was a Tory led government, very few in Scotland would have wanted that and if the SNP brought down the Lab/Lib government they could have have been blamed by the Scottish electorate for bringing the Tories to power

  47. @GRAHAM BC
    Regarding your last paragraph, most people on here appear to agree that socially the coalition is “liberal”.
    It is certainly right wing economically because it jolly well needs to be. We all know whose fault that is dont we. Of course there will always be the element who blame the recession on Margaret Thatcher and say the way out of it is to spend more on chiropody for convicts and bigger benefits for those with the health and strength to lay in bed.

  48. @Wayne – “The coalition was formed by two great and unselfish parties…”

    Oh Wayne – for someone who purportedly lectures on politics, you display such a quaint naivety. What fun.

  49. @ Roland

    I’m sure it astounds you and that you find it unfathomable but not everyone agrees that “there is no alternative”. Direct taxes could be raised especially on the highest earners, wealth taxes, windfall banking taxes, cutting trident, not spending money on “free” schools and academies etc etc. You may not agree with these policies but they are alternative and less right wing

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