I don’t normally do a post everyday on YouGov’s daily tracking figures – it is, after all, the trend that counts, not the change from day to day. This one is worth noting though. Following on from the net approval rating of zero yesterday, YouGov’s net approval for the government tonight is minus 2 – 39% approve of the government, 41% disapprove of the government. This is the first time the coalition have scored a negative approval rating.

Voting intention tonight is at CON 41%, LAB 38%, LDEM 13%


479 Responses to “YouGov’s government approval turns negative”

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  1. As the FT said: don’t concern yourself with the coalitions first 100 days; concern yourself with their second 100 days.

    Breaking headlines:

    “Poor families bear brunt of austerity drive” headlines guardian

    “Osborne’s budget described as ‘clearly regressive’ by respected think tank” sub heads Guardian

    “Budget hits families and pensioners twice as hard” headlines Telegraph

  2. Labour down 1, Lib Dems up 1.

    Interesting.

  3. “worth noting”

    One or two posters have said that VI doesn’t really matter until 2015. But for the coalition to lose the confidence of the public (and confidence internally?) before it is even in its stride, that could be significant.

  4. Without the %s to the decimal point it is difficult to say Lib up 1% and Labour down 1%. theoretically it could be Lib up 0.1% or Labour down 1.4% and it would only show 1%.

    Thus the poll is a no changer- it merely reinforces the trends seen in other polls of YG’s this past while.

    The net approvals are a bit diff. the trend seems steady (i.e. down for gov.) I wonder if cameron junior will sort that out for DC tomoro? If they could drag out naming the baby until the Sunday papers they would get a cracking bounce in the polls… 2% maybe lol.

  5. @ Éoin

    I think baby Cameron may boost the PM’s personal ratings, I wouldn’t count on her making the coalition more popular. 8-)

  6. amber,

    Yes- probably… Deservedly so I suppose. A tough time wih Ivan, so they should fill there boots.

    I suspect the Tories % figures will always have some correlation to Cameron’s ratings, however, so the two are not as separate as one might think….

    Inevitably, Newton’s law still applies… they’ll come tumbling down again.. but for now I hope he is smiling.

  7. IFS
    Guardian writes:
    ‘Passing judgment that is likely to make uncomfortable reading for the Liberal Democrats’

    Why should it not make ‘uncomfortable reading’ for the Tories

  8. Howard

    Now do you see where I am coming from?

    Teflon Tories are untouchable…

    It is up to you guys to soak up the pressure…. prepare for 48 hours of hell. Meanwhile blue will be relatively unscathed.

  9. IFS Part 2
    If you read about the legal challenges to the Budget, it shows that establishing general laws of behaviour of Government can be very useful to campaigners when issues crop up that the drafters perhaps did not think carefully enough about.

    In my own sphere the establishment of commitment tom protect AsONB. NPs and SsSSI are the thumb in the dyke that stops environmentally irresponsible development in them and on them.

    I had never heard of the Equalities Act 2010 provisions in this area and I suppose campaigners must thank HH whom Eoin calls ‘Hattie’ for them.

  10. Yes we are the weakest link Eoin BUT I refuse to believe that it will not be the Tories who have most to fear. After all they are the compassionate ones and the LDs are just held to be naive in this situation, rather than the wicked uncle (I tell myself unconvincingly).

  11. Is this the UK government you are talking about?

    I’m just back from a public meeting less than 100m from my home with nine government ministers present.

    The management of the event would have impressed Albert Speer. As Bob Monkhouse famously observed, if you can fake sincerity, you’ve got it made.

    The opening act was a slightly over long warm-up by the local government leader who compared the head of government to our most successful infantry commander who used to live in the constituency. I was in his old house yesterday. It has seen a bit of vandalsm, not yet repaired, but it wasn’t local people that did it.

    His next successor in office, the local Duke, sow were told, has got a government prize for his environmental targets.

    First and last questions were allocated to the school party sitting in the front rows.

    The Primo Uomo, once a fine lyric tenor and boy soprano, has protecting his ministers listed high up in his Job Description. He deftly intercepted a question to his lawyer about a possible American holiday. This got applause: the only significant reaction from the audience in the whole event.

    The platform eschewed the rude word I*********** as far as possible in favour of oblique reference, but it was used by the audience in genuine enquiry about potential cost and in reference to EU membership. The debate between the cybermen and their onanist opponents, the artifice of the confrontational broadcast interview or the “debate” from those that sit two sword’s length apart was totally absent, as was the negativity of the main opposition in the parliament which sometimes provokes a matching response.

    There were unequivocal assurances on water privatisation and Tuition Fees. Views on local issues appeared to be welcomed because the information could be useful even though there is no money. There was interesting factual information mostly from the platform.

    There was no bevving or other bad behaviour from either side. Nice but not un-true or insincere things were said about the locality and its people. [Honour! Who hath it? – He that died o’ Wednesday. Henry lV Pt 1]

    I learned a lot of thngs I didn’t know, not all of them in the public domain.

    I told the Primo Uomo he was missing out on the best way of promoting his USP. I got the impression that the would go away and think about whether to promote a fit-for purpose parliament as a free give-away bonus offer. I thought from his response that he had an immediat use for my other idea of a Christmas Quiz for the office party: a competition to list the (34+?) ways in which the Scottish Parliament’s constituton, standards and procedures differs from and is better than that of the UK parliament.

    Now there are posters here (and Any Questions panelists) who may have doubled the number of facts they know about Scotland if they have learned fom the above that Alex Salmond was a singer, that Jimmy Reid and Robert the Bruce both lived in Rothesay, and that the current Duke of Rothesay is Prince Charles.

  12. @Howard… raison d’etre for the LD’s was to soften the blow of the austerity agenda… ensure the pain was shared fairly.
    This loss of confidence could provoke a wobble over tory strategy though.

    Memorable Phrase… This coalition is about more than cuts (Full Stop)

  13. Howard,

    With Ming as your leader- naive might have worked…

    Alexander, Laws and Clegg, however, voluntarily caricature themsleves as slick, professional, and intelligent…

    ST vince could have pulled it off
    perhpas Chatshow charlie but the rat pack?

  14. Howard

    Why should it not make ‘uncomfortable reading’ for the Tories

    Agreed- it ought to say ‘primarily Nick Clegg’ (and his band of merry Orange Men) who do not represent either the mainstream or the left of the Lib Dems.

    It should also refer to Cameron as he is in danger of losing his fig leaf in greater short order (if that makes sense) than even has been predicted by the biggest coalition doomsayers. All the jokey despatch box horseplay and public school quick wittedness is not going to contain the perception that this is a government who cynically spun their June budget as progressive (Cleggo to the fore of this) and have now been found out: by one of the few organisations that de man op de Gent De Lijn listens to.

    For why its Nick (and ultimately Dave’s) fault go back to the birth of the whole thing. On the continent they take upwards of seven weeks to create coalitions. In the main these coalitions are made up of parties and party-groupings who had indicated in their pre election statements-of-intent that they would work with each other. They take several weeks because what they end up with is a genuinely blended platform.

    That is not what happened here. Dave gave too much away socially for his right wing (though personally believes in it); Nick gave too much away economically for his left wing (though personally believes in it). We don’t have a coalition government we have a Lib Dem government on some matters of social policy and a Thatcherite government on matters of economic policy. It’s not coherent or logical because it is not a properly blended continental-syle coalition.

    Over the first 100 days in-the-main the social agenda of the government has led the headlines- gaining praise from some unlikely sources (including on UKPR).

    But at the end of the day it’s the economy stupid and you can be as civil libertarian as you like but you will still end up with headlines like “Osborne’s budget described as ‘clearly regressive’ by respected think tank“ and the UK’s poor and old are still going to suffer- no matter what your foreign policy is or attitude to CCTV/ Speed cameras.

    An orderly transition to confidence and supply minority Tory government would be my advice (and IMHO was what the elction result actually translated as). But that’s not going to happen. I think a LD split- with the orangies supporting Cameron all the way to their bitter dénouement 2015 is more likely tonight than ever.

  15. … and that of the four values that Donald Dewar said the peopleof Scotland wanted from their parliament – Wisdom, Justice, Compassion and Integrity, it is Integrity that is most important.

  16. Oh I am so annoyed with my formatting I am doing that again
    ****************

    Howard

    Why should it not make ‘uncomfortable reading’ for the Tories

    Agreed- it ought to say ‘primarily Nick Clegg’ (and his band of merry Orange Men) who do not represent either the mainstream or the left of the Lib Dems.

    It should also refer to Cameron as he is in danger of losing his fig leaf in greater short order (if that makes sense) than even has been predicted by the biggest coalition doomsayers. All the jokey despatch box horseplay and public school quick wittedness is not going to contain the perception that this is a government who cynically spun their June budget as progressive (Cleggo to the fore of this) and have now been found out: by one of the few organisations that de man op de Gent De Lijn listens to.

    For why its Nick (and ultimately Dave’s) fault go back to the birth of the whole thing. On the continent they take upwards of seven weeks to create coalitions. In the main these coalitions are made up of parties and party-groupings who had indicated in their pre election statements-of-intent that they would work with each other. They take several weeks because what they end up with is a genuinely blended platform.

    That is not what happened here. Dave gave too much away socially for his right wing (though personally believes in it); Nick gave too much away economically for his left wing (though personally believes in it). We don’t have a coalition government we have a Lib Dem government on some matters of social policy and a Thatcherite government on matters of economic policy. It’s not coherent or logical because it is not a properly blended continental-syle coalition.

    Over the first 100 days in-the-main the social agenda of the government has led the headlines- gaining praise from some unlikely sources (including on UKPR).

    But at the end of the day it’s the economy stupid and you can be as civil libertarian as you like but you will still end up with headlines like “Osborne’s budget described as ‘clearly regressive’ by respected think tank“ and the UK’s poor and old are still going to suffer- no matter what your foreign policy is or attitude to CCTV/ Speed cameras.

    An orderly transition to confidence and supply minority Tory government would be my advice (and IMHO was what the election result actually translated as). But that’s not going to happen. I think a LD split- with the orangies supporting Cameron all the way to their bitter dénouement 2015 is more likely tonight than ever.

  17. John B Dick

    Was your “Honour! Who hath it? – He that died o’ Wednesday” a direct reference to your subsequent post on Donald Dewar? He died on Wednesday October 11, 2000.

  18. On the IFS report conclusions: I guess Choate can say goodbye to that job as successor to Budd as the head of the OBR :lol:

  19. BBC Parliament replayed the Rose Garden press conference of May 12th yesterday, which I have to admit I did not have the heart to watch at the time. Swallowed the gush about a marriage made in heaven and the wonderful body language (which does not bear examination and was in fact very poor).

    Have they appeared together since?

  20. @Howard

    In my own sphere the establishment of commitment tom protect AsONB. NPs and SsSSI are the thumb in the dyke that stops environmentally irresponsible development in them and on them.

    But Pickles is attempting to interfere with the local and regional spatial planning system (one of my Uni areas along with LRED and property development) and environmental protection/ monitoring regulations.

    HR legislation won’t matter if the fundamental planning, environmental and building laws have been pulled, er, deregulated.

    I’ve done a lot of comparative research on Flanders, Netherlands and Germany over the last decade: we were going in their direction the last 5 years. Now we are going in the opposite direction :-(

  21. A spokesman for the Treasury said: “The government does not accept the IFS analysis.

    “It is selective, ignoring the pro-growth and employment effects of Budget measures – such as helping households move from benefits into work, and reductions in corporation tax.”

  22. @ Rob Sheffield

    Well, reductions in corporation tax are very progressive. Lots of low income people pay CT, don’tcha know. 8-)

  23. @ Rob Sheffield

    ….helping households move from benefits into work
    ——————————————————
    Does it make you wonder why IDS was (allegedly) threatening to resign? 8-)

  24. Guardian report says:

    “The Fawcett Society has filed a legal challenge and the government was supposed to reply by Monday. It has asked for more time before lawyers acting on its behalf send a reply. Sources say the equalities impact assessment, as required by the Equalities Act of 2010, has not yet been carried out.

    Anna Bird, Head of Policy and Campaigns at the Fawcett Society said: “Under equality laws, the government should have assessed whether its budget proposals would increase or reduce inequality between women and men.

    “It is our belief that the Treasury did not do this, and so did not follow the law when drawing up their plans. Their continued failure to produce any evidence showing they considered the gender equality impact of the budget only adds weight to this concern.”

    Earlier this month a leaked letter from Theresa May, the home secretary and equalities minister, revealed she had warned Osborne that cuts in the budget could widen inequality in Britain and ran a “real risk” of breaking the law.”

  25. I believe the embargoed story was one that this times published at 12.01 on their website.

    “A worker at the Government’s top-secret listening post who was on secondment to MI6 has been found murdered in his Central London flat, it was disclosed last night. His body is believed to have been found in a large holdall.
    The man, who was in his thirties, was not being named as his next of kin had not been traced. His body was said to have been lying for several days in his home in Westminster before being discovered by police. It was partially decomposed and one report said that there were signs of a ritualistic element to the killing as his mobile phone and sim cards were carefully laid out.
    Police broke into the top-floor flat on Monday afternoon after they were told by friends that the man had not been seen for some time. According to The Sun, the victim was believed to have studied at the University of Cambridge and was said to have been a mild-mannered cycling enthusiast.
    He is also understood to have been a communications officer at GCHQ, the Government’s listening post in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. He was apparently working on secondment to MI6 — the Secret Intelligence Service, which gathers information about Britain’s enemies abroad and whose headquarters is just over the Thames from the flat, possibly advising it on listening devices.”

  26. Sorry “The Times”, not this times…

  27. The IFS said: “Low-income households of working age lose the most as a proportion of income from the tax and benefit reforms announced in the emergency budget. Those who lose the least are households of working age without children in the upper half of the income distribution. They do not lose out from cuts in welfare spending, and they are the biggest beneficiaries from the increase in the income tax personal allowance.”
    —————————————————————–
    I thought Clegg said the biggest beneficiaries of the increased personal allowance were the low paid.

    He is going to be in sooo much trouble with the Dem voters now. 8-)

  28. One in six British women are ‘shopaholics’ and have racked up debts of more than £3,300.
    The average ‘shopaholic’ owes £3,354 – built up using a combination of credit cards, store cards and loans – and more than half of which was spent on clothes and accessories.
    One in seven British men are also classed as being shopaholics, running up debts of £3,425
    One third of women claimed to have reined in their spending because of the economic climate, but 23 per cent said their habits have not changed at all.
    Another and 4 per cent claimed they are shopping more to cheer themselves up.
    Only 14 per cent of shopaholics said they budget for their monthly spending and 41 per cent admitted they would buy an item if they really wanted it, even if it pushed them over their overdraft limit.

    Ann Robinson, director of consumer policy for uSwitch.com, who did the survey,said: ‘Despite the financial constraints, women have carried on copying the lifestyles and shopping habits of their idols and ignoring the debt they are racking up in the process.

    ‘But this ‘spend-emic’ has spread and it’s clear that men too have caught on to the joys and perils of shopping.

    ‘It’s time for everyone to pay serious attention to their spending habits. Short-term debt solutions may seem an efficient way to fund spending, but they can also lead to long-term debt if not managed properly.’

  29. I wonder whether the approval ratings are suffering because Nick Clegg is visibly in charge at the moment. I would be very interested to see if they alter after Cam has been back for a week. Just a thought.

  30. @Colin – I hope you are quoting a proper survey here and not some vodoo nonsense?

  31. @Peter Buss

    IMO- sadly (!)- I think you may be right ! Thank goodness he has just begun two weeks paternity leave ;-)

    Though if the coalition don’t win the IFS report news-cycle over the next 72 hours and into the BH weekend that will be a significant knock to their ‘economic’ and ‘fairness’ credentials.

    Remember Nicholas was at the forefront of the“this is a progressive budget that will increase fairness'” cheerleading back in June.

    What Simon Hughes says (or perhaps does not say) is going to be interesting….

  32. It is hugely ironic that the Treasury this morning (including the radio 4 ‘performance’ of Hoban) is stating that ‘it does not accept’ the report of a highly rated fully independent academic and policy research think tank.

    I seem to remember- just a few months ago- similar spats between the previous Treasury team and, oh yes, the IFS ! Spats that were highly criticised by the then opposition and their supporters here.

    We were promised it was all going to be so different.

    But it isn’t.

  33. The IFS story is a serious difficulty for the Tories in particular. Eoin yesterday talked about the general trend for mid term dips and pre election recoveries, but in some cases – 1997, 2010, this doesn’t hold. It doesn’t hold if there is a major loss of confidence in a government like Black Wednesday or the banking crisis.

    While the IFS report doesn’t compare to those events, if the view takes hold that Osborne hurts the poor and lies about it, this becomes a major credibility issue that will be hard to escape from. It would need other things to go wrong to see credibility evaporate – like a double dip or a failure to significantly reduce the deficit – but its a bad start.

    Its very hard for the Tories to argue against the IFS analysis as they made so much play of the IFS in opposition. It also exposes the fact that Osborne’s progressive claims were built on a lie. He gave his budget claiming to be open and honest, with no details hidden in the small print, then going on to produce charts showing the impact on different income levels.

    The trouble was, he only included charts for the next 2 years – before the worst of the benefit cuts kicks in. This was classic small print burial. Had he projected beyond 2 years it would have been absolutely clear that the pooorest were being hit hardest, and his claim to be progressive was at best spin and at worst a lie.

    This will slowly unravel and become ingrained in the voters minds. Osborne has made a familiar millstone for his party and they will wear it well. The Telegraph leads with pensioners as they will suffer from the CPI switch. The Lib Dems dissenters will become increasingly strident and the strains will show. I doubt we’ll have to wait until 2015 for a GE.

  34. “if the view takes hold that Osborne hurts the poor and lies about it”

    I thought he was elected BECAUSE he hurts the poor and lies about it?

  35. Sue Marsh

    “I thought he was elected BECAUSE he hurts the poor and lies about it?”

    pretty typical for you recently Sue

  36. Alec

    1997
    & 2010

    It did hold- in that there was a recovery in polls… in fact in the two years yo u mention the recovery was quite pronounced…

    The post asked to discount “what base” they were starting at…

    We do not know yet what base blue will be starting at in May 2014 but we can say that on pass trends voters return to the fold…

    Anthony’s graph charts on the right bar of the main page illustrate the point quite well

    Reds were coming of a very very low base in 09/10 and they did not recovery enough to claim election victory but by goll the recovered…

    My original post made this crystal clear.

  37. “Our analysis shows that the overall effect of the new reforms announced in the June 2010 Budget is regressive, whereas the tax and benefit reforms announced by the previous Government for introduction between June 2010 and April 2014 are progressive,” the report said.

    Not accepting the findings is laughable. Oh the stick we got over figures released by the IFS.

    to make it clearer for those who will no doubt post later explaining why the IFS have it all wrong, or maybe why it doesn’t matter anyway…..

    “The report found Mr Osborne’s tax and benefit changes between June 2010 and April 2014 will cost the poorest 10% of households £422.83, but those in the second richest 10% will only find themselves £339.12 worse off.”

  38. Colin – Holier than thou again. Why else did all those DEs vote for him then Colin, please explain?

  39. @Rob Sheffield

    “An orderly transition to confidence and supply minority Tory government would be my advice (and IMHO was what the election result actually translated as). ”

    This is the point I’ve always subscribed to and your analysis of how illegitimately the coalition was conceived and constructed is absolutely spot on. Genuine PR voting systems, as enjoyed by most continental democracies, have coalition government written into their DNA and pre-election pacts and likely post -election rapprochments are usually clearly spelt out by all the parties during the campaign. What we had in the four or five days after May 5th was a hotchpotch and a last ditch attempt by Cameron to get into Downing Street by the only means then available to him. All the rest, really, is spin and retrospective justification. That said, they’ve contrived the legendary camel (a horse designed by a committee; in this case Danny Alexander and William Hague!) and they’ve got to now, Faustian pact-esque, make the damned thing work!

    Incidentally, and I take a bit of issue with Eoin here, I’m still a little surprised at how insouciant and relaxed the Tories are with their current poll ratings. Opinion polls taken in the immediate aftermath of an election are always very positive for the “winning” party. I call these “souffle” ratings, puffed up by respondents giving them the benefit of the doubt and wanting to align themselves with the winning side. Some people even conveniently forget that they ever voted for the losing side! Maybe it’s all those years plumbing opinion poll depths that has enthused their supporters about the current ratings but vote shares of late 30s and early 40s, I would say, spell trouble down the line. I think they need much more fat than that in the current honeymoon period to bide them over the cold political winters that await them.

  40. @Eoin – understand. I was just quoting your post from memory and wasn’t questioning it. I was tather looking at what scuppers governments, and a general and deep loss of confidence creates the unrecoverable position.

    two points to consider though about the dates in question. In 1997 it became clear that the polls were wrong and they overestimated the Labour lead. It’s quite possible there wasn’t an actual recovery for Major of any great note, but that the mid term polls were even more out than the pre election ones.

    For 2010, we can assign much of the recovery to Tory incompetance. From Jan 2010 (and arguably from October 2009) Cameron was poor and tactically they were inept. With a better opposition Labour would have been completely buried and perhaps no sign of a government recovery. Just ask Ashcroft.

  41. Anthony

    I realise that this is a site where mainly Labour people hang out and say what they like..
    That last comment Is light hearted and certainly not partisan!!

    Have a look at some of the comments on here constantly attacking Tory party.. oh why am I bothered.,

  42. What type of recovery can we expect from blue in 2014-5?

    Well lets look at Brown’s fightback..

    In May-Sept 2009 Reds averaged 23.8%
    In Jan-May 2010 Reds afveraged 29.4%

    In % terms a fightback/recovery of 5.2% in more or less a year…

    If Blue dip to say 33%, which I think they will….

    Will a 38.2% give them victory in 2015?

  43. It is certainly reasonable to say that a GO run Treasury does not have the credentials to dismiss an IFS report , given their use of them when in opposition.

    I can’t actually find the report in question on the IFS site, but an interesting discussion on R4 this morning will make me try to find it.

    If IFS have-for example-included the potential reduction in HB following the lower cap as an element in their “reduced income levels”, one has to ask whether we are measuring anything meaningful.
    HB is to pay for housing. If changes in welfare benefit s like this are to be portrayed as income changes, then welfare dependency is merely reinforced.
    THe point about the changes being mooted by IDS is that they increase the chances of moving from welfare to work, and thus social mobility-the latter having generally got worse during Labours term in office.

    It is suggested that NC’s response to the criticism he will undoubtedly receive from his left wing, is to point to the efforts to increase social mobility through welfare to work his own income tax reductions for the lower paid.

    But at the superficial level this will not be easy for him. The IFS has attained God like status.

    Extraordinary things going on in the city.

    Fears in USA & UK of debt reduction induced slowdown, takes investor away from equities , and dodgy EU sovereign debt to……..UK & USA Government debt.

    UK & US gilt yields fall-borrowers gain-savers lose.

    Its a funny old world.

  44. @Nick H

    Opinion polls taken in the immediate aftermath of an election are always very positive for the “winning” party.

    Indeed- have a look at the ICM polling database.

    Labour were never below 46% in the opinion polls between the May 1997 GE and September 1999.

    In the seven months after the 1997 GE victory their rating never fell below 50% reaching 62% at one point.

    Their AVERAGE poll rating for May 1997 to December 1999 was 50% 8-)

    I think such a small gap between the governing and opposition party so early in the election cycle should be of great concern to CCHQ.

    Labour don’t even have a leader either!

  45. @Wayne – it might look like that that at times, but had you been here a few years back it was quite the opposite, with a few lonely left of centre voices being pummelled by the Tory posters.

    It’s more a reflection of which sides blood is up at any one time. And just to set your mind at rest – I am not and never was a Labour supporter, so there’s one less to complain about.

  46. Remaining leaderless for as long as possible might well do labour’spolling fortunes the world of good

    an abstract notion of fairness and equality without a figurehead to become sick listening to and looking at…

    “Wallpaper effect” hits all leaders- but not labour’s since they aint got one….

    It is a warning not to expect a sustained pick up. As Amber said voters have already priced a DC win in.

  47. Wayne

    I think you’ll find Labour Party supporters feel or have felt exactly the same way about there being too many partisan Tory supporters attacking Labour / Brown etc.

    To butcher a well-known aphorism, “Bias is in the brain of the beholder”.

    Generally on this site I think the comments are fairly balanced and restrained – much more so than on many other political sites. Long may that continue.

    As for the polls – slightly good news for Labour but the coalition won’t be too worried yet.

    I personally don’t think we’ll see too many wobbles until there is a local / Euro election imminent and the coalition parties are a long way behind in the polls.

    Given the nature of the unpopular policies the coalition is likely to introduce I would be surprised if this didn’t result in a significant drop in their support, at least in the short term.

    There is nothing like losing seats, even council ones, to focus the minds of MP’s. So thats when we might see some wavering / dissension.

    I think some right-wing Tories might get jittery and start maneuvring as well if Labour opens up a big opinion poll lead but that seems a long way away at the moment – especially as Labour still need a new leader.

  48. An interesting take Eoin .

  49. Wayne/Gary

    Tolerance with a capital T (not its little brother ie the one with the small t) dictates that should allow all shades of opinion however extreme as long as they are politely aired. Even the most moderate opinion impolitely aired is much more insulting than a extremist disagreeing entirely with you but politely.

    tolerance with a small t is the notion that we should all somehow agree and if we dont there must be something wrong. This is a dangerous type of tolerance because it becomes an ugly expression of insisting people agree with you.

    The bottom line is that people of all colours (there are much more than just two) should feel welcome to post. We have a regular BNP poster a EDL poster, Greens, SNP and more. Saying that, I aint heard much from Plaid Cymru supporters.

  50. In August 1992 the ICM poll was (Con; Lab; LD) 41; 36; 17 = governing party 5% lead: they went on to lose the next election.

    In August 1997 the ICM poll was 29; 55; 12 = governing party 26% lead: they went on to win the next election.

    In August 2001 the ICM poll was 30; 46; 17= governing party 16% lead: they went on to win the next election.

    In August 2005 the ICM poll was 31; 38; 22= governing party 7% lead: they went on to lose the next election.

    In August 2010 the ICM poll was 37;37;18 = governing party has no lead

    I’ve just been on to Betfair to lay a bet on the Tories not being in government after next GE. I was not the only one. The punters are re-pricing the odds- as you would expect of the wise old souls :-)

    Whether that will be a labour majority or- as I suspect- another hung parliament I am not convinced either way yet. But history is not predicting a Conservative win at the next general election based on the swiftness with which the gap between the parties has narrowed.

    IMHO a Labour figurehead will increase Labour support (though marginally). Admittedly it does depend a little on which candidate gets elected ;-)

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