Here are some bits and pieces from polls you may have missed.

ICM did a poll on Faith schools for Channel 4. On the principle of faith schools, 37% thought there should be faith shools, 59% disagreed (although the wording was a bit harsh – the anti-faith school argument said “schools should be for everyone regardless of religion”, so it’s possible some people who picked that option may have supported faith schools if they were not allowed to select on the basis of religion). On the subject of admissions, 37% thought it was understandable the lengths some parents went to get their children into their preferred school, with 60% saying it was wrong for parents to pretend to belong to a religion to get into a school. People were split on whether or not schools should have a daily religious assembly – 45% agreed they should, 44% disagreed.

Moving on, there was a short YouGov poll commissioned by the Ed Balls leadership campaign and the CWU on whether the post office should be privatised or not. 60% thought it should remain wholly in public ownership, 13% that is should be part-privatised and 15% that is should be privatised completely.

Interestingly enough, we used pretty much the same wording for this poll as for this poll of Labour members for Compass back in 2009 – back then 66% of Labour members opposed privatisation, 24% supported part-privatisation and 5% complete privatisation, giving us the rather surprising result that Labour members are marginally more likely to support privatisation than the general public. The reason for this odd answer is straightforward – back in 2009 it was Labour party policy to support post-office part-privatisation – I suspect Labour party members would be much less supportive now it is the Conservative/Lib Dem coalition government doing it! On the subject of party supporters becoming more positive towards a policy when their own side puts it forward, there’s a good article here (hat tip to Paul Goodman at ConHome).

Finally, here’s some interesting bits and pieces from the YouGov daily polls. Following Eric Pickles instructions to councils to have less road signs and clutter, 43% of people agreed there were too many road signs on Britain’s roads, 10% too few and 37% that the balance was about right. (here). And finally, on THE BIG ISSUE of the last week, 84% of people said they though the cat-binning lady should be prosecuted for animal cruelty. (here).

The only poll I’m aware of tonight is the regular YouGov/Sunday Times figures at 10pm.

420 Responses to “Things you may have missed”

1 4 5 6 7 8 9
  1. Barney

    “Indeed they supported an abstinence campaigner to get rid of the radical Winston Churchill!”

    Nice to see that you still see things unchanged since 1922.

    Incidentally, do you have a view on your Glasgow Labour colleague asking the SNP to renegotiate the McCrone agreement (which Labour made) to reduce teacher’s NCT?

    Labour looking to save money by worsening employee’s working conditions. The official Tories would be proud of you Provos!


    I’d agree with you that Blair was/is an astute politician and a skilled reader of the public mood. In the eyes of many (but not all) in the Labour Party and quite a few from ‘elsewhere’ his main mistake was, of course, Iraq.

    Without Iraq , Labour would have done much better in the 2005 election, the Liberals in particular quite a lot worse and that would have set things up quite differently come the 2010 election as Labour would have had more votes in the bank at the start of the 2010 campaign.

  3. @ Howard – lol

    I took the 08.20 from Royal Tunbridge Wells but never made it back. (Those people retired long ago – it is all off-shore now.)

    @Eoin & Amber Star
    (Thread: What Went Wrong, May 21st.)

    Amber Star: AB / EM / DM / EB / DA / J McDonnell(correctly forecasting he would not get 33 nominations).

    Eoin: EB / EM / AB / DA / JMcD / DM

    Billy Bob: DM / EB / EM / DA / AB / JMcD

    Laszlo: Engels “Atheism is a form of theism”


    A good post with many truths in it ,which,as you can see, does not go down well in some quarters.

    TB’s lament that the he did not take on the forces of conservatism in the public services more actively, is, I think, echoed in Mandelson’s remarks today.

    An EM leadership will have a price-protection of the status quo & privilege in the Public Sector-Jobs, Pay, Pension rights, working practices-all of it untouchable as the price for union support.

    That’s what PM was talking about IMO-and he knows that has a limited, sectional appeal-the cul-de sac he refered to..

    I found it interesting -and amusing, to hear PM say you can only govern with a “coalition” of interest.

  5. Colin

    “I found it interesting -and amusing, to hear PM say you can only govern with a “coalition” of interest.”

    Language straight from the days of Lord North (which I referenced earlier). He is, of course, quite right in terms of 21st century UK politics. The party machines are simply vehicles for getting one lot of self-serving politicians into power, instead of another lot of self-serving politicians.

    Quite why otherwise sensible people cling to a pretence that their are issues of political principle between the UK parties, totally escapes me.

  6. “it’s the 0820 Tunbridge Wells passengers who dominate our country (mine that is).”

    Something in that-most of them work for the BBC.

  7. “their are” ->” there are”. Doh.

  8. Eoin
    No one in their right mind would pay any attention to my opinion on leadership of the tories or the snp… for the simple reason I don’t want them to thrive. I don’t believe that the parties (sorry “UK” parties are similar in any way, I think Labour governmment is best. So any view I express in advice to tory or snp supporters they may well feel is tainted.
    The same applies to supporters of other parties giving their opiniions on Labour. They don’t want to pick the effective one!

  9. BillyB,

    Thanks for tracking those down. Gawd luv ya!

    AB has gone from my third into first eh? amber should have been a salesperson.

  10. @ Billy Bob

    Well done finding the past thread. As most know, I only put Ed B behind the brothers Miliband because of his slim majority.

    I am beginning to wonder if the change in seat numbers/ boundaries would actually help Ed B. It has crossed my mind to move him up my rankings; but for now, I have not changed my order of preferences. 8-)

  11. Whats wrong with Tunbridge Wells?

  12. @ OLD NAT

    Quite why otherwise sensible people cling to a pretence that there are issues of political principle between the UK parties, totally escapes me.
    The audacity to hope, perhaps? 8-)

  13. “Whats wrong with Tunbridge Wells?”

    Nothing at all.

    It is a very nice place-though the residents do get disgusted now & again.

  14. Barney,

    If you form one of the faces, you form one of the faces- simple as that. Besides you an objecitve lad surely?
    What advice would you give the SNP then? Salmond has a decent strategy lined up for May – me thinks. It is heartening to hear that the Scottish Nationalists are not cultural supremacists like our lot over here…

    I introduced my partner a couple of years ago to the local Sinn Féiners (old acquaintances. They bought her an alcoholic drink. A guiness no less. Now at the best of times its a thick brew- unpalatable for most, that includes my missus. Now her being a free-presbyterian and not a fan of guinness aroused suspicion- what is ‘our Éoin’ doing with this one? The guy went back to the bar and put blackcurrant cordial in it to sweeten it for her- and brought it back to her. Frantz Fanon would be proud of their efforts eh?

  15. Amber,

    More than hope- faith and romance :)

  16. Barney

    “I think Labour government is best.”

    Welcome, Lord North!

  17. @DavidB

    “Without Iraq , Labour would have done much better in the 2005 election, the Liberals in particular quite a lot worse and that would have set things up quite differently come the 2010 election as Labour would have had more votes in the bank at the start of the 2010 campaign.”

    I think you’re absolutely right and, looking back, it is quite extraordinary that Blair did win a General Election three years AFTER the Iraq invasion, suggesting that he probably would have won big in 2005 had he been unencumbered with the growing political fall out from his fateful, career-defining decision. I’m one of the few who think it not entirely inconceivable that he could have pulled it off for Labour in 2010 as well, such were his political skills. Interestingly, it has been revealed that Cameron and Osbourne thought so too and regarded him as unbeatable. Brown’s elevation to the Premiership was the first day that Cameron could see a clear path to Downing Street.

    I am looking forward to Blair’s memoirs and his interview with Andrew Marr on Wednesday. He’s been much traduced and pilloried by friend and foe these last three years but he was, at his zenith, the master politician of his generation, blessed with extraordinary political skills and powers of communication. He left the stage surprisingly unheralded, but let me tell you this; by God how glad the Tories were to see him go.

  18. Eoin & Amber

    Labour supporters = Barbara Cartland readers it would seem!

  19. Of course i could have extended the list of the socialist Anthony Blair’s ability to disgust me (orange tan and ten one million pound housesalso came up pukingly), but he and Margaret Thatcher both went crackers long ago and I don’t possess the common humanity to be sufficiently gracious, unlike Gordon Brown.

    The post from USA quoting more voters wanting to go with Dubya for a drink (an incongruous proposal surely in his case) than Gore, made me think of those two earlier mentioned. Can you imagine your reaction to that idea with those two? Good polling question though.

    I’d probably want top go with Diane Abbot just to tell her what a scheming fraud she is.

  20. OldNat,

    Dame Iris Murdoch perhaps? :)

  21. Amber – I’m still catching up with the thread, but I didn’t understand your “Actions speak louder than words” question?

    I’ll check back in a bit.

  22. @Barney Crockett – The water is very good, Halls bookshop excellent (ownership passes to the longest serving assistant). Pop.70,000, but it is a long way from Broadwater Down, known in the sixties as Millionaires Row, to the North Farm Estate (where the traveller’s site is sandwiched between sewage works and landfill site).

  23. Eoin

    Iris Murdoch? Quite possibly. I refreshed my memory of her works on Wiki –
    “Her novels often include upper middle class intellectual males caught in moral dilemmas”.

    How appropriately Labour (at least in the SE of England)!

  24. OldNat

    She was Irish :) But yes an SE upbringing :(

  25. Nick Hadley
    I agree but with much greater emphasis.
    I believe the Iraq invasion was the biggest foriegn policy mistake in a century, bigger than appeasement because recovery from appeasement was easier. But Blair still won in the aftermath. I never wanted him as leader and I wanted Brown to replace him but the fact remains that on all the evidence he would have won in 2010 without difficulty

  26. Billy Bob

    “The water is very good”


    I looked up Tunbridge Wells water and found this –

    “In the early 17th century people believed that they would be healed from diseases if they bathed in or drank from certain spas. In the year 1606 a nobleman, Lord North, who was staying at Edridge was out for a ride. He came across the spring with rust coloured edges and wondered if it had health giving properties.”

    So Tunbridge Wells is indeed totally embroiled with the politics of Lord North (or, at least, one of his ancestors).

  27. Old Nat
    You obviously have mountainous contempt for many people including amber and, I’m pleased to say, me.

  28. Barney Nick H,

    I disagree but with a hyperbole that would make the screen explode. UKPR is not the place for what I think of Blair. There are institutions for conversations such as those.

  29. @ Nick Hadley

    “Interestingly, it has been revealed that Cameron and Osbourne thought so too and regarded him as unbeatable”

    That’ll probably be partly because they are both big admirers of Blair (or at least Cameron is)

    It is true, though, that one of things the Tories most feared was Blair joining the Labour campaign – thinking that he would provide an automatic boost.

  30. Eoin Clarke

    “She was Irish”. Anglo-Irish would be more appropriate, and you know just as well as me, that that appellation is a very different thing!

  31. @ Sue,

    No worries – I was just wondering what actions you thought the candidates had taken – or failed to take – that you were hoping for. Your criteria was to judge them by what they do rather than say, I thought. 8-)

    I think it will take you a while to catch up. You will be re-reading Nick Hadley’s posts & smiling. 8-)

  32. “ten one million pound housesalso came up pukingly”

    Ah yes-the crime of making a lot of money -not the sort of thing a proper left winger would do

    ….Michael Meacher for example who wrote things like this :-

    “It is bizarre after 12 years in government that the voters don’t know, as David Miliband says, what Labour stands for. But that is the price of the Blair interregnum, which was a power project devoid of ideology”

    “There is no sense of addressing one of the greatest social evils in Britain today – that our society is now even more unequal than under Thatcher and has extremes of inequality, with all the destructive impulses that is known to generate,”

    “Since the wealth of the wealthiest has quadrupled over the last decade under New Labour’s rubric of being “very relaxed about people becoming filthy rich”, the redistribution involved might seem rather modest”

    ….and who criticised “second home owners”.

    …..and who owns -at the last count-12 houses.

  33. @ Barney

    I supported the Iraq war with a heavy heart. I can respect people’s opposition to it even if I don’t agree, but this :-

    “I believe the Iraq invasion was the biggest foriegn policy mistake in a century, bigger than appeasement because recovery from appeasement was easier.”

    Are we talking about the the policy of appeasement which led, in part, to World War Two? Have I missed something?

  34. Ah, Amber, do you remember I said I was setting a little test for the leaders? I wanted to see on a particular policy they all claim is important, whether any would walk the walk or if they were just talking the talk.

    Nothing to do with their campaigns – I’ve thought AB has run a great campaign and I particularly like his manifesto. The tax suggestions make me hope that there is a chance Lab will be more creative about taxation :)

  35. Eoin
    What makes you think the snp are not cultural supremacist?
    professor Tom Gallagher has published a book arguing the exact opposite and the most telling thing was the ferocious response of the snp labelling him constantly at Salmond’s instigation as the “Nutty Professor”
    Essentialy they operate a “front of shop” which is all nice and civic and the rest of it and a “back shop” which is very different. Nationalism is in my experience a visceral issue at the end of the day
    Of cours I am not comparing anyone to Sinn Fein

  36. Barney

    Why should it be “mountainous contempt” to describe the Unionists in Scotland as preferring rule from the UK elite? That’s what you advocate and espouse.

    Nowhere in my post did I suggest that the travellers on the 8.20 from Tunbridge Wells were Tories. They are just as likely to be Labour supporters.

    You simply prefer the governance of Scotland to have its financial provision decided by those on that train. It’s a valid view. I don’t have “contempt” (either mountainous or of the South downs rolling hills variety) for it.

    I just think that it doesn’t best suit the people of Scotland – though you may well argue that it does suit the people of your country.

    i do have contempt, however, for the leader of Glasgow Council wanting to save money by worsening the conditions of Scottish teachers. you presumably support your colleague?

  37. @ Sue,

    Ah, so there is a particular policy area… interesting; I will await that day in September when you can render your final verdict.

  38. @Old Nat – *Eridge*

    Tunbridge Wells was the first hippy colony, well ‘back to nature’ anyway for the court of James II (they camped out on The Common before the town grew up, and ‘took the water’).

  39. OldNat

    “It does confuse some here when they hear that “the” NHS is being changed in some way (and they don’t bother mentioning that it is England only). ”

    Would you agree with me that the BBC have improved in that respect since the leader debates?


    I used to vote for Labour and pay the trade union levy. I’ve canvassed for Labour. My grandfather was preached against from the pulpit for his socialist views and members of my family have held ofice in their constituency parties. I was much influenced by Donald Dewar when we were teenagers.

    The last time I voted for a Labour candidate it was as a direct result of being canvassed by an SNP councillor. Since moving to this constituency seven years ago, I have voted LibDem, and latterly SNP and Green on the list.

    I have never in my life voted Conservative.

    I frequently have to remind myself that it is irrational to be as impressed as I am by the performance of SNP ministers and that as Nick Hadley explains above, they are extraordinarily lucky in their opponents.

    Early in the SNP’s term of office Christian Schmidt described their record as “bog standard competant government with a few minor gimmicks”.

    That such should seem exiting is tragic.

    Independence is neither necessary nor the best way to govern these islands, but as I told AS last week I’m ready to vote for it to get a parliamentary system fit or purpose.

  40. Barney,

    Call it economies of scale. I have saw women tarred and feathered for smiling at Soldiers.


    ‘Murdoch’ ‘Presby’ I was think Scottish actually. And I hope you would agree that that is not a different appelation? (sorry cant spell that word).


    Im curious, who owns 12 homes?

  41. barney crockett

    What a partisan little person you are!

    You complain that I treat you with “mountainous contempt”, yet you feel happy to post that I am a “cultural supremacist”. If you can identify anything in any post I have made which you feel justifies that description, then feel free to quote it.

    As to “Nationalism is in my experience a visceral issue at the end of the day” – what sad experience you must have. Your UK/British nationalism is simply a “crude or elemental notion”? Or did you mean that your UK/British nationalism is simply felt deeply? And why only at the end of the day/ Don’t you feel British in the morning?

  42. John B,

    Ahh so your a thinker… Well that is good at least. The courage of your convictions to switch party is admirable. Of course the obstinacy and dedication to remain with one is also endearing but in a different kind of way- you’ll appreciate.

    They say its like a divorce, the minute you do it once, you increase the chances of it happening again. Labour it that sense are actually my fourth political party. I am good terms with the other three. They knew I was a stickler for principle and their policies shifted outside my remit… (or comfort zone now I am told it is called lol )

  43. @barney crockett

    You said “…Whats wrong with Tunbridge Wells?…”

    Oh god, you had to ask…

    If memory serves (and it may not), it’s a bit dowdy, the local shopping centre and car park is showing its age, it doesn’t have a Waterstone’s, the railway station is at the bottom of a steep hill, and it’s just outside the hour-to-London-train-journey commute. If you want nice, go for Godalming: posh, go for Haslemere: affordable, go for Edenbridge or Tonbridge (the latter is just north of RTW and far rougher but cheaper and quicker to London).

    Don’t get me wrong: the surrounding countryside does have the whole “garden of England” thing going on, and if you catch it at the right angle, just after the rain when the leaves are so green and wet you could lick them, the countryside is frankly “Shadowlands” beautiful. But that’s the countryside: Royal Tunbridge Wells is, well, a bit meh: a minor market town with a good PR department.

    Regards, Martyn

  44. Eoin – I’ll return your frankness and tell you what I want for our party.

    I learnt about the early days of Labour from my Granddad. I learnt about small groups of good men and women, families, communities and workers standing up and claiming their own voice.

    I learnt that if you want to change things, you get up and change them.

    I learnt that each and every one of us deserved a world class education as our right.

    I learnt that “politics” was what you did to get your street lit or your village hall built. You did it together.

    Any old politician in a nice suit can list policies and form focus groups, but a great politician finds a way to re-frame politics, to re-engage political will, to unite disparate groups and to offer a totally new model.

    While others dream up attractive sweet’ners, a true leader sets about taking action. If the Labour Party believes “that by the strength of our common endeavour we achieve more than we achieve alone,” it falls to any leader to show a new way of doing just that.

    We are here to improve lives and talk is cheap. Action is what counts.

  45. Sue,

    You forgot your imho :)

  46. Eoin – I said I’d return a frankness, which implied fairly early on an opinion was involved :)

  47. Sue,

    Well amen to your frankness! I hope it felt good. :) I’m concialtory by nature, i have not got the stomach for another bout of Dave’s your uncle.

  48. Sue,

    Forigve my spelling (long day- brain heats up as it goes on). :)

  49. Sue Marsh

    I applaud all those sentiments but …
    ” I’ll …… tell you what I want for our party. ”

    You want it for a political party!!!!! I want it for the people of my country.

  50. @ OLD NAT

    I might want an independant Scotland, if I believed that Scotland was ruled by a Westminster elite.

    The influence Scottish politics, politicians & institutions have had on the poltics of the UK has been massively dispropotionate to our numbers.

    I think we contribute so much to Britain that they would be lost without us. ;-)

1 4 5 6 7 8 9