YouGov’s daily poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 37%, LAB 43%, LDEM 10%. Still very much in line with the 5 point leads we’ve been seeing of late, but note the Lib Dems still in double figures. Just to clarify, because I know a lot of people will ask, well over half of the fieldwork for this took place before the GDP figures, so if the shrinking economy figures do have any immediate effect upon voting intentions, you shouldn’t expect to see it yet.

106 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – 37/43/10”

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  1. @MIKE N

    I think the main reason the LibDems want May 5th is so that enough people vote, if its not on the 5th and the Yes side wins with 55% of the vote but on a low turn out below 50%, it would be very hard to press ahead with a voting change in my opinion.

    I think the one and only referendum in the UK was in 1975 which had a 64.5% turnout.

  2. Police are stating “significant new information” on the phone tapping and NoW has sacked Edmondson.

    Wonder if they are trying to contain it to 2 rogue reporters?

  3. Gary Gatter
    Yes, point taken.

  4. @ Neil A

    “If every country in the world had simply said “No. No bailouts” and the world’s diseased banks had all collapsed overnight, what would the real-world impact have been?”

    You’re going to regret asking that. OK, let’s think…

    Part 1: Scope
    It’s not productive to consider the case where all banks fail simultaneously: this is not “When Pens Get Hot” and we all start dressing like Mad Max. Instead, let’s look at when things started going all Michael Bay. The critical point for the UK was the announcement that some banks were about to close their cashpoints. Prior to that, we’d just had the Northern Rock bailouts: bad, but not catastrophic. But at that point it became dangerous because four big problems were about to fully manifest themselves simultaneously. They were:

    * The inaccurate valuation of securitised mortgages
    * The reliance of some banks on those securities to extend easy credit and easy mortgages
    * The reliance of business on easy credit for day-to-day running
    * The reliance of people on easy mortgages to maintain the house price bubble

    Below we examine what did happen, and what could have happened with less government intervention.

    Part 2: What did happen in the real world?
    Brown and Darling extended larger and larger loans to Lloyds and RBS to compensate them for their subprime losses and keep operating, eventually giving up and defacto nationalising them. This allowed normal banking (albeit at a low-level) to continue and the economy to function, but the withdrawal of easy credit to businesses led to an economy crash in 2008/9. This was partially reversed by quantitative easing which allowed banks to extend some credit and allow businesses to function, giving the businesses time to recover and turning a depression into a recession, but igniting inflation and allowing the underlying problem (businesses overreliant on easy credit) to continue. UK House prices crashed by 20% in 2008, but recovered by 10% in 2009, stabilising at about 2004 levels and now in a gentle decline. The currency lost about a third of its value against the dollar, falling from ~£1:$2.00 to ~£1:$1.30 before recovering to its present ~£1:$1.50 and is also in a gentle decline. GDP fell to ~95% of its 2007 peak and is slowly recovering. The public net debt including financial interventions is an eye-bu**ering 154% of GDP.

    In this real-world scenario, Brown and Darling traded money for time, turning a short-term acute problem in the private sector into a long-term chronic problem in the public sector. The problems have lessened: we have fewer businesses that need easy credit to survive and we have fewer homeowners that need easy mortgages to live. We did not have rioting in the streets (unlike France, Greece, Romania, Latvia) and we did not need an IMF/EU loan (unlike Ireland, Greece, Romania, Hungary). But other countries (Germany, France, Italy?, all of Scandinavia, Canada, Australia…it’s a long list) did better than us and we now have new problems (an outstandingly large public debt, and a lack of credit). Nobody has yet gotten to grips with this.

    What would have happened if they’d’ve just collapsed without any government intervention at all?
    The collapse of Lloyds and RBS with losses later estimated in the trillions led to panic. People who banked with the two clamoured for their money under the various Government guarantee schemes, but the Government couldn’t move fast enough. Contrary to popular memory, normal civic society continued: people used their credit cards instead of their debit cards, cash remained in circulation, food continued to be produced and sold, law and order continued. But images of rioting savers consumed the television screens and the governing Labour party saw its polls crashdive. An emergency nationalisation of the two banks and their reopening for bread-and-butter banking some weeks later went some way to stabilising the sitution, but the public were uneasy, and even banks that had eschewed mortgage securitisation (e.g. Barclays) saw savers withdraw their assets. The runs on the banks saw the currency crash and inflation to spike. Meanwhile, the reliance of business on easy credit for day-to-day running pushed the economy into recession as, one by one, they collapsed. The withdrawal of cheap mortgages caused the housing market to crash by 35% in 2008/9, only stabilising at the end of 2009 by foreign purchases enabled by the devalued currency.

    Faced with high unemployment, high inflation, a pound trading at £1:$1.20, GDP at ~90% of its 2007 peak and house prices back at 2001 levels, the Labour government lost the 2010 General Election by a landslide. The incoming Conservative administration finds itself ill-equipped to deal with the situation and entertains itself by attacking the EU, but the economy is recovering without its help, for the sole reason that all the damage has been done. The pound has recovered to ~£1:$1.40, GDP is ~93% of its 2007 peak and is slowly recovering. The public net debt including financial interventions is ~50% of GDP.

    In this alternate-world scenario, the UK suffered the full force of the problem, with high inflation, high unemployment, a crashed currency and civil unrest. We would still be living with the memories and the political fallout would have been immense. But housing would be cheaper, we would not have such a high public debt, and prospects for future development would be better, albeit from a far lower base. It’s debatable whether this is better or worse (which would you prefer: a heart-attack or tuberculosis? One kills you fast, one slow: pick)

    Regards, Martyn

  5. @Nick Poole – at this late stage, I could be wrong but I rather doubt that there’s any practical way in which the Bill could be “split” in time for a 5 May referendum. It would require an amendment abolishing a substantial chunk of the Bill (the redistricting part), and also amending the provisions by which the changes to the voting system take effect (under the present Bill, the AV clauses are not “activated” until the boundary changes are complete).

    Then there would be the matter of getting such an amendment through the Commons – which is far from assured if the Conservatives don’t get the bits of the Bill they want.

    Politics at its finest, eh? :)

  6. @Jayblanc

    As I understand it, the “supermajority required to dissolve Parliament” was increased from 55% to two-thirds. Neither the original proposals, nor the Bill as it finally emerged from the Cabinet Office, entailed that a Government would be immune to a vote of no confidence.

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