We also have a new Angus Reid poll out today, with broadly similar figures to MORI (well, they are more similar to MORI than they are YouGov and ICM). Topline figures with changes from the start of the month are CON 33%(-2), LAB 41%(+1), LDEM 12%(nc). A movement towards Labour, but all well within the margin of error.

I’m not certain what the dates on this are – whether it was all after the GDP announcement, straddled it, or was all before it.

84 Responses to “Angus Reid – 33/41/12”

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  1. @AW on nomenclature
    I thought that many Tories call themselves Tories (‘and proud of it’ they often add superfluously’).

    I always think if you want to know what is intended as an insulting appellation, just listen to what the opposing partisans call the other side.

    On that basis ‘socialist’ for Labour is clearly felt a smear by Conservative MPs.

    ‘Liberals’ is clearly felt demeaning by Labour MPs. They cannot bring themselves to say ‘Liberal Democrat’ and neither could the Tories, but that may have changed (not for Bill Cash or John Redwood I suspect). Liberal is an out and out insult in the USA, akin to calling someone a ‘commie’ over here.

  2. Here is the turtle of enormous girth
    and on his back he bares the earth.
    Now I know why Stephen King uses this theme in the
    Dark Tower series.Thanks Amber!

  3. I’ve maintained since May that the ‘honeymoon’ was the incorrect metaphor for the relationship between the government and the electorate. Partly because voters went into the election not sure which combination of Parties would end up in bed with them (they were happy with the idea of a threesome, but…).

    And also because they believed that there would be severe cuts and/or tax rises whoever got into power, so it was who could be best trusted to dish out the fiscal punishment with minimum harm for the achieved end – without a way of stopping it once it had started. (I think we’d better stop the metaphor there).

    The very fact no Party got anywhere near an overall majority meant that the uncritical bliss of a honeymoon was never an option. However if you are going to try to define one, maintenance of your share of the GE vote doesn’t really work.

    If you look at the poll for today’s Sun, the Conservatives are on the same percentage, 37%, as in May. But a look at the actual figures shows a drop of 12% in the net number of Tory voters. The reason this doesn’t show in the headline percentage is because the total percentage of all those opting for the three big Parties has fallen by a similar amount. And as the total for the minor parties, at 10%, is similar to May, they have leaked support too.

    So the big winners are the ‘non-voters’. If it was a honeymoon, it’s ended with a trial separation for many in the electorate. And while the Lib Dems may have been kicked out of bed a long way back, the Tories were put out six weeks ago when Labour started out-polling them – even if they were still above 37%.

  4. @Rob Sheffield -“As many in the Voluntary and charitable sectors have been warning- these sectors rely on state funding to great degrees. Not individual philanthropy- though that seems to be the model that is preferred by the current government. ”

    Loved your 5.54pm post.

    An interesting practical aspect of the above quote has just been make by Jonathon Porrit on C4 news regarding the proposed forestry sell off. His biggest complaint was not about loss of access or wildlife, but about the fact that only a single organisation (state owned in his opinion) can guarantee a balance between the long term strategic objectives of wood production, public leisure and biodiversity.

    He took the view that while there are lots of models for achieving some or all of these objectives in parts, piecemeal sell off of the forest estate means that smaller charitably or private enterprises won’t have the overall strategic ability to manage competing pressures and the whole point of a state owned forest estate will be lost.

    Seeing your post, I thought this an apposite example of what you are saying in action.

  5. @Rob Sheffield

    In a way, there are three “honeymoon” periods we conflate into the same thing. One is the “back the winner” effect, the other is “I support the government”, and the third is “give them benefit of the doubt”.

    In this election “back the winner” was muddied by there not really being a clear winner, despite occasional claims by conservatives otherwise. And that wasn’t helped by a raft of mixed messages from the Conservative leadership on if they considered themselves to have a mandate.

    However, I think the first to wane was “I support the government” with the LibDems being hit hardest first. The Conservatives seem to be quite resilient on this, and may well still hold on to much of this “honeymoon” effect.

    And finally we are seeing the end of the “benefit of the doubt” honeymoon, broken down by far too many negative news stories about government policies and their impact.

    Of course, there’s no real way to measure these, so it’s just speculation…

  6. Alec

    I saw that interview. Surprised that, although the item stressed that these were English forests under discussion, Porrit insisted on talking about UK forests.

    That a supposed expert is so sadly ignorant, hardly inspires confidence in anything else he might say.

  7. Keep an eye on this.

    I’ve gone on Twitter this afternoon offering a £1000 wager to Telegraph blogger, Ed West, over his assertionsabout UKIP that it is “only a matter of time before they overtake the Lib Dems” in the polls. I’ve defined the bet as UKIP’s share exceeding that of the Lib Dems in any of the next 36 months, in the PAPA All Pollsters’ Average over that period – the calculation being based on the figures as we have them at the end of a month.

    There could just be a fluke month at the time of the next EU elections in May/June 2014 – but that is beyond the three year period.

    The great problem for UKIP is that they are rubbish at campaigning on the ground – as we saw yet again in the OES by election.

    Mike Smithson on PB.

  8. I have a feeling You Gov will bring the Tory Lab gap to within a couple of points again.

    If nothing much has touched the election Tory vote so far, I think we will have to wait for the real pain.

  9. DAVID

    I hope he takes your wager but I fear he won’t! Like all parties which have members with extreme views tend to have problems staying together – internicine jealousies etc tend to get in the way of a consistent approach to anything. These parties also tend to attract ‘oddbods’ who get into trouble with the law or other authorities.

  10. I had wondered when the collapse of the financial sector was going to affect the concept that London subsidises other parts of the UK.


    “This calculation gives London a fiscal balance in 2009-10 of minus £2.7bn on a residence basis and £5.5bn on a workplace basis, to give the midpoint of £1.4bn.

    The Corporation said it was unusual for the residence measure to be negative. On this measure alone public spending was not covered by tax receipts from City residences, although it is possible that expenditure would have been lower if commuters were not travelling into London.”

  11. David – he’d be a bloody fool to take the bet. I wouldn’t be too surprised if we got a couple of freak polls showing UKIP ahead of the Lib Dems, but I think it extremely unlikely we’d get the average of all the polling companies showing it at any point.

    (Except, as Mike says, just after the European election when it is entirely plausible… but not the time period Mike is offering the bet for)

  12. Its about any psychological boost for the honeymooners as well.

    For Cameron it probably lasted all the way to May 19th and the backlash from his move on the 1922 Committee.

    Clegg will probably have started having doubts during the Rose Garden “love-in” – say what you like about him – he is not totally blind to body-language.

    No doubts for Osborne though, all the way to Klosters and beyond, riding the recovery that Darling delivered… but he is on his own now.

  13. Hip pocket nerves always win; why support someone who will destroy jobs?

    Okay, possibly for the good of the country but if I am the unemployed through no fault of my own and bankers keep getting bonuses why would I vote for slash and burn parties?

    Govts lose power, oppositions can jut sit and wait.

  14. I have a serious question.

    If the Tories drop drop to a point arouns 30% and hovering and Labour are flirting with 50%…if the May results inflict slaughter on the Tories…

    If public opinion starts to clearly oppose austerity over growth.

    My question: Could the coalition really survive?

    The Lib Dems would have to jump ship and become anti-Tory in an election, surely? Because waiting for a (dubious) recovery would deliver votes to the Tories not them, surely?

    The Lib Dems must be regretting this venture. It looks like madness. They are relieved to be polling 12-15%.

  15. @ NickP – The Lib Dems must be regretting this venture.

    Well Vince appears pretty chipper today. He told reporters at a Westminster Press Gallery (liquid?) lunch –

    “We have taken a political hit in the short run, but there are pluses. There are an awful lot of people who never even considered voting for us as a party who now are considering it because they believe we are serious.”

    Who can he be referring too?


  16. Nick – you need to measure it against the alternative… would left-leaning anti-Conservative voters suddenly flock to the Liberal Democrats if they left the coalition and claimed they didn’t agree with all the things they’d done in government? Would they suddenly trust them again?

    48% of people who voted Lib Dem in 2010 but wouldn’t now agree with the statement “I could never trust the Liberal Democrats, even if they left the coalition”.

    There is probably no nice, good, easy option for the Liberal Democrats, so I’d expect them to do what political parties in holes have done since time immemorial – hold onto office for as long as possible and hope that something turns up.

    As a general rule, the less popular parties become, the keener they become to put off the day when they need to face the electorate.

  17. That makes sense, Anthony…if you are a Minister.

    But out there on the ground or the back benches?

    In my head I agree with you. But I can sense panic when the times get really rough. I sensed panic at those growth figures.

    They’ve regrouped, but what the hell can they do if next quarters GDP shows no growth?

    I watched the “chipper” Vince Cable claiming his 2 years before tribunal rules was part of a “growth” strategy.

    The most popular thing Osborne could do is slash fuel duty. But that would also be a dramatic panic signal for Labour.

    Interesting times. People WILL do funny things under pressure (I’ve seen it). One of the problems the coalition has is…can they trust their partners? What about when they are fighting each other for votes?

  18. @Anthony Wells

    The converse is that 33% of those who’ve “abandoned” the LibDems said they *would* consider trusting them if they left the coalition. So they *do* stand to regain at least some of their support.

  19. I’ve always thought the importance of confidence over economy is overestimated, usually by the Tory press, as that’s something the Tories always win out on. The economy isn’t everything – people trust Labour (whether rightly or wrongly) to improve their living standards, do less cutting and generally do it fairer. They also trust Labour more on NHS, schools, unemployment etc. At a time when we’re seeing part-privatisation of the NHS which could be disaster both in opinion and action for the Tories, rising unemployment, falling living standards, and all pointers to a less fair and equal (which is saying something given New Labour’s record), I find it frustrating to read that Labour MUST win the economic argument to the detriment of everything else. Who’s to say that those saying they aren’t to confident with Labour economically are for the simple reason that the markets prefer the Tory plan, and even if they detest it, realise that Labour would probably be punished for it – doesn’t mean to say they won’t be voting Labour at the next opportunity!

    @ Rob Sheffield/Crossbat etc

    So it’s starting again is it? If you don’t agree with Eoin/TGB’s analysis then remark so (for the record I disagree with Eoin myself), and leave it at that (much like I disagree with Rob Sheffield’s continued assertion that Labour need to remain centrist – when he describes Blair as centrist) to be elected; but I’m not gonna keep banging on about it every thread and start taunting him over it. There’s no need for it.

  20. @NickP
    I think the Lib Dem’s Spring Conference is going to be… Interesting.

  21. Nick P – I never speculate about what other parties Parliamentarians or activists might think (not least because I see other people doing it and talking embarrassing tripe!) – but it’s worth noting that unlike the Conservative party grassroots Lib Dem members do have a trigger mechanism to unseat a leader.

    That said, wishful thinking means supporters of opposing parties always tend to grossly, massively, hugely overestimate unhappiness amongst their opposing party’s activists. Party members of all the main parties tend to be pretty loyal sorts.

  22. You are right on that, Anthony. Every day I assume that the populus are close to revolt.

    And then I see the polls…

  23. Craig – its not true to say the Conservatives are always ahead on the economy – between Black Wednesday and the credit crunch Labour were more often than not ahead on which party people trusted on the economy.

    (Actual figures depend on the various questions asked over that time, and the beginning and end of Labour’s lead on the economy don’t tie up that neatly with the two economic crisises, but that’s roughly the period of perceptions of Labour as the party most trusted on the economy)

  24. anthony

    do you think that the fuel tax announcement was made because of bad polling numbers

  25. Richard – buggered if I know. Probably for political reasons, but perhaps it was always planned as a sweetener and you don’t really need a poll to tell you fuel taxes are unpopular.

    There is very little sensible conversation to be gained from speculating upon the motives of why politicians make their decisions (well, at least there isn’t here where we’re trying to maintain a non-partisan discussion). People who don’t like them will always read base reasons into it, and there is no way of us actually telling – George isn’t going to turn to here to explain (and if he did, those who don’t like him wouldn’t believe him anyway!)

  26. @ Howard

    “Liberal is an out and out insult in the USA, akin to calling someone a ‘commie’ over here.”

    No it’s not.

  27. anthony

    thanks, would it be fair to say that although delaying a rise in fuel duty would be popular, it would not help to reduce the deficit

  28. so cal

    it is on the blogs i read

  29. SoCalLiberal

    To be fair, it’s probably true in most parts of Forsyth County, NC.

    It may now also be true in most parts of Ayr County, Scotland. :-)

  30. SCL,

    What about McCarthyism? Not all Americans live in the very wonderful and liberated state of California

  31. @ Old Nat

    “To be fair, it’s probably true in most parts of Forsyth County, NC.

    It may now also be true in most parts of Ayr County, Scotland.”

    Forsyth County, NC did vote for both John Kerry and Barack Obama so I’m not sure “liberal” is an insult in all parts of the county.

    I was watching one of Jim Murphy’s weekly video addresses on his website and he cricized the Lib Dems where he stated “I am not a Liberal.” I found this somewhat ironic as by my calculation, he is most definitely a liberal. :)

  32. @ Richard in Norway

    “it is on the blogs i read”

    Lol, you can’t always take blogs as representative of society at large. Point is, some people will use the term “liberal” as an insult yet 25%-30% of the population self-identify as “liberal.”

  33. @ The Green Benches

    “What about McCarthyism? Not all Americans live in the very wonderful and liberated state of California.”

    Lol, we practically invented McCarthyism. We are the home of Reagan and Nixon too. We’re not that liberated.

    And actually, I consider liberalism in California to be slightly different from liberalism nationwide.

  34. SCL,

    we had a documentry about the Supreme Court in GB/Ire today…
    I thought of you! :)

    I have a good friend in SC… he runs a clinical psychology dept in Berkley… you would like him a lot..

    he adopted 2 kids with his same sex partner.. I met him by enitre chance at the back of Notre Damme one year…

    If you ever wanna get in touch with him let me know….

    He is very warm and would appreciate the greet….

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