The full tables for the YouGov/Sunday Times poll are now up here.

The regular economic trackers have fallen even further since last week, before the GDP figures, when they were already dire. Since then the percentage of people thinking the economy is in a bad state is up to 80% (which I believe is the lowest since the height of the credit crunch in 2008, when it got up to 90%). The “feel-good-factor” – the proportion of people who think their financial situation will get better in the next twelve months minus those who think it will get worse – is down to minus 56, equalling the worst since the bank-bailout in September 2008.

Asked specifically about the drop in GDP, 9% think it was entirely down to snow, 53% think the snow was a factor, but there were other underlying problems too. 30% think the snow was just an excuse. YouGov then asked if people thought the figures were a sign that the government’s policy was failing and they should change course, or if they were on the right course and shouldn’t be put off by one quarter’s bad figures – respondents were split down the middle – 36% to 36%.

Asked about some specific measures, 49% think the top rate of 50p should be made permanent, 33% think it should eventually be brought down. 51% would like to the see the threshold for the top rate brought down to £100,000, 29% would oppose this. 85% thought the planned rise in fuel tax should be cancelled.

There were also a couple of question on the phone hacking scandal. Unsurprisingly 85% thought the behaviour of the journalists concerned was illegal. Asked if there were any circumstances where it would have been acceptable, 71% said no, 21% thought it would be acceptable for journalists to hack into voicemail in some circumstances, such as investigating corruption. Just 1% thought it was legitimate anyway. 60% thought that the phone hacking scandal was an important issue that the police should be spending time investigating.

Finally there were a group of questions about the Sky Sports sexism row, which actually showed a fairly substantial minority thinking Andy Gray and Richard Keys had been ill treated. While an overall majority thought it was right that Gray was sacked (51%), and that Keys was right to resign (53%), a third of people thought that Gray had been treated unfairly.

163 Responses to “More from YouGov’s Sunday Times poll”

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  1. Those who are partisan for one of the UK parties may wish to reflect on the responses to

    “Who do you trust more to make the right decisions about sorting out the British economy?”

    Osborne 22% : Balls 19% : Neither 41% : DK 18%

    This guy “Neither” seems to be popular! :-)

  2. @OLDNAT

    It may of course be that the public are reserving judgement at the present time with regard to those two gentlemen. The figures concerning replies to specific economic issues give us perhaps a slightly better picture of the state of play between the actual parties. Though one has to admit that those well known politicians “Neither” and “A N Other” have had long and successful careers!

  3. Question on selling off England’s forests was interesting (if only that YouGov actually identified an England only policy as being that, and not phrasing it as if it applied throughout GB).

    While I don’t think there was any polling on the idea of leasing some of Scotland’s forests, there was clearly huge opposition to it. When it comes to England’s forests, however, 19% of the Scots polled (12% GB) think it fine to sell them off to reduce UK debt. :-)

  4. Seeing as the main General Election argument was over the question of whether “cutting now” was going to damage the economy or not, it is unsurprising the terrible GDP figures are harming the Conservatives.

    Their entire economic argument (if not their entire economic strategy) was based on there being no double-dip recession. If the country moves back into recession their numbers don’t add up (you can do cost cutting without harming the economy if the economy is growing, even sluggishly, because tax receipts go up, if people stop spending and lose their jobs AND there’s no growth the defecit will increase).

    Also the argument that “there is no alternative” is being shown up as several major economic players (China, India, US) are following a different strategy and posting growth as a result.

  5. Looks like some cut in fuel duty is on the cards.
    On the Gray issue the sports bloggers feel Karren Brady is as sexist as Gray.Tough for the woman assistant referee who’s career looks like it’s been terminated. He’s getting £3 000 000 from Sky and a job with Al Jazeera ( allegedly ) – was this all a set-up.?

  6. “Looks like some cut in fuel duty is on the cards.”

    I think it is more accurate to say that no further rise in fuel duty is on the cards.

    When petrol is 130p/l, not raising it by another 2p is hardly going to make a government more popular, but maybe just keep it where it is in popularity. At 130p it is already crucifying.

    To me 110p would feel about right. 130p means that every time you fill your car, it is £10 -12 more expensive than it should be.

  7. All three Party leaders improved their scores this week, especially Clegg for some reason (from all quarters). Miliband’s improvement looks steady, mainly as people continue to make up their mind about him. Cameron’s may just be variation – the sample feels a little pro-Tory, though it’s a good big size.

    What I do find fascinating is the level of independent consideration in the response from the panel on economic issues. For example the reaction to Osborne’s ‘it’s all the snow, Guvnor’ response is suitably derisory and there is some automatic judging it on Party lines. But only 20% of Tories agree with the Chancellor and 45% of Labour are prepared to admit the weather had some effect.

    Similarly, given the choice between Interest rates should be increased to combat inflation and keep prices down and Interest rates should be kept low to help the economy grow, people chose growth over lower inflation by 48% to 28% (with little difference between the Parties). Even the over-60’s, hit hardest by high inflation and a low return on savings, agreed by 43% to 37%. Whether you agree or not, it’s a disinterested* choice.

    Of course YouGov panelists are by definition unrepresentative of the population, because 100% of them are people prepared to sign up for filling in on-line questionnaires. This implies a certain engagement with the world (even if it’s your opinions on groceries) and, unlike telephone polling, you can give as much or little time to your response as you like. Such people are going to give a bit more consideration to topics than average. Nevertheless I think many in the British population have been thinking and learning a bit more about macroeconomics since the credit collapse and this is reflected in the polls.

    I would disagree a little bit with Anthony about how ‘dire’ the economic figures are for the government though. The key question here is the one he mentions about the government’s policy failing and should they change course (it’s basically a variation on the “are the cuts necessary” question). The government still has equal support to opposition on this – on balance a lot of the public think that the pain will be worth the gain in the long run. When this idea loses its support, particularly if an alternative policy is put forward and becomes more convincing, the government will really be in trouble.

    * Please note correct use of the word ‘disinterested’. It is not an acceptable alternative to ‘uninterested’ or ‘lacking interest’ whatever dictionaries and the BBC do. Lose the word and you risk losing the concept.

  8. Adrian B

    I agree. A double dip really should be a resignation matter for the government (including Clegg) AND Mervyn King. They would have nailed their colours to the mast and then watched as the mast was blown to pieces by cannon.

    It won’t happen, but it bloody well should.

    Mind you, we haven’t had a double dip yet, and we may not. But it looks like it will be close.

  9. @Adrian B – “Also the argument that “there is no alternative” is being shown up as several major economic players (China, India, US) are following a different strategy and posting growth as a result.”

    I don’t think these comparisons are valid. The US has the world’s reserve currenyc, so while they are borrowing more and showing much better growth, no one else could follow their path and get away with it. 9There was also a warning this week that the US could lose it’s credit rating status as well, so even in the US there is pressure).

    China and India are at completely different points in economic development. China has a massive surplus anyway, so balancing debt and investment is not a point of concern.

    These two countries are in fact in the grip of rampant inflation. India have lost control of the economy and China is teetering on the brink. Both countries will probably experience a crash – very hard in the case of India but possibly also in China. This would create a second huge credit squeeze, much worse than the first.

    In retrospect, what we in the west have done is in stabilising the banks we have run up large deficits to create another huge bubble and inflate the Chinese economy.

    In hindsight, perhaps all the QE should have been directed straight to business via industrial lending and bypassing the banks. We could have recapitalised banks by paying off the mortgages of people in financial difficulties and got infrastructure and investment projects funded out of the deficit. We would still have had the deficit, but we would at least have had a economy ready to expand rapidly with fewer inflationary pressures.

  10. It would be good to see the long-considered “fuel duty regulator” come in. It’s just that, if we really are still sticking to Plan A, then if we don’t raise more money from fuel duty, where does it come from? Or does something else get cut? Difficult choices lay ahead and it’s a horrible time to be making them.

  11. Wolf

    You’re forgetting any payments that Gray may also get for (allegedly) having his phone hacked by a different part of the Murdoch empire. Whether this had any effect on his dismissal (pour encourager les autres)…

  12. I guess Andy Murray IS Scottish, after all.

  13. NickP

    Not mentioned in the post match studio discussion. Maybe the sportscasters are learning (though I wouldn’t bet on it!)

  14. Mr Murray’s day will come….I’m sure….

    @Old Nat

    Perhaps the conservatives will remove that little green tree from their logo once they sell off the forests!

  15. @OldNaT

    “Who do you trust more to make the right decisions about sorting out the British economy?”

    To me it seems odd to use the words “trust more” in a question about competence.

    Responding neither means you trust them both equally and it is difficult to conclude neither is popular.

    You would trust Mussolini to make the trains run on time. I am not sure if the word trust is one may would choose to describe Mussolini though.

  16. The predictions by GO and OBR for the economy achieving an anual surplus of £6bn by 2015 were based IIRC on growth year on year. Even so, there was a 50/50 chance GO’s policy would succeed (ie the same chance it would fail). The Q4 GDP figs have strongly increased the chance that failure will occur, IMO.

    Now there are strong hints that the 2011 Budget will seek to enourage growth.

    IMO, this is Plan B.

  17. Alec

    In hindsight, perhaps all the QE should have been directed straight to business via industrial lending and bypassing the banks. We could have recapitalised banks by paying off the mortgages of people in financial difficulties and got infrastructure and investment projects funded out of the deficit. We would still have had the deficit, but we would at least have had a economy ready to expand rapidly with fewer inflationary pressures

    Well to be fair, a lot of people did argue this before ‘Quantitative Easing’ started up or during QE’s application (including I thought you).

    I used air quotes around QE there because I’ve never accepted it as true quantitative easing. It’s main purpose was always to restore the balance sheets of the banks (and some big companies) and it was hoped that as a side effect that money would be freed up for lending by the banks and the economy improve.

    Because recent history had taught us that if anyone ever operated in the best interests of the country and the long term economy, it was the banks.

    That some of the money would be used to reward the banks’ high-fliers for their ‘success’ was inevitable. That most of the rest would be exported to achieve ‘better returns’ should also have been foreseen. Not least because British banks have been busy getting rid of the skills and knowledge needed for the unglamourous business of local loans, so that more fashionable areas could be ever-better rewarded. And if the new investments crash and burn – well the bonuses will have been calculated by then.

    New Labour was terrified of being seen to be interventionist and either industrial investment or taking over failing mortgages (and hence becoming the new landlords) were regarded with particular horror. As usual in their relations with the City, you always got the impression of nouveaux riches at the table of Old Money, terrified they’d use the wrong knife. “Publicly owned housing? Good heavens, we’d never do anything so vulgar”.

    Of course the coalition has been if anything more insistent on the same policies. Hence Osborne’s insistence today that, if the slightest deviation is made from course, the gods of the City will lose faith with Britain and the economy will collapse.

  18. Anthony

    I think the stats for 18-24 year olds could be wrong?

    I doubt the Cons would be in the lead and have over 50% of that age group.

    Seems unlikely with tuiton fees and EMA.

  19. Pulling some random figures from the past you get an interesting view of the price of petrol:

    In 1994, the average house price in was around 50,000£. At that time, petrol cost 55p a litre. Given that the average house price is now 165,000£, petrol ought to be around 1.50p a litre. On the other hand, given that beer has only doubled in price since 1994, petrol ought to be no more than 1.10p a litre.

    Given these figures, 1.30p a litre is not that unreasonable.

  20. From the Independent:

    “Most of the country’s leading universities are ready to charge the maximum £9,000 annual tuition fee from next year, shadow Business Secretary John Denham warned yesterday.

    University sources reckon as many as 50 universities – just over a third of those in England – would be prepared to charge the maximum fee.”

    Tie that in with the permission for private health care providers to charge more than Primary Care Trusts and we are building a storm of criticism coming up. If the next quarter’s growth is not there…

    polls going south.

    If evreything wasn’t going to hell in a handcart the whole scenario would be gripping. What happens next?

  21. R Huckle

    The 18-24 group is particularly volatile because of the low number of responses in this group – they always have to be weighted up heavily to make up the numbers. This may be because they have better things to do than fill in YouGov questionnaires.

    If you look back over the week, you’ll see the figures are all over the place for this group. However today’s does seem particularly extreme. Last Sunday’s was also odd (it gave rise to the ‘UKIP more popular than Lib Dems among yoof’ headlines) and had to be very heavily weighted up. So maybe the yoof have a lot of better things to do Thursday night/Friday morning.

  22. @alec

    I don’t think these comparisons are valid. The US has the world’s reserve currenyc, so while they are borrowing more and showing much better growth, no one else could follow their path and get away with it.



    But notice that the euro now represents almost 1/3rd of the worlds reserve currencies.

    In five or ten years it could climb further and possibly even surpass the dollar.

    When you think of the enormous political and economic clout that this is giving – and will continue to give – to the main euro countries, (ie. Germany and France) you can see why they will do anything to prevent it’s failure in the short term.

  23. For those following the Irish situation, it seems that an election date will be announced this coming Tuesday afternoon, and the date is expected to be 25th February.

    Talking about “going to hell in a handcart” – is Ireland showing us whereabouts we are headed? yikes!

  24. keithp

    That’s what I’m a-feared of. Cutting might seem the safe thing to do, but if it increases the deficit as well as the pain then what exactly are we doing?

    What happens next? I wish I was rich so I could watch with detached interest.

  25. Definition of ATTAD.
    My memory (admittedly poor!) is that Amber coined the term after the GE. It was in response to Blue and Yellow posts that the Coalition had a mandate for their programme of cuts cos their combined polling figues were over 50%. Then their combined polling figures became fewer than 50%…Now AR has the figures the same as Labour’s….Watch this space!

  26. @NickP

    From the Independent:
    “Most of the country’s leading universities are ready to charge the maximum £9,000 annual tuition fee from next year, shadow Business Secretary John Denham warned yesterday.”

    So that will be a neutral source, then?

    In reply to the double-dip theorists here, I am going to stick my neck out here and say that the ONS figures GDP were wrong and are going to be revised up markedly. The fact is that most of the business surveys for the last quarter were pretty buoyant and NIESR was predicting 0.5% (it is usually right to within +/- 0.1% to 0.2%.

    In the Independent, Hamish McRae points out that data from December will almost certainly have been skewed to the first two weeks of the month when the weather was at its worst.

    h ttp://

    Even the CBI retailers survey for January, which should be dire, shows rising retail sales.

    So sorry to disppoint catastrophists, but it is 80% likely that there is no double dip. If Labour are proved wrong on this point, and the economy does carry on growing despite the cuts, their credibility on economic matters will be cut to ribbons.

  27. wrt R HUCKLEs Comment
    I think the stats for 18-24 year olds could be wrong?
    I doubt the Cons would be in the lead and have over 50% of that age group.
    Seems unlikely with tuiton fees and EMA.”

    I agree they do not look right particularly when compared to past polls – Interestingly –
    If you simplistically swap the figures for Lab and Con and rework the % you get 37/46 for Con/Lab respectively.

  28. Robert C

    Believe it or not, I hope you are right.

  29. hopelessly off topic but

    petrol at £5.00 would still be cheaper than horses

  30. richard in norway

    But shamefully also still cheaper than public transport.

  31. David Cameron -3
    Ed Miliband -6
    Nick Clegg -23

    The ‘popularity’ gap is narrowing.

    I prefer a Party to be more popular than its leader but I suppose it will help Ed M if he ceases to be considered ‘a drag on the ticket’.

    Making the other Ed shadow chancellor was popular with Labour voters, so that might have raised his approval with Labour voters.

    Perhaps the news of Ed M & Nick Clegg’s ‘secret’ meeting that we all know about has also helped them both.

  32. @ Valerie

    Your memory, of ATTAD if nothing else, is just fine.

  33. 60% thinking the phone hacking was important enough for police to spend time on rather contradicts hose (mostly elsewhere) who have derided it as a non-story about listening to rich celebs who thrive on the publicity.

    Looks like the Coulson resignation will be the one that makes the big impact…everybody seems to have forgotten Johnson’s going.

  34. Just to remind Anthony of his verdict on 21 Jan (snippets):

    Two big resignations this week – Alan Johnson and Andy Coulson. What will be the impact? The immediate one will be virtually nil. …The important impacts are the long term ones.

    Taking Coulson first, it is unlikely to change people’s perception of the government, Cameron or the coalition. It fact, it really won’t have an impact on public opinion at all – most people making a fuss will be those with a negative opinion to start with. However, it does rob David Cameron of a close and valued advisor (and indeed, the figure in his inner circle with the least privileged, most “normal” background) – if there is an long term impact from Coulson’s resignation, this will be it.

    Secondly there is Alan Johnson – here there are more obvious impacts on public opinion. The circumstances around Johnson’s resignation itself are not – it seems Johnson himself is blameless, and even if he weren’t, it would again be tomorrow’s chip paper with four years to go. Rather the question is what Labour have lost in the departure of Alan Johnson, and what the prospects are for Ed Balls.

    Johnson had made some gaffes in recent days …Despite being seen by political commentators as perhaps not up to the role, the public didn’t have him far behind George Osborne as best Chancellor (25% Osborne, 21% Johnson) – though that may be just as much about poor perceptions of Osborne. In short, Alan Johnson is a loss for Labour.

    With hindsight Coulson’s resignation looks likely to be part of a much larger story that might well leave some egg on Cameron’s metaphorical face.

  35. On the sacking of Andy Gray, I’m convinced that was related to his action against the NotW for hacking his phone. Otherwise he should have gone yonks ago by all accounts.

    Hard to shed any tears over him or Keys though.

  36. NICKP

    I agree with you – we’ll be pretty close to a double dip and the lack of real growth if you take into account all the variables will mean that the Osborne’s agenda will be wrecked anyway.

    This dire situation will be reinforced by government income from taxes being lower than expected and government expenditure (such as expenditure on benefits) being higher than expected.

    This situation, exacerbated by poll tax sized protests, is very likely to bring down the coalition and with the likelihood of an alternative coalition not being available there could well be an autumn general election.

    The prospects for this year are quite simply totally depressing unless you are banker and even if you are you might be rather more cautious than usual in spending your bonus as you might not geyt s much in future!

  37. @Robert C – I hope you are right, but I have strong doubts. This is a quote from the last CIPS services survey (Services are obviously the dominant sector of the UK economy):

    “From the three PMI surveys, there is therefore a strong indication that UK economic growth is completely reliant upon export sales while domestic demand has wilted.

    Looking ahead, employment fell at a faster rate in December as service providers hunkered down for tough trading conditions. Expectations regarding business activity in the coming 12 months remain at a level which tends to be associated with economic crises and falling activity. Further weak economic growth should be expected in early 2011 and the drop in services activity, alongside the decline in construction, is a warning that manufacturing alone is unable to sustain the economic recovery.”

    It’s worth noting that business services and finance contracted by 0.7% – finance is not affected by the weather and this is seen as highly worrying by many analysts. Collapsing consumer confidence (it’s been falling for some time now) is also being seen as exerting a significant drag on the economy.

  38. Amber
    Well I can never remember where I put my keys!

  39. The thing that worries me most is that the dip has happened earlier than anybody was expecting. The job cuts in the councils are only just happening and the civil service has hardly begun shedding. Which means the cuts so far and the fear of what’s coming has done the damage…as well as the snow.

    So most of the hardship is still to come and we are already going backwards. If the next quarter is back in growth that will not eman there won’t be a double dip…it just means it hasn’t happened frighteningly early.

    I hope for all our sakes that Osborne is right and Balls is wrong.

    But I fear not.

    And even if that means a Labour government it will be very difficult to manouevre at all by then. There was precious little room anyway, as far as I can tell.

  40. Just 1% thought it [phone hacking by journalists] was legitimate anyway [in any circumstances].
    This was a question that I had been very much hoping somebody would poll.

    Until now, I was a little surprised that NI hadn’t tried to mount a public interest defence or a PR effort in their own papers – e.g. You, our valued readers understand we just wanted to bring you the news you want to read.

    This poll makes it clear, NOW would’ve faced an uphill struggle & might’ve actually hacked their readers off (no pun intended) by suggesting that their readers would be sanguine about an illegal activity.

  41. People are 36% v 36% about the current economic strategy v the alternative.

    Both sides may prove resistant to change. Therefore, Ed M will cease to argue on the economy unless there’s a sitting duck to shoot – he’ll leave the economic arguments to the other Ed. So what will Ed M be doing?

    IMO, The coming attraction is The Social Deficit v The Big Society.

  42. For years the tabloids have justified their behaviour with this “right to know” defence.

    But there is a big difference between disclosing a politician’s affair and tapping the Prime Minister’s phone.

    And why on earth is there any public interest defence about whether Rooney shagged some girl who charged him a grand? Once again, a big difference between a kiss-and-tell from the girl (she did well financially over one quickie, didn’t she?) than if the paper had found out by hacking into Rooney’s phone.

  43. Alec’s post is excellent. British taxpayer’s money has gone to subsidise the bankers investing in the Far East whilst they themselves are being squeezed, in not a considerable number of cases into penury.

    Of course the Quantitative Easing money should have gone straight to industry.

    When will the electors realise about King and the Bank of England? King is probably more sensible than most politicians (let alone commercial bankers); but he has only one tool, Bank Rate, to work with. And Bank Rate has become useless as the commercial banks no longer use bank rate, as opposed to market supply and demand, to fix their investment rates, as another article in today’s “Sunday Times” points out in relation to retail lending to individuals.

    Leaving aside the possibility of Poll Tax style protests (as mentioned above), or indeed Egyptian style unrest, the political question must be how long the current state of things will have to go before some LibDem backbenchers realise that leaving their party is the only way they can hope to save the economy, let alone their seats. Although from a psephological point of view we would have to debate how much good it would do them.

    Cameron, Osborne and Clegg, seem too young to have learned from the problems of 1979-1981. And given Defence Cuts it is hard to see a Falklands Ware coming to their rescue. I have just posted on the Hull West site pointing out that Alan Johnson should not be too old to come back when he has sorted his personal issues – but Ed Miliband did not seem to think of the possibility (ageist?!) . Is there a serious problem because the perceived importance of youthful image for winning elections is leading to politicains of all parties woefully lacking essential maturity and experience? There is a big psephological/political question to advise on how to generate democratic purposes that will lead to the ascendancy of able and experienced leaders. I don’t think there is much doubt of Cameron’s ability: but where is the experience at the top of the Government? When they say that neither party has a (Shadow) Chancellor who cane make the right decisions, this suggests that ordinary voters are realising the problem.

  44. Surely, of the bunch in charge, Kenneth Clarke has the experience to be chancellor?

  45. Dave Bryant

    “You would trust Mussolini to make the trains run on time.”

    That is a particularly good analogy as to the public’s perception of politicians because it’s not evidence based and is a myth created by the Fascists with that specific intent.

  46. The polls seems to tell us things are bad for the government.

    I wonder what will happen once things get a whole lot worse.

    The government is embarked upon too many simlutaneous structural reforms. Like its managment of Parliamentary time, its rhetorical confidence is running into the practical realities.

    Moreover, its fortunes depend upon that very group of middle managers whose abilities the coalition politicians deride.

    If those conclusions are well founded then how will those who couldn’t effectively manage things in good times cope with them in bad times?

    And if their analysis is wrong – then these men and women – upon whom the success of everything is reliant, – may be so busy trying to find thmeselves new jobs that they’ll be unable to manage the detail of the changes in hand.

    Even as an exercise in organisational logistics the appraoch is flawed. But hope springs eternal…. and these scions of our public schools are nothing if not confident in their own abilities.

    The problem is that the government is populated with professional politicans who’ve never run much more than a political campaign and PR. Their privileged backgrounds makes them as blind as the bankers.

    They’re about to find out that policy papers and minutes don’t make things happen.Spinning a news cycle won’t stop the reforms spinning out of practical control.

    Worse, by then the cuts will be kicking in and the voters will be looking for someone to take a kicking.

    There’s bound to be a crash between ambition and delivery…save it’s going to be real people who will be hurt.. and not politicians who’ve precipitated the catastrohpe.

    It’s a polical version of the financial crash.

  47. That’s why sooner rather than later, I pray.

    They inherited a mess (whoever’s fault you think that is), but it was a manageable mess and the worst seemed to be over.

    But now?

    The public are getting disillusioned. I wonder if we’ll see UKIP and BNP start to grow quite fast?

    Doesn’t mean I think UKIP are fascist, necessarily. Just the get out of Europe agenda would leave us with very few allies in the world.

  48. @Amber Star – “a public interest defence… the news you want to read.”

    As you are no doubt aware “in the public interest” has a specific definition: it does not equate to “stories the public find interesting.” ;)

  49. @Amber Star

    David Cameron -3
    Ed Miliband -6
    Nick Clegg -23

    The ‘popularity’ gap is narrowing.

    A weighted approach (+2 = very well, +1 = well, -1 = badly, -2 = very badly) shows Cameron at -20 compared to -15 for Miliband. Clegg is off the scale at -52.

    So the ‘popularity’ gap (or perhaps the ‘ability’ gap given the wording of the question) is IMO now to Miliband’s advantage.

    Angus Reid’s latest figures on the leaders could make interesting reading, when they get around to putting their tables online.

  50. Earlier in the week I mentioned hearing Osborne refer to “the banking crisis”… for the first time in my memory making no mention of “the mess inherited from Labour/Labour’s mismanagement of the economy.”

    Today he was talking about “problems we have inherited”… once again no mention of Labour.

    Perhaps Osborne is hoping that if Daily Mail readers see a 20-30% devaluation in their main asset, which some commentators think is a distinct possibility, they will conclude it is a correction connected to the global credit squeeze and not associate it with him.

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