Tomorrow we have two actual elections to look at, both of which have been rather forgotten about.

First there is the Barnsley Central by-election. Barnsley Central is a safe Labour seat, and hence has attracted little attention – it will be held easily by Labour. In 2010 Labour received 47% of the vote, with the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives almost equal in second on 17% a piece (the Lib Dems got 6 more votes than the Tories). The BNP saved their deposit with 9%.

There has been only one poll of Barnsley Central, carried out by Survation. They put Labour on 63%, the Conservatives on 13%, UKIP on 9%, the Lib Dems on 6% and BNP on 4%. It has to be said, however, that Survation’s previous attempt at a by-election poll in Oldham East and Saddleworth wasn’t a fantastic success, showing the Lib Dems and Labour neck and neck.

Second there is the Welsh referendum on extending law making powers to the Welsh Assembly. Once again, the polls suggest that the result here will be almost a foregone conclusion. Today we have polls on the Welsh referendum from both YouGov and rmg:Clarity – a recent recruit to the British Polling Council. I know little about their methods, beyond the fact that it was a phone poll stratified by constituency, but either way, the two companies show almost identical results.

Rmg:Clarity found 49% intending to vote YES, 22% intending to vote NO. Repercentaged to exclude don’t knows that works out at 69% YES to 31% NO.

The YouGov poll for ITV Wales, weighted for likelihood to vote, showed YES on 61%, No on 28% and 12% don’t know. Repercentaged to exclude don’t knows the figures were identical to the rmg-clarity poll – 69% YES, 31% NO. Given that the turnout is likely to be very low indeed, we also tested out filtering by likelihood to vote and including people who said they were 10/10 certain to vote – the figures were still 69% yes to 31% no.

Note that there will not be a YouGov voting intention poll tonight – see this note from Peter – there was a power outage at the YouGov’s German data centre that interrupted the data collection last night and we couldn’t be confident what could be salvaged would be reliable. Thus is the problem with daily polling – if you do it all in one day and something goes wrong, there is no time for a second attempt! All should be back to normal tomorrow.


157 Responses to “Barnsley Central and the OTHER referendum”

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  1. @Old Nat

    Well said. LOL, wish I could draw a smily.
    Was that a trait of the British in the recent poll on previous thread!

  2. It’s good to know that indifference is a virtue in our Brave New World.

  3. @ Neil A

    I shall stop watching the coverage then, as it clearly doesn’t matter to us..
    —————————————–
    Indeed. The UK have no power to intervene directly in Libya’s affairs. If you were watching the coverage because you expected to see the Tories ride to the rescue (Falklands factor), you may as well stop watching.
    8-)

  4. Neil A

    Its not indifference its the politics of the possible.

  5. I was rather watching the coverage because I’d like to see wicked dictatorships replaced by democratic regimes. But I understand now that makes me a busybody imperialist and that I should mind my own business.

    After all, everone dies eventually. Who cares if you die old and free in your bed or incinerated by your own government?

  6. Percy Holmes

    I find the questions involved in making decisions about these ethical issues hugely difficult.

    If they were simple, there would be fewer problems in the world!

    As someone whose introduction to politics is having my Dad insist that we all watch the BBC News on our recently acquired TV, while he explained that Imperialist intervention was the exact opposite of what he had fought for in WWII, I start with a predisposition to non-intervention unless the arguments for intervention are both massive and widely shared with many other countries.

  7. Above reference to the News was watching the invasion of Egypt over Suez.

  8. @ Neil A

    You’d be in favour of an invasion of China then?

  9. @ Old Nat

    Good God, woman! Have you forgotten that you’re British?
    ——————————————————
    LOL; my Scottishness keeps finding its way to the surface. I’ve taken a pill & I’m alright now. ;-)

  10. Amber

    Thak you.

    Its what I thought you would say.

    My fear is that whilst all that quiet diplomacy through the proper channels is going on, Gaddafi will do what he has always done-put down any opposition ruthlessly by force.

    So your approach avoids any gung hoism-but it doesn’t help the poor sods he is killing. Maybe you think that is a price worth paying for your peace of mind.

    At least AlJazeera, France24, Sky News & the rest of them have helped the protestors by telling us all what is happening.

    I agree totally with NeilA about DC’s actions & words & how they have been misinterpreted for political purposes.

    There is one guy who will have been listening- & that is Gaddafi.

    THere was never any prospect of a UK unilateral NFZ in my view. DC was trying to get people to think ahead.

    And at least Obama is having to think about NFZ now.
    And even THe Arab League have done so-that must be a first .

    You haven’t said what you think about refugees in Tunisia-I make the assumption that you are content for UK & France to hire some planes to fly Egyptian refugees home, without getting a UN SEcurity Council Resolution first.

  11. @ Neil A

    “If, say, Gadaffi ordered his planes to sink a ship carrying 2,000 refugees and Turkey refused to agree to a military response, then yes I would support military action by a coalition of the willing without formal support from NATO”

    A rather dangerous argument. There was a ship a bit more than 60 years ago that carried refugees and was attacked by the warships of a great power…

  12. To intervene on behalf of our resident copper, these are immensely difficult issues. You can’t really blame Cameron for not having any magic wand.

    It is a bit rich to be considering any sort of military adventure that might need aircraft and carriers just at the moment though!

  13. @Billy,

    Obviously not. I don’t believe in the impossible.

    However, if a democratic revolution in China had led to half the country being liberated, and the rump Communist half started carpet bombing the liberated cities, then I would certainly at least explore the options for intervention.

    I take it you all believe that outsiders should have stayed out of the Spanish Civil War?

  14. Amber

    Thank goodness for that! :-)

  15. @ Old Nat

    Re. the reference to Suez – I fully agree.

    There was a reference to it in yesterday’s Newsnight. It was described as a British-French invasion – where did Israel disappear from it (Operation Musketeers is in public domain now, so they could have checked it).

    It would be very difficult to sell it as a restraining of a dictator rather than an imperialist intervention (especially as there is a great chance of installing another dictator – see Afganistan, Iraq).

  16. @Laszlo,

    I’m a bit confused. Do you mean 90 years ago (Lusitania?)

  17. Neil A

    When you can demonstrate which outsiders supported one side in Libya with arms, then you might have a case that other outsiders should do so too.

    Oh! Silly me! There were outsiders doing that – the UK (and Russia and US and China – all supporting the same murderous despot!)

  18. @ Neil A

    “a democratic revolution in China had led to half the country being liberated”

    Liberated from what? And the same applies for any other country.

    I don’t have any warm feeling for the CPC or the governments of Libya, or whatever country but putting the word “liberated” is just a pretext… Pure and simple.

  19. @ Neil A

    I wasn’t casting aspersions on your sincere hopes of a better leader/ system/ life for the majority of Libyans.

    I was casting aspersions on your defence of David Cameron. I doubt that anybody who isn’t already a fan, will be at all impressed with David Cameron’s approach to this crisis.

    He has no plans to actually do anything; or, if he does, it was naive of him to give Gadaffi a ‘heads up’ about the plan.
    8-)

  20. @ Old Nat

    “The Daily Record, ran a brutal campaign of lies and mis-information that “gay sex lessons” were set to be taught in Scottish schools if Section 28 was abolished.”

    Did they really? You have to wonder if they’d have a similar problem with straight sex lessons being taught in the classroom.

  21. @ Neil A

    “I’m a bit confused. Do you mean 90 years ago (Lusitania?)”

    Knesset Israel 1946
    SS Exodus 1947

  22. @ Old Nat

    “Amber

    Surely you aren’t laying down the White Woman’s Burden!

    Surely the UK always has the right to waltz (or tango) into any Third World Civil War?

    Good God, woman! Have you forgotten that you’re British?”

    Lol. You’re too much. :)

  23. A no fly zone over Libya is idiotic.. its 7 times the size of the UK, and we mothball anything that requires gasoline..

    A warm cup of cocoa and a night in, in front of the telly, until Libyans sort out their own destiny, is what is required.

  24. Hypothetically speaking, some UK citizens might not fancy the Queen ruling the UK. Some might feel that they should take up arms and gain influence in small towns and villages to the west. Set up an alternative government.

    Now if the UK Gov happened to take exception, perhaps shoot to kill or something, should we

    a) freeze UK assets and install a no-fly zone…
    b) treat it as a domestic affair and let them sort it themselves..

  25. NEILA

    “I take it you all believe that outsiders should have stayed out of the Spanish Civil War?”

    What a very good question Neil.

    I think you know the answer though .

  26. @ Colin

    “At least AlJazeera, France24, Sky News & the rest of them have helped the protestors by telling us all what is happening.”

    Of course, & Britain’s BBC World Service could have played a role in this, as I suggested.

    “There is one guy who will have been listening- & that is Gaddafi.”

    Gaddafi is exactly the person you do not want to be ‘listening’ when you are planning to establish a NFZ. You want him to be as complacent as possible; ideally you want a ‘special forces’ attack on his anti-aircraft defences to come as a surprise to Gadaffi.

    “And at least Obama is having to think about NFZ now.”

    The US were already thinking about it. They just weren’t talking about it because they were smart enough to want an element of surprise. But Cameron let the cat out of the bag.

    “You haven’t said what you think about refugees in Tunisia”.

    I think it is appropriate that the UK helps to provide humanitarian assistance to refugees from all conflicts & civil wars.

    I also believe, with many caveats, that military intervention can occasionally be appropriate. Actual intervention, that is, as opposed to pontificating about it.
    8-)

  27. SoCalLiberal

    They did indeed. At least, Souter from his religious beliefs (of the Church of Nazarene- an austere branch of Methodist evangelism, that wouldn’t be out of place in the USA) and the Catholic Church were arguing from a position of illiberal Christianity – detestable, in my view, but at least based on a belief system.

    The Record is little different from many tabloids, in that it is very right wing reactionary. To those that don’t understand Scottish politics it may seem strange that they support the Labour Party in Scotland, but that is based both on the historically large Labour vote in Scotland, and the right wing populist policies on crime embraced by Labour here.

    For example, Labour want an automatic jail sentence for anyone found with a blade in public. It’s already a crime to do so with intent, but they want to take away all discretion from the prosecution service and justiciary, and to jail anyone, regardless of circumstances.

  28. @Laszlo,

    I think there are millions of people around the world who wouldn’t agree with you that “liberation” is an empty concept. I’m not sure what you mean by the word “pretext”.

    @Oldnat,

    I don’t think our few million pounds of riot control equipment puts us in the same league as the Russians and Chinese. Besides which, two wrongs don’t make a right.

    @Amber,

    I am basically indifferent to Cameron’s approach to the crisis. He hasn’t said anything that surprises or troubles me, or that I think has caused any damage to anything or anyone. He hasn’t said anything that particularly stirs or impresses me. It all sounds like just the sort of thing that leaders say – “We’re on the side of the Angels. Something Must Be Done. Blah, blah”.

    The idea that Gadaffi can’t work out on his own that people would consider a No Fly Zone, or that this would involve bombing of air defences, I find simply daft. The idea that Cameron is alone in taking the stance he has is also simply not true. Clinton, Juppe and Amr Moussa have all spoken about the possibility of a NFZ, as have some Labour politicians. Libyan opposition figures have also spoken in favour. Yes, Robert Gates is not keen. Who can blame him as the man who has had to manage the fallout of Afghanistan and Iraq for several years. It’s nice to know there are some US Republicans you agree with.

    What I do find tiresome is this monotonous drone that Cameron is so venal/incompetent/stupid/vain that every single thing he does or says is evidence of his complete inability to run a country. I know you don’t like him. I get it. I happen to think you’d hold the same opinion of any Tory Prime Minister. You don’t like Tories. I get that too.

    As it happens I am not at all convinced that military action in Libya is necessary or justified. I certainly don’t think it’s something that would be possible without the agreement of at least one or two neighbouring countries (Italy/Egypt etc). If it had to happen I think it would be infinitely preferable that it was done by Arab League nations and not the West, and that no ground troops were involved.

    But, to quote (and echo) David Cameron’s exact words we shouldn’t “rule out the use of military assets”. And yes, we are about to shed a big chunk of those assets, which is sad (but I believe necessary) but that doesn’t prevent us using the plentiful assets that remain.

  29. Barnsley Central= Labour hold+Increased Majority+ Low Turnout.

  30. Neil A

    It’s many, many years since the UK was “in the same league as the Russians and Chinese”.

    Unfortunately, the Brits didn’t seem to notice that and pranced around with their little WMDs, as if they were important.

    For those of us who did recognise a long time ago that the UK was just a bit player, it’s being on the same side that matters.

    All these outsiders supporting Gadaffi. Gadaffi supporting Eoin’s rebels in Tir nan Og.

    Clearly the Icelanders should just have moved in and sorted out these problems that others have.

  31. Amber

    “Gaddafi is exactly the person you do not want to be ‘listening’ when you are planning to establish a NFZ. You want him to be as complacent as possible”

    Well I’m no military strategist-but that strikes me as absolutely & completely wrong.

    THe plan is NOT a secret invasion of Libya.

    The plan is to stop him bombing the protestors ( which includes large chunks of what was his own army-this isn’t a few oddballs who don’t like him) from the air.

    THe plan is to make him think that someone might do something about it if he does.

    “The US were already thinking about it. ”

    Great !

    “They just weren’t talking about it because they were smart enough to want an element of surprise. But Cameron let the cat out of the bag.”

    Well I don’t believe it-unless you have evidence. What on earth would be the point of “surprise” ? The point is to warn him off bombing his own people.

    THe US has -rightly-pointed out what it actually means-attacking his anti-aircraft installations-an act of aggression.

    That’s the sticking point -one I would have thought you welcomed.

    But if he does use his jets in earnest , I hope those usual channel discussions don’t take forever.

  32. @ Neil A

    I also agreed with Colin Powell, that the people of Darfur were being subjected to a genocidal assault by the Sudanese Government. As opposed to the UN Report, which concluded they were not.

    I admit, it does come as a surprise to me, whenever a Tory or a Republican politician says something sensible – but it does occasionally happen.
    8-)

  33. @Oldnat,

    I do admire your tenacious determination to turn every discussion into “Britain is rubbish, an independent Scotland would be so much better”! And to think some people accuse the SNP of being a single-issue party!

  34. @Amber,

    Surely it doesn’t matter whether Darfuris were subject to genocide or not? Don’t want nasty white people going and telling Muslim governments what (not) to do or even, horror of horrors, actually trying to stop it…

  35. @ Colin

    Well I don’t believe it-unless you have evidence. What on earth would be the point of “surprise” ?
    ———————————————-
    Robert Gates is not ‘evidence’ enough for you?

    And if Cameron was merely making vocal threats, in the hope of deterring Gadaffi, what kind of a strategy is that?

    We’ll rattle our (unilateral) sabre & hope Gadaffi doesn’t call our bluff.
    8-)

  36. @ Neil A

    Surely it doesn’t matter whether Darfuris were subject to genocide or not?
    ————————————————–
    Under international law, it matters a great deal. The relevant UN resolution makes it clear that Genocide will be met by international sanctions & military intervention, if necessary. You can look it up on the UN website. If you need links, let me know & I’ll post them.
    8-)

  37. Neil A

    You do me an injustice!

    Britain IS rubbish, and England would be better off without it just as much (if not more) than we would. :-)

    More seriously, political units need to be fit for purpose and enjoy the support of all those composing it. Just because they happen to be there is no reason for change not to happen.

    That many of the countries that have recently been, or are currently ,in turmoil are constructs of empire should give a clue as to a destabilising factor that those coming from an imperial perspective possibly fail to appreciate.

  38. @ Neil A

    No I don’t – at least when the Nazis got involved so should the others.

    Apologies if the question came over a little harsh, I was curious to see what your response would be.

    Presumably you hold the same opinion if it was the liberating forces who carpet bombed the communists?

    My own personal reasons for being nervous about the no-fly zones is they aren’t as simple as writing a strongly worded letter to Gaddafi saying ‘no more planes’. Its simply that Gaddafi’s planes bombing everything are replaced by American, British and whoever else decides to be involved, planes carpet bombing things.

  39. @Neil A

    “What I do find tiresome is this monotonous drone that Cameron is so venal/incompetent/stupid/vain that every single thing he does or says is evidence of his complete inability to run a country. I know you don’t like him. I get it. I happen to think you’d hold the same opinion of any Tory Prime Minister. You don’t like Tories. I get that too.”

    I think you’re tilting at windmills here a bit. I can see why you may want to devalue legitimate criticism of Cameron’s personal style and policies by conflating it with unreasoned and knee jerk partisan non-acceptance of him as a politician, but that isn’t what I’m reading on these pages at all. On the contrary, I thought I was seeing a well argued debate about his government’s policy towards Libya and why he may be having domestic political difficulties as a result. Amber and Alec, in the main, have made some telling points and you and Colin have responded in kind. You really mustn’t be so sensitive to the rough and tumble of it all and impugn people’s motives in the way you have, just because people may disagree with you.

    Nobody has said Cameron is showing a “complete inability to run a country” or is “venal, stupid or vain”. Those are your words put into the mouths of others and I fear that what might actually be happening here is that you are just becoming irritated by reading the thoughts of people who disagree with you.

  40. “I thought I was seeing a well argued debate about his government’s policy”

    …something which is specifically against the comments policy here. This is NOT a place for debating, however civily, whether government policies are any good or not.

    The reason the level of discussion here is civil and pleasant and not full of silly partisan one-up-man-ship is because political debate is banned. It might start out civil, but it wouldn’t last… bad comments drive out good.

    As Neil says, comments from Labour supporters saying they think Cameron is a bit rubbish tell us nothing we didn’t know. The site is about what polls tell is what the wider public think about policies, politicians and parties. Not what each other think about them.

  41. Well at least the ICC has signalled an intent.

    If things proceed as the majority here would wish-they are going to have some additional work to do.

  42. colin

    “Well at least the ICC has signalled an intent.”

    Is that a cricket reference?

  43. The teacher’s here. Everybody hide!!

  44. Laszlo
    You beat me to it with the Exodus! However I think Newsnight might just save their blushes in that the Israelis I believe were withdrawing having declared the war over by the time the UK and France invaded so in effect it was two wars in series. Of course there was an enormous impact on your own coutry
    Neil A
    You are proving game!
    Of course intervention from Britain in Spain was by volunteers. I believe Scotland had the biggest number proportionately of any country in the International Brigade. However enjoyed your comment on Old Nat.

  45. On matters of bringing a nation to war, such as the potential consequence of Libya, is a very serious matter.

    If reds backed it, I would immediately renounce my membership.

  46. Old Nat
    I am hoping to be in the Daily Record tomorrow. Not that it matters in Aberdeen but I am trying to be everywhere

  47. @Barney,

    Are you confusing the Exodus with the SS Struma? Noone sunk the Exodus and it didn’t lead to war. The Russians sank the Struma and were already at war.

    The only ship I can think of that fits the bill is the Lusitania.

  48. Barney

    What is it with you recently? Claiming that Scotland has the biggest of everything.

    Such affectations about any nation (or region if you prefer) are so regrettable.

  49. Barney

    “I am hoping to be in the Daily Record tomorrow.”

    I’ve seen your photo. You will add nothing to page 3.

  50. Tut, tut oldnat

    You know it’s gonna be Shuggie, Duggie & Barney. :)

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