Easter Sunday polling

As far as I can see there were no standard GB polls in the Sunday papers last night, but there were two Scottish voting intention polls. Turning first to YouGov in Scotland on Sunday, topline figures there were, with changes from last week, are:

Holyrood constituency: CON 10%(-1), LAB 32%(-5), LDEM 8%(nc), SNP 45%(+5)
Holyrood regional: CON 12%(nc), LAB 29%(-4), LDEM 7%(nc), SNP 39%(+4), Grn 7%(+1)

When MORI showed a ten point lead for the SNP earlier this week I half expected it to turn out to be a bit of an outlier, but we’ve now got a very similar lead from YouGov. On the Scotland Votes predictor this translates into 40 seats for Labour, 61 for the SNP, 6 for the Lib Dems, 13 for the Conservatives, 8 for the Greens and Margo.

Meanwhile a second Scottish poll, this time for Progressive Scottish Opinion in the Sunday Mail, has topline figures showing a similar SNP lead in the constituency vote, but a tighter race in the regional vote. Topline figures are:

Holyrood constituency: CON 9%, LAB 36%, LDEM 6%, SNP 46%
Holyrood regional: CON 10%, LAB 37%, LDEM 9%, SNP 38%, Grn 5%

Using the Scotlandvotes predictor again, this translates into 51 seats for Labour, 56 for the SNP, 9 Lib Dems, 10 Conservatives, 2 Greens and Margo.

Finally, not really a poll, but I know many here will be interested – Rallings and Thrasher have their lastest local election projections based on their local government by-election model. They predict national equivalent shares of the vote in the local elections of CON 35%, LAB 38%, LDEM 17%, which would translate into the Conservatives losing almost 1000 seats, Labour gaining around 1300 and the Lib Dems losing 400. Essentially this would be a case of Labour reversing the Conservative gains in the 2003 and 2007 local elections.

283 Responses to “Easter Sunday polling”

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  1. Alec – The above should have been addressed to you.

  2. Alec

    An interesting piece by PM on AV.

    But it is written with as much self interest as he ascribes to DC-but from the left’s point of view.

    One reads so many opinions on where the supposed electoral advantage would lie. I’m not convinced that anyone knows. What if the great british electorate decide ( in the event of Yes winning) to vote as they have always done -& ignore lower preferences?

    I noted this from PM late in the article :-

    ” That means, above all, doing the hard work to regain trust in our capacity to manage the economy and public finances responsibly.

    Whatever the electoral system, there is no alternative to placing ourselves firmly in tune with the economic aspirations of the British people if you want to win power.”

    Wise words-particularly “aspirations” ;-)

  3. I’ve done a bit of digging through the bookies’ seat prices in the 73 FPTP seats.

    I am a believer in the value of betting market prices in predicting electoral outcomes. Others are not. Make your own mind up.

    Health warning: this is an AMS election, so these FPTP prices, although indicative of general movement, could be highly misleading if the regional vote is significantly different.


    Seats changing hands (according to the betting markets):

    Almost a certainty:
    Aberdeen South & North Kincardine SNP GAIN from LD
    Caithness, Sutherland & Ross SNP GAIN from LD

    Highly likely:
    Aberdeenshire West SNP GAIN from LD
    Airdrie & Shotts SNP GAIN from Lab
    Dumfriesshire LAB GAIN from Con
    Dunfermline 1.5 LAB GAIN from LD
    Edinburgh Central LAB GAIN from LD
    Edinburgh Eastern SNP GAIN from Lab
    Edinburgh Southern LAB GAIN from LD
    Eastwood LAB GAIN from Con
    Galloway & West Dumfries SNP GAIN from Con
    Glasgow Southside SNP GAIN from Lab
    Linlithgow SNP GAIN from Lab
    Midlothian North & Musselburgh SNP GAIN from Lab
    Skye, Lochaber & Badenoch SNP GAIN from LD
    Stirling SNP GAIN from Lab

    Clydesdale SNP GAIN from Lab

  4. @Phil – “Should I be “baffled” that you [Alec] “don’t have the intelligence” and are so “blinded” that you ignore things “so obvious” that it can only indicate your “stupidity” , would it be appropriate to address you in such terms on this site?”

    Absolutely, if that’s what you think.

    @Colin – I agree – it was clearly written from the point of self interest, with the difference that he has learned from the fact that the Tories ruled for most of the last century under the current system while Labour No campaigners haven’t – that’s why I refer to them in terms that Phil doesn’t appreciate. In my book, if you fail to learn lessons from repeated real life examples, you are in any practical sense rather stupid.

    Colin – also wondering what you make of two reports, one in the Guardian and one on ConHome, both suggesting Cameron might be looking for an early election (this year). Both take the view that coalition tensions are reaching grave proportions, Clegg’s position is severely weakened and Labour hasn’t the money, policies or public trust to win, despite the current polls.

  5. By the way, I am now of the opinion that the betting markets have moved far too far in the SNP’s favour. There is zero value left, and, quite frankly, some of the CON and LAB seat prices are starting to look quite tasty (although not the LD ones).

    Accordingly, I’ve just bunged 50 quid on David McLetchie (former Con leader) to Hold Edinburgh Pentlands, at EVS. I wanted to put more on but VC limited my stake to 50 gbp :( the b*ggers! :D

  6. @Alec

    I can’t see the an election being called this year, as the best outcome for the Tories would probably be another hung parliament.

    Whatever happens in the next few months, Clegg’s LD’s will argue, lose and accept.

  7. RAF/ Alec

    I can’t see an election being ‘chosen’ by DC this year or in 2012.

    As observed the absolute best he could hope for is an approximate result to last year- and them the knives out for him from NTB et al Tories.

    On the other hand there is a tiny chance that the LD’s (after getting walloped in elections and the referendum) might pull the plug on DC earlier than the probable 2013. If latter Clegg would stand as an independent IMHO.

  8. Alec

    I’ll content myself with quoting from the comments policy to this site.
    “Treat other commenters who don’t share your views with respect – it’s your chance to understand their point of view, not score points off them – and indeed, politicans from opposing parties with respect.”

    My interpretation of the facts of both recent political history and the current political context is very different to yours. But as you have descending into name-calling, I don’t see any mileage in discussing it further with you.

  9. @Stuart D
    Thanks for the analysis – your website gives a very concise summary by party of which seats are apparently safe and which are up for grabs. I share your view that the betting markets have probably now overreacted to the polls, as they often do.

    In the absence of a new poll, I did a much more simplistic analysis of the Welsh Assembly seats using V Chandler’s latest odds last night, which gives the following split of the 40 constituency seats based on which party is the bookies’ favourite:
    Lab 29
    LD 2
    Con 2
    PC 7

    On this basis, Labour would need to pick up 2 list seats, most probably in Mid/West Wales, in order to gain an outright majority of 31 out of 60.

  10. An election this year? No chance, IMO. David Cameron signed up to the coalition agreement; the Tories would have zero credibility for any future coalitions, if they called an election without the LD’s agreeing.

    Would the LD’s agree to an election this year? No.

    Will the LD’s abandon the Coalition? Not at all likely because it would under-mine the alleged ‘stability’ of coalition governments. And the LibDems are on a mission to make everybody ‘comfortable’ with the idea of coalitions.

    Furthermore, politicians never want to go for an election mid-term because they’d look like complete idiots were they to end up with fewer seats than they already had.

    Both Coalition Parties are stuck with each other for the next 3-4 years, IMO.

  11. On the coalition between SNP and Green.

    It will have the same effect on the Green (or worse) than on the LibDems in the UK – but in the given situation they would be in the same no win situation as the LibDems were in last May.

  12. @AmberStar

    You make the mistake of assuming that the Liberal Democrats are a top-down organisation that *can* be led in one direction with any authority.

    You ignore that we have the current, and I think unprecedented, situation of one member of the cabinet threatening legal action against another! That does not speak well of “the LibDems are on a mission to make everybody ‘comfortable’ with the idea of coalitions.”

  13. Lazlo

    While Salmond could well be bluffing, I think it’s actually quite likely that he would prefer minority government to coalition.

    He saw how the LDs exercised too much control over the decision making process when they were in coalition with Labour. Agreeing a “Programme for Government” is the comparatively easy bit. It’s dealing with the unexpected that causes problems – especially with the wholly unknown aspect of the Greens, that Pat Harvie will be the only one not a newcomer..

    Confidence and supply is a much more likely position for the Greens IMO

  14. @Phil

    Aberconwy is the intriguing one, surprised the tories are at 12/1 otherwise the odds all make sense.

  15. @ Old Nat

    Yes, I can see that from the SNP point of view, but politically it could be quite tricky for the Greens (and to some degree, what suits them is less relevant) – although for the LIbDems theoretically the supply arrangement existed, it did not in practice. I think it will be the same for Scotland – SNP may prefer such an arrangement but if the Greens get any close to the predicted figures, they must offer the coalition politically and the SNP would have to reject it – bad to both…

  16. There’s a strong assumption that the Lib Dems would not benefit from an early election… However, I’m not at all sure this is the case.

    Only if you assert that the Lib Dem collapse is short term, can you even begin to make that assumption, otherwise it’s merely postponing the inevitable while suffering the consequences of being tied to a government no one likes being in. But at the same time we also see the it being stated that the bulk of the drop in polling is from loss of “the protest vote” aspect, something that is not going to come back as long as the Lib Dems are in government.

    What the LibDems have learnt is that you can’t trade off political credibility for electoral credibility. Demonstrating you can get into government is fine, but you also need to demonstrate you will serve your electorate when in government as well.

    Right now, it appears that no one is really happy with the government. Not those who make it up, and it’s certainly not representing the electorate, as branding the Lib Dems ‘Junior Partner’ is being used to promote a phantom Conservative mandate. The status quo is simply asserting that the Lib Dems just have to stick in government no matter what, because there’s no alternative.

    It seems to me that the best way now for the Lib Dems is to make a break with the Conservatives as soon as rational pretext comes up. Take their lumps at the next election, and start rebuilding their political credibility. Naturally this isn’t in Clegg’s best interests, but his political career expires in 2015 and he should know it by now.

  17. @Phil – entirely accept your point re my terminology and the comments policy. Genuine sentiments, but a bit over exurberant with my language. In some sort of defence I would say that I hadn’t singled out any specific individual but I shall try to tone down my comments in future.

    Too much sunshine over the weekend…..

    @RAF/Rob/Amberstar – I don’t think DC will necessarily want an election this year – after all, unless Clegg pulls the plug he would have the big challenge of explaining why he has gone early after promising us a 2015 date and would risk looking completely duplicitous and untrustworthy, although I have my doubts that this would be a serious impediment. Once an election campaign gets underway it would be very hard for the opposition to say ‘he lied, it’s not fair’ as a vote winning slogan. Voters would simply wonder why they are frightened of facing the electorate and a few days bad headlines would fairly quickly be forgotten in my view.

    An early call by DC would obviously be a big risk, but I don’t think it’s out of the question. The two schools of thought in this seem to be 1) that the the Lib Dems are dead in the water and in a straight two horser with a yet to be trusted Labour, the Tories would do well, and 2) Tories are angry at being painted as the nasty half of the coalition and recognise that so long as Clegg is able to claim to have stopped the worst of the Tories excesses they will not be able to fully detoxify their own image. They need to get rid of the Lib Dems and claim all of the good bits for themselves.

    From what I’ve read, all three main parties are finding that Lib Dem support is holding up where they are up against the Tories. I don’t know if this is true or not, but if it is it puts scenario 1 above out of the picture.

    I think scenario 2 is more likely. It is striking how DC very deliberately challeneged Clegg on interns and there is no longer any sense of togetherness from either the PM or DPM. DC could easily engineer a Lib Dem walk out – as Jackie Ashley says, sacking Vince Cable without asking Clegg would be entirely justifiable in Tory circles and almost certain to spark the Lib Dem withdrawal as DC would require. I’m also sure that Tory strategists are busy analysing the collapse in Labour in Scotland – not sure how relevant this would be to England, but if it is a sign of very soft Labour support that cracks during a campaign, it would certainly encourage them.

    I’ve always maintained that this coalition is very fragile (going right back to the Rose Garden) and I feel largely vindicated in this long held view. When it goes, it will go quickly, and I have always said I don’t expect a full 5 year term. While I don’t accept Eoin’s reasoning that Labour needs to have a publically stated manifesto laid out immediately, I do think they need to have a coherent election plan ready in private for immediate release should a snap election occur, even if it isn’t their final or preferred version.

    From now to 2015 will be a very bumpy period and the opposition needs to be ready for anything. I’ve become accustomed to disregarding anything Cameron says, which includes the date of the next GE.

  18. If I were EM, right now I would be getting a ‘crash kit’ of policies and campaign ideas ready for a snap election before the end of the Labour Party Policy Review.

  19. I agree with AMBER (perhaps for the 1st time!!lol) The analysis is spot on. All this talk of legal action is just hot air (the electoral commission has said as much).

    The heated debates on AV are as bad as it’s going to get. Assuming that the economy slowly improves, (1st quarter figs later this week) then, with the medicine (of cuts) taken, and with some headline changes to the NHS bill (which LD’s in principle agree with), the pressure’s will ease & there will be some credit taking (& credit due).

    To have waited 80 years for power, the LD’s would have to be lemmings to throw in the towel now. The last 12 months would have been all downside for the party with no upside, which they may be getting by 2015.
    Cameron would be an idiot to call an early GE. He may be many things but he is no idiot.

    And I would imagine that the last thing EM would want now would be a GE. He has no policies ready, no money & their poll lead is soft. Reds hope must be that they will win in 2015, when the economy is on the up, as happened in 1997. However, if the economy is on the up the, even that won’t be a foregone conclusion.

    It is noticeable that it is only some reds urging LD’s to throw in the towel. Wishful thinking, me thinks!

  20. Re a GE this year…

    Like Alec and one or two other posters here I have always held the view that the coalition could quickly unravel and that all it would take is a suitable issue/pretext.

    Only last week I also posted that the Con party would soon assert itself and tell DC ‘enough is enough’ – don’t concede anything more to the LDs.

    A few weeks ago someone mentioned that Ministers had no idea what was lined up for 2012.

    I also posited the idea of a Nov GE, and asked for suitable dates.

    I think DC and the Cons are ‘gently’ engineering the collapse of the coalition.

    There will be strikes and public protests this year – all good for the Cons to exploit.

    My view is that the Cons would obtain an OM in a GE this year.

  21. @Robert Newark

    The Electoral Commission has no jurisdiction over it, they’re only the ombudsmen of campaign *funding*. So anyone asking about it would from them would obviously get a reply that they can’t look into it. They *can’t* say either way if there’s a legal case or not.

  22. @Robert Newark

    Also, you can’t have it both ways. Either Labour is at a comparative disadvantage to the Conservatives with an early election *or* the Conservatives are at a disadvantage to Labour.

    And regardless of what the David Cameron and Nick Clegg *want*, the collapse of a government is by definition never by choice of the leadership. So what they want as an election strategy doesn’t matter, what matters is if they can hold the coalition together. And right now they have two issues that have massive wedges driven in. The ‘untruths’ given by Conservative front benches during the AV campaign, and Lansley’s NHS reforms.

    One of those *alone* would be sufficient pretext for abandoning the coalition should enough Lib Dems decide to pull the trigger. Add on a disaster of a local elections, and people will be looking for someone in party leadership to blame.

  23. Alec

    I agree with others who think an election call from DC any time soon is unlikely.

    THe Polls say he wouldn’t win it. Why take the risk.?

    The LDs are tied in to the coalition -if they pull the plug & precipitate a GE they would surely suffer badly ?

    But I agree that the bickering & rancour looks more & more serious.
    The LDs are just making fools of themselves IMO.
    What does it gain them to be constantly criticising their partners?
    It just looks more & more like cold feet about the coaltion -less like independence of thought than trying to have your cake & eat it…..the LD default position.

    We will see what the DC/NC body language is like after May 5th-but I can’t see Con backbenchers being content to be constantly cast as the bad guys by “partners” who want to claim credit for all the popular stuff.

    What does rather amuse me is how LDs think this behaviour is a good advert for AV induced coalitions.

    To me the message they are sending out is vote for us & we will support Labour in any deals because we don’t like Conservatives.

    So why vote LD at all?-you might as well vote Labour or Conservative.

  24. FWIW I too think that a deliberately called GE by Cameron this year is unlikely – a big, big risk. What is fascinating though is the fact that it is being openly discussed – by Tory members and not just the media.

    As we know from many previous governments, any talk of an early election can be deeply destabilising. While I understand Colin’s take on the Lib Dem behaviour, I think he should also recognise that some of their complaints are fully justified – the highly personal attacks on Clegg by the No campaign are not a good way to treat your partner, and the No campaign isn’t independent of the Tories.

    I don’t buy the argument that Cameron would cut and run for a chance of glory, but I do think that he might come to see this option as the lesser of two evils. facing another four years of internal government acrimimony could hand the next election to Labour on a plate, and although I’m sure he would prefer a fully functioning coalition to last until 2015 with the maximum chance of sustained economic recovery, with the forces pulling in opposite directions, he might just decide the least worst option is to engineer the collapse and take a chance while Labour are still weak.

  25. Jay They are both at a disadvantage. Labour has no policies, no money & a soft polling lead. However, the Tories despite that, would still be taking a huge gamble and there is absolutely no guarantee they would win an overall majority. Heath tried that and we all know what the result was. Also if Cameron did fail to get an overall majority, he would be out.

    If they shaft the LD’s by calling an early election, there is no way that another party would trust them again in a coalition.

    Yes of course there are tensions in the coalition. That was always to be expected but I remain of the opinion that:
    Cameron & Blues will not call an election (Too much of a gamble)
    Clegg & LD’s will not break the coalition (Maybe no chance of government power again)
    Ed may call for an election (as DC did in 2008) in the hope that he will be ignored.

    In all 3 cases their best options are to play through to 2015.
    If economy is all sorted – blues should win & LD’s recover some ground, because they ‘helped save the country’.

    If the economy is not sorted – reds will probably win because they will say, ‘You should have done it our way’, you have had all that pain for nothing.

    As for strikes, well they are to be expected but as trade unions are ever more an irrelevance to the majority of the population, they will just be an inconvenience to make you find another way to work or to go on holiday.

  26. Ultimately it comes down to this…

    Are David Cameron and Nick Clegg able to exert enough authority and control over their parliamentary parties to ensure that they do not fracture the coalition?

    And can Nick Clegg exert enough influence over the Liberal Democrat general membership, and local government membership to be safe in his leadership position, and prevent a conference motion to withdraw from the coalition?

    For the coalition to last, even assuming they both wish it to do so, the answer to both must be yes and continue being yes till 2015. Right now, they’re going from week to week. They’re not supermen, and I think that’s almost what’s required to keep this coalition from breaking up.

  27. @jayblanc – May 5th has a lot hanging on it. One side will lose the referendum, and for their mebers that could become a key consideration. Also the scale of losses at the locals will concentrate minds, as well as affect the power balance within the coalition.

    As I mentioned eralier, I’ve read statements that the private polling from all three parties shows Lib Dems holding up where they are up against Cons. If this is true, it will embolden Clegg to push harder. The reports I’ve seen suggest that this is infact already the reason why he feels able to criticise Cameron already.

  28. ALEC

    “the highly personal attacks on Clegg by the No campaign are not a good way to treat your partner, and the No campaign isn’t independent of the Tories.”

    That’s why I said lets wait & see what the DC/NC body language is like after the Referendum.

    At present the AV related discontent is getting in the way. I am much more concerned about attitudes on key policy areas.

    My contention is that if VC’s contribution-that AV will see off Conservative governments & provide a Progressive Left majority-reflects an increasingly visible anti-Tory feeling in LD ranks-then that will definitely impact the functioning of the Coalition.

    Con backbenchers have cut LDs a lot of slack-but I don’t see them willingly chanting mea culpa every time Vince comes over all Lefty & uncomfortable again.

    But NC is the leader, not VC-so lets see how he plays it after the Referendum.

  29. Alec

    THis report from ConHome rather makes my point :-

    “Mark Pritchard MP, Secretary of the 1922 Committee, has today become the first Conservative MP to publicly attack the behaviour of the Liberal Democrat leader and also of the Energy and Climate Change Secretary:
    “Nick Clegg and Chris Huhne should stop their whinging. With each of them presiding over major government departments they’ve never had it so good. Their personal and political sacrifices are infinitesimal compared to those made by the hundreds of public sector workers losing their jobs each month and many Conservative colleagues who gave up ministerial office for the sake of the coalition”.

  30. Colin
    Re Mark Pritchard’s comments…inherent within them is the (quite understandable) notion that the LDs are there to make up the numbers and do what the Cons (as the senior partner) decide.

    The LDs have the notion that they are ‘equal’ partners in gov.

  31. ALEC

    “No campaign isn’t independent of the Tories. ”

    Mmm-I wonder how old Labour warhorses on the N team-like John Reed & John Prescott feel about that statement?

  32. MIKEN

    I disagree.

    I don’t think it says that at all.

  33. It’s hard to see “stop your whining” and “Conservatives gave up their ministerial offices so you could have one!” as anything but chastising the “junior partners”.

  34. @ Neil A

    “On my first trip to Scotland, the height of insult from a Scotsman was “You sound like an American” (in the context of a young Londoner experiencing a sparsely populated country for the first time).”

    Lol. I hope you didn’t take it too personally. :)

    @ Mick Park

    “Maybe, maybe not, but Bush ran and won, so after that I wouldn’t rule anything out particularly as Perot ran with Stockdale (comedy gold) on much the same ego trip as Trump appears to be on.”

    Trump has made rumblings before and he never turns out to be serious. But here’s the thing. Ross Perot is totally nuts but at least he was a successful businessman. He had actually accomplished something and demonstrated high levels of intelligence (even if he was totally out there). Dubya on the other hand failed at every job he ever held in life, had everything handed to him in life, and ran into the ground every company he ever ran. Trump is also a business failure.

    There’s a difference between the owners/managers of Claridges in London and Basil Fawlty.

    “It’s telling that she hasn’t yet announced she will definitely run along with so many others. Maybe she’s waiting to see what the field is like as the others are, or maybe she simply prefers being a reality TV celeb.”

    I think she’s replaced Ann Coulter as a leading conservative screamer. And that’s all about money, not governance.

    “I’m sure the likes of Rove and other Republican strategists would appreciate it if all the darlings of the tea party left the stage quietly for the more realistic candidates they want. But the problem is they let the genie out of the bottle by using the tea party to boost their core vote and fuel the partisan hatred. They won’t find it quite so easy to quietly sideline the tea party and make it behave as they try to head for a more moderate centrist position before 2012. I’m sure they will try though.”

    It’s an odd reversal because it used to be that the Republicans were usually good at nominating the most electable candidates and the Democrats were not. But lately, especially in 2010, the Republicans nominated some of the worst candidates I’ve ever seen.

  35. Jayblanc

    I agree.

  36. On probability (probably :-) ), the LDs have no benefit in either staying the coalition or leaving it – I guess the pressure is for the latter. However, they don’t have a pretext (to improve the odds) – the Tories have to give them one and that does not seem to me to be expected soon.

  37. As far as I’m aware the Conservatives didn’t have any ministerial offices to give up. They didn’t win the election after all.

    Unless that would be the ones they are “entitled to”?

    If anyone is to blame for any Tories not having ministerial office then surely it’s DC, first for not gaining an OM and then for deciding to join forces with the LDs.

  38. The AV campaigners have repeatedly implied MPs in “safe” seats are lazy, and some pretty unpleasant things have been said about Baroness Warsi.

    I’m not sure what the Lib Dems thought the Coalition agreement was,
    but I didn’t read it that they were allowed to campaign for AV, whilst the rest of us had to keep quiet.

    Reading between the lines, I think there is panic that a party with slumped opinion poll ratings ain’t going to get the electoral system rigged either.

    Although personally I’m not complacent atall – as it could go through.

  39. Woodsman – they almost did win it – more votes (absolute and share) than Labour in 2005, and a lot more than either of the other two parties.

  40. @OldNat. On the inexperience or not of any additional Greens (if the current polls hold up), the two most likely outside Lothians and Glasgow would be from the 2003-7 group of MSPs: Eleanor Scott in H&I and Mark Ruskell in MSF.

    Of the others, top of the Lothians list (closest thing to a Green safe seat) is Alison Johnstone, a current Edinburgh councillor, and there is also Martin Ford a possibility in North East, depending on how (or if) Trump plays. So, however you look at it, a Green group would be a considerably more experienced line-up than in 2003.

    Of course Green representation could easily go down to 1, although the polls do look a bit firmer than in 2007.


  41. JoeJamesB

    “Reading between the lines, I think there is panic that a party with slumped opinion poll ratings ain’t going to get the electoral system rigged either.”

    I agree.

    We don’t know who will win the Referendum-but if YES lose, one can see an increase in the pressure on NC as ” so what are we in this Coalition for then?” becomes the question from the LD ranks.

    And to respond to Laszlo’s ” However, they don’t have a pretext “-they would then have one-ie we only shacked up with these awful people to get the voting system changed-that’s not on offer now, so were off to join our soulmates on the left.

  42. Ian


    As you’ll have gathered, I forgot to check that! :-)

  43. @ Jay Blanc

    You ignore that we have the current, and I think unprecedented, situation of one member of the cabinet threatening legal action against another!
    I’m assuming that is over-blown posturing & was said for dramatic effect.

  44. Here come the cavalry:-

    h ttp://www.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/6893938/balls-and-miliband-to-rescue-labours-scottish-campaign.thtml

    Should be interesting :-)

  45. Oldnat

    An SNP/Grn coalition would be the most effective way to challenge Stuart’s Bringland if Scotland had a coalition with all the old UK partties excluded.

    Both the Scottish parties have been disadvantagd by the media. Working together they could wake people in Brigland up.

  46. @ Colin

    I don’t know how much irony was in your comment : “we only shacked up with these awful people to get the voting system changed” – here in the North West one is quite sheltered from these… But no, with that one they could not get away. It has to be a policy issue. However, the Conservatives know it as well and quite happy to play the game in which the LDs cannot do much about it.

  47. @ John B Dick

    I think for the coalition with SNP would be the quite a problem for the Greens. They would be extremely vulnerable basically on all fronts – they have a too explicit programme that they would not be matched if going with SNP (hence my earlier reference to the LibDems).

  48. “Woodsman – they almost did win it – more votes (absolute and share) than Labour in 2005, and a lot more than either of the other two parties.”

    Right, but the Tories don’t think we should judge election success on national vote share, but on FPTP constituency results (or so I hear). And on that measure, a measure they are fighting very hard to keep, they did not win the election in a manner that ‘entitled’ them to office.

  49. @Colin

    THis report from ConHome rather makes my point :-”

    I have to say this to you, I’m afraid, but you’re resorting to old habits again; habits that I’ve taken you to task about a few times before. How can quotations from a party politically biased website be in any way part of an objective and non-partisan discussion on the current state of the coalition. Do you honestly think that the Secretary of the 1922 Committee would say anything else? So he thinks that Nick Clegg and Chris Huhne are “whingers”, does he? Well, knock me down with a feather; my gast has never been more flabbered! The definitive, balanced and objective judgement on the Lib Dems has been so delivered. I await the Pope’s views on women’s priests with equal tantalising expectation!

    Now, as you know, I’m a supporter of neither the Conservative nor Liberal Democrat parties, but has it ever occurred to you that some of the fissures and tensions now appearing in the coalition may, just possibly, be due to some non-fraternal behaviour from leading Tory figures, including the Prime Minister? Why are you so convinced that it is the Lib Dems who “are making fools of themselves”, unless of course, as I rather suspect, you’re peddling a party political line and viewing the world, yet again, through blue-tinted spectacles.

    Or are you Tory loyalists slowly waking up to the possibility that the Lib Dems, in reality, are a party of the centre left and have been dragooned into a political nightmare by a totally unrepresentative and self serving leadership? Don’t be too hard on them, though, because they got your man into Downing Street; a feat well beyond his own independent capabilities. You should be grateful, not curmudgeonly, Colin!

  50. Colin

    Even Balls and Milliband together couldn’t be as much help to the SNP as Tony Blair, still they’ll be grateful for any help they can get.

    If you can get Margaret Thatcher to go, the SNP will pay her expenses.

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