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. FWIW I don’t see much chance of an early election (this year or next) – The Tories are determined to push through the electoral boundary changes and reduction in the number of MP’s and won’t risk facing the electorate until they have evened up the perceived imbalance so no go there. Meanwhile Clegg knows his political future is hostage to the success of the coalition so I can’t see him engineer a break. While others in the LD corner may try to force the issue, I think Clegg will cling on for dear life so it will take time to build sufficient momentum.

  2. Crossbat, excellent analysis as usual.

  3. CROSSBAT 11
    “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?”

    A good question.

    Well I suppose that , given the deep layers of democratic procedure in the Lib Dem Party , and the resultant votes & consultations which NC had to submit to -live on tv -after the GE, I actually believed that :-

    a) They had appointed him leader because he represented their views.
    b) They signed up to the Coalition because they believed in it & him.

    I remember being pretty impressed with it all-particularly the apparently serious & respectful negotiations between he parties.

    ….sooooo….No I don’t think they were dragooned into a political nightmare-all the evidence is to the contrary.

    But -yep-something has changed it would seem.

    However-as I said to Alec -I reserve judgement until all the AV brouhaha has gone.

    …..will consider your question again in June :-)

  4. Re SNP-Green coalition, I can only see one major obstacle: Road building.

    The Greens will not agree to giving the second Forth Bridge or the Aberdeen Western Bypass the go ahead. So either Salmond decides delaying a decision for four years is a price worth paying for a stable majority, or a SNP-Green coalition is out of the question. (And so would be confidence & supply – supply is about the budget and the Greens will not support a budget that includes funds for these projects.) And should the SNP sign the Forth Bridge contracts before the election it is a clear sign that they have no intention of working with the Greens.

    Of course the SNP knows all this – there have been plenty of dicussions between the parties, and because of the disagreements over road building the Greens did not take of the SNP’s offer to join the government in 2007. The ball is clearly in Smart Alec’s court…

  5. Somewhat off-topic, but I’m hoping Vergilio will see this as he is fairly clued up: does anyone know of any good English-language coverage of politics in other European politics?

  6. @Laszlo

    Groundwork for two pretexts has already been laid.

    There have been suggestions that there was an understanding that the front benches would not directly campaign for or against AV. And the threats of legal action against George Osborn seem pretty stark, and well beyond mere posturing. This is certainly straining the principle of collective-responsibility of the cabinet.

    And then there’s Lansley’s NHS Reforms. They’re not in the coalition agreement, and strictly speaking go against the coalition agreement’s “We will stop the top-down reorganisations of the NHS that have got in the way of patient care.” Should the Liberal Democrats wish, they can pull the trigger over Lansley already enacting changes to the PCTs and trying to make the reforms ‘unstoppable’.

    And now they can point to all the “Junior Partner” and “Stop Whining” comments to say the Conservatives are negotiating in bad faith.

  7. Where is Tom Watson and his “devilishly well-placed conservative insider” (who went public on Jan 12 with the prediction that Coulson’s departure had been pencilled in for Jan 25) when you need them?

    Back then Watson claimed Tories were preparing for a snap May election.

    Around New Year (the lead in to OE&S byelection) there was a twin track imo… tie LDs into an electoral pact up to and including 2015 (tempting them in with a free go at OE&S, and assuming that the December polling picture was something of a blip that could be reversed by a “big speech” or two… also a timetable for installing a Tory friendly successor to Clegg in 2014).

    Or (assuming that the December polling picture was something of a blip that could be reversed by a “big speech” or two… ), find a pretext for ending the coalition.

    From Cameron’s pov the one thing that can not be countenanced is the collapse of the administration and being *forced* to go to the electorate.
    .
    Better to seem to be in control of his destiny.

  8. My word on the two threads here:
    On coalition stresses

    Clearly neither side has any interest in dissolving the coalition. It would lead to a bitter and rancorous election from which the only beneficiaries would be the Labour party and minor parties on the right. They are tied together until at least 2014 – and probably right to the end. Anything less would make the whole exercise appear ridiculous and futile.

    As regards the SNP/Green coalition, it would be unnecessary and impractical.

    The SNP worked with effective support from Tories when necessary during last parliament (an agreement in all but name) and given their actual closeness on economic policy, on taxation, on road building, on regressive taxation over progressive taxation, compared to the abstract philosophical closeness of the SNP and Greens on independence and Nuclear energy and not much else a similar “agreement” between Tories and NATs seems the more likely outcome.

  9. Iceman

    You have me puzzled.

    Council Tax is progressive? Income Tax is regressive?

  10. @Iceman

    “Clearly neither side has any interest in dissolving the coalition.”

    I have to disagree. From a long-term, narrow party political perspective, I think the LDs have no sensible option but to break the coalition. If they stay in government and allow Lansley to have to his way (after a bit of window dressing), the shift to Labour of their lost, left-leaning vote will become entrenched.

    On the other hand, if they act to block Lansley’s NHS ‘reforms’, and trigger an election on the back of it, they will have some chance of regaining some of the lost vote.

    It depends on whether they want one parliament of impotence in government followed by catastrophe, or to sacrifice their limousines for a chance at reversing the damage.

  11. @ Eoin,

    From previous thread I’m afraid – I presume you are reading this one.

    Thanks for the research on Labour’s lost support. In many ways the “big tent” was always going to shrink as soon as 1997 was over and the Tories were less hated (and got a semi-serious leader).

    But your research suggests that Labour did indeed lose the aspirational voters (as Blair always worried), rather than the AB1 philiosophical social democrats. And it was always the C1s and C2s that kept Thatcher in power (“our people” who didn’t want to rent or be council tennants). It makes perfect sense.

    And I think this is also why Ed M has his work cut out more than most, because he doesn’t naturally speak to this group. However, although his “squeezed middle” term got a bit of stick, it does seem to hit the mark with this C1 C2 group – because they’re the ones who will feel the pinch of the cuts most (even if a few ABs are theoretically being hit notionally harder).

    BTW, we prefer to be called Church of England (or the Anglican Church, if you are including Church in Wales and Episcopal Church of Scotland) – largely we are a socially conservative but economically socialist which makes us quite a swing group and there are a good few Anglicans who are attracted to the social conscience stream of some Tories (IDS etc.).

  12. JAYBLANC

    “Should the Liberal Democrats wish, they can pull the trigger over Lansley already enacting changes to the PCTs”

    Don’t think that will wash

    This is the relevant LibDem Manifesto reference:-

    “Empowering local communities to improve health services through elected Local Health Boards, which will take over the role of Primary Care Trust boards in commissioning care for local people,”

    ie they were going to scrap PCTs too & get commissioning closer to patients & more openly accountable.

    Lansley’s GP consortia have fallen down on accountability-but its a very short distance between tweaked GP consortia & the LibDems Local Health Boards-and scrapping PCTs is held in common.

  13. @Colin

    Replacing PCTs with GP Consortia is simply not the same as creating elected Local Health Boards within PCTs. The fact is, that Lansley’s reforms bare little relationship to the coalition policy document.

  14. @SocialLiberal

    ‘@ Pete B
    “Scots and Americans have this much in common – they are/were major pains in the backside for England.”

    I hope we’re not that bad. Americans love the English (or the British) because you’re our only friends in the world. ‘

    I was making an oblique reference to your rebellion of 1776. I have a great admiration for the US nowadays, even if their government is sometimes overly belligerent.

    @OldNat
    I’m not sure why you’ve become so antipathetic, but rest assured that your push for Scottish independence has the full support of many English people.

  15. @ Phil
    @Barbazenzero

    Re earlier postings on Mid Scot & Fife Region

    Many thanks for both your comments, sorry it has taken so long to reply, but the lure of such a lovely day here in Cyprus was too tempting – a few Keo beers did not help either

    Your points on the problems of using straight UNS are taken, but it is just too complicated to try to ‘normalise’ it at this time, maybe closer to the election on specific regional polls.

    Barbazenzero, I had looked at that link when trying to work out the notional constituency and regional voting figures by party. Thanks, as when I looked it up I got the 2007 votes for Margo in Midlothian. yet another piece to the jigsaw!

    I don’t understand why you are using these calculations as you basis for the Regional List votes. I did check my figures and have since tweaked them to completely agree with those of the boundary commission’s estimate of the party regional list notional votes. These are for Mid Scot & Fife region:
    Lab 27.2
    SNP 32.5
    Con 15.6
    LD 13.5
    Green 3.8
    Others 7.5

    It is on these that I base my %s dependant upon what each overall poll says is the increase/decrease in voting % in the overall list party %s. Crude but indicative. Probably just as accurate as using the overall Constituency % changes on individual constituencies.

    I do wish one of the pollsters would concentrate on just a few constituencies in detail, so we have a more reasonable guestimate of what is happening.

  16. @Colin & Jayblanc – I’m afraid arguing about whether PCTs or GP consortia commission health care is missing the real issues within the NHS bill. That particular change is so minor compared to what the bill would actually permit, which is why i am convinced that lib Dem MPs (and most Tories, come to that) haven’t yet realised what is in the bill.

    The bill will remove any requirement to seek equality of care from either the minister or the commissioning bodies, it will remove the limit to the amount of private income a commissioning body can receive, permits commissioning bodies to unilaterally refuse to provide any treatment it wishes, charge any amount for any treatment and decide which patients they will accept. It allows commissioning bodies to go entirely private without any reference to the health minister or patients and creates a system that no longer guarantees patients the rights to free health care.

    It’s an absolute car crash of a bill and arguing about which group does the commissioning fails to grasp the enormity of the issues – namely, the end of the NHS.

  17. Re the discussion about an early election that I sparked earlier today. A number of posters saying there won’t be one for various reasons are missing the central truth of the matter, which has always been that sitting Prime Ministers will always call an election if they think they can get away with it.

    At present my understanding is that Cameron still has the power to dissolve parliament as the fixed term legislation has not been passed, although even if it has been he can still engineer a collapse if he wants. I said at the time the fix term idea was announced that the ultimate irony would be if Cameron loses in 2015 after having opportunities to win in an earlier election he could no longer call, but for now he can still go to the polls when he wants and he will if it suits him. Clegg will do so to if it suits him as well.

    The idea that they will stick together until 2015 just because they’ve said they will ignores several centuries experience of politicians promises.

    Like no rise in tuition fees or reorganisations of the NHS, for example.

  18. ROBIN

    I share your view that the Lib Dems could benefit at an early election if they portrayed themselves as the savours of the NHS.

    They have to blance the risks of a total disaster in 2014-15 with the chances of recouping recent losses by reassertingtheir identity. The worse they do on May 5th the more likely, in my opinion, will be the latter scenario.

  19. Alec

    “creates a system that no longer guarantees patients the rights to free health care. ”

    Some of what you’re saying about the bill is cause for concern, but can we put a stop to this nonsense about free health care?

    Dentists all charge, even if you can get an NHS dentist, and so do opticians and pharmacists. there may be exemptions for dole merchants etc, but working people have to pay.

    Also, let’s not forget that GP practices are small private businesses. In most cases their main contract is with the NHS, but that is not the same thing as being employed by the NHS.

    So it is not the case that we are moving from a state-owned system to a private one. It’s more complicated than that.

  20. Deeply deeply naive thinking on an early election.

    Gerrymandering to 600 seats has yet to occur…

  21. Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold.

    There is a prevailing narrative and spin that the current convulsions from the coalition are either planned artifice to distance the Conservatives and Lib Dems or that they are the beginnings of some plan or series of actions that will lead to one side or the other choosing to pull out or call an election.

    They are neither.

    They are the sounds of fractures that have been building since day 1 of the coalition.

    The coalition exists because Clegg and Cameron have welded their parties together to keep it. That weld is trust and if it breaks down completely, or if either Cameron or Clegg can no longer hold their Party to it, then the coalition ends.

    If it’s going to end and the manner of it’s end is of course going to be speculated about endlessly. The point is that these things are not fully under anyones control if they get out of hand.
    We simply do not know how the stresses will manifest themselves after May. Both leaders will try and plot a course afer May that benefits their own standing and Party but neither man is fully the master of their own destiny.

    Politics is not always rational and events can make fools of any politician. These fractures could be sealed after May with a concerted effort but they will always be there under the surface. How Cameron, Clegg and their Parties work together under extreme pressure is the litmus test of this coalition. Not how well they can cooperate when things are going well for one or the other.

    On the evidence of this battle, far from being under control the coalition can be stressed fairly quickly to a point where almost open warfare breaks out. Those who hope things will be plain sailing from here on out are optimists.

  22. Pete B

    Probably reading too many posts on Political Betting driving up my blood pressure! :-)

    There is a serious point, however. If people seriously want a different direction to politics, away from the concensus , then the only way that existing parties can be pushed in that direction is voting against them.

    It took a very long time for those of us who believed in a different constitutional settlement to get any improvement at all.

    That’s why people who didn’t bother to challenge the system, then complain that the system didn’t give them a choice on something they never asked for, comes over as “whining”.

  23. More from the YouGov/Scotsman poll

    http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/news/Scots-back-SNP-vow-to.6757846.jp

    However, the SNP seized on the poll, which showed that 75 per cent of Scots wanted the council freeze to continue, with fewer than one in five in favour of a tax hike, as evidence of the popularity of their policy.

    The poll asked voters whether they would favour the “continuation” of the council tax freeze, a policy the First Minister has made a key part of the SNP’s re-election strategy.

    It showed that 42 per cent “strongly support” the move, with 33 per cent saying they “tend to support” the policy.

    Just 19 per cent of those interviewed were not in favour of the freeze and only 4 per cent of that figure “strongly” opposing the policy.

  24. @ Colin

    Here comes the cavalry….
    ————————————
    I’m really pleased that the two Eds are paying us a visit. Scottish politicians & activists are made welcome at English election campaigns; it’s always puzzled me that SLAB made so little of their connections to the Welsh & English. I’m hoping that soon Labour will be well represented in Northern Ireland too.
    8-)

  25. Amber

    No doubt that’s why some NILP folk were winging their way to Scotland to help out, in the hope of getting some backing.

    Well, that and their flights and hotel bills being promised that will be paid for them (no doubt some took in the Old Firm game in the bygoing. :-) Will they get as far as East Lothian do you think?)

    I just hope you have some pennies in the kitty to meet their bills.

  26. Since some on here, consider betting odds as useful supplements to the polls –

    William Hill spokesman Graham Sharpe said: “If it was a horse race we’d be wondering whether the original favourite had lost a leg en route to the racecourse.”

    http://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/scotsol/homepage/news/holyroodelection2011/3545715/Labours-pushed-the-panic-button.html#ixzz1KaHUHweU

    OK, the Sun is hardly the pinnacle of journalism, but Labour & Tory seemed so pleased to have it onside at various times (and like the SNP) rubbished it, the rest of the time! :-)

  27. @ Joe James B

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

    Maybe it’s different in a parliamentary system, especially where favored candidates of the party can be parachuted in to run and where you don’t have primaries but I never think of legislators in safe seats as lazy. In some cases, they may be lucky. But not lazy. And as for the safe seats in a system based on single member districts, I’ve always thought the benefits of having safe seats outweigh the harms. Some people may not campaign but they can become powerful representatives and advocates for their constituents and legislative experts (I would think this is even more important in a Parliamentary system). And the thing is, if you have safe seat incumbents who stop doing their jobs, they can always be voted out. And people may decide to do that in spite of their own party loyalty.

  28. @ Old Nat

    And the same to you, my dear – I’m sure that Alex’s trip to Liverpool was fully funded by QT; & that you SNP folk think none the worse of him for jumping at the chance to be on a BRITISH Broadcasting Corporation show, filmed in an English city. ;-)

  29. @ Old Nat

    “OK, the Sun is hardly the pinnacle of journalism, but Labour & Tory seemed so pleased to have it onside at various times (and like the SNP) rubbished it, the rest of the time!”

    I don’t think this is going to work for Labour though it may salvage some seats for them. Take a look at this political ad.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYGuQbocS_Y

    Put yourself in the mindset of an undecided NYC voter in 1965. Ask yourself, does this ad convince you at all? Does it give you any legitimate reason to vote for the candidate on your ballot?

    The way I look at it, this ad demonstrates a strategy that is VERY similar to Labour’s campaign in Scotland and the attempt of the national Labour leaders to help Iain Gray at the last minute.

  30. Amber

    It’s our duty to bring civilisation to the unenlightened. :-)

    The audience rather seemed to like him too.

    For anything “British” we pay our whack to as well. Whether we get value for our money is entirely another matter.

    The distribution of defence spending is quite a good example, don’t you think? Just why did your Government decide to stop publishing the figures on where the money went?

  31. @ Old Nat

    Or check out this ad for the same candidate in the same race (though it had trouble playing for me).

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rz4Zg4ExTi0&feature=relmfu

    Does this give you any reason to vote for the candidate?

    You can take any Labour figures who are beloved by Scots (I’m not sure any of them currently qualify either but let’s assume arguendo that they are) and you can have them campaign hard for Gray but ultimately, Gray is asking voters to lead the Scottish Parliament. He’s got to speak on his own and give voters a reason to vote for him independent of what someone you like has to say about him.

  32. SoCalLiberal

    Unfortunately, I don’t have the software on this wee netbook to see the ad.

  33. @ Old Nat

    Council Tax Freeze: It showed that 42 per cent “strongly support” the move..
    —————————————————-
    IMO, the 42% will be Tories & also the older “so long & thanks for all the fish” people.

    33 per cent saying they “tend to support” the policy.
    That’ll be those who like it from a personal point of view but are aware it affects the Councils’ ability to fund services. It’s a tough choice for the squeezed middle. How altruistic can they afford to be?

    Just 19 per cent of those interviewed were not in favour of the freeze and only 4 per cent of that figure “strongly” opposing the policy.
    I’m one of the 23% (IMO, 23% is quite a high number).
    8-)

  34. @ Old Nat

    Just why did your Government decide to stop publishing the figures on where the [defence] money went?
    ————————————————
    Because it all got spent on Scottish built aircraft carriers & the Tories were giving us a hard time about it. ;-)

  35. @ Eoin

    “Deeply deeply naive thinking on an early election.

    Gerrymandering to 600 seats has yet to occur…”

    I think that’s what the plan is for Cameron to get to an overall majority. The Tories don’t have to gain a single Labour seat. The way they would do it is win a slew of Lib Dem seats where Labour voters (and other progressives) who’ve been tactically voting for Lib Dems will either stay home or vote Labour and simply gerrymander Labour seats into each other. They won’t have to take any when they can simply reduce them and fold them into each other. FYI, that’s a hallmark of Republican gerrymandering strategy.

  36. SoCalLiberal

    Without seeing it, I get the point – a leader has to be seen to be self-reliant, not always needing help from big brother.

    In this case, Labour have made things much worse by the way they have handled it.

    A confident Iain Grey inviting notables from other parts of the UK to come and support the cause might have been effective – if it had happened earlier.

    In this case Ed Ball’s staff were briefing journalists that he and Miliband were coming up to rescue what was seen as a poor campaign.

    I suppose that might have worked in a mayoral contest in an English city (though I doubt it) but it sends entirely the wrong message to the media – who are the onesa who interpret these things to the voters.

  37. Amber

    You must be so grieved that your leader threw away his principles and decided on a Council Tax freeze then. Who would want a wimp like that for FM?

    Re Defence spending

    On this thing, I can’t access the UK Govt data, but here’s the Scotsman summary

    http://www.scotsman.com/politics/Ministers-restore-split-on-defence.6377491.jp

    In Scotland, the defence underspend as a population share increased from £749 million in 2002-3 to £1.3 billion in 2007-8. Scotland got only 61 per cent of its share, compared with 94 per cent for England.

  38. @ Old Nat

    “Unfortunately, I don’t have the software on this wee netbook to see the ad.”

    Ah, nuts.

    I’ll try and describe it (though seeing it is better). Robert Kennedy basically sits there telling voters that they need to elect Abe Beame mayor of New York City because he’s Democrat and his opponents aren’t. He throws in some nice generic descriptions of him like “NYC is the biggest government in entire nation after the federal government and we need an experienced Democrat running it,” “we need to build a new urban America that President Kennedy dreamed of and President Johnson is currently working for,” and “Abe Beame knows the city’s neighborhoods and their problems.”

    Every ad ends with the message: “Vote for the Beame team! Abe Beame, John O’Connor, and Mario Procacino.” The other ad featured kind words about Abe Beame by Hubert Humphrey.

  39. @ Old Nat

    “Without seeing it, I get the point – a leader has to be seen to be self-reliant, not always needing help from big brother.

    In this case, Labour have made things much worse by the way they have handled it.

    A confident Iain Grey inviting notables from other parts of the UK to come and support the cause might have been effective – if it had happened earlier.

    In this case Ed Ball’s staff were briefing journalists that he and Miliband were coming up to rescue what was seen as a poor campaign.

    I suppose that might have worked in a mayoral contest in an English city (though I doubt it) but it sends entirely the wrong message to the media – who are the onesa who interpret these things to the voters.”

    Big brother can’t help when you’re not running alongside big brother. So almost by definition in a Parliamentary system (except maybe in Canada), a parliamentary candidate rises and falls on the fortunes of their own party leader. All the unexpected gains for Labour in 1997 were not because of their local constituency candidates but because of Tony Blair’s popularity.

    But here, you’ve got a different political office and a different set up. If anything (and you might hate me for suggesting this), this is far more like a local election. Your issues are different, your concerns are different, your aspirations are different, your needs are different. A political candidate isn’t going to win your vote simply because he has your favorite politicians coming in telling you to vote for him. It doesn’t address your issues.

  40. @ Old Nat

    You must be so grieved that your leader threw away his principles and decided on a Council Tax freeze then. Who would want a wimp like that for FM?
    ——————————————————–
    That’s politics, Old Nat. Some things you just have to learn to live with – like you folks had to live with not getting a referendum on independence during Alex’s term as FM. A bit wimpy that, from a Nationalist, wouldn’t you say. ;-)

  41. SoCalLiberal

    Hopefully I’ll get someone in tomorrow to fix my PC!

    I get the picture of that ad. Sounds dreadful.

    Here the potential for the two Eds to make things even worse is the context.

    Grey has decided to start attacking the idea of Independence (any Scot who didn’t know already that that is the ultimate aim of the SNP would have to b incredibly dim!)

    That’s the worst possible time to bring up a couple of guys from the South of England to tell us that it’s a bad idea. Even those in Scotland who don’t want independence, but would like more autonomy (like Mrs Nat) bristle at the idea of “outsiders” telling us what’s best for us.

    As politics, it’s crass.

  42. @ SoCaL

    Your issues are different, your concerns are different, your aspirations are different, your needs are different.
    ——————————————————
    You’re getting carried away with your own poetic licence. London is only 500 hundred miles away from Edinburgh, we all speak English & the majority favour social democracy. At least 43% would vote Labour for Westminster & Scottish turnout is always higher for a GE than for Holyrood. :-)

  43. Amber

    I can understand you supporting Labour at Westminster. OK I have a fairly low opinion of them since Blair, but they seem preferable to the Tories in their governance of England.

    As to the handling of the UK economy, I’m impressed with neither.

    For Scotland, however, I’m at a loss to know which SLAB policies for Holyrood you do support. Is any old garbage acceptable if it has the Labour brand? I wouldn’t have thought so – you’re far too bright for that.

    So what is the advantage to Scotland (not SLAB, not the Labour Party, not the UK) if Iain Grey becomes FM, Andy Kerr becomes Finance Secretary?

  44. @ Colin and Crossbat11

    I have to say that I think the Coalition (while perhaps painful for Labour to watch in the opposition) has actually been very beneficial to Labour. Labour loyalists should be happy with the Coalition. It’s given Labour a chance to rise simply by being the only main opposition party. Meanwhile decisions of the coalition government have had the effect of turning off a number of Lib Dem voters (who have been fleeing to Labour) and turning off some Tories (the military budget cuts).

  45. @ Old Nat

    As politics, it’s crass.
    ——————————
    That’s how we feel about the SNP fielding candidates for the Westminster GEs. But your team do it anyway. Prismatically challenged? :-)

  46. @ Old Nat

    I’m just enjoying myself – you are always good for a lively spat on a dull evening. :-)

  47. @ Amber Star

    “That’s politics, Old Nat. Some things you just have to learn to live with – like you folks had to live with not getting a referendum on independence during Alex’s term as FM. A bit wimpy that, from a Nationalist, wouldn’t you say.”

    This is exactly why the latest attacks from Gray are an EPIC FAIL.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2011/apr/25/alex-salmond-scotland-election

    It’s so off-topic and off-base.

    Oh and if I may be off-topic here, my nightly local news is on and there’s a whole special on the Royal Wedding (why is this taking up valuable time on my newscast? I want to hear about the latest stabbing or gang shooting or gut wrenching human interest story). There’s a store in London that is apparently selling William and Kate condoms and Royal Wedding vomit bags. Is it just me or does this go too far?

  48. @ Pete B

    “I was making an oblique reference to your rebellion of 1776. I have a great admiration for the US nowadays, even if their government is sometimes overly belligerent.”

    Yeah, I see your point about 1776 (I’d include 1812 and “54-40 or fight” in that too). In terms of the administration being overly belligerent, are you referring to the current one or the last one? Because the last one was definitely belligerent, this one seems a lot less so.

  49. @ Old Nat

    As I said, I don’t mind an SNP government & I was okay with them winning on policies. But since the SNP gained a polling lead, the campaign has taken a nasty, personal slant against Iain Gray.

    Why was there a need for that, when the SNP was winning anyway?
    8-)

  50. Salmond’s appeal to business leaders was underlined when he confirmed that if re-elected he would press for Scotland to have the same rights being considered for Northern Ireland to set its own corporation tax rates, as low as 15% compared to UK rates of 26%.
    8-)

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