After four days without a GB voting intention poll (which suddenly seems like quite a long time!) we’re back into the normal cycle. Topline figures for the daily YouGov/Sun poll tonight are CON 36%, LAB 41%, LDEM 10%.

UPDATE: The poll also asked about AV. Adjusted for likelihood to vote and excluding don’t knows and won’t votes, NO now has a 18 point lead, 59% to 41%. The change from YouGov’s previous AV poll is only minor, but it suggests the NO campaign are consolidating that big lead that opened up last week. Conservative voters remain overwhelmingly opposed to AV (by 82% to 18%), Lib Dem supporters remain overwhelmingly supportive (84% to 16%) and Labour voters remain split almost straight down the middle (49% pro, 51% anti).

Full tabs are here.

358 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – CON 36, LAB 41, LDEM 10”

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  1. Woodsman, Save it.

  2. Alec said

    “Tesco’s profits – largely stagnant in UK, growth all from overseas”.

    1. This is essentially cherry picking. I outlined £32bn of profit yesterday… Barclays for example made 29% profits on its home banking but losses on its overseas investment… in 2011 and beyond its less about where the profits are made, domestic consumption in Osborne’s new economic vision will not be the be all and end all…

    Vodafone upgraded their profit forcecasts.. suggesting there is plenty of good news out there on profit [if indeed you wish to listen to it]

    Alec said “Higher govt spending – largely through higher interest payments and benefits uprating due to higher than expected inflation – not a good thing.”

    Not so. £7bn PFI, 1.8bn higher on Aircraft. £0.7 on Libya, £1bn to cover tuition fee outlay… not inflation linked.. some extra money has been spent on Educational U-turns as well as cncaelling the housing benefit penalty to long term unemployed..

    Alec said “Record low interest rates – not a good thing – merely confirmation that the BoE sees the economy as flatling so dare not raise rates, despite inflation running at 4% + – really, really not a good thing.”

    Last time Alec had this chat he said inflation rates would be 5-6% by year end… them falling back by 10% from 4.4% to 4% is surely welcomed…

    In time, interest rates will rise, but it would be the panic rise that some predicted only 1 month ago..

    Alec said “0.1% rise in huse prices – pretty disastrous, given the falls in prices and especially if you strip out the impact of top line housing in London. Virtually all the rest of the housing market is declining.”

    The housing market standing still is a significant improvement on the last year’s crashes in housing prices.. as with everything its the momentum that matters…. We nearly had a double dip in housing prices… Its not irrelevant to the likes of me who saw the value of my home half in the bubble burst..

  3. Looks like UKPR entered the Twilight Zone overnight… :-~

  4. @Eoin – “On your main accusation…

    1. that I am not capable or qualified to comment on economic matter.”

    I’m afraid that is entirely wrong – I don’t make this accusation. If you read the full spread of my comments you’ll find that I am criticising your habit of taking a position (it’s all over fr Labour and the Tories will win in 2015) and then taking real but selective economic evidence, misinterpreting it at times and ignoring inconvenient figures. I have made it quite plain that I am as likely as the next woman to make mistakes and get things wrong, and that I don’t mind people pointing this out if that’s what they believe.

    And – “I missed any substantive argument from yourself… the gist of your rebuttals are usually that I’m over a cliff, or not an economist… ”

    Well that’s interesting – Colin didn’t. I’ve repeated a couple of them, but I’ll have a go with one more as an illustration of my point; do you accept that Tesco’s UK profit figures were disappointing and that their good overall performance was based largely on non UK profits?

    I’ve no doubt many economists agree with you – the jibe about ‘give me a one handed economist’ springs to mind. I’m in the camp that takes a more balanced view. In terms of the 15 figures you quoted, in my view, on balance, they demonstrate much weaker economic performance than Osborne predicted and wants and overall would appear to set back chances of a Tory victory in 2015 rather than enhance it. Same facts, but a more rounded interpretation I would argue. We are engaged in a very sluggish and two paced recovery with some real signs that the manufacturing sector is coming off the boil just as cuts really bite.

    In terms of getting overly personal – last night you posted a line or two about me that a couple of posters seemed to think were inappropriate and I certainly think I could have taken umbridge at if I was so inclined. Although you do have an admirable habit in general of avoiding the invective you’re not always the saint of UKPR you sometimes try to project. But if you did find anything I’ve said offensive or upsetting I’m genuinely saddened by that – my intention was not to upset.

    Perhaps our thresholds of tolerance are slightly different.

  5. On Tesco

    “The retailing giant that employs 500,000 people reported a 12% rise in profit to £3.8 billion for 2010 on the back of an 8% rise in sales to £67.6 billion.” That’s a little bit better than Alec’s “stagnant”

  6. Alec,

    1. You reposed my entire article verbatim and them quipped “you’re no economist”. By inference, you are? I think we are equal, as is everyone in these matters. Since I had no previous dialouge with you in the 30 days previous this was an unhelpful way to open the conversation. It is also the sixth time you have done so.

  7. Back to polling and I’ve been looking at the YouGov tables for a while now. I’ve noticed that the 2010 Lib Dem vote is firming up. A few months ago the Don’t Knows were quite high and the Switched to Labours were higher than the Stay with the Lib Dems. Both have reversed recently. Is it surprising that an upcoming local election would firm up GE voting intention?

  8. @Eoin – from the BBC – “However, Tesco’s core UK market was a different story, with the company facing the same difficult conditions as many fellow UK retailers.

    Like-for-like sales in Britain, excluding the effect of rising VAT, were flat for the year, falling short of expectations, and dipped 0.7% in the final three months.”

    When I get something wrong, I always find it’s best to accept the fact, stop embarrasing myself and move along.

  9. Alec,

    I said I quote

    “14. The banks [ eg. Barclays] the oil companies [eg. BP] and the grocers [eg. Tesco] are all making profits”

    What part of this is wrong?

  10. @Eoin BTW – under Osborne’s new corporate tax proposals, Tesco’s overseas profits will not be taxed in the UK, although certain overseas losses and investments could be set against UK earnings. The Tesco’s profit figures mean not a great deal for the UK at present.

  11. Enough of this – far too much playing the man. I’d would obviously like comments not to include personal jibes, but I don’t have the time or inclination to pre-moderate every comment so I expect you all to control yourselves.

    Responding to other people’s posts by saying they must be drunk or lying about their job is absolutely not on. Then again, saying other people can’t be proper economists because they work in the voluntary sector isn’t that much better.

    I’d hope to have a forum where thick skins aren’t actually necessary because people are polite in the first place, but if you going to post on the internet they are necessary to some degree. If you can’t get on nicely, just don’t reply to each other – I don’t need you all squabbling over slights.

    Besides, this is not an economics blog. By all means discuss how you think public opinion will react to the economy getting better, worse, or staying the same (or indeed how the public react to the data that is released – they are broadly indifferent, economic optimism is still rock bottom, though we’ll see what effect the latest figures have (very little I expect))

    Colin – thank you for attempting to steer things back to the subject of polling. If I gave out gold stars, you would have one!

  12. @Eoin – “What part of this is wrong?” Classic Eoin straw man. Where did anyone say these facts were wrong?

  13. Tesco’s profits in 2010 were higher than at any other year in their entire trading history.

    Record Profits are hardly ‘stagnant’

    Neither was this point quite poor

    “14. The banks [ eg. Barclays] the oil companies [eg. BP] and the grocers [eg. Tesco] are all making profits”

  14. @AW – apologies – sometimes I can be guilty of dragging things on.

  15. “A few months ago the Don’t Knows were quite high”

    Surely it’s merely expected that don’t knows of every stripe will be constantly thinning out as the 5th gets ever closer ?
    Granted, the huge distraction of the royal media circus will stop the focus for a while, but when the world moves on it’s going to be so close to the elections there won’t be a news cycle without a very prominent election or referendum feature.
    If they still don’t know by the 5th then they’ll never know. ;-)

  16. On the Cameron “calm down, dear” I don’t think it will do it immediate harm, and I hardly think he need apologise (even though he seems happy enough to apologise for far more serious policy gaffes).

    However, it makes a small dent in the smooth facade. Another little blemish. These things add up.

    Slowly a picture of the man appears that doesn’t quite match the prime ministerial self portrait.

    Thatcher might have done it…but his role model Blair probably not. Nasty or nice…

    Interesting to see the personal leader ratings later in the week. But I don’t think there will be a huge initial movement.

  17. UKPR is at its absolute best when discussing polling data. It is certainly the aspect of UKPR that I thoroughly enjoy the most. I will endeavor to stick to this in future.

    In every recorded poll following a growth figure I have looked at [good or bad] I have detected no shift in the immediate polling thereafter…

    Anthony made, what I think, was an excellent post in June 2010. It basically argued that polling wise/election wise George Osborne is paying a very long game.

    I agree. and what’s more I think that long game is already looking well placed for him… We are 20 of the way through parliament. The Tories average only a little short of what they got on election day.

    Given that there was so much talk hype call it what you will about ‘cuts’. I think that the polling data suggests that things are currently proceeding according to plan for the Tories in strictly polling terms…

  18. Nick Poole

    I agree.

    DC’s comment at PMQ reminded me of a comment from journo on last Sunday’s BBC early morning TV when referring to DC and what he had been saying about AV etc. The journo said that DC simply says what he thinks.

    This kind of ‘honesty’ will appeal to and endear him to some voters. On the other hand, there will increasing instances of comments from DC that will alienate some voters, too.

    Is DC’s ‘honesty’ been prompted I wonder by private polling and/or opinion groups?

  19. I agree that, in purely polling terms, the Tories are doing all right.

    One mistake they have made is that it was THEY that talked up the direness of the economy to justify the cuts (fair enough, things weren’t exactly rosy) and now they have the problem of restoring confidence. Only growth will do that. But they have a few years to find the answer.

    But will they ever get the extra 7-10% they need to get an outright majority? Even with the cutting of MP numbers and changing the boundaries I think they will need broader support.

    What’s the biggest poll Con has achieved since 1997?

  20. @
    The Green Benches

    Just some comments and some clarification on your comments:

    1. Employment climbed 156,000. – this depends on the types of jobs to make it good news. Poorly paid jobs where people struggle to make ends meet does not mean good news.
    2. Unemployment fell 17,000 – Again deeper analysis is required. People stopped claiming? Move abroad? Type of job?
    3. Inflation fell 0.4% – The trend is still upwards.
    4. Retail sales climbed 0.3% – Staring from what base?
    5. Trade gap closed £1bn – Manufacturing is doing well.
    6. Deficit came in at £141bn, £5bn lower than expected – Although this government will claim the victory for that, I think this was more due to last Governments policies and the boost by the Construction Industry. That is over.
    7. PMI is still comfortably over 50 – No comment.
    8. Service sector growing again – Is it?
    9. Mortgage books in healthy state after record repayments – people are remortgaging and keeping money. This is not necessarily good if money is not circulating and basically being hoarded.
    10. Nationwide shows a 0.1% rise is house prices, suggesting decline in prices is halting/slowing – There is a marked difference between the South and the North where prices and plummeting.
    11. George Osborne cut several pennies off petrol which helps ease inflation – Petrol has still gone up. This has backfired.
    12. BoE keeps interest rates low – That helps.
    13. Spending 2011-12 is to be £10bn higher & £7bn PFI than stated in CSR – Is this a good thing?
    14. The banks [ eg. Barclays] the oil companies [eg. BP] and the grocers [eg. Tesco] are all making profits – It is very mixed, for example the home market for Tesco in the UK is poor.
    15. 0.5% growth in Q1 – 2011 – Flatline. This is very poor.

    I think it is mixed picture overall.

  21. Anthony Wells

    I know you’re reluctant to do requests but….

    Some months back I made an apparently forlorn request (following that lone poll of South West seats I think) that it would be good if YouGov could aggregate some of its daily polls into a sample size big enough to give us a much more detailed picture, region by region, of post GE swings. So I was delighted to discover, by chance, that YouGov’s website published such an analysis on 21/4/11, conducted for Prospect Magazine, showing the aggregate of its polls for March and the post GE movement, including a breakdown by region and much more besides. I’ve quoted a couple of selective stats from it earlier in this thread.

    It would be good to have some commentary from you on this, as a new thread or as an addendum to a new thread at least. Not least, there’s an issue of interpretation. Are the cross breaks in this poll more reliable for interpretation purposes than in a normal YouGov poll? Given its size (50,000+) I’d hope that were the case, on the grounds that perverse weighting distortions within the sub-breaks would be unlikely to act in the same direction in each of the component polls, so there would be some random evening out.

  22. “What’s the biggest poll Con has achieved since 1997?”

    Cameron managed to throw away this massive lead.
    So those who think he is incapable of suffering a poll shock in the future had best think again.

    Brown: one year on, 20 points behind, says exclusive ICM poll

    Gordon Brown faces a damning verdict from voters ahead of his first anniversary in power, according to a new Guardian/ICM poll. It suggests that his prime ministership has been a disappointment: 74% of those questioned say that he has been a change for the worse compared with Tony Blair, and only 24% think Labour has a chance of winning the next election while he remains leader.

    The poll also gives the Conservatives a record 20-point lead over Labour, six points up on last month. Labour support has fallen two points to 25%, the lowest recorded in the ICM polls, which began in 1984.

  23. I’m still not entirely sure about links on here but I’ll try in case anyone wants to look at that poll in a bit more detail.

  24. Observer,

    I have many factual rebuttals of a lot of what you say, but I will stick to polling analysis as Anthony requested.

    When a person types UK polling report into google or however they do so, their modus operandi should be instinctively to discuss polls.

    I note, that several prominent contributors can go months on end without discussing polling data.. In fact some contributors enter the site proud of the fact that they view polls and polling data as irrelevant.

    I don’t, nor have I ever.

  25. Polls for me are as close as we’ll ever get [bar an election] to figuring out what the public thinks….

    I am very very passionate about achieving a Labour victory in 2015. Understanding why we lost the election is crucial…

    Between 1997 and 2010

    Half our our Protestant church goers left us
    c.1 million C2 social grade voters left us
    half of our voters who rent privately left us
    56% of the voters who left us were women…
    4/5ths of this votes were lost before GB took over..

    We lost much less AB voters
    We lost much less voters on social housing
    We lost proportionately less non-church goers
    We lost proportionately less home owners

    Polling data can be a window to the soul that the Labour Party once had…. [and I’m going looking for it].

    The Tories average 36% for the last 90 days polling… [yougov].

    They have stabilised…

    An epic struggle must commence to understanding why they’re not sinking in the polls

    And an even bigger struggle must comment to figure out how Labour get back in the game

    That is the first thought I have when I wake up , and the last before I go to sleep.

    Ostrich Politics: ie. burying your head in the sand when good news for the other side comes along… Is counter-productive. It in fact does more damage to the cause of Labour, than our opponents.

  26. @Nick Poole

    From the archives (left)…

    Con/Lab/LD: 52/24/12 (IpsosMori 14//09/2008).

    Con/Lab/LD: 23/62/12 and 23/63/11 (Gallup 04/12/1995 and 04/11/1997).

  27. @Billybob

    Yowsa! So Cameron had a 28 point lead at one point.

    Most illuminating.

  28. “Half our our Protestant church goers left us
    c.1 million C2 social grade voters left us
    half of our voters who rent privately left us
    56% of the voters who left us were women…
    4/5ths of this votes were lost before GB took over..”

    I don’t know much about Protestant church goers…did they used to vote Labour and change vote, or did they stop going to church?

    C2 socail grad voters…what are they? Think a million of them didn’t like us bombing Iraq?

    Half our voters who rent privately left? How many voters was that?
    56% of voters who left were women. That’s about half, no?
    Most were lost before Brown. Oh…about the time we started tipping death onto Baghdad?

    Now I am a rabidly partisan anti-Tory. I don’t believe in them at all. But in the unlikely event that they work the economic rebalancing miracle they envisage and everybody who wants work can get it in the private sector…

    …wouldn’t the Tories deserve my vote if they pulled it off? Regardless of my prejudice?

    In fact, if they do, I WILL vote Conservative.

    Sadly I think the opposite will happen to the economy. But the proof will be in the eating.

  29. Green benches
    “The Tories average 36% for the last 90 days polling… [yougov].
    They have stabilised…
    An epic struggle must commence to understanding why they’re not sinking in the polls”

    In my opinion this is because however unpalatable the policies, and however worried people are about their own prospects, many of them realise that cuts must be made for the good of the country, and ultimately themselves. It won’t be good for many people if the country goes bankrupt, hence the reluctant acceptance of cuts, and stabilisation of the poll figures.

  30. Nick,

    A one point 60% of Catholic church goers voted Labour
    In 2001, 50% of Protestant Church goers voted Labour

    the LDs in the last 20 or so years have improved the portion of catholics voting for them by 250%.. this suggests ‘ethics’ perhaps IRaq as you say played a part..

    There has been a net 40% turnaround in Church of England[ers] switching to the Tories..

    I have examined 37 years worth of issue polling…

    Issues around morality/ethics have grown..

    poverty, morality etc..

    24 hour casinos.. 24 hour drinking… may not have helped but I cannot be sure about this…

    Outrage over high pay and expenses alienated church goers I think.. again that’s guess work

    Stem Cell research and Labour being seen as pro-science alienated church goers I think

  31. Pete B,

    google flagellants

    Wanting to punish oneself for excesses is a common theme in history.. it is possible voters equate their own consumer debt with the nation’s debt.. and so every time they hear of pain, cuts, belt tightening.. it makes them feel better…

    Certainly poling still shows some voters thinking that the cuts are necessary

  32. I think the announcements of various economic figures have small impact on polling. Firstly, if things are dire or going okay then people will know it without needing some abstract figure being announced that confirms what they already know. The other thing is for many years there is increasing scepticism of these figures, more and more people are struggling to relate them to their situation, and they have seen successive governments massage figures. I can’t see this improving.

    @Billy Bob

    From those figures it seems necessary, in order to get a big poll lead, to take substantial support from two other big parties. Labour have only really taken from the LD’s. Which indicates they won’t be getting a huge lead soon. Nobody is getting a 179 majority next time.

  33. Nick,
    A one point 60% of Catholic church goers voted Labour
    In 2001, 50% of Protestant Church goers voted Labour
    the LDs in the last 20 or so years have improved the portion of catholics voting for them by 250%.. this suggests ‘ethics’ perhaps IRaq as you say played a part..
    There has been a net 40% turnaround in Church of England[ers] switching to the Tories..
    I have examined 37 years worth of issue polling…
    Issues around morality/ethics have grown..
    poverty, morality etc..
    24 hour casinos.. 24 hour drinking… may not have helped but I cannot be sure about this… stem cell excessive pay expenses etc. may also be a factor

  34. Nick,

    You have a longish reply, it’ll pop out of mod….

    20% more Potestants used to vote Labour than Tory.. [2001] there has been a net 40 change in 10 years

    60% of Catholics used to Vote Labour 2001

  35. Labour lost 48% of voters who rented privately. average rent is £687pm.

    Labour lost 22% of those given social housing by the state.

    In 2001, 60% of catholics voted Labour.
    In 2001. 50% of CoE voters chose Labour

    Just 19% of Roman Catholics voted Tory.

    Now the % of C o E’s voting Labour has halved..
    Just 39% of Catholics now vote Labour

    Non church going members of Labour might not like this data [Ostrich politics].

    If 56% of the voters lost were women, that means that 44% were men… that is significant..

    What is more, men aged 25-39 left Labour in very large numbers [accounting for 21% of our lost voters..

    18-24 year old Men did not abandon Labour
    18-24 year women did.

    A discernible difference is that 59% of men aged 18-24 stay living with their parents… The figure is much much smaller for women..

    I have a hunch that women exposed to the wage pressures and cost of housing felt the pain of a Labour government more than the 18-24 boys…

    27% of our lost voters in the private sector joined ‘others’ ie not the Lds or Tories..

    This might and only might suggest concerns over the burdne placed on private housing from immigration genuinely hurt this group.

  36. “…wouldn’t the Tories deserve my vote if they pulled it off? Regardless of my prejudice?”

    You assume that the economy would be forever in the toilet if it wasn’t for Osborne’s actions. As Osborne was at pains to point out last night when he was putting a gloss on the 6 month flatline, world economic circumstances can make things more difficult. They can also make things better. He is master of his own fate only so much in a global economy. For good and ill.

    The voter only thinks “it’s the economy stupid” when the economy is bad. When it’s not they might just have other concerns.

    Of course he’ll get a great deal of credit if his plans all bear fruition and he has got rid of the deficit and has enough room to promise a tax cut for the next election. (which is his long term plan) But what happens in the five years while he is doing that is hardly going to be overlooked or forgotten by the public.

    If we pull out of a recession and the NHS and other public services are wrecked in the process I’m guessing that won’t go down too well with the average voter. I’m also guessing that the Lib Dems have a limit to just how much they are willing to sacrifice on the altar of Osborne’s economic plans.

  37. Shetland shocker?
    – Must we now consider Shetland to be a marginal seat?

  38. @ Mike N – ” …instances of comments from DC that will alienate”

    For instance drawing a comparison between the “sanctimonious” Gladstone and Paddy Ashdown (this in Nick Robinson’s current radio series on previous PMs, which invites the members of the current administration to pass judgement on their predecessors).

    One thing necessary for a change in government is that a broad array of opinion formers in the media turn against/lose confidence in the administration. One turning point for Brown (crystalising his unpopularity) was the concerted (Rawnsley et al) allegation of bullying behviour.

  39. @TheGreenBenches

    Eoin, I agree with you re. Osborne and the long game.

    As I understand it, your fear for Labour is this;

    – If Osbornonomics are a disaster then Labour will win in 2015 in any event. In this case Labour need a plan which is what to do about the disaster. But the plan is needed for practical rather than electoral reasons.

    – If Osbornonomics are successful and in 2014 things are looking very much on the up then Labour have a big problem. It won’t be plasible to say “We would have got to the same place or better but less painfully”. That won’t wash. Equally there won’t be much point attacking the record as on its own terms the record will be good – the deficit tamed, growth restored. What in that situation is Labour’s pitch to be?

    I think this must be right as to the dilemma Labour finds itself in.

    I think trading stats at this time is pointless. We are in the phoney war. The paddling is going on furiously below the waterline but we can’t yet tell which way the duck is moving because of the heavy swell. (A poor analogy but indulge me).

    Labour’s current plan seems to me to be to hope Osborn screws it up. That appears a very, very dangerous strategy.

  40. Mick Park,

    good post….

    I have examined the salience of 18 separate voter issues across 37 years of MORI polling data [1974-2011].

    In 1997 it was as you say Health & education that highest in the concerns of voters…

    In 1979, and 2010 Immigration and Crime were high among voter concerns [as well as economic]

    George Osborne was allowed to set the very modest benchmark of sorting the deficit as his terms of reference..

    That might gain him enhanced credibility when achieved

    New Issues are creeping up the agenda for voters.. in recent years, poverty, morality, and other ethical concerns have become more appealing.. There is an option if a party wishes, to pursue some ethical policies… perhaps linked to transport/ environment…

  41. Not much happening really. England is a very conservative country. The cuts have been pretty minimal.

  42. Fandango,

    You understand me perfectly. Fail to prepare, prepare to fail.

  43. 1/250 to 1/6 ! Shocking stuff indeed stuart.

    I think that may well be the reason behind Tavish’s eccentric outburst about scotland being “burned at the stake” by the Conservatives were it not for the Lib Dems.

    The remaining debates are shaping up to be quite a spectacle.

  44. Billy Bob
    “…a broad array of opinion formers in the media turn against/lose confidence in the administration.”

    Do you think this is beginning to happen?

    I’ve recently imagined/detected this but perhaps it’s wishful thinking.

  45. @Wolf
    I love your posts! You drop in with comments and observations every now and then and they’re always thought provoking but easy to read/comprehend.

  46. @Eoin

    Has to be right. Can’t see how anyone can sensibly argue with it.

    The interesting question is how the Lib Dems fit in in an ‘Osborne succeeds’ scenario.

    This is very hard to predict and this is where polling data will become very interesting.

    Some sort of Lib Dem revival in that scenario is not impossible. Indeed it is quite likely. It may be based on a slightly different demographic to and it may not be enough to save Clegg in Sheffield Hallam. But ’twas ever thus for the Lib Dems and the old Alliance.

    It is for this reason that I can’t see the Lib Dems bringing the coalition down early. They too have a considerable amount invested in Osborne succeeding. Even Tim Farron must be conscious of this.

  47. @Mike N – No not yet, it would take a symbolic event to turn the tide.

    One little aside from Laura Kuenssberg was quite telling for me, when she expressed sorrow at the departure of Andy Coulson… because in contrast to other No 10 opperators he had never shouted at her.

    Ed M and other Labour frontbenchers (may I mention Balls here?) need to be quite assiduous in their courting of various networks of opinion shapers.

  48. Stuart

    Thanks for the Shetland info.

    I had a look at the Independent’s website

    and I can see why he could be a threat to Scott. While many of us have assumed that Shetland is Liberal partly because it wants representation different from other areas, maybe it’s just wanting to have their uniqueness recognised. Certainly the example of Margo in fighting Edinburgh’s case must be an incentive for Shetland to elect an independent, solely concentrating on Shetland’s interests.

  49. Fandango,

    1. Every piece of polling data I have seen shows that some reds are still willing to vote yellow tactically.

    2. Every piece of polling data I have seen shows some voters willing to switch back to yellow upon realisation of the constituency specifics

    3. If on top of that, Osborne rebalances the economy & nails down the deficit, then its open to debate how much credibility the LDs will get? A known unknown.

    4. Minor coalition partners absorb toxicity like a soda farrell. This is where most of the yellow pain is coming from at present [that and some dubious pledging]. This is likely to have some lasting effect.

    5. When the reds rise in voter appeal the yellows tend to decline. This is true in 1974, 1997. when the reds decline in voter appeal the yellows tend to rise. This is true of 1979, 1983, 2005, 2010. So will 2015 be a red rise or a red decline? Most like the latter, meaning yellows are sure to lose votes.

    6. Will a new leader for yellow shed toxicity? Yes. Categorically. So it is open to yellow back benchers to see how they wish to play that in 2014.

    All things weighed up, you have a yellow 24% that is certain to decrease…. In the 174-9 episode or the 1987-92 episode that was as many as 2 million votes.. [with some complicated math in there on equalizing turnout and factoring in increased electorate size. Could the yellows lost 2 million votes? Where would 4.6million leave them? On a turnout of say 31 million… it leaves yellows above 15% but below 20%.

    So that’s my long winded reasoning… I’d plump somewhere in the middle of that and say 17.5%.

    There are closet reds out there who will troop to the polling booths as they have done for many years and vote yellow.

  50. Yes, I can see 17.5%.

    But that’s a 75% increase on the current 10%. Not to be sniffed at!

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