ComRes has released a new poll on the AV referendum commissioned by the NO2AV campaign. Topline figures, weighted by likelihood to vote in the referendum and excluding don’t knows have the NO campaign ahead by 60% to 40%, the biggest lead the NO campaign have recorded so far.

I always urge some caution in polls commissioned by the campaigns themselves – but in this particular case the tables appear wholly and entirely above board. It is a standard survey asking how likely people are to vote, and then asking them the bare, unadorned referendum question. Note that the regular ComRes polls on AV for the Independent on Sunday are carried out online, so this is the first recent ComRes telephone survey on AV.

There is also a new poll by a company called ICD Research in the New Statesman, which shows NO ahead by 14 points: NO 53%, YES 39%, undecided 9% (repercentaged to exclude don’t knows it would be a 16 point lead for NO).

I’m not aware of any previously published political polling by ICD, but it appears to have been an online poll, weighted by age, gender and region but not politically. Both the ICD and ComRes polls were conducted over last weekend, so both slightly predate the YouGov/Sun poll conducted early this week.


413 Responses to “Two new polls show NO campaign well ahead”

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  1. @Alec

    Thanks, good advice, i’m off to bed as it’s 4am here in Cyprus. Will be another brilliant sunny day tomorrow, so cheers

  2. FRANKG
    As for my contention that AV is not the same as STV, because one is proportional and the other is not.

    If somebody ever claimed AV/IRV is proportional they were telling untruths. AV/IRV is only “fairer” to electors rather than parties, by granting electors the luxury of expressing their real preferences instead of having to guess how to vote tactically or wonder whether their vote will actually count. And, technically, AV/IRV is merely an instance of STV where a single representative is chosen.

    And, also technically, although STV is undoubtedly the least unfair electoral system it is not proportional in any formal sense. It does, however, put even more power in the hand of the electorate, which is one of the reasons why authoritarian parties like the the blues and the reds will never formally embrace it for fear of losing control.

    With multi-member constituencies, it allows electors to choose between candidates of the same party. Most list systems are proportional, with the party leaderships determining the actual representatives on the list and their pecking order.

  3. @ Crossbat11

    “I know I don’t always reply to your posts but I greatly enjoy reading your perspectives from “across the pond” and, as you suggested in an earlier post, I think you and I have a lot in common in terms of our political views. We disprove the old joke that the Americans and British are people divided by a common language!

    You’re right to point out the anachronisms inherent in the British Monarchy and some of the rituals and traditions are indeed archaic, but its hold on the affections of the British people is wrapped up in this almost fairytale-like and unreal parallel world that the institution creates. Princes get to marry their Princesses, although they don’t often live happily ever after! Maybe Marx was slightly off beam with his famous comment on organised religion; monarchy is the new opium of the people! It may be the ultimate escapism, and we all need that from time to time.”

    I don’t fault people for escapism. I engage in it too.

    My mom got up early (or perhaps stayed up all night) to watch the royal wedding. She used to worship Princess Diana and was a big royal watcher so it makes sense. My sister watched it on youtube this morning (smarter choice). I also had a random run-in with a friend today who asked me if I watched it (she watched it with a few friends….they were drunk, had some additional champagne on hand, had purchased designer cupcakes, and being wide awake at 3 or 4 am with nothing else to do, decided to watch the royal wedding). In a way, it’s kinda funny that I, the Anglophile, didn’t watch it. Chalk it up to being a good Jeffersonian. :)

    Btw, I have a theory as to why Blair and Brown were not invited to the royal wedding. Michelle Obama was not invited because Kate Middleton did not want to be upstaged at her own wedding by her. I think that given how many Americans tuned in to watch this thing, Cameron did not want to be upstaged by Tony Blair, who was widely known to and widely liked by Americans. I’m willing to bet that if you polled Americans asking who the Prime Minister of Great Britain was, a sizeable number would answer “Tony Blair.” Today was Cameron’s big moment to get recognized by the world.

  4. @ Roger Mexico

    “With regards to flags, it’s not so much the constitutional position that matters, but the general attitude towards what is/is not acceptable. Certainly most Brits* think the fetishistic regard that many in the US have towards The Flag a bit odd (while admiring the constitutional protections for those that think otherwise).

    It may be due to combining the roles of head of state and government in the US. Like it or not, a head of state embodies the respect and patriotism that citizens feel towards their country. If this person is also an active political figure, the emotions may be better transferred to some inanimate object.

    Of course some Presidents may try to exploit these feelings and try to imply their actions are beyond criticism – attacking them is ‘unpatriotic’. And conversely some people may feel that the incumbent is not ‘really’ President because he doesn’t fit their requirements of what a President should be. For many such people ‘not being a Republican’ is sufficient disqualification – even as patrician a figure as FDR suffered for it. But I also wonder if the hatred (no milder term seems suitable) against Obama is fueled by this attitude. They might accept an African-American as their representative or senator, but they are literally unable to comprehend that one is their president: it can’t be true – something must be wrong.

    The combined head of state/government can also lead to the criteria for choosing a President to be skewed – choosing the person for the ceremonial side of the job rather than the executive. One thinks of Gore Vidal’s comment on Reagan as an “ancient actor that our masters have hired to impersonate a president”.”

    I happen to love the flag. I don’t worship it though. I don’t think anyone worships it actually but I can imagine why that impression would be formed. I care far more for the Constitution and the government than I do an individual president. That’s what guides me and makes me patriotic. It’s the system itself, not the head of it. The head of it is only around for 4 years, 8 if he’s lucky.

    The people who don’t accept Obama don’t have African-American representatives or Senators (in fact there are no African-American Senators currently…..there’s one governor, one liutenant governor, and one state attorney general). The whole birther movement is nothing more than an act of desperation by a collection of the country’s idiots. Some of the birthers I think are also mentally ill and are in need of professional help, given some of the things I’ve heard from them. Even a number of the teabaggers don’t like the birthers.

    Reagan wasn’t just chosen for his ceremonial functions. He may have been evil man and a lousy president but the voters elected him because of what he stood for and what he promised to do in office. So I don’t think Gore Vidal was correct.

  5. Does anyone have any idea when we are likely to see the result of the referendum appear? I know counting starts at 4pm on Friday but will we see a result late Friday or have to wait until Saturday?

  6. SoCalLiberal

    I’m going to make the case that the US lives in a far more anachronistic mindset than the UK, and with far more damaging consequences.

    Your law is bound by a fetishistic regard for an 18th Century piece of paper (you are in a minority if, as I suspect, you take a Jeffersonian attitude to the Constitution). Most of what you see of our monarchy is a combination of 19th and 20th century invention together with a gradually evolving political settlement. I estimate we’re probably somewhere between 1880 and 1920 in terms of political evolution, whereas you’re pretty much stuck in the 1780s.

    More seriously, as your Constitution seems to all intents and purposes to be impossible to amend at this stage, how is it going to cope in 100 or 200 years?

  7. @Sergio -“The monarchy is politically and economically innocuous: the only motivation for being cynical about the royal wedding is envy. Which always says more about the person than its object.”

    I would disagree very strongly with much in that statement, and if I were so minded I could find parts of it really quite offensive.

    Speaking for myself, I find I have absolutely no sense of envy with regard to the royal family. I have absolutely and utterly no desire to live my life in a media goldfish bowl, I would despair at the restrictions to thought and deed placed on me were I a senior royal, and from my limited knowledge of these people I would far rather live my live taking a certain pride in the academic, business and personal successes I feel I have achieved through hard work from a difficult background, rather than live a life created for me by dint of my birth.

    To be perfectly frank, rather than envy, my main feeling towards the royals is one of sorrow. I thought Charles showed himself to be totally unprepared to handle the highly personal and very tough real life issues that many people have to confront, which is not meant as a criticism – if you are brought up in such a false and protected environment you are never going to have the emotional tools to handle life properly. The personal horror for the family having to live through such despairing times with millions of salivating rubber neckers lapping up every twist and turn in the sorry plot I find unbearable to think about.

    The point about envy is also baseless when you review the general performance of the royals. With no motivating spurs, no fear of failure, no requirement to secure their own futures, they have, collectively, been singularly unimpressive in terms of their life achievements.

    Despite the finest schools, their educational attainment levels are in general pretty woeful, none of them have displayed any great head for business, and apart from heavily guided figurehead roles their other attainments are not very significant. (Major exception here for Princess Anne and her role in the BOC – by all accounts she has showed great knowledge and capacity in this role).

    If I had been handed all those chances in life and produced such limited results, I would have a deep sense of personal failure and regret, and for this also I feel very sorry for the family.

    My objections to the royals is not in any way personal, but on the simple and not so innocuous principle of unearned privilege. I think the monarchy is bad for the royals themselves as human beings, but as the pinnacle of inherited privilege and unearned wealth it is also bad for the rest of us. Getting rid of the monarchy is very low on my personal list of political priorities, but for very sound and logical moral arguments I believe it would be better for both them and us if we could do so, at some stage.

  8. Intersting link from a Tory Yes2AV campaigner.

    h ttp://conservativehome.blogs.com/platform/2011/04/andrew-boff-our-electoral-system-is-broke-fix-it.html

    We’ve not heard much from this group of people, but I found his article refreshingly honest and remarkably insightful. The idea that AV will always be better/worse for party x or y has always struck me as odd, as we can never know what the future will bring. It also neatly summarises the complete hypocracy in the majority Tory position – they are not prepared to hand greater power to the electorate through AV, yet demand AV for themselves when they are the electorate.

  9. Alec

    I think like RAF you misread my post. Perhaps I could have worded it together but it wasn’t too bad after a day’s drinking.

  10. The KG spin is a convenient red-herring… one Telegraph blogger may have be nearer the truth regarding Blair’s memoirs and some lingering resentment on the part of RF and William in particular about the role of the PM at the time of Diana’s death: consequently the Browns had to be snubbed also.
    Denis McShane’s tabling of a Parliamentary question on this subject may shed further light in due course.

    Blair could have attracted anti-Iraq sentiment, extra security concerns (plus Obama etc), and the presence of Michelle and Carla Bruni would have detracted attention from the Middleton girl.

    Cameron had a good wedding and for Miliband (who recieved no mention whatsoever from the BBC) it will have been an introduction to the stifling interplay of deference and partronage still exerted within the establishment.

  11. @Sergio – Understood and appreciated. I did indeed, fail to register that you were refering to the wedding only.

    FWIW, I really don’t like big weddings anyway, royal or not. My own was a small and intimate registry office affair, which everyone involved with still remembers fondly and which my partner and I have just celebrated the 24th anniversary of. But if people want to spend a house deposit on chocolate fountains and horse drawn carraiges, it’s their call.

    I wasn’t cynical about yesterday, but when I saw the hesitation in William’s balcony kiss on the news I had the most horrible flashback to his father’s gauche attempt in a previous age. I do so hope I’m wrong.

  12. @FrankG

    “As for my contention that AV is not the same as STV, because one is proportional and the other is not. That’s not my quote, they are quotes of the very paper that RogerH bluntly and possibly rudely said I should read.”

    I apologise if I came across as rude, however what I said was:

    ‘AV is a form of STV because everyone has a single vote which will, when necessary, transfer to a different preference in subsequent rounds. The only difference from other forms of STV is that AV is used for single-member rather than multi-member constituencies (which prevents it from being a proportional system).’

    And what Nick Clegg said:

    “AV is a baby step in the right direction – only because nothing can be worse than the status quo,” he said. “The Labour party assumes that changes to the electoral system are like crumbs for the Liberal Democrats from the Labour table. I am not going to settle for a miserable little compromise thrashed out by the Labour party.”

  13. “You’re right to point out the anachronisms inherent in the British Monarchy and some of the rituals and traditions are indeed archaic…”

    Although it’s surprising how much of it was re-invented by the Victorians.

  14. ALEC

    “when I saw the hesitation in William’s balcony kiss on the news I had the most horrible flashback to his father’s gauche attempt in a previous age. I do so hope I’m wrong.”

    You really are a glass half empty man Alec-I bet you are a bundle of laughs at parties :-) :-) :-)

    For what it’s worth-which isn’t much, because I would prefer a MUCH smaller bunch of Royals to have to pay for-I think William shows signs of being normal.

    Marrying a nice middle class girl will do wonders for the gene pool-as is evident in his own DNA-and the pair of them might just -in due course-move the House of Windsor out of it’s extravagant Ruritanian fantasy world to somewhere near the lives of the people it waves at from Rolls Royces.

    If only we could skip over Charles first.

  15. The Church of Scotland is established. The Queen when in Scotland is a sound Presbyterian. She is, of course, not the head of the church because in Calvinist doctrine that can only be God.

  16. And the British haven’t always done it well:

    “Some nations have a gift for ceremonial. […] This aptitude is generally confined to the people of a southern climate and of a non-Teutonic parentage. In England the case is exactly the reverse. We can afford to be more splendid than most nations; but some malignant spell broods over all our most solemn ceremonials, and inserts into them some feature which makes them all ridiculous… Something always breaks down, somebody contrives to escape doing his part, or some bye-motive is suffered to interfere and ruin it all.” (Lord Robert Cecil, 1860)

  17. On the matter of the UK royal family…

    Surely the fascination is that it is dysfunctional and that basically it’s on-going real-life soap.

    I see no need for a monarchy, and frankly I have no sympathy for or envy them.

  18. @Colin – don’t worry – it really was just a fleeting moment. Like you, I see encouraging signs that this generation is coming down to earth to an extent.

    As it happens, while I’m actually known to my friends as a careful planner, I’m also known as an optimist. I’ve experienced some pretty bad things in my early years, but I’ve never thought of my life itself was bad and if I had the chance I wouldn’t change anything. ‘There’s always a route through this’ would probably be my motto.

  19. I’m surprised New Labour didn’t put the monarchy out to private contractors. An annual auction could be a worthwhile addition to the public finances, provided it was open to the international rich.

  20. ALEC

    Thanks.

    I’m glad that those who really know you see you as an optimist-I do try very hard to do so :-)

    Actually, the thought of you -of all people-sitting in front of a telly watching the balcony scene, and studying the degree of hesitation in the royal smacker has set my weekend off to a chuclesome start :-) :-) :-)

    I think your motto is great too .

  21. Barney

    Sorry, you arw wrong on the CoS. It is not established. Have a look at the Church of Scotland Act 1921. It is a clever piece of wording to create the reunification of the Kirk after the Disruption.

    In essence, the Act allows the Kirk to call itself a “national church”, but it has no link to the state – which is what makes a church “established”.

  22. @John B Dick – “I’m surprised New Labour didn’t put the monarchy out to private contractors. An annual auction could be a worthwhile addition to the public finances, provided it was open to the international rich.”

    My partner came out with exactly this notion last night. The contract for the royal family would be put out to open tender for any family to bid for. They would pay an agreed contract sum and be required to attend various state functions as specified in the tender, but outside these duties they would then be free to charge for their time or open royal palances for commercial activity.

  23. Barney,

    – “The Church of Scotland is established.”

    False.

    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1921/29/pdfs/ukpga_19210029_en.pdf

  24. @ Barbazenzero

    Thanks for the reply. I agree with virtually all you say.

    ‘AV/IRV is merely an instance of STV where a single representative is chosen.

    A bit like my ‘tongue in cheek’ earlier comment along the lines that ‘FPTP is merely an instance of AV where a single option of choice is chosen’.

  25. MIKE N

    I haven’t got much time for the Royals either and resent the fact that we subsidise too many of them. We need a Scandinavian system with one constitutional monarch plus partner (funded) and the rest just getting on with life normally.

    For instance, why should we all pay £5 million for policing in London yesterday – thre Royals could easily fork out for that and given the pressure on the licence fee I reckon the BBC overdid it to a ridiculous extent. I ended up listening to some nice music on Radio 3 and not even a whiff of a mention!

  26. As a republican, I found the royal wedding interesting in that it reinforced the nationalist idea that if you oppose the royal wedding (or the royals or the ‘established order of things), you are socially criminal.

    I find it an especially disturbing trend for the Labour party, who should be radical in their questioning of basic societal assumptions (in the rich tradition from Marx to Proudhon) but have become just as much a part of the establishment as any other party.

    So we have three parties seeped in establishment politics and no real radical opposition for that.

    I think it’s healthy for a democracy to have both sides – radical and reactionary – to balance themselves out and have a healthy debate.
    Glad to see that according to politicians, the press and popular opinion – that isn’t an option.
    Also, the police – if you have seen the news of pre-wedding arrests of protest groups and deletion of facebook accounts.
    Rant over.

    But how this will affect English polling (and I find the timing of the royal wedding interesting in this.. I’m sure Cameron had absolutely no say) is that it will boost Tory and No2AV (both defending the establishment) polling numbers (I see Tories on 38-40 by May 5th) and the feeling may last long enough to affect the elections.

    How it’ll affect the other nations, I don’t know. I’m not well in-tune enough with Scottish politics but I’d imagine any ‘establishment boost’ would go to Labour, even though SNP is the incumbent party.
    Why, because even though SNP may support an independent monarchy, they’re a force for change.

    Whether this will affect the SNP’s stellar polling and be counteracted by the incumbent effect, I don’t know.

  27. @RogerH

    Thanks for the full quote on what Nick Clegg. I can fully concur with his last sentence, if not the whole thing.

    Others matters and the way they were expressed both of us are best left in the past, where they belong. We both said things in perhaps not the most tactful of ways. So lets move on – its too nice a day here in Cyprus to quibble.

    Cheers

  28. STV panel of voters is announcing that 4 out of 5 voters have now made up their minds. No party polling figures but SNP seems to have got message over more clearly according to figures:

    http://news.stv.tv/election-2011/245977-survey-almost-one-in-five-voters-have-made-their-minds-up/

    Other notable results from the week four survey included positive news for the SNP. The party is well out in front with 65% of respondents knowing their local candidate, with Labour on 42%, Conservatives at 20%, Liberal Democrats 17% and Scottish Greens at 9%.

    Panel members were also asked about changes in opinion of the candidates for First Minister since the election campaign started. Two out of three respondents registered a negative shift for Iain Gray, whilst half registered a negative shift in opinion for Tavish Scott.

    Annabel Goldie elicited a positive shift by just over a third of respondents, and the opinion for Alec Salmond has been positively shifted for just over half (56%). Compared to last week, Tavish Scott is marginally better, Annabel Goldie slightly worse.

  29. “Others matters and the way they were expressed both of us are best left in the past, where they belong. We both said things in perhaps not the most tactful of ways. So lets move on – its too nice a day here in Cyprus to quibble.”

    Sure. No hard feelings. And a lovely day here in Somerset too.

  30. This whole “they were not Knights of the Garter” thing is pure bullshit. It was quite obviously a snub and a glaringly obvious one at that. Pretending it wasn’t merely makes the whole thing look more calculated and vindictive. No doubt Prince Charles had a hand.

    How can the Royal Family defend not inviting the two most recent former PM’s, when they did manage to invite a whole host of b-list celebs, representatives of despotic regimes, and other irrelevant/questionable figures?

    The Royal Family should stop insulting our intelligence and apologise.

  31. Re the various grumbles over the royal wedding etc. I’m of the opinion that we’ve witnessed another media misinterpretation moment that is becoming very typical in the modern, saturation coverage and fundamentally lazy media.

    We saw this is spades over events such as Diana’s funeral but it is also evident in things like football world cups and celebrity events like Michael Jackson’s demise.

    If the polling evidence is to be believed, I think I’m right in saying that the majority of the population is either not very interested, uninterested or outright opposed to yesterdays events, but the media is unable to represent this variaty of opinion adequately. We therefore get the sense that the entire country is wrapped up in the celebrations, when well below half of the people watched the event live. For example, fewer than half the number of people went to the Mall than demonstrated against the Iraq war.

    In no way do I begrudge the royals and their supporters having a fine old time yesterday – pleased to see so many happy faces and glad that the predicted rain held off. My concern is with a media that no longer seems to be capable of representing the nations true concerns. i think this is one reason why groups like the BNP and UKIP have appeared in polls in recent years as they represent significant groups that feel they have no voice.

    The mass media is increasingly becoming more sterile and homogonised, and this could be more of a problem than any royal issues themselves.

  32. I can just about understand why people support a footie team or care who wins the Ashes. But I don’t “get” the Royal Wedding. My only emotion is embarrassment that anyone gives a damn. Reinforced I suppose by the fact that the Royals, despite their manifold advantages, are a dreary & nondescript bunch. Most of them struggled with their “O” levels. & as for the self-contradictory debate about the Succession! Yawn.

  33. Just to provide some statistical support to my previous post, the BBC is reporting today that 24.8m people are thought to have watched the event in the UK. This means that somewhere around 63% of people did not.

    All sections of the British media have been routinely trotting out the ridiculous assertion that the global TV audience would be 2 billion. This is patent nonsense, and any decent reporter would do some simple calculations and realise this.

    The UK audience was around 37%, meaning that to achieve the global 2 billion figure, the total world viewing figures would need to represent 31% of the entire population (based on 6.5 billion).

    So what the British media is saying is that the live audience in places like communist China, Catholic Hispanic South America, the Muslim Middle East etc would need to be just 6% less than the audience in the UK. Such a concept is patently preposterous, but it is still being trotted out by a bone idle media who seem completely oblivious to the stupidity of the figures.

    As per my last post, this is the problem we saw yesterday – a media that all too often disappears up its own backside and is incapable of projecting a balanced and true reflection of the real public view of what are most certainly minority supported events.

  34. Latest tweet from Jamie Livingstone (STV political correspondent):

    “I believe tomorrow’s poll in the MoS will not show any major change from recent polls. Suggests the SNP are still front-runners”.

    I would assume “I believe” means that he’s seen the poll….

  35. moraylooninbrussels

    Ta

  36. I agree that 2 billion was a preposterous estimate. In fact, how anyone can presume to make an estimate for global TV figures is a mystery to me. It had all the hallmarks of at best a “back of the fag packet” affair.

    On the other hand, I think to assert that a viewing audience of “only” 25 odd million, or an attendance in Central London of “only” a million is somehow a mark of lack of interest is rather odd. The public may not be slavishly fawning to the Royals but they are more interested in Royal Weddings than they are in General Elections.

    This seems to be one of those issues where there is a disconnect between the “kind of people” who frequent UKPR and the general public. The people of the UK don’t care too hoots about voting systems and political gossip.

  37. Old Nat

    The Isle of Man also has an Established Church and counts as a separate commonwealth country. The Bishop of Sodor and Man sits as a full member of the Legislative Council as his predecessors have since at least the fifteenth century.

    As with so many things, the relationship between the Crown and the Isle of Man is equally vague. Wikipedia quotes recent Manx legislation as defin[ing] the “Crown in right of the Isle of Man” as being separate from the “Crown in right of the United Kingdom” and the Crown Estate office here is effectively replaced by the Manx Government. Which is why we’re trying to stop the Scots nicking our queenies.

    You’re a bit ambiguous yourself about ‘the vast majority of the Crown Estate’ because the Crown Estate in Scotland, actually isn’t very extensive, though as you say they also manage the seabed to 12 miles and a lot of the foreshore. What there is however, the Scots can’t their hands on because control over the Crown Estate in Scotland is a reserved power. Though as you say, most of the things you would expect belong to ‘the Crown’ with its different legal standing.

    There’s also the complication that the Queen owns quite a lot in her own right (such as Balmoral Castle).

  38. During the GE campaign & now, regarding the royals, any dissenters are dismissed as being envious.

    It is a negative, unimaginative & petty argument for the status quo. Tell me, what are the positives for the nation & for society of respecting the priviledges that birth brings to a small but significant number in our country?
    8-)

  39. Alec

    To be fair this ‘viewing figures’ nonsense happens with every event of even the remotest significance nowadays: sporting events, Eurovision, basically any outside broadcast involving more than one camera. I think all they do is add up the populations of all the countries where they’ve sold the rights. It’s completely meaningless and very annoying but it isn’t specific to the royal family or indeed to the BBC.

    It’s also fairly meaningless in an age where more and more people watch things over the internet. Certainly that seems to have been a success. Still as Neil A points out, the actual figures are pretty impressive.

  40. I wonder what affect the royal wedding will have had on the psychology of the Labour party. Following Brown and Blair’s lack of invite, Ed’s lack of media attention, and the lack of Labour guests as compared to tory guests, I suspect the mood of the Labour party will have changed in some way yesterday. I think the reality of opposition would’ve really sunk in, a feeling of alienation from the establishment and a lack of control over such things. Perhaps it’ll strengthen their resolve and be a reminder of where, as a party, they’ve come from?

  41. @Nick OK – interesting comment. Perhaps it will teach them that whatever they do (other than change their name to ‘Conservative’) they will never be accepted as being properly British by the establishment and they should just role up their sleeves and get on with the job of trying to make the country a better place.

  42. JAMIE NICK & ALEC

    If omitting to invite Blair and brown was a snub raher than a cock-up then that really is petty, vindictive and down right unpleasant.

    Various people including William and Catherine would have had an input into the guest list, and Cameron would certainly have been in a position to have a quiet word with the Queen’s private secretary along the lines that it wouldn’t look good for the palace to be seen as politically partisan. [Snipped – in summary, David doesn’t like the government, now to continue…]

    I am also increasingly of the view that the Lib Dems would get some considerable credit if they broke the coalition soon and could recoup a useful proportion of the vote they have lost over the past year.

    It would be nice to have some polling to see whether moves by the Lib Dems to oppose the NHS reforms and cuts and some other areas where the debt reduction strategy threatens fairness would enable some recently ex-Lib Dems to return to the fold?

  43. @ Nick Ok & Alec

    As a Labour Party member, I was previously ambivalent about the royal family, seeing them as outside politics. Now, IMO, the royals – eagerly aided & abetted by David Cameron – have put themselves inside politics in a way that was ill-mannered, to say the least.

    “[Labour] should just roll up their sleeves and get on with the job of trying to make the country a better place”…. by, in future, insisting that the royals are subject to the same laws of equality & religious freedom as everybody else. For starters, the discrimination against women & Catholics needs to end.

    That there was some debate about Andy Burnham being barred from being PM due to some royalist traditions, it opened my eyes. Now, this collusion between the royals & David Cameron to snub the Labour Party has really made me sit up & take notice of something that was barely on my radar before.
    8-)

  44. Talk aboutliving in the Westminster bubble, what about the one that exists here. I really think some of you should get out a little more and meet real people.

    ALEC just because someone doesn’t watch the wedding does not prove that they are anti-Royalist somehow. I only watched the highlights as I think all weddings are boring. In fact the best bit yesterday was seeing Charles’ Aston Martin – what a beautiful car! Although not a wedding watcher, I do love the fact that our country is steeped in history & all the pomp & ceremony which goes with it.

    Watching Will Self on Newsnight last night, I couldn’t help but think what a boring man, boringly dressed & with a boring monotone voice. Imagine if he ran the country, how grey, boring & negative everything would be. I would rather have our Royals any day, rather than a sleazy president as exists in more than one European country.

    Finally Mrs Obama wasn’t invited because it was not a State wedding. William is not next in line. Charles & Diana’s was a State Wedding, as he is next in line & so Mrs Regan was invited. Same goes for living PM’s. To suggest that Mrs Cameron didn’t want to be upstaged (as someone earlier suggested) is simply laughable.

    Why do some find simple & logical facts, so difficult to grasp?

  45. @ Anthony

    For clarity, I did not intend to be inflammatory or partisan when I said “eagerly aided & abetted by David Cameron”; just to be clear, I am speaking about DC’s overt actions e.g. His encouraging people to ignore local government & hold street parties, apparently whenever & wherever they liked.

    Also, his government’s instructions to the police to pre-emptively arrest anarchists & potential demonstrators etc. I found this particularly troubling, to be honest. All the anti-liberty, anti-terrorism laws enacted by Labour were at least supposed to be about saving lives & the greater good, not protecting a priviledged few from nuisance or inconvenience.
    8-)

  46. AMBERSTAR

    My sentiments exactly and this vindictivenss of Cameron, which is just an extension of his patronising and bullying approach to PMQs, is going to rebound on him and a good job too. I’ve heard comments oin the media from people of all political persuasions about how partisan ity was to invite Thatcher and Major and not to invite Blair and Brown.

    I agree with you that the next Labour government needs to take quite a tough line with the Royals – I think the great British public would wear this as long as it was seen to be ‘firm but fair’.

  47. NICK OK …”the lack of Labour guests as compared to tory guests,…”
    Do you have some amazing insight into how invitees to the Royal wedding, vote? If not I suggest you cease making such ridiculous comments, or perhaps there is some polling I have missed?

  48. Before May 6th I’d like to haVe a bet on Milliband becoming PM by June 30th 2012 – I haven’t seen this wager out there anywhere so can any of the betting experts on this board advise me?

  49. DavidB
    I haven’t seen that exact bet, but on Betfair you can bet on the result of the next General Election and also the exit date of each party leader, so you could bet on a Labour victory and Cameron to go before July 2012.

    This business of a snub to Labour seems delusional to me. Let’s remember that it was not a state occasion, and that Mrs Blair insulted the Royal Family by refusing to curtsey.

    Imagine you had thrown a barbecue and invited neighbours who were rude to you. Would you expect your son or grandson to invite them to his wedding?

  50. DavidB

    agree with you that the next Labour government needs to take quite a tough line with the Royals – I think the great British public would wear this as long as it was seen to be ‘firm but fair’

    __________________________________________

    Tough line in what way?

    Pass a law that says all ex-Labour PM’s must be invited to all Royal occasions.???????

    The line taken by some that this was an insult to the Labour party is just jealousy and envy IMO.

    This is born out by the fact that Peter Hain was Twittering during the wedding that Ed Milliband wasn’t getting enough coverage from the BBC. Pathetic!!!!!!!

    Give me a choice of who I want to see on my TV screen Pippa Middleton or Ed Milliband and Ed comes in second every time.

    This incredible oversensitivity was also seen in the reaction to DC’s “Calm down dear”. Have a chuckle not a whinge. The voters don’t like whingers.

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