YouGov’s weekly poll for the Sunday Times has topline figures of CON 36%, LAB 41%, LDEM 9%. Full tables are up on the YouGov website here.

The regular trackers would appear to have been impacted by the elections at the start of the month – David Cameron’s net approval is up slightly to minus 1 (from minus 3 last week), Ed Miliband’s approval is down to minus 21 (from minus 12 last week), which equals his lowest rating to date. Nick Clegg’s rating is minus 52 (from minus 50 a week ago), his lowest rating ever.

YouGov also asked about perceptions of the two main party leaders – primarily aimed at seeing to what extent if any Cameron was becoming seen as arrogant or unpleasant. People saw Cameron as arrogant by 46% to 39%, but he was seen as likeable by slightly more people (45%) than saw him as dislikable (42%) and, overall, public perceptions of him are still positive. His is seen as strong (by 51% to 27%), competent (by 52% to 30%) and as up-to-the-job (by 48% to 36%). His big weakness is not arrogance, but being seen in touch with ordinary people – 30% think Cameron is in touch, but 53% think he is not (which, of course, probably plays into the Conservative party’s wider problem of being seen as a party for the rich).

Looking at how people answered the same questions about Ed Miliband, the most positive findings were that Miliband was seen as honest (by 41% to 18%) and open-minded (by 42% to 22%). The most negative were that Miliband was seen as weak (by 44% to 19%), not up-to-the-job (by 45% to 25%) and unlikeable (by 45% to 31%). I’ve been cautious in the past about concluding too much from Miliband’s negative ratings – he was new in the job and had plenty of time to turn things about once people got to know him. He has now been in the job for well over six months – Labour would be right to be concerned about perceptions of Miliband.

Looking at some of the other questions, a majority of the public (55%) remain opposed to the government’s NHS reforms, and even most of those who support it think the reforms should be amended to address public concerns.

There were also some questions on superinjunctions. A majority (55%) of respondents continued to think super-injunctions are an unacceptable restriction on the freedom of the press, compared to 30% who think they are an acceptable way of people in the public eye to protect their privacy. Despite this, there was not much sympathy for the Twitter account that broke the alleged contents of some of the injunctions – 35% thought this was the right thing to do, but 44% though it was wrong.

While I haven’t had chance to look at it properly yet, there is also a big chunk of new polling on Michael Ashcroft’s website here.


454 Responses to “YouGov’s Sunday Times poll”

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  1. Would Labour be higher had we chose a different leader probably not. The issue imo in not Ed but the mountain the party have to climb.

  2. Interesting topline figures. So the most recent ComRes poll – and the last but one YouGov poll – show a 1-2% post-election lead, but this one is back to showing a 5% lead. Was this YouGov poll carried out a day later than the ComRes one?

  3. Totally unsurprising.

    Almost inevitably by this time next week (and end of May most certainly) talk of a ‘collapsing Labour lead’ and- most absurd of all- ‘parity’ (!)- will be a memory akin to a snowflake melting gently- but inevitably- on the pavement.

    The last 14 days of poll numbers for Labour have clearly been impacted by two things (both related to the fact there have been devolved elections, and some local elections though not in London):

    1) temporary SNP voters polling for SNP rather than Labour
    2) Tories returning to poll for Con who have been polling for UKIP

    Both trends- especially (2) now that the status quo ante (a succession of errors, confusions and cock ups by the coalition) has returned post election fog/ diversion- mean that for the foreseeable future we will be back to 4-6% Labour leads on YG which will throughout the summer and into autumn only grow until the conference season so that we are back to 6-8% leads by late September.

    On the snapshot polls by ICM/Populus et al the numbers depend as usual on any contaminant story/ issue during their peripatetic data collation.

    I really don’t understand the jubilation on the blues side or the morose pessimism amongst some of the red posters.

    Lets see…. :D

  4. Okay, so the Labour lead will grow again, what is worrying for them should be that it is so easily “collapsed” simply by having an election. They’re going to need a bigger lead to start with before thinking about winning a GE if this keeps happening.

  5. The party leaders’ poll ratings are interesting, not least because they don’t seem to have fed into voting intentions, at least not yet in this particular YouGov poll. Ironically, as Cameron’s personal ratings have improved slightly, his party’s haven’t and, allowing for the normal caveats associated with attaching too much significance to the findings of a single poll, one would have thought there might have been a corresponding and positive effect. Not so, apparently,

    Ed Miliband’s ratings are a cause for concern, although this may be a good time in the electoral and political cycle to be “bottoming”, if indeed he is, but Labour strategists should be wary of a negative image crystallising in the electorate’s mind a la Kinnock, Hague and Duncan Smith. If his ratings are similar in 18 months time, then one would imagine he would have become by then an obvious drag on Labour’s support and this would be manifesting itself in polling and local election performance. Serious thinking would then need to go on in Labour High Command at that stage, but we’re not there yet by any means and calm and cool heads are still the order of the day, in my view. Keep calm and carry on would be my message for now.

    Cameron’s personal ratings, whilst much better than Miliband and Clegg’s, might not actually be as impressive as first sight may suggest. All new Prime Minister’s get a honeymoon and halo effect. He is the Prime Minister and, surprise, surprise he looks Prime Ministerial! Well, I never. Bearing the title and carrying out the office is the essence of a halo effect. Even Gordon Brown enjoyed flattering initial personal ratings when he first became PM, bolstered by becoming the scourge of foot and mouth and the nation’s saviour from the floods. It was what happened “apres le deluge” that did for old Gordon, I’m afraid!

    Back to Cameron for now, though. I’m not sure I’d be as reassured by this polling as some appear to be. It’s pretty lukewarm, and there may be seeds in there for future unpopularity to grow, especially if luck turns and events conspire, as they almost always do.

    Jonathan Freedland did a piece in the Guardian recently on Cameron’s first 12 months. It was balanced and thoughtful and recognised his personal strengths and also the skill with which he’d navigated the coalition through its first year in office. Thankfully, though, it wasn’t a hagiography and it also highlighted some of his weaknesses, one of which was his lack of connection with the public. This was his Achilles Heel in the May 2010 election in my view, and his personal ratings when compared to Blair in his first term, are very underwhelming indeed. Maybe he needs to give Blair’s memoirs another thorough read, although I gather the old master’s tome is a well thumbed source of inspiration already for Messrs Cameron, Osborne and Gove.

    Poor old Nick Clegg looks to be beyond redemption, however!

  6. Dissapointing VI for us, although not enirely unexpected. However, the perceptions of EdM look like he is becoming fairly undeniably becoming an albatross around the neck of the labour party. With the GEs becoming increasingly presidential theyd be wise to get rid.

  7. KeithP

    “their vote so easily collapsed”

    ???!!!

    * 18,000 votes down in Scotland constituencies (whereas Tories down 50,000);

    * Up in 10% in Wales (Tories 2%) and governing on their own again;

    * up 10% on 2007 equivalent vote share in England (Tories down 5%).

    You *really* need to stop reading CCHQ press releases- though I agree they (and their friends in the press) have done a very good job of spinning May 5th 2011 ;-).

    But being more serious: by the next election Labour’s platform will be in place/ full impact and Dave ‘n’ George will be there for all to see (and sadly for many- felt). These are definite. Possibles are that a Lib Dem implosion may have occurred 2013 and a different Labour leader may be in place (if EdM’s personals are still in Kinnock territory).

    But- be in no doubt- come the actual GE (whenever that is) Labour will be ready. So be reassured :D

  8. Anthony

    YouGov asking about NHS reforms “in England” is a definite improvement in asking accurate questions.

  9. The personal ratings are being simewhat distorted by the coalition. I doubt Cameron would be as high as -1, had he been leading a minority government. Nor do I suspect EMs ratings would be so low had he not been under attack fron both the Con voters and remaining LD voters.

    That said, EM has done nothing to disprove the notion of being weak leader. Indeed the referendum issue merely confirmed this. I actually think he could make quite a good leader for his Party, but he needs to pit the hammer down for that to happen.

    Another EM issue. Has anyone heard.him deliver a speech since his operation? Does his voice still have a nasal twang?

  10. Raf – operation not scheduled till the summer break. Poor man will be afraid to open his mouth afterwards… ;-)

  11. @ROB SHEFFIELD
    God forfend that I should speak for Old Nat, but I have no doubt that he would disabuse anybody who thinks the SNP success is temporary. I can tell you as one who lives in an area where UKIP are quite strong due to HS2, they are not an issue for the Tory party. A bloody nuisance, but not a worry.

  12. Labour really need to think seriously about diching E Milliband quick!

    E Milliband has shown no fight,passion or leadership and appears to have let cameron back him in to a corner.

    Cameron has managed to get the public “on side” and have people believe the global financial crash was Labours doing and it seems milliband has let cameron lead him and the Labour party down this path without a squeek of retaliation..not even a mention of defence or how you would expect the opposistion to say how the tories nobbled the country up to 1997.

    E Millibands leadership is very poor and there are no signs of a prime minister wanting to break out of him and it seems he will lead Labour in to years of the abyss!!!

    Sad to say this is coming from a very dissapointed Labour voter :-(

  13. This question of Cameron being “out of touch” is not in my view Cameron’s fault. The constant move away from deference which has occurred since WW2, has now reached a point whereby any child born into a degree of wealth is a “wrong un”. Much of this has been fostered by the TV media which instructs the great unwashed that unless one were born in a 2 up and 2 down in Liverpool no attention should be paid to ones viewpoint. Its all total crap since the only PM we know came from real poverty was Ramsey McDonald. Of Wilson, Heath, and Callaghan none were dirt poor even if they were not rich. Why has it suddenly become so important for a PM to be the son of a bus driver?
    Why not a very well of Marxist historian, or Stock Broker.

  14. Saturday’s Today (R4 at the 1h 20min mark) discussed the call from Cameron’s advisors to ditch the “Flashman” routine.

    A cartoonist thought the toff/public school bully image a big turn off, but the presenter argued that the public lap up all that class/royal wedding act… and a friend of DC’s suggested that a negative stereotype (cf Iron Lady) can in fact be helpful so long as it is seen as “strong”.

  15. @SAPPER
    It’s not that he is rich. It’s that he is rich and promoting policies which are seen to benefit the rich and hurt the poor.

  16. @RAF
    Seen by YOU as hurting the poor and helping the rich.
    Sorry to harp on about the recent election results, but a number of comments on the previous thread, along with yours, seem to totally ignore that the voters could have given Daddy Warbucks Cameron and his verminous Tories a right good hiding. They did not.

  17. What, IMO, makes next UK GE different from all previous ones (and more difficult to predict as far as its outcome is concerned) is the fact that the race will be between an incumbent COALITION and a major opposition (minor opposition in UK is very weak, because SNP and PC operate on a regional basis only and Greens, UKIP etc do not stand a chance under FPTP). Passing a judgment on an incumbent coalition is something that European voters most usually do (with the notable exceptions of Spain, Greece and Malta, all EU governments are usually coalition ones), and the possible outcomes are three: 1) the incumbent coalition gains again majority and continues (e.g.: Estonia 2011). 2) the i.c. fails to gain majority and is replaced by a coalition of former opposition parties (e.g. Eire 2011) 3) as in the previous, but the new government is formed by a mix of former opposition and former gvt parties (Netherlands 2010, Finland 2011 – this is the most common option in very fragmented political landscapes). The question is: Are UK voters accustomed enough to this new political reality? Will they judge the coalition as such, or its constituent parts separately? So far the latter happens, and it is to the detriment of LDs. But shall this continue to be the case up to the next GE? And what are the odds of UK fitting in case 3 (i.e. a Lab/Lib coalition replacing the current one, possibly after a change in LD leadership)

  18. Sapper

    When I looked at Rob’s comment closely, I realised that he wasn’t saying what you suggest.

    From a UK perspective, these could be seen as “temporary SNP voters”. From my point of view, when such folk vote Labour for Westminster they could be seen as “temporary Labour voters”! It’s simply looking at things from a different angle.

    In practice, of course, they are individuals voting as they think appropriate in elections where different issues are at stake. No party “owns” them.

    It won’t be clear for a long time yet, whether the 2015 election will be seen through the Scottish or UK prism. Part of that will depend on whether obduracy is shown by the UK Government and the Labour Party to redefining the constitutional settlement further.

  19. @Virgilio

    I’m not sure that the next GE is necessarily harder to predict in England and Wales due to the political polarisation that is occuring although it’s hard to predict exactly what will happen. It will still depend on Midland marginals and how many LD seats the tories can gain in the SW.

    What is interesting is how little room for manouvere that all the 3 main parties in England have though.

  20. YouGov have consistently given Labour a higher figure than any of the other pollsters, and this support failed to materialise on polling day.

    Perhaps YG need to look again at their weightings?

  21. Labour really need to think seriously about diching E Milliband quick!

    E Milliband has shown no fight,passion or leadership and appears to have let cameron back him in to a corner.

    Cameron has managed to get the public “on side” and have people believe the global financial crash was Labours doing and it seems milliband has let cameron lead him and the Labour party down this path without a squeek of retaliation..not even a mention of defence or how you would expect the opposistion to say how the tories nobbled the country up to 1997.

    E Millibands leadership is very poor and there are no signs of a prime minister wanting to break out of him and it seems he will lead Labour in to years of the abyss!!!

    Sad to say this is coming from a very dissapointed Labour voter :-(

  22. @OLD NAT
    Thank you for you explanation. You can see why we Tories wished to keep FPTP. We are to stupid to see the niceties
    of your system.

  23. “And what are the odds of UK fitting in case 3 (i.e. a Lab/Lib coalition replacing the current one”
    I think that this one is a difficult one to tell on.
    If we did end up with a huge parliament where both options were available and the LDs haven’t decided by then which side it’s backing it could lead to another upset and split in LD polling.

    Current LibDem voters (yougov – May 2011) are completely split over which coalition or majority they would prefer –
    43% would prefer a Tory majority or Tory/Lib coalition (7% + 36%) but 44% would prefer a Labour majority or Lab/Lib coalition (1% + 43%).
    So if these sorts of numbers continued and they choose Tory or Labour next time, we could see another set of voter defections.

    It’s an awkward position that the LibDems are in and one that they cannot continue to ignore.
    They have to resolve which ‘side’ they are on.

    It’s one of those puzzling issues in British politics – is there a ‘progressive majority’ in Britain or is there a strong centrist minority which is split in which political minority (left or right) that they’d support?
    I’d suggest it’s the latter – but it does lead to that practical problem if we continue to have hung parliaments.

  24. ” a huge parliament” should read ‘hung parliament’, haha.

  25. I think that Milliband needs to very quickly spell out what he stands for and what his vision is or he is fast in danger of being seen like Gordon Brown, wants power but doesn’t know what to do with it when he has got it.
    The electorate really don’t know what they are voting for if they vote Labour and whilst that blank piece of paper remains blank, they will not really make any impression on the Southern half of the UK. Also whilst agreeing cuts need to be made, they have never actually been more specific as to what they would cut, just seeming to oppose every cut made by the coalition. Maybe this is seen as clever by Balls/Milliband, but gives the impression that they really don’t know what they would do.
    They definitely need to quickly put some ‘meat on the bones’ or Ed could be looking for a new job in the not too distant future. Brother David is waiting in the wings to pick up the baton.

  26. @Gooeyblob
    “….and this support failed to materialise on polling day.”

    Are you sure?

    English local council elections:
    Final YouGov poll Fieldwork 3-4 May
    C35, L37, LD15

  27. @VIRGILIO
    What indeed are the chances of a LD/Lab coalition next time. This will happen if the present coalition do not have a markedly better story to tell about the economy. In which case the economically discredited Labour party will be forming a coalition with LD’s who did not succeed when in cahoots with the Tories to get the economy right. Not much of a choice is it. If on the other hand the present coalitions economic policies do improve matters, the Tories will win and the LDs will share some reflected sunshine. Do not rule out despite all the Taurean excrement from Cable, Huhne and co, more of the same, a Con Dem coalition.

  28. I think a GE VI lead that has gone from 7% to 2% is a collapse. Okay there is some recovery from the awful Labour local election results the last time these were contested. They would be worried if there was no recovery.
    The good recovery that they had does not necessarily imply a solid opinion poll lead. Parties often start doing better in local polls but still be behind nationally.

    It’s just that I remember the modest leads that Kinnock managed at times in the 1980’s, and they turned out to be easily overturned when voting went from intentions to real crosses on paper.

    Agreed we need to see more meat on the Labour bones and Milliband becoming more visible before that lead firms up.

  29. Sapper

    You Tories aren’t stupid!

    It’s just that you seem to have tunnel vision instead of being able to take a wider view of the options.

  30. @ Rob Sheffield,

    As much as many of us would like to put our heads in the sand and think otherwise, we have to face facts – Ed M is a drag on the ticket. It may well be not feeding into VI figures at the moment, but it IS the reason (or at least one of them) Labour’s numbers are soft and sink incredibly easily under the smallest bit of pressure. The problem is the more people see of Ed M the less they like him – this is very worrying.

    The “weak” and “not up to the job” numbers are also not things that get turned around easily and once they take hold are very difficult to change.

    Ed M needs to probably pick a fight with the party (perhaps making genuinely OMOV?) and handle it brilliantly (or go down fighting) to turn these numbers around.

    This “no reason to panic” view is what lead Labour to three electoral defeats in a row.

  31. Four electoral defeats in a row*

  32. @KeithP

    “I think a GE VI lead that has gone from 7% to 2% is a collapse”

    The GE VI lead in THIS thread is…..*5%* !!

    Which in itself is going to be on the low end of the range going forward throughout the summer :D

    @Adrian B

    I think “keep it real” rather than “no need to panic” is the appropriate moniker for the moment.

    If- come 2013- EdM is still in Kinnock territory then you will get your wish.

    But (@DING0) the policy review takes precedence for the moment. We need to have the baulk of our policies identified for the May 2012 elections and then formally installed by autumn 2012 conference. Utter nonsense to argue for a (premature and ill conceived) policy platform “now”. Bonkers and forgets all the mistakes of the past !

    Ed is too steeped in Labour history (having been close at hand throughout the TBGB era) to hang on against all the poling evidence that suggests he is a drag on the ticket.

    But you’ll be surprised by who takes over if that happens ;-)

    @Gooeyblob

    “….and this support failed to materialise on polling day.

    Again with the CCHQ spin: simply does not fit the facts as @Phil pointed out (amongst others) !

  33. “… when voting went from intentions to real crosses on paper.”

    Leicester South, perhaps as good a guide as any other recent test of public opinion, with Lab +12.2%, LD -4.4% and Con -6.3% on the 2010 GE.

    One plus for Labour atm is Andy Burnham as election coordinator and some inspired/longsighted candidate choices in the three byelections (Barnsley Central +13.5%, Oldham East and Saddleworth +10.2%).

  34. Having taken the trouble to read the detail of the YouGov tables, I have to take issue with AW’s interpretation.

    There are 8 questions about the characteristics of the party leaders.

    In 4 of these questions, Miliband has better ratings than Cameron:
    – Non-Arrogant v Arrogant
    – Open-Minded v Prejudiced
    – Honest v Dishonest
    – In Touch v Out of Touch

    Cameron is ahead on the remaining 4
    – Likeable v Unlikeable
    – Up to the Job v Not.
    – Competant v Not
    – Strong v Weak

    Given that it’s a score draw. it is overly simplistic for AW (based on these 8 questions) to be speaking of Cameron in terms of “still positive” ratings whereas Miliband is seen as having “negative ratings” based on the same poll.

    As for the regular “doing well or badly” questions, these are just as much a reflection of perceptions of how each party’s fortunes are faring as they are a reflection of the conduct of their leaders. There has been nothing over the past fortnight to change those trackers other than the election and AV result. Had it not been Labour’s mauling in Scotland, the interpretations of the election result would have been very different, and I suggest that Miliband’s rating might then have improved.

    Sorry for the long post. The alternative would have been:
    @Jim Jam. I agree entirely.

  35. @BILLY BOB
    You are making the same point as me up page, but of course in Labours favour. Labour under Miliband can not be that bad, look at these by-election results ! The trouble is Barnsley is not a Midlands marginal. No one but an idiot would pretend that the anti cuts barrage has not helped the Labour cause from 12 months ago but it has not damaged the Tories much. It may well do so 6 months from now, but at the moment I really cannot believe you are not a (genuine) 8or 9 points ahead. At present this 5 points today, 2points tomorrow, means very little. When voting went from intentions to crosses on ballot papers 1 or 2 points difference in the recent elections.

  36. TingedFringe

    I know it’s hard for people who are firmly one side or the other to demand to know where the lib dems will stand after the next election. I predict if the media do squeeze an answer out of the Lib Dems the answer will be the same as the last election “we will first approach the party with the largest mandate to form a coalition.”

    I believe it’ll honestly come down to policies again and whichever side can produce the most favourable coalition agreement in terms of fufilling LidDem policy.

    After all it’s the policies thrashed out in a coalition aggreement that matter more than which colour they support, I think a lot of partisans will miss that one.

    One thing I think is sure, Labour won’t go into the negotiations expecting the Lib Dems to roll over and allow them to stroke their tummy. I expect a much better job from Labour in any future negotiations.

  37. @PHILL
    So the great British Public see Lucky Dave is an arrogant, dishonest, prejudiced out of touch PM who is likeable.
    Unlucky Ed on the other hand is weak, unlikeable, incompetent, openminded , not up to the job and is not arrogant, but is honest.
    In my humble opinion it sounds like a load of nonsense.

  38. “I know it’s hard for people who are firmly one side or the other to demand to know where the lib dems will stand after the next election”
    My point is simply that a nation divided cannot stand.

    If we end up with a hung parliament after the next GE, there is a clear choice between Labour and the Tories and there is no tough economic choice to make then whatever the LibDem leadership choose, they will lose voters.

    If they choose Labour, they will lose their centre-right voters but keep their centre-left and centre voters.
    If they choose the Tories, they will lose their centre-left voters but keep their centre-right and centre voters.

    That is exactly the problem they had in 2010 – they tried to play both sides and then had to choose.
    It’d be foolish to try to use the same strategy and make the same mistake again.

  39. TingedFringe

    Equally, saying “We’ll support party X” before the election will cost them the same voters AND will weaken their position to that of lapdogs come negotiation time.

    I know 2 party politics makes things much simpler, but the libdems aren’t as simple as simply following one of the other party like a lost puppy, if that upsets some of their voters who think they should…

  40. HYPOTHETICAL POLL ON NEW WEATHER GIRL
    1) has not got very nice hair.
    2) to thin.
    4) poor skin tone.
    5) not professional in presentation.
    6) speaking voice irritating.

    Conclusion “Yes she is a real cracker”.

  41. Hi all!

    Haven’t been on for ages. Does anyone know if there is a chart of leader’s approval ratings at all? Tracking them since election preferably?

  42. The issue of who the Lib Dems would talk to if we ended up with another ‘hung’ (or, as I prefer to put it, ‘balanced’) parliament was addressed at our Spring Conference in March this year. Here’s an extract from the motion that we passed:

    “The Liberal Democrats intend to enter the next General Election campaign with no preference for potential future coalition partners.

    Following the next General Election, the Liberal Democrats will decide on their position in relation to government bearing in mind:

    i) The will of the British people expressed at the ballot box.
    ii) The Party’s Manifesto.
    iii) The political position and capacity to govern of other parties.
    iv) Where relevant circumstances apply the ability to reach an agreed programme of acceptable policies to ensure a stable Coalition Government.”

    So basically the position will be the same as it was last year: no expressed preference for Labour or Conservative, but a general commitment to talking to the more successful party first.

    Personally speaking I think coalitions with either Tory or Labour are plausible outcomes in 2015. As in 2010, the outcome will be determined by the parliamentary arithmetic more than anything else.

  43. “My point is simply that a nation divided cannot stand.”

    To be clearer in my reference, a nation divided cannot stand is the quote – so the ‘nation’ in this case is actually ‘the LibDem party’.
    So perhaps ‘a party divided cannot stand’ would have been clearer and less reference-y.

  44. “Equally, saying “We’ll support party X” before the election will cost them the same voters ”
    But the LibDems won’t essentially be playing the voters for mugs.

    If the LibDems run on ‘Vote LibDem to keep the Tories out’ in some areas and then go in to coalition with the Tories, the campaign is in essence dishonest.

    And for a party that apparently prides itself on being a party of ‘new politics’ – it should make itself clear to the voters.

    I was a LibDem voter in 2010 and may consider voting for them again in 2015 – but not if there’s a possibility that my vote for a centre-left party (LibDems) leads to a centre-right coalition (LD+Tory).

    I can buy the ‘we had no choice but to go in to coalition with the Tories in 2010’ talking point but if there is a choice then voters will not stand being misled like that.

  45. @TingedFringe

    The strategy can be defended, in my view, on the grounds that it allows the Lib Dem leadership maximum flexibility to get Lib Dem policies implemented.

  46. Hi Sue

    Hope your campaign is going well.

  47. @ Tingedfringe

    “So perhaps ‘a party divided cannot stand’ would have been clearer”

    But the Lib Dems aren’t divided. That much is pretty clear from the polling. They still stand behind the need for the coalition government, whatever they think of how Clegg has handled it.

    D Abrahams has explained the position of the Lib Dems quite clearly and I think it is a pretty good one. You can’t go into an election saying you will automatically throw your lot in with another party. You have to wait for the verdict of the voters.

    Clegg was very consistent on this and anyone on the left who shouts “traitor” at him should remember that that was the key point on which he stuck to his word: he sought to form a government with the party that won most support in the election.

    Can anyone say there would have been anything other than uproar from the right if he had tried to go back on this and form a government with Labour?

  48. “The strategy can be defended, in my view, on the grounds that it allows the Lib Dem leadership maximum flexibility to get Lib Dem policies implemented.”
    Which undoes all of the ‘we’re the party of new politics’ mantra.

    It would show that the LD is a ‘old politics’/real politics party of policy trading and newspeak.

    And the question is – for how many elections would voters put up with it?

    Why would centre-left voters vote LibDem if they end up with centre-right governments and vice versa?

  49. OldNat!! Very well thank you. Sorry I’ve been AWOL, very busy.

    Does Amber still comment? I miss her.

    You must be delighted with the Scottish results.

  50. @SUE MARSH
    Hello babe I hope you are feeling well. You wont recognise my name but I used to be a contemptible Tory
    bully who was in awe of you. Guess Who?

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