Tonight’s YouGov/Sun voting intentions are CON 37%, LAB 43%, LDEM 9%. Looking at the last week’s polling, it does appear that the narrowing of the Labour lead down to 2-3% points in the YouGov daily polling after the local/Scottish/Welsh elections was indeed mostly a temporary halo effect and we are now heading back towards the 5-6 point leads we had earlier in the year.

(Though of course, having said that there is just bound to be a poll showing a 1 point lead or something tomorrow that makes me look daft despite the fact that the average lead is clearly heading back upwards!)


106 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – CON 37, LAB 43, LD 9”

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  1. Normal service has been resumed: untill the next curve ball!

  2. You seem to be getting as weary of this Sargasso Sea VI as the rest of us Anthony.

    If you can’t make it interesting, what will we talk about ?

  3. The tables have the usual range of questions about the party leaders and predictably, voters for each party support their own leader and not the other two. Is there much useful information that can be gained from this?

  4. http://today.yougov.co.uk/sites/today.yougov.co.uk/files/yg-archives-pol-sun-results-060611.pdf

    Labour are ahead in many of the key policy areas, but behind to the Tories in some including economics and Law/order. Strange really as under Labour if you believe the stats, crime halved. The Tories have so far looked weak and have had damning criticism from parts of the medica.

  5. @Colin

    Steady, Colin. If Con -1, Lab+1 and LD-1, then Amber will unfurl the rather dated ATTAD banner.

    Now if that isn’t entertainment…

  6. @R Huckle
    Being behind in economics is usually fatal.

  7. I think the IMF let-off will not make much difference to the Tories – they are, after all, an organisation that makes it’s living bailing out countries and forcing austerity measures on them so they are hardly likely to criticise a country taking pre-emptive austerity measures. The real story is that they have now cut their UK growth forcasts by 25% over the last year (from 2% to 1.5%). Makes you wonder whether the IMF forcasts are worth anything (didn’t they say that the UK was best placed to whether the coming economic storms in 2006?).

    I’m not surprised by the continuing Tory lead on Law and Order (although it is smaller than it would traditionally have beeen) the Con lead on the economy should be the one to worry Labour – which again is understandable as they were seen to be in charge when it all went pear-shaped, but they’ll need to create a coherent alternative economic policy soon.

  8. @ RAF,

    Being behind the reality in economics is just as fatal. If GO gets it wrong, and the fragile recovery takes a significant knock, people feel it, and blame it on govt decisions, then the numbers will change pretty quickly.

    But you are right – if these numbers on the economy stay the same in 18 months time, then Con will probably win the election with a majority.

  9. I think the slowly widening Labour lead (now at its highest level since April 20th) is a by-product of people’s individual experiences as they encounter a remorseless squeeze on their living standards. I’ve always thought that we tend to get pre-occupied with Westminster village piffle, more often than not led there by the nose by a media who seem to increasingly reside in a self-limiting bubble of their own making, and accordingly attach far too much importance to arcane debates between economic forecasters who, more times than not, are hopelessly wrong anyway.

    What really matters, and what eventually does for incumbent governments in the end, is whether people feel that their living standards are improving or declining. Repaying mortgages, meeting household bills, feeding the family, keeping the car on the road, holding down a job, affording public transport, using local health and social services, the quality of education for their children, whether they can afford a holiday, the security of their employment, the effectiveness of the police in combating crime in their communities etc etc. This is the daily grind and rigmarole of getting on with life and whether the IMF think growth will be 1.4% or 1.6% in 12 months time, or whether the economists who wrote to the Observer are right or wrong, has absolutely no impact on people’s lives.

    I’m not saying that the macro and micro Government economic policy is unimportant; it manifestly is, but I take the daily commentary from rent-a-quote “experts” with a pinch of salt, seized upon as it is by partisan vipers looking to make party political points.

    Mervyn King’s latest bon mots won’t move opinion in the slightest but if people feel that their economic prospects are deteriorating, then watch the polls start moving significantly. I’m starting to get the feeling, ever so slightly and for the first time since the GE, that things are starting to move now. I sense straws in the wind.

  10. Hooray, Anthony is back :-)

    You Gov poll as mentioned above:
    Areas of competency
    NHS – LAB +14
    Immigration – CON +19
    Law & Order – CON +9
    Education – LAB +7
    Tax – LAB +1
    Employment – LAB +6
    Economy – CON +4

    The economy: Conservatives at +4; that is going to be tough for Labour to turn round but being neck & neck on tax & ahead on employment means there’s scope for Labour to catch up.

    Law & Order: Maybe being toughest on crime & criminals isn’t the answer to winning on this issue. Perhaps being tough on crime & tough on the £cost to the tax payer of crime is where the country’s new position is.

    Immigration: Labour will never catch up with the Tories on this issue; I’m not even certain we should try.
    8-)

  11. No more elections in UE in June, so one can try a post-mortem of all GE, State Elections (Germany), Regional and Municipal Elections of the first half of 2011. And what is the common trait in all of them?
    1. In almost all GE (except Estonia), incumbent majorities, regardless of political color and makeup, were shown the way out: Eire, Finland, Portugal and Cyprus (in the latter government did not change because the regime is presidential as in the USA).
    2. In State, Regional etc elections, incumbents were returned only when they belonged to the national opposition: Scotland, Wales, Bremen, Madrid, Valencia, Bologna, Turin… Where incumbents belonged to the national ruling majority, they were ousted in almost all cases, even in the so-called strongholds: Baden-Wurttenberg, Hamburg, Barcelona, Castilla-la-Mancha, Milan, Trieste…
    Bottom line: In 2011, it does no good to be in power, and this is also true for the UK coalition.

  12. The 43% is quite interesting in the context that Labour haven’t regained the Scottish vote they once sported (38%).

    The Midlands is where the battle lies for Labour and if the crossbreak showing a 10% lead for them there is anywhere near the truth, that certainly looks promising for them.

    Also I think the whole behind on the economic scale = lose election is a bit overplayed; if people are worried a second term Tory government would finish off the NHS, I doubt -3% would impact matters whatsoever.

  13. Cons have a 9 point deficit with the ladies on this poll: only 4 points behind with the gentlemen

    Labour clearly leading amongst 18-24s and 40-59s (16% and 9%), less so or behind with the 25-39 and 60+ age groups (2% and -1%). The 25-39ers are least disapproving of the government.

  14. “NHS – LAB +14
    Immigration – CON +19
    Law & Order – CON +9
    Education – LAB +7
    Tax – LAB +1
    Employment – LAB +6
    Economy – CON +4”
    Or to put it another way –
    Fiscal policy, Labour – Legislative policy, Tory.
    Hasn’t this been the case for a long time?

    Perhaps this better explains the ‘Labour ruin the country’s finances so people vote Tory, Tories ruin the country’s public services so people vote Labour’ meme that’s spread about.
    Perhaps it’s more likely – When public services are in a bad shape, people elect the ‘public services party’ and when they’re in good shape people elect the social-conservatives.’
    Which would imply that a majority of Britain is economic-left, social-right.
    Polling on issues seems to imply this.
    (Would happily be wrong on this – if people provide polling data to show the opposite).

    And on the VI –
    Labour 43, Tory 37, Lib 9
    5 day average – Labour 42, Tory 37.2, Lib 9
    So +1, -0.2, 0

    That has been the 5-day average (Lab between 42 and 42.2, Con between 37.2 and 37.4) every day since May 25th.

  15. @ Amber Star

    “Hooray, Anthony is back

    You Gov poll as mentioned above:
    Areas of competency
    NHS – LAB +14
    Immigration – CON +19
    Law & Order – CON +9
    Education – LAB +7
    Tax – LAB +1
    Employment – LAB +6
    Economy – CON +4

    The economy: Conservatives at +4; that is going to be tough for Labour to turn round but being neck & neck on tax & ahead on employment means there’s scope for Labour to catch up.

    Law & Order: Maybe being toughest on crime & criminals isn’t the answer to winning on this issue. Perhaps being tough on crime & tough on the £cost to the tax payer of crime is where the country’s new position is.

    Immigration: Labour will never catch up with the Tories on this issue; I’m not even certain we should try.”

    I’m kind of amazed that you guys have a lead on taxation (albeit within the MOE). Either your right wingers are not as good as ours or your voters are simply smarter or something, I don’t know. That’s something you should be happy with. Not surprising to see Labour’s leads on education and healthcare (though you’d think they’d be bigger).

    As for law and order, I think it’s important to be smart on crime in addition to being tough on crime. Check out this politician (I absolutely adore her so I’m biased but I think she’s brilliant and has great ideas on combatting crime and law and order):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1VpNvGL1RXQ

    She has really advanced the law and order position from the liberal (or left wing) perspective. :)

    h ttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-c-4FlgUT0&NR=1
    (Since you Brits love “policy”, this link is far more focused on actual policy)

  16. @ Amber Star

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-c-4FlgUT0&NR=1

    I simply found this one inspirational.

    h ttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Qk9cVGVXa0&feature=relmfu

    (More policy).

  17. @ Amber Star

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8i0tpAqrDDY&feature=relmfu

    This is my final link to this lady. But I think that her decision to focus on the issue of truancy as a way of combatting crime. She took some flack for this policy but it’s actually proven to be a major success in reducing crime.

    h ttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjDqGlh-rKY&feature=related

    (She’s explaining the financial and societal benefits of Back on Track)

    F.Y.I. She personally opposes the death penalty (in case you were concerned).

  18. Ed Balls says that Labour need to improve their standing in the polls.

    1) Do you think that the Tories would be complaining if they’d been ahead of Labour solidly for 6 months?
    2) Or that the peak of their lead was higher than the other party’s post-general electoral peak (when their ‘side’ was still largely split between two parties – and still is somewhat split)?
    3) Or that the opposite party’s post-local election lead boost was only 1.5% and lasted all of a month? (And partly due to their ‘side’ being further split).

    Have Labour always been such a party of nay-sayers?

    I realise that Labour supporters (especially those who don’t like Ed Miliband) seem to think you need to hit 60% in the polls to win elections, but I can’t say Labour is doing too badly.

    Sure – some of their support may be ‘soft’ but the further right that the Libs go, the more support that goes to Labour.
    If Labour’s policy review acknowledges those who’ve ‘returned to Labour’ in new policy, they might just solidify that support.

    1) December 20th-ish was when Labour took over the lead from the Tories.
    2) Tory post-election peak was a +9 lead (5 day average at that point was +8). LibDems at this point were on 15%.
    Labour’s highest lead was +11 (5 day average was +8.4, but soon peaked to +9.4)
    3) Tory ‘lead’ peak of -2 (average at -3.8), now dropped to -6 (average -4.8).

    Labour need to remember that at the lowest electoral point for 30 years – people may not have wanted Labour, but they didn’t want the Tories either.
    A much larger vote drop went to the LibDems (which has since returned to Labour with ‘even more’).
    This should imply that Labour need to not become more Tory to win (as the Tory press, New Labour partisans and Tory commentators) but more Liberal.

    Funny how so many Tory commentators are so obsessed with the fact that Ed M and Labour are ‘polling so badly’.
    Perhaps it’s to start a meme/narrative (which sadly now Ed B has reiterated) which makes Labour look like it’s having weak polling so that then causes weaker polling?

  19. I’m surprised anyone thought a good showing in the local elections / AV referendum would increase the Tories’ standing in the polls. The main issue in UK politics now is the pace of cuts, and it’s a bitterly divisive issue, but I think that by now everyone has made up their minds on whether it’s right. I certainly don’t see why anyone planning to vote Lib Dem or Labour will change their mind just because other people voted Conservative last month.

    The problem a lot of Tories seem to have is that they equate a poor performance of their coalition partners with an endorsement of themselves, when in reality the Lib Dem vote is almost exclusively going to Labour. Good news on the economy might do them a favour (either that or a massive cock-up by Labour), but I think we can rule out Cameron calling a snap general election on a supposed post-referendum wave of popularity.

  20. @TingedFringe – *Labour are ‘polling so badly’*

    The Balls speech seems to have been reported against the background of the ComRes poll at the turn of the month which showed Con and Lab tied on 37%.

    The ‘Conservatives did well in the locals/Labour badly’ meme… well it is not really complacency, they just do not have the luxury of being able to address unease within the party or their unpopularity with the majority of voters. The battle for the soul of the Conservative party, between grassroots/mainstream and the Liberal Conservatives goes on, but there is no opportunity to open up the debate about why they failed acheive a majority at the GE.

    Great hopes have been placed since the new year upon a “big speech” from Cameron, be it on the Big Society, multiculturalism… Libya, some mothers’ union friendly policy… the “appearance” of success at the locals: but none of these has as yet reversed the polling lead for Labour over the last six months.

    Same, only worse, problem for LDs… there is really very little they can do to address their unpopularity atm.

  21. Quoted on the Guardian apparently from Stephanie Flanders, BBC Economics editor’s blog ?

    “Impeccable sources have told me that there was considerable concern amongst senior IMF economists last year at the pace of the coalitions plans to cut the deficit. However political negotiations at the highest level meant that these concerns did not get expressed in public. (After these negotiations)the IMF has publically backed the governments strategy ever since.”

    We all suspect that. I don’t really trust unspecified “sources” but isn’t it obvious that the IMF were nobbled and that what really matters is whether we get some growth soon.

    To me, the forecasts are now looking like failure anyway even if achieved. Promising strong growth in three years time is pointless. Surely we need more growth than that to cut the deficit unless you are going to cut spending to the point where nobody does anything?

  22. @Nick Poole

    “Surely we need more growth than that to cut the deficit unless you are going to cut spending to the point where nobody does anything?”

    GO has made it clear that it is the Structural Deficit which is being eliminated over the Parliament. (the last Treasury forecast is for a total 2014/15 deficit of £46bn pa)

    He refered yesterday on R4 to built in “flexibilities”. They are :-

    Freedom of BoE to maintain/further relax current monetary policy.

    Letting the automatic stabilisers ( increased welfare costs) work in the event of undershooting growth forecasts, and allowing cyclical deficit to drift over target, -ie not imposing further cuts to adjust.

    IMF endorsed this approach, but recommended tax cuts if growth undershoots badly/consistently.

  23. Flanders’ blog:

    h ttp://www.bbc.co.uk/news/13671462

    “… the IMF’s own research, for last year’s autumn World Economic Outlook, has also suggested that Mr Osborne’s plans were likely to have a significant effect on growth in the short-term.

    The risk – spelled out in today’s report – has always been that this short term cost will turn out to be permanent, because capacity gets lost forever.

    To repeat, the IMF does not think that this has happened yet….

    But the Fund does clearly believe that the chancellor should have a wider range of back-up plans than he has so far been willing to own up to.”

    Osborne was well aware of his lack of expirience in the field of ecomonics, which is why he consulted Lawson, Lamont, Major and Howe… the latter’s 1981 budget being a big influence on shaping the PSR in autumn 2010.

  24. Crossbat,
    I completely agree with eveything you said in your last post.IMO, Osbornes major achievement has been to pin
    our economic woes firmly on labour,aided and abetted of course by the right wing press.Millibands failure has been to let them do it.However in time they will have to be judged on their own actions,then we shall see.Perhaps in retrospect,what seemed like a clever move by Cameron in
    going for a full term parliament, may not turn out to be so
    wise.

  25. CROSSBAT

    I, too, thought your contribution was spot on. Labour needs to talk itself up more and proritise economic policy when it comes to the Hain review. Osborne and the coalition need to be portrayed as ideological roller-backers of the state using deficit reduction measures as a cover – I think this could resonante.

    Ed Balls is currently spearheading a campaign to reinstate the bankers’ bonus tax and spend the proceeds on job creation and there is to be a debate in parliament about this soon.

  26. @CROSSBAT
    I agree with your last comment. Many posters seem to think the entire population hang on every politicians words and study political machinations avidly. They, the public, are interested in exactly the things you mention. What we very clearly do not agree on, is which party will come within a million miles of fulfilling the peoples aspirations.

  27. Colin

    I’m not sure that you addressed the opening point…that the IMF is riddled with doubt about the wisdom of slash and burn but in public they something different, and support the line you describe with its nonsensical stabilisers. That’s pretty disgraceful behaviour from the IMF, if true. But no worse than Labour politicking in the past.

    How will cutting taxes for the “poor” (does he mean non-millionaires?) create growth? By them going on a spending spree?

    Aren’t they more liable to save or pay off debt or just avoid accumultaing more debt than buy lots of “stuff”? They won’t spend until their jobs are safe and they won’t be safe while the Government’s policy is cut, cut, cut.

  28. @ANN IN WALES
    There is a nag here about “the right wing press”. A major proportion of Tories would argue that the TV media and in-particular the BBC, have given the coalition a very hard ride, on economic policy if nothing else. It becomes pointless to argue about these matters, because none of it is going to change. As a Telegraph reader I can assure you that, David Cameron as a person gets no change whatever from that “Tory paper”.

  29. What will joe public make of DC’s five pledges on the
    NHS, and to what extent if any will it affect VI?

    It seems to me a bizarre situation that a PM feels it necessary to give pledges when the party in power/office has legislation reforming the NHS is before Parliament.

  30. Mike N

    That was a great line from Ed M, “David Cameron is the first PM in history to set out five pledges to protect the NHS from his own policies” before pointing out he’s already broken a couple of them.

    Mr Clegg could warn him about how pledges can backfire.

  31. @nick poole
    Aren’t they more liable to save or pay off debt or just avoid accumultaing more debt than buy lots of “stuff”? They won’t spend until their jobs are safe and they won’t be safe while the Government’s policy is cut, cut, cut.

    Do you think your assumption has finally sunk in ?
    Living life up to the eyeballs in debt, aided and abetted by greed ridden banks, a very unfit regulator,all overseen by an economic genius, who thought the bubble would never burst, is why we are here. My view is, for what it worth, many people would take the same easy options all over again. Mea Culpa is no more, its got to be that greasy Osborn’s fault, it couldn’t possibly because we have been living about 30,000 feet above our means.

  32. Nick Poole

    Yes, a great soundbyte by EM that resonates IMO and will embarrass DC.

    The pledges idea looks like desperation to me. But I’m sure there are people who will think it’s brilliant.

  33. @nick poole & mike n
    Wise move. Go back to the NHS much safer ground for you. Yesterday’s result for Osborn and defeat for Balls, does not leave you anywhere else to go.

  34. lordtory

    It’s true that spending money that doesn’t really exist is the root cause of our present malaise. Or rather, money borrowed against massively overpriced assets.

    It’s possible austerity and prolonged hardship is what we are all due. But it won’t be a vote winner, I suspect.

  35. LordTory

    “But I’m sure there are people who will think [the pledges idea] brilliant.”

    Would you be one of these?

  36. mike n
    May I point out that in the embarrassment stakes the IMFs view of Balls economic proposals, might be a smidgen of a kick in the pants for him. Not everyone knows that the IMF are a bunch of Tory [email protected] who would jump from the top of Mont Blanc if Osborn told them to.

  37. Good to see the IMF supporting Osborne yesterday. If there is a need to tweak policy at all I would support deeper cuts in the Public sector to provide tax cuts to add some stimulus to the economy.

    As for the NHS debate lets just get on with the necessary changes.

  38. Cutting Civil Service pensions especially for those earning over £100 000 a year would be very popular.

  39. @nick poole
    I very genuinely mean, that it is a delight to agree with you in every way. Only time will tell. There will be balls ups (no pun intended) on the way and pit falls everywhere. We will see.

  40. The Tories are picking too many fights too early in their administration. This would be dangerous even if they had a decent majority, but more so in a coalition. I realise that they believe that they have no choice, because money is short, but if this is so, they need to work with people and not appear to be bloody minded.

    Cameron this afternoon is making a speech about the NHS changes, which have already been trailed in the media. But in doing so, he is undermining Lansley again and by making the pledges, he could come a cropper. People are already cynical about the Tories and the NHS, so will not necessarliy believe any pledges. Then there is the report due at the end of the month following the consultantation period. If this contradicts Camerons pledges in anyway, even if it is just language being intepreted differently, this could cause further tensions about the NHS bill. So I am not sure Cameron is wise to say anything until the consultation report is produced.

  41. @MIKE N
    Not being evasive Mike, but I have not even read about Dave’s pledges re the wretched NHS. The whole thing bores me to tears.

  42. LordTory
    “Not everyone knows that the IMF are a bunch of Tory [email protected]…”

    I wasn’t aware. so thanks. But I am aware that GO has a place on the IMF board. I’m sure that in now way affected the IMF’s commentary.

  43. I suspect most civil servants wouldn’t mind if high earners’ pensions were capped.

    As this is a polling site I reckon it is not important who is right or wrong, but only how it plays in public. It’s quite clever to try to persuade all non public sector workers that all the problems can be solved by cutting jobs, pay and pensions in the public sector. divide and rule, bit like the miners, steel workers etc from the 80s.

    But the difference is that there is a hell of a lot of public sector workers. That’s a lot of votes…and lost spending power in other areas.

    I think the slip back into recession will last until the Government dispel the climate of fear they have created. Which seems unlikely at the moment.

    But the real question is…what will the polls say if we remain flatlining or declining for the rest of the year? And what will the Lib Dems do if it looks like they will lose all but a handful of seats?

    If my job wasn’t under threat, like my wife’s and many of my friends and colleagues, I would find it all fascinating.

    Interesting times, indeed.

  44. I see these pledges being nothing more than PR to counter the anti PR of “in 3 years all the NHS will be privatised and the nurses will be sent to work in gulags” type drivel that’s being continuously sent across. Yes I’m perhaps exaggerating a little, but the current unfounded claims that the NHS will cease to exist seem to be scaring people, so framing the debate around 5 pledges at least people can understand rather that try and debate the intricacies of commissioning to sell the idea to Joe Public.

    I don’t see this having any short term effect but should form a useful framework to act as tests for “Have the Tories destroyed the NHS?”. Lets face it if any of the pledges were broken the Tories would be in trouble whether of not the pledges were made.

    Brilliant? not really but something needed to be done before the “end of the NHS” claims really got traction.

    The important stuff will be in the details as always with government policy and it is damn important to get these details right. These pledges can at least add a level of common sense test to the policy to ensure it’s not coming close to breaking any of these issues.

    Hot air to counter hot air.

  45. Hot air?

    I see privatisation of care homes was a completely safe decision.

  46. @alan
    Not for the first time you are talking more sense about this matter than most others. As you say (in as many words), the “NHS helped my family and my poor little lad, even though I am a very rich Tory toff “, routine will play again and again. He has to do it to counter the “Tories bring back workhouse” [email protected] touted by Labour.

  47. Nick Poole “… isn’t it obvious that the IMF were nobbled.”.

    I see you are another ‘flat earther’, like EB….” I’m right it’s everyone else who is wrong.”

    SOCALIBERAL The reason Labour are ahead on Tax is probably because there are more people receiving benefits in the UK, than there are paying tax!

    Correct me if I’m wrong but in the US, is it not the case, generally, that if someone makes good and becomes wealthy, everyone congratulates him/her & says, ‘If he/she can do it, so can I’? In the UK, the general attitude is, ‘He’s got rich, that’s disgraceful, we should increase his taxes’ because if entrepreneurs get rich then so should we ‘cos we are jelous.
    It’s a disease that exists whoever is in power here, just the degree alters slightly between blue & red. Indeed it’s endemic across Europe as a whole.

    If Osborne really wants to cut the deficit, then the best way to do it, would be to cut taxes & benefits at the same time. If you want to work, you get rewarded, if you don’t, then that’s up to you but don’t expect to sponge off the hardworking.

    And before I get lamblasted, I would point out that at the same time I would, INCREASE benefits to those who genuinely cannot do ANY job because of disability.

  48. Getting the thumbs up from the IMF is like being given the kiss of death, given their track record!

  49. @ Nick Poole

    “the IMF is riddled with doubt ”

    Is it?

    “the wisdom of slash and burn ”

    I don’t recognise GOs plan in those terms. Total Government spend by end Parliament will approximate the pre-recession level as % GDP

    “How will cutting taxes for the “poor” (does he mean non-millionaires?) create growth? By them going on a spending spree?”

    Yes I presume that is the IMF thinking.
    It was done in USA-cash handouts via the Tax Credit system.

    “Aren’t they more liable to save or pay off debt or just avoid accumultaing more debt than buy lots of “stuff”?”

    THey may be indeed-some would say that would be the prudent thing do with a government handout just now.
    You can’t dictate what people do with their own money.

    ” They won’t spend until their jobs are safe “.

    That certainly seems to be true in large part at present -hence the poor domestic consumption numbers.

    “and they won’t be safe while the Government’s policy is cut, cut, cut.”

    Well that is the nub of it isn’t it?
    At present the Private Sector is creating new jobs. Providing it continues to do so at a rate which compensates at least for Public Sector job losses, perhaps a greater feeling of confidence will emerge.
    This will be countered by the systemic unemployment levels for young people,and I suppose by those ex public sector workers who don’t have the relevant skills mix .

    If unemployment does start to rise badly-and above forecast -then all bets are off for Mr Osborne .

  50. Nick Poole

    “I see privatisation of care homes was a completely safe decision.”

    I think that is perhaps too general a construction to put on a specific problem.

    The Southern Cross saga was a huge error for the government of the day to allow. I’m pleased to see that VC has asked his officials to look at the involvement of Private Equity involvement in all areas of public service provision.

    But there are many reputable & properly structured private care operators in the sector giving good service. THe problem is that LAs are arbitrarily reducing their fee contributions. There is a postcode lottery element too.

    The whole thing is a major problem area & has to be addressed very soon.

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