Tonight’s YouGov poll for the Sunday Times has topline figures of CON 37%, LAB 42%, LDEM 9%. I’ll update properly tomorrow on other findings from the poll.


121 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 37, LAB 42, LDEM 9”

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  1. @TingedFringe

    I think you’re making a mistake in presuming that all remaining Liberal voters would cross over to Labour if they liberalised their social policy. About a third would from what I’ve seen, but many are Orange Books who are liberal in both senses of the word, and are more likely to support the Tories.

    Although on saying that, I absolutely share your belief that Labour should head in that direction (alas the people who matter don’t). If they don’t, and it becomes clear they’re still illiberal, they won’t even retain the ex-liberals they’ve got now.

  2. JACK93
    It seems to be Scotland independence or nothing, to the ending of the earth, so long as we be remembered. We’ll see what the upcoming by-election is like for you and whether the people share your oracle’s prophecies.

    If, as seems pretty likely, the ConDem coalition has little or no choice but to struggle on until 2015, for three and a half of the next four years, Westminster VI is going to be pretty irrelevant, even if it causes the downfall of Miliband Minor.

    OTOH, events in North Britain between now and then will have profound changes to the polity of Great Britain, either confirming the Westminster view that the British constitution should be set set in concrete, or profoundly democratising it, or perhaps placing a state border on the island for the first time in more than three centuries.

    As such, I’d have thought it of island-wide interest, despite the dearth of Scottish polling.

    The Inverclyde by-election probably won’t tell us much we don’t already know. After the recent general election results, it will be surprising if the Lab plurality is not less than the 14,416 achieved in 2010, but it will be a big ask to reduce it further than the 511 Lab achieved in 2011 in the largely overlapping Greenock & Inverclyde SP plurality seat.

    It’s the Scottish Council elections of 2012 and, perhaps, the Euros of 2014 which will more likely have profound influence on the 2014 or 2015 referendum.

  3. @ Rob Sheffield

    “I have to say- IMHO EdM being both:

    1) so fully implicated in the Brown plotter/ coup/ disloyalty (internal opposition hamstringing the government from effectively leading the country) shenanigans of 2005-2007 along with,

    2) the reporting that his was a key voice in convincing his brother not to topple Brown in early 2010….. but not out of some honourable/ noble loyalty to the Labour party idea- as other UKPR posters stupidly claimed at the time and since- but rather to self-interestedly position himself for his later Union gifted win;

    along with the poor performance against Cameron (set in stone now- it is not going to change that is clear = the dynamic is there for all with open eyes to see): it all screams loudly that the idea of EdM being the leader of the Labour party at the next election is dead in the water.

    Accordingly I think sooner now (rather than later) there will be a putsch unless he does what’s good for the Labour party and fashions a smooth transition. However, he has clearly thought strategically in the past about his own needs in contrast to what the Labour party needed at any one time so I am not optimistic about the latter scenario.

    He has done some good things- two in particular stand out:

    1) detoxified the Labour brand of uber-Blairism to defected green and LD erstwhile Labour voters- the one’s whose departure from Labour allowed Cameron to sneak into main party status at a time when the vast majority of the country was totally unconvinced by Lord Snooty;

    2) resisted the calls to jump into upon massive slate of ill considered and hastily assembled policies (again as many were asserting he should), that would ultimately not stack up.

    For these two matters alone he deserves mighty praise along with Labour supporters gratitude. But as someone who wants to see the Labour party win I am now prepared to state that the ‘give EdM till 2013’ mantra that I signed up to is no longer viable.

    He needs to go and go ASAP.

    PS it won’t- and should not- be DM: one from three of YC, AB or CU IMHO”

    Why not JM?

    Also, in terms of inner party plotting, do you think that really matters to the public? Or even to the party? Wasn’t there a plot by Blairites to replace Brown with David Miliband (only it wasn’t led by Miliband so when given the opportunity to do it he declined)? This is all really interesting stuff and intriguing but the way I see it, voters really don’t care.

  4. TINGEDFRINGE

    When I met and heard Ed M during his leadership campaign he was quite clear that Labour policy formation was not going to be rushed as things were likely to change rapidly in the UK and he thought that the coalition government would do the job for him anyway by shooting themselves in the foot all the time.

    He’s been proved right and the ConDems are desperate to deflect attention from their woes (waiting times for cancer referals 3 times slower than last year) by coming up with a lot of non stories about the brothers.

  5. “About a third would from what I’ve seen, but many are Orange Books who are liberal in both senses of the word, and are more likely to support the Tories.”
    Perhaps I should have been clearer in my analysis.

    The ‘9% solidly LD’ would include those who’re more favourable to the Tories – so perhaps I should have said ‘9% solidly LD and Tory-LD swing (minus those who’re currently Tory who might swing LD)’.

    So for clarity –
    30% Lab
    10% Lab-Lib
    9% Lib + Lib-Con – Con-Lib
    If you see what I mean.

    “If they don’t, and it becomes clear they’re still illiberal, they won’t even retain the ex-liberals they’ve got now.”
    That’s why I think that the ‘chasing Tory votes’ with illiberal social-conservative policy is a mistake.
    They not only risk losing that 10% Lab-Lib swing (who’re now under VI for Lab) but also not gaining any social-conservatives from the Tories.

  6. PS to my last post….

    On reflection, I suppose the Inverclyde by-election might just be spectacular enough to persuade one or more of the three main unionist parties properly to Bavarianise in the hope of regaining some ground.

    It might also persuade Cameron to reflect on whether it is realistic to hope to remain blue tory PM of a unitary UK or whether he might prefer to be first PM of the new rump UK, with a blue tory plurality virtually assured, without the toublesome bother of introducing constitutional change.

  7. @Steve
    Oh yeah, I agree. I wasn’t actually meaning to describe Scotland as socialist – even if I effectively did through poor use of language – but one which doesn’t subscribe to the rightward, neoliberal course the UK’s embarked upon for the past few decades.

    I am from the N/E, and voted for it – even though I knew it was toothless.

  8. “When I met and heard Ed M during his leadership campaign he was quite clear that Labour policy formation was not going to be rushed”
    It doesn’t matter if they rush the policy review or not – if they judge wrong who their core voters are and who they can peel off the 2010 LD and Tory vote (their easiest ‘targets’ are Left-Liberals, who were once under Lib but now Lab VI), they will fail.
    Simple as.

  9. ROB SHEFFIELD

    Fortunately your views about Ed M are not shared by the majority of Labour Party members such as myself.

    I have always appreciated your comments on UKPR but I’m afraid you are falling into the trap Cameron is desperate to spring, namely that the Labour Party only needs a bit of a push to descend into internal dissension. I am very disappointed in you.

  10. @TingedFringe
    Oh, then I agree.

    Singing to the choir on that last point too (although I think I’ve already told you that in days past).

  11. @ Tinged Fringe

    “While Yvette Cooper may be a good replacement for Ed M (if they do get rid of him), she’d be an easy target because the Tory press would just run with the narrative, ‘She takes orders from her husband’.”

    Are Brits really that sexist and backwards on the issue of gender equality?

    @ Jack

    “the more you keep hijacking these blog posts to talk of your destinies outside of the UK, the more I become persuaded it is all you exist for and want for Scotland. It seems to be Scotland independence or nothing, to the ending of the earth, so long as we be remembered. We’ll see what the upcoming by-election is like for you and whether the people share your oracle’s prophecies.”

    I have never seen any of the Nats who post regularly on this site “hijack” a thread. They have every right to talk about the prospect of Scottish independence and the effect of proposed independence and the strength of their party on the VI polls for all of the UK. Talking about polls and politics does not equate with hijacking a thread. Furthermore, none of them have ever claimed to be oracles.

    Finally, as for getting off-topic, it happens a lot here. It’s not a bad thing. And honestly, on a one thread blog that attracts people from different political parties, different backgrounds, and even different countries, it’s not all that unusual.

  12. I can’t put my finger on why I have this gut feeling, but I just think Ed M will be another Kinnock. There is something really unelectable about him. Both my mum and grandma said that to me, which is my own little barometer. I just wonder when it comes to the privacy of a polling booth at an election, whether people will see him as a PM.

  13. We have a classic diversionery tactic from the right wing
    press and suddenly EM is unelectable,despite a solid lead in the polls.I think that some people need to calm down and get out a bit more.

  14. @Socalliberal
    It works in reverse; the speaker’s constantly accused of taking orders from his Labour wife.

  15. Ann,

    No diversion from me, I just feel David M is a far more electable, likable and capable politician.

    Despite how the Tories are doing, Labour made a bad choice allowing the members and the MPs choice of leader to be overthrown by the Unions pick.

  16. “Are Brits really that sexist and backwards on the issue of gender equality?”
    I didn’t so much mean they’d run it in a sexist way – just that Ed Balls is a very strong figure and and they’d question whether it was Yvette or Ed ‘making the decisions’.
    I think the same would be true if Yvette were the strong front-bencher with the public ‘Brownite’ history and Ed became leader.

    I saw similar things thrown at Hillary Clinton, with ‘Is it really Bill re-running for president?’ headlines.

    A Yvette Cooper victory in 2015 and Hillary Clinton in 2016 would make an interesting result though, considering Yvette was a policy advisor for Bill in the run-up to the 1992 election.
    I can’t imagine US-UK relations would be much harmed by such a partnership. ;)

  17. @Richard O
    I think you’re being a bit simplistic there, was this election’s method any different from previous leadership elections? Are the hundreds of thousands of union members less of a mandate, simply because they’re union members (who actually bankroll the party let’s not forget – the party would be be bankrupt without them), less than the 200 MP/MEPs?

  18. Oh Scottish independence again… how did this come back up?

    If a referendum does return a yes, I’d expect the prime minister at the time robustly defend the UKs interest, (as I’d expect Alex Salmond to defend Scotland’ interests) If negotiations take years to come to an arrangement that both sides can agree as fair (or AS is willing to concede in return for a faster path to independence). I see no obligation for Westminster to bend over backwards to accommodate Scottish independence. I fact I’d go as far as claiming the UK Prime Minister had a duty to the remainder of the UK in negotiations to ensure no remaining regions “lost out” as a result of negotiations.

    Overall I find the topic rather dull as at the moment Independence seems unlikely, what interests me more is the redoing of the Scotland Act, hopefully there will be an answer to the West Lothian Question, I personally quite like the idea of the English Grand Commitee, which, like it’s Scottish and Welsh counterparts would act by convention rather than by law.

  19. “Labour made a bad choice allowing the members and the MPs choice of leader to be overthrown by the Unions pick.”
    Would one-man-one-vote have been better?

    Ed got 175,564 total votes in the final round, David got 147,220.
    Or 54% of the vote to Ed.
    Compared to the ‘bloc vote’ system where Ed only won by 50.65%.

    Or would you remove the choice of the affiliated members?
    What’s the difference between an affiliated member who pays a membership fee and a ‘proper’ member who also pays a membership fee?
    Or would you rather have the Labour party go bankrupt?

  20. Alan

    “Oh Scottish independence again… how did this come back up?”

    Could it be that there was a recent poll on the topic?

  21. Fear not, you sons of Albion! The YouGov details are now out

    http://today.yougov.co.uk/sites/today.yougov.co.uk/files/yg-archives-pol-st-results-10-120611.pdf

    and you can happily chat about the NHS reforms (in England only – though you would never guess that from YouGov’s execrable question construction).

    Also you get to chat about the Royals and the Head of the English Church.

    Happy Anglicising! :-)

  22. Oldnat

    As an athiest who is pretty ambivalent about the royals that helps no end! :P

  23. @Rob Sheffield

    “along with the poor performance against Cameron (set in stone now- it is not going to change that is clear = the dynamic is there for all with open eyes to see)”

    What? Week by week, Cameron is descending further and further into a charicature of an abusive bully. EM calmly asks his questions, concentrating on the detail that DC is incapable of handling, and DC rants. DC’s mask is slowly dropping, as is the penny, albeit slowly. The ‘Flashman’ moniker is going to stick, and if people don’t understand it now, they soon will.

    It’s a long game, and that’s how EM is playing it.

  24. OldNat,

    “Could it be that there was a recent poll on the topic?”

    Exactly.

    UK Polling Report is explicitly a blog for reporting on polls conducted in the UK. I cannot think of a voting intention poll (and this poll was measuring VI in regards to the referendum) by a British Polling Council member firm (TNS-BMRB in this case) which has gone unreported by Anthony.

    So, I persist in requesting a response from our host: why this unique failure to report and comment on this TNS-BMRB poll? It has been in the public domain for a few days now, so I was just waiting for the ukpr thread, but it never appeared. Why?

  25. OLDNAT

    Thanks for the poll link. I was impressed by the fact that 48% of the Scottish sub-sample had heard of Gove, though less so by their overall neutral opinion of him.

    Also surprised by the episcopalian level of support.

  26. OLDNAT

    Also re the new YouGov, they still seem to be having trouble inviting the right numbers to participate.

    Others in Party ID weighted down from 205 to 82 with ALL other parties plus None/DK being weighted up.

    Also Scotland, as usual, providing too many responses, being weighted down nearly a tenth from 257 to 237.

  27. YG/ST
    Westminster VI – Scotland
    sub-sample size = 257
    (+/- change from UK GE 2010)

    Lab 37% (-5)
    SNP 33% (+13)
    Con 19% (+2)
    LD 7% (-12)
    UKIP 2% (+1)
    Grn 1% (n/c)
    BNP 0 (n/c)
    Res 0 (n/c)
    oth 1%

    Net UK Government approval:

    Rest of South -14
    London -17
    Midlands/Wales -22
    North -36
    Scotland -46

    Great Britain -24

  28. Robin
    “The ‘Flashman’ moniker is going to stick, and if people don’t understand it now, they soon will.”

    I wonder what percentage of the voting public have read tom Brown’s Schooldays or even Fraser’s modern novels? And what will the description mean to those who haven’t?

  29. @Pete B…

    Lord Flashheart then?

  30. @Ann in Wales

    “We have a classic diversionery tactic from the right wing
    press and suddenly EM is unelectable,despite a solid lead in the polls.I think that some people need to calm down and get out a bit more.”

    Of course, you’re absolutely right. Let me first, though, declare my hand. I voted for David Miliband in the Labour leadership election last year, mainly because I thought he was the more rounded and mature of the five candidates and was, therefore, likely to be more electable in the Prime Ministerial run-off that our General Elections have tended to become. He came with Blairite baggage, sure, but he had gravitas, high office experience and some exciting ideas about rejuvenating a party that had, understandably, become careworn and fatigued after 13 years in power. It was also manifestly obvious to me that he was the man that the Coalition partners feared most.

    Well, let’s fast forward the clocks from last September to present day; he didn’t win and Ed Miliband is now the party leader and also leader of HM Opposition. Despite Rob S’s wishes, I can’t see that changing any time soon, or before May 2015, and all of us opposed to what this Coalition Government is likely to do to our country in that time, need to get behind the Opposition Leader. It’s the only Opposition we’ve got!

    In some respects, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by him. He isn’t being “diced and sliced” by Cameron on a regular basis at PMQs, despite what right wing commentators would like us all to believe, and he’s set the party on course for some much needed in-depth policy reviews. His personal ratings are poor, but not fatal, and he’s attracted a good deal of support back to Labour, primarily from the Lib Dems, achieving decent leads for his party in the opinion polls. What he’s currently experiencing is an attempt to de-stabilise him, primarily from his obvious political opponents, but maybe too from some sore losers in his own party.

    Keep calm and carry on would be my considered advice. Rebuild the party (70,000 new members since May 2010), renew the policy framework with fresh and radical thinking and wait, patiently, for political gifts from the coalition. Messrs Cameron and Clegg’s political gift tree is bearing some interesting fruit just waiting to be harvested in the months and years to come. The first juicy apple to tumble into Miliband’s lap should be the forthcoming NHS Reforms. It’s a lose-lose for Cameron. He’s either browbeaten his Coalition partners into accepting the Lansley proposals more or less unadulterated (Tory Right happy, Lib Dems split asunder, NHS professionals up in arms) or he’s accommodated Clegg by neutering the key Lansley changes (Lib Dems happy and crowing, NHS professionals happy, Tory Right apoplectic). If Miliband can’t make headway with that juicy apple, then I might join Rob S’s campaign to displace him!

    Will Ed Miliband win the next GE for Labour? I don’t know. Is he the best leader Labour could have had? Probably not. Has he made mistakes? Yes and, I suspect he will make more. Has he been so bad that he should be removed? Definitely not and I think he’s shown some signs of potentially becoming a good leader of a still to be formed, unified alignment of the centre-left in the UK.

    Way too soon to write him off.

  31. YG/ST

    “Do you think the Labour party made the right or
    wrong decision in electing Ed Miliband as leader?”

    Wrong decision / Right decision

    London 55% / 18%
    Rest of South 53% / 17%
    Scotland 51% / 17%
    Midlands/Wales 49% / 20%
    North 47% / 22%

    Great Britain 51% / 19%

    I must admit, I gave a wee cheer when Miliband Minor won the Labour leadership contest. (Although I kept my big trap shut on public forums like blogs: no need to alert the opposition.) From my own narrow partisan point of view, it is one of the biggest boons the SNP has been given since Tony’s early days.

  32. Stuart
    “From my own narrow partisan point of view, it is one of the biggest boons the SNP has been given since Tony’s early days.”

    Interesting. Is that because he has no known association with, or interest in Scotland, or some other reason?

  33. Ed Miliband is doing a very acceptable job as Labour leader. I can’t believe people are questioning that just 9 months into the job. This partly stems from the portrayal of the last set of election results as “poor” from the right wing media.

    I voted for Ed and would vote for him again.

    Regarding the “Union” vote, it is important to point out that the Trade Unions created the Labour Party and union members cast their votes as individuals, not as a block. Furthermore, these people aren’t bogey men – they are normal everyday people – teachers, firemen, train drivers – it (again) is the right wing press that has attempted to paint them in a negative way.

  34. @SD

    “Do you think the Labour party made the right or
    wrong decision in electing Ed Miliband as leader?”

    Or to rephrase the question, “Are you either a Conservative, an Orange Book LD, or a Blairite”

  35. @SWebb

    “Regarding the “Union” vote, it is important to point out that the Trade Unions created the Labour Party and union members cast their votes as individuals, not as a block. Furthermore, these people aren’t bogey men – they are normal everyday people – teachers, firemen, train drivers – it (again) is the right wing press that has attempted to paint them in a negative way.”

    You make an interesting point. The right wing press (per se. the vast bulk of Miliband’s detractors) would like us all to think that his election was delivered and “fixed” by trade union block votes as in the vintage days of Jack Jones, Hughie Scanlon and Joe Gormley. In other words, millions of phantom votes dragooned into one pre-determined intention and cast at the whim of the union leadership. Now, much as I loved some of those old union barons, that was a thoroughly undemocratic process. However, as you rightly say, Miliband garnered individual votes cast by trade union members who were free to vote as they wished,. Sure, individual trade unions made recommendations to their members, and most, though not all, plumped for Ed Miliband, but they were all free and secretly cast individual votes. In that respect, he garnered greater numerical support than David Cameron did when he was elected Tory Leader.

    The other point you make is a good one too. We like to demonise trade unions, don’t we, and, by implication their members. But who are these 8 million or so miscreants who belong to trades unions? They are, as you say, the sort of people who make our society work. The firemen, nurses, train drivers, refuse collectors, prison wardens, bus drivers, teachers, lecturers, etc etc. Dreadful people, one and all, don’t you think??

  36. As an ordinary voter and someone who intends to vote for Labour at the next GE ( did not do so at the last one), I am happy with how EM is taking his time to develop policies. The current government would do well to take Ed’s example and develop well thought out policies rather than put out ill thought out ideas which then need to be reformed. It is a complete waste of time and tax payers money!

  37. @ SoCaL
    Meant to say, you are my new inspiration and your Labour MP count is my new goal.
    ———————————————————
    Awesome, I will ‘hold’ you to that & keep encouraging you to achieve it.
    8-)

  38. I myself have warmed to Ed Miliband since he became LP leader, having previously seen in him only in terms of cabinet minister material. Labourites have to take on board the “will the public see him as a future PM” question… if the answer looks to be no, then Labour party supporters will have to accept that, no matter how much they warm to Ed.

    The Bob Worcester (et al) book, though I have not read it ;) , suggests that specific approval ratings from members of the public have to analysed with great care when it comes to party leaders in the context of choice for PM.

    Imo the “we want a hung parliament” line pushed by the Independent, the LD endorsement from the Guardian, and of course the repudiation of Brown by the Murdoch stable were crucial factors that fed into an almost subliminal “time for a change” narrative that bled into by all broadly non-political sections of the media at the time of the election.

    No matter how good the the varoius leadership qualities appear to be, being “accepted” as credible by even those who will not directly vote for you, is of vital importance (note how many Guardian/Observer columnists were sympathetic Cameron).

    Looking for instance at Evette Cooper, who regularly garners more support at NEC level than any other Labour politician, can she *really* cut through beyond her supporters, and be listened to by the whole electorate? In her role as junior cabinet minister she aquitted herself very well indeed, but as an opposition spokesperson she is not commanding widespread respect atm.

  39. Craig
    A Salmond is the most neo-liberal promonent politician in the UK bar none. A banker and a product of RBS, he was the last person known to talk down the bamking crisis, insisting that pressure on RBS was purely due to London spivs and speculators.
    In the aftermath of the crisis, the SNP reperesentative on my local government pension fund said that acting under the instructions (his words) of the SNP he was moving that our represntative should vote against the takeover of HBOS by Lloyds. This was in the aftermath of comments from the SNP that HBOS was a viable operation, a claim which will have Lloyds share-holders choking.
    Salmond’s plan for Scotland is based on arbitraging business taxes starting with corporation tax which he would wish to greatly reduce.
    The recent crushing victory of the SNP over Labour in Scotland has in my opinion not been correctly understood.
    Labour was ahead in I think all polls bar one up to the announcement of the SNP’s plan for a four year freeze on Council Tax. After that the SNP was ahead in all I think bar one.
    Tax decides many elections and this was one. A likely defeat for Labour was turned in to a route by the personalised vicious demolition of the Labour leader. The warning for UK Labour is probably clear.

  40. @crossbat11

    Precisely!

  41. Rob Sheffield

    An interesting post-you have clearly had a radical change of mind.

    My own reactions to the alternatives :-

    YC-Too edgy & abrasive. Doesn’t listen. Talks over people. Not much general appeal.

    AB-Lots of conviction. Good general appeal.Twinkle in the eye. Has become a little too bombastic of late….but still “likeable”.

    CU-Interesting-A nice quiet thoughtful style. Listens before he speaks….. New & Black ??

    I can understand why you reject Benn jnr -but he seems to be appealing to Labour backbenchers in HoC. Not the same thing as voters though.

    The battle will be left v right won’t it?

    Wasn’t EM chosen because he would not espouse Blairite continuity?

    Isn’t he an “empty vessel” to be filled with leftish policies?

    So if he goes , that whole battle will be fought again.

    TGB says that if EM is ousted by “Blairites” “the Left” will tear the Party to bits.

    Can’t wait :-) :-)

    Does anyone know when the 23 Tablets are to be handed down from Mount Byrne?

    How does their timing impact the LP leadership question?

  42. @ Rob Sheffield

    The last time I said that Ed M had until conference to turn things around, you told me I was being too hasty. I see that events have brought you around to my point of view.

    I agree that it won’t be David, that ship has sailed & sunk. The leaking of David’s speech, if it was well intended, has had the opposite effect, IMO. There isn’t a chance of DM getting the backing of Union Members now.

    IMO, there won’t be so much of a contest if there is to be a change in leadership. The Unions will make it clear from the start who they will endorse & things will move much more quickly.

    I’d prefer that Ed M turns things around by conference; IMO he can & will.
    8-)

  43. Robin,

    – “Or to rephrase the question, “Are you either a Conservative, an Orange Book LD, or a Blairite””

    That is a typical “Westminster Village” response.

    Ordinary people do not think like that. Nor do they classify themselves in such an odd fashion.

    Mind you, I have serious doubts about just how many “ordinary people” YouGov has on its panel.

  44. Jack93

    I’m not a NAT but I’ll vote for independence to get a fit for purpose paliament and government.

    The reason the campaign will be long, is that the SNP hope to increase the Yes vote over time, and they are well behind at the moment.

    If there were a vote now, the SNP would lose, but with a Conservative UK government they will have many opportunities to demonstrate that their anti-Con credentials are better than Labour’s.

    That their anti-Con credentials are better than the LibDems has been demonstrated beyond any possible doubt by the LibDems themselves with a spectacular proof in the election result that the voters have “got it”.

    Meanwhile the USP is competence, and the priority is to avoid mistakes, hence the cautious nature of the government in not whipping a majority for every half baked doctrinaire policy regardless of common sense. In any case pragmatism is their doctrine, and their policy has got to be practical and do-able by whichever agency has to implement it.

    Half-baked policy is a specialty of Oxbridge staffed think tanks.

    If Scotland becomes independent, it will be because eight years of competent, pragmatic, relevant to Scottish conditions and non-dogmatic government is such a staggeringly novel experience.

    Only after there is a workable policy do the SNP connect it with their core values. Mostly it’s “Look at what we can do with the powers we have! Think how much better it would be if we had more powers.”

  45. Barney,

    – “… the personalised vicious demolition of the Labour leader”

    You missed out the words “from his own side”.

    The biggest enemies of Iain Gray were from his own ranks. And they went public on numerous occasions. We in the non-Labour sphere always loved the guy!

    And Barney, that is not how you spell ‘rout’. Good word though! :)

  46. Why do Barney Crockett’s comments not appear with the Labour red background? After all, he was an official Labour Party candidate just last month:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/special/election2011/constituency/html/36066.stm

    Have you jumped ship already Barney?

  47. @ Colin

    Who leaked the DM speech to the Guardian then Amber -and why?
    ——————————————————-
    I’m not sure it was ever leaked, to be honest. I think DM’s team may have given it to the Guardian at the time, when everybody – except me ;-) expected him to win; it’s usual for politician’s teams to do so. When he didn’t win, the reporter forgot s/he had it. With Labour all over the Telegraph, s/he figured there’d be enough interest to make it worthwhile putting it in the Guardian.
    ———————————————————-

    And is the timing ( DT leak re EB) coincidental?
    ———————————————————-
    Not entirely; as I said, I believe it was the Guardian jumping on the ‘leaked Labour documents’ bandwagon. Therefore not coincidence but not part of a plan or ‘plot’ of any sort.
    8-)

  48. @ Pete B

    @AmberStar
    “+7 London (Scots keep nabbing all the top jobs here)
    +4 North (We’ll join Scotland, if it goes well for them)
    -1 East/South (Don’t go, you’ll make the Queen sad)
    -2 Midlands & Wales (Don’t leave us, we need you to beat the ConDem coalition).”

    Or………..

    +7 London (You’re a drain on the economy)
    +4 North (We’ve always thought of you as foreign)
    -1 East/South (We don’t care either way)
    -2 Midlands & Wales (Some of us think we need your oil).
    ———————————————-
    My version is (I hope) amusing & definitely tongue in cheek, your response is somewhat mean spirited, don’t you think?
    8-)

  49. @ Craig

    As a socialist I’m completely unconcerned about nationalist borders/dividing England, and would rather join with like-minded areas than be hampered in a southern-dominated Westminster with Thatcherite-revolving-door parties for the future.
    ——————————————
    I’m not in favour of independence because I see it as abandoning fellow social democrats to a ghastly fate. This is the only thing that gives me hope – that it works out for Scotland & other regions chose to join until we are ‘Britain’ & the Rest of the South is England. ;-)

  50. @Stuart Dickson – “Why do Barney Crockett’s comments not appear with the Labour red background?”

    What sort of question is that? (One of my friends regularly reponds to direct questioning with “Who are you, a policeman?)

    Perhaps some people find comments set on a uniform background to be more legible.

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