There are two new polls out tonight. Firstly YouGov’s daily poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 37%, LAB 41%, LDEM 10%. This is something of a narrowing of the Labour lead, in the last week leads of 8 points or so were becoming pretty standard, but I’ll add my usual caveat about being cautious about any single poll that shows something useful: sure, it could be Labour’s lead falling in what will be the first poll taken since the hacking saga has (temporarily) fallen off the news agenda, but just as likely it’s an outlier and we’ll be back to bigger Labour leads tomorrow.

Tomorrow we’re due the GDP figures, so perhaps it’s also worth a look at the regular YouGov trackers on cuts in today’s tables. The broad picture remains as we’ve seen for much of this year – a majority of people (53%) think the cuts are being carried out too quickly (27% about right and 8% too slowly), 46% think they are too deep (27% about right and 10% too shallow), 48% think they are bad for the economy (36% think they are good). However, despite all this 57% of people think they are necessary, and people are still more likely to blame the last Labour government than the coalition.

Secondly we have the monthly ComRes telephone poll for the Indy. Topline figures with changes since the last ComRes phone poll are CON 34%(-2), LAB 40%(nc), LDEM 13%(+2), Others 13%(-2), so once again the Conservatives taking a small knock from the phone hacking saga.

The other questions are on the phone hacking saga. 65% agreed with a statement that the phone hacking scandal showed News Corp were not a fit and proper organisation to own part of BSkyB. There were also some questions asking if people viewed the party leaders more positively or negatively as a result of the phone hacking saga – these suggest that people view all three more negatively, but I’d suggest that tells us more about the deep uselessness of asking questions in this format! Proper tracker questions asked before and after the phone hacking saga reached its peak, asked by YouGov, MORI and ComRes, all show pretty conclusively that perceptions of Ed Miliband have increased substantially, even if respondents themselves don’t realise it!

UPDATE: There is also a new Angus Reid poll, their first since April (I thought they had faded away!). Topline figures with changes from April are CON 34%(+3), LAB 41%(-1), LDEM 10%(-1). The poll was conducted on Tuesday and Wednesday last week.


183 Responses to “New YouGov and ComRes polls”

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  1. Ambivalent Supporter
    Right again. On one hand, the Tories want to paint the picture that massive cuts would have still happened under Labour, but on the other, they will be keen to show how their policy differences have/will help to bring about positive results. It’s a bit of an impossible dilemma for them really

    But what is Labour saying – would it have cut at all and if so what would be the difference in % between Labour and Coalition?

  2. @AW – “Alec – please don’t. Deliberate partisanship is against the rules even if you are faking it (hell, I think it’s worse if you are faking it).”

    Just to clarify, I am not looking to make partisan posts, whichever colours I post under.
    All I want to try and do is force myself to take account of information I might normally find inconvenient to my natural leanings and see how much this affects the nature of my posts.

    In that spirit, the GDP figures represent something of challenge. I think it is worth pointing out that the ONS have said that taking away the one off issues (bank holidays, warm April, Japanese earthquake) they think the figures would have been +0.7% which could indicate a healthy underlying situation.

    Certainly these factors were unfortunate and Osborne genuinely can’t be blamed for a huge earthquake on the other side of the world. The key question is going to be whether there is a bounce back in Q3.

    There does seem to have been some impetous given to the governments growth agenda though, and I am pleased that it looks like they are giving the regulations overhaul a bit more emphasis. I think this is an important area, so long as the right regulations are targeted and there remain protections in place where these are genuinely needed.

  3. Fello posters might be interested in this link – h ttp://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/jul/26/work-assessments-incapacity-benefits-system?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+theguardian%2Fcommentisfree%2Frss+%28Comment+is+free%29

    It’s from @sue marsh, formerly of this parish, and is an interesting comment on the disability tests now being applied to many benefit claimants.

    I could be wrong, but my understanding was that these were initiated under the previous government but are now being rolled out nationally to 2.5m claimants. The report doesn’t make very good reading for the commercial company commissioned to run the tests, and it should be a worry for the government – if the perception gets hold that they are not treating those on invalidity benefits well then that could be damaging.

  4. Amber Star /Sergio,If I remember correctly Darling said that during the Chancellors debate.I remember because
    I felt that it was an incredibly stupid thing to say,for the
    reasons that Amber states.

  5. @Alec

    It is a massive problem that is going to come back and bite the government, those benefits due to be re-assessed is those long term benefits like IB and DLA the actual standard to get these benefits is set very high and re- assessed fairly regularly … the impression given by the government is that these benefits are not re-assessed regularly or there is widespread fraud, which I don’t believe is the case.

    The real fact is it is just a cost cutting exercise, and prefixing genuine claimants will not lose out is not very reassuring when you hear and read about the testing procedure and the company doing the tests.

    The government has by the way it is treating welfare benefit claimants and the language used, by the government and media, is causing an air of intolerance in the public arena towards the sick and disabled, h ttp://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/may/15/disability-living-allowance-scope-cuts
    , h ttp://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/jul/24/welfare-policy-incites-hatred-disabled

    Having seen and suffered such intolerance I can say it is not just a story

  6. Another interesting link… h ttp://benefitscroungingscum.blogspot.com/2010/06/dla-clearing-up-confusion.html

  7. Since there’s lots of stats and economic nerds (used in a positive sense, since I’m a nerd myself), a quick question (Note – a very stupid question) –

    Looking at the total GDP (CVM – Seasonally adjusted – 2006 prices, £millions – phew)
    2010 Q3 330860
    2010 Q4 329189
    2011 Q1 330724
    2011 Q2 331273

    Which gives us growth figures of –
    2010 Q4 -0.5
    2011 Q1 +0.5
    2011 Q2 +0.2
    But that is the rounded figure – to one significant figure.

    But if we round to 3 sig figs we get –
    2010 Q4 -0.508
    2011 Q1 +0.464
    2011 Q2 +0.166

    So when people talk about 0.2% growth over the past 9 months, surely it should be 0.124, or using their own rounding to one sig fig – +0.1% growth over the past 9 months?
    And similarly 0.6% over the past 6 months, rather than 0.7% (derived from adding the 0.5 and the 0.2)?

    I feel like I should be right – but I may be missing something so dreadfully obvious that I thought I’d ask here.

  8. At Ambivale.
    The Tories are not loosing support in Wales. They achieved their best assembly election result in the assembly history. If anything they are on the up in Wales. They gained 2 net seats in Wales in May and only lost 1 constituency seat Cardiff North while gaining 2 others in the north.

  9. @Alec

    No, you’re doing it wrong. It goes like this.

    HOW TO POST IN A PARTISAN MANNER

    * Event X happens
    * You say “Event X proves that my team is right. It shows that we were right/the other side was wrong/it would be much worse if the other side were in charge. It’s only a matter of time before the Government collapses/wins the next election. Good things that are happening to my team will inevitably continue and get better. Bad things that are happening to the other team will inevitably continue and get worse.”
    * If event X is good for your side, say “event X only happened because of my side”. If event X is bad for your side, ignore it.
    * If event X is good for the other side, say “event X would have happened more if my side had been involved”. If event X is bad for the other side, repeat it every ten seconds until you pass out from fatigue.
    * If your friends agree with you, then your side is winning.
    * If somebody agrees with you, say “That’s a very reasonable post” and use words such as “reasonable” or “objective”. If somebody disagrees with you, say “You must be ignorant” and use words such as “bias” or “stupid” or “ill-informed”.
    * If a commentator agrees with you, then that commentator must be “serious” or “well-informed”. If a commentator disagrees with you, then that commentator must be “fringe” or “obscure”.
    * If you like the poll result, say “that confirms the trend”. If you dislike the poll result, say “that must be an outlier”.
    * If you win an election, say “we have a mandate from the electorate to do X”, even if X is “kill puppies”. If you lose an election, say “we didn’t get our vote out”, thus perpetuating the myth that you own electors.
    * Your side consists of noble hardworking underpaid dedicated public servants, schooled in Athenian oratory, with a Spartan work ethic, a Cincinnatian approach to power, and walk with kings and peasantry alike. The other side consists of power-hungry demagogues, illiterate and stupid, who only got where they are by nepotism or guile, and know nothing about the common man.
    * Everything your side wants to do is moral, good, legal, and inevitable, even if it’s the exact opposite of what you promised in your manifesto. Everything the other side wants to do is two-faced, evil, immoral and illegal, even if it’s exactly the same as what you said you’d do.

    Regards, Martyn

  10. Martyn

    :-) :-) :-) :-) :-)

  11. the last link which could be why the government will be in trouble

    h ttp://www.guardian.co.uk/society/joepublic/2011/jul/25/disability-benefits-atos-government-hiding

  12. @ Martyn.

    As Peter Jay said in that article (well worth a read by the way), the concept of an “official” definition of a recession is hogwash (or semantics if you want to dress it up). What matters is what is really happening in the economy, not what an arbitrary, politically-inspired defintion of a recession happens to be.

    In the real world, what really matters is the effects of economic growth (or the lack of it) on things like jobs money in folks’ pockets, a prolonged spell of effectively zero growth is a de facto economic dip, even if it doesn’t meet LBJ’s arbitrary standard of “recession”.

    I fully agree by the way that we are in Japan-1990s territory. Of course, they didn’t have the levels of personal debt that we have and that fact cushioned them to some extent. We don’t have that luxury, which is what makes the prospect of a prolonged low-growth period particularly terrifying for us.

  13. @Tinged Fringe: it’s actually worse than that because growth figures are compound. As such, if we give the value of the economy prior to Q4 2010 100, then growth of -0.508%, +0.464%, +0.166% has the effect:

    99.492
    99.95364288
    100.1195659

    Sadly, over the last nine months, the UK economy has grown by 0.120%, and if we use the rounded to nearest decimal place, then you are right – economic growth over the past nine months has been 0.1%.

  14. @Richard,

    You are quite right re: the local elections. I was referring more to recent YouGov polls. Regardless, the Tories are on the up (relatively speaking) in recent times in Wales.

  15. Tophat,
    “it’s actually worse than that because growth figures are compound.”
    I calculated the 9 month figure (0.124) separately from the original GDP figures, rather than from each individual quarterly growth figure.

    So 100-(Q3/Q2*100), except my figure was rounded down, so Round(100-(Q3/Q2*100),3) would actually give 0.125 or 0.1 still, if Round(…,1).

    I was mainly just after confirmation that I hadn’t made some sort of elementary and ridiculously embarrassing mistake.

  16. Just in response to a previous comment about falling support for Labour in Scotland;
    You have to look at GE and SE results independantly; for example many hardcore SNP supporters would never vote SNP in a GE, but would in the SE. The recent loss for Labour in Scotland was unexpected as a rise in labour support was expected in response to a Tory Government in Britain (an idea which many Scots oppose).
    The SNP have performed very well in their last run (free education, prescriptions etc), and have a lot of popular support, and the LibDems have been the brunt of almost as much scorn as the Tories by the Scottish electorate (worse in some cases, as many people reason it was more underhanded to promise one thing and deliver another, than to simply say outright that there were to be deep cuts).
    With fear of cuts looming (there are many people in Scotland that remember the Thatcher era all too well), and a larger portion of floating voters fromLibDem dissillusionment, many felt that AS was a stronger figure to stand up to DC than Iain Gray – who is not well thought of.

    Labour support has not waned in Scotland, it’s simply that Scottish Labour had a weak and ineffective leader who squandered his advantage in the polls, LibDem voters flocked to the more popular leader of the SNP, and the SNP targeted their campaign more effectively. In the next GE, I expect north of the border (excepting strongholds like Dumries (Tory) and R/S/L (Charles Kennedy)) will be a sea of red. Scottish and British elections are very different, and results aren’t directly applicable from one to another.

  17. @ Sergio.
    A major economy is akin to an ocean liner (cue Titanic jokes) – it takes a long time to turn it around, certainly more than 12 months. It took around 3 years after each of the last two recessions for the economy to start picking up properly.
    —————————————————————————-

    I respectfully disagree with your respectful disagreement.

    Typically, it has taken 3-4 years from the start of a recession for GDP to get back to pre-recession levels.
    http://static.seekingalpha.com/uploads/2009/7/27/saupload_uk_current_recession_depression_thumb1.jpg

    That is very different to saying that it takes three years to get growing again.

    It’s now 13 quarters since this recession began. By the same time after the 90-91 recession, we were experiencing quarterly growth of ~1%. By the same time after the 80-81 recession the figure was about 1.2%.

    You can get the data from here
    http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=phNtm3LmDZEO_Y5Udz-7uSw

    Until late 2010, we were coming out of the recession at a similar rate to the last two. That growth has now stalled badly. Draw your own conclusions.

  18. MARTYN

    “If you lose an election, say “we didn’t get our vote out”, thus perpetuating the myth that you own electors.”

    That was a comprehensive statement of Westminster politcs. The quote above had some truth in it 50 years ago (“along with bye-election protest vote”).

    Now it is losing force as the “don’t votes” and the “none of the above” are increasing. In Scotland there are five or six parties with a degree of support, but there are at least three anti-parties too.

    No party can win an election in Scotland by getting out the vote. You need to build a coalition of anti-party voters and (in FPTP) tactial voters whose preference is for a third or fourth placed party.

    Getting out the vote is no doubt important in some places, but it isn’t as straightforward as it used to be.

    The candidates that get the core vote out come fourth or fifth. The winners have to do much more than that.

  19. Tingedfringe,

    One thing I’d like to add is that comparing like-to-like might matter (e.g., a growth rate of 2% in a year is unimpressive, but 2% in a quarter is anything but). This isn’t a mistake, but I find multiplicative growth rates to be hard to deal with if they’re not over comparable periods. Picking a year as the normalised comparison period, since there is a fair amount of annual data for various things, we get this data from various starting points:

    four quarters up to Q2 2011: 0.74% growth
    three quarters: 0.17% growth
    two quarters: 1.27% growth
    just Q2 2011: 0.67% growth

  20. Scotswaehae

    Labour support has weakened in their central belt heartlands, but they have picked up an equivalent number of ex-LibDems in the North who are anti-SNP.

    That makes all three parties less regional, which will cost Labour seats as more of its votes are “wasted votes” in the North.

    Perhaps more important is that unexpectedly the solid class war Labour vote hasbeen shown to be friable, and therefore open to further losses.

    That’s why the melting iceberg is apt. A few large pieces have broken off, sunk below the surface and floated away. It still looks big, but sudden collapse is not far away.

    You are quite correct that uptill 2010 many thought the SNP irrelevant for Westminster. That pattern of voting may continue, but I wouldn’t put any money on it if I were you. Change happens, and with hindsight we can always explain it.

    I think youshould have an alternative explanation ready just in case.

    It’s the FPTP tipping point that matters, not the size of the vote.

    This far out, it can go either way, but SLAB can’t afford much more delay in getting their act together.

  21. @ Anthony

    Sue Marsh & I have a favour to ask of you. Please would you pass on to her, my e-mail address.

    Thank you :-)

  22. @ chris todd – The difficulty in cuts v spending being ideological rather than economic is partially true. It is also however economic.

    Generally public sector expenditure is more constant than economic growth. Hence when growth is above trend, public sector growth lags behind and with increased evenues deficits can begin to shrink. When Governments choose to spend in times of growth ( like Labour early to mid 2000’s ) then this reduction does not take place and structural deficits grow. This may not be a problem if you have indeed eliminated boom and boost and we have a NICE outlook.

    The shock to the system in 2008 was thus compounded when a stimulus was needed as it usually is in times of recession and a structural deficit was still in place from time of growth.
    Labour’s culpability in 2006 -08 was onethat is glaring in hindsight – they and no-one else except a couple of siren voices foresaw or could foresee the banking crisis and subsequent credit crunch.

    Osborne’s culpability is one of timing. We are not sufficiently strong in terms of growth to begin the scale of cuts envisaged – they will – they already have stunted both growth and more importantly confidence. We had essentially to keep as much stimulus as possible at this time of the cycle.

    The time to cut and re-structure was later than now. I fear the recklessness of Osborne’s cuts coupled with the doomsday emergency language used by the coalition may well have triggered a second recession and consequently failed to produce sufficient revenues to reduce deficit thereby leading us into a downward spiral from which we will struggle to recover in the short to medium term.

    Structurally he will have done three things which are pretty fatal.:
    1. Dampened growth
    2. Reduced essential public spending and corresponding investment
    3. Increased structural deficit.
    Whilst his inheritance was difficult I believe his own reckless management has exacerbated this to a point approaching crisis.

    I see no safe haven here ( High Inflation – not Osborne’s doing at all – low growth, masssive deficit – not reducing).

    I hope for the sake of our economic well being I am wrong. I may be a Labour supporter and seek to see a Labour government – but I am a citizen first and would prefer a growing economy and increasing prosperity.

    I would rather see Cameron return to a prosperous Britain in 2015, than Ed inherit a basketcase in a second recession in 2013!

  23. @ Leftylampton

    In the past two recessions we weren’t in the middle of a policy induced financial crisis that had wrecked our banking system and consumers weren’t burdened by £1.5trn of debt.

    “Until late 2010, we were coming out of the recession at a similar rate to the last two. That growth has now stalled badly. Draw your own conclusions.”

    The conclusion is that growth in 2010 was based on a massive pre-election splurge in government spending that drove our deficit up to over 11%. If you look at growth in 2010 it came from construction (government funded building projects) and financial services.

    How could that remotely be described as self sustaining growth?

  24. @ Iceman.

    It’s always a pleasure to read someone encapsulating your own thoughts in a sharper and more concise way than you can do yourself. Amen to every word.

    @ Robert C

    We could have a fascinating partisan debate here but we’d both be kicked out. I’ll limit my own response to a howl of anguish that we didn’t have an informed debate about the risk-benefit of deficit reduction vs growth prior to the Election. It’s not, and never was a binary decision. There is an infinitely graded set of possible decisions and the approach that would produce and optimal outcome is somewhere on than spectrum.

    Unfortunately, the debate was dominated by schoolyard taunts of whether one side were deficit deniers. And I blame Labour more than the Tories for that. The Tories were always going to play that card. Labour didn’t have to join them.

  25. The Daily Record is having a good laugh at the expense of Willie Rennie’s taxi companions:

    ‘Support for Lib Dems in Scotland down to just 3%, according to new poll’

    http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/2011/07/26/support-for-lib-dems-in-scotland-down-to-just-3-according-to-new-poll-86908-23298993/

  26. “Latest YG, Lab 44%, Con 35% LD 9% Approval -28%”

    So yesterday’s Yougov was, as expected, an outlier. I think we can now see that the Yougov Labour lead is now within the 7-9% range.

    Good news for Labour.

  27. How does the approval rating of consistently negative high 20s compare with previous governments? (I can’t find any data)

  28. Tonights YG seems to confirm that yesterdays was a bit of an outlier.

    @Leftylampton – my worry about the recovery is that it is still heavily dependent on debt – this time household debt. The OBR predicted a big increase in consumer debt and the figures seem to suggest this is what is happening.

    Long term the only way to deal with this is to reduce debt ratios, which is where growth is so important.

  29. @stuart – 161 is a very small poll. I would suggest that the degree or error would be very large and not worth using as a poll.

    @AMBI – Perhaps the yougov poll is an outliner and the actual labour lead is 7% rather than 9.

    I would certainly say however that the SNP rise to power in Scotland is a double edged sword for labour. On one hand, it looks like they are mopping up the LibDem votes and thus castrating them. On the other the SNP voice might become very strong and as a result could break the Union. This obviously would be a nightmare for Labour.

    Still a week is a long time in politics.

  30. Stuart

    Gordon Banks and Chic Brodie should be sent to Anthony’s school of sub-sampling. Food, water and sleep are allocated according to the votes of a random panel of 10 voters. :-)

  31. What are we to make of the Second Quarter growth figures? 0.2% is better than a contraction, as some feared may occur, but it’s another quarter of anaemic growth, suggesting an historically slow recovery from recession. Growth in the UK economy appears to be strangely susceptible to unusual and unexpected events and I rather share the scepticism expressed by some already about the real impact of snow, Japanese tsunamis and Royal Weddings, I have to say! The real problem, as I see it, is that the more we have to downgrade the growth forecast for 2011 (OBR now forecasting 1.7%), the more shaky Osborne’s whole budget starts to look. His borrowing and deficit reduction targets were based, I assume, on the original growth forecasts and, as has been observed, we needed growth of 0.8% this quarter to have any chance of being on track. 0.2%, knocks him further adrift and raises ever more the prospect that our old friend, Plan B, will have to be rapidly dusted down and taken off the shelf. Political embarrassment may await our Iron Chancellor, even though, ironically, our economy may benefit as a result!

    By the way, did anybody else read Brendan Barber’s rather clever quote today? He said that he thought “a target of eliminating the deficit in just four years always looked as if it came from what others might call right wing nutters…”. I wonder if the “others” he had in mind included a certain Vince Cable? Our good friend Vinnie rather curiously, and significantly, used this derogatory term to describe some of his coalition colleagues in an interview he gave on the Andrew Marr Show on Sunday.

    I wonder what some Tory backbenchers are making of their enigmatic and unpredictable Business Secretary???

  32. “Latest YG, Lab 44%, Con 35% LD 9% Approval -28%”

    That’s very good for Labour, especially if hackgate has entered the consciousness of people to cause a 9 point lead.

    IMHO – I would still hold judgement, as this type of lead would need some permanence and consistency before this conclusion can be drawn.

    On the contrary though, Norway’s event can put something like hackgate into perspective. And Cameron, I felt, presented himself prime-ministerial on Monday in how he dealt with questions about the tragedy (which could neutralise hackgate)……though some may think – aren’t you the same person who thinks multiculturalism has failed?

    ps:
    Even if hackgate has damaged the Tories, they still aren’t dropping below that 35% mark with YG! Looks like this is their base vote, unless they do something ‘calamatous’ ?

  33. @ Martin W

    Depends. These are Yougov’s approval ratings, and as such only go back so far, because they’ve been around for less than decade (correct me if I’m wrong?). For their historical records, check here: http://today.yougov.co.uk/archives/politics/trackers

    There are approval ratings to compare to out there, but by other pollsters – check Ipsos-Mori’s polls, they’re always released with graphs, with a few slides that compare them.

  34. But a pointer: Brown’s ratings in the height of the crisis surpassed even Thatchers from what I’ve seen, perhaps double what we’re seeing in negativity at some points, so with that in mind they’ll look good compared to the last governments.

  35. @ronnie

    “even if hack gate has damaged the Tories they still aren’t dropping below that 35% mark”

    Yep- and they have also been (at anybtime since last summer) absolutely nowhere near that sustained 40% they need to have even a chance of a working majority at the next GE :D

  36. Yes, Tories will be happy that an economic catastrophe has been averted (i.e. negative growth), and that they are still scoring at or above 35% with Yougov. Also that the lead has yet to reach double figures, especially with other pollsters. As long as the lead remains in single figures, and they are regularly scoring 34+ they’ll be reasonably happy.

    However, the 9% Labour lead is consistent with what I have been predicting for some time. I said a few months ago that Labour’s lead would widen after the local election results became a distant memory. Both Ed and Labour seem to be gaining in popularity. I expect this trend to continue in the coming weeks and months ahead.

    Simply put, for the first time I now feel that Labour is back in the game.

  37. @Crossbatt11 (10.29)

    “Our good friend Vinnie rather curiously, and significantly, used this derogatory term to describe some of his coalition colleagues in an interview he gave on the Andrew Marr Show on Sunday.”

    Crossbatt, unless I misheard Vince, he was referrring to the Tea Party Republicans in their continued efforts to destroy the US economy. He was not referring to right wing Tories.

  38. I am registered here, but can someone tell me how I can get a party logo and appropriately coloured background, please?

  39. Rob

    Very true.

    Though if the LDs can rise between now and the next GE the Tories not falling below 35% when going through a damaging period (and likely to improve on that 35% by the GE – even if it is just 2%) it would mean the LDs will take votes from Lab and we could be looking at a similar result to the last GE, maybe even worse for Labour particularly with the boundary changes.

    IMO I think for Labour to not worry about any future rise of the LDs, then they need to see some softness in the Tory vote, when they are going through a ‘tough’ period; i.e. falling below 35% and maybe into the c30% level. This doesnt seem to be happenning.

    Im not sure why I’m thinking about this….no-one seems to think there will be a GE before 2015 :))

  40. @AmbivalentSupporter

    Your thoughts on the current state of the parties has inspired me and I’m going to have a go at applying your ambivalent technique to a weather forecast. It goes something like this: –

    ” If it rains, I have a sense that people will get wet and won’t be very happy. However, if the sun shines, it won’t rain, and people will stay dry. They will then be happy, but that doesn’t mean they might not get unhappy if it decides to rain again. Of course, I predicted it would be sunny which means people will be happy, but that may not last for ever and the rain may set in again. The constant conflict between rain and sun is difficult to predict but my sense is that it will be sunny on some days and rainy on others. I favour neither sun nor rain, but we need more forecasts to be absolutely sure which of these two weather phenomena will prevail.

    I hope this makes things clearer.”

  41. I too feel the Conservatives are struggling to get above the 37% level and thus have any chance of an overall majority or minority government. Their alternative sources of possible increased support are LD and UKIP. They might get a bit from the latter, but I think they have got all they are ever going to get from the LD’s. First and foremost they must somehow drain some support from Labour. This does not seem very likely at present, quite the contrary, and worse, cannot rely on the LD’s doing much of that for them.

  42. AmbivalentSupporter

    “they are regularly scoring 34+”

    Correct on YG.
    But what I think is extremely significant is that since 13th May 2010 (i.e the last GE) they have scored 34% just twice and 33% just once, and the rest of the 63 weeks, of 4 polls a week, it has been 35%+. It seems a real solid vote share (even if there has been a little movement on who is supporting who, it is a firm level of support).

    Sorry, to repeat an opinion I expressed a couple of days ago. I just feel it is very significant they have lost just 1% in their voteshare since the GE, despite a myriad of failures/mistakes.

  43. It wouldn’t take a big shift for the Tories to get over the 40% threshold. I wouldn’t consider it that unlikely/inconceivable, especially if they are scoring 37/38% a year or so before the next GE. It would take just a relatively small shift to tip them into the 40s – enough to probably get a majority.

    However, I still have my doubts, as I expressed earlier. The Tories would either need to galvanise some support either from the centre-left or from the smaller centre-right parties. Besides, I very much doubt that the Tories will be scoring 37/38% in 2014, especially given the current growth rates and global economy.

  44. @Peter Bell

    “Crossbatt, unless I misheard Vince, he was referrring to the Tea Party Republicans in their continued efforts to destroy the US economy. He was not referring to right wing Tories.”

    You may be right and I’m guilty of false recall, but I thought he’d used the expression rather generically, and pointedly, when he was referring to a particularly silly attitude to an issue. That said, I can’t quite remember the issue that was being discussed in his interview with James Lansdale, so it’s quite possible I’ve quoted him out of context.

  45. @Crossbath

    No worries. And of course if I either need an accurate and informed insight into contemporary British politics you’d be the first person I’d ask. How you didn’t make it as a political commentator, I’ll never know :)

  46. @Crossbat,

    Ah, I’ve twigged now. It’s because you are a weather forecaster. That explains it. Silly me! :)

  47. @AmbivalentSupporter

    The problem with ambivalence is that it usually dissolves into a sort of “all things to all men” mush. Easily digestible, and very difficult to argue with, but rarely informative.

  48. @Crossbat,

    “but rarely informative.”

    So is tribal partisanship. In fact, as this site demonstrates everyone seems to interpret the polls according to their political affiliation. At least with ambivalence, such interpretations can be more objective.

  49. AmbivalentSupporter

    Hopefully my posts haven’t been too partisan. I am really trying to see what lies behind the figures.

    But if I am let me know how.

    I do have a strong political point of view, but try and use my ‘scientifc background’ to be analytical/querying rather than push my party view. But I’m certain I can learn to do this more effectively.

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