MarketingMeans have their latest monthly poll of voting intentions in the South-West region for the The Western Morning News & Western Daily Press (or, at least, most of it – it excludes Poole & Bournemouth). Topline figures with changes from the June/July poll are CON 40%(-2), LAB 21%(-7), LDEM 21%(+5), UKIP 9%(+7), GRN 4%(-1). Full tabs are here.

A big drop in support for Labour, and a recovery for the Liberal Democrats… though I’d add my normal caveat about being cautious about any sudden movement in polls. So far this year MM’s regular South-West poll has been pretty steady and consistent (see below), so this big jump is quite surprising – we’ll have to wait till next month to see if it is sustained.

181 Responses to “New MarketingMeans polls of the South West”

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  1. NEILA

    Ooooh-you are awful-but I like you

  2. “But surely those bad growth figures are because of George Osborne’s handling of the economy?”
    I realise that this is a cheap snark – but it can be both.

    A declining Eurozone being the *major* reason for our economic decline, but Osborne’s policies being a *minor* reason.
    So Europe hurts out exports, Osborne’s policies hurts domestic demand.

    Whether Osborne’s policies are better for the *long term* is a completely different argument, but to act like cuts (and thus reduced demand) would have no negative push is as ridiculous as claiming that Balls would get the demand fairy to wave her wand and fix the economy.

  3. @Tingedfringe – “We had 0.2% growth (ONS think it may be upgraded to 0.3% because of strong construction figures), compared to 0.5% for Q1.

    No they don’t – see

    Construction only grew 0.5%, not 2.3% as first thought.

    The strong construction growth was an error and was revised later on the same day. The updated June manufacturing data was extremely poor and on it’s own would mean a downward revision of 0.05%. This could be offset by a better than expected service sector, but the present position appears to be most analysts expecting either no change or a small downgrade in the updated Q2 figures.

    The Eurozone growth figures are extremely poor, and bode very badly for UK exports and activity in general.

  4. On the topic of civil unrest, the BBC has got a very well writen piece on the Llanelli strike and shootings by British troops in 1911.

    I think Roy Jenkins’s father was in the demonstrations which were attacked.

    This is years after Churchill allegedly ordered the attack on coal miners in Rhondda (Tonypandy).

    Nye refers to these events in the Durham Miners Festival in 1948 explaning his ‘lower than vermin’ reference when he retaliated to Churchill calling Bevan the ‘Minister of Disease’

  5. Alec,
    Thanks for the update – I was going on the original ONS release.
    I guess I checked it out too early in the day. ;)

  6. 120,000 problem families.

    At a cost per intervention of, say, £25,000 each. Being the wage of one half decent person doing something. Real intervention might be costlier.

    Don’t forget Sure Start has been cut so you can expect later intervention to be required instead…but let’s stick with the 120,000 that Cameron pinpointed, all to be intervened with and “saved” this parliament.

    A worthy amobition, by the way. can’t argue with it at all.

    120,000 multiplied by £25,000. That’s £300million.

    Money well spent if you ask me. Unless you just give it it to A4E and they tell you whether they spent it well.

    Better to enrol the public servants, social workers, probation workers, outreach officers, drug and alcohol projects, doctors, community police(wo)men, council housing geezers etc etc who already exist and need communication and coordination.

    I wonder if it is Blair hot air or if it has any substance. We shall see. It is top of Cameron’s agenda now. For how long?

  7. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has admitted making a statistical error which overstated the rate of growth in the construction industry.

    The ONS initially said the sector grew by 2.3% in the April-to-June period compared with the previous quarter.

    But it later said the sector had only grown by 0.5%

    How on earth can the ONS make an error of that magnitude? Doesn’t fill you with confidence, does it?

  8. @ Nick Poole

    It is top of Cameron’s agenda now. For how long?

    Until the next crisis.

    Everyone seems to forget that even before the riots lots of people were calling or DC and GO to come back from their holidays because of the “economic” crisis caused by the US and Euro debt. As if Little Britain could do anything about it.

    I get the feeling that politicians are no longer in control anywhere. The whole agenda is driven by 24 hour news and the necessity to turn every event into a “crisis” (justified in the case of the riots).

    I well remember Sunday morning after riots kicked off in Tottenham. Sky News were almost apoplectic that no one from the Home Office,10 Downing Street or City Hall had made a statement by 8 am the following day. The spent more time complaining about no one in Government talking to THEM, than they did about the riot.

    Only trouble is I love the 24 hours news coverage myself, so I must be part of the problem as well as the Bankers, Phone Hackers and MP’s. :)

  9. Nick Poole
    “120,000 multiplied by £25,000. That’s £300million.”

    I think it’s £3billion. (ie 3,000,000,000).


    The Guardian carries a report that DC may will be conceding to EM’s demands for a public enquiry into the riots. Another u-turn and another ‘victory’ for EM (and commonsense).

  10. Mike N

    good thing I’n not chancellor.

    Are we now all Americans? I thought a billion was a million million here?

  11. john fletcher

    I tend to agree with the idea that events feel like they are now spiralling out of control with nobody on either side having any idea what to do.

  12. MIKE N and Nick Poole
    On the subject of the riots, very distressing stories are shared on the BBC website by entrepreneurs who have been so badly damaged.

    Alongside this theme is the humanity shown by the people following the riots.

    On the theme of schooling: I hope people will understand the fear expressed by the lady in the shop of the looters reminds me of the fear experienced everyday of these same children by their teachers in class, as they wait for the bell to signal the end of the lesson, hoping the powder keg does not go off.

    And the nice children who have to try to learn in this environment.

    And as a Society we tolerate it..

  13. Nick Poole
    “good thing I’n not chancellor.”

    Your heart would be in right place if you were Chancellor.

    “Are we now all Americans? I thought a billion was a million million here?”

    I think the UK’s million million has been overtaken by the American (worldwide) view.

  14. Chris Lane 1945

    “And as a Society we tolerate it.”

    I imagine we might disagree on what is the appropriate way to cease toleration.

  15. On the matter of whether in the UK a billion is a million million or thousand million…perhaps the deficit ain’t so big after all. ;-)

  16. @OLDNAT
    Its is exactly because we don’t have PR for Westminster elections that tactical voting by LDs/LAb/SNP/CLyCm voters/supporters/party members etc has been so important – as in marginals small number of voters can have such a disproportionate impact. In the SW and certain outer London boroughs the LD’s have been net gainers from this. Also people who do view themselves as associated with one or other party tend to be more likely to vote.

    At the last election the LDs were able to benefit from both anti-Lab and anti-Con tactical voting. I’d be interested to know if you think whether the SNPs success this year was largely due to anti-coalition tactical voting or Scots positively voting for the SNP.

    (Personally I have always been opposed to tactical voting – but then I am also in favour of PR, not AV which is just as bad as FPTP)

  17. @ ALEC

    “This from Warren Buffet, one of America’s richest men – “”My friends and I have been coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress. It’s time for our government to get serious about shared sacrifice.”

    And by comparison with UK taxpayers he is absolutely correct.

    The Times reports his average effective tax rate as 17.4% -because his income comes in the form of capital gains & dividends-taxed at a rate of 15%.

    If his income were subject to the top marginal income tax rate he would suffer 35% tax.

    Compare that with UK:-

    Top marginal Income Tax rates:
    Earned income 50%
    Dividends 42.5%

    Top marginal Capital Gains Tax rate 28%

    Of course , Mr Buffett can make voluntary contributions by making a cheque payable to ” Bureau of Public Debt”

  18. I imagine Stephen House will feel quite at home in Scotland Yard if he gets the job :-)

  19. Apparently German GDP growth has slowed to a crawl, up 0.1% in Q2. If they’re doing that badly, where are we? I know DC wants to focus on big society/national service and riots etc, but he might not be able to if the economy gets any softer.

  20. ……………forgot to mention UK Employee Class 1 Rate above UEL of 2% .

    So Marginal Top Rate IT+ NI is 52%-The State keeps more than the taxpayer.

  21. German growth down to 0.1% for the last quarter.

    If the German economy has slowed down to this extent and this is the general trend, I think it is possible that the UK economy could be back in recession for the rest of the year.

    Not sure it is going to get any better during the next 2-3 years, as the US is going to be reducing spending and the Eurozone is going to have to sort out its economic state. The UK is too reliant on trade with EU countries and the US to avoid being affected by a downturn in these countries. If Germany is struggling with their highly competitive engineering skills, I am struggling to think how the UK will make money elsewhere in the world. It cannot be helpful for the UK that several big UK companies have moved to Switzerland to presumably weather the forthcoming storm. e.g Virgin. Boots have been registered there for some time.

  22. “German growth down to 0.1% for the last quarter.”

    No doubt uppermost in Merkels mind as she contemplates the effect on German voters of economic slowdown , whilst being asked to subsidise the cost of State profligacy in overindebted Eurozone members. Its hardly surprising she is opposed to Germany backing Eurozone Bonds with a common interest rate.

  23. @R Huckle, the Boots operation is Switzerland is little more than a ‘shell’ created for tax liability reasons.

    And while Branson has mentioned a possible move, I suspect that is more about the 50% income tax rate than any corporate policy. Hopefully, that self-defeating rate will be soon dropped as it’s driving our wealth-creators (the most mobile of people) overseas.

    Don’t forget quite a few companies have moved their HQs to the UK in recent years, WPP (the world’s largest advertising agency) for one.

  24. I think it’s almost too late to stimulate growth now.

    I think we need a European solution, not going to get much sense from the teabaggers. The austerity solution ain’t worked so somebody needs to think again.

    Pretty soon it will be slump, protectionism and break up of Europe.

  25. Further bad news: inflation has increased. The only good news is that interest rates are more likely to remain unchanged.

  26. @ MIke N

    Can you explain to me what sense the government has in allowing train operators to increase fares by inflation + 3% ? They are saying that this is to help pay for improvements to services, which otherwise could not be afforded.

    To me this is a bit short sighted, as those that have to pay these increased fares will also be experiencing other significant increases in household bills, so will have less money to spend in the economy. With retail already struggling, I could see much reduced consumer spending causing more retailers to go bust. The government will then have less tax revenues and more people on benefits.

    I am not sure the people advising government on some of these decisions are giving them enough information, so that the option chosen is best for the country.

  27. R Huckle
    “Can you explain to me what sense the government has in allowing train operators to increase fares by inflation + 3%?”

    Although willing (whether invited or not) to offer my informed and eminently sensible (and unbiased) view on any and every subject or topic you should be aware that I am not an official government spokesperson. ;-)

    It seems to me the UK economy will enter a second recession quite soon. If the gov really means that we are all in this together, then IMO they need to abandon ideology and actually start to consider what will happen to the fabric of our society (and to the unfortunates – les miserables?) that will arise.

    There clearly needs to be a Plan B (and Plan C).

  28. It’s all part of the master plan to devalue the deficit.

    Freeze pay and increase costs. Fuel, travel, food everything. Currency devalued, inflation high. The country owes the same but it’s worth less.

    Of course, those of us with frozen pay will be worse off, but not as badly as if we get sacked.

    Then of course we public servants will retire later, contribute nearly 5% more to our pensions which will be both worth less and be less, and will go up in line with a new “lower” measure of inflaion, even though the original measure is still high and going higher.

    Now it’s conceivable I suppose that one of these days will see an upturn in the economy. I wonder if there is any plan to actually recompense me for some of these losses, or even, ever, to give me a pay rise that even matches inflation at that time?

    And meantime what actually happens is nobody spends anything cos they are afraid AND broke, so we see nil growth. So for all this pain in five years we will still be staring at the same level of deficit and a bigger debt and no hope really of anything else.

    What could be worse than that? Not much.

    So why not print the money we need (inflation helps, no?) and build houses and roads and stop cutting services and jobs and STOP PRIVATISING FOR THE SAKE OF IT.

    Next stop boom!

  29. Oh for someone of the stature and vision of GB to get the G8/G20 countries to act together to pull out of this global nosedive. Collectively we are the mercy of the financiers – banks etc.

    I am greatly concerned that the PM may be constrained in his decisions and views by his family background which is closely associated with banking.

  30. These are the dog days alright, and the noise of whole packs of hounds not barking in the night has become deafening. I’m beginning to think that the entire YouGov panel have put their computers on autoreply and gone on holiday a la Francaise. After all the UK’s political leadership did.

    It’s not just the headline VIs that are unmoving. Just look at the tracker questions in the latest YouGov:

    Given that these were last asked a fortnight ago, before the riots, you’d expect some movement in questions leading from:

    Here is a list of problems facing the country. Could you say for each of them which political party you think would handle the problem best?


    Thinking about [each of the three Party leaders], which of the following qualities do you think he has? Please tick all that apply.

    Nothing. Nada. At most the 1 or 2 point movement you’d expect from random variation. Not even on ‘Law and order’. The only possible twitch is a slight but consistent increase in ‘Others’ in all the ‘handling’ questions. ‘Others’ were only one point lower a fortnight ago, so it won’t be that.

    Otherwise the only sign of life in the YouGov panel is a six point increase in those who feel the actions in Libya are going well (which they had been*) and an associated rise in those who approve. Though even the six point rise is partly due to the latest figures adding to 101 while the previous ones added to 97 (ask Anthony to explain it – the dog days have infected me as well).

    * Unless your name is Gaddafi

  31. Stuart Dickson

    – ‘I love how a measured rise for another party is a “blip”, but a measured rise for your own party is a “recovery”!! Have you been taking lessons from Mark Senior?’

    To be fair, there is a a bit of a difference between one party gaining a rise in support bringing it back towards more ‘normal’ levels, and another party apparently more than quadrupling their levels of support! In all honesty though, my analysis is sincere – a fall in Labour support and a roughly corresponding rise in Lib Dem support in the SW is something I’ve been expecting for a while, as in many parts of the region the party has real roots, as opposed to just being a protest party as it became in other parts of the country, meaning it would be more likely to weather the storm. The UKIP rise however has caught me completely be surprise – I wasn’t expecting it, nor can I think of any reason why it’s occured – hence I am more likely to believe it’s a blip. Of course I’m probably viewing these polls through yellow-tinted spectacles, but I trust you can at least see my reasoning?

  32. @ MIke N

    It was a tongue in cheek question, to which you showed a lot of restraint for which Anthony will be grateful for.

    But you mentioned inflation and it started me thinking that government policy does not appear helpful to the economy. Surely government advisors would be directing ministers to avoid decisions that could have a detrimental effect. There are so many factors that appear to maintain inflation at around a stubborn amount of 5% and if this remains the case, it is going to be massive problem. The problem as I see it, is that if costs are increasing and earnings are static or reducing, you can get to a point where more debt is being taken and further cuts have to be made. Not to mention the depletion of savings, where people are turning to these to cover the gap, between earnings and costs. So for both government and individuals, I am not sure the current economic policies being followed will actually move towards a more sustainable position.

  33. Colin

    So Marginal Top Rate IT+ NI is 52%-The State keeps more than the taxpayer.

    Well given that ordinary people in the UK (including some quite poor ones) are paying a marginal rate of 32%, it doesn’t seem unreasonable to me that those earning over £150k should pay a bit more.

    Because as Hemingway reminded us*, the rich really are different from us. They have more money.

    I must say I’m bemused by this whole new meme on the Right that, no matter how rich you are, paying over 50% tax (like many of them do, eh?) is somehow a breach of your Human Rights**. Not of course that they normally believe in Human Rights, (or possibly that other people are human) but you know what I mean. Why 50% is so sacred I don’t know. Maybe they think it was an addendum to the ten commandments, but unfortunately Moses was standing in front of that bit when the photos were taken.

    *Yes I know he took a jibe against himself and pretended he had said it, but he wouldn’t have done it if it wasn’t true.

    ** Can anyone remember if they objected when this happened under the rule of that tyrannical Communist, Mrs Thatcher?

  34. R Huckle
    I agree – we need Plan B as a matter of urgency.

    The OBR said last year that there was a 50/50 chance of the Chancellor’s plan working. It acknowledged that the plan was predicated on there being no unforeseen significant events (I paraphrase).

    looking at this now those OBR comments seem to be really quite damning. Essentially GO and the Treasury assumed perhaps naively that everything would be fine – the global economy would allow the UK to pursue a financial path of cuts cuts and more cuts. Some might say it was not just naivety but utter incompetence.

  35. @Colin

    “as the sainted Oborne puts it”

    How very strange that the normally impeccably unbiased and objective political commentator, Peter Oborne, chose to refer only to Gerarld Kaufman’s personal expense claims when there was an example that he could have used that was much higher up the political tree. Here is a snippet from a Daily Telegraph article highlighting the expense claims of none other than our very own Michael Gove, a serving Cabinet Minister.

    “Michael Gove, a front-bench ally of David Cameron, spent thousands on furnishing his London home before “flipping” his Commons allowance to a new property in his Surrey constituency, and claiming £13,000 in moving costs.

    Over a five-month period between December 2005, and April 2006, he spent more than £7,000 on the semi-detached house, which Mr Gove, 41, and his wife Sarah Vine, a journalist, bought for £430,000 in 2002. Around a third of the money was spent at Oka, an upmarket interior design company established by Lady Annabel Astor, Mr Cameron’s mother-in-law. ”

    It goes on to delve into ever more lurid and embarassing detail, but I think you get the gist. How odd that Mr Oborne didn’t think that this was a better example of venality to use than the expenses of an obscure Labour backbencher? He must have inexplicably and momentarily lapsed from his usual standards of fairness and balance!

    Or do you think I’m being a little too awful here and you may not like me for it?? lol

  36. Simon – “I trust you can at least see my reasoning?”

    Yes. I largely concur. But I just could not resist pointing out the (not untypical) difference in analysis between good news for ones own party and good news for another party.

  37. @ Steve & Colin.

    Interesting reading here. Maybe Osbourne should be pointed in this direction when reviewing the 50% rate…

  38. leftylampton

    I liked this in your link.

    as Willie Sutton famously said when asked why he robbed banks – “That’s where the money is.”

  39. Roger M

    “I must say I’m bemused by this whole new meme on the Right that, no matter how rich you are, paying over 50% tax (like many of them do, eh?) is somehow a breach of your Human Rights**. ”

    Never heard that one before at all, let alone to the extent that you describe it. Who’s saying that?!

    The main theme I hear on the subject, from both analysts and the government, is whether having it atually creates more money for the treasury, or whether it is counterproductive. Pretty sure I read that Osborne is investigating exactly that.

  40. CROSSBAT11
    ” Or do you think I’m being a little too awful here and you may not like me for it?? lol”

    Not at all -and I wouldn’t like you any the less if you were :-)

    But then I never did rate Oborne’s writings-even when the Left were putting him on a pedastal here so very recently.

  41. Roger Mexico

    “Why 50% is so sacred I don’t know”

    Well unless one actually pays that marginal rate it’s difficult to give a truly informed comment.

    But if i were to be paying it , I think I would feel that it is not reasonable for The State to retain more of my earned income than I do.

    Its that old thing about the tax free day in the week-when it gets to late Wednesday ( in a five day week) I would think that’s becoming a bit late :-)

    But these arguments about other peoples tax burdens are pretty pointless aren’t they?
    What do we care about the tax paid by people earning more than us ?

  42. After the looters and rioters are jailed, I hope they have some cells left for the News International Board:

  43. It looks increasingly like Coulson will be in front of a court and probably for perjury too.

    I wonder how damaging that will be for Cameron, or has he wriggled off that hook now? I have a feeling he has distanced himself enough from all things Murdoch now, although I’d like see the freeze on the BBC licence fee removed. Thompson looks too much like somebody put in to oversee the dismantling of the BBC so I’d be tempted to either remove him or change the tune he plays.

  44. @redrich

    Much as it pains me to say it,, being a Labour supporter there is no doubt in my mind that May’s SNP landslide was in no way tactical and represented in the clearest possible terms the verdict and will of the Scottish people, however misguided I may personally have believed that verdict to be – it was unequivocal – and in truth entirely understandable.

  45. @Mike N

    Oh for someone of the stature and vision of GB to get the G8/G20 countries to act together to pull out of this global nosedive. Collectively we are the mercy of the financiers – banks etc.


    Amen to that! 8-)

  46. BT SAYS…

    Roger M

    “I must say I’m bemused by this whole new meme on the Right that, no matter how rich you are, paying over 50% tax (like many of them do, eh?) is somehow a breach of your Human Rights**. ”

    Never heard that one before at all, let alone to the extent that you describe it. Who’s saying that?!

    Well it was sort of implied by what Colin said, but I’ve seen it pushed more strongly by ‘Libertarians’ such as Guido and his like expect to hear more of it from such quarters in the next few months as Osborne tries to push down to 50% rate.

    The main theme I hear on the subject, from both analysts and the government, is whether having it atually creates more money for the treasury, or whether it is counterproductive.

    Ah, the Holy Laffer Curve, that most sacred of all relics, nay idols of various Right-wing theories. Now of course no one doubts that very high tax rates may decrease the tax base, but I remember hearing a More or Less programme on Radio 4 that discovered that Laffer originally drew it in the back of an envelope based on no evidence whatsoever.

    In truth there are so many confounding factors: how easy the tax is to avoid; how many people it applies to; timing factors when looking at evidence; etc, that any attempt at an optimum figure even for a specific country at a specific time is going to be very vague. I suspect 70% is probably the best guess as the lower estimates mainly consist of economists paid for by rich people saying ‘give more money to rich people’. That’s not to say that rates should be raised to 70%, just that they could probably be with increased revenue.

    I suspect a more productive route at the moment would be tightening up on on tax dodging (and no Henry ISAs do not count. They’re not even tax avoidance because they’re a way of directing investment). But that’s for another time.

  47. Oops, sorry! Only the ‘should’ should be in italics. Please mentally stand to the rest of the comment upright. :(

  48. I can’t believe that this gov has suggested considering giving police power to impose a curfew on areas.

    How can LDs support this?

    Words fail me.

  49. And also it should be:

    Expect to hear more of it from such quarters in the next few months, as Osborne tries to push down the 50% rate.

    And I think there should be more commas. But then I always do.


    Well I would be delighted to pay 50% tax (in the UK). Because that would mean I was an awful lot richer.

    By the way we had our own complete failure of Laffer Curve economics in the Isle of Man recently, but I’ll save it for later.

  50. Meanwhile, those keen to see the police dealing with the serious crimes of disorder will no doubt be pleased with the following story:

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