It looks as though yesterday’s YouGov/Sunday Times poll showing a Labour lead of four points was indeed just a blip – tonight’s poll has topline figures of CON 35%, LAB 44%, LDEM 9% – very much in line with the average Labour lead of 8 points or so that YouGov have been showing for the last six weeks.


110 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – CON 35, LAB 44, LDEM 9”

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  1. “Labour’s VI continues to consist of large numbers of people who simply don’t like cuts of any kind. If Labour were in power and having to make cuts, they would be down at 25%.”
    Based on what?

    They got 30% at a GE where they were hugely unpopular.
    I can’t really see Lab sinking much further than that.

    And where would it go? Tories and LibDems are for greater and faster cuts than Labour (perhaps not by much, but there you go) – so the support would have to go to a third-party like the Greens.
    But surely they’re in exactly the same position?

    Or you arguing that ‘once people realise cuts have to be made’ then ‘support would flood to the party that made the cuts’?
    (A majority of people, according to the polling think cuts are necessary but think they go too far, are too fast, etc)
    Or would it, in your opinion, go to the LibDems?
    Where there is still a feeling of betrayal from ex-Lib voters?

    I can’t see where you’re pulling the number from – except partisan wishful thinking.

  2. Congratulating DC on Libya… too soon?

    The TNC ‘cabinet’ continues to be a duo (the unelected Prime Minister & the Justice Minister) replacements have not been found for the rest of the sacked cabinet.

    The pair have made no progress on the investigation of General Younis’s murder.

    The TNC rebels of East Libya have not been involved in the ‘invasion’ of Tripoli. Other tribes have entered Tripoli but have not secured Gadaffi’s compound.

    And, contrary to reports, none of Gadaffi’s sons have been arrested by the rebels.

    It may only be a matter of time – but all is not quite as cut & dried as was reported yesterday.
    8-)

  3. @ Amber Star

    “Congratulating DC on Libya… too soon?

    The TNC ‘cabinet’ continues to be a duo (the unelected Prime Minister & the Justice Minister) replacements have not been found for the rest of the sacked cabinet.

    The pair have made no progress on the investigation of General Younis’s murder.

    The TNC rebels of East Libya have not been involved in the ‘invasion’ of Tripoli. Other tribes have entered Tripoli but have not secured Gadaffi’s compound.

    And, contrary to reports, none of Gadaffi’s sons have been arrested by the rebels.

    It may only be a matter of time – but all is not quite as cut & dried as was reported yesterday.”

    Don’t worry, the GOP is already attacking Obama because this took too long. Never mind that this wouldn’t have happenned at all if not for Obama getting involved in the first place.

    Anyway, as for Libya, I’ve noticed that both sides seem to be good at spinning and the actual truth seems to be a hard thing to find. I would imagine that trying to figure out what’s going on in Libya is similar to reading both the Daily Telegraph and the Guardian for the same stories. The truth lies somewhere in between. Or as David Duchovny used to say ‘the truth is out there.” Certainly the case in Libya.

    I think with any revolution, after it’s successful, there’s a lot of self-congratulatory talk and everyone is happy. It’s often too soon. Look at all those colored revolutions in the early and middle part of the last decade. How many of them actually worked out in the long run and resulted in long lasting democratic governments?

    There’s a lot that will have to happen in Libya before the congratulations can be in order.

  4. @ Amber Star

    “The TNC ‘cabinet’ continues to be a duo (the unelected Prime Minister & the Justice Minister) replacements have not been found for the rest of the sacked cabinet.”

    I think that in a situation like this, people can’t neccessarily be elected. Once the fighting is over and Ghaddaffi is either dead, in prison, or gone (reminds me of Paula Deen’s line about Jim Williams), I think there will be enormous pressure on them to hold elections and I think they ultimately will. Now whether those elections are free and fair and whether the results of those elections are accepted by those who participate is a different matter.

  5. On the matter of Coulson and payments…

    Tha nature and purpose of the payments and the terms and conditions of the compromise agreement need to be established. The details are important for the purpose of establishing the extent of knowledge of hacking etc at NI/NOTW.

  6. The coulson thing is very interesting – it does qquestion who exactly was he working for when he was being paid by two masters.

    Can any ofthis translate into VI and loss of confidence in Cameron?

    Probably not – but it adds to the general mood music of growing distrust in Cameron ( a sense that he is the new Blair in more ways than one!)

    It will probably be lost at present in Libya story but will return. Cameron’s big problems on this will start when the trials begin. Then it will be wall to wall and I would expect a drip feed of damaging but not terminal stories to continue to eat away at his authority.

  7. It is to be hoped that the rebels triumph quickly. If the battle for Tripoli is protracted there will be icreasing loss of life and injuries and damage to infrastructure which not play well here, I suggest.

    Libya could be good or bad for DC and Con VI.

  8. @Welsh Borderer – “The South is a write-off for Labour in terms of GE gains.”

    I do not agree with this. We are cautioned about paying too mich attention to regional breakdowns, but the aggregated table for March 2011YouGovs can be found here:

    h
    ttp://today.yougov.co.uk/sites/today.yougov.co.uk/files/yg-archives-pol-yougov-aggregatedatamarch2011-210411.pdf

    The swing to Labour since 2010 GE in the South East is 8% from Tories and 15% from LD. This is a very good performance compared to other regions… only in Yorks and Humber and the South West show a significantly larger movement to Labour..

  9. Apart from Welsh Border’s first paragaph, (Labour might possibly be the largest party tomorrow), he is fundamentally correct, the evidence is that there is not more than 3/4 potential gains for Labour in the SE, the midlands are key although more rebuilding is also necessary in the north and Scotland.

    There are a few winnable marginals for labour in London but it is quite polarised.

  10. @Billy Bob – I would also agree against writing Labour off totally in the south. It’s a bit like Scotland for the Tories, only not as bad. I’ve always thought than neither of the two big parties can secure a majority unles they pick up a few seats in their ‘no go’ regions. Labour could squeeze 4 or 5 seats from the SE outside London and this could be important in a tight result. Likewise, unless the Tories can get a similar advance in Scotland I doubt they will ever secure a majority.

    On the money markets; There was some talk on here yesterday about stock markets and a Libya boost. It’s very interesting to see that despite a 1% rise yesterday on the FTSE, UK bank shares fell by between 2.5 and 5% and are now back to where they were in early 2009.

    The reason is that figures out yesterday showed increasing withdrawals from the European bank lending markets by US money market funds. These are critical to the health of European bank balance sheets and in two months over £60b of lending (40% of the total US lending) has been withdrawn from the banking system.

    They are increasingly withdrawing from French banks and have all but ceased lending entirely to Spanish and Italian banks. This explains why my Spanish owned bank last week unilaterally cut my agreed overdraft facility by 40%, despite an increase in income going into the account.

    My personal experience is a tiny microcosm of what is going on all over Europe. Banks are seeing their capital valuations crumble, they increasingly cannot borrow on the interbank markets and as a result they are closing down credit lines and reducing their own exposure, shrinking the money supply and damaging the real economy.

    We are in the midst of Son of Credit Crisis and like most remakes it’s a much worse than the original. Coulson, Libya, riots, Central Edinburgh council by elections – none of this is going to be very important before long.

  11. SOCAL

    “See now, I think most women are a lot smarter than that”

    I don’t think being “Smart” is relevant in considering Mr SK.-particularly for a woman.

    ROBERTC

    “Once the cuts have actually been made, Labour will then have to argue for increased spending to be funded by (1) higher taxes or (2) higher borrowing. ”

    THey would -and would face the consequences for gilt yields & interest rates.

    But it’s all irrelevant just now-Labour occupy that policy free vaccum which represents an “alternative” for some people. But it’s an alternative based on their own projections of what Labour would or would not do-not on what Labour have said they would or would not do.

    TV debates were mentioned earlier-but that will be a different playing field-the point about tv debates is to criticise your opponents policies.

    Until Labour have policies there is nothing for Cons to criticise.

    It’s a phoney war at present.

    Question is, if saying ” Tory policies are bad “gets you a 10% lead-what does ” …and here are our policies” get you?

    We don’t know yet.

  12. @ AMBER

    “It may only be a matter of time – but all is not quite as cut & dried as was reported yesterday.”

    It was never going to be “cut & dried” easily , or quickly.

    The NTC keep on reminding us all of this.

    This is a country ruled by a dictator for four decades by a web of committees , spies & enforcers, in which formation of a political part was a capital offence.

    The task ahead of Libyans is enormous-we cannot begin to understand it-simply getting used to the peacefull & open exchange of different political views without the threat of imprisonment -it is a world we cannot imagine.

    Of course their will be factions & infights & mistakes.

    But armchair punditry about Libya from the comfort of an ancient democracy is the easiest form of empty rhetoric going at the moment.

    So far-there are no armed combat troops occupying the country-Tripoli has not been burned to the ground-there appears to be no looting-and the populace have embraced freedom in a visibly explicit fashion………..particularly all those brave hospital doctors .

    Why in god’s name Gaddafi does not do what Ban Ki Moon pleads him to do-stop fighting his own people-I cannot imagine.

  13. @Alec

    Germane to your point is Bank of America closing its UK credit card operation.

  14. Rob Peston is posing a couple of interesting questions on Coulson. firstly, he has tried to find out from NI if they gave any committment to pay his legal fees and whether they are doing so now – sources were releuctant to comment. Secondly, he has been told by Tory sources that they did not know about the NI payments, but they are not saying whether or not they asked him about continuing financial links to NI.

  15. Am I missing something here?

    It appears that Coulson’s severance payment from NI was paid in instalments after his employment with NI terminated. Is there anything unusual in that? Why would this compromise his position with the Conservatives, or indeed the Conservatives themselves? I can’t see any conflict of interest but perhaps one of the unbiased commentators here can enlighten me.

  16. If Coulson’s severence payment was conditional on certain things, like not disclosing hacking details, perjuring himself in court …and keeping NI informed about how the bid was going in number 10, perhaps, it’s not hard to see how having the man in Downing Street compromised the whole shooting match.

  17. @TingedFringe

    You said “…They got 30% at a GE where they were hugely unpopular…I can’t really see Lab sinking much further than that…”

    I don’t think it works like that. We really don’t know this far out how the vote will go in 2015: the circumstances will be different and so will the constituencies. We can’t even tell with any certainty what the position is *now* (some say the Lab lead would vanish if a GE was announced now, some say it would not – I have no idea)

    You then said “…Or you arguing that ‘once people realise cuts have to be made’ then ‘support would flood to the party that made the cuts’?…”

    People aren’t homogeneous, and policies that one person may find incomprehensible and foolish may be thought simple common sense by another. Consequently, we cannot say if X happens, then people will vote for Y.

    In short, we barely know where “here” is, and couldn’t extrapolate from “here” to “there” even if we did. It is entirely possible for Labour’s vote to drop to 0% or rise to 100%: we just don’t know.

    My long-standing prediction of a Blue majority in 2015 is based on a reduction of tactical voting plus the new constituencies, and Virgilio’s long-standing prediction of a Red majority in 2015 is based on a pan-European anti-austerity backlash. We both have figures to back up our argument and our logic is impeccable. But events do not care for our logic, and people act imperfectly. So we may be wildly out come 2015.

    Regards, Martyn

  18. Sergio

    ” I can’t see any conflict of interest but perhaps one of the unbiased commentators here can enlighten me.”

    You have come to the wrong place if you want one of those Sergio :-)

    Stand by for Coulson Mania 11………..just when you thought he had gone ….

  19. Sergio

    The point is not so much the severance payment, but the reasons for it and indeed the terms and conditions that form part of the termination of employment agreement.

    It seems evident to me that a severance package was put in place to protect NI/NOTW. Someone had to be a scapegoat and AC as editor seemed to fit the bill. Why would NI/NOTW consider a severance package if an employee had committed some serious criminal offence (bribery, hacking) for which he or she could be subject to summary dismissal?

    Was the payment also in part for fulfilling some contractual obligation to NI/NOTW? If so, what were those obligations?

  20. re colin” Why in god’s name Gaddafi does not do what Ban Ki Moon pleads him to do-stop fighting his own people-I cannot imagine.”

    strangely Ban Ki Moon was silent on Bahrain and refused to sanction an enquiry into the atrocities in Sri Lanka. I guess human rights only matter in certain countries.

  21. Crossbat

    Re: Libya and reasons for the war there.

    IMO it is really all about trying to control the wider revolutionary movement in the middle east and north africa. For a while it looked as if all US allies would be swept away along with Gadaffi.

    They – the US and its allies – intervened to try and derail the wider revolution and protect their clients in other countries.

  22. @ Segio

    Surely you are being entirely disingenuous here. His severance payment was not from a run of the mill legal agreement. Coulson’s resignation was forced as a result of misconduct committed under his supervision. In those circumstances both the level of payment and continuing benefits that he received were highly irregular.

    I agree to some extent that this does not directly concern the conservative party, though employing him in the first place given his history was clearly stupid, but it adds to the general sense either of deeper and possibly improper relationships between NI and the Conservative party ( the whole investigation i suspect will reveal similar and equally improper relationships between Ni and various Labour politicians as well) or of cameron being out of the loop and unaware of Coulson’s real activities which would call his judgement into question. Cameron would be best to admit that his hiring of Coulson was a mistake from the beginning and a grave error of judgement and take the hit. The danger of this for him is one of corrosion.

  23. Colin –

    Sergio ” I can’t see any conflict of interest but perhaps one of the unbiased commentators here can enlighten me.”
    You have come to the wrong place if you want one of those Sergio :-)”

    Yes, the comments here were at their absolute worst during the Hackgate thing. Comments on the public opinion consequences of it are fine, but let’s please not have another circus of bonkers partisanship, speculation and conspiracy theories over it. The comments section of the Guardian’s website is there for a purpose, people wanting to make a certain type of comment should use it.

  24. “Colin

    Sergio

    ” I can’t see any conflict of interest but perhaps one of the unbiased commentators here can enlighten me.”

    You have come to the wrong place if you want one of those Sergio :-)

    Stand by for Coulson Mania 11………..just when you thought he had gone …. ”

    There is nothing wrong in Coulson being paid severance by News Internatioal in instalments while he was working for the Tory party in opposition.

    But politically it does not look very good that Camerons closest media advisor was still be paid by NI, while he was also being paid by the Tory party. And normally, if you are being paid by another employer, you have to inform your current employer i.e. to consider conflict of interest. Plus as leader of the opposition Cameron would have had access to information on a privy council basis and therefore he did have certain responsibilities as employer of Coulson.

  25. Sergio

    “The mere fact of being paid what he is contractually entitled to is neither here nor there.”

    In a nut shell.

    And unless one knows what his contract said in that respect, all is churn & conspiracy.

    And the churn & conspiracy is aimed at David Cameron-that has been Tom Watson’s sole purpose throughout this whole saga-as a backbench MP & as a member of the Culture Select Committee .

    Cameron’s scalp is the objective-NI & the Murdoch’s are a means to that end.

    Who knows-maybe Watson will get his man-maybe he won’t.

    Does Jo Public care ?-No.

  26. Sergio

    Am I missing something here?

    It appears that Coulson’s severance payment from NI was paid in instalments after his employment with NI terminated. Is there anything unusual in that?

    Well if that’s all there is, as I said last night, nothing except a bit of fairly regular tax-dodging. With a small firm payments can get spread out to help with cash flow, but NI isn’t small.

    The disquiet comes from the old saying “He who pays the piper calls the tune”. This is particularly true if continuation of the payments was dependent on some behaviour of Coulson. If this is the case it will almost certainly have formalised in a written agreement, so there may be evidence though it seems to normally 10 years to get that out of NI.

    No one here has picked up on one aspect of the story yet – that it came via Robert Peston. Now Peston has been close friends with Will Lewis, now at NI, for many years. Peston’s revelation about Vince Cable wanting to block NI’s complete buy-up of BSkyB is believed to have been given him by Lewis, who was previously with the Telegraph. Full details are in this New York Times story (clicking direct gets you through the paywall):

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/23/world/europe/23telegraph.html?_r=3&pagewanted=1

    (As as happened before in the phone-hacking scandal, Private Eye had pointed out the connection at the time, but the rest of the Press didn’t say anything till the NYT printed something)

    There have been complaints that Peston has been used by Lewis to feed stories that NI want out as a distraction, so the fact that he has produced this one may indicate NI trying to put pressure on Coulson or Cameron. As I said when Cameron appointed Coulson – to general surprise on here because a lot of UKPRers could see what could and did happen – it may be because Coulson knows where a lot of bodies are buried*. NI may be reminding them that they do too.

    * Not literally, obviously. Though the whole thing has been so weird so far…

  27. Iceman

    “Probably not – but it adds to the general mood music of growing distrust in Cameron ( a sense that he is the new Blair in more ways than one!) ”

    He’s supposed to be a PR man, but it doesn’t mean he is a good PR man. I thoght that “heir to Blair” was a crass error, but sadly, it is all too close to the truth.

    Iceman

    “It will probably be lost at present in Libya story but will return. Cameron’s big problems on this will start when the trials begin. Then it will be wall to wall and I would expect a drip feed of damaging but not terminal stories to continue to eat away at his authority.”

    Not just wall to wall, but end to end. How any partisan can say it’s all over and people aren’t interested astonishes me. It will go on an on, and as you say the effect will be to a backdrop against which – rightly or wrongly – other “events” will be judged.

    Every legal and inquiry finding is an invitation to satirists and cartoonists to open up new opportunities.

  28. I wonder if the dropping of charges against Dominique Strauss-Kahn is going to assist a Socialist walkover in France?

    The whole incident absolutely stinks.

  29. I wonder also whether Cameron would have done better to support Gordon Brown as head of the IMF?

    I understand how he wanted to keep us the Brown Bad line but in hindsight (beautiful thing) he could have been mildly supportive and tried to distance himself from the polemic of the immediate pre- and post-election.

    i think the Eurozone and the IMF are crying out for somebody like Brown at the moment.

  30. A Cairns & Alec

    The Tories are static in Scotland. They are down to their most loyal support in a market in which they are not much further to the right than the centre, but the cenre is very crowded. Moving further right, they would become even more marginalised, further left and they might as well join one of the other parties.

    Scotland needs a centre-right Christian Democrat party, and after independence, one will emerge.

    Short term issues at Westminster are not where you need to look to understand their position and prospects. It is the history of decline over more than half a century that provides the key.

    The key fact is that the decline from a very high point (the highest in the UK) to a low one, is inexorable.

    It’s like the number of people smoking. It’s downhill all the way. There are some left, to be sure, and it will take a long time, but look for no improvement short of Bavarianisation or Independence.

    No party has more to gain from independence.

    As for SLAB, it isn’t rebuilding that they need. The edifice needs shored up and supported because it is in immanent danger of total collapse. If the outcome of the next election is that they lose only half a dozen seats they should be greatly relieved, for they will have turned the corner.

    The concern is that their vote in their heartlands is now soft, and though they have gained elsewhere from the LibDem collapse as many votes as they have lost to the SNP, these new votes will only bring them better third (second if they are lucky) places and the SNP has become a national party and may get the FPTP bonus.

    Hitherto only the Greens could be said to be a national party and they don’t win in FPTP.

    Whether the Labour vote to shatter is the most known unknown in UK politics. The consequences if it does are far reaching, yet we don’t have polling that will give us a clue whether it will happen at all.

    It can be averted, but there is no time to lose. The need a new Leader of undoubted integrity, Bavarianisation and to find a voice which says something – anything at all would be an improvement – than the cracked record of “SNP say it, so it’s wrong and it’s the FM’s judgement that is the problem and he should ressign at once”

    Perhaps SNP SP voters will continue to vote Lab for the UK parliament, but we really don’t know. We do know that if the Glasow anti-Cons are moving en mass to the SNP, Scottish MP’s and others should go home and prepare for independence.

  31. The suggestion that Labour should pretty well write off the south is misguided.It has every chance of reversing many of the losses suffered in 2010 in areas such as : Bristol, Plymouth,Dover, Gravesham,Swindon,Chatham,Milton Keynes, Crawley, Harlow, Basildon, Thurrock.
    Moving just a shade further north to East Anglia it can hope for gains in Ipswich. Waveney, Cambridge, Norwich & Gt Yarmouth.

  32. Iceman

    “Cameron would be best to admit that his hiring of Coulson was a mistake from the beginning and a grave error of judgement and take the hit. The danger of this for him is one of corrosion.”

    Absolutely. As the heir to Blair, he should say he’s “a regular kind of guy” and that like RM he relied on people who let him down and ask people to give him a second chance (everybody deserves a second chance).

    I think that actually is the situation. He’s got a wife and family, spends a lot of the time asleep at night and has only 24 hours in the day.

    These are his biggest problems when you consider we have got used to the idea that the PM not only micromanages but intends the outcome of everything government does.

    He can’t possibly be so stupid to have deliberately risked getting into the situation you suggest he may now be in, but it is all too credible that “events” could have put him there and, with the benefit of hindsight, he now regrets that he didn’t do more.

    The conventional assumption is that he can’t admit to giving less than the fullest possible attention to every issue all the time. The span of control makes this impossible for anybody to achieve. It can’t be done.

    To admit it is to prompt ritual opposition calls for resignation on account of failure in judgement.

    Now, have you ever made the mistake of letting some piece of work go, when you could have spent more time over it, and regretted afterwards that it wasn’t good enough?

    You win some, you lose some. You usually get away with it. Sometimes you don’t.

    “Events Dear boy,”

    does deserve a second chance.

  33. @ iananthonyjames

    OK this is soft mid-term support but, nonetheless, sometimes we should all marvel at the deep-rooted popularity of the Labour Party.

    During the electorally very succesful Blair years, the Conservative vote never dropped below 30% at any GE.

    Labour alike in 2010. (OK. It was 29% but what the heck).

    From that I’d think it was fair to say that both main parties have a deep-rooted “popularity” of around 30%.

    It is the % above that which affect the outcomes of elections.

  34. ICM C37 L36 LD17. Surely an outlier?

  35. Colin.

    There’s always a danger when one’s side takes power that one continues to fight yesterday’s battles.

    What GB did is irrelevant. And will be still more so come 2015. That is what the Tories don’t seem to grasp. If TB/GB/DC are all seen as being equally blameworthy in their relations with NI, the hit will affect the Tories to a far greater degree than Labour.

  36. Agree with Amber, far to early to begin praising Cameron regarding Libya. However after the bloody mess previous administrations made of wars in Muslim countries, some silly people will be encouraged.

  37. @LEFTYLAMPTON
    Tragically, what Gordon Brown did is not irrelevant.

  38. LEFTY

    “There’s always a danger when one’s side takes power that one continues to fight yesterday’s battles.”

    From a party who have been” fighting” Thatcher, in & out of power for the last 14 years-wise words indeed :-)

  39. @ CLAD

    It seems to me that all the polls are fairly consistent about the Tory share of the vote, somewhere between 35% and 37%, and average of 36% as show by Anthony’s UKPR polling average above. This is approximately their share of the vote at the GE. This would indicate that their GE support has remained remarkably loyal.

    The variations are shifts in the non Tory vote especially between LD and LAB. Could this be down to different weightings?

    Either way, with the Tory core vote remaining loyal, there is all to play for IMO.

  40. I think my wording was loose earlier – when I described the payments to Coulson as “irregular” I should have said that they ” superficially appear irregular” – I, like the rest of you, don’t know what his contract was so it is supposition.

    That’s the danger of this for Cameron – it is the lack of transparency, the apparent sense that he employed someone who was patently unsuitable, and against clearly stated objections from others. Stuff like this stops the story going away.

    And the speculation that Coulson wasn’t being paid by the Conservativesat the time does not help. if true it merely adds to the general senses of unease.

    I don’t believe the objective of “getting Cameron” is a motivation at all – it is about getting at the truth. (Cameron cannot and will not resign over this – it would be absurd to suggest it) The constant drip feed and the barriers to truth emerging are what makes the story potentially damaging to Cameron. It’s not about resigning, it’s about the impact that it has on him, as Brand, if you like.

    I have never accused Cameron of wrong doing here – I don’t believe there is the slightest evidence that he has done anything substantively “wrong” in terms of legality or morality.

    He has made a mistake – quite a big one – and has been reluctant to concede that point. It is this reluctance that has drawn him into this morass. He’s still getting stuck in the mire with it. Wneh and if it ends and Cameron is free from it – which I firmly believe he will achieve then the residue will be one of a certain mukiness and loss of sheen.

    I suspect no more than that – unless of course something new and significant emerges ( that’s the problem for him).

  41. @John Fletcher

    I think you are correct in your analysis. All the pollsters are showing consistent figures. Even ICM. Any movement in any of them is within MOE. AS you say, it’s mainly down to methodology and weighting.

  42. What evidence is there that Coulson was not being paid by the Conservatives when he was working for them? That would be odd indeed.

  43. There is no mystery to the difference between the Lib Dem VI in this and other polls. The ICM polls ask: “The Conservatives, Labour, the Liberal Democrats and other parties would fight a new election in your area. If there were a
    general election tomorrow which party do you think you would vote for?”

    On the other hand, the other pollsters omit the “in your area”. This is crucial and suggests that locally LD MPs retain much greater personal followings and popularity than the party nationally does, particularly its leadership.

  44. @ Clad

    And ICM is the “Gold Standard”.

    Perhaps Cameron can now enjoy a few days holiday with his family being the father figure that everyone seems to feel is necessary to stop offspring rioting. :)

  45. We need to deal with the divergence between YouGov and ICM as soon as possible – for the goodof the industry if nothing else.

    The best way to do this is to have a general election as soon as possible. Not only would this sort out which polling organisation is getting it right under current circumstances [Snip – AW]

  46. @John B Dick

    ‘Perhaps SNP SP voters will continue to vote Lab for the UK parliament, but we really don’t know. We do know that if the Glasow anti-Cons are moving en mass to the SNP, Scottish MP’s and others should go home and prepare for independence’

    Absolutely, if that were to happen then independence does indeed become inevitable and westminster voting intention becomes irrelevant.
    It’s by no means not the most likely scenario IMO but SLAB may need a contigency plan.

    Having said that though, SLAB has clearly been ‘spooked’ in Glasgow so will probably narrowly manage to hold off the SNP next year there but will cede further ground in Lanarkshire and Ayrshire IMO.

    The most likely scenario is probably ‘churn’ and Labour not losing more than 3/4 seats to the SNP at the GE but nothing can be ruled out.

  47. Off topic, I apologise, but for those in England who are familiar with the issues of contention about different sorts of schools here is an illustration of the entirely different environment in a very large part of Scotland.

    http://forargyll.com/2011/05/cycling-for-argylls-schools-ulvas-somerset-charrington/comment-page-1/#comment-612475

    It illustrates the sort of issue which the LibDems, with their strategy focused on growing a post war recovery initially through Local Government and community involvement were able use to build huge majorites in rural areas (though now all this hard work has been trashed by the coalition agreement to the benefit of SNP and Labour).

    I’ts not that the LibDem leader and failed SP candidate was on the same side as the local community on this issue. I only want to show how different the issues are, and how irrelevant the UK debate is.

    The video here makes the point even better.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWEDJvYQ1dE

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