Tonight’s YouGov/Sun poll has topline figures of CON 37%, LAB 42%, LDEM 10%. The Labour lead is obvously bigger than the 1 point lead yesterday, but it remains much lower than YouGov have been showing for most of August and July.

Throughout most of the last two months (in fact, pretty much since the phone hacking scandal broke) YouGov’s daily polling has been showing a steady Labour lead of around about 7-9 points. We’ve now had four YouGov polls in a row showing a Labour lead below that, between 1-5 points. My impression is that there has been a genuine shift, that the underlying lead has narrowed to something closer to 3-5 points.

The natural reaction when there is a shift in the polls is to ask why – see Paul Waugh and James Kirkup for example, pondering about whether it might be a Libya bounce or a law-and-order effect after the riots. I’m slightly dubious about either explanation – the narrowing in the polls seems too delayed to be a riot effect, and I’m always doubtful about the impact of foreign affairs stories – true, more people think Cameron’s handled Libya well than badly, but Cameron’s general approval ratings and perceptions of his qualities haven’t particularly changed. That said, I don’t really have any better explanation to offer up, and the timing appears to chime with Libya – perhaps the government’s handling of the riots and Libya have just given a generally more competent image, or perhaps it’s merely an absence of conspicous bad news for a few weeks.


210 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – CON 37, LAB 42, LDEM 10”

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  1. Leftylampton,

    Whether the double-dip hurts the Tories will depend on the cause. If it’s an obviously domestic drop in demand, then they’re in trouble. If it’s an external shock, then I suspect their vote will be surprisingly obdurate.

    For example, the most recent slowdown and stock market problems, which are clearly external in nature, don’t seem to be hurting the Tories. It’s our exports that seem to be suffering, i.e. we have an external demand problem.

    The Coalition has a “Plan B” for a domestic demand problem (QE2), though they really don’t like to talk about it. On the other hand, if our real exports get reduced by a world economic slowdown or our financial industry gets wasted again by a global financial crisis, then there’s very little that a national government can do. I suspect, however, that the public know this: polling has shown that most people don’t think that the Coalition would either deserve credit for a recovery or blame for a double-dip.

  2. Richard.

    I’ve a recollection that Paul Krugman excoriated the Japanese Govt for not using QE much sooner. They didn’t start QE until about 2001, almost by the end of their Lost Decade.

    Of course, dire warnings about us having our own Japan-style Lost Decade are not the recent preserve of King, wise though he may be. 2 years and more ago, many on the left were predciting precisely this outcome if Govt austerity was pushed too hard in the face of a still fragile private recovery. Krugman himself was the most eloquent voice on this theme back in 2009. I still fervently hope that he was wrong, but the last 12 months have kind of gone according to the scenario that he laid out back then.

  3. Bill P.

    How I wish I shared your optimistic view of the general level of sophistication of the electorate.

    From the debate in April-May 2010, you’d have been forgiven for believing that the rest of the world bathed in asses milk and ate ambosia served up by nubile goddesses, while we alone were suffering the torments of an entirely Gordon Brown inspired catastrophe.

  4. PS Bill.

    As I’m sure you know, polling about what folk would do IF X came to pass is not the same as polling on what they feel AFTER X has occurred.

    There’s a world of difference between the rationality of the person future gazing, and the irrational search for a cat to kick once the hypothetical problem has materialised kicked you in the proverbials.

  5. @richard in norway: My optimistic forecast for 2015 is 4 million unemployed but I think it will be closer to six.

    We have economic growth (albeit weak but still stronger than much of Europe and forecast to increase to 2% next year), stabilised unemployment (lower than much of Europe) and maintained fairly high levels of economic activity (absolutely no idea about the rest of Europe here). We are also seeing reasonable growth in exports in our multi-billion industries such as medicines, engineering, chemicals, telecoms and even the financial sector invisibles.

    On top of this, we’re taking the fiscal pain now while most other countries are trying to spend themselves out of serious debt crises. Once the dust settles, the UK’s debt will be considerably easier to service, leaving room for increased expenditure/tax cuts/both.

    Now, I’m certainly not claiming everything is cosy and rosy, very far from it, but I also certainly don’t see how you have forecast such a horrific scenario.

  6. Leftylampton,

    I’m just using observations of polls from ukpollingreport.co.uk, which is a really good site for that kind of thing.

    In the case of Brown, his big problem was that the lateness of the UK recovery really hurt him. If he’d been able to go to the polls in October, I suspect that Labour and the Lib Dems would have had enough seats for a working coalition: Labour would be able to point to the record Q2 growth figures.

  7. @robert – “And I thought Agatha Christie invented Belgium, so that she could write detective novels?”

    Ah – no. I must correct myself. I’ve just discovered that the creation on Belgium was forced upon the people of Wales by a 1976 Monopolies and Mergers Commission ruling that basically said it was unfair that Wales had a monopoly on size comparisons (it’s about the size of Wales….) so Belgium was invented to create a more open market.

    Apparently the ruling doesn’t apply in the US, as they already have Texas. This is why the Americans have never heard of Belgium.

    On less serious matters – an interesting tweet from Dennis McShane – “Hoc Library confirms that US and France did most of Nato flying over Libya. UK a bit more than Belgium, bit less than Denmark.”

    Belgium again, but interesting that we seem to have less to do with it than Denmark.

  8. RiN

    “Mr king has also said that we are likely to have 15 to 20 years of very sluggish growth ”

    Has he?-could you provide a reference please.

    This is the nearest & latest I can find :-

    “There are a number of headwinds to world and domesic growth… These headwinds are becoming stronger by the day,”

    “The imbalances of the world economy are still not being properly tackled and the burden of debt is still there. This problem will take, I think, a number of years before we will find our way through it.”

    Mervyn King 10 Aug 2011

  9. @alec
    Apparently the ruling doesn’t apply in the US, as they already have Texas. This is why the Americans have never heard of Belgium.

    Surprised and bitterly disappointed in a know all like you making such a silly mistake. There must have been at least 20 Holywood movies which re – fought the ” Battle of the Bulge”, in the Belgium Ardenne. The British Isles, which were used as a base for the US armed forces during the conflict, provided girlfriends.

  10. @alec
    Apparently the ruling doesn’t apply in the US, as they already have Texas. This is why the Americans have never heard of Belgium.
    Surprised and bitterly disappointed in a man of your calibre making such a silly mistake. There must have been at least 20 Holywood movies which re – fought the ” Battle of the Bulge”, in the Belgium Ardenne. The British Isles, which were used as a base for the US armed forces during the conflict, provided girlfriends.

  11. Forgive the double take.The first one went into mod for a few moments.

  12. Richard IN

    As always, I agree with you … more likely to be nearer 6 than 4.

  13. There’s an interesting blogpost [1] on the Financial Times website with a warning from Lord Oakshott that if the banking regulations aren’t implemented immediately then it’ll be the end of the coalition.
    He says it’s a red-line for the LibDems.

    Which causes a little bit of trouble for Cable as he’s said that the regulations won’t be implemented until at least after the 2015 general election.
    Which I also have to question – for those who are knowledgeable in these things – I thought that parliament couldn’t bind a future parliament, so surely a law passed now to implement regulations *in the next parliament* breaks that rule? [2]

    [1] .ttp://blogs.ft.com/westminster/2011/09/are-the-lib-dems-all-at-sea-over-the-vickers-reforms/
    [2] I would assume that the regulations, for splitting up the banks, are backed by all parties, so I’m not sure anybody would actually point that out.

  14. Colin

    As always I quote from memory and have no ref, so it is entirely possible that I’m putting words into his mouth. If so I apologize, but it does sound like him. We are lucky that you are always on hand to correct the more enthusiastic posts(no sarcasm intended)

  15. Colin

    “RiN

    “Mr king has also said that we are likely to have 15 to 20 years of very sluggish growth ”

    Has he?-could you provide a reference please.”

    * Well here for starters

    h ttp://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/oct/20/mervyn-king-britain-must-sober-up

    and then reiterated a couple of weeks ago

    h ttp://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard-business/article-23976962-mervyn-king-prepares-to-announce-new-economic-forecasts.do

    * and alluded to within the section “sluggish growth” here:

    h ttp://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/oct/20/spending-review-another-country

    What he said a year ago was:

    “The next decade will not be nice. History suggests that after a financial crisis the hangover lasts for a while. So the next decade is likely to be a ‘SOBER’ decade.”

    Plus before the GE 2010 he asserted it was an election worth losing

    h ttp://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/apr/29/mervyn-king-warns-election-victor

  16. @SYZYGY
    I never agree with you or Dick-in-Norge. I don’t on this occasion either, it sounds like anti- coalition agit-prop to me.

  17. I also found Nick Clegg’s choices for the riot inquiry panel quite interesting (apologies if anybody’s already post about this).
    Headed by Dara Singh, Ex-Chief Exec of Ealing Council, now head of Job Centre Plus – seems to be an excellent choice for the job. Someone who obviously knows the areas affected quite well.
    Simon Marcus – Community project leader (youth boxing scheme), so understands the youth angle well.
    Ex-chief of Lambeth council, Heather Rabbatts. Again, someone who knows areas affected.

    And the only one who I can see causing any sort of political friction is the Labour Peer Maeve Sherlock, who was a special advisor to Gordon Brown and now Chief Exec of the National Council of One Parent Families.
    I expect she won’t share the official coalition view that single parent broken families are to blame – but I suppose she makes good balance.

    Overall an impressive list and no signs of political skewing so should form quite an impartial group.

  18. Roland !!

    Given the other reappearances today all we need now is for Sue Marsh to pop up and write one of her elegant articulate diatribes and it could be spring 2010 all over again.

  19. Tingedfringe

    Well here is what the Telegraph think of Uncle Nicks panel

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100102677/nick-cleggs-riot-inquiry-panel-is-beyond-a-joke/

    :D

  20. @TingedFringe

    It’s a bit of a myth to say “Parliament cannot bind its successor”: it does it all the time, they’re called “laws”, and they definitely carry over from one Parliament to another.

    What it can’t do is pass a law that the next Parliament can’t repeal. Parliament isn’t “Star Trek”: it can’t pass a law with “…and this order cannot be countermanded! MWWH-HAHH-HAHH! ULTIMATE POWWERR!”

    It can easily pass a law saying “These new regulations will come into force of January 1, 2017”: that’s perfectly legal and it’ll happen on schedule. What it can’t do is stop the 2015-2020 Government repealing that law on December 31st 2016 if it wants.

    Regards, Martyn

  21. @tingefringe
    That is balanced is it? None of these characters will have ever had anything but left wing thoughts in their head since they were 7 years old. If anyone of them ever voted anything but Labour, ever, I would be astonished. Why do you guys hate Nick Clegg so much, he has chosen a splendid bunch of blame everyone but the culprits clergy.

  22. @ROB SHEFFIELD
    Hi Robert, hope you are keeping well.

  23. Steve

    My forecast is based on the last depression, when unemployment was 20% or more. Of course we might not be experiencing a mid depression dead cat bounce, but I believe we are.

    The problem is that any downturn will cause a viscous downward spiral, so many people are having problems paying their mortgage that even losing 5 hours of work a week could tip them over the edge leading to default, when that happens the banks have a problem because they have reduced their reserves to pad out their profits(without tapping the reserves profits would have been meagre at best) so we will probably have another round of bailouts, although some would argue that 0.5% rates are a form of bank bailout(I would) I think you can fill in the rest of the scenario. Of course the BOE respond with more QE but with inflation for min wage earners already well over 10%(energy +18%, transport + 15% food +10%(and the cheaper foodstuffs are increasing in price more quickly)) more QE will do much more harm than good

  24. Actually, although it’s 100% correct that Parliament can overturn any decision made by its predecessors, most senior Civil Servant don’t see it that way. I had the dubious honour of working on ID cards, and the line that was constantly peddled was that once cards were being issued a new Government couldn’t undo this. And just to make sure, they heavily pushed getting as many cards out as possible before the election.

    Of course, as we all know, that didn’t work, but the fact that so many people thought they could tie the hands of a future Government was worrying.

  25. Rob Sheffield

    To be fair that’s what James Delingpole thinks of the panel – a man one of his fellow Telegraph bloggers described as “batsh*t crazy”. If Clegg had nominate P W Botha, Atilla the Hun and and the entire Waffen SS to sit on the panel they’d probably been denounced as limp-wristed liberals by Delingpole.

  26. Roger M

    Hence the :D

    You really have a trouble with my irony sometimes !

    Though it was a hoot of a read though (IMO)

  27. Crikey it IS a day for blasts-from-the-past.

    I just spotted this on the politics home wire. A tweet from jenny chapman MP

    “@TheGreenBenches the old ‘Labour lost because it wasn’t left wing enough’ theory”

    Wonderful :D

  28. CHOUENLAI

    Sorry but it’s not anti coalition propaganda, I happen to agree with the deficit reduction idea, in fact I don’t think it’s ambitious enough, I don’t believe that spending even more borrowed(from banks) money will solve any problems, at best it could delay the day of reckoning, ditto QE, the debtload is too high and leverage is so extreme that a prolonged period of depression is inevitable. There is only one solution and that is hyperinflation, but that is a case of the cure being worse than the disease, but my guess is that is what will happen.

    I should say that when I say I agree sub deficit reduction, I don’t mean I agree with a 80/20 split I would prefer a 50/50 split. Also I don’t expect the deficit to be reduced significantly in a zero growth environment but at least it might not get worse.

  29. Tingedfringe (6:29)

    Banking regulation has been my tip for split since the coalition was formed. The future of the NHS is second favourite and though Alec was right to bring up planning, I don’t think that could cause it because the Tories probably won’t even get it passed their own Party.

    But banking regulation is the perfect storm because it would allow the Lib Dems to break on a subject where they had not just the support of their own Party but the country too. You only have to look at the virulent responses against the bankers in the Telegraph comments in this article:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/banksandfinance/8733946/Draconian-UK-bank-reforms-will-push-lenders-into-a-crisis.html#dsq-content

    The people who wanted to hang rioters last week will be stockpiling Molotov cocktails.

  30. Rob Sheffield

    What! You mean you weren’t agreeing? :P

    (I did realise you weren’t serious, I just wanted to make the point that not every Telegraph writer or reader lives exclusively on a diet of carpet)

  31. Petrol is too dear for molotov cocktails

  32. “None of these characters will have ever had anything but left wing thoughts in their head since they were 7 years old”
    Except that Simon Marcus stood for election for MP as a Tory and is apparently quite close to ministers.

    @Martyn – thanks for the explanation.
    Whatever the stripe of government (excluding take-over of the Tory party by their right-wing), I can’t see them thinking of overturning the banking proposals – no matter when they come in.

    @Rob Sheffield –
    I think the planning regulation changes will come in to force – there might be some murmurs of rebellion from Tory backbenches, but I can’t see it not going through.
    This is one of those strange places where I actually agree with the government (although I’m not completely familiar with the full proposals so in theory I agree with them) – planning permission should only cover structural integrity, zoning considerations and environmental factors.
    Everything else is a middle-class intrusion in to people getting on with their lives.

  33. I agree that banking reform is he most likely reason for a breakup of he coalition, people still feel that bankers has got off lightly, sucking up to the bankers would be politically unwise

  34. I could certainly see an interesting crisis occurring should the Lib Dem party conference pass a motion demanding immediate implementation of the Independent Commission on Banking’s recommendations.

  35. Since it was pointed out earlier than turnout affects Labour’s % share of the vote, I did a little crunch of the numbers (for the all of nobody who is interested) if turnout was 100% [1].
    GB 2010 vote share – Con 37%, Lab 29.7%, Lib 23.6%
    Adjusted for turnout – Con 36.2% (-0.8%), Lab 30.6% (+0.9%), Lib – 23.3% (-0.3%).
    So turnout does negatively affect [1] Labour’s vote share by almost 1% and the opposite for the Tories. [2]

    [1] I realise that if voting was compulsory and turnout was 100%, then third-parties would have much higher vote shares, etc, this is purely illustrative.
    [2] I haven’t crunched the data for any years other than 2010.

  36. TingedFringe

    “planning permission should only cover structural integrity, zoning considerations and environmental factors. Everything else is a middle-class intrusion in to people getting on with their lives”

    Structural integrity is covered by building regulations not planning regulations. The Tory government don’t have any plans to reduce the safety of our buildings…..yet. As a result of European directives we also have a separate Environmental protection system (again not the planning system)

    Planning regulations are almost entirely concerned with:

    1) balancing land uses and minimising incompatibly and nuisances via a process of local plans (zoning documents) and management of non-code development applications; and,

    2) protecting the historical and rural environment (in its broadest definition i.e. countryside and green belt/ conservation and listing)

    Hang on a minute- those two are precisely what you said a planning system should cover !!!

    I’m not sure what else you think planning currently does but the government is ‘reforming’.

    Furthermore if you want the epitome of the definition of a “middle class intrusion” charter than look no further than all this “localism” nonsense that will actually give articulate and activist communities (read middle class) the ability to prepare binding spatial plans for their locality i.e. “if we don’t want any development then there aint- oops isn’t- going to be any”.

    *BUT* the NPPF- the thing the Telegraph and all other newspapers are up in arms about- is actually a development industry written charter for tarmacking over the UK = ‘presumption in favour of (sop alert) ‘sustainable’ *development*.

    The NPPF is the higher legal authority (for planning appeals and high court/ supreme court actions) over the localism bill and its system of local plans (zoning documents) and neighbourhood plans (micro zoning documents).

    It actually proposes to do the precise OPPOSITE of what the localism bill (heralded with such chutzpah by Pickles last December) promised. So all those local groups who thought they could create binding plans for their neighbourhoods can now be overturned by the application of the recently released draft NPPF.

    IMHO the real story is not whether someone is for or against ‘planning’ (even if they actually don’t understand what planning entails) it is that this is (yet another) example of botched muddled contradictory policy making by the government.

  37. My prediction for the UK economy for the year from Q3 2011 to end of Q2 2012, is growth of less than 0.5%, with atleast 2 quarters negative. The growth forecasts keep getting reduced when various stats are reduced, the latest being poor manufacturing/exports, plus retail spending down.

    I don’t think the coaltion had any choice but to reduce spending, but I think they front loaded some cuts too much for the economy to handle. The problem with front loading is that it has resulted in too much money having to be spent on redundancies and other costs associated with sudden change. Had the government taken a more thorough approach, I am sure they could have found a way to merge some civil service functions, made more considered defence choices, to renegotiate contracts more effectively and to make better choices on measures to help with growth. Instead, I think they rushed at it, because they wanted to force the pace for a number of reasons.

    Firstly they wanted to signal to the markets they were serious about spending cuts, secondly they wanted to impose the cuts before interest groups managed to frustrate them and thirdly they thought that they could fix the economy enough before a 2015 election. In regard to the first point the rating agencies are fickle and they will reduce the UK’s rating, if they think the economies weakness could affect debt repayment obligations. In respect of the second point, I think some of the interest groups have not really taken up to the fight as yet. This could come in the Autumn/Winter, when various strikes are planned. As for the third point, the economy will not be in a better position by 2015, because our main trading partners will also be in for years of stagnant growth, while they deal with their debts.

  38. Rob Sheffield,
    Perhaps I’m completely ignorant of planning laws, but I thought that there was ‘community’ input in to planning – i.e, if the community are offended by whatever building that is planned for, it can be blocked.

    On the historical conservation of buildings/protection of rural areas (outside of environmental concerns) point – I think this is largely middle-class nonsense too.

    But thanks for informing me of the actual planning reforms. I will have to research fully.

  39. @Bill Patrick

    “Whether the double-dip hurts the Tories will depend on the cause. If it’s an obviously domestic drop in demand, then they’re in trouble. If it’s an external shock, then I suspect their vote will be surprisingly obdurate.”

    Little details like that didn’t help Gordon Brown, unless the voters blamed him for Lehman Brothers.

  40. Tingedfringe

    On the historical conservation of buildings/protection of rural areas (outside of environmental concerns) point – I think this is largely middle-class nonsense too.

    Actually I don’t think it is. In my experience working-class people and communities also tend to care quite a lot about these things – though they might disagree of what buildings or areas to protect etc. Where they do differ is in feeling they can’t do anything about it.

    Middle-class communities feel they have the knowledge resources and influence to be able to stand up to commercial and political pressure. They’re often wrong, but they will try. In working-class areas most people will regret what has happened and remember what has been lost, but they will usually feel that their voices will not be heard and they will be ignored. Often I’m afraid as the result of bitter experience.

  41. Berious,

    Quite the opposite: Labour’s VI figures improved in late 2008 after doing terribly during the summer. They also skyrocketed after the Northern Rock fiasco began, by the way.

    Gordon Brown’s problem was the recovery (or lack of it), not the recession. In fact, the Labour VI didn’t really nosedive again after the Brown the Bottler period until Smeargate and the expenses scandal.

  42. Tinged Fringe

    “Perhaps I’m completely ignorant of planning laws, but I thought that there was ‘community’ input in to planning – i.e, if the community are offended by whatever building that is planned for, it can be blocked.”

    In short- YES you are totally ignorant! Now more longwindedly……firstly you have to distinguish between the two main functions of the planning system- plan making (zoning) and development management (compliance).

    Currently under the system based around the major acts of 2004 and 2008 councils are legally obliged to show they have given the community a role in writing their local plans and on how they will involve the community in future (‘statements of community involvement’). Plans have to be written that comply with the statutory framework- the ‘planning acts’ and the statutory instruments. These latter elements are the ‘planning guidance’ notes (PPS) that Mr Shapps seems so pleased about “tearing up” and replacing with the NPPF (itself heavily influenced by the development industry): ergo “6000 pages replaced with 60” Wow !!

    On the compliance side any application for development has to be advertised- the bigger/ more controversial the more wider and extensive the advertising will be. Any individual, group or business has a right to comment and/ or object to any application. Its a fundamental principle of English public law (and some have argued a human right) to have your say on what others want to do- whether that is next door to you or somewhere else in the neighbourhood. But if there are objections that does not mean it is then automatically “blocked”. The applicants proposal and statement along with statements in support or opposing are balanced by officers of the council who then make professional recommendations to councillors who then decide. If the applicant does not like the decision (either conditions attached to permissin or a refusal) they can appeal to the government quango PINS. If they don’t like what PINS decide then they can go to the high court; then supreme court and then European Court under HR legislation and directives.

    The Localism Bill however DID make this ‘neighbourhood plan’ notion: that would have meant blanket development bans where local communities wanted them- a NIMBY charter as it has been called. However Osborne (and Cable as well- as an neoclassical economist no friend of planning)- desperate for any traction on the “growth agenda”- have become fixated on the planning system. They aren’t the first Tory ministers to have made this journey and dare say they won’t be the last. Its a cheap win when playing to your gallery. There has been plenty of research going right back to the 1980’s that- far from hindering growth- the ‘discretionary’ English planning system provides a framework for negotiation and investment certainty that the private sector prefer to the alternatives of anarchy or centralised diktat.

    The NPPF is the first fruit of this and as I said up the thread almost totally reverses the Localism philosophy of the governments first 12 months. Hence the fury of the Telegraph and various environmental protection and conservation national charities/ organisations.

  43. Yes there are a few blasts from the past here, are there not (faint breeze in my case)?

    The case for coalition break up is strengthened by disagreement about issues not covered fully in the Agreement.

    It will be strengthened still further by an underlying yearning to find something credible to disagree about.

    However, it will be weakened by the standing of the LDs in the polls.

    My judgement is that the last factor will decide it.

  44. Rob
    Most correspondents here are happily (thankfully even) ignorant of Development Plans and Planning Policy Statements.

    It’s the one area where the UKPR community reflects the voters’ priorities.

  45. Howard

    “It’s the one area where the UKPR community reflects the voters’ priorities.”

    Prior to becoming a University academic, one thing I learned in both private consultancy and government employment (both local and central) is this:

    If there is one thing that exercises local people more than any other/ that is high up the list of voters priorities, it is planning :D

  46. This discussion of planning reminds me of a computer game called SimCity, which was actually good fun to play, but it basically involved planning a city.

    It was a surprising success against all the shoot-em-up and other games at the time. Imagine the slogan “Enjoy the thrills, spills and excitement of Town Planning! Buy Sim City!” :D

  47. Rob
    Indeed it;s why I became a District Councillor, Chairman of a CPRE County Branch, and a SWRA Member (some wins, some defeats, but overall not too dissatisfied) before silly Gordy abolished us; he and Blair were in the same environmental club as Cable, Alexander, Osborne, Pickles and Shapps..

    We have two kind of representatives, those who believe in evidenced-led sustainable planning, and those who think ‘environment’ means a few daffodils on the town roundabout,

  48. howard

    “We have two kind of representatives, those who believe in evidenced-led sustainable planning, and those who think ‘environment’ means a few daffodils on the town roundabout,”

    I could not agree more- also on Blair and Brown being anti planning/ not really believing in strategic approaches to sustainability.

  49. I actually think planning issues are pretty much a non-party issue, in the sense that there are camps within all of the main parties (excluding possibly the Greens) that are pro-development and camps that are anti-development.

    I accept the need for land to be lost to development. It is a consequence of population growth. But I also think we should fight every inch of the way, to force the developers to properly justify the irretrievable loss of green space. In that sense I am complete 180 degree disagreement with the government’s new policy.

    Perhaps uncharacteristically for me, I’d actually like to see government money put into the rehabilitation of brownfield sites (and I mean properly brownfield, not the gardens of redundant hospitals) so that developers have a counterweight to the lascivious attraction of nice, cheap, uncomplicated farms and playing fields.

  50. We wouldn’t need so many new homes if the government lived up to their rhetoric and actually reduced immigration a bit.

    I would be interested to know how many new homes go to people born outside the country, as I believe that a very high proportion of new jobs go to them.

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