Tonight’s daily YouGov poll in the Sun has topline figures of CON 35%, LAB 41%, LDEM 9%. After a few polls showing even narrower leads at the end of August, including a couple as low as 1 point, they seem to be stablising at around 5 or 6 points. Don’t be surprised if conference seasons produces some up and down though – there is clearly no sign of such a movement from the Lib Dem conference yet, but the most significant movements normally come after the leaders’ conference speeches, so look out for the results tomorrow or at the weekend.


351 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – CON 35%, LAB 41%, LDEM 9%”

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  1. @Alec – “… he’ll still work with you if the right deal is available.”

    The psychosocial aspects are worth considering. The Tories and LDs were both on the same “side” (in opposition), and their coalition negotiations were indeed a kind of foreplay to the initial “love-in”… contrast this with the rather buising LD-Lab encounters of the time.

    They increasingly look likely to be on the same “side” going into the GE.

    Clegg himself maintained he has “no recollection of that [joining the Cambridge University Conservative Association] whatsoever”, though he was close to Lord Carrington (he and Laws both were veiwed as promising material and had approaches from Tories).

    Clegg also seems to have been part of a kind of informal lunching club with Conservative MEPs during his time in Bruxelles. So much so that he persuaded one of them, the non-eurosceptic Bill Newton Dunn MEP, to defect to the LDs.

    It would come down to personal chemistry (between any putative leadership teams) to some extent, however, it is by no means certain that LDs will hold the balance of power in future, and unlikely that Labour would offer anything like the Con/LD model of an all-embracing coalition deal imo.

  2. @ Billy Bob

    ‘unlikely that Labour would offer anything like the Con/LD model of an all-embracing coalition deal imo’

    Why? In 2010 Cameron didn’t fancy a second election to secure a small majority. Presumably he remembered what happened to single-party governments with small majorities in 1992-97 and 1974-79. Isn’t it possible that Ed Milliband would feel the same way in 2015? I’m sure that Clegg would gracefully leave the stage if that was what was required to keep his party in government. At the risk of stating the obvious Nick Clegg isn’t Gordon Brown :).

  3. Alec
    The problem for DC is that IMO the gov have painted themselves into a corner over deficit reduction and the propaganda line that everything was Lab’s fault. (The other real possibility is that DC doesn’t grasp economics, but we also know he doesn’t do detail.)

    If we have another 2007/2008, eg with a big bank collapsing, follwoed by heavy support to UK banks by the Treasury, how will joe public view this? They might say the gov and the Cons/GO have been victims of global and Euro-zone events, but they might also lead some to reconsider whether Lab was really to blame for the financial crisis.

    Btw, I will reply to your comments a couple of days ago about the deficit but need to firm up on a couple of points before I post. :-)

  4. According to yougov 42% intend to vote Labour in an general election. I can’t see how that jibes with people believing that Labour grossly mismanaged the economy as per the Coalition spin.

    I think the public are pretty cynical about what both sides say.

  5. @D Abrahams

    Just my opinion, but in that event I would see Milband more in the mould of Jim Callaghan… accepting a limited number of LD policy proposals, in exchange for LD agreement not to vote down the government in a no confidence motion.

    But we shall see. ;)

  6. @Billy Bob – I don’t think we will see the Lib Dem/Cons fight the next GE as a close unit, whether formally or not. As I said in my last post, things come in cycles. If the Tories start to become increasingly toxic, which at some point they will (but not necessarily before the next GE, but it always eventually happens when in power) the Lib Dems will be much less keen to be associated with them and we will see far greater distinction made between them and their coalition partners. Indeed, this process has already started this week.

    The other point to bear in mind is that Clegg will personally find it extremely difficult to negotiate a deal with the ‘losing’ party in a hung parliament. If the Tories lose seats and Labour gain enough to become the largest party, Clegg is pretty much duty bound to negotiate with Labour first. This issue will already have been flushed out in the campaign if a balanced parliament looks likely, as it was in 2010. If, pre vote, he answers as he did in 2010, he will be making clear that he holds no loyalty to the Tories – only to which party offeres him the best deal.

    If he refuses to confirm this approach, he is by clear implication saying he favours a Tory alliance above all else. Apart from being a very bad negotiating stance, this would effectively cut off the Lib Dems from any large scale tactical support by Labour voters. He won’t do this.

    Labour’s job is to get more seats than the Tories. Then they can enter government with some form of Lib Dem support. They could, if they wish, do what Clegg did in 2010 and demand their potential coalition partners leader steps down first. In such circumstances, I’m sure the Lib Dems would be happy to oblige.

    I think when we get to the point that the two main parties and their supporters accept that the third party will do what’s best for them and owes neither of the other two any long term loyalty we will have achieved what the Lib Dems term ‘mature coalition politics’.

  7. @ Rob Sheffield

    ‘Sank without trace. If they aren’t on 12+ on Saturday’s YG then there won’t have been an iota of a bounce.
    If so- and unless that is repeated by the other two ‘main’ parties this conference ‘season’- then that is a truly poor performance.’

    The Lib Dems are playing a long game. I don’t think Nick Clegg will lose much sleep over this weekend’s opinion polls. Coming out of the conference with a united, energised party, ready for the fight will I think be regarded as a success. Commentators have already noted that Clegg’s speech was weighted towards the activists in the hall, laying the foundations for long-term recovery rather than designed to create an instant bounce back.

  8. @Alec – “… we will see far greater distinction made between them and their coalition partners. Indeed, this process has already started this week.”

    I am not disagreeing with you, but the crucial factor in this parliament has been the Greek crisis/LD volte face on deficit reduction.

    LD will campaign against both Labour and Tory, but unless they find some way to triangulate with the “never trust Labour on the economy again” and five years worth of “Labour’s mess/inheritance” rhetoric… they will continue to resonate with Tories in the public mind..

  9. @ Alec

    ‘I think when we get to the point that the two main parties and their supporters accept that the third party will do what’s best for them and owes neither of the other two any long term loyalty we will have achieved what the Lib Dems term ‘mature coalition politics’.’

    Couldn’t agree more although when you say ‘will do what’s best for them’ I think you mean ‘will fight for Lib Dem principles and policies’.

  10. I assume that the GE is due to me in May 2015 (?)

    That means that any recovery needs to be in place by then. Three years and a bit.

    Normally it would be, I think, but I think we are going to see a load of money printing and stimulus in the West and ideally cuts should be postponed (what’s the point of printing money to pay welfare?.

    But as somebody else said (Mike N?) GO has nailed his colours to the no plan B post and this takes away flexibility. Can he change course without it appearing to be a u-turn?

    Does it matter if he does a u-turn as long as it works? In the end the upturn will decide the election.

  11. @ Billy Bob

    I’m not sure that it would be wise for Ed Milliband to model himself on Callaghan.

    On ‘never trust Labour on the economy again’ I noticed that Charles Kennedy glossed this last night as ‘never trust Labour on the economy again… unless the Lib Dems are there to keep them honest’. I rather liked that :).

  12. My recollection which may be wrong is that Clegg said he would talk first to the party with the biggest mandate. when pressed on whether this was seats or votes he evaded, Cons most votes Lab most seats is possible in ’15 and allows LD’s to interpret mandate as they chose. I suspect Clegg (I still think it will be him) will be pressed to more to be specific this time.

  13. It seems evident to me that the LDs would love for the next GE to result in a HP so they can insist on PR as the price for coalition. (Whether the Cons or lab would go for this is debatable.)

    Surely the LDs would insist on PR as the price?

  14. @ Phil

    ‘So there seems little point now in advancing reasoned arguments to try and convince you that your party’s best interests lie elsewhere. In the absence of a change of tack, the significant point of consolation for those of us on the left, as we steel ourselves for another 3 3/4 years of the Conservatives, is that your party’s resort to groupthink will ensure (in England at least) the effective concentration of opposition votes around a single party in 2015, as is necessary for maximum effect under a FPTP system. Bear this in mind if you are wondering whether and why some here might be choosing to remain silent in response to your assertions.’

    I think it is a bit early to be predicting a Labour victory in 2015, although I notice that you are not the only Labour-supporting poster to take refuge in this assumption. The May elections were dreadful for my party but they were pretty poor for Labour, so I am not sure that they provide any support for your assumption.

    Forgive me if I am cautious about accepting advice about ‘my party’s best interests’ from someone who I suspect has never voted Lib Dem in his life. No doubt you’ll correct me if I’m wrong about that.

    As to my assertions prompting silence from Labour supporters, I wonder if it has something to do with the Labour mind-set. In my experience Labour activists tend to see politics as a grand battle between the forces of good (Labour) and the forces of evil (Conservative). Much of this attitude is grounded in emotion rather than reason and this perhaps helps to explain the irrational vilification of the Lib Dems since May 2010. It also fits with the strong attachment of many Labourites to FPTP (incomprehensible to me since it was FPTP that made the excesses of Thatcherism possible). Labour tribalists feel threatened by the more pluralistic form of politics that inescapably accompanies PR. If you suggest that politics is rather more complicated than the simplistic black-and-white world of two-party politics, some Labour people just don’t know how to respond.

    Of course there are enthusiastic advocates of PR in the Labour Party. I hope they are gaining ground against their conservative opponents, but the sight of all those Labour MPs lining up to oppose AV earlier this year was deeply depressing.

  15. The thing about holding the balance of power and then using that to get PR or anything else, the more MP’s the LD’s have, in theory the easier it is to achieve. This time around the Conservatives did not really have a hope of going it alone or putting a deal together with unionists. They didn’t have enough seats, thanks in part to the 57 taken up by the LD’s.

    Next time around, it does not seem a big assumption that the LD’s will have quite a lot less seats, and thus the two other main parties proportionally more, perhaps enough so that one of them doesn’t need the LD’s and doesn’t have to offer PR. I haven’t seen much of the other parties clamouring for PR, and the two main parties probably would prefer not to offer it.

    Who knows, we could get an HP and a coalition next time, but with no LD’s involved (and unfortunately, still no PR).

  16. “we should never trust labour with our economy again” says Nick. Why go so far, why declare he is not, and never will be, of the left etc…

    I honestly beleive that Nick Clegg is a Conservative in all but name and is attempting to pull the Liberal Democrats as far to the right as he can. Perhaps he accidently joined the Lib Dems in his youth… perhaps he wanted a smaller pond to be a big fish in… whatever the case he has a personal, visceral dislike of Labour and a natural affinity with the blue party.

    What I don’t understand is why the Liberal Democrats have allowed this coup to occur so easily. Those that remain are now re-positioned and seem comfortable with it having jettisoned their left wing supporters for good.

  17. @D Abrahams – Indeed, Kennedy did reiterate the warning from Roy Jenkins about “a right, tight little party”.

    h
    ttp://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/may/16/charles-kennedy-coalition-views

  18. @Nick Poole – “Can he change course without it appearing to be a u-turn?”

    Yes. He stipulated he would eliminate the ‘structural deficit’ only by 2015, not ‘the deficit’.

    Theoretically we could have a higher deficit in 2015 but not have any structural deficit, depending on how you calculate the notoriously vague concept of what constitutes the structural element.

    So he has ample opportunity to be flexible in strictly technical economic terms. Whether that translates into political room for manouvere and whether voters agree with it or see it as the trickery of numbers is another matter altogether.

    One interesting point to consider is that Brown had a similar metric in his Golden Rule. He got round this by constantly deciding to change the accounting period, as defining ‘the economic cycle’ is about as easy as nailing an eel to a wall.

    Osborne gave himself the same wriggle room, but then set up the independent OBR to decide on such matters. It would be a sweet irony if Osborne ended up being shafted by the OBR, something that I suspect is very possible.

  19. @ Jim Jam

    On most seats vs. most votes, I agree with you that Nick Clegg fudged this last year. My own view is that, in terms of democratic legitimacy votes should count more than seats, but if you end up with a situation like 2010 where the arithmetic in the House of Commons threw up only one viable coalition, then that will obviously be a major factor in what happens.

  20. KeithP
    I agree.
    So, if the LDs were in a position again where they could be king-makers under FPTP surely they must demand PR because they might never be in the situation again?

    The problem for the lDs IMO is that their vote may not recover (to say just under 20%), and the impact of the boundaries revisions will decimate LD seats so reducing further their chances of holding the balance of power.

    Ignoring all the hype about the difference the LDs are making, and the claims of inhibiting extremist Con tendencies in this gov, we’re left IMO with the inescapable conclusion that the LDs have shot themselves in the foot and might never again be in a position to demand electoral reform and PR.

  21. @Jim Jam

    “we have had this discussion before and FWIW my view is that the figures themselves make little difference, there can be a slight narrative effect from bad publicity but the real polling effects of the likely Q3 poor growth are being felt now as real voters (polling respondents) are feeling the effects now.”

    I agree that the figures themselves have at best a transient effect. However, I think that in a situation where people’s situations are steadily becoming worse, a string of poor figures can entrench the idea that it is the government’s fault – it can convert dissatisfaction into anti-government VI.

    Bad figures can also prime people to view future worsening of their situation as being down to the government.

  22. The big argument against PR will be that the people have already rejected it, now I know that this isn’t strictly true and we could argue that the people were not offered PR but I’m afraid that both the blues and a large proportion of the reds will make this argument and it will be persuasive, the other point that will be is “the libdems want to have ref after ref until they get the answer they want” and again it will be persuasive, so much so that we could lose a new ref just because the voters feel we are being cheeky in asking them again. I don’t think that the libdems would be in a position to demand PR even in a new Hung parliament. I feel that it is a dead issue for at least 20 years. The big demand would therefore be to finish the HoL reforms making it fully democratic under a PR system in the hope that this would lead to questions of legitimacy of HoC.

  23. Robin – agree

  24. d abrahams

    to rehash a bit of recent political history, I voted Lib Dem last time and when they went into Government with the Tories I was entitled to think they would act on a brake to the deep and early cuts the Tories planned.

    Why would I think that? Cos the Lib dems said so.

    Imagine my sense of betrayal when NC announced that he had already BEFORE THE ELECTION changed his mind and now thought massive early cuts were needed. Only he didn’t tell anybody.

    False pretences? I won’t vote for him again, even tactically. How would I know what I am actually voting for?

  25. IF (not a small if) there is a total economc crash with contagion amongst the banks throughout most of the western world, what are the consequences for this coalition government ?

    Being that most western economies have been following right of centre economics over the last two years, trying to reign in spending, would there be some blame attached ?

    By blame I mean that some people could take the view that governments have squeezed the life out of their economies, rather than try to promote growth, through which cutting the deficit may be easier and less damaging.

    Personally I think the various governments now in power in Europe would be to blame and I can’t see too many of them being successful in blaming previous administrations for the debt build up. The amount of debt is a problem, but a financial crash, would be the doing of the current policitians in power.

  26. Clare

    I could ask you why labour allowed Blair to hijack their party. We could ask the blues the same about Maggie, but they wouldn’t see it that way

  27. Alec

    Ok, re the deficit and the Con and Lab appraches to reducing it.

    As I understand it, the Cons (GO) aim to eliminate the structural deficit in one Parliament.

    Lab had committed to reducing the deficit by half by 2015.

    The 2010 Fiscal Responsibility Act (introduced by Lab) refers to halving the PSBR.

    So, is the PSBR (which I believe is now called something else) the same as the structural deficit? (The latter being as I understand it the difference between gov receipts and expenditure but ‘built into’ the Budgets for year after year.)

    I may of course be misunderstanding things (it happens) but halving the PSBR is not the same as eliminating the structural deficit by 2015, is it?

  28. R huckle

    When not if

  29. @ Clare

    There has been no coup. The Lib Dem party as a whole overwhelmingly supported the decision to enter government both to provide the country with the stable government it needed and to deliver very substantial parts of the LD manifesto (75% according to the BBC). That is why the party is united behind Nick Clegg’s leadership and why figures such as Shirley Williams and Paddy Ashdown (hardly right-wingers) are so supportive of the Coalition.

    @ Richard in Norway

    I disagree. Given that David Owen campaigned on a ‘No to AV, Yes to PR’ ticket it seems clear that the No camp included many PR supporters. It is disingenuous to interpret the AV referendum as a rejection of electoral reform per se.

    Furthermore the more hung parliaments we get the stronger the argument for PR becomes. By far the strongest argument for FPTP is that it produces clear, simple election results. The most popular party gets an overall majority and implements its programme. A hung parliament undermines that argument. Two or three hung parliaments in a row would, I hope, test it to destruction.

    If hung parliaments are going to become the norm, it is far better that they be based rationally on the number of votes cast (PR) than that they have no clear relationship to votes cast (as under FPTP).

    The Lib Dems have been criticised by some for not getting a better deal from the Tories but getting less than 10% of seats in exchange for 23% of the vote was hardly helpful to our negotiating position…

    So I would deflnitely expect a referendum on PR to be an issue in any 2015 coalition negotiations. It would be absurd for it to be the only issue, however.

  30. I think a referendum on PR at Westminster is now out of the question for 30 years. I don’t know if the LDs will be in any kind of position to demand and bargain for PR for the mets but that’s probably unlikely as well.

  31. @ RIN

    “When not if ”

    (Total financial collapse of western world )

    Yes I think this is highly possible. I meant to say that if was not a big IF. I think it is 60/40 in favour of a major collapse of the financial system.

    In regard to Politics, I sense that Vince Cable is not entirely happy with the economics being followed by the Treasury and would like to be doing more. I just don’t get the sense that government ministers are doing enough on the world stage, beyond making speeches. Someone and it does not need to be a UK politician or any politician, needs to take a leadership role in this. Perhaps the IMF and WEF need to get to get together, to hold an emergency summit of all world leaders, to sort of the problem. Perhaps the most obvious way to relieve some of the pressure, is to extend the debt repayment periods. Some of the countries worst affected, are stuffed with high interest and relatively short periods of repayment. If the repayment period was extended, this might give them some breathing space to deal with their economic weaknesses.

  32. David

    I agree of course that it is disingenuous to argue that the result of the AV ref was a rejection of PR but my point is that the argument will be used and will be difficult to counter. The opponents of PR don’t care about truth or accuracy, they care about winning the argument. And their first tactic will be to reject a new ref as unnecessary. If we get the ref then the next tactic will be to portray the ref as unfair attempt to get what we want by asking again and again until people give in. Do we have a good tactical response which is easily communicated? I don’t think so. But I would be very happy if we did.

  33. @oldnat

    Interesting story in the Record (of all places).

    “Labour heavyweight Jim Murphy has admitted the party have yet to give voters a good reason to back them.

    The shadow defence secretary conceded the party still fail his test of being able to write in a sentence why they should be the government.
    Murphy said: “We’re still working on it.”

    A watershed for the Daily Record it seems. Can we be seeing the seperation of SLAB from UK Labour?

    By the way, have you noticed the Scottish opinion on the latest YG poll?

    Lab 36%
    SNP 30%
    Con 22%
    Lib 5%

    “It is led by people of real ability”-

    Lab 19%
    Con 17%
    Lib 3%
    None 45%

    Interesting. Are SNP votes within the 45% or are they saying “You’re all useless!”?

    “Its leaders are prepared to take tough and unpopular decisions”-

    Con 46%
    Lab 11%
    Lib 9%
    None 21%

    Grudging admission that the Conservatives are better than Lab / Lib at tough and unpopular decisions. This is reflected across the UK, but I didn’t expect the Con percentage to do that well (or is it not a good thing?).

  34. @John B Dick

    You missed out Andy Kerr. He was responsible for the smoking ban in Scotland, and the NHS in general during his tenure was vociferously anti-smoking (to the point of discrimination).

  35. @ALEC

    “BTW – amidst the devastating economic gloom today, and completely contrary good news story from the UK car industry. A big increase in August new car sales (up 10%) with exports largely to thank. The car industry is doing very well at present, and new lines at Nissan and the Jaguar investment this week show that the idea that the UK can’t compete in manufacturing are well wide of the mark.”

    Might the UK car export increase be a result of Japan’s output drop since the Tsunami/Fukushima and more recently the Typhoon?

  36. @SoCalLiberal

    “Frankly, I’d rather read something either unbiased or something that’s biased but admits to having a biased and an agenda (makes for more accurate reading and analysis I think).”

    An authoritative account of how UK newspapers are politicially lined up:

    http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Yes,_Minister#Episode_Four:_A_Conflict_of_Interest :)

    The Daily Record is/was basically the main journalistic mouthpiece of Scottish Labour. The article written is very unusual. I would be inclined to believe declining circulation (all newspapers are suffering from the Internet’s effects) and the voters’ shift to SNP as the main reason.

    “Knowing our luck, we will all join hands together around the world to sing kumbaya to celebrate acheiving world peace only to have the aliens show up and start the invasion.”

    For all we know, ‘Kumbaya’ is alien-speak for “Up yours! Surrender your planet.” What a faux pas that would be.

  37. @DAbrahams
    “The Lib Dems have been criticised by some for not getting a better deal from the Tories but getting less than 10% of seats in exchange for 23% of the vote was hardly helpful to our negotiating position…”

    It had nothing to do with the percentage of votes but everything to do with the LibDems’ naivety and eagerness to be in government.

  38. Just to digress for a moment, there has been a sporadic discussion on this board about the Greece situation. The BBC has produced a nice little decision tree about what may happen. It’s not perfect (there’s a loop) but it’s relatively easy to follow. You can find it here

    I said in one of the previous posts that the worst-case scenario was war (Greece has a large navy, a casus belli in Cyprus, and a history of military dictatorship). If that BBC article is accurate, then (horribly) the CIA seems to agree with me… :-(

    Regards, Martyn

  39. @D Abrahams

    I have really enjoyed your posts.
    They have made me feel a little more confident that the coalition will not split before 2015.

    @ MIKEN

    ” may of course be misunderstanding things (it happens) but halving the PSBR is not the same as eliminating the structural deficit by 2015, is it?”

    No.

    PSBR is the “old name” for what is now refered to as the Budget Deficit-ie the Budgeted excess of Government Spending over INcome for the year in question.

    Labour ( AD) said they planned to “halve” the DEficit over four years-though it was never clear what the starting point was-ie what Deficit-what value £bn?

    The structural deficit is said to be that part of the Total Deficit ( which AD targetted) which has arisen through non-cyclical factors-ie it is said not to respond to cyclical growth change . It is the equivalent of the annoying part of your overdraft which just won’t go away even when your income rises.

    GO has targetted this element of the Total Deficit with a committment to eliminate it by end parliament. I’m not aware that it has been quantified-though have seen figures of £100bn or so quoted.
    As Alec said-there is clearly wriggle room in this lack of definition-as there was with GB’s famously flexible dates for starting & ending “economic cycles”-the chunks of time which featured in his now defunct Golden Rule.

  40. (I have a post in moderation. To avoid it, I’ll split the post into two. This is part 1)

    Just to digress for a moment, there has been a sporadic discussion on this board about the Greece situation. The BBC has produced a nice little decision tree about what may happen. It’s not perfect (there’s a loop) but it’s relatively easy to follow. You can find it here

    Regards, Martyn

  41. (I have a post in moderation. To avoid it, I’ll split the post into two. This is part 2)

    I said in one of the previous posts that the worst-case scenario was war (Greece has a large navy, a casus belli in Cyprus, and a history of military dictatorship). If that BBC article is accurate, then (horribly) the CIA seems to agree with me… :-(

    Regards, Martyn

  42. @Liz Hancock

    “It had nothing to do with the percentage of votes but everything to do with the LibDems’ naivety and eagerness to be in government.”

    I think that is correctish. BUT all politicians will say that to be in politics you have to take responsibility i.e power or share thereof, when the opportunity arises. I don’t think Clegg and other senior LD’s thought they had much choice. If they refused to join a coaltion, people would have said that they were only interested in being the third major party and being permanently in opposition. However, I think they should be doing more to direct the direction of travel for the government. I really don’t think they are getting the message out there, about how they are influencing Tory ministers. Perhaps they need to be a bit more arrogant, even if it does annoy fellow government ministers and Tory backbenchers. If they continue as they are, they will stay at about 10% in the polls.

  43. @RHuckle
    “I don’t think Clegg and other senior LD’s thought they had much choice”

    But they good have negotiated better deals but were too naive and eager to be in government to do so.

  44. Colin

    Thanks for explanation – much appreciated.

  45. MARTYN

    As Alec would say- I mentioned some time ago……that Greece might see another military coup.

    If the Eurozone politicians delay overlong in putting the main Lifeboat together-the EFSF ( Finland & others currently yet to agree to it in their Parliaments )-and Greece is still exising on these short term hand to mouth IMF/ECB loans….and the Greeek unions bring the country to a standstill & stymie all attempts at tax collection & public sector cuts, the IMF ?ECB sticking plasters may well stop.

    They nearly did this time-with IMF/ECB auditors leaving Athens in frustration.

    In that event, and with EFSF not yet afloat, there could be anarchy in Greece, and no effective governance.

    Those are conditions for any army to step forward to “save the nation”-particularly one with Greece’s history of strife between Left Wing & Right Wing factions.

  46. Why would the military want another coup in Greece? They would still have the same problem. No money. Leave the eurozone yes/ No, default yes/ no.

    No point in taking over a bankrupt country and not be able to pay your soldiers…

    And they were pretty crap in the last military coup. And of course the UK and USA would go and bomb another not elected leader . Oh, Greece doesn’ t have oil that can go into cars….

  47. Colin and Martyn

    Your points about military coups and possibly war are right on the money. When people are desperate they tend to lash out and/or support ‘strong government’ – i.e. dictators.

    It’s all very reminiscent of the Great Depression, and we all know how that was finally solved. It seems unlikely at the moment, but it’s even possible that a Graeco-Turkish war could spread more widely if the financial meltdown continues.

  48. Thanks AW/moderator.
    I was beginning to get paranoia about my Roy Jenkins quote. ;)

  49. D Abrahams

    I echo the comments of Colin and others on your positive and interesting posts.

    As you were at the Conference, you will have a better feel for the overall views of attendees than those of us who have viewed it on TV. Your comments therefor eare of particular relevance.

  50. Jack,

    “Oh, Greece doesn’ t have oil that can go into cars….”

    Yep, unlike Afghanistan, Kosovo and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

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