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. The other outcome of the depression was extremism. That’s what you get when you attempt to scapegoat sections of society and blame them for the economic ills…welfare recipients, public servants, even teachers.

    Creating social division is rarely a good idea.

  2. Liz Hancock

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

    I think the point has been made that the LDs have managed to achieve 75% of their policy. It would have been unreasonable to expect more.

    As a LD I am surprised and pleased by the degree of influence that the LDs have had on the overall Coalition Policy. As a voter I am grateful to both Coalition Parties for trying to address this severe economic crisis. Perhaps Nick Clegg’s comments about never trusting Labour again have upset you. In my view just because GB and EB messed up and EB won’t support the difficult decisions that need to be made, does not mean that the LDs could not deal with EM, AD and others should this become necessary in 2015 and afterwards.

  3. Bill

    But afghanistan does have an oil pipeline or at least would have if the taliban didn’t keep blowing it up

  4. @LIZ HANCOCK

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

    Just how strong do you think the negotiating position of a party with 8% of the MPs is compared with one with 47%?

    Don’t forget, there was a large fraction of the Tory party that was looking to force a second election. In May 2010, Labour and the Lib Dems had completely run out of money and only the Tories could afford to run another campaign.

    It is just huge 20/20 hindsight to say they could have done better under the circumstances i.e. financial markets waiting to pummel the UK.

  5. @ Liz

    Try reading this Times leader if you think they had a strong position
    Analysis: the only certainty is another general election

    w ww.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article7119287.ece

    Or how about this one from the Telegraph?

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/election-2010/7691881/General-Election-2010-Britain-to-go-to-polls-again-within-12-months-experts-say.html

  6. @ LIz Hancock

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

    But it was a good deal. Delivering 75% of the manifesto is pretty good when you’ve had 65 years of 0%. Paddy Ashdown recounts that initially he was so upset that the possibility of a Lib/Lab pact had fallen through, that he was all set to abandon politics completely. However, when he read the text of the Coalition Agreement, and saw how many concessions the LD negotiating team had extracted from the Tories, he changed his mind and is now a strong supporter of the Coalition.

    I appreciate that my defence of the Lib Dems may seem a bit parochial when the world economy seems on the verge of collapse. These are very worrying times. If I don’t comment on the economic situation, it’s not because I don’t recognise it’s importance, it’s just that I’m not sure that I have anything of substance to add to the discussion.

  7. @ Robert C

    Really grateful to you for the Telegraph link. I particularly liked this quote from David Butler.

    “I think the 1974 analogy is a very strong one and I think if Cameron does carry the next government, a minority government, he has a very good chance of winning a clear majority in a quick election afterwards.”

    That’s one to bear in mind next time one of the Labour posters on here starts lecturing about how wonderful a Tory minority government propped up by the Lib Dems on a confidence and supply basis would have been. I am reassured that Dr Butler agrees with me as to the likely consequences of such an arrangement.

  8. SOCIAL LIBERAL

    Back to the religion and politics thread.

    The lack of a catholic in high office is also explained by the theology of the thirty nine articles, cf, possibly, SCOT NAT’s latin version of the curse on schismatics.

    Until very recently the Lord Chancellor could not be catholic in the UK.

    AJ Balfour called catholics a ‘morally and socially inferior people’. He had governed Ireland and was
    PM 1902-1905, but ironically brought about voluntary aided status for church schools, helping him to lose the 1906 General Election, when Lloyd George and Winston Churchill ran the campaign. ‘No Rome on the Rates’ for the ‘New Liberals’.

    Ernest Bevin called catholics black crows, and was against the EEC as it was being founded by catholics. Bullock’s biography confirms this, as does Hugo Young’s ‘This Blessed Plot’ and the ex head of the civil service Sir Peter Wall.
    Hugh Gaitskell’s Thousand Years speech refers to catholicism as an argument against GB joining the then EEC (the speech in which ‘all the wrong people’ applauded- according to his wife.)

    So- and CHOU may be interested, people like me have a great regard for Ted Heath, he insisted on the One Man One Vote reform for Northern Ireland elections, in 1972, which deprived him of an overall majority in the Feb 28 1974 Election. Ted was a great man in my view.

  9. @Colin, PeteB

    Thank you

    @Jack

    I assume they’d want to because a) they did before, b) neither the present leftist (PASOK) government nor a replacement rightist (New Democracy) government would be seen as offering a political solution, and c) that way they could get paid.

    Greece sunk (ouch!) quite a bit of the boom money into its modern, freshly-painted Navy, with a tidy sprinkling of landing crafts, just right for – say – an amphibious landing and conquest of half of a small Mediterranean island under fire before the Americans could get there to stop them. So letting their sailors twiddle their thumbs unpaid, watching “300”, and thinking “Didn’t we used to *own* the Mediterranean?” whilst their government futzes around is *really* not a good idea… :-(

    Regards, Martyn

  10. @Henry, DAbrahams & RobertC

    The LDs have not been effective as far as I am concerned for instance regarding the NHS reforms. These reforms were not in the Coalition agreement and yet most LD ministers voted with the government to put the reforms through when in effect the majority in the country are against these changes. So the conclusion is that they wanted these reforms anyway or they have no spine.

    Nick Clegg’s comments about not working with Labour does not bother me as I am firmly convinced he and the LibDems wont be in a negotiating position after the next GE.

  11. @Liz Hancock

    “Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.” (Charles Mackay)

    @Robert C – “… financial markets waiting to pummel the UK.”

    This is another popular delusion, or at least an over-simplification. As someone pointed out, the markets like certainty and a credible plan (Brown/Darling).

    King (see wikileaks) was quoted by the American ambassador expressing his doubts about Cameron/Osborne’s credibility on economic matters, and these would have been well known in the City.

    Cameron had vetoed Osborne from setting out his austerity agenda for nine months in the run-up to the election. King was trying impress the neccessity of formulating a plan quickly… even if it turns out in the long run to have been the wrong plan.

    King also coached Clegg and persuaded him with this crisis scenario to drop LDs stated position wrt deficit reduction (wrong move on both counts imo).

  12. @Statgeek – “Might the UK car export increase be a result of Japan’s output drop since the Tsunami/Fukushima and more recently the Typhoon?”

    I’m not so sure. due to the interconnectedness of supply chains these events suppressed UK production earlier in the year, so I don’t think we can write these off as a simple bounce back. I don’t really know where the growth factors are coming from.

    @Mike N – Colin is correct re the structural deficit. There loads of arguments about how big this is, largely based on arguments about how much overal economic capacity we’ve permanently lost in the recession so far.

    @Colin – I know I keep saying ‘as I said before…’ but you have to admit – eighteen months ago I really was saying that coordinated austerity was going to be a disaster and the Greeks would never get out of their debt without a substantial default.

  13. @ Liz Hancock

    The Lib Dems have been hugely influential in pressing for changes to the NHS Bill this year, eg ruling out competition on price, safeguards against cherry-picking and removal of the duty to promote competition. These changes were prompted by a resolution passed at the Lib Dem Spring conference last March. Lib Dem peers, notably Shirley Williams, will be pressing for further amendments as the Bill is considered by the Lords.

  14. If any Greek generals/admirals are toying with politics or gazing longingly at Northern Cyprus, I think they’d better have a read of the Falklands Conflict.

    Cyprus is a long way from Greece, very close to Turkey, and the Eastern Mediterranean is these days largely populated by moderate Muslim countries on good political and miltary terms with the US and NATO. Greece may have a large navy, but these things are relative. A Greek occupation force on Cyprus, even with massive support from Greek Cypriots (less than 100% certain) would be completely under seige.

    Martyn is right that a coup would be a way of making sure they get paid (and even get rich). That might in itself make the idea attractive. But if it came with adventurism they’d not survive more than six months before the international community prised them out, and if it came without adventurism (with its concommitant hoped for burst of national unity) then the population of Greece would prise them out even fast than that.

  15. @DAbrahams

    Why was the NHS reforms even allowed to get started when they were not in the Coalition agreement?

    Anyway I shall not continue with my grievances on this site as it is not the right place for it. It has taken awhile but I think I have now gotten over my divorce with the LibDems.

  16. Some LD posters (eg D Abrahams) have been articulating how much influence the LDs have had in respect of proposals such as the NHS.

    I’m not going to argue whether this is accurate or not. But it seems to me that we have a Con gov with a an integrated opposition in the form of the LDs.

    I have no problem with the concept of coalition govs. But with this coalition we seem to have the LDs acting as oppiosition and also as a party in office (albeit not in power).

    Is this usual?

  17. Alec is right: he has been predicting that. People who have nailed their colours to the mast are:

    Virgilio:
    * Austerity fatigue will swing Europe leftwards between 2010-2015

    RobS:
    * The Coalition will collapse during 2011-2013
    * Labour will win the next General Election (due to the reunification of the centre-left)

    Alec:
    * Greece will default on their debt

    Me:
    * a LibDem will be in cabinet on 1 January 2015 (i.e. the Coalition will not collapse during 2011-2014)
    * Germany and Greece will still be in the Euro on 1 January 2012
    * Germany and Greece will still be in the Euro on 1 January 2014 (i.e. when the European Stability Mechanism[1] is set up, Greece won’t be thrown out)
    * Conservative Party will win the next General Election (due to the redrawing of the boundaries and the desire of former LD voters to punish the LDs and consequent collapse of tactical voting)

    If anybody else wants to put their money where their mouth is, shout out.

    Regards, Martyn

  18. Neil A

    Thank you.

    Regards, Martyn

  19. Liz Hancock.

    Now that the divorce is through, are you going to a dating agency? Or just waiting to see how attractive the suitors are, as they arrive on your doorstep in 2015, bearing flowers and chocolates? :-)

  20. @Martyn – “… the desire of former LD voters to punish the LDs and consequent collapse of tactical voting.”

    Just as likely that a significant proportion of former LD voters are willing to vote tactically in Con/Lab marginals, if so Labour gains more from Conservative than Con gains from LD (and more than Lab gains from LD for that matter).

  21. @OLDNAT

    It will be nice to be wooed again. I will wait for others to come to me with their chocs and flowers and I will then select the suitor who presents me with the most attractive package.

  22. @martyn – “Me:
    * a LibDem will be in cabinet on 1 January 2015…”

    So Cameron locks Clegg in a cupboard. Not really worth sticking your neck out for.

    [I’ve always thought it was Gove who was put back in the cupboard after each performance. Can’t wait for him to wear a monocle].

  23. @Liz

    “I will then select the suitor who presents me with the most attractive package.”

    There’s no answer to that.

  24. @Statgeek – now, now – keep it clean.

  25. Four Tories now confirmed to be standing for the SCON leadership.

    “Jackson Carlaw, Murdo Fraser, Ruth Davidson and Margaret Mitchell have all received the required 100 nominations to stand for the position set to be vacated by Annabel Goldie.” (Herald)

  26. @ D Abrahams

    delivering 75% of the manifesto is pretty good when you’ve had 65 years of 0%.

    ————————————————————————–

    The problem for the Lib/Dems is the things they have “delivered” that were’nt in their manifesto or in the Coalition Agreement, come to that.

    I’m glad you’ve returned heartened from your party’s Conference, but I think the Polls show voters do not trust the Lib/dems.

  27. @Alec

    A prediction is useless unless it’s testable, so it needs to be stated in a tightly defined yes/no way. The phrase “the Coalition will not collapse in 2011-2014” is not tightly defined (what do we mean by “collapse”?), but the phrase “A LibDem will be in cabinet on 1 January 2015 ” *is* tightly defined[1]. So we can say whether it has/has not been met and – voila – the prediction becomes testable.

    Regards, Martyn

    [1]: for the avoidance of doubt, the UK Cabinet

  28. Murdo Fraser “pointed to polling conducted this year which shows voters see the Conservatives as a party that speaks on English or British issues rather than Scottish issues, even compared with Labour and the LibDems, adding: “We have a severe identity problem. Only 6% of voters think we put Scottish issues first, while 50% think we put English issues first.

    “This is why we keep losing. People share our values but will never vote for us because we are ‘too English’. Not only do they not vote for us – they vote to keep us out.

    http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/politics/back-me-or-see-death-of-scots-tories-1.1125441

  29. He has a point. On the other hand, Scots are starting to reject both of the ‘big two’ on that basis.

  30. Martyn

    Since you asked, I predict a landslide Labour victory. And I hope they do more progressive stuff than Mr Blair.

    When?

    That’s a toughie. If the economy goes completely pear-shaped the Lib Dems might pull out next year to get some stimulus and stop the cuts.

  31. Statgeek

    As far as I can tell, the differences between the 4 candidates (apart from personality) are focussed on niceties of the constitutional issue –

    Fraser : withdrawal from the UK party, embracing and enhancing devolution
    Carlaw : status quo (as it will be after the Scotland Bill
    Mitchell : unreconstructed Unionist (no more Holyrood powers than now)

    Then Davidson : little comment on the constitution, but spending a helluva amount of cash already in her campaign.

    Do you know who their election system works? I’m presuming OMOV and FPTP.

  32. “delivering 75% of the manifesto is pretty good when you’ve had 65 years of 0%.”

    Strange then that there isn’t at least 75% satisfaction from the electors who voted for that manifesto…

  33. Woodsman

    I wonder how much of that “75% of the manifesto” was uniquely LD?

    There is frequently overlap between party manifesto. Their claim would only have meaning if they identify which bits of their manifesto wouldn’t have been implemented by the Tories anyway.

    That would be a real measure of their influence in Government. (Since AV was never LD policy anyway, they can’t even claim the referendum as implementation).

  34. Richard in Norway,

    As investments go, I think Afghanistan would have been a bad one.

    Anyway, it still proves my point.

  35. Liz Hancock

    ‘The LDs have not been effective as far as I am concerned for instance regarding the NHS reforms. These reforms were not in the Coalition agreement and yet most LD ministers voted with the government to put the reforms through when in effect the majority in the country are against these changes. So the conclusion is that they wanted these reforms anyway or they have no spine’.

    No, the conclusion is that the LDs listened to their coalition partners and saw the benefit of reform, already started by Labour to their credit (re GPs greater involvement). However the Tories wanted to proceed at a speed that LDs were concerned could be too fast or without sufficient consultation, which are areas now being addressed.

    ‘or they have no spine’.

    This is precisely what GB thought was the case and why he talked up NC and the LDs at the leader debates. He thought with no overall majority the LDs would just roll over and go red.

    The fact that NC was not GB’s poodle, but has a mind of his own, is what really rankles with some Labour supporters and posters; hence the vitriol.

  36. @Henry

    You know my views on LDs as I have talked about them on this website before. We wont agree as I am not one of the 9% so lets just leave it.

  37. 62%, now agree ‘the cuts are too deep and too fast, they will harm Britain’s economy more than they help it according to the Guardian/ICM poll (http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2011/sep/23/public-opinion-turns-against-cuts)

  38. According to yesterday’s Guardian/ICM poll 67% of definite Lib Dem and 87% of Labour supporters are opposed to the Coalition’s spending cuts.

  39. @Henry – “The fact that NC was not GB’s poodle, but has a mind of his own, is what really rankles with some Labour supporters and posters; hence the vitriol.”

    Partly, I’m sure, but also because Clegg specifically agreed with Labour on one of the central issues of the campaign (£6b in year cuts would be a disaster) but then claimed he never really thought that once he was offered a government post. Along with a volte face on tuition fees – a policy many Labour supporters probably liked, even if their leadership didn’t.

  40. The poll also shows that 51% think the Coalition is doing a bad job. The tide is turning it would seem and tomorrow’s YouGov will be interesting.

  41. A little ray of sunshine for the LibDems, Clegg’s rating has gone up from minus 21 to minus 8. Might just be a blip.

  42. @ Alec

    “You’ve never been to Sunderland then?”

    I have not but would you believe it, I have a friend from Sunderland. I’m sure that it’s no worse than Detroit or certain parts of the Bronx.

    @ Henry

    “I know precisely what you mean, although over the years you have had more cause for political optimism in the US than Libs have had in the UK.

    A number of posters appear to be keen to write off the LIB Dems, mostly because (ITHO) they coalitioned with the wrong party, I suspect. However, the core remains solid. We may no longer be beatniks like Peter and Paul of PP&M, or wear sandals. But we are still there.

    Nick Clegg is clearly one of us, Eton and Oxbridge or not. The media picked up on his repeated ‘Its not easy but its right’, suggesting that ‘right’, was intended as a message to confirm that we were doing all the right things even though they are not popular at the moment. The key phrase to me was ‘its not easy’; that sums up the Liberals/Lib Dems and appeals to many of us. If we wanted it easy we would have joined Labour or the Tories. NC may wear a smart suit but you can bet he has a pair of sandals in the closet.”

    As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve never been labeled as a “sandal wearer.” I’ve heard lots of pejoratives but not that one.

    We have had cause for optimism and I think that is unfortunately something that people forget too often.

    As for Clegg, I feel like in European politics, comebacks are a rarity. Once someone becomes disliked by the population at large, they remain that way. I’m sure you guys could probably point out all the instances where I’d be wrong but it’s just the general feeling. But you’re Brits and not completely like the rest of Europe. So I wouldn’t say that Clegg or the Lib Dems are dead in the next election.

    @ D Abrahams

    “I am very grateful for the liberal achievements of the last Labour government (notably the Human Rights Act and the Civil Partnerships Act).”

    Even though I am not British, I am grateful for those things too.

  43. @ Chris Lane

    “The Uk has never had a catholic Prime Minister. Tony Blair delayed his ‘journey to Rome’ until after he left Office.

    Most Catholic MP’s are Catholic.

    In 1960, by the way, we JFK’s vote was down about 20% on what might have been expected owing to his religion- according to analysis by Dallek in his biography.

    Members of the British Royal family cant marry catholics and remain in the succession.

    You may know in Northern Ireland one person one vote was introduced in 1972. Before then votes depended on housing ownership. Ted Heath did the business, 50 years too late.

    Ian Duncan Smith is the most prominent catholic Tory.

    Nick Clegg’s party wants to abolish church schools.
    He sends his son to one of course.”

    I did not know that. Interesting about Blair not becoming Catholic until after he left office (surprising though). When did you guys first start electing or recognizing Prime Ministers? Because your Parliament has existed for over 1000 years I think (or close to it) and before all the church schisms and protestant reformation, weren’t all Christians Catholic? (Or Greek Orthodox?) Anyway, that’s a discussion for another time.

    I would assume that most Catholic MPs are in fact Catholic.

    I have no doubt that JFK’s vote was down due to his Catholicism. I don’t think 20% is an accurate figure though because the highest percentage of the popular vote a president has ever rececived in an election was 61% (excluding presidents who basically ran unopposed). Kennedy earned 49.72% of the vote and he ran against a very strong opponent in Nixon. And there wasn’t any type of will for great change among the electorate back then. So did Kennedy lose votes because he was Catholic? Certainly. I don’t think it was 20% though.

    Al Smith’s landslide loss in 1928 was due in part to the fact that he was Catholic. I actually have a friend who was in her teens on Election Night 28′ (I’ll call her “Old Lib” or “Old Dem”) and she told me how she spent the entire night crying hearing the bad results on the news.

    Obama would have won by a lot more in 08′ had he been a white male.

    Did not know about Northern Ireland.

    I did know about the crazy marriage laws for your monarchy. Makes me grateful for having the fundamental right to marry (well sort of).

    The Lib Dem position on abolishing religious schools does not sound particularly liberal to me. Of course in the U.S., we’ve got the constitutional angle as well as the political one that would prevent abolishing religious schools (or private schools for that matter). So maybe that’s why it doesn’t get taken up more as a political issue here.

  44. LDs down 3% with ICM at the end of their conference?

    Isn’t that a bit unusual for any party? A plop not a blip.

  45. Alec

    Partly, I’m sure, but also because Clegg specifically agreed with Labour on one of the central issues of the campaign (£6b in year cuts would be a disaster) but then claimed he never really thought that once he was offered a government post. Along with a volte face on tuition fees – a policy many Labour supporters probably liked, even if their leadership didn’t.

    Thanks and point taken on both. I expect NC would claim that no one was aware of how serious the financial situation was until he took office. Perhaps, or perhaps not, a bit far fetched I expect that is what he would claim.

    I am sure you know where I stand on tuition fees; certain MPs pressed for this because it could help them in their specific seats. NC and a number of others were naive on this and I am sure they will learn.

  46. Nick Poole
    The other outcome of the depression was extremism.

    Certainly was in Germany, Nick, with the usual victims selected. Mind you I don’t recognise it in the current three mainstream Parties.

    However, it was a different time, pre-Beverage and other Reformers. My grandfather became seriously ill and my dad was out on the streets looking for work at 14.

    On the one side young people are lucky that the state provides far more in terms of support and benefits if they need it, on the other in my opinion my dad was lucky to have a loving mum and a stable home. Many of todays kids are not so fortunate.

  47. @Old Nat

    The ICM feildwork was Tues/Wed (20th/21st).

    27% would prefer to see a majority Labour govt, 22% a Tory majority (16% each for Con/LD and Lab/LD coalitions).

    Even 43% of voters in the South (of England) think Labour deserves another spell in power.

  48. SOCIAL LIBERAL
    Thank youb very much for your post, greatly appreciate the dialogue.

    Evening here now and the children home.

    I meant of course that most catholic mps are Labour.

    On the marriage law for royals, it had tragic consequences, I think. Prince Charles dated catholics such as Marie Astrid, but could not marry her….

    I knew about Al Smith, and he lost to Hoover I think.

    In terms of the English political and ecclesial establishment, the English Church still has the 39 Articles at the front of their prayer book, which contains some quite harsh stuff about the catholic doctrine of the mass and the pope.
    So it explains Blair’s typical timidity in not wanting to upset anybody by changing his religion.

    On Northern Ireland, Ted Heath was a hero- for people like me anyway.

    On the Liberal policy on the church schools i understand the secular arguments and the separation of church and state. The Labour Party also used to argue for this.

    But they still send their own children to these schools.
    Maybe that is a case of St Augustine (of Hippo) saying:
    God, make me good (or give me chastity) BUT not yet!

    Back to Northern Ireland. Therefore, and it is not well know, the USA was ahead of the UK on voting reform with LBJ’s legislation- what a man he was-

    And yes, in the west, all christians used to be catholic. The schism over the filioque clause with the Orthodox was in the 11th century, and the 16th Century saw the western christendom fissures.. a long story.

    But out monarchs still keep the title Defender of the Faith- on the coins it is seen. This title was given by the Pope in 1521 to Henry V111 for his attack on Lutheranism.

  49. @NickP

    Thank you. Recasting the predictions in a testable way, our predictions are:

    Virgilio:
    * Austerity fatigue will swing Europe leftwards between 2010-2015

    RobS:
    * The Coalition will collapse during 2011-2013
    * Labour will win the next General Election (due to the reunification of the centre-left)

    Alec:
    * Greece will default on their debt before 1 January 2014

    Me:
    * a LibDem will be in cabinet on 1 January 2015 (i.e. the Coalition will not collapse during 2011-2014)
    * Germany and Greece will still be in the Euro on 1 January 2012
    * Germany and Greece will still be in the Euro on 1 January 2014 (i.e. when the European Stability Mechanism[1] is set up, Greece won’t be thrown out)
    * Conservative Party will win the next General Election (due to the redrawing of the boundaries and the desire of former LD voters to punish the LDs and consequent collapse of tactical voting)

    NickP
    * Labour will win the next General Election and the BBC to describe the victory as a “landslide”

    Regards, Martyn

  50. @OLDNAT

    “Do you know who their election system works?”

    Check accent.
    Check tie/scarf straight
    Check blue article of clothing present
    Check past employment in a business role

    After that, it’s probably all gift of the gab.

    (For Lab, Lib & SNP: Same difference, only slightly different criteria)

    :)

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