The monthly online ComRes poll for the Sunday Indy is out tomorrow, and has topline figures of CON 35%(-2), LAB 39%(nc), LDEM 11%(+1), Others 15%(+1). Changes are from the last online ComRes poll a month ago, rather than their parallel telephone polls. The rest of the poll is the usual collection of agree/disagree statements, which I’m hardly a fan of. For example, one of them finds only 27% of people agree that Labour under Ed Miliband would be better at protecting jobs, with 43% disagreeing. On the face of it this is a surprising finding given that Labour normally have a good lead on the issue of employment, but of course, those disagreeing don’t necessarily think the Conservatives would be better than Labour, they could think both parties would be equally good (or bad) – questions like this would be infinitely better done by asking if Miliband/Labour or Cameron/Conservatives would be better at protecting jobs.

A new Opinium survey also surfaced during the week, although the fieldwork was actually done earlier in November, between the 4th and 7th November. For the record though, it had topline figures of CON 34%(+1), LAB 38%(-1), LDEM 10%(+1), Others 18%(-1) – so showing a 4 point Labour lead in line with ComRes tonight and the 5 point Lab leads YouGov have been showly lately.

Later tonight we’ll have the regular YouGov poll for the Sunday Times. As usual I’ll do a proper update on that tomorrow morning.


81 Responses to “ComRes/Sunday Indy – CON 35, LAB 39, LD 11”

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  1. Ken

    Welcome back!

    You’re exactly wrong about Mrs Thatcher of course. Where it all started to go wrong was when she stopped being pragmatic and started believing her own rhetoric. Such things as the poll tax were based on the sort of pseudo-religious belief in markets and self-reliance (always easier to advocate when you’re married to a multimillionaire). While most of those around her were equally deluded – at least they were able to read the polls.

    While she wasn’t as right-wing as say Tony Blair, she started the process under which he thrived – it’s that shift away from the communal ethos of the welfare state which is why she was so hated. Just as important she started the process of fecklessness where tax cuts were subsidised by non-renewable income (oil revenues, nationalisations) or ‘selling off the family silver’ as Macmillan described it.

    A lot of the attacks on her were horribly sexist (and were condemned as such at the time) but she hardly did much for women herself, only ever having had one woman in her cabinet and that an old Oxford friend for just a couple of years. If you want to be the queen bee, you must expect the stings – and to be fair to her she didn’t complain.

    Martyn & SoCal

    If we’re talking about Nixon representations, I’d like to put in a word for James Maddalena who created the title role in John Adams’ wonderful opera, Nixon in China.

  2. @ Ken

    Although being a woman was a disadvantage and a challenge to the fundamental misogeny of the political left,
    ————————————-
    I think there was more than enough misogeny to go around: Right, left & center. :-(

  3. Interesting YouGov poll for Prospect Magazine on national perceptions reorted here

    http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/english_move_away_from_being_british_1_1975522

    Tables available at

    cdn.yougov.com/cumulus_uploads/document/hufq8ro02k/YG-Archives-pol-Europe-181111.pdf

    On my wee Netbook, I don’t have the facility to do any analysis of it, but the differences between Scots and “GB” attitudes to the EU and “foreign” countries are suggestive of a somewhat different set of attitudes.

    As for main identified nationality percentages

    Nat, GB, Sco
    Eng, 63, 7
    Sco, 8, 68
    Welsh, 5, 0
    Irish, 1, 1
    Brit, 18, 22
    Eur, 2, 2
    Oth, 2,0

    “John Curtice, professor of politics at Strathclyde University, said that a weakening of “Britishness” in England could have massive repercussions for the future of the Union”

  4. Interesting also that BBC Scotland (unlike any other part of their UK provision) has decided to close both their political and economics articles for comment – other than on an occasional basis.

    We are no longer enabling comments on this page as a general rule. We will continue, however, to enable comments from time to time on this page as we do across our online service to provide users with the opportunity to contribute on particular stories.

    Most party supporters feel that the BBC is biased against them :-) but this is the first time I have seen the BBC decide to discriminate against comments on their articles in just one part of the UK.

    I may be paranoid, but that still doesn’t mean that they aren’t out to get me! :-)

  5. Just in case you’re looking via twitter or their own web page via broken web links, here’s a working one for today’ YouGov tables

    http://cdn.yougov.com/cumulus_uploads/document/3r78qrqfex/Sunday%20Times%20Results%20111118%20VI%20and%20Trackers%20TC.pdf

  6. GRAHAM and SCOT NAT.

    Thank you Graham, you are right of course about both by elections! Thank you. Do you remember who the MP for Northfield was?

    As to Jenkins going off to Europe: The week before that he came to talk to the Fabian Society in Bournemouth, keeping a promise he had made some time before, which he had had to cancel when in Cabinet.

    When the Fabian Society took him out to dinner he revealed very expensive tastes in wine and cigar.

    But Roy was the only colleague who ever visited Harold Wilson when he was ill- see Mary Wilson’s account: still alive she is.

    I always wanted Jenkins to be leader, but things were going off to the Far Left by then

    Scot Nat: I thought EDM going to be Shadow Under Secretary at the Scottish Office would wake you up Sir!

  7. @ Richard in Norway

    “I’m watching a gop primary debate in Iowa at the moment, they are talking a lot about abortion and abolishing courts and limiting the power of the judiciary

    Any comments?”

    I didn’t watch the GOP primary (I had better things to do with my time than watch a group of lunatics) so I can’t comment on anything specific that they’ve said.

    As you know, abortion is the biggest hot-button issue for the GOP. Republicans want to ban it completely, at every stage of pregnancy with no exceptions for the life or health of the mother or even in cases of rape and incest. But they can’t do this because abortion rights are protected by the federal Constitution. Because it’s unlikely that they could ever get a Constitutional amendment to ban all abortions, their goal is to stack the benches with radical right wingers and then push the limits of abortion law. This is easier said than done. In 1992, when the Supreme Court reaffirmed Roe v. Wade (the decision holding abortion restrictions unconstitutional), 8 of the 9 Justices were Republican appointees. All 5 in the majority were Republican appointed Justices.

  8. The Birmingham Northfield by election was caused by the death of Mrs Cadbury. It was won by John Spellar, who narrowly beat Roger Gale, right winger.#

    Labour there actually had a greatly reduced % swing of the vote in that 28 October 1982 by election, indicating that Labour was very unpopular. The Liberal party had a big swing towards it.

  9. Polling places have opened here in Spain, and it looks like the Cons (PP) are going to defeat the Socialists (PSOE) by around 15%, with an overall 45% share of the vote.

    Figures that I leave conservative Britain to do charity work abroad, and as soon as I move there, it turns conservative too. I’m just going to avoid America entirely until after the election…

  10. SCOTSWAEHAE
    Figures that I leave conservative Britain to do charity work abroad, and as soon as I move there, it turns conservative too. I’m just going to avoid America entirely until after the election…
    I hope you are not planning to return till 2016…lol

  11. @ Richard in Norway

    To continue (I’m trying to avoid overly long posts).

    On restricting the power of the judiciary, that’s an old talking point and a silly one too (since the federal benches are stacked with Republican appointees). It gets brought up whenever there’s a decision they don’t like and never when there’s a decision they do. We have three branches of government for a reason and they’re supposed to be equal branches for a reason.

    Abolishing courts is something they could theoretically do (Congress sometimes takes away jurisdiction from courts on certain issues when they get angry about things). It’s been done before….well actually just once. But before I get too deep into the constitutional specifics of what jurisdiction can and can’t be taken away….I want to step back and discuss the complete and utter absurdity of what the GOP is proposing and just how radical and looney they have gotten.

    The U.S. benefits economically from our superior court systems. The reason that business can function as smoothly as it does is because we have a federal court system that is professional, efficiently, competent, and extremely well run. This was something recognized early on and one of the first acts of Congress in 1789, at Alexander Hamilton’s pro-business urging, was to establish and create these courts! So if you do as these nutjobs want and you abolish these courts, you are going to basically harm businesses by slowing and delaying litigation and you’re going to harm the economy in the process.

    Now why would anyone suggest something this mind numbingly stupid? Well Republicans don’t like certain court decisions and when they don’t, they feel that abolishing the courts altogether will get them the result they want. But here’s why this is really stupid and I mean REALLY stupid. If you abolish these lower federal courts (federal district courts and federal circuit courts of appeals), the decisions they don’t like will simply come from state courts where individuals will bring their cases. Yes, it might take longer and trials might not be as efficient and the judges might not be as good and it might be more difficult to facilitate trials and you may find that you no longer have experts on unique federal legislation. However, the decisions will still be the same (if not worse for the GOP and the ideals of the conservative movement). They can’t abolish the state courts, it’s outside of their authority. And, those decisions will still be reviewable by the Supreme Court, which also is constitutionally guaranteed and can’t be abolished.

  12. @Oldnat – ““what happens when your budget is controlled by a foreign country ”

    I’m making absolutely no comment at all! ”

    That’s precisely my point, and I often compare the the UK situation to the Eurozone.

    This is the fundamental flaw that the German public just don’t get. If you are in a properly functioning currency union, the wealthy areas will have an unavoidable requirement to fund capital tranfers into those poorer regions, as there are no longer interest rate and currency valuations to accomodate the economic differentials. The only other alternative would be inflation in the rich areas and unemployment elsewhere. This is the price you pay for having unfettered access to markets within the currency area.

    While the Germans managed this issue brilliantly during the reunification process, with the old west pumping resources into the east to create a newly united and stable single nation, in the case of the UK
    we can see how sometimes these disparities can be extremely persistent for all kinds of reasons, so the wealthier south east has effectively subsidised the north east and elsewhere for decades. This creates enough political tensions here, with a fundamental north/south divide in English politics, but imagine these same tensions arising on a trans national basis.

    If Germany wants the single currency, it has to pay for it. Either through bailing out debtor countries now, which it is not prepared nor able to do, or through facing years of paying for the poorer regions to develop to a state of parity.

    Their chosen alternative instead is to seek to erode the living conditions of the debtor nations via austerity and control their budget decisions, while ignoring their obligations to contribute much more to the Euro unification pot. At the same time, they are accepting all the benefits to a major global exporter of a currency that is seriously under valued for the German economy which gives them additional benefit in global markets while further exacerbating the divergence within the Eurozone, for which they must eventually pay.

    All the talk of integrated fiscal union is therefore pointless. I simply cannot see any scenario where either the Germans will accept the bill, nor the southern nations accept the level of hardship that a Germanic refusal would require of them.

    My greatest fear is that this pointless attempt to hide from reality will instead create the conditions for trans national extremism, political division, and popularist aggression. With the notable exception of Ireland, in the British Isles we haven’t got too bad a recent track record of dealing with such national and regional tensions, although we’ve still had our problems.

    Unfortunately, we can’t say the same about Europe. History tells us that it’s dangerously delusional to assume that 70 years of peace in Europe means we will always have peace, and the German stance means we are now establishing the conditions that could conceivably lead to substantial civil unrest, if not outright conflict.

  13. Oldnat – exactly, it’s awful that the BBC are discriminating against England, Wales and Northern Ireland by subjecting our news stories to the annoying pointless frothing of BBC “have your say” lunacy while Scotland gets away without it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQnd5ilKx2Y
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oP-rkzJ6yZw

  14. @ Richard in Norway

    “I’m watching a gop primary debate in Iowa at the moment, they are talking a lot about abortion and abolishing courts and limiting the power of the judiciary

    Any comments?”

    I have heard proposals to abolish the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, a beyond stupid idea for all the reasons I mentioned above. So I’m not sure if that was brought up tonight. But here’s why some of them might want to do it.

    There is a misconception out there that the 9th Circuit is an out of control Liberal circuit that is routinely overturned by the Supreme Court. In truth, the 9th is only overturned a percentage point or two more than other circuits (sometimes it’s not the most overturned) and the cases that are overturned are equally Liberal and they are Conservative. But reality never stood in the way of common popular wisdom or the views of the Republican Party.

    In truth, the real problem with the 9th Circus is simply that it’s too big (it covers most of the western United States) and too unweildy and this helps prevent uniformity in the law and also allows for sloppiness. There’s an extremely long case backlog in it as a result. Abolishing this court is not going to fix the problems with it.

  15. Peter B

    “the point being that mrs T was not exactly the universal hate-figure that some posters here would have us believe”

    You can make precisely the same point about Blair.

    This approach though biases the years of voter engagement. The better criteria is percentage of the vote- so are you popular in years when voters sit on their hands as well as when they are motivated to vote?

    From 1945 till 2010:

    Attlee 49.7
    Attlee 46.1
    Churchill 48.0
    Eden 49.7
    Macmillan 49.4
    Wilson 44.1
    Wilson 48.0
    Heath 46.4
    Heath 37.9/ Wilson 37.2
    Wilson 39.2
    Thatcher 43.9
    Thatcher 42.4
    Thatcher 42.2
    Major 41.9
    Blair 43.2
    Blair 40.7
    Blair 35.2
    Cameron 36.1

    Thatchers best performance is 9th and she never got more than 43.9% of those voting. But she was- as Andy Marr put it in the excellent history of modern Britain- “lucky in her enemies ” (same can be said of Blair) and that from 1981 the opposition was split = the precise opposite of our current situation.

  16. Scotswaehae

    The Spanish election is also the first actual democratic test of the level of support for the ‘occupy’ movement (the indignados being the poster boys and girls of the ‘global’ ‘movement’).

    They have urged people not to vote for either PP or SP (‘all the same’ blah blah blah).

    If the PP get a landslide and circa 45% then that’s both a rejection of the current government and also of the ‘leaderless self organsing’ policy lite ‘occupy’ ‘movement’.

  17. @ Crossbat11

    “Blimey, I know we live in a global village these days, but how on earth have you heard about a former Worcestershire cricketer?? He was indeed born in Bromsgrove (as I was in 1955) and went on to play for Worcestershire before moving down south to play for Surrey. He has played for England but I suppose is now better known for publicly announcing that he’s gay, the first professional cricketer to do so, I think.”

    Your last sentence answers your first question. I am sorry to say this (as I know you’re a huge fan and follower) but I know next to nothing about Cricket or Cricketers. We do live in a global village though, that’s for sure.

    @ Martyn

    “Lord, don’t get “Nixon” out just on my say-so: it’s way long and best digested in small bits – you do have to be slightly drunk to watch it. But only *slightly* drunk: if you give it your attention it does reward you, and it accords the subject weight that a more entertaining film would not. Well worth watching but not great fun, if you see what I mean.”

    Well, you have a number of intelligent things to say and I’m sure you’ve got some good movie picks. Not being a drinker though, I’m not sure I’ll enjoy the movie sober. But the thing is, if you knew me in person, you’d know that I can often give off the appearance of being drunk despite being a teatotaller. :) So maybe I’ll enjoy it anyway. My favorite film about Nixon was the 1999 movie “Dick” starring Will Ferrell (as Bob Woodward), Dan Hedaya (as Richard Nixon), Michelle Williams, Kirsten Dunst, and Jim Breuer.

    “You’re too young to remember “Washington: Behind Closed Doors” and perhaps I remember it over fondly, but it was big in its day… :)

    Anyhoo, ho-hum, I’d better stop there before I start assigning marks and drawing up ranked tables…off you trot and be a good lawyer. Or, failing that, a rich one… :)”

    Lol, it’s okay. I will check out Washington: Behind Closed Doors. You don’t have to assign a mark and you can be like former Congressman Wally Capps (D-CA). He was a long time college professor at UC Santa Barbara and something of a hippie. He didn’t believe in grades so he gave everyone A’s.

  18. @Rob Sheffield

    Your figures are a brilliantly illustrative index of the increasingly non-functionality and illegitimacy of our utterly redundant FPTP system.

    Pity that so many on the left chose to support it during the referendum vote earlier this year.

  19. @Roger Mexico

    “While she wasn’t as right-wing as say Tony Blair, she started the process under which he thrived”

    That’s uncharacteristically lazy from you, Roger, isn’t it? I agree Blair was a classic centrist politician, with little or no overtly left wing views, but to say he was more right wrong than Thatcher is to stand the traditional definitions of left and right on their head. His attitude to the public services, for example, would make him a Marxist in comparison to Thatcher, as would his outlook on constitutional reform, social policy and the minimum wage.

    I now await the usual suspects giving us a list of reasons why he was somewhat to the right of Genghis Khan!

    @Rob S

    “Thatchers best performance is 9th and she never got more than 43.9% of those voting. But she was- as Andy Marr put it in the excellent history of modern Britain- “lucky in her enemies ” (same can be said of Blair) and that from 1981 the opposition was split = the precise opposite of our current situation.”

    I agree and the statistics that you share make fascinating reason. My, admittedly biased, opinion of Thatcherism was that it was basically a beneficiary of an extraordinary spasm of national self-loathing that occurred during the 80s. A necessary foul-tasting medicine that we needed to take, or so we thought and were continually told by right wing opinion formers told, but the dispenser-in-chief was never widely liked!

  20. Oops, I’ve just noticed my classic Freudian typo in my previous post. “Right wrong” should read “right wing” but, having considered the two versions, I rather like my right wrong label, I have to say!!!lol

  21. @ Pete B

    “Let’s not forget that Mrs T also won 3 elections and she and Reagan had a huge influence on the fall of the Soviet bloc. It might even have been the last hurrah of western civilisation the way things are going.”

    I would say the following. Western Civilization, the United States, and the United Kingdom are bigger than any one particular individual. IMHO, I believe Communism is wrong and was always destined to fail, not just because it was completely unworkable and nonsensical in practice but the way that it was implemented (particularly in the Soviet Union but in other places as well) was criminal, brutal, horrendous, and lacked all humanity and decency. It was corrupted from the start and it was going to fall. Therefore, while Reagan and Thatcher certainly deserve credit for standing up to Communism (as do all the various leaders and elected officials over the years who played roles in the Cold War), I cannot credit them for bringing down something that was going to fail from the outset.

    As for Thatcher’s ability to win elections, she was always more popular than people were willing to admit.

    “2. 13,948,385 Clem Attlee (Lab) 1951 (lost)”

    This is a surprising number to me. For 41 years, your country’s highest vote getter was an electoral loser. Of the 7 on your list, only two were true landslides. Maybe Brits only like to turn out in high numbers when the elections are heavily contested.

  22. @ Rob Sheffield

    “The Spanish election is also the first actual democratic test of the level of support for the ‘occupy’ movement (the indignados being the poster boys and girls of the ‘global’ ‘movement’).”

    I need to go to bed now. But um, we’ll see. I’m not certain it is but I may be placing my own limitations on how I look at the Occupy movement.

    I’ll tell you one thing, what those of us who support the goals or at least share the same frustrations as Occupy need to figure out how to put together an alliance between all the left wing hippies at Occupy and the military defense industrial complex. Because those two forces working together could turn back the push for austerity…at least in the U.S.

  23. Robert C

    Anyone here at the time will know I did support AV- having supported PR since the 80’s when a divided centre left/ left gave a Tory party that got less than 43% in both 1983 and 1987 two huge disproportionate landslides.

    It is- however- the reverse dynamic (that we now have two parties in government and a centre left/ left space inhabited- viably as a main party- only by Labour) that is very likely to help Labour at the next (disproportionate) election. It already has been helping the poll ratings and performance in the locals.

    I’m afraid your mob utterly blew it when they agreed a referendum rather than requiring PR (at least for local government)- you sound grumpy but you only have your own party to blame for effectively taking PR off the agenda in England for a generation.

  24. I don’t know how much it’ll be looked on with regards to the occupy movement, a lot of people were planning on handing in a blank voting slip as a protest, not because of what they occupy movement are doing, but because they don’t trust PSOE anymore with the economy, but refuse to vote in a Con government. I reckon it’s going to be a massive win for PP, in public opinion it’s sounding like 90s Blair-esque levels of support for PP, and PSOE are being blamed for the economy.

  25. Socal

    What ARE the goals of ‘occupy’?

    They seem to be against a lot with precious little specifics as to what they would change or how we would be governed (aside from ‘without leaders’); or where they do have specifics (like “ending capitalism’) they are farcical in their naiveity and disconnect with the ‘average family or average joe and jane’.

    Social networking and YouTube allow them to appear more relevant and widespread than they actually are (much the same way as Ron Paul’s crazies keep him in the limelight during Republican pre- primary season every 4 years only for the inevitable defeat and dropping out of the race come Feb/March time).

    Remember anti- globalisation: much the same nihilism/ lack of policy specifity and it petered out after around two years. The t’internet might lengthen the timespan for this latest anarcho crusade. But if they are serious they should start their own party and fight the democratic fight (or join existing parties).

    Apparently some of the USA variant occupy people want a ‘third party’ run against Obama: if so let’s see how you feel about them then!

  26. @SMUKESH:

    If that’s what it takes, I’ll have self-imposed exile until after the UK GE! :-P

  27. Rob

    We did indeed blow it. Very depressing!!

  28. Re Thatcher, Reagan and the fall of the Soviet Block, I’ve never really bought into the idea that it was these two who were instrumental in the fall of state communism. It was far more an historical accident that they were in power when it happened.

    By the 1970s it was clear that the Soviet economic and military threat was based on a ramshackle and disfunctional productive system that was held together by fear and political repression – the equivalent of sticky backed plastic in practical terms. Fear based systems never function effectively, and the USSR was steadily losing the economic and technical war with the west, even while the west appeared to be in a mess.

    The fear of the Red Army was always grossly overdone in the west. I was (am) friendly with a signals corp senior army contact who was regularly posted to Berlin and the Nato frontline to watch the Soviets and gather intelligence.

    He always said that while Nato tank battalions were outnumbered 8 to 1 on paper, the Soviet tanks continually were useless, failed to start, and had an average operating window of around 30 minutes battle conditions before they broke down. Besides, they were divided into units of 12, with only the unit leader having two way comms. All you needed to do was spot the tank with the big twin aerial, knock it out, and you had a leaderless tank unit that couldn’t function on the battlefield, even if the tanks themselves were still functional. It was a similar story pretty much everywhere in the soviet military. The nuclear arsenals were much more frightening (but still as ramshackle on the soviet side), but that applied both ways. It just suited both soviet and western leaders to pretend the Russians had huge military might.

    Where I think there is some credit due to Thatcher/Reagan was that their publically more robust line on military spending did ramp up the pressure on the Soviet military in a way their economy couldn’t respond to. However, I would argue that the root cause was their dire economic management, and this would have come to the fore in due course regardless. All that the UK and US did was bring forward the time that reformers in Russia felt emboldened enough to come forward, but it was always going to happen at some stage anyway.

    We always seem to allow ouselves to be frightened by things that we really shouldn’t be so worried about, while accepting reassurances about things that really should be terryfying. We’re making the same mistake with Islamic fundamentalism as we did with the Soviet Block – irritating problems, that could in extremis cause some severe damage to us, but are extremely unlikely to come remotely close to bringing us down.

    On the other hand, we have sailed on blithely ignorant of the threat posed by 9 billion people on the planet or the fact that the Euro was building up sufficient pressure to destroy Europe’s economy. Events where the future is blindingly obvious and action essential.

  29. alec

    “We’re making the same mistake with Islamic fundamentalism as we did with the Soviet Block – irritating problems, that could in extremis cause some severe damage to us, but are extremely unlikely to come remotely close to bringing us down”

    I could not disagree more with this.

    Equating Communism with Islamism must surely be very dodgy.

    Communism – whatever its faults both theoretically and then [email protected] in practice (in a variety of formats)- was a ‘modernist’ secular project born of a particular epistemology and ontology.

    Islamism is a theology and one that fundamentally bases itself on a moral equivalence between the notion of suicide (which is a sin) and suicide-to-be-glorified (as in Jihadist homicide bombings and shootings).

    Millions of people died as a result of communism and nazism: as did hundreds/ thousands as a result of ETA/ the IRA.

    But imagine how many more would died had these two ideologies been grounded in the maniacal theological certainty that death-whilst-murdering-the-infidel brings you paradise (and the rest of it).

    The European WW2 would only have ended with a nuclear bomb- as the pacific war had to given the type of zealous resistance and refusal to surrender exhibited by the Japanese (again with a view of an afterlife).

    I’m not so scared of Islamic countries (save the nutters in Iran) as I am the ‘exiled faithful’. Every month in the UK a plot of some magnitude is discovered in the UK. Every day the zealous publish and agitate for sharia based changes.

    Recently we have had a biggie/ serious plot uncovered *again*.

    If it was not for the changes in the law and changes in security policy brought in under Blair (and continued quietly by ConLib) we would have had more 7/7 and all the potential inter-communal strife that this would have brought. Because the current government have retained the previous governments approach we should be safe at the London Olympics next year. Should be…..Home grown Islamism?

    Be afraid be VERY afraid: and monitor (and where necessary closely police) accordingly.

  30. Pete B,

    If Thatcher was Labour party leader in 1979, she’d still be the leader today. The only way you lose the Labour party leadership is if you don’t want it, and I can’t imagine a living version of Thatcher who doesn’t want to be leader!

    As for her popularity, I think that the key thing was she was a Marmite PM: you either love her or hate her. Compare with a Shawshank Redemption PM (like Churchill) whom almost everyone except a few commies and fascists like, or a clumsy burglar PM like Ramsay MacDonald (at best, you just feel sorry for him).

  31. Alec

    ” However, I would argue that the root cause was their dire economic management, and this would have come to the fore in due course regardless.”

    I agree. Targets (five year plans) incentives (Siberia).

    Same as NewLabour, call centres, banker’s bonuses.

    Hospital waiting lists, PRP, School league tables, Managed crime stats, train times.

    All are daft innumerate abuses of data by dim or dishonest management fashionistas.

    In one respect we are in a worse situation: probably fewer people see the connection between a bad result and a bad system.

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