Tonight’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 35%, LAB 40%, LDEM 9%, Others 16%. The five point Labour lead is bang in line with recent YouGov polls, but it’s worth noting that within that 16% for others UKIP are on 8%, their highest since the European election in 2009.


188 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – CON 35, LAB 40, LDEM 9”

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  1. Just tweeted the very same point about UKIP, a recent high and half the “others”. Wander what would happen if it was put in the prompt?

  2. Cons seems to have eased a touch in the last week or 2 but no Lab benefit.

  3. This is the first time UKIP has hit 8% in the polls. I should have thought that was worthy of comment.

  4. I’d like to think that Lab boost in the Ipsos Mori monitor was due to the complete inability of the government to actually govern with any coherence. (e.g. Quangos being scrapped which result in costs going up and accountability being reduced etc.).

    However, I think it is just random sample noise (one’s up and one’s down, YG is stable) and I think any real movement will come after the Autumn Statement and then next year when the cuts really bite and it becomes clear that the great economic gamble has failed (the cuts were meant to bite once the economy was out danger!).

  5. “Cons seems to have eased a touch in the last week or 2 but no Lab benefit.”

    Yep- interesting looking at ATTAUK (adding together Tories and UKIP)- oh and utterly ignoring LALA.

    The ability of the Tories to claw ATTAUK back will be crucial IMO as to whether they can end up the largest party in the hung parliament after the next GE.

    I have to say- I thought the news today was absolutely dire for the government.

    Both the subjects themselves and also the reporting of them (on all channels).

    It continues apace on snoozenight right now.

  6. Lab would surely like to stay above 40, or 42 would be better. By the looks of things it seems there is a slow but steady swing (perhaps creep a better description)from Lab to UKIP, which isn’t what I was expecting – I was expecting UKIP to drain away Conservative support more than any other. Perhaps it is right-leaning Lab supporters either transferring direct or else going into DK or “shrug” territory, and some other DK’s deciding on UKIP. Who knows.

    However – you wonder at what level of UKIP support it stops being a minor party obviously incapable of winning a seat to one which can win seats, and thus will start attracting more support just for that reason. The tipping point can’t be far off. The more Europe fiddles, the more they must rub their hands in anticipation.

  7. Is it right to add together Tories and UKIP, producing ATTAUK? If, as it seems, it’s got ex-Labour supporters (and others) in there too, should we expect the Cons to claw them back automatically?

  8. ROB SHEFFIELD.
    I agree with your analysis.

    But, as you know, Labour’s leadership and its alternative policy offer are woefully inadequate.

    On the issue of ‘clawback’ Am I right to think that Tory administrations do manage to claw back deficits in poll ratings in the run up to elections? 1955, 1959, 1964, even Feb 1974, 1987, 1992 and even 1997?

    I would be interested in your comments on this point of claw back since I teach electoral behaviour at A Level

  9. chrislane1945

    “But, as you know, Labour’s leadership and its alternative policy offer are woefully inadequate”

    You don’t know who is going to be Labour leader at the next election: but I have a sneaking suspicion that t won’t make the slightest difference to your constant anti-Labour diatribes.

    “I would be interested in your comments on this point of claw back since I teach electoral behaviour at A Level”

    Polling data is only online for period from 1976 (IM) onwards.

    **The data **
    (using Ipsos Mori and UKPR archives)

    Incumbent lead 12 months out compared to subsequent GE (- denotes opposition lead)

    1979 lead average of polls 12 months out +1%; lead GE -7% = -8

    1983 lead average of polls 12 months out +20%; lead GE +16% =-4

    1987 lead average of polls 12 months out -4%; lead GE +11% = +15

    1992 lead average of polls 12 months out +3%; lead GE +8% = +5

    1997 lead average of polls 12 months out -19%; lead GE -13% = +6

    2001 lead average of polls 12 months out +11%; lead GE +9% = -2

    2005 lead average of polls 12 months out +4%; lead GE +3% = -1

    2010 lead average of polls 12 months out -18%; lead GE -7% = +11

    Average turnaround in the lead regarding incumbent from 12 months out to subsequent = +3%

    Incumbent lead 36 months out compared to subsequent GE (- denotes opposition lead)

    1979 lead average of polls 36 months out +6%; lead GE -7% = -13

    1983 lead average of polls 36 months out -2%; lead GE +16% = +18

    1987 lead average of polls 36 months out 0%; lead GE +11% = +11

    1992 lead average of polls 36 months out 0%; lead GE +8% = +8

    1997 lead average of polls 36 months out -18%; lead GE -13% = +5

    2001 lead average of polls 36 months out +24%; lead GE +9% = -15

    2005 lead average of polls 36 months out +10%; lead GE +3% = -7

    2010 lead average of polls 36 months out +3%; lead GE -7% = -10

    Average turnaround in the lead regarding incumbent from 36 months out to subsequent GE = -0.375%

    On pre 1979 opinion polls:

    I would heartily recommend you make a visit to your local University library (as long as it has a history/ Politics department) and look through all the Butler election studies for the period up to and including October 1974.

    I know they have them in the university I work for but I doubt your school holds them.

  10. Keith P

    “Is it right to add together Tories and UKIP, producing ATTAUK? If, as it seems, it’s got ex-Labour supporters (and others) in there too, should we expect the Cons to claw them back automatically?”

    You’ll find you are off beam.

    A 4,500 sample of UKIP voters at the 2009 EE and written up scientifically here:

    http://manchester.academia.edu/RobertFord/Papers/184487/Strategic_Eurosceptics_and_Polite_Xenophobes_Support_for_the_UK_Independence_Party_UKIP_at_the_2009_European_Parliament_Elections

    found that only the core UKIP vote was ex Labour (and BNP) and that this was a small minority. The rest- as natural Tory voters- planned to return to the Tories at the next general election.

    Given Labour was at sub 30% in the GE polls in 2009 and is now at 40%; whereas Dave was in low 40’s and is now in mid 30’s I think only one conclusion (in the main) can be drawn.

    The Tories need to clawback those 5 or 6% (of UKIPs current 8% VI) that previously- when Labour had been the government in the noughties- always returned back to their natural Conservative voting intention.

    I think- given Dave’s performance on a range of issues once he became PM- that is going to be a much bigger ask then in the past…

  11. Boudicca – “This is the first time UKIP has hit 8% in the polls. I should have thought that was worthy of comment.”

    Erm… did you read the post at all? UKIP at 8% is indeed mentioned, as it the last time they were at 8% in a YouGov poll in June 2009.

  12. It would be very ironic, wouldn’t it, if the UKIP vote really hurts the Tories under FPTP at the next GE?

  13. The lib dems have just gained a council seat in High Wycombe from the tories, UKIP also came 2nd!

  14. @KeithP

    “By the looks of things it seems there is a slow but steady swing (perhaps creep a better description)from Lab to UKIP”

    Pardon? Labour has been absolutely steady, no change for approx 3 months. The only reason there is the appearance of a small decline is because of an abrupt drop of approx 1 point a little over a month ago, which coincided with the change in methodology.

  15. Rob S
    It’s true that in the past, many UKIP supporters have voted Tory at the GE. However this may have been partly to do with a paucity of candidates coupled with a perception that a vote for UKIP where they did have a candidate might let in Labour or Liberal.

    I suspect that this pattern may change somewhat next time round, for two reasons:
    1) There are likely to be more UKIP candidates
    2) The dire situation in the Eurozone may well be attracting more supporters of every stripe to UKIP, as Keithp says.

  16. @Cairns
    “UKIP also came 2nd!”

    I think the Tory protest vote is going to UKIP and of course this would hurt the Tories if it continued at the next GE. Looks to me that the Conservative votes will split 3-ways at the next GE i.e. to LDs and UKIP.

  17. I always urge people to remember that voting isn’t always about which party you support – it’s as much about who you dislike.

    I agree with @Rob Sheffield that UKIP is an important factor. There is a fracture within the Tory party and UKIP can pick up disgruntled right wingers who no longer believe the Tories will deliver. However, if those same disgruntled UKIP supporters believe Labour will be a disaster for immigration and hand over more sovereignty to the EU, while raising taxes on hard working families (if there are any left by 2015) I guess they’ll probably hold their noses and vote Tory.

    Voting is a choice between alternatives – never a decision on a single standalone party platform. I often think that the Tories worst nightmare would be a Labour party starting to take a distinctly anti European line and getting seriously tough on immigration. This would both attract back a section of working class Labour support that felt ignored and marginalised in the New Labour years, plus remove much of the fear factor among UKIP leaning voters. These might not necessarily vote Labour, but they would feel much safer voting UKIP. Disaster for the Tories.

  18. @lizH

    Yes, also a continuation of a pattern of the LDs doing better against the tories in English local by elections and a predictable UKIP protest vote.

    Clearly the tories will probably do very badly in the EU election in 2014 but UKIP still has more work to do to be seen as a serious party at the GE.

  19. KeithP

    ‘However – you wonder at what level of UKIP support it stops being a minor party obviously incapable of winning a seat to one which can win seats, and thus will start attracting more support just for that reason. The tipping point can’t be far off. The more Europe fiddles, the more they must rub their hands in anticipation.’

    Good points about UKIP. Also I was unaware of the poll work on Tories and UKIP, which Rob Sheffield informed us about.

    I would be surprised if DC has not got plans to recover UKIP votes. It is timing which is crucial. I think he will keep telling us that we will have a referendum but the time is not right; then in 2014 he will bring to our attention that something is happening in late 2014 or early 2015 that will need a change in thew EU treaties, and therefore he will arrange for a referendum for soon after the GE.

    There is a lot of merit in this. It will appeal to a largely Eurosceptic Party, MEPS and MPs, it will be popular in the country, it will not impact on his Coalition agreements with the LDs as it will be after the end of the Coalition, it will pull the rug from under UKIP, it will leave Labour in a quandary,.

  20. @Henry – I suspect the Euro issue will come much earlier and be much more tricky for Cameron than you think.

    Merkel has completely scuppered hopes for an ECB bond binge, or at least she has in the absence of closer fiscal union. It’s now clear that we are to have treaty changes proposed as a means to end the crisis, so this would need to be pushed through as quickly as possible.

    Meanwhile, Gorgeous George has been lecturing the EZ leaders, saying closer fiscal union is essential for them and is the UK’s preferred course in the crisis. So we’re going to have treaty changes coming through quickly to facilitate something Osborne has campaigned for, but which Cameron has given a cast iron promise of a referendum.

    Unless the negotiations yield major returns of powers to Westminster, on which I’m pretty sure the German’s would call Cameron’s bluff, you will see the government backing a deal which gives the UK nothing. It would be a tricky problem.

  21. @Alec
    I often think that the Tories worst nightmare would be a Labour party starting to take a distinctly anti European line and getting seriously tough on immigration. This would both attract back a section of working class Labour support that felt ignored and marginalised in the New Labour years, plus remove much of the fear factor among UKIP leaning voters. These might not necessarily vote Labour, but they would feel much safer voting UKIP. Disaster for the Tories.
    ………………………………………………………

    A winning formula at last! :-)

    (and no need to worry about Ken’s Duffle coat!) :-)

  22. Henry
    That potential strategy sounds very plausible, but will he be believed after the recent three-line whip against a referendum? I know voters have short memories, and most are probably not even aware of it, but it is bound to be brought up in the campaign.

    The dangerous time for the Tories is when UKIP are taking most of their votes from them, but cannot yet win seats in parliament. This is when they could swing marginal seats. If UKIP ever get a Westminster presence, it might not be so bad, because on most issues they will probably be more sympathetic to Tory than anyone else.

  23. @Henry
    That’s assuming we still have a EU after the French and German elections 2012/2013.

  24. A message to Tory supporters.
    Voting UKIP lets the Lib Dems and Labour in.

  25. LizH

    A good point – or perhaps we might have a very different EU due to those elections.

    Economic turbulence often produces political turbulence. It would seem unwise for those involved in mainstream English party politics to assume that circumstances outwith England will remain constant.

  26. @ ANTHONY WELLS

    HI Anthony. Can you check the approval ratings please?

    27 / 58 / 16 = 101%

    Or is that to be expected?

  27. @Statgeek

    That’s rounding error. Suppose the true figures are 26.5, 57.5 and 16.0. Those sum to 100.0, but rounded to 0 d.p. they give the reported figures.

    On UKIP: I was comparing their electoral situation to some of the other parties to experience ‘breakthroughs’. They are positioned similarly to, or even stronger, than the Greens were in 2001-2005. What allowed them to win Brighton Pavilion was a very effective concentration of resources: even if UKIP poll 8% at the GE, that won’t necessarily be enough to get a seat without a very effective local campaign.

    The seat of North West Cambridgeshire is a prime candidate for such an effort in 2015 (or sooner, as it may be): UKIP control a council covered by the seat, they performed well in 2010, and it’s not a marginal where there’s the threat of a ‘split right’ handing the seat to Labour/LDs. The downsides are that the incumbent MP, Sailesh Vara, is a strong politician and will probably contest the seat for many years yet; also, if the boundary review/seat reduction goes ahead, all bets are off.

  28. ROB SHEFFIELD.
    Very many thanks for this, very helpful.

    I have the 1966, 1992, 1997 and 2001 Nuffield/Macmillan GE Studies in my own library, and also books on this by Craig and the other series by the two Butlers.

    Thanks for the specific data on the claw back.

    On anti Labour diatribes, maybe that shows something else about my views, not any type of partisanship!

    I agree that I do not know who is going to be leading Labour in 2015. As other people on here have written Labour leaders stay as long as they want.

    I know Lansbury was replaced by Attlee by the NEC, and that Bevin was ruthless with him, and others: : ‘Now, turning to our fatuous friends in the ILP.

    Interesting article on Yvette Cooper in a former pro Labour paper on line.

    (Woke up early for this: will now send my self to sleep by reading a couple of chapters by Robert Service- his new biography of Leon Trotsky. (quite a laudatory book, with only brief mention of the murders of the Romanovs)

  29. @SAM

    Thanks!

    @OLDNAT

    “It would seem unwise for those involved in mainstream English party politics to assume that circumstances outwith England will remain constant.”

    Also @ CHRISLANE1945

    “On the issue of ‘clawback’ Am I right to think that Tory administrations do manage to claw back deficits in poll ratings in the run up to elections?”

    This is a slightly related subject, in that voters in England might be directly affected by Scottish votes (or a lack of them). It also related slightly to ChrisLane’s thoughts on clawback.

    I have a spreadsheet showing the results of the GEs since 1945 with regard to how Scotland’s absence would have affected the outcomes (we’ve all heard someone claim that English govs are elected by non English voters and similar comments from people of all areas of the UK).

    Without Scotland (winning party and majority):

    1945 – No change (Lab 143)
    1950 – No change (Lab 2)
    1951 – No change (Con 18)
    1955 – No change (Con 59)
    1959 – No change (Con 109)
    1964 – A Lab majority would have become a Con majority.
    1966 – No change (Lab 1)
    1970 – No change (Con 75)
    1974 – Feb – (hung parliament, Lab short by 33 seats) – Remains hung parliament, Con short by 12 seats.
    1974 – Oct – Lab majority would have become hung parliament with Lab short by 8 seats.
    1979 – No change (Con 70)
    1983 – No change (Con 174)
    1987 – No change (Con 154)
    1992 – No change (Con 71)
    1997 – No change (Lab 139)
    2001 – No change (Lab 129)
    2005 – No change (Lab 43)
    2010 – Hung parliament, Con short by 36 seats would have become Con majority.

    We now have a very unusual situation. Without Scotland, the Conservatives stand to win or at least more strongly contest most future elections in what remains of the UK (or its new name). Yet, they campaign for unionism, in spite of the advantages it brings.

    Labour need Scotland to have a chance of winning the close elections (see 1950 and 1966). Even if they win, they still have to operate in the HoC effectively. However, depending on the level of SNP support, they might find that a united UK might be a more difficult opponent. Can they fight the Conservatives in England, and the SNP in Scotland in the next GE? They have always had enough support in Scotland that their electoral funding was spent largely in English marginals. Do they risk defeat on both fronts by taking them both on, or focus on the election win by hoping for a Scottish win as before, or do they accept the potetial loss of English marginals and focus on regaining Scottish support?

    It’s a situation they have not faced since they first won an election. They only ever really had to defeat the Conservatives to win. Now they may have to pick which battles (or wars) to win and lose.

    Until there’s some form of Lib Dem resurgence (they currently poll at 6% on my averages), their role is either slight up North, or their voters aren’t talking to the polling companies, which might account for increased DKs (I haven’t checked the data). Maybe they will wait to see what comes of this coalition and the Lib Dem politicians.

    Assuming the current numbers point to a Lab majority of 60, that would be 55 with 600 MPs. Factoring in SNP potential of taking a few seats off Labour (let’s be fair and say 5), the majority becomes 45. Other BC changes might make that somewhere in the region of 35-40. I think, regardless of the economy, the leaders and the funding, the next election will be nip and tuck. Looking forward to it. :)

  30. Typo:

    “Yet, they campaign for unionism, in spite of the advantages it brings (to the Labour party in the past).

  31. Sam

    The YouGov poll on national identity and attitudes to the EU would suggest that UKIP should target the seats in which there is the highest identification by people as being English

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

    The cross breaks on leaving/staying in the EU are quite revealing.

    Of the 1063 self-identifying as English,
    66% said they were English and not European
    26% More English than European
    7% Equally English and European

    For the Brits, on the other hand
    36% said they were English and not European
    43% More English than European
    18% Equally English and European

  32. Statgeek

    I don’t think that everybody works simply on the basis of party advantage.

    Regardless of which UK party they happen to be in, their leaderships tend to be conservative, British, and pro-EU. They inhabit a political world which has been safe for their governing class for generations. Anything that destabilises that is a threat to their dominance. Whether Labour or Tory are in power (or dominant in the coalition) is largely irrelevant.

    Whether Tweedledee, Tweedledum, or Tweedledummer have power doesn’t really matter. The political class gets its turn at the trough, and all is well with the world.

    As I heard someone, over here in the USA, say the other day, “Now we will return Iraq to the people we fought the war for – Haliburton.”

  33. Correction to my post to Sam

    The responses of the Brits should have read “British and not European” etc not “English”.

    Damn the lack of an edit facility here!

  34. Excitement about UKIP is premature.

    By 2015 the whole business (re: the euro) will be either i. solved or ii. irrelevant.

    i. Solved ie. somehow the crisis is past but the EU and the euro remain: in which case UKIP support will be back to it’s usual levels

    ii. Irrelevant ie. the EU collapsed and gone, in which case UKIP will probably cease to exist as a party.

    So they will have little or no effect on either Labour or Conservative vote at the GE.

  35. @Joe James B

    “A message to Tory supporters.
    Voting UKIP lets the Lib Dems and Labour in.”

    Ssshhh, Joe, don’t give the game away. It’s part of the cunning plan; a plan so cunning that………lol

  36. @Joe James B

    “A message to Tory supporters.
    Voting UKIP lets the Lib Dems and Labour in.”

    I’ve just had a further thought about your observation. The Lib Dems ARE in, aren’t they?

    I wonder who let them in? Vote Tory, get Lib Dem. That has rather a nice ring about, don’t you think? lol

  37. Statgeek – that’s normal, it’s because of rounding.

    For example

    26.5 + 57.5 + 16 = 100%

    but rounded is

    27 + 58 + 16 =100

    (or vice versa, 26.4 + 57.4 + 16.3 = 100, but rounded would only come to 26 + 57 +16 = 99)

  38. I can’t make my mind up about the potential re UKIP.

    DC’s best case could be :-

    His chat with Merkel does in fact yield concessions on Working Time Directive & maybe other stuff too , in exchange for supporting changes to Lisbon which enhance EX central fiscal governance.

    Would that produce a shift from UKIP to Cons?-and supposing DC fails to convince that the Lisbon changes don’t warrant a UK referendum?

    DC’s worst case could be :-

    Merkel digs her heels in & follows her minister’s recent complaint about UK wanting to be outsided EZ , but interfere in it. No deal on returned powers. DC refuses to ease LIsbon changes. Merkel & Sarkozy make changes within EZ , avoiding the need for support from the whole 27.
    EZ & the Out 10 now clearly separated-EU becomes EZ + a waiting room containing euro aspirants + UK .

    UK now in no man’s land.

    Might seem like good news for UKIP ? Labour will certainly pile it on too.

    I suppose one has to contemplate a euro collapse too since reports indicate the German Bond issue failure is a sign markets are factoring that in.

    I would think UKIP become an irrelevant has been in this scenario as all hell breaks loose in the wider EU economy.

  39. @”a waiting room containing euro aspirants + UK .”

    Correction

    A waiting room containing euro aspirants + UK, Sweden & Denmark !

  40. @Colin

    “Would that produce a shift from UKIP to Cons?”

    Not sure that it will, Colin, to be honest. I suspect the make-up of UKIP support is many faceted and the anti-EEC label may cover a multitude of dissatisfactions with mainstream Conservatism.

    I rather feel that most of them will only be satisfied by complete withdrawal from the EEC and, even in the extreme unlikelihood of that ever happening, under either a Tory or Labour Government, they may then move on to immigration and other right wing bete noire issues.

    I would imagine it will be very easy for a UKIPer to nurture other Express/Mail type grievances that are unlikely ever to be assuaged by a centrist Conservative party. And here’s the dilemma for Cameron, and the square he can never circle, in my view. If he moves the political centre of gravity of his party in the sort of direction that will attract UKIP voters back into the fold, then he risks losing his one-nation Tory voters, or certainly enough of them to get the leader of a centrist Labour Party licking his lips a little!

  41. CROSSBAT11

    Thanks

    Re “If he moves the political centre of gravity of his party in the sort of direction that will attract UKIP voters back into the fold, then he risks losing his one-nation Tory voters, or certainly enough of them to get the leader of a centrist Labour Party licking his lips a little!”

    I can only agree & say that I think he will never lead the party in that direction.

    I suppose I was looking for outcomes amongst the increasingly variable options appearing in EU, that would make remove the relevance of UKIP as a haven for frustrated Eurosceptics .
    But I take your point about the other constituencies they attract on out & out Europhobia plus immigration etc.

    I do think that DC may well find himself on the outside of an EZ which has morphed into the only meaningful seat of EU influence.

    BUt there are many twists & turns to come-including the outcome of the fascinating tussle between Merkel & the Commission on Eurobonds.

    The Times today reports that Sarkozy has abandoned all attempts to get Merkel to agree to a massive ECB intervention in the bond market.

    She is one tough cookie!

  42. “A message to Tory supporters.
    Voting UKIP lets the Lib Dems and Labour in.”

    A message to tory supporters, UKIP supporters do not care, because on the major issues, there is no difference between the tories and labour anyway. They are both Europhiles, both support a high-tax, high spend way to run Government, both are soft on crime, both have failed on immigration, both are in favour of UNI fees, Both support a large complex and complicated tax system, both are in the pockets of the environmental alarmists (rather than realists), both are politically correct parties pandering to immigrants and any left wing minority group with a grudge.

    Cameron will NEVER allow a referendum on membership of the EU. This has to be obvious to anyone with a neuron firing. He bastardised democracy by holding a three line whip to oppose an issue which was not even government business, and was triggered by a popular petition.

    He has stated that only a treaty change can trigger a referendum, and then only on the specifics of that change and that change alone, (NOT on membership of the EU) and only if that specific treaty change means transferring more sovereignty to Brussels.

    Angela Merkal is now proposing such changes and in response Cameron will be claiming that these will not
    effect the UK as we are outside the Eurozone and he will use the referendum lock to lock us OUT of having a referendum.

    This is why more and more tories, and traditional working class labour supporters are switching to UKIP. UKIP’s large range of costed policies support what the traditional working class labour and tories actually want.

  43. @Colin – “I do think that DC may well find himself on the outside of an EZ which has morphed into the only meaningful seat of EU influence.”

    I’m not so sure. I had a previous post put into moderation (quite understandably – on reflection I strayed too far towards partisan comments) but in that I pointed out this morning yields on Italian bonds has surged to 7.5%. This is completely unsustainable and if they remain at these levels we are talking of a matter of days until Italy implodes.

    There is absolutely no propsect that a treaty change can be completed in time for the markets to be assuaged of the Euro’s future in this form. That’s the bottom line. With countries like Ireland duty bound to have a referendum, we would be talking months at an absolute minimum. Ireland is also a really good case in point, as they would be demanding debt relief as the price for supporting a yes vote, and even then it would be doubtful that the Irish voters would support the changes. They are are very angry and are looking for someone to kick.

    So the talk of a fiscal union of 17 core nations is, in my view, fanciful – the markets won’t wait. There may well still be a Euro in some form, but I can’t see how Italy, Spain, Greece, Portugal and probably Ireland would remain. If France tried to stay in there I think the markets would start to bear down on them also.

    A rump Eurozone dominated around Germany would probably see a rapid currency appreciation, seriously denting German competitiveness, which along with the inevitable financial carnage around a breakup would make the entire EU economic region very weak.

    In this scenario, I’m not altogether sure how isolated the UK would be. The EZ would be considerably smaller and weaker, and plenty of nations would be joining the UK on the outside.

    It’s going to be politically very messy, and it will be very hard for the EZ leaders like Merkel and Sarkozy to remain in place, such will be the damage to their reputations. Risks and opportunities for the UK, but not necessarily isolation.

  44. “The Times today reports that Sarkozy has abandoned all attempts to get Merkel to agree to a massive ECB intervention in the bond market.

    She is one tough cookie!”

    Colin, She is beginning to remind me of Thatcher and I mean that as a great compliment to her.

    She should stand firm and oppose the Eurobonds with everything she has if she has any regards for Germany.

    I wonder if this iron lady 2.0 can withstand opposing the EU. If she manages it, then she will be the first EU leader to oppose the direct orders of the EU and remain in power.

    I wish our leader would stand up for us as robustly as she stands up for Germany.

  45. BTW – I’m backing next week to see a major raid on pension tax relief to fund infrastructure projects. All the signs are there – announcements that they are going to switch spending, that the rich will pay, etc etc. Hopefully it’s going to be something big and dramatic.

    Although limiting top rate pension tax relief is something Labour started, having the Tories attack tax privileges for the middle classes is not without historical precedence. Thatcher eroded and eventually ended mortgage interest tax relief in her time, which was another completely unfair subsidy of the better off, and if Osborne takes a similar approach to pension tax relief thirty years on he’ll get a gold star from me.

  46. @Rob Sheffield

    Thanks for posting a link to such an interesting piece of research. It would be interesting to get data on where their current ‘surge’ in support is coming from. Also to see if they are now starting to attract generally dissatisfied voters or is this direct response to the crisis in Europe.

  47. @Joe James B – sorry – should have apologised for my last post. A clear lack of vitriol and bile on my part. A shocking lapse in my personal standards!

  48. Redrich, perhaps I can help you as a former conservative voter who voted conservative in 2010.

    I have switched to UKIP as have many people I know, and all for the same reason. we see no significant difference between the awful labour policies and the tory/liberal government’s policies. There are minor differences. The tories are seeking to reduce the appallingly monstrous deficit by about 1% faster than labour would. They are cutting about one pence in the pound over Alistair Darling’s plans. They are just as weak on immigration, crime, defence, education, tax and spend, climate, and pretty much everything else, as labour. Yes they did scrap the ID card and that is very welcome, but after the blatant way that Cameron bent over backwards to defend the grotesquely anti-democratic EU by imposing a three line whip on a vote which was not even government business is disgusting.

    The ONLY way Cameron can pursuade UKIP voters back to UKIP is to deliver a binding referendum on EU membership, IN or OUT, before the next general election. Not an empty promise of one, but actual implementation.

    IF we get to vote on membership before the next election, THEN we will come back into the fold. Otherwise NO CHANCE. Labour may as well be the party to finally give up and raise the white flag at Westminster as the last of our sovereignty is given away.

    When it is impossible to vote for conservative policies by voting conservative, then the time has come to move to another party. Why vote conservative just to get even more labour policies implemented?

  49. ALEC

    THanks

    I didn’t say we would be “isolated”-hence my correction re Sweden & Denmark.

    But that’s a small band of brothers-if indeed that is what they are :-)

    I agree with you that this is a race now between the market fear of breakup/indivdual sovereign defaults on the one hand, -and a Merkel lead covering of the moral hazard black hole she fears ,as a precursor to some shift ( imo) by her on real resource transfers ( be they cash from Germany, or the price of higher German interest rates on mutualised bonds. )

    You seem clear that the markets will win & the euro break up.

    I’m not so sure-Merkel said -in terms-yesterday that this is a failure of confidence in the politicians & only the politicians can correct it.

    I agree with her . So-if political will is demonstrated in Greece, Italy & Spain, and repeat profligacy is shut off by LIsbon amendments-perhaps we will see the markets provide the time for Merkel finally to acknowledge that some EZ debt is not repayable on any sensible timescale & it has to be merged with total EZ debt.

    Meantime I can only accept that the markets’ pressure point-interest rates -is making life very difficult.

    In a way I would prefer them to withdraw from the appropriate gilt auctions entirely-forcing Merkel to see the truth-that the private sector should not be lending to insolvent sovereigns .

  50. @Alec
    Broadly agree with your posts. Isn’t Merkel’s approach aimed at saving the whole Euro project by enforcing a German style approach to fiscal policy on what were formally ‘soft currency’ economies , and whether it succeeds or not will be highly dependent on Euro zones economic performance next year. For now I think they have done enough to stave off the worse case scenario materialising. Given the fact that domestic demand across Europe is depressed and likely to remain so – the only way Europe can get out of this is by a massive re-orientation towards exporting outside of Europe. If recovery doesn’t come by the end of next year then the worse case for the Euro looks increasingly probable.

    @Mr Ned
    Thanks – very useful, as a Party loyalist I often find it difficult to fully appreciate what drives people to switch their allegiances.

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