It is over a year since we had an ICM poll in the Sunday Telegraph, but there is one tomorrow and it shows something almost (but not quite) as rare: a Conservative lead. Topline figures with changes from the last ICM poll in the Guardian just under a fortnight ago are CON 38%(+2), LAB 36%(-2), LDEM 14%(nc), Others 12%.

UPDATE: This will, no doubt, cause great and largely unwarrented excitement. Whenever a poll shows an unusual result I offer the same caveat – sure, it could be the start of some new trend, but more often than not it turns out to be a blip caused by normal sample error.

Pollsters’ different methodologies have impacts upon their topline figures, and ICM tends to show some of the most positive figures for the Conservatives. Of the five polls in 2011 that have shown Conservative leads, four of them have been from ICM. At least part of the reason for this is that ICM (and to a lesser extent Populus) estimate how people who say “don’t know” would actually vote, reallocating 50% of them to the party they voted for in 2010. This tends to help the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives and harm Labour, in recent months quite dramatically (though of course, we won’t know how much difference it made in this poll till the tabs appear)

Looking across the wider polling landscape YouGov’s daily polling is showing an average lead of 4 or 5 points for Labour, the last two polls from Populus (whose methodology is extremely similar to ICM’s) have shown a Labour lead of 8 points, MORI’s last few polls have shown Labour leads between 2-7 points, ComRes’s recent polls have shown Labour leads between 2-4 points, ICM’s last poll also had a 2 point Labour lead.

In short, this is a single poll, and the bigger picture continues to be of a small Labour lead. We may see other polls from other companies show a similar pattern to ICM in coming days – time will tell – but until then don’t despair/get too excited* (*delete as applicable)

UPDATE2: In contrast, YouGov’s weekly poll for the Sunday Times has topline figures of CON 35%, LAB 43%, LDEM 9%, Others 13%. An eight point lead for Labour is high by YouGov’s standards, but no more inconsistent with their average Labour lead of five points or so than the 2 and 3 point leads they showed during the week.

UPDATE3: There was also a BPIX poll in the Mail on Sunday. They had topline figures of CON 36%, LAB 41%, LDEM 11%, Others 12%


380 Responses to “ICM/Sun Telegraph – CON 38%, LAB 36%, LD 14% YouGov/Sun Times – CON 35%, LAB 43%, LD 9%”

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  1. Poll in today’s Times:

    * “Two thirds of Scots would vote for independence if it left them just £500 a year better off, according to a survey published today.
    Sixty five per cent of those questioned for the ScotCen Scottish Social Attitudes survey said they would vote “yes” in the forthcoming referendum if they were guaranteed a better standard of living.
    However, were the economic situation reversed, and the average Scot expected to end up £500 a year worse off, only 21 per cent would back independence while two thirds, 66 per cent would vote against it.
    The findings make it clear that the SNP will have to win key economic arguments in order to convince Scottish voters to embrace independence.
    The SNP pointed yesterday to the nine-point rise in support for independence shown in the poll as evidence that they were gaining ground.
    The survey puts demand for independence at 32 per cent — a six-year high.”

    http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/uk/scotland/article3247988.ece

  2. On the various posts regarding LD’s/ the next manifesto and the problems of being seen to be Tories- here is the guy who I quoted from LDV the other day. He is here responding to the article by Tom Mcnulty on Iain Dale where he is also a contributor/ author. He is a senior LD in the west country.

    I think his last point is particularity well made and it also obviates the necessity for LD’s to shackles themselves to a Tory manifesto and economic policy. Though we all know that this is what the LD right flank aspire to.

    AF’s main point is that structural deficit reduction is the only ball game in town. BUT how you do that-

    1) a mix of spending cuts and tax increases (note that Ireland’s austerity address yesterday had a 60-40 split between the two: Osborne’s is 80-20);

    2) where you decide the main pain falls (bottom 30% of the income scale or top 30% of the income scale);

    3) and over what time-scale (one term; two terms; three terms etc)

    means that the three parties manifestos- even with SD reduction as a main plank- can be very different,

    So for AF it is up to the LD’s to decide if they want to be a public school bag carrier/ Tory mini-me (as Alexander et al want) or whether they mark out a separate post 2015 future as Farron, Hughes and Harris et al want.

    “Professor Alex Marsh said:

    I agree that Labour need a more clearly articulated alternative if they are to regain any credibility on the economy.

    But I don’t think this week’s events quite have the implications that you ascribe to them. Danny Alexander said what he said. That’s for sure. But he doesn’t have the power to lash the Liberal Democrats to the Conservatives in this way. All the subsequent media comment by Liberal Democrats – Simon Hughes, Evan Harris, Nick Clegg – has directly or indirectly pointed that out. And it is clear that plenty of grassroots Liberal Democrats are not happy either. More likely is that what has happened is that Danny Alexander has counted himself out of direct involvement in developing the Liberal Democrat manifesto for 2015.

    All the parties are now basically committed to a very similar profile of deficit reduction over time. The issue then becomes how that reduction is achieved – what balance of taxation increases and cuts, who bears the cuts and the taxes. It is perfectly possible that the three parties go into the next election with very different narratives on this point.”

  3. BTW did anyone see the Italian senior politician breaking down in tears and unable to announce the severe austerity and “suffering” (the word she baulked at saying) that the government was about to impose.

    If only Nick and Danny had blubbed last autumn (and then again on Tuesday) maybe LD fortunes would have been better by now and at the next election :D

  4. Stuart Dickson

    All the press reports that I’ve seen on the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey contain a huge amount of party spin

    Economic advantage from Union/Independence is obviously hugely impoprtant. Had that not been a driver in 1707, then there would have been no UK Union.

    The question is whether the Unionists can demonstrate that the GERS analysis is actually flawed, or whether they can successfully coninue a series of scare stories about the potential economic downside of even talking about Scottish independence (which they do all \the time) .without actually mounting a reasoned economic argument.

    Those on our side of the constitutional debate have long asked the opposition to argue the positive case for the UK Union. Frequently, one sees Unionists proponents arguing that the positive case needs to be made – yet none of them actually articulate such a casae.

    This is very strange politics, when the conservative case presented by the main opposition – Labour – and the two minor parties – Con/LD – remains resoundingly negative, and without reasoned argument.

  5. Good Morning, two weeks to the holidays for this public sector worker.
    Churchill’s: ‘An empty car drew up and Attlee got out’ earned a rebuke from his wife.

    So did his Gestapo attack on the Labour people who fought in the war, and his comments in the 1920’s about Irish people.

    His ‘Minister of Disease’ attack on ‘Nye’ led to Nye’s silly ‘lower than vermin’ attack.

    Even at the time his comment about Gandhi was not funny- the fakir speech.

    Nor was his ‘naughty note’ with Stalin- carving up southern Europe for Uncle Joe.

    But his ‘In the morning you will be ugly, Bessie, and I will be sober’ is still funny, as was his comment about Dalton, when Dalton called and Winston was on the toilet. ‘One s**t at a time’ he told his secretary.

    ON LIB DEMS and Tories.
    I think Lib Dems have to accept that having done the ‘heavy petting’ (David Lawes phrase) and then becoming married, they have become ‘One Flesh’ and nothing will ‘pull them assunder’.

    They have become Tories, true enough they are liberal Tories, but Tories nevertheless. Lord Ashdown was revealing on this last night on Radio 5 with John Piennar.

    The Tories have always been brilliant at absorbing groups into their own fold, to broaden their base and retaining power.

    ED Miliband.
    As Major Attlee would have said to whom : ‘Not up to the job, I am afraid’.
    He would have been a promising junior shadow minister.

    I am quite hopeful for Chukah. In 2025 he might well be a strong Prime Ministerial candidate, having replaced ED sometime after the 2020 defeat.

    ON CLASS.
    I think we cannot escape the effects of our relationship with the means of production, distribution and exchange.
    However, I have found the education I have been lucky to have received enables me to speak on equal terms with the upper class people with whom I mix when I teach their offspring sometimes.

    And I can assure people here that I am not sentimental about the challenges of working with the children of people from Social Classes D and E. Very tough, very often it was. After 21 years of it I retreated to the grammar school milieu. Could not take any more.

  6. chrislane1945

    “I am not sentimental about the challenges of working with the children of people from Social Classes D and E. Very tough, very often it was. After 21 years of it I retreated to the grammar school milieu.”

    Thankyou for confirming what I suspected was the case in English education currently – that grammar schools are no longer the mode of transition of upward mobility, but mrely the institutions that confirm class privilege.

    No doubt, the current reforms in English education will continue to concentrate on achieving the aspirations of a particular class of parents.

    I was interested to find out today that my grandsons in North Carolina are zoned to particular public schools, and that placing requests are not allowed. In NC, you go to the public school assigned to you by the state, or you need to opt out into private education.

    Since NC has cut teacher salaries drastically and use unqualified teachrs more generally than even England does, the quality of public education may be rather poor, and the lack of quality in any school district may be somewhat random.

  7. @ Pete B

    “I am not a big fan of Cameron, but he does have a certain assurance that comes from his Etonian background. Though he can alienate some people by being a ‘toff’, he does have some authority and confidence.

    Miliband by contrast comes across (to me at least) like a nerdy sixth-former trying to make a point to one of his masters.”

    I kinda agree. I think Cameron is relatively good looking (though there are better looking Tories).

    @ Roger Mexico

    “By the way did you ever see a reply I left for you a few days back?

    http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/blog/archives/4377/comment-page-3#comment-748357

    As there was a link in it I thought you might be interested in. You may have missed it as Anthony was putting up a lot of threads at the time (I think he was trying to prove he wasn’t on strike).”

    I did see your reply and I apologize for not responding. The way the civil partnership act was written, it would have been unconstitutional in the U.S. And yeah, Anthony probably did want to prove he wasn’t on strike.

    As for lawyers turned politicians, I’m not sure I fully agree with your commentary. I didn’t know Tony Blair was a lawyer though.

    @ Henry

    “The answer is somewhere between the two, DC is a liberal conservative who listens to his partners implementing much of what he hears.”

    Yes, he’s a liberal Conservative. He’s a social liberal and a liberal on international affairs while he’s an economic conservative.

  8. @ Old Nat

    “I was interested to find out today that my grandsons in North Carolina are zoned to particular public schools, and that placing requests are not allowed. In NC, you go to the public school assigned to you by the state, or you need to opt out into private education.

    Since NC has cut teacher salaries drastically and use unqualified teachrs more generally than even England does, the quality of public education may be rather poor, and the lack of quality in any school district may be somewhat random.”

    Is it assigned by the state or the local school district that will correspond with local boundaries?

    One reason for the San Fernando Valley seccession movement is that they wanted to split the LAUSD. When my mom was about to go to high school, my grandmother spent three days camping out in the cold in order to get my mom a special pass (there were apparently 12 issued at the time) to allow her to go to high school that she wasn’t zoned to.

    Keep in mind though that a lot of the school assignment rules in the south where your grandsons are were developed in response to school segregation and forced desegregation. One reason why private schools sprung up throughout the south in the 1950’s and 60’s and continue to be popular is so that white parents can send their kids to schools without fear of having black students in them. A lot of whites moved out to faraway suburbs in order to avoid sending their kids to public schools where there would be black students. This of course led to issues with forced bussing.

  9. @ Roger Mexico

    “Actually Miliband isn’t anything as odd looking as Cameron, even given that most of the Press try and print pictures of Ed looking weird and Dave looking statesmanlike. Ed’s features are slightly too large for his face, while Dave’s face is too large for his features giving him a rather unfinished look. However we’re choosing PMs here, not boyband members. Though on the subject of politicians’ looks there is a typically brilliant column by David Mitchell on the Guardian website on and around this subject.”

    Well we all know who I think are the best looking politicians of the various parties. And I don’t include Dave or Ed on those lists.

    In terms of your comments about Ed being unpopular because of the media coverage of him, I’m curious to think whether you think Brits are that dumb or gullible or influenced by what the media reports to them? I get that the media doesn’t like him for whatever reasons. Lord knows I’ve seen that. But he’s unpopular among the voters and your argument assumes that people are sheep who simply listen to whatever the media tells them.

    “Thirdly he has trouble from within his own Party. Some of this is from people such as Chris Lane for whom no one will ever match the Blessed Tony, but a lot is from those within the Party who also wish to keep to the comfortable consensus and are worried he will move away from it. You can see this sort of attitude in the New Statesman article that Rob Sheffield quoted a few days ago. And of course there are also a lot of people in Labour who also backed the wrong Miliband and resent ‘losing’. They’d rather be right than President (or at least have their current leader PM).”

    Tony is blessed but it’s time to move on and find someone new who can carry on Tony’s legacy and magic.

    My feeling is, I can see why Ed doesn’t inspire confidence or move people to want to vote for Labour. I can’t see why people strongly dislike him. Maybe it’s just part of the British hatred of politicians.

  10. @ Chris Lane

    “I am quite hopeful for Chukah. In 2025 he might well be a strong Prime Ministerial candidate, having replaced ED sometime after the 2020 defeat.”

    That’s a little negative don’t you think?

    Unless the election comes sooner than expected, I’d say that Labour might just choose to get rid of Ed. Hopefully they won’t be dumb enough to replace him with his equally dorky brother.

  11. @ SMukesh

    “I would like to point out that those who hate the coalition most are Lib Dems,50% of whom have switched their allegiance to other parties including Tories”

    ‘Hate’ is such an emotive word especially when applied to people. It is so often used by children and the childish when what they really mean is ‘dislike’ or ‘not prefer’. It brings to mind the scene from the film ‘Nottinghill’ where the children switch from ‘We love uncle Jamie’ to ‘We hate uncle Jamie’ just because he decides not to stay for Xmas.

    Yes a large number of GE2010 LD voters have changed their preference to other parties, but it is questionable as to how many were ever committed to LD ideals and not just tagging on to LDs in an ‘Anything but Tory’ or ‘Anything but Lab’ mode. I don’t count those as genuine LDs, indeed I wish people would vote for the party/principles they support rather than against a specific party in such a sort of spiteful way. Such people do tend to be a lot more disappointed and vehement if the LD leadership does not choose their option.

    As I have said in earlier posts, the YouGov panelists are probably from a more motivated political animal stock than poor old ‘Joe Public’. Other pollsters do not seem to plumb the depths of LD support quite so deep. Historically I seem to recall that LDs have always been at about half the GE support levels between elections and the GE2010 level was extremely giddily high for them. For LDs the really important figure is their DKs, for it is from them that any substantive LD recovery is more likely to come. There may be signs that the LD is getting back some of its previous support as more and more LD subtle influence on coalition is perceived. 2015 is still very far away.

  12. @ Amber Star

    “I think that lefties don’t believe that the homeless & unemployed should wait around hoping for more people like you (Mr BS types); lefties believe that we, as a society, should take responsibility. :)”

    I agree. By definition, nobody wants to be unemployed and most people try hard not to be. No one wants to be homeless either.

  13. While I don’t support most of what is in the Telegraph, they’ve been bang on regarding the Euro. This link is a very neat summary, in my view – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/ambroseevans_pritchard/8934363/Fiskalunion-is-worst-of-all-worlds-for-Europe.html

    This quote from the article was interesting – “”The sovereignty of the German state is inviolate and anchored in perpetuity by the Basic Law. It may not be abandoned by the legislature,” said chief justice Andreas Vosskuhle at the time.

    “There is little leeway left for giving up core powers to the EU. If one wants to go beyond this limit … then Germany must give itself a new constitution. A referendum would be necessary,” he said. ”

    In other words, Merkel simply can’t agree to mass bond buying without first changing the German constitution. While the EU can merrily take illegal actions and ignore agreed treaty obligations due to the weaknesses of legal accountability at the heart of the EU, in nation states it’s different – governments will be brought to justice by their own legal systems. So this is one fudge that can’t happen, and the German constitutional court has made this quite clear already.

    It’s also very interesting looking at the international attitudes to using the IMF as the bailout mechanism – shifting risk from rich European countries to South American and Asian taxpayers.

    This is the most relevant line though – “It is an inescapable truism that monetary union must balance internally over time, either by trade or by capital flows. If the German bloc cuts off capital for the South – the “sudden stop” of 2009-2011 – then the same German bloc must accept a lower trade surplus.”

    Whatever happens, the Germans must pay, in one form or another. Until the German public accepts this, the Euro remains fatally wounded.

  14. Aha!

    It’s “the shops are full” Ken: what happened to retail sales today ?!

  15. ROB SHEFFIELD……..Good morning, glorious day here, blue skies, sun shining….I haven’t seen any retail figures, but I’m sure that whatever they show, they will support some argument somewhere, that is of course, until they change again in a few days time. Snapshots by analysts, like polls, are no substitute for the real experience, get out amongst it Rob. :-)

  16. Have you been to a retail centre outside of inner London?

    Once you have, feel free to accurately deploy the phrase ‘real experience’ !

  17. ROB SHEFFIELD…………What I have read today is a KPMG report on the propensity of the British to shop on-line more than most, including Americans, surprisingly enough. We seem to have embraced retail therapy via the internet with gusto.Probably all those benefits scroungers, post riots, playing with their newly aquired iPads. :-)

  18. @ Robbiealive

    “And we Lab supporters are supposed to be nice to Clegg!”

    “& do spare me the “we saved the country” stuff.”

    Firstly I clearly said “fair” not “be nice” and there is a significant difference. I was clearly referring to discussions on this site, which is meant to be for “non-partisan’ discussion of polls”. Let the ‘political slanging’ by all parties in the real world take place in that real world. Discussions here are surely meant to be about persuading somebody to consider and hopefully change to your point of view. “Unfair” comments may (!) provoke me to responding with a corrective viewpoint that I may not actually have strongly held before the comments was made. They antagonise and polarise. As such they are counter-productive.

    Secondly I did not say your rather emotive “We saved the country’, I actually said “LD leadership took the best position for the country politically speaking”. I hoped it implied “in their opinion”, but clearly you did not take it that way. A bit like I hadn’t picked up that Amber’s original comment was meant ‘tongue in cheek’. Hence my apology to her. It is far, far too early to judge if the country can or will be ‘saved’.

  19. Now that we are seeing support for the banks by the central banks, is the euro danger passed?

    What form would a collapse of the euro take?

  20. ROB SHEFFIELD……..As you know, the point of this forum is to discuss polls in a non-partisan way…..a potential polling influence is personal experience. In our case, my experience, apparently, would be balanced by yours, we achieve symmetry, thus endorsing the current state of the polls. :-)

  21. FrankG
    ‘Other pollsters do not seem to plumb the depths of LD support quite so deep. Historically I seem to recall that LDs have always been at about half the GE support levels between elections and the GE2010 level was extremely giddily high for them. For LDs the really important figure is their DKs, … There may be signs that the LD is getting back some of its previous support as more and more LD subtle influence on coalition is perceived. 2015 is still very far away.’

    Well phrased comments. As usual I can find nothing in your posts with which to disagree.

  22. @Ken

    VALERIE…………I can only do what I can to help the marginalised, I contribute time and effort to help those who need it. When I talk about losers, I mean ‘the losers’. In Southwark, where I live, but don’t work, I spend a day a week, unpaid, helping the long term unemployed and people with barriers into employment, to become employed. Using a network built over a business lifetime, I call in favours and leverage goodwill to achieve results. I also support, unpaid, local organisations helping the homeless. I don’t need humility, I need more people like me.
    ————————————————–

    Ah Ken, to quote Robbie Alive, “Self praise is no recommendation”
    I’m sure, as a successful businessman, this must have been one of your mantras! 8-)

  23. I wonder whegher the gov’s announcement to make NHS patient data available to the private sector will be viewed by joe public and indeed how this might affect VI.

    I have mixed views. The idea has some merit but on the other hand many peopl will be concerned about the release of any data (especially as gov depts are notoriously bad with keeing information secret/secure). Further, some will see this as the thin end of the wedge and part of a growing private sector involvement in the NHS.
    Indeed, the prhrase “hand in glove” could be perceived as a sign of things to come.

  24. VALERIE………..No, it wasn’t one of my mantra’s. I believe in people being honest about themselves, if they achieve something worthwhile I expect to hear about it, it depends what it is of course, I do know that actions speak louder than words…………and while we’re playing, ‘Quotations’, ‘Don’t hide your light under a bushel’ comes to mind. I had aspirations when young to become a physicist, however, I became an engineer instead, and then a banker. I migrated from achieving symmetry, to achieving perfection, to achieving disgrace, in three easy steps. If I don’t big me up, who will ? :-)

  25. Back to the Leader’s ratings.

    Since no-one followed up what I said yesterday, I’ll make the point again.

    I said then that the net approval/disapproval was not the most important issue. It merely shows that Cameron is viewed more favourably by his core supporters than Miliband is by his. If (IF!) VI is ossifying for the core supporters, then this is irrelevant. Core Labour voters are not going to vote Tory just because they don’t think as highly of EM as Tories do of DC.

    The only issue that matters is how the leaders are judged by the key voters. That is, those who swung to the LDs over the last decade and who now appear to have deserted the LDs. How these people vote will determine the outcome in 2015.

    The question then is: Do the LD deserters see DC as a better leader than EM?

    I’ve looked at Sunday’s poll results. Very simple calculation as follows:

    1) Calculate how many of the people who voted LD in 2010 rate DC/EM as doing V Well, Well, Badly, V Badly.

    2) Do the same calculation for those who now support the LDs.

    3) Subtract 2) from 1) to find out how many of the LD deserters rate the leaders in each category.

    4) Divide these results by the number of deserting LD voters (266 on the weighted numbers)

    I accept that we’re dealing with small numbers (these ARE LD voters after all…). Also, it assumes that the current LD supporters all voted LD at the last election, which clearly is not correct. Nevertheless, the results are illuminating.

    DC
    Very Well 0%
    Well 22%
    Badly 37%
    Very Badly 39%

    EM
    Very Well 1%
    Well 32%
    Badly 37%
    Very Badly 19%

    NC
    Very Well 0%
    Well 11%
    Badly 31%
    Very Badly 52%

  26. Ken,

    All very laudable work (and I DO mean that).

    The problem is that the biggest barrier to employment is the lack of work out there. What the country really needs is not more people twisting arms and calling in favours – that can only help at the finest of margins. What it really needs is more growth.

    And, dare I say it, more people like me and my business partner, going without pay for five months so that our company could survive a cashflow problem, keep highly skilled staff on board, then subsequently grow and take on more staff.

    And we did that without needing Mervyn King to tell us to do so…

  27. @NickP

    You said “…What form would a collapse of the euro take?…”

    There are three methods known to me by which the Euro can collapse (named after the place where I first read it):

    1) The Stephanie Flanders method. People withdraw all euros from banks in country X and do not redeposit them, forcing the ECB to recapitalise more than it can and the money supply to collapse. People stop using Euros because of a shortage (a mega Credit Crunch).
    2) The Open Europe method. Country X prints Euros without the permission of the ECB causing hyperinflation. People stop using Euros because they are worthless.
    3) The Roger Bootle method. Loan rates become too expensive for country X, causing its bankruptcy and choosing to change its currency. People stop using Euros because they are no longer legal tender.

    All these methods have logistical problems. In practice, people are withdrawing currency from Greek banks but redepositing it (directly or indirectly) in German banks. Ireland is currently (and quietly) printing Euros but far too few to cause hyperinflation. Greece has chosen to seek and accept loans from the EU/IMF rather than return to the drachma. So none of this is a slam-dunk.

    However, before Alec points this out, “difficult” is not the same as “impossible” and the Euro *can* collapse. The most dramatic narratively is the Roger Bootle method, and it’ll go like this. Let’s use Greece as an example.

    * Greek loan rates become too high and Greece cannot sell bonds.
    * Greece cannot finance its spending and stops paying its employees, causing social unrest
    * In an attempt to stop social unrest, it crash-changes its currency to New Drachma
    * Greek citizens try to evade this by removing their Euros from Greek banks and depositing them elsewhere
    * To force the change Greece closes Greek banks temporarily (allowing a limited withdrawal per week) and imposes border controls (physical and electronic)
    * After a period (the Telegraph says this can be done in weeks, but Latvia took 6-9 months in the 90’s to do this) the New Drachma has an established exchange rate and all monies are converted. Greek savers lose >50% of their life savings.
    * But the conversion forces a partial default[1] by Greek banks and the Greek state, so (for example) Italian banks and the Italian state get less money. So Italy needs to borrow more.
    * So Italian loan rates become too high and Italy cannot sell bonds, so we go round again…

    The circle continues, taking down Greece, Spain, Italy, Cyprus, France. We have multiple forced Eurozone currency conversions, partial defaults, bank collapses, civil unrest, and a drop in GDP. The UK suffers because of the bank collapses (we are owed money) and drop in GDP (we sell stuff to the Eurozone), so we have difficulty financing our spending. So UK loan rates become too high and UK cannot sell bonds…

    Regards, Martyn

  28. @ Valerie
    “Self praise is no recommendation”.
    @ FrankG & other LDs who claim that Clegg et al acted in the “national interest”.

    As K. Marx said, re the political elite’s claim that they acted not for themselves but for the “good of society”, his definition of “ideology”.
    1. “We do not judge other people by what they tell us about themselves”.
    2. “Any shopkeeper who took his customers’ declarations about their creditworthiness at face value would be bankrupt in a week.”
    [Sorry: cannot provide citations.]

    @ Neil, re the other Marx.

    Policeman enters room in Animal Crackers to find Groucho compromised with woman..
    Groucho: Ah Sergeant.
    Policeman: Inspector!
    Groucho Inspect her yourself.!

  29. Sorry, I missed out a footnote in my post above.

    [1] Their debts are no longer paid in Euros but a less-valued currency, which is the logical equivalent of a partial default.

    Regards, Martyn

  30. @NickP

    You said “…Now that we are seeing support for the banks by the central banks, is the euro danger passed?…”

    No. The underlying problem is the indebtedness of the countries (whether private or public) and their inability to pay those debts. You can cure debt in the following ways

    * A) Earn more (growth, the Labour method)
    * B) Spend less (austerity, the Conservative method)
    * C) Forgive the debt (default, the Greek method)
    * D) Increase the money supply (inflation, the UK method)

    I *think* the central bank intervention is an attempt to do D, but the numbers are too small to cure it. It’s a can-kicking exercise.

    Regards, Martyn

  31. To really utilise inflation you need to give the public sector pay rises to match price inflation (not freeze pay and sack workers).

    Of course you risk borrowing going up…but it is anyway!

    I don’t think you can cut your way out of a recession without growth, but could you grow your way out of a recession without cuts?

    Well. if you got high enough growth you could.

  32. @ Old Nat re Chrislane1945
    “Thankyou for confirming what I suspected was the case in English education – that grammar schools are no longer the mode of transition of upward mobility, but merely the institutions that confirm class privilege.”

    Yip. I’ve posted more than once that my still-existent Grammar School mainly recruits prep school pupils & state-school kids who are privately tutored for the 11+.

  33. Leftylampton

    Thanks for the repost.

    I and probably many other posters on here rely on the analytical work that you and others such as Roger Mexico undertake.

    Your most recent analysis confirms that one has to look beyond the immediate headlines in polls to see what may really be happening.

  34. @ FrankG
    I actually said “LD leadership took the best position for the country politically speaking”. I hoped it implied “in their opinion”, but clearly you did not take it that way.”

    Apologies if I misintepreted yr post. & I will reflect on your temperate view that political jousting on here is self-defeating.

  35. LEFTYLAMPTON……..Thanks for that, and I can empathise with you and your partner, having built a business from scratch, myself………The entrepreneur is neither understood, or held in high regard in the UK, mainly because of the entrenched attitude of both public and private institutions towards enterprise, strange in a country renowned for its trading history and great business traditions, all built on the pioneering business spirit.
    On your analysis of the LD vote transfer, I don’t think it makes pleasant reading for any of them. I am surprised that DC and EM are so close on, ‘doing well’ in fact I’m surprised they are so close! But then again, I suppose that EM hasn’t ‘closed the deal’ with the soft left, and DC has a certain charm. :-)

  36. @LEFTYLAMPTON
    An awful lot of work to show anti-Tories are not that keen on David Cameron. Talk about lies, damn lies and……………

  37. CHOUENLAI
    It is true that David Cameron is doing better than Milliband but compare the ratings of Cameron pre-election and current( +17 and -18)…Would you attribute all of it to cuts?

  38. ROBBIEALIVE………….Anyone who begins a sentence with, ‘as K Marx said….’ on here, invites dispute, since most of what K Marx said, has long since been consigned to the dustbin of history. His one-eyed, homespun, social observations are the stuff of legend, however, we’re not peasants anymore, and we’re definitely not influenced by a rabble rousing quasi authentic ‘worker’s friend’ :-)

  39. Ken

    I suspect we are closer than we’d admit on business. And of course it will always be the success or otherwise of businesses that define the success of the natio. The differences between us probably spring from opinions on how to foster business and what to do with the rewards.

    As for the leaders’ ratings, I said yesterday that it is deeply depressing that we have a generation of political pygmies just when we need giants. Us, Europe and America.

    Chou.

    5 minutes work actually. We don’t rely on fingers and abacuses these days. Even in Sheffield.
    And if you Tories want to keep on thinking that the net approval figures guarantee you success in 15 then be my guest.

    Mike.
    Ta very much although I can’t hold a candle to the likes of Roger and TF. I just play at this.

  40. @Oldnat

    Good article by Kenny Farquarson here:

    http://www.scotsman.com/scotland-on-sunday/sport-columnists/aidan-smith/kenny_farquharson_snp_shifts_focus_amid_euro_meltdown_1_1990823

    Also not sure who you are referring to as ‘unionists’
    Things should not viewed as us vs them.

    Peter

  41. @Robbiealive

    Your gracious response totally accepted of course.

    Jousting was always done with a spirit of respect for the skill of your opponent, so ‘political jousting’ is fine , but not to the depth of discourteous comments to which some tend to descend.

    By the way, nice try with the “FrankG and other LDs” but please drop the ‘other’ bit. I probably cannot vote for my preferred party in my constituency, so I should probably be classified as a WNV. (and then maybe not, always open to be persuaded by ‘fair’ arguments of course) :-)

  42. Frank g

    I always thought you were a Lefty so I was surprised to see you accused of libdemory(I’m sure that there is a better spelling for this invented word) but now you say you are an other. Indulge my curiosity, which other are you, surely not BNP because that would shatter all my prejudices.

  43. @ Ken
    Anyone who begins a sentence with, ‘as K Marx said….’ on here, invites dispute, since most of what K Marx said, has long since been consigned to the dustbin of history. His one-eyed, homespun [sic], social observations . . . [blah blah.]

    1. Judging a s statement by its author is bunk. It is ether true or not true, has merit or does not. When E. Carson prosecuted Oscar Wilde for sodomy, he quoted certain verses which he [mistakenly] thought Wilde had written, as evidence of Wilde’s unspeakable depravity: Wilde replied: “you may hold that opinion of one of Shakespeare’s sonnets: others disagree . . . .”
    2. Marx is embedded in a tradition that stretches from Smith to Weber: one that largely shapes our political thought. How much Marx have you read by the way?
    3. Marx’s definition of ideology: the pursuit of self-interest under the cover of acting for the ‘common good’, is the best I know. if you have a better one, do pass it on.

  44. @Mike:

    I wonder whegher the gov’s announcement to make NHS patient data available to the private sector will be viewed by joe public and indeed how this might affect VI.

    Mike,

    I’m chary about governments spraying data around…we are talking about an organisation capable of leaving sensitive data on trains sitting unprotected on laptops….and the DH squandered Lord knows how much on a Data system they couldn’t make work….

    It seems data protection isn’t naturally a strong suit in UK government….

    And it’s not exactly helped by their political masters using public waste bins in St James’s as shredding devices….and repeated ministerial propensity to walk around with a confidential document uncovered in their hand….

    I think we own the data on us…not the NHS and we should retain the right to share or not to share it….I’d probably assent if asked…but asked I should be…after all the data the NHS is collecting and has been collecting is not collected for purpose for which they now propose….

    Good intentions ought not to trump inherent rights……

  45. @ RIN on Frank g

    “I always thought you were a Lefty so I was surprised to see you accused of libdemory . . but now you say you are an other. Indulge my curiosity,” ”

    I may be wrong but I took it that Frank’s point is that we should be non-partisan, a position I respect, tho if enforced on here would lead to a marked drop in contributions [& hence in revenue?]

  46. @LEFTYLAMPTON
    I cannot allow that to pass Mr Lampton. I do not believe there are any guarantees about anything in 2015. It is not I who continually whistles in the dark, regarding my preferred choice of government at that time. You would do far better having a word with a few of your associates who think because they hate the Tories and nowadays despise the LD’s, the whole planet feels the same. Let it be noted right now, I, even though only a Tory, am not sufficiently stupid to have a guess about 2015. However, I do reserve the right to seriously question some of the nonsense predictions on this board. Grown men and women, who don’t like Tory’s so they can’t get in.

  47. @ Cllr Peter Cairns (SNP)

    Obviously I ‘liked’ the article which you posted a link to. It said pretty much what I have been ‘tormenting’ Old Nat about for a while on this forum:

    1. EZ is not going to be accepting new members for the foreseeable future; therefore…
    2. GBP would be Scotland’s currency; unless…
    3. Westminster/ the BoE say: “No” because currency union doesn’t work without fiscal union; & furthermore…
    4. Not being able to use GBP without fiscal union also kicks devo-max into the long grass; so…
    5. The SNP are up a creek with no paddle, are they not?
    8-)

  48. Just watched the Merkel & Sarkozy Press Conference.

    Balanced EZ BUdgets to be mandatory
    Deficits over 3% to be “punished” atutomatically.

    ECJ to adjudicate on Budget compliance ( !)

    A NEW Treaty to enshrine this ( not sure if this is the 17, or the 27)

    So people of Europe-what do you think of it so far?

    Sarkozy was asked what would happen if the “Socialists” gain power in Germany & France-he said they are signed up to this as well.

    The whole thing is incredible.

    Will the markets give it enough time ?

  49. @Amber

    It depends what you mean by “foreseeable future”. I doubt that anybody will join the Euro by 2015, but (assuming things are fixed, which is a big assumption), then it’s not implausible that one or more of Poland/Romania/Latvia/Lithuania will join by, say, 2020. As for the won’ts, there’s UK (opt-out), Denmark (opt-out), Sweden (definitely won’t), Czechia (probably won’t). Hungary has got its own problems with the IMF and Croatia isn’t in the EU yet so I don’t know which way they’ll jump.

    Of course, an independent Scotland could just issue its own currency (OldNat could presumably suggest a name with historical relevance).

    I don’t know whether Scots would accept a new currency *politically*, but in purely technical terms it really isn’t “GBP or nothing”.

    Regards, Martyn

  50. @smukesh

    I think the merest common sense must make it evident that the “CUTS” and now elongated austerity, are not helping make Dave everyone’s favourite Eton scholar.
    For the vast majority who do not give a fig for politics or its practitioners, a vague notion of “we are in the sh.t and this lot say its the only way to get out” applies. That Labour say there is a better way, is not universally accepted, since rightly or wrongly, they carry a significant part of the blame. Furthermore, for the majority who show any interest whatever, the daily
    dose of EuroCatastrophe in every part of the media, is seen as making Britain’s position considerably worse.
    The vast majority do not spend their time on websites frequented by leftwingers prepared to give 986 reasons why things have nothing to do with Europe, its all down to Osborn. What is more Polly Toynbee says so. Therefore, to sum up, no wonder Cameron is not over popular, if his opposite number is even less so, the loyal opposition have an issue.

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