Also published today are new voting intention figures from TNS-BMRB. Topline figures with changes from their previous poll at the end of November are CON 35%(-1), LAB 38%(-1), LDEM 11%(+2), Others 16%.

No obvious sign of any veto boost for the Conservatives here. The poll was conducted over the weekend, so it looks as though the veto boost may have subsided by the time the fieldwork began.


203 Responses to “TNS-BMRB – CON 35%, LAB 38%, LD 11%”

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  1. RiN

    If there’s no growth you can’t run a deficit forever without the debt getting out of control. That’s for sure!

  2. Actually I don’t think you can run a deficit forever, full stop.

  3. Neil A,

    The laws of arithmetic are against you: if economic growth is greater than the real (inflation-adjusted) rate of interest on the debt, then you can have a deficit but debt/GDP ratio will decrease. That’s what happened overall in the decade 1997-2007.

  4. RinN
    ‘Talking about the world gone mad, I see the January sales have started already!!’

    Round our way shops seem quite full. Currently decorating therefore looking for a bit of furniture. Wanted a white ottoman from Argus,out of white ottomans since October, and nothing planned prior to Christmas; same with other local Argos stores; at BHS out of a table lamp (but said I could have the display one, except I needed a box and company policy not to provide a box, sale lost.

    Have the larger stores retailers actually forgotten the art of business? I hope they don’t report a quiet Christmas and lay off staff.

  5. Seems like there are some real worries emerging regarding deflation in France.

    30,000 silicon breast implants……That’s going to be some deflation.

  6. Alec

    Great market opportunity for bra and swimwear manufacturers though.

  7. Billy Bob @ Old Nat

    “I was intersted to see – in an only slightly larger sample than one – a hint of an indication on where other SNP voters might be on the nationalist/eurosceptic spectrum.”

    What we do know is that SNP voters vote for “Competence” and that two thirds of them do not want independence. Both Labour voters (a surprising number of whom favour independence) and SNP voters would

  8. HAL

    @”debt/GDP ratio will decrease. That’s what happened overall in the decade 1997-2007.”

    Not after Gordon turned the spending taps on.

    From 2002 to 2008 inclusive :-

    Nominal GDP grew by 40%
    Real GDP grew by 17%

    But

    Government Debt as % GDP rose from 29% to 36%

  9. Billy Bob @ Old Nat

    “I was intersted to see – in an only slightly larger sample than one – a hint of an indication on where other SNP voters might be on the nationalist/eurosceptic spectrum.”

    What we do know is that SNP voters say they vote for “Competence” and two thirds of them aren’t interested in independence. Labour voters (a surprising number of whom will vote for independence) and SNP voters will if need be vote for any party tactically to defeat the Conservsative.

    The EU, as Anthony says, isn’t top of the list for salience. It is with a minority of the English nationalists and it fills a lot of newspaper columns. It isn’t a defining or dividing issue in Scotland.

    Rather like the monarchy, there are a handful who see the prospect of independence as an opportunity to put forward the case for a change, but the majority aren’t interested in debating either issue.

    What they want is a (devolved) government that will protect them from Tory and Tory-lite policies in NHS and Education and the SNP offer the policies of the Butskillite consensus to widespread contentment.

    Everything else is of second importance if that.

  10. HENRY

    I think stores are having a hard time.

    Offers are everywhere -and people are looking for them.

    On line is still showing real growth-12% this year after 26% last year.

    It’s convenient & it’s cheap.

    I bought a last minute electrical kitchen gadget last week. I used a local store who always try to be competitive.

    The item had a ticket price of £220. The store guy checked competition & offered it at £185. I was in a hurry & bought it.

    When I got home I checked Amazon’s price for the same item-£157-free delivery.

    The High Street has a major problem in coming to terms with online retailing.

  11. JOHN B DICK

    Remember the circumstances of the Velvet Divorce.

  12. Neil A

    The UK ran a budget deficit every year between 1945 and 1980, with the exception of small surpluses in 48, 51, 56 & 68 and a decent surplus in 69. In that time, our debt to GDP ratio came down from 200% to 40%. Kind of suggests your argument about deficits is flawed.

    Since we’re in an era of nice, simple, homely economics argument (eg, maxing out one’s credit card), here’s one. A carpenter could cut down his outgoings by not paying to have his tools repaired, or by not buying new ones when his old ones ran out. He’d get his deficit down, as an absolute figure, but as a proportion of his income, his deficit and total debt would soon rise.

    And in that light should be seen Colin’s congratulatory comments on Osbourne having reduced the absolute deficit over and above what the OBR had predicted. The problem is, of course, that he’s hugely under-shot on GDP growth too. So our debt as a proportion of GDP is now higher than it would have been had we hit OBR predictions on both the deficit and GDP.

    I suspect that we’ll hear more tactical crowing from the Tories about absolute deficit success and less about the relation to GDP as we nosedive into recession next year. ‘Course, that tactic will only wirk fir so long. The problem after that will be that both absolute and GDP% deficit and debt will be frighteningly high and rising if GDP doesn’t bounce back strongly from late 12.

    Just ask anyone from Japan…

  13. Tonights YouGov

    Con 40% Lab 40% Lib 10%

    Looks like the EU veto boost may still be around afterall.

  14. LEFTYLAMPTON

    @”A carpenter could cut down his outgoings by not paying to have his tools repaired, or by not buying new ones when his old ones ran out. He’d get his deficit down, as an absolute figure, but as a proportion of his income, his deficit and total debt would soon rise.”

    Why has he got a deficit & a debt in the first place?

    Are his charge rates adequate? Is he getting enough work? Is he competitive enough?Is he relying on too narrow a client base? Is he going for high volume/low price, when he should be going for higher quality/lower volume/higher price ? Has he spent unwisely on unproductive assets which are not bringing a return?

    Does he actually know what he is doing?

    Should he pack up being a carpenter ………….or is his name Joseph?………in which case a quick word with his son might help.

    :-)

  15. Isn’t there an Xmas boost every year?

  16. leetay

    Tonights YouGov

    Con 40% Lab 40% Lib 10%

    Looks like the EU veto boost may still be around afterall
    ____________________

    Yeah well wait till Cameron calls Sarkozy a daft wee frog and Merkel a bent frankfurter, his poll ratings will hit the high 90’s!! ;)

  17. MIchael O’Leary tells it as it is to the Eurocrats>

    Wonderful stuff.

    h ttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4HYSsrlcq8

  18. ALLAN CHRISTIE

    Alan Massie in the Scotsman was quite funny aboot the current English/French spat.

    http://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/arts-blog/allan_massie_battle_of_strong_wills_that_never_ends_1_2017623

    ” I‘ve a notion that deep down we rather believe that the English have got it right about the French and that the French have hit the mark when it comes to judging the English. This should make us very happy.”

  19. Looks like the Con + UKIP figure may actually be a good one to watch – if Lab are still 40+ and Cons are still in ‘boosted’ territory (although if it settles there, it can hardly be called a boost), it’s obvious that it’s largely at the expense of UKIP and not Lab.

    It is an interesting situation though – because to sustain it, Cons have to sustain the anti-EU sentiment which puts more strain on the coalition and pushes the Libs closer to Lab.
    Not that, if the ‘boost’ is sustained, the Cons should worry much about that – they have the ultimate veto against the Libs in that they can push for a GE (and probably find enough support from Lab MPs to go for it).

  20. “MIchael O’Leary tells it as it is to the Eurocrats
    Wonderful stuff.”

    You’ll not persuade me of this.

    To me, the man is a dangerous imbecile who is in love with the sound of his own boring whining voice.

  21. OLDNAT

    Ha Ha great article and indeed it keeps me happy although deep deep down I have to confess I do prefer the Auld Alliance. ;)

    “even though it was French help which enabled the rebel American colonies to win independence from Britain and establish the United States”

    Yip lets have the boys back up in Leith during the referendum. ;)

  22. Looks like some part of the mud stuck,the Cons have boosted their VI,and borrowing down…All in all, a good last week of the year for the Tories

  23. “Writing in The Telegraph, Sir Gus O’Donnell asks whether the Union can survive increasing pressure for Scottish independence.”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/8971787/Cabinet-Chief-UK-faces-break-up.html

    Also, interesting timing, from the Coalition to set up the WLQ commission to report in 2013.

  24. Tonights YG

    40,40,10

  25. JAMESP

    “Tonights YG 40,40,10”

    It’s a Xmas truce. Tory & Lab MPs are going to exchange drinks and play footie in No Mans Land (aka Dover House).

    http://www.scotlandoffice.gov.uk/scotlandoffice/files/Version%20for%20website%20DB309.pdf

  26. OLDNAT

    On the West Lothian question Devo Max would suit the English as it would remove any Scottish (constituency) MPs from sitting at Westminster.

    I would rather Salmond ask the question. Do you want independence or Devo Max because either way it would once and for all get rid of the feeble 39 from Westminster who claim to stand up for Scotland.

  27. @anthony Wells

    Anthony, when do you shut up shop for Xmas? What’s your release calendar for the next two weeks?

    Regards, Martyn

  28. @John B Dick – “Butskillite consensus”

    Thanks for your response. Interesting that the above term has general acceptance, while “Blatcherism” has not caught on as yet.

    Butskillism – “from the moment Hugh Gaitskell joined the Treasury in 1950 as Stafford Cripp’s deputy, to Rab Butler’s departure in December 1955” – though the “consensus” is said to have lasted for another two decades.

    Some studies (Scott Kelly, 2002) point to a more sustained argument over the use of physical controls, monetary policy and direct taxation between Labour and Conservative Parties:

    “ministerial determination of policy is far more important than previous scholars have assumed, which explains why a developing consensus among civil servants about the conduct of economic policy is not necessarily reflected in outputs.”

    D Miliband claims to be a Gaitskellite in some respects… though according to reports he has refused the post of shadow chancellor twice so far.

  29. @OLDNAT

    “It’s a Xmas truce. Tory & Lab MPs are going to exchange drinks and play footie in No Mans Land (aka Dover House).”

    Even the LDs will be satisfied with a double figure poll to end the year (assuming there are no more?).

  30. @”To me, the man is a dangerous imbecile who is in love with the sound of his own boring whining voice.”

    I don’t think his millions of customers give a toss what he sounds like.

    He provides cheap travel to the masses-and very successfully too.

    Some imbecile !

    I thought his story about the Commission email re his travel expenses was brilliant-tells you all you need to know about the EU bureaucracy.

  31. @Martyn

    A good christmas present from AW/YG would be three polls showing a 10 point con lead, a level and a 10 point Labour lead. Happiness for everyone!

    Think of the discussions of outliers!

  32. You Gov Poll tonight-Women 43/38/9

  33. Tables here

    http://cdn.yougov.com/cumulus_uploads/document/8h8pl8egu2/YG-Archives-Pol-Sun-results-211211.pdf

    Unsurprisingly, given that Con/Lab VI ties at 40%, preference among all respondents to having a Con or Lab government ties at 30%.

  34. Colin

    Was that VI – or a different set of statistics? :-)

  35. jamesp

    @Martyn

    A good christmas present from AW/YG would be three polls showing a 10 point con lead, a level and a 10 point Labour lead. Happiness for everyone!

    ________________

    What about poor wee Glegg? He is after all propping up a minority government!! At least give him 8% to stick in his stocking. ;)

  36. @Smukesh – “Looks like some part of the mud stuck,the Cons have boosted their VI,and borrowing down…”

    I do hope you checked the small print and noted that borrowing from earlier months was revised up by £1.9b? And also noted the fact that the OBR has already increased their borrowing forecast for this year and ever year of the parliament by £5b?

    Still – today’s figures were better than some were expecting, largely as inflation has boosted tax receipts. In January the VAT increase drops out of the equation and we’ll get a better idea of income tax returns, so this figure will be interesting, but most observers expect more trouble ahead on UK’s borrowing numbers.

  37. OLDNAT

    VI-“Female”

    Another interesting one was which government is your best option for Britain:-
    Last time it was 30/30 for Con & Lab majorities.
    This time it’s 33/28.

    Still -I expect it is all MoE-and as Ken observed earlier “it wasn’t supposed to be like this” .

    Normal service will no doubt be resumed after the festivities.

  38. @OldNat

    That’s been niggling at me: the conceit that DevoMax and no-scots-mps-at-westminster are synonyms. But surely under anything short of full independence, there will be *some* oversight of Scotland by a UK government, even if only for certain areas (foreign policy? defence?)? Given that, wouldn’t there still be a requirement for some Scottish MPs to take part in the inspection of UK government legislation affecting Scotland?

    Regards, Martyn

  39. Martyn

    That would be the logical position – unless we are to become a Crown Dependency.

  40. Once again, I’ll work on the assumption that the 15 GE will be determined by where the erstwhile LD voters cast their lot.

    And in that spirit, there are some very interesting figures in the latest poll. Back of fag packet calc, separating out the CURRENT LD supporters from the 2010 LD supporters to tease out the results of the LD deserters.. Caveats as before – simplistic analysis assuming all current LD supporters voted for them in 2010 etc, etc, but it’s worth looking at anyway…

    On the question of who would make the best PM, the LD deserters give the following results:

    DC: 23%
    EM: 25%
    NC: 2%
    DK: 48%

    On the subject of what their preferred Govt would be:

    Con Maj: 15%
    Con/Lib Coalition: 3%
    Lab/Lib Coalition: 28%
    Lab Maj: 27%

    Pick the bones out of that.

  41. There are some potentially very painful findings in the BoE’s latest business summary regarding business investment. After contracting by a reported 0.8% this year, the OBR had assumed business investment would supply virtually all of the total GDP growth for 2012 – 0.6% out of a projected 0.7% growth.

    However, the BoE is reporting a further decline in investment intentions, meaning that they are predicting much lower investment growth than the +7.7% the OBR has assumed.
    It’s just another straw in the wind that the UK economy is in serious bother, and it looks highly likely that 2012 will be a tough year all round.

  42. Martyn

    Actually it’s much more than legislation. A major role of elected members is to challenge government decisions – few of which need legislation.

    As the SNP demonstrated 2007-11, you can govern perfectly competently without a parliamentary majority. Cameron could have had a go at that to deal with the economic mess – except that he wanted a Parliamentary majority to reform UK welfare, and English social provision.

  43. or if we had separate federal parliament in place of the HOL

  44. Oldnat @ Martyn

    “As the SNP demonstrated 2007-11, you can govern perfectly competently without a parliamentary majority.”

    In the 5+ party Scottish Parliament that is Not necessarily at Westminster.

  45. @OldNat

    Gottit, thank you (you may want to tell George Osborne, btw: he still thinks DevoMax means no-Scots-Westminster-MPs)

    @John B Dick

    Oh, that’s an interesting option (HOL becoming the UK federal parliament)? Is anybody working on it? Currently, the Prime Minister is that person best able to get legislation thru the HoC. Under the HOL->UKFedParl, wouldn’t he have to be that person best able to get legislation thru the HoL?

    Regards, Martyn

  46. JOHN B DICK

    Even in the UK’s 10+ party Parliament, if the Tories had concentrated on deficit & debt rather than legislation, it’s unlikely that a majority could have been put together on a vote of confidence by the opposition.

    As in the Scottish Parliament, Labour, and other parties would have done lots of posturing, of course.

  47. Martyn @John B Dick

    A Federal structure is the old (very old!) Lib/LD position. Even the Scottish party has kicked it into the long grass.

    Any restructuring other than independence for a component part, requires that the largest part of the Union wants/agrees to it happening.

    Whitehall/Westminster (the English/British elite) clearly does not want that, and will follow their usual policy of offering the minimum change, while opinion outwith the London bubble moves on, and leaves them behind.

    Just as most Scots don’t want our MPs voting on English matters, most of those in England have little interest in Scottish matters. Asymmetrical devolution has had a potential effect on democracy for England, and should be addressed.

    A sensible English administration would have first decided whether they were bothered about having Scotland in the Union, and if they were, thought about the necessary adjustments to the constitutional structure that would suit everyone.

    We’ve had political devolution since 1999, and a Commission to look at the WLQ, won’t even meet till Feb 2012!

    As they say in these parts – “Gie’s strength!”

  48. Quick follow up. In late Nov, the equivalent figures for the LD deserters were:

    DC: 16%
    EM: 24%
    NC: 3%
    DK: 59%

    Con Maj: 9%
    Con/Lib Coalition: 0%
    Lab/Lib Coalition: 23%
    Lab Maj: 36%

    Whilst back in late August, the figures were:
    DC: 19%
    EM: 24%
    NC: 2%
    DK: 55%

    Con Maj: 10%
    Con/Lib Coalition: 6%
    Lab/Lib Coalition: 23%
    Lab Maj: 34%

    …and in June they were:
    Whilst back in late August, the figures were:
    DC: 16%
    EM: 31%
    NC: 0%
    DK: 53%

    Con Maj: 15%
    Con/Lib Coalition: 3%
    Lab/Lib Coalition: 21%
    Lab Maj: 34%

    …which does suggest that there has been some movement in the (previously quite stable) sentiment of the LD deserters about Cameron, but still relatively little on their overall voting intention (In June 18% wanted a C or C/LD Govt with 55% wanting a L or L/LD Govt – today the figures are 18% & 55%…)

  49. MIKE N………….Don’t you think that the UK economy is more important than the HB ? It certainly is to me, but then again particle physicists and the desperate search for symmetry don’t generally impact on my life. The God particle is, in my view, compatible with the significance of the UK economy to the ratings agencies……….. they need a keystone to maintain sanity, without one, there is only chaos, and the agencies are of no use.

  50. @oldnat

    I think the idea of an English parliament has less traction and feasibility now anyway as England is in polarised times.
    I notice you’ve ignored Wales as well.
    I’m not sure the WLQ is that big an issue now TBH even I was more concerned about it a few years back.

    The 2005 English result was mainly caused by differential turnout in London and NW England which evened out in 2010.

    I think beefing up English county councils and possibly bringingin a few regional gvts is a better solution.

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