Looking back at 2011

In terms of polling 2011 has been almost static. In the last Parliament we were rather spoilt in terms of volatility, seeing the Conservatives move ahead after the election of David Cameron, then the Brown boost putting Labour briefly ahead until the election-that-never-was burst the bubble, then a second Labour recovery after the bank bailout. Even in 2010 there was significant movement as Lib Dem support fractured and support for the government’s cuts programme ebbed away. In contrast the story of 2011 has been one of stagnation.


In terms of voting intention, in YouGov’s daily tracker Labour have maintained a steadyish five point lead throughout most of the year. There have been a few ups and downs, with the Labour lead temporarily widening to six, seven points or more in the Spring and after Hackgate in July, but most of the time voting intentions have rumbled onwards regardless of day-to-day politics.

The biggest exception was the impact of David Cameron’s veto at the European summit, which put the Conservatives briefly back ahead of Labour. As daily polling paused for Christmas the polls were still showing Labour and the Conservatives neck and neck – it remains to be seen whether this does have any lasting effect. The veto itself will, in all likelihood, fade from memory as things like the economy and public services resume their normal place at the top of the political agenda, but if the veto permanently impacts how people see David Cameron and his leadership there is a possibility of a longer term impact.

Economic optimism has remained resolutely dire throughout the entire year. Confidence in the government’s economic policy and support for the cuts rapidly fell in 2010, but since then have largely flatlined.


The proportion of people thinking that the cuts are too deep or too fast has actually fallen slightly (“too deep” has gone from around 50% in February to around 42-43% now; “too fast” has gone from around 58% to around 48%), but the balance of opinion that the cuts are bad for the economy remains largely unchanged. More positively for the government people continue to think the cuts are necessary, and despite the passage of time there is little further change in the proportion of people who blame the Labour party for the cuts.


Where there has been more movement this year is in perceptions of the leaders themselves. David Cameron’s ratings remain the most positive of the three main party leaders but have been on a downwards trend, interupted by peaks after the local elections and the European veto. The latter saw significant increases in the proportion of people who thought Cameron was a strong leader who is good in a crisis and sticks to what he believes in, but it remains to be seen if it endures.


Ed Miliband’s figures have also been on a downwards trend, even while his party has been ahead in the polls. His decline was dramatically reversed by his response to Hackgate, but this faded away again leaving him languishing in the the minus thirties. Nick Clegg has the worst ratings of all, though they appear to have bottomed out after the defeat in the AV referendum. He suffered a sharp downturn after the European veto, but this was largely the result of Conservative supports, a minority of whom normally give Clegg good ratings, becoming far more negative about him.

Those are the figures, I’ll try to have a bit of broader rumination of the political situation at the end of 2011 over the next few days.

324 Responses to “Looking back at 2011”

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  1. chrislane1945 & HANNAH.

    “As to the need for a ‘middle class friendly’ leader, I am afraid that the sad truth is that england is a non-political land, that does not talk about ‘politics and religion’. Labour needs a leader that looks and sounds like middle england.

    The tories and their lib dem friends/allies have leaders that are middle england friendly.”

    So goodbye Scotland, then.

    Do you think that’s the way to keep the kingdom united?

  2. Time for some humble pie.

    Having myself earlier fallen into the trap of taking the Guardian’s reporting of the recent Policy Exchange pamphlet as an attack on Miliband at face value, it turns out that it is nothing of the kind. It argues constructively from a recognisably social democratic stance which most on the left should be comfortable with. Here’s a further link to an article by John Clare which puts the pamphlet into proper context, and also contains a link to the pamphlet itself (moderation prevents posting both links):


    The moral – never again take at face value any reporting of developments on the left by the Guardian’s political/editorial team. They have an agenda of their own and are prepared to distort any story to view it through that prism.

    John Clare sums his article up:
    “It would be a disaster if the Left were to accept the Guardian’s caricaturing of this short pamphlet as a right-wing attack on Ed, and to reject it. I read it as a significant concession by the Right of the Party towards the Left, and – personally, for what it is worth – I would be quite happy to take its proposals as a basis for further discussion.”

    Sunny Hundal, who I linked to earlier, has changed his mind, tweeting
    “Have to admit I also made the mistake of reading Guardian report on that pamphlet and taking it at face value”

    And other comments in response include:
    “The idea that it’s some sort of Blairite plot doesn’t stand up 30 seconds of attention to the publication.

    “I’m glad someone wrote this, when I read the article for myself I couldn’t believe how out of line the Guardians coverage was with its content.”

    “Great article, the Guardian’s reporting of the pamphlet was absolutely atrocious.”

    Sorry to quote at such length from another site, but given that the Guardian’s misreporting of this as an attack on Miliband was picked up in the broadcast media and seems to have influenced the content of much of this and the previous thread, it seems worth putting the record straight.

    And (with a nod to the Comments Policy) bear all this in mind when you have to next rely on the Guardian editorial team’s reporting of an ICM poll in the absence of any other source.

  3. Billy Bob
    “In my political lifetime there has [never] been… a government more skilful at disguising its nature.”
    Poly Toynbee argues that 2012 is when welfare/public spending cuts, Osborne’s “rebalancing of the ecomomy”, unenployment, squeezed living standards, rising crime, NHS tendering/waiting lists etc will become more apparent … Cameron’s “moderate manner” will be working overtime to maintain the benefit of the doubt many have been willing to extend during 2011.”
    (Posted December 30th, 2011 at 11:23 pm)

    I have said several times on UKPR that DC is right wing but is concealing this for electoral reasons. (Nothing amiss with that of course.)

    But there have also been increasing suggestions DC is now showing ‘leadership’ and promulgating ideas etc.

    I suggest DC is in transition to revealing his true rightwing beliefs. How this will affect VI remains to be seen but his ‘popularity’ and the apparent widespread support for strong measures on such things as benefits, employment laws etc may well encourage him to continue down this route.


    Interesting set of EZ Scenarios.

    A factor which doesn’t get much mention is the effect of the 2012 Presidential & Parliamentary elections in France.

    By June (?) Merkel could find her compliant friend Sarkozy but a distant memory. Having to deal with a Socialist administration in France will change the nature of the Franco German duopoly at the top of EZ-and possibly the policy imperatives.

    Concessions by Merkel might include acceptance of Eurobonds ( which would in my view start to construct a market credible homogeneity for euro denominated sovereign debt) .

    THe other outcome might be a strengthening of the UK /German relationship. This has already been signaled by Merkel, both personally, and in the recent visit to UK of her Foreign Minister.

  5. Just read through the thread skipping a little so apologies if already covered.
    The debate between Lefty and Rob, which is a continuation of Rob and Eoin’s disagreements in another form, is crucial to Labour’s strategy.
    I do think though that both positions have merit.
    I agree with Lefty that the strategy for this parliament has to be to recover the lost 1.5milion votes (or however many); not all votes lost from disullusioned Lab supporters went to the LDs, some did not vote at all and a small number went elsewhere.
    Psephologically, their votes may well be enough to deny a Con majority next time but also Labour has to recognise that we lost connection with a large part of the Electorate who we should be representing. Labour has to reconnect to gain in confidence before it can strike out on stage 2.
    Stage 2 is the push for Tory votes – enough to put us as the largest party, and sooner or later hopefully an OM.
    The danger is that in pursuing the short term strategy some actions could make the second phase more difficult and I think this is where Rob is coming from.

    This feeds in to the discussion we had last week on Ed’s leadership and if and when he should step down etc.

    Will he cry like Kim Hughes when he does??

  6. @LeftyL Thanks for the Con-Lib graph. Very interesting.

    The recent VI picture is completely different from the Lab-Lib one and I am persuaded by your argument. In fact the Con-Lib scores even look a little correlated! This suggests there is a smaller Con-Lab flow that goes in the same direction as the Lib-Lab flow.

    The GE results are not quite so clear, although I agree you can see an effect in the Lib-Lab graph that isn’t there in the Lib-Con graph.

  7. On unpopular leaders and Elections.

    Consider the following scenario:

    A minor politician who held a minor Cabinet position in a deeply unpopular Govt surprises the party by winning a leadership battle. The new leader is not well liked by the population, comes across as a little weird on TV, has an unpleasant voice.

    The Govt has inherited severe problems and has added to them by its own mistakes. The country is in serious economic trouble. Yet the new Leader of the Opposition still doesn’t make headroads in polling and is seen as significantly less popular than the PM, a faintly patrician type, easy on TV with condescending one-liners to hand.

    The LoO concentrates on bringing a new philosophy to bear on the party, moving it somewhat from its previous centrist base. This is thought to be electoral suicide, yet the drumbeat of new ideas seems to strike a chord with an electorate disillusioned with the current way of doing things. The Opposition moves ahead in the polls.

    The Govt struggles on, in coalition with centrist partners, yet the LoO is still less popular than the PM. Even at the GE, it is expected that this effect will lose the election for the Opposition. But, despite this, the Opposition win a convincing victory at the Election.

    No prizes for guessing that we are not talking about Miliband here…

  8. NickP

    “Doesn’t sound like your ideal southerner at all.”

    Au contraire. To our ears at least Blair SOUNDS exactly like your ideal southerner!

    Roy Jenkins, on the other hand, gave himself such a silly voice that he sounded like a Welshman pretending to sound like an ideal southerner!

  9. @Lefty,

    Very clever juxtaposition of 2010-2015 with 1975-1979… You made it fit like a glove!

  10. @old nat
    Why should we search around for some politician that is acceptable to the 8% north of the border ? We had, within the last Labour administration, a plethora of Scots and the majority of 50 million English do not remember them with much affection, particularly their final leader. Surely the perfect candidate, was the Scottish named and educated Blair. But no, even he did not suit you, you say. The fact is, the Scottish taste in politics and politicians has become a world away from middle England’s view. This is only one of many reasons, that the SNP are absolutely right in their desire to split.

  11. leftylampton

    Slight flaw in your analogy in that I don’t think anyone would describe Callaghan as “patrician”, no matter how faintly. Condescending though he certainly was.

    What your analogy does imply however is that Ed Miliband needs to remake the image and ‘feel’ of the Labour Party to make it more distinctive from current Westminster concensus. Unfortunately in this he not only has the opposition of the Press (if even the Paper That Must Not Be Linked To is trying to undermine a Labour leader…) but of many in his own Party, dreaming of a return to a time of Blairite plenty. Even if that was built on a foundation of economic quicksand.

  12. @jim jam
    I frequently find myself posting spoof ” leave Ed alone” comments. This is of course the dyed in the wool Tory, wanting the “useless” Labour leader to remain in office.
    However, when it comes to the argy-bargy between Rob and Mike N or Lefty L , I know, in all and total honesty, who has the only feasible and intelligent plans for a Labour return to power. Such an outcome, is, of course my worst nightmare, therefore, I am on Mike and Lefty’s side.

  13. @alec

    You said “…In terms of how 2012 might evolve politically, Dan Hannan’s blog http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/danielhannan/100126429/what-exactly-did-david-cameron-veto-again/ points to an interesting possibility…”

    I usually read Hannan’s blog with some pleasure because of his vocabulary (“degringolade”, “rebarbative”) but I’m honestly shocked by his post: he genuinely cannot be this stupid and I think he’s being disingenous. Consider:

    * I and others on this blog (Jay?) spotted very quickly that the UK might not be able to stop the EZ17+ using the Commission and the ECJ, using enhanced cooperation and that b****y article.
    * There are precedents aplenty for enhanced cooperation & ECJ oversight, including that divorce(?) one and – obviously – Schengen, which is EU-oversighted and includes non-EU countries (Norway)
    * Enhanced cooperation was mooted as a solution to the first Irish Lisbon referendum rejection before Lisbon II was set up
    * Hannan is a MEP of long standing and was involved in the creation of the Europarty associated with the Eurogroup in which he sits.

    * The use of EU institutions for non-EU27 groups has large precedents
    * The legal mechanisms enabling this predate Lisbon
    * The use of them has been discussed in the past
    * Hannan is a EU insider

    What conclusions would you draw from this?

    Regards, Martyn

  14. @Anthony Wells

    Love your graphs, thank you.

    Regards, Martyn

  15. @LeftyLampton

    Love your graphs, thank you.

    Regards, Martyn

  16. Neil A. Not me who made it fit Guv. I just reported the facts…

    Roger. Good point. Sunny Jim was more “fatherly” than “patrician”.

    As for that paper, they made fools of themselves by supporting Clegg in 2010 and now are squirming like fishes on the dockside trying to figure out what they believe in for the next 3 years. It’ll be fascinating to see which side they drop on in 15, not that it’ll make a jot of difference.

    And as for the opposition within the party, of course the Blessed Margaret had quite a job to do to unsettle and eventually unseat the One Nation Tories who had run her party for the previous generation.


    “Why should we search around for some politician that is acceptable to the 8% north of the border ?”

    Who suggested that you should?

  18. @John Fletcher

    You said “…Scenario 2. Orderly default of some countries…This was well as causing the above will mean considerable renegotiation of the EU and its treaties. This provides the Tories with the excuse they need to repatriate powers…”

    You’re conflating two distinct events into one.

    * “Orderly default” – a government faced with bankruptcy renegotiates its debts to repay its debtors less via a smaller amount of a benchmark currency. This has already happened unofficially (via the EU) with Greece. This does not affect the treaties and does not open up renegotiation.
    * “Leaving the Euro” – a government faced with bankruptcy changes its currency to repay its debtors less via the same amount of a devalued currency. This has not yet happened but may do so. This should affect the treaties and may open up renegotiation.

    The reason why I point this out is because we may see several orderly defaults (albeit unofficially) but the treaties not renegotiated.

    Regards, Martyn

  19. @Andy JS

    You may be interested to know I viewed your YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/user/ajs41#g/u )
    a few weeks back

    Regards, Martyn

  20. Of course, when you look at Anthony’s enlightening graphs, it does make you wonder if some of those always keen to promote the great importance of Party Leaders could explain the contrast between the rocky rides that they’ve had this year with the comparative statis their Parties have been in in.

    The most interesting graph I find to be the one on the cuts, which shows how Labour has failed to tackle the Conservative story on this. Indeed in the last couple of months, if anything the Tory position is looking stronger.

    This is a real missed opportunity on Labour’s part. The Autumn Statement should have been the perfect chance to start to counter-attack and keep on at it. If eighteen months of a government policy lead to its projected success taking place two years later, you would think that should be seen as an open goal. Phrases such as “It may be hurting, but it isn’t working” and “Even their own figures show they’re making things worse” should be repeated endlessly. In reality Labour has to oppose the whole idea of ‘cuts’ or at least repackage the idea in a different way and under another name. The reason for this is because if they fail to have a distinctive way of tackling the economy, voters may in the end plump for the Tories as the more convincing of two identical twins.

    Of course Labour’s presentation isn’t helped by the fact that Ed Ball is the very embodiment, physically and vocally, of the word “bluster”. (He also has that strange aggressive, blinky look when he faces the cameras, that makes him look as if he has just been interrupted doing unspeakable things to small furry animals – or is it just me who thinks that?) But the real problem is the lack of a policy package to promote.


    Just been reading on iomtoday.co.im about your Home Affairs Minister’s night out.

    What a very gentle set of comments to the story! Don’t you have many “Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells” types on the island?

  22. OldNat

    Oh yes we do:


    see quite a lot of the 500(!) comments following. Mind you some of these people would start a fight if left alone, naked, in an empty room.

  23. Roger Mexico

    I read quite a lot of those comments. Overall, they still seem rather gentle and sympathetic to me. Now if Kenny McAskill had been arrested for being drunk in London on the way to Wembley …..


    (That was a new yellow blob, I spotted on that site – don’t know if it will work here)

  24. Nope

  25. @Phil

    A lot of people will have grown up thinking of The Guardian as a pro-Labour newspaper.

    Interestingly, they have gave their endorsement to:

    Conservatives 1955
    Liberals and Conservatives 1951
    Liberals 1950 and the two elections of 1974
    SDP/Liberal Alliance 1983
    Lib Dems 2010
    Liberals and Labour 1945
    Lib Dems and Labour 2005
    Labour 1959, 1964, 1966, 1970, 1987, 1992, 1997, 2001.

  26. Can Anthony Wells please reopen the Manchester Withington thread in the New Year?

  27. On the theme of looking back at 2011, the SNP have announced that their membership stands at 20,139 today.

    In 2003 party membership stood at just under 9,500. That grew steadily until 2007 when the party won its first Scottish election and membership hit 14,000

    While parties with mass membership are probably a thing of the past, growing or reducing party memberships are likely both to be aligned with public opinion, and growing/reducing influence upon it.

  28. @ Old Nat

    Still no analysis regarding how many of the SNP membership are sentimental ex-pats, though. :-)

  29. Amber

    The day that SLab has any transparency at all on its membership, then you can comment.

    Feart wee souls that you are!

  30. @OLD NAT
    Profuse apologies, it was John B Dick wot said it. Not your good self.

  31. JOHN B DICK.
    Good Evening.
    Not wishing to upset anyone at all.

    I think the UK as a construct has had its day.

    Labour in any case has to win in England if it is to win in the UK.

    But the 1707 to 2015 period was a good run.

    The Scottish people will achieve independence but warm fraternal relations with England and Wales.
    My english students wish they had the university education support that their scottish friends have.

    The Irish people are fraternal to the English now, mostly.

    The Guardian has become anti Labour. Interesting to see how the Policy Exchange debate is going.

  32. What’s everyone doing for Hogmanay tonight then?

  33. Anthony thanks for your unfailingly interesting commentary and your even more unfailingly good humour with us, even when we’re badly behaved….

    And to you and all my fellow contributors may I take this opportunity of wishing you all a very Happy New Year….and I pray it may fulfil all our political desires…which should at least present the deity with a challenge…


  34. @John Murphy

    Thank you and the same to you.

    @A Cairns

    Wine, stinky cheese, rellies and my eldest niece will no doubt laugh at my dancing again… :-)

    Regards, Martyn

  35. I would like to echo John Murphy’s thanks to Anthony, and also to wish everyone well.

    The Chief Rabbi’s article in today’s TIMES about New Year resolutions is absloutely wonderful and I highly recommend it.

    I will try to use it with my sixth form tutor group on Wednesday.

    (bad day at Old Trafford)

  36. A Cairns

    Very little!

    However, I have a nice bottle of Isle of Jura Malt waiting to be opened!

    We may reminisce about previous Hogmanays, and (despite the protestations of Mrs Nat), I may give a rendition of the Wee Cock Sparra in memory of Duncan McRae being live (if legless) on the Ne’erday TV!


  37. Earlier this year I compiled a list of testable predictions from contributors to this site, and they are

    * Austerity fatigue will swing Europe leftwards between 2010-2015

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

    * Greece will default on their debt before 1 January 2014

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

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

    Of these predictions, Alec’s prediction about a Greek default has already happened, de facto if not de jure. My prediction about the Euro on 1 January 2012 will also come true assuming something apocalyptic does not happen in the next 10 hours.

    If anybody has any other predictions they wish to throw in the pot, please shout out.

    Regards, Martyn

    [1] The ESM has since been brought forward to mid-2012 but the prediction still holds.

  38. Martyn

    I’ll add

    SNP will be the largest party on Glasgow Council after May 3 elections – but without an overall majority.

    There will be no Scottish constitutional referendum in 2012, or 2013.

  39. The Jackson and McClymont pamphlet “Cameron’s Trap:lessons for Labour from the 1930s and 1980s”
    is indeed a good read. Here is the direct link:


    One of the main points is that the austerity meme in the 1930s and 1980s was coupled with the raising of living standards for a section of the population in the South and Midlands (of England).

    This trick does not look repeatable this time round – and the “squeezed middle” narrative is looked more and more like the essential point.

  40. @OldNat

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

    * Austerity fatigue will swing Europe leftwards between 2010-2015

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

    * Greece will default on their debt before 1 January 2014

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

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

    * SNP will hold at least a plurality on Glasgow Council after the elections scheduled for May 3 2012
    * There will be no popular referendum in 2012 (nor 2013) on the constitutional position of Scotland

    Regards, Martyn

    [1] The ESM has since been brought forward to mid-2012 but the prediction still holds.

  41. Ministers have faced demands for spending on the Olympics to be reduced in recognition of efforts to tackle the deficit. The government has provided £9.3bn for the Games – up from an estimate of £2.4bn at the time of the bid in 2005.
    Olympic spending to be 4x’s the original budget. That’s quite the stimulus, let’s see if Labour agree it’s money well spent or will they do the ‘alternative’ math regarding the opportunity cost of spending so much on the Games.

    We could say: The Coalition have laid off X soldiers, Y nurses, Z policemen so they can spend £7Bn more on the Olympic games.

    Or, if we go the investment route: The Coalition could have built X schools, Y houses, Z railways with that £7Bn.

    It will be interesting to see whether Labour welcome using the Olympics as a showcase for Britain & spending loads on it, given it was Labour which won the bid for the games, or take one of the approaches which I mention above.

    I’d like to see polling on the £9.3Bn v £2.4Bn spend but I doubt NI group will have YG ask the question in that way.

  42. @ Old Nat

    Attack is the best form of defence… though I’m not sure which of us is attacking & which defending ;-)

  43. Amber,
    I don’t think Labour have anything they can say on the Olympics. They won the bid (and did very well, given the competition) but with a totally ill-prepared budget of £2.4bn (eg forgot inflation, security, underestimated costs of acquiring land, etc) They then admitted the expenditure required was £9.3bn themselves BEFORE leaving office. Not sure there is much capital to make from it now really…….
    The preparations were far too far down the line by May 2010, and the organisers are having to cut corners now just to meet the £9.3bn number as there is no more money available to spend on it…….

  44. @ Hal

    The Jackson and McClymont pamphlet “Cameron’s Trap:lessons for Labour from the 1930s and 1980s”
    It is basically historical support for Ed M & Ed B’s approach. Amazing that anybody would try to spin it as being a criticism of the Eds. :roll:

  45. Amber, Wasn’t sure of the dates but just checked – Olympics bid won in 2005 with “artificially low budget”, budget then revised to £9bn+ by 2007……….
    I think you need to find another line of attack….. :-)

  46. @ Hooded Man

    Yes, I’m fairly sure that Labour will say it is a welcome stimulus to the economy & go the route of taking credit for winning the bid to hold the Games.

    Personally speaking, I think it is money which could’ve been better spent. I was not cheering when we won the bid. I think the legacy will be empty shopping malls & sports facilities which are too large & expensive to be of much benefit to the wider community.

  47. @ Hooded Man

    I think the £2.4Bn was net of future income from the facilities. I think the line will be that the Coalition has bungled the post-Olympics deals.

  48. Amber

    Olympic funding and the (lack of) Barnett consequentials has been a long standing problem.

    Labour consistently refused to yield on the issue so that on 14 April 2010, the Scottish Government raised the issue as a formal disagreement with the UK Government under the protocol on “Dispute avoidance and resolution” which now forms part of the Memorandum of Understanding between the UK Government and the devolved administrations.

    The Welsh Government and the Northern Ireland Executive notified the UK Government of their wish to be parties to the disagreement on 30 April 2010 and 24 June 2010 respectively. The issue was escalated to a dispute under the protocol on 13 September 2010.

    As a consequence, though we had to concede that the £140 million we were due under Labour has been lost, we now have agreement that the recent tranche of increased spending on the Olympics will result in a transfer of consequentials to the tune of £16m to Scotland, £8.9m to Wales and £5.4m to Northern Ireland.

    Perhaps more importantly, decisions on the application of the Barnett formula should “always be evidence based, be undertaken in a timely manner and in consultation with the devolved administrations”. (This wording was agreed previously and is now included in HM Treasury’s Statement of Funding Policy which was published alongside the UK Spending Review in autumn 2010.)

  49. Amber,

    Nice try! Whatever the figure, it was already at £9.3bn by May 2007. If the figure had been net of future income” there would have been no need for Labour to have admitted they got the budget wrong and it would actually be four times higher. And after Brown came in they were flagging up a risk that it could go higher than 9.3bn…….


    Your first post clearly seemed to suggest that it was the current government that had quadrupled the budget, when that is clearly not the case…………you’re sidetracking instead of backtracking :-)
    I have spent the whole time in London since the bid was won – we get chapter and verse in the press almost daily on the Olympics……and have been paying for it directly too through the council tax (although I accept that there will be other areas of the UK that feel aggrieved they are indirectly paying for something that they get no benefit from).

  50. PS Not that I feel I will get any benefit from it either. Didn’t even manage to get a single ticket for anything in the ballots. And those were tickets that still needed to be paid for even if you were successful……..
    Looking forward to the traffic though….. ;-)

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