Tonight’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 34%, LAB 42%, LDEM 9%. This is the first voting intention poll conducted wholly after the budget, though much of it was before this morning’s newspapers and the continuing media coverage we’ve had today (for the record, YouGov’s actual fieldwork times are from around about 5.30pm yesterday until around about 4pm this afternoon)

The eight point Labour lead equals the largest this year. It could be a budget knock for the Conservatives, though it is worth remembering that we also had another eight point lead earlier this week before the budget (in so much as it can be “before” a budget that had been so widely leaked), so it could be normal margin of error.

The YouGov poll has various other questions on the budget. The increase in the personal tax allowance is predictably popular, with 90% of people supporting the change. There are also solid majorities in favour of the cut in corporation tax, allowing shops to open on Sundays during the Olympics and the increaase in stamp duty on homes worth more than £2million.

Turning to the more controversial measures, 55% of people opposed the decision to cut the 50p tax rate to 45p, with 32% in support. The opposition to this measure is less strong than most of the pre-budget polling on the question – the difference is largely because polls before the budget tended to show Conservative voters opposed to the abolition of the 50p tax rate. The post-budget poll shows 60% of Tory voters in favour. Part of this might be because people are happier with a 45p compromise than abolishing the band completely, but a lot is probably Conservative supporters being more supportive of a policy when the Conservatives actually do it.

Where they haven’t done that is the least popular part of the budget, which predictably is the “granny tax”. Only 18% of people support increasing taxes paid by pensioners by phasing out the age-related tax allowance, with 64% opposed. This includes 57% of the Conservative party’s own voters and, as one might expect, 79% of people over the age of 60.

Overall just under a third of people (32%) think the budget is fair, compared to 48% who think it is unfair. To put this in context, YouGov asked the same question after last year’s budget and found 44% thought that budget was fair.

The survey also asked people whether they thought different income groups would end up paying more or less in tax as a result of the budget. 46% thought poorer people would pay less in tax, and 56% thought that the richest people in Britain will end up paying less tax. In contrast, 40% think people on average incomes will end up paying more, compared to just 23% who think they will gain and asked about “people like themselves” 21% of people think’ll end up paying less tax, 37% think they’ll end up paying more.

All this suggests the budget has not gone down well. What remains to be seen now is whether there is any real knock to voting intention once we’ve got some more polls to judge by (as ever, one should never put too much weight on one poll) and, if so, whether it lasts once the immediate negative coverage of the budget fades.


286 Responses to “YouGov’s first post-budget poll”

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  1. @KEN & HENRY
    I’m not sure where the confidence about 50 seats comes from.
    Lord Ashcroft’s polling figures show that if an NHS candidate stands, coalition support falls from 45% to 40%. Such candidates are only likely to stand in marginals where the sitting tory or LD MP is at risk and Labour could choose not to stand. Lord Ashcroft believes local issues are vital for a successful independent candidate – but every constituency has a hospital that is a potential cause celebre.

    A hung parliament could be an odd affair – presumably successful independents would back the largest party. Although they could be a mixed bag of political backgrounds, in the circumstances I would exect it to be largely a self-selecting anti-tory group. Who knows what a batch of successful independent MPs could lead to in subsequent elections.

    I think the polling companies will face a huge challenge trying to map weighted national sampling onto varied and complicated local situations, especially if we have new constituency boundaries. Election night 201x will be worth staying up for!

  2. Peter Bell

    ‘Your posts over many months have indicated to me that you are of the Clegg/Laws/Alexander wing of the party. Most new members in recent years were centre/left and as such will either have left, are considering leaving or are staying under sufference. Posts on Lib Dem Voice would support this POV.’

    I think you are right, and I do associate my views with the above. Personally I would like the LDs to be a broad church; but sometimes I do find myself in disagreement with LDs who are ex Labour supporters, perhaps because they still have socialist sympathies while I don’t. Shirley Williams, someone I greatly admire, and who is a great asset to the Party, is still in my view a socilist and therefore there will always be areas on which we wouold disagree.

    It was Simon Hughes who fought hard and failed to keep the 50p tax rate as Policy.

  3. lizh @ SUE MARSH

    “I have also offered them my services for any backoffice work for gratis”.

    We won’t have them in Scotland.

    Amber doesn’t live in a LibDem constituency but I do.

    I am pursuing my Libem MP but I have yet to find out whetheror not he voted to privatise the NHS in England, and if he did, and the Labour or SNP campaigns fail to tell his constituents, that would be a deplorable failure on their part.

    I would certainly do what I can to make that known if it is the case.

    The long term trend in the constituency and the destination of lost LibDem votes, suggests that the SNP would win in Argyll and Bute.

    I have already written to Alan Reid MP pointing out the West Lothian Question aspect. It is different from the nationally organised Labour party voting for policies that they would be happy to promote in their own constituencies.

    Even some Scottish Conservatives would baulk at openly supporting this bill if it applied to Scotland.

    Some years ago, the SNP in this constituency disclosed the fact that the LibDem vote was almost wholly a negative vote, the bulk of it anti-Con.

    Scottish voters vote for a party whose principal policy they mostly do not support. They also split the vote increasingly, even in the same election.

    Why do you think they do that?

    They don’t vote for the SNP. They USE the SNP to punish the party of Thatcher. The SNP don’t ever complain.

    The LibDems cannot now be seen in any part of Scotland as the best recipient for anti-Con votes. Scottish voters are spoilt for choice, especially for the Scottish Parliament.

  4. @ Chris Lane

    “Good Evening All, after a successful chess match.”

    Congratulations on winning.

    @ Old Nat

    “i am delighted to learn that there is a “polite English society”. Actually, I interact with such on a regular basis. They are family.”

    Lol. Is there such a thing as “polite Scottish society”? I feel like my interactions with Brits have been mostly limited to polite society which probably influences my inaccurate views of the Brits.

    “Clearly, English politics is even more interesting than I thought. You have a “far right” of electoral significance? the English seem so French. :)”

    It reminds me that Republicans are far more European and pro-Europe in terms of their platform and campaign methods (even though they seem to spend time ranting on about the evils of “European socialism.”) The European methods of criminal justice are a Republican wet dream (except on the death penalty).

    Scots don’t have much of a far right or even a right wing(even your Tories seem pretty centrist, almost liberal in some instances).

    If Scotland became independent, I wonder if some of the affluent constituencies held by Labour would switch over to a new conservative party.

  5. @ SoCaL

    If Scotland became independent, I wonder if some of the affluent constituencies held by Labour would switch over to a new conservative party.
    ——————–
    No, they wouldn’t. But some of the SNP constituencies would.
    8-)

  6. PeeWee
    ‘I’m not sure where the confidence about 50 seats comes from.’

    I think it is Ken who is confident about the 50 seats. I do not think anyone can foretell the outcome. I shall be interested to know who the candidates are for reasons of private work I have already stated.

    If elected will these new MPs be like martin Bell, who stood on an anti corruption label and then stood by as Labour presdided over the biggest expenses scandal ever. But then many people believe that Martin stood as much to embarrass the Tories as to actually reform anything. If he wanted reform he could have started by looking at the massive BBC salaries and expenses.

  7. @ John B Dick

    Both pieces made clear, in the detail of the story was that the Scottish Health Secretary had said that welfare changes would affect Scotland, but her main point was the opposite of the headline, that devolution would protect the Scottish NHS (which is her remit).
    ————————————
    The lovely Nicola got herself into terrible trouble with this at one point. She did say that the NHS Bill would adversely affect Scotland & then had to row it back when it was pointed out that the SNP MPs in Westminster had abstained from the original vote.

    In later votes relating to anything in NHS Bill, I believe the SNP MPs voted with Labour.
    8-)

  8. @ Henry

    “I have been told that if an Englishman wants to be accepted in France he must demonstrate an interest in politics, relgion and in food. Whereas in polite English society none of these are ever discussed. Maybe that’s why the English and French have communication problems.”

    Do the same rules apply for Americans? I feel like sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t.

    “You are right and the right wing press, Mail, Telegraph, Times etc, have used this as an opportunity to attack the LDs and Liberal leaning DC. They appear to hate anything Liberal as much as the left.”

    You know, I’m starting to feel your pain. Because I’ve always considered myself to be a moderate and pragmatic liberal. Watching some of the Trayvon Martin coverage tonight on the news and seeing some fairly outlandish positions from both left and right, I’ve been getting fairly outraged. It might make me closer to a British Liberal. :)

  9. Henry

    An independant elected in Scotland was a hospital campaigner.

    That was a threatened closure case I think.

  10. @ Amber Star

    “The lovely Nicola got herself into terrible trouble with this at one point. She did say that the NHS Bill would adversely affect Scotland & then had to row it back when it was pointed out that the SNP MPs in Westminster had abstained from the original vote.”

    She is lovely. I don’t envy you in having an opponent like her. It’s hard when you have opponents who you wouldn’t vote for but respect and like anyway and realize are strong leaders. The closest I ever came to a politician like that is Richard Riordan (and the closest I’ve ever come to right wing judge like that is the one who swore me into the Bar a week ago…..he’s part Scottish in fact….well Scottish American).

    If the Westminster MPs abstained, was she that far off?

    “No, they wouldn’t. But some of the SNP constituencies would. :)”

    Interesting. I don’t think you’re wrong on that. I wonder what would happen to some of the Lib Dem held constituencies in the highlands and similar areas that were once Tory strongholds before switching over (presumably out of opposition to Maggie Thatcher). I wonder if they would become targets for a new center right party. I guess that would include the Scottish Parliamentary seats that the SNP took from the Lib Dems last May.

  11. Amberstar
    ‘Cameron, Clegg, Lansley – all said that they had the backing of medical professionals for the NHS Bill. ‘Economical with the actualité’ is a phrase which could be used to describe that. The Coalition brought the medical professionals into it; then pretended to have paused to listen to their concerns; then showed the listening thing had been a nonsense by carrying on regardless.’

    I agree

    ‘But you seem to expect retired doctors, who wish to consider standing as MPs, to be squeaky clean, utterly principled & without the tiniest hint of hypocrisy…..’

    I don’t agree that I expect very much from these new MPs. But I do not think senior NHS professionals are against private involvement, psrticularly the manyu who are themselves both NHS and private. They are opposed to reform.

    After waiting 2 hours to see my consultant when I Iast visited my consultant in London, I asked the Consultant who passed me to call yet another patient how long I would have to wait ( as the nurses were clearly terrified of him and were unable to find this information out). He said that he was a doctor down and added contemptously that he had seriously ill patients to deal with (that at least was true and I was one of them). When he then called me he found he did not have the results of my scan and I was made to wait a further 30 minutes. He was of course both NHS and private, and so he obviously was not opposed to private involvement, but I expect he was totally opposed to any reform that my call him to account for both his tardiness and manner.

    I will stop pursuing the NHS thread as my comments appear more and more to reflect my own bitterness at my treatment rather than balanced political views.

  12. Amber Star @ John B Dick

    “In later votes relating to anything in NHS Bill, I believe the SNP MPs voted with Labour.”

    That would be because they forsee patients money displacing taxpayer’s money with negative Barnet Consequentials.

    Initially, I think it would work the other way as the insurance has not been sold yet, and the huge extra cost of the marketisation and PFI, management consultants etc., will mean extra taxpayer funds have to be found from somewhere to avoid early and widespread collapse of services.

    Shouldn’t the SNP be voting for the bill to get more money for Scotland in the short term? Shouldn’t the SNP MP’s be discounting the long term since independence will come before the Barnet consequentials?

    I’ve been bothering my MSP about Barnet and WLQ implications and, unusually, not got an answer. Maybe he doesn’t know the answers.

  13. SocalLiberal

    ” I wonder what would happen to some of the Lib Dem held constituencies in the highlands and similar areas that were once Tory strongholds before switching over (presumably out of opposition to Maggie Thatcher). I wonder if they would become targets for a new center right party. I guess that would include the Scottish Parliamentary seats that the SNP took from the Lib Dems last May.”

    Yes, but only if it were a Murdo Fraser led Christian Democrat party. If fundamentalist free marketeers capture what’s left of the party, it would take another generation to overcome that.

    In the central belt, the other end of the spectrum would have more realistic hopes than that.
    .

  14. @ John B Dick

    “Yes, but only if it were a Murdo Fraser led Christian Democrat party. If fundamentalist free marketeers capture what’s left of the party, it would take another generation to overcome that.

    In the central belt, the other end of the spectrum would have more realistic hopes than that.”

    Huh. I wonder if I’m a fundamentalist free marketer. Sometimes I think I am, other times not so much. It’s a lot like my self-debate over whether I’m a Libertarian.

  15. Good Morning All.

    SOCALLIBERAL.
    Thanks for your chess congrats!

    In Southern Engish lower middle class gatherings ‘they’ eschew politics and religion. To be ‘political’ means to be a bit of a ‘lefty’. A couple of years ago someone here explained that this goes back to the 17th Century when a brave man refused to pay his fine for not going to the local Anglican Church.

    Stanley Baldwin, not a Labourite, once said of the Con-Lib Coalition which dominated Parliament in between the two World Wars: ‘They were hard faced men who looked as though they had done well out of the (Great) War’ .

    Next Month, workers who have their hours reduced will also have their tax credit taken away. (I think it is 16 hours workers have to do).

    Therefore Henry is not to be worried I think. There are no ‘socialists’ in the current Lib Dem cohort. They all voted for this legislation.

    Sadly, I cant put myself in the Labourite-Sociaist camp either, due to their desire to make it difficult to practise my religious faith in the ‘public square’. (While at the same time some of their elites send their own children to the catholic schools- I think the ‘kids’ say LOL and LM*O)

    Have a good day all. I am off to run and then to the footy.

  16. CHRISLANE1945

    @”Next Month, workers who have their hours reduced will also have their tax credit taken away. (I think it is 16 hours workers have to do)”

    I do try hard to ignore your (deliberately?) lazy verbal shorthand.

    But it’s probably worth explaining this one in a bit more detail.:-

    “From April, the general rule is that couples will have to work at least 24 hours a week, rather than the current threshold of 16 hours, to qualify for working tax credit. One must work for at least 16 hours a week.

    However, a couple, in which one of the partners is a full-time carer and in receipt of carer’s allowance, will be exempt from the change.

    So these couples can continue to receive tax credit support if just one of them works for at least 16 hours. Such couples will also be able to claim for childcare costs through the tax credits system.”

    BBC

    …..like “Granny Tax” …..which isn’t a Tax, and applies mostly to men :-)

    Never mind George-press on through Labour’s elephant traps .
    Education, Welfare,NHS reforms ready to go .Implementation is everything now.

    Reform of the Tax Codes is going to take some time-it’s a minefield. IDS’ Universal Credit should help next year.

    Head down-keep going.

    :-)

  17. “From April, the general rule is that couples will have to work at least 24 hours a week, rather than the current threshold of 16 hours, to qualify for working tax credit.”

    There’s a lot of misery in store for quite a few people because of that change. You might be well pleased by yhr direction of Government but personally as someone who doesn’t like emoticons much anyway, I think your smiling one gives the impression that you are gloating about cuts in in-work benefits for the lower paid.

    They may be necessary or not (not the site, I know) but do you have to be so damned gleeful over their implementation?

  18. Colin

    Like “Poll Tax”, which everyone knows was not a tax at all but rather a “Community Charge”.

    Tough being in power ain’t it?

    But then again, a man who’s biggest career step up came from his skilful and repeated use of the phrase “Deficit Denier”, thus eliminating any semblance of intelligent discussion from the issue at hand, scarcely deserves sympathy if he ends up hoist by his own petard.

    It will be interesting to see if “Granny Tax” becomes part of the popular lexicon in the way that the other two examples above did. If it DOES, then Osbourne has a mountain the climb to re-establish credibility with the public.

  19. Colin(cont). I hit “send” before finishing.

    Seems to me that, whatever their inherent accuracies, these epoch-defining phrases gain traction when they crystallise and focus a general feeling of dissatisfaction. That was certainly the case with Poll Tax and Deficit Denier. Once established, the phrase acts as shorthand for the general feeling of dislike of the Govt. At least it does for a significant and important proportion of voters.

    That is why “Granny Tax” is so dangerous for Osbourne. In two words, it suggests unfairness and the same old toxic Tories. Regardless of the truth of the matter, the simple message that it sends is very powerful.

    That said, I do think that when these phrases gain traction, it’s as a consequence of public opinion rather than a creator of public opinion. But it does make it harder to shift public opinion back in your favour. I suspect that Osbourne will be hobbled for the rest of his career by the image of being a Chancellor who chucks tax breaks at millionaires whilst grabbing the pensioner’s mite. Rightly or wrongly on this issue, it is a catalyst for a growing popular feeling that we’re NOT all in it together.

  20. COLIN……………Well said. I’m intrigued at the left’s apparent inability to cope with change, a new, ‘party’ now, smacks of desperation to me. Perhaps the doorstep challenges, ” Hi doc, what are you going to do about the bin collections, 3rd runway, local planning, local schools, and isn’t the NHS doing well. Views on Europe, the World, immigration, street crime, all the issues………….I regularly play golf with doctors, our golf club is full of ’em, the Lewis Carroll party will definitely not appeal, to the retired ones least of all, they’re in their public sector pension, comfort zone. :-)

  21. SoCalLiberal @ John B Dick

    “Huh. I wonder if I’m a fundamentalist free marketer.”

    The NHS is the perfect example to test.

    The fundamentalist believer “knows” that the ublic sector is inherently inefficient because of a lack of competition. Therefore privatising it will introduce “choice” and drive down costs.

    Anyone who denies this is motivated by self interest, or resistence to change. The fundamentalist does not see any need to think of practical difficulties or whether a simplistic solution causes more problems than it solves.

    If you live on an island with 1,000 people,”choice” in for example your GP or access to primary schools is a concept that you may have difficulty in understanding, but you have consequenses of population sparsity in every aspect of life, not all of them unwelcome.

    Should we allow the private sector to cherry pick profitable parts of the postal service, or allow regional pricing to make it profitable? That way lies a hugely expensive state service for the unprofitable areas, or inequality in the level of service, or rising costs that would make the service unsustainable with consequenses for other services leading to depopulation.

    The parents of children in a threatened primary school recently fought a campaign and put a speeded up video of the 50m one way commute that five-year olds would have been expected to make, in all weathers, in winter 600 miles north of London sometimes leaving before dawn.

    The “choice” was to have local school or no local school. Faith schools, academies and the like were not a consideration.

    It is the metropolitan fundamentalist that is insular, not the islander. If the answer is that we abandon the countryside to hunting and move to the cities, – the St Kilda solution – that’s possible of course, but I don’t hear anyone advocate that. I do hear daft free market ideas that take no account of realities of life outside the M25 motorway round London.

    Privatising the NHS introduces additional types of cost in introducing a market. If you do not need to sell the product at a profit, why would you need to calculate the cost? Does an army have a budget for bullets which it has to keep to, and if they use it up at the beginning of the month, do they cease fire until the next budget period?

    In addition to cost accounting,mny things add to cost which the NHS doesn’t have. Billing, debt collection, advertising marketing costs, and every penny spent by an insurance company has to be funded somehow.

    There would need to be unbelevable savings in efficiency if these are to be met other than by reducing quality. Then there is the private profit and fraud at all levels.

    America spends half as much again on health, yet those at the bottom levels of society get a poorer service than those at the top and those at the top sometimes get more treatment than is good for them.

    We on this side of the Atlantic are under the impression that there is a great deal of divorce in America, yet Professor Warren found that bankruptcy was more common than divorce but hidden.

    Do you know anyone who is divorced?

    It isn’t the health care organisations that bankrupt people, it’s the building societies and banks, but it is hospital costs that are the root cause.

    Please look at Professor Warren’s Berkeley celebrity lecture. The anecdote at the beginning about Powerpoint is not just part of the warm up. The charts are staggering.

    The coming collapse of the middle class is here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akVL7QY0S8A

  22. LeftyLampton

    I agree. If you are a journalist on a right wing paper, you cannot overlook the shorthand that Poll tax, deficit denier, and Granny Tax, represent.

    They are all too useful to be left unused even if they harm the party your proprietor supports.

    These three, and maybe most such were deployed against the party in power.

    One that wasn’t was “Tartan Tories” though Tartan ex-Tories would have been nearer the mark it doesn’t do what is wanted.

    “Milk snatcher” is another. Surely the regulars here can contribute one each? Now, if you can think up a new one to benefit the party of your preference, you might be more doing something more effective than knocking on doors.

  23. @John B Dick

    Even in metropolitan areas choice is likely to be a fallacy. Even after costings are done, private providers are only likely to bid for the most profitable opearatins or treatments, which are presumably the parts of the service the public provider needs to make a hefty margin on in order to subsidise the loss making areas, for which there will be.no.provate provider bids.

    Now, London has some of the poorest areas of the country. Poorer people generally have more and more severe health problems, many of which are the most expensive to treat, and/or require ongoing hospital treatment. As a result it id likely they will require what will become the uloss making services. Who will be able to provide these servicrs in future?

  24. Colin,

    Thanks for your response.

    The main problem I think you may agree is that many people are having their hours of work cut, below the new threshold.

    Unemployment and Underemployment are big problems in an economy where demand is falling.confidence is falling.

    In August the tax on fuel rises again, which will put more pressure on people.

    BBC Newsnight looked at one family recently, where the Dad is on not enough hours, and his employer said he cant give him any more hours.

    Thus we have in Pokesdown/Bosccombe/Bournemouth many people who are needing the Food Banks at our churches, and cash for the electric metres.

    Tough times.
    In the words of the old song: Its the rich wot get the pleasure and the poor wot gets the blame.

    Trying to be non partisan: The welfare reforms should have been started when the economy was growing, as Frank Field told TB in 1997. Brown blocked him.

    But now is the wrong time to deflate and the wrong time to take benefits away from the poor.

    As to the public sector: I am very proud to have taught in it since 1978.

  25. John B Dick – That is all fascinating stuff. I’m very weak on Scottish politics (Sorry Old Nat et al)

    I did hear that the NHS bill was the first and so far only time SNP candidates broke their vow not to vote on English matters. Someone is looking into why.

    If you want to email me and stay in touch on this, I’m at suey2y at gmail dot com :)))

  26. NICKP

    @”I think your smiling one gives the impression that you are gloating about cuts in in-work benefits for the lower paid.”

    I am sure that you think all Conservative supporters-smiling or otherwise-are gloating, heartless people , whose only desire in life is to make life unbearable for the poor & disabled. It goes without saying that you think this way.

    LEFTY

    @”Tough being in power ain’t it?
    But then again, a man who’s biggest career step up came from his skilful and repeated use of the phrase “Deficit Denier”, thus eliminating any semblance of intelligent discussion from the issue at hand, scarcely deserves sympathy if he ends up hoist by his own petard.”

    It is.

    My recollection of Deficit Denier, is that it described a Government whose economic policy was ” investment not cuts”.
    Of course that was before the EZ crisis-but I think that “Deficit Denier” was a reasonable summation of that policy then-as it indubitably would be now.

    Yep-if Granny Tax sticks with the public as something perceived as “unfair”, it’s proponents will have succeeded.

    As I said- time to press on with the reforms & get them implemented.

    …the proof of the pudding is in the eating, not in the recipe book .

    No smilie here for fear of being described as a heartless bast**rd again.

    KEN

    THanks.

    Unwinding the nightmares of New Labour’s State was always going to be tough going.

    Just got to keep at it.

    CHRISLANE

    @”Tough times.”

    Yep.

  27. What are peoples views on ‘common purpose’ ?

    I have read some articles suggesting that they are are neo-marxist organisation that are trying to privatise as much of the public sector, as they can get away with.

    Is this another of the political conspiracy theories that is always doing the rounds ?

  28. @Sue Marsh

    Because the Scottish NHS and English NHS currently have several shared commissioning activities. The English NHS now has dramatically different commissioning rules, and the likelihood of tight integration with the Scottish NHS is pretty much gone.

    The first vote on the bill, the SNP abstained, because there was the ideological sentiment that “it only affects the English NHS” without understanding that the English and Scottish NHS are currently co-dependant.

  29. The, ‘Everything for everyone’ society, doesn’t exist anywhere in the world, except in the poorest areas, where the everything is poverty. Eventually society constructs trade-offs, we know that services will be provided unequally, that is simple common sense, you can’t put a specialist heart hospital in a remote location, a transport system is provided, a village with 4 kids can’t qualify for an Academy, we need to examine how much dilution we can live with and act accordingly. This may take generations, but the alternative is to provide wholly unrealistic levels of service, at massive cost, to satisfy the needs of a few, with the consequent loss of provision for the many.
    The, ‘competition’ element of private provision, is not necessarily between providers operationally, but between bids, the best bid, combining the most comprehensive service with the most reasonable price, with minimum and maximum levels determined by the client, gives the provider a clear mandate against which to construct a solution. The problem, as I see it, with state provision, is the tendency to provide all things to all people, regardless of supply side consequence, thus building a monolithic institution, with a massive bureaucracy, feeding off a flawed concept………..eventually it has to be reined in.
    Unlimited money for unlimited provision, results in inefficiency and spiralling costs………..typically describing the State enterprise. :-)

  30. @John B Dick
    “I am pursuing my Libem MP but I have yet to find out whetheror not he voted to privatise the NHS in England, and if he did, and the Labour or SNP campaigns fail to tell his constituents, that would be a deplorable failure on their part.”

    You can find out how he voted re the NHS risk register here: http://mpswhobetrayedthenhs.wordpress.com/2012/02/2
    4/votes-against-the-publication-of-the-nhs-risk-register/

    and about his voting records here:
    http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/

  31. @Ken

    Well said, that is why the NHS bill will eventually yield dividends for the sick. Like Henry i have given up comenting on the current state of the NHS because my own recent experiences were so bad.

  32. @AW

    I don’t know why one of my comment is under moderation. I have only given John B Dick 2 urls where he can find out how MPs have voted. Is it because I have given two urls or is it because one of the urls has a word betr..ed in it which the moderator doesn’t like?

  33. @John B Dick

    You should be able to find out how your MP voted here:
    http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/

    My previous reply to you with another url as well is under moderation.

  34. liz

    It’s been said previously that two links goes automatically into moderation (I assume to avoid spam).

  35. This blog reads more and more like Have Your Say everyday.

    A long boring political bicker.

  36. Just while we wiat for the next poll Chris.

  37. Colin.

    So YOU thought that “Deficit Denier” was a justified epithet?

    Well, you WOULD, wouldn’t you? With respect, what you thought of that is utterly irrelevant, as is the accuracy of the slur/brilliantly perceptive summary. What matters is whether it acts as a catalyst to make public opinion crystallise around a perception of a Government. THAT is when it becomes the motif of a political era.

  38. @NickP

    Thanks. I wasn’t sure if that was the case.

  39. @LEFTYLAMPTON

    “Colin.
    So YOU thought that “Deficit Denier” was a justified epithet? Well, you WOULD, wouldn’t you?”

    The right wing people think we are more ethical so they have higher expectations of us than themselves.

  40. Given the “concentration of minds” and “pull back effect” that has towards most voters returning to their traditional party loyalties that a General Election campaign induces, NHS independent candidates who might seem to have some appeal mid-term are likely to have a minimal chance of actually winning a constituency except where there is a real “star” candidate and a local cause celebre! Others would simply marginally hurt the LD or Lab vote in that constituency – the whole thing is a daft idea IMHO in a FPTP system. It would be much more effective for these concerned individuals to become vocal within the internal structures of the major parties and actually effect policy attitudes that are likely to be in office at some time or another. Single issue pressure groups simply do not work as political parties in a FPTP system.

  41. Whoops! I meant …..affect policy issues…not effect…

  42. KEN

    @”The, ‘Everything for everyone’ society, doesn’t exist anywhere in the world,”

    Well put.

  43. IANANTHONYJAMES

    The article was rubbish – amateurish, unconvincing, unscientific. Still I don’t mind. The Lib Dems can delude themselves all the way to 2015 for all I care.

    Yes, on reflection I agree about the science within the article, but where I disagree is that the LDs have form for performing in this way. I remember the 1979 GE after the Thorpe affair and Lib-Lab pact – on paper the Libs should have been slaughtered – but they held on where they had sitting MPs despite a slump in their vote nationwide. At the end of the night they only had a net loss of 1 seat, but should have lost 8 on UNS. (They went from 14 seats to 13, instead of 14 seats to 6 as per UNS.)

    I am not saying this will happen again, but it could – and in fact if it did would work in Labour’s favour strategically as the extra seats held would probably be Tory gains otherwise! Surely it would be preferable for Labour if they were the largest party rather than the Tories even if it was achieved by more LDs clinging on to their seats instead of losing them to Tories?

  44. @ Colin

    Everything for everyone’ society, doesn’t exist anywhere in the world…
    ——————————
    Everything for a few whilst others have nothing ‘societies’ exist in far too many places. Do you approve of those places? Is that what you’d like to have here?
    8-)

  45. AMBER

    @”Everything for a few whilst others have nothing ‘societies’ exist in far too many places”

    Indeed.

    @”Do you approve of those places?”

    No.

    @”Is that what you’d like to have here?”

    No

  46. @ Colin

    Good, so we’ve cleared that up then.

    We are really all agreed in principle & we are arguing ‘at the margins’.
    8-)

  47. AMBER

    @”Good, so we’ve cleared that up then.”

    It didn’t need “clearing up”.
    Your questions were silly .
    But I’m glad your happy at my answers :-)

    @” We are really all agreed in principle & we are arguing ‘at the margins’.”

    Are we?
    We haven’t been “arguing”.
    Ken made a statement about “Everything for Everyone” societies-and you started asking me if I believed in exploitation of the poor !!!!!

    So you don’t think Ken’s “Everything for Everyone” Society is possible ….?…..or do you?

    Do you think absolute “Equality” is desirable?
    If you do-do you think it is possible to achieve it?

  48. @ Colin

    Equality = an Everything for everyone society? The premise is wrong. Should some people be expected not to have ‘everything’ so that all citizens have ‘something’? Yes, I think so.
    8-)

  49. Interesting in the Guardian “Zac Goldsmith backs Ed Miliband on responsible capitalism”.

  50. One thing about the budget – amid so much controversy – the “Labour’s mess” narrative was completely lost.

    Politicians need to keep on top of directing blame culture, without ever becoming a target themselves.

    New Labour (partially at least), sucsessfully undercut this tendency by redirecting it, not personalising it: “the causes of crime”, “education, education, education” etc. It was some time before they themselves became the target, and had to promise to “listen”.

    Tories came out very strong on the public sector, lazy/unemployed/shirkers, problem families amongst others, and of course “Labour’s mismanagement/profligacy” etc.

    Any Questions? from High Wycombe, Bucks this weekend seemed to underline this sense that we have reached a turning point of some kind . Francis Maude tried to deflect criticism by returning to Labour’s deficit as the souce of all ills – and he was roundly booed for it.

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