The full tables for the YouGov/Sunday Times poll are now up here, covering the budget, fuel strikes and party donations.

On the regular leadership trackers there is a sharp fall for David Cameron, down to minus 27 from minus 11 a week ago. This is his lowest approval rating as Prime Minister (and I think as during his time as leader of the opposition too, though I don’t have them all collated in one place. I think his lowest then was minus 26). Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg’s ratings are also down slightly, Miliband to minus 41 (from minus 37), Clegg to minus 53 (from minus 46).

YouGov repeated the overall budget question from last week now there has been a further week for news of the budget to sink in (and for people to row over pasties… a move the poll found 69% in disagreement with). A week ago 24% thought the budget would be good for the economy, 34% bad. That’s now fallen to 13% good, 45% bad.

Turning to the fuel strike, 25% would support a strike by fuel tanker drivers, 52% would oppose it. If it did go ahead, two thirds of people (66%) would support using the army to deliver petrol supplies. On the government’s handling of the strike threat so far, an overwhelming 86% of people think they have handled it badly (59% think they have handled it “very badly”). This includes 78% of Tory voters who think they have handled the strike threat badly.

On party funding and donations, the figures suggest people are equally negative towards both the two main parties. 68% think donors have a lot or a fair amount of influence over Conservative policies, 69% think the same about Labour; only 25% of people trust David Cameron to be honest about his relationships with Conservative donors, only 24% trust Ed Miliband to be honest about his relationships with Labour donors.

68% of people think that British politics are very (21%) or fairly (47%) corrupt, 56% think it is probably true that policies have been changed in exchange for donations, 80% think it is probably true that honours have been given in exchange for donations. On the specifics of the Cruddas case, just over half (53%) think that he was telling the truth and the Tory donors really would get preferential access and influence.

Moving forward, just over half (53%) would support a cap on individual donations to parties, with 63% and 62% supporting caps on business and union donations respectively.

371 Responses to “Full report on the YouGov/Sunday Times survey”

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  1. JimJam

    “Would not a local candidate taking a large share even if Labour won a hypothetical Hodge Hill by-election be enough for you to deign my post with relevance?”

    No not really- because a losing (but sizable) vote for ‘Respect’ in HH will be down to yellows and blues trying to create a bandwagon to give EdM and Labour a kicking; this was what they were doing in BW but the ‘X’ factor there was the Muslim/ Islamist personal vote for George […non-partisanship applies to him too…] Galloway.

    So, only a significant win for a non-celeb local candidate will convince me that tacking to the left and harping back to faux ‘past glories’ (such as the policy platform of the Labour party from 1981-1990; or for some on here 1921-1930!) has some traction amongst Labour’s core vote- who are only one group we have to win BTW. Personally I’d like to see us trying to win over more orange Lib Dems and Cameroon Tories as well!

    On another point: I am not an uncritical supporter of Tony Blair and that is a lazy ad hominem.

    I agreed and still agree with Afghanistan intervention as both a matter of righteous retribution (for the various atrocities committed by AQ against USA both on 9/11 and leading up to it), and to clear that country from ever being a base for AQ again. Indeed on that matter I agree with muscularly going after AQ cells and operatives in ANY country- including the UK.

    But I never at any moment supported the Iraq war and always felt that Blair made a HUGE mistake supporting Bush in that transparent ‘unfinished business’ from 1991 war/ oil grab. You can choose to believe me or not.

    As far as domestic politics is concerned: to put simply, my view is that Blair was a far better leader (as in politically more effective) in opposition than EdM has so far managed to be and he was a far better PM than Gordon Brown ever was at any point (including the ‘save the world’ phase). These two statements to me appear to be simple matters of fact.

  2. There is one possible threat to Labour in Birmingham: Salma Yaqoob. She lacks Geroge Galloway’s high profile, but with her time as a councillor in Birmingham, she’s had the opportunity to build up a local profile, with may or may not go down well with disaffected voters who would normally vote Labour.

    Quite frankly, I cannot understand why Salma Yaqoob has anything to do with that obnoxious egotist. I often disagree with what she says, but she does at least put across some good arguments without making excuses for dictators and suicide bombers. If RESPECT ditched Galloway, I’d consider voting for her.

  3. @Rob Sheffield – “Blair made a HUGE mistake supporting Bush”

    Suggestions this week that Balir made the mistake of apeing Thatcher (war leader = popular).

    I marched against the Iraq invasion – and wrote to my MP, MEPs and the PM – but in hindsight:

    The about face on civil liberties by the Tories this weekend shows that being in government means that “the State” will override all other concerns.

    Especially after 9/11, the UK state security apparatus was in absolute lock-step (the full extent of how they are intertwined is not always fully appeciated) with the US adminstration – which unfortunately happened to be the most extreme in its history.. I don’t totally discount the possibility that Blair’s influence may have averted worse excesses (the tactical use of nuclear weapons – all out war with multiple countries in the region for example).

  4. @Rob Sheffield

    We’re about as far removed politically as possible. But surely even you can see the logical inconsistency of some of your posts.

    You criticise people for making ad hominem attacks on Tony Blair, yet every post you have made in the last week or so has contained very aggressive personal attacks against George Galloway.

    You can’t have your cake and eat it.

  5. Salma Yaqoob only stood down as a councillor on grounds of I’ll health last year. I doubt she could stand as an MP this year. I wouldn’t be surprised if they put up a few more candidates in Birmingham’s local elections next month than they were planning to.

  6. Chris –

    Salma Yaqoob stood down from Birmingham City council in 2011 due to long term health problems, so I don’t know if she’d be fit enough to stand anyway. I don’t know if she’s recovered from whatever health problems she had at the time.

  7. Rob,
    I don’t think you are suggesting that I think we should harp back to the ‘longest suicide note’ manifesto days because I pose a dilema that leaders of the 2 main political parties face but just in case I don’t far from it.
    Clearly one vote gained from the opposition (whoever that might be in any seat) is worth 2 gained from those who did not vote last time in pure mathematical terms. But in the end those swing votes will swing back and you need the core votes (not mad left votes) to be with you not abstaining.

    I believe that we disagree in that I think the priority for this parliament is to retain as many of the left leaning LDs who have returned since 2010, to endeavor to regain some abstainers and win as many new voters as possible.
    We can then branch out to try to win Orange bookers and some lefty Cons in 2015-20.
    Phase 1 needs to be achieved though without making phase 2 more difficult which is what Hague did 1997-2001 and this is the dilema we face.
    I may be wrong but I get the impression that you would jump to phase 2, assuming (a la triangulation) that enough of the core will stick with us and abstainers return due to the coalition Government for us to win in 2015; I don’t think this is realistic.

    This is more than an intellectual disagreement as it encapsulates the non-reconciled Blairites argument with the current leadership. This disagreement is not a problem in itself and can be healthy for our party as these people can help prevent Ed from doing a Hague but they must be careful not to undermine, as a party that appears divided has no chance at Elections.

    Last point, I don’t think our disagreement means that you are more right wing than me, that would be a lazy misreading; I just think we have a different view about how to get to the same place.
    Also agree about Afghanistan and Iraq 100% with you.

  8. RAF

    “You criticise people for making ad hominem attacks on Tony Blair”

    Actually I said that JimJam calling me a fervent pro TB poster was an “lazy ad hominem”. That is rather different than your lazy characterisation.

    IMO people can attack TB as much and as fervently as they like: and they do- on here frequently! That is a, er, logically consistent viewpoint as far as I can comprehend.

    “very aggressive personal attacks against George Galloway”

    You mean by calling him- amongst other things- an anti Zionist (which on the far left is code for anti semitic/ an apologist for fascist dictators/ someone who celebrates what he calls ‘actions’ but which what others call homicide bombings- even when they are UK troops.

    You can find copious evidence for all of this just on Youtube !!!

    You ought to defend somebody who is worth defending ;-)

    h ttp://

  9. Leaders’ Ratings:

    I’ve posted at irregular intervals on the theme of the leaders’ ratings amongst the lost LD supporters. It has been, and continues to be my belief that the primary parameter affecting the outcome of GE15 will be how that group of a couple of million or so voters make their minds up. (Aside: Kinda a shame for democracy of course that a GE will be determined by this particular group of rootless voters, but there you go…)

    Anyway, I estimate this group’s opinions on the leaders by a simple calculation:
    1) Calculate the number of 2010LD voters who have each opinion of each leader.
    2) Calculate the nber of current LD supporters who have each opinion of each leader.
    3) Subtract 2 from 1 and divide by the difference in the weighted totals of 2010 LDs and current LDs.

    Simplistic, as it assumes that all the current LDs were 2010LDs. But it probably gives a broad indication.

    Last time I looked at this, in late Jan, the lost LDs had similarly dismissive attitudes to both Cameron and Milliband. Both had net ratings in the region of -40%. My conclusion at the time was that the leaders’ performances were seen as equally risible by this group, and therefore, their vote was unlikely to be influenced by the leaders.

    The latest data is very, very different.

    Well: 13%
    Badly: 84%
    Net: -71%

    Well: 30%
    Badly: 58%

    And, for the record, although more or less irrelevant…

    Well: 9%
    Badly: 85%
    Net: -76%


  10. JimJam

    “…I think the priority for this parliament is to retain as many of the left leaning LDs who have returned since 2010, to endeavour to regain some abstainers and win as many new voters as possible”

    I agree with all this.

    However I agree most with the 3rd group (new voters compared to 2010) and I mean by that those who are currently in the polls voting (still) for the Lib Dems and also those 1997 Labourites who voted for Dave at the last election.

    IMHO given austerity, NHS, Disability, Welfare, Environment, Tuition fee trebling etc etc etc etc it is very unlikely that the Lib Dem defectors are going anywhere. Especially given EdM’s early apology on Iraq (which I think was both tactically necessary and shrewd).

    To put it another way the ex-Labour vote that went to the Lib Dems in 2005 and 2010 (and- if we are honest- this was always a temporary phenomena even if it lasted 7-8 years) is not going to vote for Clegg et al at the next election and- given necessity to get rid of Cameron and George- is not going to sit on its hands either.

    Just like far right UKIP largely fall back in line and vote Tory at a GE, it is a no-brainer for the far left to vote in a manner which reduces the chances of a Tory majority or largest party status at the next GE. The way to ensure that at the next election that is to vote Labour and never Lib Dem (nor, of course, fringe parties).

  11. I do believe that UKIP have a genuine chance of making it big at the next election,which they are duly wasting by harping on about Europe…The Tory leadership is already alienating some voters and if the gay marriage bill goes through,some more who will vote UKIP if they have a comprehensive agenda…Ofcourse I have partisan interests in mind too with the split right vote

  12. @Rob Sheffield

    “You criticise people for making ad hominem attacks on Tony Blair”

    Actually I said that JimJam calling me a fervent pro TB poster was an “lazy ad hominem”. That is rather different than your lazy characterisation.
    IMO people can attack TB as much and as fervently as they like: and they do- on here frequently! That is a, er, logically consistent viewpoint as far as I can comprehend.”

    “very aggressive personal attacks against George Galloway”

    You mean by calling him- amongst other things- an anti Zionist (which on the far left is code for anti semitic/ an apologist for fascist dictators/ someone who celebrates what he calls ‘actions’ but which what others call homicide bombings- even when they are UK troops.
    You can find copious evidence for all of this just on Youtube !!!
    You ought to defend somebody who is worth defending ;-)

    h ttp://″

    Okay, let’s concentrate on what I actually said. You criticised someone for making a personal attack (on you you have now clarified, not on TB), then went on to make a personal attack on someone else. That is inconsistent, and no amount of links to YouTube or elsewhere changes that.

    And I don’t consider myself a defender of Galloway. I do however comsider it a lazy stereotype to say that he is a defender of dictators, or any kind of killing. He supported the Arab Spring, and had made countless comments against those dictators. What he does not support are invasions – even if they are to overthrow those dictators. He wanted the dictators to be overthrown from within.

    He was thrown out of the Labour Party for saying on TV that as the war was illegal (in his opinion), and therefore a war of aggression, the only people fighting legitimately (in self defence) would be the Iraqis. Does that mean he supports attacks on British troops? You decide. But that is not what he said.

    Anyway, I apologise if I misrepresented you

  13. Amber Star

    “I’m not sure that Scottish citizens care one way or t’other what Dave thinks about it. And I see this as being quite good for Labour, actually.”

    I’m sure the less DC says the better for the Unionists. Even more so Fox, Letwin, Maude ….

    Labour could make a positive case for the Union, but they are hampered by the fact that we are daily reminded that it brings us a goverment that wants to keep WMD, and get rid of the NHS.

    They arealso focused on middle England, and if they can’t also find a way to appeal to Scottish sensibilities then they had better face up to the fact that the Union cannot survive in the long term.

    For those who are primarily interested in economic advantage, they are bound to think “If it’s good for DC, how can it be good for us?”

    The point of a union is that the benefits are shared so that both parties are better off, so if we contribute the best site for Trident we know that English taxpayers don’t mind subsidising rural post offices in the North of Scotland.

    The nationalists case is essentially that not only are the benefits meagre and unfairly split, but London rule and London ignorance hampers appropriate development for Scotland so that the benefits are actually outweighed by the disbenefits.

    The Scottish voter doesn’t want independence now, but better government and more devolution. If we get more devolution in Devo-Max we will want more, and when we reach a stage where historians can look back and decide we have passed the point where Scotland became independent, we can claim that UN seat.

  14. RAF

    “I do however consider it a lazy stereotype to say that he is a defender of dictators, or any kind of killing. He supported the Arab Spring, and had made countless comments against those dictators”

    WRONG WRONG AND WRONG ! You don’t have to look far to hear (and see) him doing ALL the above!

    Just ask the people of Homs (he continues to support the one party dictatorship in Syria that has killed tens of thousands of its own people in the last 12 months); or the green movement demonstrators beaten and killed in Tehran in 2010 (he continues to support the repressive leadership of Iran) .

    But before AW asks us to end a debate about Mr Galloway this is my last posting on the subject.

    Just as I advise the Labour leadership to do: I’m now going to ignore him. Because he is less relevant to Labours future- and that of the UK- than even Ron Paul is to the GOP republican nomination race!!

  15. @ John B Dick

    Here are all the things which Scottish people/ the SNP believes are worth keeping:
    1. Open borders within the UK
    2. GBP
    3. UK fiscal policy
    4. The EU membership structure which exists for the UK
    5. Armed forces/ NATO membership
    6. The UK National Grid
    7. British consulates/ embassies
    8. The Queen

    Wow, the UK & Westminster have really not created anything which Scots think is worthwhile, have they. ;-) LOL

    So what big items are on the list of things Scots care about:
    1. Welfare – all Parties are moving towards regionalizing this, for better or worse.
    2. Public sector pay – again, if Scotland is in favour of regional variation that won’t fall on deaf ears at Westminster.
    3. NHS – we have differentiation on that already.
    4. Education – ditto
    5. Police, justice, crime policy – ditto
    6. Employment – SNP has a ‘pro-business with wee tweaks’ policy just like the Westminster Coalition.

    Independence is a lot of sound & fury signifying nothing. It is a distraction from the challenges which the the UK is facing; challenges which we can face better together instead of via destructive competition or after protracted negotiations of treaties or agreements between Scotland & Westminster. And the majority of Scots know this well. If there’s to be a referendum then ’twere well it were done quickly so that we can get on with facing the real problems instead of kidding ourselves that independence will provide a ‘get out of jail free’ card.

  16. I think Labour were complacent in Bradford assuming that they would win due to their large existing majority and as the not the Coalition party. The problem for Labour at the moment is that, yes they can bash the coalition or more specifically the Tories, but without any policies, they are nor really able to offer an alternative.
    People in Bradford had a clear idea of what Galloway was about but having spoken to a couple of friends in Bradford they did not really know what Labour stood for, other than they were against what the coalition were doing.
    There is perhaps only so far you can get by bashing the opposition, but for Labour the time is fast approaching when perhaps they need to be more specific about what they actually stand for and what they want to do. Without this there is a vacuum that people like Galloway are very happy to fill.

  17. Another twist in the fuel ‘crisis’ story:

    Meanwhile, it has emerged that thousands of truckers are preparing to go head-to-head with the army in support of striking tanker drivers if the industrial action goes ahead.

    They plan to blockade refineries and cause gridlock on motorways to stop soldiers moving fuel around the UK.

    The truckers are led by the farmer and haulier Andrew Spence, who was instrumental in the blockades in 2000 which led to 3,000 petrol stations running out of fuel.

    He said he would “bring Britain to a halt” unless his organisation’s concerns were addressed.

    He said: “We have been in negotiations with the tanker drivers since 2000 and have been aware of their grievances for some time.

    “We have said to them we may have to stand beside them in any protest. We are better organised than we were in 2000. This time we will bring the government down.”
    The above from the chap who the Tories cheered & called the hero of business & farmers last time. What will the Tories say about him this time around? :twisted:

  18. I’m thinking the hauliers will also be worried about the prospect of road tolls the setting of which are to be within the purview of foreign governments & hedge funds.

  19. rob sheffield you attack galloway for supporting iran and syria but are silent on blair,cameron etc for supporting egypts mubarak,bahrain,saudi arabia,morocco and tunisian regime where galloway was supporting the arab spring. all western politicians support dictators then attack other politicians for supporting different dictators.

  20. @ Amber Star
    I was listening to Andrew Neil the other day interviewing one of the SNP heirarchy and the SNP guy seemed to assume that if Scotland went for independence a lot of the oil revenue would go to Scotland. When it was pointed out that 25% of the oil fields actually fell within the Orkneys and Shetland areas and that according to all recent polling, they very much wanted to stay in the UK and presumably their oil would stay with them, he began to bluster. In the end after being pressed by Neil he agreed that if this was the case it would drive a coach and horses through the SNP’s financial argument for independence.
    I just wondered if the position of the Orkneys and Shetland Isles has been discussed in any detail up there, because this could end up as difficult for Salmond.
    I just thought you might be able to throw some light on this. Thankyou.

  21. amber star

    that’ll put the cat amongst the oil tankers

    It would be just typical of this Government if it managed to deliver Scottish independence despite the majority not wanting it.

  22. I would not have voted for Galloway last week in Bradford West – though I would have supported him in Bethnal Green in 2005 on account of his Iraq views. Not the most appealing person in the world – but certainly not as vile a human being as Blair.

  23. Amber

    In accordance with Anthony’s request, I’m not going to get into the independence debate on here in a GB thread. However, I need to correct a factual inaccuracy in your comment. There is no such thing as a “UK National Grid”.

    In each of the two largest islands there is a “Single Electricity Market”. That in Ireland (North and South) is operated by EirGrid (a state-owned commercial company) whose operations in the North are regulated by the Northern Ireland Authority for Utility Regulation.

    The National Grid in GB serves this island’s Single Market, and is owned by National Grid PLC in England & Wales, and jointly by Scottish Power and SSE in Scotland.

    In June 2011, the governments of the UK, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey agreed to an All Islands Approach (AIA) to energy resources. This is designed to integrate the electricity markets throughout the British Isles – regardless of whether a particular piece of territory is in one country or another.

  24. Re my early post on Leaders’ Ratings.

    In fact, the turn round amongst erstwhile LDs is even more pronounced than I thought. In the ST/YG poll in week 3 of Jan the figures were

    Well: 28%
    Badly: 54%
    Net: -26%

    Well: 16%
    Badly: 70%
    Net: -54%

    Well: 12%
    Badly: 79%
    Net: -67%

    Small-ish cross-break samples and all that, but it still does look like a quite astonishing turn round in the space of 10 weeks. Or maybe the list LDs really ARE that rootless in their political opinions…

  25. @ Dingo

    The Islanders have never supported the SNP (I’ll get the numbers for you later – probably from this regional piece of this site). Within the last few days, the SNP have been forced to concede that the Islanders are probably entitled to a separate vote in the referendum.

  26. bobby501

    Hmmmm…..when was the last time that all three main party leaders were this unpopular?

    Last week?? ;)

  27. @Paul
    Distasteful though it is, there is a difference (not obvious to the person on the Clapham omnibus) about which dictators various politicians support and why.

    Blair etc. supported various tyrants because as head of govt in the UK it was his job to protect and further the UK’s strategic interests. Making foreign policy necessarily involves cosying up to some very nasty regimes. That is because we have to deal with them as sovererign governments (until such a time as they depart/are overthrown) in places where we need to have a presence, like the oil-rich Middle East. If you haven’t watched the programmes on BBC2 recently in Wikileaks, do so, as they show how often the US pressured China and various ME countries on human rights. It did not always yield results – but they did (and do).

    Galloway never held any office of state and he never represented the UK govt. His visits to Iraq in the 90s etc. were undertaken privately, but with the imprimatur and moral authority of an elected parliamentarian. Entirely different.

    I appreciate that this looks pretty grotesque, but the choices Blair and Galloway made were very different indeed, and for different reasons. I know the nuance is lost on many people, but that’s also why we don’t run government by referendum.

    FWIW I heartily disagreed with the 2003 invasion and tore up my party membership at the time.

  28. TARK
    Sensible post…Blair was burdened by a useless US leader and he delayed the Iraq invasion as much as he could without compromising the US-UK relationship…Now Cameron is having to tolerate troops in Afghanistan till 2014 though domestic opinion wants to being them home sooner…Some decisions have to be made with strategic national interest in mind

  29. Amber Star

    @ Dingo

    The Islanders have never supported the SNP (I’ll get the numbers for you later – probably from this regional piece of this site). Within the last few days, the SNP have been forced to concede that the Islanders are probably entitled to a separate vote in the referendum

    The islanders have never supported Labour either and the SNP did out poll Labour on the islands the last time around.

    What I would find very interesting is, would they want to become part of England in the event of Scottish independence? What about the break up of England, the channel islands, Isle of Man and Cornwall?

    Or what about the poll which showed the majority of those living in Berwick Upon Tweed want to become part of Scotland? All very exciting!! :)

  30. @ Old Nat

    Cruddas, the Islanders & Galloway have all made Scotland/ independence topical. I think I am going to talk about anything that is relevant to the UK political scene. :-)

  31. Amber

    Feel free to talk about anything you like (if AW allows). However, please talk with a smidgeon of accuracy.

  32. @Smukesh
    Yes, Blair did his best to delay/forestall the US action, but the timetable and weather (invasion could not take place in the baking summer) were against him. I found his zeal of the convert nauseating and transparent. Personally, I do not think he or the UK would have lost by agreeing with our EU friends that the casus belli was absent. If Blair had not acted with the zeal of the converted … anyway.

    Foreign policy is ruled far more by necessity, not choice.

    Any odds yet on Bradford W going Lab in 2015?

  33. An interesting development. Respect intend to put up a candidate in every ward in Bradford in the forthcoming local elections. Could we wake up to a Respect controlled council in Bradford on May 4th or is this an early opportunity for a Labour fight back?

  34. @ Dingo

    Orkney & Shetland 2010 GE

    Conservative: 2032 (10.5%)
    Labour: 2061 (10.65%)
    Liberal Democrat: 11989 (61.97%)
    SNP: 2042 (10.56%)
    UKIP: 1222 (6.32%)

    LD Majority: 9928 (51.32%)

    Labour a whisker ahead of the SNP in 2010 but LD won by a country mile.

  35. @ Old Nat

    National Grid plc (LSE: NG., NYSE: NGG) is a British multinational natural gas utilities company headquartered in London, United Kingdom.

    National Grid Electricity Transmission plc (formerly National Grid Company) owns and operates the National Grid high-voltage electricity transmission network in England and Wales. Since 1 April 2005 it also operates the electricity transmission network in Scotland (although this is still owned by Scottish Power and Scottish & Southern Energy).

    The UK National Grid operates the electricity transmission network in Scotland. :razz:

  36. @Crossbat

    How many of all Bradfords wards have a Muslim majority? Do they add up to a number that gives them more wards than all others combined?

  37. Amber

    But National Grid Electricity Transmission plc does not operate the Grid in Northern Ireland (which is part of the UK).

    You have a talent for failing to comprehend the salient point in a post.

    There is no UK National Grid.

  38. just a couple of points.

    Firstly, I’ve always put Blairs support for Iraq down to the project. closing the gap between Labour and the Tories by ditching the things that middle Scotland didn’t like about Labour and keeping what hey did.

    So they agreed to; Council house sales, restrictions on the unions, keeping nuclear weapons and privatisation… while focusing on what middle england couldn’t afford to get privately… security; “tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime”, schools; “Education, Education, Education” and health; “24hrs to save the NHS’.

    in power triangulation meant “fight any war the Tories would”. That way the Tories can’t use it against you.

    The war might have been a disaster but in electoral terms it worked because the only [party that could beat labour had backed the war, and the party that didn’t back the war couldn’t beat Labour”.

    Say what you like about Blair but he knew how to play the game.


    The SNP don’t support 3, 5 & 7 on your list.

    They are happy to keep the pound but not the same fiscal policy their would be differences, They don’t support being in Nato or a single shared armed force. Nor do they want the same consulates embassies although we are willing to talk about sharing things.

    Finally on the topic of the poll itself the UK leaders may have slumping ratings but Alex Salmond hasn’t his are still good for a leader in a recession.

    In addition even though the samples are small there doesn’t seem to be any sign of a labour boost in scotland indeed we seem to have the rare situation of Labour polling lower in a Westminster question than in Scotland.

    The lack of Scottish polling makes it difficult to see whats happening but I think we are more and more seeing two completely different political battles going on.


  39. On the question that’s been raised about the Greens and Labour co-operating, it would very much depend on the local parties involved. In London, Ken has been very easy to work with (it helps that he’s one of the last remnants of Old Labour). In Brighton and Hove, however, Labour have been nothing but hostile towards us. And because our local parties have far more autonomy than do those in the big parties, any potential deals between areas would be much more difficult to arrange.

    On Graham’s suggestion that Labour have a good prospect of taking Brighton Pavilion, bear in mind that not only will Caroline Lucas have an incumbent advantage, but that the successor seat under the proposed new boundaries contains precisely one non-Green councillor. It’s more naturally green than the seat it’s replacing. And on the question of whether Labour needs Green support to win Norwich South, you should bear in mind that the Lib Dem vote comes primarily from council wards where the Greens ousted Lib Dem councillors. It’s quite likely that the main change in that constituency will be a significant swing from Lib Dem to Green. Whether that propels us into second place (behind Labour) or first is impossible to say, though.

    As for the comments about how smaller left-wing parties have managed to take Parliamentary seats, whilst smaller right-wing parties haven’t, it’s in part due to tactics and strategy – UKIP don’t know how to successfully target a council seat, let alone a constituency. It’s in part due to incompetence – by all accounts, BNP councillors do very little work once elected. And it’s in part due to the way the majority of the population find the far right to be offensive, but don’t have similar feelings about the left and far left.

  40. @ Old Nat

    I wasn’t writing about Northern Ireland.

    You also have a talent for failing to comprehend the salient point in a post. ;-)

  41. AMBER

    You’re very selective in your data for the O & S islands. The most recent election in May 2011 has the SNP well in front of Labour in both seats and the SNP were not that far off from taking Orkney!! :)

    Liberal Democrats
    Tavish Scott

    Billy Fox




    Jean Urquhart
    Jamie Kerr
    Sandy Cross
    Liberal Democrats
    Liam McArthur
    James Stockan
    Donna Heddle

    Jamie Halcro-Johnson

  42. Labour

    William Sharkey




    In fact did Labour not lose their deposit?

  43. @ Peter Cairns

    My apologies, we fell foul of my personal shorthand. “/” = &/or


    Here are all the things which Scottish people &/or the SNP believes are worth keeping…

    There’s polling showing Scots want to keep the institutions &/or SNP policy notes on all of the items listed, I believe.

    And the last I read, the SNP has conceded that Scotland would have to negotiate its fiscal policy with Westminster, if Scotland continues to use the GBP.

  44. @ Peter Cairns

    THE SNP’s defence spokesman, Angus Robertson, has declined to rule out the possibility of an independent Scotland remaining in Nato.

    It is understood that scrapping the SNP’s longstanding opposition to membership of the US-dominated alliance in protest at its emphasis on nuclear weapons is being considered by the Scottish government in advance of the independence referendum.

    And hot on the heels of this about face, some polling done which had been witheld… until it was convenient to publish it?

    A survey of 7,112 SNP members by Professor James Mitchell at Strathclyde university in 2007/08, but only recently published in full, found that 52.7% believed Nato membership was in Scotland’s strategic interests, compared with only 22% who still believed in quitting the alliance.

    Do keep up, dear. :-)

  45. Amber

    It seems that you are geographically challenged. You talked of a UK National Grid. I pointed out that NI is covered by a different grid.

    That you don’t understand that you are talking of Northern Ireland when you talk of the UK is something that you should be embarrassed about, rather than highlighting it.

  46. @ Allan Christie

    Labour aren’t hoping that the Islanders will vote for independence & bring their oil & gas revenues along for the ride.

    The SNP got 12% – so I’m thinking the SNP are facing a chunk of the country wanting to cecede from Scotland before the referendum is even held. With my Team GB hat on, I don’t care who the Islanders vote for, provided it isn’t the SNP.

  47. @Amber @Cllr Peter Cairns @Old Nat

    Why is there a sudden interest in this thread on the fate of O&S? Is Tavish Scott resigning his seat in the Scottish parliament as well as standing down as SLD leader?

    If so, isn’t it more likely that O&S will.simply go back to.their old electoral position of voting for well known local independents, rather that SLAB or the SNP?

  48. @ Old Nat

    You are just being pedantic & hair-splitting. You’re not going to get me to say anything different even if you post 100 comments about it. And nobody except you cares any more.

  49. @ RAF

    Dingo ‘started it’ :-) by asking what I thought about the news that the Islanders want to opt out of the independence referendum.

  50. @ RAF

    An opt-out clause [for the Islands] was negotiated in the failed Scottish devolution referendum of 1979, which the Islanders opposed, and the Earl of Caithness last month tabled plans in the House of Lords for a similar safeguard in the independence referendum.

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