Tonight’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 35%, LAB 42%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 7%. For what it’s worth the 35% is the Conservative’s highest level of support from YouGov since the start of May. That said, it is well within the margin of error of recent YouGov polls, so nothing to get excited about. Sure – it could be the start of a narrowing of the polls, but more likely it’s a blip and we’ll be back to a more typical ten point lead tomorrow.


284 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – CON 35, LAB 42, LD 10, UKIP 7”

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  1. That would be very interesting and explosive if… Barclays had not been fiddling the LIBOR rate prior to 2008; Barclays were already massaging the figures… because of partisanship I think the government have now caused another problem for themselves, and they did not need to do so… as for the LDs… well, no matter

    I personally think that the Cons have made a mistake by trying to point fingers and make accusations, instead of just doing the job the GOVERNEMENT is expected to do, if these were people committing benefit fraud they would be hammered, justice cannot just be seen to be fair to parliament (none of, it is not in our best interest)… it has to be fair and proper for all… and be seen to be fair and proper…

  2. Another £50bn of QE. Further devaluation of pensions will happen as a result. There must be other ways to generate demand ?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-18724010

  3. R Huckle,

    The reduced number of seats makes it harder for minority parties to win a seat and so a hung parliament less likely. The state of the economy has no obvious bearing on it.

    People can’t actively vote for a hung parliament unless they vote in large numbers for a minority part (no sign of that) or deliberately vote for whichever major party is second in the polls regardless of anything else. I don’t suppose that happens very much.

    In short there’s no reason to think a hung parliament is any more likely next time than it usually is.

  4. yes I’ll grant that minor parties will have a tougher time with fewer MP’s, they have to rely on voter concentration – getting enough votes in the right place, and when you’re nationally on say 3% you can’t be wasting them elsewhere, say to take you from 6th place to 5th somewhere else. Now the minor parties have to get even more of their small shares in the same place.

    I think the net result will be we will have still roughly the same number of minor parties in the next parliament, but some with fewer seats. So, if there is a hung parliament, then a major party might have to do deals with 2 or more minor parties instead of one, so they can get enough seats to form a government. Sounds like fun.

  5. Osborne & Cameron have missed their one best opportunity to really kick lumps out of Labour for the banking crisis. By refusing a judge-led, public inquiry into banking, they may have minimized the downside for themselves but they’ve also minimized the upside. Labour will be delighted – they’ve out manouvered the Tories again.
    8-)

  6. @AMBER

    h ttp://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-18716828

    “BBC political editor Nick Robinson said Labour was likely to lose the vote on the judicial inquiry if the Lib Dems, as expected, backed their coalition partners.

    If this happened, he added, it would be up to Mr Miliband to decide whether to accept the parliamentary probe or risk being blamed for voting down an inquiry.”

  7. Ed Balls is like a rottweiller with a very quick brain.

  8. Interestingly during the debate in the HC today an MP said that under a parliamentary led enquiry anyone who “fessed up” at such enquiry could not be prosecuted…

    is this true?
    if so… get out of jail free card…hmm

    not what the public really want to hear…

  9. @ Jim

    This is what Chris Bryant was referring to, I believe:

    Witnesses to select committees enjoy absolute privilege in respect of the evidence they give, whether written or oral, provided that it is formally accepted as such by the Committee.

    Absolute privilege protects freedom of speech in parliamentary proceedings; it is enshrined in statutory form in Article 9 of the Bill of Rights 1689, which prohibits proceedings in Parliament from being called in question in any court. In practical terms this means that select committee witnesses are immune from civil or criminal proceedings founded upon that evidence; nor can their evidence be relied upon in civil or criminal proceedings against any other person.

    8-)

  10. Amber Star.
    Thank you… that certainly clears things up for me.

  11. Today’s big news is: we may have an answer on Monday.

    Mr Tucker will appear before the Treasury Select Committee on Monday to give his side of the story, after requesting an opportunity to clarify his role in the crisis.
    ————————
    So, will Mr Tucker give Mr Osborne the answer he is hoping for?

    This is certainly a tricky position for Mr Tucker to be in. Mr Tucker hopes to replace Mervyn King in 2013. The new governor will be appointed by the current government so if ‘senior Whitehall figures’ was a euphimism for Labour ministers, Mr Tucker has nothing to lose & everything to gain by naming names. Ed Balls seemed confident today that his own name will not be among them. I am agog to know what Mr Tucker will say & – most unusually – I am impatient for Monday to arrive!
    8-)

  12. Jim

    Chris Bryant made the point that someone could deliberately release information to a select committee that would make any prosecution impossible. The prosecution authorities would then be in conflict with parliamentary privilege.

    The whole point of a judge led inquiry is that the barristers and judge would try to ensure that person would be held accountable under oath for the information they gave: And they would receive warnings that any evidence they provided could be incriminating. If there was any ongoing court process, the Judge would have responsibility to make sure that proceedings did not breach Sub judices rules.

  13. @AMBER STAR

    My view is that Paul Tucker`s testimony will not provide evidence for wrong-doing for the simple reason that he would be implicating BOE and himself if he did so,given the call to Barclays.

    I might be proved wrong though on Monday.

  14. @ AMBER STAR

    The truth is that BOE officials would have discussed LIBOR with government ministers and officials. But that was only in respect to the banking crisis and what the LIBOR said about the financial condition of the banks. I.E Nothing to do with fixing the LIBOR rate or any suggestion of there being anything wrong with what was being reported. Bob Diamond said he was not aware of the LIBOR fixing until the FSA report within the last month. If we take what Diamond has said to be true, then why would any Labour minister have been aware of any issues with LIBOR fixing at the time ?

  15. Robert Peston (BBC ‘expert’) has some very good analysis about the Libor issue.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-18704715

    One highlight is this comment:

    So was its [Barclays’s] lie about what it was paying to borrow justified – especially if the survival of the bank was at stake? And if Paul Tucker at the Bank of England encouraged Barclays to lie, as is implied by Diamond’s memo, would he have been justified in doing so?

    As it happens, a number of senior figures in the City who are unconnected to Barclays think this lying was the right thing to do in the circumstances. They think Mr Tucker encouraged Barclays to lie and they applaud him for doing so.
    ————————
    It’s best to read the entire article, though. Because the context is important to properly understand the points being made.
    8-)

  16. Personally, I’m not sure why so much fuss is being made over the LIBOR bit of the scandal. We don’t know whether anyone actually managed to alter the LIBOR rate, and even if they did, it’s not clear how much of a difference that would have made to other people. It could even have pushed mortgages down instead of up.

    I’m far more concerned that Barclays traders lied to investors about the state of the bank’s financial health. That could have caused Barclays to join RBS and HBOS, and the fact that Barclays avoided recapitalisation is in spite of this, not because of it. That’s what I’d be focusing on if I was running the inquiry.

  17. @AMBER STAR

    If the question if rephrased as the choice between Financial Armageddon and a white lie,I think most people would understand the need to lie.

  18. This is what is wrong… “Some parts of the city see nothing wrong with this”… wrong culture…

    ordinary people will not understand why it is wrong for them, and yet right for the rich… rules for us and no rules for them… very dangerous perception to keep throwing into the public’s face.

  19. I’m beginning to think that Ed Balls has played Osborne deliberately when the story broke. The set up was to go ‘suspiciously missing’ to arouse Osborne’s curiosity over his tormentors absence. All it took was the word ‘Whitehall’ mentioned in Diamond’s e-mail for Osborne to rush headlong into accusations that they must be guilty of ‘something’. The fact that The Sun went so willingly with a front page story without facts also makes me wonder if those cozy ‘country suppers’ are still a feature in getting the story out there.
    The wry smile of the shadow chancellor’s face who resurfaced the next morning on the BBC told a different story… there was nothing that Bob Diamond was going to reveal.
    I could be wrong, but it fits the pattern recently that the two Ed’s know which buttons to press regarding their opposite number and when.

  20. @ Smukesh

    The article by Peston chimes with Bob Diamond’s statement to the TSC: That he believed Paul Tucker was giving him a ‘heads up'[1] that senior Whitehall figures were looking hard at Barclays figures & speculating about Barclays needing a bail out – which they probably wouldn’t have given Barclays without Bob Diamond joining Fred Goodwin in the rogues gallery of broken bankers.

    My first reaction to Diamond’s note of meeting was that the BoE had been advising him & giving him information – which they probably shouldn’t have been doing. Keeping a note of a ‘heads up’ call is simply not done – hence Mervyn King’s insistence that Diamond had to go.

    So, the TSC need to get an answer from Paul Tucker: Who told him to call Bob Diamond? Or was it his own decision to give Bob a call?

    [1] For the avoidance of doubt, I’ll mention that a ‘heads up’ in American business parlance is giving somebody a tip-off, advance warning or – at its most extreme – insider information.
    8-)

  21. @AMBER STAR

    It seems to me that a heads-up call to avoid a banking collapse seems the appropriate,or even necessary thing to do.

    The problem was that Barclays tried to spread the blame of the Libor fixing onto the BOE.When a regulator is accused of collaboration with illegal activity,then confidence in the system collapses.

  22. hmmm

    If Lab vote against a Parliamentary Inquiry, it gets interesting, n’est-ce pas?

    Do you get the impression cross party consensus is a bit far away after Osborne v Balls?

  23. The government motion for a parliamentary inquiry has been passed by 330 votes to 226.

    that means Lab voted against.

    There may be trouble ahead…

  24. Looks like a Parliamentary inquiry after all…With hindsight,Andrew Tyrie seems a decent man and as long as the enquiry doesn`t turn out to be a witch-hunt,it seems the best decision.

  25. What is incredible is that GO’s accusation re Ed B was made on the basis of something rather vague that Diamond was told [which has not been verified or clarified] re Paul Tucker, who has not yet commented but [will do so shortly.]

    Personally I think Osborne had nothing to lose with a gracious apology: Ball’s whole game was based on the fact that he was certain it would not be forthcoming.

  26. I thought the BBC analysis was absurd: “the public won’t understand why we needed to through this debate when they could have decided this in the first place.”

    Seems obvious that, given Labour had no chance of winning, it was to place a ‘we told you so’ marker down for the future, should further events make that point valid.

    Had they simply said “ok” in the first place that would not have been possible.

    I think Labour have played it well myself.

  27. @Keith P “I think the net result will be we will have still roughly the same number of minor parties in the next parliament, but some with fewer seats. So, if there is a hung parliament, then a major party might have to do deals with 2 or more minor parties instead of one, so they can get enough seats to form a government. Sounds like fun.”

    The boundary changes will probably make it easier for Caroline Lucas to hold her seat, leave Plaid one down, and removes two Irish MPs (though how much effect that has depends on how much Sinn Fein is affected). It’s likely to have the same effect as the fact the election coincides with the biggest year in the local election cycle (which may make it more difficult for smaller parties to concentrate all their resources in target seats).

    The most important factor in determining the chances of a hung parliament is how many seats the Lib Dems loose and how many the SNP gain.

  28. Well-didn’t expect that-misread it.

    What was the point of it all?

    A gracious vote of confidence in Tyrie from EB

    I expect the appointees from the Lords to include lots of lawyers.

    Well done Andrew Tyrie-played it straight & right throughout.

  29. Interesting read re Gordon Browns sale of UK gold reserves.

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/finance/thomaspascoe/100018367/revealed-why-gordon-brown-sold-britains-gold-at-a-knock-down-price/

    The gold was apparently sold, to prevent a banking collapse.

  30. Cameron made repeated calls for Gordon Brown to hold a public enquiry into failures in the system of banking regulation in 2008 so why is he not holding one when he has the chance.

    http://www.conservatives.com/News/News_stories/2008/11/Why_wont_the_Prime_Minister_hold_a_public_enquiry.aspx

  31. Does anyone know which constituencies will be affected by the cutting of 2nd Battalion Royal Regiment of Fusiliers? Of all the cuts it does seem the one with the weirdest reasoning. It is the best manned battalion in the army, and cutting it reduces the RRF to a single battalion – which is wholly at odds with the multi-battalion strategy that was established in the last review – bizarre – does anyone know why this particular Battalion was cut and not one of the 5 Rifles battalions instead – that would have left all English regiments as multi-battalions? Seriously, does anyone have the answer – and what effect will this perceived unfairness have in the constituencies affected?

  32. @COLIN
    `What was the point of it all?`

    Quite…Even further,why did EM want an inquiry when the only party likely to get hurt is Labour?If Bob had just resigned…

  33. LIZH

    @”Cameron made repeated calls for Gordon Brown to hold a public enquiry into failures in the system of banking regulation in 2008 so why is he not holding one when he has the chance.”

    Ermmm…because he is right in the middle of changing the regulatory regime which failed-and changing the structure of banks which were “too big to fail”.

  34. I find it fascinating that everyone is so wired about the Osborne/Balls clash this afternoon. I was watching the news with my daughter who is thoroughly non-politically interested and her comment was “same old ding-dong”. She thought the effect on support for the government would be much more affected by cuts to the army units. Thus my previous post about the RRF decision.

  35. SMUKESH

    I think from EM’s point of view it was all about timing.

    TSC will find out who “Whitehall” was on Monday one presumes.

    As to other Labour culpability, I don’t really see what more there can be-everyone-including the two Eds accepts that the tripartite system failed. What more is there to say about the last government’s actions on this matter.

    If there turns out to be anything more-either a Judge lead, or a Parliamentary enquiry would find it one presumes -so it must all have been about timing-find out in six months vs find out in a year ( or more)

    Anyway it’s all over now-hope Tyrie gets a really good team of able people acceptable to the House & gets stuck in.

  36. @Colin

    I would have thought better to find out what went wrong and take a bit longer to make changes and make sure they are right than rush into things. But I am sure they know best.

  37. LIZH

    I think they know what went wrong.

    Adair Turner said FSA was running regulation on the basis of caveat emptor !

    THe FSA will be replaced by FCA , with BoE being responsible for Macro-prudential & Micro-prudential regulation via the new FPC & PRA respectively, both with THe Bank.

    Vickers has reported on Banking structure & implementation is in train.

    If anything comes out of the Joint Parliamentary Enquiry , it will be known by Dec-still in time for the legislation to be ammended as appropriate.

  38. @COLIN

    Yes…The best result and agree Andrew Tyrie has helped by his non-partisan behaviour.

    My point was why did EM lead on Bob and Barclays when the downsides were to Labour?Maybe he gave his answer in PMQ`s `People are seeing who will act in the party interest and who will act in the national interest`.
    I would have preferred he would have rather carried on watching `The Killing` though.

  39. For all Osbornes accusations in the Spectator and today in the Commons, Nick Robinso has tweeted that Osborne aides have now said that he accepts Ed Balls’ assertions that he has had no conversation with Barclays regarding Libor !

    I would be modded if I expressed my opinion of Osborne after this stunt.

  40. @PaulBristol – “All it took was the word ‘Whitehall’ mentioned in Diamond’s e-mail for Osborne to rush headlong into accusations that they must be guilty of ‘something’.”

    Osborne made these allegations before this was known about.

    On the debate – pretty unedifying stuff. I doubt it will cause many real ripples in the VI pond, but I suspect that Osborne has been embarrassed. BBC are reporting his aides as now saying that he wasn’t accusing Balls of manipulating Libor – well pardon me, we all must have misunderstood then.

    As the dust settles, I suspect this will add to the concern that Osborne’s abilities with strategy are not as great as were once thought to be the case.

    I was quite tickled though about the Tory line (Dominic Grieve, I think) who said in the House that a public inquiry wouldn’t be able to operate while there remained the chance of criminal investigations.

    My mind wandered to Lord Justice Leveson, for some strange reason.

  41. SMUKESH

    :-)

    I suspect a lot of this emanated from the relationship between GO & EB-they really don’t like each other do they?

    There seems to be mutual distrust & lack of respect on a pretty visceral level.

  42. @bbcnickrobinson via Twitter
    ‘The aides say Osborne is willing to accept Balls’s assertions that he had no conversations about Libor.’

    There definitely should be a ‘u’ in Osborne. :-)

  43. Lets all face the fact that at some point there will be an independent judicial inquiry in to the many banking issues. All that has happened today is that it has been postponed.

    Rationale for this, is that more information will come out and people will not be satisfied by the joint parliamentary committee, just look at a very narrow issue.

    It is purely down to politics. The government don’t want to be seen implementing something the opposition had put forward. Fast forward to say November and you may see Cameron or Osborne announcing a judge led inquiry, but saying it is different to what Labour were putting forward.

    Haven’t we all seen this before. Silly political games played by all parties.

  44. R HUCKLE

    @”Silly political games played by all parties.”

    I agree

  45. I think Balls should sue Osborne for accusing him without evidence. Didn’t Phil Woolas get done for knowingly making false statements about his opponent’s character?

  46. @Colin

    “R HUCKLE

    @”Silly political games played by all parties.”

    I agree”

    This is not partisan, but an observation that if we had elder statesmen or women in key roles within government and opposition, we would see a much better level of parliamentary debate and people would have more faith in politicians in general.

    I find the standard of debate in the HOL’s to be of a much higher standard. Shame really that there are proposals to make it elected, as we may just end up with a load of younger parliamentarians, who don’t know much and just mirror the HOC. Think we will come to miss what we currently have in place. Therefore hope the governments legislation does not get passed. I was in favour of an elected second chamber, but have since changed my mind.

    The other silly thing about HOL reform, is that they will be offering 15 year terms for a salary of around £45k plus expenses. How many people in say their late 60’s or 70’s, will be willing to stand for a 15 year position. Personally, if I were in that situation, I would have to be certain (god willing) that I wanted to serve for that long.

  47. @ Liz H

    Labour and/or Balls, could indeed sue the Spectator and Osborne for Libel, but they have probably come to the conclusion that this would cost a lot of money, which they would not get back. No point winning say £100,000, plus a full public apology, if it costs you say £500,000 in costs, which the judge says you have to pay. Then there is the time , plus political issues that would be a problem.

  48. @Colin

    I agree with your earlier posts, except for the bit (re Vadera) where you say
    “if it turns out to be her who effectively signalled that Barclays should pull its LIBOR numbers into line with others….”
    Can I suggest that that that to say that she effectively suggested anything such is reading far too much into Diamond’s e-mail. As thing stands, I suggest that there are at least four different stages of the permutation, all of which need to be satisfied before you can reach the conclusion that Vadera did act improperly:

    1. Diamond’s own account may not properly represent what Tucker said. There are lots of possible motivations and reasons for that. To take just one, it doesn’t seem implausible that since Diamond was well aware that the activity in question was undoubtedly fraudulent and that the BoE were sniffing around, he wanted to get something on the record internally at Barclays that gave him a fig leaf of cover should matters eventually blow up (as they have). I certainly don’t think that Diamond’s truthfulness can be taken as a given.

    If Diamond misrepresented Tucker, stop. If he didn’t, go to 2.

    2. As I understand it, LIBOR submissions from banks contain an element of judgement, rather than being automatically calculated using actual transactions, and the problem is that it has become clear that from 2005 Barclays were not exercising that judgement in good faith. That means that Tucker’s words as stated by Diamond can easily be interpreted in the context that Barclays, as other banks, were exercising a questionable judgement in departing from the consensus view, and so Tucker was merely legitimately questioning that judgement as misguided in suggesting that the figures submitted need not be so high.

    If so, stop. If not, go to 3. (And FWIW there is absolutely nothing that I have seen so far that even infers to me that Tucker went further than this, let alone anything that counts as firm evidence that he did).

    3. Tucker agreed with the judgements that Barclays were making, but was nonetheless implicitly asking Diamond to submit different figures. This would indeed constitute a request from Tucker to fiddle the figures. But in doing so, Tucker could have been acting on his own initiative because all that had been transmitted from Whitehall was a request of some sort for the BoE was to find out why Barclays figures on LIBOR seemed odd.

    If so, stop. If not, go to 4.

    4. Tucker was following a request/instruction from “senior” sources in Whitehall to get Barclays to manipulate their figures down artificially. But the request was not from ministers, rather from officials at the Treasury. Diamond said he thought the intervention was from ministers, but he might be wrong. It remained the case that the ministerial concern was simply with LIBOR and that no instructions were given to Barclays from ministers, nor to Treasury officials.

    If so, stop. If not, it leaves us with the outcome that…

    5. Vadera, or another minister, issued instructions to the effect that Barclays must fiddle their LIBOR submissions.

    On the balance of what we have seen so far, I’d take a guesstimate that the chances of proceeding at each stage are as follows, allowing us to calculate the chances of Vadera or another minister acting highly improperly as follows;

    40% (Stage 1) X 20% (Stage 2) X 30% (Stage 3) X 60% (Stage 4).

    All of which leads to a rational if speculative probability of around 1.5%, that Vadera or any other minister was at fault.

  49. R HUCKLE

    THanks.

    I agree with you about HoL.

    It’s fine as it is for me-could get rid of some of those Bishops perhaps.

  50. Good Evening everyone, after a good day at work, and after a lovely run in the sunshine by the sea here in tory Bournemouth.

    I fully concur with R.HUCKLE that men and women of experience would be good to have in Government. As has been said before here: Being a SPAD after Oxford is no way to prepare for being rulers of a complex nation.

    Ernest Bevin was about to retire, in 1940, with a gold watch for thanks from his TGWU, when Winston asked him to be his Minister for Labour in the war time government, and then post war became our greatest foreign secretary (IMO). His schooling finished at 10, then he became educated.

    George Osborne: How can anyone dislike that man?

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