The full table for YouGov’s Sunday Times poll are now up here. On the regular leader trackers Cameron’s net rating is minus 25 (from minus 27 last week), Miliband’s minus 21 (from minus 24), Clegg’s minus 59 (from minus 55). This is Clegg’s worst rating so far… though not quite the worst YouGov have had for any leader, Gordon Brown did get worse a couple of times.

YouGov asked some more specific questions on how David Cameron was seen. His worst rating, as usual, was on being seen as out of touch. 66% thought Cameron was out of touch compared to only 23% who saw him as in touch. 52% think he has run out of ideas, compared to 32% who think he has plenty of ideas. 47% now see him as weak, though 38% still see him as strong. His better ratings are 40% who see him as decisive (47% indecisive), and 42% who see him as likeable (44% dislikeable).

Alternative Conservative leaders are all seen as likely to do worse than Cameron. 43% of people think Boris Johnson would make a worse leader compared to 23% who think he would do better, 42% think Michael Gove would do worse compared to only 6% who think he would do better (though 32% say they don’t know enough about Gove to say), 59% think Osborne would do worse with only 3% who think he’d do better. Closest to Cameron is William Hague – 28% think he would do better compared to 32% who think he’d do worse.

On the House of Lords, asked specifically about the governments proposed reforms of the House of Lords 44% of people say they support them, 28% are opposed and 28% don’t know. A majority of both Labour and Lib Dem voters support them, Conservative supporters are pretty evenly split. While people tend to support the proposals, only 17% of people say they should be a priority at the moment and, given the failure to pass the programme motion, 48% of people say the government should abandon them at the present time. 32% think the government should keep on trying.

Turning to the coalition, a majority of people still expect the coalition to last until the election (30%) or until shortly before it (24%), only 12% expect it to end in the next year… up from only 7% in May, but nevertheless still very small. Asked about what they would LIKE to happen, 43% of people would like to see the coalition end within the next year. Unsurprisingly this is mostly made up of Labour supporters, but just over a quarter (27%) of Tory voters would like to see the coalition end within the next year. If the coalition did end 64% of people would like to see a fresh general election, including majorities of Labour and Liberal Democrat supporters. Tory voters would like the Conservatives to continue as a minority government in the event the coalition fell.

On the LIBOR scandal, 49% of people say that George Osborne should apologise, 30% say he shouldn’t. It splits, as one might expect, strongly along partisan lines. 77% of Labour voters say he should apologise, 60% of Tory voters say he shouldn’t.

Finally on long term care 78% of people say they would support a cap on charges for long term care. Asked about where this should be, most people tended to go for the lowest option available (35% said it should be below £35,000, 13% £35000, 24% a higher figure). 60% of people say they would support means-testing age related benefits like the winter fuel allowance to help pay for this, 52% would support extending national insurance to people over retirement age to help pay for it.


126 Responses to “More from YouGov’s Sunday Times poll”

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  1. @ RAF

    But both.sides got what they wanted in 1962.
    ———————-
    Well spotted, thank you. That’s exactly my point; both sides will get what they want; it is all posturing – an acceptable compromise will be reached on the main issue. There will then ensue the same fiction regarding who ‘won’ with each side telling their own supporters that they stood firm, faced down the other side etc. Then there will an escalating arms race of posturing, threats, reconciliations etc. Whilst all this is going on, who actually does the governing?
    8-)

  2. A CAIRNS

    Petty partisan point scoring is not something which Anthony generally welcomes on this site.

    That’s a good policy because it reduces the number of foolish posts. Posts like yours are useful. They are a reminder of the silliness that can exist in politics, and of posts whose content is best not responded to.

    Of course, if Anthony has changed his mind, then we could have a discussion on whether any party has demonstrated competence on the Edinburgh trams issue.

    A change of Anthony’s mind on this seems unlikely, however.

  3. @Amber Star – “13 years of Faux Labour”

    You are being a bit dismissive of sustainability potentialities surrounding the long-view gradualism paradigm perceived from an existential viability perspective at the time as in like pre-1997, no?

    Consent of the governed issues regarding in extremis civil unrest and/or vested interest intervention currently revolve around permutations of True Con-concensus = achieving national Pukka Labour preference diminuation equivalent to Beaconsfieldonian marginallity rates, or conversely, Bootlesque Tory weakhold scenarios being rolled out on a UK totality-wide basis – not happening as we speak, but going forward the evolvement of stakeholder’s veiws will be factored in.

  4. BILLY BOB

    :-)

    But your truncated quotation of Amber’s actual statement has forced you into a textually contorted position.

  5. @ Billy Bob

    I was writing under the assumption that brevity is the soul of wit. I stand corrected; yours is awesome. LOL :-)

  6. @Old Nat

    By way of an explanation I’ll give you an untruncated quotation:

    “Life doesn’t imitate art, it imitates bad television.”

    In my case an attempt at ‘Twenty-Twleve’.

  7. BILLY BOB

    What a fabulous quotation! :-)

  8. @Amber Star

    Thank you very much… we aim to please.

  9. “Cardinal Keith O’Brien in gay wedding vote call”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-18847588#?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

    Given that polls regularly suggest that people want referendums on lots of things, maybe we should have a referendum on whether priests in the Catholic Church should be elected by their parishioners?

  10. A Libdem has kindly answered the question regarding who is governing:

    LibDemVoice’s Stephen Tall has responded to my [Tim Montgomerie’s] post about rebooting the Coalition. He’s not keen on my suggestion of a second grand bargain and would prefer if the two parties reunited around the theme of reforming capitalism.

    It seems it is… Mr Ed Miliband, given Reforming Capitalism is practically his registered trade mark ;-)

  11. Amber

    Of course, there has been a tightening of the regulations concerning the intellectual property of some trade marks.

    http://www.ipo.gov.uk/pro-types/pro-tm/t-law/t-pan/t-pan-111.htm

    There is now a need for the trade mark to be an appropriate description of the content. Evocative images which aren’t actually descriptive of the product are no longer acceptable.

  12. “On the House of Lords, asked specifically about the governments proposed reforms of the House of Lords 44% of people say they support them, 28% are opposed and 28% don’t know.”

    That’s a little worrying. It’d be interesting to see the percentage from those who actually watched the debates. Just the fifteen year terms alone would be enough to have me vote ‘no’ in a referendum.

  13. @ Old Nat

    There is now a need for the trade mark to be an appropriate description of the content.
    ———————
    LOL :-)

    I really enjoy Sunday nights when you & Billy Bob are on form.

  14. Yeah, as I suspected, Hague is the only one who could possibly replace Cameron at this point. It probably didn’t take poll numbers for you in the UK to realize that, but I’m glad that I’m at least somewhat in touch and not in over my head posting here. 8)

  15. Good grief…..

    but, back to 12-44 and A Cairns disgracefuly partisan and savage accusation that the SNP “has not been competent on the handling of trams”. I have rarely heard such language on a forum.

    I was even more shocked and dismayed that it took OleNat ELEVEN full minutes to criticise that post aboot Bonnie Scotland and am concerned that he is having the occasional nap on the job.

    I was born in Dunfermline and am therefore adequately qualified to take over Jock-Watch, should this be deemed necessary

  16. ps “good grief” for earlier smilies and lols. I feel ill.

  17. Current best odds on next Conservative leader.
    Favourites are: Johnson 6/1, Osborne 8/1, Hague 12/1, Gove 16/1.

    On this poll, those odds are very generous to anyone backing Hague (as I have, this morning). He’s by a long way the preferred alternative of Conservative voters as well as the public at large, has demonstrated ambition for the job in the past and is still young enough to have a second bite at the cherry. The main threat to him would be from a candidate coming out of left field, but 12/1 is enough to make a punt attractive.

  18. Shock horror!

    Telegraph reporting that oil prices might have been rigged by market traders!

    Now that might irk voters a bit more than an esoteric LIBOR rate fix.

    Full scale in depth enquiry…by Parliament? The Tory Party Chairman will REALLY ask the hard questions required this time.

  19. @NickP

    “Telegraph reporting that oil prices might have been rigged by market traders!”

    I thought that was OPEC’s job! lol

  20. @Nick P

    Indeed. I was so taken aback I nearly put a littlr too my soya milk on my frosted flakes, only to then realise it was just right.

    It won’t be long for people to see City traders for what they are – street traders and bookmakers in suits.

    One question – given that they are market makers anyway, how do yoy prove rigging?

  21. Some more encouraging news on the economy for Osborne and the Coalition if, the Ernst & Young Item Club are right. Here’s what they say in their latest quarterly forecast: –

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-18852708

    Their predictions are predicated on a recovery in the Eurozone, but it suggests that we may return to growth in the UK earlier than some suspect. Interesting stuff.

  22. @ NIck P

    Is anyone surprised that market oil prices are rigged ?

    I automatically presumed that they were.

    I think all markets are fixed in some ways and they have never been ‘free’of interference.

    Not sure there is much we can do about it, apart from hold inquiries, moan about it and fine companies if laws exist. They will just continue to do what they want, perhaps not in exactly the same way, but in a way, that allows them control as to what profits they can make.

  23. RAF,

    “Who will actually do the governing”
    Why Brussels of course.

  24. @Crossbat11

    Alas, that predicts flat growth for this year. And that unemployment will peak in 2013. Meaning that 2014 has to be a staggeringly good year, in order for there to be an economic feel good factor going into the election. And that’s assuming there’s no more Euroshocks…

    Growth is good, but not if there’s matched increase in standard of living. Particularly when there’s growing discontent at what improvement there is in the economy going into “the pockets of the already rich”. Four years of recession, stagnancy and rising unemployment, and one year of “a quite good economy”, is not the ‘good news’ the Conservatives need.

  25. Updated graphs:

    http://www.freefilehosting.net/geek16-7-12

    Added two new pages at the end detailed the Lab lead over Con, both VI and MAD.

  26. @Crossbat11 – I noted that report as well. It’s interesting, but I did post a couple of days ago my own contrary view. I generally don’t make predictions, but I have nailed my colours to the mast and predicted that this this current recession will last for a year.

    I’m expecting another decline in the Q2 figures, and I’m really struggling to see where growth is coming from now, which is already into Q3. If both of these go negative that’s a year long recession, but I don’t really see any reason for E&Y’s confidence that Europe has sorted itself out. They are still mired in recession, and the US is also about to fall off a cliff at the end of this year with a massive fiscal contraction coming.

    @NickP & @R Huckle – the oil price story, if true, will be another reason why Ed M will be able to continue to call for a far more widespread public inquiry.

    I also reject the idea that we should be in the least bit sanguine about the potential for oil price rigging. If true, it would be worthy of the maximum amount of public outrage and should be dealt with accordingly.

    As with Libor, it seems to be a fundamental flaw in the free market trading operation. Perhaps someone more experienced in market trading on here can enlighten me (@Amberstar, @Ken?) but I assume that traders don’t self report prices for every share trade – the sheer volume would be impossible to process, so I’m assuming that stock prices are calculated automatically in real time.

    If this is the case, this therefore begs the question as to why other markets such as Libor and oil trading don’t operate in precisely the same way, and why these are run on the basis of self reporting that is open to abuse.

    ‘Everything is Different Now’ should be our guiding principle as we assess the wreckage of the financial crisis. We do not need to be sanguine about such findings of corruption, but instead need to be very, very angry.

    The time for Buddhist like acceptance is over – we shouldn’t accept the unacceptable, and root and branch reform, with a few criminal prosecutions along the way, would be ultimately far more productive course for society to take.

  27. Has any pollster sought to determine the support for unicamerlism, ie the abolition of the second chamber? I know many people for whom this is their preferred (but not offered) option, and have met many more who are moved by the arguments for it. Of course the political parties would lose a gong for big donors….

  28. Stan J

    Just the fifteen year terms alone would be enough to have me vote ‘no’ in a referendum.

    Remember at the moment they are there for life and some are old lags (archer for one) and you cant get rid of them.

  29. @The Sheep and others.

    Paradoxically, I think the Lib Dems stand the best chance electorally if the Government does badly. There polling numbers have been pretty much fixed since the end of 2010 and I don’t foresee much chance of them moving before separation. Ultimately I don’t think the Lib Dems are going to see significant recovery against Labour, where they’re their main rival. Thus, main ones to beat for them are their coalition parties. They stand a better chance of holding onto seats if the Conservatives are polling relatively lowly. In addition if they can put some clear water between themselves and the Conservatives they may be able to pull back a few percentage points worth of left-leaning tactical voters.

    Another factor militating in favour of an early split are the boundary changes which stand to be devastating for them. Also, cue wild speculation from me: Lords reform. Ed Miliband’s strategy last week has shown that he has much greater control over his MPs on this issue, than David Cameron does. This puts him in a relatively favourable position to start extracting quid pro quo, particularly if the debate is dragged over many months.

  30. RANDL63
    The Netherlands first chamber is chosen from the provinces (12 of them unless NL has added a north sea polder or two since I last counted), of course proportional, but it gives a geographical input that is said to be the strength of FPTP. It is not a revising chamber and can only accept or reject legislation. It is thus not worth a candle really, but acts as a long stop. I suppose it could be useful as a regional check on the Randstad provinces, that otherwise dominate Dutch politics and also prevents pork barrelism, I suppose.

    Over here, it strikes me that if one held a poll on abolition of our Lords, it would register much as a referendum on privilege and would get similar percentages as the Lords reform itself.

    I have the feeling that the voters below a line drawn through Watford and Tewkesbury are deeply conservative and see the posh speaking educated Lords as a hegemony ranged against northern influence. It’s how I regard it (although of course I am against that)!

  31. Now that the England and Wales census results are out, does anyone feel like doing an analysis of the revised constituency boundaries in terms of population instead of registered voters? Or maybe of differential voter registration per district?

    Seems to me that, assuming it goes the way is generally supposed (lower registration rates in urban areas) this could very easily be used to undermine the case for boundary revision. The LDs might even say “well deary me, we had no idea this was going to happen, we can’t have this.” :-)

  32. @Rogerrebel – I find it a bit odd too that people are jumping up and down about 15 year terms, implicitly saying therefore that life terms are so much better. Illogical and odd.

    One thing that I haven’t seen mentioned however, is that the 15 year non repeatable terms will help to breakdown rigid partisan discipline in the new HoL – something that most people think is a good thing.

    Once you are in there for 15 years, threats from the whips will carry much less weight. They also can’t threaten you with deselection, as you can’t be reselected anyway.

    It also ensures a slow moving constancy which would serve as a slowing buffer against popular change, which can often need tempering.

    Finally, 15 year terms will help to protect the primacy of the commons. It’s very difficult to argue that the HoL should take precedence over the commons if the commons is fully re elected on a much more frequent basis than the HoL.

    In a similar vein, I’m also flummoxed by those objectors saying we don’t want another 450 politicians. At the moment, we have around 800, so this would be a substantial reduction.

    Nadine Dorries gave the game away over the weekend when she said that bankbench Tory MPs were dead set against any elected element in the HoL as they see this as a Trojan Horse for PR. She said overtly that the reason they are opposing this is to protect the Tory party.

    Non Tories squabbling about this reform should think on that, as they should have thought about the AV referendum before they voted no.

  33. @ROBIN

    “Seems to me that, assuming it goes the way is generally supposed (lower registration rates in urban areas) this could very easily be used to undermine the case for boundary revision. The LDs might even say “well deary me, we had no idea this was going to happen, we can’t have this.”

    Wouldn’t the Lib Dems be inclined to go with a system which has lower urban registration rates? Their core votes tend to be in rural areas (i.e. the seats they are likely to win).

  34. Robin – the data isn’t there… yet. The ONS hasn’t released ward data yet to work out the census population of particular seats. Nor have they released data by nationality (and hence, eligibility to vote. For example, the largest excess of adult population over registered electorate is normally Kensington and Westminster…. because there are a lot of foreign residents there who don’t register because they aren’t entitled to!).

    For local authority they haven’t, annoyingly, even released data for over 18s (local authority by age is in 5 year bands, so we have 16-19 year olds. Grr!)

    In the fullness of time the Electoral Commission will do a full report comparing the electoral register to the census, and will no doubt be able to get the ONS to crunch the data exactly as they wish to get the best possible census-based estimate of who should be on the register to compare to the actual register. Until then we don’t have the data to do the job well, though I don’t doubt people will be ready and willing to do it badly for partisan ends…

  35. …that said as soon as the ward level data does appear, I shall be on it like a vulture to crunch numbers for what should, by then, be the revised seat proposals.

  36. ALEC

    @” I assume that traders don’t self report prices for every share trade –”

    “However, like Libor – the interest rate measure that Barclays was earlier this month found to have rigged – the market is unregulated and relies on the honesty of the firms to submit accurate data about all their trades.
    This is one of the major concerns raised in the G20 report, published last month by the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO).

    In the study for global finance ministers, including George Osborne, the regulator warns that traders have opportunities to influence oil prices for their own profit.
    It points out that the whole market is “voluntary”, meaning banks and energy companies can choose which trades to make public.
    IOSCO says this “creates opportunity for a trader to submit a partial picture in order to influence the [price] to the trader’s advantage”.
    In an earlier report, the regulator concluded: “It is open to companies to report only those deals that are in their own best interests for the rest of the market to see.”
    The price reporting agencies, Platts and Argus, argue they employ journalists to weed out false data submitted by oil traders.
    IOSCO says reporters are “well-aware that traders have an incentive to push the market one way or another and do not generally believe everything they are told”.
    However it points out this system is heavily reliant on the “experience and training” of journalists to make a judgement about what the oil price should be……….

    ………….Brian Madderson, chairman of the Petrol Retailers’ Association, also called for an investigation into the “alarming” conclusions of the G20 report.
    “All the petrol retailers buy their products based on Platts prices,” he said. “If IOSCO thinks the price is open to manipulation it could well be and that would affect prices on the forecourts.”………..

    …………….Simon Lewis, chief executive of the Global Financial Markets Association, has raised concerns about the “opaque” way the oil price is worked out.
    In a letter to IOSCO, he said price reporting agencies may not be as impartial as they claim, because they take fees from banks and oil companies to provide information.
    “Incentives may arise to favour those who pay greater subscriber fees or provide greater access to market information,” he said.
    Some experts, such as Raymond Learsy, a former commodities trader and author of Oil and Finance, have been warning for years that the oil market is open to corruption……………

    ……………The reporting agencies have hit back at claims their prices are open to distortion. In a joint statement, Platts and Argus said there are “fundamental differences” in the way Libor and oil prices are reported.
    “Independent price reporting organisations are independent of and have no vested interest in the oil and energy markets,” they said. “Their ownership is transparent, and strict internal governance separates editorial and commercial functions. Independent price reporting organisations are not market participants, nor providers of transaction execution, clearing or settlement services.”
    Platts added that there are four main differences between oil prices and Libor – the quality of its data, its independence, competition between reporting agencies and the transparency of its methodology.”

    DT

  37. @Alec

    I’m against fifteen year terms because I think they should be far shorter – not because I like the unelected Lords. I don’t see why i should vote for something I don’t like when there is every chance that a better solution could be achieved instead. The “it’s this or nothing” approach that the coalition seem to be taking is essentially a con.

    There are other reasons why this approach is bad: a HoL that lags public opinion by a decade and a half (in 1997 it would have included people elected at the height of Thatcherism, for example), the fact that there would be no accountability to the public in two ways (chosen from party lists AND no ability to judge at the ballot box), and a reduction of the number of representatives. I accept that I am probably one of the few people who thinks we don’t have enough Parliamentarians, but there we have it.

  38. Well if the boundary changes help the Tories while damaging the Lib Dems then I would assume they’ll also give UKIP a boost. I still don’t think it’ll save Dave though.

    @rogerrebel

    “Remember at the moment they are there for life and some are old lags (archer for one) and you cant get rid of them.”

    Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying there aren’t changes that need to be made but at least people are talking about it now. If a substandard bill goes through we’re probably stuck with it. As far as I’m concerned the most important thing is to get a referendum, even if it looks like people will vote ‘yes’.

  39. @Robin
    Yes, I agree that if the Lib Dems are looking for a excuse to turn down the boundary review, a finding that the new constituencies were very unequal in terms of a census-based measure of the eligible population (adjusted for nationality) would provide the bones of a rational (if IMO somewhat tenuous) argument for going back to the drawing board in terms of looking at the rules on which boundaries are drawn up. And the same of course applies to Labour.

    @Statgeek
    The issue isn’t whether the Lib Dems would gain or lose if a census-based measure replaced electoral registers to determine seat size. Rather it’s that the LDs face armageddon under new boundaries rather than disaster under the old, so for them disaster needs to win out. That means that they ‘ll be looking for any excuse to avoid a charge of opportunism and here could be one on a plate.

    As a more general point, if as a society we consider that the government should aim to reflect the interests of every single one of their citizens without favour, shouldn’t constituencies be equalised on the basis of the size of the total population, regardless of age?

  40. “YouGov asked some more specific questions on how David Cameron was seen. His worst rating, as usual, was on being seen as out of touch. 66% thought Cameron was out of touch compared to only 23% who saw him as in touch. 52% think he has run out of ideas, compared to 32% who think he has plenty of ideas. 47% now see him as weak, though 38% still see him as strong. His better ratings are 40% who see him as decisive (47% indecisive), and 42% who see him as likeable (44% dislikeable).

    Alternative Conservative leaders are all seen as likely to do worse than Cameron. 43% of people think Boris Johnson would make a worse leader compared to 23% who think he would do better, 42% think Michael Gove would do worse compared to only 6% who think he would do better (though 32% say they don’t know enough about Gove to say), 59% think Osborne would do worse with only 3% who think he’d do better. Closest to Cameron is William Hague – 28% think he would do better compared to 32% who think he’d do worse.”

    I think Cameron has hit a rough patch but he’s still probably the best leader the Tories have right now. He’s always been seen as out of touch and that’s definitely a problem among a class conscious electorate. But he used to be seen as strong and competent and is now struggling with that. I feel though that the fact that others don’t see other conservative leaders as any better is a strong point for him in that voters aren’t finished with him. They’re willing to give him more chances and they’re willing to see him redeem himself.

  41. @ The Sheep

    “I’m against fifteen year terms because I think they should be far shorter – not because I like the unelected Lords. I don’t see why i should vote for something I don’t like when there is every chance that a better solution could be achieved instead. The “it’s this or nothing” approach that the coalition seem to be taking is essentially a con.

    There are other reasons why this approach is bad: a HoL that lags public opinion by a decade and a half (in 1997 it would have included people elected at the height of Thatcherism, for example), the fact that there would be no accountability to the public in two ways (chosen from party lists AND no ability to judge at the ballot box), and a reduction of the number of representatives. I accept that I am probably one of the few people who thinks we don’t have enough Parliamentarians, but there we have it.”

    I think this is why Labour is opposed to these HOL reforms. It’s not just to screw with the Coalition and make problems for them. Last week, I pointed out all the undemocratic features of the House of Lords and how they could subvert the will of the public currently unchecked. Amber pointed out to me in response that actually, the House of Commons can usually force its will and get what it wants when it really wants to.

    If you start introducing an elected House of Lords and these new 15 year commissioners and other things like that, you actually throw a monkey wrench into the current system. You actually build a legitimate check on the power of the House of Commons and this might not be something that those in the Commons really want.

    It seems like Labour over their 13 years in power had a much better plan to deal with the House of Lords. That is, slowly remove the important governing functions from it and place those functions into the hands of new governmental bodies. Remove those who are there merely because their bloodline and strive to keep the House of Lords as a collection of the UK’s best and brightest as well as its most famous celebrities in what would otherwise be a powerless institution that mainly serves to bring in tourist cash (like the monarchy).

    If you really reform the HOL and make them elected, you’re actually going to make them far more powerful.

  42. @Anthony W
    You could have a long wait although I doubt that it’s necessary to be that precise. Census data isn’t normally made available at small area level for single year age groups. Seeking a parliamentary written answer from a minister would probably be the surest way to prompt ONS to produce the information you would need.

    FWIW, here’s a link to the current 2010 estimates of population, broken down by parliamentary constituency for E&W.
    http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/publications/re-reference-tables.html?edition=tcm%3A77-230920

  43. It should be remembered that EU nationals resident here may not vote in Westminster elections. Generally they may vote in the rest of them. This is the case throughout the EU. Of course some nations, eg France, recognise the right of their citizens to vote wherever they live in French national elections. As a result, London is France’s 6th largest city!

    So on boundary reorganisations, the above needs to be born in mind, which is why pro tem, the electoral register is the only sound method. I assume the BC takes the foregoing into account.

  44. Telegraph has a poll up for what minister they most want sacked. So many to chose :-)

    Interestingly Osborne leads. Sure I know what Anthony will say about online polls like this one but can’t help feeling Osborne is the most likely scapegoat if they need a dramatic change to bolster poll ratings.

  45. @SocalL
    Given that you heed from a land which has turned legislative gridlock between two chambers into an art form, we should pay heed to your warnings.

  46. @Howard
    The census records nationality and so it would be possible for ONS to conduct an analysis which excluded them the residents in question.

  47. David Cameron says he is more committed to Coalition now than in May 2010…

    Oh well that’s that then. David Cameron is well known for never changing his mind about anything! :roll:

  48. @The Sheep

    “There are other reasons why this approach is bad: a HoL that lags public opinion by a decade and a half…”

    Given that elections would take place every 5 years by 3rds, it wouldn’t entirely lag public opinion, just attenuate the shifts.

  49. HANNAH

    “just attenuate the shifts”.

    If the actual differences between the governing parties are relatively small, then they might already be so limited as to defy further attenuation!

  50. I hope you guys will be able to help me cast perhaps the most difficult vote I (or any American for that matter) face the entire year.

    And that is, who should be the next Food Network Star.

    http://star.foodnetwork.com/

    Now just to give you some background here. They did a new format this season, starting with 15 contestants divided up into three teams of 5 contestants each, which each of the teams being mentored by a major Food Network celebrity (Bobby Flay, Giada DeLaurentiis, and Alton Brown). The great thing about this season is that instead of all the catty contestants going at each other’s throats, the contestants were all fairly likeable and drama free. Instead, it was more fun to see 3 established star celebrities go at each other’s throats in order to help the various contestants on the team.

    Now, last night they had gotten it down to 6 finalists, 2 from each team. There were only supposed to be 3 finalists, one from each team, who would get to make a pilot and then be voted on. But throughout the episode I noticed that the two finalists from Alton Brown’s team (Martie and Justin) outshined all the other contestants by far and it was a shame that one of them would go home because whoever that one was, they had outperformed the two (from the other teams) who were going to get to stay and make their pilot.

    Well the Food Network producers felt the same way and decided to take both, so there are four for me to vote on.

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