Two new polls tonight – the daily YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 33%, LAB 42%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 6%, so no significant change there.

There is also a new TNS BMRB poll, which has almost identical topline figures of CON 32%(+2), LAB 42%(nc), LDEM 10%(nc), Others 16%(-1). Changes are from their last poll a month ago.


264 Responses to “New YouGov and TNS BMRB polls”

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  1. Dullsville.

  2. We need a scandal or two to get them polls shifting!!

  3. Paul Croft

    I think more than a pin in a photo of NC will be needed to dislodge my party leader. He has nailed his colours to the mast and those are
    ‘I must make the British voter believe that coalition is a normal form of government and thus our forming one with the winning party is both honourable and what happens elsewhere’.

    He’ll fail, due to circumstances beyond his control (the economy), but he didn’t know that when he set out on his journey.

  4. Tories will be relieved that despite the bad economic news and borrowing figures recently, their vote is holding up and the lead is still around 9-10% Could have been worse for them with recent news and media coverage.

  5. Polls have been static for months.

    In the Autumn, I predict very difficult times for the coalition and I think the Tories could dip by a couple of points. Labour might not gain though. The Lib Dems may be through the worst and actually if they start to promote their own independent views, their polling may improve a little.

  6. HOWARD

    Paul Croft

    “I think more than a pin in a photo of NC will be needed to dislodge my party leader. He has nailed his colours to the mast”
    ______________

    Like what any good captain would do..Go down with his ship.;)

  7. @Huckle,

    I guess the big question is does this and other recent polling show that 32-34% really is the lowest the Tory vote can go (i.e. their ‘core’ vote?) I personally suspect that they could go lower if they are involved in major scandals or the public start to gain more trust in Labour on the economy.

  8. The problem is that I strongly sense that there is a great degree of resignation on the public’s part – they don’t think the Tories are managing the economy at all well, but don’t necessarily think Labour would do any better either. This is backed up by recent opinion polls. It’s this kind of public resignation and apathy which is currently keeping the Tories at around 32-34%.

  9. @Ambivalentsupporter – I suspect it’s too early for any significant poll effect from the deficit figures story. Ordinarily I really wouldn’t expect this kind of monthly data to affect anything anyway, although this time it might just be different.

    It was a big media story for a day, but it’s more the fact that this is the governments central political objective – everything is being done with the deficit in mind, so if the deficit fails to fall, they will be toast.

    How much people take notice of this kind of number I don’t know, but I suspect it’s not a lot, but if the story that the deficit is rising again gets traction, then I would expect Tory VI to start getting seriously strained.

    The big risk will be a fundamental loss of credibility. I think Cameron is currently in trouble, but he hasn’t yet experienced that terminal point where all but the die hards turn off. Once this happens, there really is no way back, as voters no longer give credit when things go well. I suspect we are close to this point, but still with some way to go.

  10. @Alec,

    I suspect you may be right.

  11. I would have thought being £2.5 billion short when it was expected to be £600 million up might have shifted the polls a little towards Labour. I guess perhaps Labour do not excite either, based on what they helped allow to happen to the economy. Ed Miliband really needs to look like an alternative too- a new hair style, make better eye contact and not look so awkward.

  12. I posted a while back that I felt Osborne’s move to cancel the August fuel duty rise was a missed opportunity, on the basis that oil prices had been falling dramatically and these were feeding through into lower pump prices. My thinking was that by now, petrol prices would be falling anyway, easing the political pressure, and so Osborne could have secured the much needed income even as prices fell.

    Unhappily to say, I was wrong. No sooner I posted that, oil prices started to move up sharply, and we now have rising petrol prices again. had we had a duty rise now, things would be very difficult politically. Having said that, I think I am partially right, but for the wrong reasons. I don’t think Osborne will actually get any political credit for his move, as cancelling a tax rise that hasn’t happened doesn’t really excite anyone anyway, but prices are moving up regardless, so the issue remains live for the government.

    We are now seeing domestic energy costs rise and mortgage rates also jumping up. It’s beginning to look like the lull in the squeeze on consumer spending has been very shortlived, which is bad news for the economy, but worse news for the government.

  13. Conservative (F) and Green party (M) leaders in Scotland are openly gay.

  14. Leaving politics aside for a moment and going back to the last thread – when did Dale Winson come out? That must have passed me by.

    Going back to politics: are you sure, Howard, that siding with the “winning” party is what happens elsewhere every time? Seems more sensible, if you can form a majority, to side with the party with whom your party has most in common.

    The problem for Clegg is that that is what most people believe he HAS done… hence “won’t get fooled again.”

  15. All I can say is August

  16. Paul Croft

    In Scotland the Lab/LibDem coalition was one where the leaders had been close since university and perhaps school debating days and trusted one another.

    The SNP and Grens are Butskillite and closest now according to Scottish Voting compass.

    Some music files are on their way to you.

  17. Thanks John

  18. PAULCROFT

    Leaving politics aside for a moment and going back to the last thread – when did Dale Winson come out? That must have passed me by
    ___________

    http://www.nowmagazine.co.uk/celebrity-news/274107/dale-winton-i-never-told-my-mum-i-was-gay

  19. Well you could knock me down with a feather boa.

  20. Our friend Barney had a long interview on Newsnight Scotland today. He did extremely well, in difficult circumstances.

    Having looked at the plans etc., I’m in agreement with Annie Lennox. The singer made a scathing attack on plans for a £140m privately run park in the centre of her home city of Aberdeen, describing it as a “dog’s dinner of crap concrete”.

    The decision, which was ceded to a local referendum instead of being made by prior adminstration Councillors, was 52% v 48% in favour. Labour campaigned against the referendum itself & to keep the park as a public space; Labour went on to win most seats on the Council. The new Council has (bravely, IMO) cancelled the project despite this opening them to the accusation of being ‘undemocratic’ – although a tiny 2% swing to ‘no’ would have rendered the whole thing invalid anyway.

    Barney did a really good job of explaining everything despite being accused throughout of over-turning a ‘democratic referendum’. Kudos to him & the Council for keeping public parks public.
    8-)

  21. @ AmbivalentSupporter

    “@Huckle,

    I guess the big question is does this and other recent polling show that 32-34% really is the lowest the Tory vote can go (i.e. their ‘core’ vote?) I personally suspect that they could go lower if they are involved in major scandals or the public start to gain more trust in Labour on the economy.”

    Pretty much. I’d say. On the basis that around perhaps a third of the population are either largely insulated from the ravages of Tory economic policies – babyboomers… and those in protected areas of business, etc. – or stand to gain materially from things like public sector sell-offs etc.

    When it comes to voting intention, Cameron’s ensured that while others lose their benefits including universal ones like Child benefit – retiring baby-boomers keep their universals…

    And some businesses do rather well out of recessions of course…

    The economy was not exactly going great in ’92, but Tories still got elected…

    Major’s gang didn’t, however, have such a pop at schools, the NHS, Armed sevices, Police, etc etc…

  22. More on tricky age related attitudes to gay marriage where polling is concerned:

    h
    ttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/james-peron/united-kingdom-gay-marriage_b_1808078.html

    With a public image of a youthful, moderate candidate who would appeal to young voters, he won the Conservative leadership election in 2005 (according to Wikipedia).

    Cameron slipped up in the Gay Times interview during the election campaign:

    h
    ttp://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/mar/24/david-cameron-stumbles-gay-rights

    And it seems he is still having problems getting the message across:

    h
    ttp://www.gaytimes.co.uk/Interact/Blogs-articleid-8013-sectionid-720.html

  23. @ R Huckle (from the previous thread)

    “Yes I think the UK does have the phenomenon of gay gentrification. But I think it has always been the case, but is much more open.

    Actually I think the upper classes if anything have always been more open, than the political or professional classes. It has only really been the last 10 years or so that politicians have been openly gay. Saying that I am not sure that an openly gay person, could become a leader of a political party, which is shame really, as it should not matter.

    Could a gay person become a candidate to become president of the US ?”

    The reason I asked about gentrification is because I could see where the Tory appeal lies. You’ve got people with expensive residential properties and with small businesses. If they’re seen as a pro-sexual orientation equality party, the Tories could win over voters who would naturally be inclined to vote for a party that at least bills itself as a party that supports small businesses and encourages private property ownership. Where the Tories lose actual votes on this seem more likely to be in constituencies that are safe seats anyway (rural seats that will almost certainly return Tories to office and inner city urban seats with high ethnic minority populations that are going to vote Labour no matter what).

    Barack Obama is a lot luckier than David Cameron is on the marriage issue. Obama spent years claiming he opposed marriage equality but no one really believed him and so it never really cost him or gained him any votes. This is the opposite of Cameron who claims to support same-sex marriage but no one really believes him. So when Obama claimed to support same-sex marriage and to have changed his mind, it really wasn’t that big a shocker.

    Those people who oppose same-sex marriage so much that they wouldn’t vote for someone who supported it….they’re white fundamentalist Christians who already hate Obama and were never going to vote for him in the first place. Blacks and Latinos who don’t support same-sex marriage, well they don’t care enough about the issue to ever change their vote (they’re still supporting the President). What it did do for Obama (and probably didn’t happen for Cameron) is that it opened up gay wallets for him and has helped him raise a whole ton of campaign cash. Obama also gets to earn his place in history (yet again).

    Your description of British upper classes and their attitudes towards sexual orientation is markedly different from the American upper classes. The American upper class/wealthy has traditionally frowned upon gays and lesbians. LGBT people have traditionally not been welcome in wealthy communities, looked down upon as inferior, looked upon as sexually/mentally disturbed, and been discriminated against.

    If you look at American prep schools (the kind for spoiled rich kids), there’s an assumption that NONE of the kids are gay. This is because the thinking goes that these schools only take the elite, the highly intelligent, the best of the best, the future leaders. And of course these kids are the type who are considered socially well adjusted and sexually functional. These are traits that LGBT people do not possess, ergo, there are no gay kids in these schools. Contra attitudes about British prep schools.

    Of course, there are plenty of wealthy gays. Some make it on their own and some inherit from their families. It’s sad to see inheritance disputes, there’s a new case in New York right now about this (a father attempting to turn his gay son straight from beyond the grave).

    http://abcnews.go.com/US/gay-man-mary-woman-son-lose-inheritance/story?id=17043550

    It’s also sad to see unhappy straight families attempt to challenge the wills and trust documents of deceased gay relatives that benefit their partners (there are some VERY sad cases about that).

    When it comes to wealthy gays though, an interesting pattern emerges. The only neighborhoods and cities in the United States that are truly mixed income where the working poor, middle class, and wealthy live together are the gay neighborhoods.

    There have been changes of course to attitudes and some wealthy areas have elected openly gay officials. Primarily though, openly gay elected officials come from liberal, usually urban, working class and middle class areas. Those are also the districts and areas that produced the first straight LGBT ally politicians. West Hollywood, CA could not have become a city without the pro-rent control movement by the elderly and working poor.

    Now as to your last question, I don’t know the answer to that. I say not yet but someday in the future. I feel like the gender barrier will have to be broken first. I also feel that we will have to get an openly gay Supreme Court Justice first.

    Also, although Barack Obama seemingly came out of nowhere to become the first black President, there had been some precedents. Blacks had won some statewide elections. They were far and few in between but they had occurred. There were black mayors including black mayors of cities without majority (or even plurality) black populations. There had been black generals, black appellate judges and a black Supreme Court Justice, and black Cabinet secretaries. We haven’t seen too much of that with the LGBT community.

    Annise Parker was able to get elected Mayor of Houston. Tammy Baldwin is an underdog in the Wisconsin Senate race this year but if she can make history and break the barrier, that will be a sign for the future of an openly LGBT President.

  24. @ R Huckle

    And to preemptively answer your question.

    There have never been any openly gay Supreme Court Justices, Article III appellate judges, or Cabinet Secretaries. There have been no openly gay Senators or Governors (can’t count McGreevey in New Jersey since he was elected while closeted and came out as he resigned from office). There has only ever been one openly LGBT person elected to statewide office in the U.S., Kate Brown who was elected Secretary of State of Oregon in 2008. She is bisexual and is married to a man.

    There are currently 4 openly gay members of Congress, which is a record (and the number may go down this fall as one is retiring and one is running for the U.S. Senate). The only states to send openly gay persons to Congress (in chronological order) are Massachussetts, Arizona, Wisconsin, Colorado, and Rhode Island. At the state level, there have been openly gay state legislators in nearly every single state in the union (ironically, the Utah District that is home to the headquarters of the Mormon Church, is represented by an openly gay legislator) but only two legislative leaders, Assembly Speaker John Perez in California and Assembly Speaker Gordon Fox in Rhode Island. There are two openly gay big city mayors, Sam Addams of Portland (who’s leaving after one term due to self-inflicted scandal) and Annise Parker of Houston.

    There are now 4 openly gay federal District Court judges, three of whom were appointed by Obama. Obama also tried to appoint an openly gay judge to a federal circuit court but couldn’t get him through. There are a small handful of openly gay judges on federal non Article III courts. There are now 6 openly gay State Supreme Court justices, a record and a recently tripled number (there were only 2 as of the beginning of 2011). The states where these Justices were appointed (or in one case elected) are Oregon, Massachussetts, Vermont, Colorado, and Hawaii. All of them were appointed by Democratic governors.

    There is now one openly gay general (she was just appointed, I forget her name). I think that’s an exhaustive list (and give me credit, all from memory).

    By contrast, there are several women who have been in these positions as well as African Americans (and even Latinos).

    To conclude, there are other milestones that will have to be acheived before there is a gay President or even a gay Presidential candidate. I kinda feel like Britain will elect an openly gay Prime Minister before the United States elects an openly gay President.

  25. @ Billy Bob (from the previous thread)

    “R Huckle’s link to the political betting article… the pressure on Cameron comes from the right of his party, but the bigger pool of potential voters is towards the centre – the article ends “Those in the blue team who think that appeasing the right is the route to electoral success are fools – but my guess is that they are likely to prevail.”

    Gay Marriage is a marginal (but high profile) issue where Cameron can position himself as continuing his detox-the-brand strategy, while continuing to appease the right in other economic/social areas.

    He has moved on from his earlier voting record on equality issues. My hunch is that his arts educated wife has been influential here. (“There is such a thing as society, it’s just not the same thing as the state” came from her.) She was reported to have been be uncomfortable with some of the Tory types, and needed to be convinced about the whole enterprise her husband was embarking on. Gay marriage might have been one of the markers she set down.”

    Conservatives generally oppose same-sex marriage unless they happen to be gay (and even then it’s a tossup……look at that awful Carl DeMaio guy running for Mayor of San Diego….if there was anyone who I ever wished a hate crime upon….) or if they are highly intelligent and find out that close friends or family members are gay. See, e.g., Ted Olson.

    Now in some countries, conservatives oppose same-sex marriage and are upset when it is enacted but once elected decide not to change it. See, e.g. Stephen Harper, Jan Peter Balkenende.

    Cameron is rare in that he’s a Conservative and actively seeking to implement this. Of course, I think his stance on the issue is driven more by his own personality. I speculate here but I feel like Nick Clegg and David Cameron (and some of their close political allies) pretty much have the same views but different personalities/life outlooks. They’re fiscally conservative and socially liberal. Those who were offended by social conservatism of the Tories and didn’t have grand political aims became Lib Dems. Those who dreamt of becoming Prime Minister bit the bullet on social issues (for the time being) and joined the Tories, knowing that that was their best hope of ever acheiving that.

    I also feel like Cameron knows that this is in some ways inevitable (having been set on the course by Tony Blair) and that he might as well be the Prime Minister who gets to be remembered in the history books as the one who legalized same-sex marriage. If it helps him politically, all the better. It takes it away as an issue for his opponents.

    Also, I have to say that Samantha Cameron’s line is true on both sides of the pond. :)

  26. Howard
    “I must make the British voter believe that coalition is a normal form of government and thus our forming one with the winning party is both honourable and what happens elsewhere”
    … while that’s a noble sentiment, something that often also happens is, ‘Junior partner leaves coalition and it leads to fresh elections’..
    This, for example, has lead to an election in the Netherlands on September 12th, when PVV pulled out of the coalition government.

    So perhaps he’d want to get us used to that part of coalition government too? ;)

  27. This governing thing is indeed very problematical. As Cameron’s in-tray groans under the weight of mounting unresolved issues and problems, up pops our old friend Mr Nadir, dredging up the ghosts of party funding when, I presume, the Prime Minister would least like the public reminded of them.

    For those not quite as advanced in years as me, Nadir, throughout the Thatcher years, was a large and consistent donor to the Tory Party. He made a personal fortune from his Polly Peck group of companies and even though we can’t be sure of exactly how much he gave to the Tory Party, because personal donations didn’t have to be declared then, the sums of money involved were thought to be very large. When Nadir became a fugitive in the early 90s, pursued by the British authorities for the crimes which, belatedly, he has now been found guilty of, John Major pledged to return a donation, thought to be over £400k, if it was ever proved that Nadir had acquired the money dishonestly.

    Cameron now has the dilemma of either honouring this pledge, and creating a serious hole in the Tory Party’s accounts, or try instead to sidestep it and risk accusations of double standards and equivocation. It’s early days, admittedly, but it appears, sadly, that his Party is taking the latter course and sliding away from Major’s fairly unequivocal pledge.

    Still, at least they didn’t get the money from those beastly Trade Unions and their ghastly members waving IOU notes and the like! lol

  28. Good Morning All. Beautiful by the sea here.

    AMBIVALENT SUPPORTER and ALEC.

    I think the Summer is often quite a good time for Governing Party’s poll figures, so Labour people will be relieved that the lead is still 9-10%.
    I think that 32% is the Tory floor however. Has their been a GE when they have gone lower?
    The 10% for the Lib Dems is deceptive, I genuinely think, as they will be badly mauled, I think, in seats where it matters.

  29. AMBIVALENT SUPPORTER

    @”Tories will be relieved that despite the bad economic news and borrowing figures recently, their vote is holding up and the lead is still around 9-10%”

    But that relief is as nothing compared to the effects of the LIbDem VI collapse on Con. prospects :-

    http://conservativehome.blogs.com/platform/2012/08/mark-gettleson-of-polhomepulse-a-liberal-democrat-meltdown-could-kill-tory-chances-at-the-next-elect.html

  30. @Chris Lane 1945

    “I think that 32% is the Tory floor however. Has their been a GE when they have gone lower?”

    Yes. 1997(30.7%) and 2001(31.7%).

    That’s two of the last four General Elections, in fact, and in 2005 they scraped 32.4%.

  31. Cameron looks likely to engage “the Australian Karl Rove”, Lynton Crosby. By the sounds of it Osborne will be out-ranked over strategy for the next election.

    Campaigning for an incumbent government may give Crosby more scope to practice “wedge politics” (notably turning away the Norwegian Tampa freighter + 438 rescued refugees in the run-up to John Howard’s re-election in 2001 – a false allegation was made that the refugees had attempted to blackmail their way into AUS by throwing children overboard).

    His business partner Mark Textor has been accused of deploying “push polling” (US tactic of spreading damaging/false information about opponents under the guise of questions) in the aggressive targetting of marginal constituencies. (A Labor candidate received £34,000 in damages in 1995 following suggestions that she supported abortions at nine months.)

  32. billy bob

    Don’t forget the lovely clean no-smear campaign he ran for Boris against Ken.

    Looks like things will get dirty.

  33. It appears the Tory floor might be 30% and ceiling about 36%.

  34. @Nick P

    During this last mayoral election I was asked “Who do you want as mayor – someone who rescues people from being mugged, or someone who gets drunk and kicks his pregnant girlfriend down the stairs?”

    I couldn’t quite believe my ears, but it seems to have been an egregious falsification of this story which was being spread by word of mouth:

    h
    ttp://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/2066514.stm

  35. Lynton Crosby… hmmm.

    Mr Crosby is an Australian political strategist, described as a “master of the dark arts” who masterminded four successive election victories for John Howard in Australia. But he failed to boost Michael Howard’s campaign to become the UK’s prime minister in 2005.

    Per Crossbat’s above comment: …and in 2005 the Tories scraped 32.4% so hardly a resounding success for his most recent attempt at a GE then?
    8-)

  36. @crossbat11

    @Chris Lane 1945

    “I think that 32% is the Tory floor however. Has their been a GE when they have gone lower?”

    Yes. 1997(30.7%) and 2001(31.7%).

    That’s two of the last four General Elections, in fact, and in 2005 they scraped 32.4%.

    ____________________________________

    What’s the longer-term prognosis as the boomers keel over though, (and presumably true-to-form pull the ladder to heaven up behind them)?

    Whatever one may think of the policies, Thatch mixed in some stuff for significant numbers of less affluent Tory voters like council house sales and the whole “tell Sid” thing. Don’t see much of that from Cameron…

    And then there’s the question of what a Tory government would offer for post-2015. What policies are they going to sell – now that they have finished the job of setting in train privatising the stuff Thatcher didn’t get around to privatising?

    What would be in a 2015 manifesto? They seem to be already struggling to come up with ideas for the rest of this parliament.

  37. I am glad to see the LD poll currently back to 10% and it looks like 10-11% is the current position and the rest just a hiccup. However, 10% is unsatisfactory and does not reflect the LD achievement in working with the Tories, first to form a Coalition and secondly try to sort out the financial mess left by the previous administration. Voters will return.

    I anticipate that as the economy recovers in 2014-15 the Tories will increase their share of the vote back to 36%; the biggest beneficiaries however will be the LDs with perhaps 15%, rising as the election approaches and the leadership is able to explain both past and future policy; given the lack of balanced media coverage, this is only possible for the LDs at GE time.

    Labour are currently sitting pretty, with EM keeping quiet, but will be the losers at 2015 approaches. They may still receive the most votes, and if so and there is no overall majority I would like to see a Lib/Lab Coalition. However, only if VC plays a major role in finance and economics, and Labour are committed to responsible financial management of the economy.

  38. @Henry

    “…looks like 10-11% is the current position and the rest just a hiccup.”

    “Voters will return.”

    “as the economy recovers in 2014-15”

    “Tories will increase their share of the vote back to 36%”

    “the biggest beneficiaries however will be the LDs with perhaps 15%, rising as the election approaches”

    “Labour are currently sitting pretty, with EM keeping quiet, but will be the losers at 2015 approaches.”

    The only thing that this list off highly debatable assertions lacks is the words “I hope that” or “I wish that” before them.

  39. @carfrew – ” …what a Tory government would offer for post-2015.”

    The 38 strong Free Enterprise Group of MPs who brought you After the Coalition: A Conservative Agenda for Britain – are about to expand on their “the British are among the worst idlers in the world” theme in Britannia Unchained: Global Lessons for Growth and Prosperity.

    As someone commented below the story… “Brittania Unchained. Atlas Shrugged. Jesus wept.”

    Also, a portrait of Dominic Raab, for those who enjoy reading faces:

    h
    ttp://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/aug/22/britannia-unchained-rise-of-new-tory-right

  40. Having lived abroad for some years and now returned to dear old blighty, and being a self confessed Tory, I’m struct by how little difference in real terms there is between the major parties these days, maybe I’m looking through rose tinted spectacles, but I seem to remember there being more difference in the parties in days gone by. Today it makes little difference who you vote for, they all seem centre left in there views, offering very little choice to the electorate. I find it rather amusing people get so worked up about there party being 9-10 points in the lead when infact their 9-10 points ahead of a party that is very similar to there own. I’m sure that this lack of choice is one of the reasons why there is such a lack of interest in politics today coupled with the general mistrust of politicians, the public know when a politician berates another party over policy, infact they will be doing very little different if they were in power. Maybe thats why Labour have made more capital on exploiting Coalition mistakes than actual policy, both parties policy’s being more or less the same.

  41. Crossbat

    ‘The only thing that this list off highly debatable assertions lacks is the words “I hope that” or “I wish that” before them.’

    I felt in a good mood and controversial this morning; you are no stranger to highly debatable and controversial statements (IMO),particularly about other contributors. So I am sure you will understand.

    I could have written ‘At my most optimistic and with considerable good fortune’ and added ‘alternatively at the worst the LD vote would remain the same and even continue to lose support, resulting in a GE wipe out’ I don’t need to say that as the are many ‘deep red’ contributors who already make this point (often without the ‘hope’ or ‘wish’ adjectives.

    So for the sake of a little balance on this blog I will stick with what I have said.

  42. Henry, I detect a little wishful thinking there. Firstly, the LD’s have not been averaging at 10% on YouGov or above for a very long time – a few short term low 10s in March-April and December 2011, but nothing sustained since 2010. The average of August polling is 9.25. The average of the last 5 polls is 8.8.

    Secondly, you seem to be saying that the figures are lower than the LD’s achievments deserve. But, if former LD voters are not seeing those now, what will actually make them change their minds. Forming the coalition could easily have been seen as opportunism. On trying to sort out the finances, the problem for the LDs is twofold:

    a) Before the 2010 election, they were against the Tory proposals and were publicly closer to the Darling plans. They changed tack (Clegg saying that they had done so before polling day but they had not made that clear to voters) and accepted the Osborne plans instead
    b) The finances are in no better a state than before, with the deficit wider than projected. Also, there is the feeling that the fiscal policy of the coalition is contributing to the double-dip and to higher inflation.

    So, perhaps you can see that former LD voters have legitimate reasons not to value the ‘achievement’ as highly as you think they should.

    Thirdly, if the economy ‘recovers in 2014-15’, it will be too late for the feelgood factor to come into play.

    Fourthly, any recovery-based poll benefits are more likely to fall to the main coalition partner, the one supplying the Chancellor and which pushed for austerity before May 2010.

    Fifthly, I think the LDs and the leadership (especially if it is the current one) will actually have a very hard time explaining past policy, or selling future policy. Until 2010, the LDs have had the luxury of opposition to be able to say ‘we would have done things better’ and to make promises to appeal to voters. This time, however, they are going to have to defend a record in government (while at the same time also somehow making clear how they differ from their coalition partners). Of course, after tuition fees and other compromises, that defence also undermines the power of future policy promises – it comes down to trust.

    I would not oppose a Lib-Lab coalition if there isn’t a Labour majority, but I would expect it to be hard for the LDs to deal with. We may, for example do what they did last time and insist on the leader standing down as a precondition. Vince would be a reasonable choice as replacement or as suggested Lib-Lab Chancellor, but I fear as he gets older he will be less of a solid asset.

    I will be interested to see what happens at the LD conference and if there’s a polling reaction.

  43. Oh, cross posted with Crossbat and Henry’s reply.

    Henry, it’s not unreasonable to want to supply ‘balance’ to all us reds (although if you are a loyal LD, why not adopt a yellow background?), but I think you post was more about conjecture than based on polling evidence.

    Are the LDs so low simply because your voters are ungrateful and don’t duly recognise your party’s achievement in going into coalition highly enough? Or is there perhaps polling evidence that there is a deep lack of trust in the party and in particular it’s leader?

  44. The BoE has said that the richest 5% of Britons have been the biggest winners from QE.

    I’m one of the 95%.

  45. Danivon

    ‘Henry, I detect a little wishful thinking there.’

    Thank you for your thoughtful response and analysis. I love understatement.

    I am a strong supporter of NC (which is unusual even among we LDs). However I believe that our best chance would be for NC to step down and ‘closer to the election’ a LD less sympathetic to the Tories be selected. The new leader would be in the same position to EM post Brown – we made mistakes but it wasn’t my fault.

    Am I suggesting that my old mate should fall on his sword. I am not that ruthless.

    My main fear for the Coalition is that they appear to me to be running out of energy,. which is not a good thing given it is a 5 year period.

  46. CROSSBAT 11.
    Top of the early afternoon to you.

    Thanks for those figures, and they are very close to 32%.

    You may have forgotten who the Leader of the Labour
    Party was, when voters stayed away in big numbers from the Tory Party?

    I watched the hilaraious BBC 3 spoof on St TB last night.

  47. Danivon

    I think you will find that my previous response on leadership may indicate we are not so far apart on LD prospects, particularly leadership. I am not critical of Labour supporters for rowing their own boat, but balance still applies to many (IMO); bit harsh given YOUR very balanced comments.

  48. @Turk

    Could not agree with you more. They all support centre left policies which cannot succeed in the current economic climate. We desperately need a real right-wing party who will not be afraid of cutting the state sector back significantly to provide the cash to reduce taxes on business and to stimulte the economy generally.

  49. the other howard

    Fortunately, there are fewer and fewer voters who would vote for such a party.

  50. Danivon

    ‘Although if you are a loyal LD, why not adopt a yellow background?)’

    Fair question. While I vote LD, and often back their policies, when I first contributed I did not want to be seen as formally speaking for the LDs, as I make no contribution to their policies. I am just an observer and contributor. A number of other contributors appear to adopt a similar approach as few of us are politically neutral.

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