More Boris polling…

This morning’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 31%, LAB 44%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 8%. A thirteen point Labour lead is the highest YouGov have shown since the end of June. All the normal caveats apply about reading too much into a poll – sure, it could be a sign of a growing Labour lead as we move away from the holidays and big events of the Summer… or it could just be an outlier. Keep an eye on it.

This morning the Sun also published a fresh set of “how would you vote with Boris as leader?” questions, actually asked as part of yesterday’s YouGov poll. They showed the same pattern we have become familar with in Boris questions since the Olympics began. YouGov first asked a control question asking how people would vote if the present leaders remain in place (this is to isolate the Boris effect from any Miliband or Clegg effect) – this reduced the 11 point Labour lead in YouGov’s poll yesterday to an 8 point lead when Miliband, Cameron and Clegg are mentioned. When people were asked how they would vote with Boris this fell further, down from an 8 point lead to a 1 point Labour lead – CON 37%, LAB 38%, LDEM 11%.

I will make all my normal caveats about hypothetical questions – people are answering them on very low levels of information. They mostly know who Boris is, and they’ll have an idea of what sort of personality Boris has and what he is like… and it clearly demonstrates that for many people this is something that may well change their vote. They don’t really know what policies Boris would put forward as a leader, how he would operate as a Prime Minister, how the media would react to and report upon Boris as PM (right now they see him through the media prism of “Ah Boris, stuck on a zip wire, what a laugh!”. Imagine how easily the media indulgence he gets as a political joker could turn sour “Hopelessly blundering PM in yet another diplomatic gaffe”, “out of his depth”, “national embarrassment” etc).

As an aside, the biggest problems with a Boris for PM story are little to do with public opinion, they are the practical obstacles of not being in Parliament, and not being able to get there without it being interpreted and reported as a direct leadership challenge. I am sure Boris could return to Parliament without too vast a difficultly. I suspect if he already was an MP he would win a leadership election if he reached the final vote of party members (MPs slightly trickier). However while he is outside Parliament the mere act of standing for a seat would immediately be interpreted by the media and by any potential leadership rivals as the start of a long, drawn-out leadership challenge with all the division and damage that would cause.


276 Responses to “More Boris polling…”

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  1. Alec

    I think It’s more like if you don’t like the message shot the messenger.

  2. @Rogerrebel – quite possibly, although ‘I want to talk about Catalonia and if you don’t then you’re sad’ could be another explanation.

    Oddly enough, the original post to the Catalonia link was completely irrelevant to the discussion in hand between @Colin and myself, which was about the potential for a new EU treaty. The article was nothing to do with this, so clearly Colin and I went into the debate in a highly sad state of being, as we were clearly discussing the wrong things. Again.

  3. ALEC

    @”re the Barruso Bombshell, I was likewise surprised that it hadn’t been picked up by others on here. In my view, this is political dynamite.”

    I agree-but we have to wait and see whether the politicians will really try to run with the Commission’s proposals.

    THis is shaping up to be an area of stress between the bureaucrats of the Commission ( lets just ignore the electors & get on with it) and the politicians who need to get re-elected persuading their voters that the UNited Federation of European States will be good for them.

    The stresses in Spain are mirroring this too. A State with supposed autonomous regions , who rack up unsustainable debts on hubristic “prestige” construction projects , only for the central government to pick up the tab.

    I note OldNat’s comments about Catalonia “subsidising” the central government. This is certainly the mantra as chanted in Barcelona.
    But if you read through the comments to this article in FT, you will see a different view being expressed.

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/6ebd07ee-fa5f-11e1-b775-00144feabdc0.html#axzz26NBSM8kx

    The EU really is creaking & groaning with the stresses of Monetary Union + Fiscal autonomy.

  4. ON:

    You’re more arrogant and self-certain than Peter hitchens, which is saying sommething: its not an admirable trait

    And you still failed to understand RR’s point, even after I explained it to you. He was castigating a point of view, not promoting it.

    As you tend to advise all and sundry – try to read more carefully BEFORE you are rude to people. Like Obama said about Romeny. you tend to shoot first and aim afterwards.

    Very sad.

  5. PAULCROFT

    @”You’re more arrogant and self-certain than Peter hitchens, which is saying sommething”

    ………certainly is considering PH is bonkers .

    :-)

  6. Colin

    Thanks for the link – alas I seem to have met my monthly limit for their articles, so can’t see the comments.

  7. PAULCROFT

    I’m sure RR doesn’t need an apologist.

    Had he wished to explain, he could have. He might even agree with your interpretation of his post!

    There is a certain irony, in that you are so certain of your own understanding of the truth! :-)

  8. Being a competent reader contains no irony.

    Bringong up Scotland all the time and then calling someone else names because they link it to wider events – now that IS ironic, perhaps even risible.

    fin.

    [mais do carry on on your own]

  9. OLDNAT

    Here is a flavour then :-

    goldrush | September 12 1:43pm | Permalink
    | Options
    Well said, XuloChavez. The Ciu have been a complete disaster in Catalonia- a corrupt bunch of Kleptocrats who have bled the region dry. Who can forget that great monument to Catalan governance, the Palau de la Musica Catalana, or their 8 regional state funded TV channels, or their 35 embassies! They can’t even afford to pay their army of bureaucrats & civil servants. The CIU, snouts buried deep in the trough, can only extricate themselves from the humiliation of bankruptcy by squealing ‘independence’, blaming Spain & hoping enough stupid people are ignorant enough to jump on the bandwagon as an easy way out rather than facing up to their responsibilities in La Crisis. “

  10. PAULCROFT

    Fin – should have come much earlier! :-)

  11. Colin

    Thanks.

    Not sure that such a comment would qualify as an unbiased assessment of the relative contribution by Catalunya to the Spanish state though! :-)

  12. I can’t copy them all OldNat-there are plenty of numbers flying backwards & forwards.

    You would feel very at home in that discussion.

  13. @Colin

    It sounds like the Scotsman (newspaper) for the Spanish.

  14. It was the FT-for the Spanish

  15. And all of the exclamation marks and all of the smilies couldn’t put Old Nat’s post together again.

    [with apologies to Humpty Dumpty]

    – and by the way its incredibly arrogant of to suppose that because YOU misunderstood a fellow forum members post and immediately leapt to your usual rude and premature judgement that he should be required to apologise, or that my patient explanation for your benefit somehow made me an apologist for him.

    There’s only one person I can think of who needs an apologist – and possibly more – and that is you me old love.

    On you drone though – I’m enjoying the sea air in St Ives now.

  16. @ Paul Croft

    “Yes, both touching and a sign of hope. Will Romney mention it or take it into account – or demonise?

    Well, not difficult to answer.”

    What he did yesterday was beyond the pale grotesque. It was atrocious and disgraceful. If a Democratic candidate ever does something like this in the future, I will condemn that candidate and if I’ve donated money to them, I’ll ask for it back.

    When the country is attacked, specifically our civilians, you absolutely do NOT use that moment to politicize the tragedy. You do NOT use it to start trying to score cheap political points.

    You also absolutely do NOT attack and criticize American embassy staff while they are currently in harm’s way and under attack.

    You also do NOT take the time to accuse your political opponents of sympathizing with the enemy.

    Finally, you do NOT smirk over the fact that 4 American diplomats have just been killed.

    Also, they’ve been doing this a lot through this campaign but outright lying is in bad form to say the least. That’s what he did again yesterday in order to politicize a tragic event.

  17. SOCALLIBERAL

    It’s been suggested that even senior Republicans have failed to support/criticise Romney for his comments.

    How much damage do you think his comments have done to him among independents/moderate Republicans?

  18. @Colin

    “The stresses in Spain are mirroring this too. A State with supposed autonomous regions , who rack up unsustainable debts on hubristic “prestige” construction projects , only for the central government to pick up the tab.”

    Could apply to any region in Spain. Same is true of the Communidad Valenciana and Madrid. And don’t get me started on Madrid/Barcelona/Valencia government subsidies for the local football teams (an even more,intriguing issue now, as these subsidies became local bank loan guarantees, and, given that Bankia incorporates Bacaja (valencia,regional bank) and,Caja Madrid (madrid regional bank) AND IS BEING BAILED out, the people of spain (and others) are keping,Madrid CF nd ValenciaCF afloat. In a manner of speaking. Madrid can pay their debts as they fall due. And Valencia has prime real property,assets that drawf its debt.

    Of course Valencia are not being helped as such, just being given more,time,to repay their debt. Madrid (and,Barcelona) have always,been,heavily subsidised. There’s that funny story (true) of how a few years ago when madrid were in trouble, they had to sell their training ground to finance their debt. The buyer? The local government, who not only,purchased the ground and the,land,it,was on for well above market rate, but also bought madrid a new training ground!

    Anyway Ciu are right wing moderate nationalists. Historically, they’ve allied with the PP in coalition (as have most of,the,nationalist parties, who are also right,wing).

  19. Nat

    Now this was worth reading

    Well said, XuloChavez. The Ciu have been a complete disaster in Catalonia- a corrupt bunch of Kleptocrats who have bled the region dry. Who can forget that great monument to Catalan governance, the Palau de la Musica Catalana, or their 8 regional state funded TV channels, or their 35 embassies! They can’t even afford to pay their army of bureaucrats & civil servants. The CIU, snouts buried deep in the trough, can only extricate themselves from the humiliation of bankruptcy by squealing ‘independence’, blaming Spain & hoping enough stupid people are ignorant enough to jump on the bandwagon as an easy way out rather than facing up to their responsibilities in La Crisis. “

  20. ROGERREBEL

    Was there a reason for your repeating Colin’s quotation of that?

  21. RAF

    Thanks-you obviously know a good deal about Spain.

    The country seems like a nightmare web of inter-linked debt.

    Those local politicians should be in jail-and the national government(s) which allowed it all to happen.

  22. @ RAF @Colin

    “A State with supposed autonomous regions , who rack up unsustainable debts on hubristic “prestige” construction projects , only for the central government to pick up the tab.”

    That could apply to any local council in the UK. Politicians are the same the world over when given access to money and little scrutiny.

  23. STATGEEK

    @”Politicians are the same the world over when given access to money and little scrutiny.”

    Yes………….which is where we came in isn’t it?………..in Athens.

  24. I don’t think EM would stand a chance up against Boris. The fact of the matter is that there is a world of difference in charisma and intelligence. EM v DC is more interesting, we shall see. If things stay as they are, I do think Labour will win the next GE.

    Both of the main parties are failing to see what is making Boris so popular. Its very simple, he is authentic and has integrity. Yes he might be posh and an etonian, but if you appear utterly genuine, you can get away with it.

  25. OLDNAT

    Thanks.:-)

  26. Good Evening All.

    On way home from school recruitment Open Evening, I heard a very good Radio 4 Programme about the recovery of Iceland, the country. Worth while to listen to it.

  27. COLIN

    “which is where we came in isn’t it?………..in Athens”

    Indeed – the birthplace of democracy (and associated problems) – still better than Statgeek’s joking alternative!

  28. Boris has integrity?

  29. ^ I think so. I don’t think we would get cynical political decisions with Boris, I think he would go with his heart.

  30. RICH O

    Some cynics might suspect that that moniker, and those sentiments suggest a somewhat light-hearted approach. :-)

  31. Boris has integrity?

    Much in the same way as Brutus had.

  32. ^ who would people describe as the most recent PM with a lot of integrity?

    I would say John Major. He was let down by people around him.

  33. ROGERREBEL

    Brutus did take part in a plot to rid Rome of a dictator. No doubt, for reasons of personal ambition, but that’s politicians for you.

    Should we assume that you disapprove of removing dictators?

  34. RICH O.
    Good Evening. I think JM’s spin on ‘Back to Basics’ was a disgrace, with the morality tale. Curry in the background.

    But he was very brave over Northern Ireland.

  35. CHRISLANE1945

    I still think “Rich O” is a spoof (carefully checks for no typos), but IIRC Major’s “Back to Basics” campaign wasn’t about personal sexual behaviour – but was one of those unfortunate phrases which was easily ridiculed.

    A hot curry can seldom be kept secret (etc etc)

  36. OLD NAT.
    Hello.

    JM did allow his people to spin Back to Basics as a moral cause. Single Parents were targets.

    Back To My Place: John Smith’s speech the night before he died.

  37. CHRISLANE1945

    “JM did allow his people to spin Back to Basics as a moral cause. Single Parents were targets.”

    That may well be true – though I’m not sure that JM had sufficient control over his party to allow or disallow them doing anything.

  38. Sorry, but for me John Major lost any credibility he might have had when he told the Scott Inquiry he had no recollection of cabinet discussions about export credit guarantees for Matrix Churchill, and that he might have been visting the toilet when they took place.

    “You are telling us that you might have been visiting the toilet each time this subject was discussed?”

  39. BILLY BOB

    Thanks. I didn’t know of that.

  40. @Statgeek – “That could apply to any local council in the UK.”

    No it couldn’t. If you could name three local UK councils who are in deep financial trouble or nearly bankrupt I would be very surprised. Only last year we had the sight of the government questioning why so many councils were keeping large cash reserves (as the government claimed) while making staff redundant.

    I suspect your statement was a little bit of ideologically inspired nonsense that sometimes slips out as you betray your prejudices.

    @Rich O – as others have commented, Boris as an example of integrity is genuinely funny. I suspect that up against Ed M he would badly exposed.

  41. @Old Nyat

    Major was in Thatcher’s cabinet at the time in question, but he was PM when he gave that humiliating excuse to the Scott Inquiry.

  42. BILLY BOB

    Ta

  43. ALEC

    My Council as Government auditors look at the books each year , and the Council as to hold 5% of it’s budget in reserve in Slough we hold 7% we added 1m this year.

    .

  44. @Richard O

    Boris has charm and charisma, I”ll gove you that. He’s also got a good heart. That’s what makes him likeable.

    I very much doubt he is more intelligent than Cameron Cameron has successfully managed to pass some pretty radical Conservative policies despite failing to get an overall majority That has taken a lot of political skill. And the way he managed the Hillsborough statement to Parliament showed was pretty flawless. He appeared sincerely and genuinelt shocked and stunned by the findings and criticised the police in ways I have never seen from a Conservative politian.

    There’s a “grass is greener” aspect to this Boris stuff. Boris can do London, where he gets a free ride fron the local Press (owned and edited vy his chums) on policy. It means he can simply be Boris the personality and get away with it. He couldn’t do thqt at national level.

  45. RAF

    ” I”ll gove you that.” Typo of the year! :-)

  46. Has the subsequent YG to the Boris one been mentioned?

    CON 33%, LAB 42%, LDEM 11%, UKIP 7% : Disapproval a mere 35%.

    http://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/tkdi1n6ngn/YG-Archives-Pol-Sun-results-120912.pdf

  47. “Disapprova” = “Net disapproval”

  48. @Billy Bob

    “Sorry, but for me John Major lost any credibility he might have had when he told the Scott Inquiry he had no recollection of cabinet discussions about export credit guarantees for Matrix Churchill, and that he might have been visting the toilet when they took place.”

    I wonder if the toilet was situated in the dental surgery that he famously had to attend, as an emergency of course, when he was meant to be speaking up, as a Cabinet minister, for his beleaguered Prime Minister, Mrs Thatcher? This absence from the scene at a crucial moment in the leadership putsch against Mrs T in 1990 allowed him to then appear, when the knife had been wielded by others, as a neutral beneficiary of Thatcher’s defenestration. He then became the untainted candidate to replace her.

    As Baldrick might have said; Major was so slippery that he would have slipped speedily down the unslippiest slope that has ever sloped. Has there been a ghastlier person to have ever became PM is the relevant question here.

  49. @Alec

    “If you could name three local UK councils who are in deep financial trouble or nearly bankrupt I would be very surprised.”

    If there was proper scrutiny, we would know how close to bankruptcy a council might be.

    Aberdeen Council off the top of my head. Try reading for more:

    http://www.taxpayersalliance.com/pensiondeficits2012.pdf

    Not being near bankruptcy is no way to suggest that an institution is in trouble. Councils do rack up debts on prestige constructions projects, and are bailed out by central government.

    From direct.gov –

    “How local government is financed

    Local government spending is about a quarter of all public spending in the UK. Local authorities are funded by a combination of grants from central government, Council Tax and business rates.

    In Northern Ireland, district councils still raise money through a domestic rate and a business rate.”

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