Boundaries update

The final section of the revised boundary recommendations, those from Wales, are now out. Most of the changes from the interim recommendations are shuffling about of a ward here or there – the biggest changes are around Cardiff and the valleys: the rather odd Heads of the Valleys seat has been abandoned and the salamandery Newport West and Sirhowy Valley has gone. Meanwhile a recognisable Cardiff Central has been resurrected. The return of Cardiff Central means the revised boundaries have one more Lib Dem seat and one less Labour seat. The changes now go out for a new round of consultation, after which the Commissions may make some final changes (from past reviews, these are quite rare and often minor tweaks or name changes) or confirm these as their final recommendations.

Adding all the revised boundaries together gives us notional totals for what the seats at the 2010 election would have been if counted on the new boundaries of CON 302 (down 4), LAB 222 (down 36), LDEM 51 (down 6), Others 25 (down 4). As ever, it is important to remember that there are (a) notional results for the last election, not what would happen now and (b) what seats would have been won if people’s votes had been counted on the new boundaries, NOT if they had voted on the new boundaries. Some people would have actually voted differently had the new boundaries been in force, particularly wards moving into Lib Dem marginals. For this reason I suspect notional calculations underestimate how well the Liberal Democrats would actually have done on these boundaries.

On current boundaries the Conservatives need a lead of 11.1% to win an overall majority on a uniform swing. They need a lead of 4.1% to be the largest party. Labour need a lead of 2.9% to get an overall majority. If the two main parties had equal shares of the vote Labour would have 53 seats more than the Conservatives.

On the revised boundaries the Conservatives need a lead of 7% to win an overall majority, they would need a lead of 1.4% to be the biggest party. Labour would need a lead of 4.7% to win an overall majority. If the two main parties had equal shares of the vote Labour would have 16 seats more than the Conservatives.

Note that all these targets are on a uniform swing between Conservative and Labour, they aren’t the same under all circumstances. Most notably, if Liberal Democrat support falls the sort of leads the parties need to get an overall majority get smaller. Given that the Liberal Democrats aren’t very likely to get 24% at the next election based on current polling, I’ve also given some illustrations on what the picture would be if the Lib Dems were on 12%.

On current boundaries, if the Lib Dems fell to 12% then the Conservatives would need a lead of 5.9% to get an overall majority, the Conservatives would need a lead of 3% to be the biggest party, Labour would need a lead of 0.4% for an overall majority. If the two main parties had equal shares of the vote Labour would have 41 seats more than the Conservatives.

On the revised boundaries, if the Lib Dems fell to 12% the Conservatives would need a lead of 2.7% to get an overall majority. Labour would need a lead 0.4% to be the biggest party and a lead of 3.8% to get an overall majority. If the two main parties had equal shares of the vote the Conservatives would have 3 seats more than Labour.

Of course, to some extent this all academic as currently the boundaries look unlikely to go through, with the Liberal Democrats repeatedly stating they will not do a deal on the boundaries. However, there was slight movement on another front yesterday. It is broadly assumed that the Conservatives could strike a deal with the DUP to support the changes, as well as the SNP, who do very well out of the boundary changes themselves (they are the only party who wouldn’t lose any seats at all). However, this would be not be enough to get them through. Yesterday, however, Plaid Cymru said they were also open to a deal to support the boundary changes in exchange for greater devolution to Wales.

On paper the Conservatives, SNP, DUP and Plaid together have a de facto majority in the Commons and could push through changes. In practice it still looks dubious, even if some deal could be struck (which is far from certain!), as it would require no Conservative abstentions or rebellions, and at least one Conservative MP has publically said he’ll vote against it. My expectation is still that the boundary changes will not happen.

Full notional figures for the revised boundaries for England, Wales and Scotland are now available as a google spreadsheet here (note that I have not done separate notional figures for UKIP in Scotland or the BNP in Wales, they are lumped in with Others).


113 Responses to “Boundaries update”

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  1. Aw, d’y’know: I’m genuinely upset for Mervyn Barrett. I hope the perpetrator is caught and the money recovered, tho’ I fear the latter is unrealistic.

    (If anybody wants to use me as an election adviser, incidentally, I’m equally useless but far cheaper and I don’t tell fibs. I also give *great* map and can, if pressed, slick my hair back like Olly).

    OT, I’m pleased that the “Heads of the Valleys” seat has been replaced by “Rhondda and Aberdare”. You couldn’t drive from one end of the former to another without going via another constituency.

    Regards, Martyn

  2. R HUCKLE

    Agree entirely.

    I should think the Lincolnshire Police are breathing a sigh of relief.

  3. @Tinged

    My point and I think that of @NickP was in terms of tactical voting distorting the national vote share. There was a lot of it for the LDs in 2010 and earlier in seats where Lab wasn’t competitive, whether or not the LDs actually won the seat. So the impact on the difference in Lab and Con vote share has to be considered in terms of all seats, not just those that the LDs actually won.

  4. @R Huckle

    I do not think there is any government funding for candidates in the PCC elections, excepting a small fund intended to aid disabled candidates in some of their expenses. (Access to Elected Office Fund)

    So yes, they will be dominated either by party funded candidates, or those with spare cash to spend on their campaigns.

  5. If you really want a wry laugh, just google the ‘Bristol mayoral candidates’ and then repeat after me’ I will not be so naive in future as to think this localism stuff is what we need’ .

    Here is one link (but one).

    h ttp://www.thisisbristol.co.uk/Bristol-mayor-candidate-Craig-Clarke-stands/story-17125575-detail/story.html

    These are the ones that have ’emerged’ so far.
    Here’s another link.

    h ttp://www.thisisbristol.co.uk/mayor-Spud-Murphy-taken-court-wound-firm/story-17024619-detail/story.html

    Well they voted for a mayor! It must be the effect of all that scrumpy. :-)

  6. @ Alex Harvey (from the previous thread)

    “Donald Trump may be revealing that Obama and Mrs O are getting a divorce? What the hell?

    Polling implications?”

    Well I have to tell you that just when I thought it was impossible for Donald Trump to get any more stupid, he just did. And as it turns out he had no divorce papers and instead his big announcement was nothing more than a bunch of crazy grandstanding coupled with a vague promise to give to charity.

    But let’s say he had (I did hear this rumor going around last night). It’s pretty common knowledge that the Obamas were contemplating getting divorced back in the early part of the 2000’s. They didn’t. Not that it would have mattered if they did (after all if divorce precluded one from being President, then there would have been no Ronald Reagan). You couldn’t find anything more pointless and irrelevant but it is something that would be alienating. It’s a nasty, vitriolic, angry assault and intrusion into private life.

    I doubt there would have been any polling implications. If any, a possible small move to Obama just out of disgust over this kind of attack. And Romney has been so closely associated with Trump that it would hurt Romney.

    “Can I ask, what are voter protection people?

    Absolutely! Voter protection is basically a group of devoted attorneys and law students who go to polling places and make sure that everyone who is entitled to legally cast a ballot is able to do so. They also help monitor the vote count, the effectiveness of the machines, and any problems that might inhibit voting, discourage voting, or delay voting.

    At the higher campaign level, voter protection coordinators (who are actually staffers on the campaign) help monitor legal developments (in this cycle, there have been many) that might hinder voting or enable easier voting. You also have at the higher level (usually in the various boiler room son election day), campaign attorneys ready to spring into action to file emergency injunctions in cases of voting problems.

    For example, let’s say you have a heavily minority precinct that, as per usual, is understaffed and under prepared. They have one or two election workers, 200 ballots, and three whole voting machines. Let’s say at the opening of polling hours, there’s a line of several thousand people all waiting to vote. You have people waiting hours in line to vote (and people start leaving the line because they get discouraged and need to get to work or go take their kids to school). Okay, this is a problem. At this point, a campaign (one that is on top of its game anyway) is going to have its attorneys go to court and file emergency motions to extend the polling hours and for other injunctive relief to make sure that everyone who wants to cast a ballot is able to.

    @ Anthony Wells (from the previous thread)

    “because obviously he’s a reliable source!

    I suspect the impact will be zero, as the sort of people who believe it will be the sort of people who aren’t voting Obama anyway on account of their belief that he is a secret Muslim who wasn’t born in the USA…

    …and is possibly a lizard… in league with Prince Philip’s international drugs cartel… etc, etc”

    LOL. That comment made my day.

    Let me just say this about Trump and his real estate development prowess. He ain’t got nothing on Leo Bing. :)

  7. Howard, compare those independents to those we get in bog-standard council elections and also the various parliaments and assemblies.

    I challenge you to spot any significant difference……

    I’m all for elected mayors as they have the potential to be more dynamic and imaginative than ‘death by committee’ models.

    I offer you London and Lewisham as two examples, both have proven to be far more innovative than the preceding councils.

  8. At the risk of reheating old arguments about electoral systems and boundary changes (haven’t we already run round this course and jumped all the fences many times by now??), while we continue to have the FPTP system, all a periodic boundary review does is to redistribute the grossly unfair spoils a little more evenly between the Tories and Labour. It’s rather like two burglars reallocating their ill gotten loot more equally. FPTP delivers electoral larceny on a grand scale whoever ends up with the most seats. So pre-boundary review, Party A gets 45% of the seats on 36% of the vote and after the review gets 53% of the seats on 38% of the vote. Well, what a democratic dividend we’ve got there then!!

    I’m still intrigued though by how these electoral registers compare with census populations. If, as the Electoral Commision now estimate, there are over 6 million unregistered voters in the UK, how “fair” are these revised constituencies going to be anyway?

    Boundary reviews under FPTP? Merely rearranging deckchairs on the Titanic in my view.

  9. Labour & the Tories will already have taken soundings with the Nats over the boundary changes. The Tories know they can’t get them through without at least some of the LibDems breaking ranks.
    8-)

  10. Here’s a question of the day. In my on-going hypothetical, What would David Cameron do? series:

    A Tory Parliamentary candidate announces in a local debate that he opposes abortion in all cases because he’s thought about it and really, pregnancy resulting from rape is just all really part of god’s wonderful plan.

    What would David Cameron’s response be? :)

  11. I believe the policy of the previous administration (throwing things about the office) is still in place for emergencies such as this.

  12. Good Evening All.

    SOCALLIBERAL.
    in the UK I think there are no intelligent people who would argue that God plans a rape, or has it in Her/His plan either.

    There are many people who believe that at Conception the human life being developed is sacred and that a soul has been enfleshed. Many of us would also say that the 24 week limit is arbitrary, since if a person is a person at 24 weeks, then why not at 23 weeks.

    If you are being serious in your question then I would put to you an answer that many of us do try to see in our sufferings an opportunity to enter into the passion of Christ who also carries us at our most vulnerable. Hence many of us would say that mothers and their partners who do give Life a chance and so allow a baby to be born who is, for example, disabled, are in fact very close to the person some of us call God.

    Such arguments are almost not heard in Labour circles which is why Labour lost many seats last time, here in the UK.

  13. Socal

    That’s a very sick joke

  14. “Such arguments are almost not heard in Labour circles which is why Labour lost many seats last time, here in the UK.”

    Personally I believe Labour’s stance on abortion had practically no effect whatsoever on the result of the 2010 election.

  15. Social,

    Odd thing when you drift into theology and abortion links theology with law.

    As a practicing catholic I am against abortion, but only to the extent that I wouldn’t want someone to do it and would like to live in a society where given the choice they would choose not to.

    The key part is that it should be their choice and not mine.

    On the “God’s Plan” bit I tend to see at as the physical and spiritual being separate. The world runs on automatic with things like physics and evolution and whether you get pregnant are purely biological.

    For me God judges us on how we deal with what nature deals us and the choices we make. Having lost a son to an inherited genetic condition I look back on his life as a good one and him as a beautiful child who just made it to being a fine young man.

    I don’t think we are judged, if we are actually judged as individuals at all, on how long our life us but what we do with it.

    Oddly as a member of a faith that is supposed to be strict I find myself to be far more liberal, politically and socially than many in the US who believe themselves to be Christians.

    I am a gospels man who sees the Old Testament as simply allegorical rather than literal and tries to live life in line with parables.

    Peter.

  16. Socal:

    In England generally there is a very different attitude to religion, per se. So, turning it back on you, how would Americans react if, like Ed Miliband, a party leader said he/she was an atheist?

    Here it hardly warrants a mention.

    So we have a sort of dichotomy where ceremony of a religious nature is regularly used, especially to mourn prominent death but religion, as a believed reality, is not something most people feel part of.

    As an illustration of the ambiguity although I am strongly atheist when I was younger I was able, quite casually, to fill my religion in as “C-of-E” because it really meant nothing more to me than I was English and, at that time, it seemed to be vaguely expected.

    As to your question, Cameron wouldn’t need to do anything.

    But it is inconceivable anyway.

  17. SOCALIBERAL

    I imagine Cameron would find another candidate.

  18. @SocalLiberal

    I had a look earlier at Nate Silver’s fivethirtyeight blog, and in particular the maps and projections for the Senate races. The current projections seem to indicate that the Dems will take the Senate by 52-48. However tgere are enough toss-up seats to suggest the Dems could do better.

    Do you think the Dems can get to 55 seats? Would that be enough to vlocl a Republican filibuster?

  19. @Steve on Bristol mayor

    Actually until he lost his seat in the local elections, Spud Murphy was a senior Conservative councillor and might well have been their candidate.

    How about this one then? :-)

    http://www.thisisbristol.co.uk/Mayoral-candidate-Eric-Mutch-drops-election-race/story-17110810-detail/story.html

  20. I think Socal is referring to Richard Mourdock, and Romney has hastened to distance himself from his remarks.

  21. re the mini-sized abortion debate above (and we probably don’t need to let it grow too much past conception), I think the answer would be something linking it to the Big Society and all that.

    As for being a vote winner, probably not.

  22. @SocalLiberal

    As a relative conservative on personal morality issues, I have no problem with the idea that everything that happens is God’s will. But that doesn’t mean that God likes that it happens. If people are to be accountable for their actions (religiously), the they must have some degree of free will. If their exercise that free will in a wicked, vicious way then that is their choice. So it is God’s will to have given the individual the free will to make the choice to perform the act. And it is God’s will not to have prevented the act from happening (but,had he,done so, what would be the point of free will?)

    Where I disagree with the Senator is over abortion. Let’s be clear. I’m generally anti abortion. But my position is not absolute, as my religion allows for exceptions (eg – mother’s health at risk, rape/incest/other means of non consensual sex, etc). In fact I think it quite,wrong even to suggest a raped woman must bear the rapist’s child. And even worse for a,man to publically articulate this as being hoss view.

    I don’t think Cameron or Milliband (plenty of social conservatives on the Lab benches,too) would summarily dismiss a colleague for making,the Mourdock statement. But they probably would seek them to explain/clarify them

  23. @RAF,

    My position is the same regarding abortion. You’ll get a lot of stick on here for saying that though (I did). Many will think you evil.

  24. @AmbivalentSupporter

    Yeah, but i’m lucky. Many think that already :)

  25. chrislane1945

    There are many people who believe that at Conception … a soul has been enfleshed.

    You have clearly fallen into to heresy of the pre-existence of souls and I am sending the Bishop of Bournemouth round the excommunicate you (and, given that it is an Origenian heresy, possibly cut your b*ll*cks off).

  26. Roger

    Very clever comment, it was fun looking up the reference on wiki

  27. I’m not sure that, apart from at a medical level, men should have anything to do with this. In my view it is almost entirely a female decision.

    We need some polls to get off the subject: I am worried about Romney. Going by worldwide polls the world will think America is mad if they elect him.

  28. “LDEM 51 (down 6)”

    My quick count through (I could be wrong) makes it Lib Dem 47 (down 10).

    In which case LDs would still be losing out more (proportionately) than other parties.

    Has anyone checked these figures?

  29. SoCalLiberal

    Here’s a question of the day. In my on-going hypothetical, What would David Cameron do? series:

    A Tory Parliamentary candidate announces in a local debate that he opposes abortion in all cases because he’s thought about it and really, pregnancy resulting from rape is just all really part of god’s wonderful plan.

    What would David Cameron’s response be?

    “What would Jesus do?” :P

    Actually he’d give the same answer that any other British politician would: “This is a matter for personal conscience, but I do not agree with X’s views myself”.

    Actually I have a sneaking admiration for those who adopt this view[1] which at least has some sort of moral consistency. After all if you believe in the “personhood” of a foetus, its back-story should be irrelevant.

    [1] Or at least I would have, if I knew that, if something similar happened to them or one of theirs, they wouldn’t be off to the nearest out of State abortion clinic before you could blink.

  30. Well you can’t say I didn’t warn you. The PCC elections had the word “cl*sterf*ck” tattooed across it collective (low) forehead in technicolour, and are certainly living down to expectations. Of course the motivating force behind it was the Westminster Bubble’s belief that those sub-humans who live beyond the more fashionable parts of central London can’t possibly be expected to govern themselves and so independent “celebrities” should be elected to save then from local councils in the form of Mayors and now Commissioners.

    The realisation that the ungrateful natives don’t think this is good idea has led to the PCCs being imposed without a vote – and the right to vote away Mayors being abolished. Still the process lumbers on in all its inept glory and will no doubt provide endless amusement from now on (not that it will reported in the ‘national’ press), through the elections of various has-beens, nutters and fascists on the votes of their mums and their cats (with those turnouts, four votes should be enough) and though years of chaos and corruption till the whole farce is got rid of.

    And Bristol is undoubtedly mad enough to deserve a Mayoral election (if not a Mayor). I particularly enjoyed the row between the member of Massive Attack and the member of the 13th Century secret society.

  31. Talking of religion did anyone see the bit pn BBC website , about a vicar at a prison who kept a diary of all the nangings he enjoyed watching?

    Instead of last rites, or hippy stuff like that, he would bellow at them:

    “YOU’LL BURN IN HELL FOREVER !!! YOUR SOUL IS DAMNED !!!!” [etc etc]

    One of the guys was hung for stealing a letter.

    Goes to show that the moral high ground is a funny ole place.

  32. Rog:

    I am thinking of getting my little border terrier a puppy for xmas. What might clinch the decision is if you think the voting system is so rubbish that the votes of BOTH puppies could make me mayor of barnard castle.

    I wouldn’t be keen about getting up early though in order to do whatever it is that mayors do.

    HA! I’ve just got AK 47 as a captcha. I think I shall start collecting the gudduns.

  33. @Billy Bob – “(I could be wrong)”

    You are wrong. Currently you make it Lib Dem 49 (down 8) and it is too late to check through again.

  34. Paul Croft

    The Conservatives sent Lord Sanderson to Stornoway to persuade the constituency party to dump a non-local unknown and unauthorised candidate with extreme views( including anti-abortion) whom they had selected.

    He stood as an independant and got few dozen votes.

  35. John,

    Just out of interest how many more than a few dozen did the final Tory get?

    Peter.

  36. @ Richard in Norway

    “That’s a very sick joke”

    Lol, perhaps.

    Btw, don’t know if you saw but a new WBUR/MassINC poll but it has your hearthrob Elizabeth Warren (my brother’s too….he did give her money) leading incumbent Scott “Teabagger” Brown 50%-44%. This poll has been the most bearish on her and in fact, the last poll by this outfit had Warren trailing by 3%. With less than 2 weeks to go, this is pretty good news.

    @ Howard

    “I think Socal is referring to Richard Mourdock, and Romney has hastened to distance himself from his remarks.”

    Well yes and no. I mean how’s this for fantastic timing. Romney just cut an ad for Mourdock that started running in Indiana where he strongly talks about how much we need the man in the Senate. And it’s not being taken down even as they attempt to distance themselves.

    @ Roger Mexico

    ““What would Jesus do?” :)”

    Well I often ask myself “What would David Souter do?” Or sometimes insert other judges or politicians into the equation. I might as well occassionally ask about David Cameron.

    “Actually I have a sneaking admiration for those who adopt this view[1] which at least has some sort of moral consistency. After all if you believe in the “personhood” of a foetus, its back-story should be irrelevant.”

    You’re probably right.

    @ Paul Croft

    “I’m not sure that, apart from at a medical level, men should have anything to do with this. In my view it is almost entirely a female decision.”

    Yeah, I pretty much agree.

    “We need some polls to get off the subject: I am worried about Romney. Going by worldwide polls the world will think America is mad if they elect him.”

    I do too. But the misreporting of the polls is actually something that might have an unintended beneficial consequence.

    I have said that there are two different kinds of undecided voters this year. There are traditional undecided voters who will pick between one of the two candidates. Then there are undecided voters who will either vote for Obama or not vote at all. Those voters might get pushed to actually turn out and vote if they are told that the polls are close and that their vote might actually matter or be needed.

    Much of the early voting push (at least in competitive states) seems to be turning out many of those unlikely voters.

    @ Colin

    “I imagine Cameron would find another candidate.”

    I think so too.

  37. @ RAF

    “I had a look earlier at Nate Silver’s fivethirtyeight blog, and in particular the maps and projections for the Senate races. The current projections seem to indicate that the Dems will take the Senate by 52-48. However tgere are enough toss-up seats to suggest the Dems could do better.

    Do you think the Dems can get to 55 seats? Would that be enough to vlocl a Republican filibuster?”

    Hmmm, that would mean that the Democrats lose a net seat. I think if the election was held today, we would see the following pickups:

    Republicans:
    Nebraska

    Democrats:
    Massachussetts
    Maine
    Nevada (I’m being VERY bold here on this but….)

    So that would be a Democratic net gain of 2, meaning the Democrats would have 55 Senators.

    In terms of pure tossup seats:
    Indiana (Republican held)
    Arizona (Republican held)
    North Dakota (Democratic held)
    Montana (Democratic held)

    There are some other seats that were thought to be tossups but I think at the moment are leaning Democratic:
    Virginia
    Florida
    Missouri
    Wisconsin
    Ohio

    Hawai, Michigan, New Mexico, and Connecticut are also Likely Democratic at this point.

    As for the rest of the seats:

    Safe Republican:
    Utah
    Missisippi
    Wyoming
    Tennessee
    Texas

    Safe Democratic:
    California
    Washington
    Maryland
    Rhode Island
    Vermont (technically he is a Socialist but he caucuses with the Democrats)
    Pennsylvania
    West Virginia
    Deleware
    New Jersey
    New York

    To answer your question, would 55 Senators break a filibuster? No. You need 60 for that and even then, it’s difficult because you get Democrats who are more conservative or from difficult states or simply want to grandstand to get what they want.

    I think that if Obama is reelected to a second term, he will do what Bush did during his time in office and simply use reconcilation to pass what they need. They foolishly did not use this during the first two years and Obama paid a huge political price for it.

    It may also depend on the House. House is very hard to poll and very hard to predict. My gut feeling tells me that control for either party in the House is going to be by a few seats and will depend on who wins the Presidency.

  38. @ RAF

    “As a relative conservative on personal morality issues, I have no problem with the idea that everything that happens is God’s will. But that doesn’t mean that God likes that it happens. If people are to be accountable for their actions (religiously), the they must have some degree of free will. If their exercise that free will in a wicked, vicious way then that is their choice. So it is God’s will to have given the individual the free will to make the choice to perform the act. And it is God’s will not to have prevented the act from happening (but,had he,done so, what would be the point of free will?)

    Where I disagree with the Senator is over abortion. Let’s be clear. I’m generally anti abortion. But my position is not absolute, as my religion allows for exceptions (eg – mother’s health at risk, rape/incest/other means of non consensual sex, etc). In fact I think it quite,wrong even to suggest a raped woman must bear the rapist’s child. And even worse for a,man to publically articulate this as being hoss view.

    I don’t think Cameron or Milliband (plenty of social conservatives on the Lab benches,too) would summarily dismiss a colleague for making,the Mourdock statement. But they probably would seek them to explain/clarify them.”

    I had no idea how many profound responses I would get for my comment. I appreciate your comments and I respect your views on abortion even if I don’t agree with them.

    @ Paul Croft

    “In England generally there is a very different attitude to religion, per se. So, turning it back on you, how would Americans react if, like Ed Miliband, a party leader said he/she was an atheist?

    Here it hardly warrants a mention.

    So we have a sort of dichotomy where ceremony of a religious nature is regularly used, especially to mourn prominent death but religion, as a believed reality, is not something most people feel part of.

    As an illustration of the ambiguity although I am strongly atheist when I was younger I was able, quite casually, to fill my religion in as “C-of-E” because it really meant nothing more to me than I was English and, at that time, it seemed to be vaguely expected.

    As to your question, Cameron wouldn’t need to do anything.

    But it is inconceivable anyway.”

    I don’t understand why there is so much opprobrium towards atheists. I really don’t. A friend of mine suggested to me that people have this assumption that atheists somehow lack a moral compass and therefore are willing to do anything without any fear of retribution. I don’t buy it for a second.

  39. @ Peter Cairns and Chris Lane

    I think the problem is not with the pro-life position but the belief that somehow true rape does not lead to prgnancy or that somehow rape is a good thing. More importantly, I think it is a problem when you have Senate candidates who not only believe that but want to mmake changes to the law with that as their basis.

    @ Roger Mexico

    Paul Ryan is consistent that all abortion should be illegal because all life begins at conception no matter how it is created. He’s smart enough to know that rapes can lead to pregnancy. He’s also smart enough to know that rape isn’t a good thing.

    Romney believes the same thing that Paul Ryan believes even though he’s now denying it (but it’s in his party’s platform and he’s said as much and it’s on tape).

    @ Peter Cairns

    I am sorry about the loss of your son. I appreciate your comments greatly. That can’t be easy to discuss.

  40. Con 33, Lab 43, Lib 9, UKIP 8
    Approval -36

    Who is to blame for local cuts?
    Central Government – 40 (+1)
    Local council – 31 (+2)
    I am not aware of cuts – 18 (-3)
    No real movement there – although I suspect as we approach the new financial year and some councils have to budget for really tough savings (Birmingham council being the recent prime example), we may see ‘I am not aware of..’ fall.

    BBC reporting that we should have 0.5% growth from the bank holiday and up to 0.2% from Olympic tickets but plugging the forecasts of 0.7-0.8% growth.. but those forecasts assume 0.4% from the bank holiday and 0.1% from the Olympic tickets with underlying growth of 0.2-0.3%, so if the BBC are right on 0.7% from ‘special effects’ that would indicate that GDP is going to be 0.9-1%, if forecasts are accurate.

    1% growth in GDP would probably do wonders for the coalition’s economic competence polling and if the press feel like being ‘on side’ could potentially shift VI.

  41. “Labour prepares for the worst (good news on the economy)”

    The Spectator.

    :-) :-) :-)

  42. I think Colin is right though, if 1% growth doesn’t claw back some support for the Tories they might be in trouble!

    Of course then there is a real hostage to fortune with the next growth figures (January?). If VI fluctuates with GDP it might be a rollercoaster.

    The one thing that might (might) get the Tories up to that magic 40% support mark it is a period of sustained economic growth. But what makes that unlikely (apart from austerity) is the economic outlook elsewhere in the world.

    We should all be pleased if things improve…but I don’t think there will be an immediate upswing for the Tories if growth is reported today. But if we get growth all next year and things begin to feel better, then we just might.

  43. Growth all next year ain’t going to happen. Most other countries are heading into recession or are already there plus Mr king has already been warning about the need to recapitalize the banks(he means bail out) this economy ain’t going nowhere. If DC and co make a big song and dance over one quarters GDP figures that are exceptional they will look really stupid next year

  44. I read this morning that this quarter’s figures reflect the spending on the Olympics going back 18 months. Regardless of when the activity took place during the last six quarters, it is being included in this quarter.

    If so, what is the outlook for next quarter when previous spending won’t be included for statistical reasons?

    If this growth is a result of ‘tory success’ won’t it be hard to go back to blaming Labour for the next quarter, if it is a return to slump? What do you think Colin? Will it be an easy swith back to make?

    Hubris is not a winning tactic. You’d think a govt of PPE students and classicists would know that..

  45. GDP = 1%

  46. @socialliberal
    “I don’t understand why there is so much opprobrium towards atheists. I really don’t. A friend of mine suggested to me that people have this assumption that atheists somehow lack a moral compass and therefore are willing to do anything without any fear of retribution. I don’t buy it for a second.”
    That accusation is something we atheists continually have flung at us by fundamentalists whose bible condones things like slavery, stoning adulteress women to death, putting to death entire towns because one person doesn’t believe in God and killing people who work on Sunday just to name a few.
    I’ll stick to humanitarian morals thank you and not those supported by god.

  47. GDP +1.0% – my prediction was clearly pants then!

  48. @Mikems – “If so, what is the outlook for next quarter when previous spending won’t be included for statistical reasons?”

    Your post is very apt. 0.5% of this figure should be the bounce back from the extra bank holiday, and the Olympics probably have also added a bit. Ernst & Young, who were predicting +0.8% this time, have penciled in +0.2% for Q4, so the Government should be cautious about ramping up this figure too much.

  49. I think the reason for including some of the Olympics spend in Q3 2012, is that some of the contracted works were not finished until close to the games opening. Therefore rather than muck around with stage payments being included within the stats for the relevant period, it was probably easier to include these when all payments were made.

    There is also the consideration that Q2 GDP was under-estimated due to different factors and therefore there was going to be bounceback in Q3 anyway.

    Therefore I suspect that Q3 GDP at 1% is probably about right and that Q4 GDP will be less than half this amount. There has been some recent economic data that suggests that some sectors may decline over the next 6 months.

  50. Excellent news for the country and government…No wonder Cameron couldn`t contain himself yesterday…Will we see a few more Tories on these pages?

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