Or perhaps more accurately, a round up of polling bits and bobs that I’ve missed over the last week or two!

The BBC

There has been various polling on the BBC and the Jimmy Savile affair, most of it generally damning. Of particular note though is this poll from ComRes, who rather than asking whether the scandal had changed respondents’ opinions managed to dig out some questions from a poll they did for Newsnight back in 2009 to repeat. 62% of people agreed that the BBC was an institution we should be proud of, down from 76% in 2009. 45% of people thought the BBC was trustworthy, down from 62% in 2009. Obviously with a three year space we cannot assume that the drop is linked in anyway to the Savile affair, there could be many causes over the last three years, but either way it is a sharp drop in public regard of the BBC.

Scotland

There have been several polls on Scottish Independence over the last month. I mentioned the Ipsos MORI quarterly Scottish monitor, but there have also been polls by Panelbase (who are a member of the British Polling Council, but seem to be far from pro-active when it comes to publishing tables! Thanks to Roger Mexico for finally wringing some tabs from them) and two from YouGov that had referendum questions, one for the Better Together campaign and one for The Courier.

Ipsos MORI/Times (amongst those certain to vote) – YES 30%, NO 58%, DK 12%
Panelbase/Sunday Times (amongst those likely to vote in Scot Parliament elections) – YES 37%, NO 45%, DK 17%
YouGov/Better Together (all voters) – YES 30%, NO 56%, DK/WNV 14%
YouGov/The Courier (all voters?) – YES 29%, NO 55%, DK 14%

Party leaders

As well as voting intention this month’s Ipsos MORI poll included their tracker on whether people like the the main parties, the party leader, both or neither, a question I’ve written about in the past. 41% of people say they like David Cameron, down from 47% when MORI last asked the question in January 2011. In comparison 35% of people like the Conservative party (down marginally from 37%), meaning that David Cameron is still a positive for his party, out performing them by 6 points (down from a 9 point advantage in 2011). In comparison 37% of people like Ed Miliband, hardly changed from the 36% who liked him in 2011. 51% of people like the Labour party, up more substantially from 45% in 2011. This means Miliband trails behind the Labour party by 14 points (up from an 11 point gap in 2011).

Police Commissioner elections

Also from Ipsos MORI was this curious poll of voting intentions in the Police Commissioner elections. The quoted headline figures were Lab 16%, Con 8%, LD 4%, Others 3%, Independent candidates 30%, Wouldn’t vote 27%, Don’t know 11%. MORI normally take the approach of only including respondents who say they are 10/10 certain to vote, but in this case only 15% of people said they were certain to vote, and a sample size of about 150 people would be of no use to man nor beast.

I am dubious about the results anyway – polling contests where there are lots of independent candidates who may, or may not, have a chance of doing well is a difficult task. People invariably tell pollsters that they would like to vote for Independent candidates, and invariably fail to do so when actually given the chance – if you just put on a generic “A candidate that is not representing a political party” people tend to imagine some idealised Independent candidate who agrees with them, rather than the somewhat idiosyncratic sorts who actually stand as independents. Time will tell, but I sincerely doubt that independent candidates will get 50% of the poll in the police elections. Given the limited number of constituencies and the uneven pattern of parties contesting them, I think this may be a contest that would be best polled by asking people which county they live in and giving them a list of the actual local candidates to choose from. The expected low turnout however still makes it a tricky challenge to poll.


262 Responses to “Things you may have missed”

1 2 3 4 6
  1. CHRISTOPHERMARS

    @”I think he’s saying we already have them,”

    Not in The Times- he’s not.

    “One of the areas where I suggest change is that in order to get people with the experience of procurement you’re going to have to go outside & recruit them”.

    He champions devolving more power to local level-including via elected mayors ( where he is out of step with public opinion it wouls seem)

    He argues for “Whitehall as a smaller, strategic centre with focus on diagnosis strategy-setting & monitoring”.

    Times Leader.

    I think all of this will find receptive readers in Cameron & Maude , for whom the Civil Service is apparently an “Italian Tank”.

    Where he will raise eyebrows is his clear advice to DC to stop p***ing about on airport expansion & make his mind up.

  2. POLLY THE CAT

    Welcome.

    A neat turn of phrase :-)

  3. Colin :)

    NickP If the cap fits…..

  4. jarrod

    No a troll on the internet sets out to stir up or inflame arguments, using tactics such as faux indignation and claiming to shield weaker or more delicate (but entirely imaginary) site users from things that will offend or upset them.

  5. @nickp

    So your remarks about 2 disasters were not intended to stir up or inflame an arguement?

  6. jarrod

    No.

    And you are really concerned that just mentioning two disasters from distant parts of the world by name would be in some way upsetting for children to read?

    No.

  7. A slight worry for me…I tend to agree with Heseltine about having some real localism.

    Not mayors though! But getting some regional regeneration boards or equivalents back up…and certainly central strategic thinking.

  8. @Colin

    The examples he used with Wintour suggest that he believes that they do exist outside Whitehall though e.g. Howard Bernstein (CEO of Manchester).

    To be honest it appears that the report is so wide ranging that anyone can pick or choose what you like from the findings. Well anyone apart from George Osbourne can.

  9. Jarrod Trolling is where you state a provocative opinion, which you may not even personally believe in order to provoke a reaction.

    For example if I was to come on here, saying Vote BNP, Nick Griffin for PM, he’s going to free us of the ethnic problem etc. That’d be trolling, because I’d be saying it in the hope of provoking an angry reaction from others on here.

    Like when Gary Barlow’s baby was stillborn and people were posting joke to his twitter account hoping to provoke a reaction from him.Like child bullies they thrive on the reaction that they get from it.

  10. For those who are interested in the EU Budget per se, rather than today’s irrelevant politicking in HoC-read this .

    http://daventrycalling.livejournal.com/127798.html

    If you got over half way count yourself as a Europhile.
    If you got to the end -you probably work in Brussels.

    If you gave up , saying “what the f*** does all this mean?”-you are normal & understand why the EU will eventually collapse under the weight of it’s own Byzantine procedure & verbosity.

  11. @nickp

    Well i have no wish to cause an arguement.

    I guess i just dont like it when people make jokes about such things when people have died in those events but thats just my thoughts.

  12. JARROD

    Your response to a silly & provocative remark about was quite reasonable.

  13. A group of 4 state polls show Obama narrowly ahead in Virginia, Florida, Michigan and Ohio – the first time for a while he’s been ahead even by a squeak in all four.

    I understand that the refusal rate for pollster in USA is up at around 9 in 10 calls and that pollsters cannot call cellphone users and many in US now don’t have land-lines. I assume this will make this election a sterner test than usual for all pollsters.

  14. On trolling generally (and to get away from the back and forth) this is a good description:

    Trolling is a game about identity deception, albeit one that is played without the consent of most of the players. The troll attempts to pass as a legitimate participant, sharing the group’s common interests and concerns

    I would argue that Colin and I argue a lot as we disagree about a lot, but I like to think we are both genuine participants (even if AW would rather we didn’t argue). A troll is NOT interested in genuinely participating, just inflaming passions.

    Having said that, I withdraw my accusation that jarrod is a troll and accept that the Chernobyl reference didn’t add anything to the discussion.

    Back to normal dissent.

  15. The Times leader opines that Heseltine’s model for elected mayors is not the modern party hack, but Neville Chamberlain.

    Chamberlain’s period as Mayor of Birmingham was transformative of the cultural, civic, & industrial wellbeing of that city. He pushed through slum clearance , water & sewage facilities which transformed health in the city.

    iHe banged heads together, fought vested interest & mobilised public & private resources.

    It is no wonder that he is revered in that great City to this day.

  16. MANINTHEMIDDLE

    To me and many others including the late Kenneth Williams ‘trolling’ had an entirely different meaning…beyond even its vulgar one of to wonder aimlessly.

  17. NICKP

    well said :-)

  18. Joseph Camberlain-stupid of me. Always get father & son mixed up.

  19. John Murphy,

    US pollsters can call mobile phones (and most of those with human interviewers, rather than robocalls, do), though there is a bizarre legal restriction that they can only call mobile phones if they are dialed by hand. Mobile only households are considerably more common in the USA than here, so it is indeed an issue.

  20. @Colin

    Huh? I’m currently down with flu, and could read through that pretty easily. I mean, it’s hardly “See Spot, See Spot Run”, but it’s explaining a complicated negotiation process over funding a multi-national institution. Some level of complexity should be expected, and compared to HMRC regulations this is pretty clear and simple!

  21. AW: I really am totally confused by your moderation policy. Yesterday a load of posts were removed/snipped despite them being very mild and often humorous and you took the trouble condemn them with a “enough now” post.

    Yet today we have arguments about nuclear disasters and accusations of trolling allowed to pass completely untouched.

    As with footy referees one longs for consistency …. and I knoiw its your site etc etc

    Paul

    […too continue with the football analogy, what does arguing with the ref get you? Capiche? – AW]

  22. As a non-Tory voter I think the stupidest thing they ever did was to not elect Heseltine as leader. Their slow loss of support dates from the time they chose Major, though it was concealed for a brief while.

    I also think he would have made an excellent PM – especially of a coalition within a PR system.

    Realistically though no-one can really unite the Tory party; their right and left are not two wings but two parties.

  23. @ Paul Croft

    Lets be fair to Aw this may be hissite but has other work as well so can not moderate 24/7 I am sure he will take a look at thingswhen he gets back. Give the lad a break.

  24. Dear Mr M

    You miss my point: I say its HIS site because it is and he can therefore moderate it as he sees fit.

    I was actually aware that he probably didn’t moderate it 24 hours a day, with staff bringing him sandwiches, but since Anthony HAS actually posted since the back and forth of “trolling” stuff I assume he has seen it and decided it was within the “rules” – hence my confusion as to yesterday’s wholesale deletion of considerably milder and more relevant posts.

    Ok ?

  25. @ Paul Croft
    Heseltine could never make it. Alan Clarke’s diaries reveal how he was hated by the Tory right. How gleefully Clark quoted Emily Dickinson when Hezza lost the election
    “A great Hope fell
    You heard no noise
    The Ruin was within”
    Hezza was even struggling to get readopted by his Henley constituency. He was replaced by the “scented popinjay”.
    @ Colin
    Both Joseph Chamberlain & his son Neville were Mayors of Birmingham. Lloyd George described the latter “as a good Mayor of Birmingham in a bad year”.
    AJP Taylor described Neville as “by far the most effective social reformer of the inter-war years”. He converted a Victorian system of social administration into what long stood as its modern form.

  26. @ John Murphy

    “A group of 4 state polls show Obama narrowly ahead in Virginia, Florida, Michigan and Ohio – the first time for a while he’s been ahead even by a squeak in all four.

    I understand that the refusal rate for pollster in USA is up at around 9 in 10 calls and that pollsters cannot call cellphone users and many in US now don’t have land-lines. I assume this will make this election a sterner test than usual for all pollsters.”

    He’s been ahead in Michigan, Ohio, and Virginia pretty much the entire time. Florida is a lot closer but he’s been doing a lot better in that state than he did in 2008 (where it looked like McCain would keep it until the very end). Florida probably depends on turnout. A highly touted CNN poll proclaiming a 1% Romney lead actually showed Obama leading by 7% among registered voters…..a detail hidden in its report.

    Now here’s some amazing poll reporting news. Over the weekend, FOX News’s Brit Hume said that a poll would come out on Monday showing Romney with a 5% national lead. On the blogosphere, right wingers were totally excited and numerous leftwingers were frightened. On Monday, this mentioned poll came out showed Obama leading nationally by 1%. Even though the poll was released, a number of reporters continued to talk about how this poll was showing a 5% lead for Romney (why bother to actually look at the poll itself when you can simply rely on what Brit Hume says instead?).

  27. “Obama leads by 5 in Wisconsin and Iowa”

    PPP Poll

    I think Romney has both run out of time and is falling further behind anyway. The storm won’t have helped either.

  28. ROBBIE ALIVE

    I lived & worked in Brum for over thirty years.

    Joseph Chamberlain is a source of deep & abiding affection & pride there.

    Listening to Hezza on DP-speaking from Birmingham-he clearly has the JC model in mind.

    He is talking of devolvement of powers to City “states” with powerful elected Mayors ; all within Unitary Local Authorities.
    His Local Enterprise Agencies are not the arm of Whitehall which Prescott & his ilk so love-but local decision makers-and crucially , with much more of Whitehall’s money to spend.

    It is a vision which DC certainly shares-LEPs rather than the old RDAs-elected Mayors being examples.

    But Elected Mayors did not exactly meet with universal approval.-though I doubt very much whether the average voter could have conceived of them in the way Hezza does.

    And as for Whitehall releasing mega loads of dosh to truly local dispensation-one can imagine the reaction from the Treasury Mandarins.

    Hezza’s vision does seem to rely on a ready supply of people like Neville Chamberlain. Sadly they don’t seem thick on the ground these days.

  29. @ Billy Bob

    “Chris Christie keeps cropping up in this campaign… the will-he-won’t-he, and the “Now is not my time” declaration in October 2011.

    In August this year it was reported that Romney wanted him for his running mate, but was insisting that Christie would have to resign the NJ governorship because of campaign contribution rules. Christie is said to have doubted that they could win – but he did give the keynote address at the GOP convention. My guess is that the Romney campaign sees Christie appealing to similar sections of the demographic as George Dubya.

    Btw Ed Davey, who is quite slim in comparison, is reported to have been given a strict diet by senior colleagues, which he has to adhere to if he is to be Nick Clegg’s successor.”

    I feel like Chris Christie has the chance to be America’s Nicholas Sarkozy. You know, a living embodiment of all the worst stereotypes about a nationality all in one President.

    I feel like his weight is off-limits as an area of attack but I don’t like it when Chris Matthews describes him as a “normal guy.” I don’t think morbid obesity is normal or should be considered normal. It bears no impact on his intelligence, competence, or even discipline, but living like that is NOT healthy and should not be encouraged.

    Christie’s speech at the RNC was not very good. It was all about him and not about Mitt Romney or the Republican Party. Frankly, I think Christie is kinda overrated. He won narrowly in a race that everyone in his position has won for the past 4 decades and he did so against an incumbent who was extremely unpopular. There’s a little bit too much emphasis on red state and blue state. Voters will dump unpopular governors no matter where they are.

    That story about him is probably made up. Romney would never have picked someone like Christie to put on his ticket. The last thing he needs is someone who is going to speak his mind whenever he feels, go rogue constantly, and upstage him regularly.

    Lib Dems are smart to keep Ed Davey on a diet. Labour is much luckier though (Jim Murphy keeps himself on a diet).

  30. colin

    I think you and I agree that money should be distributed locally.

    I would go further. If we have have a right wing central government but locally a socialist is elected, let them govern the way they want locally. If that means in house employees and no outsourcing and even higher local taxes, so be it. If the local people don’t like it, they’ll vote them out.

    Same the other way around. If the central Government is socialist let the local councils outsource if that’s what has been voted for.

    Don’t forget Maggie dismantling the GLC cos she didn’t like what they did, despite having a mandate for it from the electorate. You might not like Ken, but that’s what Londoners voted for.

    All parties preach localism, but they all seem to practice iron central control.

  31. ROBBIE ALIVE

    Re ED-have you read “Lives Like Loaded Guns,” by Lyndall Gordon?,

    A great biography of a wonderful & baffling poet.

  32. Nick

    Thanks.

    I agree with your last sentence.

  33. He is talking of devolvement of powers to City “states” with powerful elected Mayors ; all within Unitary Local Authorities.
    ————–
    City states are an interesting idea. Labour usually does better than the Conservatives in urban areas. It’s quite endearing, the way that Tories keep coming up with new positions of authority for Labour politicians.
    8-)

  34. Does anyone here ever follow the political betting odds?

    Obviously you never see a poor bookie and obviously their odds are to an extent based on bets taken so that they can’t lose but just wondering if anyone has followed the odds knows how accurate they have been.

    If they are then I don’t know why there is even an Obama/Romney discussion as Obama seems odds on to win.

    One thing I found a little bit strange was that the Ladbrokes odds suggests the Greens will lose their one seat they have (and not get any others). I kind of assumed that having won Brighton and being a sitting MP it would not be that easy to lose.

  35. SOCIALLIBERAL

    What is the effect of the Hurricane. If this was the UK the government would be getting a boost at the moment – does it work the same in the US?

    Also unless there is a completely rogue result things are looking v good for Obama. The Romney momentum has stopped and it now looks like the momentum is with Obama.IMO

  36. Looks like the deciding states in the US will be Ohio and Virginia, possibly Wisconsin too. At least we won’t waiting up all night to know the result.

  37. @ Nick P

    “PPP Poll

    I think Romney has both run out of time and is falling further behind anyway. The storm won’t have helped either.”

    The important thing to note here is the upward trend for the President within the same poll as well as an increasing lead among independents.

  38. “Does anyone here ever follow the political betting odds?

    Obviously you never see a poor bookie and obviously their odds are to an extent based on bets taken so that they can’t lose but just wondering if anyone has followed the odds knows how accurate they have been.

    If they are then I don’t know why there is even an Obama/Romney discussion as Obama seems odds on to win.”

    I think you’ve misunderstood the nature of odds and probabilities. If the bookies (in this case Intrade etc) are saying that Obama is 60% likely to win then it means that in ten election scenarios Romney would win 4 of them*. Now clearly there is only one election, which means that whatever the result we will never know if the win/lose prediction was accurate.

    We can see how accurate the polls are to the numbers predicted of course, but that wasn’t what you were asking.

    It seems as if the betting markets are being a little more pro-Romney than the polling companies (fivethirtyeight is making Obama 77/23 favorite at the moment), but even then it suggests that Romney is not yet out of the running.

    *Yes, I know it’s not that straightforward, lets say “we might expect Romney to win in the vicinity of four”

  39. @KeithP

    It depends on who wins Ohio. Romney pretty much needs to win it, but Obama has several other options. So an Obama win in Ohio lets us go to bed, but a Romney win doesn’t.

  40. On trolls:

    I identify them as anyone who disagrees with me and has the cheek to write in to say so.

    Surely that’s everyone’s view?

  41. COLIN.

    Joe Chamberlain’s defence of municipal socialism was wonderful and brave.

    Then he destroyed the Liberals and Gladstone over Irish Home Rule/Devolution.

    Then he destroyed the Tories over tariff reform, after the Boer War, which was called ‘Joe’s War’

  42. Colin
    As Jayblanc implies, it takes all sorts. The Daventry article is, as indeed you imply, meant for the EU-literati, but basically, in this instance, I guess, politicians, money men and civil servants who have to make or influence decisions about whether and how we let the EU create a tax system which they can use, that is use to govern; or we retain a hold on what we permit from our national revenues, and from what part, and thus keep a grip on policies and public sector investments. All the ORDs etc (as against Trolls) are a bit of a turn-off, I agree, but once you’ve got the language, it’s not irrelevant to choosing a DC/GO or an EM/EB approach and to whether you need a referendum. On the latter I think definitely not.

  43. CHRISLANE

    “Municipal socialism” ?

    I don’t think so.

    The Liberal Unionists don’t read like Socialists to me.-and didn’t they govern in Coalition with the Conservatives?

    His Birmingham civic action programme included slum clearance programmes, which were triggered by Disraeli’s Artisans’ & Labourers’ Dwellings & Improvement Act.

    He looks like a Big Society Radical Liberal Conservative to me.

    He was also a self made businessman who didn’t go to Oxford or Cambridge :-) :-) :-)

  44. JOHN PILGRIM

    I think Gisela Stuart is on the right lines.

    There are big decisions about what UK’s membership of EU ( outside EZ) can really mean , once the era of fiscal & monetary union , and pooled sovereignty becomes reality.

    The minutae of the EU Budget is but one factor which points to a direction for UK which Gisela Stuart ( given her Party allegiance) been bold & realistic in pointing to.

  45. Socal Liberal

    “Now here’s some amazing poll reporting news. Over the weekend, FOX News’s Brit Hume said that a poll would come out on Monday showing Romney with a 5% national lead. On the blogosphere, right wingers were totally excited and numerous leftwingers were frightened. On Monday, this mentioned poll came out showed Obama leading nationally by 1%. Even though the poll was released, a number of reporters continued to talk about how this poll was showing a 5% lead for Romney (why bother to actually look at the poll itself when you can simply rely on what Brit Hume says instead?)”

    :-) :-)

  46. We’ve seen a glimpse of the problems faced by this coalition today, with a very firm bit of briefing from the Tory energy minister regarding wind farms, apparently backed (to a point) by the PM, being met with an extremely belligerent press release from the Lib Dem Dept of Energy and Climate Change Sec of State.

    Part of the release reads – ““There are no targets – or caps – for individual renewable technologies such as onshore wind. Nor are there reviews being done of onshore wind on the basis of landscape or property values.

    “What we’re currently consulting on are ways of making sure local communities feel the benefit of hosting wind farms, and whether our understanding of future costs is accurate.

    “Onshore wind is one of the cheapest renewables, which is why we’ve been able to cut the subsidy. It has an important role to play in our energy future.””

    This really is quite remarkable, in that the only reference for these notes is to directly and very publicly contradict a fellow minister.

    I’m not interested here in the actual subject matter of the debate in question, but this demonstrates how uncontrolled the communications strategy of the government is. In terms of policy and the impact on industry, it really is pretty damaging – no one really knows what will happen, and business can generally cope with anything except uncertainty. We’ve already lost most of our turbine production capacity in the UK due to uncertainties about government policy, which is in itself quite remarkable for Europe’s windiest country.

    It also demonstrates how difficult things are likely to get as the next election approaches and the two parties look to distinguish themselves while remaining together in government. The British electorate traditionally doesn’t like confusion, and with a limited grasp of how coalitions have to work, I suspect that this problem is going to get progressively worse for Cameron.

  47. Re: the EU Budget
    Can someone explain why Germany is so keen to increase the budget, rather than side with the UK & see it reduced? Given that they are an ‘efficient’ people, you would think that they would be keen to drive out waste & introduce efficiency, wherever they could. I have worked for a German owned company & I know that is how they work.
    Yet they side with bueaurocratic France, against the UK.
    What do ordinary Germans think, has any polling been done recently?

  48. COLIN.
    Yes, he called it municipal and gas and water socialism.

    You can find the quote anywhere: ‘Of course it is socialism, and none the worse for that’ he declared.

    At war with Gladstonian laissez faire retrenchment, he was.

    That is one reason for his belief in tariff reform; to raise the money for welfare.

    It is actually my area of academic interest.

  49. Potentially a highly relevant political message here – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financialcrisis/9645990/Austerity-will-raise-UKs-debt-burden-warns-NIESR.html

    Essentially the NIESR is saying that government austerity is increasing, not decreasing the debt burden.

    While this is a counter intuitive stance to take, and is much more difficult to portray in simple terms to the electorate than ‘borrow, borrow, borrow’, this is just the kind of intellectual cover that Labour have been seeking.

    To date, the arguments around borrowing and ‘too far, too fast’ have largely been conducted at a distance, with both sides focusing on their preferred areas of contention, and the debate rarely meeting on the same ground. This is why we have tended to characterise the debate as between ‘growth’ and ‘austerity’. As a result, the ability of each party to gain traction has been relatively limited, and the debate in general has been of limited quality and difficult for normal voters to judge.

    This report, pretty much for the first time, tackles the issue in a directly comparable way, and the government line comes off distinctly second best. By judging austerity against the government’s own metric (debt) and finding that it will worsen the situation, it is everything Labour could possibly have asked for.

    Effectively, if the NIESR is correct (and I’m not claiming necessarily that they are – just making an observation on potential polling effects) this would completely blunt attacks on the Opposition.

    This report alone won’t do anything for VI, but it comes after a period of subtle retrenchment in views of organisations such as the IMF and others regarding austerity. If this is a further sign that the intellectual balance has shifted, it won’t be long until the ‘austerity = greater debt’ leaks into the broader public consciousness, and if this does happen, and it mirrors the real life experiences of voters, the government will be sunk.

  50. Germany as in the German government not people, want to increase the EU budget as they want the EU to become all consuming, and play a bigger part in our lives.There is a big difference between German people (many of whom despise the Euro and long for the Deutschmark) and the German government who want more Europe, and think the answers to Europe’s problems is more Europe. Personally I’m Pro-European, and want a Federal EU that treats the UK as an equal but I don’t think it should be forced on people, anyone in Europe without their consent.

    I don’t agree with Nazi comparisons, but I do feel there are people in the corridors of power in Berlin who rather like the current control Germany exercises through Europe through it’s contributions. Greek economic policy being made in Frankfurt not Athens for example.

1 2 3 4 6