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”

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  1. @ROBERT C
    “This will not help Labour pick up votes because I don’t think anyone believes it is for one moment”

    Labour may/may not pick up votes but most people will agree with them that the EU budget should be cut specially when so much is being cut at home.

  2. Here’s why a “veto” isn’t really a “veto” at all
    http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/2012/10/why-david-cameron-can-threaten-to-veto-the-eu-budget/

    Note the urgency of the matter – the deadline is December 2013 :)

  3. Her Majesty’s Opposition’s duty is to oppose’

    Disraeli 1872

  4. PAUL

    I agree with your comments about the US politicians’ response to Sandy.

    I do hope the fine words actually translate to help on the ground though.

    The TV pictures of the damage are truly staggering, as is the length of coastline affected.

    Some of the pictures are reminiscent of Aceh Province Indonesia in 2004.

  5. At the moment the UK holds all the cards.

    If we want the budget to stay the same, except to rise for inflation, then that’s ok as that is what happens if their is no agreement. I doubt we will get a cut, but it won’t rise above inflation without our approval either.

  6. Good grief. I give in.

  7. @ MIM

    Amber, I wouldn’t give those figures much credit. Denmark is one of the more Eurosceptic nations along with UK Sweden and Czech Republic. Norway aren’t even in the EU.
    ———————
    Take it up with You Gov… it’s their tracker. Peter Kellner’s wife is ‘our woman in Europe’ so I think YG will know what they’re doing with this; unless Anthony contradicts me, I’ll go with the YG version rather than the received wisdom/ perceptions of what people in EU countries think about it.
    8-)

  8. @Robert Newark – “Simple way to stop it – do surprise inspections, unannounced.”

    Stories of false headcounts of livestock to claim subsidies are almost certainly true, in UK as much as in France. The way to stop this was to introduce the Single Farm Payment in 2003, which ends the practice of headage payments.

    Since then, EU farmers have been paid a single payment based on land area, with no incentive to up the stock numbers. The impact has been dramatic and welcome. In the UK, sheep numbers have declined by 30% in the decade from 2000. This has greatly eased over grazing in many areas, but has also seen prices for lambs and wool climb sharply, so farm incomes are better now than pre SFP.

    The switch the SFP is actually a textbook study of how the EU CAP distorted the industry in a way that hurt taxpayers, damaged the environment and yet still made farmers poorer.

  9. On the EU vote, at present, this looks politically a very good win for Ed M, but there is a slim chance it may not last.

    Clearly he had an inkling of a win at PMQs today, when he threw the line about DC being weak and compared him to John Major. That really is a painful barb to skewer a Tory PM on, but it looked prescient after the vote result.

    Yes, of course it is opportunistic, but I doubt voters will see it that way. The simple clip of Ed M reeling off the percentage cuts in departmental budgets, and then saying the PM has already given up on cutting the EU budget before the negotiations have even started, was very powerful.

    Two things could go wrong. Firstly for Ed, Cameron could go to Brussels and actually negotiate a cut in the budget. In one fell swoop, he would secure his right flank, bring the Tory press onside, and have a real victory to show to the voters. If this happened, I would expect Labour nashing of teeth and a good size Tory poll bounce. It’s a highly unlikely outcome though.

    The other thing that could go wrong, probably for DC but also for Ed M to a degree, would be that no budget deal can be agreed. My understanding is that this would mean that the facility to invoke an inflation matching increase automatically then comes in to play. I could be wrong on this, but I think this is what happens under the various treaties.

    Overall however, it’s Cameron facing the problems. He is negotiating from a very weak position, and even a strong performance is likely to look like a defeat. Oppositions thrive in these circumstances – they have no responsibility, so throwing spanners into various works is what they do, remaining generally safe from the resulting mess.

  10. US Elections

    Is there any reason why the Gallup polls look like outliers? They seem to have Romney consistently ahead by 4-5 percentage points, the others either have a dead heat or Obama slightly ahead (based on the BBC website).

    This consistent difference makes me wonder if it is down to methodology?

  11. My favourite BBC radio presenter, the sublimely sardonic Eddie Mair, was in vintage form on this evening’s Radio 4 PM programme. He was reporting on the farcical Janusesque wind farm policy of the coalition with John Hayes, the Energy Minister saying one thing and his boss, Ed Davey the Energy Secretary, saying another. He concluded by telling us that he had invited both Mr Hayes and Me Davey on to the programme to clarify the Government’s policy on wind farms and green energy supplies but both had declined to appear. Accordingly, in their absence, Mair announced that he would play a 30 second recording of wind blowing instead. He duly did so, much to the hilarity of this listener as he drove his traffic-ridden way back home after work.

    As for tonight’s Tory backbench rebellion on the EU budget, and Labour’s decision to roll another ball into the ever empty net, I tend to agree with Rob Sheffield’s observation that the government has become a rolling political shambles that shows no sign of abating. Worryingly for the coalition, I get the sense that a good swathe of the electorate has noticed too.

  12. Landocakes – my understanding is that they have a much tighter screener for likely voters than most other pollster which ends up favouring the Republicans

  13. I don’t think there’s going to be a big polling shift for EM being opportunistic. It’s basically what can be expected from an opposition party.

    Reminding voters of John Major was bound to happen at some point. That might have more impact, considering how things went for him on the same issue.

  14. @Alec

    Some prescient points as ever. You are right about EU budget real terms “roll-over” subject,to,an, agreement to the contrary.

    There are 10 net contributors and 17 net beneficiaries, so there was always going, to be,zero chance of such an agreement.

    So why were DC/Tories briefing yesterday that they would use the veto if, they didn’t get,a,real teams decrease when such an eventuality is practically impossible anyway? Once again DC was trying to be,too clever. But this time Labour called his bluff.

    Let this be a lesson to DC not to bragg about things he can’t do

  15. The EU Council is simply becoming like the US Congress. Gridlock. The 17 net beneficiaries (plus France) will never agree to cut the budget, and 9 others won’t all agree to raise it, so the current budget will just roll over and keep track with inflation which is a pretty decent compromise, even if no one actually made the compromise.

  16. The entirety of the EU actually not just the Council, as even if you can get the council to all agree (very unlikely in this climate) then you still need to get the parliament and the commission on board as well good luck with that, since Lisbon the Parliament has been increasingly finding it’s voice and willing to vote against decisions.

    A good thing to cut out of the EU budget would be the monthly trip to Strasbourg. at €180 million it’s not a big dent in the budget but if money is tight, there’s money for a nice project somewhere lying around.

  17. Another little addition to the pot of the EU argument:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-20155813

    “A senior European Commission figure has said he believes an independent Scotland would not need to apply for EU membership.

    Graham Avery, an Honorary Director General of the EC, said Scots had acquired rights as EU citizens over the past 40 years.

    They could not be asked to leave the EU and apply for readmission, he argued.”

    That will create a week of ‘nyah’ arguments.

  18. Statgeek
    “Graham Avery, an Honorary Director General of the EC, said Scots had acquired rights as EU citizens over the past 40 years.”

    Presumably that means that English people are EU citizens as well. Does anyone know how I renounce it?

  19. PETE B

    Become a US citizen.

    Statgeek

    Avery’s analysis is at least non-partisan, and a welcome change from both sides making assertions.

    The full note is here

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmselect/cmfaff/writev/643/m05.htm

  20. @MitM

    I can’t help thinking that discounting a YouGov survey in favour of sheer gut instinct is one thing, but to do it on a site dedicated to YouGov surveys deserves some sort of prize … :-)

    @OldNat

    You got there just before I did: I read HC643 earlier in the day (were we haunting the same sites?). He seems to have got it about right, both in the strict legal requirements and the practicalities.

    Regards, Martyn

  21. @Pete B

    Move to Scotland?

    @Statgeek

    Nobody is asking the Scottish people to leave the EU and apply for readmission. They’re doing the former entirely of their own free will and, if they want, can do the latter of their own free will.

    @OldNat

    Avery brings up an interesting point: that Scottish membership of the EU (if it attains it) would be a continuance of its existing[1] membership rather than the cessation of one membership and the starting of another. It may seem like an arcane point, but this is important for things like contract law.

    Regards, Martyn

    [1] assuming without concession, and for the sake of argument, that Scotland has an existing EU membership.

  22. MARTYN

    “I read HC643 earlier in the day (were we haunting the same sites?).”

    Not surprisingly, HC643 has had extensive coverage on many Scottish political sites today.

    I find it interesting that the No campaign is concentrating on a “fear of the unknown” strategy. While I can see why, it is vulnerable to both rational analyses of “what is likely” like this , and to their unwillingness/inability to specify what Scotland’s position in the UK would be given a No vote in the referendum.

    It’s an interesting question whether negativity or positivity will win out.

  23. Martyn

    To be precise, the citizenship case isn’t that of “Scottish membership”, but the “membership (citizenship) of Scots”.

    If there is a Yes vote in 2014, then it will be for a dissolution of the present union with England (as subsequently amended), but for continuing union with the EU (regardless of whether individual Yes voters want that last bit or not!).

    In terms of the EU, commercial law is rather important. For the EU to want to interrupt normal arrangements, in order to reinstate them soon after,would be rather foolish. That’s implicit in Avery’s para 14.

  24. @ Paul Croft

    For your reference, the leaders of the states declared disasters/emergencies affected by the hurricane:

    Chris Christie (R-New Jersey)
    Dan Malloy (D-Connecticut)
    Jack Markell (D-Delaware)
    Martin O’Malley (D-Maryland)
    Tom Corbett (R-Pennsylvania)
    Andrew Cuomo (D-New York)
    Bob McDonnell (R-Virginia)
    Lincoln Chaffee (I-Rhode Island)
    Vince Gray (D-District of Columbia)

    And then there’s New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I-New York).(And yes, that is all from memory, not wikipedia).

    What’s ironic (and shows you how these disasters operate) is that in the beginning of the storm, it looked like Maryland and Delaware were going to take the hardest hits for this. There were major evacauations of Rehoboth Beach and the Eastern Shore but then New Jersey got hardest hit and NYC got really damaged. My best friend from high school is living in NYC now and he’s on 45th Street, literally 5 blocks from being without power. I should check on another friend of mine in NYC who lives in the 50’s (but with his new job, he could have moved to Chelsea and he’d be without power). Another friend is in the low 70’s, probably should check on her.

    Here was a photo of Obama and Christie together:

    http://nj.gov/governor/media/photos/2012/eventphotos/20121031b/20121031POTUS121.JPG

    According to one reporter, Christie was basically at Obama’s side all day long from the moment he arrived and wouldn’t leave his side. Apparently, it’s more jarring because New Jersey’s two Senators, Bob Menendez and Frank Lautenberg are there. And Lautenberg and Christie apparently do NOT get along.

    All I can say is that they’re doing their jobs as they were elected to do. That’s why we have these people in office. They’re our leaders. We have no King or Queen or other nobility or rulers to do it for us (or at least pretend to).

  25. @ Old Nat

    “Become a US citizen.”

    Speaking of which, I think you’ve mentioned that you have relatives in Maryland. If you speak to them with any regularity, please share with them that early voting in Maryland has been extended (thanks to Martin O’Malley’s executive order) to this Friday and polls will close at 9 pm to make up for the missed days of early voting due to cancellation from the hurricane.

    It’s good to close the polls later to ensure voting (normally polls in Maryland close at 8 pm…..I don’t know if they will be open until 9 pm on election day, but 9 pm for early voting for now).

  26. @ Amber Star

    “And a useless but cute bit of info. for SoCal, over 90% of Europeans – if they could vote in the Presidential election – would vote for President Obama.”

    Not completely useless as there are naturalized citizens in the United States who are from Europe and hopefully they can be influenced by their former countrymen (although I find that European expats are often Republicans…..British expats are usually Democrats). It helps if they vote for Obama. Also helps to have poll greeters and canvassing for them because of important downballot races. How many Europeans grew up voting on one ballot in Parliamentary systems? How many need to be instructed to vote for Senatorial and Congressional races?

    And it does have an impact. Just think about the quasi-predecessors of today’s Republican Party, the Federalists, who enacted the Alien and Sedition Act in order to stop naturalized Europeans from voting (since so many seemed to vote for the Jeffersonian Democratic-Republican, Thomas Jefferson).

  27. @ Couper2802

    “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?”

    Well (it’s a bit ghoulish to talk about this), it seems that the President will get a bump from this because his response has been excellent. See, e.g., effusive praise from hardline Republican Chris Christie. And I have every faith and confidence in the President to do his job and do it well. He’s proven himself time and time again.

    However, if things go awry, things will go downhill for him. See, e.g., Hurricane Katrina.

    “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”

    The momentum had stopped and reversed earlier this month, shortly after the second debate. Obama had momentum before the storm. The storm has put the campaign on pause….sort of. Mitt Romney has continued to campaign hard against the President (even while in some cases pretending not to).

    @ The Sheep

    “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.”

    So does an early Obama victory in Florida or an early Obama victory in Virginia. Either of which is possible at this moment. We’ll see. Virginia wasn’t close last time, it only appeared that way because of how the vote count was conducted.

  28. @ Couper2802

    And I gotta tell ya, this Romney response to the hurricane has been pretty bad and pretty low, even by Romney standards.

    I mean, he has continued to campaign even while claiming to suspend it. He had this phony relief event yesterday in Ohio (which for the most part is not in the disaster zone) and basically, they spent their time collecting canned goods to give to the Red Cross. The Red Cross has been explicit in that they do NOT want foodstuffs or toys or any other kinds of objects, they want cash. In fact, this exercise is entire counterproductive.

    The juxtaposed image today of Chris Christie saying the most gushing things about the President (I mean, better than even David Cameron could) with an enraged Jeb Bush yelling in Florida about how Obama has failed to bring the country together (and reminding people of what a great job his brother did….no really….not an Onion headline) looks crass, opportunistic, and totally phony. Americans aren’t dumb and can see for themselves that what is being said doesn’t comport with reality.

    The reminders of incompetent past presidencies strengthen a President who can actually do his job and look competent. Remember former FEMA head Michael Brown of Hurricane Katrina fame (“you’re doin’ a heckuva job here Brownie”)? He actually had the brass to criticize Obama and FEMA for responding too quickly to this disaster…..again, not an Onion headline.

    As for Romney, he could have easily sat down and written out a personal check for a million or two to aid disaster relief efforts, no sweat off his back with the fortune he has. He could have even told his supporters that up to a certain amount, he’d match their contributions to the Red Cross or some other agency. He and Ann could have opened up one of their homes to conduct a massive fundraiser for Hurricane relief efforts. With his rolodex plus all the big campaign contributors he’s got, one or two evenings at one of his homes with some nice catering could have raised record amounts.

    He could have called up his buddies from his country club and his Rotary Club (if he’s a member) and his City Club (cause’ those are more common back east), those who have major successful real estate development and construction firms and gotten them to commit to donating some of their construction crews and machinery to states trying to clean up. He could have called up some of his friends in the hotel industry and gotten them to offer housing to those who are longterm out of power. He could have called up some of the state leaders (and btw, it’s never a good thing to not call and then say you have, which is something he’s done) and asked them what they need and what he could help get them. It’s what a real leader would do. It’s good politics but it’s also good for the country.

    He’s chosen not to and instead has carried on in full campaign mode against the President, comparing the plight of the Hurricane victims to all Americans who are apparently victims of the Obama presidency. Perhaps I should be glad (from a purely partisan perspective) that he’s hurt himself politically as a result.

  29. @SoCalLiberal

    Wow. Romney certainly is a doucheb…. very badly advised.

  30. Con 33, Lab 44, Lib 9, UKIP 8

    Best PM?
    Cameron – 32 (-1)
    Miliband- 24 (-1)
    Clegg- 5 (nc)

    Best for Britain?
    Majority Conservative – 29 (-1)
    Con/Lib coalition – 6 (nc)
    Lab/Lib coalition – 13 (nc)
    Majority Labour – 32 (+2)

    Although the subsamples are tiny (so beware!), a majority of both 2010 LibDems and current LibDems would prefer some sort of Labour government to a Conservative one – the largest proportion after a Lib/Lab coalition.

  31. There are good policy reasons for labour moving in an eurosceptic direction, namely the health “reforms” which can’t be undone without breaking euro law(this is what I hear Martyn will be sure to correct if I’m mistaken). It would be a bit silly to wait until they get into power to start pushing the EU on this issue, by giving notice that they intend to awkward they improve their negotiating position but it still might be necessary to leave the EU to save the NHS.

  32. It will be interesting to see Lab and EM get a VI bounce / surge following the gov’s defeat on the EU budget.

    I quickly read many of the posts on here from Con supporters and there is it see,s disbelief that EM could have inflcited this defeat especially as this would apepar to be contrary to his pro-EU stance.

    I sugegst EM has ben very clever. The split in the Cons over the EU has been exposes, DC’s weakness has been exposed (again); and Lab and EM show they can take tough decisions to protect the UK and its people, and also have perhaps taken a tentaive step towards re0lainging the party in its position regarding the EU. The latter in particular IMO is important electorally.

    EM should be well-pleased.

  33. ugh,typos, sorry

  34. Mike N,
    I can’t see it making much difference to Lab VI/Ed M approval but it could push up UKIP VI and push down Cameron’s approval.
    And although it would be an ‘artificial’ increase in the VI lead (as Lab would be effectively sitting still), it would still make artificially good headlines (much like when Cons recover voters from UKIP and we see negative ‘Labour lead shrinks’ stories even though Labour VI remains unchanged).

    And if Ed wishes to continue to use the coalition’s own policies against them for further embarrassment, I’d suggest he push for Heseltine’s plan to be implemented in full.
    Not only would they get to harp on about a ‘Plan B’/U-Turns (despite the government commissioning the report, so it wouldn’t in reality be a U-turn), it allows Labour to temporarily have an alternative to the current austerity, until they’ve finished the policy review fully.

  35. TF
    “I can’t see it making much difference to Lab VI/Ed M approval”

    You may wll be right, but there is a high level of antipathy to the EU among the UK electorate, and a good slice of existing or potential Lab supporters feel this way…so, it will be interesting to detect any increase in VI and appropvale for Lab/EM in the next few days.

    Of course, the other thing the defeat has done is that were DC to use again the non-existent veto as some ply to imporve Con VI and his own approval, this will be seen as simply folloing the wishes of Parliament and the people. It will not have the same effect as last year’s non-veto.

  36. “ply” = “ploy”.

    ((Hmm, does “ply” work in the context, anyway?))

  37. Has this coalition put people off wanting another coalition in their life time ? Polling suggest that people prefer majority governments and ths may affect the way they vote.

    Will the Lib Dems suffer as a result of a change in peoples attitude towards coalition ? I think it is possible that in some seats, we could see the Lib Dems vote reduced significantly, as people choose between Labour and Tory. Of course in Scotland, it is more complicated with the SNP possibly likely to take some of the Lib Dem votes.

  38. Just when you think Politicians can sink no lower we have Labour siding with Tory rebels on a vote against the Government over a issue that if they were in power they would never have supported.
    Yes I agree it’s the oppositions duty to oppose, its not the opposition’s duty to support recommendation’s that oppose there own views on the EU, given that their whole track record is in support of EU spending.
    Which ever way you look at it this was a cynical move by Miliband just so he could grab a few headlines and nothing else. Miliband is always going on about honesty in politics there was precious little honesty in the vote last night.

  39. Going back to the thread (!) does anyone here intend voting (or spoiling their ballot) here?

    If so, could anyone tell what motivates them? I assume some just put a cross by ‘anyone (my party)’ on the ballot and stick it back in the post, but have we any (like me) who are renegades (I’m a spoiler).

    From the poll, I assume that only the loyal partisan kind of voter will vote.

  40. I shall vote for a Police Commissioner.

    I think they are a good idea. I believe in local Democracy.

    I have checked the candidates out on-line ( we have five)-read their backgrounds & thoughts-made my mind up.

    Simples

  41. @ Howard

    I will not vote in Police commissioners election, because I am not bothered. I don’t think it will make local Police more accountable, but will just authorise someone earning an excellent salary, with a comfy office with support staff.

    As for spoiling ballot papers, I have only done this once. It was for a local election when the only candidates were Lib Dems or Tories. There were no choice to vote for independents. Previously there were some independents who were elected, but for some reason they did not stand again. Presumably there was some local campaign issue at the time. I always prefer to vote independent in local election and not for main UK parties.

  42. MIM
    “A good thing to cut out of the EU budget would be the monthly trip to Strasbourg. at €180 million it’s not a big dent in the budget but if money is tight, there’s money for a nice project somewhere lying around.”

    Couldn’t agree more but it would require a treaty change apparently and France wouldn’t agree to it anyway. I do think it is rather bizarre that the ‘handout’ countries get a vote on the budget, the same as those who fund them. Surely those who pay the piper should choose the tune?

    Alec re: EU Farm subsidies. Thanks for that, I hadn’t realised that fiddle had been stopped. Only 999 more to go then :)

    Turk
    “Just when you think Politicians can sink no lower we have Labour siding with Tory rebels on a vote against the Government over a issue that if they were in power they would never have supported.
    Yes I agree it’s the oppositions duty to oppose, its not the opposition’s duty to support recommendation’s that oppose there own views on the EU, given that their whole track record is in support of EU spending.
    Which ever way you look at it this was a cynical move by Miliband just so he could grab a few headlines and nothing else. Miliband is always going on about honesty in politics there was precious little honesty in the vote last night.”

    Couldn’t agree more. Compare these opportunistic antics with those of Obama & Christie. Now that is ‘grown up’ politics. Adversaries working for the good of the people. Of course it’s the job of the opposition to genuinely oppose things they don’t agree with, but not for the sake of it and in a way that damages our reputation abroad.

    Frankly I am starting to get totally fed up with the lot of them. I certainly never want to see another coalition government.

  43. The Times reports some Labour MPs overheard whilst going into the Con Rebel Lobby last night, saying they were very unhappy at the vote.

    On the face of it EM has more control over his MPs than DC.

    Whether it is a good or a bad thing for an MP to vote with his/her conscience and/or constituents’ interests; rather than with the Party Instruction is an eternal matter of debate in our system.

    Labour MPs more “tribal” than Conservative MPs?-there’s another question.

    What will the public make of it?. The two headlines I have read this morning are just what EM whipped his MPs to achieve.

    Does it have a VI plus for him? Will we ever know.?

    Can’t help feeling that he has given DC some bullets to fire at some appropriate point in the future.

  44. I shall vote for a Police Commissioner.
    Like Colin I think they are a good idea as I also believe in local Democracy. Too often in the past we have seen Chief Constables remote from the public, and not doing what the public wants being seemingly more interested in keeping a clean sheet, so they get their ‘gong’, when they retire.
    I have checked out the candidates ; there are 3; one Labour (ex MP), one Tory, one Ind. I shall vote for the independent.
    In fact I would like to have seen ex politicians barred from standing. We need the great & the good, not party hacks, in these positions. Like judges they should be apolitical.

  45. ROBERT

    @”In fact I would like to have seen ex politicians barred from standing. ”

    Me too.

  46. Legitimate questions raised of Ed Mili.

    But what of Cameron-He seems weak with every passing day,not being in control of his own MP`s.How did the coalition with a majority of 86 lose yesterday by 14 votes?I think voters tend not to vote for divided parties and weak leaders.

  47. I will not vote for a Police Commissioner. I don’t think they will make police more accountable. When important things are being cut we should not be creating a non job which such a high salary.

  48. Robert Newark – are you in Warwickshire too? The Independent is in reality a Tory who didn’t get the nomination. Another potential independent (a former copper) pulled out in his favour before his party membership became public.

    I will be voting on party lines, mainly because the two alternatives are a Tory who fully agrees with the cuts, and the aforementioned Tory ‘Independent’.

    On the Labour Euro budget vote, it’s not completely out of the blue. The Labour MEPs voted against Barroso’s budget. Now when Cameron and the government ask what cuts Labour would support, they can point to this one, and that Cameron tried to block it.

    I do detect within Labour more reluctance to follow the pro-EU line, at a grass roots level. The way that the EU and Eurozone are handling the financial and economic situation does give a cause for concern. I am sure there is an element of taking an opportunity to bash the government, but it’s not completely about that.

    Besides, I think that people are more likely to notice the split within the coalition, and think that attacks on Labour are just sour grapes and spin from coalition politicians on the losing side of last night’s vote.

    I doubt Labour will gain or lose much in polling terms. UKIP could make gains at the expense of the Tories though, and that might mean going up to third place. We shall see.

  49. As I’ve said on this site before, I probably am supporting Obama more than Romney as I think he’s done a broadly good job.

    But I do kinda feel sorry for Romney in a way that the press constantly vilify him. Reading SoCali’s comment he’s damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t. There’s not much he can do about Sandy but I think he did the right thing by turning a campaign event into a fundraiser for the red cross. But now that he has started campaigning again he’s getting hammered for it, but if he stopped the campaign and carried on making donations, he’d be accused of using the storm to his advantage or trying to make it into a positive for him, etc etc.

    I don’t want him to win but give the guy a break. I don’t think he’s the evil personified that some people make out.

  50. LIZ H.
    Good Morning.
    I too, will not vote; the first time I have not exercised by right to vote, since I started voting on Feb 28 1974.

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