The weekly TNS-BMRB poll is out, and has topline figures of CON 31%(nc), LAB 39%(-2), LD 11%(+2), UKIP 7%(-2). Changes are from their last poll a week ago.

Meanwhile the daily YouGov poll for the Sun this morning had topline figures of CON 33%, LAB 42%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 8%.

All appears to be pretty steady, as it has been for months. Coming up this week though we have the European budget meeting – last year Cameron’s European “veto” temporarily closed the Labour lead in the polls (I suspect largely becuase of the impact of perceptions of Cameron as a strong and effective leader, rather than the particular issues at stake). The media are building this week’s meeting up to a similar test of Cameron, so it will be interesting to see if there is an impact in the polls from it – clearly it can go either way, strong or weak, positive or negative… or indeed, no difference whatsoever, the impact that most things end up having on voting intention! We shall see.

Today there is also a new tranche of polling from Lord Ashcroft, which I hope to have time to look at later but which can meanwhile be viewed here.


145 Responses to “New TNS-BMRB and YouGov polls”

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  1. Johm B Dick

    Re:Wishart

    Forgive my simole mindedness, but since Scotland isn’t a state, how can it (currently) be a member state of the EU? And therefore the EU wouldn’t be expelling a member state if an independent Scotland was not judged to be part of the EU.

    Or am I missing something?

    By the way (and this is a genuine question) what is the attitude of the Spanish Govt to the issue of Scottish EU membership? I assume they wouldn’t be getting the bunting out?

  2. Amber

    “…Polling shows that the ECHR is not popular with the ‘populist’ majority whom Pete B was saying the UK political parties should be aiming to please….”

    My worry is that many here obsess about which of the two or three larger parties is declining slightly faster or slower than the others, when there are far larger issues at stake.

    The combined percentage of the electorate (not turnout) shared by the big 3 parties was 73% as recently as 1992. By 2001 this had dropped to 54%. It has recovered to 57% since, but it suggests that there is a large and growing number of the population disillusioned with mainstream politics. At a time of economic malaise expected to last for many years, it seems very reminiscent of the 1930s.

    There is a real danger that a right- or left-wing demagogue could arise because there is such a huge gap left by the main parties ignoring so-called populist views, and having a cosy consensus on many issues with just minor differences in emphasis.

  3. And again, forgive my muddleheadedness, but why does Wishart raise the example of Czechoslovakia when claiming that “what happens to Scotland after independence also happens to rUK”?

    Surely, the Czech Rep & Slovakia joined the EU AFTER the Velvet Revolution and the parent state was never a member.

  4. @RiN

    I am not an expert (altho than you for saying so).

    The legal goes something like this:

    The “United Kingdom” created in 1707 by the union of England (and Wales) and Scotland was (handwavium) continued into the “United Kingdom” created in 1801 by the union of Great Britain and Ireland, which was (more handwavium) continued into the “United Kingdom” created in (lots and lots of handwavium) 1922ish/1926ish when Ireland split. The UK is a Theseus’ Ship/grandfather’s axe/Trigger’s Broom. Scotland leaving peaceably won’t create a new successor UK, any more that Ireland leaving by force of arms did.

    The realpolitik goes something like this:

    The UK has stacks of cash, nukes and a standing army. Scotland has less of these things (fewer, whatever). The UK will not handover its EU and UN seats involuntarily and nobody (except Scotland) wants to make it. So it won’t.

    rgdsm

  5. Erratum:than->thank

    rgdsm

  6. MARTYN

    Everyone who says that “x WILL be the case” as regards the EU and a disintegrated UK are talking nonsense (which is not something you usually indulge in!).

    Neither EU nor international law are as clear cut as that. Indeed there are wholly contradictory indicators, which partisans on both sides like to claim are absolute.

    At the end of the day, it will be a political decision by the EU, fudged in their usual way, to deal with those contradictions.

    The only sensible way (as in most things) is to look at what seems most likely. A non partisan analysis of that, by someone who knows about such matters, is available here.

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

  7. @Virgilio

    “But the most unsettling (for the European right) development came during the last days from France.”

    Thanks, as always, for your fascinating insights into continental European politics, and the internal problems of the UMP in France that you refer to could well provide Hollande and his government with some much needed political breathing space as they wrestle with France’s enormous economic challenges. In politics, as in most things in life, you need to be lucky, particularly with your opponents (ask Thatcher and Blair) and it may well be that Hollande will benefit from governing for a considerable length of time with an unelectable and divided opposition. If so, then he can ride out initial unpopularity and implement fairly unpalatable policies without worrying unduly about short term political fallout. His majority in the French Assembly will be a boon too. This could be enormously significant for the long term success of both his government and his country.

    Of course, as has happened other countries, the implosion of a moderate centre right party can boost the far right and Le Pen’s National Front will no doubt be emboldened and energised by the UMP’s internal problems. Hollande has a roller-coaster of a political journey ahead of him and, in many ways, carries the hopes and fortunes of the European Left on his shoulders as he leads one of the world’s greatest countries and largest economies through extraordinarily turbulent times. For all those of us who wish him well, it’s probably a time for hanging on to our hats!

  8. @OldNat.

    We’ve looped. If we shake hands there will be an antimatter explosion as the temporal potential shorts out and the Blinovitch Limitation Effect kicks in. So please don’t kill my grandfather before he meets my grandmother and remember: the flux capacitor needs to be travelling at 88 miles a hour before it takes effect. We left at Twin Pines, we’ll be going back to Lone Pines, so leave the almanac behind before Biff uses it to become Glenn Beck, and….wait, wait, DON’T TREAD ON THAT BUTTERFLY! I SAID, DON’T TR (transmission lost)

  9. Martyn

    Ah yes real politic, I see your point, who’s got the biggest axe is 9 tenths of international law

  10. LeftyLampton

    Neither would be expelled but the Union of the parliaments would be dissolved and each would
    continue to exist apart and entitled to be treated as a the parliament of a successor state.

    In practice the Home Rule parliament, its Founding Principles, procedures and standards, electoral systems and about 34 other things would continue with extra powers.

    The Unionists argue the other way with respect to NATO, but they don’t notice the inconsistency.

    The Spanish government don’t like the idea of independence. They need to be persuaded to accept the proposition that Scotland is not a dependency or colony but a country with its parliament meeting jointly with another.

    My own view is that the EU will want to keep Scotland and they will make it possible, even easy and that Scotland would join the Euro (as Gordon Brown would say)g “When the time is right”

    If the Scots were to be told otherwise by the UK government they would certainly be off.

    The whole issue is confused at many points by the UK govenment the English Press and popular opinion thinking of Scotland as if it were a part of England.

    I think that the SNP are claiming internation lprecedent with regard to treaties.

  11. Martyn

    Nice working in of the grandfathers axe concept

  12. Virgillo

    I’m not sure what your point is are you saying the Tory party is in some way similar to the various right wing parties in the old eastern block countries like Rumania and Bulgaria if you are, you would be sadly mistaken to them the Tory party must look like some of the centre left party’s now in power.
    Having said that even the centre left parties in those countries would still seem to us rather extreme compared to the Coalition in this country.
    As for Italy it changes it governments so often it’s difficult to know what colour it’s politic’s are.
    When we come to the French as you say we will have to wait to the next GE to see how damaged the right actually is bearing in mind there is a strong left and equally strong conservative tradition in that country .
    There certainly are left leaning countries in the EU one thinks of Sweden as an example but there equally right leaning countries like Germany and Austria and those outside the EU but in it’s heartland like Switzerland.
    When somebody describes themselves to the right of politic’s these means very different things in different countries in most Western EU countries there is little difference in left or right policy’s so no ideology can claim domination over the other and both are equally electable at some point in the voting cycle.

  13. leftylampton @ John B Dick

    “Forgive my simple mindedness, but since Scotland isn’t a state, how can it (currently) be a member state of the EU? And therefore the EU wouldn’t be expelling a member state if an independent Scotland was not judged to be part of the EU.

    Or am I missing something?

    What you are missing is that

    leftylampton
    Johm B Dick

    Re:Wishart

    Since England isn’t a state, how can it (currently) be a member state of the EU? And therefore the EU wouldn’t be expelling a member state if an independent England was not judged to be part of the EU.

    That might have its appeal not just withinUKIP but to a minority in mainland Europe too.

  14. MARTYN

    It seems that it is your usual style! :-)

  15. @RiN.

    Am trapped in Hill Valley in 1885 building the courthouse clock. The local English teacher wants me to read Jules Verne. It’s complicated. Will send updates by Western Union. Gotta go: the train’s coming…

    rgdsm

  16. Martyn

    ” The UK will not handover its EU and UN seats involuntarily and nobody (except Scotland) wants to make it. So it won’t.”

    No, Scotland will bring its own seat, rather than use one TB has had his bum on.The security council seat is implicitly at risk but not from Scotland.

    The nukes we insist on r-UK taking away anyway, so if that is the justification for the Security Council place you are welcome to it so long as it lasts. It won’t last as long as the cancer clusters not far from where I live.

  17. @OldNat

    Now it’s 1985. Reagan’s in the White House. Everybody has Big Hair. Where we’re going,we don’t need…stonewashed denim? STONEWASHED DENIM! Aaargh!

    rgdsm

  18. I’m surprised no one has mentioned the George foot in mouth big banks are good for the country story, don’t suppose it will do that much damage to Tory vi but it will harden the “they are all in it together” attitude

  19. Ah, back in 2012. Olympics, rain, crap telly. Safe, nothing went wrong

    Sits down, sighs, opens newspaper…

    …hold on a minute…

    A LibDem/Conservative coalition?

    HOW MANY BUTTERFLIES DID I STAMP ON?!!!

    (and here we go again)

    rgdsm

  20. Martyn

    I’ll send you a clacks from bonk

  21. @RiN

    It’s OK. I have a Luggage.

    rgdsm

  22. When I said “Another Scotish thread.” I meant it as a joke.

  23. You say that all is much as it was, ie a Labour lead of over 10%. Isn`t it a wee bit funny then that you haven`t noticed that none of your recent polls have shown a lead of double figures ?

  24. @ RiN

    I’m surprised no one has mentioned the George foot in mouth big banks are good for the country story…
    ——————–
    I’m the only person who mentioned the PM’s ‘Godwin’s Law’ speech to the CBI in which he jumped the shark. (Speaking as a business analyst, he totally jumped it!). I got modded :-(

  25. Good to see everyone using paragraphs…Isn’t that right Amber and Richard? ;)

  26. @Oldnat – “Everyone who says that “x WILL be the case” as regards the EU and a disintegrated UK are talking nonsense (which is not something you usually indulge in!).”

    Which is, oddly enough, precisely what many of us have been saying about the post independence certainties regarding Scottish membership of the EU (and use of the pound) expressed by Alec Salmond and the SNP.

  27. Alec

    Since I have consistently said the same thing, I’m not surprised.

    My comment referred to both sides of the debate.

    However, I have a suspicion that you feel you have made some point.

  28. @Turk

    “There certainly are left leaning countries in the EU one thinks of Sweden as an example but there equally right leaning countries like Germany and Austria ”

    Are you sure about Germany being a “right leaning country”? Since the formation of West Germany after WW2, and through to unified nation it is today, election results would suggest a country that regularly oscillates between left and right leaning administrations, many of which are often made up of a coalition of disparate political parties. Indeed Merkel’s first term as Chancellor (2005-09) saw her in coalition with the SPD; somewhat akin to the Conservatives and Labour governing in coalition!

    I think there is an argument that in most continental European countries, the centre of political gravity is slightly leftward compared to the UK, with the broadly social democratic/social market consensus surviving periodic changes in government. Germany is a good example of this.

    Thatcher’s great achievement, certainly in the eyes of her many admirers, was that she shifted the centre of the political gravity to the right in this country and established neo-liberal conservatism as the status quo rather than the broadly social democratic one that had survived both Labour and Tory administrations up to 1979. Metaphorically speaking, and sadly in my view, we’ve all pitched our tents around her standard ever since.

    Apparently, when she was asked what her greatest political achievement was she responded, possibly ironically, “New Labour”!!

  29. @Oldnat – the point I made was very clear, so I thought. The SNP have been guilty of making what are in effect false claims regarding the post independence position.

    I’m happy to accept that not all people who call themselves SNP supporters necessarily share the views of Salmond – I post as a Green and have made it plain I don’t back all their policies. Take from that whatever point you wish.

    @Leftylampton – I’m not sure if anyone answered your post regarding the Spanish attitude to independent Scotland, but around a couple of months ago a senior government minister (finance minister I think) categorically stated that they would veto automatic Scottish membership of the EU, which, if true, would mean Scotland would need to apply from scratch.

    @RiN – I have to side with @Martyn on the UK separation issue. As the UK has been formed and revised post Act of Union, Scottish independence would not be repealing this act, but would be leaving the UK. If it was simply repealing the A o U, presumably Scotland would still be linked to NI?

    In practical terms also, the dominant position of England, Wales and NI would secure residual rights to UK matters I’m sure.

  30. OLDNAT

    I agree with everything in your comment to Martyn and in the link.

    If you were engaging in gamesmanship against r-UK would you tell them you were willing to give up (maybe staged, deferred)your share of the Thatcher concessions? That would put the pressure on them.

    To the EU you could trade that for a better deal on the CFP

    As RiN said, “This could get amusing”

  31. John B Dick

    I see your initial negotiating position, but the SNP commentators seem to be stretching a point to compare the divorce of Czechoslovakia into 1/3 – 2/3rds population states to the secession of 8% or so of the UK.

    There has to be a limit at some point. If Pimlico declared UDI, would the rest of the UK have to re-negotiate every international treaty as a new state?

    A “reasonable person” legal standard might well conclude that Scotland had freely decided to gang aft as a new state and had left behind 92% of the population in what was effectively still the UK (albeit with a slightly less Great part of Britain).

    And whilst I laud your principled concept on what the Spanish Govt SHOULD think, I’m really (genuinely) more interested in the dirty business of what they actually DO think. Is Madrid so scared of Catalonian & Basque separatism that it would veto Scottish membership of the EU?

    On the secession question, will the SNP be supporting the nascent independence movement in Texas?

  32. I don’t see how the SNP can argue that Scotland will remain in the EU if it gains independence. I’m in favour of Scottish Indepdence because I believe in the right to self determination for all peoples. But on this issue I have to disagree with Salmond, Scotland is not an EU state, the UK is, if you leave the EU member state you are leaving the EU.

  33. alec @ Oldnat

    Nobody can stop people using the pound (or the Euro)

    Even though it was illegal, in old Yugoslavia the DM was a widely accepted – even preferred medium of exchange, and later in Slovenia and Croatia dual pricing was commoplace.

  34. Alec

    Politicians make the case that best supports their side! Shock Horror!

    None have ever done that before!

    Politicians will do that. On a site like this, balanced views are preferable. That you make no equivalent attack on Unionist politicians who make claims that Scotland will have to apply for membership simply demonstrates that you are taking a partisan stance.

    You are, of course, entitled to do so – but does nothing to legitimise your view.

  35. MANINTHEMIDDLE

    Did you read the evidence to the UK Parliament that I cited earlier?

  36. I see Fillion is now demanding a recount – it is hard to see any way this ends well.

    For some years now the UMP’s efforts to court FN votes has been accompanied by increased vote share for the FN – causation/correlation/whatever but I think the UMP are reaping the wages of sin here (so to speak) having helped legitimise the nationalist movement by bringing the debate onto their terms.

    What does Fillion think Copé will do if he loses the recount? Acquiese gracefully and go home? Maybe Le Pens announcement today was correct and soon the FN will be the main party of oppositionto the socialists…

  37. @John B Dick – I’ve often pondered about this. You are correct, in that there are no barriers to the free movement of currency any more.

    However, where I’m much less clear is what happens if rUK doesn’t recognise Scotland as part of a currency union. I would assume they wouldn’t underwrite their banks or allow any links to the sterling central bank, nor would they send notes north to stock the cash machines.

    To be honest, I don’t really know how it would pan out, and while I could foresee dual pricing, I see no absolutely no chance of an independent Scotland using only the pound without the express agreement of rUK agrees.

    As I’ve said before, in such circumstances I would also fail to see any reason why Scotland would have any involvement in interest setting or currency oversight via the BoE, and in a sensible world, rUK would only permit Scotland into the sterling zone if they surrendered control of public spending and borrowing.

  38. John B Dick

    Re:Currencies

    Aye, but there are rather worrying examples of what can happen to countries with fiscal sovereignty but no monetary sovereignty. At least if you joined the EZ, you’d be one of several small countries with a monetary case to plead to the ECB and can build alliances. If you tie yourself to the Pound, you have virtually no leverage over monetary policy. Which, in reality, means that you have no real fiscal sovereignty.

    I’m struggling to see where this is going.

  39. For the record, Alex and I are two different people…

  40. Or even Alec. Bloody iPad

  41. leftylampton @ John B Dick

    “There has to be a limit at some point. If Pimlico declared UDI, would the rest of the UK have to re-negotiate every international treaty as a new state?”

    Firstly the objective (of negotiators) is how can we minimise what needs to be re- negotiated and how long do we need to spin it out to ensure optimum stability.

    Secondly the answer is: Scotland is in now, and this is an internal rearrangement. An Independent Scotland will not be the smallest EU state.
    Scotland is not (and never has been) part of England.

    Is Madrid so scared of Catalonian & Basque separatism that it would veto Scottish membership of the EU? They might well want stop independence, but if it happens there is no mechanism for thowing us out.

    There is a difference between not letting us in, and throwing us out, and we have been in for 40 years.

    Scotland is not part of England. England is not Britain.

    Start with these and see where it takes you.

    On the secession question, will the SNP be supporting the nascent independence movement in Texas?

    Yes. Just before we hand Trident over, we will nuke Washington.

  42. John B

    I’m genuinely bemused now. When did England become part of the discussion?

  43. The only reason for the Scot to retain the pound or the adopt the euro would be wanting a weak currency for exports. The Scottish groat will be as hard as granite when the Scots launch it.

  44. Lefty

    That’s the whole point of this discussion is an independent Scotland a break away state or is it merely dissolving an unsatisfactory union

  45. alec @ John B Dick

    I assume [“r-UK] wouldn’t underwrite their banks or allow any links to the sterling central bank, nor would they send notes north to stock the cash machines.”

    Formerly Scottish banks have their own notes which circulate in Scotland. Besides people in Scotland will be so poor they will rarely need to use paper money.

    Some people may think that an inability to underwrite the banks would be a good enough reason to vote for independence in itself.

  46. RiN:

    Now I’m getting confused: what have Scottish goats to do with it?

  47. richard in norway

    “The only reason for the Scot to retain the pound or the adopt the euro would be wanting a weak currency for exports. The Scottish groat will be as hard as granite when the Scots launch it.”

    No, the unit of currency will duodecimal like the old Scottish Currency, only it will be called “The Bottle”, and have twelve “nips” giving a different meaning to the expression “not having the bottle”, and it will carry on it a promise to pay the bearer one bottle of malt whisky, which will be backed the nationalised whisky in bond.

  48. John B

    Lol, the glenfiddick standard

  49. I also support Catalonian Independence. With Croatia confirmed to join in July 2013 the EU will stand at 28.

    You can’t jump that up to 30 (Scotland and Catalonia) surely without the other members agreeing. Because of issues such as funding and the budget, if Scotland is a net beneficiary that means less to go around for others. Also it’s hard enough to get 27 to agree, try getting 30 to agree. Also you set a dangerous precedent of if you’re being outvoted on an issue, balkanise your country so you have more votes, why have just Britain wielding a veto, when you can have Scotland and Britain wielding vetoes.

    Plus is there really enough jobs for 30 commissioners?

  50. crossbat11 @Turk

    Thatcher’s great achievement, certainly in the eyes of her many admirers, was that she shifted the centre of the political gravity to the right in this country and established neo-liberal conservatism as the status quo rather than the broadly social democratic one that had survived both Labour and Tory administrations up to 1979. Metaphorically speaking, and sadly in my view, we’ve all pitched our tents around her standard ever since.

    Apparently, when she was asked what her greatest political achievement was she responded, possibly ironically, “New Labour”!!”

    John Curtice regarded that as one of only three enduring achievements. Ending the power of the unions. The third was unintended: persuading the Scots of the benefits of Devolution.

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