We have two new telephone polls tonight, both of which show solid advances for UKIP at the expense of the Conservatives. ComRes in the Indy has topline figures of CON 31%(-4), LAB 41%(-1), LD 10%(nc), UKIP 9%(+3). This is the highest ComRes’s telephone polls have shown UKIP, although as with the ComRes online poll at the weekend, it is helped by a tweak to ComRes’s methodology to treat minor parties in the same way as the Conservatives, Labour and Liberal Democrats when it comes to turnout.

Meanwhile Populus’s poll for the Times has topline figures of CON 29%(-6), LAB 40%(nc), LDEM 11%(+2), UKIP 10%(+5), again the highest they have shown UKIP (indeed, it is the highest any telephone poll has shown them). Changes are from the previous Populus poll back in October, as they didn’t conduct a November poll.


62 Responses to “New ComRes and Populus polls”

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  1. All getting very interesting

  2. The burning question is…Assuming the assumption of UKIP voters being largely ex-Con voters is true (I believe it will take a few UKIP-specific polls to ascertain this), will the UKIP respondents vote UKIP in 2015, or go back to Con in fear of a Labour government?

  3. STATGEEK

    I agree, that how those currently with a UKIP VI actually vote in a UK GE will be critical in such an election.

    We know that in Scotland, lots of people who otherwise vote SNP, vote Lab in a UK GE to try to keep Tories out.

    Without some fairly detailed polling of UKIP supporters, I doubt that we have enough info to suggest an answer.

  4. Following the item re Gay Marriage on tonight’s Newsnight with Tory MP, Ms Macintosh and a Tory constituency chairman together with Tim Montomerie these figures make interesting reading. While Montgomerie was partially supportive of Cameron, the other two were clear that this issue was sending party workers and voters into the UKIP camp. Even Montomerie did not deny this was the case although he suggested there were also other causes and this was the straw which broke the camel’s back.

    Although I did not see the start of the item, I assume that these polls were not avilable when the program was recorded otherwise their concerns would have been more vociferous.

  5. @PaulCroft FPT

    UKPollingReport presents and analyses polls from a psephological POV. The below-the-line commentators proportions tend to be that of the polls: so when Con up, Con posters post more frequently, UKIP up, UKIP posters post more frequently, and so on. Currently i’d say the below-the-line commentators are more left-wing than PB, with more Lab, LD and the occasional collectivist

    PoliticalBetting analyses polls from a betting POV. The below-the-line commentators proportions tend to be more right wing than UKPR: more UKIP, with the occasional EDL and BNP.

    Generally speaking, UKPR commentators are more analytical and have less direct connection to politics: so we have stats folks, maths folks, and so on. People on UKPR with a political attachment tend to be at the party member level. PB commentators are more reactive and have more direct connection to politics: so there are ex-MPs, local organizers, tallymen and so on.

    UKPR has a wider age distribution, with posters in their teens to seventies. I think the median age at UKPR tends to be thirties-40’s. PB has a similar median but I think the age distribution is narrower.

    The geographical coverage of UKPR is wider, with posters from Continental Europe, Ireland, USA. PB tends to be more UK based. Exceptions are when a non-UK election catches their eye (eg French presidential), when they can get expert really fast.

    rgdsm

  6. More critical than what UKIP minded folk do is whether ex LD’s stick with Labour. If they do nothing else matters a great deal.

  7. Martyn

    Thankyou once more: take care with your repetitive strain prob though.

  8. Do we know whether UKIP support is strongest in constituencies where the Con lead over Lab or LD is so big that defections to UKIP will make very little difference under FPTP?

    Or are there a fair number of marginals that might be affected?

  9. UKIP support is starting to get to 8-10 in most polls over last week or so. With Tory support taking the biggest hit. Wonder if this might continue till the European elections.

  10. I wonder of there’s any evidence for the assertion that once UKIP’s vote goes above 10% it starts to take more votes from other parties as well as the Conservatives?

  11. Cons have a balancing problem right now with keeping the right on board, and the coalition can’t go too far to the right or the LibDems get restive but there is a far worse balancing act for Labour coming up.

    They will try to triangulate in the South to be Tory-lite, more caring and more competent, and at the same time try to persuade scots that they are better together with permanent tory or tory-lite governments.

    I’m not saying they are right to present themselves as Tory-lite, but who doubts that they will try? The notion is based on the model of two icecream vans at either end of the beach selling an identical product.

    What if the product makesthe customer sick? Maybe you should try something different? The metropolitan consensus of politicians, PR churnalists and other media comes from an increasingly narrow society.

    It’s not simply the lack of horny handed sons of toil in the Labour party and neither is it class, notwithstanding the two posh boys on the other side.

  12. crossbat11

    “A company’s primary responsibility is to its shareholders who want to see the value of their shares increase and their dividends paid.”

    There is no natural or man made law that says that it is so, and it is foolish and irrational for companies to take that view.

    Living organisims and other organisations prioritise survival (at least of the genes).

    What good is it if there is share growth and high dividends for a few years followed by bankruptcy where the shareholders lose their capital?

    The long term survival of a company cannot be left in the hands of short term contract workers and demotivated low paid staff who would be off somewhere else if they could.

    High staff turnover is an expensive game, and not only in the costs of recruitment, training, efficiency and even theft too.

  13. JOHN B DICK

    “and even theft too”

    Jeez! You heard of my response to the hotel manager in the 60s who refused to give my share of the tips!

  14. @ Old Nat (from the previous thread)

    “That’s amazing!

    Let’s hope the Democrats are disciplined enough to formulate and stick to an orderly reform programme in CA.”

    I am as shocked as you are. Although the new State Senate map looked good (so good that the Republicans unsuccessfully put an initiative on the ballot to get rid of the map drawn by the organization they pushed so hard for), I didn’t think we would get over 2/3rds. 25 seats was seemingly the ceiling. We now have 28. To see Cathleen Galgiani, a lesbian, win a State Senate seat in the Central Valley was incredible. The two coastal seats (SD-15 and SD-19) were expected pick-ups but I thought Galgiani would lose SD-5 leaving us with a net gain of only 1. Was not expecting a third pick-up in a newly drawn State Senate seat in the Inland Empire.

    The Assembly result is more shocking. Not just because the maps looked less favorable but because our lovely Assembly Speaker seemingly had no interest in getting to 2/3rds and seemingly spent his efforts working against it. For example, he spent millions of state party dollars and sent armies of volunteers into safe Democratic Districts in order to support Democratic incumbents against other Democrats. No, really. Also spent next to nothing in races that Democrats lost to the GOP by very small margins (where a little bit of money could have gone a long way), AD-40 and AD-60. Also, didn’t bother trying to recruit a Democratic candidate for AD-76, an open seat. This District voted for Obama in 2008 (and probably did so again in 2012) and yet voters in the general and primary had their choice of only Republicans.

    To get to 55 seats, two incredible things had to happen. First, there was a shocking upset in AD-65 in the Republican heartland of Orange County. No one saw that one coming. Then (and this will probably be subject to a recount) there was an odd race in AD-36, a seat in the foothills north of LA (north LA County, southern Kern County, the western mountains of San Bernadino County). Thought to be a safe GOP seat, it looked like the Republican candidate had won narrowly on election night but throughout our month-long Italian style vote count, the lead continued to narrow. Provisional ballots in the end put the Democrat over the top. The Republican who had already gotten his office in Sacramento and his picture up in the Capitol is not pleased about it but the Dem was sworn in.

    Anyway, it will be hard to maintain discipline. Especially now because of the new electoral system we’ve got. There is less reliance on the state party now to get elected. The two incumbents who Speaker Perez spent so much money on both lost (an example of Americans rejecting SPADing). You’ve also got a very diverse party with very diverse interests and philosophies. But I’ve said that whatever the party wants to do, they should try and do it now. If they lose because they can’t get the whole party to agree, fine. But this supermajority isn’t going to last past these next two years and they might as well make a go of it and do what they want and not worry about losing an election. They ought to go full-on Clement Attlee circa 1945 on this.

    I think though that perhaps enterprising Democrats can now look for and find helpful Republicans who won’t have the same ability to automatically block things.

  15. Well no one can deny that ukip are moving in public opinion, a bit wobbly maybe but a clear trend. I’m wondering if the extra support they have gained recently are in two minds and would give a different answer if asked a different time of day. Sounds silly I know but it really looks like we have a lot of ukip waverers dipping their toes in the water. I wonder what ukip need to do to firm up this new support or do they just relax and count on the Tories to keep doing their work for them

  16. @ Billy Bob (from the previous thread)

    “There is a Huffington/YouGov out, it got a mention on BBC R4?s main news programme this evening:

    h
    ttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/16/gun-control-laws-sandy-hook-poll_n_2309324.html?1355691035#slide=more269959”

    Thank you for the link. Not surprised by the polling results. People are very upset about this and they want action. Good to see that the crazy town theories of the NRA about the armed teachers isn’t swaying people.

    “PM (as in 5.00 pm) also talked to a constitutional law author who came down very heavily on the side of the dissenting Supreme Court Justices:

    “right to keep and bear arms” protects only a right to possess and use firearms in connection with service in a state-organized militia. Had the Framers wished to expand the meaning of the phrase “bear arms” to encompass civilian possession and use, they could have done so by the addition of phrases such as “for the defense of themselves”.”

    I actually agree with this but I still think that there is a right to bear arms individually and it’s a 14th Amendment one, not the 2nd Amendment. There is a constitutional right to self-defense and I believe that this encompasses the right to have a firearm. However, I think that the government has the right to enact reasonable regulations and place bans on some weaponry. I know that’s opaque (and probably why none of the Justices accepted this argument) but that’s what I believe.

    You know, I’m ready to accept the Second Amendment interpretation as settled law but there cannot be an unlimited right to guns.

    “I don’t know too much about this (beyond the Second Ammendment page on Wikipedia), but there is something of a transatlantic cultural gulf on this subject. I have seen comments about how we here are hung-up on myths about gun-crazy Americans. My perspective would be that “gun-culture” as promoted globally by the entertainment industry etc, is seen as seductive in some ways, but raises deeply disturbing visions of possible social breakdown for European sensibilities… we would rather see the US on the same page going forward.”

    Well here’s a problem and I was going to bring this up. When you get Europeans and other foreigners arrogantly lecturing Americans about certain things including gun control, that’s actually a recipe for turning off a lot of Americans. It’s not just conservatives, Republicans, and rural folk who own guns and like guns or support gun rights. There are many gun owners and gun rights supporters to be found among liberals, Democrats, and urban dwellers.

    I mean, take Ruth Carol Silver for example (Harvey Milk’s closest stalwart ally on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors) who has become a charter member of the pro-gun group, the Pink Pistols. When some snooty European or Australian or Canadian starts lecturing on television about various European philosophies and ideologies that should be applied to the United States like how there’s no such thing as a gay person just “homosexual” sex and how no one should be allowed to own a gun….I would imagine that she (and others like her) is going to tune out or perhaps more clutch her gun more closely.

    Or as John Lennon once put it, if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao, you’re not going to get with anyone anyhow.

    An assault weapons ban or heavy regulation of assault weapons is something that will be palatable. There are many rank and file NRA members and conservative gun owners who actually believe in many gun regulation and gun safety laws (there’s polling evidence to back this up). These are the kinds of laws that many pro-gun Dems and liberals are going to get behind. But you’re going to turn all of them off if you start promoting the idea of taking away all the guns.

    Let me give you an example of some proud gun owners who support gun rights but are not NRA wackos from my own life.

    -A young liberal, anti-war, feminist from the Bay Area now living in the Virginia DC suburbs who has a masters in international affairs from a prestigious school.

    -A successful and quiet investment banker living in Los Angeles who makes a ton of money and mostly likes to spend it on attending Laker and Dodger games, giving to progressive charities, eating and drinking, and complaining that his taxes are too low.

    -A very progressive candidate for the Beverly Hills City Council who’s been an activist for progressive causes and candidates (not saying who it is).

    -A young lawyer in Los Angeles who’s very liberal (even though he refuses to register as a Democrat), lives in an apartment, plays in indie music groups on the side, and has travelled the globe.

    None of these people would EVER vote for a Republican. I have a feeling they don’t meet the gun culture myths of many Europeans.

  17. Btw, I just want to note (Crossbat11 does this quite frequently) the passing of Senator Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) who passed away today at the age of 88. He was the highest ranking Asian-American politician in U.S. history, a war hero from World War II (despite his family being interned in a concentration camp). He had finally decided to retire (and would have January 3rd, 2013) after serving for 50 years in the U.S. Senate. :(

  18. @Socal

    “Or as John Lennon once put it, if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao, you’re not going to get with anyone anyhow.”

    I think I prefer:

    “Living is easy with eyes closed
    Misunderstanding all you see.
    It’s getting hard to be someone.
    But it all works out,
    It doesn’t matter much to me. “

  19. @ Billy Bob

    Let me add a few words about my own position on guns. I think there are non-nepharious purposes for owning a gun and I think people have a right to own them. I don’t own a gun myself. I tend not to like them or to want to be around them. But I have friends and family members who do own guns.

    Now in terms of gun deaths and gun injuries, we need to break them down into three distinct categories so that we have full clarity on this issue.

    1. Targeted gun violence (often seen in inner cities) resulting from specific and intentional crimes or gang violence.

    2. Gun deaths or injuries due to accidentalshootings.

    3. Mass shootings in public places that is seemingly unprovoked and results in massive deaths and injuries of complete strangers. Basically, mostly non-targeted violence.

    #3 is really the one that we care about here and the one that Newtown massacre fits into. These attacks are acts of terror. They are abhorent and infringe on the rights of citizens. They are almost always committed by those who are mentally ill in some form or another. We lack vital mental health services in this country. Ronald Reagan proudly shut down California’s mental health hospitals (now the mentally ill live rustically, roaming the streets of San Francisco). This is a MAJOR problem. We have mentally ill people, unable to get professional help or neccessary medication, who have free access to all sort of weaponry.

    Now think about this for a second. In a country without universal healthcare (or at least not yet implemented), you are unlikely to be able to afford key medication. This is true of medication for mental health conditions. Also, even if you do have the money to afford health insurance, your pre-existing mental health disorder might be reason for the health insurance company to turn you down. Most people rely on their employers for their health insurance.

    Now let’s take a step back here and realize the effect of this. You have a mental health condition that perfectly treatible with proper medication. With the medication, you’re golden. You can outwork all your competitors. But without the medication, you can barely function. This includes finding work, getting hired to a job, and actually holding down a job. So without universal care (as other western and civilized countries have), you’re basically stuck. You have no health care and can’t afford medication you need in order to work. You need the medication to work but you don’t have the medication because you can’t get a job. Problem? I think so.

    Note that most of the mass killers over the years have been those who aren’t in school (so no student health insurance) or unemployed. Those who have had some treatment usually aren’t receiving the treatment at the time that they commit these heinous acts.

    Meanwhile, you look at psychiatric services that cost hundreds of dollars an hour and require follow-ups. If you are feeling any resistance to seeking out help because of stigma over mental health issues, that high cost might firmly discourage you. People are often unable to get the help they need. Now most people, even the severely mentally ill, aren’t going to go out and murder scores of random innocent people. But the complete lack of services exacerbates the situation. Especially when we make it so easy for these people to purchase guns. And not just any guns but assault rifles. Assault rifles that are created for the sole purpose of killing multiple people as quickly as possible.

    Look, when it comes to the non-nefarious purposes of guns, do you need an assault rifle to hunt? Do you need one to protect yourself and your family? Do you need one for sporting events where you have competitions? Do you need one for recreation? If you’re collecting guns, do you need one that actually works? And beyond the weapon, do you need massive amounts of ammunition including clips that carry extra? Even if legal, should it be easy to get ahold of these weapons and ammunition clips?

    As for #2, the NRA nutcases oppose even basic gun safety laws. I find this ridiculous. Making guns safer doesn’t infringe on anyone’s liberty. The only one burdened is the gun manufacturer. It’s just crazy. It shows you the radical extremism of the NRA.

    #1 is an interesting one because this is where you tend to see social breakdown. But it’s one area where I really don’t feel gun control helps. The District of Columbia has a strict gun ban and yet has scores of incidents of gun violence every year. Across the river in Arlington County, VA, there is extremely low crime including a dearth of gun related violence (I think they had zero murders in all of 2011). Yet in Virginia, you can pretty much buy any kind of gun you want. I think their strictest gun control was one gun a month (a requirement that might have been too much for the NRA and Governor Transvaginal Ultrasound). Shows you that there’s more to this than simply guns and availability of them.

  20. Can I just say in light of all the dark and depressing news these days, this story brings a ray of sunshine into my world.

    http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-mckenna-pope-easy-bake-hasbro-20121217,0,6705290.story

    What an inspring story of the fight for gender equality. Makes me hopeful for the future. All I can say to young McKenna is “You Go Girl!”

    @ Statgeek

    I don’t really care for that song that much. A lot of the psychodelic music of that era is not stuff I really care for. I think that Charles Manson used to play the song Revolution for his followers (something related to his grand theory of how he would rule the world in the aftermath of an apocalyptic race war). Or he played it backwards I think.

  21. This is quite simple: UKIP is the nasty wing of the Conservative party, like the Greens are the bonkers wing of the Labour party.

    And just like the Greens, UKIP are experiencing a modest surge as they reach public consciousness during a period of public discontent. Neither can sustain widespread support, except in reaction to events, and both struggle to translate this into actual representation, except in isolated pockets.

    Add this together with the regionalising aspect and it is easy to see a trend of continued pluralisation as politics becomes increasingly multi-polar.

    As a strategic phase in the British electoral cycle this puts the ball firmly in Labour’s court – do they follow the unions and position as a solidly anti-centrist, anti-coalition party and gamble on the failure of economic recovery, or do the two Eds continue to dither with more vacuuous and contradictory messages?

  22. Latest YouGov / The Sun results 17th December

    CON 31%,
    LAB 43%,
    LD 9%,
    UKIP 11%;

    APP -33

    This UKIP surge seems to be universal in all polls.

  23. Forgot to say “rest of south” looks really dodgy! An outlier – outlier – outlier :)

    http://cdn.yougov.com/cumulus_uploads/document/80fs8wn2cw/YG-Archive-Pol-Sun-results-171212.pdf

  24. I wonder if there is a point where Conservative support is low enough that UKIP supporters won’t see the point in trying to stop a Labour win? If you assume that the Tories can’t win even with your vote, why return to them?

  25. I think many Con to UKIP switchers don’t care if Lab beat Con next time. They see little difference between Can’s Con and Ed’s Lab.

    Maybe Con’s chances depend upon making right wing voters afraid of Lab?

  26. Ashcroft/UKIP poll (20066 voters) 9-19th November

    VI (11494):
    Con 32, Lab 42, Lib 9, UKIP 9

    Male (6271):
    Con 33, Lab 38, Lib 8, UKIP 11
    Female (5222):
    Con 31, Lab 45, Lib 9, UKIP 7
    Similar gender differences to what we’ve seen before.

    2010 LibDems (2161):
    Con 9, Lab 38, Lib 37, UKIP 7
    2010 Cons (3918)
    Con 79, Lab 6, Lib 1, UKIP 12
    2010 Lab (3305)
    Con 3, Lab 93, Lib 1, UKIP 1

    So we can see quite clearly that very few 2010 Lab voters (which, you have to remember, was their lowest vote share ever) make up the UKIP vote [1]. Defectors are largely Conservatives.
    Given that the current Lab vote is largely made up of 2010 Lab + 2010 Libs (this is 81% of their current vote, or 34% of total voters), there’s less of a worry for them.. or is there?

    Work sectors:
    Public (1840):
    Con 22, Lab 54, Lib 7, UKIP 6
    Private (4459):
    Con 35, Lab 40, Lib 9, UKIP 7

    VI for UKIP Considerers (4055, or 35% of voters):
    Con 40, Lab 30, Lib 6, UKIP 17
    So a lot of people who’re considering UKIP are Lab voters – but even strip away those voters from Lab VI, and they’re still on 30% of the vote. Same share as last time, but for the Cons to lose all of their people considering UKIP would drop them to 18% of the vote.
    So the rise of UKIP, assuming they can reach their maximum current potential of 35% is far more damaging for the Conservatives than Labour [2].

    How did UKIP considerers vote in 2010?
    Con 50, Lab 22, Lib 21, UKIP 1
    So again – the threat from UKIP is largely for the Conservatives, something that we already knew.

    And how did current UKIP voters vote in 2010? (We can work this out from other tables) –
    Con 40, Lab 4, Lib 15, UKIP 27
    So a plurality of UKIP voters are ex-Con voters, with the next largest group being 2010 UKIPers. Very few (as I showed above) are defectors from Labour.

    Would you change your mind between now and 2015? (Which is a very dodgy question):
    Con – 17, Lab 16, Lib 34

    Which parties would you consider? (All those expressing VI but may change their mind)-
    Con 44, Lab 51, Lib 38, UKIP 31, Others 18

    Best PM?
    Cameron 48, Miliband 38, Clegg 13

    Best for the economy?
    Cameron/Osborne 52, Miliband/Balls 48

    [1] However, research by YouGov, IIRC, showed that 2001 and 2005 Lab voters are now UKIP voters.
    [2] Of course, this is massively subject to change – if UKIP were near 35% in the polls, I imagine their ‘considerers’ would be hugely higher.

  27. @Gracie

    Agreed. All but the LIb Dem and Green numbers in RoS are outliers methinks.

    Con + UKIP = 59%…hmmm.

  28. I wonder some Tory voters have reached the position where they cannot continue voting for Cameron as he is no longer real Tory and a spell of Labour will be a price worth paying, if it brings the Tory party “back” to their principles.
    A sort of replay of the “longest suicide note in history” manifesto in 1983 (although that was moderates worried the party had gone too far to the left).

    However I wonder what impact the vote will have, the tory vote is famously inefficient as it is stacked up in their heartlands. So if they drop even 6% in their shire heartlands rather than across the board, they can live with it.

    I suspect Ashcroft will be polling intensely in the marginals to find out

  29. Sheep – There was some speculation before the last GE that the ‘games up’ phenomenon (Peter Cairns coined it I recall) may occur to Labour.

    It seemed to happened in 1997 with people voting Goldsmith letting Labour in a few seats.

    In the end Labour’s less than inspiring ‘vote us to keep the Tories out’ campaign brought enough back in 2010 to deny them OM of course.

    I suspect that is what will happen next time with most ABLab UKIPers voting Cons and ABT UKIPers voting Lab (E&W at least). UKIP 5% max at the GE imo which may cost the cons a seat or 2 but not much.

    Populus swing exagerrated by the high 35% last time for Tories I wonder if the Times report ‘ massive drop?’ The Tories do seem to have dropped a few % in the last week or 2 but not to Lab which will be some comfort

  30. Sorry Sheep was answering Redfish.

  31. I wonder if Labour voters who are tempted into the UKIP camp listen to what their policies are other than getting out of the EU.
    It has racial prejudices at its heart; it supports even greater cuts in public expenditure. They propose huge tax cuts for the rich, calling for a flat tax rate of 31% for everyone – millionaires and nurses alike. They are homophobic.
    There was clear evidence of Labour voter support in the last by-elections. Labour should not be complacent that only tory voters support them.

  32. PAULCROFT

    “More critical than what UKIP minded folk do is whether ex LD’s stick with Labour. If they do nothing else matters a great deal.”

    Absolutely. The only difference the Con/UKIP VI might have is the size of the Labour majority.

  33. I was just about to post how this high UKIP vote must help Lib Dem Mps in their Tory marginals but looking at the figures in two of those surveys (haven’t looked at the others) it seems like around 8% of Lib Dem 2010 vote has moved to UKIP. Admittedly the percentages are higher for Tories moving to UKIP, so obviously it will help the Lib Dems but not as comprehensively as I imagined it would.

    Absolutely bizarre that people would move from a perceived centrist party to a very right wing one – I guess this means mostly protest votes from people who do not have a firm political base.

    I suspect, despite all this gay marriage stuff the UKIP vote comes down to the economy and a general feeling of needing something different- seems hard to believe people would vote differently just because of the gay marriage issue.

  34. @NickP:

    “I think many Con to UKIP switchers don’t care if Lab beat Con next time. They see little difference between Can’s Con and Ed’s Lab.”

    Although there’s no polling to support that, I quite agree. Many see a Miliband administration, however unpalatable, as the price to be paid for having a “proper” Conservative leadership after 2015. Besides, why have a New Labour-lite Government when you can have the real thing?

  35. I don’t see any evidence that Labour is moving to the center. Of course they will have to deal with economic reality but if anything they seem to be moving left and eurosceptic.

    Much of the UKIP vote will disappear if ever their actual policies are put under scrutiny. Although whether that will happen I am not sure they seem to be the new LibDems with Farage in place of Clegg and the media will give them a very easy ride policy-wise.

  36. Of course I don’t mean policy wise just their media treatment.

  37. The Conservative party have long been divided along ideological grounds and, just as Labour split in the 80’s, they really need to get on and have their split.

    They could reform as a centrist “One nation” Tory party and a right-wing “Thatcherite/UKIP” party.

    To continue, as they are, is keeping them out of majority government (Remember, they have not won a majority since 1992 – that is now 20 years ago).

  38. @ Martyn

    Really neat comparative analysis of the two sites.

  39. You wait. Cameron will be making a speech in Mid Jan 2013, in which I think he will say that if he has not been able to negotiate the repatriation of the powers he wants by say May 2014, that he will offer an in/out referendum in the Tory manifesto.

    In the Jan speech, Cameron will detail the areas he wants to repatriate and challenge the other parties to state where they stand.

    I have a feeling that in the current EU situation, the other countries will not want the UK to leave the EU and therefore they will be willing to allow the relevant treaty changes. Other countries will take the opportunity to also renegotiate their treaty obligations.

    The problem for Cameron is the Lib Dems disagreeing with some of the changes he wants and advising that they would vote against in any parliamentary vote. Not sure what the disagreement would be, but I doubt it would be related to the ECHR, as other EU countries would not allow the UK to make changes to that either.

  40. R Huckle

    You wait. Cameron will be making a speech in Mid Jan 2013, in which I think he will say that if he has not been able to negotiate the repatriation of the powers he wants by say May 2014, that he will offer an in/out referendum in the Tory manifesto.

    —-

    Absolutely correct.

    There will be a short term lift in 2013 (as there was at the end of 2011 and into early 2012) for the Conservatives. And it will be achieved via that route.

    But it will not last.

    Indeed it will never last until the Conservatives have their (preferably for them) amicable divorce. Left and Right wings saying goodbye.

    The only alternative is that the UK leaves the EU. Unless/until that happens, they remain a party essentially at Civil War.

    (Which should, I suppose, encourage all non-Con voters to vote to stay in the EU!?)

  41. @R Huckle

    “The problem for Cameron is the Lib Dems disagreeing with some of the changes he wants and advising that they would vote against in any parliamentary vote.”

    That makes for interesting speculation. In such a scenario, would Labour oppose Cameron to keep him from gaining some UKIP votes, but risk losing voters by preventing a referendum?

    Are the majority of Labour voters against a referendum these days? Perhaps the more pro-referendum Labour voters are shifting to UKIP?

    One thing is certain. I am delighted not to be a politician at present or in the next 2-3 years. Cameron has a mountain to climb with UKIP, a Scottish referendum and the economy.

    If he wins them all (from his perspective), he probably deserves a 2015 majority, but probably won’t get it anyway. Hung parliament with a Con/UKIP coalition (now there’s a thought!)

  42. The advance of UKIP must be a worry for DC and EM albeit to a lesser extent.

    The rise of UKIP reflects the way the EU has been used by DC and the Cons recently. Like the ‘immigration’ issue DC and the Cons have used membership etc of the EU for electoral gain / advantage… but like ‘immigration’ membership is a double edged sword.

    Both issues wil haunt and confound DC and the Cons into the next GE.

  43. Once UKIP’ers see what they could let in, I do expect they will go limping back to the blue rosettes.

    STATGEEK…

    You took the STATS out of ma mooth!!

  44. PAULCROFT

    “More critical than what UKIP minded folk do is whether ex LD’s stick with Labour. If they do nothing else matters a great deal.”

    Interesting little aside here too – If Liberal Democrats do decide to stick with Labour, they are well known to get out and vote, so if the Tories are depending upon Labour vote staying at home, this could be another small factor that if took part across the country could really hurt the Tory vote, especially if UKIP are still in the ascendancy. Looking at the results of the last few by-elections there looks like a little of this already in play.

    Also if some Liberal Democrat activists are now Labour party activists, they have an excellent track record of mobilising their vote. All these small parts start to add up in the bigger picture.

  45. thomas

    “the greens are the bonkers wing of the labour party”

    good grief.

    Tinged:

    Thanks for figures

    My mate, the billionaire Lord Ashcroft says UKIP are mainly people who are disaffected with modern life in the typical, “the 50’s were great”, longing for the past way. When you could lock up homosexuals, hang people and so on and so on.

    That cuts across all parties but, add in Europe, and the Tories have most to worry about except…….

    they seem to be one, highly articulate bloke and have no representation or people at the support level. So mostly they will act as a theoretical attraction to the right of the Con party and make it harder still for them to form any sort of majority – never mind an overall one – for the forseeable future.

  46. SoCalLiberal

    I’m not sure that quoting John Lennon is the most tactful thing to do when considering the use of guns in the US. It also rather undermines your point about high gun crime in DC by pointing out that there are few restriction just over the river in Virginia – unless guns like witches can’t cross running water. [forbidden smiley thing]

    Of course nearly everyone misses the real reason why strict gun control is needed in the US. It’s not about massacres or homicide or even accidents caused by guns being misused or not kept securely. All these would be reduced substantially, but the real life saver is in reducing deaths by suicide, which actually responsible for over half of those deaths..

    This is because of what you might call the Dorothy Parker effect. As she remarked on the subject of killing oneself:

    Guns aren’t lawful,
    Nooses give,
    Gas smells awful.
    You might as well live.

    But if guns are lawful suicide becomes much easier and requires much less effort and thought. If you have a loaded gun at hand, a passing suicidal thought can be carried out immediately and almost certainly fatally. Other methods of killing yourself take time and effort and have a much lower success rate. People have time to decide that they might as well live.

    Australia introduced much stricter gun controls in 1996 (following a massacre) there’s an interesting piece (from August so not prompted by recent events) in the Washington Post about it here:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/08/02/did-gun-control-work-in-australia/

    The Australian ban was accompanied by a buyback scheme and had the political advantage of being introduced by a right-wing government, which stopped partisan politics being played with it. The drop in the suicide rate was substantial and there doesn’t seem to have been a corresponding rise in other ways of taking your life.

    The homicide rate in Australia was low already and the population comparatively small, so it was difficult to prove that there was also a statistically significant drop in homicides. There are indications that there were though and if you think about it, “you might as well live” also applies there to some extent. A domestic killing on the spur of the moment is much quicker and easier if there are guns lying around.

  47. Allan

    Please stop writing in Scotch – its putting me off my coffee.

  48. Wonder if any Lib Dems discussed abolishing the monarchy at today’s cabinet, just for a laugh if nothing else?

  49. The big unknown we have with UKIP is how many of their voters fall into in following camps:

    1) People who didn’t bother checking their policies other than Europe;
    2) People who know their policies are agree with them; and
    3) People who know their policies and don’t like them, but still hold their nose and vote for them because the EU is now pissing them off that much.

    That would be an interesting thing to do a poll on, although I’m not sure how you’d do a reliable one.

    There is one other possible factor: the emergence of a left-wing anti-EU party, like we’re seeing emerge over much of the continent. If that takes root, and UKIP and lefty-UKIP agree not to get in each other’s way, that could really change the game.

  50. Apropos de rien, it was amusing the other day to see Maria Miller at the ole dispatch box and noticing that her party had surrounded her with what appeared to be every female in the tory part of the government.

    It was so obvious that it just highlighted, rather than concealed, the fact that they have so few of them. Presumably that is why she herself was, in some people’s view anyway**, somewhat over-promoted.

    ** not mine of course, I think she’s brilliant.

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