Back at the start of November I did a post looking at the level of support UKIP had in the polls and the widely differing results from different pollsters, at the time ICM and ComRes had them as low as 3% or 4%, while Opinium and Survation had them up on 10% or 12%.

Well since then UKIP have increased their support across the board, so here’s an update of the same graph I used then, again taking the three last three months or so of data:

As you can see, while everyone except MORI have UKIP higher (the drop in UKIP’s support from MORI is because of their November poll, which had UKIP on only 3%. Their December poll had them at 7%), there continues to be a big spread between different polling companies, from around 7% all the way up to around 14% to 16%.

Apart from Populus (who only had one poll in the period), the divide continues to be between online and telephone polling, with telephone polls averaging at around 7% for UKIP, and online polls averaging at around 11% for UKIP (although even within those groups, there is significant variation – YouGov, for example, tend to show figures closer to telephone pollsters, Survation tend to show the highest levels of UKIP support due to prompting)


185 Responses to “How much support do UKIP have… an update”

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  1. Couple of points, might turn out to be four or five!

    Firstly, worth looking at this mornings PB as it has Euro survey that has Labour well ahead and UKIP in 4th.

    It also makes the point that the current combined UKIP/ BNP figure is the same as at the last Euros, but UKIP is well up and the BNP well down.

    That fits in well with the notion that it is immigration not Europe that is driving the rise of UKIP.

    From an electoral point of view even on shares above the current LibDems UKIP are unlikely to win a single seat because their vote is too evenly spread. Unlike the LibDems they don’t have any areas of high support.

    In Scotland the LibDems, have in the past, got nearly twelve seats out of sixty, 20% of seats on less than 25% of the vote, which is no mean feat under FPTP.

    However almost 50% of their total vote came from those 20% of seats and in most of the other 80% of seats they were nowhere.

    Having looked a bit at where UKIP might win it quickly became clear to me that in vote terms there best but still slim chance of seats was to target the LibDems.

    Any talk of targeting or doings a deal with the Tories locks them out.

    The Tories are still too strong and a deal would blow there best ever chance of a breakthrough.

    A policy of supply and support to the Tories while targeting to replace the LibDems in a Coalition, all be it without a formal deal, has the most promise.

    What is going to hurt the LibDems at the next election is that about half their support was tactical and the other half based on what the LibDems had made their central theme for a generation;

    “Ah, but it would be different if we were in power because we’re not like the two other sad old parties”

    It hasn’t been and they are. UKIP’s best chance is to steal that mantle.

    There is I believe a wider problem for the Tories particularly from business.

    If you are in favour of free trade and Liberal economics then you want as few barriers as possible and that is clearly what British business wants, stability and clarity with light touch regulation and low taxes, our much vaunted flexible Labour market.

    However for free trade and growth there are other things that would help.

    If I am building houses in the Midlands, I want to be able to buy Spanish slate on the same basis as Welsh or Latvian timber on the same basis as Scots, which ever gives me the best quality for the best price.

    But I want that price to be transparent and stable. What’s more if the best price and quality to build them is Polish Labour, I want to be able to buy that too.

    In short from a broad business perspective, beyond the city of London and the square mile, free market economics would support a single set of EU wide rules, regulations and standards, a single currency and unrestricted movement of Labour.

    Three things the Tories oppose.

    It’s a bit like the US, business backs the low tax Republicans who are tough on immigration, but from an employment perspective they want as many low wage Mexicans as they can get.

    That is where Tory economic liberalism hits Tory Traditional Nationalism, where if you like conservative and unionist clash.

    In the same way for many Tories Scotland in the Union doesn’t make economic or political sense, but for others keeping the UK together is vital.

    Can UKIP exploit these to be the alternative protest vote to the LibDems?

    Doing that is there best hope of making an electoral breakthrough.

    Peter.

  2. Extraordinary story in THe Times about the cost to banks of PPI mis-selling.

    Banks have set aside £13 bn , but a worst case of £25 bn is now being talked of by BoE.

    A graph of payouts to date shows £3bn paid in 2011-followed by £5bn in 2012 to October.

    The latter figure is the equivalent of a 1p cut in Income Tax.

    These are huge numbers, and whether being spent by consumers , or used to reduce their debts, they begin to rank alongside any single fiscal action in government policy.

  3. The trouble with benefit regionalisation or London weighting or however you want to sell it, is that once you start to formalise these things, you will have to do so in a way that is safe from judicial review on the grounds of fairness. There will have to be clear criteria on which any differentials are based.

    But that might mean that you end up with massively increasing benefit payments in London and possibly other areas. This will not go down well either with those who want to see benefits cut or with anyone living outside those areas.

    Alternatively decreasing them by equally large amounts elsewhere will not just cause great panic and electoral harm in the areas potentially affected, it might also lead to internal benefit tourism. The whole thing will be also be an administrative nightmare.

    Not of course that that would stop them trying it. It was revealing listening to the news of Friday leading with two policies: one Conservative (the Child Benefit cuts for higher earners) and one Labour (the ‘guaranteed’ jobs for the long-term unemployed). Both clearly impractical from the start, but both put forward to get a good headline.

    Incidentally I found a claim in the Daily Mail that:

    […]the controversial Coalition [‘middle-class’ child benefit cuts] will eat up more manpower than chasing millionaires avoiding their taxes.

    Treasury Minister David Gauke has admitted more than 450 tax officials will be needed to implement the ‘high-income’ benefit cuts from next month at a cost of more than £11?million a year.

    He also signalled no new staff were being taken on, prompting fears people have been diverted from other vital work within Revenue & Customs.

    which all plays nicely into the Mail’s squeezed middle narrative.

  4. @Alec

    “Two of the ideas mentioned are to have reduce public sector pay and lower benefits in northern regions. Not new ideas, but there is a sound economic theory backing this up”

    No, there is not sound economic theory backing this up at all.

    The first idea is that higher public sector wages is ‘crowding out’ private sector employers. Three years of testing this hypothesis thanks to the loss of public sector employment has falsified it. The private sector is not filling the gap. The main reason being that due to excessive centralisation of power and resources in London, even when it is ostensibly cheaper to base your operations outside London (and evidence suggests that, at least at junior levels, you get better staff for your money as well), businesses still calculate it’s better to be based near London.

    The second idea is that is so much cheaper to live outside London that pay and benefits should be lower. What this argument actually boils down to is ‘house prices are lower’ because most other things are not. As someone based in Manchester, I can assure you I get taxed the same rate as someone in London and most of my goods and services are not that much cheaper. Beer is, of course, and our chips are far better, but that’s your own lookout.

    The arguments against are manifold and compelling. Difficult labour market conditions and flight of talent from the regions will be exacerbated by deliberately driving down the incomes and living standards of the population. Many SMEs are partially dependent on the spending of public sector employees – you would see the collapse of a range of businesses from sandwich shops to nurseries if incomes fell across the regions.
    It will also entrench income inequalities and crystallise parts of the country as being for the low-paid. A worker in the north-east, for example, would find formidable barriers to being able to move further south as with fewer savings and equity they would struggle to get the necessary funds. It would also make it even more difficult for skilled businesses with skills shortages in parts of the country that are considered unattractive to find the right talent – why would you move to Sunderland from Surrey if the Government officially thinks people in Surrey deserve to be paid more than people in Sunderland.
    This betrays an underlying ethical problem – why does someone working hard in a difficult comprehensive in Burnley deserve less pay than someone in a well-heeled State school in Eastbourne? And why would anyone from the southern school ever move north? They wouldn’t. Thus, you have problems getting and retaining staff across the north of England.

    It is a superficially attractive idea, but I fear it betrays its origins as being from people who have neither ever worked outside London nor ever intend to.

  5. The sight of Obelix the Gaulle sodding off to Russia might be amusing over here, but an article by French commentator Agnes Poirier which describes it as a “mockery of France” indicates a different perspective over there.

    Depardieu has ” represented the Gallic Spirit & France’s Genius for 40 years-we loved him more than he will ever know” she writes.

    In the same paper Tim Montgomerie suggests that Hollande’s rapid fall from grace when faced with France’s fiscal realities, play to Osborne & Cameron’s favour as France’s national treasure & an increasing tide of it’s entrepreneurs vote with their feet.

  6. colin

    Are you sure that the esteemed Ms Poirier is a spokesperson for everybody in France?

  7. CHRIS RILEY

    @”even when it is ostensibly cheaper to base your operations outside London (and evidence suggests that, at least at junior levels, you get better staff for your money as well), businesses still calculate it’s better to be based near London.”

    ………but not ALL businesses it would seem :-

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-17397679

  8. NICKP

    No-I am not-but In enjoyed her article.

    Perhaps Mr Hollande’s plumetting approval ratings give some indication of opinion in France-but I haven’t traced specific French commentary on Depardieu.

    Meanwhile , I wish ED Miliband’s friend all the best with his inflexible labour market rules & high costs, his falling international competitiveness & his climbing unemployment rates. No doubt he has a socialist solution to this lot before he loses every significant tax payer & wealth creator in his country.

  9. @Colin

    My real gripe over this is the differential attitudes to greedy rich people.

    If it was some rich banker on a multi-million salary buggering off to Russia in protest against paying tax for the benefit of people on normal salaries, you might get a (legitimate) debate as to whether you’re driving wealth-creators out of the country, but no bugger is going to stand up and cheer on a multi-millionaire’s right to keep his money away from us plebs.

    I really don’t see why rich pampered actors should be treated any differently. No actor, however good, is so important that they’re worth every penny of their multi-million salaries. There is almost a cheaper unknown who can do the job. All a big name does is boost your box office income – in other words, a rich film company pays a rich actors lots of money (ultimately paid for by us) in order that the rich film company can get even richer.

    The equivalent I can think of in the UK is like doing a Jimmy Carr, except that instead of apologising when you get caught, you do it overtly. proudly claim it’s your right to do this, and accept citizenship of a country with a very poor human rights record as a protest and think you’re completely morally justified in doing so. As far as I’m concerned, Gerard Depardieu has forfeited his status as national treasure, and really I hope the people of France feel the same.

  10. It’s a lot of excitement about very little.

    2010 GE: UKIP 3%

    End 2012: UKIP 8%
    (Figure being the rough average of all the earlier and more recent polls given in this article).

    They’ve gained just 5%. Mostly from Conservative. (Which makes sense as they are a party of protest for the right).

    Much of that 5% will probably go back to Conservative at the next GE. UKIP won’t get close to winning a single seat.

  11. Peter Cairns

    Once again, a very thoughtful post, appreciated.

    I suspect that in a constituency where the Con contender has an elderly population and which is relatively marginal with Lib Dem (eg Torbay), the local Con grandees will be careful to pick a candidate who can espouse EU-sceptic and anti-immigrant views, or at least voices them, carefully, even if he doesn’t believe them.

    There are plenty of those voters in the Lib Dems who hold, at least mildly, such views, so that will not be necessarily disadvantageous to his cause, while stealing the thunder of the UKIP candidate.

  12. @ Chris Riley

    Good post. I am not a million miles from you in Wigan having moved from the south. I would say just like what is a fair inflation figure which depends on individual circumstances the same is true of what is a fair cost of living.

    House prices here are half of what they are in London and labour is a lot cheaper- I could get a plumber out for an hours work for £20-£30 whereas in London I wouldn’t have had change from a ton! However Energy is no cheaper and council rates and food and clothing are no different and these are our biggest bills in a month. Obviously buying/renting a house is probably the biggest financial commitment you make in your lifetime but given a lot of public sector jobs are low paid many may well not be thinking in terms of buying a house.

    Personally I think it would be a downward trend for the North as it brings less money into the local economy and everyone gets poorer. There is already a big enough difference in labour rate that firms should be moving there anyway so a more competitive labour market where public sector workers are not paid a ‘premium’ is unlikely to make a difference.

  13. Phil Haines

    @Roger M

    Sorry, but I have to take issue with your comments critical of my earlier post on the consistency of YouGov polls and sampling.

    To be clear, what I meant was that this. What YouGov seem to be doing effectively is to minimise the impact of the randomness within the sample on VI, not to avoid there being a random element. The weightings do contribute to this, and the key is to find means of weighting using factors that are highly correlated with VI, in which case there is less scope for fluctuations in VI depending on who exactly is selected from the panel.

    Apologies if my original comment came across as a bit snippy, but I wanted to use what you said as an opportunity to to distinguish between the two sorts of error that opinion polls have.

    The first is what you could call ‘genuine’ random error which mathematically derived from the process of sampling itself and is the same whether you are asking polling questions or picking out coloured balls from a big black bag. This is what the margin of error measures.

    The second is the ‘systematic’ error which is derived from the fact that the particular sample you get will also be biased in particular ways because the people replying are not exactly representative of the population you wish to know about. This is because people with certain characteristics may be more or less likely to reply and those characteristics may also affect how they vote or feel about whatever else you want to know about. Weighting is then used to try to get the sample looking more like the population as a whole and hopefully correct this as much as possible. Though there will always be some error remaining in addition to that of the first, random, sort.

    Of course this isn’t really different from what you say above, except that I would only call the first sort of error ‘random’.

  14. @Colin

    “In the same paper Tim Montgomerie suggests that Hollande’s rapid fall from grace when faced with France’s fiscal realities, play to Osborne & Cameron’s favour as France’s national treasure & an increasing tide of it’s entrepreneurs vote with their feet.”

    Crikey, you are desperate for Hollande to fail, aren’t you, and the rationale all couched in UK party political advantage terms too. Dear oh dear oh dear.

    Maybe Hollande should be taking a leaf out of his predecessor Sarkozy’s book and enlisting the help of a few Middle Eastern despots to help him balance the books. Now, I know Sarkozy looks to have taken the spondoolinks (£40 million being the latest estimate) from his old mucker Gadaffi for his own electioneering purposes, but little bounties like that could go some way to driving the deficit down, surely? Chirac could no doubt offer even more exotic advice on these financial matters. Fancy France now being cursed by a man who wants to get the rich and affluent to contribute more to the nation’s economic recovery. The charlatan!

    And, by the way, how did Sarkozy pay back his old mate Gadaffi, I wonder? Ungrateful so and so, don’t you think?

    France has indeed undergone a grievous loss this and must wonder what it’s done in electing a man who now, horror of horrors, deprives them of Depardieu! lol

  15. @ Colin

    It is government & all the people of nation who are the wealth creators, or hadn’t you noticed? The wealth creating bankers may have to hand £25Bn of the wealth they ‘created’ back to the ‘little’ people.

    If the wealth ‘creating’ bankers who devised this scheme threaten to flee to Singapore or wherever, I think we shall say: ‘Here’s your coat, what’s your hurry?’

    I believe it was you who brought this £25Bn to our attention but seemingly failed to put 2 + 2 together regarding who creates the wealth & who simply takes a skim from it!

  16. @Chris Riley

    Totally agree it will be “Two Nations” not one with people in the North never being able to move South and people in the South never moving North.

    I don’t know how EM squares that with his ‘One Nation’ slogan.

    That is two Labour policies I do not agree with compulsary workfare schemes and differential benefits and wages – and I am a Labour voter

  17. @ Colin

    Thoughts on the banks asking the UK treasury for a tax refund on their PPI repayment amounts. The banks would have paid corporation tax on profits which included PPI and these are now being proved to be false profits.

    Perhaps there may be legal merits to this, but as these PPI repayments will be knocked off current corporation tax liability, I suspect that they would not bother. There is also the public outrage that would follow such a move, after UK taxpayers bailed out the banks.

  18. C N-S

    Thanks

    It’s a point of view clearly.

    I would say that Jimmy Carr comes nowhere near the right example in a cultural sense.

    DEpardieu apart-I think the steady march of young business people should be much mor worrying for France.

    The exodus to UK is well documented-but cases like Quebec’s programme to target 50,000 entrepreneurs are less well known outside FRance.

  19. CB11

    @”Crikey, you are desperate for Hollande to fail, aren’t you,”

    Anxious would be a slightly more accurate word-but no more so than Ed Miliband is anxious for him to succeed I would suggest.

    I agree that Sakozy was smitten by France’s time honoured fate of it’s rulers.

    All power corrupts CB11-even for Socialists-despite your well documented disagreement with George Orwell.

    The important thing for France is how to solve it’s deteriorating competitiveness & public finances before it’s unemployment gets out of control.

    We all have a stake in observing France’s policy prescriptions & their outcomes.

  20. R HUCKLE

    Thanks.

    I hadn’t seen that-I don’t understand why they would need to ask.

    The tax codes set out what constitutes taxable profit & what constitutes tax allowable losses.

    Bad debt charges are usually tax allowable. Perhaps the background of legal sanction giving rise to the PPI refund has tax code implications.

    I wouldn’t know.

  21. Further to my post the other day, Peter Kellner has today explained his 2015 election scenario (not prediction) in more detail:-

    “PS. Like other bloggers I am generally delighted when my words cause fluttering in the dovecotes. However, last week’s blog, when I imagined a Conservative victory in 2015, caused the dovecotes to heave and tremble more than I intended. Judging by the reactions in the blogosphere, I seem to have upset Labour activists who fear that Ed Miliband might lose – and Tory right-wingers who fear that David Cameron might win.

    For the benefit of those who thought I was predicting the outcome of the next general election, let me explain. I was not. My blog was my response to a challenge from a well-known MP: suppose that the next election has taken place and the Conservatives have won outright. What has happened?

    To answer this hypothetical question, I considered where Labour is vulnerable – on Europe, welfare and the economy – and also sketched the conditions that could give Cameron an overall majority – the economy coming good, UKIP’s support collapsing, the Tories winning back two dozen seats from the Lib Dems and doing better than nationally in Con-Lab marginals. My contention was, and is, that IF Labour succumbs where it is vulnerable, and IF conditions prove clement for the Conservatives, then Cameron could end up heading a majority government.

    ‘If’ is the key word. David Cameron’s problem is that the events I imagined are unlikely all to come true. Ed Miliband’s problem is that some of them probably will. That is why I still think, as I have thought for the past few months, that it is 50-50 whether Labour or the Conservatives will be the largest party in the next parliament, but, say, 80-20 that the result will be a hung parliament rather than an overall majority for either party.

    But if things pan out precisely as I imagined last week I shall, of course, claim amazing powers of foresight.”

    I have to say his thoughts on the likelihood of a hung parliament and outcome of the 2015 general election match mine 100%. Everything at the moment points to 2015 being an extremely close general election.

  22. @Colin

    FWIW, I think a 75% tax rate is a mistake, but that’s on pragmatic grounds rather than idealistic ones. I have doubts over the morality of undercutting other countries’ tax rates, but my main concern is stifling investment. An entrepreneur who is willing to invest millions in starting a business might not be so willing to take the risk if you only get to keep a quarter of anything you make (but still shoulder the full loss if it fails).

    But that doesn’t make Depardieu’s actions any less contemptible. That is not entrepreneurship, it is simply greed. Jimmy Carr’s actions aren’t great either, but at least he stopped short of toadying to autocrats in order to hold on to his millions.

  23. @ Chris

    FWIW, I think a 75% tax rate is a mistake…
    —————-
    40% tax + 12% NIC + 20% VAT = 72%

    My heart does not bleed for people earning millions who do not want to pay 75% tax on a slice at the top end of their, often unearned, income.

  24. amber

    I believe only 1% of NIC is payable by employees on high levels of income.

  25. Amber: Benefits are same in Scotland as the rest of the UK. I do not think Osborne could get away with reducing them for all Scotland. In the Highlands & Islands, rent may be cheaper than London but the price of pretty much everything else is really high.

    —————–

    I would have thought it would all even out, tbh.

    Plus London is not exactly renown for its cheap shopping.

    Surely there has been a study of regional variations in cost-of-living that can be applied here….is one available online?

  26. “I believe only 1% of NIC is payable by employees on high levels of income.”

    It’s now 2% (I think). However, VAT is not adding on another 20%, but instead deducting one sixth of remaining untaxed income. This relies on a ropey assumption that all goods purchased are taxed.

    So roughly, income earned in the higher rate gets taxed round about 58%.

    No arguments over lack of heart bleeding though.

  27. Does this mean MPs in less expensive constituencies will be getting a pay cut?

    As opposed to a subsidy via the second homes thing?

    Maybe it can work on a pro-rata basis where they get paid less for work outside London? We could this for everyone. .. northerners can go and work in London once a fortnight and get to keep all their pay!!

    And if they hire a relative as an assistant they claim less for them if outside the prosperous south? And none of this John Lewis list malarky claiming on prices set nationally, oh no, you have to source your duck house from the local pound shop.

    Possibilities are endless…

    We could also make deductions from Londoners for ADVANTAGES of living in London. I mean I live in a big enough city but we don’t have a tube network. We don’t even have a tram. No quick train across the channel to buy the cheap French plonk.

    Also, why just do this for wages? What about other sources of wealth? What about lower pay for those who’ve made a killing on property prices in the south just for living or owning property there? I mean, you know, fair’s fair and we’re all in this together and stuff…

    Baby-boomers in particular love to talk about wages and stuff but often go strangely silent on the subject of assets. But if northerners haven’t made the property gains that southerners have shouldn’t that be part of the equation? Or is it just cherry-picking to suit and the young get the thin end of the wedge again?

    Especially because quite often when these sorts of things get implemented it is quite often for NEWER entrants, I.e. younger employees. As with pensions changes for example. ..

  28. @Chris Neville-Smith

    Not at all contemptible, just sensible.

  29. When a nation is at war all citizens are expected to do their bit and rightwingers have absolutely no sympathy with folk who refuse to risk their lives on defence of their country, in fact they have a special name for such people. Even worse is aiding the enemy like the collaborators in occupied France who thought that their own personal welfare was more important than the needs of their country. But when it’s money that is at risk, right-wing with hero worship all kinds of unpatriotic behavior. Depardieu should be treated by the French the same way they treated the collaborators after WWII. Same crime, same punishment!!

  30. “Not at all contemptible, just sensible.”

    Anyone who claims victim status from government policy because their seven-figure salary isn’t enough deserves all the contempt they get.

    Yes, he was clearly acting in self-interest, but since when did acting in self-interest when you are vastly richer than the people you are getting your money from excuse you from contempt?

  31. The idea of reducing benefits etc in the north fits in well with a core vote strategy by the Tories, it certainly won’t win them any friends on the north considering how it has been worded, as many have already noted. What bothers me is that pitting some regions against others might be a good short term strategy but long term it can be very dangerous, there is always the danger of your supporters believing your hype, in this case the logical eventual result is a demand by the south to break away from the north and a corresponding movement in the north, think Belgium or the northern league in Italy.

  32. Yes, this differential pay thing is the gift that keeps on giving. It’s so laced with flaws and ironies that it’ll probably happen.

    Here’s some more. Typically the issue of incentives is one of numerous things that will get me in trouble with lefties. But in this instance, lefties are frequently in favour of London weighting, they just don’t want to see a pay cut elsewhere as it disincentivises work in the regions.

    Righties want to keep the London weighting but want to see pay cuts in the regions. The argument about pay has become for the right a case of what people in the North NEED, on a cost-of-living basis.

    In short, the right are adopting a Marxist stance “to each according to their need”. As opposed to what they may deserve. Who knew?

    This is in marked contrast to, say, debates I’ve had elsewhere on the matter of headteachers pay, where the right were on my side and the lefties were up in arms over how much some earned, despite good performance in difficult circumstances.

    The debate in recent times seems to be changing, with the right treating public sector workers as akin to benefit claimants, thus such workers are little more than a drain and increasingly should be paid what they need to survive and as little beyond that as possible after working out cost of living.

  33. @ Couper

    “I don’t know how EM squares that with his ‘One Nation’ slogan.”

    I may have missed this in the posts but what 2 policies are you talking about? I thought the 2 things mentioned by Chris Riley about reducing benefits and public pay in the North were not on the Labour agenda?

  34. Ambiv,
    Does Peter make it cleasr if he means seats or votes will be close?

  35. @ Shevii

    I thought the 2 things mentioned by Chris Riley about reducing benefits and public pay in the North were not on the Labour agenda?
    ————
    They’re not; Chris Riley’s comments have been misinterpreted.

  36. Sorry Ambiv – just re-read and ‘largest in party in the next Parliament’ is clearly about seats which means he is forecasting (too strong he says thinks) the Cons getting more votes than Labour by around 3% on UNS.

    I guess 39-36% is possible or even 38-35%; takes us back to Anthony’s big piece a few days ago.

  37. @ Steve yesterday.

    Don’t know about Sky News but DP today said 16% for UKIP in one poll without mentioning any others, including the guests from the 3 main (UK) parties.

    It makes a good story and a reason to get on Farage who perhaps goes down well with many retired Day-Time TV viewers.

  38. Idislike citing links as imagine colleagues are wel capable of finding usefulinfo without my help. However ‘Steph’ (join the Boris and Ken club) has this

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-20935092

    Which i found most useful in gauging whether our host’s and other YouGov employees’ scenarios for a failure of Labour to win in 2015 have any likelihood of becoming reality.

    I don’t think so; not according to Steph anyway.

  39. I think teachers working in a deprived area of, say, Liverpool, rather than leafy ole Cheshire, should be paid less on the basis that they can jolly well live in the area they work, where property is run down and cheap, rather than somewhere more affluent where houses are dear.

    Why should I, as a taxpayer, subsidise their extravagant iife-styles?

    Yer Scots should all be paying IN to a kitty for the rest of us to share out, considering how far north they choose to live [and how funny they speak].

    If I can think of excellent ideas like this I don’t understand why the Tory “think” tank is going so badly wrong.

  40. Once again then -oh dear!

    ‘I dislike citing links as I ‘

    also ‘useful info’

    and then ‘which I’

    sorry about that.

  41. @ Amber

    Thanks. For an hour there I was wondering if Labour were contemplating electoral suicide :-)

  42. To avoid yer Northerner moving South [they can be surprisingy cunning considering how uncouth they are] perhaps a fairer method would be to assess pay on a combination of accent and grammar. That way we coud penalised anyone who refers – for examplle to “Them footballlers” in a Lancashire [shudder!] accent.

    Assessors [Southern/Posh] should only work restricted, highly-paid hours due to unpleasant nature of the work.

  43. Strikes me that moving to Russia might be not such a good idea, if Hollande takes a leaf out of Putin’s book he would find that it’s quite easy and cheap to hire hit men in Russia. That’s what I would do, it would make quite an impression on any other unpatriotic millionaires thinking about tax exile

  44. @Chris Neville-Smith

    Still cannot see why being sensible is contemptible. If a Government chooses to set obscene tax levels then it makes sense to leave that country until a better government is elected. I get really fed up with attacks on the wealthy, seems like sour grapes to me.

  45. @Colin

    First point – the Government decided for no particular reason to reclassify FE colleges and sixth forms as private sector. This had significant benefits for their private sector employment figures. Secondly, when labour market researchers want to examine job flows, they examine FTEs (full-time equivalents), because, for obvious reasons, a social work job is not equivalent to a part-time job in Tescos. The report you cite does not use FTEs. Or hours worked. Or pay. It is not difficult to speculate why, because I can assure you that the Stats Office have that data through the LFS and ASHE surveys.

    Secondly, yes, it is well-known that much of the UK’s mid-sized manufacturing and technical industry is based in the regions, and we should be doing all we can to encourage their growth. Good ways NOT to do this would be continually refusing to adopt an industrial policy, scrapping the RDAs, ignoring Lord Heseltine’s suggestions and driving down salaries in the regions so businesses with skills shortages can’t recruit and so local SMEs have no clients.

  46. TOH

    “fed up”

    You need to remain strong on this ToH. Worse things happen at sea.

  47. Toh

    It’s only money, not like it your limbs or anything important like that

  48. @Paul Croft

    Don’t worry yourself about me. It’s nice of you and I appreciate it but it really isn’t necessary.

  49. @Richard in Norway

    I cannot remember ever really worrying about money even when I was young and poor.

    I agree health is everything.

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