David Cameron hasn’t actually given his long-delayed Europe speech, but today’s YouGov/Sunday Times poll shows the widespread media coverage and the debate around the speech is already having an effect upon public opinion.

At the start of the month YouGov was showing people would vote to leave the EU in a referendum by 46% to 31% who would vote to stay in – figures that were pretty typical of YouGov’s polling on EU referendums for the last year. Last week those figures had shifted to 42% get out to 36% stay in. This week they have moved even further and now 40% of people say they would vote to stay in compared to 34% who say they would vote to leave.

What appears to have happened is that normally people use an EU referendum question to express general disatisfaction with the EU, with the European Court of Human Rights (I know its different from the EU – most people don’t!), Eastern European immigration, bureaucracy, bans on straight bananas & bent cumcumbers and all the general media perception of the EU. In the last fortnight some will obviously have thought a little more about it as a referendum becomes a more likely possibility, as people like Richard Branson, the US Embassy, Ed Miliband, Vince Cable and David Cameron have all spoken of the importance of Britain being in Europe… and it has changed views.

That is not to say that Euroscepticism per se has faded away, it’s just support for leaving completely that has fallen. The poll still shows 58% of people support having a referendum on EU membership (though, usual caveat, they say that about everything), 59% of people say Cameron is right to try and bring some powers back from Europe and 58% of people say that this is the right time to raise the issue of Britain’s relationship with the EU.

The shift in views is also reflected in voting intentions. Topline Westminster voting intention today is CON 33%, LAB 42%, LDEM 11%, UKIP 7% – the seven point figure for UKIP is the lowest YouGov have shown for several months. More striking is voting intention in European elections, a week ago YouGov had UKIP support in a European election at 17%, figures now are CON 30%, LAB 38%, LDEM 13%, UKIP 12%. I would still expect UKIP to do much better than that in an actual European election (looking back at the 2009 polling they put on a lot of support in the run to the election itself), but it suggests the expected Cameron referendum promise is winning back some UKIP support.

It is also improving perceptions of Cameron himself. 40% think he is doing well as Prime Minister, 54% badly. These are his most positive (or least negative!) approval ratings since last March. Asked who they trust more on the issue of Europe Labour lead the Conservatives by 23% to 20%, with UKIP on 15%. People largely answered the question along party lines, but it does underline the fact that Europe is not necessarily an issue where the Conservatives have a natural lead, like say, immigration or crime. In contrast David Cameron has a solid lead on the party leader people would trust the most to negotiate in Europe – Cameron 26%, Miliband 18%, Farage 11%, Clegg 5%.


125 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 33, LAB 42, LD 11, UKIP 7”

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  1. Very interesting Poll.

    In general , one DC will welcome one imagines.

    Given AW’s normal caveats about the effect on Polls of any given statement by a politician, interesting to see him attributing change to “US Embassy, Ed Miliband, Vince Cable and David Cameron “-and that they have “changed views”.

    So await The Speech & it’s polling effects with interest.

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  2. Those who believed that there would be an overwhelming vote to leave the EU were I suspect always being a little self delusional.

    In common with most zealots they don’t really understand that a counter argument exists.

    IMO the General Public will value the opinion on what is primarily an economic issue of such individuals as Richard Branson over that of politicians of any colour.

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  3. THe support in this Poll seems to marry DC’s approach-so far as we can tell before THe Speech.

    ie Support for renegotiating terms. Support for a Referendum. Support for staying in if the terms were acceptable.

    IN addition it provides a narrative for DC to attack Labour & LDs during the GE campaign-ie Labour against a referendum in case the vote is a “No” ( sleepwalking to the exit)-and LDs promised a referendum last GE-now they don’t.

    The problem is -what would people do if the terms were “unacceptable”- or there were no new terms on offer from the EU?

    That question isn’t in this Poll.

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  4. @ Colin

    The problem is -what would people do if the terms were “unacceptable”- or there were no new terms on offer from the EU? = “Sleepwalking to the exit.”

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  5. I think this shows the power of the main argument for staying in the EU.

    “If we leave the EU we won’t be able to blame everything on the EU”

    Peter.

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  6. It would seem that the DC approach to renegotiate certain terms but with a strong emphasis on staying in the EU is beginning to resonate with the public.
    EM has to watch out he is not being left behind in the EU debate which was always on the cards with his rather negative approach which seems to suggest there’s nothing to be done in Europe and if we try it means we are anti European.
    Perhaps in the same way debate re immigration was a no go area during the Labour years, EM must not fall into the same trap over Europe and try to close down the debate with the must not upset our European partners routine.

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  7. I actually think there are some within in the EU who want the UK to leave and are trying to outrage the British into a no vote. Certainly if the EU’s contribution to an in-out referendum is to accuse the entire British public of being nasty xenophobic Little Englanders who clings on to their days on empire when Britain is nothing but an insignificant etc. etc. you can guess which way the vote will go.

    The logic seems to be that once the UK is out of the way, the rest of the EU will all get on swimmingly. If that really is what they think, they are very deluded. Most of the stalling in the EZ crisis has been down to EZ members arguing amongst themselves. Suffice to say the anti-German sentiment in Greece and the anti-Greek sentiment in Germany doesn’t really have much to what’s going on the other side of the Channel.

    (And, of course, there are those on the continent who want the UK to stay in. I don’t think the Germans are terribly thrilled by the prospect of not being able to sell the stuff they make to the UK.)

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  8. @ Colin

    IN addition it provides a narrative for DC to attack Labour & LDs during the GE campaign-ie Labour against a referendum in case the vote is a “No”
    —————–
    I’m not sure that this would be a winning argument against Labour. It might be an argument which would help DC regain some support from UKIP.

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  9. The cunning plan

    1/ Win electin outright

    2/ Re-negotiate triumphantly

    3/ See off UKIP and tory right by winning referendum to stay in EU

    The problems

    1/ The need to come up with a “red-line” ist of powers we want back

    1a/ Too much for realists
    1b/ Far too little for sceptics – in his own party

    2/ What happens to he referendum when these are not met? The right wil want the implied threat of withdrawal to be explicitly written into the manifesto and for it to be followed by an OUT referendum.

    There are more problems but the pups need a walk.

    Suffice to say that this wil be unpicked to the point of embarrassment over the next two years or so – and, by the way, ir re-negotiation is so important why not make an agreed start now?

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  10. If I was even more cynical than I am, I would think that Cameron has pulled a master-stroke. He has won back support from UKIP and changed opinion on the EU without even making a speech at all!
    Perhaps he should pursue this strategy for other subjects – e.g. leak sections of what he intends to say about immigration, crime etc etc without actually committing to anything!

    &Chris N-S
    “I don’t think the Germans are terribly thrilled by the prospect of not being able to sell the stuff they make to the UK”
    As we buy a lot more from the EU than we sell to them, there is no way they would erect significant trade barriers.

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  11. I actually think there are some within in the EU who want the UK to leave and are trying to outrage the British into a no vote. Certainly if the EU’s contribution to an in-out referendum is to accuse the entire British public of being nasty xenophobic Little Englanders who clings on to their days on empire when Britain is nothing but an insignificant etc. etc. you can guess which way the vote will go.

    -In the same way as some UK Politicians find it convenient to blame all the ills in the UK on those nasty perfidious Europeans.

    There are European politicians who find it equally convenient to blame their problems on the obfuscating nihilistic Brits (Scots excluded of course).

    At least EM position is to look at the issue of the benefits of membership there is a remote chance DC has realised the merits of this as well.

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  12. Which of the following parties would you seriously consider voting for at the next general election? Please tick all that apply:

    LAB 39
    CON 32
    UKIP 22
    LIBD 16
    GRN 10

    This is an interesting question from YG. A tracker for this would be good. If there is one & I’ve missed it on YG’s website, maybe some kind person will post a link to it.

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  13. I wonder how UKIP would react if they lost an In/Out referendum by just a few points?

    Are they the kind of people who would say “OK, fair enough” and walk away? Or would they then change tack and push for ‘repatriation of powers’ and so cause further problems mainly for the Conservative party?

    Purely speculative. We may or may not ever know for many reasons.

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  14. STEVE

    I actually think there are some within in the EU who want the UK to leave and are trying to outrage the British into a no vote.

    —-

    I’ve read plenty of comments (on German forums) arguing that Germany would be better if the UK left.

    The main thrust is that that would allow Germany to become the financial capital of the EU. Which would, I suppose, make billions for that economy – and, arguably, at the expense of the British economy.

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  15. I see that the fall-out from reports of strong (and offensive) anti-gay views held by some UKIP members, and of UKIP’s Olly Neville being sacked from Young independence (UKIPs Youth Wing) for defending homosexual views have had a damaging effect on how the general public view UKIP- You Gov regularly had UKIP at 10%, now they are down to 7%.

    It is sad, in my view, UKIP losing support for the wrong reasons. They are the only real Right Wing political Party in Britain of any size- certainly on economic grounds. It highlights the importance of making sure those extremist elements who would bring the Party into disrepute are cleared out, whilst maintaining unity over important issues.

    That said, The Sunday Mirror article on UKIP was well over the top; they used a screen-shot of some of the worst comments found on the UKIP members Forum (and sent to them by a disgruntled party member?) and tried to portray that as typical of UKIP’s supporters.

    Then again, The Mirror is a Labour newspaper- and they would stop at nothing to trash Labour’s opponents! And it’s clearly worked- so they’ll do it again soon. They will probably find some unfortunate Tory MP who had a liaison with three young men twenty years ago- and try to get David Cameron to remove the whip from him (because we cannot have such folk running the country)!

    [Thing about The Mirror, and I re-iterate these are my observations only, so as not to offend any Daily Mirror readers- if it suits their Labour Cause to be "pro-gay" they will be, but if they want to attack a Tory for past indiscretions, and an anti-gay stance would work politically, they would surely use that; also for example The Daily Mirror goes on and on about the "Nasty Tory Cuts", but once it tried to pick fault with David Cameron for having past links to some "nasty communist organisation". Politically Expedient Inconsistency- which is why it is a Cheap Rag!!]

    Ian Pennell

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  16. [Thing about The Mirror, and I re-iterate these are my observations only, so as not to offend any Daily Mirror readers- if it suits their Labour Cause to be "pro-gay" they will be, but if they want to attack a Tory for past indiscretions, and an anti-gay stance would work politically, they would surely use that; also for example The Daily Mirror goes on and on about the "Nasty Tory Cuts", but once it tried to pick fault with David Cameron for having past links to some "nasty communist organisation". Politically Expedient Inconsistency- which is why it is a Cheap Rag!!]

    Are any of the tabloids – and, indeed, all too often the broadsheets – really any better?

    No. They are not.

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  17. AMBER

    Yep-accepted.

    …but then -that is also ” Don’t trust the voters to say IN”.

    It’s all very nuanced.

    Who is going to come up with the most convincing byte sized punch line ?

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  18. @Ian Pennell

    I think that’s very good reason for UKIP to lose support! It’s hardly a matter of “They need to keep the fringes in line” if it’s *Party Leadership* that dictate anyone supporting Gay Marriage will be sacked.

    UKIP’s “Policies” are being brought into the sunlight by greater publicity for them.

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  19. PETEB

    @”As we buy a lot more from the EU than we sell to them, there is no way they would erect significant trade barriers.”

    Logic suggests so.

    It would be an absolutely key factor -a bit like some of the cross border aspects of Scottish Independence.

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  20. [blockquote]It is sad, in my view, UKIP losing support for the wrong reasons. They are the only real Right Wing political Party in Britain of any size[/blockquote]

    The Tories have cut welfare, massively expanded sanctions and conditionality everywhere in the welfare system, cut taxes on the rich while putting up taxes that disproportionately hit the poor & invited private healhcare to compete for NHS money. Still the right doesn’t seem satisfied and complains Cameron is a wet leftie. I dread to see a government that’d make them happy.

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  21. This doesn’t happen very often, but I agree with Colin.

    The Conservative party (and Cameron) have finally hit exactly the right tone for attitudes toward Europe – try to renegotiate powers and call for a referendum if he can’t.
    There’s obviously risk involved – if it doesn’t pay off, Ed M picks up the pieces, but that’s what they’ve both bet on.

    The real debate now needs to be about what ‘powers’ he tries to get back and that’s what everybody should be focused on (perhaps we need a poll for this?) – there’s no way they can stop the free movement of labour (which is fundamental to the EU), but other things should get public support.

    If the debate ends up ‘should we, shouldn’t we’ over a referendum, all the parties are doing the country a disservice.

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  22. Colin
    “It would be an absolutely key factor -a bit like some of the cross border aspects of Scottish Independence.”

    I’m looking forward to the smuggling opportunities if Scotland goes independent – much easier than crossing the channel. :-)

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  23. Then we can start getting excited about rebuilding Hadrian’s Wall like American’s and their border fence.

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  24. @ Amber

    Good spot about the ‘seriously consider voting for’.

    I find it an extraordinary result which, if taken at face value, basically says the current scores for Lab and Con are at their maximum. In all honestly I don’t believe it and can only assume when people are asked that question they are only thinking about today rather than maybe still having those parties as an option in 2 years time.

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  25. Interestingly this poll includes “would” and “might” questions for westminster

    UK (Would/Might)

    Labour ; 42%/39%
    Tory ; 33%/32%
    Libdem ; 11%/16%
    UKIP ; 7%/22%
    Green ; 2%/10%

    Scotland;
    Labour ; 42%/42%
    Tory ; 22%/24%
    LibDem ; 8%/16%
    SNP ; 25%/35%
    UKIP ; 1%/17%
    Green : 1%/11%

    The first thing that is obvious north and south of the border is how close the Tory and labour “would/might” votes are to each other indicating a solid reliable support for either.

    Again north and south the Libdems seem to be capable in theory of doubling their vote which may indicate some of their voters will possibly return but I think more accurately reflects tactical voting just as much.

    UkIP could triple it’s vote in general but I tend to think that could only happen if the Tories looked like losing to Labour. If it was close I think a lot of UKIP support would still vote for a weak Tory over strong Labour.

    UKIP going from 1% to 11% in Scotland for me represents the A N Other vote and that 10% rise is exactly what we see as the potential SNP rise.

    In the same way I think the chances of the SNP getting anywhere near 35% depend on it looking like the Tories have it in the bag. Otherwise scots would rally to Labour to keep the Tories out.

    In summary in both the UK Labour and the Tories command 70%-75% of the vote with how the other 25% votes tactically deciding which of them wins

    In Scotland they only command about two thirds of the vote, but who is most likely to win Westminster will still drive how the other third votes.

    Peter.

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  26. Leaving the EU would be disaster; 50%+ of our exports go to the EU and there is no way we would have unfettered access (if you don’t pay the membership fees of a club, have complained loudly about a club for years do you really think you will be allowed to have the benefits of a club?).

    As well, the City of London financial business would disappear in a puff of smoke and whoosh it’s in, say, Berlin.

    And no-one will care two hoots about Britain as it’s an irrelevance, and the US has made that clear…

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  27. What the Fresh Start Tories want is very simple:
    An end to the UK complying with the Social Chapter. Let’s see whether this is popular, once people understand what they will be giving up.

    So, David Cameron is being urged to set up a referendum which says: In but out of the Social Chapter v Out. IMO Labour, SNP & hopefully the LibDems are not going to allow a referendum which is structured in such a way.

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  28. ian pennell mirror i think you’ll find most newspapers are the same its just most of the biased papers tend to be anti labour. ask ed milliband about smears and character assassination he’s suffered ,fortunately the papers don’t have anywhere near the power they used to have. people are even able to ridicule biased articles in their comments section.

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  29. Amber, Shevi -
    It’d be more interesting to ask a separate question, like Lord Ashcroft did, asking if the voters are sure of who they’ll vote for or willing to change their minds.
    VI was Con 31, Lab 42, Lib 9, UKIP 9.
    79% of voters said they’ve already made up their minds, 21% said they may change their minds.

    Taking only the people who’ve already made up their minds gave me a ‘base vote’ of Con 29, Lab 35, Lib 6, UKIP 6-8[1]

    So those who’re willing to change their minds gave – Con 44, Lab 51, Lib 38, UKIP 31, Other 18

    Which then gave a ‘maximum vote’ (base vote + total considerers who’ve not yet made up their minds) for each party of Con 35, Lab 46, Lib 14, UKIP 13-14 [1].

    I made a note at the time that if Con VI rose, the number of serious considerers would likely also rise so their ‘maximum vote’ would likely rise also – but I thought it was a more interesting snapshot of the data than just asking who voters would ‘seriously consider’.

    [1] I had to make a rough estimate of UKIP figures. So roughly in the same place as the LibDems.

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  30. @ ShevII

    I find it an extraordinary result which, if taken at face value, basically says the current scores for Lab and Con are at their maximum.
    ————–
    This YG question allows Don’t Knows to show their inclination(s); it also allows people to choose more than one Party. That’s why I think it is a particularly useful question to be asking when we are 2 years out from a GE campaign.

    There’s a ‘school of thought’ which says now is the time when people make up their minds & election campaigns don’t change many people’s opinions. If that ‘school of thought’ is correct – absent a major, game changing event – we could be looking at the probable outcome of the next GE.

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  31. Just for fun, I put C32 L39 LD16 into the swing-o-meter. Using current boundaries:

    Labour Majority of 80 seats. Number of gains 107. This is roughly the plan which Labour are working to with their target seat list.

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  32. STEVE

    Completely agree with your first post. Getting tired of right wing commentators on tv saying the vast majority of people want to leave the EU. That is only what they need to believe for themsleves.
    I believe an In-Out vote regardless of the terms will give a Stay in result.

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  33. Disappointing results for Jim Hacker and Sir Humphrey in the final table of this poll.

    Each only got 5% support in responses to “Who would you rather have running the country?”

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  34. I think it is worth noting that within that 75% who say they would vote Tory or Labour are a ggo number of people who are only going to do so tactically.

    As the Ashcroft poll shows their is a lot of cross over between parties and switchers.

    As Anthony has pointed out often Labour up Three and the Tories down three doesn’t mean Tory voters have switched to Labour it is a lot more complex than that with people making new choices across all the parties.

    The overall changes can be quite complex but the final impact fairly simple.

    Peter.

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  35. I wonder how the Algeria situation has helped Cameron’s ratings.He didm”t do anything wrong and may well have got a bonus from just being the PM in a crisis.

    Equally as Anthony points out with negotiating “better” deal on the EU a current issue a boost for the leader of the largest party seen as tough on Europe wouldn’t be unexpected.

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  36. Peter/Amber – I wouldn’t worry to much about questions asking if people will change their mind. People aren’t very good at answering them.

    One of the benefits of having a panel based survey is you can see how individual people respond to two surveys. I while back I compared the answers to a 2009 survey with how people said they actually voted in 2010. Even amongst people who said in 2009 they would definitely vote for a party and there was no chance of them changing their mind, 20% did actually change their minds

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  37. @Turk
    I fully agree with your 11.24 post.
    EM is indeed in danger of being left behind on all this, and needlessly so.

    @Colin
    “The problem is -what would people do if the terms were “unacceptable””
    But it wouldn’t be a problem until after May 2015, which would suit Cameron just fine. Kicking the can down the road whilst in the meantime posititioning himself in the centre ground of opinion on the EU might deliver a small electoral dividend when it matters.

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  38. @ Anthony

    Did it change the outcome?

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  39. @Colin
    “The problem is -what would people do if the terms were “unacceptable””
    But it wouldn’t be a problem until after May 2015,

    -Apart of course from the financial uncertainty it would inevitably engender and possible wholesale move of financial services and inward investment from London to Frankfurt which would pretty much rule out a Tory victory in 2015

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  40. @ Phil Haines

    EM must not fall into the same trap over Europe and try to close down the debate with the must not upset our European partners routine.
    ———————–
    Re your reply to the above, I don’t believe that Ed M is trying to shut down debate on the EU. I think that Ed M would like as much debate as possible. I think that:
    1. Germany saying their financial services industry would get a huge boost at the expense of London;
    2. US/EU trade deal;
    3. Comments from business leaders who are household names;
    4. Impact of seceding from the Social Chapter becoming known; &
    5. Labour’s plan to negotiate regarding UK Industrial Policy v EU competition rules,
    will all be part of a debate which Ed M & Labour would enjoy having!

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  41. PHIL HAINES

    Yes -I agree. The context here is the GE campaign.

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  42. Rawnsley had some interesting things to say in his column in today’s Observer about the growing rapprochement between Miliband and Clegg. Personally, they’re now getting on much better apparently and, politically, starting to talk constructively about some common interests. This makes obvious sense for both parties, not least because there’s a growing consensus in the political world that the most likely, if not quite certain, outcome of the next election is Labour being the largest party but without an overall majority. Rawnsley lists a whole raft of policy areas where the Lib Dems have far more in common with Labour than they do their current coalition partners and I think this reality is at last slowly beginning to dawn on leading Liberal Democrats now.

    Of course, this doesn’t mean that all the old hatchets have been buried or that all will be plain sailing from hereon in, but I think the initial anger and hostility that was generated very soon after the formation of the coalition with the Tories has subsided now and Realpolitik, as it always does, is steadily reasserting itself. If so, then expect the Lib Dems to campaign hard against the Tories at the next election, not just for self preservation purposes but also for the prize of participating in a genuinely centre left coalition government rather than the hotchpotch pantomime horse they’re part of now. Miliband’s quite cute strategic and tactical political brain at play here, perhaps?

    A little titbit for political cynics. Andrew Gilligan of sexed-up dossier and “get Ken” in the Mayoral Race fame, is back in the news. He campaigned diligently for Johnson in the Mayoral Race via his Evening Standard column, mainly by running a whole series of anti-Livingstone articles. One of his favourite themes was Livingstone’s alleged “cronyism”, alleging that his past record showed him granting favours, like plum jobs, to an exotic variety of personal friends and supporters. So far so consistent, but what’s this I hear? Gilligan has just been given a job by Johnson as his “Cycling Tsar”? Can’t be true, surely? It is, sadly, and as another of Fleet Street’s finest would say; you couldn’t make it up, could you? lol

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  43. Anthony,

    Doesn’t surprise me really.

    if we take it that 70% will vote Labour or Tory but that the tendency of the remaining 30% is to switch. if we therefor say that 30% of people might switch then it isn’t unreasonable to assume that up to 30% of the 70% Tory/Labour vote might do the same, which comes out at just on 20%.

    Peter.

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  44. I suppose the switch to pro EU could be an outlier although the general VI result is not particularly outlier-ish.

    This poll was held during the hostage crisis so it could be (stress could be :-) ) that ex -Con-recently-UKIP voters had a touch of DC loyalty fever, while also not feeling too happy about the EU speech debacle. If so, an impressive example of compartmentalised thinking.

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  45. “It is also improving perceptions of Cameron himself. 40% think he is doing well as Prime Minister, 54% badly. These are his most positive (or least negative!) approval ratings since last March. Asked who they trust more on the issue of Europe Labour lead the Conservatives by 23% to 20%, with UKIP on 15%. People largely answered the question along party lines, but it does underline the fact that Europe is not necessarily an issue where the Conservatives have a natural lead, like say, immigration or crime. In contrast David Cameron has a solid lead on the party leader people would trust the most to negotiate in Europe – Cameron 26%, Miliband 18%, Farage 11%, Clegg 5%.”

    I don’t think I’d want any of them to negotiate on Europe. But Cameron probably seems like the most trustworthy and the one who’s got Britain’s best interests at heart. Or at least that’s the image he is projecting (as I’d imagine from the poll).

    “What appears to have happened is that normally people use an EU referendum question to express general disatisfaction with the EU, with the European Court of Human Rights (I know its different from the EU – most people don’t!), Eastern European immigration, bureaucracy, bans on straight bananas & bent cumcumbers and all the general media perception of the EU. In the last fortnight some will obviously have thought a little more about it as a referendum becomes a more likely possibility, as people like Richard Branson, the US Embassy, Ed Miliband, Vince Cable and David Cameron have all spoken of the importance of Britain being in Europe… and it has changed views.”

    Thanks to you guys, I know that the ECHR is different from the EU. I feel like, at the risk of stereotyping, that many Brits are both those who love to complain and yet are extremely sensible. See, e.g., Brits who complain non-stop about the weather, take vacations to Florida that they love, but are smart to know better than to ever move there. I don’t think a referendum to remove the UK from the EU would be successful because if the measure becomes nothing more than a vehicle for the “airing of the greivances”, it’s not going to gain traction even as people complain about the EU. Surprised the U.S. Embassy statements don’t have the opposite effect.

    @ Amber Star

    Guess who I met last night? None other than Nancy Pelosi!!!!! :) :) :)

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  46. Amber – you know the answer to that, 2009 wasn’t that long ago! It was done in the summer when the Tories had a lead of about 20 points, which would obviously have been a landslide, which it goes without saying they didn’t get.

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  47. @ Anthony

    Thank you.

    I actually didn’t know whether you were referring to the straight VI question or had there been a similar question to the ‘Which Parties would you consider voting for?’ done in 2009.

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  48. @ SoCal

    Guess who I met last night? None other than Nancy Pelosi!
    —————
    That is very cool. Did you say anything or were you tongue tied, like I’d have been?

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  49. @TURK,@PHIL HAINES

    I agree with you that Miliband is unnecessarily exposing himself as a Europhile at this juncture.Seems more keen to avoid problems once he is PM.But to maintain a Europragmatic position would be quite useful to keep the right wing split.

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  50. @CROSSBAT11
    “Miliband and Clegg starting to talk constructively about some common interests. This makes obvious sense for both parties, not least because there’s a growing consensus in the political world that the most likely, if not quite certain, outcome of the next election is Labour being the largest party but without an overall majority.”

    Firstly I’m not sure that is the growing consensus. I think the growing consensus is that as things stand at the moment Labour will win an outright majority. But, assuming you are right, I can’t see how the Labour leadership would sell this to the party membership as a whole. There is so much hostility to the LibDems at the moment I can’t see it happening, even if it meant Labour having to take power as a minority administration. That will also give the chance for the LibDems to rehabilitate themselves by supporting left of centre policies because they believe in them and not just be seen as getting into bed with anyone just for a taste of power.

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