Following the Populus/Times Eastleigh poll that showed the Liberal Democrats five points ahead, there is a new Survation poll of Eastleigh in the Mail on Sunday tomorrow that shows the opposite picture, with the Conservative party four points ahead. Their topline voting intentions for Eastleigh are CON 33%(nc), LAB 13%(nc), LDEM 29%(-7), UKIP 21%(+5) – changes are from the previous Survation poll of Eastleigh a fortnight ago.

Both polls were conducted on the telephone and while I haven’t seen the Survation tables both companies tend to use a similar methodology in terms of weighting and reallocating don’t knows to the parties they supported at the last election. I understand they were carried out at about the same time, so it shouldn’t be a “Rennard effect”. The two polls show UKIP with the same level of support, and no significant difference in Labour support – the only difference is the figures for the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats.

I’ll have a proper look when the Survation tables appear, but at first glance the most likely explanation for the difference between the two polls is just the normal variation within the margin of error… suggesting that the race really could be neck-and-neck.

I don’t know if there are any polls of Eastleigh to come – I’ve heard rumours of a poll in the field over this weekend, but we shall see.

UPDATE: The tables for the Survation poll are up here. There are some minor differences in approach (Survation reallocated don’t knows at a lower rate, and didn’t weight up people who didn’t vote in 2010 to as a high a proportion of the sample as Populus did), but none that would explain the difference. Not that the difference really needs a fancy explanation – once you take into account the high level of don’t knows the difference between the two polls can easily be explained by normal margin of error.


389 Responses to “Survation/Mail on Sunday show Tories 4 points ahead in Eastleigh”

1 2 3 4 5 8
  1. I think that Eastleigh is going to come down to turnout and get out the vote efforts, and that the Lib Dems probably have the edge there – the council results suggest they’ve got by far the strongest local organisation.

    I also wouldn’t be surprised if UKIP do worse than their polling. There’s a good chance that the UKIP vote consists mostly of “sod politics” types, who may be less likely to turn out. It’s also quite likely that their voter ID and get out the vote operations will be sub-par. They have little in the way of local organisation, probably have little existing voter information, and probably far fewer activists to bus in.

  2. @steve2

    The point about a keynsian stimulus is that you get back the money you invest through economic growth.

    e.g Many people are calling for massive investment in social housing.

    This would provide jobs and boost the economy as those with jobs would have more money to spend in shops etc, the tax take would increase and welfare payments would go down as the formally unemployed are now earning wages and paying tax – plus you have the extra jobs and tax income generated by their spending as the money works itself through the economy.

    It gets better though – by providing lots of social housing you reduce the housing benefit bill as those on HB are no longer paying it to private landlords but to social housing providers who charge less rent – so the state is effectively paying itself. Also – because rents are lower, those on HB now have to earn less money in order to come off benefits. Those in the housing who not receiving full HB also have more money because of lower rents and thus additional spending.

    And lastly, the state has not splurged this money – it has borrowed in order to make an investment – it now owns all these houses which will continue to generate income into the future.

    If the stimulus comes from tax cuts, yes some of that money will get spent and will boost growth, but – because tax cuts favour the wealthy – a lot of it wont as the richer people spend a smaller proportion of their income in the economy – the rest goes in savings and investments. In addition the state has nothing to show for its stimulus.

    Unfortunately economic thinking in the government is dominated by friemanite ‘state shrinkers’ who see reduction in state spending and reduced taxation as an article of faith that will boost economies by rewarding ‘wealth creation’ – remember the coalition’s boast that slashing public spending would rebalance the economy and free up the private sector as they stepped into the gap?

  3. @Reggieside
    “e.g Many people are calling for massive investment in social housing.”
    ———————–
    You make many good points but I can’t say I had noticed any enthusiasm or promises from any party about a massive building programme. BTW, where exactly did the proceeds from Right To Buy sales go to ? I am not sure.

  4. On Tory VI compared to the Government approval figures..

    Since November/December last year, the Lib Dem VI has moved up, from an average of about 9% to about 11-12%. SO while Tory VI has in the same period gone down a point or two, the coalition parties combined (the once-gloried ‘ATTAD’) are at about the same level as the Labour VI.

    So I would expect the approval figures for the coalition to have been relatively similar over the past few months.

    Unless, of course, the public perception is of a Conservative government with Lib Dem support.

    What do we think is behind the Lib Dem clawing back some support recently, by the way?

  5. OZWALD – “BTW, where exactly did the proceeds from Right To Buy sales go to ? I am not sure.”

    Well, due to the high discounts, they were not that great. The relative increase in land values over the years (and in house building costs etc) means that they would have less purchasing power now than when the houses were sold.

    But what happened to them? Well, councils were at one point barred from using them for much, in particular the building of houses. As councils have come under financial pressures over the past 30-odd years, they have ended up dipping into their capital reserves in order to keep from increasing rates/Poll Tax/Council Tax and rents even more than they have done. There was also a surcharge for councils with high housing-account assets.

    In theory, the Housing and ‘General’ council budgets were not to be mixed. In practice, that really only meant that a council could not put money from the ‘General’ fund to subsidise housing, but they could go the other way around.

    So, basically a lot of it has gone. Some councils (such as one I used to be a member of, Crawley BC) have a lot of capital left from council house sales due to the sheer numbers of houses they had to be sold under RTB. However, most districts did not have that level of stock and so it has gone.

    Another destination for the money will have been grants to Registered Social Landlords (what used to be called ‘Housing Associations’) to buy houses

    I don’t blame those councils much, it was a combination of the various rules and strictures put in place by successive governments and of the changing cost of housing for councils.

  6. @ GreenChristian

    I think you have a point re UKIP.

    The odd thing is that with the polls quite close and quite promising for them the few quotes I have seen from Farage are not about winning but beating the Tories. Some of the stats do look very good for them and I’m surprised they haven’t been making bigger claims.

    I can understand Lib Dems and Tories not overplaying their hand and saying they are going to win because a) it’s a hostage to fortune if they don’t and b) calling it a close race probably motivates their supporters to vote. With UKIP they have very little to lose if they say ‘I think we can win this seat’ but they don’t seem to be saying that.

  7. The problem with the argument that public spending is good because it increases tax take and reduces benefits payments is that this often turns into an argument of employment for the sake of employment, as if tax take and benefits reduction ALONE justifies the spending.

    One simple piece of logic shows how untrue that is. Let’s suppose you employ someone on £30,000 p.a. How much tax do you expect to get out of this person. You can count income tax, national insurance, VAT and all the indirect taxes you like, but ultimately it’s going to be less than £30,000. Eliminating one person’s unemployment/housing benefit doesn’t do much good either – this person is still getting more than they would have got on benefits, and all the money is still coming from the government. Result: still a net loss in government income.

    Spending in the supply chain helps, but it still won’t recoup your expenditure. Even if we’re wildly optimistic and assume that £15,000 will find its way back to the government through tax take, how much of the £15,000 spent in local shops and services find its way back to the government. By definition, less than £15,000.

    What your really need to do is weigh up the benefits of the work these people are actually doing. Spending £30,000 to employ someone and getting £20,000 back in direct/indirect tax is still a waste of £10,000. But if the work you’ve employed someone to do enables other people to work in other jobs (preferably ones that don’t require payment from the government), that could be a different matter.

    This is why all three parties like spending on infrastructure – it’s thought to keep a lot of people in jobs whilst it’s being built, most of the supply chain money stays in the country, and once it’s finished you’re left with something (e.g. a road, railway, power station) that can then facilitate further growth with little or no need for extra government spending. Whether social housing achieves the same thing is open to debate. I can see the argument that it may cost less in the long run than housing benefit to private landlords does in the short term, but there are counter-arguments to that.

    We could argue all day over which spending does and doesn’t promote growth. The one thing I’m certain of is keeping someone in a job alone is not a good enough reason for spending. If it was – why not just pay people to do nothing all day?

  8. @john pilgrim

    Maybe they should have some kind of poll on what questions should be asked, haha. As it stands the national debate – and even the way the questions are framed – gets determined rather a lot by the press who are not inevitably the most neutral parties, as Roger points out.

    The “how much extra will you borrow (to get growth)” gambit is a question beloved of Tories and pundits in the media. I remember seeing Andrew Neil tormenting Ed Balls with it on the DP. Balls, once again, didn’t have a no-brainer answer… in the end he just spluttered “I don’t accept your premise! ”

    And true, the question is a bit loaded. But Balls didn’t get to the heart of it. Clinton had such stuff a bit more sorted. “It’s not tax and spend, it’s invest and grow.”

    A couple of weeks later the penny seemed to drop with Neil and I saw him getting a bit exasperated with a Tory pushing the cuts agenda and Neil going “Yes, but there’s no DEMAND!!”

    @Charles

    Yes it can be tricky, as Anthony pointed out during the bedroom tax/under-occupancy-charge debate. Giving more context can easily skew the answers. (This isn’t just the case for polling but can be a challenge in teaching if you want to introduce a topic without skewing pupils’/students’ perspective on the matter, or concerning leading questions in the justice system etc.)

  9. @Danivon
    Many thanks for the info. Very useful.

  10. @Pilgrim

    Unlike other parties that could be mentioned, Labour have no problem finding electable candidates. That doesn’t mean that every electable candidate is going to be given a seat they can win, in fact it means the opposite.

    And I’m not entirely sure O’Farrell is as top-flight a candidate as you think he is. It’s truly hard for people who were satirists to enter politics without having something they said in the past as a joke being taken seriously.

  11. CHRIS NEVILLE-SMITH
    ” once it’s finished you’re left with something (e.g. a road, railway, power station) that can then facilitate further growth with little or no need for extra government spending.”

    Am I missing something? Is the 30k. investment not worth 30k, and it is for that reason that it is generating further growth/income/employment, and does this not count in the assets of Government or whatever public or private sector body made the investment?

  12. @CNS

    You make a fundamental mistake there in your logic. You forget that the capital funding *also builds something*. Yes, that’s that same amount of spending going into it from government, but it ends up with a new railway, or swifter processing of passports, or moves school kids out of decade old temporary-cabins into real buildings.

    And it’s *those* things that either reduce Government spending over all, or increase economic activity to produce more tax income.

  13. CNS

    Good post.

    There was a recent blog exchange between John Redwood & Jonathan Portes on the nature of fiscal stimulus.

    It makes for interesting reading, and the two came to a large measure of agreement.

    Coming back to your observations-Redwood says that public spending financed by tax rises doesn’t constitute a fiscal stimulus either. Portes agreed with him & concludes his piece with an agreement with Redwood on the scale of fiscal tightening which has actually taken place :-

    “I do think it is important not to exaggerate either the magnitude or the impact of austerity in the UK. It explains part, but not all, of our dismal economic performance over the last few years: eurozone austerity, commodity prices, and other factors like the long-term decline in oil production all matter too.”

  14. JAYBLANC
    ” It’s truly hard for people who were satirists to enter politics without having something they said in the past as a joke being taken seriously.”

    You mean, like people may think that John Major really is entirely grey? Yes, I see what you mean.

  15. A 30k investment is worth whatever the economic benefits are.

    To pick two examples (these are extreme examples, but they make the point):

    * If you employ someone for 30k per year to remove a bottleneck on a severely congested road that makes it possible to travel from one end of town to the other again, the economic benefits will be massively more than what the government spent as people living in one half of the town now have to option of taking a job in the other half of the town.

    * If you employ someone for 30k per year to build, say, an eight-lane motorway from Orkney to the Hebrides, the economic benefits will be massively less than what you spent because there’s no way the level of traffic on the north coast of Scotland will ever be high enough to remotely utilise something on that scale.

    Quite simply, whether your 30k you spend is worth 30k depends on what you are spending it on. Simply assuming that economic benefits are equal to what the government spends regardless of what the money’s actually being spent on (as I’m afraid a lot of trade unions seem to think) would be very poor economic management.

  16. JAYBLANC

    @”And I’m not entirely sure O’Farrell is as top-flight a candidate as you think he is. It’s truly hard for people who were satirists to enter politics without having something they said in the past as a joke being taken seriously.”

    I agree.

    And some of his “jokes” were not funny.

  17. @CNS

    Sorry, I misread what you posted (my browser scrolled down a bit too far when reading) please disregard my prior post.

    However, I do point out that a public spending on ‘intangible’ things like the DVLA in swansea also benefit the economy. Delays on government processing of applications/licenses/testing all drag on the economy. The best example is that employing more tax inspectors and customs inspectors will increase government revenue directly as less is lost to fraud. And how much has the economy lost due to the horse meat scandal that could have been avoided by stricter checks on meat sourcing papers?

  18. @Danivon

    I think the Government approval/disapproval numbers were key to their popularity in the first year or so and, as overall approval declined the ratings for both the Tories and Lib Dems did so more or less in direct correlation. There was a pretty basic logic to this correlation at that stage in the Coaltion’s life and it didn’t take much of a psephological genius to work it out. Disillusionment with governmental performance moved voting intention. Ipso facto. However, post the March 2012 budget fiasco and ensuing omni-shambles, I don’t think there is any evidence that the correlation still applies. I could see Labour widening its lead for reasons that have nothing whatsoever to do with worsening Government approval ratings. Equally, it’s feasible that the Tories could stage a political recovery whilst the overall Government approval ratings remain dire, although this is less likely as a scenario, I must admit. Their fortunes are probably more closely linked to perceptions of government competence but, even then, not inextricably so. As we’ve debated before, voting intention has many determinants and not all of them by any means are related to economic well-being and what the voters think of the incumbents. Put another way, depending on how Miliband and Labour play their hand, they could still open up and maintain a big poll lead at a time when Government approval improves.

    I’ve always thought that emotional intelligence is a big factor in politics and the determination of voting intention. If you just don’t like the feel or tone of a government and the personalities of the politicians who make up its number, then however much empirical data may stack up to suggest a competent administration, then down the plughole the government tends to go. I think this was true of Major’s administration from 1994 onwards; the electorate just didn’t like the idea of them any longer despite an improving economy and rising living standards. I’m not sure yet, but I sense something similar in the political wind now.

    We live in an age where traditional party politics is at a fairly low ebb (who’d bet on a turnout in excess of 50% in Eastleigh on Thursday?) and I think we should view opinion polls through this qualified lens now rather than over-interpret fairly dodgy data on the basis of our old assumptions.

  19. “Yes, that’s that same amount of spending going into it from government, but it ends up with a new railway, or swifter processing of passports, or moves school kids out of decade old temporary-cabins into real buildings.”

    Perhaps, but as someone who used to work in the Passport Office, if someone told me that the capital spending would mean swifter processing of passports, I would be extremely sceptical it wouldn’t eat up more money to run once you’d built it (whereas road and long-distance railways are broadly self-sufficient once they’re built). And then there’s the problem that swifter processing = less job = less tax take. More complicated than you might think.

    School building? Difficult one. Yes, everyone would like new buildings, but can you prove it delivers economic benefits beyond construction of the building? That’s not as easy as you might think. If we assume that newer school means better education, how much does better education benefit the economy? And how far away are those benefits? A new school whose economic benefits are 10-15 years away isn’t much good in a financial crisis where we need economic benefits now.

    A far better argument for school is to forget about government spending vs future tax take and think of the social benefit. Delaying the building of new schools might save money in the short, medium and even long term, but is it worth paying the social price? It’s a similar argument to healthcare – we could easily save money by just letting a load of ill people die – that doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do.

  20. Sorry, didn’t know you’d double-replied when posting this. Quite reasonable points.

    Anyway, got more important things to do right now. Back to work.

  21. COLIN
    Portes: ““I do think it is important not to exaggerate either the magnitude or the impact of austerity in the UK. It explains part, but not all, of our dismal economic performance over the last few years: eurozone austerity, commodity prices, and other factors like the long-term decline in oil production all matter too.”

    Take away the surrounding dross and what Portes is saying is “The magnitude or the impact of austerity in the UK explains part of our dismal economic performance – it matters.”

    What part of our dismal economic performance, and in what respect and to what degree does it matter? The Government has combined with the banks to limit and distort investment in this country. What impact does that have on growth, exports, employment and deficit reduction?

    Portes and Redwood sound too much like stand-ins for John Bird and John Fortune for my liking.

  22. JOHN PILGRIM

    @”Portes and Redwood sound too much like stand-ins for John Bird and John Fortune for my liking.”

    Ah yes -Bird & Fortune . They were great-miss them.

    Can’t agree with your comparison though.

  23. @Danivon

    “What do we think is behind the Lib Dem clawing back some support recently, by the way?”

    My own guess is that the other parties are doing less to keep Lib Dem folk onside.

    @John Pilgrim

    Ta very much!

  24. CNS
    * If you employ someone for 30k per year to build, say, an eight-lane motorway from Orkney to the Hebrides, the economic benefits will be massively less than what you spent because there’s no way the level of traffic on the north coast of Scotland will ever be high enough to remotely utilise something on that scale.”
    Yes, it would be a S;panish white elephant, and the responsible Minister and consultants would merit the sack.
    I believe you have not answered the point of my blog above, which asked: is the 30k investment not still worth 30K and so is an asset which counts against the deficit in capital value as well as in terms of its product?
    If it were a school, BTW, its value in educational outcome would be no less an economic good in itself, not just in terms of a derived benefit in skills or socialiasation.

  25. @CNS

    Operation, maintenance and repair budgets increase substantially when you’re operating out of “temporary buildings” for any sustained length of time. Temporary buildings aren’t built to last as long as schools ended up using them, and are horrible things to have to keep maintained and properly heated throughout the school year.

  26. COLIN
    Try re-reading Portes. It’s John Fortune’s senior civil servant disguising a piece of unpalatable public truth with authoritative and high-sounding guff.
    Not to depart from my point, the essence of what he was saying was that the coalition austerity policy has hurt the UK economy. Period, as they say.

  27. JOHN PILGRIM

    @”is the 30k investment not still worth 30K and so is an asset which counts against the deficit in capital value as well as in terms of its product?”

    Since CNS has departed , perhaps I could be permitted to respond .

    When you say “count against the deficit” , you imply a reduction of the Deficit.
    Capital Investment is shown in ONS stats as public spending, and , if the latter exceeds revenue , counts as part of the resultant deficit.
    The capital value of the “assets ” built/acquired/purchased do not feature in Deficit & Debt calculations.

    Perhaps in some other area of Government Accounting, there is an inventory of state owned assets with values attached-but for the purposes of Deficit & Debt accounting , Capital Investment-like Current Spending-increases both.

  28. JOHN PILGRIM

    I am able to read Portes-and indeed Redwood-and assimilate their meaning thanks.

    re ” the essence of what he was saying was that the coalition austerity policy has hurt the UK economy. Period, as they say.”

    No the essence of what he is saying is that there has been a fiscal consolidation -it has had an effect on the economy-but it’s effect is “not to be exaggerated”

  29. I’m sorry I think this poll is an outlier, nearly every other poll has shown a lib dem lead, and a widening lib dem lead and that. It doesn’t make sense that suddenly the Tories would be now 5 points ahead, especially after the news about the loss of the Triple A, and the prospects of a triple dip.

    Labour voters will continue to vote tactically for their neighbours on the left. While the right will continue to split between the Tories and UKIP, UKIP will take 3rd ahead of Labour yes, but they won’t beat the tories or the libs.

    Either way you look at it, its bad news for the Cons, they were hoping a Liberal collapse would benefit them, alas it hasn’t as in Lib/Con marginals Labour will continue to prop up the Libs.

    They may be angry at the Liberals for what they see as makig a deal with the Devil, but they still hate the devil much more.

  30. COLIN
    I should think this worries you as much as it does me, though I don’t doubt your correctness on how the system works. Nevertheless, it goes to the heart of the development economics that may be necessary to understand and take into account the benefits, including capital assets, accruing from investment, and thus from a Kenysian policy of public sector investment to stimulate growth. If the loan, if it is a loan, taken to build a wealth and employment generating highway or bridge can be judged to be offset, that is, repayable against collateral assets which it has created, then the highway has to be counted in the loan reduction, and the cost of the loan assessed against the benefits which the highway creates. The same would apply to a school; CNS is simply supposing the application of an inappropriate methodology for what should be social cost-benefit analysis. (I trust he will come back from work some time and be able to refute this, after having had his cocoa.)

  31. COLIN

    ” the essence of what he is saying is that there has been a fiscal consolidation -it has had an effect on the economy-but it’s effect is “not to be exaggerated”

    Portes: ““I do think it is important not to exaggerate either the magnitude or the impact of austerity in the UK. It explains part, but not all, of our dismal economic performance over the last few years: eurozone austerity, commodity prices, and other factors like the long-term decline in oil production all matter too.”

    Could it not be argued that eurozone austerity, commodity prices and the decline in oil production have demanded a bold investment program, growth, rather than austerity as a strategy to offset the loss of North Sea oil and to avoid these external forces? Interesting that Portes does not mention the prime mortgage scandal and banking collapse.

  32. JOHN PILGRIM

    The asset will have a finite working life.

    At the end of that working life, the “collateral “value to which you refer will be zero.and/or resale value

    Therefore, the funds which the asset must generate in order to “break even” constitute ( assuming borrowed funding )-Repayment of the Loan -resale proceeds if any + asset lifetime interest on the Loan +asset lifetime running costs.

    Anything over & above this will have been a return on the investment-aka “stimulus”.

  33. Is there any empirical evidence that moving children from a dilapidated temporary classroom to a shiny new building increases their academic performance?

  34. JOHN PILGRIM

    Yes- I am sure it could be argued ( and has been argued) that more spending on something or other is always the answer.

    It is easier that way.

  35. @Carfrew I probably explained myself badly. I wasn’t suggesting giving more context to the respondents and then asking the questions but rather asking the respondents more questions in order to get at their view of what the key elements in the context are I agree that this might bias them but it might also make their answers easier to interpret.

  36. Wow, seems like no one watched the video i posted!

  37. @Neil A

    I’m not sure that’s entirely the point, and really don’t think that’s going to be quantifiable. What really is the point is that maintaining and operating “temporary buildings” for a decade costs more than building a permanent one. Even just on the costs of heating barely insulated portacabins.

  38. NEILA

    I knew someone would take us into the surreal world of PFI financed shiny new schools.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/8282455/PFI-70m-bill-for-schools-that-had-to-close.html

  39. COLIN
    “The asset will have a finite working life’

    You will not need me to confirm that that would be the right calculation, tho’ I would think returns should have been calculated minus running costs.

    Of course spending money is neither always the solution, nor easy. Investing money in the public sector in a system which needs to go far beyond accountancy and which ensures that its benefits exceed costs, and that it generates growth may be even less easy, certainly less easy than handing it to bankers and other wealth creators with their now tarnished reputations. Public sector investment, to meet Portes’ assumed criteria for sound economic policy, would need to go along with fiscal and financial institutional reform, and with a major UK human resource development program, which personally I believe should be planned and delivered with our EU partners.
    11.30 p.m. where I am at the moment, so may i wish you a good day, and get some shut-eye?

  40. JOHN PILGRIM

    @” I would think returns should have been calculated minus running costs.”

    .erm….no…….you must cover running costs………or you lose money.

    I agree with you about “human resource development”.

    It is vital.

    Which is why I so approve of Gove’s educational reforms , the Coalition initiatives on Apprenticeships & Baker’s UTCs

  41. COUPER2802
    @CARFEW
    The the responents in not aggreeing with either proposition are actually saying: ‘we should have increased spending in order to get growth’ this could be inferred as it is basic keyensian economics that most people know

    —-—————————-

    Well, it isn’t necessarily much of an increase in spending, as much as different spending. The current government are still borrowing a lot, it’s just that they are borrowing to cover reduced tax take and welfare increases because the cuts have killed growth. Whereas we could be borrowing for growth and to leave us in a progressively better position.

    In some ways it’s a bit like the difference between borrowing to rent, and borrowing for a mortgage. But there are other aspects to it. .

  42. @crossbat
    Sure, some may look principally for confirming evidence in polls and speculate on that basis. There’s a degree of human nature in it, and one reason is that to do otherwise and keep reserving judgement is not necessarily a comfortable place to be. Always questioning your thinking and living in a cloud of doubt.

    Popper, a noted contributor to the Philosophy of Science, pointed out that it’s generally much easier to prove something false than to prove things true, but followed that up by pointing out that your average scientist probably isn’t going to want to devote their life to proving themselves wrong every day.

    There are virtues in sharing speculations on polls of course, in that it allows others to check your thinking. It’s basically hypothesis-testing in public. Peer review!! People don’t just study polling to find out what happened, but in order to sharpen their abilities in making predictions, and of course that’s one big reason for polling VI in the first place. To predict electoral outcomes.

    I don’t make many polling predictions, but that is sitting on the fence a bit…

  43. “We could argue all day over which spending does and doesn’t promote growth.”

    —————–

    Well, some like to try and make out its just one opinion against another and frighten the horses by saying it’ll go on forever as if it is hopeless but it only continues if they keep making flawed arguments.

    Yours has a lot of flaws. You neglect the multiplier effect of wages circulating through the economy leading to growth and increased tax take via business. Or increased investment from business due to increased demand. You don’t even offset the wages cost against what you would have to spend on wages instead.

    But yes, I agree that infrastructure is better still…

  44. “You don’t even offset the wages cost against what you would have to spend on BENEFITS instead.”

  45. Rin

    because they’re all too busy having a pointless discussion about counting assets.

    Who says politics is dull?

  46. @Colin/Neil A

    You might find this interesting reading considering your scepticism about the link between school facilities and quality of learning and academic achievement. It’s written by Bob Garside, the Head Teacher of The International School in East Birmingham: –

    “Since my appointment in 2011 our school has continued to improve at a pace and we are extremely proud of our pupils’ achievements. Since we have moved into our new school, more of our pupils are achieving good academic results and are making a significant contribution to establishing the International as an outstanding school.

    The Specialist Schools and Academies Trust have recognised our achievements by placing our school in the top 10% in the country for improving pupil achievement.

    From the outset of the BSF programme we ensured that our pupils would benefit from improved learning facilities. Our school has been organised into teaching clusters, which makes it different to most other schools. The cluster arrangement ensures that the maximum available space is available for learning and creates calm and ordered teaching areas.

    In addition we have state of the art ICT facilities to support learning. Every classroom has an interactive whiteboard, many with touch screens to encourage pupil participation. Our school is served by a comprehensive wireless system which enables pupils to use portable devices anywhere on the site.

    Our school has two fully equipped drama areas, a new sports hall, improved Design Technology workshops and Apple Mac computers in graphics and music.

    Ours is a very caring school (OFSTED graded us as Outstanding) and we want to promote and develop the traits of consideration, honesty, reliability, courtesy, respect, self-discipline and hard work.

    We have a very happy and progressive school where pupils are the focus of everything we do and they have responded by taking on more responsibility for their conduct and learning.”

    Well, what does he know, I suppose.

  47. COLIN
    CNS

    “Coming back to your observations-Redwood says that public spending financed by tax rises doesn’t constitute a fiscal stimulus either.”

    —————–

    Depends if you want to define stimulus as something that, say, must require borrowing.

    But it’s not hard to see that taxing wealth that isn’t contributing much to the economy and reinvesting it ways that DO contribute more might be beneficial…

  48. RiN
    Wow, seems like no one watched the video i posted!

    OK, I stayed up and watcfhed it; terrific. I hope Colin does and think it’s a must for Amber and Crossbat. Paul watch it with your pups, they’ll love the graphics..
    Now it is bloody midnight in Attapeu in the furthest Orient and I am off for a cold shower and then to bed.

  49. John no one needed that image in their mind thank you very much

  50. I have just returned from having a coffee in town and saw the headlines of the Tory papers about “Clegg’s email bombshell”. The timing of all this strikes me as very suspicious. The alleged inappropriate behaviour by Rennard was supposedly some years ago. Why is it news NOW? Whay has this girl made it news NOW rather than back then? Is the timing part of a pro-Tory news media plot “held in reserve” for a vital period. Will the pro-Tory news media stoop to anything to paint the LDs in a bad light at a critical strategic moment of their choosing? News – hardly, given the time lapse. More likely determined for their friends to win, me thinks, by fair means or foul? The character assasination of Cleggy during the Cleggmania period following the first debate was fascinating, as was the rubbishing of him for supporting coalition policy on tuition fees during the AV referendum campaign. However, does all this especially timed partisan newspaper “news creation” have an impact on polls? Some, I suspect? Which is where Leveson missed a trick – he should have recommended that newspapers be bound by the same rules on political reporting as the broadcast media – otherwise we live constantly with a democratic process undermined by deliberately timed muck-raking to falsing influence polling perhaps?

1 2 3 4 5 8