Lord Ashcroft has released a second poll of Eastleigh, conducted over the weekend.

Topline figures are CON 28%, LAB 12%, LDEM 33%, UKIP 21%. Like the Times poll conducted by Populus last week it shows the Liberal Democrats still ahead, UKIP in third place and the Labour vote squeezed right down. The poll was conducted after the Lord Rennard story broke, so it does not appear to have had any obvious effect on Lib Dem support in the by-election, although the story obviously has continued to rumble on since then.

Two days to go until the Eastleigh by-election so I expect this will be the final poll…

Full tables are here.


420 Responses to “Ashcroft polling shows Lib Dems still 5 points ahead in Eastleigh”

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  1. ” “The mistake would be now… to give up to populism”.

    Jose Manuel Barroso

    Yeah-you tell em Jose.

  2. @GRHINPORTS

    I also believe Cameron made a huge error by forming a coalition in a desperate move to get into No. 10. If they had formed a minority government – who would have voted them out? Labour? LDs? I think not. They could have more or less done what they hav done anyway, and gone to the country in Oct 10 or May 11 and won a working majority.
    Also believe the year fixed term is a huge error – as th next 2 years will most likely prove.

  3. Colin

    ” “The mistake would be now… to give up to populism”.
    Jose Manuel Barroso
    Yeah-you tell em Jose.
    —————————————

    It’s amusing hearing unelected popinjays telling electorates what to do.

    A similar thing last week, when Olli Rehn published a report saying that debate on the magnitude of the fiscal multipliers had been “unhelpful”.

    Nice eh? We at the EC know what we are doing (it may not look that way, given how things are panning out, but trust us, we do). You, the electorate, and you, academics and practitioners with a different opinion of how to get Europe out of the perma-slump, you all need to shut up and do what you are told.

  4. @Neil A – “I am pretty sure that if the numbers had been a little different in 2010 and Labour was now presiding over a rainbow coalition, the situation would be almost an exact mirror (and yes, yes I know that the world economy would now be booming if only Ed Balls was in charge of the Treasury but lets not get into another pointless dingdong that’s going nowhere).”

    I rather agree with you. The trouble is with coordinated austerity, which has impacts beyond your own borders, and makes life very difficult for countries seeking to stimulate.

    Where I think a difference could have been made is with a focus on investment, which has to occur within your own jurisdiction, whereas consumer spending stimuli can leak overseas if they suck up imports. This is why Labour’s VAT cut was OK, but not brilliant, in my view.

  5. Alec,

    The point about the VAT cut was that the effects were immediate. Investment options usually carry a fairly long time-lag.

  6. I’m surprised at how long it has taken for EZ electorates to point the finger of suspicion at the euro.

    It didn’t happen in Greece but has started in Italy, though as far as one can tell this is still a minority position. The five-stars are for euro exit and I think the right is somewhat sceptical, but I don’t know how far that goes. I wonder if there is any polling.

  7. @grhinports

    It has always been my view that big “C” coalition would be unlikely between Labour and the Lib Dems… for all that it had unsatisfactory aspects, a looser 70’s style “pact” would always be the preferred model… and I notice that Andrew Adonis, one of those most keen to make talks work in 2010, has recently made it clear he would advocte Labour governing alone with a slender majority: “My view on coalitions has become a lot more negative.”

    h
    ttp://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/dec/07/lord-adonis-labour-coalition-liberal-democats

    One fairly balanced (imo) account of the May 2010 negotiations here:

    h
    ttp://www.newstatesman.com/uk-politics/2010/05/lib-dems-labour-clegg-tories

    h
    ttp://www.newstatesman.com/uk-politics/2010/05/lib-dems-labour-clegg-tories

  8. @Hal – I don’t dispute that, and I was one of those who was pointing out at the time that this measure was a substantial boost to the economy when others tried to claim it was an irrelevancy.

    I think the key is timing. The VAT cut was an effective emergency measure, but as time develops, things like QE and consumer spending boosts have an increasingly limited effect. The only thing left is to try and boost growth through investment, which can create jobs now as well as increase productive capacity and efficiency in the future, hopefully leading to higher future growth with more controlled inflation as the preferred route out of the debt problem.

    What we seem to have now is declining investment and declining productivity, which doesn’t bode very well for the future.

  9. I had a fascinating and friendly chat with two fairly senior local Conservative councillors at work today. As I’ve been out of politics for two decades now they talk to me quite freely and openly although they know my Rennard team background. I asked them about Eastleigh, and why the Tory campaign appeared to have run out of steam when the LDs are getting slated in the press? Their considered answers were telling. Their perception is that in large swathes of the country the activist base of the Conservative Party is hollowed out. Largely the elderly keep the local Conservative Club going which raises small amounts of money, but in many associations there are virtually no foot troops at all! Eastleigh is one such. Many dynamic “young bright hopes” have thrown in their lot with Farage. Indeed a couple of brilliant young councillors in Windsor have done just that. What is worse is that they told me that in marginal constituencies the position is even worse than in safe seats. They feel as if the party now has some sort of “glass ceiling” at about 300 seats, above which they cannot go because they even if the party spends lots of money and wins the argument at a national level they are pipped to the post on the ground in marginals by Lib Dem or Labour activist strength on the ground on polling days.
    Fascinating! When I first got involved in politics in 1971 the reverse was true. Local Conservative association organisations usually outstripped Labour ones on the ground, especially in marginals. The key to this constant presence on the ground was the full time professional constituency agent – a rare bird nowadays!!?

  10. LEFTY

    I have never understood why the political left seems so wedded to the European Union model.

    But then-I have never understood quite a lot of things !

  11. GRHINPORTS

    OK. I’ll buy your “LD’s had no alternative because there was no other coalition that could have worked.”

    Three observations on that.

    1) In that case, why negotiate with Lab? If I may say so, your comment that Lab were negotiating and then decided to pull out is a partisan reading. It takes two to negotiate. So why did the LDs do so? Presumably to threaten the Tories with an alternative and hence up the strength of the LD negotiating position?

    On the matter of those negotiations, and purely as a political tactics point, I will never understand how the LDs could possibly sign up to an agreement that forced them into a humiliating climb-down on tuition fees. For goodness sake, if ever there was a line in the sand it was this one. They surely must have realised that their credibility in future would be decimated if they reneged on so public and firm a pledge. So why not insist on winning this battle as part of the CA?

    2) You say that a minority Con Govt would have most likely won a majority in Oct10/Feb11. We hear that a lot and I’ve never quite understood where the evidence is. We’re on a polling site here and a few clicks can take you to graphs that show that, by May10, Tory poll support had been on a steady slide for 12-18 months, whilst Lab support had been rising for 12 months. The Tories were not going to be able to chuck any treats to the electorate in 6 months of a minority Govt. Why then should we assume that they were going to romp home in October 2010?

    3) This brings us to the crux of the matter: LD judgement and fidelity. The other argument against an unstable minority Govt in May10 was that we were at a moment of national crisis. We could have gone the way of Greece without a stable Govt. Clegg pushed this line hard in explaining why the LDs abandoned the economic policies that they had campaigned for, and instead bought into Austerity Now. But that was a nonsense. We were never going to be Greece as any sober analysis would conclude. We were in a totally different situation (lower debt, lower deficit, higher growth and crucially, monetary sovereignty).

    So we’re left with only two conclusions to draw. Either Clegg’s economic judgement was dreadful. Or he didn’t really think we were going the way of Greece, but had to use that argument as a fig leaf to cover his economic volte face. If it was the former then, yes, Coalition had to be formed (but it was based on an erroneous judgement). If it was the latter, then a minority Con Govt would not have been the end of the world economically. So presumably Clegg joined coalition for party political reasons. Which, of course, has turned out to be a catastrophic decision for the LDs’ popularity. Either way, his judgement is poor.

    And above all is the existential question for the LDs. When I vote LD, what am I voting for? In 2010, an LD supporter voted for a deferment of fiscal consolidation (THE biggest single issue at the Election by far). At least that was the platform the LDs had campaigned on. That policy was jettisoned in back room negotiations after the votes had been cast. So what does my vote mean when I vote LD. It appears to mean “Vote for an a la carte set of policies which we will retain or dismiss after the election depending on who we negotiate with.”

    But if I’m a left-leaning LD supporter, why take the risk of having a slightly watered-down Tory Govt when, on balance, I would prefer a warts and all left-leaning Govt? So, what possible benefit can I get by voting LD instead of Lab?

    2.5 million of your 2010 voters realised that within 6 months of May10. You’re not getting their support back for a generation at least.

  12. Colin

    The political left isn’t. The political centre is.

  13. It’s amusing hearing unelected popinjays telling electorates what to do.

    A similar thing last week, when Olli Rehn published a report saying that debate on the magnitude of the fiscal multipliers had been “unhelpful”.

    Nice eh? We at the EC know what we are doing (it may not look that way, given how things are panning out, but trust us, we do). You, the electorate, and you, academics and practitioners with a different opinion of how to get Europe out of the perma-slump, you all need to shut up and do what you are told.

    —-

    Have you looked at our own “democracy”?

    I dont recall either Thatcher or Blair having a majority in any meaninful democratic sense. And yet both ran the country as they saw fit.

    The current coalition is the first time a majority have elected a government for over 40 years. Maybe a good deal longer. And even this set-up is hardly democracy in action.

    As to the much-esteemed “electorate”. Well, in Italy, they have just elected a chaotic mish-mash which does no more than endanger their own situation/livelihoods – as well as those of the rest of Europe and further afield. Is that a “good thing”? Democracy in action?

    Maybe the world would be a much better place if we got rid of the whole idea of “electorates” and appointed competent commissioners/presidents/whatever to run things in a benign way.

    After all, the rest of us, the electorate, rarely seem to have much of an idea as to what is really the case – and believe all too readily every scrap we read in the media. A very heavy filter on reality.

  14. Can someone explain why, come the next election, and the LibDems publish their manifesto, anyone should believe a word of it?

    I mean, many parties renege on bits of their manifesto but this was such a gargantuan capitulation that it’s almost impossible to know what they stand for any more. If the LibDems had been honest and said at the election “well OK we’ve written this manifesto but come the election actually we’re going to rip it up and do most of what the other party say” how many votes do you think that would have got?

    And this idea of being some kind of “brake” on the Tories. Seriously? They were a brake on the Tories in the same way that Brown was a brake on the banks. Not only did the Tories get wholesale change across the board, they were able to do much of it within just the two years of the coalition agreement. Took Thatch two terms to get much of hers through.

    Even the NHS thing. .. just two years. it all went through so fast Tories almost ran out of things to do.

    To make matters worse, where the LibDems used their leverage, they used it rather less for the national benefit and rather more for party advantage eg the “miserable compromise” of AV. Where they did get something through like raising tax thresholds they let it be eclipsed by hammering tax credits etc.

    This idea of not having any choice doesn’t have many legs. And even if it did, that’s even less reason for voting for them since it means they’ll just do what the other party says anyway.

  15. Lefty

    The problem with a left wing labour govt from a left leaning lib dem perspective is their authoritarian tendencies and their rock solid support for fptp. In many ways the horrible compromises that the dems have made would have almost been worth it if voting reform and lords reform had been delivered

  16. @Grhinports
    “Except the LDs really didnt hold such a veto.”

    Yes they did. Without LD support in a vote of confidence even if not in coalition, no government of any colour could have soldiered on. That amounts to the power to stop something happening and in my mind meets the definition of a veto.

    The Conservatives could havebeen allowed to govern as a minority. Out of coalition, Cameron and Osborne could better have been held in check in terms of the pace and extent of austerity. Top down NHS reorganisation could have been stopped. And so on. How long this went on would have been up to the opposition just as much as to the Conservatives. Either could have triggered further elections. It certainly wouldn’t have gone on until 2015. And the government’s more precarious position would meant that actions which the government did take would have required a degree of political consensus.

    Would this have played into the hands of the Conservatives in terms of their securing a majority in 2010 or 2011? I think not. After the initial coalition honeymoon, some of Labour’s bounce was down to replacing Brown. And don’t underestimate the impact on public opinion if the LDs as well as Labour had been taking issue from the outside over policies the Conservatives were trying to pursue, rather than supporting the government’s actions in public.

    The fact that the LDs might have suffered politically from pursuing this course is irrelevant whether true or not. (As it happens, I disagree with you but that is also irrelevant). If narrow political self-interest by a party dictates the shape of our government, that doesn’t speak well of the party that uses that to define its actions.

    In deciding how to wield their power of veto, I consider that what swung it for the LDs was the prospect of long term constitutional reform to their benefit – AV (which they thought was a shoo-in), PR in a more powerful second chamber, fixed term parliaments German style with a 55% threshold needed to force early elections. None of that has come to pass. Yet they were willing to sign up to a great deal in response to the prospect of winning the consitutional long game.

    Finally, I accept that some here may disagree, but I remain of the view that I have never lived through a government implementing such an extreme right wing agenda as this. This “anyone” at least isn’t convinced by the fact that a growing hard right wing in the Conservative Party argues that the government is being held back. Looking at what the Government is actually doing, I find that about as convincing as an argument that the Republicans in the USA have sold out to a liberal agenda because the Tea Party there says so.

  17. Tony

    ‘I understand your distaste for a party that is seemingly propping up a common monetarist enemy – but what is their alternative? ‘

    Not propping them up is the alternative.

  18. @ Leftlampton

    I agree with you wholeheartedly on 1, 2 and 3……..except…..I am trapped by living in a constituency where the Labour Party polls less than 10%, and at best could hit say 20%.

    I want to cast an effective anti-Tory vote. What do I do?

    There are probably a couple of million voters in my situation……

    PS. Upon re-reading 1, it is not quite true to say Labour was realistically prepared to negotiate in 2010. Read any account of the meetings. The Labour delegation were insultingly dismissive of the LDs, which contrasted strongly with the up-beat attitude of the Tory negotiating team. I agree it was a wrong decision to be influenced by this temporary comparison and make a blunder of historic proportions by committing the party to a coalition of the centre-right, when the Libs had spent half a century re-establishing themselves as a party of the progressive left since the days of the Grimond re-alignment. Parties of the left do not coalesce with parties of the right except in times of war UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES! The LDs really should have stuck to a concept of which side of the Left-Right divide they were on. This lesson had been learned by the Liberals in the strategic mistakes of the disastrous 1931-1960 period, which Grimond, Thorpe, Steel, Ashdown and Kennedy had consistently been putting right. Clegg threw all those decades of hard graft away IMHO – and for what? To be treated like S***t by the Tories and their friends in the press, and thus to achieve nothing of lasting worth, and the successes are only really small things that can be undone at the blink of an eye by any future government.

  19. RiN

    Aye. And the alternative for a left-leaning LDer? Vote LD and get a cuddly Con-led Govt that will be nice to everyone and gives us PR?

  20. ‘I have never understood why the political left seems so wedded to the European Union model.’

    It isn’t. The ‘political’ left (as opposed to the other left?) has always been split on this, just as has the right.

    Generally speaking, the further left you go the harder the opposition to the EU.

    Perhaps this is a perception thing again i.e. so much effort has been spent in trying to paint ‘The Left’ as being pro-EU that people are beginning to believe their own propanganda.

  21. Phil

    But the fact is that the tories hate the limp dims with a passion and its all this idea that the dems have prevented a real tory govt. Myself I think its because the tory supporters were expecting massive tax cuts without regard for the consequences, a majority con govt would not been able to deliver such tax cuts either but hey

  22. Lefty,

    Your post at 9:53am is the best summary of the possible reasons behind Clegg’s choice in 2010 that I have seen. May I add a couple of conjectures regarding LD voter reaction?

    Following Clegg’s performance in the TV debates there was a surge in LD VI in the polls. This did subside on election day quite markedly, but it seemed that there were two main groups (outside of the LD’s actual support base) who were now considering voting LD:

    1) Those that were at least left leaning, but were fed up with Labour and looking for an alternative.
    2) Non-Tory voters who lived in a safe Tory seat where previously Labour were the only party with any chance of causing an upset.

    Anyone that fell into either of those two groups (never mind the core LD supporters) would have been horrified with what happened in the weeks following the election, and as you rightly say, the LDs have lost any chance of gaining their support again for a generation.

  23. Lefty

    “Aye. And the alternative for a left-leaning LDer? Vote LD and get a cuddly Con-led Govt that will be nice to everyone and gives us PR?”

    I’m told that suicide is painless, but seriously we are fcuked

  24. Instead of thinking of the Grillo crowd as an unruly mob, perhaps, given that they are well educated people, they should be regarded as independents. In that case they could be persuadable to logical argument, something not typical of whipped political parties.

    You probably gather that I thought the Italian election a very healthy one. What must have Italian pollsters scratching their heads is why the Grillo party polled 16% and got 26% in the actual election. Internet influence?

  25. @Tony Dean
    Can’t disagree with any of your final paragraph. I will have to revise my rather prejudical views of what the LDs have become if more of their members choose to express their frustrations in similarly frank terms.

  26. @ That Old Bloke

    I woud scrap political parties and only accept independents to stand as candidates in each seat. The independent candidates would have to gain say 1000 nominations from voters in the constituency before they could stand. There would be a requirement for the candidate to live in the constituency. Once they were selected a candidate they would be given a small amount of money to fund any campaign costs.

    I believe that if you had the choice of a number of quality independent candidates to choose from in each constituency, that after an election you would then have a parliament which was more representative of the country and probably more able to control the Civil Servants running the country. The other side to this idea, is to scrap the current way parliament works and have a different type of politics.

    It is a bit silly that we still have a parliament, where the division bell rings and we have MPs running around to vote in the appropriate lobbies. I would make Westminster into a museum and have a modern parliament elsewhere in the country, where votes are done electronically. The votes are then recorded online, so constituents can see how their MP is voting. There would be links to Hansard recordings of speeches and committee sessions/reports.

    Time to move into the modern age and junk the current way politics/parliament works ?

  27. Richard in Norway is spot on! The ONLY reason for going into coalition with the “natural enemy” was to get AV for the Commons, PR for the Lords, and 55% votes for dissolutions.
    However, with the aid of their rottweilers in the press the Tories were NEVER EVER going to allow any of them to be delivered. Clegg and the LDs were too influenced by the “SDP virgin tendency” within the LDs to believe the “Tory Interest” would ever actually allow any of those things to come to pass. The old Liberal Party to which I belonged (although I worked for them I never joined the LDs!) knew that instinctively – thus the ground swell against Thorpe making that mistake in Feb 74 when invited by Heath. The Liberal Party of those days knew which side of the Left-Right divide they were on! They had also learned by hard experience since the days of the formation of the 1922 committee that bankbench Conservatives will always stab Liberals in the back no matter what they have negotiated with them. The LDs should have known that Tories are un-coalesceable with – unless you want to be absorbed (Lib Nats/Nat Libs) or politically murdered (Lloyd-George).
    Clegg committed the ultimate Churchillian crime “He didn’t know the lessons of history well enough”

  28. Mitz

    Its often talked about the clegg surge but in the end it amounted to?? Less than a % point?? Labourites always talk about the kind borrowing libdem voters(I think they mean steal) but no one owns their voters

    Clegg was an idiot to throw the election in the final debate

  29. R Huckle

    I think I just fell a little bit in love with you. And if you were to stand as an independent in my constituency with working towards that complete shake up of the political system as your only manifesto pledge, I would vote for you.

  30. UK 10 yr Gilts-yields back below 2% pa again this morning.

    From Credit downgrade to Safe Haven in five days.

    Thank you Mr. Grillo.

  31. Tony Dean

    I agree with your observation on who a left-leaner is to vote for in seats where Lab is not at the races.

    The salient lesson of by-elections in this Parliament appears to be that the electorate understands this. Lab has mopped up LD votes and wiped the floor with the LDs in the North/Mids (Bradford apart, although even there the LD vote collapsed but it went even further left than Labour!). But in Eastleigh, it appears that Lab supporters are going the other way. Lab in Eastleigh has traditionally picked up about 0.6x its national poll rating. But in recent polls, the multiplier is more like 0.25x. Similarly, the LD multiplier is historically 1.75-2x. But Current polls indicate that the LD multiplier is above 3.

    All that suggests that Lab supporters are tactically supporting the LDs where it would be stupid not to do, but deserting them where Lab can win.

    The overall picture is horrific for the Tories. A true twin-pronged attack and that’s even before UKIP are factored in.

    As for the LDs, it suggests that they will be OK for a rump of 25-35 seats. Which might just get them a minor say in a left-led coalition in 15.

  32. Not being a lib dem supporter I have been quite surprised at myself, lost count of the number of times I found myself feeling for them, head in my hands, as I watched them getting outplayed time and again.

    This started very early on as I watched them make the catastrophic error of giving the Tories what they wanted up front, while waiting for AV and Lords reform. Tying themselves to the Austerity package was another huge error they couldn’t row back from. Even more recently they were prepared to give Tories another round of welfare cuts without securing much in return. Seemed like they hoped for the mansion tax but didn’t get it.

  33. @Tony Dean

    “I want to cast an effective anti-Tory vote. What do I do?”

    I’m starting to think that voting UKIP makes a lot of sense in this context. By bolstering UKIP, it increases the chance of an SDP-style split in the Tories. What will be the effect of a UKIP win in Eastleigh? It will surely encourage the right to believe that UKIP has a chance of being more than just a protest party, drawing support away from those luke-warm lily-livered excuses for Tories who are currently in power.

  34. Colin

    Sooner or later the message will sink home that bond yields have bugger all to do with credit ratings for monetarily sovereign countries. Yields are an indication of future expectations of interest rates not what Moody’s say.

    Low yields mean that the market expects long-term depressed economic activity and therefore low interest rates. The credit rating has near-enough no influence whatsoever on bond yields as can be seen by a cursory glance at yields in Japan, USA and now us.

    The tragedy is that we have implemented an economic policy designed to assuage the credit ratings agencies’ fears for absolutely no good reason. In THAT sense at least, the downgrade is a Black Weds moment. It shows that a policy aimed at the wrong target has failed. Whether the Govt uses that fact to change policy as they so (economically) successfully did in 92 is the question.

    Personally, I doubt it. Osborne knows only too well that the Tories took no credit whatsoever for the economic recovery 93-97, but we’re hammered for the appearance of failure on Black Weds and the subsequent, implicit acceptance that the pre-Black Weds policy had been wrong. He won’t make that (political) misjudgement, even if it means doing the wrong thing economically.

  35. Colin

    Sooner or later the message will sink home that bond yields have bugger all to do with credit ratings for monetarily sovereign countries. Yields are an indication of future expectations of interest rates not what Moody’s say.

    Low yields mean that the market expects long-term depressed economic activity and therefore low interest rates. The credit rating has near-enough no influence whatsoever on bond yields as can be seen by a cursory glance at yields in Japan, USA and now us.

    The tragedy is that we have implemented an economic policy designed to assuage the credit ratings agencies’ fears for absolutely no good reason. In THAT sense at least, the downgrade is a Black Weds moment. It shows that a policy aimed at the wrong target has failed. Whether the Govt uses that fact to change policy as they so (economically) successfully did in 92 is the question.

    Personally, I doubt it. Osborne knows only too well that the Tories took no credit whatsoever for the economic recovery 93-97, but we’re hammered for the appearance of failure on Black Weds and the subsequent, implicit acceptance that the pre-Black Weds policy had been wrong. He won’t make that (political) misjudgement, even if it means doing the wrong thing economically.

  36. @Tony Dean – “The Labour delegation were insultingly dismissive of the LDs”

    If you read the New Statesman account (linked to above), Adonis identifies your assertion as one of the misleading (he also uses a stronger word) alibis used by the party leadership in order to “deliver” Liberal Democrats to the Tories.

    The media were briefed about Labour’s “body language” being all wrong. Apart from that being a trivialisation, I think it has been proved body language is very much in the eye of the beholder – and it is a two-way street, Alexander reportedly never looked up from his smartphone, reading out lists of demands/consessions already offered by the Tories.

    Barring Cable from having any discussions with Darling did not help with this impression that LDs were using negotions with Labour as a play in their “Dutch auction” with the Tories.

  37. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) revised its growth estimate for the year up from no growth to 0.3%.

  38. LEFTY

    @”Sooner or later the message will sink home that bond yields have bugger all to do with credit ratings for monetarily sovereign countries. Yields are an indication of future expectations of interest rates not what Moody’s say.”

    Of course-my reference to the gloomridden commentary after last Friday ( much of it here) was a sarcastic one.

    @”Low yields mean that the market expects long-term depressed economic activity and therefore low interest rates”

    I disagree. Bond buyers have a range of interests which persuade them to accept low returns on their investment.

    Thanks for your views & historical analysis-interesting-as ever.

  39. I do find it surprising that apparently 21% of the potential voters amongst the good people of Eastleigh intend to vote for a party that suggests that 4 million Bulgarians out of the 7.5 million total population of Bulgaria will descend on mass on the UK.

    Bulgaria is a poor country and in common with many countries this causes a migratory push but 50%+ of the entire population is a ludicrous assertion,with no historical precedent . If we take the example of Poland the total net migration to all countries per year amounts to just 0.4% of the population.

    This ridiculous assertion is presumably based on the Express news papers poll (any idea of the polling method?) in Bulgaria suggesting 54% of the population would consider moving abroad.

    Interestingly a survey in the UK in 2006 revealed 54% of UK citizens would consider moving aboard too.!

    Does Bulgaria have to worry about 35 million UK residents descending on it?

    I can only assume this is pure mid term protest unless intelligence levels have suddenly nose dived in Hampshire

  40. Colin
    Of course-my reference to the gloomridden commentary after last Friday ( much of it here) was a sarcastic one.

    So you disagree with the aim of the Govt’s policy over the last three years; to ensure that we retain our AAA status and thereby keep interest rates down?

  41. Colin

    “The Office for National Statistics (ONS) revised its growth estimate for the year up from no growth to 0.3%.”

    Excellent news. Green shoots perhaps?

  42. @Leftylampton,

    Not interest rates. Government borrowing rates. (Bond yields).

    There has been a lot of confusion between the two…

  43. LEFTY

    RE UK Gilt yields -you might be interested in what the market actually thinks :-

    “Gilts, despite the downgrade, clearly remain in the club of safe-haven assets,” said John Wraith, a fixed-income strategist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in London. “When you have panic in the euro-region periphery, gilts are going to be a beneficiary of that.”

    Bloomberg. this morning.

    @”So you disagree with the aim of the Govt’s policy over the last three years; to ensure that we retain our AAA status and thereby keep interest rates down?”

    I agree that the second of those two was a key aim.

    Absolutely!

    Loss of confidence by buyers of UK Gilts , given an inherited £160 bn pa Deficit & resultant Debt trajectory would be a catastrophe.

    RE the first of the two reasons-AAA. It was a convenient political peg at the time , which served a purpose. But since the Credit Agencies have become so discredited, GO successfully moved away from it -neatly drawing attention to Moody’s warning about a further & more serious downgrade in the event of loss of “political will” in getting DEbt down.

  44. Colin
    “The Office for National Statistics (ONS) revised its growth estimate for the year up from no growth to 0.3%.”
    Excellent news. Green shoots perhaps?

    -Oh goody at that rate it will only take 25 Years to return the economy to the position it was in 2007

  45. LEFTY

    @”Green shoots perhaps?”

    Not as a result of those revisions-none applied to Q4.

    …but for other reasons……..possibly .

  46. STEVE

    You want an economy like the one we had in 2007?

    Seriously?

  47. STEVE
    You want an economy like the one we had in 2007?
    Seriously?

    -Do you think the one we have now is better?

    Seriously?

  48. “You want an economy like the one we had in 2007?
    Seriously?”

    ———–

    I think his point might be that at this rate it would take 25 years.just to improve things to how bad it was then. ..

    Any better than that would take aeons longer. ..

  49. As so often when looking at the reaction of the political establishment and media to events such as the rise of M5S, you think of Brecht’s poem, “The Solution”:

    After the uprising of June 17th
    The Secretary of the Authors’ Union
    Had leaflets distributed in the Stalinallee
    Which said that the people
    Had forfeited the government’s confidence
    And could only win it back
    By redoubled labour. Wouldn’t it
    Be simpler in that case if the government
    Dissolved the people and
    Elected another?

    There was another splendid example, here in the Isle of Man, in the Tynwald Budget debate when one MHK denounced “ill-informed forum sites, which in my opinion should be shut down” because they dared to “criticise” to way the Island was run.

    What is particularly noticeable is that these cries of “How very dare you” have actually grown stronger since the events of 2008 illustrated the very shaky foundations on which the their model is based.

  50. RE the first of the two reasons-AAA. It was a convenient political peg at the time , which served a purpose. But since the Credit Agencies have become so discredited, GO successfully moved away from it -neatly drawing attention to Moody’s warning about a further & more serious downgrade in the event of loss of “political will” in getting DEbt down.

    ————-

    You seriously don’t think they were discredited at the time? Having given all that toxic debt AAA ratings etc. ?

    And you are saying Osborne has moved away from them, because discredited yet at the same time is “neatly” taking seriously their warnings?

    ???

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