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. Neil A

    I was using loose terminology. By “interest rates” I mean “the rate at which a Govt can borrow”.

    Colin.

    I’m with you brother. We agree that invoking the bond vigilantes was a master stroke of polical tactics. Osborne deserves a lot of credit for that. After all, it certainly fooled Clegg into signing the CA, tuition fees and all!

    As for “confidence” in the bond markets, can you point to any example of where the bond markets have ever lost confidence in a major, monetarily sovereign country’s ability to repay its debts because the debt level was too high?

  2. @Colin and Steve

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

    Absolutely NOT. I want a social democratic Mixed Economy similar to what we had in 1970 – with the same or better “all in it together” income distribution we had back then. New Labour’s greatest failure was not to monitor the ten decile groups of income, and use fiscal and taxation methods to move us towards a Scandinavian model of a more even distribution between the upper and lower deciles of the population.

    In fact, that would be a good target for any incoming Lab-LD coalition in 2015!!!!

  3. Seems a bit strange to claim Labour weren’t serious about coalition negotiations when they were prepared to get rid of Brown. And I’m not sure but wasn’t there talk about Labour offering AV+ ?

  4. I heard, on good authority, that Ed Balls told the LDs to as good as F**k off during the negotiation period.

  5. @Carfrew

    Brown offered AV+ without a referendum, plus a referendum on “full PR” whatever system that meant. There was only one problem – he knew and we knew he couldn’t deliver either numbers wise in the Commons or numbers wise within his own Cabinet, let alone within the PLP. Brown was a gonner, and the other senior Labour people, including most of the negotiating team, were more focused on the forthcoming Labour leadership battle, rather than seriously trying to cobble together a coalition whcih at best would have a parliamentary majority, with all the rainbows in the tent too, of about 3!

    It just wasn’t a runner……

    The mistake was to be taken in by the “siren voices” and “nice-ness” of the Tory negotiating team. We should have let the Tories take all the blame from the other side of the House – and kept our Progressive Left credentials!
    Ministerial experience would soon have followed (within a few years) within a Government of the Left.

  6. Tony Dean
    “The mistake was to be taken in by the “siren voices” and “nice-ness” of the Tory negotiating team. We should have let the Tories take all the blame from the other side of the House – and kept our Progressive Left credentials!
    Ministerial experience would soon have followed (within a few years) within a Government of the Left.”

    Who knows – with a skilful playing of the LD hand in May10, allowing a minority Con Govt to tie itself in knots whilst supporting some strategically useful measures, whilst not giving Labour the “We’re the only ones who are not Tory supporters” card, the LDs might even have been SENIOR partners in a Govt of the centre-left today.

  7. On vote share, I mean.

  8. @Tony Dean

    Take your point that LibDems may not have taken it all that seriously given the way the numbers stacked up.

    That does suggest that it was the LibDems who were less committed to negotiations with Labour though, especially since despite the numbers, Brown was still prepared to step down, leaving Labour in limbo subsequently.

    Regarding the Progressive Left credentials, problem seems to be that the LD leadership themselves weren’t necessarily all that Progressively Left. ..

  9. Re the ONS revisions to GDP figures. As has already been pointed out, they haven’t helped overall growth on Q4, and on balance it actually could be worse, although the headline figure remained static as changes balanced out overall.

    For Q4 the ONS has increased the estimate of construction sector growth sharply from +0.3% to +0.9%, and has also slightly eased the contraction of manufacturing, from -1.5% to -1.3%, although it should still be noted that to have 25% of your economy (and the 25% that really helps exports) contracting at over 1% a quarter is in itself very alarming.

    Set against these, they have downgraded the much larger service sector from level to -0.1% and indicated that business investment fell by -1.9% in Q4 – an alarming drop.

    Given the figures I quoted yesterday on the February household income survey (big squeeze continuing and confidence in the next twelve months declining) and the January snow, this still looks like things could be very tight for a triple dip recession.

    There is also still no sign that demand on the continent might ride to the UK exporters rescue – the PMI data for the Eurozone retail sector is shocking, with the EZ retail sector contracting across the board (even in Germany) with the biggest fall in revenues since this survey commenced 9 years ago and reports of rapid destocking, suggesting there isn’t going to be a turnaround for some time.

  10. Alec

    The EC forecast last week sees EU growth coming from EXTERNAL demand in 2013 with Internal demand bursting through in 2014.

    Although that is all predicated on commentators and academics being good little boys and girls and not daring to debate whether Olli Rehn can differentiate between his backside and a bend in his arm.

  11. “Brown offered AV+ without a referendum”

    I’ve seen no evidence to back up that assertion, in fact the what evidence there is points to it being a story that was put about for a very specific reason:

    h
    ttp://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/newsnight/michaelcrick/2010/07/was_the_coalition_built_on_a_l.html

    To quote Nick Clegg (Hansard): “The answer is no…. That was not offered by the Labour Party in those discussions.”

  12. I can’t help feeling that talk of the rights and wrongs of the Lib Dem’s tactics in 2010 may be a bit premature.

    I can see the argument for a looser arrangement where they permitted a Tory government without formal coalition, but as others have pointed out, leaving Cameron the power to call an election at any time could well have proved costly. I suspect this was the easiest and most likely route to envisage an outright Tory majority, but Cameron effectively closed this off, and I suspect Tory party historians may well come to see that as Cameron’s biggest error.

    As for the Lib Dems, I rather think they are crafting a useful niche for themselves. Clearly, they are distanced from Labour – this is no bad thing, considering Labour slumped to their worst performance in decades in 2010, and in a conventional single party government scenario, it becomes much harder for Lib Dems to distinguish themselves and they become a general part of ‘the opposition’. This would have given Tories an easier time in some ways, although Lib Dems would clearly have still been able to fight for left of centre votes.

    The niche Lib Dems are currently carving is best done within government – as internal critics of the Tory party. Tory backwoodsmen are helping them greatly in this, but the line that Lib Dems are moderating ‘nasty’ Tories is powerful, as can be seen by the barely suppressed outrage being expressed by many Tories on this issue.

    I think the mistake Clegg made wasn’t to go into coalition, but to go further than necessary when he switched on tuition fees. It would have been possible to mount an anguished abstention, rather than a wholehearted backing of a policy previously described as wrong, and I think this is where his biggest fall came.

    I don’t think however, that we should ignore the benefits of having ministerial experience and gaining profile, and I think we should await the verdict of voters in 2015 and beyond before deciding if coalition was a grand error. For my money, I suspect Lib Dems will do reasonably well out of the experience.

  13. @Carfrew

    “Regarding the Progressive Left credentials, problem seems to be that the LD leadership themselves weren’t necessarily all that Progressively Left. ..”

    The rot set in with the merger in 1988. The influx of SDP blood, both virgins and old right-wing Labour folk, moved the LDs to the centre, instead of to the left where the old Liberals instinctively were. This applied particularly to three factors, political positioning strategy, internal organisation, and political instinct. It is why I was prepared to work for the new party, but not join it myself. Sadly, the “continuing Liberals” were a little splinter joke, and not a serious option. I left politics altogether a year after the merger.
    I would have joined Labour thereafter, only they were becoming too right-wing on income distribution policy, and not interested in electoral reform, which I back not for some intellectual purist representationalist reason, but as a mechanism for locking monetarists out of power permanently through the democratic process.

  14. @Alec

    There is little doubt the LDs are carving themselves a niche. The problem is that they appear to be carving themselves a niche that is half-the-size of the one they had before, despite ministerial experience etc.

  15. I think the problem for the LDs was that they have always argued (when promoting PR) that coalitions are a good thing and are the way to a better and more representative form of government.

    They have also wanted to keep their options open with regard to “left” and “right”. A firm declaration that they despise the Tories and could never work with them would have sunk this triangulation, which was very important to them in their classic strategy of tailoring their message to different types of constituency.

    So refusing to enter coalition with the Tories would have flown in the face of their long-professed view of themselves.

    I partially agree with Alec, in that I think it is too early to judge the overall success of their decision. However, I think that 2015 is probably too early a point to make that judgement. I’d give it another 5-10 years beyond that before we can get any kind of historical perspective on it.

  16. @Tony Dean

    Interesting stuff. Others here have fingered Kennedy as taking the party to the right, as opposition to the Tories. Seems to me looking from the outside that the Young Turks such as Clegg and Alexander have taken it further right?

    The problem of course is that in contrast the Manifesto positioned them to the left of Labour on numerous things.

    Regarding monetarism: one cannot really avoid paying attention to it. .. the amount of money in circulation etc. matters. But there are different ways of skinning the cat and some monetarist methods are rather more benign than others. ..

  17. Carfrew,

    I don’t really understand why Alexander in particular isn’t a Conservative rather than a LibDem.

  18. Reflecting further, on this idea that the Lib Dems had to capitulate because Tories were the larger party with many more MPs etc. .. well, Labour had a lot more MPs than the Libs but Libs felt fine about even demanding Labour ditch their leader. Tuition fees seems rather small beer in comparison really. ..

  19. Anyone who thinks the LDs will come out of the coalition experience well must take the following into account:

    1. As soon as the coalition ceases to exist Conservative ministers (or if Labour win, ex-Ministers) will be duty bound to go on and on about how useless the LDs were in government. This will vary between “nice chap, but dim” to “unscrupulous fellows, can’t be trusted – seen them at close hand”
    2. This will be re-inforced by their friends in the press whenever and where ever the LDs have a fighting chance, with news creation and scandal mongering, even where there is no scandal!
    3. The LDs will be forever harried with the taunt that you cannot believe any commitment they make, quoting Student fees. This sting will linger for decades to come.
    4. They will be laughed at by large numbers of people if they try and portray themselves again as a party of the left having gone in with the Tories. Amongst a continental electorate this would be understood, but in “politically tribal Britain” it just won’t play.
    5. They might well cling onto 25-35 seats because of good local incumbents. They did often hold on in some seats in elections before WW2, but were gradually whittled away because people generally didn’t know whose side they were actually on – The Left or Right? The lesson was forgotten in 2010 that you must stick to one or the other – no matter what the mathematics of any given Commons is.
    6. Many of us, especially from the old Liberal Radical tradition believed from Grimond’s time onwards we had become, permanently, a libertarian component of the political left in juxtaposition to the authoritarian instincts of the Labour component of the left. To consider coalition with the Tories on any terms whatsoever completely negates that stance for certainly several decades.

    Where can they go from here? Life after this coalition? Heavens knows.

  20. @Mitz

    Well one theory is that LDs are possibly increasingly the home for Tories who happen to be more pro-EU

  21. @Alec
    I disagree with you about the idea that Cameron could have realistically gone on to gain a majority post May 2010. And the prospect of that distant prospect moving this government even further to the right is of little relevance given how far they’ve already travelled. The very few compromises apparently won by the LDs in government almost all have the appearance of leaving us in a position which any majority Conservative government would be comfortable with. It’s just a matter of better Conservative negotiating tactics – start with a position that you know you will be able to give ground on to get back to the position you probably wanted to get to anyway. By crippling themselves politically, the LDs negotiating power was lost, and with it their ability to gain real compromise was forfeited. And their weakness is such that they’ve kept to this course even when all their key constitutional reforms have been scuppered by Conservative backbenchers.

  22. I look forward to the news of Ken Clarke’s defection!

  23. CARFREW

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

    Yes -it was in his response to Balls in the UQ debate the other day.

    I thought he did it quite cleverly.

    Would you say there has been any significant fiscal or political downside for Cons ?

  24. Neil A
    “So refusing to enter coalition with the Tories would have flown in the face of their long-professed view of themselves”

    I profoundly disagree with that take.

    There was one issue and one issue alone that mattered in 10: how fast do we implement fiscal consolidation?

    The LD’s pre-election position was for a steady, measured approach to this. Laws in his book on the coalition negotiations openly says that the LDs accepted Osborne’s position on the deficit 100%. So they ditched their policy on the most important issue of all.

    They didn’t have to do that. If they were not able to negotiate a compromise position, they could have refused to join a coalition, stating that they could not betray their voters on something so fundamental.

    But they didn’t do that. They bought Osborne’s policy. (I suspect partly because it suited Law’s political beliefs, partly because they were genuinely spooked by Greece.)

    And THIS is why they now have an existential problem. If they are prepared to flip a policy as Importnat as his, what WILL they stick to? Where are their lines in the sand in future? They cannot have any.

  25. LEFTY

    @”s for “confidence” in the bond markets, can you point to any example of where the bond markets have ever lost confidence in a major, monetarily sovereign country’s ability to repay its debts because the debt level was too high?”

    “Confidence” is a comparative , not an absolute commodity.

    Perhaps you can remind me what UK 10yr Gilt yields were in February 2010 -and explain why they were different then.

  26. @Leftylampton

    “I suspect partly because it suited Law’s political beliefs”

    That was the clincher IMO!

  27. TONY DEAN

    @”Absolutely NOT. I want a social democratic Mixed Economy similar to what we had in 1970 ”

    I don’t-I was there.

  28. @Phil Haines – just to note, I wasn’t saying they would have achieved a majority with a second snap election, only that this was their best chance to do so, in my view. They would have retained the flexibility to jump when they felt it suited them, and freed from Lib dem influence could have pursued a policy platform they felt most appropriate to the objectives of a second election during whatever honeymoon they might have had.

  29. @ Colin

    So was I – loved it! Happy days before Milk Snatcher changed everything…….!

    Remember that summer of 70 – Mungo Jerry, flower power, pretty girls…..

    Oh God – I’d better watch myself or the Daily Mail will be after me!

  30. @EWEN LIGHTFOOT

    Fair enough…The LD`s were using negotiations with Labour as a bargaining chip to gain more from the Conservatives,nothing more

  31. @”And you are saying Osborne has moved away from them, because discredited yet at the same time is “neatly” taking seriously their warnings?”
    Yes -it was in his response to Balls in the UQ debate the other day.
    I thought he did it quite cleverly.
    Would you say there has been any significant fiscal or political downside for Cons ?

    —————–

    He may have done it cleverly but it isn’t very consistent.

    I’m not much of a fan of Balls’ communication skills, but he’s better at attacking than defending and I thought his pointing out that first we needed austerity to protect the triple A and now we need austerity because we lost the triple A was quite effective.

    Fiscally? May not be that significant to lose the rating. Though the pound slumping isn’t great for household bills etc., but these things do flip around a bit.

    Politically? Depends how many spot the contradiction in Osborne’s stance on the rating.

    But of course if the rating doesn’t really matter then Osborne squandered growth on a charade. If it does matter, then his policy has squandered growth and we still took a hit on the rating.

    Either way it’s not good. ..

  32. Colin

    What a silly argument on Gilt yields.

    Yes they were higher in 2010 than they are now. And they were hire in 2006 than they were in 2010. And higher in 1997 than they were in 2006. Go and have a look.

    http://www.tradingeconomics.com/united-kingdom/government-bond-yield

    I’ve forgotten: what was your point?

    Because to claim in the light of those facts that gilt yields have come down since 2010 because Osborne has calmed market fears and instilled confidence requires some leap of logic. Presumably you also believe that Brown and Darling did the same between 2006 and 2010? Or between 97 and 06?

    Me, being an Occam’s Razor sort if chap, I tend to look for explanations that don’t require tortuous logical contortions. I see the gilt yields as being on a very long term downward trend. And I see no evidence whatsoever that they are affected by confidence or lack thereof in our debt levels.

  33. @Smulesh and Ewen

    “Fair enough…The LD`s were using negotiations with Labour as a bargaining chip to gain more from the Conservatives,nothing more”

    Yes, absolutely. We knew it and they knew it, which is probably why they went so disastrously badly…..?

  34. Colin

    “TONY DEAN

    @”Absolutely NOT. I want a social democratic Mixed Economy similar to what we had in 1970 ”

    I don’t-I was there.”

    Well 30% of folk are a lot worse off than they were in the 70s another 30% are much better off, I wonder which group you are in

  35. As an update to the GDP figures, I had to smile at this – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/9897571/Britain-never-had-a-double-dip-recession-says-top-economist-Simon-Ward.html

    While everything said here is true, I find it rather quaint that some economists, for whatever reason, are seeking to redefine what we understand as a recession and are happy to trot out a series of reasons/excuses why we haven’t had a recession.

    I’m really not quite sure why he has bothered with this line, but he may as well have said that yes, we can confirm we have had a double dip, but there are some factors that can partially explain this.

    The logical silliness of the all this is that there are always a mix of underlying and one off factors that contribute to the GDP stats. If total growth is negative, it’s really rather pointless only to focus on those odd negative factors in isolation. Why not focus instead on those one off positive factors to claim things are worst than the headline, or why not look at the poor underlying figures which show a badly performing economy prone to being knocked into negative territory by one off factors?

    The fact that he is arguing this case may be to do with the fact that he is an arch monetarist and clearly believes cuts will deliver growth, but finds the facts after the case slightly at odds with his ideology.

  36. One thing is certain, that if we should ever get an election result similar to 2010 there would not be a libdem/con coalition. The tories have used up any goodwill they might have had and really burnt their bridges. It might well be that good coalitions are not possible under a fptp system. Coalitions work well in europe because parties know that destroying their allies will come back to bite them in later parliments, the tories were/are concentrating on getting a overall majority in the future and the chance of another coalition has been sacrificed for that end

  37. @Richard in Norway

    “Well 30% of folk are a lot worse off than they were in the 70s another 30% are much better off, I wonder which group you are in..”

    Is it as straight forward as that? It is not just that some are better off and some worse off. It is also that the distribution of wealth seems so much more uneven than then.

    I would be fascinated to see figures showing income spread amongst the ten deciles for 1970 and now. Are such figures available anywhere?

  38. TONY DEAN

    @”Remember that summer of 70 ”

    Me too.

    George Brown.
    The National Plan
    In Place of Strife.

    Interest rates & inflation getting stoked up on the run in to 1975.

    Ah yes-those were the days to try & make a living, support a family & pay a mortgage.

  39. Alec

    Yes indeed conventional economists and their supporters have a big problem, none of their predictions have been right and none of their policy prescriptions have worked. Even worse the situation is so bad that they are forced to adopt policies which would have been blasphemy before. The reports about arguements in the cabinet are merely sypmtoms of the deep existential problems right wing economic theory has

  40. Interesting debate about how the Lib Dems should have played it in May 2010 following the inconclusive General Election result. I tend towards Lefty L’s analysis, and his diagnosis of where they went politically wrong, but I suppose the mitigation for Clegg and the Lib Dem leadership was that the Parliamentary arithmetic presented them with the mother and father of all political dilemmas. It wasn’t quite damned if we do and damned if we don’t territory, but it wasn’t far away from that Hobson’s choice. Clegg’s reasoning, flawed I think, but understandable, was that his party would never be taken seriously again if they walked away from the responsibility that an electoral quirk had placed upon them. He was sensitive to the charge that he was leading an essentially frivolous party of endless protest, and occasional spectacular by-election success, and to divest them of this wounding stigma he was desperate to get their hands soiled by government. This was his and their chance of a lifetime to get into power and, being the fairly ideologically light, managerialist sort of politician he appears to be, and Laws and Alexander seem hewn from the same political rock, I think he was fairly relaxed that his coalition partners would be Tories. I don’t think, at the time he made the decision and persuaded his infatuated and intoxicated party accordingly, that who he was going to go into Government with was an important factor. He wasn’t thinking it through and I think all the subsequent tosh about national economic disaster avoidance was retrospective justification for what was essentially a nakedly political decision. He wanted a slice of the government action and the historic opportunity had dropped into his lap. The Tories had more bums on parliamentary seats and the numbers added up. The talks with Labour were a charade. Dreams of red boxes, country piles, ministerial limousines and exotic overseas conferences started to gel in political power-starved minds.

    We really shouldn’t read much more into what Clegg and the Lib Dem leadership did than this, in my view. And do you know what; from a purely human perspective I sort of understand where he and they were coming from. The far more difficult decision, and the sounder and more far sighted one probably, would have been for Clegg to take a deep breath and think hard and long about what was the nature of the party he was leading. Was it really at heart a centre-left party, antipathetic to its historical core to the main tenets of Toryism? Who had voted for them in May 2010 and what did they think they were voting for? What policies, on Europe, Electoral Reform, the economy, social policy, the environment,single sex marriage etc did the party really have in common with the 21st century Conservative Party? What common ground or cause could it possibly make in Government with such a party and, if they tried to do so, what might it mean in terms of compromising both their members and voters political principles and aspirations.

    The questions go on and I don’t pretend they are not desperately difficult ones but can we be sure, as Clegg stared at the Downing Street door slowly opening to him, that he ever even posed them to himself?

  41. Tony

    The figures are available and are horrifying, even worse those figures are based on a very flawed inflation measure

  42. @Richard

    Yes, it’s game theory really.

    In the “Prisoner’s Dilemma”, it makes sense to shaft your opponent even though it’s not optimal UNLESS… you have repeated iterations of the game (as in European coalitions). In that instance, Tit-for-Tat works better.

    And GTFT works even better. Generous Tit-for-Tat. Your first move is collaborative and thereafter you mirror their response. ..

  43. @Richard in Norway

    “It might well be that good coalitions are not possible under a fptp system”

    Absolutely. I remember that Thorpe and Steel once took the line that the Liberals would not join a coalition unless there was a cast iron guarantee of PR in place for any subsequent poll. Indeed, this was Steel’s partial explanation of having a Lib-Lab Pact rather than a coalition. (It was also that Labour wouldn’t give him a coalition then in any event of course!)

    Indeed, without AV, Lords Reform PR, etc. I am scratching my head as to why the LDs are still in coalition. What on earth are they still there for?

  44. Tony

    Yes indeed, thats why I changed my background. What the hell are they doing still sitting in govt

  45. @Tony Dean

    Even in Continental Europe, the LDs will be laughed at. Because the LDs bought into the idea that they were “the junior members of the coalition” and so DC and GO were driving with NC a back seat passenger. No small centre party in a European coalition government would tolerate a shift to the right and policy being announced without consultation in the way the LDs have.

    It’s the understanding that the ‘minority member’ of a centrist coalition represent the voters they share most values with, not just their numerical count. The LD manifesto was much closer to Labour, at times more left wing than Labour, then it was to the Conservatives. They should have argued from strength that they would represent a left wing majority vote share, and pin the coalition firmly to a centre consensus.

    It’s also pretty much a coalition party leader’s duty to hold his partner’s feet to the fire if they announce policy without consultation. “Collective responsibility” be damned, if it wasn’t discussed in cabinet and approved by the coalition it’s not government policy, and NC should have said so in public time and time again regardless of how it might embarrass “the senior partner”.

    He did not. And frankly, I think he has consigned the LDs to minority fringe party status, unable to attract new voters and clinging desperately to incumbents to keep their seats, for the next generation.

  46. My own take on Labour’s strategy in the 2010 negotiations was:

    Option A: Go into opposition and take plenty of flak, but in a couple of years be back and hammering at the government with all the debt problems.

    Option B: Coalition with Lib Dems, take all the flak for the debt problems and have to try to sort it out, and be unelectable in 2015.

    I believe they went out of their way to be in opposition.

  47. “What on earth are they still there for?”

    The big black cars?

  48. LEFTY

    @”And I see no evidence whatsoever that they are affected by confidence or lack thereof in our debt levels.”

    I agree to some extent with that.

    My feeling is that the trajectory is the important thing-ie is current policy addressing excessive debt-or a trajectory to excessive debt.?

    And that was the essence of Moody’s comment “Moody’s could also downgrade the UK’s government debt rating further in the event of an additional material deterioration in the country’s economic prospects or reduced political commitment to fiscal consolidation.”

    As to the question of whether a given debt level triggers a major loss of confidence-I have read that 100% of GDP is such a figure. Presumably there is a point at which a combination of Debt level & Bond rate produce a servicing cost which impacts so greatly on tax policy & public service funding, that unsustainability sets in.

    The risk of default too must always, presumably be factored in to the price that bond buyers are happy with.

    And although access to sovereign monetary action like QE is presumably of some comfort to them in providing a willing buyer, the other side of the coin must be the risk of inflation on redemption values.

    So I would say that UK’s debt levels will become a trigger for loss of confidence if Peak Debt does not at some point become a) visible , and b) fall below unacceptable levels.

    Equally, I presume a serious bout of inflation would not be attractive to the bond market either.

    But I don’t work for PImco -so you need to ask them .

  49. @Richard in Norway

    “The figures are available and are horrifying, even worse those figures are based on a very flawed inflation measure”

    Can you give me a steer to them Richard please?

  50. RiN

    @”Well 30% of folk are a lot worse off than they were in the 70s another 30% are much better off, I wonder which group you are in.

    Perhaps you can tell me- I don’t follow the point you are trying to make.

    Am I supposed to be grateful for starting my 40 year working life in the 60s, and trying to earn a living and support a young family under Wilson & Heath ?

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