Friday Round Up

The end of the week, and a couple of polls that have come out over the last few days.

  • Firstly Ipsos MORI have released their quarterly monitor on Scottish public opinion. Holyrood constituency voting intention stands at CON 16%(+3), LAB 36%(+1), LDEM 8%(+1), SNP 39%(-4). Voting intention in the referendum on Scottish Independence stands at YES 31%(-3), NO 59%(+4). Full tabs are here, and there is some commentary from Bob Worcester here
  • On the subject of Scottish polls, Lord Ashcroft has done some polling on attitudes to nuclear weapons in Scotland here. His polling has voting intentions in the Independence referendum at YES 30%, NO 56%, similar to the MORI poll – Ashcroft’s commentary on the nuclear weapon results is here.
  • Populus have been doing a weekly poll asking people – unprompted – what news stories they have noticed in the last week. I love questions like this, not for when they show a story has been noticed (for example, the budget is noticed by a very high proportion of people, hence why it changes votes so much) but for the way it sometimes underlines how little impact a story has on normal people. Hence this week 33% of people mentioned the Ohio kidnaps, 9% Alex Ferguson’s retirement, just 3% the Queen’s speech.
  • There is a big chunk of analysis here from Peter Kellner for Progress magazine, looking at the challenge facing Labour and including new polling on how people see Labour and the Conservative party.
  • And finally, this morning’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline voting intention figures of CON 30%, LAB 39%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 14%. Full tabs here. For people who are interested in that sort of thing, there are also some questions about Alex Ferguson here.

275 Responses to “Friday Round Up”

1 4 5 6
  1. Must say, it seems a tad unfair for people who have already benefitted from a more subsidised higher education to then turn around and say they are nit themselves prepared for their taxes to then support the education of others.

    If they are really against such subsidies and are clear on the lifetime financial rewards of such education how about they return the subsidy they enjoyed themselves then and cough up the sixty grand or whatever it costs in total nowadays? All in it together etc.

    People talk about leaving debt fir future generations but at the same tune are OK with policies that pile up debt for future generations. Which is a bit weird…

  2. Latest YouGov / The Sunday Times results 10th May – CON 30%, LAB 39%, LD 9%, UKIP 16%; APP -34

    I was hoping for something more dramatic. DKWNV are still down a couple of points. If Thatcher’s death made them make up their minds, Farage is preventing backsliding into apathy again…

  3. Finally, a poll!

    Pure Approval –
    Cameron 35 (nc)
    Miliband 29 (nc)
    Clegg 19 (+1)

    Net Approval –
    Cameron -23 (nc)
    Miliband -29 (-1)
    Clegg -55 (-2)

    No real change in approval for any of the leaders, even with UKIP’s gains.

    7-Day weighted average –
    Con 29.5, Lab 39.3, Lib 9.8, UKIP 14.7
    Lowest level for Con this parliament (although should be rising soon, given that we had one 27 for Cons). Lab joint recent lowest since Jan 2012. Libs lowest since Dec 2012. UKIP highest this parliament.
    Changes on a week:
    Con -1.5, Lab -0.8, Lib -0.6, UKIP +2.4 (Others +0.4)

    However – that boost a week ago may have been due to an outlier (the 43) – so if we go back to the average from a week and two day ago..
    Con -1.7, Lab nc, Lib -0.9, UKIP +1.9 (Others +0.5)

    So Labour were already doing around this badly pre-locals, it seems that the local elections just cemented this – rather than, with Cons, knocking them down slightly.

    We have also been missing a post-locals poll, due to the bank holiday, so this does mess things up a little bit – wait and see for another week..

    30-Day weighted average (changes on a week):
    Con 31.1 (-0.3), Lab 40 (-0.3), Lib 10.3 (-0.3), UKIP 12.4 (+0.7), (Other 6.3 (+0.3))

    The 30-day weighted figure tracks much longer trends, so it hasn’t yet fully picked up the Lab fall to 39 or the recent Con drop.
    But if the recent figures for UKIP are just a short-lived bounce, the long-term trend shouldn’t pick it up anyway.

  4. The Sun is reporting that analysis done by Survation, using local election results as the data, predicts UKIP could win 8 seats at the GE – taking four from ministers.

    I’d take it with a pince of salt, because people vote differently in local elections, but it would have probably been better had Survation then done polling for those 8 seats..

    Also – quite a few Tory MPs now are suggesting a Con-UKIP pact where Con MPs run as joint Con-UKIP MPs (much in the same way that many Labour MPs run as Labour-CoOp). That could be an interesting way to square that circle.

  5. *pinch..

  6. @RICH
    “Now even you lefties can’t knock Osborne over this one! :-)”


    Personally, I don’t see the economic debate as a case of left versus right. It’s just a case of: what’s the best way to cure the deficit and get back to growth.

    Some think you cure the deficit and growth will come, others think you focus in growth and this cures the deficit.

    Where it blends into the political is where the economics interfaces with other political objectives. For example, lefties might like have an extra reason to favour Keynes because it can be used as a vehicle for redistribution. Righties may prefer cuts because they can also be used to trim back the state. Despite supposed austerity there is still money for the extra costs of privatising the NHS and doing the Free School thing.

    I don’t think Keynes was particularly left wing. It’s not uncommon for people to say that he saved capitalism….

  7. Back in the early days of the Coalition (when there was serious talk about a possible Con/LD pact), a rule change was made to so that mayoral candidates could use a joint/dual emblem on the ballot paper. The intention was to include separate legislation in a future bill extending this to Westminster candidates – I’m not sure if this has come into effect:


    Farage has been pushing the idea of joint UKIP-Tory candidates for the last year… In May 2012 he was suggesting that Conservative Associations were thinking along those lines and he was open to the idea. He made another offer in September.

    Michael Fabricant made the same case from the Tory side in November. Daniel Hannan and others have been pursuing a similar strategy for years.

  8. Seems that Norfolk County Council may be run as de facto Tory / UKIP alliance with proposals such as the Kings Lynn incinerator being scrapped. Paradoxically it may be much greener in the traditional sense than the de facto Labour / Green administration in Norwich.

  9. “Spending on credit and debit cards jumped by 3.6 per cent in April year on year, outstripping inflation and indicating a sharp upturn in consumer confidence, according to Barclaycard.

    While many sectors were booming and online shopping continued to soar – up almost 12 per cent on the same month last year – shoppers are still cutting back on spending in the high street. Spending was down by eight per cent in department stores and by 3.4 per cent in supermarkets.

    April’s year-on-year figures showed that the end of the prolonged winter freeze gave some sectors a welcome boost with a huge 8.5 per cent jump in spending at garden centres and 3.7 per cent at DIY stores. Both have been particularly hard hit in recent months.
    Cinema and theatre ticket sales were up more than a fifth on last year while spending in restaurants rose by 11 per cent. Barclaycard said these gains reflected ‘a shift to cheaper forms of entertainment’ as consumers looked for occasional treats to lift their spirits.”

  10. WOLF

    Interesting. I think this is the sort of test bed which might help come 2015.

    East Sussex is going to be minority Conservative led .

  11. @Billy Bob

    I’m not sure that a joint emblem is really all that necessary: Labour Cooperative candidates have stood under the current system, with a Labour logo and a joint description. The situation is slightly different, in that I’m guessing the candidates would belong to either party, rather than (in the case of Labour Cooperative candidates) both parties.

  12. TheSheep – actually they haven’t, or at least, not at elections when the rules were correctly applied!

    The reason for the change in the law was that before the 2010 election it emerged that while the regulations for elections allowed joint candidate descriptions, there was not a facility in law for joint candidates to have an emblem against their names (a drafting oversight, rather than an intentional rule).

    As a result several Lab/Co-op candidates at the 2010 election actually ended up standing just as Labour candidates at the election so they could keep their emblem. The Electoral Commission recommended after the election that the law was changed to correct the error and allow joint candidates to use an emblem. The law for local elections, which only required secondary legislation, has already been changed. Not sure if it has happened for general elections yet.

  13. Wolf

    I can’t find it on their site now, but the day after the election Norfolk CC had a graphic showing coloured dots representing the UKIP and Conservative seats intermingled. I don’t know if there was an informal pre-election agreement (though I doubt they expected UKIP to get quite so many seats), but something was certainly in the air.

  14. Here is the legal advice from the Electoral Commission that came out during the 2010 campaign:—Guidance-on-joint-descriptions,-emblems-and-deposits.pdf

    Ed Balls was an example of the problem – he was a Lab/Co-Op MP, but had to stand as just Labour in 2010 so he could have a logo.

  15. Would these pacts have to be organised at a national level? Because it could change politics quite drastically if constituency parties can do it with the consent of the national party.

    Strong Tory seats could see, say, LD/Lab joint candidates, or Lab/Green, and hope that replaces the tactical voting we’ve previously seen.

  16. I am not understanding why UKIP would enter into a pact:

    It would mean that UKIP become in effect a wing of the Conservative Party. The Con policy has not changed so they are not gaining policy wise – unless bringing EU memebership to the fore front is all they wanted to achieve. And they lose their non-Con voters which is about half their current poll rating.

    Although theoretically it would put Con and Lab neck and neck in the polls but as we know polls don’t work like that and the peception of a Con move to the right would peal off some Con middle ground voters – so paradoxcically the LibDems would probably benefit.

    How would the pact work? If the Cons stood down in a marginal would UKIP be able to win the seat? Or would the Cons gift UKIP safe Con seats in return for UKIP not standing in marginals.

  17. Colin

    I have seen stats that show that the number of people paying their mortages with their credit card is on the rise, but even without that i find it difficult to get excited about a rise in borrowing, it just not sustainable in the long term

  18. UKIP stood down in our seat at the 2010 General Election….mind you our MP is Douglas Carswell!

  19. “Spending on credit and debit cards jumped by 3.6 per cent in April year on year, outstripping inflation and indicating a sharp upturn in consumer confidence, according to Barclaycard.


    The squeeze on UK household budgets is reaching crisis levels according to StepChange Debt Charity, which last year saw a dramatic rise in people unable to pay their rent, gas, electricity, water and Council Tax bills.

    As overall debt levels decrease, households are now struggling with ‘priority debt’ such as rent, utility bills and Council Tax, types of debt the charity’s clients had previously been able to meet. Over a third of those seeking help from the charity are now in arrears on at least one household bill.

    Average total arrears on household bills rose from £2,134 in 2011 to £2,258 in 2012.
    Over the same period the proportion of clients with arrears on at least one household bill has increased from 27 percent to 35 percent.
    Clients over 60 appear to be particularly affected with the highest overall levels of arrears.
    Single parents have the highest levels of rent, Council Tax and water arrears.

    Barclaycard may like to see it as a sign of recovery (hope they are right) it may be just desperate people trying to get by.

  20. Couper – it wouldn’t, but UKIP flash a bit of ankle on it occasionally to destabilize the Conservatives. Some of the less bright Conservative MPs then take this seriously and talk it up, and so it goes on.

  21. Colin

    Spending at garden centres going up?

    Is that what you call “green shoots”?

  22. @ Colin/Lefty – On the garden centre spending front.

    This is something I know about since its my field. Easter this year was right in the middle of that horrible cold easterly wind spell. Its normally one of the busiest times of the year for garden centres. This year it was a catastrophe.

    The increased figure now is probably catch up for the short fall then. Gardeners still need to buy what they didnt buy back then.

    However I would have thought the shortfall of missing out on the public spend from a double bank holiday would not be completely covered.

    It should be noted that both the May Bank Holidays are also big busy times for the industry.

  23. Bill Patrick

    Would “desperate last hope” suit you better than “opportunity”?

  24. Laszlo

    The government tells us that they can’t afford “Universal Benefits”

    There is no such thing as a Universal Benefit in Scotland.

    The FM frequently tells us that “in Scotland sovereignty
    comes from the people”, not from the Queen in Parliament.

    Even he may think this is just a clever if arcane historical debating point, but it isn’t.

    A benefit (cognate with benefice) is something granted by the grace and favour of a ruler, landowner, bishop or factor. If your boss takes the staff out for a drink to mark the end of a project or year, that’s a benefit. If a group of colleagues go to the pub for a night out and put money in a kitty, that’s a co-operative purchasing arrangement.

    Some things described as “Universal Benefits” are things which in Scotland it appears that people of Scotland desire and expect their governments to provide out of taxation. If the government thought it was not so, they wouldn’t bother trying would they?

    Opinions will differ on what is or is not a requirement, the extent to which it should be provided, and the best means of doing so but it is left to elected representatives to find the ways and means, priorities, compromises and organize delivery of the objectives. That is what governments are for and they are judged by the choices they make.

    They are not there to award “benefits” as if they were lottery prizes. It isn’t their money, and we should be grateful to those who pay their taxes, not to the party in government.

    It is our (the people’s) money and our desire is to have inter alia a free NHS and free tertiary education. Our politicians are expected to take the money from taxation and deal with it just like you did when your mother sent you out to get the messages. It wasn’t your money to do as you please with it. It wasn’t for you to say something can’t be afforded or wasn’t needed or spend the money on something else.

    In England the Queen in parliament can give you a benefit, just as in former times as a compliant tenant might get a benefit of a bag of meal from the factor or before that, from the abbey or monastery.

    In England tertiary education is seen as a benefit, but not primary and secondary education. That’s because a degree of literacy and numeracy is necessary even for plebs because it is a prerequisite if they are to be able to service the elite. Otherwise they are only fit to be “skivers”.

    School education is not spoken of as a “Universal Benefit” because to do so would call into question the principle which is involved in making the distinction.

    Other things that are universally provided such as roads and bin collections are not spoken of as “benefits”. They are needed by all (though premium rates for premium services such as motorways can be available to the elite). Some are conveniently provided for the benefit of all. Separately charged bin collections would result in fly tipping.

    What then is the principle that defines a “Universal Benefit”?

    My definition is that it is anything that is now free, but which within living memory has been paid for in either England or America.

    If that is the classification system, what sort of principle is that?

  25. Bill Patrick

    It is a couple of months till the treaty is signed, so there is a little more than 24 hours, but see Amber’s comment.

    I must say I haven’t seen Ed Milliband walk on water myself, but maybe Amber has.

    Peter Cairns

    No, it is not a NO scare story, it is only me (on the Scottish NHS aspect). I’d love to be proved wrong. I’m trying to energise SG.

1 4 5 6