This week’s YouGov/Sunday Times polls is now online here. Topline voting intention figures are CON 29%, LAB 40%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 14%. The eleven point Labour lead is at the high end of YouGov’s recent results so could be a sign of the infighting over Europe reversing the recent picture of narrowing Labour leads… or could equally well just be normal variation within the standard margin of error.

Last night I grumbled about the problems with polls purporting to show what issues affect people’s voting intentions. YouGov have asked it in a way that gets round one of those problems, that of giving a single issue false prominence, by asking people to pick from a list of all sorts of issues. Same-sex marriage remains an issue that only a small minority (7%) pick out as one that will affect their vote, and by 58% to 42% those people say they would be more likely to vote for a party that supported gay marriage. More people, 28%, say that Europe is one of the three or four issues they think would affect their vote at the next election, with most of them saying they would be more likely to vote for a party that promised a referendum.

Even asked this way strong caveats still apply – people still are not very good at understanding the motivations of their own decisions, and people still really don’t vote on individual policies or policy areas. They vote on broad perceptions of party, of competence and of the leaders. Individual issues play into those perceptions of course (does this party consider the same issues to be important as I do? Do they have similar values and beliefs?) but so do things like strength and weakness, competence, unity and so on.

It also gives the opportunity to point out something else that, while I think is beginning to get through to the commentariat and politicians, still needs to be repeated whenever possible. Only 49% of UKIP voters named the issue of Europe. In other words, 51% of UKIP voters don’t even consider Europe to be in the top three or four issues that affect their decision. The simplistic view that UKIP support is all about Europe and, by extension, it is policies on Europe that will suddenly win back UKIP voter is just that – simplistic.

Moving on to those wider perceptions of how the Conservative party is seen, only 10% of people now see the party as united, 73% divided. YouGov have been asking the same question since 2003 and this is highest proportion so far seeing the Tories divided, more than under Iain Duncan Smith. The party is not seen as widely divided as Labour was towards the end of Tony Blair’s leadership (6% united) or under Gordon Brown (just 3% united at its worse), but it is certainly in that sort of territory. Also note, however, that while perceptions of division are widely seen as negative they are not necessarily fatal – in 2004 over 60% of people saw Labour as divided but they still won the 2005 election. Personally I think there is some truth in the idea that division drives away voters (constant infighting makes a government look incompetent, and we know perceptions of competence are a key driver of voting intention), but its not as simple as division equals defeat.

A majority (54%) of people continue to support the introduction of gay marriage. Asked if the subject should be decided by a referendum or by Parliament it only narrowly follows my past comment that people support a referendum on absolutely anything you ask about – just 39% think there should be a referendum on gay marrige, compared to 34% who think it should be left to Parliament.

On Europe, referendum voting intention asked using the wording in the Conservative party’s draft bill has 36% of people saying they would vote YES (to stay), 45% saying they would vote NO (to leave). Asked about the Conservative rebellion over the Queens speech people are pretty much evenly split on whether they are more sympathetic towards David Cameron or Conservative MPs (most are sympathetic towards neither!). Conservative voters are far more on David Cameron’s side – 52% are more sympathetic towards Cameron, 19% his rebellious MPs.


490 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 29, LAB 40, LD 9, UKIP 14”

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  1. PeterCairns

    That’ll learn you to expose private info! :-) Whilst reading Steve the ex-policeman, it reminded me of an anecdote I told here before about a bloke doing two milk rounds and evening barman in South London, in the sixties, to pay his mortgage. I pointed out to him he could live in a Somerset, live in the same standard of property and just do one milkround. Of course he could not do that now as he would be competing with all the cockney retired baby boomer tube drivers who have snaffled up all the bijou cottages, plus the second home owners……etc. :-) Inverness is a bit far for them though.

    Laszlo and Colin

    It is indeed a huge mistake to take articles in the press about foreign tax arrangements as gospel, as in my experience they will almost invariably get it very wrong or they will present it misleadingly, albeit unwittingly. Goodness, they get it wrong about our own tax system. How many times have you read that ‘people earning more than £150,000 per year’ when the author should have said ‘taxable income’ and then the reporter would go on to suggest that it all would be taxable at (45 or) 50%?

  2. The tables for the Panelbase poll for the Sunday Times on Scottish independence are here:

    http://www.panelbase.com/news/TheSundayTimesScottishPollTables190513.pdf

    When you look at the details for the question How would you be likely to vote in next year’s Scottish independence referendum if the UK was looking likely to vote to withdraw from the EU?, the response is:

    Very likely 32%

    Quite likely 12%

    Quite unlikely 7%

    Very unlikely 37%

    Don’t Know 12%

    which suggests that it’s not quite as evenly balanced as first reported – even “quite likely” is not that near to a Yes. Of course we should also remember Anthony’s usual warnings about hypothetical situations and how bad people are at forecasting their future behaviours and this is both.

  3. @ Amber

    I met the great man a few years before his death after a lecture he gave. It is a treasured memory (he talked to us, a group of young economists (I was that then) for a considerable length of time, especially because of his age.

  4. @Robbie

    Yes, you’re right, you were talking about the hunch thing and AW was saying that people aren’t always as influenced by particular issues as much as they may think, but instead by other things in practice, like perceptions of competence, or values etc. 

    I wasn’t challenging what you said, or Anthony per se, and I am aware of the dufferences, but they all have a bearing on how folk reach decisions so I was just taking the different aspects of what you and others said about how people reach those decisions and then incorporating it. 

    Because I happen to think that you, AW, Ken and Colin all have a point. For example, Ken is right that people do at times use hunches and feelings, indeed at times have little choice in the matter, because not enough time to analyse or too complex.

    It also arises when one develops expertise, often based on many hours of analysis previously, but having gone through that, you don’t need it as often any more. Lefty perhaps alluded to this in an earlier discussion. 

    But one can over-egg the hunches thing. Lots of business people are tempted to think people use hunches and emotions a lot because of course they know the power of marketing. In the States, people expect car advertising to give lots of facts and figures and specs and performance data. Over here, we get a video of a car outrunning a lava flow, appealing to values which can be very powerful. Miliband will drop values into his speeches until you have them coming out your ears. 

    But at the same time, I agree with you that Ken may be rather over-egging the hunches thing and to just assume people go by gut-feeling can be overly simplistic, and hunches, values etc. can be trumped by evidence. “all in it together” was a nice, simple value-laden slogan, but since things like the 50p tax change they don’t use it much these days. 

    Equally, when many people buy houses, they will often take a LOT of things overtly into account. From proximity to a good school to transport links, from size of the kitchen to whether there’s an en suite bathroom etc etc. 

    And things change depending on salience. These days one sees many more people in supermarkets stopping to calculate and compare price per kilo etc., and the buying strategies have evolved. Tescos took a hit in part because people adopted a more sophisticated buying strategy in response to rises in cost of living. Going downmarket for most of the basics and then going upmarket to jazz things up or add treats. 

    Right now, it’s likely that we’ll see voting strategies change in the light of four party politics. Some of that will be based on hunches and gut feelings, some on listening to opinion-formers, some on looking for simple no-brainer aspects, some on generic factors like competence, some on satusficing (pros and cons of most salient aspects), some on a fuller analysis. 

    It’s the interplay of all these that makes it interesting from a VI perspective. And it evolves. Which makes life still more interesting/challenging for us. UKip weren’t initially the party of protest for many. That has changed once people had evidence it wasn’t necessarily a wasted vote. 

  5. CARFREW

    @”Lots of people put policies before party.”

    I like your post , and agree with it.

    I would say there is a stage between the pure pragmatism which you rightly highlight, and outright partisanship.

    We could call it political philosophy if we were trying to be academic-or perhaps just basic beliefs about society & how it should operate. And I think this might cover the vast majority of people. ie not a partisan who wishes to be a party animal-not an empty vessel who wakes up on GE day & decides who to vote for-but the huge majority of people in between.

    But I agree with you that these people will “put policies before party.” if the party they favoured begins to move away from the basic beliefs they ascribed to it.

    I have been looking at the trends in Party membership .

    They are staggering :-

    http://www.parliament.uk/briefing-papers/SN05125

    Less than 1% of voters is a member of the three main parties.

    This is a minority activity.

    This study has moved me towards the idea of State Funding for political parties. If State Funding could support the development & practice of a given political philosophy , and allow it to be placed before the electorate, without it being beholden to a tiny group of party members with a particular ideological agenda-I could be persuaded.

  6. Laszlo

    THanks.

    I don’t think the Times implied that Hollande was the first to cause a tax charge of 100% of income-but that the increase in wealth tax under him excacerbated it.

    It is odd that , as you say, the 50% cap is not claimed more frequently.

    But, as you imply, complexity in taxation rules does have that effect. Perversely, the more one tries to “target” & “focus” tax effect through the tax codes, the less one can succeed !

  7. @ Colin

    Hollande’s tax change will have an effect when it is reported next year – there’s a new cap introduced…

    Yes, there’s a problem with these targeted policies – tax, benefis what have you. There are many people who don’t claim benefits because they don’t know about it or they don’t fill the form right. Every year I forget to claim my FT subscription (tools of trade) – so it’s possible that people just aren’t bothered or they deduct it from the following year’s tax, etc. There are legitimate ways of reducing income taxes in the UK, but they are so cumbersome that you wouldn’t do it (but if you employ an accountant…).

  8. @Reg

    I fear you may risk disappointment if you expect people to apologise to you for things you have said to them.

  9. Carfrew.

    Re “hunch” vs ” facts”.

    THere was a discussion on DP today between a Business representative & UKIP’s “city spokesman”.

    Business chap had numbers & various assertions to support the proposition that exit would prejudice exporting to the EU.

    UKIP chap had numbers & various assertions to support the proposition that it wouldn’t.

    A “hunch” is really not good enough to decide between these two.

    They can’t both be right-so I am afraid I need more debate, more facts-until one side cracks.

    It’s boring, it’s time consuming, -what is the price of having the wrong “hunch” ?

  10. @Colin
    Did one side accuse the other of “scaremongering”?

    If not, its not a proper debate ;)

  11. Hi,

    I think people are misinterpreting my view on house prices. I agree that London prices are in their own bubble, and I also agree that all Govts need to go on a social housing drive, but with that aside, I doubt there is a single economist in the country who thinks a house price crash would be good for the economy.

    Owner occupied housing in this country is around 65%, or 14-15m. Rental is somewhere around 20-25%. If house prices corrected heavily down, the spending of the 14-15m owner occupies, most of which have mortgages, would be driven down heavily. Yes it would make a proportion of the rental market be able to afford their own houses, but renting in itself isn’t necessarily a bad thing. A lot of Europe such as Germany have a much bigger rental market than us, our problem has simply been the fact we have a lack of housing stock which has driven up private rental rates.

    This is simple economics guys, house prices falling heavily is not a good thing for the UK economy, fact.

  12. JOHN

    They didn’t.

    The business bloke questioned the political impartiality of the economist quoted by the UKIP bloke.

    That was about it.

    Jesse Norman said we need an independent audit of the numbers-as well as Con’s Review of Competencies. I agree very much with him.

    …..but where to get it from ?

  13. Colin

    New blood was ment within the context of existing members, there’s a whole raft of younger members, and in the Tory party that means people in there 40’s and 50’s that would like to pursue a more radical approach to modern conservatism but are being held back by those long term established members who cling a little to much to the past.

    As for attracting new members well in my club we have people under 30 but not enough, recruitment of that age group is a difficult thing for any political party, even Ukip will find that one a challenge.
    The problem for all parties is the old party system just does not appeal to young people.
    However there is a argument that in todays era of mass communication, email and postal voting it’s not necessary to have a huge membership base to get your message over only time will tell.

    Carfew
    Again my comment was ment in the context of Tory and Ukip supporters the majority of whom do see Labour as the enemy, politically speaking of course.

  14. …………I mean shouldn’t we know already where the balance lies-with certainty ?

    And if we don’t, or it is just too complicated to establish……….why are we where we are ?

  15. @ Laszlo

    Now, I don’t think UKIP has policies – it is a radical movement. It has media message and not policies.
    —————
    I considered this, together with our comments yesterday.

    UKIP might like to be a radical movement. But it isn’t. It is a UK political Party within the formal UK political Party system. UK political Parties are subject to rules.

    You are correct, these rules do not require a Party to have policies.

    But they do require proper accounting & proper declarations of members’ interests, campaign spending, donations etc. On these administrative rules (which are mandatory), I believe UKIP may have difficulties given its lack of structure.

    Therefore, to fight a GE campaign, UKIP will need to build a network of knowledgeable volunteers &/or an expensive administrative HQ which will demand all sorts of paperwork from its (currently informal) associations.

    I am doubtful that Farage has the bandwidth to build all this himself. Therefore he will also require an ‘executive’. Then the ‘executive’ will want to have powers & then UKIP will have all the inflexibility which its supporters dislike so much.

    So, despite UKIP (i.e. Farage) wishing to be seen as a radical movement & behaving like one, they cannot fight a UK GE without becoming – structurally at least – more like the other Parties.

    It is both the nature & purpose of structures to create boundaries. And setting boundaries changes things: Nomads become settlers, tribes become nations, guidelines become laws & – in the context of political Parties – radicals are quickly tamed.

    So it will go with UKIP, IMO. By 2015 they will either be declining rapidly or hampered in the election because they are changing in ways which their current supporters may not like. What UKIP become could be relevant for 2020 but I do not foresee them being a force at the 2015 election.

  16. TURK

    Thanks .

    I was particularly interested in “The problem for all parties is the old party system just does not appeal to young people.However there is a argument that in todays era of mass communication, email and postal voting it’s not necessary to have a huge membership base to get your message over only time will tell.”

    I think that is the way political parties will have to go.

  17. @ Laszlo

    I met the great man a few years before his death after a lecture he gave.
    ———
    I very much wish I had been there too!

  18. amber

    “kit drummers”

    Where can I get one of them? Real ones usually come with a fag in their mouth.

  19. CARFREW
    ” it wasn’t some general perception of competence that drove LD refugees into the arms of Labour. It was stuff like tuition fees.”
    I exchanged some quite lengthy,, and I think, good posts with Tony Dean on this, both based on experience of campaigning in strong LD regions – mine in the SW, the point being that both party platforms and supporters were social democrats. The LDs ‘switching” to Labour are, on those terms, not switching, but continuing to be SD in the face of their leadership’s switch to coalition with the Tories.
    This is relevant to the “hunch” v. policy awareness debate. There is, of course, a far more complex assemblage of inherited, learned, experienced, surmised perception of what parties and their leaders stand for, just as there are for how you should dress, what to have for dinner, or who to marry. You don’t do it on a hunch, but you also don’t do it on sweet reason.

  20. coin

    “This study has moved me towards the idea of State Funding for political parties”

    I agree – and really don’t see why it should be a problem or is perceived as one.

  21. colin

    sorry to cal you coin

    as you can see me Ls are a prob

    and

    “…………I mean shouldn’t we know already where the balance lies-with certainty ?”

    yes, re the above and, put like that it does seem bleedin’ obvious.

    I have to say if forced to decide now I’d have to think it was obviousy to our benefit otherwise why would successive governments stay in, lose power ‘cos of the economy usually, when there’s a pile of dosh to be saved by leaving the EU and votes for being the first party to spot that and act on it.

  22. Simon

    I can understand why you would have that view, but most of that comes from the media or peoples prejudice about the Tory party, the majority of conservatives would vote to stay in the EU because they support business, also the majority support gay marriage because they think it’s the right and fair thing to do.

    DC understands that, that’s why he is relaxed about letting the right of his party having there say and in turn letting the people of the UK the same privilege, it’s a shame other parties have so little confidence in the public to make the right decision on the EU, after all most people think it’s perfectly all right for the Scottish people to have a in/out vote about there future why not the English,Welsh and NI about the EU.

  23. Amber
    I believe the UKIP *will* be a force in the 2015 GE and that will be to ensure a Lab landslide. That’s not a hunch; that’s what the polls are telling me.

  24. I am glad to see Labour has supported Cameron over Gay Marriage. Labour MPs are going to abstain on the Tory amendment.

    I was hoping they would do the right thing and not play politics.

  25. @ Turk

    …it’s a shame other parties have so little confidence in the public to make the right decision on the EU, after all most people think it’s perfectly all right for the Scottish people to have a in/out vote about there future why not the English, Welsh and NI about the EU.
    —————-
    The SNP won a majority; the Tories didn’t. The SNP were able to pass referendum legislation; the Tories can’t because they didn’t win a majority. You are comparing apples to oranges.

    David Cameron was in the unenviable position of trying to explain this simple fact to his MPs, whilst at the same time trying to avoid their very wrong assertion that it is all his fault that the Tories do not have a majority. He consistently out-polls his Party but they are determined that apples are to become oranges & blaming DC because they aren’t.

    IMO, This is why DC’s supporters are becoming increasingly impatient; the facts are crystal clear to them & they believe that people must be stupid (aka swivel-eyed loons) to continue flying against the headwind of reality!

    I know that you are not a ‘swivel-eyed loon’ but your comparison is exactly the kind of false logic which harms the Tory Party.

  26. @ Anthony

    Either I tripped auto-mod or you thought my comment (despite being non-partisan) would cause a car-crash. If it’s just auto-mod & you are around, would you be so kind as to bail it out. Thanks. :-)

  27. Rich

    Of course you are right that rising house prices are and have been the major force in driving growth in this country and that in the short term at least rising house prices are good news for the economy, indeed thats why osborne has introduced his help to buy program, its the quickest way to increase the money supply via the private sector and the increase in money supply will have a knock on effect on demand. But it won’t increase demand more than it increases borrowing and if experience is any guide it will increase demand at half the rate of borrowing. In the long term or even in the medium term further borrowing will just cause us more problems

  28. @ Howard

    I believe the UKIP *will* be a force in the 2015 GE and that will be to ensure a Lab landslide. That’s not a hunch; that’s what the polls are telling me.
    ————-
    Good point; I was thinking of force & you were thinking of effect. If it is mainly potential Tory voters who make up my forecasted 6% UKIP increased vote (5% at 2010 + 6% = 11% forecast), then despite UKIP gaining 0 MPs they may indeed have an effect on the outcome.

  29. @Amber Star – ” …an expensive administrative HQ”

    The Times carried an article (11th May) primarily about Stuart Wheeler’s claim that there is a “better than 50% chance of securing a defection before the next general election” following talks with ten Tory MPs:

    “UKIP will move into its new London headquarters on Monday. Andrew Reid, a solicitor… has provided office space in Mayfair.

    Mr Wheeler said that the were being provided ‘rent free’, although the Eurosceptic party would pay council tax and a service charge.”

    Reid is acts for Lord McAlpine, amongst others one presumes.

    Jacob Rees-Mogg was writing about a possible Con/UKIP pact in the Telegraph the other week – he thinks Farage’s demand that Cameron must step down as leader may well be negotiable in return for further concessions.

  30. @Turk

    I voted Tory 2010, but they have a big problem and that is at grassroots level . Cameron is out of touch with them and he will be in big trouble if they keep jumping ship.

    Cameron is making Ed’s job easy, and the polls are starting to widdeen again or at least stabalise.

    Did you watch Sky news about merton councillors?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=eTv55BOeMOc

  31. Party membership 2011,

    Con; 130-190k, but probably lower now!
    Lab; 193k
    LibDem; 49k
    SNP; 20k, but now 24k.
    UKIP; 17k but probably well over 20k now.
    Green; 13k, and rising.
    BNP; 8k, but probably down now.

    Any bets on party membership by the time of next years Euros.

    I’d go for;

    Con; 150k, Lab 190k, LibDem 40k, UKIP 30k, SNP 25k, Grn 15k, BNP 5k.

    Peter.

  32. Peter the last I read was that the Conservatives had 130,000 members, Labour nearly 200K, and UKIP 27,000(1 month ago adding 100 a day). This was about 3 weeks ago.

    Not sure about the rest.

  33. Steve: “The only solution is a massive and sustained social house building programme a spare home subsidy won’t cut it as property prices will remain out of the reach of 85% of all working people.”
    The vast majority of the population don’t need social housing so I don’t understand why that alone would solve the problem.

    -With average property prices in London nearly £400,000, nearly 15 times average pay and average rentals in excess of half of average take home pay their is a chronic need for social (or affordable ) housing in London.Less so elsewhere.

    Of course a huge private for sale house building programme might drive prices down in the long term it doesn’t address the fact that now even on an income of £60,000 you would be lucky to be able to afford to buy a 2 bed flat in Wembley

  34. Paul Croft

    @”why would successive governments stay in, lose power ‘cos of the economy usually, when there’s a pile of dosh to be saved by leaving the EU and votes for being the first party to spot that and act on it.”

    Ignorance?
    Having ideological belief in membership ?
    Having non-economic commitments to membership ?
    Because, that’s where we are now…..so….that’s it?
    Because other EU leaders will get cross?
    Because it’s all too difficult-and the civil service haven’t a clue-so let’s not look?

  35. Steve2

    The vast majority of the population don’t need social housing so I don’t understand why that alone would solve the problem.

    What is surely needed is a housebuilding boom of all types to prevent another London housing bubble (although as a London property owner, I really wouldn’t mind another price boom!) as well as bring supply closer to demand.

    Well if you’re in London, then the vast majority do need social hosing, because the cost of buying is many times more than they can afford to buy. Building new properties won’t do any good because something like 60% get sold to foreign buyers as investment properties and the majority of more expensive properties also go to non-Brits, driving prices up too.

    But the main reason why there needs to be a boom in social housing is because the private sector is rubbish at providing enough housing. This makes sense it you think about it – the actual purpose of construction companies is not to build houses but to make money and if you keep house prices high, profits will be more.

    In addition when Councils were building to let as social housing they also had the incentive to make sure that the plans went through fast and efficiently. Now they can have the luxury of giving in to every group of Nimbys around.

    Since the introduction of council house sales and other measures by Thatcher to reduce the powers of local authorities, there has probably been a net drop of 100,000 new properties being built a year – over 3 million in total (Labour actually had an even worse record than the Tories). The gap is so large that only a return to mass building as in the 1950s will fix things.

  36. “Social housing” not “social hosing” obviously (the Tube’s bad but it’s not that sticky).

  37. AMBER

    @”You are comparing apples to oranges.”

    No he isn’t.

    Turk hasn’t said that DC is promising a referendum in this parliament-because DC isn’t.

    Turk’s comparison is as follows :-

    SNP , who wish to ask voters about membership of UK & have a majority to so in this parliament.

    Cons, who wish to ask voters about UK membership of EU & will do so if they have a majority in the next parliament.

    LibDems, who will only hold a referendum under the existing legislation-ie if a new Treaty proposes additional transfer of powers to EU.

    Labour, who will not ask voters about UK membership of EU.

  38. @”the vast majority do need social hosing,”

    I think IDS is trying to correct this tendency.

  39. turk

    “Tories need new blood”

    I’d always thought of them as some sort of coven – and now we have it from an insider.

  40. Couper 2802

    Your post at 11.20 am I am confused about. As far as I know I am the only far right poster on here and I don’t believe I’ve ever been ‘intimidating’. Not that I think anybody has.

  41. @REG OF THE BNP

    No you are not Reg, you are always very reasonable, and I am not referring to you. I think of UKIP as far right but maybe if you are in the BNP then UKIP are liberal softies-smile

  42. Amber

    Try putting your prejudices away an actually read what I said.
    DC’s offer of a EU vote is dependant on him winning the next GE.. Try to keep up.

    Paulcroft

    Still in the feeble joke mode I see, joined that band yet.

  43. Roger Mexico

    Thanks for putting up the panelbase figures.

    I don’t agree with your interpretation. I would say that the cross breaks are very credible and the question on Europe really interesting.

    The difference between the 8 point lead of NO in the straight question (44-36) and the LEVEL pegging of the Europe added question (44-44) comes from the don’t knows and therefore by definition are likely to be less convinced on how they will vote.

    Therefore the fact that the poll picks this up lends to its credibility.

    As I said on these indications this is all to play for.

  44. @ Billy Bob

    Mr Wheeler said that the were being provided ‘rent free’
    —————
    Soon the media will focus on the fact that UKIP is dependent on a few, very large donors (vested interests?) not the ‘widow’s mite’ contributions of its members.

    I would forecast that by the 2015 GE there is a 50% chance that UKIP will be ‘painted’ as the least democratic, most ‘sleazy’ Party (vis-à-vis vested interests versus ordinary members) of all the UK Parties.

  45. turk

    “Paulcroft

    Still in the feeble joke mode I see, joined that band yet.”

    No idea what you’re on about but ta – if you don’t find something amusing then I know I’m on the right track.

    Has anyone ever suggested you lighten up – just a teeny bit perhaps?

  46. @Colin

    Yep, agree with much of what you say. 

    There is perhaps a distinction between people who maybe do a pick’n’mix of policies, and others who perhaps prefer policies organised into a system of policy. In many cases it may be a case of both. 

    But yes, either way, they are putting policy before party. And yes party membership is an issue and I do think part of that is due to the domination of politics by babyboomers, which sees parties catering to those first and foremost, so to other non-boomers it’s like “what’s the point?”

    Eg We need housing but we are unlikely to get it from any major party soon because it won’t happinate the boomers etc. 

    So parties can try and use modern media to appeal to voters but it’ll be limited in effect until they have the policies to go with it. UKip are getting interest and membership but again, they are appealing to boomer concerns (that happen to resonate with some others as well).

    Another problem is that where in the past of near full-employment, and cost of living was cheaper and property affordable, people didn’t have to work all hours and could support a partner at home, giving more time for interest in politics. 

    Rather less the case now, except for retiring boomers who hence dominate even more….

  47. @ Turk

    Try putting your prejudices away an actually read what I said.
    ——————-
    I did read it, thanks.

    The referendum issue is not about ‘trusting people to have a say’; it is about having the power to make it happen. That the ‘blues’ consider anybody pointing out that simple fact to be “prejudiced” – or to be wilfully misunderstanding what was actually written – speaks to why the Tory Party is currently in such a mess over this issue.

  48. My best mate Colin

    “Paul Croft

    @”why would successive governments stay in, lose power ‘cos of the economy usually, when there’s a pile of dosh to be saved by leaving the EU and votes for being the first party to spot that and act on it.”

    Ignorance?
    Having ideological belief in membership ?
    Having non-economic commitments to membership ?
    Because, that’s where we are now…..so….that’s it?
    Because other EU leaders will get cross?
    Because it’s all too difficult-and the civil service haven’t a clue-so let’s not look?”

    I was pushing towards the direction that maybe they think that economically its better to stay in Colin.

    But, as that geordie window cleaner say:

    “Wot dae ah nah??”

  49. Catching up after not being on this site for a day or 2 is becoming ever more difficult in more ways than one – I struggled to somewhere in page 4 but have to give up will try the next thread.

  50.  @Colin

    Regarding the EU debate…

    Yes, it is normal in politics that if one side can cite evidence in support of their claim, the other side may counter by citing their own. 

    And it is not unusual for at least one side, if they don’t really have sufficient evidence, to cite FUD to try and confuse the issue, hoping listeners won’t pick through it all.

    In such circumstances though you can resort to considering more fundamental mechanisms and processes underlying it all, and/or look for no-brainers.

    Eg in the Austerity debate we can wade through the historical data. Or we can look at things like the role of demand in the economy, and debt, and reason as to which has primacy via logic, cause and effect etc.

    Equally, in the EU debate, the idea that being outside the EU trading zone will make trade with the EU easier is quite some claim. If it were true that being outside a trading bloc would make trade easier, why then the majority of our trade might be with other countries outside the bloc.

    But it isn’t. So the idea is probably rubbish. 

    But another angle is: why take the risk? If the major reason for leaving is to stop immigration, but most of which has already happened, why bother risking our trade for little clear benefit?

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