Friday round up

This morning’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 31%, LAB 39%, LDEM 11%, UKIP 12%. That’s the third poll in a row showing an eight point lead, so it looks as though the further narrowing at the start of the week was a bit of a blip – full tabs are here.

There is also a Survation poll out for the Daily Mirror which has topline figures of CON 23%, LAB 36%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 22% (Full tabs are here). It’s the lowest the Conservatives have shown in a poll this Parliament, and the closest UKIP have come to them, but that’s largely for methodological reasons. If we go back to my post from earlier this week showing the house effects of different pollsters:

You can see that Survation normally show higher levels of UKIP support than other companies (a good seven points higher than ICM, who tend to show the lowest). As has been often remarked, this is partially because they are the only company to include UKIP in their main prompt, but that probably explains only a small part of the total difference, as there is a more general gulf between the levels of UKIP support that “new online” companies show, and the levels of support that the traditional telephone pollsters and YouGov show.

Part of this could be interviewer effect (though I doubt it – firstly UKIP voters don’t seem particularly bashful or reticent, secondly if that was the reason we’d expect to see YouGov in the same place as other online companies), or it could be a sampling issue of some sort.

229 Responses to “Friday round up”

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  1. Amber

    That’s an interesting post.

    Presumably, however, it would also include provision (if Labour are intending legislation) that such regulation would apply to any political party that a Union decided to support?

  2. @ Old Nat

    Welcome back. I think the legislation would be to cap the amounts which can be donated by individual people & organisations. If the LD’s proposed cap of £50k was legislated for, then I am sure that the Unions’ affiliation fees would become the subject of at least one court case. Were they fees for membership to the Labour Party, then there’s almost no possibility that they could be treated as donations. The Unions would continue to be affiliate organisations of the Labour Party.

    As it stands, the Unions can be affiliates of any Party & therefore, I assume that the same system would be equally valid, were a Union to become affiliated to another Party.

  3. I’m puzzled that there have been no official complaints about the way PMQs is mis-used by PMs to simply insult their opponents apropos of nothing whatsoever to do with the last question and typically as an alternative to answering.

    Surely someone [Bercow?] should have the authority to

    1/ Ban questions such as “Would you agree that you are a great PM?”

    2/ Insist that answers – when available – should always be given to the questions raised and that any reply beginning with ” I’l tell the RH gentleman something else instead” should be stopped in their tracks.

    It has, under all PMs. been an uterly embarrassing nonsense

  4. @ Paul

    It has, under all PMs. been an utterly embarrassing nonsense.
    Yes, we need a petition about that too. :-)

  5. Amber

    “@ Paul

    It has, under all PMs. been an utterly embarrassing nonsense.
    Yes, we need a petition about that too. :-)”


    We need a petitions monitor in that case.

  6. Well, in fairness, the purpose of PMQs is for the opposition to sling insults at the PM. If that ever ceases then there may be scope for expecting the serving PM to actually elucidate some actual policy.


    Remind me what the current situation is with Labour affiliated unions wielding votes in policy-making circles etc. I know it was reformed, but I can’t remember exactly to what extent.

    The reason I ask is that if affiliation fees were considered to be individual membership dues, simply channelled through the Union for convenience, then surely those union members would simply be “normal members” of the party and their union leaders shouldn’t hold any additional power on their behalf?

    One assumes there is some reason why the policy you suggest hasn’t already been adopted?

  7. neil a

    “in fairness”

    Well that’s you out of the reckoning for Petitions Monitor then.

  8. It makes me laugh after every single one of Labour’s capitulations, you always find Labour partisans patting themselves on the back on how “that’ll show them we’re not [insert Leftist caricature]”, completely dancing away to the Tory tune.

    In reality Labour are running scared of what a party that’s funded by all manner of bankers, non-dom tax dodgers, Wonga etc pointing to their links to unions of working people and criticising it. This hasn’t strengthened Labour – far from it – it just shows how weak it really is.

  9. I note with laughter that absolutely no action has been taken on Jim Murphy/Progress who also stood accused of ballot-stacking for their favoured candidate. As we seen with Rochdale, stitch-ups are only to be condemned when they’re done partly by the unions.

  10. YouGov/Sunday Times:

    Con 33, Lab 39, LD 11, UKIP 12, SNP/PCY 3, Green 2, BNP 1, Other 1
    Labour lead 6, App -32

    Scottish crossbreaks (sample 139):
    Con 25(!), Lab 39, LD 3, UKIP 1, SNP 28, Green 3, Other 1

  11. Good Morning All. Narrower lead today for Labour; Ed M seems under pressure.
    WES: Unite tried to get ‘Progress’ kicked out of the LP last year.

  12. yes PMQ’s is pretty daft really. Which is why I seldom watch it. It just gives a false impression.

  13. I think the campaign against leader debates has started, the DT has a piece saying it could create ‘plausible tarts’ as leaders. I’m assuming that Tory strategists have decided that ed would beat Dave in those debates

  14. Maybe a Tory party member could tell us how often commercial interests get involved in candidate selection, if you say never I will not believe you

  15. craig

    “It makes me laugh ”

    “I note with laughter ”


    You must be a very jolly bloke if this is what UKPR can do for you.

  16. What a waste of 9 questions wrt Ed Miliband & the Unions.

    Cons think he is too close to the Unions, is a baaadd thing, gets too much money from them & it shouldn’t be allowed – wowser, what a shocker eh ?!

  17. Interesting news on the ideas of the union membership fees, and @Neil A makes a good point as well. This is the kind of thing I was thinking about when I posted yesterday. Labour really do need to take the simple step of moving towards a system based on mass individual membership, with fees possibly collected via other organisations like unions in some cases, but where individuals opt in, and the organisations themselves have no special favours. This would be much better for Labour, as they would need to think clearly about what union members want, not what union leaders desire. There is often a big gulf between those two positions.

  18. Morning all, everything looking good, great win by the Lions, sun shining, economy on the mend, Labour lead declining.

  19. Morning Alec – do you have evidence for your assertion please?

    ”This would be much better for Labour, as they would need to think clearly about what union members want, not what union leaders desire. There is often a big gulf between those two positions”.

  20. @TOH
    Everything looking miserable. “Bread and circuses” jingoism. Too hot. Millions unemployed and the poor suffering. Economy becoming further unbalanced Labour lead stable.

  21. I do not believe for 1 second that 1 in 4 Scots intend to vote Tory at the next GE.

  22. @TOH,

    yep, good week for Cons. Of course there will be difficult ones ahead, that’s the nature of Govt, but the best few weeks I can remember for a while. And well done May.

  23. @ Craig,

    I’ve been wondering about that as well, considering Falkirk’s Progress backed candidate also signed up a bunch of new members by cashing a single check. Surely he too should be suspended from the party? It may be legal for the unions to pay subscriptions on behalf of their members, but there’s no such loophole for individual PPCs.

  24. RICH

    Yes -TM will receive many plaudits. I think this will be popular news.

    Interesting Poll this morning-EM’s ratings are not good.

    Dunnyesque matters need to be addressed-there are possibly more it would seem.

    Tom Watson’s strange coded resignation letter seems to hit the nail on the head :-

    Wake up Buddah of Primrose Hill. Awake from your Zen like Calm, get out more & and be The Leader you can be. ( I think that is a reasonable translation)

    This morning’s Poll shows 78% of Labour voters think EM is not a “strong leader” , and less than half of them think he would be “up to the job of PM”.

    The Giant MacCluskey awaits .

    TOH-Yes indeed !

  25. “Unite was working completely within the rules to secure the selection of a working-class woman as Labour candidate,

    For the record, Unite has worked entirely within the rules in Falkirk, and the Party investigation into what has gone on there is a shoddy fraud.

    So I urge Ed Miliband. Step back from the brink of a ruinous division.

    Don’t led Blairite diehards like Lord Mandelson be your back-seat drivers. They still haven’t learned the lessons from the disappointments of New Labour.”

    Len McCluskey

    Can someone please decide what Labour Party Rules do & do not say !!

  26. @Jim Jam – as with almost everything around politics and to a lesser extent, polling, I don’t have hard evidence to give you. My sense is that the majority of voters like (or at least accept and appreciate) that working people have a right to have some direct engagement in the political process, and this is extremely hard for the right to argue against.

    However, I believe there is unease at the role played by union leaderships in many quarters, and that this unease is not restricted to the right of centre voters. In an age where it is relatively easy to organise individual ballots and direct democratic involvement, my belief is that most people would accept that individuals should be members of a party in their own right, rather then represented by proxy.

    Putting aside whether or not the mass of voters agree with me, I can’t see any valid argument against this move in terms of party political advantage. The block votes and union leader influence has always represented a weak spot for Labour, and if this was removed, the contrast between a Labour party funded by individual workers and Tory party funded by millionaires would be stark.

  27. @Colin & @Rich – I also think the tide is running much better for the Tories at present, and it looks likely to carry on doing so for a while yet. Later in the week it looks like the IMF will upgrade UK growth prospects, and there is an announcement on the taking back of a significant number of powers from Brussels due on Tuesday.

    I think these moves will play well, and all the while Labour is somewhat transfixed by it’s union problems.

    I’m getting the feeling that Labour isn’t hungry enough and Ed M probably doesn’t have the authority over his party that he needs to take the required decisive action on this issue.

    I think we are at an interesting point in the cycle now. In days of yore, I would be arguing that the chances of a decent Tory result at the next GE are jumping up nicely (although I would still very much doubt any chance of a majority – a decent result really means not having a Labour majority or coalition). However, that was n the basis of a PM selected election date. 22 months out is too early to start peaking, and there remains too much that can go wrong with a 5 year cycle. Cameron will likely regret fixed term parliament, and I suspect he might see his chances slipping away as the months tick by.

  28. This idea of making affiliated trade unionists full Labour members is interesting, but I am wondering how it could work in practice.

    The affiliated unions need to have a non-Labour-directed political fund or they’re legally prohibited from doing any campaigning on anything. So they’ll have to continue imposing a political levy. They could split off the Labour affiliation/membership fee into a separate levy (which might be good for their members; people who wanted to fund union campaigns but not the Labour Party would then be free to do so). But individual trade unionists paying the Labour levy are suddenly going to be faced with a huge charge. Even on the discounted affiliated trade unionist membership rate (a discount which would no longer make any sense, really, if the union affiliation fees were abolished), a Unite member saves £14 a year by not becoming a full member of the Labour Party.

    Are those people actually going to be willing to pay full membership rates? I suggest that most of them are not, or they would be already. So in one fell swoop Labour loses much of its funding and any influence by the millions of ordinary union members on its choice of leader. Both these changes seem like mistakes, although obviously anything that would make the electoral college less ridiculous would be progress.

  29. RIN

    ‘plausible tarts’

    They are lovely with a nice pot of coffee.

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