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. @Ewen Lightfoot

    What happens if UKIP get into government in 2020 or 2025 (not impossible)? Then trade unions will be all but banned.

  2. @ Mr Nameless

    Didn’t Kinnock’s popularity rise when he stamped out Militant?
    He was so popular he lost two general elections – which is the sort of popularity that Labour can do without.

  3. @ Norbold,

    To be fair, there is a difference between major constitutional questions and individual government policies. In theory the policies should be in a party’s manifesto and the general election should serve as the referendum, although this Government doesn’t seem to be following that model.

  4. @ Rich

    Wasn’t it you who was singing the virtues and transparency of labour MP selection in Scotland a few weeks back to me. :-)
    Yes, it was. I said it would be almost impossible to ‘parachute’ a candidate into a safe Labour seat in Scotland. And I explained the selection procedures.

    Don’t you think that all kinds of hell breaking loose when there is even a rumour of an attempted selection ‘fix’ supports my comment rather than undermining it?

  5. “He [Ed Miliband] has my full support and Unite’s full support, but that doesn’t meant to say we agree on everything and of course in a democratic party, you can disagree.” Len McCluskey speaking yesterday about the Falkirk drama (& yes, I do believe it’s a drama not a crisis, despite some wishful thinking being aired in the graun).

  6. Now we have Shadow Cabinet spokesmen briefing that they have no intention of breaking the union link:

    So either a) this rumour is nonsense, b) the Labour leadership are in total disarray and running off in all directions with no idea what their policy will be in a week’s time or c) the Shadow Cabinet is already splitting into two warring camps.

    Anyone want to lay bets on which of the three it is? I wouldn’t.

  7. Did anybody notice on newsnight last night that the presenter mentioned Chuka Umunna refused to have a two way debate with the spokesman the Conservatives put on (can’t remember who it was). What is wrong with democracy in this country!

  8. Good Morning All.

    Lions doing well.

    I think the removal of the link with the Trade Unions and Labour Party are nonsense.

    However, I would now expect Ed M and Ed B to make speeches differentiating themselves from unelectable lefties.

    Good Morning to you. Neil Kinnock started the long road back to Office when he went for Militant. His delay in taking on the Miners’ strike was a serious error, and he was frustrated by John Smith. Should have promoted Blair to Shadow Treasury. IMHO.

  9. No offense intended… but sounds like Chinese whispers all over again… you know… that divide and rule thing….

    As for referendums on the EU or NHS, again it is mostly party politics, but if any party is going to fundamentally change the NHS they had better have the backing of the people, since the present government took power the NHS has suffered, I was waiting for an op in December 2010 it was cancelled… still waiting and I don’t blame the local hospital, I blame the government… no cuts to the NHS bah…

    There are lots of little people who are being affected by the government’s welfare and NHS policy it will come back to bite them on the ass…

    Politicians need to grow up and behave like adults instead of this playground crap we constantly see.

  10. @ALEC
    “Reports in the Guardian look seriously interesting for Labour watchers, and indeed for Cameron, I would think.
    If their lead story this morning is correct, and Milliband is preparing to break the formal links with the unions, then I think we could be witnessing Milliband’s own Clause 4 moment.”

    Look back at the same time last year & a report in the Indy that said “Ed Miliband is facing fresh pressure from inside his own party over Labour’s links to the unions after a frontbencher suggested the “parent could not live in the child’s house”.

    so one year on & we have unnamed front benchers coming out with more or less the same.

    I would bet my house that Ed Miliband will not break the link. I believe he would be mad to do so & he would not jeopardise the party over a row such as Falkirk.
    Whatever has gone on there is the sole responsibility of those involved.

    “Did anybody notice on newsnight last night that the presenter mentioned Chuka Umunna refused to have a two way debate with the spokesman the Conservatives put on (can’t remember who it was). What is wrong with democracy in this country!”

    Have you missed all the times a Con spokeperson has refused to debate with Labour in Newsnight ?

    Personally I think Newsnight were in the wrong to give a voice to the Cons because frankly, it’s nothing to do with them but to give them that voice by inviting them to answer questions but then to ask completely different questions of Chukka Umunna was quite ridiculous.

  11. After a lot of calculations I have finally come to a conclusion on this Falkirk matter. I don’t think it should affect VI much but if it does it will be in favour of the Tories and the Lib Dems as I don’t see EM making any history making change to the status of the Labour Party. It will give the two government parties a chance to reinforce their attack on the Labour party through their links with the Unions.

  12. Is there any polling evidence that the general public are that bothered about Labour’s links to the unions?

    I could see in the 70’s and 80’s this was an issue but I think industrial relations have moved on since then and to be honest (without polling evidence) I would think this is only an issue in the minds of Tory activists. I’m not sure there is any political mileage in Miliband breaking links with the unions (and a lot to potentially lose in funding). He might come out with improved ratings for being tough and decisive but I doubt that voters will look on Labour differently.

    Obviously Falkirk could go either way but I doubt there is much mileage in this story either. In all honesty if I was plod being given a file on Falkirk I would want to know why my time was being wasted- “have they nicked any money? “. “So what has it do with us if some people paid for someone else’s membership and then asked them to vote for a particular candidate?”.

  13. Shevii

    I am not a tory and the fact that the Labour Party is hugely influenced by Trade Unions makes the party even less palatable in my view. It would be a big problem if Labour were ever to get into government.

  14. I was reading about Unite, Labour and the rest and came across the Unite political fund vote results (I honestly had no idea of the results).

    Here’s one point of view:

    “BREAKING: Unite members vote 9:1 to continue political fund”

    Sounds pretty conclusive, but then if you dig deeper:

    “The result announced today showed that Unite members voted by a margin of 87.4% in favour of retaining the fund”

    So it’s less than 9:1, but the 9:1 headline sounds terrific. However, we can dig even deeper, and while it’s a lot harder to find the real data, it does exist:

    Total eligible voters: 1,295,518
    Total votes cast: 241,249
    Spoiled/invalid: 1,321
    Total valid vote: 239, 928

    Votes to continue fund: 209,808 (87.4%)
    Votes against: 30,120 (12.6%)

    Turnout: 18.6% (18.5% if only counting valid votes)

    % of eligible votes for: 16.2%
    % of eligible votes against: 2.3%

    While there’s no doubt at all that the overwhelming majority of votes were for the fund, why are the majority of sources omitting the turnout?


  15. @ Statgeek

    While there’s no doubt at all that the overwhelming majority of votes were for the fund, why are the majority of sources omitting the turnout?
    Because decisions get made by the people who show up.

  16. @Rich

    “With respect, the NHS don’t make 70% of all new laws applicable in this country, including the final say on virtually all UK legal cases if taken to the highest court.”

    With respect Rich, the EU do not make 70% of all new laws appliacble in this country neither does the EU have any say at all on legal cases let alone virtually all.

    But, in any case, that wasn’t the poiht I was making. It’s the Tort argument of why are Labour afraid of letting people have their say. That argument applies to all issues not just the EU.

  17. applicable!

  18. @Amber

    No postal ballots then?

    Not really fair, given that most ‘workers’ are busy working.

  19. @Jim(the other one)

    “if any party is going to fundamentally change the NHS they had better have the backing of the people”

    Well lets hope the LibDems aren’t involved in any future change if what Shirley Williams said is acceptable to them.

    “If you’re absolutely stuck for money, there might be a case for
    at least considering a nominal charge for GP appointments,
    because for a lot of appointments people simply don’t show up.
    And sadly that’s a growing trend, particularly among younger
    people. The French I think charge something equivalent to £5
    per appointment. It might get people to value the service.

    You could also have a nominal charge for prescriptions for older
    people, with appropriate exemptions. An awful lot of people
    do actually have quite substantial pensions in addition to the
    state pension.
    I don’t want to see that. I am a believer in everything being free
    if possible. But rather than see the NHS go down, one might be
    forced to consider that kind of thing. But only as an alternative
    to more people seeking or being forced into private provision,
    and with a clear statement by the government of its complete
    commitment to the retention of the NHS.”

    Hope you get your op soon but to still be waiting after a cancellation in 2010 is appalling & wouldn’t fill me with confidence that it’s going to happen any time soon.
    Maybe they are hoping you get so fed up that you then go private & have the same surgeon getting their nice fat fee in addition to their NHS salary…..

  20. We pay for doctors visits here, 13 quid a visit but more like 5 quid in English terms given our higher wages and higher living expenses. But there is a maximum amount beyond which you won’t be charged either for prescriptions or vists, I think it’s close to 200 pounds a year. Seems like an entirely sensible system to me

  21. @ Statgeek

    I know you are being facetious because, in terms of voting, posting your ballot is showing up.

  22. Blair/Clause IV = making a speech;
    Kinnock/ Militant = a duel with one shot pistols;
    Miliband/ Unite = MAD i.e. it would be like pressing the nuclear button.

  23. I must take exception to the comments of a few Labour posters that Neil Kinnock lost those two elections, he didn’t, Labour lost them, placing the blame on Kinnock merely perpetuates the dangerous shift to personality based politics over policy based

  24. @ RiN

    Charging people for GP appointments because other people don’t turn up merely perpetuates the dangerous shift to privatizing services because a tiny minority can’t get through on the phone to cancel their appointments & don’t have time to keep trying repeatedly to get through.

  25. @Amber

    So there is a postal ballot then. I didn’t know either way. In that case, we’re back to why the majority of sources don’t publish the turnout figures.

  26. @ RiN

    I was being facetious about Neil Kinnock because his popularity was being linked with ‘going for’ Militant; there is no evidence of which I’m aware that it made Kinnock more popular with the public.

  27. @RiN

    Indeed. In a similar way, some attribute all the problems of New Labour to Blair/Brown, depending on the particular issue, and especially the former. It almost seems as if there’s no blame for those who voted for them. The same might be said of Cameron or Miliband in some cases.

  28. Amber Star,

    I hope that Eddie and Lenny have itchy fingers…

  29. @ Statgeek

    In that case, we’re back to why the majority of sources don’t publish the turnout figures.
    It seems to me that you found the turnout figure when you looked for it so what’s your issue?

    I’d venture to suggest that it is UNusual to mention turnout figures every time an election result is mentioned; e.g. the SNP’s landslide Holyrood victory was on 52% turnout but that isn’t mentioned every time the outcome is reported.

  30. @ Bill Patrick

    I hope that Eddie and Lenny have itchy fingers…
    They don’t; as I mentioned earlier, the speculation is simply wishful thinking.

  31. It should not be forgotten that under Kinnock Labour did gain 20 seats in 1987 followed by a further 42 in 1992. Either outcome next time would be far from disastrous for Labour.

  32. Hey, who cares about politics for a day. the Lions smashed it.

    Selection was spot on, and I can say that as an Englishman!

  33. Norbold

    If the Labour Party went into the next election stating it did not intend to hold an in- out referendum and was elected on that basis the Public would have had a democratic say involving I suspect a far higher turnout than would apply to a stand alone referendum.

    As I pointed out in an earlier post none of us have had a say whether the Act of Union (1706) should still apply (even I am not that old)or for example whether we should retain out membership of other extra national organisations such as the UN or NATO.

    The only reason why our membership of the EU is constantly banged on about is because those primarily on the far right of British Politics have a wasp up their arse about it!

    In terms of priorities for the majority of the UK it barely makes the top 10 and then only when linked to migration.

  34. British and Irish Lions thrash Australia 41-16 in Sydney to claim their first series victory since 1997.

    There will be tears in the Bars of Earls Court Tonight

  35. Couldn’t agree more, Steve.

  36. @Steve

    Yep, got it…:-)


  37. @Jim(the other one)

    Anecdotal comments like that about the NHS are not meaningful. My wife has had to use the new GP controlled system recently and it worked splendidly for her. All the tests she needed and quick referral to the specialist within three weeks. So good in fact that we did not bother to use our Health Insurance.

    As meaningful a comment as yours. It will take some time to see if the recent reorganisation works or not.

  38. @Amber

    “It seems to me that you found the turnout figure when you looked for it so what’s your issue?”

    I had to really go looking. Searching for “unite political fund” came up with 159 million results. None of the hits of the first two pages that I looked at mentioned turnout. I had to search for “unite political fund turnout”, with the last word in quotes to find 120 results. Not all of these mentioned the ballot’s figures (thankfully the first hit did).

    My ‘issue’ is that the sites crowing about the 87% are not even mentioning the turnout in the small print. What’s the problem with that?

  39. @Steve


  40. @Reg of the BNP
    “I am not a tory and the fact that the Labour Party is hugely influenced by Trade Unions”

    I hate to disillusion you, but that’s not a fact. It is hugely debatable whether, and how much, the Labour Party is influenced by the Unions.

    Yes, the Labour Party is primarily funded by the unions.
    Yes, some members of some unions get a vote in some Labour internal elections.
    No, Labour policy does not reflect the policy agenda of the Unions. If you’re looking for a party whose policy is in the same ballpark as what the Trade Unions are pushing for then you’re looking for the Greens or the TUSC.

  41. @ Shev II,

    Is there any polling evidence that the general public are that bothered about Labour’s links to the unions?

    “Q: It is important that Labour retains its strong links with the Trade Unions because they represent many hard working people in Britain”

    Agree: 69%
    Disagree: 28%

    Poll from January 2012, sample size 1503, VI figures Tory 24%, Lab 25%, LD 8%

  42. Some people have called my suggestion of a break between the formal union/Labour link as ‘mad’. I think not, however. We are only talking about those elements of voting and policy making, not donations. It would show a considerable advance to the wider electorate, without meaning Labour has turned it’s back on traditional supporters, and it would enable a healthier relationship to develop, where both parties would be able to air their views more clearly.

    On rugby – there was a crop of rather silly comment (mainly in the Telegraph) about the Lions selection for the first test being ‘too Welsh’ and abandoning the principles of the Lions. Total nonsense – the principle of the Lions is to pick the best 15 to do the job, and I say this as a Scotsman who only had a single compatriot on the field for the last ten minutes of the game.

    Those Little Englanders ought to show a touch of humility this afternoon, following a record breaking victory.

    Perhaps Andy Murray is ‘too Scottish’. Something must be done!

  43. Alec
    What with feeling the hand of history earlier in the thread (Neil A too) and only about EM telling a Scots TU leader where to get off, I can only remark on this nationality business that i am watching Chris Froome (from Kenya but supposedly British) take over the mantle from Sir Wiggo (born in Belgium, father an Australian) and its strains my Little Englander tendencies (they were already minute) to the full.

  44. Howard.

    You could discuss that with our American London Mayor and Our Dutch/Russian Deputy PM while your at it.

  45. Steve
    Yes and I could do it with both in their own language. (Might get a bit tied up with Johnson on the word ‘oversight’ though).

  46. @Howard

    Perhaps you missed my post to you on the subject (I went to a lot of trouble quoting Wilkie Collins, Nathaniel Hawthorne etc, etc).


    I quick scan through the first entries (American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Collins English Dictionary) should set your mind at rest. Neither has a problem with one word having two meanings!

  47. toh



    lol !!!

  48. What a surprise: Exploiters of the world unite vs Workers of the world unite – really sad that the former ones do it better.

    @ Statgeek

    It’s surprising to see from you how ideology overrides considerations. You could then continue with questioning the legitimacy of the current government, most of the AGMs of UK public companies, allotment boards whatever. Amber legitimately put a very clear question to you and you couldn’t even admit it – I like your posts, but here the internal organs overcame the mind.

  49. @Alec,

    Perhaps Andy Murray is ‘too Scottish’. Something must be done!.


    Nope, he just isn’t very endearing in my book! Although I guess I’ll support him, but I personally find him very hard to warm too, which is a shame. Compare him to Novak Djokovic who has such an amazing funny personality! I love the bloke!

  50. ALEC

    @”I have the feeling we may be on the cusp of a turning point, both in this electoral cycle, but also in the history of the centre left in this country.”

    An imaginary cusp , it would appear.:-

    “But former Mayor of London Ken Livingstone said the Labour leader had told him a Guardian story alleging that Labour was considering breaking its link with the trade unions were not true.

    “I know it isn’t true. Ed phoned me yesterday evening to brief me on where he’s going and what he’s doing. Within minutes of this story appearing on the Guardian website I had a text from his office saying the story is total nonsense and emphatically not his view, or our line,” he said on LBC Radio. ”

    Politics Home

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