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. “Shadow Cabinet minister Diane Abbott waded into the row on Week in Westminster this morning, suggesting that Unite was not alone in signing up members before the selection vote.

    “People are making out that the trade unions paying for members on one cheque is itself corrupt: it’s not,” she said. “Under the rules as far as we know, Unite has done nothing wrong. I think one of the things the report might reveal is that Unite weren’t the only ones signing up members in the run-up to this selection.”

    Politics Home.

    If she is correct, the Police deliberations over Dunny-on- the- Wold will be short.

    According to her is was just a case of factional competitive envelope stuffing -a time honoured game in certain quarters.

    Well done The Lions-absolutely brilliant.

  2. @Laszlo

    “It’s surprising to see from you how ideology overrides considerations.”

    I didn’t realise that having to look excessively for the turnout figures for a union ballot was ‘idealogical’.

    Surely it’s just looking for the numbers. If anything, we should all be keen to see the numbers are question their apparent lack of sources.

  3. @ Statgeek

    Partly it’s the language which you are using: Sites “crowing” about the result rather than simply sites reporting the result.

    Also, having to add “turnout” to your google search to find sites which do report the turnout is no big deal. Do you think that Labour or Unite are hacking about on the internet removing any sites which include the turnout figures?

    Really, what is your point? You seem to believe that anybody & everybody who reports the outcome of a Union ballot should be compelled to include the turnout; a standard which I hasten to add applies to no other elections or ballots. People are free to report those in any way they choose, i.e. including or excluding turnout as it pleases them.

  4. @Statgeek

    Did your searching also reveal the purpose of the political fund and that it is not synonymous with payment to the Labour Party?

    I am a member of Unite.
    I have opted out of the political levy.
    Therefore, I did not get a vote in the Labour Party leadership election; I wasn’t asked which political party should be the beneficiary of the levy I wasn’t paying.

    I did, however, get a (postal) ballot asking whether I wished the union to continue to have a political fund (so I am one of your 209,808 Yes voters).

    There was a leaflet accompanying the ballot paper, which I recycled, so I can’t quote it verbatim. It explained the difference between the fund, the existence of which entitles the union to participate in “political” campaigning, and the levy, which is a financial contribution to a party chosen by those who subscribe.

    The leaflet described what happened to NALGO when they chose not to have a political fund. They then campaigned on a (non-party-) political issue of relevance to their members. They were taken to court on the grounds that they were not allowed to campaign in the absence of the fund (I forget the details) and fined heavily.

    A political fund is a prerequisite of a political levy, but it is also more than that. Of course it is disappointing when any ballot has a poor turn-out, but it’s hardly unusual these days, so rather unlikely that it’s being deliberately hidden out of embarrassment (or some kindred emotion).

    With the advent of internet searches, it is now so much easier to find information (which may of course be incorrect) that perhaps we have become intolerant of instances when, for whatever reason, it is less easy.

  5. @Amber

    The Conservatives will ‘crow’ if they win in 2015, as will Labour. In other words, they will highlight the things that matter to them. All I want is the turnout figures to add some context to the votes. It’s obviously a problem for a few folk, as so far none of you have bothered to agree that the turnout is an important aspect of a vote, especially a vote which sees an overwhelming result for a given side of said vote.

    RE: Adding turnout to the search. I don’t have to add “turnout” to most election result searches to get the turnout. Try it yourself.

    “Really, what is your point?”

    I wanted to know why the sources didn’t publish the turnout figures. I thought that was clear in the first couple of posts.

  6. @Kitsune

    “With the advent of internet searches, it is now so much easier to find information (which may of course be incorrect) that perhaps we have become intolerant of instances when, for whatever reason, it is less easy.”

    Perhaps. I’m certainly intolerant of any election result without the turnout being mentioned. If people start to actively discourage turnout data by their ‘why? does it matter?’ attitude, then we’re on a slippery slope away from legitimate democracy.

  7. @Statgeek

    Turnout does matter; I’ve had lots of fairly heated “discussions” about it.

    In this particular instance; fortunately, it seems that the problem was merely your choice of search terms (I’m not criticizing you here).

    I’ve just tried “turnout for unite political fund ballot” – without the quotations marks – and item number 3 was this:

    political fund scrutineers report – Unite the Union

    http://www.unitetheunion.org/uploaded/documents/301-D0235_RV_Unite_PFB_23051311-10916.pdf

    which contains the information you eventually found.

    Apologies for not knowing how to present this as a clickable link – if you or anyone else would care to tell me how to do that, and/or how to get a single word to come up in italics, such help would be gratefully received.

    I’m relieved to see that Unite does not seem to have been deliberately trying to make things difficult.

  8. The fact that Unite appears to have lost one-third of its membership since the T&G / Amicus merger suggests union members don’t think much of McCluskey. Certainly skilled and professional members are leaving en masse.

  9. @Statgeek

    Ah, it comes up as clickable despite how it looks to me before I post it. I’d still like to know about the italics if you can enlighten me, please.

  10. SG

    “turnout is an important aspect of a vote, especially a vote which sees an overwhelming result for a given side of said vote.”

    I would say the opposiet – i.e. especially a vote [like 2010] which sees an UNDERwhelming result for the “winning” side. Hardly a great mandate for any recent government given our electoral system in combination with lower and lower participation levels.

  11. Shadow Cabinet minister Diane Abbott waded ……….

    Use of language is so revealing isn’t it?

  12. Well if the quotes of her opinion on the legal situation are accurate, she certainly wasn’t tiptoeing .

    “Marched into” might have been more descriptive of her intent.

    But “waded” has connotations of a fluid & viscous environment.

    It seems apposite.

  13. @ Statgeek

    I’m not against election or ballot turnouts being disclosed. In fact, if you’d like to mount a pressure campaign (for legislation?) which says every report of an election result must refer to the turnout, I will sign your petition.

  14. The main bug for me regarding unions like Unite is the stealth way in which thousands of its members are duped into giving cash to the Labour party.

    I just wonder how many of its members are aware they are helping to support Ed and his cronies at the end of each month!!

    As for Unite putting their own plants into Labour…Erm excuse me but did they not plant Ed himself?

  15. ” Diane Abbott waded”
    _______

    Was the tide in or out?

  16. @Greenchristian

    But surely your greatest donor influences you to a large extent.

  17. @Greenchristian
    My last comment was replying to your answer to my original post at least a page back.

  18. @Greenchristian
    My last comment was replying to your answer to my original post at least a page back on the thread.

  19. Reg

    Who is the bnp’s largest donor?

  20. allan

    “in oor oot” …….. please.

    Sooner you get to BIG SKOOL the better.

  21. RICHARD IN NORWAY

    Reg

    “Who is the bnp’s largest donor?”
    __________

    It’s me, I gave them a fiver if they would ensure subsidies on the CalMac service between Oban and Lismore.

  22. PAULCROFT

    SKOOL is oot fir the summer.

  23. Allan

    Are you going to Comedy BIG School? Your jokes are making me larf [well, just inside of course.]

  24. Allan

    I though summers were banned in Scotland as it was deemed cruel tae the wee midgies

  25. Diane Abbott was on yesterdays Daily Politics & said on several occasions that she had not seen the report into the Falkirk business so her comments are just speculation……there’s a lot of that about.

  26. PAULCROFT

    “I though summers were banned in Scotland as it was deemed cruel tae the wee midgies”
    ________

    I wish they would ban summers in Scotland coz it might stop them caravan’ers fae the sooth toeing all that junk and clogging up the roads.

    Am no kidding, yin caused a 25 mile tail back up the side of Loch Lomond and one local bobby said.. “Och aye the noo if I had an AK47 on me I would had shot oot that buggers tyres “

  27. Billy Bob
    Yes i saw your reply but despite having a further all-destroying argument, I decided to let you have the last word.

    I just point out that by by the 19th century, cross fertilisation had taken place between the new world and old (now of course it has become one-way total dominance e.g. ‘scary’ instead of ‘frightening’ et al).

    In fact that cross- fertilisation, the literal kind, produced Winston Churchill among others, including, I understand now, also B Johnston – so a good tie up with other correspondence today).

  28. I think I meant Johnson not Johnston.

  29. @Reg of the BNP
    “But surely your greatest donor influences you to a large extent.”

    Whilst you would normally expect it to do so, there are inevitably going to be some exceptions to that rule. But the fact that Labour policy and Union statements on policy are vastly different suggests either that Union money is not buying them any significant influence over policy, or that what Union leaders actually want policy-wise is very different to what they tell their members and the public.

    We’ve both made our points (yours that you would expect all that money to buy some influence, mine that the two groups are not very close in terms of policy – suggesting that any such influence is very slight), and it’s unlikely that there’s anything more to add to the debate other than speculation about why union money doesn’t appear to result in more pro-union policies from Labour. I suspect getting into that would mean going over the line into partisan comments, and so will retire gracefully from this bit of the debate.

  30. @howard

    Thanks for your reply, however, it is not always a case of cross-fertilisation from the New World. Often American usage better preserves accents and meanings which the old country has, over the intervening years, let slip.

  31. Allan

    ““Och aye the noo if I had an AK47 on me I would had shot oot that buggers tyres “

    Typical Scotch hospitality – they can’t do enough for you.

    Luckily in England we are very fortunate as it’s very rare to hear a Scotch accent anywhere – especially when you’re on yer hols in Cornwall, and even then it’s only a largish majority that are towing caravans with provacative Scotch emblems on them.

  32. John Inverdale. What a man?

  33. PAULCROFT

    “Luckily in England we are very fortunate as it’s very rare to hear a Scotch accent anywhere – especially when you’re on yer hols in Cornwall”
    __________

    Well bugger me you must go around little old England with your ears shut.

    You can’t get away fae the Scots in England. I was in Blackpool and just about every second person was Scottish. London aye London the Scots are on every street chucking £5 bags of seeds at they pigeons.

    All your top sports commentators down there are Scottish and 20% of your top managers posts are Scottish. I might be a Sassenach by birth but my Scots granny keeps me straight.

    She has a dishtowel on her kitchen door with Scottish inventions/firsts. Even that bank of England was founded by a Scot.

    Go shoogle yer tail

  34. @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.
    Well you can say that again – Labour will be all but Liberals/US Democrats, and finally broke all links with the Labour movement/socialism of yesteryear.

    @Amber
    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?
    Well, rather that the Blairite candidate stuffing the votes seen Unite were beating them at it and decided to reveal it in outrage.

    @ChrisLane 1945
    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.
    Yes, let’s take on the workers and socialists the party was created to represent.

  35. Great to see plenty of Scottish flags at the All England Snooty club.

    If Andy wins maybe the Scots should yank up the turf like they did at Wembley lol

    Och aye one wouldn’t be amused!!

  36. “Go shoogle yer tail”

    Cheers Al, I’ll probably nae bother.

    Tongs Ya Bass [as we say in England.]

  37. @Reg of the BNP

    I wouldn’t expect you to look favourably on trade union links, being a far-righter, but you’re not really representative. When you said a UKIP victory would ban trade unions do you actually think that, or do you wish it? If the unions had any influence over Labour the anti-union legislation (that has us with the some of the most regulations on trade union in Europe, despite the hypocrites ruling us always preaching about de-regulation and cutting red-tape) would’ve been repealed, and yet they haven’t.

  38. Just back from a day walking along 0fffa’s Dyke,or part of it at least.

    Reg of the BNP
    Don’t really get your drift,if a hypothetical UKIP future govt wishes to legislate to make rivers flow uphill, this has as much chance of happening as them making Trade unions illegal.

  39. “John Inverdale. What a man?”

    Are you referring to the comment he made about Marion Bartoli ?

    I would be ashamed if a son of mine ever spoke like that about any woman, let alone in public & being broadcast.

    ———————————————

    Guardian tonight about Labour & the Unions :

    “Ed Miliband explicitly rules out breaking Labour’s historic links with the unions, saying he wants to “mend not end” the relationship while giving individual working people more of a role in running the party.”

  40. @ Statgeek

    Apologises if I jumped on something that you didn’t mean – but this is how it came across.

  41. To a degree seeking a deeper meaning in this affair is misleading. A centrist party and a centrist union…

    If Unite was on the warpath, which it isn’t, could print its own mass newspaper, organise mass action: e.g. going to department stores, scanning large number of items, getting them wrapped, then asking if the store advertises any of the union bashing newspapers and then just walking away. You only need a couple of hundred people to stop the flow of commerce.

    But Unite (or any British union) isn’t on the warpath. They are all desperate to have meaningful conversations, but it doesn’t work.

    I’m quite sure the smoke is bigger in this case than the flames.

  42. GREEKCHRISTIAN
    “there’s anything more to add to the debate other than speculation about why union money doesn’t appear to result in more pro-union policies from Labour”
    This seems to me to be a non-sequitur. In both policy making and management the role and scope of a political party is different from that of a TU, primarily because the political party has to put the worker-employer relationship, which is at the heart of the union function, into the context of wider social and economic development. This is particularly the case in the development of a social market system, in which, for example, the political party conducting government or seeking to govern has to decide on statutory aspects of pension age, working hours, rights of women in the workplace, in conformity with international conventions and treaties. The union has a different balance of interest in seeking best working conditions and returns for its members within given industries, and has different weapons in seeking to achieve its aims, to those of government. A TU which engaged in directly seeking to control the party political process would, I suggest, inevitably breach its own constitution, as well as the written or unwritten rules which make the two complementary. That would not stop the union lobbying for or funding interests in the party which coincide with its own.

  43. @ Ewen

    BNP (and maybe UKIP) would want to nationalise the unions and call them (after appropriate changes in personnel) HRM department.

  44. @ John Pilgrim

    The agenda of the Labour government of 1997-2010 was to REMOVE social market economy from the agenda. In spite of some loops and fall backs it was the march of neoliberalism with a some mildly lefty narrative. It individualised labour market relations and did so deliberately (the push for it was there, so it might have happened anyway).

  45. “Told of Inverdale’s remarks, the new Wimbledon champion’s father, Dr Walter Bartoli, said:” I am not angry. She is my beautiful daughter. ”

    Not that it matters but she looks very nice to me also.

  46. “Do you think Bartoli’s dad told her when she was little: ‘You’re never going to be a looker, you’ll never be a Sharapova, so you have to be scrappy and fight’?

    Inverdale told his listeners that he poked fun at Bartoli’s looks “in a nice way”. He added: “She is an incredible role model for people who aren’t born with all the attributes of natural athletes”.
    —————-
    Not “a looker”, even to her father.

    “..be scrappy and fight”, about a women who didn’t have to fight to win the final; she thrashed her opponent in straight sets.

    [not] “born with all the attributes of natural athletes”, about a woman who has just won a grand slam title in one of the most competitive sports there is.

    Inverdale is probably a UKIP supporter. Their rise seems to have been taken by their supporters as carte blanche to be rude about anybody & everybody; to speak in public as if you are down the pub with your mates; to never be polite just in case it is mistaken for political correctness; & to always judge women by their age &/or appearance.

  47. amber

    There’s a suggestion in a Scottish newspaper that his wimbledon commentaries are the last secret weapon of the yes camp.

    I’ve never been able to stand him.

  48. Amber

    Well said. The casual racism, sexism and general stereotyping displayed by BBC commentators is rather sad. Whether Inverdale is UKIP, BNP, Tory, Lib-Dem or Labour in his voting habits is less clear. Could be any of them.

  49. The stupidity of the comment goes on and on – the idea for example that, if she was a “looker” she wouldn’t have to work so hard at the game. The fact that no-one would say that about a bloke.

    etc etc

    I hope he is sacked. We should start a petition.

  50. Labour are discussing the possibility of an opt-in for that part of the Unions’ political funds which supports the Labour Party. In exchange, all those who opt-in would be members of the Labour Party. This would be hugely important in dispelling the myth that Union affiliation fees are donations.

    Labour could then join with the LibDems in their policy of a cap on donations because there would be no basis for any legal challenge to the amounts paid as fees by affiliates via their Union.

    Cameron & Crosby may have shot the Tory Party in the heart, if the outcome of Cameron’s Crosby inspired attack at PMQs leads to millions of new Labour Party members who’s contributions to the Party cannot be mis-characterized as large Union donations.

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