Populus’s twice weekly poll earlier today had topline figures of CON 36%, LAB 39%, LDEM 11%, UKIP 7%. Unlike the YouGov polls since Ed Miliband’s conference speech Populus has not shown any sort of boost for the Labour party. The poll was conducted over the weekend, so would have partially got the start of the the Tory conference and their marriage tax announcement… but in past years when there is any sort of conference boost it has tended to show up after the leaders’ speeches.

Still to come tonight we have the monthly ComRes poll for the Indy, then either tonight or tomorrow morning the daily YouGov poll for the Sun. Let’s see if they give us any consistent picture of whether Labour have retained a conference boost or not.

UPDATE: The monthly ComRes poll for the Independent has topline voting intention figures of CON 33%(+2), LAB 37%(nc), LDEM 11%(-1), UKIP 11%(+1). Changes are from a month ago, and full tabs are here. As with Populus, no sign of any Labour conference boost.

212 Responses to “Populus – CON 36, LAB 39, LD 11, UKIP 7”

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  1. @Colin

    “The last OBR forecsts…”

    Herein lies the problem.

  2. LEFTY

    @”The Mail laying into Miliband because his dad made some vaguely unacceptable comments as a 17 year old.”

    An oversimplification-DM’s case is built on more than that.

    But anyway-EM can speak for himself-and indeed has done.

  3. Ed M could also have pointed out that whilst his father was fleeing germany, the daily mail was singing herr hitlers praises, bemoaning the influx of ‘bogus’ german jewsih refugees and producing headlines such as ‘hurrah for the blackshirts’.

  4. I seem to also remember a terrible headline during the GE linking Clegg to the Nazis (can’t recall the exact context). It is what the Mail does.

    We currently have a lobbying bill going through parliament which seeks to limit the amount of money that organisations can use to campaign in a GE year.

    Am I the only one who thinks that this is farcical when the vast majority of the press (which is owned by wealthy individuals and right-wing almost by default) is free to publish pro-Tory (or anti Labour/Lib Dem) headlines every day for weeks prior to an election?

  5. @ Colin

    I don’t think that it was an interesting exchange at all. As in England defamation against a dead person cannot be challenged in court… Well, you can make up your mind what is the right adjective – I want to avoid automod.

  6. The Daily Mail on speaking ill of the dead:

    “The Left’s sick ‘celebration’ of Baroness Thatcher’s death”

    “Former defence secretary Liam Fox, a close friend of Lady Thatcher, said he was ‘disgusted and ashamed of the reaction of some elements of the Left’ to her death.

    ‘Why do the Left have such a talent for hating?’ he asked.”

    “This bilious hatred and lack of respect for the dead is a disturbing new low in British life”

    “Without analysis or consideration – and with no regard for the ancient convention that you do not speak ill of the dead”

    “Until recently, it was a tradition for us to look for the best in a person who had recently died”

    “The old Latin adage de mortuis nil nisi bonum — ‘Of the dead say nothing but good’ — used to be inscribed deep in our collective psyche.”

    “Those who have carelessly trashed Margaret Thatcher’s reputation over the past few days have cast aside this convention. It is not just that they have no respect for the feelings of her family and her close friends. They have no respect for death. It is a pitiless, as well as a wholly secular, response.”

    “Nevertheless, this nasty claque of detractors can’t be ignored. Their malignancy threatens to pollute the body politic. These people don’t rely on reason and they refuse to join in debate or are simply incapable of doing so.
    They are essentially anti-democratic — which is why they are potentially dangerous.”

  7. So this is Dacre’s idea of a “right of reply”. Just an excuse for the Mail to reprint its much larger earlier article underneath, this time with an editorial to boot.

    This should also serve to remind us that the parts of the press that most offend can’t be trusted to regulate themselves, much as they would like us to believe otherwise. And that implementation of something close to Leveson’s proposal has been kicked into the long grass and now looks unlikely to see the light of day this side of 2015.

  8. Colin

    I read the original article on Saturday. It is titled “The Man Who Hated Britain”.

    There is nothing, not one single fact in the entire article to back up that statement other than the reference to a 17 year olds’ diary article.

    There is nothing, not one single fact in the article to back up the assertion that EM is a swivel-eyed revolutionary on a mission to make his dad proud, other than a comment attributed to Damian McBride(!)

    For a paper with a metres-long rap sheet of publishing untrue or twisted scare stories, that piece plumbs new depths. For the paper then to produce an editorial supporting the original piece and saying that EM’s response was “menacing” shows that any remaining pretence of balance and rationality has gone out the window.

  9. @Colin,

    Agree on OBR. Have real concerns about labour sums adding up based on promises made last week. Can only assume there are a lot more tax increases for the middle classes planned. Can’t see how it could be anything else?

  10. For those who haven’t read the original piece, this is the standard of journalism that we are talking about.

    “(S)ome family friends feel this episode (criticism by DM of a book on left wing politics by Ralph M), not long before their father died, could have been a contributory factor towards the younger – and considerably more Left-wing – son Ed unexpectedly deciding to fight his elder brother for the leadership of the Labour Party in 2010, and, of course, beating him.

    “In his explosive memoirs, serialised last week in the Mail, Gordon Brown’s spin doctor Damian McBride argued that Ed Miliband was obsessed with maintaining his father’s legacy. Winning the leadership was Ed’s ‘ultimate tribute’ to his father – an attempt to ‘achieve his father’s vision and ensure David Miliband did not traduce it’…

    “Ed is now determined to bring about that vision. How proud Ralph would have been to hear him responding the other day to a man in the street who asked when he was ‘going to bring back socialism’ with the words: ‘That’s what we are doing, sir.’ ”

    Difficult to know where to begin with a bucket of dung like this.

    It starts with unattributed beliefs of “some family friends”. It supports this with an unsubstantiated comment from a disgraced man with a book to sell. And it draws from this the conclusion that EM is in thrall to his father’s particular version of socialism. Trash at every step of the way. But nothing that we shouldn’t expect from that rag.

  11. @Anthony

    Ah yes, the SDP. It works the other way too… I know someone who tried to get me to vote SDP at Uni. He’s a Labour MP now…

  12. Rich

    So, presumably, you’d be all for the OBR being able to check and publicly report on Labour’s plans? To make sure the country doesn’t, through ignorance, vote in a dangerously lax Govt?

    Surely, everyone would agree with the OBR being allowed to do that? I mean, who could possibly lose?

  13. @Colin

    “But GDP growth hardly helped in that excercise at all-it will in the next Parliament.

    Speaking personally I am pleased to see him following Keyne’s advice about counter-cyclical public finance policy.”


    Well growth was a factor in the first year’s chop down to £120Bn or whatever it was…

    And you gave me a wry smile on the Keynes comment!!…


    “For the paper then to produce an editorial supporting the original piece and saying that EM’s response was “menacing” shows that any remaining pretence of balance and rationality has gone out the window.”

    Not just menacing, “tetchy and menacing.”

  15. Looks like we’re in for interesting times economically. Since the big idea of the economic recovery was to get exports going, QE and low interest rates have been keeping the pound down below $1.55. But it looks like “Help To Buy” has reversed this as a property boom draws in currency speculators. Cap this off with the US Government shut down both increasing the relative value of the pound, and taking a hair cut on the global economy…

  16. @lefty,

    Yes, bluntly.

    I think independent auditing of (whoever) the opposition is and their manifesto spending plans is actually a brilliant idea. It would stop over promising just to get the votes in.

  17. ” Lord Rothermere owner of the Daily Mail , telegram to Adolf Hitler 1st October, 1938)
    My dear Fuhrer everyone in England is profoundly moved by the bloodless solution to the Czechoslovakian problem. People not so much concerned with territorial readjustment as with dread of another war with its accompanying bloodbath. Frederick the Great was a great popular figure. I salute your Excellency’s star, which rises higher and higher. “

  18. Rich

    Great. We agree. And so does Ed Balls because he asked for precisely that last week. I look forward to Osborne agreeing and changing the remit of the OBR to allow this to happen before the GE.

  19. All this Daily Mail talk got me wondering about newspaper readership voting intention and fascinating stats here:

    h ttp://www.ipsos-mori.com/researchpublications/researcharchive/2476/Voting-by-Newspaper-Readership-19922010.aspx?view=wide

    Still 16% Lab vote among Daily Mail readers at last election. (The same percentage the Tories got off Daily Mirror readers).

    The one that stands out massively is the Sun who were the only group that swung from one party to another. Chicken and egg as to whether the Sun followed the readership or the readership followed the Sun.

  20. The Daily Mail is just being the Daily Mail. It produces political pornography for Labour-loathers. Has done for a long time under Dacre’s editorship and, presumably, will continue to do so while he’s still there.

    Miliband shouldn’t have lowered himself to respond and, as a subject for debate on these pages, we should all move rapidly on as well.

  21. @ Colin, Rich,

    Osborne should hire you both as you seem to know how he will achieve something which he, himself, does not know how to achieve – which is quite clear from his speech, if you bother to read it properly.

    This parliament, he has achieved the results which Colin mentions by treating capital receipts as income – which the OBR drew attention to at the time it was done.

  22. The good news is that, even with their Stasi-esque pre-modding, the DM is getting an absolute pasting on its own comment boards over this.

  23. “People not so much concerned with territorial readjustment…”


    dontcha just love these euphemisms.

  24. CROSSBAT11

    Fare enough however contemptible gratuitous ill informed attacks on dead people ,whose widow is still alive ,simply to try and tar a current politician by association can have a effect on VI

    This allows Ed to bring His own family History to the fore and it is an interesting story which runs contrary to the notion that He is just another Public School Posh Boy.

    I suspect this will engender a degree of sympathy which may well have a positive impact on His personal poll ratings

  25. LEFTY

    I have read the DM leader this morning, the repeat of it’s article, and EM’s response.

    Like everyone else-I can make my own mind up.

    For those interested enough, Ralph Milibands writings are a matter of public record.

    I note that both DC & NC have supported EM’s defense of his father & criticised the attack on a politician’s family.

  26. For those that are posting today obviously vexed by the Daily Mails articles re EM father, I wonder if you were as vocal when Margret Thatcher died and the Daily Mirror ran a whole series of articles gleefully rubbing there hands that the “witch is dead song” was going to near the top of the charts.

    As I remember it few people gave any though to Thatchers family and how constant references to this song by the papers media and on forums like this one impacted on the family,

    Some parts of the left wing press were in raptures over her death and couldn’t wait to pore scorn on her memory regardless of her family’s grief, I certainly don’t see how EM fathers treatment is any different.

    I’m against all this type of behaviour in the press but not lets pretend it’s confind to a particular paper or to the right or left. .

  27. RICH

    @”Have real concerns about labour sums adding up based on promises made last week.”

    As I was trying to say yesterday, amongst the many policy areas not addressed at the Labour Conference , was Public Finances. The speed of deficit reduction used to be a matter of almost daily comment from Labour. Now it gets no mention.

    We do not know what their policy is -unless I missed it.

  28. CB11

    @”Miliband shouldn’t have lowered himself to respond ”

    That was my conclusion too.

  29. AMBER

    @”This parliament, he has achieved the results which Colin mentions by treating capital receipts as income – which the OBR drew attention to at the time it was done.”

    If you refer to the APF coupon transfer from BoE , the figures I quoted excluded them-ie the DEficit for 2012/13 ( per ONS) was £115.7 bn BEFORE crediting the APF coupon transfer of £6bn.

  30. For those that are posting today obviously vexed by the Daily Mails articles re EM father, I wonder if you were as vocal when Margret Thatcher died and the Daily Mirror ran a whole series of articles gleefully rubbing there hands that the “witch is dead song” was going to near the top of the charts.

    Personally I felt it inappropriate.

    However,as far as I recall no suggestion was made that Thatchers Politics had meant that the current crop of Tories were simply cyphers for Her beliefs because they were children when She was alive. Also as Far as I am aware Mr Miliband Snr wasn’t a Politician ,never sort elected office and wasn’t the PM for 11 Years

    If papers must engage in denigration of the dead for political reasons (a soft target as they can’t answer back) maybe they should focus their attention on those who were politicians in the first place.

  31. well said Turk.

  32. @ Colin

    Royal Mail pension fund springs immediately to mind.

  33. Well said Colin, well said Turk, jolly good show.

  34. Colin,

    I agree he has fallen into the trap. The idea behind the original article was to generate a storm leading to more papers getting sold. Miliband responding keeps it going longer, I can’t really see any gain in him doing it.

  35. AMBER

    RM Pension fund is also below that line :-

    2012/13 Deficit :-

    £115.7 bn
    less APF coupon £ 6bn & RM Pen trfr £ 28bn

    THere are other “below the line” adjustments in respect of Bradford & Bingley etc.

    THe last forecast for 2013/14 DEficit is £120bn -again stated before crediting APR coupon tfr of £ £12bn

    Of course those below the line items affect cumulative borrowing-but no commentator ever mentions them when quoting Deficits.

    The 2012/13 DEficit is usually quoted as £ 116bn-not £81bn

  36. @ Colin

    TBH, this is a distraction but I’m okay with parsing over Osborne’s past commitments, if you’d like to. I recall that he believed his government would eliminate the structural deficit in this parliament & that’s not what’s actually happened.

    His future prediction – or should that be aspiration – of a surplus by the end of the next is even less likely to materialise.

  37. @Turk

    When Mrs Thatcher died, she was the subject of a robust media debate – many parts of the media praised her effusively, other parts condemned her strongly. Some parts of both sides went too far in their comments – often directed, not at the dead PM herself, but at those who held opposing views.

    The Mirror printed some things which represented the very strong views that they and their readers held about her; she did not conspicuously lack defenders who were more than willing to express very strong views about the newspaper and about anyone who did not feel as they did. The whole event was not very edifying.

    Whenever any public figure dies, there is likely to be a debate, but I am glad to see that when Gordon Brown or Tony Blair pass away, you’ll be at the front of the queue to ensure that nobody speaks any ill of them.

    The cut and thrust of a lively and emotional debate about a well-known figure about whom a lot of people hold very strong views is of an entirely different character to what the Daily Mail have done here, and I am disappointed that you don’t see it.

    Ralph Miliband has not just passed away. There is not an ongoing debate about his life and legacy. There is not a vigorous lobby promoting his life and works.

    What has got people’s backs up so much is not merely that there was an unpleasant hatchet job on a man long dead, and that it is a transparent attack on his son, who, uncoincidentally, is a political opponent who has just had a successful conference.

    It is that the Mail has used Miliband’s right of reply as an excuse to make an even more unsavoury attack on the dead man on the flimsiest of grounds.

    There’s no real justification for it apart from spite, and it demeans the newspaper, it demeans the cause it purports to champion and it demeans public debate.

  38. Well said, Chris

  39. @Edward
    Re your namesake
    ” I can’t really see any gain in him doing it.”

    That’s quite plausible, because I get the impression that, unusually for a politician, Ed Miliband follows his convictions and will do things because he thinks that they’re the right thing to do. I suspect that anger might have been a driving response.

  40. Sorry, that should have ended “been driving the response”.

  41. @Edward, Colin

    It is the Conservative Party Conference, and the media is full of how Ed Miliband is defending his dead father against attacks from a high-profile Conservative-supporting newspaper.

    Tories are being asked in interviews if they support the Labour leader, and getting oppobrium if they do not.

    This does not look like a situation that is currently developing to Conservative advantage.

  42. Well said HOWARD

  43. The Daily Mail eventually allowed its readers to comment on Ed’s Article

    This is the Top rated comment:

    Well said. The Daily Mail praised Margaret Thatcher as a war hero, even though unlike Ralph Milliband she never went near a battle field. When she died commentators from the Mail wrote about how terrible it was to criticise someone who couldn’t answer back. I’m no socialist or even Labour Party supporter, but this is a hatchet job. How many of you DM journalists have served in the armed forces?

  44. If the comments of a 17 year old are rightly seen as too immature then maybe 16 year olds should not vote to decide the future of the Country? Just a thought.

  45. Well said Marco.

    Well said everyone-hip hip hooray.

  46. Well said.

  47. Said well.

  48. @Turk – “For those that are posting today obviously vexed by the Daily Mails articles re EM father, I wonder if you were as vocal when Margret Thatcher died and the Daily Mirror ran a whole series of articles gleefully rubbing there hands that the “witch is dead song” was going to near the top of the charts.”

    While I agreed to a large extent that some of the anti Thatcher talk on her death was childish and uncalled for, there is a significant difference. With politicians, they deliberately choose to expose themselves to public examination and debate, and to an extent should expect to receive some rough treatment, as Ed M suggests.

    When Thatcher dies, I’m not aware that anyone attacked her parents – who made no such choice, to my knowledge.

  49. Manufacturing PMI – odd this. BBC reports continued solid growth, but Telegraph ‘disappointing’ figures.

    The difference is down to the export situation. Overall, the figures are slightly down, but good, with rising new orders and activity. However, exports have been sluggish, which is worrying, hence the difference in reporting.

    Apologies for being boring, but this should be regarded as a worry, if we refer back to UK household finances. Incomes are still being squeezed, and UK demand cannot continue to grow indefinitely if it is based on drawing down savings and increasing borrowing, as now.

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