The weekly YouGov poll for the Sunday Times is here. Topline voting intention figures are CON 34%, LAB 39%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 11%, so a five point lead for Labour. The rest of the poll had some questions on social mobility, the security services and Royal Mail privatisation.

32% of people think that society has become more mobile over the last thirty years, 44% that it’s become less mobile. This does not translate into support for universities giving lower entrance requirements to people from deprived backgrounds (34% would support this, 49% would be opposed), nor for an expansion of grammar schools (37% would support this, 21% would support keeping but not expanding grammar schools, 25% oppose them entirely).

Only 19% of people think that the security services have too many surveillance powers, most think their powers are either about right or should be increased. However, in contrast to this 46% think they shouldn’t be allowed to store the details of ordinary people’s communications, 38% think they should. Asked which statement best reflected their views of recent leaks about security service methods, 35% thought the leaks were a good thing that helped hold the security services to account, 43% that it was a bad thing that helped Britain’s enemies.

5% of people say they have applied to buy Royal Mail shares (this is actually quite a bit higher than the figures Vince Cable has reported, but I expect this is largely because of people saying yes when it is actually their spouse or another family member who has applied, and partly because the most disengaged and marginal members of society tend to be under-represented in polls). 21% of people think it is right for the government to sell shares in the Royal Mail, 56% think it is wrong. 43% think it has been sold for less than it is worth.

There is also a Survation poll in the Mail on Sunday, which has topline voting intention figures of CON 27%(-2), LAB 37%(nc), LDEM 11%(nc), UKIP 18%(+1). Changes are from their previous poll back in August. They also asked about voting intention in the European elections. I think its largely pointless to poll on secondary elections like Europe so far in advance, but for the record the figures are CON 21%, LAB 35%, LDEM 11%, UKIP 22%.


191 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 34, LAB 39, LD 9, UKIP 11”

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  1. “I think its largely pointless to poll on secondary elections like Europe so far in advance”

    Why? I was scratching my head trying to come up with a reason and the best I could come up with were that issues come up during the campaign that people hadn’t thought about much in advance.

    I was going to comment that the UKIP vote seems pretty low seeing as people were talking about it potentially being quite close between Lab and UKIP for first place- maybe I won’t now (even though I just did!).

  2. Shevii – that’s right, people’s views really do change a lot in the immediate run up to secondary elections, so its unlikely that the results serve any predictive purpose (I remember back before the 2009 people talking about the coming wipeout for UKIP based on the polling a couple of months before the election… and how well that worked out!)

    One could say the same for general election voting intention polls years away from an election of course, but they also serve a purpose as the general thermometer of party support in the country,

  3. R Huckle (fpt)
    “Limit donations to a max of £5k per year from one person or company or trade union. If the parties want to raise money, they should get more members to pay subscriptions.”

    Great idea. If only there was a party leader willing to make such a proposal. I’m sure I heard one say it just recently….

  4. Interesting footie questions in that poll Anthony but you missed what, imo, would have been the most telling:

    Would you support a ban on the number of foreign players in the Premier League if that ban led to your team having less skillful players ?

    I would expect the number in favour would drop significantly.

  5. spelling error in the second paragraph, first line.

  6. Morning everyone. Points of interest in the poll today:

    – Approval ratings continue to improve across most regions (North and Scotland slightly down)

    – Cameron breaks into positive figures for the third time this year in RoS

    – Miliband up in London and M&W, but down in North & Scotland

    – Cons up again this month so far (chart shows six rises out of six), while Lab seemed to have stemmed their falling VI. UKIP down a fair bit over the 6 months, and Lib down a little.

    – The Scottish polls are still very annoying. Two most recent polls compared:

    Con 13, 23 (+10)
    Lab 53, 39 (-14)
    Lib 5 , 7 (+2)
    SNP 27, 27 (n/c)
    UKIP 1, 5 (+4)
    Green 1, 0 (-1)

    Given that there are five polls per week, should Scotland be getting an average minimum of 200 samples per poll to give the weekly polling a reliable average?

    It might mean 2300 per national daily poll though with the approximate samples:

    London 300
    RoS 750
    M&W 490
    North 565
    Scot 200

  7. Anthony,
    It is often forgotten that the 2009 Euro elections coincided with the outrage re- MP’s expenses. This proved of enormous benefit to the non-traditional parties such as UKIP and – to a lesser extent – BNP and the Greens. Had it not been for that scandal, I suspect that UKIP would have fallen back from their 2004 poll levels. As it was, they managed to stand still but were boosted by having narrowly beaten Labour .

  8. @Anthony Wells

    I was interested to hear you say that polls are not useful for secondary elections this far out. This may have bearing on the Scottish referendum one year hence.

    I note that the polls in Ireland for the Lisbon I referendum, and for the recent Seanad, were incorrect up until the very last minute.

    I also note that the UK AV election didn’t become predictive until about three months out, at which point it matched the final outcome pretty well.

    So, is there anything we have that serves as a predictor of final poll inaccuracy? The thing in my head is the number of “don’t knows”: the higher the number of don’t knows, the less useful the poll is in predicting the final outcome. Do you have any thoughts on this?

  9. Should that be a thermometer or a barometer? I tend to favour the latter analogy, but perhaps we should have a poll on that?

    The question on social mobility is fascinating. There has been much talk on this in recent years, all focusing on interpreting increased social mobility as meaning the ability to move upwards.

    While it isn’t a zero sum game, the trouble is that it’s not possible to have everyone consistently moving upwards – social mobility is as much about people slipping down to make way for the climbers.

  10. First Tristram says Labour will support Free Schools-now Rachel Reeves says “we would be tougher” on Welfare.

    Obviously straight from Focus Group findings -but what effects will this have ; on VI or on the PLP ??

  11. Statgeek

    Re:your GB quip FPT

    I’ll take that in the humorous spirit it was doubtless intended, rather than the partisan way it might come across.

    Had you said, “You were an intellectually lazy believer in the cross-party idea of trickle-down” I would have fully accepted the criticism. AND it wouldn’t have been partisan. Mind, it wouldn’t have been funny either.

  12. @Colin – I also noted these points. I think we are seeing an interesting mix of headlines from Labour. First they grab something radical, like energy price freezes, and get all the headlines of lurching leftwards, and then they balance by apparent change of tack on free schools (I say apparent, as this appears more about language than any real change in policy) and benefits.

    I suspect two things are at play here. Firstly, it seems to be a sign that the Labour front bench is upping their game – much needed, in my view. Secondly, I suspect they are seeking to create a similar scenario to 1997. Back then, Tories were torn between characterizing them as a leftist threat (‘Demon Eyes’, ‘Tax Bombshell’) or dismissing them as adopting a Thatcher Lite policy platform. The more you accuse an opposition of maaking U turns, the more you inform the public your opponents have changed. It proved very difficult for them to make any serious attacks.

    Of course, the risk is that Ed ends up alienating everyone as much as he makes those with diverging views happy, but I get the feeling that this conference and subsequent reshuffle has been significant in many different ways.

    I have a suspicion this is planned, whereas my feelings are that the Tory response less so. We know that the move on Help to Buy 2 was an instant response, but I don’t get the feeling that Tories have yet decided exactly how they want to approach the threat from Labour in 2015, partly I think because they still can’t really work out what that threat looks like.

  13. Obviously straight from Focus Group findings -but what effects will this have ;
    1. on VI – None whatsoever; or
    2. on the PLP ?? – None whatsoever

    Because the underlying policies have not changed. Labour have been ambivalent about Gove’s ‘free [market] schools’ but the Labour policy is for Parent Led Academies. This is part of Labour’s plan to do politics with people not to people.

    The welfare announcement is ‘spin’ (which, quite frankly, Reeves should be ashamed of, IMO). Labour’s policy has not changed. There will be an actual job found or created for everybody who is long-term unemployed & whose circumstances would allow them to take a job. It is not workfare. They will be paid at least the minimum wage.

  14. @Lefty

    Partisan? Only if you support the aforementioned politician.

  15. “They also asked about voting intention in the European elections. I think its largely pointless to poll on secondary elections like Europe so far in advance”

    Pointless? GE election are a lot further away than European elections, but polls on them are daily.

    All polls are pretty pointless then, unless they are done within a few weeks of an election.

  16. ALEC

    Thanks.

    I understand your perspective on the two announcements-mine would be somewhat different , although obviously sharing the view that EM has done this because he sees advantage in it.

    I am not sure the schools announcement is purely a “language difference”. Schools proposed , built & run by Parents is Gove’s policy. And to say that “only if their is a need” is a significant difference begs the question-
    what is “need”? Is it an absence of adequate schools-schools with standards acceptable to local parents.?

    The Reeves statement is more extraordinary for me-and you can see Amber’s strong reaction. Assuming Reeves means what she says-and if she doesn’t then they have handed Cons an open goal-we have two significant policy areas in which Labour essentially concede the Con. policy position. Obviously there will be attempts to differentiate.
    If you include the economy, that makes three major platforms on which Labour’s position now appears to be ” Yes-OK-but we will do it better/fairer etc etc “.

    With regard to Cons response, I don’t think it takes too much imagination to envisage it-and I imagine that Mr McCluskey, who must be reflecting on his praise for EM’s Conference speech, this morning, will be helpful in formulating it.

    Fascinating stuff from Ed though, I must say.

  17. Colin

    I agree with you over Labours U turns on free schools and having to come into line with the Tories over welfare and the economy, it seems to me apart from offering a freeze on energy bills for 17mths they have not yet decided how there attack on living standards, education and the economy is going to evolve.

    The Tories have so far a strong narrative on the economy and welfare and may gain support in education and immigration, and I’m sure they intend to bring forward more cost of living cuts to try and counter Labours energy freeze idea.

    It will be interesting to see how things work out over the next year I think the 2004 conferences really will set out the VI for the 2015 elections if it’s close at the end of conference season then either party could form the next government, but if one party pulls ahead in a significant manner my money will be on them winning.

  18. TURK

    Thanks

    It is a fascinating development.

    On balance I can’t see a downside for Cons-except that “we will carry out this policy more fairly” is always easy to say.
    So Cons have to be wary of relaxing at the prospect of no substantive opposition on economy/welfare/schools , and constantly ask themselves who their policies are impacting & how.

    I agree that next year will be riveting politically & the Party Conferences seminal.

  19. Comparing Survation polling for the 2014 EU elections… January, May and October this year (with 2009 vote share, and seats).

    Con 24%, 20%, 21% (27.7%, 27)
    Lab 31%, 31%, 35% (15.7%, 19)
    LD 11%, 8%, 11% (13.7%, 11)
    UKIP 24%, 30%, 22% (16.5%, 13)

  20. *Lab 13 seats in 2009*

  21. I sometimes think the main parties miss open goals on obvious policies. If it was up to me, I would announce 20,000 young apprenticeships guaranteed. All filling in pot holes. I reckon it would cost a few hundred million annually. If we can find money for things like HS2, etc, then I honestly don’t know why we can’t do this. The roads around me are truly shocking. And I bet on a polling basis, this would be hugely popular.

  22. The reason I don’t trust opinion polls on European elections this far in advance is that I simply don’t trust the public to think about the question properly. Until the European elections get into public attention, expect large numbers of people to put their voting intention is their GE intention, whether or not that’s what the actually intend to do. We’ve also seen this happen the other way round – I believe that during the run-up to the 2009 European elections, the UKIP voting intention in the general election went up, which appears to be people mixing up their voting intentions again.

    It’s harder to say with a referendum, because there aren’t that many referenda to use as precedents. I suspect it’s not quite as bad, because mindlessly putting your GE voting intention on everything else doesn’t work with the options are “Yes” and “No”. You may have swings when debate for the referendum begins in earnest (or in the case of AV, a mass campaign of disinformation and bare-faced lies, but there you go). Won’t hold out much hope for a swing to Yes for Scotland though. That debate has been rumbling on for two years now.

  23. @Amber
    “The welfare announcement is ‘spin’ (which, quite frankly, Reeves should be ashamed of, IMO).”
    ———————-
    I agree. Shameful indeed. I guess she has never been hungry. And to think I was considering rejoining the Labour Party. Now I am very doubtful.

  24. @ Ozwald

    Here isn’t really the place for this but – as I said – the policy hasn’t changed.

    Reeves appears unable to control interviews. She has been accused of being “boring, snoring” so either she’s over compensated & gone headline seeking; or she has, once again, been so anodyne in an interview that the reporter has been able to put words in her mouth then get a headline from it.

    For Party members it is very annoying to see such a headline, because the only recent policy change has been that the ‘bedroom tax’ will definitely be repealed!

  25. @Chris Neville-Smith

    You said “…The reason I don’t trust opinion polls on European elections this far in advance is that I simply don’t trust the public to think about the question properly. Until the European elections get into public attention, expect large numbers of people to put their voting intention is their GE intention, whether or not that’s what the actually intend to do. We’ve also seen this happen the other way round – I believe that during the run-up to the 2009 European elections, the UKIP voting intention in the general election went up, which appears to be people mixing up their voting intentions again…It’s harder to say with a referendum, because there aren’t that many referenda to use as precedents. I suspect it’s not quite as bad, because mindlessly putting your GE voting intention on everything else doesn’t work with the options are “Yes” and “No”. You may have swings when debate for the referendum begins in earnest (or in the case of AV, a mass campaign of disinformation and bare-faced lies, but there you go). Won’t hold out much hope for a swing to Yes for Scotland though. That debate has been rumbling on for two years now….”

    I’ll assume you were replying to my post above. I take your point about European elections, although I’ll still have to cleave to my “don’t knows” theory because I haven’t got anything numeric to replace it with…:-)

    As for your “Yes for Scotland” point, I suspect you are right (insofar as it will lose) but I need to know whether there is a cutoff that the “don’t knows” have to sink below before we can predict with any certainty.

    Nate Silver has it b****y easy: a bivariate outcome variable, bivariate predictor variables and a set of comparable polls going back over 15 years. We have multivariate variables, and nationalist/regionalist parties that fog the view even further. But with referenda, with a bivarate outcome variable, something like “the don’t knows are too big to tell” or “the don’t knows are now below X: people have made their mind up” would be very valuable.

  26. @Amber
    Thank you for your advice I have a ‘shopping list’ of pledges which I want to see from her and her colleagues. Not sure if I will get them as they may (or may not) increase Labour’s popularity. Top of my list is to get rid of ATOS ‘services’ and replace them with something fair and realistic, plus reinstate legal aid for those who feel they have been wronged by DPW / ATOS.

  27. (reposted to avoid moderation)

    @Chris Neville-Smith

    You said “…The reason I don’t trust opinion polls on European elections this far in advance is that I simply don’t trust the public to think about the question properly. Until the European elections get into public attention, expect large numbers of people to put their voting intention is their GE intention, whether or not that’s what the actually intend to do. We’ve also seen this happen the other way round – I believe that during the run-up to the 2009 European elections, the UKIP voting intention in the general election went up, which appears to be people mixing up their voting intentions again…It’s harder to say with a referendum, because there aren’t that many referenda to use as precedents. I suspect it’s not quite as bad, because mindlessly putting your GE voting intention on everything else doesn’t work with the options are “Yes” and “No”. You may have swings when debate for the referendum begins in earnest (or in the case of AV, a mass campaign of disinformation and bare-faced lies, but there you go). Won’t hold out much hope for a swing to Yes for Scotland though. That debate has been rumbling on for two years now….”

    I’ll assume you were replying to my post above. I take your point about European elections, although I’ll still have to cleave to my “don’t knows” theory because I haven’t got anything numeric to replace it with…:-)

    As for your “Yes for Scotland” point, I suspect you are right (insofar as it will lose) but I need to know whether there is a cutoff that the “don’t knows” have to sink below before we can predict with any certainty.

    Nate has it easy: a two-value outcome variable, two-value predictor variables and a set of comparable polls going back over 15 years. We have multi-value variables, and regional parties that fog the view even further. But with referenda, with a two-value outcome variable, something like “the don’t knows are too big to tell” or “the don’t knows are now below our cutoff: people have made their mind up” would be very valuable.

  28. @Anthony

    I’m being automodded. Any idea why?

  29. @ Ozwald

    Top of my list is to get rid of ATOS ‘services’ and replace them with something fair and realistic.
    —————
    IIRC that is current Labour policy.
    —————
    plus reinstate legal aid for those who feel they have been wronged by DPW / ATOS.
    —————
    I’m not sure about reinstating legal aide per se but my understanding is that all appeal cases, under the new system, would be reviewed by an independent arbitration panel with a view to resolving appeals without everybody having to go to court.

  30. @Rich – “I sometimes think the main parties miss open goals on obvious policies. If it was up to me, I would announce 20,000 young apprenticeships guaranteed. ”

    Oh dear. @Turk also. Labour have already announced this, but as I posted previously, it’s really very good of @Turk to do Labour’s work for them by proclaiming that they have fallen into line with Tories on welfare. Therein lies the problem I posted about.

    My understanding is that Labour announced this policy at conference (or something very like it). I suspect today, Reeves is merely trying to get this across using blunt language. It seems to be working.

    Governments and oppositions face different problems in convincing the electorate. In general, oppositions can get away with less detail – they can say things, whereas governments have to do things. Oppositions can also U turn or re emphasise more readily (as is happening here) so that pinning an opposition down can be a bit like nailing a jelly to a wall. It’s also far easier for oppositions to say they were wrong.

    Governments, by contrast, find it easier to get credibility, which tends to be the big problem for oppositions. Hence most oppositions pick the ‘best’ of the government and say they will copy it (sticking to spending plans, sharing proceeds of growth, etc). Anything that is going wrong, gets changed, and anything that isn’t, gets copied. And they can change overnight, with barely a ripple, although there are credibility issues to be careful of if you do this too often.

    I get the feeling Ed has always had a clear idea of his chosen battleground for 2015, but is now in the process of picking which bits to keep and which bits to fight over. I personally can pick out a clear theme going right back to the squeezed middle, whereas I struggled to do so with Cameron in opposition (has anyone got any updates on the Big Society? Anything? This was to be the defining centre piece of his premiership, after all).

    So long as Ed can get his ministers to state existing policy in a way that gets Tories broadcasting U turns and proclaiming that he is coming into line with them, I think he’ll be content.

  31. @ozwald,

    Why is tough on welfare ‘spin’ when just about every poll I have ever seen anthony put on here show the public in favour of a tough/er (but fair) stance on welfare?
    In a democracy, are you not meant to put forward policies that a majority of people want?

  32. @Ozwald & @Amberstar – that’s the kind of ting I was thinking of. ATOS are poor quality, and bad at the job they have been contracted to do (if they were good, so many appeals would not be successful). They are also handing Labour a steady stream of out and out horror stories about the abuse of disabled claimants.

    Labour can clearly promise to change this, but I doubt they will do anything different about the actual issue of getting people off disability benefits and back into work – they started this, after all.

    So for Tories to attack them is difficult, and as long as Labour retain the impression that they want people to work, but in a fair manner, their position is easier to defend than the governments.

  33. Rich

    Well potholes is a real cost of living issue, replacing exhausts and shock absorbers costs money, burbs wouldn’t be surprised if qikk fix ddonated money to the party least eager to fix potholes, lol

  34. Rich

    It’s spin because we have heard the same song for 30 odd years and a lot of the so called new ideas appear to be old unworkable policies regurgitated and given new names. Seriously after 30 odd years of crackdowns on scrounge you would think there were none left, seems to be another of those endless phony wars

  35. @Turk
    >and having to come into line with the Tories over welfare

    The “mood music” might be in line with Tories but the actual policies for the long term unemployed are worlds apart. A minimum wage job for 6 months or lose benefits vs endless unpaid work or lose benefits.

  36. BERIOUS

    @”A minimum wage job for 6 months or lose benefits vs endless unpaid work or lose benefits.”

    But I think that is detail.

    The overarching policy is -take available work or lose benefit.

    Whether the “available” work is via the Government’s welfare to work schemes based on the existing jobs market-or Labour’s temporary “job” produced by the state -is detail . The efficacy of both approaches will & can be debated-but the overall policy is shared.

  37. @Amber & Alec
    “I’m not sure about reinstating legal aide per se but my understanding is that all appeal cases, under the new system, would be reviewed by an independent arbitration panel with a view to resolving appeals without everybody having to go to court.”
    —————————-
    I am currently helping 7 people who have had their disability benefit stopped due to ATOs verdicts. To stand a chance of winning a tribunal the case has to be well written, preferably by a solicitor who specialises in such claims. Gathering vital documents, medical evidence etc has to be done thoroughly and professionally . The paper trail makes all the difference. In my experience this is beyond most claimants. Scrapping legal aid for such cases was a double whammy.

    As Alec says though, Labour started the tough ATOS regime, but they were still branded as “soft on scroungers”

    On a lighter note., at PM Question Time an MP recently asked if the PM could confirm that ATOS had declared Richard III fit for work !

  38. RiN

    @”potholes is a real cost of living issue, replacing exhausts and shock absorbers costs money, ”

    Real-but not significant.

    “maintenance & repairs of private transport” consitutes 2.2% of the CPI .

    Actually Ed’s flagship CoL item-” electricity & gas ” amount to 4.5% of the CPI.

    If you want to tackle something really significant these loom larger than potholes :-

    Restaurants, Cafes & Canteens 9.8% of CPI
    Food 9.3%
    Clothing 6.8%
    House rents 6.2%

    …not counting Mortgage Interest , or Council Tax of course, which aren’t included in CPI.

  39. @ Ozwald

    Good luck – I hope you win all the cases which you are involved with.

  40. @Rich
    Folk are usually willing to wish the pain on someone else and care little about issues which do not affect them personally.
    A sort of nimby effect I suppose. The ‘majority’ thing suffers from the fact that no single party gets more than 50% at GEs.

  41. @ Colin,

    But I think that is detail.

    Not really. Labour’s policy is obviously much better for the person with the compulsory job and much more expensive for the taxpayer. (And depending on how Labour’s jobs are subsidised they may have a different impact on the labour market as well.)

    There’s been some polling on this and voters show a marked preference for the Tory option, presumably because it would be cheaper.

  42. SPEARMINT

    I wasn’t advancing a view on either approach-though I do have a number of questions about the nature of the job which Labour will “guarantee”

    I wasn’t aware that the options had been covered in OPs-can you let me have a reference please?

  43. @Amber
    Many thanks. Tiz hard work and a steep learning curve. There is no doubt that being tough on claimants wins votes.
    The deserving are branded as surely as the undeserving.

    My advice to claimants is – keep copies of everything, letters, appointment confirmations, prescriptions, and be sure to copy all forms before you send them in. Make a note of then names of all the various medics you see at hospitals.

    All this may mean umpteen journeys to a photocopier – but the case rests so much on documentary evidence and it is a mistake to send your opponents the only copies in existence! Easily done though.

    I guess by the time I have learned all the ropes the system/s will all be changed again!

    Reminds me of the cycnical belief of some IT people – “By the time you have got the bugs out of the software – your hardware is obsolete” “

  44. The SURVATION figures have all summer been out-of-kilter other opinion polls, regarding UKIP and Tory support. Could it be that the Daily Mail has deliberately chosen a polling company whose results reflect the political prejudices of many of its readers? Perish the thought.

    If YouGov in the Sunday Times, field-work on the same day as Survation, can report 11% support for UKIP as opposed to Survation’s 18%, then one of them has to be wrong by a wide margin, unless of course they both are and UKIP support falls in between at around 14 or 15 %.

    My own 7-day rolling poll-of-polls gives UKIP 11 or 12 percent. Survation is really quite aberrant, though oddly enough it is reasonably in line with the others when recording LibDem and Labour support.

  45. Some of the discussion above indicates what is so broken in our political system. Policy seems to be driven by spin and not facts.

    http://flipchartfairytales.wordpress.com/2013/04/03/scroungers-scumbags-and-soaring-welfare-costs/

    After all these years of targeting the unemployed the welfare bill continues to soar. After all these ATOS assessments surely we should be spending less?

    But look at the charts above and the welfare bill continues to increase! Why? The parties are so stuck in their ideology and what they believe the causes are they have forgotten to look at the figures. They are focusing on the 10% of expenditure while the 90% races out of control.

    Take housing benefit for example. Look at how that increased over the last 6-7 years. Why? Could it possibly be due house prices and the lack of building of new houses to support the population levels?

    Take tax credits. Could it possibly be that we need to start to tackle the causes of low pay?

    It is sad we don’t have anyone talking about the real issues or with policies to address those.

  46. @ Ozwald

    “I am currently helping 7 people who have had their disability benefit stopped due to ATOs verdicts. To stand a chance of winning a tribunal the case has to be well written, preferably by a solicitor who specialises in such claims.”

    My son had his ESP stopped twice. We went to the Tribunal without any solicitor or getting together a whole heap of papers and won both times because the ATOS verdict was simply ridiculous. It really didn’t take a lot to convince the Tribunal of what nonsense it was. The sooner people realise they don’t need solicitors the better in my opinion!

  47. @Ozwald – whatever else happens in your life, be content that you are contributing something very important to those 7 souls. It must be a very unpleasant experience, but I have some similar sounding tales, if from a slightly different area of life.

    I’ve long held that much of our dealings with officialdom, whether state or private sector, seems to be based on the principle not of right or wrong, but how effectively they can grind down individuals.

    Ultimately, you can’t rely on what should happen, but instead make sure you grind them down harder. We need more Ozwalds.

  48. The SURVATION figures have all summer been out-of-kilter other opinion polls, regarding UKIP and Tory support. Could it be that the Daily Mail has deliberately chosen a polling company whose results reflect the political prejudices of many of its readers? Perish the thought

    -I fundamentally doubt that 37% of Fail readers are Labour Supporters.

    Those few who might have been have probably abandoned ship after the Ralph Miliband Disgrace

  49. @Norwold

    I couldn’t agree more.

    The link below is about a YouGov poll from the new year, on people’s perceptions about welfare.

    http://www.tuc.org.uk/social-issues/child-poverty/welfare-and-benefits/tax-credits/support-benefit-cuts-dependent

    It is quite clear the public debate about welfare has largely nothing to do with the facts, but more about the view widely distributed by much of the media (I’ll be exceptionally polite and call them myths).

    I would love a national debate on the facts, yet I feel we will never get it.

  50. @Norwald

    Sorry that was to @Richard

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