The BBC have commissioned a very rare creature – a local government voting intention poll for a single council, in this case a ComRes poll of Brighton and Hove. The reason, naturally enough, is because of Brighton’s status as being the only Green party council in the country. The poll does not bode well for it remaining that way – it shows the Green party down by about 10 points since the local elections in 2011, Labour up by about 7 points. The figures I have for the 2011 vote in Brighton & Hove are slightly different from those used by the BBC, probably due to dealing with multi-member seats differently, but either way it doesn’t show the Greens doing well. Of course, just as Westminster polls are snapshots of the current position, not predictions of what will happen when the election does roll round, the same applies to local elections.

The poll did NOT ask how people in Brighton and Hove would vote at a general election, so we can’t conclude from it whether or not Caroline Lucas is in trouble of losing her own seat.

Meanwhile the twice-weekly Populus poll is out today and has topline figures of CON 34%, LAB 37%, LDEM 14%, UKIP 8%. The three point lead is at the lower end of Populus’s typical range, but perfectly explicable by the normal margin of error. Full tabs are here


175 Responses to “ComRes Brighton poll and latest Populus polling”

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  1. (I’ll try this post as the local paper links I used may have sent the last one into moderation).

    Brighton is not the only place where seemingly their strange mix of environmentalism and local self-interest has landed them in trouble.

    Here in Bristol the newly elected Green Party leader (who is a City Councillor) has decided it would be a good idea to also set up a Ltd Company to JR the planning permission consent for a local supermarket …and then become a director of this non-trading company with the intention of obtaining a protective court cost order, thus limiting their damages to £10,000. All the while costing her own Council she serves potentially £100,000s to defend the JR. Meanwhile the tax payers could have to pick up all her company court costs above £10,000 as well in the event of a likely JR failure.

    On top of all this, the Greens have not chosen well in making enemies on a large scale …… the redevelopment site is Bristol Rovers FC, who will use the money to build a new stadium with a new car park for the University of the West of England, which in turn releases land to build hundreds of new houses in North Bristol.

    All progress has come to a grinding halt, in what has been called a local economic miracle.

  2. Rich

    So the private sector borrows money from the private banks who create it out of thin air, build a nuclear plant with guaranteed high prices, hence profit, pay back the thin air money plus interest, so the private banks make a guaranteed profit as well, for nothing more than a sleight of hand bookkeeping exercise and you call this a good deal for the taxpayer?!?! Excuse me but I reckon it would be a better deal for the taxpayer to cut out both the middlemen

  3. Since the greatest power demand is in London and the South East, why build this reactor on the Severn?

    Wouldn’t the Thames estuary have been a more sensible location?

  4. We could just harness the hot air from Parliament, then there’d be a power station in London, and we wouldn’t need nuclear :-)

  5. OLDNAT………How very perceptive, generic, from the Latin..genus, meaning……..stock / race. No disrespect intended. :-)

  6. KEN

    Mmm I think talking about Scots as a different “race” may be making matters somewhat worse.

    Hole? Digging? Cease. :-)

  7. OLDNAT…………Robbie Burns referred to,’the King of the Pudding rac, that Haggis has a lot to answer for. :-)

  8. WHOOPS……..! ‘ King’o the puddin’ race ‘

  9. RiN

    @”Excuse me but I reckon it would be a better deal for the taxpayer to cut out both the middlemen”

    Presumably you feel the same about wind farms?

    And since so much land is required there is always a third “middleman”-the filthy rich absentee landowner who gets his slice for doing nothing but destroying a few hundred acres of hillside.

    Don’t remember you complaining about private sector wind farm developers & their millionaire landowners.

  10. KEN

    Let me know when you’re 30 feet down. :-)

  11. OLDNAT………..The Venerable Bede no less, referred to the Picts as, the oldest race in Scotland. I’m recruiting him to share the spadework.

  12. OLDNAT………Anyway, it’s your fault that I’m being led astray, via the good offices of a 21yr old, Old Pulteney. :-)

  13. OLDNAT

    @”Wouldn’t the Thames estuary have been a more sensible location?”

    I seem to remember that the plan is to build all the new nuclear plants as close as possible to the existing ones which they are replacing.

    Presumably this offers logistical advantages, whilst minimising environmental impact.

    Presumably this

  14. Colin

    Well I could if you really want me to, but wouldn’t that be the politics of envy? But yes you are correct, the same applies to private sector wind farms, and I do believe in a land tax. What I think is confusing you is that I’m not against windmills per se, you have the mistaken impression that therefore I am in favor of the financial arrangements that have been made lock, stock and barrel

    Just for the record, even if this nuclear plant was financed by public printing of money and operated by the public sector for the good of the public, I would still oppose it because it would be a waste of public thin air money. Nuclear power is not economical and probably never will be

  15. OLDNAT

    “Since the greatest power demand is in London and the South East, why build this reactor on the Severn?

    Wouldn’t the Thames estuary have been a more sensible location?”
    ____________

    Exactly my thoughts too. Maybe it’s too expensive to build it in the South East… I mean Surely it has nothing to do with safety??

  16. NORBOLD

    “The greens are slumping in Brighton because they are not very good at running a Council. Ask the residents about their rubbish collection!”
    ________

    I did and they said it was..er… Rubbish!!

  17. @ RAF @ Richard in Norway,

    Trust me, this will show to be a good deal. I get your points, but your argument you could say to most people in the country, why get a mortgage when it’s so much cheaper to buy the house yourself? Same reason as today, we don’t have the money to buy up front!

    the strike price is reasonable given capital build costs. You might be surprised to find the equivalent strike price for many wind stations is £150 per mwh, about 3 times the current market price and 60% more than today’s nuclear deal. I am watching the news and some green spokesperson is against the deal, but if your elec bill was all based on wind power, it would be about £3k per year for an average 4 bed house. Try selling that to people in today’s cost of living crisis to quite EM…

    It’s not a partisan point, I am honestly really happy a Govt has got some energy capital build underway to help with the coming capacity crisis. If Labour get in I hope they continue this to. We need a wide balanced energy portfolio or we are in massive trouble long term.

  18. Why are the German’s retiring their nuclear power stations, in favour of…….coal ! D o they know something we don’t ?

  19. RiN

    But none of the post coal & gas generation is “economical”-which is why we have the ROC system paying two to three times the wholesale rate for the electricity they produce.

    There wouldn’t BE any nuclear/wind/PV/wave/tidal if they had to rely on the normal selling price for electricity.

    They are all uneconomical.

    If you want “economical” -support gas or coal.

  20. ALLAN CHRISTIE

    Couldn’t be safety! London would never put anything dangerous 20 miles from the capital of Wales. Would they?

  21. They certainly know about the use of apostrophes and the use of an “s” to create plurals.

  22. ROSIEANDDAISE……….Whoops ! :-)

  23. Raf

    My point is that this is a no risk venture(apart from meltdowns, waste disposal etc) financed with privately printed thin air money, it’s impossible for it to be a better deal than being financed by publiclly printed thin air money, the interest on the thin air money comes from the energy consumer(who is also a taxpayer) to private banks. At the very least we could lend the printed thin air money to the private operator via the BoE and keep that interest money for the taxpayer

  24. Sorry that last post should have been addressed to rich

  25. R Huckle

    “Why are pollsters having so much of a problem identifying the true level of UKIP support ? One poll has UKIP on 17% and another 8%. This is a massive difference, which must need looking at.”

    Populus publish the weighted figures from their analysis (Page 3). If we take the unweighted figures we get Con 29, Lab 35, LD 11, UKIP 16.

  26. @Stutter

    R Huckle

    “Why are pollsters having so much of a problem identifying the true level of UKIP support ? One poll has UKIP on 17% and another 8%. This is a massive difference, which must need looking at.”

    Populus publish the weighted figures from their analysis (Page 3). If we take the unweighted figures we get Con 29, Lab 35, LD 11, UKIP 16.

    As our Guru, AW, would tell you, unweighted figures are worth bobbins.

    Unless the sample is weighted to broader electorate the results tell you nothing.

  27. Correction:

    @Stutter

    R Huckle

    “Why are pollsters having so much of a problem identifying the true level of UKIP support ? One poll has UKIP on 17% and another 8%. This is a massive difference, which must need looking at.”

    Populus publish the weighted figures from their analysis (Page 3). If we take the unweighted figures we get Con 29, Lab 35, LD 11, UKIP 16.

    As our Guru, AW, would tell you, unweighted figures are worth bobbins.

    Unless the sample is weighted to broader electorate the results tell you nothing.

  28. @Old Nat

    Bradwell in Essex is considered to be the northern boundary of the Greater Thames Estuary. They began decommissioning two reactors in 2002, but are being promised a brand new one for 2025.

    Knowing how you appreciate the reassuring effect of a good artist’s impression, here is one from the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. It shows what a hypothetical Geological Disposal Facility might look like (any idea where they can stick it?):

    h
    ttp://www.westcumbriamrws.org.uk/page/119/Geological-Disposal-Facility-Gallery.htm

  29. BILLY BOB

    I’m totally reassured by that! :-)

    Realistically, the stuff we already have has to go somewhere. No one wants it, but the most stable geographic location that science can determine seems the most logical choice. Of course, we also need to identify a location where we can guarantee won’t be hit by an asteroid.

  30. CATMANJEFF

    “As our Guru, AW, would tell you, unweighted figures are worth bobbins.”

    So how are the weightings determined and how reliable are they?

    For example I understand that, using a sweeping generalisation, older people are more inclined to vote in elections than younger ones. If that is true in a subtler and quantifiable way, is that factored into the assignment of weightings? Or is it assumed that 18-24 year olds will vote in equal proportion to 55-64 year olds?

    The other point I would ask you to consider is that by-election results over the past few months seem to show UKIP support closer to the “bobbins” figure of 16% than the published figure here of 8%.

  31. @RogerH

    “a training exercise never intended to see the light of day.”

    Sounds rather like a government-run faux pas, a la ‘documents left on the train’. I wonder if the Mail will now run a similar ‘faux pas’ on Miliband, just for the extra circulation on a no news day?

    Media folk…

  32. @Old Nat

    Be fair, the risk from our nuclear waste facility being hit by an asteroid begins to tail off after a few million years… all be have to do is keep maintaining and repackaging it.

    To be on the safe side though, perhaps a high speed underground railway so we can scoot it out the way at the last minute?

  33. STUTTER

    All polling companies try to adjust their sample to match the characteristics of the host population. They all use slightly different ways of doing that, and these differences are the meat of much of the discussion on here.

  34. BILLY BOB

    Yeah, yeah. Stegosaurus said the same thing. :-)

  35. @RiN

    My point is that this is a no risk venture(apart from meltdowns, waste disposal etc) financed with privately printed thin air money, it’s impossible for it to be a better deal than being financed by publiclly printed thin air money, the interest on the thin air money comes from the energy consumer(who is also a taxpayer) to private banks. At the very least we could lend the printed thin air money to the private operator via the BoE and keep that interest money for the taxpayer
    —————————————————————————

    That’s just so good that I thought it was worth reprinting!

    One of the arguments used by the energy companies themselves, about not developing Carbon capture and storage, is that it is not worth it because renewable energy will be becoming increasingly cheap. There is as much spin about renewable energy as there is about climate change. Doubtless funded from similar sources.

    ZeroCarbonBritain 2030 offers a fully researched blueprint as to the ‘how’ for the UK and German academics have produced similar peer-reviewed estimates for Europe.

  36. @Ken

    Burns might have been referring to the George III, and the original passage was lost through the ages…

    “Great cheese-brain with the pudding face”

    You heard it here first!

  37. A nuclear reactor in the Thames Estuary? Imagine the housing price drops. No chance! Far easier to put it somewhere where they won’t get the vote anyway. Amazed it’s not in Glasgow North East, or Glenrothes.

  38. Some updates on the nuclear announcement. The £92/MWh strike price is based on 2012 prices and is CPI linked, which presumably means it has already increased by 3%. The taxpayer is now committed to underwriting this cost for 40 years, which could get extremely expensive. EDF are required to establish a fund to cover decommissioning costs, however.

    This appears to be costing us about twice the interest cost of borrowing the money and building the thing as a nationalised industry. This would leave the taxpayer exposed to the risk of budget overshoot – a high risk, I would imagine, but equally isn’t really a very good comparison, as the plant would earn an income while it was operating.

    This is one of those interesting areas. This deal is hugely expensive for the taxpayer – but as @Colin points out, so are other green energy subsidies. It highlights the need for governments to manage energy policy for the long term, and raises the questions about why we find all manner of awkward financial arrangements to do this, rather then by borrowing cheaply as a government and cutting the costs to the taxpayer.

    But then, borrowing is bad, but paying more money to private operators is OK.

  39. OLDNAT

    “All polling companies try to adjust their sample to match the characteristics of the host population. They all use slightly different ways of doing that, and these differences are the meat of much of the discussion on here.”

    Granted. I suppose the point I am trying to draw out is that some polling companies may be more skilled than others in doing this, that their predictions are consistently closer to real voting figures at the time than others’ and therefore they deserve more credence than other companies.

  40. ALEC

    Glad you have commented on this. Especially since you actually know something about it – and what you say resonates with what I thought.

    (We all like contributions from those that confirm our preconceptions – and vice versa).

  41. Markit CIPs data on October household finance index out. Little change, with everything still broadly negative. Finances deteriorated again over the month, although not as badly as in 2009. People’s views of the year ahead were net -12 improve/get worse, and inflation perceptions also got worse.
    One potential point of note was that the better off groups were more positive in outlook than the poor cohorts.

    I was also interested to read of the AA’s assertion that we’ve just been through the biggest road fuel price falls since 2008. Has this got anything to do with Tory fortunes?

    If it has, they might be in bother. The AA believes there won’t be any further price falls, and expect prices to rise again shortly as we head into winter.

  42. STUTTER

    Indeed – which is why YouGov is pretty far down the list of credible pollsters on Scotland (I should be safe to say that since Anthony isn’t involved with Scottish polling :-) )

  43. @Oldnat – what I don’t know about (nor does anyone else) is how this deal will actually pan out. We’ve guaranteed a strike price, index linked, meaning we will need to pay the difference between market rates and the strike price.

    Energy prices go up and come down, but presumably if energy prices rises are greater than CPI, then the gap falls, and we pay less. But then higher energy prices are key drivers of CPI…..

    The truth of the matter is that no one is able to say that this deal is really good or awful – we probably still bear as much risk as we do building this ourselves, but doing it this way means there is no chance for the taxpayer to profit either.

  44. Alec
    “This deal is hugely expensive for the taxpayer – but as @Colin points out, so are other green energy subsidies. It highlights the need for governments to manage energy policy for the long term,”

    To me it highlights just the opposite. With the government in charge the taxpayer suffers, therefore…

  45. In the interests of impartiality, even as a conservative voter, I can safely say Cameron didn’t look great in a blue jump suit. Headline writers dream?

  46. @Stutter

    You can’t really draw conclusions on GE voting from local elections.

    Local elections are often won on very low turnouts, and local issues really do matter. They are probably more prone to protest voting because local authorities have little power and responsibility. Do you want a Conservative, Labour or Liberal Democrat Council to decide your bin collections? I suspect most people think it makes no difference.

    I think UKIP have done in local elections and by elections, but they have a significant hurdle to overcome, one that is part and parcel of FPTP – a vote for UKIP would probably assist Labour in winning power.

    Conservatives or Labour – who would UKIP voters prefer to win in 2015?

  47. Catmanjeff
    “Conservatives or Labour – who would UKIP voters prefer to win in 2015?”

    In my experience – neither. It’s a myth that most UKIP supporters are the right-wing rump of the Tory party, at least outside the South East.

  48. @Pete B- quite wrong. No government involvement, lights go out.

  49. Alec,
    What is your evidence for that statement? There would be huge opportunities for private companies. You would need a regulator of some sort to make sure that there was power in outlying areas like Scotland, but that’s about it.

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