This morning’s YouGov/Sun poll has topline voting intention figures of CON 32%, LAB 39%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 12%. It also asked how people across Britain as a whole would vote if they could vote in the Scottish referendum – 22% would vote for Scottish independence, 55% would vote against, so more opposed to independence than Scotland itself (obviously the poll included a Scottish cross-break, but I’d caution against reading too much into that – stick to proper, bespoke Scottish polls for that, I suspect there will be plenty along in the aftermath of the white paper). Full tabs for the YouGov poll are here.

There is also a new Survation poll of Thanet South (tabs here), the first of a series of constituency polls commissioned by Alan Bown, a major UKIP donor, presumably of seats they see at potentially good for UKIP. The rest are likely to come out in December, but this one is out early because of Laura Sandys announcement that she’s too retire (though the poll itself was mostly done before that).

Topline voting intention figures in the seat are CON 28%(-20), LAB 35%(+4), LDEM 5%(-10), UKIP 30%(+24). Thanet, of course, was one of the areas where UKIP did particularly well in the local elections and is seen as a seat where Nigel Farage might stand at the next election. Note that there are some methodological changes from Survation’s past constituency polls. Previously they’ve weighted constituency polls by 2010 past vote and reallocated don’t knows based on past vote, in the same way they do for their national polls (though for practical reasons they do national polls online, but local polls by phone). For the latest polls they’ve changed method – no longer using political weighting, and not reallocating don’t knows. This is apparently part of a general review of how they do constituency polling, rather than something for this poll in particular.

Regular readers will be familiar with the debate over past vote weighting. Most companies (the primary exceptions being MORI and Opinium) weight their samples by both demographics, and by a political variable, normally how people voted at the last election, to ensure the sample is properly politically representative. While straightforward in theory, in practice this is complicated by the fact that poll respondents are not always very good at actually recalling how they voted at the last election (a phenomenon known as “false recall”). Companies that weight by past vote like ICM and ComRes therefore use a formula to estimate the level of “false recall” and account for that in their weighting schemes. Other companies, like MORI, take the view that false recall is so difficult to estimate and so potentially volatile that it renders past vote as unsuitable for weighting and risks cancelling out genuine volatility amongst the electorate, and therefore reject it completely.

In the case of the Survation poll of Thanet South, of the respondents who said they voted in 2010, about 41% said they voted Conservative, 38% Labour, 10% Lib Dem and 11% UKIP – so a three percent Conservative majority, when actually Laura Sandys had a seventeen percent majority. It underlines both the potential risk from not using political weighting, and the difficult choices that companies that do use it face – some of that difference will be false recall, but I suspect much of it is a sample that too Labour. Dividing one from the other is the challenge.


278 Responses to “Wednesday polling round-up”

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  1. SINE NOMINE

    Yes. That’s pretty well my reaction to most QTs, where Westminster politicians bicker over NHS England, English schools and other issues which don’t affect me.

    The difference is that we get your politics most weeks, which is why I seldom watch QT any more.

  2. I normally watch QT but when I saw it was from Falkirk I gave it a miss thank God

  3. @Carfrew

    The point I made was that many North of the border have little problem with England or the UK, but do have a problem with Westminster.

    In short, your use of the ‘UK’ is less relevant. If we get independence it will be due to many being sick of Westminster’s bad decision making.

  4. The usual Scottish QT. Sturgeon and Curran. Eddi was interesting. Passionate, but politically naive in my humble opinion. She voted for Blair, got ‘right of centre’, so she wants Independence to get permanent ‘left of centre’.

    Many in the audience liked the idea of ‘never having the Tories in government again’.

    With such party-political reasons for voting for Independence, we’re cream crackered.

  5. ON

    Perhaps STV could produce a similar proggy for “your” politics?

  6. @STATGEEK

    The point I made was that many North of the border have little problem with England or the UK, but do have a problem with Westminster.
    In short, your use of the ‘UK’ is less relevant. If we get independence it will be due to many being sick of Westminster’s bad decision making.

    ————-

    Well know!! Did I say they all had a problem with England?? No I didn’t. Some of them want out of the UK though, which is why I said UK!!!!

    After “Independence”, they will no longer be a part of the UK. Does anyone else need this explaining? Probably not.

  7. STATGEEK

    Quick point before I head off to my bed.

    Granted Eddi is politically naive, but I’m not sure that her point was “party” political.

    There is a tendency to use words as codes for wider concepts rather than using them as exact terms. Your discussion with Carfrew over “UK”, “Westminster”, “English” etc makes that point.

    In ordinary parlance “Tory” (and regrettably sometimes “English”, though less than it was formerly used) is a code term for the British political elite, which is dominant in all three UK parties.

    Voting Labour, for what she thought she was voting for, but getting a government which was still dominated by the same sort of people (actually more so, since Major wasn’t Oxbridge), doing the same sort of things, disappointed many of us.

    Politicians normally craft their words pretty well, and consequently those words are frequently obscure – or are designed to obscure.

    Most people in “hard working families” don’t, but they understand the meanings that lie behind the language used within their culture.

  8. Interesting article from Martin Kettle in the Guradina http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/nov/27/labour-must-answer-snp-more-than-slogan

    His point seems to be that the SNP have given up trying to convince people to vote yes on constitutional grounds and have therefore added their (social democrat) manifesto so the argument becomes vote no and get Tories.

    And yes ON, Pat Harvie was better than the rest. Sturgeon gets a 3/10 for Cameronesque smoothness, the rest of the pols 1/10 and Eddi Reader 0/10

  9. I can see why Old Nat is so keen on dragging the Spanish PM into the argument. Since he came to power in late 2011 support for Catalonian Independence has rocketed:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catalan_independence#Polls

    I should imagine Salmond is organisating for him to come on a state visit a month from now till September.

    Why Cameron is so keen to advertise that he’s going to get his mate Mariano to stop those nasty Scots joining the Boys Club is another matter. Apart from anything else it looks a bit wimpy. Why not just veto them yourself if it means that much to you?

    The most sensible thing on all this EU stuff was said by Neil A in a previous thread. The EU operates on diplomacy and for all the dramatics people are not going to start using vetoes willy-nilly. Once you start down that road when you have 30-odd countries with a nuclear option involved, anything can happen. It was bad enough when there were only six and it was de Gaulle.

  10. @OLDNAT

    “There is a tendency to use words as codes for wider concepts rather than using them as exact terms. Your discussion with Carfrew over “UK”, “Westminster”, “English” etc makes that point.”

    ——–

    Well, sometimes people can misuse a term, sure. Quite often, people use shorthand because this is a board not a Court of law, and to overly specify needlessly can be both onerous and patronising to others who do not need every last thing spelled out, each time around.

    Sometimes, some people try and take advantage of this, or take refuge in it, quibbling to little good effect. There was nothing wrong in what I wrote. It’s accurate, in that Scots who want Independence are supporting leaving the UK.

    Statgeek is actually going on about something related, but different: i.e. REASONS for leaving the UK. I intentionally left those out, because there a potentially a lot of them, there is some controversy and they were not germane to my point. My point was not about possible reasons for leaving. I understand there may be many reasons.

    My point was that REGARDLESS of the specific reasons, if you were unhappy with requirements insufficiently attended to before, why would that change afterwards?

    As it happens, even his Westminster gambit has issues. Because not all the reasons for wanting to separate are necessarily about Westminster’s decisions…

  11. Latest YouGov / The Sun results 28th November – Con 33%, Lab 39%, LD 8%, UKIP 14%; APP -27

    That is 2 bigger UKIP % ages in a row.

    Should always be careful when looking for reasons but a poster said yesterday that when the Tories talk aboiut immigration UKIP not them increase in the polls – may be they are right.

    Of course the Tories will expect many UKIP supporters back come the GE but past evidence has been that whilst the 3-10% ish growth in UKIP VI came perhaps 3/4 from the Tories beyond 10-12% a higher proportion is coming from Labour so the unwind (if it occurs) does not split as favourably for them.

    Still a UKP drop to 5% or so would be worth 4% perhaps net to the Cons.

  12. @Oldnat – “I note that you have shifted your stance to BILLY BOB’s one that the suggestion of “automatic” entry was unwise,..”

    No shift at all – this is all that I have been saying from the start – glad you’ve caught up!

    And yes – Scotland will have to start from scratch – it can negotiate from a position of being in the EU and UK, but will have no rights to EU membership until these are negotiated and unanimously agreed.

    The SNP is wrong to assert they will automatically inherit all UK membership details, and as you’ve now agreed this, I’m glad we have reached a settlement.

  13. Whatever the legal position I hope that if our neighbours vote for independence the rUK Government will support Scotland’s wish to remain in the Eu.

    I do hope, though, that they vote to stay in the UK mainly for selfish reasons of wanting Scottish MPs at Westminster.

    The vote Yes and never get an ‘English’ Tory Government again argument is powerful imo.

  14. ANN IN WALES
    So well,the Borris Johnson speech.Any impact on VI?

    -Ann Boris is a Tory Mayor in a Labour City ,fortunately for Him He doesn’t intend to seek re-election .

    I think this has to be seen as Boris’s start to His campaign to be the next leader of the opposition ,not a partisan point as if the Tories remain in Power Cameron is safe in office and Boris will need to think again about how the cornflakes settle!

  15. Nick agreed re the notional demise of the UKIP leaving Lab with a 2-3 point lead which given FPTP delivers a comfortable OM.

    As you know however this leaves the cons needing a smaller swing that headline figures suggest to become the largest party.

    I think you are right that they will struggle to achieve the amount requires but do think they will get some swing not least because the have to levers of Government at their disposal and there will be a few current Lab supporters that are soft, protest supporters that will move back at the GE- not that many but enough imo to make the vote share between Lab and Con close in 2015 with both over 36%.

  16. So now DC is gong to the energy companies asking them to freeze their prices till mid 2015. Obviously not wanting another round of increases next year b4 the GE.

    I don’t know what to make of recent the Tory strategy on Payday loans, cig packaging, now freezing energy prices. Are people going to notice that DC is following EM’s lead? I am puzzled as to what they are up to maybe clearing the decks so they can get back to immigration and scroungrs

  17. The government have to respond, because they are up against one of the fatal flaws in neoliberalism: that because of demand pricing, and the ability to corner markets, growth may well not trickle down.

    To summarize… So the economy grows, and you get more pay. Sounds good, but if big companies corner the market on essentials, then they are free to up prices since folk need the essentials. Thus every time people get more pay, the companies can up prices and hoover up the extra earnings.

    In fact, you don’t need to be a big company cornering a market to do it. Look what happens to rents.

    So they have no choice but to follow Miliband’s lead. Especially since, with big unemployment serving to place a downward pressure on wages, there’s no guarantee growth will result in all that much extra pay anyway, another flaw in neoliberalism.

  18. The quality of political debate in the country at the moment is very poor. There seems to be an awful lot of tension ahead of 2014, which is going to be a very difficult year. During 2014, we will have the EU election and Scots referendum, which will be most difficult for the Tories.

    We could see the Tories finish in a bad third place in the EU elections. In regard to the Scots indy vote, it will become even more apparent how much the Tories are missing in parts of the UK. Salmond will be challenging Cameron to a head to head debate, in the hope that Cameron would agree to it. There appears to be a feeling in Scotland, that some people will vote for independence, because they don’t like to be governed by the Tories from Westminster.

    On the economic front, we could see the BOE increase interest rates during the first half of 2014, because they won’t want to have to wait until after May 2015. There will also be pressures caused by increased immigration from many parts of the EU. I cannot see the government meeting their target of immigration in tens of thousands by May 2015. It would seem that immigration is very likely to increase and be double the amount the government would hope to have.

  19. rosieanddaisie

    “Hear hear: we’ll also be pretty close to the return of a Labour Govt by then – which will be nice.”

    Or dreadful depending on your view.

  20. @ CARFREW

    Agree with your post @9.18am. You could add that much of the revenues find their way out of the UK, one way or another. Under EU law companies can transfer earnings from one country to another, so they can pay tax in the cheapest jurisdiction. We have seen this with a certain coffee chain, but it is far more widespread. There UK treasury is not obtaining the correct tax revenues, based on how much companies are earning in the UK.

    There is also still alot of tax avoidance, with people and companies hiring expensive lawyers/accountants, to route their finances through the Channel Islands and Isle of Man. I noticed recently that a local housing development was done via financing through some Channel Islands trust arrangement. No doubt that this was being done in a way that ensured earnings were maximised, with tax kept to a minimum.

  21. Energy freeze – apparently the government are not planning to freeze prices. They are simply looking at removing some of the green and social charges from bills and possibly moving them to general taxation. Not something that Labour have proposed so far as I know, and something which has been speculated about since the debate began, so no real surprise.

    Cigarette Packaging – Does appear to be a kind of U-Turn, ostensibly caused by emerging evidence from Australia, but more likely caused by the crossbench Lords proposal that the government could possibly be defeated on. So, yes, Labour involved but not really “following Ed’s lead”.

    Payday loans – The principle campaigner has been Stella Creasey, rather than Ed Miliband, but yes I grant you a Labour politician.

  22. @Neil A

    Energy freeze it was reported last night and this morning that the gov’t were asking energy companies to freeze bills until the GE. Number 10 have since denied this. However it does have a ring if truth but the govt probably didn’t want it made public.

  23. COUPER2802

    Already failed according to the most recent reports Government already spinning the story as if they hadn’t asked in the first place.

    Energy Companies have ripped us off to the tune of £150 extra each year for the last 5 Years,their profits reflect this and the only way they are to be prevented from doing so is legislation and market reform.

    Cameron needs to get off Miliband’s cost of living agenda where the conservatives are perceived as very weak if He wishes to stand any chance of re-election.

  24. @steve : if Boris’s comments on tacit support for UK being one of the most unequal societies, with social mobility difficult, was a one off- maybe irrelevant. But we had Gove’s advisor saying the same thing not long back. And Cameron’s ‘perpetual austerity’ has the same message: the super rich aren’t effected, everyone else struggles that much more. So, it feeds into a narrative of out of touch public schoolboy millionaires. Yes, it matters. I think it will lead to both more UKIP and Labour support.

  25. The trouble with Cameron’s plea to the energy companies is that it comes over as a bit pathetic. His ratings in Leaders’ characteristics have slowly declined even since the drop in Tory VI around the 2012 Budget. Being a bit better than Miliband isn’t saying much when (a) you’re both so low, (b) Ed’s had 3 years plus of continual denigration from the press and (c) you’re actually in charge so you should be the one who’s appearing ‘decisive’ and so on.

    There may also be the feeling that it’s a bit late to be asking now after the Big Six have just put their prices up a lot. Not to mention there seems to be an implicit message “Keep your prices down boys, and you can let rip if we win the next election”. Which may not encourage people to vote for you.

    If he wasn’t going to do anything, he would have been wiser to read them the riot act in private and keep mum.

  26. OldNat
    Last night I was writing from memory. I’ve found these two articles on the BBC as well as those I mentioned reading in foreign (EU) newspapers.

    “The prime minister has two targets; one is the threat of new arrivals in the months ahead, and secondly the longer term when and if the EU expands.

    In the short-term he says he will change the rules; migrants will not be able to claim out-of-work benefits for the first three months.

    After that they will only be able to claim for a maximum of six months unless they can prove they have a genuine prospect of employment. New arrivals will not be able to claim housing benefit.

    Mr Cameron says “all of this we can legally do within the limits of the treaties”.”

    and then this from Mr Andor, EU Commissioner for employment, social affairs and inclusion.

    “……….There are also existing EU rules and safeguards against the so-called ‘benefit tourism’.

    “If someone new arrives to the UK or another country, it is the home country which in the first phase needs to cover Job Seeker’s Allowance, and not the receiving country.”

    He also went on to confirm that anyone ‘layabouting’ could be deported unless they could prove they had a job offer but I can’t find that one now (must have been in another article).

    What I read from this is that the PM is promising something which we already have in place. Is this to be a new campaign technique? Could we see the parties putting into manifestos promises to legislate on matters already legislated for?

    If anyone has a more detailed source that could display that the PM *was* promising something new, it would be interesting to know about. If there isn’t, as I wrote last night, it’s an open goal for ridicule. I suspect there must be something else, because I don’t see why Mr Andor did not do the ridiculing. Perhaps he did. not reported?

  27. I think the first mistake which led to the party of the rich narrative was cutting the 50p top rate of tax. After that ‘we are all in it together’ didn’t have the same resonance.

    IMO ‘we are all in it together’ was a good sentiment and slogan. The coalition would be in much stronger position today if they had stuck to it.

  28. CHATERCLASS

    @”Boris’s comments on tacit support for UK being one of the most unequal societies”

    Try reading the speech text rather than the Guardian headline :-

    ” we should only tolerate this wealth gap on two conditions: one, that we help those who genuinely cannot compete; and, two, that we provide opportunity for those who can.”

    “I might be wrong, but I hope she ( MT) would find a way to use that device ( academic selection in schools) , to help bright children everywhere to overcome their background; “

  29. @Colin

    The point is In the speech Boris says we should tolerate the wealth gap. We shouldn’t strive for a more equal society. That rich deserve that huge gap in wealth because they have higher IQs (which is very debatable). That envy and greed are the motivating factors of human behaviour and should be encouraged.

    This may well be Tory philosophy and may get him elected leader.

  30. @Colin : I wasn’t referring to his carefully crafted speech but to his off the cuff remarks that reveal his true feelings. Don’t forget he also printed articles in the Spectator when editor that said black people have lower IQ’s (although he said he regretted it). This has a history. And feeds the nasty party narrative.

  31. Colin,

    Re Boris I agree.

    Whilst it was clearly a pitch to the right he was very careful what he said and some of the characterisation has been inaccurate.
    We live in a capitalist society and for the invisible hand to work we need incentives and a certain amount of inequality in outcomes.
    A better critique imo would be to challenge him about what he would do when markets not working the EM/DC spat etc.

    Re Nick’s comment – yes probably partisan but behind it there is as serious point about whether the cons truly moved on from the ‘nasty’ party.

    There will be some who argue that the answer was first provided in this parliament at the autumn statement Nick refers to, the arguable lurch to the right and the Dog Whistle approach alledgedly being used now could in hindsight be seen as inevitable thereafter.

    BTW – Labour used the dog whistle to minimise the defeat in 2010 with some success so it is a legitimate tactic (if the rhetoric is reasonable) but it limits the appeal.

  32. @jimjam I presume you have read ‘The Spirit Level’ – unequal societies do worse. We cannot afford to allow the narrative that it is good or inconsequential. And the genetics argument is flawed- if your parents are rich your genes don’t matter. Look at the number of graduate shelf stackers.

  33. Hi Carfrew:

    ”The government have to respond, because they are up against one of the fatal flaws in neoliberalism: that because of demand pricing, and the ability to corner markets, growth may well not trickle down.”

    I agree with this, but I think the point about ‘trickle down’ (or lack of it) cuts much more deeply.

    ‘Trickle down’ is a metaphor linked to the idea of gravity. The well-off are up there, the poor beneath them, so their wealth (when spilled, invested, whatever) is bound to trickle down. But wealth and lack of it aren’t like the air (up there) and the ground (down here). They are like big planets (the rich) and tiny asteroids (the poor). So the ‘gravity’ actually works the other way.

    Power and money always flow towards those who have it. There is gravity, all right, but it’s working in precisely the opposite way to the image conjured by the trickle down metaphor.

  34. The problem today is some politicians believe they can still do what they did 80s/90s, things changed with 24hr news programs 89/90, and then changed even more as vast swathes of population in the late 90s early 20s found the internet, the point is… the politicians cannot hide anymore and when the say anything whether it be explaining what they are doing (polices etc) or (against certain actions) it happens quickly.
    They could years ago make a statement and that would be it for months or even years as the process would take that long to filter through to the ground to the actual people it affects.
    present day politicians are making the mistake or just hoping it will take as long, but the moment a policy announced, groups form and point out the consequences but are mostly ignored, then the policy is passed, and then put into effect and those same groups are already ahead of the politicians they have forums up and running so people affected can express their views and explain how it is affecting them.

    So 80s/90s anything from 3 – 6 years to get the bad stuff done without serious consequence which would be at least two parliaments, with a leader change thrown in maybe three or four if things are picking up… (The poll tax, about the time 24hr news started 89/90)

    Today there is no such luxury the politicians introduce new polices and within a matter of months all the bad news is out there and hurting the said politicians, then the people think and step back a little and suddenly realise unless you are part of the upper level are you are the scrounger these politicians are talking about.

    The shine of the nice new furry pussycats appeal vs the mean old mangy dog, the mangy old dog lost, so the people stroked and gave affection to the pussycats until someone noticed the real cats as they stopped purring and jumped back as the spots appeared, bloody hell the leopards are back and they have had babies… as the leopards finished their first meal.

  35. I can’t see how Johnson’s speech can influence anyone. After all, I’m sure that everyone thinks they have an IQ higher than 85 so they will think Johnson was referring to someone else, thicker than they are, always assuming that the majority of voters will care what he said, which is doubtful IMO (poll Q?).

    I just wonder how many voters would know what level of intelligence 85 is anyway. Had he said 70, or 100, would that have made a difference?

    I did notice that YG’s score for LD went down to 8 so perhaps Nick Clegg’s comment was more influential?

  36. Interesting polls over the past few days. Look at the most recent five polls for Labour in Scotland (most recent, last):

    48, 44, 39, 38, 34

    If I was to pick a general norm, I would put Labour on around 41%, but it’s always very volatile. What is interesting is the national Lab VI for the same polls:

    40, 40, 39, 39, 39

    Perhaps it highlights just how little Scotland’s VI affects the UK’s as a whole. Obviously these successive drops could be MoE. Scotland’s samples give the potential for +/- 8% points (48 and 34 are within MoE, if 41 is the norm).

    Five poll average is 40.6%

    I haven’t analysed the other areas of the UK, but those five Scottish polls (also taking into account the Con VI account for Lab’s 1% drop over the three days, and the Con 1% rise to 33 today.

  37. That last sentence was a car crash of typos.

    Should have been:

    I haven’t analysed the other areas of the UK, but those five Scottish polls (also taking into account the Con VI), account for Lab’s 1% drop over the three days, and the Con 1% rise to 33 today.

    Amazing how omitting ” ), ” can make a sentence almost unintelligible (even by my standards).

  38. Thank you Stageek for a very interesting post.

    This might have a significant effect in a PR election, and I think the euro-elections have a partial element of
    party lists (I am not an expert).

    Under FPTP, such as applies to GEs, then there might be much less effect in Scotland. From the Labour Defence election guide part of this site it seems that of Labour’s 30 most marginal seats only two are in Scotland – Edinburgh South, and Edinburgh North and Leith, in both cases with the LDs in second place.

    Mind you, if Scotland were to win independence, then all Scotlands MPs, currently 41, would no longer sit in Westminster !

  39. @ couper2802

    “The point is In the speech Boris says….That envy and greed are the motivating factors of human behaviour and should be encouraged.”

    Except, of course, when it’s a trade union trying to get more money for its members. Then it’s envy and greed that is holding the country to ransom etc. etc.

  40. @Norbold

    Actually he was very clear in his view it was the envy and greed of the rich that keeps the economy running. Despite the financial crash being caused by envy and greed of rich bankers.

    Trade unions now that’s the ‘politics of envy’ which is a bad thing.

    I actually believe that in that speech Boris’s did sum up the Tory philosophy.

  41. @Old Nat

    I am confused as to your description of singing up to the EMU as “optional” for entrance to the EU.

    Of the 13 entrances into the EU during 2004, 2007 and 2013; every single country has signed up to prompt EMU membership as soon as their economies qualify. 5 of the new members have already done so. It was not ‘opt in’, they are all on the path to using the common currency as a part of their EU membership.

    I see no reason, at all, to assume that Scotland would be granted an opt-out. Which puts the claim to EU membership at loggerheads with the claim to GBP fiscal union.

    As for the idea that Scotland will retain a share of the UK’s rebate? You do understand that the Rebate is meant to compensate the UK for it’s disadvantaged position under CAP due to smaller relative agricultural economy. Scotland however has a much larger relative agricultural economy. (Somewhere above 15% of Scotland’s GDP, compared to the UK’s somewhere below 1%) There would be no plausible justification for Scotland to get a CAP rebate, it actually strengthen’s the remaining UK’s on having a rebate.

    Sorry, but there is absolutely no credibility to the SNPs claims on what they would be able to negotiate in an independence settlement if they cling to these.

  42. Boris against the ‘squeezed middle’?

    If you’re part of the 2% (or whatever) with a genius IQ, more should be done for you; if you’re part of the 16% who are too stupid to even attempt the greasy pole, more should be done for you. The rest should struggle on, perpetually striving & envying (definitely envying, he said so) those who have – & have not – a specified amount of IQ points; for to them, all help should be given. That’s all according to Boris.

  43. “After ‘Independence’, they will no longer be a part of the UK. Does anyone else need this explaining? Probably not.”

    Could be an interesting constitutional conundrum. The queen’s current title is ‘…of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland…’ Will that be changed?

  44. I can’t see that the majority of voters take any notice of speeches to think tanks, so unless the subject of Johnson’s possible insensitivity is pounded away at, by polemicists, (we are approaching the weekend) then it will have no effect.

  45. @Alistair1948

    “Under FPTP, such as applies to GEs, then there might be much less effect in Scotland. From the Labour Defence election guide part of this site it seems that of Labour’s 30 most marginal seats only two are in Scotland – Edinburgh South, and Edinburgh North and Leith, in both cases with the LDs in second place.”

    Indeed. We can speculate that both will not be under massive threat in 2015, but we can also speculate that the defence list has surely changed with the rise in SNP support.

    I’ll list ones that might be SNP target seats (I’ve not swotted up on this to any great extent, so forgive me if I don’t get this spot on). We have to base it on some assumptions:

    1) ‘No’ vote in 2014 (obviously, or this is all meaningless).
    2) The SNP VI is likely to be higher than 2010.
    3) It won’t be as high as Holyrood VI in 2011.

    4a) Labour, as the party of opposition in Holyrood and Westminster should have a strongish VI in 2015.
    4b) Losing the referendum, and having done a better job than Westminster, in the eyes of many Scots, the SNP get some sympathy votes.

    With all that in mind, I’ll take guess at the national VI in Scotland:

    Lab 38%
    SNP 30%
    Con 18%
    Lib 8%

    I would have used Scotland Votes, but they still have 2010 calculation data, so it’s fairly useless. Electoral Calculus throws back:

    Argyll and Bute, NAT gain from LIB
    Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk, CON gain from LIB
    Falkirk, NAT gain from LAB
    Ochil and South Perthshire, NAT gain from LAB
    Edinburgh West, LAB gain from LIB
    Dunbartonshire East, LAB gain from LIB
    Aberdeenshire West and Kincardine, CON gain from LIB
    Gordon, NAT gain from LIB
    Caithness Sutherland and Easter Ross, NAT gain from LIB
    Inverness Nairn Badenoch and Strathspey, NAT gain from LIB

    So while 2010 was:

    Lab 41
    Lib 11
    SNP 6
    Con 1

    2015 might have:

    Lab 41
    SNP 12
    Lib 3
    Con 3

    If Labour have a net loss of seats at all, I doubt it will be more than three. Note that the two Edinburgh seats you mention do not appear in the changes. The NATs take two off Labour, but Labour take two off the Libs (while the NATs take four from the latter). The headline of desperation would be “The Conservatives treble their seats in Scotland”. Hopefully to match the two pandas and an addition to their family.

    :))

  46. Oh dear another u-turn

    The killing ends: Badger cull halted as ministers admit defeat

    Game Sett and Match to the badgers

  47. “I always quote the Bob Dylan song ‘When you ain’t got nothing, you got nothing to lose’. If you don’t have independent monetary policy what are you going to lose by entering into the monetary union?” —Boris Vuj?i?, Governor of the Croatian National Bank, makes an analogy to about Croatia’s long-held euro-focused monetary policy. [

    I thought that might be an interesting take on the SNP proposal to adopt the £.

  48. @Statgeek

    In my experience, only individual candidates get ‘sympathy votes’. Parties get a ‘kicking while they’re down’.

  49. I apolgise to Mr Vujcic -I can’t do the funny things on top of the c.

    This is why I refer to ‘Johnson’ as I don’t wish to confuse him with the Governor of the Bank of Croatia or indeed the well-known tennis player.

  50. @Howard

    Re:Boris’s

    I think you are forgetting the 24hr news cycle and Twitter. It was a big tweeting point on Twitter yesterday:-)

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