YouGov’s weekly results for the Sunday Times are now up here. Voting intention figures are CON 34%, LAB 39%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 11%, suggesting that Thurday’s odd 12 point lead was indeed the outlier I think most people assumed it was (the five point lead is itself a bit lower than usual, but I wouldn’t read anything into that yet either)

There is nothing suggesting a big impact from the Autumn statement itself, but attitudes to the economy and the government’s economic management remain on a longer term upwards trend – essentially the statement itself doesn’t seem to have done much (it was probably overshadowed by the death of Nelson Mandela anyway), but the growth of the economy is dragging up these figures anyway.

43% of people now think the economy is showing signs of recovery or is well on the way to recovery, up from 37% in August and just 14% in April. 51% of people still think the economy shows no signs of recovery or is getting even worse. Asked how much the government has contributed to this, 36% now think the government’s actions helped the economy (up 4 from August), 30% that they made it worse (down 4), 24% that they made no difference either way.

The coalition have a healthy lead over Labour on dealing with the deficit (by 35% to 21%) and improving the economy (35% to 25%), but trail behind Labour on keeping down living costs, where the opposition lead by 33% to 25%. Turning to Osborne himself, 26% now think he is doing a good job as Chancellor, 46% a bad job. This is little changed from when YouGov last asked in July, but far better than the public saw him last year, when his approval rating was down in the mid-teens. He leads Ed Balls on who would make the better Chancellor by 32% to 22%, though 46% say don’t know.

On the specifics of the statement, 31% of people think they will be worse off, 5% better off, 46% expect it to make no real difference – the answers appear to be mainly partisan, although people between 40-59 are most likely to say they’ll be worse off, presumably on the back of pension age changes. On that subject 32% support increasing the state pension age, 57% of people say they are opposed.


312 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 34, LAB 39, LD 10, UKIP 11”

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  1. GUTMONDE

    Did you read the first comment under the clip?

    “stall your manging gadgy jans feek it in your poriss and? ile mang nixt”
    _____

    OLDNAT?

  2. I’m not sure how detested the LD’s are by their potential Tory tactical voters. I think the criticisms of the LD’s on the right are far more likely to come from Right Wing Tories or UKIP supporters who were probably never going to vote LD anyway.

    @ Howard

    It does depend of course how many Lab leaflets come through the doors of people in LD/Con marginals. In LD/Lab marginals it ought to be a piece of cake to print out a leaflet with the LD MP voting record but in LD/Con marginal the LD candidate may have a relatively free field.

  3. Amber and Shev have the Tories rather low, I must say. I would bet everyone shortbread they’ll be over 30%. (If I lose I’ll be out a lot of shortbread, but on the plus side the Tories will be under 30%. :p)

    Good maths from Shev on the Lib Dem tactical vote though, and I’m revising my predictions down in light of it. I’d be surprised to see them above 12%.

    Hughes will be very lucky to keep his seat. I wouldn’t bet against him- he’s a skilled campaigner- but 2015 is going to be his toughest challenge yet. It’s all right to have your arse glued to the fence in opposition, but when you actually have to climb down from it to vote and every time you’ve come down on the Tory side…

  4. @ Marco,

    when the Election comes you will be fighting two debating Voices

    I don’t think the dogs are going to be in the televised debates. Although, that would be amusing.

    More seriously, one of those voices will be Nick Clegg’s, which I think will probably be a boon to the Opposition rather than a hindrance.

  5. @ Marco

    You may have a point that I hadn’t thought of about Con tactical votes for LD. As others have suggested I don’t think this is anywhere near the scale of the Lab tactical votes for LD, but yes that might add a1% to the LD share of vote. I’m not sure there can be that many Lab/LD marginals this applies to. Seem to be a lot more Con/LD marginals.

  6. In all seriousness as a moderate, liberal right of centre voter who has generally (but not always) voted Tory, I am probably closer to being willing to vote LibDem than I have been for 20 years. I still have an issue with their Europhilia, but the modern, Orange-book LibDems (Laws, Browne, Alexander etc) are pretty close to my own view of the world.

    My “right of centre”-ness is mostly (though not entirely) born out of a desire for prudent financial management and a distrust of “solve it by throwing money at it” government policies. The last three years have increased my confidence in the LibDems on that score.

    In practice it hardly matters. I live in a safe Labour seat, in a city where LDs virtually don’t exist. Even if I ever made the “transition” from blue to orange, I’d probably have to immediately become a LD voting tactically for the Tories anyway.

  7. Alian Chrustie

    [Typos in retaliation from a fat man for GUTMONDE]

    I did indeed read the first comment

    “stall your manging gadgy jans feek it in your poriss and? ile mang nixt”

    I confess I haven’t got a clue what it means whereas I am able to decipher what OLDNAT says . Perhaps you can translate.

  8. You do feel sorry for Anthony. Fly a saltire at the head of the thread and people will talk about anything other than Scotland, polls and especially Scottish polls. Start a new thread and the entire population of Aberdeen descends and the place is swathed in tartan.

    Anyway some things that need to be said. Firstly the Lib Dems will almost certainly improve their current VI standing on their current level. The reason for this not (necessarily) because defectors to Labour will return, though some may particularly in strong Lib Dem seats[1]. It’s because about a quarter of 2010 Lib Dems are currently saying they don’t know how they will vote. This is much bigger percentage than those who voted Conservative (16%) or Labour (12%)[2] even in terms of voters (Lib Dem 5.9%, Con 5.2%, Lab 3.6% of all those who voted).

    Now we know that such voters are likely to go back to their previous Party, so the Lib Dems should gain a fair bit there, especially as they have always tended to gain from those uncertain as how to vote. UKIP will take more of these uncertain voters than in the past, but we know that they are not an attractive option for many people.

    So an increase of Lib Dem VI in 2015 is extremely likely. But whether it would be as high as 18% is another matter.

    [1] This is suggested by the eight Ashcroft Lib Dem targets where significant numbers of voters switched support when reminded of that fact. But of course the number of such seats is comparatively small, so the contribution this makes to total Lib Dem VI may not be great.

    [2] These are the figures from today’s YouGov poll but fairly typical.

  9. rog

    “So an increase of Lib Dem VI in 2015 is extremely likely. But whether it would be as high as 18% is another matter. ”

    I bloody hope not – there’s a pint of IrnBru and all sorts of other goodies hanging on it with my bet with Amber

  10. Anyone else notice this?

    Farage having a pop at Populus (well deserved). And YouGov (questionable). And singing Survation’s praises to the rafters, although he can’t spell their name.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/the-polls-are-wrong-about-ukip–as-the-attack-on-victoria-ayling-shows-8991592.html

  11. @Roger Mexico (9.14)

    “It’s because about a quarter of 2010 Lib Dems are currently saying they don’t know how they will vote. This is much bigger percentage than those who voted Conservative (16%) or Labour (12%)[2] even in terms of voters (Lib Dem 5.9%, Con 5.2%, Lab 3.6% of all those who voted).

    Now we know that such voters are likely to go back to their previous Party, so the Lib Dems should gain a fair bit there, especially as they have always tended to gain from those uncertain as how to vote.”

    ————————————————————————

    Speaking personally, my “don’t know” is because now that I don’t trust the LDs, I doubt that there is a party I would wish to support apart possibly from Greens. I suspect that it will therefore be a spoilt ballot paper. Reading comments on here from other ex LDs during the past couple of years I believe that others are in the same boat.

    Thus I would question your comment above. Unless there is a major change in the party before 2015 (extremely unlikely), these “don’t knows” will not be voting LD. I think you are underestimating the degree to which the LD leadership are now no longer trusted.

  12. Evening all,
    You know some Sundays on UKPR are like Groundhog Day , this being one of them. Although the perrenial topic of the size and stickabity of the 2015
    LD vote, is one that never seems to pall, probably cos it offers generous helpings of schadenfreude for those of us of a Red, Blue , Green or Nat persuasion. (Should we wish to partake of such partisan fare of course).

    13% IMO and 20 or so MPs , which puts them back to 1992.

  13. @Neil A

    It may not matter for your constituency but it does matter hugely in the bigger picture. If the Lib Dems start taking liberal-minded centre-right voters from the Tories to make up for the lefties they’ve lost to Labour, we’ll see the right vote split as never before (with UKIP preying on the other wing of the Tories). Labour could win almost by default, just like Thatcher in the early 80s when the left was hopelessly split.

  14. Peter

    In a way you actually prove my point. In that undecided group even someone who is as alienated by the leadership as you will probably only effectively abstain rather than voting against the Lib Dems. Of course not all those will go back, but I think many will. Lib Dem prospects are likely to be much more harmed by the loss of people such as you as activists and election workers.

    You’ve also got to remember that people on UKPR are unusual in their interest and often involvement in politics. Most undecideds will be less passionate and less knowledgeable and will end up choosing the Party they dislike least. There is some evidence that ordinary voters would still be willing to vote tactically for example, even if they dislike the coalition. To some extent public cynicism may help the Lib Dems here – if you think all politicians are venal, then betrayal may matter less and Lib Dems may be able say that they have stopped the Tories behaving even worse.

    I wonder though if there isn’t a regional variation here as well. In the North (I’ve a feeling you live in the North East) and Scotland dislike of the coalition seems particularly strong and mainly directed towards the Lib Dems (there often aren’t any Conservatives around to target).The Lib Dem collapse in many of the Northern cities has been spectacular and it may be rather specifically against the leadership.

    There was a hint of this in a Manchester by-election this week (Ancoats) when a Liberal (not Lib Dem) came in (a very distant) second from nowhere, while the official Lib Dem got under 2%. It may have been a way of some people expressing support for the idea if not the current Party.

  15. It may be that many of the 2010 lid dem voters who are now dont knows voted lib dem in 2010 because they wanted a left of centre alternative to labour – so they wont vote lib dem in 2015, but may not have forgiven labour for its various crimes and misdemeanors whilst in office. Come 2015 they could vote labour, green, AN other or abstain – but are still unlikely to vote lib dem.

    The lib dem vote has not gradually eroded in response to serial disappointments and disillusions ( as it often the fate of governing partys) – it has fallen of a cliff. It was down to 10% within six months of the coalition – because many who voted for them saw the coalition with the tories as a fundamental betrayal.

    Another factor is that the lib dems in 2015 will be a lot shorter of councilors and activists than in previous years.

    I would be surprised if they get more than 13%.

  16. @Roger,

    you are correct in that I live in Newcastle. I accept that there are probably some regional differences and that in the north and probably in urban areas in genera,l the typical LD member/voter has been LoC whereas in the SW the LDs may be more inclined to be Centre or even RoC and therefore less disillusioned..

    This probably colours my judgement slightly but I still expect only a slight increase in 2015 cf. the 9-10 currently stating LD.

    Re your comment on interested voters cf less passionate, In the first year after the Coalition, I was told by several people that I would put in the less passionate category that they would never vote LD again. This was before Tuition Fees and the NHS which were my turning points.

    In conclusion, I would still propose about 13% in 2015 although perhaps the SW may hold up better than I expect. Perhaps because of a better performance in the SW, the LDs could muster 30 io. the 25 I originally quoted.

  17. allan christie

    “Lets be honest here I don’t like you and you don’t like me ”

    …………………………………………………………………………………..

    That comes over as rather childish but how about you just leave me to speak for myself anyway?

    As I don’t know you so the above is not an issue for me at all: what is, on occasions, is the nature of your posts and I reserve the right to comment on them at any time, within the rules of the forum.

    If you choose to over-react then that is a matter for you

  18. Nice to see the cricket going well.

    Seems like cheating when they don’t have days off for rain though.

  19. I would also go with 13 as a good number for the Lib Dems. Unless the economy goes completely gangbusters and milk & honey literally falls from the sky. That isn’t going to happen though, cuz of science.

    It’s a little harder to give a prediction for UKIP. Partly due to them being new boys at this level, but mostly because of the European elections next year. I think the top three will be a lot closer than some of my fellow Kippers believe, and the difference between finishing 3rd or 1st could mean zero MPs in 2015 or a decent handful.

    So with a 3rd place finish I reckon UKIP will come up very close to that Lib Dem 13, and a 1st place finish could see them at mid to late teens (at the GE).

    I won’t predict numbers for the Tories and Labour but I think Dave is doomed as things stand. And he’ll have his own strip in the Whizzer ‘N’ Chips called Davey Doomed. In fact I’m off to copyright that as we speak.

  20. My contribution to the Groundhog day discussion re LDs in 2015.

    2010 LDs currently DK/WV will return in part but less than similar cons and similar 2005 Lab voters in 2010 – I think the populous 30% is a s good as anything.

    With respect to Liz H and others, there will imo be a significant returning LOC tactical vote in Con/LD marginals and whether this reached 75% or drop below 50% may well be key in determining the LD seat count.

    There will be a small number of 2010 LDs currently saying Lab that switch back in other seats as well perhaps more in LD/Lab marginals where the local MP will out-perform UNS. So seats needing say 8% or so swing LD-Lab to change hands which the national vote share may produced could just about stay LD. (I guess a few Tory voters will vote ABLab as well to help with this).

    So I reckon 13-15% and holding at least 30 seats with 35 my estimate.

  21. Parorama looks interesting tonight, I gather that Angel Gurria of the OECD will be the latest economist to criticise the EM plan for a freeze on energy prices. It may be popular with voters but it seems likely to do enormous harm to the future UK economy as investment is reduced by the energy companies.

    Business confidence now at the highest level for 10 months I gather from this mornings news and job vacancy growth at a 15 year high.

    Since we were playing 2015 election forcast yesterday my projection is
    Cons 38%
    Lab 30%
    Lib 14%
    UKip 10%
    Just based on gut feeling, in reality obviously not forecastable at this far out from the election

    Weather looking good again off for a long walk on the North Downs. Have a good day all.

  22. We have a range of opinion on here for 2015 LD %, from 10% to around 18%. (I could have missed some outliers.) Most predict, rationally, that the loss of votes will be greater in Scotland and the north of England than the south.

    I do not know. But what I suspect is that the ‘betrayal’ narrative will lose its power eventually. My precedent for that is that the millions who left Labour over the Iraq invasion must by now be drifting back to Labour to give them 39% or so.

    Sooner or later a government will do something really unpalatable, because they need the money. Perhaps a government, even the next one, will abolish the ceiling on university tuition fees? Then that government, whoever they are, will feel the pain.

  23. TOH

    Some of the commentary behind the news you highlight is encouraging too :-

    On jobs :-

    “Its job vacancies index, which uses data from 400 recruitment firms, rose to the highest level since July 1998.

    The strongest demand was for engineers, followed by nursing staff and other medical and care workers.

    The report also showed that growth in salaries for permanent staff was the highest in six years.”

    BBC

    On the BDO Business confidence report :-

    “This is a strong and broad-based recovery. I think we can finally say that the key economic battleground has shifted from austerity to the new debate about how the UK government can help UK businesses achieve sustained growth in the context of a dynamic, internationally competitive economy. ”

    Peter Hemington, Partner, BDO LLP,

  24. Good to see you taking to heart the ethos of this site, Colin, and talking about the polls rather than politics.

  25. “This is a strong and broad-based recovery. I think we can finally say that the key economic battleground has shifted from austerity to the new debate about how the UK government can help UK businesses achieve sustained growth in the context of a dynamic, internationally competitive economy. ”

    hahaha

    The new debate is already going on and it’s about unfair division of the wealth []

  26. Morning everyone,

    @The other Howard – I really like your prediction Howard – very satisfying to read and still quite possible once the chips are down for the poll that really matters.

    My prediction is similar to yours.

    Con: 38
    Lab: 32
    LDs 14
    UKIP: 9

    :)

  27. @PopulusPolls: New Populus Voting Intention figures: Lab 41 (+3); Cons 33 (-1); LD 11 (-2); UKIP 7 (=); Oth 8 (=)

  28. @Sine and TOH – care to revise your 2015 prediction?

    Mine is Lab 36, con 31, lib 13, ukip 10 lab maj of 52

  29. Populus doesn’t look to similar to your predictions, does it Sine?

  30. I wasn’t going to post in the non-Scots thread about Scottish stuff, but I feel this is an example of how the media are throwing around scare stories.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25299332

    (note the photograph of Asda – I wonder if all the other supermarket chains are pleased with that?)

    Headline: “Shop prices ‘might rise’ in independent Scotland”

    Ok, and shop prices might rise in England in any given year.

    Main Para: “Some of the UK’s biggest supermarkets may consider increasing their prices north of the border, should Scotland vote for independence next year.”

    Lower down:

    “Neither Asda nor Morrisons said they had any plans to raise prices in an independent Scotland.”

    “However, the Financial Times said one of the big four supermarkets had confirmed it might put prices up.”

    “Tesco said it had no comment to make, and said it had not spoken to the Financial Times about the issue.”

    Why can’t they say that Sainsburys is planning to raise its prices in an independent Scotland (if that’s not the case, that’s what the article hints at)? Aldi is nicer for most things and far cheaper anyway.

    So we are getting news based on rumour, gossip, supposition and no facts, or they would have been printed. Whisky, water and oil costs more to pump/carry South etc. Why haven’t the BBC mentioned this?

    Just an example of how the Beeb is aligned regarding this issue. It’s tabloid stuff too.

  31. “This is a strong and broad-based recovery. I think we can finally say that the key economic battleground has shifted from austerity to the new debate about how the UK government can help UK businesses achieve sustained growth in the context of a dynamic, internationally competitive economy. ”

    Cuckoo land !

    “The NEF has calculated that the public sector now employs one million low-wage workers – double the previous estimate – with health and social care staff, classroom assistants and council employees trapped on small earnings.

    Sales assistants and retail workers make up the largest group of low-paid workers in the private sector, with large numbers also working as waiters, bar staff and cashiers.

    The study blames the continuing drop in disposable incomes on pay freezes and below-inflation rises, leading to wages steadily lagging behind prices.

    Separate research by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation concluded yesterday that for the first time the number of working families living in poverty exceeds those without anyone in work.

    The cost of living has moved up the political agenda in recent months with Labour claiming that the average person is £1,600 worse off than when the Coalition Government took power in May 2010.”

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/the-poorest-pay-the-price-for-austerity-workers-face-biggest-fall-in-living-standards-since-victorian-era-8991842.html

    The people feeling the recovery are those that have the most whilst those with the least feel nothing but more pain.

  32. Colin,TOH ,good to see you back , and sooo wrong ,polling wise! At the moment that is, things can change of course .

  33. @TOH Bedroom tax will really be biting then and signs the wheels are quickly coming of welfare reform and NHS there is zero % chance the Tories will improve on 2010!

    Just don’t see the rational – an unpopular party doing very unpopular things with a leader with poor approval first term ratings what rationale can you provide to get extra votes from what should have been a perfect storm to maximise electoral success in 2010?

  34. Chris, you were meant to bite and you fell for it.

  35. Anyone who thinks labour will get less than 33% at the General Election needs their head examined. I suspect it will be quite close in the popular vote, with the Tories possibly edging it, but leaving labour with more seats in the commons.

  36. @Chordata

    “The cost of living has moved up the political agenda in recent months with Labour claiming that the average person is £1,600 worse off than when the Coalition Government took power in May 2010.”

    “The people feeling the recovery are those that have the most whilst those with the least feel nothing but more pain.”

    With respect, Labour’s ‘claims’ do not make it fact, while your last statement is unsubstantiated. If the current lot are to blame for the economic situation, why aren’t the polls far, far better for Labour? The fact is that the last lot are being as blamed for the problems.

    On another note, if we had had Victorian values as consumers, we wouldn’t have the debt.

  37. @NICKP – No not at all but then again its not May 2015 is it?

  38. I’ll take the non-partisan prediction:

    Con 35%
    Lab 35%
    Lib 10%
    UKIP 10%

    Others 10% (Discontent increasing SNP, PC, BNP, Respect and Indi candidates)

    Lab to form minority government, with SF not sitting, and getting occasional support from LD, and other left-leaning parties.

  39. “This is a strong and broad-based recovery. I think we can finally say that the key economic battleground has shifted from austerity to the new debate about how the UK government can help UK businesses achieve sustained growth in the context of a dynamic, internationally competitive economy. ”

    I’m not sure how they can say that, when business investment (surely at least one of the key indicators of prospects, if not THE key indicator) is bouncing along below 75% of what it was in 2008 and is actually worse this year than it was at any point since 2009. Investment intentions have been positive almost without break since the last election but this has never fed through to reality. And the CBI view of investment intentions has gone negative for the first time since 2011. (all figures from http://budgetresponsibility.org.uk/economic-fiscal-outlook-december-2013/)

  40. @Statgeek
    Plus or minus 5% you’re probably spot on.

  41. Statgeek:
    That’s just about where I am, although I think the Libdems will be perhaps a bit higher and UKip a bit lower.

    Labour and Cons neck and neck with Labour forming a minority government with a fresh election 9 months later and a 20 seat Labour majority in 2016.

  42. My GE prediction

    Lab 36
    Con 35
    Lib 15
    UKIP 8

    I originally though 38/33/10/Dont care. But I am always too optimistic made a 2% Con->Lab swing and added a hefty chunk to LibDems.

  43. This will probably be dismissed as anti independence BBC bias, but that would be a mistake, in my view – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25300398

    I suspect this news item might well have some traction in Scotland, and represents another potential negative for the Yes campaign. It plays right into the heart of the cost of living debate, which currently seems to have very high salience, and the headline story is that there are clear signals from the supermarket industry that an independent Scotland would face higher food prices.

    Rob Peston’s article seems to sum up the issues fairly and pretty comprehensibly. It’s notable that he quotes the calculations around the proposed reduced corporation cut and how this is very small, compared to the additional costs supermarkets face in Scotland.

    Uncomfortably for the Nats, the notion that UK wide pricing is beneficial to the Scots also plays right to the heart of the No campaign argument that spreading risk in a larger economic and political unit is better for Scotland.

    Interesting, Peston also reports a direct quote from a very big FTSE company, reporting on a meeting with the Scottish government – “”I made the obvious point that we cannot make investment decisions in Scotland at the moment because of the uncertainty about the tax regime. The mood of the meeting immediately became very dark, they became very aggressive.”

    There is much comment on the No campaign being negative, but I see increasing signs that the Yes campaign are acting in a distinct ‘attack’ mode. Everything around independence _must_ be positive, everyone who is critical _must_ be biased, every organisation who raises possible problems _must_ be a conspirator.

    I think this is a mindset they really need to break away from. They claim the No campaign is based on unrelentingly negative scare stories, and I would accept that this is a risk for the No’s – they must offer a positive pro Union case, alongside sowing the doubts over independence.

    However, my suspicion is that by refusing to accept a balance of positive and negative outcomes for independence, the Yes campaign is making exactly the same miscalculation.

  44. @Trot57

    “Labour and Cons neck and neck with Labour forming a minority government with a fresh election 9 months later and a 20 seat Labour majority in 2016.”

    I don’t see a majority Labour government coming from a minority one within that time period. The voters are far too savvy to let future governments off with a few bribes or spin stories. There core supporters will stay with them, as always. More likely, we’ll get a coalition of some sort in 2017, after Miliband has had a bad 2 years of no commanding majority. Why?

    The first year is all smiles and reconciliation within the Party, and the other parties are courted. Within time, the cracks appear and that’s that. Labour, as the party of government, no longer get the protest votes. The unions get lots of air time from the opposition, while Miliband’s weaknesses are easier to target once in government (him, Ed Balls, the unions).

  45. @Alec

    Read my 10:36 post.

  46. @Postage

    “Plus or minus 5% you’re probably spot on.”

    Let’s not be too inflexible. Plus or minus 10%?

  47. my prediction for 2015 –

    Lab – 38
    Tory – 35
    Lib dems – 12
    UKIP – 9

    A years a ago I thought UKIP were a flash in the pan – but the vociferousness of their supporters and their consistent poll rating suggests they will do far better than in 2010 – hoovering up disaffected ‘moral majority/anti immigrant’ tories, the non alligned racist vote and the ‘protest vote’ that previously went to the lib dems. I would not be at all surprised if they got more than 10% in 2015.

  48. I meant to put ‘the vociferousness of their contempt for Cameron’

    (read the comments sections in places like the daily telegraph – but you will need a strong stomach for that bile fest)

  49. Statgeek:
    I’m looking at historical precedents, 1964 when Labour had a small majority and then went back in 1966 and won a better majority. And Feb 1974 when a minority government went back in October and got a majority.

    If Cameron had done this in 2010 I believe he would have got a majority, people don’t like uncertainty.

    I think you’re view that Miliband would fall foul of the unions is wishful thinking, we didn’t hear a peep out of them in 13 years.
    Miliband would come in straight away with an energy price freeze, child care and win a clear majority.

  50. Hmm, poll predictions at this point are a bit tricksy, aren’t they?

    If things continue as they have, Labour will win a majority of several tens.

    But they probably won’t continue as they have. The Tories need some good fortune, but that’s not out of the realms of possibility.

    What is more interesting to think about is, assuming that (for better or worse) the Tory strategy will continue much as it is, what could happen to propel them to a victory?

    I can understand that Tory supporters are keen to emphasise economic recovery, but voters do not currently seem keen to reward them for it.

    So, the first thing that could help is a very strong economic recovery – much stronger than than we have now. Most analysts see that as unlikely, but it’s possible.

    Another possibility is a Labour civil war. There’s obviously discontent somewhere. Dan Hodges might be a comedy figure now, but he was, at one point, a voice of the disquieted Blairites.

    What else? Let’s be reasonable and not give answers like ‘finally realise how great my team are and vote for them’?

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