YouGov’s daily poll for the Sun this morning had topline figures of CON 34%, LAB 39%, LDEM 11%, UKIP 12%. The five point Labour lead is pretty typical of what YouGov have been showing over the last fortnight. The full tabs are here.

Meanwhile Populus’s twice-weekly poll has topline figures of CON 32%, LAB 40%, LDEM 12%, UKIP 8%. Full tabs are here. This is the last Populus poll of the year. For YouGov there is one still to come (the weekly YouGov/Sunday Times poll) then they too stop for the Christmas period.


166 Responses to “Latest YouGov and Populus polls”

1 2 3 4
  1. Even though the Tories have 90% of the media on there side and the so called good economic news they still cannot over take labour . if I was Mr C I would be worrying about my job, a lot can happen in 12 m the other hand.

  2. Most voters care more about higher wages than growth, and that is why Labour still have that 5-8% lead.

  3. I know I keep commenting on the increasing poll ratings for the Tories in the Scottish subset, there is now sufficient evidence over a series of similar YouGov polls to suggest that the Tories are gaining ground in Scotland, and are set to increase their Westminster seats at the GE at the expense of the Lib Dems. Does anyone else have an opinion on this? Electoral Calculus also shows this trend.

  4. I really wouldn’t read too much into regional crossbreaks. Wait for properly weighted bespoke Scottish polls

  5. AW
    They don’t seem to come to often. Maybe you could have a quite chat … ?

  6. AW

    Seen the Com Res poll before however, keeping inflation down and seeing wages rise faster than prices can really be seen as two sides of the same coin.

    Combined these are the most important factors according to their panel.

    Arguably most peoples interpretation of a Growing Economy, when the majority not a select few get better off , would be part of the cost of living agenda too.

    The deficit comes a distant Fourth.

  7. @INTRUDEREMERALD

    “Most voters care more about higher wages than growth, and that is why Labour still have that 5-8% lead.”

    ———-

    Even higher wages aren’t much cop if prices rise faster etc.

    Hence measures like disposable income are more useful since they incorporate more effects. Even then, there are things like house prices which can have further effects if people can remortgage or downsize and liberate some cash…

    Inflation could be a big deal in all of this, since not only can it erode living standards, but it can increase pressure to up interest rates which would really put the cat amongst the pigeons.

    The difficulty for the government, is that they want growth, to give the chance of higher wages, more jobs, and reduced deficit. But if that comes with inflation, then benefits of growth may be overshadowed by that.

    We already have inflation for essentials as they are subject to the issues with demand pricing. They can up the price and folk have to pay. If there’s more general inflation on top of that…

    Hence the discussions concerning productivity and unemployment. Growth that is associated with falling unemployment has its virtues naturally, but growth through productivity may be less inflationary…

  8. AW

    Thanks for that, if the polling remains like that then the Tories will be happy, but certainly EDM’s power freeze idea, however you view it, certainly seemed to resonate with voters. If ComRes or anyone else run that question again it will be interesting to see if there is any change in attitudes as we get nearer the election.

  9. Some fascinating economic updates from the ONS today. They’ve upgraded GDP growth slightly for the first two quarters and confirmed that much of the GDP growth is based on consumer spending, which was up by 0.8% in Q3, despite disposable income only rising by 0.4%.

    However, the trade gap trebled from Q2 to Q3, and the latest deficit figures for November are disappointing, up by just under a billion from 2012, although tax receipts are rising.

    Overall, an intriguing set of data which offers confirmation that a recovery of a reasonable is underway, but provides little certainty that this is sustainable in it’s current form.

  10. Good Afternoon All.
    Labour and Tories have a lot about which to be cheerful as wait to recall the coming of Jesus on earth. What would that family of refugees vote or contribute?

  11. @THE OTHER HOWARD

    “Thanks for that, if the polling remains like that then the Tories will be happy, but certainly EDM’s power freeze idea, however you view it, certainly seemed to resonate with voters.”

    ———–

    Well some focus on the price freeze aspect, but that’s just a temporary measure to stop companies taking the mick while the market is reformed, addressing issues in the market being the bigger issue.

    From a VI perspective, it also perhaps encourages companies to take the mick even more now, before the gravy train is possibly brought to a halt. In the process both giving the current gov. a VI headache while highlighting the need for action.

    Be interesting to see some polling that discerns to what extent folk are more attracted to the price freeze aspect, or to longer-term market reform.

  12. Also… Is there polling on whether folk think prices will continue to outstrip wage growth?

  13. Carfrew

    I suspect the gain that labour clearly made immediatley following EM’s announcement was mostly to do with the idea of a price freeze, but yes it would be interesting to see what you suggest.

  14. I suppose technically, Labour’s review of the energy market could conclude that actually it’s working fine and that the prices being charged were reasonable in the circumstances.

    It would be interesting to see the 20 month price freeze end with a compensatory 10% increase in prices.

    Not that I expect that to happen of course (particularly given that the enquiry will probably be lead by a retired former Labour minister and a senior trade union figure of some kind) but the whole concept of the price freeze does rather pre-judge the issue just a little.

  15. So starting from the simple figure of 8% a weighted to unweighted transformation would put UKIP on about 19%, in line with Opinium and ComRes. Mm, nice.

  16. @ Carfrew & @Neil A – There was a very interesting report from the Institute of Engineering last week which called for a complete overhaul of the energy supply system. These are highly skilled technical people, with no obvious political affiliations that I could discern, so I tend to think their opinions are especially interesting.

    They acknowledged what everyone who knows anything about the energy supply and distribution market knows, which is that reforms are needed. They also said that the various pressures on the system, including the decarbonisation targets, would require the adoption of a single system architect to manage the transition.

    I found this really quite interesting. I’ve posted in the past about the origins of the UK national grid. It’s uncannily similar to the railways, with private regional companies originally given license to develop the network, and then finding that they were incapable of developing a sufficiently robust and viable national service, eventually asking to be nationalised.

    We then developed what was arguably the best national grid in the world, before opting to privatise the system into a network of linked regional monopolies. Since then, requirements for profit have sat uneasily with the demands for upkeep and development, and in many areas the grid is now fundamentally weak and in need of significant local and structural investment.

    It’s going to be fascinating to see how Labour’s review concludes, if they get the chance.

  17. @Julian

    “Does anyone else have an opinion on this?”

    If you mean from a pure polling data perspective, all the data in front of me suggests 19% to 23% at present, but that’s not necessarily how people will vote in an election (it is just a sample, and a very small one at that).

    I think it’s fair to say that the Con VI will increase from the 16.5% in 2010, and the Lib Dem’s 19% will drop. Current indicators have the Lib Dems at 7% to 9%.

    As for opinion on why (their VI is increasing), perhaps there’s a newer generation looking at life without a personal memory of the 80s and 90s, and are taking the current government at face value.

    That’s one of probably a dozen theories though.

  18. If the Tories ‘really’ have 90% of the media on their side, does anyone seriously believe they would not be able to get their message across? If the ‘Monster Raving Loony Party’ had 90% (time to think deeply) of the media on their side they would be in power according to that level of arguement. It has always been a silly myth put about by the left. Are the Mirror, Guardian, Observer, almost all local newspapers and 90% of TV news Tory? I think not. Most journalists (Polly excluded obviously) are intelligent and report honestly…yes, really!

  19. @AW
    “I really wouldn’t read too much into regional crossbreaks. Wait for properly weighted bespoke Scottish polls.”

    Indeed.

    We had a properly weighted YouGov Scottish poll this month, for Holyrood. The Conservatives remained on 14%, the same as in 2011. That suggests no Scottish Conservative revival at that level, which to me strongly suggests that there will be none so far at Westminster either, regardless of what these rather dubious crossbreaks are saying.

  20. I think Team Labour and Team Tory are destined to be almost level in seat share in 2015.

  21. @CL1945 – that’s an interesting and perfectly possible scenario.

    How it played out politically would be equally interesting. In general, I would have thought that the seat redistribution involved would make it very difficult for Cameron to claim victory, with Labour of necessity clearly having had a much better election night, with seat gains, possible quite significant.

    Cameron has the first option at forming a coalition as the sitting PM, but here it gets very interesting. Even assuming that the LDs have suffered losses, they may still be able to put either party in No 10. Would they dare maintain a Tory PM seen as ‘losing’. Indeed, if LDs do take a hammering, will Clegg be the leader to make such a choice.

    The Nats and Unionists come into play – neither will hesitate to pursue their own interests.

    In many ways this would be a poll watchers best result.

  22. @Stutter

    Indeed. Why do Populus consistently have to down weight UKIP so significantly? Are UKIP members more likely to sign up to polls and answer them, or is their methodology completely wrong?

    And why is Survation finding this:

    “Secondly and perhaps more importantly, we have reason to believe that there is a substantial degree of false recall going on in these telephone polls when people are asked who they voted for in the last election. In every constituency we have polled so far, the proportion of people saying they voted UKIP in 2010 was higher than the actual recorded percentage from the last election”

    http://t.co/VrS85jjs3U

    Survation vs Populus. The two extremes of UKIP measurement. One of them will have egg on their faces come 2015, they can’t both be right.

    UKIP are still doing well in by-elections, not winning, but are now the party of second place in the majority of elections. BUT we have seen they have a ceiling, they are also the most disliked party. So they can’t break through to actually win anywhere. This is particularly the case since Bloomgate. Up to the local elections they were starting to win by elections. But no longer.

    So do vote shares really matter? They are unlikely to win anywhere. But they could very well have a very high VI percentage.

    Imagine there were only 3 seats.

    2010 results
    Seat 1 Cons 50, Lab 35, LD 15
    Seat 2 Cons 35 , Lab 50, LD 15
    Seat 3 Cons 41, Lab 39, LD 20

    Vote share: Cons 42, Lab 41, LD 17

    2015 Results
    Seat 1 Cons 50, Lab 15, LD 5, UKIP 30
    Seat 2 Cons 15 , Lab 50, LD 5, UKP 30
    Seat 3 Cons 35, Lab 45, LD 5, UKIP 28

    Vote share: Cons 33, Lab 37, LD 5, UKIP 30

    Very good result there for UKIP, but meaningless really. They still won’t have a single MP. Just the party of second place.

    So when we look at the final results who will be the better pollster? Survation because they told us UKIP were increasing their vote share? Or Populus because UKIP didn’t win a single seat, so they were right to score them as irrelevant?

  23. ChrisLane1945,

    In votes maybe, but I would be surprised if the Tories can draw level with Labour under current boundaries. The Tories need a 3% lead just to draw even, ASSUMING that Labour isn’t especially strong in the marginals AND that the LDs don’t do well in LD-Tory marginals AND that the LDs don’t recovery their VI at all.

    One interesting factor is that as the LDs get weaker the opportunities for a coalition get harder: the Tories don’t want to work with the Democratic Unionists and Labour don’t want to work with the various celtic nationalists. So a hung parliament is likely to lead to a 1974 scenario, with no workable coalitions and a second election at which whoever gets into Number 10 (and can promise “strong government”) is in a position to win at least a small majority.

    Alec,

    The fascinating thing would be that the Tories would need to have increased their voting % and outpolled Labour to draw level in seats, but as you say Labour would have had a very strong election night and seem like the winners.

    If the Tories are 3% ahead of Labour and Labour form the next government, then the combination of Tory indignancy and UKIP winning no seats despite a huge increase in their vote could result in a shift of the British right towards PR. It would take a hardened Tory defender of FPTP to tolerate Labour getting a solid majority in 2005 on 35% of the vote and the Tories getting 36/40% in 2010 and 2015, yet falling well short of a majority (or perhaps even a plurality) on both occasions. That would leave Labour as the lonely and very obviously self-serving defenders of FPTP on boundaries that do them a lot of favours. There is some historical precedent, insofar as some Tories warmed to PR after the February 1974 election.

  24. Even though I might say that I regard the economy as the most important issue there are no circumstances under which I would vote Tory. I don’t think I’m alone in that and most people’s reasons for supporting any particular party are going to be fairly complex. Presumably there is research into what prompted someone to switch allegiance.

  25. ”If the Tories are 3% ahead of Labour and Labour form the next government, then the combination of Tory indignancy and UKIP winning no seats despite a huge increase in their vote could result in a shift of the British right towards PR. It would take a hardened Tory defender of FPTP to tolerate Labour getting a solid majority in 2005 on 35% of the vote and the Tories getting 36/40% in 2010 and 2015, yet falling well short of a majority (or perhaps even a plurality) on both occasions. That would leave Labour as the lonely and very obviously self-serving defenders of FPTP on boundaries that do them a lot of favours. There is some historical precedent, insofar as some Tories warmed to PR after the February 1974 election.”

    Hi Bill Patrick,

    Interesting thought re the Tories and PR, if they lose the next election. I haven’t kept up with all the PR, AV (etc.) possibilities, but I seem to recall Labour didn’t seek to overturn FPTP in the Mrs Thatcher era, despite the fact that Mrs T would probably (if I have got the systems right) not have won a majority under it – and DC hasn’t sought Scottish independence, despite the fact that would take out quite a few Labour MP’s. Is there an ‘in the DNA’ attachment of the major parties to the 2 party system and FPTP, do you think – and, if so, would the ‘new’ neoliberal Tories buck the DNA? Are we about to see some real political evolution taking place beneath our very eyes, in fact?

  26. @Artair

    “Are the Mirror, Guardian, Observer, almost all local newspapers and 90% of TV news Tory? I think not.”

    ———-

    They might not be Tory, but the Graun/Observer are pro-LD, hence they are supportive of the coalition, and there have been numerous – at times rather comical – editorials to this end…

  27. @ ArtAir,

    Are 90% of TV news Tory?

    Well, the BBC does have a measurable Tory bias: https://theconversation.com/hard-evidence-how-biased-is-the-bbc-17028

    @ Bill,

    Labour don’t want to work with the various celtic nationalists

    Do they not? I mean, they obviously don’t want to work with the SNP, but the SDLP take their whip already and I would think a Westminster coalition would put another bullet into the twitching corpse of Plaid’s fox.

    The anti-electoral reform argument seems pretty straightforward, unfortunately: “We just had a bloody electoral reform referendum and it was overwhelmingly in favour of FPTP! We’re not wasting money on another one when there’s a cost-of-living crisis!” Although I hold out some hope for the Lords.

  28. Quick note to Nick Keene re your post in the last thread.

    Obviously it wasn’t the best of ideas for us to pursue the line of debate you were talking about yesterday, so I said no more, but I hope it’s OK to say that I totally agree with you (and have said several times before) that continuing to increase debt is no longer an option for any party for the future.

    My own sympathies lie with Spearmint, and the raising of taxation levels, but higher income tax comes with its own problems. I have hinted previously that more direct taxation of wealth is required, which gives us a ‘belling the cat’ situation, which will cause a lot of discussion, and that – fair enough – is not within the parameters of this forum.

    Thanks for getting back though. It’s a fascinating issue for somewhere!

  29. @Spearmint

    That is not what your link says at all. What is says is that the BBC favours the ‘government’, which seems about right to me. I want every government to be “held to account”, no matter what their stripe. I was never too interested in what either the Tories, LDs or others had to say until 6 months or so before the last election, because all oppositions tell you what they think you want to hear, and up until their manifesto is out, cannot properly ‘be’ challenged. I still do not see any particular bias at the BBC.

  30. I see the Labour party are promising to ban ‘high stakes’ gambling machines? Does anyone know when they were introduced? Did anyone object at the time? Did anyone warn of the dangers to vunerable people?

  31. Richard – I suspect both are the same issue, differential response rate from supporters of different parties. Sort of the opposite of the spiral of silence, a spiral of enthusiasm!

    This is probably much the problem that polls apart from ICM (who had pioneered political weighting by then) got it wrong in 1997 – Labour supporters were full of enthusiasm and keen to take part in polls and back Labour. It’s possibly one of the reasons the polls overestimated Lib Dem support in 2010, because all those people full of enthusiasm with “Cleggmania” were more likely to agree to take part in polls. I suspect it down to some of the UKIP issues now – even on their worst figures they have tripled their support, so they have millions of new supporters with the zeal of the convert, who may be more likely to take part in polls if asked (or to go looking for them)

    My guess is that’s why Populus get far too many UKIP responses – though it could also be something to do with how they sample… which I don’t know. A point I’ve often needed to make here is that the make up of raw samples from internet panels doesn’t tell you anything at all about public opinion, it just tells you about how effectively they are targetting the correct people in their sampling. Needing to use a lot of weighting is not necessarily a sign you are weighting to the wrong figure, it can just be a sign your samplings producing something odd. Or it can be both.

    Let me give you a scenario.

    Imagine pollster A gets a raw sample that is 75% women, and pollster B gets a raw sample that is 40% women.

    Pollster A weights the sample so it is 52% women, reducing the proportion of women in the sample by 23 percentage points.

    Pollster B weights the sample so it is 45% women, increasing the proportion of women by only 5 percentage points.

    The first pollster has used much heavier weightings (their sampling obviously has issues!), but their weighting is correct – 52% of the adult population is female. The company with the small weights is wrong. Much harder with political weights of course, because we don’t know what the “correct” figure is.

    Anyway, as it happens I suspect Populus should be weighting UKIP to a slightly higher level. Given YouGov rely on a panel we can track party ID on an individual level and it has increased since 2010, that’s why YouGov changed their weightings earlier this year. But even if Populus were weighting UKIP to an ID level of 2 or 3 percent, which I suspect would be more accurate, they’d still be heavily weighting them down.

  32. @ ArtAir,

    “Gordon Brown outnumbered David Cameron in appearances by a ratio of less than two to one (47 vs 26) in 2007. In 2012 David Cameron outnumbered Ed Milliband by a factor of nearly four to one (53 vs 15).

    “Labour cabinet members and ministers outnumbered Conservative shadow cabinet and ministers by approximately two to one (90 vs 46) in 2007; in 2012, Conservative cabinet members and ministers outnumbered their Labour counterparts by more than four to one (67 to 15).”

    So yes, the BBC always favours the Government over the Opposition and rightly so, but the Tories get twice as much airtime as Labour do in the equivalent role. I don’t see how you can read that as anything but a Tory bias.

  33. The Fixed Term Parliament legislation makes a repeat of the 1974 scenario rather problematic. The Government will have to have been defeated on a confidence vote, and subsequent to that no alternative administration formed within two weeks..
    In any hung Parliament , Labour would be able to count on the SDLP and Lady Hermon. In addition, Plaid would not vote to bring Labour down – neither would the Green – if she survives.
    The position of the SNP would be less clear – though unlikely to support the Tories.
    Whilst Clegg might be inclined to support the Tories again, whether his party would let him do so is another matter.

  34. @Artair – re fixed odds betting terminals (FOBT) – I think this is one of those issues where it is somewhat easy to blame the previous government, but in reality I suspect this is a more complicated example of regulators struggling to catch up with a market trend they don’t fully understand.

    FOBT’s were initially unregulated when they first appeared around 2000, and as new machines they were uncategorized. Attempts were made to regulate these but they were defeated in court, but subsequent legislation in 2005 did classify them and regulate accordingly.

    Limits were placed on the individual transaction amount at £500, but given you can spin the roulette every 20 seconds, that’s clearly inadequate. The bookies have also worked very hard to link machines to debit cards etc, to speed up the flow of cash, all of it undermining the intentions of regulation.

    It seem pretty obvious that these machines are a ‘bad thing’, but governments aren’t very good at forward analytical thinking and tend to regulate by reaction to identified problems.

    The current government has had over 31/2 years to act, the last one had 5, if you count the time from initial regulation to the 2010 GE, so I don’t think this is a partisan issue.

    FWIW, I do think Labour lost the plot on gambling regulation, becoming far too amenable to the gaming industry. I didn’t hear very much opposition from Tories at the time, nor since they got their hands on the levers of power. I just think this is an area where technology and and an industry determined to run rings around regulators, has made the job of government genuinely difficult.

    Now we can see the deep problems with these machines, it’s clear there needs to be action, but I just think we should be grateful that people from all parts of the political spectrum are waking up to this.

  35. @ARTAIR:

    I believe they were authorised by the 2005 Gambling Act.

    The Guardian’s had several articles critical of them:

    http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2013/jan/04/fixed-odds-betting-terminals-poorest-communities

    http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/dec/13/gambling-addiction-fixed-odds-betting-terminals

    Ireland banned them earlier this year.

  36. Colin Davis,

    The Labour goal in 1979-1997 was not to get Thatcher and the Tories out of power, but to get themselves INTO power! There’s a big difference. PR would have made the 1983 election even worse for Labour… As long as FPTP wasn’t a system that kept Labour out of future majority governments, they could bear not having to hang out with their beloved former comrades David Owen and Roy Jenkins, not to mention David Steel, who had led the Liberals in bringing them down in 1979!

    (It’s easy to forget how much hatred and policy difference there was between Labour and the Alliance in those days. People on the left were NOT only interested in outsting Thatcher, and many, perhaps most, voters didn’t split parties into “Tories vs. Everyone Else” in their minds. Tony Benn’s Britain is not David Owen’s Britain.)

    As for the Tories, they’ve tended to see PR as a block on them getting into majority government. However, decades of political realignment have not been kind to the Tories, whereas they have been kind to Labour.

    UKIP have such a tremendous incentive in favour of PR that their influence on the right will probably lead to a lot of right-wing people being better disposed towards PR. So if the Tories accept that they’re never going to have big enough leads over Labour (in the wake of Nick Clegg) in order to get majorities, then we would see-

    (1) The Tories

    (2) UKIP

    (3) The Greens

    (4) The nationalists

    (5) The unionists? (FPTP hasn’t been kind to them recently and they’re going to become a minority in Northern Ireland quite soon.0

    – all with big incentives for electoral change. Gordon Brown and John Major may go down in history as the last Labour/Tory PMs to enjoy a majority; a dubious achievement!

    Spearmint,

    “Do they not? I mean, they obviously don’t want to work with the SNP, but the SDLP take their whip already and I would think a Westminster coalition would put another bullet into the twitching corpse of Plaid’s fox.”

    Labour likes the SDLP taking their whip, but I doubt that Miliband would like the consequences of having ministers from Northern Ireland in cabinet, and PC would be too left-wing for UK Labour.

    “The anti-electoral reform argument seems pretty straightforward, unfortunately: “We just had a bloody electoral reform referendum and it was overwhelmingly in favour of FPTP! We’re not wasting money on another one when there’s a cost-of-living crisis!” Although I hold out some hope for the Lords.” ”

    Sadly, I think you’re probably right on the Lords. It’s just a matter of politicians finding a way of selling a similarly cronyish system, except without the independence of peers. Or, in other words, how does one increase the power of the party leaders without the public objecting?

    I agree that the AV referendum causes problems for PR.

    Incidentally, I remember back a long time ago (about a year ago, in fact) when we had a better name for “the cost of living” – we called it ‘inflation’. And economics professors caught out their students with the question-

    “If wages increase by 10% and prices by 8%, has the cost of living increased or fallen?”

    – and students would tend to say “fallen”, before said professors solemnly asked them to consider the scenario from the point of view of those living on their savings. Yet now that everyone seems to mean ‘real wages and benefits’ by ‘the cost of living’, this question is becoming out-of-date. As almost always in my life, I blame Labour.

  37. Spearmint,

    What’s an “appearance” in this context?

  38. @ Spearmint.

    I disagree with you interpretation. I seem to remember when Mr Blair was PM and the BBC were in love with him things were equally “biased” if you will. Mr Brown was different because he was obviously an incompetent PM.

    @Alec – was not trying to accuse anyone, just asking thank you!

  39. Greens on 1%? Again YouGov is sooo far off the picture painted by other polls- another 5% from COMRES for example.

  40. @Bill Patrick

    In 2010 some 34,979 Conservative votes secured an MP… Labour needed only 33,358 (1,621 fewer).

    I’m guessing much of this is down to Tories building up “useless piles of votes” in the shires, low turnout in Labour seats, plus other efficiencies like the low Labour vote in Con/LD marginals. There is of course also the time-lag in boundary changes (currently favouring Labour, previously favouring Tories).

    YouGov did some polling to show that LD would be gaining representation at the expense of Labour under AV (just before the referendum), but the Tories wouldn’t actually make any gains.
    As things develope it might feasibly be that Lab/LD might not see much change, but that Tories would lose out to UKIP under a more proportional system.

    At the time David Steel’s attitude to AV was that it was step one, and that another coalition in 2015 would usher in full PR. It’s possible, but it’s just as likely that electoral reform suffers a lengthy setback following the AV referendum.

  41. Interesting tweet from Mike Smithson:

    2013 looks set to be the first year since 2002 that the Tories didn’t record a lead in any opinion poll.

    Plenty of time for the Tories to still turn things round but, by the same token, plenty of time for things to get even worse for them.

    Not much time to put money in people’s pockets in a way which will make them grateful.

  42. Unlikely though it is, what would happen if both Red and Blue got exactly the same amount of seats?

  43. BILLY BOB

    ” David Steel’s attitude to AV was that it was step one, and that another coalition in 2015 would usher in full PR.”

    I presume he meant STV, rather than any old “full PR” system.

    After a party he disapproved of became the largest party in Holyrood, Steel repented of his enthusiasm for the AMS system which had put the LDs in Government up to then and, in 2009, wanted STV (as in our councils) to replace our AMS model.

    Mind you, he was rather silent on just how many constituencies should be merged into each multi-member ones, and after the 2011 results, he might have had to change his mind again and advocate a single party list system (as for the euros) for his party to actually gain much in the way of representation.

    Self-interest does tend to dominate politician’s views as to the best electoral system.

    That does give some weight to Bill Patrick’s speculation.

  44. Reginald – in practice, the same as if one party got 2 more seats than the other.

    In either case, there would obviously be the potential for either main party to form a coalition with other parties. The incumbent party would remain in office while coalition negotiations took place. Once the parties agreed a coalition (or support) deal the new government would take office (with the incumbent resigning and the Queen inviting the new PM to form a govt, if applicable)

    If no agreement was come to, eventually Parliament would meet, the incumbent government would set out a Queens speech as a minority government and it would either get passed, or it would fall and the government would resign (in which case, there would be another round of coalition negotiations and if they failed then after 2 weeks Parliament would be dissolved and a fresh election would take place)

  45. I wonder if the Tories would survive as a single party under a proportional system.

  46. ROGERH

    “I wonder if the Tories would survive as a single party under a proportional system.”

    Well, they have in Scotland (and Wales) for the last 14 years under a PR system.

    Of course, that might be because they haven’t a hope of forming a government. But then the major parties haven’t split into factions either.

  47. Most likely I wont be logging in again until 2014, so I wish you all a very merry Christmas and all the very best for the New Year.

  48. I think they’d survive, but I think their centre of gravity might shift and there would be more room for smaller parties to fill in the gaps.

    As the experience of the FDP in Germany shows, PR systems don’t necessarily remove the need for politicians to be in a decent-sized outfit to get elected.

    Personally I yearn for a Eurosceptic but socially liberal party with moderately dry economics but a social conscience. Currently that means, basically, Cameroonism (although the social conscience part is clearly debateable). But if there were a viable seperate party to support I certainly would.

1 2 3 4