YouGov’s weekly poll for the Sunday Times is up here. Topline figures are CON 33%, LAB 39%, LD 8%, UKIP 13%. Good job/bad job ratings for the leaders are minus 15 for Cameron, minus 35 for Miliband, minus 51 for Clegg.

On the economy there is a big contrast between people’s attitudes to the economy as a whole, and their own personal circumstances. On the wider economy there is optimism – 36% of people think things are better than a year ago, 24% worse. Ask about people’s own finances and only 14% think they are better off than a year ago, 39% think they are worse off. Asked about the year ahead, only 17% think their own household’s finances will get better, 37% think they’ll get worse. People are pessimistic, but it’s a measure of how bad things were (and how things are turning round) that this minus twenty net score is the best so far this Parliament.

Asked which party is closest to different groups, the Conservatives are overwhelmingly seen as the party that best represents and understands the rich (by 83%) of people. Labour are a mile ahead of the other two parties on representing and understanding the working class and people on benefits (though around a quarter of people think no party really understands or represents them). Despite Ed Miliband’s recent foray, the Conservatives are still seen as the party that best represents and understands the middle class. Even amongst Labour’s own voters 30% think the Conservatives better understand middle class people.

Asked to describe themselves, 46% of people say they are working class, 42% middle class. It’s interesting to compare the ABC1C2DE social categorisations of people (which is based on their occupation) with their self-perceptions: 35% of people in “middle class occupations” consider themselves working class, and 28% of people in “working class occupations” consider themselves middle class. Obviously the ABC classification is pretty crude in its own way, but it’s also a sign of perceptions of social class are an awful lot more complicated than people’s own current occupation.


504 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 33, LAB 39, LD 8, UKIP 13”

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  1. @Phil Haines/Mr Nameless/Jack R

    I won’t speculate on whether this includes our political views too, but we certainly have something in common in so much as my youngest son is in his third year at Sheffield University. He loves the city, as I do too, and he can’t speak highly enough about his life there and the course he is studying. Apart from me assigning him a one man mission to undermine Clegg in Hallam, I leave him very much to his own devices and he’s developing superbly as a young man, independent, confident and, whilst still footloose and fancy free, seemingly outstripping his Dad’s modest past womanising ways! See very little of him these days, but receive texts whenever the Villa win a game. As you can imagine, those texts are getting few and far between now!

    The Rennard affair has elements of vaudeville farce about it and while I don’t want to diminish or belittle the distress and nuisance the old fool has undoubtedly caused to the women involved, am I the only one who thinks that mountains are being made out of molehills, here? I don’t know the man, and he could well be a deeply unpleasant piece of work, but my diagnosis from afar suggests a Bunteresque buffoon who is so lacking in self-awareness that he thinks his dubious sexual charms are irresistible to women. It appears that whenever he’s been disabused of this illusion he’s scuttled away and there seems little evidence that he’s a persistent and aggressive predator. Once rebuffed, the frustrated lecher disappears. The solution for the Lib Dems, in my view, is to get Rennard in a room and make him an offer he can’t refuse, thereby ensuring, as Clem Attlee once said, a welcome period of silence ensues! Shuttle him off into the long grass until he’s long forgotten.

    By the way, Neil A, the Clinton analogy is a risible one. Clinton was a philanderer with a large sexual appetite, but I know of no encounter or liaison he was involved in that didn’t involve two willing and consensual adults. If you do, please enlighten me.

  2. @Norbold

    This might interest you. They might even supply some copy for you to test out.

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/jan/20/labour-campaign-to-combat-ukip-threat

  3. @BCROMBIE

    “By the way I am a Yam Yam not a Brummie if anyone dares make that mistake”

    I find ‘oik’ covers all possibilities North of Barnet

  4. ALLAN CHRISTIE

    @”Assad is a disgusting tyrant but sometimes its better the devil you know.”

    Any Syrian Opinion Polls on that?

    ……….with subsidiary questions like-” Do you personally prefer strangulation by fan belt-or fuse wire?”

  5. @Allan Christie

    ”Assad is a disgusting tyrant but sometimes its better the devil you know.”

    You may be taking realpolitik to its ultimate limits here, but I get your gist. As we’ve found in Libya, Iraq, and maybe Afghanistan too, eventually, the alternatives to the sitting despots can be even worse, unless of course you can guarantee a seamless transfer of power to a benign democracy. That, sadly, is rarely the case and if Assad is containable, and more acceptable in the short term, to the alternatives that may replace him, then it may be better to keep him in place, as despicable as his regime may be.

    Unless of course, western powers are prepared to invade Syria and stay there until a regime more acceptable to us is in place. Can’t see that somehow and the danger is we wage a proxy war with absolute no idea of the outcome. Very dangerous.

  6. Mrs A is knowledgeable about many things, and as it happens, once completed a Masters in Statistics for Politicians at the University of Diddly Squat, Idaho.

    She has very kindly dusted down her course notes and provide me with the following definitions, which apply specifically to opinion polls, apparently;

    1) Margin of Error (MoE) – A nominal range of values of indeterminate dimension, constructed to provide comfort to poll observers. MoE values tend to cluster around a fixed point, which is deemed to be the correct level of support for party X.

    In practical use, MoE represents an example of what is known as ‘randomized constructive determinism’ (RDC) which, roughly translated, means that the centre point and range of MoE are based on random numbers selected by the observer in order to make them feel better.

    Due to the RDC construction method, MoE generally displays an asymmetric pattern. Where the observer opposes party X, the MoE central point is located close to the lowest observed level of support indicated, with a larger positive range and smaller negative range.

    In this way, MoE proves that high levels of support for a party that is disliked by the observer are ‘within MoE’ and therefore are discounted as normal, whereas low levels of support show real (negative) movement in voter sentiment.

    2) Confidence Intervals (CI). Confidence intervals originated in statistics, and are a type of interval estimate of a population parameter used to indicate the reliability of an estimate. In statistics, the Confidence Interval is derived from observation.

    In polling terms, the Confidence Interval is a statistical measure of the proportion of mornings a poll observer wakes up believing his or her party will win the next election.

    Roughly speaking, a ‘95% confidence interval’ means that on average, observer X will wake up one morning every three weeks feeling deeply distressed that their party will not win the next election. Confidence intervals are usually defined in large part from margin of error calculations (see above).

    3) Statistical Sampling – this is generally defined as ‘selecting the poll which you think looks best’.

    4) Sampling Error – you’ve selected the wrong poll.

    5) Sub Sample – breaking the poll results down to a smaller and smaller scale until you can find something that looks a bit more encouraging. Eventually leads to ‘Unitive Sub Sampling’ where the observer ends up asking themself who they support. By statistical definition, Unitive Sub Sampling always provides the correct answer.

    Mrs A hopes this helps everyone, and I’m sure Anthony will appreciate her efforts in explaining how opinion polls work.

  7. Colin

    Like you I am appalled at the Worlds lack of action in Syria. The West and particulary Obama bottled it and others have vested interests. The UN seems to have reached a new level of uselessness.

  8. Alec

    Very witty, she seems to have nailed all of us on this site and not just on polling.

  9. Some excellent unemployment figures today 2.32 million down biggest fall since 1997. It dropped 160,000 in the 3 months to November, to 7.1%

    But still the Achilles heal of falling living standards – 3 months total pay increase of 0.9 in November, Inflation for November 2.1%. One month figure for weekly earnings total pay 475 pounds, an increase of 0.7%. The fall in living standards is actually bigger in November compared to October.. Big difference in increase in wages between public and private sectors.

    I can’t remember how the polls were shaping up in November. Did the Cons and LDs numbers improve at that time?

  10. Without commenting on specific policies it has to be said that the Government has ensured that pay in the public sector top line pay will continue to fall in real terms until 2015 unless inflation drops to less than 1%. (In reality pension contribution increases it’s actually less than 0%.)

    Irrespective of the rights or wrongs of this it does effectively mean that a huge section of the electorate ,not geographically confined and their families are going to feel naturally aggrieved as they will not be benefiting from the recovery and unlike the private sector have seen job numbers fall by 600,000.
    OK they could switch to the Private sector but this is not realistic for example for a Police Officer or fire fighter and exceptionally difficult for a Nurse or Teacher.

    There was a time just 4 Years ago when support for the Tories amongst the public sector was around parity with Labour and well ahead in for example the police service.

    Recent polls by the NUT suggest support levels for the Tories have now dropped to around 10%.

    This could be the clincher in 2015.

  11. TOH

    “The West and particularly Obama bottled it and others have vested interests”

    And the the west dont? The US, UK France etc are all playing games of regional power politics in syria – just as much as Russia, Iran, Israel and Saudi Arabia. Thats why its such a mess.

    All Nation states always act in their own perceived best interests – moral causes are added as an afterthought for propaganda purposes.

  12. @TOH/COLIN

    What do you think ‘the West’ should have done in Syria?
    What is happening is appalling but I’m not myself convinced that intervention by the west would have made things better, even in the short term.

  13. Reggieside and GuyMonde

    I understand the points your making and don’t disagree, just expressing frustration at the awfulness of it all and the feebleness of the UN.

  14. Floating Voter

    Nice balanced comment. The problem for the Government is that general economic good news is unlikely to reap any political benefit until working people themselves feel some positive effects. If this eventually happens before 2015 then the Tories should win, if not they wont although they might still do well enough to remain in a coalition

  15. TOH

    Yes-that’s it in a nutshell.

  16. Hmm. Shorter Syria: nothing can be done and it’s disgraceful that people are doing it.

  17. casual remarks such as “if x happens, the tories should win” show the complacency so often exhibited by that party.

    the left is united more than has been the case since before 1983, The lib dems will be lucky to get the 14% the liberals got in 1979. In every general election between 1983 and 2010, the centre party got between 16 and 25%. T

    The right is more split than ever before. ukip looks like it will certainly get more than 5%, which is unprecedented.

    This situation is unprecedented yet some in the tory party think it will simply be a replay of 1992. I don’t think they are really thinking about what’s going on.

    From here, it’s difficult to see how labour cannot win 30 seats which would cause them to be the largest party. the betting markets reflect this.

  18. Pretty good trend in unemployment on most fronts-full time jobs growth better than part time; UK Nationals/Borne more than Non.Longer term unemployment coming down.

    7.1% means that barring a disaster, the next number will be below Carney’s 7% threshold. He will either invoke the “get out” caveats-or revise the 7% down-can’t see him raising interest rates.

    When will this positive trend in the jobs market start to impact VI ?

  19. peter crawford

    I agree. I can see almost no likely circumstance now in which Con will poll more than Lab in 2015.

  20. Interest rates themselves may not be raised in 2014, but the ultra low fixed mortgage offers that they are underpinning will disappear in the next few months as the markets will expect a rise no later than 2015. So the RPI (which includes housing costs, unlike CPI) seems certain to rise from its current 2.7% level during the next year. Affordability of mortgages taken in the years when they were cheap will become a problem for many. I can’t see the concern over the cost of living abating, even allowing for the average growth in wages to rise from its current 0.9% in response to a tighter labour market.

  21. Public Sector Finances -9mths to Dec:-

    Dec. £12.1bn ( LY £ 14.2 bn)

    YTD £96.1bn ( LY £100.9 bn)

    OBR Forecast full year 13/14 £ 111.2 bn ( 12/13 outurn £ 114.9 bn)

    ie-Q4 deficit was £14bn.

    If it is unchanged TY-13/14 outurn will be £110 bn-£1bn under forecast & £5bn less than 12/13

    ( all excluding RM Pension tfr, APR coupon refund & Financial Interventions )

  22. NICKP

    @”almost no likely circumstance”

    I make that two caveats Nick :-

    A likely circumstance as well as an unlikely one.

    You used to be a “landslide” man.

  23. @Colin – indeed. These borrowing figures really show how slow the fall in the deficit is. Welcome, in that they are falling, but way, way behind the original forecasts and a serious long term drag.

    These figures demonstrate the imponderable of what might have happened had we had a chancellor who backed investment, rather than cut it. I’m sure this will be argued over for years to come, but I have a great sense that we missed an open goal, and will suffer for it for a considerable period of time.

    Great news on jobs figures. Still the anomaly with wages, but it is beginning to look like the recovery is more solid, although we should bear in mind the decline in construction and manufacturing in November, and I’m waiting for the January retail data to see what those good December figures really mean.

    One observation on Carney and the BoE – he seems to have lost a good deal of credibility over his forward guidance, which now appears to be forward guidance, but without the guidance. Although I know he hedged the trigger for rate rises, at the time I posted that I thought this was a mistake, which they appear to be admitting by now stating clearly rates won’t rise when employment falls below 7%. I’m tempted to ask what the point of all this was.

    I have to admit I found much of welcome for Carney a bit over the top, and he has declined somewhat in my estimation since he arrived.

  24. Spearmint,

    Why mattresses?

  25. ” I can see almost no likely circumstance now in which Con will poll more than Lab in 2015″

    Ref Confidence Intervals (see above).

  26. @Hal – ‘going to the mattresses’ is from the Godfather and it’s traditionally what the families did when they went to war.

    It refers to the foot soldiers gathering in safe houses, sleeping on the floors etc, for ease of protection.

  27. ALEC

    @”These figures demonstrate the imponderable of what might have happened had we had a chancellor who backed investment, rather than cut it. I’m sure this will be argued over for years to come, but I have a great sense that we missed an open goal, and will suffer for it for a considerable period of time.”

    You will always have that comfort blanket.

    Ed Balls is clinging to it like grim death.

    Your loss of confidence in the Governor is devastating.

  28. COLIN

    ALLAN CHRISTIE

    @”Assad is a disgusting tyrant but sometimes its better the devil you know.”

    Any Syrian Opinion Polls on that?

    ……….with subsidiary questions like-” Do you personally prefer strangulation by fan belt-or fuse wire
    _______

    Not yet but if AW doesn’t put up a new thread soon then we should ask him to go over and conduct a poll.

    Seriously though, unfortunately there isn’t a great looking option on the table now and any offer looks bleak. It’s either Assad or extremists, if Assad falls then what we are seeing now will quadruple.

  29. @COLIN

    “You will always have that comfort blanket.”

    You’re swaddling yourself with them :-)

    @HAL/ALEC

    I thought mattresses was a reference to Lord Rennard’s preferred destination.

    Allegedly.

  30. CROSSBAT

    “You may be taking realpolitik to its ultimate limits here, but I get your gist. As we’ve found in Libya, Iraq, and maybe Afghanistan too, eventually, the alternatives to the sitting despots can be even worse, unless of course you can guarantee a seamless transfer of power to a benign democracy. That, sadly, is rarely the case and if Assad is containable, and more acceptable in the short term, to the alternatives that may replace him, then it may be better to keep him in place, as despicable as his regime may be.

    Unless of course, western powers are prepared to invade Syria and stay there until a regime more acceptable to us is in place. Can’t see that somehow and the danger is we wage a proxy war with absolute no idea of the outcome. Very dangerous”
    _____________

    Exactly and I couldn’t had put it better. Maybe if the west and Russia never took sides in the first place then the whole thing could had been less vile than it is now.

  31. I posted a comment last night within minutes of the poll being published so I don’t know what the OP (SN) is talking about. However,as I am politically neutral on here, perhaps I am not in his telescopic sights. I previously wrote that it would need three exceptional scores in a row to get me excited. I don’t regard, say, 40 33 9 15 as exceptional – for me three in a row of, say, 43 31 11 14, would be. (You could switch the last two around as they are irrelevant to the outcome of the GE. Try it on the calculators and you will see what I mean.)

  32. @Nick P – “I agree. I can see almost no likely circumstance now in which Con will poll more than Lab in 2015.”

    I realise that I’m beginning to sound like a stuck record, and those who have expressed a view on this board tend to dismiss the idea of any kind of electoral pact, but I won’t be ruling it out any time from later this year until late April/early May 2015.

    Today’s YouGov has Con/UKIP on 47% to Labour’s 38%.

    A couple of other polling companies had Con/UKIP 14% ahead of Labour last week, with UKIP in the high teens. How that might translate to seats is unpredictable, but with the benefit of tactical voting from both left and right LD had 52 MPs elected on 18.3%, 46 MPs on 16.8%… on the otherhand they have also managed only 20 MPs with 17.8% of the vote.

    Stuart Wheeler gave an interview last year, underneath the Richard Stone portrait of of Margaret Thatcher which he purchased for £256,000. He imagines that UKIP may have 10 MPs or more, and two cabinet ministers in a coalition with the Conservatives.

  33. @Crossbat,

    Re: Clinton. Are you serious?

    His misdemeanours came to light during a civil action for sexual harassment. I have always been baffled by people who contended that his behaviour towards a junior staffer barely out of her teens was irrelevant to the sexual harassment case.

    As for “philanderer”. Well to philander, you generally have to make a sexual approach to someone. If you make a sexual approach to someone who either works for you, or is beholden to you for other reasons (for example because of the influence you have over their career prospects) then that is harassment.

    It seems to me the difference between lothario and lech comes down whether the individual has charisma and a full head of hair (and of course the politics of his accusers).

  34. All these good economic numbers mean people feel much better off. Productivity must be soaring as a result.

    Oh…….ermmm……..

  35. Oooh it’s coming up to mid day and there is Big Ben…

  36. Alec,

    I can have a stab at explaining the forward guidance thingy. The usual way to boost demand in a recession is to lower interest rates. When this can’t be done any more (because rates are zero) then the next strategy is for the government to increase the deficit. The problem is the coalition parties declared deficits “bad” and pledged to reduce them (hence Help To Buy and student loans which are both ways of deficit spending without it showing up in the books) . They have realised they need a deficit to boost demand while pretending to the public they don’t want it. So for political reasons they can’t increase the deficit.

    So the final way to boost demand is to promise to hold interest rates down in the future, even when there is a recovery. This final gambit has been passed over to the Bank of England to carry out. The point of forward guidance is both to delay the point at which rates are raised and, more importantly, get everyone to believe they won’t be raised for some time. So there’s no point hoarding cash waiting for an imminent rate rise, better to invest it instead.

    Obviously Carney can’t promise to hold rates down for ever, because there are political constraints. But the existence of forward guidance has done its job for now – and will do until people start to believe he can’t carry it through any more.

    By the way it isn’t obvious that a fall in the deficit is good news, since it has been too low for a long time. If was Chancellor I would be revving it up via infrastructure investment and a VAT cut, until there is a much stronger recovery.

  37. Today’s YouGov has Con/UKIP on 47% to Labour’s 38%.


    The Problem with pacts with UKIP is that at any likely level of support they are unlikely to win a single parliamentary seat.

    Perhaps they should have campaigned in favour of AV in 2011 which would have made these calculations a tad more relevant but neither did.

    It could of course equally be argued with some force that in 2010 some 55% of voters voted for Centre/Left parties (or thought they were) and yet we have a Right wing Government.

    It is also debatable whether even a majority of UKIP supporters would favour a pact with the Tories or indeed that they are all right of centre anyway.

  38. @Colin – I think your post was unnecessarily snooty, if I’m being honest. It isn’t a comfort blanket, but a simple part of analysing economics and politics.

    As Rob Peston pointed out yesterday, amongst all the good economic news, one fact stands out – that the UK economy is still smaller than pre crash, whereas many of our competitors have regained all the lost growth.

    You can, if you choose, select your own comfort blanket by looking at the rate of change across a particularly relevant timescale, or you can choose to take a slightly more objective and wider view of economic development, which accounts for more of the longer term factors.

    I don’t think there is any real question that the UK under invested in it’s response to the crash – and I hold both parties responsible.

    The current response is not producing the long term investment response we need, and is consequently not providing the rebalancing we were promised. This isn’t a comfort blanket – unless pretty much every economist is sleeping in the same bed.

  39. HOWARD

    “I posted a comment last night within minutes of the poll being published so I don’t know what the OP (SN) is talking about. ”

    Me neither and I certainly find the repetition tiresome and pointless. Very few on here comment very much on individual polls – don’t remember anything about the previous day’s 8% for example.

    As you say, it is the trends that are of interest.

  40. alec

    “@Colin – I think your post was unnecessarily snooty”

    I expect you misread the intent.

  41. @Chordata mentioned productivity on the last thread – we now have the latest figures, although these are only for Q3.

    On the quarter, output per job is up slightly in services, down slightly in manufacturing, and up by a tiny 0.1 overall (against 2010 base of 100). Output per hour is level in services, down heavily in manufacturing and down overall by 0.3. Compared to the 2010 base year, output per worker is up to 100.5, but per hour is down to 98.9. Unit labour costs are 104.8, suggesting a productivity squeeze throughout the whole economy.

    Not particularly great figures.

  42. “Some excellent unemployment figures today 2.32 million down biggest fall since 1997…”

    Quite shocking, really, how accepting we’ve become of these levels of unemployment. In 1981, when unemployment topped 2.5 million, riots broke out across the country and the People’s March for Jobs set out from Liverpool. (And that before subsequent numerous attempts at massaging the figure downward.) Good that the total’s falling but it’s only five years since it was below a million.

  43. @RogerH

    You are right of course, I meant the fall in unemployment. 2.32 million is a huge number add another 2.3 million inactive but would like to work and 2 million who would like permanent or full time jobs.

    But, I wonder how much the level of unemployment effects voting intentions. I think wage increases below inflation is a much more significant effect

    Looking at the borrowing requirement for December the 2.1 bn seems to have come from an increase in taxes on production (VAT etc) of 1.1bn, a slight increase in corporation tax and a 1.4 bn decline in interests payments with Social Security payments increasing by 0.5bn.

    There was no increase in receipts from income tax or National Insurance ( comparing Dec 12 to Dec 13) which you would expect if more people are working.

    Although I am not totally sure of my figures because the spreadsheet is extremely complicated

    I am pretty convinced that these borrowing figures have no effect on voting intentions.

  44. I agree its sad that we have to look at 7.1% unemployment as a “good” thing.

    And it’s also true that less than 6 years ago the rate was just over 5%. Since then it increased by 3% under Gordon Brown’s premiership, and fell by 1% under David Cameron’s (so far).

    Not suggesting that this is Brown’s fault – clearly the global crisis affected everyone. But it perhaps illustrates that, for the current government, the record is at least reasonable.

  45. ALEC

    I have no doubt that “Investment” means the same to both of us-something with a medium to long term life ( Capital Expenditure) which produces an income stream.

    We may disagree on what would & would not constitute a “good” investment.

    But I was reminded this morning how politicians can stretch the meaning of the word to cover what is clearly day to day ( Revenue) expenditure when I read this :-

    http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2014/01/ballss-imf-response-shows-labours-spending-priorities

  46. I think the jobs and productivity data is fascinating, and really illuminates in a very non political way the strange experience we have had with this economic cycle.

    @RogerH is correct regarding previous bouts of unemployment in terms of raw numbers, but as a proportion of the working population it was far higher then than now, plus the fact that the Tories effectively invented ‘going on the sick’ as a means to slide numbers off the dole registers.

    What is abundantly clear this time around is that unemployment stayed significantly below expectations at the peak of the slump, and have reduced much faster than people imagined. The payoff appears to have been the broader stagnation and decline in real wages.

    Overall, I think I would prefer what we have now, with the necessary fiscal pain spread more evenly amongst a wider group of people, rather than focused on a small minority who shoulder the lot.

    As a politician in power though, it might be a better calculation to upset a smaller number of potential electors, while the majority carry on reasonably unscathed.

    The key issue though, is to understand why this is happening. I don’t think anyone has really come up with a single explanation for what is really quite a radical change. Personally, I wonder whether we are seeing the impact of Brown’s tax credits. They add to government expenditure, but I assume in work benefits might allow more people to remain in low paid work, avoiding higher levels of unemployment. On the downside, maybe this enables industry to suppress wage rates.

    I really don’t know, but it must be a highly significant aspect.

  47. Peter Crawford and Guymonde & NickP

    As at least two of you know I am not a Tory but an Economic Libertarian, I believe in a small state. Peter you say that the Left are united as never before and that there is no way the Tories can outvote Labour at the next election. If I was a Tory I would say keep thinking that way because you sound as complacent as you think the Tories are.

    I remain convinced that if the Tories can ensure that ordinary voters are starting to feel better off by the time of the election they can and probably will win a small overall majority, if not they will lose. It all depends on a continuing and strengthening recovery feeding through to those in the middle income group.

  48. PHIL
    If I remember rightly, “Manners maketh the man”.

    However, with a little bit of luck (in my experience) an MA maketh the man able to look after his old Dad in his later years.

  49. Peter Crawford

    I should have added that since you talk about the role of UKIP, in my view, if the Labour vote starts to crumble nearer the election UKIP could possibly damage Labour more than the Tories, something that at least some Labour figures are starting to worry about. I refer to Phil Haynes earlier reference at 0.27am. above.

  50. @Neil A

    “Re: Clinton. Are you serious?”

    Completely.

    I’m afraid I don’t accept your interpretation of his behaviour at all. Depending on your moral compass, his marital infidelity and promiscuity might be deemed reprehensible, but there’s no evidence that I can see that he was involved in anything other than utterly consensual sexual liaisons.

    I was amused with your “barely out of her teens” description of an adult in her early twenties. What a tendentious and weasly way to describe a 22 year old young woman. You do no favours to Monica Lewinsky to patronise her in such a way and to try and claim she was the victim of sexual harassment and wasn’t a fully consenting adult in her brief relationship with Clinton is, as I said, risible. 22 year old women, by the way, are quite entitled to enter into and enjoy sexual relationships with men in their 50s. There doesn’t have to be, nor rarely is there ever, coercion and harassment involved. You need to take your condemnatory police hat off every now and again!

    The fact that Clinton faced civil actions over sexual harassment is a moot point. He wasn’t found guilty in any of them, as far as I know, and surely you must accept that he was hounded, by whatever means were available to them, by political interests determined to end his Presidency. I’m surprised somebody somewhere didn’t sue him for paedophilia and cannibalism eventually!!

    By the way, your last paragraph about political bias and people’s personal appearances influencing the views people take about such matters is unbecoming and, again, utterly risible.

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