This week’s YouGov/Sunday Times results are here. Topline voting intentions are CON 32%, LAB 39%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 12%.

People’s opinion of how Cameron has handled the floods has crept up slightly since last week, but a solid majority still think he hasn’t done well. 29% of people think he’s handled the flooding well (up 4 from a week ago), 60% badly (down 2). The figures for the environment agency are still very similar – 27% say well, 63% badly.

While opinion has moved slightly in Cameron’s favour, on the question of whose fault the flooding is blame is gradually shifting towards the government. Compared to a fortnight ago 27% now blame the government (up 10 points), 23% the environment agency (down 5), 41% say it is just freak weather and nothing could have been done (down 8). Support for more spending on flood defences has also steadily risen – now 50% of people, from 49% a week ago, 38% a fortnight ago. People have also become more likely to think the flooding is connected to climate change – 47% now say the weather causing the floods is likely connected to climate change (up 7), 39% think it is not (down 5).

Looking forward, 57% of people would support a ban on building houses on flood plains, 33% think it is acceptable with appropriate anti-flooding measures. The public are almost evenly divided on whether we should keep on defending the most vulnerable areas – 39% think we should defend all settled areas, whatever the cost, 38% think there are some settled areas that are such a high risk of flooding it is not worth the cost to try and defend them. 47% of people think those people who have bought property in areas of high flood risk and ended up being flooded deserve our sympathy, 22% think they have only themselves to blame.

There was also an Opinium poll in the Observer with topine figures of CON 28%(-1), LAB 37%(+1), LDEM 8%(nc), UKIP 17%(nc). Their flooding questions had very similar results to YouGov – people thought Cameron hasd responded badly to the flood by 51% to 23% thinking he’d done well. 51% think the floods were related to climate change, 24% did not.


191 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 32, LAB 39, LD 9, UKIP 12”

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  1. CARFREW

    @” However, the article I read also gave a reason for the change: the warming in the Actic.”

    I read that too-but I also read this :-

    “There is no evidence that global warming can cause the jetstream to get stuck in the way it has this winter”.
    This comment was from Dr. Mat Collins of Exeter University, an IPCC co-ordinating lead author who revealed that the IPCC discussed whether jetstream changes could be linked to greenhouse gasses-and decided they could not.

    I also read that the latest IPCC Report says this :-
    ” There continues to be lack of evidence and thus low confidence regarding the sign of trend in the magnitude and/or frequency of floods on a global scale”.

    I read too that a paper published by 17 IPCC scientists last month said :
    ” It has not been possible to attribute rain -generated peak stream flow trends to anthropogenic climate change over the past several decades”.

    To me what is important for UK is resilience & adaptation.
    The people who have been flooded time & time again in recent years just want some defence against it. And future residents in these areas should not be allowed to buy new houses which are not flood resistant.
    My guess is that if you asked any of them whether they would prefer 5% to 10% on their fuel bills to pay for more wind turbine subsidies -or more on their taxes/ council tax for effective adaptation measures, they would choose the latter.

    I don’t often agree with NickP-but when he said that the world’s people will not stop pushing Co2 into the atmosphere , I think he was right.
    Whilst UK climate change zealots would have us hammering domestic & industrial energy costs for a few more windmills, Germany pushes it’s consumption of Brown Coal to the highest level since 1990 (1), and China approves the construction of more than 100 million tonnes of new coal production capacity in 2013 – six times more than a year earlier and equal to 10 percent of U.S. annual usage .( 2).

    As a matter of interest that report on China also points out that :-“Beijing’s aim is to put 860 million tonnes of new coal production capacity into operation over the five years to 2015, more than the entire annual output of India.”

    If the Guardian report Syzygy links to upthread is correct , then those were clearly poor choices in an absolutely necessary plan to reduce Labour’s 11.5% X GDP Deficit. . Subsidising absentee landowners & their wind farm developers is also a poor choice in my view.

    Well we will see whether the practical voices of adaptation & resiliance come to the fore now-or whether we plunge , like the Easter Islanders, into a further frantic bout of Moai building in a vain attempt to appease The Gods (3)

    (1) FT 7/1/2014
    (2) Reuters 8/1/2014
    (3) They tore them all down of course, and smashed them up when it made no difference to their fate.

  2. I remember people denying that Smoking caused lung cancer – mostly smokers and folk in hock to big business and the tobacco lobby. Seems ridiculous now. Obviously, if you pollute your lungs with smoke and chemicals bad things will happen. The parallels to the Climate Change debate are also obvious.

  3. @ Colin

    If you ask me about climate change, I would say it has not much to do with burning carbon fuels. It is part natural random weather, but it is also part man made due to the cutting down of forestry areas.

    We have seen the worlds forests being cut down at an increasing rate. By doing so, this can have an affect on the planets climate. It is leading to a drought problem in many parts of the world and excess water in other parts.

    http://www.climateandweather.net/global_warming/deforestation.htm

  4. @ Colin

    I think you are possibly being a bit unfair on Germany. They made a decision to close down their Nuclear reactors and are almost certainly on a path to sustainable energy with a temporary blip while this happens.

    You’ve mentioned before the economic costs of doing this but historically Germany has taken a long term approach to things and, up to this point at least, has always made decisions that makes them stronger in the long term.

  5. R HUCKLE

    Thanks. The points I was trying to make were :-

    * Nothing UK does to reduce carbon emissions will have the slightest effect on the global situation.
    * Climate change effect on weather seems an uncertain science.
    *UK flood risk needs addressing in a serious & determined way-and that means investment……….and effective engineering & implementation ( I doubt we have either presently)

  6. Populus:

    Lab 38 Con 33 LD 10 UKIP 13

  7. In a way it’s kind of depressing that mythical fears of what could happen if we have too much debt can prompt great activity, cut budgets and such, but the very real fear of what could happen if climate change continues prompts nothing but scorn (or ‘nobody else is doing anything why should…’ etc)

    Makes you think that humanity should just annihilate itself now and get it over with.

  8. @Colin

    Isn’t this jet stream thing new research though? Was Collins’ comment in response to this or beforehand?

    Meanwhile, sure, globally floods may not change in response to warming. Some places may become deserts. But LOCAL weather patterns can become disrupted.

    On the matter of what’s the best response, sure, it is fraught with difficulty. And renewable technologies may still be pricey, however, part of the reason for investing in renewable tech is to bring the cost down, down the line. As with solar, they keep making the turbines more efficient.

    But why get hung up on wind power? What about wave and tidal etc.? And what is your plan for when the oil and gas starts running out?

  9. @couper2802

    Once upon a time in terms of public health iirc, lung cancer was correlated strongly with industrial/air pollution, but funding for this type of reasearch was halted abruptly and the focus switched entirely to tobacco.

    As far as I am aware the incidence of lung cancer is still quite high in areas with heavy industry and other airborne pollutants – because people who live in these areas tend to smoke more heavily?

    I’m not saying that smoking is ok, and not the hundreds of permitted additives to tobacco… it’s just that other environmental toxins are also available.

  10. Anarchists Unite

    “Makes you think that humanity should just annihilate itself now and get it over with.”

    Your choice? I’m 73 with an active cancer but I have every intention of enjoying at least another 10 years of a very enjoyable life. You need to cheer up a bit.

    In the long term you have a serious point, but it’s population growth not climate change which may well lead to a human catastrophe.

  11. @ Colin

    “* Nothing UK does to reduce carbon emissions will have the slightest effect on the global situation.
    * Climate change effect on weather seems an uncertain science.
    *UK flood risk needs addressing in a serious & determined way-and that means investment……….and effective engineering & implementation ( I doubt we have either presently) ”

    Yes I agree with all of that. In particular I think the government needs to look at the treasury rule that requires an 8 to 1 benefit in regard to flood prevention works. This makes it a priority in protecting large towns/cities, but can mean that small towns/villages are not a very high priority.

    I am not sure the public are being told the truth about how the government and EA look at priorities. The villagers of Wraysbury and those places nearby felt they were being sacrificed to help more populated places such as Windsor.

    The point I make about cutting down forests is that the UK government must work with rest of the world to ensure that there are controls. There should be a requirement to plant appropriate replacement trees and not just re-plant with palm oil trees. The trees are the lungs of the world, but we are allowing major surgery to be carried out, without much thought about the damage it is doing.

  12. SHEVII

    @”are almost certainly on a path to sustainable energy ”

    Not a view which is universally shared.

    eg

    http://www.oxfordenergy.org/wpcms/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Current-German-Energy-Policy-A-UK-and-climate-concern-perspective.pdf

  13. @COLIN

    “Thanks. The points I was trying to make were :-

    * Nothing UK does to reduce carbon emissions will have the slightest effect on the global situation. * Climate change effect on weather seems an uncertain science. *UK flood risk needs addressing in a serious & determined way-and that means investment……….and effective engineering & implementation ( I doubt we have either presently)”

    ——-

    1) We can’t press the likes of China to act if not suffiently acting ourselves, and we need renewables anyway for when the oil runs out
    2) We have an opportunity to develop wave/tidal for export too
    3) We know it is uncertain. As Bcrombie said earlier, you can have pressures and trends, and not be able to tie them to specific events.

    If you step out in front of a bus, there’s a chance you may survive. Equally, it is possible that by chance, NOT stepping out may mean accidentally falling down a manhole instead. On balance, most would choose not to take their chances with the bus though.

    4) Agree about the flood risk…

  14. R HUCKLE

    @”There should be a requirement to plant appropriate replacement trees and not just re-plant with palm oil trees. ”

    Of course-but it won’t happen.

    Homo Sapiens has been destroying the natural world & its species ever since he bumped of the Neanderthals

  15. @Anthony W

    You’re quite at liberty to ignore this little piece of advice, and I understand why you moderated my last comment on the matter, but when you have a debate unfolding on here that quite quickly gets into accusations of “zealotry”, then I’d drop it pretty damned quick and get back on to polling matters.

    Just a thought, as I say.

  16. @Carfrew

    “Then you have to factor in the cost of replacing our barrier, since it was only supposed to last till 2030, whereas the Dutch one was built to last 200 years. But now we have the global warming issue, rendering the barrier less reliable than before. Our response? Not to improve the barrier, as the Dutch would, but to delay its replacement till 2070??!???!???

    In other words, I put it to you John, that whoever is doing the cost-benefit decisions has possibly not quite got the hang of it.”

    You forget the mindset of the civil service and any given governing party of the time. Why pay for something that will never visibly demonstrate its worth? People forget its tehre if tis working.

    Far better to have it fail and be replaced once a few folk have died and a few thousand folk have had insurance claims. Then the people get what they want when they call for it, the cost is deferred until absolutely necessary, and the politicians of the time come out of it looking like disaster-averting saviours.

    There’s no electoral worth in building something now to last 200 years when, if it works, nothing happens. It’s cheaper and easier to build something fallible and be seen to ‘save the nation’ later.

  17. CARFREW

    If you think China will do something which it perceives not to be in its national interest-just because little old UK says-look we’re doing it………..you are deluding yourself.

    I await the jury on wave & tidal.

    I think you bus has confusing Destination Signs on it.

  18. @Colin

    ” * Nothing UK does to reduce carbon emissions will have the slightest effect on the global situation.”

    That’s the nub of it really. We would be better off investing more in combating adverse weather when it comes, and getting the larger nations onside.

    On a national level, until folk start working less than a mile from home, all the traffic in the country will be half the problem. Hence the need for super-fast communication technology to all areas, and HS2 to join the population centres (including the Northerly ones).

  19. @ The Other Howard

    “In the long term you have a serious point, but it’s population growth not climate change which may well lead to a human catastrophe.”

    I agree with this. Human population is growing at a faster rate than can be planned for in terms of resources. I don’t think many in the west realise the level of hunger and real poverty in many parts of the world, including north Africa.

    It was interesting watching the Hairy Bikers visiting Hong Kong, where they went to a locals flat for a meal. The local family of 6 or 7 people were crammed into a small 2 bed high rise flat. There were 2 boys, who were sharing a very small bedroom with their 72 year old grandmother. Apparently this is pretty common in many parts of Asia.

    If you have such a large human population competing for everything, it drives down wages, but it does not drive down prices of goods/housing etc, as there is more demand than supply. This is part of the reason for the huge amount of debt, because people/governments have to borrow money to pay for things they could not otherwise afford. The earth has only a certain amount of real money and resources.

    The UK is in a pretty lucky position, with a healthcare system such as the NHS and decent schools etc. This is why people from around the world want to come here, even if the weather is rubbish. If you had cancer in the US, even with basic private medical cover, you would have to sell any assets to pay for the treatment or seek help from a charity.

  20. STATGEEK

    Thanks-I agree.

  21. ANARCHISTS UNITE

    @”Makes you think that humanity should just annihilate itself now and get it over with.”

    A matter of time imo.

    ( Just reading Cloud Atlas at present !! )

  22. Scotland would be better than this.

  23. A debate is clearly raging on here, but it’s not as I expected about Clegg trying to distance his party from the Conservatives and talk up the prospect of a deal with Labour.

    Well I’ll try and start one.

    The correct tactical response from Miliband should be this: call a vote of confidence in the government for the first time this parliament. The justification would be something like this: “If you’re so tired of your alliance with the Conservatives, then you can put your money where your mouth is by pulling out of government and supporting Labour by voting the government out and, after a two week wait, forcing a general election now. On the other hand, if what you say is just a load of bull for electoral advantage and you haven’t really changed allegiances, then you’ll carry on as before. Don’t think that you can keep the Conservatives in power for five years and then pretend to left-leaning voters that that period was nothing but a bad dream.”

    Regardless of the government winning that vote of confidence (which as we all know is what would happen), the act of every single Lib Dem going into the lobby to prolong the Conservatives in government would I think kill Clegg’s effort at realignment stone dead.

  24. @Billy Bob – “As far as I am aware the incidence of lung cancer is still quite high in areas with heavy industry and other airborne pollutants – because people who live in these areas tend to smoke more heavily?”

    Lung cancer remains one of the biggest killers of women in many counties, with smoke inhalation from cooking on open fires one of the key culprits.

  25. ALEC

    @”Lung cancer remains one of the biggest killers of women in many counties, with smoke inhalation from cooking on open fires one of the key culprits.”

    I hope that was a typo for “countries”-or are you suggesting we have already reached our post-apocalyptic primitivism?

  26. Waiting to see what Alex S’s response is going to be on the currency issue today. He is promising to ‘deconstruct’ Osborne’s position.

    This is interesting on all manner of fronts. Polling wise, the SNP release a Panelbase poll in December claiming 70%+ support for a sterling zone, but the recent YG poll shows a decisive majority everywhere but Scotland against.

    There has also been a good deal of chat on Scottish independence message boards about how this was the SNP’s clever campaign all along. They didn’t want to reject sterling themselves, as it is popular in Scotland, so they deliberately manouvered Osborne into doing it for them, therefore getting to where they really wanted to be in the first place, but blaming the English for it all along.

    There is a great deal of credulity among independence supporters, but if Salmond really is deconstructing Osborne’s case today, this doesn’t look like a strategic play – more like a rearguard action.

    A key question has to be why the poll results were so radically different. The Panelbase survey was commissioned by the SNP, and included a potentially distorting preamble, whereas the YG question was altogether more straightforward. YG was also a bigger survey in terms of sample numbers.

    The only other difference was timing, with the YG result coming after the comments by the BoE and others. My sense has always been that if UK voters have the situation explained to them, they won’t back a sterling zone, and the polling seems to suggest this is the case.

  27. @ phil haines.

    Yes indeed. I dont think that milliband should show anything but naked hostility to clegg.

    Cleggs statement can easily be depicted as naked opportunism – ‘we will prop up whoever is in government in return for a cabinets minister’s salary and perks’.

    And if their is another hung parliament, the lib dems will have less mps and labour also have the nationalist parties to call on. I would say the window in which clegg can play kingmaker is very narrow.

  28. @COLIN

    “If you think China will do something which it perceives not to be in its national interest-just because little old UK says-look we’re doing it………..you are deluding yourself.

    I await the jury on wave & tidal.

    I think you bus has confusing Destination Signs on it.”

    ———-

    Yes, well, it isn’t really my argument that it’s just the UK. As you well know, others are making efforts, and the more who do, the more pressure can be brought to bear. And in any event, as I keep saying and you keep ignoring, we need to act anyway for the oil running out.

    There was nothing confused about my analogy. If there was you would have said what it was. The logic is there. With probability, trends, you cannot always correlate a particular event to the trend. If it rains, it may be warming, it may not. Walk in front of a bus, you may suffer, you may not. Walking in front of a bus may increase your chance of mishap, just as warming may increase the chance of inclement weather events.

    But in each case, hard to say what will happen in a specific instance in advance. The difficulty with warming, is that even after the event, it can be hard to say if it is warming. At least with a bus, you can tell if the bus squashed your foot. Even then, you don’t necessarily know for certain if by chance something worse would have happened instead if you sgayed on the pavement.

    That said, the smoking analogy has the virtue of being more similar: even if you smoke and get lung cancer, you still may not be able to attribute it to smoking, since other things can cause it. But you know that smoking ups the likelihood.

    The fact there is uncertainty doesn’t help diminish the concern much. Weather is complex, by upping the carbon dioxide you up the potential at least for warming, and knock on effects… can you explain why we should take the risk?

    As for wave and tidal, you can await the jury, but you kinda need a trial for a jury to pronounce judgement on…

  29. @STATGEEK

    “You forget the mindset of the civil service and any given governing party of the time. Why pay for something that will never visibly demonstrate its worth? People forget its there if it is working.”

    ———

    Well, Dunno that I completely forgot the mindset, being as I acknowledged the political aspect of investing in something for another government to invest in (though at times misguided given economic benefits in the interim), but you certainly added aspects I had not thought to include…

    In Holland of course, they elect water boards etc., which may concentrate attention on the benefits of investment in such things…

  30. Re climate change, most of us are passing on the expertise of others, I think, so we are always vulnerable to ‘reports’.

    We can use some common sense, however, since one thing we know for certain is that convincing evidence concerning the global warming hypothesis is bound to take 100 years (or more) to produce. But if the hypothesis is eventually proved right, and we haven’t acted, we will have destroyed the planet for our great grand-children’s children. Not to act has, therefore, to involve serious risk-taking.

    As regards climate change and the jet stream, I read (a few months ago) a very convincing (to me in my ignorance) explanation by an American professor of meteorology. She explained that the jet stream is essentially a band of air running downhill from the equator to the pole. The hot equatorial air rises to a great height and flows downhill towards the polar air which, being cold, is much lower in height. As the poles warm, the polar air rises higher, so the gradient is less, so the jet stream doesn’t move as fast or as far.

    I’m only passing on ‘reports’ here, but does anyone (like Alec) know the strength of the evidence for this? If true, or even plausible, it would bring statements like “There is no evidence that global warming is affecting jet stream” into serious question – surely?

  31. @STATGEEK

    “Spot on. Whether we like it or not, we are an island nation. That means we will rely more on sea-based resources, and will have less land-based ones as time passes. Perhaps there has been a more ‘continental’ mindset of some in the past 20-30 years, and we need to get back to what we are.

    We will never be continental in the same way that other nations are (trade / resources), so we should have policies that reflect our geographical / geological position in the world.

    Sustainable policies perhaps? LoL!”

    ———–
    (Regarding a different mindset issue you mentioned earlier…)

    I think the “mindset” has been one of short-termism plus less of the State, which is not ideal when it comes to things like flood defences since the returns, resources required, risk etc. do not really favour private sector involvement. The returns are there for the government over the longer term, but of course, they may not be in government to get the VI benefit…

    But yeah, maybe we could leverage the island thing more, but there are always these environmental concerns. Read yesterday that even those solar reflectors, that reflect sunlight onto a boiler to capture the energy… birds flying past have been getting scorched…

    One suspects at times, however, the possibility that the “preserve-the-habitat” priority is attractive because there is rather less upfront cost. It is perhaps taking the “State shrinkage” paradigm a little too seriously, however. At this rate we will just wind up being a collection of little islands to sail between…

  32. @STATGEEK

    “Spot on. Whether we like it or not, we are an island nation. That means we will rely more on sea-based resources, and will have less land-based ones as time passes. Perhaps there has been a more ‘continental’ mindset of some in the past 20-30 years, and we need to get back to what we are.

    We will never be continental in the same way that other nations are (trade / resources), so we should have policies that reflect our geographical / geological position in the world.

    Sustainable policies perhaps? LoL!”

    ———–
    Regarding a different mindset issue you mentioned earlier…

    I think the “mindset” has been one of short-termism plus less of the State, which is not ideal when it comes to things like flood defences since the returns, resources required, risk etc. do not really favour private sector involvement. The returns are there for the government over the longer term, but of course, they may not be in government to get the VI benefit…

    But yeah, maybe we could leverage the island thing more, but there are always these environmental concerns. Read yesterday that even those solar reflectors, that reflect sunlight onto a boiler to capture the energy… birds fly-ing past have been getting scorched…

    One suspects at times, however, the possibility that the “preserve-the-habitat” priority is attractive because there is rather less upfront cost. It is perhaps taking the “State shrinkage” paradigm a little too seriously, however. At this rate we will just wind up being a collection of little islands to sail between…

  33. @Colin – been to Cornwall recently?

  34. @ Colin

    Thanks for the link- I appreciate that you back up your arguments with links and papers, even if someone comes along to dispute those links!

    There wasn’t that much in the paper that talked about their ultimate destiny on energy. It seemed to be mainly current trends but point taken… for the time being!

  35. Anarchists Unite

    On our lemming tendencies.

    I think this apparently unconscious partisan response to the climate change issue, even demonstrated very clearly by the contributions here, is a fascinating one to we who follow polling and must be to the pollsters themselves.

    Anthony often remarks that it is rare that one can put one’s finger on why polls change with any precision. I suggest that one’s swing to right or left is almost entirely unconscious and has to do with a general mood. It displays the power of suggestion in the news media, itself possibly an ‘unconsciousness’ phenomenon.

  36. Regarding Clegg and Labour. Hopefully Lab realise that whatever the parliamentary realities post GE. The GE has to be about Lab v Coalition in order to prevent the lab LDs returning to LD. I am sure they do being a but more politically astute than I am. So they should say that idealogically they can’t work with the party of Austerity, bedroom tax, millionaires tax cut etc

  37. The LDs find themselves at the bottom of a deep pit and they hope the bottom does not collapse anymore, I drop in and read LDV posts and finally posted for the first time in 3 years, the LDs are discussing what to do, what went wrong, the LD party still don’t get it, the members still don’t get it and even when anyone tries to explain no one is listening.

    I think realisation that they are going to lose seats is finally understood, but even so the difference that LD members think they will lose and what the polls are predicting is a very wide gap.

    The LD members are failing to grasp that since the 2010 GE election to today they have lost over well 50% of the support they polled at the GE, as for foot soldiers to get out and campaign they have been devastated and results from the upcoming the local elections and EU elections could well finish the party as it is now.

    Realignment of the LD party has already taken place as far as those who can no longer support them are concerned and probably the electorate as a whole, 2010 was a turning point for the LD, they have supported and been part of government of the right, even to the point of scrapping their own policy red lines to give that support.

    Labour will not nor should they offer any olive branch to the LDs before any GE election, Labour should let the LDs fight the election on what they have done since coming to government, and stamp out any promise or indication of talking about support one way or another from the LDs, no confusion for Labour supporters, vote Labour and let the LDs wither and die.

  38. @RAF

    “@Alec Most of the flooding in Somerset and Surrey/Berkshire has been on reclaimed land. And the purchasers of properties there would have known it was reclaimed land. The insurers of those purchasers also would have known this and their actuaries would have worked out the rates necessary to protect the insurers in the event of flooding of these properties.

    However…no-one expects these events to happen to them.”

    ——————–

    This is partly the point. There is this assumption, in principle, in many things… of caveat emptor. Of… Buyer Beware!! In practice, of course, there are, in life, too many things to be aware of. Just getting to grips with nutrition, all the foodstuffs and their pros and cons, and combinations, or getting your head around tax regs… can be really quite a lot of stuff.

    And education conventionally does not prepare us for this. You may learn who won some ancient glorious battle, but you probably won’t learn about hydraulic gradients, or even whether floorboards are better than sandbags. When you buy a home, the governmrnt does not present you with an information pack to tell you whether they have decided, in your area to favour wildlife, or infrastructure over housing, and what the odds are of a more extreme event filling your new home with sewage.

    You don’t even get a phone number, a single point of contact in case of disaster because it seems, in practice, as though there maybe isn’t one. You can say people should do their research, but it is no good if you are not aware of a problem in the first place. But let’s say someone is aware of the flood plain danger… still, to them it may seem ok. There is work on flood defences. The land has planning approval. There are temporary barriers and contingency plans… Surely they wouldn’t let people build on land that’s unsafe? That might mean it could flood, putting lives at risk, costing lots of dosh and making the government look bad…

    So even if they look into it, no one tells them that the flood defences, actually, aren’t much cop, that the contingency plans are for the fairies, and that there may be an assumption that flooding may occur but it isn’t worth the cost to prevent it, but they’ll give planning consent anyway. Meanwhile, young people buy houses and can’t be expected to be up to speed on everything. It’s hard enough when older. This is what we have experts for. Allegedly…

  39. Alec

    No………….???

  40. Phil

    Brave try.

    Why don’t you find a Climate Forum and blog on footy there for a larf?

  41. CARFREW

    @” you kinda need a trial for a jury to pronounce judgement on…”

    There are a number ongoing for both technologies I believe.

  42. @Phil Haines/Reggieside

    This BBC report is quite interesting because it goes into a bit more detail about Clegg’s comments and the reaction they elicited from both Miliband and fellow leading Lib Dems

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-26222407

    My initial thoughts are that it’s part of the now obvious differentiation strategy that the Lib Dems are adopting in the run up to May 2015 and also, intriguingly, a product of Clegg starting to read the tea leaves.

    Do you think he’s starting to discern which way the political wind is blowing?

  43. Phil, not only a brave try, but a good idea, I reckon.

    Any tactical insights from anyone as to why this wouldn’t be as good an idea as it appears to me to be at a first reading? Political practicalities throw up lots of good reasons why the ‘obvious’ isn’t always the best, obviously. I can see that Labour might not be ready for a GE, for example, but it’s a premise of Phil’s suggestion that they wouldn’t need to be. So, interest.

  44. @CD

    “Any tactical insights from anyone as to why this wouldn’t be as good an idea”

    Cos this isn’t a political campaign strategy blog for a start. ;)

  45. “Danny?”

    “Yes Nick?”

    “Well instead of my copy of Focus this morning, I picked up this thing called the Guardian”

    “Oh yes, they told everyone to vote for us last time”

    “Well they had this “Opinion Poll” with lots of colourful bars”

    “Yes, we use those on our leaflets to persuade people only we can beat the other nasty lot.”

    “Well this one, Danny, said that only 9% of people were going to vote for us.”

    “I’ll give Alan Rusbridger a piece of your mind, sir.”

    “Well it got me thinking. Imagine we don’t win a majority next time-”

    “Impossible sir!”

    “Shut up, Danny. Anyway, d’you reckon these “Labour” people might want to give a coalition a go?”

    “What, him with the odd voice?”

    “Yeah. Reckon they’d have us?”

    “Won’t Dave be mad?”

    “Well he was always trying to move the boundaries, until I stopped him. He’s brought this upon himself by believing in things, and we know that’s something politicians mustn’t do”

    “I’ll give Mr. Miliband a call, sir – Oh no, there seems to be a problem with the line. I called, but I only heard a lot of laughter and then a dial tone.”

    “Well we’ll give Nigel a try then.”

  46. @Phil

    Cos if there is one thing likely to send the left leaning LDs back to LD is if the LDs bring the Con gov’t down for ideallogical reasons.

    It would likely deprive Lab of an OM. No the best thing is not to give the LDs and ‘out’. So no vote of confidence.

  47. @Statgeek
    “Cos this isn’t a political campaign strategy blog for a start.”

    Indeed, given your earlier contributions it seems to be a blog on cost-benefit accounting analysis of flood defence.

  48. @Couper2802

    “Cos if there is one thing likely to send the left leaning LDs back to LD is if the LDs bring the Con gov’t down for ideallogical reasons.”

    Clegg would have to go to, I would think, for your unlikely scenario to materialise.

  49. I think Clegg is just preparing the ground for the election campaign. He’s knows that “Vote LD Get Tory” is going to be an extremely strong meme this time round (I know, I know, I am the master of understatement..)

    I don’t see this as an olive branch to the current Labour leadership at all. It’s aimed at Lib-Lab ABT swing voters. I think he’s probably p**sing in the wind, of course. But just because his chances in 2015 are very poor doesn’t mean he shouldn’t at least try.

    In practice I think the chances of the LDs getting to be Kingmakers again is quite small, even in the event of a hung parliament. They will be much reduced, so even if the arithmetic technically makes them a coalition partner that creates a majority government, that government would be so inherently unstable I don’t think it’d appeal all that much. I suspect Labour would rather run a minority government, offering “bribes” to smaller parties on a policy-by-policy basis to get their bills through parliament. Given the general leftwards slant of the “non-Labour non-Tory” MPs, that would be at least as stable as a LD-Lab coalition with a 20 seat majority.

  50. For what it’s worth, Electoral Calculus sees the probability of a coalition as 15% (11% Lib-Lab, 4% Lib-Con). Compare with 6% Con Majority, 5% NOC and 74% Lab Majority.

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