The fortnightly Opinium poll for the Observer is out tonight, with topline figures of CON 31%(nc), LAB 35%(nc), LDEM 7%(+1), UKIP 17%(-2), Greens 5%. Their Labour lead remains at four points.

Yesterday there was also a “new” TNS voting intention poll, as far as I can tell the first Westminster poll they’ve published since last November. Topline figures there are CON 29%, LAB 35%, LDEM 6%, UKIP 23%. While it was newly published, the fieldwork was actually carried out a week and a half ago (I’m not quite sure why they publish so late – with their Scottish polls I’ve always assumed it’s something to do with the difficulties of doing face-to-face polling, but their Westminster polls are done online).


102 Responses to “Opinium/Observer – CON 31, LAB 35, LD 7, UKIP 17”

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  1. Ben Foley

    Re TNS, I didn’t do anything that complicated, working out the percentages. I just took the number of respondents who gave a VI for each Party (Con 262, Lab 309, L/D 52, UKIP 202, Nats 24, Green 29, Other (inc BNP) 7. Then I added them and divided. Working using intermediate percentages will just give you more rounding problems.

    Looking at the November tables, which appear to be the last Westminster VI that TNS did:

    http://www.tns-bmrb.co.uk/uploads/files/voting-intentions-data-tables-11-nov-2013_1384423889.pdf

    It looks like UKIP was asked as one of ‘Others’ back then:

    http://www.tns-bmrb.co.uk/uploads/files/voting-intentions-data-tables-11-nov-2013_1384423889.pdf

    So as well as a general increase in support, this change in methodology may have helped the increase in UKIP. By the same process as above, the November figures were.

    Con 31%
    Lab 38%
    L/D 8%
    UKIP 12%
    Nats 6%
    Green 4%
    Others 1%

    So the way in which the VI is obtained might make a big impact on its value, though we’ve seen little difference comparing Survation with other pollsters such as Opinium. Perhaps there is something in the way that TNS display their questions that tends to steer people away from the Other option.

  2. Ben Foley

    Re TNS, I didn’t do anything that complicated, working out the percentages. I just took the number of respondents who gave a VI for each Party (Con 262, Lab 309, L/D 52, UKIP 202, Nats 24, Green 29, Other (inc BNP) 7. Then I added them and divided. Working using intermediate percentages will just give you more rounding problems.

    Looking at the November tables, which appear to be the last Westminster VI that TNS did, it looks like UKIP was asked as one of ‘Others’ back then:

    http://www.tns-bmrb.co.uk/uploads/files/voting-intentions-data-tables-11-nov-2013_1384423889.pdf

    So as well as a general increase in support, this change in methodology may have helped the increase in UKIP. By the same process as above, the November figures were.

    Con 31%
    Lab 38%
    L/D 8%
    UKIP 12%
    Nats 6%
    Green 4%
    Others 1%

    So the way in which the VI is obtained might make a big impact on its value, though we’ve seen little difference comparing Survation with other pollsters such as Opinium. Perhaps there is something in the way that TNS display their questions that tends to steer people away from the Other option.

    (re-posted to eliminate duplicate link)

  3. spearmint

    While we’re whinging about stuff on the sidebar, the tiny picture of Lord Ashcroft’s face really creeps me out. Any chance of replacing it with a giant ‘A’ or something so it’s more in keeping with the symbols for the other pollsters?

    Oh good, it’s not just me that’s inexplicably creeped out by it. How about a tiny flag of Belize:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag_of_Belize#mediaviewer/File:Flag_of_Belize.svg

  4. Latest YouGov / Sunday Times results 20th June – Con 32%, Lab 38%, LD 8%, UKIP 14% Greens 5%; APP -25

    In your opinion how good or bad is the state of Britain’s
    economy at the moment? -16% (24% Good 40% Bad) down 5%, this has happening the last 4 months – up the Sunday after the employment figures are released and back down the week after.

    How do you think the financial situation of your
    household will change over the next 12 months? -15% (18% better 33% worse) still in the -15% to 21% range of the last 6 months – Con voters continued rising optimism (+25% now) UKIP and Lab resolutely negative (-47% and -33%)

    Waiting for next weeks end of the month Sunday poll after wages have been paid, to see if the working age cohort show increased optimism -. If they have improved could be a sign that wages are rising quickly, if not wait another month.

  5. Also all those anti- Ed M questions, i noticed the following

    1) adding together the right policies support gives 37% Lab and 32% Cons, almost unchanged from 2 years ago

    2) All possible replacements for Ed M make things much worse for Lab, except for one candidate, who may possibly make a mild difference, but he isn’t an MP and he lives in the USA – by the same criteria yougov could have added Barack Obama. and watch the ratings shoot up – never going to happen though.

  6. @Maura – “what it seems to amount to is that ‘some people’ (unnamed) think that he doesn’t look like a PM which raises more questions than it answers – e.g. which people and, perhaps more significantly, what does a PM look like?”

    According to those harping on about the bacon sandwich, the answer to “What does a PM look like?” is apparently “Not Jewish”.

  7. CB11
    I watched and hugely enjoyed the Ghana v. German match great and skillful footfball. Both Ghana and Nigeria still there and playing beautifully – the presence and stature of players known and valued from the Premier Leagues, La Liga and the Bundesliga by old and young European supporters,decent, athletic and witty individuals, articulate in panel discussions and post-match interviews. They and Mandela have taken sport to a new level as a badge of maturitgy in international relations. Singalele Africa.

  8. Re: Today’s Sunday Times.

    If you can’t be bothered with the detail, here’s a summary.

    Lab lead back up to 6%, Lab VI back up to 38%, but so what because Ed is c**p. (PS. Our education system is c**p too.)

  9. Polling results are showing that the British voting public are failing to do as they’re told.

    Surely they must know, just like us experts, that as we run down the months towards a GE they must gradually change their VI in favour of the Govt. party(ies). Yet the voters have failed to do so.

    Then, everybody knows – just everybody – that if the economy is improving, ‘on the mend’, shall we say, again the party in power must be given the reward of re-election. And, what do the polling electors do? They fail to follow this rule too!

    As to the ‘weirdness’ of party leaders, we simply know that no party can succeed if they suffer this misfortune. Why won’t the polling public listen to this advice and suppport the less weird?

    Lastly, it’s a simple fact that, as GE day draws near, the ‘media’, the ‘Fourth Estate’ , bring their gigantic influence into play and tell the electorate what to do and poor ole Joe Public does as he is told.

    What’s wrong with these poll responders? Can’t they just do as they know they should, for goodness sake? Having Conservatives at below 35% and Labour above 35% is the incorrect answer! Try again! And, give the right answers in future! Idiots!

    N
    ;-)

  10. Good Morning All.
    PHIL HAINES:
    Thank you for the figures.
    I too agree that the educational system in England lets down a vast number of young people, too such an extent that it could, I think, become a moral issue, since there is, I think, a societal- abuse dimension to the educational crisis, as so many young people suffer so badly in school. I am unclear if this issue has any VI implications.

  11. Good morning to you too Chris.

    The opposition in the poll to acadamies (31% for, 41% against) was striking, given the cosy consensus amongst the political elites in their favour.

  12. Todays Sun are reporting death threats towards Salmond.

    Hopefully all political parties will stand united over this and condemn the actions by a few mindless Cyber-Unionists in the same way some Cybernats were condemned over JKR remarks on twitter.

  13. So both polls for the Sunday papers put the Greens on 5%.

    Roger Mexico
    Re TNS For the reason you give, I didn’t work on intermediate percentages (I posted my working, and you should have been able to see none of those were percentages), but I tried to treat those who say “don’t know” etc at the ‘others’ question in the same way as “don’t know” to the initial question would be treated. That’s the difference between our numbers. You treat all “don’t knows” etc as the same, whereas I treat TNS’s giving people a second chance to say “don’t know” as significant in increasing the number of don’t know/won’t say etc among people who are given that option a second time.

    There is no clear cut right way, and I don’t know if weightings will have affected things.

  14. Anthony

    Not sure why last post in moderation ?

  15. Neil Kinnock has come out to defend Ed Miliband over the perceived media Bias.

    He’s is of course absolutely right about the press. The tabloids reported precisely zero about Miliband’s policies on rents, housebuilding, scrapping the bedroom tax, energy prices, and much else during the local election campaign, but the daily mail did find time to publish nine different photos of Miliband eating a sandwich.

    Part of the motivation is Leveson, and this is an interesting test of whether a Labour leader can win against the press.

  16. @Maura and @Amber

    Voices of reason – thank you.

    Much like posters on the previous thread, I’ve finally given up on the Guardian and its incessant anti-Ed mood. If it wants another five years of Con-LD, it should just say so. But evidence-based comme

    The reporting of Ed’s apparent hopelessness reminds me very much of the last months of the 2012 US election. Most of the commentariat had decided that Romney was going to win, he looked and acted ruling class, and that Obama was a one-term novelty milquetoast. Like now, they ignored the consistent Obama poll leads, ignored the nuance behind the questions, and simply assumed that the polls were wrong. They weren’t. Obama won almost as convincingly as he did in 2008.

    Like it or not, Labour has had consistent poll leads for over three years now. Out of hundreds of polls, the Tories have led in three (I think), and only within the MOE. The mileage the press got out of a handful of scraped Tory leads while ignoring the dozens of Labour leads before and since was remarkable although not unexpected.

    Why? Several reasons spring to mind. The commentariat is largely London-based, upper-middle-class, and white. They know each other, went to the same schools, etc. They share similar assumptions about life. Ed isn’t ‘fashionable’ or ‘one of them’ (read into that what you will, but I’d agree with Chris Green’s 7.22 post). Con regularly come out top on ‘who do you trust to run the economy’, like Romney did. That is only part of the equation. The other part is ‘who do you trust to run it fairly’ and ‘who understands people like you’ – and both Obama and Ed score better in that. It’s a bit like saying that that Con say they’ll punch me in the arm, I believe that they will punch me in the arm, and they do punch me in the arm – but it does not mean I want to be punched in the arm, or that I will like it.

    Connected to this, it is fairly clear that Labour are the least toxic of the two main parties, and thus have a wider pool of potential voters. That wider pool encompasses more people who think that reining in the utility companies is a good idea, and it’s good to stand up to bullies who bang on about your dad or who hack your phone. Or indeed that we might not want to get involved in another ME war.

    Ed’s press team need a rocket up their behinds. It would not have cost Ed anything not to pose with the Sun, which won’t support him anyway. But I’d advise the unnamed Labour sources (and Peter Mandelson) to calm down, relax, and stop doing CCHQ’s job. The polling indicates that Labour is the most likely party to win an overall majority, which would mean they would have won 4 out of the last 5 GEs. An overall majority is something, the commentariat might like to consider, that the Conservatives have not done in a generation, and do not look like doing now.

  17. @couper2802 – ” …but take the Iraq war – how did Blair manage to manipulate you to support that war?”

    I realise that’s probably toungue-in-cheek… something like 158 out of 160 News Corp titles worldwide gave editorial support to the Bush/Cheyney war aims.

    Alastair Campbell mentions one particular telephone conversation from RM:

    “But I think Tony did feel that there was something a bit crude about it. It was another very rightwing voice saying to him: look isn’t it about time you got on with this? I think, as I recall Tony saying, he didn’t think it was terribly clever.”

    It’s my opinion that Blair’s FO accepted the inevitable, but did slow things down considerably and thereby curtailed some of the wilder PNAC ambitions. It shouldn’t be forgotten that IDS made a speech in Washington calling for the invasion of Iraq back in November 2001.

  18. @John Pilgrim

    Yes, the Germany v Ghana game was a riotous delight of attacking football and I agree with you very much about African football and its contribution to the world game. I loved those clips of the Ghanaian team arriving for the match yesterday, singing their way to the changing rooms with a sense of fun and enjoyment that was utterly infectious. Their goal celebrations were wonderful too.

    It seems to me that however ghastly a game you think football is, or however venal you believe the Premier League and FIFA to be, if you can’t recognise the sheer pleasure and delight that this tournament is bringing to so many people around the world, then there’s something sadly amiss somewhere. The World Cup is an indisputably good thing happening in an appallingly troubled world. Anything that makes people feel good about themselves and allows them to become lost in another carefree world, if only for 90 minutes, is a wonderful thing for me. It’s good for the soul.

    Never forget the power of sport, particularly a global one, to heal old divisions too. For anyone who is interested in this phenomenon, and I know many won’t be, read the story of the Bosnia-Herzegovina national football team. A truly uplifting story.

    Back to domestic politics. Did anyone else see that Marr v Umanna interview this morning? I thought the purpose of a TV interview was for the interviewer to ask questions on behalf of the viewers so that they can then listen to the answers. Since when has it become an opportunity for the interviewer to harangue the interviewee? Dreadful stuff, it really was.

  19. I wish the pollsters would ask a few simple questions about Ed. The main one being “you said you would vote Labour but do not think Miliband is doing a good job” which of the following statements best reflect your views:

    1- I will be voting Labour regardless of the leader.
    2- I will probably still vote Labour
    3- I may reconsider whether I vote Labour depending on how Miliband performs over the next 10 months.
    4- I am seriously considering voting for another party.

    (I don’t like the more likely/less likely style questions as these are unquantifiable).

    And a second set could analyse what aspects of Ed Miliband the Labour voter wants improved.

    If most of the second set of answers comes down to presentational skills and being seen more on the telly he doesn’t have much to worry about. If it comes down to policy and being too left/right wing then maybe he does.

  20. Labour are leading in the opinion polls so they’ll win the election?

    We must remember when looking at opinion polls we are guessing the future from snippets of information. It’s not so far different from predicting the future from tea leaves, with Anthony being our very own mystic Meg.

    What snippets do we have?

    Labour are ahead by c4 % in the polls, this has been consistent for a few months if anything the labour vote has gone up a bit since the Euro elections.

    BUT the trend in the labour vote over the last 2 years is of steady decline, so which trend will continue, the short term trend or the longer term one?

    In 2009 the conservatives were 12% ahead of labour in the Euro elections, this year labour were just 1.5% ahead, not a great omen for labour.

    In the UK governments have a tenacious grip on power. Ask Neil Kinnock. Thatcher only just won in 1979 despite the winter of discontent, Cameron only just won despite…well everything, and Howard could not make progress against Blair despite him going to war on a word beginning with L. The electorate a cautious and the tactic of government to point to the opposition and say ‘ you might think we’re bad but just look at how scary that lot are’ often wins the day.

    Opinion polls are often wrong!!! 1992, even 1997 they were quite far out although the result was never in doubt.

    The local elections in 2009 produced a sea of blue, this year labour did respectably in London.

    My personal reading of this set of tea leaves is that it’s far too close to call and anyone who says they know, or can give a prediction should be trusted…just like the daily mail horoscope.

  21. @Tark
    You make many good points. My fave is:
    “Connected to this, it is fairly clear that Labour are the least toxic of the two main parties, and thus have a wider pool of potential voters.”
    —————————-
    Simple arithmetic which Lab strategists will not forget. .
    The anti-Ed campaign was always priced in anyway, unless someone can name me a Lab leader who was not constantly rubbished by the press ? Maggie knew the strategic importance of holding the centre ground and giving ‘ordinary’ folk a reason to support her team. DC and the right-wing LibDems seem to have forgotten this. IMHO.

  22. Shevii, I would widen the net to all Labour voters and also add “I will be voting Labour because of the leader” and “I like the leader but am considering another party or not voting”.

    Jamie, I agree you can read all sorts of possibilities into opinion polls but the polls being wrong in 1992 doesn’t seem to be an issue – as AW has written, the polls were wrong so they changed the polls.

  23. @ Crossbat

    However you also have the opposite with the Cameroon team. Wouldn’t get on a plane without being paid more money and seeming totally disinterested.

    I’m not quite sharing your view of this World Cup- certainly been more than the usual exciting games and I always enjoy the World Cup as compared to the European Championships.

    However as the years go by though the enjoyable nature of different styles of football and different attitudes seems to be dwindling. It comes with the increasing professional nature of the game and the fact that most players from whatever continent are playing in the same club teams. No longer do we have the Zairian kicking the ball away at a Free kick not realising you have to stay 10 yards away from the ball until it is kicked (had a lot of sympathy for him actually if they are messing around and not taking it!) or the contrasts between nations/continents. An ultra skilful and attacking African team against a technically good and dull European team always made for a good game as did the South American temperamental teams who could play brilliant football one minute and then kick people up in the air the next.

    I found the Iran v Argentina one of the most enjoyable games just because of the contrast between attack and defence. Personally it’s nice to watch two teams and choose a side based on your footballing philosophy as much as it is just to admire a good game of football.

  24. YouGov not prompting for Ukip is ridiculous, untenable and laughable.

  25. JOHN PILGRIM

    I don’t often agree with you, so must take an opportunity to do so :-)

    After yet another dose of inevitable reality about our national team, for me , teams like Ghana & Costa Rica are what makes this competition still worth watching. The determined endeavour of the supposed underdog , turns out to be a superior performance than the overhyped , overpaid favourites can muster.

    David vs Goliath-always a satisfying contest.

    Strange times politically. Labour lead seemingly unbreachable, yet EM the focus of criticism from with & without. Even adopting the “underdog” role himself !

    Cons making little progress on VI, but apparently convinced that Ed & UKIP returnees will do the trick for them come the day.

  26. @Jamie

    Counter points:

    Labour might have had a very gentle decline up to the European Elections, and now be slowly recovering… But the Conservatives have not shown momentum to over-haul Labour since 2012.

    The Conservatives were clearly ahead in the European elections in 2009, but failed to get a majority in 2010. This shows that there is no meaningful relationship between European elections, because they are currently swayed by the protest vote in a low turnout.

    Cameron did not “only just” win the election, he did not win the election full stop. The current government is a coalition. There is no incumbent Conservative government.

    Opinion polls before 1997 were often wrong, because they were laxly applied using poor methods. Methodology has tightened up considerably, such that polling of the last election very clearly showed that the momentum was towards a hung parliament when ‘conventional wisdom’ was claiming a Conservative land slide. Opinion polls are the only firm numbers we have, disputing them to claim that your side will win anyway because “opinion polls can be wrong” without further support is dubious.

    In the 2009 local elections, the Conservatives gained 7 councils. In the 2014 local elections Labour gained 6 councils. However, this was a different group of local bodies, and this was one set against Labour in terms of number of safe Conservative areas and fewer councils up for grabs. In the 2012 local election, Labour gained 32 councils.

    [Snip – AW]

  27. IMO The Labour lead seems very soft. We saw what happened at the budget and the Euros. I would like to think Labour have this but it seems that the Cons backed by the press can step it up and the Labour lead will disappear.

  28. @ Croosbat
    “if you can’t recognise the sheer pleasure and delight that this tournament is bringing to so many people around the world, then there’s something sadly amiss somewhere. The World Cup is an indisputably good thing happening in an appallingly troubled world.” etc etc.

    If you enjoy footie sport then fine, but the fact you blokish blatherers keep shoving it down the throats of the uninterested [sorry disinterested] indicates not certainty but insecurity about the benefits of global sport.

    See the essay by Orwell. It’s dated but it brings out most of the objections to the “sport unites the world” tosh.

    http://orwell.ru/library/articles/spirit/english/e_spirit

  29. Sorry Crossbat!

  30. @Jamie

    The Euros are irrelevant, though. You can’t predict one type of election from another with different issues and different turnout. It’s no better than a poll with different questions and a completely unrepresentative and self-selected sample.

  31. @Couper2802

    Except that the Labour Lead didn’t disappear even under those pressures. Aside from few polls we now know were rogue outliers, the Conservatives didn’t over turn Labour’s lead. It did not stop reporting those rogue outliers as if they were the only polls taken that matters of course, which may lead to the impression that the Conservatives did make a bigger dent in Labour’s figures than they actually did.

    And again, I must caution to reading into movement of polling figures during the European elections, as they are a low turnout election swayed by a protest vote movement, and thus those results will be distorted in the same way as during Political Party Conventions.

  32. Observer over the top on EM today. Front page item, full page by Toby Helm, including the bacon butty snap once again, and another full page from Andrew Rawnsley. What have they been smoking?

  33. Jamie
    Point of fact. In 1979, the Tories didn’t “just” win. In terms of lead in vote share, the Tories won the biggest victory of any triumphal party since 1945. And that was despite having a leader who lagged far behind Callaghan in pretty much every aspect of every leader quality in the polls.

  34. Eh well, it was bound to happen eventually.

    The Blairite wing idyl fed themselves in carping, briefing and will-we/won’t-we knife wielding in the run up to 2010. They were bound to start it again in the run up to 2015.

    This is self indulgence of the most craven kind. It can be of no possible benefit to Labour’s prospects of winning in 2015. But then, I do wonder whether some of the briefers would prefer an EM-led Labour Party to lose.

  35. Idyl fed= indulged. Bloody iPhone.

  36. Lefty,

    It wouldn’t surprise me. There are some in politics (of all parties and none, including a certain Mr. Brand) who care nothing for electoral victory if their exact agenda wouldn’t be implemented.

    They can have this attitude because for them it does not matter who is in power, really. The Blairites (and the 1922 Committee, and the Bennites) can afford to be self indulgent and derail their parties because they will have comfortable lives whomever wins – the only challenge they see is getting their mates into power.

    For some people on both sides it’s much more real who wins the election, and it’s for them that the self indulgent on all sides need to be defeated.

  37. For some reason they are fully paid up members of the currently accelerating media onslaught on labour, which seems to be abjectly failing to persuade voters to have the correct opinions. That the Westminster and corporate media establishments are clearly so spooked by the very plausible prospect of an Ed premiership shows that he must be doing something right at least.

  38. PK on SP-fascinating stuff :-

    UNS understates LD likely seats outcome-but if it doesn’t , beneficiary is mostly Con.

    EM ratings plus Con lead on things like the economy can outweigh a VI gain when you get to a GE.

    Labour’s current lead “not enough”

    ….at least I think these are what he said. I was waiting for AN to say-yes but Cons need a 7% lead to b/e on seats, but he didn’t.

    Totally confused-do any of them really have a clue what the GE result will be ?

  39. @Lefty

    I imagine they think that if they are “proved right” with a Labour loss, they will be welcomed with open arms back onto the front benches. I doubt it occurs to them they will in turn be vilified and put on the rack… Return to the front benches for any of them is now unlikely, no matter who the Labour leader is.

  40. @ MrNameless

    Very good post in my humble opinion!

    I too don’t like the Brand’s and Paxman’s of this world as they focus on the negatives without ever offering up a solution.

    Re Blairites I can’t help feeling you are right and it is just some sort of supporting “my team” and perhaps not willing to confront their own demons and mistakes. The criticisms they have for current Labour direction are hard to understand- a bit about needing not to be seen as anti business or anchoring yourself to the middle but very short on substance or specifics.

    If anything the country at the moment does not seem to want to be in the middle- I could draw up some cracking manifestos (populist obviously and not necessarily wise) that would take aspects from both left and right wing extremes. An anti EU/anti immigration stance, welfare crackdown on the right and renationalisation of power companies/railways plus mansion tax etc on the left and I’m not sure that the left wing policies would be hugely unpopular to the traditional right wing voters and vice versa. I am not necessarily supporting any of those policies but I think the voters are very willing to accept something radical.

  41. ROBBIE ALIVE

    I understand your resentment at the worst excesses of footyphilia.

    The Orwell piece was really interesting-though a bit dated-Moscow Dynamo was an organ of the State-and we have moved on from the 1938 Olympics-at least in the stadia, if not in the IOC.

    Someone posted about the Ghanaian supporters-their team did really well, and they were frequently picked up by the tv coverage editors. Colourful, in full African regalia they certainly were. Joyful too. But it occurred to me that they also looked expensively dressed, and I concluded that the biggest beneficial effect of Ghana’s
    performance was probably felt amongst the many thousands of Ghanaians who couldn’t afford the price of travel & ticket, as they gathered around a tv set in village or town back home.

    A poll on the demographics of the crowd at a modern international ( or indeed domestic) football match might be interesting.

  42. Unfortunately unlike our admirable host, PK is a highly partisan commentator who never fails to tell the media what it wants to hear re: Ed.

  43. Cougar

    RM is a Republican hawk and would not need any persuasion from Blair to support the Iraq war. He believes absolutely that the UK should follow US foreign policy – especially if there is a Republican in the Whitehouse and not be dictated to by Europe.

    The boundary change issue is one that we banged on about and Clegg will not be forgiven for it if it ultimately proves costly.

    Cameron did instigate Leveson but we believe that if he had had a majority then pressure could have been brought not to go ahead with the whole thing.

    As for the US election, we know what or rather who won it for him and as I’ve alluded to before, those voters could be crucial here. We can’t do much about them but we have to focus on getting the heartland voters back from the UKIP clutches.

    We want a Presidential style debate between Cameron and Miliband not a 4 cornered affair where Farage blows the whole thing apart.

  44. On EM it could really backfire. My view is that aside from the VI question and personal questions people mainly trot out what they are fed by the press I.e. Ed is carp, the economy is great etc.

    By the time of the election and the debates folk will firmly believe Ed is complete carp and their expectations will be low they will tune in to laugh at how bad he is. But he is not bad nor particularly unlikeable so folk will be pleasantly surprised in fact we might see a bout of Edmania.

  45. @Allan Christie – Death threats against Salmond – like death threats against anybody – are a matter for the police. I would hope that justice will be done in due course.

    However this seems to me to be a rather different matter from the abusive cybernat phenomenon. It would fill me with more confidence about the post-indyref landscape if there was some more openness about – and distancing from – this phenomenon. The complicity of silence is actually much worse than the band of losers who post the abuse. Is that really the sort of society that any of us want?

  46. pleeeeeeeeeeeeease !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    CRAP is a word one can use.

    Stop being childish about it.

  47. Who’s this “we” white man? Errr… I mean, Press Man

  48. As the effects of UKIP feeding frenzy from the Euro campaign abate, Labour’s VI is slowly but surely returning to where it was at the start of the year. Meanwhile, Tory VI remains solidly stuck at around 33, where it has been ever since the omnishambles (except for a brief dip below that at the start of last year). Quite how there can be any belief that the Tories can win next year when their VI has a clear upper limit is quite beyond me.

    I think the current Blairite anti-Labour campaigning (because that is what it is) is simply going to have the effect of talking them out of cabinet. Which is a good thing IMHO. There is also scope for Labour VI to improve during the election campaign, when EM will get more exposure and people see that the media portrayal of him is wrong.

  49. Jay.

    I would say Cameron won last time, he gained 97 seats and is prime minister. That has most of the attributes of a win to me.

    Lefty.
    I guess it depends what you mean by close, in 1979 Thatcher was 22 seats over the win line which I think is pretty close. Given the industrial strife of the previous 6 months.

    The euros are not irrelevant they are actual people voting as are local elections so they are interesting. They are another glimpse at what people really think.

  50. It is a phenomenon that respondents to opinion polls are fairly likely to recycle the opinions they have already received from the media.

    The narrative feeds on itself in other words.

    Ed M is not as media friendly as some have been or are [Blair/Cameron for example] but nor is he remotely like the figure who is being portrayed.

    I predict his ratings will improve after the conferences and up to the GE.

    When he IS Prime Minister my guess is people are more likely to say he looks like one.

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