Sunday Polls

I’m about to head up to Birmingham, so won’t necessarily be around much for the next few days (not least, when Lord Ashcroft releases his latest marginal poll at 2pm today I’ll be on a train!), but here’s a quick summary of today’s other polls.

ComRes in the Independent on Sunday have topline figures of CON 29%(-3), LAB 35%(+1), LDEM 7%(-1), UKIP 19%(+1). Changes are from their previous online poll a month ago. Tabs are here.

Opinium for the Observer have toplines of CON 32%(+3), LAB 34%(-3), LDEM 7%(nc), UKIP 17%(-2). Changes are from a fortnight ago.

Finally the weekly YouGov poll for the Sunday Times has toplines of CON 31%, LAB 36%, LDEM 6%, UKIP 15%, GRN 6%. While some other pollsters have already shown the Greens in fourth place, this is the first time that YouGov have shown them catching the Liberal Democrats. Tabs are here.

There is no obvious impact in the polls from the Labour party conference – ComRes have their lead up, Opinium down, YouGov not far from their recent average. In YouGov’s survey they asked if Labour’s conference made people more or less positive about Ed Miliband – 13% said more positive, 15% more negative, 54% unchanged.

YouGov also had several questions on Iraq, showing majority support for British airstrikes against ISIS (58% support for attacks in Iraq, 53% for attacks in Syria) but continuing opposition to putting ground troops back into Iraq (26% approve, 53% disapprove). YouGov also asked about whether Britain should co-operate with Assad or Iran in fighting ISIS. People are evenly split over Assad – 36% think we should co-operate with the regime, 34% that we should not. With Iran people are far more supportive of co-operation – 54% of people think that we should co-operate with Iran, 18% are opposed.


857 Responses to “Sunday Polls”

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  1. MOG

    Rising LD threat in 2015? You mean rising from 6% I take it?

  2. @Lefty

    A typo of course. What I meant to type (before cut’n’copy got me by the short’n’curlies) was:

    Minor parties – (1974) rising LibDem and nationalist threat; (2015) rising UKIP and nationalist threat.

  3. AW Newsnight link:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b04kf5pz/newsnight-30092014

    Starts at around 24:45

  4. @Adge

    “A thought had occurred to me, before, that the NHS should branch out and establish its own drug making business. If there is money to be made in drug manufacture, the NHS should get into it.”

    ————–

    Yep, and a state company could focus more on cures than treating symptoms. The cures might not be as lucrative as repeating treatments for a private company, but there is more of a return for a government in not having to fork out for the repeat treatments…

  5. “AW Newsnight link:”

    ——-

    Bet he doesn’t mention us. He never mentions us. It’s almost like he’s embarrassed or summat…

  6. No he clearly mentioned you at 47:08

  7. @Adge
    “A thought had occurred to me, before, that the NHS should branch out and establish its own drug making business. If there is money to be made in drug manufacture, the NHS should get into it.”
    ————————————————————–

    At least there could be gov’t funding for R&D into those ‘drugs’ which Big Pharma do not consider profitable. Despite increasing drug resistance, there are virtually no new antibiotics being developed (which is terrifying). The argument is that any new antibiotic will be held back from general use to combat resistant organisms. Therefore, the uptake will be small and unprofitable.

    Similarly, the diseases prevalent in the developing world are unprofitable because the population cannot afford them. Hence, the lack of focus on Malaria, Schistosomiasis, leishmaniasis, tropical river blindness etc etc.

    On top of this, the pharmaceutical industry are amongst the biggest lobbyists for trade deals such as the EU-India FTA, TTIP, TPP, TISA etc. They have the twin aims of doubling the duration of patents to 30y and actively stopping generics such as the anti-HIV drugs for sub Saharan Africa.

    Big Pharma is a perfect example of how profitability can distort desirable outcomes. It is totally unreasonable to have so many gov’t subsidies and tax breaks for an industry which focuses on producing new antihypertensives instead of much needed new antibiotics.

  8. @THE OTHER HOWARD

    “Wages have stagnated”

    Why are you surprised at that, it was bound to happen with an overblown and rewarded state sector.

    ———

    Nope, you have provided no evidence for this: despite shedding hundreds of thousands of public sector jobs, and pay-freezes etc., wages are still struggling.

    The evidence points to Keynes being correct. The deficit is struggling in no small part because of unemployment and under-employment, necessitating lots of top up benefits/credits etc.

  9. Ok, according to SKY, this is Farage’s big surprise… http://news.sky.com/story/1345219/conservative-party-donor-switches-to-ukip

    “There will be some relief that it is not another name from the Commons, but also disappointment that Mr Farage’s party is getting a financial boost.”

  10. AW was obviously cut off when he moved on to:

    Reasons to be cheerful #4 – Individual Electoral Registration

    Or rather, the lack of it in all that private rented housing where tenancies change annually.

  11. Considering not long ago UKIP people were mentioning two MPs not so long ago, some might feel Farages surprise to be less impressive than expected. Not that donors and money are not vitally important, but it lacks the symbolic nature of a political defection.

    Of course, Sky could be wrong. Given the unpredictability of the last defections, this could easily be a bit of meat for the media wolves to keep them off the scent for when the real big surprise happens.

    Not too long until we find out I suppose.

  12. Hmm. Are we certain this isn’t a ruse? Because it’s definitely what I’d do to lull the Tories into a false sense of security before John Redwood or someone comes over during Cameron’s speech.

  13. Did anyone post ComRes?

    CON 29
    LAB 35
    LD 10
    UKIP 15

    Bloody hell, double figures for the Cleggsters.

  14. I have a feeling that there will not be a defection,but UKIP have certainly done
    a great job in destabilising the Tories last conference.

  15. I wonder how many major Tory party donors don’t even merit a Wikipedia page?
    Apparently his insurance company is called Go Skippy (never heard of that one either) which sounds rather prescient!

  16. spearmint

    That Kellner article was downright bizarre. Even if we accept the projected SNP gains and Lib Dem losses- you’d assume a professional pollster would have thought to check the marginality of the seats first, but whatever, let’s run with it- in what universe is Plaid Cymru about to gain two seats? If anything their position has deteriorated since 2010.

    It doesn’t make much different to the totals, but it does make me wonder where he’s getting his numbers

    I would assume the possible PC gains are Ceredigion and Ynys Mon. Neither seems that likely to me and Ashcroft polling has reminded us that Lib Dem incumbents with smaller majorities than Ceredigion are still viable – indeed on the latest YouGov polling it’s all the Lib Dems hold in Wales. That polling also reminds us that you can have a lot of movement in VI without much alteration in seats if all you do is replace wasted Lib Dem votes with wasted UKIP ones[1].

    You do feel slightly sorry for Kellner that he pointed to Eastleigh as a possible UKIP gain (literally) 5 minutes before Ashcroft published a poll showing Lib Dem 40%, Con 25%, UKIP 21%. But if you accept that there may be a few more points the Lib Dems can still squeeze in such seats they could end up nearer 40 than Kellner’s 30, with what losses there are going mainly to Labour.

    UKIP’s prospects still remain unclear and, on current polling, anything between 0 and 40 seats seems possible. But they should get a good half dozen on local circumstances[2] and can pick up places such as Thurrock or even St Austell by sneaking through the middle. There will almost certainly be gains that surprise (and possibly embarrass) themselves. Many of this possible gains are potential Labour seats (a few maybe even current ones), all of which adds to the possibility of a Parliament where even two Parties together don’t have a majority, barring a Lab-Con Grand Coalition.

    The latest unknown that seems to have raised this though is the SNP. I’ve been going on about this as a possibility all year as Yes voters gradually consolidated their Westminster allegiance behind the SNP and their Westminster VI rose into the 30s in what little polling evidence we had. It could be that the referendum would have put an end to that, but it always seemed unlikely and the process has actually accelerated since. Today’s YouGov subsample is 43%, yesterday’s 44%. The pattern is unmistakable and every other GB poll shows something similar.

    Everyone’s been quoting Kellner’s 26 seats, but that’s actually not a very plausible figure.There’s not much shift required in VI for the SNP between the low 30s when they are in the teens mainly with Lib Dem gains and the upper 30s when Labour seats fall to them en masse. 46 or 16 is more likely than 26, and, given that the ‘last’ dozen or so Labour seats are where Yes did best, even these may fall with a higher local swing. Gordon Brown could well be the last man standing on current polling.

    This depends on the SNP managing to maintain the current motivation of their voters of course and also in them appearing to take Westminster seriously. As I suggested when he resigned, I can see Salmond standing as an MP again next May, arguably his combative style works best in Westminster, which in itself would be a signal of how the SNP intended to ‘look after Scotland’s interests’ in a proper manner. With that sort of campaigning current VI might well be retained.

    So while Kellner’s details may indeed be wayward, the basic prognosis of a uncertain balance of power seems likely.

    [1] One odd thing about recent Welsh polling is how unaffected the Conservatives are by the rise of UKIP. Judging by ICM, UKIP seem a bit better at picking up Labour votes than elsewhere, possibly because the sort of socially conservative Welsh voters who would never vote Tory will switch to UKIP. I actually wonder if UKIP might even have a chance is some North Wales seats with a high English electorate and the Welsh results might be more disparate than UNS might suggest. Unfortunately we have no constituency polling in Wales except for endless ones of Cardiff North which tell us that an ultra-marginal with the MP stepping down is likely to change hands.

    [2] It’s often underestimated how much people sometimes vote for minor Parties as an expression of local identity as much as for the Party’s programme. But this was the only thing that kept the Liberals going in the 50s. So you can see places like Boston voting UKIP for similar reasons.

  17. Last three notable defectors are Reckless, Cash and Banks.

  18. mrnameless

    Did anyone post ComRes?

    They did but not the tables which are here:

    http://www.comres.co.uk/polls/Independent_Political_Poll_1st_October_2014_1237.pdf

    this is their telephone poll, but they ask two different squeeze questions which ups their effective sample size.

    The accompanying spiel is headed “Cameron Trusted over Miliband on ISIS”[1], which tells you everything you need to know about the coverage it will get though[2]. As usual Cameron’s lead is due mostly to much more solid support among his own supporters than Miliband has.

    [1] The actual question asked appears to be I trust [David Cameron/Ed Miliband] to make the right decisions as prime minister on how to combat Islamic State with Agree, Disagree and Don’t Know options. Using just ‘Islamic State’ seems a bit ambiguous to me.

    [2] Yup. “PM wins huge lead in public trust over decisions about Isis” say the Indy. “Although 49 per cent do not trust Mr Cameron to make the right judgements on Isis, a higher proportion – 63 per cent – do not trust Mr Miliband on the issue”.

  19. Roger Mexico

    Magisterial analysis as ever, thanks.

    “Today’s YouGov subsample is 43%, yesterday’s 44%.”
    Us novices are told to be very wary of crossbreaks. But subsamples are OK are they?

  20. @Roger M

    “….Ashcroft polling has reminded us that Lib Dem incumbents with smaller majorities than Ceredigion are still viable….”

    Only in some cases where it is the Conservatives that are challenging. Ashcroft polling suggests that LD incumbents with large majorities are still very vulnerable where the Conservatives are not their main challenger. That brings Ceredigion into the frame.

  21. @Roger M

    “….Ashcroft polling has reminded us that Lib Dem incumbents with smaller majorities than Ceredigion are still viable….”

    Only in some cases where it is the Conservatives that are challenging. Ashcroft polling suggests that LD incumbents with large majorities are still very vulnerable where the Conservatives are not their main challenger. That brings Ceredigion into the frame.

  22. Guymonde

    Us novices are told to be very wary of crossbreaks. But subsamples are OK are they?

    Same difference really (unless it’s a separately weighted subsample). But while I wouldn’t use a cross-break to proclaim than this is what VI is to two decimal points, a succession of figures in the 38-45 range are clearly different from a series in the 20-25 range. In the absence of proper polling, it tells us that that something is going on.

    There could be a structural problem of course, but in YouGov this tends to go against the SNP (in part because some of their votes goto the ‘wrong’ regions. It’s also notable that the current level of engagement among YouGov panelists is higher. More are responding to surveys (hence the large unweighted sample) and fewer saying they are Non voters.

  23. Phil Haines

    “….Ashcroft polling has reminded us that Lib Dem incumbents with smaller majorities than Ceredigion are still viable….”

    Only in some cases where it is the Conservatives that are challenging. Ashcroft polling suggests that LD incumbents with large majorities are still very vulnerable where the Conservatives are not their main challenger. That brings Ceredigion into the frame.

    Not really. If you look at the latest Ashcroft polling, in the 15 seats where the Conservatives were the runner-up, asking the ‘own constituency and candidate’ question boosted the Lib Dems by an average of 11.6 points. In the 5 Labour-second seats it averaged 9.8. It’s not that significant a difference given the small number and the range of values. The current MP standing down appears to be important, but the Party in second isn’t.

    In any case the Party in second in Ceredigion is Plaid and, unlike Labour, they don’t appear to have increased their general VI since 2010 – if anything the opposite.

  24. @Roger Mexico

    Regarding Labour in Scotland this is what I was warning about months ago but I never expected how bad things would get for Labour. They presumably think they can turn it around by May.

    The polls were very accurate in the last few weeks momentum to Yes and then the swing back to No after the bombardment of fear and ‘new powers’.

    The reaction of the Yes voters is best summed up as ‘devastated’ – these are not political activist but they have been joining political parties in response. It feels like 1992 only worse. People in tears. The latest Brown idea to petition Westminster for more powers has been met with anger because these powers were ‘guaranteed’.

    By the way the RIC canvass results that were ridiculed on here turned out to be very accurate. The working class areas were heavily Yes which makes things very difficult for Labour and pictures of Labour hugging and hi-fiving Tories when the working class areas lost will live long in people’s memory.

  25. Just what is going on with the Fisher polling model?

    He quite clearly states he uses the UKPR polling average to inform his predictions. Two weeks ago Anthony Wells actually updated the UKPR figures on a Thursday which had an effect of giving a more friendly outcome than would otherwise been the case if the average was calculated on the Friday.

    Last week UKPR gave a Labour lead of 4% but for some reason Fisher decided not to use the UKPR figures and without explanation instead in-putted a 3% Labour lead which once again gave the Conservatives a more favourable outcome.

    How are we supposed to trust the model if it seems it is open to manipulation?

  26. CARFREW
    “AW Newsnight link:”

    “Bet he doesn’t mention us. He never mentions us. It’s almost like he’s embarrassed or summa”
    ___________

    Jesus Christ would you mention us lot on national tv? Imagine AW talking on national tv about his website and mentioning one of the sites frequent visitors aka R&D who are a pair of political minded dogs who squabble for control of the keyboard?

    No he did the right thing and kept us lot banged up. ;-)

  27. Looking at the Yougov tabs, I imagine it’s been a while since Labour got 23% in Scotland on a crossbreak…

  28. ROGER MEXICO

    “The latest unknown that seems to have raised this though is the SNP. I’ve been going on about this as a possibility all year as Yes voters gradually consolidated their Westminster allegiance behind the SNP and their Westminster VI rose into the 30s in what little polling evidence we had. It could be that the referendum would have put an end to that, but it always seemed unlikely and the process has actually accelerated since. Today’s YouGov subsample is 43%, yesterday’s 44%. The pattern is unmistakable and every other GB poll shows something similar.

    Everyone’s been quoting Kellner’s 26 seats, but that’s actually not a very plausible figure.There’s not much shift required in VI for the SNP between the low 30s when they are in the teens mainly with Lib Dem gains and the upper 30s when Labour seats fall to them en masse. 46 or 16 is more likely than 26, and, given that the ‘last’ dozen or so Labour seats are where Yes did best, even these may fall with a higher local swing. Gordon Brown could well be the last man standing on current polling”
    ________

    The Scottish cross breaks have shown some impressive SNP VI and they have been consistent. To back them up Survation polled .780 people for a Holyrood poll and found the SNP on 49% up 4% since the 2011 Scottish election.

    In the same poll Labour actually went up 1% to 33%.

    Back to the Westminster VI I personally think the SNP are ridding high in the polls and those who backed a Yes vote will probably lend their vote to the SNP but many of them were first time voters and I just wonder if some of them might become apathetic to voting the closer we get to the GE because GE might be seen as the same old same old where the indy ref was a big one off political event.

    I’m in no doubt the SNP will make gains but I expect most will be at the expense of the Lib/Dems……of course that’s providing the SNP are polling no where near 40%& 45% come polling day because then it really would be Labour’s Groundhog day in Scotland.

    And I can’t see Salmond going back to Westminster sitting in a parliament he wanted Scotland to divorce itself from but who know’s??

  29. Time to rename this site Scottish Polling Report

  30. @Allan Christie

    The Radical Independence Campaign are to continue as a campaign group. They should get the schemes out to vote – plus the SNP have all the canvass returns and 1000s of new foot soldiers. So should manage to GOTV. Although the turnout in Glasgow and Dundee was lower than average it still was proportionally much larger than normal.

    The SNP should be able to present themselves in the campaign as ‘Scotland’s champion at WM’ and to make sure Scotland gets a good deal out of more powers.

    My guess based on referendum result is;

    SNP 40
    Lab 30
    Con 18
    Green 5
    Others 7

    My referendum guess at New Year was 53-47 No so wasn’t far out.

  31. Wolf,

    The rUK can get a mention, once they navigate out of the polldrums.

  32. @Bill / Couper

    Check out the calendar monthly charts. Oh and even the MAD charts has seen crossover from Lab to SNP.

    I would say see the 6, 15, and 30 charts, but there’s only two polls for the latest data point.

    Oh and the trends:

    http://www.statgeek.co.uk/polling/polling-trends/regional-trends/

  33. Statgeek,

    Shocking stuff.

    18.6% for the Scottish Tories on the MAD charts?! Greens on 4%?! It’s like an overnight revolution.

  34. @Allan

    Five poll averages:

    Con 16.2%
    Lab 28.0%
    Lib 5.2%
    SNP 42.6%
    UKIP 3.6%
    Green 3.2%

    Westminster seats:

    SNP 42 (+36)
    Lab 13 (-28)
    Con 2 (+1)
    Lib 2 (-9)

    I’ll believe it when I see it, but to be fair I would have said the same about the recent polling (trend?). What is interesting at a Westminster level is that obviously it not only reduces any Labour majority by 56, it reduces a Lab / Lib pact majority by 74.

    For the Conservatives, it might give them a ray of hope, but who wants to win (be the top party in seats) if you have another hung parliament, with a good chance of the 3rd largest party being the SNP?

    I assume the Lib Dems are facing 20-30 seats in that scenario. Most interesting since ’92 I feel, and it would not surprise me one bit if the result goes against the polls, just as it did then.

  35. @Colin

    “It is truly amazing how differently a given politician is perceived by different people.”

    You make a good point about how most politicians end up dividing opinion. Very few gain universal acclaim or affection and I think it goes with the territory. I keep meeting members of the John Major fan club yet I can’t abide the man!

  36. It would be astonishing if SLAB end up saving the Union only to destroy themselves.

  37. Allan Christie

    Back to the Westminster VI I personally think the SNP are ridding high in the polls and those who backed a Yes vote will probably lend their vote to the SNP but many of them were first time voters and I just wonder if some of them might become apathetic to voting the closer we get to the GE because GE might be seen as the same old same old where the indy ref was a big one off political event.

    Perhaps, but there seems to be a general increase in political involvement in Scotland generally. There was the biggest increase in turnout for the Euros in that Region[1], +5 points, despite there being no local elections to bring voters out at the same time (as there was in London with +4/5 points. People even seem to be responding to polling more enthusiastically as I pointed out.

    There is a worry about those first time voters[2] though and indeed many others, which Phil pointed out earlier. The Referendum was carried out on the old register, but the General Election will be done after individual voter registration comes into force[3]. Presumably all these people will have to register all over again – and even if people do manage to do it, there will be more mistakes because of starting from scratch and less time to rectify them.

    [1] Before there is any wingeing about “X is a country not a region”, can I point out that nowhere is simply ‘a region’ somewhere is always a region for something, in this case the euro elections. Countries are an entirely separate matter and may contain regions, comprise one, be part of a larger region or even divided between such.

    [2] I’m not actually convinced these are that great in number. I reckon that there was 6.5% increase in the electorate since May, but a lot of that would be due to the inclusion of 16 and 17 year olds (otherwise the register is fairly similar). There was a big variation by LA area with Dundee (12%) and Edinburgh (10.6%) showing the greatest increase, but this may be affected by the teenage demographics as well. Glasgow was actually below the average (5.5%), though there will be variation by area within such a large population. I’ll try to find some decent figures.

    [3] Something similar happened in the Isle of Man after they decided to lower the voting age to 16 in 2006 when there was a GE in November. They had to start from scratch and lots of people were left off. But at least our idiots did it by accident, rather than wait till just before a GE to implement something already on the statute books for a while.

  38. @STATGEEK

    I wrote to Ed Miliband at the beginning of the summer warning that Labour could win the battle but lose the war. I was worried about Labour campaigning with the Tories.

    I knew this would happen – Labour have toxified themselves in Scotland.

    The Tories have come out of it fine because basically they only had 1 MP to lose. And no one expected any different from them so no one seems to bear them any more ill will than previous. The Tory areas voted very solidly No so they were in tune with their voters. Whereas working class areas were solidly Yes.

    Cameron is promising at the CPC ‘English Votes On English Laws’ actually I am suprised England has let the present situation continue for so long. I think it is a great campaign tactic for Cameron and I can see the DM and Sun getting right behind it.

    The SNP already don’t vote on devolved matters. But that does add an extra dimension to any hung parliament. In Kellner’s hypothesis it could be that the Lab gov’t couldnt command a majority on English matters. However, it would not benefit the SNP to bring down a Labour government so keeping Labour in power would be a driving force for any SNP WM MPs – so I am sure they would be flexible.

  39. @Crossbat

    I am far from a member of the John Major Fan Club but looking at what came before (in the Con party) and after him (both parties) I can see why he is somewhat forgiven.

    Plus his put-down of IDS was surprisingly stylish.

  40. Election Forecast is projecting UKIP gains in 2015 of Clacton, Boston and Skegness and, er, Oldham East and Saddleworth. The problems of algorithms.

  41. Wolf

    Time to rename this site Scottish Polling Report

    Well you had the chance to get rid of them, don’t come complaining now. :D

  42. If the polling (and crossbreaks) of Scotland are to be believed then Labour is down significantly in Scotland.

    But if that is the case and looking at the national polls then surely Labour must be doing better in England than just the national number indicates.

    That is simple maths.

    True?

  43. Couper2802,

    Yes, insofar as the referendum for various parties was a matter of getting supporters to vote with the party line, the Tories were by far the winners on 18 September. Then again, I suspect that the extent of the Tory unionist vote was primarily a matter of how independence was presented (not a matter of Scottish patriotism, but a matter of setting up a suitably left-wing constituency and “voting the Tories out forever”) was more important than the efforts of the Scottish Tories.

    The Tories finally got a chance to be on a platform in which some of the non-Tory voters in the audience could see them as “being on our side”. The SNP, similarly, was in the same position with regard to a lot of SLAB supporters and has now definitely shaken off the “Tartan Tory” position; indeed, I suspect that the relatively right-wing members of the SNP may find that the new influx of members pushes their party further and further to the left over time.

  44. If the SNP is hypothetically pushed much to the left by RIC types, is there a possibility of a centrist or right-wing Scottish Nationalist Party splitting off at some point in future?

  45. (Actually, to be fair, I think that the SNP did a good job at getting their supporters to vote Aye in the end, though the polls suggest that they weren’t quite as successful as the Tories.)

  46. Couper2802,

    “I wrote to Ed Miliband at the beginning of the summer warning that Labour could …”

    Now don’t be coy – tell us what correspondence between you and Ed resulted. Are you very close? Does he normally heed your advice? We’d love to know.

  47. @Deborah

    “True?”

    True, but not sure if it translates to seats. See:

    http://www.statgeek.co.uk/charts/lab-poll-trends-over-time.png

    There has been a Con to Lab shift in London if we compare September to August. Also a Con to Lab shift in RoS.

    Now Con down 3% in RoS and Lab up 3% equates to 1% nationally, which makes Lab’s national VI look better, but will that translate to seats in RoS? A loss of 8% in Scotland is 1% nationally, and that does translate to seats.

    London…not sure. I don’t analyse it often. I’ll bet AW or another is more in tune with London VI and seats.

  48. @Mrnameless

    Doubt it. It’s more likely they would shift to the Scottish Conservatives, what with UKIP taking the most right-wing 3-4%.

  49. Just looking at my own Labour trends chart and saw that Scotland’s trendline dropped below RoS. Looking at the 5 poll averages, Lab in Scotland is within 1% of Lab in RoS.

    That’s just unheard of.

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