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. Does Robin Brant know something about the UKIP event?

    https://twitter.com/robindbrant/status/517306852334632962

    I know absolutely nothing…

  2. @Roger M

    “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.”
    _________________________

    That isn’t addressing the point that I was making, which was that “Ashcroft polling suggests that LD incumbents with large majorities are still very vulnerable where the Conservatives are not their main challenger.”

    Most of the vulnerability is because of the simple fact that the non-Conservative challengers – Labour, SNP, Plaid – have all seen their vote shares go up since GE 2010, whereas the Conservative’s share has fallen. So that national swing alone would be enough to demonstrate the much greater vulnerability of LDs where their challenger is not their coalition partner.

    But in addition, as your analysis confirmed, there does seem to be an additional tactical element as well, reducing the constituency boost to the LDs by 2% when Labour rather than the Conservatives are challenging. It’s not conclusive, but the sample isn’t that small if you focus on the 15,000 and 5,000 or so polled respectively by Ashcroft, rather than number of seats.

    Alternatively, it might be best not to focus on the trees and just look at the wood. As Lord Ashcroft commented, there was a 2% swing LD to Con where the Conservatives are challenging, but a 12% swing LD to Lab where Labour are challenging. So I stand by my point. LD incumbents with large majorities are still very vulnerable where the Conservatives are not their main challenger.

    Your other point was that “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.”
    The facts disagree. Plaid polled 11.3% in GE 2010 but averaged 12.1% across 2014 polls and were on 13% in the latest ICM. those differences may seem small, but when Plaid they held Ceredigion in 2001 by a 12% margin they were still only polling 14.3% on average across Wales.

  3. Disregarding all the hype and sarcasm two important questions demand answers and at the moment straight answers are studiously avoided by the Coservatives
    1) Can we contoll access of immigrants from the EU and remain members?
    2) Can we disgard the ECHR and remain EU members ?
    The Answers to these questions is of course an emphatic NO so why does Cameron keep pretending that he can do both of these things?
    He cannot , he knows he cannot and we know he cannot and all the double speak and bluster changes nothing and undermines his credibility

  4. @Carfrew – “Unless…. they are holding fire so they don’t get gazumped…”

    I made that point initially, but I don’t think anyone has picked it up.

    Oppositions need to offer change to win, governments tend towards holding what is there already. Because of this, oppositions always tend to need to change the political weather and create the narrative, which usually involves coming out with the big new policy announcements. It’s very common for governments to smoke out the opposition, and then use things like budgets and Autumn statements to neutralize the opposition policy stances.

    For a pre election conference season, this really has been unusual, as until today, and particularly from Labour, there seems to have been very little to show the electorate. I wonder whether we’ve seen the opposition smoke out the government? Perhaps not so surprising, as it’s the government, lagging in the polls, that now need to change things and step it up.

    For the Tories, the risks are that they have shot the bolt too soon. Already we have a confusing mish mash of the need for deep austerity, but the promise of billions of tax cuts. Analysts are already questioning whether this adds up, and their previous promises on the deficit were worthless, so can we trust them to deliver the tax cuts’ would be a perfectly valid response.

    Against that, Tories have something that will go down well on the doorsteps – if they can pass the credibility test.

    For Labour, the risk is that Cameron has stolen a march and gets to cement the idea that he wants to cut taxes. By not being remotely bold last week they effectively vacated the playing field for Tories.

    Against that, they have seen the whites of Tory eyes and not blinked, and now they know the battleground upon which they are fighting – a critical factor. The question will be whether they can throw sufficient cold water on Tory plans, and build up their own eye catching policies to compete.

    I would suggest the Sunday polls will be the ones to watch, and I honestly don’t know if Cameron will get a bounce. I rather think he will, and I suspect it could be quite a healthy one, but we’re only a couple of hours into the reaction.

  5. there will be no bounce. there was a brief one for the budget. and one for the eu veto….

  6. @Bill P

    “One of the interesting things about deficits is that when things are bad, opinion is often that “It’s wrong to cut the deficit in a crisis”, and when things are good, opinion is often “We don’t need to worry about cutting the deficit right now”.

    ———

    Nah, that’s treating the economy like simple household finances. Standard, neoliberal gloop. There is nothing wrong in always running a deficit when you have a fiat currency. To do otherwise would suck money outta the private sector.

    Many people, businesses and indeed countries can amass great wealth through borrowing to invest. We did it after the war, though many of the assets have been sold for a song since. The problem is when we have governments that don’t invest correctly. Then you don’t get a proper return on the borrowing…

    And it isn’t just investments in terms of assets, but research, infrastructure etc. that raise productivity, and spending to increase demand and private sector investment and GDP. Multiplier effectsvetc. etc.

  7. Roykite
    “Can we disgard the ECHR and remain EU members ?”

    I may be mistaken but the ECHR is standalone and nothing to with the EU. many confuse ECHR and ECJ – the latter being the court which answers questions asked by courts in member states concerning application and interpretation of EU directives etc.

  8. @Alec

    Since we’re already into questions of “how will he pay for it?”, I’d suggest that the supposed tax cuts are already unravelling. There’s a good chance that by the time most people see their news the narrative will have become “how will you do this while cutting the deficit”, and “is it fair to cut in work benefits for the poor and give away tax cuts for the rich?”

    As usual, there doesn’t appear to have been any thought beyind the instant reaction, all tactics and no strategy. This more than anything else makes me think that the Tory leadership simply isn’t capable of mounting an effective campaign.

    And no, the polls to watch aren’t on Sunday. They are the ones maybe 1 month after the two UKIP by-eleciton victories. All that Sunday will tell us is whether Tory-inclined voters like the idea of tax cuts. And I already know the answer to that.

  9. Carfrew,

    (1) I was talking about the deficit, which is distinct from the level of spending.

    (2) Investment is also distinct from the deficit. In fact, investment spending is much easier to cut than current spending.

    (3) If you look back at my post, you’ll realise that I was actually talking about the level of the deficit, not its existence. Standard economic theory would tell you that a deficit is sustainable if and only if it is less than to the trend rate of nominal GDP growth (inflation + real GDP growth) and ditto for a surplus.

    (4) Labour actually reduced the debt as a percentage of GDP after WWII-

    http://www.ukpublicspending.co.uk/spending_chart_1945_1950UKp_14c1li011mcn_G0t

    (5) Your claims wouldn’t actually contradict what I actually said, quite apart from their accuracy. The question is the extent to which it is politically very difficult to cut the deficit. My answer in the part you quoted is “extremely”, but I’m open to being persuaded otherwise.

  10. My immediate reaction to Cameron’s speech today:-

    – Cameron is a better and more polished public speaker than Miliband. (old news).

    – Cameron kicked the ball into the various empty nets that Miliband’s lacklustre conference speech presented to him. He’d be a politician of extraordinary ineptitude if he’d missed. (see above observation).

    – Like Miliband, Cameron is attempting to shore up his party’s base. Attacks on benefits (Osborne), tax cuts, anti-EU grandstanding, English votes for English laws, anti Human Rights Act (May), crackdown on immigration (May). All the boxes ticked.

    – I’m guessing his only gambit for non-base voters is to frighten the horses about Miliband. This way he hopes to persuade some Labour faint hearts to jump ship and UKIP defectors to return. He knows his base is a shrunken one and isn’t big enough to win without eating into Labour’s current support and getting some of Farage’s Peoples Army to think again. Miliband is the target, clearly, and the crux of that part of the strategy.

    – His achilles heel as a speaker remains his tendency to veer into sentimentality and schmaltz. I always worry about PR performers over-dosing on the sincerity thing, tearfully or otherwise. This is particularly true about the passage he delivered on the NHS, again referring to his son’s illness and treatment. The argument on health isn’t, nor ever has been, about whose personal experiences of the wonderful care available from the NHS are the most emotionally charged. To couch debates about the policies of any one political party vis-a-vis another in those terms is at best disingenuous and, at worst, cynical. I thought it was ill conceived to bring his son’s care into the debate yet again. Some may have harsher words.

    My sense is that we saw a Cameron today that we’ve seen before. Good platform performer, fluent and polished. Revelations? I think not, although he certainly wouldn’t have alienated anyone who is already an admirer. It was, in that sense, vintage Cameron and the converted would have swooned. What else was new? Tax cuts possibly, but this is classic Tory pre-election stuff. Testimonials to the NHS? Yes, we’ve had those before. Miliband isn’t up to the job? We’ve had that for four years now as well, although Miliband must still be wincing that he provided so much ammunition to his enemies two weeks ago. Economic plan is working, don’t give it back to those lot that crashed the car, let us finish the job? Yep, we’ve had lots of that too.

    Good mood music and the troops will be heartened but as the polls remain becalmed and Tory MPs, voters and donors drift away to UKIP, the key question remains; who’s listening any more?

    Some interesting polls over the next few days I think. If the Tory Conference doesn’t show signs of lifting the Tories current dreadful poll ratings, and with the car crash that may well be Clacton just around the corner, then it really will begin to look very worrying indeed for them.

    Last shots, lockers and all that.

  11. @Carfrew

    “There is nothing wrong in always running a deficit when you have a fiat currency”

    Quite. Unlike a family, there is never a time when we have to pay off the mortgage. We can effectively run an indefinitie interest-only mortgage, paying off only the difference between interest and inflation.

    That way, you get to choose whether you get a better return on your money by (a) paying off your mortgage or (b) investing in somehting else.

    It’s why the stuff about things being really bad if we hit 75% or 80% or 100% of GDP are bunkum. As long as we can sensibly service the debt interest, it can stay at an arbitrarily high or low level for ever.

    That’s not to say that reducing debt is a bad thing – if by doing so you get a better rate of interest then it may be the most effective investment.

    And even generous welfare payments can be viewed as investment, if they are at levels and provided in ways that prevent the degradation of communities (e.g. the poor cannot afford to maintain their gardens) and increasing crime, keep people active in the jobs market etc.

  12. Robin – I assume Clacton is one victory which is the second one you are forecasting as I expect a Lab hold and I don’t know but commentators are sayinm Reckelss may lose?

  13. @Jim Jam

    I was assuming a Reckless win. But if commentators are saying he’ll lose, then I’m sure that will happen. Commentators are never wrong :-)

  14. Mike N,

    As far as I’m aware, the ECHR is separate to the EU, but signature of it is a necessary condition for joining the EU.

  15. Thank goodness for this site and for the wonderful people who listen to the conference speeches and tell us what was said. Of course there is still the Lib Dem conference and the Greens’.

    I’m just wondering if there could be another defection to UKIP announced just before the evening news bulletins. That would catch the public’s attention.

  16. The Conservatives do appear to be going for a core voter strategy.

    And Yes, they are appealing to the voters who were already considering voting conservative. Yes, it may well shore up the Conservatives from the worst of a UKIP inflicted slump.

    But to win the next election, they actually need to get substantially more votes than Labour.

    And a Labour core voter strategy that keeps them at 36% beats a Conservative core voter strategy that keeps them at 32%.

    To campaign to win, they needed to widen the pool of people who would consider voting for the Conservatives. And I can’t imagine they don’t know that. So I can only see such a strong core voter strategy as being a concession that they can’t win this time. Instead, they’re going to spend the time remaining till the election focusing on every part of a core tory vote that doesn’t feed into UKIP.

    The big risk part would be if UKIP adopts popular spin versions of the Conservative core vote policies. With the bonus that they don’t have to make rational costings, just say they will pay for it from savings in ‘EU red tape’ and ‘Reducing Immigration’.

    Now, they could swing back at that as being the party that really cared about making sure the figures add up… If not for IDS’s problems with statistics and GO’s promise turned aspiration turned regret. In particular, Universal Credit is going to be a black mark on the Conservative party’s claim to fiscal prudence and good government.

    I really don’t see the path from here to victory for the Conservative party. I don’t even see the path to largest party in a coalition.

  17. Adge3,

    The Green conference happened a while ago. From what I understand they promised a £10 minimum wage and made fun of that silly Labour Party for a while. It was fun. They had organic cake.

  18. Abolishing the Human Rights Act won’t prevent Strasbourg rulings affecting the UK, and Cameron knows it. It will simply make it even harder (and take much longer) for UK citizens to access those rights, since cases would have to be lost in the Supreme Court first.

    I’m wondering whether a bill abolishing the HRA might actually fall foul of the HRA itself, since it will potentially breach Article 6 (“In the determination of his civil rights… everyone is entitled to a fair and public hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law. “).

  19. @ Robin,

    I think the polls for the rest of this week and Sunday are worth a look.

    The Tories having been having their worst polling week in a year thanks to Ukip, and the presence/absence of a Conservative conference bounce would give us a first indication of how flaky that Ukip support is.

  20. The polls will indeed be interesting. Good communication skills could be a draw back if it means clearly telling someone something they disagree with.

    I think it is fair to say that there is a clear difference now between the philosophy of Labour and Conservatives now.

  21. Adge3
    “I’m just wondering if there could be another defection to UKIP announced just before the evening news bulletins. That would catch the public’s attention”

    Apparently there is a ‘major announcement’ due from Ukip around 5pm

  22. miliband’s presentational skills are awful. he remains the tories’ best bet

  23. Mrnameless
    “signature of it is a necessary condition for joining the EU”

    Hmm, I wasn’t aware of that.

  24. a brilliant parody of the conference speech

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YBumQHPAeU

  25. Claims by David Cameron that a Conservative government could restrict the numbers of immigrants coming to Britain from the European Union were dismissed today by the new European Commissioner in charge of employment and labour mobility, who… said she is “not prepared” to consider given Britain back control of its borders or allow Britain to restrict the access of EU immigrants to Britain.

    Marianne Thyssen, a Belgian eurofederalist who spent 23 years as an MEP before becoming named to the new commission, was being questioned by UKIP Deputy Leader Paul Nuttall today at confirmation hearings at the European Parliament.

    Asked by Nuttall if she would be willing to give Britain full rights to control its own borders and restrict access to European migrants, Thyssen replied: “Freedom of movement and the single market is something I am not prepared to shak

  26. @spearmint / Bill

    Based on what I’ve seen, I think that Con might be losing some to SNP. Comparing the last two, 5-poll averages:

    Con 18.6 16.3 (-2.3%)
    Lab 30.6 26.8 (-3.8%)
    Lib 6.4 5.3 (-1.1%)
    SNP 35.2 43.8 (+8.6%)
    UKIP 2.8 3.8 (+1.0%)
    Green 5.4 3.0 (-2.4%)

    I would suggest that the Lib and UKIP values are sampling noise, Con and Green are perhaps losses to SNP (and some noise), and Lab is definitely losing ground to SNP. Bear in mind that 30 polls ago, Labour were polling at 40% and are closer to 25% at present. It’s some shift.

    The Conservative were generally in the 19% to 20% area in Scotland. That’s closer to 18% now, so there hasn’t been a big change. Perhaps they were at 21%, and are now at 18%…it’s easily the ebb and flow of polling.

    @Robin

    Many of those shifting to SNP from Labour are calling Labour the Red Tories. It might not drift back as easily as you think.

  27. Well, if it’s something like a batch of Conservative defectors to UKIP, then that’s Cameron’s speech wasted. If so, they’re going to have to rely on the debates to get themselves ahead of Labour – a risky strategy. The wrong question and/or the wrong answer and “oops”.

  28. AW
    I just turned on Iplayer and saw your performance – great crayoning. A new Celebrity Pollster is upon us. You’ll have to get away from Newsnight though, which hardly anyone watches, and onto, ooh, – Adrian Chiles, say? I have your catch phrase for you – “it’s within my Margin of Error” – the lady politicos will swoon at that, ask Amber and Spearmint.

    I thought the bloke from the ST who followed your bit might be our pressman but he didn’t sound like him. The Ashcroft girl (I’m 69, don’t forget) impressed too.

    Right, I’m like Adge3, that’s enough goggle box to last for some time. I’ll rely on people here for the summary on DC.

  29. @Roykite – I’m far from surprised to read that.

    It’s going to be very hard for DC to get a deal good enough to keep any UKIP leaners onboard, without the rest of the EU wondering why the UK gets special treatment.

  30. Another worry about Miliband who I have liked is that he doesn’t seem to be a good campaigner. When he came to Scotland for the referendum he had very little impact and he didn’t do very well when he was meeting people. He didn’t make very much impact on the campaign.

  31. COUPER2802
    @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.
    ________

    I predicted on here two weeks before the vote that the winner would win 55% and the loser 45%…I just couldn’t say who the winner would be.

    If the current polling trend continues then your prediction for 2015 might even be underestimating the SNP VI.

  32. RoyKite
    If Turkey, for instance, want to join, UK could specify an immigration limit for so many years, say, as she has the veto on the admission decision, were it not to be so agreed. But she cannot do that for existing EU members, without a Treaty change, so Ms Thyssen, who only helps implement policy, is correct. There will never be total EU agreement on that policy being changed (others have a veto too), so she is correct on that as well.

    This must be UKIP’s strong card to play at those who want otherwise. Leaving the EU is the only solution, AIUI.

  33. STATGEEK

    Thanks for posting the last 5 poll averages (Scotland Westminster).

    It would be quite something if the SNP became the 3rd largest party in Westminster and held the balance of power in a hung parliament.

    I reckon in that scenario they could ask for a cabinet position lol

  34. ROGER MEXICO

    I agree some of the increase in voter registration was the inclusion of 16 and 17 year old’s but those who are older and have never or not voted before I feel might drift back into the political wilderness.

    That said I agree with you that even as far back as the European elections Scotland was showing encouraging signs in terms of greater % on turnout.

    I really hope this continues into and beyond 2015 because all the parties have made great efforts to engage with people over the past two years in Scotland and hopefully people will now see how their own votes can make a difference.

  35. @Jayblanc

    Cameron is in a very tight spot indeed as a lot of what he could do to attract floating voters may split his party.

    It’s clear from the Conference this week that the Tories’ main aim is to keep their party together and hope that somehow, as they are doing it, they can also win an election.

    I think he’s doing a remarkably good job under the circumstances; for a party in the state the Tories are in to be even distantly competitive is quite some achievement. However, they are entirely reliant now on massive support from a friendly media, and that they can frighten potential Labour voters into staying at home.

    If the election campaign sees many of the attack dogs of the Right line up behind UKIP, then that’s game over.

    The Tories are very vulnerable indeed to grassroots campaigning as well. A popular Labour ground campaign that bypasses the media would leave the Tories with no answer.

  36. @ Allan,

    I reckon in that scenario they could ask for a cabinet position lol

    Secretary of State for Scotland, presumably!

    (Somehow I don’t think Labour would trust them with the constitutional reform brief.)

  37. There’s some golden stuff coming out of this delayed UKIP press conference. Suggested defectors have been Godot, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and the returning officer for Tower Hamlets.

  38. NF being caned by the hacks for dragging them to Bristol for zilch news.

    I expressed the view here recently that he was getting a bit OTT.

    If its just all built on evermore hype & populism it won’t sustain.

  39. Wonder if a high profile Tory MP has stitched up Farage, telling him he’ll jump ship and then reneging?

  40. Bill P

    “The question is the extent to which it is politically very difficult to cut the deficit. ”

    Get the economy growing and more people paying tax and cutting the deficit will be politically easier. Our (and Europe’s) difficulties have been amplified by the weakest post-recession recovery for 200 years.

  41. Sun reporting they have a £1m donation, which sounds like reasonable news.

  42. They must be pleased to have that amount although if you’re the People’s Army, being funded to the tune of a million quid by an ex-Tory banker isn’t great. They’ve also managed to underwhelm when everyone thought it would be a defection.

  43. @MrNameless

    You’d think — but Farage himself was a City trader and that doesn’t seem to do him any harm. UKIP are still an insurgency, or if you like an unusually prolonged protest vote. As such, the usual rules of what is and isn’t regarded as an embarrassment don’t apply. It’ll be interesting to see how this changes if they pick up any seats at the GE, i.e. how new UKIP MPs perform and are seen, as opposed to the defectors who are likely to continue much as they were under a different banner.

  44. AW, anyone else?

    I’m thinking back now to the 1997 election. Labour had done enough to ensure they got a landslide, but I remember ‘The Referendum Party’ taking votes from Con. I wonder how many votes they actually took, more, less, or similar to what UKIP might get. The race between Lab and Con may well be quite tight in 2015. How much effect would a ‘Referendum Party’ size vote have on Con marginals?

  45. According to the BBC – ‘He had been intending to give £100,000 but had raised that to £1m after, he said, William Hague suggested he was a “nobody”.’

    Oops!

  46. @ Andyo,

    They got about 3% of the vote- John Curtice calculates it cost the Conservatives at most 4 seats.

    Somehow I think Ukip will do a little better than that.

  47. Just got in and watched Cameron’s speech. I’m not going to vote for him but I did think it was a pretty good ‘core vote’ pitch and certainly well delivered. I don’t know if it will win over anyone new, I doubt it, but presumably his main aim was to consolidate in the face of UKIP. In some ways it felt like quite an old-fashioned Conservative speech – not the sort of thing Cameron did a few years ago. UKIP has certainly changed the agenda.
    I have to say that I find the references to his son frankly distasteful. I have no doubt that it was a dreadful and devastating loss and anyone would feel sympathy for him but it does seem that he enlists that loss into trying to win a political point – and that feels wrong.

  48. It occurs to me that elections seem a great way of distributing wealth from those who have so much of it they have no idea how to use it productively into the hands of printers of leaflets and pollsters etc.

    I say we should have a lot more of them and referendum about stuff that really doesn’t matter but some rich old duffer with strong opinions can send a million or so back into the economy on a regular basis. Ideally we find two with opposing opinions and let them outbid each other.

  49. I rather think that Cameron must be wishing that the worlds greatest living
    Yorkshire Man had kept his mouth closed.

  50. @Spearmint

    “Somehow I think Ukip will do a little better than that.”

    Well I wouldn’t be too sure – four seats sounds at the upper end of what they would get. It’ll largely come down to how spooked the Conservatives get by Craswell and Reckless. If they both win that might panic some of the backbenchers into forcing the gov’t to concede too much, or panic/encourage others to defect.

    Colin makes the point that its based on populism, and I think there’s truth to that. The trouble with the populism of UKIP, at present, is its a bit like a cockroach. It doesn’t matter how many times you flush it, it always seems to come back up. The further problem will be if/when UKIP re-brands itself. Currently I don’t think they’ll do that well because people still see them as a one-issue party – which won’t translate into winning a lot of votes come election time. However, after Craswell outflanks Farage and takes the leadership from him, they may shift themselves to being something like a Libertarian party (that is to some degree what they are), which would maintain the anti-EU bent, whilst also stealing the ‘small state, low tax’ mantra off the Tories. That’s what could start to cause the Cons real problems.

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