The monthly Ipsos MORI poll for the Standard is out and has topline figures of CON 34%(+1), LAB 36%(+2), LDEM 6%(-2), UKIP 9%(-2), GRN 7%(-1). MORI tend to give UKIP some of their lower figures anyway, but this is the first poll from any company to put UKIP down in single figures since September last year. This is only one poll though, as ever, it’s important to look at the wider picture.

Watching the trend is UKIP support is difficult because of the big contrasts between pollsters and the way they have had to adapt their methods to account for the new kid on the block. So for example, Opinium’s latest poll had UKIP on 15%, their lowest level since August… but they had introduced new political weighting that reduced UKIP support, so this wasn’t necessarily a “real” fall. Populus too have had UKIP at around 15% so far this month, but for them that’s higher than in previous months. That isn’t necessary a “real” increase either though, as they’ve changed their weighting in a way that increases UKIP support.

Chopping and changing and contrasting methods makes it very difficult to see the underlying trend. Given the way that many companies (YouGov, Ashcroft, ComRes and Populus) have switched to including UKIP in their main prompt in recent months, MORI, ICM and Survation are actually the only companies NOT to have some sort of change to how they measure UKIP support. Looking at them, MORI now have UKIP at 9%, compared to 11% last month, 13% in Dec, 14% in Nov and 16% in October. ICM’s poll last month had UKIP at 11%, compared to 14-15% between October and December, but only 9-10% last Summer. Survation still had them at 23% last month, but they had them as high as 25% earlier last year.

Accepting all the methodological changes (which apart from Opinium have been changes likely to help, rather than hinder UKIP) and just taking monthly averages of all polls suggests a slight drop in UKIP support since their peak in the Autumn. Their highest monthly average so far was 16.1% in October, following the Clacton by-election and Mark Reckless’s defection, in November it was 16%, in December 15.5%, in January 15.2%. A slight trend, but certainly nothing to get too excited or distraught about, and given the changes in methodology it’s difficult to know how meaningful it is.


458 Responses to “Latest MORI poll and the UKIP trend”

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  1. @DrMibbles

    Interesting forecasts, and while I expect the budget will have an impact, although I doubt a game-changing one, I’m less sure about the Miliband v Cameron Leaders Debate, if indeed it happens at all. I have a feeling Farage will be the unseen winner of what is likely to be a poorly facilitated and ill-tempered soundbite exchange.

    If you leave aside the odd outlier of a poll that tends to set pulses racing on UKPR, I think the polls, once the slow Labour declined bottomed out in early December, have been remarkably static. The pre-election movements that have tended to take place before at this stage in a Parliament haven’t occurred at all. Governing parties destined for re-election are usually well into the recovery phase by now and ephemeral fringe party support has usually already evaporated into thin political air.

    I keep looking at these polls and they keep telling me the same thing. The May Election, now less than three months away, is Miliband’s to lose.

  2. Robert Newark

    My understanding is that scheme providers and scheme users have to report scheme details to HMRC. The onus is then on HMRC to investigate the schemes and where significant tax and NICs are at risk amend the legislation if appropriate and/or pursue the tax and NICs from the scheme users; inevitably cases go before the Tax tribunals and may even progress beyond to the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court (or exceptionally the ECJ).

    If HMRC ‘wins’ at tribunal or beyond it will usually advise all scheme users that it expects them to cough up, I believe.

    So, if a scheme uses a loophole (lacuna) in the law, HMRC will probably close this down by clarifying the law, and unless they receive contrary legal advice will also seek to pursue the tax and NICs.

    Given that there are apparently many hundreds of these tax avoidance schemes in existence (and more being added), I imagine HMRC do not have the resources to challenge them all. (I imagine HMRC was somewhat surprised by the volume of these schemes once the DOTAS (disclosure of tax avoidance schemes legislation came into effect.)

    Under the Lab government a general anti-avoidance measure was also considered but this things take time to progress. It was December 2010 when the government announced that a study group (!) would be set up to explore the case for a GAAR in the UK. The GAAR came into force on 17 July 2013 and defines what are, for its purposes, tax arrangements that are abusive.

  3. John Pilgrim

    “TOH will, as he takes his innocent walk along the Downs, view those stately stockbroker Tudor mansions and wonder, where does it all come from?”

    Sorry John I don’t wonder about them, I have never had a problem with the super rich, I am not envious of them nor do I hate them. Many i admire, especially those who invented something, worked very hard to promote and develope it, and are generous with the fruits of their labour.

  4. @Pete B

    Before you do anything rash and throw yourself at the mercy of the boys in blue for your supposed tax misdimeanours, this partial explanation of tax avoidance offered by HMRC (quoted by @HAL above) may save you the bother. Avoidance is assumed when

    “the course of action taken by the taxpayer aims to achieve a favourable tax result that Parliament did not anticipate when it introduced the tax rules in question and, critically, where that course of action cannot reasonably be regarded as reasonable.”

    I think we can safely say when creating ISAs and introducing pension relief they intended you to use them to save for now and your retirement, so I think you’re in the clear.

  5. @ToH

    Good point regarding attitudes towards the very well off in the UK. The seem different to those in countries such as the USA.

    It looks like EM has tapped into an antipathy directed at the wealthy in this country by a section of the populace, which we see reflected in the ‘them and us’ questions posed by pollsters.

    This article may provide an insight into whether or not the idea that ‘the rich are in it for themselves; is an entirely unfounded prejudice:

    http://uktoremet.org.uk/the-promotion-of-philanthropy/charitable-giving-in-the-uk-and-usa/

    Choice quotes:

    “The most wealthy 10% account for about half of all individual giving in the USA; in Britain it is only a fifth.”

    Even though there are mitigating factors it concludes:

    “There is potential for the mass affluent to double their giving. Applying the USA giving/wealth ratio to the UK suggests that the mass affluent in Britain could represent roughly 40% of giving. ”

    “American households with annual incomes over $200,000 give 7.4% to charity. UK households with similar income give 1.2%.”

    This along with the fact that much British wealth is accumulated through financial services and other services, inherited or derived overseas rather than being the result of innovation and entrepreneurship may influence attitudes towards this section of society and the parties seen to represent them.

  6. On the SVI vs CVI discussion

    Isn’t part of the reason CVI is higher for the Lib Dems because of tactical voting?

    It sounds like in the past it has mostly been Labour voters tactically voting Lib Dem – if they educate their voters on the new ‘lie of the land’ could we see at least some of that CVI lead disappear in many seats and go to Labour?

    I seem to remember seeing somewhere some polls that showed higher CVI for the Lib Dems also showed a large percentage of voters who could not name their local MP.

    It would be good to have some polls showing a breakdown of the reasons why people vote differently on the SVI vs CVI question so we can judge how much of that is because the LD’s are good locally vs how much of it is tactical.

  7. ASSIDUOSITY

    @”“American households with annual incomes over $200,000 give 7.4% to charity. UK households with similar income give 1.2%.”

    An interesting difference-its not significantly different to the difference in marginal income tax rates for that income level.

  8. ASSIDUOSITY

    Can’t disagree with any of that. I think their is an antipathy to the rich by a proportion of the population and EdM is using it. Why not, its what politicians do when they see an advantage.

    I have to say I personally despise mindless antipathies of both right and left in politics.

  9. ASSIDUOSITY

    Welcome to the site.

    If we want to deal with national clichés, it is more down to a sense of British fair play. Having the wealthy use different rules to everyone else is just not cricket, whether you have a problem with wealth or not.

  10. @Colin

    Yes, I rather assumed that too. But in the case of the very wealthy, it appears the researchers have taken into account differential tax rates and the fact that wealth is more concentrated in the top 10% in the USA and still come out with the conclusion that our rich are less philanthropic than those on the other side of the Atlantic.

    @ToH

    Agree, the exploitation of unfounded prejudice and antipathies for political gain usually ends badly if history is any guide.

    Equally, the over-concentration of wealth among elites and their refusal to put in place systems of equity can also have consequences for those same elites.

    I just wondered whether this data showed that our wealthy were genuinely less social conscious than their American counterparts and if this had filtered through to the public consciousness.

    @Hawthorn

    Thanks for the welcome.

    I wonder if the ‘fair play’ notion is a national cliche. This data indicates a remarkably high level of charitable giving in the UK, especially as the super wealthy do not count for a very large proportion of it as in the US.

    Perhaps your average British Citizen is actually rather generous by international standards.

  11. ASSIDUOSITY

    I think you missed the point of my comment. I am not talking about charity.

    Fair play is having the same rules for everyone and not acting like a spiv.

    I am not arguing whether it is a correct norm or not (not the purpose of this site) but these are things that are part of the culture of the UK (and most other countries in my experience).

  12. @Assiduosity

    “This along with the fact that much British wealth is accumulated through financial services and other services, inherited or derived overseas rather than being the result of innovation and entrepreneurship may influence attitudes towards this section of society and the parties seen to represent them.”

    You put it well. I struggle with this wealth creator as a person definition, I have to say. I get it with people like Branson and Gates, creating a product or service from nothing, but the people who manage businesses, like Green and Goodwin, for example, are no more wealth creators than anyone is else in those businesses. The business creates the wealth and they just have different and more responsible roles, albeit over rewarded ones. They’re joint enterprises, making money as a result of the combined efforts of all those working within, and it’s a nonsense to describe the heads of these organisations as the wealth creators. In banking, they actually became wealth destroyers.

    Then of course there are the millions of people, usually on PAYE, who create what is called social capital; the doctors, nurses, police men and women, health visitors, paramedics, ambulance drivers, binmen, carers, social workers etc who exist at the behest of us all as taxpayers. The “wealth” they create is incalculable, but it is every bit as essential to a healthy country as manufacturing or financial services.

  13. ASSIDUOSITY

    @”This along with the fact that much British wealth is accumulated through financial services and other services, inherited or derived overseas rather than being the result of innovation and entrepreneurship may influence attitudes towards this section of society and the parties seen to represent them.”

    I would be interested to know your sources for that “fact”.

    A Birmingham Uni ” Policy Commission on the Distribution of Wealth”of 2012 quotes Wealth and Assets Survey reports from the Office for National Statistics As follows :-

    “. By 2008/10, private pension wealth had increased to 46.3 per cent of all wealth (£4.8 trillion) whereas net property wealth had fallen to 33.4 per cent ”

    Private Pension wealth would certainly not be inherited, and net property wealth could be inherited or acquired during a lifetime.

  14. @ Spearmint

    Just looked up Ashcroft’s Eastleigh poll and it’s useless to us as a test case.

    Yep – I tried that move a few weeks ago and it’s the same for all of his by election polls. None of them can be used to test the relative accuracy of CVI and CVI.

    His by election polls always seem to start with s preamble giving a bit of background to the circumstances surrounding the by election. The questions are quite unlike those used in other polls.

    As far as I can tell there really is virtually no information on this.

    Like you, I suspect the best predictor will turn out to be some kind of weighted average of the two measures. But until May 8 we won’t have any clue what the relative weights should be. That’s why I would urge caution in using either measure in a unquestioning way. Perhaps it’s a good thing that s new, SVI-based model appeared and so triggered this discussion.

  15. @Hawthorn

    Not disagreeing with you on the taxation question. Plainly on one level people are irritated as they are being presented an image of a section of the community acting as though it is above the law.

    The wider proposition is that part of ‘having the same rules and not acting like a spiv’ is more complex than simply paying your taxes and obeying the law.

    Perhaps a national sense of ‘fair play’ encompasses an unwritten obligation to give to charity and contribute to society more widely in addition to the basics above.

    If this is the case, the rich may be ‘soft targets’ for attacks from EM and others as they are perceived to fail on these measures of ‘fair play’ too.

    I was trying to explore why attacks on the wealthy might be a more effective electoral strategy in the UK than in other countries, and if this relates to commonly held perceptions of the rich, which might in turn be based in part on fact.

    Not sure that’s any clearer though!

  16. @ PeteB

    Apologies for lapsing into jargon. It just takes so long to type some of these expressions that I quickly give up. Not good communication though. You were right to pull me up on this.

  17. ASSIDUOSITY

    @”I was trying to explore why attacks on the wealthy might be a more effective electoral strategy in the UK than in other countries”

    vs USA , I venture to suggest that the persistence of class consciousness in UK might be a factor. There is a rich vein of antipathy to people on the basis of their family background, education & wealth which manifests itself unapologetically in political campaigning & discourse here.

    Is this the case in USA?

    A comparison with other EU countries would be interesting too.

  18. @ASSIDUOSITY

    Traditionally, charity in the form of alms-giving has been a key part of Judeo-Christian-Islamic cultures.

    Redistribution of wealth through taxation is a codified, compulsory form of this. Where the amount of redistribution is weak, the more society relies on alms-giving. In the UK, redistribution has been weakened over the last 30 years, but there has been little increase in alms-giving.

    An Inspector Calls by JB Priestley has a good critique of the drawback of voluntary alms-giving.

    You also need to bear in mind that plenty of charitable giving has nothing to do with alms-giving but is a way to promote other objectives, such as preserving monuments/animals/steam trains/fine art etc.

  19. A couple of days ago some of us were engaged in an exchange about the importance or otherwise of leader reputation in voting decisions.

    I now see that two members of the British Election Study team (Evans and Mellon) have just posted a detailed analysis of this matter:

    http://www.britishelectionstudy.com/bes-impact/the-impact-of-party-leader-images-on-vote-switching-in-the-run-up-to-the-general-election/#.VN4Rq4aQGrU

    They conclude that there are real leadership effects but I suspect that the magnitude of these effects is not as great as some UKPR posters would have imagined.

  20. @Colin

    Surely private pension wealth could be derived from the first part of my statement i.e. people engaged in ‘financial services and other services’? Admittedly this is rather vague, what I should have said is professional and business to business services.

    I wasn’t making a political point, merely pointing out that if you look at the business activities engaged in by those in the highest earnings they tend to be in these sectors.

    According to ONS in 2014 of the 604,000+ individuals engaged in the professions with the top 10 average take home salaries, more than half, 337,000, were identified as working in financial services. On top of this we have marketing people, advertisers, lawyers, IT professionals only CEOs and airline pilots could (arguably in the first case) said to fall outside this category.

    A cursory glance at headline grabbing ‘Rich Lists’ indicate a preponderance of individuals with inherited wealth, wealth derived from overseas and high level financial services activity. This may not be a fair reflection but it influences perception.

    So bringing this back to my point relating to voter perception – if Britain’s ‘rich’ are seen by a section of the populace as coming from the industry sectors I describe which are not viewed favourably according to polls) and the backgrounds indicated above, this could explain why they are easy and effective targets more than they would be elsewhere.

  21. COLIN
    I take your point, and if my wording seems unfair, I concede it. Let me explain what I mean in saying that his financial activities are ‘above the normal workings of the law’. They appear to me to be so in the sheer size of his wealth, and in its management by experts and in a context – overseas – which takes it far beyond the normal workings of the law for you or me or 99% of the people of this country. He, like others of the mega-rich, is able to behave like a corporation, creating operational conditions which demand in his own affairs the engagement of a body of expertise directed at ensuring that his wealth is maintained and increases vastly beyond any expenditure which can benefit him as an individual, and requiring responses by the tax authorities which will succeed in ensuring only the very minimum of tax which has legally to be obtained. In both respects he and others in his position and with his wealth act above and beyond the normal workings of the law.
    The basic objection which I cannot prove but believe is self-apparent, is the sheer size of wealth owned by him and others, which I think, as possibly others do, is not mainly from his lifetime of hard work, but from being able to exploit the services and resources which the nation, including its public services, has created through common endeavours and through times and circumstances which have left many in poverty and hardship. That is why we have an economy which is governed by the rule of law, but it is one which has in recent decades allowed the management of the market and the accumulation of wealth to operate unfairly. So, not the man, but the system is at fault – which I do think popular opinion wishes to see changed.

  22. COLIN

    Would you say that rich WASPs are a popular group in the USA?

    The fact the Americans have a term like WASP might give a clue.

    With the USA, are you imagining a white Republican voter or an African American descended from a slave working on a WASP owned plantation?

  23. Clarification: They conclude that Ed Miliband is a very modest liability for Labour, that David Cameron is an equally modest asset for the Tories, but that Nigel Farage is a highly significant asset for Ukip.

    My reason for emphasising the smaller (Labour and Tory) influences was that the earlier exchange was with a contributor who kept posting (without any evidence) that “mili” (his term) was a disaster for the party. Well now, Sir, you have a bit of evidence to take into consideration.

  24. I don’t think there is any systematic data on significant national differences on attitude to the rich. I seem to remember a study from the early 1990s on expression of attitude to wealth and it showed national differences. It was one of the most studious (and boring) studies I have ever read.

  25. @Hawthorn

    Just to be clear. None of the above was intended as a discussion of the merits and demerits of philanthropic giving versus general taxation as a means of redistribution or funding public services.

    I didn’t think that’s what this site was for.

    To put is simply I speculated that there was a view abroad that the wealthy in the UK were not as generous with their donations to charity as the rich in other countries were and as the population as a whole is. Something the article seemed possibly to support.

    This might be a contributory factor in why ‘the rich’ may be held in low esteem by sections of the community here and thus attacks against them are pre-disposed to be effective for certain voters. Explaining the increase in Labour VI when they are able to land a punch of this kind.

    On the contrary, in the US, whether or not the system of lower taxes and more philanthropy is effective, where you have a culture in which museums, galleries, schools, libraries, swimming pools, universities etc etc are named after wealthy individuals the rich appear to be more generous (indeed in philanthropic terms are) and so may be more immune to such public disapproval.

    In blunt political terms, is part of the reason the rich and by extension the Conservatives (who are seen as their political agents) are so damaged by events like the last week a general feeling that ‘we are not all in this together’ rather than something specific to tax.

  26. I’m getting the feeling that the government is far from being out of the woods on the HSBC story. [We really don’t need ongoing speculation and commentary, back to polling and public opinion please]

    Between now and the GE, parties will be desperately trying to control the news grid, and if this story rumbles on into next week and beyond, it helps keep the spotlight on one of Labour’s key messages and off Tory positives, whilst always holding out the prospect of more direct damage if questions of competence come to the for.

    As I said earlier in the week, this really is a moment of risk for Cameron.

  27. @ DrMibbles

    Has anyone ever assessed the cross flow of centre right votes to the Green Party?

    In the 2014 Victoria state election the Green Party won two lower house seats, one safe from Labour and one marginal from Liberal.

    The Prahan result was quite fascinating:

    https://www.vec.vic.gov.au/Results/State2014/TCPbyVotingCentrePrahranDistrict.html

    What the normal two party preferred analysis by the Victoria Electoral Commission shows is that on a distribution of preferences between Labour and Liberal Labour would have lost by 25 votes.

    In contrast when the actual distribution of preferences took place Green moved from third behind Labour to winning the seat from Liberal by 278 votes:

    https://www.vec.vic.gov.au/Results/State2014/distributionPrahranDistrict.html

    You UK people will love this one, the crossover from Labour to Green came when the candidate for the Sex Party was eliminated and Green pulled ahead of Labour by 36 preferences, thereafter upon elimination of Labour combined Green support gave Green 303 more votes than Labour thus 303 more Green votes went to the Liberals than Labour and other to Green.

    The inference is that while centre left votes flow to the Green some Green votes flow back to centre-right parties as well.

    Nowhere is this more clear than in the southwestern state of Baden-Wutenberg in Germany. In 2001 the Green Party placed fourth with 7.7% support:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baden-W%C3%BCrttemberg_state_election,_2001#Results

    In 2011 the Green Party became the second largest party and went onto form a minority overnment with the social democrats forming the junior partner:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baden-W%C3%BCrttemberg_state_election,_2011

    But look at where the votes come from for the Green Party to go from third to second. Yes the social democrats lost votes to the Green party of up to 2.1%, but the swing from centre right was much higher at 5.4% from Free Democrats and 5.2% from Christian Democrats.

    So a state thgat had been primarily governed by Christian Democrats since 1957 did not go to the social democrats, but the Green instead.

    And I think you can pick up this swing by comparing voting patterns between European election results and local government elections on the same day in 2014:

    Norwich Ee result 23.8% but local government vote 30.3%, plus 6.5% almost identical to to the swing back to Labour which was 6.6%

    Lancaster (maybe an unreasonable comparison) Ee 14.8% but local government by-election 37% as compared to Labour Ee 24.9% to 35% – in which Labour lost two council seats to Green

    But I think it is very dangerous to assume that the flow back from Green is from Labour alone and I will end with a comparison of my home constituency of Nelson-Creston in British Columbia:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nelson-Creston

    I would in particular draw your attention to changes in the Green vote betwen 2009 and 2013 and 1991 and 1996. On both occasions the draw is more from the centre right than from the centre left.

    Now vote flow throughs are much more complicated than that in that in this UK election there will be flows back and forth between Conservative and Labour, but I would also be interested if anyone has been tracking the flow back and forth between UKIP and Green.

    I speak from experience not just as someone who tracks elections as a political scientist, but also as someone who was elected by just 15 votes to local government in November 2005 but ened up with 63% support in the election to my third term in 2011.

    Along the way, and I see this occurring in the UK as well, I picked up a sizable chunk of centre right vote, even though I am on the centre left and have been in the ultra left.

    In this UK election I think the potential exists for some substantial surprises. In New Brunswick last fall the Leader of the Green Party took out the Conservative Minister of Energy over the issue of fracking – see result for 40: Fredericton South:

    http://www.gnb.ca/elections/results-resultats/2014-09-22/2014-09-22-results-e.asp

    Under FPTP things can become very volatile when you have seven or more significant parties involved in the election

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Brunswick_general_election,_2014#Results_by_region

  28. @Unicorn

    They conclude that Ed Miliband is a very modest liability for Labour, that David Cameron is an equally modest asset for the Tories, but that Nigel Farage is a highly significant asset for Ukip.

    I think those conclusions are what 99% of regular poll-watchers had already come to.

    If the polling on the perception of leaders was significant to VI, Labour would be much lower and the Conservatives much higher. Instead, they have both been locked in a similar place for a long, long time.

    I’ve read times comparisons to 1992 (suggesting that Kinnock was liability and late on poeple switched), but I think that is bogus. I understood 1992 pre-election polls systematically over stated Labour and under stated Conservative support.

  29. ASSIDUOSITY

    In blunt political terms, is part of the reason the rich and by extension the Conservatives (who are seen as their political agents) are so damaged by events like the last week a general feeling that ‘we are not all in this together’ rather than something specific to tax.

    I think we are in agreement.

  30. @Laszlo

    I feel I may have read the same (or similar paper).

    Americans certainly do feel differently about wealth acquisition, creation and protection. My assumption has always been that extends to those who acquire the wealth.

    Equally, they have, electorally speaking, a fondness for dynasties, which may reach its peak in 2016.

    We indulge that fetish through the institution of monarchy of course!

  31. Many thanks to the contributors on this page, a series of very insightful posts.

  32. Look at the flow back and forth between Conservative and UKIP and LD and Green in the two most recent Populous polls.

    Could be margin of error stuff, but:

    Con 33% to 31% -2%
    UKIP 15% to 14% -1%
    LD 8% to 9% +1%
    Green 4% to 6% + 2%

    Labour static, is there a pink celing in this election?

  33. One difference between UK and USA philanthropy is the larger impact of religion in American life. A certain proportion of the US giving by the wealthy is to religiously-linked charities of various types. I would suggest that this proportion is less in the UK.

    Of course some US philanthropy is not religiously directed and there are other social differences that would explain the difference in behaviour.

    One common phenomenon is the use of charitable giving to establish a place in the local ‘society’. Perhaps the cost of so doing is different between the countries.

  34. ASSIDUOSITY

    @”Surely private pension wealth could be derived from the first part of my statement i.e. people engaged in ‘financial services and other services’?”

    Of course. But this was a category which doesn’t have the significance for me which it seems to have for you.

    @”A cursory glance at headline grabbing ‘Rich Lists’ indicate a preponderance of individuals with inherited wealth, wealth derived from overseas and high level financial services activity. This may not be a fair reflection but it influences perception.”

    Well I’m not sure if that is so or not. And are the lists you have in mind rep[resentative of total UK wealth. I was looking for something more academically based. Again-“financial services” & “overseas” has some significance for you which escapes me I’m afraid.

    Re public perceptions-what can one say, except that we need a Poll :-)
    I agree that the pariah of the day will be in bad favour -and “bankers” ( whatever that means) are up there at present.

  35. JOHN

    Thanks.

    I don’t really understand what you mean.

    I don’t , in general, seek to demonise , or object to a particular commercial activity. I don’t object to or feel envious of people who make a lot of money from commercial activity.

    If I have caveats , I guess they would be :-
    The activity must be legal, and carried out within the laws & regulatory regime set out for it by Parliament.
    The individual must operate within the law applying to his business , employees, suppliers & customers.
    The individual should pay personal tax as laid down in the appropriate tax codes , and of course taking into account the constraints of the recent GAAB.

    There may be others too that I might think of-but value judgements are a different matter.

  36. HAWTHORNE

    I have no idea-but your use of the term WASP leaves me uneasy.

  37. re: CVI/SVI

    Am I alone in finding it odd that there is a difference? Apart from the very young and innocent everyone knows they vote in a constituency, so why the difference? Saying “It’s tactical voting” doesn’t answer that question, because it assumes that respondents are being asked the CVI and responding as if they were being asked their party affiliation. Maybe, but if they are ignoring the actual CVI, why would we assume they are actually answering the SVI and not answering another “implied question”, such as “Who would be your second preference”?

    I’m not a psychologist, but I have seen and taken a variety of psychological assessment questionnaires over the years. One common technique in these is to hide pertinent questions among dummy questions, and to ask these pertinent questions in different forms – in effect they try to catch innocent response. The way pollsters conduct political polls is crude in comparison – money being the important point, I suppose.

    I don’t know that this comparison helps us understand the CVI/SVI difference, but I offer it as a caution. It’s a psychological as well as a psephological problem, and as such may be more complex than at first it appears. Spearmint’s suggestion that we might be able, eventually, to weight the numbers for a best fit to actual results is rational, but how rational are the voters? My suspicion is that they are “not very” and the “best fit” will vary constantly with political context, and vary faster than we can estimate it, leaving us behind the game. Too early to say, but CVI/SVI may be a bit of an interesting dead-end.

  38. Those who will not vote Labour because of the Ed effect are, in my experience, already factored into the polls. There is an undoubted effect. But I don’t think there will be much more of a swing because of the leader. The only demographic that has swung recently against Labour is the Jewish vote, as ironically (given that Ed is Jewish) he is seen as anti Israel.

  39. One of the most effective adverts for the Tories was Harry Enfield’s ‘Loads a Money’ sketch.

  40. @Colin

    Just to be clear I am not making individual points but trying to understand public perception.

    The significance of the financial services sector is that it has been embroiled in a number of ‘issues’ which have dented public confidence in its probity (as demonstrated by polling): LIBOR, PPI and other mis-selling and now tax evasion. MORI polling has found ‘bankers’ and ‘financiers’ being trusted by between 20-30% of the population compared to 60-70% for police officers.

    This is quite apart from the global financial crisis and collapse of Lehman Brothers, which resulted in the de-facto nationalisation of a number of large institutions. This is not, of course, the fault of the whole sector, but it is a ‘trade’ whose image is undeniably tarnished (again according to polling over an extended period).

    As a result of this reputational damage there seems to be a disjuncture (again evidenced in polling) between the pay of individuals in this area of commerce and their performance in some peoples eyes.

    This will particularly affect the views of the country as a whole of ‘the wealthy’ if that group is comprised disproportionately of individuals from this sector. According to ONS

    Brokers / Financial institution managers and directors / Financial managers and directors

    account for more than half of those people in the 10 highest earning professions, in the UK.

    So, the proposition is, polling tells us that we have an industry that has lost public confidence and that the public feels over rewards its staff. In the UK those engaged in this industry make up over 50% (as a minimum) of the highest paid. As a result it is surely reasonable to assume that the negative public perception of the financial services industry impacts negatively on the perception of the wealthy as a whole community.

    Observation rather than judgement.

    With regards to the ‘Rich Lists’ they are a marker, unfortunately, there is not a huge amount of academic work in this area, but taken with the hard data from ONS for the numbers in the highest earning brackets do provide a reasonable snapshot.

    With regards to those with wealth ‘derived from overseas’, I should clarify to state that this includes a large number of non UK citizens and non domiciles among the upper levels of the very wealthy. 10 out of the 12 wealthiest UK residents are (according to the Rich List,, acknowledging its faults) overseas nationals. Regardless of how we may personally feel about this, the result is that these individuals are likely to have limited exposure to UK taxation. There has been polling on this in the past and I’m sure there will be again, my belief is that these practices are not viewed favourably my a substantial portion if not a majority of the population.

    Hopefully this provides an evidential framework for the statement I made earlier, all of which was in relation to why attacks directed at the wealthy – whether they are justified or not – may be effective for EM, or indeed Farrage, Sturgeon and others.

  41. @ Liz H

    That’s told you by a man of course, “you just need to be able to read for yourself and count”.

    Indeed! :-)

  42. @Answer=42
    ” One common phenomenon is the use of charitable giving to establish a place in the local ‘society’. Perhaps the cost of so doing is different between the countries.”

    That’s what I call the “potlatch” principle:
    h ttp://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potlatch

    I don’t think it operates in the UK in they way it does in the USA – it’s not just a matter of costs, there’s a feeling here that money can’t buy you class so neither can giving it away.

    Proper potlach involved competitive giving, sometimes degenerating into breaking goods and burning down houses, just to show you were too rich to need them. I’ve yet to hear of that happening among non-Native-Americans!

  43. An wondering whether we will see a 5% lead in Sunday’s YG.

  44. r&d

    No, I don’t think so. Two pointer for the Reds.

  45. Colin

    WASP “White, Anglo Saxon, Protestant”.

    Commonly used in the States, not non-PC.

  46. @Answer=42

    The religion element can’t be discounted. This must be an element of philanthropy that has overtly collapsed in the UK. Though some of our largest charities were originally church organisations.

    The idea of buying community status through charitable giving is very potent in America it would seem. I also wonder whether it is also seen as a way of acquiring political influence. Certainly the Rockerfellers of the ‘Rockerfeller Republican ‘ era combined massive philanthropy with paternalistic political ambition.

    Only the Sainsbury family have attempted anything remotely similar here in such a public, albeit small scale, way in the recent past.

    Would the wealthy political elite be more popular if they paid for libraries? (Rhetorical question)

  47. @ Peter Cairns

    Many women do have different priorities; you’ve noted that there are differences in the issues polling but then immediately dismiss them as unimportant because they don’t fit your (male oriented?) narrative.

    And if you’d dug a little deeper you’d know that many of the issues which disproportionately affect women aren’t even listed in issues polling. That’s one of the problems which women have with ‘politics as usual’!

  48. @Postage Included

    For an example of SVI vs CVI and how voters differ on it I give you my father.

    If you polled him or asked him his political preference he would always answer Labour, considering himself a natural Labour supporter.

    However I know that the last general election in which he voted Labour was 1983, having moved in the mid 80s to live in a Lib Dem vs Conservative marginal and tactically voting Lib Dem ever since.

    In local elections it tends also to be a Con v Lib Dem choice but he votes Labour for European Elections.

    So asked a CVI question he would traditionally switch to Lib Dem.

    He is now considering whg c ggee3) ether there is any point in tactically voting Lib Dem anymore (especially as it looks like a probable Conservative gain in his seat) although ironically he now is leaning towards voting Green rather than Labour although both options have no chance in his seat.

  49. I see the Pink Van is raising its bumper again.

    YouGov poll show 45% are positively disposed towards it and 34% negatively.

    21% don’t know / don’t care.

    I’d have thought that Labour HQ would have been fairly happy with those numbers.

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