This week’s YouGov results for the Sunday Times are here. Topline voting intention figures are CON 32%, LAB 35%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 15%, GRN 7%. This is a second YouGov poll in a row showing a three point lead. That could possibly be an impact from a week spent on the topic of tax avoidance, but equally it could easily just normal random error spitting out a couple of polls with above average leads in a row.

Most of the rest of the YouGov poll concentrates on that issue: HSBC, tax avoidance and evasion and party funding. Public opinion is predictably hostile towards HSBC – 80% think it’s unacceptable for banks to actively help their clients avoid tax, 75% unacceptable for them to turn a blind eye to clients doing things to avoid tax. By 71% to 15% people think that HSBC should face criminal investigation.

Blame for allowing banks to assist clients with avoiding tax is fairly evenly spread between Labour and the Conservatives. 21% think the last Labour government was more to blame, 14% that the current coalition government is more to blame, but 44% think both equally. Looking forwards, Labour have a lead on which party would do the most to tackle tax avoidance and evasion – 23% to the Conservatives’ 16%, though 50% of people said none or don’t know, suggesting little real faith in any of the parties to address the issue (compare and contrast this to the ComRes poll yesterday that showed Miliband and Cameron equal on 31% on the issue – that may be the effect of asking about leaders rather than parties, or perhaps it was because YouGov made it easier for people to say neither).

Moving onto party funding the public are critical of both the Conservative’s reliance on business funding and Labour’s reliance on Union funding. By 48% to 30% people think Labour should try and reduce Union funding, by 52% to 25% people think the Conservatives should try and reduce their business funding. More broadly only 24% of people think that donors give money purely to support a party, 68% think they do so also (19%) or mainly (49%) in the hope of getting something in return like honours or influence. Around two thirds of people would support a cap on business and trade union donations, 51% would support a cap on individual donations to political parties. There is little support though for state funding – only 19% would support taxpayer funding with 59% opposed. Even a forced choice between the current situation of a labour party getting trade union funds & a Conservative party getting business funds or a system of state funding, people would prefer the status quo by 63% to 37%.


284 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 32, LAB 35, LD 7, UKIP 15, GRN 7”

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  1. @RAF

    Most weeks so far this year have been awful weekend headlines for Labour, and I suspect that may be why Ashcroft has shown Tory leads. This last weekend was better, so I suspect we may see the first Labour lead of the year with Ashcroft tomorrow.

  2. @ Couper2802

    ““The SNP would not impose a Tory Government we didn’t vote for on Scotland”

    Stern stuff. Reminds me to Statgeek’s forgotten 81%. Don’t you think it’s against the spirit of parliamentary democracy? I don’t think parliamentary democracy is democracy, but the SNP does.

  3. On swingback/ what may happen next, Ashcroft has some good research in his 2005 smell the coffee that may give us an idea of what is happening this time.

    http://www.lordashcroft.com/2005/05/smell-the-coffee/

    When Did They Make Their Minds Up?

    “More than a third of voters (34%) had decided how they would in 2004,or even earlier than that. 15% said they had made up their minds between January and April, with a further 16% deciding in the first half of the campaign. But more than a fifth (22%) – and, perhaps by definition, half of all floating voters – remained undecided until the last couple of days before the election.”

    Those numbers look similar to what I am seeing this time around when people are asked if decided/ may change their minds.

    “Well over half of Conservative and Labour voters had decided what to do before the election was called, with 41% and 41% respectively choosing in 2004 or earlier. Liberal Democrats made up their minds much more steadily – only 27% had decided how to vote before the beginning of the year, and nearly a quarter (23%) of those who voted Liberal Democrat decided to do so only a day or two before the election.”

    Again, we see 2010 Lib Dem voters amongst the most undecided voters.

    “Among people who decided how to vote in the last couple of days before the election, 33% voted Labour, 28% Liberal Democrat and 26% Conservative. Indeed, the closer to polling day people made their decisions, the less likely they were to vote Tory. While nearly 40% of voters deciding before the start of the campaign on 5 April chose the Conservatives, only 31% of those deciding in the first half of the campaign did so, falling to 27% in the week before polling day and 26% on the last weekend and thereafter.”

    Now this may obviously be different this time, as we have different players. If you read on in his report, the reason people ended up voting Labour rather than Tory in 2005 came down to leadership. And now those leadership ratings are reversed. Is this what people are looking at when they expect a last minute Tory surge?

    “As in the January poll,our national follow-up survey asked people who did not vote Conservative but could see themselves doing so some time in the future about their reasons for not voting Conservative. The most widespread criticism remained that the Conservatives “don’t have any strong leaders”, a statement with which 68% agreed – the same proportion as at the beginning of the year”

    That sounds similar to the current Cameron vs Miliband battle. So leadership ratings do sound like they are very important.

  4. @OldNat

    Absolutely. And the social media world provides a fantastic opportunity to facilitate the kind of space where elected and elector could engage in informed debate – providing evidence in the form of links, justifications, well thought out arguments etc.

    It’s just the challenge of how to navigate a path to there from the truly awful realms of un-moderated comment sections and forums. Because if they become the norm, politicians will retreat further and become more not less remote.

    I don’t entirely buy the idea that if you faced a room full of angry people as a politician you can face the internet – meetings have a degree of self-regulating normality (in the main) the internet does not, in fact it can act in the opposite way, providing sanction for extreme and threatening behaviour.

    Bringing this back to polling and public opinion – this kind of open, but part moderated forum would be in invaluable to tool that would have attractions for voter and elected politician and could change the way politics is done.

    There are inklings of it – certainly some of what was on display in the referendum – but there’s a long way to go.

  5. Assiduosity

    That there are inklings of hope, but there remains a long way to go, pretty well sums up why I’m still engaged in politics after 55 years of it!

  6. ON

    You’ve lost me.

    Is that a definitive “We will bring down any Tory Govt at the first attempt we get”?

  7. ON

    But of course, on the theme of imagining the most ridiculous possibilities, there’s that little list of ideas of the Ghost of Salmond Past that I posted earlier.

  8. @thesheep

    No need. The media scrum from the South during the referendum proved that all the ‘hacks’ are South of the border. :-p

  9. It might also partly explain Labour’s current problem, but also suggest something more worrying for the future, that with LiS and the SNP so ideologically close and with the SNP prepared to support Labour in power, LiS are no longer needed!

    If the SNP are so ideologically close to LiS; & the SNP MPs are expected by the electorate to support a UK Labour government, it seems more likely that it’s the SNP who, in the fullness of time, will no longer be needed.

  10. Perhaps in the long term, the SNP can be like a left-wing UK version of the CSU. Close enough in ideology to be in alliance with (and not in competition with) the Labour Party (analogising for the CDU), but having a sense of superiority / exceptionalism that requires that they remain distinct and separate.

  11. @ Old Nat

    While giving up on active politics may be better than being the authoritarian follower who sees “their” party as the spouse they married for better or worse – as he beats the sh*t out of you, far better to look around and see if there are better potential partners out there! :-)

    To my mind, that is the most insensitive comment of yours which I’ve ever read. Your use of this bizarre analogy seems out of character & to follow it with a :-) was surely an error of judgement?

  12. @Amber Star

    The SNP are needed so that Scotland can eventually have another referendum and to achieve a Yes vote on independence. To some people this is their most important issue and they will vote SNP until Scotland is independent.

  13. @richard

    that analysis seems like yet another attempt to rearrange the data until it comes up with an answer that suits the swingbackers and/or tories

    As many have pointed out – Its surely pointless to predict voter behaviour based on how they behaved pre-2010. We are in a different country now and there are far too many new factors – the lib dem collapse, coalition government, UKIP, the rise of the greens and the SNP.

    The tory polling is remarkably consistent – low 30s all the way. It is essentially their 2010 voter minus UKIP defectors. Sure they may well claw back some of those voters – but labour will get some too (and from the greens).

    Why are the polls suddenly going to show this unprecedented volatility that pushes the torys ahead? The big poll movements since 2010 have come about due to major political events – principally the lib dem “betrayal” and the scottish referendum. They will not happen just because some half baked, wish fullfilling mathematical model says they should.

  14. @Neil A
    @Amber Star

    I could imagine Ed saying

    ’55 HoC votes banked in Scotland lets concentrate on rUK’
    ‘Nicola is a woman I could do business with, never liked that Murphy anyway’
    ‘Remind me why we need Scottish Labour?’

    He’s pretty ruthless

  15. @Amber

    I think the difference is the SNP is not a branch office of Labour, with all the mixed loyalties.

  16. @Laszlo

    Even the most hardened Republicans, not “Tea Party Republicans”, have started to understand that it makes no economic sense to leave the mentally ill running around on your streets, lock people up for smoking an illegal drug and a majority of Americans have started to understand that being the “Worlds Policeman” means your country could go bankrupt.

    @OLDNAT

    I watched the Partis Quebecois, founded by an honest social democrat, Rene Levesque, slowly succumb to the vagaries of FPTP.

    An electoral system designed to elect the perceived “best personality”, by a plurality of votes, not a majority, is not good at allowing the voters to choose who to vote for by policy.

    Those who understood this have changed their electoral system, except those tutored by the “English” in “parliamentary democracy” .

    Some of the most innovative countries operate under some form of proportional representation, because it allows the electorate to try out new ideas without proposed change becoming so watered down as to be meaningless.

    FPTP forces political ideas to the middle. the mushy middle. I grew up watching Labour and Conservative de-nationalising and then re-mationalising the coal and steel industry.

    33% of the electorate in 2010 were looking for something different than Labour and Conservative, and part of the disappointment over LD is that they were not.

    I would argue it is not the parties per se, but the electoral system that forces parties to conform or stay out of power.
    SNP in Scotland will understand that when they lose governmental power and/or they cannot deliver at the UK Parliament.

  17. @ Couper 2802

    Oh, for sure; I wasn’t referring to the coming election, which is why I said: “in the fullness of time”.

    Regarding independence, I expect there may well be another referendum; but the rules & circumstances will be different. I expect the margin to be wider in favour of the UK – a forecast with which I’m almost certain you’ll disagree!

  18. I think the difference is the SNP is not a branch office of Labour, with all the mixed loyalties.

    I think that Scotland is part of the UK. Labour is the only Party which doesn’t currently pretend that it’s not. At some point, Labour may choose to be swayed by emotion rather than reason & join the other Scottish Parties in their big ‘lie’ to electorate (i.e. that Scotland is a separate political entity, when it really isn’t).

  19. Peter Mandelson has come out in support of the LP’s plans for the UK economy. Is this the kiss of death or a vote booster?

  20. Spearmint

    You’ve put forward the scenario of the SNP selling their inheritance for a mess of devo-max before, but I’m not convinced they would accept it. If they refuse to support Cameron, he simply can’t do anything unless Labour cooperates to pass an austerity budget. And if that happens every election result in Scotland henceforth will be SNP victories that look as if Saddam Hussein was the returning officer. Look at the way SNP supporters have exploited Labour voting on a variety of mostly symbolic divisions in recent times (austerity, fracking, bedroom tax, Trident). Think how more damaging backing a Conservative budget would be. It’s hardly likely to make Labour very popular in rGB either.

    Similarly if Devo Max is then refused, it can only be through Labour and Tory cooperation – against past promises, it will implied. The blame game will be won hands down by the SNP. You don’t have to drink from the poisoned chalice – just hand it back saying “No, you first”.

    If the SNP have effective balance of power, the only way in which that can be changed is by a new election[1] and the only way that can happen is by Labour and Conservative both wanting one. This would require both to believe that they will make gains from each other – a degree of mutual delusion that seems unlikely[2].

    While I’m sure that there are some Labour politicians who would like to continue with a life where the core activities appear to be sitting and pointing, Miliband and many others will want power. So in the end some accommodation will be reached with the SNP. The Conservatives, the Press and the public[3] may not like it, but it will be the only thing that works.

    The great advantage the SNP has in such a hung parliament is that it can afford to annoy the English. That doesn’t mean that they will if they don’t have to – indeed to some extent they have been on a charm offencive in the last weeks But if push comes to shove they don’t have to worry about losing voters in England (even the ones that YouGov keeps allotting them).

    So if the English Parties gang up against them, that will only increase their support in Scotland and mean they can blame even more on Westminster. Providing they don’t do anything outstandingly crazy[4] to provoke such a reaction, any aggressive moves towards Scotland will backfire there on Lab and/or Con. And in the end what can the latter threaten the SNP with? If you don’t behave we’ll expel Scotland from the Union?

    [1] Which may not change things much anyway, previous close elections (1974 for example) didn’t result in massive shifts. There be some squeezing of small Parties (as in Greece in June 2012) but that is less likely when most of your small Parties are regionally based (SNP and NI) and the balance between the two main Parties may be unaffected.

    [2] The same thing also applies to any attempt to amend or repeal the Fixed Term Parliaments Act of course.

    [3] Polling is somewhat ambiguous in this area – or possibly changing rapidly. Labour supporters seem split about an SNP coalition, but nobody seems to have polled about a less formal arrangement – which the SNP would probably prefer anyway and which the public would probably find less offencive.

    [4] I mean something genuinely loopy, not something that the Daily Mail can misinterpret to get offended at. Because the latter might work in England but not I think with the Scottish public.

  21. Andy Shadrack

    Was Scotlands [Euro] turnout higher than the rest of the UK?

    Generally not, as OldNat said, but it’s more complicated than that. The Euro elections always take place on the same day as some local elections, but because local elections in the UK vary by which year of the cycle it is and because they are on a four year cycle while the Euro elections are on a five year one they are usually a different set of elections. So some places may have local elections and some not. And some (EU electoral) regions will have a higher percentage of areas voting locally than others.

    Now some people will turn out to vote in local elections when they wouldn’t normally for the Euros. So the Regional variation in the turnout figures are interesting in showing the effect of what set of local elections are on the same day, if any.

    Region / 2009 Turnout / 2014 Turnout / Difference

    East Midlands 37.1 / 32.6 / -4.5

    East of England 37.7 / 35.3 / -2.4

    London 33.3 / 37.4 / +4.1

    North East 30.4 / 30.8 / +0.4

    North West 31.7 / 32.5 / +0.8

    South East 37.5 / 34.5 / -2.1

    South West 38.8 / 36.9 / -1.9

    West Midlands 34.8 / 33.1 / -1.7

    Yorks & Humber 32.3 / 33.2 / +0.9

    Scotland 28.5 / 33.5 / +5.0

    Wales 30.4 / 31.5 / +1.1

    The 2009 local elections were the County ones which are almost a negative of the one that took place this year – only those District Councils that have elections by thirds would be in both. Those Regions where most people live in Unitary or Met Boroughs show the biggest rise while those which are more rural and have more in smaller towns show the biggest drop. London, where there were no locals in 2009 and everywhere in 2014 has the biggest increase.

    Except for Scotland that is. Neither Scotland or Wales had anything except the odd by-election, either in 2009 or 2014. So Scotland may not have had the best turnout but it did increase by much more than any other region,especially if you take into account the lack of local elections. It was a hint of the very high 85% turnout in the referendum and it will probably be reflected in a higher turnout in May – something the polls also suggest.

  22. If the SNP have [an] effective balance of power…

    The only effective balance of power is one that you can use. The electorate expects the SNP to support a Labour government or, at the very least, not to support a Tory one. So, even assuming the election outcome & the parliamentary arithmetic favours the SNP, their power is limited.

  23. STATGEEK
    “I think the difference is the SNP is not a branch office of Labour, with all the mixed loyalties.”

    You may be mistaking differing opinions on policies and differing support at leadership and candidate selections, which would be evidence of life in the old dog, with loyalty to the party and its overall goals. On the Macbethian question there was clear evidence at the Y/N referendum for widespread support in the party for continuation of the union – for good economic reasons and for reasons of stability in UK institutions – while recognising the right of Scots to assert and enjoy a separate nationality, and separate policies in areas where they would exercise independence within the union. That does, IMV, need time to be spelled out and put in place, and for SNP and LIS to compete for electoral support on that basis. It is not a divisive issue that is in any way toxiic in Scotland, but one of extraordinary interest in seeing how the related policy debate and actuality – in taxation, social welfare, higher education, and, feasibly, Trident – will work out and how this will translate in voting. It”s a more adult and transparent process than you imply.

  24. Syzygy ,
    Well I guess it is marginally better than his opposing them.The Tories have
    lined up firmly behind their leader,for labour to stand any chance they need to
    do the same.

  25. @ Syzygy,

    I suspect it indicates he has finally come around to the view that Labour will win the election, and he is squirming his way with Murdoch-like haste over to the winning side. That or Alastair Campbell came over to his house and thumped him a few times until he agreed to write a supportive article.

  26. @ Roger Mexico,

    You’ve put forward the scenario of the SNP selling their inheritance for a mess of devo-max before, but I’m not convinced they would accept it.

    No, nor am I. That’s the point I was gently trying to make to Allan and others last night. (Although I apologise to everyone here for kicking off this latest round of the LiS/SNP slapfight.)

    Whether Nicola Sturgeon has promised “the complete political extinction of the Tory Party” or nothing at all, the point surely is that Couper believes she has promised to bring down Cameron if it is within the SNP’s power, and will take the breaking of that perceived promise as a betrayal of sufficient magnitude to end her support for the party. If the rest of the new Lab -> SNP voting block believes likewise, this is a serious electoral constraint on what the SNP can do at Westminster. The 45% have been very quick to cry “Traitor!”- the SNP must take some care that the tumbrels that came for Scottish Labour don’t come for them as well.

    Such a “betrayal” might also be a stumbling block for the independence movement. Look what success Nick Clegg had advocating for his preferred constitutional reform after a similar betrayal of his base.

    It seems to me that the SNP are very unlikely to risk incurring such costs when, as you point out, they have the much more palatable option of supporting Labour and then claiming Labour broke the Vow.

  27. @Richard

    “Most weeks so far this year have been awful weekend headlines for Labour, and I suspect that may be why Ashcroft has shown Tory leads. This last weekend was better, so I suspect we may see the first Labour lead of the year with Ashcroft tomorrow.”

    If the awful headlines you refer too had dented Labour’s support, then we’d have seen this reflected in all the polls, not just one. Ashcroft isn’t measuring Ashcroft opinion, he’s measuring the same public opinion as all the other pollsters. Accordingly, because his poll was so out of line with all the others conducted at the same time, it looks a little suspect to me. It’s not plausible to think that his poll detected an opinion shift missed by all the other pollsters.

    @R&D

    Yes, as always, I did read Rawnsley yesterday. An interesting analysis and, along with Ken Clarke’s wise words on party funding published in the same newspaper, he offered the Tories some very sound, albeit challenging, advice. I thought he put his finger on one of the main reasons why the Tories are continuing to poll so anaemically.

    As for a Preston v Bradford F.A. Cup Final, what a nice fixture that would be for the old football nostalgics and traditionalists? Shades of Tom Finney and the Deepdale glory days. One of the first FA Cup Finals I ever remember watching on TV was the North End v West Ham game in 1964. I was only 8 but I recall Preston’s Howard Kendall being the youngest ever player to play in a Final (aged 17) and two of the 1966 World Cup winning West Ham triumvirate, Bobby Moore and Geoff Hurst taking a winning bow for the Hammers. Good game too. 3-2 to the ‘Appy ‘Ammers, if I recall rightly.

    I was already hopelessly besotted with the old round ball game even then!

  28. @ Richard,

    Thanks for posting that analysis. It was a very interesting read and it’s the only mechanism I’ve yet seen proposed for how/why swingback might happen.

  29. @Leftylampton
    “Four years and nine months ago…”

    Have you ever been to Gettysburg?

  30. @Roger Mexico

    What the SNP have to do is ensure English MP’s don’t form a coalition against them. We already know London Labour MP’s aren’t thrilled at the prospect.

  31. @Peter Cairns – 11.43 p.m.

    “Independence in Britain”

    As a pro tem position it seems quite a good description of where some of us wish to be. I would have voted for that, had it been on offer on September 18!

  32. @Roger Mexico – 2.19 a.m.

    Thanks for that rather good summary of how things might appear to stand!

  33. If the Polls are right the SNP is set to achieve a huge success for Scotland in May…..Delivering a Labour Government in 2015.

    Something LiS failed to do in 2010!

    May we live in interesting Times.

    Peter.

  34. @Wolf

    I disagree. The Imperial English ganging up on poor wee Scotland (in the steps of Edwards Plantagenet I, II & III) is just the sort of thing which would help the SNP.

  35. @Peter

    As I wrote a couple of evenings ago (maybe it was Thursday): Vote SNP get Labour – the best of both worlds!

    I was being slightly frivolous, but, as you rightly point out, not entirely wrong.

  36. Will the (all) Ireland cricket team’s victory over the West Indies in the World Cup have an effect on NI GE polling?

  37. @ Peter Cairns

    If Kellner is right (Con 293, Lib Dems 30), then the SNP may have,delivered David Cameron the keys to 10 Downing Street*

    * If it had keys

  38. I think we can safely discount the idea that newspaper headlines dictate VI, otherwise Labour would be on about 5%.

    If anything affects VI, it is the underlying content of the story which is a big beef steak with HBSC and a tofu salad with Miliband’s mum’s house.

  39. I wonder how Voting intention would be affected if God forbid a Terrorist Attack occurred in the UK between now and May 7th. A rise for UKIP and the Torries with a drop for Labour who will get the blame. It could completely change the result of the election if it happened only days before the election. Say it if happened on the Election Day. British poltical history could Change forever

  40. AMBER STAR
    At some point, Labour may choose to be swayed by emotion rather than reason & join the other Scottish Parties in their big ‘lie’ to electorate (i.e. that Scotland is a separate political entity, when it really isn’t).

    Perhaps your opinion partly explains and, to some extent, justifies why some talk of London Labour, but it seems entirely inconsistent with the results of successive SSAs, which seem to explain the disconnect with LiS pretty well.

    As just one example, the question Who ought to make most important decisions for Scotland about welfare benefits level? from 2007 to 2014, more than 50% of responses have been for Holyrood, with less than 25% for Westminster. Yet Calman produced nothing and Smith very little in that respect.

    It seems a pity that the SSA political questions regarding which bodies should have power over what are not regularly asked in Scottish polls – or perhaps they are but not published by the largely unionist press.

    http://whatscotlandthinks.org/ssa has some comparative tables but I have yet to discover a full 1999 to 2014 set.

  41. OLDNAT SPEARMINT JOHN B

    Sorry i never replied to your comments last night. Totally lost internet connection and smart phone is too fidgety to use but I have read your comments this morning (from last night) and some very valid and fair points.

    I do take a broad brush approach to things because I’m not that good at doing nitty gritty however unless I state fact they are only my opinions and as such I don’t want to see any frothing at the mouth. ;-)

    Anyway I agree on most points and disagree with some others.

  42. PETER CAIRNS (SNP)

    “If the Polls are right the SNP is set to achieve a huge success for Scotland in May…..Delivering a Labour Government in 2015.
    Something LiS failed to do in 2010!

    May we live in interesting Times”
    _____

    That’s quite a quirky comment but I like it. ;-)

  43. BM11,
    I do not understand your reasoning,why should Labour be blamed for a
    terrorist attack?

  44. “If anything affects VI, it is the underlying content of the story which is a big beef steak with HBSC and a tofu salad with Miliband’s mum’s house.”

    And the pink bus is an after-dinnner mint at best.

  45. So let’s assume for a moment that there is an SNP-Labour coalition in office after May 2015. What happens to the polls? The SNP stayed popular after taking government in Scotland, but would they as part of a UK-wide administration? Would Labour be able to pin unpopular policies on them? Would they take Labour in a direction more liked by their supporters and improve their support, or damage their standing on things like corporation tax?

    Thoughts!

  46. @ANN IN WALES and SPEARMINT

    Good thinking from you both :) I like the idea of PM having to swallow his distaste to jump back on the bandwagon trundling away from him…

  47. Neil A,

    I do think that the SNP seems to be going down the CSU route rather than the power-broker root. Even if the SNP holds 59/59 Scottish seats, they won’t have any chance of holding the balance of power, IF they are only willing to back Labour, and if they would suffer electoral suicide if they even abstained in a confidence vote by Labour.

    One thing we know about May is that whoever holds the balance of power (if anyone) it won’t be the SNP, because they’ve decided that they don’t want to be in that position.

  48. @ Little Red Rock,

    If Kellner is right (Con 293, Lib Dems 30), then the SNP may have, delivered David Cameron the keys to 10 Downing Street*

    * If it had keys

    1) I imagine it does have keys somewhere.

    2) Although I am willing to blame the SNP for a great many things, I don’t see how they can possibly be held responsible for the Conservatives winning 293 seats in England and Wales.

    @ Ann,

    “Immigrants!!!!”, I imagine. But I’m not sure there’s a large body of people susceptible to this argument who are supporting Labour at the moment, and if there were an attack you’d have Yvette Cooper running around saying it happened because the Government got rid of control orders. My guess is it would just turn into an unedifying finger-pointing contest between the main parties and the major beneficiaries would be Ukip rather than the Tories.

  49. If it was an Islamic terrorist attack the right wing press would blame Labour for letting the assailants in even if they were born here

  50. @John P / Amber

    [My point of view] is that Scottish Labour will do what Miliband tells them, or they will form a separate entity, which will not take orders from him. Hence the conflicting loyalties. Party, country, or voters?

    Miliband needs 326 seats, and he’s not getting them in Scotland. His priorities lie elsewhere (unless he thinks the Scottish seats are winnable and they will carry him over the line).

    It’s not about Scotland being separate or not. It’s about Scottish Labour being Scottish or being Labour (imho). Personally, I don’t believe that the Scottish voters in general, and the (ex?) Labour voters in particular have much faith in Miliband, Cameron or Clegg, so are looking closer to home.

    Emotion or reason, it’s the way of things. Just as the electorate didn’t fancy Michael Howard in 2005, it can be emotion and reason, and sometimes it’s frustrating, but that’s life.

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