Grexit polls

On Sunday there is a referendum in Greece on whether to accept the deal that was put to the Greek government before negotiations broke down (or at least, there was as I write, who knows what the position will be by the time you read this). What can the polling tell is about the likely result? There have not been any polls since the referendum announcement yet – though I don’t think there is anything preventing any (Greece previously had a ban on polls in the last fortnight of election campaigns, but this was repealed before the election earlier this year. I don’t know about referendums or any subsequent legal changes.)

There were, however, two Greek polls conducted in the three days before the referendum announcement that have been widely reported. A Kapa Research poll conducted between Wednesday and Friday actually asked how people would vote in a then hypothetical referendum, with 47% saying they would vote yes, 33% that they would vote no. Of course the poll was conducted prior to the referendum announcement so may not reflect current Greek opinion at all – people taking it as a sign Greece is about to vote yes should probably hold on a sec. Respondents may have been imagining a referendum on a deal that had the support of the Greek government, rather than a referendum where the government are opposed and backing a No vote.

The rest of the Kapa poll found 72% of Greeks wanted the country to remain within the EU and 68% wanted them to keep the Euro. There was a pretty even split over the government’s strategy – 49% had a positive opinion, 50% a negative opinion.

A second poll by Alco found negative opinions about the proposals on the table, but continuing goodwill towards Syriza. People didn’t think the proposals met their pre-election promises, but by 53% to 34% thought this was because Syriza hadn’t realised how difficult it would be rather than an attempt to mislead the people. By 61% to 33% respondents rejected the idea that the last Greek government would have done any better. Syriza continue to hold a robust lead in voting intention. Again, this is sometimes being reported as showing Greeks will vote Yes, but I’d be wary. It found people would, in principle, prefer a deal to default… but that’s not the same as saying they will vote YES in a referendum on a specific offer that the Greek government doesn’t support.

Turning to the attitude in other countries in Europe, YouGov polled the countries it has panels in a week ago and in most countries the public expected Greece to leave the Euro, and would prefer it if they did. In Britain people would prefer Greece to leave by 35% to 26%, Denmark by 44% to 24%, Sweden 35% to 26%, Finland 47% to 26%. France was the only country polled where people would prefer Greece to stay within the Euro, though only by 36% to 33%. In Germany 53% of the public thought Greece should leave the Eurozone, only 29% would prefer Greece to remain. Note, of course, that the countries YouGov operate in are largely Northern Europe… the public in Southern and Eastern European countries may have different views.

UPDATE: We finally have a poll on the referendum conducted after it was announced. Prorata for Efsyn found 51% of Greeks intending to vote no in the referendum. The fieldwork appears to have straddled the announcement to close the banks – before the announcement NO led by 57% to 30%, after the announcement NO led by only 46% to 37%. On the face of it that looks like No leading, but in a very fluid situation, but I don’t know what the sample size was before and after the bank closure (and indeed, whether the early and late respondents to the poll were comparable) so cannot tell if that apparently shrinking lead is meaningful.


152 Responses to “Grexit polls”

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  1. Millie – “I maintain that the best outcome would be for the Greek debt to be repayable over, say, 20 or 25 years, at nil interest. And repayable as circumstances allow.”

    That is essentially what Britain and the Allies offered to germany in the 1953 London Agreement.

    Actually we were even more generous than that. The debt was cut in half, repayment was over 30 years, and they were allowed to pay from net exports (rather than taxes or spending cuts). Which meant that in the early years when they were running trade deficits, no payments were made at all.

    When you consider the horrors the Allies had just endured it’s even more extraordinary. They (and their voters) must have felt like vomiting at the idea of “rewarding” their opponents, but they did it anyway.

    Europe is run by pygmies at the moment with pettiness over-ruling long term thinking.

  2. Regarding who else will leave if Greece leaves – the standard answer is Portugal. But it might be unexpected like Ireland.

    I saw a poll being shared on reddit which said that the Irish public believe that if Britain leaves the EU they should follow us out (which of course means leaving the euro as well).

    And here’s the Irish economist David McWilliams on the subject of the euro:

    Quote:

    The only reason the economy is growing strongly now is because England and America – our major trading partners – are growing strongly. When you hear politicians talking about the Irish economy, and saying we are the fastest growing economy in Europe, it is meaningless, because we aren’t a European economy at all. We are an Anglo/American economy, with a European exchange somehow grafted onto us.

    …So why did we join a currency that we have no business being in? It was, and still is, political. Over the years, the political establishment has disliked everything British and has wanted to re-orient the country towards an imaginary link with continental Europe that never existed.

    End Quote

  3. @TOH

    “They can increase the number of tax collectors by making cuts elsewhere.”

    That’s not making cuts though, that’s transferring resources from one sector of the state to another.

    @Barney

    “But I know politics is the art of the possible”

    True, but it is the possible within a set of constraints. Yes Germany is certainly using Greece as an example to scare the others, not for sensible economic reasons, but long-term will this work? Or will, long-term, other countries decide they don’t want to be bullied around by Germany (who is effectively using the smaller countries as a means to boost its own economy)? I doubt the short-term gain will be worth it.

    @Candy

    “When you consider the horrors the Allies had just endured it’s even more extraordinary.”

    Actually it’s because of those horrors that they were so generous. Everyone recognized that the sequel to the Great War occurred because, in the aftermath of the first one, they had decided to do the ‘moral’ thing and ‘punish’ the ‘aggressive’ Germans. The destruction that wreaked led to the conditions that enabled World War II to happen, and no one was inclined to run that risk again. So they opted for a more sensible option.

  4. Question for the geeks…

    In the D’Hondt system, what happens when there’s a dead heat in any given round?

    Party with most votes to begin with? Coin toss?

  5. Anarchists
    Interesting points.
    In the long run we are all dead..but it will I think work for a while. Of most interest to me and I presume this site is influence on voting. There will in the next nine months be an election in Ireland. I don’t know about elsewhere. The battlelines will match the present differences in Greece.
    In terms of post war Germany, there is much in what you say but we must also remember that, as Noel Annan’s memoir of the events is called, we “Changed Enemies”. Under American hegemony, Europe had little option but to back a resurgent right of centre Germany as a bulwark against the Soviet Union.

  6. @ Barney Crockett

    “Europe had little option but to back a resurgent right of centre Germany as a bulwark against the Soviet Union.”

    Mild understatement. All German POWs were kept in military organisation for a war against the Soviet Union (from early 1945 till the end of the war), with weaponry kept next to the pow barracks. The Americans bought Gehlen’s spy network in Easter Europe at the same time (not recognising that he sold only a half of it). The British spy network in Hungary was finished off by early 1949, although Philby and co could have a hand in that. I don’t know how it was in other Eastern European countries, especially in Poland, where the AK fought against and collaborated with Germany against the red army (one of the deeply buried memories of Ww2).

    The Cold War was started by the West. It took a lot of money for the Americans to persuade the French that the Germans are great allies against the SU.

  7. Anarchists Unite – “Actually it’s because of those horrors that they were so generous. Everyone recognized that the sequel to the Great War occurred because, in the aftermath of the first one, they had decided to do the ‘moral’ thing and ‘punish’ the ‘aggressive’ Germans.”

    It’s popular to believe that WW2 occurred because of the reparations imposed after WW1 – in other words it’s all our fault. But it was not as simple as that.

    The reason Lloyd George and Clemenceau were harsh after WW1 was because after the Franco-Prussian war of 1870-1871, the Germans occupied Alsace-Lorraine, demanded reparations of 5 billion gold francs from the French to be paid in five years (20% of France’s GDP) and occupied French territory till it was paid. From the German point of view, this was to cripple the French economy and ensure they couldn’t re-arm.

    France actually coped with aplomb – they borrowed the money in the markets (mainly from Americans), paid the Germans to get rid of them from French land, and then proceeded to pay back the investors they borrowed from. And never lost their civilisation and their economy managed the shock too.

    So after WW1, the same was imposed on Germany for teh same reasons – to make sure they couldn’t afford to re-arm. It was a smaller amount – about 15% of German GDP.

    Who knew the Germans would go psycho?

    It’s not inevitable that when you suffer economic stress that you go genocidal. That’s an active choice and most of the planet doesn’t choose it. Despite Greece having problems, it is not threatening war on it’s neighbours even though it has debts of 260% of GDP, half of which was accrued under the “plan” of the Troika since 2010. Iceland isn’t bombing anyone, neither did Indonesia after their crisis in the 1990’s or South Korea which suffered such a severe crisis in the 90’s there was a national appeal for people to donate gold – and many old Koreans gave up their wedding rings to help.

    Therefore I think the Allies were incredibly generous after WW2. Can you imagine us offering a similar package to say ISIS? Yet on the scale of depravity they haven’t yet reached the levels the Germans did.

    Which means the Brits of the 1950’s were being truly heroic in their forgiveness. I don’t think our generation is capable of it.

  8. P.S. I should have added – the Allies after Ww1, kept reducing the German reparations, and in 1932, shortly before the election that brought Hitler to power, the cancelled them completely.

    And freed of the burden of reparations, Hitler promptly started re-arming.

    So Lloyd George and Clemenceau were right – the reparations were necessary to prevent Germany re-arming, it was the only check on them because they hadn’t changed their minds about their expansion at all.

  9. @Candy

    That’s pretty good stuff.
    A very accurate assessment of what happened following both wars.

    The big problem, from my ‘O’ level perspective, was that the Germans did not accept that they were defeated in 1918. In March they were winning, and in September they were finished. Many, including Hitler, could not see this as a defeat, and wrongly blamed the hierarchy for a completely unnecessary surrender.

    Might I suggest that this is the reason why they went ‘genocidal’ whereas in other situations, countries accepted defeat and ‘moved on’. Candy is right: we were remarkably generous and wise after World War II.

    Regarding Ireland, I am very knowledgeable having drunk many pints of Guinness in O’Donoghues just off St. Stephen’s Green, and then in the extraordinary Jonny Fox’s pub in the Wicklow Mountains. Which is a remarkable shrine to Irish nationalism. Ireland’s relationship with the UK is odd indeed: they completely recognise our common heritage, and genuinely like us for it, but are very keen to make it clear that they are politically independent. Hence their enthusiasm for the euro. Previously, of course, they had their punt, which had an uneasy relationship with the pound.

    Any advocate of the euro would surely argue for a common currency across the British Isles, but politics said otherwise: Ireland could not be truly independent without its own currency. That is the core argument over the Euro: essentially the UK and others could not stomach joining the Euro because it meant an abandonment of sovereignty. Ireland, perversely, and for unique historical reasons, adopted it as an expression of sovereignty. Ireland’s continued commitment to the Euro is therefore largely political, not economic.

  10. ANARCHISTS UNITE

    @” Or will, long-term, other countries decide they don’t want to be bullied around by Germany ”

    The narrative of an all powerful Germany forcing extreme fiscal prudence on an unwilling bunch of cowed EZ members may suit the received political doctrine in certain quarters. It has certainly been embraced by Tsipras.

    But is is it correct ?-note the view of Italy ( a massively indebted country) in this uncomplementary analysis of Tsipras’ attempt to challenge the alleged German Fiscal Jjackboot.

    http://www.afr.com/news/world/europe/greek-debt-crisis-tsiprass-big-gamble-on-europe-backfires-on-greece-20150702-gi3lfc

  11. ANARCHISTS UNITE

    You misunderstood me, the total cuts required would still have to be met, therefore deeper cuts elsewhere.

  12. @TOH

    I like your idea about greatly boosting the resources devoted to tax collection in order to help a government deal with its fiscal position. So perhaps we should also try it here, where the opposite penny-wise pound-foolish path has been followed.

  13. PHIL HAINES

    I am all for boosting resources to ensure efficient tax collection tax. However I am not aware that there is a great problem in the UK. As you well I am all for a small government, low tax regime

  14. I have read media comment to the effect that Labour has abandoned its commitment to restore a top rate of Income Tax of 50%. This seems based on a statement from the stand -in Shadow Chancellor that ‘that debate is over’. Such remarks surely simply reflect the immediate priority to oppose any further reduction in the rate from 45% – rather than being indicative of any policy change. Chris Leslie has no authority to change policy anyway and his misinterpreted comments are at variance with the expressed views of Andy Burnham and Yvette Cooper.

  15. @Barney

    “Under American hegemony, Europe had little option but to back a resurgent right of centre Germany as a bulwark against the Soviet Union.”

    Realpolitik certainly came into it – there was a desire for a buffer of some kind between Western Europe and the Soviet Union, but there was also a desire to avoid a repeat of the mistakes of the past.

    @Candy

    “It’s popular to believe that WW2 occurred because of the reparations imposed after WW1 – in other words it’s all our fault. But it was not as simple as that.”

    I should have been a bit clearer – I’m well aware that it’s not as simple as that, but it was a contributory factor, particularly when combined with the fact that Germany was never actually defeated in WWI (a fact that Hitler exploited with aplomb when heading for power).

    We could also point to the fact that the reparations extracted from Russia during WWI were also much harsher than what was imposed on Germany (but this was reversed after the war).

    The French and German positions were also not quite the same; France had overseas colonies that it could exploit, as well as having more industrial bases, and agricultural industry, to use than the Alsace-Lorraine region. They also took the Rhineland, which was the main German industrial deposit (if my memory serves me well).

    “Who knew the Germans would go psycho?
    It’s not inevitable that when you suffer economic stress that you go genocidal.”

    I don’t recall saying it was? Obviously there’s a variety of reasons why it happens, hence why it is rather rare in modern history. But it is also not something that is unique to a particular people; least ways nobody has seriously believed that it was all due to defects in the German character since Stanley Millgram demonstrated that it was nonsense.

    Nobody predicted that it would go quite as bad as it did, but Keynes did point out that it would likely lead to another war more serious than the previous one.

    “Which means the Brits of the 1950’s were being truly heroic in their forgiveness”

    I don’t think the Brits had much choice in the matter…

    “So Lloyd George and Clemenceau were right –the reparations were necessary to prevent Germany re-arming, it was the only check on them because they hadn’t changed their minds about their expansion at all.”

    I think that’s a case of ‘post-hoc ergo propter hoc’, but yes, silly old Germans, wanting to do what Britain and France had already done. They should have known their place.

    “Despite Greece having problems, it is not threatening war on it’s neighbours even though it has debts of 260% of GDP, half of which was accrued under the “plan” of the Troika since 2010.”

    Give it time; Golden Dawn haven’t made it into power yet. Although should they want to revive the Glorious Empire of Alexander we may well cheerfully give them the money and resources to do so.

    As an overall summary: this has not disputed my core argument which is that pushing strong demands on countries for political and ‘righteous’ reasons does not make it sensible economic decisions.

    @Colin

    “The narrative of an all powerful Germany forcing extreme fiscal prudence on an unwilling bunch of cowed EZ members may suit the received political doctrine in certain quarters”

    Sure, just as the narrative of intransigent Greeks refusing to comply with the hard, but fair and necessary, adjustments solemnly asked for by the Troika may suit the political doctrine in certain other quarters (see, we can both play this game).

    It, again, does not dispute the point that this is not an economically sensible course to pursue, nor that long-term it may damage the EZ project. It is, after all, true that the ECB makes its decisions with reference to the German economy, something that may not be beneficial to Europe as a whole.

    Also, and I may just be being cynical here, but that article expressed the view of Matteo Renzi, the Prime Minister of Italy and he might have reasons of his own for wanting to play up the difficulty and necessity of what he is doing and contrast it with those nasty selfish Greeks (the line about how they didn’t cut Italian pensions so that Greek shipbuilders could go on not paying taxes really should have been the tip off).

    @TOH

    “You misunderstood me, the total cuts required would still have to be met, therefore deeper cuts elsewhere.”

    Ah, fair enough. I doubt that would work, but I suspect Anthony wouldn’t want us to get into that particular tango so I’ll leave it there. Besides which I’m now involved in waaayy too many arguments already :-)

  16. ANARCHISTS UNITE

    I’m pleased to see you drawing a distinction between the current Prime Minister of Italy, and “Italy”. I used the latter word deliberately to try & highlight the narrative which continually refers to “Germany” , rather than a given political leader of that country.

    I would say that the “narrative” you suggest for “Greeks” is not the one which I would suggest. I might agree with you that paring back public expenditure in Greece which affects individual Greeks ,has gone as far as is sustainable-or bearable..
    But there is-or seems to be-a distinct suggestion of cultural attitudes to The State which are based on patronage, clientilism & -yes-corruption. A view that sees the State is a resource to be exploited , and its people as its clients , rather than citizens in common.

    I sometimes wonder if there is a functioning a-political civil service at all in Greece-or merely groups of Institutional Patrons.

  17. AU

    @”that article expressed the view of Matteo Renzi, the Prime Minister of Italy and he might have reasons of his own for wanting to play up the difficulty and necessity of what he is doing and contrast it with those nasty selfish Greeks ”

    Well of course he does !

    That was my point :-)

    Whilst he remains the elected PM of his country, he is entitled-and would be expected to say just that. Particularly since his countries contribution to Greece’s existing bailouts has merely added to the mountain of debt he is trying to tackle.

  18. @Colin

    Fair point – mea culpa on that one, I should know better to keep the distinction (or else make the distinction explicit)

    “But there is-or seems to be-a distinct suggestion of cultural attitudes to The State which are based on patronage, clientilism & -yes-corruption. A view that sees the State is a resource to be exploited , and its people as its clients , rather than citizens in common.”

    Sure, I’d agree with most of those points (though I suspect we have differences in emphasis). There does seem to be a fair bit on corruption, patronage and so on, which traces itself back to when the oligarchs were in total power, and a failure to set up the system of democracy properly in the transition. The same thing happened in Russia.

    Syriza agrees with this – part of their policy platform was to eliminate the corruption in the system. But eliminating corruption and setting up a proper civil service can’t be done without the resources to do so; meaning the continual austerity and demands for state cutting back being imposed is incompatible with the desire to reform the system.

    “Well of course he does !”

    He certainly does!

    After all he wouldn’t it to appear like Italy’s mountain of debt has increased because of the austerity undertaken now would he? Much easier to blame someone else ;-)

  19. @Millie

    “…I maintain that the best outcome would be for the Greek debt to be repayable over, say, 20 or 25 years, at nil interest. And repayable as circumstances allow…”

    I try not to mention Greece on this board any more because I get a bit ranty (it usually involves hanging the last Tsipras with the guts of the last Varoufakis) but as your question is more one about numbers, I can address it without time travel, Marx’s parents, and a condom.

    If memory serves, the current Greece reayment schedule is over ~30 years at an interest rate of ~0.7%. That’s different to the interest rate it sells bonds at. Given that it has had ~20% of its debt written off to date, this is very similar to the “repayable at 20-30 years at nil interest” you recommend.

    The current argument with Syriza is – oddly – not the debt repayment schedule per se. Syriza and the creditors differ on the tax/benefits mix necessary to raise the money and Syriza object to the creditor’s preferred methods being imposed on them

  20. @Colin

    “Whilst he remains the elected PM of his country”

    Astonishingly, Matteo Renzi has never even been elected to parliament, let alone “elected” as Prime Minister of Italy.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-26218177

    He was chosen by former president Napolitano with the backing of Berlusconi, having taken over the leadership of the Partito Democratico in an internal coup.

    It is a shocking indictment of Italian democracy, only perhaps surpassed by the UK, where a party managed to grab control with just 36% of the vote by swinging a few key constituencies with loads of money from rich sugar daddy donors.

  21. Its not a shocking indictment of a democracy for elected representatives to chose who leads. That’s democracy actually – bound only to the constituents vote.

  22. The Other Howard

    I am all for boosting resources to ensure efficient tax collection tax. However I am not aware that there is a great problem in the UK.

    There actually are number of long-standing staffing problems[1] to do with HMRC and its predecessors, but government cuts have made things much worse. The trouble is that cuts always seem to be either spread evenly across all departments or biased against back-office functions in favour of ‘frontline’ services. And most HMRC stuff will be back-office by definition.

    And cutbacks there have been, as reported here for example:

    http://www.accountancyage.com/aa/news/2376308/14-offices-to-close-in-significant-hmrc-cuts

    It’s also worth pointing out that closure of offices may in itself reduce detection of fraud and efficiency of collection. Site visits become more difficult and the sort of background information you get from being based somewhere is lost. Still apparently new computer systems will solve everything – they always work so well in government.

    [1] For example the big accountancy conglomerates poaching graduates (after several years training with HMRC) to work in their own tax divisions – effectively bribing the gamekeepers to turn poacher. Years of civil service pay freezes makes this sort of thing even more attractive, but it isn’t a new problem. And of course recruitment of replacements becomes difficult if you are trying to reduce overall numbers.

  23. RC

    can I assume you did not like the result of the election and would have preferred a Conservative/UKIP colition

  24. Roger

    Thanks for that, interesting but I would need more evidence of major problems.

    If, however I assume you are correct, then I would be very supportive of additional investment in HMRC provided it more than recovered the cost of that investment.

  25. “Whilst he remains the elected PM of his country”

    ——–

    Oh the irony…

  26. RC

    That should have read “coalition”.

  27. TOH

    Tax not being paid is often difficult to quantify, though a comment on that piece pointed to £4.4 billion written off due to insolvency of firms – we’re not not just talking income tax with HMRC of course but VAT and company taxes as well.

    The ‘poaching’ problem is well known (Private Eye has been on about for over a decade) and can lead to situations where staff may decide to go easy on firms or clients of firms who they are eyeing up as their next employer (you may remember the career of Dave Hartnett). Certainly the sort of write-offs you see in such cases would pay for a lot of staff. Though lack of resources may also mean that ‘difficult’ cases are not pursued and individuals or companies can get away with paying a lot less than they should.

  28. Millie

    Ireland could not be truly independent without its own currency. That is the core argument over the Euro: essentially the UK and others could not stomach joining the Euro because it meant an abandonment of sovereignty. Ireland, perversely, and for unique historical reasons, adopted it as an expression of sovereignty. Ireland’s continued commitment to the Euro is therefore largely political, not economic.

    There’s some truth in what you say, though it’s worth remembering that the Punt was linked to and at parity with Sterling from Independence until Ireland joined the ERM in 1979:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irish_pound#Breaking_the_link_with_sterling

    In terms of currency, Ireland was effectively a ‘branch office’ of the UK up to then, through all the hyper-nationalist de Valera years. Indeed Irish notes and coins used to circulate as freely as Scottish ones. Ireland never really had an independent currency, it was always linked to someone else’s, though arguable the limited freedom under the ERM helped boost the economy in the ‘Celtic Tiger’ period.

    However support for the Euro was genuinely popular[1] rather just pushed by egocentric politicians and this applies to other EU states such as Greece, Italy and Spain as well. Paradoxically the reason was because they didn’t trust their national politicians. It was felt that the Euro would operate with greater disciple and centralised control would rein in the feckless and self-interested ways of their own corrupt political class.

    In practice those countries got the worst of both worlds as the credibility of the Euro meant that those in charge could be even more spendthrift, while their EU colleagues and the central authorities turned a blind eye. These same people are now telling the public that it is all their fault for trusting them in the first place – rather reminiscent of the bankers in 2008 and since.

    [1] I could find surprisingly little evidence on this on TCD’s IOPA site, though one poll showed 44% with only about a quarter opposed.

  29. The governments own estimate of the tax gap -tax which could be collected but isnt is £34billion.

    Their estimate of social security fraud is £1billion -benefits claimed which shouldnt have been.

    The former figure is speculative the latter slightly firmer but is less than unclaimed benefits (largely pension credit).The public of course worries about those they think should work but dont which is a different concept but will still be nowhere near the tax uncollected.

    My take is that if all taxes were paid ,as if the recipient was on paye,there wouldnt be a deficit at all.

    Company taxation is pretty much on the way out everywhere unless the EU or OECD can get some international consensus on a new basis.

    Property taxation is also becoming dicey -it wont be very long before the council tax is completely degraded in london -the top band is £320k and pretty soon you wont be able to buy very much for that .

    Most politicians are petrified of the electoral consequences of doing anything.Even labour with eight years in government 1997-2005 with over 400 seats and massive majorities largely ignored the issue.

    Bith the uk and the usa and many rich countries are becoming more unequal which means growth is lower not least cos the rich spend a lower proportion of their income.All the ingredients are there for the greek problem being repeated in the uk.

  30. Meanwhile in polling news, another Grexit poll appeared this morning, apparently showing a slight lead for Yes:

    http://www.microsofttranslator.com/BV.aspx?ref=IE8Activity&a=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.imerisia.gr%2Farticle.asp%3Fcatid%3D26509%26subid%3D2%26pubid%3D113578866

    with 43% to 39%[1]. The poll was by GPO for (the bank) BNP Paribas. However GPO have since issued a statement, MS translated as follows:

    Unbeknownst to the GPO and without any involvement of the company, disclosed in Media Research Department finds scant about the referendum on 5 July. For this, GPO indicates that no responsibility and will exhaust every legal means to protect its interests.

    We note that the law allows citizens with public disclosure of research results – polls. But this must be done in a responsible and comprehensive manner and the participation of companies, as the law stipulates. This always applies, it must be valid and now ahead in such a crucial decision of the Greek people.

    It’s rather reminiscent of the spat between Panelbase and the SNP when the latter released a private poll without revealing the context of the questions or warning the pollster. Though given the apparent fury of GPO even more manipulation may have been involved.

    [1] To protect Anthony’s delicate sensibilities all my Grexit percentages are rounded as they’re usually only based on a sample of 1000-ish at best. Everyone else seems to throwing decimal points around as if their name was Damian though.

  31. @The Other Howard

    A brave, and erroneous, assumption.

    @ Fraser
    “Its not a shocking indictment of a democracy for elected representatives to chose who leads.”

    It is if the process of choice makes no reference whatever to the wishes of the electorate. Italy has had three prime ministers in succession (Monti, Letta, Renzi) who have failed to win any electoral mandate before taking office, with Mario Monti (appointed a lifetime senator, equivalent of being ennobled), like Renzi, totally unelected at a national level. All of them have been effectively held hostage by Berlusconi and his placemen.

    And the Italians always rail about the UK’s lack of enthusiasm for political unification across Europe. I wonder why that would be….

  32. Roger

    “It’s rather reminiscent of the spat between Panelbase and the SNP when the latter released a private poll without revealing the context of the questions or warning the pollster”

    I don’t remember that one. Was it in any way similar to the problem between Survation and the Lib-Dems when the latter released a series of private polls without revealing the context of the questions or warning the pollster?

    http://survation.com/in-reference-to-recent-liberal-democrat-polling-shared-privately-with-the-media/

  33. Greece – Has the latest IMF position been mentioned? – (Rain is on, so I’m catching up on goings-on)

    The International Monetary Fund has electrified the referendum debate in Greece after it conceded that the crisis-ridden country needs €50bn (£35bn or $55bn) of extra funds over the next three years and large-scale debt relief to create “a breathing space” and stabilise the economy.

    http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/jul/02/imf-greece-needs-extra-50bn-euros

  34. RC

    If you were being a bit partisan there, with your earlier post, I ought to remind you that if Labour had won, the policies for the ‘first 100 days’ were written by the entirely unelected Lord Falconer.

    Martyn

    Not ranty at all. And, of course, you are right about the relatively low level of Greece’s interest charges and their long repayment dates. I actually acknowledged Colin’s earlier post saying much the same thing.

    My point was really that repayment terms should be de facto unscheduled, to allow the Greeks flexibility. This would not give them complete leeway because the lenders could always withdraw that flexibility. It does seem that Greece is at least partially on a treadmill of borrowing money to make repayments.

    Roger M

    Point taken – I was remembering when I first went to Ireland and the punt was then decoupled from sterling.

    The general Irish concern with their ruling class is very obvious if you visit regularly as I do. A small country has a small coterie wielding power, and the bankers, politicians and developers, in the run-up to the crash, were very closely intertwined.

  35. ‘According to the IMF, Greece should have a 20-year grace period before making any debt repayments and that final payments should not take place until 2055’.

    I see the IMF have been reading my posts.

    Where Millie leads…

  36. For those still looking back at May in the UK – here’s an interesting bit of analysis from Media Standards Trust.

    “Election Unspun: Political parties, the press,and Twitter during the 2015 UK election campaign”

    http://mediastandardstrust.org/mst-news/election-unspun-political-parties-the-pressand-twitter-during-the-2015-uk-election-campaign/

    On both Twitter and traditional media, the report identifies themes that defined the campaign, such as the personalisation of coverage of the party leaders; the participation of the press, and the way in which the economy dominated the debate. It then contrasts these with the issues everyone expected to dominate debate but did not, such as the NHS and immigration. It also looks at the political actors themselves – the candidates – and how they were using media to promote themselves and their policies. 397 Conservative candidates and 566 Labour candidates were tweeting during the campaign, as well as LibDems, Greens, and candidates from UKIP, the SNP and Plaid Cymru. All their tweets were captured and analysed for this report. The 2015 election campaign was played out in the media to an extent not seen before – broadcast, press, online, blogs, and social media all featured both discussion of party policies and commentary on the ‘horse race’ of the campaign. Yet it was also a highly controlled campaign in which Parties, particularly the Conservatives, sought tight control of the debate. This report looks at how this played out.

  37. RC

    Thanks

    I realised that the chasm you identify opened up on my post as soon as I pressed Submit ! :-)

  38. Yeah, you gotta watch out for those chasms. Like the time I innocently mentioned going to boarding school. (Still, I’m over it now…)

  39. @TOH

    You referred in an earlier post to a “colition”, a term I hadn’t come across before. If this a reference to your old pen friend, and UKPR’s resident FD, Colin, is a “colition” a sort of state of being Colin?

    If so, isn’t the better noun Colitis? UKPR has suffered from this rather unpleasant and incurable disease for some considerable time.

    :-)

    P.S. I’ve often wondered what FD stands for, although my hunch couldn’t possibly be aired on this prim and ever respectable website. :-)

  40. Graham-what Chris Leslies position on the top rate tells you is thats coopers position (and always was balls position ) .But cooper doesnt want to admit that at this point in the contest.Safe to assume its young lizs position but burnham has to keep his options open.

  41. OldNat

    “It’s rather reminiscent of the spat between Panelbase and the SNP when the latter released a private poll without revealing the context of the questions or warning the pollster”

    I don’t remember that one. Was it in any way similar to the problem between Survation and the Lib-Dems when the latter released a series of private polls without revealing the context of the questions or warning the pollster?

    It was due to this poll here:

    http://www.panelbase.com/media/polls/SNPPollTables020903.pdf

    and discussed at some length at the time. And yes the Survation/LD row was similar (and even more spatty) but I’d already been rude about Damian in that comment and I didn’t want it to look as if I was picking on him.

    To get back to the topic of Grexit polls (I’m mad me), the appearence and disappearence of polls is becoming almost more interesting than what they say. The Palmos poll has also now vanished from Wikiapparently on formal request from someone and their website has gone missing.

    The puzzling thing is the lack of polls. This is country that managed to produce ten different exit polls in the last election, but there are few referendum ones and those are contested. I expected a good dozen by now, but there’s only been three and two of those are contested. Is commercial pressure being applied?

  42. @07052015

    But Chris Leslie did not state that Labour had abandned its commitment to a 50% top rate! i suggest that the media have misread his remarks. Moreover, cooper has already committed herself to that policy.

  43. Roger Mexico..

    Thanks for the link – 2013 !

    Unfortunately, the poll in question doesn’t match your description of a row.

    That was the poll, about which there was a row, but which wasn’t “private polling” in the sense implied by your comment, wasn’t between the SNP and Panelbase, and was simply based on the issue of whether the VI question should always come first.

    That’s an issue which has arisen again after the 2015 polling debacle.

    Here’s John Curtice on it at the time (though he might take a different view on the methodology now).

    http://blog.whatscotlandthinks.org/2013/09/snppanelbase-poll-shows-one-point-yes-lead/

    Your motive for selecting an erroneous example may have been excellent – but parties who do what the LDs did to Survation deserve everything they get (which, in this case, was 8 seats and counting down as the recall legislation is implemented in September).

  44. The Herald (normally a restrained “middle of the road” paper) has become quite strident over the implementation of EVEL.

    http://www.heraldscotland.com/comment/herald-view/herald-view-on-evel-we-deserve-better-than-this.130886294

    “English Votes for English Laws, that seemingly fair-sounding concept, is shaping up to be one of the most dishonest, disruptive, damaging and contentious episodes in British constitutional history.”

    While one can only endorse its decision to “stand back from the partisan exchanges”, the editorial does suggest that the indyref No supporter in charge has adopted the position of the somnolent members of the congregation in the old Presbyterian joke, of whom the minister said –

    “And there ye’ll be, lying on the coals, the brimstone burning round ye, and ye’ll say ‘Lord, Lord, I didna’ ken’. Then the Lord, in his infinite wisdom and mercy, will look doon on ye and say ‘Weel ye ken noo’.”

  45. Sshh that bloke we dont mention has endorsed yvette cooper and says internal wars must end .

    Meanwhile ms K ,in the Sun no less, says dont elect the other two they are just like Ed M(complete with helpful graphic from the paper).

  46. CROSSBAT11

    I believe I am am reasonably intelligent but I find your recent post to me totally unintelligible.

    I quickly posted a correction to my misspelling of “coalition”.

    My original post to RC was just pointing out that if he wanted PR instead of FPTP then the most likely resulto fthe last election would have been a coalition of the Conservatives and UKIP

  47. Graham call me naive but I thought it was quite a neat way to dump a policy which Balls always said was temporary.

    Cant see it coming back under any of the contenders.

  48. @ The Other Howard

    If we had had PR then the policies adopted by the last government would have been very different and the outcome in May is therefore unknowable.

    Many people voted Conservative as a “squeeze” reaction to the projections to the polls giving the SNP the whip hand in a possible coalition.

    All highly imponderable.

  49. And if we had PR, the Tories would probably be two parties, pro and anti Europe, while Labour would probably have split as well, giving all kinds of centrist coalition possibilities.

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