While the polling inquiry continues and we all work out what went wrong the Guardian aren’t publishing their ICM/Guardian polls, but they are still being done. Martin Boon has tweeted July’s results, which have topline figures of CON 38%, LAB 34%, LDEM 6%, UKIP 13%, GRN 4%.

As I wrote in my previous poll, YouGov released a second bite of budget polling on Friday, this part conducted after the initial press reaction to the budget. This wave highlights some of the public’s rather complex views on benefits and the living wage.

Public attitudes to welfare are complicated, sometimes contradictory and it is easy to cherry pick polling results to show the public support or oppose big cuts to benefits, depending on one’s views. At the simplest level people like the idea of benefit cuts because they think they go to people who don’t deserve them and who haven’t contributed to them. Exactly who they imagine these people are is more difficult to say, since if you ask about most groups who recieve benefits people oppose cuts.

So, overall 38% of people say cuts to benefits have gone too far, 23% they they are about right, 24% would go even further. Asked about the level of benefits and the number of people who can claim them 45% say benefits are too generous, 40% they they are too low (23%) or about right (17%); 57% say too many people are eligible, 30% that too few (19%) or about the right number of people are eligible (11%). Looking at those figures people seem to be pretty pro-cut.

Asked about individual groups of people who receive benefits though and the public suddenly become much more charitable. Only 4% think retired people on the state pension get too much in benefits, only 9% think disabled people do, only 12% think people in low paid work do. 19% think working people with children get too much in benefits, but 33% think they should get more. Opinion on unemployed people is the most evenly balanced, with 28% saying they get too much in benefits, 24% too little, 31% about right. The only group where people come down heavily on the side of too much money being spent on benefits is better off retired people… the group that politicians never cut benefits from because they vote.

This raises the question of why people think benefits are too high and too widely spread if they don’t think the unemployed, pensioners, parents, disabled people or the working poor get too much. I hardly think when people talk about benefit cuts they are thinking of winter fuel payments, rather I expect the support comes from the continuing belief that lots of benefits go to categories not asked about like “people who aren’t really disabled”, “people who could work but can’t”, “asylum seekers” and so on.

Attitudes were similarly complex on the government’s national living wage. We saw in Thursday’s poll that this received overwhelming support. This poll however found rather more nuanced attitude. 31% of people think that the living wage will end up increasing unemployment… yet only 7% think it is being set too high (the implication being that some proportion of people think it more important that jobs pay a decent wage than unemployment is minimised). The principle of the government’s approach is backed – 39% think it’s better for government to reduce in-work poverty by forcing business to pay higher wages (even if it increases unemployment) compared to 19% of people who think it is better for government to reduce in-work poverty by using the tax and benefit system (even if it costs a lot). However, asked about their overall perceptions of the budget people think, by 39% to 28%, that it will leave people in low paid jobs worse off. The question the poll hasn’t asked is how much that matters to people. Too what extent, if any, would people rather low paid workers got more money in wages and less in benefits even if they are less well off.


337 Responses to “Latest ICM poll and more YouGov budget polling”

1 2 3 4 7
  1. HAWTHORN

    You’re missing the point. Whether you agree or disagree with the policy it is a consistent solution to an aknowledged problem. To the non-partisan, borrowing ideas from the other party is hardly a criticism. It does comes across as a well thought out policy. Whether it really is or not is irrelevant – it is the perception that is important here.

    The perception on the Labour response is purely negative – against without proposing any alternative other than the status quo. it’s the vision thing again.

  2. The Monk

    The problem is if an actual recession impinges on the perception.

    The Greeks perceived that could have the Euro and avoid austerity, but that did not end very well.

  3. You are in danger of skewing the results with the comments below: “45% say benefits are too generous, 40% they they are too low” (23%) or about right (17%); 57% say too many people are eligible, 30% that too few (19%) or about the right number of people are eligible (11%)”.

    40% are not saying they are too low – only 23% reach that conclusion. The other 17% are happy with the status quo so why lump them together with the other 23%? Same applies to the comment on eligibility.

    You should be more careful in the way in which you present the different opinions expressed.

  4. @hawthorn – worth remembering that the biggest revenue raising measure in the budget is the change to dividend taxation, which will affect investors and small businesses. It’s not all ‘hit the poor’.

    Also he’s gone after the banks again, although this time he is reducing the amount some of the bigger institutions have to pay (those that carry greater responsibility for the crash) while bringing far more smaller lending institutions into the 8% profits charge.

    I agree with @The monk though – Labour are slowly slipping into irrelevance. Quite why it takes them months to run an election is beyond me. Some time ago we invented things like the telephone and the internet. Endless hustings might make Labour people feel good, but once again, they are taking an age to decide what colour their navel fluff is.

    As I said before – it’s grey. Always has been, always will be. It’s time they got to work.
    Characterizing this budget as an attack on the poor is a little lazy, although there is no doubt that some working poor will be worse off.

  5. Alec

    Look, I agree that Labour are being completely useless at the moment. I also agree that perceptions are important, but if politicians create perceptions that are illusions they will face a backlash. Just look at Syriza. Osborne is creating an illusion, just as Tony Blair did and when reality crashes in, he will have hell to pay. I doubt he will get out in time like Blair did.

    I am not arguing that will necessarily benefit Labour unless they get their act together in the way I suggested earlier.

    I also agree with quite a bit of the budget, including the tax dividend stuff and the changes to BTL taxation. This is clearly Osborne targeting parts of his base who have nowhere else to go which is straight out of the Tony Blair playbook.

  6. Thinking about it more, I think this where Kendall is going wrong with the politics. She is being too partisan, possibly down to careerism.

    Frankly, the current government (with a few mostly symbolic exceptions) are doing pretty much what a Blairite Labour government would do. Mostly bad, but with some good stuff as well.

    So arguing that you should give up your beliefs in order to gain a government that is pretty much the same as the one you disagree with is not much of an argument. That is unless you are extremely partisan and/or have a career in politics.

  7. To add further, it is not much of a pitch to the public who can stick to the devil they know if things go well, or go for a genuine (if unpalatable) alternative in the form of UKIP if things go wrong.

  8. Tony Blair was doing just fine until the temptation to play god in foreign affairs got the better of him – that and the demented sulker next door ((c) Alistair Campbell). Even so, he still won a third term in 2005 with working majority – so maybe the “illusion” wasn’t so much of a problem.

    In the end the elctorate is looking for competence and leadership – 2 things which Blair and Cameron/Osborne project. If you look at when the Tory fortunes took a nosedive in the last parliament it was when the image of confidence was shattered by the omni-shambles budget – something that I suspect hasn’t been lost on Osborne.

  9. The Monk

    Blair and Brown built an economic boom on sand which did not become apparent until 2007/8. The current economy is also built on sand. That sand is not the public sector but massive private debt. Those governments are only competent in the sense that they are carrying out the wrong policies in a competent manner.

    The economy is currently enjoying modest growth based on 0.5% interest rates with inflation at 0% and with significant global economic and political instability coming along. If that does not terrify you it should. It terrifies me.

  10. It is very frustrating to rationalists, and those that pine for good government, that public opinion is so contradictory and irrational. The finding on benefits is not new. People in general are very much in favour of decent pensions, preventing child poverty, workers getting a living wage etc, but at the same time enormous enthusiasts for cutting the selfsame benefits because they think they go overwhelmingly to layabouts. You have the same problem with immigration. People think a quarter of the population are immigrants, who are mostly Roma layabouts or Eritrean lorry jumpers, while supporting the contribution of imdividual groups when disaggregated.

    Democratic politics is therefore about MOOD. It doesn’t matter what principles you have or what you stand for, as the public neither recognises this, or believes it anyway. It’s about creating a story that appeals to people, and projecting an image of competence while dissing the opposition, and setting the agenda of discussion. Such images do require in a modern democracy charismatic leadership, which is why there is such a focus on negative stories about your political opponents.

    At the same time those who are politically interested (like party members) do care deeply what a party stands for, and want above all someone who broadly reflects their views. There is a fundamental discontinuity here with professional politicians, for whom being in power is the only thing that matters. If out of power they are simply wasting their lives. The rest of us simply get on with our lives if our chosen party is out of power, even if we moan.

    I continue to argue that it would be much healthier for democracy as well as generating better government if we had a proper range of parties which allowed the majority of the population to vote for someone they broadly agreed with, would generate incentives for positive campaigning, and would allow the nonsense to be dumped in coalition negotiations. In other words we need PR. Most of Europe is much better governed than we are in Britain.

  11. Hawthorn
    I actually agree with that last post completely and it is one of the things that annoy me about this government the most (I should be fair and say I cant imagine Milliband would have been much of a difference and Blairite Labour would have been identical)

    This government is really playing with fire and creating a façade of a functioning economy based on smokescreens. One area that is of particular concern to me is the housing market. I read recently an interesting article that said that unless we take radical action (such as a house building program with seven figure targets) house prices will continue to soar until eventually (probably in a decade or two) the whole market collapses under its own weight leaving half the country in negative equity. Its problems like this that the current government seems to be ignoring or providing sticking plaster solutions. Its why Liz Kendall worries me, she would be no different and if the economy doesn’t take a hit by 2020 it almost certainly will at some point in the decade after and Labour would just get blamed for tanking the economy again even though they were just carrying on with the Tories economic policies, aka 2008 all over again. Its all a big mess basically….

  12. John Chanin
    I would agree with all of that. In fact the extent of the publics lack of knowledge is truly staggering. One figure that sticks in my mind is the average person thinks we spend 20% of the national budget on foreign aid!!!
    Consequently while I’m definitely in favour of PR (for no other reason than FPTP is just plain stupid) I don’t think it would make much of a difference. Unless the public wake up and take an active interest in politics they will continue to live in ignorance and an ignorant public elect bad people.
    Sadly I think its gone beyond education or any type of affirmative action to get the public engaged, their too far gone, There are some pretty radical ideas involving voting algorithms but it’ll probably never be implemented because funnily enough the public don’t like being told how stupid they are.

  13. @ Phil Haines

    I am not advocating that Labour simply parody the Tories, and I agree that is a doomed approach.

    Broadly speaking, however, I think the last government did a respectable job in getting us out of a big hole, which is probably why they won convincingly.

    I would even go further and say that the LibDem influence was probably benign during the coalition period.

    My fear was that with a free rein the Tories would embark on an ideological course that would jeopardise the recovery, so the recent Osborne budget is broadly reassuring.

    We were in a big hole, now we are in a slightly less big hole, so I think that goes down as a job well done.

    Labour can acknowledge that fact, but there are numerous ways in which they can differentiate themselves from the Tories in economic terms alone. They just don’t seem to have identified them. And they don’t seem to be trying. That is their core problem.

    Handwringing and talking about foodbanks is okay, but it is nowhere near enough.

    On all the major issues of the day, the Tories, even if you don’t agree with them, at least have clearly defined policy.
    People generally know what they are trying to do.

  14. Interesting posts this morning.

    @OllyT

    Regarding focus groups, Hawthorn said most eloquently everything I would say – a focus group is a bad opinion poll sample. 20, 30 or 40 people is just so unrepresentative as to be meaningless or worse.

    Alec hit on something. In 1997 various temporary solutions were conceived, to try to address a range of urgent issues. Tony Blair threw a tarpaulin over the leaking roof.

    However, instead of taking that chance to rebuild the rotten building underneath and make a more sound structure, more and more tarpaulins were put up.

    I think Labour needs to go and lie down in a dark room for six months, and work out what it really stands for. What type of Britain does it want to see?

    Once they establish that, they can work out where the country is now, and what steps take it to this final goal.

    They need to communicate this vision widely and loudly. Until the Government hits some rocks, the public won’t listen too much, but keep going.

    When opposing the Government, they need to offer a critique that shows why their own policy is better.

    Labour are current staggering around the ring, punch drunk and concussed from the GE. They need to get out of there for the moment.

  15. RIVERS10

    The collapse started but was halted and reversed in 2009 by 0.5% interest rates, QA and hot money flowing in from abroad.

    That is all that is holding it up.

  16. @Hawthorn

    What really scares me is the debt levels that are only managable by artificially low interest rates.

    When they start to rise I think we will face a massive problem, from households across the whole income distribution.

  17. Very interesting but stupid as used to be said on a popular tv programme donkeys years ago.

    Another example of our education system not equipping citizens with basic facts so they can be active and informed democratic participants whatever their value judgements and politics.

    The other factor here is that everyone knows someone who is fiddling becos they judge the people who they see around them without necessarily knowing the facts of their lives.

    For the same reason yer average punter is indifferent and apathetic about rich scroungers ,avoiders and evaders ,because they dont know them and have no idea about their lives.

    Politicians need to look at what kids are taught and should provide some leadership instead of pandering to ignorance and prejudice.

  18. @CATMANJEFF

    “Interesting posts this morning.”

    ———

    Indeed. Fascinating to see the reasoning process, the attribution process. What peeps think matters most. Not necessarily in the moral sense, but in the functional sense, of what would improve a situation, or a party’s position.

    Different people have different models of “how things work”, and base their analyses on that. It’s complicated, because it’s not just a question of how an economy works, say, but who gets the credit, to whom the voters will attribute any success or failure.

    Which is in turn determined in part by the media, human nature (the proportion of the population who prefer to externally attribute their difficulties e.g. Blaming immigrants), and which memes/explanations are easiest to grasp…

  19. Catmanjeff

    The point is that base interest rates are artificially high because of the zero lower bound. This is why inflation is currently 2pc below target.

    What really needs to happen is inflation to rise to have strongly negative real interest rates, but one of the effects of austerity is to lower inflation.

  20. To add, the inflation would reduce the real value of property. Ideally, a rise in wages would follow (but anti-union legislation makes that more difficult, although a government could do it by dictat as Osborne has demonstrated). A fiscal stimulus would also help with this.

    That way the bubble unwinds in much the same way as the Barber boom did in the 1970s. It can be brought under control with higher interest rates, which then could be cut again during the next recession.

    This is not a great scenario but is 100 times better than debt deflation.

  21. @Jasper22

    The amazing thing is that writing in the Graun in Feb, Sturgeon said the following:

    “The SNP have a longstanding position of not voting on matters that purely affect England – such as foxhunting south of the border, for example – and we stand by that. Where any issue is genuinely “English-only”, with no impact on Scotland, the case for Evel can be made.”

    So she’s U-turning.

    The other interesting thing is that the law on fox hunting in England is harsher than in Scotland – and this bill would have brought the English rules in line with the Scottish. But the SNP are intervening to prevent that because they care more about English foxes than Scottish ones?

    Leave aside whether you agree with fox hunting or not, their position is very very confused.

    I wonder what Sturgeon will U-turn on next. My bet is she’ll suddenly change her mind on making a fuss if there is a No in the EU referendum (especially if Scots ignore her and vote No too).

  22. ALLAN CHRISTIE

    All the SNP have done by their hypocritical action is to make EVAL even more certain. I am delighted they have been shown up for what they are.

    I may be wrong but I think you will find RSPCA is currently run by animal rights fanatics.

  23. 07052015
    Unfortunately some parties only exist electorally or remain electable because they pander to peoples prejudices and in many cases cultivate new prejudices for political benefits, if these prejudices are rebuffed said party becomes unelectable. For the sake of being non-partisan I won’t name said parties but alas one of them finds themselves in a position to change things but they got into that position thanks to peoples ignorance and prejudices so alas they do nothing to change things….

  24. RIVERS10

    That is a breathtakingly arrogant post. The voters are stupid for voting to keep FPTP in a referendum and then stupid in electing the Government.

    Sounds like “sour grapes in spades” to me.

  25. CANDY

    Apart from being hypocritical, I think the SNP have just made themselves a laughing stock. They want to prevent England for equalising the law on foxhunting with what is current in Scotland.

    As my favourite comentator often says…..You coudn’t make it up!!

  26. @Candy

    “But the SNP are intervening to prevent that because they care more about English foxes than Scottish ones?”

    Not quite – the Scottish law is set for a review that will likely bring it’s law in line with the current English one.

  27. Candy

    I think the plan is as follows:

    Say you are against EVEL due to making Scots second class MPs and weakening the union (which is true). You say that you want to be a constructive partner and have a policy of voluntary abstention, supposed in this spirit. This makes you look responsible to the Scots, making independence under the SNP look less scary,

    Then you break that voluntary policy on an issue where most English (and Scottish) voters agree with you but in an area that will annoy an awful lot of Tories.

    This then provokes the Tories into threatening strengthening their EVEL proposals, thus weakening the Union even more (which is of course what the SNP want longer term).

    The English voters (particularly townies) wonder why the Tories would weaken the Union just so a bunch of chinless wonders can rip foxes to shreds.

    Opportunistic and clever.

  28. TOH
    Hardly considering I’m not a Labour voter. But going further yes I consider the public stupid, they routinely tell pollsters they think FPTP is unfair and want electoral reform and then when the vote comes along actually vote to keep it, WTF?
    As for electing this government when did I say that was stupid? I said the public are terribly misinformed and vote badly as a result. That applies to most people regardless of who they vote for not just those who vote Tory, in fact a great deal of Tory voters (from what I know about you I’d place you in this category) undoubtedly know what they are voting for, I happen to disagree with said peoples opinion but they have accurately found a party that best represents their interests and they vote accordingly, that’s fie yet I feel that the % of the populace who vote that way for ANY party probably accounts for less than 20% of the votes cast The rest either vote idiotically against their own self interest, vote based on inaccurate information, their own prejudices, moronic reasons like what the potential PM looks like or worst of all in my opinion voting a certain way out of habit. If you want to deny that’s the case fine its your prerogative it doesn’t change the reality though.

  29. Should have been “that’s FINE”
    Bloody typo’s

  30. @TOH

    “Apart from being hypocritical, I think the SNP have just made themselves a laughing stock. They want to prevent England for equalising the law on foxhunting with what is current in Scotland.”

    Except the law in Scotland is subject to review and likely to be tightened to bring it into line with England.

  31. @Anatchists Unite @Hireton

    The SNP have been in power for eight years but haven’t yet got round to starting their review about Scottish foxhunting?

    That rather shoots their fox about pretending to be concerned about the critters, doesn’t it? :-)

  32. @THE OTHER HOWARD

    “It’s not just local government which is inefficient. How often have you heard of ineffective teachers being sacked?”

    ————

    May come as a shock Howard, but union reps are often parents too, with kids at school, which places quite the limit on their desire to favour staff interests over the pupils. Some also sit on governing bodies whereupon they get even more of the management perspective. Thus it is not unusual for unions to advise staff to get real.

    Furthermore, such is the ramping up of demands on teachers the poorest performers tend to jump ship anyway, sans need to sack them. Many jumped to the local authority to work in support services to which perhaps more suited, but many of those jobs culled in the cuts…

    Though some of those LA jobs would have been a better fit for your stereotypes, and would have you understandably exercised…

  33. David Cameron’s second term as PM will be defined by the EU referendum. If he can negotiate a favourable deal for Britain and then go on to win a ‘Yes’ vote on the UK remaining part of the EU, then his legacy is secure for many generations to come. If, however, negotiations with Europe break down and the UK eventually leaves the EU, Cameron will be remembered as the PM who wrecked the country’s future, again for many generations to come.

  34. @Candy

    “The SNP have been in power for eight years but haven’t yet got round to starting their review about Scottish foxhunting?”

    Not a defender of the SNP am I, but nevertheless that is the case as it is. I can think of various reasons why changing the law was not the top priority during their period in power – not all of them charitable.

  35. “will be remembered as the PM who wrecked the country’s future, again for many generations to come.”

    ———-

    This is just what you need to earn much money on the lecture tour afterwards. Something dramatic. An emotional roller coaster, with much to be learned, a Damascene conversion even…

  36. Hawthorn
    “The English voters (particularly townies) wonder why the Tories would weaken the Union just so a bunch of chinless wonders can rip foxes to shreds.”

    You betray your own prejudices and are seemingly totally unaware of the number of C1’s and D2’s employed or formerly employed in vermin control in the countryside.
    I don’t use the phrase ‘working class’ as, thanks to the Tories, we are all working class now. 2 million jobs created in the last 5 years and another million projected in the next 5.

    On the other issue that you touched on, inflation, you clearly didn’t experience the 1970’s with inflation at 30%, anarchist unions trying to bring down elected governments and the uk taking it’s begging bowl to the IMF. No, I will stitch with George, who could go down as one of the best Chancellors the country has ever had. Still work in progress though.

  37. @candy

    “The SNP have been in power for eight years but haven’t yet got round to starting their review about Scottish foxhunting?
    That rather shoots their fox about pretending to be concerned about the critters, doesn’t it? :-)”

    No it doesn’t. You seem to imply that the SNP has had a long standing commitment to reviewing the legislation. It hasn’t. The impending investigation and review by the Scottish Parliament has come about following evidence from the League of Cruel Sports that Scottish hunts are regularly flouting the law which the Environment Minister has referred to the police as well.

  38. @robert Newark

    Happily George hasn’t experienced the Oil Crisis that plagued both Labour and Thatch’s first term, causing the inflation and economic problems both governments suffered from.

    On the contrary, George is benefitting from a collapse in oil prices that also benefitted Thatcher towards the end of her first term, ushering a world boom our economy benefitted from for some years to come.

  39. OK I think we all need to take a breather, this thread has gotten WAY too partisan as of late (and I hold myself partially responsible for this) I know there isn’t a lot of polling to talk about and that naturally leads on to discussion of policy and thus whether said policy is good or bad but we should all at least try to go about this without making petty jibes or spouting party sound bytes.

  40. Robert Newark

    I was talking about how townies will see it. i.e. perceptions.

    I grew up in a fairly rural area and saw the horrible truth about these supposedly civilised activities (not least dogs kept in hutches). I also remember red coated on horseback trespassing on our land so please don’t spin me these fairy tales of olde Englande.

    As for the rest, I am not getting into a partisan discussion. I have already stated two policies where I agree with George Osborne and another where I am not unsympathetic to the principle.

  41. @Hireton

    Are there reasons to think there might be more such coincidences where SNP and Tory political interests just happen to align, or is this just a one-off?

  42. @RIVERS10

    “OK I think we all need to take a breather, this thread has gotten WAY too partisan as of late…”

    ——–

    I dunno, seems pretty civilised compared to some discussions. Maybe some feel an emotional charge ‘cos invested, but I’m getting my emotional charge from the cricket*!!

    Some partisanship is inevitable, since it can stem from bias, and a big part of the problem with bias is that often, people are not aware they are being biased. That’s one reason people talk about stuff, to expose unconscious bias.

    It’s the partisans with an agenda, advocating summat knowingly wrong, that are a bit more of a handful, but that bias can still become clear when discussing…

    * maybe I’m just not big on the emotional charge thing…

  43. @carfrew

    I’m not sure why you think that SNP and Tory political interests are aligned over fox hunting.

    My view is that the SNP have taken a decision based on:

    a. its an issue where polling shows the SNP are on the majority side throughout GB so they are not putting Scottish national interests ahead of England and where there is a current Scottish dimension.

    b. they have been formally asked by the Labour Party in E&W to intervene and by doing so have shown that there really is no need to vote Labour in Scotland and that the Labour Party now owes the SNP something.

    c. exposing the weakness in the Tory majority and the poor party and parliamentary management which seems endemic in the Tory party at the moment. This may encourage more rebellions.

    d. demonstrating to the Tory party that its complete failure to respect the result of the GE in Scotland in regards to the Scotland Bill will have consequences if it persists.

    e. knowing that Cameron can’t go any further on EVEL without in effect federalising the UK which he has said he does not wish to do and also knowing that on the basis of the revised proposed EVEL measures they will be able to defeat any legislation again in the autumn if they choose to.

    So it seems to me to be good, pragmatic, principled politics.

    It

  44. Oh dear. Leaked IMF report says that they told EZ ministers Greece would need more debt relief, before the agreement was signed. This was largely due to the damage inflicted on the Greek economy by the ECB suspending bank support.

    Bail out 4, anyone?

  45. More on the partisan thing…

    On footie boards, you not surprisingly get partisanship, because peeps are invested in their teams.

    But you get another kind of bias, which is another example of people’s differing models of the way the world works.

    People have different ideas of the way the game should be played, either in terms of what’s compelling or entertaining, or what’s required to win.

    Thus, some are fans of tricksy, complicated strategy, some love flair, some blood-and-guts passion, hoof ball etc.

    You saw the same in the cricket. I campaigned for upping the run rate in the one day game, others on the boards preferred a cautious approach by their nature. Keep wickets in hand and accelerate at the end. No matter what arguments were put before them as to why upping the rate throughout made more sense, they just didn’t like the idea of it. Not the way they think the world works, or want the world to work.

    Current events regarding England’s performance suggest I had a point, but those against still wouldn’t like it…

  46. @HIRETON

    “I’m not sure why you think that SNP and Tory political interests are aligned over fox hunting”

    ———

    Well Candy, Hawthorn and AU have already put forward such an alignment and I just wondered if you had summat to quash it…

  47. Scottish Government priorities?
    Foxes wouldn’t need to be rigorously prioritised. In their long period in government, the SNP have done very little in terms of legislation. I have remarked in the past that in practice this has been something the voters quite like though it does sit uneasily with the leftist reputation they seem to enjoy currently. Until very recently, they seemed particularly reluctant to fall out with landowners.

  48. THE OTHER HOWARD
    ALLAN CHRISTIE
    All the SNP have done by their hypocritical action is to make EVAL even more certain. I am delighted they have been shown up for what they are.
    I may be wrong but I think you will find RSPCA is currently run by animal rights fanatics
    ______

    No that’s wrong. The SNP are in the process of bringing Scottish legislation on fox hunting in line with current English and Welsh legislation but I know that”s an inconvenient truth for some in the Tory media.

    As for the politics of it all..It’s a smart move by the SNP because it highlights the fractions within the Tory party. They have a majority so why did they not go for the vote?

    EVEL will not change course from it’s current proposals because Labour, SNP and many in the Tory party wont support further changes to Westminster. If only Cameron had delivered on the VoW then the daft men in itchy tweed may have gotten their fox.

    I think the majority of people in England and Wales will be sipping a tipple on behalf of the SNP.

    Anyway, what good is it having pompous people on horse back running over the countryside chasing a poor wee helpless animal? Mon the fox!!

  49. BARNEY CROCKETT

    I agree the SNP sat on their hands for far too long over fox hunting in Scotland but at last they are seeing sense over the issue and making sure foxes have equal rights across the UK.

  50. “The SNP are in the process of bringing Scottish legislation on fox hunting in line with current English and Welsh legislation but I know that”s an inconvenient truth for some in the Tory media.”

    ————

    They could trumpet it as commendable support of the Union, this harmonising thing…

1 2 3 4 7