Time for a quick update of other polls over the last few days. Firstly, YouGov put out new Scottish voting intentions at the weekend and London voting intentions yesterday.

YouGov’s Scottish voting intentions were SNP 49%, LAB 19%, CON 19%, LDEM 6% for the constituency vote; SNP 43%, LAB 17%, CON 19%, GRN 8%, LDEM 5%, UKIP 4% for the regional vote. The SNP obviously retain their overwhelming lead. Note how the Conservatives and Labour are essentially neck-and-neck for second place, this is consistent with YouGov’s last Scottish poll, but no other company has the Tories so close to Labour. Full tabs are here.

YouGov’s London poll shows Sadiq Khan still ahead, his nine point lead over Zac Goldsmith almost unchanged from January. Topline figures are KHAN 45%(nc), GOLDSMITH 36%(+1), WHITTLE 7%(+1), PIDGEON 5%(+1), BERRY 4%(-1), GALLOWAY 2%(nc). While Khan wouldn’t win on the first round, asked how they’d vote if the final two candidates were Khan and Goldsmith supporters of other candidates split 43%-30% in Khan’s favour, so he would come out as the comfortable winner. Full tabs are here.

Finally, and perhaps most intriguingly, there was a new ORB poll of EU referendum voting intentions in the Telegraph this morning. Topline figures were REMAIN 47%, LEAVE 49%, DK 4% (don’t know is so low because ORB have a squeeze question, asking how people who say don’t know are leaning). What’s interesting is that the poll was conducted by telephone – up until now we’ve seen a straightforward divide between phone polls showing a solid REMAIN lead and online polls showing a race that is neck-and-neck. Suddenly that online/phone divide doesn’t look so black and white. Full tabs are here.

87 Responses to “Latest Scottish, London and referendum polls”

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  1. I wonder if more polls showing a “Leave” result will spur people on to come out and vote “Remain” (surely everyone who wants to vote ‘Leave’ is already planning to do so)?

    I’m basing this on the idea that there is a pool of voters who won’t pay much attention to politics until it becomes clear that the status quo might be threatened, and who will then vote to try and make sure things don’t change that much. Difficult to tell if such people exist in referenda, but that’s how I read the Scottish result when it happened. Admittedly this is a much larger referendum.

  2. Back to the US, early information is putting Trump on about 50% in Florida.

    Surely if Rubio can’t even on his home turf, he will be throwing the towel shortly.

  3. From Florida:

    Florida votes with 16% in

    Trump — 48.0%
    Rubio — 23.5%
    Cruz — 15.8%
    Kasich — 7.3%

  4. Good late evening all from a cold crisp rural Hampshire.

    The Yougov poll for Scotland is way out of sync from other pollsters who have the SNP at between 80% & 90%, however the Tory Labour VI is very interesting and UKIP at 4% is disturbing in that it may give them a foothold in Holyrood.

    Moving onto the London Lord Provost VI…It’s boring without Boris but the Sadiq Khan prison visits might make some ripples in the ole VI.

    I’ve saved the best to last ..”.Finally, and perhaps most intriguingly, there was a new ORB poll of EU referendum voting intentions in the Telegraph this morning. Topline figures were REMAIN 47%, LEAVE 49%, DK 4%”

    The negative campaign from Cameron looks to be backfiring and I think if Obama intervenes then it will only get more peoples hackles up.

    And I see Trump has Trumped the other guy in his own backyard tonight.

  5. It’s hotting up in the deep south

    Donald J. Trump [email protected] Mar 13
    Bernie Sanders is lying when he says his disruptors aren’t told to go to my events. Be careful Bernie, or my supporters will go to yours!

    “See that Rubio, He’s so ugly he’s gotta sneak up on a glass of water to get a drink”

  6. As I prepare to go to bed, in Canada, Trump has won in Florida, North Carolina and Illinois, but it is still too close to call between him and Cruz in Missouri (.1% difference) and Kasich has won in Ohio. Rubio has now dropped out and Trump is still at least 77 delegates short of having the majority of those chosen so far.

    Clinton has won in Florida, Ohio and North Carolina and it looks like she will win in Illinois by 1.5%, while Sanders leads in Missouri by .2% – leaving Clinton with 1,094 pledged delegates to Sanders 774.

    In terms of YouGov’s Scottish poll I have observed in a previous thread that the Green are now even leading the Liberal Democrats among 25-49 years olds in the constituency vote and nearly tied with the Conservatives in the same age category in the regional vote.

    I think five seats for LD is too high if these trends continue and depending on whether UKIP is now above 5% in some regions they may oust the Lib Dems from some regional seats as well.

    In terms of London Mayoralty first preferences I question how the Lib Dems and Greens can go from being tied with 3%, when don’t know and undecided are included to 5% LD and 4% Green – unless of course we are going back to how people voted in a previous election such as the 2015 GE.

    In terms of the EU referendum there are still three months to go, but I agree if Cameron is running a primarily negative campaign then he will only encourage people to shift to vote leave.

    Interestingly this is an opportunity for Corbyn to run a positive campaign and a chance to reach out to Green and and nationalist voters with a positive message.

    It surpised me that the Southeast outside of London showed a plurality for “Leave”, as did the Southwest, while Wales, joined Scotland, London, the East and Northwest in opting to vote “Remain”

    It is significant that between nearly a quarter and 1:5 voters over 55 do not know how they will vote. Perhaps that is why the ICM polls showed a shift to Labour, as those swing Conservative voters could be really mad at Cameron for calling the referendum in the first place.

  7. This poll fits with a theory I’ve postulated on here; there are more LEAVE-LEANING “don’t knowers” on phone polls, and the “squeeze” question brings them out. I suspect this is because there is a slight embarrassment factor in identifying as a LEAVER, as the respondent may have real reservations about those espousing LEAVE (especially UKIP).

    I don’t think this news is completely positive for LEAVE, as I also think that this group are more likely to be ‘soft-leavers’, and may either fail to turn out or actually be persuaded to switch to REMAIN as the ‘threat to the economy’ story rumbles on.

  8. Andy

    “Interestingly this is an opportunity for Corbyn to run a positive campaign and a chance to reach out to Green and and nationalist voters with a positive message.”

    One opportunity might be the SLab Spring Conference this weekend. But he isn’t going to attend. Neither is McDonnell (although he will be in Glasgow the previous day at another meeting).

    Such decisions send messages – though not everyone will interpret the messages in the same way. :-)

  9. Interestingly this is an opportunity for Corbyn to run a positive campaign and a chance to reach out to Green and and nationalist voters with a positive message.

    The Green campaign for ‘Remain’ is very positive anyway – in fact in the view of a significant minority, too uncritically positive.

    Many members (including myself) aren’t very happy with the tone and pitch.

    In terms of London Mayoralty first preferences I question how the Lib Dems and Greens can go from being tied with 3%, when don’t know and undecided are included to 5% LD and 4% Green – unless of course we are going back to how people voted in a previous election such as the 2015 GE.

    Perhaps just plain old MOE.

  10. @ Andy

    As it turns out, Hillary came back to win MO!!! She had been trailing all night and with 98% reporting, all of the City of St. Louis had reported and she still trailed by 2,125 votes. I thought it was over. But then…..St. Louis County reported its final batch of votes, putting Hillary ahead by a scant 1,199 votes! With 99% in! What a comeback! Like that last second 3 point shot to clinch the game. Bernie outspent her in that state by more than 3-1 too. I think she was strategically wise to lay off of it. Still won though.

    I think Hillary may have won by over 100 Delegates tonight. And the reason I say that is because although Illinois was close (though also projected for her), she is walking out with a large Delegate lead. CNN right now has her projected as +101 on the night.

    @ Allan Christie

    “Bernie Sanders is lying when he says his disruptors aren’t told to go to my events. Be careful Bernie, or my supporters will go to yours!”

    Yeah, he’s out of control. I laugh at it but I do worry about how Trump makes us look. Then again, doesn’t he just reinforce the stereotype of the “Ugly American” that most of the world thinks of the average American as being? I liked Bernie’s response. I forget the exact line but it was basically something to the effect of “yeah, please send them to ours. They should see what an honest politician looks like.”

  11. Here’s something interesting to chew on for those of you interested in the U.S. Presidential race. It’s the erosion of the white working class vote. In 2008, Hillary won the Ohio Primary by about 9%. In that race, she only lost 5 counties in the whole state. Cuyahoga, Delaware, Franklin, Hamilton, and Montgomery. She lost them all by double digits. Tonight in Ohio she won a bigger victory than she did 8 years ago and will win a larger Delegate margin. However, she lost 12 counties. Though of the 5 counties she lost in 08′, she won them all and by double digits.

    Fun fact in Illinois. She lost there big time in 08′ (notwithstanding that it’s her true home state). But she did manage to pick off some counties, won 14 downstate. Tonight, she lost 12 of those 14.

    North Carolina almost looks like a mirror image of 2008 though not exactly.

    @ Catmanjeff

    Rubio dropped out tonight after getting thumped in Florida. Serves him right. I guess my only disappointment is that he’ll see his political career ended by Donald Trump and not Patrick Murphy. :)

  12. I’m not entirely sure about the perceived wisdom that Labour needs to get on board and make a showing in the referendum debate, positive or otherwise. Standing back and letting the Conservatives slog it out maybe a better option.

    Especially if at the same time they can concentrate on the way forward for the UK in terms of economic, social and Educational Policies.

    Could be wrong but would not be surprised if referendum fatigue is not already setting in and a neutral stand or even an absence from the field may be a better option, however counter intuitive it appears.

  13. NeilJ,

    Even if your opponent is divided by it , it is never a good idea for a national Party to take a back seat on a national issue. If you don’t speak out on the big issues you won’t be taken seriously as a big Party.

    Alan Christie,

    “The Yougov poll for Scotland is way out of sync from other pollsters who have the SNP at between 80% & 90%”

    Ah what, is that a Joke.

    I’ve seen us nudge close to sixty in a few I’ve seen and very much doubted, but 80-90%… Are you sure you didn’t see that figure for the Super Natural Party!


  14. I’m a little more inclined to believe these Scottish polls as opposed to some of the others currently doing the rounds, mainly because they’ve got a better proven track record of accuracy. If so, then these recent YouGov polls are disastrous for Labour. While they remain this enfeebled in Scotland, I can’t see how they can ever win a UK election. At a stroke, they’ve more or less lost 20% of their potential MPs in a General Election and unless they storm ahead in England, an unlikely scenario, then the path to a majority in the UK Parliament looks unnavigable.

    If I was a Tory Party strategist, I’d be doing all I could to either reinforce the SNP hegemony in Scotland or, rather more radically, create political conditions that re-open the door to independence.

    No other game in town for me if I was a Tory looking at the bigger electoral picture. I’m never going to supplant the SNP in Scotland, or ever win many seats, but I don’t need to. Just get the SNP to keep shafting Labour and my enemy’s enemy is really my friend. The job’s a good ‘un by the look of these polls.

  15. Good morning all from central London


    Yeah Trump does look like a Barney from the Flintstones but people should not be judged on looks ;-)

    From outside the USA I think Trump is a bit of a Marmite creature, you either love or hate him and despite some of the more high raised eyebrow statements he has come out with public opinion abroad is split. Trump is addressing major concerns that many politicians in Europe would not dream of going near.

    I have relatives over in Astoria, Oregon and they are all Trump supporters and although they don’t agree with everything Trump says they do however like the idea that Trumps agenda will be more about America and less about sorting out other countries problems.


    Slight tongue in cheek in my post. I was really just emphasizing the extraordinary poll ratings for the SNP.

    I do however think Yougov are underestimating the SNP support and especially on the regional list but if the SNP have taken a dip on the list vote then the party message of both votes SNP should give the door knockers extra reasons to knock on windows as well and get it drummed into peoples brains that a vote for another minor party on the list is not a second preference.


    I don’t think Labour can just pin its hopes that one day Scotland will come back to them and make it easier for Labour to win a UK election.
    The Lib/Dems imploded right across the UK but Labour failed to tap into that, Labour in Wales are being challenged by the Tories so the rational that somehow the SNP alone are thwarting Labour’s chances on winning a UK election does not stack up.

    All UK elections are won and lost in England., 83% of the electorate live there and its up to Labour to win in England and stop blaming other parties for letting the Tories in.

    On a brighter note for Labour, who knows what shape or form the Tories will be in after the EU referendum?? That party are split like never before so some food for thought for ole Corby and chums.

  18. Can anyone comment on why there has been so little comment on the likely effect of differential turnout in the EU referendum?

    It seems beyond question to me that the leave side are much more passionate (many fanatically so) and are much more likely to turnout.

    This will be different to the Scottish referendum, when both sides had sufficient passion for the polls to be reasonably accurate.

    Given that there is little previous evidence on which to base an appropriate turnout correction to build into the model, I presume there are very likely to overestimate the “remain” vote?

  19. The ORB referendum poll is a strange one. Unusually the sample has too many Tories and not enough Labour or UKIP and the various corrections move a solid remain VI lead to a small leave lead. That is not to say that the final figures are necessarily wrong but substantial rebalancing based on quite small samples looks a trifle dodgy. I am also unsure if 2015 vote is necessarily relevant.

  20. @John

    I believe there was done polling a few weeks ago on how passionate In and Out voters are, and it was surprising. There were more extremely passionate outers than inners, but more quite passionate inners. It could be that the Out view is highly polorised between utterly committed and largely apathetic. The In vote might end up being more solid. I’ve lost track of where I read this, so if anyone else remembers it please link and we can see how poorly I am remembering ;)

  21. Odds on Leave are shortening.

  22. Might the actual questions asked in this Orb EU poll be what has produced the unusual result?

    The Referendum question was Qustion 5; Question 3 looks somewhat loaded to me in asking respondents whether:

    thinking about the UK as a whole, do you believe the country is generally heading in the right direction or “seriously heading in the wrong direction?”

  23. @Crossbat11 9.54

    You are forgetting that the Tories are also the Unionist Party. Tory Scottish electoral material is stressing that they are now the only party (other, presumably, than UKIP) which is 100% committed to the Union. How that plays out with Tories in the South, of course, is unknown to me, but relations of mine in the South find it hard to understand Scottish politics, partially because the media in the South fail woefully at explaining what it going on.

    Personally I am hoping (rather pie in the sky stuff, this) for another SNP minority, or an SNP-Green coalition. The Scottish Parliamentary system was not designed for single party majority rule.

  24. Good morning, I’m flying off to Winnipeg this morning to work on another general election campaign.

    Trump now has half the delegates he needs to take the Republican nomination, but it will be interesting to see to whom Rubio’s votes go in the next set of primaries.

    Clinton supposedly has 1,561 delegates out of the 2,387 needed to Sanders 800, with 184 uncommitted. It does not look like Missouri is settled for either Party yet as I have not found delegate selections for either ststes, but Clinton is ahead by .2% and Trump by the same amount.

    As for the Scottish poll I’ll observe that in 2011 the pollsters underestimated SNP on the list vote, but overestimated Labour, LD and Green.

    Such a scenario in 2016 would be disastrous for Labour and the Lib Dems, while I remain intrigued that the Green appears to be shifting upwards in the constituency vote as well.

    In London I wonder about whether there is not a pro-Corbyn affect at play and note that “Remain” support is at 64%. Labour and Corbyn, if they are serious about “Remain” need to run a good ground campaign, and that could be trial run for the London Borough elections in 2018.

  25. The Tory strategy is Scotland is to appeal to their Core vote and they are more interested in Westminster by far. Regardless of their effectiveness in Holyrood which hasn’t been at all poor, they still and will always see it as an over glorified Council; something worth being in if it is there but not really worth being there!

    Labour’s problem is that they to all intents and purposes North and South of the border are still offering little distinct from the Tories in England and the SNP in Scotland.

    If the do Blairite triangulation they need to convince people they are better than the Tories or SNP at delivery and that currently seems unlikely in either Country and If the try to be distinct and shift to the left theY risk alienating the middle ground they need to win over TO GET ELECTED

    The result is they are torn between to bitter factions trying to gain power to adopt one of two competing losing strategies!


  26. @ Peter Cairns (SNP)

    This may sound trite, but trying a little “honesty” seems to help. I am not joking, but sometimes just identifying the problem and the saying I am working on it – do you have any ideas works really well.

    Clinton telling Bernie or the Blairites telling the Corbynites you are too “radical” or “unrealistic” somehow just does not cut it with some voters.

    Free Trade has made a real mess of some peoples lives here in North America, especially those who used to have secure well paying jobs in the manufacturing sector, to which we can now add those working in the oil and gas sector.

    Seeing grown men crying on the nightly news because they are out of work and do not know what to do for an income to support their families, does not endear me to these free trade policies that the Clintons and Tonly Blairs pursued.

    They were supposed to be looking after the interests of “working” people, at least that is what they said they were doing – don’t see it myself.

  27. Alun009

    Re ‘passionate’ Leavers and ‘quite passionate’ Remainers
    I remember seeing something similar, and like you have forgotten where.

    I’m inclined to think (in the absence of actually looking closely at the demographics to see if I can find any evidence one way or the other) that Leave voters are disproportionately distributed amongst the demographic groups which tend not to vote (although the picture is muddied a bit by the fact that they tend to be old).

    I’m quite prepared to believe that a cohort of largely apathetic voters will be driven into the polling booths to vote Remain by dire warnings about the economic apocalypse that will ensue if we allow the crazies (Farage and co.) to take us out.

    Anybody with something to lose (house, job, pension) is vulnerable to Project Fear. Just look at Scotland. And Scotland had a much wider array of credible figures backing independence than Leave can muster.

  28. “Could be wrong but would not be surprised if referendum fatigue is not already setting in”


    (Some were fatigued before it started…)

  29. Andy Shadrack,

    Free trade may have hurt but it was inevitable once a few nations could no longer dictate terms to the rest.

    The like of UKIP in the UK go on about the days when Britain could trade freely without the EU interferring, but there was nothing free about how we dictated the terms of trade and access to markets when we had an Empire and Colonies.

    For the first half of the 20th century most of the major economies of the world did well out of free trare because underdeveloped neighbours could only produce low value raw materials from cotton to coal. We had all the high value manufacturing jobs and we paid good wages because the added value.

    Slowly but surely in the second half as countries developed that changed, they gained the ability to manufacture and with the same plant and machinery and the same material costs the only difference was the cost of Labour.

    You either accept that or put up the barriers, but it isn’t going away.

    You can put tariffs on foreign cars if you like to stop Hondas, or ban US companies from making cars abroad and importing them back into the states, but I doubt those countries would be happy to buy US cars in return even if you subsidiesd them.

    Then what, lots of well paid American workers making expensive cars that people struggle to buy because of Labour costs and only want because they aren’t allowed or can’t afford German ones because of Tarriffs.

    What part of the “Land of the Free” says your personal choice of what you want to drive will be steered by the state for the benefit of the people who make cars.

    Seems to me America anger with free trade is mostly about an inability to compete, rather than it being unfair.

    Funny really the three elements of Trade are Capital, Goods and Labour, people are okay mostly with the first, it lets them buy holiday homes abroad or a Google buy the UK AI company that can beat the worlds best GO player.

    They’re okay with goods if it’s cheap fuel, cheap food or cheap jeans and they like cheap quality computers and cars as long as they can get paid higher wages than the people making them for making ones that aren’t as good.

    Ah but free movement of Labour well only if it lets them go abroad for a better job for more money, or maybe employing a gardener or nanny for a lot less than the usual rate…but someone coming over and competing on an even basis for their job…Well that’s just plain wrong!!

    More than any other country in the Twenth Century, America shaped the World in it’s own image…not a pretty image is it!


  30. Facts about US Trade with the world which Trump & Sanders talk about a lot ( and about the effects of technology & productivity, which they never talk about) , reveal their scapegoating to have a very narrow focus:-



  31. Thanks Alun009 – very interesting info.

    It looks like it will depend on the perception of the public of the gravity of the referendum closer to the day.

    At the moment, Europe seems the kind of issue where the majority know it’s important but many just won’t care enough to turn out to vote. This would suggest a “leave” win as only the very passionate will vote.

    However, if the “remain” side can create a public mood that of the referendum as a matter of national importance for which it is everyone’s duty to vote (ie similar to a general election), they could win.

  32. @ Anthony Wells

    With apologies for repeating a point, would there not have been a skewing effect in the preceding question used in the Orb phone poll, where people were asked:

    “Thinking about the UK as a whole, do you believe the country is generally heading in the right direction or seriously heading in the wrong direction.”

    The respondents give a 20 point lead for the view that we’re “seriously heading in the wrong direction”.

    For a precedent for “skewing questions”, see the Panelbase/SNP poll of 28/8/14, which showed a 1% Yes lead where the Scottish Independence referendum question was preceded by other ‘yes-friendly’ questions. The polling result was a 5-10% swing compared to other Indyref polls around that time.

  33. Frankly, the hoops that seem to have been jumped through to achieve those numbers might almost lead one to conclude that ORB thought of a result first and then worked backwards to the raw data.

    On the propensity to vote of ‘leavers’ and ‘remainers’, it was featured here, and it did indeed have the surprising findings. The UKPR thread was 23 Feb and the original results came from ComRes @


    Remainers are ‘more passionate’, though the caution would be this did seem like a very ‘remain’ heavy sample.

    This and other breakdowns of the demographics of ‘remainers’ do seem to indicate that – setting aside the fact that younger voters are generally more probable to vote remain, but generally not to vote – the rest of the remain group fit the bill for those most likely (a) to be registered and (b) to actually vote.

    As with GE campaigns increasingly focussing exclusively on the swing seats, voters and their concerns, so the alleged ‘negative’ campaigning by ‘remain’ may be simply be a tight focus on the worries of this section of the electorate it is thought will determine the referendum.

    I wonder how many of the BTL commentariat waxing lyrical about the woes of the EU have deployed their IT skills to get registered.

  34. Notice that YG is dipping its toes into the US market ever more deeply.

    Good call on the Democratic Florida primary 62/34 for Clinton versus 64/33 in reality – does this mean AW is sunning himself in Key West?

    Perhaps new posts should start with a check in as per notable BTL contributors here.

    The other figures that jump out from YG’s work in America for The Economist is that whilst Obama is net negatively perceived at -10, Congress is despised at -53.

    Given the Republican hold on both houses, can this be much good for their ‘brand’ in presidential year?

  35. Judging from the total lack of comments here, today’s budget seems to have been – superficially – the least electorally significant and newsworthy in recent times.

    Yet, surely something is awry for a chancellor when the ‘good news story’ is the announcement of a new tax… even if it is on tooth dissolving, obesity encouraging fizzy pop.

  36. @ Peter Cairns (SNP) and Colin

    You should try being one of the workers who has been displaced!!

    Am not opposed to international trade and bi-lateral trade, but think they should have been signed with some basic occupational health and safety standards built in.

    I buy “Fair Trade” whenever I can and local goods and services too.

    Am not convinced that the quality and durability of goods coming from China is there, and no one talks about the carbon footprint of these ever extending goods supply chains.

    Canada was one of those “hewers of wood and drawers” of water” colonies of which you speak, and at the end of the nineteenth and early twentieth century imposed tariffs on goods manufactured outside Canada made from Canadian raw materials – to build up a manufacturing industrial base.

    The US is very selective on what it trades “freely”, hence the ongoing battle, since 1982, with Canada over softwood lumber exports:


  37. Fascinating days politics. Osborne’s budget is typical of the genre – British producers of smoke and mirrors thought the good times ended when Brown left No 11, but now they have a new champion. Missed promises abound, along with the eye catching new things, but the disability benefit cuts are likely to become hugely unpopular, when contrasted with some very good news for non doms. Overall it’s clear the OBR doesn’t believe Osborne’s 5 year prediction on returning to a surplus are worth a great deal. This may well unravel.

    More politically successful may be his changes to North Sea oil taxation. The SNP has called for assistance in this field, but this is a two edged sword. Now the OBR is forecasting net annual losses from this sector of £1.1B from 2016/17 to 2020/21, largely neutralizing oil as the bonanza weapon of choice for nationalists should there be another referendum this parliament, although I’m sure they won’t less this minor issue get in the way of a good story.

    And in the background, it has emerged that a deadly and disease that kills dogs has been successfully introduced into the UK, thanks to the 2012 change to EU movement of pets regulations, which removed the UK requirement for mandatory tick treatment for dogs entering the UK. This was strongly opposed by the British Veterinary Association, for precisely this reason, but these objections were ignored by the EU Commission. ‘Free movement of ticks’ might become the fifth pillar of the EU?

    With 9 million dogs in the UK, all of whose owners have a vote, if the leave campaign had any sense they would play this issue for all it’s worth.

  38. Forgot to mention – also being reported that in the last few days there has been a surge of migrant boats coming across from Libya. All that effort by the EU to appease Turkey, only for the main route to switch further west. Quite likely a developing story that will further cast a shadow on the competence of EU governance in time for the referendum.

  39. “Judging from the total lack of comments here, today’s budget seems to have been…

    Yet, surely something is awry for a chancellor when the ‘good news story’ is the announcement of a new tax… even if it is on tooth dissolving, obesity encouraging fizzy pop.”


    Some peeps prolly in shock at a right winger implementing summat that might commonly be denounced as a tax, as anti-biz, and nanny statism all at the same time!!

    Good to see expectations confounded…

  40. And it’s a much better idea for a tax than the storage thing…

  41. @ALEC

    “Fascinating days politics…”


    Bit of a let down in the cricket though…

  42. @ Alec

    There is a huge number of smuggled-in dogs in the UK. It is probably the cause, rather than those brought in under the scheme. And because of that, there will be rabies too. At least for the latter one there is vaccine.

    Sorry for the completely un-polling-related comment.

  43. On this poll: It’s amazing that the Tories now seem to be neck and neck with Labour in Scotland, and that Libs have been hit almost as badly as in England. It mostly seems to be because Lab and Lib have gone to SNP in droves, while Tories have stayed about the same, but it’s only a few years ago that Scotland seemed almost solidly Lab at least in Westminster elections, and Libs were strong as well.

    On the budget: The things that struck me were no increase in tax on beer and petrol (hooray!) and the’Lifetime ISA’, though I’ll buy a quality newspaper tomorrow to try to get the detail on that one. It sounds too good to be true.

  44. Scotland Compared:

    i) Constituency March 2016/2011 last You Gov poll before election:

    SNP 49 (45)
    Lab 19 (32)
    Con 19 (10)
    LD 6 (8)
    Green 4 (-)
    UKIP 3 (-)
    Other – (4)


    SNP 43 (39)
    Con 19 (12)
    Lab 17 (29)
    Green 8 (7)
    LD 5 (7)
    UKIP 4 (-)
    Other 2 (5)

  45. YG methodology

    Roger Scully quotes Anthony on this.

    “Changes to Welsh methodology largely mirror the changes we’ve made to the GB methods.

    1) Newspaper readership is dropped as a sampling and weighting variable (its original purpose was largely a proxy for political sophistication, but these days not reading a newspaper is no longer a suitable proxy for not being interested);

    2) Instead we add sampling and weighting by education (interlocked with age), and sampling and weighting by the self-reported level of attention respondents pay to politics (targets for this are based upon the average across the last few waves of the face-to-face element of the British Election Study).

    3) The targets for people who did not vote at the last general election are also upped slightly to more realistic levels (it is higher than it was, but still deliberately lower than the actual level of non-voting, as we know from voter-validation that some people claim to have voted when they did not, and because there are presumably some people on the electoral register who are unable to vote OR take part in polls because they are incapacitated through ill-health, etc)

    The overall aim is to increase the representation within samples of those with low political interest, by upping the proportion of people with low education, who did not vote, and who paid little attention to politics.”

  46. Andy

    These changes mean that we can’t assume that comparing YG 2011/2016 is comparing the same variety of apple. :-)

  47. Graham

    “Perhaps today will be looked back on as the day that the electorate began to wake up to the reality of having been duped by the Tories in 2015.”

    Why? The use of the word duped sounds a bit partisan.

  48. @Lazslo –

    “There is a huge number of smuggled-in dogs in the UK. It is probably the cause, rather than those brought in under the scheme. And because of that, there will be rabies too.”

    There is no evidence to support your assertion, but plenty of epidimiological data and predictions from experts to suggest you are wrong. As with foot and mouth, bTB and most other animal diseases, the movement of animals is nearly always the main transmission vector. Were smuggling a major issue, we would expect to have had rabies years ago, along with this disease. Indeed, the relaxing of the movement restrictions might be expected to reduce smuggling, yet here we have the infection.

    A few quotes – “Animal disease experts have blamed a relaxation in European pet travel restrictions for the first recorded outbreak in the UK of a tick-borne disease that can be fatal for dogs.” – The Guardian

    “Prof Richard Wall, of Bristol University’s biological sciences school, who is leading the largest UK veterinary study of tick-borne disease, said the outbreak was of “huge significance” and a “major concern for animal health”.”

    “There has been a marked increase in the number of dogs being rescued from abroad into the area but we are at a loss to know why the requirement to treat dogs for ticks upon entry to the UK was relaxed.” Prof Wall

    “Sean Wensley, president of the British Veterinary Association, said: “The BVA lobbied hard against the relaxing of controls under the EU pet travel scheme, which included removing the requirement for tick treatment to prevent diseases such as babesiosis being introduced into the country, and it is disappointing to see our concerns potentially becoming a reality.””

    I’m afraid this is one of those areas where membership of the EU has had a seriousy bad impact on the UK. For non pet owners, I can’t stress more the negative impact this event could have on millions of people, all in the name of trying to standardize regulations across a non standard set of juristiction. Any twat with half a GCSE can tell that islands have unique abilities to control animal infections, so should not be treated in the same way as open land border countries, but it appears that the EU Commission doesn’t have half a GCSE between them, such is their drive for unity.

    My suspicion is that these ‘inconsequential’, real live issues may well be the ones that decide what happens on the 23rd June. Personally, I’m furious.

  49. Morning folks – lots of partisan claptrap from the cheerleaders on both sides this morning I see. I would comment on the Budget, but I don’t have sufficient swearwords in my vocabulary to express my feelings, while staying within the comments policy :)

    I have a more general criticism of the Budget procedure itself – namely the idea that a budget may contain “surprises”. Regardless of the merits of the policy itself, why would the Chancellor announce that schools should become academies, surely this should be in the remit of the Education Secretary? Why can’t the Health Secretary announce the sugar tax (I know this is a fiscal policy, but the idea is that the money should go towards health). Why is the Transport Secretary not announcing Crossrail 2, HS3, R2D2 (ok, the last one may not go ahead)? I’ve always felt that the Budget planning should be publicly done – and probably should be presented to the Public Accounts Committee a few months in advance. This for me has a number of advantages. Firstly, it allows the details of the budget to be assessed properly, rather than published in a big block on Budget day. Secondly, the leaking of budget details in the week before would become irrelevant. Thirdly, it would increase the significance of Parliament, as the Commons (through the committee procedure) would have sufficient time to assess and debate the various policies within. Fourthly, it would remove some of the implicit secrecy that is associated with a Budget – ultimately, the financial health of the nation is of general public interest – and why should changes in taxation or spending be somehow hidden from the public? My own personal view, and one which is equally critical of all recent governments, is that the “big Budget day” is seen as a moment for political opportunism, rather than a chance to soberly assess the state of the economy.

    My view is that a more honest assessment of the economic landscape would be of benefit to Osborne – I think people are fairly aware that conditions in the Eurozone and in China may lead to significant economic problems in the next 18 months. Comparisons to what Labour would do in power are partisan, unhelpful, and completely irrelevant – at the moment, Osborne has his hands on the metaphorical tiller, and a situation where the OBR (a supposedly independent body) are publicly disputing the accuracy of his economic assessment, is hardly reassuring for companies, investors, other governments, etc.

  50. @ Alex

    ‘Any twat with half a GCSE can tell that islands have unique abilities to control animal infections, so should not be treated in the same way as open land border countries, but it appears that the EU Commission doesn’t have half a GCSE between them, such is their drive for unity.’

    I very much agree with you and would extend the argument beyond just animal infections. I am still incandescent that the woodland trust sent Ash cuttings to the Netherlands for rooting up, and by so doing, imported/speeded up the spread of Chalara Ash
    die back.

    With regard to the Babesiosis infection in dogs, I haven’t been able to establish the actual species but it seems from the press report that only one of the six dogs infected had died…. unfortunately, there are always particularly vulnerable individuals but it doesn’t necessarily mean that all dogs will be so badly affected.

    Babesia is very similar to malaria and as such the spread is dependent on the frequency of the infection in both the tick and the host populations. Ensuring a ‘barrier’ preventing contact between the dog and tick would be effective in stopping transmission of the disease. A vaccine for at least one of the dog species of Babesia has also been developed. However, it may be that the infection is becoming established in other wild mammal populations.

    It is also a problem that climate change may be contributing to the establishment of Babesiosis in the UK. Unfortunately, we are already seeing nasty diseases occurring that were previously confined to southern Europe.

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