YouGov have published new polls in both Scotland and Wales in the last couple of days. Taking Wales first, topline voting intention figures for the Welsh Assembly are CON 19%(-3), LAB 35%(+1), LDEM 6%(nc), UKIP 17%(+2), Plaid 21%(nc) for the constituency vote and CON 20%(-2), LAB 31%(nc), LDEM 5%(nc), UKIP 16%(+2), Plaid 20%(-2) for the regional vote. The Conservatives are down a little, reflecting their drop in the national polls. Roger Scully’s detailled write up is here and the tabs are here.

The YouGov Scottish poll for the Times has topline figures of SNP 50%(+1), LAB 21%(+2), CON 18%(-1), LDEM 5%(-1) for the constituency vote, and SNP 45%(+2), LAB 19%(+2), CON 18%(-1), GRN 8%(nc), LDEM 5%(nc) in the regional vote. The last couple of YouGov Scottish polls had the Conservatives ahead of Labour on one vote or the other. Today’s poll had Labour back ahead, though they are still extremely close (closer than in most other Scottish polls). The rest of the poll had various questions on leadership, particularly on whether people think Ruth Davidson or Kezia Dugdale would make a better leader of the opposition – Ruth Davidson polled better, but her comparatively positive personal ratings are clearly not translating into much support for the Scottish Tories. Full tabs are here.

Finally today we got ICM’s weekly EU referendum tracker, with topline figures of REMAIN 42%, LEAVE 45%. Full tabs are here


178 Responses to “YouGov Scottish and Welsh polls”

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  1. This kind of thread is just driving the English off their own soil!

    Harumph.

  2. Perhaps one reason why UKIP does drastically less well than among our Welsh cousins is the decisions by BBC and Ofcom to allow TV appearances by UKIP’s Scottish leader (and only elected rep) David Coburn.

    This from tonight.

    http://player.stv.tv/episode/390h/election-face-to-face/

  3. 44% of Labour supporters say Kezia Dugdale would make a better leader of the opposition than Ruth Davidson and 30% DK.

    This poll and others should be a wake up call for the Labour strategists because they clearly have the wrong leader at Holyrood.

    The poll also confirms what every other poll is showing and that’s another big night for the SNP and NS approval ratings are extraordinary high.

    I’m a little confused with the Tory VI because usually strong leadership translates into votes but appears not to be the case in this and other polls.
    …………
    Finally today we got ICM’s weekly EU referendum tracker, with topline figures of REMAIN 42%, LEAVE 45%
    _____

    I like a happy ending…night all

  4. Good Morning All.
    ALLAN CHRISTIE.
    On the EU poll; I think that Cameron will find it very hard to get enough votes. The Partisan nature of politics since 2015 GE will make it hard for Labour voters to vote on his side, I think, and there 11.3 million votes for the Tory Party in 5/15 will be split.

  5. CHRISLANE1945

    I really hope your right Chris, the sooner weget out the better.

  6. Whittingdale’s travails are the sort of stories that have cropped up from time in politics throughout the ages and the fact that he had a dalliance with a sex worker wouldn’t, in itself, be of much interest beyond prurience and services to comedy. On a human level, I’m not much impressed with his lack of chivalry in ditching this young lady as soon as he “discovered” her occupation but, hey ho, politics doesn’t always attract noble or decent human beings. At least he didn’t take the Jeffrey Archer route out of his troubles. I suspect he got rid when he felt the press heat and I guess he might have a few questions to answer about possible compromises struck to keep the story, rather surprisingly, I have to say, out of the press. Not a good look for a Culture and Media Secretary to appear to have been soft soaped on a press story that has embarrassment potential. Might be interesting to see where that goes.

    My real interest in this is whether this is another straw in the wind of a government running out of luck and internal discipline. EU Referendum ructions, Cabinet resignations, bungled PM disclosures on tax, sex scandals etc. As John Major discovered, once the ball of wool starts to unravel, it’s mighty difficult to get the damned thing back in shape again.

  7. Morning folks, I’ve been offline for the last week or so, as I was attending a family funeral in Northern Ireland. From a brief perusing of the comments over the last few days, I didn’t miss much in the way of enlightening political commentary – it was fairly unedifying stuff that wouldn’t have been out of place on YouTube videos. Hope that everyone finally got tired of standing on their little soapboxes :)

    Anyhow, nice to see a new thread, with some polling! No big surprises here in terms of Wales and Scotland – it will interesting to see how turnout plays a role in determining how well or badly Labour do.

    Having been in NI for the last week or so, I thought I’d bring people up to date on what’s going on there. Polling in NI is infrequent, and not the easiest to perform, e.g. Q1. Are you a Catholic? is an important, but probably not advisable opening for a pollster :) Anyway, LucidTalk have a relatively new poll in the Belly Telly, which shows little change from their recent polls. Their seat predictions are (parentheses in comparison with 2011) DUP 33(-5), SF 27(-2), SDLP 15(+1), UUP 18(+2), ALL 9(+1), Others 6 (+3). There had been some talk about SF becoming the largest party, but this looks unlikely now (particularly as SF are very likely to lose 1 seat in Belfast West). The seat tally for Others also looks a little bit high – my experience from Irish elections is that small parties do a little bit better in opinion polls than in the actual elections. People may intend to vote from the small party, but they may not be on the ballot in every constituency. As with Scotland and Wales, the turnout could be key – it was 55.6% last time, and was markedly lower in unionist areas. It’s not beyond the realms of possibility for SF to be 5-6 seats behind the DUP, having polled more first preference votes.

    On Brexit, I got the (highly anecdotal) impression that people really didn’t understand what the debate was about – there has been some cursory talk about the reimposition of border controls between NI and RoI, which would be catatrophic for NI trade and tourism. As with a lot of the debate around Brexit, facts have been in short supply.

    More generally, I’ve come to the conclusion that referenda on a lot of subjects is not really a great idea. We have a representative democracy (well, depends on your definition of representative :) ), in which people are chosen by us to *represent* our areas/constituencies/parish pump. They, again in principle, have time to consider the issues in depth – this is their job. The whole issue of Brexit is complicated – made more so by the conflicting and largely irrelevant propaganda coming from the campaigns and the press – and in my view, it’s virtually impossible for someone who only catches a ten-minute news bulletin to adequately form an informed opinion on the issue. Hell, I’ve been interested in this for years, and I find it difficult to fade out the noise and bluster.

    I’m perfectly content for plebiscites on “social conscience” issues (I’m not comfortable with politicians who take an excessive interest in people’s private affairs), but in the case of Brexit, I get the feeling that a lot of people are voting on the current government, rather than the issue itself. But hey, what do I know? :)

  8. Fascinating to see that Cameron paid £75898 in income tax last year while Corbyn paid £18912. Doing the maths Cameron paid the state 38p of every £ earned Corbyn paid only 27p. So clearly Cameron paid his “fair share” in every sense, total amount and percentage take.

    This is of course a pattern repeated nationwide the richest 10% pay 55% of all income tax, the bottom 12% pay none. So much for the rich not paying their fair share.

    Amusing to see that Corbyn failed to declare his pension income, thought to be in excess of £10,000 on his tax form. Labour have said he had informed HMRC separately and I am not suggesting he was trying to evade tax. However it is necessary to declare all income on your tax return and coming on top of the fine for late declaration one wonders if he is fit to run anything, let alone the country.

    In the longer term this could all work to the Tories advantage. It now seems clear IMO that Labour do not support aspiration or the desire of people to work hard and pass the fruits of their Labour on to their children. Not an attitude that will go down well with Middle Britain when it votes in 2020

  9. @crossbat
    So you don’t believe the simple story (not worth the press pursuing) that he didn’t know, didn’t approve, and stopped seeing her? Where’s the “scandal” in that?

  10. @LOUISWALSHVOTESGREEN

    “More generally, I’ve come to the conclusion that referenda on a lot of subjects is not really a great idea.”

    Couldn’t agree more. The future of our country will be decided on something no better than the toss of a coin. The referendum could go either way, depending on random factors like the Panama Papers, ministers’ relations with call girls, whether the sun is shining…

    And close-run referenda can be hugely divisive, with unpredictable knock-on effects. All made worse by the fact that it was only promised to assuage short-term, partisan political problems.

  11. the other howard

    To me, as a “redistributionist”, the problem is how to tax wealth (rather than income) without killing off the goose.

    Land tax based upon rental intone taxed at say 5% of nominal income, payable by all land/property owners even if they are not renting it out, re corporations or even charities. Failure to pay for a second year resulting in immediate confiscation auction of said property.

    I’d have to pay as a homeowner, companies or people with strings of properties would be paying 5% of rental income as tax (even if empty).

    Might not be a vote winner … but if it reduced other taxes and improved services then you never know.

  12. Yes TOH the poor getting away with not paying their way, makes my blood boil http://www.theguardian.com/money/2014/jun/16/british-public-wrong-rich-poor-tax-research

  13. THE OTHER [email protected]
    Fascinating to see that Cameron paid £75898 in income tax last year while Corbyn paid £18912. Doing the maths Cameron paid the state 38p of every £ earned Corbyn paid only 27p. So clearly Cameron paid his “fair share” in every sense, total amount and percentage take

    Income tax makes up only around 28% of the tax take of the UK. You would also need to look at VAT, N.I. Council tax, corporation tax etc. Those on lower income pay proportionately more of their money on VAT and Council tax, for example.
    Interesting analysis here-
    http://www.theguardian.com/money/2014/jun/16/british-public-wrong-rich-poor-tax-research

  14. Pete –

    Beaten to it:-)

  15. @The Other Howard

    “It now seems clear IMO that Labour do not support aspiration or the desire of people to work hard and pass the fruits of their Labour on to their children. Not an attitude that will go down well with Middle Britain when it votes in 2020”

    Could not agree more with this sentiment. There is something crippling – and deeply depressing – about a political creed that demonises betterment. Watching Corbyn on Monday deliver a shrill, embittered, envy laden monologue (all from notes as usual) deriding Cameron was Labour at its very worst.

    I just wonder how many people in the wider public (not the foaming idiots on twitter) he thinks will be attracted to ever vote for Labour.

  16. the other thing worth considering is, if the richer want a flat simple tax rather than progressive percentage increases on income, then the quid pro quo should be that everything is taxable, no avoidance and draconian jail terms with the onus on the payer to prove they have checked with the taxman rather than their accountant whether to pay.

    No NI and 35% tax on all income over say £10,000. jail for not paying even a penny.

  17. Wow, the Tories are already out in force, spreading their anti-Corbyn venom….

    So much for adhering to the Comments Policy.

    FYI, Bert, if you check the opinion polls recently, you will see that a Labour Party led by Corbyn is actually growing in popularity, and is just about level with the Tories right now.

    As for Scotland, I don’t think it matters who’s leading the Tories or Labour there. The simple truth is that the SNP have that sewn up, and with the Leave rhetoric being ramped up in England, that’s going to drive a lot more Scots into voting SNP, since most Scots want to stay in the EU.

    Labour under Milliband won a lot of seats in the Council elections, though you wouldn’t know that, from the way the media portrayed the last Council elections. So, if Labour just hold on to the number of seats they currently have, that alone would be a significant victory.

  18. Pete & NeilJ

    I was not making a partisan point. What I was doing was making the facts clear after last weeks bruhaha which was all about taxing income. I said at the time it was a nonsense story and it was. Cameron handled it badly but came out clean IMO.

    I appreciate that many other things are taxed via VAT but at least there is a choice, you don’t have to buy other than absolute essentials and many of those do not carry VAT anyway.

    Nick P

    As you well know I do not believe in taxing wealth since it has already been taxed at the time it was made. Thus I think inheritance tax legalised theft as I posted the other day.

    I only posted on this subject because I thought Crossbat11 was misreading the situation IMO of course.

  19. The interesting thing about the Whittingdale story isn’t the revelations about his sex life (though there are a few discrepancies about his account that might be looked at by a genuinely investigative media)[1]. The important point is about how the papers suppressed the story and what they got in return – even now they seem to be doing their best to downplay something that normally they would be leading on for days.

    The best coverage of all this appeared a few days ago on the excellent and serious OpenDemocracy website:

    https://www.opendemocracy.net/ourbeeb/james-cusick/real-whittingdale-scandal-cover-up-by-press

    which in itself highlights how reluctant the media has been to cover this. The Byline story first appeared on 1 April and had been widely commented on online. It’s clear that even before then it was an open secret in the media and presumably Westminster, but it wasn’t until Private Eye ran it which then Newsnight picked up, that the rest of the ‘official’ media were forced to produce something. Even then most of what has been written is along the lines of “Nothing to see here!”.

    [1] There was a fascinating nugget when it turned out that he didn’t have to declare a free trip to Amsterdam for the MTV Awards that he took with this lady (including plane and top range hotel) because only gifts to MPs worth over 1% of salary (about £600 then) need to be recorded. It’s a different world.

  20. Good morning all from Central London where the pigeons are breeding faster than the panama papers.

    CHRISLANE1945

    Good morning…

    Yip you’re resonating with my own thoughts and DC is the Achilles heel in the Remain side. I think the new name is toxicity Cameron. Everyone expects him to campaign hard for the remain side but the way he is delivering the remain campaign may damage his prospects for a Yes vote and the fall out after the EU vote for the Tory party might end up with his removal but another as another poster on a previous thread said..they may wish to keep the nurse for a while.

    Interesting times ahead.

  21. “FYI, Bert, if you check the opinion polls recently, you will see that a Labour Party led by Corbyn is actually growing in popularity, and is just about level with the Tories right now.”

    I’m sure you said exactly the same when Miliband was Labour leader as well. Voting at the general election to choose a national government and PM is not the same as a couple of opinion polls a year after an election, after a major government wobble, or even the same as local elections, as Mr Miliband discovered. A snapshot can tell you anything you wish to believe.

    And offering an opinion about a party leader – good or bad – is not ‘spreading venom’. If you want to see that, go and spend a few days on twitter.

  22. THE OTHER HOWARD

    “This is of course a pattern repeated nationwide the richest 10% pay 55% of all income tax, the bottom 12% pay none. So much for the rich not paying their fair share”
    ____

    I think that only highlights the sheer gulf in wealth distribution in the UK, something all governments have failed to tackle, however that said I’m all for people making the most of life and encouraging aspirations but I think the tone form the Tories and Labour is completely wrong, Strivers v shirkers from the Tories and ole Corby attacking modest wealth as some sort of heinous crime.
    …….

    From your other post…” Thus I think inheritance tax legalised theft as I posted the other day.”
    ___

    Absolutely…People have worked all of their working days to save and buy a home, paid tax on it, paid lots of tax on the upkeep of their home, paid council tax etc yet when the time comes to pass the family home onto loved ones they are taxed to the hilt.

    I’m not quite sure what the threshold is for inheritance tax (too lazy to look) but I’m guessing 40% or so on properties over £300,000.
    Crazy!!

  23. Just checked my email inbox.

    Dear Allan Christie,

    Parliament is going to debate the petition you signed – “STOP CAMERON spending British taxpayers’ money on Pro-EU Referendum leaflets”.

    https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/116762

    The debate is scheduled for 9 May 2016.

    Once the debate has happened, we’ll email you a video and transcript.

    Thanks,
    The Petitions team
    UK Government and Parliament

    Woohoo

  24. The Whittingdale thing is a press story, not one about his behaviour per se. There is also the question of him not telling the PM. If he were subject to Developed Vetting, he would have to disclose to avoid blackmail risk.

    Living in London, I have already read the Private Eye story which makes the correct angle perfectly clear. A lot of journos are being deliberately and conveniently thick about this one.

  25. The main thing about the Whittingdale tittle tattle is that is NOT a sword of Damocles hanging over him and there is no possible reason to attempt to blackmail him. The man is single and the story is no more than mildly embarrassing. He is probably a bit miffed like anyone who has been two timed (probably a lot more than two) but that’s about it. Online dating can seemingly be a bit precarious but we all know that.

    Will it change voting intention? Not a jot.

  26. RMJ1

    According to his version of events, it is mildly embarrassing.

    I am surprised it took him six months to find out his girlfriend’s occupation.

  27. I’d would also be more than mildly embarrassed in the situation he describes. I’d be mortified in fact.

  28. AC

    “Absolutely…People have worked all of their working days to save and buy a home, paid tax on it, paid lots of tax on the upkeep of their home, paid council tax etc yet when the time comes to pass the family home onto loved ones they are taxed to the hilt. ”

    Is it fair that my ancestor made a killing on a clever futures purchase in the mid 17th century, just before the civil war and his descandents or at least his male heirs have lived off that wealth ever since? Sadly as the second son I don’t get much (but I am by no means poor).

  29. I have returned here a few times in recent weeks and had concluded initially that AW was away. I now conclude that the comments policy has been relaxed; a pity. I used to enjoy reading the comments but this collection today is like reading some of the BTL in a newspaper..

    I shall still rely on AW’s articles but will cease visiting the comments; again a pity.

  30. @ Allan Christie

    “I’m not quite sure what the threshold is for inheritance tax (too lazy to look) but I’m guessing 40% or so on properties over £300,000.
    Crazy!!”

    The rate of Inheritance tax is 40%, but the threshold for this to apply is £325,000. So if a person’s estate (including their house) is worth £500,000, the inheritance tax payable will be £70,000 (40% of the part over the threshold), and the beneficiaries will share the balance which would be £430,000.

    Also where a couple owns a property and the first leaves their full estate to the other, the threshold is doubled to £650,000. So the estate of the ‘second to die’ of a couple with an estate (on the death of the second) of £800,000 would pay £60,000 inheritance tax.

    It’s not what I would call being ‘taxed up to the hilt’, but I guess that’s just a matter of opinion.

  31. Once again, Clacton is where it’s all happening!

    Next Tuesday (19th April), Sky News is planning on running a day of coverage from Clacton to mark to the start of their in-depth coverage of the EU referendum.

    The reason they have chosen Clacton is because it is ranked the most Eurosceptic town in England, according to a nationwide poll they’ve carried out.

  32. @BristolianHoward

    I have great sympathy with your view.

    A number comments on the previous thread were rather desperate. I always thought that polling on some issues was tricky as is can quickly descend into a very negative area, creating more heat than light. The comments essentially confirmed what I thought.

    Mind you, here I am in an ethnically diverse urban part of Yorkshire, living in a terraced house, two kids, middle/ just getting by income…..

    I am obviously part of the ‘Liberal elite’, plotting the end of Englishness ;-)

    I have been really busy with the Local Elections, and I’m loving it. Real voters, talking about real issues on the doorstep. It’s a breath of fresh air.

  33. The effect, if any, of the past week’s storm regarding tax will be felt very differently in different parts of the country and by people in very different ciircumstances.

    As someone whose father-in-law worked hard all his life as a shopkeeper (leaving school at 14) until a stroke rendered him incapacitated, the stroke being partly caused by government policy on large supermarkets which bankrupted him, I fail to see any logical connection between ‘working hard’ and ‘having a large income’.

    I have two degrees – yet my income is under £30,000 p.a, and I am trying to pay a mortgage. For Cameron to receive £200k as a gift from his mother when so many are struggling through the current economic difficulties strikes me as the height of unfeeling stupidity (“We are all in this together” – really?). Others, such as TOH, for whom this amount is not, perhaps, so out of the ordinatry, may feel otherwise.

    And then a Tory back bencher has the nerve to stand up and suggest that it is the poor and the ordinary, represented by the Opposition, who are out of touch….. !!!

  34. It’s the double standards of the media that make their handling of the Whittingdale story so revealing (and amusing). Over the last couple of weeks, while they have been studiously ignoring this, they have been making great play and lot of noise about how a superinjunction was preventing them from ‘exposing’ the sex life of a celebrity and how this was a terrible attack on the freedom of the press. Some stories of this type are clearly still worth ‘pursuing’.

    The Press Gazette ran a particularly demented editorial[1] trying to explain this contradiction:

    http://www.pressgazette.co.uk/content/why-fleet-street-would-rather-report-injunction-celebritys-threesome-culture-secretary

    which pretended that a celebrity was more important in the running of the country than a cabinet minister. It’s also difficult to see why what Jeremy Corbyn and Diane Abbott got up to 40 years ago was of such great printable interest while what a cabinet minister did last year isn’t.

    But that cabinet minister is in charge of regulating the press and even when he was engaged in his dalliance, he was in a position of power over them as Chair of the Select Committee[2]. By not printing the sort of story that they would normally be making a lot of, the media did Whittingdale a ‘favour’ and such things normally come with strings attached.

    [1] Published 8 April, this seems to be the only reference in the conventional media to the story before Private Eye came out. Presumably the thought was that as a trade paper for journalists, this wouldn’t be seen by ‘civilians’.

    [2] There’s actually a good argument that even this made him unsuitable his move to Cabinet. Such positions are normally meant to be held by senior backbenches with no expectation of further office and so not liable to be influenced in their position by hopes of what they might get in future.

  35. JAMES E

    Thanks for the figures but like I said I couldn’t be bothered looking for them.
    ….
    “It’s not what I would call being ‘taxed up to the hilt’, but I guess that’s just a matter of opinion”
    ___

    Well unsurprisingly I disagree with you and it’s just another tax hurting mostly middle class people and the sooner the threshold is raised the better . IMO

  36. John B

    My father lost both parents when he was eight, was brought up in an orphanage and left school at 14 as well. He was also a small shop keeper who barely made a living all his life. In fact he taught shoe mending at night school three nights a week to help give me a good education via grammar school and university. He always wanted to leave me an inheritance because his thinking was as mine now is. However when he became infirm my wife and I insisted he spend what wealth he had accumulated on a suitable care home. He died comfortably in his sleep leaving £4.50 in his estate.

    Thanks to his help and my own drive and hard work I have been able to give my children more than Cameron received from his mother and since I did so more than seven years ago those gifts were free from inheritance tax. I am proud of what I have been able to do for them. They are all good kids, on clever doing research in immunology for the benefit of man kind. One is very talented Opera singer who gave up her career to help her husband and look after her children and the third works in public education. S yes I do feel otherwise John.

  37. John B

    I should have added that my father lost his wife when she was 51 and I lost my mother when i was 11.

  38. Allan

    Inheritance tax should be scrapped as soon as the deficit is eliminated.

  39. @Allan Christie

    “another tax hurting mostly middle class people ”

    Only the highest 8% of all estates have any Inheritance tax liability, even before the changes which George Osborne has already announced. By definition, those affected are at least “middle-class”.

    But can anyone really say that people are “hurt” by this?

    To take my example of the £60,000 inheritance tax payable on the ‘second death’ of a couple with property and assets worth £800,000. This is tax of 7.5% of the total value of the estate while their beneficiaries would then “only” share the remaining £740,000.

    No doubt you’ll be delighted that the misery and injustice of this is being removed over the next 5 years by changes which will, in effect, raise the threshold for couple to £1m.

  40. It seems to be the season for attacking government ministers for doing things that aren’t illegal or even particularly noteworthy.

    The enemies of scurrilousness and strangely keen to be scurrilous when it suits.

  41. JOHN B

    “I have two degrees – yet my income is under £30,000 p.a, and I am trying to pay a mortgage. For Cameron to receive £200k as a gift from his mother when so many are struggling through the current economic difficulties strikes me as the height of unfeeling stupidity (“We are all in this together” – really?). Others, such as TOH, for whom this amount is not, perhaps, so out of the ordinatry, may feel otherwise.
    ______

    I don’t have a degree but my currently salary is around the same as yours with a generous travel allowance for commuting into London.

    My parents who have worked hard all of their lives re mortgaged their own home a few years back so I could put down a deposit to buy my own place.

    I’ve since sold that place due to relocating south and was able to buy a place in Hampshire (via a hefty mortgage) but not before having to live in London for a few months and thankfully my temporary digs were the responsibility of the company I work for.

    I’m sure my parents home under the current threshold would be be eligible for inheritance tax but it’s certainly not worth over £400,00.

    To many people they may think my family are wealthy but in reality they are not. I don’t think the value of a persons home can always determine how wealthy people are because in many cases they have worked very long hours and compromised on other luxuries such as holidays so they can put a decent roof over their heads.

    I have mates back in Scotland who earn more than me but live in council houses and they choose not to get on the property ladder but someone looking at me who has my own property would probably think I’m wealthier than them.

    So my rational is..Someone on the wage larger than mine can live in a cheap rented home and keep more of their disposable income than myself but because I chose to own my own home I’m then penalised at a later date if I so wish to pass what I have worked hard for in the way of inheritance tax?

  42. @ Roger Mexico

    “It’s the double standards of the media that make their handling of the Whittingdale story so revealing (and amusing).”

    Indeed. If ever there was a story that had ‘tabloid scoop’ written on it this was it. The former deputy editor of the News of The World was even – eventually – forced to agree with that assessment on R4 this morning.

    His reasoning for a number of newspapers serially failing to publish? That they had all been chastened and were operating in a post-Levenson world where ‘public interest’ is the key determiner of whether a story should go to press.

    So it was a chastened press that was in recent days making such a fuss over not being able to reveal the identity of ‘the celebrity in a threesome with the super injunction’ – despite there being no clear ‘public interest’ in the case whatsoever.

    Your point on investigating the ‘affair’ further is well made – simply on the matter of the trip to Amsterdam, it seems questionable that the £600 limit was not breached – a pair of business class seats on an airline and 1/2 nights in a good hotel in the city would have exceeded that amount easily. Such arrangements would be typical of this kind of corporate entertaining.

    Then there are questions appertaining to the nature of his conversations with the media when they originally approached him with the story, why he did not disclose the matter to the PM (or the relevant Private Secretary) upon his appointment and whether he has been involved in on-going conversations and contact with the same editors that approached him over the story regarding the formulation of government policy in regard to press regulation. In the last of these there would be a clear conflict as they held information on him he has himself declared ’embarrassing’.

    Yes, there is plenty here that could / should be looked at in more depth, but won;t be as I fear this story is as less in the ‘press interest’ than the ‘public interest’, which ironically is the heart of the story itself.

    As to any impact on VI – none I would imagine, the only part of the PressGazette piece that rings true is that Whittingdale is such a minor figure in the public mind that this will not catch light without the fuel of ongoing tabloid interest and intrigue.

    Of course I’m sure that it helps ensure an easy ride (no pun intended) in certain quarters that he is in the Brexit camp – to lose one Brexit cabinet minister could be regarded as misfortune, to lose two…

    @ Crossbat’s wider view that this represents an echo of the Major government’s unwinding is interesting. This has occurred to me too – in addition to the stories mentioned there is the rather unpleasant business about bullying within the Conservative Party, which seems likely to resurface at some point. However, as with this Whittingdale incident the press seem unwilling to pursue these matters at present.

    Were Remain to win – by a whisker – I think things might get even more volatile for the Conservatives and then a re-tread of the early 1990s might be a real possibility, with a malevolent and wounded Brexit press and unfavourable economic headwinds.

  43. JAMES E

    “No doubt you’ll be delighted that the misery and injustice of this is being removed over the next 5 years by changes which will, in effect, raise the threshold for couple to £1m”
    ______

    Again you appear to be an expert on my thoughts. How do you do it?

  44. THE OTHER HOWARD
    Allan
    Inheritance tax should be scrapped as soon as the deficit is eliminated
    _____

    Absolutely and on that note I’m off for some grub.

  45. @Neil A

    “It seems to be the season for attacking government ministers for doing things that aren’t illegal or even particularly noteworthy.
    The enemies of scurrilousness and strangely keen to be scurrilous when it suits.”

    Did I miss something – when did strict legality become the sole basis on which we might wish to attack or disagree with the actions or opinions of a cabinet minister, or indeed any politician.

    As to whether what has happened in this case is ‘noteworthy’ or not, I’d suggest that it’s difficult to tell on the very sparse account that we have of the whole matter thus far.

    It seems extraordinary that – as a matter of course – we seem collectively assume that politicians lie, or at least dissemble (see all the polling on trust or lack of), yet in this instance where there are issues of a potentially embarrassing nature, involving a clear potential conflict of interest and failing to properly declare a financial benefit the press have universally decided the politician’s account is to be believed without further investigation.

    That seems mightily strange to me. Compare perhaps with the days of coverage that were given to much lesser events under both the governments of Major and Blair.

  46. TOH:
    “I was not making a partisan point.”

    I stopped reading at this point. The tears of laughter blurred my vision and I couldn’t see what else you, or anyone, had to say.

  47. @ Allan Christie

    “I’m sure my parents home under the current threshold would be eligible for inheritance tax but it’s certainly not worth over £400,00.”

    But you’ve said repeatedly that you don’t know how the threshold works and can’t be bothered to find out!

    As I’ve already explained, your parents’ £400,000 house would not cause their estate to be liable to any Inheritance Tax, provided their wills are in favour of one another.

    Even an individual estate valued at £400k would be liable to just £30k Inheritance Tax. Besides, in almost every case, the values of houses reflect the house price inflation of the past 20 years, rather than the sums which the owner has paid out of their (taxed) income.

  48. I had never realized until now that the left were all such social conservatives. You all seem to be suggesting that single men shouldn’t go out with women, certainly not women they meet on dating sites and certainly not without hiring a private detective to do background checks. Anyone who it turns out has made a mistake in such circumstances is obviously front page news and the newspapers are obviously corrupt for not agreeing with you.

    This is all getting far too silly. Get a grip.

    I’m off out on my bike.

  49. @Almost everyone….

    Up to this point, there have been 48 comments on the thread, the vast majority of which had bugger all to do with the subject of the thread (or even polling for that matter).

    If you want to comment on Cameron and Corbyn’s tax returns, or the dalliances of the Culture Minister (who most people probably wouldn’t recognise), could you at least try to show how it relates to polling, rather than taking the opportunity to show how great your side or how awful the other side are. I know I’m guilty of going over the line on occasion, but the last three threads, including this one, have been full of unreadable nonsense from people who have been around UKPR for long enough to know better. I come to this website to read intelligent insight – if I wanted to read “facts” pulled from one’s posterior or “look, it’s a squirrel!” lines of argumentation, I’d stick to the G or DM.

    Enjoy your afternoon, folks. I’m off to have a delicious cold craft beer from Northern Ireland – which, for the time being, is part of both the UK and the EU ;)

  50. ALUN009

    You may not believe it but it is what I believe. If you stop laughing and read my post again you will see that the only reason I posted that piece was because i thought Crossbat11 had got things factually wrong.

    LOUISWALSHVOTESGREEN

    Enjoy your beer, but can I suggest that instead of insulting everybody by talking about others posts as “about unreadable nonsense” your either read them and make your own posts or do what you have actually chosen today. Yes this is a site to comment on polling and yes to some extent we have all strayed but this iscertainly not a website for insulting others who have deeply held views.

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