This month ICM have done parallel telephone and online polls. For voting intention the figures are almost exactly the same – topline figures are

ICM Phone: CON 38%, LAB 33%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 13%, GRN 3%
ICM Online: CON 36%, LAB 31%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 16%, GRN 4%

ICM have exactly the same Conservative lead on both modes, though the level of UKIP support is higher in the online poll (a long standing contrast between different polling modes). The Conservative lead in the phone poll is back up to five points after a neck-and-neck poll last month, not reflecting the trend of a falling Tory lead we’ve seen in other polling.

In EU referendum polling ICM found the usual, familiar gap between telephone and online samples – it’s down from the fifteen to twenty point gulf at the tail end of last year, but there’s still a steady contrast of seven or eight points.

ICM Phone: REMAIN 48%, LEAVE 41%, DK 11%
ICM Online: REMAIN 43%, LEAVE 44%, DK 13%

Tables should up tomorrow, once Martin Boon has wrestled with ICM’s new website.


240 Responses to “Parallel online and phone polls from ICM”

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  1. @Colin

    The Times mentions polls in Denmark & Sweden showing “unprecedented and deepening hostility to the EU”
    Has anyone got details or a link ?

    Yes.

    Here’s the Danish poll, indicating that 27% would wish to follow the UK oust of the EU in the event of Brexit.

    http://www.a4v.dk/danexit-after-brexit-short-version/

    30% would stay regardless and 34% would ‘wait and see’ – effectively stay in for the time being, but keep their options open.

    There’s plenty of evidence that the Swedes would be interested in holding their own referendum. Edinburgh University found nearly 50% (though France was higher and Germany, Spain and others are not far behind).

    Results were covered extensively in the media about six weeks ago.

    YouGov found late last year that the Swedes had fairly negative attitudes about the EU; however, these were in line with those in other larger member states:

    https://yougov.co.uk/news/2015/12/10/eu-polling-soft-leave/

    Longer term studies, such as this one from 2014, paint a slightly different picture. Indicating that there is a marginal movement in favour of EU membership over time.

    https://yougov.co.uk/news/2015/12/10/eu-polling-soft-leave/

    The Swedes have always been highly ambivalent about the EU, only joined in 1995 after a very close referendum (52% vs 47%), declined to enter the Euro and as a neutral country is not a member of NATO.

  2. @Colin

    The Times mentions polls in Denmark & Sweden showing “unprecedented and deepening hostility to the EU”

    Has anyone got details or a link ?

    Yes. But my post furnishing all the links is in moderation (even though two of three of the links are to YouGOv – oh the irony).

    Some pointers below which should allow you to search for the original material.

    There was a recent Danish poll, indicating that 27% would wish to follow the UK oust of the EU in the event of Brexit.

    30% would stay regardless and 34% would ‘wait and see’ – effectively stay in for the time being, but keep their options open.

    There’s plenty of evidence that the Swedes would be interested in holding their own referendum. Edinburgh University found nearly 50% in favour (though France was higher and Germany, Spain and others are not far behind).
    Results were covered extensively in the media about six weeks ago.

    YouGov found late last year that the Swedes had fairly negative attitudes about the EU; however, these were in line with those in other larger member states and the results can be found on the site 10 December 2015.

    Longer term studies, such as one from the Political Studies Association in 2014, paint a subtly different picture. Indicating that there is a marginal movement in favour of EU membership over time.

    The Swedes have always been highly ambivalent about the EU, only joined in 1995 after a very close referendum (52% vs 47%), declined to enter the Euro and as a neutral country is not a member of NATO.

  3. Colin,

    “Ambivalence to “Democracy”

    Only if you define Democracy narrowly as voting once every five years and then simply accepting what the government does without comment or protest even if you don’t agree with it!

    In an open democracy people should be free to express opinions and protest within the law as much as they want. For most of us that’s not ambivalence it’s participation.

    One of the comments I heard that I thought summed up what was wrong with British Politics was an election night discussion when Labour’s Brian Wilson was asked what Labour’s victory meant! His reply;

    “We won so you should all just shut up!”

    If people who don’t agree with a Government want to protest and oppose they should do so and it’s important for a healthy democracy that they do!

    Peter.

  4. @RMJ1

    “In terms of trade agreements after a Brexit, the EU would undoubtedly seek to pick and choose. An exemption from tariffs for most industrial products could quickly be agreed. The sticking points would be financial products and services, agriculture, and the rest of the food sector, where free access would meet huge opposition. We could well end up in a position where we have to comply with all EU rules, plus a few extra ones, to keep what we have now as members.”

    A very fair summary.

    In reality, the free trade of goods would be mostly covered by WTO style agreements that could be quickly implemented.

    The question about services is of course crucial – what incentive is there for the French and Germans in particular (and to a lesser extent the Dutch) to reach quickly an agreement on free trade in these areas?

    All have financial services centres they would like to see grow, and run trade deficits (intermittent in some cases) with the UK in this area. Procrastination and the attendant uncertainty might well lead to some ‘re-balancing’ of the European financial services sector – a long dreamt of ambition of many on the mainland, envious of London’s primacy in this area.

    Meanwhile the UK – so heavily dependent on the service sector, finance and B2B in particular, would be disproportionately harmed by such delay and change.

    Talk of ‘selling Mr Kipling Cakes to the French’ is nonsense ‘French Fancies’ aren’t sold in France, and whilst the 60,000 people who work at Jaguar Land Rover and in the supply chain are hugely important, that is in comparison with 660,000 who work in finance in London alone.

    It should be noted that Scotland is also highly dependent on financial services for employment with 150,000 jobs coming from the sector, and Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds have big centres too.

    In polling and VI terms, I wonder whether these employers will take the step – like Airbus – of writing to their employees explaining their position on Europe (overwhelmingly remain) and if this would have a negative or positive impact.

    One might describe this as the ‘Obama dilemma’ – whether external intervention is a powerful lever or counter productive. I wonder if there’s any polling evidence on this?

    The financial services hit is the real issue at stake – talk of cars and cakes is a smoke screen – we export too few of both to secure and generate real wealth. How will we deliver a market for our services is the real question.

  5. @ Carfew

    ‘…that Mason himself sees issues with democracy in the EU, yet might vote to outweigh the vote in UK elections. Therein lies the irony, or dilemma or whatever you wanna call it…’

    Indeed, as Tony Benn pointed out, the difference between UK elections and the EU is that the British electorate can vote out a govt but we can’t vote out the EU hierarchy.

    Danny Nicol Professor of Public Law at the University of Westminster writes:

    There have always been parts of the British Left which have elected to deny the significance of constitutional provisions in making their strategic choices….
    Against this backdrop whilst there can be no objection to people pressing to make the EU more left-wing, such campaigners bear the responsibility of explaining how they will achieve their objectives in the face of the requirements of unanimity and common accord. As it presently stands, these requirements make substantial socialistic advance virtually impossible to achieve. Unless those who seek such change face up to the constitutional obstacle that confronts them, the only progressive reforms to materialise will be confined to the realms of their own minds.

    https://ukconstitutionallaw.org/2016/02/29/danny-nicol-is-another-europe-possible/

  6. ASSIDUOSITY,

    Another Target for the EU with regard to free trade on financial services might be extending the rules to cover UK overseas Soverign & Dependant territories so that the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands, Caymens and BVI come under far more scrutiny!

    Helps level the playing field for their financial centres and would be politically popular with their domestic electorates.

    Peter.

  7. @SYZYGY

    “Indeed, as Tony Benn pointed out, the difference between UK elections and the EU is that the British electorate can vote out a govt but we can’t vote out the EU hierarchy.”

    Wouldn’t it be a slightly absurd situation if the British electorate could vote out the EU hierarchy?

    It seems that there will always be an essential gulf between those who regard pooled sovereignty (and the dilution in the power of the nation state that entails) as desirable and those who regard the primacy of the nation state as paramount.

    Both are legitimate positions, but to pretend that one is inherently more democratic than the other is neither a sustainable nor coherent argument.

    It is possible for the people of Europe collectively to vote out the European hierarchy. That is how it should be as the EU hierarchy represents the European level of governance not that of the individual states.

    If the left want to achieve their aims within the European context then they must win the required majority of members of the Councils of Ministers (just as they would need to win the required number of senators in the US senate, or states in the US presidential electoral college). This is achieved through wining the democratic national elections in the member states.

    The Council of Ministers appoints the Commission and the Parliament is directly elected.

    As the days of unanimity are over in most matters, qualified majority voting now acts much as the various voting levels required for constitutional change does in many legislatures around the world.

    There would be nothing inherently more or less democratic about the the state of Alabama were it separate from the US than it is as part of it. Likewise Britain within the EU.

    None of this detracts from the quite legitimate argument that we would be ‘better off running our own affairs’. But this isn’t a question of democracy, it’s a question of preference and efficacy as to what level decisions are taken at and government enacted.

    It’s notable that many who favour departing the EU are also in favour of retaining the UK – itself a union that binds together separate identifiable nations within a executive super structure.

    Scottish people might quite as easily decry the fact that they can’t ‘vote out the UK hierarchy’, that doesn’t mean the UK isn’t democratic.

  8. @Peter Cairns (SNP)

    “Another Target for the EU with regard to free trade on financial services might be extending the rules to cover UK overseas Soverign & Dependant territories so that the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands, Caymens and BVI come under far more scrutiny!”

    And yet another target would be to lure away major US, Russian, Chinese and even Swiss and Japanese institutions who currently have their EU HQs in London by dint of the City of London’s position.

    If you examine the UK’s balance of trades surplus on services on p36 of the latest bulletin on the ONS website

    http://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/nationalaccounts/balanceofpayments/bulletins/uktrade/february2016

    You’ll note that it derives from activity with the USA, Switzerland, Japan, Russia, Canada and China – all of whom have very large banking and financial interests in the UK.

    If these businesses depart, so do the ‘invisible exports’ they generate along with tax receipts, secondary expenditure, and multiplier effects.

    As I’ve tried to point out before, these are footloose industries and can effectively move anywhere that a IT and legislative infrastructure will accommodate them.

  9. I think theres some rather selective quoting of Paul Mason going on above.

    He started by pointing out that whilst Gove didnt want to be held hostage in a car being recklessly driven towards EU integration, however, in the absence of any consensus as to what a post brexit uk would look like, he equally didn’t want to be held hostage in a car being recklessly driven to the exit by Gove or Johnson.

    As we are talking about the whole future shape of the UK here, it does raise the interesting question that given Ken Clarks assesment of Camerons career prospects, and assuming we dont have an immediate post referendum general election, from where would a P.M. Gove, Johnson, May or whoever derive their mandate to negotiate the terms of withdrawal ?

  10. @dieselhead – “Sure. They [German govt.] would prefer us to be REMAIN for that reason. But if we LEAVE their government would be quite happy to forgo the tax on the profits on exports to the UK which is probably a figure less than € ”

    Daft, daft, daft.

    The tax on profits from their exports to us are minor, compared to the payroll taxes and resulting VAT etc from the economic activity. It’s insane to think that any country would be completely relaxed about damaging their second largest net export market.

    I’m afraid this is another example of the alice in wonderland stuiff, this time from a remainer.

    @Everyone who kindly reported how wrong I was on my lighthearted comment re B&S nationalism.

    My – you are a sensitive bunch! As @Robert N points out, the indyref debate was typified by a substantial amount of ill will, with much of this emanating from the Nats side. I myself suffered personal abuse and threats of violence on more than one occasion in my homeland, but twas ever thus.

    There remains a nasty streak, which is not uncommon in any nationalist movement. Fortunately there are also many pleasant nats, but they do have a tendency to have a bit of a blind spot. Something they also share with many other nationalsit movements.

  11. @Alec

    Germany would be very concerned abut losing a market for its goods, the principle basis for their export surplus with us.

    However, as we would likely remain within WTO frameworks, goods would continue to trade fairly freely – observe how much ‘stuff’ we buy comes from outside the EU and from countries with which we have no bilateral agreements.

    Services – the source of our export wealth – falls without these international frameworks. The question is how or more pertinently would we be able to gain access to the European market for these sectors of our economy?

  12. @ASSIDUOSITY

    Your posts are genuinely illuminating, I wish I could explain the issues with such clarity.

    The risk to the Financial Service sector and the UK’s economy reliance on said sector is why I will be voting Remain.

    I have some questions

    I have seen many Leavers quote WTO as a reason post Brexit that the EU could not impose additional tariffs on UK imports. Is this the case?

    I have also seen the response that the WTO doesn’t apply to Financial Service. Again is this the case?

    Finally, assuming both of these are true, would that mean we could not under WTO impose additional tariffs on EU goods while they prevaricated about Financial Services?

  13. @Alec — It’s insane to think that any country would be completely relaxed about damaging their second largest net export market.

    Isn’t that what we might do in the event of Brexit?

  14. @Colin

    Thanks for the heads up. Having watched the clips, seems that Mason’s not so fussed about leaving the EU, the issue seems more that he would rather Labou were in charge of the exit negotiations than Tories. Regarding the bit with Rentoul, they talked over each other a bit but the stance seems to be to not focus on the deficit and rising debt, but instead invest heavily early in a parliament with the intention of getting growth to outstrip the debt, such that the debt to GDP ratio falls.

    Which has summat in common with a business upping it’s debt to gain even more in market share. Or someone taking on a bigger mortgage to make a bigger killing from house price rises etc.

  15. ROBERT NEWARK:
    “I know that you didn’t use the phrase, ‘foreign criminals’ but that is what the debate is about in the country at large.”

    You’re right I didn’t use that phrase. And nor does it really figure on my political radar in any meaningful way. I don’t really know why you brought it up in relation to me. Perhaps as a foil for introducing your pet subject? You’re welcome to do that, but leave me out of it. I don’t give two hoots about your opinion on that subject.

  16. @EOTW

    I’m not sure – as others are sure to point out – that this is the forum for detailed discussion like this, but in for a penny in for a pound….

    The WTO which came into being in 1994, has in place provisions on both the free trading of goods and services (and separate provisions in relation to agriculture and investment).

    The issue is that the GATT (Genereal Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) and ancillary agreements relating to goods are much more developed and specific than those relating to services covered by GATS (General Agreement on Trade in Services).

    With regard to goods, principles such as ‘most favoured nation’ – meaning that all members of GATT should be treated in the way in which the most favoured trading partner of a member is treated – and ‘national treatment’ policy – meaning that foreign goods should be treated in the same way as local goods – are well established.

    Though in theory the same should be true of services this is not the case at all in practice.

    In part this is due to the fact that the exemptions from the principle of free trade in goods are specific – relating to safety, environmental concerns, health, economic distortion and national security.

    However, there is a general principle of exemption from free trade in services by which a member state may simply declare a whole service sector outside the realm of free trade. Whilst the assumption is that services should be subject to free trade this is not enforceable.

    Free trade in goods is enforceable through the WTOs binding dispute resolution process.

    In addition to this exemption customs unions, economic communities and special groups of nations may treat each other preferentially.

    Taken together, the net effect of all of this is that as the UK remains both an independent and an EU member of the WTO its membership would be continuing after any Brexit. As such it would continue to enjoy the privileges and protections of the WTO on goods.

    There are de facto no such equivalent protections with regard to services (or agriculture for that matter).

    This is a widely recognized flaw in the system and the WTO has been engaged in the ‘Doha round’ of talks since November 2001 to bring services and agriculture more fully into its ambit.

    Failure to extend the WTO into services has led to bilateral talks and treaties such as TTIP – which are themselves controversial as they do away with the notion that the state can ‘exempt’ certain services from international competition.

    One can see why it would be difficult to explain this to the electorate at large – and why the electorate might be unresponsive – but the summary is – we will in all likelihood have a protected right to sell our goods to the EU after Brexit but none with regards to services. We will have to negotiate (from a position of apparent weakness as we now learn exporters are) for the right to trade in this way.

  17. @EOTW

    I should also have added in response to your direct question that if the UK were to place sanctions on EU goods because no agreement existed on services (and in the absence of EU tariffs on UK goods), the EU would be able to take the UK to the WTO for breach through the Dispute Resolution Body of the WTO.

    A specific case panel would be established and then the Appellate Body, arbiters, Uncle Tom Cobley and all would become involved.

    The UK would have no equivalent recourse to force the EU to allow access to their service industry markets as they could use their legitimate ‘no reasons’ exemption or the ‘preferential status’ conditions of being both an economic area and customs union.

    Such a case would grind on for years, I’ll allow you to judge the likely affect on confidence in the UK economy.

  18. @ASSIDUOSITY

    Thanks, I think it confirms what I suspected.

    EU could use WTO to give them access to sell there goods to the UK while bogging down discussions free trade in Financial Services for years. Which I believe would be catastrophic for that sector and the UK.

  19. To defend our old pal Colin, who may have retired for the eve, his post doesn’t have to be challenging the democracy of the EU.
    carfrew April 20th, 2016 at 12:13 am (and Colin)

    ok, well if I have got the wrong end of the stick let me apologise now.

    I like this blog for its accuracy and objectivity. I would not want to spoil that.

  20. PETER CAIRNS

    @”In an open democracy people should be free to express opinions and protest within the law as much as they want. ”

    I agree.

  21. The upshot of the illuminating discussions between EOTW and Assiduosity regarding post-Brexit trade in goods and services appears to be that while, as WTO members, we would not be able to erect barriers to imports of goods from the EU, there would be no necessity for rEU states to continuity granting free access to UK services.

    This seems to me pretty much of a killer argument for remain. A main pillar of the Brexit argument has been “they would have to do a deal because they want to carry on selling BMWs”. The truth is that they will have no trouble continuing to sell us BMWs, while those financial institutions which currently base their EU operations in London may well find it makes sense to move those operations to Frankfurt or Luxembourg.

  22. Good afternoon all from a tremendously fine day here in central London. You know a lot of people are struggling to decide on what way they will vote in the once in a generation EU referendum but spare a thought for me, every morning when leaving Waterloo station I’m faced with an even bigger decision than the EU vote….should I walk across the left Jubilee bridge or the right Jubilee bridge when crossing the Thames?

    Anyway I’ve been reading some expats are going to the High Court so they can have a vote on the EU referendum.

    I know it sounds tough but if people don’t wish to live in the UK any more then why should they be able to take part in its political process?

    They chose the Costa del sol over Costa del Jaywick, no one forced them too.

  23. Hmm KEN ALEC

    It looks like both camps need to keep the economic arguments simple ( I don’t mean that the wrong way btw).

    I would still argue that if I buy a BMW for 20 grand I am probably happy with the deal and won’t feel like I have “given” 20k to “Germany” even though my personal trade deficit has gone up 20k.

    Alec – you are right. Just look at tax on profit is probably daft. However I think the loss is less than it appears and turnover is not the correct measure. I would stand by my point that successful businesses and their employees will quickly adjust their operations and find something else to do if UK demand drops. And they will have plenty of time to adjust.

  24. Assiduosity

    When we were discussing local democracy last night, I hadn’t realised that the exact point I was making would be raised in the SNP manifesto today!

    http://www.snp.org/manifesto (p33)

    We want to re-invigorate local government by reconnecting it with communities. One size does not fit all. The approach taken in Glasgow does not have to be the same as the approach in Galashiels. The principle of local control, not on behalf of a community, but by a community is key

  25. Gffallan Christie,

    Spare a thought for the 3m EU citizeans in the UK (2m paying tax) who don’t get a vote.

    You can vote if you have lived here in the last 15 years.
    You can also vote if you live in Gibraltar, Cyprus or Malta, because they are in Europe and the Commonwealth, but not Canada or Australia, because they are in the Commonwealth but not in Europe…Oh and if your Irish because it is in Europe but not in the Commonwealth, but not Spain because like Ireland it is in Europe but not in the Commonwealth.

    Simples!!!!!!

    Peter.

  26. Alun

    In the post to which I was linking back to you made the following statement :-

    “There are different sorts of nationalism. I’ve never met a Scottish nationalist who goes on about Muslims and foreigners being deported. Seems all too common amongst Ukip types though.”

    I was merely pointing out that whilst it might be true that ‘UKIP types’, (but in truth, plenty of other types as well), want foreign undesirables thrown out of the country and an Australian points system for new entrants, to state that they want anyone foreign or Muslim thrown out, who is a law abiding citizen embracing our culture and with every right to be in the uk, is a mis representation of the truth.

    But hey, ho why let a misrepresentation get in the way of a snazzy quip.

  27. If you are a British citizen who has lived abroad for less than 15 years and who was registered to vote when they last lived in the Uk, (or their parents were if they were under 18 when they left the uk) then you have the right to vote in elections in the uk. It matters not where you live in the world.

    http://www.aboutmyvote.co.uk/register-to-vote/british-citizens-living-abroad

    The French go one better, expat French actually have their own MP.

  28. Robert Newark

    “you have the right to vote in elections in the uk”

    For Westminster and European elections. Not for others.

  29. PETER CAIRNS (SNP#twovotes)

    “Spare a thought for the 3m EU citizeans in the UK (2m paying tax) who don’t get a vote”
    ______

    What about the other million? What are they up too?

    It’s a referendum, why should people who have been living in the UK for only a few years get a vote on this countries future?
    I know expats have also contributed to UKPLC but they don’t live here any more and they also shouldn’t get a vote in the referendum.

    As for General Elections, I would make it law that if you’re away (accept the armed forces) for more than a year then you lose the right to vote. I don’t see why someone living in Spain should be deciding who we elected back in the UK.

    I take it you were opposed to Scots living in England not having a vote in the Scottish referendum judging by your comment?

    Roools…..R………..Roools

    Anyway I’ve got a bridge to cross, left or right? Hmmm decisions.

  30. ROBERT NEWARK:
    I think you’ve misunderstood what I was talking about. I was talking about people who want foreigners out. Racists, in short. They are all too common among Ukip sympathisers, less common amongst most other parties. Including, crucially, the SNP. Your talk of criminals is a straw man, and a subject that doesn’t interest me. I take no view.

    Out of interest, the first time I’ve ever come across someone who is anti English in Scotland was just 2 days ago. I was canvassing in the evening, and a woman behind one door told me she was “anti royalist, anti English, and pro independence”. When I pressed her on her VI she said “I ain’t telling you, but it won’t be you lot [I had identified myself as SNP at the start of the conversation]”.

    Now, as I’ve said, my evidence is anecdotal. But the distinction between SNP and Ukip couldn’t be starker on my experience, which includes hundreds of doorstop conversations.

  31. Re: ICM
    Martin Boon suggests that the difference between phone/online polling is one having too many Labour supporters (who are pro-Remain) and the other having too many UKIP supporters (who are pro-Leave).

    http://www.icmunlimited.com/polls/ (click on 19th April entry)

  32. DIESELHEAD…….Congratulations on your commercial magnanimity. :-)

  33. Elections Etc have a “Combined forecast” for the euro ref –

    Polls, expert forecasting, betting markets etc

    https://electionsetc.com/2016/04/20/a-combined-forecast-for-the-uks-eu-membership-referendum/

    Share of the Vote

    Remain 54% : Leave 46%

    67% probability that Remain wins.

  34. OLD NAT.
    Thank you.
    I wonder whether the Leave Camp gains from here; I think they will.

  35. @Assiduosity,

    Do the WTO rules allow countries to exempt service industries from access by specific individual countries, or do they have to be exempted completely.

    In other words, if the French decide that they don’t want to allow British companies to operate in a particular market, do they have to exclude American, Canadian, Chinese and Indian ones as well?

  36. ChrisLane1945

    Latest MORI poll suggests that Brexiteers need to persuade folk that the economy will improve outside the EU to have a hope of shifting the “soft remainers”.

    In other words, they have to move on to what has been the Remainers chosen ground, instead of exploiting resentment against immigrants.

    A tough ask, I think.

    https://www.ipsos-mori.com/researchpublications/researcharchive/3722/Economy-and-immigration-key-issues-for-Britons-in-the-EU-referendum.aspx

  37. @ Chris Lane

    Over the past 3 months we’ve had a whole series of events which might have been expected to give ‘Leave’ a boost in the EU polls but haven’t done so: We’ve had Cameron’s ‘re-negotiation’, and some adverse publicity from that, Boris Johnson’s decision to support the ‘Leave’ campaign, the budget, and a significant fall in the Government’s own poll ratings following it, and the terrorist attacks in Brussels.

    However, the overall balance of polling has barely shifted while all this has been happening. Why do you expect this to change now?

  38. NEILA

    See 7(a)-I think that covers your point:-

    https://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/serv_e/gatsqa_e.htm

  39. Thanks Colin,

    It would appear that targeted barriers against the UK would breach the agreement, although that of course doesn’t guarantee they wouldn’t happen.

  40. ALLAN CHRISTIE,

    “What about the other million? What are they up too?”

    By and large we don’t let children vote and most dependants don’t pay tax.
    Neither do those earning under £10k.

    With near 20% under 18, about the same retired and a 70% participation in the Labour market only 2 out of 3 paying tax seems about right!

    Peter.

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