Ipsos MORI have released their monthly political monitor. It’s their first poll since Theresa May became Prime Minister, so the changes since last month show the same honeymoon boost we’ve seen in other companies’ figures. Topline figures are CON 45%(+9), LAB 34%(-1), LDEM 7%(-4), UKIP 6%(-2), GRN 4%(nc). The Conservative figure of 45% is the highest MORI have shown since back in 2009 (and note how low UKIP is – MORI tend to show some of the lower figures for UKIP and other recent polls haven’t shown them nearly as low, but it’s hardly positive). Full tabs are here.

Yesterday ICM also put out their latest voting intention polling. Topline figures were CON 40%(-3), LAB 28%(+1), LDEM 8%(nc), UKIP 14%(+1), GRN 4%(nc). Still a very robust twelve point Conservative lead, but down from the sixteen point peak in ICM’s last poll. Tabs are here.


348 Responses to “Latest MORI and ICM polling”

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  1. CARFREW

    I’m sort of agreeing with your comment regarding sports funding and the more as a nation we can do to help kids and adults to participate in sports & healthy pursuits and make them realize the health benefits then all the better.

    However I’m not sure chucking over £30 million pounds to fund British cycling is going to pay off much dividends for the general public. Yes it has paid off big time for our athletes but cycling (in a velodrome) is a pretty unique sport out of the reach for most kids and I’m not just on about the cost factor regarding equipment.

    If local councils across the country spent less time selling off park lands and football pitches to developers and actually invested a little more on basic grassroots stuff like swing-parks, football pitches, skating/bmx parks, running tracks and so on then I think that would have an bigger impact on fitness and wellbeing than some of the large vanity projects we see being built which only benefit a few.

    It’s just my opinion but the £300 million spent on the Glasgow games would had been better off spent upgrading of the crumbling Saturday and Sunday league football & Rugby club house across Scotland, upgrading the cycle network, investing in new public running tracks, promoting sports more through education etc rather on just 3 or 4 large sporting venues which are not easily accessible for most.

    Most kids I know would rather spend time with their mates kicking a ball around a public park football pitch using their jumpers for goal posts or spending time with their mates at the local skateboard and bmx track than visiting a large daunting clinical sporting arena which charges a packet to use its facilities.

    As with all large sporting competitions such as the Commonwealth games, World cup and Olympics, the intentions are good but any lasting legacy tends to be with the participants successes rather than for the wider public who ultimately fund the projects in the first place.

  2. @ALLAN CHRISTIE
    As with all large sporting competitions such as the Commonwealth games, World cup and Olympics, the intentions are good but any lasting legacy tends to be with the participants successes rather than for the wider public who ultimately fund the projects in the first place.

    Back in 2003, I was involved with the local Rugby Club coaching mini and junior rugby.

    After England’s success in the Rugby World Cup that year, we saw a massive influx in numbers of kids wanting to join the club, many of whom had not played the game before.

    At one point, we had to close the books on membership until we could get enough new coaches trained up. Other clubs were reporting a similar experience. So whatever money Sport England gave to the RFU, it was well worth it.

  3. @AC – a word or two on the Manchetser velodrome. or to give it the correct name, the National Cycling Centre.

    “The track is in constant use seven days a week and, thanks to the comprehensive programme of activities for all levels of ability, is the busiest [indoor cycling track] in the world.”

    “The BMX track first opened in August 2011. The venue is for riders new to the sport, existing riders and world class BMX athletes. The amateur BMX track is international standard, with a five metre start hill that runs into a range of jump configurations. The elite track begins with the only eight metre start hill in the UK, which leads into a technically diverse layout. The BMX track helps riders progress in the sport of BMX racing, regardless of their current ability.”

    “The Clayton Vale MTB [mountain biking] Trails & Skills Zone, Urban MTB trails in the heart of the city, accessible, fun, demanding and will definitely put a great big grin on your face whether you are a beginner or more advanced rider.”

    Or how about this free course – “Our FREE short (2 hour) cycle maintenance starter course will give you the knowledge to check your bike is safe to ride and enable you to cope if you have a problem whilst out and about.”

    Or you could go there to watch the Olympics – http://www.nationalcyclingcentre.com/news/come-and-watch-the-olympics-with-us/

    It’s a common misconception that the infrastructure funded for elite athletes is only for elite athletes. Most of the time the big venues and facilities are made available to the public, which helps to explain the fact that many of our best performing sports, like cycling, sailing, rowing, athletics and gymnastics, are now developing pipelines of talent and the medal tally goes on from one Olympics to the next.

    The idea that we are just recruiting increasing numbers of world beating athletes from privileged middle class backgrounds is very out of date, and it is the ongoing presence of the infrastructure , both high level and local, that is the reason behind the success.

    One final word – I would tend to leave football to look after itself. Nationally it’s a generally underperforming sport that already has huge assets and income of it’s own that it chooses to waste. Not really something where lottery or tax money should get invvolved, in my view – save it for areas of need with real performance outcomes.

  4. ALEC

    @”The idea that we are just recruiting increasing numbers of world beating athletes from privileged middle class backgrounds is very out of date, ”

    And just plain wrong I think on the evidence I’ve seen.

    I think a study of the Social Mobility outcomes for young working class athletes; of UK Sport funded elite sports participation would be most interesting.

    To track their career paths , sporting or otherwise. I wonder if there might be evidence of Leadership qualities being engendered.

  5. DAVID CARROD

    I’ve no doubt something such as England’s rugby success will have had a knock on boost for the sport. Andy Murray has boosted the take up of Tennis back in Scotland and across the UK.

    Across England more than 650,000 people are on rugby clubs books but I doubt they receive the same amount of funding per head as the tiny few who participate in sports such as speed cycling in a velodrome.

    All sports should have funding but I really do think the amount of money we spend on minority sports leading up to showcase events such as the Olympics is more do to with us showcasing off to the World our sporting success (which is fine) than for the benefit and good of the general public.

    Just one wee example. In Glasgow they built the Emirates arena as part of Commonwealth games. In the process they bulldozed over a five a side football pitch which had been used by local kids free of charge in the Dalmarnock area along with the only shops. Now there is not one single shop in Dalmarnock, the area still resembles a bleak building site with huge areas of flattened rubble and the kids now have to book and pay to use the 5 aside pitches at the new Emirates arena.

    The only legacy for many kids in the Parkhead and Dalmarnock area post Commonwealth games is playing among the rubble left behind by the wholesale demolition of the once fine tenements and having to book and pay a packet to use the 5 aside pitches Meanwhile kids from the more affluent areas are driven in by their parents to use the Velodrome bypassing the poor local kids playing in the rubble left behind from the building of the arena.

    I’m not been cynical but as with many large sporting events the legacy and funding certainly does not benefit the majority and more often than not marginalizes the people who live in and around the sporting venues.

  6. @Alec

    Regarding the percentage of elite athletes hailing from public schools etc., further in support of your point is this quote from today’s Times…

    “I also think we have to be aware that just because you have gone to an independent school doesn’t necessarily mean you come from a privileged background.” Many have benefitted from bursaries and scholarships to “independent schools which have a great sporting system, fantastic facilities, directors of sport. They really value what sport can do”.

    “It raises far bigger questions of how a lack of state-school sport, and municipal facilities, are blocking opportunities long before UK Sport, or the BOA become involved.”

  7. @Colin

    If you look at top sport coaches, it isn’t technical knowledge alonethat makes them really good, it’s that combined with the ability to motivate and get the best out of people.

    At the top of sport, the key difference between winners and losers is what goes on between the ears and psychological factors.

    Those qualities equip someone to prosper in almost any situation.

  8. “I wonder if there might be evidence of Leadership qualities being engendered.”

    I understand Jeremy Corbyn cycles. Is that what you mean?

  9. @Allan C

    We went Through this the other day. Firstly, just because we win medals on a track, doesn’t mean people will only be inspired to cycle if it’s in a velodrome!! But those who might like cycling in a velodrome need to know you can do that. And need to be inspired to do it.

    Elite sport raises awareness of the possibility, and motivates to act on that awareness. Just winning the Olympic bid in 2005 increased participation is sport. True, you need the facilities as well, but it’s not an either or. You need both the facilities, and the awareness/motivation.

  10. ALEC

    Sorry but where did I mention “elite athletes” and “The idea that we are just recruiting increasing numbers of world beating athletes from privileged middle class backgrounds is very out of date”…….well that is the impression some have but again I never hinted at this.

    Yes the sporting venues you have mentioned are no doubt success stories but over all as a nation we are getting fatter and unhealthier. I mentioned a few days ago in one post that I am quite active myslef in sports, mountain biking, road cycling and 5 aside football and I don’t for one minute scoff at money being spent on sports but just think the money ain’t being fairly spent evenly across the country as a whole.

    If we want to measure the success of our sporting investment in the amount of medals we win then great….personally I would rather see the success measured in bringing down obesity and getting kids to put down their bloody smartphones for a few hours and actively take up a sporting hobby.

  11. @Allan C

    “I’ve no doubt something such as England’s rugby success will have had a knock on boost for the sport. Andy Murray has boosted the take up of Tennis back in Scotland and across the UK.”

    ——–

    Yes, and Andy plays at Wimbledon and Rugby team plays at Twickers but people don’t need access to Wimbledon or Twickers before they play Rugby or Tennis do they? Neither do peeps need a velodrome to take up cycling…

  12. I was happy to see that May is combining the GB success in sports and the northern powerhouse by heaving the world cycling championship in Yorkshire (it is just one of those inappropriate headlines in the Guardian).

    But it can give you ideas. Einstein is said to have had a hard to open garden gate. Eventually he admitted that each guest was pumping water in the water tank as they opened the gate (most likely apocryph).

  13. I Mean even Cavendish, Froome and Wiggins aren’t confined to the velodrome, given Tour de France success etc…

  14. @Allan C

    “but just think the money ain’t being fairly spent evenly across the country as a whole.”

    ——–

    Been through this. Prior to the coalition cuts, participation in sport was increasing Owing to PR of winning the Games. Then obviously fell back as municipal facilities etc. cut. The answer is not to trash elite sport to pay for municipal facilities but to restore investment in the municipal…

  15. CMJ

    Of course-and my interest is in finding out if the UK Sports model is identifying young people from relatively less well off backgrounds who have those qualities & helping them to exploit them in later life.

  16. ALEC

    @”I understand Jeremy Corbyn cycles. ”

    Will be useful to him as he dashes from one Labour Party Conference to the Other :-)

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/08/18/party-splits-deepen-as-jeremy-corbyn-endorses-rival-labour-confe/

  17. @Allan C

    “but over all as a nation we are getting fatter and unhealthier.”

    ———–

    Front page of Times today says May is cancelling the junk food crackdown…

  18. CARFREW

    “Yes, and Andy plays at Wimbledon and Rugby team plays at Twickers but people don’t need access to Wimbledon or Twickers before they play Rugby or Tennis do they? Neither do peeps need a velodrome to take up cycling…”
    ___________

    That’s true but of course you know as well as I do there are hundreds of rugby pitches and tennis courts across the country which are easily accessible. However across the UK there are about something like 12 velodromes? and we spent over £30 million on our athletes to participate in that sport with bikes costing more than £10,000. A large part of that £30 million would had been better spent upgrading some of the existing velodromes such as the 1986 outdoor one in Edinburgh which is in a mess but as I said if we want to measure our sporting investment on the amount of medals we win then great!!

  19. CARFREW

    Haven’t read the detail yet-but this looks like a concession on economic grounds.

    If so-I think it is a misguided decision.

    Understand the Sugar Tax remains-hypothecated to school sport and breakfast clubs-I think.

  20. Carfrew

    Looking at the over subscription of RideLondon, I agree with you. I suspect there will be a further boost to cycling after our success. If people start to look at track cycling as a result then I fear for our competitors in Tokyo and beyond.

    Alec

    I’d agree with you that football can easily look after itself. It enjoys a huge revenue, a huge number of people interested in the sport and is producing little success. Whatever it’s doing with it’s budget, I suspect this wouldn’t improve if you gave them more pie. At least sports like cycling can show a return on investment both in terms of medals and in terms of an increase in participation.

    If people can see the successes we are having in other sports and see that there are opportunities in sport outside of football then that is a good thing.

    Given the choice between football or nothing, I chose nothing. It would’ve been nice to have a wider choice.

  21. CARFREW

    “Front page of Times today says May is cancelling the junk food crackdown”
    _________

    I never agreed with the fat tax in the first place. It was more to do with an attack on the poor and peeps on benefits than actually having their physical wellbeing in mind. All we heard was “give food vouches for this and not for that” “stop paying benefits if people don’t go on diets” blah blah blah….I’ mean really!! do we not have fat people who are wealthy and not on benefits as well? They are also a burden to my pocket via tax by clogging up the NHS so once I see an incentive for getting fatty boom booms to slim down across all society’s and not just the ones on benefits then I will just rubbish it.

  22. For those wondering about soft or hard Brexit etc… Oliver Kamm in the Times today…

    “The migration system isn’t broken, so there’s no need for a brake”.

    “The LSE has referred to (the financial crisis) as the longest sustained fall in average pay since the 1930s. Average real wages fell by ten percent between 2007 and 2015.”

    “So there’s correlation between immigration and lower living standards. This isn’t the same as causality. A study published this week by the Resolution Foundation found that the big rise in immigration has had a small negative effect on earnings in some,lower-paid jobs, but no impact on wages of British born workers overall. That would be consistent with earlier studies…

    …But it’s far from clear that imposing new curbs on immigration would support the living standards of domestic workers. On the contrary it’s likely to damage the economy and hamper its productivity. Improving Britain’s poor record on productivity is the only way that business will be able to pay higher real wages.”

    He goes on to look points-based schemes for immigration, which Aussies have dropped and Canada heavily modified. “The reason isn’t hard to find. Allocating points is a very blunt instrument for filling gaps in the labour market. An immigrant’s education and skills may just not be transferable or appropriate. As supporters of the market economy may expect, businesses are much better than politicians at judging what their labour needs are.”

    “So what sort of immigration policy would work best for Britain’s economic needs? Well, it’s one that matches immigration to the demands of employers. Our existing system, comprising work permits for non-EU nationals with a job offer and free movement for EU nationals, accomplishes that remarkably efficiently. There’s no good economic reason for changing it”.

  23. @Allan C

    But you don’t need a velodrome to cycle!! You don’t even need a footie pitch to play footie!!

    You’re hung up on this idea that peeps will only take up cycling if they get to do it in a velodrome…

  24. @CARFREW

    I stopped reading your post as soon as I came across the word ‘LSE’.

    Anything produced by that quasi-Trotskyist bunch of ultra-left loonies is bound to be wrong.

  25. CARFREW
    @Allan C
    “But you don’t need a velodrome to cycle!! You don’t even need a footie pitch to play footie!!
    You’re hung up on this idea that peeps will only take up cycling if they get to do it in a velodrome”
    _______

    I’m not…I’ve never gone to Fort William to use the professional Mountain bike trails but still do mounting biking. I’ve never gone to a velodrome but still road cycle a lot and this year have invested nearly £3,000 in purchasing my mountain and racing bikes so I do take my sports seriously.

    The point I’m trying to make (and I know I’m making a hash of it ) is that we seem to be more obsessed with spending money on sports only to be measured by success in the way of medals than for the benefits for the wider public. £30 million spent in one sport such as speed cycling in a velodrome..I really do hope the wider public benefit from that £30 million spent a dozen or so athletes.

  26. @Allan C

    You don’t seem to be engaging with the benefits of funding elite sport considered earlier. Instead you are complaining that there is not enough investment in municipal stuff. And fair enough, there may not be enough invested in stuff for the wider public.

    But this is not an argument against funding elite sport. It’s an argument for Funding more of the municipal alongside.

  27. ALLAN C

    There’s always going to be a balance between how much you invest at grassroots level and at the elite level.

    The former will increase the accessibility of the sport while the latter will raise the profile of the sport and get more people involved and reward athletes who want to excel at the sport with opportunities for success at the highest level. If every penny was pumped into the grassroots level we’d get into the position of perhaps having many athletes with world class potential, who if they wanted to progress would need to move abroad to do so. (As Andy Murray had to, together with having to find funding for this opportunity, one can only wonder how many people who might have had similar potential but lost the opportunity due to these barriers).

    If there is a dead end in the development of athletes then the number of athletes who find a way around these barriers will be much reduced success stories will be rare and interest in the sport will wane. In a way it’s amazing football retains it’s popularity.

    Overall cycling (as well as other sports) gets a huge amount of success due to it spending it’s funding wisely. In terms getting enough people into the sport, identifying the people with the most potential and developing the elite athletes to be truly world class performers. I’m sure it they got twice the funding we’d see even more success and more people involved in cycling.

    I doubt you could say the same with football.

    How much does football spend at the “elite” level with huge salaries for the players, managers and staff, exclusive training grounds etc. I’d agree that our returns there are pitiful but it isn’t due to a lack of money being thrown at it.

  28. @DAVID CARROD

    “I stopped reading your post as soon as I came across the word ‘LSE’.
    Anything produced by that quasi-Trotskyist bunch of ultra-left loonies is bound to be wrong.”

    ——–

    That’s very convenient Dave, almost a master stroke. Cos, like, if that’s the case, it’s like you can use a base ad hominem to just stay in a bubble of economic contentment and stuff. But if it’s bound to be wrong, then should be easy to summon the data to disprove it, right? Cos it’s not like it’s just the LSE noting the fall in wages in real terms, is it?

  29. Allan Christie – “However I’m not sure chucking over £30 million pounds to fund British cycling is going to pay off much dividends for the general public. ”

    It is lottery money, not tax money, people can choose whether they play the lottery or not.

    The general public is thrilled with how it is all working out. They’re thinking, “I bought a ticket last month, I helped our Olympic success!” and they’re thrilled at how far their quid has gone. People like winning in general, and they like watching winners.

    Would you prefer all the lottery money was kept by Camelot and distributed to their shareholders? The gambling companies certainly keep all their profits.

  30. Colin

    Thanks for the accurate data on private v state school participation.

    It seems that the Team GB chief (whose comments were what I was thinking of) was wrong as well!

  31. P.S. There is a big psychological boost that comes from nations doing well in international contests.

    The Germans believe that their 1954 win in the World Cup (as West Germany) kick started their post war economic miracle, Wirtschaftswunder, by giving them a psychological boost. Up until that point they were the badly defeated party in WW2 with all the horrors associated with it, and the world cup remade their image of themselves.

    It remains to be seen whether our #2 place above China does the same thing. Mark Carney might find he reacted prematurely to Brexit. Today’s good retail figures for July show the public are a lot more resilient than people thought, because most of that spending took place before Theresa May was installed and the press was in full panic mode.

  32. CARFREW

    Just as completely rejecting a report because of it’s authorship is likely to be not optimal, these reports can be quite different to the truth. They are designed with a particular audience in mind and it’s wise to be healthily skeptical about their contents.

    These comments are more about politically based reports in general and not about your specific report.

    I did have a quick scan over that report and am not sure how he got the “all industries average pay” to be equal to the highest paying industry in the table. I suspect some judicious selection of which data to present is happening here.

    I also see no evidence that the data used to produce the wage differential graph has accounted for any factors at all, perhaps how the analysis was done is hidden in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying “Beware of the Leopard” but it doesn’t really qualify as reproducible research.

    I think there is a point of caution to be made about these sorts of reports as they will be written to produce a result consistent with the authoring institutions views. Perhaps the data hasn’t been skewed (although there have been cases where it has) but I’m pretty sure the analysis will have been done in such a way (by model selection etc.) that the result is consistent with the organisation’s views.

    I’m sure if the data came up with a result, which no matter how it was analysed, which was contrary to a think tanks views, the report would not be published.

    These reports are not the equivalent of peer reviewed academic papers and are more about “Look at my opinion, I made a nice graph that shows that I’m right”.

    The Taxpayers’ Alliance is unlikely to publish a report suggesting more taxes should be raised and spent, even on the things that it might make sense to.

    You ask 10 economists to analyse the same piece of data, and you’ll find they come up with 10 answers, curiously all fitting their personal view of politics.

    Economics is the art of starting with an predetermined opinion and then getting the data to fit that opinion, which is why it’s a game that can be played by left and right alike.

    You might find the rare one that does the best possible analysis but it’s unlikely many people will have opinions coinciding with their report and so it won’t get much airtime.

    It’s much easier to produce a popular but flawed analysis.

  33. Candy

    No, the people who bought a ticket are not thinking about how much they have helped the Olympic team, they are thinking “bugger I didn’t win again! ”

    The problem with the lottery as other people have noted is that it has a very low pay out %, betting shops have a much higher pay out rate, fruit machines are required by law to have a certain payout rate. The lottery is backed by the state, its promoted by the state media, its proceeds are to some extent managed by the state. It should have high ethical standards, part of that should be having a payout which is at least comparable to the betting industry as a whole.

    Funding ‘good’ causes does not excuse ripping people off

  34. @ Candy

    The money going to good causes is tax. Every aspect of Camelot’s operation is set by law.

    They pay 12% gambling duty on turnover. The good causes (set out by Parliament, or rather the culture department) are 28% of the turnover (so the state’s share of the turnover is 40%).

    Camelot’s share is set at 5% of the turnover, with the assumption of 4.5% operating cost. I assume the state collects corporate tax on the 0.5% – the law doesn’t deal with it explicitly.

    Sport gets about 20% of the good causes, so probably around 640-700 million in 22 years. Of this a lot goes to subsidising individual athletes (paying a wage to them in practice), but also to facilities, the largest of all the cycling ring just over 40 million quid.

  35. Candy

    “Today’s good retail figures for July show the public are a lot more resilient than people thought, because most of that spending took place before Theresa May was installed and the press was in full panic mode”

    Thats one way of looking at it, but it could be a case of retail therapy. Or a last hurrah before the misery sets in.

  36. National Lottery’s payout rate is set by law at 50%.

    The structuring of the payout is one of the most skewed ones in the developed world.

  37. CR

    Even when you clearly tell people the exact amount you are ripping them off by? With the lottery the exact odds are known and people are happy to make an informed decision to play. It’s not like three card monte which the odds are deliberately misadvertised.

    By the same argument you should ban the selling of insurance as people never buy insurance policies at a “fair value” and insurance companies make profit out of peoples aversion to risk.

    It is possible that people have a very strange utility curve when associated with vast wealth and £2 million to them is worth an awful lot more than a million times £2 (as no matter how many £2s they save, it’ll never add up to £2 million and be able to do whatever they dreamed of doing with it) and so it makes logical sense for them to play.

    Either that, or someone has quantified the exact value of hope.

  38. Candy

    The weaker exchange rate may have also influenced the retail figures – but without doubt they looked good.

  39. @Alan

    Yeah, we know these reports are prolly not operating at five sigma levels of certainty. Every now and then someone pops up to dazzle us with the ability to pick holes in summat everyone knows is not the last word in accuracy.

    But are you seriously suggesting that everything has been just fine with wages in real terms? Cos I’d love to see you establish that!!

  40. @Alan

    OK, I’ll help you out a little. First off, a report from the ONS, from 2013, showing how wages dropped back to 2003 levels in real terms.

    ONS good enough for ya?

    http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160105160709/http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/mro/news-release/real-wages-fall-back-to-2003-levels/realearn0213.html

    “In real terms, the average earnings of UK employees in 2012 were at roughly 2003 levels, a new article from ONS has shown. After three decades of strong growth, real wages peaked in 2009. Since then inflation has outstripped wage increases in cash terms.”

  41. Alan

    While you are correct on every point, just two quick considerations

    1) people are not very good in assessing chances, but it doesn’t really matter as the jackpot is pure luck.
    2) insurance companies need market share, and wise (lucky) investment of the incoming premiums to make money. I doubt that purely on premium vs payout+cost they would be (very) profitable. Co-op Insurance is a good example for this. Combination of different insurance products is also important as some tend to be loss making, but are successful vehicles for cross-selling.

  42. @CR

    Re-read my comment – people thinking about the ticket they bought last month, are feeling very pleased they contributed to Olympic success. They’re certainly not thinking “I wish I hadn’t played, I wish Britain was at the bottom of the medals table!”

    You really believe funding sport is “ripping people off”?!!!!! You are out of step with the public on this.

  43. Note how wages peaked in 2009. I.e. the slump occurred mostly once Coalition abandoned stimulus etc., which is a disaster from certain perspectives.

    (Obviously this can be effectively countered by rubbishing LSE or quibbling about reports…)

  44. Laszlo – “people are not very good in assessing chances”

    After all this time, people have a very good idea that it is rare to win the lottery. The mistakes they make in assessing chances happen when they are dealing with something unfamiliar, but the lottery has been going for decades now, they’re familiar with the odds.

    Also, most just spend £1 here and there when they feel lucky, or participate in their work pool. It’s just a bit of fun, like buying a chocolate as a treat. With a bit of Olympic success thrown in for entertainment and to make them smile.

  45. Alan

    I never play the lottery, now I’m going to have to buy a ticket to see how well the odds are displayed! If i win it will be your fault!

    But i still can see why a state sponsored lottery shouldn’t abide by the same ethical standards imposed on other forms of gambling. At the very least the lottery should pay out 72% the same as fruit machines do

  46. Laszlo – “The weaker exchange rate may have also influenced the retail figures – but without doubt they looked good.”

    I saw one report that said it was due to a surge in tourists thanks to the weaker pound. Apparently jewellery shops are doing great business!

    In terms of confidence, July was a difficult month because the press was in full panic mode and there was no govt. for most of it. So if we’ve had a good July then August should be good too, as things have calmed down and we’re having good weather.

    I think Carney jumped the gun a bit. The BoE might have to reverse themselves later in the year.

  47. I still *can’t * see

  48. Candy

    Carney didnt jump the gun, the measures he announced have very little to do with brexit but rather the general weakness in the world economy. Brexit was just a good excuse for doing what the BoE wanted to do anyway

  49. CambridgeRachel

    You are informed of your chance of winning something – what you aren’t is that the only meaningful win in the National Lottery is the jackpot.

    Calculating chances is simple on the other hand, but not if you know that with 5+bonus you get 50,000 with six you get a couple of millions.

  50. @CR

    The Americans had really good economic news out as well today – the number of people claiming unemployment benefit fell, and has been below 300,000 for 76 consecutive weeks. Apparently that hasn’t happened since 1973.

    They’re picking up pace and will pull along everyone they trade with. Doesn’t sound like weakness to me. They’ll need an interest rate rise soon.

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