The Evening Standard has a new YouGov poll of voting intentions in London, the first London poll we’ve seen since the election was called. Topline voting intention figures are CON 36%(+2), LAB 41%(+4), LDEM 14%(nc), UKIP 6%(-3). Changes are from the last YouGov London poll, conducted back in March.

Compared to the general election this represents an increase of one for the Conservatives, a decrease of three for Labour and an increase of six points for the Lib Dems. A two point swing from Lab to Con is significantly less than polls are indicating for Britain as a whole (currently around about a six point swing). This difference is mostly because the Tories are doing worse in London than elsewhere and the Liberal Democrats are doing better; Labour’s drop in support in London isn’t that different to their drop elsewhere in the country.

On a uniform swing, the Conservatives would looking at taking Ealing Central & Acton, Brentford & Isleworth, Ilford North, Hampstead & Kilburn amd Enfield North. It would be enough for the Lib Dems to reclaim Twickenham, and to put Kingston & Surbiton and Bermondsey & Old Southwark in contention.

Earlier today we also had a new Panelbase GB poll. Topline figures there are CON 48%(+1), LAB 31%(+1), LDEM 8%(-2), UKIP 5%(nc), GRN 2%(nc). Full Panelbase tabs are here


286 Responses to “YouGov/Evening Standard poll of London – CON 36, LAB 41, LDEM 14, UKIP 6”

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  1. @Trevor Warne

    Greens in U.K. pulling many candidates to give Labour a better chance. Greens in Scotland the same only this is to give SNP a better chance

  2. Alec

    I agree corporation tax is broken for multi national companies. Tax rules should be predictable and objective. Not sure hmrc deeming a level of profit works at that level.

    What has been happening over the years is – lots of small taxes, high rates, higher vat and higher employers ni, apprentice levy…. But much reduced corp tax has been taking us in your direction. After all NI, Rates and VAT tax actual activity. Personal if I wanted more revenue I’d increase the taxes. On balance I don’t think our tax system is crying out for more complexity.

  3. RICH

    Very good question.

    I think the answer -for Current Spending-will be Taxes-so its just a matter of Fact Checking Receipts & Spending.

    But McDonnell gets very upset with the BBC about the difference between Current Spending & Capital Spending.

    It is the funding of the latter -which will be BIG numbers-which is really interesting.

    I’m looking to see the details of the Bonds which his “Investment Bank” is going to issue , to fund his “Investment” programme .

    As I understand it BoE will be forced to buy them-so straight off you have a clash between the BoE’s Independent Monetary Policy-and Mandated BoE Fiscal policy.

    But-will they be “Debt” at all-ie repayable at interest by The Treasury-or will this be Money Printing pure & simple.If its the latter-Labour takes us into VERY new territory.

    Thinking of writing to Brillo & get him to ask these questions!

  4. @Adam
    ‘’ve been half expecting it to creep down bit by bit and end up in the mid single digits but at some point, it gets too late for a meaningful change and whether the blues win by 10%, 15% or 20%, it still delivers a lot of seats and a large majority. ‘

    I take the view that the Tories need to maintain a lead of circa 10% to be confident of taking a significant number of Labour seats. In 2015 the Tories enjoyed a 6.6% lead over Labour so a 10% lead increases the margin by circa 3.5%. That would be a swing from Lab to Con of 1.75% over that two year period and would – assuming a universal swing – result in circa 15 Labour seats falling to the Tories. HOWEVER, most of those Labour seats had new MPs elected in 2015 as a result of the relatively few gains from the Tories or Labour MPs retiring – eg Hampstead & Kilburn and Halifax.Those new MPs can reasonably expect to receive a first time incumbency boost which will make them more difficult to oust than national poll figures might imply. We saw this work to the Tories’ advantage in 2015 when despite a pro-Labour swing in England of 1.1% most Tory MPs defending small majorities in seats gained in 2010 not only survived but increased their majorities! That factor will help Labour this time in most of their very marginal seats – though the Tories will also benefit in seats gained from the LibDems in 2015. So what I am saying , in essence , is that a Tory lead of 10% might well see very few seats change hands between the parties. At the moment the Tory lead appears to be circa 16%/17% – the key question is not whether the Tory lead is going to disappear – very unlikely indeed – but whether Labour can claw it back to 10% or less.

  5. I wonder if someone can help me with this.

    Most UK polls are on the basis of circa 1000 respondents, they are weighted geographically and in other ways to reflect the voting population. This is a very useful way of obtaining a sample which reflects general opinion of the whole UK. Most commentators now consider that certainly in respect of Scotland and possibly in respect of London there will be a difference with the remainder of the country. My understanding is that Scotland with 3.5 million voters and London with a @6.5 Million voting population a total of 10 Million of @ 47 million voters i.e. in excess of 20% of the total. Given concerns with UNS as a predictor, how useful is VI gathered in this way useful in predicting seat numbers?

  6. @Colin

    Yes, you have to admire the sheer chutzpah of going for a 1983 style manifesto again.

    I suspect though that champagne corks are again flying at Tory HQ as this is going to play directly into the attacks they surely have lined up.

    I was doing some basic trawling of google to see what kind of history they are going to bring up to fling back at him. In 2012 here’s an excerpt that will surely be used,

    “No more nuclear weapons. No more nuclear wars. No more wars. A world of peace. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every politician around the world instead of taking pride in the size of their Armed Forces did what Costa Rica have done and abolished their Army, and took pride in the fact they don’t have an Army.”

    I’d be taking that video snippet for instance and sending it to every serviceman, ex-servicemen and all people employed in ancillary support industries in their facebook profiles.

  7. @ COUPER2802 – Thanks. I’ve made the assumption that Greens don’t post anywhere other than Brighton Pavilion and Bristol West and that all their potential voters then vote LDEM. Given the drop of Greens in the polls the polls are capturing most of this anyway.

    Comparing this to Green post everywhere they did before and I found it makes no real difference in England-Wales. Would make it slightly easier for LDEM to win a few seats but in every case the UKIP vote share in 2015 was bigger than Greens.

    You can see this in Electoral Calculus. Drop Greens to 0.1 and give everything you took off the Greens to LDEM and it makes maybe 1 seat difference.

    Ilford North is a good example. UKIP and Greens have both stood down but the net result helps CON far more than progressive alliance. UKIP pulling candidates makes a potentially large impact in many Midlands/North seats (and a few London ones)

    However, it would be good to have the full list for Greens just to make the model more robust. A few places where the Greens might alter the odds on an individual seat basis.

  8. Danny: “Oh the nature of unintended consequences.”

    I think you’re right that immigration has been largely the result of demand-pull from business, plus some residual effect from earlier immigration waves attracting follow-on immigration from family members, marriage partners etc.

    But on unintended consequences, the intriguing question for me is what flows in EU-based UK citizens will result from Brexit. If there are 1.3m Brits in EU27, surely there will be big ‘homeward bound’ movement? I’d guess 100,000pa for the next decde, plus a big reduction in Brits moving to the EU. That will show up as net migration of, what, 125,000pa?

    Whether it will be to our benefit to lose young, healthy, taxpaying workers in exchange for old pensioners is an interesting point.

  9. @Trevor Warne

    The Greens are very democratic, and a decision to stand to is entirely down to each local electoral unit.

    As they don’t centrally plan very much (it’s an anathema to local party democracy) you may struggle to get a complete list easily.

    On EWMA – exponentially weighted moving average – it’s a sophisticated moving average.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moving_average#Exponential_moving_average

    The issue with sub groups is that they are a) small and b) mostly not weighted to match the population. Therefore, there is a lot of noise in the data that is related to the sampling variation. To plot this data you need to not put too weight on any single data point. This analysis involves creating a weighting value (lambda) that determines how much value is placed in the most recent data point. a lambda of 1 means on the last data point is considered, so in effect the current is the current data point. a lambda of 0 would ignore the most recent data point. So the lambda needs to be greater than 0 but less than 1. Through trial and error, I’ve settled on a lambda of 0.4 works well for this purpose.

    Calculating it is complex, so you need to either be a wiz on a spreadsheet , or like me cheat and use stats software.

    I hope this helps.

  10. Correction

    @Trevor Warne

    The Greens are very democratic, and a decision to stand to is entirely down to each local electoral unit.

    As they don’t centrally plan very much (it’s an anathema to local party democracy) you may struggle to get a complete list easily.

    On EWMA – exponentially weighted moving average – it’s a sophisticated moving average.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moving_average#Exponential_moving_average

    The issue with sub groups is that they are a) small and b) mostly not weighted to match the population. Therefore, there is a lot of noise in the data that is related to the sampling variation. To plot this data you need to not put too weight on any single data point. This analysis involves creating a weighting value (lambda) that determines how much value is placed on the most recent data point. A lambda of 1 means only the most recent data point is considered, so in effect the current EWMA value is the same as the most recent data point. A lambda of 0 would mean the current EWMA value ignores the most recent data point. So the lambda needs to be greater than 0 but less than 1. Through trial and error, I’ve settled on a lambda of 0.4, as it works well for this purpose.

    Calculating it is complex, so you need to either be a wiz on a spreadsheet , or like me cheat and use stats software.

    I hope this helps.

  11. @Trevor Warne

    it is always a bit dodgy stranding down to benefit another party a party doesn’t own its voters and can’t deliver them to another party. In E&W the some Green voters may be Cons as second preference. In Scotland it is a bit safer that Green votes will go to the SNP because of the constitutional divide.

    The other problem it is difficult to build support for your party in other elections if you don’t stand in every seat.

    In Scotland the Greens can say they concentrate on Holyrood which is an excuse. Personally I think the Greens in Scotland cant really afford to run much of a campaign – we have had elections every year and they are probably broke and exhausted. (I know I am (joke))

  12. @ CMJ – gotcha, thanks for detailed explanation

    @COUPER2802 – gotcha, agree the pulled/paper candidate issue has longer term issues and the different election systems and parliaments in Scotland make it difficult to compare alliance tactics with England+Wales. I noted your comment on the Green pulled candidates supporting Labour (e.g. Ealing). I changed my s/s to put all Green votes to Labour and it does make a bigger impact (especially if UKIP still post a candidate), but still only 3-5seats (although they would all be CON-LAB seats so 6-10 in terms of majority). Most of my betting is being done on the %s (CON over 50%, LDEM under 10%, UKIP under 5%) but some very long odds available on the larger CON seats/majority which are worth a few quid.

  13. On the leaked manifesto, I can’t it changing VI much at all.

    Anyone who knows anything about Jeremy Corbyn, and anyone who has heard or read him, indeed this includes the Shadow Cabinet, won’t be remotely surprised at the draft manifesto contents.

    If you agree with him and Labour, you’ll probably like it, if you don’t you will probably dislike it. It think it will confirm whatever previous position you has of JC’s Labour Party.

    On the costing, the Shadow Chancellor made crystal clear as have others, when published each commitment will be costed in detail and liked to how it will be paid for.

  14. No wonder polls are stuck.

    So far, Tories election campaign not started( no real mistakes but nothing to excite either) Labour – chaotic, unprofessional and lacking central control( not to mention Abbott and today’s leaked manifesto) LDEM – dire. UKIP – given up.

    Will anything change in next 4 weeks – probably not as Tories are content as long as private polling confirms large lead is holding.

    It might well be a long boring 4 weeks.

  15. Danny,
    “The government crackdown on immigrants worked! But of course, it only applies to those from non-EU countries. The free market of employers in the UK reacted by deliberately recruiting more people from the EU, thus pushing up numbers from there.”

    Not sure what you are going on about. The figures for net migration of non-EU citizens are on the migration watch website. The figure in 2015 was slightly higher than 2009, so 5 years of Theresa May trying to reduce net migration by wrongly deporting students and sending vans around council estates had no effect whatsoever. Then in 2016 they are a bit lower, within the variation of the previous data and still far, far above the target of “tens of thousands”

    EU net migration increased significantly when Romania and Bulgaria were added to the pool. If Brexit had not happened I would have expected that figure to go down again over the next few years as comings and goings stabilise. After Brexit there may be a big reduction in net migration from the EU as the doctors, nurses, professors and agricultural labourers go to places where they are more welcome. But that will be temporary and I would expect net migration from the EU to be over 100,000 in a few years time, just as it is from non-EU countries.The only thing that will stop net migration is a major crash in the British economy relative to Europe, which is of course quite possible…

    As someone else posted if British people start returning from the EU that might increase net migration figures.. I doubt if working age people will be doing that unless they are on benefits (quite a lot of British people in France are happily living off the generous French benefit system for families, for example) but if May messes up the negotiations and British pensioners in Spain have to start paying for healthcare they may start coming back, especially if the pound falls any further (a big, big problem if your pension is paid in £)

  16. Correction

    On the leaked manifesto, I can’t see it changing VI much at all.

    Anyone who knows anything about Jeremy Corbyn, and anyone who has heard or read him, or the Shadow Cabinet, won’t be remotely surprised at the draft manifesto contents.

    If you agree with him and Labour, you’ll probably like it, if you don’t you will probably dislike it. I think it will confirm whatever previous position you had of JC’s Labour Party.

    On the costing, the Shadow Chancellor made crystal clear as have others, when published each commitment will be costed in detail and liked to how it will be paid for.

  17. @Trevor Warne

    Scottish Green candidates announced so far are:

    Glasgow North (Patrick Harvie)
    Edinburgh North and Leith
    Falkirk

    Not sure if there are more announcements coming.

  18. Somerjohn

    I’m not sure why there would be this dramatic homeward bound movement (unless living standards somehow do dramatically improve acting as a pull factor)

    If you are living abroad, chances are it’s because you are happy to move abroad and found an opportunity which didn’t exist at home (Or are retired in Spain). I suspect not many people moved to stack shelves in a Berlin branch of Lidl.

    I can’t see someone living and working in Germany for the last few years looking at Brexit and thinking “Ah! Now all those foreigners are going to leave, I’ll move back to Blighty”.

    Moving back certainly doesn’t feature in my plans but if somehow Brexit meant a 6-7 figure opportunity presented itself then that would be the sort of pull which would “bring me home”. Then again, that sort of opportunity would likely pull me elsewhere.

    Our parliament being able to change the law to sell things in pounds and ounces wouldn’t have much of an effect.

  19. @Alan

    My brother and his German partner were significantly better off in Germany over the last ten years than they are now when returning to Scotland. They tell me their child benefit (two teenagers) for example is slightly less than a quarter of what they were receiving in Germany.

    I suspect British Nationals who are receiving benefits in Germany or France , if these are withdrawn, may well consider returning to the UK, though I doubt if there will be many.

    I looked into this a year ago in terms of the number of people involved (ie British Nationals claiming benefits in EU countries but detailed data is surprisingly hard to find.

  20. Alan: “I’m not sure why there would be this dramatic homeward bound movement”

    Well, of course it depends on the Brexit deal, but I see two factors potentially contributing to a steady net return:

    1. The reduced viability of retirement in an EU country due to reduced purchasing power of sterling pensions (depreciation plus possible freezing of annual pension, as for retirees in most non-EU countries), and loss of free healthcare and other benefits.

    2. A reduction in EU employment opportunities for Brits as EU27 employers find it less hassle to employ EU citizens, and UK companies active in EU27 tend to refocus their activities elsewhere.

    I suspect there will also be a more general psychological distancing from Europe amongst Brits – a return to the ‘there be dragons’ feeling. The whole ‘A place in the sun’ phenomenon seems to be fading.

  21. Good Morning UK Polling

    Another encouraging poll for Jeremy’s team is the latest YouGov national poll.

    The gap has narrowed again, albeit by a small amount.

    Still a long way out from the main event and I think the leaked mannifesto today shows some creative ideas from Labour.

    We have to tackle the burning injustices that effect many of our fellow countrymen and women, and I think Labour’s document has some good answers.

    Let’s see what the weekend polls tell us.

    All to play for.

  22. Somerjohn

    I can see the pensioners returning home argument and I can see less movement toward Europe after Brexit due to the additional hurdles (which will push up NET migration) but those already there (assuming that the Brexit deal doesn’t result in mass forced deportation) can look around and see that there aren’t any dragons.

    I have more of a “Get out there and stick my foot in the door before my Government can screw me over on this”.

    I make no claims on being representative or normal!

  23. Anyone else noticed that the Tory pledge to keep defence spending at 2% of GDP, and to increase it by 0.5% above inflation, implies that annual GDP growth will only be 0.5%?

  24. Just read that the ATL and NUT are merging – that should be significant.Presumably if teachers are moving to the left, the Labour Party has to take note.

  25. “Yes, you have to admire the sheer chutzpah of going for a 1983 style manifesto again.”

    ———-

    Yes, this is the meme, indeed the Telegraph has it that it’s taking us back to the Seventies.

    Of course, another meme might be that if more recent governments have been taking us back in time by unwinding various things, to a time before affordable energy bills and housing, before full employment, before food banks and so many homeless etc. then it would be no surprise if Labour decide they then have to plan to accommodate these changes..

  26. Does anyone know when the Lib dem manifesto is due to be leaked ? It must be due soon, more people will likely read or know about it, if leaked rather than realeased. Or am I being to sceptic.

  27. It is not taking us back to the Seventies at all though – more like the late Eighties/early Nineties. The Privatisation programmed did not really take off until Thatcher’s second term with the sale of BT in 1984 followed by British Gas in 1986. The elecricity and water industries were not privatised until Thatcher’s third term and the Major years.
    All the extensions of Public Ownership likely to be proposed by Labour in its manifesto relate to industries which were still in state hands in 1983 – and in the case of the railways and Royal Mail remained so until 1997 and 2012 respectively. It is a very different scenario to the ultra left1983 manifesto which wished to nationalize industries that never belonged to the Public Sector.

  28. Gordon Dudgeon

    Interesting concept, when released it’s a boring dry document… when leaked everyone wants to know the “secret”

    Effectively it gives them a chance to launch the manifesto twice (and take out anything which produced a strong negative reaction)

    I suspect the Conservatives won’t be releasing anything before Brexit is done as any information given out “would weaken our negotiating position”

  29. @Graham

    I’d agree with you that this is not as radical as the 1983 manifesto. It is straying into that territory though with a program of re-nationalization, union empowerment and large-scale borrowing.

    If Paul Mason is cock-a-hoop about it, I can vividly imagine how this will go down on the doorsteps of Middle England.

    Still, nobody can be surprised that Corbyn and his team have come up with it.

    We await the Tory response and manifesto.

  30. @rudyard

    I think you need to google MOE,

    Hence why no one gets excited about the small poll changes like in youguv. The need to be consistent over a period of time across multiple pollsters.

  31. Very benign reort from the Gov.BE. Inflation peak this year now forecast a little lower. GDP forecast for this year down a touch but up a touch for the next two years. No change to interest rates again.

  32. @TOH

    Yes very much, “steady as she goes”

  33. I had to chuckle at the “back to the ’70s” narrative. If anyone in Labour had a clue, they’d probably be attacking the Tories with a “back to the ’30s” narrative. Plus ça change! ;-)

  34. @Alan

    Regarding “launching it twice”, Labour don’t get that luxury. What’s out there is out there, and now spread wide by the media. Even if Labour remove a few things from the manifesto, people out there will still consider it in, as that’s what’s been leaked. Either due to a particular policy they don’t like sticking in their mind (and not noticing the lack of it in the new manifesto) or due being cynical – “what they leaked is really what they want and will do, regardless of what was released later”

  35. @ ALISDAIR – thank you

    @ CATMANJEFF – manifesto poll impact, I think it might matter:

    I agree for those of us who follow politics (only recently in my case!) Corbyn moving to “Old” Labour is no surprise but for the average voter it might be.

    I think there was a poll a while back that had v.low awareness of political message (e.g. 15% recognised “strong and stable” but only 2% recognised anything from Labour).

    If you walked past a news stand today it’s become increasingly obvious that the right-wing press are painting Labour as “communist” (if the cap fits wear it!). It’s overstating it but it is perception that matters.

    Consider the population as a normal distribution on a left-right axis with a “Centre” that might move over the long-term but is short-term fixed at a national level. One normal distribution curve can be made up from two (or more) normal distribution curves. For simplicity assume it’s just two. If they are symmetric around the national “centre” then the areas of the two curves (#voters) is matched. If the symmetry is displaced then the one furthest from the centre will have the smallest area. So, if LAB are “perceived” to be say 1std from the Centre and CON move to the centre they gain a massive boost in area under the curve.

    CON have already liquidated a chunk of the normal distribution formally known as UKIP and absorbed that.

    We’ll have to wait to see if CON “shift” to the centre to grab the open ground but I suspect their will be a lag before we see it picked up in the polls but we will see a CON +2, LAB -2 (assuming CON do shift a little to the left).

    Corbyn’s gamble is that as a nation our “centre” point has shifted to the Left and he has repositioned his party to grab that shift. I think after years of austerity he might be correct but I think he might well have gone too far. Unfort with their fixation on Brexit the LDEMs are missing this opportunity to reclaim the Centre.

  36. Leaked manifesto joke:

    A reporter broke into Tory HQ last night to try and steal the CON manifesto. He got very excited when he found a folder saying “Manifesto Promises”. However, when he opened it up he found it was empty!

  37. The averagely disinterested person on the street hasn’t registered the Tories’ strong and stable slogan. That tells me that there’s absolutely no point in attempting to extrapolate from my perceptions of election coverage to likely impact on VI…

    That said, my impression is that the media are starting to get interested in the possibility that JC really does go down better with those strange beasts, ‘real voters’ (could someone produce a unreal voter please, I’m curious) than TM. I’ve heard praise for his ‘authenticity’ a couple of times now, and mention of him having the guts to stand up for what he believes. It also seems the One Show format didn’t do TM any favours (I’m guessing Cameron would have done better). It’ll be interesting to see how JC fares – I wouldn’t have thought it ideal for him either – but I think he’s probably made the right choice not to drag his partner along as it’ll reduce the scope for soft, lifestyley questions.

    Not that I think any small improvement in perceptions of JC will do much to dent the Tory majority.

    I do wonder how many anti-Corbyn, left-leaning voters feel like Redrich (push comes to shove, a JC-led Lab govt still better than any Tory govt) and will turn out and vote accordingly. Lab aren’t fighting that kind of campaign though. In some ways it’s to the credit of JC and his team that they’d rather offer the electorate their positive vision, but I’m not sure it’s tactically astute. It certainly plays into the hands of Mandelson and co. who are arguing that as JC ‘owns’ the campaign he’ll also have to own the result (holes could be picked in that statement, but this is probably not the place).

  38. @somerjohn:

    The British pensioners in the EU are generally drawing UK pensions and spending them abroad. If they return, it really isn’t as simple as saying “Now we have to pay for these old people”, we are doing that anyway through state and private pension schemes.

    The economic argument for immigration doesn’t factor in the reverse dynamic when people return home on retirement to where their pension n stretches further.

    Of course more old people does mean more housing. Every new household means a long term cost of over £100k for this reason.

    It is very complicated.

  39. @Sea Change

    No offence as yours is a commonly stated view but the idea that this manifesto is hard left is nonsense and Tory spin. Nationalised Energy and Trains aren’t hard left only policies. Half our trains and energy is run now by foreign nationalised companies not to mention the Chinese involvement in the new power stations. Are Merkel and Macron marxists? Were Chirac and Sarkozy? Is Putin? Are Poland, Hungary and South Korea hard left nations?

    This kind of dishonesty by the media is why we can’t have sensible political debates in this country. These policies are totally normal centrist mixed economy policies. It is the Conservatives that are the extremists and the the Express, Mail, Telegraph etc. are ramming home a right wing political agenda.

  40. I thought the leaked manifesto was better than Milliband’s. It has immediate actions, short-term ones, and medium-long (like railway nationalisation, energy market). Most of it is costed with the exception of the tuition fee perhaps. (10 billion here or there don’s really matter).

    The real question is dealing with the downside risks of the way in which they want to finance the goals, and how they would deal with them. They better put these in the final document and encourage their people to memorise it, because these certainly be asked, and if people perceive that the downside risk is higher, they would likely reject policies even if they agreed with them.

    By the way, it is very, very different from the 1983 manifesto, and keeping the trident, and military spending are there.

    And it is a quite centrist, very slow paced, set of promises.

  41. A manifesto of chaos – Labour commit to spending 2% of GDP on Defence – 2% of nothing is not a lot – what interest rates will Labour have to pay on £250 bilion with a failing economy and a chaotic Brexit – I am surprised – no I am not that no “moderate” Labour MP has jumped ship – what are they waiting for – if he loses or chooses to go he will be replaced by another dinosaur.

  42. @ ALBERTO

    Agree with your comment. There does seem to be an agenda by powerful interest groups to promote private ownership as the best model and public ownership as a failed 1970’s model etc.

    When you look at many utilities in the US, public ownership is not that uncommon. As you say in Europe and elsewhere public ownership of trains, energy companies etc is common and seen as best way to run the services.

  43. @R Huckle

    ‘When you look at many utilities in the US, public ownership is not that uncommon. As you say in Europe and elsewhere public ownership of trains, energy companies etc is common and seen as best way to run the services.”

    As someone pointed out today re: rail re-nationalisation, many of our rail franchises are held by publically owned foreign companies. Indeed, the same applies to some of our energy companies.

  44. @Laszlo

    Abolition of tuition fees has absolutely no short-term cost – the fees still have to be paid by the state up-front, all that is changed is that new students no longer owe the money back.

    There’s also very little long-term effect either. There’s been plenty of work showing that most of the student loan book will never be paid back because students won’t earn enough to do so. So writing it off will have very little real effect other than a small balance sheet adjustment.

  45. ALBERTO
    Rightly or wrongly, when you toss a copy of Mao’s red book at the chancellor, vacillate over whether you’re actually a Marxist, refuse to sing the national anthem etc. you create a perception. So the image problem is self inflicted. That’s just a fact, and the press have run with it. Out of interest, which politicians in Britain do you consider to be to the left of Corbin?

  46. I see the Guardian reporting on ‘shy Lib Dems’. Seems a little bogus to me…

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/may/11/somerset-secret-lib-dem-voters-could-give-theresa-may-a-fight

  47. PROJECT FEAR COLLAPSES WITH NEW BARNIER STATEMENT;

    Mr Barnier said the EU wants the negotiations with the UK to succeed.
    “We will need to negotiate a ‘bold and ambitious’, but fair, free-trade agreement,” he said.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-39873618

  48. Election ‘bribes’ are normal and as a country we have paid the price down the years as winners generally deliver on their manifesto commitments even when the benefit of that commitment is debatable.

    I wonder if the Tories will be bold and limit their promises.

    Will they ditch the triple lock for example and avoid other constraints on fiscal policy in taxation areas.

    Labours caution in 1997 was understandably as they had to get back in but in 2001 they could have been more radical and less menu driven.

    (By 2005 it was too late and 1-2% swing to the Tories could have prevented a OM).

    In 2001 I suspect MPs nervous of losing their seats pushed for continuing caution but the Tories have a great opportunity to move away from a retail offer without jeopardising sitting MPs (Bar a few in London, maybe SE).

    Will they be bold? I doubt it but we shall see.

  49. TOH: “Very benign reort from the Gov.BE. Inflation peak this year now forecast a little lower. GDP forecast for this year down a touch but up a touch for the next two years. No change to interest rates again.”

    Rose coloured spectacles on, TOH? The report I read says “The bank, unveiling its Quarterly Inflation Report, also raised its forecast for inflation this year to 2.7% from its February forecast of 2.4%.”

    Carney also warned of a consumer spending squeeze this year as inflation rises and real wages fall.

    Have I missed your usual commentary on the Industrial production and balance of payments figures, also released this morning?

    “Industrial output shrank more than expected and the trade deficit widened in March in the latest signs that uncertainty surrounding Brexit is beginning to weigh on the economy.

    Industrial output dropped by 0.5% in March, sharper than the 0.3% fall predicted by economists. It followed a 0.7% fall in February and brought the sector to a virtual standstill in the first quarter overall, with growth of just 0.1%, according to the Office for National Statistics figures.

    The broad services and goods deficit jumped to £4.9bn in March from £2.6bn in February. Meanwhile, the trade in goods deficit widened to £13.4bn, more than the £11.8bn economists had been expecting.”

  50. Judging by the last 2 election campaigns, all the Tories on here scoffing at Labour’s (surprisingly good) manifesto will be praising it as genius when a blue cover is slapped on it and it’s repackaged as the Tory manifesto for the next election.

    I’m baffled as to why the Tory campaign is so bad. Complacency? Has anyone pointed out to them that Project Fear campaigns have a pretty bad track record of late? Are they engaged in some attempt to see if it’s possible to actually lose this one?

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