There were two new voting intention polls yesterday, plus ICM’s fortnightly poll this morning. Topline figures are

ICM/Guardian (22nd-24th): CON 40%(-2), LAB 42%(nc), LDEM 8%(+1)
Survation/Mail on Sunday (22nd): CON 38%(nc), LAB 42%(-1), LDEM 8%(+1) (tabs)
Opinium (19th-22nd): CON 42%(+1), LAB 40%(-1), LDEM 6%(+1) (tabs)

Changes are from a fortnight ago for ICM, last week for Opinium and the start of September for Survation.

One Conservative lead, two Labour leads and no consistent trend in either direction. Survation and ICM were both conducted after Theresa May’s Florence speech, so give us the first chance to gauge reactions to it. Survation asked about whether people supported or opposed paying £20bn to the EU during a transition period when Britain had access to the single market – 34% of people said they would support it, 47% said they would be opposed. ICM asked a similar question, but found 41% of people supported the idea and 31% were opposed – the ICM tables aren’t available yet, so I don’t know what the particularl wording was and whether it might explain the difference.

665 Responses to “Latest voting intentions from ICM, Survation and Opinium”

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  1. Mike Pearce

    You might be right but Leicester winning the legue, Trump and Brexit were all against the odds so never say never. I’m not a natural Corby sort of voter but I do like his approach to austerity and giving the left a voice in parliament.

    If a ol Corby PM means some of us having to pay a little extra so kids can have a decent meal then so be it.

  2. Wow! Mail Online reporting that new UK frigate HMS Belfast “can travel at staggering speeds of up to 2,000 mph”.

    They should probably lend it to the USA to allow them to help Puerto Rico (only half an hour from the Florida coast at that speed).

    Trump would turn the offer down, of course, because he knows better and Puerto Rico is “in the middle of an ocean. A very big ocean”.

  3. Peter Cairns SNP

    Yeah ok possibly not a trade war but with an unpredictable arsewipe in the White House then anything can happen.

    We’re not as important to the US as some would have us believe.
    I’m heading out to the States soon, I’ll report back on the temperature of the water.

  4. Allan Christie

    Of course us taxpayers already generously subsidise very decent meals (and wines) for the elderly – as long as they are members of the House of Lords.


    Maybe we should send that sort of elderly on the very fast ship the Mail are reporting on, on a subsidised cruise. ;-)

  6. Allan Christie

    I don’t want to give the impression that I only criticise the far right (or “centrists” as the media call them). Sometimes their governments can do progressive things.

    In Saudi, women who have been raped and, therefore, found guilty of adultery can now drive themselves to their own execution by stoning!

    That is, indeed, progress.

  7. @ Jim Jam

    ‘I guess I have a slightly different take to Danny in that I saw the GE as May wanting a less hard Brexit but the irony was that she got the votes of those wanting a Hard Brexit’

    That was my take also. It was/is clear that the City of London does (for the most part) not want to leave the EU and its view is usually the one adopted by the Conservatives. The only question was how to fudge it past those that Lord Feldman called the Turnip Taliban and to marginalise the libertarian uber-Brexiteers. A massive majority would have been a solution. Hoist by her own Ukippy petard.

  8. jim jam,
    “First, the GE imo was about trying to disarm the 30-40 Tory uber leavers as they stood in the way of a transitional deal being offered much earlier.”

    I dont agree. Seems quite likely that an enlarged parliamentary conservative party would have contained a similar or even greater proportion of hard leavers, so no improvement in the position. Moreover, having just won an election on the slogan that no deal was better than a bad deal, I assume they would have dug in their heels all the more.

    No, the party was aiming to have more hard leave MPs but also clear support for hard leave from voters. That is the only way such a result could have been interpreted. The rest is spin to encourage remainers to stay on side. Tory remainers calculated that their best chance was if the party lost the election. So I think both sides were content to hold the election, and May obliged. For his part, Corbyn fancied his own chances, and was right.

    I think a conservative big win would have seen a breakdown of talks already, and the leaving bill complete with draconian powers already passed by parliament. yes, there is lots of economic fallout on this track, but that is why a good win was needed.

    The conservatives are now faced with the problem of retreating from hard brexit in as best order as they can, while talking tough. Not because they are ideologically for or against it, but depending on how you look at it, because they accept the will of the people not to have a hard brexit, or because they see that defying voters on this would be suicide.

    I guess May does want a less hard Brexit, because she was on the remain side. I think however she is committed to trying to make it work whatever way it comes out. May was always going to get the votes of the hard breiteers. What she needed was the agreement of the middle ground at least to hard Brexit.


    Aye that’s real progress right enough but they will have to wait until June next year to have that privilege of driving themselves to their executions.

  10. I think people are being too Machiavellian about Mays motives over the election… it was to strengthen her negotiations, it was to outflank the hard Brexiteers, it was to give her a personal mandate…

    Hell, she was 20+ ahead in the polls with everyone around her and half the Parliamentary Labour Party saying Corbyn was a dumpling.

    How could she lose!


  11. Peter Cairns,
    “Hell, she was 20+ ahead in the polls”

    Corbyn did not believe this, or he would not have allowed the election.

    If the pundits here on LPSG believed it, they should now consider it a cautionary tale about how polling can get the wrong answer. The wizer pollsters will draw attention to the fine print, where its says ‘if an election was held today…’

    Myself, I posted about the big number of labour ‘dont knows’, but I think the final effect was bigger than that. Asking questions about hypotheticals is not the same as the real thing.

  12. “It will be interesting to see if the Tories project a united front next week.”
    @Mike Pearce September 27th, 2017 at 7:39 pm

    Well my google feed has thrown this up tonight:

    Johnson defies PM’s Brexit strategy with call for short transition period

    Boris Johnson has called for a swift end to any transition phase with Europe, in the latest in a series of provocative challenges to Downing Street’s Brexit strategy.

    Speaking at the Foreign Office launch of the privately financed Institute for Free Trade, the foreign secretary urged that the two-year implementation period announced by Theresa May last week be kept short so that Britain was free to strike new trade deals with other countries.

    I think a mega packet of popcorn is required.

  13. I don’t think the Tories have had a proper bun fight at their conference ever. It’s not set up in a way that allows it. No motions, no voting and next to nothing in member participation. It has no real purpose other than being a political advert

  14. Neil Wilson @ 17:43

    Not sure where to start with your post. While there are valid criticisms which could be made of my original comment, your response is so offbeat I feel obliged to respond.

    The deficit is the difference between government current spending and government revenues when spending exceeds revenue. If there is a deficit, then the government has to borrow in order to balance the books.

    This is quite distinct from the national debt which is simply the amount of accumulated Government borrowing less accumulated repayments.

    It is possible to have debt without a deficit but not vice versa. Indeed, given the historic stock of accumulated debt, it would require several decades of consistently high surpluses to eliminate the debt, whereas the deficit can now be eliminated by relatively minor adjustments to spending and / or taxes.

    For so long as there is a deficit, then the absolute level of debt continues to rise. Since the absolute number is so vast, it tends to not be very comprehensible or meaningful. Instead, economists refer to debt as a % of GDP – as they often also do in terms of the deficit. Unfortunately this can lead to the confusing situation where debt can be “falling” even though it is actually increasing in absolute terms when there is a deficit which is a smaller % of GDP than the % growth in GDP. Even more paradoxically, debt could be “rising” despite a budget surplus if the economy is contracting faster than the rate of repayment.

    Returning to the effect of deficits, I am mystified by your description of the deficit as savings, and still more by the idea that if there were no deficit, there could be no savings to fund pensions. This is a fundamental misunderstanding of how savings and investments work – both for governments and the private sector.

    If governments ran perfectly balanced budgets for a decade, then the stock of debt in absolute terms would be unchanged over that period. Whether this rose or fell as a % of GDP would be a function of whether GDP rose or fell in that period. However, it would not stop the sale of government bonds since maturing debts would need to be replaced. Nor would it in any way stop people saving and investing. They would simply have to find alternative (private sector) funds in which to invest.

    Government does not (yet) stop individuals saving, and they are free to do so whether there is a budget deficit or a budget surplus.

    “Are you saying something like this? [If I do a deal in France I would expect to be subject to French and EU law\ ‘ This seems fine to me. But would people accept in relation to the rights of EU citizens in the UK?”.
    I am assuming access in the context of the proposals set out by Starmer. I can have a stab at outlining the latter as meaning”
    rights of trading with all countries of the EU, free from tariffs and from physical or administrative barriers to the movement of goods and provision of services, Further that movement to and residence of people from the EU in the UK and vice versa would afford them all the rights of citizens and of working rights established under national aw and treaty,. Access would be negotiated initially, with the EU and subsequently with individual countries. It would differ from membership in that trading rights would not imply adherence to the rights of freedom of movement under EU law but would be aimed at permtting freedom of movement of labour while respecting UK and reciprocal migration laws and control in, for example, restricting movement and residence in the UK to persons themselves having legal employment and to members of their families defined in the UK and reciprocal national law.
    This is how I understand the compromise arrangement which would respect the Brexit referendum decision, but would aim at prioritising UK jobs and the UK economy promisedby Labour.
    I would personally prefer remaining in the EU and in the Single Market as members.

  16. Looking more closely at the conservative party it seems they have next to no democracy in their party. Are there any conservative members here that would care to comment?

    “Looking more closely at the conservative party it seems they have next to no democracy in their party. Are there any conservative members here that would care to comment?
    September 28th, 2017 at 12:48 am”

    Not a member. The only democratic system in the Tory party seems to be the leaders contest. As far as i know there is no democratic process in regard to policy making.

    I seem to recall senior Tories being asked about this and their defence was that democratic votes held by Labour and Lid Dems often don’t decide policies. It was down to the leader of the party with senior colleagues to decide policies and to gain support of colleagues.

  18. If there is debt, surely there is a creditor? So anything owed is both a credit and a debit. So if a son owes his dad a million squid the family is in balance.

    So what about UK debt – we know the Government owes itself money! But in theory the Government pays out for university tuition fees and maintenance costs and is owed it back – in practice they sell off the debt and in any case don’t get much of it back. We watched as Osborne converted a lot of state debt to individual debt. Easier to default?

    What happens when a lot of people owe a lot of money secured upon assets that suddenly shrink in value? Banks stop lending (because actually, they suddenly owe more than they own). What happens if Government commitments to spend are higher than their ability to raise money? Depends. If they can print money, not much except its value might well fall.

    But the point of the post was – if the UK Government owes its citizens a lot of money, and its citizens owe its government a lot of money – what’s the UK’s situation?


    Austerity being necessary for UK but in the EU countries it was the cold hand of EU forcing austeirty on Greece and the rest.

    This is why I think people are absolutely mad. In the US they went for straight forward keynesian spending it meant that they basically went for debt forgiveness for the banks and their auto industries. In the EU we basically bailed out the banks.

    I believe the real problem has been that we have not reconciled what to do economically.

    The idea that Austeirty was good and now it is not is basically just about sentiment and nmot about economics since the economics has not changed we still have the debt and still have a deficit we do not even meet the counter cyclic argument of being in surplus after nearly 10 years from the GFC.

    In terms of Unions the reason that Unions had power was strictly two fold. National markets and no globalism and a push for full employment. International trade is the very thing that lowers wages for unskilled and semi skilled in the developed countries and there is no answer to that other than either protecting these worker with some from of subsidies since in the UK especially there are just too many to these types of jobs being created. The reason that Tube drivers get a good pay is that they are organised and will strike and indeed the market can take the fact that they can have an average wage of £50K (that is market forces for you). The reason we do not pay nurses more is that they don’t strike and the government is more than prepared t have less nurses since they have done everything to put hurdles in their place to make more nurses.

    The issue of that we are seeing across the developed world are not going to be won because of Free trade and deregulation since it is free trade and deregulation that got us here in the first place. May argument about the market knows best is basically the premier league argument that the winning team is ones whom can gather the most resources rather than anything to do with competition since capital gathers to the sure fire winner. it is why we have Google, Microsoft and Apple.

    We also forget the drivers in all this. Apple does not create much of its own technology. indeed it windowing system was based on smalltalk which was a system developed by Darpa and Xerox many of the feature when you read their patents are the obvious step advances it is a collator of features. It is why their current CEO came not from the ‘creative’ side but logistics and supply chain because that is the game.

    innovation is basically subsidied, Markets exploit those subsidies and those freebies to make money and the hopeful side effect for everyone is jobs. With rising automation and a lack of transnational controls I do not see anything that you really want happening. basically you are saying you a rule book for the world similar to the EUs but we have just left the EU that provided the best rule book that we have ever had to go back to WTO plus.

    Basically the problem we have in the UK like everywhere else is that given the choice capital would rather put money in Exeter than Stoke. The point is that People in Stoke are not losing out to some lithuanian asparagus picker but is losing out to an Airbus engineer in Bristol, semiconductor engineer in Bristol, web designers in bristol, a good university and even a a couple start up incubators in the area

    basically outside these metropolitan areas which are doing well the UK is suffering and was suffering they were persuaded that scroungers were taking their money that immigrants were schrodinger cat of being on benefits and taking their jobs ( May Magic Immigrants) and a belief that EU only worked for French which has the same shape economy as us with a large proportion of services compared to anything else

    The conservatives would not run a party for the workers because that would mean hitting their constituents hard. it would mean tax rises on wealth such that moves invesment from safer property to less safe innovation it would mean a chnage from the market knows best to basically the South Korean approach and deciding what to do an doing it (very much not free Market).

    We lost manufacturing because we chose to lose manufacturing we did finance because we chose to, we are leaving the EU because we chose to now the problem is that blaming someone else for our decisions seems to be a british artform. In order to build driverless lorries you would need a market to sell it into and infrastructure of investment in new ideas and high tech. That is something we have chosen not to do as individuals and as a country and indeed to win in this market we will have to either buy it in or invent it presently we are in no mans land because we believe that we actually knw what we want to do yet we do not.

    I have said that we are basically going through managed decline and rather like leaving the EU we will try everything else first before doing the right thing

  20. @DANNY

    I believe Labour wanted the election because it would end the sniping across the board and would help get everything in motion for them. Did they believe they would get 40% of the vote? No they believed they would get 35% which they would feel was a good base.

    They also thought their manifesto would be good so allowing them to win some seats.

    The Tories basic approach was not to give away anything. cameron had basically tied their hands on the economy they just could not raise any meaningful taxes and therefore they were stuffed with a 20%+ lead they felt they could get away with one or two unpopular policies a non commitment on tax, dementia tax and that would allow the a real win come parliament, think about it a majority that would allow them to do what was in their manifesto. It is why there was not talk of the JAMs at all.

    From a EU perspective I am not sure what uber brexiteers would have done because they would have won seats from Labour and mainly from strongly leave areas so again keeping those seat may have meant actually more uber brexiteers as a proportion of the total.

    basically Corbyn had not to lose in the election if he lost he would still be where he was the day before the election, at best and if he did well he kills the opposition within his party. If he won then that was going to be a bonus.

    may got what she wanted in terms of vote share for the Tories. I think the the problem for her was the Donk Knows were actually anxious Labour party voters not wanting to commit to Labour hping something better would turn up and then they got policies they liked and he got momentum

  21. Good Morning all from a sunny Bournemouth, and on a day off too for this tired teacher.
    I think people assume too easily that the Tory Party will call the GE before 2022. The Party has a remarkable record in election winning.

  22. The “good deal/bad deal” question is ludicrous as it supposes an objective view and understanding of the latter that simply does not exist. I expect my “bad” deal is not the same as Rees Mogg’s for example.

    A genuinely useful response would also require a deep understanding of the situation we would face if we WERE to leave the EU without a deal. What percentage of the country could give a detailed talk about it? Or even a vague one come to that…

    Too many polling questions are abstract and pointless; and they they therefore muddle rather than clarify where we are on many topics.

    While I agree that this is not the start of a trade war the number of anit dumping cases brought by the US is now up 48%

  24. @oldnat

    “I thought that every company in every state across the world had “access” to it – in the sense that if they had the possibility of selling their product in the EU, as long as it was defined by the EU as something they were willing to import, and that it met any tariff/quota arrangements.
    If “access” is supposed to mean something different from that, then surely it has to be negotiated, agreed and defined in a “deal”.”

    I think the Brexiters who get excited about the wonders of a “no deal” and the ease of WTO terms don’t fully understand what underpins trade in those circumstances. As I understand it, the EU has over a hundred trade related agreements with the USA, over 60 with China, and 80 or so with Australia covering issues such as conformity assessment and customs arrangements.No doubt we will be told that there will be no problems with putting such arrangements in place but I wonder if Brexiters see those as part of a “no deal” outcome.

  25. PTRP (Passtherockplease),

    There’s no doubt been a change of attitude in Washington but all I wanted was a bit of perspective and thankfully, unlike the press we seem to have it here.

    I think the Government should bee playing this down rather than reacting to it for the sake of the media, but then it’s a week before Conference so they are probably twitchy about PR.

    The idea as stated in one paper that we could cancel orders for chinooks or surveillance aircraft is just daft. If we need a heavy lift helicopter their are only really three we can go for, the Chinook, the Sea stallion or the Halo.

    Two are American one Russian, One we have, the other is from American just like the first and the Russian one isn’t an option so our so called threat is really cutting off our nose to spite our face.

    What next; refuse to buy the only plane that can fly from our new Aircraft Carriers. This doesn’t make us look tough it makes us look stupid.

    I am not so much concerned about the trade implications of this as about what it says about Mays leadership and Government.

    The seem to be reacting and responding rather than setting the pace and more caught up in internal arguments than the jib at hand.

    In a way that goes back to the election issue.

    I think the result did surprise people but not because the polls didn’t’t pick up on a change in mood and a ground swell towards Labour.

    For me the main driver of change was that we had a Prime Minister who turned out to be spectacularly bad and the electorate watch the Tories for six weeks at millions of them turned round and said;

    “You know what…this lot are rubbish!”


  26. I don’t think people assume the Tories will call an early election. However no minority government has lasted more than a couple of years since the modern party system emerged in the mid nineteenth century, even with formal C&S in place. So the “it’ll be different this time” position is that this one will.

    it might well be of course. So far the Parliamentary discipline has been impressive and in marked contrast to Labour. But the noises off remain fractious.

  27. On trade wars – my understanding (could be wrong) is that the 219% tariff penalty has been imposed by a government department, so therefore a branch of government controlled by Trump. This has to be confirmed by a board with an independent function, so less influenced by the president. To be confirmed, Boeing have to demonstrate the Bombardier subsidies caused them actual harm, which, considering Boeing don’t have an aircraft in the market sector that Bombardier are serving should mean an open and shut rejection.

    Overall, this tends to suggest that Trump will take a savage line on UK trade issues. However, given the fact that Trump flops around on policy, we can’t say this for certain.

    On austerity – we are in an interesting situation now, where May appeared to release the shackles, but now wishes to reimpose an air of difference between them and Labour.

    What has become clear is that the Cameron/Osbourne position – that all debt was bad – is now buried. Quite right too, If you can borrow at 2% and this earns you 4%, far from saddling your children with debt, by not borrowing you are impoverishing future generations. It’s all about scale, value and returns – there is nothing inherently wrong with debt per se, which is why many people buy cars and houses with credit.

    In reality, Osbourne’s ideal for a balanced budget over the economic cycle was identical to Brown’s golden rule, but both were practically meaningless in real world terms – simple positioning for political considerations.

    That game has now got harder for governments, as Grenfell in particular gives an all too graphic example in the public’s mind of where the austerity agenda will end up.

    So we now end up in a debate on the appropriate level of debt, and what this means for society as a whole. This was easier for the Tories initially, but as underspending tightens year by year, it gets easier and easier to identify the negative impacts, so Labour will remain in the game,

    I suspect Labour will also be helped by hard line Brexiters. The fantasy idea put about that anything is possible and magical things will happen is mainly coming from the right. It is without basis in reality, but makes it far harder for them to attack Labour for perceived fantasy ideas – we end up simply having two fantasy world’s competing for attention.

    The other possible benefit for Labour is that many of the things Brexiters appear to desire, like deregulation, lower taxes etc, are precisely the things that led to Grenfell. Corbyn’s attack on a Labour Brexit versus a Tory Brexit could well end up being quite potent.


    All incumbents become more tactical as they try and keep hold of power. there is less bluesky/green light thinking as power conservation becomes the main goal.

    The reality is that as I keep saying that the UK electorate have given the political class two hospital passes. The EU referendum and GE 2017.

    Both show a split in the country in a manner that previously we could have calmly argued was not there.

    We have leavers that have allied with each other that want completely opposite things in an age where developed countries are having to come to terms with the downsides of neo liberalism and indeed have no real answers to these downsides

    We have a government that talks about markets but does not talk about wages and personal debt. We have a broken labour market if you have high employment yet stagnant wages unless the job creation system is intending this sort of labour market and if it is we have no way of changing this ad that is a real issue

    To your last comment I think the problem is not that people think they are rubbish getting 42% of the vote for being rubbish either means we set the bar low. I personally think we just do not have a clue what is happening and voters are pushing all the buttons in a desperate attempt to figure it all out.

    Think of it 200K people have signed a petition for uber but Uber is seen a part of the problem of low wages leading to cheap services, we want cheap as long as someone else pays for it. In the same way that no one want to pay any money to the EU even a ‘fair’ settlement because of a belief the EU has screwed us over

    may is only doing what Voters want, and the problem what voters want is inconsistent. basically we need to create more winners than losers and at the moment winners and losers are at a tipping point.

    Simply put we collectively are as rubbish as our politicians

  29. @ALEC

    I disagree that the tories have decided that not all debt is bad. Indeed they have been trying not to raise pay for PS workers and indeed they are now embarking on giving them a below inflation rise on top of the other below inflation rises and are arguing that progression is enough for them to be happy as the argument about the police constable hired in 2010 had a 32% rise in salary argument.

    I have seen no policy shift in the main I have seen a shift at the margin. it is kind of we are selling a crappy policy but we have to push through. There is no road to Damascus. Indeed the all talk of the JAMs has disappeared.

    What I believe will happen is a full throated defence of markets (and regulation of markets) being the thing that will make Britain great again. Now I am not sure that this will run but I cannot see what else they can do.

    Strategically if you are paying crap wages you have two option not pay crap wages or accept that you have no choice. If you were getting a 1% pay rise and then you get a 1.2% pay rise with inflation a 2.9% you are losing money when inflation drop down to 2% you will be still losing money and that this point having been losing money for 7 years one above inflation rate pay rise does not feel like a win.

    I feel like Labour has strategically picked the JAMs as their front line and I fear it is something that May whom coined the phrase has now got to battle to win. These people do not think the market has their best interests at heart and thus the Tories will have to adopt policies they rubbished but 2 years ago when Miliband was running Labour. it will be interesting if she could turn the ship, I personally think that had Miliband had won we would have had less issues and the referendum would not have been about those losers and JAMs kick the establishment but as I have said we pick rubbish policies until only the good ones are left in my view

  30. @oldnat

    Re trade and politics, it was interesting that last night Johnson hosted the launch at the Foreign Office( also attended by Fox and Gove) of a privately funded institute to advocate for free trade with the Singapore “model” being especially lauded by Hannan whose initiative it is. It looks like the Mintford brigade has a bridgehead in government to sell their no deal, unilateral free trade fantasy.

  31. “Right now, Corbyn is in tune with the public. Those Tories trying to halt the socialist surge need to be young , talented and definitely not Boris Johnson”

    Iain Martin

    Absolutely spot on.

    And his article , which points to McDonnell , not Corbyn , as the key man in Labour’s Brave New World is, in my view, also on the button.:-

    ” McDonnell , who is much brighter and more dangerous than Corbyn”

  32. @” If you can borrow at 2% and this earns you 4%, far from saddling your children with debt, by not borrowing you are impoverishing future generations.”

    UNless you make the mistake of funding long term investment with short term debt at exceptionally low interest rates which were engineered by gargantuan quantities of Central Bank liquidity, which will be time limited and which will see interest rates higher when you role that debt over.


    “This seems fine to me. But would people accept in relation to the rights of EU citizens in the UK?”

    There is a simple answer to that, No! Even suggesting that the ECJ should have rights over citizens in the UK when we have left the EU is insulting. No other sovereign state in the World would accept that. Ask yourself, will the EU allow the UK Supreme Court to act as final arbiter in cases involving UK nationals living in the EU? It’s an absolute red line for people like me.

    Peter Cairns SNP
    Your 10.52
    Very sensible response to Allan. Not good to see for those who support Free Trade & Brexit but Trump is known to be protectionist in outlook, not that I think he necessarily had anything to do with this initial decision, although I would not be surprised if he had.

  34. Boeing don’t have a C Series type offering. They didn’t pitch against Bombardier for the Delta contract.

    They are just trying to strangle a small potential competitor at birth.

  35. @COLIN

    Most UK government debt is long term, Indeed we can use this debt to build houses and the simple reduction in rents will change the lives of hundreds of thousands of people over the life time. Housing costs for renting is just too high for many people it is either than or raise wages. The real problem is that we compressing the wage scale downwards and that is where the problem is. Jobs like teachers, Nurses and Policemen were seen as middle class incomes and now they are not.

    The problem is that this is not really a socialist surge. People have been getting doses of free market for over 40 years we breath it from the poorest cleaner through to the richest CEO. the point is that each wants the competition to be skewed in their favour and then want it called fairness.

    So your cleaner wants less Poles and Romanians to compete against believing that low skilled jobs will get a pay rise because they are necessary. and Your CEO does not see anything wrong in getting a disproportionate pay rise compared to the profits of the company because he is worth every penny the market says so.

    The point is that everyone believes in market forces implicitly but no one has an answer for why they do not work in so many cases. The point is that I do not see any Tory being able to answer the issue because the electorate will not be able to see the difference.

    Most labour leavers believe if they were given a fair crack at the whip that they would be able to compete. My problem is that t aplce like Stoke is competing with a place like Exeter or Bristol and not low skilled worker in Stoke versus low skilled workers in Bristol but the lack of high skilled workers in stoke and the large amount of high skilled workers in bristol.

    As I said is not the lithuanian asparagus picker that is the problem, Him not being there means less asparagus planted if it and not be picked or that asparagus becoming cereals with even less workers and less profit.

  36. Surprised no-one has mentioned Ryan Air yet. Is this a good example of a race for the bottom? As demanded by our tendency to want everything as cheap as possible. At some point, there’s a risk something gets too cheap to be viable. Discuss.

  37. @COLIN

    The argument that Boeing has pursued in all it dealings is that whenever there has been government loans or any intervention they have pushed this approach consistently.

    essentially it is a rule based trade system where free enterprise means no government intervention. Now is it fair? No we can argue about different types of intervention such as Military deals that Boeing seems to get and the Automobile industry being bailed out with loans

    I am not sure but they did the same sort of thing when Airbus was successfully competing with them for passenger jets and They screamed blue murder when Airbus won a tanker competition. Indeed the only tanker competition against boeing that they did not win was for the US Airforce.

    It is interesting that the reason that Boeing has real issue with this is not only that Airbus is doing a good job competing with them but because partly they are suspicious of government ownership which I believe the Germans and the French government have biggish stakes in the enterprise.

    You see similar issues across a range of sectors in semiconductors especially with cry of dumping in the DRAM/FlashRAM market for example.

  38. @ PRINCESS RACHEL – I agree on your assessment of “democracy” in CON party. It has a lot to do with trust which is fragile for me most of time but quite strong with others – marginal voter v tribal loyalist.

    CON run the party in the same way a business is run. Democracy comes in because you don’t have to vote (work) for the party – you can quit and vote for someone else anytime you like and every 5yrs (or less) they can lose the contract to run the country.

    That creates a market force that encourages CON to be ‘competitive’ in their offering to we the electorate who get to renew the HMG contract every 5yrs. If we don’t like the terms of the new contract we give it to someone else (e.g, LAB) in a GE.

    Therefore they should be aware of public opinion and adjust course to take account of the wind. The general approach is small government, low taxes, trickle down – but should have a lot of room between red con and Blue CON. Having a fairly stable centre-right platform encourages loyalty, but you have to vote for the whole package so some policies that you disagree with you have to go along with as they are outweighed by other policies and the alternate option looks too costly (IMHO).

    My concern with LAB right now is that their view of democracy is similar to the EU but in a different context. If you “democratically” allow a layer system then you end up with “democratic autocracy”.

    If you expand back to who actually voted for Corbyn or Junkcer and take in the entire voting age population then you’ll see my concern – more with EU than LAB FWIW.

    Happy to expand on “democratic autocracy” as it’s probably the biggest single reason why I want to leave the EU.

    I hope that explains the way I see CON. Obviously that is a n=1 view, IMHO, etc.

  39. @ PTRP – we were hit very hard by the financial crisis due to our high exposure to that ‘sector’. cutting VAT to deal with a demand shock was stupid, anyone who has done any economics would have known that – keynes wrote the book on that decades ago. we had enough flexibility in the currency, budget and workforce to get through the crisis without help form the IMF – we should be proud of that.

    IMHO, Osborne did the right thing – he made our country competitive and attractive to employers while getting the budget back under control. May was supposed to mark the end of that – remember all the talk of JAMs, etc?

    She messed up and the GE result showed peeps have had enough. IMHO she needs a gentle rise in tax, fiscal drag and mild inflation will free Hammond’s hand a little in the budget but they need to see that more is required.

    It is a tightrope. We need to be competitive – even more so as we leave the EU – but we have to see that people have had enough of austerity and if CON don’t shift a little then we will have a very different economic model under LAB just as we leave the EU – that deeply worries me as I’m sure you are aware.

    P.S. May’s speech today is addressed to her audience. Don’t be too freaked – we just got downgraded by Moody’s and the peeps in the audience need to here abut strong fiscal discipline. It’s all smoke and mirrors – I hope!!

  40. @TRIGGUY

    There is a dichotomy of wanting good salries and wanting cheaper services. We often ignore the cost of the service. It only comes to a head when it all goes wrong. however given the choice what US carriers and Ryanair have found is that whilst people will moan they won’t pay more for what they perceive is the same service and more over they would go no frills over quality every time.

    You work long hours and then you want a take away delivered to your door because you have no time to cook is the sort of perfect storm of life.

    My friedn answer is simple. he has a garden which he has no clue how to maintain instead of learning and looking after it he gets a gardener for £10/hr. he gets his garden done but at best that gardner is basically on minimum wage. me I spend the hour doing the garden because I like it and the gardener at £10/hr would be crap I prefer to teach my girls how to weed and they get to eat the strawberries loganberries and figs in the garden I get to smoke legs of lamb with rosemary and have a full herb garden it is a choice indeed back in the day we all gardened and DIYed

  41. @TRIGGUY

    There is a dichotomy of wanting good salries and wanting cheaper services. We often ignore the cost of the service. It only comes to a head when it all goes wrong. however given the choice what US carriers and Ryanair have found is that whilst people will moan they won’t pay more for what they perceive is the same service and more over they would go no frills over quality every time.

    You work long hours and then you want a take away delivered to your door because you have no time to cook is the sort of perfect storm of life.

    My friedn answer is simple. he has a garden which he has no clue how to maintain instead of learning and looking after it he gets a gardener for £10/hr. he gets his garden done but at best that gardner is basically on minimum wage. me I spend the hour doing the garden because I like it and the gardener at £10/hr would be crap I prefer to teach my girls how to weed and they get to eat the strawberries loganberries and figs in the garden I get to smoke legs of lamb with rosemary and have a full herb garden it is a choice indeed back in the day we all gardened and DIYed

  42. The Other Howard: CHARLES

    “This seems fine to me. But would people accept in relation to the rights of EU citizens in the UK?”

    There is a simple answer to that, No! Even suggesting that the ECJ should have rights over citizens in the UK when we have left the EU is insulting. No other sovereign state in the World would accept that. Ask yourself, will the EU allow the UK Supreme Court to act as final arbiter in cases involving UK nationals living in the EU? It’s an absolute red line for people like me.

    You are somewhat mis stating the case. It is about the ECJ having jurisdiction over the rights of EU citizens in the UK.

    Read this. Probably not reported in any of the papers you would prefer. It is not an isolated case

    The UK cannot even be trusted to implement its own laws correctly. As you know, Mrs Monochrome is an EU citizen. Protection for our family life under the ECJ as final arbiter is the red line for me.

    The challenge to the UK is to accept the ECJ in this role and keep things so squeaky clean that the ECJ does not get a single case where it has to rule against the UK. If you have a problem with that then inherently you are accepting that the UK will not be able to keep to its treaty obligations.

  43. PTRP

    Average UK Gilt maturities are around 18 years. ( IFS)

    I am not opposed to strategic State Investment.

  44. PTRP

    @”My friedn answer is simple. he has a garden which he has no clue how to maintain instead of learning and looking after it he gets a gardener for £10/hr. he gets his garden done but at best that gardner is basically on minimum wage. me I spend the hour doing the garden because I like it and the gardener at £10/hr would be crap I prefer to teach my girls how to weed and they get to eat the strawberries loganberries and figs in the garden I get to smoke legs of lamb with rosemary and have a full herb garden it is a choice indeed back in the day we all gardened and DIYed”

    Ever seen the film Being There ? :-) :-) :-)

    “President “Bobby”: Mr. Gardner, do you agree with Ben, or do you think that we can stimulate growth through temporary incentives?
    [Long pause]
    Chance the Gardener: As long as the roots are not severed, all is well. And all will be well in the garden.
    President “Bobby”: In the garden.
    Chance the Gardener: Yes. In the garden, growth has it seasons. First comes spring and summer, but then we have fall and winter. And then we get spring and summer again.
    President “Bobby”: Spring and summer.
    Chance the Gardener: Yes.
    President “Bobby”: Then fall and winter.
    Chance the Gardener: Yes.
    Benjamin Rand: I think what our insightful young friend is saying is that we welcome the inevitable seasons of nature, but we’re upset by the seasons of our economy.
    Chance the Gardener: Yes! There will be growth in the spring!
    Benjamin Rand: Hmm!
    Chance the Gardener: Hmm!
    President “Bobby”: Hm. Well, Mr. Gardner, I must admit that is one of the most refreshing and optimistic statements I’ve heard in a very, very long time.
    [Benjamin Rand applauds]
    President “Bobby”: I admire your good, solid sense. That’s precisely what we lack on Capitol Hill.”


    I often wonder if old Corby is a fan of Peter Seller’s character :-)

  45. @ PTRP – dynamic modelling is not accepted by mainstream economists but the premise takes keynesian intervention and a multiplier effect to come to the point you make. the issue is ‘investing’ in areas that create a high enough return on investment. mild inflation is also good. things like nationalisation and inflation+ spending (net of productivity gains) on public services are difficult to justify but for sure many infrastructure investment does make sense. if you take it too far tho you have a japan situation and helicopter money, etc.
    i’d like to write more but lot of things moving around today.

    @ TRIGGUY – I admit a certain degree of schadenfreud (spelling?) to the plight of Michael O’Leary :)


    Our biggest growth was in low skilled low value add which essentially mean that we did not become more competitive because we were better more productive but actually we became more competitive because we were lower in salaries.

    I think Osborne went for cuts because he felt that the EU would go for fiscal expansion so the UK could take advantage of their close neighbour expanding their economy while we cut ours at home. This worked for the Canada when the US was expanding the economy and indeed every austerity budgetry program that has been successful basically required either expansion of their neighbours or massive investment. it is why the Eastern Europeans grew quickly they are the germans cheap workshop.

    Our over exposure to financial engineering was the plan. it still is the plan and that is why I think the you have wishful thinking on May and the JAMs she did absolutely nothing for them during budget and indeed the manifesto and this was with a supposedly left wing team helping her write the damn thing.

    Will they tack to the left now yes they definitely will they would be stupid not to but they have also not accepted the issues that lost them their majority and I do not see them doing anything expansionary anytime soon.

    Hell they had a number of options to change the Nurses pay or police officers pay and indeed they PS pay rises over and above the 1% comes with no extra money thus far. I do not see a change in their orthodoxy.

    Moody downgraded the UK because of brexit and the idea that future trade may be disrupted. Essentially fiscal decisions that we have taken. Saying that you are going to tighten up fiscally is exactly what she is doing now. As I said you are saying they will change their orthodoxy I am saying they are not we will see at the end of next week

  47. @ PTRP – i’ll write more about gloabalisation when i have time but you simplify the moody’s downgrade. see 1. on attached–PR_372649

    moodys (IMHO) are a joke, worse than IMF. straight line economic models, overly political, etc.

    I’ll cherry pick one line from their assessment tho:

    ” the increasing political and social pressures to raise spending after seven years of spending cuts”

    they want more austerity – they seek to protect creditors and have (in this case) taken a correct assessment of the future hence change from -ve outlook to downgrade but stable.

    now if LAB got in??? check venezuela’s credit rating


    Tories as a business: Political parties as a business is quite interesting. It points to something I believe is that facts are therefore not important. brand is important.

    So for example people feel that the Tories would not fdo as good a job with regards to the NHS. Now that to me is rubbish, I fear that given the choice of paying for improvement by PFI or government borrowing we would have been better to do it by government borrowing, however equally bad was the reorganisation of the NHS via the HSC bill. So I am not sure that either party comes out well.
    but Labour’s brand is of a someone whom cares whom is a bit soft possibly. Tories have a brand of being hard nosed business like.

    it means that when the Tories have an uncosted manifesto or a manifesto where they leave all the detail out as they did in 2015 no one challenges it and it does not stick. Yet in 2015 the Labour part had a manifesto with more detail than a budget and no one believes them.

    it means that you can persuade people to believe in alternative facts because the alternative goes against belief. Indeed some companies survive whilst skating on the edge of respectability (Ryanair is a good example ) and people will vote for someone else getting a kicking (scroungers ) if you can make them seem undeserving. Indeed Labour abstained on welfare cuts because they did not want to be known as a the party of the scrounger.

    My point is marketing is selling of policy and often we are sold policies that we would not want given a better view of the fact and less prejudice of our views

  49. @ PTRP – agree EU need to expand their economy – but that is not something we can influence. The Euro comes with the SGP. The whole design was wrong, adding in Italy, Greece, etc was absurd. when something is so fundamentally crazy and working to a political agenda you throw economic common sense out of the window and have to deal with the carnage that comes with it.

    we avoided the working time directive (individual opt-out), euro and schengen. i expect you disagree on my first one but clearly euro and schengen were bullets we ducked.

    if we can find fault in a few of the bigger EU project’s policies surely you have to start questioning the whole thing.

    it takes time to see the effects of bad decisions, time dragged out by political will. Euro is now obvious, what else in the project will unravel in time – geopolitical adventurism?

  50. @ PRTP – agree 100% on “brand” for political parties.

    limited offerings, evoked set, imperfect competition, marketing, radical shift in market offering, shift from external force (proxy as brexit), etc.. we could have a great chat over beer or two on this subject.

    i tried to get something along these lines through as a project in my MBA but they wouldn’t sign off on it so had to do some cr4p on tourism instead

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