Kantar have published a new voting intention poll ahead of the budget, the first I’ve seen from them since the general election. Topline figures are CON 42%, LAB 38%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 5%. Fieldwork was between last Tuesday and this Monday.

This is the first poll to show a Conservative lead since September and the largest Tory lead in any poll since the election. As ever, it’s best to look carefully at any poll that shows an unusual result before getting too excited/dismayed. The reason for the unusual result appears to be methodological, rather than from some sudden Tory recovery, and down to the way Kantar treat turnout. As regular readers will know, many polls came horribly unstuck at the 2017 election because instead of basing turnout on how likely respondents said they were to vote, they predicted respondents likelihood to vote based on factors like their age and class. These methods assumed young people would be much less likely to vote, and produced large Conservative leads that ended up being wrong. Generally speaking, these socio-economic models have been dropped.

At the election Kantar took a sort of halfway position – they based their turnout model on both respondents’ self-assessed likelihood to vote, whether they voted last time and their age, assuming that older people were more likely to vote than younger people. This actually performed far better than most other companies did; Kantar’s final poll showed a five point Conservative lead, compared to the 2.5 they actually got. As such, Kantar appear to have kept using their old turnout model that partly predicts likelihood to vote based on age. The impact of this is clear – before turnout weighting Labour would have had a one point lead, very similar to other companies’ polls. After turnout weighting the Conservatives are four points ahead (the full tabs and methodology details are here).

(Another noticable difference between Kantar’s method and other companies is that they use the leaders’ names in their voting intention question, though given there is not nearly as much of a gap between Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn’s ratings as there used to be I’m not sure that would still have an impact.)


633 Responses to “Kantar- CON 42, LAB 38, LDEM 9, UKIP 5”

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  1. @Chris Riley – “I very much take your point, but I’m referring to parts of the country where farming still *does* form the bedrock of the economic and cultural life of the area, and I live in one such area.”

    I’m not sure where you live, but the point I was actually making obviously wasn’t clearly stated.

    I live in one of the most sparsely populated parishes in England, in an area often held up as bedrock farming country. The point I am making is that even in these areas, farming is economically relatively unimportant, culturally overstated, and by elevating it’s position way beyond what is justified by it’s actual contribution to economic and social life, public policy is being distorted and these areas are suffering as a result.

    I doubt you live anywhere more rural and farming centric than I do, although that is possible, and I can’t say with certainty what the stats are in your area, but my suspicion is that you may well be surprised just how limited farming’s contribution to your local economy actuall is.

    @Davwell – again, I haven’t expressed myself carefully enough, but I wasn’t talking about farming efficiency in terms of farm output – I was looking at the efficiency of public policy towards the industry.

    As you say, ‘inefficient’ farms carry with them significant other benefits, but my central point is that there is a major missed opportunity cost arising from spending so much taxpayer money on farming. Alternative uses for this spending would be far more valuable to the rural economy, even if this meant we lost some farm production.

  2. Naughty step it is: AW can you help as to where I have gone wrong?

  3. @Charles – I would very much agree on May’s red lines. She boxed herself in right from the start, and effectively allowed the EU to sit back and wait for the string of concessions that have had to be made, while they haven’t had to move away from their opening gambit once.

    Ideally, I would have wanted to see a UK PM laying out those areas we had great difficulties with, without closing the door on ‘bold and imaginative’ offers by he EU. This would have amounted in effect to saying that we ‘really don’t like X, but if the other parts of the offer are good enough we might think about it – try me’.

    The sad truth has been that all of this has not been for the sake of getting a good deal, but has been a reaction to the weakness May has been in all this time. It’s all about internal Tory politics, which is what is currently shaping my future. It’s something that I feel somewhat depressed about.

  4. Somerjohn

    “It won’t take much of a cliff-edge to see us into a brexit-induced recession.”

    Or not as the case may be. I think the OBR forecasts are as wrong as they were last time.

  5. On the budget:

    Those are seriously dismal growth figures. No argument about Brexit not having any negative impacts so far.

    I’m also somewhat baffled at another attempt to queak stamp duty. I struggle to see the economic value in this, when there were so many other options available. The OBR has already calculated that much of the tax cut will be taken up by a rise in prices, with sellers pocketing much of this and the problem of unaffordable housing exacerbated.

    While there seem to be other measures on housing, none of them seem to address the central issue, which is the price of land. A simply reversion to the pre 1961 position when compulsory purchase of development land was done at cost (eg existing cost, not future developed cost) would have dropped the cost of delivering new homes dramatically and given a real boost to the productive parts of the housing economy.

    No imagination and no real prospects pretty much sums up my view of the budget. No poll impact either I would imagine.

  6. “Or not as the case may be. I think the OBR forecasts are as wrong as they were last time.”

    OMG!!!

    Howard thinks things are going to get even worse!!!!

  7. Alec: there is a major missed opportunity cost arising from spending so much taxpayer money on farming. Alternative uses for this spending would be far more valuable to the rural economy, even if this meant we lost some farm production.

    I think this boils down to a value judgement as to how much we value traditional agriculture-based landscape, society and culture in rural areas.

    There is also a judgement to be made about how far we are willing to reduce our self-sufficiency in food.

    One danger with reducing farm support is that in a market-driven system what you’re left with is mega mono-culture agri-businesses: 5000 acre wheat fields; 1000-cow dairy sheds; high-intensity, low-welfare pig and poultry units. Etc.

    My own view is that there is value in maintaining traditional mixed farming in rural areas, and I would be interested to hear what alternative uses you would prefer to see farm support put to.

  8. @Alec

    Actually, the area I’m in has a particularly large agricultural supplier and a rather weak tourist sector. I’ve worked with local SMEs who struggle to gain traction because of a small customer base.

    The fact that farming is not necessarily a large part of an area’s economy does not mean the loss of it would not cause serious issues. I grew up in a community where mining was not the *majority* employer. I am reasonably confident that you would get short shrift from anyone resident there if you were to explain to them that therefore the 80s must have been a great opportunity to get out from unproductive land use once the mines had gone.

    But your point is, nevertheless, strong.

  9. Trevor Warne & Colin

    Sadly there is little in the way of trivia like facts that will persuade conspiracists like yourselves with regard to anything concerning the EU.

    However, the lack (even of internal) logic in your case does allow people to consign your thoughts to the bin normally reserved for Flat Earthists.

  10. OLDNAT

    Elections aren’t conspiracies !

    Not outside Scotland anyway.

  11. oldnat

    “However, the lack (even of internal) logic in your case does allow people to consign your thoughts to the bin normally reserved for Flat Earthists.”

    Have you never been to Norfolk????

    Obviously some of the world is a bit hilly but a lot of it definitely flat.

  12. @TREVOR WARNE

    Dare I say it I thought it was a ‘good’ budget in that I think he staked his ground on the austerity lite platform which is kind of where we haven’t moved from anyway.

    I was disappointed though:
    If I was a Tory I would have thought he would have performed some form a scrappage scheme with regards diesel fuelled cars even if it was a modest scheme people bought those cars expecting the CO2 emissions to eb the most important it is now a range of particulate matter and with that comes a hit.

    I haven’t studies the Budget in detail but there was nothing about the student loans which I think is just another debt mountain developing.

    The NHS/Social care issue needs to be tackled

    However the budget was good for Tory voting young in that they would be looking for in terms of looking to get on the ladder (although I think that the OBR believes it will raise the house prices 1:1 )

    The need to kill HTB since that does not work as again shown in the figures it only adds to house price inflation which is the real problem. it is better to put the money in maximising your debt to by a house than investing in a pension or in industry. Locking in a captured market with accessible gains like this continues the frenzy

    The good news for the Tories is that it was not a budget that will have omnishambles attached to it withing 24 hours which is today is a sign of competence (god I wrote that……)

    ;-)

  13. @CHRIS RILEY

    before I started saving my pennies I used to subscribe to the FT and one of the regular posters was Pembrokeshire Farmer. He basically talked about the elation that farmer had at the time of the EU referendum result slowly turning to being rather more circumspect. I could not understand it myself they voted for this and I believe they will be the first to feel the issue of Brexit from labour shortages through to the uncertainty of the new regime in terms of subsidies.

    I fear we never really had a proper debate about what this all really means and I suspect the idea of being in control was the answer to everything (as it really is )

  14. @ PTRP – that must have been a difficult post to write but appreciate the balanced view. I was sad he didn’t switch student loan interest from RPI+3% to CPI. I also agree on HTB being flawed and that the stamp tax mostly helps those who bank with a rich mum+dad, combined those two will increase house prices and we need a prolonged period of real drops in house prices (e.g. 0% growth with 3% inflation). Will enough new houses be built quick enough to offset? Lots of tinkering on the supply side which all sounded good but is slow to have an impact.

  15. @Paul

    I grew up in south Lincolnshire and whilst the land is ‘flat’ in the sense that there are no hills the geometry is decidedly non-Euclidean. The angles of a sufficiently large triangle drawn on its surface would clearly add up to more than 180 degrees and the difference would increase as the size of the triangle increased! :-) (for the first time in my life I wish I had access to emojis!)

  16. stamp tax cut in above

  17. Paula

    Well I did say there were hilly bits…..

    [And that was without even drawing any triangles – so my instincts were spot on.]

  18. Are Scots especially prone to S.A.D? Come on Oldnat you can do better than sinking to Peter’s level

  19. @Somerjohn – “I think this boils down to a value judgement as to how much we value traditional agriculture-based landscape, society and culture in rural areas.”

    What is ‘traditional’ is a very moot point. Your post, with it’s talk of “traditional mixed farming” does rather smack of an out of date view of what farming is. Plastic sheets covering new sown crops isn’t very traditional, and if I wanted to do this for fun I would need planning permission, but even ‘traditional’ upland areas really aren’t that traditional. We’re just in one phase of agricultural development, but people too often seem to think that what is ‘traditional’ today is how everything has always been.

    There are issues with food security, but let’s face it – if we really bothered about this we would stop being a nation of fat [email protected] and eat a little less, and stop wasting whatever ridiculous proportion of food consumers chuck away every year. Do these things, and we might start to understand that we don’t need to squeeze every last drop of production out of the soil.

    We will never be self sufficient in food anyway – it’s a pointless concept. We have been estimated as having less than 100 harvests left in the UK fbefore our soils are knackered (even Gove accepts this, it seems) so we can’t produce at the levels we are currently for much longer anyway. If we are serious about self sufficiency then population reduction is the only viable rute, but that’s another can of worms (arrrghhh! – where have all the worms gone?).

    I’m rambling now – must try to get back on track.

    I’d personally like to see a proportion of land taken out of production, and other areas of low intensity systems, alongside more modern farming methods. Countryfile last week showed a large farm in Sussex which gave up trying to riase ‘normal’ crops on heavy soils and instead converted to a low management grazing system.

    They let their fields grow with minimal intervention, and now harvest venison from wild red deer, alongside 00 head of cattle a year from a free ranging herd of longhorns. They employ one stockman and five ecologists, running wildlife safaris, with people paying to hear nightingales and see turtle doves.

    This wouldn’t be appropriate everywhere, but we need more variety, and an acceptance that not all fields need to produce food.

  20. TW

    I am afraid the scots are prone to black dog. Despite inflicting darkness upon the rest of the uk in many senses they are never content.. This has been aggravated by their great Talisman selling himself to Putin and then trying say he is independent. Quite shocking. Still we now know what NS will do when the electorate finally rumble her. Move south and set up sturgeon productions.
    All this has led to a certain sourness in posts from our friends in the north. Perhaps the alchohol tax and the extra tax have also something do with it .You cant even drown your sorrows at paying more tax than the english any more.

  21. Alec: Your post, with it’s talk of “traditional mixed farming” does rather smack of an out of date view of what farming is.

    I’m from a rural area, with both free-range hill grazing and adjacent lowland mixed farming; nearby was a well-known market gardening area, now almost completely defunct. I now live in another rural area, again with upland grazing nearby. So I have no illusions about the changes in farming, plastic sheeting and all.

    But the pastoral idyll you have referenced is an equally “out of date view of what farming is”, by about three centuries.

    I don’t think we actually disagree too much. I don’t advocate trying to fix some particular farming system in aspic. All strength to developments like the one you outline. And I’m all in favour of letting some land go out f production: I was sorry to see setaside set aside. I just think that we need to consider carefully before junking what we’ve got. My inclination is that in landscape and cultural terms, the mix of livestock and arable farming, large and small farms, that you see in Devon, Herefordshire or Lancashire, works better than the mega-farms of East Anglia and Lincolnshire.

    One of my favourite grouses is to wonder why nobody in the ’60s seems to have queried the thoughtless sell-off of Beeching-closed railway lines (often 100 yards was sold for £50 or £100). Why did no-one say, ‘hang on a minute, let’s preserve these routes in case we ever need railways again, and in the meantime, let’s use them as foot/cycle/bridle paths.”

    It’s very easy to fail to recognise the value of something until you’ve lost it.

  22. TREVOR WARNE

    In those Hyperborean caves it isn’t Seasonal-its perpetual.

  23. Trevor Warne

    Are Brexiteers especially prone to assuming conspiracies?

    In any selection process between rival centres, there are usually multiple “conspiracies” as they jockey for allies and seek to gain support. Inevitably only one eventually wins, but you were suggesting that it was “fixed” in advance by some mysterious power (whether the commission or the Ministry of Magic or another unseen force, wasn’t clear.

    Now, if you are correct, the final drawing of a lot was pre-determined by that all-powerful force.

    That you haven’t described how you imagine that could be achieved is what suggests that your idea lacks even the perspective given by the rolling bumps of Lincolnshire, and is better fitted to the Rim of Discworld.

    However, feel free to demonstrate the truth of your belief by launching your own rocket – like this chap.

    http://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/people/man-launching-home-made-rocket-to-prove-the-earth-is-flat-1.3301002

  24. somerjohn

    “One of my favourite grouses is to wonder why nobody in the ’60s seems to have queried the thoughtless sell-off of Beeching-closed railway lines (often 100 yards was sold for £50 or £100). Why did no-one say, ‘hang on a minute, let’s preserve these routes in case we ever need railways again, and in the meantime, let’s use them as foot/cycle/bridle paths.”

    Absolutely. I happen to own a tiny bit of said Beeching-closed railway line, near Hay-on Wye. if only it had been kept it would be a brilliant bike path now, and a huge asset to tourism. I’d sell my little bit back like a shot, but others have built houses on their £50 windfall chunks of real estate.

    Also, the Beeching cuts cut off whole areas of Britain economically and socially for a generation. Very short-sighted.

    In those days though people didn’t complain.

  25. PATRICKBRIAN,

    All is not lost, we’ve reopened the Borders Rail line as far as Tweed bank and there is real progress in moving on to stage two…restoring the link all the way to Carlisle!

    Good for the borders economy, great for getting to Edinburgh, environmentally friendly, opens up a whole new tourist route and if Carlie and North Cumbria benefit too all the better.

    Peter.

  26. Patrickbrian

    “In those days though people didn’t complain.”

    Mmm – maybe not where you live, but Beeching’s axe was the subject of many complaints here.

  27. SOMERJOHN

    Wasn’t attitude to rail travel very different back then?

    The 1963, a report on urban transport planning policy,” Traffic in Towns, ” highlighted the urgency of the problem of dealing with the expected massive growth in road traffic.

    This was the decade Motorways started to be built.

    The car was the thing back then.

    Today after population growth, the problems associated with road traffic volumes and pollution have turned us away from them & back to trains.

    It wasn’t all lost by the way- I think around 1500 miles of cycle pathway in Britain has been built on old rail track, most of it generated by Beeching cuts.

  28. Just did a poll with YouGov on political issues (first time they’ve asked me about anything like this in over a year).

    They asked about VI, performance of Sadiq Khan in London, whether I would vote for Khan to be re-elected, whether London was ready for Brexit, what I thought about setting up a business in London and what the challenges would be, etc. And just generally a lot questions about the London economy.

    I would guess this was a regional poll, so this might mean we get some London VI figures soon. Alternatively, they might be kept private as I’ve certainly done polls like this before and seen no follow-up.

    Many of the questions seemed a bit weird – particularly the ones about setting up a business in London, which makes me wonder who commissioned it – perhaps some group of London Borough Labour parties in the run-up to the 2018 Locals? (This was only Westminster VI, though).

    Alternatively it might be that the VI question is from a separate organisation to the others. Who knows…

  29. TREVOR WARNE

    Seen this ? :-

    “However The Telegraph understands from senior diplomatic sources in two major EU member states, that if the UK reaches agreement on the financial settlement and citizens’ rights, then the Irish will have to accept compromise language that essentially defers a reckoning on the issue.
    “The reality is that there is no magic solution Ireland,” the EU diplomatic source said, “so if money and citizens are not sorted, then Ireland can hold up talks. But if money and citizens are agreed, then the Irish issue will ultimately have to be deferred.”

    DT

  30. On the budget, I thought it was ‘meh’. Nothing groundbreaking, probably wouldn’t shift any votes, didn’t really solve any problems, but made piecemeal attempts to appear as if they were trying. But potentially a bullet dodged.

    It’s amusing how Hammond has essentially turned Millibandite though – I suspect if Ed Balls were chancellor right now, we’d have very similar policies coming out. Essentially he’s gone austerity-lite. I found it rather amusing that the OBR now predicts (as far as the OBR can predict anything right) that the deficit will be eliminated by 2031. Nobody serious thinks the Tories will remain in power until then, and let’s be honest, 2031 essentially means ‘never’.

    I think the real story is nothing to do with the policy, and all to do with the forecast. In addition to the budget deficit issue, growth has been revised seriously down. We know that these growth projections are generally on the optimistic side, but essentially they’ve been revised down becaues productivity isn’t growing. Growth in GDP per capita figures (what we should really care about because it controls for immigration and population growth) does not exceed 1% for the next 4 years.

    Even these projections rely on productivity growth of 1% each year for the next 5 years – which is probably too optimistic still. Half that might be accurate.

    And then we come to wages – wage forecasts were also seriouly downgraded, and real wages are predicted to be in decline until at least 2019, the point at which we leave the EU. Which I can’t see helping things much.

    So, in summary, short-term I think this was as good a budget as the Conservatives were likely to deliver, doubt it will gain them any votes (Budgets rarely do), but they had a good attempt.

    Long term? The outlook is poor, and even worse than we first thought.

  31. Angry Jezza

    Just seen his performance today.Even his most ardent supporters on this site must wonder whether the pressure of choosing what sort of coffee in the morning is getting to him especially when combined with remembering what colour bin day it is.
    maybe he should consider booking a long cycling holiday in venezuela

  32. I suppose this must be one of OldNat’s EU “conspiracies” .

    So I will ignore the mad suggestion that the EU should financially penalise Member States who ” flout EU values,”.

    http://www.cer.eu/publications/archive/policy-brief/2017/can-eu-funds-promote-rule-law-europe

  33. To Somerjohn and others,

    I say good riddance to the CAP. Often money for old rope and the potential societal benefits to rural areas mostly never realised, apart from enriching rich landlowners.

  34. Colin

    What a strange comment.

    The “EU conspiracy” idea was entirely that of Trevor – though ably supported by your good self.

    I simply mocked it.

  35. We’ve got a wide network of old railway lines acting as cycle trails in the Peak District, and the council have been investing in further extensions in recent years. They’re immensely popular, bring in tourists (not that we’re short of those), provide direct revenue to the Council from bike rentals and are appreciated by the locals too. I ssupose that no-one in the 60s would ever have imagined the future popularity of cycling though.

  36. S Thomas

    Angry Jezza

    Even one of the TV reporters commented that it was “over the top”. I listened until I got bored. He didn’t seem to be addressing the budget at all.

  37. Much of the credit for reinvigorating the former rail network that is now disused goes to Sustrans

    https://www.sustrans.org.uk/

  38. @Colin, B&B

    I know a lot of closed railway lines are now cycle or foot paths, but my point was the lack of foresight that led to chunks being sold off, bridges demolished etc. The cost of recovering the sold-off bits, rebuilding crossings etc in order to create a continuous foot path has often been staggering – in the area I’m thinking of, a demolished viaduct was replaced by a new one and the budget for that stretch of patrh was, iirc, £30m.

    My sister did an 8-year stint as a county councillor and national park committee member, and kept me well informed on the tortuous, expensive process of trying to re-create routes that had been so thoughtlessly thrown away.

    We need to be alert to the present-day equivalent of failing to preserve the Beeching rail routes for alternative use when they were closed.

  39. Angry jezza is all over the left wing media, very well received by our lot

  40. S Thomas . TOH

    I think it showed his limitations.

    In fairness he isn’t the Shadow CoE & its always tough on the Opposition Leader to respond to a Budget.

    But one got the distinct impression of a man who only really feels comfortable with a list of grievances & unfairnesses , a microphone a stage .

    Of course there is a place for that -and who can decry his succesfull exploitation of it when on the GE stump-but in an occasion like today it struck a very odd note.

  41. @TREVOR WARNE

    I presume you are joking about debating facts……..but in these days I feel I should respond as if you are not. Unless you are referring to my comment about him being able to deliver a competent budget because we have government that at the moment across the board can not be called that and even it’s own supporters would concede that they haven’t been stellar.

    As you know I do not support any of the political parties because I fear that they are not really addressing the basic issues of our society. I believe that people argue from a very partisan perspective and we form tribes to gain power more than we have policies to help people. In that sense I admire the Corbyn’s and JRM’s of this world since it is clear they have policy ideas that look to make changes and that for me is a start even if I disagree with the policies we can have a debate as to how we want to shape our society.

    The the budget shows some of this lack of really tackling the issues
    as I said in my assessment of it. For what it is worth as you should know I think everyone is tinkering around the edges they know there is a problem but do not have either wherewithal or even the imagination to solve it. We have a debt and investment problem on the one side and an asset ownership problem on the other.

    When it pays to buy a house and where you can get as much as 7% compared to 3% on a good day for working for a living something is wrong. What we tend to do is penalise wages compared to capital and allow people to make up the difference with debt which actually helps asset holder even more.. No one has an answer that redresses the situation and leaves most people in a reasonable position (i.e. a rebalancing without screwing the middle distribution). Both Corbyn and JRM positions will hurt a set of people rather badly. it’s either the wage earner or the asset holder. and normally it is the lower middle distribution that gets hit hard since they have not the money to escape the situation.

    In the end Hammond budget is as much a diversion in my mind as the Brexit. it solves very little and in the main is pretty meaningless. some of the changes are headline gathering without actually changing the basic dynamic which is causing us the problems in the first place. The housing announcements are similar to those made for many years by Osborne in the past which amounts to a hotch potch of spending which will result in less social housing for rent and thus a move to reduce cost of living for relatively poor. The reality is as I said he has delivered a budget that you and other Tories will hold up as positive, it will not unravel in 24hrs and I think as our politics stands at the moment he has addressed what he could given his own self imposed restrictions.

    You should be pleased. If I was Labour it was a meh budget there was no tactical headline which the Labour party need to explain as fraud like Osborne NLW announcement and I felt Corbyn response was as obvious to the weaknesses as Hammonds budget played to its strengths.

    In truth it was not a transformative budget but the politics of our situation says that is fine.

  42. SOMERJOHN

    Understood-but I was trying to advance the thought that in the 60s no one thought those lines would ever be needed because The Car was King.

  43. @Somerjohn We need to be alert to the present-day equivalent of failing to preserve the Beeching rail routes for alternative use when they were closed.

    Post offices?

  44. @COLIN
    @THE OTHER HOWARD
    @S THOMAS

    Ok setting aside the vociferous hatred of all thing Corbyn. I believe accept he did not respond to the Budget directly. Hammond restricted himself to a set of limited aims and I think Corbyn correctly argued that some of these aims were misplaced. One would argue that if you wanted to help more Young people for example it would be better to make their student debts more affordable than to give the a train pass. I felt the comment from The Tory MP was uncalled for he was actually addressing an issue which really does need to be treated with a level of seriousness

    As I said above Tories should be pleased at this budget since the last two or three hav unravelled within 24 hours and I don’t see this one doing so yes it has weaknesses but in terms of the limited parameters I think it was ‘good’

    I fear there is a partisanship which tends to hide away the facts

  45. Colin

    Agreed on Jezza.

    Good at electioneering as he demonstrated recently, not very good in the House as he demonstrated twice today.

  46. PTRP

    @”I believe accept he did not respond to the Budget directly.”

    Which is the view I put forward.

    As I said-I think his preferred platform is a list of unfairnesses.

    But I also think that Hammond closed off his “Borrow to Invest” attack because so much of his Budget is devoted to Investment in innovation , productivity, City Hubs etc etc.

    Hammond has thus left room for attack because his measures for those who feel the effects of belt tightening were limited.

    And the weaknesses in his Housing package have been critically examined in tv news interviews already.

    Hammond will not get off scot free , but Labour-thus far-have not been the key source of criticism.

    I agree with you, that for Con backbenchers, anything which doesn’t prompt yet another Tory crisis is good news.

  47. On EUtopia, a good friend of mine has a bull ranch just North of Marbella, so far this year he has received € 1.9 million, towards drainage, landscaping, and building a new facility for training novice toreros, he meets other breeders who take similar advantage of the CAP payments. I thought the EUphorics voted to ban subsidies for bull-fighting activities, well, they did, but it turns out they agreed that it’s unenforceable so they just carry on dishing out the money, your and my money, on cruel and barbaric practices.
    Now, I shoot and I fish, but I don’t torture and humiliate game, it is eaten, or if not, in the case of fish, returned to its habitat.
    How can the EU justify turning a blind eye to, in some estimates, over a hundred million Euros, in bullfighting subsidies ?

  48. The Other Howard,
    ” I think the OBR forecasts are as wrong as they were last time.”

    You mean…you think its going to be worse than they are predicting?

    Somerjohn,
    “I think this boils down to a value judgement as to how much we value traditional agriculture-based landscape, society and culture in rural areas.”

    I grit my teeth over this sometimes. There are other ways to subsidise farming, for example by cutting the cost of their buildings.As things stand a farmer has to finance just as expensive a mortgage as the rest of us, but why should he when one thing he has lots of is land? Planning policy is crucifying farmers.

    S Thomas,
    “.Even his most ardent supporters on this site must wonder whether the pressure of choosing what sort of coffee in the morning is getting to him ”

    You must have heard a different clip on the news then. What i heard sounded like he was really smashing into the government. Sounded like a winner.

    Seems to me the anti Corbyn propaganda has started up again.

  49. Colin, s Thomas and TOH all think Corbyn didn’t do very well.

    In other news, the Pope is revealed to be a Catholic and bears…well, you know the rest.

  50. “PRINCESS RACHEL
    Angry jezza is all over the left wing media, very well received by our lot”

    Blimey !! Bit of a shock there.

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