At the weekend we had a positive glut of national polls. In the last couple of days they’ve been joined by London and Wales polls from YouGov.

The Welsh poll for ITV Wales has Westminster voting intentions of CON 28%(-1), LAB 29%(+4), LDEM 12%(-4), BREX 15%(+1), Plaid 12%(nc). Changes are since mid-October, and show Labour retaking the lead over the Conservatives in Wales. While recent movement is in Labour’s favour, compared to the result at the 2017 general election these would be terrible figures for Labour. Compared to the shares of the vote in the 2017 general election in Wales the Conservatives are down six points, Labour are down twenty(!) points, the Liberal Democrats up seven, Plaid up two. So while the Tories are losing support, the slump in Labour support would likely result in many Labour seats falling to the Tories. As ever, Roger Awan-Scully has more in depth analysis here.

The YouGov London poll for Queen Mary University London shows similar dynamics in the capital. Current vote shares are CON 29%, LAB 39%, LDEM 19%, BREX 6%. Compared to the 2017 general election results in London that represents a drop of four points for the Conservatives, a drop of sixteen for Labour, an increase of ten for the Liberal Democrats. While the Conservatives are losing support, the large scale movement of voters from Labour to the Liberal Democrats may well win them a significant number of seats. It is a reminder that while people have been looking towards the more “leave-inclined” Labour seats in the North and Midlands for potential Tory gains, it is perfectly possible for them to win in more remain-inclined seats where they are losing support, so long as Labour are losing more support.

How it actually translates in terms of seats is difficult to know (especially in a city as politically diverse as London, where the dynamics of the race may be radically different in the inner-city seats, the leafy Lib Dem-Con marginals of South-West London and the more typical Con-Lab marginals in North London). Over the last few days we’ve also seen a drip-drip of constituency polls by Survation, primarily conducted for the Liberal Democrat party. So far they have published polls for South East Cambridgeshire (showing an 11 point Tory lead, a Con>LD swing of 11.5%), North East Somerset(a 16 point Tory lead, a Con>LD swing of 15%), Portsmouth South(a 3 point Lib Dem lead, a Lab>LD swing of 15%) and Cambridge (a 9 point Lib Dem lead, a Lab>LD swing of 16%). Obviously they all show the Lib Dems doing well, but I would urge some caution in their interpretation, as I would with any political party commissioned polls. It is impossible to know how many constituency opinion polls the Liberal Democrats have commissioned, so it’s perfectly possible that they have commissioned another ten, twenty, thirty constituency polls in seats where they weren’t doing quite so well, and choose never to publish them. We’re probably only seeing the constituency polls that the Lib Dems want us to see.

Finally, while I am not going to update with every individual national poll – the best way of looking at voting intention polls will always be to look at the broad trend – I’ll just update with those we’ve seen since my last post.

There is a new ICM poll for Reuters, the first of a regular series for the election campaign. Topline figures are CON 38%, LAB 31%, LDEM 15%, BREX 9%, GRN 3%. Fieldwork was over the weekend. It’s been almost a month since the last ICM poll (their regular voting intention polls seemed to peter out somewhat after Martin Boon left to set up Deltapoll), so changes since their last poll aren’t really relevant. This poll got some attention from the single digit Labour lead, though given the paucity of ICM polling in the last year we can’t really tell if that’s movement, or just ICM’s methodology.

Secondly there was a new YouGov poll for the Times. Topline figures were CON 38%(-1), LAB 25%(-2), LDEM 16%(nc), BREX 11%(+4), GRN 5%(+1). Fieldwork was over the weekend and changes are from last Thurs-Fri. The YouGov/Sunday Times poll at the weekend had some sharp movements: a six point increase for Labour, a six point drop for the Brexit party. Today’s poll partially reverses those changes, suggesting it was probably something of an outlier… though that means Labour are still four points up on the YouGov/Times poll last week.


529 Responses to “London, Welsh and Constituency polling”

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  1. @Sam

    “Brexit will not avoid the application of a State aid discipline. It is on the agenda as part of the EU negotiating brief for any future trade agreement with the UK. The EU is likely to apply Antidumping and Countervailing Duty duties against any trading partner granting State aid against its rules. Thus, the only way to be exempted is to sign a Free Trade Agreement that embodies EU state aid rules.

    In the event of a ‘no deal’, the fall- back position of the World Trade Organization will also require a system of effective control of State subsidies.”

    ————

    Indeed, we have discussed before the Tory plan to frustrate Labour by locking us into EU State Aid rules on Brexit, even where Tories didn’t need to.

    In the fight against poverty, no doubt you won’t like to see Corbyn’s hands tied in this way by the EU.

    Regarding WTO, we have already acknowledged they have a system of controlling subsidies. The issue is how much more lenient are they?

    I have been trying to cite some analysis on cases where the WTO took issue against R&D subsidies (but it keeps falling foul of automod).

    There have only been three cases…

  2. LDEM-Green pact – full list:

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/remain-alliance-seats-general-election-brexit-lib-dems-greens-plaid-cymru-a9188856.html

    England Summary

    Greens get 10 (the one they currently have, maybe 2 possibles and 7 pointless ones)

    LDEM get 40 (looks like all the seats they currently have and the rest are certainly within the realms of “possible”)

    I hope Brexit party take note of the ones that are CON holds/targets (which is 25+ of them!!!)

  3. I am surprised to see an alliance in Watford, where Labour ran Tory very close in 2017. Seems a waste of time.

  4. @ALEC
    @CARFREW
    @TREVOR WARNE

    As ALEC has said subsidies are allowed as long as they do not distort the market. So if you are seeding a market you an subsidise everyone in that market. So there is no limit to R&D in effect.

    The real problem as I have said is not rules but the Governments. Indeed one of the interetsing part of the RoI tax issue was not that they gave Apple tax relief but that they did not give other Companies the same relief.

    TREVOR WARNE’s view is that we can play a better game and that is where I say why? We are moaning that we cannot run as fast as Usain bolt because he cheats yet we call training drinking 8 pint in the pub. I don’t see our politicians and the entrepreneurs doing anything other than carrying on as they did before as it is much of entrepreneurship is local to as many people point out only small proportion of companies export, the issue we have is investment and linking to entrepreneurship and in my view UK is trying to leverage something tat does not help themselves.

    It was pointed out to UK spent £38B on R&D and yet VW alone spent US$15B (£11B) on R&D on it own we do not match that instead the approach for the UK is to have very short RoI and that I believe will not change we don’t have a bulk industries to do that and we don’t have the money to start them up from scratch as Dyson and his car failures show

    part of my angst about this is that rather like Johnson and his we are going to get a deal by the end of 2020 is that people keep say that these things will happen when they are pretty much impossible to do without sustaining large losses for a long period of time. We do not have the investors or the entrepreneurs to do that we do niche well but not we do Business services well but we are pretty poor at many of the thing we need to be good and I doubt we will sustain the pace in order to be good at it

  5. Sam

    Thanks for the info on NI.

  6. For a significant number of the seats covered in the ‘alliance’ the Greens didn’t stand last time anyway. Noticed Cambridge isn’t included – (hope Greens will take Lab student vote – undergrads would have gone but postgrads will still be there.

  7. Easiest place to see the LDEM-Green-PC pact is google docs sheet that OLDNAT first suggested. Still updating as I write but due to UKPR it should be complete by time folks read this.

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/106pw1Q5I0xmUmilb-M3IKe9SUfRD6QDQQUWSa_RYz8E/edit#gid=0

    PS No good bets from that list. Sharp folks at Paddy Power, Ladbrokes and co. anticipated some of them already and quickly moved the odds on the “less expected” ones (eg Romsey +SN)

    My rough guess is that it could add 10 (range 0-30) seats for LDEM (and ensure they hold all the ones they have). I assume “forced tactical voting” adds in 50% of the VI from the party that has stood down and also nibbles a bit of LAB VI (formula = MAX(LAB’17*10%,2%) and apply a “range” around that)

  8. Sorry undergrads aren’t finishing until the 19th in Cambridge.

  9. @TREVOR WARNE

    Thanks for the link on 3D printing and Brexit uncertainty affecting investment. Sadly there seems to be quite a lot of potential uncertainty, but good to see 3D printing coming along.

  10. It is interesting to note that whilst both Labour and Conservative prospective chancellors are ramping up borrowing for “public sector investment” the presentation of the policies are quite different. Javid presents his as a development of existing policy, and so owning and praising previous austerity and McDonnel presenting his as a radical change of the entire economic system.

  11. YG write-up on:

    “Which issues will decide the general election?”

    https://yougov.co.uk/topics/politics/articles-reports/2019/11/07/which-issues-will-decide-general-election

    Note they compare the “pick 3” question where as Opinium’s analysis (and YG’s recent poll) both also show the “SINGLE” issue. Link to Opinium write-up as well:

    https://www.opinium.co.uk/political-polling-25th-october-2019-2/

    “Pick 3” v “SINGLE” importance will depend on “weightings” and “sequencing” (ie do you put Brexit very much 1st in both weight and priority OR not and do you see a party that has your #1 pick and is OK on your other issues)?

    PS Certainly clear that the “economy” is not seen as important as it was (worrying IMO) but at least “immigration” has dropped as a priority issue into this GE.

  12. Rushcliffe Ruffian,
    ” his stock is strengthened for any future 2nd referendum”

    We could perfectly well still have a new year or spring election after this one. Both BxP and libs might be thinking about that.

  13. The inquiry report into the RHI scandal at Stormont was / is due to be published this month. Does anyone know if that will happen?

    Meanwhile, in Dublin the investigative journalist, Duncan Campbell will make a big splash this week.If this is true, Facebook won’t like it. Here are some of his tweets.

    “Facebook leaks reveal anti-competitive projects to shut down thousands of app developers unless they paid Facebook through in-house advertising subsidiary, methods used by Facebook to deceives users about privacy, and to monetise their data, secretly allowing favoured companies.

    The practice allowed abuses like Cambridge Analytica. Chosen companies could copy data from millions of online “friends”. And much more … ”

    https://twitter.com/dcampbell_iptv/status/1191397956672479232

  14. @ redrich

    Re Cambridge, I think Full Term ends ( as do lectures, teaching etc) on 6 December which is when most undergrads will leave rather than at the end of Term which is 19 December.

    Term and Full Term are different:

    “Full Term shall consist of three-fourths of the whole term reckoned from the first day of Full Term as hereinafter determined.” from the Ordinances of Cambridge University.

    I have no idea why!

  15. Danny

    You make a good point. Sylvia was basically UUP and her vote would go to UUP if there was a good candidate. The DUP have been working the ground hard here and there isn’t an obvious UUP candidate that I think can take them on. However its possible that one might come forward. It would be — for people in North Down who dislike the DUP — great if the DUP can be kept out.

    Colin

    Interesting to hear that Goodall is moving to Newsnight. I think he is a very good reporter – he has lots of analysis.

  16. @Carfrew – “So how many Billion can Corbyn spend on State Aid then.”

    and

    “Yes Alec, very good. State Aid is theoretically unlimited, if we ignore the restrictions on State Aid. On selectivity, on distorting markets etc. etc. ….Maybe there is someone somewhere who will fall for this…”

    I’m not quite sure what you are getting at here? You said ‘remainers’ (do you mean me?) didn’t talk about the limits of State Aid, and I pointed out that I had, er, talked about the limits of State Aid, in some detail.

    I then stated the simple fact that there are mechanisms for absolutely unlimited state support (not State Aid, because State Aid has a legal definition. What we are talking about here is state support that does not qualify as State Aid).

    I’m guessing that you didn’t realise this? We are now thankfully all aware that EU member states can spent limitless amounts of money supporting businesses in their countries, without any of this counting as State Aid, and for more targeted State Aid, we could easily double our support from the current level within the EU rules.

    We should, by now, also be able to agree that the construction of the state aid rules actually means that subsidising industry is in some ways far easier under the EU rules than under WTO, although targeted support is the area where there are more restrictions within the EU. Even here though, we have to accept that – for example – support for Airbus was allowed under EU rules, but not allowed under WTO.

    I am merely challenging a somewhat lazy reading of the regulations that says we can shovel more cash into industry outside the EU. It’s much more complex than this, and such a sentiment tends to come from people with limited understanding of state aid rules.

    Do you have a problem with this interpretation? Happy to discuss in a friendly manner if you do.

  17. @Trevor

    With “Brexit” being argued – by both pro- and anti- sides – to have major effects on “the economy” and “immigration”, perhaps the drop-off of those just reflects the subsuming of those more general concerns into the immediate “Brexit” issue?

    Conversely, the answer “Brexit” probably doesn’t just refer to whether we leave or not (and on what terms) on 1 February, but to the whole “and then we’ll Leave/Remain and everything will be great” campaign built around that by the parties.

    So I think these are potentially somewhat misleading questions – even aside from the usual issues with trying to get people to accurately tell you their motivations for action – for establishing why people will vote how they do.

    Well, natural experiment coming up: if Brexit really is the #1 motivator, then LD and Brex should do well next month. If it’s a proxy for more general “direction of the country” issues, then Con and Lab should do well. Obviously Lab already doing better with people who think it’s not the primary issue, but that’s always been true.

  18. PROFHOWARD

    @” I think he is a very good reporter –”

    Yes-I am sure you do. :-)

  19. @ Redrich

    “Noticed Cambridge isn’t included … undergrads would have gone but postgrads will still be there.”

    Undergrads won’t necessarily be gone. Full term will have ended, but many colleges allow students to stay an extra week for private study, sometimes at no additional accomodation cost, depending how generous the college is. (Or rather they charge for 10 weeks, but full term is only 8.5, so maybe that’s not so generous.)

    Having said that, I’ve advised my son to vote at home in a Lab/Con marginal rather than Cambridge where there’s no chance of a Tory getting in.

  20. Brillo:-
    So you will borrow £400 bn extra over 10 years?
    Anneliese Dodds ( Treasury Shadow minister:-
    No-we will issue Bonds.

    Brillo:-
    When you nationalise publicly listed companies will you compulsorily acquire their shares in exchange for Government Debt.?
    Anneliese Dodds:
    Using a word like “compulsory” isn’t helpful.

    Marvelous :-)

  21. @carfrew – “I have been trying to cite some analysis on cases where the WTO took issue against R&D subsidies (but it keeps falling foul of automod).

    There have only been three cases…”

    Indeed, but that is largely because R&D spending was defined as a ‘non-actionable subsidy’ under the WTO Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures (SCM Agreement). This lasted from 1995 to 2000, when it lapsed. There are expectations that more cases will be brought as R&D spending is now an actionable subsidy.

  22. So Javid was his usual wooden self.

    McDonnell-well something else entirely. I get glued to the tv watching him. The delivery is incredible. Slow talking-bent head-the occasional headshake-a sniff or two-Look I have to tell you these truths whether you like it or not. I know it sounds scary -and it i going to hurt, but it has to be done.

    An amalgam of Undertaker and Methodist Preacher.

    He handles the Press with consummate ease & self confidence.

    Streets ahead of Corbyn and Johnson.

    A serious political opponent.

    Very very scary-like watching Psycho.

  23. I expect Woodcock will follow Austin at a time when a momentum break is required.

    Not Fitzpatrick, Mann or even Hoey I think, although they will either be very quiet (hard for Mann) or say voting Labour with heavy heart etc etc.

  24. Colin

    I don’t remember there being any funerals in Psycho. Who played the undertaker, preacher?

  25. Economist poll in Gedling has Labour still ahead.

    Lab 42 (-10)
    Con 37 (-6)
    Not sure of others

    https://www.economist.com/britain/2019/11/06/the-conservatives-are-struggling-to-win-a-crucial-midlands-marginal

  26. @PTRP

    “As ALEC has said subsidies are allowed as long as they do not distort the market. So if you are seeding a market you an subsidise everyone in that market. So there is no limit to R&D in effect.”

    ———

    Yes, it’s theoretically unlimited, as long as we ignore the limits.

    As long as we don’t distort the market etc., but as I indicated in an earlier post there may be many cases in which it might be desirable to distort the market.

    And as for leaving it to business, there are many casss when business is unlikely to do it, either because too expensive, or can’t marshall enough resources, e.g. the NASA’s space programme, or it’s against their business interests, e,g. Funding cures vs treamebts for symptoms, or the time frame is too long or it’s too risky etc. etc., or to speed things up (e.g. action on climate change)

  27. @Alec

    ”Indeed, but that is largely because R&D spending was defined as a ‘non-actionable subsidy’ under the WTO Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures (SCM Agreement). This lasted from 1995 to 2000, when it lapsed. There are expectations that more cases will be brought as R&D spending is now an actionable subsidy.”

    ———

    How many have there been in the couple decades since 2000 then, excluding those I mentioned?

  28. Jim Jam – well predicted . He just has.

  29. @Alec

    “I’m not quite sure what you are getting at here? You said ‘remainers’ (do you mean me?) didn’t talk about the limits of State Aid, and I pointed out that I had, er, talked about the limits of State Aid, in some detail.

    I then stated the simple fact that there are mechanisms for absolutely unlimited state support (not State Aid, because State Aid has a legal definition. What we are talking about here is state support that does not qualify as State Aid).

    I’m guessing that you didn’t realise this? We are now thankfully all aware that EU member states can spent limitless amounts of money supporting businesses in their countries, without any of this counting as State Aid, and for more targeted State Aid, we could easily double our support from the current level within the EU rules.“

    ———-

    Oh, no one is disputing you said stuff about State Aid, that’s another misrepreentation, and you just repeated it, but amazingly it all lacks the essential quality of establishing where the limits are in practice (as opposed to the theoretical case of there being no limits. !!!)

    Like you mentioned selectivity criteria might restrict investment in batteries – before moving swiftly on – but the crucial thing is just how many and which useful things might be ruled out by that criterion?

  30. “Slightly weird (and foolish?) that Greens have chosen LDEM over LAB for Bristol West. In general Greens would have a lot more opportunity if they agreed a pact with LAB MPs than LDEM HQ.”

    Well lab have been refusing talks about any pacts as has been stated. Also I can’t find it right now but there was some polling recently that showed the relative attractiveness of alternative parties for voters and there is considerable overlap between greens and lib dems.

    The small number of purists in each party don’t tend to be too keen on that but that’s pretty irrelevant in the face of what actual voters will do.

    Given the local dynamics and demographics as well, I cannot see this harming the green vote much and frees up number of LD votes that are more likely to shift to grn than to lab.

    Also as I’ve noted on here before, the LAB current majority is rather misleading. It was far smaller in 2015 where the greens ran her pretty close. Add in labour’s apparent continuing efforts locally to try to make themselves unpopular, including parts of this constituency over the last week, and while I’m not a betting man, 4:1 seems fairly decent to me. Not sure what it was before but that would have been even better.

  31. This ? BTW, I just tweeted this.. it is quite true.

    ?Don’t believe consitiuency polling. There was a @Yougov poll , I was asked about Bristol West voting intention, recently saying this was my seat and who was I going to vote for. …. it isn’t and I live 20 miles away from Bristol, so really rubbish polling! ?

  32. Prof – Austin has some credibility Woodcock, who left the party so that they could not investigate inappropriate behaviour, has very little; although I won’t complain that the media will afford him some oxygen as that is their job.

  33. “so really rubbish polling! ?”

    Did they ask for your postcode/address in the poll?

    If not they’re likely relying on the last information you gave them to locate your constituency so if you gave them a false address then that’s why.

    As for constituency polling, a YG employee (possibly AW), said they didn’t do them. I have heard of other people getting constituency specific polls from YG though so could well be part of their efforts to make the national polls more accurate by showing the voter the ballot list for the constituency they’re actually voting in (assuming they’ve given the correct address). And though AW has been vague about MRP this year, I’d suspect it is happening and the rolling data collection from it is already happening.

  34. I am on their database , they already have the postcode They know, I have a BS postcode but it is not in Bristol, and not in Bristol West.
    Take it all with a pinch of salt.
    Hasn’t happened before….

  35. I haven’t lied and I have not moved since I was on Yougov register. I have been here 12 years. This specifically asked a question about Bristol West and named candidates saying it was my constituency.
    I kid you not.
    Dodgy.

  36. @Jim Jam

    “I expect Woodcock will follow Austin at a time when a momentum break is required”

    He has just done exactly that!

    Obviously times by both to upstage Labour’s flagship economic announcement. It’s weird in some ways though as both had been tarred by the Labour hierarchy with being Tories anyway. Now they are simply proving it.

    It’s clearly different with Watson and those that joined the LDs or CHUK.

  37. “Undergrads won’t necessarily be gone. Full term will have ended, but many colleges allow students to stay an extra week for private study, sometimes at no additional accomodation cost, depending how generous the college is. (Or rather they charge for 10 weeks, but full term is only 8.5, so maybe that’s not so generous.)
    Having said that, I’ve advised my son to vote at home in a Lab/Con marginal rather than Cambridge where there’s no chance of a Tory getting in.”

    ————

    Plus some might stay up for the Varsity match, though I hesitate to mention Rugby Union…

  38. Anneliese Dodds is a very good and capable MP – one to watch.

  39. Prof – we agree again, one of my favourite front benchers.

  40. It seems Woodcock & Austin plan on going out of their way during this election to make a nuisance of themselves. Sad.

  41. @TRIGGUY

    Some may have left by the 12th – but from memory a lot of undergrads hang around that time of year – xmas parties etc. I’m my day those that were in college didn’t have to vacate their rooms (not sure if that is still true). Most postgrads are likely to still be around.

  42. John, many more ex Tory MPs saying the current Conservative Party is not the one they joined, I think outside Barrow and a bit of the West Mids there will be little cut through.

  43. I have been analysing the nine elections since 1983 with regards to the winning party’s poll lead taking five polls at 6, 4 and 2 weeks out.

    6 weeks out +11
    4 weeks out +10
    2 weeks out +8
    Campaign average +10
    Result +8

    Average Majority 71 seats

    Tories are currently at +12, six weeks out, and have been at similar levels both at the start of September and October.

  44. @ JAMESB – Indirect help for LAB via LDEM standing down in response to your:

    “lab have been refusing talks about any pacts as has been stated”

    Now I’ll have to ask JIM JAM or LAB VI for input on the 10 seats where LDEM are standing down but I’ll take a stab at Exeter and LDEM standing down in Ben Bradshaw keep a seat where LDEM might have split the vote and possibly allowed CON to slip through on the “inside right”.

    @ JJ – Can you input on the seats where LDEM have stood down. I’ll start with some guesses.

    Brighton Pavillion – safe Green so no need for pacts anyway
    Isle of Wight – possible win for Green (LAB not really in contention)
    Bristol West – Thangam Debbonaire secured a 25% “tactical vote” boost in GE’17 and she’s standing again (safe LAB?)

    The other 7 – in each case do you know if the MP is Arch-Remain AND “moderate” (ie the kind of candidate the LDEM might “want” to win but can’t be seen to do direct pacts with LAB?)

    – Bury St. Edmunds (a seat LDEM might have done OK in but probably could never win, pretty safe CON)
    – Cannock Chase (pretty safe CON)
    – Dulwich and West Norwood (pretty safe LAB anyway)
    – Exeter (see above reply to JAMES – helps Bradshaw for sure)
    – Forest of Dean (pretty safe CON)
    – Stroud (as per Exeter, indirectly helps LAB?)

    and one of them was Wales:

    – Vale of Glamorgan (PC (big help) and LDEM (not so much) standing down will give LAB a better chance in that one)

    So IMO the LDEM-Green pact might indirectly help LAB in 2-3 seats?

    Also do you have any inside info on any LAB-Green pacts? There were a few in GE’17 and the google docs sheet is showing:

    – Scarborough & Whitby
    – Hasting and Rye
    – Calder Valley

    I would to see more, although IMO LAB have historically benefitted from “paper pacts” and “lent” Green votes so is there a general risk to LAB that Greens see LDEM as more their cup of tea?

  45. Is it an indicator of CBI concern on Brexit or is there some other motive that the organisation has expressed a cautious welcome to both Labour and Conservative plans instead of it usual support for the Conservatives

    Rain Newton-Smith, CBI Chief Economist said about Labours plans
    “Labour’s ambitions to eradicate regional economic inequalities and upgrading our networks to decarbonise are shared by business.”

  46. On a difficult day for Labour, the Tory election machine just keeps on giving. This time it’s candidate Nick Conrad’s past statements that help to reinforce an image of the Tory party as old fashioned, out of touch, and male dominated. Not good.

    On the spending plans, while I remain nervous of the idea that we need worry less about debt (I think that was the line we should have taken in 2010, when we had ten years of cheap debt ahead of us – now, we can’t be sure that will be repeated) I think Labour’s move towards ‘public sector net worth’, rather than debt, is interesting.

    This could just be code for more PFI style smoke and mirrors, or it could be a move towards a much more informed approach to national finances. If you owe £100,000 of cash on an asset that is worth £200,000 and is earning at 7% of it capital value, why should you worry too much about your cash debt in isolation?

    The devil, as ever, is in the detail, but in macroeconomic circles this debate has been going on for some time, and if this represents a movement towards more grown up economic debate, it will be helpful.

    However, the scale of Labour plans makes me nervous, and the construction of the Tory plans seems mired in the past.

  47. Doing my regular scan of the BBC/Mail and Guardian sites (reportedly the three most visited news sites) – doesn’t look as bad for Lab as yesterday did for the Tories, however from the pov of the average voter its probably a no score draw.

  48. @Redrich

    Doing my regular scan of the BBC/Mail and Guardian sites (reportedly the three most visited news sites)

    Mail was entertaining late last night, numerous stories about Watson, none I could see about Tory woes. Sure they were there but buried.

    I suspect the printed version of the Mail, although nominally less widely read, is more important than the online version as an opinion former.

  49. ONat @ 11.42 pm

    “”After all these years in the NE, and you still don’t understand the rivalry between the two cities!””

    No, ON, that`s a step too far!!

    I know fine well how some in Aberdeen talk down the qualities of Dundee, but others e.g. our newspaper journalist, have used the “success” of Dundee`s enterprising council as ammunition to criticise our own “incompetent” and stick-in-the-mud councillors.

    After reading his praise for Dundee and Edinburgh for years, it is a real turn-up that in three articles in the last fortnight he has been praising our Labour-led administration.

    As for Aberdeen South, I reckon the Tories knew their MP, Ross Thomson, was going to resign. So they had got the reselection process underway. Tories who are happy to run the city with Labour would not have been pleased with RT`s far-Right outlook and his support for Johnson, but refrained from public criticism.

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