Here are the mid-week polls so far:

Kantar – CON 45%(+8), LAB 27%(nc), LDEM 16%(-1), BREX 2%(-7)
YouGov/Times/Sky – CON 42%(-3), LAB 30%(+2), LDEM 15%(nc), BREX 4%(nc)
ICM/Reuters – CON 42%(+3), LAB 32%(+1), LDEM 13%(-2), BREX 5%(-3)
Survation/GMB – CON 42%, LAB 28%, LDEM 13%, BREX 5%

A few things to note. Kantar and ICM have now removed the Brexit party as an option in the seats where they are not standing, which will have contributed to the increase in Conservative support and decrease in Brexit party support (YouGov had already introduced this change last week).

The Survation poll is the first telephone poll that they’ve conducted in this election campaign (all their other recent polls have been conducted online), hence they’ve recommended against drawing direct comparisons with their previous poll. The fourteen point Tory lead in this poll is substantially larger than in Survation’s previous poll, which had a lead of only six points, but it’s impossible to tell whether that’s down to an increase in Conservative support or the different methodology. At the last election their two approaches produced similar results, with their final poll being conducted by phone.

Finally, Kantar’s polling has received some criticism on social media for their approach to turnout weighting, with “re-weighted” versions of their figures doing the rounds. The details of this criticism are wrong on almost every single measure. It’s very easy for people to retweet figures claiming they show the turnout figures from Kantar, but it takes rather longer to explain why the sums are wrong Matt Singh did a thread on it here, and RSS Statistical Ambassador, Anthony Masters, has done a lengthier post on it here.

In short, the claims confuse normal demographic weights (the ones Kantar use to ensure the proportion of young and old people in the samples matches the figures the ONS publish for the British population as a whole) with their turnout model. Secondly, they compare youth turnout to early estimates straight after the 2017 election, when there have been subsequent measures from the British Election Study that were actually checked against the marked electoral register, so are almost certainly more accurate. Compared to those figures, Kantar’s turnout levels look far more sensible. The figures do imply a small increase in turnout among older voters, a small drop amongst younger votes, but nowhere near the level that has been bandied about on social media.

However, if we leave aside the specific criticisms, it is true to say that turnout has different impacts on different pollsters. In the 2017 election many pollsters adopted elaborate turnout models based on demographic factors. These models largely backfired, so pollsters dropped them. Most polling companies are now using much simpler turnout models, that have much less of an impact, and which are based primarily on how likely respondents to the poll say they will vote.

Kantar is the exception – in 2017 they used a model that predicted people’s likelihood to vote based on both how likely they said they were to vote, but also their past voting and how old they are. Unlike many other companies this worked well for them and they were one of the more accurate polling companies, so they kept it. That does mean that Kantar now have a turnout model that makes more difference than most.

Looking at the polls at the top of this post, factoring in turnout made no difference to the lead in YouGov’s poll (it was a 12 point Tory lead before turnout weighting, a 12 point Tory lead afterwards). The same is true of Survation – their poll would have had a 14 point lead before turnout was factored in, and a 14 point lead afterwards. In ICM’s poll, without turnout the lead would have been 7 points, with turnout it grows to 10 points. With Kantar’s latest poll, the tables suggest that the turnout weighting increased the Tory lead from 10 points to 18 points.

Hence, while the specific claims about Kantar are nonsense, it is true to say their turnout model has more impact than that of some other companies. That does not, of course, mean it is wrong (turnout is obviously a significant factor in elections). However, before going off on one about how important turnout weighting is to the current polls, it’s rather important to note that for many companies it is contributing little or nothing to the size of the Tory lead.


1,091 Responses to “Latest voting intention and the impact of turnout”

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  1. Great Grimsby

    Firstly note AW’s previous comments on constituency polls. However, this one was funded by Economist who if anything are Remain bias and have no reason to “hide” polls they don’t like.

    Anyway, the seat is interesting for a number of reasons:

    1/ Onn (re-adopted by LAB) is a LAB-Leave “rebel” (she backed Boris’s deal and voted against a 2nd ref)

    2/ LDEM did used to have a bit of presence there (22.4% in 2010)

    3/ In GE’15 (change v GE’10) the result was:

    LAB 39.8 (+7.1)
    CON 26.3 (?4.2)
    UKIP 25.0 (+18.8)
    LDEM 5.0 (?17.4)

    Now, I’m pretty sure LDEM didn’t move to UKIP so above masks several different “flows”. My guess being roughly

    LDEM’s -17.4% went mostly to LAB (maybe a bit to CON)
    UKIP took votes from LAB and CON (but by how much??)

    4/ So what happens in this GE? Do

    a/ Remainers back a LAB MP who backed Boris’s deal and doesn’t want a 2nd ref, or do they move to LDEM?
    b/ Leavers back Onn or move to a party that has “Leave” as it’s party’s policy?
    c/ If b/ then do they vote CON or BXP

    5/ In summary this is a tough seat to predict. My model (and EC, UKElect, Gina MRP and the constituency poll) all see CON winning (but we vary quite a bit on by how much). B4B’s MRP do see LAB keeping the seat – just. B4B MRP (change v GE’17)

    LAB: 30.3 (-19.1)
    CON 29.6 (-12.6)
    BXP 24.5 (+24.5)
    LDEM 9.7 (+7.0)
    Green 3.8 (+3.8)

    So does Onn keep her seat? What does that mean for “Remain Alliance” if MPs like her hold the balance of whether or not we have a 2nd ref?? How does she campaign in her home seat (back LAB manifesto or disown it)??? If she makes a promise to her constituents that she won’t vote for a 2nd ref does that let LDEM grab the Remain vote and is that more/less offset by her keeping some Leave vote????

    We’ll find out on 13Dec!

    PS If anyone knows how LAB and LDEM are campaigning in that seat then please post the info.

    [1] Link to article:
    https://www.economist.com/britain/2019/11/21/labour-is-losing-the-battle-for-grimsby?fsrc=scn/tw/te/bl/ed/labourislosingthebattleforgrimsbyswingseats

  2. @CB11

    Lily Allen in tears about Labour’s manifesto, but not for the reasons that you might expect a a very wealthy young lady to be

    Daily Li”ar doing Labour a favour – manifesto is now top story online on BBC, Guardian and Mailonline – so much for it being knocked to third place

  3. @MOG/MILLIE

    As a member of the “Remainer middle classes” I can only tell you I’m delighted with the manifesto.

    Me too. Mind you, I’m also in the WASPI cohort (warm words that something might be done) and a public sector worker (5% pay rise), with a daughter hoping to go to university in 2021, so have to declare an interest!

    It is a truly transformational manifesto and as Crossbat11 says, what the country desperately needs after nearly a decade of Tory austerity.

  4. 2022 not 2021…I hate to be inaccurate.

  5. Additional info for Great Grimsby:

    – 6th highest Leave % at 70.2% (Hanretty’s numbers)
    – Age profile is fairly close to national average (ever so slightly net “young”, not quite a “uni town” but they do have https://grimsby.ac.uk/)
    – obviously “fish” seat and TBC if CON manifesto notices how many other “fish” seats they want to hold/gain

    EC’s seat ‘profile’ shows it is White Working Class (WWC)

    https://www.electoralcalculus.co.uk/fcgi-bin/seatdetails.py?seat=Great+Grimsby

    So as per my original reply to @ BANTAMS – if CON can’t win this seat then they (probably) ain’t gonna win the GE.

  6. I’m not a Labour supporter at this election, but I will be surprised if their manifesto does not give them a good boost in the polls. Genuinely radical and actually quite impressive.

  7. “We will only strike a trade deal that are in Britain’s best interests. Otherwise we will walk away.”

    Liz Truss tweet.

    Like everyone, particularly the USA, won’t know how weak the UK negotiating position will be after Brexit.

  8. Well, this does put a bit of energy back into an old and ageing campaigner’s legs as we go into the last 3 weeks of this election. The manifesto, and I have read it all now (it’s been sent to Labour members) is inspirational and transformational. This wizened and generally dispirited old veteran has got something to hang on to here in the face of the toxicity and endless drone of Brexit.

    That drone I think will win the day for Johnson on December 12th. He’s playing the one tune that seems to cut through the general disillusionment. But as the home straight comes into view, the rank outsiders, marching a steep hill, might just have a spring in their step now.

    What have we got to lose, really? Go down fighting the good fight that’s all. You can ask no more

    And this is a good and worthwhile fight now thanks to today.

  9. ““We will only strike a trade deal that are in Britain’s best interests. Otherwise we will walk away.”

    Liz Truss tweet.

    Where to?

  10. Great Grimsby was Tony Crosland’s seat.

  11. CROSSBAT11

    Do post with more impressions when you get the chance! I enjoy reading your posts a lot.

  12. @Alec

    Thx for the chuckles. Also an interesting vid showing Farage’s thoughts on healthcare, which corresponds with how many on the right of UK politics see things (they rarely add that they pay for private healthcare already, through choice).

  13. As well as Lily Allen then I hear Jon Lansman has stated he’ll be voting LAB as well. Len McCluskey is still torn between LAB and BXP ;)

    Anyway re: trade deals then we have a “woeful and widening” trade deficit in goods so where do we “walk” to if EU, US, etc offer us cr4p deals – HOME !!

    Home is where the heart is ;)

    Simples ;)

  14. I was going to compose a reply about why the Lab manifesto is an idealistic Fabian pipe-dream. But one of the comments under the article from the FT sums it up succinctly:

    ‘Some really excellent ideas if you look at the detail. Immediate raising of the minimum wage from 8.61 to £10 per hour for all those over 16. That should help the High Street no end. Free bus passes for under 25s, writing off student loans. There is a cornucopia of ideas. And that is before the expropriation of 10% of shares, taxing capital gains as income, the oil industry levy and nationalisation at an undervalue. All first class ways to build a modern, dynamic economy which should soon be able to rival Cuba or Venezuela, and if all goes according to plan, possibly manage similar levels to North Korea. As the IFS says, in regard to nationalisation, what is wrong with simply altering the terms under which regulators work. The answer is of course extending government control and sheer envy of those who work hard and achieve something..’

  15. I agree the Labour aspirations are transformational but if it were all so easy, why haven’t others done it all already. And I do have major concerns about the cost. Will the ‘only the top 5% paying a little bit more’ be like the invasion of Afghanistan, which wasn’t going to cost any lives. And I still don’t see any sense in renationalising rail except to somehow cede power to Labour’s paymasters, who will then torture the public and their government, like they used to do.

  16. GARJ

    @”. It adds up to a pretty aggressive attack on the private sector,”

    Yep.

    Old Corby waded into his theme with relish-the small gang of “billionaires”, bankers & “establishment” figures who are keeping “The Many” in poverty & destitution.

    It is a very severe analysis of the country-class ridden -them & us.

    It certainly appealed to the whoopers and shouters in Brum.

  17. I think the LibDem policy change failed to get any traction and was seen as a gimmick in part of course as they were never getting a majority but also as they had been too successful in arguing previously that Ref2 = Remain anyway*.

    The media fully bought this. For two years it called Ref2 parities Remain parties. For two years the LibDems encouraged this.

    Even now they form a “Remain alliance” with Ref2 parties.

    You can’t argue on the one hand you have a radical new policy and on the other your old policy was the same anyway.

    * there is no better illustration that holding a referendum and campaigning to remain is NOT the same as remaining than to point out the former was DCs position and the consequence of the position is that we will probably leave.

  18. TW

    @”they can use QE for nationalisation – ie a forest of MMT”

    I won’t be the only one looking out for MMT.

    Any sign of that and the markets will walk away from sterling I reckon.

  19. @Redrich

    “Great Grimsby was Tony Crosland’s seat.”

    Tony might have liked today’s Labour manifesto. His book the “Future of Socialism” is admired by John McDonnell apparently.

    @ProfHoward.

    “Do post with more impressions when you get the chance! I enjoy reading your posts a lot.”

    I will.

    No glad morning on December 13th, I fear, but on we go.

    Keep you posted.

  20. IFS more detailed response:

    https://www.ifs.org.uk/election/2019/article/labour-manifesto-an-initial-reaction-from-ifs-researchers

    NB As per anyone else who might have saved via ISAs or similar to pay for their kids uni fees then LAB’s policy on scrapping those will be silver lining if you just so happen to have kids coming of age at the right time. So if I was self!sh and didn’t give a sh!t about this country’s long-term future then I should vote LAB.

  21. UKplc-prepare to be whacked-hard. Your German,& French competitors will be smiling.

    https://www.ifs.org.uk/election/2019/article/labour-manifesto-an-initial-reaction-from-ifs-researchers

  22. The 1% are fighting back hard, I see.

    “We shall fight them in the boardrooms, we shall fight them on the stock exchange floors, we will fight them on the fake websites, we will fight them in the Surrey ghetto lands………….

    We will never surrender!

    :-)}

  23. @TW

    ” So if I was self!sh and didn’t give a sh!t about this country’s long-term future then I should vote LAB.”

    Maybe such people ‘should’, but that assumes they believe that all these promises are feasible as well as desirable, and won’t lead to consequences that would be undesirable for you thus balancing out (or worse) the benefit you get.

    You sound horribly like you’re buying Lab’s manifesto just the way they want everyone to – i.e. whether they like the policy, regardless of:

    a) Whether it’s feasible

    b) Whether it will lead to other, unstated and undesirable, consequences misery for the economy and our pockets

  24. Blimey-I hadn’t spotted their pledge to scrap the rise in Pension Age.

    IFS say thats 24bn pa by 2050s-on top of £38 billion per year, increase in spending on state pensions projected even with the planned increase in the SPA to 69.

    Jeez !

  25. You have to wonder what sort of rapid flight of capital would take place in the country if Corbyn & McDonnell actually won on December 12th – Brexit would definitely suddenly appear a complete picnic by comparison, whether it went ahead or not.

    And the long-term damage of London losing its status as leading financial centre (finance is also one of the sectors that raises most tax to pay for our public services that Corbyn is claiming to vaunt so much in his mask covering his ‘politics of envy’).

  26. New slogan for Labour just been launched to mark the success of the manifesto launch, and articulate Labour’s vision of a more equal society for everyone.

    It is just one new word added, so nice and simple:

    ‘Poverty for the many, not the few’

  27. The biggest lie is saying only the top 5% will have to pay more tax – that’s PERSONAL taxes.

    Corporation taxes being increased so businesses pay 37% more than currently (from 19% to 26%), would affect SMEs – and consequently their employees of course if they’re not a one-man band – everywhere round the UK.

    And would probably reverse the increased tax take from corporation tax that has occurred the last few years as the rate has been reduced – this is the kind of economics that John McDonnell probably does understand but won’t admit, or else is a lot more incompetent for the role than he makes out.

    People need to understand this whole manifesto is based on fantasy economics (fantonomics?) as a hail Mary move borne of having nothing to lose being behind in the polls, and treat it with the danger signs it deserves.

  28. BT

    I mused a while ago wondering what the appeal of Corbyn’s “many” is to the huge swathe of ordinary folk in the middle.

    Ed Milliband’s “squeezed middle” was a different concept entirely , and seemed to recognise the existence of an aspirational demographic which isn’t filthy rich..
    He did get into problems with defining it’s pay range, but the people EM was concerned about now find themselves in Corbyn’s vast sweep of UK citizenry for whom there is no hope at all save by the will of McDonnell’s State .

  29. And the biggest white lie is saying state spending will only increase by ‘only’ £80bn per year.

    I say ‘white lie’ as it’s technically correct based on Labour’s calculations anyway.

    Whilst it’s a vast increase that necessitates huge increases in taxes, it’s relatively small compared to the amount Labour would BORROW – I haven’t got a handle on the precise amount here but seems like it would be more like £1trillion – very scary stuff and who would lend to us at reasonable rates based on these kind of plans for the economy anyway?

  30. Good evening from a wet Bournemouth East after a quick, short walk with our dog on he beach.

    Consensus politics is definitely dead now, I think.

    Is Corbyn’s team preparing for defeat and then get ready to blame the national and international establishment for the result and then campaign for vindication in 2020 GE?

  31. @Sam:

    On Britain’s weak position in trade negotiations with the US, it is a wonder that any small jurisdiction does trade deals.

    The UK’s problem with Brexit is that going from Single/Market/Customs Union down to WTO terms represents great disruption to trade. No deal is disruptive. So walking away is difficult. The EU’s constant “clock is ticking” has been a use of that disruption, which many in the UK view as being so bad that it is to be avoided at all costs

    But if WTO terms is the base line, there is nowhere to go downwards.

    However big you are, you have to offer something that is worth the other guy agreeing to. Hence Singapore and New Zealand can be small and enter into equitable agreements.

    The USA can say they won’t do a deal unless we agree their curious idea about boards to set “fair” pharmaceutical prices to compensate for research costs. We can say, “No” or say, “But how do you make that worth our while?”

    Can the USA say, “The clock is ticking?” No, not really.

    We are far more vulnerable if the EU can do deals on our behalf. If the EU could find a way of offering the NHS without downside to itself, why would it not? Kindness? A belief that it should only deal with the UK in a fair and equitable way?

  32. Those who wish to examine the spending plans in the parties manifestos might pay attention to this.

    “In a BBC lecture in 1942, thinking of postwar reconstruction, Keynes ridiculed the assumption that life must be miserly or poor, and outlined a vision of public affluence in shared civic space. In a prophetic reproof to the latter half of the 20th century, he said:

    Assuredly we can afford this and much more. Anything we can actually do we can afford. Once done, it is there. Nothing can take it from us. We are immeasurably richer than our predecessors. Is it not evident that some sophistry, some fallacy, governs our collective action if we are forced to be so much meaner than they in the embellishments of life?”

    https://www.lrb.co.uk/blog/2019/november/we-can-afford-this

  33. Sorry I’ve had the bit between my teeth so much everyone, you’ll be glad to know I’m departing for a while now.

    I’m just genuinely quite upset people – including the needy people Corbyn claims to be helping – will fall for this.

    Used car salesman isn’t a strong enough metaphor for this con trick but there’s a danger that a ‘fed up’ country has the appetite to lap it up forgetting that:

    ‘If it sounds too good to be true, then it usually is.’

  34. @ COLIN – LAB’s pension age policy was copied over from GE’17 manifesto. Bad idea then, still is now.

    There was talk that they’d help the W4SPIs out (4= For, not Against) but similar to graduate debt that is a “we’ll see” so you’d be a f00l to think they’ll actually deliver on a “maybe” and have that as a deciding factor in your vote. Might cost them a few votes, notably in seats where it might matter, but clearly they’ll still keep the LAB tribal loyalist vote.

    We do face an ageing population, rising healthcare costs, etc which are serious issues we need to tackle but after the “triple punch to pensioners” in CON’17 manifesto then it would be political suic!de for LAB or CON to do anything about the “ageing population” issue as most of the marginal seats are “grey-ish” seats.

    The Greens manifesto[1] did state they’d drop upper rate tax relief on pension contributions. That’s a modest slap to “greying” voters (such as myself) and although it would be “bad” for me then I accept it is a good idea (£6bn/year saving).

    The other one that someone really needs to do is scrap the triple-lock on pensions. That is £6bn/year ish saving in the short-term (end of next parliament) but rises dramatically the further out you go.

    I’d even suggest NI on pension incomes, especially if/when NI thresholds move up. I haven’t seen anyone do the numbers but my rough guess is £10bn+/year (so might want to scale it in and/or offset it elsewhere somehow)

    Of course no one is going to “punch” the grey vote in a manifesto and while the threat of a Far-Left PM and CoE exist then CON can’t tackle the ageing population time bomb. So sadly that will be one for the future generation to sort out.

    [1] I also liked their idea of cutting VAT on UK “tourism” business (ie help the “staycation” industry – reduce flights, help the current account and probably have a multiplier effect that would make it largely self-funding anyway).

    There was a rumour they’d hike VAT on most goods by 3% but they pulled that. As part of a post-Brexit reform of VAT then I’d pop 1% on VAT for most goods and introduce a Border Adjustment Tax to ensure UK business could compete on a Level-GREEN-Playing Field with foreign “pollution havens”. Hopefully if/when we leave EU some Green and LoC folks will start putting in some good post-Brexit ideas.

    Within the LAB manifesto then a couple of tiny policies where a “-lite” copy would be good idea but we’re talking £1-2bn here or there so not a big deal.

  35. It’s a sad day when the best I can hope for is a hung parliament with Johnson as PM.

    Why? BREXIT is economically silly but the Labour plans are economically ludicrous. The Tory party has lost its crown of the reliable economic party but it looks (comparatively) sane compared with the alternative.

    I will not vote for either of these parties.

  36. Good to see CCHQ taking over the thread.

  37. The Trevors,
    “So we have clear evidence from the Real World that lowering taxes increases your GDP growth.”

    No, we dont. What we have evidence of is that a small country can buck the general trend that if you cut tax percentage then you cut yield – by attracting new industry into it from higher taxation countries.

    However this can only work if the tax cutter is in a minority of countries, and preferably a deep minority. If everyone cuts tax rates the same, then all that happens is that everyone gets less income.

    Its a scam, Trevors.

    Profhoward, crossbat,
    “Do post with more impressions when you get the chance! I enjoy reading your posts a lot.”

    So do I. Both of you.

    BT says,
    ” You have to wonder what sort of rapid flight of capital would take place in the country if Corbyn & McDonnell actually won on December 12th”

    Well none at all. Because if they win the election, then probably the referendum result will be remain, and that will more than compensate for any negative reaction to their plans. It is an irony that cancelling brexit is a pot of gold waiting for anyone who can claim it.

  38. I see the ‘I’m all right jack’s are out in force, poo-poohing the Labour manifesto. Who’s going to get the award for right wing predictable bore of the year award for using the phrase ‘longest suicide note in history’?

  39. DOUG LOWE.
    That longest suicide note in history phrase, as you know came from very faithful Labour people who had served the party for more than four decades, which the main author of the manifesto had been in every cabinet since 1964 and spent his time attacking his own government’s record.
    The 1983 defeat opened the way to a Tory landslide.

  40. @ BT SAYS – It’s like buying someone a puppy for Xmas and then feeding it chocolate bon bons while you p!ss it up for a few days on the extra tenner in your Xmas bonus payslip. Sensible folk would know.

    Corbyn and McDonnell are for 5yrs not just Xmas :(

    When the puppy needs walking, is sh!tting on the carpet and chewing the sofa then the hangover and regret kicks in. After 5yrs of a puppy sh!ttng on the carpet its going take a long time to undo that damage[1] As for the sofa – we’ll that will be beyond repair by then.

    Food and vet bills bl00dy pricey as well once the puppy grows up and I guess the 32hr week is “on hold” so whose gonna walk the dog (do we have to get someone in to manage that) :( :(

    [1] It took a long time to clean up the last LAB govts mess and now that we have then.. well please, no, not again. Blair and Brown were two little Bichon Frises compared to a full politburo of Ovcharkas

  41. @CHRISLANE1945

    It was Gerald Kaufman who originally made the comment.

  42. PS I forgot to start that reply by saying I’m not self!sh and that I do give a sh!t about my country’s long-term future. Sadly I’m very worried not enough other people do. The worst ones are the ones who might want to Remain in EU (each to their own) but will vote LAB thinking LDEM MPs will stop Corbyn+McDonnell unleashing the total bonkers stuff (well what if too many people make that mistake and LAB+SNP is enough to unleash the full manifesto)

  43. @ JOSEPH1832 – Indeed, if we did stay in the EU (or worse CU with no say) then what is to stop Brussels doing a BAD deal with Trump?

    German Cars for UK NHS?

    The REMTARDS would probably try to frame that as a huge Remain bonus to UK, making our NHS more competitive, etc.

    I’m sure they’d say it’s fine for Brussels to sell the NHS and hell why not say London can’t clear Euros anymore – like any global bank would be daft enough to stay in UK if Marx Bros came into power. No need to “go after the banks” they’ll be GONE before you get them :(

  44. ” BREXIT is economically silly but the Labour plans are economically ludicrous.”

    Brexit is the key economic issue to be settled at this election. There is consensus among reputable economists that the Conservative proposals for Brexit are more economically damaging than those of Labour (either remain or a close brexit) or Lib Dems. That is both in the short run and long run.

    As to whether Labour plans aside from brexit are economically damaging relative to the Conservatives: you can see from the various IFS documents that Labour plans imply a somewhat higher share of government spending in GDP than the Conservative ones. But the difference isn’t huge, and there isn’t consensus between economists on which position is better. A comparison of the Scandinavian/French and the American economic systems shows quite a range is possible though one entails a less unequal society than the other.

  45. Thank you Danny for the compliment. I enjoy reading yours too.

  46. I wonder if the clever folk on here can calculate the likely impact to the economy if tax avoidance was eliminated overnight.

    I do wonder sometimes how it is the hard working that can afford to avoid tax so much they employ another, but those working longer hours, for less take home, have to suck it up when Boris tells them the more well off are taxed too highly.

  47. @Garj Thanks for your reply to my post. You obviously know what you are talking about. As I understand it, both Labour and Conservatives want to build more houses, I hope whoever holds the reins of power will take account of such practical wisdom,.

    @Trevor – Apologies for thinking you were a fan of Johnson’s. You and my neighbour are at one in your dislikes if not in your preferences.

    I take your point about sudden changes – why do people have these cliff edges with income tax, inheritance tax, stamp tax etc?. They concentrate the mind on how to get round them. Before computers I can see the need to keep things simple but now? Anyway I agree this is a disadvantage of any bold electoral move on the tax front, but as we are so terrified of changing any taxes at all, it is perhaps necessary.

    My main concern with your Eastern European argument is that it is no surprise that they grow faster than the Germans. They have lower wages and smaller economies and a relatively small amount of growth will translate into a large percentage. As they are ‘behind’ it is an advantage to all of us if they are helped to catch up and in this respect they are always more likely than we are to benefit from any subsidies that happen to be going

    Some commentators on this site seem to think that a corporation tax of 26 percent is the end of civilization as we know it. As far as I can see it is way below that of France (44 percent) or what the US has been (39 per cent) and Venezuela 34 percent and approximates to those of Canada, the Netherlands, Austria and Spain (27-25 per cent). Of itself I can’t see that it spells doom. If corporation tax is so important why would any companies go to Holland where it is 24 per cent or so and why haven’t our banks moved to Ireland where it is 13 percent. Obviously companies have moved to these places but the reason seems to me to have more to do with Brexit than Corporation tax,

    A similar point about SMEs. America’s tax rate in the OECD figures is 39 per cent and dwarfs ours. On the other hand they seem to have a lot of people starting out in garages and building multinational companies. How come?

    Anyway thanks for lengthy reply and apologies for missing any points which you feel I should have addressed and have not.

  48. Johnson has pulled out of TV debate on C4 with other leaders.

  49. meltdown from those who think they’ll have to pay a few extra quid tax.

    ha ha ha

  50. The Labour manifesto was always likely to be an “aspirational “ appeal to the base. If only on a “they’ve been calling us Commies for four years we might as well be a bit socialist, it’s in the price” basis. But the trick was to make it appeal to persuadable undecideds too.

    And of course, you can still overplay even that sort of hand.

    Does the hysterical private Fraser reaction of the site’s resident right wing partisans suggest they’ve probably pitched it about right? Suspect it does.

    I doubt it’s a game changer, but I think it keeps them just about in the game.

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