MORI have released their monthly political monitor (their poll earlier this week was a seperate one, commissioned by the Daily Mirror). The topline figures, with changes from earlier this week, are CON 39%(-2), LAB 35%(-1), LDEM 15%(+4). I don’t have confirmed fieldwork dates yet, but it was likely done over the weekend.

Given the extremely short gap since the previous lot of fieldwork and the lack of any great world shattering events that could explain a big jump in Lib Dem support, I expect the changes here are no more than normal random sampling error (that is, the variation in the make up between one sample and the next) – though we are getting into the period when I’m slightly wary of polling results anyway as Christmas shopping starts to skew the people who are at home to take phone calls. The overall picture remains a Tory lead in the mid single figures.

54 Responses to “MORI shows 4 point Tory lead”

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  1. “Colin – be a little careful, and remember that the one rule of economics is that economists have no real idea what will happen in the future – that’s why we are where we are now.”

    Alec -I disagree -the reason we are where we are now is cheap credit , pushed, regardless of risk, by irresponsible lenders to feckless borrowers who did not have the income to fund it…Bankers who securitised this flawed debt & created a market it in it for gain, by passing it to other Bankers who had no idea what they were buying…Regulators who failed to identify the mispriced risk, and the resultant asset value bubble-Governments who connived at and/or turned a blind eye to the whole thing , prefering to take credit ( & tax revenues) for the Boom-some Governments who spent all & more of the Boom-time tax revenues in the full knowledge ( or worse-complete ignorance) that they were not sustainable…consumers who forgot that one day debts have to be repaid.

    It may indeed be economists who make things worse-by advocating more spending & more borrowing as solutions to a recession caused by the sudden & overdue recognition of risk by Bankers, Consumers & Companies.

    I also agree that they have no real idea what is the right thing to do any more than Governments do.They do at least have the virtue of not making blind guesses based on political considerations.

    Garry Gatter :-

    “I don’t think many people are worried about inflation”

    I think you are completely & absolutely wrong.

    There are very very many people, whose essential household fuel bills are 30% to 40% higher than last year, whose essential staple food bill is 20% up on a year ago within a basket of foods whose average inflation rate rose yet again last month to 10.8% (ONS) , for whom these costs , along with ever inflated Council Taxes are the major part of their household budget.

    People in this position, without the sudden windfall of mortgage repayment reductions and sale price discretionary purchases which they don’t make, and hit by the virtual disappearance of savings income are very definitely “worried about inflation”.

    So far as “consumer confidence” is concerned-I would suggest that what people are actually doing is the best measure:-

    -UK retail sales have been falling this month at the fastest annual pace since comparable records began in 1983, according to a survey yesterday from the Confederation of British Industry .
    Some 67% of retailers surveyed by the CBI between November 28 and December 10 said sales volumes were lower than in the same period last year. Only 13% reported a year-on-year increase, and the remainder said they were unchanged.

  2. If people are unconcerned by inflation, why has Brown used it as a central plank of his defense for two decades?

    He still uses ‘high inflation’ as a stick to beat the tories with at every opportunity, so it hasn’t lost any resonance for him.

    Have the public such short memories, or are we so innured to the spiel that we no longer trust the message?

  3. Alec,

    Interesting question as to what “working” means for Brown’s rescue package.

    I suppose at the macro level, the hope is that economy will somehow start to grow again in 2009 and he can go to the country in 2010 as the saviour of the world (well Britain anyway).

    On the micro level, the real question is what exactly are these measures supposed to do ?

    The cut in VAT has had most benefit to retailers and retail services (not consumers) as it has given them some extra margin to plug the gaps in their falling revenues. But any impact is likely to be short-lived, as evidenced by the staggering discounts on offer. Why are shops selling things at less than cost in the run-up to Christams ? Because they need cash now to pay their rent in January. After that, who knows what will happen when the red-ink is spread across the newspapers in the annual results reporting season.

    The bank bail-out has not worked because the government started off with the mis-conceived notion that they should encourage the banks to lend at 2007 levels, when that is clearly not in the interest of either banks or their customers. Banks are rightly rebuilding their balance sheets against the risk of further loan defaults – a consequence of conditions in the real economy, and not the result of some esoteric wheeze.

    Meanwhile, the public finances are a disaster, sterling is almost in free-fall, which will lead to an up-turn in inflation fairly soon, and unemployment is set to rise sharply. Even Mandy and Campbell will be hard pressed to spin that into good news.

  4. Not sure what Jakob is so smug about.
    Monetarism was actually about controlling the money supply – surely if it is done roughly, but in the framework of a free market otherwise, that is the ideal model.

    The poll figures show a sharp narrowing of the Tory lead on the economy because the line that it is a banking crisis and the government is rescuing us has been put across effectively.

    But the truth is this crisis has been allowed to develop because the government’s overall record of economic management has been appalling.
    A housing (and credit) boom has developed built on sand, largely because of it being left out of the inflation figures as M3 grew by around 10% a year.
    Simultaneously, the government has wasted money in the public sector. I welcome if on “investment” but not on expensive employment which adds nothing to business.
    Meanwhile, we have seen a hollowing out of the real economy.

    Sadly, we’re about to find this out.
    I hope, with the interest cuts, and a large devaluation, we might see a shorter downturn than the headless chicken tendency in the media think.
    Then this country can gradually win it’s way back, hopefully by creating more small businesses and doing what it’s good at.

    I suspect the Tory lead will re-open to 10-13% within a few months.
    Labour could spring a surprise if either the Tories fail to put over a convincing case, or the recession is much quicker and seen to be.

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