YouGov’s daily voting intention figures are CON 42%, LAB 36%, LDEM 14%. Government approval is back to +5 (41% approve and 36% disapprove), bouncing back from a very tight +2 yesterday.

YouGov also had a new Welsh Assembly poll for ITV Wales out today. Constituency voting intention, with changes from last month, are CON 20%(+1), LAB 40%(-2), LDEM 13%(+1), Plaid 22%(+2). Changes are all within the margin of error, and reflect a consolidation of the great big shifts last month when Labour were up ten points and the Lib Dems down eight.

140 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – 42/36/14”

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  1. @COLIN
    Your apparent failure to perceive what is right-wing for anyone who isn’t right-wing themselves, gives me hope that the Tories will make the mistake of moving further to the right.
    I fear, however, that DC himself is much too clever to make that mistake.

  2. @ Colin

    “All the same-his stance will ruffle feathers. Those who follow the “Sir Humphrey” school of foreign affairs vaccillation will jump up & down at every utterance.”

    True, but it could also be argued that a countries leader needs to look at the long-term, not just the short-term.

    *shrug* I don’t know which better…

  3. Don’t faint, but I like what DC has said about Israel, when he was in Turkey, and Pakistan, when he is in India. Equally, I approve of GO’s view that Trident has to be paid for out of the existing MOD budget.

    I agree with a previous poster who was concerned DC may tailor his musings to suit his audience, but I think GO is spot on!

  4. @Colin……….Cameron also has the opportunity to grow into the role, if he is pushing against an open door, and I think he is, he will quickly develop an enhanced instinct, he’s a smart operator. When he was dubbed, ‘heir to Blair’ I don’t think it quite hit the button, they came from different places, and I think we will have reason to celebrate his integrity and ethics, had Cameron had Blair’s background, then I would call him heir to Blair, fortunately he hadn’t.

  5. There are two Labour supporters here who have praised Tory ministers.
    To be able to praise your opponent’s ideas shows more than maturity. It shows confidence in your own ideas.
    Labour is in much better shape than any Tory supporters here would like to admit.
    There. That should stir things up a bit. ;)

  6. @Julien.
    Yeah, I’m not convinced that DC has dragged the Tory Party to the centre. I suppose I don’t trust him. But time will tell….. :-)


    The ISI are no different to any other intelligence agency – be it MI6, CIA, FSB, RAW, etc. Cameron’s speech in India followed the Wikileaks revelations, which were mainly off the record briefings from the Afghan government. Hardly “the truth”.

    Anyway these revelations (if in any way “true”) revealed a number of things. Mass Afghan civilian casualties from Coalition operations. Death squads run by the Coalition/Afghan forces, and ISI-Taleban collusion. Being the honest and dignified truth-teller he is, cameron ignored the first two and blamed the ills of Afghanistan and the world as a whole on the third. What a guy!

  8. @VALERIE -“….I’m not convinced that DC has dragged the Tory Party to the centre.”
    IMO, the public perception of him is that he has moved it to the centre.
    But obviously, as a hopelessly tribal lefty, I don’t trust him either. ;)

  9. The coalition programme is BRILLIANT I hope you’re all watching it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. “The belief I have in Israel is indestructible – and you need to know that if I become Prime Minister, Israel has a friend who will never turn his back on Israel …
    Israel strives to protect innocent life – Hamas target innocent life”
    (David Cameron, June 2009, to Conservative Friends of Israel.)

    Cameron tailor his musing to his audience? Never.

  11. @Nigel…………….And your point is ?

  12. As various people have said, these terms ‘left’, ‘right’ and ‘centre’ are very subjective and largely meaningless.

    However, for what it’s worth, I think that the centre amongst ordinary people is further to the right than is imagined by most journalists and politicians. It all depends where you see yourself, because most people think of them selves as somewhere near the centre.

    So to someone who considers themselves left-wing, Cameron will be perceived to have moved the Tories towards the centre (i.e. themselves), but to a right-winger, he will be perceived to have moved them beyond the centre to the left, because the movement has been away from the observer.

    Phew! I hope that makes some sort of sense.

  13. Your apparent failure to perceive what is right-wing for anyone who isn’t right-wing themselves, gives me hope that the Tories will make the mistake of moving further to the right.

  14. @Pete B

    Yes. But Left and Right still exist. It’s just that the big parties are huge coalitions with varying degrees of Left and Right within them. And the Centre is by definition a relative position. Of course, in England, the nominally Centrist party does have some moorings – such as the social liberty of the individual from the State. But economically (as we have seen) it can be extremely flexible.

    As for whether the Centre in places like Stoke, Cardiff etc, is barometrically further to the Right that the average depends on what you mean. On immigration – certainly. But on cuts? I’d assume they would be much further to the Left.

    I went up to Stoke recently, and it has seen a large degree of UK and EU funding. I’m sure the locals don’t object to that.

  15. Sorry Julian :-

    You & I are thinking about what “right wing” means from our own perspective. I was trying to tease out these perceptions-and have clearly failed with you!

    It is almost certaiin that we have different ideas of what that term means-and that is why labels like this are at best flexible & at worst misleading or meaningless.

    I am much more interested in ouctomes than labels. I think the average voter is too.

  16. The BBC programme on the GE outcome was terrific.

    Lots of lovely nuggets to store away ! ;-)

  17. @Ken

    Simply that saying what you think your audience wants to hear can only work for so long. I, like others above, will wait to see how consistent he is before judging.

    I would have been more impressed if he had made the Gaza comments while he was in the US (who could actually influence Israel) rather than in Turkey.

  18. It was unusually enlightening and refreshingly honest.

  19. I’ve been think about Nick Hadley’s illuminating comment last night about the empty, social democratic, ground on the centre Left and how the Labour Party could flourish by occupying and redefining it. In some ways it ties in with my thoughts yesterday about the relationship between the individual and the “state”.

    It seems to me that the British model, especially post-war, was based on interaction via a trusted and effectively autonomous professional: the family doctor; the class teacher; the local beat bobby; the sub-postmaster; the local councillor. This was also to some extent mirrored in non-state institutions: eg the local bank manager. These intermediaries had status from their expertise, position and power; but they also represented the responsible and usually friendly face of the “state”, and also an ethos of service. The individual relationship with them was mutual and personal and involved duties on both sides.

    So, within what was often called the post-war settlement, between the individual and the “state” there might be tension, but the expectation was of trust and especially fairness. Politically this was associated with now unoccupied centre Left ground Nick identified; but though implemented by Attlee’s Labour government, the Tory Butler and the Liberal Beveridge were among its guiding lights, and it continued through to the Seventies.

    You could claim it was destroyed by the “vulgar Keynesian-ism” that lead to the various economic crises of the Seventies (how small they all seem now) or by the effects of militant unions. I suspect the real reason was the Americanisation of the British political classes and their attitudes.

    Certainly English intellectuals had earlier in the Seventies replaced their traditional mindless infatuation with everything French with a mindless infatuation with everything from the USA – a phenomenon that still continues. (How much raving would there have been about “The Wire” if it was set in Leeds rather than Baltimore? If it was set in Dusseldorf we’d have never seen it at all). Certainly many of the rich and powerful envied the apparent economic freedoms – of course ignoring the powerful restrictions that the US had to restrain big business – and used their influence to promote “American values”. But perhaps the main reason was a desire to strike attitudes, to break from the past, perhaps even to make a revolution in ideology similar to the one in popular culture of the previous decade.

    For Mrs Thatcher (that most mindlessly macho of Prime Ministers) and her acolytes, no insult was worse than “old-fashioned”. Similarly New Labour had no more contemptuous accusation to make. Odd when you think that those running the country should be more concerned with what works rather than its age. Even odder from a Conservative.

    And as the numbers in the political class exploded in the last three decades; the only model of how they should operate came from the US, where many of them studied or worked. The British distaste for foreign languages has lot of consequences.

    As I discussed yesterday, I think the US relationship between individual and “state” is basically contractual.(This may derive from having a written constitution within which all actions in the country are seen to operate). The public servants, so important in the British tradition, are non-autonomous, poorly paid and not respected – unless operating as a separate business. Their role is simply to deliver the contacted services within a legal framework.

    The attitudes based on this have since coloured the way British politicians think, especially of public services. Furthermore, the American cults of managerialism and leadership put all the emphasis at the top of organisations, rather than the end actually delivering the services and interacting with the public.

    And yet, among the British people, there is still great affection for the old model and belief that this is how the country should be run. You can see this in the endless appeals to “fairness” that politicians make, even as economic inequality increases. And the calls to “let teachers teach” etc, even as they make education prescriptive.

    The British system also had the advantage of producing relatively good services at a very efficient price – admittedly often at the cost of low public sector salaries for some.

    As Nick Hadley said, in so far as any Party has recently occupied the political ground defending the traditional British model, it was the Lib Dems. Clegg’s leadership and the coalition have perhaps changed that at the top of the Party, though not lower down. Of course the rhetoric of the tradition continues from both parts of the coalition.

    It’s possible that Labour could re-occupy the position. However it goes against both their ancient habit of centralism and their newer devotion to the US model. I think that, rather than complacency, may be what prevents change.

    Sorry this is all so rambling. :)

  20. NIGEL

    “I would have been more impressed if he had made the Gaza comments while he was in the US (who could actually influence Israel) rather than in Turkey.”

    Some TV pundits today have opined that both the Gaza & Pakistan comments were made with the full knowledge of-and as a direct result of- DC’s meeting with Obama.

    The point being that neither comment was made without considerable forethought & deliberation.

  21. @COLIN
    What I think is right-wing is immaterial. I’m only one voter.
    What is more interesting to me is how it plays out in terms of polls and elections. And that is all about public perception.
    Let’s replace the term ‘centre’ with ‘floating voters’. Then it stops being just labels and becomes the key to winning elections because I don’t believe either party can win enough votes in marginals by getting out its core voters only.
    Floating voters will not vote for a Tory party they perceive is too extremely Tory.
    Floating voters will not vote for a Labour party they perceive is too extremely Labour.
    The party which understands that best, and more importantly are perceived by the public to understand that best, will win the next election.

  22. SUE
    “It was unusually enlightening and refreshingly honest.”

    It was-but two things struck me :-

    1-There is a gulf a mile wide between Laws’& Balls’ perception of their last meeting-both called the other “arrogant”. That is a source of future recrimination.

    2- Balls expressed deep deep dislike for what he saw as Clegg’s request that BG simply wait on Cleggs pleasure whilst he made his mind up-which , he said, would have deprived GB of dignity in leaving. That is a slow burning fire.

  23. JULIAN

    “What I think is right-wing is immaterial.”

    Then there is no point at all in you claiming-as you did- that the Cons are drifting to the right.

  24. @COLIN
    I said in the public perception they are drifting to the right.
    Do you really not understand the difference between what you or I think is left or right-wing personally and what you or I think the public perception is of it?

  25. @Nigel…………….Your second para contradicts your first, but I get your drift. :-)

  26. @Roger Mexico

    Well put. You encapsulate my understanding wholly.

    The analysis is right. But times are bad for a culturally conservative, socially liberal, enonomically social-democrat voter like myself. The clock, sadly, won’t turn back. It never does.

  27. Sue,

    I agree about the programme. Unusually good, fundamentally because they were all quite open and honest about what went on.

    The funniest line for me was when Mandy described the former PM as being “too Gordon”.


    In any negotiation, one party’s inflexibility will be perceived by the other as arrogance. If neither party really wants a deal, and so neither offers anything tangible to trade, then both will see the other as being inflexible. QED.

    Disagree about the slow-burning fuse. The animosity and recriminations from those in Lab who assumed the LDs were their friends and have somehow betrayed them by entering coalition with the Tories has been immediately evident. Whether this burns out and they can move on may depend on the new leader. As it looks like it won’t be Balls (see latest thread), then this could be more of a problem for Labour than the LibDems.

  28. Wayne

    “Recent small Labour increase possibly due to them being leaderless!”

    Have you got something there then? Is the presidential PR presentation of ANY leader a turn-off?


    “Labour might have a working majority in both [Scotland and Wales] without the need for coalitions after next May”

    That’s almost impossible in PR Scotland.

    The big question is whether Westminster relationships combined with a combative and confrontational stance vis a vis the SNP will leave them without any potential coalition partner except the too-difficult-to-satisfy Greens.

    Paul H-J

    I didn’t know about 1931, which was before my time, though I remember 1955 well enough.

    Do Conservative strategists ever wonder why the change happened? Something as dramatic as that must have a cause, and th explantion must be very very obvious.

    Julian Gilbert

    I predicted before election that the unprecedented high proportion of new MP’s, the payroll vote, and hunger for power, among other things would keep the Tory right quiescent. Then there is the LibDems.

    John Major was in a very different situation. Some of those who claim a repetition of his problems is likely are influenced by what they wish to happen.

    Julian Gilbert

    I understand exactly, and entirely agree with what you say about perceptions, and that they are what matters regarding the polls. Partisan perceptions about the perceptions are of course a problem on this site.

  29. Ant honey,

    Cowed wee half ah spell checquer, pleas?

  30. @JOHN B DICK
    Their is a spell chequer. But like all spell chequers, it want work in money cases.

  31. As usual, I post on one thread (Lab Leadership poll) only to discover discussion I am interested in, is on another…. My post….

    EB came across to me as rather smug and happy to have scuppered a deal with the LDs. I wonder whether part of this is 20:20 hindsight (“my enemy’s friend is my enemy”), although I had already got the impression that he prefers being in opposition (at least for now)(the country may suffer but at least EB feels more comfortable?). You could certainly believe Lab had not prepared before May 6th (and it seems, despite their denials, Tories did, and I suspect that wasn’t the only case of ‘economical with the truth’ in the prog). Very odd and interesting that Clegg demanded immediate cuts (was that his way of saying he preferred Cameron?).

    I get the impression that Lab might have been able to secure a deal, but for lack of preparation, leadership (not sure who should have given it, mind) and will. Tories had all three.

  32. John,

    If you check out the HOC Library – Research Paper 04/61 – you will find some instructive tables. There was no sudden change – merely a downward drift barring some bumps in the 80s – more to do with the SDP / Alliance in 1983.

    As far as I can work out there is no obvious cause. Many people have linked it to Thatcher but I am not convinced. The trend was evident before she was even in cabinet – never mind PM.

    It seems that the high points in the 50s had more to with the collapse of the Liberals – who were strong in the Highlands and rural Scotland – and as the Liberals recovered in the 60s & 70s, this eroded the Tory position.

    Just as clear is a correlation between the rise in SNP votes and decline in Con share – not for nothing were the SNP known as Tartan Tories.

    Is the situation irretrievable ? Difficult to say. We will be in a better position to judge after next May’s Holyrood elections (assuming they don’t get moved for the convenience of the AV referendum). I had thought that things weer improving after 2007, but there is no disguising that the GE was a setback for Tories in Scotland – quite unlike the position in Wales, where the opposite trend can be discerned – that is to say – steady decline in teh Lab vote – albeit from much higher level..

  33. @Roger Mexico

    You’re not the only one who can ramble… :-) Stand back and watch the expert do it… :-)

    You said “…It seems to me that the British model, especially post-war, was based on interaction via a trusted and effectively autonomous professional: the family doctor; the class teacher; the local beat bobby; the sub-postmaster; the local councillor. This was also to some extent mirrored in non-state institutions: eg the local bank manager. These intermediaries had status from their expertise, position and power; but they also represented the responsible and usually friendly face of the “state”, and also an ethos of service. The individual relationship with them was mutual and personal and involved duties on both sides. So, within what was often called the post-war settlement, between the individual and the “state” there might be tension, but the expectation was of trust and especially fairness…”

    Hmm…up to a point, Lord Copper… :-)

    The position was not one of trust but dependence, and fairness was never expected, rarely received, and in some cases couldn’t even be conceptualised or expressed. The investment of power in local professionals was an effective way of organising society then, but even then it had problems. We can say local bobby, doctor, nurse or pilot, but sometimes they were the West Midlands Serious Crime Squad, Harold Shipman, Beverly Allitt, and Jacob van Zanten: people who through venality, incompetence, or simple malice, got lots of people dead.

    But that was then. We were communitarian, worked together, played together, lived together. Now…not so much… :-(

    Now we commute long distances, and our children can no longer afford to buy houses near us (if at all). It used to be that 70% of the UK lived within 5 miles of their birthplace, and Dino Brugioni said you could capture a man’s life within a circle 25 miles wide. But now, the average distance travelled by a removal van for a housemove has risen dramatically since 2001. We are more atomised, individualistic, distrustful.

    We’ve also become more lazy. During the Noughties, it became possible to be lazy and do very well indeed. If you were lazy and poor, you could go on benefits and thrive. If you were lazy and middle-class, you could buy stuff on your credit card and not bother to pay it off, ever. If you were lazy and upper-class, you could buy a house and watch it gain 10%pa for funsies whilst knocking 5% off its value by painting it badly in terracotta. Niall Ferguson points out that banking helps society by funnelling wealth from the lazy to the industrious – but in the Noughties, it was the other way around.

    The unthinking Ameriphilia you bemoan is a part of this laziness: we get away with it because it’s easy and there’s no *need* for us to be smart: why study, say, Polish governance, when parroting American terms in a cargo-cult way is so easy and incurs no pain? Our democracy is perfect: why improve it? Why even think about it, when it’s obviously the best in the world? After all, we have a constitution, rights, a directly elected Prime Minster, an electoral system that counts votes accurately and reflects votes cast. Don’t we?

    The reason why I’m banging on about this is because the model you outline would require a set of professionals that were trustworthy and knowledgable, a local population that trusted and understood them, a work ethic amongst both, and a corpus of commonly accepted facts that reflect reality. See the problem?

    Don’t get me wrong, I’d like to see the world you outline work (although I do agree that Labour *may* be opponent instead of proponent of change). We all want Heaven on Earth and we all live in the same country. But it will have to take account of the infinite human capacity to (ahem) mess things up… :-(

    Regards, Martyn

  34. @JULIAN

    “I said in the public perception they are drifting to the right.”

    Um-you didn’t actually.

    You said :-

    “So far he has managed to do that. But can he keep it up? I personally doubt it. They are slipping to the right already. ”

    @ JULIAN

    “Do you really not understand the difference between what you or I think is left or right-wing personally and what you or I think the public perception is of it?”

    Yes-but from the above it appears that you do not. ;-)

  35. Sir Humphrey would approve of Cameron’s foreign policy so far. He supported EU expansion, because it makes it easier to stir up arguments within the EU, and favoured condemning Israel to keep friendly with the Arabs and their oil. I can’t see having a go at Pakistan and thus winning friends in America and trade in India would be something he’d have a problem with either

  36. Steve Coberman & Martyn

    I agree completely that we can never go back; never step in the same river twice. My main purpose was historical – to outline how the political elite abandoned a working model for (to use Martyn’s phrases) “cargo-cult Ameriphillia”. :D But it’s noticeable that most of the changes that make going back difficult happened since the change in attitude. Culture can often drive economics rather than the other way round.


    It obviously varied with every relationship, but but I think more trust was involved than dependence; and in any case the two aren’t exclusive and the balance may vary over time. And fairness certainly was assumed, if not always delivered.

    Horror stories always happened of course, but the breach of the trust was one of the reasons they so horrified. The West Midlands Serious Crime Squad was a forerunner of the sort of policing that has turned even Tories into civil libertarians. And South Staffs Hospital managed to kill off more people than Shipman in a shorter time. (Somewhere on the Internet I found Minutes reassuring that the excess death rate was due to “mistakes in coding” 8O ).

    We’ve certainly seen an endless campaign by politicians and journalists to disparage professionals over the last thirty years. (Do you think that it could have anything to do with what groups come last in “who do you trust?” polling? ;) ) More serious has been the attempt at de-skilling by central diktat in both public and business spheres.

    I don’t think people are lazy though – except the elite’s intellect laziness we agree about. True, benefit culture has been institutionalised in some places, but nobody “thrives” on it. Despite what MPs think “Shameless” is not a documentary. :P

    A lot of these problems can be put down to British big business and the City in particular: a dogmatic belief in out-sourcing; the desire to site new jobs in areas convenient for executives to live rather than where unemployment is; an automatic reliance in importing labour and skills; and the refusal to ever train anyone for anything.

    You’re right, of course, about that mainly British & Irish phenomenon: the housing spiral. It was mainly driven by particular circumstances of land restriction, and the implicit government policy of the last 30 years – move money from the poor to the rich (with or without the help of the banks). Attempts to export this “virtuous” model to Spain or the US did not in the long term prove, shall we say, overwhelmingly successful. :o

    Actually I think you underestimate how much of the old model survives; especially away from the centres of power and outside England (you see I knew I’d shoehorn this into a Welsh polling thread eventually :) ). While a change of government may only mean everything stops being for the more fashionable London N postcodes, and starts being for the more fashionable SW ones; a lot of Britain goes on being unbroken.

    And, despite the institutional pressure from above, I think most professionals are still motivated by more than money – in the end it’s more pleasant to do a job where you’re liked and respected than where you’re not.

    In the end the American model is unsustainable. It comes from a vision of the open frontier, endless resources, limitless immigration. Actually it requires lots of Chinese investment and creates vast, privatised bureaucracies, a vanishing middle class and situation where all newly created wealth goes to the top 1-2%. :?

    The “everything must be monetised” brigade loath the British model, but it’s all we’ve got. Of course it needs evolving, but some of the genuine changes to be accommodated, such as the internet, are basically collaborative. Politicians still use the rhetoric of it, so that’s half the battle – getting them to allow the reality is the difficult bit. :)

  37. COLIN
    I mentioned “in the public perception” around 5 or 6 times in the posts above. Count them.
    I have tried to have a reasonable discussion with you in a non partisan way and all I have got back from you is insults.
    One of the things I would like to do on this site is have intelligent discussions with people with all views about politics.
    I am slowly realising it seems to be impossible with most Tory supporters here.
    Your dismissal of anyone with an opinion to the left of you is immature and tiresome.

  38. Anthony

    In the latest national YouGov poll, was anyone in Wales included in the sample? The reason that I ask is that, in the regional breakdown on the YouGov site, for the Midlands/Wales region the % of the sample supporting Plaid Cymru (or the SNP) is 0%.

    Seems highly questionable, so can the poll as a whole be reliable?

  39. Paul H-J

    I agree that the trend well underway BT (Before Thatcher) and that the ups and downs of Liberals and the SNP had the effect you describe.

    It is an all too simple jibe of Labour’s to castigate the SNP as Tartan Tories. They wern’t all socialists to be sure, and still to-day there are a handful of far-right kilt-wearing romantics.

    Just because people who had previously voted for the only electable non-workingclass tribal party changed to vote for another middle-class party doesn’t prove that they necessarily ever had been or still were “Tories.”

    They were never C2 Tories of the sort that voted for Thatcher and then Blair, but a broad church party which could include decent Church of Scotland elders in contact with and supporting colonial peoples on the one hand and English Nationalist racist hangers and floggers of the Primrose League on the other was a winning formula.

    In the cities it may have been the middle class aspirations and lifestyle of Labour politicians and intellectuals which made Labour less repellent and unwelcoming to the middle class, but the trend we are examining began not there, but in the rural NE and it may have been simply the distance from the centre of power and ignorance of and lack of interest in Scottish rural issues that mattered. There were some culpably complacent MP’s too.

    I don’t agree that the election was a “setback” for the Tories as you say. That’s only if you assume that the trends in Scotland should be comparable to that in England. In hospitals they used to say (shortly before they pulled the sheet over the patient’s head) that the patient was “doing as well as could be expected.”

    That being do, a disappointent perhaps, but hardly a setback more a boring inertia.

    Could it be reversed? Effortlessly (in part) with independence.

    Now, only with re-branding, Bavarianisation and three policy areas where a sharply different approach is taken to the policy in England. These need to be clearly relevant to particularly Scottish condiitions, grounded in other (probably One Nation) Conservative traditions, and something that no opponent could ever claim would have been approved of by Margaret Thatcher.

    You also need to address rural issues. The WYSIWYG make-up and PR free Richard Lochhead is so far out in front that you can’t catch up anytime soon. The SG government website lists him as having more press coverage than any other minister. Nearly all of it is in trade or local newspapers, several of which you may never have heard of.

    In the election the SNP was squeezed in Labour areas but advanced where Richard Lochhead is most active. If he walked into a Glasgow supemarket it is unlikely that anyone would recognise him, know anything of what he does, or even be able to spell the names of some of the things he deals with.

    Labour are even more of a metropolitan focused party than Conservatives. Where there are more sheep than people, the Libdems are in. Fish, and it’s the SNP.

    The very marginal decline you can look forward to next year is the nothing but the effect of the Grim Reaper on the loyal core vote. You have nothing else left to lose. Anti-Labs (and anti-Cons) are spoilt for choice.

    It is one thing to be a small and hopefully growing party like the Greens or the Socialists but quite another to have been a formerly hugely successful party of government now in decline.The benchmark to measure the result by is the residual support of the re-branded DDR Communists – about 17.5% as I remember.

    What astonishes me is that nobody asks “How did it happen?” still less, “Where did we go wrong?”

    One thing is beyond debate: whatever happened, it was a big thing not a little thing. So why doesn’t everybody recognise it?

  40. Roger Mexico

    “Sorry this is all so rambling. ”

    No it isn’t its very perceptive.

    Sorry its so depressing.

    Maybe there is something to be said for independence after all. Your analysis is all very English or rather very London + Oxbridge.

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