Tonight’s polls

I’m away from a computer tonight, so feel free to use this thread to discuss any polls that may appear. We are due the daily YouGov poll, but beyond that who knows!

362 Responses to “Tonight’s polls”

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  1. SoCalLiberal

    I did not know that England had a capital other than London at any point

    To be really pedantic, even apart from the exceptions Pete B mentioned, London has never been the capital of England since (most of) Roman times. In the Middle Ages the ‘capital’ (at least in the sense of the centre of administration) was where the monarch was, but this was usually in Westminster. This was and is actually a separate place from the City of London and I think there were still green fields between them until the seventeenth century. The Houses of Parliament are called the Palace of Westminster because that where the monarch (sometimes) lived and the administration gradually grew till Henry VIII’s time, after which Whitehall Palace grew alongside to supplement it.

    The distinction is important because historically the City of London was always in some sort of opposition to the Crown (mainly because the Crown wanted money from it) and even now there are various rituals to be gone through when the Queen formally sets foot in the City. Even the Tower of London isn’t in the City – the border is drawn to go round it.So though London was the commercial capital, it was never the formal one.

    Of course both the City of London and Westminster have long since been absorbed into a greater London, though the differentiation lives on in the name of the parliamentary constituency of the Cities of London and Westminster.

  2. RogerMexico and SocalLiberal
    I forgot the future capital of England:

    When the icecaps melt, it will be Birmingham :-)

  3. @AMBER

    “Such x-break samples are tiny & could mean nothing unless a definite trend become apparent.”

    My first thought when I saw the VI data was that it’s probably an outlier.

    Then I looked at the Scottish approval ratings.

    Here’s my graph of them since 1st Dec 2011:

    I would say the Unionist approval just climbed there.

    Also bear in mind the last five polls:

    Con: 25, 25, 18, 17, 27
    Lab: 31, 40, 38, 36, 36
    Lib: 6, 7, 4, 14, 9
    SNP: 34, 25, 33, 33, 25

    Of those, four of the polls has had samples larger than the weighted number, with one less (if that really matters?).

  4. maxboere

    Ignore the Scottish cross breaks. These always show the Conservatives as much higher than they are because YouGov weight the results to the political make up of the whole of Britain. The computer thinks that there should be more Scots Tories than there are and so increases the numbers. The Labour and Lib Dem totals may bew accidentally upped this way as well. If you look back through the poll archive you’ll keep on seeing similar figures.

    See – I corrected someone on Scottish cross breaks without swearing once.

  5. Frank G

    1) You’re comparing the change from Labour’s high point to (I hope) their low point with the change from the Tories’ low point to (possibly) their high point. Not a sensible MO, IMO, but feel free to do it if it makes you feel good.

    2) Regarding Suez, Iraq and the 08-?? Debt crisis, I’m sticking to my usual approach of taking the long term historical view. YOU may well regard Suez and Iraq as being morally and pragmatically correct actions, but it is doubtful that you’ll be on the side of the majority when future historians look on them. As for the electoral turnout in May10, I suggest that future historians may well muse on the correlation between the pitiful turnout and the paper-thin difference between the main parties’ responses. THAT is one of the things that taxes me when I consider why do many people appear disconnected from the political process. If you don’t lose sleep over it then you have a sunnier outlook than me.

  6. @LeftyLampton,

    You have me with Wallace and Grommit.

    I concede!

    (And congratulations on drawing a big smile from me in the process!!)

  7. Neil A.

    Come the revolution, the reactionary swine at the BBC will be first against the wall. We know who they are…

  8. Colin, Amber

    “Westminster run the show if the Union is at stake-ie binding-because of the Scotland Act.

    THerefore The Government want to bring the Scotland Act into play-SNP want to avoid it”

    That’s not how it works, and not what the UK government is trying to achieve.

    The Union is at stake either way, but the Scotland Act allows the UK government to legislate on Devolved matters. This isn’t a devolved matter, except that the SNP make it so by seeking the opinion of the people of Scotland.

    Where the Scotland act comes into it is because it is currently in the process of amendment so it could opportunisticaly be used to set the ground rules for the referendum. The SNP would welcome that provided
    there wasn’t any funny business like time limits (See Green party comment above)

    Until the UK govrnment say what the terms are, this is a pig in a poke and evidence of bad faith and that they think the SNP or the Scottish voter can be duped.

    If that’s what it looks like to the voter, I leave you to guess what the outcome will be.

    There wont be “lots of questions”. There will be the essential one. If the Unionists or their new think tank comes up with another the SNP have said they would look at it.. it might be a preference vote with no change as an option too. That’s what the electorate wants.

    It might be “…..failing which do you want” but that could be either way.

    I don’t think the SNP are going to put a second question if the other Scottish parties don’t come up with one. They dont want it, but they dont want to be the ones who exclude the most popular option – that’s Westminster tactics (PR). It does need to be defined though, and there are many varieties.

    As things stand, the Scotland act does nothing, and isn’t relevant.. Amendments to it are under consideration which could be added to so as to give the right to the Scottish Parliament to run this particular referendum despite the fact that is (unless framed to be “consultatative”) a reserved matter.

    Other than the fact that it is in an Act of the UK parliament, and would be permissive, I do not see much difference between this proposed amendment and a Reverse Sewell Motion (now known as a Legislative Consent Motion.)

  9. @ Scotswaehae

    “well you’ll definitely be getting an invite! I the law passes then I’d ideally find a nice castle like that… My thank you gift for the googling I’m about to do is to advise you this; watch DW! Every American friend I’ve ever told to watch it fell in love with it, I believe it shows on BBC America?

    Some of the Doctor Who exposure was good, but some other pieces (for example the first non-hetrosexual companion sleeping with everything that moved, which seems to be the entire basis for his spin-off Torchwood…) is less than exemplary. To be honest I think it was more a decline in the effectiveness of the writers, who were thankfully replaced at the right time, but even at some of it’s lowest points it’s one of the best things on British tv.”

    Hmmmm. My favorite British tv series would probably be Fawlty Towers followed by Foyle’s War. I know they’re totally different genres but I love them both. Downton Abbey, which is supposed to be similar to Foyle’s War, has become very popular here (I have friends posting Facebook messages about it). Absolutely Fabulous was popular for a while.

    I think it’d be fun to get married in some sort of setting like that. Now one of my friends just got engaged and she is looking for places to get married in California and is finding that all these public spaces are extremely expensive to rent out for weddings. I would imagine though that the Royal Family might have a few sites that are open to the public for weddings and events that they rent out for much less just because it kinda helps them fulfill a role that no one else could and helps boost their popularity.

    You could always take a trip up to DC the next time you visit your boyfriend in North Carolina and get married there. In fact, if you’re touring the traditional tourist sites in D.C., it’s pretty convenient. Because Moultrie Courthouse is right off of Pennsylvania Avenue (you can access it from John Marshall Park) between Capitol Hill and the White House. So you could go and have a tour of the Capitol in the morning, walk to Moultrie afterwards, get a marriage license there, and then tour the White House in the afternoon.

    Of course I don’t know if that marriage license would be recognized by either the UK government or the Scottish government.

  10. @ Pete B

    “Winchester in Saxon times, Oxford during the Civil War.”

    Wow, did not know that. One learns something new every day.

    @ R Huckle

    “Just to plug UK tourism, here is a site containing some pictures of Cotswold villages. The Cotswolds is quite a large area and you have to get the time of year right to enjoy the best of the scenery. If you get a sunny day May/June time, I can’t really think of any places in the world that would be more beautiful. You can’t beat sitting in a lovely Pub Garden with a nice pint of warm bitter and a decent ploughmans lunch.

    Both Prince Charles and Princess Anne have estates in the Cotswolds , in the county they refer to as Royal Gloucestershire.”

    Heh, you’re welcome to plug with me. It will probably be quite a while before I’m able to go again but when I do, I’ll try and find a way to take a trip out there.

    @ John B Dick

    “There are lots of castles in Scotland. Dumfries was sold by Johhny Bute (Crichton-Stewart) formerly Johnny Dumfries, racing driver and now Marquis of Bute.

    The main estate property is used for celebrity weddings and showcasing local seafood, venison, beef and lamb from the farms on the island and vegetables and soft fruit from the estate.

    We had some very very fresh haddock tonight.”

    I’m not a fish eater but I love good seafood and what’s better than Scottish Venison and Scottish beef? It’s why I want a t-shirt that reads “Scots Do It Better.”

    As for the Castle, it was featured in Architectural Digest as a pet project of Prince Charles. Then the nxt morning I awoke to see it featured on the Today Show. I think if that’s open to the public and inexpensive, that’s a great place to have a wedding.

  11. @ Billy Bob

    “Thanks for the information about Orange County… my knowledge need updating, seeing as it mainly comes from reading Raymond Chandler’s description of “Bay City” (Santa Monica) and other locations.”

    You’re welcome. I’m not sure exactly when Ray Chandler (I haven’t read much of his works) wrote but I would imagine that Santa Monica has changed quite a bit from his description. Santa Monica is not in Orange County. Its politics are 180 degree opposite (Democrats are more likely to lose there (and have lost there) to Greens than Republicans) though it was a Republican bastion a very, very long time ago. It’s probably one of the few places in the United States that voted for Barry Goldwater in 1964 only to turn around and vote for George McGovern in 1972.

    If the GOP Primary deadlocks and drags on, it might be fun if the California Primary, which is scheduled to be at the very end of the cycle, becomes decisive. Because then on election night and in the days leading up to the election, I’ll actually have expertise on what areas should be expected to go for which GOP candidates and what the voting is like and the dynamics of the California GOP. That’d be fun actually.

    @ Roger Mexico

    Thank you for being pedantic. It is appreciated as is the history lesson.

  12. Here’s a legal view

    h ttp://

    and here’s Ian McWhirter laughing at the idea that anyone would be foolish enough to frustrate the right to self determination.

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