There are two new polls out tonight. YouGov’s daily poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 37%, LAB 42%, LDEM 8%. So far this week YouGov’s daily polling has shown Labour leads of 5 points, 4 points, 3 points and 5 points, so it certainly looks as if the Labour lead has grown from the leads of one or two points that we were seeing last month.

The second poll is from TNS BMRB and has topline figures, with changes from last month, of CON 35%(-2), LAB 38%(-2), LDEM 11%(+1), Others 16%(+3).

172 Responses to “New YouGov and TNS BMRB polls”

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  1. First!

  2. Now I have calmed down, just like to comment that there does seem to be a significant shift towards Labour.

  3. well it’s not a one-day wonder this time, after some short-lived relatively big-lead spikes recently.

    It does seem to have gone from 1% to 4% very fast. Surprisingly volatile for mid-term.

  4. Where do we find the detail of the S3 poll?

  5. Some evidence in tonight’s poll (which we can all enjoy for an extra day until Saturday night’s inevitable 1% Tory lead!!) that the Labour vote is inching upwards and their widening lead is being generated by something a little more than just a decline in the Tory VI. We haven’t had a Labour 42% VI for over three weeks and while tonight’s rating may be a temporary blip, it could be that they are now attracting some waverers from elsewhere; something they need to do a little more of if they’re going to venture into breakthrough territory.

    As for what it all says about the current political weather, I’m with Rob S a little on this. Cameron and the coalition are going through a period when it feels as if they have a midas touch in reverse. Everything is going a little pear-shaped, as it always does in government from time to time, and good news and lucky breaks are proving annoyingly elusive. I’m sure our old friend Gordon Brown can vouch for that.

    It will be interesting to see how they conduct themselves if and when the polls darken further for them.

  6. Great news for Labour. Recovering in Scotland, and its lead nationally somewhere in the region of 2-6%. Need a few more polls to get a more accurate picture of exactly where the Labour lead probably lies, but at the moment I’d guess somewhere in the region of 4-5 points.

  7. I think the accumulative pressure of petrol price rises and banks itching to put up the mortgage interest rates may well be the straw that breaks the camels back. It’s costing so much to get to work now (if you have it), only to find in the not so distant future your hard earned cash (which has shrunk in value with no wage increases) will be swallowed up by further demands of the evil bankers.

    Cameron’s broken Britain. More austerity please!

  8. The Sun had the March 3rd quote as:

    “So frankly I don’t care about taking a hit.”

    Presenting NHS reform as placing decision-making in the hands of clinicians… then ignoring the overwhelming advice they gave him to drop the bill.

    It will have seeped into the public consciousness one way or the other, in conjunction with the faintly ridiculous horse thing.

  9. What we seem to have here is a reversion to the polldrums of pre-December and the benefit that the Conservatives seemed to get from the ‘Christmas veto’. So hardly the reason for cartwheels (though Amber may rotate the little finger of her left hand widdershins slightly if she feels so inclined).

    If Labour are to consolidate this, they need to start building up a coherent position on the economy. In some ways this should be easy – the coalition is allowing itself to be trapped into positions that are both impractical and unpopular and, like the Republicans in the US, appear to be trapped in their own rhetoric, appealing to a more and more vociferous core vote, but ignoring the rest of the population.

  10. And the red flag flies on UKPR once again. 20 seat majority for Labour :-)

  11. Roger – as always spot on and I suspect the lead is closer to 3% than 5.Chris Lane jokes aside the 8% LD suggests maybe this poll has a little Lab overstatement at the expense of LDs.
    The encouraging thing from a Labour perspective is that it now does seem possible to get high 30s at the GE..
    I don’t have access to the full tables but I expect UKIP will be 5%+ so in a GE we can expect Cons to be 2-3% higher so in reality a notional GE now would have the main parties starting very close indeed.

  12. Good Morning All, day off laudate dominum.
    i. JIM JAM. Sorry, to what Chris Lane jokes do you refer?

    ii. AMBER STAR. Red Flag hymn written by James Connolly I think, but he was angry about the silly tune to which it was sung. And does anyone know any of the song now?

    iii. BILLY BOB: SHIRLEY WILLIAMS. How herpoic she is.

  13. Jim Jam,
    UKIP is at 4% in this poll – which I found a little bit odd given that the Con lead seemed to come from UKIP > Con switchers. But I suspect that it’s just low in this poll and not indicative of the UKIP veto bounce switchers staying with Con and Con switchers going elsewhere.

  14. If it were the case that the drop hasn’t be caused by the veto-bounce wearing off (as I suspect it actually has), then the Tories have more to worry about – Drops in the Con vote, not going to UKIP (because the UKIP-Con floaters are now Con voters) or the Libs (which is a possibility, if Coalition voters become sick of the Cons) means most likely that we’ll see larger Lab VIs.

    Given that Lab VI (stable at around 40-41% since the beginning of time) has been caused essentially by Lib > Lab switchers, if Lab is able to secure Con-Lab floaters then Lab becomes a lot closer to victory in 2015.
    I have to reiterate – I find this unlikely at this stage (perhaps later in the parliament), but it’s always possible.

  15. TF – like you I find the 4% a bit surprising for UKIP wich could suggest (only one poll) that Lab is indeed gaining a small amount of ground in other ways.
    I suspect they will score very well amongst first time voters for obvious reasons and maybe the odd con-lab switcher is occurring.
    Lab only need about 5% con-lab net to make a big difference, that is 5% of con vote not 5% off con VI.

    Chris L – you know your regular joke about LD VI being high, must be outlier etc.

  16. A survey of VI polls across the EU shows that almost all coalition govts are in bad shape. Excluding those that were formed in 2011 (too early to tell), almost all the others would not be reelected if GE was held tomorrow. In Slovakia (where there IS a snap GE tomorrow!), the 4 center-right parties forming the outgoing coalition total 27-30% (44% in 2010), and the senior partner SDKU risks eviction from Parliament (5% threshold)! According to all polls, Soc. Democrat SMER will have OM with more than 40% of the votes. In France, no VI polls give to Pres. Sarkozy, leader of actual center-right coalition, more than 28% at the first round and 45% at the runoff of forthcoming PE against Socialist F. Hollande. In Romania, voting this June, the two center-right ruling parties poll between them 22% (39% in 2008) and the junior partner does not enter Parliament, whereas Social+Liberal Alliance is almost at 60%. In Lithuania, all three junior partners of outgoing center-right govt. risk eviction in October’s GE, the senior partner garnering no more than 16% and coming a distant third. (In 2008, the 4 parties totaled 46%). For the first time, two center-left parties top the polls (Soc. Democrats and Labour Party, around 29 and 20% respectively) and will probably form the new coalition. In Germany, the FDP Liberals are beyond redemption (2-3%, when they had 14.5 in 2009) and so the Merkel coalition collapses no matter what the score of CDU will be (actually at 35-36%) In Netherlands and Czech Republic, incumbent center-right coalitions face a similar situation. Senior partners seem to hold, but junior ones (Christian Democrats and Public Affairs Party respectively) are in bad shape, dragging down the entire coalition. In CR the socialist+communist opposition has easy OM, whereas in the Netherlands the center-left parties will have more seats than the center-right ones, yet the composition of next gvt remains unclear (it might be a combination of parties from both sides). In Sweden incumbent center-right government seems to hold globally, but the junior Chr. Dems risk to fall below 4% threshold, and in this case the coalition fails. The only two stable coalitions are the grand coalitions of Austria and Luxembourg. In both cases the two major parties are governing together, so it is very difficult to bring them down (the alternative would be a Green+ Far right coalition, which is, of course, politically impossible, even if the numbers allowed for it). And of course there is the UK, where, if actual VI polls are true, C + LD do not have OM between them.

  17. JIM JAM
    `Lab only need about 5% con-lab net to make a big difference, that is 5% of con vote not 5% off con VI.`

    I find it difficult to believe that Labour can take 5% off Conservative vote…Given that it took 13 years for Conservative vote to increase by 5%,they are not going to abandon them so soon….At best, a 1 to 2% Conservative-Labour drift but a percentage going to UKIP once the gay marriage bill and planning law changes are enacted.

    Some council elections are showing big CON-UKIP vote transfers and the more Cameron alienates his core vote,this is not likely to return.

  18. @Vigilio

    Although, as a counterbalance, the only single-party government of any standing (France) will lose the election barring an upset in the polls. And Greece had single-party government from 1990 to 2011 and we know what happened there.

  19. Smukesh,
    I was careful to say 5% of their vote not their share so 5% of 37% which is about 1.5% of swing. 5% of vote share is not possible baring a major unforeseeable event (scandal)
    I also say they need this to make a big difference but even half that could make all the difference to the GE outcome.
    IIRC even in 2001 the cons acheived a small swing from Labour and in 2005 a bigger one (mainly due to Lab falling).

    I am assuming that Labour will keep at least half of its’ gains from LDs since the GE to give a 35% base.
    I still believe that the cons will get the highest vote share in 2015 probably falling short of an OM but am slightly more optomistic about Labour getting the margin down to 3% or less, rather than 5% or more, which depending on marginals could give them most seats.
    This is not just about polls but about what seems to be a rather lack-lustre, disjointed Government of late, something which despite political differences, I did not sense before.

  20. I’m constantly surprised at how low the combined two large parties’ votes are given how polarised the political debate is at the moment. Two years in we are now very definitely “mid term” yet a lot of voters are still not backing either of them.

    I think voters are composed of three groups at the moment: the right, moaning about being shackled to the Lib Dems and planning all sorts of deeds of revenge; the left shouting “traitors” and “closet Tories” at the Lib Dems, and the discontented remainder left wandering around not knowing who to vote for.

  21. JIM JAM
    `I am assuming that Labour will keep at least half of its’ gains from LDs since the GE to give a 35% base.`

    Fair point about the 1.5% expectation of Con-Lab transfer.

    The government feels like a Tory government,with some Lib Dem policies thrown in,not a coalition between the Tories and the Lib Dems…So I find it difficult to see half of the LD`s drifitng back unless in marginal seats where tactical voting takes place

    Tim Montogomery hit the nail on the head recently on Newsnight…A government which is more worried about taxing people with properties worth 2 million becomes less relevant to most people

  22. @Rob Sheffield – “Can ConLib develop a genuine narrative now onwards that does not rely on blaming the ‘last Labour government’??” (pt)

    Grant Shapps is blaming the homelessness rise on Labour, event though he was warned about the perfect storm of HB/housing services cuts, at a time of other significant pressures.
    Not that this will recieve attention or affect polling until the crisis becomes something you have to step over in the street.

    Whether the rhetoric and poplulist reaction against benefit claimants continues to reap rewards for the Tories all the way to the next election remains to be seen. Probably more damning than any evidence of harm would be an analysis that the changes have increased costs

    Quad deliberations on the Budget are reported to be inconclusive atm, expectations are that the result will be undewhelming – and undershoot Mervyn King’s jobs test.

  23. Is Baroness Shirley Williams playing a Machiavellian game? Does she figure that letting the NHS bill go through will destroy the coalition and force the Lib Dems to regain their independence and integrity?

  24. @SMukesh

    “The government feels like a Tory government,with some Lib Dem policies thrown in”

    At 83% Conservative to 17% Lib Dem is is more or less a Tory Government with some Lib Dem policies thrown in. And a few Tory policies thrown out. Isn’t that what a coalition is?

    Shirley Williams is many things. Not a Machiavelli I think. I believe she is the same woman that tried to abolish the remaining grammar schools, while sending her own children to private schools, lol as kids say today. She then, I think, tried to destroy the Labour Party by forming the Stoop Down Party.
    Very nice woman though.

    JIM JAM.
    Why do you think my sober anaysis of the [Lib Dem – AW] VI projections in the polls are outliers? Heading for about six seats I think in 2015, maybe a few below that.

    `At 83% Conservative to 17% Lib Dem is is more or less a Tory Government with some Lib Dem policies thrown in. And a few Tory policies thrown out. Isn’t that what a coalition is?`

    Not quite because the 83% are out of power without the 17%

    Many Lib Dem no-go areas have been thrown to the wind (tuition fees, NHS) while most,it not all of the Conservative no-go areas have been protected (Trident,austerity cuts protecting middle and high earners etc)…Why the Tories won`t even tax people with properties worth 2 million…Add to that, an AV debate where the Tories campaigned against Nick Clegg on the sly…A coalition is where both parties make some sacrifices inorder for the common good…In this case,it`s obvious to all who has made all the sacrifices.

    I don`t oppose the way Clegg`s working…A quid pro quo approach where he gets something for supporting Tory policies but maybe some red lines should have been drawn

    Apparently,Blair has advised Labour to keep reminding the electorate of the Lib Dem volte-face on tuition fees,NHS etc to stop the ex-Lib Dems returning…That is why you`ll see Andy Burnham writing to Lib Dem voice that the NHS reorganisation bill would not go through without the Lib Dem support

    I am not a Lib Dem voter,so I don`t know what they expect from their party…It would be interesting to watch local election results this tie around

  27. SMUKESH.
    Good Morning to you.
    In your interesting post you refer to a man called Blair.

    Gosh, this Blair fellow seems to have a very good ear and eye for strategy and tactics.
    Do you know anything else about him, please? For example:
    Does he speak powerfully to people who are not tribal Labour?
    Does he look ok on television?
    Do you think he is the sort of chap who tory parents would not mind going out with their daughters?
    Finally for now: Can he articulate the feelings of ‘middle england’ and relate them to Labour Values in ‘a modern setting’

    I would be very interested if you had any information on this man, and also whether he would like to become an MP; you never know he could even become Party Leader and win some General Elections for TIGMOO.

    Thank you for your time in doing this research. I have to go out now, but I look forward to any information. Burnham sounds like a sort of good deputy to him, IMO/CREDO.

  28. I dont have the details of a number of the most recent YouGov polls showing those Labour leads.

    Can they please be added to the site ? Or can I be pointed in their direction if they already have been…

  29. @ChrisLane 1945

    I thought rather than re-cycling another tired Blair eulogy you might have been more preoccupied with events at Old Trafford last night. When I attended the 1982 World Cup in Spain, England’s group games took place in Bilbao and we stayed in the locality for a week. I was always a sympathiser with the Basque independence cause, if not the way that ETA prosecuted it, and I fell in love with region and its people during my short time there. The football club, Athletico Bilbao, is deeply engrained in Basque folklore and culture and they have a fine pedigree. They play in red and white striped shirts, based on Sunderland’s strip and from a time when Geordie shipbuilders working in Bilbao forged strong links between the two cities.

    Don’t you think it was heart-warming to see such a genuine football club, made up of largely home produced Basque players, dismantle the Glaser Franchise and their strutting millionaire players? A joy to behold and a triumph for the game of football.

  30. Virgilio

    With the FDP looking likely to fall below the 5% threshold in Germany, is there a possibility that the CDU/CSU will ‘gift’ them three constituencies so they can get into the Bundestag that way? I believe it’s been discussed before. Of course they may be a ‘shy FDP’ phenomenon and they have scored better than polling before, possibly because of tactical voting from CDU/CSU.

    All this will be pretty academic if the current coalition does as badly as forecast, but if they regain ground before September 2013(?) it might come into play.

  31. @Chris Neville-Smith
    Of course I did not imply that one-party gvts are better off, I just referred to the coalition ones for the sake of comparison with UK. There are actually 4 one-party govts. in EU: Bulgaria, Hungary, Malta and Spain. Spain’s PP government is too recent to be evaluated (Nov. 2011). In Malta, all VI polls show opposition Labour to lead by 4-5 (53-54% against 46-47 for ruling Nationals, so OM for Labour, next GE in 2013). In Bulgaria ruling center-right GERB seems likely to get reelected, but perhaps with no OM. Socialists are growing stronger, but mostly at the expense of other opposition parties. Most probable result in 2013: a center-right coalition gvt (GERB + Blue coalition). Hungary is a special case. Ruling FIDESZ seems to have lost OM, according to VI polls, but is still the first party, and the recovering opposition is divided between progressives (Socialists, Greens and Democrats) and far-right JOBBIK. So, the most probable outcome in 2014, if things remain the same, is a FIDESZ+JOBBIK nightmare coalition. French govt. is technically a coalition one, since ruling UMP is supported by three minor parties: the centrist Radicals of J.-L. Borloo, the New Center of H. Morin and the MPF (Mouvement pour la France, a French UKIP of sorts), who have ministers and secretaries in outgoing FIllon government. (UMP itself is a federation of the main Sarkozyst party with several satellites such as the Christian Democrats of C. Boutin, the Hunters and Fishers of F. Nihous and the Modern Left of J-P. Bokel). Of course all these parties support Sarkozy in PE. In Greece, the 2009-2011 Papandreou gvt. crumbled under the default-bailout crisis and was replaced by the actual Papademos gvt,, which is a grand coalition of ND Conservatives and PASOK Socialists. Nominally these 2 parties together have 77% (33+44 in 2009 election), but now their combined score is below 50 (26-28 for ND and 12-15 for PASOK). Nevertheless, they will probably form the next gvt after April’s (or May’s) GE, because the 1st party gets a 50 seat bonus. Left opposition is on the rise (moderate Dem. Left 12-16, hardline Communists 11-13, Radical Left 8-12, Greens 3-4), and far right is also stronger than ever, but divided in 3 parties (Orthodox Rally 4-5, Independent Greeks 4-8, Nazi Golden Dawn 2-3), so a very fragmented political landscape,

  32. @smukesh

    The Lib Dems Parlimentary Party aren’t doing themselves any favours at the moment either. At the moment, it’s almost as if the Liberal Democrats and the Liberal Democrat MPs are two entirely different political parties. And the LibDems lack the institutional experience of handling being in government, or even official opposition, and just don’t react well to aggressive adversarial questioning. Particularly from “The Public”. For example –

    There’s a pretty good chance the LibDem Parliamentary Party may well be building an image of ‘The Just As Nasty Party’, and I don’t need to explain why that wouldn’t be good for them. I don’t like the idea of them dwindling, and parliament returning to Two Party squables, so hopefully this won’t happen.

    The LibDems have done some things that the Conservatives wouldn’t have done alone. But they simply aren’t getting enough victories that are meaningful to the public, and being overly defensive of the compromises they made that makes them appear to have rolled over even when they haven’t. The narrative of the Nick Clegg being ‘the uncomfortable figure head’, and Vince Cable being ‘undermined and impotent’, is cementing very quickly.

    When it does, Labour’s strategy becomes “Eat the Lib Dem’s lunch” by adopting the popular policies the LibDems are forced to abandon.

  33. @Roger Mexico
    I guess that CDU might “lend” some votes to the FDP so that they rise from 2-3 to 5% and enter Parliament, but I don’t know if it will work with voters. Offering them 3 constituencies will not change much, because the will be left with just these 3 if they do not clear the 5% threshold nationally. I do not think that there is a hidden FDP vote, because in the State Elections of 2011 their score was in most cases below 5% (1.9 in Berlin!). Of course up to 2013 anything can happen, but now the “poll of polls” (4 institutes, 1-9 March) is CDU-CSU 36 + FDP 3 = 39 (but in reality 36, since FDP gets out), SPD 28 + Greens 14 = 42, Lef Party 7, Pirates 7. So it may be a SPD+Green govt with external support by LP and/or the Pirates, or a grand coalition as in 2005-2009, but certainly not a CDU-CSU+FDP gvt. Meanwhile, in two months there is a State Election in Schleswig-Holstein, actually governed by the Merkel coalition (32+15=47% in 2009 State Election). Recent polls have CDU 35 + FDP 2 = 35 (because 2 does not count), SDP 35 + Greens 13= 48, Left Party 3 and Pirates 5, so SDP+Green OM, despite a (useless) slight increase in CDU vote. The (almost certain) loss of S-H means even fewer seats for Merkel coalition in the Bundesrat (Parliament of States), which is already hung, so greater difficulties to implement gvt. policies.

  34. As I think about it… “Eat the Lib Dem’s Lunch” works as a very good tactic indeed. There has been a pattern of the Lib Dems proposing a policy that is actually quite popular, and would be acceptable to Labour’s left wing, but it being shot down by their “coalition partners”. At which point, the LibDems suddenly drop the policy and support what ever the Conservatives said as the new gospel.

    Which leaves it wide open for Labour to come in, adopt that policy as their own, and berate the LibDems for opposing it.

  35. “When it does, Labour’s strategy becomes “Eat the Lib Dem’s lunch” by adopting the popular policies the LibDems are forced to abandon.”
    Interesting point. LDs have already started their news management for this weekend’s conference. They may supress the grassroots rebellion over NHS but the wider public will gradually form their own views of what the New Shackled LDs now stand for ( or against). UKIP ratings are not far behind and maybe they will overtake LDs ?

    `As I think about it… “Eat the Lib Dem’s Lunch” works as a very good tactic indeed. `

    Ofcourse…Balls supporting the mansion tax and raising the tax threshold to 10000 pounds demonstrates this

    `In your interesting post you refer to a man called Blair.`

    Ofcourse,one of the greatest political strategists alive…Am glad his views are being sought by the Labour leadership


  37. @CROSSBAT11

    I also marveled at the performance of Athletico Bilboa which was breathtaking and wonderful to watch.

    Regarding public opinion, I do wonder if the failed rescue bid of hostages in Nigeria was fueled by Cameron’s need to regain the momentum being lost in the UK polls. It clearly looks like an attempted ‘Osama’ moment, which if successful would have been heralded by Cameron as proof he has what it takes in successful decisive decision taking.

    No need to tell them Italians “we’ll sort it” mentality ……..but wait, oh dear, it’s gone wrong………….Nothing to see here folks, today’s topic (wheeze) is ………vowing to tackle “absurd barriers to mixed-race adoption”.

    Can we have a poll on that?

  38. Virgilio

    […] Offering them 3 constituencies will not change much, because the will be left with just these 3 if they do not clear the 5% threshold nationally.

    Actually it wouldn’t. To quote Wikipedia

    Mandates for the German Bundestag distributed by regional lists are only given to parties surmounting a 5% restrictive clause of the federally valid second votes. Alternatively, it suffices if a party wins at least three constituencies (three direct seats clause or three constituency clause) . In this case, the party still gains seats by proportional representation according to the number of second votes they received.

    So if the FDP got 3% but had a free run from the CDU/CSU in 3 constituencies, they would get 18 seats.

    Presumably this rule is designed to help the representation of regional parties. It certainly helped the PDS in the 1994 election where they only got 4.5% nationwide, but because they won four seats directly (in Berlin I think) they were represented with 30 Bundestag members.

  39. @Roger Mexico (following from my previous post)
    There is also a snap State Election in just 15 days in Saarland. There the so-called Jamaica coalition (CDU+Green+FDP) formed after 2009 State Election collapsed recently, and no other solution could be found. Latest polls show the following:
    SPD 37 (+12.5)
    CDU 35 (=)
    Left 14 (-7)
    Pirates 5 (+5)
    Greens 4 (-2)
    FDP 1 (-8)
    Others 4 (-0,5)
    If these are the actual scores on March 25, there will be two possible outcomes: An all-red gvt (SPD+Left), or a grand coalition (SPD+CDU). Either way, SPD gets the Ministerpraesident, the FDP is history, the Greens are also punished for their participation in the collapsed coalition, whereas the CDU remains electorally unscathed but “burns’, as usually, its allies (on a national level, the SDP in 2009 and now the FDP). And this exactly what will probably happen to the LDs, as it has already happened between 2009-2011 to the Irish and Czech Greens, the Czech Christian Democrats, the Bulgarian, Hungarian and Slovene Liberals, the Slovak centrists and so on.

  40. @Roger Mexico
    Re the 3 constituencies.
    I admit you are right, this particular provision of German electoral law has somehow slipped my mind (it is not easy to remember 28 different electoral laws, lol!), but even in this case 36+ 3 = 39, so nowhere near a majority. Thanks for your remark, anyway.

  41. SMUKESH.
    yes indeed, and if this is the same Blair. The Tories are afraid of him, very afraid.

    Yes, United’s defeat shows how weak English football is, the ‘Reds’ are not the force in Europe any more, as Radio 4 Sports News said today.

    Yes, the basque team is wonderful, as with Barca, a great commitment to the locality. The Basque priests were on the right side against Franco as well.

    Having a good Lent I hope!
    (I allow myself to drink the odd pint on the Sabbath, which for me starts on saturday sun down)

    My local jesuit priest explains that Lent does not include Sundays.

    And, is SMUKESH’s Blair likely to become leader of The Party do you think. He sounds very promising.

  42. A bit odd:

    Papers are reporting that when Damian Green got arrested over leaks form the Home Office he chose to use his one phone call…to ring Andy Coulson.

  43. CHRISLANE1945

    @”And, is SMUKESH’s Blair likely to become leader of The Party do you think.”


    a) The current Labour party despises him.

    b) He has other things to do-very profitable things-which is why they despise him :-

    “But it was not Mr Blair’s physical appearance, nor even his glowing tribute to his sometime friend Mr Brown, that provided the greatest surprise of his visit to Sedgefield. It was the discovery that Mr Blair now employed 130 people in his ever-expanding business and charity empire, with the wage bill for “Blair Incorporated” thought to be £10 million to £20 million.

    Incredible as it may seem, it means that all previous estimates of Mr Blair’s personal wealth — usually put at £20 million since he left office — appear to have been more than a little on the conservative side.
    Sources close to Mr Blair say his earnings are “several multiples” of the figures that have been quoted in the past, suggesting that £50 million or even £60 million would be closer to the mark.

    We will never know the truth, of course, because Mr Blair has set up a mind-boggling web of companies through which he can channel his earnings without having to declare publicly all of his income.

    Mr Blair is undoubtedly generous to his most senior staff, many of whom loyally followed him from Downing Street to The Office of Tony Blair, as he calls his umbrella organisation.
    They include Ruth Turner, 39, Mr Blair’s former head of government relations, who was arrested during the “cash for honours” investigation (though not charged with any offence). She is chief executive of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, a charity that promotes better understanding between religions, and is richly rewarded.

    Its accounts show that its two highest-paid staff, one of whom is Miss Turner, earn between £110,000 and £120,000 per year, which comes from charitable income. That is more than the chief executive of Oxfam, which employs 5,000 people.

    However much he pays his staff, it seems there is plenty left over for life’s little comforts. One recent guest at South Pavilion in Wotton Underwood, Bucks, which is Tony and Cherie Blair’s £5.75 million country house, said the couple “live like royalty”, with up to 20 staff tending to their needs.
    “They are living far more lavishly then when Tony was prime minister,” said the source. “Their country home is incredible. They seem to have a lot of staff and the furnishings are breathtaking. A lot of the people he socialises with are billionaires, and his lifestyle involves moving between five-star hotels and mansions around the world, always in private jets and helicopters.”

    In one recent spree, Mrs Blair spent more than £250,000 on Georgian and Regency furniture for the 18th-century house, which was previously the home of Sir John Gielgud. The Blairs were also able to pay cash for a £1.13 million mews house in London for their second son, Nicky, who is a teacher.

    Money earned by Tony Blair Associates is likely to be paid into one of six companies registered by Mr Blair, all of which have names beginning with either Windrush or Firerush. Two of them reported a combined income of £11.7 million for the last financial year, but details of where the money came from, and how much of it was paid to Mr Blair, were not revealed.
    The other four companies are limited partnerships or limited liability partnerships, meaning they may not have to file accounts.”

    DT April 2010

    I just love the idea of a Tony Blair Faith Foundation, which pays it’s CEO more than the head of Oxfam.
    This must really help to “promote understanding between religions”.

    “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.”

    Oh yes the boy done good.:-)

  44. Ah, Our Tone. Compare and contrast to Gordon Brown.

  45. @ “And the red flag flies on UKPR once again. 20 seat majority for Labour”

    So Labour are flying that old rag again eh?

    R I P Peter’s fragrant rose .

    No wonder they hate poor Tony :-)

  46. @”Compare and contrast to Gordon Brown.”

    Give him time-he has a lot of catching up to do.

    Making a good start though :-

  47. I am guite sure that when Cameron leaves politics he will
    be adding to his already considerable fortune.One can
    hardly expect ex prime ministers to retire to a semi in

  48. @Ann Miles

    Basingstoke? Have you seen it these days? Eww! Badly overdeveloped. Haslemere is much better… :-)

    Regards, Martyn

  49. According to BBC’s Norman Smith, Andrew Stunell (LibDem MP, Hazel Grove) has said that it’s not up to party members to decide whether to drop the health bill, as LibDem MPs “are not puppets”.

    Wouldn’t that be absolute electoral suicide, if the conference does vote to drop the bill (and thus it becomes official party policy)?
    Especially as it’s so close to the local elections in May.

  50. COLIN.

    On your Tony Blair post.

    I am reminded of ‘Nye’ saying: ‘Nothing is too good for the workers’!

    On the Red Flag:
    Blair sang the song very well actually.
    Connolly’s song but bad tune.
    He was shot, strapped to a chair.
    One of the men who shot him ‘converted’ to ‘Rome’ as a result of what he witnessed at Kilmainham Gaol.

    Macdonald promised George V that he would get the song stopped.

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