As well as the YouGov poll (see the post below), there are also new polls today from Populus and TNS BMRB.

Populus has topline figures, with changes from last month, of CON 33%(-1), LAB 42%(+4), LDEM 11%(nc). For those with a Times subscription there are more details here.

Meantime TNS BMRB has topline figures, again with changes from last month, of CON 32%(-3), LAB 42% (+4), LDEM 10%(-1), Others 16%.

So, three polls tonight, with answers that are actually pretty consistent – the Conservatives at 32-33, Labour at 42-43 and slightly more variation on the Lib Dems on 8-11.


153 Responses to “New Populus and TNS polls”

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  1. @MIKEMS
    Of course in the case of previous non-voters it is not possible to weight by past voting, as the pollsters do for the others, but they can, to some extent, predict their final choice by asking them how certain they are to vote for X candidate, or what is the major issue for them (unemployment, finances, education, security etc). It is, however, possible that the final score of Melenchon will not be very accurately predicted, but this will have no impact in the final outcome.

  2. “Then you’ve got Social Conservatives, Labour and Lib Dems support gay marriage, but what’s the point of voting Conservative, when they are going to put through gay marriage anyway, why would you fear Labour when Cameron is doing the same thing. In fact, Labour only went so far as Civil Partnerships, they didn’t attack marriage,…….”

    Kind of confirms my view that many of the more extended branch of the right flank of British politics are, at heart, frightened individuals, lacking in a certain degree of confidence.

    ‘Fearing’ Labour because of gay marriage? ‘Attacking marriage’? Odd words. I’m heterosexual, married just the once (to a woman) never been divorced, lasted over 20 years, expect it to be until death do us part. No one’s attacking my marriage.

    Am I frightened by gay couples joining me in being able to enjoy the delights of married relationship? Do I fear them?

    I really couldn’t care less – it won’t make a jot of difference to my marriage.

  3. Does anybody else think the cuts in WFTC (Tax credit) are having an impact? Maybe there was a months grace for the Tories until people actually got their wages/ new forms to complete but now the reality has set in?

    IMO, Older voters will be more annoyed by the WFTC cuts, on behalf of their children/ grandchildren, than by the ‘granny tax’. When your kids are doing the right thing i.e. working, trying to raise a family etc. & the government cuts their take-home pay whilst increasing the income of those on >150k, that’s going to cause some animosity from voters, I’d think.

    Does anybody have any thoughts on this?
    8-)

  4. It is ironic after the LDs screwed up on AV, essentially because their opponents pointed to what the LDs have done in coalition, that our FPTP system could create a fragmented multi-party parliament post 2015. Large LAB and CON groups, but the balance of power shared between SNP, UKIP, Green, LD, SDLP, DUP, SF, “Save the NHS”, etc., with the drawback that it will be pure coincidence if it is remotely proportionally representative.
    I imagine that interpreting national polling with a myriad of different local situations will be fantastic fun on this site!

  5. @Amber – I always wonder about the WTFC.

    It’s when a really unpopular government eventually does something right, but everyone says WTF and they get no credit.

  6. @ Alec

    LOL! Typo – I meant WFTC. But I will be calling the 45% rate the WTFTC hereafter. ;-)

  7. AmberStar,

    I said that on a previous thread.

    I think it is remeniscent of the 10p tax threshold. I remember that people were shocked at the time, but it wasn’t even noticed by the (well-off) media and chatterati until a lot later, when it became a weapon insincerely weilded by tories to attack Brown.

    Working people noticed straight away, like they will have done with the tax credit reductions. But no one in the media will have been effected by it, so no one has made the link.

  8. The thing is, every single cut for the poor, no matter how trivial, is amplified by the contrasting massive tax cut for the highest earners.

  9. @Amber re tax credits

    It’s not just the young families this cut affects.

    A comment from Iain Martins blog on the Telegraph :

    “A good friend of mine , who has a part time job, 20 hours a week and earns around £7.50 an hour. He is 53 and until the end of March , recieved £72 a week in Tax Credits. He has now been told that unless he works 30 hours because he is over 50, he will get no Tax Credits. He has lost £280 a month and has no chance of getting an extra 10 hours. He is desperate. Since this Government is raising the State Pension Age and wants or expects people to work into their late sixties, this Government seem intent on hitting people like this . There are a lot of people in his position who are unaware of what is going to hit them. I suspect, when this news hits the fan, there will be trouble.
    Do the great brains in the Treasury have a heart or brains”

  10. The other thing that hasn’t been much discussed was the criticism of the Coalition’s non interevntion policy over Swine Flu which led to unnecessary deaths.

    I remember this being discussed at the time. Cuts that cost lives.

    Impossible to guage any effect on polls, but plays into that gathering narrative…party for the rich, not competent.

    They need Boris to win, a lot.

  11. I hope that Theresa May is not being used to create better headlines for the government.

    Recently she made a statement in the HOC on a rare Friday sitting and today Qatada is arrested, followed by an emergency HOC statement.

    Whatever the merits are of these statements, those with a cynical outlook, might question the timing.

  12. @NickP

    “They need Boris to win, a lot.”

    Johnson is a shoo-in on May 3rd, but if these worsening polls are borne out across the country in all the other local elections taking place that day, then the Conservatives, even with Johnson re-elected as Mayor, will be hard-pressed to mask the bigger picture.

    But be sure, they’ll try mighty hard, though! Maybe they should bring the redoubtable Ken Baker back. I remember him spinning away like mad the day after the 1990 local elections, waving Evening Standard headlines to the press reporting Dame Shirley Porter’s isolated triumphs in London. He was desperately trying to divert attention from Tory electoral disasters elsewhere, and a supine and loyal press bought it. Will they this time, though, considering how disaffected they’ve become with the Coalition?

  13. @ MikeMS

    I’m sorry, I usually read all the comments but must have somehow missed yours. Thank you for commenting again about this. I wasn’t sure that I had my facts straight, as I don’t know as much about it as I should. :-(

    @ KB

    Thanks for replying with additional information. I was only vaguely aware that other types of tax credits were available to people with low earnings. I now see that the changes will directly affect many more types of households so the antipathy of older voters towards this budget may have a more personal element too.
    8-)

  14. crossbat

    I don’t think Boris is a shoo-in, and the polls so far and the volatility thereof suggest Ken can turn it around.

  15. TAX CREDITS
    If I may give a truncated version of what I said in a previous post.
    “Sunday’s INDEPENDENT has interviews with Clegg , relating his “obsession” with improving child care, nursery provision, recruiting 65,000 state nannies, etc
    The interviews were “soft”: no questions were asked about frozen child allowance, or the attack on Labour’s achievements; egs, cuts in Sure Start Centres, Tax Credits, etc, schemes which had greatly improved child-care provision, because such credits have to be spent on approved child-care facilities.”

    The cuts in WFTC are SAVAGE, esp. when combined with cuts in child allowance & EMA , & to mind the most hypocritical element in the LD support for spending cuts; even more so than tuition fees.
    But, the polling change is a drop in the Tory not the LD vote: & it is difficult to see that many recipients of tax credits are Tory supporters: I may be utterly wrong on this.
    But the point that older Tory supporters are disconcerted to what is happening to their younger family members may have weight.

  16. Thanks Virgilio.

  17. Vergilio,

    I’ve just read this on the FdG website speaking of 2007:

    ‘Le Pen avait été largement surestimé (16/17%) alors que son score final fût de 10,5%.’

    Is that true, do you know? (Not the final score obviously, but the over estimation?)

  18. @R Huckle:

    ” They are the housewives. We give them the money.” That’s a nice reconstructed statement! Anyway, I think they’re being rather disrespectful to housewives and overly generous to politicians. I don’t think marriage would be the correct analogy. Marriage is a publicly acknowledged, longstanding, mutual commitment, whereby you share values as well as resources, and you stick with them through the good and the bad times and sometimes they neglect you. In political terms it would more resemble Labour’s union link. Tossing your money after whoever you think will give you best value for it at any given moment in time, with the commitment lasting only as long as the cheque takes to clear and you to get whatever the quid pro quo was for it, isn’t a marriage, it’s a different kind of financially mediated relationship entirely…

    @Max

    “A Blue labour party sounds heaven. ”

    Haha, yes! I’ve sensed you coming in that direction recently. I think we should all be grateful to Max, he’s a case study. He represents a group of working class voters who Labour should be winning over, relatively naturally. Acknowledging that values are as important as economics, would be a step in the right direction. I think that a moderate and thoughtful social conservatism (which would also neutralise some of the more virulent strains you get when people feel their sensibilities are being neglected) combined with a more Keynesian and collectivist economic policy, whilst leaving room for small and medium sized business, would have the potential to be hugely successful, electorally. The coalition is going in the opposite direction: cosmopolitan social policy, combined with hardcore neoliberal economic policy. They’re on the brink of discovering exactly how much this doesn’t chime with the British public’s natural inclinations.

  19. “I would try to make sure that before these policies are announced, a little more in depth policy work has been done”

    One Mr Tony Blair, sticking the knife into his heir on the BBC.

  20. @Hannah

    “I think that a moderate and thoughtful social conservatism (which would also neutralise some of the more virulent strains you get when people feel their sensibilities are being neglected) combined with a more Keynesian and collectivist economic policy, whilst leaving room for small and medium sized business, would have the potential to be hugely successful, electorally.”

    You’ve just described 1950s Toryism perfectly! Harold MacMillan and Rab Butler would have loved it, but the heirs to Thatcher, very prevalent in today’s Tory Party, wouldn’t stand for any such wishy-washy nonsense, I don’t think!

  21. “You’ve just described 1950s Toryism perfectly! ”

    And indeed the postwar consensus for both parties.

  22. @Hannah

    “And indeed the postwar consensus for both parties.”

    Ah yes, and who tore that consensus asunder, I wonder??

  23. It’s about time the removal of child benefit from higher rate tax payers was reconsidered. It’s now more convoluted and impossible to implement in the simple way envisaged.

    You might as well remove the state pension from higher rate tax payers. Now then there’d be an outcry.

  24. Hannah,

    I don’t understand what social conservatism is.

    I don’t think people who are social conservatives can explain what they mean by it either.

    Is it against gay marriage? Why would any leftist support that? Surely, we are lost if preach anything less than equality and justice for all. Being against gay marriage, or other forms of social tolerance and equality, simply to attract discontented conservatives is….well, it’s not a good thing.

    The post-war consensus did not include universal moral values. That’s why the sixties and seventies were such explosions of counter-culture – millions, particularly the young, hated the stifling conformism of the establishment and convention.

    Today’s youngsters seem to be a million miles away from their 1950s counterparts, or at least the generalised view of them. I don’t think they would tolerate moral conformity and I don’t think it can be imposed by anyone. If law is made to force people to adopt moral positions ordained by others, there will just be more cultural revolution.

  25. @Hannah, @CrossBat11, @Max OTFCOK

    It may be true[1] that the UK is becoming socially conservative and fiscally liberal (and may I be the first to use the old phrase “Butskellism”). It is also true that the current Con Parliamentary party are Thatcherite. So you’d think this isn’t a natural fit for Blue.

    But I have noted that whilst they may mouth the prayers and genuflect to the altar, their knowledge is more theoretical than felt and they have never had to be Thatcherite under the fire of a full-on class war. I suspect therefore that the party is more Thatcherite-in-name-only than Thatcherite-even-if-it-hurts, so if being fiscally liberal will get them votes, they will find a way to do it.

    Regards, Martyn

    [1] Obviously I hope that it isn’t (because I’m the exact opposite), but fear that it may.

  26. @Hannah

    I can’t see myself ever voting for Labour, the Blue Labour you described, is likely to never exist. Labour is very liberal on social policy, but at least they did respect some concerns, such as only going so far as a civil partnership.

    Cameron just seems to want to pick a fight with everyone. I don’t think there’s any group Cameron has yet to p**s off. He’s attacking social conservatives with his policies on gay marriage, he’s attacking the charitable, he’s attacking the grey tory vote, he’s attacking the working and middle class with apiration, by hitting social mobility as hard as he can.

    Obviously, I wanted a majority Conservative government, but when we were put in Coalition with the Liberals. I did start to gain hope. I considered New Labour, and how they tried to combine both the best bits of the right and left, and thought maybe this new coalition would do the same. The liberals would provide all the good bits about left wing politics, the conservatives would provide all the good bits about right wing politics, and together they could appeal to both wings from their position in the centre.

    It didn’t work out like this, instead of getting the best of both, we got the worst of both. We’ve got tax rises, spending cuts, social engineering to the left, we’ve got attacks on pensioners, attacks on the poor. Cameron is doing his best to live up to the negative stereotypes of tories, such as being only for the rich, being corrupt, etc. But all the good things Conservatives are known for, such as competence, being good with the economy, being tough on crime, values on social issues, he’s not only ignoring he’s attacking.

  27. “It is also true that the current Con Parliamentary party are Thatcherite.”

    Really??? I wasn’t alive in the thatcher years but I’ve never read about Thatcher hitting the pensioners (wasn’t the poll tax supposed to in her words, help scottish widows who’ve been left with a big house etc)

    From what I’ve read, Thatcher was a supporter of the current definition of marriage, she didn’t want to change it.

    This I’m less certain on, but didn’t thatcher reduce taxes for the many, while the top rate stayed at quite a high level? I think it was 60% but that’s just a guess. Camerons done the opposite, hitting the poor with tax rises, such as Vat and pasty tax, and then still managing to piss the rich off as they wanted 40% not 45%.

    From my perspective, Cameron is very far to the left of Thatcher, I think she’d spit at him if her 1980’s self saw what he was doing today.

    Sometimes I wonder is Cameron a lefty sent to sabotage the tory party to make sure it’s never elected again. You think he would at least be able to make 1 group happy.

  28. Oh and don’t forget his stance on Europe, Thatcher, very anti Eu, Cameron, I’d say is actually very pro eu, federalist even. Ok he threw his veto around, but that was all flash, nothing actually happened, they’re still going to be able to use all the Eu institutions etc. He didn’t give us our referendum he promised, he hands over money to them like there’s no tommorow then comes back with this feeble excuse of, oh i couldnt help it, they made us etc.

    Thatcher, was the Iron lady. Cameron is the sly rat.

  29. @MikeMS

    I was mainly talking about the post war economic and political settlement established by the Attlee 1945-51 government that remained more or less intact until 1979. This consensus, accepted largely by the Conservative Governments from 1951-64, assumed a comprehensive welfare state funded by progressive taxation, the public ownership of our major industries and services and universal free access to education and health. I think you have to be more careful about social mores and personal behaviour because they aren’t within the remits of governments to significantly influence. The slow erosion of the church, the loss of religious belief, better education and the availability of contraception greatly influenced the changes we saw in social morality and sexual behaviour in the 60s and 70s. Despite Roy Jenkins trying to claim ownership of the “Permissive Society” in the 1960s, I don’t think politics had much to do with the irresistible and inevitable changes that occurred.

  30. ‘I wasn’t alive in the thatcher years but I’ve never read about Thatcher hitting the pensioners (wasn’t the poll tax supposed to in her words, help scottish widows who’ve been left with a big house etc) ‘

    Old age pensions used to be linked to wage rises – and they are again now, or soon will be, I think – but Mrs Thatcher cut that link which led to two decades of declining pension value and increasing pensioner poverty.

    Her govt also balked at paying cold weather payments to pensioners and made the condtions difficult.

    She also caused chaos in the general pension arrangements with the usual ‘liberalisation of the market’. This not only led many out of perfectly good public pensioin schemes into city scams, the fraud that has been called the ‘pension miss-selling scandal’, but also led employers to take pension ‘holidays’ i.e. the suspension of their own contributions to the fund. This led to the current turmoil in many pension schemes. We also the gradual destruction of work-based pension schemes as more and more employers closed them down.

    In fact, we used to have universal work based pensions for all, until Thatcher. But now only a minority of private sector workers – the very people who she appealed to for votes – have decent pension schemes and even these are being closed to new entrants.

    Soon we will have no decent pensions at all and looming, long-term old-age poverty for millions. That’s bad government from both parties.

    I don’t mean to be rude, but perhaps your convictions would be better based on more knowledge.

  31. I really get bored with UKIP monomania and poor logic;

    ‘Sometimes I wonder is Cameron a lefty sent to sabotage the tory party to make sure it’s never elected again.’

    This is a site for discussion of polls preferably, and issues in an intelligent way. Not stupid comments like that.
    Can we have some facts please, not paranoia…

  32. Before UKIP start allocating cabinet positions, it’s worth repeating Anthony’s warnings in the previous post about normal sample error making UKIP ‘overtaking’ the Lib Dems almost inevitable in a situation where the Lib Dems are on 8-10%, UKIP on 5-7% and YouGov are producing 20 plus polls a month.

    I also wonder if ‘house’ panel polls such as YouGov are likely to produce slightly better results for UKIP than other methods. By definition people who choose to join a panel are (on average) more opinionated than (on average) the population as a whole and perhaps better informed. We know they are more likely to vote for example. So they might be more likely to choose “UKIP” as an option rather than “Don’t Know”.

    Certainly if you look at the two of the polls on this thread, UKIP aren’t doing quite as well. The telephone polling by Populus shows:

    Con 32% (33%)
    Lab 42% (42%)
    L/D 10% (11%)
    SNP 4% ( 4%)
    P/C 1% ( 1%)
    UKIP 4%
    Grn 3%
    BNP 1%
    Oth 2%

    These are before Populus do their “spiral of silence” adjustment – figures after, where known, are shown in brackets. as you can see it doesn’t make much difference. A bigger problem with Populus is that they only use the responses from those 10/10 certain to vote which reduces their sample to less than 500 once DKs etc are taken out. Only 53% said they were “absolutely certain to vote” and some of these are DKs, refusers etc.

    Angus Reid are also an on-line poll, though they do not have their own panel (they use Springboard), which might make politically minded people less likely to join them. The results are:

    Con 30% (29%)
    Lab 41% (41%)
    L/D 10% (11%)
    SNP 4% ( 4%)
    P/C 1% ( 1%)
    UKIP 8% ( 8%)
    Grn 4% ( 3%)
    BNP 2% ( 2%)
    Oth 1% ( 1%)

    Now Angus Reid adopt the opposite approach to Populus. They take everyone who gives a Party preference without checking if they are certain to vote and then ask a ‘squeeze’ question of the remainder (23% in this case). The first figure shown is the original preference, the one in brackets after those who gave a valid reply to the ‘squeeze’ have been added in (17% of the original 2010 sample are still non-voters).

    Again at the moment there is not much difference after this – bad news for the Conservatives who might be expected to benefit from squeezing if their voters are only slightly alienated from the Party. Note that they have been scoring well for UKIP for some months – 7% in 3 of the last 4 polls – so 8% does not indicate much of a rise.

  33. @Max OTFCOK

    The Conservative Parliamentary party consists of ~300 MPs and is mostly Thatcherite, (whether TINO or not is debatable)

    The United Kingdom Government consists of a Prime Minister, <50 Cabinet ministers and various Secretaries, and lots of Civil Servants. It is not Thatcherite.

    You are referring to the actions of the Government as if they are actions of the Party.

    Regards, Martyn

  34. Crossbat,

    I agree with all you say.

    My beef is : what does ‘social conservatism’ mean if not a return to that old morality, which simply cannot be enforced on people? Max speaks explicitly about gay marriage. But I can’t see what is wrong with that or how it would have any effect on any one else’s marriage. I understand some people object, but it is an irrational objection based on personal feelings not universal human values and rights.

    The post-war consensus was capable of moral adaptation as shown by Jenkins, but couldn’t survive Mrs T. I would go so far to say that these divisive social issues were deliberately brought to the forefront of politics as a cover for the destruction of the PWC.

  35. Mikems

    I don’t know if can really trust your analysis, a lot of that could be your own view point rather than fact. But thank you for your comment, and it will give me something to look into :)

    Pensioners do seem to have it quite good, at least now a days anyway. But still that’s because they’ve paid into the system and deserve that reward, which is why it’s shocking that Cameron seeks to remove some of this from them.

    If he ever touched things like the winter fuel allowance, that would cause outrage like we’ve not witnessed in a long time.

    Cameron’s main problem is that he seems to be attacking everyone. No one is doing well under this gov. Even the super rich who are often said to be the people Cameron favoured, only got the top rate reduced by 5%, when they were donating to his election camapaign, I think they rather wanted it removed. Now he’s going to hit their charitable donations they make.

    If we look at say Obama and Sarkozy, they are both playing divide and rule, they are both seeking to appeal to only one side of their electorate, and hoping to gain enough swing voters. They only seek to get the most votes so they can win outright. They attack their opponents while seeking the votes of their base and the swing votes in the middle.

    Cameron’s policies on the other hand, well they’re angering his opponents, but they are also attacking and alienating those in the middle, and even his base. he does things by halves, hoping that both sides will be satisfied, but in actual fact it’s the opposite it just makes both side angry and hate him more.

    Take the 50p tax rate for example going down to 45. It angered the ordinary members of the public because he was cutting tax on the rich, but it also angered the rich, because he promised them he’d abolish the higher rate altogether, and they’d just continue to pay 40% like everyone else.

  36. Doesn’t “social conservatism” actually mean draconian jail sentences for people who “misbehave”?

  37. Max – I don’t really think he’s a good place for people to educate you about the Thatcher government, but you’re working with rather meagre facts and a rather hagiographical view of her.

    Thatcher’s critics would indeed say she had hit pensioners (in terms of breaking the link between state pensions and earnings, and I’m sure in various other ways over 11 years). The top rate of tax was reduced over her term office, from 83% when she began, down to 60% in her first budget and ultimately down to 40%. The basic rate was also reduced from 33% to 30% in her first budget, down to 25% by the end of her premiership.

    The initial cuts in income tax were, however, funded by increases in VAT, which rose from 8% to 15% in Thatcher’s first budget (IIRC pre election the Conservatives denied plans to double VAT… which they didn’t. A famous case of keeping to the actual terms of a promise, while stamping all over the spirit of it!).

    On Europe, she campaigned in the YES camp in the referendum, signed the Single European Act and you’ll note the absence of referendums during her premiership (and while she herself took some persuading, it was under her leadership we joined the ERM). She became more anti-EU towards the end of her premiership, and viscerally so after leaving power, but again,

    I think the problem is that you’re working with a sterotyped fantasy of a perfect Conservative Margaret Thatcher, rather than the actual Margaret Thatcher, who like all politicans made mistakes sometimes, was cautious sometimes, compromised sometimes and had views that were sometimes nuanced and sometimes changed over time.

    Roger – it’s MORI who do the 10/10 only filter, Populus weight by likelihood to vote on the 1 for 10/10, 0.9 for 9/10, etc basis

  38. RobbieAlive

    You really had to struggle to produce that response!

    That Jeremy Clarkson is routinely insulting about people didn’t make his “one eyed Scottish idiot” any more acceptable.

    However, I note that you see no distinction between being offensive about politicians, and behaving in the same way to a group of people.

    Alf Garnett would be proud that you approve of his attitudes.

  39. “The Conservative Parliamentary party consists of ~300 MPs and is mostly Thatcherite, (whether TINO or not is debatable)
    The United Kingdom Government consists of a Prime Minister, <50 Cabinet ministers and various Secretaries, and lots of Civil Servants. It is not Thatcherite."

    Oh I understand what you mean, and I think I agree. The cabinet certainly isn't Thatcherite, but the backbenchers are more that way, hence the rebellion over Europe.

    @Mike

    "return to that old morality, which simply cannot be enforced on people? Max speaks explicitly about gay marriage. But I can’t see what is wrong with that or how it would have any effect on any one else’s marriage."

    Gay marriage was just an example, one of many.

    Unfortunately I accept, that we are likely to never return to being a moral society. Things like, no sex before marriage, a marriage being for life, nuclear family etc being tough on crime, the nice little family setting where a mother can raise her kids at home without feeling pressure to go out to work, a father earns the money and sees his kids at the weekend without fear that his wife will get bored one day, ask for a divorce, and his kids will get a step dad.

    Those times of morals and values are sadly gone. But what I don't expect to see is a Tory party furthering that process. Ok maybe they can't change things back to the way they were, but they don't need to change them further to meet the social liberalism of the left.

    Now we have kids having underage sex with anyone that comes along, schools actually advocating and teaching them how to do it, and giving them the kit to do it with free. Abortions on demand, The tax system disincentivising marriage where if you're a married couple you get less than if you were 2 singles, B&B owners forced to allow people into their homes that they don't want to serve because they qualify as a business etc.

    A lot of that is because of Labour, and even if Cameron is unable to reverse it (the rot has set in too far) that doesn't excuse him advocating it and pushing it further. This is another reason why people are leaving to Ukip, Ukip's social policies are still Conservative, unlike Cameron's which seems to be trying to out do Labour on who can be the most left wing in terms of social policy.

  40. I had expected the Lab lead to dwindle this week to about six points. (There’s still time, of course.)

    But I think the Government and especially the Cons have entered new territory – where they are being blamed for pretty much everything and joe public are remembering the good parts of the last Lab gov.

    Moreover, the ‘nasty’ Con party is re-emerging, gradually. I believer we are seeing a sea-change in perception.

    This is utterly anecdotal..but a few weeks ago before the Budget I shoudl add a friend at the gym who has retired from work was critical about the way things were moving under this gov. he is exactly the kind of person who would have voted Con at the last GE for ‘change’.

    I also recall the words of Mervyn King when he forecast that the Gov (of whatever policial hue) would suffer badly when the cuts bit. They really have only started and there is much more ahead.

    Things are going to get very rough for this Gov, and particulary the PM and Chancellor. The only things they have to look forward to are the Jubilee, Olympics and perhaps a small military venture somewhere.

    There is so much cr*p piling up around DC e.g. ‘cash for cam’.

  41. Peewee

    “I imagine that interpreting national polling with a myriad of different local situations will be fantastic fun on this site!”

    To an extent this already happens. Assuming you mean “UK” by “national”, Northern Ireland is routinely ignored. Scottish politics are already very different from England.

    While we all know that crossbreaks in a poll are unreliable (especially in VI), the 3 recent polls produced pretty similar Scots crossbreaks. That does suggest that their findings are actually based on an underlying set of political attitudes here.

    Populus – SNP 43% : Lab 25% : Con 15% : LD 9% : UKIP 3% : Green 0%.
    Angus Reid – SNP 47% : Lab 33% : Con 11% : LD 5% : UKIP 1% : Green 1%.
    YouGov – SNP 46% : Lab 28% : Con 11% : LD 8% : UKIP 3% : Green 1%.

  42. “The initial cuts in income tax were, however, funded by increases in VAT, which rose from 8% to 15% in Thatcher’s first budget”
    I quite enjoy the irony of the flak that the coalition are getting for their “Pasty Tax”. They defend it by saying that it is unfair on the poor chip-shop owner down the road who has to charge his customers VAT for warm take-away food. It was Thatcher’s budget some 30+ years ago that was criticised for putting VAT on working-class man’s staple food in the first place! ;-)

  43. @Mike

    “Budget I shoudl add a friend at the gym who has retired from work was critical about the way things were moving under this gov. he is exactly the kind of person who would have voted Con at the last GE for ‘change’.”

    Did he say anything about where he would go in the next GE? Labour, remain tory albeit reluctantly, Ukip, or just stay at home?

    If there was a GE tommororw I really couldn’t tell you where I’d vote. I’ve got the UKIP colours on to commemorate the poll in the sun.

    I’ve waited so long to be able to vote and think voting is important so I wouldn’t stay at home. I don’t think I could stomach voting Labour. So the question would really come down to, do I think a Labour government would be no worse than this current abomination calling itself Conservative (in which case I’d vote UKIP) or do I think, Cameron’s bad but Labour are worse, (in which case I’d vote Tory)

    I really couldn’t choose between them.

    In the Mayoral election, I think what I will do is,

    1st Pref Ukip, 2nd pref Boris, that way I have voted for both, (I do genuinely like Boris) and hopefully contributed to Ukip beating the greens.

    Then for the assembly, for Bexley and Bromely I;d vote con James Cleverley as I know him and have met him personally and he’s a good guy. Then to balance that out I guess I’d vote Ukip at the assembly at wide to see if I can help them get represenation on the proportional assembly. (They need 5%)

  44. @oldnat
    By “local” I was really considering individual constituencies rather than individual nations.
    Who could have predicted George Galloway’s success from the figures we see here? And where might it be emulated in a general election?
    In A GE voters might revert to type, but influence by polling results and having witnessed a smaller party within a coalition might encourage support for alternatives parties.
    Could the SNP in a non-independent Scotland have the balance of power in England and Wales?
    Would a lot of independent “Save the NHS” MPs approach other issues in a non-partisan way?
    Will rainbow coalitions be the order of the day?
    Or will it be more of the same?

    I think there will be lots of speculation and imagination, and more targetted polling as we have seen with the recent yougov poll in strong LD seats.

    It’s definitely going to be interesting.

  45. Max of Kent

    Cameron is a lot cleverer than you think he is, and time will tell. However, like all politicians he makes mistakes and errors of judgement.

    I don’t actually think he sets out to be divisive, rather the opposite, but how can one please everybody?

    Ironically, and contrary to your perception, he is the most pro-Christian and, in many ways, socially conservative Prime Minister for a long time. IMO he really does believe in a strong society and in taking responsibility, and in a strong family upbringing etc. He is very supportive of the values that the churches espouse, and publicly so, unlike his Labour predecessors who preferred to hide this trait.

    This is why his pledge to redefine marriage doesn’t add up. He has been brainwashed by a militant minority (ironically including, it is widely alleged, a majority of gays) represented by a few people who are close to hiim who have convinced him of its ‘merits’. Obviously not realising how out of tune this was with such a large section of society – of all walks – DC is now taken by surprise at the strength of opposition to redefining marriage and I believe underneath has misgivings. But he’s got himself into a hole he didn’t need to, as you say I suppose.

  46. Max

    Sorry no idea how my friend intends to vote at the next GE. Plenty of time for him to change his mind several times before then.

  47. PEEWEE

    Yes. I take your point.

    So much information is now held about us all electronically, and demographic breakdowns by postcode available, that I can see the day coming, when we are all polled by mobile phone, and detailed analyses of political implications will be available by even sections of wards.

    When that day comes, we’ll look back on UKPR reporting of “national” trends with the same mystification that we view the Romans predicting events by the anomalies in chicken entrails.

  48. @MIKEMS
    It is true that in 2007 the score of J-M LePen was overestimated by most pollsters. On average, they had him at 13-14% (the 17% that you mentioned was probably an outlier), and finally he got 10.5%. This can be explained in two ways: 1.The pollsters were right, but there has been a last-minute shift from LePen to Sarkozy (the latter had an average of 28-29% and at election day he received 31%). 2. The “raw data” they were getting were around 10%, but because of what had happened in 2002, they feared that the LePen vote was understated, so they “corrected” their prediction so as to show a higher LePen score. Anyway, this was a minor fluctuation with no real influence on the final outcome. All pollsters had correctly predicted the order of the candidates (1. Sarkozy 2. Royal 3. Bayrou 4. LePen) and very accurately the final winner (52-54 for Sarkozy, he finally got 53%. There was only a runoff VI poll by institute CSA, who had Sarkozy and Royal even at 50%, but (unfortunately) this proved to be an outlier. This year there is not even that, no runoff VI poll has Sarkozy above 47%.

  49. Alec
    “I’m heterosexual, married just the once (to a woman) never been divorced, lasted over 20 years, expect it to be until death do us part. No one’s attacking my marriage.

    Am I frightened by gay couples joining me in being able to enjoy the delights of married relationship? Do I fear them? ”

    I’m in the same position except that its nearly 50 years.When we get there, our councillor will come round with a bunch of flowers and a photographer from the local paper.

    They ask for a few words to explan this uncommon behaviour. I plan to tell them the secret: sleep naked in a double bed.

    If I was anti-gay, I’d keep quiet about it.

    Some anti-gays need reassurance about their own orientation .On the other hand it’s irrational iIf you are the sort of hetrosexual male who wants many partners, gays are economically active taxpayers and reduce the competition – the more the merrier.

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