Tonight’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 31%, LAB 45%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 8%, so back to a fourteen point Labour lead.

The big temptation in looking at polls is to see patterns that aren’t really there, to twist purely random movement into patterns and trends and then seek to explain something that isn’t actually there. So one way of looking at the last couple of weeks with YouGov is that Labour had a boost from the local elections that produced a couple of 14 point leads, which fell back last week as the local election effect faded and this week has grown again as the government get into another tricky patch of U-turns and omnishambles.

The alternative explanation is that random chance produced a couple of polls on the high side one week and a couple of polls on the low side another week, and actually the underlying Labour lead has been at around about 12 points for the whole time. The first explanation is more attractive – our minds like to seek out narratives and patterns in data – that doesn’t make it more likely to be true.


188 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – CON 31, LAB 45, LD 9, UKIP 8”

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  1. @Neil A
    “If you have any additional evidence of wrongdoing by Hunt”

    Transacting government business on a Gmail account is quite enough for me.

  2. @ Statgeek

    :-)

  3. we seem to be creeping towards that 15% labour lead that some of us (me included) have been expecting for the last 2-3 weeks. Can’t be long, even if it is for one day only. And/or Conservatives flirting with 30% and below.

    One wonders whether, if Europe somehow vanishes as an issue (not very likely I know), UKIP will cease causing the Cons the problem it is currently causing. Or is it the case that divisions like this take a long time to heal? I think the latter is more likely the case, judging by the time it took to sort out the left after all the SDP business.

  4. I don’t think Cameron and Osborne can turn it round and the tory press and a larhe section of his own party don’t like them either.

    No idea what may happen or how, but it seems most unlikely to hold for another three years.

    …and it was all going so well………………….

  5. @PAULCROFT

    Given that the gov has gone from a level peggin situation to a 12 point deficit in less than six months, and there’s 29 months to the election, I imagine anything can still happen.

    A point a month, and it’s a 17 point lead (ok, not likely, but a point a month wouldn’t have anyone worried until you add them all up).

    If it’s this bad or worse by May 2014, then things will be very interesting.

  6. I don’t think its as simple as the maths though: there’s a humptydumpty syndrome for one thing and this is a strange situation where the left wing press don’t approve, most lib dems don’t approve or have deserted and now the right wing press plus swathes of his own party are joining in.

    If he could do a Scots accent he could be saying – a la dad’s army – “ware dooooooooooooooooomed”

  7. I said ages ago that Labour hitting 50% will be the point at which the Coalition panics about the 2015 election. Will Labour get to that crucial point in the foreseeable future? The increase in fuel tax may make it happen in August – unless Osborne does yet another budget u-turn. But I’m not sure he can afford it; the charity tax u-turn has already left a gap which he’ll need to fill.
    8-)

  8. Labour struggled to get 38% in the local elections a few weeks ago whilst the Lib Dems scored double their average opinion poll estimate , giving the coalition 46% in those elections . I think recent polling needs to be taken with a pinch of salt . Including UKIP , there is a broad church of centre right opinion out there and any thoughts of that moving to a leftwards moving Labour Party is fanciful .

  9. @Chasglas

    ‘Labour struggled to get 38% in the local elections a few weeks ago whilst the Lib Dems scored double their average opinion poll estimate’

    ….they were ‘local elections’ remember. Different VI to the national picture as shown in these polls…. I fancy this is a true reflection of the mood out there. The figures have been pretty constant for weeks now and entirely believable.

  10. Obviously they are local elections , but its a remarkable gap between actual votes for Labour and polling evidence .
    The last regional breakdown of pollster figures showed Labour piling up votes in the North of England , where they don’t need them , but behind in the South of England where they desperately need seats and behind the SNP in Scotland , where they need to hold

  11. *addendum to my last post *

    In a first past the post system , and with regional voting trends around the UK , an opinion poll percentage is not a strong basis for estimating seats in The House of Commons

  12. Anthony
    Analysis in terms of statistical significance and in terms of underlying or contingent causes are complementary, not alternatives. Whether 12% or 14%, growth of a Labour lead of this level reflects both a sustained trend and specific causes; e.g. the 92% support from the 2010 Labour vote (as against 70+ Tory vote), for example in a sound indicator of the sustained core party supporter vote. Looking at the growth in the overall lead, the rejection of an austerity policy and specific public sector cuts and refusal to use a Keynesian infrastructure and housing investment strategy to restore growth and specifically to create employment, are criticised by international financial institutions and economists, reinforcing public perceptions. These are empirically testable evidence of elements in VI which are likely, because of ungovernable factors in both the global and UK economy, to be sustained beyond 2015.

  13. @CHASGLAS

    First can I take issue with your statement that Labour struggled to get 38% at the local elections. Can you tell me the last time a party didn’t win government with 38% of the national vote?

    The second is a point I havent heard for a while but you say the coalition received 46% of the vote. I didnt see a coaltyion party standing, the only vote the lib dems are getting are its own loyal followers and a vote for either the conservatives or for the libdems is not a vote for the coalition.

    Its easy to get confused between votes at local elections and what may be local issues and voting at any future general election.

    Make no mistake, Labour is on course for a majority in 2015 but still has to convince the public it has a better alternative plan for the UK.

  14. ‘The government has hit another tricky patch.’ Something more serious methinks. Why has the Labour majority gone down while the average percentage lead has gone up?

  15. YouGov did a survey for the think tank IPPR which was published last September. It tried to identify ‘core voters’, people who say they would ‘always’ vote for the same party. The result was 24% Lab, 19% Con and 5% LD. So Lab scored best in terms of potential long term loyalty.

    Interestingly the survey also looked at VI from the other end of the telescope, in terms of who people said they would ‘never’ vote for. Just 30% said they would never vote Lab, 36% would never vote LibDem and 42% said they would never vote Con.

    http://www.ippr.org/press-releases/111/7999/new-poll-shows-labour-has-biggest-pool-of-potential-voters-but-electoral-mountain-still-to-climb

  16. @Chasglas

    Partly this can be explained by differential turnout and effective local gotv, and partly by the actual seats that were up for election.

    Local elections typically get about half the turnout of nationals, and (sadly) Liberal and Tory voters have a better record of getting themselves to the polls without massive encouragement. In GEs this effect is less dramatic. I say sadly not from a party political stance, but simply because it is good that all opinions are reflected in ballots.

    GOTV is an interesting one to look at because here there is a link between local success and GE success. Your GOTV team relies a lot on local Councillors – unsung heroes of the party machinery. What will happen in 2015 when there are fewer LibDem Councillors?

  17. @Chasglas

    I accept some of what you say but you could reverse your argument about North of England to the Tories to say that they appear to have lost a too large area of the country for them to form the next government. There is something quite damning about the Tory vote since Thatcher that suggests their hardcore is not enough to form a majority government.

    I’m not that bothered about people saying Labour needs to be 50% or whatever. I’m sure there will be a natural reverse as people have to make their choice but I see their 40% as much more solid because of the swing from the Lib Dems- a swing that doesn’t look like reversing.

    The only thing I think might change this if there is a financial meltdown from the Euro crisis and the ongoing financial crisis that led to the 2008 collapse. Because Britain has it’s own currency it is not impossible we come out of it better than other countries in Europe which gives the Tories a powerful argument about managing the economy better (whether true or not). A meltdown could also produce a Falklands style wildcard and, rather like Greece, people vote on a much narrower choice of direction given at the time and not on anything to do with past record. There could be a strong anti Europe sentiment that the Tories are in a better place to exploit if voters are given ‘a stark choice’ type thing.

  18. Good Morning all, day off for me: tennis veterans match.

    I believe that no one should be taking a defeat for the Conseravtives and victory for Labour as ‘given’.

    IMO/CREDO we are more likely heading for a ‘dead heat’ between the Labour Party and the Conservatives.

  19. “Cameron clears Hunt after 25 minutes.”

    A major part of Leveson’s remit is to inquire into the “contacts and the relationships between national newspapers and politicians, and the conduct of each.”

    When Jay asks the same question twice, it means he is not satisfied with the answer he had been given… with Hunt the repeated questions were about Adam Smith (who for some reason has had to resign), the “additional level of communication” available to NI while other interested parties had to go through lawyers at the department, and the extent to which Smith was his master’s voice.

    Cameron is due to answer questions in mid-June, it is also looking more likely that Osborne will be called. The Inquiry usually announces these things a week in advance.

    Cameron can’t afford to take any action on Hunt – it would be an admission that there may have been some impropriety – but it does mean that his and Osborne’s myriad contacts will come under increasing scrutiny, now that the gaps are being filled in about who said what to whom, and when.

  20. Neil A,

    That’s curious logic, isn’t it?

    Unless new evidence is presented, you seem to say, there can’t be a new enquiry. But only a new enquiry would reveal new evidence, wouldn’t it?

    That’s the point of enquiries. That’s also why Leveson is not the appropriate body to make the enquiry and why the proper route, via that Allan chap who has nothing to do, has not been taken.

    In fact your defence is exactly the same as the one originally deployed by NI about Coulson, Brooks and phone hacking i.e. ‘there’s no evidence of extensive wrongdoing, so no need for an enquiry into extensive wrongdoing’. Subsequent events showed that for what it was worth.

    The tory party seems to have an odd attitude to enquiries. For example, it rushed to hold an internal enquiry into cash for access, but, as yet, they haven’t reported on its progress. A cynic may imagine that is because there is no enquiry, just an announcement of it to ward off a real one. And a curiously helpful silence on the matter from the media and other parties.

    With Leveson, Mr Cameron seems to be saying that if they can manage not to reveal any further misdeeds there, why, there is no need to enquire any further. Isn’t that the line of someone with something to hide, someone who knows that there is more to come out, but is hoping to conceal it?

    That attitude is itself a prima facie indication that they are still engaged in a cover up. If there was nothing to hide they would already have announced a full enquiry, but they haven’t and they seem very keen to avoid one.

  21. The most damning evidence against Hunt is that he had clear legal advice to not meet James Murdoch so instead he called him. Members of the public will not understand how this can be right and will take it as a sign that he was completely biased.

  22. Labour to force commons vote on Hunt.

    That may put the Liberal Democrats under some strain. How will Vince vote?

  23. This is interesting.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/jun/01/british-chambers-commerce-emergency-measures

    This is what I’ve been calling for with a concentration on social housing so that it reduces the housing benefit bill by moving people out of expensive private rented accomodation to new social housing. The BCC can’t be called leftwing loonies. The Goverment is losing economic credibility at a huge rate.

  24. I take Anthony’s coaching on the dangers of plucking clutches of polls in isolation and then using them as self-serving evidence of widening or narrowing leads, but it’s interesting to see the way the last twelve YouGov polls have moved, I have to say. If you take the seven polls from May 16th -23rd they show a slow reduction in the Labour lead:14,13,11,12,11,10,8, with the Labour VI drifting slowly downwards too: 45,44,43,44,43,42,42. This trend, admittedly within MOE to some extent, caused many commentators to think that the Government was past the worst and that the omni-shambles factor may have been unwinding. Indeed we had some posters on this site, not all of them Tory sympathisers by any means, but those who always seem keen to pounce on the slightest sign of any perceived Labour weakness, saying very similar things.

    However, the last five YouGov polls have pointed to a trend in the opposite direction on both the size of the lead and Labour’s VI. Lets look at the lead first: 12, 11, 13, 12, 14. The VI shows something similar: 43, 44, 45, 44, 45. Now, normal caveats aside, aren’t we entitled to make a general observation that, about a fortnight ago, the Labour VI and lead started to subside a little, albeit not dramatically, and from about last weekend, has started to edge upwards again? If polls are going to mean anything at all, can’t we read something a little more into them than just explaining their significance away by dint of statistical volatility? Is there never causation and effect and might it not be that political events of the last seven days have twitched the polls in a certain direction? Or are we condemned to say that the die was cast immediately after the budget, nothing much has changed since, and the polls are just oscillating harmlessly within MOE parameters? I’m not so sure, I have to say, and I would contend that a combination of Leveson, budget u-turns and the re-emergence of sleaze (Warsi) might have revived public disaffection with the government after a period when obvious political own-goals were being avoided.

    Public opinion isn’t always entirely oblivious to political events, you know!

  25. reply to PaulCroft
    Left wing press! What left wing press? The Guardian leans to the left a bit; the FT is printed on pink paper and is ‘balanced’; the home counties set believe the Beeb is red in tooth and claw but how so, with John Humphries around. Anything left of that has a combined circulation of three and a half.

  26. @Crossbat11

    I commented a couple of threads back on how Labour’s VI seems to drift up and down a lot more than the other parties. It seems to be innately much harder to judge the long-term trajectory of Lab VI, so that looking at only 2 week’s polling can easily give the wrong impression.

    Not the faintest idea why, but that’s how it seems to be.

  27. mikems

    Labour to force commons vote on Hunt.

    That may put the Liberal Democrats under some strain. How will Vince vote?

    According to The Paper That Must Not Be Linked To:

    Labour’s deputy leader, Harriet Harman, said the party would call a vote in the House of Commons on whether Hunt’s actions should be referred to the independent investigator on the ministerial code.

    If the Lib Dems are being really cunning (which they won’t be on current form), they should put down an amendment to allow reference to the Independent Investigator by other means than by the PM. They might alternatively give the II the right to call-in cases that become matters of public concern.

    Of course whether Labour would be happy with something that could be used against them in future would be another matter.

  28. robin

    I commented a couple of threads back on how Labour’s VI seems to drift up and down a lot more than the other parties.

    There’s actually a technical reason for that. Margin of Error is partly dependent on what is being estimated. The nearer it is to 50% the larger the the Margin of Error (Confidence Interval) will be:

    So for a sample of 1,700 (as YouGov’s usually are around) you get MoEs as follows:

    ‘True’ value 45% – MoE +/- 2.36 points.

    ‘True’ value 30% – MoE +/- 2.17 points.

    ‘True’ value 10% – MoE +/- 1.43 points.

    Of course these MoEs are the minimum theoretical values and in any real poll there will be more movement around than these MoEs would predict (even if the underlying ‘true’ value stayed the same) despite all YouGov’s efforts to get the variance as small as possible. But these figures should give a feel as to why the phenomenon you mention happens.

  29. Hunt, guilty or innocent. So far there has been no trial, just evidence. Most people will side according to their party elligencies. But as far as polling goes I think it comes down to how it will play out to the “ordinary Joe” as Ken Clarke put it. Most of the coverage I feel has been bad and it will continue to rumble on. This can only harm the Tory VI. If Hunt had resigned things might have played out a bit better for the Tories.

    The LibDems on the other hand have come out of this quite well, I feel. But have not received the credit for this, Dr Cables evidence looked good and received good press (but not big headlines).

  30. BrianCroft:

    I said “left wing” press [meaning anti-tory] – I didn’t say there was loads of it but the Mirror [large circulation] the Guardian and to a lesser extent the Independent are all anti-tory.

    But the significant point is that the right wing press – i.e. the largest element – is increasingly anti-Cameron. I believe they and the right of the party will be trying to figure out how to ditch him and who to replace him with. Their problem will be the catch 22 one that they can only justify doing do if he becomes even more unpopular and in that case they’s struggle to avoid an immediate election.

    Politics is quite fascinating at this time I feel.

    [ps How’s mum?]

  31. The latest PMI figures for manufacturing seem to have slipped through unnoticed. They are dire. At 45.9, the headline figure is the worst for three years and shows the fastest rate of decline in outstanding work since April 2009. As we were relying on the growth of private export led manufacturing – the March of the Makers – this is an unmitigated disaster.

    I would add a caveat however, in that I have suspicions that things might not be as bad as the PMI data suggests. I posted a couple of times previously about how the official ONS GDP data turned out to be much worse than the Markit/CIPs PMI survey data, with the (complete unsubstantiated) theory that perhaps the PMI data, as a sample survey, was distorted by industry levels of confidence being out of line with actual overall industry performance.

    I raised this prospect after seeing a number of occasions where changes in trend were picked up by the ONS quarterly data before being reflected by PMI results. The most recent of these was the Q1 GDP data which came out well below expectations in April, was confidently expected to be revised up in May, but was in fact revised down.

    Now we see some truly awful manufacturing figures. Given what is going on in Europe, America and now China and India, this isn’t too surprising. However, I do wonder if we’ll see actual output figures not quite as bad, with the PMI survey data perhaps reflecting sentiment catching up and overtaking reality.

    However bad it actually is, with a figure of 45.9 it certainly is bad to one degree or another. In many ways I see this as the worst bit of news for the government this week, which hasn’t been a great week to start with. Even the Telegraph is now saying the government needs to quickly boost demand but Osborne has locked himself into a political prison.

  32. bbc news seems to be locked into a sickening jubilee loop.

    uurgh

  33. Crossbat,
    I was one who said and maintains that Hunt aside the Government seems to have got it’s act together lately, The budget U turns are a legacy of that omishambles period and will be forgotten in detail soon; although the mismanged budget has damaged the Govt credibility clearly. The Coulson thing and the timing in the week of Hunts’ appearance can’t help the Tories but negatively affect short term VI, not sure?
    FWIW, I recall that my view was that the 8&9% YG leads were within moe of a 10-12% lead but that whiIst I do not do expect any meaningful recovery in con VI over the summer I do not expect any drop below 30% on UKPR Average. (baring events dear boy events).

    I believe that 30% or so have bought in to austerity come what may and that if moderate cons like Niel A have accepted the line on Hunt there is probably little mileage in that issue, at least until Leveson reports.then only maybe. Syria (rightly) and Jubilee (sadly) dominating the news, Leveson no where.

    Oppositions rarely get heard in the summer and Ed should spend the time working on the strategy for the autumn and conference season, I think we agree too much detail now is unnecessary and potentially problematic.

  34. RESULTS (from Independent)

    Barnet London Borough – Brunswick Park: Lab 1769, C 1598, Lib Dem 97. (May 2010 – Three seats C 3496, 3353, 3307, Lab 1994, 1937, 1758, Lib Dem 1289, 1217, 1066, Green 548, 431, 409). Lab gain from C. Swing 13.2% C to Lab.

    Bournemouth Borough – Redhill and Northbourne: C 675, Lab 539, Lib Dem 424, Ind 398, Ukip 327, Green 54, Ind 51, BNP 42, Ind 15. (May 2011 – Three seats C 1363, Lib Dem 1278, 1189, C 1147, 1079, Ind 1027, Lab 539). C hold. Swing 5.5% C to Lab.

    Cotswold District – Fosseridge: C 397, Lib Dem 168, Ind 98. (May 2011 – C 638, Lib Dem 173). C hold. Swing 11.4% C to Lib Dem.

    Eastbourne Borough – Meads: C 1783, Lib Dem 465, Lab 323, Ukip 322, Ind100. (May 2011 – Three seats C 2239, 2232, 2126, Lib Dem 797, 766, 734, Green 414, Lab 411, Ukip 404, Lab 373, Green 361, Lab 349). C hold. Swing 4.7% Lib Dem to C.

    North Lincolnshire Borough – Town: 1141, C 856, BNP 133. (May 2011 – Two seats Lab 1045, 930, C 790, 755, Green, 276). Lab hold. Swing 1.4% C to Lab.

  35. @Jim Jam – I simply can’t accept any assertion that the government has got it’s act together now, and the nasty headlines are either uncontrolled events or legacy hangovers.

    Last night Cameron ‘cleared’ Hunt in 25 minutes, a move that I view as a strategic mistake and one that may well set up a defeat in the commons, if Lib Dem MPs wake up.

    In the last few hours we’ve heard that the Home Office is paying border agency civil servants a £10,000 bonus – that will go down like a lead balloon in the queue at Heathrow – and HMRC has reversed a change to the landfill tax that was potentially going to increase dumping taxes from £2.50 to £64 a tonne. It was so bad that skip hire companies had threatened to disrupt the jubilee weekend.

    A long time ago some of us took the judgement that (with a few exceptions) there really wasn’t much to this crop of ministers. Not a great has happened in the intervening years to alter this view, in my opinion, although it does look like the general public is catching up with the mood.

  36. []

    Irrespective of their political beliefs, joe public and indeed MPs will IMO have their view of DC affected by the on-going revelations emerging from Leveson and the police hacking enquiries. It is difficult to see how DC can turn things round, both for himself and the gov/Cons.

    I suggest that were the LDs not in coalition, the (dis)approval figures for DC would be far worse than they currently are.

  37. Good Afternoon from Bournemouth, chaos on roads.

    The Vote on Hunt in the Commons is a very interesting development; the use of the old censure motion was always effectively used, I felt, by the Heath-led oppositon to ‘Wislon’ (Private Eye).
    It will be interesting to see how Mp’s vote.

    The economic figures look dire.

    NICK P. Thanks for the election figures.
    I was too lazy to be involved in the North Bournemouth contest.

  38. Alex,
    I don’t think much of the Conservative ministers either with a few exeptions but our opinions are not important for VI; the control I see is more from No.10.
    I did say Hunt aside which imo the PM has badly mishandled and the land-fill tax is a budget measure.
    The Home Office story is one of those we get from time to time and got under Labour and may be due to the infationary private sector comparitors introduced by Labour ; may be unhelpful but will not affect VI.

    You may be right that the Gov’t still accident prone and I am viewing ‘less bad’ as getting it’s act together, perhaps I am self expectation manageing by anticipating no widening of the gap in the summer.

  39. @RM

    “There’s actually a technical reason for that. Margin of Error is partly dependent on what is being estimated. The nearer it is to 50% the larger the the Margin of Error (Confidence Interval) will be:”

    It’s not this. I’m looking at rolling means of 5 consecutive polls (moe reduced by factor sqrt(5)), and if it was just random noise this would be damped out by the averaging. Instead, mean Lab VI drifts up and down within a 2-3% range, while the range for Con VI (with an moe that isn’t *that* much different) is no more than 1% (accurately reflecting moe).

  40. Too much pink and (false) non-partisan colours here at present.

    Will the Jube stuff signal an improvement in Government fortunes? It could put Hunt on the back burner, although Hattie is trying to get the fire re=lit.

    We are off tomorrow (really, this time) to escape it all. We chose an area of Europe that will have no idea about people doing such silly things.

    The television has already been silenced, it was appalling on the lunchtime news. Lazy journalism.

  41. @Jim Jam – just to clarify, the land fill tax wasn’t a budget measure, but a technical issue that was sent out a week ago. Of all the U turns, this is the fastest.

  42. One set of polls that some may have missed appeared on the YouGov archive as “Royal Family + Jubilee (Sun)” which may have been why they didn’t look at it. However there are some interesting results in there, not all connected to the RF.

    http://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/u759dzo4qe/YG-Archives-Pol-Sun-JubileeRoyalFamily-300512.pdf

    The main RF one that I noticed was on the question(s) And how good or bad a job do you think Prince Charles and Prince William will each do as King?

    William won with a score of 83-5, but Charles got 61-26, which rather suggests that any preference for William as next King my be more due to people feeling that William will do a better job than that Charles will do a bad one. So republicans should not feel too hopeful that a King Charles will automatically advance their cause much.

    But I was much more interested in some policy questions looking at things that were aspects of life in 1952 and what people thought of them now.

    People were in favour of the introduction of a system of national identity cards in Britain? by 45% to 39%. Labour supporters were most in favour but Lib Dems most against (including those who voted Lib Dem in 2010). So any Labour attempt to go back to that policy may risk losing their new converts.

    Voters believe that prescriptions should be free for all by 50% to 37% – predictably the only group opposed are the over-60s who get free prescriptions themselves but don’t think anyone else should. The Scots are less self-centred they show the biggest regional support.

    When asked Which, if any, of these aspects of life in 1952 Britain would you like to see return? “Compulsory national service” was supported by 50% to 40%. here the big split was under/over 40 with only the latter in favour (over 60s 65% were pro, 29% anti). However it doesn’t say “Compulsory national service” for whom so I would propose it for the over 60s. We could call it the Workhouse. As you can see it’s bound to be very popular among them.

    More surprisingly voters were narrowly against “Corporal punishment in schools” by 47% – 45% and only narrowly in favour of “The death penalty for murder” by 46% to 43%. Maybe what convention assumes is true about the public’s punitive instincts isn’t as true as some might like.

    However one policy is overwhelmingly popular “Nationalisation of industries like gas,
    electrity and telecommunications” gets 58% against only 23%. I wonder how much coverage that got in the Sun.

    Finally YouGov checked out the various opiums of the people being offered up over the next few months.

    Which of the following events this Summer are you most looking forward to?

    The Queen’s Jubilee celebrations 23%

    The Olympics 21%

    The Paralympics 3%

    The Euro 2012 football championship 20%

    I am not looking forward to any of them 30%

    I think those government supporters hoping for the country to come back to them in a tide of patriotic fervour may have a long wait.

  43. Is the plural of opium opiums? Just asking… because I’ve never seen it used before; the word opiates is more often used although that isn’t, strictly speaking, the plural of opium itself, is it?
    8-)

  44. Apparently Spain have asked the IMF for a £300bn bailout.

    Where does this money come from ? Presumably the countries that have pledged the IMF this money, will borrow it ? So more debt is built up to pay for the debts that have previously been created.

    I have asked the question ‘ is money real’ before and got the response that money is not real. It is just an accepted token to pay for whatever is being traded. The point I was making, was that most of what we call money is actually just traded debt.

  45. @ Roger Mexico

    I think the polling you have just referenced re. national service (in the military, one assumes), corporal & capital punishment, nationalising strategic/ core assets etc. provides some support to Ed Miliband’s assertion that, generally speaking, the center has moved [somewhat] towards the liberal Left.
    8-)

  46. ROGER MEXICO and HOWARD.
    The Royal celebrations will be wonderful and increase my pride in being Briitsh. What a wonderful family they are.

    We will be able to forget all our problems for a weekend

  47. CL
    What problems, I thought that like me (and everyone else), you had never had it so good?

    RM
    Actually the royalty poll was extensively covered here except the less interesting bits, but thanks for covering those. I did not see any surprises, which is why AW probably did not pick them out.

  48. @ Amberstar

    The word opiates is not the plural of opium but the generic plural for narcotics derived from opium, eg., morphine, etc. [I think].

    After all, there is presumably no plural of heroin [heroines being the plural of heroine] or cocaine. One says: so many different types of cocaine [or heroin] are available on the market, I’m lost for choice — not cocaines or heroins?

  49. @ Robbie

    Thank you :-)

  50. I’m looking forward to seeng the findings of the next YG opium poll due on Sunday.

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