The monthly ICM poll for the Guardian is out and has topline figures of CON 31%(-3), LAB 41%(+2), LDEM 14%(-1), Others 14%. In the last couple of years ICM have tended to show smaller Labour leads than many other polling companies for methological reasons, so while ten point leads for Labour have been two-a-penny these last six months, for ICM it is a very large lead, the biggest they’ve shown since 2003. The poll also has UKIP at 6% – a high figure for a telephone pollster.

There is also a new TNS BMRB poll out with topline figures of CON 28%(-3), LAB 44%(+1), LDEM 8%(-1), Others 19%(+2) (including UKIP at 7% and the Greens at 5%). While TNS do tend to show some of the largest leads anyway, the sixteen point Labour lead is the largest any company has shown this Parliament. Suffice to say, I think we can write off the sharp narrowing of the lead in the weekend ComRes poll as an outlier!

From here on in we are into conference season polling. In some past years this has produced a rollercoaster effect, with each party enjoying a boost in the polls in the immediate aftermath of their conference and their leader’s conference address. In other years it has had hardly any effect… we shall have to see which sort of conference season 2012 is.

313 Responses to “New ICM and TNS-BMRB polls”

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  1. Has the GB Labour Party conference agenda been published yet?

  2. CHRISLANE1945

    I suspect many people have made ” a permanently anti government decision” – regardless of which party is in government.

  3. John PIlgrim,what a splendid name or avatar that is.Yes sadly there is not much ancient history taught these days.There is nothing much new under the
    Sun particularly where politics is concerned.

  4. CHRISLANE1945,

    Did you mean “brave” in the Sir Humphrey sense.


    I think Mori are just drawing there attention to the poll conducted on the Independent Budget commissions proposals.

    What they show that even the most popular spending reduction ” Limiting free travel to over 65’s not over 60’s” still only has minority support ,about a third.

    So I suspect it shows what you would expect, general opposition to tax rises, spending or service cuts.

    In addition even if you take the two most popular reductions together they don’t make anything like the kind of savings needed.

    Again when cuts are suggested the public tend to support no cuts to big budgets and big cuts to small budgets which even if made won’t fill the gap.

    Who’d be a politician… Oh wait a minute… Me!


  5. Mike M, I do hope. I am addressing the right person.Just been reading a piece
    Allan Milburn in which he too desperately wants some flesh on the bones as it
    Were.We will just have to wait and see,but I trust him.You know who I mean.

  6. Chris: I’m curious as to what you felt was “brave” in Clegg’s speech?

    It all seemed fairly predictable to me and I can’t see what else he could have said.


    I thought NC’s speech was brave too-marching towards the sound of gunfire as it were.

    Brogan in DT seems very impressed indeed-to the extent of seeing “yellow shoots”.

    Peter Kellner has been doing the tv stations with this metaphor though-. He said if you’re a niche deli. in Hampstead, the last thing you do is say I’m going to compete with Tesco & Sainsbury now. PK said LDs don’t have credibility as a Big Player.

    But I agree with Mr Croft-what else can NC do or say?
    The virginity of perpetual protest in opposition is gone now-and if LDs ever again contemplate a list of apple pie & motherhood policies , they only have to remember NC’s apology remix.

    They are in the real world whether they like it or not now.

  8. I watched Nick Cleggs speech. More bravado than “brave”. I had to switch it off in the end. I doubt there is much that could persuade me to vote Libdem ever again. I notice the lat est Given the latest Yougov poll give Lab a 13% lead and libdems and UKIP both on 9% it might seem I am not alone.

  9. Something has changed. Everybody in the media, and anybody I meet (and I live in the South) seems to think Labour will win. Mitchell is a laughing stock, Cameron and Clegg…well, people aren’t listening.

    Everybody is just waiting for the next election, even the Government seem to be treading water, and they are just waiting to lose and get back to rethinking in opposition.

    It’s weird. There’s no real enthusiasm for Labour I can detect, except they aren’t Conservative and they might just be vaguely competent.

  10. Haven’t posted for a while. Media reaction to Nick Clegg’s speech seems quite positive. Despite the Lib Dems’ current dire poll ratings people are beginning to realise that the Coalition is likely to last the full five years and that we could have another hung parliament in 2015. I attended two days of the Lib Dem conference. Mood seemed resolute/determined. No sign of panic.

  11. “I attended two days of the Lib Dem conference. Mood seemed resolute/determined. No sign of panic”.

    Apparently, there wasn’t much panic on the Titanic either – not until the end when the size of the calamity became all too real. The prospect of another 75 years as a fringe, protest party must be pretty depressing. Denial is a wonderful coping mechanism!

  12. @DAVID

    Clegg seemed to be only talking to his party – all about where the party is positioned.. What was he saying to voters?

  13. @couper2802

    The message was that only the Lib Dems combine economic competence with a commitment to building a fair, free and open society.

    @Graeme We’ll see. The media is beginning to talk about the possibility of a Lib Dem recovery…

  14. @DAVID

    That is a good pitch but it is not believable at the moment.

    The economy is not recovering and next week Labour can say “We told you so” which they did warning of a double dip which is exactly what has happened.

    And the lib dems have achieved none of their dearly held policies in government (PR, Lord Reforms, Free University Education).

    So I suppose his message to his party is the next two and a half years will be better than the last :-)

  15. Regarding Nick Cleggs speech and the Liberals low poll ratings
    At the moment it seems that Government policy and the handling of the economy is no different than if the Cons had won an OM.

    I don’t know what difference the LIberals have made in Government.
    What would be different if we had had a Con OM in 2015?
    At the moment this governement is exactly like the majority Con givernements of the past.

  16. Anyone else get the feeling that, with the big deficit, the Coalition are going to provide exactly the same sort of scorched earth they inherited in 2010?

    Britain saw four changes of government in six elections from 1964-1979, in a period of seemingly invincible inflation. I wonder if the “invincible deficit” will be passed around a bit between the Coalition, Labour and the Tories (and maybe more) over the next 15 years.

    From Labour’s point of view, the worst case scenario in 2015 is a small win combined with a big deficit and a modestly recovering economy that doesn’t justify “Keynesian stimulus” (i.e. kicking the can down the road).

  17. @COUPER2802

    You said “…At the moment this government is exactly like the majority Con governments of the past…”

    Hmmm…not really. If we limit ourselves to post-1945 you could argue it’s like the early 50’s Churchill or early 70’s Heath, insofar as actions are not having the desired effect and neither the government or the opposition have yet constructed a working alternative. It’s nowhere near like the Thatcher, Macmillan, Home, Eden or Major administrations.

    Howeve, this is not the point. The point is not to compare it with majority Con governments of the past, the pont is to compare it with the minority Con government of May 2010-October 2010 (if it’d followed the Wilson pattern) or the minority Con government of May 2010-May 2014 with C&S from the Libs (if it’d followed the Callaghan pattern). Either are fascinating counterfactuals and it would be instructive to consider them against the real present.

    Regards, Martyn

    You’re right there are not many of us left. By the way I am the same in and out of the pod.
    I should add to my scratch poll report, that though small the result was significant: 80% (N.4) knew what had happened to the Gracchi, while 20% (N.1) was asleep with the Times over his head and could not be woken by the Polish girl who has taken over from old Jenkins in the Members’ Reading Room. It was reported, however, that he gripped our enumerator firmly and was heard to mutter: “Eheu, sordida pulchrima plebs, da mihi mille labia atque mille,” before falling back to sleep.

  19. @ Richard in Norway

    “I’m gobsmacked, that was the most embarrassing politial moment I’ve ever seen, even worse that brown being played back the bigot tape. Mitt has lost for certain”

    Are you talking about the video I just linked for you or was it the caught on tape 47% comment?

    I hope you’re right on what you’re saying. I’d like to think you’re right but there are still 6 weeks to go in this thing and as we’ve seen in recent years, elections can change in a heartbeat.

  20. @ Richard in Norway

    Also, have you been following the Brown v. Warren race? I cannot believe the level of racism that Brown and his campaign are getting away with. The whole rally yesterday with the fake Indian war whoops and Tomahwak chops…….I was surprised we were in the 21st century. I mean, seriously, wtf? Those were his paid Senate staffers too btw. As Rachel Maddow notes, we pay their salaries.

    In reference to her introductory video, she has my full permission to break his arm (she also has my full permission to kick Mitt Romney in the balls……part of her proposed program to give every American a revenge voucher).

  21. @ Paul Croft

    “Ole Mit’s got reverse charisma. He’s as stiff as a world champion stiff person who’s just been dropped in a vat of starch.”

    This isn’t just about his personality. That’s really a minor point. The real story is that here’s a guy who has made a huge chunk of his money purposely bankrupting companies and laying off thousands of workers. He got wealthy, the people under him often had their lives ruined. (Also not brought up, the collateral damage of what Romney did in those places he layed off all those workers). He destroyed and got extremely wealthy as a result. For so many devastated places, Romney and people like him are the problem.

    Now to paraphrase Cher Horowitz (the main character of the movie Clueless), Romney, Ryan, and his campaign staff seem like a group of people who have seen that Iron Lady movie a few too many times. But whereas Maggie Thatcher put people out of work by closing down failing state run or state backed industries that were uncompetitive and dragging down the economy, Romney took down productive private industries. She may be the claimed Republican hero and role model. But they’re not even comparable.

    But back to Romney. Here’s a guy who’s running to give himself a tax cut. It’s not enough that he pays a claimed (but unconfirmed) 14% tax rate, he wants to pay even less. Now think about this. His actions created and wrought economic havoc but earned him huge amounts of money. He doesn’t want to pay any taxes on it, limiting what the government can do to offset what he’s done. Is that a problem? I think so. And I think others are seeing it.

    But it gets worse. What that 47% video reveals is the man’s true feelings. Not what we impute, not what we speculate but what he actually feels. He has a pure contempt and bitter dislike for people who aren’t wealthy. An absolute contempt. So forget stiffness or odd personality, he believes his in his own superiority due to his wealth. That’s the problem.

  22. Wow! Your Prime Minister is going to be on my television screen! He’s appearing on David Letterman (so glad I decided to tune in tonight). This is SO exciting! :)

  23. David Letterman: “Do you mind if I ask you some dumb American questions?”

    David Cameron: “Fire away!”

    (I feel like that’s the daily conversation here on UKPR between me and some of you guys). :)

  24. @ Billy Bob

    “Thanks for that information, I didn’t realise there would be a debate (still the exception rather than the rule here). I would be keen to see that.

    Please, though, don’t be too worried, Ruiz has three degrees from Harvard for goodness sake. As you say he looks quite laid back. He is also highly articulate, and appears to be the one putting interviewers at their ease in the clips I have seen.

    Bono Mack should be worried. Ruiz has already shown he can mount a good campaign. I think the more people see of him the more impressed they will be. He isn’t expected to win at this stage.

    On his site at least, he has already made the pitch to seniors over keeping health charges down. Btw someone posted a link the other night to Eton Mess blog so I saw the Let My People Vote 2012 video, and then went on to watch Sarah Silverman and the Great Schlep from 2008. Surely when someone draws that nice young doctor to the seniors’ attention they won’t be able to resist?”

    One thing that is interesting is that in the past month, we’re seeing (and I know Anthony warns about reading too much into the crosstabs but…) a massive drop in support among seniors for Romney. Where Romney once led by upwards of 20% among that demographic, suddenly he finds himself tied or narrowly behind the President. So there’s a huge opportunity there.

    And to answer your last question….cause’ he’s Latino and they’re racist. He’s someone they expect to bus their table or mow their lawn or keep the hooligans out fo their gated community or clean their home…..not be their doctor or represent them in Congress. I mean, that’s a concern I have. I don’t think it will prevent him from winning since most of those voters are in the GOP column to begin with but it does make it more difficult for him. Just saying.

    If the right wing Super PACs go after him, I am willing to bet you a box of Prestat chocolates or a Turnbull and Asser shirt that they portray him as some sort of undeserving affirmative action baby. That’s of course if they bother to worry about him. They might not. That will be helpful for him.

    You’ve seen his interview with Soledad O’Brien right?

  25. @ Billy Bob

    And check this out.,0,6962974.story

    This guy is the progressive champion in the House for the working poor and middle class. And you know if he gets reelected this year, he’s going to be in Congress for 40 years. 40 years!

    His opponent is running a cynical Romney style campaign. He pretends to be an independent and runs as a two party system hating independent with shopworn catchphrases and generic stuff signifying nothing. But then he runs as a conservative Republican to Republican voters. He can’t have it both ways. The voters are smarter than that.

    (I hope).

  26. Labour Lead 9 points

    Yougov 26th September

    Con 32 Lab 41 Libdem 9 UKIP 9

  27. Latest YouGov/The Sun results 26 September – CON 32%, LAB 41%, LD 9%, UKIP 9%; APP -37

    Right in the middle of MOE margins, I suspect. The Labour lead has narrowed on the basis of one of their lower VIs, certainly by recent standards, but it’s not clear where the 2-3% has gone. It certainly hasn’t gone to the Tories who are pretty low here for a YouGov poll (although high by Survation/TNS standards!) and it doesn’t appear to have drifted towards the Lib Dems (no Conference bounce for them on this evidence). Very high for UKIP again, though, but I’d be surprised if any of the Labour vote is going their way, to be honest.

    Labour ahead in all age groups, even the over 60s, but, as Colin has noted, this isn’t feeding through noticeably into the VI ratings, although I guess it could be a contributory factor in the Tory VI heading steadily southwards.

    I rest my case. I have squeezed the very last drop of interest out of this latest poll and simply have nothing more to say about it!! One Party Conference over; polldrums persist.

  28. Ann in Wales
    “…but I trust him.You know who I mean.”

    Me too. But not sure whether his absence from news etc for much of the summer is a good or bad thing. It’s said yu can get too much a good thing, a little every now and then would not go amiss.

  29. This mornings story from the Kings Fund flags up the real danger for the government with the NHS. In reality, something like this would probably have happened under Labour purely due to finances, but any difficulties in 2013 – 2015 will be very hard to pin on the previous administration and will be judged against promises of ‘no top down reform’ etc. Potentially highly toxic, for both government parties.

    In terms of the Lib Dem conference, I’ve never subscribed to the view that they are finished, as some form of recovery is likely. It may not come in the form of VI percentages so much, but the whole approach of the Lib Dems sheltering the country from a true blue government is highly valuable. I suspect a deal of tactical voting in 2015 which will help Lib Dems, as southern Labour sympathizers vote to keep out Tories.

    Interestingly enough, the fact that Clegg and others are able to maintain this line does suggest that Tory detoxification has broadly failed. For Tories, this should be a deep, deep concern.

  30. Crossbat

    I’m pretty sure that some of the ukip support comes from folk that would be considered natural labour voters. The anti Europe anti immigration message is appealing to a lot of working class folks

  31. Clegg has firmly nailed the lib dems to the coalition for the rest of the parliament and – by the looks of it – the rest of the party are happy to follow him.

    Personally I think that will have nothing but a negative effect on their poll ratings. I’m suprised to the extnet to which the lib dem rank and file are happy to follow Clegg over the cliff.

    Its certinaly a depressing scenario for anybody hoping that the libdems might bail out and force and early election.

  32. @Reggieside – “Personally I think that will have nothing but a negative effect on their poll ratings.”

    I’m not at all sure about that. Bailing out now would forever kill their dream of a three party system with coalitions the norm. Who would ever trust such a system again, and the disdain which they would be held in would be greater than now, I suspect.

  33. @SoCalLiberal –

    I saw the video on Dr Raul Ruiz for Congress (I watched all 12 the other night – they’re only short) but it didn’t register with me that Soledad O’Brien is a CNN reporter, she’s good.

    I note it was part of their “Latino in America” programming rather than a mainstream news item. Ruiz also won something called an Inland Empire Hispanic Image award. I don’t know… Hispanic/Latino? Do people also say Spanish American, as in Spanish-speaking Americans?

    As for Henry Waxman… “he’s going to be in Congress for 40 years.” You mean another 40 years?? Huh, medical science, they can do wonders these days..

  34. Lab still ahead with the over 60s but the gender gap has completely collapsed for this poll – which would explain the jump back to the low end for Labour.

    Anyone know where I can find the tracker for who is to blame for local service cuts?

  35. Humphries in full flow on R4 this morning, armed with the Rochdale Report about yet more failings of our “public servants”. This time The Police, Social Services ( what’s new?) …and CPS.

    Good stuff-grounds for civil action it seems. Here’s hoping.

    Hollande’s crashlanding Budget tomorrow. Wonder how much further his Poll ratings will fall as the people who voted him in realise that the “fantasy world” he promised doesn’t exist.?
    France beginning to teeter on the edge as it’s massive welfare state ( total state spending 54% GDP) and it’s chronic lack of competitiveness take it down.

  36. During Clegg’s speech , which included a blistering attack on Labour’s record & Ball’s “fantasy world”, the camera panned to Cable quite frequently.

    His smile became more & more fixed, and finished up looking like rigour mortis. You could see that he hated every word.

  37. @Colin

    What have the liberals actually achieved in government? Clegg did not point to a single thing.

    It seems to me like a Con OM ( I can only remember the Thatcher\Major govs) and this Government seems most like the Thatcher govs – wth idealogical economic policy, cuts for the poor and disadvantaged and the threat to the NHS.

    So my conclusion is the only thing the Liberals have achieved is to maintain the Cons in power.

  38. COUPER 2802

    @”Clegg did not point to a single thing.”

    I thought he did actually-almost anything which was “good” was wrung by the LibDems from the grasping hands of the top hatted toffs in the Conservative party.

    Best I don’t respond to your second para-we would be at it all day long & AW would get very cross :-)

  39. SYGYSY-Sue D

    (sorry-forgotten how you spell that )

    Following a recent thread in which we exchanged thoughts about the status of interest on UK gilts bought by BoE under QE, I wrote to BoE for clarification.

    Just had a reply-thought you would be interested :-

    “Dear Mr Boyd

    Thank you for your e-mail of 19 September concerning the dividends paid on British Government Stocks held by the Bank of England Asset Purchase Facility Fund (BEAPFF). Your e-mail has been passed to me to reply.

    As I am sure you are aware, the money used for the asset purchase program is created electronically as a positive balance on the accounts of the Bank of England, known as central bank money. This money is then lent, with interest charged, to the Bank of England Asset Purchase Facility Fund (BEAPFF) in order that the BEAPFF can then buy assets from the private sector. So far the BEAPFF has principally bought British Government Stocks. This part of the national debt still exists, it is just held temporarily by the BEAPFF and all dividends are paid over by the Government to the BEAPFF.

    With respect to how these payments show up in the accounts, during 2011/12 the BEAPFF received £85m interest on the cash balance held at the Bank of England.

    Interest receivable on the gilts held is accrued within the balance sheet holding – debt securities. While interest cash receipts are recorded within cash on the balance sheet.

    Finally, when the Bank decides that the asset purchase program has done its job and we need to unwind the BEAPFF’s holdings in order to meet the inflation target, these can be sold back to the market and the electronically created money will disappear as the BEAPFF pays back the loan to the Bank of England.

    Thank you once again for writing to the Bank. I hope that I have been able to clarify these matters for you.

    Yours sincerely
    Roger Beaton

    Public Information & Enquiries Group |PCID | HO-M C-D

    Bank of England | Threadneedle Street | London EC2R 8AH | +44 20 7601 4878

    [email protected]

  40. GDP revised up to 0.4% – so given that the bank holiday cost us 0.4%, the actual growth figure should have been closer to 0%.

    Production declined 0.7% rather than 0.9% forecast.
    Manufacturing at 0.8% decline rather than 0.9%.
    Construction fell 3%, rather than 3.9%.
    Household consumption fell 0.2% rather than 0.4%.
    Compensation of employees rose 0.2%, rather than 1.2%.

    Good figures – now if we have the 0.5% predicted growth for Q3, it’d mean an underlying growth of 0.1% which is a lot better than a fall and be consistent with the last couple of years – flat growth overall which is far better than a real double-dip recession.
    Underlying picture: Still low domestic demand, caused by low wage growth and low consumer confidence.

    Net borrowing for central govt at £6.2bn, down from £25.6bn in Q1, but that includes the £28bn gained from the Royal Mail assets – which would make the underlying figure closer to £34.2bn.
    So borrowing at £59.8bn for first 2 Qs – if we expect similar figures for Q3 and Q4 then borrowing won’t have really fallen between 2011 and 2012 but the government will get to say it had, thanks to the £28bn pension assets.

    So if public opinions is ‘the economy, stupid’ (which I think is only one factor) we shouldn’t really expect much overall change in VI if this economic trend continues.

  41. “GDP revised up to 0.4%” should read -0.4%, doh.

  42. Get the bunting out!!! The unnecessary recession is less deep than we thought.

    Economy “only” shrank by -0.4%.

    Expect the Tories will be ahead in tonight’s polls.


  43. @COLIN

    Fascinating letter, thanks for sharing.

    WTF does it mean??????

    Any idea? Be eternally grateful if you could put it into plain English.

  44. “@Colin

    During Clegg’s speech , which included a blistering attack on Labour’s record & Ball’s “fantasy world”, the camera panned to Cable quite frequently.

    His smile became more & more fixed, and finished up looking like rigour mortis. You could see that he hated every word. ”

    Yes Cable would probably not agree with elements of Cleggs speech. They look at economics in a different way. Clegg would easily fit into the Tory party and Cable would not. Same with Labour, but other way around.

    Would just point out that Cable and Balls are economists, which cannot be said of Clegg. Not saying that economic experts are always correct and of course there are economists with different views.

    The problem I have with the whole argument about cuts and the political divide, is that it is being held on a false basis. All parties will have to implement cuts in state spending, as the country will not earn as much as it once did, as the world is changing.

    The argument should be about what needs to be cut and how to ensure fairness. In my opinion the cuts should be made where it does not affect people from being able to survive. It is tragic that some people are having to use food banks, while those on say £50k salaries are annoyed that they may lose their child benefit.

    So let there be a proper debate about cuts, fairness and what the real priorities are. At the same time, there needs to be a debate about how the country can create prosperity for the future. The way we conduct politics does not help, as parties aim their policies at certain target audiences who may vote for them. If it continues that way, the UK will gradually become poorer. We need to change the balance of the economy, so we earn our way, through producing the goods/services that the rest of the world want to buy. In 10 years time, London may not be the main financial centre in the world and we can’t rely on consumer spending.

  45. @ NickP.

    When all the objective data shows that EM is training DC by large numbers on all the important questions (e.g. competence, best PM, approval, doing a good job, economy etc) it is clear that EM is a drag on Lab.

    This wont make any difference mid-terms but when a GE nears, there will be a genuine question of choice and, unfortunately, that will be a choice between DC and EM.

    Mitt Romney is showing the limits of simply being the awkward alternative to a less than popular incumbent, especially when you are part of the party who is considered to blame for some of the mess.


    My understanding is that the BOE created money to buy UK Treasury bonds/guilts held by banks, Insurance companies and pension funds. The Treasury bonds/guilts are the debts run up by the government, which they finance through issuing these bonds/guilts.

    The advantage is that the banks, Insurance companies and pension funds then have money, not bonds/guilts. Armed with this money, they can then invest it in whatever way they choose and it helps the economy. i.e banks may loan it to their customers. Insurance companies will also make investments buying assets etc.

    Summary. It is BOE printing money, buying previous government debts issued in the form of bonds/guilts, so the holders of the bonds/guilts, can leak the money into the system. This is why it is called easing.

  47. @ Corkscrew

    I should have then have added. The BOE will hold these Treasury bonds/guilts, receiving whatever interest that is payable by the Treasury. They will sell the bonds/guilts periodically and any money raised goes back against the money they created. So they may have issued say £400bn of money and over 20/30 years, they should get this back, plus make a profit in real terms. The profit will sit on the BOE books, ready to be used when required.

  48. I’ve been thinking about the tactical voting element of the Lib Dems vote at GE’s and wondering how much of the left-wing vote will come back. My impression is that the LD’s have spent many, many years carefully nurturing their vote in a number of seats, steadily building on successes in local elections to improve their GE vote share until they were within a shout of second place, and then hammering home the “We’re the only party who can defeat X here” message. In a lot of places this has been very successful, and once they cement that second place and officially become the opposition in that seat, they are very hard to dislodge, picking up more and more “anyone but X” voters as voting Labour or the Tories (as appropriate) are then seen as a wasted vote.

    But – what happens with the “anyone but Tory” at the next GE? The impression I get from reading comments here and left leaning voters among my family is that they will not be voting LD again anytime soon. This is clearly not a representative sample of ex Lib Dem voters as both my family and posters on here are more interested in politics than average, but if enough ‘average’ left-leaning tactical voter returns to Labour for them to take second place, suddenly they lose the “wasted vote” tag and would be seen as a viable option to defeat the Conservative candidate. So the Lib Dems could find themselves pushed back into third place in a whole mass of seats, and find themselves facing decades of hard work to build themselves up to their 2010 level. This could potentially have more long term impact than the loss of a number of MP’s at the next election.

    I don’t think this will happen anything like as much in Lib/Lab battles because (as far as I can tell) Conservative voters don’t have as much reason to feel betrayed by the Lib Dems – some might object to them ‘holding us back’ but I believe they will be a small portion of a smaller number of tactical voters, and so less of a concern.

    I don’t believe we will be able to realistically tell how much of the “Anti-Tory” tactical vote the Lib Dems have lost until the next GE. Local elections, by-elections and European elections are very different beasts, and opinion pollsters really can’t know how to accurately measure how many LD deserters would return (in part because I doubt the voters themselves will know until faced with actually placing their X). But I would have thought the next election is critical for the Lib Dems, because as well as defending seats currently held, they need to hold onto as many second places as possible.

    The above applies to England only, I appreciate the Nats complicate Scotland and Wales etc.

  49. R HUckle

    @” We need to change the balance of the economy, so we earn our way, through producing the goods/services that the rest of the world want to buy”

    Absolutely agree.


    UNder QE BoE buys UK Gilts in the secondary market-ie from banks & other institutions who bought them from the TReasury.

    It does this to make those institutions more liquid, by taking Gilts off them & exchanging them for cash ( aat least balabce with BoE which stands for cash). The idea is that this excercise will improve the ability of banks to lend. It also creates a firm & credible demand for UK Debt , thus tending to increase their value & thus decrease yields. THis feeds into low market interest rates.

    THe question SueD asked was-does the TReasury still continue to pay interest on the Gilts being held by BoE-or is this in fact a secret form of gain available to GO.

    THe answer-as you can see from the email-is that interest continues to be paid to BoE on the Gilts which it holds. I must confess that I still don’t see that too clearly in the acounts of BEAPFF ( the BoE vehicle for implementing QE) and need to ask further questions.

    However-the point at issue is that the TReasury continues to pay interest on all it’s Gilts in issue-towhoever is holding them.

    I need to say that some people think that the Asset Purchase programme is merely a way of financing government borrowing by printing money, and effectively cancelling large chunks of Public Debt.
    Roger Beaton addresses that point in his last para-but I know there will be some who will just say “oh yeah”-“when?”

  50. @RHUCKLE

    Thank you very much…. I think I understand.

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