Opinium’s weekly poll for the Observer is already out and has topline figures of CON 29%(-1), LAB 39%(-3), LDEM 10%(+2), Others 22%(+2), including UKIP on 10%. The Lib Dems are up two points since their conference, though it is impossible to know whether that is a small conference boost or just normal sample variation.

The rest of the asked people to compare Cameron, Miliband and Clegg on various attributes, showing the patterns of strengths and weaknesses we’ve become accustommed to: Cameron has substantial leads on being able to take tough decisions, being capable and having a clear vision of where the country should be heading. Ed Miliband leads on caring about every sector of society and being in touch with ordinary people. Asked if they could imagine Ed Miliband being Prime Minister only 29% said they could, 62% could not.

Meanwhile the weekly YouGov poll for the Sunday Times has topline figures of CON 35%, LAB 40%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 7%. The five point Labour is is obviously low by the standards of YouGov’s recent polling, but all the normal caveats apply. Sure, it could be a narrowing of the Labour lead, but there is no particular reason to expect one so it could just as easily be down to normal sample error.

40 Responses to “New Opinium and YouGov polls”

  1. @Martyn

    Great stuff, I couln’t find an appopriate search term, so thank you for that.

  2. I just read this and thought it appropriate, however, I don’t know whether to put it on the other thread or this one. so guess it;s this one:


  3. I will be very interested this week to see the effect of the shock revelation that Ed Milliband may consider amnesty for illegal immigrants. I’m thinking that may drive away the blue collar conservatives that Labour may have been picking up. Surely this has the potential to remind folks once again of why they shunned Labour in 2010. Also with UKIP coming on strong, it will be interesting to see if they breakout. I’ve noticed this week in the Yougov polls that they are regularly recording double digits like 11, 12, and 13 in several regions. They hadn’t done this this year before as itwas always 7,8,9, and 10. It seems only a matter of time before one of the daily yougov polls records a 13 above in all regions causing UKIP to reach new record highs not seen outside Euro elections. To clarify what I mean by that, one night they are 13 in London and 8 in Midlands/Wales, then the next they are 7 in London and 11 in Midlands/Wales, only a matter of time before they hit 12 or 13 in all places the same day.

  4. Opinium Tables


    Unlikely to vote Lab with Ed as leader 50%
    Unlikely to vote Lab with another leader 39%

    Did the Tories fund this opinion poll too?

  5. Jim

    I presume you mean all regions in England – and not the other nations in the UK?

  6. @ Old Nat (from the previous thread)

    “I think the American response would be “Aw Shucks”

    What is a shuck?”

    You know what? I don’t actually know. And I’ve used that phrase from time to time (and I’m not a fan of politicians who use it).

    @ Billy Bob (from the previous thread)

    “Ok, so now I have to look out for the18th Congressional District, way too much craziness there.”

    I wanted to work on that campaign but didn’t make it due to my lack of experience with Florida (perhaps a good thing just out of not wanting to get shot at by some crazed GOP supporter). There are a number of races to watch on election night 2012.

    I’m surprised actually that there are at least three freshman GOP Congressmen who are under federal investigation and possibly facing indictment. It’s amazing because usually freshmen aren’t in office long enough to become extremely corrupt. Those Congressmembers are David Rivera (FL-26), Frank Guinta (NH-1), and Michael Grimm (NY-13). Right now it looks like Rivera will lose reelection, Grimm seems likely to win, and Guinta’s race is a toss-up.

    “I’m feeling fragile as it is. Last night I watched the 1980 Carter vs. the other fellow, Reagan. (Joey Ramone had another name for him: “bonzo goes to bitburg then goes out for a cup of tea / as i watch it on tv somehow it really bothered me”.)

    I remember as student being totally outraged that the media had nothing to say about the substance of the debate and kept on playing the “there you go again” clip.”

    Hmmmm. Yeah, we’re all that way as students right? We expect things to be judged by substance and then are upset when they’re not. We get upset and then become disenchanted and jaded.

    “Just to torture myself I also had a look at Gore vs. Bush.”

    Now those debates I was alive for and felt frustrated by the reactions. Although I concede that Gore lost the first two debates, I still believe he won the third (and he won every single one on substance). I mean, with some of the things Bush was saying in the first debate, I wanted to sigh myself. I think the problem was that Gore was far too serious a policy guy and he not only couldn’t believe what he was hearing but couldn’t believe he was facing a guy like Bush at all. A man who was completely and totally unqualified to occupy the oval office.

    Well that frustration, that contempt that came through did not go down well with audiences who expected more respect and a better manner. Voters don’t like that and they don’t appreciate it (unless they’re partisan, ideological voters like myself). He also came off as lecturing, scolding, and droning…..like everyone’s least favorite strict high school teacher. Voters didn’t want that in a President, they want someone they like (at least a little bit). Dubya also benefitted from the fact that he went in with such low expectations that basically him not crapping his pants on stage would be considered a victory for him. So just by showing up, remembering some names and facts, not making too many verbal miscues, and remembering his positions, Bush did well.

    In the second debate, Al Gore blew it because he basically tried to overcorrect from the first debate. He was too gentlemanly, too gentile, and it just came off wrong. Again, I think he won on substance but Bush came off looking Presidential.

    “Some of the sites have comparisons with this day in 2004 and 2008, but is there a site that has campaign polls for those earlier elections?

    It has become a Republican talking point that Carter had a poll lead over Reagan beforehand, and then after that single last-minute debate it became a red landslide, but Regan’s own pollster disputes that.
    In 2000 Gore and Bush seem to have been tied for much of the campaign, but again, I don’t know if that was really the case.

    Let’s just say things are looking good with Obama’s poll rating, and his electoral college vote projection climbing in recent days, but I can’t help having a wee attack of the nerves as October 3rd looms.”

    I’m having that same nervousness too. I don’t want him to become too cocky and I am worried about him getting caught off-guard. I am thinking of a debate watching party but I don’t think I have the energy or time to get my place ready and prepare for a party (plus I don’t want to have complete strangers over to where I live, you know?). I’d much rather go out to another person’s place who’s hosting a debate watching party and prepare food for them there.

    To answer your question, not that I know of.

    Here’s the deal with the conservative analysis that compares polling to 1980. It’s flat out wrong. But you know what, if they’re going to delude themselves with it, maybe it’s best not to step in their way.

    But I figure I should assuage your anxiety. Unlike President Obama who has maintained relatively decent approval ratings, Carter was mired in the 30’s throughout the last part of his Presidency. His initial lead over Reagan was very small and it was weak, he was in the low 40’s or in the 30’s, a dangerous place for an incumbent to be. Reagan didn’t have a strong lead if only because he wasn’t that well known to the voters. Prior to the Republican Convention in 1980, Reagan began to take a lead and after the Convention, he had a pretty solid lead over Carter which he pretty much held and expanded for the rest of the campaign. I think there was some late movement back to Carter towards the very end of the campaign in the last week beforehand but over the last weekend, that dissipated and Reagan won handily on election day.

    Now, you’ll hear conservative commentators (as well as Republican spokespeople and Romney and Ryan themselves) talk about this election being like 1980. They’re clinging to desperate hope. Other pundits will compare this to 2004. This election is neither of those two elections. If I have to compare 2012 to any other years, I believe that 2012 is going to be far more like 1864 or 1936 (it already has been in many respects). We’ll see what happens.

  7. Opinium Tables

    Unlikely to vote Lab with Balls as leader 51%

    Clearly, England wants Maggie or Blair back – regardless of party label. :-(


    I went and looked up “shuck”. Seems to be based on the useless bits removed from foodstuffs – ie shucking corn is removing the outer leaves etc. Presumably, self deprecating – “I’m not the good stuff, just the rubbish”?

  9. @OldNat, they don’t breakdown Midlands and Wales so who knows how they are doing in Wales. As for Scotland, this week UKIP were 5 one day and even 8 on another! It isn’t double digits, but they had been 0,1,2 in Scotland so the increase to 5 and 8 in Scotland has the same effect on their average as the move to 12, 13 in London, South, North, Midlands does.

  10. Jim

    Since I posted that, I note that Opinium does do separate cross breaks for Wales, instead of dumping them in with the Midlands due to geographical proximity rather than political system – They have Wales on 10% UKIP – and Scotland on 3%.

    Given the rather different constitutional discussions here, I really can’t see UKIP getting double digit percentages here – though since we know that cross breaks are inherently unreliable, your wish might come true someday!

  11. Jim

    This is pure speculation – and we seldom have many from Wales commenting (other than Ann), but I would guess that the 10% UKIP support i Wales is pedominantly in “English” Wales – along the border.

    I could quite see that those who live in Wales, but consider themselves as English might be more attracted to UKIP as a party that they see standing up for them. Abolishing the Senedd and returning them to direct rule from London might well make sense to them.

  12. OLDNAT, thank you for informing me of the crossbreaks, I’d never bothered to look at them for Opinium before. Very interesting to look at the regions. Your theory reagarding border regions of Wales may be correct because they are also 16% in the West Midlands. I would think your reasoning, however, is incorrect as UKIP are about local government so I cannot see people voting for it for the reason you propose.

    I also noticed that UKIP are tied with the LibDems at 3 % in Scotland :)

  13. @ Billy Bob

    Here’s the deal with 1980 and why it’s VERY different. In 1980, you had a truly unpopular incumbent with low approval ratings. You had in Reagan, a very charming and popular challenger who resonated with a number of voters. Yes, he may have been evil but most voters either didn’t notice or didn’t care.

    Reagan got a large bounce out of his convention in 1980. The job he had was to convince voters that they could trust him to do the job. The voters were done with Carter but that doesn’t mean they were ready to commit to Reagan.

    By contrast, Obama has led this election all year long. Admittedly, it’s been narrow for most of the time but certainly present. By the end of the summer, Obama had opened up something of a lead over Romney. It somewhat narrowed with the initial Ryan pick but not by a lot. The Convention bounce he had was negative. Obama’s convention bounce has been significant and it seems to be holding, if not expanding due to the comments and actions of Romney.

    What Romney did with the attack on the Libyan Consulate and the embassy riots in Egypt and elsewhere was disgraceful. That has to be the most outrageous thing he’s done in the entire campaign (with the possible exception of running the racist ads based on a complete fabrication….it’s hard to decide). It bothered me on more than a partisan basis. Now this didn’t lead to a collapse in his support but it definitely hurt him in the polls. I think what it did is demonstrate that he is fit to be the President of the United States and it took a lot of wavering Obama supporters from 2008 and even some moderate Republicans who care about foreign policy and put them firmly in the Obama camp.

    The secretly recorded 47% video doesn’t offend me as much ironically but it has wounded him, perhaps permanently. It shows Romney with this extreme dislike and outright contempt for the working poor. People forget how many
    Republicans can be found among the working poor and those who are dependent upon direct government handouts. It was interesting to see some of the visceral reaction from news persons who have always seemed sympathetic to the GOP.

    The irony is that if let’s say Cameron or Sarkozy or Berlusconi or Rajoy or Merkel had made comments like that, they might have gotten away with it. But this is the United States, not Europe (more irony that the Republicans talk loudly about how much they hate Europe and yet they want to make the U.S. like Europe as much as possible). He alienated huge chunks of his supporters and his base. And trust me, he didn’t gain a single vote from it either.

    Romney is the most unpopular Presidential nominee in the history of polling. This was true before his response to Libya and his 47% comments were unearthed. Those things didn’t help. Those are anchors to him and Reagan had none of that.

    Also hindering Romney that didn’t hinder Reagan at all was his vp pick. What Bush did for Reagan was unify the party ensuring that the moderate and northeastern wings of the party would get behind Reagan and not peel off. Bush was also competent and had foreign policy experience (an area where Reagan might have been perceived as weak). Now let’s talk about Paul Ryan (who might lose his own reelection). Paul Ryan’s proposed Medicare plan was really unpopular. His whole budget was unpopular. It was especially unpopular among seniors, who actually watch C-Span and follow this stuff and care. (Ask some young urban hipster about the Ryan budget and they won’t know what you’re talking about…..ask some old lady in south Florida and she’ll tell you). Incidentally, senior citizens have been the STRONGEST Romney supporters. Now Democrats were going to run against Romney with it to begin with. But what Romney did is put it front and center by picking Ryan. It’s dragging down the whole ticket and what recent numbers show is that seniors are trending away from Romney very quickly. That’s a really bad sign especially when you consider that most likely voter polls that are favorable to Romney run on the assumption of senior turnout outnumbering Millenial turnout dramatically (which I don’t think is going to happen btw but arguendo, I’ll assume it to be true).

  14. @ Old Nat

    “Unlikely to vote Lab with Balls as leader 51%

    Clearly, England wants Maggie or Blair back – regardless of party label. :(”

    Why not Jim Murphy? Even though he’s Scottish, isn’t he a Scot who the English could like and get behind?

  15. @ Billy Bob

    The race for the Senate is changing as well. Of the current seats up for election, Democrats control 23 and Republicans 10. It looked like the GOP had two certain pick-ups (Nebraska and North Dakota), 4 open seats where they had a good chance to pick up (Wisconsin, New Mexico, Hawaii, Virginia) and one outside shot (Connecticut). Meanwhile they intended to target 4 incumbents and felt they had a good shot at winning these seats (Florida, Montana, Missouri, and Ohio). Meanwhile, they expected to hold every single one of their seats with only one slight worry (Massachussetts).

    But things have gone awry. Very awry. Hawaii and New Mexico are likely gone. In Wisconsin, Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin (attempting to make history as the first openly gay Senator) has suddenly pulled into a large lead over former Governor Tommy Thompson who once seemed like a lock for the seat. In Connecticut, Congressman Chris Murphy (D-CT) seems to have pulled into a lead over World Wide Wrestling Chairwoman Linda McMahon (R-CT). And in Virginia, after being deadlocked, former governor Tim Kaine (D-VA) has now pulled into a lead over former Governor and former Senator George Allen (R-VA).

    It also looks like hopes for the GOP in defeating incumbents in Florida and Ohio is gone as the incumbents there have sizeable and increasing leads. In Missouri, their best chance for beating an incumbent seems to have been thrown away by Todd Akin’s mouth. Montana seems like their best shot at the moment and even then, it’s a tossup at best. Meanwhile, while they’re still likely to gain Nebraska, they may very well lose in North Dakota where former Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) continues to hold a lead over Congressman Rick Berg (R-ND).

    Meanwhile, they are at risk of losing seats once not thought vulnerable. In Arizona, Congressman Jeff Flake (R-AZ) is now in a dead heat with former Surgeon General (under the Bush Administration) Richard Carmona (D-AZ). In Nevada, appointed incumbent Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) finds himself either in a dead heat with or trailing Congresswoman Shelley Berkeley (D-NV). In Indiana, things have gone from a near certain lock for the GOP to a tossup after longtime incumbent Dick Lugar (R-IN) was defeated in the primary by radical rightwinger and Teabagger fan favorite State Treasurer Richard Mourdock (R-IN). He’s locked in a battle with Congressman Joe Donnelly (D-IN).

    Meanwhile, Republicans look certain to lose Maine where long time popular and fairly moderate incumbent Olympia Snowe (R-ME) decided to retire at the last minute. Former Governor Angus King (I-ME) looks likely to gain the seat. He’s an independent but he’s a leftwinger and will probably vote with the Democrats.

    And then there’s Massachussetts. Senator Scott “Teabagger” Brown (R-MA) seemed like he was in good position to hold his seat. But Liz Warren’s prime time speech has rocketed her back into the lead. Nearly every undecided voter in the race is an Obama voter. She’s now got momentum. Brown is resorting to racist attacks against her to try and win. Not sure if it will save him.

    In any case, I bring all this up to point out the comparison to 1980 is not at all the same. The Republicans won the Senate in 1980 on the back of Reagan (some faulted Jimmy Carter for conceding the election hours before the polls closed, leading Dems to stay home and Republicans to win by default). Here, we see Senate races going the opposite direction. Just as the Presidential election is going.

    “Shucks” The Free Dictionary has: interj. shucks (shks)
    Used to express mild disappointment, disgust, or annoyance.
    [Origin unknown. Interj., alteration of shit.]
    It’s euphemistic form of a swear word, or profanity, as with crickey, Jiminey Cricket, or even Blimey (God blind me) though why our sub-conscious stores these expletives up in our memory word store, Ch….t knows. Edmund Leach, the social anthropologist, shocked the sweet old ladies of Cambridge, who liked to come to the annual Town and Gown Lecture, some time in the early ‘sixties, when he distinguished religious (sacred) from bodily functions (profane) as the origin of swear words, identifying the later as mainly to do with emissions and orifices which, because they are “neither you nor not you” are challenging to our identity as separate beings and thus dangerous.

  17. Approval:
    Cameron -25 (-4)
    Miliband -29 (nc)
    Clegg -61 (+2)

    Although the 35/40/10 is well within MOE, this is really bad press to enter the conference with because the press will not report the polling accurately.

    So far, the thick of it has had reality mirror it after the episode airs – last week was the £2bn LibDem community bank, which Vince Cable announced the very next day. The commentariat really ran with the comparison and made a fool of Cable.
    Last night was the removal of a useless and unpopular leader of the opposition and I can’t help but thinking the press will make the same comparisons.

    Lots of Miliband/Cameron questions, but responses we’re absolutely used to –
    Cameron ahead on strength (+30), Decisiveness (+25), Likeability (+10), Clear vision (+13) and strategy to get us out of recession (+9).
    Miliband leads on in touch with ordinary people (+21) and trust (+2).

    More Miliband questions –
    Clear what he stands for?
    Yes – 23
    No – 58
    This is something that he definitely needs to work on – even if it costs him votes. Using wonk words like ‘predistribution’ doesn’t connect to the average voter – he needs to talk to Clinton/Obama’s speechwriters, who are fantastic at speaking the same language as everybody else.

    Too close to the unions?
    Too close – 31
    Not close enough – 11

    Too close to business?
    Too close – 7
    Not close enough – 35
    Will be nice to have this question asked of Cameron, for comparison.

    Are you more/less likely to vote if x.. was leader (dks removed – will explain soon)..
    David Miliband –
    More likely – 22%
    Less likely – 9%
    Would vote Labour anyway – 23%
    Wouldn’t vote Labour anyway – 46%

    Ed Balls –
    More likely – 9%
    Less likely – 26%
    Would vote Labour anyway – 24%
    Wouldn’t vote Labour anyway – 41%

    Yvette Cooper –
    More likely – 8%
    Less likely – 21%
    Would vote Labour anyway – 25%
    Wouldn’t vote Labour anyway – 46%

    Cooper has the highest DKs (24) compared to Balls and Miliband (18 each).
    I left out the DKs to try to show a ‘core vote’ figure, who’d vote Labour even if a Chimp in a Red Rosette were presented – and it’s around 23-25%.
    Interestingly, if you just take the Labour voters figure and removed DKs, you’d get somewhere between 63% and 67% of current Labour voters voting Labour whatever comes – which would put the figure at the slightly higher range of 25-27% for a ‘core vote’.

    I think this question probably suffers from what AW has pointed out before – that people are probably projecting an idealised version of David to the position because he was the leadership loser.
    But as I said further up – the press will love this question and use it to further call in to question Ed’s leadership, which will probably hurt this conference.

    One final question I found interesting –
    “What do you think is fairer – taxing people on their wealth (that is, the amount of money they have, such as savings and assets) or taxing people on their income (that is, the amount of money they earn each year)”
    Income – 22%
    Wealth – 69%
    Pretty much the exact same result across both social grades – which is interesting because it’d be far more beneficial to those at the bottom to have more wealth taxes and less income taxes.
    And it’d be far more beneficial to those at the top also, who rather than sitting on their wealth, invest it (due to lower capital gains tax offset by the wealth taxes), which is much better for the economy.
    But I do wonder how many people hear ‘wealth tax’ and think ‘that’s my savings and my pension gone’.

    I actually think this article sums up why Labour are doing better than their leader –
    If we were dealing with ‘normal circumstances’, Labour, under Ed, would probably be fighting with the Conservatives in the low-30s (lower before the omnishambles) – but thanks to the reunification of the centre-left, and unless a new centre-left party with a more popular leader arrives nationally, it’ll probably stick there – giving Labour an automatic high-30s coming in to the next election (35% of 2010 LibDem voters and their 2010 of 30% would bring Labour up to 38), which would effectively deny the Conservatives a majority (Conservatives would have to be on 44% to get one, gaining 7% since 2010).

    Keeping the current boundaries is probably the smartest thing the LibDems could currently do (although in the long-run may hurt them) for the next election – making it harder for the Conservatives to govern alone and with a Labour party that may struggle to gain enough support by 2015, means that the LibDems will remain the kingmakers.

  18. @ Billy Bob


    This can explain far better than I can.

    There’s another one with late breaking polls but that’s a little bit different because an accurate comparison to where we stand today really can’t be made.

  19. @Socal

    “Why not Jim Murphy? Even though he’s Scottish, isn’t he a Scot who the English could like and get behind?”

    As a Scot, I should point out that he’s a Scot that many Scots can’t like or get behind.

  20. IMO, Red Ed is not perceived as “one of us” by ordinary English folk – he is an intellectual with a foreign Marxist background, and unfortunately much of the media and general public have a subtle distaste for someone of that ilk. This is reflected in his poll ratings relative to that of Labour as a party, but few people would own up to such non-PC feelings.

  21. Good write-up Mr. Fringe.

    I’d like to highlight a couple of other things. The newly added data of 40 / 35 / 10 does nothing much to the data sets. Both are outliers, so don’t get included, short of several repeat results. The MAD data suggests that the MAD lead (i.e. the difference between the Con MAD and the Lab MAD) has shifted from 10.2% to 10.1% for the day.

    Crossbreak time!

    A second day of bad polling for Labour in Scotland. See the ten day history.


    However, this data isn’t drastically changing the MAD data yet. The data is too erratic for that. The MAD chart continues unabated:


    Lastly, and subject to outliers, we have the Lib Dem trends, hopefully indicating how their week went (perhaps a little too early?):


  22. DaoDao
    Any polling on that at all, or is ‘ordinary English folk’ code for ‘people like me’?
    Or would you say, ‘too afraid to own up’ be the reason for a lack of polling indication?

    Because as far as I can see, Ed Miliband is doing poorly because he’s seen as weak and directionless – something I have polling for – but (as I imagine any Labour leader would) far ahead on understanding the concerns of ordinary people.

  23. Third poll in recent weeks to show CON below 30%

    Not sure we’d seen that before in this parliament?

  24. Good Morning All.

    I agree with you, sadly, and I also agree with TINGED FRINGE.

    OLD NAT. I agree with your analysis about the person they want to lead them. I think Mr Blair may well become leader again, probably, of the Labour Party, also probably.

    But this will not happen until 2015 at the partyconference

  25. “as I imagine any Labour leader would)”

    Until he/they are in power and have to make/continue the painful cuts on ordinary people?

  26. YouGov’s figures on Con voting intention continue to march out of step with other pollsters.

    Are they oveestimating the Tory vote or are others underestimating?

    Is Lab voting intention slipping a tad?

    Is that slight LD upswing a conference creep?

  27. Chris

    “I think Mr Blair may well become leader again, probably, of the Labour Party, also probably.”

    I hate to pooh pooh another old josephian, but that it moonshine you are selling there.

  28. ” I think Mr Blair may well become leader again,”
    I’ve looked skywards and scanned the far horizon just in case there is a squadron of pink porkers flying overhead. But no, nothing, zilch.

  29. Looking at the movements, I’d expect the next few polls to show the gap between CON and LAB closing down.

    I think YouGov’s 5% will look about right for a week or so. Though 6% would be closer to the mark.

  30. Taken from above comments.

    Unlikely to vote Lab with Ed as leader 50%
    Unlikely to vote Lab with another leader 39%

    Wouldn’t vote Labour anyway – 41%

    So basically this issue with Ed seems to involve a potential extra 10% however seeing as Labour never gets 50% to 60% of the vote anyway you have to ask the question how relevant this ‘unpopularity’ is to the final result. Obviously the Tories believe this is a potential weakness that can be exploited- they could be right but I don’t think the stats are currently saying that Labour cannot win with Ed in charge.

  31. TOB
    Based on what evidence?

    I think that I may start all my replies from now on with, ‘Based on what evidence?’. Might help discussions.

    And Statgeek,
    Thanks for the figures. Is the Labour drop in Scotland since the Scottish leader’s speech?

  32. DAODAO
    “not perceived as one of us ….and, as an “intellectual with a foreign Marxist background……unfortunately much of the media and general public have a subtle distaste for someone of that ilk.”
    You mean we don’t approve of his Dad and Mum as a wartime Polish Jew who taught Marxist economics and a young women who narrowly escaped the gas chambers? Or we don’t approve of him as a non-practising British born Jew educated at Corpus Christi, LSE and Harvard, with a ministerial record of entrenching carbon saving in coal mine production systems, and who won the Labour leadership with overwhelming backing from the Unions on as platform for a living wage?

  33. The Opinium poll in today’s Observer is interesting, not so much in terms of what it tells us about the relative personal poll ratings of Cameron, Miliband and Clegg vis-a-vis each other (nothing new to be found there) but in the astonishing numbers of people who didn’t express an opinion one way or the other. The Don’t Knows (Don’t Cares?) trump all others. Take a look:

    Able to take tough decisions: 40% Don’t Know
    In touch with ordinary people’s lives: 50% Don’t Know
    Clear vision for the country: 46% Don’t Know
    Cares about every sector of society: 51% Don’t know
    Trustworthy: 56% Don’t Know
    Capable: 41% Don’t Know

    On all questions, the “Don’t Knows/Don’t Have a Views” beat anything any of the leaders score, sometimes by very wide margins.

    I’d say that this is telling us that there are an awful lot of people out there who have very little idea about, or very little interest in, the personal qualities of either Cameron, Miliband or Clegg, despite the froth and excitement currently being generated by the press and pollsters.


    Thanks to the link to the Independent on Sunday article by John Rentoul. An interesting and objective addition to the debate about Miliband, I’d say.

  34. @tingedfringe – ” …people are probably projecting an idealised version of David.”

    Overall good analysis.

    On the Milband brothers, Clare Short was on Radio 4 this morning “David is very clever, too clever sometimes. He was always a Blairite, he ran Blair’s office for him.”

    True, in the early days of the Blair premiership he ran the Policy Unit, before that John Smith had picked him to head up IPPR’s influential Commission on Social Justice, later Brown made him Foreign Secretary. But for the left of the party he will always be Blair’s whipping boy.

    I have a lot of time for Clare Short. If she had not bungled her resignation, and instead coordinated with Robin Cook, then there was a chance the Labour Party could have split further over Iraq, but I’m not sure anything much would have changed given the predominance of the Murdoch press, the stance of the Tory Party etc.Tony Blair needed heart surgery in 2004 as it was. I don’t buy Kofi Annan’s veiw that Blair could have stopped Bush, or more importantly the constellation of forces mobilised for war, both in America and in this country.

    I suppose what I’m saying is that the differences between Ed and David would be more presentational than anything else. When and if it comes to government, a combination of forces, minor ones within the party, and larger eternal factors would see them adopting very similar positions.

    To what extent would views of EM and DM be based on a sense that DM fitted too well the interventionist role of previous Labour government would be foreign policy big beasts? I preferred Ed in the leadership elections partly because of a distaste for DM’s intervention in South Ossetia and Abkhazia – which I thought could not be sufficiently well informed, and too gung-ho; partly because EM, having done the groundwork, was right to work with the unions and likely become heavyweight in domestic employment policy, the economy and health and welfare systems, where the real issues would be fought.


    @” I think Mr Blair may well become leader again, ”

    Got to agree with NickP.

    It won’t happen-mainly because you cant’t have TB AND Union funding; and which do you need most ?

  37. @John Pilgrim

    I don’t know that Miliband was especially ‘gung ho’, he didn’t rush to Tblisi and demand that Russia be punished (unlike the leader of the opposition, who also advocated banning Russians from shopping at Selfidges).

    The UK government was prdictably in line with the UN, EU, Nato and Condoleezza Rice. Like you I don’t think the situation regarding Georgia’s incursion into South Ossetia and Abkhazia was at all clear cut.

    Foreign policy was allowed to shift to some extent once there was a change in Washington, but even then there are givens which no UK government minister is likely to challenge… unless you are Robin Cook, in which case your career wil be cut short.

  38. Some quite bizarre bins in the Yougov charts- the 1% of current Labour VI who “wouldn’t vote for Labour anyway, under the David Miliband question and 2% under the Ed Balls question.

    Also, I’m having a bit of an “I hate people” moment, due to the foreign development results (particularly the aid v defence question).

  39. “Asked if they could imagine Ed Miliband being Prime Minister only 29% said they could, 62% could not.”

    This is such a telling stat. I wonder how long Labour think they can keep hiding Miliband from the public.