Or perhaps more accurately, a round up of polling bits and bobs that I’ve missed over the last week or two!


There has been various polling on the BBC and the Jimmy Savile affair, most of it generally damning. Of particular note though is this poll from ComRes, who rather than asking whether the scandal had changed respondents’ opinions managed to dig out some questions from a poll they did for Newsnight back in 2009 to repeat. 62% of people agreed that the BBC was an institution we should be proud of, down from 76% in 2009. 45% of people thought the BBC was trustworthy, down from 62% in 2009. Obviously with a three year space we cannot assume that the drop is linked in anyway to the Savile affair, there could be many causes over the last three years, but either way it is a sharp drop in public regard of the BBC.


There have been several polls on Scottish Independence over the last month. I mentioned the Ipsos MORI quarterly Scottish monitor, but there have also been polls by Panelbase (who are a member of the British Polling Council, but seem to be far from pro-active when it comes to publishing tables! Thanks to Roger Mexico for finally wringing some tabs from them) and two from YouGov that had referendum questions, one for the Better Together campaign and one for The Courier.

Ipsos MORI/Times (amongst those certain to vote) – YES 30%, NO 58%, DK 12%
Panelbase/Sunday Times (amongst those likely to vote in Scot Parliament elections) – YES 37%, NO 45%, DK 17%
YouGov/Better Together (all voters) – YES 30%, NO 56%, DK/WNV 14%
YouGov/The Courier (all voters?) – YES 29%, NO 55%, DK 14%

Party leaders

As well as voting intention this month’s Ipsos MORI poll included their tracker on whether people like the the main parties, the party leader, both or neither, a question I’ve written about in the past. 41% of people say they like David Cameron, down from 47% when MORI last asked the question in January 2011. In comparison 35% of people like the Conservative party (down marginally from 37%), meaning that David Cameron is still a positive for his party, out performing them by 6 points (down from a 9 point advantage in 2011). In comparison 37% of people like Ed Miliband, hardly changed from the 36% who liked him in 2011. 51% of people like the Labour party, up more substantially from 45% in 2011. This means Miliband trails behind the Labour party by 14 points (up from an 11 point gap in 2011).

Police Commissioner elections

Also from Ipsos MORI was this curious poll of voting intentions in the Police Commissioner elections. The quoted headline figures were Lab 16%, Con 8%, LD 4%, Others 3%, Independent candidates 30%, Wouldn’t vote 27%, Don’t know 11%. MORI normally take the approach of only including respondents who say they are 10/10 certain to vote, but in this case only 15% of people said they were certain to vote, and a sample size of about 150 people would be of no use to man nor beast.

I am dubious about the results anyway – polling contests where there are lots of independent candidates who may, or may not, have a chance of doing well is a difficult task. People invariably tell pollsters that they would like to vote for Independent candidates, and invariably fail to do so when actually given the chance – if you just put on a generic “A candidate that is not representing a political party” people tend to imagine some idealised Independent candidate who agrees with them, rather than the somewhat idiosyncratic sorts who actually stand as independents. Time will tell, but I sincerely doubt that independent candidates will get 50% of the poll in the police elections. Given the limited number of constituencies and the uneven pattern of parties contesting them, I think this may be a contest that would be best polled by asking people which county they live in and giving them a list of the actual local candidates to choose from. The expected low turnout however still makes it a tricky challenge to poll.

262 Responses to “Things you may have missed”

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  1. @Chrislane1945 – re the factory output data. Yes – very disappointing, but this sector has been in decline for six months now.
    Interestingly, it’s only been the last two months when employment in the manufacturing sector appears to have been falling, and the most recent figures have also flagged up warnings that exports to Asia are now entering a difficult phase.

    On the bright side, the survey indicates growth in the domestic market. This chimes with the recent retail data, so it helps to confirm the fact that domestic spending is picking up, albeit from a low base.

    Looking at the bigger picture, while any growth is welcome, we really did want to be rebalancing the economy. This was always going to be a big ask in the face of coordinated austerity across our main export markets, but we’re now back in the position where we are relying on domestic spending fueled by borrowing to keep the economy moving, while exports fall.

    This can’t continue for long, but for now we should be grateful for any kind of growth.

  2. “2) Cameron comes back with an inflation linked increase agreed.
    Result also unlikely as so many countries are net beneficiaries and they all want to increase it as much as possible.”

    But this is the default position, so surely it is most likely! If there is no agreement which there won’t be as long as Cameron sticks to his guns then the budget remains the same albeit taking into account inflation.

    Which as it is based on EU inflation instead of individual inflation could in effect be considered a cut. If EU inflation goes up 2% so we are asked to contribute that 2% while our own inflation is above that % then we are effectively paying less than we were last year.

  3. A bit late in reply but I will be voting in the PCC elections – two reasons, first because I too believe in local democracy (although seem to be the only left-winger here who does) but also because I have read (and may be mistaken) that my area’s planned privatisation of the police requires approval from the PCC.
    The Tories are for the privatisation and Labour are against – so I’ll be voting for that reason too.

    The problem with the PCC elections hasn’t been elected police commissioners per se but with the way that the elections have been run – poor choice of candidates (probably due to prohibitively high deposit) and a total lack of information from both the government and the candidates.

  4. Interesting coverage on BBC1 news re budget vote. Mostly on Tory rebels and Lib Dem differences etc with very little mention of Labour.

    Its worth pointing out that those who criticise the vote for a real terms decrease on precedent seem to ignore an enormously altered financial world: recession, debts, the euro falling apart and almost every coutry in the world [including thos within the EU of course] reducing their own budgets by enormous amounts.

    Given that situation there is very little odd about the labour opposition asking for a small reduction in the EU budget. As John Redwood just implied its a better negotiating position than Nick Cleggs “it can’t be done.” and may at least indicate to other members that it is not just a small clique in Westminster who feel this way.

    The best outcome may well be an inflation-linked increase which is attained without using a veto – and then getting exactly that anyway.

  5. I`ll be voting in the PCC elections but my vote has no relevance in this county.I do think this Americanisation of the police is unwelcome.

  6. MitM

    The difference would be if there is an agreement it’ll be locked in, whereas the veto will be temporary until an agreement is reached

  7. “The Serious Fraud Office’s payoff to its former chief executive of over £400,000 was “irregular”, the National Audit Office has concluded.

    The Government’s spending watchdog found the SFO’s voluntary redundancy payment to Phillippa Williamson, who left the organisation in April, was made without the approval of the Treasury or Cabinet Office. The SFO’s accounts have been qualified as a result.”

    politics home.

    :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-)

  8. Labour have a new name for their EU approach-hard headed pro-European.

    SFO news

  9. Interesting article re Ed Balls demanding reform of EU’s outdated budget in 2007 http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/wintour-and-watt/2012/nov/01/edballs-labour

  10. @LIZH

    You can`t keep that man down

  11. @SMukesh

    He is well ahead of the game.

  12. Robert Newark “Danivon No I didn’t know that about Ron Ball but that actually gives me some comfort. He will likely have values similar to mine but be independent of any party machine. If that proves not to be the case then I wouldn’t vote for him a second time.”

    It gives you comfort that he was a Tory for eight years, sought the nomination and when they gave it to someone else (and while I may not support Fraser Pithie, he does have a lot of experience, having been a Chair of the Police Authority and has also been a Lib Dem councillor in the past), Ron decided to stand for himself, and then attack Pithie for being ‘political’ due to his nomination.

    I doubt that your values include hypocrisy.

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