TNS-BMRB released a new poll on the Scottish independence referendum this morning, showing very little change from their September poll. 25% say they would vote YES (unchanged), 43% no (down one point), 31% say don’t know. Full tabs are here.

Meanwhile this morning’s YouGov/Sun poll had topline figures of CON 33%, LAB 40%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 12%. Full tabs are here.

316 Responses to “Latest TNS BMRB and YouGov polls”

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  1. @ Alec

    I thought that the recent polling showed that people still trusted their local Lib Dem MP’s more than they did for the other parties. I would point to the poll, if I could remember which one it was.

    All parties in government have changed their policies from what they campaigned on. Making specific pledges can be a dangerous game and I think for the 2015 election we will see very few.

    I think Labours policy on tuition fees is subject to a review. They want to look at the system again, to see whether £9k a year is a fair contribution from the student and whether this level is having a deterrent effect on some people attending or the courses that people are choosing. Makes sense to me, bearing in mind the new system has only existed for a few years.

  2. Re:Clegg

    The tuition fee issue is the highest profile and most obvious issue on which the LDs did a complete volte face between early 2010 and late 2010. But it pales into insignificance as a historical issue compared to the way the LDs changed their policy over Austerity.

    Here’s a quote from their 2010 manifesto
    “We must ensure that the timing (for deficit reduction) is right. If spending is cut too soon, it would undermine the much-needed recovery and jobs. We will base the timing of cuts on an objective assessment of economic conditions, not political dogma. Our working assumption is that the economy will be in a stable enough condition to bear cuts from the beginning of 2011/12.”

    The figures in their manifesto showed a plan for a reduction in Govt spending of about £40bn by 2015. Very similar to Labour’s plan.

    The LDs campaigned on this. THE central issue of GE10. And then, after the election, they signed up to supporting a programme of IMMEDIATE cuts, with a total cutback of £83bn by 2015.

    When asked to justify this massive policy change, Clegg stated that developments in Greece led him to worry about a possible bond crisis for Britain, and that he changed his mind on the necessary pace of spending cuts in the last few days before the election.


    I’ve been saying ever since that this is an existential issue for the LDs.

  3. R Huckle
    I don’t think ‘Trust me I’m a…. (fill in your favourite party)’ is going to cut much ice in 2015 with voters, although I concede that manifestos themselves will not be the major event deciding VI.

    I suppose anything near a specific promise which could then be mangled by opposing media outlets will be so mangled.

  4. Re Clegg etc
    As ever with policies and the public, it’s the sizzle not the sausage that sells the Party. What is remembered I think is the PPB with Clegg walking along throwing paper promises away, those made by Labour and Tory of course, and saying that the LDs were DIFFERENT and then of course the giant pledge cards signed in blood that most LD candidates featured on their election addresses, specifically about Tuition fees. It’s only anoraks like us that worry about the actual chapter and verse of policies !

  5. R Huckle,

    The NHS will be a noose around the neck of governments for the next generation or so. The productivity gains needed to meet rising costs are just insane (compared to performance over the past thirteen years or so) and will require some mix of (a) unpopular organisational reforms, (b) unpopular cuts, (c) unpopular tax rises, and (d) unpopular increases in our debt. And that’s the optimistic scenario!

    I think that this is the main reason why both the previous government and the current government are looking for panaceas in IT, private sector commissioning, and decentralisation. People can debate the effectiveness of any of these measures, but the motivation isn’t hard to understand, and I think that the only reason it doesn’t get discussed more is because of how it is so unsettling.

  6. LL
    I don’t know why NC doesn’t end it all now, lend him your sword, there’s a good chap…..

    Miriam wouldn’t be pleased and I am sure Nick thinks she is worth staying with us for. Even the daily Mail thinks she’s ‘hot’. I got that from Google.

  7. I find it so tragic when the appearance of an MP or their spouse is actually discussed, it being utterly irrelevant.

    What matters is what a politician does and the values and principles they demonstrate.

  8. Some interesting figures on inheritance tax from the ONS, quoted in the Guardian yesterday. This possibly has some bearing on @Bill Patrick’s point re the NHS.

    In the two years 2008 – 2010, only 3.6% of people received an inheritance of more than £1,000, with over half of these getting less than £10,000 and 90% being under £125,000. Virtually all of these would almost certainly have been from estates not liable to inheritance tax. These figures indicate that only 0.36% of the population received an inheritance above £125,000 in the two year period.

    While we need to be careful, in that the annual rate of the population getting a +£125,000 inheritance appears to be around 0.36% of the population from these figures, clearly most people will only get one major inheritance in their lives, so it might be theoretically possible that over a long period these annual numbers add up to a significant part of the populations, but that doesn’t really work. Even over twenty five years, just 9% of the population would get a £125,000+ inheritance on these figures.

    The ONS calculate that in the same period, £57B of the total £75B (76%) of inheritance went to the richest 20% of the population, with the clear implication that reducing inheritance tax (or not increasing it) is merely designed to protect the wealthy, at the expense of the less well off.

    It’s absolutely clear from any rational view of the economy, that there are large assets being transferred between generations amongst the very wealthy, much of which represents unearned income through asset price inflation. Targeting this for some additional tax revenue would seem to be a perfectly reasonable and fair means to provide additional resources to, say, the NHS.

    For example, if £10B pa in additional taxation could have been secured from top end inheritance tax between 2008 – 2010, the NHS could have had a 10% increase in funding and the richest 20% would still have reaped a £37B windfall, with no adverse effects on the wider economy.

    What’s actually worse, is that the obsession with preserving the estates of the dead means that the 96.3% of working age who didn’t receive an inheritance above £1,000 are being asked to pay more tax to ensure that wealthier people can retain their estates and the 0.36% can continue to get large inheritances free from tax.

    We would never design a system like this from scratch, but it’s also worth noting that those average people who often talk about reducing inheritance tax have been completely bamboozled into supporting a position that means they will pay more tax, while their rich neighbours will absorb the benefits.

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  9. @ Bill Patrick

    Yes agree with your post about the issues affecting all governments in managing the NHS.

    Without getting political, I am not sure how the commissioning process is going to help increase productivity/efficiency of running the NHS. If you start to have many private providers take business away from NHS hospitals, then you will have reduced incomes, but with all the overhead costs having to still be paid. The private providers will have many more casual staff employed under temporary contracts, so they will have an advantage over NHS hospitals. You could then see parts of NHS hospitals having to close, with staff being made redundant or having their contracts changed.

    Not sure the latest NHS reforms are the right way forward as they cause more problems than they solve. Some patients may benefit from having a quick operation at a private hospital, but if this leads to their local NHS hospital closing, they may have a longer ambulance trip in the event of an emergency.

  10. @ RC,

    This Clegg scape-goating thing is quite absurd and long past its sell by date. I would have thought some kind of reality would have dawned on most people by now.

    Quite. I can understand why Lib Dems and former Lib Dems hate him, but the man is the savior of the Labour Party. You’d think Team Red would pay him a little more respect.

  11. @Alec

    We would never design a system like this from scratch

    The economic elite and their political class on their payroll would…

  12. ” once per year, I join the local Tory party at prayer.”

    Talking of ole god, Howard, and being philosophical, I reckon that if he had wanted me to share my burfdy cake with OTHER people he would have put that desire into my genomes.

    But he hasn’t – ergo it is god’s will that I scoff the lot.


  13. The problem for Clegg/LDs is that for a long time they tried to position themselves as left of Blair/Brown.

    However, although it seems a majority of the public saw the sense in them forming a coalition, in talking exactly the same language as the Tories they infuriated all Labour supporters and all left-leaning LD supporters.

    This seems written is stone now – which is why I have said they are “doooomed” – and I see no way out for them, apart from an official merger with the Tories by some of their party.

    Either way they are f*cked.

  14. RnDs dad

    So, you’ll never find yourself in a having your cake and eating it situation then?
    Hope the pups got some before it vanished

  15. Alec
    “Virtually all of these would almost certainly have been from estates not liable to inheritance tax. ”

    I see where you are coming from on this but I’m not sure that you can necessarily make that assumption. It is quite common for wealthy people to leave amounts of say £1000 to grandchildren, God children, carers, nephews & neices etc.

    Maybe the fairest system would be to scrap inheritance tax altogether & instead of taxing the deceased’s estate, tax the beneficiaries at their marginal rate of income tax. That way, the wealthy pay at 40/45%, & those who don’t pay tax will pay nothing. Charitable beneficiaries will continue to benefit as now.

    On the face of it, what could be fairer?

  16. In general I think we need a revision of this expression “Income”. At the moment “income tax” is very narrowly applied to money received in return for work, and even that definition is perverted by the various tax dodges of the self-employed, the “self-employed” and comedians…

    I’d like to see people pay tax on pretty much all monies that come into their possession, through any means. I would exempt money that has been borrowed (subject to severe penalties for anyone caught exploiting this to claim something was a loan when it really wasn’t – small businessmen, I’m looking at you…)

    So yes, I’d got along with Robert Newark. Add inherited income to the rest of the pot. If that encourages rich folks to divide their pot into handouts for a lot more people, that has to be a good thing.

    I’d also like to see some sort of “Permanent Family Trust” arrangement to allow the main residence (even if it’s a very grand one) of a family pass down to descendants without having to be hacked to pieces to pay for inheritance tax, but with the condition that if all or part of it was sold to realise its value then the tax that would have been due on inheritance becomes due retrospectively.

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