Monday’s polls

We have three polls today, the daily YouGov poll, the weekly Ashcroft poll and the twice-weekly Populus poll. Topline figures are:

Populus – CON 32%, LAB 33%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 15%, GRN 6% (tabs)
Ashcroft – CON 34%, LAB 30%, LDEM 5%, UKIP 15%, GRN 8% (tabs)
YouGov – CON 35%, LAB 31%, LD 8%, UKIP 14%, GRN 6%

Lord Ashcroft’s poll repeats the Tory lead it showed a week ago, YouGov produce a four point Tory lead, their largest since January 2012. Populus continue to show a one point Labour lead.

All the usual caveats apply, we need to be careful not to overreact to polls that could just be a couple of outliers in the same direction – that said, in YouGov’s daily poll we’ve reached the point that Conservative leads are a little more common than Labour ones. Of the last ten YouGov polls there have been four Tory leads and two Labour ones. I don’t think we can confidently say the Tories are ahead… but I’m certainly no longer confident in saying that the underlying average is a small Labour lead either. I think we can fairly say that the Conservatives don’t seem to have suffered any short term damage from the debate debate last week.


340 Responses to “Monday’s polls”

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  1. @ The Other Howard

    Responded to an earlier post of mine by saying it does not matter where the swing to Conservative is coming from or why?

    Well actually it does if you are tryoing to figure out how many seats a Party is going to get in a GE.

    The three latest crossbreaks for Scotland from Ashcroft, Populous and YouGov have SNP on 50.7% and Labour on 23.3%.

    That is sufficient to wipeout 10 of 11 LD seats and possibly remove the remaining Conservative.

    We have just seen an analysis today that Labour would pick up 2 seats in Wales, so the coalition is down 12 to 13 seats in Scotland and Wales.

    But it is in England where the battle will be most heaviliy joined and Conservatives obtained a 10.4% lead in 2010, which is at best 5 points now, but that is not the half of it as LD are losing between 75% to 80% of their 2010 GE support.

    Acoording to YouGov, and I realize this is just one poll, Labour are up in London, the Conservatives are down 5 points in the southeast around London and are off by at least three points in the Midlands.

    Populos and Ashcroft agree, so the devil once again is in the deatils. Ashcroft and Populos have UKIP on 21% in the Midlands YouGov on 16%, so the squeeze for Labour is coming from UKIP not the Conservatives.

    Just look at Ashcroft’s latest “Net England” data versus the 2010 GE results in brackets:

    Conservative 36% (39.5%)

    Labour 31% (28.5%)

    LD 5% (24.2%)

    Other 28% (7.8%)

    According to Ashcroft UKIP is averaging 18% in England and Green 9%.

    I see no classic swingback here for LD, and I find it hard to believe that the Conservatives can retain their 2010 GE results on these kinds of numbers.

    So crossover has occurred, but you then have to ask yourself why and where?

    Those who think that UKIP number will crumble need to reflect on the fact that UKIP voters are almost as determined to vote UKIP as Conservative and Labour supporters are determined to vote for them.

    One in three Conservative and Labour voters are just as likely to leave them as UKIP. And depending on which pollster LD support softness is equal to or worse than Green Party softness.

    And Finally 33% of Ashcroft repondents were either not voting, refusing to say how they would vote or did not know how they would vote.

    So Ashcroft is basing his 5 point lead in England on guessing, sorry weighting, how nearly one in three of his respondents are going to vote.

    If you multipy the 68% of Ashcroft respondents who actually told his pollster how they would vote you get:

    Conservative 33.8%
    Labour 30.9%
    UKIP 19.1%
    Green 8.8%
    LD 4.4%
    Other 3%

    Bit of a different picture and there is no swing back, and maybe, just maybe, these numbers are frigtening some pollsters and they cannot believe what they are seeing.

    There is not even a five point lead in England, is there?
    As most of you now know I am extremely dubious about weighting using the 2010 GE as the base.

    The truth is that UKIP and Green will have a larger presence in the 2015 GE, along with SNP and LD presence will be diminished.

    How that translates into seats I do not know, but I do know those who count their chickens before they are hatched are often disappointed.

  2. Broadly agree with The Sheep and Tark. Ever since he became leader it’s clear that there has been a constant media undercurrent implying Ed is somehow not really one of us, whoever “us” may be, exactly. Personally I think it’s more about using the dog whistle to elicit prejudice because he is the child of immigrants, but there is a whiff of anti-semitism about it too. Just because these perceptions which seem to be shared by a number of posters, are not regularly aired on this or other websites, does not mean they are unusual or an attempt to divert the narrative away from any particular polls.
    As a widely travelled, former UN officer, my experience is that some degree of racism (or related -isms eg tribalism) can be found in most of us, and it is an easy if cynical and immoral option for politicians and their media supporters to exploit. I don’t have a moral solution to offer. If you believe your Party’s interest in winning GEs is of overriding importance then this may count against choosing Leadership candidates likely to attract racism. A sad reality. We did of course see a similar factor in play with Neil Kinnock in England.

  3. Norbold

    I certainly can say I never saw such a connection. (In fact, I just did say so).

    I more associated it with “Here he is, looking awkward” (just like the banana episode with his brother) as opposed to a “Here he is, looking Jewish”.

    I don’t like Miliband. I won’t go into a deep discussion why as that’s veering into politics and not polling. If anyone implies that it’s even partially down to being antijewish, or being subverted by an antijewish narrative, I will challenge them.

  4. Bill Patrick

    “Three poll with Labour within MOE of their 2010 percentage. I hate to bang on about this, but I find it extraordinary, given that they’re up against an austerity government and given the opportunities for a “realignment of the left” in the wake of the collapse of the Lib Dems.”

    I think you’re right. absolutely extraordinary. In 2012-2014 Labour had a real chance to reshape the left and construct and sell a narrative that could dominate the political landscape for ten years. They blew it! how they did will be subject of PhDs in the future ….

  5. On Miliband I tend to agree with Syzygy and 07052015 that the contest with his brother has more effect that @Tark’s Jewishness theory. Although I accept that Tark may be right, because it’s a dog whistle I may not hear it. I would be interested in Tark’s assememt of the anti-Scottish comments pieces, headlines and cartoon’s that have been in the press recently.

  6. @OldNat
    ‘potential bias accidentally or deliberately placed there’

    Doubly relevant where it is illegal to openly discriminate for fear of prosecution or libel. To make one’s point one has to resort to hint or suggestion that can easily be denied. If you haven’t read Richard Evans’s account of his time as an expert witness in the Penguin/David Irving libel trial, I highly recommend it. Unfortunately there are still people out there who think Irving is actually an historian. Oh boy.

    @Syzygy
    Well said

  7. Plausible deniability, innit. The papers don’t go so far as to make most people think they are being overtly racist. There is though a clear “othering” campaign against Miliband in the Tory media. This has also been done against previous Labour leaders, as noted above.

    The most egregious example IMO was Paxman describing the Blair government as a “Scottish Raj”. Then again, I suppose Scots would be more likely to notice that.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/4350233.stm

  8. To be clear – Irving is an historian in that he reads and uses archival material. Evans took him to task over the way in which he interpreted the material and the way he highlighted different aspects of it.

  9. @Couper
    Broadly yes, and a lot of it is the way the indyref encouraged the definition of in-groups and out-groups. I thought the Con poster of Ed in Salmond’s pocket was more insidious because its implication is that Salmond, and by extension Scotland, is somewhere else and foreign. And we should be scared that Ed may rely on their MPs who are, suddenly, a bit less British than they were before even thought Scotland remains in the union.

    If you’re referring to steve Bell in the Graun, I thought his strip about intimate relations and folk dancing was tasteless and clumsy, portraying Scots as hicks, but not necessarily as foreigners.

  10. ALAN

    “If anyone implies that it’s even partially down to being antijewish, or being subverted by an antijewish narrative, I will challenge them.”

    I can’t see that anyone on here has ever suggested that you are anti-Semitic or swayed by anti-Semitism. All I was pointing out was that I found it surprising that people who are interested in politics seemed to think that TARK had just come up with the anti-Semitic idea when it has, in fact, been current in political circles for a long time.

    By the way, I do like Miliband but “I won’t go into a deep discussion why as that’s veering into politics and not polling.”

  11. Talking about giving conspiracy theories excessive credence cutting both ways, as I did in my previous post, the Labour Party got in trouble last time the Conservatives had a Jewish leader.

    Remember the furore over the supposed Michael Howard Shylock poster?

    From what I remember the only basis for this was that Michael Howard was portrayed as shifty.

    Not sure the motivation was that different to the Blair ‘Demon Eyes’ poster not long before.

  12. On Miliband. Isn’t it just an old fashioned monstering by a press that is generally unsympathetic to Labour leaders? Brown, Kinnock and Foot were all on the receiving end of the same thing.

    Of course, the risk for them (the r/w press and other opponents of Miliband) is that they overplay their hand and it starts to look like bullying. Arguably, the ‘othering’ of Obama in 08 backfired because the US r/w media misjudged the public mood.

  13. How many people on this list think the issue that is driving some people away from Labour is the fact that Miliband is jewish and cannot eat a bacon sandwhich?

    The increase in Green support among youth surely comes from the LD flip flop on tuition fees and the drift from Labour is surely as a result of Blair’s decision to join the US in invading Iraq, and the decision of many Labour councillors and Labour councils to implement the “bedroom tax”. Labour has lost the confidence of a certain traditional section of it’s support because of policies, not how it’s leader eats or does not eat a bacon sandwich.

    Yes the Conservatives are using classic voter suppression techniques employed by the Republicans in the US, demonizing the leader, promoting fear of the “other” (ie SNP),etc, but Labour in the eyes of some voters are already weak in their policies. So would it not be true to say that a “robust” Labour party could shrug off the personalized attacks of the media and their spin doctors? And now we have Ashcroft actually stating that more Conservative voters are going to vote than Labour ones, so he gives Conservatives a five point lead…hmm.

    Truth is Scottish voters simply believe that SNP has better policies than Labour for Scotland. If Labour wants to address weakness in it’s political position it should address the challenge put out by Sturgeon, Wood and Bennett on “austerity” and Trident. Whining about Conservative attacks on Labour through the tabloids that have been going on since before I was even a twinkling in my parents eyes seems a little lame to me. :)

  14. @Andy JS
    ‘Graham: the Greens are on about 7% in the polls now compared to 1% at the 2010 general election. Do you really think that increase won’t show up in Norwich?’

    Compared with the 2008 – 2010 period the Greens have fallen back in Norwich at local elections.

  15. I agree with Tark. If it was just the bacon sandwich, it might not the case, but in combination it is difficult to deny. There has also been attention drawn to his nose.

    I don’t believe in that level of coincidence.

    I say that as someone who tends towards being pro-Palestine.

  16. “There is though a clear “othering” campaign against Miliband in the Tory media.”

    Bizarre, when you think about it. There was never such an effort against Heath, Thatcher, Hague, IDS, Dracula, or Cameron by anti-Tory media.

    (The Howard one is particularly interesting, in that he was associated with a monster type associated with Romania, the land of his father. If Miliband was being portrayed as a Golem, I would have more sympathy with claims of anti-semitism.)

    This isn’t a “But your side does X!” point. The key thing is that making the public feel that your rivals’ leader is different from them is standard political strategy, and only wasn’t used in the case of Major & Blair because their entire public images were built on being normal people.

  17. Hawthorn,

    “There has also been attention drawn to his nose.”

    Presumably because he had a nosejob in this parliament, which was to deal with sleeping problems.

  18. Good lord Hawthorn.

    I have noticed his nose. I think he may have had a bridge collapse after his nasal operation and may need repair.

    I can also see why people say he appears awkward and has a funny voice.

    Yes, it is a shame people would make political assessments based on such shallow first impressions.

    And, worse, it is a shame that he is considered nerdy because he is an overt intellectual.

    But that’s the problem.

    I am disappointed in the nature of comments on this thread.

  19. (I would give examples of the othering of Thatcher, but I’m not sure the site’s bandwith can take it.)

  20. Reading my last post I wondered whether describing Ed Miliband as an ‘overt intellectual’ could be considered a dog whistle considering that more than 20% of the world’s Nobel Prize winners have been Jewish.

    Personally I think that is something for Jews to be proud of but could it be construed as promoting a racial stereotype?

    Conspiracy theorists really are a detriment to sensible debate.

  21. Norbold

    I genuinely didn’t hear of any connection between the bacon sandwich and antijewishness before today.

    I always saw it as a swipe bringing those “of higher status” than us back down to earth. Satirists have been doing it for centuries, when a politician provides their own source of amusement at their own expense, people are allowed to be amused by it.

    I see it all the time. A lot of the time I see Boris in the media, he’s doing something daft. Is that somehow an antiamerican narrative?

    I am very uncomfortable with a very broad attack that tries to link disliking Ed Milliband with his religion (or not even his religion as I understand he’s an atheist). It’s not whether the accusation sticks, it’s the fact that someone feels free to throw around accusations based on what’s in their head when the evidence doesn’t support them. There’s a much more sensible explanation to all of his points that some sort of conspiracy aimed at the few extremists that can hear the so called “dog whistle”

    If any other nonjewish politician with a similar level of media attention as Ed were caught eating a bacon sandwich (or any other meal of his or her choosing) in a similar manner, a similar amount of attention would have been given to it.

    In reality there was very little made of it at the time in the media and it’s more been down to people revisiting the topic, as we are today.

    “He’s a bit weird” can be levelled at most politicians, I don’t really see Ed as particularly weird until he opens his mouth. As a geek I actually find the accusation that he’s geeky complete off the mark. He really needs to start wearing T-shirts with jokes centred around programming or mathematics (even politics would work) if he wants to get credit as a geek from me.

  22. AndyShadrack

    Thank you for a very detailed response, and I must say I admire your diligence and scientific approach to forecasting. I take an interest in all the academic forecasters so your comments are also of interest to me.

    I am afraid my own approach is completely different and based merely on having experienced so many elections over my lifetime, and my “own gut feel” of what will influence voters when they actually vote. On that basis I forecast that the Tories will win in 2015 as long ago as 2011. Nothing I have seen so far makes me want to change that forecast. I expect the swing back to be late but decisive, with Tory vote going up and Labour vote down. As I have said many times before, we will see in May.

    As I say nothing Scientific about it at all, but using this approach I did forecast both the Scottish Referendum, and the last European election in the UK more accurately than any of the pollsters. Of course this does not mean that I will be correct come May, we will have to wait and see.

  23. @ Graham

    The Green Party holds 38% of the seats on Norwich Council compared to 54% held by Labour and has done since 2010 ( There are no Conservative and UKIP councillors and only 3 LD from one ward):

    Not sure where Norwich South is in relation to Green held wards in the City but below please find a comparison between 2011 and 2014 voting results for Green:

    Mancroft 41.5% 2011
    Nelson 54.8% 2011
    (Sewell 26.8% 2nd to Labour 37% 2014)
    Thorpe Hamlet 39.3% 2011
    Town Close 44.2% 2011
    (University 29.4% 2014)
    Wensum 43.7% 2011

    Mancroft 45.4% 2014
    Nelson 53% 2014
    Thorpe Hamlet 42.2% 2014
    Town Close 42.1% 2014
    Wensum 47.7% 2014

    So their vote appears to be up in Mancroft, Thorpe Hamlet and Wensum, down in Nelson but still above 50% and down in Town Close.

    Other than that I think they took University at a County Council level and then lost it back to Labour, so maybe you are confusing the County Council results with City Council ones.

    Green seem pretty robust in Norwich to me and Ashcroft’s recently reported (March 4th) Norwich North poll put them on 10%, up from 2.9% in 2010. His Norwich-South poll had them on 20%, reported out on January 7, 2015, had them 2nd on 20%, up from 14.7% in 2010.

  24. I think Labour’s non-reaction to the rape, torture and forced prostitution of thousands of young girls in dozens of Labour seats is more of a problem for Labour than Miliband being Jewish.

    Even without that Miliband’s problem is the same as Michael Foot’s – who I don’t think was Jewish.

    What they needed after Blair was a [not saying] but a Michael Foot is still better for them (or less bad) than if they picked a Blair clone imo.

    Speaking of which a lot of the “othering” of Miliband has come from the Blairite wing of the media not just el Tories.

  25. “Speaking of which a lot of the “othering” of Miliband has come from the Blairite wing of the media not just el Tories.”

    not sure i entirely agree with your comments, Mr Jones, but the anti-miliband stuff has come from Mandelson, Blair, Campbell, a number of business people who supported labour, and lots of people round Blair. Even Noel Gallagher had a go at Mili.

  26. (I would give examples of the othering of Thatcher, but I’m not sure the site’s bandwith can take it.)

    An excellent point…Blair also got a lot of stick. but these characters can rise above it. Miliband hasn’t managed to.

    It wasn’t the media who forgot about the “deficit” and “immigration” in the major conference speech before hoping to become Prime Minister.

  27. One more point “othering”…Obama got it far worse than Mili in both ’08 and ’12…he still triumphed with more than 50% both times…the first democrat since FDR to achieve this, and the first president since Reagan in the 80s…

    Mili could rise above this “othering”, if that is what it is, but his own limitations make this unlikely..

  28. @Alan

    “As a geek I actually find the accusation that he’s geeky complete off the mark. He really needs to start wearing T-shirts with jokes centred around programming or mathematics (even politics would work) if he wants to get credit as a geek from me.”

    Agreed.


    geek1
    ?i?k/
    informal
    noun
    noun: geek; plural noun: geeks

    1.
    an unfashionable or socially inept person.
    a knowledgeable and obsessive enthusiast.
    “a computer geek”

    verb
    verb: geek; 3rd person present: geeks; past tense: geeked; past participle: geeked; gerund or present participle: geeking

    1.
    engage in or discuss computer-related tasks obsessively or with great attention to technical detail.

    nerd
    n??d/
    noun
    informal
    noun: nerd; plural noun: nerds; noun: nurd; plural noun: nurds

    a foolish or contemptible person who lacks social skills or is boringly studious.
    “I was a serious nerd until I discovered girls and cars”
    synonyms: bore, dull person; More
    informaldork, dweeb, geek;
    informalanorak, spod;
    informalPoindexter
    “it needs care to wear a tie like this without looking like a nerd”
    a single-minded expert in a particular technical field.
    “a computer nerd”

    Origin
    1950s (originally US): of unknown origin.
    Translate nerd to
    Use over time for: nerd



    dweeb
    dwi?b/
    noun
    North Americaninformal
    noun: dweeb; plural noun: dweebs

    a boring, studious, or socially inept person.

    So based on all that, it would be easier on us real geeks if people called him a dweeb. :))

  29. Bill Patrick

    I’d say William Hague turning up in a baseball cap and looking very daft and awkward in it got a decent amount of headlines that day.

    If a politician (or any public figue) makes themselves look a bit daft, they’ll get a ribbing from the press. I’m pretty sure no one is exempt from this.

    I don’t equate that to some secret squirrel club of nods, winks and codewords only those in the club know.

    If Cameron got caught waving a banana around I’d have a chuckle (as I did with the unsympathetic pictures of him in swimming gear, “oh dear what was he thinking”) but it wouldn’t change my image of him or his politics (which aren’t 100% positive but not the place to discuss that).

    Do people really believe the reason Labour aren’t heading for a majority government is because of some covert operation that 95% of the public can’t see against him?

    I’d suggest if you took any member of the labour party and made them leader and transplanted his exact words into their mouths, we’d be in a similar position no matter who you chose. Yes, some people are shallow enough that looks might make a difference but it can’t be that important else we’d see a very different makeup of parliament than we do today.

  30. Peter Crawford

    not sure i entirely agree with your comments, Mr Jones, but the anti-miliband stuff has come from Mandelson, Blair, Campbell, a number of business people who supported labour, and lots of people round Blair.

    Has Campbell been sniping at him? Admittedly i haven’t been paying that much attention but I thought he’d been pretty positive about Ed.

  31. @Allan Christie

    Alas, it is frequent, and far from subtle. There was a recent post to this site that used anti-semitic language, but AW kindly (and appropriately) removed it. If we find that kind of language here, where we all try to behave, then it’s hard to believe it isn’t elsewhere.

  32. @Andy Sharack

    I am not at all surprised by the figures you quote. My point is that the Greens are weaker now – particularly in relation to Labour – than in the period leading up to the 2010 election when they significantly outpolled Labour in the local and Euro-elections. Despite that success and the resultant hype the Greens came a poor 4th in 2010.. Labour has recovered quite strongly in recent years here – there has certainly been a clear Green to Labour swing compared with 2008/09.

  33. @Thesheep:

    If one was to base their view of reality on what one sees posted on the internet one would assume UKIP are heading for a landslide.

    Racists, antisemites, misogynists and UKIP members are massively over – represented on discussion boards and forums.

  34. As I said before, if it was one thing in isolation it probably wouldn’t be the case. In combination it does not look good.

  35. “Admittedly i haven’t been paying that much attention but I thought he’d been pretty positive about Ed.”

    The Blairites were very anti Ed at the beginning until they realized the Cameroons were likely to be a one term job and quietened down but they started up again a while back when it started looking iffy.

    (looking iffy if you subtracted some points for lack of enthusiasm)

  36. @ The Other Howard

    You may well be right, as you live in England and I am in Canada.

    As a political scientist I base my observations on what happened in Canada with the rise of Reform and the Bloc Quebecois in Quebec in the 1993 federal election.

    Now the difference is that Reform actually lead in certain regions in 1993 in some western provinces, whereas UKIP has no such regional support in the 2015 GE polling.

    But SNP look like they will obtain 10 or 11 LD seats and possibly the lone Conservative. This morning it was intimated that Labour will pick up 2 LD seats in Wales.

    LD only have to lose 21 seats in England to Labour and the coalition have lost majority if Sinn Fein continues to abstain.

    If DUP back Conservative with C &S because they are the largest party in HoC, that means that Labour and UKIP only have to take eight seats from Conservative between them to bring them below majority again.

    So unless you are suggesting Conservatives are going to gain more seats from Labour and/ or take some more in Scotland, getting to 39.5% in England in 2015 will not be enough.

    LD have to hang onto 1 seat in Scotland, 1 seat in Wales and 22 that do not fall into the hands of Labour in England.
    Doable, maybe, but not on Ashcroft’s numbers of 5%.

    Conservatives are not at 39.5% yet and only at 35% as an outlier, so where do LD figure in your equation? Are they part of the climb of Conservative to 39.5% or do they experience a revival of their own?

  37. Funtypippin

    campbell has tried to be a good boy but he’s been quite frank i think about ed’s shortcomings.

    The Blairites were better behaved when Ed looked a shoo in, at the beginning of 2014. he was cruising….then it started to slide, in the run up to May elections last year, and labour haven’t really had any momentum since then.

    That’s why the tories are hoping that two months will be enough…funnily enough under the old rules, the pm could have called a slightly later election, June or July, which would have probably helped the blues.

  38. I see the discussions have moved from why C can’t possibly win, to why it is unfair that L might lose. Give me strength!!

  39. “I see the discussions have moved from why C can’t possibly win, to why it is unfair that L might lose. Give me strength!!”

    The gnashing of teeth among our labour colleagues is a sight to behold. there will be a collective breakdown on the left if cameron and ossie manage to cling on, frankly against all odds a year ago, to the keys of downing st.

  40. JP

    Do you believe said racists have much influence on said message boards?

    Either it’s a board full of racists and they are preaching to the converted or they will be ignored/banned/start a flame way depending on the board/moderators.

    I doubt a significant portion of people will be influenced by a few posts and think to themselves “They are right, he does look a bit [ ], how didn’t I spot that, I better start hating him and vote for the other guys”.

    If Ed loses this election, I’m sure some people will want to take comfort in that fact “He would have won if it weren’t for those meddling kids” instead of “He would have done better with a better set of policies and was better at conveying them”. It doesn’t make them right though.

  41. Phil Haines

    Regarding the Welsh poll […] It’s very surprising that Roger Scully’s commentary focuses on the Assembly polling when we’re only 8 weeks away from the GE.

    Probably because there’s only so many ways the poor man can say “Labour will gain Cardiff North and Central, the Tories might gain Brecon and Radnor form the Lib Dems (or not)”. Which seems to be what every Welsh poll has produced in the last year, despite all the other movement in VI.

    Anyway he does a more extensive write-up on his blog here:

    http://blogs.cardiff.ac.uk/electionsinwales/2015/03/10/new-barometer-poll-westminster-vote-intention-figures/

    The Gethin Jones who writes the first comment is the UKIP PPC in Ceredigion who might have an outside chance in that strangest of constituencies, a rural university seat.

  42. Good early afternoon everyone from a sunny beach here.

    PETER CRAWFORD.
    The May 8th negotiations will be very interesting I think; A. Campbell was saying on Radio Two an hour ago or so that he thought it would be a No Overall Majority for anyone.

    ANDYSHADRACK.
    Good Afternoon to you over there, from me, over here! I think you are right to point towards the probable LD collapse to both the Tories and to the Labour Party in their ‘natural’ zones.

  43. All Ed Miliband has to do is be himself and not worry about the way others perceive him to be.

    After all, as someone else further up the thread implied, if you are good enough to rise above this playground stuff (as unedifying as it is), then it really doesn’t matter what you look like.

    If there is more to this man then the image and painted impression that others suggest, then he will play this to his advantage when it matters.

    That is why Cameron is so unwilling to be seen debating with him in the context of a level playing field.

    Ed carp is dead, long live Ed is carp! ;-)

  44. “A. Campbell was saying on Radio Two an hour ago or so that he thought it would be a No Overall Majority for anyone.”

    yes this is the perceived wisdom. i think it’s right. the negotiations will be interesting. I read on political betting that they reckon dave needs 295 tory seats to be able to have something stable. obviously if he gets 285 and the lib dems are on 28 or so, it becomes quite messy… I can’t see the tories clinging on with fewer than 280 seats, even if they are the largest party.

  45. @Dave
    “What is the justification for believing that there is simple switching from one to another?”

    None, but bear in mind that I didn’t say there was, and I doubt if anyone else making similar comments is under any illusions either. I was commenting on the net movement after all the underlying churn.

  46. Andy Shadrack

    Not sure where Norwich South is in relation to Green held wards in the City but below please find a comparison between 2011 and 2014 voting results for Green

    The Wiki articles on UK constituencies usually has a list of which wards from which local authorities make up the constituencies (both before and after the 2010 boundary changes). In England parts of district and unitary wards aren’t normally in more than one constituency (though county council divisions often are).

    For Norwich South:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norwich_South_(UK_Parliament_constituency)

    The composition of the new Norwich South is:

    Bowthorpe, Eaton, Lakenham, Nelson, Mancroft, Thorpe Hamlet, Town Close, University and Wensum Norwich [City Council wards]

    New Costessey in the district of South Norfolk.

  47. “if cameron and ossie manage to cling on, frankly against all odds a year ago, to the keys of downing st”

    The SNP rise is clearly the game changer. It completely overtakes the LD demise and the UKIP rise as the biggest singe political event – and it’s happened in a very short time. No one could have predicted or planned for this.

    ………………….
    The ‘odd’ thing is that anyone (e.g. Con to UKIP voters)is ‘worried’ about a Lab/SNP coalition. What is it about the SNP that terrifies the English? Is it the tartan terror?

    DC claims that a Lab/SNP coalition would mean the end of the UK. I don’t believe that nonsense. Doesn’t DC’s comment here imply that the SNP are not worthy of being in government of the UK? If so, doesn’t this tend to suggest that the Cons will want rid of Scotland and will themselves breakup the union if they are still in office post GE? Is this why the SNP will be replacing Lab in Scotland?

    It seems to me inevitable that the union is beyond salvation now.

  48. @LouisWVG

    thanks for your detailed description posted at around noon. I’ll need to mull over it to get a sense of what the various equations are doing.

    Some time ago I hit the same problem using equalities. I discovered that submitting the comment deletes all text between a left and a right inequality. (Can’t type them in as the same will happen again). In my own case a whole paragraph was lost forever.

  49. Regarding the anti-semitism. It wasn’t the initial attack on Miliband pere that was the problem.

    It was the subsequent defence of the attack by Paul Dacre, where he referred to the “jealous God of Deuteronomy”. If they were really criticising Miliband senior for Marxism, why bring in Deuteronomy into it? What has the old testament got to do with Marxism? Nothing, but it is the book of the Jewish faith – and the jealous god is the one that forbids worship of all others (including worship of Christ). So it was definitely a Jewish reference. I’m not jewish or even religious and even I picked it up.

    Regarding the Conservative poster of Salmond with Miliband in his pocket – this is not a reference to Scottishness, but to Salmond’s recent boast that he would make Miliband “dance to his tune”. Hence the puppet-master image.

    Given that the SNP supposedly want a coalition with Lab, that’s a pretty hostile thing to say. You would have expected a more neutral “we will work with…” which is about a positive constructive partnership, and is the formula Clegg used prior to 2010.

    I expect Miliband will get quizzed about it in the debates.

    “Mr Salmond has not said he wishes to work with you, but that he wishes to make you dance to his tune, what is your response to that”

    Miliband either squirms or rules out a coalition with the SNP. If he squirms, follow up question:

    “But what about the responsibility you have to the many millions across the UK voting for your party. Should they expect to have their needs take a back seat while you dance to Mr Salmond’s tune?”

    And finally, “This is a pretty hostile approach from the SNP – it suggests they wish to wreck a government led by you, rather than support it. So why would you entertain a coalition with them?”

    And so on. Perhaps Miliband should U-turn on the debates, and back Cameron’s stance on it! :-)

  50. “The SNP rise is clearly the game changer. It completely overtakes the LD demise and the UKIP rise as the biggest singe political event – and it’s happened in a very short time. No one could have predicted or planned for this.”

    absolutely…the snp hate people saying this, but they have given dave and ossie a real life line…If labour could hold even 35 of its 41 seats, they would probably have got largest party without too much difficulty. the fact is the tories can be the largest party on 285 seats or even 280 seats, which before the snp surge was almost impossible.

    the snp guys go beserk whenever their potential role in resuscitating cameron’s career is mentioned, but I have absolutely no doubt that the snp are a big part of crosby’s plans, much like a lot of labour were secretly happy abt. ukip’s rise.

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