Archive for the ‘Labour crisis polls’ Category

So Alan Johnson’s loony-toons Postman Protection (Beware of the Yorkie) Bill 2010, has been unceremoniously dumped barely a week after he announced it all over the national media, or so I’ve just heard on Radio 4. As humiliating U-turns go, that one has got to be one of the fastest and biggest on record.

Well, while I’m obviously pretty happy this piece of ultra-boneheaded legislative garbage has gone, I can’t help thinking that when John Reid talked about the Home Office being ‘not fit for purpose’, what he really meant was just about all Labourists of the ministerial class, especially Home Secretaries (including himself). I suspect he was thinking of your average, bog-standard, troughing Labour MP, too.

Cameron reborn, taking the fight out onto the hustings, finally getting the key policy areas into focus – and relishing the challenge of an energetic, vibrant general election campaign; Brown squabbling with his own party over dog laws, furiously chasing his own tale over Unite strikes and their funding of the PLP (and over a hundred Labour MPs), and losing all credibility over the debt crisis and the record structural deficit (if he ever had any) here, in Europe and everywhere else.

It all adds up to me as powerful signs of Labour’s final decline.

And that denouement, people might one day say, all started with one overrated former postman’s deep-seated fear, if not hatred, of poodles.

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The poll is pretty darned conclusive in that it clearly demonstrates one thing, people are certainly not as stupid as the AGW fanatics, many of whom inhabit the government (surprise surprise), seem to believe. But they are all, government, Opposition and alarmist scientists and their minority of sheeple supporters, in denial about the scale of the collapse of their propaganda campaign and their ongoing and increasingly desperate attempts to mislead people over the impact of human activity on the giant, chaotic, barely comprehended system that is what is (perhaps inaccurately) branded “global” climate.

To that end, and as anyone who watches a few hours of TV a day will know, government spending on AGW propaganda has been increased massively, with ridiculous claims about virtually every aspect of our lives’ impact on the environment pushed down our throats, at our own expense, during virtually every commercial break. That they cite as their source on each of the stupid, expensive adverts “UK government” hardly fills anyone with confidence – quite the opposite, in fact, if this poll is anything to go by. The Climategate liars work for the UK government, and people know that. But this doesn’t seem to be getting through to the government, or its tame, politicised geeks:

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ (Defra) chief scientific adviser, Professor Bob Watson, called the findings “very disappointing”.

“The fact that there has been a very significant drop in the number of people that believe that we humans are changing the Earth’s climate is serious,” he told BBC News.

“Action is urgently needed,” Professor Watson warned.

“We need the public to understand that climate change is serious so they will change their habits and help us move towards a low carbon economy.”

That the vast majority of us (about 74%, by implication) don’t believe the alarmist line peddled by people like blobby-voiced Miliband Minor and this Bob Watson twit is “disappointing” to them is a sign of how arrogant and patronising these agenda-driven loudmouth politicians and pseudo-scientists really are. But, remember, there’s also a sinister, underlying anti-democratic tone here which can only mean trouble.

So keep on “disappointing” them, folks; keep on exercising your right to demand the truth.

Hat tip: Plato Says

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So goes the comment from “LTL” on politicalbetting.com this evening as Mike Smithson reports that two new polls will show that any hopes on the left of a reversal of Labour’s fortunes, especially after the Tory policy shift on Europe and The Sun newspaper’s personal assault on Brown, have been comprehensively snuffed out.

Tory pressman Henry Macrory has just Twittered to say “Two polls tonight will give Conservatives a 14pt lead”.

I assume that these are YouGov and ComRes. So it’s no change with the lead from YouGov but a one point increase from ComRes.

It seems therefore that “LTL” is quite right. Dead cats don’t, in fact, bounce. Especially Brown ones.

David Cameron will be enjoying his Sunday lunch tomorrow. And so will I*.

(*…be enjoying mine, not his)

See the polls here.

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CON 42%(-2) LAB 25%(-2) LD 21%(+3)

With the release of the latest ICM poll showing no recovery for Labour, Mike Smithson has repeated the question that most right of centre bloggers – and others – have been asking for the past six months at least: how much evidence does Labour need that Brown is a liability who will demolish any hope they have of rescuing the party from certain annihilation at the next election?

Another month goes by and Labour’s polling position remains dire with no respite in sight. For a new ICM poll for the Sunday Telegraph just being reported suggests that there’s been little change between the main parties since the last survey from the firm in the Guardian a week and a half ago.

Both Labour and the Tories are down two with the Lib Dems up three.

You now have to go back to December 2008 before you find an ICM poll where the Tories did not have a double digit lead. The current 17 point gap equals the second highest on record.

What will be very disappointing to Labour is that their ongoing attacks on the Tories for their alleged links with “far right parties” in the EU don’t seem to be having any impact. This has been just about their only line in the past fortnight and so far, at least, it has not benefited them in the polls.

To many in the Labour party ICM is seen as the gold standard because it has been round for so long using the same methodology and has a good track record. That will add to the worries.

The Lib Dems will be pleased that they are back over 20% and not too far behind Brown’s Labour.

We’ve said it before, I know, but you just wonder how bad it has to get for Labour before there is any thought of a leadership change?

With Brown now openly defying his own Chancellor, having comprehesively lost the argument on the state of the public finances this autumn, and opting for the nuclear option of further gargantuan chunks of “stimulus” spending next year, the feeling that he has taken complete leave of whatever senses he ever possessed in his increasing desperation is practically tangible. Tomorrow’s Sunday Times will not make pleasant reading for Alistair Darling.

GORDON BROWN is planning a final public spending spree to help pull the economy out of recession and put pressure on the Conservatives over their plans for deep cuts.

The prime minister is keen to use the autumn pre-budget statement to announce a new “fiscal stimulus”, with billions of pounds of extra money for housing, infrastructure projects and training.

Recent figures showing that Britain is still in recession have convinced Brown that more spending will be required next year to support any faltering recovery.

Brown also hopes the stimulus package will open a new dividing line between Labour and Conservative plans over the public finances.

“At the next election we need a clear story to tell about how Labour will support the economy through investment while the Tories would choke off the recovery with draconian cuts,” said a cabinet source.

However, the proposals have caused alarm among Treasury officials who fear any increased spending could upset the financial markets, making it harder to service the growing national debt.

At last week’s cabinet meeting, a discussion over the latest economic data hinted at the tension between No 10 and the Treasury. Alistair Darling, the chancellor, warned ministers of tough times ahead and stated that any new projects would need to be “paid for by savings elsewhere”.

By contrast, Brown spoke of the importance of not withdrawing “support for the economy”.

It is also understood that there have been a series of disagreements in the National Economic Council, Brown’s “war cabinet” for the recession, where Darling has called into question new schemes to “support” the economy.

The pre-budget report, expected early next month, is likely to retain the pledge made in the spring to halve the public spending deficit, currently £175 billion, by 2014.

Ministers are now debating the budget for the 12 months beginning in April 2010.

Under current Treasury forecasts, expenditure will rise next year by £30 billion to £700 billion.

However, most of the increase is accounted for by debt interest and social security payments, while capital investment in housing and public services would fall in real terms.

The comments already appearing beneath the article demonstrate pretty clearly – at least to me – the mood of the public generally, and who it blames for Britain’s parlous economic position: Gordon Brown. An example:

The only reason we are still in recession is because of Brown’s reckless spending. All other countries took a measured ‘stimulus’ approach and have recovered. Brown is delusioned and no one voted for him to spend our money like this and put our children’s children in debt.

The feeling must now be that Labour won’t listen to public opinion any more than they have before about who the electorate wants to see gone because of this and so many other debacles: they want Brown gone – immediately. But no matter what Labour’s fuhrer does to destroy their mythical Third Reich Way, for want of backbone they still stubbornly refuse to assassinate him.

The Tories are no-doubt counting on Labour’s utter political cowardice – but the country will be paying for it. For decades.

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The Red Zone: about to disappear?

Apologies for my hen’s teeth posting but managing the workload of a full time MA and trying to earn a crust with a bit of teaching can occasionally be somewhat time-consuming – and knackering to boot. It’s been particularly hectic this week for some reason – and I have a tricky little test coming up too so there’s no respite for a while.

Enough of that. I want to talk about the latest tasty morsal of polling news that indicates Wales could actually be about to cast off the Labour yoke – or near as damn it.

CON 31%, LAB 34%, LDEM 12%, PC 15%, says Yougov’s latest Wales poll commissioned by the University of Aberystwyth. Full results in PDF form can be found here.

There’s little to add to the Half Blood Welshman’s excellent post on this devasting news for Welsh Labour. It’s certainly worth a read. Here’s an extract.

The Conservatives should be thrilled that they are doing so well in Wales – surprised, it has to be said, but thrilled. It doesn’t make up for their continuing woes in Scotland, but it does something to counter to myth that they have become exclusively the party of the South of England. 50% more votes and four times as many seats – if they can pull it off – would be a major coup for Nick Bourne, Cheryl Gillan and David Cameron. From that point of view, this poll probably finally explodes the idea of Bourne standing aside before 2011, when he can perform an orderly handover on his terms.
Plaid Cymru will probably be disappointed (although Che tries to put a brave face on it). Their vote is up, but not by a lot. Ultimately, the aim of Plaid Cymru must surely have been to become the alternative to Labour as the leading party in Wales, and yet they are just barely in third place. Although they would pick up a gratifying clutch of seats, including the greatest prize in Ynys Mon, on these numbers, there will probably be whisperings that were they not tied to a tired and increasingly divided Labour government that they would be doing much, much better. They will also be dissatisfied that the avowedly Unionist message of the Conservatives – many of whose candidates and all of whose current MPs remain fiercely unitary in outlook, never mind Unionist – seems not to be a problem for a large number of voters, something that may be an issue given the upcoming report on the future of the Assembly (due on November 18th, but also foreshadowed according to rumour in the notorious Dr. Hain’s speech on Thursday). You have to wonder where that will go in the present atmosphere.
The Liberal Democrats will be devastated. There is simply no way to dress up losing a third of your voters as anything other than a major blow. How that plays out in terms of seats remains a bit of a guess, but even so Kirsty Williams will not be happy. Hopefully this will be the spark they need to really galvanise a better campaign – such work as is going on looks to be poorly focussed to this outsider – to try and get some more publicity. The Liberal Democrats in the last 15 years have become big political players – they should not really just sit back and wait for the “oxygen of publicity” with an election campaign (I’m sure they don’t intend to, but that’s how it looks from here).
That leaves Labour. They lose a fifth of their votes – a third of their seats. The difference may be explained by the fact that they would be driven back on their Valleys heartlands, with a handful of outliers in Clwyd. This means that the last figure should also be of deep concern to the incoming leader, whoever that may be (my money is still on Hart). That is the others – on 7%, a near doubling of their previous attainment of 4%. If that is concentrated in a small handful of seats – say Caerphilly or Wrexham – there is the potential, to put it no more strongly than that, of another Blaenau Gwent style upset. Of course, we don’t know exactly how it breaks down. It may be boosts for the BNP and UKIP, in which case it will likely prove irrelevant. Then again, it may not. The challenge facing the new leader remains huge, particularly if the (let’s face it) badly-run contest, the divisions it has opened and the loss of Rhodri Morgan’s personal presence cause the vote to sag further. Moreover, the idea that Wales is finally deserting Labour will be a crushing blow to morale – possibly on a national level as well as a local one.

That really is an excellent analysis. All I can say with certain knowledge is that in the towns of Carmarthenshire, particularly among my mother’s generation, the notion of a world without Labour was once (and for many no-doubt still is) inconceivable. It is a political outcome that was – as I know from a conversation I had not so long ago with a pretty famous Welsh writer, for instance – to put it bluntly, completely off the mental radar of people here, many of whose parents were, so I am told, slightly to the political left of John Roose Williams.

The times they definitely are a-changin’, however, as the poll unequivocably demonstrates. To cut a long story short, what they feel about this Labour government is what we all feel, for one reason or another: absolute betrayal.

The results of what is clearly the deep soul searching currently underway in Wales among, it seems, all sections of society are entirely unpredictable insofar as who, if Labour is about to be defeated, will fill their boots.

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Sometimes Guido can be refreshingly pithy. His latest piece of pith is a fine example:

On his blog Bad Al Campbell argues that Dave hasn’t sealed the deal with the electorate thus; “December 5, 1996, Gallup poll. Labour 59. Tories 22. Now that’s what I call a lead. And they’re nowhere near it, because they have not sealed the deal, because they’re not serious on policy, because they haven’t changed much, and because a lot of people don’t really like them.”

Bad Al is really grasping with this line of spin. Labour are 19% behind in the polls; suggesting that if people don’t really like the Tories, they must despise Labour. The voters have come to a settled view of Gordon – that he is a useless weirdo. You can’t spin your way out of that…

“Useless weirdo,” lol. A fine pith-making effort. I love it.

There is one other thing this particular blogpost throws up, however: the polls from those days, as psephological guru Mike Smithson has pointed out on politicalbetting.com until he’s blue in the face, were unreliable, heavily weighted as they were in favour of Labour because of poor practices. Polling methodologies have changed beyond all recognition and for the better since then with the result that they are now, by and large, completely reliable sources that quite accurately reveal voting intentions. Campbell either knows this and is being dishonest or he doesn’t and he’s being stupid. Either way, he’s a damn fool for making the comparison at all.

If you want to know more about why you should be careful with historical polls, Mike Smithson explains here.

Fact is, a 19% Tory lead according to modern polling techniques means a sub-200 seat wipeout for Labour if that was repeated at the general election. And it’s a reliable poll. Campbell can’t spin his way out of that reality, either.

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Just been listening to Michael Portillo arguing on This Week that it’s in Brown’s political interests to ‘sort out’ the public finances immediately because Cameron’s ‘inexperience’ will somehow then tell against him and Brown’s 12 years in office (his ‘strength’) will suddenly, somehow win him support. This misses a lot of elephants in the proverbial room. For one thing, it is not-only the electorate that seems to have collectively moved on from Brown, as even former Brownite, spendaholic economics guru, Anatole Kaletsky, has now acknowledged in the Times, the media has too.

Added to this is the fact that there is precisely no evidence to support the idea that Brown accepts the cuts argument anyway, let alone has a firm agenda set for spending controls. He is psychologically, stubbornly opposed to the non-expansionist narrative. His reluctance to admit his errors (and lies) over public spending is testament to this. He has not promised cuts in the way his Chancellor (sort-of) has, he has merely given vague, generalised assurances about efficiency savings and the abandonment of ‘unnecessary’ and/or ‘wasteful’ departmental projects – in much the same way as he did in 2005 when he told the same lies to cut the ground from under Michael Howard’s feet over his modest proposals in his brilliant manifesto for an efficiency drive. The idea of genuine reductions in government spending, and bringing the deficit and debt under control, are anathema to him. He might have been bounced into using the ‘c’ word by his own party, but he did so reluctantly and he did it disingenuously. He hasn’t changed – and he hasn’t really changed his tune.

In fact, I think Portillo knows this and he was actually seeking to make a clever if implicit, disguised point about how boxed in Brown has become, as is always the way with someone who has a genuine problem facing up to reality. The reality is that the electorate have had enough of him, in every possible way. The reality is that he can’t immediately start setting the agenda for real public spending cuts because he’ll be straying straight into the unmarked political minefield that is Tory economic territory: sound money and the small state. In other words, he won’t because he can’t. Whether he knows this or not is quite another matter. I think evidence suggests not. That’s what the public suspects, too – and that’s why he (and Balls with his sudden, bizarre, £2Bn assault on his own department), and Labour generally, have no credibility on this key policy area. Unlike 2005, when debt-fuelled growth and Brown’s property bubble were reaching their peak, in 2009 no one’s buying the Brownite lies and spin any more. A crash, Gordon, is a crash and the leaders in charge at the time of that crash and the recession that follows will be forced to take responsibility for it – especially if they are responsible for it!

For this and a whole host of other reasons, Brown-Labour has completely lost the argument on public finance.

Add to this the view that, as is clear now from a succession of polls, in the minds of millions of Britons Brown caused not only the debt crisis, but the recession itself and there is more than enough evidence to suggest that Labour under Brown are facing wipeout, assuming Cameron’s Tories don’t make cannibalism and the culling of all six-week old puppies owned by small children firm manifesto pledges. Labour’s only hope of avoiding this fate is to oust Brown and November looks like the month.

We really have moved on. There are signs the mainstream media is beginning to sense that. Slow on the uptake, aren’t they? But not as slow, it seems, as the Labour party.

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