A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Meanwhile back in reality

The latest email update arrives from www.electoralcalculus.co.uk and reminds me that the Tory poll lead whilst huge  "is slightly reduced from last month. Populus (Times) has 13% (down from 20%),
YouGov (Sunday Times) has 22% (up from 18%), ComRes (Independent on Sunday) has 21% (unchanged),
ICM (Guardian) sees 15% (down from 20%), and Ipsos-MORI has 20% (up from 17%).

Overall the Conservative lead is 18% which is 1% lower than June. The prediction also
includes the results of the recent YouGov poll in Scotland showing the SNP 4% ahead of Labour.
As is our standard practice, we do not include the results of by-elections in the prediction
because they are not a good predictor of subsequent general elections."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Overall the Conservative lead is 18% which is 1% lower than June."

oh joy, hurrah, we are saved...

7:15 pm, July 27, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

maybe Gordon is bouncing back...

7:43 pm, July 27, 2008

Anonymous dirty european socialist said...

Yes we are saved. The PM has saved millions of lives in Africa with his "super aid relief man" policy. Unfortunately he has not been notticed doing this so nobody has given him any credit. Rather like clark kent nobody recognises what a hero he has been.

7:57 pm, July 27, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The by elections were just protest votes these are the truth.

8:33 pm, July 27, 2008

Anonymous Oxbridge Prat said...

Given the margins of error, nothing has changed. The only debate is whether Labour is stuffed, horribly stuffed, or totally and irrevocably stuffed.

Post Glasgow East my original suggestion of "managed decline" as the only sensible approach is starting to look a tad optimistic.

9:49 pm, July 27, 2008

Blogger Steve Horgan said...

David Cameron now faces the horrifying prospect of a majority in parliament of only 160, instead of the 161 that was based on June's numbers.

They will put him on suicide watch.

11:28 pm, July 27, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Given Tory HQ's ignorance of some of the candidate selections in those seats the party never before dreamed it might win, Cameron may well actually have cause to worry about such a high majority.

6:36 am, July 28, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The sad reality is that Gordon just cannot do it. The last month and a half should have been a disaster for the Tories - cameron made daft comments, was made personally to look like a fool (what sort of idiot other than a useless public school boy locks his bike to a 2ft bollard?) and has looked arrogant and extreme.

Or at least he would have looked that way if anyone bothered looking. They don't look because they are so hostile to GB. It's not the press, it's the people!

Gordon has to go and anyone who doubted that ought to have had their mind easied by the fact that Prescott - always a dispensary of useless advice - thinks otherwise.

9:50 am, July 28, 2008

Blogger Merseymike said...

Luke: come back down on to this planet, do.

The Tories are streets ahead and unless something is done , Labour are heading for meltdown.

I'm afraid that the public simply don't like Gordon, and even you should be able to see that what is needed now are bold policies to shore up as much of the core vote as possible. Its obvious what happened to that vote in Glasgow - it voted for a party carrying pout a largely social democratic programme.

New Labour's time has come and gone, and I think people like you need to be told and deposed. Have it your way and Labour are crushed at the next election.

11:22 am, July 28, 2008

Anonymous tim f said...

mike, you keep telling us what the result in Glasgow was about. Were you in Glasgow?

The SNP would be more than happy to operate with Tories at Westminster and their candidate actually said as much. Does that sound like a social democratic party to you?

7:56 pm, July 28, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't worry about it Luke, Dirty European Socialist has the answer. The opinion polls are all fraudulent and in fact on the streets of Britain Gordon's name is worshipped in breathless reverent tones. In fact on these showings I would say Labour are on course for a 200 majority, at least.

8:37 pm, July 28, 2008

Anonymous dirty european socialist said...

This is not a time to panic. Only woosies panic at a time like this.
No need to change it is just high opil and food prices. Everything comes to those who wait.
I see no point in panicking. There is no euro or local elections for a year no general election for two years, changing leader due to panic is insane.
This woukld have been a good month if it was nost fore the by election potest vote.

9:33 pm, July 28, 2008

Blogger Merseymike said...

Tim: you are like many Labout supporters - you can't see whats happening.

Have a look at the main things the SNP government have done. Then compare them with the UK Labour government.

Which looks most like a social democratic government?

Of course they will co-operate with the Tories - because they want independence and think a Tory government would be a better chance of getting it.

But I think if you try and portray Alex almond as to the right of the current Labour government, then you are not facing the evidence.

9:57 pm, July 28, 2008

Anonymous tim f said...

Alex Salmond is very good at giving a social democratic face to a ragtag group of local Tories. That doesn't make the SNP social democratic.

Anyway, the correct comparison would not be to the Labour UK government but to a Labour Scottish Assembly.

I still maintain that the best way to see what is happening is to knock on doors. Yes, the government is behind at the moment, but your liberal intelligentsia mainly moved away from Labour in 2005 (you're an exception, not the rule) and actually some of Luke's swing voters are more likely to vote Labour (not that I agree with him about how to win them around).

People in Glasgow were not telling volunteers who went up there that they were voting SNP because they were against 42 days, or even because the SNP employed anti-privatisation rhetoric. In the short time I was there, not a single person told me they disliked Gordon Brown, even (that's obviously different in other cities, but it's worth noting that in Glasgow East 2 told me straight off the bat they thought he was being unfairly targeted by the media and no-one else cared enough to bring up personality issues). In fact, the only single issues that came up on the doorstep for me were abortion (on which I would think you agree with me that we're doing the right thing in opposing further restrictions and just need to take a hit on it), and fuel prices (although mainly that was with voters who probably wouldn't have voted for us anyway). The rest of the anti- stuff was all about a combination of issues increasing pressures on household budgets.

The solutions might not be as easy as if the voters had just been saying "be more like the SNP", but I'll trust what voters are saying on doorsteps more than opinion polls any day.

I would like the government to be bolder and more left-wing, but that doesn't mean your analysis is correct.

10:44 am, July 29, 2008

Blogger Merseymike said...

The SNP is like a lot of 'national' parties - ideologically broad based. However, Salmond is certainly left of centre, so is Sturgeon, and I think that the 'Tartan Tory' tag is really pitiful. They will clean up if that's the best Labour has to offer, particularly given that their policies are to the left of the UK Labour government. And look what happened to the Labour Scottish assembly - they were voted out, and for the past year have simply been rudderless and floundering. Largely because many of the things which the SNP government have been doing are actually the best option.

If you think that voters tell canvassers the truth, then you must be very naive. Particularly if they have decided to vote against the party for which you are campaigning!

But the simple fact is that people no longer feel that Labour is 'for them' - and, yes, I am one of those people. I won't be voting Tory under any circumstances, and I don't think my partner will either - he will spoil his paper. The problem is that so many different people now feel that Labour is 'not for them'. Who exactly are the party appealing to?

10:56 am, July 29, 2008

Anonymous Dirty Euro: said...

OK this is my new controversial theory is am putting around about glasgow east.
I am scottish and i was deeply confused and upset at a scottish seat rejecting a scottish pm. Yet we may have missed a very obvious point.
I am not from a sectarian part of the country I could not care one iota if you are catholic or a proddie. Religion has little to do with my idenitity. Yet in glasgow it is in fact more important part of your idenity than your nationality. I've met have renagers and celtic fans saying they could not give flying #### what scotland do in soccer.
A scottish proddie like the PM might be as alien to an irish seat like glasgow east as an englishman is, the seat.
The PM is not from a sectarian part of scotland,. So he may not have recongised that catohlic seat could not give two hoots about scottish proddie runing the country.
Is glasgow east really is backyard.

12:16 pm, July 29, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Clearly not all voters tell canvassers the truth, but if canvassing is done properly the results are more reliable than most opinion polls (Glasgow East was an example of that).

My experience is that most people, providing they're not asked leading questions, the canvasser is friendly and you actually listen with interest to what they have to say, will tell you what they think.

If voters usually lied to canvassers when they are voting against the canvassers' party, shouldn't Labour canvass returns have shown BIGGER leads than newspaper polls?

And as to who the party are appealing to - despite the bad results, in Crewe and in Glasgow Labour still turned out the areas where most low-income people live. Those people knew that it wasn't in their interests to return a candidate other than Labour. Ok, that's not enough on its own. But it shows that there are many, many, people who still rely on the Labour Party and know it is "for them".

12:16 pm, July 29, 2008

Anonymous Dirty Euro:: said...

Furthermore is the support for the snp in glasghow east a support for scottishiness or a support for the not-britishness.
Look at the way celtic fans wave irish flags. Or that rangers fans wave UK and ulster flags. Aiden Mcgeady deciding to choose ireland over scotland. Is this more complicated than simply scottish nationalism than people are looking at. Perhaps the SDLP would win as many votes in the seat. Who knows?
Look at a celtic game, you would hardly see it as snp territory you would think it was sinn fein territory. LOL.
And in fact according to rangers fans most of them are. LOL.
I am scottish i tolerate people in scotland who see themslves as irish, but maybe this snp lot are playing too much into this. Look at irish cletic fans who sang in support of the ira that was hardly anything to do with scottishness it was more to do with anti british indentity.
A poll suggested nearly 50% of the seat backed independence from britain. Far higher than normal for scotland. Is it just an anti briths appeal.

12:27 pm, July 29, 2008

Anonymous Dirty Euro said...

So any come back on my idea that maybe support for snp in the seat was in fact irish nationalism rather than scottiosh nationalism.

12:29 pm, July 29, 2008

Blogger Ravi Gopaul said...

The Glasgow East election probably has more to do with the popularity of the SNP government than petty nationalism; why else would Wee Eck be bobbing around during the campaign?
I have no idea if Salmond is a proddy or a catholic (I assume the former rather the later), but I do think that sectarianism is not wholly relevant.

The SNP positioned itself to the left of Labour and made us look like we are anti working class. We need to learn from this. Ted (Harvey) has said as much.

2:20 pm, July 29, 2008

Blogger Newmania said...

Lord so Dirty Eurpean Socialist who is given to opining as the the future of England actually has , or should have , no say in the matter whatsoever.
These sweaties are beyond a joke

5:07 pm, July 29, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Newmania what are you on about your racist berk.

5:24 pm, July 29, 2008

Anonymous Rich said...

Luke keep believing it but it's not going to help you in 2010. You have lost the switch voter, you have lost the working class vote and you have lost virtually all your core supporters. If you fail to win back core support then surely it can only get a lot worse.

I was chatting to a chairman of a housing association today and it is someone who traditionally supported the labour party. We were talking about building sustainable housing projects and he hinted that it was David Cameron who was in front in this area. He also hinted that it would be David Cameron who would be the next PM. Gives you some idea how people are changing their views about Labour.

Even the policy makers see the Labour party as old and running out of ideas.

Go to traditional working class areas and you will hear complete disillusionment with Labour, people are:

1. Not voting at all.
2. Voting for the BNP or UKIP
3. Switched to the conservatives.

Talk to public sector workers, people who work in education and health care and there is a growing number of them looking at the conservatives for answers. Plus you consider what the impact of the below inflation pay rise will do to many Labour voters.

I'm not normally wrong on these issues and but I think it will only get worse unless Labour dramatically change. The problem now is how Labour can deliver under such difficult economic circumstances most of which has been brought on by Brown.

8:40 pm, July 29, 2008

Anonymous Prince varion said...

Rich How can you claim the PM brough on high food prices and oil prices. Duh!

9:23 pm, July 29, 2008

Anonymous John said...

"Rich How can you claim the PM brough on high food prices and oil prices. Duh!"

Pressured the Bank of England to cut interest rates, and raised Government borrowing by lots, such that the pound lost around 20% of its value against the Euro, and therefore everything we import costs £1.25 when if we'd maintained the value it would otherwise have cost £1?

9:43 pm, July 29, 2008

Anonymous Rich said...

Prince Varion, Oil and Food and not the main causes of the current economic problems.

1. Brown was the man responsible for creating a toothless FSA and the independence of the Bank of England.

2. Brown promoted risk taking from a business and personal perspective. Which combined with unregulated banking resulted in the huge investments in sub prime lending.

3. Over borrowing resulted in a credit boom and subsequent house price inflation. House prices would not have risen by this much if borrowing had been restricted to 3.5 times salary etc etc.

4. Our dependence on oil and lack of planning can be blamed on this government as they have been in power and spending the billions made from North Sea Oil and Gas. In the same 10 years Germany has managed to secure a huge market share in renewable energy.

5. The price we pay at the pump is marked up heavily by tax. Reduce that tax and you reduce the effects of high oil prices. The only problem is Gordon has spent too much and has no room in the public purse to ease the pressure of high pump prices.

These might be global economic circumstances but their effects could have been reduced with government prudence, planning and regulation.

9:46 pm, July 29, 2008

Blogger Merseymike said...

1. The independence of the Bank of England made sense and still does.

2. Not really. We are largely suffering the impact of American decisions - we don't have a sub-prime sector in the same way as the US

3. The government were not responsible for over-borrowing - the banks certainly were. The Tories would control the banks a lot less.

4. More sympathy with this, but then, we really aren't a Green country compared to Germany, largely because we don't like to do anything which affects us. The opposition weren't suggesting this either, and personally I doubt whether the green message of the Tories will endure, as its neither aspirational nor populist

5. Again, yes, but we do need to reduce use of petrol - don't we? And if that tax revenue disappears it will need to be replaced. I think taxing cars is actually quite fair all told. People with fast cars tend to be richer.

10:19 pm, July 29, 2008

Anonymous Rich said...

Mike we do have a sub-prime market here and the government was warned about allowing the banks to invest heavily in an unregulated sub-prime market. Brown in particular attended a commons meeting about this very subject about two years ago.

It is all very well standing back and blaming the banks but both France and Germany although affected are not feeling it as much as the UK. Banks must be regulated and we can not allow the threats from the city financial institutions to limit how much we regulate them. For years finance has been the one thing keeping the trade in deficit in check and as a result London has become the financial centre for the world....but because we also have the least amount of regulation. But at what expense?

Our reliance on the market has cost us a recession and probably 2 million jobs.

Incidentally it is not just fast car drivers that suffer from high fuel prices. In fact it is probably the poorest motorist who suffers the most. I must also point out that having a business with a fleet of 56 vans it also hurts business and drives up the costs of my overheads and in the end prices.

If Brown honestly wants us to compete in the so called global economy then something has to budge. If he won't help through tax cuts then I'm afraid inflation will be the result and don't expect working people to counter balance this through below inflation pay rises.

10:46 pm, July 29, 2008

Blogger Merseymike said...

Its absolutely tiny and insignificant in comparison to the US, Rich. The mortgage system - and the policy on repossession - works in an entirely different way.

France and Germany are less affected because they have much lower rates of home ownership and people generally buy much later, particularly in urban areas. The Tories are even more pro home ownership than this government, and you saw the reaction when some of us suggested a renewed emphasis on rented housing - the NL freaks can't bear anything so socialist!

You know I entirely agree about bank regulation. The government have been far too entranced by the market and not been willing to face up to its limitations.

I'm not pro-Brown, but I don't agree with all you say. For example, I think the days of cheap fuel are over and we will simply have to change our ways. Let me give you an example. I live in suburban Liverpool. I worked part time in Preston for a year. Its a bloody awful place to get to by public transport. The employer has no car share scheme and though I know of two people who made the journey they both made it pretty clear they wanted their 'personal space' Well, they will have to pay for the privilege.

12:41 am, July 30, 2008

Blogger jdc said...

Our 'sub-prime' sector per se is smaller than the US, Mike, but our strictly sub-prime added to our self-certification added to our 100%+ Loan to Value added to our 6x income multiples added to our mis-sold buy to let, and you have have a hell of a lot of mortgages.

3:59 pm, July 30, 2008

Blogger Merseymike said...

And the Government cannot be seen to be directly responsible for that, however - unless we are suggesting that the banks should be nationalised?

Which no-one is, certainly not the Tories! I think that its the obsession with home ownership as the only provision of housing worth aiming for which is the problem.

9:22 pm, July 30, 2008

Anonymous dirty european socialist said...

Rich. You jhave made up some complaicted issues to blame the recession the government you no deep down this is wrong.

9:51 pm, July 30, 2008

Anonymous Rich said...

No we shouldn't nationalise banks as it wouldn't benefit us but we should certainly regulate them.

We are using tax payers money to bail them out so I would expect them to be accountable to the tax payer.

If you really think that Brown had no part in this recession then you lot are living on Mars. In two years this country will be on it's knees and people will be pointing the finger at Labour.

10:38 pm, July 30, 2008

Anonymous Rich said...

As for fuel you are failing to grasp the reality. What about the delivery of food, services, heating etc etc. Cars are literally insignificant when you compare it to heating a factory or keeping a fleet of trucks on the road.

And there really isn't an alternative at the moment other than replan every city in the UK....remove all the out of town retail parks and build everything close to canals and railways.

You are forgetting that the last 60years of planning and development has revolved around roads. Britain is probably in the worse position for adapting to energy changes, we have simply left it too late.

Tax on fuel should be fluid and should alter depending on the price of a barrell of oil. Tax Revenue from fuel should subidise low emission vehicles and hybrids to make them affordable.

Brown will resign very soon and I really feel it is time to call an election. The UK wants change and no Labour leader will suceed unless they get a mandate from its people.

10:47 pm, July 30, 2008

Anonymous dirty european socialist said...

Rich : You live on mars if you think this downturn was caused by the PM please be reasonable. Do you think he caused the high oil prices, high food prices and credit crunch in the USA. Please step out of that tory propaganda mode.
Please be sensible do not treat us like fools.

10:47 pm, July 30, 2008

Anonymous Rich said...

We have one of the worst records in Europe for making our homes energy efficient, and this is down to policy. People need grants to be able to modernise their homes to cope with the coming energy crisis. In France you can claim back up to 100% if you install solar water heating or geo thermal...in the UK it is just a token £500.00 - £1000.00.

You can't control the price of oil/gas but you can control how much people use. Labour have failed miserably and it is David Cameron who is suggesting giving home owners the chance to create their own energy and save through a variety of tax cutting incentives.

October is when the Americans start firing up their huge boilers and heater driveways which in turn will put even more pressure on the price of oil. I dread to think how much a barrell will be costing by next summer.

The impact of the credit crunch could have been prevented if Brown had made the FSA regulate against sub-prime lending and put the cost of housing to the inflation figures.

If Brown doesn't act soon then we could be facing a 1940s style recession.

11:26 pm, July 30, 2008

Anonymous Rich said...

I said a while ago that there is a distinct possibilty that this will be the last Labour party to govern.


No Labour party by 2015, my next prediction.

11:35 pm, July 30, 2008

Anonymous David (no bicycle clips) Cameron said...

dirty european socialist said... Rich: You live on mars if you think this downturn was caused by the PM please be reasonable. Do you think he caused the high oil prices, high food prices and credit crunch in the USA. Please step out of that tory propaganda mode. Please be sensible do not treat us like fools.

Yeah Rich (or is it Nick?) and how's about declaring your vested interest too? You ... running dog capitalist you!

N.B. I'm green. Will you vote for me please?

2:55 am, July 31, 2008

Blogger Merseymike said...

Interesting. There is an element of 'greenery' which has always had far-right tendencies.

I think it very unlikely that the Labour party will disappear

11:16 am, July 31, 2008


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