Conservative 37% (up 2%)
Labour 39% (no change)
Lib Dem 10% (down 1%)
Changes shown are compared to the last ComRes online poll published on 20 November.
The public is not convinced that Ed Miliband and Ed Balls would do a better job of sorting out Britain’s economic problems than David Cameron and George Osborne. Only 29 per cent believe the “two Eds” would do better, and 71 per cent either disagree or do not know.
ComRes surveyed 1,001 GB adults by telephone on 25-27 November 2011. Data were weighted to be demographically representative and by past vote recall.
The sale of 72 RAF/RN Harrier GR9 aircraft to the US has been confirmed by the MoD, saving the British Government around £1 billion overall. The airframes and associated parts will be used as a major source of spares to support the US Marine Corps Harrier AV-8B Fleet of aircraft.
The value of the sale is $180 million (around £110 million). Added to the savings made from retiring the Harrier fleet from service, this sale takes the total estimated receipts and savings to the MoD to around £1 billion. This will enable investment in a more modern and capable mixed fast jet fleet, including the state-of-the-art Joint Strike Fighter.
Difficult decisions had to be taken in the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) to tackle the Department’s £38bn black hole which was inherited from the previous Labour Government. Cuts predating the SDSR left the Harrier Force too small to carry out enduring operations in Afghanistan whilst maintaining the contingent capability needed for other operations such as Libya. Also, Tornado delivers the full range needed in terms of precision weapons and reconnaissance.
Peter Luff – Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology – confirmed the sale to the House of Commons today. He said:
“Harrier served this country with great distinction but retiring it eight years earlier than planned was the right decision. Had we taken the decision in the SDSR to decommission Tornado instead we would not have been able to carry out the missions that were required simultaneously in Libya and Afghanistan. It was essential to retire older, less capable aircraft to allow us to invest in more modern, cutting-edge fast jets. As our operations over Libya proved, we have the capability to project decisive air power and can utilise our extensive basing and over-flight rights to great effect. The sale of Harrier is evidence of our commitment to working closely with our allies and represents a good deal for both countries.”
The sale of equipment to the US includes spares and associated support equipment. Two aircraft will also be offered to museums in order to preserve the Harrier’s contribution to our military heritage.
Whilst there was undoubtedly a huge gap between the equipment purchases Labour committed the country to and the planned resources, the new Coalition Government could have addressed the matter by investing more money into the nation’s defences, whilst at the same time undertaking the fundamental reforms of the MOD started by Liam Fox. I very much hope that Chancellor George Osborne will agree to more money for Defence in next week’s Public Spending Review.
There is a new Ipsos MORI/Reuters poll reported today showing Labour’s lead over the Conservatives increasing to 7% partially from 4% last month:
Conservative 34% (no change)
Labour 41% (up 3%)
Lib Dem 12% (no change)
The satisfaction with government and all three party leaders has not changed significantly since October:
o David Cameron has a net satisfaction rating of -14;
o Ed Miliband’s net satisfaction rating is -15; and
o Nick Clegg has a net satisfaction rating of -30.
Ipsos MORI interviewed 1,006 adults aged 18+ between 19 and 21 November.
There is a new ICM poll in the Guardian showing Labour’s lead over the Conservatives being cut to just 2%:
Conservative 36% (up 1%)
Labour 38% (down 1%)
Lib Dem 14% (up 1%)
The changes are within the margin of error but with such small differences between the parties this can make a big difference in the lead shown.
ICM Research interviewed a random sample of 1,005 adults aged 18 and above by telephone on 18-20 November 2011.
Conservative 36% (up 2%)
Conservative 35% (down 2%)
Labour 39% (no change)
Lib Dem 11% (up 1%)
Changes shown are compared to the last ComRes telephone poll published on 21 August.
In other findings:
I expect the economy will start showing signs of improvement soon:
Agree: 23% (67% June 09)
Disagree: 55% (27% June 09)
Don’t know: 22% (6% June 09)
– Younger people are more likely than older people to think that the economy will start showing signs of recovery: 35% of 18-24 year olds think this compared to just 15% of 45 – 54 year olds.
A Labour government under Ed Miliband would be better at protecting people’s jobs:
Agree: 27% (32% April 11) (30% Jan11)
Disagree: 43% (40% April 11) (38% Jan11)
Don’t know: 30% (28% April 11) (32% (Jan11)
– A third of Labour voters are either unsure (25%) or disagree (8%) that a Labour government under Ed Miliband would be better at protecting people’s jobs.
It is better to let Government borrowing go on rising than to allow more youth unemployment:
Don’t know: 29%
The loss of hundreds of thousands of public sector jobs is a price worth paying to reduce the deficit:
Agree: 29% (30% Oct10)
Disagree: 51% (47% Oct10)
Don’t know: 20% (23% Oct10)
– There is a stark party variance on this issue: 53% of Conservative voters agree – compared with just 32% of Lib Dems and a mere 16% of Labour voters
In most cases I have sympathy for people going on strike against public spending cuts:
Agree: 48% (51% July11) (48% May11)
Disagree: 38% (38% July11) (37% May11)
Don’t know: 14% (11% July11) (15% May11)
– One fifth of Conservative (21%) and two fifths of Liberal Democrat voters (42%) say that in most cases they have sympathy for people going on strike again public spending cuts.
I trust David Cameron and George Osborne to make the right decisions about the economy:
Agree: 30% (31% Aug11)
Disagree: 45% (48% Aug11)
Don’t know: 25% (21% Aug11)
I trust Ed Miliband and Ed Balls to make the right decisions about the economy:
Agree: 21% (18% Aug 11)
Disagree: 50% (54% Aug 11)
Don’t know: 28% (28% (Aug 11)
I plan to spend less on Christmas this year than last year:
Don’t know: 13%
David Cameron is defending Britain’s interests well in the crisis over the euro:
Don’t know: 30%
– Of Conservative voters, 68% agree and 11% disagree that David Cameron is defending Britain’s interests well in the crisis over the euro. One in five Labour voters (18%), and 47% of Lib Dems, also give Mr Cameron credit in this area.
The planned high-speed rail link from London to Birmingham and the north would be expensive but worth it:
Don’t know: 28%
– Men (37%) are more likely than women (27%) to think the planned high-speed rail link from London to Birmingham and the north would be expensive but worth it. People living in the South East and North of England are the most supportive, while people in Scotland and – interestingly – the Midlands, are least supportive.
Government should give tax incentives to British businesses that train, invest, invent and sell, rather than businesses that concentrate solely on profits:
Don’t know: 15%
The NHS would be safer under Labour than the Conservatives:
Agree: 39% (39% Aug 09)
Disagree: 33% (47% Aug 09)
Don’t know: 28% (14% Aug 09)
– One in four Lib Dem voters think the NHS safer under Labour
ComRes surveyed 2,012 GB adults online on 16-18 November 2011. Data were weighted to be demographically representative and by past vote recall.
Apologies to readers for my absence recently. I was amused to be told that one local blogger has suggested that I have been “gagged”. Fortunately no-one has ever attempted “gagging” me. The truth is rather more prosaic; after a week’s holiday I had busy week which was then followed by a two week work residential training course with limited access to the Internet.
This caused me to miss a number of events I would usually attend such as the Remembrance Service at Brock Barracks. However, I was able to observe the commemoration of the sacrifice of so many, with my work colleagues.
More to follow when I have time. Meanwhile don’t believe the ill-informed, gossip merchants!