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New Populus Poll – Labour Lead Cut to 3%

There is a new Populus poll out today which shows Labour’s lead over the Conservatives being cut to 3%:

      Conservative              35% (up 1%)

      Labour                        38% (down 1%)

                                                           Lib Dem                       12% (no change)

                                                           UKIP                               7% (no change)

Labour’s lead is now in the 3-8% range after a brief boost a week or so ago.

Populus interviewed a random sample of 2025 adults online between 27th and 28th November 2013. Interviews were conducted across Great Britain and the results have been weighted to be representative of all British adults. Populus is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.

November 29, 2013 Posted by | Polls | Leave a comment

New ComRes Poll – Tory Surge Cuts Labour’s Lead Back to 5%

There is a new ComRes telephone poll published tonight for tomorrow’s Independent which shows the Conservatives cutting Labour’s lead back to 5%:

           Conservative            32% (up 4%)

                                        Labour                      37% (up 1%)

                                        Lib Dem                      9% (down 2%)

                                        UKIP                          11% (down 1%)

After a brief rise in Labour’s poll lead recently it seems that its lead is back down to mid-single figures.

In further findings:

According to ComRes, the public do not trust either David Cameron or Ed Miliband to protect the National Health Service. The Labour leader (33 per cent)  is trusted by slightly more people than the Prime Minister (30 per cent). Some 56 per cent do not trust Mr Miliband, giving him a net rating of minus 23 points. Some 61 per cent do not trust Mr Cameron, making his net rating minus 31 points.

Attempts by ministers to blame  Labour for the problems in the NHS appear to have failed. Asked whether the present Government has a better record on the NHS than the previous Labour Government, 28 per cent agree but 57 per cent disagree.

Methodology: ComRes interviewed 1,002 GB adults by telephone 22- 24 November 2013. Data were weighted to be demographically representative of all GB adults and by past vote recall. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Full tables at www.comres.co.uk.

November 25, 2013 Posted by | Polls | 2 Comments

UKIP’s Problems Around the Country Multiply!

UKIPI have written recently about UKIP’s problems in Lincolnshire and Worcester but am grateful to a reader who has sent me a link to a story of rows and resignations in Scotland. It seems that after allegations of dirty tricks within the local organisation, 6 out of 9 of the party’s Euro candidates, including Scottish Leader Lord Christopher Monckton and local Chairman Mike Scott-Hayward, have resigned from the Euro-slate just as the internal ballot papers were about to be issued. The debacle ended with London-based David Coburn winning the top slot on the UKIP Scottish Euro list after the National Executive Committee decided that the selection should proceed without 2/3rds of the original candidates. The Scottish Herald reports that UKIP in Scotland is “in turmoil”!

Trouble is also brewing for UKIP in Hampshire and Yorkshire. Two UKIP Councillors in Hampshire have already quit the party with rumours of more to follow while up in Yorkshire a young potential local Council by-election candidate is in trouble for speaking out over the antics of former UKIP MEP Godfrey Bloom.

Even though Paul Sykes has promised to push money into UKIPs national campaign if they don’t have the people on the ground and the credibility locally it will be to little effect. Just look at James Goldsmith’s Referendum Party!

November 19, 2013 Posted by | National | Leave a comment

Another Thieving Former Labour MP Faces Prison

Denis MacShaneToday former Labour Minister Denis MacShane pleaded guilty in court to fraudulently claiming almost £13,000 in Parliamentary expenses. The court had heard that the former Europe Minister had submitted 19 faked expenses claims from January 2005 to January 2008 against a company he owned, with invoices signed by MacShane using a false name, or “nom de plume” as he prefers to call it. Sentencing will take place on 19 December.

This brings to a close a case which has been ongoing since 2009 when the Commons began investigating his claims. A damning report by the Commons Committee on Standards and Privileges found that MacShane “plainly intended to deceive” the Parliamentary expenses system. They also criticised his attempts to cover up the matter by failing to cooperate fully with the committee’s investigation. The cross-Party committee found that it was the “gravest case” to come before them and its Labour Chairman joined the criticism of MacShane’s actions. He then resigned his safe Labour seat of Rotherham a year ago forcing an expensive Parliamentary by-election.

MacShane’s admission of guilt brings to 6 the number of Labour MPs who have been found guilty of stealing money from the tax-payer:

Margaret Moran (Labour) – Luton South – £53,000 – Supervision Order (Prison was avoided due to her mental state)

Elliot Morley (Labour) – Glanford and Scunthorpe – £30,000 – 16 months in prison

Derek Chaytor (Labour) – Bury North – £18,000 – 18 months in prison

Eric Illsley (Labour) – Barnsley Central – £14,500 – 12 months in prison

Jim Devine (Labour) – Livingston – £9,000 – 16 months in prison

On 19 December we will learn what the Judge feels is a fair sentence for MacShane’s admitted fraud and theft. I suspect that a jail sentence will be awarded.

November 18, 2013 Posted by | National | 3 Comments

New ComRes Poll – Labour Still Not Trusted

There is a new ComRes online poll published tonight for tomorrow’s Independent which shows the Conservatives falling back and Labour’s lead increasing to 6%:

           Conservative            29% (down 3%)

                                        Labour                      35% (no change)

                                        Lib Dem                     10% (up 1%)

                                        UKIP                          17% (up 1%)

This poll is consistent with recent polls in showing an increase to Labour’s lead. However, David Cameron and George Osborne (27%) remain more trusted than the Labour pair to make the right decisions about the economy, with their lead on net trust on the economy increasing from 6 points to 11 points since September 2013.

Although a quarter of British adults (24%) say their opinion of Ed Miliband has got more positive recently, a slightly higher proportion say their opinion of him has got more negative (29%). More than half of the British public (53%) say they cannot imagine Miliband as Prime Minister, compared to just 25% who say they can. A quarter of people (24%) say that Ed Miliband is turning out to be a good leader of the Labour Party, up two points from August. However, 45% disagree, including one in five Labour voters (18%).

In further findings:

Q: Do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements?

 

Agree

Disagree

Don’t know

As far as I know, it is quite easy to switch gas or electricity supplier

70%

17%

13%

Sir John Major was right to say it is “shocking” that positions of power are held “overwhelmingly by the privately educated”

69%

12%

19%

More nuclear power stations should be built in Britain in the next five years

45%

27%

29%

The Government’s Help to Buy scheme to guarantee mortgages will make houses more expensive for most people

44%

16%

41%

I expect the UK economy will improve next year

44%

34%

22%

I have switched my gas or electricity supplier in the past month

13%

83%

5%

  • A majority of all parties’ voters agree with John Major’s comments regarding positions of power being dominated by the privately educated, including four fifths of Labour voters (81%) and three quarters of UKIP (74%) and Liberal Democrat voters (75%). Conservative voters are the least likely to agree (58%), and, of voters for all the major parties, the most likely to disagree (20%) too.
  • Although more voters agree than disagree from all major parties, there is a sharp gender divide in attitudes towards nuclear power. A large majority of males (63%) agree that more nuclear power stations should be built in Britain in the next five years, but women are actually more likely to disagree (35%) than agree (27%) with this idea. People aged 65 and over (61%) are nearly twice as likely as people age 18-24 (31%) to support building more nuclear power stations.
  • Nearly half (44%) of British adults say that the initiative to guarantee mortgages will make houses more expensive for most people, with even Conservative voters more likely to say that this will be the case (37%) than say that it will not (22%).
  • Labour voters are more likely to expect the UK economy not to improve next year (43%) than to expect it to improve (33%). This may suggest some Labour support is currently based on economic pessism – how this might change if the economy does pick up remains to be seen. A majority of Conservative and Liberal Democrat voters (73% and 58%) think that the economy will improve next year, while UKIP voters are divided in their expectations (39% think it will improve, 38% do not).

Economic trust

I trust Ed Miliband and Ed Balls to make the right decisions about the economy

Aug 2011

Nov 2011

Mar 2012

Apr 2012

May 2012

Jul 2012

Sep 2012

Oct 2012

Dec 2012

Feb 2013

Mar 2013

Jun 2013

Sep 2013

Nov 2013

Agree

18%

21%

15%

19%

22%

20%

20%

24%

21%

20%

20%

20%

23%

19%

Disagree

54%

50%

59%

52%

51%

52%

52%

49%

52%

55%

55%

56%

50%

57%

Don’t know

28%

28%

26%

30%

27%

28%

28%

28%

27%

25%

25%

25%

27%

25%

NET

-36

-29

-44

-33

-29

-32

-32

-25

-31

-35

-35

-36

-27

-38

I trust David Cameron and George Osborne to make the right decisions about the economy

Aug 2011

Nov 2011

Mar 2012

Apr 2012

May 2012

Jul 2012

Sep 2012

Oct 2012

Dec 2012

Feb 2013

Mar 2013

Jun 2013

Sep 2013

Nov 2013

Agree

31%

30%

29%

25%

26%

24%

25%

26%

25%

27%

23%

25%

28%

27%

Disagree

48%

45%

49%

54%

55%

55%

54%

51%

55%

51%

56%

56%

49%

54%

Don’t know

21%

20%

22%

21%

19%

21%

22%

23%

20%

22%

22%

19%

23%

18%

NET

-17

-15

-20

-29

-29

-31

-29

-25

-30

-24

-33

-31

-21

-27

  • Ed Miliband and Ed Balls fall to their worst net trust rating (-38) on the economy since March 2012, with just one in five British people (19%) saying that they trust the Labour pair to make the right decisions on the economy.
  • Fewer than half of 2010 Labour voters (48%) now trust Miliband and Balls on the economy – down from 58% in September.

Ed Miliband

Ed Miliband is turning out to be a good leader of the Labour Party

Dec 2010

Jan 2011

Apr 2011

May 2011

Jun 2011

Jul 2012

Aug 2012

Oct

2012

Dec 2012

May 2013

Aug 2013

Nov 2013

Agree

17%

22%

24%

22%

18%

25%

25%

29%

24%

31%

22%

24%

Disagree

32%

35%

38%

39%

45%

42%

45%

40%

43%

42%

50%

45%

Don’t know

50%

43%

37%

39%

37%

33%

30%

31%

33%

27%

28%

31%

NET

-15

-13

-14

-17

-27

-17

-20

-11

-19

-11

-28

-21

 

 

Agree

Disagree

Don’t know

My opinion of Ed Miliband has become more negative recently

29%

47%

24%

I can imagine Ed Miliband as Prime Minister

25%

53%

22%

My opinion of Ed Miliband has become more positive recently

24%

54%

22%

  • One in five current Labour voters (21%) cannot imagine Ed Miliband as Prime Minister.
  • 58% of current Labour voters say their opinion of Ed Miliband has become more positive recently, but only 5% of Conservative voters and 10% of UKIP voters say so. This may suggest that although Miliband has been successful at motivating his own supporters and voters, others are less convinced. For example, a greater number of current Liberal Democrat voters say their opinion of him has recently got more negative (28%) than say it has got more positive (18%).

Television Debates

Agree

Disagree

Don’t know

If there are TV debates at the next election, I expect David Cameron would come across better than Ed Miliband

36%

32%

32%

If there are TV debates at the next election, I expect Ed Miliband would come across better than David Cameron

23%

42%

35%

  • Although Conservative and Labour voters tend to back the leader of the party they support (74% and 55% respectively), Liberal Democrat voters tend to say they expect Cameron (44%) to perform better than Ed Miliband (13%). The same is true for UKIP voters (Cameron: 39%, Miliband: 16%).

Political Background

Agree

Disagree

Don’t know

The fact that Ed Miliband’s father was a Marxist makes it harder for him to be a good Prime Minister for the whole country

16%

55%

29%

The fact that David Cameron went to Eton makes it harder for him to be a good prime minister for the whole country.

Dec 09

(TELEPHONE)

Apr 2011

July 2012

Oct 2012

Nov 2013

Agree

20%

30%

34%

38%

34%

Disagree

70%

52%

44%

42%

45%

Don’t know

9%

18%

22%

19%

21%

  • More voters of all parties disagree than agree that the fact Ed Miliband’s father was a Marxist makes it harder for him to be a good Prime Minister for the whole country.
  • However, a majority of Labour voters (51%) think that the fact that David Cameron went to Eton makes it harder for him to be a good prime minister for the whole country. UKIP voters are evenly split (41% agree, 41% disagree).

Methodology: ComRes interviewed 2,023 GB adults online 13- 15 November 2013. Data were weighted to be demographically representative of all GB adults and by past vote recall. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Full tables at www.comres.co.uk.

November 16, 2013 Posted by | Polls | Leave a comment

New Ipsos MORI Poll – Lib Dems, UKIP and Greens Almost Level!

There is a new Ipsos MORI poll reported today for the London Evening Standard showing the Conservatives falling back a bit after last month’s poll showing them level with Labour:

      Conservative               32% (down 3%)

                                                        Labour                         38% (up 3%)

                                                        Lib Dem                         8% (down 1%)

                                                        UKIP                               8% (down 2%)

                                                        Green                              7% (up 3%)

MORI does have a reputation as being somewhat erratic month on month but this poll is roughly in line with other recent polls. The unusual feature is the low rating for UKIP and the high rating for the Green Party.

In further findings:

Satisfaction with all major party leaders has fallen after a post-conference boost last month:

  • 35% of British adults are satisfied with David Cameron’s performance as Prime Minister, while 56% are dissatisfied. This gives him a net rating (% satisfied minus % dissatisfied) of -21. Mr Cameron’s net rating among Conservative supporters is +55 (76% satisfied, 21% dissatisfied).
  • 31% are satisfied with Ed Miliband’s performance as Labour leader, while 54% are dissatisfied, giving him a net rating of -23. Mr Miliband’s net rating among Labour supporters is +4 (48% satisfied, 44% dissatisfied).
  • 22% are satisfied with Nick Clegg’s performance as Deputy Prime Minister, while 65% are dissatisfied, giving him a net rating of -43. This is not far off his lowest ever point of -45 in October 2012.
  • 28% are satisfied with Nigel Farage’s performance as UKIP leader, while 41% are dissatisfied, giving him a net rating of -13, the lowest since Ipsos MORI started recording his personal ratings in March 2013.
  • 29% are satisfied with the way the Government is running the country, while 60% are dissatisfied, giving them a net rating of -31.

Ipsos MORI interviewed a representative sample of 1,019 aged 18+ across Great Britain. Interviews were conducted by telephone 9-11 November 2013.

MORI Nov 13

MORI 2013

November 15, 2013 Posted by | Polls | | Leave a comment

New ICM Poll – Labour Lead Doubles to 8%

There is a new ICM poll in the Guardian tomorrow showing Labour doubling their lead over the Conservatives to 8%:

         Conservative              30% (down 4%)

                                                    Labour                        38% (no change)

                                                    Lib Dem                      13% (up 1%)

                                                    UKIP                             10% (up 2%)

This month’s poll suggests a continuing gender gap in British politics. Among men, Labour and the Conservatives are tied on 32% each, but among women Labour enjoys a large lead – 45% versus 26%. The Conservatives continue to do far better with older voters – favoured by 40% of the over-65s – than the young, scoring just 21% among those aged 18 to 24.

Readers are reminded that ICM is considered the “gold standard” amongst pollsters and I have therefore always given a lot more weight to their findings alongside YouGov.

ICM Research interviewed a random sample of 1,004 adults aged 18+ by telephone on 8-10 November 2013. Interviews were conducted across the country and the results have been weighted to the profile of all adults.

ICM-Nov2013

 

November 11, 2013 Posted by | Polls | , | 2 Comments

Remembrance Sunday 2013

Brock Barracks - 10 Nov 13Today is the day when squabbles in the chamber of the Council are put to one side and politicians of all parties come together to pay respects to those who fought for their country in the two World Wars and conflicts since.

Conservative and Labour Councillors came together today with Reading’s two Conservative MPs, representatives of the three Services, veterans and cadets to lay wreaths on the Cenotaph. Afterwards Servicemen and women, veterans and cadets, marched past the Mayor and Commanding Officer of the 7th Rifles.

Reading’s Civic remembrance service is held in Brock Barracks off the Oxford Road. This is a good location in some respects but it is one which is tucked away from many people in the Borough. I have argued for some years that it should be moved to somewhere in the town centre to raise its profile and attract more people. There are a couple of locations including the Forbury Gardens and St Mary’s Butts in front of the Minster church. I was pleased today to have some discussion about the possibility of moving the Civic remembrance service next year to one of the town centre locations.

It is important that ceremonies like Remembrance Services engage not only the militarily-connected community but also the younger generation.

 

November 10, 2013 Posted by | Local | Leave a comment

UKIP Set to Lose More Councillors!

UKIPI wrote the other day about UKIP’s difficulties in Worcestershire where former MEP Mike Nattrass is forming a new anti-EU party with the support of a number of defecting key UKIP members. Now on the other side of England comes the news that UKIP is experiencing difficulties with a significant breakaway group of Councillors in Lincolnshire.

In one of the Counties where UKIP made the most progress in May this year five Councillors, including Group Leader Cllr Chris Pain, broke away to form a new Council group initially called “UKIP Lincolnshire” and then the “UK Independence Group”. If the five do not relent they face expulsion from the national party and would have to decide whether to sit as Independents or join Nattrass’s new party. I am sure that the local Conservative group would be interested in talking to them as well.

For a tiny party with fewer than 200 Councillors UKIP can ill afford to be losing so many so quickly after their election let alone the damage that this scale of infighting does to their reputation with the electorate. Still, UKIP has a long track record of electing MEPs only to lose many of them before the following election:

UKIP-MEPs-collage-2

November 7, 2013 Posted by | National | 6 Comments

A Depleted Royal Navy Leads to the Loss of Jobs and Shipbuilding at Portsmouth

mod2Today BAe Systems (British Aerospace) announced that it is to shed around 1,800 jobs from its shipbuilding arm and cease all shipbuilding at Portsmouth. This decision brings to an end almost 500 years of shipbuilding at Portsmouth. Instead BAe has decided to retain a shipbuilding capability on the Clyde in Glasgow in what it stated was purely a commercial decision. The company has stated that the loss of jobs was inevitable with the impending completion of construction of the two huge aircraft carriers for the Royal Navy and the gap before construction of the new Type 26 frigates is scheduled to begin. It cannot have helped that the MOD previously decided to build its two new replenishment ships in South Korea.

Since the 1990’s successive governments have taken an axe to the Royal Navy and this government is no exception. From a world class fleet of over 100 major warships, including 60 frigates and destroyers, in the 1980’s we are now left with under 40 major warships with just 19 frigates and destroyers. This depleted order of battle is not enough to keep the shipyards busy building for the Royal Navy. In the absence of significant overseas orders the closure and job losses announced today were inevitable.

Today the MOD announced an order for construction on the Clyde of three new Offshore Patrol Vessels to replace the three River Class vessels from 2017. In addition more than £100m is to be invested in the Portsmouth Naval Base to expand the dockyard to be capable of handing the two new 70,000 aircraft carriers which will be based there alongside the 6 Type 45 Destroyers. This is welcome but a small compensation for the loss of the orders which would have come from a larger fleet.

Until the British people wake up to the constant risks that the government is taking with our Armed Services and demand an increased Defence budget British military capability will continue to diminish alongside our influence as an ally.

November 6, 2013 Posted by | Defence | Leave a comment

New “Peppard Voice” Website Launched

Clayfield Copse 1Conservatives in Peppard ward have launched a new community information website for the residents of Caversham Park Village, Emmer Green and Micklands.

The site, which is known as “Peppard Voice” can be found at www.peppardvoice.com. It brings together information about upcoming community events, local campaigns, sports and leisure activities, and local businesses. It has been developed by a team of local people working with Conservative ward Councillors Richard Willis and Jane Stanford-Beale.

Cllr Richard Willis said, “There are many local groups and societies doing fantastic work in Peppard ward but until now there has been no single website which tries to bring all that information together. There is undoubtedly still a lot more links and dates to add to the site but it will be updated as we become aware of more information.”

Cllr Jane Stanford-Beale said, “I hope that this site will become the first place for people to visit when they want to check what is happening in Peppard ward. I encourage local groups and businesses based in Caversham Park, Micklands and Emmer Green to contact us if they want their details added.”

November 4, 2013 Posted by | Local | Leave a comment

UKIP Splits Lead to New Party Launch

EU_Flag_crossed_x100We have become used to UKIP MEPs and Councillors leaving the party once they discover its true nature but it is interesting to see that the latest divisions in Worcestershire have led to the launch of a new competitor party. The split is so severe in Worcestershire that the local paper has even described UKIP as being “in meltdown”!

Former UKIP West Midlands MEP Mike Nattrass quit the party a couple of months ago after he was not reselected by UKIP for next year’s Euro elections. After allegedly flirting with the English Democrats he has now decided to set up his own party. On his own he would probably not comprise much of a threat but he seems to have retained his popularity with UKIP activists as a number have decided to leave UKIP for the new party. Carl Humphries is a respected activist and former Worcester City Councillor and he has been joined by UKIP’s Worcester Branch Treasurer Jim Holtom and Branch Chairman Doug Ingram.

The new party is to be called “An Independence Party” and its logo will be an EU flag with “Out” emblazoned across it. The new party organisers have pledged that it will be a party run by its members and not dictated from the top down as UKIP is under leader Nigel Farage. It will be interesting to see what impact the new party has on UKIP but if the rumours are to be believed there are a number of other senior UKIP figures who are ready to leave and join Nattrass’s new party.

November 3, 2013 Posted by | National | | Leave a comment

New YouGov Poll – Labour’s Lead Cut to 4%

There is a new YouGov poll in today’s Sun newspaper showing Labour’s lead cut to 4%:

                   Conservative                35% (up 2%)

                   Labour                          39% (no change)

                                                     Lib Dem                          9% (no change)

                                                     UKIP                             10% (down 2%)

So we have a narrowing again of Labour’s lead which has jumped around a bit this week. The average lead seems to be about 6-7% at the moment which is slightly up from the 3-5% we were seeing a few weeks ago.

The poll above is compared with the last YouGov poll I reported on 27 Oct.

November 1, 2013 Posted by | Polls | , | 2 Comments