Sunday, June 24, 2007

Is it too pathetic to hope that we could get a little poll bounce from JobforPaddygate?

I blogged late last night about the Ipsos MORI poll in The Observer. At the time I couldn't find the dates of the interviews for this poll, on either the Observer or the Ipsos MORI sites.

Now (having in the meantime made a trip to Weymouth to see my precious child running in the rain and swimming in the cold sea, and myself conducting an impromptu Buster Keaton-style trick with a plank of wood (you know the one - step on one end, other end comes up and hilariously hits subject in face), escaping anything more serious than the recurrence of an old "war wound") I have found the dates in italicised fine print at the bottom of Page 9 of the Observer.

The poll was conducted on "14-20 June". So the last day of polling was the very day of the Guardian article about "JobsforLords", before the story had a chance to enter most of the public's consciousness (unless Ipsos MORI randomly chose hundresds of avid Grauniadistas to interview on that day). This is a bit of a relief, although I know I am clutching at straws. The three point drop can't be seen as a reaction to "JobsforLords" or even "JobforPaddygate" and those of us who are ridiculous "glass half full" merchants still hold out hope that the farrago might have given us a tiny little bounce. Forthcoming polls might tell us. It's pathetic, I know, but some of us are ever hopeful.


  1. To state the obvious, I guess Brown will take Labour a bit to the left with Cameron moving into the old New Labour slot leaving the Libdems with nowhere to go.

    Brown is likely to please the old Labourites who turned to the libdems because they hated Blair. If he does a few fairly radical things - accelerates the withdrawal from Iraq, distances the govt. from Bush, lays into the super-rich a little etc., what policies could Ming adopt that would pull back your vote. Challenging times, as they say.

  2. "To state the obvious, I guess Brown will take Labour a bit to the left"

    If he reverses the Labour policies on nuclear power, nuclear weapons, tuition fees, civil rights (eg increasing the 14 day rule to 90 days for detention without charge), ID cards, mismanagement of the NHS, neglect of the environment, centralisation of power and Council Tax etc then, yes, we are really and truly stuffed.

    Really likely isn't it?

  3. Nuclear power - I'm with Lovelock on this one. If other measures (energy saving, alternative sources of power etc.) can deliver then fine: as things stand they can't and we have to plan for nuclear.
    Nuclear weapons - most of the public (we're talking about bounces here) will buy the line that we would be naked without them, no matter how illogical that might seem.
    Civil rights - ditto: most people will sacrifice the rights of a small minority if they think that it means they and their loved ones will be safer tube trains, buses etc.
    ID cards - he'll push Blunketts' 'entitlement cards' line: i.e. you don't want all those foreigners coming over here and getting services you paid for, do you. Most will agree privately even if they don't tell pollsters.
    Mismanagement of the NHS - as as user of the NHS, and as someone who has seen relatives receive outstanding care, I don't agree that it's mismanaged. People forget how bad it was under Thatcher and Major. Visit our wonderful new GPs surgery - it's light years' better than under the tories.
    Centralisation of power: who really trusts local councillors with important decisions? I don't.

    You need to separate ends and means. Policies are means. Libdem policies sound nice and cuddly, but it's not clear how they achieve the ends that the public wants. They sound nice and fluffy, but that's it.

    Until you demonstrate that you understand what outcomes the public wants and the ways in which you're policies achieve those ends, you're stuffed.

  4. oops - some duplication there. Delete either 'nice and cuddly' or 'nice and fluffy'!

  5. Fine, if you say so. It is wonderful to hear that it is all so simple.

  6. I agree, of course, that none of this is simple in reality. But people don't like/can't take complexity. If someone turns up saying 'this is all really simple, I'll fix it, vote for me' and tells a plausible story they'll get votes.

    I'd rather that they weren't so gullible, but - at least en masse - they are.

    All the main parties need to do is to portray anti-nuke, pro personal freedom, better-everything-else policies as charming but daft and somewhat 'away with the fairies'/not to be taken seriously and - hey presto - you loose votes.

    I'm just making this stuff up as I go along, obviously, and am fully prepared to accept that I'm wrong about all this. I do hope that I am.

  7. We've had all that it all the 37 years I have supported the Liberals/LibDems.

    We aren't "anti-nuke" of course, if you look at our policy:

    - the first line

    "(The Party) Believes that in the light of present circumstances it would be unwise at present for Britain to renounce its nuclear weapons but that in the current situation Britain no longer needs the size of deterrent that the present Trident system represents."

    But to a certain extent your charcaterisation proves your point.

    The other thing is that it is not so simple these days. You have a leader of the Tory party who is saying "let sunshine win the day" and attempting to latch himself on to the "nice and cuddly stuff", as you call it. I wonder why?

  8. I see Sydney was colder than Blighty at the weekend!