Well fancy that! Two other poll results The Sun paid for but didn’t report

There’s this:

All the main parties have promised to cut the government’s deficit after the election. Which party do you think is being the most honest about what spending cuts they would make to deliver this?

Liberal Democrats 29%
Conservatives 26%
Labour 21%

… and then there’s this:

Gordon Brown was challenged on Wednesday morning by Gillian Duffy, a 65-year-old voter in Rochdale. Mrs Duffy complained about taxation for pensioners, immigration from eastern Europe and students’ tuition fees. At the end of the televised encounter, Mr Brown told her ‘it was very nice to meet you’. But when he got into his car, Mr Brown said – unaware that his microphone was still on – ‘That was a disaster – they should never have put me with that woman… She’s just a sort of bigoted woman that said she used to be Labour.’ Which of these statements comes closer to your view:

It’s a storm in a teacup. Mr Brown was simply trying to let off steam in private. We should not think the worse of him: 50%
Mr Brown is a hypocrite – saying one thing in public and the opposite in private. Now we know just how much he despise [question truncated on results sheet]: 46%

My own view on the Brown quote is that, as I said yesterday, the real story of the caught comments shouldn’t be the use of “bigot” but rather the intolerance Brown seems to have for meeting people who don’t agree with him – even if, as in this case, they end up supporters of his. That fits in with many other accounts of his behaviour and matters because disliking people who don’t agree with you is far more dangerous – thanks to the group think mentality it encourages – than someone using too blunt language.

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  • Simon Titley 29th Apr '10 - 1:11pm

    Regarding the second of these two polls, about the Mrs Duffy incident, the detailed figures are worth looking at. They show that this ‘gaffe’ has, if anything, reinforced existing voting preferences. Yet the media are continuing to talk about it as if it is a game-changing event.

  • I think it’s rather hypocritical to say that it’s sort of OK for Brown to refer to a reasonable person as a ‘bigot’, even during a private tantrum. It shows the kind of respect he has for the person. Put it this way – if he were talking to a black woman and he’d called her a nigger, would you have the same level of nonchalance for his off-the-cuff remark? How is this not a double standard?

  • Tom Williamson 30th Apr '10 - 5:58pm

    I am a floating voter but hope the current two party system could be consigned to History,last night Cameron edged it. But then again he offered nothing to me as a voter. Two points that Clegg could put to the electorate atre as follows.
    1. Advise that the MP’s current extremely generous pension scheme would be scrapped and replaced with a money purchase scheme with the MP’s contributing say 5% of their salary and the ‘Employer’ which is us 10%. Vince Cable (my favourite politician) alluded to this in the ‘Chancellors’ debate. This would go down a storm with the electorate as we really think they need to get a grip on reality.
    2. David Cameron made a few points on the LD policy of giving the amensty to the illegals who have been here 10 years as long as they are contributing to the economy. Cameron should be asked to clarify what their policy is on the illegals is it (a) copy the Labour policy and hope it will go away, or (b) pursue all illegals and deport them probably at great cost. He canty have it both ways attacking someone who comes up with a answer but has not one himself.
    I hope that this is not considered racist but anyone who does not contribute to our society I believe should be deported especially if they have are involved in crime, may be harsh but there the majority of my fellow citizens I actually believe reside.

    So come on Clegg sock it to Teflon Dave and dreary Brown.

  • Steve Eckersley 3rd May '10 - 1:57pm

    Getting more and more frustrated at our poor explantion of immigration policy :- this could be a potential votebreaker for the party on Thursday.
    I would have liked the stress to have been on execution of proper border controls rather than making the conditional “amnesty” as the headliner. The former is far more important to vast majority of voters and necessarily a prerequisite to the latter. In my view the less politically sophisicated among us (notably the Tories) have been allowed to drive a bus through the Lib Dem immigration policy mainly because of the depressingly awful way it has been explained.
    I am rather surprised that Danny Alexander hasn’t jumped on this already and tried to re-package this in some way at one of the morning press conferences!

  • I’m not sure, Steve; I think Lib Dem immigration policy really does have a major flaw: the Lib Dems aren’t proposing negotiating with the EU to allow us to limit EU immigration. That is a bit of an open goal for the Conservatives, and I think it’s something the Lib Dems should change. You can’t control the numbers coming into the country if you can’t control the number from the EU, which leads me to the next reason Lib Dem policy on immigration is probably best kept hidden: the Lib Dems don’t believe in capping the number of immigrants. I find this irrational, and I don’t see any problem with a cap.

  • Steve Eckersley 3rd May '10 - 3:20pm

    Well I certainly agree that there is a problem that we shouldn’t pretend doesn’t exist as Labour and Conservatives are, ie. illegal immigrants already here. This is of their own making to a large extent – insofar as EU immigration is concerned I agree that this is a bit of an open goal for the Tories; it is the one part of LD policies that I am not completely happy with but the main problem is that where we are today has evolved under both red and blue govts without a robust public debate. What we should have had was a proper referendum on the expansion of the EU from a free trade association. I am all for closer ties with our neighbours and trading arrangements but I don’t remember agreeing to anyone moving the goalposts so to speak.
    The do believe that the tory policy of capping is entirely irrational when they don’t give a basis for what any cap may be – oh and by the way my wife is asian (non-EU); under the tories maybe I wouldn’t be living here at all ?

  • Tom Williamson 3rd May '10 - 3:35pm

    Totally agree with made by Steve Eckersley at 13.57 today, looks like the media managers have gone awol or taken the weekend off, there is another area which need addressing and that is the child tax credit issue with which Labour is attempting some attacks.

    Just saw Mrs Balls attack the Lib Dems at the Labour Party press conference about taking the Child Tax Credit away from those earning over £50,000 per annum. Is there going to be a response from the Media Managers or are they going to wring their hands crying foul. Just pull your finger out and show up Labour and Tories that they are misleading the public.

    Further can not someone tell Mrs Balls that most pensioners in this country would love to have a income of at least a third/ quarter of what she is attempting to defend, but on current form I assume that would not be considered.

    The next 72 Hours are very important, get the message across, be bruisers like Mandy for Labour or accept the consequences of another lost chance.

    Tom Williamson

  • The Tories figured this one out decades ago; Balls by name, Balls by nature.

  • Steve Eckersley 3rd May '10 - 4:47pm

    Very interesting about Child Tax credit. I am self employed and earn between £50 – £60K. When my wife became pregnant last year it never occured to me that I would be anywhere near qualifying for any kind of tax credit until one of my friends that works getting benefits for people said that I should apply. To my amazement they are sending us £80 a month! It all helpful of course but an absolute bonus as far as I’m concerned and not essential.

    Needless to say my friend is very staunch labour and our relationship is becoming strained since he is trying to persuade everyone that voting LD will just let the Tories in (like I’ve never heard that one b4).

    He had also mentioned other benefits he could help me to get by “playing the system” – I declined.

  • “the intolerance Brown seems to have for meeting people who don’t agree with him – even if, as in this case, they end up supporters of his.”

    How ironic reading this post-election and Nick Clegg’s round of summer meetings with the public. I was present in Bristol when a Lib Dem supporter friend dared politely to criticise Clegg for reneging on election pledges, only for Clegg to round aggresively on him and accuse him of being “full of bile and vitriol”. Does Clegg’s conceit know no bounds?

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