ICM has Labour ahead, Ukip moving into 3rd place, Lib Dems on 11%

The Guardian published its latest ICM poll — commonly regarded as the ‘gold standard’ — this week. The top-line (with changes on the previous months) was: Labour 35% (=), Conservatives 31% (-2), Ukip 14% (+5), Lib Dems 11% (+1) and Others 10% (-3).

icm poll - oct 2014

Polling in September/October tends to fluctuate, as the noise of conference season often leads to spikes in support for each party in turn which soon fade. There have been two additional events which may have further confused matters: the Scottish independence referendum and last week’s Clacton by-election.

It’s the latter event which is probably responsible for Ukip’s surge (up from 9% to 14%), especially as ICM polled in the two days immediately after Douglas Carswell’s victory, and his party’s near-miss in Heywood and Middleton, were dominating the news headlines. Let’s see what happens to the party’s support in November (which will be in the lead-up to Mark Reckless’s defence of his Rochester and Strood seat following his defection from the Tories).

The Lib Dems will be relieved to see ICM continuing to show the party’s support in double figures. This is at variance with other pollsters, in particular YouGov whose daily polls dominate discussion, which tend to show the Lib Dems a little lower, at 7-9%. This is due to the different methodologies used by the polling companies as noted in July here. I stand by my comment then:

ICM is a combination of a snapshot poll and also a forecast. What has happened in previous elections is that pollsters begin to converge the closer it gets to polling day. Lib Dem voters who are least likely to say they are certain to vote for the party make up their minds later; and we are more likely to benefit from tactical votes in key seats. Of course, no-one knows if what’s held true in previous elections will also hold true in 2015. But for the moment at least I’d be more inclined to bet that ICM and YouGov won’t be far apart come May 2015 and that will be because YouGov has moved towards ICM rather than the reverse.

There has been much internal anguish in Labour since its (by all accounts) depressingly flat conference, Ed Miliband’s fluffed leader’s speech, and their poor showing in the Heywood by-election. Yet on the basis of this poll the party would win an overall majority of 36 according to UKPollingReport’s swing calculator. Add to that Lord Ashcroft’s findings that Labour is winning better in the key marginals and it’s enough to wonder why its supporters are quite so in the doldrums.

The explanation is here, from Labour blogger Hopi Sen:

In the last thirty years, only one opposition has improved their poll ratings between the final conference season of the political cycle and the subsequent general election. In every other instance, the opposition has declined by between three and thirteen points. I’d put my expectation on the low side of this, because when oppositions have declined by larger amounts, they have enjoyed larger starting poll shares than Labour does now – going from 49% to 35% in 1991-92 and from 52% to 44% in 1997. I don’t expect that sort of dip. Absent a ‘Winter of Discontent’, you’d expect Labour’s vote share to fall perhaps three to five points between now and the election, putting Labour somewhere between 29-33%. This is more or less in line with what Stephen Fishers’ election predictors suggest.

Labour’s prime consolation can be explained in one noun: Tories. David Cameron and his party show no apparent interest in exploiting either Labour’s absent opposition — or the Lib Dems’ own difficulties — to win the centre ground of British politics. Instead they’ve retreated to their traditional terra firma of Europe, immigration and benefits. Long gone are the days when David Cameron’s brand of compassionate Conservatism was winning 49% of the vote (not that long ago: summer 2008). My best guess is they’ll beat Labour in the popular vote; but my best guess is also that won’t be good enough.

* Stephen was Editor (and Co-Editor) of Liberal Democrat Voice from 2007 to 2015, and writes at The Collected Stephen Tall.

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72 Comments

  • “commonly regarded as the ‘gold standard’ ”

    By whom? References please.

  • Martin Land 15th Oct '14 - 6:39pm

    @steve. ICM have over a long period of time been consistently less wrong than other pollsters.

  • 11% is better than some recent showings.
    The rest of the poling has been pretty consistent for a few years. The Tories simply can’t get a majority. By election time it might get a little closer, but it might widen. The problem for UKIP is if they get more defections from the Tories their appeal may not cross political boundaries to the same degree.

  • A Social Liberal 15th Oct '14 - 7:02pm

    \Why does it add up to 101%

  • 7% or 11%….. seriously….. who are these people. As a former Lib Dem voter and activist I know of no one who once supported the party who will do in the future. Not even the remotest chance after all the broken promises. Outside the LD bubble there are not many people who will support them. The LD’s have done their utmost to annoy and aggrieve their core vote; students, public sector workers, etc, so now a few weasel words about the Tories and Clegg thinks voters will come flocking back. He’s mistaken I’m afraid. What made me laugh is how the LD ignore every single poll that puts them on 6% r 7%, but as soon as one comes out that predicts 11% they are all over it. And this from a party that promised a new brand of politics. They’re no better than any of the others.

  • Labour —
    “.,,,,on the basis of this poll the party would win an overall majority of 36 according to UKPollingReport’s swing calculator. Add to that Lord Ashcroft’s findings that Labour is winning better in the key marginals and it’s enough to wonder why its supporters are quite so in the doldrums.”

    Are Labour supporters really in the doldrums? There is a lot of noise in the Westminster Bubble, often exaggerated by the right wing press, but real votes in real elections over the last four years, in addition to opinion polls show Labour on course to a small majority.
    The unspoken truth for us is that Labour will take a number of our seats because of the enthusiasm for the Tories of a small group around our leader In this week of NHS and Civil Service strikes we have Mr Paul Marshall on record as wanting to impose further restrictions on the rights of working people: not only highly illiberal but also playing into the hands of the Labour Party.

    What makes the 2015 election different from any election in the last forty years is that a large pool of Liberal Democrat voters will be voting Labour to get the Tories out.

    Those people around Clegg who wrote unwise words in The New Statesman and elsewhere telling left of centre Liberals to get out and go off to Labour have done Miiband a huge favour.

  • paul barker 15th Oct '14 - 7:36pm

    ICM are indeed the Gold Standard, in the sense of being a bit less wrong than all the others, thats why they are paid to do so few Polls. The MSM arent interested in prediction, only News.
    ICMs Wisdom index has proved the least inaccurate of all, in the past. That had us on 15% a few days ago.
    The big problem with academic approaches like Steve Fishers is the introduction of Fixed-Term Parliaments. We have changed the behaviour of the Media, killing the endless stories about Snap Elections & allowing the Voters to slumber on, safe in the knowledge that they dont have to think about Politics seriously till the Campaign starts. The Public arent following the usual script & The Opposition Vote share is falling more slowly than normal.

    I suppose my fundamental reason for distrusting The Polls is that they dont feel right to me. Two obvious examples-
    In 2010 others got 10%, in the Poll above they get 24%. Thats a hell of a big increase in one Parliament, is it plausible ?
    In 2010 the big 2 got 67%, the ICM poll has them on 66%. Wheres the great Anti-Westminster Revolt there ?

  • Stevan Rose 15th Oct '14 - 8:00pm

    So UKIP are polling significantly less than the Lib Dems in 2009. 14% is not enough for a breakthrough but is enough to split the Tory vote where Lib Dems need to win. In by-elections Farage can lead the charge from the front but he has very little in the way of seasoned foot soldiers to cover 650 constituencies. Personally I would push the role of Neil Hamilton as Deputy Chairman to illustrate what you are likely to get in reality by voting UKIP.

    Interesting to see the Government has a 42% to 35% lead over the Opposition. Let’s hope the predicted Labour dip benefits us. Not sure where else it could directly go.

  • “Interesting to see the Government has a 42% to 35% lead over the Opposition.”

    Interesting that you would throw your results in with the Conservatives.

    It just proves to me that I can not vote liberal democrats again whilst attitudes within the party like this exist.

    Living in a Liberal/Labour marginal where the Liberal Democrats only have a majority of 310. A swing voter between Labour and Liberal Democrats. I certainly won’t vote Liberal democrats again if I got one whiff that the Liberal democrats were aiming for another coalition with the Tories / Tory party being preferred coalition partner.

  • Peter Chegwyn 15th Oct '14 - 8:51pm

    Meanwhile IPSOS Mori in the Standard and YouGov in The Sun have the Lib. Dems. on just 8%. And according to http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/ all polls bar ICM over the past month have us on less than the 11% quoted by ICM.

    Even ICM has the Lib. Dems. up just 1% (little post-conference ‘bounce’ there) while UKIP are up 5%.

    If this is the best ‘spin’ and the best poll that LDV can promote just seven months before an election, it shows how dire are the straits we are in.

    Still… at least we have the Rochester & Strood by-election to look forward to.

  • Prior to 2010 the LIb Dems would poll 3-5% above the ICM level in the local elections (BBC projected vote share).

    Since 2010 they have polled about the same as the ICM poll.

    So something has changed.

  • ‘Feel free to search through the 175,000 Google references to “ICM gold standard” yourself…’

    …And the 4th reference brings one back to this article. If they are the gold standard – what makes them so? If there’s any scientific, statistical measure that makes them stand out – what is it? By what percentage are they more accurate?

    Type “Hitler survived world war II” into Google, Stephen. Why, there’s over 1,100,000 Google References. That’s that answered, then.

  • Igor Sagdejev 15th Oct '14 - 9:36pm

    @matt

    Will not blame you.

  • “Push Neil Hamilton…” Today the UKIP candidate in Falmouth – Camborne has been deselected. He is a farmer and has been convicted of animal cruelty offences. This has left the party in some disarray, as the leadership has claimed they were not told of his impending prosecution when he was being selected, whereas he himself says he did tell them! UKIP are ALWAYS capable of shooting themselves in the foot, whether through dodgy candidates, or ill-timed rows and / or defections. We still have over 6 months, still plenty of time for minor (and probably major) implosions! Falmouth Camborne, by the way, was one of their top hopes in the Southwest. BBC TV coverage down here was headlined, and pretty negative, making mention of various other UKIP elephant traps.

  • Peter Chegwyn says it as it is,

    The difference between 11% and 8% means what in practice??? How many seats would we win with just 11% ???

    And if the party nationally continues to let Clegg be at the centre of the broadcast campaign … …

  • Eddie Sammon 15th Oct '14 - 10:19pm

    Now might be a good time to pull out of the coalition. I used to think this should last the whole parliament, but the Conservatives have moved to the right and should be punished for it.

    At the same time we need to defend the idea we are getting into bed with Labour, we won’t be, we will be able to stand strong as an independent party. It might help with the polls. The country would be fine, albeit politics would become a bit more American with the government struggling to get bills through and blaming each other.

  • Eddie Sammon 15th Oct '14 - 10:28pm

    Yes Jedi. The coalition wasn’t signed on the basis that the Conservatives would move to the right and try to appease UKIP, rather than take them on. I’m a bit late with this analysis, but better late than never.

    Lib Dems look weak if we just back the Conservatives no matter what. The potential for pulling out always has to be on the table and I think an ultimatum at the least should be issued. Cameron and Osborne have flirted with compassionate Conservatism, but at their conference they buried it.

  • Eddie Sammon 15th Oct '14 - 11:13pm

    There is the Autumn/Winter mini budget and the proper budget in the spring, Jedi. I don’t wish to discuss it more on this article, but hopefully we can get a debate going.

  • “Interesting that you would throw your results in with the Conservatives.”

    It is a joint Government that is more popular than Labour. Can’t deny it. Don’t want to deny it. This has been generally a very good Government because we’re part of it. And the public agree by 7 percentage points. It is just very irritating we are not taking credit for our successes and where we have reined in the Tories.

    Personally I would rather be the social conscience left of a coalition holding back right wing excesses than the party pooping right wing of a coalition with the party that got us into the mess in the first place. We fare best as a party of opposition but really what is the point of aspiring to oppose rather than construct.

  • jedi A lot of the important stuff is, and always has been, about rhetoric, Where you stand, your allegiances, your aims. Only look at today’s Lord Freud activity to realise that! How much anger was generated?! And where were the Lib Dems? Heads down, presumably, with hard hats on.

  • If we were in coalition with Labour, we should be stiffening their spine, and stopping their timidity, not being a “party pooping right wing”. You really have swallowed the spin – hook, line and sinker!

  • Peter Watson 15th Oct '14 - 11:39pm

    “ICM is a combination of a snapshot poll and also a forecast.”
    Before applying their magic to the results, ICM asked 1001 people, “The Conservatives, Labour, the Liberal Democrats and other parties would fight a new election in your area. If there were a general election tomorrow which party do you think you would vote for?”
    42 people, 4%, chose Lib Dem (more than twice as many chose UKIP despite it not being explicitly prompted in the question).
    Excluding don’t know, won’t say, won’t vote, Lib Dem support rises to 7.6%.
    Perhaps 11% is a realistic “forecast” but the “snapshot” is depressingly consistent with other polling.

  • Peter Watson 15th Oct '14 - 11:51pm

    @Stevan Rose “Interesting to see the Government has a 42% to 35% lead over the Opposition.”
    In 2010 the coalition parties had a combined 59% share of the vote, 36% for the conservatives and 23% for Lib Dems, Interesting to see support for the Government is now in a minority.

  • Yet in Brightlingsea, on the same day UKIP gained Clacton, UKIP lost the county council seat and Lib Dems got 22%. Opinion polls are useless for forecasting the next election. With UKIP in play we may need only 30% of the vote in the strongholds to keep 50 odd seats whilst polling next to nothing elsewhere as people vote tactically to stop the UKIP candidates. Overall, 8% of the vote 8% of the seats. Literally anything could happen next year. We could equally get wiped out per the Euro elections. Clegg could get off his backside and start fighting for his and our political life. The tactic could be to leave it all to the last couple of months. Though I suspect he is already resigned to joining the rest of the voter rejects in the Lords.

    Yes the Government has under 50% support but it’s still well clear of Labour after 4 years of painful austerity. That’s pretty remarkable.

  • Stevan Rose 16th Oct '14 - 1:16am

    If we were in coalition with Labour, the party whose incompetence wrecked the economy, it wouldn’t be “we” as I would not have rejoined the party. Gordon Brown still PM? Shored up by Lib Dems. No thanks. Just the thought of Ed Miliband in the top job next time sends shivers down my spine. It is a no win situation, you have to deal with the devil either way and different Lib Dems have different views as to which is the lesser of the two evils. What we have in common, I hope, is that there are two evils. Whichever route is taken you gain some votes and members and you lose some votes and members. Frankly I want Charles Kennedy back in charge. I trust him. So do voters. Or Vince Cable if not.

  • The coalition seems to be working ell, in that the message seems to have got out that this is a coalition and not a merger.

    But the strength of UK is scary, especially if a UKIP-Tory coalition is possible after the next election, as UKIP’s policy-light way of poaching the disaffected is effective, if detached from reality.

    This makes it seem really important to fight hard everywhere (while prioritising existing seats in order to keep them), so a saner voice than audio is widely heard.

  • The apologetics have taken the form of self-parody, I see. If you think you can add together the polling figures for the Tories and Lib Dems and get a vote of affirmative support in the government, then you can also add together Labour and UKIP and get a vote of opposition to the government — which you’ll find is considerably larger.

    By the way, a considerable number of Liberal Democrat voters will be doing so despite having no faith whatsoever in the coalition government. Probably there are a certain number of Tory voters who will do the same thing. Voting for a party, in what, as we have been reminded time and time again, is no longer a two-party system, is not an index of support for (or opposition to) the government.

  • “We may need only 30% of the vote in the strongholds to keep 50 odd seats whilst polling next to nothing…”

    There you have it. Contempt for the electorate combined with utter cynicism. You admit the strategy for holding the balance of power with no legitimate democratic mandate whatsoever. All you care about is power for its own sake. Your dear leader a power in the land with nobody voting for you.

    No wonder the people hold the legacy parties in such disdain.
    .

  • “You admit the strategy for holding the balance of power with no legitimate democratic mandate whatsoever. All you care about is power for its own sake.”

    Who, under this system has a “democratic mandate” exactly? Did Labour have a “democratic mandate” in 2005 with 35% of the vote?

    Your comment is meaningless.

  • Paul in Wokingham 16th Oct '14 - 7:04am

    @Simon – FPTP ensures that by careful marshalling of our resources we can retain many of our current seats. The bitter irony that the very thing the party has fought hardest to end might yet be its means of survival is not lost on many of us.

    There has clearly been a slight uptick in LD VI numbers in the aftermath of the conference. It looks like it amounted to about 1% and seems to be fizzing out already – yougov have us back on 7% today (and UKIP at an all-time high of 19% with that polling firm).

    So I would have to query the traditional assumption that we will see LD support increase during the election campaign due to increased media exposure. We are a known quantity. There will be no Cleggmania. There might have been a Farron-Fandom, or even (dare I say it!) a Browne-ian Motion, but barring some extraordinary circumstance I would lay money that we are now set for < 10% in the GE.

  • Paul in Wokingham

    A Browne-ian Motion would really put the Liberal Democrats right in the s**t.

    If Clegg has been terrible, a super-charged Cleggite would be even worse. Whilst a large part of the problem is Clegg himself, it is the stance and the completely mistaken political analysis of those behind the Clegg Coup that’s to blame for the party’s unpopularity. We used to appeal to and get the support of around one quarter of all the voters. Now LDV thinks it is good if we rocket up to 11%.

    Those around Clegg by their words and their deeds told most of those 25% of voters (who were always unmistakenly left of centre) to go away and join the Labour Party. So we have dropped from round 25% support to around 7% support.

    Some voters will have done just what Reeves, Astle, Marshall etc told them to do and will vote Labour next May , some will vote Green, so,e will vote SNP, some will dig their allotments and hope for a day when there is a left of centre Liberal party to vote for.

  • Tony Dawson 16th Oct '14 - 8:47am

    paul barker :

    “In 2010 others got 10%, in the Poll above they get 24%. Thats a hell of a big increase in one Parliament, is it plausible ?”

    In a word, yes. A week is a long time in politics. And actually, people with attitudes like yours to these changes make them rather more likely to happen. Doesn’t mean, of course, that they will.

  • Tony Dawson 16th Oct '14 - 8:52am

    @Stevan Rose

    “It is a joint Government that is more popular than Labour.”

    NO it is not.

    It is a COALITION government. The difference between a ‘joint government’ and a ‘coalition government’ is massive and it is, unfortunately, the people who have pretended that the two are the same thing and/or who have presented a the same thing who have got us to the point where we are now. 🙁

  • @ John Tilley

    “it is the stance and the completely mistaken political analysis of those behind the Clegg Coup that’s to blame for the party’s unpopularity.”

    No it is not. It is being in government at a time when living standards are falling (not due to government policy) and spending cuts have to be made in order to sort out a horribly large deficit left behind by the last administration.

    Your analysis is faulty and if you think being a bit more leftward inclined under a different leader would have saved our bacon under the current circumstances, you are mistaken.

    Which leader and which policies (implemented how, precisely, given the parliamentary arithmetic?) would have avoided the popularity slump?

  • David Evans 16th Oct '14 - 9:23am

    I see RC has gone back down the leadership’s old “It was all inevitable” line and then asks a short question asking for huge detail that can then be argued about endlessly. The simple answer is almost any leader who wouldn’t allow his or her enthusiasm to be in power to lead to the Rose Garden debacle, and listens to the party enough to realise Secret Courts were just wrong. The second answer is not agreeing to the Tories doing just what they wanted with the cuts, but insisting on more being paid for by the rich. And the answer to the third unasked question is having an exit strategy, which Nick clearly never had.

  • Tsar Nicolas 16th Oct '14 - 10:18am

    @RC – The spending cuts were not inevitable. They were a conscious decision by the two coalition parties, one of which eschewed the notion of Tory cuts before the 2010 GE and then reversed itself immediately afterwards, and they have worsened the deficit by reducing economy activity and therefore tax take.

  • RC 16th Oct ’14 – 8:56am
    “No it is not. It is being in government at a time when living standards are falling …. and spending cuts have to be made …. ….
    Which leader and which policies … would have avoided the popularity slump?”

    A flat contradiction– “No it is not”– sounds a bit more like a playground fight rather than a rational debate.

    We are where we are in October 2014. 7% support in opinion polls, repeated lost deposits, thousands of councillors lost, tens of thousands of members lost, facing disaster.

    Your excuse for the dreadful unpopularity of Clegg and co is that it is somehow a force of nature, it is inevitable, or it is written in the runes that any smaller party sharing power will automatically become unpopular in the circumstances .

    You do not even have to go beyond the United Kingdom or the present time to find evidence of a smaller party sharing power in exactly these circumstances without slumping in popularity. Check out the situation In Northern Ireland.

  • Are there two entirely different people called “RC” commenting in LDV ???

    In this thread RC is saying that everything is inevitable and the Clegg Coup theorists were just victims of the times.

    Whereas in another thread RC says about Jeremy Browne —

    RC 16th Oct ’14 – 9:10am
    “…, his ideas (which I personally do not rate as being original, coherent or attractive) are likely to fall on increasingly stony ground in the party as it makes its progressive nature clear. The attempt to remould the party as a promoter of neo-liberal, anti-state thinking has failed …”

    Which one is the real RC ???

  • jedibeeftrix 16th Oct '14 - 11:18am

    @ tn – ” The spending cuts were not inevitable. They were a conscious decision by the two coalition parties”

    No, they weren’t inevitable….. Before the election. The lib-dems could have gone in with a plan to turn £120b of the deficit into taxations, and in fell swoop adopt a French model of taxation and spending at circa 50% of GDP.

    Funnily enough, that ambition didn’t make it into the manifesto, and certainly spelt out in that manner!

  • matt (Bristol) 16th Oct '14 - 12:11pm

    Caracatus – “What is abundantly clear is that the so called “Noah’s Ark” or “Sand Castle Strategy” of putting resources into held seats has been a failure. It has failed on its on terms, the national drop in support has been too great and the drop in support has been biggest in our best prospects.”

    If you had started that sentence, ‘we now have strong evidence to suggest that’, I would probably agree with you – but it won’t be ‘abundantly clear’ until the vote is counted and the results in.

  • Simon Hebditch 16th Oct '14 - 12:26pm

    I seem to remember that back in 2010, when negotiations were going on about a coalition, many argued that we could not talk to Labour as they had been roundly rejected by the electorate. If the Lib Dems only secure 10% of the vote next May, down from 23% in 2010, will we have not been roundly rejected by the electorate? In these circumstances, we should not seek a coalition with anybody but spend the time to renew ourselves, and re-construct our party ,including its campaigning role alongside other forces.

  • “Who, under this system has a “democratic mandate” exactly? Did Labour have a “democratic mandate” in 2005 with 35% of the vote?

    Your comment is meaningless.”

    My comment has no meaning to you. That is rather different from it being meaningless.

    YOUR post was mere whataboutery. Now THAT is meaningless. Because it is irrelevant to my original contention.

    Which is that if you retain 50 seats with a vote share of circa 7% (or whatever you get) you will hold no democratic legitimacy. Nick Clegg will have been decisively rejected as Deputy Prime Minister.

    Since I agree with you that this is really quite likely (actually you will probably lose 15 – 20 seats but that merely adds to my argument) this might become a matter of some importance.

    You seem to think you are somehow better than Labour and the Tories. You aren’t you are just the same. Power at any price is what you are for.

    You and your Dear Leader.

  • I find your defence of FPTP (as evidenced by the self serving cynicism of my recent interlocutor) absolutely staggering.

    Recently I was watching the fascinating BBC broadcast of the October 1974 election. Jeremy Thorpe (perhaps not a leader you think of fondly, but still) gave a very passionate and eloquent attack on the electoral system outside his farmhouse in North Devon on the misty morning after. He argued that changing its manifest unfairness was the first priority of liberalism. Perhaps the fact that you won 13 seats with a vote share of over 18% contributed to what Liberals then thought..

    I remember all the arguments by the Gang of Four, plus David Steel, Paddy Ashdown, Charles Kennedy. The AV Referendum. If there was one thing you held as a matter of PRINCIPLE it was electoral reform.

    Except it wasn’t, isn’t really a matter of principle is it? It is just because it excluded you. Now it doesn’t, you favour it.

    Anything for power, for the red dispatch boxes.

    Anything.

    In fact if you became one of the two major parties again you would fight just as hard to keep this system as you hitherto fought against it. Wouldn’t you?

    And you wonder why the people hold the three legacy parties in disdain.

  • Igor Sagdejev 16th Oct '14 - 2:34pm

    @simon 16th Oct ’14 – 2:01pm

    It is a matter of principle for a lot of us. FPTP is an outdated system, and gives the winner a dubious mandate. It also creates strange bedfellows all the time.

    That being said, the English public has rejected AV (Scotland and NI have this, or similar, in place for elections into their devolved Parliament/Assembly, so they are probably more in favour of electoral reform). so we have what we have – for now, and have to adapt to it. But we should bring up the reform issue again and again. May be start with something smaller: a run-off vote between the 2 leading candidates, if none has garnered 50% of the vote.

  • Igor Sagdejev 16th Oct '14 - 2:40pm

    Also, Simon, why do you think that only the “three legacy parties” are power-greedy?
    May it be that the UKIP is so keen on kicking out all the Eastern Europeans because… they can tell their British neighbours of quite a few populist start-ups in their own countries, which used exactly the same “anti-system” rhethoric, and proposed similar cheap and ready-made solutions, but, once in power, ended up being just the same as the “legacy parties”, if not worse?

  • It is a matter of principle for a lot of us…That being said…we have what we have.”

    We know what you have all right. Power, red dispatch boxes, peerages in the future. Whether you have principles is a rather different matter. Do you agree that 93% of the electorate probably think not? 🙂

    “UKIP is so keen on kicking out all the Eastern Europeans”

    Is it another of your liberal “principles” just to make stuff up and smear rival parties?

    We want to introduce a points based system of immigration.

    I’ll say it again. this kind of mendacity is what gives the old politics of the metropolitan elite such a bad name.

    You are part of the problem not the solution, Igor.

  • “Once in power, …(they)… ended up being just the same as the “legacy parties”, if not worse?”

    This is simply guilt by association. How can UKIP be held responsible for what anti establishment parties in Eastern Europe may have done

    How is it relevant to the UK?

    How can you criticise a party for something it hasn’t done yet? ?

  • Green Voter 16th Oct '14 - 3:10pm

    Igor and others are simply pressing the self-destruct button. What has happened to the confidence of David Steel “and prepare for government”? Clegg is a disaster and no one in the leadership has the courage to say so. How can you say the Lib Dems will stand up to Putin when they cannot even stand up to Clegg?

  • “The Lib Dems will stand up to Putin”

    That is a tad unfair. Remember “We are the party of IN. You are the party of Putin.” 🙂

    Good on yer Green Voter. I don’t support your party, but at least you aren’t part of the corrupt current political establishment. I don’t think we appeal to the same demographic and I hope you take the maximum possible from the “major” parties.

    The best of luck to you.

  • Igor Sagdejev 16th Oct '14 - 3:46pm

    Simon, I don’t seek red boxes, peerage, or even ever being elected anywhere. Prefer doing my own work. However, I joined because I want to have some small leverage over who is getting nominated (so it gets better than it is now). And no, no guilt by association. Just noticing familiar symptoms. Really sad to see this here.

  • “And no, no guilt by association. Just noticing familiar symptoms. Really sad to see this here.”

    Of course you are ascribing guilt by association!

    UKIP has nothing in common with any anti establishment parties in Eastern Europe. Countries which, sadly, are only just emerging from the long winter of post war Stalinism. They had a few years between the wars, but before that they were mostly subject peoples of decaying autocratic Empires, under either the Tsar of all the Russias or the Habsburgs.

    UKIP comes from a different, more fortunate tradition. We don’t do what you are afraid of in this country, and UKIP is the proof of that. Farage is, if anything, a Manchester Liberal.

  • Stevan Rose 16th Oct '14 - 7:51pm

    @Simon

    If you hold 8% of the seats, roughly 50, with 8% of the vote I suggest that is the perfect democratic result in our flawed FPTP system. Had we currently be sitting on 150 seats, which is what 23% translates to, we would have had a far greater influence on policy and may not be in this position..

  • Mark Valladares Mark Valladares 16th Oct '14 - 8:03pm

    @ Simon,

    Hmmm… Let’s see, the current political establishment is so awful compared to UKIP – a party only believed to be more trustworthy than other political parties by 14% of those polled by YouGov – 62% disagree. Indeed, a party that is thought to be solely a protest party with no realistic policies by 57% of those asked in the same poll. In fairness, 20% disagree with that statement, although I wonder how many of them could name, or agree with, any UKIP policy other pulling out of Europe or restricting immigration.

    By all means delude yourself that UKIP is different, better, purer than the rest of us. Tar us all with the same brush, if it helps you to believe that the Great Farage will make this country a better place, that he is not a professional politician from exactly the same background as so many of those you attack in his name.

    But we will continue to believe in a liberal future for our nation, because we are liberals. You may not like that – it sounds as though you never did, anyway – but the British people deserve a contest of ideas, and if you don’t like that, you’re no democrat. We’re happy to campaign for those ideas that we believe in and none of your insults will change that. Given your claim to speak for some silent majority who, when asked, currently don’t admit to supporting you, I’m sure that you’ll be back here in May 2015 telling us you told us so…

  • Simon,
    The Lib Dems do believe in electoral reform, but it is a simple fact that it was put to the electorate and was overwhelmingly rejected. It seems that people are still more comfortable with the distortions of FPTP than with change at the moment. So really the current approach is of the party is the result of pragmatism rather than cynicism. Of course anyone sensible can see that FTPTP is unfair, but you have to get change passed by the electorate. Thems is the rules.

  • UKIP different to the other parties? Really?

    Led by a privately educated male. Son of a stockbroker. Tick. Led by a former City trader / broker, one of those elites not known for their compassionate view of their fellow man. Tick. Expenses – £2 million to Farage as an MEP up to 2009 so add a few hundred thousand to that to 2014. Tick. Employs his wife as a salaried staff member. Tick. Deputy Chairman discredited former MP Neil Hamilton, he of cash for questions fame. Other members of dubious integrity. Tick. So far a party that does not seem to distinguish itself in terms of integrity and behaviour, and actually seems far worse although it appears to have fallen beneath the radar. Time for some big posters perhaps.

    So what are the differences? Latches onto every news item and comes up with an instant policy even if contradicting the policy from the previous day. Tick. Only 15% of supporters are under 40 and 70% are over 50, so considerably older voter profile. Tick. Policy vested in one man who cannot be removed. Tick.

    The model is not sustainable in the long term. It is like the BNP – a temporary home for the right wing disaffected. What is incredible is that the mainstream parties are not going for the jugular when it is so exposed. I don’t understand the reluctance to highlight UKIP’s multiple achilles heels. It suits someone.

  • “UKIP different to the other parties? Really?”

    Yes really. 🙂 Don’t believe what you read in the mainstream media.

    As an aside can we desist from this constant pejorative reference to Nige’s school? It is so tedious, and why does it matter? I went to a comp myself, but some of my closest friends went to the best schools. I have met some Public School idiots as well of course. 🙂

    Away with the inverted snobbery. It isn’t the education you have (which you have no control over largely) , which matters, but what you are as a person.

    Arguably the two greatest PM’s last century went to tip top schools. Harrow and Haileybury. So what?

  • Thinking about it, isn’t it obvious why you are so fixated on Farage’s background? Of couse, I have it.

    You are intensely irritated by the fact that someone from Dulwich and the City has an appeal which cuts across class. Especially that he is popular with the great unwashed, as you snooty elite types put it.

    All three legacy parties (even Boris to an extent) have a real problem with the common man. Nigel is a natural. Why? He speaks his mind, is comfortable in is own skin and never talks down. Everyone is treated equally, prince or pauper.

    How the media elite hate him for that! How do you…

  • @Simon
    Ok let’s put Nigel and his fake ordinary man in the street act aside for a moment. Let’s ignore his snout being in the same trough on expenses and employing family members. Just for now. Talk to me about your Deputy Chairman, Mr Hamilton. In particular how he demonstrates UKIP is a party of integrity.

  • Peter Watson 17th Oct '14 - 10:46am

    @Stevan Rose “If you hold 8% of the seats, roughly 50, with 8% of the vote I suggest that is the perfect democratic result in our flawed FPTP system.”
    Much as I hate to defend Clegg, perhaps he is to be congratulated on achieving proportional representation for Lib Dems. Sadly, we hoped he would increase our representation to match our support but he chose the easier option of making us unpopular. 🙁

  • Peter Watson
    Don’t forget Clegg’s other achievement — 100% of our MEPs are female.

  • @Stephen Tall
    “ICM gold standard” returns 146 pages on google. Without the quotation marks then yes, there are over 100,000 results. Here’s one of them (Drug-Coated Balloons — The New Gold Standard for Treatment of Coronary In-Stent Restenosis)

    http://yadda.icm.edu.pl/yadda/element/bwmeta1.element.elsevier-751b3fd8-7e17-34f2-94eb-2a1fbdd71a28

    Incidentally, there are 830,000 results returned by typing in the words Stephen, Tall and Womble. Is there something we should know?

    Whether ICM are marginally more accurate than other pollsters is a matter of debate, but what really puzzles me about your continued selection of it is your continued selection of it. Why? Why single out one poll given that individual polls always have a larger margin of error than the average of a number of polls? Why not take the average of all polling for one week? This would give you much more accurate figure than cherry-picking ICM’s poll. Newspapers that selectively highlight the results from one polling company (because they’ve commissioned them), whilst ignoring all the others, look increasingly silly.

  • Stevan Rose 17th Oct '14 - 7:49pm

    Where did simon go? I was itching to know about Mr Hamilton’s role as a member of the UKIP senior management team.

  • “Where did simon go?”

    Still around and about Stevan.

    Neil Hamilton isn’t my favourite Kipper. I’ll admit. Having said that don’t you find our eccentricity charming?

    Talking of that check out the below. If you want to help it to get to number one, be our guest. Gotta love the accent, one can only hope it is criticised as “racist…”

    http://www.cityam.com/1413806114/ukip-calypso-nigel-farage-inspires-his-own-political-protest-song

  • Peter Watson 20th Oct '14 - 6:37pm

    There’s another poll today, published by Lord Ashcroft, which puts Lib Dems in 5th place:
    Con 28%, Lab 31%, Lib Dem 7%, UKIP 18%, Green 8%, SNP 5%
    (http://lordashcroftpolls.com/2014/10/ashcroft-national-poll-con-28-lab-31-lib-dem-7-ukip-18-green-8/)
    The data behind this shows that when 1000 people were asked “If there was a general election tomorrow, which party would you vote for?” (no prompts for party, unlike ICM):
    222 Lab, 190 Con, 130 UKIP, 59 Green, 50 Lib Dem.
    For a subset of this data in Scotland, of 87 people:
    30 SNP, 17 Lab, 5 Con, 5 UKIP, 5 Green, 2 Lib Dem

  • The Scottish poll in particular is dreadful, they could very well lose over half their seats there – if these figures were anywhere near accurate it could be worse!

  • Lib Dems now on 1%.

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