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Polls put Labour in third place

By Angela Harbutt
April 19th, 2010 at 7:10 pm | 2 Comments | Posted in Election, UK Politics

The Guardian poll today follows other polls putting the approx 10 point surge in Lib Dems in even firmer ground. (Conservatives 33%, Liberals 30%, Labour 28% :source Guardian/ICM).

Even more spectacularly is reporting that the Angus Reid/Politcal Betting Poll shows Liberals 32%Conservatives 32% and Labour 24%. Something remarkable is happening. Checkout later this evening for further results.

No wonder David Cameron scrapped his tired old “attack Labour” election broadcast and went into his garden to record something else for broadcast today. He does not refer to Nick Clegg or the Liberals – but his message is pretty clear and its not directed at Labour voters….

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Mystery YouGov poll looks for Nick Clegg’s weaknesses

By Angela Harbutt
April 19th, 2010 at 5:56 pm | Comments Off on Mystery YouGov poll looks for Nick Clegg’s weaknesses | Posted in Election, UK Politics

“GET ME SOME FOCUS GROUP RESEARCH (to tell me what to say next)”…

…That’s about the size of it.  Never mind about worrying about your own message. Or stating from the heart where you have fundamental disagreements with Liberal policy. I could understand – and respect – that.

But no. It’s being reported widely on the web and now on the BBC that some party is now conducting a survey of voters to establish the best lines of attack on the Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg. That’s just poor. That’s lacking the courage of your own conviction. That’s being LED – rather than leading. That’s what has been wrong with politics in this country for the past two decades.

Spin-doctors, PR consultants, research organisations and newspaper editors determining political policy.

No wonder people want change.

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Cameron gets it wrong again

By Angela Harbutt
April 19th, 2010 at 2:41 pm | 2 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

I read on the BBC website this morning that David Cameron is stating that a vote for Nick Clegg could leave Britain “stuck” with Labour”.

Some one needs to take David Cameron to one side and give him a sharp talking to. Because he is just plain wrong.Wrong on sentiment.Wrong on tactics.

First and foremost the current poll of polls puts the Tories on 33% with Labour and Liberal Democrats on 29% each (and who knows where this will end). Yes, on the “just for fun” BBC Election Seat Calculator this gives the Labour 280+ seats and the Tories about 240+ seats. 


It’s a rough and ready estimate….But its clearly in the right ball park …at least for now…. And yes it looks like it would have to be coalition with the Liberals- no other group looks to have enough.

Now on the face of it, as things stand, this puts Labour looking pretty. But (and it is a big “but”) the Liberals are SERIOUS about political reform – and a change to the first past the post system….I don’t see how they CAN opt for coalition with the Labour Party with more seats (won through the defunct old system)- over the Tories with more votes. Surely we have been saying for years that it’s the votes that count? We are the party that has the demand for a fair, proportional voting system at the heart of its manifesto.

So, currently, and assuming Mr Cameron can get his act together, in hung parliament land, its gotta be the votes that count – and therefore highly probable that the Liberals would indeed be talking to the Tories about coalition.

But herein lies the problem. Mr Cameron shows no sign of getting his act together. Not on his own campaign – not on his relationship with the liberals.

At the moment the Tories seem all at sea. Private recriminations internally about why Cameron did so poorly on the TV debate last week; unleashing their pet newspapers on Nick and the Liberals (which will incidentally only drive more voters to the Libs – the more you knock us the more the public will flock to us – cheers guys!); and of course, yet more talk of the disaster of a hung parliament, despite the fact that it’s clear the majority of voters WANT a hung parliament (recent Times poll says 53% are FOR a hung parliament with only 37% against). Come on Mr Cameron – you can’t keep saying that you (and the city) know best and the common voters are stupid (which seems to be your message right now).

“We know best” just isn’t a very smart political line in an anti-political age.


And what of the Tory campaign? Throughout this election, indeed throughout Cameron’s leadership we have seen the Tories lurch back and forth in all directions.  From the “hug a hoodie” party to the “bang ’em up” party with seemingly no pause for breath. They claimed to be the party of harsh realistic spending cuts that needed to be implemented NOW,  a few weeks later they were handing out tax giveaways like Father Christmas on speed. “The Big Society” was their self-confessed big idea for the general election (even if many of us really don’t get what that really means). Yet in the TV debate, David Cameron did not mention it once. Nor did he mention the flagship education policy for “free schools”, (which will allow parents or other providers to set up their own schools) during the education part of the debate. And the lack of any numbers in their manifesto had everyone scratching their heads. You just don’t seem to be able to get a real fix on them.

And for a party of optimism and change all we seem to get are threats…first it was that a hung parliament will cause financial meltdown in the city and now a hung parliament will let Labour back in.. Did talk of a hung parliament cause the volcanic ash cloud too?

The Iraq war, the excesses of the political elite and their rich mates, the constant lecturing tone..they have dripped into our psyche. We have had enough. For most, Cameron looked like the only option to rid us of the dreadful Labour party- but Tory arguments have drifted all over the place. The electorate are not that stupid. Yes they wanted a change. But they wanted authenticity too. And that just never emerged with the Tories. And in marketing terms..


“Authenticity is the benchmark against which all brands are now judged”


In spite of this Cameron was the main man when there was no real competition. But competition has arrived. When millions saw Nick on TV on the leaders debate (for all his faults and the party’s faults), they saw something that is authentic and different. People get that.  Cameron really IS “Clegg-lite”.

So in the time that’s remaining, someone needs to tell Mr Cameron to “stick to the knitting”.  At the very least talk about policies and ideas and stop trying to badger and terrify us into voting Blue. It’s just not going to work.

As for Mr Cameron’s relationship with the liberals. What makes anyone think we would be willing to work with the Tories right now, even if they were first choice coalition partners?


All the Tory talk over recent weeks has been wholly anti-coalition and very definately against the kind of political reform that the Liberals are proposing. Any suggestion of change to the current voting system has been met with obstinate refusal. If David Cameron wants to be on the Government benches next month he may well need to rethink this, big time. Otherwise he might find himself spending a few short months on the opposition benches before the old Tory guard get their knives out.

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Confirmed. The yellows really are the best way of stopping the reds.

By Angela Harbutt
April 17th, 2010 at 9:04 pm | Comments Off on Confirmed. The yellows really are the best way of stopping the reds. | Posted in Uncategorized

Pinching myself hard, I find myself writing that, according to,  the Liberals top the opinion polls in the latest results to be published (BPIX/YouGov survey for the Mail on Sunday). Ok we may want to take one poll (and especially this poll) with a dose of salts – but a pattern certainly does seem to be emerging… the entire country agrees with Nick!



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Stingray politics: Anything can happen in the next half hour…

By Angela Harbutt
April 17th, 2010 at 3:58 am | Comments Off on Stingray politics: Anything can happen in the next half hour… | Posted in Election, Liberal Democrats, UK Politics

 stingrayIf a week’s a long time in politics – how about ninety minutes?

 That’s all it’s taken to turn this entire General Election on its head – boosting the LibDem vote share to 30%

 What happens next?

At a guess…


1. Labour plod on.

2. The Tories dog whistle (the Cameron vote share is now down at Howard/IDS levels)

3. Nick and the LibDems come under immense scrutiny (probably on personalities, not policy)

We’re way beyond hung parliament territory now. We’re into WTF territory. The LibDems are now just 14/1 to be the largest party after May 6th.

Perhaps David Cameron should be asked what he’ll do if he holds the balance of power and whether he’d be willing to serve as junior coalition partner in a Clegg government?

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